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Premium Ship Review: T-61


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The following is a review of T-61, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of August 7th, 2018.
Your clothes:  Give them to me.  Now.

Quick Summary: A German Flottentorpedoboot that lives up to the name, with a large, fast reloading torpedo armament.
Cost: The equivalent of 4,900 doubloons.
Patch and Date Written: to 0.7.7.  December 14th, 2017 to August 7th, 2018.  Seriously.


  • Excellent 15rpm rate of fire on her main battery.
  • Powerful AP shells with 3,000 maximum damage.
  • Her two quadruple torpedo launchers reload in 68s -- the fastest among all of the tier VI destroyers.
  • Like other Made in German destroyers, she has a Hydroacoustic Search consumable.
  • She's a powerful generalist, well balanced for a variety of roles.


  • Horrible AP penetration.  Seriously, they make squeaky toy sounds when they strike belt armour.
  • Anemic HE shells.
  • Turrets need to start using some lube.  They're always trying to %$#@ you over with their slow, 8.0º/s traverse.
  • Uninspiring top speed of 35.0 knots.
  • Large surface detection range of 7.0km.
  • Sadly, she uses a German Smoke Generator.
 Skill Floor: SimpleCasual / Challenging / Difficult
Skill Ceiling:  Low / Moderate / High / Extreme
For casual players, T-61 is a fun torpedo destroyer with a safety-net of passable guns and a healthy slug of hit points besides.  Think of her like an alternative to Fubuki or Shinonome and you're not too far off. 
Veterans and Experts will love this ship. They'll love the way Hydroacoustic Search helps them control vision. They'll love that she's reasonably stealthy but with enough hit points to bully most of her tier mates. They'll love that she can be a gunship or a torpedo ship. They'll love the edge their AP shells can give them when properly managed. This is all locked behind a higher skill wall.
iTQteVr.png- One of, if not the worst at its tier. This is a pronounced weakness.
jr7vbn9.png - Middle of the pack at its tier. Not terrible, but not terribly good either.
OzA23Hz.png - Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer.
G8OWSR4.png - No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship.
  • It's all about that reload speed for her guns and torpedoes.  T-61 has the  G8OWSR4.png damage output of any of the tier VI destroyers.
  • What's alarming about her is that while she does have her flaws, none of them are so substantial that she doesn't rate at least a jr7vbn9.png evaluation in all other categories.  Even in ones that don't really matter for destroyers, like Anti-Air, she still comes out okay.  This largely sums up why she's been long hyped as one of the best destroyers at her tier.  It's not just what she's good at -- it's her complete lack of significant drawbacks.
There are no surprises with T-61 -- at least if she isn't your first experience with German destroyers. 
  • T-61's Damage Control Party is standard for a destroyer with a 60 second / 40 second reset timer.
  • The German Smoke Generator is worse (and the worst) than those found on other nations. The emission times are the same (20 seconds) but her smoke only lasts 61 seconds instead of the 81 seconds found on Japanese and Soviet destroyers.  This has the same 240s / 160s reset timer as other Smoke Generators, leaving this destroyer with more time without smoke protection.
  • T-61's Engine Boost is standard, providing an 8% increase to speed for two minutes with a two minute / three minute reset timer.
  • She has access to a Hydroacoustic Search consumable. This does not have the added bonuses found on the version mounted by German cruisers, but matches the cruisers of other nations at tier VI.  It will detect torpedoes at 2.82km, ships at 3.96km and is active for 92 seconds.  The reset timer is 3 minutes / 2 minutes.
Upgrades: Four slots, standard destroyer upgrades.  Take the following:
  • In your first slot, take Magazine Modification 1.  You're a destroyer.  Detonations are still a thing -- and a very common thing for your ship type at that.
  • In your second slot, take Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1. This should be the upgrade of choice. This increases the active time of your Hydoacoustic Search from 92 seconds up to 110 seconds. If you do not have access to this special upgrade, then take Propulsion Modification 1.  Speed is life for a destroyer.
  • In your third slot, take Aiming System Modification 1.  It's not going to do much for your accuracy but it will help your torpedoes traverse faster, so I guess it's worth it for that alone.
  • And finally, take Propulsion Modification 2 in your final slot for a little more pep to your engines when you startup from a dead stop. 

