ShipComrade

Premium Ship Review: Duke of York

The following is a review of Duke of York, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. To the best of my knowledge, this is the release version of the vessel.  Some statistics may have changed between those reviewed here and the release version.  These stats are current as of December 18th, 2017.

Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke of York
Duke, Duke, Duke of York
Duke, Duke, Duke of York
Duke, Duke, Duke of York

Quick Summary: A King George V-class battleship with better AA firepower and Hydroacoustic Search but with a much slower rate of fire and a nerfed Repair Party.
Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing.  We’ve been told it will be a campaign reward but also possible to be purchased.
Patch and Date Written: 0.6.14.1, December 6th, 2017 to 0.6.14.2, December 18th, 2017.
Closest in-Game Contemporary
King George V, Tier VII British Battleship
Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique
At first blush, Duke of York appears to be a clone of King George V, at least until you look closely.  Duke of York has a lot more AA batteries and a slower rate of fire.  The two ships also have different consumables.
PROs
  • Has deeply submerged magazines & machine spaces with very thick belt armour, making her difficult to citadel.
  • Heavy broadside firepower of ten 356mm rifles.
  • Armed with Royal Navy HE shells, with a 41% fire chance per shell hit, high damage and penetrating up to 88mm of armour.
  • Powerful anti-aircraft armament.
  • Good concealment for a tier VII battleship.
  • Access to Hydroacoustic Search consumable.
  • Like other Royal Navy battleships, her Repair Party queues 60% of penetration damage instead of the 50% of other dreadnoughts.
CONs
  • She only has two Repair Party consumable charges instead of the normal three.
  • Horrible reload time for a smaller-caliber main armament battery of 29.5 seconds.
  • Her AP shells cannot overmatch the bows of tier VI+ battleships and tier VIII+ heavy cruisers.
  • Bad fire angles on all of her main battery guns.
  • Her 18.15km range is short for a tier VII battleship and she feels blind without any kind of aircraft consumable.
  • Anti-aircraft firepower is mostly concentrated in short-ranged, fragile 40mm pom-pom mounts.
  • Large, 790m turning circle with a criminal rudder shift time of 17.5s.
At its core, Duke of York is a battleship where Wargaming asks the question: How much can we nerf a King George V-class battleship in order to pretend that having access to a Hydroacoustic Search consumable is worth the exchange?  The answer is:  A lot.
Options
Duke of York has two interesting features where her consumables are concerned:  access to Hydroacoustic Search and an as yet-unseen nerfed Royal Navy battleship Repair Party.
Consumables:
  • Her Damage Control Party is a standard Royal Navy battleship consumable.  This has a 15 second active period and a 120 second / 80 second reset timer depending if you take a premium version or not.
  • Duke of York’s Hydroacoustic Search is identical to the one found on tier VII cruisers. This detects torpedoes at 2.97km, ships at 4.20km and is active for 94s. It has between a two and three minute reset timer, depending on the version selected.
  • Her Repair Party is almost standard for the Royal Navy.  This heals back up to 0.5% of her health per second over 28 seconds — or 14% total.  This amounts to 302.5hp per tick.  Like other Royal Navy battleships, she queues up 60% of penetration damage done instead of 50%.  However, unlike the tech tree British battleships between tiers III and VII, she only gets two base charges of this consumable instead of three.
Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard non-American battleship options.

Premium Camouflage: Type 9/10. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy    accuracy.

Duke of York’s upgrade selection is pretty standard.
  • Start with Main Armaments Modification 1.
  • Take Damage Control Modification 1 in your second slot.
  • Follow this up with Aiming System Modification 1. This is optimal. However, if you’re salty about aircraft carriers, you can take AA Guns Modification 2 to bump up the reach of your flak at the expense of main battery accuracy.
  • And finally, you have a choice of either Damage Control Modification 2 or Steering Gears Modification 2 depending on your preference.  I would recommend the former over the latter.
Special Upgrades

Duke of York is only compatible with Damage Control Modification 1 which isn’t especially worthwhile.  Unfortunately, she cannot equip Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 as that’s limited to Cruisers and Destroyers only.

