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Premium Ship Review: Dunkerque and Strasbourg


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Dunkerque overtaking Strasbourg.

The following is a review of Dunkerque & Strasbourg, the tier VI & VII French battleships.  They were both provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes at no cost to me.  To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.9.12.  Please be aware that their performance may change in the future.

I couldn't help myself.  I saw an opportunity to not only review a new ship but to update an older one too.  Maybe I'll make this a regular thing going into the future whenever Wargaming releases a comparable sister-ship -- review the new addition and touch base on an older one.  It seems a bit ambitious to declare it as the new norm, but we'll see what happens.  At any rate, this is a review of both Dunkerque-class battleships:  Dunkerque at tier VI and her new sister-ship, Strasbourg at tier VII.  The two ships are almost identical which raises concerns on balance.  Strasbourg is Dunkerque in almost every metric that matters short of tiering and access to the Main Battery Reload Consumable.  One can't help but ask the following questions:

  • Is Dunkerque so good at tier VI that she can be effectively cloned and placed at tier VII with little issue?
  • Just how influential are the small changes made between the two ships?
  • Is Main Battery Reload Booster that powerful on a 330m armed platform?
  • Is Strasbourg worth the grind or should you just stick with Dunkerque?

Let's find some answers!

Quick Summary: Fast, lightly armoured battlecruisers with all eight of it's quick-firing 330mm guns mounted in two quad-turrets on their bows.  Strasbourg has access to the Main Battery Reload Booster consumable.


  • All forward gun arrangement simplifies maximizing firepower.
  • Fast reload (26s Dunkerque, 25s Strasbourg)
  • Good HE shell performance and fire setting.
  • Comfortable gun handling.
  • Long ranged with good ballistics over distance.
  • Solid agility with a good top speed and rate of turn.
  • Strasbourg Specific: Has access to the Main Battery Reload Booster consumable.


  • Unable to fire her main battery guns directly rearward (for some inexplicable reason!)
  • Lightly armoured, highly vulnerable to AP overmatch and HE shells.
  • Exposed, high-water citadel with thin belt armour.
  • Terrible anti-aircraft firepower.
  • Large surface detection range.
  • Strasbourg Specific:  Small hit point pool for a tier VII battleship.

Summary of Differences

If you're a crusty ol' veteran with playing Dunkerque, so experienced in Marine Nationale ways battlecruiser ways that you serenade baguettes, you don't need me to tell you what she's like.  To expedite things for these players, here's a list of all of the differences between the two battleships, from the significant to the inane.  These are listed Dunkerque vs Strasbourg:

  • Tier:  VI vs VII (duh)
  • Economy: VI vs VII (higher tiered ships earn more credits and experience for the same actions)
  • Fire Resistance Coefficient: 23.31% vs 29.97%
  • Superstructure HP: 1,800 vs 1,700
  • Belt Armour:  225mm vs 283mm
  • Rear Upper Athwartship: 198mm vs 210mm
  • Turtleback:  40mm vs 50mm
  • Turret Faces: 330mm vs 360mm
  • Turret Backs: 335mm vs 352mm
  • Turret Floor: 150mm vs 160mm
  • Sigma: 1.7 vs 1.8
  • Main Battery Reload: 26s vs 25s
  • Main Battery Range: 18.21km vs 19.1km
  • A-Turret's Fire Arcs:  310º vs 294º
  • Number of 37mm twin AA mounts:  5 (18dps) vs 4 (16dps)
  • Flak Explosion Damage: 1,330 vs 1,400
  • Main Battery Reload Booster:  no vs yes
  • Tonnage: 35,500 vs 36,308
  • Permanent Camos:  4 vs 2


Skill Floor:  Simple / CASUAL / Challenging / Difficult
Skill Ceiling:  Low / Moderate / HIGH / Difficult

Both ships are wonderfully uncomplicated to use.  The all-forward gun arrangement helps keep new-players safe, mitigating the need to expose the ship's broadside in order to maximize firepower.  Their long range also helps keep new players safe.  The ship's speed is also a blessing -- fast enough to get the ship where it needs to go but not being so fast that she can easily out-strip support as new players are wont to do.  Were the ship easier to hide or if it had a better protection scheme, it might have warranted a "Simple" rating.

