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Final Review: German Tier X Battleship Schlieffen

9 min read

With update 0.10.9, the entire new German battlecruisers will be available. Now the big question is if it’s worth grinding this line. Well here is my opinion on the question.

Historical background

Sitting at the end of the new German battlecruiser line, the Schlieffen is based on the Schnelle Großekampfschiffe GK 5041. Out of all the known designs, this was the biggest, armed with eight 420 mm guns in four twin turrets in an AB XY configuration and displacing no less than 50 000 tons at standard displacement.

Just like the rest of the previous German battlecruiser designs, this one was canceled at the end of World War I.

If you want, you can learn a bit more about those late World War I battlecruiser designs here.

In World of Warships, we are getting a hypothetic modernized GK 5041 with a revised superstructure, stronger secondary armament, anti-air and also the addition of deck-mounted torpedo launchers.

She gets battlecruiser dispersion on her main battery, Massachusetts dispersion on her secondary battery, her 4th turret can turn at 360° and she gets a German Hydroacoustic Search as well as the same Damage Control Party as Soviet Battleships.

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Battlecruiser dispersion
  • Fast reloading guns
  • Good ballistics
  • German improved HE penetration
  • Great secondaries with improved dispersion and long firing range
  • 13.5 km torpedo range
  • High top speed
  • Well protected citadel
  • Good overall protection
  • Great concealment by sea
  • Fast Damage Control Team consumable
  • German Hydroacoustic Search

The Bad

  • Bad AP penetration
  • Low firing range
  • Weak HE shells
  • Very vulnerable torpedo tubes
  • Large turning radius
  • Very low HP pool
  • 27 mm bow and stern
  • The casemate-mounted secondaries are fairly big weak spots on the hull

The camouflage

The permanent camouflage of the Schlieffen 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
Torpedoes

icon_module_Hull_installed

Schlieffen

icon_module_Engine_installed

Propulsion: 200 000 HP

icon_module_Suo_installed

‎FKS Typ 10 Mod. 1

icon_module_Artillery_installed

420 mm/50 SK L/50 on a Drh LC/1918 mount

icon_module_Torpedoes_installed

‎G7a T1

General Characteristics and Playstyle

Tier X
Health 76 100 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction 23 %
Displacement 50 482 tons
Dimensions
Overall length 282.0 m
Beam 33.6 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship) 30.3 m
Freeboard 5.6 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range 19.806 km
420 mm/50 SK L/50 on a Drh LC/1918 mount 4 x 2 420 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range 8.300 km
150 mm/55 SK C/28 on a Dop. MPL C/36 mount
105 mm/65 SK C/33 on a Dop. L. C/31 mount
105 mm/65 SK C/33 on a Dop. L. C/37 mount
8 x 2 150 mm
4 x 2 105 mm
8 x 2 105 mm
Torpedo Armament
Maximum Firing Range 13.500 km
533 mm Vierling 4 x 4 533 mm
Maximum speed 34.1 knots
Turning Circle Radius 970 m
Rudder Shift Time 16.1 s
Surface Detectability 16.04 km
Air Detectability 13.04 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke 15.9 km
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Fast Damage Control Team
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 10 s
Cooldown: 40 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: 10%
Hydroacoustic Search
consumable_PCY016_SonarSearchPremiumNumber of charges: 3
Work time: 120 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Torpedo spotting range: 4.0 km
Ship spotting range: 6.0 km

The Schlieffen is fairly different to the Grosser Kurfürst in terms of playstyle. From the start, she is FAR more fragile with her combined low HP pool and thinner armor protection. Generally speaking, the Schlieffen requires a slightly more subtle playstyle as she heavily relies on her speed and concealment to get close and get your sweet secondaries to work.

As I said though, you really need to be careful when going in close combat because while she can hold her ground against one or two ships, more than that can get you killed relatively quickly depending on which ships we are talking about.

Another great gimmick of the German battlecruisers is the Fast Damage Control Team which fits well with the… I guess you can call it a guerilla kind of playstyle?

There is just one last thing to keep in mind and it’s the XP gain. A lot of your damage will come from your secondaries, and this damage is poorly rewarded in terms of XP.

If you want to see the ship in action, here is a replay of one of my games:

There is still the WIP watermark because she is missing the last main battery reload buff that she will get with the next update.

