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World of Warships Ship Opinions: Z-39 When the devil come a callin’ I ain’t gonna be around I’ll kick, I creep crawl down your street, and gouge your eyes out Whoops, let that one slip out. Sorry, I listen to a LOT of AC/DC, and that really puts moi in on the hype when it comes to writing these reviews. Now then, the Z-39. I don’t actually have this ship, to be entirely honest. But when it popped up in my port as a three day rental, I was only too happy to review it. The Z is an odd ship. It belongs to the Z1936A Mob type destroyers, a variant of the Z1936A that the Z-23 represents in game. She’s one of only three destroyers in the game armed with 150mm guns, the others being Gaede and Z-23. This makes her unique in some regards, but it also gives her some trouble, especially against dedicated gunboats such as Mahan and Leningrad. So then, is Z-39 worth all the hype, or is she just an overrated and undertiered Z-23? Let’s take a look. Armor: Chungus Pros: HYOOJ HP pool Cons: Also a HYOOJ Target Z-39’s size does her no favors whatsoever in combat. She’s such a large ship that she looks like a light cruiser compared to something like Kamikaze. That being said, she’s got plenty of HP to work with. 19,600 HP points puts her solidly ahead of all other DDs in terms of durability. The closest ship to her is the Vauquelin, who she’s ahead of by a solid 1,500 hitpoints. In other words, she can outlast all other DDs at her tier in combat by a good length of time, and remember, the longer a DD lasts in the field, the more dangerous the situation becomes, Because you could be happily sitting in a cap at the end of the game one moment, and the next you could be getting rushed down by a dangerous maniac of a DD who also happens to have some of the most powerful weapons ever put on a DD, like, ever. Rating: Good Armaments: Mini Z-23, indeed Pros: 150mm guns, Maass torpedoes Cons: Only 4 barrels with a horrendously long reload mounted on turrets that turn like glaciers. Z-39 is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to firepower. On one hand, she has the 150mm guns mounted on the Z-23, which means that she delivers massive armor piercing punches to both cruisers and destroyers with relative ease. On the other hand, she has the longest reload of all destroyers at Tier 7, at 7.5 seconds, and the turrets also turn like they’ve been frozen in place by the bad weather, and let’s not forget her lack of barrels, with just 4 of them, she has one of the lowest DPM values of any of the Tier 7 destroyers, at just 118,400 DPM. It’s not all bad, though. Z-39 boasts the highest AP alpha strike of all destroyers at Tier 7, with 14,800 points of damage compared to the other destroyers, which at best have 11,000 damage per full salvo of shells, and these AP rounds also have a stupendous 835 m/s velocity and a shortened AP fuse timer. This means that, not only can Z-39 smash apart destroyers in medium range gun duels, but she can also put AP rounds through the sides of cruisers at close ranges and reliably land citadel hits, something that even the Leningrad-class struggle to do at times. Her HE shell damage is somewhat uninspiring for a ship with 150mm guns, but they have 25mm of penetration even without the IFHE skill, which means that they can penetrate the deck armor of all equal or lower-tier non-German and non-Russian Battleships with ease, not to mention the relatively high fire chance of 12%, which means you can also consistently set fires. Her torpedoes are also fairly impressive. They are the same torpedoes mounted on the Leberecht Maass, which means that they have 8.5km of range, 14,400 damage, and 65 knots of speed. These torpedoes might not have the nuclear strike of the Japanese warheads, nor the range of the Mahan’s upgraded fish, or the raw speed of the Vauquelin’s fish, but they offer a great mix of traits that allow her to pull ridiculous torpedo strikes that would make even some torpedo demons at this tier blush. Rating: Good AA: Oddly good Pros: Solid Mid-range ring, high overall DPS, AA range outstrips aerial detection Cons: No Long range AA ring, Short range AA is poor, no DFAA Z-39’s AA is actually quite odd for a German DD. She has a fairly solid mid-range ring, which is atypical of such a ship, and her AA range actually outstrips her aerial detection range, which is also odd. Normally, only Mahan and Sims are capable of this, thanks to their dual-purpose AA mounts, which have a 5.8km range, but