There's a lot of strong carry potential with these ships.  The combination of good speed and a relatively fast reload allows these ships to wreak all kinds of mayhem.  Strasbourg's Main Battery Reload Booster is particularly delicious for punishing exposed enemies, be they a briefly lit lolibote or a high-tier battleship that needs to be burned.  Unfortunately, they are painfully soft-skinned and very difficult to hide which are both strong limiting factors.  The lack of overmatch potential on their 330mm guns is also a bit frustrating, though proper ammunition use can help mitigate this drawback.


Both ships share similar customization principles.  The marked difference between the two is in their consumables (naturally), but otherwise they can be built the same.


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  • Both ships have the same, standard Damage Control Party for French battleships.  This has a 15 second active period, an 80 second reset timer and unlimited charges.
  • Similarly, they share the same Repair Party which heals back up to 14% of the ship's starting hit points per charge.  It queues 50% of all penetration damage, 10% of citadel damage and 100% of everything else.  It has an 80 second reset timer.
  • Their last shared consumables are the option between a Catapult Fighter and Spotter Aircraft.  Dunkerque mounts these in her third slot and Strasbourg her fourth.  The latter consumable increases their range by 20% for 100 seconds with a 240 second reset timer.  Both ships begin with 4 charges.  The former consumable starts with only three charges, deploying a pair of fighters which orbit the ship for 60 seconds.  It has a 90 second reset timer.
  • What sets Strasbourg apart is her access to Main Battery Reload Booster in her third slot.  This reduces the reload time of her main battery guns by half for 20 seconds.  She comes with four charges to start and it has an 180 second reset timer.



Both ships use the same build.

  • In your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 is arguably optimal given the relative fragility of the Dunkerque-class's main weapons.  Nothing sucks more than losing one of only two turrets!  Otherwise, the two special upgrades, Spotter Aircraft Modification 1 and Damage Control Party Modification 1 may be used instead.  They can be purchased for 17,000 10px-Coal_icon.png&key=97026adbcf5e30ac0  from the Armory .
  • Damage Control System Modification 1 is the only upgrade worth considering in slot 2.
  • In slot three, Aiming System Modification 1 is optimal.  But if you want, you can trade that out for faster turret traverse with Main Battery Modification 2 but this has much less benefit than decreasing the dispersion area.
  • There are interesting choices for these ships in the fourth slot.  Damage Control System Modification 2 is the most straight-forward and optimal, reducing fire and flooding damage.  You can naturally opt to improve their handling by taking Steering Gears Modification 1 -- their high rate of turn and long range does lend them well to active dodging.  However, given the disposition of these ships and their love of hugging islands, there's some worth in taking Propulsion Modification 1 for better acceleration from a dead stop.  It's up to you based on your preferred style of play.  When in doubt, though, default to Damage Control System Modification 2.

Commander Skills

Both ships can easily make use of the same commander.  The ideal build differs somewhat from the default boring ol' battleship build in that Dunkerque and Strasbourg both benefit considerably from the Expert Loader skill.  Making room for it can leave you with a skill point leftover which isn't as optimal as other builds.  Oh well.

  • Start with choosing between Priority Target and Incoming Fire Alert.  I much prefer the former, but it's up to you.
  • Grab the skills circled in green next to complete your 10pt build:  Adrenaline Rush, Basics of Survivability and Fire Prevention.
  • Next double-back and grab the skills in the red squares:  Concealment Expert, Superintendent and Expert Loader.

The skills in blue squares are nice to have but you may struggle to fit them in with the above recommendations.  Mix and match to your tastes.




There are multiple camouflage options between the two ships.  Dunkerque has Type 10, Fleur d'Acier (Steel Flower), Azur Lane  and Mid-Autumn Festival camouflage patterns.  Strasbourg has Type 10 and Winter Holiday camouflage patterns.  All of the differences are cosmetic, providing the identical bonuses of:

  • -3% surface detection
  • +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells.
  • -10% to post-battle service costs.
  • +50% to experience gains.

As an older (and popular) ship, Dunkerque has had a large number of premium camouflage types -- which is hella fun.  I really like her Azur Lane camo.  It's nice and sharp with the red and white contrast.

