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The following is a review of Paolo Emilio, the tier IX Italian destroyer.  Wargaming was kind enough to provide me access to this ship at no cost to me -- be aware: I did not have to pay for this.  To the best of my knowledge, the statistics and performance discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.9.9.  Please be aware that said performance may change in the future.

Quick Summary:  A torpedo destroyer hiding behind a gunship facade but her painfully long main-battery reload hamstrings her gunnery.  She is wicked fast and comes with an Italian Exhaust Smoke Generator.  Both traits allow her to suicide-charge targets with her short-ranged fish.


  • Massive health pool of 24,400hp.
  • Very heavily armoured for a destroyer including a 60mm belt.
  • Huge SAP broadsides of up to 8,052 damage per salvo.
  • Powerful torpedo armament with twelve tubes and 23,767 damage per fish.
  • Base top speed of 43.5 knots.
  • Engine Boost consumable provides a 25% speed increase giving her a maximum speed (with flag) of up to 56.7 knots in sprints (!)
  • Has access to an Exhaust Smoke Generator.


  • Painfully long main battery reload of 10.7 seconds.
  • Horrible fire-starter.
  • No AP shells at all which makes generating citadel hits nigh-impossible.
  • Torpedoes are very short ranged at 6km.
  • Enormous turning radius of 810m.
  • Horrible concealment values.
  • Engine Boost only lasts for 50 seconds.
  • Paolo Emilio is a very hungry ship when it comes to commander skills & upgrades.  You will not have enough points and slots to go around.


Skill Floor:  Simple / Casual / CHALLENGING / Difficult
Skill Ceiling:  Low / Moderate / HIGH/ Extreme

New players stay away.  Paolo Emilio is not an easy ship to play.

The challenge resides in her poor concealment, her weird gunnery and short-ranged fish.  While suicide-torping in PVE-modes will certainly pay dividends, this all falls apart against human opponents.  Paolo Emilio's modest gunnery damage out-put, her lack of stealth and her painfully short-duration consumables makes heads-up encounters against just about any opponent super-dangerous.  If you cannot kill them quickly, you're not likely to escape.



Paolo Emilio's consumables are weird.  Whether or not this ends up being normal if and when the Italian destroyer line launches remains to be seen.


  • At least her Damage Control Party is standard for a destroyer.  This has unlimited charges, a 5 second active period and a 40 second reset timer.
  • She uses an Exhaust Smoke Generator in her second slot.  This generates smoke for 35 seconds (40.25s with X-ray Papa Unaone signal) and will conceal Paolo Emilio for this duration even while she moves at full speed.  Each cloud dissipates in 10 seconds.  She starts with five charges (which is admittedly a lot!) and they have a 140 second reset timer.
  • Finally, she has a weird Engine Boost consumable.  The candle that burns twice as bright burns for half as long.  Paolo Emilio's boost provides a 25% increase to her speed instead of the usual 8% for most destroyers.  However, it only lasts for 50 seconds instead of the typical 120 seconds.  She starts with five charges here as well (which, again, is a lot) and it shares the 140 second reset timer of her Exhaust Smoke Generator.

Pay special attention to the synergy between her Engine Boost and Exhaust Smoke Generator's reset timers.  They very conveniently line up and almost match her torpedo reload time.


There are, ostensibly, two ways of specializing Paolo Emilio.  The first is a more conventional destroyer gunship build, focusing upon stealth, damage output and making use of stationary bits of cover.  The latter favours an open-water style of engagement, firing at range and focusing upon agility at the expense of stealth.  Obviously there's a lot of overlap between these two so you can mix and match to suit your style.  You'll note that I'm not fussing overmuch about upgrading her torpedoes.  They honestly don't need any help.


