If using "French" and "armor" in a sentence makes you laugh, wait until Update 9.21 drops this December. It reinforces the French Tech Tree, adding three heavy tanks at Tiers VIII–X: the AMX 65 t, AMX M4 mle. 51, and AMX M4 mle. 54. These heavyweights have it in them to crush several stereotypes about the French with flair and style.
These new tanks are researchable from the AMX M4 mle. 45, and have enough frontal armor to dodge a few TD shells. And if having armor at all wasn't un-French enough, they also equip traditionally loading guns. Each newcomer has two top guns: one with hard-hitting alpha, the other with faster firing lower alpha. Will you trade shots in close-quarters or rock it in the second line with a fast-firing gun? Experiment and see what works best for you.
Choice: You define your role the second you pick a gun. A high-alpha strike with a lengthy reload time will work best in close-range engagements. Pick a target and put your gun to work, using frontal and turret armor to deny enemy assaults. If you go for the DPM gun, keep to the second line, playing support. Wait until your target is distracted or reloading, then pop out and shoot.
Versatility: The blend of reliable armor, two top guns, and a respectable HP pool makes the new French heavy tanks extremely versatile. They can do anything from second-line support, to flanking, to close-range duels. Adapt as the battle rages to help your team tip the scales in your favor!
Durability: Strong frontal armor, a thick hull, and tough gun mantlet increase your chances of staying alive in the heat of the battle. The HP pool matches other "universal heavies," further maximizing your survivability, while decent gun depression means you can use the terrain to hide your hull.
Learning curve: The new heavy tanks provide smooth progression from Tier VIII onward. The AMX 65 t will prepare you for the Tier IX, and mastering the AMX M4 mle. 51 will give you a general idea of what you're in for at Tier X.
- Avoid sidescraping: Subpar side armor lowers the chances of deflecting incoming rounds when corner-fighting. Instead of opening your sides, meet the enemy head-on at a right angle.
- Don't expose your turret: Despite decent mantlets, there remain weak spots; just enough to make you a soft target for someone who knows where to aim.
- Work ridges and leverage uneven terrain: The lower glacis plates are weak compared to the rest of the frontal armor. Keep them protected using objects and ridges!
- Pick your battles: The DPM gun won't take you far in close quarters. Keep to the second line and support friendlies from behind cover. If you opted for the hard-hitting alpha, then move in on the enemy with no second thoughts.
- Stay close to the team: You lack mobility for swift zig-zags, and can barely avoid enemy shells when rolling in the open.
The new line offers a welcome getaway from the "classic" French HT gameplay. Rather than forcing hit-and-run tactics, the newcomers perform well in several roles and should strike a chord with fans of conventional heavy tanks. They aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer, but they roll out and get the job done without demanding large skill caps or advanced maneuvers. Plus, you get new experiences thanks to the choice of two guns; just switch once you've had your share of battles with one.
We're excited to see what you will do with the three when they roll out in Common Test. Take them for a test drive and share your impressions with us on the forum.