T-61 comes with Type 10 Camouflage providing:
  • 50% bonus experience gains
  • 10% reduction to maintenance costs
  • 3% reduction in surface detection
  • 4% reduction in enemy accuracy.
Primary Battery: Four 128mm L/45 rifles in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration.
Torpedo Armament: Eight tubes in 2x4 launchers mounted dorsally behind the funnel
T-61 is, first and foremost, a torpedo destroyer.  It pays to keep this in mind.  Her specialty is putting many fish into many boats and making them hate her for it.  While she has guns and they are workable, that's not her strength.  
I don't like the German 128mm L/45s.  I would have preferred to see the 150mm L/48s but we can't have everything.
What they're good at, in theory...
 The 128mm L/45s boast an excellent rate of fire.  Their 4.0s reload gives them a shell output of 15rpm per gun which exceeds the speed of Ernst Gaede's own 128mm and is on par with American gunships like Farragut.  T-61 combines her rate of fire with a powerful AP shell that does 3,000 damage per AP citadel hit.  Under ideal circumstances, T-61 can unload massive amounts of damage very quickly -- comparable damage output to a ship far larger than her displacement would otherwise suggest.  Many a cruiser and battleship has found themselves hemorrhaging large chunks of their health when they offered up their broadside to German 128mm guns at close range. 
In addition, the fire angles on her X-turret are very favourable.  T-61 can bring three barrels onto a target quite easily, even when on a highly aggressive stance.
If you're holding out for more benefits beyond that, prepare to be sorely disappointed.  That's all the praise I have for these weapons:  rate of fire, AP shell damage and the field of fire of one of her four turrets.  Under scrutiny, these merits are eclipsed by a long list of flaws.
T-61 has excellent fire angles on her X-turret, allowing her to easily bring three guns to bear on targets when she adopts an aggressive stance. Unfortunately, her horrible turret traverse combined with her inability to rotate that gun 360º in the same manner as HMAS Vampire severely limits her utility as a knife fighter. Her torpedo arcs are nothing special, with a forward bias that makes them better on the attack than as a defensive weapon. 
What they're not so good at...
  • Let's start with her HE Shells.  They suck, simply put.  They deal a mere 1,500 damage.  Every penetrating hit from T-61's AP shells is worth two penetrations from her HE shells.  T-61's HE does not have improved penetration values like German battleship and cruiser HE.  They also have a low chance to set fires at 6% per hit.  It's a good thing she spits these things out quickly.
  • While T-61's AP Shells have increased damage output they also have the worst penetration characteristics for any main battery armament at tier VI.  The only guns they outperform are the Royal Navy 120mm/45s found on HMS Gallant but only at ranges in excess of 9km.  This deficiency is largely do to their pathetic Krupp value. 
  • Her gun traverse is painfully slow.  T-61's 8º/s (22.5s for 180º) is far from good.  You have to plan your gun placement well in advance and you cannot react easily to changing battlefield situations. This really holds her back in a knife fight.

DPM of tier VI destroyers with AP (blue on top) and HE (red on the bottom).  There sure are a lot of them.  Farragut (C) includes Monaghan's A-Hull.  Gnevny-class includes Gnevny herself along with Fushun and Anshan.  G & I class include the Royal Navy ships Gallant and the still Work-in-Progress Icarus.

The German 128mm L/45s may hit hard, but their penetration leaves a lot to be desired, preventing them from contesting the belt armour of cruisers except at point blank ranges. These weapons are found on most of the German destroyer line.
From: World of Warships Asia. (2017, February 21). Armada - Leberecht Maass Video file. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekotElW7jyI

 Alright, so with the exception of situations where enemy cruisers and battleships are being blooming idiots and giving you their broadside, these guns suck.  However, the real important question is:  Are they're good enough?

