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Final Review: Italian Tier X Premium Cruiser Napoli

9 min read

Ok, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to go controversial and to get the popcorn ready for the pitchfork festival that will soon start on Reddit.

For the most observant of you, you might have noticed that I use the term premium for Napoli instead of freemium. The reason is simple, the ship will be available in the Premium Shop. You will also be able to buy the ship either for 252 000 coal or for doubloons with the cheapest package costing 34 950 doubloons. I suppose that if they stick to the usual conversion, in the Premium Shop, the cheapest pack will be at… 115€. I’m seriously impressed that some people are ready to spend that much for a single ship. Are we trying to challenge Star Citizen?
The thing is that we aren’t looking at an exception but rather at what’s most likely the beginning of a new trend (that technically started with ARP Yamato).

I will say it straight. Personally, I couldn’t care less that Wargaming are now going to start selling Tier X ships in the Premium shop. These days, the level of play already dropped a lot in high-tier, mostly because the economy is way more forgiving than it used to be. At this point, one or two more whales buying their way to high-tier potatoes at tier X will just go unnoticed in my opinion.

Anyway, let’s talk about Napoli now. The ship itself presents quite a unique archetype as it’s a relatively secondaries-oriented cruiser. The question is if this design works or not.

Historical background

The Napoli is based on a preliminary design from Ansaldo for the Soviet Project 22 Heavy cruiser. The historical design was called for a ship with nine 250 mm guns in three triple turrets with two superfiring at the front and one at the rear. The secondary battery would consist of twelve 130 mm guns in six twin turrets, and twelve 100 mm guns in six twin turrets as well. The design was also armed with two triple torpedo launchers located at the rear of the ship.

In the end, the design was abandoned.

In World of Warships, we are getting a more Italian version of this design of cruiser killer buuuuuuuuut… with a few awkward changes. From the start, let’s talk about the guns. One could expect that these 254 mm are a homemade design from the 30s. It absolutely isn’t. According to Wargaming, these are based on “a symbiosis of British 9.2″/50 Mark XI and 9.2″/51 Mark XI” (from WW1). They are, as such, 100% fake.
The secondary battery is also quite weird in terms of the position of the turrets and there is also the choice of 152 mm secondaries instead of the 135 mm ones.

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Flat ballistics
  • Good AP penetration
  • Secondaries with improved dispersion
  • Secondaries firing SAP shells
  • High top speed of 35.5 knots
  • Tight turning radius
  • Strong armor protection
  • Italian Exhaust Smoke Generator
  • Good Concealment

The Bad

  • Bad dispersion, especially the vertical dispersion
  • Anemic HE with low damage and fire chances
  • AP that tends to over-penetrate enemy cruisers left right and center
  • Short firing range for a damage focused cruiser
  • Bad anti-air with short firing range and low DPS
  • No Hydroacoustic Search like most of the Italian cruisers
  • No Spotting Aircraft to get more range when needed
  • The Repair Party can only heal 10% of the citadel damage

The camouflage

The permanent camouflage of the Napoli 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

You can also buy the Grigio-azzuro chiaro camouflage for 5 000 doubloons which provides no additional bonus except bamboozling the enemy by making them think you have no camouflage on.

Modules

Hull
Engine
Gun Fire Control System
Main battery
Torpedoes

icon_module_Hull_installed

Napoli

icon_module_Engine_installed

Propulsion: 240 000 hp

icon_module_Suo_installed

SDT 10

icon_module_Artillery_installed

254 mm/60 M1939

icon_module_Torpedoes_installed

533 mm Si 270 N

General Characteristics and playstyle

Tier X
Health 59 200 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction 22 %
Displacement 26 892 tons
Dimensions
Overall length 242.91 m
Beam 28.06 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship) 26.25 m
Freeboard 6.28 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range 16.280 km
254 mm/60 M1939 3 x 3 254 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range 7.300 km
152 mm/55 OTO 1936
90 mm/50 OTO 1939
4 x 3 152 mm
6 x 2 90 mm
Torpedo Armament
Maximum Firing Range 13.500 km
533 mm tubo lanciasiluri
2 x 4 533 mm
Maximum speed 35.5 knots
Turning Circle Radius 750 m
Rudder Shift Time 12.5 s
Surface Detectability 13.14 km
Air Detectability 9.7 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke 8.75 km
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Slot 4
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 5 s
Cooldown: 60 s
Exhaust Smoke Generator
Number of charges: 2
Work time: 40 s
Cooldown: 180 s
Smoke duration time: 10 s
Smoke radius: 510 m
Fighter
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Number of planes in a squadron: 4
Repair Party
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 28 s
Cooldown: 80 s
HP regeneration speed: +0.5%/s
Casemate damage regeneration: 50%
Citadel damage regeneration: 10%

