Quick Summary: A premium version of the Admiral Hipper-class cruiser (and not a lot of differences besides). Taken on her own merits, she’s an excellent escort-ship with high velocity guns with good AP performance and range. She shares the fragility of all high tier cruisers combined with a large surface detection range. One of the best trainers in the game due to her premium camouflage.
Patch & Date Written: 0.5.10.1 – 0.5.11.1 September 4th through 20th, 2016.
Very large hit point pool for a tier 8 cruiser at 45,000hp. This is more hit points than even the Zao, the tier 10 IJN heavy cruiser and the tier 9 cruisers of the Soviets and American ship lines.
Has anti-torpedo bulges, reducing torpedo damage by 10%
Shell muzzle velocity of 925m/s makes for easy gunnery at range and small lead times.
Rather good range for a cruiser at 17.5km.
Fast turret rotation speed of 7.2′ per second.
Excellent AP performance with an alpha strike of 5,900 per shell.
Decent torpedo broadside armament of two triple launchers per side delivering 13,700 alpha strike per fish.
Good AA armament.
She has access to the German Hydroacoustic Search consumable with its improved active time and range.
Premium camouflage provides 50% bonus Captain Training on top of normal bonuses. A second camouflage option provides 10% bonus credit earning.
Large & fragile citadel with only 80mm worth of protection at best. Very vulnerable to plunging fire.
Her deck armour, upper hull, bow and stern are only 25mm thick — easily overmatched by 380mm+ rifles.
Small broadside armament of only eight 203mm rifles with poor HE DPM and chance to set fires (13%).
Torpedoes are rather short ranged at a mere 6.0km.
Top speed is only a modest 32.0 knots with a large turning circle of 770m.
Large surface detection range of 14.9km — unable to fire from stealth, even when fully specialized.
Almost identical to the Admiral Hipper performance wise. You’ll struggle to find anything remarkably different between the two.
Two camo schemes — one ship. The default premium camouflage is in the background with the 3,000 doubloon version in the foreground. Both provide 50% bonus Captain training but the eagle version adds another 10% to credit earning. Incidentally, to pay for itself, this second camouflage scheme has to earn (by itself) 4,500,000 credits to add up to to the straight up conversion of doubloons to credits. An average 1,500 base experience game in the Prinz Eugen nets about 250,000 credits standard (without premium), the 10% camo would add another 25,000 onto that. So it would only take 180 games with this kind of performance for the Prinz Eugen’s premium camo to pay itself off. Heh, I can’t believe I said “only”.
Back already? It’s review time once again. For those suffering from eye strain from squinting at my long winded critiques, NoZoupForYou has kindly offered the services of his honeyed voice to save you from having to read this whole thing. I first examined the Prinz Eugen when she was first made available in the World of Warships API back in late August. My initial impressions were rather disappointing with a caveat that I expected her to present us with some form of gimmick and/or surprise consumable. It’s nice being right. I wish I could have been right in a more exciting manner, but … well, let’s take a closer look at the ship and if her special feature is special enough to warrant purchasing her.
There’s nothing that really stands out about the Prinz Eugen. As expected, she has access to the German Hydroacoustic Search consumable, which should be noted for being better than those of other nations. This is active for 118s with a torpedo detection range of 3.84km and a ship acquisition range of 5.58km. Compare this to the other nations at 96s active time, 3.12km torpedo acquisition and 4.44km ship acquisition for other tier 8 cruisers.
The Prince Eugen is the second premium (after the Texas) to have the option of a purchased second camouflage pattern. Unlike the Texas, this actually provides a bonus.
Damage Control Party
Hydroacoustic Search or Defensive Fire
Float Plane fighter
Module Upgrades: Five slots, standard German Cruiser options. Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ Standard with a twist. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. This camouflage provides 50% bonus captain training.
In addition, players have the option of purchasing a second camouflage pattern which provides a 10% bonus to credit earning on top of the benefits listed above. This will set players back 3,000 doubloons.
Primary Battery: Eight 203mm rifles in 4×2 turrets. Secondary Battery: Twelve 105mm rifles in 6×2 turrets.
Torpedoes: G7aT1 torpedoes in 4×3 launchers with two off each side.
