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  1. Italian Premiums

    I am aware that an Italian line is coming sooner or later within the next year or so. However, is there anymore information about another possible Italian premium? I ask only because I would be interested in seeing a premium Italian dd considering I already have the other 4 ships and they are cruisers and battleships. If anyone has info on this, that would be awesome. If not, what would you like to see from la Regia Marina?
  2. This one goes out for @Dr_Venture Actually after playing Abruzzi with a 3 point captain I think I'm kind of having fun with it, still everyone and their dog targets me once I uncloak leaving me feel like: Ciao!
  3. Battle of Espero Convoy

    The Battle of the Espero Convoy (Battaglia del convoglio Espero) on 28 June 1940, was the first surface engagement between Italian and Allied warships of the Second World War. Three modern 36 kn (41 mph; 67 km/h) Italian destroyers made a run from Taranto for Tobruk in Libya to transport Blackshirt (Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale) anti-tank units, in case of a British tank attack from Egypt. By coincidence, the Mediterranean Fleet was at sea to conduct a destroyer anti-submarine sweep around Crete and provide cover for three Allied convoys to Egypt, one from Turkey and two from Malta. British aircraft from Malta spotted the Italian destroyers and the 7th Cruiser Squadron turned to intercept them and a running fight took place south-west of Crete, in which the destroyers were impeded by their cargoes and an adverse sea. The Italian destroyer Espero (Capitano di Vascello Enrico Baroni) was sunk while covering the escape of Zeffiro and Ostro to Benghazi; 53 of the 225 crew and passengers were rescued, three of whom died of their wounds. The British and Australian cruisers expended a huge amount of ammunition and the Malta convoys had to be postponed until they had replenished from the 800 6-inch shells in reserve. Convoy AS 1 from Turkey arrived safely by 3 July. On 10 June 1940, Italy declared war on Britain and France. Comando Supremo (Italian Supreme Command of the armed forces) expected a British advance into Cyrenaica (eastern Libya) led by armored forces. An anti-tank unit comprising 162 gunners, ten anti-tank guns and 120 short tons (110 t) of ammunition was ordered to Tobruk by a fast destroyer convoy. On 27 June, five destroyers were to sail from Alexandria on an anti-submarine sweep near the Ionian island of Kythira and them sail on to Malta to form the close escort for convoys MF 1 and MS 2 to Alexandria. Intelligence about Italian submarines led to the sweep being diverted through the Kasos Strait east of Crete, then north of the island, thence past Kythira to Malta. Short Sunderland flying boats of 201 Group RAF, based in Malta, were to co-operate with the naval operations in the Ionian Sea. On the Italian declaration of war, the passenger liner El Nil, en route for Egypt from Marseilles, Knight of Malta and interned Italian ship Rodi were in Malta and in Operation MA 3 these ships formed the fast convoy MF 1 [13 kn (15 mph; 24 km/h)]. Five slower ships, Zeeland, Kirkland, Masirah, Novasli and Tweed carrying naval stores for Alexandria, formed the slow convoy MS 1 [9 kn (10 mph; 17 km/h)] were to depart from Malta for Alexandria. MF 1 carried civilians being evacuated from Malta and all of the Mediterranean Fleet was to sortie to protect them in Operation MA 5. Convoy AS1, with seven ships, was to sail from the Dardanelles to Egypt, with four ships joining from Salonika, Piraeus and Smyrna (İzmir), escorted by the light cruisers HMS Capetown and Caledon of the 3rd Cruiser Squadron and the destroyers HMS Garland, Nubian, Mohawk and Vampire, due to depart from Cape Helles early on 28 June. The timing of the departures was arranged so that on 30 June the three convoys would be at Position K (35°N, 22°E), south of Cape Matapan, about halfway between Malta and Alexandria. Five cruisers of the 7th Cruiser Squadron (also known as Force C, Vice-Admiral John Tovey) with the 1st Cruiser Division, the Leander class cruisers (eight 6-inch guns) HMS Orion (flagship), Neptune, HMAS Sydney and the 2nd Cruiser Division, the Town (Gloucester) class cruisers (twelve 6-inch guns) Liverpool and Gloucester, were to sail west of Crete near Position K. The 1st Battle Squadron (Rear-Admiral Henry Pridham-Wippell) with HMS Royal Sovereign Ramillies, the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle and the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, were to be south-west of Crete also near Position K, ready to intervene according to circumstances. At 6:00 p.m. on 26 June, Caledon, Garland and Vampire sailed from Alexandria to rendezvous with Capetown, Nubian and Mohawk the next day while heading for the Dardanelles. A dawn on 27 June, five ships of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla departed Alexandria and at 11:00 a.m., the 7th Cruiser Squadron left for Position K. The Italians chose the Turbine-class destroyers Espero (flagship, Capitano di Vascello Enrico Baroni), Zeffiro and Ostro to transport the anti-tank units, for their high speed [36 kn (41 mph; 67 km/h)] and loading capacity. Two smaller First World War era escort vessels, Pilo and Giuseppe Missori, which carried 52 troops and additional supplies, departed independently for Tobruk some hours later. As the sun set, the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla of Voyager, Dainty, Decoy, Defender and Ilex were 200 nmi (230 mi; 370 km) north of Alexandria. At 6:28 p.m. while 100 nmi (115 mi; 185 km) south-east of Crete, the flotilla spotted a submarine, Console Generale Liuzzi, which quickly dived. Four of the destroyers made depth-charge attacks and after the fifth an oil slick was seen and trailed by Dainty. The submarine had been badly damaged by the depth charging and was eventually forced to the surface. After a hunt of ninety minutes the submarine was seen again at 2,500 yd (2,300 m) and two destroyers fired on the submarines until a white light was taken to indicate a surrender. Dainty moved closer and began to take on survivors, along with other destroyers which lowered boats to pick up the Italians who had taken to the water. Three hours fifteen minutes lapsed before the last two men from the submarine were taken off and the boat sunk with depth charges. The Italian destroyers were spotted at 12:10 p.m. by a 228 Squadron Sunderland (L.5806) from Malta, about 50 nmi (58 mi; 93 km) west of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea, west of Greece and about 150 nmi (173 mi; 278 km) from Position K. No course was given by the Sunderland crew and the Italian ships were thought to be heading for Kythira; at 4:10 p.m. the 7th Cruiser squadron turned north to intercept the Italian ships. At 4:40 p.m. a sighting by Sunderland (L.5803) had them still heading south, about 35 nmi (40 mi; 65 km) from Orion. Tovey ordered a turn to the south-west and an increase in speed to 25 kn (29 mph; 46 km/h). The cruisers sailed on a course of 180°, the 1st Cruiser Division, Orion, Neptune and Sydney to overhaul the Italians to starboard and the 2nd Cruiser Division, about 5 nmi (6 mi; 9 km) apart from Liverpool and Manchester to overtake them to port. The Italian destroyers were steaming south-east at high speed when they were spotted by Liverpool at 6:30 p.m., about 100 nmi (120 mi; 190 km) north of Tobruk; the cruiser commenced firing three minutes later at 18,000 yd (8.9 nmi; 10 mi; 16 km). The Italian ships had the notional speed to outrun the cruisers but their age, heavy loads and the sea state meant that the British ships slowly caught up. The Italians had been taken by surprise and could not launch torpedoes because of their deck cargoes but they were difficult to hit as they made smoke, darkness gathered and the ships sailed towards the afterglow of the sun. At 7:05 p.m. Neptune reported torpedoes and the British ships changed course to comb the spread. The 2nd Cruiser Division concentrated on Espero and by 7:20 p.m. had closed the range to 14,000 yd (7 nmi; 8 mi; 13 km) and the 1st Division turned 50° to starboard to bring all their turrets to bear ("opening 'A' arcs") but Espero was not hit until the fifteenth salvo. Baroni realized that his faster ships were doomed and decided to sacrifice Espero to enable the other two to escape, laid smoke and maneuvered evasively as Zeffiro and Ostro raced south-west. At 8:00 p.m. Espero was hit and brought to a stop. As night was falling and short of ammunition, Tovey abandoned the chase ten minutes later and changed course for Malta. Tovey ordered Sydney to finish off Espero and when at 6,000 yd (3 nmi; 3 mi; 5 km) received two shells from Espero and replied with four salvos, scoring hits. Espero began to burn from the bow to midships and at 8:35 p.m., Sydney closed to 2,000 yd (1,829 m) astern of the destroyer. Men jumped from the burning ship and there was an explosion near the bridge. At 8:40 p.m., with a list of almost 90°, Espero sank at 35° 18' N; 20° 8' E. Sydney lowered both of its boats to rescue survivors and used Jacob's ladders and Bosun's chairs to bring them aboard. The glare from Espero before it sank and the presence of Italian submarines led to the rescue effort being ended at 10:19 p.m. when all 47 survivors in sight had been collected. before Sydney sailed away, one of the cutters with oars, sails, foodstuffs, water and rifles was left behind and with a signal projector illuminated so that remaining survivors could board it. Three of the survivors died before the ship reached Alexandria and six others were found alive on a raft by the Italian submarine Topazio fourteen days later. At dawn, the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla was 160 nmi (184 mi; 296 km) west of Crete when the submarine Uebi Scebeli was caught on the surface. The submarine dived and was depth charged by three of the destroyers which forced Uebi Scebeli to the surface, where survivors were rescued. Dainty sank the submarine with gunfire at 8:20 am.; the destroyers made for Alexandria, arriving at about 7:00 p.m. on 30 June. Information was gleaned from the prisoners, of a submarine patrol line between Crete and the African coast; two destroyers were dispatched from Alexandria on an anti-submarine sortie near Derna, detected a submerged submarine on 1 July and claimed its sinking, although this was disproved when the ships returned on 2 July. Zeffiro and Ostro had reached Benghazi on 29 June and arrived at Tobruk shortly after; two-thirds of the convoy had survived. The smaller Pilo and Missori also reached Libya after being diverted to the port of Tripoli. The engagement had lasted for about 130 minutes and the 7th Cruiser Squadron fired about 5,000 shells. An Italian 4.7 in (120 mm) shell hit Liverpool 3 ft (0.91 m) above the waterline but caused little damage. Some of the prisoners on Sydney disclosed the purpose of the operation, that Espero had a company of 225 men and passengers embarked and that Baroni had been killed in the explosion near the bridge. The ammunition consumption of the British cruisers exacerbated a shortage of ammunition at Alexandria, where only 800 6-inch shells were in stock. The Battle of the Espero Convoy demonstrated that a daylight naval action at long range was likely to be indecisive and extravagant of ammunition. The 2nd Cruiser Division was so short of ammunition that it returned to Alexandria and the Malta convoys were postponed. The 1st Cruiser Division reached Alexandria on 1 July, having also been ineffectually bombed. Convoy AS 1 from the Aegean was attacked from 29 June to 1 July by Italian aircraft based in the Dodecanese Islands but reached Alexandria and Port Said undamaged on 2 and 3 July. In 1998, Green and Massignani wrote that had Italian aircraft spotted the Allied cruisers before they came within range, all three destroyers could have escaped. Baroni was posthumously awarded the Medaglia D´oro Al Valor Militare. The lack of ammunition and the danger of Italian submarines, led to the two Malta convoy sailings being postponed for two weeks, followed by Operation MF 5, culminating in the Battle of Punta Stilo (9 July 1940). On 5 July, nine Fairey Swordfish torpedo-bombers of 813 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm flew from Sidi Barrani near the Egypt–Libya frontier, to attack the ships in Tobruk harbour. Twelve fighters of 33 Squadron covered the Swordfish and 211 Squadron attacked the airfield, damaged eight Fiat CR.42 fighters and flew reconnaissance sorties. The Swordfish dropped seven torpedoes in the harbour, sank Zeffiro and damaged the destroyer Euro; the merchantmen Manzoni and Serenitas were also sunk and the liner Liguria was damaged. On the evening after the attack on Tobruk, 830 Naval Air Squadron from Malta bombed the airfield at Catania in Sicily. Capetown and Caledon of the 3rd Cruiser Squadron with four destroyers, bombarded the port Bardia from 9,000 yd (5.1 mi; 8.2 km) at dawn on 6 July and hit two ships, before making ready to assist the crews of any aircraft damaged on the Tobruk raid; Italian aircraft attacked the ships to no effect. The guns of Zeffiro were salvaged from the harbour and sent to Bardia to augment the coastal defences.
  4. Carlo Fecia Di Cossato

    Captain Carlo Fecia Di Cossato's life and legacy: Fecia di Cossato was born in Rome in 1908 from a family of the Piedmontese nobility. In his youth, he attended the Royal Military College of Moncalieri and then the Italian Naval Academy in Livorno, where he graduated in 1928 as an Ensign. Immediately after graduation, he was assigned on the submarine Bausan. In 1929, after promotion to Sub-Lieutenant, Fecia di Cossato was assigned to the Italian Naval Detachment in Beijing and sent to China on the scout cruiser Libia. He returned to Italy in 1933, was promoted to Lieutenant and was assigned on the light cruiser Bari, stationed in Massawa during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. He then participated in two special missions on submarines during the Spanish Civil War. In 1939 Fecia di Cossato attended the Italian Navy Submarine School in Pola, after which he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and given command of a submarine. When Italy entered World War II, Fecia di Cossato was the commanding officer of the submarine Ciro Menotti, based in Messina as part of the 33rd Submarine Squadron. In this role he participated in several missions in the Mediterranean Sea. In the autumn of 1940 he was transferred to the BETASOM submarine base, in occupied France, where he started his participation in the Battle of the Atlantic as executive officer of the submarine Enrico Tazzoli, whose commanding officer was Lieutenant Commander Vittore Raccanelli. On 5 April 1941 Fecia di Cossato was given command of Tazzoli, with Lieutenant Gianfranco Gazzana-Priaroggia as executive officer. Fecia di Cossato and Gazzana Priaroggia (who was later given command of the submarines Archimede and Leonardo da Vinci) were to become Italy's most successful submariners in World War II. On April 7, 1941 Tazzoli left Bordeaux for its first mission under Fecia di Cossato. After reaching a patrol area off the coast of West Africa, on April 12 the submarine attacked two British cruisers with torpedoes, but no hits were obtained. On April 15, Tazzoli sank the British steamer Aurillac (4,733 GRT) with torpedoes and gunfire. On May 7th, Tazzoli sank the Norwegian steamer Fernlane (4,310 GRT) and two days later the Norwegian tanker Alfred Olsen (8,817 GRT). The latter required two days of pursuit, all remaining torpedoes and a hundred artillery rounds, forcing Tazzoli to return to base after sinking it. On the way back, Tazzoli was attacked by an enemy plane, but the reaction of its machine guns damaged the plane and forced it to fly away. On May 25, Tazzoli reached Bordeaux, where Fecia di Cossato was awarded a Silver Medal of Military Valor. On July 15, 1941, Fecia di Cossato sailed for a new mission during which, on August 12, he destroyed the grounded wreck of the British steamer Sangara (5,449 GRT, already damaged by a previous attack by the German submarine U 69) and on August 19 he sank the Norwegian tanker Sildra (7,313 GRT) about fifty miles off Freetown. He returned to base on September 11 and was awarded a Bronze Medal of Military Valor and an Iron Cross Second Class. In December 1941 Tazzoli left Bordeaux to take part in the rescue of 400 survivors from the German commerce raider Atlantis and the German supply ship Python, that had been sunk off the Cape Verde islands. German U-Boats had rescued the survivors from the sea, but did not have enough space to adequately house them, therefore the German command requested the intervention of the larger Italian submarines. Tazzoli and three other Betasom submarines (Torelli, Calvi and Finzi) thus sailed from Bordeaux after disembarking nonessential personnel and loading substantial supplies of food and water. At the rendez-vous with the German U-Boats, Tazzoli took onboard about 70 survivors, including Atlantis' executive officer Ulrich Mohr. On Christmas Eve Tazzoli, sailing on the surface, was attacked by an enemy plane and forced to crash dive. On the following day, the submarine reached Saint-Nazaire, where the survivors were landed. For his part in the rescue of the survivors from the two German ships, Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz awarded Fecia di Cossato the Iron Cross First Class. On 11 February 1942, after the United States’ entry into the war, Tazzoli under Fecia di Cossato left for a new mission, off the coasts of America. On 6 March the submarine sank the Dutch steamer Astrea (1,406 GRT), and on the following day the Norwegian motorship Torsbergfjord (3,156 GRT). On 9 March Tazzoli sank the Uruguayan steamer Montevideo (5,785 GRT), on 11 March the Panama-flagged steamer Cygnet (3,628 GRT), on 13 March the British steamer Daytonian (6,434 GRT) and two days later the British tanker Athelqueen (8,780 GRT). In the fight against the latter, Tazzoli suffered some damage, following which Di Cossato decided to return to base, where he arrived on 31 March. Following this mission Fecia di Cossato was awarded another Silver Medal of Military Valor by the Italian authorities and an Iron Cross Second Class with Sword by the German authorities. On 18 June 1942 Di Cossato sailed with Tazzoli for a new mission in the Caribbean. On 2 August he attacked and sank the Greek merchant Castor (1,830 GRT), an four days later he sank the Norwegian tanker Havsten (6,161 GRT), allowing her crew to abandon ship and be rescued by a nearby Argentinian ship, before sinking her. On 5 September, Tazzoli returned to base; for this mission Fecia di Cossato received a Bronze Medal of Military Valor. On 14 November 1942 Fecia Di Cossato sailed for his last mission on Tazzoli. On 12 December the submarine sank the British steamer Empire Hawk (5,032 GRT) and the Dutch merchant Ombilin (5,658 GRT); on 21 December the British steamer Queen City (4,814 GRT) became Tazzoli's next victim, followed on Christmas by the American motorship Dona Aurora (5,011 GRT). During the return voyage, the submarine was attacked by a British four-engined plane, that was shot down by Tazzoli's machine gunners. On 2 February 1943, Tazzoli ended her patrol in Bordeaux. On 19 March 1943, Fecia di Cossato was awarded a Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross by the German authorities, for his successes in the Atlantic. n February 1943 Fecia di Cossato left the command of Tazzoli, was promoted to Commander and was then given command of the brand new Ciclone-class torpedo boat Aliseo and of the 3rd Torpedo Boat Squadron. He assumed command of Aliseo on 17 April 1943. In May 1943 Di Cossato learned that Tazzoli, having been converted into a transport submarine, had disappeared with all hands after sailing towards the Far East; the loss of his old crew deeply affected him. On 22 July 1943 Aliseo left Pozzuoli together with the German torpedo boat TA11 and two submarine chaser, escorting the steamers Adernò and Colleville towards Civitavecchia. In the morning of 23 July, the convoy was attacked by Allied aircraft; one of the attacking planes was shot down, while one of the Axis escorting planes was damaged and forced to ditch. Aliseo was strafed, and suffered minor damage to her deck and rudder. Fecia di Cossato ordered the convoy to go on, then Aliseo took the ditched plane in tow and towed it towards the coast, while the damage to the rudder was repaired; Aliseo rejoined the convoy at 17:30. Around 19:30, the convoy was attacked by the submarine HMS Torbay, that torpedoed Adernò, sinking her. Aliseo launched a motorboat to pick up the survivors, then hunted the attacking submarine for several hours, but without result. Following other escort missions in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Fecia di Cossato was awarded another Bronze Medal of Military Valor by the Italian authorities, and a War Merit Cross by the German authorities. When the armistice between Italy and the Allied forces was announced, on the evening of 8 September 1943, Aliseo was moored in the harbour of Bastia, in Italian-occupied Corsica. The harbour was packed with several vessels, both Italian and German; besides Aliseo, these included her sistership Ardito, the Italian merchant ships Sassari and Humanitas, and a small German flotilla which included the submarine chasers UJ 2203 (former French survey vessel Austral) and UJ 2219 (former Belgian yacht Insuma) and five Marinefährprahme (F 366, F 387, F 459, F 612 and F 623). The local Italian and German commanders soon reached a "gentlemen’s agreement" according to which the German forces would be allowed to safely retreat to mainland Italy. Meanwhile, however, the German forces secretly prepared to launch a surprise attack on the Italian ships moored inside the harbour, planning to capture them. The attack started at 23:45 on 8 September, when two groups of German soldiers, after hearing a whistle (the signal to attack), stormed Ardito; the torpedo boat was heavily damaged (70 of her 180 crew were killed) and captured, and the merchant ships Sassari and Humanitas also fell into German hands. Aliseo had just left the harbour when the German attack began. Shortly after dawn on 9 September, a combat group of the Tenth Bersaglieri Group (10° Raggruppamento Celere Bersaglieri) staged a counterattack which led to the recapture of the port, as well as of Ardito, Sassari and Humanitas; the German flotilla was ordered to leave the harbour, but the ships were immediately fired upon by the Italian coastal batteries, which damaged UJ 2203 and some of the MFPs. Aliseo, under the command of Fecia di Cossato, was then ordered by the port commander to attack and destroy the German units. Shortly after 7:00 the flotilla, proceeding in a column led by UJ 2203, opened fire on Aliseo, which returned fire at 7:06, from a distance of 8,300 metres (9,100 yd); at 7:30 Aliseo was hit by an 88 mm shell in the engine room and temporarily left dead in the water, but the damage was quickly repaired and the torpedo boat closed in and engaged her adversaries in succession, destroying them one after the other. At 8:20 UJ 2203, after suffering several hits, blew up; ten minutes later UJ 2219 was also destroyed when her magazines exploded. Between 8:30 and 8:35 Aliseo also sank F 366, F 459 and F 623; the corvette Cormorano intervened during the final phase of the battle and, together with Aliseo, forced F 387 and F 612 to run aground, after which they were abandoned and destroyed. Aliseo picked up 25 German survivors, then proceeded towards Portoferraio, as ordered, together with the damaged Ardito. Elba Island had become the collection point for Italian torpedo boats, corvettes and minor ships escaping from harbours on the northern Tyrrhenian coast; Aliseo and Ardito reached Portoferrario at 17:58 on 9 September. In the morning of 11 September, Aliseo left Portoferraio along with six other torpedo boats (including sisterships Animoso, Ardimentoso, Indomito and Fortunale) and some corvettes and smaller vessels, heading for Allied-controlled Palermo, where the group arrived at 10:00 on 12 September. The ships remained in the roads till 18 September, when they entered the harbor in order to receive water and food supplies; on 20 September they left Palermo and reached Malta, where Aliseo delivered part of the foodstuff she had been given to the Italian warships that had arrived there in the previous days. On 5 October 1943, Aliseo left Malta and returned to Italy. For both his achievements in the Battle of the Atlantic and his victorious action off Bastia, Fecia di Cossato was awarded a Gold Medal of Military Valor. Based in Taranto, Aliseo carried out numerous escort missions during the co-belligerence between Italy and the Allies, always under Di Cossato's command. In June 1944, the new government chaired by Ivanoe Bonomi refused to swear loyalty to the king; on 22 June Fecia di Cossato, a staunch monarchist, refused in turn to swear loyalty to the new government, which he considered illegitimate. On the same day, Fecia di Cossato was relieved of command, charged with insubordination and imprisoned. His huge popularity, however, led to immediate unrest among the crews of his and other ships, who refused to put to sea and demanded that he be freed and reinstated in his role. Shortly thereafter, Fecia di Cossato was released from prison, but he was given a mandatory three months' leave. With the armistice and the following events, Fecia di Cossato had seen the ideals that had guided him throughout his life – the Fatherland, the Monarchy, the Regia Marina – crumble around him. He perceived the events of 8 September 1943 as a "shameful surrender" for the Royal Italian Navy, which, he felt, had produced no positive effects for Italy; the country was now divided and occupied by opposing foreign armies, and the armistice and the change of sides would become a stain on Italy's honour and reputation for a long time "We have been unworthily betrayed and we discovered to have committed an ignominius act without any result". Di Cossato felt that his personal honor was stained by the surrender; furthermore, he was worried by the rumors that, despite their participation in the co-belligerence against the Germans, the surviving ships of the Italian Navy would still be handed over to the Allies at the end of the war. He was also haunted by the loss of his old crew on Tazzoli; on the letter he wrote before committing suicide, he also wrote "For months, all I've done is thinking about my crew, who rest honorably at the bottom of the sea. I think that my place is with them". Since his family lived in German-occupied Northern Italy, out of his reach, he had to live in a friend's house in Naples. On 21 August 1944, as his mandatory leave was nearing its end, Fecia di Cossato wrote a last letter to his mother, where he explained the reasons for his extreme gesture; on 27 August 1944 he committed suicide by shooting himself in his friend's house in Naples. He is buried in Bologna. This is a man, who in my eyes atleast, more than any other Italian Commander deserves to be put into World Of Warships as a Unique Commander, regardless of the fact he was a Submariner, due to the legacy and life he lived, only to see his very reasons for fighting disappear with the single stroke of a pen. May he rest in peace. None of the military forces of the major participant powers in World War II have been as unjustly maligned as those of the Kingdom of Italy. Italian defeats have been exaggerated and Italian successes often downplayed or ignored entirely. Because of this, the details of the Italian submarine campaign will no doubt come as a surprise to a great many people. However, the Regia Marina (Italian Royal Navy) entered the war with the largest submarine fleet in the world by tonnage and while most tend to think of the “Battle of the Atlantic” as solely a fight between German U-boat “wolf packs” and Allied convoys, the Italians participated as well, in fact, at one point there were more Italian submarines operating in the Atlantic than German ones. Italian boats also saw extensive service in the Mediterranean (naturally) and the Indian Ocean as well as undertaking operations to East Asian waters and the South Atlantic; areas beyond the range of the smaller, typical Type-VIIC German U-boats. Finally, Italian submarines did a great deal of damage, despite facing many difficulties, against the Allies. When the Kingdom of Italy entered World War II with the declarations of war against Britain and France in June of 1940 the Regia Marina possessed 84 operational submarines under the overall command of Admiral Mario Falangola, succeeded at the end of the following year by Admiral Antonio Legnani. At the outset, their failures outnumbered their successes, which is not too surprising as, aside from some secretive operations in support of Franco in the Spanish Civil War, they had never been tested and both men and boats had bugs that needed working out. However, they had a spirit and determination that would prove formidable. The Smeraldo, for example, a Sirena-class boat of the short to medium range 600 series made the first torpedo attack on British shipping by an Italian submarine but the heavy seas caused the torpedo to miss. However, this same boat later endured the most intense anti-submarine warfare attack of any boat in history with British ships dropping 200 depth charges on her, and she still survived (ultimately this boat was sunk by running into a British mine some time later). After the conquest of France and the establishment of German naval bases on the French west coast, Italian submarines were invited to participate in the campaign to strangle the British Isles. This, of course, meant a dangerous passage through the Straits of Gibraltar under the very noses of the British Royal Navy. Many German U-boats were lost in the straits but, though few are aware of it, no Italian submarine was ever sunk slipping through these dangerous waters. The Italians established themselves at Bordeaux under the name BETASOM (Beta [Bordeaux] Som [Sommergibili]) with 27 submarines in early 1941. Originally, the idea was the German and Italian submarines would work together in coordinated attacks against Allied shipping, however, this soon proved to be more troublesome than effective and few seem to understand why. Ultimately the cause was a difference in training and how German and Italian boats operated as well as the Germans not being what we would call “team players”. Fairly quickly in the war, German submarines developed a preferred tactic of attacking on the surface at night, submerging to escape counterattack. Italian submarines, however, usually made underwater attacks during the daytime. This was one of the differences that made cooperation difficult. Probably the most significant, however, was the unwillingness of the Germans to place a German communications officer on Italian submarines, though they held overall command of joint-operations. The result of this was that an Italian submarine making contact with the enemy would have to signal Bordeaux which would then have to send the message to Paris to the German naval command which would then relay the message out to the German submarines in the area. Needless to say, this meant that by the time the Germans were told of an enemy convoy, it was too late for them to do anything about it. There was also an unwillingness on the part of the Germans to train the Italians to fit in with their preferred way of doing things and what training they did provide was inadequate, expecting the Italians to learn in only two months what it had taken the Germans years to develop and become proficient at. There is evidence that when Italian submarine captains were allowed to train with the Germans, the results were obvious. One such officer was Commander Primo Longobardo, one of the few to train with the Germans, and he proved one of the most successful Italian submarine commanders of the war. As captain of the submarine Torelli he once sank four Allied ships on a single patrol and ultimately accounted for 42,000 tons of Allied shipping sunk. In any event, when coordinated training was finally agreed to, joint operations had already been canceled and each submarine force operated on their own with the Italians mostly hunting in waters around the Azores and some boats dispatched for the South Atlantic, such as in the Brazilian shipping lanes, which they were able to reach more easily because of their greater range. A lack of cooperation was also evident in the reluctance of the Germans to share their torpedo technology with the Italians. The Germans tried many innovations with their torpedoes, causing some problems as certain designs didn’t work but ultimately resulting in a more effective weapon. The Italians, on the other hand, simply stuck to their older but more reliable model which was not as effective and the Germans would not share their magnetic trigger technology with Italy until it was too late to be of best use. It is for this reason that Italian submarines frequently engaged in surface action as quite often they would make a successful underwater attack using their torpedoes but the target would be badly damaged but not sunk at which point the Italian submarine would surface and finish off the enemy with their deck gun. Italian sub crews also became, out of necessity, quite adept anti-aircraft gunners and this came about due to the nature of their boats. A submarine on the surface is vulnerable and aircraft are a particularly dangerous enemy. They can be upon you very quickly and do immense damage, making it a life or death matter for a submarine to be able to submerge as fast as possible. As Italian submarines tended to be larger than their average German counterpart, this meant that they were slower to dive. A typical German submarine could submerge in about 20 seconds, whereas the average Italian submarine took between 60 and 120 seconds to get below the waves. One result of this was that, by the time an enemy aircraft was spotted, it was often better to take your chances shooting it out on the surface than be shot full of holes while trying to dive. It was not an enviable situation but it did make Italian AA fire more effective than in other navies. In fact, it was an Italian submarine, which had been shifted to the Germans after 1943 and then to the Japanese after the German surrender, which fired the last shots of World War II, using her AA battery against American bombers while in port in Japan. In spite of their boats having their limitations, torpedoes that were not the best and a less than fully cooperative ally, Italian submarines still did a great deal of damage thanks to having some extremely skilled commanders. None was more famous than Gianfranco Gazzana-Priaroggia, captain of the Leonardo DaVinci, the most successful Italian submarine of the war. Nicknamed “Ursus atlanticus”, Gazzana-Priaroggia would ultimately sink over 90,000 tons of Allied shipping, his biggest score being the massive British troopship the Empress of Canada. He was even set to lead a special forces submarine attack on New York harbor but this was postponed and ultimately never carried out due to the 1943 armistice. Earlier that year, Gazzana-Priaroggia was sadly killed in action but was posthumously awarded both the Gold Medal for Military Valor by the King of Italy and the Knights Iron Cross by the Germans for his achievements. By most accounts (there is some dispute as the U.S. ‘updated’ their stats several times after the war) Gazzana-Priaroggia was the most successful non-German submarine commander of all time. However, the Mediterranean Sea was, of course, always supposed to be the primary area of operations for all units of the Regia Marina and it was an enclosed sea of hazards with major British naval installations at Gibraltar, Malta, Alexandria and Cyprus. Italian submarine commanders pulled off some extremely daring victories against the British in these waters and aside from merchant shipping also took a heavy toll on Royal Navy warships. Notable successes include the cruisers HMS Bonaventure, HMS Calypso and HMS Coventry which were all sunk by Italian submarines in 1940-41. However, Italian industry could not produce new boats fast enough and the Allied breaking of Axis codes was also a huge blow to the submarine campaign. Nonetheless, Italian submarines in the Mediterranean would open up a new type of undersea warfare which had dramatic results, producing a new type of warrior who could be seen as the precursor of America’s feared SEAL teams. A special unit, composed of both fast-attack surface craft and undersea weapons known as “human torpedoes” was formed known as the Decima Flottiglia MAS (for Mezzi d’Assalto) or X-MAS (in English, ‘Tenth Assault Vehicle Flotilla’). One man very much associated with this new unit was Prince Junio Valerio Borghese, captain of the submarine Sciré. The “human torpedoes”, as they are often called, were actually nothing of the sort as no torpedoes were involved and, while highly dangerous, were not suicide weapons. The Italians referred to them as ‘maiale’ or ‘pigs’ because these were basically miniature submarines that Italian sailors would ride ‘piggy-back’ into an enemy harbor after being brought into the vicinity by a submarine making a submerged approach. They would cut through any anti-submarine nets, approach the underside of major ships in the harbor and attach mines to the hull. Once they were safely away the mines would detonate and the ships would be crippled or sunk. The sailors would have no hope of returning to their submarine and so could either try to make it to neutral territory or simply surrender after accomplishing their mission. In December of 1941 such an attack was launched on the British naval base at Alexandria, Egypt with the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant being crippled, a Norwegian tanker sunk and a destroyer, HMS Jervis, being badly damaged. Men of the X-MAS, brought in by the submarine Sciré, launched a similar attack on Gibraltar in September, sinking three enemy ships. Later, operating out of an old tanker in the Spanish port of Algeciras more attacks on Gibraltar were made in December of 1942, sinking two ships and damaging two more. Two more British freighters and an American Liberty Ship were sunk in 1943 prior to the armistice. These attacks, which were almost impossible to guard against, caused considerable panic in the Allied naval forces operating in the Mediterranean. Ultimately, the armistice, division of Italy and finally the end of the war all caused confusion among the Italian submariners. Most remained loyal to the King and followed orders, turning their boats over to their former enemies, some were seized and forced into the German and later Japanese navies and some, like Prince Borghese, cast their lots with Mussolini and the Germans, to carry on to the bitter end. A most tragic case was that of Captain Carlo Fecia Di Cossato, (whom I'll be going into more depth about shortly, as this is all precursor background knowledge) the man who sank more ships than any other Italian submarine commander at the helm of the Tazzoli. Loyal to his King above all, when the armistice came, he followed orders and even sunk seven more ships, German this time, in his new command. However, the abrupt change troubled him, becoming worse as it became clear that the Allies still considered Italy a defeated enemy and would strip Italy of her empire, even territory gained well before the Fascist Era. He was torn apart by conflicting feelings of loyalty and dishonor until he committed suicide in Naples in 1944. When the war was finally over, with all of the confusion, bitterness and divisions which that caused, the feats of the Italian submarine campaign stand out as further proof of how wrong the popular misconception is of the Royal Italian military in World War II. Italian submarines sank about a million tons of Allied shipping from mid-1940 to 1943. This was almost as much, indeed somewhat more according to some statistics as the ultimately far larger submarine force the Imperial Japanese Navy sunk from the end of 1941 to 1945, the disparity in numbers all the more significant given that over-worked Italian industrial capacity meant that Italy could only commission 30 new boats during the war years whereas Japan commissioned 126 additional subs (not counting midget boats) during the conflict. Italy was also not very far behind the tonnage sunk by the British Royal Navy during the entire course of the war from 1939 to 1945. They played a significant part, did considerable damage to the Allied fleets and did so with skill, heroism and gallantry in the face of immense odds.