  • Main Armaments Modification 1 is optimal in your first slot.  Though if you really hate detonations and are running low on Juliet Charlie signals, Magazine Modification 1 isn't a terrible choice.
  • In slot two, Engine Boost Modification 1 is a must if you can afford it.  This costs 17,00010px-Coal_icon.png&key=97026adbcf5e30ac0 from the Armory and is well worth the price.  This increases the action time of her Engine Boost from 50 seconds to 70 65 seconds which is a lot more comfortable.  If you can't afford this then default to Engine Room Protection as you would for most destroyers.
  • In her third slot, Aiming Systems Modification 1 is optimal.  However, Paolo Emilio's gun handling could use a little help when she's bobbing and weaving in open water.  Main Battery Modification 2 can help keep her guns on target when you're zooming past a target at high speed (especially given the current bug with the Expert Marksman skill).   There is an argument to be made for Torpedo Tubes Modification 1 in slot three, not so much for the gains in torpedo speed, but for keeping her torpedo launchers alive and speeding up their traverse rate. Knowing what I know about critical damage and destruction mechanics, I'm not sold on this upgrade.  Aiming System Modification 1 is hands down better, in my opinion, even if its gains are similarly minimal.
  • For your fourth slot, it's really up to you.  Propulsion Modification 1 provides the biggest boost to how your ship performs but only from a dead stop.  Your ship has to be stationary (and stationary often) for this to be worthwhile.  If you prefer an island or allied-smoke camping style of play, this is the one to grab.  Otherwise, default to Steering Gears Modification 1 to drop her rudder shift time down from 5.3s to 4.2s.
  • So, Concealment Modification 1 is always going to be optimal for slot five.  The combination of increased stealth and increased gunnery dispersion from enemy ships is too good to pass up.  Still, if you would prefer a more active style of play, you can opt for Steering Gears Modification 2.  On it's own it drops Paolo Emilio's rudder shift time from 5.3s to 3.2s.  If you pair it with Steering Gears Modification 1 from the previous slot, you can get this all the way down to 2.5s.
  • Finally, we have a game play choice.  Main Battery Modification 3 is definitely the front-runner.  This reduces her gunnery reload time from a painful 10.7s to 9.4s.  Pair it with Basic Fire Training and you can get this down to 8.5s, which is still awful but not abhorrent.  This comes at the expense of her gun rotation rate which drops from 10º/s to 8.7º/s.  That's not enough to allow her to out-turn her turrets, but it's still uncomfortably close. The alternative is grabbing Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 to increase her range from 11.3km to 13.11km which definitely helps with the open-water gunship style of play.  Paired with Advanced Fire Training, you can get her range up to 15.73km.  So more pew-pews or more comfortable, long-range gunnery.  It's up to you.

So for a super-specialized, open-water build, you might go for:  MAM1, EBM1, ASM1, SGM1, SGM2, GFCM1 with the option of swapping out SGM2 for CSM1 based on preferences. But a more generic build might look like: MAM1, EBM1, ASM1, PM1, CSM1, MBM3.

Commander Skills


There's a lot to unpack here.  Lemme explain what all of the shapes and colour coding mean:

  • Blue circles:  Pick ONE. (1pt)
  • Red circles:  Always take these. (5pts combined)
  • Red squares (double outline):  Highly recommended. (8pts combined)
  • Yellow squares:  Great if you can afford them, but lower-priority than red-squares. (14pts combined)
  • Blue squares:  Nice to have but not optimal in most builds. (10pts combined)

So just touching base on the necessities and the highly-recommended stuff, you're looking at 14pts spent so it gets pretty messy to fill out the last five points.  I never found a build that I was 100% happy with while play-testing Paolo Emilio.  I go into more detail about the conflicts and struggles here in the Firepower section below.



Paolo Emilio comes with Type 10 Camouflage providing the usual tier IX premium-ship bonuses of:

  • -3% surface detection
  • +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells.
  • -20% to post-battle service costs.
  • +100% to experience gains.

Italian ships are just plain gorgeous.


Main Battery:  Eight 135mm guns in 4x2 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration
Torpedoes:  Twelve torpedo tubes in 3x4 launchers with one wing mount to either side between the funnels and one mounted centerline behind the second funnel giving her up to an eight-fish broadside.


With few exceptions, firepower defines a ship's performance.   Paolo Emilio presents a rather extreme example in this instance, dictating (or at least pressuring players towards) a particular play style.  Despite her apparent heavy gun armament, she is not a gunship.  She is a torpedo-destroyer.  Relying upon her main battery weapons to carry the day makes about as much sense here as it would on ships like Kagero, Benham or Fujin.  While occasional successes may come at the hands of a well placed main-battery broadside, it is capitalizing upon her torpedo armament which makes or breaks this ship.

