Here we are again. This time, we’re face to face with what’s ostensibly the newest Clan Battles reward vehicle, the French tier X battleship Bourgogne. Bourgogne is an Alsace-class battleship up-tiered and unnerfed with improvements made to her secondaries, Engine Boost consumable and anti-aircraft firepower. Like Jean Bart before her, she has access to the Main Battery Reload Booster. This is an opportunistic battleship, an elegant sword to the unsubtle hammer of Yamato and Conqueror. She comes with a 30,000 Steel price tag in the arsenal.
I want to thank Wargaming for providing me (extended) access to this ship — seriously, iEarlGrey, thank you for the extra time needed to put this review together. This is the release version of this vessel and all starts are current as of December 14th, 2018.
- Good anti-torpedo protection with a 44% damage reduction.
- Armed with twelve 380mm rifles with a 28 seconds reload time.
- Excellent anti-aircraft firepower.
- Fastest battleship (currently) in the game with speeds between 32 and 38.5 knots (!).
- Equipped with Main Battery Reload Booster, allowing her to brutally punish targets that make mistakes within her line of fire.
- Tiny hit point pool for a tier X battleship.
- Citadel is exposed over the waterline.
- Highly vulnerable to cruiser HE spam and 460mm AP overmatch.
- Unable to overmatch 27mm bows of American and German heavy cruisers.
- Limited fire arcs and only a modest range on her secondaries.
- Reliant upon consumable “gimmicks” to compete or excel in given areas.
- No “baked in” economy improvements. Does not have any increased credit earning over tech tree equivalents.
Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging / Difficult
Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / EXTREME
There’s nothing out-of-the-way complicated about Bourgogne. She largely conforms to battleship norms. Her lower hit point total and (relatively) small-caliber main battery guns are the only knots to untangle. A broadside of twelve shells solves many problems however.
For veterans, Bourgogne is something worth drooling over. She has all the warning signs of an overpowered ship with excellent speed and firepower with just enough concealment. Her toolbox of consumables allows a level of control that will easily make her the darling of the community, It’s only her inability to overmatch and her low durability rating throttling her carry potential.
– Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer.
– No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship.
- The measure of control Bourgogne exerts with her main battery guns with her consumable is enough to give her a rating. She can exploit vulnerabilities like no other tier X battleship can.
- She has the smallest hit point potential of any of the tier X battleships by no small margin. She has defense compared to her peers.
- Bourgogne is faster than any of her contemporaries. She has the agility at tier X.
- She boasts a slight improvement over République’s anti-aircraft scheme, giving her the effective AA power at her tier.
- Finally, she sits just behind Conqueror in terms of surface detection without otherwise standing out. She earns a rating here.
There are three oddities among Bourgogne’s upgrades, consumables and camouflage. First, she doesn’t have her own Legendary Upgrade. I’m not sure if I should tag a “yet” to that statement or not. In addition, she’s the second battleship in the game to get access to the Main Battery Reload Booster consumable. Finally, her Engine Boost consumable is unique among battleships.
- Bourgogne’s Damage Control Party is standard for a French Battleship. It has unlimited charges and a 15 second active period. It resets in 120 seconds / 80 seconds depending on which version you have equipped.
- Regrettably, her Repair Party is also standard. This comes with three charges base. Each charge queues up to 50% of penetration damage and 10% of citadel damage. She heals up to 14% of her health over 28 seconds with a 120 second / 80 second reset timer.
- The Main Battery Reload Booster found on Bourgogne is identical to that found on Jean Bart. This halves the reload time of her main battery guns for 20 seconds per charge. Each charge resets in 180 seconds / 120 seconds and she begins with three charges base.
- Finally, like other French Battleships, Bourgogne has access to the Engine Boost consumable, however she has the French cruiser version, not the French battleship version. This adds 15% to her speed for 180 seconds instead of 8%, increasing her from 32.0 knots to 36.8 knots. She has two charges base with a 120 second / 90 second reset timer.
Bourgogne’s upgrades mirror those of other high tier French battleships.
