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Premium Ship Review: Tirpitz

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The original and best.
Quick Summary:  A Bismarck-class battleship that trades away Hydroacoustic Search and AA-power for deck mounted torpedoes.
Cost:  12,500 doubloons
Patch & Date Written: 0.6.4 to 0.6.12, April 19th, 2017 to October 27th, 2017

Closest in-Game Contemporary
Bismarck, Tier 8 German Battleship
Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique
The differences between Bismarck and Tirpitz are distinct.  While they share the same main and secondary gun battery performance, Tirpitz has access to two quad-torpedo launchers while Bismarck has Hydroacoustic Search.  Bismarck has a tremendous advantage in AA power over her sister ship, while also enjoying marginal improvements in armour protection, speed, agility and aerial concealment.  Finally, the position of two of their 105mm dual purpose secondaries differs slightly, with Tirpitz having better firing arcs.
  • Excellent armour protection and nigh invulnerable to citadel hits from AP shells.
  • Main battery has a fast, 26s reload and good gun handling characteristics with a traverse rate of 5º per second.
  • High penetration HE shells, capable of besting 95mm of armour with a 34% fire chance per shell.
  • Heavy secondary gun battery complement with excellent 7.5km base range and improved, 37mm penetration on her 150mm guns.
  • Powerful torpedo armament, especially for a battleship.
  • Fast at 30.5 knots.
  • Awesome selection of premium camouflages for long-time veterans.


  • Poor anti-torpedo defense.
  • Inaccurate main battery guns with low DPM, poor HE shell damage and poor fire angles.
  • 105mm secondaries cannot damage the hulls of tier VIII+ destroyers.
  • Short 6km range on her torpedoes.
  • Torpedo tubes are vulnerable and get disabled often.
  • Weak AA power for a tier 8 Battleship and easily one-shot by AP Bomb armed carriers.
  • Very large turning circle of 850m.
  • Lacks Hydroacoustic Search found on high tier German Battleships

It's been a long time since I last looked at Tirpitz.  Heck, I've been working on this review for six months now.  When patch 0.6.4 dropped and Tirpitz received a buff to its secondary gun range, I thought the timing was perfect to sit down and look at her again, especially as she seemed to be encroaching upon Bismarck's supremacy.  Well, things got busy and the meta surrounding German Battleships took a huge shift.  Enterprise's AP bombs were one such jolt.  The Royal Navy Battleships shook things up again and it forced me to review what I had so far evaluated and elect to wait to see if things shifted further.

Things appear stable now.  The Hallowe'en 2017 event has introduced another (so awesome looking) camouflage pattern to Tirpitz, so I thought it best to get this one off my list while the getting was good.  So here we go -- six months late but hopefully not a dollar short.  My big concern is that the buffs from 0.6.4 have largely made Bismarck obsolete.  Bismarck can boast a few advantages that she trades in exchange for Tirpitz's torpedoes -- the question is "did Wargaming go too far when they improved Tirpitz's secondaries?"
Well, let's take a look.  Lert will join me with his final thoughts on this venerable premium.

The three camouflage patterns for Tirpitz. These have become available for players who have owned her for a long time and has greatly increased her value.  The Tarnanstrich camouflage greatly increases the amount of free-experience Tirpitz can earn while Magnu-S provides a small (about 4,000) credit boost.  Note that the Magnu-S Hallowe'en camouflage can only be seen if a player enables the filters in port.
Tirpitz shows her age when it comes to her options.  First, she does not have access to Hydroacoustic Search as other tier 8+ German Battleships do. Second, she has access to three different premium camouflages. Initially, she comes with the standard Type 10 camouflage. The second camouflage came grace of the Hunt the Graf Spee campaign over Christmas 2016 and into New Year's 2017.  It has not been made available since.  The third camouflage pattern became available Hallowe'en of 2017 and it's likely that this too will become a rare accessory.  It remains to be seen if Wargaming will offer these options again in future events.

Her consumables are standard, with her Damage Control Party having a 15s active period and a 120s/80s reset timer.

  • Damage Control Party
  • Repair Party
  • Spotter Aircraft or Float Plane Fighter

Module Upgrades: Five slots, standard battleship options
Premium Camouflage: There have been three Tirpitz camouflage types.
  • When purchased, you receive the Tier 6+ Standard (Type 10). This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. 
  • Veterans with Tirpitz may have access to Tarnanstrich - Tirpitz.  This is the equivalent of the Type 11 camouflage found on Anshan.  It provides 100% bonus free experience in addition to the Type 10 camouflage buffs.
  • For Hallowe'en of 2017, the camouflage Magnu-S - Tirpitz became available. This provides the same bonuses as the Type 10 above but includes a 10% reduction to repair costs. (A special thanks to SoliDeoGloria for their help with this).  These bonuses are identical to the premium camouflage you can purchase for Bismarck for 4,000 doubloons.