Firepower

Primary Battery: Ten 356mm rifles in an A-B-X superfiring configuration.
Secondary Battery: Sixteen 134mm guns in 8×2 turrets
Let’s get Duke of York’s secondaries out of the way first. She boasts some good range with her small caliber artillery along with a respectable fire chance per shell. However their rate of fire is on the low side. Ideally, for anything less than a 150mm gun, I would want to see a 5 second reload but this is a third again slower. Furthermore both their penetration value and damage are both found wanting. Having 26mm or more penetration would be ideal, allowing her to damage the extremities of same-tier battleships and the same of tier 8+ heavy cruisers but they sit well below that, being only capable of besting 21mm of armour. This all combines to create a weapon system that has low theoretical andpractical damage output. These aren’t guns that will bail you out in a brawl or that will tear apart a hale and healthy destroyer. They’ll light the occasional fire. They’ll finish off a low health lolibote every now and then but they’re rarely going to contribute.
This isn’t a weapon system worth investing skills or modules into enhancing directly. Clear? Cool, moving on.

TL;DR – Just spam HE, N00b
Duke of York shares the same armament as the lead of her class, King George V found in the British tech tree with only one difference between them. For a tier VII gun, these are small in caliber — a mere 356mm where most other ships boast 380mm or greater. This comes with some drawbacks beyond the obvious lower damage per shell. On the whole, these are very powerful weapons owing not only to their excellent HE performance, but their AP shell performance too. Were it not for her nerfed rate of fire, Duke of York could have been a contender for one of the heaviest hitters at her tier.  As it is, these aren’t weapons suitable for a tier VII battleship.
Let’s get grouchy first and talk about the deficiencies of her guns before we sing our limited praises.

Duke of York’s 18.15km range almost feels sufficient — almost. While she shares this reach with the lead of her class, she lacks King George V’s Spotter Aircraft consumable. She doesn’t have the ability to engage targets during the opening minutes in higher tiered matches. Care should be taken not to over extend in order to join the fight prematurely in these engagements — approach cautiously and do not give your position away until you can be sure you won’t present an easy target for the majority of the enemy team. When Duke of York is top tier or once the battle gets well underway, this drawback is much less of an issue. Learn to be patient in the opening minutes and you won’t unwittingly surrender a glut of hit points to the enemy for no appreciable returns.
Duke of York’s turret traverse is passable. It’s on the slow side, to be certain — 45 seconds for a 180º turn is painful when you have to switch fire from port to starboard. Without the use of Expert Marksman, Duke of York can (and will) out turn her guns which is even more frustrating. Her muzzle velocity is also very low. However, her shells retain energy well, giving her comparable flight time over distance to Colorado
These factors are disappointments but they’re not deal breakers by any means. Duke of York’s fire angles just might be, however.

Duke of York (and King George V-class) firing arcs.
For a ship to have “good” fire angles, we would want to see a minimum of 300º firing arcs on all of their turrets, allowing them to engage targets 30º off their bow or stern with all of their weapons. This helps keep a ship safe as this will typically be within the autobounce angles of incoming AP shells. Duke of York’s angles on X-turret are terrible, needing a 42º angle in order to fire, leaving her exposed to devastating counter battery hits. Players should unmask their X-turret only when they know they’re safe from being targeted by enemy battleships.
I might have forgiven her slow turret traverse. I could overlook her slow shell flight times. Heck, even her range wouldn’t be so much of an issue if I didn’t feel like Duke of York put her life on the line every time she tried to use her rear-mounted guns. Attempts to maximize Duke of York’s firepower will get you killed. The 276º firing arc on her rear guns is downright appalling. This is arguably the worst aspect about her gunnery, though it has some stiff competition.
If Duke of York were a tier VI battleship, her 29.5 second reload would have probably been seen as an asset.  However, at tier VII, it’s a liability.  By contrast, King George V has an excellent rate of fire. KGV’s 25 second reload is amazing.  Provided she can swing her butt out without getting her machine spaces blown out, combining this rate of fire with her ten gun barrels gives King George V the highest potential DPM for a battleship at her tier. She can absolutely punish opponents, out trading them with sheer volume of fire.  This is not so with Duke of York.  She dispenses more modest damage totals — a far cry from the lead of her class with 18% less potential damage overall.  Combined with her horrible fire angles and Duke of York will often feel to struggle in trading matches.
At least she can rely on damage over time effects to help pad her flagging numbers.  That seems like a nice enough segue to talk about her ammunition choices.

