"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 need you to get in close unless going for side shots. You also get an autocannon of your own with anti-helicopter, perfect for infantry in the open, helicopters, soft-skinned vehicles or anything that you'd rather suppress than murder. This is perhaps a bit odd since the AMX-30 was armed with an advanced (for the time) HEAT round known as "Obus G".
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?
The answer to that is that 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. Even shortly following WWII the French military used German tanks until French production could kick in again. The embarrassment of World War II, combined with that legendary French pride, meant that the French Army insisted that any new French tank would be a FRENCH tank, built by Frenchmen in France (in the city of Roanne, to be exact).
As for the tank, the AMX-30 is so far the only NATO tank with an Autoloader. The vehicle's armour is light, as it was designed in the hayday 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 AMX-56 Leclerc, which was introduced in 1993. 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 the AMX-40 has when compared with 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|