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World of Warships Final Review: British Tier VIII Premium Aircraft Carrier Colossus

10 min read

Lasses and Lads, g’day to you. After some delay, Colossus is finally getting released.

The ship will be available starting from the 19th of May in the Armory as part of a series of random bundles. There will be ten bundles costing 17 850 doubloons combined and they will give you a total of 31 Royal Navy Premium containers. Colossus has a 1.5% chance of dropping from these containers. If you happen to be particularly unlucky, she will be granted to you in the last bundle for the price of 1 credit.

Is she worth it? Is she standing above her tech tree counterpart Implacable? Here is my opinion.

Historical Background

HMS Colossus was the lead ship of the Colossus-class of light aircraft carrier. The ship was launched in September 1943 and commissioned in December 1944. The Colossus-class was part of the 1942 Design Light Fleet Carrier, strong of 15 units, 10 Colossus-class (with Triumph and Perseus being reclassified respectively as a repair ship and maintenance carrier), and 5 Majestic-class. These aircraft carriers were meant to meet the wartime need for carriers at a cheap cost. However, none would actually be engaged in the conflict.

Colossus herself was sent to the Pacific to re-occupy Hong Kong and later Shanghai. In August 1946, she was loaned to France and renamed Arromanches where she would see her first war action in the First Indochina War. Also, at some point in 1951, France fully purchased the ship. Arromanches would later be deployed in 1956 in the Mediterranean, during the Suez Crisis and her F4U Corsairs bombed Egyptian airfields.

From 1957 to 1958, the ship was heavily modernized with an angled flight deck and ASW equipment and was, in 1959, reclassified as a training carrier. However, in 1968, she was fully converted into a helicopter carrier and was then back into active service until she was decommissioned in January 1974 and scrapped in 1978.

If you want to learn more about the Colossus-class, here is a video from Drachinifel covering it:

In World of Warships, we are getting Colossus as she was in 1945 with her 40 mm Bofors.

Ship’s preview

Ship’s commemorative flag

The camouflage

The permanent camouflage of Colossus comes with the standard permanent tier VIII economic bonuses:

  • +5% Credits
  • +50% XP
  • +50% Commander XP
  • +50% Free XP

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Below-average plane restoration time
  • High planes HP pool
  • AP rockets with unmatched nuking potential
  • Decent rocket penetration capacity
  • Torpedoes with very low arming distance
  • Torpedoes with high flooding chance
  • Very high medium-range AA DPS
  • Particularly small citadel
  • Good ship concealment

The Bad

  • Low plane speed
  • rockets with large vertical dispersion
  • Long machine-gun phase for AP rockets
  • Huge bomb dispersion
  • Only two attack runs per torpedo bomber squadron
  • Low ship speed
  • Weak ship armor protection
  • No long-range anti-air


Attack Aircraft
Dive Bombers
Torpedo Bombers

Vought Corsair MkIV

Fairey Barracuda MkV

Fairey Barracuda MkV

icon_module_Engine_installedPropulsion: 40 000 hp

General Characteristics

Health47 600 HP
Torpedo damage reduction13 %
Displacement18 040 tons
Overall length210.82 m
Beam32.16 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship)23.94 m
Freeboard11.28 m
Aircraft on deck
Attack Aircraft12
Torpedo Bombers9
Dive Bombers12
Anti-Air Armament
40 mm/39 Vickers QF Mk.VIII on a Mk.VII mount
40 mm/56 OQF on a Boffin mount
40 mm/56 OQF Mk.III on a Mk.VII mount
6 x 4 40 mm
10 x 1 40 mm
9 x 1 40 mm
Maximum speed25.0 knots
Turning Circle Radius890 m
Rudder Shift Time10.68 s
Surface Detectability11.36 km
Air Detectability9.67 km
Slot 1
Slot 2
Damage Control Party
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 90 s
 Number of charges: 4
Work time: 600 s
Cooldown: 40 s
Patrol Radius: 3.0 km
Planes in a squadron: 4

Colossus takes a similar path to our dear and beloved Malta. Overall, she has a similar plane loadout to the tech tree ships. However, while Malta gets AP bombs, Colossus gets AP rockets. These rockets can literally snap a cruiser or carrier out of existence or at the very least, deal really solid damage when used correctly. We will get to that, don’t worry.

As for the rest, her bombers have a bomb dispersion that could cover the entirety of a small country. She also only has two attacks per torpedo squadron and below-average damage per drop. Other than that, just like other British carriers, the planes have a low speed but high HP pool.

