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Found 16 results

  1. Sometimes you will find yourself in a situation where the enemy simply outnumbers you and you are defending an area of the map with little support from your team. Kiting is designed to counter this by playing to the strengths and weaknesses found in certain ships. What is Kiting? Kiting is a tactic that is designed to maximize survivability and distract the enemy from pursuing objectives when you are heavily outnumbered. When under enemy fire, you break off from the defense of a point and intentionally move into an area that is strategically unimportant, such as open water. You do not stealth up, and you gain as much distance as possible while still being able to angle and fire your guns effectively. You keep firing at the enemy, and force them to contend with you with the hopes they will slow down, pursue you instead, or break off their attack entirely. This tactic forces your enemies to contend with you even though killing you is in-ideal, and has very low yield for the enemy. It also distracts enemy players from capturing objectives or harming allies. It also has the potential of creating crossfire between you and your allies. This is ideal when you are outmatched on a single flank, and the enemy has a sizable force closing in on a capture point. Do not use this tactic when you have the numerical advantage, or your ship is still fairly healthy. Which warship is able to use this tactic the best? Most larger ships can use this tactic, including certain cruisers and battleships. Ideally, the best choice to implement this tactic are ships with poor concealment that cannot hide from the enemy. The ship should have fairly good protection coupled with good speed. Fast battleships and heavy cruisers are ideal for this task, but it is not always limited to them. Implementation In this example, we will use a Fast Battleship that is outnumbered by multiple enemies trying to defend one of three capture points. The enemy consists of a Battleship, a cruiser, and a single destroyer. No allies are nearby. Step one, Understand when you should start Kiting Use the following clues to start kitting: 1) Your ship is nearing 50% health. 2) The enemy vastly outnumbers you and they are closing in fast. 3) your allies have all died on the flank from focus fire. The enemy is starting to focus on you instead. Step two, plan your turn Plan your turn. if you are not careful, the enemy could punish your broadside, causing you to lose more health than what is necessary. Step three, commit to your turn. Do not relent on the rudder, you have a small window of opportunity after a battleship's guns have fired. There could also be torpedoes in the water you have not spotted headed for your position. Step four, Break away You are now likely safe from being punished by the enemy bb's large guns. Start moving away from the objective. Put on some speed as you need the range to help keep yourself alive while under-fire from multiple ships. Step five, Distract, Distract, DISTRACT This is what gives Kiting its name! Keep your guns firing, fire them as soon as possible and as fast as possible. You now have more range. This gives you time to fire the main guns while simultaneously allowing you to angle again if enemy shells are in the air headed for your position. Unless you are perilously low on health, do not go into stealth; stay spotted and within view of the enemy. Force the enemy to deal with you. Step six, know when to stop Kiting Understand that kiting for too long can also have unintended consequences. Stop kiting if the following happens: 1) If the enemy switches fire to another player, turn in and assume an aggressive stance until you can draw their fire again. 2) If there is an escape route and you are dangerously low on Hp, if at all possible, conceal your ship by ceasing fire, or hiding behind any cover nearby. 3) The enemy stops firing at you because you are too far away, turn in and assume an aggressive stance until they start firing at you again. 4) When your team has the upper hand on the flank, perhaps the enemy encountered crossfire, or multiple enemies were destroyed, stop kiting. Thanks for taking the time to read this guide! If you wish to see more posts like this one documenting other tactics by the playerbase, give me a shout-out, or leave a bucket of Mackerel in your local bay!
  2. This is my new video intended to help newer players who want to get better at playing the Atlanta! It is based on my own experiences playing the Atlanta and how I found a way to succeed in this ship.
  3. I've had several people in my clan ask me for tips and builds for the French DD's. And since I now feel comfortable saying I know what I'm doing to people outside my clan (1st on the server for winrate in Mogador woot woot) I figured I may as well post this and see what people think/who can get some help for it. How to Build: Here are the 2 corners for French DD playstyles. General preference is the name of the game for which one you prefer. (This will help you decide which build to try for.) Playstyle 1: (open water) Damage farmer. Khaba, Henri, Zao, Etc. Etc. we all know the ships, you know if you like them, and you know what the strategy is for them. Run and gun, and gun, and gun. Playstyle 2: CQB Assassin/Ambush. Brawler DM. Daring. Appear suddenly and kill a specific enemy, counting on surprise/superior maneuverability to use your brutal damage output to kill them without counterplay. This playstyle is more of a “sub”-playstyle (see the opportunity, do the thing), at this point, there aren’t very many ships that this works well as the primary playstyle you use. It serves more like the “What would you prefer to do in this situation.” French DD’s, the DM, and the Daring are kind of are the only ships that are even capable of pulling off this strategy. These outlines don’t mean that you only play with that playstyle, even in a given match you should be switching between each one to best handle the situation you find yourself in. But whichever playstyle you prefer is going to VERY heavily effect what build you run/what you do at the beginning of a match. Open water damage farmer. The purpose of this build is to allow maximum damage output for someone who never stops firing their guns. Some notes: AFT, IFHE, and BFT are all mandatory. You need the range, 29 mm pen, and extra Dakka. Reload mod instead of range mod is also mandatory, because sorry, if you’re going 54 knots and you need to be at 17 km from what you’re shooting at to do well, I have bad news for you (you might need to talk to your doctor about a prescription of “git-gud”.) SE isn’t really necessary, DE is more useful overall since you aren’t getting hit anyway, and the fire chance is spicy, why not make it spicier. Concealment options are a waste for this build, nothing can catch you, and if you are constantly shooting your guns the concealment isn’t being used anyway. Use the points/slots for other things. Rudder mod 3 is hilarious on these things, and if you’re running it, use propulsion mod Juking: Using high maneuverability to adjust your ship away from where an enemy’s shells will land. For long-range: Assuming you’re running the build shown here, start at 10km from what you want to farm. While firing, back towards them, once they shoot you pull forward out of the way, rinse wash repeat. You shouldn’t get closer than 9km from something actively shooting at you. If you are forced to be moving forward constantly: go full speed, this will usually be enough for people to miss you, (players have had trouble leading a Khaba for years, and these go even faster than that) If you see shells incoming that will hit you, full stop and put your rudder to one side, this will stop you the fastest. In Defense of IFA: IFA is a utility skill, it removes the possibility of “surprise” hits, and helps you manage multiple angles of fire shooting at you. (Get an alert but don’t see the ship you’re farming shoot its guns? You know something else is shooting at you and to look along the horizon to find out where it is.) CQB Assassin. The purpose of this build is to maximize quick damage output, stealth, and short-term survivability. Notes: Very little up for debate for the purest build: IFHE, CE, BFT, SE, AR, PM, LS, conceal mod and prop mod are all mandatory, you need the concealment to actually… do the thing. You need the firepower buff. And you NEED the survivability. And steering mod is useless for close-range juking/pouncing on prey. You have to be on your toes CONSTANTLY to utilize this build well. Enemy cruiser just went behind an island while their DD smoked up? Perfect, gank the DD and rush the CA. CA’s radar just go down after it pushed in front of its team? Kill it faster than it can even turn its guns. It’s a hardcore thinking strategy. Remember that for its caliber, French DD AP is pretty much the best in the game. This lets you assassinate any CA in the game (provided you have the drop on them) Torps are amazing also. This is an extremely passive playstyle in its pure form (note that I’m saying pure form, DO NOT rely on this as your only contribution in battles) You rely on surprise and crippling, sudden firepower to get crapdone. You aren’t the one rushing into areas you don’t know about, that’s for the plebs on your team. You let them find out where that unicum DM is holed up, so you can flank and blap him. You let them find the flank with the Shima, force his support back, then you go in and deal with him. Gearing in a cap? Wait for the right moment and rush his smokescreen, then escape straight after killing him. For juking at close range: Unless you’re faithful in your ability to anticipate other players actions, let whatever you’re fighting get one hit on you. Then, pull a hard stop by slamming your ship in reverse and turning to one side. Let them aim correctly at least one salvo while you’re going backward, then pull hard forwards. This whole process can take as little as 5 seconds, so be sure to rinse wash repeat as often as you can to maximize effectiveness. Personal Build/What I’d recommend Thanks, F1Toaster for the capt build… forgot you can run 3 tier 4 skills This is what I’d refer to as the “Generalist” build. It does the job of switching between all the different playstyles very well, you can adapt to the shifting game situations around you to maximize performance. Wanna farm? Have fun. See a chance to assassinate an enemy? Do it. Need to disengage? You can go dark and run, or shoot… and run. Push flanks, surprise CV’s by being right next to them 3 minutes into the game, surprise CA’s by coming in from a unexpected angle, Etc. Etc. The sea is your oyster. Prop vs Steering mod is totally up to personal preference, for Mog I loosely recommend steering since 7.1 det makes it more of a dedicated kiter. I’m expecting Kleber to be a FAR better brawler, 6.9 det and better firepower/health/speed, so Prop mod will be better. I swap between the 2 on my Terrible and Mog daily just kind of based on how ballsy I’m feeling that day/how much of a prick I want to be. Random assorted points: Le Terrible is a more gunboaty Fantasque, .2 worse concealment, 1 sec better reload, 13 second faster torp reload. 10 knot slower torps. AP vs. HE. I touched on this in the assassin point, but your AP is the best for its caliber. You’re AP can citadel most cruisers out to a range of 10km. And at 2.5k a cit, you will eat broadside cruisers alive. There are 2 main opportunities to utilize it: The most basic is simply an ambush, whether you have a DM camping an island, and you can flank to its broadside. Or an Henri that’s backing towards your team. You find an enemy cruiser that’s focused on something else, and that can’t easily turn away, and strike with you’re reload boost. Use torps to cover the most likely means of escape they’ll use, take the Henri example for instance. If he’s backing towards the enemy. He can’t go backwards any faster, and if he accelerates it’s a linear progression. (Noone is going to think to switch up to half speed, drop down to quarter speed, then up to full when they’re losing a 5th of their health every 2 seconds.) Use the kneejerk reaction of them realizing what you are and where you are to force them into torps. For HE, you’ll do 3-5k salvo’s, and with the 9% fire chance after IFHE, you aren’t hurt for taking it. You eat everything at every range. It obviously doesn’t have the same blap potential as AP, but against BB’s, DD’s, and CA’s at weird angles, it does the job and it does the job well. French AP penetration VS Khaba, VS Mino: On a smaller point, When gunfighting Khaba’s, and Gearing’s specifically, AP is your best option. You won’t overpen Gearing unless you’re sub 3km. And Khaba is fair game at all ranges. 6k salvos can be expected with good AP hits on them. Try to hit directly under the smokestack for both of them, that’s where their 50mm and 21mm armor plates are. Here is a comparison Graph for Kleber vs Daring vs Khaba. FYI. SI is unnecessary, you shouldn’t be relying on your reload boosts for “general” damage, and with speed boost mod you are incapable of using the extra speed boost because of the time limits in a match. Thanks to some testing by ThatsAPaladin and I, here is some insight into Prop vs Steering Mod. Prop mod makes half a ship-length difference while accelerating (as compared to something without it) and steering gears… do the thing, rudder shift is a posted number so there are no real secrets to it. Just remember: if you’re using slowing down and speeding up as your means of dodging, your negating your biggest asset: your incredible speed. You going from -20 to 30 knots is awesome, but you might have been better off staying at 50 knots and moving towards something important. (especially since 75% of the player base is incapable of leading you correctly when you’re going max speed.) SE is optional if you are playing open water mostly. I’ve never died in my Mog while kiting. And only very rarely in my Terrible (which I had 200 battles in before I got my Mog so… there’s going to be some outliers.) People legitimately just have a hard time hitting you. (WAY more so than a Khab) How to handle planes: If they aren’t rocket planes, Just-Dodge™. If they are: go dark and always have your nose towards the planes. You turn fast enough that this is achievable. The Mog (and Kleber) have good enough AA to wither down planes that are hovering over you. Even unicum CV’s seem to have trouble anticipating the amount of lead they need, and if you are going full speed towards them, they won’t have enough time after spotting you to get their aiming cone fully centered, which means you’ll only take about 1k damage per run. (If even) Some points on what to, and how to avoid: Remember these things: Worcester radar: 9 KM. USSR Radar: 12km. Everything else: 10 KM. If you get caught out or surprised when you get radared, you’ve screwed up somewhere. Work to avoid areas where you know there are destroyers unless you are rushing them or trying to scare them from advancing. It's not worth it to lose a quarter of your health because you tried to be cheeky and force your way into a DD with friends nearby. (especially friends that can spot for a gunboat DD.) Also work to not make an enemy CV think you're going to try to go for him (even if you are.) Keep an enemy between you and him/where you think he is, if you decide to go for him go dark in a position that is away from wherever the hole you're slipping through. This will help you have the drop on him, and stop him from investigating you. How to Play: Decide whether to play kiter, try to be cheeky at the beginning of a game or play passively until there’s a good opportunity (I decide at the beginning of a game what playstyle I’ll start with based off of matchmaking, build, and whether I’m in a div/who I’m divved with) then decide on a flank (Always, no matter what playstyle you choose, go to a flank. Screwing around in mid just isn’t worth it 99% of the time (unless you want to meme.)) For kiting, if you’re running prop mod, start backing up towards the enemy once you’re at the flank. Extra brownie points if you get super close to the enemy before shooting, they’ll focus you and so long as you dodge (it's not that hard, come on) its just wasted DPM from them. If you’re running steering gears, run donuts around a flank away from you’re teammates, open up once there’s stuff spotted/ Then it's just… you know, farming. Every so often, it pays off to go dark (or don’t), reposition to an area away from your team, and start farming from there. This splits the enemy’s attention, increasing the odds that your teammates won't just die in front of you. Also remember that you can citadel most CA’s out to about 10km with your AP, so if one is showing broadside, punish with extreme prejudice. For the cheeky, choose a cap/area you know there will be DD’s shortly after the match starts. If it’s a cap, hang outside until it starts getting flipped, rush the most likely location of the DD and kill it, disengage from the enemy team. Then just farm them into submission. If there’s an enemy/a pair of enemies that are separated from their team, go dark and get to their broadside at close range, torp, and right when they’re about to be hit/ right before torps get spotted, open fire with proper ammo type and reload boost. If their guns are toward you/they have a good turret traverse, you go parallel to them or kite (as appropriate). But if they’re faced away and have a bad turret traverse, close the distance to improve accuracy/ use your other sides torps. You can ambush stealth DD’s very easily even in spite of your bad detection if you can anticipate them turning towards you (turning around to go back to a location/avoiding the map border. Trying to flank. Avoiding torps, etc.) It’s always a gamble, but if you have a good game sense you’ll end up on top most of the time.
  4. garfield001

    [Tutorial] UI Mod

    I promised a while back that I would make a tutorial to help people make their own UI mod or to update ones that have been abandoned. This tutorial is aimed at doing a cosmetic UI mod ( such as the outdated one I made here ). It does NOT help with any complex mods that require coding knowledge. In this tutorial, I assume that you know how to use mods and how to install them. I also assume you have some knowledge of an image editing software (such as Photoshop), so you can edit your picture. This tutorial do not show how to actually edit the pictures, but rather how to have them appear in the game. What you will need: Resourcefulness. Not everything is spelled out here. You will need to test and explore things by yourself. Patience. You'll need it. WoWs Unpacker tools JPEXS Flash Decompiler (Free) or Sothink SWF Decompiler ($) Notepad++ (Free) An image editing software, such as Photoshop ($), paint.net (Free) or GIMP (Free) Resourcefulness. I cannot stress this enough. You will need to be able to look things up by yourself and test things out. You will not always find the answer ready for you. Starting tips A good way to find out how things are modded is to download other people’s mods and try to emulate what they do. This will help you figure out how to change some things. Incidentally, this is also how I learned how to do a UI mod. Do not hesitate to ask for help! It is my experience that most modders are happy to help and even provide with modified files when asked properly. However, do not steal their work... Lastly, share the knowledge! Find something new to mod or a new way to do it? Why not share the knowledge so more people can do it? Others will then be even more prone to help you or others when the time comes! The modding community is great, let’s continue this way! Extracting files To start modding, you will need to access the needed files. In World of Warships, almost everything is packed and needs a special unpacker to get access to. MajorRenegade has been very helpful in providing the link to the unpacker here! Major has also kindly added a small tutorial to use the unpacker. You’ll realize that it is very easy to use and allow you to find everything you need. Do note that from now on, I will assume that you have unpacked the files mentioned and needed to make the mod. Backgrounds A lot of things in the UI are very easy to change. For example, most of the background pictures are just jpg or png files that can be swapped. Just find a picture you want to use or craft one in your picture editing software and put them in the right folder. As a small note, when making or picking a background picture, I recommend taking into consideration what will be shown above it. You may not want to use pictures that will catch the attention more than the actual content of the page. Here is a small list of some of what I think most people will want to change first and their location: Tech Tree and Profile Tabs Background /gui/bg/ Maps Loading Screens /gui/maps_bg/ Operations Loading Screens /gui/pve/ Of course, there is a lot more stuff that can be changed easily just by changing the picture. You will have to explore by yourself and find what you need. Commanders Pictures Very similar to the background pictures, changing the commander pictures is done by swapping the picture used. Commanders can be found in /gui/crew_commander/. The “base” subfolder is the actual picture, while the “overlay” one is where the medals of the commander are shown. Base Change the pictures shown to what you want. Each nation has its own set of commanders and some nations have more than others. Special commanders have unique names and they will not be in the “pool” of pictures when recruiting a new commander. Overlay As mentioned above, those are the medals that change depending on the rank/level of the commander. Chances are you will want to change all of them to empty png so that they do not show. Ship Preview /gui/ship_previews/ and /gui/ship_previews_ds/ These two folders are used to change the picture of the ship at the bottom of the screen in Port and in the Tech Tree. The “ds” folder is used for the gray’d out pictures of ship you have not unlocked yet in the Tech Tree. These are very easy to change since you only need to swap the picture for the one you made. ship_previews_ds is a darken version of the picture that is used on unresearched ship in the tech tree To help you find the proper picture you can find a list of all the ship at the root of the unpacker, file named contentPackages.xml. However, below are the basic rules for the IDs to help you identify what you’re looking for (please note that some ships, mostly older ones, do not follow those rules). Alternatively, you can use the text file (global.mo) to find the corresponding ID. Ship Icons /gui/ship_icons/ /gui/ship_dead_icons/ /gui/ship_own_icons/ Ship Icons are very similar to Ship Previews. They have the same IDs and you only need to change the pictures to have them work. However, there is 3 sets of icons. The basic “ship_icons” folder is the one with the grey silhouette. They are the ones you see on the roster during battle and in port when using the compact carousel mode. The “ship_dead_icons” are obviously used for dead ship. Lastly, the “ship_own_icons” are used to identify the player, with the gold color. In some cases, when adding text to the icons for example, you will want to keep the icons from flipping in battles. To do this, you will need to mod a few xml files that can be found in /gui/unbound/. battle_loading.xml battle_stats.xml results_screen.xml team_structure.xml I will not go into details about what exactly needs to be changed, because I’m not sure how to explain it. However, I recommend getting an icon mod from an established modder (such as MajorRenegade's or hakabase's) and compare their files with your unmodified ones (using Notepad++). This way, you can see what gets changed and you can understand why they do so. Extra By default, ship icons have different sizes depending on class of ships. However, most Icon mods use similar size rectangle icons. This makes them unaligned in port when using the Compact Carousel. To align them, you need to mod the dock.xml found in the unbound folder. Find these lines and delete them. The icons will now be aligned properly in port! Find these lines and delete them to align ship icons in port. Do note that the line numbers may not be the same as they change everytime this files gets updated. Randomized Loading Screens To change the game loading screens (the ones when you boot up the game, not the battle loading ones), you can download the basic files for it here. All you have to do is change the pictures in the gameloading_res subfolder. When you start the game up, it will pick one of the pictures at random. Randomized Loading Screen Download Note: I did not make this and was provide by WG a while back. I did not find the original link so I'm hosting the files I used. Flash Files This is where the more “complicated” work starts. You will first needto get JPEXS Flash Decompiler, which is free. This will allow you to open the swf files and change the pictures in it. All the flash files are found in /gui/flash/. Basic JPEXS tutorial Open the swf file with JPEXS. Go in the “images” folder of the swf Locate the picture you want to edit Right-click on it and select “Export selection”. Save as PNG where you want. Edit the picture and save it as PNG again In JPEXS, right-click the picture again and select “Replace…” Select you edited picture. Save This is pretty much all there is to it. You export the pictures you want to mod. You do any editing you want to do and then you import the modded ones back in. Lossless2 vs JPEG3 JPEXS does a great job, but for some reason, it is not compatible with JPEG3 compression. This means that if you try to change JPEG3 pictures in it, they will break and not appear properly. To change those pictures, we have to use a special trick… Export and edit the picture normally Put the swf file and the picture in the PJEXS folder. It needs to be in the same location as the “ffdec.bat” file. Shift + Right-click in the folder and select Open command prompt ffdec.bat -replace filename.swf filename.swf # #.png lossless2 Hit enter Example: To change picture 529 (Clan battle icon in this example) in the service_lib.swf file, export it and mod it as wanted. Put service_lib.swf and 529.png in the PJEXS folder. Shift+Right-click in the folder and Open Command Prompt. Write ffdec.bat -replace service_lib.swf service_lib.swf 529 529.png lossless2 Hit Enter. You can open the service_lib.swf file and check the change. The file is now ready to use! There is an alternative to JPEXS that can deal with JPEG3 compression fine without using any of the coding trick. Sothink SWF Decompiler is another decompiler, however it is NOT free. So you guys can see if you think it is worth getting. Flash files of interest hud_lib.swf Contains many of the in-battle icons and the ribbons. lobby_graphics_lib.swf This is where the Port header is located. login.swf Contains the blurry background of the WoWs logo in the login screen (that red picture). options.swf Not whole lot in this one, but it contains the items found in the option screen. service_lib.swf This is the big file. It contains almost everything related to the UI in Port. Ressource List of modding tutorials NA Modding tutorial section EU Modding tutorial section