Strasbourg's camo options are much more subdued.  I'm not a fan of her Holiday camo.

Main Battery:  Eight 330mm/52 guns in 2x4 turrets mounted on the bow in a A-B superfiring configuration.
Secondary Battery:  Twenty 130mm guns in 5x4 turrets with two turrets per side and one mounted on the centre line facing the stern.


Lemme preface this by saying that I'm not going to talk about the secondaries off the Dunkerque-class.  They're not worth specializing into at the moment with their limited fire arcs, to say nothing of how poorly these ships fare in a brawl. 

Onto the main event!

Big Guns, Bad Habits & Bae Bote

I admit I have a bit of a bias against smaller-caliber battleship guns at the mid-tiers.  This stems from my early days in World of Warships, having fallen in love with the overmatch potential of Warspite's 381mm guns tier VI.  Bae bote's artillery, while not idiot proof, certainly lent itself well to firing nothing but a homogeneous loadout of AP shells.  With all of the heavy lifting those Royal Navy 15" guns could do, I still remember being disdainful of Dunkerque's paltry 330mm guns when I first reviewed her back in late summer of 2016.  They had no overmatch potential so they were OBVIOUSLY garbage, right?  I'm somewhat less naive than I was way back when.  Only somewhat, mind you.  I still have a bit of a blind spot with bae-bote and battleship caliber guns with large-swathes of overmatch potential.  That's something these guns lack but that doesn't make them bad by any means.

There's a lot of good things about the combat performance of these weapons. 

  • They have excellent ballistics over range. 
  • They have a fast reload. 
  • They're decent fire starters. 
  • They have good AP penetration.

AP penetration values drawn from Wargaming's Armada 2 video on Dunkerque from August 2016.  Dunkerque and Strasbourg have some very respectable AP penetration values for guns of their caliber.

There are two drawbacks with these weapons to keep in mind: 

  • They have French (and Italian) gunnery dispersion.
  • They lack overmatch potential with their AP rounds. 

There's not much to be said about the first flaw.  French battleship dispersion is the worst in the game currently, being slightly worse than that of American, British and German battleships.  This leads to wonky shell groupings from these guns, especially at the long ranges Strasbourg is so often forced to engage.  Having both guns on the bow in quad mounts does make them feel a little more accurate, at least in terms of the initial outbound shell clusters.  However, this is more of an illusion than a practical advantage.  Still, they have average sigma values, so within their dispersion elipse (larger as it is) their shell fall is pretty standard, though the difference between the two ships in this regard is largely indistinguishable. The best players in the game struggle to discern the difference between 0.2 sigma in standard game play, to say nothing of the 0.1 sigma difference between Strasbourg (1.8 sigma) and Dunkerque (1.7 sigma).  Overall, the guns feel reasonable with their accuracy though they will troll you.  Thankfully, their rate of fire helps alieviate the feeling of being cheated.

One of the best fixes for bad dispersion is to reload often.  When individual salvos don't feel like they matter as much, it's easier to forgive a few stray shells.  Dunkerque's 26 second reload feels very comfortable -- more than making up for low individual shell damage. The extra second shaved off Strasbourg's guns is nicer still, though like her dispersion you might not feel the difference.  Short reload times on battleships is a hella powerful advantage, even with the slightly lower alpha-strike from their hits.  Battleship gunnery is incredibly opportunist, with citadel hit "money shots" making or breaking their play experience.  Dunkerque's guns are more likely to be reloaded (or almost reloaded) when an opportunity presents itself.  Strasbourg's are all but guaranteed.  Like Jean Bart before her, Strasbourg's access to the Main Battery Reload Booster consumable is a game-changer.  She will have her guns reloaded when it matters most, ensuring she can put shells downrange at vulnerable targets and best capitalize on the opportunities presented -- whether this be blowing out the citadel of a Christmas-Makarov or stacking fires back onto a Hizen that just blew its Damage Control Party.  If Strasbourg's guns had better overmatch potential, they'd be downright oveprowered.

