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World of Warships Final Review: French Tier VII Premium Cruiser Toulon

9 min read

Well… after talking about the Marseille and how good she is… now I need to talk about Toulon and how bad this thing is. I won’t go as far as saying that it’s a piece of trash but it’s miles away from great.

As for how she will be obtainable, for now, you will only be able to get her in the random bundles. In some future update (no idea how long it will be), she will become available in the Premium shop and in the Armory for doubloons.

The French Large Cruisers Early Access

Soooooo… just like with every new branch now, the French cruisers will be first introduced through an early access event. Cherbourg will be obtainable for free as the final reward of a mission chain.

As for Brest, she will be available in the random bundles alongside Toulon. As you can see in the picture below, this time, there will be a grand total of 62 bundles to open with each of them costing 1 000 doubloons. I don’t think that I will be alone in saying it but… that’s a liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittle bit too many bundles. At least though, all the bundles outside of the Brest and Toulon ones give the same amount of tokens so there are only 2 important bundles to worry about.

When it comes to Marseille, she will be available in the usual consecutive bundles that you can buy with the accumulated tokens, and obviously, she will require you to spend doubloons if you ever want to get the ship early. Wargaming sure are trying to squeeze us dry on this one.

Historical background

Toulon is based on a design of French battlecruiser from the late 1920s. The “Croiseur de bataille de 17 500 tonnes” was made to counter the treaty cruiser from the Regia Marina, such as the Trento-class heavy cruisers. To fulfill its mission of cruiser killer, the planned armament was a main battery of eight 305 mm in two quadruple turrets superfiring at the front. The maximum speed was meant to be 35 knots which, combined with the position of the main battery, would have been perfect to chase enemy cruisers. Finally, the protection was also putting an emphasis on countering enemy 203 mm guns with an estimated main belt thickness of 150 to 180 mm.

With the arrival of the German Deutschland-class, the project was abandoned due to its vulnerability against the German 283 mm guns. There were multiple follow-on projects that would result in the construction of the Dunkerque-class.

In World of Warships, Toulon represents quite decently what we know of the 17 500 tons design except for the speed that was significantly reduced. Sadly, no real blueprint is available because the French archives are an absolute mess. The odd and disappointing choice from Wargaming is that they gave Toulon the same guns are the tier IV battleship Courbet while much more modern 305 mm guns would have been expected.

As of right now, Toulon is equipped with a Main Battery Reload Booster and is one of the few cruisers at tier VII with a Repair Party. Also, unlike the other French cruisers, she doesn’t have an Engine Boost. For what it’s worth, her secondaries, just like the other French battlecruisers, have the same dispersion as the secondaries of Massachusetts and the likes of Schlieffen.

Ship’s preview

Ship’s commemorative flag

The camouflages

The permanent camouflage of the Toulon provides the classic bonuses for tier VII ships:

  • -3% to surface detectability range
  • +4% to maximum dispersion of shells fired by the enemy at your ship
  • -10% to the cost of ship’s post-battle service
  • +50% to experience earned in the battle

With the early access event, Toulon is also getting the Enlightenment camouflage that gives the same bonuses:

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Only large cruiser at her tier
  • 305 mm guns able to overmatch up to 21 mm of armor
  • Best AP penetration among tier VII cruisers
  • High HP pool
  • 30 mm deck armor to protect the ship against battleships with large-caliber guns
  • Advantageous main battery configuration with all guns at the front
  • Access to a Repair Party Consumable
  • Access to the French 20% Engine Boost consumable

The Bad

  • Absolutely tragic main battery reload time
  • Anemic HE shells with low damage and fire chances
  • Poor main battery dispersion
  • Horrible turret traverse
  • Large ship compared to other tier VII cruisers
  • 16 mm bow and stern
  • 60 seconds fire duration
  • Low speed when the Engine Boost isn’t active
  • Very weak anti-air
  • No access to the Main Battery Reload Booster unlike the other French large cruisers

