The AMX-56 Leclerc is a main battle tank built by GIAT, now Nexter of France. It was named in honour of General Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque who led the French element of the drive towards Paris while in command of the Free French 2nd Armored Division (2ème DB) in World War II. The Leclerc is in service with the French Army and the army of the United Arab Emirates. In production since 1991, the Leclerc entered French service in 1992, replacing the venerable AMX-30 as the country's main armored platform. With production now complete, the French Army has a total of 406 of the Leclerc MBTs and the United Arab Emirates Army has 388 of them. The current price of the AMX-56 Leclerc in 2011 is €9.3 million.
The AMX-56 Leclerc is relatively seldom encountered in matches, in spite of having stats quite comparable (and in some ways superior to) the Type 10. In fact on paper, the Leclerc is every bit a match for the Type 10. Yet one is used more than any other top-tier tank in the game, while the other is used by hardly anyone. There is such a disparity between these two MBTs mainly because the mobility of the Type 10 is much better than the Leclerc (but the mobility of the Leclerc is still great, it's just that the Type 10's is amazing), and the Leclerc cannot use the high explosive shell (unlike the Type 10).
The Leclerc, on paper, is a fast tank. But, in actual use it is one of the slowest MBTs above level 60. The straight-line speed is fine once one reaches the top speed, however the Leclerc has extremely poor acceleration once about two-thirds of the top speed is reached. It takes far longer to reach top speed than any other top-level tank, including even the Merkava. The Leclerc bleeds speed very badly while turning on top of this. These factors combine to leave the Leclerc with very poor mobility. The Type 10, by contrast, is one of the most mobile units at high level, and in the whole game. The HE shell is underestimated by many players, but against targets with light armor (usually regardless of the spaced armor) it is the most effective shell to use. Tanks such as the K1 88, C1 Ariete, Leopard 2, and all artillery units are all highly vulnerable to high explosive shells, and the M1 Abrams is also susceptible when hit from the sides (that is, if the armor is not maxed). The Leclerc does not fire an HE shell, but the Type 10 does. This combined with the Type 10's high damage rating allows the Type 10 driver to spam HE shells and deal significant amounts of damage to grouped enemy tanks, or simply to spam a single enemy tank without having to score a direct hit. The Leclerc cannot do this.
Those two factors combine to make the Leclerc a seemingly underpowered, useless MBT. Which, in certain types of matches, it really is. And thanks to the lack of mobility the Leclerc really is underpowered compared with many other tanks. However that does not prevent the Leclerc from being a highly dangerous adversary under the right conditions. The Leclerc is recommended to be limited to the smaller maps due to the lack of mobility. However the Leclerc is capable of absorbing a good amount of damage, and with spaced armor the odds of repelling HEAT shells are very high. The Leclerc is a brawling tank, and is best used in Deathmatch rooms on small maps. The Demomap in particular is arguable the Leclerc's best field for combat, since it has fewer obstacles than the Industrial map and so the Leclerc's lack of agility is less of a problem. The Leclerc is fully capable of taking on any MBT under those circumstances, and winning. A high kill/death ratio should usually not be expected, as the Leclerc can kill relatively quickly but also be taken out fairly fast as well. However maintaining a positive kill/death ratio is well within the Leclerc's capabilities. Also remember to load the correct types of shells for the corresponding targets, as the Leclerc's penetration values are not the best.
Pros and Cons:
- Great spaced armor, reliably repels HEAT shells
- Amazing speed, though it takes a while to reach this speed
- Fast reload and reasonable damage give it one of the best DPMs in the game
- Fast turret rotation speed
- Health pool is rather low, even factoring in its armor
- Acceleration is a nightmare, one of the slowest in the game
- Penetration values are somewhat lacking
- Cannot use high explosive, and doesn't have an active protection system