Main Armament

4 x 2 420 mm/50 SK L/50 on a Drh LC/1918 mount
 Maximum Firing Range 19.806 km
 Reloading Time 27.0 s
180 Degree Turn Time 30.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front 34°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 33°
Sigma 1.70 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 215 m
Shells
Type of Projectile  HE – 420 mm P.Spr.Gr. L/50
Alpha Damage 4 600
Penetration capacity  105 mm
Explosion size 2.38
Fire chance 27 %
Projectile Speed 835 m/s
Air Drag 0.244
Projectile Mass 1 050 kg
Type of Projectile AP – 420 mm Spr.Gr. L/50
Alpha Damage 12 950
Projectile Speed 835 m/s
Air Drag 0.244
Projectile Mass 1 050 kg
Projectile Krupp 2 300
Projectile Detonator 0.033 s
Detonator threshold 70 mm
Ricochet Angles 45° – 60°

The main battery of the Schlieffen is… meh. It’s not straight-up terrible but really nothing to write stories about. You get more reliable guns than you would have on a Grosser Kurfürst thanks to the battlecruiser dispersion but don’t get your hopes too high, it remains a German ship and you still have to deal with the 1.7 sigma and the fact that you only have 8 guns.

When it comes to the performances of both shell types, the HE is your classic anemic German HE with improved penetration but low damage and fire chances. The AP is also quite bad for 420 mm guns honestly. In fact, outside of Bourgogne’s 380 mm AP shells, the 420 mm AP shells of Schlieffen are the worst at tier X in terms of penetration. At the same time, the shell velocity is really good thanks to the low air drag and decent initial shell velocity so you will be overpenetrating targets fairly often.

Secondary Armament

8 x 2 150 mm/55 SK C/28 on a Dop. MPL C/36 mount
Maximum Firing Range 8.300 km
Reloading Time 6.7 s
Sigma 1.0 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 150 mm Spr.Gr. L/4.5
Alpha Damage 1 700
Damage 670
HE penetration 38 mm
Explosion Size 0.54
Chance to Cause Fire 8 %
Projectile Speed 875 m/s
Air Drag 0.33
Projectile Mass 45.3 kg
4 x 2 105 mm/65 SK C/33 on a Dop. L. C/31 mount
8 x 2 105 mm/65 SK C/33 on a Dop. L. C/37 mount
Maximum Firing Range 8.300 km
Reloading Time 3.0 s
Sigma 1.0 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 105 mm Spr.Gr. Kz.
Alpha Damage 1 200
Damage 330
HE penetration 26 mm
Explosion Size 0.31
Chance to Cause Fire 5 %
Projectile Speed 900 m/s
Air Drag 0.33
Projectile Mass 15.1 kg

Now we are on to the main dish and these secondaries are straight-up nuts. They combine a large volume of fire (up to 20 guns on target), a high firing range (up to 12.5 km firing range), improved dispersion and on top of that, the German improved HE penetration.

They work wonderfully on the Schlieffen thanks to the low spotting range (can go down to 12.6 km spotting range by sea) and the high speed of the ship that allows her to quickly get in range and disengage if needed.

The real magic happens when you take Inertia Fuse for HE Shells. With this skill, the 105 mm secondaries can penetrate 32 mm platings and the 150 mm can penetrate 47 mm. Basically, anything in range gets melted as long as it isn’t a heavily armored battleship or a very fast destroyer staying at max range.

Torpedo Armament

4 x 4 533 mm Vierling
G7 T1 Ausf.C
Reloading Time 160 s
Maximum Distance 13.500 km
Optimal firing angles at the front 32°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 29°
Damage 16 533
Flooding Chance 279%
Speed 50 knots
Surface Detectability 1.2 km

The torpedoes on Schlieffen and the rest of the German battlecruisers… are more decorative than anything else. Or well… That’s if you like having destroyed torpedo launchers on your ship. These launchers are very exposed and they will just decide to randomly get knockout or straight up destroyed after just a few salvos, may it be HE or AP.

When they are functional, the sea mines torpedoes are useful for area denial or in brawling situations but for the latter… you really have to pray to any existing God that they remain functional long enough and don’t get nailed by a random secondary hit.

Also, if a battleship shoots HE at you, consider that you are about to lose at the very least one torpedo launcher permanently.

