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Premium Ship Review: HMS Campbeltown


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LittleWhiteMouse #1 Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:16 PM

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Please be aware that this review reflects the HMS Campbeltown as she appeared during the testing period. 

Her stats may have changed since.

 

The following is aimed at new(ish) players looking to find a little more information about various ships from events, for premium currency or for real-world cash.  The goal is to allow players to make an educated decision before parting with their time and money and to find premium vessels that suit their chosen style of play, whether that is competitive, cooperative, or simply for fun.  The idea here is to elabourate on information not commonly available through reading statistics and provide some (heavily) biased anecdotal evidence to encourage or dissuade you from making your purchase.  The usual disclaimers apply:  everyone knows the Matchmaker clearly loves me because I spend money so that's why I occasionally get really good games, not because I have any particular skills of note.

 

Other articles in this series:

 
Without further ado:

The Royal Navy Town-class Destroyer
HMS Campbeltown
 
Quick Summary:  A Town-class Destroyer with 7.5km range torpedoes and a broadside of only 2 guns.  Despite it's American appearance, she plays more like a mid-tier Japanese Destroyer.
Cost:  Undisclosed at this time.
 
PROs
  • Powerful torpedoes with 11,967 alpha.
  • Torpedoes are very long ranged for tier III at 7.5km.
  • Fast for a low tier destroyer at 35.0 knots.
  • Decent agility with a 520m turning circle and 2.7s rudder shift.
  • Low tier Destroyer, so only sees a maximum of tier 4 opponents.

CONs

  • Horrible gun compliment with a maximum broadside of 2 guns.
  • No rear mounted gun, creating a blind spot to her rear.
  • Worst gun DPM of all of the tier 2 through 4 destroyers.
  • Torpedoes have a very long reload of 63s.
  • Layout of launchers is frustrating to use.
  • Large surface detection range for a low-tier destroyer.
  • Rides higher in the water than a Wickes-class.
  • No bonus to ramming damage.  This seemed like such an obvious thing to include.

 

Though in looks she may appear to be a clone of the Wickes-class, she plays completely different from her USN counterpart.

 

The Full Review
 
Would I Recommend?
Without knowing the cost at this stage, it's difficult to say, though I'm not excited about this ship as I once was.  She's not an immediate winner in my books.
 
Taken on her own merits, she's interesting enough.  Long range torpedo sniping has its charms.  I would strongly caution players who did not enjoy playing the Mutsuki to stay away from the Campbeltown.  The similarities in game play are quite pronounced with poor guns and a dependence on slow-reloading, long range torpedoes.  You are outgunned by every other ship you will encounter out there.
 

The Lert Box

Is she worth the money?  Well, that's all up to what you are looking for, isn't it? If all you're looking for is a torpedo boat that can strike for stealth, go for Wakatake. If you're looking for a tin can that can swamp its targets with piles and piles of fish of great explodulating, get a Wickes. However, if you're a fan of the St Nazaire raid or simply want a Royal Navy ship, no matter how it plays - yeah it's worth dropping your greenbacks on Campbeltown. She might not dictate battles, but in capable hands she can still function. Just be aware that Wakatake and Wickes are the better tier 3 destroyers and that Campbeltown requires a gentle and patient touch to shine.
 
Recommended Modules
 The Campbeltown has two module upgrade slots, as you would expect from a tier 3 destroyer.
  • For the first slot, equip Main Battery Modification 1.  If for no other reason, it will help keep you from being detonated.
  • As with most destroyers, take Propulsion Modification 1 to help keep your engine from being blown out.  It won't help often, but every little bit counts.
Recommended Consumables
The Campbeltown doesn't get any unique or unusual consumables.  If you want an extra smoke charge, you can consider grabbing the premium version of her Smoke Generator.  Personally, if I was going to grab any premium consumable for her, I would reach for her Damage Control Party to reduce her reset timer from 60s down to 40s, though with the right Captain Skills, you shouldn't need either and can save some credits.
 
Crushing a Sampson-class Destroyer beneath her prow.  The Campbeltown sadly does not get any ramming damage bonus. 
And I made it my purpose to smash my face into as many ships as possible to find out!
 
Recommended Captain Skills
Unlike the Wickes, the Campbeltown is a torpedo boat so you'll want to be leaning towards skills which assist on that armament primarily.
 
  • As a destroyer, Situational Awareness should be the first skill you grab at tier 1.
  • At tier 2, I'll be honest, I'm at a bit of a loss.
    • Last Stand is a must have for any destroyer Captain, and it's probably your best bet.
    • That said, Torpedo Armament Expertise is very desirable.  This will reduce your reload rate from 63s down to 56.7s.  It's probably best to grab it on a second pass through the skill tree.
  • At tier 3, Superintendent should be your one-stop shop.  It will give you an additional Smoke Generator and Engine Boost charge.
  • Once you hit tier 4, it's really up to you.  I would be inclined to grab Survivability Expert for the extra 1200hp, if only because the other skills aren't of much value for the Campbeltown.
  • And lastly, at tier 5, grab Concealment Expert for your 15th skill point.  This will drop your surface detection range (with camouflage) to approximately 5.9km.
 

