Even since Flamu posted his "Dunkerque - How To Deal With T8 MM" video, I've been face-palming in disbelief. The Dunkerque is one of Flamu's least played ships and least favorite ships, and it show by how he plays the ship all kinds of wrong and offers advice that can even be considered dangerous. So let's go through Flamu's lessons one by one and see what potential damage he's caused to new players with his video.
"So of course, it's low caliber guns, umm, the damage is lower as well. - This is no damage monster"
The Dunkerque is tied with the Fuso in having the fastest firing Battleship guns at tier 6. The ship also sports so incredibly potent HE shells with tremendous muzzle velocity allowing long range targets to be hit with reliability (even broadside destroyers), and the all forward gun design and fast turret traverse ensures that the RPM will rarely be interrupted. The guns only have low damage when you ram the ship into an island and are unable to target any ships like Flamu does here.
"A common mistake that many Dunkerque captains make is they think it is a Yamato, they think it is a North Carolina, they think it is a ship capable of parking nose-in duking it out. Now the Dunkerque can't even do this against tier 6s."
"So your not going to be tanking anything in this thing"
Not counting CVs, only 10% of ships in the tier 6 - 8 matchmaking have guns that can overmatch the bow armor on the Dunkerque, to say the ship can't bow tank is a gross miscalculation. Bow tanking is one of Dunkerque's greatest assets and Flamu here is needlessly throwing that asset away. In the replay provided below, you can see that in a Tier 8 match, out of the 5 enemy Battleships, only one had the guns large enough to overmatch my Dunkerque's bow. For Flamu to think that the ship can't even tank at tier 6 is beyond belief. Even against shells that can overmatch, going bow-on presents a far smaller profile ensure fewer shells will hit you, which is in essence providing protection. Other Battleships will have to show some broadside in order to utilize their full firepower against you, offering a larger target and exposing all of the fire hardpoints of their ship. Also cruisers and destroyers often will have their shells shatter against the bow at close range, which is still tanking.
"You'll notice I was angled, trying to eat it [15" shells] on my broadside armor"
Flamu's tactic here is dubious as he tries to present a larger target to his enemy (a Tirpitz in brawling range no less) and he ends up taking heavy damage for it. You want the shells to miss entirely so charging in against a top tier German Battleship and angling was an extremely poor tactical decision. Don't let the enemy play to their strengths, the Dunkerque has the speed to avoid these situations.
"One of the key points of this is keeping on the move. - How do you play it? You keep on the move. You have to keep on the move"
"One of my main lessons when playing the Dunkerque is never stop in the open. Being caught in the open and sitting still is a death sentence"
This is one of the most questionable lessons that Flamu gives in his video. The Dunkerque is a very large target with a vulnerable broadside, moving forward when bottom tier is offering the enemy a juicy target. What you want to do in the Dunkerque is manage the enemy player's target priority. If your sitting at long range, and the enemy Battleship has numerous ships at closer range shooting at it, it's going to prioritize them over you because they are a greater thread and offer more dps to them. If your needlessly zipping around broadside at long-mid range, your going to present the enemy with a juicy DPS opportunity, and if you just charge in against tier 8 ships, your going to be outflanked and overpowered. The Dunkerque's speed and mobility is best used in the end game, when most other ships are dead. The Dunkerque is extremely dangerous against 90% of ships (in tier 6-8 MM) because they are incapable of overmatching her bow, which makes the ship one of the best carry Premium Battleships in the game and probably excellent practice for the Richelieu.
"Amusingly, one of the strengths of the ship, which is having all gun on the forward part of the ship, is actually a bit of a weakness."
"The secondaries have very awkward angles, you need to give far too much broadside to be able to efficiently use them. The secondaries in general are not recommendable"
The Dunkerque has in effect, 2 Gearings strapped to the back of the ship with twelve 5" guns that can be used without the need to show any broadside. It has been the mistake of many DD captains to try and attack a Dunkerque from behind, thinking that is the blind spot. Note in my replay, that against the Loyang that attempted to attack me from behind, ended up sacrificing himself against my secondary guns in exchange for a single torpedo hit, my forward main battery was not needed.
"If you have the lowest AP damage, umm the lowest AP alpha, all of these things also having the same reload as the other ships, really isn't that much fun."
Flamu throughout his video complains about the Dunkerque AP shells several times, but like a potato he only ever uses those AP shells for 97% of the match. He never connects the dots that maybe he shouldn't use AP, and he never discusses the power of the Dunkerque's HE shells and end up throwing away another of the ship's greatest assets with it's high fire %. Another problem with the Dunkerque's AP shell is that the tremendous muzzle velocity gives the shells the nasty habit of over-penetrating on fully broadside targets. Reliability in damage comes from the Dunkerque's HE shells, even against enemy cruisers. The AP shells require the enemy cruisers and even some battleships to angle in order for their armor to "catch" the AP shells, which means only using AP for select situations.
"I do run concealment expert on this ship, and that ability to disengage is so-so important on this ship"
Flamu yoloed right into the enemy and was never in a position for his concealment expert skill to help him disengage, so he effectively wasted 4 points on his captain. The Dunkerque strength comes from it's ability to maintain maximum RPM from it's main battery, which would be wasting another asset of the ship by trying to conceal this ship that can be spotted from the Andromeda Galaxy. (credit to Nozoupforyou for that analogy) By the 6:30 mark of his video, he's already 10km away from an enemy Battleship, concealment expert is worthless when yoloing.
"The Scharnhorst, I play it very similarly"
This is where the biggest error in his match, twice in his showcase battle, Flamu goes full potato and brawls with 2 separate Tirpitz. One of which actually kills him after he tells his team "Don't die, and we win". I cannot stress enough that the Dunkerque is not a German Battleship, it does not brawl well with other German Battleships. Do not play to the enemies strengths. The Dunkerque high velocity shells enable it to effectively target ships at long range, so it becomes important when bottom tier to not charge at the top tier Battleships.
This is how to play the Dunkerque in T8 MM.
Flamu's advice is to always keep moving, that "being caught in the open and sitting still is a death sentence", but note how I do not stray far from my spawn point in the first 10 minutes of the match. I operate out in the open, but I keep a healthy distance away from the enemy to ensure I am never outflanked. Anyone whose played a RN BB knows that HE is best employed at mid-range, and that it's important to manage the distance between you and the enemy fleet. Even at bottom tier, I'm causing considerable damage by sitting back while also disrupting the enemies attempt to take the caps and setting fires. It's only at the halfway point, where the team if outnumbered 6:3 and the caps are in danger that I put the Dunkerque's speed to use. At this point, the enemy team no longer have any ships that can overmatch my bow, and thus the Dunkerque can play to it's own strengths and have unfair fights with the other ships, picking them off one by one and racking up the metals. That's my advice for T8 battles with the Dunkerque, wait it out, let the higher tier ships duke it out with each other until they've destroyed each other, then move in to wreak havoc. The Dunkerque is very strong against Destroyers and Cruisers at any tier, and will earn bonus points of sinking these higher tier ships, so you want to give yourself the best possible chance at taking them out. So don't go full potato and brawl with a bunch of Tirpitzs like Flamu here.