Modules

Hull
Engine
Gun Fire Control System
Main battery

icon_module_Hull_installed

‎Toulon

icon_module_Engine_installed

Propulsion: 147 000 HP

icon_module_Suo_installed

‎‎PCA n° 7 Mle 1

icon_module_Artillery_installed

305 mm/45 Mle 1910 in a turret

General Characteristics and Playstyle

TierVII
Health42 500 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction25 %
Displacement21 890 tons
Dimensions
Overall length205.1 m
Beam24.52 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship)23.08 m
Freeboard6.8 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range16.770 km
305 mm/45 Mle 1910 in a turret2 x 4 305 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range6.300 km
155 mm/50 Mle 1920 on an Mle 1927 mount
100 mm/45 Mle 1930 on an Mle 1931 mount
2 x 3 155 mm
6 x 2 100 mm
Maximum speed30.0 knots
Turning Circle Radius710 m
Rudder Shift Time11.5 s
Surface Detectability11.52 km
Air Detectability7.9 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke8.85 km
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Slot 4
Slot 5
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 5 s
Cooldown: 60 s
Defensive AA Fire

Number of charges: 3
Work time: 40 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Damage from continuous DPS: +50%
Damage from flak explosions: +300%
Fighter
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Number of fighters: 3
Patrol radius: 3.0 km
Engine Boost
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 180 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Speed bonus: +20%
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%
Hydroacoustic Search
consumable_PCY016_SonarSearchPremiumNumber of charges: 3
Work time: 100 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Torpedo spotting range: 3.0 km
Ship spotting range: 4.0 km

While one would have expected Toulon to happily stand as one of the strongest tier VII cruisers because of her status as a large cruiser, the reality is a painful disappointment. What Toulon gains in shell caliber and tanking capacity compared to other cruisers, she heavily loses in terms of damage output. The ship is purely relying on catching broadside targets or hoping for favorable matchmaking with multiple opponents that can be overmatched with her strong AP.

In terms of playstyle, you will generally want to play the ship at medium to close range. This will limit the risks of the dispersion backstabbing you and will also maximize the efficiency of the AP. You will also heavily rely on your concealment and speed to catch broadside targets. In addition to her above-average tanking capacity, Toulon’s main battery layout allows her to safely pick around islands and also to keep a sharp angle against enemy shots. If you want to get the most out of this ship, you need to always be aware of your surroundings and keep your eyes open for occasions to surprise unaware cruisers with your combined low concealment and strong AP shells.

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

If you want to see the post-battle results, here they are.

Main Battery

2 x 4 305 mm/45 Mle 1910 in a turret
 Maximum Firing Range16.770 km
 Reloading Time28.0 s
180 Degree Turn Time40.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front
Optimal firing angles at the rear34°
Sigma1.90 sigma
Maximum Dispersion189 m
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 305 mm HE OEA Mle 1910
Alpha Damage4 050
Penetration capacity 51 mm
Explosion size1.44
Fire chance17 %
Projectile Speed905 m/s
Air Drag0.4
Projectile Mass308.0 kg
Type of ProjectileAP – 305 mm AP OPf Mle 1910
Alpha Damage8 000
Projectile Speed798 m/s
Air Drag0.35
Projectile Mass395.0 kg
Projectile Krupp2 500
Projectile Detonator0.033 s
Detonator threshold51 mm
Ricochet Angles45° – 60°

The main battery of Toulon basically lives and dies depending on you getting enemy ships broadside. The HE shells are as effective as throwing wet baguettes in terms of damage and the fire chances are also abysmal. If you end up stuck in a situation where you are fighting an angled target and that overmatch isn’t an option, you will definitely have a bad day.

As if the HE wasn’t bad enough, the combined horrible reload time and poor dispersion make these guns frustrating to use at anything beyond close and medium range. Even then though, you need to be sure at 200% of each salvo because the ship’s damage output is already bad enough.

Fortunately, while the HE sucks, the AP will, when the situation allows it, save the day. Initially, that AP was actually quite horrific. It had horrible ballistics and the penetration was somehow worse than on the AP of the New Orlean. Thank God, Wargaming buffed it nicely and it’s now the best AP penetration for tier VII cruisers, fairly similar to what you get with the 283 mm of Graf Spee.