  5. Internal name often prefaced with CMD_ Key Stroke Description MOVE_LEFT A Hard to Port; Rudder will turn to left as long as you hold the button, until it hits its limit. MOVE_RIGHT D Hard to Starboard; Rudder will turn to right as long as you hold the button, until it hits its limit. Release the A or the D key and the rudder will return to amid ships. CRUISE_SPEED_UP W W and S are your engine telegraph keys. Use to set Full, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, Stop, Back commands CRUISE_SPEED_DOWN S CMD_MOVE_FORWARD Undefined (formerly R) Advances speed 1 knot, this command is not available through the configuration screen and must be assigned by editing the preferences file manually CMD_MOVE_BACK Undefined (formerly F) [edited]speed 1 knot, this command is not available through the configuration screen and must be assigned by editing the preferences file manually CRUISE_ANGLE_RIGHT E Hold half starboard turn, press twice for hold hard starboard. Releasing the key will not change the setting. CRUISE_ANGLE_LEFT Q Hold half port turn, press twice for hold hard port. Releasing the key will not change the setting. CRUISE_ANGLE_0 Undefined (formerly H) Steady so, aka rudder amid ships. The command is currently unavailable in settings. Tap rudder keys or tap E or Q to restore midships. SHOOT [Left Mouse] Click fire one gun Double Click fire all guns that can bear on target Click and hold fire all guns that can bear on target in ripple fire. [Ctrl][Left Mouse] Sets priority target for secondaries and AA CINEMATIC SHOOT [Middle Mouse] fire one gun/torpedo and shift to shell tracking camera. Useful to establish lead required. SWITCH_ATBA_AIRDEFENSE P Toggles Secondaries and AA on/off. These keys will switch between AP shells, HE shells and torpedoes, when switching to torpedoes you must re-acquire target lock with "X" ARTILLERY_AMMO_0 1 Selects primaries High Explosive (detonates on impact) ARTILLERY_AMMO_1 2 Selects primaries Armored Piercing (penetrates armor and explodes inside hull, maybe, may also over penetrate, or ricochet, or bounce) TORPEDOES_ANGLE 3 Selects torpedoes and Alternates between wide or narrow torpedo spreads Main Battery Num 1 Select main batteries (Primaries) Torpedoes Num 2 Select torpedoes Reload Torpedo Tube F FIXING_TARGET_POSITION X Acquires/Releases guns target lock. Turns on lead assist for torpedoes. Guns will lock automatically if you leave your curson on the target long enough. ABSOLUTE_GUNS_LOCK [Left Shift] X Locks guns on cursor location relative to the map. Guns will turn to keep lock. RELATIVE_GUNS_LOCK [Left Ctrl] X Locks guns on cursor location relative to your ship. Guns will not rotate after they have moved to this position TACTICAL_MAP M Toggle, replaces game screen with screne showing entire map. Set way points, etc. AUTOPILOT FIRST WAY POINT [Left Mouse] AUTOPILOT Subsequent WAY POINT [Left Shift][Left Mouse] Five way points permitted. More may be added as the initial ones are used. Pressing [Left Mouse] clears set points and starts over. Aircraft Carriers CARRIER_SELECT 1 SQUADRON_0 2 Select Squadron 1 (The use of the term flight for a small group of planes that work as a unit has been lost to WG) SQUADRON_1 3 Select Squadron 2 ( I have always thought a flight was the equivalent of a platoon while a squadron was the equivalent of a company) SQUADRON_2 4 Select Squadron 3 SQUADRON_3 5 Select Squadron 4 SQUADRON_4 6 Select Squadron 5 SQUADRON_5 7 Select Squadron 6 SQUADRON_6 8 Select Squadron 7 SQUADRON_7 9 Select Squadron 8 SQUADRON_8 0 Select Squadron 9 LAND_LAUNCH F Land or Launch a flight (squadron) of planes ORDER_AIRPLANES [Left Mouse] DESELECT_AIRPLANES [Right Mouse] MAP_PLANE_ORDER_MOVE [Left Mouse] SELECT_NEXT_AIRPLANE [Left Ctrl] [Tab] Next flight (Squadron) SELECT_ALL_AIRPLANES [Left Ctrl] A All flights (Squadron) MAP_SHOW_PLANES [ MAP_SHOW_DEAD ] MAP_RECT_ATTENTION [Left Mouse] or [Left Ctrl] [Left Mouse] Send signal to allies. Highlights selected map square for mini-map MAP_SCALE_PLUS "= or NUMPAD + Zoom minimap in MAP_SCALE_MINUS "- or NUMPAD - Zoom minimap out HELP F1 You must hold the F1 key and use your mouse to select one of the other three help screens. GAME_STATS [Tab] Gives you a list of players and shows if they are sunk or afloat and kills in current battle STATS [Left Ctrl] [Tab] ICONS [Left Alt] or [Left Alt][NumPad Enter] Alternative Battle Interface Mode. Shows player Name, Hit points, Range, Shell Travel Time as an icon above ships. [Alt]Appears while Alt is held down. [Alt][NumPad Enter] Toggle, press enter again to cancel chat message. Can be permanently turned on in Settings Controls. Consumables Consumable 1 R Damage Control Party, puts out fires, stops flooding, repairs damaged modules (but not destroyed modules) Consumable 2 T Destroyer > Smoke | Battle Ship > Repair Party (restores some lost hit points ~20%) | Cruiser > Protective Barrage if equipped with two or more multipurpose guns Consumable 3 Y Battle Ship, Cruiser > Scout Plane if equipped. Players have no control of the scout, although we used to. Grrrrr. Destroyer > Speed Boost Consumable 4 U Fourth consumable slot Consumable 5 I Fifth Consumable slot HIDE INTERFACE [Left Ctrl] G Hides the Hud. Good for fancy screen shots. Camera ART_CAMERA Artillery Camera [shift] Toggles between camera from current ready turret and zoomed level (binocular view) ACTION Overview [Right Mouse] Overview mode. Third person view zoomed out behind ship. Moving mouse rotates camera heading. Return to previous zoomed ziew upon release. Guns and torpedoes do not change their orientation in this mode. Can be disorienting upon return if held too long. AHEAD_CAMERA V Does not seem to function TRACK_OBJECT_CAMERA Z Camera follows currently selected flight of planes, shells on the way, torpedoes on the way; an amusing distraction. Camera position switch C Manually switch camera between main battery groups. CENTERCAMERA [space] Bring Camera Back to Ship, Centers the camera on the carrier, when in carrier plan view. Zoom level [scroll Mouse Wheel] FREE_CURSOR [Left Ctrl] enable free cursor MAP_CAMERA_MOVE [Right Mouse][Left Ctrl] Alternative Battle Interface [Alt] Provides information (remaining hit points etc.) on ships under the icon. Can be locked on in settings screen. Display Game Statistics [Tab] Player names, ships, ship status, kills Help F1 Brings up in game help screens Show Ship Status H Accept Invitation to Join Division K Decline Invitation to Join Division L Next Track . Tracking Camera Object? Previous Track , Communications Functions Audible CMD_QUICK_TACTIC F3 Highlight Target for Allies, found in weapons section of controls settings. This marks the enemy under your cursor with an inverted caret icon and sends the "priority target" message. CMD_QUICK_THANK_YOU F4 Thanks. You've been swell. CMD_QUICK_AYE_AYE F5 I understand and will comply. CMD_QUICK_NO_WAY F6 I ain't doing that! You're being silly. CMD_QUICK_NEED_SUPPORT F7 It would be great if you would work with me here. CMD_QUICK_SOS F8 Help, or tell my mom I love her. CMD_QUICK_GOOD_GAME F9 We done good. CMD_QUICK_GOOD_LUCK F10 May the seven mad gods that rule the sea look favorably on our endeavors. CMD_QUICK_CARAMBA F11 I am annoyed and my computer is going to attempt caustic banter. Voice Chat V For microphone message to division mates. Requires microphone and division mates. For when you've entered spectator mode Next Ally [Left Mouse] Changes point of view to a team mate, limited zoom is still available. Previous Ally [Right Mouse] Track Friendly Object under cursor [space] This is fun to watch airplanes attack the enemy. Enter Free Look Mode [Left Shift] Camera is free to wander where you tell it. Up [up Arrow] or W Down [Down Arrow] or S Left [Left Arrow] or A Right [Right Arrow] or D Change Angle Mouse I hope you find this useful. Updated to 6.3 commands You may also enjoy: View Basics Navigation Basics Gunnery Basics Torpedo Basics Turret Focus Weapon Bearing (Shift-X) (Ctrl-X) (X) Help Screens So you want to buy a new ship Maps found in Random Battles
  6. Khabarovsk Guide by Rannith About Me: I usually play Russian destroyer with the occasional Russian cruiser game from time to time. I have over 350 pvp battles, I average 1160 XP per game, with a destruction ratio of 1.6, and average about 53k damage in my X Khab. I have built this ship and her commander in many different ways and I would like to share with you guys what is working for me and what is not. Intro: Let us first understand that every pvp match is different. It is impossible to build a ship for every scenario you face in game. At some point in a game, you may need to do something that is outside the strength of the ship. Like capturing nodes in a battleship. It doesn't happen often but does happen. With that said, this guide is help the Khabarovsk in many scenarios do what she is designed to do as a destroyer, as well as having the offensive capabilities that is needed. Role: Generally the role of this ship is no different than any other destroyer. Your job is to spot the enemy force, capture nodes, and provide support by lighting fires, and using torps. Obviously she cannot stealth torp with 6km range. So they will need to be used in ambush situations. Her guns on the other hand, are very good. The size of this destroyer is very large and does not have the agility of other destroyers. The speed is there but the agility is not. She is one of the fastest destroyers in the game boasting superior armor for her class. For these reasons, many people ignore that she is a destroyer and build her up like a cruiser. They ignore concealment and go straight for damage and tanking the enemy rain with rudder shift upgrades, survivability perks, repair modules, and so on. From now on, I will refer this in the future as "Speed Tanking". You want to be able to at least compete at capturing nodes. Not neglecting your main role as a destroyer. She is a triangle. Why NOT to use Speed Tank: There are many reason why not to use this role and I will list them here. 1.) It hurts the team as a whole : When you are speed tanking and constantly firing your guns, you are typically not doing this while capturing nodes. If you are doing this while capturing, you will be very close to the enemy team and be an easy target. Most Khabs that speed tank stay outside the nodes neglecting them all together until they feel like they want to move in. This puts the trailing cruisers and battleships in a state of limbo about what to do next. This is when you can expect someone to start complaining. I have had people tear me up in chat without me saying a word all because I did not cap a node. Most people don't care you have bad concealment, they will see you as a destroyer that is not doing their job. On a side note... because of all this, my Karma rating drastically goes up and down. 2.) RNG as a weapon: Yes, your main method of dealing damage "lighting fires" is a random chance(RNG). I have had games where I hit 300 times with HE and only set 4 fires. Combine this with the fact that people use damage control mods, captain skills, repair modules and even signals to counter fire. It can often become frustrating just dealing damage to cruisers and battleships and leaves you wanting more. Yes, you can have games with 120-150k damage as a speed tank, but you can also have these kind of games without sacrificing your role. 3.) Not tanky enough: Many people believe that this is the hardest ship to hit in the game. While this is true to a certain extent, this is not %100 accurate. Do not forget that this is a very large destroyer and the closer you get to the enemy, becomes vastly easier for them to hit you. I would say the golden range for tanking gunfire is 12.5-13.5Km. At this range, many people will not even target you, giving you time to do your thing. If you find a ship other than a destroyer inside this range, you will be taking massive damage. Speed tanking gives you no room for error. You are constantly lit up on the map. Your position is constantly uploaded to the enemy. Because, you should be firing your guns most of the time. Even within the golden range, this is a Tier X match and many people are very good at the game and aim very well. Don't be surprised if one salvo takes half of your HP from 13km. 4.) Needs Signals: Typically, speed tank gunboats have a constant need for signals like Sierra Mike, Juliet Charlie, India Delta, India X-Ray, Victor Lima and so on. Below I will show you how to build the Khab and not have a dire need for any of these. Onward: Building the Khab: Now that I have told you what I don't recommend, let me share my secrets =] Commander Skills: 18 total (points) - (1) Priority Target: Protecting your HP should be a huge priority. This skill lets you see how many ships are targeting you, giving you a leg up on what to do next. This can mean life and death. - (1) Preventative Maintenance: We talked about roles and jobs a little bit. Think of this skill as a -%30 chance of your job becoming incapacitated. So this is huge. - (2) Last Stand: Humans are not perfect. Crap happens. You need this skill. - (3) Demolition Expert: More fire % means more damage = more stars = more creds etc. Use this skill to enhance what the Khab is good at. - (3) Vigilance: In tier X fights, torps are everywhere. Don't let one lucky torp ruin your match. As a large destroyer, this is a no brainer. - (4) Advanced Firing Training: As a Khab you don't have great torps. But the guns are very good. Help your Demolition Expert and superior guns by getting this skill. - (4) Concealment Expert: The Khab has very bad concealment and any help in this category is greatly needed. Consumables and Upgrades: - Smoke Generator: Use to hide yourself and rain down shells on the enemy team while undetected. Used to capture nodes and provide cover for allies. Used to hide yourself in bad situations like getting out-numbered or bombed from aircraft. - Main Armament Modification 1: You do not want to waste repair unless you are flooding or on fire. This upgrade helps make that happen. - Propulsion Modification 1: Protect your amazing speed by having an ace in your pocket. - Aiming System Modification 1: Take this upgrade for the -7% dispersion to help your shells and torp ambush accuracy. - Steering Gear Modification 2: Helps agility and evade gunfire since we cannot take Steering Mod 3 - Concealment System Modification 1: Absolutely must have upgrade. There is no getting around this. We need more concealment and it is right here. The +5% dispersion is nice and welcome on all destroyers. - Main Battery Modification 3: This is a no brainer. She is a gunboat. Usage: As you can see, what we have here is a very sneaky Khab, that is still able to dish out the pain. Having good concealment is huge. Not only will it protect you from the enemy but it will allow you to "go dark" more efficiently when you decide to stop shooting. This can also mean life and death. She is now much more capable of capturing nodes but still should be used in a support style role, following other destroyers when the opportunity allows. The kind of enjoyment you will get when you melt other destroyers will be awesome. It will almost be paralleled by the excitement you get when you rain down fire on your enemy from 10km away in smoke. She is a very dangerous destroyer now and with better concealment goes pretty much wherever she wants, allowing for a more successful torp ambush. And best of all...your teammates will not flame you. I hope you have enjoyed my guide on this awesome little ship! Take care, thanks for reading!
  7. How to Play CV Rework Changes: Table of Contents: 1. Introduction. The rework is truly upon us. With such a major change coming to the game, there are probably many people who aren't aware what can be done, how to even play, or even know it's happening. To this end, I have gone over what can be done in the rework a lot, testing ideas from people and even theory crafting my own. I have been the carrier and the ship trying to maximize the potential and exploit the game to a high level in these interactions. I don’t have the patience of LWM to show you the tiny details, so instead I will focus on the overall effect of ships vs carrier, and the players behind them, while also discussing the best ways to combat from either side. Take note that I only spent my time in tier 8-10, against as many actual players I could find and I will be using video examples taken from my twitch to explain everything that I will be talking about here (there are vulgarities in the example videos, you have been warned). If you like the effort put into this, and want to see me in action, follow the channel here. https://www.twitch.tv/pulicat Also note that when I say Ships, I mean non-CV ships. 2. The Carrier Experience. In my time playing the CV’s, I actually had a good time. The gameplay lines up much better with what it’s like playing other classes, the controls and events are fluid, and the visuals are great especially with the new perspective. I’ve seen a lot of complaints from players saying it’s boring, that all you do is just attack over and over the same way. Perhaps they are just people who only play the old carriers, but if they aren’t they should take a second look. You control 1 thing, and use concealment, positioning and accuracy to attack the enemy and avoid damage in return, exactly like every other class. However, the difference is in how you attack. Ships in the game simply throw their shells and torps at each other and whittle down the only HP bar they have. Carriers fight in this way, but they are not fought in this way. The CVs have 3 separate HP bars, the one that’s applied to their hull, their plane reserves, and their plane HP. The plane HP is what you fight to fend off an individual attack, and at most a squadron can use ½ or 2/3 of the maximum strikes before plane risk is too high. Every plane that escapes, no matter it’s health, is a full HP plane later, which brings us to the second HP bar, the carriers reserves. This is probably the closest resemblance you can find to the HP of a normal ship going down over time. The more plane kills you can get, the more you are actually hurting the CV, but it’s important to keep in mind that the CV is regenerating the reserve HP by about 1-2 planes per squadron for every attack it sends out. If the CV player is using all their squads, you will want at least 4-6 plane kills done to every squad in order to outpace the regeneration. That is what the actual hull HP of the carrier is doing, a floating factory that once you finally kill, you put it out of commission for good. This gives the CVs a big advantage against another ship. Overall, I think there will be a portion of players that enjoy the new carriers, like DD players as they play very similar now. Both quick and low alpha damage (so they say), weak against group focus. It makes a lot of sense that WG decided to branch the carrier tech tree off of Destroyers when you think about it like that. 3. The Carrier Balance, IJN vs USN. Feels mostly like brains vs brawn. IJN have less but stronger and faster torps, AP bombs and comparatively slow attack craft with less rockets. Their planes are weaker overall, and the AP bombs suffer to this. USN on the other hand focuses on saturating the target with more in their payload in exchange for less damage. Their attack craft are much faster but the bombers much slower, and all squads more durable. It’s the much more DoT (damage over time) focused of the two, but there are methods for both nations to cripple opponents with DoTs. The Tier 10s are a different matter entirely however. Their deck armor makes it so that the only effective squad to ‘cv snipe’ them with is torpedo planes, which can be dodged. Here is an example of 2 tier 10 CV trying to snipe me from the start of the game. I am completely without allied support, fending for myself. After I take a big hit because I was just sitting still not caring, I start actively countering and they can never finish the job. I end up killing 50 planes. Example: Being CV sniped by 2 enemy carriers. Unfortunately, at other tiers, CV snipe is still possible, but at least unlikely. It’ll take them some time since you are so far away, and your summon fighter and plane fighters make it so an enemy squad can only attack you once before being swarmed down, it’s simply not a viable strategy to winning the game unless the kill is confirmed in 2-3 attacks. 4. Basic Carrier Gameplay. It’s fairly straightforward in terms of controls. You can use WASD for movement, and mouse aiming for fine tuning. It will probably take some time to adjust to the mouse aiming, as you will find it doing it automatically while you're just looking around. If you use right click to lock your guns and look around playing a ship, this same thing works for planes. When attacking another class of ship, it's important to use the correct aircraft for the job. When attacking destroyers, Attack Planes have the easiest time. The damage may not always be great, but keep in mind they're not always going to be trying to dodge only you as you are keeping them spotted. Torpedo Bombers are good for dropping into smoke, but a moving DD will be a very tough target. Dive Bombers are the least useful, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to hit. When attacking cruisers, Attack Planes are once again your best choice. They are quick enough to take less damage within enemy AA auras, have reliable damage, and don't care too much about enemy angling. Dive Bombers can be a good choice as well, especially AP bombs. Stationary cruisers camping islands will be a prime target for DBs. Torpedo Bombers are least effective, as they are slow and dodgable for a cruiser. When attacking battleships, literally everything works. They are not maneuverable enough to dodge attacks well, and can be harassed effectively. 4-1. Starting an Attack Run and the Grey Marker. That grey marker is very important, far beyond just where the attack lines up. The grey marker represents the point at which your planes will achieve full accuracy with their aim during the attack run if you do not debuff the accuracy with moving. Example: Grey Marker Represents Full Aim Note where the grey marker is when I start the attack run, and you will see it lines up with where I get full aim. 4-2. Do Not Move When Starting an Attack Run. This is key. Get in as close as possible to your target with the grey marker lined up, make sure your mouse is centered on it and do not WASD or mouse move and you will achieve full aim in the shortest amount of time, leaving you less exposed in your limited attack run movement. If you happen to overshoot with the marker slightly, you can hold slow down (Skey) and this will not affect your aim negatively, but give you more time to aim. This does expose you to flak however. Example: Don't Move While Aiming Also, if there are a lot of ships with AA, it will affect your aim time. 4-3. Don’t Be Greedy. Most people will probably learn over time, but if you go through with a strike and more than half your planes are yellow HP or less, just send them home. It’s honestly not worth crippling your late game potential if you lose your planes by trying to turn around and get another strike. If you are squad shortening, you can always just launch the same squad and get back there. Your games are long in CVs, be patient and think of the long game. 4-4. Do not bother with pre-emptive on-summon fighter drops. They are better saved for BBs that have used DCP. Tell your BBs to either say they used DCP or use a quick command to ask for AA support. If you see bombers flying around, don’t try to drop a fighter on them. It simply does not engage fast enough and will be wasted. They are also good for yourself in the late game, which may become very cv vs cv. The consumables will fill the gaps of the one for your CV. Example: Dropping fighters on enemy planes doesn't work. 4-5. Using Attack Runs Defensively. In certain situations, you may find use to use the attack run to lower your planes closer to the water. You can duck behind certain islands to avoid enemy AA guns, or even from being spotted entirely. It's important to note that currently you can't cancel an attack run in progress, but you aren't usually locked out of attacking again for very long. So it's possible to attack run to sneak in, exit attack run for your approach, and then start the actual attack run. This was requested to be added in by @MaliceA4Thought. 5. Advanced Carrier Techniques. This is the section I believe most people will be interested in. Over my time playing I tried existing strategies I heard of and even came up with a couple on my own that have potential to be really strong options. 