The following is a review of Aigle, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of January 24th, 2018.
Hon hon hon hon!
Quick Summary: A massive destroyer with ridiculously powerful guns and hard hitting torpedoes.
Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing.
Patch & Date Written: Patch 0.6.14 to 0.7.01, November 30th, 2017 until January 24th, 2018.
Huge hit point pool for a tier VI destroyer at 17,000hp.
Armed with five139mm guns — the largest gun caliber that can still benefit from destroyer sized gun skills.
Very long ranged for a destroyer with a 12.8km reach.
Excellent fire chance per shell of 9%
Enormous warhead charge on her torpedoes, dealing a massive 18,400 damage per hit.
Engine Boost consumable lets her top 43 knots for two-minute stretches.
Her horn sounds like a choo-choo train.
Horrible turret traverse.
Low velocity shells with high ballistic arcs and long lead times at range.
Appalling fire arcs on her guns and uninspiring ones on her torpedoes too.
Large turning circle of 680m and sluggish handling for a destroyer.
Punitive surface detection range and unable to stealth-fire torpedoes without Concealment Expert.
Very reliant on commander skills to make her comfortable to play.
BAD– One of, if not the worst at its tier. This is a pronounced weakness.
FAIR – Middle of the pack at its tier. Not terrible, but not terribly good either. GOOD – Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer. BEST – No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship.
Aigle is enormous, with powerful artillery, ridiculously hard hitting torpedoes, a huge slug of hit points and the ability to do in excess of 43 knots. She pays for it with horrible anti-aircraft firepower and a terrible concealment values.
This isn’t a destroyer with which you can easily hide and attack enemies. Inexperienced players will find her awkward and impossible to conceal. She has the striking power to impress veterans, provided they can stomach the limitations of her weapon systems. Knowing how to use and abuse island cover is one of the key skills needed to excel in this ship.
Consumables: Aigle’s Engine Boost consumable is worth taking a closer look.
Aigle’s Damage Control Party is standard for a destroyer with a 60 second / 40 second reset timer.
Her Smoke Generator is also standard with a 20 second emission time. Each cloud lasts for 81 seconds and the consumable has either a 240 seconds or 160 second reset timer.
Finally, her Engine Boost consumable increases the ship’s speed by 20% instead of 8%. This lets Aigle reach theoretical maximums of 43.2 knots for up to two minutes with 180 second / 120 second reset timer.
Premium Camouflage: Aigle has the tier VI Type 10 Camouflage. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, a 10% reduction to maintenance costs, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy.
Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard destroyer options.
In your first slot, take Magazine Modification 1. You may be huge. You may have a ton of hit points, but you’re still a destroyer with squishy magazines.
Next up, take Propulsion Modification 1 to help keep your engines from being disabled. If you have access to it, take Engine Boost Modification 1 instead — it plays up to Aigle’s strengths.
Aiming Systems Modification 1 is optimal in your third slot, mostly because Aigle’s AA guns are terrible.
In your fourth slot, Propulsion Modification 2 to give you a little more acceleration from when you’re hiding in smoke.
Primary Battery:Five 139mm rifles in individual turrets in an A-B-P-X-Y superfiring configuration. P is rear facing.
Torpedoes: Six tubes in 2×3 launchers
Aigle has awesome weaponry. On paper, she’s the knees of the bees. Unfortunately, this is largely undone by poor fire arcs, awful gun handling and the combined issues of range and concealment. How much these affect you largely depends on your tolerance for wonky fields of fire and how reliant you are upon being sneaky to succeed in a destroyer.
Poor fire arcs on French destroyers is nothing new. Cyclone, released in July of 2017, gave us the first hint of the travesty that would be Aigle’s fields of fire and I’m not terribly optimistic about future releases being exempt from similar issues. To fire all five of Aigle’s guns, you need to present yourself at near a full broadside to your foe, with a 57º off your bow to fire forward and a 59º fire angle off your stern when firing backwards. This is largely untenable in the thick of fighting — not unless you want to sail in a straight line and give your opponents an easy shot. It’s more realistic to expect that Aigle will typically fire with three guns (ABX forward, PXY backwards) which undermines the fearsome damage-per-minute (DPM) numbers she should (in theory) be able to boast. Her sluggish turret traverse of 6.5º/s only further complicates matters, making Aigle’s gunnery uncomfortable under any kind of manoeuvres.
