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Final Review: Pan-Asian Tier IX Premium Cruiser Dalian

7 min read

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dalian, the new Pan-Asian tier IX Premium cruiser will soon be available for purchase. She will become available in the Armory and the Premium shop starting from today the 3rd or tomorrow the 4th depending on your server. The ship will cost a minimum of 19 300 doubloons or 63,49€. That’s right, we are getting another tier IX that isn’t available for free resources like coal or free XP. It’s a bit of a shame if you ask me because few are ready to spend as much on a single ship as they would on an AAA game.

In any case, let’s see how the ship performs.

Historical background

Dalian, just like Harbin, is based on the Soviet MK-6 AA cruiser design from the 1930s. This design had a main battery consisting of five twin turrets with 130 mm guns.

Unlike Harbin, Dalian features a modernized armament from the 50s with a modern main battery and anti-air. Also, compared to the tech tree ships, Dalian has standard torpedoes and doesn’t even get a Defensive AA Fire.

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Short main battery reload
  • High fire-starting capacity
  • Flat ballistics compared to the other Pan-Asian cruisers
  • 10 km standard torpedoes
  • Tight turning radius
  • Fairly good concealment
  • 4 charges of Repair Party from the start
  • Smoke Generator with a relatively short cooldown
  • Prone to take overpenetrations when broadside

The Bad

  • Short main battery range
  • Low HE penetration
  • Only 6 torpedoes per side
  • Low HP pool
  • mostly covered with 16 mm plating that can be overmatched by 234 mm AP shells and bigger or penetrated by almost any HE shell you will come across
  • No Hydroacoustic Search (or Defensive AA Fire for what it’s worth)
  • Short smoke duration

The camouflages

The permanent camouflages of the Dalian provide the standard bonuses for tier IX ships:

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

Modules

Hull
Engine
Gun Fire Control System
Main battery
Torpedoes

icon_module_Hull_installed

Dalian

icon_module_Engine_installed

Propulsion: 80 000 HP

icon_module_Suo_installed

‎‎GFCS IX mod. 1

icon_module_Artillery_installed

130 mm/60 on a BL-109 mount

icon_module_Torpedoes_installed

533 mm 53-38

General Characteristics and Playstyle

Tier IX
Health 27 400 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction 4 %
Displacement 7 666 tons
Dimensions
Overall length 174.92 m
Beam 16.0 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship) 23.0 m
Freeboard 4.1 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range 13.500 km
1230 mm/60 on a BL-109 mount 5 x 2 130 mm
Torpedo Armament
Maximum Firing Range 10.000 km
533 mm 1-N 4 x 3 533 mm
Maximum speed 33.4 knots
Turning Circle Radius 660 m
Rudder Shift Time 6.9 s
Surface Detectability 11.34 km
Air Detectability 7.41 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke 4.88 km
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Damage Control Party
Work time: 5 s
Cooldown: 60 s
Repair Party
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 28 s
Cooldown: 80 s
HP regeneration: 0.5%/s
Casemate damage regeneration: 50%
Citadel damage regeneration: 50%
Smoke Generator

Number of charges: 4
Work time: 30 s
Cooldown: 110 s
Smoke radius: 450 m
Smoke duration: 70 s

When it comes to her playstyle, Dalian is your classic HE spammer from smoke and will remind you a lot of Smolensk but in a more reasonable form.

Compared to the high-tier tech-tree Pan-Asian cruisers, the ship is far more focused on dealing damage with her main battery rather than with her torpedoes. She only has two triple launchers per side with standard torpedoes and with 10 km range.
As for the main battery, the ballistics is great, allowing her to safely mount the range upgrade for more damage farming. However, there is one thing that you need to be REALLY careful with. Unlike most ships raining shells from smoke, Dalian doesn’t have a Hydroacoustic Search consumable. This makes her particularly vulnerable against torpedoes and this is why you should never sit broadside inside of smoke with this ship.

Another problem with the Dalian is that, like most smoked HE spammers, she relies on the spotting of friendlies to get the job done. Also, her game impact is fairly limited unless she is able to catch some destroyers off-guard. She isn’t the sailing inferno that Smolensk is considering that her firepower is far, far behind with the combined fewer guns, worse reload and worse dispersion. In terms of raw DPM, she is barely more than half of what Smolensk can achieve.