5-1. Hakuryu Stealth Torping and Sequential Dropping. Everyone probably knows about this one by now. With the 8km torps and full conceal, you are able to drop torpedoes 7km away from a target, and turn away holding the S key to never be spotted by him. Though the torps are slow, people still land torpedoes with ships like the Sims or Black. This will be very potent against ships that like to hug islands, bow tanking or are otherwise relatively immobile. Sequential drops are very potent too, as the torps are extremely stealthy. Once you get good at aiming the lead and predicting opponent reaction, you will hit them. And with the spacing on the torps, you may be able to reapply flood after they DCPed one in the first wave, all without losing a single torp bomber. Examples: Stealth Torping. Sequential Dropping 5-2. Squad Shortening. This is one of mine, as far as I know nobody has tried this or talked about it at all. The idea is when you launch a fresh squadron, you immediately drop a payload to send the planes back home. This is best used in 2 situations. At the start of the game, you can shorten your attack plane scouts to half so it’s easier to dodge in the long-range flak bubbles, and to make sure you can launch a full squad of the same type right behind landing the ones you’re on. The applications are limited because, even though you are able to dodge flak easier, continuous AA damage will have less planes to work over. The effect of continuous is best explained in this thread here made by @Edgecaseand @GoldPile. You might be able to get more use out of Last Gasp this way too. 5-3. Forcing DCP. As we all know, a flood is usually an instant DCP for any ship that suffers one. Using the above trick to fly around with 2 torp strikes instead of 3 and having a full squad at home, you can try to dive through heavier AA to get one torp strike on a BB and fly away with Last Gasp. If you flood that BB, he’s going to have to DCP it. Land the rest of your weakened torp planes and launch a full hp squad to do the same thing again. It is nearly impossible to stop a full HP squadron from coming in and attacking once, but it is very possible to stop a second strike from the same group. This method gets around that limitation, and can guarantee anywhere from 30-40s of uninterrupted flood damage, plus two torp plane strikes worth of damage on a BB. And that’s assuming they’re running premium DCP with max cooldown reduction. On top of that, you will barely lose any torp planes. Very viable but the window is short and you must be able to launch enough torp planes to field nearly 2 full squads at one time. Take care of your reserves. Example: DCP Forcing. I have taken the flooding mechanic changes into account for this technique, and have determined it will still be effective and potentially more. 5-4. Abusing Flak Spawns (Plinko Flak). Flak is the deadliest thing to you, obviously, and sometimes the flak walls spawn too long for you to go around. A lot of the time I see this complaint, the planes are flying right at their target, so the flak wall spawns between you and the target forcing you to fly around and mess up your attack run. One thing to note is that the flak spawns in front of you, not always between you and the target. This can be abused, and with the name Plinko you probably already understand. When approaching a target, use boost to go full speed at an angle to the target ship. When the inevitable flak wall spawns, release boost, turn to another angle and boost again as if you were just rolling off the wall to the side. You can adjust how you want to plinko the flak based on how your opponent is maneuvering against you, but it is an extremely reliable way to not only mitigate flak damage, but potentially remove it entirely, including defensive fire. Examples: Plinko ex.1 Plinko ex.2 Plinko ex.3 6. The Ship Experience. The workload here has gone up. Now everything you knew about the game must be considered with carriers. No longer will CVs appear once every 5 or 10 games. It will be common to see at least 1v1, and probably a lot of 2v2 coming right out of the patch, especially with a new carrier line coming out in 0.8.1. Unfortunately most of my experience fighting other ships with carriers around was against bots in PTS. Even with that limited experience, I don't think fighting carriers will be much different as it is with RTS CVs. It can be slightly satisfying when you see the big red damage numbers done to planes, but after a while it became a bit hollow. The CV is still just fighting against a mechanic, not against me directly. As much as I really wish for direct control over my AA so that it's really ME he is fighting, I think this would be too much for a good amount of players to handle without suffering. Now before you start saying that's crazy talk, people should either be able to handle it or be punished, I would agree with you IF there was skill based matchmaking. At least then, the players with lower capabilities would fight people of similar skill only, and what they would or wouldn't be able to do wouldn't be as unfair. I don't find it unreasonable to give some concessions to those players since they are forced to play against really good players. Back on topic to Automated AA however, having the entire interaction with another class be automated is fairly frustrating at times. I can think of a couple unobtrusive ways where a player can have more interaction with the aircraft, and that will be below where I suggest mechanic additions. Overall, carriers and ships interact the same way, it will just be much more frequent now since they will appear in more games. There will be some system shock at first, and I have no doubt that gameplay will settle and be balanced around it over time. Whether I want to be a ship in that gameplay however remains to be seen, and right now it's sitting at a no. 7. Defending Yourself from Airstrikes. Stay near ships with defensive fire if you don’t have one, don’t get engaged by planes when you can’t maneuver much, and be very careful with your DCP. At the start of 0.8.0, a lot of players won’t be experienced yet and you may not notice their effect all that much. They will probably lose a lot of planes doing things they shouldn’t, and be out of reserves for late game. Don’t let that fool you, good carriers will be deadly as ever, and nothing but the longest flak walls, highest continuous damage and most bizarre maneuvering will stop them. Using your defensive fire or catapult planes should not always be used just because you have them active. Saving them for more dangerous squad types, or protecting yourself from follow up attacks while your DCP is down would be better than trying to defensive fire rocket planes as soon as you see them. When Attack Planes are coming for you, their main goal is your soft spots. The biggest one being your superstructure. To describe how they launch rockets, I will use Shokaku as an example. They launch rockets within their elliptical as 2, and then 8, followed by the last 2 in a straight line. This means that broadsiding the incoming attack planes is exactly what they want you to do. Try to show the least amount of profile possible while still keeping them in your sector to fight against them the best. With Torpedo planes, the same can be applied. Show the least amount of profile as possible while maintaining your sector on them. You also want to try to turn towards them if you can, because this will reduce the amount of time the torpedoes are around you and reducing your movement options. If you turn away, it sets up potential for the enemy cv to cross drop you, since torpedoes move slower and they'll box you in longer. With Dive bombers, their preferred angle is with you pointing directly toward or away from them. At least the tech tree ones. Give them as much broadside as possible. 7-1 Beating CVs with the Numbers. What it comes down to now is minimizing the enemy CVs effect on you and the game as much as possible. Any amount of time waste and plane reserve hits you can cause to the enemy are victories. Even if they are small, they all add up, and wasting their time is good since they are focused on damage over time. Remember, even though there will be more players in carriers that you will see often, there will be a balance between good and bad ones, so it may not always be so bad fighting against a carrier. 7-2 DDs vs Carriers. Destroyers will still have to be careful early game, because attack planes can still hurt even if they don't delete you. Try to take a more cautious approach to caps, so as not to be spotted in the open by planes and be attacked by both them and enemy ships. Watch out for torpedo planes assisting in cross dropping your smoke. 7-3 Early Sector Switching. When under attack by a squadron, and you know they will pass over to your other side, try to learn the timing of your sector switch delay to line it up so it switches right when they pass over. This will maximize your sector, and there is no AA loss in switching. It will take some time to get it right, but every little bit will help. 7-4 The Downtier Experience. Be really careful when you are bottom tier against a CV as well. It's really hard to defend yourself alone against strong planes, almost to the point where it seems unfair. I hope WG puts more focus onto this area of balance. The downtier experience To judge whether or not you were successful in fighting off a plane attack, a good rule of thumb would be expecting 3 plane kills and upwards to even have a noticeable effect on his reserves per attack. If the enemy carrier is smart though, he will just land his planes before he loses too much. The best you can expect most of the time is to make sure you only get attacked once by the entire squadron, and try to mitigate the damage from that 1 attack as best you can. 8. Possible Mechanic Additions. One thing that is really strong right now is using the land command for your squadron right after an attack. Your planes disappear so quickly that the enemy can’t really shoot you down. Something that would be good is adding a similar effect of strafing out of a fighter lock. Losing a plane doing so, or taking a lot of damage from AA if you use the land command inside short or medium range AA. This would at least give the ships more of a chance to destroy planes and some punishment or risk to pulling the land maneuver (flying high into the sky sharply) right over enemy AA. I also think that since fires on CV only last 5s, the DCP auto consumable should never activate for them. A player would never use it for that, even if they somehow happened to have 4 fires going, that would not come close to the damage of a normal fire on anything else. Even if there are players that would want the auto use to activate for a single fire, it would just do them more harm than good. In respect to the lack of interaction for ships in fighting aircraft, one thing that would be doable is re-implement ctrl-click aircraft, and have a delay of 3-4 seconds between each time you are able to click to add in a couple bonus ticks of continuous damage. Nothing that will disrupt the balance, but at least add some player action = impact. Another thing that could help with that would be to add a fourth attack mode, being AA. Picture the mode you get for torpedoes, a large cone representing the limits of your aim, and a smaller one showing you where you are aiming within that cone. The smaller cone would increase the damage for any aircraft that are inside it (above it), and the large aim limits would just be your AA auras. This would not only be a better and more interactive system than what I just mentioned above, but this would also be better than the sector system. The smaller aim cone could be 1/4 or even 1/6 of your AA aura, like a slice of pie. You could lock it in place with the key used to activate the sector system now, so you could do other things, or take direct control during an attack to maximize the damage you do to the planes. You yourself fighting a CV while it is attacking you. This isn't quite as far as real control over your AA, but it would line up well with existing gameplay and reduce the automated RNG of your AA that is your entire interaction with another class. By @NCC81701, Have you thought about viability to adding manual control to altitude and AA similar to subs? Say for High altitude drop is less accurate but takes less damage from Short/Mid AA but low altitude attack is more accurate but take more damage from Short/Mid AA. The player ship then have to judge/decide the altitude level of the large caliber AA/flack burst. if it's at the correct altitude it does bonus damage. Cooldown will be present for changing the altitude of both planes and large caliber AA of course. 9. General Thoughts. Overall, I enjoyed my experience playing CVs, the same cannot be said for playing ships against them however. I feel that the gameplay of WoWs is much more strategic and enjoyable without CVs in random battles, and a lot of that is lost with them. When CVs are around, they dominate the no-mans land, and nothing can really contest this. Even if the CV can no longer one shot you, it doesn't change the environment they cause. This will really be felt if WG puts in 2v2 CV matches. If WG happens to read this, I really think you should limit it to 1v1 for at least 0.8.0, and then evaluate the effect from live to consider if upping the amount for 0.8.1 is warranted. I know this will impact the amount of people trying to play CV in 0.8.0 and the queue times, but 2v2 would really put negative opinions in people's minds as they experience it as ships, no matter how balanced you might think it is. Being attacked by a carrier is not something people will enjoy, and doubling that occurrence is risky for tolerance. 10. Thank You. I hope this Guide/Opinion piece was useful to you. I put a lot of work into it over the course of the week, and tried to make it as unbiased and fair as possible. I ask that you share this with people in the game so they too can get a handle on this new gameplay, and if you have questions or want to counterpoint what I’m saying, I’m always glad to respond. You can either comment to this thread or talk to me in Twitch. Also, feel free to argue points made here or by other people commenting, but keep it civil so this thread remains unlocked and open for discussion. Special Thanks to: @HellaCopterRescue for putting up with my long rants and playing Devil’s Advocate, along with helping me test things for video. This guide would not be what it is without his help. @Kousatsu for assistance behind the scenes ensuring this guide was well structured. @Carrier_Hornet for playing CV for me so I could play ships in PTS and guarantee carrier games. @Warlord78 and @Ponymagistrate for reviewing this guide among other things.
  8. Hey everyone! First post on the forum here. I thought I'd give back a bit and contribute some tactics and general tips for playing low tier cruisers (approximately the I to IV range) to give those starting out a bit of helpful info. The forums have been a huge help to me and this is all stuff I picked up from playing my first 300 battles or so, most of those in cruisers and a significant number of them in the IJN Kuma. Cruiser Lines IJN: my personal favourite thus far. Typically fewer guns but a faster rate of fire and better HE damage/chance of starting a fire. Relatively lightly armoured but more maneuverable than their counterparts. USN: More heavily armoured with an emphasis on AP over HE shells and generally more guns, at the cost of being less maneuverable and slower. There are many other cruiser lines in the game, but these are the ones I started with. I'm sure someone else can speak on the others better than I can. Tactics If you're playing a cruiser (CA) you're usually in a support role. You don't have the speed of a destroyer (DD) to rush ahead and capture areas, but you also don't have the armour of a battleship (BB) to survive an onslaught of enemy fire. Try to stay in the middle of the pack where your consumables can help your team, bigger ships will protect you, and you can take out softer targets like enemy DD's before they reach your fleet. Hang out with BB's when possible. Even better, put them between you and the enemy. When you do this you can angle your ship more aggressively and bring more guns to bear on the enemy because most of their fire will be concentrated on the battleship. Focus on your HE shells. Your high rate of fire compared to other ships means that you can rain hell down on BB's or other CA's from a distance. Your guns are small and won't do the same type of damage that the bigger guns of BB's will, so aim to start multiple fires on enemy ships and be a general nuisance instead, forcing them to use up consumables and throw a wrench in their plans. Don't be afraid to use your Hydroacoustic Search and Fighter consumables if you have them. The tide of battles can turn earlier than you think, so try to resist the urge to save them until the end of the game. Hydroacoustic Search is especially valuable when capturing areas early in the game to see if enemy DD's have gotten there first. Lower tier CA's typically don't have great AA defences, so when possible stick together so that enemy planes have AA fire from multiple ships to contend with as opposed to yours alone. When you're detected, take evasive action early and don't rely on your AA guns to save you. Don't be afraid of a tactical retreat. Sometimes you're simply outnumbered and outgunned when trying to capture an area and it's better to live to fight another day than rush headlong into oncoming fire only to get lit up moments later. When you do this, vary your course and speed to make yourself harder to hit, and return fire as a second priority in the hopes of disabling modules and being one more thing the enemy has to worry about. Make sure to tell your team too. Issue a "get back" command (F9) or tell them in the chat so you don't hang them out to dry and make them an easy target in the process. Choose your commander skills carefully. Some good starting points depending on your play style are Incoming Fire Alert, Priority Target, Last Stand, Expert Marksman, Adrenaline Rush, Demolition Expert, Superintendent, and Concealment Expert. Generally avoid skills like Survivability Expert (doesn't make a meaningful difference to HP at low tiers) and Torpedo Armament Expertise (your torpedo tubes should be a last resort when surprised at close range). Hope this helps some people new to the game get their sea legs!
  9. Preface- This is not a discussion on is the cv rework good or bad. This is just me giving some tips and tricks to play against cvs. I have around a 55% win rate in the new cv in Ranger, Implacable, Shokaku, Kaga and Furious. I also have an above 50% win rate in all other classes of ship with a lot of games. I shall be focusing on the DD to CV tips. Then BB to CV tip and finally CA to CV tips. DDs) (mostly targeting conventional dds not Russian light cruisers) I rarely if ever target DDs first unless they significantly misplay. Why? Well if the DD turns off their AA the time it takes to spot them usually is too long that it is more beneficial for my team if I spend that time attacking other more pressing targets. Thus here are the tips. 1) Turn off your AA and dodge my planes -your air detection when you don’t fire your guns is extremely small. My aircrafts has worst detection then you. Also unless I suddenly spot a more juicy target then my intended flight path or is within an area of AA flak, my planes are flying straight. Not turning, not snaking. Thus you know where I am heading to and dodge the other way. 2) Dont fire your guns just to farm BB damage especially when planes are heading your way. This is an extension of point 1. Your greatest advantage is that trying to find a properly concealed and played DD is often not worth it when I could be stopping a push by scaring enemy BBs away. Even if I know you approximate area it still takes time in which I have to switch planes to rocket and fly to you. By the time I arrive you could be in a completely different area. Firing your guns constantly to farm BBs when planes are heading over allows me to know your exact location which allows me to aim and drop you with nearly any weapons I happen to have. Do not let me know you exact location when I am near you. 3) Know which plane I am flying and how to position If for some reason I decide you need to die either because you are too close to my CV itself or you are approaching an area that is vital to my team or you played badly and I know your exact location here is how you actively defend against an air attack. step 1) don’t let me know your exact position but let me know your approximate position. this makes it harder to line up attack and time wasted on you is time not spend attacking your team step 2) line your ship based off which plane I have. All planes except dive bombers need to first flyby you to guesstimate your exact location before I can lock in my attack. Thus on the attack wave if you are moving away from my planes I am often at the maximum allotted time for the attack and my attack ellipse will be quite large if you are at a place I did not expect. Thus you need to use the minimap to rotate yourself from my planes that makes most of my ellipse wasted. This depends on the type of plane I have. rockets- you want to be parallel with me either sailing away or at me. (Preferably at me) in the moment you are spotted. This allows the least amount of time for me to aim and lead while minimizing the surface I have to hit. If you sail parallel it makes hitting you easier. Torpedo- you want to either sail in or sail away. Change your directions. If you are forced perpendicular to my flight path change your speed. Force me to increase that cone spread due to maneuvering allowing you to easily thread it. This is the easiest to dodge imo Dive Bombers- Start turning to be perpendicular. Yes there is a way for dive bombers to hit you for most of their bombs when you are perpendicular but most CVs do not have the skill to pull it off and wargamming has only made it harder ever since. It is also easy to mess up due to ping and other factors since it is betting on the fact that the planes are seconds away from aborting their attack meaning if you force me (if I know how to do the drop) to spend a few more seconds my planes will automatically abort the attack and cancel it. You do not want to turn too much and become parallel to my planes path which allows me to line up and attack you easier. BBs) You are my prime targets because if I can force a damage control on you my team can burn you down, forcing you away from the lighter ships and allowing my team to then be able to more easily pick off the cruisers. If I also scare you away and stop you from moving forward I also extend the amount of time the game would run allowing me to influence the game even more. Thus my tips are. 1) Do not move out of engagement/support range Don’t abandon your cruisers . Let other BBs take the HE burn for a bit while you heal up and wait for damage control to be off cool down. Do not let me accomplish the goal of forcing you so far back that your cruiser teammates do not have protection and my cruisers are allowed to roam free without fear of your BB guns. 2) Do not let the game drag out I do not mean to push too aggressively nor do I mean to win the game within the first five minutes. I mean stay within engagement range and when you flank is at a critical mass where enemy team is faltering, do not waste time taking the often too safe approach but rather try and push your advantage as much as possible. The less time the game runs the less I am able to turn a loss to a win. If you can end the game end it. Do not dilly dally hunting out of commissioned ship. If it is a lone bb tell your cv and let him help quickly handle it. 3) Learn to change tank- dont wait till the other bb is dead before you change tanks. Learn to change your position and work with your teammates to cycle your BBs allowing you both to have protection when one of your damage control is down. CAs) we are afraid of you often since your ability to deplane is ferocious. All I can say is 1) be prepared to have a place of cover It is often not planes that end up killing you but my teammates that kill you when you are suddenly spotted. Always have a place you can go to in case you are suddenly spotted 2) position at common flight paths certain maps have common area planes often need to fly over to achieve their objectives. Intercept them or force them to fly around. Afterthoughts- I am not a CV main, I am a bb main but I do well with cvs. The trick is to pay attention to the minimap and ask yourself why were YOU the target. Why did we not attack another ship. Learn from that and improve :D
  10. 0. Foreword At some point in 2017, one day, I randomly opened up my WTR page. I’m not one to care too much about my stats, but I was probably interested in checking out my win rate that day, or see what my average damage was – be it good or bad. Then I noticed that for whatever reason, I have over 700 games in Minotaur. Well, it wasn’t really a surprise to me. I was really enjoying the ship ever since I got her earlier that year. I’ve had great games, horrible games, mediocre games, and the like, all sent off along with the white caps behind her wake – Minotaur, or as I would often call her Mino, ended up becoming my most-played ship without me even noticing. Through the hundreds of games I had played, I got my first 7-kill in her, carried countless seemingly impossible situations, learned my limitations, and ultimately became a better player (or I would like to think I did). I started off this game as a destroyer player. Coming from Kancolle, I really wanted to try sailing in the lovely lolibotes…torpedo-flingers and experience the action on the frontline. Cruisers were not really my thing. I never figured I would end up even going into learning cruisers, but after unlocking Zao, I figured I would try Mino since Leander was already in port by the time Christmas event finished the year prior. Then again, looking at how Mino shares so many similarities with destroyers, I can kind of see how I got to her. “If I were to say which one ship defined my career here, it would be Minotaur.” I said to myself. I mean, you can’t possibly get that many games into a ship you simply do not like, right? You have to have some sort of connection. That’s why I decided to commemorate my 1000 games in Mino with this guide. I know there are others out there who share a bond with Yamato, Montana, Hakuryu, Gearing, Z-52, Des Moines, Zao, Hindenburg, etc. as I do with Mino. But I would be different. I will vocalize my love for this ship in the form of a guide so well-written that it would make these players feel envious – “man why can’t anyone do the same for my favorite?” So here we go. This is the summarized experience of a man who is crazy enough to play over 1000 games in Minotaur. 1. Introduction Q1: “So who are you?” A1: My name is Evrien. I’m a player on the NA server. I play with my friends and take part in the clan [CONQR] Full Broadside. I’m a graduate student studying in the US, and I play World of Warships casually but with some degree of dedication. I’m mainly a DD and CL/CA player, proudly playing since the CBT (although I went away for about a year before returning in 2016). I’ve had experience playing low-tier BBs but not high-tier ones. I have no experience on CVs. This is because I do not find the playstyles of these two classes fitting to my taste. I appreciate the beauty of battleships and carriers (I have a piece of Iowa’s deck armor the size of a Klondike ice cream sandwich on my table as good-luck charm) but I enjoy playing DDs and CL/CAs a lot more. Q2: “Why are you writing this guide?” A2: Like I’ve said in the foreword, I’m writing this out of my love and fond memories for this ship. Minotaur is, in my opinion, a ship that everyone should try out. Good players will abuse her strengths to the max, truly exemplifying the “Meme-o-taur” nickname she has earned. Bad players, meanwhile, will suffer due to her weaknesses. However, by learning to get better in her, one will likely see great improvements in general skills across all classes, since Minotaur greatly rewards good plays and punishes bad ones, all to the very extreme. But ultimately, she is extremely fun due to her available toolset, and you can play her to a number of different ways. Other T10 counterparts of hers, while each specializing in their own way, cannot provide the same “X-in-1” package experience. This is thus why I want to write something that will help good players get better, other players get acquainted with, and everyone to hopefully try out the unique RN CL line. While I’m not a full unicum in Mino, 63.7% win rate and 1401 WTR (used to be higher but I guess I did cheese out the last couple of games before reaching 1000), I think my experience can make up for where I’m lacking in skills. Q3: “So you aren’t the best, why should we bother listening?” A3: Because not many unicums like to create contents such as this. I consider myself a “decent player” – not a super unicum nor a full potato, just someone who you don’t have to worry about when you see on your own side, and can sometimes help carry the game and flip the loss around. I do not possess the seemingly superhuman skills and awareness some noteworthy unicums do, and that’s what makes me more human – more similar to the vast majority of the players. I believe I can view things from the common perspective more, and this is why I am willing to put myself forward and write this guide. Q4: “Why do you enjoy Minotaur so much?” A4: Finally an important question! Like I said, Minotaur fits to my playstyle very well, and I enjoy her ability of playing very flexibly. I have good experiences in both smoke and radar Minotaur. I have tried Full-AA, Semi-AA, Output-Oriented, and RPF builds on Mino, and they are all very enjoyable in different ways. I dare to say that so far no other cruiser can offer this experience. I believe that the RN CL line is truly a well-done one from WG – probably the best line so far. Q5: “I’m all ears then. Where do we begin?” A5: Let’s start off with my general overview of Minotaur, shall we? 2. Overview – Defining Minotaur’s Role To put simply, in one line, I view Minotaur as a “team-oriented support output unit”. Now let’s break this down a bit – precisely, there are 3 properties Minotaur should be seen as having. Team-Oriented: Minotaur is a fragile cruiser with just 43,300 HP. Her armor largely resembles that of Gearing. So, she is very weak on her own, and requires a team to stay afloat. Her play should thus be largely geared towards her team. Depending on what is present on her flank, she should adjust her play accordingly to best support attaining the tactical objectives – securing a cap, deterring a flank, etc. – and find victory by doing just this. Of course, this means that when she finds herself in the company of an unfortunate random potato team, there is little she can do if her team dies before her without supporting her doing what she is supposed to do. Thus, she relies upon the mercy of the matchmaking for a team that isn’t full of 40% win rate players. Let’s be fair – most of the time, this is unrealistic to wish for. Support: As with all other cruisers, Minotaur’s role is to support. Unlike BBs that can deliver heavy-hitting alpha to instantly delete any ship, Minotaur plays around concealing herself and doing what the team needs her to do. Support can come in many forms – using smoke to conceal herself and conduct output on an enemy, using radar to detect DDs, staying near BBs to provide AA, etc. – and it is up to the player to recognize this need and deliver it. This is the difference between an average 50-52% win rate player and a 60+% unicum. Output: Minotaur has THE fastest-loading cruiser guns in the game right now. Gearing is the only ship that can out-reload her, and Akizuki rivals. However, both DDs will absolutely vanish in front of the RN short-fused AP, given enough broadside. Minotaur thus has to always consider how to utilize this output advantage, either from a safe smoke position or to use islands as cover. To put differently: Keep your eyes open on opportunities where you can abuse your DPM, while keeping yourself in relative safety. When put side-by-side with her T10 cruiser pairs, one can find that each cruiser carries a unique playstyle that does not completely overlap one another. To summarize this playstyle differentiation, I’m going to borrow from Sun Tzu’s Art of War. In the famous military literature, Sun Tzu gave advice on how an army should conduct itself for best effect on the battlefield. He summarized this in 6 short phrases: 其疾如风: (To be as rapid as the wind) Henri IV, Henri’s speed is her main selling point, which allows her to rain down shells from max range while sailing at 40+ knots. Henri can also quickly reposition to another flank using this speed advantage, and sometimes even chase down a DD while having hydro activated. 