Content of the article: "An In-Depth AMX M4 49 Liberté Review: WG Balancing Done Right (re-uploaded and edited due to link issues)"
Hello! Recently, I uploaded my second MoE game in my AMX M4 49 Liberté. Some people have asked me about how I get the results I’ve uploaded, and it’s easy to understand why. The tank has a very strange and unique playstyle that is difficult to get accustomed to. However, once you find the proper methods for playing, poking and positioning, The Liberté becomes a very enjoyable and rewarding heavy tank to play.
In my opinion, Wargaming did an excellent job balancing this tank, making the Liberté one of the most interesting and brain-dependent heavies at tier eight. For this review, I’ll be comparing it with the Super Pershing, a far more popular tier 8 preferential "medium" that plays in a similar manner. Of course, this review applies the the regular AMX M4 49 as well.
TL;DR: This tank is worth it, whether through the bond shop or by credit card. It punishes misplays harshly, but the tank is incredibly rewarding when used properly.
Without further delay, let’s get into it!
Firepower? Good, but unwieldy.
The Liberté has a 100mm main armament with excellent penetration and balanced alpha damage. It has very nice pen on both rounds (232 and 263 with APCR) with a high ammo count. This means you can vary what ammunition you want to bring. Personally, I run 35 AP, 20 APCR and 5 HE. However, it pays for pen and decent alpha with a very low rate of fire and poor damage per minute. 1,800 DpM pales in comparison to most tier eights heavies, with even the worst tier 8 mediums being able to dish out more damage. In comparison, the T26E4 has similar DpM, but has a faster RoF due to it having a smaller-caliber gun. This allows the Super P to have a greater potential for perma-tracking, as the ~6.7 reload (with proper equipment) is far better than the 8 second reload of the Liberté.
However, a 100mm gun means one thing: Strv S1 overmatching. Being able to auto-aim S1s is a valuable asset. While the E4 has to play a cupola sniping game with a Swedish TD, the Liberté can simply auto-aim. While the E4 has the slight firepower edge, the Liberté has some undeniable advantages. Also, fuck Strv S1s. All my homies hate S1s.
Gun handling? Not good. Mobility? Meh.
The gun, however, isn't all good. The soft stats on the tracks, turret and movement of the Liberté are very poor. Even with all appropriate equipment and crew perks, the Liberté will never have reliable snapshotting capability. Moreover, the base aim time of 2.78 feels like it belongs on a larger caliber gun. If you aren't careful about how you engage opponents, you will die with 900 damage to multiple rushing enemies. For most people, this is the part of the tank that turns people off. Despite the good base dispersion at 0.35, the gun doesn't fire fast enough to get it out of disadvantageous situations. Mitigating the gun handling is a key aspect of playing this tank, and we'll talk about it in more detail later. Suffice to say, the gun handling is not a strong suit of this tank.
However, the mobility tells a different story. The Liberté outperforms the Super Pershing by a significant margin. An excellent engine providing 1,000 horsepower allows a 70 ton tank to have a very competitice power-to-weight of 14. Unfortunately, the terrain resistances mitigate this somewhat. In practice, on non-hard terrain, the Liberté will cruise around 35 kph. This speed is comparable to that of a T32: not bad, but not great. In addition, the traverse speed on the hull is also about average for a tier 8 heavy with this amount of armor. In short, the mobility works for a tank of this playstyle.
Armor? Great, if you can use your brain.
The armor of the Liberté is its defining characteristic. Due to it’s strange construction, the Liberté does better at corner fighting than most heavies at tier eight. That is, if you have the intelligence and game sense to use it properly. When fighting same tier heavies, angle at roughly 10 degrees, or half of the angle you would use to sidescrape. If you do this, the armor holds up well, even against some gold rounds. An ideally angled Liberté will have at least 240mm of armor everywhere on the front, with the notable exception of the cupola–we’ll get to that later. The turret front, with the exception of the cupola is very think and usually reliable to all but the highest penetration rounds. However, some tier 8s can simply cheese your front armor with their gold rounds: Defenders, E-75 TSs and T34s are the primary culprits. All of these tanks have at least 280mm of gold pen: more than enough to defeat your hull. Naturally, the best way to not take damage is not get shot: know which tanks have gold rounds that can pen you, and either let someone else take the shot or bait (another subject we’ll touch on later). If you can use the armor model properly, the Liberté will bounce a significant amount of incoming fire.
Some notes on equipment, playstyle and the cupola.
Equipment: Rammer, V-Stab, Vents. No exceptions. No Gun Laying Drives. GLDs are dumb.
Playstyle (Specifically, the cupola): You may have noticed how I neglected to mention the gun depression of -10 degrees. "Why did you not say anything about it? That's a good aspect of the tank! You and your review is shit, and I'm reporting you for an offence I just made u–"
Silence. You are brainless.