Let’s start with some good news. The Prinz Eugen has amazing turret rotation speed for a heavy cruiser at 7.2′ per second. This is better than even the fast traverse speed of the Soviet Light Cruisers, Chapayev and Mikhail Kutuzov and it puts the IJN and USN Heavy Cruisers to shame. So there’s that. Now let’s get to the not-so-good news.
For a tier 8 cruiser, the Admiral Hipper-class is under armed. Her eight 203mm rifles are competing with the 9-gun broadside of the New Orleans, the ten-guns of the Mogami and Atago and the twelve 152mm rifles found on the Chapayev and Mikhail Kutuzov. When it comes to throwing high explosive shells, the Prinz Eugen just cannot keep up. German HE is notorious for under performing and the Prinz Eugen does not escape this stereotype. In terms of raw damage potential, even the New Orleans has 17% more DPM than the Prinz Eugen. When you compare her with HE specialists like the IJN, the disparity jumps tremendously, with the Atago having 34% higher and the Mogami managing a whopping 43% higher HE DPM. The one advantage her HE will have over the Mogami’s 155mm or the Soviet 152mm is their ability to land penetrating hits on 32mm sections of deck and hull that’s so prevalent among the higher tiers.
Things look a little rosier still once you analyze her armour piercing shells. Among the 203mm armed cruisers, the Admiral Hipper-class leads the pack in damage over time, only falling behind the Soviet 152mm armed cruisers for ships of her tier. But there’s a big caveat here. As nice as her armour piercing potential is, it’s hardly the universal ammunition fired from cruisers. It’s more of a situational and the number of viable target for her AP shells, particularly at range, falls away. While it’s perfect for nailing cruisers, especially the broadside of cruisers at any range, it just won’t serve you well against thicker skinned targets, like an angled Battleship. Where’s a soft skinned Admiral-class Battlecruiser when you really need to farm damage? Still, don’t dismiss her AP entirely when facing enemy Dreadnoughts. If they’re giving you their broadside, punish them for it. You may not get citadels but you can collect a healthy tithe before they smarten up.
To be successful with the Prinz Eugen, you must be very dynamic with your ammunition selection, capitalizing on any opportunity to use your tremendous AP shells to pad your anemic HE damage. The shell normalization changes that occurred in mid to late August 2016 have been kind to the German AP shells, increasing their normalization from 5′ to 7′. To be certain: If you get the opportunity to use your AP, your Prinz Eugen will absolutely own face in a spectacular fashion. Whether these brief intervals of excellence will warm you up to your new chariot or frustrate you with their infrequency will largely determine if you enjoy the ship or not.
For torpedoes, the Prinz Eugen has the same four triple launchers mounted amidships. These fire the infamous German G7aT1 torpedo found on almost every single German Cruiser and Battleship in the game (seriously, only the Karlsruhe at tier 4 has something different at the moment). These torpedoes feel rather short ranged by tier 8 with a 6.0km running time. The Prinz Eugen is not a Gneisenau or Tirpitz, with armour and survivability enough to bully her way to close range encounters. This limits the utility of her torpedoes to ambush situations or for smacking enemies that over extend.
Excellent AP performance contrasted by awful HE shells. The Prinz Eugen really struggles to match the HE DPM of rival ships.
Good gun handling, including turret traverse and shell flight times. This makes gunnery very comfortable.
Generally considered quite under-armed for a tier 8 cruiser.
Her torpedo armament is heavy but painfully short ranged for her tier making it less useful than it could be.
The Prinz Eugen doesn’t feel like it packs the firepower of a tier 8 cruiser. But then again, the firepower of most cruisers at tier 8 is rather sketchy. The Mikhail Kutuzov and Chapayev feel under armed, even with their twelve 152mm rifles — especially when you have to hammer heavily armoured targets that are so prevalent within their matchmaking spread. The New Orleans is the New Orleans for crying out loud. Only the IJN Heavy Cruisers Mogami and Atago feel like they have a threatening main armament but they’re both painfully short ranged for their tier. I guess the Admiral Hipper-class (with the Prinz Eugen) are about par for the course for a tier 8 cruiser now that I really think about it…
Top Speed: 32.0 knots Turning Radius: 770m Rudder Shift: 10.9s
The Prinz Eugen is not a fast cruiser. She’s not especially slow either, unless you’re comparing her directly to destroyers or the Atago. This gives her sufficiently long legs to keep pace with most Battleships she could choose to escort, including the fleet-footed Bismarck sisters. This isn’t enough, however, to run down a scampering destroyer that doesn’t wish to be caught — particularly the ridiculously fast Soviet destroyers that can have speeds in excess of 40 knots. Your only hope to close the distance on them would be for them to make a mistake — most notably slowing to a stop to hide in smoke.