The lack of overmatch potential is a problem shared by all battleship rounds between 283mm and 356mm in caliber.  While the Dunkerque-class can overmatch 23mm of armour with their AP rounds, in practical terms, 19mm plate is the last effective armour value they can best at any angle.  This makes most tier V, VI and VII cruisers vulnerable to being overmatched by these AP shells, but only the very-light cruisers at tiers VIII+.  Like with dispersion, this is more of an issue for Strasbourg as a consequence of her higher tiering.  It's only the extremities of tier V battleships that these AP rounds can overmatch and only then if the ships in question don't have dispersed armour schemes which gets a little more common at lower tiers.  Against any other target, both Dunkerque and Strasbourg will want to reach for the HE rounds instead.  To this end, I've found having the Expert Loader skill very handy if you can spare the single skill point for it.  Outside of issues where they might ricochet from striking a plate they cannot overmatch at too steep an angle, Dunkerque and Strasbourg's AP shells perform well, with very respectable AP penetration values across all engagement ranges, with even better penetration than New Mexico's 356mm AP rounds.  It's not quite high enough to contest higher-tiered battleship citadels at ranges of 15km or beyond, but it's good enough.

Dunkerque may not appear to have impressive DPM, but she is more likely to be able to fire all of her guns than most other battleships -- especially while under fire herself.  Her all-forward gun arrangement allows her to maximize her firepower while still maintaining a defensive nose-in aspect.

Strasbourg is listed twice.  The one with the asterix denotes her using her Main Battery Reload Booster for 20s. Strasbourg's faster rate of fire gives her comparable DPM placement to Dunkerque, tier-for-tier.  However, her Main Battery Reload Booster takes things to a whole other level, allowing her to punish opponents when they give her an opportunistic shot.

Both ships are decent fire starters.  Strasbourg flirts with Royal Navy levels when she activates her consumable (again, denoted by an asterix).

Gun Layout

Dunkerque's A-turret fire arcs are gorgeous.  Her B-turret are much less so.  This makes her B-turret a good indicator for over-angling with Dunkerque when firing to the rear.  So long as A-turret can engage but B-turret cannot, she's still in auto-ricochet territory -- you know, provided that the incoming AP shells don't simply overmatch her hull.

The all-bow mounted gun arrangement of the Dunkerque-class is their most striking feature.  In World of Warships, this has more advantages than drawbacks.

Dunkerque was not the first battleship in the game with this layout.  However she was the first battleship in the game to have all of her guns capable of firing directly forward.  Thus she was the first battleship in the game that could "bow tank" while still maximizing her firepower.  At the time of her release, it was easy to underestimate just how effective this was and how effective it remains in World of Warships.  It is very easy to maximize firepower with Dunkerque and Strasbourg.  Barring kiting situations, it is easier to bring all of their guns to bear than on any other battleship.  This is further facilitated by their fast (for a battleship) traverse rate of 5º/s (36s for 180º).  Even in situations where Dunkerque is being chased, her "over the shoulder" firing arcs are respectable with her A-turret being capable of hucking shells 25º off her stern, still maintaining a perfect auto-ricochet target with her belt.  Obviously the drawback here is that she cannot engage enemies directly to her rear.  What's more, this all-forward gun arrangement makes her slow to switch sides when firing backwards as her guns have to come all of the way around.  Still, the all-forward gun arrangement greatly facilitates bringing all guns on targets for much of the battle.
It's this ease of bringing guns on target -- all of their guns on target -- which makes these ships dangerous and it's one of their many strengths.

Strasbourg doesn't have Dunkerque's delicious A-turret's fire arcs.


"Always ready" -- this defines the gunnery on Dunkerque and Strasbourg, and Strasbourg more than her sister.  When facing off against these ships, their faster rate of fire, good fire arcs and gun handling is what makes them dangerous.  As gunnery platforms, they're super comfy and fun to play.  Their individual salvos may not hit as big as other ships; a consequence of both shell size and trollish dispersion, but they don't feel at a deficit in either regard.

VERDICT:  Their guns perform better than their smaller caliber would suggest.  Beware Strasbourg's Main Battery Reload Booster -- used correctly, it can devastate vulnerable enemies.


