A while ago I had a bunch of free captain xp, almost enough to get me to 8 captain points, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to train up a captain in one of the lineless nations.
So off with my few dubloons I went and bought the VI Italian CL Duca D'Aosta. I had seen the Flamu, Mejash, and Notser videos, I read the LWM review, I knew the HE was uninspiring and the AP was zippy and accurate, that the agility was strong, the torpedos weird (but interesting), and ship highly dependent on captain skills.
I am an unimpressive player by all accounts. Most of my ~1200 games are in torpedo DDs, my average win rate is barely 48%, and my most successful ships are Mogami (no idea how I made 63% WR, it always feels I get blapped when I play) and Huanghe (57%, another underrated VI).
several dozen games in, I'm definitely a Duca Convert. Things I've learnt in my brief time with her:
- IFHE is a no-brainer, even more than CE. I'm first to the CE-on-everything party, but low alpha on Duca (outside short-range broadside AP Citadel Party, when CE help anyhow) means you consistently stay firing anyway. When you spend so much time visible, who cares about another 1km stealth? This is no Zao, no mega-alpha salvo then ghost here, buddy. Your fire chance is HAHAHAHAAAAA% anyway, subtracting 3% from it makes no appreciable difference. I tried demo expert and no IFHE during free respec week, and fire damage wasn't consistent enough to outweigh the massive shatter issue. Savy BBs will just extinguish your fire imediately, staying lit in case there's another one vs a Duca is dumb. And you shouldn't be focusing on BBs anyway, your main victims are DD and CA.
- AP is outrageous. Unless at autobounce angles, you have solid chances to smash through cruisers even without broadside. At ranges close enough to hit their belts, your AP can penetrate most of them anyway. At ranges where the plunge angle will avoid the belt, they still have enough energy to pen. they also are relatively accurate enough to smash through BB turrets if you're close, and this is a valid strategy if you can't out-turn them. though at close range you can probably smash through BBs too, which is also tempting. I've not citadelled a BB yet, but plenty of pens.
- Torpedoes are a surprise hit. Literally. Mash them on cooldown towards the edges of islands you think someone might, over the next few weeks, sail past. I've gotten double strike twice with this, when pewpewing a DD and suddenly torpedo hit and devstrike ribbon shows up, and I can't even remember when I sent the last batch. These are so slow you reload before they run out of range. But they work! And they have one of the lowest detection radii in the game
- wasd wasd wasd. Your main defence at range is wasd. This boat is so agile snaking out of harm's way is completely doable. I avoid being shot the same way I do as a DD. Stay visible, stay firing, just snake around the incoming lead rain. My record for tanking incoming damage? 1.834.000… On a ship with 29.700 hp? Outrageous. No other boat I've tried is as good at baiting CA torps. Fake a turn one way to feign committing broadside vs broadside at 4km, then immediately swivel the other, watch two full salvos of torps harmlessly pass your side while you blapp AP into their disappointed faces.
- I kid you not, best tier 3 talent: Survivability Expert. DE is pointless, BFT won't turn you into an AA platform, SI who cares? you'll never get to use a 4th Hydro/DFAA/Spotter, DE is functionally wasteful. Relying on dodge at long range (incredibly effective) and troll belt armour at short range (likewise) means few HP keep you up for long. Especially late game when there are few remaining ships, dodge-based defences can keep you alive for a long time because you're only dodging one or two ships' worth of shots. Case in point the match I post below: Late game I was at 363 life and spotted an Aigle, on 12.300 coming out of smoke at 9km. He thought "dinner is served", but French guns are floaty, slow, and uninspiring. torps, HE and AP all flew my way. By the end of that duel I was at 127hp, and he was on 0 after 23 solid HE hits and I had a Kraken Unleashed. Dodging a single boat's salvos at that mid-distance was cake.
- Expert Marksman not optional. Forget the module, the 5% fire rate nerf is really felt, you spend almost all your useful time waiting on gun cooldown, and you'll spend all that time wiggling. You can absolutely out-turn your guns and that's a recipe for massive wasted damage.
With all the focus on the CV rework, the bizarrely badly-armoured Azuma, space battles, and DEEP TROPOD IMPAT, I thought I'd bring a little refreshment to WoWs Reddit.
Who else has Duca-based experiences to share? Abruzzi included, of course!
This thread brought to you by: mid-tier Kraken Unleashed & High Calibre:
Not bad for a boat full of pasta…
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© Post "Who’s got love for the Italian Cruisers?" for game World of Warships.
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