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Paolo Emilio - Tales of an Average Player

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So, I decided to spend a good chunk of Free XP on the Research Bureau and get me the Italian missile.  


Paolo Emilio :DD:


Let me first give you the back ground to this decision to spend about 1.4 years worth of built up Free Xp and a few weeks of grinding boats I can't stand  & play poorly (cruisers) to get me an Italian destroyer.  (Skip to the next section if you want to hear my thoughts on running this ship)


After about 2.5 years and trying everything under the sun in this game, I have come to the happy conclusion that I am  not magically adept this game.  Don't get me wrong - I do OK. But a purple class unicum I will never be.  Don't have the tempermant or the ability to make split second decisions.  I have not been interested in knowing the capability of each ship, let alone knowing exactly what type of armour they all have and where their citadels are.  Sure, I've learned a few things about opposing ships, like which ones have radar & if you are in a BB, aim below the front turrets of the Kremlin. But after over 5K of random battles, I'm at 49.91% WR for a  number of reasons.

I am, an average player - not great, does OK, learning as I go along and not fretting over losing as much as just wanting to get better at certain things without wanting to work hard at researching stuff (freely admit to not wanting to spend the time to be a wonk).  I frealy admit also to having spent money on this game to get me some premiums & higher up the RB so that getting the Paolo was possible - I am not a whale - just a large fish. :fish_haloween:

One of those reasons  my WR is not great is it takes me time to learn how to run a ship.   Some people just know when they sit in something that "hey, this does this, this means this, and this means I should do this and not this".  I'm not that sort of guy.  I suspect most people playing the game are like this.  Trial by error, hope to learn a few things, maybe watch a video, read a few things, try a few things out.  But, gotta actually get in there and do stuff to really learn how to use a ship.

After repeat usage, I've gotten good at certain ships, but not all.   Specifically, I'm not bad at torp boats but I am crud at gun ships.   Here's my top 8 premium DD"s for battles.  I've also got the Somers & the Z--44  & Halland in my regular rotation.



Note my top 4 has the exception of the gunboat Friesland, which I did really well at for about a year until people learned to rush them in smoke  - the meta changed and I couldn't adapt.   I also note my 5-8 are all project boats that I wanted to try when I got them & never got the hang of them (still wondering how I can be so bad in an Asashio B).  I think I played the Okhotnik 40 times in one month back in 2018 because I just wanted to meme boat.   Gosh I was bad.  And, I didn't care too much about winning back then, to be honest.  Just RUSH - TORP - SWING - DIE.   Man it was fun but after awhile, I noticed I wasn't actually DOING anything.  Had to get out of that ship.  Just a bad place to be.

And I also learned that FXP and me spending it on a DD better be a good fit cause - boy, I didn't get much luck trying out the Smaland - 2 million FXP & 31 battles later,  I got me a  31.8% WR.  Like...that's bad. :Smile_ohmy:

So, saving up FxP for the Hyate just doesn't seem to make much sense.  I ain't good at gunboats. Why bother.


So, after reading up on the Paolo Emilio in Little White Mouse's Review, I thought...OK, that sounds like fun meme type DD play,  and I got me a lot o Free Xp built up & some RB points building due to for some reason deciding to whale the Hizen (which I also enjoyed playing raining fire down on people) so lets try it.  A few weeks later, and a couple days running the Baltimore with lots of flags & I have me a Paolo Emilio.







Well it would be if I wasn't using the Shadow Lurker Camo which I have a few hundred of

So,  I decided to do something unusual for me - I actually took the ship into the training room & see how the smoke & acceleration work.    Set up my captain (had a 6 point I made 10).   

Then I went into Co-op for 3 battles.  First one, OK.  Second one - OMGAWD - killed those BB's & cruisers.    Went back to the review between that one & learned from LWM to hang back at first (not usual DD style in co-op) & GOT STUCK IN .


Time to play randoms.


3 losses out of the gate - not unexpected, and really, not sure I was always the reason but...yup.




  1. Man, that bull rush is FUN :cap_horn:
  2. When you bull rush, If you go full tilt and then through the smoke,   its like jumping out of a birthday cake. 
  3. People actually turn away from you.
  4. Hmm...have to set up a bull rush with a long drive to get there
  5. Wow, I'm in smoke & can't see things I'm running at?!?!!  :cap_look:


Went back to look the review & mentally adjusted a few things.