Let's go into the wherefores.

Limited by a Long Reload

There are two primary drawbacks to Paolo Emilio's main battery firepower:

  1. She has no access to AP shells.
  2. She has a painfully long reload.

The former is, honestly, only a minor issue.  Paolo Emilio's lack of AP shells is really only a factor when it comes to engaging cruisers and aircraft carriers at point-blank ranges where, theoretically, whatever AP shells she might have had would be capable of landing citadel hits.  In all other engagement ranges and types, her SAP shells provide superior performance.  So, like I said:  Paolo Emilio's lack of AP is a drawback but it's so minor that it's no real loss.

Her slow reload time, however, is another matter entirely.  Paolo Emilio's guns are bloody brilliant aside from her rate of fire.  Check out these strengths:

  • 23mm of HE penetration (28mm with IFHE).  With the right skill build, her 135mm shells are capable of directly damaging the extremities of any cruiser she comes across.
  • 38mm of SAP penetration.  This is enough to directly damage all battleship extremities and the upper hulls of those snooty American battleships.
  • Massive 8,052 damage SAP broadside.  The alpha strike from her SAP shells is capable of shredding between a third and half of a destroyer's hit point pool in a single salvo if all eight shells strike it amidships.
  • Excellent forward fire angles.  All eight guns can engage targets 27º off the ship's bow.

All of this gets matched with decent gun handling, a good fire chance per shell, decent range, and reasonable HE shell damage.  But no matter how good all of these traits are, being shackled to a 10.7 second reload makes her guns junky.  Their only saving grace thus becomes that alpha strike off her SAP shells so let's talk more about them.

Paolo Emilio's main battery damage output is pretty crappy. In theory, her SAP is pretty formidable, however you cannot count on your opponent giving you enough of a broadside for it to work.  She cannot win protracted gunnery duels against most other destroyers.

Crappy Sappy

SAP performance is all over the map.  While they all have high-alpha damage per shell, they do have drawbacks -- namely their propensity to ricochet when striking targets at acute angles.  "Good" SAP shells have very forgiving ricochet angles while "bad" SAP shells have scarcely better ricochet angles than AP shells.  Because I'm thorough (and stupid), I collected all of the SAP ricochet angles so we could better evaluate Paolo Emilio's SAP rounds:

  • 80º to 85º - Nino Bixio, the tier II Italian tech-tree cruiser.
  • 70º to 80º - The tier II through X tech-tree cruisers with SAP including the premiums Genova & Gorizia.
  • 70º to 80º - Impero, the tier VIII Italian battleship premium that didn't make it out of testing.
  • 60º to 75º - Paolo Emilio

With the ricochet angles mapped out, it looks like this:

Paolo Emilio's SAP shells are a LOT less reliable than other SAP shells with which you may be familiar. They are far more prone to ricochets.

When it comes to ricochets, Paolo Emilio's SAP shells are like very forgiving AP rounds rather than SAP from Italian cruisers.  Once an enemy ship (particularly a destroyer) appears to be turning towards or away from you, it's time to switch over to HE rounds.  Given her slow rate of fire, this normally only allows for two salvos to be fired off before an enemy has angled enough to make her SAP rounds unable to sustain damage.  This is, of course, barring obliviousness, but any weapon can appear amazing if the enemy doesn't fight back.  Thus Paolo Emilio's SAP rounds perform best against distracted targets or in ambush situations and there's a lot of mileage for taking skills like Expert Loader to fully capitalize on on SAP opportunities.

When to Use Guns

Like Japanese destroyers, Paolo Emilio's guns should be used opportunistically but carefully.  Every pull of the trigger should be calculated.  While it does pay dividends to invest in improving Paolo Emilio's gun performance for those lean spells where you can't make use of her fish, it would be a mistake to think that her guns alone can consistently carry a match.

Ideally, when you do elect to do some gunnery, you want to be using SAP as much as possible.  You can largely forget about setting fires with Paolo Emilio's HE rounds.  While she does have a respectable fire chance per shell, her slow rate of fire will make taxing a battleship's Damage Control Party exceedingly difficult.  Getting more than a single blaze to stack, never mind two, will require some hefty bribery to RNGeebus.  To this end, taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells isn't a terrible option to boost the direct damage performance of her HE rounds, but I'm generally of the opinion that this is way too expensive for what is very much a secondary ammunition choice on an already secondary weapon system.

