How to Play French Battleships

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How do I Play French Battleships? 

French battleships are almost here, and while they don’t have a single definitive branch characteristic, the changes between tiers III and V show evolutionary shifts with increases in displacement, gun caliber, and the number of primary armament turrets. The tier VI battleship Normandie is unusual compared to the previous ships in the branch, as she has fewer primary armament turrets, packed with more guns in each. Functionality up to tier VIII should be as expected by seasoned battleship Commanders, but the availability of the Engine Boost consumable and an atypical number of guns combined with decent secondary armament ranges should provide you with new tactical options and ways to cooperate with their team. 

Updated Feb. 15: Tier X battleship France renamed République.

Tier III - Turenne | Tier IV - Courbet | Tier V - Bretagne | Tier VI - Normandie | Tier VII - Lyon | Tier VIII - Richelieu | Tier IX - Alsace | Tier X - République


The branch's flagship République stands out from her counterparts. She has only two primary armament turrets, with a quick reload (the fastest one among all tier X battleships) and her speed characteristics leave other battleships in the proverbial dust. 

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Tier III - Turenne

Turenne is a typical dreadnought with all the advantages and shortcomings of the ship type. Six primary armament turrets with two 305mm guns in each offer good backup when pushing a flank, while an armor thickness of up to 250mm thick in some places can sustain powerful hits if you expose your side to the enemy. If you do, an accurate salvo from enemy battleships can cause some serious damage to your citadel. 

Primary targets: Cruisers and battleships

Available consumables: Damage Control Party and Repair Party

 

Tier IV - Courbet

Courbet continues the tradition of classic dreadnoughts at low tiers mounting more guns than Turenne does, and in locations that are more convenient -- only two are on the sides, which allows you to fire a broadside salvo of 10 shells. The same armor that protected her predecessor protects Courbet -- you can sustain massive potential damage if you angle your hull correctly. It's even more important to maintain this angle, because you can fire six guns at once from your bow. The threats remain the same -- surprise attacks from destroyers and concentrated fire to your sides. 

Primary targets: Cruisers and battleships

Available consumables: Damage Control Party and Repair Party

 

Tier V - Bretagne

Bretagne at tier V has an increased caliber of 340mm and can fire all her guns from both sides. The turrets' rotation angle allows you to punish enemies with a 10-gun salvo, without needing to turn your side and expose your citadel. At the same time, suggested tactics remain typical for battleships: Drawing enemy fire, dealing damage, and pushing through enemy flanks. 

Primary targets: Cruisers and battleships

Available consumables: Damage Control Party and Repair Party

Tier VI -  Normandie

 

Tier VI battleship Normandie is a significant departure from the design of the previous battleships in the branch. She only has three turrets, but each turret packs four guns for a potential salvo of 12 shells able to pose a threat with decent range.  At the same time, the firepower provided by 340mm guns can seem insufficient at this tier, and you'll need some assistance from your allies with AA defense. Normandie has good speed and maneuverability for her tier, allowing you to evade enemy attacks if you learn her handling. 

Primary targets: Cruisers with exposed sides and destroyers at average engagement range

Available consumables: Damage Control Party and Repair Party

 

Tier VII - Lyon

The uniqueness of this French tier VII battleship lies in her four primary armament turrets with four guns each, which provides the largest number of shells per salvo of this tier.  While the caliber stays the same at 340mm, Lyon has superior AA defense compared to Normandie and a decent maximum speed of 27 knots. At the same time, her survivability in both hulls isn’t the best, with 10,000 or fewer HP compared to her counterparts.  

Primary targets: Cruisers, battleships with exposed sides at average engagement range

Available consumables: Damage Control Party and Repair Party

 

Tier VIII - Richelieu

Richelieu may not seem as efficient after tier VII -- she only has two four-gun turrets! That said, her guns sling 380mm shells, and the turrets are bow-mounted which allows you to concentrate your full salvo potential in one direction. The shells have good ballistic properties and armor penetration, allowing Richelieu to be effective at both long and medium ranges. Her maximum speed is slightly slower than Bismarck’s, the fastest at tier VIII, easily compensated for with the Engine Boost consumable, a unique feature for French battleships, which increases your speed and gives you the ability to quickly switch flanks. Due to the turret locations, Richelieu needs to keep her bow turned towards the enemy, making it difficult for same and higher-tier enemies to land penetrating hits. You can rely on your secondary armament in a close-quarters engagement – it has a range that can challenge the famous secondary armament of German battleships!

Primary targets: Cruisers, battleships with exposed sides at average engagement range

Available consumables: Damage Control Party, Repair Party, Engine Boost, and a Catapult Fighter/Spotting Aircraft for Hull A

 

Tier IX - Alsace

Three turrets with four guns each grant Alsace a 12-shell salvo, while the majority of tier IX battleships can only fire nine shells per salvo. Her secondary armament has a base range of 7.5km, which helps in close-quarters engagements, and Alsace also has the Engine Boost consumable, unusual for a battleship, which can accelerate her to quite a high speed compared to her tier counterparts (30.4 knots default, 32.8 knots with Engine Boost) only slower than Iowa by this parameter. A combination of primary and secondary armament and consumables this allows Alsace to be efficient at any distance, but she’s most comfortable at medium and long range. 

Primary targets: Cruisers, battleships with exposed sides at medium and long engagement range

Available consumables: Damage Control Party, Repair Party, Engine Boost, and a Catapult Fighter/Spotting Aircraft

 

Tier X -République

The top ship in the branch has only two primary armament turrets with four guns each—a setup that we're already accustomed to. However, the reload time of these guns is very unusual for top-tier battleships—24 seconds, while the base speed of 30 knots coupled with Engine Boost allows her to accelerate to 32.4 knots. Specifications like this make République the fastest battleship at tier X and allow her to appear in the most unexpected map locations. In addition, her shells have good muzzle velocity and ballistics. The base range of the secondary armament is 8km, which allows it to repel daring destroyers, while good AA defense can fend off air groups from any carrier. 

 

Primary targets: Cruisers, battleships with exposed sides at medium and long engagement range

Available consumables: Damage Control Party, Repair Party, Engine Boost

 

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