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Final Review: British Tier VIII Premium Cruiser Tiger 59′

7 min read

As it was revealed with the patch note for Update 0.10.4, the Tiger ’59 is now final and available for 11 300 doubloons in the Armory or in the Premium shop. Now everyone says hello to our dear TIGOR!

Yes, I just dug up a War Thunder meme from November 2018 because it’s just the best possible representation of the Tiger ’59…

In any case, here is what I think about this ship.

Historical Background

HMS Tiger was the lead ship of the Tiger-class cruisers, last all-gun cruisers ever built for the Royal Navy.

Initially, the ship was laid down as part of the Swiftsure-class of light cruisers in 1941. However, due to low priority, the work on the ship was never completed. In 1945, Tiger was launched, partially constructed… only to have, again, work on her being suspended in 1946. In 1948, a massive redesign would occur, resulting from works on the never-built Neptune-class and Minotaur-class. This new design would incorporate the twin auto-loading 152 mm gun turrets of the Minotaur-class but, instead of having five of them, it would only be two with one at the front and one at the rear. The main battery would be completed with three twin 76.2 mm gun turrets as a secondary battery.

In total, 3 ships were built: Tiger, commissioned in March 1959; Lion, commissioned in July 1960 and Blake, commissioned in Marck 1961.

When it comes to Tiger, her career as an all-gun cruiser wouldn’t last long. In 1966, she was placed in reserve and she was rebuilt from 1968 to 1972 into a helicopter and command cruiser. In that new configuration, her rear 152 mm turret was removed as well as two of her 76.2 mm mounts. She would receive two Seacat missile launchers as well as a flight deck and hangar to operate four helicopters. When recommissioned, she proved to be a very effective command ship and was used as a flagship in task groups. However, she was also very expensive to operate and maintain. She was later decommissioned in 1979.

When the Falkland broke out in 1982, Tiger was still in very good condition and work started to get her ready for action. However, after a while, the refits were stopped for multiple reasons (lack of qualified crew, risk of a scenario similar to the loss of the Argentinian cruiser General Belgrano, etc.). In the end, the ship was scrapped in 1986. One of her 3inch guns is on display outside TS Tiger Leicester Sea Cadets, Leicester. The gun may have been taken out of HMS Tiger during her 1950s refit.

If you want to know more about HMS Tiger, here is a video from Drachinifel covering it:

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Best dispersion of all cruisers in the game
  • Same turrets and guns as Minotaur at tier X
  • Turrets able to turn at 360°
  • 6.9 km AA range at tier VIII
  • Incredibly tight turning radius
  • Royal Navy CL acceleration
  • Great concealment
  • Combination of a Smoke Generator and Surveillance Radar
  • British CL Specialized Repair Party
  • Small size for a cruiser
  • 25/27 mm plating compared to the 16 mm on tech-tree British CL

The Bad

  • Only four guns
  • No HE shells
  • Second-worst AP DPM of all cruisers at tier VIII
  • Slowest cruiser at her tier by a good margin
  • Terrible AA performances due to low DPS and only 3 flak explosion per salvo
  • Only three AA mounts meaning that a lucky HE salvo can make you lose a large part of your main AA damage output
  • Thinly protected citadel
  • No Hydroacoustic Search

The camouflage

The permanent camouflage of the Tiger ’59 provides the classic bonuses for tier VIII ships:

  • -3% to surface detectability range
  • +4% to maximum dispersion of shells fired by the enemy at your ship
  • -10% to the cost of the ship’s post-battle service
  • +50% to experience earned in the battle

Modules

Hull
Engine
Gun Fire Control System
Main battery

icon_module_Hull_installed

Tiger ’59

icon_module_Engine_installed

Propulsion: 80 000 hp

icon_module_Suo_installed

Mk VIII mod. 1

icon_module_Artillery_installed

152 mm/50 Mk XXVI

General Characteristics and playstyle

Tier VIII
Health 33 100 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction 4%
Displacement 11 700 tons
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range 15.600 km
152 mm/50 Mk XXVI 2 x 2 152 mm
Maximum speed 30.3 knots
Turning Circle Radius 590 m
Rudder Shift Time 8.9 s
Surface Detectability 11.7 km
Air Detectability 8.52 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke 5.52 km
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Slot 4
Slot 5
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 5 s
Cooldown: 60 s
Specialized Repair Team

Number of charges: 3
Work time: 20 s
Cooldown: 80 s
HP regeneration: 2%/s
Smoke Generator

Number of charges: 3
Work time: 15 s
Cooldown: 160 s
Smoke radius: 600 m
Smoke duration: 106 s
Surveillance Radar
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 30 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Ship spotting range: 9.0 km
Defensive AA Fire
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 40 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Continuous Damage: +50%
Damage from shell explosions: +300%

Oh boy, the Tiger… there was potential to make a good British CL captain trainer out of her but with how bad she is, might as well get Belfast ’43 instead.

