Content of the article: "Vanguard ELC EVEN 90 Review from a decent-ish player"
I couldn't find any other reviews of this tank so I figured I would take a stab at writing one for a tank that seems to be loved and loathed in ample amounts, and in the process maybe help quell some controversy about the vehicle. There's a Tldr at the bottom, and as a note I've only got 2 marks on the tank. Here's the link to my stats page for those wanting to verify, and WN8 stats if you want to be extra sure. I'm gonna keep it as a pretty simple format. Pros, cons, suggested equipment and skills, my recommendations on how to play it, my recommendations on how to kill it, and the Tldr.
**Pros:** The thing everyone loves to hate about this vehicle is its small size and fast speed. Incredibly quick and made all the more the nuisance by its squat stature, this vehicle will very often find itself avoiding fire simply be being too much of a hassle to hit. With a respectable top speed of 70kmph you'll find yourself among the faster members of your piers, and while she bleeds a bit of speed in the corner it's far from being truly detrimental. At tier 8 the tank packs a respectable clip potential for a light averaging 660 damage, which can be dished out in around 5 seconds from the first shot ,and with 0.38 accuracy the vehicle can be surprisingly reliable from range. For its small size, and despite being an autoloader, the tank also carries a healthy 45 rounds; more than enough to allow some ammo diversification that other autoloading tanks can find themselves struggling with. The tank sports one of if not the best camo rating at the tier bar none, and properly decked out can easily become impossible to spot by anything but proxy when sat in sizable enough concealment allowing for near unparalleled spotting potential.
**Cons:** I'm splitting this into sections because unfortunately there's a lot of problems to discuss here. The bad news is that while fun to play and by far the best passive scout at the tier, this vehicle manages to be subpar in nearly every other category, and in a few is downright trash.
Firstly let's address the gun. While the clip potential and the accuracy are good, they hardly mitigate the many downsides that they come with. Your standard ammo has penetration that is around par with many of the other tanks at your tier, but you sorely lack the gun dispersion stats to reliably hit targets from anything greater than 100m when going full tilt, meaning you'll often end up having at a minimum 1 of your 3 shots going either into the dirt or into a well armored plate that you weren't aiming for. Your mediocre gun elevation and depression, while good compared to some autoloaders, is still problematic on uneven terrain, which is often compounded by your small size. Keep in mind too that this is the gun handling at it's best (my crew has both gun handling skills and BIA w/ vents and VStab on the tank); with a less experienced crew or kited out tank this could be a far more problematic affair. Your premium penetration is at least along the lines of what you expect from other vehicles at the tier who use premium APCR, but is still lagging behind most of its piers. The first of its two biggest drawbacks on the gun though are the 220 damage per shell on a 90mm gun, 20 less damage a shell than other guns of the same caliber, which adds up; especially when the vehicle has the worst dpm (to my knowledge and barring stock tanks) on any tank at the tier, and yes that's including the brits new LHMTV believe it or not. Only squeaking out a measly 1,130 base damage per minute means this vehicle will struggle to do anything meaningful in shorter matches, and may not be able to make enough of an impact in longer ones. It also means that engaging any enemy light or fast medium is incredibly dangerous, as if they're still alive when you run out of ammo they have nearly 30 seconds (base reload) to run you down and pepper you with fire.
Next up is the maneuverability and other aspects, and this one was a real disappointment to me. The tank turns dreadfully wide, especially compared to other lights. While it can perform rapid 180 degree or 90 degree turns with a handbrake very effectively, such maneuvers will generally bring you to a near dead stop, and with one of the worst power to weight ratios among lights at the tier it can really struggle to get back up to a good clip. The other big kicker here is thanks to your adorably small size nearly any destructible obstacle you hit absolutely kills your speed, meaning you often have to steer clear of towns if an enemy fast mover is expected, as you will be completely unable to escape. On the opposite side of the coin you have the issue that small terrain features that are normally irrelevant to nearly any other vehicle will often send this poor bugger tumbling, drastically reducing your speed and occasionally resulting in damage. It is incredibly easy to get this tank airborne and have it self destruct. The other problem is it's poor view range. 380m is among the worst at the tier. This is thankfully mitigated by it's great camo rating but is no less disappointing when it's designated role is the eyes of the team. Another note is that the small size also works against you when you get hit. If you're showing side there's a decent chance the shot will destroy a track, and any hit has a good chance to damage multiple modules, crew, etc. because of it's compact nature. If you get tracked your slow acceleration can also mean that even when using a repair kit may not get you out of danger fast enough to avoid being hit (and potentially tracked) again, and folks general disposition toward any red in the tank means you'll likely get focused.