Remember to equip as many premium consumables as you can readily afford.  In order of priority these should be Damage Control Party, then Repair Party and finally her Spotter Aircraft or Float Plane Fighter.  Of the two options provided, the Spotter Aircraft is (generally) more useful.  This not only provides additional range (which is of limited use), but it also allows you to better triangulate the necessary range needed to bulls-eye ships hiding in smoke screens by homing in on the origin of their tracers.  Her Float Plane Fighter isn't an awful choice, however, and with the right skill build, can be very useful in spotting approaching torpedoes and even detecting enemy destroyers.
 For upgrades, take the following:
  • In your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 is essential.  Your torpedo tubes will get knocked out often and your guns are going to take a lot of abuse too.
  • In your second slot, you have a choice.  Aiming Systems Modification 1 is optimal.  This increases the performance of your main battery, but it comes at a cost -- the maximum range and accuracy of your secondary gun systems.  If you want to use a full secondary build, take Secondary Guns Modification 2.
  • In your third slot, take Damage Control System Modification 1.
  • In your fourth slot, you have a choice.  Damage Control System Modification 2 is optimal.  Fire damage is more prevalent than ever.  This module will save you 1,871hp per fire that's allowed to burn itself out (2.7% of your HP).  Alternatively, you can take Steering Gears Modification 2 to assist with agility, but on its own, it will not improve manoeuvrability much without help.
  • And finally, in your final slot, take Concealment Modification 1.
Versus Bismarck
There are a few difference between the two sister ships.  Bismarck gets access to the Hydroacoustic Search consumable.  Veterans of Bismarck may also have access to up to four different permanent camouflage patterns, though their bonuses are all identical to the permanent camouflage Bismarck can purchase.


