French battleships are almost here and it's time to tell you about their in-game specifications—their strengths, weaknesses, secrets, and combat tactics.
It's difficult to give a definite characteristic to the French battleships' branch, because the changes between Tiers III to V have more of an evolutionary nature—we see an increase in displacement, caliber, and the number of primary armament turrets. Tier VI battleship Normandie is quite unusual compared to the previous ships in the branch—it has fewer primary armament turrets, but more guns in each of them. Up to Tier VIII, the gameplay will seem fairly normal to all battleship enthusiasts, but then the availability of the Engine Boost consumable and an atypical number of guns, combined with decent secondary armament range, will incite players to create new tactical approaches and ways to cooperate with their team.
The branch's flagship—France—stands out from its counterparts, because it has only two primary armament turrets. However, their quick reload and the speed characteristics of the ship (it's the fastest one among all Tier X battleships) will allow you to look at your favorite ship type from a different perspective. Vive la France!
Tier III — Turenne
The first battleship in the French branch is a fairly typical dreadnought with all the advantages and shortcomings this ship type implies. You have 6 primary armament turrets with two 305-mm guns in each of them. With weapons like this you have good possibilities to push through a flank, while the armor, which is 250 mm thick in some places, is capable of sustaining powerful hits if you don't turn your side to the enemy. If you do, an accurate salvo from enemy battleships can cause some serious damage to your citadel. This ship's primary targets are cruisers and battleships. Available consumables—Damage Control Party and Repair Party.
Tier IV — Courbet
Tier IV continues the tradition of classic dreadnoughts at low tiers. This ship has more guns than Turenne and their location is more convenient—only two of them are on the sides, which allows you to fire a broadside salvo of 10 shells. At the same time, it's protected by the same armor as its predecessor in the branch and can sustain massive shelling if you angle the hull correctly. It's even more important to maintain this angle, because you can fire six guns at once from your bow. The threats remain the same—surprise attacks from destroyers and concentrated fire on your sides. This ship's primary targets are cruisers and battleships. Available consumables—Damage Control Party and Repair Party.
Tier V — Bretagne
The dreadnought at Tier V has an increased caliber of 340 mm and can now fire all its guns from both sides. The turrets' rotation angle allows you to punish enemies with a 10-gun salvo, without the need to turn your side and expose the citadel. At the same time, the tactics remain typical of battleships—distracting enemy fire, dealing damage, and pushing through flanks. This ship's primary targets are cruisers and battleships. Available consumables—Damage Control Party and Repair Party.
Tier VI — Normandie
The Tier VI battleship is significantly different from the previous ships in the branch. It has only three turrets, but each of them has four guns mounted. As a result, you have a salvo of 12 shells. Considering their decent firing range, they pose a serious threat. At the same time, the caliber of 340 mm can seem insufficient, and you'll need some assistance with AA defense from your allies. The ship has good speed and maneuverability for its tier, which allows you to successfully evade enemy attacks if you put some effort in. Priority targets in battle—cruisers with their sides exposed, which guarantees them a quick trip back to port, and destroyers who should be afraid of your powerful salvos. The main engagement distance is average. Available consumables—Damage Control Party and Repair Party.
Tier VII — Lyon
The uniqueness of the French Tier VII battleship lies in its four primary armament turrets with four guns each, which provides the biggest number of shells per salvo of this tier. Meanwhile the caliber is the same—340 mm. The ship has better AA defense compared to Normandie and a decent maximum speed of 27 knots. At the same time, its survivability reserve in both configurations is unenviable—it can have 10,000 or fewer hit points than its counterparts. The main objective in battle is the hunt for cruisers, but don't miss out on an opportunity to fire a salvo at a battleship exposing its side. The main engagement distance is average. Available consumables—Damage Control Party and Repair Party.
Tier VIII — Richelieu
After Tier VII it might seem like Richelieu is not that efficient—it has only two four-gun turrets. However, her guns are installed on the bow, which allows you to concentrate your fire potential in one direction and the caliber grows to 380 mm. Coupled with good ballistic properties and armor penetration, they allow the ship to be efficient at both long and medium range. The maximum speed is insignificantly inferior to Bismarck, who holds the record for this tier. This shortcoming is easily compensated for by the Engine Boost consumable, which is a unique feature for battleships. It increases your speed and gives you the ability to quickly switch flanks. Cruisers and battleships are your primary targets. Due to the turrets’ location, the ship needs to keep its bow turned towards the enemy, and penetrating it is quite problematic for adversaries from both the same and higher tiers. In a close quarters engagement, you can rely on your secondary armament, which has a range that can challenge the famous secondary armament of German battleships. Available consumables—Damage Control Party, Repair Party, Engine Boost, and a Catapult Fighter/Spotting Aircraft for Hull A.
Tier IX — Alsace
Three turrets with four guns each grant the battleship a 12-shell salvo, while the majority of battleships on this tier can fire only 9 per salvo. Apart from this, the base range of its secondary armament is 7.5 km, which helps in close quarters engagements. Alsace has an unusual consumable for a battleship—Engine Boost—and can accelerate to quite a high speed compared to its counterparts of the tier (30.4 knots by default, 32.8 knots with Engine Boost). She lags behind only Iowa by this parameter. A combination of primary and secondary armament and consumables like this allows the ship to be efficient at any distance, but still her most comfortable range is medium and long. Cruisers and battleships are your targets in battle. Available consumables—Damage Control Party, Repair Party, Engine Boost, and a Catapult Fighter/Spotting Aircraft.
Tier X — France
The top ship in the branch has only two primary armament turrets with four guns each—a setup that we're already accustomed to. However, the reload time of these guns is very unusual for top-tier battleships—24 seconds, while the base speed of 30 knots coupled with Engine Boost allows it to accelerate to 32.4 knots. Specifications like this make France the fastest battleship at Tier X and allow it to appear in the most unexpected spots of the map. In addition, its shells have good muzzle velocity and ballistics. The base range of the secondary armament is 8 km, which allows it to repel daring destroyers, while good AA defense can fend off air groups from any carrier. Medium and long range is the most convenient in battle. Cruisers and battleships are your main targets. Available consumables—Damage Control Party, Repair Party, and Engine Boost.