This last section isn't so much an issue that is the tanks fault directly but just matchmaking and maps issues. This tank generally does it's best work in tier 8-9 games. Tier 10 you often find tanks too capable of reacting to your maneuvers as most heavies have fast enough combined rotation to keep up with you thanks to your crap turning, there's a lot of mediums fast enough to pose imminent threat, and your lackluster penetration and dispersion lets you down when combating tougher opponents. Tier 8 poses issues of its own though, as if it's mostly 7's and 6's the games often don't last nearly long enough to get more than 2 or 3 clips off before it's decided. Maps absolutely kill this vehicle. Without good DPM this tank really feels every bit of frustration lights have on city maps. It's biggest asset is as a spotter, which on pretty much every city map is a completely useless role. The implied notion here as well is you're only as good as your teams ability to support you. If your team gets melted in the first 3 minutes or simply decides to not shoot at your targets, you're out of luck. This tank cannot carry reliably, and you are heavily team and map dependent to be able to put up good numbers and have consistent games. This is the main reason I decided to make this review at 2 marks rather than trying to grind the 3rd. Without reliable coordination and cover fire the ability of this tank to have consistent games is highly limited, and I'm generally solo when going for marks.
**Suggested load-out:** Equipment-wise is the gold standard (minus the rammer obviously). VStabs, Vents, and coated optics. Maximizing view range and dpm is key, so vents and coated optics are a must. Vstab to mitigate your dispersion and help your shots find their target. Skills are along that same line of thought. Sixth, camo, recon, BIA, designated target, and green thumb are probably the first six I'd recommend. The amount of time this tank spends in bushes uncomfortably close to vehicles that can either chase it down or kill it outright means making sure you don't get seen in a bush trying to hold your nerve. You may want to reorder how you train the skills, but this is just my suggestion. I wouldn't bother with track mechanic or repairs as 9 times out of 10 if this vehicle gets tracked and you don't have a kit on hand you're not getting out of that situation anyhow, but this is hardly as relevant for a premium at the end of a day anyways. More than likely she won't have her own crew to worry about which skills to take.
**How I'd play it:** This tank excels in a spotting role, and thanks to its insane camo it is able to play a unique style of spotter that was previously made extinct when the light update hit console years ago. If you're an old hat and loved playing spotting games in the ELC bis back when it was a god, then this tank is for you. It can perform many of those same tricks you might remember and more. Taking up aggressive or usually risky spotting positions that have good concealment can often result in some incredible assisted damage in games. Knowledge of camo mechanics and the best ways to abuse them also allows this beauty to fire undetected semi-regularly, helping you make the most of its meager damage output. Avoid direct confrontation with enemy lights and fast mediums at all costs unless they are a one or at most two shot kill. This vehicle requires you to really dial back the aggression you might have when playing other lights, as any miscalculation involving your damage output and an opponents health can have costly results due to your long reload. Finishing off lone tanks is the same as other autoloaders minus the aforementioned comment, just be sure you're not at risk of being run down! Playing with friends is suggested as having a mate to take advantage of your spotting and/or cover a retreat from an aggressive enemy is incredibly helpful in keeping you alive and in good stats.
**How I'd kill it:** Apologies in advance to all my fellow ELC EVEN 90 players. Your best bet is to wait for them to overextend. Any other light or fast tank can easily hunt down a Vanguard once it's clip is spent, as it's slow and predictable turns and tendency to find obstacles or bad terrain make it an easy chase; just be sure not to overextend yourself when running them down. While these vehicles can no doubt be annoying, they are far from oppressive or overpowered. They're incredibly fun, but incredibly noncompetitive at the end of the day. If they are playing a passive spotting game it will be very difficult to root them out though, so be aware of their potential to keep you detected and be sure to relocate or find solid cover to break line of sight and disengage if need be or if possible.
**Tldr:** The Vanguard ELC EVEN 90 is the best passive scout at the tier, but is heavily dependent on the map and your team to be successful. The tank has a dangerous clip potential at all ranges, but can struggle to effectively apply it and has abysmal dpm, making it far less of a threat for a considerable amount of time once it's drum is empty. While not competitive, it provides a fun and unique experience at the tier for light tank enthusiasts, and it's small size and rather annoying characteristics have solidified it as a vehicle that is both loved and loathed.
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