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About Shels

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  1. I started in open beta, so some events may predate readers. T5: None. Pre-AFT/BFT nerf the Omaha was a favorite T5 of all my ships, but after that nerf she suffered badly. None of the others have stood out enough for me to revisit. I skipped the Furutaka and Aoba based on the reviews of their then terrible status. No Furutaka C-hull, original 15-second reloads. Kirov was meh, French was boring, I really dislike the K-berg turret arrangement, and Emerald was a steaming pile of refuse. T6 - Old Cleveland, even after the skill nerfs, was a beast and favorite. I am surprised to find that I really like the Pensacola at T6. That alpha strike is just brutal. Schors and La Glassy are, to me, boring to play, just kite and HE. While common for many CLs, those two with their speed and range felt like a very stale style of gameplay. Leander was a solid improvement over Emerald, but felt very undergunned. I enjoyed Dallas, actually felt she was better at T6 than Cleveland because the latter had been so awkwardly nerfed to fit into T6 - the handling and turret traverse was very cumbersome. Dallas seems much better balanced for the tier. Skipped Aoba like I did the Furutaka and disliked the N-berg for the same turret layout reason as the K-berg. T7 - I absolutely agree that this is a sweet spot tier with numerous great ships and the ancillary benefit of favorable match making. Pre-USN split, hated the Pensacola. Ground part way pre any buffs and almost quit the game, the ship was so bad back then. Post the New Orleans seems good, but I haven't spent much time in her. I think I miss the T8 version that was very stealthy and had solid radar. Helena rocks, one of my favorites in the game and I would play far more often if I was not grinding the last 30k xp on the Donskoi as well as the Halsey campaign. Fiji was great, but since I have Belfast, I didn't keep Fiji. Myoko is another favorite that I just don't have time for right now. Long range guns and lots of them. Grinding Algerie, nothing stands out. Schors was solid but stale, York was dull for me. Premiums I list separately since they aren't FTP attainable outside of a special event or crate. I like Belfast and Indianapolis in particular. Atlanta is okay, but unless I am in a division, a little too niche for my enjoyment. Graf Spee (got in a mission) does not match my play style. Molotov is okay, but I prefer either fully CA or fully CL, whereas Molotov is in the middle and feels lacking to me in many engagements. I actually don't play Belfast that much any more - with her dedicated 19-point captain, she just feels dirty, even in a T9 match. She was pure easy mode in ranked, almost felt like cheating or, dare I say it, paying to win. I had her long before that season, took her in with that 19-point captain. "Payfast" was a not inaccurate moniker.
  2. Des Moines or Worcester?

    How far have you ground up the USN cruiser line? I wouldn't free XP to either until you've ground up to at least T8 in both lines, so you are familiar with gameplay at those tiers. If you get Salem, that will give you a feel for Des Moines, but not Worcester. Both are powerful ships, but not as straightforward or easy to play as some of the other T10 cruisers.
  3. When I was grinding the USN CV line I was eagerly anticipating the 2/1/1 Lexington. I must have been just a month behind Haze, because just two weeks before I got it, that loadout was removed. Grinding the 2/0/2 and 0/1/3 loadouts was painful, but at least there was a choice with clear strengths. Now, the only loadout just seems mediocre. I rarely if ever have any trouble against a Lexington when using my Enterprise or Shokaku. Maybe dual fighter squads with lower tier or smaller squadrons, similar to Enterprise, while keeping T8 strike planes would balance things out.
  4. I think it is the consensus that the Lexington is at the bottom of the tier 8 CV pool. With it's 1/1/2 flight group, it just doesn't have the ability to effectively contest the twin fighter squadrons on the Shokaku or Enterprise, and its single squadron is much smaller than the uber-sized one on the Graf Zepplin. The strike potential isn't terrible on paper, especially running AP bombs when there are vulnerable targets in the match, but because the Lexington has such a hard time establishing air-control, those strike squadrons are very vulnerable. I am not a unicum CV driver, but I've now reached T10 ranked battle playing just the Big E, and each time, I was matched against a poor Lexington. Every single match was a blow-out on the CV side and victory. Using the twin fighter squadrons of the Enterprise I was constantly able to lock-and-strafe the single Lexington fighter squad, then go on to wipe out the strike planes. With the smaller number of players in a ranked match and the tendency of everyone to stay together, especially when a CV is present, all I had to do was keep my fighters near our ships, then intercept the attack group. After that, while the Lexington is suffering the abysmally long squadron reload period, my strike planes would go in against no resistance save any DFAA carrying ships and proceed to smash things up. These aren't exactly novel tactics, but none of the Lexington drivers were able to counter it because the flight-group basically cripples them against a Shokaku or Enterprise. For the sake of your team, if you want to drive a Lexington in ranked, I urge you to reconsider. In my experience, both this season and last, the Lexington is just not competitive, not even close, against the Shokaku or Enterprise. Especially against the Enterprise, I would argue, due to the extremely large fighter reserves, bonus from Dogfighting Expert, and barely smaller squadron size. I have the Shokaku and Enterprise and leveled through the Lexington a long time ago, so the only tier 8 CV I haven't played is the Graf Zepplin. There are probably the few extremely good Lexington drivers out there that can make it work (pre flight-group changes, I had unicum status in the Ranger running the old 0/1/3 strike flight-group), but I argue that it is a massive uphill struggle that does not help your team. In randoms the Lexington may do better, where there are more ships to engage so the chances of catching one without cover is higher, and due to the different objectives in a random match as the opposing team's ships are less likely to be clustered together for mutual support. But in ranked, it just seems to be a futile exercise.
  5. Secret to Myoko ?/