What is disappointing with the Prinz Eugen is her large turning circle coupled with a rather sluggish rudder shift time (There’s been a lot of disappointment already in this review, hasn’t there?). At nearly 11 seconds and with a 770m turning circle, she’s never going to be considered graceful. This is a shame given her only modest top speed. The one bit of good news though is that she will never out turn the traverse rate of her turrets.
Durability Hit Points: 45.000 Citadel Protection: Up to 80mm. Bow & Deck Armour: Minimum of 25mm each. Torpedo Damage Reduction: 10%
When top tier, the Prinz Eugen can face-tank 356mm Battleship shells at close range. How cool is that?
It’s also largely impractical. While her 25mm of bow and deck armour is sufficient to bounce these shells, her turret faces are not. Taking blows to her exposed barbettes from a snout full of 283mm Scharnhorst cannons will still potentially result in penetrating hits. I mean, if your opponents are dumb and try and blast the waterline of a charging German cruiser with AP, more power to you. However, I wouldn’t bank on my cruiser coming out healthy when trying to block battleship caliber rounds with my face.
Short of this, the Prinz Eugen’s armour is largely insufficient from providing any kind of protection from Battleship fire. This shouldn’t be unexpected. What’s more interesting is looking at her defenses against attacks from cruisers and destroyers.
For high explosive protection, the news isn’t that great. Her 25mm of deck armour provides relative immunity to 149mm or smaller high explosive rounds. This will fend off the 127mm and 130mm shells from destroyers, resulting in a plethora of zero-damage hits. This limits the areas where destroyers can chip at her hit points to just her superstructure. Beyond this, the only real armoured parts of the ship are her turret faces, her armoured bridge and her belt. None of these are particularly thick. At ranges inside of 12km, you shouldn’t be surprised to receive potential citadel penetrations from even 152mm armed cruisers provided their guns are sufficiently high velocity to provide a flat arc.
There is still a bit of good news for the Prinz Eugen, however. She has a lot of hit points — more than any other tier 8 cruiser. This can provide quite a nice safety net against smaller caliber weapons. In addition, unlike the Soviet Cruisers, she does have anti-torpedo protection, providing a 10% base damage reduction from strikes. Lastly, her citadel is fully submerged. That’s something the IJN Heavy Cruisers cannot boast.
You’d be hard pressed to be able to slip a credit card in between this Farragut-launched torpedo and the Prinz Eugen’s hull.
Concealment & Camouflage
Surface Detection Range: 14.9km
Air Detection Range: 9.4 km
Minimum Surface Detection Range: 11.45km
Concealment Penalty while Firing: +6.1km (vs 17.5km gun range)
I am frustrated by the Prinz Eugen’s concealment rating. It’s hard not to feel that it was carefully engineered to ensure that the ship would not be able to fire from concealment in open water. This shouldn’t surprise anyone — Wargaming seems to be actively trying to mitigate the number of ships that can fire from open-water concealment and we should expect to see it occurring less and less in the future. Even if you were to maximize her modules, captain skills and camouflage, when firing her guns she would still outstrip her stealth rating by 50m. This kind of heavy investment is still worthwhile, even if it’s not going to allow you to embrace the stealth-firing meta for cruisers. Because of the Prinz Eugen’s fragility, concealment becomes one of her best defenses. Simply by silencing her guns and opening up the range, you can greatly increase her survivability.
A special note should be made about her premium camouflage.
If you’re having a hard time seeing the difference, it’s not just you. “Premium Camouflage” for the Prinz Eugen initially meant “rust removal”. This was the camouflage pattern all of the Community Contributors played with during the testing period. We were all pretty salty about it. It was later revealed that this would be replaced with a camouflage pattern from Operation: Rhine Exercise where she escorted the Bismarck to the North Atlantic. So while we were all testing and writing our reviews, we didn’t have any bonus Captain Training. The Prinz Eugen was as boring a premium as the camouflage she was decorated in at the time.