The -10 degrees of gun depression is nothing more than a temptation to play this thing as a hull-down heavy. "If I had a nickel for every time I saw a Liberté win a hull-down fight, I'd have two nickels. It's not a lot, but it's strange that it happened twice."
The Liberté is not a hull-down heavy. The cupola is too large for you to use your gun depression at anything but long range. When you try to fight in a hull-down, you remove the definite strength of your tank: the hull armor. Instead, you invite every single person you're fighting to shoot the nice, fat, massive weakness Wargaming calls a weakpoint. While I'm glad they added a turret weakspot, it's a massive hindrance for people trying to use the gun depression.
Instead, treat the Liberté like a low-depression heavy: rely on it's hull armor. Moreover, when you fight on uneven terrain, the hull becomes weaker, due to the shift in enemy perspective. Stick to corner poking in cities and long-range support if necessary/bottom-tiered.
Positioning: You need teammates. Period. The Liberté does not have the alpha nor DpM to discourage yolos from idiot enemy mediums. Usually, the mediums don't deal the killing blow, but they make you turn your turret/hull. Then the patiently waiting enemy heavies pounce and smack you dead in the span of a few seconds. Your hull armor cannot and will not hold up under a crossfire.
Therefore, do not attempt to solo-hold a flank. Literally no tank in the game can do that. Rely on teammates to secure your flanks. Then, use your hull armor to bully people directly in front of you. If you don't have this support, don't go to where you wanted to at the start of the game. Don't be that guy who tried to solo-hold a flank, died, and is now pinging your teammates into oblivion. As a certain gnome overlord once said, "Fair fights are for suckers." Group up with your friendly heavies and don't split up.
Corner fighting: Due to the positioning of it's cupola, the Liberté excels at fighting around left-hand corners. When positioned properly, the Liberté becomes one of the best corner fighters at tier eight. Moreover, every chance you have to hide the right side of your tank, take it. A perfect position for the Liberté would be the corner used from the north spawn at the Curved Road/Banana Street/whatever. If you only poke the minimum required to fire, your cupola will remain in cover behind the building to your right. You will laugh as an extreme amount of AP, then APCR and HEAT bounces off of you. However, if you choose to fight using a wall that is partially destroyed or is slanted, you will still be exposing your cupola. If you got shot there, it's not because you're cupola is teleporting to the left side of your turret. Bad carpenters blame their tools, or something to that effect.
Poking and mitigating the gun bloom: The best way to mitigate gun bloom is to add as little dispersion to your tank as possible while poking. One way to do this is to only use W while poking. When you press W, the game adds dispersion to your gun relative to how fast you drive. If you turn your tank while doing this, your gun blooms like a motherfucker. Ergo, don't. Once you are confident the angling of your hull, keep it angled in that manner. Just use W, drive forward, and give the gun as much time as possible to aim.
Also, the gun performs far better with Food. Use it. You're a premium tank: with a Premium Account you'll still make 50-60k credits a game. It'll pay dividends in the soft stats, DpM and view range of your Liberté.
Poking while uptiered/gold spammed: Understanding how to poke correctly in the Liberté is critical to playing it well. As well as poking at the 10-degree angle we talked about earlier, sometimes, tier eights or higher have too much gold pen to bounce consistently: E-75 TSs, Defenders, and T34s are the usual suspects at tier eight. When this occurs, switch from a poking to a baiting playstyle. To bait using your front hull properly, severely overangle your front hull (aprx. a 45 degree angle), and poke just enough to give enemies the smallest chance of hitting your very weak shoulder plate. When everyone has bounced, then and only then can you poke out to get shots. If you do it right, you'll bounce gold rounds from Conquerors. Fuck it up, and you'll get perma-tracked and obliterated. I still get murdered on occasion, so expect needing a lot of battles to get it down correctly.
Dealing with multiple enemies: As we talked about earlier, yoloing enemies are a dangerous prospect for tanks like the Liberté: Tall, not nimble and with weak side armor. If you've been brawling a heavy, and some shithead medium drove from the other side of the map to kill you, focus on the heavy you've been fighting first. After you kill him, re-engage the medium. Give up on trying to kill the high-HP medium. If anything, the medium yoloing is going to give the enemy heavy a bit of courage. He'll drive forward to get a shot on what he assumes is a preoccupied, turning heavy. When you still have your gun trained on him, he'll be out of position and you may be able to kill him before you die. If nothing else, you've just taken an enemy with you or made him a oneshot for your team.
So, there you have it! I hope this guide allowed you to learn a bit about how the tank should be played, whether you are struggling on the tank or are on the fence about getting it. Wargaming did a solid job on balancing this, and it shows. If you are willing to use your brain while playing a heavy, the Liberté is for you.
Thanks for reading!
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