The last flaw to speak of in regards to Aigle’s gun performance is her shell ballistics. Her guns are not the high-velocity rifles of the Soviet Navy which hurts her ability to bombard targets at range. They are comparable in shell flight time to Japanese destroyers at a distance, but with a lower initial muzzle velocity. This is exacerbated by Aigle’s poor concealment characteristics where she’s often forced to bombard targets from longer range. Nine and ten second lead times are not uncommon, and worse if you add on Advanced Fire Training. The plus side to her ballistics was that she could park behind some islands and lob shells at distant targets and hammer them over and over, undetected and safe from reprisals. This is just one extra challenge to unlock the awesome damage potential of these guns.
You can undercut these traverse and fire angle flaws (though there’s nothing to be done about floaty ballistics). Aigle’s 139mm guns benefit fully from Basic Fire Training and Expert Marksman. The former will prop up your flagging DPM while the latter will increase her turret rotation speed to 9.0º per second — more than enough to keep up with the manoeuvres you’ll put Aigle through. You can also simply tank your way through return fire from enemy destroyers while keeping four or five guns trained on them, confident you can out trade their fire.
Feel free to play with Advanced Fire Training if you’d like, but the ballistic arcs that far out are hilarious. You shouldn’t worry too much about concealment issues, though — Aigle is already one of the largest destroyers out there and hiding in open water just isn’t something she does well.
In payment for the aforementioned flaws, you get a monster. Aigle feels like some Frankenstein’s golem, combining facets from different destroyer gunnery and creating something entirely new. Her 139mm shells are huge. For a destroyer, they do great damage, penetrate well, start fires easily and all without sacrificing rate of fire.
It’s the little things which add up too. For example, Aigle’s AP shells have the same longer fuse timer as American 127mm/38s found on their destroyers. This gives the shells more time to punch through the layers of armour that protect the machine spaces of some cruisers. This makes Aigle a greater threat to the citadels of cruisers than many of the other destroyers. You’re more likely to see full damage citadel hits than just penetrations when you ambush an enemy cruiser at close range. Aigle’s guns also boast similar penetration power to the high velocity 130mm of the Soviets, making her capable of besting up to 80mm at 11km and 100mm of steel at 8km — values which echo the citadel protection around many tier VI and V light cruisers, incidentally.
Her HE is also arguably the best at her tier. She inflicts high shell damage but she’s also the best fire bug at her tier. With Inertial Fuse for HE Shells (IFHE), she’s capable of damaging the extremities of all but the tier VIII battleships. As a destroyer, she only loses 1% fire chance for this skill, it still keeps her viable as a fire starter. Be advised that without IFHE, big as Aigle’s guns are, they’re not capable of damaging the extremities of tier VI and VII battleships and tier VIII heavy cruisers which will see a huge drop in your damage done.
AP in blue, HE in violet. Aigle will often struggle to get all five guns on target.
It’s fair to say I have a love-hate relationship with Aigle’s gunnery. Her damage potential is the siren’s call which made me want to take her out time and again. For every game where I got into an ideal position and could rain Hell down on my enemies, there were games where I had to run and hide from enemy lolibotes and cruisers. This isn’t a destroyer where knife fighting is comfortable — even with Expert Marksman, your fire arcs are going to leave you way too vulnerable to broadsides of torpedoes if you want to trade DPM. If you can park and blaze away, you’ll do well with Aigle. If you’re asked to move and fight, these guns will trip you up every time.
There’s not much to say about Aigle’s torpedoes. She doesn’t get a lot of them, for one. This contrasts with the stupidly huge warheads grafted to them which hit harder than any other fish at her tier, including the Pan Asian and Japanese destroyers which typically have the monopoly on such things. Their chance for causing floods is second only to Fushun’s at tier VI. There are two problems I have with Aigle’s torpedoes and they compound.
They’re very difficult to fire from concealment.
Short of ambushes around islands or suicide-torp runs, landing torpedo hits with Aigle’s torpedoes is difficult. Sure, they’re hilarious as all get out when they smack something, but good luck setting that up. It’s impossible to launch her torpedoes from stealth without a full concealment build on your ship and commander. What’s more, her fire arcs aren’t especially generous (they’re not terrible, but they’re not great), so whipping your ship around to dump fish against an enemy coming towards you can often give yourself away. And, once they’ve seen you, they’re going to turn. The slow speed of Aigle’s fish means even a minor course adjustment will see your fish swim past their target without biting.