  • When doing a bull rush, don't necessarily go in a straight line after through the smoke (yup, I know, I was that dumb)
  • Wait for the right moment

Went back in

Started to win a few more games, but not necessarily because of me

Noticed a few things  now

  1. People NOTICE you - your bull rush is like a guided missile coming at them & they start to dance.
  2. A good team will take advantage of that & broadside kill the dancers
  3. On your bull rush, you want to let the torps go WHILE in smoke
  4. Like most DD's, you are WAY more effective after minute 8 as the game starts to become less jumbled
  5. That ball of 2 BB's & a cruiser might look tempting but one of them is going to blow you out of the water
  6. The perfect target is a spotted by somebody else hydro less BB mid game on with no support who is heading your way and thus can't stop quick
  7. Not great at tackling DD's.
  8. Crap there are boats with HYDRO?  :fish_palm:
  9. Your non-torp capability is that of a very very small cruiser - got a LOT of HP - rush in if given a chance to cap but you are not going to outgun a gun DD without support  & torp DD's will out spot you.
  10. Use that SAP when facing a broadside or expecting to face one during a bull rush - it even does better on some BB's. 
  11. An unexpected DD when making the set up drive  towards being 7 km out to start the bull rush means you are going to probably die -  Get radio location - spent some Captain experience to get to 14  - and lets face it, if you can afford the RB points, you probably have captain experience built up to take the captain to 14
  12. Torp speed isn't as important as being able to speed away - got killed twice due to rudder jams - worth the  2 commander skill points more to keep me moving then for 4 knots of torp speed
  13. If I can get to do 2 YOLO runs at ships, I think I've done my job.   Most I've done is 3 - honestly don't think anybody will ever do 5.


So, right now, here's how things look after 18 matches.  Basically 10 out of 15 since the first trial period in 1 day of play. Yup, decidely average I would say.


More things of note -


That potential damage is real - expect to get focus fired upon.

Surviving?   Not really an expectation.  

I really need to bone up on who has hydro & note that at the beginning of games like I do for radar.


Also of note, this ship doesn't really need much in the way of flags - here is what I run.    Maybe the flood flag (gotta buy some more) but the speed flag to me on this one is superfluous.   I'd rather save it for other ships.


Here is my commander skills



I went for traverse speed because the guns are slow to turn around.   Will likely choose preventive maintenance next point just to reduce those nasty engine issues even more. 

 No use doing more consumables as you will unlikely use the 5 you start with.    Dazzle seems like a good idea but that's a lot of points when you really need concealment & radio location.   I think that's a last 4 once you get to 21 choice.


And here's my equipment choice.

Get the engine boost upgrade - spend the 17.5K of coal.  I went for propulsion upgrade as I'm often waiting to get going up to speed from a slower start.  Torp stuff just makes more sense.  Torp traverse is a thing on this ship & having slightly more reload & speed for the sake of effectively a 10% more chance of  your torps being destroyed is worth it.   




Am I great captain in this ship?

Nope  - I'm like most of you - average at best


Will I become as good at this as I have with the other meme torp boats I run like the Asashio & Benham & Loyang & Z-44 & Somers & Halland?    Possibly.


But I can tell you this - the Paolo is a VERY intriguing tool right now. Hardly anybody has one (for good reason) so most people don't know how to deal with it yet.  So, the natural instinct we all have to work with our teammates helps the Paolo captain because if there is one thing you all should remember from the Paolo, its this


The Paolo is an incoming threat & incoming threats cause people to divert enough that teammates properly ready can take full advantage.

So, if you see a Paolo on your team, be ready to hit where they are going.

If anybody reads this and gets anything out of it, great.  Me, I am just happy to put some things down to coalesce thoughts to move on with this fascinating ship.

Thanks & happy hunting out there




Edited by Anonymous50
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Paolo Emilio is a CL. I have never seen this ship get called a destroyer outside of Wargaming's entertainment.

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Spot on mini review and experience... I love my Paolo... I have dubbed her, "The White Cloud of Death".  That is my death usually but I have had some epic games.  This DD is actually a pretty good DD hunter too, if the its a non radar or hydro DD or you get lucky or know they used the skill.  If I get spotted unexpectedly by enemy DD or CA, around a corner or the out spot you (most DDs) I charge and torp away and have had some success.  There is little more satisfying in WoWS than to kill a radar CA w a DD besides of course killing any kind of CV.  Best game was a sliding between two BBs, and nuking a full strength Iowa and on the other side a think it was a KGV.  Survival is hard in this ship, but she is a real blast to play.