Primary Battery: Eight 380m rifles in 4x2 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration.
Secondary Battery:  Sixteen 105mm rifles in 8x2 turrets, twelve 150mm rifles in 6x2 turrets.
Torpedoes: Eight tubes in 2x4 launchers, one off each side behind the funnel.
Tirpitz's torpedoes help make her the Best Brawling Battleship in World of Warships. This is a title she's held since her introduction in September of 2015 and she hasn't surrendered it to any contenders since.
Tirpitz was the first battleship in World of Warships to be given a torpedo armament and it caused a lot of fuss back in the day. Since then, Mutsu, Kii and the Scharnhorst sisters have joined her, but this hasn't diminished her prestige.  Tirpitz's torpedo armament is the heaviest among battleships.  However, when the stats of her torpedoes are examined on paper, they seem hardly inspiring.  With a range of a mere 6km and a hitting power that seems more akin to weapons found on tier V or VI vessels, they can appear deceptively lackluster.
Tirpitz's torpedoes are a brawling weapon and in this regard, they can be viewed as the equivalent of dealing a citadel penetration with her main battery per individual torpedo strike. Being able to deliver up to four of these against any target (regardless of angle) is an enormous strength and makes Tirpitz an exceedingly dangerous opponent in close quarters. Even single hits can be near catastrophic with the threat of flooding stacking upon the fires lit by her secondaries.
Their lack of range is their biggest weakness.  It's so short that it's a rare game that a well played Tirpitz gets to use them at all.   And I do stress this "well played" part.  Pushing to brawling ranges too early will only isolate Tirpitz from her support and invites to get her focused down by enemy vessels.  Many a novice Tirpitz player has brazenly charged ahead to try and make use of this trump card, only to frustrate themselves with getting sent back to port for their folly.  There's a reason this ship has earned the moniker "Derpitz" -- this mistake is commonplace.  Don't be one of those chowderheads that helps propagate this stereotype.
Another flaw of Tirpitz's torpedo launchers is their fragility.  They get damaged often -- disabled both temporarily and permanently.  This stems from three inherent problems with her torpedo launchers.
  • Their hit point total.
  • Their lack of armour protection.
  • The amount of fire Tirpitz takes.
Tirpitz's torpedo launchers have a standard 1,200 hit points -- a value common to all torpedo launchers, as is their 25% chance of being temporarily disabled per damaging hit received.   They are effectively unarmoured, making them exceedingly vulnerable to high explosive shells.  Taking Main Armaments Modification 1 increases their hit points to 1,800 and reduces the chance of being critically damaged down to 20% per hit, which is better, but not great.  It's only by stacking the captain skill, Preventative Maintenance, that you can get their critical hit chance down to a more manageable 14% per hit taken, but this won't save them from total destruction.The volume of fire Tirpitz takes in a typical match all but guarantees your torpedoes will be temporarily disabled at least once.  It's heartbreaking to lose one of these mounts permanently.  There are few things worse than finally securing a chance to use them in close quarters only to find them missing.  The prevalence of Royal Navy battleship high explosive fire has only increased the likelihood of Tirpitz losing her torpedoes.  If you find yourself coming under fire from a British battleship, you're very likely to have your torpedoes permanently stripped after receiving a volley or three.
 Provided Tirpitz can survive getting into a close quarters engagement (and with her torpedo armament intact), her torpedoes give her an excellent chance of clinching the win in any brawl, even against tier X battleships.
Tirpitz's main battery penetration values courtesy of World of Warships Armada.
One of the most significant changes that came to Tirpitz has been the improvement of her secondary gun battery.  Tirpitz now boasts one of the most fearsome secondary gun complements in the game, with phenomenal reach and volume of fire. No other ships in the game currently put out the same wall of fire as German Battleships can.  The buff Tirpitz received increased her secondary gun battery range from 4.5km when she was initially released up to Bismarck's own 7.5km reach.  Fully specialized, Tirpitz's guns may reach out to a range of 11.3km between modules, skills and consumables.  This is insane.  Like, seriously -- I get that Wargaming was trying to be consistent, but holy meatballs on a six inch sub, did she really need this buff!?
The disruption effect of these secondaries is considerable -- it's like an aura of doom that gradually sucks the life out of enemy ships that stray too close to the German behemoth.  Tirpitz is veritably surrounded by a dark cloud of death and destruction.  The closer enemies get, the more deadly the storm of shell and fire, leaving opponent choking for air and desperate to get away.
The better of the two guns are her twelve 150mm guns are mounted between six turrets.  Four enjoy favourable forward firing angles.  These guns have a slower rate of fire of eight rounds per minute stock (this can be increased to 9.36rpm between Basic Fire Training and the Mike Yankee Soxisix signal and bumped up further with Adrenaline Rush).  However, they have a decent base fire chance of 8% per shell.  More impressively, they have improved penetration values of 37mm (as opposed to 25mm as would be expected), allowing them to damage the extremities of any warship they should encounter.  This makes it easy for Tirpitz to stack damage even against other high tier battleships at medium to close range encounters.
Her sixteen 105mm guns form the backbone of her secondary armament and they have more mixed performance.  They have an excellent rate of fire, being able to spit out a fearsome 17.91rpm per gun (increasing up to 20.95rpm with the skills and consumable mentioned before).  Their fire chance is only modest at 5% but when coupled with their rate of fire, the chance to set blazes is better (pound for pound) than Tirpitz's 150mm guns provided you can land the hits.  However, unlike the 150mm guns, Tirpitz's 105mm guns do not enjoy increased penetration values.  This leaves them with a paltry 18mm of penetration which is utterly insufficient to damage the hulls of tier VIII+ destroyers.  Short of landing shells upon a target vessel's superstructure in high tier matches, her 105mm secondaries are not going to be stacking direct damage.  The solution may seem to be to reach for the skill Inertial Fuse for HE Shells to correct this, but this damages the fire chance of all of Tirpitz's weapon systems.  Still, this would provide Tirpitz with the ability to ravage all destroyers and British cruisers within her matchmaking spread. 
One of the drawbacks of German HE shells, to which her secondaries are not immune, is their low damage per hit.  Tirpitz will do no more than 561 damage per 150mm hit and a mere 396 damage at best per 105mm hit (compare this to the 726 damage from Warspite's 152mm HE and the 495 damage from her 102mm HE).  It takes a long time for Tirpitz to stack damage with her secondaries.  This damage will add up, but don't expect it to win matches by themselves.  Like Tirpitz's torpedoes, rushing blindly forward to make use of these weapons will only get you killed.  Support your team.  Don't let yourself become isolated just because you want to subject your opponents to your poo-gas stink cloud of shelly-flamey doom.
Overall, Tirpitz's secondaries are a powerful tool.  They can provide an alarming level of supporting fire that can surprise and intimidate your opponents.  However, they are not a wunderwaffe -- they will not win matches by themselves.  It takes a significant investment to make them truly formidable, often at the cost of survival skills.  Used correctly, her secondaries can help tip the balance in engagements and even in matches, but they are a support-weapon, not a primary weapon.
Main Battery
So, Tirpitz has great secondaries and powerful torpedoes -- but what about her main battery guns?  I'm very tempted to say, 'What ABOUT her guns?' and leave it at that (what are you, greedy?), but they are worth examining.  Tirpitz shares the same guns as Gneisenau and Bismarck.  These are high velocity 380mm rifles that compete well with comparable 15" AP rifles found on any of the Royal Navy battleships.  They have high shell velocity, and decent penetration power.  They aren't without their problems, however.  It may sound funny to say after reviewing her heavy torpedo and secondary batteries, but Tirpitz is under-armed.
Let's start with her penetration power.  While Tirpitz does enjoy better penetration than Monarch, all this means is that she doesn't have the worst penetration at tier VIII.  The performance of her AP shells is best considered "sufficient" and no more than that.  She sits well behind Kii and Amagi and even further behind Alabama, Massachussetts and North Carolina.   Her HE shells do have better penetration than normal, sharing Monarch's ability to best 95mm of armour.  However, unlike the British, German HE damage is anemic.  In fact, the damage off both her AP shells and HE shells isn't great for her tier.  They have decent fire chances, but you'd be a fool to reach for HE in this ship with any regularity.
Accuracy wise, the news isn't good.  Tirpitz has the least accurate guns at her tier.  They're hit with a one-two punch of German battleship dispersion levels (which are the worst in the game) and 1.8 sigma.  This is further compounded by the wide spacing of her guns not only on the ship (Tirpitz is enormous) but within the turrets themselves.  The last piece of the puzzle is that players so often make things worse by not installing Aiming Systems Modification 1 in order to instead boost their aforementioned secondaries.  Expect some serious misbehaving where gunnery is concerned. 
Her biggest weakness, however, is that Tirpitz has only eight 380mm guns.  Though she boasts a faster reload time, this really hurts her outgoing damage potential.  This is compounded when she's forced to angle against long range fire.  Her guns all suffer from a 290º fire angle which isn't terrible, but it's not great either (we'd want 300º fire angles for 'great').   While Tirpitz is largely immune to citadel hits, she's not immune to taking massive 20,000 spikes of damage when an enemy battleship catches too much of her side.  This disparity in guns really hurts in bow-tanking situations.   The British and American battleships can trade fire back with six guns, you're often only left with four.
So Tirpitz's main battery is meh. Sure, it handles great. Sure, she's got a good rate of fire and decent range. Her AP shells are good enough, but she doesn't put enough shells downrange to compete with the other big ships at her tier (other than her sister). It's a good thing she's got her secondaries and torpedoes.  But, don't let all of this negativity lull you cruiser and battleship-drivers into complacency.  Tirpitz is still a battleship and she's still throwing 6.4 tonnes of death at you every twenty-six seconds. If only a third of that hits you, you're still going to have what the Chieftain describes as "a significant emotional event". 
Her guns are good enough.  However, her overall firepower is phenomenal.
  • Her main battery is weak. Her AP performance is okay but still miles behind the Japanese and American battleships.
  • If that weren't enough, the gun dispersion will troll you often.  This isn't a long range sniper by any stretch.
  • Her secondaries are awesome, though they're not the be-all-end-all murder-machines they appear to be.
  • You'll rarely get to use her torpedoes, but when you do, they will be game changers