Overall, Aigle’s torpedoes are a lot like her guns — you want to use them but they’ll fight you every step of the way. They’re hilarious when they work though and that alone will keep you trying.
Aigle’s has narrow torpedo arcs directly off her sides, requiring you to expose her full broadside in order to launch.
Horrible fire arcs.
Can you overlook the latter in order to enjoy the former?
What it would have needed to beBEST: Aigle isn’t a torpedo boat. She’s a gunship, first and foremost with torpedoes as incidental backups. Thus her merits are largely weighed upon her gunnery. As good as Aigle’s guns are, they aren’t the best. Farragut’s guns put out more damage and are better suited to knife fighting. Gaede’s 150mm are better for punishing larger warships. Aigle is a generalist, and a good one, with guns that can make a destroyer balk with the first broadside and make a battleship player grind their teeth with frustration at the incessant 139mm bombs being dropped on their decks.
And just wait until you read what T-61 can do…
Top Speed: 36.0 knots Turning Radius: 680m Rudder Shift: 4.1s
Maximum Turn Rate: 6.8º/s at 4/4 speed
Click to view at full size.
If there was one flaw upon which to set all of Aigle’s manoeuvrability woes, it’s her enormous turning circle which lets her down. It’s not the worst we’ve ever seen among destroyers (Ernst Gaede is worse within the same tier), but it holds her back. Combined with her modest top speed, this leads to a sluggish rate of turn for a destroyer and makes her more akin in handling to a nimble light cruiser than her fellow lolibotes.
However, with the touch of a button you can alleviate Aigle’s woes. Her Engine Boost consumable is phenomenal.
Aigle launches from a 36 knot top speed to over 43 knots for two-minute intervals (three minutes with Engine Boost Modification 1). This also spikes her rate of turn from 6.8º per second up to 7.4º per second allowing her to come about more quickly too. With her boost, Aigle transforms from a dumpybutt to a rocketbutt — untouchable within her own tier and competitive with everything she may encounter.
The only down side to her Engine Boost consumable is those two minutes in between (premium) reset timers where you have to go back to being terrible.
What it would have needed to beGOOD: Aigle is a long way off from “GOOD” and only spared a “BAD” label because of her Engine Boost consumable.
Aigle is so fast with her Speed Boost active, even my screenshots of her have speed lines.
Durability Hit Points: 17,000 Maximum Protection: 16mm
Ah, destroyer durability. So straightforward.
Aigle has the most hit-points at tier VI — even more than Ernst Gaede’s 16,500hp. This makes her the defacto toughest destroyer. But, don’t get complacent. Glue on Survivability Expert to top yourself up to 19,1000hp to keep your primacy. Remember to guard your magazines with Magazine Modification 1 and/or a Juliet Charlie signal lest you find yourself unseated. You’re still a destroyer after all.
The glut of hit points on Aigle will serve you well, provided you can spend them wisely. Use them to clinch knife fights — just make sure you dodge those fish.
What it would have needed to beGOOD: Destroyer durability is pretty straight forward until you start to see weird bits of armour-plate capable of causing ricochet at higher tiers. None of that’s present here, so barring her spawning multiple magazines running the length of the ship, Aigle is safely the best of the bunch with the largest hit point pool.
AA Battery Calibers: 37mm / 13.2mm AA Umbrella Ranges: 3.0km / 1.2km AA DPS per Aura: 5 / 19
Aigle’s anti-aircraft firepower is all kinds of terrible and there’s not a lot you can do to improve the situation. Given her size and her large turning circle, enemy aircraft are particularly dangerous for this destroyer and they have every reason to glue themselves to you and keep you from sitting safely back and using your guns to your heart’s content. Aigle is so large that aircraft can spot her without even slipping into her AA bubble. A CV could (in theory), keep her permanently lit without any risk to her own reserves whatsoever.
Evaluation: BAD What it would have needed to be FAIR: AA guns that were actually a threat to enemy aircraft.
Base Surface Detection Range: 7.74km
Air Detection Range: 4.35km
Minimum Surface Detection Range: 6.76km Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 3.11km
Main Battery Firing Range: 12.78km
This isn’t a destroyer you want to use to scout early on in a match.
