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Final Review: British Tier X Freemium Cruiser Gibraltar

7 min read

Alright chaps, here’s the new toy at the service of His Majesty, Gibraltar. The ship will be available with the release of Update 0.10.10. You will be able to get her for a total of 59 000 Research points in the Armory.

Is she worth it? Is she interesting enough to grind and potentially put older Research Bureau ships on the waitlist? Here is my opinion on it.

Historical background

In 1938, the Director of Naval Construction started working on a series of designs to counter the German Deutschland-class as well as the Japanese Chichibu-class.
The Chichibu-class was what the Allies believed to be an improved version of the Deutschland-class armed with 410 mm guns. It ended up being pure fantasy but scared the U.S.N. enough to start working on what would become the Alaska-class.

As for the British designs, multiple proposals were made with displacements ranging from 20 500 tons to 23 700 tons. As for the armament, the “weakest” design was armed with three triple turrets with 203 mm guns while the largest (Design I) was carrying three quadruple turrets with 234 mm guns.

In the end, none of these would be retained.

However, in 1939, as Winston Churchill returned as First Sea Lord of the Admiralty he almost immediately asked for a cruiser design to effectively fight the German Deutschland-class and Admiral Hipper-class. The DNC got back to work and since the restrictions of previous treaties had been abandoned, they simply went back to their previous designs and modified them. Design A was a modified version of Design I from 1938 with higher maximum speed but weaker armor protection.

In World of Warships, Gibraltar is based on Design A but with a much more modern approach. Her main battery can only fire AP shells similar to those of the British CLs and she also has the same Smoke Generator. The Repair Party remains the standard one though.

Size comparison with Goliath

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • AP shells with very short fuse timer
  • AP shells with improved ricochet angles
  • 4 guns per turret allowing you to still have a lot of firepower while angled
  • 234 mm guns that can overmatch 16 mm platings
  • Lazy ballistics allowing you to abuse island covers
  • 40 mm deck protecting you even against AP shells from 431 mm guns or bigger
  • Smoke Generator allowing you to settle in the open and deal a lot of damage safely
  • British enhanced acceleration

The Bad

  • No HE shells unlike Goliath
  • Horrible firing angles
  • No torpedo armament
  • Well exposed and above waterline citadel
  • Flat turrets face with no slope, making them very vulnerable to AP in close-quarter fights
  • The smoke clouds only last for 96s (same as the tier V cruiser Emerald)
  • Concealment is nothing outstanding
  • Much wider than Goliath so higher chances to take full penetration damage from AP.

The camouflage

The permanent camouflage of Gibraltar provides the classic bonuses for tier X ships:

  • -3% to surface detectability range
  • +4% to maximum dispersion of shells fired by the enemy at your ship
  • -50% to the cost of ship’s post-battle service
  • +20% credits earned in the battle.
  • +100% to experience earned in the battle

Modules

Hull
Engine
Gun Fire Control System
Main battery

icon_module_Hull_installed

Gibraltar

icon_module_Engine_installed

Propulsion: 135 000 HP

icon_module_Suo_installed

‎Mk X mod. 1

icon_module_Artillery_installed

234 mm/50 Mk X

General Characteristics and Playstyle

Tier X
Health 59 400 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction 13 %
Displacement 27 017 tons
Dimensions
Overall length 220.4 m
Beam 28.84 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship) 31.84 m
Freeboard 7.09 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range 16.850 km
234 mm/50 Mk X 3 x 4 234 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range 7.300 km
113 mm/45 RP 41 Mk VI
6 x 2 113 mm
Maximum speed 32.0 knots
Turning Circle Radius 840 m
Rudder Shift Time 12.6 s
Surface Detectability 14.58 km
Air Detectability 9.26 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke 9.49 km
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Slot 4
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 5 s
Cooldown: 60 s
Repair Party
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 28 s
Cooldown: 80 s
HP regeneration: 0.5%/s
Casemate damage regeneration: 50%
Citadel damage regeneration: 30%
Hydroacoustic Search
consumable_PCY016_SonarSearchPremiumNumber of charges: 2
Work time: 100 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Torpedo spotting range: 3.5 km
Ship spotting range: 5.0 km
Smoke Generator

Number of charges: 3
Work time: 15 s
Cooldown: 160 s
Smoke radius: 600 m
Smoke duration: 96 s

Gibraltar is quite an oddball compared to the rest of the British high-tier heavy cruisers. You can forget the improved Repair Party and the HE with high penetration, here, you are stuck with a Smoke Generator and AP only.