Versus Bismarck
Tirpitz is better armed than Bismarck, having access to deck mounted torpedoes while Bismarck does not.  In addition, Tirpitz has slightly better forward fire angles on two of her 105mm secondaries which are placed further out from the hull.  The two sisters are otherwise identical here.


Top Speed: 30.5 knots
Turning Radius: 850m
Rudder Shift: 16.0s
Maximum Rotation Rate:   4.11º/s
Tirpitz has speed to spare.  She's not the fastest battleship at her tier (Bismarck holds that honour by a half knot), but she's pretty damn quick.  A lot of apologies can be made for a ship with long legs.  It facilitates much.  It provides her with flexibility.  It allows you to get out of (and into) trouble.  It also can partially mitigate a bad turning radius as she'll come about faster than her turning circle might otherwise indicate. 
As far as her handling goes, it's not great.  She has a long rudder shift time and an enormous turning circle.  The only spot of good news is that she can throw the ship about at a respectable 4.1º/s despite these shortcomings.  Adding Steering Gears Modification 2 can reduce her rudder shift time down to 12.8 seconds but this doesn't help her rate of turn significantly.  In terms of manoeuvrability, Tirpitz will never be anything but average for a large battleship.  She has more power than agility.
Versus Bismarck
Bismarck is half a knot faster than Tirpitz in a straight line.  She's also slightly faster in a turn, keeping a speed of 23.4 knots when her rudder is hard over while Tirpitz lags behind at 23.0 knots.  This increases Bismarck's rate of rotation to 4.2º/s. 