Aigle’s surface detection range is enormous — the worst at her tier. While she doesn’t also have the worst surface detection range for a destroyer within her matchmaking spread, but she’s close. There are all of two (2) destroyers that she will normally meet that she can out-spot: Mahan and Kiev. That’s it. Your only hope otherwise is to run into players that are not running full concealment builds on their destroyers. You’re going to be spotted first — it’s best to accept that early and change your play style to reflect it.
Contesting cap circles early on in a match is probably not a good idea; not unless you know what you’re facing and that they’re unsupported..Aigle does not knife fight with enemy destroyers well — between her clumsy handling, bad gun fire angles and slow turret traverse, getting in close is an unnecessary risk. Pushing early means you’re going to hemorrhage that hit point advantage of yours without gain. Save them for when you isolate an enemy destroyer later in a match and can out trade her.
The biggest casualty to Aigle’s poor concealment is the use of her torpedoes. She can’t fire them from stealth without a commander using Concealment Expert and even then, your margin of error is a mere 240m. You’re really just limited to ambush scenarios or firing them at distracted enemies.
It’s possible (and not necessarily a bad idea) to dispense with using Concealment Expert altogether and play Aigle like a light cruiser with added speed flexibility and immunity to citadel hits.
What it would have needed to be FAIR: A good start would be getting that glaringly obvious red X13 off the side of the hull.
Contesting cap circles early on in a match isn’t what Aigle is designed for.
Countdown to Blastoff: X Minus 13
You’re going to want a dedicated French destroyer commander for Aigle. I tried playing with my French Light cruiser commander during play tesitng and quickly grew to regret it.
Start with Priority Target for your first skill. If you’re omniscient (or just reckless), you can take Preventative Maintenance instead.
You’re a destroyer, so Last Stand is a must — especially if you took Engine Boost Modification 1.
Follow this up with Survivability Expert to boost up your HP even further.
And finally, allow yourself to stay hidden with Concealment Expert.
For your next nine points, sink them into the following: Inertial Fuse for HE Shells, Basic Fire Training and Expert Marksman. This will give you the punch you need to directly damage battleships, the extra rate of fire to spike your DPM and improved gun handling to help mitigate her terrible fire arcs when you do have to fight another destroyer.
Alternative builds are possible, especially where you drop any pretense of trying to hide this ship and don’t take Concealment Expert. The four points could be freed up for skills like Demolition Expert, Adrenaline Rush or Superintendent.
Aigle: Big guns. Big fish. Big butt.
Most premium ships have a paywall. Some premium ships have a skill wall. Aigle has a patience wall.
Without the right commander skills, this is a terrible ship.
Aigle looks so much better than she is This is one of those ships that if you only saw her statistics, you could be forgiven for getting really excited. Playing her is much more mixed. Sure, she can do a lot of damage when everything works right but it’s a lot of work. It’s safe to say that I didn’t enjoy Aigle overmuch, even if I recognize how potentially powerful she could be for someone who could get over the frustrations of her weapon handling.
Aigle is a good ship hamstrung by poor fire arcs. She’s not a traditional destroyer. She shares more in common with some of the late tier Soviet destroyers like Tashkent, Kiev and Khabarovsk but without the stupendous ballistics that makes long-range gunnery on said ships so comfortable. Still, Aigle is advantageous with the right setup. Having that commander build is key. I found she played best when you could park her behind a low island and hammer cruisers and battleships over and over and over again with her shellfire while they dueled with my team mates. The sting of Aigle’s fish guaranteed that pushing around the islands was a bad choice for my enemies. This only worked when CVs left me alone, but that’s a common lament for most destroyers. The catch is, I had to know where on each map I could abuse this and not all of them were accommodating. This is a support gunship — a baby cruiser, as it were. Play her with these expectations and you should do alright.
The lack of concealment doesn’t damn Aigle, nor does awkward gun handling (though the latter is a close thing). However, the two together does sour me. I am a big advocate for concealment dominating games. When concealment isn’t available, then a ship must out fight or outrun from threats. Aigle struggles to do the former without the right build (get those 19,100hp and bump up your rate of fire!). And the latter? Well, Aigle’s Engine Boost is all kinds of phenomenal.
