Single Status Update
New French Heavies "review":
Tier 8 is kind of trash, paper hull, the turret only works against lower tiers (and good luck meeting them with the current tier 8 matchmaking), trash gunhandeling (not T34 level of gunhandeling but still...), decent mobility (slightly better than IS-3) and if you load gold your penetration goes from 218 AP to 325 APCR for some fucking reason.
Tier 9 is great, you actually get some decent armor.
The upper plate gets ~270/290/300mm EFA against and lower plate gets ~220/240/255 against AP/APCR/HEAT.
Small tumors are existant on the turret but can be hidding by using the gundepression.
Gun is decent (127mm is trash, use the 120mm)
Basically take a M103 and make it better in every single way (better gunhandeling, same DPM, stronger armor with smaller weakspots, better mobility, slightly more health)
Atleast the M103 doesn't get the shoulder plates I guess...
Tier 10 is disappointing tbh.
It is mostly a copy of the tier 9.
Basically take the tier 9, give it 7 mm more standard pen (even though it is the same gun), improve the gunhandeling and DPM slightly, increase the upper hull armor and give it it 300 more health. It also gets the same acceleration but worse traverse speed because lol engineupgrades (At this point I am 95% sure that the balancing department doesn't know that having access to engineupgrades actually affects the traversespeed of a tank...)
Not getting penned in the upper hull by 330 HEAT is nice but imo not really worth the price of giving up the tier 9 mm.
It gets access to an 130mm gun with 560 alpha though you have to give up the nice penetration values of the 120mm (250/280mm AP/AP for the 130 vs 264/325mm AP/APCR for the 120mm)
It is an option but have fun with those 50/50 dice rolls when shooting at the front of a Type 5 Heavy.
Overall though if you want to use the 120mm gun you are better of staying at tier 9.
Few things to note with the tier 8:
Stock turret is like twice as small, has better armor (sure the cupola is weaker but the top turret cupola gets penned by anything relevant anyway and the entire turret front is cheese VS 250+ pen) and -10 depression instead of 8. You do lose HP and view range, tho. As for the gun stats, the DPM drops marginally and aim time becomes longer (tho 3 sec with top turret is still shit). The bloom and accuracy remains unchanged.
If you use the 100 mm the stock turret might be actually better option just because of -10 depression, much smaller size and better armor. You dont have a huge blob exposed when peeking from a ridge.
Also, the 120 is quite expensive to research and you dont need it for M4 51, so there is an argument to ignore it completely if you wanna go to higher tiers quickly.
No matter what option you pick, the tank is fucking horrible unless you spam 325 APCR with 120 and even then its underwhelming, and considering it gets the most godly premium ammo in the entire tier it just says how pathetic it is. Its like fucking TVP VTU of heavies, literally, both in shittiness and multiple options of shittiness to choose from.
Tier 10 with 130 is very nice actually when you get to pen things. I can imagine it being extremely good when it gets to 3-5-7 match. 560 alpha gun on a tank that is probs fast enough to be called as a heavium is a pretty nice kind of flavor. If they only buffed the prem pen to like 295...cus fighting superheavies is rly ass with it. But yea, with 120 its underwhelming, only a very marginal upgrade from tier 9 and basically no reason to play it over Cyka Conqueror.
2200 HP is also quite low for something that is so huge, especially when the tier 9 has 1900 which is actually quite solid. I think buffing the prem pen to 295 and HP to 2400 would be a pretty good boost for the tank.
Assuming they dont change anything about it on the PTS:
If you already have the tier 7, sure, why not.
The tier 9 is overall probably the best overall heavy at tier 9 and overall the stock grinds are pretty painless (on the tier 8 the 100mm carries over from the other french lines and as @leggasiini said, playing it with the stock turret is actually an option since you essentially get the libere turret (i.e usable turret armor)) and the tier 9 gets the "top" 120mm from the getgo.
If you want to keep the tier 9 it definetly is worth it, if you grind it for the tier 10 it really is your call, I consider it to be just an inferior super conquer with the 120mm or just a mediocre tank in general with the 130mm.