So, here we go: a review on each of the new French tanks introduced in 9.7 (besides the AMX 30B, as I don't actually have that one yet, and I don't plan on getting it... I'll explain why later. You'll see).
Renault R35 & FCM 36
So, what's the difference between the two? Glad you asked. To start, the R35 is slightly smaller overall compared to the FCM36 (although it doesn't make much of a difference), but because of this, the modules and crew members are positioned closer together, which makes it easier to knock out multiple modules in one shot. However, despite the decrease in size, the R35 actually has more all-around armor compared to the FCM; you get 40mm at the front and sides, and 32mm at the rear. This makes the tank particularly hard to penetrate, especially if you angle even slightly. On the other hand, while the FCM36 gets 40mm of frontal armor as well, the side and rear armor drops to 20mm. This may seem like a huge problem, but it really isn't: the sides and rear are both angled very nicely, which allows for you to bounce plenty of shots once more. Just below the top plate of armor, there's even a section of 20mm-thick spaced armor covering the top of the tracks, which increases the effective armor thickness to around 60mm due to the combination of the 20mm side, 20mm spaced plate and 20mm tracks. Another thing to note is that the R35 has a total of 155 hitpoints, while the FCM36 only has 140, which makes the emphasis on armor even more important to the survivability of both vehicles. So, overall, despite the low amount of hitpoints, both tanks are pretty damn hard to take down.
Next up: the guns! Both tanks have reasonably good gun depression (R35 has -16 degrees, while the FCM has -9 to -17 [!] degrees depending on your gun selection), and the armor penetration values for both the 37mm and 25mm guns are decent for tier 2. However, the 37mm trades accuracy and rate of fire for slightly more damage, while the 25mm gets better penetration and rate of fire, but less damage per shell. I'd suggest using the 37mm on the R35 due to the good gun depression and better all-around armor (it makes trading shots with other tier 2s far easier) and the 25mm on the FCM due to the -17 degrees of gun depression it comes with (the 37mm only gets -9, remember) and the lower hitpoint pool (better rate of fire means you can get more shots off in a bad situation versus the 37mm).
I am definitely going to be holding onto these two beasts due to the reasons listed above as well as their low operating costs (these are tier 2s, after all) and, well... let's face it, they're both incredibly cute for tanks. TWO THUMBS UP!
Renault G1 R
AMX 30 1er Prototype
Extra thoughts: Amx 30B
Anyway, that's it for this post! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it (and playing the tanks, for that matter). I should have a special article going up either today or tomorrow, so stay tuned for that.
Once again, thanks for reading!