  5. Phoenix_jz’s Italian Battleship Tech Tree Hello all, I’m back at it again with tech trees, and this time I’m throwing out an idea for the Regia Marina, and its options for a battleship line. Now, as of we’ve got two Italian battleships in the game – the tier V rebuilt Cavour-class battleship Giulio Cesare, and the tier VIII Littorio-class battleship Roma. Italian battleships are fairly well represented by these two. Italian battleships fall short on AA, and their citadels tend to be somewhat tall (No magic boilers like in the Royal Navy, I guess) – but they’re usually fairly well protected. They’re quite mobile and tend to handle well for their size, and carry powerful, high-velocity guns with questionable accuracy. They tend to be quite stealthy for battleships, but at the cost of range. While I did initially draft out two lines, for this post I decided to only post the ‘main’ line, while I will perhaps make a post on the second at a later date (Spoiler – It’s lots of Ferrati designs - #outquadthefrogs). This main line is essentially the majority of what historical Italian battleships were. Like many Italian designs, speed tended to triumph over armor in order to sustain firepower – in order to defend Italy’s long coastlines from attack, Italian ships had to be able to rapidly deploy against enemy ships, dashing up or down the coast. Likewise, they also stressed artillery performance at range, thus the use of heavier than average shells at infamously high velocities. As a note, I’m not going to try and guess AA suites for B-hulls, but hitpoints would be for a B-hull. Major Line Features: You get: High Speed/Mobility – Generally speaking, these ships will be faster and have better handling than most other battleships Generally good levels of stealth, better than other battleships at the same tier Powerful guns with very high velocities, leading to high penetration, and good gun handling with their fast turret traverse times Unique SAP/AP flavor - Explained below Armor profile starts out as sub-par to mediocre, but becomes very powerful in higher tiers La bella figura– these ships look good. At the cost of; Generally sub-par AA for their tier The main battery range tends to be average to poor The guns share the poor dispersion of German and French battleships, offsetting their ease-of-aim. The main battery lacks HE The health pool of these ships is generally average, but at higher tiers falls behind the competition to a serious degree. They also have relatively high citadels compared to other lines with lower citadels (or physics-bending like the British) The SAP/AP Flavor, and Lack of HE There is only one part of the Italian battleship line’s flavor that can be defined as gimmicky, in the same way the French battleship’s speed boost, the German super-hydro, or British… everything? I’m not even sure where to start with them. This gimmick is that Italian battleships are unable to fire High-Explosive shells from their main battery. Why? Because that’s what the Italians did historically. Unlike their cruisers and destroyers, Italian battleships did not carry HE shells (In Italian; Granata Dirompente – I may refer to this round as ‘GD’ later in this write-up. These shells had an instant fuse and a bursting charge of 5-7% the mass of the shell). Rather, Italian battleship fired two types of Armor-Piercing shells; Palla (or sometimes Proiettile Perforante - PP) – These rounds were the pure Armor-Piercing rounds used by the Italian navy, designed to punch through as much armor as possible, and had small bursting charges of between 1-2% of the shell’s mass. Palla translates to literally ‘ball’, although it can also be used to describe a bullet. Proiettile Perforante would be in a literal sense Piercing Projectile, but the term is analogous to an Armor-Piercing shell in English. These terms describe the same kind of round regardless. This was the primary round to be used against the heavy armor on enemy battleships, and that was essentially their only purpose – the only exception is a curious note from a September 1942 document that advises the use of 320mm Palla against the American Baltimore-class heavy cruisers. This round was used outside of battleships only as the armor-piercing rounds of the 152mm guns used aboard Italian light cruisers. Granata Perforante (GP) – This type of round, with a name that blended that of the two other types of round, is often erroneously dubbed a High-Explosive by English sources (such as navweaps.com, and English translations of Italian books). Their name translating directly as Piercing Shell, these shells were essentially a Semi Armor-Piercing shell, with more explosive power than the pure AP rounds but less penetration, and like the AP used a delay fuse. These shells tended to be about 90% of the mass of Palla, and had on average only about 55-60% of the penetrative potential at most given ranges, but their bursting charges tended to be 2-5% the mass of the shells. This was the general-use round on Italian battleships, and was meant for use against carriers, cruisers, destroyers, and even the lighter armor of some battleships. These rounds also performed as the primary Armor-Piercing ammunition for the 203mm guns of Italian heavy cruisers as well as Italian 120 to 135mm destroyer guns – however performance did vary. As Italian heavy cruisers were still meant to duel and defeat enemy cruisers their shells tended to favor ‘palla’-style performance and had a smaller than average bursting charge, while the destroyers had higher values approaching those of GD rounds, as they were meant for use against very light armor only. An example of the qualitative differences of the two Italian AP types from official documents Essentially, what this boils down to is that Palla is the ‘Anti-Battleship’ round, while Granata Perforante is the ‘whatever else’ shell for Italian battleships, and that’s the flavor that will be reflected in the line. The performance of the round types thus will be as such: Palla (AP)– The same AP shells you’ve always known, these shells have the normal fuse time, and have high penetration. They’re great against battleships, being very punishing even against heavy belts because of their high penetration – however against cruisers, due to that penetration and their velocity retention, this will lead to over-penetrations in many cases. Weaker AP like that found on the 320mm and 305mm Italian guns will still be appropriate for use on cruisers, especially those with heavier armor, as their lower overall penetration and also higher tendency to lose speed (the WWI-era 305mm shells having poor drag performance typical of the era, while the 320mm shells of these guns when re-bored was still rather poor at about 4crh). Granata Perforante (SAP)–These shells will perform differently than regular AP. With higher velocity usually, these lighter shells might feel easier to aim, but they have fundamental differences. They deal less damage than the pure AP, and have much less penetration – they’re not going to do well against the main armor belts of enemy dreadnoughts. They also have short fuses similar to British battleship AP, meaning they’ll have a harder time reaching battleship citadels. However, the combination of less penetration and a shorter fuse time means they’ll tend to over-penetrate cruisers less in the way that Roma’s 381mm Palla does chronically in-game. They’ll also be better for hitting destroyers then regular AP, as well getting regular penetration against the softer areas of battleships that are too angled to penetrate – this will mean excellent damage farming off of German battleships, who’s incremental armor schemes guarantee regular 33% penetrations with ammunition of this type. To compensate for the lack of 'auto damage' that HE gives from raw penetration and fires, these shells have auto-ricochet angles identical to those of Hood's AP - 60° and 67.5°, rather than the normal 45° and 60°> The Tree: Quick Breakdown: III: Cuniberti 17t – Designer Vittorio Cuniberti’s 17000t dreadnought design – the real first dreadnought. IV: Dante Alighieri – Italy’s first dreadnought, Nikolai Iis a Russian version of her. V: Conte di Cavour – The original version of what Cesare’s sister once was, a heavy broadside defines this WWI battleship, with thirteen guns. VI: Caio Duilio – The successor class to the Cavour as rebuilt, this is essentially a better Giulio Cesare. VII: BB1935 – A design that existed beforeLittorio, it uses the 320mm guns in a modern layout with high speed and balanced armor VIII: Littorio – Roma’s sister, she’s similar to Romabut a more comfortable ship with more reliable performance IX: Impero – The third Littorio, this is Littorio as intended, essentially the tier VIII turned up to 10, if the Littorio’s performance was tuned down to 8 (which it kind of is) X: BB1936 – The 406mm design that existed next to Littorio, it was the ultimate expression of Italian battleship design – she’s dwarfed by the tier X BBs of other nations, but is faster, well protected, and has a very strong armament. Tier III – (Cuniberti 17000t) Napoli The design that started it all. The Italian Naval Engineer Vittorio Cuniberti first put his name on the map when he designed the 1901 Regina Elena-class battleships. Pre-dreadnoughts, they had followed the high speed stereotype Italian ships had already gathered for themselves in the latter half of the 1800s, despite the country being so young. At 22 knots, they were the fastest battleships in the world, even after the first dreadnoughts were completed. This, of course, came at the cost of armor (their belt was 250mm, which actually was fairly average for the era). These pre-dreadnoughts were unusual as although their medium battery of guns was exceptionally heavy (6x2 203mm guns, six to a broadside), their heavy battery was very light – only two 305mm/40’s in single turrets, one fore, one aft. The reason for this was more important than one might think, at first glance. The Regina Elena-class in fact had its origins in Cuniberti’s own work, on a 1899 design for a powerful 8000 ton armored cruiser featuring a uniform main battery of twelve 203mm guns, a top speed of 22 knots, and a 150mm belt. It was to be the ultimate Armored Cruiser, faster and better armed than any other. Such a design would ultimately be realized eight years later by the German Kaiserliche Marine in the Armored Cruiser Blücher of 1907 (6x2 210mm, 25 knots, 180mm belt), but not so for the Regia Marina. The design was rejected, and Cuniberti turned it into the 13000 ton ‘battlecruiser’-style Regina Elena-class, whose design philosophy was to be faster than any enemy battleship, and far outgun any enemy cruiser – which it accomplished for its era. Two were built, the Regina Elena and Vittorio Emmanuelle, both laid down in 1901. However, the Italian navy wanted two more battleships, and this time Cuniberti decided to revisit his old concept, and put it on a battleship as he had originally envisioned it – the ‘all-big-gun’ battleship. Thus he took the Regina Elena design to the same place he had taken his armored cruiser design – the ship grew to a displacement of 17000 tons, and featured the single most powerful armament ever put to sea – twelve 305mm guns in four twin and four single turrets. It is important to understand the context in which this came about. Fire Control Systems had come far from their origins, but were still extremely primitive in this era. The range to which they were effective was out to a few thousand yards – massively superior to where they had been only a few decades prior, where a few hundred yards was the extreme limit of naval gunnery. For this reason, the big guns of a battleship were of less use. At the ranges they fought, their main guns had more than enough penetration, and fired slowly. Smaller-caliber weapons still had enough penetration, but could fire faster, and more could be mounted for much less weight. Thus, they were much more effective at closer ranges. However, Cuniberti envisioned that as fire control became better, battles would increasingly be dominated by longer-ranged gunnery from the heavy guns. His ‘all-big-gun’ battleship would simply be able to overwhelm the enemy with large-caliber fire, smashing them under a deluge of heavy shells, and moving on to the next in line. The ships’ own armor would be strong enough to resist enemy fire in return. One of these ships would be worth many of the enemy’s battleships, and six of these would be a force powerful enough to deter any fleet in the world from challenging them. This behemoth was meant to go 24 knots as well, thus being able to run down any major warship in the world – but this is unlikely on a 17000 ton hull, 21 knots being a more realistic speed given the size of machinery of the era. 24 knots would have required a much greater displacement of about 21000 tons. Ultimately the Italian navy rejected the design due to its prohibited cost, but allowed Cuniberti to publish his idea in Jane’s All the World’s Fighting Ships 1903, where he recommended the design be pursued by the British Royal Navy. Meanwhile, the Italian navy built two further Regina Elena’s, laid down in 1903 as Roma and Napoli (hence why I’ve adopted the name Napoli for ours in-game). In May 1905, Cuniberti’s ideas were vindicated. The Russo-Japanese War saw the Battle of Tsushima fought, which was decided primarily by long-range gunnery, at staggering ranges exceeding 5 km reaching all the way to 7 km. The evidence was enough for Britain’s First Sea Lord Admiral Sir John Fisher, who had been exploring the idea of these big-gun ships already. That October, Britain laid down their first all-big gun battleship as the HMS Dreadnought, obsoleting every battleship afloat overnight. Roma, the sister to the Napoli that was ultimately built. Napoli was Italy's last pre-dreadnought battleship. Survivability: 21800 tons – 36600 HP Belt: 305mm belt, 305mm turrets and barbettes Main Armament: 4x2, 4x1 305mm/40 RoF: 2 rpm (30 sec) Dispersion/Sigma: German, 1.8 Traverse: ?º/sec AP: MV: 780mps Mass/Dmg: 417 kg (MaxDmg: 8100) SAP: MV: 780mps Mass/Dmg: 386 kg (MaxDmg: 7800) Secondary Battery: 12x1 76mm/40 Ansaldo 1916 RoF: 15 rpm (4 sec) HE: MV: 680mps Mass/Dmg: 6.5 kg (MaxDmg: 1100, 4% FC) Maneuverability: Engine Power: 50606 shp Top Speed: 24 knots All in all she’s your pretty standard tier III – probably faster than most, but still only having an eight-gun broadside. You’ll be out of it in a second, so I don’t think I need to elaborate on her. Sail around derping eight-gun broadsides into enemy ships, and profit, like any other battleship at this tier. Tier IV – Dante Alighieri … con l’animo che vince ogni battaglia The first Italian dreadnought, the Alighieri was unusual and ambitious. Her design was meant to maximize Cuniberti’s vision, by allowing all of the ship’s main guns to fire to her broadside. She was light for her size, but had a heavy broadside of twelve 305mm guns, with a sub-par 254mm belt and a top speed of 22 knots. She carries the distinction of being the only battleship to ever be named after a Poet, but make no mistake – Dante Alighieri is no mere poet, at least not in Italy. While to most he is the famed author of la Divina Commedia, in Italy he is something more, considered the father of the modern Italian language. La Commedia was one of the first European works written outside of Latin, and Alighieri chose to write it in a Tuscan dialect he referred to as ‘Italian’ – marking one of the first ‘modern’ appearances of the concept as Italy as a nation and an identify. This was grasped onto by the Risorgimento movement, and formed an important pillar of the Italian identity used to unify the peninsula. Laid down on the 9th of June 1909, she was the first battleship to be laid down with its armament mounted in triple turrets, and was completed in 1913. Her career remained uneventful, and despite taking part in the First World War and several Adriatic operations, due to the nature of Adriatic Theater in WWI she never saw action against Austrian dreadnoughts. She served as a testing platform for important gunnery and fire control technologies, and was scrapped in 1928. Her motto, “… con l’animo che vince ogni battaglia” comes from Canto 24 of L’Inferno, words Virgil speaks to Alighieri to boost his moral – the line is usually translated in (modern) English as “...with the spirit that overcomes every battle”. Survivability: 21800 tons – 36600 HP Belt: 254mm between end barbettes, 100mm to bow. Main deck is 50mm with 50mm turtleback slopes, upper deck is 30 or 38mm. 254mm turret faces. Main Armament: 4x3 305mm/46 Modello 1909 (Broadside: 12 guns) RoF: 2 rpm (30 sec) Dispersion/Sigma: German, 1.8 Traverse: ?º/sec AP: MV: 840mps Mass/Dmg: 452 kg (MaxDmg: 8700) SAP: MV: 840mps Mass/Dmg: 401.2 kg (MaxDmg: 8200) Secondary Battery: 4x2, 12x1 120mm/50 Modello 1909 (Broadside: 10) RoF: 6 rpm (10 sec) HE: MV: 850mps Mass/Dmg: 22.1 kg (MaxDmg: 1700, 6% FC) Anti-Aircraft Battery: 4x1 76mm/50 Modello 1909 - 16.8 dps @ 3.00 km 2x1 40mm/39 Vickers 1917 - 11.2 dps @ 2.01 km Maneuverability: Engine Power: 32190 shp Top Speed: 22.8 knots Dante Alighieri is going to look somewhat similar to some people, because of Russia’s own version – the Imperator Nikolai I. While it is true that Italian design did have influence on Russian dreadnought design of the period, it has not actually been indicated by any surviving documents that the Russian 4x3 designs, very similar to the Alighieri, were actually inspired by it, and so such Russian battleship design appears to be an independent development. So, what you should expect from Dante is something of a Nikolai-lite. While less armored, she has similarly powerful guns – a lighter shell (452 kg vs 470.9 kg), but fired at a much higher velocity (840 mps vs 762 mps). She’s got a 1.8 knot speed edge over the Russian dreadnought, but overall weaker armor (270mm belt on Nikolai) and their secondary battery being about equal – both having a 10-gun broadside, the Russian battleship bringing larger 130mm guns while the Italian 120mm guns fire faster. AA armament of both is rather minimal. However, the playstyle will be similar. Despite her thinner armor, Dante is well suited to bow-on tactics, and with three of her four turrets facing forwards, is well suited to swapping fire from port to starboard rapidly, regardless of what her turret traverse may be. Tier V – Conte di Cavour A nessuno secondo The follow-on class to Italy’s first dreadnought, the Cavour-class battleship was meant to be a response to French building, but as Italy lacked a 13.5” (343mm) gun to upgrade to for their battleships, they sought to use an even heavier armament of 12” guns – this time mounting thirteen 305mm rifles. The same as those used on Dante, these had a superior layout, a triple turret with a twin turret super-firing over it both fore and aft, while a single triple turret found a home amidships. Less ambitious in speed, it saw an engine power increase to compensate the increased displacement, and typical of Italian design, to achieve a speed advantage of 1-2 knots over the 20-21 knot dreadnoughts of foreign navies. Armor was slightly improved over the Alighieri, but speed saw a decrease - despite the target speed of 22.5 knots, the top speed was only 22 knots. Cavour was named for the Count of Cavour, Camilo Benso. Prime Minister of Sardinia-Pedimonte, he was instrumental in the formation of Italy as a nation, essentially Italy’s counterpart to Otto von Bismarck. He became the country’s first Prime Minister. Her motto was ‘Second to none’, written by the famous writer, war hero, and eventual proto-fascist Gabriele D’Annunzio. Survivability: 24250 tons – 39500 HP Belt: 250mm between end barbettes, 80mm to bow. Main deck is 50mm with 50mm turtleback slopes, upper deck is 30 or 38mm. 280mm turret faces. Main Armament: 2x2, 3x3 305mm/46 Modello 1909 (Broadside: 13 guns) RoF: 2 rpm (30 sec) Dispersion/Sigma: German, 1.8 Traverse: Dunno lol AP: MV: 840mps Mass/Dmg: 452 kg (MaxDmg: 8700) SAP: MV: 840mps Mass/Dmg: 401.2 kg (MaxDmg: 8200) Secondary Battery: 18x1 120mm/45 Modello 1909 (Broadside: 9) RoF: 6 rpm (10 sec) HE: MV: 850mps Mass/Dmg: 22.1 kg (MaxDmg: 1700, 6% FC) Anti-Aircraft Battery: 6x1 76mm/50 Modello 1909 - 25.2 dps @ 3.00 km 2x1 40mm/39 Vickers 1917 - 11.2 dps @ 2.01 km Maneuverability: Engine Power: 31278 shp Top Speed: 22.3 knots Conte di Cavour is an interesting ship, especially considering that her sister, Giulio Cesare, is Italy’s tier V premium battleship. Well, here’s the thing to keep in mind. Cesare is utterly OP at tier V. It’s outright comedic how well she does, and legend has it that in a lost Canto, Dante places her in the forgotten tenth circle of hell where not even the Devil himself was made to suffer. So we’re not comparing these sisters. No, rather, we’re comparing Cavour to other WWI dreadnoughts like Bretagne, Iron Duke, and König. With an identical turret layout to these ships, they’re pretty easy to compare. König, with her thick belt and turtleback, is by far the most durable, Iron Duke not far behind her, with Cavour trailing and Bretagne in last. Pretty much the same order follows for speed, at 24, 22.5, 22.0, and 21 knots. Firepower is where they vary. The Entente dreadnoughts bring 10x 340/343mm guns firing 2 rpm, and while König brings 10 guns as well, they’re only 305mm guns… but fire faster, at 2.3 rpm. Cavour only fires at 2 rpm with 305mm guns… but has 13 of them. Her penetration should be the best among 12” guns, and the extra three barrels allows her to easily keep up in shell output. Meanwhile, the extra barrels also let her compete with the damage output of the British and French battleships, which she also has more penetration than. Thus, she has similar flexibility to the other battleships with her speed, and although her armor is hardly stellar, it’s adequate. Her main battery is fearsome, thirteen guns throwing heavy shells at high speeds allowing her to hit hard father away then her caliber would seem to suggest. Like many other Italian battleships, her weakness is her mediocre-at-best AA battery, and relatively low health pool for her tier. Tier VI – Caio Duilio Nomen numen The Caio Duilio-class battleships were a follow-on of the prior Cavour-class, and a response to the French Bretagne-class battleships. Since the Regia Marina was satisfied with the prior class and considered them on-par with the Bretagne-class, the Duilio-class ultimately ended up being largely an improved version of the Cavour-class with a revised secondary battery, superstructure, and the decision to accept a lower speed being the primary differences. Caio Duilio was named for the famous Roman admiral Gaius Duilius, who commanded the republic’s fleet at the Battle of Mylae and won Roma’s astounding first naval victory against Hannibal Gisco’s superior Carthaginian fleet. In the inter-war period, as tensions rapidly shot up in the 1930s the Regia Marina began a major revision to its main battleline, which had changed little since the end of the First World War, save for the losses of Dante Alighieri and Leonardo da Vinci and minor modernizations to the battleships as a whole. In response to the French construction of the Dunkerque, the Italian Navy essentially rebuilt the Cavour-class, leaving barely 40% of the original ships behind. As tensions continued to rise, and it became clear that war with Britain was likely, the Regia Marina sought to bring its battleline up to snuff as rapidly as possible, and thus the decision was made to rebuild the Duilio-class in the same radical manner as the Cavour’s. An improved version of the Cavour project, the rebuilding of Caio Duilio and Andrea Doria saw something similar to the Cavour rebuilds, with several notable differences. Like the Cavour-class, their armor was slightly increased, the hull lengthened, and machinery replaced, making the ships capable of 26 knots (one knot slower than the Cavour rebuilds which could make 27 knots, but both classes were still able to force up to 28 knots). The middle turret was removed, and the other guns were bored out from 305/46’s to 320/44’s, greatly increasing their punching power. The Duilio-class had an extra 3º of elevation compared to the Cavourrebuilds giving them an extra 800m of range, but more importantly had a better Fire Control System, making them more capable of engaging targets at range. Their AA battery was far superior to Cavour’s, mounting a battery of 10x1 of the excellent 90mm/50 AA guns rather than the obsolete 100mm/47’s. It also included more 37mm AA guns. Finally, instead of the 6x2 120mm battery of Cavour, Duilio had a 4x3 battery of 135mm guns. Survivability: 24250 tons – 39500 HP Belt: 250mm between end barbettes, 80mm to bow. Main deck is 100mm over magazines, 80mm over machinery spaces, 30mm outboard. A lower portion of deck armor (vertical armor was 70mm) was 74mm thick 24mm turtleback, upper deck is 44mm. 240mm turret faces. Main Armament: 2x2, 2x3 320mm/44 Ansaldo Modello 1936 (Broadside: 10 guns) RoF: 2 rpm (30 sec) Dispersion/Sigma: German, 1.9 Traverse: 5º/sec (36 sec) AP: MV: 830mps Mass/Dmg: 525 kg (MaxDmg: 9300) SAP: MV: 830mps Mass/Dmg: 475 kg (MaxDmg: 8900) Secondary Battery: 4x3 135mm/50 Modello 1937 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 7 rpm (8.57 sec) HE: MV: 825mps Mass/Dmg: 32.7 kg (MaxDmg: 2000, 7% FC) 10x1 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 (Broadside: 5) RoF: 15 rpm (4.0 sec) HE: MV: 860mps Mass/Dmg: 10.1 kg (MaxDmg: 1300, 5% FC) Anti-Aircraft Battery: 10x1 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 - 95.0 dps @ 3.99 km 6x2 37mm/54 Breda 1932 - 69.6 dps @ 3.51 km 3x1 37mm/54 RM 1939 - 26.7 dps @ 3.51 km 8x2 20mm/65 Breda 1935 - 27.2 dps @ 2.01 km Maneuverability: Engine Power: 75000 shp Top Speed: 26.0 knots Special Consumables: Speed Boost - Standard So, what is Caio Duilio at her core? Well, she looks very similar to Cesare on the surface, and… well, simply put, that’s exactly what the case is. The class was originally built very similarly, and the rebuilds followed a similar path. The biggest diversion between the two ships comes in raw speed and secondary/AA firepower. Duilio’s broadside of six 135mm guns hit harder than the six 120mm guns of Cesare… but fires more slowly (7 rpm vs 10 rpm), albeit firing HE rather than AP. The 90mm guns on Doria are more numerous and fire faster, although less damaging (40x 100mm shells per minute versus 75x 90mm shells per minute). Her AA firepower is head and shoulders above that of Cesare, but she’s also one knot slower for her base speed. Given the fact that Cesare is OP as sin at tier V regardless of being uptiered… Caio Duilio makes for a strong contender at tier VI, being fast, stealthy, and still hard-hitting. She’s got the speed and stealth to escape ships that are more powerful than her, and yet she’s fast enough to run down other battleships at similar tiers, as well as chase down cruisers that are doing the wiggles – especially with her speed boost, which allows her to force her engine power in order to reach just over 28 knots (28.08 knots). However, she will struggle more at higher tiers. Being able to meet tier VIII battleships, she will encounter battleships that are faster, better armored, and better armed than her. For this, her great level of stealth inherited from Cesare will need to be exploited. The motto is an ancient Roman phrase that explains itself handily; "The name means power.” Tier VII – (BB1935) Leonardo da Vinci Non si volta chi a stella è fiso ‘BB1935’ finds its origins in one of the 1935 studies for a 26500 ton battleship to counter French construction following their decision to build the Dunkerque. The study called for a 26500 ton battleship armed with main guns of either 305 or 320mm, and a top speed of 30 knots. General Pugliese, who was in charge of the project, went around to over a dozen Admirals in attempt to get a consensus of what was most wanted. Although I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you the obvious, the results were… diverse, to say the least. Layouts varied drastically, using everything from triples to twins to quads. In total some 9 different designs were drawn up, which looked like everything from Nelsonto Dunkerqueto reverse King George V... well, you get the idea. Oh, and Admiral de Feo had a design in there too, which is pretty much all you need to know about thatone. The one we’re looking at is one of the larger designs, which managed to grow to 30000 tons. It featured a main battery of 3x3 320mm guns, a top speed of 30 knots, and protection similar to Littorio. The secondary battery included 140mm guns in either triple or quad turrets, but since no 140mm guns existed within the Regia Marina, I’d assume the most likely choice of armament would have been the 135mm/45. The intended TDS system was Pugliese’s own. The name I’m borrowing form the third member of the Conte di Cavour-class battleships, which suffered a magazine detonation in port and was ultimately scrapped after an ambitious yet expensive recovery operation. Unlike some of the other names on this list, I’m sure I don’t need to cover her name, as da Vinci is quite famous and well-known far beyond Italy’s borders. The motto is a quote from the MC himself, which in English usually comes out as “He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind” Survivability: 30000 tons – 46300 HP Belt: 350mm between end barbettes inclined, at 11º, Main deck most likely at least 100mm on 12mm plating with a 36mm on 9mm upper deck. Upper belt perhaps 70mm. Main Armament: 3x3 320mm/44 Ansaldo Modello 1936 (Broadside: 9 guns) RoF: 2 rpm (30 sec) Dispersion/Sigma: German, 2.0 Traverse: 5º/sec (36 sec) AP: MV: 830mps Mass/Dmg: 525 kg (MaxDmg: 9300) SAP: MV: 830mps Mass/Dmg: 475 kg (MaxDmg: 8900) Secondary Battery: 4x3 135mm/45 Modello 1937 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 7 rpm (8.57 sec) HE: MV: 825mps Mass/Dmg: 32.7 kg (MaxDmg: 2000, 7% FC) 12x1 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 15 rpm (4.0 sec) HE: MV: 860mps Mass/Dmg: 10.1 kg (MaxDmg: 1300, 5% FC) Anti-Aircraft Battery: 12x1 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 - 114.0 dps @ 4.50 km 6x2 37mm/54 Breda 1932 - 69.6 dps @ 3.51 km 3x1 37mm/54 RM 1939 - 26.7 dps @ 3.51 km 8x2 20mm/65 Breda 1935 - 27.2 dps @ 2.01 km Maneuverability: Engine Power: 100000 shp Top Speed: 30.0 knots Perhaps best described as a link between Caio Duilio and Littorio, the 1935 mini-Littorio design (Littorino?) combined the firepower of the Italian rebuilds with the speed and protection that the Littorio-class was to have. Littorino would find such an ‘in-between’ playstyle in-game, the first truly tanky Italian battleship, with a similar combination of the tankiness and mobility available to Roma, with a similar AA suite. The main battery, three triple 320mm mounts, would start to sag, the guns being excellent at tier V, comfortably adequate at tier VI, but starting to get long in the tooth at tier VII, where tier IX battleships are a potential opponent. However, this weakness in firepower is the price that will have to be paid for having such a capable hull – 30 knots at tier VII with a hull that’s supposed to be as durable as Roma, and similar anti-aircraft firepower. I’ve also decided to extend the range of the 90mm/50 AA guns to 4.5 km, as: A) 4.0 km range on a tier VII+ BB is just stupid (side glance at Roma) B) This shows the greater performance of the 90mm mounts on Littorio versus Caio Duilio– the smaller battleship’s mounts were simply to close to the waterline and invasion of water was impossible to prevent – thus their RPC systems had to be disabled, while Littorio’s RPC systems remained intact for the 90mm AA guns It’s possibly the guns would need a RoF higher than 2 rpm in order to stay competitive, but as of now I’ve kept it there because I desire to avoid dipping into unrealistic reload times, and 2 rpm is the highest I’ve seen for these guns. Tier VIII – Littorio Molte nemici, molto onore The largest and most powerful class of battleships built by the Italian Navy, the ‘35000 ton’ (standard displacement was in excess of 40000 tons in reality) Littorio-class was a response to France building a second Dunkerque-class battleship and the subsequent breakdown in negotiations of battleship construction that had been taking place between the two nations. The design ended up being a bit of a test bed for the Italian Navy, featuring Pugliese’s torpedo defense system in full, and a new system of armor defense revolving around decapping of Armor-Piercing projectiles. The deck armor system had a 36mm upper deck laminated on 9mm plating to decap incoming shells, while the main deck was either 100mm (machinery) or 150mm (magazines) laminated on 12mm plating. The result was somewhat contradictory – her magazines were probably better protected from deck penetration than those of any other battleship save Yamato, but its machinery deck protection rates as one of the worst of the modern fast battleships, closer to ships like Bismarck and North Carolina than South Dakota, Iowa, Yamato, or Richelieu. However the belt was a different matter, a composite structure consisting of a 70mm homogenous armor decapping plate, a 250mm gap filled with cellulite, and a 280mm belt of Terni Cemented FH armor. The result was a belt that was largely immune to penetration from almost any gun ever put to sea – and even if splinters should result, two layers of splinter bulkheads existed within the ship before the splinters could actually hit the citadel bulkhead itself. The Littorio also mounted the most powerful guns ever mounted on an Italian battleship, the 381mm/50 Modello 1934. Firing an 884.8 kg Armor-Piercing shell at 850mps, and an 824.3 kg SAP shell at 880mps, it was the most powerful 15” rifle ever created, with belt penetration surpassing that of the American 16”/50 Mk.7 (WWII shells) or the Japanese 46cm/45 – although its deck penetration was inferior by a wide margin due to the shallow angles of impact. Although the full engine power was 160,000 shp, a lower operating speed of 128,200 shp was generally used during the wartime, on which she could make 30 knots. In-game, she’s largely a variation of Roma. Littorio was named after the Lictor, the one who would carry the fasces in ancient Rome – the fasces being the symbol of fascism. The motto used an oft-used saying of fascism – “Many enemies, much honor”. Littorio was the only ship of her class to use a motto. In what is probably the most famous picture of the class, Littorio and Vittorio Veneto conduct gunnery exercises together Survivability: 45236 tons – 64300 HP Belt: 375mm between end barbettes inclined at 11º with an internal 40mm bulkhead (yes, I'm keeping the nerfed internal armor, for the sake of balance with Roma), Main deck is 162-112mm with a 45mm upper deck. Upper belt is 70mm. Turret Faces are 380mm sloped at 30º Main Armament: 3x3 381mm/50 Ansaldo Modello 1934 (Broadside: 9 guns) RoF: 2 rpm (30 sec) Dispersion/Sigma: German, 1.8 Traverse: 6º/sec (30 sec) AP: MV: 850mps Mass/Dmg: 884.8 kg (MaxDmg: 12000) SAP: MV: 880mps Mass/Dmg: 824.3 kg (MaxDmg: 11800) Secondary Battery: 4x3 152mm/55 OTO Modello 1936 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 5 rpm (12 sec) AP: MV: 910mps Mass/Dmg: 50 kg (MaxDmg: 3100) 12x1 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 15 rpm (4.0 sec) HE: MV: 860mps Mass/Dmg: 10.1 kg (MaxDmg: 1300, 5% FC) Anti-Aircraft Battery: 12x1 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 - 114.0 dps @ 4.50 km 8x2 37mm/54 Breda 1932 - 92.8 dps @ 3.51 km 4x1 37mm/54 RM 1939 - 35.6 dps @ 3.51 km 8x2 20mm/65 Breda 1935 - 27.2 dps @ 2.01 km Maneuverability: Engine Power: 128200 shp Top Speed: 30.0 knots So, how does Littorio differ from Roma, our already existing premium? In subtle, but telling ways, as she’s not a straight clone. First and foremost, she loses out on durability, with 1100 less hitpoints and a less effective TDS (-10% - and yes, I know I haven't been listing TDS. This is the only time it really mattered). She also trades away her generally ineffective HE for the trademark Italian SAP rounds. She also isn’t as stealthy, visible from 820m further than Roma (from 14.94 km to 15.76 km, or a drop from the fully built 11.22 km to 11.82 km), but also able to fire farther away, base range increasing from 18.12 km to 18.94 km (21.74 to 22.73 km with a spotter aloft). You also have a considerably more capable mid-range AA suite and an extra 500m range on your long-range AA, making you somewhat more capable of defending yourself. With this changes, Littorio will still play similarly to Roma, but with a greater emphasis on staying a little farther away, as well as being less reliant on someone else’s AA. You’re not as stealthy, and torpedoes will hurt you more, not to mention you’ve got slightly less health overall – but at least you’ve got a little more breathing room when it comes to firing back, and you’ve got SAP shells to use so you don’t overpen cruisers quite as often. Tier IX – Impero Laid down as the third Littorio sister but never completed, Impero was one of the ‘second’ generation Littorio-class battleships along with her sister Roma, making the pair somewhat of a slightly different set of siblings… perhaps a