If there's one thing Tirpitz doesn't want for, it's speed.  She's able to sprint at over 30 knots -- more than enough to keep up with the rest of the fleet and traverse the enormous high tier maps with haste.
Hit Points: 69,300
Maximum Protection: 315mm belt + 120mm turtleback + 45mm citadel wall
Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mm
Torpedo Damage Reduction: 22%
There's a lot to talk about here and not all of it good.  There has been a significant meta shift for Tirpitz over the summer of 2017. Let's start with the really bad stuff.
First of all, Tirpitz has awful torpedo protection for a high tier ship.  The values at tier VIII vary from 19% up to 49% and Tirpitz definitely sits in the lower half.  At least she's not the worst.  Torpedoes will hit her for most of their listed damage and you can expect to take flooding criticals from most hits.  She's a big target and she doesn't dodge well, so torpedoes (especially the air dropped kind) love you.  Moving on...
Tirpitz is horribly vulnerable to both American and German AP bombs dropped by Dive Bombers.  Ironically in this game, the more armour you have on your decks, the more dangerous AP dive bombers become.  Suffice to say, Tirpitz is "well protected" across her decks and the roof of her citadel.  In practice this means she has enough armour to arm the fuses of any AP bombs that strike her and guarantee they won't overpenetrate.  She can and will take multiple citadel hits from armour piercing bombs and it is not uncommon for her to be deleted outright from an attack wave of dive bombers from Enterprise or Graf Zeppelin, even from full health.  Anytime Tirpitz faces Enterprise or Graf Zeppelin (or any future CV with AP bombs), take heed.  These are your nemesis.
 Citadel hits are thankfully rare otherwise.
While her excellent armour scheme works at cross-purposes with itself against AP bombs, it functions as designed against shell strikes.   The armour design is very straight forward with a 315mm thick strip of external belt armour, an interior 45mm thick citadel wall and, between them, a 120mm angled plate to help divert or deflect incoming shells.  Were these a simple sandwich of vertical plates, this would combine to a total thickness of 480mm -- proof enough against the penetration power of even the vaunted USN 406mm/45s at a range of 15km but the angle of the turtleback makes this even thicker.  In practice, her opponents cannot land citadel hits against her at medium to close ranges.  It's only from far out shots, with high penetration shells that she need worry and even then it's a rarity.
Her short range protection gets even more impressive under close inspection.  Not only can she prevent citadel penetrations, but the extended 60mm bow armour can allow her to ricochet even Yamato's 460mm AP shells aimed at her waterline (this won't hold up if she aims a little higher, though). A properly angled Tirpitz can survive a ridiculous amount of AP-shell punishment thrown at her. 
It doesn't hurt that Tirpitz has the highest hit point total at her tier which translates to a Repair Party consumable that heals a generous 9,702hp per charge.
With much of the ship being covered by a minimum of 60mm of armour, Tirpitz enjoys significant protection against HE throwing vessels.  Her amidship hull is all but immune to damage saturation from destroyer and cruiser thrown-HE shells (the notable exception being Graf Spee).   However, this all falls apart when the Royal Navy battleships show up to ruin the fun.  This has presented a rather pronounced shift in Tirpitz's meta.  Where before the ship could build for secondary gun fire, manoeuvrability and concealment, commanders are now forced to seriously consider stocking up on survivability skills instead to mitigate fire damage.  There is no solid protection against the Royal Navy high explosive shells for Tirpitz, short of finding cover or sinking the offending party.  Tirpitz's Damage Control Party is often overtaxed in such encounters and skills like Fire Prevention, Basics of Survivability and High Alert as well as upgrades like Damage Control Modification 2 have increased significantly in value.  The prevalence of Royal Navy Battleships is beginning to ebb somewhat, but survivability builds are still very much worth considering.
The shift in meta has hurt Tirpitz's survivability in a few short months.  She's still a very tough ship, but the good grades she previously earned have been marred with new developments.  While she has always had to fear airstrikes, AP bombs present a new and very immediate threat to which she has no answer but to hope allies protect her.  The prevalence of high explosive shells being thrown everywhere has made her great armour scheme less valuable. 
At least the RAF doesn't get to dump Tallboy bombs on you.
There are more answers to counter Tirpitz than before.  This doesn't make her durability rating poor.  She's just not the be-all-end-all that she once was in this regard.
Versus Bismarck
Tirpitz outweighs Bismarck and enjoys a 100hp advantage over her sister ship.  Bismarck has a thicker armoured belt, though, which reaches 320mm.  This 5mm advantage also extends to her underwater belt protection which is 245mm versus 240mm on Tirpitz.  Otherwise, the two sisters are very close in this regard.


