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Psycodiver

Tier 6 Premium Battlehsip Review: Dunkerque

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Dunkerque

 

Welcome Captains to the Bow Tank King of Tier 6, the Dunkerque. I've actually had this review nearly finished a while back and I totally forgot about it until recently when I decided to get back to reviewing ships and well since the French Battleship line is almost here I figured this would be as good time as any to post it. Without further or due welcome captains to the quirky ship named Dunkerque. Dunkerque (other wise known as the Dunkin' Donut or Dunky to some players) she was one of the first modern battleships built in the 1930s, which is kind of a oxymoron when she is 80 years old and calling her modern just feels weird. The Dunky was built in retaliation to Germany's Graf Spree class heavy cruisers and future Italian battleships that were being built, she was also restricted under the Washington Naval Treaty which limited on how heavy she could be built. The French wanted a battleship fast enough to chase down heavy cruisers and with enough armor to protect her from return fire from said cruisers. This meant her armor is considered light by T6 standards and she packs a "All Forward" gun placement which aides in times in battle where a good push is needed. This can be a problem because if she is forced to retreat she has to fire over her shoulder and if she has to fire from one side to the other means her guns have to completely swing around.

Health

The Dunk has a low-to-average HP pool at 52,600hp and a okish torpedo reduction damage of 25%. She is covered 25mm of hull plating which allows you to face tank 356mm AP shells and under but allows 15"+ shells to slam right through. Unfortunately the 25mm hull plating allows most light cruisers and DDs using the IFHE captain skill to score full damage salvos on you, since your covered in 25mm hull plating you're pretty much a damage pinata if your making yourself a easy target. She has a light armor belt of 225mm, a 40mm turtle back and 40mm of citadel plating which when adding the fact her citadel sits above water makes her easy to citadel. I found angling slightly when fighting ships with guns 15"+ allows for a greater chance the shells will bounce off your belt armor. While there seems to be a myth about her burn chance being high, she actually has the same burn chance as the regular T6 BBs, I believe the high burn myth comes from the fact allot of players (myself included) tend to play her fairly static thus makes hitting her with HE much easier.

Guns

One of the more controversial aspects of this ship are her guns, she has the smallest guns for her tier at 330mm and they're packed into 2 quad turrets located at the front of the ship. She has a fast reload at 28 seconds and the fastest velocity guns with the second best penetration of her tier. This sounds great for sniping fast moving ships but she uses the German BB dispersion model with a 1.7 sigma rating which outside of 12km your really at RNG's mercy. I believe this was a attempt from WG to keep her from being a sniper because any better accuracy mixed with these hard hitting guns. The guns have a good firing range of 18.2km  and a good HE burn chance although I found her AP to be so good I rarely used HE outside of DD hunting or fighting another bow on Dunkerque or bow tanking BB. I highly recommend the Accuracy module because anything that can make these guns more accurate is for the best.

The Dunkin' Donut features a situationally good but usually bad secondary gun set up. If you have a cruiser or DD trying to chase you down to deliver a torpedo strike, then the secondaries actually work and that is because they are all located on the aft end of your ship. I have actually gotten a couple close quarter kills like this. Their rate of fire are ok along with their velocity and they have the standard 5km range for tier 6. They are not something I would invest anything in though because as I said they are situational.

AA

Dunker has the some of the weakest AA for her tier with the Mutsu being her out. If you are desperate for AA I would suggest BFT and Manual AA skill along with the fighter plane, this will give her enough AA to defend herself just enough to make a CV pay a good cost in planes. That said I saw CVs around 50-60% of the time out of all the T6 ships I've played and since the French line is right around the corner it really comes down to how you want this captain set up for that line. From what I've seen of the line so far Manual AA might be a good addition but your mileage will vary, personally I hate planes the most I can swat out of the sky the happier I am.

Speed/Rudder

At 29.5 knots she is the fastest BB at Tier 6 and one of the fastest BBs in the game, this allows you to be very flexible and move around the map at a good speed. This has a two prong effect though as it can get you into a bad spot pretty fast if your not careful. The Dunk has a average rudder shift at 14s and a wide turn radius of 730m (only the Fuso beats her at 740m). The rudder shift module can get it down the 11.2s which allows for easier bobbing and weaving of incoming shells and torpedoes.

Mods

I ran the usual Main Armament Mod 1, DCS Mod 1, Aiming Systems Mod 1 and Steering Gear mod 2. I ran AA mod for a little bit and with Manual AA and BFT skills allows her to do a decent amount of damage to incoming planes but Aiming Systems is really more helpful in my opinion. MAM1 is also mandatory since you only have two turrets and losing one means half your firepower is gone, if you lose both turrets you no become the biggest torpedo in the game.