You can play Paolo Emilio as an open water or island-camping gunship.  Hell, you can go for a full Khabarovsk or French Destroyer style build and play up the harassment meta all game.  Increase her range through Advanced Fire Training or an upgrade and shoot and scoot to your heart's content.  But that's not what she was designed for and it's again going to set you back a whole lot of skill points.


Missile Command's MIRVs

What Paolo Emilio is designed for, is drive-by deposits of torpedo broadsides at point-blank ranges.

On paper, the setup is dirt simple:  Use her ridiculous high-speed provided by her Engine Boost consumable to race directly towards a vulnerable target.  Activate her Exhaust Smoke Generator just before you reach your own surface detection range in order to stay unspotted.  Sprint the remaining distance and dump two launchers worth of torpedoes into the exposed broadside of your hapless enemy.  With each fish dealing upwards of 23,766 damage per hit, any target you select is doomed.

From the enemy's perspective, all they see is an aggressive moving smoke cloud that suddenly explodes into salvos of torpedoes.  If Paolo Emilio is on the enemy team, you have to treat these incoming smoke clouds like one big torpedo that's about to MIRV into separate warheads.

In PVE modes, this works as exactly as Wargaming designed.  In PVP, it's a much less certain prospect.

Paolo Emilio has some pretty gorgeous fire arcs and a couple of meh. It's only her dorsal torpedo launcher with it's forward fire arc that's crappy.

The reason is pretty simple:  Paolo Emilio's torpedoes, as formidable as they are, are very short ranged.  To be clear, they hit like trucks and they're super fast (23,677 damage and 67 knots respectively).  However, with only a 6km range, you're only getting hits with them if one of two conditions re met:

  1. Make a 200 IQ play at an aggressively moving enemy that doesn't know you're there, ambushing either through the slimmest margins of open-water stealth-torping or using island cover.
  2. Play as Wargaming designed her, and make a mad dash at an exposed enemy, using consumables to close the distance.

I stress that the enemy must be exposed.  An opponent that knows you're coming and takes steps to avoid your fish may not escape damage entirely but they're not going to get sunk.  And then you've got nothing but your crappy, slow firing guns to see you out of trouble with a very angry enemy spotting you for not only their own weapons but those of all of their friends.  Failing one of these Paolo Emili-yolos will cost you most, if not all of your health.

So the counter is pretty basic.  Activate Hydroacoustic Search or Surveillance Radar if you have it and point your butt and guns at the cloud, moving directly away from it at speed.  You might take a torpedo hit or two in battleships but anything else should avoid the worst of it.  This active counter-play means that Paolo Emilio is not a forgiving destroyer to play.  There are more counters than this, of course.  An ill-timed, broken module can similarly flub one of these attack runs, be it Paolo Emilio's engines or one of her torpedo launchers.

The long reload of her fish in conjunction with the necessity of timing her consumables means that in PVP, you have to pick your targets and your moment of attack carefully or you'll just end up a greasy stain on the ocean's surface.  If this ship becomes commonplace in the community (and I doubt it given the resources needed to unlock her), you can expect to see not only a lot of failed attacks but attacks that do nothing more than sink someone that was already over-exposed anyway and the Paolo Emilio that landed the killing blow dies in the attempt.

So, despite the obvious memes, success with Paolo Emilio's torpedoes has a lot of skill-based elements to it -- at least outside of PVE.

So some caveats apply here.  These numbers are before you account for fire resistance of a given target which, at high tiers, is close to 50%.  So, generally speaking, if you want to know how many fires per minute you can expect, take the numbers here, halve them and then compare them to your gunnery accuracy in the respective ship.  So if you're hitting about 60% of the time in your Tashkent and you've fully spec'd her out to burninate, you can expect to set about three fires every sixty seconds against a Yamato.  Also, Friesland still has zero chill.


There's surprising depth to Paolo Emilio's weapon systems.  For example, her guns are terrible but if you build them properly, they become dangerous enough to pull out some wins in select encounters.  You can brainlessly YOLO with her torpedoes but to get more than one success in three games, you have to plan your attacks carefully.