How uninspiring.  At least her HE numbers look decent.  Sort of.
 
Those shells you’ll never use
Royal Navy AP shells have a reputation which precedes them, particularly in regards to their lower penetration values.  However this does not preclude Duke of York from devastating targets with Armour Piercing shells.
Normal battleship shells explode 0.033s after striking a surface thick enough to arm their fuse. Royal Navy AP shells do this in less than half that time — 0.015s. In practice, this means fewer overpenetrations from her AP shells hits, provided they strike a target with sufficient armour to fuse her shells in the first place. This is especially useful when hunting cruisers, doubly so at close ranges. It’s quite possible for a normal battleship shell to blast clean through a light cruiser’s machine spaces before they can detonate, turning what would have been a devastating citadel hit into a measly overpenetration.  You will see less of that in Duke of York.
It’s not uncommon for Duke of York to land large damage volleys against enemy battleships without landing any citadel hits even at14km to 15km ranges. If they’re foolish enough to give you a broadside, punish them. Aim for the upper hull (avoid their armoured belt) and hoover up the damage. There are two drawbacks to her AP shells though.

  • Your AP shells cannot overmatch the bows of tier VI+ battleships or tier VIII+ heavy cruisers. Duke of York’s 356mm shells cap out at overmatching 24mm worth of armour. A ship that’s bow tanking will shrug off most of her artillery fire. Your chances of doing any significant damage fall away to almost nothing when they bow in against you.  The best you can do with AP shells in such instances is to aim for turret faces and the superstructure, but this will not yield telling damage — all of the more reason to avoid a brawl.
  • Duke of York will struggle to citadel enemy battleships. Even for 356mm, Duke of York’s penetration values are lackluster. You can  largely forget about landing any citadel penetrations on enemy battleships outside of 10km ranges. Against these large targets, expect to see more than a fair share of shattering shells should you strike belt armour.

On the whole, Duke of York’s AP shells seem specifically designed to make lives miserable for enemy cruisers but it would be a mistake to underestimate their utility against battleship targets.  Duke of York can hold her own against enemy battleships with AP shells, but there’s a reason Royal Navy HE shells are so feared…


Penetration values of 356mm/45 Mark VII naval rifles with armour piercing shells.
World of Warships North America, (2017, September 27th) Armada: HMS King George V.  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BC5XM4LRU8
You’ve already forgotten everything I said about AP, haven’t you?
When evaluating HE performance, there are three things to look for.
  • Damage – How hard individual shells strike.
  • Penetration – Do the shells have artificially increased penetration values?
  • Fire Chance – The potential to set ships ablaze.

Duke of York ticks all three boxes and then proceeds to laugh at anyone else that tries to measure up to her same standards. She deals more damage per shell, starts more fires and can hurt more targets than any other 356mm armed battleship other than her sister ship. She hits so damn hard with her HE shells novice players often make the mistake of shooting nothing but. While high scoring damage is possible like this, Duke of York under performs when only firing HE.