Captain Skills

For the first tier I ran Preventive Maintenance (again to protect those main turrets), at T2 Adrenaline Rush, T3 Basic Firing Training, T4 I ran Concealment Expert and Manual AA. I know this is a bit of a quirky captain build (its unusual for myself also) but it seems to work well with how I played the Dunkerque, how this will translate to the future French line is to be seen.

Tactics

As I mention earlier with her speed it is easy to get into trouble and if you are forced to turn, you now become a citadel magnet. Also sitting bow on, moving at 1/4 speed or reversing, is welcoming a hail of HE shells that promises a Viking Burial. Her concealment is pretty awful and even with Concealment Expert it is still kinda meh. I found Dunky to be a excellent late game ship because her speed allows her to hunt down most enemy ships so I generally play fairly passive for the first part of the game. If I have a good push going on I try to be at the lead but keep a eye on your allies because if they stall you will quickly be out by yourself surrounded by hungry enemy ships. If your attentive you can bait most big caliber shells into your belt armor but if you get surrounded you become fish food. Being on the move is just as important as playing bow on, she has great speed, don't forget that. Her guns are not very forgiving and you will be forced to get closer to the enemy to make solid hits, I found 12km to be the sweet zone with 14km to be the absolute limit for reliable shots. Her shell velocity is fast so I found aiming lower than normal to be a good idea.

How did I do

This ship is a love or hate it kind of ship, its because she has a unique playstyle and is somewhat reliant on your team mates to open up opportunities for you to exploit, I love mine and she will be a excellent captain trainer for the future BB line

I saw CVs 50% of the time, I averaged 1.75 plane kills during those CV matches. I was in Tier 8 matches 30% of the time, tier 7 40% and I was top tier 30% of the time. I averaged 1266 base XP with my best game was 1720 base XP. My winrate was 80% and I survived 60% of the time with a kill average 1.5. Accuracy was 31% with average damage of 75,577, my best game was 123,906 with a average damage per shell of 1766 (meaning every shell that hit averaged out to this number). Please remember this is only out of 10 games, your millage may very!

 

How Does She Compare

She is a different ship than the rest of the Tier 6 battleships, she is the fastest, but has the lightest armor, she has the highest velocity guns and the some of the best penetration for her tier but her accuracy is frankly pretty bad. She takes a captain that knows how to control themselves and not get carried away. Some players love her and some hate her, I fall into the love category probably because I like quirky ships. She earns enough XP to be a good captain trainer for the future BB line or for just plain fun Random ship. I've run her in Operations and found her to be pretty good since her speed allows her to keep up with the flow of battle.

Edited by Psycodiver
  • Cool 5

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This ship has aged very poorly, and I can no longer in good conscience recommend her. You're going to see a lot of Kagas and Saipans at tier 6 these days, and they just tear up ships that are plodding along (or reversing) while bow tanking. 

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3 minutes ago, Battlecruiser_Lutzow said:

This ship has aged very poorly, and I can no longer in good conscience recommend her. You're going to see a lot of Kagas and Saipans at tier 6 these days, and they just tear up ships that are plodding along (or reversing) while bow tanking. 

Then don't bow tank. Dunk is fast an agile, use your speed and agility to attack from the flanks. 

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2 minutes ago, Mik6669 said:

Then don't bow tank. Dunk is fast an agile, use your speed and agility to attack from the flanks. 

Uh. Well, then you get into those citadel issues.

I'll be honest: I think Guilio is a substantially better battleship than Dunk - not just for-tier, but on a 1-for-1 basis - and she never sees tier 8s.

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20 minutes ago, Battlecruiser_Lutzow said:

This ship has aged very poorly, and I can no longer in good conscience recommend her. You're going to see a lot of Kagas and Saipans at tier 6 these days, and they just tear up ships that are plodding along (or reversing) while bow tanking. 

I never got into the bow tanking thing so for me how I play her hasn't changed and I'm still doing good.  In the right hands she's a beast still.

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I don’t have respect for Dunkerque since ranked season 7 when tier 6 was in competitive play.  Dunkerque did poorly compared to Arizona and Warspite.  I did my share of Dunkerque kills, and having that ship on my team was most often a liability.

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22 minutes ago, Ramsalot said:

I don’t have respect for Dunkerque since ranked season 7 when tier 6 was in competitive play.  Dunkerque did poorly compared to Arizona and Warspite.  I did my share of Dunkerque kills, and having that ship on my team was most often a liability.