Broken in half by sustained Battleship and Cruiser fire, this cross section (though tragic) gives a beautiful interior view of the compartmentalization and different armour layers which makes the Tirpitz so tough to citadel.
Concealment & Camouflage
Base Surface Detection Range: 16.38km
Air Detection Range: 14.79 km
Minimum Surface Detection Range: 12.30km
Surface Detection when Firing in Smoke:  15.05km
Main Battery Range: 21.45km
Surface Detection within Tier:  6th out of 9, behind Alabama & Alabama ST.
Surface Detection within Matchmaking: 15th out of 33

The Bismarck-sisters used to be considered reasonably stealthy for a tier VIII battleship.  The introduction of Royal Navy Monarch changed this definition, however, with a 1.8km advantage over the German leviathans.  Still, Tirpitz's surface detection isn't terrible, it's just nothing to get excited about anymore.  Still, it's pretty hilarious sneaking upon tier VII cruisers and magically appearing in front of them like a total creeper.

Versus Bismarck
The two sister ships have the exact same surface detection range.  This extends to their detection range when firing their guns in smoke.  Bismarck is marginally more stealthy overall, though, with an aerial detection range of 14.67km.  This is really too close to matter very much, though, especially at the speeds aircraft fly.


Anti-Aircraft Defense
AA Battery Calibers: 105mm / 37mm / 20mm
AA Umbrella Ranges: 4.5km / 3.5km / 2.0km
AA DPS per Aura: 134 / 21 /  84
Float Plane Fighter DPS:  60
 Tirpitz has the lowest AA power among Battleships of her tier.  Not only does she have less overall average damage per second, but her large caliber guns are shorter ranged than those found on Amagi, Kii, North Carolina or Alabama.   This puts a big ol' target overtop of Tirpitz for any enemy carrier looking to hoover up some big damage numbers. However, Tirpitz is not without redeeming qualities. 
The majority of her anti-aircraft strength is found within her dual purpose 105mm batteries and this provides a comparable long-range punch to the American Battleships and gives Tirpitz a bit of a saving grace.  Properly specialized with anti-aircraft skills, her AA defense can be brought up to a respectable level with Basic and Advanced Fire Training and the inclusion of Manual Fire Control for AA Guns.  This is a heavy investment to bring Tirpitz up from a ready victim of aircraft to make her a less appealing target, though. 
Unfortunately, it's unlikely that an enemy aircraft will recognize or appreciate the difference.
The stakes have only gotten higher for Tirpitz with the advent of armour piercing bombs.  The proliferation of these weapons has made playing German Battleships more challenging. When one of these carriers is on the enemy team list, it's imperative (more so!) that Tirpitz hug the AA umbrella of friendly vessels judiciously, preferably with a cruiser armed with Defensive Fire to scatter the bomb drop. Even a 5.0km gap between vessels can spell the end, allowing for opportunistic strikes to end the German juggernaut in ridiculously short order. 
If I didn't impress it upon you earlier, I will say it again:  ships like Enterprise and Graf Zeppelin are fully capable of destroying a full health Tirpitz with a single sortie of their bomber complement and there's no amount of manoeuvre that will save you.  You do not have the AA power to fend off these attacks and you're one of the few targets they can do this to.  You are a hunted ship from the moment the game begins, so seek the cover of your allies at all times.
Yeah.  Tirpitz's AA power is pretty bad. This is the reason every single aircraft will divert onto you if they see you're unsupported.
Versus Bismarck
Here's where the big difference really counts.  Bismarck doesn't have especially good anti-aircraft firepower, but it's a damn sight better than Tirpitz.  This can be enough to make Bismarck look like a less inviting target if a carrier needs to choose between them, which is really all that matters when push comes to shove. 
How to Made in German
Insert mustachioed crazy-person picture here
There are two primary builds for Tirpitz -- survivability and a manual-secondary build.  You could consider this the difference between specializing for defense versus specializing for offense.
For the Survivability Build your first ten skill points should be the following:
  • Start with Priority Target.
  • Take Adrenaline Rush for your next skill.  If you're going to be taking damage, you may as well capitalize upon it.
  • Next grab Superintendent for the extra heal.
  • Cap it off with Fire Prevention to reduce the chance of being set ablaze and the number of fires that can be burning at one time.

For your next nine points, spend them on Concealment Expert, Basics of Survivability and Expert Marksman.  You have a little flexibility with this build.  You can take High Alert as your last skill if you struggle on managing your Damage Control Party.  This build is ideally backed with flags like India Delta (+20% Repair Party healing), India Yankee (-20% to Fire duration) and November Foxtrot (-5% to consumable reload time).