The Prinz Eugen is designed to be a specialized Captain Trainer. For all of the mediocrity you have so far seen in this review over the Admiral Hipper, where she really stands out is the 50% bonus experience gains to your Captain Training. Keep in mind that Captain experience is calculated after ship experience, so any bonuses to the former greatly affect the latter. A 2000 ship experience game would be worth 3000 captain experience in the Prinz Eugen. This will also stack with any other experience modifiers such as events, flags, signals, etc.
There’s a second option which you can purchase (!) for the Prinz Eugen for 3,000 doubloons which will add on an additional 10% credit earning bonus. This can be selected through the camouflage sub-tab where they’re normally applied.
Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 105mm / 40mm / 20mm AA Umbrella Ranges: 4.5km / 3.5km / 2.0km AA DPS per Aura: 100 / 135 / 44
The Prinz Eugen has some rather decent AA power, at least at range. Her 20mm auto-cannons aren’t of much use. Her raw AA power is superior to that of the Soviet Chapayev (207dps) & Mikhail Kutuzov (264dps), the Japanese Mogami (127dps) & Atago (90dps) but she comes in behind her sister ship, the Admiral Hipper (288) and the American New Orleans (289). The only real drawback is the 4.5km range on her 100mm rifles. All of the other cruisers at her tier have a minimum of a 5.0km range on their large caliber AA guns. This hampers her ability as an AA-escort cruiser unless you heavily invest into specializing the range of her auras. Still, she also has a float-plane fighter to provide an additional 60dps.
Once you combine this with her Defensive Fire consumable, this will melt same tier and lower aircraft with alacrity, especially with a Captain fully specialized towards AA defense. You pay for this with the slight loss to your gun performance and losing the ability to the take the excellent German Hydroacoustic Search.
I expected the unhistorical premium camouflage to cause more of a stir but my usual lines of communication have been rather quiet on the subject. Oh, there was the early outrage of “how dare Wargaming make us have to pay for an extra feature!” that will always happen. It happened with the USS Texas when her star-spangled paint job came out. But yeah, not much of a fuss over her Eagle paint job. Colour me pleasantly surprised. I think it looks rather pretty.
This is not a n00b friendly ship. High tier game play is rife with balance issues and the Prinz Eugen wades into that mess without a lot in the way of gimmicks to make a good showing there. You’re forever crossing your fingers and hoping to end up as top tier to get the most out of her. When you do get matched up against tier 9s and tier 10s you’re hoping for a rare cruiser-heavy engagement. There, she could do you proud. But at present, the meta in tier 8 to 10 is all about Battleships and your large hit point pool is just asking to be farmed.
I really struggled on where to place her skill ceiling. It’s not like you’re spinning many plates to get the most out of the Prinz Eugen. By staying at range, your concealment can be summarized by an unfair false dichotomy: don’t shoot and you won’t be spotted. If you the pull the trigger, you will be shot at. I wish I could say there was more to it than that but the risks of closing the distance are just so insurmountable that even making judicious use of island cover is only going to keep you safe for so long.
The meta is really all about making yourself an unappealing target — or at least less appealing than the ships around you. You’re biding your time, hoping for opportunities to make good use of your AP rounds but those are few and far between with the deficit of cruisers willing to close range with you. And do you really think you can beat the Battleships to the punch on those targets? Yeah, it’s discouraging.
A high tier cruiser in an unfriendly meta which punishes high tier cruisers.
Potentially a great trainer — provided you can make her perform. That 50% training bonus only really kicks in if you can manage to do as much 2/3s the experience in your Prinz Eugen as you could with the Scharnhorst or Tirpitz. If you struggle to match that then the Prinz Eugen isn’t doing you any favours.
You’ll live and love this ship based on her AP performance. If you can’t get that to work, or if you’re an HE spamming scrub, you’ll find it difficult to warm up to her.
I really enjoyed her as an AA escort, surprisingly.