- Start with Main Armaments Modification 1.
- Next up, the special upgrade Engine Boost Modification 1 is optimal if you can afford it. Otherwise default to Damage Control System Modification 1.
- Aiming Systems Modification 1 is your best choice in your third slot. Alternatively, you can choose to focus on your secondaries with Secondary Gun Modification 2 or your anti-aircraft firepower with AA Guns Modification 2. You won’t get as much mileage out of these latter two choices, however.
- Damage Control Modification 2 is your best choice in your fourth slot. If you prefer to put a little extra wiggle in your tush, take Steering Gears Modification 2. Just beware of fires.
- Concealment Modification 1 is the only choice worth considering in your fifth slot.
- Similarly, Main Battery Modification 3 is optimal for your sixth slot. Any other choice is just silly.
Bourgogne comes with Type 20 Camouflage providing the following:
- 100% bonus experience gains
- 50% reduction to maintenance costs
- 20% bonus credit income
- 3% reduction in surface detection
- 4% reduction in enemy accuracy.
Main Battery: Twelve 380mm/45 guns in 3×4 turrets in an A-B-X with A-B superfiring forward.
Secondary Battery: Nine 152mm/55 guns in 3×3 turrets mounted on the centerline with one forward and two aft and sixteen 127mm/54 guns in 8×2 turrets split between each side with half superfiring forward and half superfiring rearward.
Let’s start with the smaller guns and working our way up, shall we?
Bourgogne’s secondary armament is disappointing — mostly for it’s unrealized potential. She boasts an identical gun complement to République but with two key differences. The first is easy enough to explain. Bourgogne’s secondaries have a respectable range of 7.5km before upgrades compared to the 8km of République. this gives her similar range to Yamato’s own secondaries. The 500m deficit is disappointing but manageable.
The second difference is easier to show:
On the whole, Bourgogne’s secondary armament is decent, but nothing worth getting excited over. Fully upgraded (with all of the fixings) their range can be extended to 11.3km. Their gun caliber is more than sufficient to put the hurt on any destroyer she might face but Inertial Fuse for HE shells will be needed to engage anything larger. They do not boast any additional perks such as boosted accuracy or improved penetration, making them hungry for upgrade and commander skill improvements. In dispersion tests, her fully upgraded secondary gunnery was comparable to the Bismarck-class with approximately 120 to 130 shots fired to sink a stationary Reference-Mahan™ at 6km. To put this in perspective, a fully upgraded Massachusetts will perform this same feat with closer to 70 and Graf Zeppelin closer to 100.
Bourgogne is an opportunistic brawler — not one to take all comers, but more than capable of holding her own in select engagements. Boosted secondaries are welcome in such fights but it’s a steep price to ask for what will always be a situational weapon system that takes her out of her comfort zone.
Alsace-class battleship weapons are almost good enough to stand alone at tier X. Before her nerf back in patch 0.7.7, Alsace was overperforming in terms of damage output for a tier IX battleship. This begs the question if they were overperforming enough to warrant using said stats for a tier X weapon. Well, we’ll never get the exact answers for that. Wargaming reigned in Alsace’s sigma value and reload time. Bourgogne’s addition creates the expectation she would revisit this earlier arrangement. However, Wargaming took it a step further. Instead of the 30 second reload time and 1.7 sigma of the original Alsace, Bourgogne boasts 28 seconds and 1.8 sigma. We may infer that while Alsace was overperforming, she wasn’t quite up to tier X levels at the time, hence this extra bit of padding.
On top of this, they gave her the Battery Reload Booster consumable.
Bourgogne has better burst-potential than any other battleship in the game currently. With optimal use of her Main Battery Reload Booster (and MBM3), Bourgogne delivers 24 shells onto a target inside a 13 second window and another 12 shells before a total of 30 seconds has elapsed. Her damage totals are padded by moments where she catches out an exposed enemy and makes best use of her consumable, yet it should be stressed that she isn’t found wanting for damage output already.
