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World of Warships Final Review: Spanish Tier X Premium Destroyer Álvaro de Bazán

7 min read

Mis amigos, the first Spanish premium destroyer is here! Álvaro de Bazán will be available with the release of Update 0.11.8 and until the 30th of September only for 34 950 doubloons or in the Premium shop for 114.97€ for the “cheapest” bundle. After that, she will be available for 238 000 Coal.

Is she worth it? Is her alternative firing mode able to make her relevant compared to other gunboat destroyers? Here is my opinion.

Historical background

Álvaro de Bazán is a fictional design created by Wargaming.

In September 1939, El programa de la Marina imperial (a Spanish shipbuilding program) was approved by Franco. This program should have brought back Spain to a status of great naval power. For this purpose, Spain planned to work on new ships and armaments by using Italian prototypes as a benchmark.

As such, they went with the theory that Spain ordered to Italy a slightly modified version of a Capitani Romani light cruiser to act as a destroyer leader. During the development, German AA guns from the 1940s were installed and parts of the ship’s silhouette were altered, namely the superstructure’s layout, the smokestacks as well as the masts. This was done based on the Spanish light cruiser Mendez Nenez and the Italian light cruiser Pompeo Magno.

She has access to an alternative fire mode though with characteristics that are as follows:

  • Reload time: 28.0 s
  • The interval between salvo: 1.2 s
  • Number of bursts in a series: 3

Ship’s preview

Ship’s commemorative flag

The camouflages

The permanent camouflage of Álvaro de Bazán comes with the standard permanent tier X economic bonuses:

  • +50% Credits
  • +100% XP
  • +100% Commander XP
  • +100% Free XP

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Good firing angles
  • 3rd turret able to rotate at 360°
  • Good ballistics
  • Access to an alternative firing mode to finish off low HP targets
  • Pretty good AP penetration for a destroyer
  • Long range torpedoes
  • Torpedoes with short reload
  • Above-average top speed
  • High close-range AA DPS
  • High HP pool

The Bad

  • Slow turret traverse for a destroyer
  • Low DPS for a gunboat destroyer
  • Long reload time after using the alternative firing mode
  • Poor maneuverability with a large turning radius
  • Poor rudder shift time for a destroyer
  • Torpedoes dealing low damage
  • Slow torpedoes
  • Weakly protected turrets compared to those of Attilio Regolo even though it’s the same ones

Modules

Hull
Engine
Gun Fire Control System
Main battery
Torpedoes

icon_module_Hull_installed

‎Álvaro de Bazán

icon_module_Engine_installed

Propulsion: 110 000 HP

icon_module_Suo_installed

‎‎SCI Mk X Mod. 1

icon_module_Artillery_installed

135 mm/45 Model 1938 on a Model 1938 mount

icon_module_Torpedoes_installed

‎533 mm Si 270 it

General Characteristics and Playstyle

TierX
Health26 600 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction0 %
Displacement5 360 tons
Dimensions
Overall length142.19 m
Beam14.24 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship)16.3 m
Freeboard3.7 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range12.620 km
135 mm/45 Model 1938 on a Model 1938 mount4 x 2 135 mm
Torpedo Armament
Maximum Firing Range13.500 km
533 mm Quad2 x 4 533 mm
Maximum speed40.0 knots
Turning Circle Radius730 m
Rudder Shift Time5.5 s
Surface Detectability7.68 km
Air Detectability4.27 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke3.11 km
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 5 s
Cooldown: 40 s
Smoke Generator

Number of charges: 3
Work time: 20 s
Cooldown: 160 s
Smoke radius: 450 m
Smoke duration: 97 s
Engine Boost
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 120 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Speed bonus: +8%

For all intents and purposes, Álvaro de Bazán is a gunboat destroyer. Due to her size and concealment, she will mostly be relegated to the “second line” as too many destroyers can outspot her while approaching capture points. When it comes to ships with radar, her large size and clumsiness also turn her into an easy prey, especially since, unlike Khabarovsk or Delny, she lacks a Repair Party or even armor and unlike Kléber, she doesn’t have a special HP saturation. All she really gets in terms of defensive tools are the Smoke Generator and the Engine Boost, both with standard characteristics and with 3 charges.