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There a bug that should be fixed with tomorrows update ,

  • Fixed an error that prevented flag_Italy_206c77d5bf356559100ac3e95fdb7premium_9ffc494df739f989c98f2dd3a4e40887IX Paolo Emilio from being hidden by the smokescreen at full speed.

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8 hours ago, Patosentado said:

And trying a gunnery build and play her like a Kleber?

All power to those who could do that - If I could run a decent gun DD without hiding in smoke, I'd do so.




7 matches tonight -  2 decent ones  (4 kills) sandwiching some annoying ones.     4 wins - 3 losses


Learnings for this average player


  • In the right situation, this thing can throw rocks at some distracted BB's - took down 20k in a Nagato using SAP - he was going broadside to me & firing at a BB - I got the kill in the end
  • This boat can get a lot of "I got the kill in the end"  with its SAP & a torp thrown out
  • Getting kills through predicted DD movements is always a thrill - dying due to my own predicted movements is waaay too common unfortunately - have to get used to how big this thing is
  • Was beside a Hipper tonight for a few seconds - THIS BOAT IS BIGGER THEN A HIPPER
  • like most DD's, a CV focusing on you for 3 passes is just gonna wreck you
  • there is little more depressing then charging 1 ship, seeing 2 others suddenly show up in the same place,  & hitting NOTHING & getting wrecked -  170 pt base xp matches
  • hanging back & waiting is more effective then charging in


Onwards  & upwards





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1 minute ago, Patosentado said:

You are describing french DDs games

Yeh, I was wondering about that  - except, as my stats above show, I am CRAP at french BB's but somehow decent at Euro ones.  I think the hit this button to "FIRE GUNS QUICK NOW"  plays with my mind.

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Just going to put this screenshot from a match today in here and say....the next 30 seconds after this were quite a lot of fun




Still learning and will report again once I hit 100 games.

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So a couple of months later, I have some observations

First of all

PVE - this thing is a monster   -  in 95% of games,  I get 470-650 realxp  - 1500 + XP  -  100K+ credits  --  100K+ in damage -  this is  without flags & only the stock camo


Game play is fairly simple


  • Note who & what is behind you  - this is what you are likely to face
  • Note the opposing team
  • Run forward but not full tilt as you want your teammates to be slighly behind you to maximise any damage they can get on stuff you are ignoring or don't kill
  • Ping the opposing DD with RFP & ignore it, angling away from the ping, even more so if the red DD is a Paolo (true about 50% of the time)
  • Once you are spotted, smoke & run the speed boost firing SAP at what you can
  • Find the opposing cruiser, create the 2 km angle & fire a burst  -SAP as you go along
  • Find the opposing BB, create the 2.5 km angle & fire a burst (if a VII or VIII, only one should do them in)  - SAP as you go along
  • If there is no second BB or cruiser & the BB is IX or X, work to create the angle to fire a 2nd burst at this target  - again firing SAP as you go
  • If there is a 2nd BB or cruiser, find the range & angle & fire a burst, again using SAP as you go along
  • Rely upon your teammates to kill the DD & any cruiser or BB you didn't already destroy
  • By this time,  the bots on your flank now done, there is likely only 1-3 opposing red ships left and the game will finish soon
  • Rinse
  • Repeat


What I enjoy about this game play is setting up the angles on targets.  Its a bit like playing pool,  but the balls are moving and have a way of killing you if you are not careful.

Things to be careful about in PVE


Make sure you take teammates with you

Beware torps - running in a straight line to broadside torp a cruiser or DD is a way to die

Don't open fire with your guns until you are smoke up or spotted

SAP is WAAY more efficient then the HE - usual SAP approach applies



(will add PvP information in the next few days)




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On 5/13/2021 at 4:45 PM, GRIMLOCK__ said:

Thanks for the write up mate! Wish I’d read it before running head-first into a couple of games! I totally had my “I’m a DD head on” so quickly found myself back in port :cap_fainting:

I watched a couple of YouTube vids on playing the Yolo so had seen what it could do but totally “ignored” the pre-planning and patience. I had my modules selected ok and Captain skills set after reading through the “Wows Captain Skills Google doc” and fine tuning it for myself. RPF is something I like on the majority of my DD’s so made that choice already.

I’ll definitely have to practice the patience part!!

Off to try again and thanks again for the write-up! Very helpful mate


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