Quite likely the most overlooked tier X medium, the AMX 30b happens to be my personal favorite. It finds itself lost in the mix of more notable and popular vehicles such as the Leopard 1 or the M48 Patton. On top of that, the 30b will forever be overshadowed by its older brother, the Batchat. The 30b simply brings nothing special to the table, which likely leads to its dismissal by most players. While it may be unoriginal, the 30b is one of most well put together packages in the game. Make no mistake though, this doesn't mean it's THAT easy to play.
The best way to describe playing the 30b is that it's extremely comfortable to use. The tank has no blatant deficiencies which pigeonhole its play-style, arguably its only real issue is a lack of effective armor. While it may not seem obvious at first, the 30b does excel at one thing in particular, dealing damage consistently. The mixture of fantastic gun handling, accuracy, and vision ensures the 30b is able to pump out damage. While it may not have the best DPM (though still respectable ), the ability for the 30b to find its mark so easily is a trade I'd make every time. Even moving at full speed the reticle bloom is minimal, allowing for accurate shots on the run. Provided you engage opponents from medium to long range (250m and out), the 30b will be able to convert its DPM better than any other medium. While not awful at close range, the 30b is not designed to get up close and personal so try to maintain distance from opponents.
The tank's platform (chassis) is nothing special, but unlike vehicles such as the Action X or M48, the 30b is not actively hindered in terms of mobility. You'll never be forced to refrain from rotating between flanks or taking an aggressive position earlier on due to mobility concerns. Terrain resistance values prevent the 30b from being a speed demon but it still gets around better than all mediums besides the Leopard, TVP, and Batchat. The 30b's hull is indisputably weak, rarely being able to bounce a shell even at the sharpest of angles. 120mm+ guns actually over-match several parts of the hull. Oddly enough, the tracks tend to soak up more shells than they should. Adding to the comfort factor, the 30b receives little module damage, especially compared to other paper tanks like the Batchat or Leopard. The fact alone that it isn't constantly ammo-racked like the Leopard makes the 30b a lot nicer to play. There are frontal fuel tanks but they aren't much of an issue like on the Obj. 140 for instance.
With 8 degrees of gun depression, the 30b can work most ridge-lines easily enough. It's pivotal to maintain a small profile by utilizing ridges to stay hull-down. The turret has little armor to speak of but you do draw the occasional bounce off the top of the gun mantle even against tier X's. While your turret armor cannot be relied upon, presenting a small target and using your superb gun-handling to peek out for short windows of time helps maintain longevity on the battlefield. Keep in mind that you do have a rather large cupola, so opponents will be able to shoot at you 1st when poking over a ridge if you're already spotted. It's best to poke when you're likely unspotted, in which case it'll be fairly even as your cupola acts as a viewport. It's a good idea to not go for obvious trades with opponents, even those that have alpha damage below your own, 390. Conserving hitpoints early on will allow you to play more aggressively once lanes begin to open up, during which you can dominate thanks to your view-range and strong camo values (same as the T-62a). The less tanks on the field, the more uncertainty opponents will have about what angles they could be spotted and shot from, exactly the situation the 30b excels at. Don't be afraid to rotate off a flank that's clearly failing or shift to catch out an opponent that's overstretched. The AMX 30b has the speed to get in and out if needed.
The early game will be the most frustrating period to deal with. Just remember one thing, patience. You may feel the urge to get to and hold an aggressive angle, looking for early damage output. DON'T. It won't be worthwhile unless coordinating with a platoon. The 30b cannot maintain aggressive early positions alone. At most, early passive spotting is doable but still risky. If you're one of only a handful of tier X's on a team however, you probably shouldn't bother as you're far too valuable then. It's best to float around at the start of a battle. Mines and Cliff are a few of the only maps where the 30b can afford to be aggressive early on. Allow other vehicles to spot out enemy groups and find positions where you can chip away from a distance until 4-5 enemies go down and the map opens up. If you're one of the only tier X's in a match though, try to maintain a closer presence to the front. Preferably, you should tend to play lanes where your view-range can be exploited such as the East on Steppes instead of the West. So long as you conserve most of your hitpoints until the mid-game you'll be able have a strong impact and potentially carry the battle with that massive basket surrounding the turret, there's certainly enough room to carry all your teammates in there.
Equipment & Consumables
- Vert Stab, Rammer, Optics
- Med kit, Repair, Extinguisher
Crew Skills to Prioritize
- Camo, Off-Road Driving, Situational Awareness, BIA
- Snap Shot & Smooth Ride have little impact on the 30b
If attempting to three mark the vehicle, the optimal setup would be to replace optics with vents, replace med kit with food, and skill Jack of All Trades (drop camo if necessary) to help ease the pain of losing a crew member.