Hit Points: 52,600
Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck:  26mm / 16mm / 26mm / 26mm
Dunkerque Maximum Citadel Protection: 26mm anti-torpedo bulge + 225mm belt + 40mm turtleback + 40mm/50mm citadel wall
Strasbourg Maximum Citadel Protection: 26mm anti-torpedo bulge + 283mm belt + 50mm turtleback + 40mm/50mm citadel wall
Torpedo Damage Reduction: 25%

The durability fortunes of these two battlecruisers flips between their hit point totals and their armour profiles.  While I would not call either ship blessed in either category, it's more that one or the other is "less-worse" in a given area than its sister ship.  Overall, Strasbourg loses out wholesale to her sister, if only because she sits a full tier higher and contends with bigger threats.

Health Pool

Strasboug is the big loser here when it comes to comparing hit points.  Dunkerque wins no prizes either, but as a tier VI vessel, she's she doesn't stand out in any negative or positive way.  Strasbourg's woes come in two areas:

  • She has a small (tier VI-sized) hit point pool.
  • Her Repair Party is normal.

The former kind of surprises me -- not that she has a small hit point pool, but that it's unchanged from Dunkerque's own despite the (slight) increase in tonnage.  Best estimates should put Strasbourg's hit point total almost 1,000hp higher than Dunkerque.  That's not enough to rescue her from the doldrums of tier VII health totals, but every scrap certainly helps and it would let her overtake Lyon at the very least.  Moreover, the issue Strasbourg faces at tier VII comes from her plain-Jane Repair Party consumable. The glut of Royal Navy ships at tier VII along with Colorado makes Strasbourg's bare-bones Repair Party seem weak by comparison, especially on a ship with a hit point deficit.  I suppose it's a blessing that she's not stuck with one fewer charges the way the Soviet ships and Florida are neutered, so that's something.

Dunkerque's effective hit point pool is on the low side of average for a tier VI battleship.

Now you can imagine what happens when you bring a "low side of average" effective health pool to a tier VII match-up.  This is especially noteworthy as tier VII is where health regeneration gets super weird and powerful.

Armour Profile

When it comes to repelling HE shells, the two Dunkerque-sisters are functionally identical.  While there exists some minor differences in their protection schemes, these are a non-issue when it comes to repelling HE shells.  Dunkerque and Strasbourg are exceedingly soft-skinned and highly vulnerable to HE fire.  Their near-homogeneous 26mm external plate makes them easy prey, not only for light cruisers but for 127mm+ armed destroyers.  While the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells skill may be necessary, her opponents all have the potential to farm damage off the soft-skinned profiles of the Dunkerque-class battleships.  Both battleships bleed a lot of hit points to small and medium caliber HE shells.

Things don't get better when it comes to repelling AP rounds.  Strasbourg attempts to correct some of the defence issues of her sister-ship with improved turret, belt and citadel protection profiles.  Dunkerque is notoriously vulnerable to citadel hits, going so far as to have her machine spaces colour-coded through one of her camouflage patterns (thank you, Yuro, for pointing that out!).  The thinness of her citadel protection means that with very few exceptions (Oklahoma, I'm looking at you), Dunkerque is vulnerable to battleship calibre AP shells at all ranges.  This goes double for any AP rounds from guns of 380mm or larger as they are fully capable of overmatching her external armour plate and can land citadel hits at nearly any angle.  Though Strasbourg's protection is improved, it's never so good that I would trust flashing her sides or snoot to incoming battleship rounds.  Both Dunkerque-sisters take citadel hits frequently.  They are both at risk of losing their turrets when they attempt to tank battleship fire.  The best that could be said about Strasbourg is that she is largely immune to citadel hits from cruiser-calibre weapons, though again there are exceptions, especially at close range.

Their armour profiles are almost identical but Strasbourg has the thicker belt, turtleback and turret faces.  While the extra ~60mm of armour on Strasbourg's belt looks significant, the higher penetration gun she faces makes this improvement kinda moot.


These are ships that don't want to get hit -- like at all.  Nearly every HE shell can hurt.  Nearly every battleship-calibre AP round is a potential citadel hit.  Having only two turrets makes the loss of one (even temporarily) a disaster.  The best play with these ships is to not get hit in the first place; exercising their long range to make themselves a less appealing target.  Anchoring one side against a piece of island cover is also a good practice, if only to mitigate flanking fire from enemy battleships from across the map.  Limiting the angles of attack against these vessels is paramount to keeping them safe.  They don't have a lot of armour.  They don't have a lot of health.  They don't have improved Repair Parties.