If it feels like I’m holding back on singing Aigle’s praises, it’s because I am. I hate feeling like I’m fighting with the ship to make it perform and bad fire arcs really soured me to her. It didn’t help that I was playing with my French Cruiser commander through much of the early play-test and I had a less than ideal build going, but that’s on me. I was so twisted against Aigle, I nearly slapped her with a bad review because of the negative bias I was feeling. It took putting a 19pt commander on her with the right build and just sitting down and weighing all the paper data that I had to finally cement in my mind that Aigle was a better ship than I was initially giving credit. I still didn’t enjoy her, per se, but that didn’t prevent her from being a good ship. She’s well-balanced. She has her flaws (flaws that rub me the wrong way especially) but she’s not some overpowered monster, nor some gutterfluff piece of trash.
At the end of the day, it was difficult to pin an Angry YouTuber label to her. What finally clinched it for me was defining the role that Aigle took. She was a support ship, that much was evident, and looking at the other destroyers in her tier, she had the most overlap with the German destroyer, Ernst Gaede. I had to ask myself, between the two ships, which was better? I kept reaching the conclusion that even with Aigle’s advantages in speed and hit points, Gaede was better between them. When it came to hammering larger ships, Gaede did it better. When it came to using torpedoes, Gaede does it better. When it comes to supporting a cap circle, Gaede is simply more versatile with her Hydroacoustic Search consumable.
Sorry, Aigle. You’re good. You’re damn good, even. You’re just not the best at your given job.
Made in German smug.
Would I Recommend?
On the whole, I say “non, merci” to Aigle. France isn’t hurting for good premiums at the moment. Maybe Aigle will look a little more attractive when the French destroyer line is closer to finished.
PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots?
Yes. Aigle will do just fine in Co-Op and Scenarios. Between her range, firepower, that huge chunk of hit points and her Engine Boostconsumable, she’s very versatile.
Random Battle Grinding: This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements.
Not especially, no. At the same tier you could get De Grasse or, for a few bucks more, Dunkerque. They would serve you better as commander trainers with France having a cruiser and upcoming battleship line. De Grasse practically prints Arsonist medals. The necessity of an experience commander with a lot of skill points works against Aigle being a good trainer.
For Competitive Gaming: Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding.
No. Wait for T-61.
For Collectors: If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you.
I’d give her a pass. Aigle didn’t have a very auspicious career (she was sunk twice). However, that could be said of most of the more modern French designs in World of Warships. At least she was built in steel
For Fun Factor:
Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play?
Very nope. I did not enjoy this ship. If you have more patience than I for horrible gun arcs and bad turret traverse, have at her.
What’s the Final Verdict?
How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage – Meh – Gud – Overpowered?
GARBAGE– The boat is unbalanced, not fun to play and weak. The ship desperately needs some buffs or some quality of life changes. Mehbote – An average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn’t need buffs to be viable however she’s not going to be considered optimal. Gudbote – A powerful ship, often one of the best ships at a given role within its tier. Usually considered optimal for a given task. OVERPOWERED – The boat is unbalanced and powerful. Typically she’s either horrible to play against or she redefines the meta entirely.
The Aigle has landed.
Thank you to my patrons on Patreon for their support in January for helping get this review out.
I actually managed to take some time for myself (gasp!) and enjoy the game over the last week. Much of this was spent playing Co-Op of all things, crunching through the High School Fleet event to grind out the flags and camouflages on offer. Musashi, Yamato and Harekaze got a lot of play time and I even poked out with HSF Graf Spee a couple of times to collect the boxes I needed. Meanwhile, I haven’t really touched Roma at all since release. It’s still early yet and I’m still in the middle of crunch time with content creation. When things get a little less hectic, maybe I’ll have a better idea if any of these ships will become new favourites.
Aigle’s not likely to make the cut. As much fun as her choo-choo train horn is, I feel no inclination to add her to my roster.
My current ten favourite premium ships. Top Row: Fujin, Atlanta, De Grasse, Prinz Eugen, Atago. Bottom Row: Scharnhorst, Nelson, Harekaze, König Albert, Warspite.
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Mouse toils away on an old i7-2600K 3.40GHz computer with 16GB RAM and an Nvidia 560Ti GPU running a 64bit OS.
Thanks go out to iChase, NoZoupForYou, the World of Warships Wiki staff and Pigeon_of_War for their assistance with research. Most of all, everyone’s favourite box-bound kitty, Lert, gets a special thank you for being the first to volunteer whenever I need help. With every review, he’s behind the scenes providing feedback, proofreading, monotonously twirling ships and assisting with screenshots.
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