Edited by LittleWhiteMouse, 22 April 2016 - 05:22 PM.

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RipNuN2 #2 Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:23 PM

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Thank you LWM and Lert for the great write up.

AutismSpeaks #3 Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:23 PM

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Excellent Review, Thank you.  +1

Retired ships (All #1 NA ranked):  Storozhevoi,Umikaze,Wakatake,Wickes,Izyaslav,Clemson,Gnevny,Nicholas,Ognevoi,Tashkent,Udaloi

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Lert #4 Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:24 PM

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Thank you LWM for allowing me the space in your great review to discuss my own thoughts about the ship!

 

Here's Jeremy clarkson waffling on for an hour about the St Nazaire raid that allowed Campbeltown to sail into immortality.

 


(Above stats not guaranteed accurate. I'm a supertester and test ships don't always register correctly)

 

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LittleWhiteMouse #5 Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:26 PM

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View PostLert, on 22 April 2016 - 10:24 AM, said:

Thank you LWM for allowing me the space in your great review to discuss my own thoughts about the ship!

 

I always find it fun that because of NDAs, we can't confer while writing these yet we usually end up drawing similar conclusions. :)

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Lert #6 Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:28 PM

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View PostLittleWhiteMouse, on 22 April 2016 - 03:26 PM, said:

we usually end up drawing similar conclusions.

 

Which:

 

1) Helps lend validity to the review, when two respected forum posters (one respected one and me, at least) agree on the value and playstyle of a ship

2) Sometimes surprises me, as I approach a ship from the viewpoint of the mediocre player that I am, while you're a much better player than me


(Above stats not guaranteed accurate. I'm a supertester and test ships don't always register correctly)

 

Ship hipster: I liked Alabama before it was cool


kerensky914 #7 Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:33 PM

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View PostLittleWhiteMouse, on 22 April 2016 - 03:26 PM, said:

 

I always find it fun that because of NDAs, we can't confer while writing these yet we usually end up drawing similar conclusions. :)

 

Interesting, I never would have guessed that two persons operating under the same NDA couldn't confer.  That's kinda like expecting jurors not to discuss the case with one another - it makes no sense.

 

Great review, as always.  Hope we get the chance to try her ourselves soon!


Edited by kerensky914, 22 April 2016 - 03:34 PM.

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Lert #8 Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:37 PM

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View Postkerensky914, on 22 April 2016 - 03:33 PM, said:

I never would have guessed that two persons operating under the same NDA couldn't confer.

 

Except that LWM and me are not under the same NDA. If we were, we could discuss the ship all we want, over certain approved channels. But I'm under Supertester NDA and she's under Club Wargaming / Community Contributer NDA.

(Above stats not guaranteed accurate. I'm a supertester and test ships don't always register correctly)

 

Ship hipster: I liked Alabama before it was cool


mofton #9 Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:38 PM

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Thanks for the review, it seems very fair, right level of detail. Useful and informative guide.

 

I'm a brit, and I like the idea of RN ships. Part of me thinks I should get it on that basis. My issues are:

1) It's not 'really' British

2) It overall looks weak to play - you gave it the lowest torpedo rating of the 3 DD, when torpedoes are it's only trick...

3) Slow torpedo reload and boring play made me give up on the Mutsuki, my first abandoned line - Campbeltown looks like more of the same

 

Warspite has strengths and weaknesses it seems in contrast, but is infinitely more interesting.

 

Query - how easily detected were the torpedoes? Did people seem to get lots of warning of the slowish incoming fish? If it's like Mutsuki there, it'd be a definite no.


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AutismSpeaks #10 Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:39 PM

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View PostLert, on 22 April 2016 - 03:24 PM, said:

Thank you LWM for allowing me the space in your great review to discuss my own thoughts about the ship!

 

Here's Jeremy clarkson waffling on for an hour about the St Nazaire raid that allowed Campbeltown to sail into immortality.

 

 

+1 for you as well, sir

Retired ships (All #1 NA ranked):  Storozhevoi,Umikaze,Wakatake,Wickes,Izyaslav,Clemson,Gnevny,Nicholas,Ognevoi,Tashkent,Udaloi

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LittleWhiteMouse #11 Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:42 PM

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View Postkerensky914, on 22 April 2016 - 10:33 AM, said:

 

Interesting, I never would have guessed that two persons operating under the same NDA couldn't confer.  That's kinda like expecting jurors not to discuss the case with one another - it makes no sense.

 

Yeah, the way Lert and I co-author these is a bit convoluted.  We both know what's coming out, but we can't discuss them.  So we each pre-write our parts with little more than a "Hey, do you want to work together on the reviews of the upcoming ship(s)?"  (The answer is always 'yes').  We each write our parts well in advance until the NDAs get lifted -- and they don't always get lifted at the same time.  Once we're both no longer hushed, Lert sends me his part and I weave what he writes without edits into what I have written and then begin altering my own text to make the two flow together a bit better.