 For the Secondary Build, your first ten skill points looks like this:
  •  Begin with Priority Target.
  • Take Adrenaline Rush for your next skill.  Improve that secondary reload time!
  • Up next is Basic Fire Training to increase their rate of fire further still.  This has the added bonus of giving your AA power a little more teeth.
  • Take Advanced Fire Training as your next skill to throw that range out to your maximum reach.

For your next nine points, Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament should be your first priority.  After that, it's up to you which skills to choose.  The highest value skills for Tirpitz are (in no particular order), Fire Prevention, Expert Marksman, Concealment Expert, Vigilance, and Superintendent.

Special mention deserves to be placed towards Manual Fire Control for AA Guns.  You can try and put it in there to give Tirpitz's AA power a little more teeth.  Her dual purpose 105mm guns do put out an excellent bit of firepower (albeit at 4.5km range).  This will make her a thorny prospect for some of the lower tier carriers, but it will not save you when something of equal tier or higher decides it wants your hit points.  Worse, even with this upgrade, it's unlikely to dissuade enemy CVs from trying their luck anyway and you're not going to wipe out the attack craft wave so you will still end up taking damage.  Still, you can at least make attacks on your vulnerable BB more costly for the carriers, but don't kid yourself in thinking this will be a tremendous help.
I never thought I would say this but air dropped torpedoes aren't Tirpitz's most pressing concern these days. 

Overall Impressions
Skill Floor Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult
If ever Tirpitz could have been called a premium battleship for beginners, that time has long passed.  There are more threats to manage now and the use of consumables and positioning is of ever more importance. Granted, she is German and that does provide some training wheels for the novice, but she's not a simple ship to use... if she ever was.

Skill Ceiling Low / Moderate / High / Extreme
Knowing every trick in the book will take you far with Tirpitz.  She rewards angling, proper ammunition choices, abusing concealment, micromanaging consumables and min-maxing commander skills.  However, she has no answer for aircraft from same tier or higher carriers (even Kaga and Saipan are considerable threats).  Similarly, torpedo armed destroyers will dominate you.  In this regard, no amount of skill will allow you to carry further beyond bringing a division mate to be your permanent flak battery and sonar buoy.

The Lertbox
Is she worth your money?

The venerable Tirpitz. Is she still relevant? There is no denying that meta shifts and power creep have not been kind to her. Despite recent-ish buffs to her secondary range she still struggles around the middle of the pack in winrate and damage per game. I still have a soft spot for her though and believe she still has a place in this game. She's still the Queen of the Brawl with a very nasty poison dagger and destroyers should still fear her secondary battery.

Where she falls apart though is in long range gunnery. Unfortunately with the introduction of the British BB line this is where the meta has been shifting; raining literal fire from afar. With only eight 15" barrels with mediocre accuracy she can't compete in a pure burning contest at long range. Other than that though, I believe Tirpitz still has a place in this game. She still excels in the brawl, she's still tough as nails.  Even though she's not the queen of the tier 8 battleships anymore, she's still comfortable to drive.

Mouse's Summary:
  • Tirpitz is still the brawling heavyweight champion in the game.
  • Her main battery guns wouldn't be terrible if they were more accurate or if she had more of them.  Alas she doesn't.  She's not incapable of doing large amounts of damage -- she just has to work at it more if you're only using her main battery guns.  Once you supplement them with her secondaries and torpedoes, the sky's the limit.  The only problem there is that opportunities to use the latter two weapon systems to their full effect aren't guaranteed and you run the risk of getting yourself wrecked if you try and do so before it's time.
  • She's horribly vulnerable against aircraft and AP armed Dive Bombers make her wet herself and not in the sexy way.
  • While it's arguably more intelligent to rig her for survivability, it's more fun to build her to use secondaries.

I am glad I didn't finish this review when I started back in the Spring of 2017. 

