Essentially, the Tiger operates a lot like the VK3601H, and indeed their armour values are almost identical. However, what was good armour for the Tier 6 medium is terrible for the Tier 7 heavy and as such, the Tiger requires a more cautious and long range play style. To counteract this low armour, it has a phenomenal amount of hitpoints compared to the VK3601 (850 to 1350) which provides a bit of opportunity to take a hit or three and still keep fighting.
The long 88 is nice too. It finally upgrades my armour penetration to something that can penetrate Tier 6 medium armour with consistency, something the short 88 has a lot of trouble with.
The end result has been 18 wins over 28 matches, a really good win percentage. I still have trouble with tier 8 and 9 tanks but I'm learning my strengths and weaknesses and so far its fun.
However, I feel I'm peaking in World of Tanks. Although I'm looking forward to the two new maps and graphical updates in the next patch, I really feel my enthusiasm for the game is going down. The "newness" of the game has worn off and the upper tiers really feel the same as the lower tiers. In essence, being a tier 4 tank fighting against tier 6 tanks requires the same tactics as a tier 7 versus tier 9. Maybe some newness will return when I get a really brawling tank (Hello King Tiger!) but for now, I feel like I'm in the same tank as I was the last two tiers.
Ah well, time will tell.