second set of twins, if you consider both pairs to be Irish twins? Originally the successors to the Littorio-class would have been the ‘BB1936’ designs (which was adapted into the Ansaldo’s Project 41, which was then sold to the Soviet Union and played an important role in the design of the Projekt 23 Sovetsky Soyuz-class’s design), essentially much larger, 406mm gun armed Littorio’s, but as raw material came harder to come by in the years running up to WWII (due to Allied sanctions), and the need to finish the projects quickly for a 1943/44 war, a second set of slightly improved Littorio’s was chosen instead – Impero laid down in May of 1938, and Roma four months later. Impero, as I’m choosing to represent her here, is the Littorio-class unleashed. As we know it in-game (Roma), the class underperforms in many aspects, especially protection (many of the interior bulkheads scrapped) and the efficiency of the main belt, 375mm in game… which is a fraction of what it was capable. While technically speaking the MAB’s strength is a blank check (decapping against Face-Hardened is different then against homogenous – essentially if you decap the shell, it’s just going to either fail to penetrate, or just shatter, unless it’s of sufficient caliber. You’d need a 470mm shell to actually guarantee punching through Littorio’s belt), we do have one strength figure – able to resist her own shells at 16 km through tests. In-game, Roma has just over 490mm of penetration at this range. Likewise, the engine only operates at about 80% power in-game, compared to its 160000 shp full output. On top of that output, it was able to boost power by a further 12% in emergency situations – getting you just short of 180000 shp. In terms of their actual ability, Littorio somewhat straddles the line between tier VIII and IX with our in-game system – her biggest drawbacks are the raw dpm cap of only nine 381mm guns at tier IX, the low health, and the weak AA… but her protection, speed, and absurd penetration balance this out considerable. Impero (lit. “Empire” in English) was named for the new ‘Italian Empire’ proclaimed by Mussolini. Survivability: 45236 tons – 64300 HP Belt: 420mm between end barbettes inclined at 11º with an internal 36mm bulkhead, with a 24mm bulkhead ~4 meters further inside the hull. Main deck is 162-112mm with a 45mm upper deck. Upper belt is 70mm. Turret Faces are 380mm sloped at 30º Main Armament: 3x3 381mm/50 Ansaldo Modello 1934 (Broadside: 9 guns) RoF: 2.14 rpm (28 sec) Dispersion/Sigma: German, 2.0 Traverse: 6º/sec (30 sec) AP: MV: 850mps Mass/Dmg: 884.8 kg (MaxDmg: 12000) SAP: MV: 880mps Mass/Dmg: 824.3 kg (MaxDmg: 11800) Secondary Battery: 4x3 152mm/55 OTO Modello 1936 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 5 rpm (12 sec) AP: MV: 910mps Mass/Dmg: 50 kg (MaxDmg: 3100) 12x1 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 15 rpm (4.0 sec) HE: MV: 860mps Mass/Dmg: 10.1 kg (MaxDmg: 1300, 5% FC) Anti-Aircraft Battery: 12x1 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 - 114.0 dps @ 4.50 km 8x2 37mm/54 Breda 1932 - 92.8 dps @ 3.51 km 4x1 37mm/54 RM 1939 - 35.6 dps @ 3.51 km 8x2 20mm/65 Breda 1935 - 27.2 dps @ 2.01 km Maneuverability: Engine Power: 160000 shp Top Speed: 32.0 knots Impero becomes Roma on steroids. Or rather, she’s Roma, but without a broken ankle and a few cracked ribs. She’s fast at 32 knots, second only to the 32 knot + speed boost French battleships and the American battleships Iowa and Missouri. Her armor gives her fantastic resistance – the 70mm upper belt and 45mm upper deck giving very good protection against HE spam, and her defense against AP being out of this world. Her 420mm/11º main armor belt (the thickness being a compromise) is quite strong, allowing her to resist her own shells at just past 18.5 km broadside, and angled at only 30º she can resist her own shells at 15 km, the American 16”/50 within 16 km, and the Japanese 18.1”/45 at just over 19 km… without taking into account her internal bulkheads, and her thin citadel, despite how thin it is… because WG removed her innermost citadel bulkhead… Blue is actual, green is the current citadel. Even if they punch through the main belt, it’s almost impossible for any short fuse (hi, Royal Navy) BBs to thus hit the citadel – which means it has to be travelling at least 164mps. Shooting a broadside Impero at 10 km or greater with the French 380/45 would penetrate the belt, sure (well, until you hit 18 km) – but the shell won’t actually reach the citadel. You’ve got to be within 10 km to still have enough time to hit the belt before the shell’s fuse runs out after going through the main belt and first splinter bulkhead. In terms of firepower, she uses the same guns as Roma, but this time comes with 2.0 sigma, and a 28 second reload – somewhat offsetting the fact that you’re somewhat hurt by autobounce and having just nine barrels (Alsace still had similar caliber-weapons, but has twelve of them!). In terms of her actually getting hits, however, she should be fine. Alsacegeneral averages higher rates of hitting than Richelieu(7.9 shells per minute versus Richelieu’s 4.9 rpm), but that’s only a product of having 12 vs 8 guns and access to the RoF module. Without said module, it drops to 7 shells per minute, and with only 8 guns this would be 4.6 shells – Richelieu’s higher sigma (1.8 vs 1.7) coming into play. Roma, with 1.8 sigma, averages 5.4 shells. Keeping that sigma would give you 5.8 spm, 6.6 spm with the reload module. With 2.0 sigma, you’re easily seeing a similar number of shells as what Alsace achieves… and the 381/50’s AP is stronger than that of the 380/45. She’s Roma turned up to 12. Her AA is still anything but stellar, but it’s at least somewhere just under ‘on-par’ for tier IX. She’s fast, she’s durable, and she still hits hard – just more often. Tier X – (BB1936) Piave The ultimate evolution of the Italian battleship, ‘BB1936’, often known as UP.41 (Ufficiale Progetto 41 by Ansaldo’s nomenclature), this wasn’t so much an evolution past Littorio so much as it was the original idea. The Littorio’s design work was largely done under the jurisdiction of the WNT, which limited battleship design to 35000 tons standard displacement with an armament not exceeding 406mm. Naturally, just as every country had rushed to design a ship fitting the most 203mm (maximal caliber) guns as possible on a 10000 ton hull with their heavy cruisers, they did the same as with the battleships. This evolution was part of the same process that lead to Littorio, but the designers struggled as they felt it was too difficult to for nine 406mm guns on a sufficiently protected hull and get it to go 30 knots under an operational load. The weight reduction in terms of armament from choosing lower caliber weapons, in combination with the relative ease of developing new 381mm guns versus 406mm guns, lead them to shrink the armament down to ‘only’ nine 381mm guns as the project developed into what eventually became Littorio. However, development did not stop there, as Ansaldo continued to play with the design, and it grew, BB1936 being the ultimate product of these efforts, a 45000 ton vessel. However, the design did not take advantage of the more advanced protection methods used in Littorio’s armoring (such as the composite belt). Ultimately, as war came ever closer, despite the effort made to upgrade the Navy’s facilities to build and operate these large ships, it was decided to go with a repeat of the Littorio-class for the next battleship order (and thus Impero and Roma were ordered). However, Ansaldo had also sold the design to Russia, as UP.41 – with heavy modification to Russian preferences, and without the Puligese TDS. This is the project we have data for, but needless to say it varies significantly from any design that would’ve succeeded Littorio. So, stat-wise, that is why I will try to recreate (including a composite belt, to explain the increased thickness). Her name is an interesting leap of logic for me – while personally speaking I’d love to name her Giuseppe Garibaldi, the fact of the matter is that A) by tradition only cruisers bared his name and B) By this period battleships were no longer named after people – that went out with the rise to power of the Fascists. Thus, the names of Italian battleships afterwards usually had to do with the glory of fascism (Littorio), a new Roman Empire (Impero), while Roma had a somewhat less neutral name, being named after the eternal city of Rome itself, although that still had ancient connotations to bit, as Rome always will. However, one of these ships had a name that that did not call back to a long-ago past, or a new fascist age. One ship had a name that simply spoke to Italy, the relatively young nation that existed here and now – the one that actually mattered. This was the Vittorio Veneto, named after the major victory achieved by Italy over Austria in 1918 that brought down the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Such a name was a powerful symbol that spoke more about a modern Italy – the one that mattered – than any name harking to some militaristic past or future that involved the subjugation of foreign nations. The Battle of Vittorio Veneto marked an important moment in Italian history – the final defeat, after hundreds of years of struggle, of the Hapsburg Empire, who had dominated Italy for about half a millennium. The victory not only avenged the defeat at Caporetto a year earlier, but also the centuries of foreign rule suffered by the Italian states. Thus the name I decided to go with was named after an earlier battle, but equally important, fought not long after Caporetto. Fought a little over 100 years ago, the Battle of the Piave River was where Italian troops halted and broke the Austrian offensive after the route at Caporetto. This was done in spite of the fact the Entente powers insist they fall further back, as they did not believe the Piave could be held... But hold it did. The Austrians were beaten back again on the Piave when they attempted their last offensive with a counter-attack launched 100 years ago today, and the utter defeat of this effort marked the first point where the Central Power’s command staff realized the war was beginning to end, despite the triumphs of 1917. Piave, although typically unanimously ignored by histories outside of Italy, stood as an important moment, a 20thcentury Legnano, and because of that I think that such a name is appropriate for Italy’s tier X battleship. Survivability: 49506 tons – 69300 HP Belt: 450mm between end barbettes inclined at 11º with an internal 36mm bulkhead, with a 24mm bulkhead ~4 meters further inside the hull. Main deck is 162mm with a 55mm upper deck. Upper belt is 150mm. Turret Faces are 400mm sloped at 30º Main Armament: 3x3 406mm/56 Ansaldo Modello 1936 (Broadside: 9 guns) RoF: 2.0 rpm (30 sec) Dispersion/Sigma: German, 2.0 Traverse: 6º/sec (30 sec) AP: MV: 850mps Mass/Dmg: 1350 kg (MaxDmg: 14800) SAP: MV: 870mps Mass/Dmg: 1100 kg (MaxDmg: 13500) Secondary Battery: 4x3 152mm/55 OTO Modello 1936 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 5 rpm (12 sec) AP: MV: 910mps Mass/Dmg: 50 kg (MaxDmg: 3100) 12x2 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 15 rpm (4.0 sec) HE: MV: 860mps Mass/Dmg: 10.1 kg (MaxDmg: 1300, 5% FC) Anti-Aircraft Battery: 12x2 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 - 160.8 dps @ 4.50 km 24x2 37mm/54 Breda 1932 - 378.4 dps @ 3.51 km 4x1 37mm/54 RM 1939 - 35.6 dps @ 3.51 km 24x2 20mm/65 Breda 1935 - 81.6 dps @ 2.01 km Maneuverability: Engine Power: 180000 shp Top Speed: 32.0 knots Alright, so I lied. This is not quite true to BB1936. That design intended to use a 406/50, with characteristics similar to the Russian 406mm/50 B-37, which the Italians helped develop. The planed 406/50 was to extend the given range of penetration compared to the 381/50 gun by 2000 meters – meaning it far exceeded any other gun that actually saw service in raw power. This ship doesn’t use that gun. Instead, this ship uses the monstrous 406mm/56 that was considered for the 4-16/16-40, a monstrous design that was intended to mount sixteenof these guns on a hull with 406mm of steeply inclined hull armor, and a top speed of 29 knots. The gun is your Vittorio Veneto, with the ability to rip through just short of 700mm of armor at 20 km, even the most heavily armored battleships will struggle to protect themselves from these guns, the raw penetrative power of a 1350-kilogram projectile fired at an initial muzzle velocity of 850 meters per second more than making up for the smaller caliber and the low gun count for that caliber. The raw kinetic force behind its armor-piecing gives it as high a damage potential as Yamato’s monstrous 460mm guns, and the SAP as much as American SHS! With the ridiculous velocity retention of such heavy shells, you’ll likely have issues over-penetrating cruisers just with your SAP shells – these might just be a more viable weapon than your AP at closer ranges against battleships! If your offensive armament is your Vittorio Veneto, then your armor is your Piave, because it’s a tough nut to crack. With 450mm of armor inclined at 11º, your belt is essentially 18” before angle of fall is even considered. Such a belt is seriously thick, and you retain the series of internal bulkheads to keep your citadel safe from stray rounds and the like. Angled at 45º, even Yamato’s 460mm APC won’t penetrate the belt by itself beyond 11 km. Your thick main armor deck is highly resistant to AP bombers, while your overall HE protection is improved. With a 55mm upper deck, even German 203mm HE will shatter on it, as will regular HE up to 330mm. IFHE will need to be greater than 254mm to penetrate it, and higher-penetration HE with IFHE will need to be 170mm or greater. Your 150mm upper belt provides significant protection against destroyers and light cruiser AP, and is immune to HE and IFHE of any penetration type. Even your AA protection isn’t terrible, although nor is it fantastic. Adequate is the best way to describe it. And if your armor is your Piave, then your mobility is your Carica della Savoia Cavalleria, because it’s going to get you out of (and into) trouble. Able to make 32 knots, you’re in the fastest tier X battleship, and because of your relatively small size, you’re probably able to turn much better than any other tier X battleship, too, handling more like a tier VIII than anything else. This will combine well with your good stealth. Exploit this brutally. However, that brings us on to the final point, which is your endurance. Watch how far you extend yourself, or it will be your Caporetto. You pack a huge wallop offensively, you’re fast, and you’re well armored, a tough nut to crack. However if that nut is cracked? Well, you’re light, and that means you’ve got a fairly small healthpool. You’re sitting on less than 70000 health at a tier where the lightest competitor has 82900 health, over 10000 more than you. That’s the price you pay for this unusual combination of characteristics. The Line overall So how does the line overall bring something new to WoWs? A good line can’t just be ‘more stuff’. It should bring something new to the table, and ideally do it without relying on a crazy gimmick, such as a super heal or speed boost. Nor should it rely on incredibly unrealistic rebuilding (side glance at Normandie and Lyon), or massive buffs to shell penetration (side glance at French 305 and 340mm guns). The Italian battleships start out being fairly unique from the start. While Napoli is fairly standard for a tier III battleship, SAP rounds aside, Dante Alighieri immediately takes you for something unique – a unique armament layout allowing you to bring twelve powerful 305mm barrels to bear against enemy ships at a tier where most ships can only manage ten barrels at best. Your armor is less than most of your foes, but your speed is better than most. Conte di Cavouris your last dance with a WWI-era battleship, which is a nice development – most nations don’t ditch the WWI battleships until tier VII. She again stresses a powerful broadside, boasting thirteen barrels to a broadside, and very nice firing angles – the lower turrets can traverse ±150º, and the superfiring turrets ±155º - past autobounce angles! The amidships ‘Q’-turret, meanwhile, rotates a full 360º. The armor and speed are hardly spectacular, armor being average to sub-par for the tier, and unlike before, where only the Japanese battlecruisers beat Dante in speed at tier IV – at tier V, Cavour is only about as fast as Iron Duke – well behind Kongo and Cesare, and an appreciable gap between her and König. At tier VI you start to push into the higher-tier face of the Italian battleship line, and playstyle starts to become more unique. Higher speeds with better handling, punchier guns with fast traverse and fairly sneaky for you tier. Your healthpool also starts to look a little short. However, you’re still carting over the poor armor of your predecessor with a citadel a deck over the waterline, and you’re not that fast. Both French tier VI battleships are faster than you, as is Mutsu, and Bayern’s only behind by a knot. However, with speed boost active, only the French battleships are faster than you. Tier VIII battleships will be a major threat given your low health and poor armor, and the fact that many are faster than you. Your AP is punchy, however – you’ve got more penetration than Bayern’s 380mm guns! Use your stealth to get where you need to be, and surprise enemies with powerful AP volleys. You’re probably not going to want to directly fight many other tier VI or VII battleships, but you can certainly hold your own against them. In tier VIII games, play in support of cruisers and destroyers, using your SAP rounds to gut targets most battleships would simply overpenetrate. At tier VII, you’ll be finding yourself having to do something similar, albeit with much, much thicker armor and a full 30 knots – no more speed boost, however! This puts you ahead of most, ultimately – tied only with Ashitaka and 2 knots behind Hood and Gneisenau. With a 2.0 sigma, however, your shells are going to be quite accurate, so good aim will be rewarded. As a famous American admiral said; Hit hard, Hit fast, Hit often. Your guns will be feeling fairly anemic by this point, comparing poorly to the other guns of tier VII battleships, so speed, stealth, and armor must be exploited ruthlessly in order to come out on top. Finally at tier VIII you hit Littorio. With it’s powerful, high-velocity guns and strong belt, those familiar with Roma will be at home, although the Littorio trades TDS for better AA, especially with upgrades adding to light AA. Unlike Roma, while Littorio lacks HE, its SAP rounds help it significantly to aid with one of Roma’s major issues with her main battery – chronic overpenetration of light armor. With still well over 200mm of penetration at 20 km, the 381mm SAP rounds and their shorter fuses make ideal weapons for shots against cruisers, or the upper works of angled battleships, while the AP shells will simply punch through almost any battleship armor one might expect to find in her MM range. At 30 knots you’re in the average for tier VIII battleships, but your handling is still slightly above average for the 30-knot+ club. Tier IX gives you quite a gem. Impero is a capable battleship, using the same guns but with much-improved sigma and a slight RoF boost (to 28 seconds – about the fastest RoF at loading angle the guns achieved that is known of). She’s also 2 knots faster, and has a thicker armor belt – whereas in-game Roma is proof against her guns at 22 km and beyond, Impero is proof at ranges of 18.7 km and beyond – still not quite the 16 km figure the belt was rated at (this would require a 462mm/11º belt), but still quite powerful – a moderate angle of 30º will see you safe from the American 16”/50 Mk.7 at beyond 15 km, and even Yamato’s monster 460mm guns can’t penetrate your belt from outside of 24 km, or about 19 km at a 30º angle. This drops to 13 km at 45º. However, you do pay for this with lower than average health for the tier. Tier X gives you the pinnacle of the line, Piave. This tier X battleship has stupidly strong guns and its main AP rounds may be seldom used due to the ridiculous penetration, able to punch past the belts of even well angled tier X battleships at the range of 20 km. The gun averages 9-10” more penetration at a given range than the vaunted American 16”/50 Mk.7, the most powerful 406mm gun to ever see service. At sub-5 km ranges, this 406mm Palla can penetrate over a meter of armor. Your own armor isn’t too shabby, 450mm of inclined armor, the most powerful belt at tier X. However, you’re light for your tier, and you don’t have the power of overmatch over 30mm+ plating – with only nine guns to boot! Using your stealth, speed, handling, and armor to survive will be vital to success, as otherwise damage will stack up rapidly. Thus while the lower tiers may feel very vanilla – a high gun count, but otherwise a familiar story aside from the lack of HE – the mid and higher tiers adopt their own unique flavor. Mid tiers are more modern and faster than many counterparts, but often just don’t compare in the armor department, and start to look a little underweight. This is somewhat of an experimental version of the tree, but I wanted to try it because I tend to like avoiding paper where possible, and I also though the 406/56 was simply too awesome not to use. So I do acknowledge that the tree does have other options for tier IX & X. For example, Deamon93’s version sees BB1936/UP.41, with the 406/50, at tier IX, with tier X being an unknown – the 4-16/16-40 somewhat being a placeholder due to the fact it would be absurdly overpowered in-game. That being said, there are easily other options if WG fudges it like the last three tier X BBs – a 10-gun BB with either 406mm gun would work well if still fast and well armored, using the iconic gun layout of the Abruzzi-class and the rebuilt battleships. It would also not be unrealistic to see on a modern Italian battleship – at one point this familiar layout was considered for Littorio in order to equally divide firepower fore and aft. Obviously, that route was not taken, due to weight concerns. Likewise, I should point out – the weight for many of the SAP rounds are guesstimated. I only have data for the 320mm and 381mm Granata Perforante, so I could only guess based on those shells for those that equip other guns. So, what do you guys think? As always, constructive criticism is welcome (and I'm sure I'll hear it on the tier X...). Happy Hunting!
  6. I see a few people consistently say d'Aosta is bad for ops. This operation is so easy mode might as well get some easy commander XP for all your captains instead of paying money to rotate the same ships. For the more intellectual types I'm pretty sure there are some good ways to use the AI's pathing to rope off targets using the sea mines. That is how I managed the battleship in the below example. Second group I was able to separate him from the herd. Then it got confused when it found itself blocked by an island with a cruiser charging hard. Finally go sit up north with a good angle on all three carriers and you will be able to broadside all three of them. Sliding to the NW seems popular for some reason however this puts you out of position for delicious citadels and the third carrier. First group you are good to get a cruiser or two broadside and then eat up chunks of the destroyers. Pop hydro when destroyers get close Second group depends on how company operates. If they all go around the island you are free to deposit sea mines and get some free damage. Come up from the west side of the islands and you have free broadside on at least a myoko and aoba as well as others around 10k out. Come back east and setup for the carriers then profit. Wait for several torp bombers to be on approach before popping DFAA. It also makes the game shorter as the convoy ships will not turn north to dodge torpedoes. Win/Win. And yes I know it is easier in N*berg, Cleveland, Molotov, etc. I'm just saying for the next time Aegis rotates through, if for some reason it isn't changed. It is an easy way to get 15-20k captain xp for a port queen. Cheers.
  7. The following is a review of Duca degli Abruzzi, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of April 27th, 2018. The markings on her bow are caution stripes: "Danger, contents under pressure and may explode if penetrated". Quick Summary: A fast but fragile light cruiser that lacks in hitting power. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing. Patch & Date Written: 0.7.2 to 0.7.4. March 1st through April 27th, 2018. PROS: Extended waterline belt armour of 30mm allows her to pull off some surprising close-range bounces. Decent anti-torpedo protection for a cruiser. Her torpedoes have excellent range of 12km. Very fast with a top speed of 35 knots. Good rate of turn of over 6.3º/s. Decent stock 11.2km surface detection range. Abruzzi has access to both Hydroacoustic Search and Defensive AA Fire at the same time. Access to the Repair Party consumable (!). CONS Enormous, vulnerable citadel sitting high over the water's surface. She eats citadels from battleships for days. I actually have some live footage of Abruzzi gobbling up a bowl full of citadel hits. Seriously, just when you think she couldn't possibly pack in another citadel hit, she goes and surprises you. Small main battery for a tier VII cruiser with only ten 152mm rifles with mediocre DPM. Low AP shell penetration values. Poor fire chance on her HE shells making her incredibly dependent on a commander with at least 10 to 14 skill points to inflict reasonable amounts of damage. Her torpedoes are very slow at 51 knots and she doesn't have enough of them. Short of having access to Defensive Fire, her AA firepower and range are both terrible. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Welcome to Hell. Duca degli Abruzzi is not a ship for inexperienced commanders. Owing to her fragility and poor attack power, she's going to punish novices. Veterans who know how to use and abuse concealment, cover and WASD hax can generate some decent numbers, but these tricks will only save you until a battleship casually swats you for all of your health. While Abruzzi can perform, it's a lot of (unnecessary) work. Her components break down as follows: - One of, if not the worst at its tier. This is a pronounced weakness. - Middle of the pack at its tier. Not terrible, but not terribly good either. - Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer. - No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship Her guns under perform and so do her torpedoes. She's vulnerable as all get out to sudden deletion if a battleship even looks at her. Abruzzi's AA firepower is terrible, even with Defensive Fire. Her only good points are her agility and her Repair Party consumable, but the latter is shackled to a citadel that explodes if you look at it funny. She's fast and she has decent handling -- not the best at her tier, but one of the best overall. Her concealment and vision control (Refrigerator) is okay but she's nowhere near the best at it within her tier. Candy-cane striping won't save this ship. Options One of the defining characteristics of the Italian cruisers is their consumables. Other cruisers are forced to choose between Hydroacoustic Search and Defensive Fire, if they're given a choice at all. Abruzzi and d'Aosta have access to both at the same time, giving them more flexibility, but at the cost of lacking any form of specialization, such as extra range on German Hydroacoustic Search or an extra charge of American Defensive Fire. However, Abruzzi must choose between Defensive AA Fire and her Spotter Aircraft which is an uncomfortable choice. Unlike most tier VII cruisers, she has access to Repair Party. Overall, Abruzzi's options are "safe". They're convenient rather than competitive, differing from the game-winning combinations of Smoke Generator and Radar of Belfast, for example. Consumables: Abruzzi has access to four consumable slots. Abruzzi's Damage Control Party is standard. Hydroacoustic Search is also standard in her second slot. or In her third slot, you must choose between Defensive Fire and a Spotter Aircraft. Abruzzi rounds out her consumables with Repair Party. This is a tier IX cruiser version of the consumable, healing back up to 14% of her maximum health over 28 seconds. She can queue up 33% of damage to her citadel, 50% of any penetrating hits and 100% of flooding, fire, ram and over penetration damage. Camouflage: Abruzzi uses Type 10 Camouflage. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, a 10% reduction to repair costs, 3% reduced surface detection range and increases dispersion of incoming fire by 4% Upgrades: Abruzzi has four upgrade slots with standard cruiser options. There are no Special Upgrades worth considering for this ship. Take Main Armaments Modification 1 for your first slot. or or Damage Control Modification 1 for your second slot. Alternatively, Steering Gears Modification 1 is a good choice given how frequently her rudder breaks. It's almost chronic with this ship. If you have access to Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 and no better ship to put it on, it's not out of place here. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is optimal for your third slot. Don't bother with AA Guns Modification 2 -- you can't salvage her AA power. or Steering Gears Modification 2 is arguably the best of the fourth-slot options. Alternatively, if you want to improve her mitigation of fire damage for the sake of maximizing your Repair Party consumable, you may take Damage Control Modification 2. Offense Primary Battery: Ten 152mm naval rifles in a 3-2-2-3, A-B-X-Y arrangement. Secondary Battery: Eight 100mm guns in 4x2 turrets with one facing forward and the other backward on each side. Torpedo Launchers: Six tubes in 2x3 launchers with one to each side between the funnels. Abruzzi's guns are terrible. Her AP shells have bad penetration performance. Her HE shells are anemic with low damage and low fire chance. She only has 10 guns compared to the 12 guns found on all other tier VII light cruisers. She does not have an accelerated reload / normalization / autobounce angles to facilitate doing damage despite these disparities. Her fire arcs are bad. Generally speaking for mid-tier cruisers, 152mm guns are the best gun caliber in the game currently. They sit in this wonderful spot where taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells gives them tremendous damage output. While this skill is considered mandatory, their high explosive (HE) shells benefit so much from it that the four point cost seems a bargain. With the boosted penetration provided by this skill, they can spam HE against any targets they encounter and gradually tear them apart. Though they pay for this bonus with a slight dip in fire-setting efficiency, the trade off is largely considered worthwhile to emphasize their enormous damage-per-minute (DPM) potential. Would that Abruzzi also benefited. Abruzzi's fire angles are almost amazing, but her X-Turret ruins everything. She effectively turns Abruzzi into an 8-gun cruiser most of the time. Inertial Fuse for HE Shells (IFHE) should still be considered mandatory for Abruzzi. And yes, she does enjoy the same spike in penetration power which lets her hammer tier VIII and IX cruisers and capital ships for damage with this skill. However, she does not have the DPM of her contemporaries. Abruzzi's damage per shell is comparable and so is her rate of fire but she has less guns. Abruzzi's base fire chance per shell is also terrible and IFHE just makes it appalling. She sets less fires on average than the other tier VII cruisers which will light half again as many as Abruzzi will over time. The damage-stack from these damage-over-time effects are critical for burning down larger enemies and Abruzzi is left wanting in this regard. This might not be terrible if her AP shells were more reliable, but they're not. They suck, frankly. Unlike German cruisers which also suffer from anemic HE shells, Abruzzi does not have improved AP damage to compensate. Abruzzi's AP rounds are run of the mill, comparable in damage to Belfast's shells but with even worse penetration. Seriously. Abruzzi has the worst AP penetration of any of the 152mm light cruisers at tier VII+. They're even worse than the penetration values on Duca d'Aosta's guns at tier VI. For whatever reason, Abruzzi's AP shells have horrible shell drag and lower Krupp value than the other Italian premium cruiser. You're going to have to rely on HE shells to do the heavy lifting. Abruzzi is largely incapable of landing citadel damage against enemy cruisers at ranges at 9km and beyond. Source: proships.ru/stat/ships/ Which brings us back to how awful her HE shells are. There's nothing redeemable about these weapons at all. Bad damage. Bad rotation speed. Bad fire setting. You're going to need a 14pt commander (with Concealment Expert and IFHE) just to make her gunnery not be a painful sack of [edited]. The cardinal sin of Abruzzi's main battery armament, however, is their poor fire angles -- especially on X turret. You're already in the hole when it comes to DPM races and the wonky arc of fire on X-turret is just the king pisser. However, anytime you open fire with X-turret (or even with Y-turret), you open yourself up to taking massive amounts of damage in reprisals and this will quickly spell the end of your ship. And don't think your torpedoes can save you... While Abruzzi's guns are objectively worse than Duca d'Aosta, at least they both share the same torpedo armament. These are super long ranged (for a cruiser) and super slow (for anyone). With only a pair of triple launchers, they don't hit especially hard and short of point blank launches, it's difficult to land more than a single hit on anything. In short, her torpedoes aren't going to save her damage output. They reload reasonably fast, so drop them whenever you can safely. You never know -- you might actually hit something at long range. Summary: ThoughAbruzzi is a 10-gun cruiser, she's effectively an 8-gun cruiser because of her poor fire arc on X-turret. Given the poor performance of AP shells and bad arcs, she's functionally worse than Duca d'Aosta at tier VI most of the the time. Her torpedoes are water mines. Drop them regularly in the vague direction of the enemy and cross your fingers. You may get lucky. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : My vote would be to give her 1/4 HE penetration. This would free her up from being shackled to IFHE which would also give her an artificial boost to her fire chance. Defense Hit Points: 32,500 Maximum Citadel Protection: 30mm + 130mm Minimum Bow, Deck & Stern Armour: 16mm Torpedo Damage Reduction: 16% Allow me to illustrate Abruzzi's single biggest issue in regards to her survivability: At least she can't be citadelled by HE shells. The entire thing is internal. That's her citadel. It runs half the length of the ship. It sits high over the water line. There's not enough armour to keep enemy AP shells out but more than enough to make sure that when they penetrate, they stay in. Abruzzi's armour scheme is designed to foil AP shells from other cruisers and, to it's credit, it doesn't do a terrible job at this. At close range, provided you can keep the ship angled, your machine spaces and magazines are proof against AP fire from just about any cruiser you may encounter. This is largely due to her extended waterline belt, which is 30mm thick and cannot be overmatched by anything a cruiser will throw at you. In order to take advantage of this, though, Abruzzi needs to close the distance so that shell trajectories remain flat and attempts to citadel her must pass through this belt protection. Of course, this all falls apart when there's a battleship somewhere on the map. And those Battleships will murder- Abruzzi so hard you'd think they were trying to manifest Slaanesh. Now let's talk about her Repair Party. Abruzzi has one! Urra! Normally this would be enough to propel a ship up the durability ranks. However, it really doesn't do that much good here. Abruzzi does not have any issues when facing destroyers and cruisers, which is largely where her Repair Party will prove functional. In this regard, she feels very tanky, able to recover from small-caliber AP and HE penetrations and shrugging of fires like they were nothing. This is what elevated her from to , btw. Abruzzi can be an annoying ship to take out if you can't citadel her. In fact, she can be downright trollish in this regard, particularly against enemy cruisers and destroyers. Fires are of little concern which eases the taxation of your Damage Control Party. This is good given Abruzzi's unfortunate habit of losing her rudder. To this end, Last Stand isn't a bad investment to keep it functional during its frequent breaks -- this will let your Damage Control Party be on hand to address blazes and floods where your Repair Party can top off any lost health. The flip side of this is that her Repair Party all but guarantees Abruzzi will be at full health when a battleship does deign to bless you with the presence of their 283mm+ AP shells. Then her consumable avails you not as your innards get sprayed over the surface of the ocean in a thunderclap of 'sucks to be you'. Abruzzi hands this medal out a lot. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Where to start? Without her Repair Party consumable, I rate Abruzzi as being less durable than Atlanta and Flint -- two light cruisers with almost 5,000 less hit points. Her biggest flaw is the height of her citadel. Lowering that would help tremendously. It needn't be submerged entirely, but Abruzzi is little more than an experience pinata for battleships at the moment and there's very little she can do about it. Image courtesy of gamemodels3d.com, showing the extended, 30mm waterline belt of Abruzzi. This belt can frustrate battleship and cruiser attempts to citadel you at point blank range if you angle aggressively. Good luck with that, though. Agility Top Speed: 35.0 knotsTurning Radius: 680mRudder Shift: 8.9s Maximum Turn Rate: 6.3º/s at 4/4 speed Abruzzi's best characteristic is her speed and handling. Still, she does not stand out in any one aspect of her agility. She is not the fastest ship at tier VII -- Shchors is faster and Myoko is just as quick. She does not have the smallest turning radius. That distinction lies firmly with Atlanta and Flint. Her Rudder Shift is on the slow side, but Indianapolis, Algérie and Belfast are worse. She's right in the middle of the pack when it comes to bringing her bow about, with a rate of turn that sits comfortably in the middle. Yet as an overall whole, she stands apart. She combines straight line speed of the Soviet and Japanese cruisers with the American rates of turn. This flexibility is welcome for such a fragile vessel. Opponents will tend to underestimate the lead time necessary to catch Abruzzi when she's going flat out at range. In addition, she can dodge with the best of them. I have nothing but praise for Abruzzi's handling and only wish the rest of the ship was so comfortable. Test run at 4/4 speed. Nothing unexpected here. Abruzzi's turning circle isn't abnormally large and she loses the usual 20% speed in a turn like most cruisers. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Be British. Fiji is remarkably agile, quick to accelerate and handles beautifully. Fiji's speed in a turn is greater than Algérie's in a straight line. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 100mm / 37mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 4.0km / 3.5km / 2.0km AA DPS per Aura: 26.4 / 46.4 / 18.2 Abruzzi's raw anti-aircraft firepower is terrible -- it's the worst of the cruisers at her tier by a large margin. If Defensive Fire wasn't so good, I would pan her AA guns as all but useless and label this ship as fodder for CVs as much as she is battleships. As it is, her anti-aircraft defense is for personal defense only and it cannot be relied upon the do anything other than bruise incoming aircraft squadrons. They will drop ordnance. Your consumable will merely scatter it. There's nothing here really worth improving. Save your skill points and upgrade slots. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : A whole lot of buffs to range and firepower, or some stupid gimmick. Refrigerator Base Surface Detection Range: 11.16km Air Detection Range: 7.65km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 9.53km Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 5.16km Main Battery Firing Range: 15.06km Abruzzi has decent concealment when fully specialized with a stealth build. However, she does not have the tools or ability to dominate stealth. Even at her own tier, she's bested by the British cruisers, Fiji and Belfast. She also sits behind Atlanta and Flint. This list grows longer when you look within her matchmaking spread, including more British cruisers and even some of the Japanese heavies like Atago. Combined with her speed, stealth and Hydroacoustic Search consumable, on paper she makes a decent potential destroyer and light cruiser hunter. She should also be able to dictate engagement ranges against most opponents. However, Abruzzi cannot safely engage enemies while in the line of fire of enemy battleships. She has two means of defense against fire from these large capital ships -- be behind hard cover, or be far enough away that she can avoid their shot. Engaging battleships at the extent of her normal range does not give her enough time to realistically dodge. While her torpedoes may be safely launched from stealth, they travel too slowly to have a realistic chance of delivering many hits without luck and experience. This just leaves island humping, lobbing shells over hard cover as the only appreciable way for Abruzzi to engage battleships. This is a good skill to learn as it will serve you well with higher tiered American cruisers. However, Abruzzi's fragility will make the pains of learning this lesson far more acute than it needs to be. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Abruzzi loses out big to three other premium ships that all have much better vision control -- Belfast, Flint and Atlanta. Belfast reigns best overall with good concealment and her broken combination of consumables that allows her to utterly dominate stealth and detection at tier VII. Behind her, Flint and Atlanta are also stealthier than Abruzzi and bring either smoke or radar respectively to the table. I would even rate Fiji better than Abruzzi, even though the British tech tree cruiser has a larger surface detection range. Smoke is invaluable and negates any range issues this ship may have had. Duca, Duca, Goose Performance in Duca degli Abruzzi is heavily dependent on having a commander with enough skill points. The two big hurdles are acquiring first 10 skill points and then your 14th skill point. One could argue your 17th is equally important too. Follow along and try out your own builds with ShipComrade's Captain Skill Calculator. Start with Priority Target. Don't skimp out on this one -- it's almost a must with this ship. If it ever ticks over to "2" and there's a battleship in the vicinity, it's time to stop firing and hide. You have a choice at tier 2. Last Stand is helpful -- Abruzzi's steering gear in particular is prone to breaking. If you feel brave enough to manage your Damage Control Party without it, then Adrenaline Rush should be your port of call as the optimal skill to pick at this tier. Next up, Superintendent is the best skill at tier 3 to get you an extra charge of Repair Party (and everything else). The order in which you spend your next eight points is irrelevant. In either case, you'll spend four and then immediately wish you could spend four more. Concealment Expert and Inertial Fuse for HE Shells are both defining skills for Abruzzi, with the former making play easier (but never forgiving) and the latter facilitating damage dealing (while never making her good at it). Drop back down to tier 3 and pick up Demolition Expert for your 17th skill point. And finally round out your selection with whichever skill you skipped at tier 2 the first time through or Expert Marksman to improve your gun traverse. Final Evaluation Mouse's Summary: It's an uphill battle to tally a decent damage total. It can be done, but man, you're going to have to work at it. Abruzzi will make you think that she's a lot tougher than she is. You might have a nice streak of games where your Repair Party lets you tank effectively. But just as likely, you may have a not-so nice streak of games where you get deleted. This ship really encourages passive play as a result. You're doing small amounts of chip damage over time, skulking at the periphery and trying to be the least appetizing target you can be. I don't like this ship. Ship Jesus help me, I really tried to enjoy my time in her. I would like to imagine that I'm a patient player. Abruzzi tested my limits. I can stomach glass cannons -- Atlanta is one of my favourite ships in the game, for example. Abruzzi has the 'glass' part down, but she's really lacking the cannon element. I have already gone on at length about her firepower deficiencies. With her X-turret being so badly positioned, Abruzzi is no better armed than Duca d'Aosta much of the time. So she's stuck with tier VI firepower (and admittedly weak tier VI firepower) through much of her engagements. This should indicate that she's meant to be a bit of a tank, but she's just a victim when facing anything other than cruisers or destroyers which makes me have a sad. Abruzzi isn't the first cruiser (or even the first premium cruiser) that gargles on battleship AP shells so expertly that dreadnoughts can't help but whip their guns out her way. Testing Abruzzi has taught me that if I see her on the enemy roster while I'm in one of my battleships that I should make her a priority target -- not because she's a threat, but that because like Pensacola and the Omaha-sisters before her, I'm likely to be rewarded with a super-easy kill. As knowledge of Abruzzi's citadel weakness become more widespread, this problem will prove chronic and I feel bad for those players who find this instant deletion frustrating. I will admit, in those situations where Abruzzi can engage cruisers and destroyers without battleship interference, she's a lot of fun to play. However, those engagements aren't commonplace. The first you'll often note about battleship attentions is losing most (if not all) of your health. Suffice to say, Abruzzi and I were not a good fit for one another. I am sure some people will enjoy her and even rack up some impressive games with her. Performance wise, I was able to do the same, but the amount of work needed wasn't to my liking. Abruzzi only really punishes you against battleships -- in most other respects, she's alright and certainly not broken. It's just the passive game play needed to make her perform isn't competitive and I don't find it very fun. A string of three good games in Abruzzi. I was alarmed. Thankfully the fourth game sets things straight as I got casually deleted by a battleship from 16km away before I could manage 14,000 damage. Good games are possible, but terrible games will happen too no matter how skilled you are. Would I Recommend? At the time of writing, Duca d'Aosta is available across all servers both in the stores and within the tech tree for 4,700 doubloons. Controversial as Duca d'Aosta is, she's a much better purchase than Abruzzi for someone looking for an Italian light cruiser. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Meh. I want to say 'no', but she will probably be alright in scenarios. Co-op will be hit or miss. She will struggle to hit the top of the team lists -- she just doesn't output damage fast enough. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. No, no, no, no, no. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. No, there are much better premiums you could bring for competitive game modes like Ranked Battles. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Yes. She is gorgeous -- there's no denying that. She was also built in steel and survived the war, so there's that going for her too. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Blech. No. What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE - The boat is unbalanced, not fun to play and weak. The ship desperately needs some buffs or some quality of life changes.Mehbote - An average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable however she's not going to be considered optimal.Gudbote - A powerful ship, often one of the best ships at a given role within its tier. Usually considered optimal for a given task.OVERPOWERED - The boat is unbalanced and powerful. Typically she's either horrible to play against or she redefines the meta entirely. Conclusion Two months I have been working on this review, on and off. Most of it was written by mid-March but then word came down that the test-build for Abruzzi was going to be upgraded with a Repair Party consumable. I held my breath hoping it would salvage this ship from a looming Garbage evaluation. It did -- which says a lot about the power level of a Repair Party when it's not commonly available to most other ships. It just didn't save this ship for me. This is one of those ships I'm not likely going to want to come back to. This is why it was so satisfying to animate blowing it up. Thank you all for reading. As this is being written, I am just shy of halfway through my updated Prinz Eugen review, crunching through Defense and AA graphics. I suspect she may be pushed to the back-burner to get an evaluation of Z-39 done, but we'll see. Maybe I can push through a miracle or two this weekend. I do want to push out Prinz Eugen sooner rather than later in thanks to my supporters on Patreon. Their patronage helps keep me fed and the lights on and I'm grateful to anyone that can help this way. Until next time! Someone suggested I market LWM Bobble Heads. I dunno, they kinda freak me out. Appendix
  8. A Criticism of WG's handling of Roma "Another buff Roma thread? You've gotta be kidding me?" Don't worry, that's not what this is. Bear with me here. Roma is here. I’m both excited and thrilled, but yet also disappointed. We’ve reached a very telling point with Italian ships in this game, with the premiums we have. Although I suppose this statement would work a lot better with Cesare; we’ve crossed a certain Rubicon. I’m plenty sure if I had the power to see through screens I could see a collective eyeroll at what you think might come, so before that even comes up I’ll make myself perfectly clear; This thread is in no way asking for buffs (although I'd love to see the HE swapped out for SAP). Roma has been modeled, tested, and now she’s arriving, as she is now. I’d like to thank each and every Community Contributor for their reviews on this ship and a clear picture of what it is. Roma gets nothing past this point (a least she’s not supposed to… glances at multiple post-release buffs on Cesare). What this thread is, is my opinion on how Wargaming has handled Roma. I’d like for them to consider these points when it comes to creating and balancing Italian ships for future lines and premiums, and for a potential way to see one of the most (in-country) favored of the Littorio sisters to be seen in-game alongside Roma and eventually Littorio in the Italian BB line (still over a year away at best). Seeing Roma in-game is awesome. However, she’s got a lot of weird stuff going on. We’ll go by, piece by piece. The Main Battery Range & Stealth Dynamic, and Granata Perforante vs. Palla Main Battery Range & Stealth Dynamic Main battery range (supposedly tied to the height of the rangefinders) and stealth (usually tied to the highest point on the ship) are usually related, because they’re a function of height. Ships with long range do not typically have good stealth, and ships with good stealth typically don’t have great range. This is good; it makes ships generally balanced, as a ship with high stealth but low range would absolutely suck to play, while at the same time a ship with great stealth and long range would just be ridiculously powerful. Roma obeys this dynamic with incredible stealth for a battleship (14.94 km base, which can be reduced to a mere 11.2 km with all available upgrades), and only 18.1 km of range. So what’s my point? Well… this is just not a good idea. Such short range is not optimal on a tier VIII battleship, but it is manageable with such stealth. Plus, there’s always the spotter plane. The bigger issue here though, is the stealth. Battleships that are stealthier than cruisers are a bad idea, period, full stop. Cruisers cannot get away from battleships easily, lacking alpha strike to dissuade them quickly, and speed to open the distance effectively against a 30-knot battleship. Their only weapon to not get destroyed by 15”+ guns is their stealth. However, at 11.2 km Roma is capable of sneaking up almost half of all cruisers she can meet in her MM window, from tier VI to X. Cruisers have not been in a good place for a while, and battleships like this do not help this in the slightest. Fortunately the French line seems to be a step in the other direction, having great range at the cost of stealth – but considering that all four Italian premiums up to this point have shared this low range/high stealth dynamic, this makes for a worrying indication for the Italian battleship line (granted, that’s not something we’ll see before 2019). Palla vs. Granata Perforante vs. Granata Dirompente One of the outstanding issues with the Roma’s main battery is that her AP is too strong and her HE is too weak. The 884.8 kg Armor-Piercing shells have a bad habit of over-penetrating their targets and end up resulting in low damage numbers from what salvoes do actually land shells (due to her bad dispersion and average sigma). Cruisers are almost impossible to land citadels on, and difficult to just get regular penetrations. While some would say ‘just switch to HE,’ this doesn’t work either because Roma’s HE is crap. Well, this is entirely historically accurate. The 381mm ‘Palla’ rounds, literally ‘Ball’ in English, was the main heavy armor-piercing shells of the Italian 381mm/50 M1934. However, the excessive penetration of these rounds was obviously known, which is why these shells were ONLY meant to be used against enemy battleships. Not cruisers, or anything else for that matter. Well, that answers the question of the AP rounds. So, why were the HE rounds so bad? Well, the HE rounds were so bad because there were no HE rounds. Italian HE shells, known as ‘Granata Dirompente’ (which loosely comes out as ‘Explosive shell’ in English), were never actually completed and used on with these guns. There was a 774 kg shell under development (with about an 80 kg bursting charge, which would give you roughly 5500 damage with a 38% fire chance). These are not the shells Roma uses in-game as HE. Obviously. So, this takes us to our third shell type. Granata Perforante, or ‘Penetrating Shells.’ This was the alternate AP round Italian battleships carried to their Palla rounds, as well as the primary Armor-Piercing rounds for heavy cruisers, destroyers, and anything that happened to use the 135mm guns. The 381mm GP rounds were lighter than the Palla shells (824.3 kg) and carried a significantly larger bursting charge, and had magnitudes less penetration. At 20 km, where the Palla rounds could penetrate well over 16” of armor (406mm), the GP shells could only penetrate a little over 200mm of armor. These were the shells designed to be used against anything that wasn’t a battleship. Any cruiser, carrier, or destroyer targeted by these guns fired the 824.3 kg Granata Perforante. This Armor-Piercing round is what Wargaming took and used as an HE shell on Roma. Lo and behold, as it turns out, Armor-Piercing shells make really bad High-Explosive. I know, who’d have thought? This is an actual penetration table from 1942 given for the 381mm Granata Perforante. 'X' is range in meters, And angle 'beta' is the angle relative to the ship being targeted. The result is just ridiculous. Roma’s AP rounds behave pretty accurately, but her GP rounds act nothing like what they should, being low-damage shells that can only damage plates 63mm or thinner, and have a roll for a low fire chance relative to the caliber... because the game treats them as high-explosive. What should’ve happened is one of two things; Using Granata Perforante: The first option (one I personally prefer as it creates a unique flavor) is to keep the GP rounds, but actually model them as Armor-Piercing, really an SAP style of shell. They would be rated for less damage than one of the Palla rounds most likely, and have considerably less penetration – almost half as much at any given range. They’d also be short fuse rounds à la Royal navy battleships – 15 milliseconds as oppose to the 33 milliseconds of most battleships. The result is a round better suited to dealing with destroyers, cruisers, and carriers, which is exactly what this shell was meant to do. It’s very low penetration for a 381mm shell – penetration drops below 200mm at 24 km – and has a shorter fuse, making it much less likely to over-penetrate its targets. Treating it’s damage potential the same way as any other AP round, the maximum potential damage should be 11800-11900. This is a table illustrating what rounds are meant to be used at what ranges versus a given ship type for all major-caliber guns. Note that Palla rounds are never used against anything that isn't a battleship (there is only one exception; 320mm Palla is to be used against Baltimore-class heavy cruisers instead of GP). Also, note the clear difference between GP and GD (High Explosive) usage for the 203mm guns. Using Granata Dirompente: The second option is a conventional option. Nothing big here, all you do is use the actual HE rounds as HE as oppose to using an AP shell. The result is a slightly more powerful HE round. In strength, it’s slightly weaker than American 406mm Mk.13 HE/HC. It has 2% greater fire chance than the HE slung by American battleships at tier VIII+, but the American shells have an extra 200 maximum damage, and penetrates 4mm more armor (63 vs 67mm). It doesn’t make your HE godlike, or even that powerful. However, it does make it adequate, much more than the AP-turned-HE Roma uses now. At least this way you’ll probably consider loading it. The only hitch is, I don’t know at what velocity these shells were fired. 870mps is buzzing around my head at the time of me writing this, but I’m not sure. My personal preference is for the GP rounds to be treated as SAP, a secondary AP for Italian battleships when the line eventually arrives. It's entirely based on historical fact for how Italian battleships operated, and creates a unique method of play compared to other battleships - you have to think when it comes down to what ammunition type will work better at a given range. GP is almost always better for beating lighter-armored ships at any range. Palla is more suited to cracking the belts of battleships. However, get close enough, and GP might be a better bet as it can avoid the threat of over penetrating battleship armor. Plus, it cuts down on HE spam! Anti-Aircraft Firepower This is a shorty! Let’s call it the calm before the storm. Roma’s a premium; her AA suite is historically accurate. I have no qualms with the dps values of these weapons, and the ranges of her light AA weapons. Her heavy AA, however…. There, we have an issue. I don’t know why we’ve got a tier VIII running around with 4.0 km ranged AA, especially considering the longer ranges of so many less capable heavy-AA weapons in game. Give the 90mm/50 a maximum range of 5.0 km. It’s not game-breaking and it only makes sense. When you have weapons like the French 100/45 having 5 km range and the 90/50 has a full kilometer less range in-game... well, Protection Torpedo Defense System: The Pugliese Cylinder Let’s be clear here; this system was not the disaster so many have painted it as. I’ve argued in its defense to a degree, notably here (which cites here, which is more detailed). It did the job it was meant to do adequately, and performed well compared to similar impacts on other systems. However, It was by no means an excellent or superb system. Wargaming, I don’t know what you’re thinking, but this applies to Cesare as well: Buffing the TDS of these ships does not make sense. When I saw the initial numbers for the TDS of these ships (19% and 25% for Cesare and Roma repsecitvely), I thought they fit quite well. Then they got buffed to 30 and 38%. Which does not make sense, especially on the Cesare. Let’s be clear about one thing: Pugliese’s effectiveness greatly depended on its volume. On the rebuilds (Cavour and Duilio classes), the effectiveness of this TDS was heavily reduced. A value around 20% makes sense versus a value on the Littorio-class that is most suited to 25-30%. The effectiveness of the TDS in real life does not justify values as high as what exists in game. The fact some of these buffs were done to Cesare after she was already released and noted as massively over-performing is something that is only more confounding. Laminated Armor Much of the deck armor of Roma’s deck was laminated. Her upper deck was not 45mm, it was 36mm laminated on 9mm plating. The magazine armor was not 162mm, it was 150mm laminated on 12mm plating. What’s your point, Phoenix? 36 + 9 = 45, 150 + 12 = 162. Dude, do you even math? No, I don’t math. I do ballistics, though. Mashing two plates together does not equal the strength of a single plate when it comes to ballistic resistance, and that’s a significant affect on Roma’s armor. The following is a list armor values found on Roma, and what the effective thickness actually is (rounded to the nearest millimeter). 45mm upper deck: 42mm. 112mm citadel deck (machinery): 108mm 162mm citadel deck (magazines): 158mm Outer deck abreast (machinery): 98mm Outer deck abreast (magazines): 108mm 70mm fore battery deck: 67mm While in my opinion I think this should be taken into account, I’m very much aware that it will never be a thing, as the acceptance of laminated plates into the game would result in a severe nerf to most higher-tier Soviet BBs such as the Sovetsky Soyuz-class (who used a laminated belt of 9” of Face-Hardened armor + 7” of Homogenous plating). Citadel Volume & Protection Roma’s citadel height is something I’m quite comfortable with in WoWs. I personally think battleships shouldn’t have have their citadels chucked below the waterline arbitrarily chopping machinery spaces in half glares at British battleships, and Roma’s citadel height is historically accurate – there wasn’t additional protection below the main deck armor. I've even demonstrated that height before: However, width? That’s where we run into our issue. Technically, the real citadel wall of the Littorio was a 7-9mm bulkhead of ER steel, but that in reality isn’t going to stop much by itself as far as splinters go. However, that was also the last of several bulkheads important to Littorio’s defensive scheme, and WG has only modeled one. What is technically the real citadel wall: Two homogenous armor bulkheads acting as splinter bulkheads existed behind the main belt. The first was a 36mm plate placed 1.4 meters behind the main belt, where the 40mm bulkhead exists in-game (another thing that should be fixed). About 4 meters behind that, however, existed a 24mm bulkhead angled back in the opposite direction that served as one of the last layers of defense. At any regular combat range, even if the main belt were penetrated, the opposing shell’s fragments would be hopefully defeated but the succession of bulkheads and finally the 7-9mm citadel wall. Effectively, the 24mm bulkhead is what we would consider a citadel wall in-game. What the effective citadel wall was: The problem is, this doesn’t exist in-game, and severely impacts Roma’s protection – it expands the citadel by 4 meters on either side, and adds an extra 3,648m3 to the citadel’s overall volume – easily about a 13% increase in the overall volume of the citadel (using the 24mm bulkhead as a boundary as opposed to the actual citadel wall). Because of the way shell fuses work in game, to give you an idea of how this effects Roma’s protection; this is the difference between a citadel and non-citadel sitting broadside 15 km from a Gneisenau, Bismarck, or Tirpitz. This was not a part of Littorio’s citadel in real life, and nor should it be so in-game. What the citadel should be (green) plus the addition space in-game (red). This is an image I made a while back, showing the citadel dimensions from above. Note how it's within the bounds of the 90mm gun mounts: This is that same image, overlaid with Roma's armor model, showing only 40mm plating. Notice how much wider the citadel is compared to the above image (actual citadel area is significantly darker than the rest): Forward Armor I can only guess this was the result of some confusion? The in-game model has the forward belt extended towards the bow, 130mm thick at this point. This should be 70mm. Future Members of the class in-game Battleship Littorio, in her camouflage of May 1942 Eventually we’re getting an Italian battleship line, and at that point we’re probably going to see the class leader Littorio at tier VIII in the tech tree position. However, that still leaves one sister unaccounted for; Vittorio Veneto, the second sister of the class, who helped carry the Italian war effort at sea after the Taranto bombing until Littorio was able to rejoin the fleet. In my opinion, she’s a thousand times more qualified for a premium than Roma, but obviously WG would never give Italy a second tier VIII BB from the same class as the tier VIII premium and line ship. Well, at least I would hope so. It doesn’t stop people asking for Prince of Wales after all, or more American tier VIII BBs... Well, Vittorio Veneto’s still got a good shot at being a premium in game regardless. The twist? At tier IX. Whaaaaat???? No, you heard me right. America has Missouri as her tier IX freemimum. Japan’s answer, Musashi, is coming in to replace her. So… why can’t Italy get Vittorio Veneto someday for this slot? While I would’ve called bull on this idea beforehand, after seeing how Roma performs in-game with her current interpretation of her stats… I think this is quite viable. How? - AA The result of being a tier IX would have to be a mandatory AA suite upgrade – essentially something of a ‘what if Italy was successful in keeping her post-war. The 90mm AA would be extended out to 5.0 km, which still wouldn’t be great, but this would be supplemented by the Bofors and Oerlikon love typical of Italian ships post-war. The overall AA output shouldn’t be anything better than Allied BBs, but it should be enough to make her not an freebie for high tier CVs compared to other BBs. Actually, I'm a fool. I didn't even consider the existence of Musashi and her woeful AA battery. With this in mind, I think any a-historical upgrade would not be necessary. The only thing that would need to be touched is the range of the 90mm AA (I'm a broken record on these things), 4.5-5.0 km would be a lot more necessary. How? – Main Battery The main battery of Vittorio Veneto would also see an improvement over Roma’s to work at tier IX. The AP performance is already easily adequate, and the secondary shell type would easily work if WG either uses the actual HE shells developed for the class, or models the second shell as the AP it actually was. From that point I’d recommend keeping the 30 second reload, but instead increase accuracy – perhaps a sigma as high as 2.0, or maybe a slightly improved dispersion line like that of what the British premium battleships Warspite and Hood enjoy compared to their tech tree counterparts. Perhaps both. How – Propulsion So, here’s the thing. In-game, Roma’s rated for 128,200 hp, and 30.1 knots. Mot sources will put the Littorio-class at the same power output and a speed ranging from 30 to 31 knots. This is not the maximum power of this battleship’s class. In reality, while the aforementioned value was generally used as the maximum during the war in order to avoid stressing the engines, the real maximum output of these ships was 160,000 hp (propeller speed is 270 rpm as opposed to 250 rpm when operating at just under 130,000 hp). The powerplant could be run at this speed safely, and was done so, but only on single shafts for emergency maneuvers. On Littorio’s trials, at a lighter displacement (a few thousand tons) than full wartime loads, it was judged that making just under the actual maximum power at such a displacement the ship would’ve made 32.2 knots. As if that wasn’t enough, however, the ship also had a built-in system that allowed it to raise this maximum power output by another 12%, although this was specifically for emergency use. So, why not give Vittorio Veneto her full power and a top speed for 31.5-32 knots, and then throw on a speed boost of 8-12%? Speed boost makes more sense for an Italian ship (who actually ran ships over their rated power output frequently) versus the French who, meanwhile… didn’t. Yet they’re getting them on their BBs, and have an even more powerful version on their cruisers. And will get them on their destroyers too, by the looks of things. You get a one CL that can pass 35 knots, a few DD classes that can hit 37 knots, and then two that hit 40, and suddenly your nation is the speedboats nation. Meanwhile, if you all your DDs running at 38 knots and your slowest cruisers running at 34 knots and historical precedence for running your powerplants over their rated output, you get nothing... How – Protection The last area to go over is protection. The obvious pick would be to fix the size of the citadel. However, there’s also another area in which her armor is lacking compared to real life… her main belt. In game, her composite belt (280mm KC, 250mm Cellulite, 70mm OD) is represented by 375mm of armor, which is quite tough… but not as tough as the armor scheme was in real life. This was an armor scheme that made Littorio capable of deflecting her own 15” shells at 16 km – equivalent to about 450mm of armor as a conservative estimate. While obviously sticking a 450mm+ belt on the ship would just be ridiculous, something around 420mm would still make the ship very hard to crack (you can bounce Yamato shells at 15 km angled at 45º with such a belt) - and keep in mind you've got low hitpoints for a tier IX BB. The only other aspect of Vittorio Veneto that would bear changing relative to Roma would be the stealth/range aspect, a longer range (perhaps closer to 20 km? Still short range for a tier VIII+ BB) at the cost of concealment would work best. The result is a better Roma more suited for tier IX. Your AA will still be sub-par for the tier, you’ll have tier IX MM, a hard cap on your DPM because of the damage – still only 15” shells with RoF being stuck at 2 rpm/30 seconds. You’ve still got bugger all for secondaries. However, your penetration is still more than enough for the tier, you’re probably going to hit more reliably than Roma, your armor makes you even tougher than before, and you’ve got heighted speed and thus maneuverability. It’s another freemium to join the line up at the top. After all, why let the Americans and Japanese have all the fun?
  9. Playing Roma in close.

    Clip of broadside buddy laughing in vodka. Match in Roma playing close to show off all the overpens. :p Just to continue the discussion about Roma in close performance. Let's get this out of the way early. I am a potato and what you are about to watch will be painful. . This is more about advocating people to extend the range. Amazing guns, just in close they are way too amazing. Not the best game as I get stuck in an enclosed environment however it is time to get ready for work. A victory is a victory! Now to the main show if it works? https://clips.twitch.tv/DeliciousInspiringAxeHassaanChop I get it, I probably hit just above the citadel. https://www.twitch.tv/videos/221849075## So please don't be like me in this video, get out to 12k+. This post is meant in good humor only.
  10. Welcome to a new pet project of mine, tech tree proposals. What I attempt to do in these articles is that I try to make a coherent and clear proposal as to what I think we can expect from Wargaming if they ever make such a tech-tree line. Might even work as a proposal for Wargaming to put something in (in the unlikely case that they haven't mapped all this)... This article will touch only on the tech-tree ships, the snippets on each premium ship will come at a later date. For each ship, I provide the layout of how the ship's weaponry is distributed, its technical specifications and with the same formulas I used for the ADLA articles, their in-game values. Finally, I provide a small piece of analysis of what I think about the ship and how it'd fit with its tiermates. Essentially, each of the ships gets a mini-ADLA with all the information you might be looking for to compare it to its tiermates that are already in-game. Let's hope we see these ships in the virtual seas soon! Read Full Article... Let me know what you think of this! I've almost finished writing the premiums of the tree and then comes the Italian Battleship tech-tree line! All feedback and comments are welcome!
  11. Hello guys! In the spirit of pastabotes, I have an artifact that is quite interesting: a bronze plaque for (supposedly) a WW2 Italian battleship. It's definitely a nice-looking piece...and its a decent-sized item (27 x 20 cm). Two questions: -Are there any references to Regia Marina officers receiving a bronze plaque as a commemorative item or memento of their time in the navy? I wonder if this item could be related to ship-launching because this is quite a nice item - nice enough that faking it could be more work than its worth. I have tried to find out more about these sorts of items, but the Internet is quite scant on Regia Marina militaria. -The owner has mentioned that he doesn't know which ship this is from. I'm asking the forum for a bit of help, but I kinda think this ship looks like an Andrea Doria-class battleship post-reconstruction. I'm going by the fact that it has that Littorio-like tower, which kicks it out of WW1. Thanks to all who can help me with this!