I had originally wanted to talk about her after patch 0.6.0 -- to bring her up to date with the Captain skill change.  However, it was when I received word that Tirpitz would be getting the same secondary gun range as Bismarck in patch 0.6.4 that pushed Tirpitz closer towards the top of my priority pile.  'What the heck is the point of Bismarck, then!?'  I said to myself, groaning as yet another premium ship became arguably more powerful than her tech-tree counterpart.  But I got busy -- first with Kaga, then Hood, then every other premium WG released over the summer.  Tirpitz, and a hot-headed grump-fest about how she was superior to Bismarck, sat by the wayside.
Then Enterprise showed up.
Say what you will about this American carrier in World of Warships -- it announced a change in the meta that would be directed towards reigning in the dominance of battleships and the German battleships specifically.  Tirpitz suffered especially with her poor AA rating.  Wargaming followed this up by introducing Graf Zeppelin and the Royal Navy battleship line which seemed tailor made to neuter the German battleship strengths..  What made Tirpitz and Bismarck oh-so butt-kickingly powerful was punched in the throat.  Their armour either mattered-for-not or it worked actively against them.
So, powerful as Tirpitz is, she now faces one hard counter and a whole battleship line of soft counters.  The meta has really shaken up around this premium battleship.  Granted, she doesn't face this every game -- or even in most of her games.  This has attacked some of the comfort level that used to exist when playing Tirpitz.  In some games she can still be powerfully dominant.  At other times, she's cowering on the second line until the bad airplanes and fire breathing dragons are properly neutralized.
Now, I personally love this ship.  It was one of the model kits that my father and I built together when I was little.  Seeing her in World of Warships always touches on that small element of nostalgia for me.   These rose tinted glasses are very dangerous to be wearing when trying to conduct an objective review.  If I seem excessively negative about Tirpitz in this review, understand that I'm making sure I underline and stress her flaws.  Tirpitz is still a great and powerful premium ship.  Age may have tarnished her luster somewhat, but the buffs in 0.6.4 ensured she's able to stay not only relevant but highly competitive in the marketplace, even with AP Bombs and HE shells flying every which way.
Tirpitz didn't sink the Bismarck when she received her improvements in 0.6.4, but she supplements her sister ship nicely.  Any player that owns this ship should feel confident that she's still got it where it counts.
Versus Bismarck
Tirpitz does not make Bismarck redundant.

The major difference between the two ships is the swap of AA Power and Hydroacoustic Search to equip yourself with a set of deck mounted torpedoes.  That's a pretty serious quality-of-life changes for the sake of being able to shove fish up someone's nose.  While it's wonderful for Tirpitz to be able to pull this off and it can be absolutely game changing when it happens, it's a rare occurence.  AA power, on the other hand, is put to use far more often.  So too can Bismarck's Hydrouacoustic Search any time she's being pursued by torpedo-armed destroyers.

The buffs Tirpitz received didn't make her replace Bismarck -- she supplements her sister ship as any good premium sister-ship should, with her own fun strengths and weaknesses.


Though things were looking up in patch 0.6.4, it hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows for Tirpitz since.
Would I Recommend?
Tirpitz used to be an easy recommendation across all categories.
  • For PVE Battles
    How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots?

Lert:  Yeah. She still puts out a lot of damage at brawling range and she can still bully bots. She'll be a solid and steady earner.
Mouse:  Yes. Tirpitz is probably the ultimate Co-Op premium battleship so I cannot recommend her enough here.. Big guns, big secondary range and torpedoes? Combine that with speed and good armour -- those poor little bots don't stand a chance. You can forgo all pretense of subtlety and simply charge in, confident that you have the close-range damage to sink at least a pair of ships before going down. Earning 500 base experience in Co-Op is a breeze.

This sort of confidence will no doubt spill over into Scenarios should they become available at her tier.
Tripitz has a 39,375 credit repair cost with ammunition usually weighing and around the 7,500 to 15,000 credits to resupply. Thus, even a modest game will be self sustaining (especially with a premium account). You may have to forgo premium consumables if you have a stock account though.
  • For Random Battle Grinding:
    This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements.

Lert:  She'll still pull in the credits and the close quarters expert badges and she'll still train your german captains in comfort. She gets a recommendation of Yes here.
Mouse:  Yes.  Though Tirpitz is harder to recommend as a Random Battle vessel, I would still say she's a good purchase overall.  She no longer feels like the dominating presence she was before  Enterprise and the Royal Navy battleships joined the game.  Moreover, on the North American server at least, she is facing tier X battles more and more often, but this is a problem inherent to all tier VIII premiums at the moment.

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

Lert:  No. There are other alternatives that better fit the meta.
Mouse:  No.  Tirpitz is not the best choice for Ranked Battles.  Her gunnery is too unreliable and her lack of anti-aircraft firepower can be a liability depending upon team composition.  If this is your primary reason for wanting a premium ship, I would give her a pass here.  She can compete, but there are better and more versatile choices.

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

Lert:  It's Tirpitz, the ship that scared the pants off of wartime Britain without actually doing anything other than sipping martinis and swatting at RAF flies in a fjord. Plus, she's one of the most beautiful ships in the game. Very yes.
Mouse:  Yes.  Tirpitz's history is less glamorous than her sister ship and full of what ifs, but she certainly gets the imagination going.  Plus, Wargaming can't seem to stop making cool premium camouflages for her.

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

Lert:  Brawling is fun. Ships that are comfortable to drive are fun. A strong yes here.
Mouse:  Very yes.  Tirpitz is the sort of ship where those memorable moments keep rolling in.

What's the Final Verdict?

How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Good - Overpowered?
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