In Update 3.6, ten French tanks will be introduced, including the top three “heavyweights” with autoloaders and powerful engines. Meet the French and learn more about them in this article!
Tier I. Renault FT
At the beginning of the French branch stands the predecessor to the Soviet MS-1, the first tank in history to use this classic configuration. After the release of Update 3.6, the Renault FT will be added to your Garage together with a free slot.
The Renault FT isn’t the fastest vehicle. It gains speed quickly, but its top speed doesn’t exceed 21 km/h. From the three available guns, the 25 mm six-shooter will be the best choice: good penetration and an average damage of 150 HP every 5 seconds speak for themselves.
A long way to the autoloader
The autoloader is the main feature of the French vehicles. But to reach these fast-firing guns and oscillating turrets, you have a long journey through the six previous tanks. We’ll tell you about them very briefly and soon you can try them out in battle yourself.
- Tier II. D1
A slow-paced and solid tank featuring the same 25 mm six-shooter as the Renault FT. Follow the main forces from one cover position to another and cause 150 HP of damage every 6 shots!
- Tier III. D2
This tank is very similar to its Tier II brother, but it’s faster and better armoured. Its handy gun with a 3-second reload makes a good substitute for the six-shooter. The D2 has good penetration, but when tackling the Hetzer, Matilda and other Tier IV enemies, Premium shells might be needed.
- Tier IV. B1
Being a researchable French tank, it has a lot in common with the Pz.Kpfw. B2 740 (f) German Premium tank (with a name that is easier to say). The B1 is a heavy tank with 600 HP, 60 mm hull armour and 46 mm round turret armour. Its top configuration features the same turret as the D2.
- Tier V. BDR G1 B
This portly vehicle has fairly average armour and a tall silhouette, but features good armament. It can boast a 90 mm gun from Tier VII, dealing 225 HP of damage (the best among Tier V heavy tanks). Its penetration is also noteworthy: 135 mm is enough in most situations. The gun is rather accurate, but with its high dispersion and slow reload, enhanced gun laying drive and improved ventilation are must-haves.
- Tier VI. ARL 44
The ARL 44 with a stock turret looks like a birdhouse. However, the complete upgrade will convert it into a formidable foe. The sloped 120 mm front armour, good dynamics and perfect armament are really worth your while. Impossible is nothing for a Tier VI with a top gun boasting 212 mm of penetration. You probably won’t hear “Ricochet!” when driving the ARL 44.
- Tier VII. AMX M4 45
If you played the first Tiger, this French Tier VII heavy tank won’t have any surprises for you. Both tanks are huge. Both get hit and critically damaged quite easily. Both feature a fast-firing and powerful gun. However, the AMX M4 45 has even higher dynamics. The top gun is the same as for the ARL 44, but fires faster. This tank has more than enough penetration capacity for Tier VII, so you have every chance of achieving 2000 HP of damage per minute.
The AMX M4 45 is the last among the tanks with classic armaments; the top fighters of the French branch come next. Though belonging to the heavy class, these tanks have more in common with huge medium tanks boasting perfect firepower: it’s all about the autoloader.
Tier VIII. AMX 50 100
In brief, the AMX 50 100 means 4 shells in the autoloader with an average total damage of 1,120 HP. The reload time of one shell is 3.3 seconds, the reload time of the entire magazine is 24.3 seconds. It will take one minute for a skilled tanker to destroy an enemy vehicle, and with support from a platoon mate or other allies, even one magazine may be enough.
The second advantage of the AMX 50 100 is perfect mobility as compared to its heavy counterparts. Mobility means a lack of armour, and the AMX 50 100 is no exception: 90 mm front armour is rather thin even for the preceding tank, so don’t rely on it.
The AMX 50 100 commander has to be resourceful and crafty. There’s no shame in finishing off damaged tanks with one magazine. It will take about 10 seconds to fire all four shells, so damage exchanges should end in your favour. It’s even better if you finish shooting before your enemy realizes it. A one-on-one duel is possible only if you can destroy the enemy with one magazine, or escape easily.
Tiers IX-X. AMX 50 120 and AMX 50B
We’ll continue the tradition and tell you about Tiers IX and X together. These two French fighters of Tiers IX-X not only look similar, but also have similar characteristics. Compare:
As you can see, the main difference is front armour: the AMX 50B armour is 70 mm thicker on the hull and 50 mm—on the turret. Both tanks have very thin side armour—stay away from HE shells! Despite the quite impressive 170 mm armour of the Tier X tank, armour angling can be dangerous: there are too many vulnerable spots that a watchful enemy can find. And exposing your sides to enemy fire with 30 mm of side armour is risky.
High speed is one of the main advantages of the top French tanks. For example, the AMX 50B maintains a speed of 35–40 km/h on Desert Sands. But both tanks are not very manoeuvrable and lose speed when making turns.
The top configurations of the AMX 50 120 and the AMX 50B have the same gun—the three-shell 120 mm SA46. The firepower is also worth mentioning: you can deal 1,200 HP of damage in 5 seconds. You can also make use of the APCR Premium shells with 340 mm penetration. Unlike the HEAT shells of the American T57 Heavy, APCR shells have no problem with penetrating the shielded parts of vehicles.
The AMXs are less protected than the T57 Heavy, but have shorter magazine reload speeds. And the AMX 50B gun has better depression.
Battle tactics for the AMX 50 120 and AMX 50B are similar to that of the T57 Heavy: you just need a reliable partner. The potential of these tanks can only be fully realized in cooperation with another tank possessing an autoloader or solid armour. If you prefer to fight solo, with these tanks, you have more opportunities than on the T57 Heavy: you will be more successful in chasing your enemy or escaping their revenge, and will be able to shoot with Premium shells at long distances with much better results.
If you are not satisfied with the total damage and manoeuvrability offered by American tanks with autoloaders, their French rivals will offer you a different playstyle. Try out these fast and formidable tanks in Update 3.6!