"Take care that none of them escapes."
- – Charlemagne
Unfortunately for the French, their tank was the red-headed stepchild of the NATO family and has the worst traits of the Chieftain and the Leopard. Thankfully, these stepchildren come in droves and serve as the NATO counterpart of the East German tank hordes.
In Team Yankee
The AMX-30 is the main tank for the French army, who decided that a tank should be killing units and rolling about rather than tanking for the rest of the battlegroup.
Constructed using steel and chiffon, it has a side armor of 4 and lacks bazooka skirts, meaning side shots from light anti-tank weapons (LAWs, RPG-18s) will automatically penetrate while massed autocannons will eventually go through; 6 shots are needed at point-blank range to reliably kill one tank. It is also much more vulnerable to artillery than any other tank, with only 1 top armour making it as durable as an M113.
The AMX-30 is the most spammable tank for NATO at the moment. Cheaper than the ANZAC and Canadian Leopard 1s, you can bring 3 tanks for 8 points or 4 tanks for 10 points, while your HQ platoon can only take 1 command tank at 2 points. If you decided that PACT tactics and NATO equipment are for you, French armoured squadrons will fill that niche very nicely.
While AT19 without HEAT will find it impossible to destroy any 3rd Generation tanks (but will ignore Chobham, BDD or skirts on side shots compared to the AMX-10 RC), it will serve nicely when engaging most 2nd generation tanks (T-55s, M60s, Leopard 1s) while turning light armoured units inside out. Brutal guns allow massed AMX-30 fire to pulverize infantry platoons, even if they are dug in. Unfortunately, their ROF drops from 2 to 1 when moving and so you should use these units as stationary pillboxes for maximum hurt. They also lack stabilizers, so moving above 10 inches means no shots whatsoever.
Compared to the AMX-10RC, the AMX-30 loses Scout and Spearhead, but gains enough armour to take a peppering of artillery or autocannon fire. The main gun also loses HEAT, meaning that anti-tank duties will probably require you to get in close unless going for side shots. This is perhaps a bit odd since the AMX-30 was armed with an advanced (for the time) HEAT round known as "Obus G". You do also get an autocannon of your own with Anti-Helicopter, perfect against infantry in the open, helicopters, soft-skinned vehicles or anything that you'd rather suppress than murder.
Notably, the AMX-30 has one of the worst cross ratings of NATO tanks at 4+. Do not expect them to get through rough terrain without breaking down.
As with other French units, do not let them take casualties unless you can justify losing the unit. Use your superior firepower to deliver the alpha strike and keep attacking: the French are at their weakest when enemies can shoot back.
You might wonder why the French didn't (and don't) use the same Leopard tanks most of Europe does. The Leopard has rightfully earned its place in history as a Damn Fine Tank that in part defined what a second generation MBT should be like. Also, if all of NATO shared a tank it would make ammo and parts much easier to get if the commies did come a-knockin'. So why reinvent the wheel and not just use the German tank? Between 1940 to 1945, they did just use German tanks. Advances in armor design rendered all French tanks in service in 1940 obsolete, not to mention France
surrendered immediately got overrun in a hurry, compelling Free French troops to make do with whatever they could get their hands on, from American M4 Shermans to German Panthers. There was even at least one Tiger I that was captured, turned around, and used by its Free French crew as they fought all the way to the German border.
The answer to that is rather complex, but if you oversimplify just a bit, the main part of it is a certain General Charles de Gaulle. De Gaulle... hated Germans, despised the English and was adamant his France would *not* become an American protectorate like Roosevelt had envisioned at first (leading to some major political clashes during WWII, but that's another story). The embarrassment of World War II combined with that legendary French pride meant that the French Army insisted that any new French tank (or globally materiel) would be a FRENCH tank (materiel), built by Frenchmen in France (in the city of Roanne for the tanks, to be exact). It is a testimony to their stubbornness that to this day, France is one of the very few countries with their own tanks, airplanes, carrier, subs and nukes; so it did somewhat pay off in the end (at the cost of being seen as insufferable cunts by NATO, but I digress again...)
Back to post-WWII: their first attempt at an indigenous tank, the ARL-44, was a failure: too big, too heavy, not enough firepower, not integrating the many design advances from the war. De Gaulle had to swallow his pride and make do with 'secondhand American cast-offs' (his words) for a while, the French army being equipped with Pattons at first. But the French are nothing if stubborn and eventually they managed to come up with two solid designs: the AMX-13 light tank and the AMX-30 MBT. The vehicle's armour is light the tank is basically the least protected MBT of its generation. While the Leopard 1 and M60 had about 90mm to 100mm the AMX30 had 80mm as it was designed in the heyday of the HEAT round, when it was thought that the best way to prevent
HEAT death death to HEAT was to not get hit: hence the need for speed.
You might expect at this point for us to mention how "the AMX-30 was not the most modern tank in the French arsenal and to expect another one", the way we do on the T-72 and Chieftain pages, but the thing is: the AMX-30 was the most modern tank France had in 1985. The AMX-30's replacement was the Leclerc (often known as the AMX-56 despite this having no basis in any official document), which was introduced in 1992. At first glance this might seem to suggest that the French are out of luck as far as new models go, but that's not quite correct. In 1983 the Franks produced a prototype tank, the AMX-40 (the main difference between the AMX-40 and the AMX-30 is that the former was supposed to have a 120mm gun), which never took off in our timeline, but with a Soviet Union invasion could actually see the light of day in Team Yankee.
|French Forces in Team Yankee|
|Troops:||Section d'infanterie/Chasseurs - Milan Section Antichar|
|Anti-Aircraft:||AMX-13 DCA - AMX Roland|
|Tank Hunters:||VAB Mephisto|
|Recon:||AMX-10 RC - AMX-10P VOA|
|Aircraft:||Gazelle HOT - Gazelle 20mm - Mirage 5|