其徐如林: (To be as calm as the forest) Zao, Zao has remained relatively unchanged since her official debut after ditching the old name of Senjo. Zao has great concealment, great armor, but poor reload and turret traverse. This forces Zao to play very calculatedly. Good Zao players must maintain their own tempo and not let it be disturbed, while gradually, step by step, achieving the tactical goals on their flank. In a sustained output battle between cruisers, few can match up to Zao’s prowess, given that Zao plays to her strengths. By recognizing and playing to her strengths, Zao can become a beautiful Japanese princess dancing with both fiery fervor and serene grace. 侵掠如火: (To raid like fire) Hindenburg, Hindenburg has become the next-era HE-spammer since her 1/4 HE-pen buff. Her role in Clan Wars is thus that of an output unit, burning anything and everything she can see. Hindenburg wants to suppress enemies as quickly as possible, out-trading in damage in the process. Be it bow-on burning with HE or broadside heavy-hitting German AP, Hindenburg’s output potential screams a ravaging firestorm as her playstyle. 不动如山: (To be immovable like a mountain) Moskva, Moskva is a contradictory ship that is both extremely tanky and extremely squishy. She is proudly the recipient of “Best Cruiser to Bounce Yamato Shells” award, but at the same time she has a more vulnerable broadside than that of Des Moines (since she has worse concealment by far, and can be surprised by a BB broadside salvo). The key is to remain at range and angled enough to maximize this defensive advantage. DPM is certainly not Moskva’s best strength, but she has the Russian railgun to compensate, which aids to her defensive playstyle. 难知如阴: (To be mysterious like darkness) Minotaur, Minotaur has the best T10 cruiser concealment of 8.9km, a role she took from Zao, who has 9.7km. As such, she has the best ability to reposition, and many maneuvers she conducts to obtain tactical positions and advantages heavily relies upon this. When she uses radar, she can create a radar trap of up to 1km using her 9.9km American radar when she is spotted, and the DD that has unfortunately wandered too close now must run away. When she is smoked-up, it is also very hard to bring her out into the daylight again, unless a radar cruiser happens to be ready willing and able to remove that mask of darkness from her. When concealed in darkness, Minotaur can even turn into a DD by spamming torpedoes, which is very effective at deterring pushes on a flank. It is thus especially important for Minotaur, among all other cruisers, to stay dark and conduct output from the shadows. 动如雷震: (To move/assail like a strike of thunder) Des Moines, Des Moines has the second-best reload among T10 cruisers, and with very strong HE and AP, too. This gives Des Moines extremely high DPM and, combined with the American radar, secure a flank or to surprise a DD from around the corner. Everything considered, Des Moines’ suite caters to conducting heavy damage in a short time frame, and her quick-firing shells can truly vocalize that “rapidity is its own form of justice”. And together, these 6 T10 cruisers construct the T10 cruiser meta we are now seeing from these 6 aspects. You may say that I’m just squeezing the 6 ships into Sun Tzu’s 6 lines, but I feel that the comparison isn’t farfetched, and each ship’s style is unique enough for this kind of juxtaposition. However, one thing to note here is that Sun Tzu meant for an army to possess ALL 6 of these characteristics to be successful. Yet, not one cruiser can do that. Minotaur can be mysterious like the dark night, but she most certainly isn’t immovable like a mountain. Hindenburg can raid like burning flames, but she has much track-and-field training to do before she can even come close to being as fast as the wind. Therefore, cruisers as a whole must rely on their teammates to make up for these shortcomings, and this deficit is absolutely fine, considering that World of Warships is a team-oriented game (as crazy as some of us may find). But this also tells us that when two ships with different characteristics work together to synergize their unique aspects, we can create something that’s 1+1 > 2, or even 1+1 > 3! Hence, regardless of which cruiser you play, teamwork should always be on your mind. Now let’s take a look at Mino’s main armaments: -152mm Dual-Purpose Duo-Mount Main Turrets x 5 (5x2) at ABC-XY layout -533mm Quad-Mount Torpedo Tubes x 4 (4x4) at AB-XY port-starboard layout First thing’s first – Minotaur’s prized autoloading machine guns, the things that go DAKA. These make Minotaur the highest output cruiser at T10 (682,000+ when equipped with reload mod), and possibly the highest output DPM ship, period. Every player that has just newly obtained the Minotaur will definitely notice the DPM hegemony these guns bring, and fall in love with her – even for just a little while before getting devastated by a BB salvo. Then come torpedoes. Usually speaking, torpedoes are not considered “main armaments”, unless we are talking about torpedo boat destroyers. In this case, like I mentioned earlier, Minotaur can definitely play like an oversized destroyer, and this is why I decided to mention her torpedoes alongside her main guns. Minotaur’s torpedoes are very undervalued, in my opinion, and often go unappreciated by the community. What people do not realize is that her torpedoes – 10 KM at 96 seconds reload, are highly competitive even for DDs, maybe not at T10 but definitely at T9 or T8, and Minotaur is a cruiser! These torps have more range than any other T10 cruiser’s, and they have a stealth-firing range. Also considering Minotaur can launch 16 of these (8 on each side) in just 96 seconds, that makes Minotaur the best torpedo boat at T10…which is crazy if you think about it. Shimakaze has only 15, and she takes longer to reload! To further establish context, I will do not just a Pros-Cons comparison, but a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of Minotaur’s two types of armaments. I feel that this will bring out Minotaur’s potential in relations to other ships more clearly. Strengths: (Positive factors from Minotaur herself) -Guns have the best reload, potential to reach sub-3 seconds -Short-fused AP will punish DDs and all broadside units -Torpedoes are fast-reloading and have spam potential -Guns have great traverse speed, out-turning most DDs’ -Torpedoes have great firing angles -Single-launch torpedoes -Guns being dual purpose = extra AA mounts that are harder to kill Weaknesses: (Negative factors from Minotaur herself) -No HE = No fire, lack of output option when enemy is bow-on -Horrible shell arcs that is pretty much USN level -Can only fire A and C turrets bow-on (B is blocked by A) -Single-launch torps are hit-or-miss when enemy is actively aware -Have to do wide-swings in order to use torps from both sides -Shells relatively hard to hit at max range, due to velocity and arc Opportunities: (Positive external factors that may benefit Minotaur) -Introduction of BBs with 32mm plating and relatively weak armor -Shrunken maps like Trap and Atlantic benefit the 15km default gun range -Maps like Sleeping Giant allow for island cover for shell-lobbing Threats: (Negative external factors that may harm Minotaur) -Upcoming Worcester’s armaments may out-compete Minotaur’s -New weather effects hinted at by WG may not benefit Minotaur’s guns -General lack of CVs across all servers renders AA less useful in random -More hydro-equipped ships to make torpedoes less effective So in short, Minotaur’s main guns and torpedoes are both highly effective. Due to both having unique characteristics in strengths out-competing other T10 cruisers, Minotaur has more options in more situations, and can choose to alternate her playstyle accordingly. However, there are also considerable weaknesses she has to trade for armaments’ strengths. These weaknesses, such as having AP only, force her into often swinging between two extremes – either highly effective and overpowered, or being completely useless and having no option to either support others or help herself. This is why it is important for a good Minotaur player to correctly identify these strengths and weaknesses in her armaments. Knowing what Minotaur is good at will allow for one to pick the right positions where she is most effective. And now, let’s move on to discussing Minotaur as a whole, but deeper. 3. Minotaur’s Specific Stats and Implications 【Minimum Concealment: 8.9km】 As stated earlier, Minotaur’s defining trait as a T10 cruiser is her stealth. When there are no more enemy destroyers, you have the stealth advantage over other enemy ships by far, and in this way Minotaur is definitely a large destroyer who can spot for the team. However, a common mistake people make is to rely on this advantage far too much, especially when Minotaur is in no way a real destroyer – for the fact that DDs do not have citadels. As a result, certain mistakes are more heavily punished. The first thing is: You do not want to be the one spotting if there is even one enemy ship out there who has matching concealment or better. This goes for not just enemy DDs, but also stealthy cruisers like Edinburgh, Mogami, Atago, etc., who have very competent concealment as well. When there are still DDs, Minotaurs going out spotting (without radar) is as good as committing suicide. The likely scenario is that Minotaur would go out, get spotted, forced to turn, eat a whole lot of shells and some citadels, and get nothing but chunked down health coming back. Of course, if going in to get yourself spotted so you can enact that radar trap with a radar Minotaur is your plan, then that’s a different story. But for now, we are addressing the general public who use smoke, so I’m going to leave radar Minotaur discussion for later. So then, how do you utilize the awesome concealment? Well, it’s not to say you should not spot, ever, but only when there are no enemy ships to out-spot you, or to compete on your level of spotting. If there is CV in game, you of course have to take into account of getting air-spotted (assuming CV is suicidal enough to let you have the planes while spotting you). What I recommend is to use your concealment to shadow your DDs – stay about 3-4km behind your vanguard DDs, which should give them just about enough distance to detect the enemy DD that’s coming in early-game before the enemy DDs detect you. Use your smoke to remain concealed, and once the enemy DD decides to disengage and show broadside, your AP shells will do magic to their tiny health pools. And by magic, have you seen how magicians make objects seemingly disappear before your very eyes? The next thing to take into account for of this concealment value is in relations to radar. As many would know, Minotaur shares Des Moines’ radar – 40 seconds duration at 9.9km, a very strong and long-duration radar. However, unlike Des Moines whose concealment only goes down to a minimum of 10.6km, Minotaur can create what’s called a “radar trap”, which is a scenario where the cruiser’s detection range is covered by the radar range completely. This allows for these cruisers to effectively “trap” high concealment targets within this radar by radaring upon being spotted. Other “radar trap” ships include Chapayev, Black, Yueyang, to name a few. As a result, many radar Minotaurs like to push up and abuse this radar trap in the early game. Combined with Minotaur’s amazing output potential, these radar traps are arguably deadlier than Des Moines’ radar. Even though Minotaur does not have HE, her AP is good enough to simply devastate a DD should it show broadside, effectively treating these DDs like cruisers. 【Minimum Air Concealment: 7.2km】 I feel that it is worth noting to talk about air concealment here. For one thing, Minotaur has an amazing air concealment, too. And what’s special about the 7.2km value is that her AA, when fully spec’d for range and AFT, extends to 8.6km, creating an “AA trap”. If you read the previous paragraph, yes you guessed it – AA trap is when a ship’s AA range covers the aerial detection range. This value actually creates some major implications for how one should build one’s Minotaur. For starters, going full-AA (build to 8.6km) is going to create a very powerful AA aura around Mino, especially when taken into account of the AA trap. However, Minotaur’s Air Concealment is 7.2km, meaning if there is no plane to hover into that range, and you are not actively looking to shoot down planes, having the extra AA range may actually just expose Minotaur (if your AA isn’t off), or to shoot down unnecessary planes at the cost of revealing yourself. Especially, if your server has a weak CV presence (for NA at least), meaning you get less CVs frequenting the queue, the benefit of going full-AA is undermined. The upgrade slot or the skill points going towards extending Minotaur’s AA range beyond 7.2km comes into question of worth. Personally, I keep 3 19-point captains trained on Minotaur (I know, I know…). These captains are Full-AA, Semi-Full-AA, and RPF builds. I switch in-between them depending on how I feel like playing. What this allows me to do is that if I were to div-up with a friendly CV player, I will pick the Full-AA captain. If I’m just playing randomly by myself, I will pick Semi-Full-AA, since I don’t expect a CV to show up 100%. Alternatively, if there is a DD-heavy event going on (like landing X torps on targets), I will pick up radar and go with a RPF captain for DD-hunting. So personally, this is how I avoid the dilemma. But for others, this is worth considering when you may have only 1 19-point captain for Minotaur. So I say, spend some time considering which best fits your playstyle. I will go into my captain builds in later sections. 【Armor Thickness: 6-127mm】 Overall, Minotaur’s lack of armor protection is widely known. She has, as of today, the worst armor among her T10 cruiser peers. If anything, she resembles Gearing the most with her armor, where most of her external armor (deck, bow, upper belt, etc.) is only 16mm. For starters, it means that she gets overmatched by all BBs out there. If you don’t know what overmatching mechanics mean, it is basically in a nutshell where when a shell is big enough it doesn’t care about your armor’s angling, and just goes right through it. The exact way to calculate if a shell can overmatch your armor is to take the shell’s caliber in millimeters and divide that by 14.3 – if the quotient is greater than your armor thickness, your armor is overmatched. For instance, Des Moines’ bow is 27mm, which means it can bounce shells with a caliber up to 27*14.3=386.1mm. Therefore, Bismarck, Roma, and Tirpitz, for instance, whose calibers are lower than this value, will not be able to overmatch Des Moines’ bow, and will have their shells bounce off instead due to the bow’s innate angle. However, Montana, whose caliber is 406mm, will be able to overmatch Des Moines’ bow, and oftentimes straight up bow-citadel Des Moines. So for Minotaur, the interesting thing is that most heavy cruisers at high tiers have 203mm as caliber. This value does not overmatch her 16mm bow, which means she can effectively bounce most CA AP shells. However, the one exception to this is Henri IV, whose caliber is 240mm. 240/14.3=16.78, which is just enough to overmatch Minotaur’s bow and stern. This naturally places Minotaur at the position of the prey while Henri IV is the predator. Luckily, due to Henri IV’s playstyle and flank preference (and most importantly popularity), Minotaur and Henri IV rarely have to face each other. Henri IV is also greatly out-spotted by Minotaur so the latter can choose to disengage more conveniently. Now, another interesting thing about Minotaur’s armor is her stern (or rear, [edited], butt, if you prefer the more colloquial terms). Minotaur has a very flat stern due to that’s how she was designed. There are other ships with flat sterns in World of Warships. Conqueror, for example, also has a pretty flat one. However for Minotaur, her stern is also covered in 16mm plating… As you can see in the picture, this part is very flat. It is so flat, in fact, that if Minotaur were to run away with her back facing right at a Des Moines, the Des Moines can just fire AP and penetrate this part as if she’s penetrating Minotaur’s side. The shells would punch straight through the flat surface, and hit right into the citadel, where they would arm. This means that if you are Minotaur and you are running away from another CA [edited]-on, you are basically showing your broadside at them. This is an often-overlooked weakness of Mino’s, and can mean devastating things for the Minotaur player if the other side is aware of this weakness. In addition, on the topic of being chased by a Des Moines, Minotaur would also be looking at the American super-heavy shell’s special autobounce angles (you can Google this if you don’t know about it already). We’ve already established that Minotaur cannot point her stern right towards the chasing cruiser. A smart player’s first reaction here may be to then create some kind of angling. This is the right reaction, but unfortunately for a ship like Des Moines, angling one way will expose your broadside the other, creating another opportunity where Des Moines can abuse that special autobounce angle. Basically put, you are screwed one way or the other if you are caught running away at close quarters from a Des Moines. So plan ahead! 【Full Speed Acceleration: 37 seconds】 This is another number that often goes unnoticed. Minotaur has, unsurprisingly, one of the best acceleration at T10, where she reaches her max speed within 37 seconds. Her counterparts (Henri IV excluded due to that I do not have her) fall behind in this category: Des Moines requires 62 seconds even with propulsion modification, Zao 49 seconds, Hindenburg 56 seconds, and Moskva 54 seconds. This is due to Minotaur having the unreal RN acceleration, which gives her a burst starting right off the bat from being completely stationary. She reaches 30 knots in just 11 seconds, and slowly climb the remaining 3.5 knots. However, as many would understand, Minotaur does not require the remaining bits of speed to become mobile. So we can say that Minotaur reaches “effective speed” in just 11 seconds, whereas her other peers have a comparatively linear acceleration, and do not possess that initial burst. So then, why does Minotaur have this? Or rather, why is this a trait unique to the RN CLs? My theory is that WG really put into a lot of thoughts when they tried to balance this line before releasing it. They balanced the ships around the fact that they have a smoke screen, and having that initial burst acceleration is without a doubt an attempt to help these ships jump-start from sitting completely stationary inside smoke. I will return to the argument of how WG balances RN CLs later. For now, keep in mind that between radar and smoke, WG balanced Minotaur around the latter. And while we are on this topic, I will bust a myth – does Minotaur have worse deceleration compared to other T10 cruisers? Well, both yes and no. However when this line was released, CCs like Notser and Flamu both commented how when Minotaur is slowing down, they felt like it takes an eternity whereas supposedly other cruisers would come to a stop much sooner. Minotaur takes 30 seconds to stop going from full speed to 0, in a straight line. For other T10 cruisers (minus Henri IV), Des Moines takes 31 seconds, Zao takes 27 seconds, Hindenburg takes 28 seconds, and Moskva takes roughly 31 seconds as well. So yes, Minotaur sits at the lower end, but she is actually able to slow down more quickly compared to Des Moines and Moskva. If you want to take into account of using rudder shift, each cruiser actually saves about the same amount of time – between 1 to 2 seconds, not much (but can be effective if you are trying to dodge torps, or to avoid going in a direction and thereby “decelerating”). In that case, Minotaur would still not be the worst. That would likely cause you to ask “but why do I feel like Minotaur is so bad at slowing down then?” I personally think this may be confirmation bias. Of all T10 cruisers, Minotaur is the only one that had to actively pay attention to her speed while slowing down. Back when the RN CL line was first released, their smoke was limited to a 5-second activation, giving just 2 puffs (3 at most), which requires players to slow down to about 21 knots before activating the consumable (or you slip out of smoke). Edinburgh, Neptune, and Minotaur were the only high tier cruisers in need of doing this. Kutuzov has a longer duration smoke generator consumable that allows the player to activate it while at the same time slowing down from full speed. Players who choose to slow down and smoke up in Minotaur may thus be pressed to anticipate that speedometer going down, thereby feeling the “slow deceleration”. Meanwhile, Zao and Hindenburg are roaming cruisers and they can do output regardless of their speed. Even if you slow down and try to speed-juke shells, you likely won’t notice how long it takes for you to go from full to 0. Des Moines and Moskva play by islands more (although the latter can choose to engage on open-water), and people tend to pay more attention to Des Moines’ relative position to the island cover than her slowing down speed. Although, it is very likely for a player to feel the dread of their Des Moines slipping forward out of island cover as the result of that 31-second slow down. In addition, Minotaur takes 45 seconds to go from full speed backwards to full speed forward. For her to go from full speed backwards to 0, it takes about 13.3 seconds. You may be wondering why is this number significant. It is because when in her smoke screen, good players will want to move around still to avoid the chance of being blind-fired into smoke by opposing BBs. However, another threat is incoming torpedoes. “Well big deal, we have hydro on Minotaur!” You might say, but the thing is hydro and smoke can be de-synched, due to you having to pop either in advance of the other for special circumstances. Assuming that you are in smoke and you do not have hydro, it would take you 13.3 seconds to go from full speed rewind back to 0. Now, high-tier USN torps (like Gearing and Fletcher’s) have roughly 8 seconds of reaction time. IJN torps are slightly worse, but fall in roughly 9-10 seconds of reaction time, too. This means that if you are reversing full speed, you are very unlikely to dodge any torp that comes right at your broadside by going forward, and your rudder shift attempt to just angle in probably would not help much. You are definitely going to eat one or two, due to how long it takes for Minotaur to go back to 0 speed and then forward. Even with hydro on, Minotaur’s torpedo detection would increase to 3.42km, which would mean you have a little more than twice the reaction time you had before. You will still be demanded to react right away, due to how fast torpedoes are in relation to you, and how long it would take for Minotaur to go back up to speed (hitting 30 knots going from full speed backwards in roughly 24 seconds, which is the entirety of the reaction time with hydro on). So the key is to react to torpedoes immediately when you spot them. Personally, I have come to adjust my playstyle based on this little weakness. If I were spotted as I come down to a stop and smoke up, I would reverse for a while until I no longer sit at where I was last spotted (just a little behind, so torpedoes will not hit me at my original location). Then I would stop and continue doing output, and any torpedoes that my hydro picks up, I can then immediately react and still have a ton of time to make adjustments due to having that great acceleration. This is infinitely better than to continually going between backwards and then forwards at 1/4 speed, which would spell the end of me if I were caught with torpedoes coming at my broadside. And one more thing – if your engine is broken while you are slowing down and smoking up at the same time, repair your engine and immediately full speed forward again. This is because decelerating takes engine, too, and your deceleration process is greatly disturbed when, let’s say, you are hit in the citadel by a BB salvo and your engine is knocked out temporarily. You will find that your slowing down process is much slower, and that smoke generator whose activation time is now 15 seconds can no longer provide enough smoke puffs to cover you at the end of your deceleration. Your wishful thinking may be to just repair engine and keep slowing down, but the thing about smoke generator is that its giving out puffs of smoke is linked with your current speed, too. While having 15 seconds now is a buff from WG, compensating for the smoke firing nerf earlier, it is to only help you smoke yourself up from slowing down at full speed. By having your engine knocked out, your deceleration is disrupted, and you may end up getting one puff less, or become unfortunate enough to slide right out of your last puff before being able to slowly back up. In this case, if you are continuously spotted, you may end up becoming exposed for up to 10 more seconds, and that may be enough time for the battleship who fired at you to reload and shoot you one more time. Just get going and bail – you are better off wasting a smoke screen than to give up your life for it trying to reverse back in. 