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Lert #12 Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:45 PM

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View PostLittleWhiteMouse, on 22 April 2016 - 03:42 PM, said:

We each write our parts well in advance until the NDAs get lifted -- and they don't always get lifted at the same time.

 

When that happens there won't be a collab. I might post my own side of the review as a separate thread then, or - ... well, not.

(Above stats not guaranteed accurate. I'm a supertester and test ships don't always register correctly)

 

Ship hipster: I liked Alabama before it was cool


Super_Dreadnought #13 Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:54 PM

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View Postmofton, on 22 April 2016 - 03:38 PM, said:

Thanks for the review, it seems very fair, right level of detail. Useful and informative guide.

 

I'm a brit, and I like the idea of RN ships. Part of me thinks I should get it on that basis. My issues are:

1) It's not 'really' British

2) It overall looks weak to play - you gave it the lowest torpedo rating of the 3 DD, when torpedoes are it's only trick...

3) Slow torpedo reload and boring play made me give up on the Mutsuki, my first abandoned line - Campbeltown looks like more of the same

 

Warspite has strengths and weaknesses it seems in contrast, but is infinitely more interesting.

 

Query - how easily detected were the torpedoes? Did people seem to get lots of warning of the slowish incoming fish? If it's like Mutsuki there, it'd be a definite no.

 

*shrug* I'm a Brit also and imho beggars can't be choosers. Last rumour I heard, the RN cruiser line might come next year, so heaven knows when a proper RN destroyer line will turn up? Maybe during the next decade if we're really lucky. 

 

Personally I'm fine buying a Yank in disguise. At least looking at SEA prices (£5.99) it shouldn't be much more expensive when it comes to NA, and I play IJN DDs anyway and therefore used to the weaknesses mentioned.

 

 

Thank you LWM and Lert for your review. Very informative.


Edited by Super_Dreadnought, 22 April 2016 - 03:57 PM.


traxxonraider #14 Posted 22 April 2016 - 04:01 PM

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Thanks for the write-up LWM and Lert.  The ship history interests me more than the ship stats to be honest, but even so I'm not sure I'd buy it just because it has an interesting history.

LittleWhiteMouse #15 Posted 22 April 2016 - 04:04 PM

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View Postmofton, on 22 April 2016 - 10:38 AM, said:

Query - how easily detected were the torpedoes? Did people seem to get lots of warning of the slowish incoming fish? If it's like Mutsuki there, it'd be a definite no.

 

I had no way of testing this.  During game play, I am restricted by an NDA so I can't converse with players about the ship itself.  You might think that I could simply look for when my opponents responded to the threat of torpedoes -- sadly at low tiers, very few players are actually aware of the threat of torpedoes until after they've been hit by them.  So again, any evidence I might give towards their detection range would be purely speculation.  In short?  I don't know...

 

As a Canadian, the Town-class is very iconic for me.  The RCN was charged with convoy defense in the Battle of the Atlantic and our entire fledgling navy was geared towards this sole task.  Sadly, anti-submarine vessels are generally ill-suited to fleet actions, as the HMS Campbeltown demonstrates.  If you think this ship is bad, the Flower-class Corvettes would be appalling, even at tier 1, being little more than tiny whaling ships with a single forward mounted gun.  The Town-class Destroyers were badly needed however, especially until Canadian and British naval production could step up to meet the need for more escorts with domestically produced designs (like the AMAZING Tribal-class).  From a point of history, the Town-class is very important to me, and that's even before the St.Nazaire raid is even considered.

 

Which is why it chafes me that I didn't enjoy my time in the Campbeltown.  Oh, she can do work, have no doubt.  But she's not forgiving.  And any ship I feel like I'm fighting against never ends up a favourite of mine.


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Lonewolfpj #16 Posted 22 April 2016 - 04:11 PM

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always fun to read thanks Guys. I like how Lert has joined your reviews. Always good to hear from good players on there thoughts.

CapnCappy #17 Posted 22 April 2016 - 04:19 PM

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Jury is still out on the Campbeltown, IMHO. I'll wait for some more youtube reviews to see if I want to spend the $9? for it.

 

Jingles has a preview game that shows 2x3 but on each side. So long range and fast torpedoes but hard to get on target and hit something.

 

I wish they had put more guns on her and made it so you can fire all 4 broadside, then I'll snatch her up and use the torps for LOLz.



TacoSallust #18 Posted 22 April 2016 - 04:20 PM

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Wow, this sounds like a real challenge of a ship to play, a tough trainer for a line that will take awhile to develop. That being said, shut up and take my money WG!

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kerensky914 #19 Posted 22 April 2016 - 04:21 PM

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View PostLert, on 22 April 2016 - 03:37 PM, said:

 

Except that LWM and me are not under the same NDA. If we were, we could discuss the ship all we want, over certain approved channels. But I'm under Supertester NDA and she's under Club Wargaming / Community Contributer NDA.

 

Ah, cool, that makes more sense then.

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Raptor_alcor #20 Posted 22 April 2016 - 04:33 PM

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I have enough destroyers premium or otherwise, this one will have to pass me by

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