AP shells penetration of Toulon, Graf Spee, New Orlean, and Yorck based on the firing range.

At the same time, the ship gets a tailor-made kit that allows her to get as much value as possible from the AP. Firstly, Toulon has great concealment, being able to reach a 10.1 km spotting range by sea. She also gets the 20% Engine boost and thanks to these 2, the ship can easily get to advantageous positions at medium to close range and punish broadsides. Again though, because of the long reload time and lack of a reload booster, if you aim poorly or get screwed by the dispersion, well…. you are just left with your eyes to cry. That’s really the problem with the main battery of the Toulon. It’s purely relying on the AP and even then, many things can and will go wrong.

Finally, even if you get a game with a lot of paid actors giving broadside, don’t expect to reach very high damage games. The reload time and generally speaking low damage output just won’t allow it.

Secondary Armament

2 x 3 155 mm/50 Mle 1920 on an Mle 1927 mount
Maximum Firing Range6.300 km
Reloading Time9.0 s
Sigma1.0 sigma
Shells
Type of ProjectileHE – 155 mm HE OEA Mle 1920
Alpha Damage2 200
HE penetration26 mm
Explosion Size0.59
Chance to Cause Fire11 %
Projectile Speed870 m/s
Air Drag0.34
Projectile Mass59.0 kg
6 x 2 100 mm/45 Mle 1930 on an Mle 1931 mount
Maximum Firing Range6.300 km
Reloading Time4.0 s
Sigma1.0 sigma
Shells
Type of ProjectileHE – 100 mm HE OEA Mle 1928
Alpha Damage1 400
HE penetration17 mm
Explosion Size0.29
Chance to Cause Fire6 %
Projectile Speed780 m/s
Air Drag0.314
Projectile Mass13.5 kg

Unlike the tech tree ships, the secondary battery of Toulon is nothing to write home about. You get a broadside of twelve guns but the 152 mm have a fairly long reload and except against low tier ships, the 100 mm will do little to no damage.

Anti-air Armament

6 x 2 100 mm/45 Mle 1930 on an Mle 1931 mount
Sector range0.1 km – 5.8 km
Hit chance90 %
Sector’s damage16
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second56
Flak clouds number2
Flak cloud damage1 120
8 x 2 37 mm/50 CAIL Mle 1933 on a CAD Mle 1933 mount
Sector range0.1 km – 3.0 km
Hit chance90 %
Sector’s damage10
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second35
18 x 2 25 mm Hotchkiss Mle 1939 on a CAD Mle 1939 mount
Sector range0.1 km – 2.5 km
Hit chance85 %
Sector’s damage68
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second238

The anti-air of Toulon absolutely sucks. The only high DPS that you can find is on the close-range aura so except against dive bombers, it will be near useless.

This ship is just a free target for carriers.

The Armor

Compared to other tier VII cruisers, Toulon has good armor protection with a thick main belt and a 30 mm deck armor. However, she still has 16 mm bow and stern that can easily be overmatched, and generally speaking, she remains a very easy target for HE spam.

External armor protection:

Front and rear armor protection of the middle section:

Turtleback:

Citadel armor protection:

Turrets armor protection:

Hidden main armor deck:

Hidden armor protection inside the stern:

Final Opinion

In the end, if it wasn’t for the absolutely anemic HE performances, terrible main battery reload time, and poor dispersion, I could see myself liking the Toulon. Sadly, the reality is painful and I simply cannot say that I recommend this ship. She isn’t without any redeeming features, namely her combination of powerful AP, high speed, and low concealment, but these just aren’t good enough to save her. It is especially true considering the tier VII matchmaking that will very often see you facing higher-tier ships rather than low-tier ones that you can bully.

Recommended Build

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

I cannot stress this enough when I recommend using one of the Honoré brothers with the French large cruisers because you really need the buffed Grease the Gears.

This concludes my review of the Toulon. 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: https://warships.net/yuzorah

Have a good one and see you soon!

1 thought on “World of Warships Final Review: French Tier VII Premium Cruiser Toulon

  1. Is it just me or is that a lot of free real estate in terms of freeboard?

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