【Max Range: 15.8km】 Minotaur’s guns have a default range of 15.8km. This actually aligns with Des Moines’ (also 15.8km) and Zao’s (16.2km) quite nicely, while the other 3 T10 cruisers have ranges at a tier above. However, these 3 cruisers engage their enemies very differently, too – in fact, no 2 T10 cruisers have the same way of gun engagement. Minotaur’s guns, despite having high arcs like Des Moines’, are thus not to be treated the same way. The first point I’d like to go over is the debate of what kind of gun modification upgrade to take. Of the 3 – Range, Traverse, and Reload – traverse modification (MBM 2) occupies Slot 3, and because Minotaur already has godly traverse I highly advise against taking this modification. Meanwhile, Range (GFCSM 2) and Reload (MBM 3) compete in Slot 6. This is where you have to make a decision. So let’s take a look at what Slot 6 offers first: MBM 3 (gun reload), TTM 3 (torp reload), GFCSM 2 (gun range), AAGM 3 (AA guns damage). As Minotaur, your torpedo reload is already very decent, and you will most likely use your main guns more often than you do use your torpedoes, so TTM 3 is not recommended. AAGM 3 is viable for a tryhard Full-AA build, but in the current meta where you will only see CVs once in X number of games, unless you plan on being in divisions with CV players a lot, I do not recommend this either. So the debate comes down to Range vs Reload. Now let me jump straight to conclusion and tell you that I prefer Reload, and here is why. After a thousand games in Minotaur, I have pumped out hundreds of thousands of shells at countless ships. From these experiences I came to understand Minotaur’s range not as the strict 15.8km number, but as “auras”, just like how short/mid/long range AA guns each have their own effective “aura”. For Minotaur, there are 4 aura ranges: Deathzone ( < 6km): Within 6km, anything and everything that’s red must die. As many would know, Minotaur’s guns are more powerful the closer the target gets, and within 6km even battleships will cower at the sight of a Minotaur on its broadside. Destroyers will melt in seconds, and cruisers are expect to perish – so long as broadside is given. Within this range, Minotaur is also facing the exact same risk – due to that your smoke firing concealment is only 5.4km, an enemy charging at you will soon spot you once they enter this deathzone. In that sense, you must quickly deal with any enemy that enters this aura range – with your guns or with your torps, they must die. Or, you will. This is why it’s called the deathzone. Once a ship enters this range of a Minotaur, someone has to die – Minotaur or them. No questions asked. Thaumiel Range (6-8km): Thaumiel is a name in Kabbalah, given to the shadow of the crown Keter of the tree of life. I named this range aura Thaumiel due to its being just right next to the Deathzone range. While targets in this range are usually not an immediate threat to Mino, the name should remind the player that risk is high and danger is right on the doorsteps. Within Thaumiel, Mino deals extremely high amounts of damage to other ships while remaining concealed within smoke. This is arguably the most effective range for her guns. However, it is also unlikely for ships to actively venture into this range knowing there is a Minotaur out there. Targets will likely end in Thaumiel only when they are trying to get out of another engagement, or outside of skirmishes where Minotaur can set herself up in a strategic spot. But this range falls within Minotaur’s surface detection, so it is unfeasible to actively seek engagement within Thaumiel. Ideally, Minotaur wants to be concealed completely even while she decides to slow down and pop a smoke in the next 10 seconds. Thaumiel also presents considerable risk to Minotaur, as blind-fires into smoke by enemy ships has high chances of hitting due to the close range and limited dispersion. I discourage full broadside engagement within Thaumiel (in fact, angle at your target regardless of range). Battleships, especially, can still devastate Mino easily within this range, even without spotter plane, by firing at the origin of your shell tracers. Nonetheless, it should be noted that Thaumiel range should not be taken as a “safe zone” by any means, as any ship that enters this range can quickly charge into your deathzone. For instance, if a GK charges head-in into 8km, you can very much expect him to run hydro and force into your 6km deathzone, and should bail ASAP. This also goes for some cruisers. However, if a BB or CA is not charging in, but instead sailing sideways, showing willingness to either increase distance or continue roaming in this range, then your Thaumiel is maintained. Exercise situational awareness based on ship knowledge here. Dominance Range (8-13km): Here we have the range aura at which most Minos will engage their enemies. Due to that her concealment is 8.9km, Minotaur can very easily create engagements by positioning into this range undetected, smoke up, and then go about her way of doing things (you know what I mean). The further outwards in this range, the less the expected return of each salvo will have, as targets further are harder to hit, and Mino shells lose more penetration over range. Eventually, your shells become plunging fire, doing damage only to superstructures and relatively unprotected area of decks. However, this is not to say that Minotaur is ineffective at this range already. Even at 13km, Minotaur can still hit targets, allowing her to deal damage. Even if each salvo generates just hundreds if not two thousand damage, she is still considered effective. Another way to look at Dominance is that Minotaur is relatively safer in this range than in Thaumiel. In Thaumiel, Minotaur trades output for safety. Depending on the target you engage, the situation you are in, and the needs of your team, you can make the call on engagement ranges. Personally, I would say that Minotaur’s shelling effectiveness extends to at least 13km, so long as you can get used to the arcs. Deterrence Range (13km+): And for the final range aura, we have everything that’s outside of Dominance. Here Minotaur will struggle to hit even battleships, and it only gets worse the further you go. While GFCSM 2 can extend your firing range up to 18.3km, you will likely rarely need that range, as your guns will become more and more ineffective. This is not to say that you will not find targets beyond 15.8km – in fact, more often you will find that the battleship you are shooting at is sailing away from you, and soon gets to beyond 15.8km. Then, you must switch to another target…but wait a minute, every enemy seems to have…retreated out of my range? This is a very important point I’d like to elucidate further – Minotaur’s guns do not become “useless” at long ranges. The guns’ roles simply shifted – from dealing damage to deterrence. Players have a natural reaction to dangers they cannot see or deal with – sail away, and that is why you often find your default 15.8km range cleared of targets before your smoke time is over. It is because you are actively pushing them away by continuously raining shells at them, whether the shells hit them or not. This role continues performing even at the 18.3km max range with GFCSM 2. However, Minotaur doesn’t want to drive away enemies – due to her guns being more effective when enemies are closer, she wants enemies to come in, not run away. What you are doing at this range is essentially raining down suppressing fire for your team to push forward and take more map control. However, in random battles, players do not like to push. And thus, you will likely only drive away enemies without your team realizing it’s an opportunity to take. Hence, with GFCSM 2, you only extend your Deterrence Range, which isn’t exactly useful when oftentimes the advantages it attains go uncapitalized. This is why I recommend MBM 3 – get that reload to sub-3 seconds for more memes! While we are on this topic, let me share with you my upgrades: Slot 1: MAM 1 – turret survivability. It is the most useful of the 3 options. Slot 2: HSM 1 – extended hydro duration. Minotaur’s hydro is a necessity while camping in smoke, or when rushing down a DD. In any case, it is a consumable you should expect to put into use every game. As such, if you have this upgrade, use it. Otherwise, DCSM 1 is also good. I personally haven’t found Mino’s rudder to be easily broken, and her engine is pretty sturdy, too. You will only lose engine if you eat heavy citadels, but even those scenarios are rare and you can afford to burn a DCP. Slot 3: AAGM 2 – My build revolves around AA, and so I’m using this upgrade here to increase my AA range. The other options are not as competitive, and I do find that AA range to be useful more often than not. Slot 4: SGM 2 – Yeah…well, cruisers already get the reduced fire duration so DCSM 2 is not really that important. Plus, Minotaur also gets the super heal that allows her to heal back however many fires worth of damage, so long she survives. Her rudder needs some work, and that will be obvious. Since you cannot take propulsion modification, SGM 2 is the one to go for here. Slot 5: CSM 1 – Concealment, yeah you need this if you want to go for the best concealment at 8.9km. Although I have seen players taking the rudder shift mod (SGM 3), like SRM, playing Mino in the open water. But due to her frail armor and propensity to eat citadels from everyone regardless of angles, I will advise the general public to go with the safe bet – CSM 1. Slot 6: MBM 3 – Gun Reload. See above. 【Ricochet Angle: 60-75°】 While many players know about Des Moines and other American cruisers’ “super heavy AP shells” and their better auto-bounce/ricochet angles (meaning their AP shells are effective even at some more extreme angles), a considerable size of veteran players do not know that Minotaur’s special English AP shells have actually better ricochet angles. As one can see from the chart above, most T10 cruisers have 45-60 degrees ricochet angles for their AP shells. The American super-heavy shells have 60-67.5 degrees (mounted on Des Moines and Salem). However, Minotaur takes this one step further, occupying the 60-75 degrees range. What this means is that her shells, so long as the range allows for effective penetration on the armor they hit, will penetrate everything lower than 75 degrees angle (plus a normalization angle of 8.5 degrees, making her potentially able to penetrate something at 83.5 degrees!), and only then begin to bounce shells. For weakly armored ships like DDs, the strength of Minotaur’s AP angles will show. As can be seen from the pictures above, even at a relatively flat angle (sorry for not running Navigator mod to tell exact angles, but if you want you can get a protractor and measure the angle on screen, which I’m pretty sure is flatter than most angles cruisers are comfortable with firing AP at) Gearing will absolutely suffer. Gearing, as noted earlier, actually has very decent armor for a DD (beating Mino in some areas, actually). Most notably is her troll 21mm side plating (which you can read more about elsewhere. Basically – it will shatter all HE lower than 130mm in caliber, which is to say non-Russian ones). Now, Minotaur AP at 18km max range has 87mm in penetration, which allows her to do damage to Gearing’s side armor at any range, basically. Short-fuse AP will do magic to DD. Combine these factors together, it should come as no surprise when DDs melt under Minotaur’s fire in a matter of seconds. 4. Building Mino’s Captain – What’s Her Style? Now this is probably the one question most people come in to this guide for, but discovered “wait a second, this guy’s writing a crap-ton!” Yeah, and honestly, I don’t feel like writing this section at all. This is because Minotaur has so many viable builds around her, and so long as she works for you, it’s a good build. I used to be very cynical against people running SE on Mino (I still am somewhat), thinking it’s a waste of skill points and a definite sign of a potato. Now I’m willing to accept that it can be personal preference, too, and Minotaur, honestly, is best built around your own style, then for you to copy someone else’s and end up not knowing how to fully utilize her strengths. So here I will just go over how I build her. Being the Minotaur-main I am, I actually do not have one particular build on her I use all the time. I change her builds every once in a while, too. And I keep 3 captains on her with Full-AA, Semi-AA, and RPF. I will go over each one individually. Full-AA: PT, PM, AR, BFT, CE, AFT, MAA As the name suggests, this is going after the absolute maximum AA Minotaur. Alternatively, you may switch AR for JoaT, so your consumables (smoke, etc.) come up more quickly. I only use this build when I am sure that I will be coming across a CV, which is to say, when I am in a division with another CV. This will create a death bubble at 8.6km around me. I will even switch out my reload upgrade for AA upgrade (I am quite rich in credits…so why not lol). However, I would not recommend this for general Mino-playing. This is because I haven’t observed a strong CV presence on NA or EU (SEA maybe?), and this build devotes a LOT of resources towards making Mino an AA No-Fun zone. Unless your father died to the hands of CVs, I would not recommend this for most players. Semi-Full AA: PT, AR, JoaT, SI, BFT, CE, MAA This build is the one I usually run. It’s the middle-ground between an AA Minotaur and an output Minotaur. The idea here is that with the extra smoke, you are offered more output abilities outside of island covers. Given that CV presence is low on NA, I built the AA to be just enough to cover my air detection (7.2km), and enough to fend off T9 and T8 planes. T10 CVs will still want to stay away from you because you are a Minotaur, but this build will not allow you to survive if a CV actively wants you dead. Still, that is like once in 100-150 games where it will happen. Most of the time, CVs will tend to just avoid the flank I am on completely. RPF: PT, AR, JoaT, SI, VG, CE, RPF This build, as the name suggests, is an aggressive DD-hunting build. I usually run this with radar, and aggressively go after enemy DDs when an event asking for torp hits is on. Usually during this time, teams with 5-6 DDs will frequent matchmaking, and it is an absolute fiesta for the radar cruisers. RPF is for locating the closest DD so you are aware of its general whereabouts, and you can get ready to radar trap him. SI gives an extra radar charge, which is very useful – trust me, especially when games drag on. VG will help you deal with the torpedoes DDs throw at you, and stacking with hydro allows for further torpedo acquisition. JoaT brings your radar back sooner. 5. Minotaur in Random Battles – From Early to Late Game In this section, I will be going over Minotaur’s approach to a random battle, given that she plays alone without a division and receives adequate support, and that both teams are of more-or-less equal calibers. Due to that radar and smoke styles differ greatly in certain scenarios, I will address both separately and note when I do. 【Early Game: Survival, Radar Identification, and How to Anti-Smoke Fire】 Minotaur, despite how you consider her, is ultimately still classified as a cruiser. While she is very similar to a DD in her stealth-based style, she has a citadel, and thus should be treated as a cruiser. As with all other cruisers, survival is always the key during early game, and finding the right place and flank to keep you safe and sound should be the first and foremost thing to consider when going into a game. Starting off, when playing as the Minotaur, you should always check for opposing radars – how many are there? What are their ranges? How many ships may take radar and may not? Planning a battle begins here, and you must do it around not what the enemy WOULD do, but what the enemy COULD do. So, for now, treat each “uncertain” radar ships (Minotaur, Yueyang, etc.) as 0.5 of a radar ship, and keep counting. If there is no radar ship, it’s a godsend – you only have the DDs to worry about. Stick with your DDs and take their DDs out first. If there are 1-2 radar ships (round down), proceed with caution. If there are 3 or more radar ships, do not try to put yourself into a position where you are at risk of a radar hitting. Minotaur here is infinitely close to a DD, in that she is also highly afraid to get radared. Ideally, you want to memorize all radar ships’ concealment and radar range. At the very least, memorize the radar ranges. What is Des Moines’ and Mino’s range? 9.9km. Buffalo’s, Seattle's, and Neptune’s? 9.4km. Baltimore’s, Cleveland's, and Edinburgh’s? 9km. Moskva’s, Donskoi’s, and Chapayev’s? 11.7km? Pan-Asian DDs? 7.5km. Black? 7.5km. I did not look up a single one of these numbers because I have them all memorized to the back of my head, and you can even test me on their minimum concealment, too, if you wish, but I won’t go list them out one by one here. Generally speaking, having these numbers memorized will allow you to get to your planning stage sooner. After identifying radar threats, Minotaur should take the early game as safe as possible. Cruisers, in essence, function the best when there are least guns around – big guns, especially. Luckily, most BBs are hesitant to push, and your big-gun incoming fire threats are mainly going to be at-range snipes. If you have good situational awareness, you should be able to identify these dangers. However, do note that Minotaur is widely considered a citadel piñata, and BBs absolutely love to convert your HP into their damage. Minotaur is very competitive against Des Moines on the top of the “most prioritized target” list. It should thus be stressed that you must make sure not to become spotted in open waters in the early game. You will find your PT number quickly skyrocketing if you are among the first on your team to become spotted. This is because in the early game, everyone is looking for targets to shoot. If you show up before your BBs and other teammates are spotted, guess who the enemies will shoot? Take a wild guess. I have tried to get myself purposely spotted a couple of times in relative safety during early games, and even when I’m on a further flank, BBs from across the map would eagerly take interest in me, and it is highly unlikely that I will survive under the combined fires of up to 5 BBs (which usually end up being the case for random battles). However, this is not to say that you must neglect your duty in assisting your DDs. As a cruiser, you have to consider ways of conducting output, and killing your designated preys (as the game explains) – DDs. What I said in previous paragraphs is the case for open water maps (Mountain Range, Ocean, and Okinawa, to name some). However for maps where caps have island covers around them (Shatter, Hotspot, Sea of Fortune, and Warrior’s Path, to name some), Minotaur should have no problem and definitely go up closer to caps to support their DDs. Radar Minotaurs, especially, should utilize these islands as covers when approaching cap, and provide radar support upon informing your team you have radar. This is very important when you play a radar Minotaur, because the conventional meta is smoke, everyone – including your own teammates – will assume you have smoke. Minotaur, at the same time, is Schrodinger’s Cruiser – you won’t know whether she has smoke or radar until she pops one. It is on YOU to let your team know by typing in chat and then pinging yourself (I use F5 hotkey to make voice command: “Requesting Support” instead so everyone knows my intention and location at the same time). Smoke Minotaur will have to play without radar (unless a radar cruiser is with you), and assess the situation around the cap before making any more. Sometimes, it is recommended or even required that you go into the cap and CQC brawl the DD yourself. You will likely emerge victorious if their support has not yet arrived. I rarely do this myself, however, regardless of radar or smoke (I will let me team do the output for me instead when I am radaring). This is because all it takes to delete you in early game is one well-aimed BB salvo at your broadside or bow-overmatch. If you want to go into a cap to kill the early cap DD, the following conditions have to be met: 1. There are covers nearby (i.e. Hotspot C cap) that can shield you from enemy incoming fire. 2. You must have the enemy BBs behind an island while you are engaging. 3. Enemy radars are accounted for – they aren’t on this flank. 4. Nearby ships do not pose an immediate threat to you after you kill a DD. After you confirm the above, you are free to move in. However, this is rarely the case in most random battles – star have to really align in order for you to do this. Every move you make as Minotaur, you have to consider how to “undo” that move – basically, plan an escape route or assess the risk to be relatively low before jumping in. Nothing kills Minotaur faster than her captain’s recklessness. Early game revolves around cap control. A good Minotaur player, with or without radar, will make sure the cap she guards does not go away easily. This means prioritizing enemy DDs and killing key ships like radar cruisers. In random battle, it is reported that whichever side loses a DD on a flank first, that flank will most likely be lost. Meanwhile, survival comes before everything. If you feel like the enemy has a deeply ingrained interest in you, or that the enemy is very good and eager to smoke-fire, fall back for a bit. Remember, Minotaur does not like senpai’s attention. Minotaur would rather remain in the shadows and pump out flying daggers of AP shells while the enemy is busy engaging other ships. With every ship’s death on the flank – friend or foe – Minotaur must immediately consider repositioning. Think: Who has the advantage right now? Who is likely to die next? Who is spotting? What does withdrawing/staying entail? Where would I reposition to? This must happen after each ship’s destruction. Once you have decided on whether or not to reposition, execute that plan ASAP. Minotaur’s concealment, while good, would not help her in the event enemies push too close. Usually speaking, when your DD dies but the enemy DD remains alive and escapes, it is probably a good time to plan your retreat. Remember, retreating is not forefeiting – it is to live to fight another day. Once you have identified the enemies on your flank, and that capping is going to happen likely without your support (cap is too open for you to get too close to, your DD has the clear upper hand, etc.), you can start getting ready to smoke up and conducting output. Minotaur’s firing will greatly dissuade any ship from pushing in. While most people like to fire on the closest target, I personally like to fire at targets that are further away and now choosing to push forward to support. If the closest visible target (most likely a BB that has overextended) is already engaging, chance is that you don’t have his broadside (since getting to an off-side to your flank where you can broadside enemies at early game is both risky and unrealistic – you don’t have the speed to get there before the engagement begins. You kind of have to know where engagement will happen beforehand). If you try to conduct output at bow-on enemies, chance is that you won’t likely land high-damage salvos. Your output level would be close to a DD, ranging from 500-2000 damage at most per salvo at their superstructures. Once saturation kicks in, you won’t net almost any damage. So what do you do? Remember what I said about Minotaur’s suppressing fire and deterrence effects? Your job is then to keep support from coming close to that overextended target. Most cruisers will turn away once they receive Minotaur’s attention, since those shells just rain down so hard on less-armored cruisers, and do massive damage if you have their sides. Even BBs will think twice, and likely won’t approach you too close. You can also choose to chain-fire on your enemy if you REALLY want to deter them. Generally speaking, chain-fire and salvo-fire are based upon personal preference – whichever way works for you, go on and do it. However, due to that chain-fire produces a higher frequency of raining shells, your target ship will feel the pressure every 0.6 seconds, rather than 2.8 seconds (given that you split your timing in between each DAKA evenly) …and just stop and think about being on the receiving end. It is pretty PTSD-inducing, and while may not do much damage, will make every player try to get away from being harassed by you. This is due to simple human psychology – each time you are hit, it is a “punishment”, and we take instances of punishment more seriously than the degree of punishment when they do not carry serious implication. This is basically saying, we are psychologically more averse to being constantly rained down upon by shells with less damage each hit, than to take massive alpha damage from salvos at longer intervals. Players will tend to assess their situation after receiving each instance of damage, and when being chain-fired, they have to constantly go back to reassessing their situation, and most likely will come down to a decision of retreat to avoid being put in the stressful situation further. But to be honest – Minotaur’s salvo is pretty PTSD-inducing already. And after each enemy ship’s death (preferably not your friendly’s), reassess situation (VERY IMPORTANT), rinse and repeat. Minotaur, as I classified her, is a support output unit, meaning that your job is to focus down on targets, and/or to cut off support from coming to that target. While it is not always easy, you do have the ease of choosing your engagement due to your having smoke and a godly concealment of 8.9km. Use them well. While we are here, I think I should take the next little bit addressing an issue all Minotaur players regardless of skill care about: smoke-firing. Smoke-firing is the practice of firing at an unspotted ship hiding in smoke, usually by the means of looking at where the shells are coming from. A very effective way of conducting smoke-firing is through the use of spotter aircraft and aim at the origin of the shells. This is advertised by CCs like Flamu, and now widely employed by high-tier BB players. For Mino, smoke-firing like this is a huge issue. Since the smoke playstyle is to conduct output while sitting stationary (or relatively confined to slowly moving back and forth within smoke), the spotter aircraft style pretty much draws an imaginary X on your exact location, and tells the BB player to aim right there. There is also a mod players can run, that draws a literal X on the minimap where the shells will land based on where you are aiming. All the player running the mod has to do is to overlay the X on your last seen location to get a hit on you. While Minotaur players are encouraged to move away from that last seen location after smoking up (or to not become spotted at all before smoking up, which is the ideal scenario), I personally find this mod being allowed to be ridiculous – it absolutely DOES provide “additional information unable to be obtained from playing the game normally”. As the writer of this guide and a long-time player, I urge WG to make this mod illegal. But that is not the point of this part of discussion right now. What I want to address is how to combat smoke-firing (albeit relatively ineffectively). The first step of combating smoke-firing is to identify the ship that is firing upon you. Usually, you can assume the ship to be the one you are firing at, since he will have the most vested interest in taking you out. Battleships within 8km are highly dangerous, since they can just aim at your smoke without using spotter plane, and get good hits on you just due to dispersion not yet spreading the shells apart at that close range. Otherwise at longer ranges, like 10+km, they will not get as good hits. You can mitigate a lot of damages, even rendering the shells you eat at this range to just overpens and a few regular pens by some good angling against the ship. Minotaur’s armor, despite being paper, is still a set of armor that will allow you to make angling work, since your citadel armor plating is good enough to ricochet BB shells. By angling against the ship firing at you, you are also giving a harder profile to hit, and one that’s harder to trace origin from the regular, non-spotter perspective. Whether you angle inward or outward at him, if you can maintain that angle at the extreme of where you can bring all 5 turrets to bear, you should be good. This may require you to constantly angle, moving back-and-forth while adjusting rudder, but it will also make you harder since you are at least on the move. Once you can identify the shooter, you can also choose to fire only the first 2-3 turrets (I fire just the first 2 myself). This is because when people smoke-fire, they look for the mid-section of this ship, which is between your C and X turrets. Minotaur’s turret layout is ABC-XY, meaning that there is a wider gap between the C and X turrets, making that part more easily discernible. Plus, the BB will also get an overall idea of what your ship’s exact position is when you fire all 5 turrets in a salvo or chain-fire, since you are basically lighting up 5 sections of your ship one by one. However, if you fire just the frontal turrets, it will make the opposing player harder to tell the overall disposition of your ship, since that vital C-X gap is missing, making your angling harder to tell and exact disposition harder to discern. This will make the opposing player go wth, and try to fire at just the location of the frontal turrets – the ones you have been firing. Now, what you also need to do here is to stay on the move – back up, keep backing up, so when the shells do arrive at their destination, you will have backed up enough to have them all splash into the water. Combine this with rudder adjustments, having only the A and B tracers will not help the enemy BB, since you can be at a myriad of angles, reversing and going left/right. Now you may think of this as a great waste of your output – yes, you do lose out a lot by not being able to use 2/5 or even 3/5 of your output potential. But what you’re gaining here is the enemy’s attention, and the wasted effort and shells they put out trying to hit you. For a BB whose reload is 30 seconds, this is a lot, and not counting turret traverse, too. The play is on them – not on you, and what you are doing is to tank these potential damage (not to take them) that could have otherwise gone to your teammates. If you are close enough and you don’t feel comfortable conducting this tactic, you can pay attention to the ship’s turrets – where are they aimed? If you see them traversing at you, stop firing. The opponent may wait for you to open fire again, but they won’t see you open fire, because you can tell that their guns are pointing at your direction. Then after some time, the BB player will give up, and turn guns away to fire at other targets again. As his guns turn away enough, open up again, and rinse-and-repeat. This is highly annoying to the BB player, but what can I say? After more than 1,000 games in Minotaur, I have nothing but malevolent wishes towards the opposing BBs, and their suffering in vain efforts brings a smile to my face. Yes, I’m a cancer ship and I’m proud, and you should be proud of being a cancer in Mino as well. Of course, there are moments when a smoke Mino has no counterplay, such as when a BB from concealment with spotter plane decides to open fire upon your smoke. In cases like this, you can only minimize the potential damage by angling away from as many enemies as possible. Although extreme-range spotter-plane smoke-firing is rare, they do happen when BBs from another flank are bored or they feel like you in particular need to die. Usually though, dispersion will likely cause the shells to largely miss around you, and when you are constantly moving within your smoke you will less likely end up being on the receiving end of unwanted and unexpected citadel hits. 