VERDICT:  Get hit, take cit.


Top Speed: 29.5kts
Turning Radius: 730m
Rudder Shift Time: 14s
4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 4.7º/s at 22kts (Dunkerque) or 22.2kts (Strasbourg).

What a difference a tier makes.

Strasbourg and Dunkerque both have excellent agility for a battleship.  Not only do they have a respectable top speed -- nearly reaching 30 knots -- but unlike higher-tiered battleships, they are not shackled with a punitive turning circle radius.  No matter how you look at it, both battleships handle beautifully.  This combines with their very nice gun traverse rates to make keeping guns on target a very comfortable experience.  The only real fault for these two battleships is that they flirt with but never quite achieve cruiser-levels of agility.  This flaw mostly resides with their rudder shift time which, while not punitive, is definitely too sluggish to affect reasonable dodging metrics.  Active dodging is really only ever possible at the extremes of their range.  It's a bit of a tease that way, but by any other measuire, their agility is solid.

Dunkerque is very fast for a tier VI battleship which helps translate to a good rate of turn despite her larger-than-average turning radius at that tier.  If it weren't for ships like Warspite (bae! ♥) and Normandie, she'd be the clear winner.

Once you start comparing Strasbourg and Dunkerque to tier VII battleships, it's no longer a contest.  Strasbourg is THE most agile tier VII battleship, bar none.  Lyon and Gneisenau provide some competition, but Strasbourg is the hands down winner.

VERDICT:  Some of the best mid-tier battleship agility you'll find out there.  Both ships handle beautifully and are very comfortable to drive.

Anti-Aircraft Defence

Flak Bursts: 3 explosions for 1,330 damage per blast (Dunkerque) or 1,400 per blast (Strasbourg) at 3.5km to 6.0km.
Long Ranged (up to 6.0km):   84dps at 75% accuracy
Medium Ranged (up to 3.0km):  24.5dps (Dunkerque) or 21dps (Strasbourg) at 75% accuracy
Short Ranged (up to 1.5km): 105dps at 70% accuracy

I'm going to let the graphics do the talking here.

Kay, so this looks like a hot mess and there's value in this chaos too.  There are so many disparate AA range values at tier VI, it's hard to keep track.  "Why so much negative space?" you might ask.  Well, I scaled this to match the AA values of the tier VII battleships as both tier VI and VII battleships have to contend with tier VI and VIII aircraft carriers.  The ships here are arranged in approximate level of effective personal defense, sorted by the formula [ AA DPS * ( range - 1km) ], thus putting more value on longer ranged damage output.  None of the tier VI battleships could be said to have "good" or "effective" AA firepower, even against tier VI carriers.  While Dunkerque sits in the middle of the pack here, she's in the bottom half of the incompetent.  The best thing about her, really, are those 6km ranged guns which can help a friend out with overlapping fields of fire.

Strasbourg has worse personal AA firepower than Nagato.  It's only when battleships get to California or Florida levels of AA firepower that they can start looking towards their own defense.  And it's not like these ships can prevent CVs from dropping on them -- oh no, they simply make it expensive (and then only if they haven't had most of their medium and small caliber guns shorn off by a spray of HE fire).  Strasbourg stands little chance and is an easy mark for carriers.

VERDICT:  Hilariously bad on both counts.

Vision Control

Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 16.92km / 14.77km
Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 9.58km / 8.62km
Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 14.2km
Dunkerque Maximum Firing Range: 18.21km to 21.85km
Strasbourg Maximum Firing Range: 19.1km to 22.92km

The stealth of these two battleships is crap.

I don't know what really needs to be said beyond that.  Their surface detection range is atrocious for a ship of their size and you can never truly get it under control.  For Dunkerque, this is a more pronounced problem given the smaller maps she end up on at lower tiers.  The only way you're surprising anyone in these ships is with long-range fire.  While this may end a cruiser in short order, you're only going to annoy battleships unless their citadel protection is very (very!) soft skinned.  In practical terms, everything will spot you first.  Due to her fragility, this will so often relegate you to play defensively, hugging islands to protect a flank or deny vision lest you get crossfired from unseen enemy.