Generally speaking, you will be rotating squadrons quite a lot with Colossus as all of her plane types have, at best, decent reserves as well as low speed. As such, you cannot simply spam either squadron repeatedly because, after the second run, you will already be going with incomplete squadrons as the rest is still returning. The classic combination of torpedo bombers and dive bombers still work well against battleships as you can trigger the Damage Control Party with one while the other gets a permanent fire or flooding right after.

One thing that helps the ship to compensate for the speed of her planes is her concealment which allows her to get closer to the fight and reduce her cycling time. However, you need to be particularly careful with your positioning as her low speed will not allow you to escape if something gets too close. On top of that, her plane loadouts are all rather suboptimal against destroyers. May it be the rockets with their large dispersion and low damage from overpenetrations or the bombs with their gigantic spread. For the torpedoes, you can try getting drops on the destroyers because of the low arming time but it requires quite a bit of skill.

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

Attack Aircraft

Attack Aircrafts – Vought Corsair MkIV

Hitpoints per plane1 460
Cruise speed169 knots
Maximum speed209 knots
Engine boost time5 s
Engine boost reload time10 s
Size of attacking flight3
Aircraft per squadron9
Rocket typeHVAR 127 MM
Rocket per plane6
Machine gun sequence3.5 s
Maximum rocket damage3 400
AP penetration160 mm
Detonator fuse timer0.022s
Detonator threshold19 mm
Detectability range10.0 km
Aircraft restoration time90 s
Aircraft on deck12
Slot 1
Slot 2
Engine Cooling
Number of Charges: 2
Work time: 5 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Patrol fighter
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 20 s
Cooldown: 10 s
Aircraft per squadron: 5
Patrol radius: 3.0 km

The AP rockets of Colossus are… well they are nuts.

They can quite literally nuke an unaware cruiser out of the water as they have an alpha damage of 61 200 damage per drop. On paper, they can one-shot everything they can citadel. I personally had multiple occasions where I nearly one-shot tier VII and VIII cruisers not paying attention and it was… both thrilling and concerning. If you also end up facing carriers with weak citadel protection like Impacable, Indomitable, Colossus herself, Aquila, Saipan, or Chkalov, it will also be incredibly easy to snipe them. I don’t need to tell you how big of an advantage it will give to your team if you kill the enemy carrier in the first five minutes of the game.

The thing is that beyond that potential “press to erase button”, these rockets are held back by three major factors. The first one is the speed of the planes themselves. As these planes suffer from low speed, it already gives the potential target the time to turn away and instantly neuter the damage the rockets might deal before even being in the air. Next, there is the dispersion of the rockets. Because of their high vertical dispersion, the rockets will quite often undershoot or overshoot the target (AKA the citadel of cruisers). That’s overall the main thing that will turn these attack aircraft into a bit of a dice roll. All things considered, the cruiser or carrier that you will drop will still reconsider their life choices.
Finally, the machine-gun phase also lasts 3.5s seconds which is a lot more than other AP rockets. This offers yet more room for the target to angle away and further mitigate the damage.

Overall though, in action, these rockets are just insane. cruisers that you can citadel and that won’t angle in time will just explode, the same goes for carriers and even when you can’t get citadels, it’s perfectly fine. You will still get tons of damage from pure penetration hits.

If you know how to do it, you can also climb up islands to drop targets at a significantly longer range as the travel time of rockets is fixed but that definitely requires some practice.

If you see that the target is already turning away while you are still nowhere near close enough to drop, just look for something else as otherwise, the damage you will get will be mediocre at best.

Fully aimed reticule next to an Albemarle

Torpedo Bombers

Torpedo bomber – Fairey Barracuda MkV

Hitpoints per plane2 060
Cruise speed127 knots
Maximum speed162 knots
Engine boost time20 s
Engine boost reload time40 s
Size of attacking flight3
Aircraft per squadron6
Torpedo typeMark XII
Torpedoes per plane1
Maximum torpedo damage5 200
Maximum torpedo range2.4 km
Torpedo speed35 knots
Torpedo arming time3.5 s
Flooding chance45%
Detectability range10.0 km
Aircraft restoration time80 s
Aircraft on deck9
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Engine Cooling
Number of Charges: 2
Work time: 5 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Patrol fighter
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 10 s
Aircraft per squadron: 5
Patrol radius: 3.0 km
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 5 s
Cooldown: 180 s
Repair speed: 10% HP/s

The torpedo bombers of Colossus are… meh. On one side, they are pretty damn tanky for their tier, and, combined with the decent restoration speed, they will last the entire battle, even against tier X ships. On top of that, because it’s British torpedoes, they have a very short arming time and high flooding chances which is always nice to have with Andrew Cunningham around.  In fact, the torpedoes of Colossus have particularly low arming time for tier VIII as they are the same torpedoes as the stock torpedo bombers of Furious. You can basically drop them in the face of the target. Also, as per usual, torpedoes hitting the middle section of a ship will deal citadel damage that cannot be repaired in high quantity,  making this low damage still fairly impactful.