  12. Premium Ship Review: Roma

    The following is a review of Roma, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. As far as I am aware, this is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of January 12th, 2018. However, things may change before release. GARBAGE - The boat is unbalanced, not fun to play and weak. The ship desperately needs some buffs or some quality of life changes. Mehbote - An average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable however she's not going to be considered optimal. Gudbote - A powerful ship, often one of the best ships at a given role within its tier. Usually considered optimal for a given task. OVERPOWERED - The boat is unbalanced and powerful. Typically she's either horrible to play against or she redefines the meta entirely. Quick Summary: A fast, sneaky battleship with excellent gun handling on its nine 381mm rifles. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing. Patch & Date Written: Patch to January 1st through 12th, 2018. PROs Has an extended belt which reaches halfway up the prow. Excellent gun handling with fast turret traverse. Phenomenal muzzle velocity and energy retention, giving her fast shell flight times over distance. Great AP penetration power over range. Good concealment with a 14.9km surface detection range which can be reduced down to 11.2km. CONs Citadel sits well above the waterline. Short ranged for a tier VIII battleship at 18.1km. Her guns misbehave, with poor dispersion values, overmatch problems and overpenetration after overpenetration. Awful HE performance with low alpha strike, poor fire chance and mediocre module damage. Anti-aircraft firepower is short ranged with only modest DPS. Large turning radius, mediocre ship rotation rate. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme The ease of her game play is facilitated by her excellent gun handling and good concealment values which will make her more forgiving to novice players. However, her raised citadel and gun accuracy will cause them problems. The combination of high concealment, speed and firepower will be of interest to Veterans and the power of these traits must not be overlooked. Roma's citadel and her smaller-caliber AP shells will hold her back from being a true monster, though. Roma is not a complicated battleship to play. She has no gimmicks to espouse. The summation of her various traits is as follows, with a more thorough breakdown found below in the larger sections. GARBAGE - One of, if not the worst at its tier. This is a pronounced weakness. MEH - Middle of the pack at its tier. Not terrible, but not terribly good either.GUD - Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer.BEST - No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship. Roma is no up-scaled Giulio Cesare. Her guns are average and she has mediocre durability and agility. She has no gimmicks to speak of. The only thing she does well is hide and her AA power is hot garbage With all of these disparate traits, she probably doesn't look very appealing. So how the heck did I reach a "Gudbote" conclusion? Well, let's look into that... Options Like the Japanese premium battleships Kii and Ashitaka, Roma is receiving a special camouflage designed by Makoto Kobayashi. This is not just a skin, but a full on geometry change for the ship, including the infamous "beer can" where her rangefinders would be. It will likely be available through the larger bundle packages when you buy the ship through the online store. Consumables: Roma's Damage Control Party is standard for a non-American / Japanese battleship with a 15s active period and a 120s / 80s reset timer depending on which version you purchase. Her Repair Party is also standard, healing back 14% of her maximum health over 28s. Finally, her Spotter Aircraft is normal. You can swap this out for a Float Plane Fighter which provides 57 DPS and boasts 1,590hp. She has higher DPS than Japanese or American float plane fighters and more hit points than Japanese, American or British fighters. Premium Camouflage: There are two available: The default, Standard Type 10 camouflage provides 50% bonus experience gains, a 10% reduction to maintenance costs, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. The Makoto Kobayashi - Roma camouflage provides 100% bonus experience gains, -50% to the post-battle service costs, +20% bonus credit earning, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. When I first saw this alternative camouflage scheme, I thought it looked ridiculous. However it has really grown on me. The amount of small detail is spectacular. Plus, it looks like Roma is wearing a hat. I like it when not-people things wear hats. Ergo, I like this camo. Module Upgrades: Five slots, standard battleship options. In your first slot, take Main Armaments Modification 1. Next, take Damage Control Modification 1. In your third slot, Aiming Systems Modification 1 is optimal. It's not worth trying to upgrade her AA Guns or Secondaries. Damage Control Modification 2 is optimal for her fourth slot. You may be tempted to take Steering Gears Modification 2 but this will not significantly improve her agility . Finally, take Concealment Modification 1 in your final slot. This will reduce her surface detection down to 13.04km with camouflage before Commander Skills or 11.22km with camouflage and Concealment Expert Firepower Primary Battery: Nine 381mm rifles in three turrets in an A-B-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Twelve 152mm rifles in four turrets, Twelve dual-purpose 90mm rifles in single turrets. Roma's main battery guns will deceive you. You're going to imagine them as being far more effective than they truly are. The deceptive veil she'll cast over your eyes has three layers; namely gun handling, shell flight time and penetration. They will cloud your vision and make you less aware of two flaws -- one minor but one pronounced -- the latter of which has the potential to greatly sour your enjoyment of this ship, no matter how comfortable her earlier lies may have felt. Beautiful Lie #1: Gun Handling The first beauty-mark you'll note is Roma's turret traverse rate and she may win you over with just this aspect. Her gun handling is simply gorgeous with her turrets rotating at 6º per second (a mere 30 seconds for 180º). This is 50% faster than the 4º per second rotation of ships like Kii, North Carolina and Monarch and a whole degree per second faster than Bismarck and Tirpitz. Thanks to this, laying her guns on target is a breeze and there's no chance of her aim slipping off target even while under heavy manoeuvres. In brawls, Roma can easily track enemies even on close approaches. Her forward fire angles are similarly wonderful. They almost hit the highly sought after (but so seldom realized) 30º-off-the-bow benchmark which defines truly excellent fire arcs. Her X-turret can engage enemies 31º off her forward centerline, allowing Roma to take very aggressive bow-on attack angles and necessitating only the slightest touches of a rudder to unload all nine guns. In short, Roma's gun handling is fun. You will never feel like you're fighting with this ship to bring your weapons to bear. Beautiful Lie #2: Shell Flight Time Roma has one of the fastest muzzle velocities of any tier VIII battleship, making gunnery a delight. What's more, her shells preserve this energy beautifully over distance which in turn leads to lower shell flight times. She can put a shell out to 10km in less than five seconds and one out to 15km in less then eight. This is something which Bismarck, Amagi, Monarch and North Carolina cannot boast. In the time it takes North Carolina to throw a shell out to 17km, Roma can bullseye a target at 20km. Her short lead times greatly cuts into the reaction time enemy ships have to evade your shells, even at range. Beautiful Lie #3: Penetration The high velocity of Roma's shells translates to great kinetic energy. It's the preservation of said energy over distance which makes Roma's penetration values so frightening. She doesn't have the same raw penetration power at point blank ranges of the Japanese 410mm shells. However, at ranges greater than 10km, Roma takes primacy, outstripping every other battleship with her energy retention. She has comparable and better penetration at 20km than Bismarck and Monarch (respectively) have at 15km. Roma is thus a threat at all ranges, capable of stacking damage even against thick hided battleships within reach of her weapons. These three traits will deceive you into thinking she's well set up to land damaging hits against enemy vessels. Her guns can snap onto a target quickly. Her muzzle velocity makes leading said targets easy, allowing you to catch targets before they're able to dodge or angle. Her penetration power all but guarantees that any hits you land will be damaging ones. That's all well and fine in theory, but in practice, problems arise. Roma boasts good fire arcs forward thanks to the excellent sweep of her X-turret. Her rearward arcs are terrible, forcing you to expose far too much of your broadside. Anytime you fire to your rear, you risk taking catastrophic damage. Harsh Truths No one can take away the awesomeness that is Roma's turret traverse rate and shell flight time. Let me be clear: few battleships have as smooth and comfortable a rotation and short lead times of their main battery as this Italian beauty. However, not everything about her guns lends to good performance. Roma's fire angles are the first let down. It's true, her forward fire angles are wonderful. However, rearward, it's a completely different story. Firing from A or B turret while on the retreat will get you sunk in a hurry. This isn't a problem unique to Roma, but few battleships can be punished as readily as Roma when they over angle due to her high water citadel (more on that later). I've found it preferable to use (and abuse) Roma's concealment if forced to retreat. At close range, her high muzzle velocity can also be a detriment. With the standard 0.033s fuse timer, Roma's shells risk blowing clean through more lightly armoured cruisers, especially at short ranges. To test this, I used a Reference-Omaha™ and found that Roma must be at least 13.3km out in order to land citadel hits on a target showing her flat broadside, provided the shells didn't strike water first. North Carolina can manage the same at 5.0km, owing to her lower muzzle velocity and steeper angle of her shell fall. This is a problem that extends beyond Reference-Omaha™ and it can be infuriating to catch a cruiser broadside with perfectly aimed (and dispersing) AP shells only to watch them all over penetrate a Chapayev or Edinburgh. Being unable to overmatch the bows of select cruisers just exacerbates matters. This leads me to stare down the problems Roma has with AP penetration with her 381mm rifles. She cannot overmatch the 27mm extremities found on many heavy cruisers at tier VIII+. It's surprising how much of an issue this causes. A properly angled American or Japanese heavy cruiser can simply bounce her AP shells for days with the appropriate stance. When combined with the fuse problems mentioned above, Roma must juggle different optimal fire ranges when engaging different targets. To penetrate small, lightly armoured vessels like Nurnberg-class, French or Royal Navy light cruisers you need distance. You may have to wait until the target angles slightly before sending your shells off. For tier VIII+ heavy cruisers, you need to catch them broadside or risk seeing your volleys bounce ineffectively. Roma's dispersion with Aiming Systems Modification 1 installed. 180 shells fired, salvo by salvo at 15km, locked onto a stationary Fuso. One of Roma's more pronounced gunnery weaknesses is her poor dispersion. This isn't so much a trait of her 1.8 sigma, but more of her long vertical dispersion axis which you can see here causing tremendous levels of overshooting and undershooting the target by a whole ship length to either side. This is approximately 50% larger than comparable area of battleship Alabama and Massachusetts which cannot mount any dispersion modification. The Big Fail: Dispersion and HE. Roma's most telling flaw with her guns is her dispersion. The Italian battleships of the Regia Marina use German dispersion patterns. In this regard, Roma's gunnery is most akin to Bismarck with one extra gun barrel and 4 seconds longer on her reload. The high velocity of her guns causes many shots to land long or short. Couple this with the wider base horizontal dispersion than any other battleship group in the game, and Roma's German dispersion leads to a lot of wonky shell groupings. It's not like Roma can simply reach for HE and solve her penetration issues either. Roma's HE shells deal a low amount of damage at 5,100 maximum per shell. That's 1,683 per penetrating hit and 852 damage per saturated penetrating hit. These values do not compare well to the 1,200 damage done by one of Roma's over penetrating AP shells. Her fire chance is abysmal at a mere 24%. She doesn't even have an especially large module-damage radius. For all this lackluster performance, she doesn't even get to enjoy the German bonus HE penetration. You largely want to avoid having to resort to these shells unless circumstance deem it necessary. Relying on Roma's HE shells too often will see her damage potential plummet. In summary Roma's gunnery is inconsistent -- more so than many other battleships. While it is easy to bring her guns on target with her fast traverse and anticipate their manoeuvres with her high muzzle velocity, Roma is unreliable at landing solid, damaging hits. This is very frustrating for a ship where the gunnery otherwise feels very comfortable. Her dispersion forces you suffer the whims of RNG. Even when you line up the perfect shot, over penetrations and ricochets will abound and her HE shells are downright anemic. Roma has two secondary gun types and neither is effective. They lack range, with a 5.0km base reach. In addition, one mount does not fire fast enough and the other is too small in caliber. The most dramatic of the pair are her 152mm rifles, mounted in triple gun turrets, two per side flanking B and X turret respectively. They are incredibly slow firing with a horrendous 12.0 second reload and they use AP ammunition. The best thing that could be said about this particular mount is that the muzzle blast is enormous and your opponents may mistake it for you firing your main battery guns in a brawl and expose their sides, thinking themselves safe to fire back. Roma's 90mm guns fire much more quickly with a 4.0s reload. Though they fire HE, their fire chance isn't particularly good. What's more, their small gun caliber makes them ineffective at dealing direct damage enemy ships. Even most destroyers in her matchmaking spread can boast enough armour to foil the penetration value of her HE shells. Short of peppering superstructures, these guns aren't going to do much in the way of direct damage themselves. Taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells will increase her penetration enough to allow her to directly damage destroyers and some light cruisers with these guns, but that's a heavy investment for questionable gains. In general, it is not worth sinking upgrades, consumables or skills into Roma's secondaries. Conclusions It's hard to call any of Roma's weapon systems "good". Roma's 381mm guns do not enjoy the rate of fire bonus found on Monarch, Tirpitz and Bismarck. Maybe if she had that phenomenal rate of fire or some accuracy tweak, I could shower them with praise with good conscience. However, with a piss-poor HE shell and forgettable secondaries, Roma is reliant upon her main battery AP shells to carry the day. Fortunately, they're sufficient to the task. And maybe that's the best way to define Roma's AP gunnery: It's comfortable and it's sufficient. She won't win any prizes but she'll hold her own. Summary: Roma's gunnery feels so comfortable. Her gunnery performance is spotty. They seem to do really well against battleships (up until they angle) but against cruisers, it's a lot more inconsistent depending on angle, ship type and range. Her secondaries aren't worth specializing into. Evaluation: MEH What it would have needed to be GUD: Roma's dispersion can be very unkind. A buff to her sigma value would alleviate this. An alternative solution would be shaving a second or two off her reload time. With so many misunderstandings about the reload time of the Littorio-class, I suppose we should be glad that Wargaming kept it to a mere 30 seconds. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 30.0 knotsTurning Radius: 810mRudder Shift: 15.6s Maximum Turn Rate: 4.2º/s Tier 8 Battleship speed, turning radius and rate of turn. Roma doesn't excel in any one area nor does she have any glaring weaknesses. Roma is on the good-side of average for manoevrability for a tier VIII battleship. Her top speed is okay but there are faster ships. Her rate of turn is alright, but she's not exactly agile like the South Dakota-class sisters. Her turning circle isn't terrible, though its certainly not great. Overall, her handling is best compared to Bismarck -- a ship that isn't lacking overall in comparable agility but not a ship anyone would dare say has "good" manoeuvrability. The reason Roma feels so agile is probably due to her gun traverse. At 6º per second, it's rare that you ever need to use your rudder to accelerate bringing your guns to bear onto a new target. It's impossible for this ship to out turn her turrets, so there's little strain on her handling to keep her weapons singing. The best trait about her here is her top speed. 30 knots, while unremarkable at high tiers, is the benchmark I want to see. Anything less is an obvious flaw. Roma has the flexibility to go where she's needed and she's fast enough to make pursuit and escape possible when required. This also allows her to make better use of her concealment to better position herself. Most important of all, Roma's manoeuvrability is sufficient to protect her vulnerable citadel while still maintaining a steady rate of fire with all nine of her guns. Evaluation: MEH What it would have needed to be GUD: Roma already sits on the cusp of being 'GUD', she would just need a little help. An extra knot of speed, getting her turning radius below 800m or increasing her rotation rate by another two tenths of a degree per second would each tip her over the edge to something quite remarkable. Fortunately, you can pull this off yourself with the use of a Sierra Mike signal. Rate of Turn There are several factors which affect how quickly a ship comes about. The most significant are the ship's forward momentum and the size of her turning radius. As a ship slows down, their turning radius changes, but not always for the better. To make things more complicated, different ships also preserve speed better in a turn. When it comes to changing your heading, maintain speed whenever possible. If you want a tighter turning circle, slow down to 3/4 engine power -- but be aware that your ship will not manoeuvre as quickly. Steering Gears Modification 2 reduces Roma's rudder shift time from 15.6s down to 12.5s. However, this does not appreciably affect her turning values. This upgrade can be seen as more of a placebo than a practical bonus. When attempting to measure the gains made, some of the results fell within the margin of error of my own reaction time -- meaning that a good night's sleep or a cup of tea had more effect on the timed rate of turn than whether or not Roma had this module installed. With torpedo and shell reaction times often being less than 8 to 10 seconds, having this module installed will not help you. You would be better served by having a cup of coffee. Thus, I strongly recommend installing Damage Control Modification 2 in your fourth upgrade slot instead. None of the values found on Roma were far from what was expected. Her measured turning radius was slightly higher than that found in port and she bled the usual 25% maximum speed with her rudder hard over. 360º Rotation Rate (Ship Maximums): 1/4 speed (7.3 knots): 1.0º/s rotation, ~1099m turning radius 1/2 speed (13.8 knots): 2.5º/s rotation, ~851m turning radius 3/4 speed (18.6 knots): 3.6º/s rotation, ~800m turning radius 4/4 speed (22.4 knots): 4.2º/s rotation, ~829m turning radius 90º Rotation Rate (Stock): 1/4 speed: 1.0º/s rotation for 90.7s 1/2 speed: 2.3º/s rotation for 39.0s 3/4 speed: 3.2º/s rotation for 28.5s 4/4 speed: 3.6/s rotation for 25.0s 90º Rotation Rate (Steering Gears Modification 2) 1/4 speed: 1.0/s rotation for 90.6s 1/2 speed: 2.4º/s rotation for 38.4s 3/4 speed: 3.3º/s rotation for 27.4s 4/4 speed: 3.7º/s rotation for 24.2s Roma sits upon the cusp of greatness where her agility is concerned, but she falls short. You're not likely to notice though -- you'll be too enamored with how well her turrets traverse. DurabilityHit Points: 65,400 Maximum Citadel Protection: 375mm + 40mm Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mmTorpedo Damage Reduction: 38% Let's start with the bad news: Roma wears a really short skirt. While I appreciate that she wants to show off her lines, her citadel is left exposed over the water's surface by a not-insignificant margin. The exact height of her citadel is easy to see: it's directly behind her 375mm armoured belt. Veterans of the American battleship line that played the ships before the citadels were lowered in early 2017 will remember well what this entails. Roma can and will suddenly explode in a horrendous space-kablooie when she's caught broadside. There's nothing you can do about it but [edited]. There's another piece of not-so-great news. Her A-Turret barbette also seems to be part of the citadel, comprising a rounded 210mm bulge to her transverse bulkhead. This gives shells that might have skipped over a flat surface another bite at the apple if they catch this rounded surface. It's just another little quibble to sour Roma's armour protection. Alright, with that out of the way, let's talk about the good stuff: Her main deck is 45mm thick. This is proof against 152mm HE spam. Hooray! She has a 130mm extended forward armoured belt. When she angles, can foil even 460mm shells. Rejoice! Her upper hull is 70mm thick. This is proof against HE from 420mm or smaller unless it's British BB or German BB & CA thrown. This will also provide you with some very comfortable bounces when you angle just right. Her torpedo damage reduction is pretty darned good, so to speak. At tier VIII, torpedo defenses are either amazaballs (Amagi, South Dakota sisters) or they suck moose balls (everyone else). Roma's in the good half of the dichotomy. Her deck armour profile is a bit of a mixed blessing when it comes to armour piercing bombs, however. In testing, American AP bombs just didn't seem to be able to stack damage quickly. Without heals, it took over 20 bomb hits to sink her from American planes. Graf Zeppelin's (admittedly still in testing) bombs weren't automatic world-enders, but she could reliably sink Roma with two squadrons. On the whole, if it weren't for Roma's citadel situation, she'd have a great armour profile. As it is, it's only okay. Roma face tanks like a boss, particularly at medium ranges (between 8km and 14km) but when things go wrong, she comes apart in a hurry. Roma's armour, including details of her citadel. Evaluation: MEH What it would have needed to be GUD: Lower her bloody citadel. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 90mm / 37mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 4.0km / 3.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 114 / 128.4 / 54.4 The graph on the left shows the raw AA values per aura range of the AA mounts of tier 8 Battleships. The graph on the right applies a formula {AA DPS x ( Range - 1.0km )} to calculate the overall effectiveness of the ship's AA power. This weights longer ranged weapons as being much more valuable as planes will linger within their effect longer. Weapons with less than a 2km range are only really effective if the enemy aircraft carrier parks planes on top of you. If there's one good thing you could say about Roma's anti-aircraft firepower, it would be that it's at least better than that found on Tirpitz. Roma's AA rating sits squarely in between the German premium and Amagi, and this isn't a good place to be. Worse, it's not like Roma's anti-aircraft guns are a straight up improvement over the performance of the German premium -- she just has more of them. Roma's large caliber, 90mm guns are hands down inferior to the 105s that Tirpitz uses. They have 500m less range and they do less DPS over all, which makes the effective AA defense worse were it not for Roma's 37mm autocannons and Tirpitz's near lack of medium caliber guns. It takes a rather heavy investment to get Roma's anti-aircraft firepower anywhere near effective in terms of range, and it's downright impossible to make it effective in terms of damage done. With Advanced Fire Training and AA Guns Modification 2, you can increase the reach fo her 90mm guns from 4.0km up to 5.76km but they'll never have the punch to make anything but a stock tier VI aircraft carrier balk. Taking a Float Plane Fighter can add a very helpful disruption effect to an incoming wave which can save your ship, but it's so short lived and difficult to rely upon. Roma doesn't have the agility to easily dodge air dropped torpedoes, nor does she have the armour profile to spare her the nightmare of being one-shot by German AP dive bombers. Roma, when isolated from allies, is easy prey for an enemy aircraft carrier and she must be played with this weakness in mind. Evaluation: GARBAGE What it would have needed to be MEH: Roma really needs more range. The 4.0km reach of her large caliber, dual purpose guns does her no favours. Alternatively, it would take a huge DPS boost to make her AA power competitive which is a much more significant change. None of Roma's AA mounts are especially durable. Even her dual purpose AA guns can only boast 800hp with her 37mm and 20mm guns having only 200. A few HE hits will strip her of most of her AA power. Vision Control Base Surface Detection Range: 14.94km Air Detection Range: 13.35km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 11.22km Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 13.68km Main Battery Firing Range: 18.12km Detection Consumables: Spotter Aircraft / Float Plane Fighter Short of the famous and historical HMS Monarch, Roma is the stealthiest battleship within her matchmaking spread. What's perhaps more frightening is that she's stealthier than almost half the cruisers she faces, even when they're rigged for full concealment. Tier VI and VII cruisers are especially vulnerable with 11 out of 24 ships unable to hide from Roma and another 7 unable to hide if they don't have a full concealment build. When top tier, especially against inexperienced commanders, Roma becomes truly a monster. Without spotting aircraft or a destroyer screen, she can move about the battlefield at will, confident she can outfight anything that detects her. Let me stress this: Without aircraft or destroyers, Roma is quite capable of being the stealthiest ship on the playing field. Unlike the famous and historical HMS Monarch, Roma has the speed to better exploit this concealment. And it's here, with this combination of speed and concealment where Roma becomes a truly frightening vessel. Novice players take note: these are traits that expert players exploit to win matches. The longer a match goes on, the more powerful this advantage of speed and stealth becomes. It gives Roma time to heal, to flank, to secure objectives or escape. She can dictate engagement distances, abuse cover and surprise enemies. This is the game changer for this ship. This is what glosses over all of her other mediocre ratings and propels her towards excellence. Now this all said, this is a very difficult advantage to exploit properly and it can be outright negated by aircraft (especially given Roma's poor AA rating) and destroyers. Proper use of her aircraft consumable (with the skills to support it) will help her control vision and make lurking around islands less dangerous. But, it's knowing when to keep her guns singing and when it's best to hold your fire that really defines Roma's use and abuse of her concealment. Evaluation: GUD What it would have needed to be BEST : Monarch has a smaller surface detection range and similar consumable options. The alternative to making her sneakier than Monarch would have been to provide her with some detection consumable like Hydroacoustic Search or Surveillance Radar which is bloody unlikely. I think we can all be happy that Roma's concealment is as amazing as it is. Nursing the Twins For Roma, a survivability build is best after grabbing your concealment skills. Start with Priority Target unless you've seen the oracle and you already know the future. Then you can go for skills like Direction Center for Catapult Aircraft instead for your first choice. Next up, we want Adrenaline Rush to increase her sluggish rate of fire. After that, you have your choice of Basics of Survivability or Superintendent depending on how much you hate fire damage. Finally, grab Concealment Expert to level up Roma to her final form. For your next 9pts, I strongly recommend Fire Prevention, whichever tier 3 skill you skipped and your choice of Expert Marksman (cause why not?), Jack of All Trades or High Alert. Now get out there and murder your brother. Tier for tier, Giulio Cesare is the better of the two Italian Battleships. However, the Makoto Kobayashi: Roma camouflage combined with Roma's higher tier will make her the better potential earner. Final Evaluation Mouse's Summary: Concealment and comfort define this ship. I stress that Roma's high water citadel will be a deal breaker for some. As cool as Roma's secondaries and AA batteries look, they're pretty darned useless. Roma's scorecard looks a little better than my first evaluation once you peel back the layers and take a closer look. Her great concealment might functionally be the best within her Matchmaking spread thanks to her speed. Similarly, her agility is also reasonably good, just not quite enough to make her remarkable. This synergy between speed, gun handling and concealment has all the hallmarks of a competitive ship. Her gunnery and durability are the let downs, though. Her weapons are inconsistent -- prone to bouts of greatness and then some frustrating droughts of non-performance until you figure out her penetration. Knowing what ships you can and cannot handle at which ranges mitigates some of this lack, but only just. Contrarily, her secondaries, like her AA guns are garbage no matter what you do.. Then there's that citadel of hers -- that fly in the ointment that will preclude her from ever being the darling of the competitive scene. In Randoms, with proper positioning, it's not really a big deal, but when it lets you down, it lets you down hard. Roma is so much fun to drive it's hard to dismiss her out of hand, even despite these setbacks. My own experiences in Roma were decidedly mixed. It took me a while to figure her out. Once I accepted I was throwing around what amounted to a squishy, nine-gun Bismarck with no secondaries, things got a little better. To say my performance in her was inconsistent would be an understatement. The number of losses I suffered during the latter half of play testing wasn't fun, however this was broken up by some ridiculously high performing games. Boiled down, Roma is a medium-range brawler. Her gun accuracy and armour profile both excel if she can hold this range -- just on the cusp of her detection radius, and hammer the enemy over and over and over again. Ideally you want to sneak to a vantage where your opponents can't help but give up their side to either you or their allies. If they choose to face you, tank them and do the best you can to hurt them back -- it's not going to be easy with those 381mm guns. If they choose to face your allies, tear them a new one until they smarten up and fall back. The final question is if this is a role that's asked for in the current meta. She's not a brawler like Bismarck or Tirpitz, a DPM juggernaut like Amagi, and she doesn't werf the flammen like the famous, historical battleship Monarch. Roma encroaches upon the flanking meta espoused by the American battleships. She's certainly faster than North Carolina or the South Dakota sisters. She's also more stealthy. However, she lacks the AA power to afford her autonomy when enemy aircraft carriers are in play. -- not that they're out there that often. It's still difficult to call just based on that. Things change when you look at her tiering. Top tier, she's an absolute monster. She would easily hold my pick for one of the best battleships for clubbing lower tiered vessels and this in of itself should say something. That comfort and control pays dividends and her armour maximizes in these encounters where shell penetration may not be enough to seriously threaten Roma's raised citadel. She uptiers alright against tier IX ships, but like all tier VIIIs, she really struggles in tier X matches. If I could guarantee she would never see tier X games, I could slap an "OVERPOWERED" label on her and be done with it, but no such luck. As it is, I'm inclined to say Roma has earned her laurels. Would I Recommend? Some caveats must be exercised here. The Italian Regia Marina is solely comprised of premium ships at the moment. Between the battleships Roma and Giulio Cesare there are also the light cruisers Duca d'Aosta and the upcoming Duca degli Abruzzi. If you had to choose one and only one, Giulio Cesare is still the front runner performance wise, even at tier V. Roma does not displace her. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? We have no tier VIII scenarios (yet), but Roma's a decent ship to take against bots. Her AP shells struggle a little against cruisers at the point blank ranges which so often result. Her running costs are 35,438 credits including the 10% discount provided by her camouflage (this drops to 19,688 credits with Makoto Kobayashi: Roma camo) while you can make around 100k on a decent win. Skip those premium consumables. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. She's a tier VIII premium, so economy wise, she'll do you just fine. The increased earnings will also make her a wonderful trainer. Note if you have the Makoto Kobayashi: Roma camouflage, her earning dividends just got that much better. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. I have to give her a firm pass here. Between her high water citadel, 381mm teething issues and poor AA power, she's not ideal. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. What are you, new? It's not only the first Littorio-class battleships it's Roma. Even as a port queen, she's gorgeous to look at. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Hells to the yeah. Roma doesn't always behave, but when she does... In Closing That about wraps it up for Roma -- arguably the most anticipated premium of 2017. Hey, stop looking at your calendar! She's here and she's not terrible; that's a win. I keep a list of premium ships that I enjoy playing; that I reach for whenever I just want to play World of Warships and unplug my brain from all of this analytical nonsense. These are ships that I play simply for the love of the game. I think it's high praise when a new premium ousts one of the old guard and muscles in on this list. Roma isn't there yet -- we're fighting, truth be told. She's got a long ways to go if she thinks she can earn her keep. I'm very happy with the balanced state of Roma. I'm very happy to have this review done. The next review coming up will be Musashi, the tier IX Japanese battleship that's causing all kinds of controversy. Roma and Musashi both came off of the content-embargo on the same date, but I had no warning about the latter. You can expect this next review in about a week's time with an undue level of snark laced throughout. A very special thank you to Lert for his continued editing efforts and to my patrons on Patreon. With as much time and energy I devote to these reviews, I cannot afford to do it alone anymore. Your continued support means the world to me and allows me to keep my head down and working hard with less worry. Thank you for reading and for all of your feedback, criticism and fun gifs too! My current ten favourite ships. Top Row: Fujin, Atlanta, De Grasse, Prinz Eugen, Atago. Bottom Row: Scharnhorst, Nelson, Harekaze, König Albert, Warspite. Will Roma or Musashi earn a spot? Tune in next week! iChase put together a wonderful little history piece for those who want more Roma in your Roma review!