Well, this is quite the conundrum. The Napoli’s only tool to pull a W is the damage she deals to the enemy. At best, you can also mention the damage she tanks (which she is pretty good at) but that’s it.

The problem is that… BOY that ship is not good at dealing damage. It’s your classic (to some extend) damage-focused cruiser but she has a lot of traits that limit her hard at doing her job. She has the combination of derpy dispersion, anemic HE that will make you wonder why you aren’t playing Venezia and her SAP instead and the AP likes to over-penetrate targets. The range is also short for a roaming cruiser with the closest being Goliath but at least, Goliath’s HE slaps hard and burns everything to crisps.

What Napoli does like no other cruiser, however, is secondary engagements… After a Captain skill rework that removed the possibility to boost secondaries on cruisers. I think you see the issue here.
Now, to be honest, the secondaries on Napoli actually are quite good. Since they fire SAP shells, even the 90 mm are able to do some damage. Their trebuchet-like ballistic also allows these 90 mm shells to avoid hitting the side of enemy ships and instead, they hit the superstructure or deck.

The Napoli also has another advantage and it’s her combination of low spotting range and high speed, allowing her to reach advantageous positions and, if possible, get the side of enemy ships.

If you want to see the ship in action, here is a video from one of my games with her:

Main Battery

3 x 3 254 mm/60 M1939
 Maximum Firing Range 16.280 km
 Reloading Time 17 s
180 Degree Turn Time 25.7 s
Optimal firing angles at the front 30°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 30°
Sigma 2.15 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 178 m
Shells
Type of Projectile  HE – 254 mm proiettili HE
Alpha Damage 3 450
Damage 1 630
Penetration capacity  42 mm
Explosion size 1.15
Fire chance 16 %
Projectile Speed 954 m/s
Air Drag 0.277
Projectile Mass 227.9 kg
Type of Projectile AP – 254 mm proiettili AP
Alpha Damage 6 150
Projectile Speed 945 m/s
Air drag 0.29
Projectile Mass 227.9
Projectile Krupp 2 650
Projectile Detonator 0.033s
Detonator Threshold 42 mm
Ricochet Angles 45° – 60°

Basically, this main battery relies on one thing to be efficient: Paid actors. People who are dumb kind enough to just sail broadside in front of you and give you some big chunks of damage here and there. Otherwise, you are stuck with an anemic HE with low damage and fire-starting capacities.
This is also limited by the dispersion which really isn’t great. It works in a similar fashion to the Soviet high-tier heavy cruisers but with worse values.

Secondary Armament

6 x 2 90 mm/50 OTO 1939
Maximum Firing Range 7.300 km
Reloading Time 3.2 s
Sigma 1.00 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile  SAP – 90 mm proiettili CS
Alpha Damage 2 000 HP
Penetration capacity  26 mm
Projectile Speed 860 m/s
Air Drag 0.414
Projectile Mass 10.1 kg
Ricochet Angles 70° – 80°
4 x 3 152 mm/55 OTO 1936
Maximum Firing Range 7.300 km
Reloading Time 7.2 s
Sigma 1.00 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile  SAP – 152 mm proiettili CS 1926
Alpha Damage 3 850 HP
Penetration capacity  42 mm
Projectile Speed 950 m/s
Air Drag 0.325
Projectile Mass 44.3 kg
Ricochet Angles 70° – 80°

So… after the fiesta that was the balancing of the Ägir, we are back to a cruiser with a boosted secondary armament. The joke is that with the captain’s skills rework, WG removed any skill that buffs the secondaries specifically.

Yes, I know, Top Grade Gunner gives a constant -10% reload time on the secondaries. The thing is that TGG is basically a no-brainer skill for the main battery reload buff so it doesn’t really count.