The Royal Navy HE shell reputation will precede Duke of York, but players should be aware that it’s not quite as universal as those found on Nelson, Lion or Conqueror. You won’t be landing citadel hits against any and all cruisers you face — the list of vulnerable targets is surprisingly small. The smaller gun caliber of her 356mm shells provides 89mm of penetration and, starting with tier VII, we begin seeing cruisers with 100mm of citadel belt armour regularly. Those meme worthy salvos of Royal Navy HE one-shotting cruisers just doesn’t happen for Duke of York save against a smattering of vessels — a mere 15 of 57 potential cruisers found within her matchmaking spread (including clones).
It’s possible to boost her HE penetration up to 116mm of penetration with the commander skill Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. This increases the number of cruiser she could potentially citadel from 15 to 43. However, I must stress that “potentially” doesn’t necessarily mean “likely”. On some of these ships, the target area to bullseye with HE is painfully small. It’s largely a mistake to select this skill as the points could be better spent elsewhere. Inertial Fuse for HE shells provides Duke of York with no appreciable bonus to damaging battleships or destroyers. It will let you directly damage the decks of the tier IX Japanese carrier Taiho and possibly land a fortuitous citadel hit on the tier IX American Essex. Familiarize yourself with just how small these gains are before spending the points here.
Overall, Duke of York’s HE shells are powerful enough in of themselves to overshadow everything else about her gunnery.

Click each of the five ships to see the corresponding tier. This lists all of the cruisers which (or may not) be citadelled by Duke of York’s 356mm HE shells. Note, just because it’s possible to citadel a cruiser, that doesn’t necessarily make it easy. The French cruisers, for example, have only tiny areas of their citadel exposed where HE can penetrate — usually beneath the bridge or underneath their #2 turret.

 Can citadel a ship without any improvements to Duke of York’s HE shells.
 Can citadel a ship if Duke of York’s commander has the captain skill Inertial Fuse for HE Shells
 Cruiser cannot receive citadel hits from Duke of York’s HE shells. Either she does not have sufficient penetration (even with IFHE) or the ship’s citadel does not abut against the exterior of the ship’s hull.

Summary:
  • Bad range, shell flight time, fire angles and AP penetration over distance.
  • Her long reload time really hurts her performance.  It’s almost criminal.  This is a tier VI battleship armament, not tier VII.
  • When in doubt, spam HE. You know you’re gonna anyway.  Maybe the damage over time effects can pad your poor numbers.
Manoeuvrability
Top Speed: 28.0knots
Turning Radius: 790m
Rudder Shift: 17.5s
Maximum Turn Rate: 4.1º/s
Duke of York’s top speed is alright, if only when compared to the slugs like Colorado and Nelson. Twenty-eight knots just doesn’t compare well to the straight line power of Hood, Gneisenau and Scharnhorst. However, it’s hard to pay much attention to her speed when she comes about as lazily as a sun-drunk pig. The combination of her large turning circle and her horrible rudder shift time both contribute to this awkward handling. The latter may be improved (bringing it down to a still terrible 14.0s) but the former will ensure that any efforts to put any wiggle in her tush will end up being more of a pathetic, predictable and embarrassing waddle.
Duke of York’s handling is passable.  King George V’s is better — not by much, but better.
Rate of Turn
There are several factors which affect how quickly a ship comes about.  The most significant are the ship’s forward momentum and the size of her turning radius.  As a ship slows down, their turning radius changes, but not always for the better.  To make things more complicated, different ships also preserve speed better in a turn.  At top speed, Duke of York bleeds about 25% of her maximum velocity over thirty seconds with her rudder hard over.

When it comes to changing your heading, maintain speed whenever possible.  If you want a tighter turning circle, slow down to 3/4 engine power (but no slower than that) — but be aware that your ship will not manoeuvre as quickly.  Steering Gears Modification 2 will shave off approximately one second off their 90º turn time.