【Mid-game: Securing objectives, Focus-fire, and Counteract】 Mid-game is not a particular time point in the match timer. Rather, I see it as a point in gameplay where situation has developed maturely that flanks have established. Different people have different understanding of when the mid-game begins and early-game ends. I have thought of putting down my definition here, but decided that it’s not really worth it going too deep into discussing a textbook definition. Good players do not really consider identifying by definitions, and rather simply know when it’s mid-game. Some games that are very lop-sided can even skip the Mid-game section, and end the game before it is even allowed to develop anywhere. So let’s just leave it there, and allow you to discern the point where flanks are established, and both sides having suffered some losses without being completely castrated in terms of fighting capacity. Minotaur’s role during mid-game is, as always, objective-based and team-oriented. Due to that ships are dying, Mino will become freer as time goes on from either being devastated by large guns or spotted by DDs. Radar Minotaurs would likely see mid-games featuring less DDs due to their capacity to hunt them and remove them from play, whereas smoke Minotaurs do not benefit from such an advantage. Nonetheless, they will have smoke at their disposal, and the only way for DDs to really fight Mino is to torp her while her hydro is down. As a result, I see radar Minos as having an easier and possibly earlier mid-game due to their ability to potentially deny the enemy team of all their DDs (especially considering most T10 games only see around 3 DDs each side). I am going to discuss radar Mino’s mid-game play here first. Due to the aforementioned reason, radar Mino, as soon as having finished her role of DD-hunting, transforms into a DD-equivalent because she now has unrivaled spotting compared to enemy ships. In a random environment where your average DD IQ is more disappointing than EA’s ability to deliver good sequels, this capacity of yours can be a godsend. Radar Minos also have the choice to conduct output using island covers, and it should be noted that you are just as vulnerable as early game, and one mistake in positioning can send you right back to port. This means open-water engagements/firing should be limited to a minimum still. Luckily, with the recent map reworks, more and more effective island covers are being put into the game (I will give WG credit here – good job devs). However, in maps with large open areas unsupported by islands (Mountain Range, Ocean, Okinawa, etc.), Minos still have to rely on smoke, or very selective engagements. This does not mean radar Mino is less effective in mid-game. Many people fail to realize the value of spotting, which is directly the answer why DDs surviving till later stages of a game is so monumental for a team’s ultimately winning. I sometimes intentionally spot even while playing a smoke Mino, because as soon as I decide to smoke up and conduct output, the enemy may slip away back into concealment as none of my other teammates would be around to keep him in the vision. Mid-game, essentially, is about 2 things: Securing the lead you obtained in early game, or take back the disadvantage that you incurred in early game. Either way, it is to work towards winning, and bringing the game to a closure that favors you. For support vessels like cruisers, your job is thus to do whatever your team needs you to do, and if you want to win games, you have to sometimes give up conducting damage in Minotaur a little. The first of these objectives is to go for caps, if you are playing in Domination. Most random battles will see DDs capping a cap, and then leaving it to go torping/spotting elsewhere. As a result, mid-game will often see caps unguarded, but can sometimes be vital to a team’s point income. Minotaur, as I repeatedly mentioned, has the best detection in cruisers and the ability to equip radar for DD-hunting. I will personally prioritize going for these unattended caps during mid-game so your team has a better chance of winning (given that the main flank does not collapse). There might be responses, but Minotaur actually has the ability to very effectively 1-v-1 cruisers and DDs, and even BBs sometimes (although I would not recommend). However, if you observe that your main flank needs you to be around for output (i.e. enemy ships gather so you have more targets to fire), you can ask a friendly ship with close to or better concealment as yours (i.e. Mogami, Atago, Edinburgh, New Orleans, DDs, etc.) to go for caps instead. Any good player who is aware of Minotaur’s output potential will recognize that your being in the main flank supporting with output is vital to the situation at hand, and they can go get that cap by themselves. Minotaur fares extremely well near a concentration of enemy ships, and on their flank. To put in plain text, you want to be able to create cross-fire with whatever your BBs are firing, and thereby concentrate-fire on these ships. Like I said before, smoke-firing is a concern for Minos, but most ships are not going to be willing to turn their guns and “guestimate” into a blind smoke when a more pressing target is spotted and engaging them at another angle (since they have to re-orient the turrets). Minotaur also has the concealment advantage to conduct these open-water repositions. On maps where island geography opens a bow-on plus only one flank exposed (i.e. Northern Lights west side, Warrior’s Path A cap, Sleeping Giant C cap, etc.), Minotaur is most effective to get to the broadside of these targets, and rain down shells that would absolutely devastate any broadside. The third major objective during mid-game is to counteract. This means to understand where the enemies are going to head next, and what are their main objectives. This demands the player to pay closer attention to the mini map. For instance, you see that your A flank on Land of Fire has just collapsed with 4 enemy ships now unspotted, and your main flank on C is still engaging – what is the likely route A flank enemies would take next? Will they be likely to head for your B cap? Who is there to defend? Do you see a reason to re-position? How do you plan on engaging? Generally speaking, counteract is to crush an enemy initiative of either a push or a reposition, and ships with high stealth and diverse toolsets excel in this. Notable examples are radar Mino and Des Moines – both with amazing DPM and access to radar to supplement their threat against DDs. Both ships can easily crush lower-tier cruisers, which comprise about 1/3 – 1/4 of a random enemy’s composition. Both ships have very promising abilities to punish mistakes. Of course, radar is not the main focus here as you may notice that its function is really to kill ships with concealment advantage. The main goal here is still to exert a necessary pressure against an initiative that will be rather harmful to your team’s ultimately winning the game. As a Minotaur, you should first look for help. Alert nearby ships that they have a new job to do, and you are coming to support them. Give them orders – yes this may not be the most humble thing to do, but a coordinated plan is better than having no plan at all: “I will guard south of B with Benson spotting for me. Baltimore, can you move to north of B? Izumo, please move in-between B and C to get shots on ships coming close!” Yes, they may not all listen to you, but telling them your plan and alerting them should be a part of your job as a good team player, and if you do that you have at least performed your part. At the same time, you would want to limit Mino’s engagement to 1v1s only. Any 1v2s will cause you to suffer – yes, you have great DPM, but Mino is ultimately not designed to 1v2 and win engagements. Of the over 1,000 games I played, I used islands, distance, etc. – anything really – to make sure I don’t end up being cross-fired by more than 1 target at a time. The times I did not do that, I recall struggling heavily or straight-up dying before I could do anything. You can only aim at one target at a time, so let that be the primary reason to not embrace multi-front engagements. Personally, I find Minotaur being very effective, whether with radar or smoke, during the mid-game due to other ships being more-or-less confined within a flank or so dedicated that they are out of position. Minotaur can greatly punish out-of-position ships, or to push for objectives that are unguarded as a result. Recognizing the gaps in enemy flanks on the mini map will allow you to reposition very effectively, and get that one vital flash of opportunity to grant your team a victory. 【End-game: Surviving, Finishing, Winning】 And now we arrive at end-game. This stage goes without saying – you’ve survived the majority of the fight. Most if not all of the big guns are gone. You now stand with some health left (hopefully still plenty), and enemies have bled quite handsomely, too. The match still is not yet over, and you still have some work to do. Minotaur’s end-game role sees differentiation from mid-game in that you are now also a scavenger – take out the low-health targets using your DPM. This is when you can roam more freely, and most of your engagements will be 1v1 naturally due to the number of ships remaining. Recall what I said earlier about Minotaur’s effectiveness in 1v1, and you will recognize that this is truly where you shine due to being the ultimate output machine of T10. If you have superintendent, you should still have a charge of smoke left or two. Save these smoke for crossfire engagements on BBs – you don’t need to use them on cruisers. Mainly speaking, radars will negate your smoke anyway, and so it’s better to find islands instead of using smoke. If you have to engage on open water, you can just do so and be ready to kite away, since you should have an understanding of all the angles where incoming fire can arrive. BBs, however, can easily overmatch your armor and deliver citadel hits regardless of angles – they present a much more dangerous engagement than cruisers can. Ideally, you would have another BB to engage them first, and then you smoke up after selecting your flank to create crossfire on. With the combined firepower of you and your other ships, you should be able to crunch down whatever health the other BB has remaining. This is also why I recommend superintendent as a skill to take – even though you may not always arrive at that last smoke, but it’s good to have it as an option where you are going to need it. Now, back to 1v1. Most of the times, the cruisers that survive to end-game are T10s and T9s, mostly the former. T8s rarely do due to that they have low survivability and most do not have access to heal. So let’s say on the enemy side, you see 1 or 2 T10 cruisers still remain, and you foresee them counteracting your initiative towards a cap or a flank. A 1v1 cruiser fight is imminent. VS Des Moines: Des Moines is arguably the most nightmarish cruiser for Mino. On one hand, she has the amazing American-piercing angles. On another, she presents a very dangerous threat with that high reload. If you are locked into a bow-on with a Des Moines, chance is that you will not live to see yourself fully turned around and starting to kite. Also, remember that in earlier sections I described how Minotaur’s rear is penetrable by Des Moines and other cruisers’ AP? Running away in this case, and because you do not have a viable speed advantage compared to Des Moines, is a very bad idea in an open-water chase. The way to engage a Des Moines is to close up distances so that you can either ram her (given that your sacrifice is going to be a worthy trade) or torp her. Due to that Des Moines will not be able to overmatch your bow with her caliber, you are free from eating citadels so long as you maintain angle – but recognize that any small over-angling can cause you to eat FREEDOM citadels. You want to continue firing at Des Moines’ superstructure with your two workable front turrets, while closing the distance and enduring the HE shells she hurl at you. Des Moines has no access to torpedoes, so she cannot fend for herself once you cross her bow. During your rushing a Des Moines, your caliber will not be able to disable her main turrets, and so should be aimed at her superstructure. If she makes a mistake in angling, punish her with citadels. Ultimately though, your only chance to win a prolonged engagement is through torpedoes, and you cannot turn broadside even to just get the torpedo angles – that angle is enough to cause you to eat citadels, and you would eat 2 – 3 salvos before you can even turn back. You want to aim for the path BEHIND Des Moines, so you cut in to her at an angle. If you rush her straight bow-on, you can get rammed by her. Even if you do avoid the ram, you will not be able to get a torpedo angle or an arming distance (remember that Minotaur’s torpedoes need 200m to activate) as you cross. However once you are close enough, unless Des Moines pre-turn her turrets, you will out-run her turrets. At this point, you should have already pre-turned your torpedo tubes (your speed will out-turn your torpedo tubes if you do not pre-aim beforehand), and launch the torps at her broadside. VS Zao: Zao is another cruiser from the olden days, and nowadays has become less popular due to Hindenburgs being able to do everything she does but better in random battles. Hilariously but also sadly, she is one of the easiest targets in 1v1 for Mino. Minotaur vs Zao, same health engagement, in my opinion, should always end in a Mino victory. Zao has great armor and great AP. However, she lacks effective close-quarter defenses aside from her torpedoes (with horrible angles too). Due to her low reload (13.7sec stock), she will allow Minotaur to easily make turns for torpedoes or enter a kiting position. Her citadel is also not protected by turtleback. Despite being known for the troll armor, Minotaur will very easily melt Zao at close quarters, and since Zao has to give a lot of angles to use all guns, she will absolutely suffer in face of Minotaur’s reload and ricochet angles. When facing a Zao, you should aim to make a turn in between her salvos if you want to turn. Torpedo runs, in this case, are actually less effective against her, once you enter a kiting position. Essentially speaking, if you enter into a kiting position in Zao’s concealment range (9.7km), Zao has to make a turn at some point, showing her full broadside for you to punish, or get locked into a head-on chase. Due to that Zao has poor reload, horrible torpedo angles, and no American autobounce angles, she will suffer and have hard time killing you so long as you do not give perfect rear-on and maintain angles. Most inexperienced Zao players will underestimate Mino and try to make a turn to enter kiting position, but this is what you are waiting for – punish the side and you will be able to kill Zao before she even gets to finish her turn. Generally speaking, Zao is the easiest T10 cruiser Mino has to fight. VS Hindenburg: Hindenburg is a little trickier than Zao, but nonetheless manageable. Due to that she has a minimum concealment of 12.3km, Minotaur can easily out-spot Hindenburg, and get to an advantageous engagement position before the 1v1 even begins. Also, Hindenburgs by end-game will have relatively less health than other cruisers due to them having likely incurred more salvos during the game (by virtue of low stealth or constantly in that engagement position), and you are realistically looking at an average Hindenburg of 15k-25k HP, which is already a generous estimation at this stage. Unlike Zao, Hindenburg has great torpedo angles, and can be a huge threat at close quarters. She also has amazing AP damage, which means she is a lot more punishing than Zao, also with that higher reload rate. If you have smoke and someone else to spot her, smoke up and fire, even if you think the spotting may not sustain for long – your goal is to chunk her down with smoke, so your eventual 1v1 will come with you having less of her HP having to deal with. You also do not want to rush a Hindenburg (or a Zao, really), or to aggressively use torps against her. Since Hindenburg does have turtleback armor covering her citadel, your attempts at close quarter citadels will be rather laughable, and your expected damage output per salvo is quite low compared to against Zao. In this case, aiming for upper belt and superstructure when extremely angled is the way to go. Just remember that Hindenburg’s weakness is in how much of a warning she can give you, and that you always dictate the engagement due to your better speed, concealment, and toolset. VS Minotaur: Against an equal-health Minotaur, 1v1, I always expect to win because I am confident, and so should you. Minotaur engagements can happen, and in most cases, the battle can be over in a blink of an eye due to Minotaur’s weak armor and citadel protection. The battle will swing very heavily towards the side that first spots a mistake and punishes it. The first rule is to maintain angling – you don’t want to show broadside, not even a bit. In most cases, Minotaurs will be locked in a head-on (not again), with both sides only firing 2 of their frontal turrets. This is inevitable since any attempt at bringing more guns into the fight will cause too much angling and a slippery slope to death. As a result, when fighting another Minotaur player, maintain your bow-on, drive towards them, and patiently wait for the other side to commit a mistake. Oftentimes, less skilled Minotaurs will either try to bring more guns to bear, or turn to get torpedoes off – no that’s exactly how you die, and you should expect gaining nothing from it. For one thing, anyone knows what Minotaur can do when they show sides, and Minotaur eating a bow-on torpedo really is not too much at all, since their super RN heal can help them recover quite a chunk of damage. Personally, I close the distance to exert more pressure (the other side often devolves to just bow-on reversing…which I think is stupid, really). The other Minotaur would try to shoot at my superstructure since that’s the only thing they can effectively deal damage to. I, on the other hand, would aim for their frontal turrets, constantly barraging them so I can break them and then destroy them. Minotaur at close-ranges will have enough penetrating capacity to break those turrets, and once the turrets are dead, any shots I fire at them will penetrate straight-through, dealing damage to the superstructure behind. By the time they realize what my plan is, it’s usually too late, as I would have destroyed one if not both of their workable turrets, and proceed to pummel their superstructure with them not being able to fire back. At this point, less experienced Minotaur players would panic, and turn to bring other guns into action. And you know exactly what to do at this point. VS Henri: Henri…honestly, is quite a nightmarish enemy for Minotaurs. For one thing, their caliber is designed to overmatch your bow and rear, so any form of engagement will favor them over you. They are also faster, easily chasing you down. Luckily for Mino though, Henris operate on a completely different flank – the max range, and you will not see each other until end-game (if both of you do survive). In addition, Henri has been seeing not so high of a popularity, and therefore I very rarely have to 1v1 a Henri. But when the time does come for you to 1v1 a Henri – don’t, you have no advantage over this baguette. Your best bet is to get another cruiser to help you, or have your surviving BB delete him, which should be their job to begin with (Honestly Henri has such paper armor that a good accurate shot from a BB is enough to chunk her down heavily). If you have a smoke left – use it, otherwise avoid any open-water engagement that would otherwise make you an easy prey. Most of Henri’s citadel is also protected by what’s called “spaced armor”, which is very effective against RN CLs’ short-fused AP shells. You can read up about this elsewhere, but the general idea is that the spacing in between the armors will cause your shell to prematurely fuse before even getting inside, causing a phenomenon known as “0-damage over-penetrations”. As such, aim for her deck line and upper belt, and you will be able to do regular damage just fine. VS Moskva: Ah, Moskva, the Nicki Minaj of World of Warships – unable to shield her own [edited]from anyone and will constantly being spotted by pestering paparazzi’s (read: Destroyers). Yes, Moskva is still around, and by some miraculous means can survive till end game where you…more likely won’t, but can come up against her. However, she, along with her radar, is not as much a threat as she would be in early and mid-game, and here is why. First of all, never assume a radar cruiser has no more radars by end game – you never know how many times they used radar during the game, and should always base your action around what the enemies CAN do versus what the enemies WOULD do. As a result, smoking up and firing should still be left lower in the priority. You want to deal with her the same way you deal with a Des Moines – remember that Moskva’s reload and DPM are horrendous, and if you can get enough of her side to either torpedo or to citadel, you are more than likely fine. You will out-spot Moskva by almost 5km, which means you should have plenty of time before you have to initiate the engagement (you should always be the one doing that) to plan out and get to an advantageous location. You don’t have to go for the torpedo rush at the very beginning. If her health is low enough, you can even just rain shells at her while kiting away, maintaining some angling so you do not eat citadels. Overall, I do not see Moskva as having as much of a threat due to her low DPM and long reload. In any 1v1 engagement where Minotaur has more wiggle space and freedom to dictate pace and initiation, Minotaur should absolutely come up on top. However, World of Warships’ gameplay is fluid, and there is no certain way to absolutely win an engagement. This section is to describe Minotaur’s strengths and weaknesses over each of her T10 counterparts, and advise on how to best utilize your tools in a situation where you only have yourself to rely upon. In the end, it still comes down to sharpening one’s own individual skills to win games, and winning is the ultimate goal of each of your play. Ideally, however, Minotaur should be able to conduct output from cover and safety. I will stress here that Minotaur is not designed to openly engage 1v1 – her playstyle is “asymmetrical”, meaning she can only be effective when she has an asymmetric advantage over the other side, such as being concealed in smoke/behind island or being in a position to stealth-torpedo, among many scenarios. Sometimes, these asymmetric advantages are unattainable, and then you should consider alternatives. Good Minotaur players, however, will always look for their best options, and their best options are asymmetric fights. My advice to anyone looking to improve in Minotaur is to look for asymmetric opportunities – that’s where Minotaur really shines. In other words: Be cancerous, because cancer is a word of compliment to Minotaurs. 