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This month saw the release of another American M4 Sherman tank at tier 6, adding to an already crowded harem of M4 derivatives from the heavy and powerful M4 Jumbo, to the pointed and dangerous Easy Eight, over to the rare and unusual FURY! tank. But, how does the Thunderbolt VII compare? Well...


I bought the Thunderbolt VII shortly after it was released. Positive reviews on the tank, and the notion that it would include a "Zero Skill" Brothers-in-arms crew was an enormous bonus, and for less than $20, you can hardly go wrong. The Thunderbolt itself is an amalgam- featuring very good frontal and turret armor, with a little "shoulder armor" to boost it around corners- though I would compare it more to an up-armored "FURY!" than either of the other Tier-6 M4 Shermans.

I really like this tank for it's sheer "run around in" quality. It doesn't excel in any single area, which makes it a jack-of-all-trades sort of vehicle, able to fight well enough with most vehicles it will face, and defend itself against attacks of at-tier and lower vehicles. It's not terribly fast, but it's certainly not slow either.

As premium tanks go, it's an exceptional trainer with a lot of perks, and is just a lot of fun to play around in. I highly recommend this tank!

Are we still rating these? 5/5, very good tank, can't go wrong on this one.
Wargaming announced that the M4 Improved would be for sale in a little bit, and as I've owned it for a while, I thought I'd give my thoughts on it, as well as some tips and tricks to keep prospective "M4-Imp" owners alive longer, and making the most of this machine from the beginning.

The history of the M4-Imrproved is unfortunately very brief. It was developed by <!--more--> the Detroit Arsenal as a means to build an "ultimate" version of the M4 Sherman, but it never got farther than a blueprint. A blueprint Wargaming has realized in virtual form, hooray!

The M4 Improved is, technically and statistically superior to the M4 Sherman at tier 5. It is faster, sports much better frontal armor, and well-angled side armor. But, what does that translate to in actual battles?

In my experience, the M4-Imp is very fast for it's size, leaving even many light tanks in it's dust. This means the M4-Imp can find very good positions very quickly, giving you and your team a serious spotting and firepower advantage.

The M4-Imp's biggest failing is in it's gun. While most love the M4 Sherman for it's 105-millimeter howitzer, the M4-Imp is stuck with the tier 4 75-millimeter M3 cannon, which isn't terribly accurate nor particularly powerful against heavy tanks and more heavily armored foes. The accuracy issues involved on the gun, in my experience, is that the shell usually flies somewhat down and to the right of the center of the reticule. It's a regular enough issue that you can usually use it to aim a little better.

The tank also features a remarkable feature, though hopefully you don't ever have to use it. Behind the turret, at the back half, is a glitch of sorts. I have on many occasions had shells pass through the back third of my turret. I'm not sure if it's the model, I'm not sure if it's the gun, but before the global chat was turned off, I was accused of cheating several times, as I'd dart between cover, and the shell would pass laterally through the back of the turret, before flying on to whatever was beyond. It wasn't every time, and I suspect it has something to do with speed and angle of the turret armor, but it's happened enough that I know it is there.

My best advice to new players is to treat this M4 like a scout until you've mastered it's combat quirks, and when possible, engage your enemies close to make up for the cannon's lack of penetration and accuracy. I carry 20 APCR shells for those bad bottom-tier games, which you will regularly see. For equipment, I advise a gun rammer and either coated optics or binoculars. I prefer coated optics, as I tend to be more mobile in the M4-Imp. Unlike other light tanks, this tank is considerably harder to hide.

Hopefully this helps some players who might be looking at the M4-Imp when its in the shop again. Good luck out there!