  13. Admiral Giuseppe Lombardi

    Hello everyone! I would like to start off this thread by acknowledging the fact that near the later part of 2018 we should be seeing a line of Italian Warships! I am extremely stoked and quite anxious to say the least. With that being said, we have already seen a couple of Italian Warships drop in game, the Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta and the Giulio Cesare. Both of which are extremely beautiful to look at and quite fun to play. We have also seen some videos of two more up and coming premium ships, the Luigi di Savoia Duca degli Abruzzi and the ever so coveted Roma. With all of these interesting and beautiful ships coming in, I'd like to take a moment and recognize a figure from Italian naval history, Giuseppe Lombardi. Giuseppe Lombardi, born 1886 in the province of Cuneo (north western Italy) had entered the Livorno Naval Academy in 1905. He finished after three years. Later he would find himself on the battleship Sicilia during the Italo-Turkish war and distinguished himself outside of Tripoli, receiving the Medaglia d'Argento al Valor Militare. What becomes quite interesting is that he is involved in the command of some different ships that we have discussed here on the forums and on two ships that are already modeled and or in game. The fore-mentioned Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta and the Luigi di Savoia Duca degli Abruzzi. He was also on the Heavy Cruiser Bolzano (which I know there are a few of you forumers who would love to see this ship in game. Myself included). Interesting fact, he was in command of the Luigi di Savoia Duca degli Abruzzi when it was damaged in November 1941 by a torpedo bomber while en route to Libya. In 1942, he was given command of the Navy in Libya. While commanding this position, he resisted the British Operation Agreement attack, which resulted in almost 1400 casualties while at the cost of 66 casualties. For this victory, he was decorated with the Croce di Cavaliere dell'Ordine Militare di Savoia. To wrap up this short recognition of this Italian Admiral, I would like to point out that in 1943, he had a choice to further aid the Germans in their war efforts and had, along with his junior officers, declined to do so and ended up as a prisoner of war in Poland until the Russians liberated him from his imprisonment in 1945. He later would become a consul in Argentina, after which he would return back to Italy where he would die in Rome in 1978. I hope that this spikes more interest in the Italian line due in 2018, but also gives some insight on some of the ships that we have know in port (and soon to be in port) Thanks for your time to everyone reading this. <0 -Pastore123
  14. Premium Ship Review: Giulio Cesare

    The following is a review of Giulio Cesare, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of October 20th, 2017. This was a triumph. (I'm making a note here: "Huge success".) It's hard to overstate my satisfaction. Quick Summary: Giulio Cesare feels like a traditional battlecruiser -- fast, hard hitting but with a poor protection scheme. She's incredibly agile for a ship of her size. Cost: $24.99 USD with a port slot. Patch and Date Written: to, October 12th to October 19th, 2017 Closest in-Game Contemporary Kongo, tier V Japanese Battleship Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Kongo is about as close as you'll get to a ship with similar game play style to Giulio Cesare, but this is still a rather far cry from the Italian Battleship. Cesare is stealthy while Kongo is not. Cesare is agile while Kongo is not. Both ships excel at engaging enemy ships at medium distances, using their speed to dictate the range. Cesare exerts far more control than Kongo between her superior firepower, gun handling, agility and stealth. PROs Extended waterline belt armour helps bounce shells when properly angled. The inside of the prow has an 85mm armoured "beak" which makes citadel penetrations through the bow more difficult. Guns feel very accurate with a combination of a 1.9 sigma value and the turrets being mounted close together. HE shells have an excellent base fire chance of 35% and a rather large splash radius of 28m for damaging modules. Fast gun traverse of 5.0º/s Small, 640m turning circle, good rudder shift time of 13.0s and a fast top speed of 27.0kts, making her one of the most agile battleships currently in the game (yes, even more agile than Warspite). She's a small target, smaller than many light cruisers with an excellent surface detection range of 13.7km. CONs Exceedingly fragile with poor torpedo defense, low hit point total, a large exposed citadel and poor armour values overall. Secondaries are lackluster with a modest rate of fire and a combination of HE and AP shell fire. Poor anti-aircraft firepower and range. Feels blind without any form of spotter aircraft, float plane fighter or similar vision-assisting consumable. The Italian Battleships are here! Well, kinda. Giulio Cesare is an Italian battleship but for those who were hoping to be able to pin point what sort of flavour or gimmick they would have to differentiate themselves from the Germans, British, American and Japanese, you're going to be a bit disappointed. Giulio Cesare got the Dunkerque treatment in that there's nothing about her that points to some special flavour of the Regia Marina dreadnoughts. We shouldn't be too surprised given what's come before like with Hood and Tirpitz which were each poor indicators for the ship lines that came after. This doesn't preclude Giulio Cesare from being an interesting ship in its own right as you will see. I have to admit, even as a die-hard Royal Navy fangirl -- the Italian ships are simply gorgeous. Options Pretty run of the mill stuff here. Giulio Cesare has a standard battleship Damage Control Party with a 15s active period and a 120s / 80s reset timer depending on whether or not you go for a premium version. Her Repair Party is also standard for a battleship. Consumables: Damage Control Party Repair Party Premium Camouflage: Type 9/10. As of patch, type 9 and 10 camouflage patterns are identical. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Module Upgrades: Three slots, standard non-American battleship options. In your first slot, take Main Armaments Modification 1. In your second slot, take Aiming System Modification 1. If you really hate aircraft, you can take AA Guns Modification 2 instead. While this will help dissuade tier IV and V carriers, be advised this will not save you against tier VI+ carriers, even with a full anti-aircraft build. In your third slot, take Damage Control Systems Modification 1. Firepower Primary Battery: Ten 320mm rifles in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Twelve 120mm guns in 6x2 turrets and eight 100mm guns in 4x2 turrets I got so terribly excited when I saw the load-out of Giulio Cesare's secondaries on paper: a ten gun broadsides? That's almost German-good! Sure, this would be hamstrung somewhat by the 4.0km range, but I was gonna be happy and I was going to pew pew stuff in the face and be all, "Veni, vidi, vici!" on all of those gunship destroyers that think they're so great at tiers IV and V. Yeah, no. There are two little issues with my dreams of close-quarter conquests with a phalanx of secondary fire. Giulio Cesare's secondaries don't have quite the rate of fire I was hoping. Each gun fires 10rpm -- a whisker shy of the 12rpm I hope to see on secondaries at a minimum -- especially for low caliber weapons like 100mm guns. I mean, 10rpm isn't terrible but it's not ideal. Anyway, I could over look this in of itself... ...except that point number two is that her 120mm guns (which form the backbone of her secondary armament) fire AP shells. Blech. Now, don't get me wrong. In of itself, AP shells from secondaries can be good if they've got a lot of hitting power. But these ones don't. They have a maximum alpha strike of 2,000 damage per if they citadel and they're not going to do that often. It's like asking a cross-eyed Farragut to save your life from a rampaging Podvoisky and the fool loads AP instead of HE. As it turned out, getting that close with Giulio Cesare is generally a loser move anyway (see her protection scheme below), so having mediocre secondaries isn't that much of a loss. Still, it's a shame. I do love my low tier brawls. As it would fall out, I did find an elegant solution to that charging gunship-destroyer problem. Meet the problem solver. Giulio Cesare is one of the most comfortable gunnery experiences I've enjoyed in a battleship. It's kind of hard for me to believe she's stricken with German dispersion values. These are the worst in the game. Her guns feel far more accurate than what her dispersion value would suggest. This comes down to three factors: Her sigma value, the size of the ship and the number of guns she wields. Giulio Cesare boasts a sigma value of 1.9 which is a marginal improvement over the usual 1.8 value found on tier V battleships. The higher the sigma value, the more likely shells will land towards the center of the dispersion field. In practice this means there are fewer 'wonky' shots where shells fly every which way. They still occur, but more rarely than on other battleships like König or Iron Duke. The second factor is the proximity of Cesare's guns to one another. Cesare isn't a very large vessel -- she's shorter in length than many of the cruisers within her matchmaking spread. As a result, her guns are crammed closer together. This has the effect of reducing dispersion further This is part of why a ship like New Mexico feels more accurate than Fuso even though the latter has better dispersion values. Finally, Cesare has a ten-gun broadside. Had she only eight like Kongo, her dispersion wouldn't feel as generous. The sheer volume of fire does much to diffuse any perceptions of occasional inaccuracy grace that if you throw enough shells at a target, something's likely to hit. So despite the flaw of a large base dispersion value, you're seldom going to feel it. .Giulio Cesare's guns should be considered "good enough" in all other respects. She doesn't win out on DPM, alpha strike, penetration, or even fire chance (she's bested by Iron Duke, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya, New York, and Iron Duke again, respectively). However, she's a contender in each category without any serious weak spots. She has the second highest DPM for a battleship at her tier. Cesare's HE penetration value is artificially high. For a 320mm gun, we should expect her to be able to penetrate 52mm of armor. She can instead penetrate 55mm. This isn't an enormous difference, but it is a bonus. Cesare has a very high fire chance at 35% per hit. This contrasts with a more modest HE shell damage of 4,800 which is respectable but not great. Cesare's module blast radius is respectable for her tier at 28.35m even with her smaller caliber guns. Cesare is great at causing critical damage to enemy ships, including setting off magazines of light cruisers and destroyers. This just leaves Cesare's AP penetration to talk about. It's not terrible, but it's not great. Her shells have comparable penetration performance to Royal Navy 381mm guns found on Hood and Queen Elizabeth. This is perfectly serviceable at tier V and VI though it starts feeling a bit lackluster against some of the more heavily armoured American and German belt armour, especially at close to maximum range. Image courtesy of Wargaming's Armada video on Giulio Cesare. Cesare's penetration values lack the raw potential up close, though they preserve their power well over distance. Giulio Cesare is a battleship where you could be forgiven for spamming a single ammunition type and either one would yield good results. To be clear: Her AP shells are better than her HE shells, but the latter are no slouches. A player who elects to use just a single shell type won't perform as optimally as someone that's more dynamic with their ammunition choices. However, they will still do reasonably well. The only real weakness of Cesare's main battery armament (and I am really stretching things to call it a weakness) are her gun fire angles. They're not bad but they're not excellent. Her forward guns have a 288º fire angle. Her rear have a 290º fire angle. This means that to bring all eight guns on a target ahead, she needs to angle out to 35º -- this isn't auto-bounce territory (30º) so she needs to be careful lest she eat unwanted citadel hits. Towards the rear this is slightly worse at a 36º fire angle. Overall, Cesare has an excellent main battery armament that's not only easy to use but quite powerful. Summary: Good traverse rates and decent accuracy makes her guns very comfortable to use. Her per-shell damage may not be phenomenal, but the number of hits she can land more than makes up for this. Dynamic ammunition choice will yield the best results, but homogeneous fire of AP or HE can still score some impressive damage totals. Her secondaries are unfortunately lackluster despite the impressive number of weapon mounts. Giulio Cesare has got it where it counts. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 27.0knotsTurning Radius: 640mRudder Shift: 13.0s Maximum Turn Rate: 4.9º/s Cesare is fast and Cesare is agile. Her twenty-seven knot top speed at tier V is excellent. She's not the fastest ship in her tier -- that honour goes to Kongo -- but she is much faster than all of her other contemporaries. What's more, she doesn't pay for this speed with horrible handling. In fact, Cesare is one of the most agile battleships in the game. While Warspite may boast a smaller turning circle, Cesare preserves more speed with her rudder hard over, allowing the ship to rotate faster and change direction more suddenly than every other battleship she faces. This gives her a maximum rate of turn of 4.9º/s compared to 4.7º/s of Warspite. As you can imagine, this makes Cesare great at dodging incoming shells and other forms of attack. Speed is life for Giulio Cesare. The value of being able to control engagement distances must not be underestimated. Cesare's speed wanes as you face higher tiered ships, however. While her twenty-seven knots feels blinding fast in the small, claustrophobic maps of tiers IV and V, when you're up-tiered, it doesn't quite measure up. The maps get significantly larger and you begin to face opposition that is as fleet footed (or faster) than you are. Still, like with Nagato, Cesare's 27 knot top speed is sufficient at tier VII though not especially quick. It pays to be a little more cautious because of it. One of the most satisfying elements of Cesare's speed and agility is that she is all but immune to torpedo attack form tier IV and V aircraft carriers, provided you keep your wits about you. Turning radius difference between Giulio Cesare (left) and Kongo (middle), and Warspite (right) using navigational buoys on the Ocean map as markers. One frame = approximately 3.0s. DurabilityHit Points: 45,500Maximum Citadel Protection: 250mm +24mm turtleback + 40mm Min Bow & Deck Armour: 19mm Torpedo Damage Reduction: 19% All of Cesare's speed comes at a price. She doesn't have a lot of hit points, for one. This in turn means that her Repair Party consumable isn't terribly impressive, healing back a maximum of 6,370hp per charge. For another, she's almost sufficiently protected, but there are significant problems with her armor scheme. First and foremost, there is no avoiding Cesare's most crippling flaw: Her citadel sits high over the waterline, stretching from in front of B turret to all of the way back behind X turret. Her citadel continues, submerged, beneath A and Y turrets. She doesn't have good armour protection around her citadel either -- not with how high it stands. The maximum citadel protection she receives is a bit of an illusion as her citadel sits so high that her turtleback will not always come into play -- nor will her thickest belt armour which is also submerged. Often, Cesare is forced to try and protect her machine spaces with as little as a 130mm upper belt armor and a 40mm citadel wall which doesn't stand up to punishment, even at very long ranges. If you give up this ship's side, you can expect to take citadel damage as a matter of course. Bow on, the story changes. While she has an extended belt armour which helps her face tank some shells, there's still a large section of 19mm worth of armor that can be overmatched directly head on. However, she is unlikely to take citadel hits from this angle as there's an interior 85mm armoured "beak" inside the bow to help deflect shells away from her magazines and barbettes. This wedge is a mixed blessing. While it does largely prevent citadel hits, it also upgrades many hits that would simply be overpenetrations into penetrating hits instead. So while it's unlikely for Cesare to take catastrophic hits when sailing directly bow onto an enemy, she'll still take large damaging hits as a matter of course. Cesare's extended belt armour covers her entire waterline to the rear, however, making her surprisingly tanky on the retreat. Just make sure you're aware of her worse gun fire angles when shooting over the shoulder so as to avoid giving up too much side when firing A and B turrets. Given these deficiencies in her armour scheme, it's best to take on a 15º to 20º angle towards enemies either on the attack or retreat to maximize the protection provided by your belt. Use her excellent agility to bait and dodge shells while unmasking your guns to return fire. Her agility should not be underestimated. Speed and camouflage will be your best defense in gunnery duels. Oh, and you can forget about Cesare having good protection against torpedoes. They hurt more than being stabbed twenty-three times. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 13.68km Air Detection Range: 9.42km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 11.41km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 10.86km Main Battery Firing Range: 16.37km Surface Detection Rank within Tier: Tied for first with Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: Tied for fourth with Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya Giulio Cesare is incredibly stealthy for a battleship. When she's top tier, the only ships that have better potential concealment are rare premiums, Nikolai I and Arkansas Beta. When she's bottom tier, the closest tier VI ships are New Mexico and Warspite with Cesare enjoying a 400m advantage. The closest tier VII is King George V with Cesare enjoying a 700m advantage. Combining her great handling and top speed, Cesare can dictate engagement ranges when fighting other battleships, which is a good thing. She will be uptiered often and this measure of control makes such matches far more comfortable than they would be otherwise. Silencing her guns and turning tail will allow you to disengage from unfavourable encounters. This goes a long way towards increasing her survivability. This is especially important given how blind she is. Cesare suffers like many battleships do that lack float plane fighters or some gimmicky consumable like Hydroacoustic Search. When forced to do her own spotting, she's groping in the dark which makes spits of land all the more dangerous and dealing with enemy destroyers far more challenging. It's worth noting just how small Giulio Cesare is. Even Duca d'Aosta, a light cruiser, is longer than the new battleship. She has a comparable length to the short and squat (and very cute) USS Texas but with even better concealment values. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 100mm / 37mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 4.0km / 3.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 26 / 70 / 27 Planes are a problem for Giulio Cesare. For one thing, they have a nasty habit of negating Cesare's impressive surface detection range. For another, they like to drop explody things that make me have a sad. As mentioned previously, Cesare's agility will largely keep you safe from munitions from tier IV and V carriers so long as you keep a wary eye out. Cross drops from an expertly played Zuiho can still cause issues. Her anti-aircraft armament isn't terrible, but it's not good. At best you could say that she doesn't have the worst AA power among battleships of her tier. Her large caliber guns are hamstrung by a 4.0km aura. For much of the playtesting period, I used AA Guns Modification 2 to help compensate for this (mostly because Aiming Systems Mod 1 was not available to testers) and this provided her with enough teeth to shoot down two or three aircraft from same or lower tier carriers per attack run. When facing higher tiered planes, killing one plane was a victory. Killing two was a triumph. So keep an eye on the skies. You'll need to manoeuvre to avoid attack and that can leave you open to incoming fire. Be sure to evaluate threats appropriately. How to Train your Publius Crassus Your first ten skill points in Giulio Cesare are rather standard for a stealthy battleship. Start with Priority Target. For those players comfortable with their situational awareness, this can be swapped for Preventative Maintenance or Expert Loader. At the next tier, take Expert Marksman. You're going to be throwing Cesare about often in heavy manoeuvres. Her turrets can barely keep up with her maximum rotation rate and this will help get your guns back on target. Superintendent is your best purchase next to give you an extra charge of your Repair Party. And finally, take Concealment Expert at top tier to drop your surface detection range down to 11.4km. This will help you control fights, especially when you're bottom tier in the Matchmaker. The current meta will reward you best for taking survivability based skills after this. Fire Prevention (4) and Basics of Survivability (3), should all be considered high value skills. Fire damage is especially prevalent at lower tiers. For the remaining two points, Adrenaline Rush (2) is your best investment. If you're especially salty about aircraft and want to feel like a big fish in a small pond, you can build for AA-power with Advanced Fire Training (4) and Basic Fire Training (3) instead. Combined with AA Guns Modification 2, this will give you a rather healthy flak umbrella that will make tier IV and V carriers rather salty when they engage you. However, be advised this build is not only sub-optimal, it's all but useless when facing tier VI and VII carriers. Cool battleships don't look at exploding aircraft. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Giulio Cesare has one lesson to teach novice players -- don't show your sides. Beyond that, she's not a terribly complicated ships, with very forgiving attributes. She's agile enough to respond to belatedly addressed threats. Her AP and HE shells are both competitive even when the wrong ammunition choice for a task is selected. She's not so fast that you will easily outstrip your support. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Veterans will love her concealment value, agility and speed while celebrating the punishing hitting power of her guns. If she wasn't blind, she would be the perfect mid-tier battleship. She presents an interesting challenge on how best to maximize her armour and what few hit points she has. Mouse's Summary: 1.9 sigma, good muzzle velocity and her gun layout makes her feel more accurate than her dispersion stats would otherwise indicate. She does not stand up well to abuse. She's got enough armour to shrug off a few hits but under concerted fire, she's not going to last very long. Make sure the things that are shooting at you die painful deaths. Fast, agile, stealthy. She hates planes. She also hates torpedoes. Giulio Cesare had an interesting development cycle. Her first iteration was disgustingly overpowered with the ship enjoying the same horizontal dispersion value as Japanese Heavy Cruisers (!) with a 1.5 sigma value. The second iteration was the ship we see now but without the Aiming System Modification 1 upgrade which is what this review is based upon. As I write this, I haven't had a chance to play her with the accuracy increase and I'm very much looking forward to that. It's only going to make playing her more fun. Giulio Cesare is a battleship that rewards good gunnery and awareness skills -- so much so that I honestly believe she might be just a little overpowered but I'm on the fence. This ship is going to spit so much damage so regularly, that I anticipate she's going to end up near the top of the pile on the damage meters. The only thing that will hold her back is her survivability and that's not nearly as bad as some may be dreading. Overall, she's a very powerful ship in the right hands. What I found worked best was keeping engagement distances out to about 10km to 12km and holding it there. This let Cesare's guns land hits regularly while still giving her enough time to angle or avoid incoming fire. Against more serious threats like the Scharnhorst-class battleships, extending this range to 14km helped, as well as switching ammunition based on the opportunities provided. Cesare feels a bit idiot proof in that you can spam HE and get good numbers. I found myself leaning upon this ammunition a little more than perhaps I should have. As a consequence, this lead to more than a few detonations of enemy vessels -- a total of five out of forty-six games played. This number shouldn't be considered anomalous -- any battleship that spams HE at soft targets like cruisers and destroyers could get similar results provided they can land the hits in the vicinity of the ammunition lockers. Cesare was uniquely suited to this with not only her improved accuracy but also her speed which let me get her into positions to hammer these softer targets early on in a match. Much will be made of Cesare being a tier V battleship and suffering the ills of the current Matchmaking. This is a battleship that up-tiers very well -- at least provided there are no aircraft carriers present. In pure gunship fights, she has all of the tools necessary to contend with these larger vessels. I did not feel horribly disadvantaged facing a Colorado, Nagato or King George V. It was a challenge facing these ships, to be sure, but it wasn't a forgone conclusion like it might be had I been sailing a New York or König. When Cesare is top tier, it's really not very fair. There are only a few ships to give me pause in such match-ups. A well played Hosho, Kamikaze or Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya might make me play a little more cautiously, but Cesare provides so many advantages it's hard not to feel confident when Matchmaker spat me out into such a game. Like the French cruiser, De Grasse, Giulio Cesare surprised me with how much fun she was to play. This is a ship I will be happily revisiting in my spare time when I can get her on my personal account. Would I Recommend? Well, I want her... PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Giulio Cesare is a real bully in PVE battles. Her operational costs are 11,500 to repair and typical ammunition costs amounting to this value again. This is an easy sum to recover in Co-Op. I highly recommend her for players that enjoy battering bots. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Giulio Cesare is a monster in Random Battles. She's got all of the tools needed to carry the day here. She's an easy recommendation for battleship lovers. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. I'm torn here and I think I would give her a pass. Giulio Cesare thrives in the chaos of a disorganized melee of Random or Co-Op battles. In the more structured (and often static) environment of a competitive arena, she may not fare as well where fire is often quite focused and manoeuvre plays second fiddle to hugging islands and concealment. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Giulio Cesare is one of the few battleships in WWII to have engaged in surface action against other battleships -- namely, HMS Warspite. For that reason alone (and her association with my favourite bae-bote), she gets a nod here, especially for those that like to recreate historical engagements in training rooms. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Very yes. I had a lot of fun playing this ship. It reminded me of the good ol' days of playing Kongo back in Beta. What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE - Grossly uncompetitive and badly in need of buffs.Mehbote - Average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable, but certainly not advantageous.Gudbote - A strong ship that has obvious competitive strengths and unique features that make it very appealing.OVERPOWERED - A ship with very clear advantages over all of its competitors and unbalancing the game with its inclusion.
  15. So we've got our first video of Cesare in action! HE is a tad strong... Nah, I'm just messing with you, here's the flamu video: My god, does that camo look good...
  16. Hi guys! So, as I was going over the pictures of Giulio Cesare this morning I came across this: Look at the range finder. It has a phrase on it, but I could only make out the first two words. Then I found this image: A great shot of Giulio Cesare's B turret and bridge superstructure. But you can see the front of the rangefinder and the final word. "Guai agli inermi". Now running it through a few translaters I came up with the translation: "Woe to the Helpless" or "Woe to the Powerless". It was the motto of the unit she was a part of. That made me think, did Cavour have a different one? So I checked, and sure enough: The foreground ship is Cavour. You can tell the phrase is longer, but illegible from this distance. That's when the modeling community helped me out. In a discussion about the unofficial mottos on the rangefinders, the one on Giulio was mentioned, and then Cavour's. Cavour's motto on the rangefinder reads: "Molti nemici Molto onore" translating to "Many enemies, much honor" paraphrased from a then famous quote from Mussolini. For the actual ship mottos however, Giulio Cesare's was, "Caesar adest!" meaning Caesar is there. Conte di Cavour's was, "A nessuno secondo" meaning Second to no one. Hope you all enjoyed! Fair winds and following seas captains!
  17. World of Speculation: Roma Hello all, Phoenix here with another one of those posts where I’ll probably make myself look like a fool. Fortunately, I’ve since developed the necessary brain cells that allow me to comprehend that photobucket was a terrible choice of image hosting, so there’s that at least. Anyways, as the wiser and more cynical members of the forum may already have wondered; why in the hell am I bringing this subject up? We’ve heard nothing of Roma since the start of 2017, when it was announced in WG’s magazine that she was to come in 2017, but only after Alabama arrived (check there. Also, Graf Zeppelin was mentioned in the same place. Check?). Well, sorry to start the hype train up again, but I decided, hell, why don’t we look at Roma, and wonder: How will she appear in game? This is actually a lot more of an interesting question than most might think, as the Littorio-class had a lot of quirks that make it difficult to nail down. Fortunately, as a premium, we at least know what modifications Roma should appear with (I assume she will be represented as she was prior to her sinking). So, as usual with my analysis of ships, we’re splitting this up into categories, although I’m leaving out the historical part for this one: - Health - Armor/Protection - Firepower - AA - Speed & Maneuverability - Stealth Alright, so as I literally just mentioned, we’re not doing a historical part for this ship (Part of me thinks me saying it again is to remind myself… hmm), instead, we’ll get straight to the heart of the matter! Health: Roma, while still the same class, was built to a slightly modified design compared to her other sisters Littorio and Vittorio Veneto. Impero was to be the same. So, what was this modification? What new goodies were crammed in? Well, nothing really. There was a modification to their bows that helped their handling in rough seas, but that’s all. It just makes her overall length (note; not waterline length. It primarily gave her more freeboard) a little under three meters longer, and she comes out some tons heavier. Roma, fully loaded, comes out to a sizeable 45,485 tons. Where does that put her in relation to other tier eight battleships? Well, first let’s log out the other tier eight battleships and see where they lie relative to their health. So, as we can see, Roma comes in on the lighter end of spectrum when it comes to the dreadnoughts of tier eight. Roma is sandwiched between the two American cousins, 966 tons heavier than Alabama, but 1,215 tons behind North Carolina. Assuming the hitpoints can be used proportionally to tonnage, we can conclude that Roma should come out to roughly 64,500 hitpoints. Conclusion- While it isn’t terrible, it is on the lower end of hitpoints for ships of this tier and type, in fact below average. Still, given the scale of hitpoints we’re talking about here, being 2-3 thousand hitpoints short of many others isn’t the same difference it is on something like a cruiser or low-tier battleship. Still, this is a disadvantage. That’s surviving a few more ticks of fire or flooding, taking that extra bit of HE spam, dealing with a few more overpens… or even not dying to that last citadel. Every bit matters, but that still doesn’t make it a major disadvantage. Armor/Protection- Oh boy… so, this is one of those ‘complicated’ areas. Why? Well, with the Littorio-class, the Italians got creative with her protection. Decapping. I’ll start with the deck armor, because unbelievably that’s simpler. Note: As WG doesn’t factor in plating such as (most famously, at least on NA) the American STS, I’m not going to count the ER plating as armor. Upper Deck: 36mm <- This is basically the forecastle deck, although it extends all the way aft to the #3 barbette. Main Deck: - Magazines: 150mm over citadel, 100mm over belt - Machinery: 100mm over citadel, 90mm over belt Extremities: - Forward: 60mm from citadel fore bulkhead to foremost armored bulkhead - Aft: 100mm from citadel aft bulkhead to aftermost armored bulkhead. About half this length (towards citadel) had 36mm armor on the deck above it. The aft most end also had two sloping plates (for the steering gear) As a side note, for the combinations of the armor plates and the ER they were laminated on, the equal thickness in a single pate for the values are as following; (36mm; 42mm) (90mm; 95mm) (100mm; 107mm) (150mm; 157mm) This is roughly what how Roma’s deck armor should appear, following this code: Red: 150mm Yellow: 100mm Green: 90mm Blue: 60mm All areas within the zone marked by the black lines would have 36mm plates above them. Now, for the vertical armor (superstructure armor not listed as it’s fairly irrelevant): Citadel: Side: -280mm main belt + 70mm decapping plate over the entire citadel, inclined at 15º -36mm splinter bulkhead at 15º, 24mm bulkhead incline inward at 26º Ends: - Fore: 210mm above main deck, 100mm below - Aft: 280m above main deck, 70mm below Barbettes: - 350mm above upper deck, 280mm below (barbette #3 is an exception w/ 290mm) Primary Battery Turrets: - 350mm face (380mm?), 200mm sides & rear Extremities: - Entire length of hull above belt is 70mm thick. Two 70mm bulkheads connect these, in front of the end barbettes and main bulkheads - 70mm section of armor extending about halfway to the bow from the main belt, capped by a 60mm bulkhead - 100mm plates sloped in aft over the steering gears & propeller shafts – closed by a 200mm bulkhead This image displays the vertical armor. Note, the conning tower armor is an average. This is how she should appear in game. Purple: 350mm (Used for Belt Assembly as well) Red: 200mm Yellow: 100mm Green: 70mm Pale Green: 60mm Blue: 32mm Pale Blue: 19mm The blue areas are WG fixed values for tier VIII BBs. 32mm bow/stern, 19mm superstructure. On the Belt Armor: This… this is where it gets complicated. In order to provide better protection against more modern weapon systems (at least, those envisioned in the 1930s), a lot of innovation went into the design of the Littorio-class. One of these concepts was the decapping of Armor-Piercing shells, something reflected on both the deck and belt armor. For the deck, this was done quite simply by having multiple armored decks. For the vertical armor, this was done by creating a composite belt. The belt structure was angled at 15º, consisting of a 280mm main belt with a 70mm plate set a distance of 250mm outside. The space in-between was filled with a water-repellent cement foam called ‘cellulite.’ Directly behind the 280mm belt was 150mm of oak, with another 15mm of ER plating behind that (obviously, these would not likely be represented in-game). 1.4 meters behind that (1400mm) was a 36mm splinter bulkhead set at the same angle. Further behind that (distance varied with height, but on average was 4 meters) was a 24mm that was inclined in the opposite direction at 26º. Just behind this (distance again varies, average is probably about a meter) is the 7-9mm (ER) watertight bulkhead, beyond which would be the citadel space. Now, in game… as of now, decapping is not a thing. There is also nothing to simulate the cellulite in the composite belt. Thus, the question becomes, how will WG represent this? Will they? Or will they ignore it? In the latter case, will they leave it as is, with the non-armor portions left as empty voids? Or will they simplify the belt into a solid 350mm belt? I don’t have the answers for that. (Though they would be welcome… any help, @Sub_Octavian? J). However, in the event WG decides to leave the decapping out of the realm of possibility, it would seriously compromise the strength of the belt. Don’t get me wrong; it would still be workable. Just look at Amagi and her 254mm belt. However, at that point, the 350mm belt might be the better option. Why? Well, the belt of the Littorio-class is oddly effective in WoWs, because of the nature of her citadel. As you will shortly see, it’s rather tall. Kinda like Duca d’Aosta. However, also like the d’Aosta, it’s narrow, and all those splinter bulkheads play an interesting game with shells… and their fuses. You see, just like in real life, not only do our shells lose velocity over time in the air, but penetrating armor beats the crap out of shells. As in, knocking 400mps off their speed. Now, the 36mm and 24mm bulkheads would normally do almost nothing to slow down battleship AP – after hitting the main belt, the shells have lost so much energy that these bulkheads actually have an effect. Now, that won’t prevent the shells from ever reaching the citadel – the bulkheads still certainly won’t stop them. Well, at least if the shell lasts that long. However, that would have to mean that the AP shell can punch through all the bulkheads in just 33 milliseconds, the fuse time of the average battleship shell. You’d be amazed how often AP shells fail that test at intermediate ranges, especially when you start taking into account even light angling. Against the new British battleships, this will be even more effective, as all of them except for Warspite have only a 15 millisecond fuse time, practically a guarantee their shells will never reach the citadel of a Littorio at medium combat ranges. This isn’t a turtleback that gets more effective the closer you get… but it is something, and although you’ll still eat a ton of regular pens sitting broadside… they’re not citadels! Overall, on the way the belt is treated… If decapping does not become a feature, than I imagine there is a good chance that the result is Roma’s belt is simplified to a 350mm plate. The fact that two separate plates is inferior to a single plate of equivalent raw thickness is well documented and is true both in the real world and in World of Warships. If the decapping scheme that the Littorio-class relied upon is not to be represented in game, than I think it would only be an unfair penalty to the class to insist the belt still be kept as separate plates, creating a weakness where there shouldn’t be one. However, the judge of this is WG, so we can only wait and see. Citadel Placement: Speaking of which, that comes to a bit of a letdown when it comes to height. It’s a tall one. She’s a fast battleship, and she’s got tall machinery spaces. As a result, this is what her citadel will look like assuming no intervention on WG’s part (image includes barbettes, which are not part of citadel space in WoWs): As is plainly obvious, there’s a good chunk of citadel above the waterline. That sure as hell isn’t pretty. But hey, at least there’s a good amount of space between the sides of the ship and the citadel walls: So, it’s a mixed bag, a lot like the Duca d’Aosta, in fact. So, the next question is; how does her armor handle HE, and autobounces. Well, again, a mixed bag depending on what WG counts as armor. Against the threat of overmatch mechanics, Roma will be a decently strong ship. While the ends of the ship are vulnerable to overmatch by the 18.1” shells, in both the front (60mm) and rear (36-100mm) interior decks will prevent those shells from overmatching their way to the citadel. The hull is also quite resistant, the 70mm upper belt meaning the center of the hull is immune to overmatch, while the 70mm belt extended forward of the main belt gives extra surface towards the bow to help prevent overmatch from the Japanese 18.1” gun. The same is true aft with the 100mm plates, the result making it hard for shells coming in through either the 32mm bow or stern to reach the citadel. In terms of HE resistance, it’s a mixed bag. The 70mm upper belt makes much of the hull extremely resistant to HE alpha. Conventional HE up to 420mm (16.5”) will fail to do damage here making it impervious to almost every cruiser HE in the game. However, HE from German cruisers & BBs 283mm (11.1”) or greater will penetrate this (the same is true for British battleships). It is worth noting that the smallest conventional IFHE shell that can do damage against this is Dunkerque’s 330mm (13”) guns. For Germans Cruisers, BBs, & RN BBs, this is true for shells 220mm (8.7”) or greater. The deck armor will depend on if WG counts the 9mm plates below the 36mm upper deck (raising the thickness to 45mm). As a 36mm upper deck, it is resistant to HE of up to 210mm (8.3”), although if they use IFHE it’s only resistant against 6” (150-155mm) shells. For the ¼ pen HE shells, the base value is good enough for 6” HE to work, though IFHE won’t help the 105mm guns. For a 45mm deck, it could resist HE of up to 270mm (10.6”), and IFHE of up to 203mm (8”). Against the ¼ pen shells, it would good enough against 180mm (7”) HE, and against that type of IFHE, 139mm (5.5”). Now that we’ve covered that… well, then we have the big question when it comes to the Littorio class… Pugliese. To be honest, I’m a bit lazy, so I’m going to quote myself from a quote from February 19th, as I think it sums it up best: Hence, I would say somewhere between 20-25% would be the Roma’s torpedo damage reduction in-game… but given the wide variances in game (hi, USN BBs), who knows? Firepower: Main Guns: MMMmmmm. Here we go. Probably one of the best features of this ship. So, Roma, like all her sisters, was armed with a battery of nine 381mm/50 (15”) cannons, the most powerful 15” guns to ever be made, and one of the most powerful naval rifles, period. Although their mounts could only elevate 36º, they could fire their 884.8 kg Armor-Piercing projectiles out to a range of 42.8 km, making them the longest-range battleship guns, period. The initial muzzle velocity of these guns was 870mps, but this was dropped to 850mps in order to preserve barrel life and reduce dispersion. AP: The Armor-Piercing capabilities of the gun is incredible for the caliber, in fact having better belt penetration abilities than the famed American 16”/50 Mk.7 with WWII ammunition, and when compared with the infamous Japanese 460mm/45, actually has more penetration outside of 14 km. This is with the reduced 850mps velocity. Of course, the gun paid for this with weaker deck penetration, however, due to the shallower angles of impact. For lack of a better term, you are using something like railguns. Your arcs will be very flat, time to target rapid, making aim easy. In terms of penetration, it’s a tier X gun. Hell, it’s actually better than many tier X guns. Going by formula, it should have a maximum damage potential of 12100 damage. On an overpen, 1210 damage, while a regular penetration should result in just under 4000 damage. SAP: Yes, you heard me right. SAP. So, little known fact, Italian battleships did not carry HE (granata dirompente) rounds, although some were in development. They had AP (palla) rounds, and SAP (granata perforante) rounds. So, the question becomes, how does WG represent this? While the pure AP rounds were meant for use against battleships, the SAP rounds were to be used against lighter ships (armor-wise) such as cruisers, destroyers, and aircraft carriers. So the question becomes, what do we do with these rounds? Well, option one is to make them into HE. Really, really crappy HE, because the bursting charge is small. How small? Smaller than the bursting charges in the HE shells of Alaska. Yeah, Alaska. And her 305mm (12”) shells. Option two would be to take these shells and treat them like SAP rounds optimized for killing cruisers and destroyers (compared to the pure AP rounds). They’re lighter, weighing in at 824.3 kg, but are also fired at a higher MV (880mps), which would result in them being better at pegging faster targets. Their penetration is also much less than the pure AP, anywhere from 130-200mm less depending on the range. Taking these factors, and coupling it with a faster fuse (say, 15 milliseconds like all the British BBs with the exception of Warspite), would help make a unique trait for the Italian BB line in general, not just for Roma. It would remove the ability to sling HE, but would make it a lot easier to kill cruisers and destroyers due to the shorter fuse. It wouldn’t really be a gimmick, as instead of forcing down some sort of consumable on the ships, it’s a historically accurate flavoring, something that could be advantageous in one instance, or a disadvantage in another. Handling: How will these guns handle? Well, we can break that down into three areas. Traverse/Firing Arcs, RoF, and accuracy. Traverse & Firing Arcs: Excellent, for a battleship. The turrets of the Littorio-class traversed at a rate of 6º/sec, a value only beaten among battleships by the Scharnhorst (7.2º/sec). This is a speed many cruisers are jealous of (fun fact, this is faster than the historical traverse speeds of both IJN & USN CA’s, and matches those of MN, RM, & RN CA’s). This means your turrets will rotate 180º in 30 seconds flat, 26.87 seconds with the EM captain skill (Probably not worth taking). This is excellent news, on top of your utterly hilarious firing arcs: Just to say it bluntly if it isn’t immediately obvious: All of your guns can be brought to bear at a mere 20º angle. At which angle, any shells that hit your hull from where you’re aiming will just autobounce off. Who needs bow-on anyways? RoF: This is where it gets a bit complicated. These guns get a lot of sh*t for, despite their caliber and age, having a listed RoF on NavWeaps of 1.3 rpm. However, Navweaps really ought to add an asterisk onto that, mentioning that the RoF is 1.3 rpm at elevations of about 15º, at which point you’re firing shells at targets over 25 km away. Another important factor to keep in mind is that these guns were originally order for a rate of fire of ‘not more than 24 seconds per round.’ And going even further, if we look at gunnery exercises, we can see rate of fire numbers as low as 30.6 or 29.7 seconds. Of course, the most telling would be to rely on actual combat data to find our results, yes? Well, that’s actually what I did. The book “Struggle for the Middle Sea” By Vincent P. O’Hara gives an excellent account of the battles for control of the Mediterranean Sea during WWII, and fortunately for us, during two of the engagements involving a Littorio (specifically, both involve Vittorio Veneto), we are able to precisely pick out the time the battleship opened fire, when she ceased fire, and how many salvoes she let lose. The first instance is the Battle of Cape Spartivento, the second fleet action of the war. Vittorio Veneto entered the action a 1300, opening fire on British cruisers. They rapidly turned away as Manchester was straddled, and a 1310 Vittorio Veneto ceased fire. 10 minutes of firing in which she fired 19 salvoes. 19/10 = 1.9, aka, 31.6 second firing cycle. Later in the year, during Operation Guado (Battle of Cape Matapan resulted from this), Vittorio Veneto again found herself engaging British crusiers, opening fire at 1055.30, getting for 10 salvoes, ceasing fire for 3 minutes, and then resuming again until 1115, for a total firing time of 16 & ½ minutes, during which she fired a total of 29 salvoes. This works out to 1.76 rpm, or a 34.1 second firing cycle. So, the question is… given all of the above evidence, what reason is there to penalize her RoF? Let’s not forget, even with the incredible penetration… this is still a ship armed with 15” guns at tier VIII… that’s a hard cap on her dpm, simply because of the amount of damage her shells can do. Bismarck only has eight guns… but she’s got a mere 26 second reload, and she’s Made in German. The incoming Monarch has nine guns, like Roma. She, however, has a 25 second reload, even more rapid than Bismarck’s. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not arguing for a sub-30 second reload on Roma’s guns. But anything like what’s on Navweaps would just be ridiculous. I think a 30-34 second window makes the most sense. Secondary Battery: A weakness for Roma, at least in the game. Lacking a good DP gun in the late 1930s, the old 100mm gun being obsoleted by the new, faster generation of monoplanes coming into existence, Italy was forced to use single-purpose guns for the role of defense against small craft from the air and sea (Technically, there were AA rounds for the 6” guns… but I doubt that’ll be represented). For the anti-air role, the excellent 90mm gun was chosen. For the anti-surface role, one of the best cruiser guns Italy had would find their way onto the Littorio-class; the 152mm/55 Ansaldo Model 1934 (Roma specifically carried the M1936’s, which were produced by OTO). A powerful successor to the 152mm/53 found on earlier light cruisers (Duca d’Aosta carries these in WoWs), these guns were, wonky HE shells aside, incredibly accurate, without losing the trait of high muzzle velocity, much of this ahvng to do with the barrels being spaced farther apart in the mounts. Whereas the prior gun was dropped from 1000mps to just 850mps, this gun still fired its 50kg AP at 910mps, with dispersion of just 80-90 meters at 17.5 km. The HE shells were more troublesome (160-200 meters a the same range). To compare, Chapayev’s guns have 152 meters of dispersion at 17.33 km in-game. These guns were the main armament of the Abruzzi-class light cruisers, Italy’s most powerful light cruisers of the war. They carried ten guns in a layout mimicking that of the rebuilt Cavour and Duilio-class battleships. Roma, like her sisters, carried 12 of these guns in four triple mounts, two mounts per side. Their stats will most likely resemble this: 4x3 152mm/55 OTO Model 1936 RoF: 5 rpm (12 second reload) Range: 5.0 – 6.0 km MV: 910mps AP: 2200 This is very limited in its use. 6” AP doesn’t to a whole lot against DDs, and it’s not like one can expect to find much use against cruisers and battleships with them either, especially given the ‘accuracy’ of secondary gunners… and you’ve only got 6 to a side, and they’re not fast-firing by any stretch of the imagination. The 90mm guns, meanwhile, are single-purpose guns, although it is worth noting they were used against British destroyers in the Second Battle of Sirte, Littorio losing 21 rounds of 90mm ammunition at British destroyers as they attempted a torpedo run. In WoWs, their functionality would be rather small, however. While this could produce a decently sized fusillade of 72 to 96 rounds to a broadside, as 90mm shells they’d only have 15mm of penetration, and probably only have a maximum damage potential of 1300 damage with a 5% or less fire chance. It’s sort of a case of “I don’t see why not, but I also don’t see why.” Anti-Aircraft Firepower: And here we come to one of the weak points of Roma; her AA battery. As a premium, she is restricted by historical numbers, as oppose to tree ships that can get a-historical buffs in these areas. Roma’s AA suite was as follows: 12x1 90mm/50 OTO 1939 8x2 37mm/54 Breda 1938 4x1 37mm/54 Breda 1939 14x2 20mm/65 Breda 1935 The only gun she shares with the Duca d’Aosta is the Breda 37mm cannon, which lets us get that out of the way (The singles, too, following the damage scaling ratio of 1.41 when a mount doubles the barrel count). 11.6 dps per twin mount, 8.2 dps per single. The 20mm cannons, although not in the game, fortunately are very similar to the German 20mm/65 C/38, which deals 3.0 dps as a single mount and 4.2 dps as a twin mount. Thus, Roma’s light AA works out to be: 8x2 37mm/54 - 92.8 dps @ 3.51 km 4x1 37mm/54 - 32.8 dps @ 3.51 km 14x2 20mm/65 - 58.8 dps @ 2.01 km The 90mm guns are a very different story. As a gun, it was one of the best Italian artillery pieces to be produced during the conflict, working as an excellent AA gun, and finding a role as a spectacular anti-tank gun for the Regio Esercito, more powerful even than the vaunted German 88mm/L56. The question then becomes; how does it translate into WoWs as an AA gun? The two closest guns to it are the German 88mm and French 90mm, the latter not being as good, but still useful for comparison. As a single mount, the French 90mm deals 2.7 dps @ 3.99 km, while the German 88mm gun, while not present in a single mount, would deal 5.7 dps @ 3.99 km. As the 88mm is the closest, we’re using her as the yardstick. Now, to compare, the German guns fires it’s 9.0 kg shells at 950mps, compared to the Italian gun lofting its 10.1 kg at 860mps. The RoF of the 90mm gun varies from 12 to 16 rpm (The latter the result of well-trained crews. However, it should be noted impractical numbers are used in numerous secondary/AA guns in-game, so the use of this value is not improbable). The 88mm manages 15-20 rpm. Given this, wouldn’t it seem the 88mm gun should have the dps advantage? Well, not quite. You see, when it comes to range and damage output of AA guns, factors such as fire control, stabilization, etc. For example, just look at the Soviet 130mm guns. In our case, the 90mm gun has RPC, and quadraxial stabilization. And, while I’m not expert on AA output, better knowledged forumnites such as Aetreus estimate the output of one of these guns to be about 8.0 dps @ 5.01 km As such, the total dps output of Roma would be something like (combining dps at the same ranges): 96.0 dps @ 5.01 km 125.6 dps @ 3.51 km 58.8 dps @ 2.01 km Compared to other tier VIII’ premiums, this is a solid ‘meh.’ Alabama’s AA s vastly superior, in every category. Compared to Tirpitz (not known for having fantastic AA), things are a bit more equal, the 90mm guns potential offering a range advantage at the cost of dps, and while not having nearly as much close range dps from her 20mm cannons, her mid-range fire from her 37mm cannons is vastly superior to that of the German battleship. Roma’s AA defenses will be decent, but nothing spectacular by a long shot. Speed & Maneuverability: If nothing else, the common stereotype for Italian warships, and their designers, is that they liked speed. And for that, Roma packed 128,200 hp. Her sisters, Littorio and Vittorio Veneto, both were rated at 30 knots, which they could and would make in wartime conditions. On their speed trials, both made of 31 knots (31.3 and 31.4 respectively) by pushing their machinery at a displacement of just under 42,000 tons, and it was calculated that running at maximum power (just short of 160,000 hp, although they never operated at this power in their lives) they could have made 32.2 knots at this displacement. Roma’s speed trials were never recorded, although it has been theorized by some that due to her improved bow shape, she would be able to make higher speeds than her sisters. As far as turning circle radius... These are the values given by the book “The Littorio Class: Italy’s Last and Largest battleships 1937 - 1948” for a full 360° turn; 35° angle (main rudder) @ 20kts - 885m diameter - 442.5m radius 35° angle @ 29.5kts - 935m diameter - 467.5m radius This is given for a 180° turn with a diameter of 1500m (750m radius); 9° @ 10kts 9.5° @ 14kts 11.3° @ 18kts 13.7° @ 22kts 17° @ 26kts 21° @ 30kts Then for a for a 180° turn with a diameter of 1000m (500m radius); 22.5° @ 10kts 23.5° @ 14kts 25.5° @ 18kts 29.5° @ 22kts Apparently these values could be improved by the use of the auxiliary rudders, specifically whichever one was on the inside of the turn. For the most part these are all 30-31kt Battleships (same as Littorio), although the two American BBs can only make 27.5kts. Assuming WG's figure for turning circle is with the rudder over at maximum, and at full speed, I would think Roma's maneuverability would come out to be - Maximum Speed: 30-31 knots Turning Circle Radius: 750 meters Stealth: Our final category, stealth can generally be approximated by comparing the height of ships. Usually, this is a tedious process. Roma, however, made it easy, and I was able to get this done in one comparison. This is Roma with Tirpitz superimposed over each other, corrected for length. The result is that they’re almost exactly the same, which makes it likely Roma will have a value very similar to or the same as the 16.38 km found on Bismarck and Tirpitz. This can be lowered via modules and captain skills to 12.3 km. This isn’t terrible, but it’s largely overshadowed by other ships, especially in the wake of British battleships. Here is a table of the stealth of all BBs with access to the concealment module: * Minimal detection includes camouflage, CE, and the Concealment Module. Conclusion: Roma is still a lot of unknowns. For example, the laminated armor. Will the upper deck, for example, be just 36mm? Will it be 45mm? The combined effective value of 42mm? The belt is another one. Will decapping become a thing? If not, will the structure be kept as is, or will the plates be combined to 350mm? How will thin citadel and interior bulkheads affect the ship? For example, (assuming 350mm main belt) Monarch’s 15”/45 Mk.II’s AP would fail to reach Roma’s citadel, if it was hitting Roma’s broadside at a range of just ten kilometers. 10 km. Yup, there’s a price to pay for having a short fuse. Even with Iowa’s 16” SHS, at 15 km it only has 4 milliseconds of fuse before it hits the last bulkhead, which will still result in a citadel… well, as long as Roma is still sitting broadside. However, at 17 km, it will fail to reach the citadel. Again, broadside. Compared to other BBs of tier VIII – X, she’s a ship of middling stealth and speed, unusual durability, although on the lower end of health for her tier, with sub-par to mediocre AA for such a high tier, and spectacular firepower (Albeit low alpha). Overall, although she’ll certainly be vulnerable from the air because of the low AA firepower, she ought to be a very flexible warship, capable of – well, perhaps sniping isn’t the right word, but still capable of putting the hurt on enemy battleships at very long range, taking advantage of the incredible penetrative qualities of her AP. If she’s caught at close range, she’ll have significant capability as a brawler, or at least as capable as you can be without having Made in German armor. Her turret angles, as well as their phenomenal traverse time, will give her an edge in close-range combat. At middling ranges, where her penetration will be more than enough to deal with most opponents, and while her armor might not be able to prevent damage at this range outside of autobounce, it will provide decent protection against citadels. Remember, 17 km broadside to the American 16” Mk.7. That’s one of the most powerful guns in the game, period. Her poor secondary firepower will mean that destroyers getting to close to her will be a very significant threat, ones that won’t be warded off without paying them a visit with 885 kilogram shells, and they probably won’t add much in fights against other capital ships. However, her rapid turret traverse and good angles should help against destroyers. Her speed means she should be able to get across the map rapidly, as a top speed of 30, possible even 31 knots, is pretty par for the course for tier VIII+ ships, only Iowa being clearly faster at 33 knots, while Bismarck will also have an edge with her 31 knots if Roma has just 30 knots (which I personally consider most likely). Hood also can add herself to this list, even though she’s tier VII, as she can make 32 knots. Assuming my assessment of her turning capabilities does indeed apply (which is not always the case. See Yamato) she should also be pretty good at maneuvering – someone queue the torpedobeats. If nothing else, her sisters Littorio and Vittorio Veneto left a decent precedent for it, as much of their careers consisted dodging vast quantities of torpedoes. I personally have no doubt she’ll be a solid battleship at tier VIII. However, how solid, one cannot totally call, because there is so much to question. Will the 90mm guns be secondaries? Will there be decapping? If not, will the belt be separate or merged? Will she get HE, or perhaps a special SAP? How will the laminated armor be treated? Will the 152mm guns get any AA value? How good will the 90mm guns actually be as AA? What will the range of her main guns be in-game? Why does autocorrect hate me so much? So, what do you think? How wrong am I? As always, any and all criticism is welcome, as long as it stays civil! As a side note, after Tuesday I won’t have any access to the Internet or email for the following 10 days, so I apologize in advance for anyone I don’t respond to in that timeframe. Happy Hunting! Littorio and Vittorio Veneto, her two older sisters that formed the center of the Regia Marina's battlefleet. Unlike Roma, they would be involved in numerous actions during the war.
  18. Regia Marina Badge ID Help!

    Hello! I was looking at purchasing a few Regia Marina badges from a seller, but I'm not sure how to ID the usage of such items. In other words, I don't know the function of the badges for the Regia Marina since finding a reference guide for such things is hard (I find more stuff on Kriegsmarine than Regia Marina). Here are the pins in question. If anybody can ID what they are...and their overall usage (i.e. award, rank pip, uniform ID, etc), it would be heavily appreciated. I can't post them as pics, so here are the pins as links: http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/L-EAAOSwDmBY446S/s-l500.jpg http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/waIAAOSwDmBY4kdj/s-l500.jpg http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/-GsAAOSwcLxYM0m3/s-l500.jpg Thanks!
  19. The following is a PREVIEW of the upcoming release of Duca d'Aosta, a ship Wargaming very kindly provided me. This is the second version of the ship seen during testing and her stats are current as of April 7th, 2017. However, the statistics and performance discussed here are still being evaluated by Wargaming's developers and do not necessarily represent how the ship will appear when released. Here we go again... Quick Summary: One of the fastest cruisers in the game with destroyer-levels of handling and agility. For a cruiser, she is under gunned with painfully slow turning turrets compensated for with very long range (and slow) torpedoes. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing Patch & Date Written:, April 5th through 7th, 2017. Closest in-Game Contemporary Budyonny, Tier 6 Soviet CruiserDegree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Budyonny remains the closest analogue to Duca d'Aosta, but the gap between the two ships is growing. On the surface, they are both fast, 152mm armed light cruisers with interesting armour layouts. The two ships share very similar ballistic qualities with their AP shells. However, Budyonny relies on range more than agility to keep her safe from enemy fire. Duca d'Aosta also has the odd combination of consumables and her very long ranged torpedoes which definitely sets her apart PROs: Excellent muzzle velocity and ballistic arcs on her AP shells. HE shells, with their higher ballistic arcs, can be lobbed over intervening terrain giving her more gunnery flexibility. Her torpedoes have a 12km range enabling her to launch from concealment with the proper stealth-build. High top speed of 36.5 knots coupled with a decent turning radius of 710m and short rudder shift of 6.7s. She is one of the most agile ships at her tier. Able to use both Defensive Fire and Hydroacoustic Search consumables at the same time -- a rarity among cruisers. Gorgeous looking -- one of Wargaming's best ship models to date. CONs: Long citadel which peeks well above the waterline. Despite the recent buff, she still takes frequent critical damage to her steering gears. Horrible fire chance (7%) and bad long ranged ballistics of her HE shells. Anemic main battery DPM for both AP and HE. Slow turret traverse, taking 25.7s to rotate 180º. Her torpedoes are slow at 51 knots, don't hit particularly hard and she only launches three fish per side. Terrible anti-aircraft damage and an ineffective range on her large caliber AA guns. I was hoping for subtle changes. Duca d'Aosta has changed quite significantly since my last review -- so much so that I felt it prudent to look at the ship with a fresh pair of eyes and a brand new article. More changes are possible (perhaps necessitating a further review), so please keep in mind that Duca d'Aosta is still undergoing testing and that this may again not be the final version. It's important to keep in mind where these changes are coming from. Contrary to popular belief (and sensitive egos), it's the feedback provided by the Supertest program that shape the design process -- not the previews done by Community Contributors. This does not mean that the changes we're seeing are the direct suggestions from testers. They are more likely the developers interpretation of acceptable changes based upon the challenges testing identified, plus whatever other whims tickled the devs' fancy in St.Petersburg. I can't sing enough praises for the volunteers who put their time in to try to help improve the game. Their work is often getting lost in all the fuss of these early sneak peaks. Really, we can't thank these volunteers enough. With that said, let's take a look at what the developers have cooked up for Duca d'Aosta and how she now appears in World of Warships. Yes, it's a port shot. But it's a damn pretty port shot. OptionsDuca d'Aosta boasts the ability to use Defensive Fire and Hydroacoustic Search at the same time. It's highly recommended that a premium version of her Damage Control Party is equipped, with the other consumables being upgraded to premiums as well as the player can afford. Consumables: Damage Control Party Hydroacoustic Search Defensive Fire Spotter Aircraft Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard cruiser options Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ Standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. For upgrades, Duca d'Aosta should equip the following modules: First slot - Main Armaments Modification 1 will reduce the number of incapacitations of your main battery and torpedo tubes. Second slot - Aiming System Modification 1 provides improved accuracy and faster torpedo traverse. Third slot - Damage Control System Modification 1 or Steering Gears Modification 1 are both good choices. The first will improve your torpedo defense while reducing fire damage. The latter will help keep your fragile rudder intact. Fourth slot - Steering Gears Modification 2 or Propulsion Modification 2 are good choices. The latter is especially helpful if you division with smoke-laying ships often. What Changed? Duca d'Aosta initially had to choose between using Hydroacoustic Search or Defensive Fire in her second consumable slot. She now gets to use both at the same time. Most cruisers would happily give up their range finders for this kind of buff... Firepower Primary Battery: Eight 152mm rifles in 4x2 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Six 100mm rifles in 3x2 turrets with one to either side of the ship behind the rear funnel and one mounted dorsally in front of X-turret. Torpedoes: Six tubes in 2x3 launchers, one off each side behind the first funnel. Let's start with Duca d'Aosta's Torpedoes. She has a pair of triple launchers on either side of the ship. These have good fields of fire, perfect for aggressive plays with a 25º launch angle off her bow. This comes at the price of being less ideal for defensive, rearward launches. Her torpedoes can only be sent off at 140º behind her, creating a 80º blind spot across her stern. Overall, given Duca d'Aosta's speed and agility, these fish are well situated. From their stats, one problem becomes readily apparent: Her individual salvos simply don't do enough damage. With only a single triple launcher per side, she isn't able to put out a sufficiently devastating strike to gut even a tier 5 Battleship. This limits their effectiveness as a clutch weapon when matters come to a head, at least when encountering enemy dreadnoughts. They are sufficient for tearing apart any destroyer she's likely to face, though a full three hits may be needed to put down enemy cruisers. Duca d'Aosta's torpedoes take about 88 seconds to reach 12km -- a lot can happen in that time and even a small course adjustment by her quarry can make these torpedoes miss. This combination of low speed and long-range has been seen before with ships like Marblehead (49 knots at 8.2km), Sims (49 knots at 9.2km) and Black (43 knots at 13.7km) and often earn the fish in question the affectionate appellation of "water mines". The next salvo of torpedoes will be ready before the first has reached the end of its run. With the commander skills, Torpedo Armament Expertise, this reload drops from 71 seconds to 63.9 seconds. Adrenaline Rush will cut it further -- at 50% health, the two skills combine to bring the reload down to 57.5 seconds. It's entirely possible for Duca d'Aosta to launch her torpedoes without being detected. Fully specialized with camouflage and using a Captain with Concealment Expert, Duca d'Aosta can reduce her surface detection range to a mere 10.3km, opening up a 1.7km stealth-firing window with her torpedoes. This will no doubt create all sorts of excitement and several fun theory-craft builds. Relying on such slow torpedoes to provide consistent damage totals from long-range stealth-firing would be a mistake, however. Game to game performance will vary considerably. In some matches you can seem to do no wrong and hoover-up massive damage totals from people derping into your fish. The pendulum may swing to the other extreme, though, and enable little to no damage at all for several games. The tremendous range of these fish makes Torpedo Acceleration an interesting skill choice. This increases her torpedo speed to 56 knots while reducing their range to 9.6km. With the 1.0km surface detection, enemies have no more than 6.9s to react . This really helps Duca d'Aosta perform well in a brawl where these fish can be used more aggressively. As you can see, her torpedo armament has become very interesting and perhaps a defining feature. This is good news because her guns are lackluster. ArtilleryWe'll start with her secondaries and work our way up to her primaries. Duca d'Aosta is armed with six 100mm rifles for secondary mounts. Mounted between three turrets, Duca d'Aosta has one to each side as "wing" mounts and the third mounted dorsally. This provides a maximum broadside of four guns at a range of 4.5km with a rate of fire of 10 rpm. They have a 6% chance to start fires with these shells. Like most cruiser secondaries, they're more cute than they are effective. Her high explosive shells are terrible. Their good muzzle velocity bleeds away quickly, giving them scarcely any better performance than Royal Navy and Commonwealth shell ballistics at maximum range. Her lightweight shells have the additional flaws of providing low shell damage and an appalling 7% base fire chance. Their saving graces are twofold. First, her shells maintain a good velocity at medium and close ranges, making them accurate enough to reliably hit destroyers within their detection range without too much lead. Second, at extreme ranges, Duca d'Aosta can lob her shells over intervening terrain -- something that isn't possible with her AP shells. It's possible to give her HE shells with a bit more ubiquity by using the Captain Skill, Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. This will allow Duca d'Aosta to penetrate the fore and aft sections of most Battleships within her matchmaking spread -- something her 152mm shells are unable to do otherwise. This does come at the cost of some of her already poor fire chance. Alternatively, you can use Demolition Expert instead and prop her fire chance up to 9%. Combined this with the right signals and her fire chance will boost up to 10% which is closer to an acceptable level for a cruiser. Mixing and matching these two skills will never fully prop up her flagging HE performance. Duca d'Aosta must be very dynamic with her ammunition choices, switching between HE and AP as opportunities arise. Speaking of which, her AP shells are very interesting. They are again a rather lightweight shell, but they maintain their speed sufficiently over range that they end up comparable to Soviet 152mm rifles like those on Chapayev and Budyonny. This gives them good penetration power at a distance, making Duca d'Aosta quite capable of stacking citadel damage against even heavy cruisers at ranges of 10km to 11km. Only two issues hold these shells back. First, they're a bit soft and they have a tendency to shatter against thick or angled armour. Second, their individual shell damage isn't inspiring. Boiled down, Duca d'Aosta's only real point of merit with her guns is her muzzle velocity and, as shown, this really only applies to her AP shells. She does not seem to have any special bonuses to normalization. Her AP shells auto-ricochet at 60º like most nations. They also have standard fuse timers at 0.025s, meaning that they will over penetrate soft skinned targets like destroyers. But, perhaps most telling, Duca d'Aosta only has eight guns. On paper, Duca d'Aosta has better DPM than the British and Commonwealth light cruisers at tier 6, but she falls behind all the other vessels armed with six-inch rifles. Budyonny and Nurnberg have nine guns with comparable (or better) reloads. Cleveland has twelve. Short of trading AP fire at their broadsides, Duca d'Aosta will always come out the worse in raw slug fests. Even Leander and Perth are more reliable gun platforms grace of their Smoke Generators, which can create long opportunities to cycle their weapons with less fear of reprisal. Duca d'Aosta doesn't have this advantage and is often forced to manoeuvre and dodge. This hurts her already low DPM, especially when she's down to just two turrets firing. What you need is time to make Duca d'Aosta's weapons sing. They create their own special brand of chaos, but it's a slowly growing calamity rather than sudden mayhem. It takes time for her to stack damage. It takes time to get into position to catch the broadside of a cruiser, to run down a destroyer or for her fish to travel the distance to her target. Fortunately, this ship is specifically built to buy time. Summary: Her best performing weapon is her AP shells and this should be relied upon to do much of her damage. Even with Captain Skills and signal flags, Duca d'Aosta's HE performance is poor, both for damage and fire starting. Her torpedoes are interesting, but not powerful in and of themselves. Attempts to snipe at very long range will provide inconsistent results and are better used as area denial weapons at such distances. Incidental hits can be telling however and they make good brawling weapons. Overall, she is under-gunned. Proper positioning, ammunition and weapon choices based on play style will be key to getting good results. What Changed? There were a few changes to Duca d'Aosta's armaments, though this was primarily focused on making her torpedoes serviceable at long-range. This had the effect of making her much more comfortable to use offensively. Before these changes, her guns were difficult to keep on target while she manoeuvred and limited her torpedoes to close range ambushes or acts of desperation. Her turret traverse was increased from 6º per second to 7º per second. Her torpedo range was increased from 4.5km to 12km (!) Her torpedo speed was reduced from 65 knots to 51 knots. The visibility of her torpedoes was reduced from 1.4km to 1.0km. These are very significant quality of life changes and they go a long way to reducing the dependence on having a well-trained Commander or a highly skilled player at the helm to enjoy this ship. Duca d'Aosta's torpedoes are best used aggressively. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 36.5 knotsTurning Radius: 710mRudder Shift: 6.7 Duca d'Aosta can chase friendly destroyers into the cap circles and easily outrun pursuing foes. Being so fleet of foot allows her to dictate engagement ranges against almost any enemy ship she faces and to flex where she's needed most. Be aware of speed's double-edged sword -- Duca d'Aosta can get you into trouble very fast and over extending is a constant danger in this ship. But even with this caution, Duca d'Aosta's agility is truly her greatest strength. And it's using this strength which affords you time to make your mediocre weapon systems shine. Duca d'Aosta can disengage from unfavourable encounters or change the angle of engagement to make weapons like her torpedoes and AP shells more viable. She can keep pace with a fleeing destroyer to give herself more chances to land those last few hits with her HE shells. And finally, she can twist and dodge while she gradually chews through the hit points of an enemy ship. Speed and agility is life for Duca d'Aosta. To be successful in this ship, you will be dodging often. Doing these kinds of manoeuvres will tax the turret traverse of Duca d'Aosta's main armament. Often, you'll find yourself with only two turrets on target while the other two are out of position. This is a very active, very frantic style of play and it's not for everyone. Duca d'Aosta is well equipped to do it, What Changed? Duca d'Aosta had her rudder shift time reduced from 8.4s to 6.7s. This increased her top speed, 90º rotation speed by 0.1º per second to 5.8º per second. Her 360º rotation speed did not change appreciably. In short, they made an agile ship even more nimble... for some reason. It's worth repeating that her turret traverse for her main battery was also improved, making her unable to out turn her turrets. However, their slow turn rate will often limit the number of guns you can bring to bear on a target as they struggle to keep up. DurabilityHit Points: 29,700Maximum Protection: 70mm of belt armour + 40mm of magazine protection (or 35mm of engine protection) Min Bow & Deck Armour: 16mmTorpedo Damage Reduction: 7% Few people would ever call a Light Cruiser well protected. Duca d'Aosta is no exception. This said, her armour is almost on the level of a heavy cruiser, with 16mm deck plating and the same measure found on her bow and stern. Thus, she's sufficiently protected to tank even 220mm AP shells provided she angles properly which can make her a real nightmare for British cruisers. Duca d'Aosta's armour profile is a little trollish. It's possible for her to ricochet 283mm rounds from Scharnhorst or Admiral Graf Spee off her upper hull armour on rare occasions due to her 20mm armour above her belt. Her citadel, though raised above the waterline, doesn't span the width of the ship. As a result, some shells that penetrate her bow may miss her citadel entirely in lucky cases. This said, I wouldn't count on her standing up to the attentions of enemy Battleships, nor a constant barrage of high explosive shells. One particular vulnerability of Duca d'Aosta is her steering gear which breaks frequently. Players may want to consider equipping Steering Gears Modification 1 to help protect it or investing in the skills Preventative Maintenance or Last Stand. As ever, you also want to make sure you have the skill Priority Target on hand to keep you appraised of when you need to go evasive. What Changed? Previously, Duca d'Aosta took critical damage to her steering gears with painful regularity. added additional protection to her rudder assembly. While still vulnerable, it isn't as likely to be disabled. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 12.1km Air Detection Range: 7.3 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 10.3km Main Battery Range: 14.0km Like a destroyer, Duca d'Aosta is a ship that becomes progressively more dangerous the longer she survives in a match. This comes from a combination of her speed but also her concealment. With less ships (and planes) about, it becomes easier for her to hide and redeploy, shifting to where she will best influence the outcome of the match. Concealment Expert is a key skill for Captains of Duca d'Aosta, and acquiring it opens up many opportunities to truly get the most out of this ship. One of her big weak points with stealth and concealment is her vulnerability to aircraft. Her aerial detection range far exceeds her anti-aircraft firepower, allowing carriers to safely shadow her. This can complicate early engagements, especially risky pushes near cap circles. Players of Duca d'Aosta had best keep this in mind when setting up to attack enemy capital ships as she may not have the option of disappearing by silencing her guns grace of the aircraft overhead. Overall, Duca d'Aosta's stealth rating is best described as 'sufficient' -- it's not so large as to be a hindrance, but not so small that it's an immediate advantage. You won't sneak up on any destroyers with this ship and you may find yourself caught out on occasion by other cruisers. What Changed? With the increased reach of her torpedo armament, it's now possible for Duca d'Aosta to launch torpedo attacks from open water against enemy ships without being spotted. Properly specialized ,with her premium camouflage equipped and taking the tier 4 Captain Skill Concealment Expert, her surface detection range reduces to 10.3km. With her torpedoes able to hit targets 12km away, this provides a 1.7km stealth window to launch attacks unseen. Islands are still your friend, even with all of the changes -- perhaps even more so with her increased agility. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 100mm / 37mm / 13.2mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 4.0km / 3.5km / 1.2kmAA DPS per Aura: 20 / 46 / 16 There isn't much redeemable about Duca d'Aosta's anti-aircraft firepower. She's crippled by her 4.0km reach with her large caliber 100mm rifles -- this is just beyond self-defense range. Even with a full anti-aircraft specialization, Duca d'Aosta's maximum range would cap out at 5.8km which is barely acceptable and hardly usable for fleet defense. She is further hampered by low average damage values across her different armaments. She is no threat to most carrier attack-squadrons even when propped up by signals and skills. This range deficit is a particular concern. Even with a Concealment build, Duca d'Aosta's aerial detection sits at 6.5km -- far outside the reach of her 100mm rifles. This means that a savvy carrier can keep her permanently spotted and there's nothing she can do about it. Duca d'Aosta's only saving grace is having access to Defensive Fire. While this is of little help to her team mates in most circumstances, it at least makes her a slightly less appealing target for enemy carriers due to the disruption effect this provides to attack plane accuracy. However, it would be foolish to assume that Duca d'Aosta is going to shoot down a large number of planes in a match. What Changed? Duca d'Aosta no longer has to choose between equipping Defensive Fire and Hydroacoustic Search, meaning she will always have her AA consumable in every game she goes into. Got any Grapes? And the man said... When you're training your Captain for Duca d'Aosta, these are the skills you should invest your first 10pts. Tier One - Priority Target Tier Two - Adrenaline Rush Tier Three - Demolition Expert Tier Four - Concealment Expert These core skills will warn you when you're being shot at, increase your rate of fire as you take damage, improve the fire chance of your HE shells and reduce your surface and aerial detection ranges. From this point, you can choose to specialize your commander as you see fit. Here are some possible skill combinations to consider. Torpedo Specialist There are two skills to consider taking to improve her torpedo performance. Tier Two - Torpedo Acceleration Tier Three - Torpedo Armament Expertise The former will cut her torpedo range down to 9.6km but it will increase their speed to 56 knots making them a lot more useful against targets closer in. This will also give your quarry almost no chance to dodge them, reducing their reaction time below 7 seconds. Torpedo Armament Expertise will accelerate her reload from 71s down to 63.9s. This will stack with Adrenaline Rush. Both these skills are excellent investments for this ship. Inertial Fuse for HE Shells Duca d'Aosta will never have good HE shell performance, no matter how you prop them up. She should be reaching for her AP shells whenever possible. But sometimes your opponents won't give you the luxury of a flat broadside to shoot at, which forces you to reach for her HE. Stock, Duca d'Aosta has to rely on hitting the superstructure of tier 6+ battleships to do direct damage. Otherwise, she has only her poor fire starting to rely upon. This tier 4 skill changes this, allowing Duca d'Aosta to penetrate most cruiser she faces anywhere but their belt armour and to damage the fore and aft ends of all Battleship she meets. This comes at the cost of greatly reducing her chance to start fires, so its usefulness will be up to the individual player. Radio Location Another skill of questionable merit (but potentially interesting play) is Radio Location. Duca d'Aosta is fast enough that she can intercept most destroyers, especially if they're running on anything but a parallel course to the fast Italian cruiser. This skill can help track them down, especially in late-game scenarios. Miscellaneous Useful Skills For filler, the following skills are worth looking into: Tier One - Preventative Maintenace - This will help reduce the chance of your weapon mounts, engine and steering gears from being knocked out. Tier Two - Expert Marksman - This increases her turret rotation speed by 10%. Tier Two - Last Stand - Duca d'Aosta regularly gets her steering gears shot out. Tier Three - Vigilance - You're so fast that the closing distance on approaching torpedoes exceedingly dangerous when you're bow on to their approach. This provides you with extra reaction time. Duca d'Aosta accompanied by HMS Leander brave the narrows after purging an enemy Mahan-class destroyer from within its own smoke screen. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme With all the changes added in, Duca d'Aosta has moved from a challenging ship to play to a very comfortable one. The bar has been lowered significantly with a combination of quality of life buffs and outright performance buffs. She won't out turn her turrets. Her torpedoes are easy to use and there's no debate on which consumables to mount. For the expert player, Duca moves up from a cruiser that fights you for every scrap of performance to one that arms you with enough tools and tricks to make you a real threat to anything you might face. It's only her fragility and her lack of show-stopping weapons that keeps her from being more influential. Mouse's Summary: Shoot and scoot, baby! God is this thing fast. It's weird to be able to keep up with destroyers. Always having Hydroacoustic Search AND Defensive Fire is so welcome. She's always got the right tools handy. Her water mines are interesting. A lot of people will get hung up on the idea of sniping with them at long-range (good luck with that), but what the range has really done is improve Duca d'Aosta's performance at mid to close range fights. I had hoped for some subtle buffs. Well, I got those and more. In her current state, Duca d'Aosta is ready for prime time. If they released her as she is, she'd sell like hot cakes and with good reason: A lot of assessments have come out labeling her as being a little too powerful in her current iteration -- that Wargaming swung the pendulum a little too far when they improved Duca d'Aosta. Is she overpowered, though? She's good. She's definitely good. It's now safe to be aggressive. The extra range on her torpedoes allows her to launch attacks with more confidence and her improved gun handling makes brawling much more appealing. But how distinct of an advantage does Duca d'Aosta bring over other cruisers? There are three main traits that really define this ship: Her speed, her consumables and her long-range torpedoes. There is no argument that Duca d'Aosta's speed is excellent and very powerful. She can control engagements, outrun enemies, redeploy and secure objectives. Proper use of this trait will always put her at an advantage. But what of the other two traits? The combination of Hydroacoustic Search and Defensive Fire are far from game breaking. These consumables do not synergize the way Belfast's do. Furthermore, Duca d'Aosta's Defensive Fire can scarcely be used in support of her team and is largely limited to self-defense purposes. It might be different if we saw this combination on Cleveland or Atlanta, where their AA firepower is incredibly effective and dangerous to all tiers of carriers they face. This just leaves on last trait to consider. Duca d'Aosta's torpedoes are going to get so much undue attention. Yes, they have a 12km range. However, I don't believe that people need to worry about her stealth-firing her water mines and racking up tons of damage. Individually, her torpedoes aren't devastating and she doesn't fire many of them at a time. Their slow speed precludes them from being used from stealth to attack ships running a parallel course to Duca d'Aosta. At these very long ranges, they are best used defensively -- pooped back into the angle of approach of pursuing vessels in the hopes of tripping them up. They are area-denial weapons in this capacity. This doesn't prevent her torpedoes from being powerful, however. Used aggressively, they get far more dangerous. In a brawl, they can force ships to turn disadvantageously. If they miss they can still foul up enemy reinforcements moving into the area. With this said, it's worth keeping the most ready victims for these attacks in mind: slow (American) battleships. In an end game scenario, these torpedoes become much more useful against these leviathans, making their lives miserable and keeping Duca d'Aosta free from reprisals. While I don't think Duca d'Aosta will easily sink an American standard-type Battleship in such scenarios, it won't be a fun time for the USN dreadnought. Realistically though, the lion's share of the damage Duca d'Aosta is going to score will come from her guns and they're ... well, they're not great. She's no Cleveland or Molotov or Graf Spee where their guns can end worlds grace of DPM, accuracy or alpha strike. It takes time for Duca d'Aosta to stack up her damage -- time where enemies can shoot back and chew her to pieces if she plays poorly. And this is what makes her power level acceptable to me. She's good, but she's not overpowered, in my opinion. For all the buffs (necessary or not) she received, they didn't give her improved survivability on the level of Leander or Graf Spee. Her attack power didn't climb to the point where she can easily best opponents quickly and efficiently such that she'll come out of any engagement unscathed, the way that Graf Spee and Molotov can. This creates a finite amount of influence she can have before she runs out of steam. Duca d'Aosta is good to go, in my opinion. Thoughts on Changes This isn't the route I would have gone to 'fix' the older version of Duca d'Aosta. Some of the changes are welcome. Slower torpedoes with longer range was something I should have foreseen, though Wargaming pushed this far beyond what I would have. I am also very happy to see the buff to her turret traverse. However, some of the changes seem downright unnecessary, such as the improvement to her rudder shift time and the ability to use both Defensive Fire and Hydroacoustic Search. This latter ability is just a bit too convenient, in my opinion. Overall, I'm not alarmed by the changes. I don't agree with them wholesale, nor do I think they push the ship into the realm of being grossly overpowered. Of course, it's easier to say that with ships like Leander and Cleveland lurking at tier 6. Would I Recommend? Well, here we are, twenty-five more Random Battles later. I can safely say that Duca d'Aosta is as ready as she'll ever be. I took her out to Co-op and she does ... well, she does meh. Once all of the friendly destroyers are dead, bots like to sail bow-in against her, reducing the effectiveness of her AP shells. They're also annoyingly good at torpedo beats so sniping with her slow fish is right out. If you're up against cruisers and destroyers, you'll do okay but she just doesn't have the massive alpha strikes to put bots down quickly like some other ships can. Expect to bleed hit points. Getting good results consistently is certainly possible, but it's easier in other ships (especially battleships). For Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Yes. The changes Duca d'Aosta received makes it far more easier to play aggressively solo. This allows her to sneak on caps more (which is a huge boost to experience and credit gains) and her improved gun handling and torpedo range will facilitate doing damage. I was easily able to exceed 1,500 base experience on winning matches. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Her long range torpedoes and quick speed will ensure that Duca d'Aosta has a place in competitive matches. To be clear, she's not the ideal candidate for competitive play (it's going to be hard to nudge out Leander and Graf Spee), but she can definitely hold her own. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. She's a beautiful looking ship. She'll make a good port queen if nothing else. It's a shame she doesn't have a more storied history, however. For Fun Factor:Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Good news: I like her more than Krasny Krym. Truth be told, I did enjoy my time with this updated version of Duca d'Aosta. Her speed is wonderful and that's really what I like best about her. Her weapon systems aren't scoring any points with me. What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Good - Overpowered?