    To add to the great advice, pick your shots rather than trying to maintain a high DPM. You are a long-range sniper using HE, not a machine gum spamming HE like the Helena. You have a long reload, so make every salvo count rather than trying to throw out a lot of rounds and getting fires through volume. IJN CAs have a high fire chance, so as long as you aim well, you'll rack up that high HE alpha and set fires. Wait until you're confident in the shot, then let it go. With the longer reload, any missed salvo is that much more expensive in opportunity cost and exposure from the gun bloom. Myoko is a great support cruiser to your BB battle line or backing up DDs and other cruisers. One of my favorite T7 cruisers. I bought it back for T7 play when I want to play long-range sniping/support.
  6. KGV Versus Gneisenau

    My Scharn is still quite effective in the current meta, which I don't think has changed all that much from the beta days. Cruisers still fling HE, there are just more of them good (rate of fire) at it, DDs still torp spam and skirt around the flanks. The largest change to me has been BB HE spam, thanks to the British BB line. But you deal with that the same as you do with cruiser HE. What I think is different about the Scharn and Gneis is their play style versus the other German BBs. They are not as capable as rushing brawlers because of either a smaller caliber main battery (Scharn) or a small number of barrels (Gneis). I find great success playing Scharn as a super-heavy cruiser, not as a battleship. This takes better advantage of her traits - faster reload, more barrels, speed and maneuverability. I hunt cruisers, turn the flank, break up pushes by smaller ships. Something that has worked particularly well and is quite fun is to follow a bit behind a friendly DD that is pushing a flank. If they fall back and are being chased by a cruiser or two, I steam right into them, opening fire only once I am in detection range. With the closing speed being near 60 knots, most cruisers cannot turn away without giving up multiple close-range cits, and if they press on, well, at short range the Scharn obliterates them. I have seen the Gneis used the same way. Use the speed of these ships to pick your engagement, going for more vulnerable targets versus trying to tank on through or fight in the main battle line. I haven't driven the Shiny Horse in a month or so while grinding the Halsey campaign, I hope to get back to it soon, though I must admit, it tends to feel like seal clubbing, especially when top tier. Poor Omaha and Emerald, and the USN standard BBs.
  7. Just got the Minotaur