I'm reminded a lot of Haida's weapon systems -- not in that their performance is comparable, but more that while it takes a lot of work to get results, said results feel earned.  Paolo Emilio's weapons are very satisfying.

VERDICT:  A few crippling flaws but there's some fearsome potential here both with her torpedoes and her guns.


Hit Points: 24,400
Min Bow & Deck Armour:  19mm & 20mm respectively

Paolo Emilio is what the kids like to call "a heckin' chonker."  She has 24,400 base hit points and 27,550hp with Survivability Expert (and you will take Survivability Expert).  While she does not have any healing capacity, the sheer bulk of hit points provides effectively more health than some of those tier IX destroyers that do have heals due to the inefficiency of getting the maximum potential from every single consumable charge.

Now that's a lot of potential damage!  With Survivability Expert, Paolo Emilio has comparable durability to Jutland, Udaloi and Östergötland given typical use of their Repair Parties.  Getting the "Maximum Healing Potential" as listed on these graphs is a bit of a pipe dream.

Part of the reason she's so hefty is that she's actually armoured!  Khabarovsk and other high-tier Soviet destroyers show their Italian pedigree when you look at what Paolo Emilio is sporting here.  She has belt armour.  She has armoured turrets and barbettes.  She actually has reinforced magazine protection and a turtleback to protect her machine spaces for crying out loud.

You could be forgiven for mistaking her for a very light cruiser.

The practical effect here is that not every shell fired at Paolo Emilio will do damage.  HE shells aimed at her amidships hull have a very good chance of shattering against her 60mm plates which is proof against HE shells of up to 360mm (240mm if they have 1/4 HE penetration).  In addition, British 113mm guns from destroyers like Jutland and Daring cannot penetrate her deck without IFHE, further increasing the effectiveness of her steel.  AP shells of all calibers will ricochet off her belt at acute angles. Combined with her enormous hit point pool, Paolo Emilio feels tougher than her destroyer-status would otherwise suggest.

If she had the DPM to compete, out-trading with Paolo Emilio would be downright overpowered with this build.  As it is, her toughness can kinda-sorta bail her out of tough situations and protracted duels, but she doesn't fare well in trades.  The best use of this durability is at range, using her speed smokes to perform short-term hit and runs and then disengage and reposition.  Being so tough will reduce the impact of those incidental hits and short-term exchanges.

But don't think for a second that this will allow you to survive failed YOLO-torpedo charges.

Paolo Emilio has a multitude of hidden armour geometries that are more curious than practical.  If anything, they may end up being more of a drawback, ensuring that small and medium caliber AP shells fuse properly inside her. I did not include the 20mm turtleback (angled approximately 50º to 60º from the vertical) which connects the 60mm belt to the main deck as it would get lost in the clutter of her 20mm deck.  Graphic was pulled from assets from gamemodels3d.com, a great site for advanced users that are interested in a more detailed look at the mechanics of World of Warships.

VERDICT: Tough enough to surprise opponents but not so tough that she survives over-extending.


Top Speed: 43.5 knots
Port Turning Radius: 810m
Rudder Shift Time: 5.3s
4/4 Engine Speed Rotation Rate: 7º/s

Paolo Emilio is stupid fast and that solves a lot of potential problems with this ship.  She has the speed to dictate engagement ranges.  She can pick her fights.  Her high speed helps make up for her horrid turning circle radius, providing a modest rate of turn instead of an abysmal one.  If all she had was this 43.5 knot top speed, that would be remarkable enough unto itself, but she also has access to an improved Engine Boost consumable.

Paolo Emilio's ridiculous high speed helps counteract her horrible turning radius, giving her a still reasonable (but still admittedly slow) rate of turn.

Her Engine Boost consumable is simultaneously awesome and crappy.  It provides a 25% boost to her speed instead of 8%, which is awesome.  But it lasts 50s instead of 120s which is such a tease. Just as you're finally ticking over those last few tenths of a knot to reach her theoretical maximum of 56.7kts (with a Sierra Mike signal), the damn thing cuts out.  Taking the special upgrade, Engine Boost Modification 1 extends this up to 70  65 seconds, but it's still painfully short of what other versions of this consumable provide. This makes it less useful as a "navigate from A to B" consumable and more of one dedicated to Paolo Emilio's singular purpose: suicide torping.