VERDICT:  Downright terrible.

Final Evaluation

Let's go back to those questions that started this review:

  • Is Dunkerque so good at tier VI that she can be effectively cloned and placed at tier VII with little issue?
  • Just how influential are the small changes made between the two ships?
  • Is Main Battery Reload Booster that powerful on a 330m armed platform?
  • Is Strasbourg worth the grind or should you just stick with Dunkerque?

The answers to those questions are:

  • Hells no.
  • Largely irrelevant, though the extra second shaved off her reload and the extra armour is nice.  I'm kinda miffed about her A-turret losing out on those firing angles, though.
  • Yes.  It's a disgustingly powerful consumable and it's what carries this ship at tier VII.
  • Well, that depends.  How much do you love Dunkerque?

Dunkerque is a good tier VI battleship.  This is largely owing to two factors:  She has good guns and she has good agility.  Dunkerque is fast enough to bring her firepower where it will do the most good and her guns are reliable enough to stack steady amounts of damage. Her fast reload makes her particularly good at picking on cruisers and stacking fires.  Yes, her stealth sucks. Yes, her AA power sucks.  Yes, defensively she's a bit of a joke.  But those, like Tempest Keep, are merely a setback.  Stealth and AA rarely define the battleship meta.  Better armour would be nice, but it's not like Dunkerque is incapable of face-tanking a whole range of battleship opponents provided they're not armed with 380mm+ guns.  Dunkerque is a whole bunch of "good enough" packaged behind comfortable gunnery. 

As one of the oldest premium battleships in the game Dunkerque doesn't have a gimmick to make her stand out anymore.  Being French was her gimmick back in 2016.  Since the release of the French battleship line, she lost not only that distinction but also the uniqueness of her all-forward gun arrangement.  Players can simply unlock Richelieu from the tech tree if they want to have a taste of that game play, albeit two tiers higher.  There's not a lot of 'wow-factor' baked into Dunkerque.  She's good, don't get me wrong, but she's not amazing.  She's not meta-defining or great.  She wasn't a solid pick in tier VI Ranked Battles, sitting behind battleships that brought that oh-so covetted overmatch like Warspite and West Virginia and beyond consideration in team-based competitive (though admittedly everything played second fiddle to Admiral Graf Spee).

Strasbourg will be rightly compared to Jean Bart and there is a reason Jean Bart isn't commonly available anymore (I'm still shocked she reappered for Black Friday, but whatevs, clearly WG likes money).  If you love Dunkerque's game play, Strasbourg is so worth it, it's not even funny.  I cannot stress enough how much the Main Battery Reload Booster consumable improves on what was already some damn fine gunnery.  That's really the whole summation of Strasbourg.  Yes, there's a bunch of other little changes here and there, but they feel so inconsequential compared to those twenty-seconds of fast-firing guns when her consumable is active.  During development, Wargaming seemed oh-so careful not to repeat the misteps of Jean Bart's overpowered self.  Strasbourg had her rate of fire nerfed from an initial 21 seconds (yes, really) to 24 seconds and then eventually down to 25 seconds with a slight sigma buff (from Dunkerque's 1.7 to the current 1.8).  That should be enough to keep her in line, but I admit I enjoyed myself a lot playing Strasbourg.  Such enjoyment on a test ship usually means that the ship is a little too strong.  This speaks a lot to what battleship gameplay fundamentally boils down to:  delivering big hits.  The difference between good performance and bad in a match can so often be separated by a single Devastating Strike.  Even if you lose, if you erased one ship outright, it's hard to call that a bad showing.  Strasbourg's consumable makes it easier to do that and that's hella powerful.

If I had to choose between the two, Strasbourg is (to me) the obvious choice.  Dunkerque doesn't have anything novel going for her, in my opinion.  Her best selling feature now is her tiering.  Strasbourg at least has that gunnery gimmick; something a lot of players may not have access to in the future given the increased rarity of Jean Bart.  Strasbourg is a GUDBOTE -- or more accurately, she's a MEHBOTE with a good consumable. 


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you always do a lot of research in your reviews  thats why there so well done . 

you must be drinking a lot of coffee to keep you going LWM 

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