Unit Card:


Set - Rarity - Number

First Strike - N/A - 7/72


The Joffre was laid down before the start of World War II, but construction slowed, due to the start of hostilities. After France fell to the invading Germans, the Joffre was scrapped on the slipways. It's sister Painleve was never started.

Joffre was designed to give the French Navy a fleet carrier of greater capability than the existing Béarn. Béarn was hopelessly outclassed by the late 1930s as French aircraft carrier design had not kept pace with developments in other countries, and badly hampered by the fact it was not designed from the keel up as an aircraft carrier, but was instead a converted World War I-era battleship. Joffre was a design aimed at rectifying the deficiencies, but was still of limited capacity.

The lead ship was laid down on 18 November 1938, but the rapid arrival of World War II led to a slow down of construction and the ultimate cessation of work that came in June 1940 as the country capitulated to German invasion. Work on Joffre was not continued by the Germans and the hull was scrapped. The second planned vessel of the class, Painlevé was never laid down.

As the course of the war went, the lack of naval aviation did not become a factor for the French fleet, as France fell to land invasion before its navy could play a major role in the proceedings.


An interesting piece, Joffre's Expert Bomber 2 makes a nice addition to the French air game, however the lack of the ability 'Wildcat Operations' hurts its use. Being unable to base the Wildcat/Martlet on it means the fragile Vindicator cannot be escorted by fighters in a pure French build without the Bearn to support it. However, the Joffre has solid a solid AA score, expert dogfighter, and decent gunnery.


Can't add much to the above, hopefully we might get some better French aircraft in the next set (gasp…fantasy unit maybe…) to make this carrier more useful in a pure French build.

Vergilius Powergaming Evaluation:
As a Game of Thrones fan, I see the name and almost want to stick the word Baratheon at the end of this ship’s name, and then proceed to sink it as often as possible. Joking aside, this is a solid 2-cap carrier, but we have lots of solid 2-cap carriers in the game. France needed more carrier space and an improvement over the badly in-need-of-retirement Bearn. EB-2 has generated some controversy. In a pure French fleet this is not a big deal. In a red versus blue game, you’re potentially bringing the solid Joffre to add an extra EB-2 to the attacking squad, and this may irk a number of players. For those designing late-war major what-if scenarios, Joffre may prove interesting, but stands as more of a gamer piece than an historical or scenario piece. Overall grade: C

Plastic Figure Notes: 1:1800 scale model available from Shapeways, or Aquila/Graf Zeppelin may be may used to proxy for it.

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