Several great articles have been written about the ELC’s prowess as a “fast-deployment TD.” When you really look at the tanks characteristics though, it’s hard to see how that would be the optimal way to play. This World of Tanks ELC AMX guide was written by Ambruz and is the first guest article to appear on WoT Guru. If you are interested in having an article or guide posted on here you can contact me here, on the WoT Guru Facebook page, or on the World of Tanks forums.
As a “TD” the deck is totally stacked against the ELC.
Perhaps the biggest problem with the TD argument is matchmaking. Most of your matches are tiers 6-8 with a very light smattering of 5 and 9. That puts you in a position where even your “big” gun does comparatively little damage, and can’t reliably penetrate most medium and heavy frontal armor.
Most TD’s have either speed and turret, or frontal armor. Speed and a turret opens up “peekaboo” play or active hunting play (think Hellcat). TD’s with frontal armor (Hetzer, SU100) are great for bush camping, allowing you to survive a return volley before repositioning. The ELC has neither, so it’s very difficult to stay in cover while actively hunting, and it’s nearly impossible to survive return fire if you’re detected behind a bush.
Some might say the ELC can be played similarly to the T82 – neither have armor to speak of, and both have a big gun. Except that the T82’s matchmaking is much more favorable for its tier, and its “derp” gun does 410 damage – enough to one-shot most tanks it’s facing with a well-placed round. The ELC on the other hand is routinely facing tanks with 1000+ HP and its main gun only does 210 damage. The math just doesn’t add up.
So what is the ELC?
A very powerful scout and flanker. Here’s why:
~It’s the fastest tank on the map. Period.
~Its ridiculously low profile means you can duck behind the slightest of hills.
~Light tanks have the same camo rating whether they’re moving or stationary.
~Its 90mm gun can do surprising damage when fired into engine compartments and turret rings.
The name of the game in the ELC is playing to these advantages. That means taking a lot of small risks, firing opportunistic shots, cutting your losses if you miss, and never staying in one spot.
An ELC can “light up” the entire enemy team in a single pass without dying. Just head for a ridge near the middle of the map, approach it from an angle and ride the top for a second or two then duck behind it again, heading towards your team. If the enemy isn’t too close, pick a slightly different line up the same ridge and keep sighting them. Do not die.
Always retreat behind the hill. If the enemy tanks are about to crest the hill, make sure you’ve got friendlies on that side ready to take them out, or retreat fast to a rearward ridge (or both). If you do it right, no enemy has time to get a shot at you. Your arty can pick away at stationary tanks and your own team can choose the best positions knowing the enemy’s location. You also get a boatload of spotting and assist XP each time you do this so let me stress again: do not die.
It’s possible to do this all game, never firing a shot, and scooping up enough XP to land reliably in the top 5 on your team. I usually have 500-2000 assisted damage in a game as an ELC, and spot 5-10 tanks.
When you do fire a shot, it’s at a lone enemy tank that doesn’t know you’re there. If they’re turning their turret toward you move behind cover. Don’t stop, don’t aim, don’t fire. Move behind cover. Don’t peekaboo. They know you’re there. They’ll laugh and one-shot you. Retreat, and find another target or go scout some other tanks from a ridge.
Near the end of a match, you may find yourself in a position where you can team up with a medium or heavy and wreak havoc on enemy tanks (you stayed alive, right?) The objective here is to pick off enemies by flanking from the side while your heavy teammate keeps their attention. This is the best time to pick up points by destroying engines, ammo racks, whathaveyou. If you do it right, you’re forcing your opponent to make a horrible decision: taking you out while they’re destroyed by your teammate, or trying for your teammate while you get free shots at their hind quarters.
Keep in mind that many people choose to dine on the yummy ELC for a few more points before they die, so keep cover close and have a fast, safe retreat path. Letting them aim even a single shot is your demise. Pop out when their turret is facing another direction, fire your shot, get back to cover.
Learning from Mistakes
With a superlight tank one mistake can easily kill you. It’s going to happen: learn from it. If you’re dying after just one or two scouting runs, be a little faster about ducking behind a hill or don’t push as far forward next time. If you’re not dying but also not getting enough XP, push forward a little more. This isn’t rocket science – after 10 or 20 battles you get the hang of when you’re about to be shot, and when you’re relatively safe. Trust your instincts and always have a path for safe retreat in mind.
When playing to its strengths, the ELC can be one of the most rewarding tanks in your arsenal. You can routinely make 800xp and 25k silver on every team victory with a standard account. Your team will love you for scouting, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun taking down lumbering TD’s and heavies from the side and rear.