Let’s start with the positive part. When it comes to supporting destroyers near capture point, she is actually very good. With the 9.2 km spotting range and 9.0 km Surveillance Radar, she can basically instantly use the radar because of the spotting delay. The incredibly tight dispersion coupled with the fast reload will allow you to punish hard the DDs that you will catch pants down or at least, chunk them.
Here is the first problem though… You only have 2/5 of the firepower of a Minotaur (without Main Battery Modification 3) and even with the improved dispersion… well it isn’t much. The damage output of the Tiger ’59 is basically “Death by a million tickles”. Since you are stuck with AP shells, things like Akizuki can straight up outgun you when you are in the open.

Outside of dealing with DDs…. well… saying that her fighting capacities are limited is being generous. Her firepower against anything bigger is just mediocre. You also don’t have the torpedoes to help if anything decides to close the distance with you when smoked up or simply while you are trying to run away with your pedestrian 31.7 knots top speed. The last nail on the coffin, her anti-air is terrible. It’s not Atago or Belfast ’43 level of terrible but it’s not far from it.

If you want to see the ship in action, I recorded a game with her available here:

(For some reason, the replay was derping hard so the speed and steering UI doesn’t work. Also, you have a magnificent radar fat finger at minute 6:00.)

Main Battery

2 x 2 152 mm/50 Mk XXVI
 Maximum Firing Range 15.600 km
 Reloading Time 3.2 s
180 Degree Turn Time 4.7 s
Optimal firing angles at the front 25°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 35°
Sigma 2.00 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 70 m
Shell
Type of Projectile AP – 152 mm AP Mk V
Alpha Damage 3 200 HP
Projectile Speed 768 m/s
Air drag 0.347
Projectile Mass 58.85 kg
Projectile Krupp 2 672
Projectile Detonator 0.005 s
Detonator Threshold 12 mm
Ricochet Angles 60° – 75°

The firepower of the Tiger is… abysmal in all honesty. For starters, she has the second-worst AP DPM of all tier VIII light cruisers after Belfast ’43 but here is the thing. Belfast has at least HE shells she can rely on to damage ships. With Tiger, you are stuck with only 4 guns shooting AP and will have to tickle the enemy to death. The only saving grace is the fact that she has the same dispersion as the German spähkreuzer but even then, the damage output is just miserable and it gets even worse when comparing to Edinburgh and her juicy alpha strike potential.

Anti-air Armament

2 x 2 152 mm/50 Mk XXVI
Sector range 0.1 km – 6.9 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 17
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 60
Flak clouds number 3
Flak cloud damage 1 750
3 x 2 76.2 mm/70 Mk VI
Sector range 0.1 km – 4.0 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 62
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 217

The anti-air of the Tiger is well below what one would have hoped for. Outside of having a 6.9 km AA range, her DPS is very low and, when it comes to the mid-range, only generated by three AA mounts. I had on multiple occasions matches where I only had 1/3 of that mid-range left if not none.
If you end up in such a situation, unless the enemy CV eats flak explosions all the time, you will just have your eyes left to cry.

Talking about the flak explosions, even in that department, Tiger is just terrible with only 3 flaks per salvo which is incredibly easy to avoid.

The Armor

Tiger presents one advantage over the tech-tree British CL and it’s the 25/27 mm middle section. This will allow you to have some extra protection against battleships with 356 or even 380/381 mm guns. Except that, her citadel protection is very thin and unlike on the Edinburgh, the citadel is halfway above the waterline so you need to get that tight turning radius to work.

External armor protection

Front and rear protections of the middle section

Citadel protection

Turret protection

Final Opinion

Unless you are really a big history fan or that you have 2 destroyer buddies with whom you love to play in a division, I simply cannot recommend the Tiger ’59. Hell, even when considering the latter scenario, You could just play Edinburgh with Surveillance Radar and do far better with your friendly DDs smoking you up when needed.

The Tiger’s firepower is mediocre and her game impact is only saved by her capacity to support allied destroyers on capture points thanks to the radar and smoke combination. She truly is a hard pass and it’s a bit painful because she isn’t even that far from being decent/good. Getting a reload buff would already help but yeah… so be it, that’s the Tiger ’59.

Recommended build

During the testing of the Tiger ’59, I was running the following build:

  • Incoming Fire Alert
  • Consumable Enhancements
  • Adrenaline Rush
  • Concealment Expert
  • Superintendent
  • Radio Location
  • Top Grade Gunner

Alternatively, you can swap Top Grade Gunner or Radio Location for Priority Target and… Expert AA Marksman I guess because there really is nothing else worth taking.

This concludes my review of the Tiger ’59. Thank you for reading this article!

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Have a good one and see you soon!

4 thoughts on “Final Review: British Tier VIII Premium Cruiser Tiger 59′

  1. and again WG releases a totally rubbish British cruiser , Cheshire got canned , so now we get Tiger 59

    just what the hell is wrong with WG ? does it have to fly a red star before it is worth buying ?

    1. Chseshire is not bad, she is a real BBQ starter, very manoeuvrable. Very good at kiting, ok she is very fragile, but in good hands you can perform very well.

    2. I do not find that Cheshire’s HE performs anything like it is supposed to. It is no better than Surrey or Devonshire for fire starting.

      I would like a refund for this ship , the figures for its performance are a lie.

  2. An AA cruiser and Wargaming gives it terrible AA. Great job, WG. What a joke.

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