Dunk was my primary ship in season 7 and I did very good with her. I was in the top 3 of my team in most battles. Warspite could definitely put a hurting on Dunk but Dunk is very capable of returning the favor. As long as I kept bow on or angled, Arizona wasn't too nasty.

A Dunk driver who is bow camping is doing it wrong. You use the ship's great maneuverability to advantage, she's more maneuverable than any other tier 6 BB. I use HE a lot while driving Dunk. She starts fires like a Roo-Shin Cruiser or Brit BB and can frequently  cit Cruisers with that HE. Her AP aint nothing to sneer at either, it's pretty brutal on BBs that are kind enough to show their sides though it overpens a lot when used on Cruisers. My only complaint about Dunk is that her shell dispersion is wonky. Sometimes you get a nice pattern and other times the shells scatter all over creation.

I strongly recommend Main Armaments Mod 1 because Dunk's turrets get disabled often enough to be a concern and that mod helps.

Edited by ReddNekk

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3 hours ago, Battlecruiser_Lutzow said:

This ship has aged very poorly, and I can no longer in good conscience recommend her. You're going to see a lot of Kagas and Saipans at tier 6 these days, and they just tear up ships that are plodding along (or reversing) while bow tanking. 

I run a fully AA specced Dunkerque.  Saipans are no problem.  Kagas are a different story, you can tear their planes apart, but Kaga can respawn more disposable squadrons faster then I can put up more catapult fighters, so it's iffy in that sense.

4dzVEC3.jpg

18 minutes ago, ReddNekk said:

A Dunk driver who is bow camping is doing it wrong. You use the ship's great maneuverability to advantage, she's more maneuverable than any other tier 6 BB.

I strongly disagree, in a tier 7 or 8 match, maneuvering is just going to get you too close to the enemy or cause you to expose your broadside.  Staying back and bow-camping is the most valuable asset in those games, and that how I play the first half of my bottom tier games, letting the higher tier Battleships wear themselves out before I strike.

 

You can find more about my opinion on the Dunkerque here:

 

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10 hours ago, Psycodiver said:

she has the smallest guns for her tier at 340mm

A nice review overall imo, but a minor correction here:  Dunkerque's guns are 330mm.

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Dunk is complete garbage compared to Normandie. In Normandie you can get 8 guns forward while remaining at an autobounce angle, except you have armor plates that won't get overmatched

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7 hours ago, ReddNekk said:

...As long as I kept bow on or angled, Arizona wasn't too nasty.

A Dunk driver who is bow camping is doing it wrong...

So, did you take your Dunk all the way to rank one?  Because I did rank out using Arizona, and Dunk was melting in final league way, way too fast.

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2 hours ago, landcollector said:

A nice review overall imo, but a minor correction here:  Dunkerque's guns are 330mm.

Fixed, thank you

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3 hours ago, Ramsalot said:

So, did you take your Dunk all the way to rank one?  Because I did rank out using Arizona, and Dunk was melting in final league way, way too fast.

Unfortunately, no. The best I got to was rank 9. then I hit a losing streak which knocked me back to rank 10 and after that it was win-loss win-loss so I wasn't able to advance anymore. I got discouraged and stopped playing Ranked. However, I believe that Dunk is capable of Ranking out.

Grats on Ranking out! :Smile_honoring:

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11 minutes ago, ReddNekk said:

Unfortunately, no. The best I got to was rank 9. then I hit a losing streak which knocked me back to rank 10 and after that it was win-loss win-loss so I wasn't able to advance anymore. I got discouraged and stopped playing Ranked. However, I believe that Dunk is capable of Ranking out.

Grats on Ranking out! :Smile_honoring:

The only reason I asked, is that past rank 5 things get difficult.  Most any ship will work ok before getting to rank 5, but you better be amazing with Dunk to make it work all the way to rank 1.  I am not saying that's impossible, but it is a lot harder than using most of the other BBs.  If you check overall stats for season 7, Dunk win rate was below 50%, while both Arizona and Warspite were above 50%.  It might be a small difference, but it's a big deal in competitive environment, even 1% WR difference can result in dozens of games to compensate...

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10 hours ago, Fog_Battleship_NCarolina said:

Dunk is complete garbage compared to Normandie. In Normandie you can get 8 guns forward while remaining at an autobounce angle, except you have armor plates that won't get overmatched

Well since the Normandie have not been released, that had yet to be seen. The Normi can be over matched just like the Dunkerque also so I fail to see your point. Now she does get more guns which is very nice

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