Her Engine Boost consumable synergizes well with her Exhaust Smoke Generator, encouraging their paired use.  Activate her Engine Boost first to build up speed and then activate her Exhaust Smoke Generator just before you're spotted and lunge towards your selected target.

This does not guarantee success, however.  Even at her maximum boosted speed, Paolo Emilio does not have enough longevity in her Exhaust Smoke Generator to allow her to cover the entire distance between herself and a stationary target before the smoke cover expires (to say nothing of a target that's moving away).

For those wondering, the distance compression in World of Warships is 5.22x.

The purpose of these numbers is to illustrate how much range you can close when lunging after a target with Paolo Emilio. I covered her basic stats against stationary targets where the closing speed will be Paolo Emilio's speed at the time.  However I also wanted to simulate approximately the closing distance when a target was either closing or moving away.  To this end, I included entries where Paolo Emilio was racing after an enemy where she was outrunning them by 20 and 30 knots respectively.  I also included the opposite end of the spectrum, where there is a target unwittingly charging towards Paolo Emilio and the combined closing speed amounts to 70 and 80 knots.  The values are admittedly modest rather than a best / worst case scenario but should provide enough data to illustrate my points of caution.

The actual relevant distance Paolo Emilio needs to close is 2km less than the values listed.  Once you're in auto-detect range, it doesn't matter if her smoke is active or not.  Similarly, if your target is going to oblige you by presenting the perfect torpedo target when you're still 4km out (such as by swinging out and presenting their broadside), then you need not run the full distance as your torpedoes can cover the remainder.  Still, it pays to keep in mind just how long you'll need to push in order to guarantee those torpedo hits.  This is a harrowing experience and every bit of speed you can squeeze out of Paolo Emilio's engines counts.

This all comes back to Paolo Emilio having a pretty steep learning curve.  What appears on the surface to be a straight forward calculation is far more nuanced.  With this speed and decent agility, she should be an excellent kiting gunship if it weren't for that horrid reload.  Suicide-torping should be easy if it weren't for the fact her consumables had such short active-periods.  Worse, Co-Op won't help you learn these traits.  Bots are dumb and they will make this ship's speed seem just right for pulling off shenanigans that will only get you killed against human opponents so you're not going to get any reasonable practice there.

VERDICT:  Damn-fast but not damn-fast for damn-well long enough.

Anti-Aircraft Defense

Flak Bursts:  2 for 1,540 damage per blast.
Long Ranged (up to 4.6km):  52.5dps
Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 96.4dps

Paolo Emilio's anti-aircraft damage numbers aren't terrible.  They're downright respectable even.  The issue here is that she doesn't have the range to give her guns enough time on target to do anything.

She's a ready victim to dedicated air attack without the concealment to avoid being detected in the first place and lacking a long-lasting smoke screen to discourage CVs from loitering.  While not quite on the level of French destroyer vulnerability, Paolo Emilio is a juicy and easy target for carriers.

VERDICT:  Yer dead.

I did not shoot those Messerschmitts down. That was done by the combined firepower of the Baltimore and North Carolina behind me.


Base/Minimum Surface Detection:  9.08km / 7.13km
Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 3.68km / 2.98km
Detection Range When Firing in Smoke:  3.65km sea / 2.7km air
Main Battery Firing Range: 11.3km to 15.73km with full upgrades.

The last piece of the Paolo Emilio puzzle is her Vision Control (or "Refrigerator" as Lert coined it many years ago).

Let's start with the obvious.  Paolo Emilio's surface detection range is nothing short of appalling.  To give you an idea, there are only five destroyers with worse surface detection ranges.  They are:

  • 10km - Khabarovsk, tier X Soviet
  • 9.88km - Kléber, tier X French
  • 9.54km - Mogador, tier IX French
  • 9.40km - Tashkent, tier IX Soviet
  • 9.20km - Udaloi, tier IX Soviet

In most destroyer versus destroyer encounters, you are not sneaking up on your opponent.  With the exception of those those five ships, you will always be spotted first.  Taking Radio Location to help identify the vector of spotting destroyers is quite handy, albeit an expensive solution to this problem.  Heads-up encounters with destroyers should largely be avoided given Paolo Emilio's poor gun damage output unless the target is exposed and/or crippled.  Trust her speed to keep enemies at arm's length, but be aware that playing keep-away constantly will surrender map control and probably cost you the match.  Similarly, using her speed to charge headlong into cap circles is a great way to get Paolo Emilio sunk so it's best to play more passively around objectives lest she have a ton of ready support.