Generally speaking, the ship will be played at medium range. At long range, her ballistics isn’t great because of the slow shells, making it somewhat inconsistent at dealing damage on anything that isn’t a battleship or a large cruiser.
At close range, while you will be able to Thanos-snap destroyers, you won’t have the possibility to use your Smoke Generator (unless it’s to disengage). Because of the terrible detectability range when firing in smoke, it will be a waste as you will remain spotted while firing. Also, against cruisers and battleships, it will be suicidal to use all your turrets as it would be very easy for the enemy to hit your citadel. You just won’t have the time to angle your ship between salvos.

In the end, you want to stay mostly at medium range, play a bit in the open, use your smoke to save your HP and farm damage in peace. Also, keep looking for opportunities to chunk destroyers for half of their HP if not more.

Sorry for the lack of replay but with the ultra-tight schedule, I just didn’t have time to get a proper game to feature for Gibraltar.

Main Battery

3 x 4 234 mm/50 Mk X
 Maximum Firing Range 16.850 km
 Reloading Time 13.5 s
180 Degree Turn Time 22.5 s
Optimal firing angles at the front 37°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 45°
Sigma 2.05 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 149 m
Shells
Type of Projectile AP – 234 mm AP 6 CRH
Alpha Damage 5 750
Projectile Speed 841 m/s
Air Drag 0.36
Projectile Mass 152 kg
Projectile Krupp 2 950
Projectile Detonator 0.005 s
Detonator threshold 12 mm
Ricochet Angles 60° – 75°

For those who already played Drake or Goliath, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting used to the guns of Gibraltar.

The ballistic is the exact same as the other 2 but unlike them, you are stuck with AP. Thankfully, this is some really beefed-up AP with short-fuse and the same ricochet angles as the British light cruisers. You will get solid salvos on anything not fully angled and you will just obliterate destroyers not respecting you.

While it is a great AP to get consistent penetration damage and citadel hits on exposed citadels, the moment you face layered armor, you get into trouble. Just like with British light cruisers, the fuse is so short that the shells will detonate almost instantly after passing the first layer of armor. You are simply incapable of getting citadels on things like Henri IV or Alexander Nevsky, to only name these 2.

Secondary Armament

6 x 2 113 mm/45 RP 41 Mk VI
Maximum Firing Range 7.300 km
Reloading Time 3.0 s
Sigma 1.0 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 113 mm HE Mk XVI
Alpha Damage 1 600
Damage 410
HE penetration 19 mm
Explosion Size 0.36
Chance to Cause Fire 7 %
Projectile Speed 746 m/s
Air Drag 0.333
Projectile Mass 25 kg

Decoration and anti-air.

Anti-air Armament

6 x 2 113 mm/45 RP 41 Mk VI
Sector range 0.1 km – 5.8 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 31
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 126
Flak clouds number 6
Flak cloud damage 1 610
4 x 2 40 mm STAAG
7 x 6 40 mm Bofors Mk VI
Sector range 0.1 km – 3.5 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 95
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 333
10 x 2 20 mm Oerlikon Mk V
Sector range 0.1 km – 2.0 km
Hit chance 85 %
Sector’s damage 36
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 126

The anti-air of Gibraltar is nothing to write stories about. The mid-range has fairly good DPS but with no Defensive AA Fire, the ship definitely won’t make the enemy carriers run away in fear.

The Armor

Unlike the Goliath with spaced armor, the citadel on Gibraltar is fully exposed and I tell you, you REALLY want to mind your angling. This ship won’t forgive you if you don’t, especially since she has a standard Repair Party.

External armor protection:

Front and rear armor protection of the middle section:

Citadel armor protection:

Turrets armor protection:

Hidden armor protection inside the bow and stern:

Final Opinion

Overall, Gibraltar is a decent ship but not much more. The horrible firing angles and exposed citadel limit your movements quite a lot and you will not be able to use the Smoke Generator as much as you would like because of the bad spotting range when firing in smoke.

In the end, you might have a very consistent AP and the ability to Thanos-snap destroyers but the drawbacks of the ship are big ones.

Recommended Build

For Gibraltar, I recommend the following commander build:

  • Incoming Fire Alert
  • Consumable Enhancement
  • Superintendent
  • Concealment Expert
  • Adrenaline Rush
  • Heavy AP Shells
  • Top Grade Gunner
  • Grease the Gears

This concludes my review of Gibraltar. Thank you for reading this article!

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