- Damage Control Party, Defensive Fire, Engine Boost and Repair Party
- For modules I used, Main Armament Mod 1, Aiming Systems Mod 1, Main Battery Mod 3, Damage Control Mod 1, Steering Gears Mod 2 and Concealment System Mod 1
- I used a 10pt Captain with Priority Target, Adrenaline Rush, Demolition Expert and Concealment Expert.
- She’s pretty darned fast which is great.
- Her AP can be downright monstrous against cruisers. She stacks citadels in a real hurry which is awesomes but I seem to have to get in closer to do it reliably.
- HE hits pretty hard.
- Shell ballistics seem okay — their lead times aren’t battleship good, though.
- Range is nice. Not great, but nice.
- Horrible turret traverse. These really feel like battleship caliber guns in slow moving turrets.
- Bad gun arcs. I really had to swing the ship about to bring all of my guns to bear, exposing way too much of my side to do it.
- She handles like a pregnant yak in a mud wallow.
- Guns don’t reload very quickly. I mean, for the damage output that I’m doing per volley, I would expect her shells to hit harder or her rate of fire to be faster. Maybe I’m just being greedy.
- Torpedoes are garbage. The 9km range at tier 10, coupled with only 3 tubes per side? Blech. Am I expected to be making better use of these to pad up her gun damage?
- A plane consumable would have been nice — I feel kinda blind. No radar or plane at tier 10 for a cruiser visible from orbit is just mean.
- Her AA is pretty terrible. She seems to launch fireworks in celebration to help guide enemy planes in. She can’t even reliably shoot down spotter aircraft (!)
- Horrible surface detection range. I mean, I get it when I pull the trigger — I’m visible to everything within 19km and change. But with a full stealth build I’m no more sneaky than an Iowa? Seriously?
Henri IV’s reputation preceded her. I was pretty weary of this ship going in and I’m sorry to say my prejudice felt validated in the first few games I played. This was a shame too. I got to division with DokturProfesor and we couldn’t make a very good go of it. Anyway, let’s take a look at Henri IV”s actual stats and see how badly I had screwed things up…
Here comes the pain train…
- Her rate of fire is the worst among the tier 10 cruisers. In ascending order of their reload speeds it’s: Minotaur (3.2s), Des Moines (5.5s), Hindenburg (10s), Moskva (10.4s), Zao (13.7s) and finally Henri IV (17.1s). Factor in the number of guns they shoot and you get the following RPM for each: Minotaur (188), Des Moines (98), Hindenburg (72), Zao (53), Moskva (52), and again Henri IV (32) at the back of the pack.
- As a fire starter, Henri IV is lacking. She lights 6.95 fires per minute stock. Compare this to Zao (9.99), Des Moines (13.75), Hidenburg (9.36) and Moskva (8.83).
- For such large caliber shells, they don’t hit especially hard at 6,200 AP damage and 3,400 HE (clearly her HE isn’t as good as I thought). This gives her a worse broadside alpha strike than Des Moines, Hindenburg and Zao. When you factor in her rate of fire, this also puts her DPM very firmly at the bottom of the pile. I really would expect her to deliver a monster alpha strike if they were going to shackle her with such a slow reload. She really doesn’t feel like a tier 10 with this damage output. It’s fine if Henri IV is meant to be the weakest of the tier 10 ships, but does it have to be by such a visible margin?
- Her shell ballistics are alright, but they don’t match my optimism. She has an 845m/s muzzle velocity. To reach 15km it takes her shells 8.86s for AP and 9.39s for HE. This is comparable to Soviet 180mm guns found on Dmitri Donskoi and Molotov. So much for my hopes for rail-guns delivering freight trains.
- As for her gun handling, part of the problem was my own fault for equipping Main Battery Modification 3, but only a small part. Stock, Henri IV’s turret traverse is 32.7s for 180º — or about 5.5º per second. Clearly, I really have a thing against cruisers that can out turn their own turrets. Battleships? No problem. But cruisers? Evidently that makes me fume.
- As for my suspicions of bad arcs, it’s only partially founded. A and B turrets have 300º firing arcs while C turret has 290º. So the ship has to angle out to 35º to fire all three gun turrets forward — which is exceptionally dangerous.
- Henri IV’s guns can reach out to 19.1km . This is the second highest reach among the tier 10 cruisers, behind Moskva at 19.4km.
- Henri IV’s torpedoes are identical to those found on la Galissonnière at tier 6, except she gets 3 tubes per side instead of 2. They didn’t impress me at tier 6. They sure as hell aren’t welcome at tier 10.
When you ask Henri IV to move, she complains like a kid at fat camp. It takes a lot to get her going and when she’s finally underway, the movements are hardly what was asked of her. It’s almost embarrassing to watch. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: She’s a battleship, not a cruiser when it comes to her handling. Just ew. And what’s worse, she still seems able to out turn her turrets! At least she’s fast — so fast I largely forgot about her Engine Boost consumable, so that’s okay, I guess.
- Henri IV’s apparently piggish handling is due to her large turning circle of 840m and 9.5s rudder shift time with Steering Gears Modification 2. However, a lot of this was in my head. Her ability to turn is best compared to the cruisers Molotov and Admiral Gaf Spee, with comparable times to turn 90º, with a rotation rate of about 4.7º/s.
- With Main Battery Modification 3 slowing down her turrets, it takes Henri IV 37.3s to turn her guns 180º. This provides a rotation speed of 4.8º per second, which explains the issue I was having. It’s my own fault really. How dare I try and optimize her DPM!
- Her Engine Boost consumable is pretty interesting when you start theory-crafting. It has a 2 minute up time and a 1.5 minute reset timer when you use the premium version. In theory, this will allow Henri IV to exceed 40 knots. Add in a Sierra Mike speed signal, and you can get her top speed up to 42.3 knots.
I hated feeling so blind in this ship. I should have dumped Defensive Fire for Hydroacoustic Search. Not having it got me killed twice and it’s not like her AA firepower did anything good anyway. It would have been nice to have radar or an aircraft to help with spotting. Coming around headlands blind was just miserable. So was trying to deal with ships parked in smoke.
- Her terrible AA power explains a lot about my disappointment in consumable choices. Don’t bother specializing in anti-aircraft firepower for Henri IV. Her totals are downright laughable. She has 94dps at 5.2km and 97dps at 3.5km. That’s 191dps which would be acceptable for a tier 7 cruiser. I wouldn’t even bother with Defensive Fire. Hydroacoustic Search is a much better choice and I would have definitely enjoyed more success in my games if I had used this consumable instead.
- Henri IV’s stock surface detection range is 16.6km. Compare this to the 16.2km detection range of Iowa…
- 203mm AP shells should not be overmatching Henri IV anywhere — not even her superstructure. She has 25mm bow and deck armour. However, the real joke is her “armoured” belt of 30mm. I wish I was kidding. 30mm. At least this is covered by 19mm of anti-torpedo protection and there’s 45mm of citadel protection behind that. This does mean that when angled, Battleships will overmatch her belt armour and score penetrations, but the 45mm of citadel armour will prevent that from being overmatched in turn (not that it will stop a 406mm high velocity, super-heavy shell from landing citadels). Her fragility cannot be understated.
- At least I wasn’t wrong about her size. She’s eclipsed only by Moskva’s 65,400hp with her own high total of 53,300hp. It sure doesn’t last long.
- Henri IV’s Repair Party doesn’t have anything special going for it. It heals back 14% HP per charge, like normal versions of the consumable. Compare this to Minotaur’s which heals back 40% HP per charge.