    I use MBM3. When you crunch the numbers, that reload boost is quite significant. It's the percent change, not the strict number of seconds, that you should consider. I ran the range mod originally, but the shells are so floaty that the extra range didn't improve my effectiveness. With how much smoke there is at T10, people generally well aware of concealment ranges, and DDs typically turning to run if a Mino gets them in their sites, you'll want that extra rate of fire.
  8. Cleveland was an updated Helena (St. Louis 1938) design, which in turn was a slight update of the Brooklyn class. Both the Brooklyn and St. Louis (1938) classes were treaty cruisers. The St. Louis (1938) was a slight upgrade of the Brooklyn, moving to the unit principle for the power plant and replacing the single 5" 25 mounts with twin 5" 38 mounts1. The Cleveland basically dropped the C turret to upgrade the AA to from four twin 5" 38 mounts to six, adding the fore and aft mounts in the diamond pattern2. The Cleveland was not a treaty cruiser, but did not gain in displacement as much as the Baltimore in an attempt to keep production numbers higher by reducing cost and production times. This had negative consequences as the war progressed and extra equipment was added, to the point the ships were considered dangerously close to their stability limits3. All US cruisers were evolved from the New Orleans class4; defining features that distinguished them from the preceding classes (Pensacola, Northampton, Portland) were introduced here - armored turrets, submerged magazines, and others. The Brooklyn class took the New Orleans and switched to a 6" gun design due to treaty restrictions, moved the aircraft to the stern, and re-introduced the flush deck, but internally otherwise weren't very different. The St. Louis (1938) had slight alterations to the secondary battery and returned to the unit principle for the power plant. Cleveland made slight armament changes. Baltimore was developed parallel with the Cleveland as the 8" version, and can also be viewed as an enhanced Wichita, which was an 8" St. Louis (1938). 1 US Cruisers (1984) Friedman, N. p 207 2 US Cruisers (1984) Friedman, N. p 255 3 US Cruisers (1984) Friedman, N. p 268 4 US Cruisers (1984) Friedman, N. p 157
  9. I like my Enterprise, but she is not a ship for those inexperienced with CV play. Micromanaging six squadrons starts to get difficult for many people, especially if you haven't ground up a CV line. The IJN line is good preparation since the Hiryu and Shokaku are both six-squadron ships, and you are dealing with five at the Ryujo. American CV experience is also useful. You don't use as many squadrons, but the longer flight times and rearming cycles are consistent with the Enterprise. Add to that the unique torpedo drop pattern and much more selective role of AP dive bombers, and you get a CV that is a lot to try to learn at once without some solid prior experience. I was already to Midway and Hiryu when the Big E finally came out and I still debated until right before she went off sale before deciding to get her. I have liked it and had good success, fun games, but she is a challenging CV to use, especially with the T7 planes in T8 match making. I play her with an eye toward the long-term - air superiority initially, let cruiser HE trim down BB AA batteries, then once I've worn down the other CV a bit, take in my planes for alpha strikes. I rely on Enterprise's enormous fighter reserves and a fighter-spec'd captain and module load-out to take air control, then go ship hunting. It's worked quite well for me.
  10. Decisions on T8 Cruiser

    I ground the New Orleans before she got any buffs - pre-radar, concealment buff, rate of fire buff, armor buff, and managed about 55% win rate. Tough grind. Now, with all the buffs, I find her quite competitive, especially with a 10-pt or more captain. 9.1 km detection range and 9.0 km radar makes her both stealthy and a solid counter to smoked up ships. I especially like getting into range of cruisers sitting in smoke - cut an angle to get a broadside on them, then light them up with the radar and land multiple citadels. The NO is, in my opinion, a cruiser hunter-killer that relies on sneaking up and then whacking someone with a brutal AP salvo. She's only decent against DDs due to the 12 second reload - much longer and fewer barrels than the Chapy or Edin, for example. Solid against CVs, strictly second-line support against BBs, even with the solid American AP shells, due to the lower rate of fire. I find her handling quite good, she's pretty short so a smaller target, and the armor works quite well against cruisers. Not as much against BBs, but few cruisers stand up well to BB fire, and expecting them to really isn't reasonable. I have managed to bounce 16" shells off my belt a few times, but against BBs I rely on dodging and concealment rather than the armor. Against cruiser AP I find angling works quite well, especially since 6/9 barrels are forward. My Chapy was long-range HE spam, and you better stay at long range due to the exposed citadel, poor armor, and "bus on ice" maneuverability. I ground through it, but wasn't entertained. It made for what felt to me to be a rather stale playstyle. Get close and one is asking for an insta-delete. Stay long and usually the AP won't land at a good angle for consistent damage, while the HE with IFHE deals very consistent damage. Edin was an uptiered Fiji. I actually liked the Fiji much more - there just didn't feel like any significant improvement of the Edin over the Fiji. Better heal and slightly longer ranged torps doesn't seem like much of an improvement for going up an entire tier. If you need the difference in the heal that much, usually you've done something wrong in the first place. Add in the MM patterns, and Edin was a "nothing special" grind for me, which was a let down after the fun of the Fiji. Fiji was a great ship, and if I didn't have a Belfast I would have kept the Fiji as a T7 go-to. Mogami. Pre-buffed 155 mm was incredibly painful with the glacially slow turret traverse, so I ran with the 203 mm loadout. The upgrade from the Myoko was similar to the upgrade from the Fiji to the Edin. Nothing special and not much of a gain relative to the changes in MM. I actually preferred the Myoko's layout, as it made it easier to keep more guns on target while kiting away. I don't have the French or German T8s, grinding their T6 and T7 respectively. In summary, I prefer the NO, especially after the buffs she has gotten. I have good success using her as a cruiser HK, especially if they are sitting in smoke. She does good second line support for BBs, just always keep dodging. Chappy was effective at long-range HE spam and somewhat boring. Edin and Mogami felt like uptiered Fiji and Myoko and were not terribly interesting. The only T8 I've repurchased was the NO, which has a dedicated captain, the rest were all sold as I moved up the line.
  11. CV bug, same as previously reported. I had taken no damage, no hits. Planes landed and could never take off again. Attached the WGCheck report and a screenshot. This type of game-breaking bug is inexcusable - whomever was supposed to be quality checking for these types of issues should be demoted or fired. They are clearly incapable of performing at even a minimal level of acceptable competency. WoWS_report.wgc
  12. Islands weren't rendering for me. Easy to run aground on the small ones when you can't see anything but a shadow.
  13. I have an Independence