360º Rotation Rate (Ship Maximums):

  • 1/4 speed (6.9 knots): 1.0º/s rotation, 1083m turning radius
  • 1/2 speed (12.8 knots): 2.4º/s rotation, 815m turning radius
  • 3/4 speed (17.4 knots): 3.5º/s rotation, 772m turning radius
  • 4/4 speed (20.9 knots): 4.1º/s rotation, 792m turning radius

90º Rotation Rate (Stock):

  • 1/4 speed: 0.9º/s  rotation for 95.3s
  • 1/2 speed: 2.2º/s rotation  for 40.9s
  • 3/4 speed: 3.0º/s rotation for 29.6s
  • 4/4 speed: 3.5º/s rotation for 26.0s

90º Rotation Rate (Steering Gears Modification 2)

  • 1/4 speed: 1.0º/s rotation for 94.2s
  • 1/2 speed: 2.3º/s rotation for 39.7s
  • 3/4 speed: 3.1º/s rotation for 28.7s
  • 4/4 speed: 3.6º/s rotation for 25.2s

Here comes the pain.  I hope you have your Damage Control Party ready.
Durability
Hit Points: 60,500 
Maximum Citadel Protection: 381mm + 44mm
Min Bow & Deck Armour: 25mm
Torpedo Damage Reduction: 22%
The King George V-class battleships have good belt and citadel protection.  She’s held back by her 25mm bow, stern and deck armour.
Tier VII battleships sit at an uncomfortable crossroads.  Like their VI predecessors, they share a vulnerability to having their extremities overmatched by anything larger than 356mm AP shells  However, within their own matchmaking spread, these weapons are not only commonplace, they’re the norm among battleships, with only some exceptions to that rule.  While 25mm is proof against 152mm HE shells or smaller, the prevalence of Inertial Fuse for HE Shells among cruiser (and even some destroyer) commanders precludes that from being much defense.  As a result, Duke of York receives a lot of penetrating hits all over her ship and her enormous bow proves to be a very easy target.
The good news is that her citadel is relatively well protected.   She has very thick belt armour combined with a deeply submerged citadel.  It’s only from overmatching hits through her bow where she has relatively weak protection.  There is as little as 76mm of total armour there. It’s important that she keeps angled towards her opponent and attempts to bait shots against her belt armour.  Sadly, she doesn’t have the agility to facilitate doing this.
 Duke of York’s has poor torpedo defense but this is largely mitigated by access to her Hydroacoustic Search consumable.  This will spot enemy torpedoes at a range of 2.97km.  This can be improved to a range of 3.71km with the Commander skill Vigilance as the two complement one another.  At this distance, you could have as much as 24 seconds reaction time to 60 knot torpedoes.  Proper management of your consumable will all but eliminate the threat posed by destroyer attempts to snipe you.
This just leaves the threat of aircraft — specifically Dive Bombers with armour piercing bombs.  On paper, Duke of York doesn’t appear to have the armour thickness sufficient to arm the fuses on American and German bombs, but in practice, hits will vary between 10,000 to 30,000 damage.  The only consolation is that it doesn’t appear she can be deleted outright by a single dive bomber wave, but she should still be wary of this form of attack.
 Finally, it’s worth speaking about Duke of York’s Repair Party.  The big fuss here is that Duke of York does not receive as many charges as other battleships with this consumable, nor does she receive any bonuses with this lack.  While this does queue 60% of all penetration (not citadel or over penetration) damage from bombs, torpedoes, HE and AP shells instead of the usual 50%, this is a common trait across most of the Royal Navy battleship line.  None of those battleships surrender a charge of their respective Repair Party consumables for this bonus.  I keep hoping Wargaming will restore this one missing charge — it seems rather petty to have her stand out like this.  In practice, this means Duke of York can heal between 8,470 and 10,164hp less than her sister, King George V, depending on whether or not you include the India Delta signal.
For those keeping score, Duke of York breaks even here.  Her Hydroacoustic Search arguably keeps her on par with King George V, even with the disparity of their Repair Party.  If you’re not getting hit by torpedoes, then King George V wins out.