By now you’ve probably been exposed to more than a few reviews of the fat Admiral Hipper. Without having watched any of them myself, I’m going to guess that they’re largely negative. Why is that? Well, for one, there’s the whole issue of presentation.
When we received the Prinz Eugen, she didn’t have premium camouflage. She was a flat, battleship grey without any rust and that’s about it. So she wasn’t a pretty ship to look at. Add in no apparent special features and yeah, it was hard to sing any form of praises for this fat Admiral Hipper clone. So a lot of reviewers didn’t. We weren’t told at the time the embargo on content was lifted that the Prinz Eugen would be getting a new paint job and a 50% bonus to Captain training — that came a belated two days or so after the fact. Details on the second camouflage scheme weren’t available until well after the ship was released to the public.
As far as first impressions go, this wasn’t the greatest.
So let’s take her on her actual merits: She’s essentially a chubby Admiral Hipper with increased Captain Training. And I’ll be honest, the Admiral Hipper would not be my chariot of choice to try and earn a butt ton of experience consistently to accelerate progression on a Captain, wicked tuba solos accompanying game play or not. The high tier meta in World of Warships is in a bit of a mess right now. It’s alright(ish) at tier 8 but when you find yourself in tier 10 games, a lot of the flaws in the game’s current design are exemplified and cruisers are arguably the class that suffers the most for it. Opinions will vary of course.
The way experience gains are calculated is additive with the base experience earned (modified only by a premium account) for the match used to calculate Captain Experience. So bonus ship experience doesn’t immediately translate to bonus Captain Training. So the premium camouflage doesn’t “double-dip” into increased Captain training with a nice multiplicative bonus. Instead you’ll see it added on at the end. Oh well, a girl can dream.
This doesn’t make the Prinz Eugen a bad ship. This doesn’t mean that someone can’t make her perform. The learning curve is steeper on the Prinz Eugen and the maximums you can achieve in her are limited by her performance. You’re going to have to do an enormous amount of work to get the same returns a Battleship or Destroyer might with less effort. If you enjoy the challenge, awesome. If you’re cool with having to move heaven and earth for modest gains, more power to you. I salute and respect your tenacity — I like challenging ships too. If you don’t, well, this probably is one premium you’ll want to pass on.
And as a rather belated review, I can say that without worrying that I’m still struggling with my initial bias.
Lert, in the Admiral Hipper (front) and my Prinz Eugen (rear). Structurally, the two ships are very distinct with a heavily curved Atlantic bow on the Prinz Eugen and a rebuilt stern. This makes her longer than the Admiral Hipper (and more heavy — hence the fat jokes). For the visual differences between the ships, I strongly recommend visiting dseehafer’s “What’s the Difference?” thread from the World of Warships NA forums.
Would I Recommend? I would not recommend this ship for new players. Full stop. If you don’t have a lot of experience in World of Warships — especially with high tier cruisers like the USN and KMS cruisers, this is not going to be an easy ship for you to love. That said, if you can make the Prinz Eugen work, you’ll go a long way towards mastering a lot of difficult challenges in World of Warships.
ForRandom Battle Grinding:
The Prinz Eugen is entirely based around providing increased earnings, making her ideally suited for grinding in Random Battles. For 3,000 doubloons, you can arm yourself with the ability to increase credit earnings by 10% too. The initial camouflage is like having your Prinz Eugen permanently under the effects of a Zulu Hotel flag. For the Prinz Eugen to be considered worthwhile here, she needs to earn 2/3s of the normal experience you might with your best German premium.
It should be noted that even with the 3,000 doubloon camouflage, it’s very difficult to make the Prinz Eugen profitable in Co-Op when your ship gets sunk. Repairing your ship is 70,000 credits.
For Competitive Gaming:
No. Very no, in fact. At tier 8 there are quite a few good cruisers — the Atago, the Mikhail Kutuzov … even the Mogami are all rather competitive. The Prinz Eugen is definitely behind the curve.
History says: You must buy. The Prinz Eugen was with the Bismarck at the Battle of Denmark Straits. She had a long and storied career during WWII and survived to end up getting nuked twice by the Americans.
For Fun Factor:
Meh. She’s not really my cup of tea. She does have some nice traits going for. Like, she really handles well with those nice turrets and fun gunnery. I love bullying Destroyers in the Prinz Eugen, so that’s a plus. I also liked using her as an AA escort. Find your enjoyment where you can, I suppose.