    Grind it out to the Ranger, which is a huge improvement (over double the aircraft capacity) and use that free XP to immediately upgrade the Ranger.
  14. DM - Range/RoF?

    I've stuck with the range buff since the RoF buff sacrifices turret rotation and I don't want to lose that while engaging in knife-fights. The ability to send some long-range shots out can still be useful, especially since although the flight time remains an issue, you can put out so many rounds anyway.
  15. I've done quite well in the T7-9 USN CVs, grinding through the Essex at the moment. You're more specialized running the USN load-outs if you don't use the balanced one, which I rarely have because of the fewer total planes you can put in the air at once. Though for the Independence, I did grind using the 1/1/1. I did quite well with the strike Ranger and Lexington, and am doing well with the Essex. In fact, I kept the Ranger and play it as much or more than my Essex. Lexington air-groups weren't a significant improvement over the Ranger, but AA brutality ramps up even faster. Essex finally gets a fighter in the strike package, which makes a huge difference. Main thing with the Independence is the still extremely limited hangar capacity, right when AA is starting to drastically improve and it is almost certain you will encounter cruisers with defensive fire. I typically had to play her passively at the beginning, focus on spotting front ships, maybe harassing DDs, and providing fighter cover. Then once the match got about 8-10 minutes in, ships have started taking some module damage, AA is decreased, they're no longer full HP, and more likely to be distracted, at which point I could then make attack runs with a much better chance of success. Don't expect to alpha strike someone out, you are going to have to rely on damage over time from flooding or fires. I suggest hitting with the torp bombers first - if they cause flooding, even when there are DBs nearby, almost everyone will repair the flooding. If they don't, just keep them in sight of your DBs - they'll either repair or let it go the entire time - yes, I've seen that - and you'll get the full flood damage, otherwise once they pop that damage control, you wait for it to expire, then light them on fire. Some players will pop that damage control on flooding right away even if they see the DBs, gambling that you won't be able to set them on fire. I have usually won that gamble with well setup DB drop - if most of those bombs hit, it usually causes at least one fire. Some people like to go strike with the Independence, but I found that giving up the fighter squadron for only one DB squadron wasn't worth it, especially since if you encounter your T6 IJN counter part Ryujo, unless they are running the 3/1/1 flight module, they will have only one fighter squadron, and assuming equal upgrades and you aren't dogfighting over enemy ships, you should win nearly every time. Three fighter to fighter encounters and they'll be out of fighters. Go strike and anything but another strike Independence can shut you down or stall you badly, and you can't put enough squads in the air to keep that damage rolling in fast enough, Two of the things I really liked when I moved from the Independence to the Ranger were 1: double the hangar capacity (37 -> 73 planes) and 2: four strike squadrons versus three. That's enough to reliably alpha strike out a counter-part CV, or DOT him out if they don't use that damage control wisely, and enough squads in the air that at least a couple are always getting through to keep dispensing the damage.