Okay, so I really like this ship. I may not be the most unicum unicum that ever unicumed in her (far from it, in fact) but I really enjoy her. It is new, it is fun, and it is different.
And I know that other players, Lert, Zoup, and Whitemouse, have already posted huge, all-inlcusive reviews on Graf Spee, but I decided that I wanted to have a try at this whole "ship review" thing, so, without further ado... Graf Spee!
So, let's start with a simple pros/cons list:
- Big guns. Very big guns with very high alpha damage.
- Much lower dispersion than Scharnhorst yard-for-yard. I suspect that this is to compensate for only having two turrets.
- Good gun-handling on those guns. They traverse quickly, much quicker than I expected.
- The guns don't have a terribly-long reload. It's still longer than your typical cruiser, but I think that it's comparable with [EDIT: Sorry, had another look, and I was wrong. This is why I don't tend to post stats, because I cannot remember numbers] Atago.
- The damage output is dependent upon accuracy, not RoF, so good shots will be rewarded
- Even when the second turret isn't fully traversed, you can still reliably put out high damage with one turret. Useful if you find yourself being chased by a faster ship, and, believe me, a lot of things are faster than you.
- Fields German AP, which deals boosted damage. Fun!
- Damage repair party.
- Massive hit pool.
- Very agile, good for dodging incoming salvos.
- Initial muzzle velocity seems higher, or maybe the shell trajectory is just lower, than Scharnhorst, which makes it easier to lead cruisers and fast ships at closer ranges.
- Good Torpedo Damage Reduction.
- Although the ship has good armor against cruiser guns, the same cannot be said for guns of battleship caliber. You cannot hope to trade fire and reliably bounce BB shells. You can only dodge them with your good agility.
- Dispersion still feels a little trollish at max range.
- Not very good TDS from a flooding-prevention standpoint. However, if you are close-enough to be taking torpedo fire, you're probably too-close anyway.
- AA suite is okay, but not exceptional (which is, in my opinion, a good thing)
- Hydroacoustic Search is situational on Graf Spee, since you want to play from longer ranges, but, due to the general lack of CV players, so is Defensive Fire.
- Slow base speed.
- HE is lackluster.
- Wide torpedo spread is very wide.
- Succumbs easily to the HE spam.
Some people might ask, "What ship is it most like?" The answer, is, of course, Graf Spee. It is currently the only British-Style Battlecruiser (known for having cruiser armor, cruiser speed/agility [in this case, agility], and battleship guns; as opposed to the German school of Battlecruisers which yielded ships like Scharnhorst, with battleship armor, battleship speed, and cruiser guns) [ironic, since it was developed by the Germans].
You can't play it like anything else, because, currently, with the RN line only consisting of premiums and light cruisers, there is nothing with a similar playstyle.
It's not like an American cruiser, because it is slower, has much bigger guns, and fires AP instead of HE primarily. It's not like IJN battleships because it doesn't have the range or the number of turrets, and is more agile. It's not like a KMS cruiser, because it's armor, while not great against battleships, isn't completely paper, and it only has two turrets. It's not like an RN cruiser, because it doesn't field the RoF but has much higher alpha damage. It's not like a KMS or USN battleship because it doesn't have the lavish amounts of armor.
I think that the closest thing to it is the Colorado, with the exception of the Colorado's citadel armor and AA defense. Don't get too close, or you will get melted by HE spam. Don't sail too predictably, or people will pour AP into your weakspots (for Graf Spee, the entire hull). You have big guns with big alpha damage, use them. Pretend you don't have torpedoes (which is easy with Colorado, for obvious reasons). Nuke cruisers.
So, general tips:
- If a fast target, like a cruiser, is within 8 or 9 km of you, aim to the 5 dash (if you have that kind of reticle) instead of the 10 dash most of the time.
- Pretend you don't have torpedoes except in last-ditch cases or ambushes.
- DON'T BRAWL! YOU CANNOT BRAWL!
- Fire AP primarily. Full penetrations deal upwards of 2k damage, and citadels deal 8k. Meanwhile, the HE is, as I've said before, lackluster.
- Keep your distance.
- Two turrets means that you have to be an accurate shot, so practice.
- Don't try to contest the caps in the early or even mid-game, unless victory depends on it.
Okay, so, with that in mind, I hope that you all enjoy Graf Spee! SEA you in battle [uuuurgh!]
Edited by Carrier_Lexington, 22 January 2017 - 06:40 AM.