6. Minotaur for Other Ships – “How Should I Support My Mino Teammate?” So far in this guide, the messages have been addressed exclusively to Minotaur. Now I don’t want to make this just about Minotaur, since the point of getting more people to play her is null and void if I don’t address the wider audience. Even I, a self-proclaimed Mino enthusiast, does not always play her. I have my other favorite ships like Des Moines, Fletcher, Hindenburg, etc., and I would have my turn of seeing and supporting other Minos as well. Being someone who, having felt firsthand behind the wheels, would appreciate team support in Mino, I would do my best to give other Mino players the support they need, so they are able to do their job to the fullest. Now, let’s talk about how to support Mino from other ships and classes. DD: Needless to say, Minotaur requires others to spot for her. As soon as she enters smoke, she no longer has the ability to proactively spot. Her playstyle is designed around the fact that her teammates will be there to spot when she cannot. However, in random battles, a DD who is aware of this need is a rarer species than the Chinese pandas. When you see that your friendly Mino is firing on a target close to you, try to keep spotting on him and do not break from spotting unless you absolutely have to (such as when in risk of being spotted). Every second of being exposed due to spotting opens the ship up to eating another salvo from Mino, and not to mention your teammates can also follow up with additional salvos. More importantly, and I will stress this, is that you have to try your best to survive. Do not throw away your ship pointlessly. If you perceive risk, it’s fine to play safer to avoid getting taken out, as Minotaur is very heavily reliant upon a friendly DD’s presence on the flank when there is an enemy DD nearby. If you die, Mino would be forced to retreat as well, and BBs will soon follow. The flank is then lost. If you are spotted by an enemy DD, your friendly Mino can add greatly to the output, as 4-5k salvos are not rare instances against Gearing and Z-52, for example. In other terms, if your Mino is ready and willing to support you on DD engagements, you have a lot more firepower than you think – even better than having a Zao or Des Moines nearby, I would argue. So play safe and don’t worry about having to kill that DD all by yourself – if you can bump into him and provide spotting before disengaging, each engagement you will win for sure due to Mino’s presence. To maximize Mino’s effectiveness for you, I recommend you stay just around the edge of Mino’s death zone (4-6km), since you will be able to spot enemy DDs right outside of Mino’s own detection range, and at this close range, an unsuspecting DD can die within salvos. And now comes the question of smoke – many RN CLs, despite having smoke, will sometimes request to be smoked up by DDs. This is not something that I do personally, but I do see reasons behind some of their requests. For instance, They may not be running superintendent, and thus have only 3 charges of smoke to begin each battle with, which means they have to be more careful with how they deploy their smoke in order to maintain effectiveness in the long run. Or, their smoke can be on cooldown, as some captain builds will leave Minotaur smoke-less for up to around 50 seconds. In these cases, if you are around and have one to spare, please drop a smoke screen for your Mino – they will definitely appreciate it. If you can’t, it’s fine too, as we understand DDs require some back-up plans to survive and you may be down to your last smoke. Another thing I’d like to ask is for DDs to take initiative in communicating. If you can let your Mino know your plan, or what you would like them to do, you can help them plan the engagement out at early game more effectively. You are also encouraged to ask if your Mino has smoke or radar – oftentimes they forget to mention, too. And trust me – Minos are more willing to support a proactively communicating DD because they can see that you are aware of their presence and know that they need you. CA: Generally speaking, Mino has no real request towards other CAs, due to that all cruisers essentially cover similar roles in output, and Mino’s duties cover more areas than do Zao or Hindenburg in early game. For instance, these two cruisers exemplify their strengths and longer ranges, whereas Mino likes to stay close, utilizing radar or smoke to support flanks or caps. Zao and Hindy, on the other hand, provide the damage over time and rarely provide the necessary spotting help for Mino. As a result, Mino would just like roaming cruisers (Zao, Hindy, Henri) to stay alive and dish out damage. For radar CAs like Des Moines and Moskva, however, Mino would definitely appreciate the radar. If Mino runs smoke, Des Moines and Moskva provide radar, then the combined output and efficiency of this smoke-radar combo would be able to lock down a cap from enemy DDs very effectively. If you have radar, and you see a friendly Mino in position to support a flank, communicate your readiness and be ready to call target on the DD you spot with your radar. While sometimes you may not be able to conduct output from behind an island when you’re camping in a Des Moines, Mino may have established a firing location using smoke from another angle and is looking to fire on some unsuspecting DDs. While you may potentially lose out on the damage or kill on the DD, you will gain the opportunity to eliminate the DD on the flank and conduct free output on other BBs and CAs later having no worries of torpedoes or being out-spotted. It’s not a bad trade, isn’t it? In general, Mino has really no request for other CAs aside from radar, since she has enough tools herself to stay alive and conduct output. Radars are another story, however. DM and Moskva will synergize with Mino very effectively. So, keep an eye on lookout for one another. BB: For the big guns, Mino would want you to stay on the flank to help engage. If you can keep a BB locked in engagement, Mino will help you win the fight by getting on the BB’s side and chunking down his health at rates you would not believe. Meanwhile, you just have to stay alive and tank the enemy’s attention, probably firing shots off on broadsiding cruisers since you will do more damage to them than to other bow-on BBs. Generally speaking, Minos require your tankiness in order to distract other ships from taking interest in their smoke. Players have a tendency to choose targets that they can see versus they cannot, and so long as you are alive, Mino can continue staying on the flank to exert pressure. Think of Mino as a debuff towards enemy team – a constant DoT that keeps chunking down on enemy’s broadside. You should position yourself in a cross-fire angle from your friendly Mino. Basically, force the enemy to either angle towards you or your Mino, so that one of you would have their side and effectively punish them if they choose to push without a care in the world. Generally speaking, if your Mino is ready to engage either in smoke or behind an island, you can start playing defensively, and it is way more cost-efficient than for you to have to force a push into enemy formations. I would also encourage BB players to proactively communicate. If you suspect a DD is nearby and plotting to assassinate you, your radar Mino may be a godsend. A good Minotaur would not mind going on a hunt to secure the flank for the team. In addition, being in a position where you can protect a flank without overcommitting is good enough. If you find yourself more than a square of distance behind your Mino, you should probably push forward. Finding the right balance between relative safety and having a presence to assert pressure on the flank is what we ask of you. And no, 22km from the nearest target is not considered “having a presence”. CV: Without a doubt, a friendly Mino who is AA-spec’d is every CV’s wet dream, since that means an airspace of 8.6km of radius denied from enemy. Most of the times, Minos welcomes CV luring planes into their AA range, since that means both plane kills and ability to help the team out – what’s not to love? However, there are also scenarios where a Mino is not ready to conduct AA support. For instance, if a Mino has just come out of smoke, somewhat low on health, and some enemy big guns are nearby, you luring a plane group towards her may result in her being spotted and killed. While this does not happen all the time, it is worth noting when your Mino may be trying to stay concealed. I also understand that CV players would rather Minos focus-fire on enemy fighters than bombers. Sometimes this is obvious, but AA-spec’d Minos, as I observe, prefer to fire on bombers, since they perceive bombers to be a more direct threat to friendly health pools. If you are confident in your skills as a CV to stop enemy strikes, and you would rather friendly Minos and DMs go for enemy fighters instead, relay this message to them to make sure they understand your plan. In general, regardless of your ship class, I would recommend you to proactively communicate to get your plans across. Mino has a diverse set of tools at her disposal, and it can be hard to tell without communicating whether she has what tools available and ready. The reason why divisions are powerful is that divisions communicate, and good Mino players are willing to communicate even in random battles to maximize their effectiveness. If you are polite in your request, and your request is reasonable, I would be more than happy to comply when I am playing on your side. I am sure that whoever’s reading this guide is also looking to get better in Mino, and thus would be willing, too. When we are your teammates, we have a common goal of winning, and I would much love to help you succeed, since your success means my success, too. 7. Gathering the Wisdom – Commentaries from Veteran Players For this section, I’ve gone and asked some notable players in the WOWS community to share their input on Minotaur. Being the seasoned veterans they are, they provide discoveries that would otherwise remain invisible to the relatively inexperienced eyes. 8. Minotaur Character Design I had mentioned that I had come from the Kancolle community before arriving at wows. Like many other “weebs”, I had come to try out playing in the very ships that our favorite characters are based on. My horizon for warships was expanded as I progressed the lines of different nations, in the process learning their specialties and histories. Thus, the personified “shipgirls” are what launched me, and over the course of my playing I have, as I can imagine many others would have too, thought about what this and that ship would look like as girls. When the AzurLane collab was announced, I was immediately very hyped about the prospect of wows-original ships being introduced as shipgirls. My original guess was that we would see the T10 originals – after all, Hindenburg, Henri IV, Republique, etc., are all famous ships born from “St. Petersburg Naval Arsenal”. Sadly, it turned out that they decided to feature the T9s instead – understandable, to an extent, after all I heard from friends that Tirpitz stands at the pinnacle of AzurLane’s power balance as of now. Consider how easily all T10 cruisers can dismantle Tirpitzs, I will have to simply accept the fact that an AzurLane Minotaur would not arrive for some time. Still, that got me thinking – if the collab won’t give me a Mino shipgirl, I guess I will have to design my own. I reached out to artist Maingl (Twitter: @maingl, Pixiv ID: 1155216) and worked on the design of the Minotaur shipgirl, which you saw above. Setting/Lore: (NOTE: Minotaur as her T10 self never existed in history. The following borrows from alternative history. I’ve also borrowed the settings of Arpeggio of the Blue Steel in explaining some intricacies. I thought that the wows-Arp collab was very interesting because many “unrealistic” things in the game can be explained through Arpeggio understanding.) Minotaur was born during the paradigm shift of the war, when large caliber capital ships were retiring from the scene while being replaced by aircraft carriers. Her design was a response to the demands posed by this changing paradigm – lightly armored for speed and mobility, but heavily armed with AA equipment to protect the fleet. The design of the Minotaur-class was quickly approved and rushed to production, for defending the British mainland against the German aerial menace. About Mental Models: The girl depicted above is Minotaur’s mental model. Mental models are specialized AI that had been developing before the outbreak of the war, for the purpose of even higher degrees of automation of ship vessels, and thus reducing the need for human resources. Since the introduction of mental models to the Leander-class, the need for human sailors onboard was greatly reduced, from upwards of 500+ to now, in Minotaur, just the captain himself. All operations of the ship – from sailing, fighting, to even damage control – can be carried out by issuing direct orders to the mental model at the bridge. Aside from being the captain’s assistant and UI to the entire vessel, mental models can also assume concrete form through the construction of a body using nanomaterials. Mental models can then carry out independent action within a certain radius of the vessel, mostly for assuming the role of the captain’s bodyguard while on shore, among other miscellaneous secretary-related duties. While in this physical form, mental models can manifest armaments using nanomaterials for offensive and defensive measures in anti-personnel engagements. However, mental models are confined within a certain range of their vessel to remain active. Mental models also have the capacity to fully emulate a complete set of personalities. They differ between ship classes and even among ships of the same class, giving them as diverse of characters as actual humans. Nevertheless, they are still warships, and will always remember and prioritize their duties: to serve and to protect. About Minotaur: Minotaur takes pride in herself being an elite of the Royal Navy. She takes her role seriously as a protector of her people, and can get irritated when she finds others not doing the same for theirs, especially during battle. As such, Minotaur may come off as haughty and prideful, which does get caricatured by the crown she carefully wears on her head everywhere she goes – it’s a gift from the royal family, which she carefully stores away on her vessel. The one she wears upon her head is a replica made using nanomaterials. Nonetheless, she treats it just like the real thing. “HMS Minotaur, the pride of the Royal Navy, now at your service. …Hmm, quite a plain port you have here. Do you not know that you should welcome the arrival of a lady with fanfare and décor?” Despite her pride, Minotaur does get along with her peers, in different ways. She actively takes care of her fellow destroyers, both on and off the battlefield. You can see her tailing behind friendly destroyers to provide support, or chasing after them at port when they are found to be guilty of some naughty pranks. Due to the effectiveness she has combating destroyers, she is either respected or feared in the eyes of destroyers. Even the mischievous Khabarovsk has to acknowledge this. At the naval base, some have even begun to mistaken Minotaur as a destroyer leader. As for why she fits into this role so perfectly, Des Moines jokingly but approvingly commented: “maybe it’s because she’s an oversized destroyer after all.” Maybe due to her being a light cruiser, Minotaur appears as if she is 6 or 7 years younger compared to the heavy cruisers. Her height, weight, bust, and even voice have a childish tint. She does not like others bringing this up. When Republique first reported in and innocently pointed this out, she became the target of unsolicited AP shells coming from seemingly nowhere for about a week. When she arrived at the port, Minotaur also insisted that the naval base provide resources for daily afternoon tea sessions, which became gathering sessions for the T10 cruisers to casually socialize. Even Hindenburg and Moskva, two who never seem to get along, were reported to have made small but polite exchanges across the table. Unsurprisingly, Minotaur does not usually interact with the battleships. The only one she seems to kind of get along with is Conqueror, but that is maybe because they are both British. When asked why this is the case, she tends to become increasingly defensive: “I-It’s not because I’m afraid of them! That’s bloody untrue! It’s just that such vile hunks of steel are simply too unrefined for a lady such as myself! I would have my taste in friends questioned if I’m ever seen around one!” When it was pointed out that Conqueror is a BB herself, Minotaur simply bursted into rounds of chuckles: “If there is genealogy for us ships, her genes would share a higher degree of similarity with cruisers’ than Moskva’s would with battleships’.” As of current, Minotaur is the only T10 light cruiser stationed at the naval base and on active duty. Her performance in past competitive events, such as the King of the Sea tournament, has earned her quite a share of spotlight. While the hottest news is that a second T10 light cruiser, Worcester, will soon be reporting to the naval base, many commanders are hotly discussing whether her debut would undermine Minotaur’s popularity. Some also suggest that Minotaur would finally have a companion among a rank of 5 other heavy cruisers. “How imprudent. Why would I be bothered by some mere newcomer? The pride of the Royal Navy will not be eclipsed by some inconsequential commoner! I could not care less about this ‘Wooster’.” She thus comments. However, reports have that Minotaur has been frequenting the HQ office to inquire on the new American vessels. She is apparently also voluntarily preparing a welcoming party. Her favorite food is cottage pie because of having received it as a thank-you gift from residents of a shoreside village she protected from air raids once. Her favorite tea is Ceylon, followed by Earl Grey and Darjeeling. She would have her afternoon tea at precisely 3PM, prepared with care by Belfast and Edinburgh. Her favorite song is Yellow Submarine by Beatles. Her cooking skills are agreed by other ships as being “undesirable”, but she does not acknowledge this herself. She has made Stargazing Pies for her peers before. Hakuryu, Yamato, and Hindenburg explicitly said that they would not even try one bite. Nonetheless, she begrudgingly acknowledges Henri IV’s cooking skills to be superior, and would often join the dinner table on nights where the French cruiser cooks for the dorm. Her self-proclaimed hobby is studying the plays of Shakespeare. In reality she can barely understand the original texts, but she simply cannot allow Zao to grab everyone’s attention with her graceful recitals of Haikus. Her most pondered question is not “to be or not to be”, but “to smoke or not to smoke.” Her less-known fact is that the horns on her head are actually detachable. She had once casually taken them off in front of Montana in the changing room. The surprised battleship was reported to have stood confused for an entire minute, attempting to process the scene she had just witnessed. And this is Minotaur – a prideful but diligent, fragile but brave cruiser who is carving out her own territory in the turbulent waters of T10. 9. Conclusion Well, at this point I really have nothing else to add. I think with my wall of text and in-depth analyses I already expressed how much I enjoy this ship, and that I’m glad to have reached the milestone. All I can say now is that if you haven’t yet picked up this ship, or you have been neglecting her, I hope that you will give her another chance, hopefully. She takes a lot of skills to master, and I can’t quite say I have her fully mastered myself, but I believe she is one of the most rewarding ships in the game to be able to sail in. Good sailing, everyone!
  11. Even since a certain reviewer posted his "Dunkerque - How To Deal With T8 MM" video, I've been itching to point out the flaws. The Dunkerque is one of Flamu's least played ships and least favorite ships, and it show by how he offers advice that can even be considered dangerous. So let's go through Flamu's lessons one by one and deconstruct his video. "So of course, it's low caliber guns, umm, the damage is lower as well. - This is no damage monster" The Dunkerque is tied with the Fuso in having the fastest firing Battleship guns at tier 6. The ship also sports so incredibly potent HE shells with tremendous muzzle velocity allowing long range targets to be hit with reliability (even broadside destroyers), and the all forward gun design and fast turret traverse ensures that the RPM will rarely be interrupted. The guns only have low damage when you ram the ship into an island and are unable to target any ships like Flamu does here. "A common mistake that many Dunkerque captains make is they think it is a Yamato, they think it is a North Carolina, they think it is a ship capable of parking nose-in duking it out. Now the Dunkerque can't even do this against tier 6s." "So your not going to be tanking anything in this thing" Not counting CVs, only 10% of ships in the tier 6 - 8 matchmaking have guns that can overmatch the bow armor on the Dunkerque, to say the ship can't bow tank is a gross miscalculation. Bow tanking is one of Dunkerque's greatest assets and Flamu here is needlessly throwing that asset away. In the replay provided below, you can see that in a Tier 8 match, out of the 5 enemy Battleships, only one had the guns large enough to overmatch my Dunkerque's bow. For Flamu to think that the ship can't even tank at tier 6 is beyond belief. Even against shells that can overmatch, going bow-on presents a far smaller profile that will ensure fewer shells will hit you, which is in essence providing protection. Other Battleships will have to show some broadside in order to utilize their full firepower against you, offering a larger target and exposing all of the fire hardpoints of their ship. Also cruisers and destroyers often will have their shells shatter against the bow at close range, which is still tanking. "You'll notice I was angled, trying to eat it [15" shells] on my broadside armor" Flamu's tactic here is dubious as he tries to present a larger target to his enemy (a Tirpitz in brawling range no less) and he ends up taking heavy damage for it. You want the shells to miss entirely so charging in against a top tier German Battleship and angling was an extremely poor tactical decision. Don't let the enemy play to their strengths, the Dunkerque has the speed to avoid these situations. "One of the key points of this is keeping on the move. - How do you play it? You keep on the move. You have to keep on the move" "One of my main lessons when playing the Dunkerque is never stop in the open. Being caught in the open and sitting still is a death sentence" This is one of the most questionable lessons that Flamu gives in his video. The Dunkerque is a very large target with a vulnerable broadside, moving forward when bottom tier is offering the enemy a juicy target. What you want to do in the Dunkerque is manage the enemy player's target priority. If your sitting at long range, and the enemy Battleship has numerous ships at closer range shooting at it, it's going to prioritize them over you because they are a greater threat and offer more dps to them. If your needlessly zipping around broadside at long-mid range, your going to present the enemy with a juicy DPS opportunity, and if you just charge in against tier 8 ships, your going to be outflanked and overpowered. The Dunkerque's speed and mobility is best used in the end game, when most other ships are dead. The Dunkerque is extremely dangerous against 90% of ships (in tier 6-8 MM) because they are incapable of overmatching her bow, which makes the ship one of the best carry Premium Battleships in the game and probably excellent practice for the Richelieu. "It's better to ram into an island at full speed" "Amusingly, one of the strengths of the ship, which is having all gun on the forward part of the ship, is actually a bit of a weakness." This sounds like intentional user error. "The secondaries have very awkward angles, you need to give far too much broadside to be able to efficiently use them. The secondaries in general are not recommendable" The Dunkerque has in effect, 2 Gearings strapped to the back of the ship with twelve 5" guns that can be used without the need to show any broadside. It has been the mistake of many DD captains to try and attack a Dunkerque from behind, thinking that is the blind spot. Note in my replay, that against the Loyang that attempted to attack me from behind, ended up sacrificing himself against my secondary guns in exchange for a single torpedo hit, my forward main battery was not needed. "If you have the lowest AP damage, umm the lowest AP alpha, all of these things also having the same reload as the other ships, really isn't that much fun." Flamu throughout his video complains about the Dunkerque AP shells several times, but he only ever uses those AP shells for 97% of the match. He never connects the dots that maybe he shouldn't use AP, and he never discusses the power of the Dunkerque's HE shells in the entire video and end up throwing away another of the ship's greatest assets with it's high fire %. Another problem with the Dunkerque's AP shell is that the tremendous muzzle velocity gives the shells the nasty habit of over-penetrating on fully broadside targets. Reliability in damage comes from the Dunkerque's HE shells, even against enemy cruisers. The AP shells require the enemy cruisers and even some battleships to angle in order for their armor to "catch" the AP shells, which means only using AP for select situations. "I do run concealment expert on this ship, and that ability to disengage is so-so important on this ship" Flamu yoloed right into the enemy and was never in a position for his concealment expert skill to help him disengage, so he effectively wasted 4 points on his captain. The Dunkerque strength comes from it's ability to maintain maximum RPM from it's main battery, which would be wasting another asset of the ship by trying to conceal this ship that can be spotted from the Andromeda Galaxy. (credit to Nozoupforyou for that analogy) By the 6:30 mark of his video, he's already 10km away from an enemy Battleship, concealment expert is worthless when yoloing. "The Scharnhorst, I play it very similarly" This is where the biggest error in his match, twice in his showcase battle, Flamu goes and brawls with 2 separate Tirpitz. One of which actually kills him after he tells his team "Don't die, and we win". I cannot stress enough that the Dunkerque is not a German Battleship, it does not brawl well with other German Battleships. Do not play to the enemies strengths. The Dunkerque high velocity shells enable it to effectively target ships at long range, so it becomes important when bottom tier to not charge at the top tier Battleships. This is how to play the Dunkerque in T8 MM. Flamu's advice is to always keep moving, that "being caught in the open and sitting still is a death sentence", but note how I do not stray far from my spawn point in the first 10 minutes of the match. I operate out in the open, but I keep a healthy distance away from the enemy to ensure I am never outflanked. Anyone whose played a RN BB knows that HE is best employed at mid-range, and that it's important to manage the distance between you and the enemy fleet. Even at bottom tier, I'm causing considerable damage by sitting back while also disrupting the enemies attempt to take the caps and setting fires. It's only at the halfway point, where the team if outnumbered 6:3 and the caps are in danger that I put the Dunkerque's speed to use. At this point, the enemy team no longer have any ships that can overmatch my bow, and thus the Dunkerque can play to it's own strengths and have unfair fights with the other ships, picking them off one by one and racking up the metals. That's my advice for T8 battles with the Dunkerque, wait it out, let the higher tier ships duke it out with each other until they've destroyed each other, then move in to wreak havoc. The Dunkerque is very strong against Destroyers and Cruisers at any tier, and will earn bonus points of sinking these higher tier ships, so you want to give yourself the best possible chance at taking them out. So don't go full potato and brawl with a bunch of Tirpitzs.