  20. Premium Ship PREVIEW: Duca d'Aosta

    That's a mouthful. The following is a PREVIEW of the upcoming release of Duca d'Aosta, a ship Wargaming very kindly provided me. This is how the ship appeared in the testing period up to and including the publish date of April 3rd, 2017. The statistics and performance discussed here are still being evaluated by Wargaming's developers and do not necessarily represent how the ship will appear when released. Quick Summary: A wicked-fast and agile cruiser that's painfully under-gunned and short ranged. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing Patch & Date Written: 0.6.3, March 30th, 2017 Closest in-Game Contemporary: Budyonny, Tier 6 Soviet CruiserDegree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Duca d'Aosta is superficially similar to Budyonny. They share very close ballistic qualities with their AP rounds. They're both very fast ships. Both have pathetically short ranged torpedoes. Duca d'Aosta suffers in range, fire setting, torpedo armament and anti-aircraft defense compared to the Russian ship, but she's overall faster and better protected. PROs: Surprisingly good armour versus cruiser AP shells, capable of bouncing up to 220mm rounds off her bow and deck and 283mm rounds off her upper hull when angled. Good AP gun ballistics from a 1000m/s muzzle velocity. Excellent forward torpedo arcs Very fast at 36.5 knots She has one of the fastest tier 6 cruiser rotation speeds, making her very agile. Modest surface detection range of 12.1km. CONs: Long, high water citadel. Poor main battery DPM. Her HE shells are terrible fire starters and have "floaty" ballistics. Only a modest main battery range of 14.0km. Short ranged and weak torpedo armament. Slow turret traverse of 6º per second. Poor anti-aircraft DPS and a short 4.0km max range. Wargaming very kindly supplied Duca D'Aosta for me to preview. Well, it was love at first sight. The ship looks gorgeous and her camouflage scheme is amazing. Unfortunately, the whirlwind romance lasted about as long as it took to get into my first game. The problems with the ship became apparent very early on and the more I did my research and digging, the worse things began to look. Buckle up, boys and girls, this won't be a comfy, fluffy read for anyone who had high hopes for this ship at first glance. The testing period usually takes a couple of iterations of the vessel to smooth out all of the wrinkles. So enjoy this preview of one of the first test-iterations of Duca d'Aosta. Options There are no surprises here, with no special consumable bonuses present for the Italian cruisers. Consumables: Damage Control Party Defensive Fire or Hydroacoustic Search Spotter Aircraft Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard cruiser options Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ Standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Equipping her Modules is a pretty unimaginative affair. For your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 is the best choice. Follow this up with Aiming Systems Modification 1 in your second slot to reduce dispersion and increase the rotation speed of your torpedo launchers. Alternatively, you can try and correct her turret rotation deficiency by sacrificing some reload speed by equipping Main Battery Modification 2. In your third slot, take whatever. Damage Control System Modification 1 is probably best, nudging your torpedo damage reduction up to 10%, And finally, take Steering Gears Modification 2 for your fourth slot. You'll be zigzagging often in Duca d'Aosta. Firepower Primary Battery: Eight 152mm rifles in 4x2 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Six 100mm rifles in 3x2 turrets with one to either side of the ship behind the rear funnel and one mounted dorsally in front of X-turret. Torpedoes: Six tubes in 2x3 launchers, one off each side behind the first funnel. My first impression of Duca d'Aosta's game play was dictated very early by her guns. The closest analogue to her weapons are a weird combination of the AP shells from Budyonny and the HE shells from Perth. Her turrets are slow turning, her guns are rather short ranged and her munitions don't hit very hard. Duca d'Aosta's turret traverse rate is 30s for 180º or 6º per second. This is slower than the ship's ability to turn, meaning that any form of high-speed defensive manoeuvres will throw off your aim. Given her short-range and her inability to kill anything quickly, you'll be dodging often.The best thing about her guns is their AP performance. She has a 1000m/s muzzle velocity -- the highest at her tier. Duca d'Aosta has excellent ballistic arcs with AP shells, and though they are lightweight, they have comparable flight time to the Soviet 152mm rifles. Her damage is a modest 3,200 hit points and she's fully capable of landing citadel hits against the broadside of enemy cruisers like Shchors or Furutaka at ranges in excess of 10km.This contrasts sharply with her HE performance. While they do up to 2,100 hit points per hit, they have a horrible 7% chance to start fires. Unlike her AP shells, the ballistic quality of her HE rounds isn't as forgiving. There's a lot of float time at range, being comparable to British 152mm shells in this regard. This does allow her to fire over some types of intervening terrain with her HE rounds when she might not otherwise be able to engage a target with AP, providing some flexibility. However, note that they still have a high muzzle velocity, so this ability to lob shells over islands is limited to firing at extreme ranges.With these qualities in mind, AP is the shell of choice with Duca d'Aosta. She can only reach out to 14km with her guns, so there's still plenty of penetration power in them to put the hurt on cruisers and even battleships. It's only when targets angle or when you're facing something like a destroyer that you should switch back to HE. One of the major flaws of Duca d'Aosta's weaponry is that she does not do damage quickly. Though this is a problem common to all Light Cruisers, it's especially pronounced here. Her 7.5s reload and eight guns just doesn't spit out shells fast enough. Short of catching the citadel of an exposed cruiser at point-blank range, chewing through enemy hit point pools will take time -- even small hit point pools like destroyers. And it's not like she can park in her own ready-made concealment like the other eight-gun light cruisers, Leander and Perth. Short of lobbing fire over terrain, it's important to keep moving and dodging in Duca, limiting her ability to rain fire. There's a strong case to be made that Duca d'Aosta should use Inertia Fuse for HE Shells -- her tier and armament are tailor-made for maximizing the gains from this skill. However, this will cut her base fire chance to a mere 4% per shell unless padded with Demolition Expert which will prop it back to 6%. To this end, spamming HE with this skill combination does not generate comparable damage numbers to other tier 6 cruisers. Dynamic ammunition choices are key to getting the most out of her. Even her torpedoes are of little help here. Her torpedoes have a maximum reach of 4.5km, making it a real challenge to make use of them in the average fight. And, though their fire arcs are very comfortable when on the attack, her triple launchers don't hit particularly hard. They're utterly ill-suited to gutting a hale and healthy battleship and best used against weaker prey. Duca d'Aosta's secondaries are cute, but hardly threatening. They have a modest 4.5km range and you'll be able to fire with a maximum of one turret per side plus the dorsal mount which can swing left or right as needed. They have a good rate of fire of 10rpm and a rather low fire chance of 6% per round. It's kinda sad that these have only a 1% lower chance of starting a blaze than her primary battery. Summary: Duca d'Aosta struggles to do damage quickly. You have very different flight characteristics between HE and AP shells. Her best asset is her AP rounds, but they cannot be used universally against all targets or at all ranges. She's one of the worst fire-starters among the tier 6 cruisers. Her torpedoes provide a nice close-range sting, but can't kill a full health battleship by themselves. Duca d'Aosta has phenomenal forward torpedo arcs, making her able to engage targets as little as 25º off her bow. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 36.5 knotsTurning Radius: 710mRudder Shift: 8.4s Duca d'Aosta's biggest strength is her handling. At the time of writing, she's the fastest tier 6 cruiser in the game with a half-knot advantage over her closest competitor. I would normally associate this straight line speed with some rather shoddy handling, but that's not the case here. While her statistics look unimpressive, her ability to turn at high-speed is excellent, bested only by the British and Commonwealth cruisers with their souped-up engine physics. Duca manages a 5.7º/s rotation rate for her first 90º in a turn, accelerating to 6.2º/s rotation once her speed levels off to 29.1 knots. As such, she feels like she responds very quickly even to small touches of her rudder. The only down side to this is that her turret rotation is slow. Without modification, her guns traverse at 6º/s making it impossible to keep them locked on a target when in heavy manoeuvres. To this end, investing in the tier 2 Captain Skill, Expert Marksman, is highly recommended which will allow you to keep your guns trained upon an enemy no matter how you throw the ship about. Duca's agility is entirely necessary. Her high top speed partially mitigates the weakness of her below-average gun range. She can quickly flex from one section of the battlefield to another. In addition, this allows her to become the threat to enemy destroyers caught beneath her guns. Short of using an engine boost, many destroyers cannot successfully disengage from such a fleet-footed ship. Finally, her short gun range often means she has to fight at close quarters with enemy vessels and without this great handling, she would have a much more difficult time evading incoming fire. Duca will be zigzagging often to avoid enemy fire, so it's imperative that you install Steering Gears Modification 2 to help her. In summary, the handling of Duca d'Aosta is downright amazing. She's fast. She's responsive. She's got a very wiggly tush. If you're looking for the gimmick in this ship, it's definitely in her speed and agility. Durability Hit Points: 29,700Maximum Protection: 70mm of belt armour + 40mm of magazine protection (or 35mm of engine protection) Min Bow & Deck Armour: 16mmTorpedo Damage Reduction: 7% Duca d'Aosta has some surprising qualities to her protection scheme, such as her 7% torpedo damage reduction. Let's be clear form the get go, though: she is a light cruiser and you cannot rely on her armour to provide any form of reliable protection from Battleships or torpedo strikes. What's described below are quirks of her protection scheme that can provide some interesting counter-play against enemy cruisers. Over her belt armour, running down the side of the ship, Duca's hull armour is a surprising 20mm thick. While this provides no real protection against HE shells, it can provide protection against AP shells and bounce strikes that would otherwise hammer her citadel. It's possible (if however unlikely) that shots baited against the side of your ship from 283mm guns from Scharnhorst or Admiral Graf Spee can be repulsed, provided you turn into the attack at the right moment. I won a couple of duels against a Graf Spee this way. Duca's bow and deck armour is 16mm thick. While this again is insufficient to protect her from just about any HE shells she will encounter, this is enough to provide immunity to up to 220mm AP shells when angled. Finally, Duca's citadel is quite slender, running little more than one and a half times the width of the ship's barbettes. Even penetrating hits to her bow from shells that overmatch it may still miss the citadel given its dimensions. This all amounts to a ship that's rewarded very heavily for taking evasive action against incoming fire -- even shells you might not be able to dodge outright. Baiting enemies to use AP shells to hit your ship's exposed broadside and then turning into enemy fire can pay off tremendously in duels, especially given Duca's lower DPM. It's worth reiterating that Duca d'Aosta is not a well protected ship and her citadel rides very high over the water's surface. If you get caught unawares by enemy fire, you'll lose your modest hit point pool very quickly if you don't get deleted outright. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 12.1km Air Detection Range: 7.3 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 10.3km Main Battery Range: 14.0km Duca isn't a ship you want to take an active scouting role in -- certainly not in the early stages of a match. Until you unlock Concealment Expert on your ship's Commander, it's important to keep her in the second line and follow your scouts from a safe distance. With her short main battery range and high-speed, you'll find it quite possible to control your detection range against larger ships by resting on the cusp of your maximum reach. There's one catch to this, of course. Duca has a rather large surface detection range compared to the cover provided by her anti-aircraft batteries. It is quite commonplace for this ship to be lit up by shadowing aircraft while still being unable to engage them. Unless you stick to the back of the pack, you'll exist in a semi-permanent state of being illuminated by the enemy. Even with Concealment Expert, if you venture up the firing line it's very difficult to dictate when (and how) you're visible to the enemy fleet. One of the worst things you can do in Duca d'Aosta is make yourself the first target seen. To maximize her own firepower, she needs distracted or isolated enemies to pick on. Once she goes evasive, it's very difficult to keep her guns firing. To this end, I strongly recommend taking Priority Target as your first Captain Skill in this ship. Like all light cruisers, making proper use of cover will keep Duca alive. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 100mm / 37mm / 13.2mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 4.0km / 3.5km / 1.2kmAA DPS per Aura: 20 / 46 / 16 For raw damage numbers, Duca d'Aosta has some of the worst AA power for a cruiser at her tier. It's not just the low average damage which holds her back -- it's also the poor range of her large-caliber guns. Even fully specialized, Duca's 100mm rifles can only reach a maximum 5.76km. With a full stealth build, her aerial detection range caps out at 6.5km. This creates a joint problem where Duca doesn't generate enough DPS to really be a threat to enemy aircraft nor does she have the reach necessary to drive them off when they're spotting her. The two rays of sunshine for her anti-aircraft defense are her good agility and Defensive Fire. The latter will disrupt the attack runs of enemy aircraft when they commit while the former will better allow you to dodge any air dropped torpedoes. Her spiked AA DPS may allow her to shoot down a plane or two in the limited window in which they expose themselves to make their attack run. Unfortunately, once an enemy carrier player gets wise to the limited reach of her mounts, it will be easy enough for the CV's planes to loiter beyond the aura of Duca's100mm batteries, waiting out the active period of her consumable and then re-engage. Duca d'Aosta should always be considered vulnerable to enemy air attack. How to Waddle Away Waddle waddle waddle. Until the very next day... Outfitting Duca d'Aosta is pretty straight forward. For your consumables, it's best to grab a premium version of your Damage Control Party right from the start. If you have the credits to spare, you can also take a premium version of your Spotter Aircraft though this is an expensive luxury. It's really the second slot where you need to make the tough decision. My preference is for Defensive Fire between the two. While aircraft carriers are not present in every game, Duca d'Aosta's a fairly inviting target for enemy attack planes and this can help give some survivability. In addition, it's rare that Duca d'Aosta is up on the front lines providing spots for her team, so the need for Hydroacoustic Search is diminished somewhat. Still, for someone who prefers to engage enemy destroyers, this latter consumable is worthwhile and certainly viable. Whichever consumable you take, make sure you take the premium version to mitigate the long reset timers. For your Captain Skills, your core build should look like the following: From the first tier, take Priority Target. This will help keep you appraised of when you need to go evasive when spotted and from which vectors. At tier two, Expert Marksman is your best choice. This will increase your turret rotation such that you'll still be able to keep your guns on target through the early part of a turn. At tier three, Demolition Expert is easily the best choice, nudging up your pathetic fire chance per shell from 7% to 9% (which is almost acceptable). And finally, at tier 4, you have a choice. Concealment Expert and Inertial Fuse for HE Shells are excellent choices for your first skills. Be aware that the latter, while providing more direct damage opportunities for your HE shells, it will also hurt your chances to start fires. Good follow up skills include: Adrenaline Rush, Superintendent, and Last Stand. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Duca d'Aosta isn't an easy ship to do well in. She just doesn't have the concealment or reach to make using her easy, nor does she have the offensive punch to make taking risks worthwhile. If it weren't for her good agility, she'd have no real redeeming qualities. She doesn't have a lot of consistent carry potential. High skill play in Duca will keep you alive longer and let you start stacking up damage. But, it's a very steep uphill climb and predicated mostly by an opponent's mistakes and not the opportunities the ship brings to the table. Mouse's Summary: It took me a lot of games to finally "figure out" Duca. She's a very passive ship, requiring a lot of defensive play to apply steady pressure to the enemy. Taking an aggressive stance with this ship at nearly any stage will simply get you killed. I don't like this ship and that's a shame. I really wanted to. She's not broken, but she's not exactly fun. Duca d'Aosta is presently setup as a support ship, but she's not terribly good at the role. She's meant to fire from the second line, to pick on distracted targets and avoid their attacks. Now she's good at dodging and I have to applaud Wargaming for making a vessel with such fine handling out of very modest looking manoeuvrability statistics. The problem I really have with this ship is that if you're dodging, you're not returning fire. Duca d'Aosta struggles to keep her guns on target and the necessity of heavy evasive manoeuvres completely shuts off her offensive capabilities unless you take Main Armaments Modification 2 (which doesn't reverse this issue entirely). This would not be a problem if she had better "fire and forget" weaponry, such as a decent chance to set fires or long ranged torpedoes. She's lacking both. Her eight rifles can put out damage decently against specific targets but she doesn't get the chance to keep her guns singing for very long. Ships either move out of range or it becomes time to start dodging and disengaging again. This passive style of play isn't very rewarding -- not in fun factor or in the experience and credits department. Duca cannot provide secondary support roles, such as smoking out destroyers (she's too big to get close) or providing AA support (her auras are too short ranged). Charging into contested cap circles will just get her citadel blown out. So that really leaves direct damage as her sole source of income and the well can run pretty dry when you spend much of your time evading enemy fire and struggling to keep your guns on target. It's very difficult to get more than small 600 to 2,000 damage hits in before it becomes time to evade again. Hiding behind cover wasn't really a viable option. Her AP shells don't have the arcs necessary to clear intervening terrain. Her HE shells do but only at the extreme ranges. It's not like I could set many fires when I tried. And worse, she just doesn't have the range to continually engage a target once you find the perfect spot to set up. Ugh, it was an exercise in frustration. As it stands, Duca is an low-side of average ship at best. Her great speed and agility doesn't make up for her modest concealment, short-range and mediocre damage output. Wargaming could release her as is and people will enjoy her agility. They could make a good go of it, but she'll never be the darling of the community in her current setup. I'm curious to how other testers will view her -- my own take is probably not universal and it will be interesting to see what changes (if any) occur with Duca over the testing period. Let me be clear: I don't want to see any drastic changes made to Duca -- she doesn't need smoke or some gimmick to make her a competitive ship. Her speed and agility is novel enough. Where she lacks is in firepower. This could be provided in several different ways and any of the following on their own (or in combination) would be sufficient. A faster turret rotation -- even 0.5º per second would be enough. An extra 500m to 1km her range. A slight rate of fire increase. Improved fuse timers, autobounce angles or normalization values on her AP shells. There are potentially a lot of 'fixes' but such tweaks need be subtle. Duca isn't broken, she's simply not competitive at this time. Duca d'Aosta is one of Wargaming's best looking models in World of Warships to date. Would I Recommend? Duca d'Aosta doesn't even make a good Co-Op warrior in her current arrangement. She just doesn't have the offensive output to do kill anything short of another cruiser quickly, and again, only if they're not intent on shooting back. Duca's problems in Random Battles are certainly compounded by tier 6 Matchmaking. For Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. No, I can't recommend her here. She has to play defensively to survive long enough to stack up damage. And short of the enemy leaving you alone for the full match, it's difficult for you to stack up enough hurt on the red team to regularly farm decent rewards. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. No, she doesn't bring anything to the table competitively other than her speed and that's matched (or at least matched close enough) by better ships like Budyonny. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. There's going to be some appeal here as the first Italian ship in the game. She did survive the war after serving throughout the Mediterranean, but it wasn't an especially distinguished career. So if that's your thing, absolutely. I will grant that she is a very pretty ship and would make a lovely port-queen. For Fun Factor:Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? I had more fun playing Krasny Krym.
  21. Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta Victoria nobis vita So, as I’m sure is obvious, I’m excited as hell for Duca d’Aosta, Italy’s first ship to make it to the game – and by extension, anything Italian in WG product (discounting a Ba.27 under Chinese flag in WoWp, and a 20mm cannon in WoT). So, I figured I'd do a full-on examination of this Condottieri-type light cruiser, and how she might shape up as the tier VI cruiser she’ll be. The lead ship of the 4th Condottieri subgroup, her class was an improvement over the preceding 3rd type, also known as the Montecuccoli-class. The Montecuccoli-class was Italy’s first true light cruisers (the di Giussano-class was more meant as smaller scout-cruisers/large destroyer hunters, and the Cadorna-class was only an improvement on them), and its hull is already in the game to a large degree. The hull of the Russian Kirov-class heavy cruisers is the same, with some minor differences, as that of Montecuccoli. The Duca d’Aosta-class improved on their predecessors in many ways, increasing the ship’s armor, engine power, and thus tonnage. Thus, the main belt reached 70mm, with an extra 35mm bulkhead behind that. The deck armor ranged from 30 to 35mm, and the side of the hull above the main belt was 20mm thick. The citadel space was closed off by bulkheads 50mm bulkheads at the waterline, and 30mm below the waterline. The machinery power also increased to 110,000hp, allowing the cruisers to maintain their high top speed of 36.5 knots, although on trials they made over 37 knots. They kept the same main armament of 8x 152mm guns, so overall firepower didn't improve, but the AA as-built was slightly better than the Montecuccoli. Duca d'Aosta was named for Prince Emanuele Filiberto, who was Duke of Aosta. This wasn't simply a nod to the monarchy, however. All of the Condottieri were named after military leaders, and the 4th group was no exception. Her sister, Eugenio di Savoia, was named for the illustrious general, Prince Eugene of Savoy, who had three other ships named after him (from WWI; a British monitor and an Austrian Battleship, and then from WWII the well-known heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen). Emanuele Filiberto, meanwhile, was not just a royal figure, but in fact a military leader, a Field Marshal commanding the Italian Third Army during WWI, for which he became known as "Duca invitto," "Undefeated Duke." This was earned through the army he commanded, known as "Armata invitto" (Undefeated Army), which earned and held that record in the First World War. Duca d'Aosta was laid down on October 29th of 1932, being completed and commissioned on July 13th of 1935. She managed to, despite taking part in numerous major battles, as well as raiding missions and convoy escort missions, not taking a single bit of damage for the whole of the war. So, what would this CL be like in game? Firepower: Her Main Armament consisted of eight 152mm/53 Model 1929 cannons, the most common gun among the Regia Marina's light cruisers. These guns were improved versions of the previous 1926 version, but did lose the hilarious 1000mps velocity. They fired either a 47.5 kg AP shell at 850mps, or a 44.3 kg HE shell with a 2.3 kg bursting charge at 950mps. Relevant formulas tell us the AP should do 3000 damage, and the HE* 1900, with 7% fire chance. The guns could output 8 rpm, giving a 7.5 second reload time, for a total broadside RoF of 64 rounds a minute, 32 a minute in the fore or aft firing arcs. *HE numbers very vulnerable to gimmicks, like in the case of Japan and Germany, so I'm not terribly confident in that. I'm more sure on the fire chance coming in at around 7-8%, though. Speaking of firing arcs, the turrets could rotate at 6º/sec, which gives us a 30 second timespan for the guns to traverse 180º. The turrets themselves had a field of fire of 300º, giving us this image as far as firing arcs of the main guns go; In practice, this should give you very good fields of fire, so you shouldn't have to flash too much broadside to give one. Update - Leaked stats give the following stats for her guns: Secondary Battery/AA: 3x2 100mm/47 Model 1928 (DP) -Fired a 13.8 kg HE shell at 850mps -RoF was 10 rpm, for a 6 second reload time -Asu Range will likely be 4.5 km -Unkown dps - likely better than the Minsini gun present on Krasny Krym through better elevation angles. My guess would be between 20-30 dps for the three mounts combined. -AA range - Likely 4.5 km as well. Update - Leaked stats give the following stats for her DP guns: 4x2 37mm/54 Model 1932 -Workhorse AA gun of the Regia Marina, should tell us an awful lot on how Italy's AA will pan out. -unknown dps - .823 kg HE projectile fired at 800mps, RoF (was selectable) varied from 60 to 120 rpm. -unknown range - extremely likely to be 3.51 km, effectively a given. 6x2 13.2mm/76 Model 1931 -A common MG found on many RM ships, usually swapped out for 20mm cannons during the war (although not in this case). -21 dps - very similar to the 13.2mm MG found on Japanese ships, likely to have the same stats -1.2 km range - It's a heavy MG. They all go out to 1.2 km. Update - Leaked stats give the following stats for her Medium/Light AA guns: Torpedo Armament: 2x3 533mm Si 'M' -270 kg warhead - damage formulas suggest 13112 damage -Range likely to be either 4 km or 8 km -Depending on which version used, speed at 4 km could be either 66 or 68 knots. At 8 km, 55 or 58 knots. Update - Leaked stats give the following stats for her Torpedoes: Maneuverability: -36.5 knot top speed! -This makes it one of the fastest ships at tier VI, tied with Farragut, Hatusharu, and only surpassed by the 38 knot destroyers Gnevny and Anshan. -Extremely powerful machinery (110,000hp) on a light-ish hull, should accelerate fairly well. Turning might be sluggish, but she's shorter than the Molotov, so perhaps a smaller turning radius than that. Update - Leaked stats give the following stats for her Maneuverability and Concealment : Survivability: Health: -10,374 ton full load - at a tier that ranges from 8,900 (Nürnberg) to 13,897 (Cleveland) in terms of tonnage (though Cleveland is an outlier, the next closest ship is Aoba at 11,847 tons). She lands almost exactly squarely between Nürnberg and Aoba, so her Hitpoints will definitely be between 29,000 and 30,000, my guess would be about 29,500-29,600. Armor: This is where it gets interesting. Fortunately, we also have pictures to show off the armor scheme: But that's not all. So, seeing as WG was kind enough to supply us with these images; I decided to overlay the armor to show exactly where all this stuff lines up. So, first, here's simply overlaying the side-on view: Well, most of that view is pretty useless. Well, good thing there's a fix for that. Here's another view of Duca d'Aosta, with only the armored spaces overlaid: So, do you see what I see? Hint; look at the waterline. Aside from the barbettes, which aren't part of the citadel, look at how much of the citadel is underwater, and how little is above it! She won't be a very easy target to citadel, despite the thin armor. Now, the armor pictures I showed off above show the waterline riding much lower on the ship, leaving most of the belt out of the water. My only guess is that such pictures were drawn showing the ship at normal or light load, hence the ship is further out of the water. Her extremity armor will also determine a lot about how the ship takes punishment. Cruisers at tier VI vary in their bow/stern armor, some featuring 13mm, others 16mm. This will have a significant effect on what cruisers she can face. With 13mm of bow armor, she'll be able to autobounce shells from any other light cruiser, 180mm or less. However, heavy cruisers will be able to pen her from the bow at any angle. With 16mm of bow armor, she'll be able to autobounce any shells from heavy cruisers (excluding Spee) as well, up to and including Moskva's 220mm guns. Oddly enough, she does get a little more protection from that strip of armor above her belt, the 20mm thick plating. On most ships of this tier, the armor in this area would range from 13-19mm. Good enough to stop lol-pens from cruiser guns, and defend against low-caliber HE in a few cases. 20mm gets you a bit further. With 20mm of armor, your side is no longer vulnerable to being overmatched by the guns of two of the best cruiser-killers around these tiers - the 11" guns of Graf Spee and Scharnhorst, able to overmatch 19mm plates, but not 20mm plates. This does not mean you can go charging at them angled without fear... all they need to do is aim at your bow otherwise, but this still is useful to have. It also gives some protection against destroyer HE. 20mm armor will prevent the penetration of any HE of 120mm caliber or less - although it can't stop any IFHE shells. Update - Leaked stats give the following stats for her Survivability: Just how Duca d'Aosta shapes up in WoWs will be quite dependent on what WG decides, as many things, as much as this game is based in/on historical events and equipment, are somewhat arbitrarily decided on by WG in the name of balance. For all we know, WG could load her down with gimmicks... or perhaps they've learned from the RN cruisers, and will avoid that stuff. We do have the rumor mill spinning about cruisers with Speed boost abilities, and although that's been more focused on French Cruisers, it's actually more appropriate for the Italian cruisers, as they achieved much higher speeds on their trials than in service (for example, Duca d'Aosta herself made 37.35 knots on trials, with her machinery reaching just short of 128,000hp). And if Molotov can get her trial speeds... Anyways, from what I can see, we're looking at an anti-DD warship, best equipped for hunting down and killing enemy destroyers. Her high speed makes her easily able to keep up, and close the range with most enemy destroyers. Her armor layout makes her oddly resistant to many smaller DD HE shells, although she's still quite vulnerable to them (127mm and 130mm, for example, won't have issues damaging her, nor will any IFHE shell... which is normal for most tier VI cruisers), and her low citadel should make her very difficult for Destroyer AP to citadel her. Her guns fire very rapidly, and the HE, with it's incredible 950 mps velocity, will easily be able to peg enemy destroyers from a distance. Low damage numbers per shell could be an issue for this class, however... but that could be remedied by WG playing mix-and-match with the guns and allowing Duca d'Aosta to use the older ammunition from 1926, 50kg shells (increasing the AP damage to 3100), or pair that and the original muzzle velocity of 1000mps (giving 3300 AP damage). The HE shells... well, they're light and the bursting charge is small. I don't expect, unless WG interferes here, for their damage to be high at all, and 1900-2000 sounds about right. Also, she might be able to equip a spotter (she carried an Ro.43), which would extend her range... and my assumption would be that the Italian ships get very long ranges like Russia or Germany, though that's ultimately up to WG. All I know is, I can't wait for her to arrive! My wallet is ready! *Note - Updated with Preliminary stats
  22. Hello and welcome again! After a long hiatus, Battlecruiser Wednesdays is back at ShipComrade. As usual, I'll always post a small blurb on each article here and you can comment the articles here as well (just make sure to read them in full). Also, this will be a special week as I'll be closing the first cycle of the Battlecruiser Wednestays saga with the a battlecruiser for the last few nations I haven't covered. Expect another article on Wednesday and on Friday! Without further ado, here's the first of this week! Battlecruiser Wednesdays: Design 1933 Welcome to the eighth article from our Battlecruiser Wednesdays cycle! We'll be taking a look at a different battlecruiser design each Wednesday and analysing how it could be implemented in-game by using our familiar "A Detailed Look At" format. This week: I'll be taking a look at the one of the proposed battlecruisers for the Italian Regia Marina, the Design 1933 battlecruiser which I've dubbed the Cangrande della Scala. The need for this design was to counteract the laying down of the two Dunkerque class battleships by the French, long since regarded by the Italians as their most likely adversaries in the case of war. The Design 1933 was actually the last battlecruiser design that the Regia Marina contemplated before they decided upon re-building their old battleships and developing the Vittorio Veneto class of fast battleships. Developed for the confined waters of the Mediterranean, the Design 1933 was meant to go toe to toe against the Dunkerque class using the remaining capital ship tonnage assigned to Italy by the Naval Treaties. The design would end up being cancelled as the Italian admiralty decided that a new powerful battleship design would provide much more of a benefit to the Regia Marina than a few inferior battlecruisers for which funding was hard to obtain. Step inside, read the article to see just how the Cangrande della Scala would stack up in-game and let us know what you think of this class making its way into the game! Read Full Article... Everybody's welcome to comment, critique and provide their opinions but please just keep it civil and enjoy!! - Fr05ty PS: You can suggest battlecruisers (or any other ship) for me to review as well! PS2: I'll be taking part in the NA vs EU CC battle on Saturday (18th) at 11AM PST on Wargaming's Twitch channel so drop in and say hi!