So we don’t just have an unnerfed Alsace on our hands. We have a buffed Alsace — Bourgogne’s firepower exceeds the original even without her Main Battery Reload Booster.
Overblown, Overhyped and yet Overpowered Overmatch
These guns have one significant drawback compared to other tier X weapons: They cannot overmatch the decks and extremities select heavy cruisers. Specifically German and American heavies are immune, including the very popular Des Moines, Hindenburg, Baltimore and Admiral Hipper. Bourgogne struggles to damage these ships with her AP shells when they’re properly angled, especially at medium-to-close ranges.
While not a crippling flaw in Random Battles given the different targets available, Bourgogne’s appeal is limited against certain line ups for competitive modes. When facing team compositions which rely upon Henri IV, Moskva, Stalingrad and/or Worcester, this drawback functionally ceases to exist. However, if this disposition cannot be counted upon then the size of her armament can prove a liability.
The usual recourse in such situations is just to swap over to HE shells. This is hardly ideal when staring down heavy cruisers — they take less damage from the resultant fires, after all, while most are just as capable as battleships when it comes to healing through it.
The soft stats of Bourgogne’s weapons are respectable for the most part. She has good range. Her turret traverse is fast. Even the addition of the Main Battery Modification 3 upgrade will not drop their rotation speed below that of the ship’s own rate of turn. Expert Marksman is entirely optional rather than feeling necessary, freeing up two commander skill points. Acquiring, tracking and switching targets in Bourgogne is comfortable.
There is a drawback here. Bourgogne’s forward firing arc on her X-turret is only 37º — a touch on the large side. Firing all three of her turrets while on the advance leaves her open to reprisals from AP shells, so care must be taken to wiggle in between salvos or go entirely bow-on to avoid damage from enemy battleships. This is especially important against Stalingrad with her improved auto-ricochet mechanics which won’t even begin to check for ricochet if her target angles at anything less than 35º in.
In one regard, Bourgogne doesn’t quite match up to Alsace and that’s her rearward firing angles. While her own firing angles to the rear are good (which makes her excellent at kiting, by the by), Alsace’s are better, The lead of the class is able to bring her A-turret as far back as 25º off her stern. It’s an unfortunate loss that Bourgogne does not mirror this. It doesn’t make much sense either given the lack of obstructions, but it is what it is.
Barking at the Big Dogs
The main battery firepower competition between the tier X battleships is very tight. Before Bourgogne joined the game, Yamato sat on top with Montana a close-second. The others all fell in line behind these two top performers. Yamato dominated with the ease-of-use of her overmatching, laser-accurate 460mm AP spam. The top-tier Japanese battleship never has to contemplate switching ammunition types. It’s death-for-all no matter what she was engaging. Montana’s appeal is three fold: Her guns are reasonably accurate, she has a lot of them and her shells hit much harder than other 406mm guns. She’s death to any exposed cruiser and no slouch at punishing exposed battleships. The others have their charms, but none stand out like these two.
Bourgogne wants Montana’s title. She can’t unseat Yamato’s 460mm guns, so she’s chasing second place. Unfortunately, she can’t make a good case for it on the merits of her weapons themselves — it’s her consumable which props her up. Take that away from her and as a weapon’s platform her closest analogue becomes Großer Kurfürst with her 406mm rifles, but Bourgogne trades 27mm overmatch for more range (which, I would argue, isn’t a good trade).
So it’s only with efficient use (or optimal use if you want to be strict) of Bourgogne’s Main Battery Reload Booster where she can claim parity or superiority to not only Montana but most of the other tier X battleships. Mismanagement, fumbled or a lack of opportunities relegates Bourgogne’s firepower to an unremarkable state — sufficient unto the task but nothing more.
- Main and secondary battery layout (and her speed) makes her well suited to kiting.
- Solid rate of fire, precision and penetration on her main battery guns, it’s just the slight niggling issue with her overmatch potential.
- Her Main Battery Reload Booster is amazing. Use it properly and she’s a powerful ship. Don’t and she’s merely okay.
