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Noob Cruiser player - When do I switch to AP?

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phydaux42 #1 Posted 16 February 2017 - 07:00 AM

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So I've really only recently started playing.  I've unlocked Battleships and bought one, but mostly I play Cruisers.


Historically, around 1910 admirals found out, much to their horror, that a swarm of torpedoes could blow up even the largest battleships.  Suddenly small cheap, fast boats armed with torpedoes, called Torpedo Boats or sometimes Patrol Torpedo Boats, or just "PT Boats" for short, were a genuine threat.  Thus was born the PT Boat and another class of ship - The Torpedo Boat Destroyer, sometimes called the "Escort Destroyer" or just "Destroyer."


Now WoWS doesn't have PT Boats.  Destroyers fill that role.  So Cruisers have to fill the role of Torpedo Boat Destroyer.  That makes the game dynamic like so:


Cruisers hunt down enemy Destroyers.

Destroyers swarm the Battleships, launching volleys of torpedoes to blow them out of the water.

Battleships use their huge guns to blow Cruisers out of the water.




Am I right so far?


So in missions usually I'll attach myself to a Battleship, and make it my job to hunt down any enemy Destroyers closing on the Battleship.  If there are no enemy Destroyers around then I'll continue along with "my" Battleship until it engages an enemy Battleship.  Then I'll engage any enemy Cruisers that are escorting the enemy Battleship.


UNLESS "my" Battleship is playing right.  If he is, he'll know to engage the enemy Cruiser first.  I'll add my firepower to his, and we'll blow that Cruiser out of the water in a few volleys.  Then we can both concentrate fire on the Battleship.


Does everything I've written so far make sense?


So for most of the game my Cruiser will be firing HE rounds.  But once I start shooting at a Battleship I change to AP because that seems like the "right" thing to do.  But it seems like I'm doing less damage to Battleships shooting a full broadside of AP than if I just kept shooting HE.  


Am I playing correctly, changing to AP when I target a Battleship and using HE for everything else?  Or shoulf I shoot HE all the time?  Or AP all the time?

Aduial #2 Posted 16 February 2017 - 07:06 AM

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Things to shoot AP at:

- Cruisers showing broadside

- Battleships that are already on fire that are showing broadside, or battleships that are close enough for you to citadel

- Carriers that are showing your broadside

- Cruisers you can overmatch



Edited by Aduial, 16 February 2017 - 07:06 AM.

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phydaux42 #3 Posted 16 February 2017 - 07:09 AM

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So AP when i;m hitting them broadside and HE when firing Enfilade?  


What about the first part? 

thegamefilmguruman #4 Posted 16 February 2017 - 07:12 AM

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View Postphydaux42, on 15 February 2017 - 11:00 PM, said:


Am I playing correctly, changing to AP when I target a Battleship and using HE for everything else?  Or shoulf I shoot HE all the time?  Or AP all the time?


Only shoot AP at a BB in a cruiser when:
It's Broadside (and aim for the superstructure, unless in a ship with stronk AP)
You're in a RN cruiser and don't have HE

Otherwise HE on BBs when in CA/CLs.  Start fires and do more damage.

As for HE on everything else?  Yes on DDs (cept at T10 in Hindy vs a Khab that's broadside).  DDs don't like getting hit with HE, as you've probably noticed.  For enemy cruisers, the general rule is AP on broadside under 10km (can vary by cruiser being shot at and shooting) for tasty cits, and HE the rest of the time.

Your first bit on how to play a cruiser helping out BBs is correct.

Edited by thegamefilmguruman, 16 February 2017 - 07:13 AM.

Submarine_Wahoo #5 Posted 16 February 2017 - 07:32 AM


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In regards to APing battleships, you will want to experiment with firing AP at different areas on battleships since they tend to have varying degrees of armor protection. The Colorado and New Mexico, for instance, tends to get readily penetrated by even destroyer caliber AP shells when broadside, taking significant angling to start bouncing. Japanese battleships tend to have more evenly distributed thicknesses, making it easier to bounce when angling, but generally still cannot hold against cruiser caliber shells if broadside.


Knowing which ships use all-or-nothing armor schemes will also benefit your ammunition selection choice, since all-or-nothing is much easier to take advantage of with smaller caliber guns, aiming for specific areas like the bow and aft. I found that getting many penetrating hits is often more reliable than trying to get a citadel hit, but both is always nice to have. You never know what might happen: I managed to citadel New Mexico with the German destroyer Gaede's 15cm AP once.


AP will always deal more damage than HE will, assuming that you are choosing your ammunition smartly based on the angling of your target, so I do recommend trying it.


"Shoot the Sunza B****es!" (... and the Wahoo did!)

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joris92 #6 Posted 16 February 2017 - 07:52 AM

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Ingame you can go to Settings -> Controls -> Switch on: Detailed Ribbons.
​Now you will gain more information about the shells you land. The folks above me already described the basics, from that point you need to experiment yourself by what is best, by using the information you receive.

​It kinda differs per ship what shell to use, for example:
​Some cruisers/BBs do massive damage on a broadside DD with AP, while others will overpenetrate the ship doing less damage than they would have done with HE. However, they would have done a lot more damage if the DD was angled, while the others could have bounced the shells, so making HE a better choice.

​Also there is a difference between angling and bow on. Some ships can be citadelled through the bow.


Edited by joris92, 16 February 2017 - 07:54 AM.

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LordGomes #7 Posted 16 February 2017 - 10:35 AM

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You've got most of the game down right, but in AP and HE depends on your gun's penetration. A smaller gun should use HE because they have a faster rate of fire, can set fires on the enemy, damage components and ruin a destroyer's day. A significant chunk of a cruiser's damage will come from setting fires, especially on battleships. The same goes for most destroyers, their shells are so light they can just shatter on impact, but fire damage can still rack up. Battleships can also use HE in appropriate situations, like against a heavily angled or fleeing target that's just used their damage control. But their slow reload and high penetration means you're generally better off firing AP, which can inflict massive damage and even one-shot cruisers. Some cruisers and destroyers with bigger guns (Russian DD's 130mm guns, German and British cruisers) also do very well firing only AP (Brits don't have a choice). The tier 7 USN cruiser, Indianapolis, has excellent AP that can citadel cruisers (I got 4 in one salvo against a Myoko), but poor HE that should only be used when absolutely necessary. Other cruisers, like the Japanese ones, can wreck ships broadside on to you with AP, and light lots of fires at others.


"I like big battleships and I can not lie.

You other cruisers can't deny,

that when a destroyer sails in with an itty-bitty hull and torpedoes in your face you get sunk!" ~ his excellency, Lord Gomes

hangglide42 #8 Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:49 PM

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Hi phydaux42 - welcome!  Take a look at my WOWS Enjoyment series Pt1 on Ships & Shooting (in this forum section a few posts earlier than yours.  It contains a breakdown of what to shoot and why, including a summary table of what works and where to shoot against what targets as a rule of thumb when broadside (short and long ranged), when angled, timing shots w/ your enemy movement for better effect.


Though, you're correct about the rock-paper-scissors balance of the game, what you'll find re: your question is that any ship class can create a problem for any other if you learn to use the class' advantages against another more powerful ship type.  Good luck!

Edited by hangglide42, 16 February 2017 - 12:50 PM.

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