On the other side, while they are very consistent, they do fairly low damage per hit and you only get two attack runs at best per squadron. Combined with the low plane speed, it forces you to make long rotations with other plane types. However… that part isn’t entirely a bad thing. With the low plane speed, low attack count, and low reserves, it leads to the Repair consumable to have all the time in the world to recharge, and generally, by the time you return to using the torpedo bombers, it will almost be up and ready. Thanks to this, you can then limit your losses and, as such, compensate for the low plane reserves.

Fully aimed reticule next to a Bismarck

Dive Bombers

Dive bomber – Fairey Barracuda MkV

Hitpoints per plane2 230
Cruise speed130 knots
Maximum speed165 knots
Engine boost time20 s
Engine boost reload time40 s
Size of attacking flight3
Aircraft per squadron9
Bomb type250 lb G.P. Bomb Mk.I
Bomb per plane6
Maximum bomb damage4 700
HE penetration capacity32 mm
Explosion size14.4
Fire chance27 %
Detectability range10.0 km
Aircraft restoration time80 s
Aircraft on deck12
Slot 1
Slot 2
Engine Cooling
Number of Charges: 2
Work time: 5 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Patrol fighter
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 10 s
Aircraft per squadron: 5
Patrol radius: 3.0 km

The carpet bombers of Colossus are… quite limited in their use. From the start, the dispersion on them is just gigantic as they are almost the size of a Preussen. Because of this, you will only really be able to get decent damage on battleships or large cruisers. If you drop destroyers, all you can do is pray to every god ever created because the number of hits will generally be between 0 and 3 out of 18.

As a whole though, they are decent-ish against large targets but that’s about it.

Fully aimed reticule next to a Preussen

Anti-air Armament

6 x 4 40 mm/39 Vickers QF Mk.VIII on a Mk.VII mount
10 x 1 40 mm/56 OQF on a Boffin mount
9 x 1 40 mm/56 OQF Mk.III on a Mk.VII mount
Sector firing range0.1 km – 3.5 km
Hit chance100 %
Sector’s damage125
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second438

When it comes to her anti-air, Colossus has a big problem. Due to her having no long-range anti-air whatsoever. Combined with her already weak armor protection, it makes the ship incredibly easy to snipe with AP rockets or… well with any other type of armament honestly.

ASW Airstrike

PBY Catalina – Depth charge airstrike
650-Pound Depth Bomb

Reloading Time30 s
Number of charges2
HP per plane2 000
Attack range0.5 km – 10.0 km
Number of planes in the squadron1
Number of bombs in payload2
Damage4 200
Sink speed7.5-11.3 m/s
Explosion radius375 m
Fire chances24%
Flooding chances300%
Damage distribution

The Armor

Colossus is protected by wet paper. That’s the quickest way to say it. While her citadel is very small, she has no armor to speak of and will not last long under any sort of enemy fire.

External armor protection:

Citadel armor protection:

Final Opinion

Simply put, I really like Colossus but at the same time, she is very concerning.

Overall, she has a solid package with two decent loadouts and one particularly stupid one. The problem is that it is a bit too stupid. The CV rework partially happened to avoid having CVs able to one-shot something and… well… here we are.

But yeah, I can safely say that she is one of the strongest carriers available at tier VIII. I’m not sure if I would be ready to burn 18 000 doubloons for her but then again, there must also be some nice stuff in the Royal Navy Premium containers.

Recommended Build

For the Colossus, I recommend using the following captain build and upgrades:

I also recommend Andrew Cunningham as commander thanks to his improved Aircraft Armor as well as the Lighting Fast talent. If you already have him busy with Malta, keep him there though.

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

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Have a good one and see you soon!

Also if you are new to the game or want to get back to it, feel free to use my Recruiting Station code for free goodies such as Premium ships, premium time, and more:

Have a good one and see you soon!

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