Hit Points: 74,700hp
Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mm
Maximum Citadel Protection: 32mm torpedo bulge + 350mm belt + 50mm turtleback + 50mm citadel wall.
Torpedo Damage Reduction: 44%
Bourgogne is a story of contrasts when it comes to her durability. She has a solid protection scheme against most battleship-caliber AP shells, boasting multiple layers of citadel protection and excellent torpedo damage reduction. She is, unfortunately, quite vulnerable to cruiser-caliber HE shells with no areas of her deck or extremities exceeding 32mm worth of structural armour. She’s an easy damage farm for light cruisers but also overmatching 460mm AP shells from Yamato and Musashi. Furthermore, her citadel sits slightly above water. In brawling situations, that vaunted AP protection amounts to little and she can easily deleted outright in jousts as her opponent passes alongside her. If things weren’t mixed up enough already, she has decent resistance to AP bombs. She will not take citadel hits from American ones and even Graf Zeppelin struggles to do so. In testing, Graf Zeppelin needed over 30 bomb hits to sink a full health Bourgogne, so that’s worth noting.
Lastly, there’s the issue of her hit point total.
Bourgogne brings a tier IX hit point pool to tier X matchmaking — and a small tier IX hit point pool at that. She hasn’t any soft bonuses applied to her Repair Party to help increase its efficiency, be it a faster reset timer, additional damage queuing or what have you.
How much of a drawback is her lower hit point pool, really? Bourgogne isn’t a destroyer where viability as a knife-fighter is defined by who can bring the bigger hit point total to a brawl. It is, however, substantial. Outright, it’s a difference of two to three citadel hits from battleship caliber AP or the equivalent torpedo strikes. When it comes to measuring against regular penetrations or HE spam, it’s the ability to absorb a dozen more hits from large caliber guns and literally hundreds of shells from medium and smaller caliber. That’s before accounting for her healing metrics.
Bourgogne doesn’t die quickly, but she does submit appreciably faster than other tier X battleships. She’s capable of tanking, but her time under such duress is measurably shorter than any of her contemporaries. She’s a tier IX battleship in this regard. Treat her as such.
On the whole, for a tier X battleship, Bourgogne gets failing marks for durability. Her low hit point total is enough to condemn her. The quirks of her inner and exterior armour scheme are more of a nuisance than a damning traits. She has some good points but they’re vastly overshadowed by the bad.
What it would have needed to be : Bourgogne’s armour profile would have to include some deck and/or upper hull sections greater than 32mm and significant improvements to her Repair Party consumable to pull her out of last place.
Top Speed: 32.0 knots
Port Turning Radius: 910m
Rudder Shift: 16.6s
Maximum Turn Rate: 4.1º/s
Bourgogne is the fastest battleship currently in the game. Without that speed, there’s nothing remarkable about her manoeuvrability.
Her base top speed is impressive, though it doesn’t set her apart on its own. The Iowa-class is a knot faster, for example, and there are many battleships that can sprint at 32 knots. Bourgogne’s remarkable agility, like her firepower, is defined by her access to a consumable which allows her to not only compete with but overtake the opposition. In this case it’s her special Engine Boost which has better performance than those normally found on French battleships.
The difference is one of near doubling the performance output. Bourgogne gains 15% speed with her boost activated instead of 8%. With this (and a Sierra Mike signal), she reaches an absolute top speed of 38.5 knots in a straight line which is insane.
Her flexibility to redeploy across the map is the most obvious application of this strength but there are other uses. An increase in speed has the effect of also increasing a ship’s rate of turn. With her boost activated at top speed, Bourgogne’s rotation rate spikes from 4.1º/s up to 4.3º/s — a modest sum but enough to make her handling feel that much more responsive in crucial moments. Similarly, with enough open water, Bourgogne can kite and disengage almost at will, even from fast surface elements like cruisers and even some destroyers. The variance in her speed also frustrates torpedo attack and long-distance gunnery.
In short, Bourgogne kites like a boss.
Take Bourgogne’s Engine Boost consumable away and she’s merely a fast battleship — cumbersome in the turn as something like HMS Hood.