Next on the list is what she does not have:  Namely any detection consumables.  As the meta has progressed, Hydroacoustic Search has become more commonplace on high-tier destroyers.  Surveillance Radar too has proliferated.   This is doubly important to keep in mind when her Exhaust Smoke Generator is active as she is effectively flying blind during the 35 to 40 seconds that it's active.  While battleships with active firing guns are easy to see through her smoke, smaller vessels are not.

Speaking of her Exhaust Smoke Generator, it is painfully easy to forget how short-lived this consumable operates for.  While the X-ray Papa Unaone signal helps immeasurably with its added fives seconds of emission, this still gives her a pittance when it comes to concealment time.  Do not panic-blurt her smoke.  Also:  don't panic fire her guns while she's in smoke lest you light yourself for an enemy you didn't know was there.  The reset timer on her smoke is still painfully long (two minutes and twenty seconds) and a premature blast of smoke inside of radar or hydro range will do her no favours.  The same can be said if she's being hounded by aircraft or enemy lolibotes.  Once the smoke clears, Paolo Emilio may still find herself in trouble.

While her smoke is useful defensively, it's best to keep her out of such problem situations in the first place, preserving it for the suicide-rushes she was designed around.

Paolo Emilio's vision control is pretty terrible all told.  She's reliant on her speed to make up for it and as shown previously, she's not fast enough for long enough to correct all of these problems.  Her Exhaust Smoke Generator is powerful, opening up the possibility of some nice offensive and defensive actions but it has its drawbacks too.  It's too short lived and she flies blind while its operating.  Her fortunes tend to reside on how well her smoke is utilized.

VERDICT:  Her success is dictated by how well you can use her smoke.

Final Evaluation

Wargaming designed Paolo Emilio to be a one trick pony.  In their own words:


Yet despite this, she ended up being delightfully more complex.  She can run and gun.  She can even play the role of a destroyer interceptor, trusting on her alpha strike and durability to outlast her opponent.  She's not good at either of these roles, but she does demonstrate flexibility enough to pull these off in a pinch.  They're just not something you should base her entire play around.  It's easy to dismiss Paolo Emilio as nothing more than a YOLO-bote.  But even in that role, pulling this off successfully isn't always simple.

Well, outside of co-op, it isn't simple.  Paolo Emilio is like one of the strongest co-op botes I've ever played.  Wait in the wings for the enemy DDs to be taken out and then YOLO your way to 130,000+ damage easy as you slash through the enemy cruisers / battleships with her fish.

As a crusty ol' veteran, I unduly appreciate complexity in ship performance.  But therein lies the trap.  Just because a ship is complex, that doesn't necessarily make it good.  Paolo Emilio makes you jump through a few hoops to get her to perform even to a reasonable level (again in most PVP encounters -- PVE need not apply) but that's not necessarily a good thing for the average consumer.  There are a lot of ways to counter a YOLO-rush from Paolo Emilio and running into these counters time and again can be discouraging.

Do I think Paolo Emilio is worth it?  Yeah, she's fun.  I like her.  I'm not sure she's so much fun that I'd go through the slog of regrinding through the Research Bureau over and over and over again.  I'd do that for Siegfried but Paolo Emilio is a much harder sell that way.  Now I say this without having enjoying much success in Paolo Emilio in PVP battles.  My first forays into PVP with her were downright disastrous, if not comical.  She really is not an easy ship to play but that, to me, is definitely part of her appeal.  Like Haida, if you do well in Paolo Emilio, it's because you played well.  Furthermore, it's not because you overcame an unfair set of difficulties either.

I will say this:  If Wargaming opens up a 1 vs 1 Ranked Battle season at tier IX, Paolo Emilio will be HILARIOUS.

Paolo Emilio swatting simulator.  Kill it quick before it MIRVs.


Can't talk.  Wargaming released Florida without warning.  Must review.

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