Anti-air Armament

4 x 2 105 mm/65 SK C/33 on a Dop. L. C/31 mount
8 x 2 105 mm/65 SK C/33 on a Dop. L. C/37 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 5.2 km
Hit chance 75 %
Sector’s damage 66
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 231
Flak clouds number 9
Flak cloud damage 1 540
3 x 2 55 mm/77 Gerät 58 on a twin mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 4.0 km
Hit chance 75 %
Sector’s damage 34
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 119
12 x 4 30 mm/45 Flakvierling 103/38
Sector range 0.1 km – 3.0 km
Hit chance 70 %
Sector’s damage 97
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 340

The anti-air of the Schlieffen is not great at all. Just like for a large part of the German ships, the range is terrible because she is stuck with the 105 mm DP secondaries. The mid-range is straight-up trash and it’s not the short-range that will compensate for the rest.

The only “saving grace” would be the high number of flaks but it will only help against bad CV players that eat as many flaks as a Bavarian drinks beers at the Oktoberfest.

The Armor

Overall, the armor protection of the Schlieffen is a weird mix. The ship is tough to citadel thanks to the spaced armor and when angled GENERALLY, you will be able to tank for a fair bit of time.

The problem is that there are multiple flaws in her protection. The most obvious one is the 27 mm armor on the bow and stern allowing a lot of battleships to just overmatch them. For the bow, it’s not that bad though because there is the large extended belt.

The second (and in my opinion the worst) flaw is the position of the secondaries. Unlike on other tier X battleships, some of the secondaries of the Schlieffen are casemate-mounted. The thing is that the spots where they are located turn into perfect shells magnets and even when angled, they can lead to you taking a lot more damage than you normally would. In the end, when fighting another battleship or large cruiser with AP loaded, you want the shells to hit the angled central part of the ship where there are no casemate-mounted secondaries.

External armor protection:

Front and rear armor protection of the middle section:

Hidden deck:

Citadel armor protection:

Turrets armor protection:

Hidden armor protection inside the bow and stern:

Final Opinion

As a whole, the Schlieffen has been a blast to play. She is definitely very reliant on her secondaries but she has a lot of characteristics that help her to get them in action.

I cannot lie, there were those incredibly passive games with everything just running away in spawns but even then, I was still able to find a way to get up close and get decent-ish results.

As for the rest of the line, it generally was the same experience and there are no real stinkers or… almost. I would honestly advise you to skip the tier III (Von der Tann) and IV (Moltke) unless you want to get bullied by carriers with literally no way to defend yourself.

Recommended Build

For the Schlieffen, I recommend the following commander build:

  • Demolition Expert
  • Inertia Fuse for HE Shells
  • Long-Range Secondary Battery Shells
  • Concealment Expert
  • Manual Secondary Battery Aiming
  • Emergency Repair Expert
  • Adrenaline Rush

I heavily recommend using Günther Lütjens on these German battlecruisers for the secondary buff talent that gets activated in no time.

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

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Have a good one and see you soon!

5 thoughts on “Final Review: German Tier X Battleship Schlieffen

  1. Fast damage control when subs are looming on the horizon, what a greaaat idea. And here’s another wonderful game design decision which will prove to be disastrous within a few months.

    1. Naaaaaaah!
      It’s gonna be fiiiine! Right? Right?…
      Christ have we done to deserve that?…

  2. Is Von der Tann decent when not being focused by carriers? How does it compare to other Tier III battleships? I’ve been playing Moltke and I enjoy it, though you’re right that when CVs focus on you, all the fun is blown away.

  3. Given Auxiliary Armaments Mod 1 is preferred and you recommend Lutjens, wouldnt preventive maintenance for tier 1 skill be preferable? That would help the torps to survive? And if the turrets are anything similar to the BB line they will need it to?
    Thanks

    1. Preventive maintenance will only help to limit the chances for the torpedo launchers to get incapacitated. Won’t change anything to them getting destroyed permanently. Demolition Expert is much better to optimize the damage you can get from your secondaries.

      Main Armament mod 1 is also preferable to Auxiliary mod because even though the secondaries are very strong, in the end, you will still do more damage with your main battery and since the turrets aren’t particularly well armored, you want to make sure that they won’t let you down randomly. Also, the secondaries are overall quite resilient. Unless you get HE spammed by Thunderer and co, you won’t lose that many of them.

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