Alvaro isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel in terms of gameplay and will be your typical “farm damage, try to get kills, get capture points if possible” gunboat destroyer. The problem is that… There are many ships around which are much better at this job, having a better consistent damage output as well as better survivability.

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

Main Armament

4 x 2 135 mm/45 Model 1938 on a Model 1938 mount
 Maximum Firing Range12.620 km
 Reloading Time6.1 s
180 Degree Turn Time18.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front30°
Optimal firing angles at the rear30°
Sigma2.00 sigma
Maximum Dispersion110 m
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 135 mm granada rompedora HE 1938 it
Alpha Damage1 950
Penetration capacity 23 mm
Explosion size0.48
Fire chance9 %
Projectile Speed825 m/s
Air Drag0.25
Projectile Mass32.7 kg
Type of ProjectileAP – 135 mm obús perforante AP 1938 it
Alpha Damage2 500
Projectile Speed825 m/s
Air Drag0.25
Projectile Mass32.7 kg
Projectile Krupp2 200
Projectile Detonator0.01 s
Detonator threshold23 mm
Ricochet Angles45° – 60°

Despite being a gunboat destroyer, the DPM of Alvaro really isn’t anything impressive. It is very similar to that of the Delny with a slight edge on the HE DPM. The problem is that the damage output of the Delny isn’t particularly known to be good compared to the likes of Marceau, Kléber, or Khabarovsk for example.

At best, Alvaro has solid ballistics that allows her to engage targets comfortably at all combat ranges and also an above-average AP penetration for destroyers but that’s really not saying much. Delny/Khabarovsk, Kléber or Elbing have better AP penetration than her, and meanwhile, I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out why Wargaming called that ship’s AP “high-powered”. There is literally nothing “high-powered” about it.

AP penetration of Alvaro De Bazan, Khabarovsk, Delny, Kléber and Elbing over the distance

The Alvaro does come with one special gimmick, an alternative firing mode. This firing mode works as a big burst of damage with 3 salvos going off within 3 seconds. It will mostly be useful in case you find a cruiser or destroyer on low HP that needs to die fast and there is nothing else that you need to fight nearby. Otherwise, after blazing, you will be naked for over 20 seconds. Other than that, it is also nice as the last salvo before going behind an island. Is it sufficient to make the ship worth it? In my opinion no. Kléber can do pretty much the same with the reload booster without suffering from the big reload time after using her consumable.

Torpedo Armament

2 x 4 533 mm Quad
533 mm Si 270 it
Reloading Time90 s
Maximum Distance13.500 km
Optimal firing angles at the front55°
Optimal firing angles at the rear61°
Damage13 900
Flooding Chance230%
Speed56 knots
Surface Detectability1.1 km

The torpedoes of Alvaro are the same as those of the Attilio Regolo. Overall, while they are slow and deal low damage, they have a fast reload time and long range. This makes them a decent secondary armament with good area denial capabilities.

Anti-air Armament

2 x 2 37 mm/69 Flak M42 on an LM/42 mount
Sector range0.1 km – 3.5 km
Hit chance100 %
Sector’s damage11
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second39
10 x 4 30 mm/45 Flak 103/38 on a quadruple mount
Sector range0.1 km – 3.0 km
Hit chance95 %
Sector’s damage94
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second329

While the close-range anti-air of Alvaro has great DPS, it is, like every close-range AA, very limited in terms of impact. Even against dive bombers, you only have a small window to deal damage before they drop and reach temporary damage immunity. Sadly, considering that the mid-range sucks, Alvaro is basically free food for carriers, unless the guys are dumb enough to have the planes circling around her at less than 3.0 km

The Armor

Final Opinion

Let’s get it clear, at no point in time should you burn 115€ on this ship or 34 950 doubloons. That is pure insanity (or stupidity, up to you). Is she worth the coal? Eeeeeeeh… not really. There are just far too many other gunboat destroyers doing a better job with her two closest competitor counterparts, Delny and Kléber, even being available for free.

The funniest part is that ever since she entered testing, her main battery reload time was almost cut by half alongside various other buffs. That tells you how horrible the ship was back then.

Recommended Build

For the Álvaro de Bazán, I recommend the following commander build and upgrades:

This concludes my review of Álvaro de Bazán. 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!

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