Main Armament

5 x 2 130 mm/60 on a BL-109 mount
 Maximum Firing Range 13.500 km
 Reloading Time 5.5 s
180 Degree Turn Time 9.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front 30°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 32°
Sigma 2.05 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 126 m
Shells
Type of Projectile  HE – 130 mm HE-42
Alpha Damage 1 800
Penetration capacity  22 mm
Explosion size 0.43
Fire chance 8 %
Projectile Speed 950 m/s
Air Drag 0.291
Projectile Mass 33.0 kg
Type of Projectile AP – 130 mm SAP-42
Alpha Damage 2 600
Projectile Speed 950 m/s
Air Drag 0.294
Projectile Mass 33.4 kg
Projectile Krupp 1 900
Projectile Detonator 0.01 s
Detonator threshold 22 mm
Ricochet Angles 45° – 60°

As previously said, the firepower of Dalian is her main strength. Like the rest of the Pan-Asian cruisers, she is equipped with small-caliber guns but with fast reload.

Unlike Sejong or Jinan with their 127 mm guns from the land of these capitalist pigs of Americans, Dalian brings on the table Soviet 130 mm guns with great ballistics powered by the will of the proletariat! These guns allow her to comfortably engage even fast targets at long range without needing a degree in mathematics to lead your shots.

Thanks to the amount of shells she pumps out, the ship is also a good fire starter which compensates for the lack of penetration from her HE. Also, thanks to the ballistics, the AP shells are very reliable against broadside targets of all kinds. Even for battleships, except on the German and Soviet ones, going for the upper side armor will result in solid damage.

Torpedo Armament

4 x 3 533 mm 1-N
53-39 mod. 4
Reloading Time 90 s
Maximum Distance 10.000 km
Optimal firing angles at the front 31°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 30°
Damage 15 100
Flooding Chance 250%
Speed 60 knots
Surface Detectability 1.2 km

The torpedo armament of Dalian is well behind that of Sejong or Jinan. She only has 6 torpedoes per side and the damage on them isn’t anything impressive. Obviously, for kiting or in a situation where you can rush something behind an island, they will be a nice tool to have but otherwise, they will not do much.
One thing worth noting is that the firing angles on them are really good. Thanks to that, you will not need to show a significant amount of broadside and risk taking a high amount of damage.

Anti-air Armament

5 x 2 130 mm/60 on a BL-109 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 6.0 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 48
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 168
Flak clouds number 7
Flak cloud damage 1 750
4 x 2 57 mm ZIF-31 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 4.0 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 34
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 119
10 x 4 25 mm 110-PM on a 4М-120 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 3.1 km
Hit chance 85 %
Sector’s damage 49
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 172

The anti-air of Dalian is decent-ish but not much more. The DPS isn’t very high and with the ship lacking a Defensive AA Fire, you have no way to improve it. Carriers will be a big threat to this ship when she is in the open.

The Armor

Dalian presents similar armor protection to Smolensk. She is covered with a 16 mm plating on the hull unlike Sejong and Jinan that both get 32 mm side armor.

With her thin armor protection, battleships shooting at the ship flat broadside are likely to just be granted a few overpenetrations rather than some chunky damage numbers.

External armor protection:

Front and rear armor protection of the middle section:

Citadel armor protection:

Turrets armor protection:

Final Opinion

Overall, Dalian is a solid premium cruiser. She obviously presents the clear drawbacks of being a smoked HE spammer though. She has no Hydroacoustic Search leading to her being very vulnerable to torpedoes and her impact purely depends on the damage she can deal to enemy ships. However, dealing damage is something that she does well and if you position properly while taking into account the potential torpedoes coming your way, you will be fine.

Now, would I be ready to drop 64 bucks on her? Probably not. She is strong, there is nothing to deny in that regard, but her game impact remains quite limited. Another issue is the fact that she will not be a good ship to train a captain for the tech-tree cruisers as optimally she needs a dedicated build.

Recommended Build

For the Dalian, I recommend the following commander build and upgrades:

If you feel like 4 charges of Smoke Generator is enough and you would rather go for Radio Location to give you an early warning against potential torpedo threats, here is an alternative build:

For both builds, I recommend one of the Róng brothers for the improved Survivability Expert. For the first build, it’s also for the improved Demolition Expert.

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

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Have a good one and see you soon!