Exterior armour values of Duke of York. Duke of York’s 381mm / 260mm magazine protection is echoed around X-turret.
Her interior geometry is quite simple.  She has a 280mm transverse bulkhead behind her bow covering the upper part of her hull, but only a 51mm transverse bulkhead for her citadel.  Her machine spaces are protected with a 13mm roof and if they punch through your belt, her citadel wall is a mere 44mm.
Concealment & Camouflage
Base Surface Detection Range: 14.58km
Air Detection Range: 12.51km
Minimum Surface Detection Range: 12.16km
Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 12.63km
Main Battery Firing Range: 16.37km
Surface Detection Rank within Tier: Tied for second with King George V.
Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: 17th out of 46 battleships
Duke of York has cruiser levels of concealment.  This does open the door for a lot of fun (for you) abuses of the spotting mechanics, allowing you to sneak up on enemy vessels and deliver powerful, short range broadsides from ambush.  At least, that’s how it should work in theory.  In practice, she’s about as stealthy as an Iowa-class battleship.  Going gun silent and abusing her concealment value will help keep her alive.  Be aware that if there enemy aircraft present (even spotter aircraft), that you’ll have to open up even more distance to keep safe.  Also keep in mind that she doesn’t have the speed to truly abuse concealment.  Everything but the slowest of battleships will overtake you in a pursuit, so stay close to islands.
Anti-Aircraft Defense
AA Battery Calibers: 134mm / 40mm / 40mm / 20mm
AA Umbrella Ranges: 4.5km / 3.5km / 2.5km / 2.0km
AA DPS per Aura: 64.8 / 31.8 / 235.8 / 189.2
For raw, unmodified anti-aircraft firepower, no other tier VII battleship comes close to Duke of York.

This graph shows the stock AA values of each of the tier VII battleships, broken down by the size of their guns. The lion’s share of Duke of York’s AA firepower comes from her 40mm pom-poms and 20mm Oerlikons.

It’s one thing to have high DPS numbers (or even potential DPS numbers). It’s another entirely to have effective DPS numbers. Duke of York has some very real flaws in her AA defense. She’s not a workhorse anti-aircraft ship — she cannot provide fleet-defense. Most of her anti-aircraft firepower is limited to 2.5km range or less, suitable only for protecting herself.  Even when their range gets buffed twice over between AA Guns Modification 2 and Advanced Fire Training, their range only increases to 3.6km. It’s unlikely she will ever prevent a drop — at best, she can hope to severely maul aircraft after they’ve dropped their payload, so it’s hard to recommend an anti-aircraft build or this ship.
With so much of her AA power concentrated in small and medium caliber AA guns, Duke of York’s ability to shred planes is directly linked to how much high-explosive shell damage she’s received. While she’s unlikely to ever lose a dual-purpose 134mm gun mount, her small and medium caliber AA guns are as vulnerable as on all other ships. These gun mounts are clustered into two tightly grouped nodes making them easy prey for savvy players intent on reducing her effectiveness against enemy CVs.


Layout clusters of Duke of York’s anti-aircraft armaments. So much of her anti-aircraft firepower resides in the oh-so fragile 40mm pom-pom and 20mm Oerlikon mounts. While the latter are reasonably dispersed, the former are mostly clustered between B-turret and the first funnel. A strike around her bridge with Royal Navy battleship HE could conceivably remove as much as 197dps (out of 522dps total) from a single hit. When facing Duke of York, it’s well worth while sending one HE volley her way to greatly reduce her effectiveness against friendly aircraft carriers.

 

You’ll be my Duchess, my Duchess of York
Duke of York should be given a survivability build. Your first ten skill points should be the following:
  • Start with Priority Target.
  • Take Adrenaline Rush next.  Your reload time is already slow, so let’s speed it up.
  • Next, take either Superintendent or Basics of Survivability in your third slot.
  • Finally, take Fire Prevention or Concealment Expert in your fourth slot.

If you want to play more aggressively, take Superintendent and Fire Prevention as your first skills.  If you’re more passive, take Basics of Survivability and Concealment Expert.  You should then double back and grab the two skills you missed on the first pass.  Finish off your build with Expert Marksman for better gun handling.  This will in turn increase your damage done as you bring guns to bear faster.

