There are currently three German medium tanks – and a fourth is added in 8.5. However at some point there will again be only three German mediums, as at some point the VK3601H will be converted to a heavy tank. Mind you, this is a fairly low priority as it has been on the books for a long time. So for the foreseeable future it is a heavy tank masquerading as a medium. I should clarify though, this is of course a half-way house sort of vehicle, so it is not entirely out of place as a medium. It is also currently seems to be the most popular Tier VI medium tank, and this has been the case for basically as long as I have been playing at this Tier.
There is, however, one element of the VK3601H which I have no experience of, because I have never equipped it. That is one of its guns, the Konisch. This gun requires premium ammo to be effective, and essentially I never wanted to be bothered with that. I ended up preferring the 8.8cm KwK 36 L/56, which is the same gun I use on the VK3001H. For me this gun embodies the most versatility.
Probably the most obvious feature of the VK3601H is its frontal armour, which compares favourably with many other Tier VI heavies. This means the tank can take a lot of damage to the front. The side armour is considerably weaker so it is vulnerable to flanking. This means in more open terrains you may wish to hang back a bit to ensure the damage hits off the front, but one has to be careful angling otherwise one can expose too much of the weaker sides. In more enclosed environments the situation reverses – if one sets up correctly you can get some angle on the frontal armour whilst keeping the sides protected by cover.
One of the reasons why this tank is vulnerable to getting flanked is that it does not have the speed or agility to quickly reposition itself. Whilst 40km/h is not slow, it can be outclassed by most other mediums. Likewise its track traverse rate is nothing particularly special, and the turret traverse of the upgraded turret is positively slow. Circling a target is usually an unworkable idea.
Overall I think the tank this is most similar to is that other Tier VI favourite – the KV-1S. In many respects these two tanks approach the same spot, but from the other side. Both are tanks on development tracks heading in the opposite direction, and here in the middle they almost meet. What they both have in common, above is, is a certain versatility which I think always give them a role in whichever battlefield they might be dropped into. The other tanks this one is inevitably compared to are the VK3001H and the VK3001P, but really they are very difficult tanks to compare. The VK3001P is a better sniper/flanker, but a much poorer brawler. The VK3001H is a better all-round medium tank, but lacks the ability to take a beating like the VK3601H.
My record with the VK3601H is quite successful – 45 battles with 32 victories and 66 kills. Along the way I have earned one Defender, one Steel Wall, and six Sniper medals. This is no doubt a good tank, but in the final analysis I have had more pure fun with the VK3001H.