For supplementary damage, yes.  T-61 guns are entirely sufficient for what you need them to do.  T-61 can comfortably harass larger ships, even with her anemic HE shells, her pathetic fire chance and the inconsistent (or is that incontinent?) performance of her AP shells.   Aim for the upper hull and superstructure -- the numbers will surprise you.  Their ballistic arcs aren't horrible, being closely compared to those of the Japanese 127mm/50 guns found on Fubuki and Hatsuharu.  She has decent range too, though I wouldn't suggest trying to test the former by extending the latter.  So they can do damage.  Under the right circumstances (your opponent being oblivious or just plain stupid), they can even excel, but generally they're only alright.
It's against enemy destroyers that these guns are often found wanting.  Their horrible gun handling and poor HE performance makes them a less than ideal choice to bring into a knife fight.  Your AP shells aren't much better, needing 21mm of armour to fuse when most destroyers can barely scratch together 16mm, leading to 300 damage overpenetrations.  You can hope your rate of fire and her good fire angles will give you an early lead and prompt the enemy lolibote make mistakes, but a dedicated hunter will clobber you good.  While the better captain may still win in such engagements, the German 128mm L/45s will do you no favours, even with an accelerated reload time.
If you don't set high expectations for these guns, they won't let you down.
T-61 will be famous for its fast torpedo reload speed relative to the size of its torpedo armament.  Torpedo reload speeds in World of Warships are based on two factors -- the number of torpedoes in a launcher modified by the relative power level of the torpedoes involved.  Thus, we should expect T-61's quadruple launchers to have a 94 second reload time, but she doesn't.  Instead, it appears to have been copy & pasted over from T-22, the tier V German destroyer with triple launchers.

I say again, T-61's quadruple launchers reload in the same amount of time as a comparative triple.  T-61's reload time is not only exemplary relative to this average, it's better than any other destroyer within her Matchmaking spread.  Ignoring all else, this allows T-61 to put a higher volume of fish into the water over time than your opponents might otherwise expect.

That's it.  That's T-61's gimmick.  She reloads her torpedo tubes faster than she has any right to.  As far as gimmicks go, it's a very good one, though it's admittedly not terribly flashy.  Her torpedoes are best described as average otherwise.  They have great speed and decent concealment.  Her fire angles are good.  Their flooding chance is bad.  Their range is good.  Their alpha strike is bad.  So while they may not hit particularly hard, they are likely to hit often and, what's more, you can follow it up with a second strike soon after.

  • Her guns are meh.  At least they shoot quickly.
  • Her torpedoes are also meh, but they shoot quickly too.
  • It's amazing how shooting quickly solves many problems with weapon performance.  Who'd have thought?
Evaluation: G8OWSR4.png
What it would have needed to be OzA23Hz.png:   There's a very close contest for which destroyer could be considered "best armed" at tier VI between Aigle, Shinonome and T-61.  Leaving aside my annoyance that premium vessels dominate this category, the measure by which all three are weighted depends upon what you value most.  Aigle has good guns but her torpedoes are hard to use.  Shinonome stresses her torpedo armament with her guns limited to dealing large alpha strikes per volley.  T-61 sits between these two.  Her torpedoes damage output doesn't quite match Shinonome, but it's not far behind which puts her way ahead of Aigle.  Her guns are far superior to Shinonome though Aigle still has her handily beat in this category.