 
Overall Impressions
Skill Floor: Simple Casual Challenging / Difficult
Duke of York is pretty basic for a battleship.  You can largely forget about fussing over ammunition choices.    Activate Hydroacoustic Search if you think there’s a destroyer stalking you.  Angle against incoming fire and just spam HE.  There, you go.  You’re a pro.
Skill Ceiling: Low Moderate / High / Extreme
Bad firing angles and a poor rate of fire hold Duke of York back from being a telling influence in battle. The issues with her durability are just icing on an already foul-tasting cake.  She’s largely relegated to a support role as she will struggle to do damage fast enough to be a contender when the pressure’s on.
Mouse’s Summary:
  • This is a tier VI ship pretending to be a tier VII ship.

Be careful what you wish for.

 Duke of York was shaping up to be one of the most interesting premiums released in 2017 through her development cycle.  Her earlier iterations did away with a Repair Party consumable entirely and instead buffed Duke of York with cruiser-consumables, gunnery and fire mechanics.  Yet, the peanut gallery clamored that this wasn’t good enough — battleships must have the ability to heal!  And so, we got the heal at the last minute and lost the following:
  • She lost access to Defensive Fire.  Yes, imagine her AA firepower with Defensive Fire.  It was glorious.
  • She lost access to the cruiser version of Damage Control Party with their faster reset timer.
  • Fires used to only burn for 30s.  They now burn for 60s.  With Damage Control Modification 2 and Basics of Survivability, a single fire did about the same damage to Duke of York as a 406mm penetration AP shell.
  • She had 2.05 sigma instead of 1.80 sigma.
  • Her AP shells had improved autobounce angles.  Combined with her improved accuracy, she could easily land 10k hits or larger at ranges of 14km+ against battleships with her AP shells.  Yeah!  A Royal Navy battleship with specialized AP performance!  Can you imagine being encouraged to fire AP?
  • Her reload time was 25.0s, not this paltry tier VI reload.
  • Her rudder shift time was 15.0s, not 17.5s.

All of this was sacrificed to give her access to 2/3s of a standard, British Repair Party consumable.

Now I can’t speak for the devs.  I don’t know if they perceived the older version of Duke of York to be overperforming and some of these changes may have been implemented regardless.  However, given my experiences (and those of the other CCs I’ve spoken to), this seems very unlikely.  It’s more likely Wargaming listened to feedback regarding the Repair Party and then over nerfed her to compensate.  We lost what may have been a truly interesting ship for a half-baked clone.