what makes this even stranger is that Z-39 actually has no Long Range to speak of, which is a double edged sword in that rocket planes have a hard time to adjust to Z-39’s position when her AA guns give her position away, but she also lacks the ability to deliver massively powerful AA bursts like the ones from Mahan and Sims. Otherwise, her AA is quite powerful, with high overall DPS and a fairly good 3.5km maximum range. Her short range AA is quite poor, but it largely won’t be noticed in regular gameplay. Rating: Acceptable Maneuverability: Cruiser-like Pros: Fast Cons: Slow rudder shift, Large radius If there’s one thing I really hate about this ship ( and most other heavy-firepower gunships), it’s the handling. Z-39 is fairly quick in a straight line, with a top speed of just under 41 knots with Engine Boost active, which allows her to get on her boot-scootin boogie when she needs to get out of a danger zone fast. The rest of her handling, however, is terrible. She has a 670 meter turning circle, which is quite large for a ship of her size, and that’s only compounded upon by her sluggish rudder shift of 4.5 seconds. All of this adds up to a ship that feels like a half-shafted Gearing with a broken rudder. While it’s not appaling like some ships, it’s still quite miserable. Nevertheless, as long as you don’t run into any islands, you should be fine. It’s not like you need to be worried about getting spotted, anyways… Rating: Acceptable Stealth: Praise Wargaming Pros: Z-23 Hydro, 5th Upgrade Slot (!!!) Cons: Large smoke-firing penalty, Terrible smoke As far as stealth goes, this thing is absolutely ridonkulous. Not only does this thing get that 5th upgrade slot that also makes another fellow Tier 7 premium, HMS Belfast, one of the most dangerous ships in the game, but she also has Hydro. And not just any hydro, but the Z-23 Hydro, which means a gargantuan 5km ship detection radius, comfortably outside of her otherwise large 3.3km smoke firing penalty ( thanks to her larger caliber artillery ). But that concealment, though. It’s tied for the second best detection radius at Tier 7, at 6.1km. Akatsuki ties this thing, and only Shiratsuyu beats it, at 5.8km. This kind of combination of both excellent stealth and that powerful hydro makes her one of the most dangerous warships at this tier. Lolibotes start to sweat bricks and gunships start to count their HP pools the moment this thing pops up in a match, because, when her hydro is active, you can’t see her, but she can see you, and she’s gonna make one hell of a mess of your day if she gets the chance. In fact, her only downside is her terrible smoke screen, but that’s nothing new for German DDs. So yeah, if you see this thing, and your’e in a DD…. Run for your god-damn life, you poor soul Rating: WTAF Ergonomics As a Tier 7 Premium, Z-39 incurs minimal running costs, while also raking in some serious credits. Her only downside here is the extra fitting out cost incurred by that 5th slot, but it pays itself off rather quickly. Her skill floor isn’t terribly high, but it’s not n00b-friendly, either. At the same time, her skill ceiling isn’t that high, either. It takes less time to master than other ships, thanks to that Hydro safety blanket, which means you can spend less time worrying about making mistakes, and more time having a blast Rating: Good Fun Factor Like I said, Z-39 is a blast when you master it. Whether it be bullying DDs, blapping light cruisers, or nuking battleships, The Z-39 knows how to rock, and it will let you rock on to it’s beat as well. Just don’t get cocky, otherwise, well... You’ll be the one on the run when you blunder into a Lolanta at close range, you poor sod Rating: WTAF Verdict Armor: 4 / 5 Armaments: 4 / 5 AA: 3 / 5 Maneuverability: 3 / 5 Stealth: 5 / 5 Ergonomics: 4 / 5 Fun Factor: 5 / 5 Overall Score: 28 / 35 ( Exceeding ) General Writer Verdict: This ship performs admirably or even exceeds expectations in any situation thrown at it. Just watch out for Radar Cruisers. If there’s something I have to be sorry about, it’s not doing anything over the weekend. It was my Birthday on the 14th, and I had something to do on the 15th ( what it was I can’t remember ). Nevertheless, I hope all of you enjoy this review of the Z-39. As for the promised comparo, I will not be doing the Bayern vs Q.E comparo test, and will instead do a comparison test of the VMF Budyonny and the MN La Galissoniere, which will come this Wednesday ( because I have no time tomorrow, either, go figure ) Peace!