T-61 isn't the best because she dominates these categories.  She wins because she's good all around.
Hit Points: 14,700
Maximum Protection: Up to 16mm
For a German destroyer, T-61 doesn't have a lot of hit points.  This isn't to say that T-61 has a low hit point total.  The average tier VI destroyer has 13,815hp between the thirteen ships in the game (at the time this was penned), so she compares well in that regard.  However, it is worth restating that she pales compared to Ernst Gaede's 16,500hp or Aigle's 17,000hp.  She can't outright bully in the same way as a German tech-tree destroyer.  She doesn't have the reserves of hit points to work through the teething problems inherent with her 128mm L/45s.  The commander skill Survivability Expert should be considered a must-have to boost this total up to 16,800hp.  This will buy you more time to make your guns work and to survive the inevitable issues you'll have with your surface detection in the early stages of a match.
T-61 conforms to the usual destroyer norms in terms of durability otherwise, with vulnerable modules and a penchant for detonating.
T-61 has a healthy slug of hit points for a tier VI destroyer, outdone by Ernst Gaede and Aigle which are the power houses at their tier.  When combined with her DPM output, she's quite capable of bullying anything else at her tier that she faces.
Evaluation: jr7vbn9.png
What it would have needed to be OzA23Hz.png:   T-61 would need at least 1,000 more HP to be considered comparable to Gaede.  Alternatively, if she had thicker armour in places that would prove proof to destroyer caliber HE fire, that could warrant an upgrade too.
Top Speed: 35.0knots
Turning Radius: 600m
Rudder Shift: 3.6s
Maximum Turn Rate:  7.5º/s
For a mid-tier German destroyer, T-61 is downright flashy.  She shares more in common with the handling of T-22 at tier V than she does with Ernst Gaede at tier VI.  Out of all of the destroyers I have so far tested, her handling reminds me very much of the tier VII Japanese destroyers Akatsuki and Shiratsuyu.  They have comparable speeds, similar turning circles and their rate of turn are almost identical.  Veterans of the Japanese destroyer line will know these ships to be manoeuvrable, but nowhere near as close to the agility of some of the more dedicated knife fighters.  T-61 is fully capable of going evasive, but she cannot match the handling of more nimble destroyers out there.  Her agility is just enough that she can almost (almost) out turn her turret traverse, so investing in Expert Marksman for your commander isn't remiss. 
If I was going to assign one flaw to T-61 it would be for her speed.  Her 35 knot top speed is on the slow side for a destroyer.  This will preclude her from casually dictating engagement distances with enemy destroyers, some cruisers and even some fast battleships like Gneisenau and care must be spent to navigate with purpose lest she be caught out unnecessarily.  
T-61's manoeuvrability should be considered 'sufficient' but nothing remarkable, for good or ill. 
Evaluation: jr7vbn9.png
What it would have needed to be OzA23Hz.png OzA23Hz.pngIt's going to take a lot.  Just because she has OzA23Hz.png agility for a German destroyer, that doesn't make her anywhere close to being among the best at her tier.  She's only just removed from being  but that's only grace of Gaede being such a lump.
Concealment & Camouflage
Base Surface Detection Range: 7.02km
Air Detection Range: 3.78 km
Minimum Surface Detection Range: 6.13km
Main Battery Firing Range: 11.64m
Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 2.63km