Duke of York cannot keep up with King George V, not when you compare the two.
Enough of what could have been.  Let’s talk about what she is. Duke of York is a King George V-class battleship with the following changes.
  • Her reload time is 29.5s instead of 25.0s.
  • She has 522 AA DPS instead of 284 AA DPS.
  • Duke of York’s rudder shift time is 17.5s instead of 15.0s.
  • She has access to Hydroacoustic Search instead of a Spotting Aircraft or Catapult Fighter.
  • Her Repair Party has two charges instead of three.
So, she’s a King George V-class battleship that doesn’t hit as hard (18% less hard, in fact) or at as long a range.  She cannot tank shell and fire damage as well as her sister ship — she can heal 20% to 33% less than the lead of her class.  However, she is more resistant to air attack and torpedo attack than King George V.  Is this a good trade?
I look to battleships to tank and deal large amounts of damage.  Duke of York has had her ability to do both undermined.  She’s effectively only worth 4/5ths of a King George V-class battleship.  Yes, even with improved anti-aircraft firepower and the ability to dodge Pan Asian deepwater torpedoes, Duke of York is just a poor imitation of her sister ship.  It’s hard for me to argue that Hydroacoustic Search provides much in the way of compelling gameplay for Duke of York.  She’s not a ship I would want to use in a brawl, so I cannot see realistic scenarios where using her consumable aggressively would be advantageous.  At best, it provides a safety net (an anti-torpedo net, if you will) that makes close encounters safer.  Personally, I would rather have the 4.5 seconds shaved off my reload time — I use my guns constantly.  I don’t use Hydroacoustic Search on cooldown.  So this 80% of a King George V starts looking worse and worse.
 How does she measure up against the other tier VII battleships?  Is 4/5ths of a King George V comparable to Scharnhorst?  To Nagato?  To Colorado?  Well let’s go through ’em.
  • Nagato:  Nagato has much better attack power, worse agility, worse AA, comparable defense.  Gunnery alone makes me give Nagato the win.
  • Ashitaka:  Ashitaka has better attack power, comparable agility, much worse AA, worse defense.  These two ships are close.  Ashitaka hits harder but can’t tank as well with her habit of eating citadel hits.In the hands of an expert player, Ashitaka will be better.  In the hands of a more casual player, Duke of York will be better.
  • Colorado:  Colorado has better attack power, much worse agility, worse AA (but not by much), much better defense.  This is again, close, mostly because of Colorado’s slow speed.  But I’m going to have to give it to the American battleship.
  • Gneisenau:  This German battleship has better attack power, much better agility, comparable AA, and much (much) better defense.  The combination of main battery, secondary battery and torpedoes makes Gneisenau an overall greater threat.  She takes it here.
  • Scharnhorst:  This premium has much better attack power, much better agility, worse AA (but not by much), much (much) better defense.  Duke of York doesn’t hold a candle to her.
  • King George V:  I’ve already gone over their differences ad nauseum.
  • Nelson:  Nelson has better attack power, worse agility, worse AA, and stupidly-better defense.  She’s hands down superior to Duke of York, even with the lack of flexibility from her low top speed.
  • Hood:  Hood has comparable attack power, better agility, much better AA and comparable defense.  Yeah, even HMS Hood is better than HMS Duke of York.

Admittedly, she’s not that far behind some of these other tier VII ships.  She’s also not broken — it’s not like she’s unplayable by any stretch. I was hoping while play testing Duke of York that some magical form of synergy would combine her disparate parts into a miraculous whole that I couldn’t foresee without play testing.  It just wasn’t there. She’s boring and uninspiring. And perhaps that’s Duke of York’s greatest sin.

With a glut of choices, Duke of York doesn’t stand apart.  She’s not good enough to sell herself based upon the merits of the ship’s performance and she doesn’t offer players anything new or compelling in terms of game play.  She’s not fun.  She’s not competitive.  She’s not even interesting. She fails as a premium, completely and utterly.
Would I Recommend?
It’s a damn good thing they’re giving this away for free…  If you cannot earn her over the course of the campaign, I would strongly advise against shelling out the money for this ship.
  • PVE Battles
    How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots?

Yes, she’ll do just fine against bots.  You’d do better with King George V or any other tier VII battleship, though.

  • Random Battle Grinding:
    This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements.

No.  Get yourself HMS Nelson, Warspite or Hood instead.

  • For Competitive Gaming:
    Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding.

Please don’t bring this on my team.

  • For Collectors:
    If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you.

Very yes.  Duke of York is a port-queen par excellence.  It’s such a shame she couldn’t also be interesting in other aspects…

  • For Fun Factor:
    Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play?

  • What’s the Final Verdict?
    How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage – Meh – Gud – Overpowered?

GARBAGE – Grossly uncompetitive and badly in need of buffs.
Mehbote – Average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn’t need buffs to be viable, but certainly not advantageous.
Gudbote – A strong ship that has obvious competitive strengths and unique features that make it very appealing.

OVERPOWERED – A ship with very clear advantages over all of its competitors and unbalancing the game with its inclusion.

Suggested nicknames: Duck of York, Puke of York, Duke of Yuck, Dookie of York & Dork of York.  Mix and match to your heart’s content!

 

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