In action, the secondaries of the Napoli can be a fairly useful tool. While you only have 12 guns per side and 6 of them are 90 mm peashooters, they all fire SAP shells. This allows them to be quite effective, even against big cruisers and battleships. To be fair, I call the 90 mm peashooters but the thing is that they have such bad ballistics that they end up being very useful to hit stuff behind islands and avoid the side armor of enemy ships except at very close range.

Those secondaries also present an improved dispersion (7xR/333.333+30 with R being the range in meters) making them the 3rd most accurate secondaries of the game behind those of the Graf Zeppelin (8.4xR/1000+48) and the Pensacola (4xR/333.333+30) without taking into account upgrades and skills. Overall, they end up being quite reliable but don’t forget that it’s a cruiser so it won’t be able to endure close-range fights as well as a battleship for example.

Torpedo Armament

2 x 4 533 mm tubo lanciasiluri
533 mm Si 270 N
Reloading Time 95 s
Maximum Distance 13.500 km
Optimal firing angles at the front 32°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 38°
Damage 13 900
Flooding Chance 230 %
Speed 56 kt
Surface Detectability 1.1 km

The sea mines of the Napoli generally have limited use because of their low speed. However, when it’s needed, they are a nice area denial tool and you won’t spit on an extra way to poke holes in enemy ships when you end up in a brawling situation.

Anti-air Armament

6 x 2 90 mm/50 OTO 1939
Sector range 0.1 km – 4.6 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 29
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 102
Flak clouds number 5
Flak cloud damage 1 400
9 x 4 37 mm/54 Breda 1939
Sector range 0.1 km – 3.5 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 87
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 305
10 x 6 20 mm/70 Breda 1941
Sector range 0.1 km – 2.0 km
Hit chance 85 %
Sector’s damage 37
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 130

The anti-air of the Napoli is just bad, no argumentation is possible here. The long-range aura is terrible with low firing range, low DPS and weak flak explosions and the mid and short-range won’t save you either. If a CV wants your skin, either you activate the WASD hacks or, out of despair, you pop your Exhaust Smoke.

The Armor

The Napoli is really well protected overall. If that ship isn’t good at dealing damage, she is, however, very good at not taking damage either thanks to the extended belt, well-armored side and citadel protected by a turtleback.

General armor protection:

Casemate internal plating:

Internal citadel protection:

Turrets armor protection:

Hidden armor platings:

Easter-egg

On the side of the Napoli’s rear superstructure, you can find a large golden plate. This plate is actually the Medal of Military Valor of the Kingdom of Italy.

The only reason I could see why it’s here is a reference to the fact that the city of Naples was awarded this medal after the Four Days of Naples in 1943 which was an uprising against the German occupation forces by the people of Naples.

Final Opinion

Overall, while her concept is fairly interesting and unique, I just can’t recommend the Napoli.

As I said previously, it’s a damage-focused cruiser but unless you get paid actors giving you broadside, the only thing you will be able to think of is “Why am I not playing [insert other damage-focused roaming cruiser’s name here]?” Hell, you could also ask yourself the same question with her capacity to tank damage since a Petropavlovsk can also tank a lot while also bringing a Surveillance Radar to support your teammates.

I really wanted to like this ship but generally speaking, it’s just nowhere near as effective as the other tier X cruisers filling the same roles and the guns are incredibly frustrating.

Recommended Build

During the testing of the Napoli, I was running the following build:

  • Incoming Fire Alert
  • Consumables Enhancements
  • Superintendent
  • Concealment Expert
  • Top Grade Gunner
  • Adrenaline Rush
  • Priority Target
  • Expert Loader
  • Grease the Gears

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

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Have a good one and see you soon!

2 thoughts on “Final Review: Italian Tier X Premium Cruiser Napoli

  1. How come you’ve put the “long range secondaries” as a pro? they’re the base tier 10 7.3km not the improved 8.3km (yes I’m aware they would push their range outside the minimum concealment. They could have put them at 8km base. That still doesn’t explain why they’re labelled as long range on this post)
    That’s literally below average for tier 10

    1. Actually, yeah, my bad on that. I had in mind that the rest of the tier X cruisers had shorter firing range. Corrected it, sorry for the mistake.

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