AA Battery Calibers: 152mm / 127mm / 57mm / 20mm
AA Umbrella Ranges: 5.2km / 5.0km / 4.5km / 2.0km
AA DPS per Aura: 125.6 / 33 / 306 / 63.2
Theoretically, Bourgogne has the best anti-aircraft firepower of any battleship short of HMS Hood (which is on a whole other level thanks the delicious irony of her rocket performance). The effectiveness of said AA power is up for debate, however.
While it’s true that Bourgogne’s AA power is formidable, putting a blanket “best” label upon it doesn’t tell the whole story. Being the best doesn’t bring with it any guarantees of impunity from air attack. Without upgrades Bourgogne is still going to take hits from aircraft from high-tier CVs. She is guaranteed to make such hits expensive for the CV player, however. What’s more, most of her anti-aircraft hitting power is concentrated (as usual) in her medium-caliber mounts which are painfully vulnerable to HE fire. Even with upgrades, if Bourgogne has taken a few hits, her defense is going to have some sizable holes in it.
Finally, it’s worth considering just how competitive Bourgogne can be with her AA. While it’s possible for her to have the best anti-aircraft firepower out of any of the tier X battleships, it’s not likely. Montana is better overall, in my opinion.
You see, range matters with AA guns. Good CV players are scary-good at knowing how big these auras will be and play accordingly. Montana can balloon her aura up to maximum for less cost owing to her upgrade choices. Bourgogne must choose between adding reach to her AA mounts or tightening up the dispersion of her main battery guns. So it’s expected that Montana will be running with more range. Bourgogne can run with just as much but it’s not as likely — not without compromising her precision. Once you factor in Montana’s heavier flak aura of her long-range guns, she’s much more of a threat to squadrons that skirt just inside her flak umbrella than Bourgogne. It’s only when aircraft commit to the attack that Bourgogne truly takes primacy.
Taking away direct comparisons and just looking at functionality, Bourgogne’s AA power is phenomenal. There’s a tremendous amount of potential there.
What would have to happen to DOWNGRADE to : It’s really splitting hairs to differentiate between République, Montana and Bourgogne — they are all so close. The deciding factor between them will always be who bothered to specialize into their AA firepower.
Base Surface Detection Range: 16.74km
Air Detection Range: 15.49km
Minimum Surface Detection Range: 12.57km
Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 15.02km
Main Battery Firing Range: 24.8km
Bourgogne’s concealment is decidedly average for battleships within the tier VIII to X bracket. She has the same surface detection radius of Richelieu, Alsace and Gascogne. These sit on the large size for the respective tier VIII ships — not the worst, but not great by any means. Fortunately for most cruisers, none of these French ships are stealthy enough to sneak up on anything short of an Henri IV, Moskva or Stalingrad. Bourgogne has enough stealth to dictate engagement ranges against other tier X battleships and those stupidly-fat cruisers, but it goes no further than that.
How to be Beefy
One of the nice things about Bourgogne is that she’s an excellent trainer for French battleships. Her skills overlap nicely — so much so that I can recycle this straight from my Jean Bart review.
- The Baby Bunny Build is the ol’ battleship standby. Go for survivability increase skills including Concealment Expert, Superintendent, Basics of Survivability and Fire Prevention.
- The Salty About CVs build makes Jean Bart the scourge of the skies. Grab anything that boosts your anti-aircraft batteries like Basic and Advanced Fire Training and Manual Fire Control for AA Guns.
- Finally, there’s the dubiously effective (but exceedingly Manly) Secondary Build. You’ll want all the fixings at tier 4 including Advanced Fire Training, Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament and Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. You can choose between Expert Marksman and Adrenaline Rush at tier 2 depending on if you intend to brawl or not.
There! That was easy.
At a price tag of 30,000 Steel, Bourgogne isn’t a ship to which the community at large will have access. Thankfully, there’s a ready analogue. Bourgogne is an upgrade on Jean Bart. Bourgogne’s AA power is just slightly better. She’s a little bit faster. She’s a little bit tougher. The most obvious improvement is that of her main battery which has twelve guns instead of eight. So if you want a taste, save up your coal. Jean Bart isn’t the exact same but for the purpose of Randoms and Co-Op, she’ll do.