Outfitting your Prinz Eugen
Like many cruisers with ability to take on different roles, you’ll have to choose a specializing to get the most out of her. These will likely divide down anti-aircraft escort and traditional gunship duties.
There’s nothing too out of the ordinary here.
For your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 should be your optimal choice regardless of build. If you absolutely abhor the idea of getting your magazine shot out and detonating, you can consider taking Magazine Modification 1. The chances of this happening are pretty low (perhaps 1 game in 50 to 1 game in 100).
For your second slot, decide here if you want to be an AA escort or not. The default choice should be Aiming Systems Modification 1. This doesn’t provide a tremendous boost to cruisers given their already good accuracy but it does help. For an AA escort, take AA Guns Modification 2 to provide you with a boost to your range. Your 4.5km guns will now reach out to 5.4km.
For your third slot, Damage Control Systems Modification 1 is arguably the best of a lot of rather bad choices.
For the fourth slot, Steering Gears Modification 2 is hands down the best option. You’re going to need to be dodging a lot in the Prinz Eugen — from torpedoes to incoming shells. Anything that will accelerate you wiggling your tush is going to be worth its weight in gold. This improves your rudder shift time down to 8.7s.
And for the fifth slot, it’s pretty much a no brainer. Grab Concealment System Modification 1. This will reduce your surface detection range (with camouflage) down to a flat 13.0km. Which is still bad but tolerable.
Again, your choices here will be coloured by your preferred style of play
I can’t heap enough praises on grabbing the premium version of your Damage Control Party. This reduces your reset timer from 90s to 60s. It may seem a bit extreme for a ship that cannot heal and that doesn’t intend to ever get shot. However, when the poop hits the fan, you’ll be glad you have it. Still, if you’re trying to save coin, you can go with the standard one — just don’t be surprised when it costs you your ship.
For your second slot, I strongly recommend keeping the German Hydroacoustic Search. You shouldn’t need a premium version of it. The only reason to swap out for Defensive Fire would be if you want to play the role of an AA escort. In this case, take the premium version so that it will be off cool down when the planes finish rearming so you can greet them with a new wall of flak. Keep in mind, you are unlikely to ever see more than a single carrier in high tier games.
Your float plane fighter is fine as is. Don’t bother spending credits getting the premium version. It has a very long up time and its reset timer is painfully long no matter what.
For signals, I would strongly recommend using the Zulu Hotel signal to further boost your Captain earnings. If you’ve bought the 3,000 doubloon camouflage, then the Zulu flag will add another 20% to your credits gained. Stack those advantages!
Recommended Captain Skills
Your skill selection will vary once more depending on your preferences for your intended role, but not by much.
From the first tier, Basic Fire Training is most desirable. Even if you aren’t going to be an AA cruiser, this will increase your own defensive AA power. This has the added bonus of giving your small secondary armament some more teeth too.
From the second tier, you have a choice. Last Stand will take some of the strain off your Damage Control Party. The Prinz Eugen will receive engine and steering gear critical hits rather frequently when you’re trying to avoid incoming fire. This way you can save the consumable for mitigating fires and floods. Alternatively, you can take Expert Marksman. This will reduce the time taken to rotate your turrets 180′ from 22.5s down to 20.7s — which is only a marginal improvement.
From the third tier, it will depend upon you preferences. Anti-Aircraft cruisers should take Superintendent to provide an extra charge of their Defensive Fire consumable. Otherwise, Vigilance is the best choice to assist with spotting and avoiding torpedoes.
From tier 4,it will again depend on your specialization. Gunships should focus on Demolition Expert to increase their chance of starting fires from 13% to 16% per HE shell. Anti-aircraft Captains will want to take Advanced Fire Training at a minimum and strongly consider adding Manual Fire Control for AA Guns afterwards.
At tier 5, Concealment Expert is the best skill. Provided you took the appropriate module and are using your camouflage, this will drop your surface detection range from 13.0km to 11.44km. Even AA specialized Captains can consider grabbing this instead of the Manual Fire Control skill. It will provide them with more utility in between attack runs of enemy planes or if you find yourself in a amtch without carriers.