Looks like I'll be writing a guide this week.... *EDIT* I have written my guide:
This is an in-depth guide to the M4A3E8 Sherman “Easy 8”—the Tier 6 American Medium Tank.
The Easy 8 is my favorite tank and it’s also the first tank I three marked. I consider myself an expert Easy 8 player and write this guide with the intent of sharing my knowledge of the tank with the player base, in hopes of allowing more players to enjoy this fine piece of machinery as much as I do.
In this guide I’ll first go over the pros and cons of the tank, equipment, crew, and play style while also giving some short tips for the quick and easy grind to the Easy 8.
Pros and Cons
- One of the three tier 6 medium tanks that can mount Vertical Stabilizers
- Highly maneuverable
- Good overall mobility
- Great DPM
- FANTASTIC gun depression (-12)
- Best view range of Tier 6 mediums
- Really great gun handling
- Really subpar penetration
- Not very high top speed
- Lowish alpha (compared to Cromwell’s 135 and T-34-85’s 180)
- Poor aimed in accuracy
- Weak penetration at 128
- Poor overall armor
- Low top speed
- Very tall—big target and bad camo
- Did I mention bad pen?
Here is the equipment layout I used to three mark the Easy 8 and also some other possible options for equipment. I use my Easy 8 as a flanking support tank. This is simply the best way to play the vehicle and this equipment layout maximizes its abilities to do so.
Vertical Stabilizers—The Easy 8, along with the E2 and Firefly, is the only tier 6 medium tank that can mount vertical stabilizers. The Easy 8 has superb on-the-move gun handling and the VStabs enhance that. The purpose of equipment is to either counterbalance a bad statistic or further enhance a good trait, like gun handling.
Gun Rammer—I don’t even think this equipment piece needs to be explained. The Easy 8’s base DPM is very good, and by using the rammer, you can further raise that statistic.
Coated Optics—As stated above, the Easy 8 has the best view range of all tier 6 mediums (tied with E2 and Fury). Using optics allows you to provide reconnaissance for your team. Most other tanks around tier 6 lack substantial view range, allowing you to outspot many tanks at your tier. High view range is also very useful in late game situations where vision control games play an important role. Having a considerable amount of view range will help you in late game situations immensely, which means you can win more of your games.
Other Equipment Options
Improved Ventilation—This is a very useful piece of equipment which boosts all statistics in the tank (note, this does not boost all statistics by 5% but rather boosts the crew’s training level by 5%. This ends up boosting stats like reload speed by something around 2.5% IIRC). If the E8 was unable to mount Vstab I would use vents instead.
Enhanced Gun Laying Drive—The Easy 8 doesn’t have the best aim time, which means that the EGLD could be useful, but since other equipment options are far superior, I would not recommend using this.
Other equipment pieces not mentioned are not worth mounting on the E8 (with the exception of Binos, which you might want to throw on if you’re trying to just fast grind through the E8 up the line and don't want to spend credits on buying equipment, which I wouldn’t recommend as playing the E8 is one of the most rewarding experiences in the game).
Also, since it’s slightly related to how you equip your E8, I’ll briefly discuss the pros and cons between the 105 mm howitzer and the 76 mm gun which both are mountable on the E8. I use the 76 because it’s clearly the better gun in terms of competition. It sports reliable damage, superior gun handling, better accuracy, and better DPM. The 105 is fun if you just want to mess around and it can be useful for using to gain exp for the M1A2 76 which would not be prior researched from the M4.
Can I be very honest for just a second? I don’t think crew skills are that big of a deal. Yes, a 100% trained crew and sixth sense and brothers in arms will help you, but they won’t make you a better play. All the tanks I’ve 3 marked (E8, T-34, T-34-85) I’ve done before completing the 1st skill on the crews (so no sixth sense). I think gameplay and things you do in the battle are more important, and impact the outcome of the game more so than things you do in the garage.
With that out of the way, I’m not gonna spend too much time on crews. I think that sixth sense is must, repairs is useful, and BIA also. Some others like smooth ride and snapshot will help the already good gun handling. Deadeye is also not a bad option (although honestly, l think there are better options) since the E8 pumps out the RPMs.
My crew hasn’t even reached it’s 3rd perk yet, so yeah.
Playstyle and Tips
My biggest tip to playing any tank, specifically mobile mediums with high DPM (and this might sound a bit simple), is to stay alive. I cannot stress this enough.The longer you stay alive, your chances of winning are much higher. This sounds like an easy step, but you must focus on this. By no means should you camp in the back, but be smart with your HP. Don’t make unnecessary trades.