I think this graph best describes T-61's surface detection.  Anything not mentioned from within her matchmaking spread fall in within 150m of her own surface detection range -- meaning you'll trip over each other almost as fast as the ship can render.  T-61 is decidedly average when it comes to concealment.  Most of the ships that are stealthier than her are tier V and tier VIII destroyers, while she's (on the whole) more stealthy than tier VI and tier VII destroyers.  Note that the above describe the maximum concealment rating of said ships.  If players are not running with Concealment Expert, camouflage and Concealment Modification 1, then the delta will be much less.  Playing the T-61, you have to be conscious of this lackluster surface detection range and anticipate that short of rare match-ups, you're always at risk of being detected first when engaging enemy destroyers.  To this end, it's worth playing this ship cautiously until you can properly identify which destroyers have deployed opposite you.
You should note that this goes contrary to Wargaming's own advertisements of her.  T-61 is stealthy for a German destroyer, but only when compared to other German destroyers.  She's decidedly average otherwise and I wouldn't get too excited about her surface detection. 
Things don't get much better when you look at T-61's Smoke Generator.  At tier VI, there are three different versions of this consumable found on destroyers.
Smoke Generator Type Emission Time Duration
 American 26 seconds 118 seconds
 Standard 20 seconds 81 seconds
German 20 seconds 61 seconds
The German Smoke Generator is the worst of the lot, with her smoke scarcely lasting longer than a full minute while comparable smoke from USS Farragut lasts almost twice that.  T-61 is a poor choice for fleet support as a result.  Her Hydroacoustic Search consumable makes up for this, however.  While it does not have any special characteristics, it is a Hydroacoustic Search consumable mounted upon a destroyer platform.  This adds a whole level of utility, including (but not limited to), spotting incoming torpedoes and safely digging out destroyers hiding in smoke.
Thus, while T-61 struggles to dominate the vision game in open water, she undermines your opponent's ability to use concealment which nearly seems like a fair trade to me.  In the later stages of a match where enemy destroyers are thinned out, T-61 truly comes into her own with her fast reloading, stealth firing torpedoes.
It doesn't hurt that when she's top tier, there's no enemy Surveillance Radar either.
Evaluation: jr7vbn9.png
What it would have needed to be OzA23Hz.pngHaving access to Hydroacoustic Search in combination with a not-terrible surface detection would have made her a contender for this already were it not for her terrible, German Smoke Generator.
Sometimes the best concealment is hard cover, especially given its ability to block things like torpedoes and shells.
Anti-Aircraft Defense
AA Battery Calibers: 37mm / 20mm
AA Umbrella Ranges: 3.5km / 2.0km
AA DPS per Aura: 20.6 / 24
T-61 doesn't have enough AA power to defend itself.  It's best just to keep her AA guns turned off until such time as planes are directly overhead, then feel free to toggle.  If you're lucky, you might shoot one or two down over the course of a game if the enemy CV continually harasses you, but don't count on it.  Aircraft carriers are the hard counter to this ship.  React accordingly with caution, smoke and baseless accusations on Reddit on how CVs are ruining the game.
Evaluation: jr7vbn9.png
What it would have needed to be OzA23Hz.pngDual purpose main battery guns might have done it.  The extra DPS and range might have topped her.
How to Upgrade your Neural Net CPU
Optimally, you're going to be setting up T-61 very similarly to your standard German destroyer commander.  In this regard, she's an ideal trainer.  The only difference really is going to be an emphasis on torpedoes which may displace 3 skill points.  For your first 10 skill points, you should take:
  • Start with Priority Target.  If you see everything, Preventative Maintenance is optimal, but only if you have cyborg-levels of situational awareness.
  • You're a destroyer, so Last Stand is most useful for keeping your tin butt alive.
  • At tier 3, grab Survivability Expert.  This will increase your hit points by 2,100 for a total of 16,800hp which can make all of the difference.
  • And finally grab Concealment Expert.