I like Bourgogne. I appreciate her design. For a battleship, she’s squishy. For those with a mind towards what’s optimal or not, this may be enough to turn them away from any merits of her firepower and agility. It’s certainly going to make a few people pause before considering her for any competitive lineups. However, her durability flaw isn’t catastrophic. It does not leave her open to sudden and gory instant-gib mechanics. She’s simply bringing a tier IX hull to a tier X fight. It’s the equivalent of having a Montana with an Iowa’s hit point pool. This ready flaw is part of her charm for me — it’s an obvious weak point with obvious consequence without damning the design as a whole.
Like Jean Bart, Bourgogne is ridiculously powerful under the right circumstances: namely when she catches out an exposed enemy. These occurrences aren’t infrequent but they are skill dependent — you have to keep an awareness about yourself and change targets quickly as opportunities arise. It’s safe to say that under regular game play, you’ll have at least once instance where your Main Battery Reload Booster can be put to good use. The big ol’ catch here is that you have to be able to make those 380mm guns of hers work. While her dispersion isn’t terrible, it’s certainly nothing great. These guns aren’t punitive by any means, nor are they n00b friendly.
The only gripe I have with Bourgogne is that I don’t feel her game play is that far removed from Jean Bart’s. So pick one or the other — both aren’t necessary, IMO, unless you’re a die-hard collector.
Would I Recommend?
Let’s talk briefly about Bourgogne’s economy. She doesn’t have any bonuses to earning credits. Yeah, I’m surprised too, but the numbers don’t lie. If you want a ship to help you farm a ton of credits, you’re better served with something else. The only advantage to using her instead of a tech tree tier X is her reduced repair costs. Her base earning is exactly the same.
Keep this in mind if you’re looking to acquire her. She doesn’t supplant ships like Jean Bart or Gascogne for credit earning.
- PVE Battles
How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots?
Very yes on toast. Hilarious as the thought might be to endure season after season of competitive gaming to unlock a ship for co-op, Bourgogne is a dream in PVE battles. Just beware of her running costs. She has a base service cost of 33,750 credits in co-op with her camouflage. Shells cost you 225 a pop (or 2,700 per full broadside).
- Random Battle Grinding:
This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements.
Yes. The chaos of Random Battles suits Bourgogne well.
- For Competitive Gaming:
Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding.
Maybe. In theory, she’s perfectly viable for Ranked (so go nuts). In team lineups, her appeal is speed and the ability to pump out 36 shells in 30 seconds where Montana will only dish out 24. The trade off is that she’s (much) more fragile and she loses the ability to overmatch certain cruiser lineups. I dunno, it sounds hella iffy to me but there may be room in some comps.
- For Collectors:
If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you.
Yes with a big ol’ butt. She’s going to be a rare ship for a while, so there’s that. There’s also the prestige of owning one what is ostensibly a Clan Battles ship. Otherwise? No.
- For Fun Factor:
Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play?
Yes. Have the old Alsace back. You know what? Have a buffed version of the old Alsace. You’re welcome.
What’s the Final Verdict?
How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage – Meh – Gud – Overpowered?
GARBAGE– I hate it!
Mehbote – An average ship. Probably forgettable.
Gudbote – The best thing ever. Totally not overpowered because I like padding my stats in it.
OVERPOWERED – I hate playing against it!
I thought I was catching up. I’m publishing a week later than I wanted, mostly owing to the holiday season ramping up and real life commitments bogging me down. The next review up on my list is HMS Dreadnought. Thankfully, I already have a lot of the work done for that one so it should be faster to produce. Maybe I can get it out in a week? Maybe? I’m really hoping to get two more reviews out before the New Year.
This review has been brought to you by my patrons on Patreon. The support I’m receiving allows me to devote the time needed to test and report on premium ships just like this. I can’t thank them enough.