Your playstyle should depend on whether or not you’re top, bottom, or mid tier. If you’re top tier, don’t be afraid to be aggressive, but remember, do not over extend. An over-extended tank without support early game is a dead tank. You have a lot of options when top tier. I typically like to go where mediums go, but if you have more heavies then the other team, go with the heavies and help them quickly push out one flank and then go back and defend the other. Fighting same tier heavies is pretty easy. Just make sure you never trade 1 for 1 since you have pitiful alpha compared to theirs. When brawling with heavies, sit in cover and wait for them to fire at your allies. Once they fire, pull out and put 1-3 shots into them while they reload (depending on their reload time). Some tanks, like the T-150 take roughly 8-10 seconds to reload which means you can fit at least 2 shots, maybe even 3, while they’re reloading. Be careful, though, and make sure that other enemies can’t shoot you while you're doing this.
Although it is entirely possible to fight alongside heavy tanks, try not to be redundant with your angles of fire. Always make your opponent have to turn their turret or tank to fire at you. If they do, duck back. Don’t take fire for no reason. Let your allies deal with the tank. If they continue to focus on your allies, then shoot them.
When facing tanks below tier 6 you can just bully them. Your armor is strong enough to bounce some tier 4 guns, but it is still weak to tier 5+. Even though they can pen you, just out maneuver and out DPM them.
Lead charges, but don’t over extend. Remember, you’re top tier, and when you’re top tier you have a responsibility to lead (not always, but typically).
When you’re middle tier, play mostly the same way, but be more supportive—don’t be as aggressive. By tier 7 most tanks will carry guns that do 240+ alpha which is ⅓ of your health. Again, the longer you survive the better. By mid to endgame when the map opens up more, you can be more aggressive. Flank isolated tanks. Make slower tanks try to chase you down. Draw them into allies’ fire.
When bottom tier and you’re up against IS-3’s and T25E4 Patriots, play it safe. If you don't want to brawl with an IS-3...don't. Nobody's making you. Not even the maps. You can always go somewhere else. Nobody says you have to shoot at a certain tank. When in a bottom tier medium you choose your targets. You move around the map like nobody cares. You don't go to the designated medium brawling grounds. You have no real obligations (other than to support). You're the one driving the tank..therefore you're the one who gets to make the decisions. If the gun you’re using only allows you to pen soft targets, than shoot soft targets.
Other general tips to remember include to use your gun depression. You have plenty of it. Also, never be afraid to shoot gold. If you’re one of the anti-gold people out there, not using gold only hinders your gameplay. Everyone else uses gold so not using it doesn’t make sense. When the time is right, never be afraid to get up close and personal. Because of the phenomenal turning speed of the E8, you can circle slower enemies with ease. Do this with caution though, and make sure that the enemy is not supported with others as circling an enemy who has support is signing your death certificate.
TL: DR Flank flank flank, support support support. And never take unnecessary hits.
The Line Preceding the Easy 8
The line leading up the E8 (and past) is a very enjoyable line for both beginners and veterans alike. For beginners, all the tanks are easy to use and good for learning the game mechanics (with the exception of the Lee, which can still teach new players mechanics).
Such little time will be spent in tier 1, 2, and 3 that in my opinion, it’s not worth talking about. I would highly recommend free exping past the M3 Lee since the meta doesn’t fit it’s playstyle, but if you don’t have the free exp, the Lee isn’t bad.
Tier 4, the M3 Lee—The truth is, the M3 Lee is not a bad tank. It sports the best DPM out of all tier 4 and 5 tanks (which is truly insane), but other statistics like it’s height and penetration means it suffers in battle. When you get into that certain situation where you can use its DPM to its full potential, it’s great. Unfortunately, the meta doesn’t accommodate it well, and therefore it’s looked upon as one of the worst tanks in the game.
Tier 5, the mighty M4 Sherman—Ah, the M4 Sherman. Arguably the best tier 5 medium in the game. Super easy to use and great for beginners trying to learn middle tier gameplay. It has excellent mobility, firepower, and view range for its tier. In terms of firepower, it has two fantastic gun choices, the M1A1 76 mm gun which sports the same stats as the E8’s gun (except rate of fire, which is slightly slower) or the powerful 105 mm howitzer. For beginners I would recommend the 76 mm which will help you learn the basics of armor penetration mechanics. The 105 can be much fun, however, and one shotting low HP soft targets never gets
Beyond the Easy 8
Once you’ve elited your E8 and you’re ready to continue up the line (with the intent of keeping your E8 forever, of course), you’re introduced to some other great tanks. Which include the T20, in my opinion the best tier 7 medium tank; the Pershing, a very good tier 8 medium tank; the M46 Patton, debatable the best tier 9 medium which sports high alpha and view range with good mobility; and finally, the M48 Patton, the tier 10 American medium tank that (as of 9.17) sports the best view range in the game with decent armor and fantastic gun handling.
To conclude, I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide. If you have any questions regarding the playstyle of the beloved M4A3E8 Sherman, don’t hesitate to ask me via PM here on the forums or in-game. Thanks for reading my guide, and if you enjoyed, slap that upvote button. Now go out there, and smash those Crapwells.
Edited by ClydeCooper421, Apr 12 2017 - 22:27.