With the reports from the Common Test filtering through, players are responding to the current state of the British Light Tank branch...
Good view range. Stealthy. Fast. High-Alpha. All of these terms were used by Wargaming to describe the new British Light-Tank line coming to World of Tanks in Update 1.6. Unfortunately, it appears that this is not to be. The general consensus from the playerbase seems to be that the British Lights will, if introduced to the game in this state, have little place in the game. In this article, I will break down the various claims made by Wargaming, and the actual implementation these vehicles have received.
Good View Range:
One of the claims made by Wargaming repeatedly prior to the launch of the Common Test was that these British vehicles will have good view ranges for the Tier at which they are implemented. This is, quite frankly, not true.
At tier VII, the Setter has a View Range of 370m. While superior to the Hotchkiss EBR's viewrange of 310m, the same-tier AMX 13 75 has exactly the same viewrange of 370m, while the Premium AMX 13 75 has superior 390m, as does the tech-tree Spahpanzer Ic.
At the other end of the scale, the Tier X Manticore has a 400m view range, comparing to the 350m viewrange on the EBR-105, the 390m viewrange of the AMX 13 105, and the generally-considered worst Tier X Light, the Rheinmetall Panzerwagon has a 420m viewrange. At best, the 400m stated view range of the Manticore is "average", and certainly not enough to overcome the main drawbacks of these vehicles.
Referring to the "soft performance" of the tanks, such as gun handling or the mobility, Wargaming claimed that they will possess "Excellent" dynamics. This is...somewhat true. (Due to the range of factors here, I will focus on only the Tier X comparison).
The Manticore, with its slow-firing low-ammo-capacity 105mm gun, has a dispersion at rest of 0.38m at 100m, with an aiming time of 2.3s, a top speed of 68kph, and a Power to Weight of 42.6 hp/t.
The Panhard EBR, however, possesses with the same calibre of gun a 0.36m dispersion at 100m, an aiming time of 1.15 seconds, a top speed of 70kph in both directions, and a Power to Weight of 44.12 hp/t.
The AMX 13 105, with an autoloader, possesses only 0.40m dispersion, but with an aiming time of 2.21 seconds, a top speed of 68kph and a Power to Weight of 37.5 hp/t.
Finally, the T-100 LT possesses 0.44m dispersion, with an aiming time of 1.92 seconds, a top speed of 72kph and a Power to Weight of 48hp/t.
While the dynamics are superior in some aspects, overall they are by no means "excellent", and once again not enough to compensate for the utterly dreadful gun performance.
High Concealment Rate:
Wargaming claimed repeatedly that the combination of "View range, concealment values and tiny size is truly unique to our game, so the new Brits are ideal for both active and passive spotting". This claim is already dubious thanks to the previously covered aspects, but it gets worse. The Manticore has a 20.52% Camo Rating when not firing, which is certainly capable compared to vehicles such as the Sheridan's 14.48% or the WZ-132-1's 15.96%, however, it is barely superior to the T-100 LT's 19.84% and worse than the Panhard EBR 105's 21.15%. In an isolated bubble, the concealment of the Manticore seems to be quite positive, but it is by no means unique, and when combined with the sizeable drawbacks from other aspects of the vehicle does not shine brightly against its peers.
High Alpha and Poor DPM:
Finally, we come to the most contentious of the claims made by Wargaming; that the various guns available on this line have comparably high alpha damage, but low DPM. The latter is true; the DPM on the British vehicles is almost universally poor, and is further exacerbated by poor gun performance and on the Manticore, a cripplingly low shell count of 16 rounds. High Alpha Damage, however, is not something you could accuse these tanks of holding.
The Setter at Tier VII, armed with a 75mm HV L/40, hits for 135 damage at a time. Meanwhile, the Spahpanzer 1c is armed with a 90mm gun that hits for 220 damage, the AMX 13 75 hits for 135 damage and the T71 DA hits for 150. The idea that a gun with a perfectly average Alpha damage for a 75mm gun, and frankly below average for the tier and the class, is "High" is honestly laughable.
The same holds true at tier X. The Manticore has a 105mm gun with 390 Alpha. This is better than the Rheinmetall Panzerwagon's 105mm with 320 Alpha and the T-100 LT's 100mm with 300 Alpha, but is exactly the same as all the other 105mm armed Light Tanks at the tier, all of which have far better gun performance and DPM than the Manticore, as well as better ammo capacity.
So, to conclude; do Wargaming's claims regarding the British Light Tank tree hold up to scrutiny? I would tend towards "no", with the only true aspect being the negative of the horrendous DPM on these vehicles.
Will the stats change soon, rendering this article obsolete? I certainly hope so, as does anybody who has any kind of an interest in playing British Light Tanks in World of Tanks, despite the initial letdown of not including some of the most iconic, recognisable, and most importantly combat-proven light tanks of the post-war period.
For more information on how the British Lights have been recieved, check out Cironflexes' and QuickyBaby's responses on YouTube, or if you dare, pay a visit to the World of Tanks forums.