For your next 9pts, you've got a lot of choice to custom build her as you wish.  You would be a fool not to take Torpedo Armament Expertise as your next skill, however, to drop your reload timer from 68s per launcher down to 61.2s.  Adrenaline Rush is similarly desirable to increase your reload time further (at 50% health with the skills already listed above, you're looking at a 55.1s reload, which is insane for that strong of a torpedo armament).  Other useful skills include:

  • Expert Marksman to increase your turret rotation speed from 22.5s for a 180º rotation down to 17.1s (8º/s to 10.5º/s).  This is more of a quality of life improvement than a straight up performance buff.
  • Basic Fire Training is attractive for its 10% rate of fire increase.
  • Demolition Expert will buff your fire chance to a quite handsome 8% per shell.

Mix and match to your heart's content.

Overall Impressions
Mouse's Summary:
  • What's this ship's weakness, exactly?
  • Her guns are good enough, her torpedoes are excellent.
  • And her manoeuvrability, concealment and durability aren't bad really either...
I'm glad I've had as much time as I have to stew over this review.  It was easy to get caught up in the fun and excitement of playing so powerful a German destroyer that it nearly pulled the wool over my eyes.  What do you get when you combine the torpedo power of Fubuki and Shinonome with the gunship qualities of Farragut and Gnevny?  You get the best destroyer at tier VI.
T-61 is simply better.  She has Gaede's 128mm guns but American reload time.  She has Gaede's torpedoes but she puts near as many into water over time as the Japanese destroyers.  She's more agile and more stealthy, all for the price of a few less hit points.  T-61 comes out very well in the trade -- perhaps a little too well.  T-61 is a generalist in the same manner as Fletcher and Gremyashchy before her. The performance of these three ships is vastly different, but their overall role as jack-of-all-trades destroyer is what makes them so similar. These are ships that excel not only as gunships but as torpedo boats as well, making them dangerously well-rounded and easily the contender for the best destroyers at their respective tiers.  Aside from the typical mid-tier destroyer vulnerability to aircraft, T-61's only exploitable weaknesses are her mediocre agility, slow turret traverse and concealment.  These are probably just enough to fool a layman into believing there's parity with her contemporaries.  However, I wouldn't peg any of these flaws as crippling.  It will take a very savvy opponent to exploit these.  T-61's current superiority smacks very much of power creep as she has unseated most other contenders for primacy.
Before you all hasten to empty your wallets to buy your way to a win, I do urge caution:  T-61 is good -- maybe even overpowered.  However, she is not dominant.  She's better than everything else but only by the smallest measures.  I do not doubt that in the hands of the right player that T-61 will influence the outcome of matches.  However, not every player will be capable of exerting said influence.  T-61 lacks training wheels.  Know thyself -- know what you can and cannot do before setting your sights upon adding this ship to your collection.
Suffice to say, she's a solid investment.  I'm not sure she's good for the game, but she's definitely good for someone looking for a fun, powerful ship to play.  She's definitely a ship I'm not looking forward to seeing on the enemy team.
Would I Recommend?
T-61 overrides the need for any other German destroyer premium.  She is to German destroyers what Atago is to Japanese cruisers -- the perfect premium trainer with no glaring flaws.  If you have this in your collection, then you're set.  The only other German destroyer premiums you should ever consider are ones you think will offer you fun gameplay.
  • PVE Battles
    How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots?

Yes.  For both Co-Op battles and Scenarios, T-61 is very well suited.  Her fast-reloading torpedoes, decent hit point pool and solid gun performance are an asset to your team.

  • Random Battle Grinding:
    This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements.

Very yes.  Wargaming is going to have to try very hard to make a better premium trainer for German destroyer commanders.

  • For Competitive Gaming:
    Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding.

Very yes on toast.  If we see another tier VI Ranked Battles season, I fully expect to see 16,800hp versions of this ship flooding the lists.

  • For Collectors:
    If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you.

No.  T-61 is a step above a paper ship, in that her construction was started.  She was based upon Dutch designs, being launched but never completed.  We can hope Wargaming gives the Dutch players out there more than this.  (There, Lert, I said it.  Now gimme my cookie!)

  • For Fun Factor:
    Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play?

You bet your buns.  T-61 is flexible to allow you to play this destroyer how you want, rather than dictating how it needs to be played.

  • 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.

In Closing
 I'm only coming up for air to post this.  I'm going back on vacation.  If you need me, I'll be outside.

A list of sites, programs and people I rely upon to create my reviews.



For Graphics:

Programs Used:

  • World of Warships (duh)
  • Notepad (seriously)
  • MS Paint (also, seriously)
  • iPhone Stopwatch App (yep)

Hardware: Mouse toils away on an old i7-2600K 3.40GHz computer with 16GB RAM and an Nvidia 560Ti GPU running a 64bit OS.

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