  12. So, obviously not my work but shared here with the OP's permission since I think it's useful information here.
  13. Hello. In recent months I've come to some realizations about WoWS and its development. During this time I played quite a lot of Yugumo, Shimakaze, Akizuki, and Kitakaze. I finished Kitakaze's grind to Harugumo with: 69 battles, 63.77% WR, 84.4k Avg Dmg, 1971 WTR, and top 50 on wows-numbers leaderboard (and apparently the max XP game for it). I will be covering two main topics: (1) How I played Kitakaze, and (2) how Kitakaze fits into the current WoWS meta. Maybe I should have split this into two different posts, but in my mind they were related, since I view Kitakaze as a good representation of an issue in the second section. (1) Kitakaze Gameplay Kitakaze is an extremely flexible destroyer with great concealment, good torpedoes, and outstanding guns. While an easy ship to play, the point of my playstyle is to not be content with good games but to strive for the best performance at all times. Caps: Plagued with mediocre maneuverability and no hydro she cannot easily win caps other than gunning enemy DDs off of it, while not quite claiming it herself since it is usually unsafe to do so. People these days have improved their aim on destroyers, and thus early-game knife-fighting is more team-dependent rather than the skill of each DD player involved. Early-game is especially dangerous because the fight has not yet evolved, usually meaning more concentrated fire on DDs. At the same time, if you’re going to avoid cap then at least have an alternative purpose. Time spent doing nothing is time spent losing. Enagaging - Knife-fighting: Outside of caps, however, the ship excels at engaging DDs. With 5.9km concealment and a little situational awareness, you can always (minus radar/CVs) choose your engagements. You will mostly spot other DDs beforehand, and the few DDs that have higher concealment will not have ample time to disengage. The key is situational awareness such that you are prepared and want to engage. A favorable exchange means you have dealt significantly more damage to them than them to you - equal or less damage is a poor exchange. This point is not universal, but Kitakaze is an excellent gunboat and therefore should excel at that. Do this by preparing all turrets on the side you expect to engage, by using AP as necessary, and by aiming well. I love knife-fighting, but these days you must be especially aware of who is behind the enemy DD. Again, the goal is a favorable exchange, so even if you're melting the poor DD, him and his teammates may be doing greater work upon you. Engaging - General engagement: You want to make use of your guns on BBs and even CAs as necessary. DDs are natural counters to BBs which “anchor” down positions for their team. I smoke in a position such that: (1) (ideally) can use hard cover as necessary to escape in case of torps/radar, (2) (ideally) includes a teammate that needs it (emphasis on "need" since a full HP BB in smoke without shots is literally useless), (2) not one single puff of smoke that is very telling of your position, (3) someone other than yourself is spotting the ship(s) you want to engage, and (4) you can engage at least two enemies. It's fine to damage farm one ship but, as I've learned from CVs, to excel you want to set fires on multiple ships. Mitigate danger with several puffs of smoke, propulsion mod, and not sitting full broadside in it. CAs are much tougher to engage, again because the exchange likely won't be favorable. In general, if it's safe to do so, engage them over BBs. However, engaging CAs as a DD is very situational and ship dependent and ultimately it is up to you to learn and decide. Don't spend all game gunboating from a distance. While it's certainly viable, save that for Harugumo. Kitakaze is too good in too many areas to not take advantage of. So, as necessary, do your part on the frontline with caps and knife-fighting. Torpedos: Double (with reload booster) sextuple JP torps are not to be ignored. The one and only downside is the reload; at least the reload booster is ready by the time the torps are. With this slow reload, use them wisely. The Build Upgrades: Main Armaments Mod 1 - pretty obvious, though to be honest I used to main Magazine Mod 1 and now own 900 det flags) Propulsion Mod 1 - None of the options are a big deal, but even with LS having propulsion knocked out is annoying Aiming System Mod 1 - you're a gunboat Propulsion Mod 2 - Knocks off a lot of time on accelerating, which is important if you sit in smoke. For steering, just remember it's only about a second difference there. Concealment System Mod 1 - I don't even know why there's other options since nobody in the game ever chooses anything else Main Battery Mod 3 – Fractions of a second but noticeable, and think of it as increased DPM. Skills: I have no 19-pt captains and never plan for it (even Shoukaku only 18.5 pts with 385 games). Kitakaze I started with 15 pts (Yamamoto simply for spamming red tracers) and worked to the below 16 pts. With 19 I’d opt for another T3 skill, probably DE. PT – situational awareness LS – crappy engine is better than no engine AR – more DPM BFT – more DPM; highly debatable tier, but: SE looks nice, but is realistically only a few shots difference, SI I personally wouldn’t make use of as I use consumables conservatively (and run prem), DE I feel sheer quantity of shells will suffice instead IFHE – feel the power of melting anything and everything CE – so obvious that it’s one of the big reasons I think WoWS ship builds are boringly static TLDR: Build and play towards her many strengths, always for better performance, not to try and mitigate weaknesses or personal shortcomings. (2) WoWS Meta Bluntly put, I believe this game is devolving as things become simpler (dumbed down). I finished Kitakaze's grind to Harugumo with: 69 battles, 63.77% WR, 84.4k Avg Dmg, 1971 WTR, and top 50 on wows-numbers leaderboard (and apparently the max XP game for it). Comparatively, I have Yugumo with: 126 battles, 63.49% WR, 65.4k Avg Dmg, and 2096 WTR. Playing Kitakaze and Yugumo, the difference between them is almost comical, and among other things brought me to question my enjoyment of this game. (1) Gunboat focus – It’s disappointing how easy and excellent Kitakaze is, versus my dear torpedo counterparts which are infinitely more fun yet difficult to play. The game has largely been reduced to either sheer shell spam, or fire spam, until the red bar melts to 0. It’s sad that torpedoes, as one of the two things I loved about WoWS over traditional shooters is relatively obsolete in the face of radar and sonar on so many ships now, compounded by spotter planes (insanely far in front of the source ship) and fighter planes (up for several mins), not to mention CV planes, torp distance detection, and ships changing course which should be the natural counters. While still nominally existent, they are not as very impactful on games as a whole. Try to play torp DDs and you’ll realize how team-dependent they are (towards winning). While Kitakaze can look at anything and begin melting it, Yugumo (especially Shimakaze) require patience and much more situational awareness, both into torpedo launching as well as positioning, due to them being more fragile (defenseless). (2) CVs – Truly the most tragic loss to me personally as a CV main, the second thing I loved about WoWS over traditional shooters. I think there’s enough discussion about the new style of gameplay that I need say no more. Regarding the rework itself, though, I am appalled that this is the solution. It makes me believe they simply, after several years of anticipation, decided to thrown in an immature, random, and drastic change simply for the sake of checking it off the list. It’s like it was labeled on the checklist as “fix CVs”, instead of what the class’s issues actually were. Another case of classic WG “solutions plagued with more problems.” I wonder if this rework’s true long-term goal was for people to lose interest in CVs, thus ending complaints about them, all while still being able to advertise them. (3) Static builds – clear choices such as everyone having concealment mod and skill, many basically useless skills, and class-only (CV) skills, all of which demote creative builds and dynamic gameplay. It’s pretty clear that certain skills were meant for select certain ships or classes. The skill tree needs a major rework with the end result being more dynamic gameplay, so rework it in a way such that there’s more than one viable build. The game is arcade-like as it is, so it’s fine to have ships being played slightly differently. For a while, I was torn between mainly spending my time on WoWS or WOT: ships is more balanced (less snowballing stomps) but relatively too simple and thus boring, while tanks is less balanced but more fun (shots instead of salvos and meaningful armor means more important bounces, instead of simply shooting a relatively predictable target until all HP is gone). For other personal reasons I now don’t play either (still might log on to keep my username :P). My brief run at War Thunder was much more enjoyable (though biased since that’s how a game always is when starting), though again for personal reasons I stopped that as well.
  14. ValkyrWarframe

    Valkyr's Ship Guides: Kronshtadt

    After another 200 or so battles in the Stronkshtadt Kronshtadt, I figured I might as well write a guide on her. Anyway, down to the guide. Listen to this while you're reading. Guide written as of: 0.7.7-0.7.8 Project 69 Heavy Cruiser Stronkshtadt Kronshtadt The Stalinium Cruiser Battleship Yes, you read that right, Kronshtadt is considered a heavy cruiser by Soviet standards. This might seem outrageous, but Soviet designs are very big for their armament. Time for a history lesson from a Russian perspective! Quick Summary Anyway, down to comparisons. Most Relatable Ships: Stalingrad Alaska Scharnhorst Resemblance: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique In terms of being unique, Kronshtadt is pretty high up. She’s only barely related to Stalingrad and otherwise just has a similar role to Stalingrad, Alaska and Scharnhorst as fast-firing cruiser killers. Think of playing Kronshtadt as a less aggressive Scharnhorst, more like a British battleship. You stay at range, shooting at people when the opportunities arise. Speaking of how to play, we should break down the skill requirements. For those of you who don’t know what these are, “skill floor” is the experience needed to play the ship. “Skill ceiling” is the max amount of effect you can have on a match. Skill Floor: Low / Low-Medium / Medium / Medium-High / High / Extreme Skill Ceiling: Low / Low-Medium / Medium / Medium-High / High / Extreme This ship is pretty easy to play. It doesn’t require much attention to detail, but taking advantage of opportunities in this ship can be extremely beneficial. With the amount of vision control one has with a spotter plane AND radar mounted simultaneously, you can bully cruisers around with your big guns, scare battleships off, and chase destroyers with radar. The only thing you can’t do anything against is carriers, trusting your comrades’ AA fire is how you’re gonna have to live. Equipping defensive fire is pretty meaningless, cause your AA mounts get knocked out fast, and your AA is still poor anyway. Strengths: Large HP pool beating Tier VIII battleships. Only cruiser that has more is comrade Stalingrad. Turrets are very well protected against cruisers 230mm belt and very low citadel makes her basically immune to cruiser AP citadels. 305mm guns have massive amount of penetration, equivalent to 406mm guns in some regards. Rate of fire is pretty good for such powerful guns. Turret arcs are insanely good, you can fire all your turrets while safely angled. Very high speed for a ship of such large size, extremely good engine response due to a very large engine output of 231,000 shp, only beaten by Hakuryu (240,000), and Stalingrad (280,000). Long range radar at 11.7 km, can drive away destroyers and British cruisers just with the fear factor, and is great for pushing caps. Very good turning radius and response for such a large ship. Concealment, when fully built, is 700 meters from your radar range, making it very possible to detect destroyers that wander into your spotting range. An easy tactic is to get spotted, wait a few seconds, then radar, and kite away. Has unrivaled vision control with the ability to mount Spotter Plane and Radar at the SAME time. Weaknesses Massive citadel rivaling the Soviet Union in length, has extended citadel hitboxes on the ends that can be overmatched. The entire ship outside of the 230mm main belt and turrets has no armor, making her susceptible to HE spam and AP overmatch. Do not bow-tank with her. Fires last 45 seconds instead of 30 seconds. Gun turrets eat a lot of penetrations from battleships, causing incapacitations. AP bounces if your target is angled even slightly. AP flies a bit too fast at times, it will overpenetrate most cruisers below 10 km if you aren’t going for underwater penetrations. You outturn your turrets with Main Battery Mod 3, even with Expert Marksman to help mitigate it. Dispersion ellipse is about as big as the Soviet Union, even with 2.05 sigma, the ship will sometimes completely miss battleships. The AA is about as effective as Stalin’s Five Year Plan on the Soviet Economy You will get citadeled by AP bombs and you will go to Gulag. Rudder shift time is sluggish, very slow compared to most cruisers. Radar lasts a measly 20 seconds, enough for you to, at most, get off 2 salvos at your target (this can be fixed to an extent with equipping Surveillance Radar Modification 1, making you guarantee 2 salvos usually). With how much AA is at T8-10, spotter planes will get destroyed pretty fast if you are using them too close. Long and Comprehensive Review Kitting Out Your Battlecruiser Long story short, I can tell you what to do, or you can ultimately decide what you want yourself based on what I’ve told you. I hope at this point you’ve come to realize several things. The ship’s AA is horrible, don’t even bother trying to improve it, sooner or later CVs would be a dead race. Getting close and then start kiting is how the ship should be played, building for concealment and survivability is a good thing, given that the ship has good survivability in the first place. The accuracy is bad, accuracy gets better when you are closer. I will recommend you the following upgrades (choices). Slot 1: Spotter Plane Modification 1, for extended spotter plane duration and extra spotting. If you cannot obtain it, take Main Armaments Modification 1 to make your turrets more survivable. Slot 2: Surveillance Radar Modification 1, for extending the 20 second radar duration. If you cannot obtain it, take Damage Control System Modification 1, to help reduce the chance of fire and floods. Slot 3: Aiming Systems Modification 1. It reduces the dispersion to help mitigate the bad accuracy, if only slightly. Slot 4: Either Damage Control System Modification 2 or Steering Gears Modification 2. The former will reduce your fire and flood duration, ultimately making the ship able to take more hits, while the latter allows you to evade a bit more comfortably. Slot 5: Concealment System Modification 1, no brainer here, concealment is king, especially when you want to get close to your radar range. Slot 6: Main Battery Modification 3, to help compensate for the long reload by putting more shots off per minute. Your traverse will take a hit, but it’s worth the reload reduction. And for the commander skills. First Skill (1 point): take Priority Target, as it will help you see who is shooting you at all times. Second Skill (3 points): take Adrenaline Rush, faster reload is always good. Third Skill (6 points): take Superintendent, for extra charges of spotter plane, radar, and heals. Fourth Skill (10 points): take Concealment Expert, as concealment is the key to playing this ship like a vision control machine. From there, you can choose a variety of skills. Expert Marksman is recommended because of the turrets sluggish traverse. Jack of All Trades is a good one too, for reduced consumable cooldown. Basics of Survivability is another good one, further reducing flood/fire durations. Fire Prevention can be taken too. All in all, this ship is very good for training a Soviet cruiser captain, at least for the core skills. From the 5th skill onwards you can specialize it to cruiser or battleship, but all you really need are the four skills specifically mentioned in bullets. Worth the Price? This is the biggest question people often ask about Free XP Premiums, are they worth it? If you want to start training a Soviet battleship captain, this ship is a very good basis. In terms of starting a Soviet cruiser captain, she’s quite good too. How are her economic gains? I personally would put her in between Missouri and Musashi. She’s a lot better at influencing a match than battleships are, so you’ll probably be earning more anyway. The biggest thing that I see with this ship in question is the fun factor. Is she fun to play? Well, if making lots of money and pretending to be a battleship as a cruiser is fun, I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy Kronshtadt. Kronshtadt dominates a cruiser-heavy meta, but suffers from a destroyer meta or when there’s a carrier in the match. I’d advise getting her now and enjoy her before the British Destroyer storm comes in. And that concludes my guide! I want to thank you for spending the time to read it, even if only part of it, or even if you didn’t, just clicking on the link. I want to especially thank everyone who helped me writing this guide, notably @Phoenix_jz for Alaska's info and @LittleWhiteMousefor teaching me how to calculate turn rate. Thank you all and have a great day! EDIT: Minor fixes and formatting errors, also added some pictures.
  15. Advice for new carrier captains (tiers 4&5) and apologies for the wall of text to follow. So... you finally unlocked a CV and want to be the next Captain Chtholly (https://na.wows-numbers.com/player/1027898162,ChthoIIy/ ). Well, here are some things you should know. Some would say the CV line is very broken. Very unbalanced at some tiers. And the learning curve when you get to tier 6 can be unforgiving. That's when the game gives you the opportunity to strafe with fighters and manually drop your bombs and torpedoes. And until you learn those skills you will be at a most definite disadvantage. But playing the tier 4s and 5s can be a lot of fun. Play them right and you can rack up the wins. Play them wrong and you will hear nothing but complaints from your teammates. CV's can carry a game, but just as easily lose it before it's even started. One is way more fun than the other. 1) Don't play a random battle until you've upgraded at least your fighters on the tech tree. If you don't, you'll be pwned like a wood cutting noob. So either use free XP or fight Co-op battles until you get them. 2) Buy the Air Group Modifications for your upgrades. They are inexpensive and will certainly give you the advantage over many who don't. 3) Captain skills should be Aircraft Servicing Expert, although Dogfighting Expert comes in handy for US CV's. And then Torpedo Acceleration. If you play them long enough to get 6 or 10 skill points then it's Torpedo Armament Expertise followed by Air Supremacy. 4) When the battle is loading, hover your mouse over the enemy ships to see what their AA level is. There are some ships, even at those lower tiers that will absolutely devastate your squadrons. Just avoid those ships until later in the game. 5) Your planes are on a Carrier, not an airport. Which means you can move around. Ideally you want to be in a place close enough to the action to get your planes back quickly, but far enough, not to be spotted. Also, don't forget to check how the battle is going and relocate as needed. 6) Unless you're directly under attack, your priorities should be BB, CA, DD, CV. And preferably a ship that's all alone or at least on the edge of a cluster of ships. That way you limit the amount of AA that will be brought to bare on your planes. 7) When dogfighting enemy fighters, try to engage them over your ships. It will give you the edge in what would otherwise be an even battle. 8) Watch your attack planes go in, if your target ship thinks it's your target, it will turn. Change your attack angle appropriately until you have the shot you want, otherwise it will be a wasted strike. Bombs line up straight as you can and torpedoes from the side. 9) Many DD's and CA's are very hard to torpedo if their captains are paying any attention because they have such great maneuverability, learn which ones are a waste of time to attack. Unless you're playing a IJN CV, they can come with 2 torpedo squadrons, in which case, learn to cross drop. Basically, you want them to attack at the same time, but at a 90 degree angle from each other. You don't have to worry about the angle of attack on the ship, just the timing and the angle to each other. 10) Don't use your fighters to escort your own planes. It's always a losing proposition in so many ways. If the target is that well protected, pick another one. Instead, use them to keep the other carriers planes away from yours and to spot enemy ships. 11) Yes Spot!... Spot spot spot. Especially enemy DD's. It's often worth it to use a returning DB squadron to just hover over an enemy DD that's causing your side grief until it's sunk. Your team will love you for that. 11) Don't attack ships that are about to die anyway just to get a kill. It's a waste of a strike and takes those planes out of the game for far too long while they return to rearm. But Do attack ships that have taken a lot of damage, even if they're on your avoid list as there's a pretty good chance their AA will be greatly degraded. Also, if you notice a ship has just put out a fire, go for a torpedo run. If you get a flood or two you will do tons of damage if not the kill. 12) If there are 2 CV's per side, coordinate your fighters to get air superiority. You can link your fighters to theirs or just follow manually. But as soon as they're engaged make sure you join in as fast as you can. Also, avoid the fighters that have a higher tier than yours one on one. Just press the alt key when they're on you tactical view to see what tier their planes are 13) And finally. As a tier 5 CV, you will occasionally be up against tier 6 CV's. If that's the case DO NOT link your fighters. They will get wiped every time your opponent tries to strafe your teammate. Keep your fighters close enough to your allies to help when he engages, and your strike squadrons far away. Tier 6 CV fighters can strafe for devastating results without dogfighting and can literally wipe out multiple squadrons at a time if they're in close proximity to each other.
  16. Hello everyone, before I start with this guide I would like to introduce myself. I come from the European server and my nickname is StorozhevoiGnevni, I am a member of RAIN, was part of the roster that won KoTS VI of the European edition in addition to the Grand finals against the CIS server and I mostly play DDs. In soon 2 full seasons of clan battles I gained a lot of experience in playing the T10 Pan-Asian DD Yueyang so I would like to share some tips and tricks of what I learned in those 2 seasons. Hope you all find it helpful and enjoyable! Why should you get the Yueyang? Very often I see people say "Yueyang is just a Gearing with different smoke and deep-water torpedoes." but I don't think that describes the Yueyang quite well. Yes, it is very similar to the Gearing and yes those are the 2 major differences, but those 2 differences already change it's playstyle from the Gearing. It also stands lower in the water so it makes it smaller and harder to hit. The torps have 13.5km of range and with only 0.8km detection they are your main source of damage (remember you can't hit DDs with them though), guns have 11.8km range which is 0.7km better than the Gearing, it might not sound a lot but often you will find it useful as 11.1km in T10 is fairly limiting. In comparison to the Gearing, the Yueyang eats less BB AP penetrations due to having a lower profile and because Gearing has a lower plate that can also cause to shatter DD HE shells. Yueyang also has the gunpower to deal with any other destroyer in a close range knife-fight, the way you should play those fights I will talk about later. Yueyang in Random battles There are multiple ways how you can play the Yueyang in random battles and for each you need a different build so here are some examples! Remember that before any damage farming, sitting in smokes your main job is to SPOT for your team, therefore if your team has no spotting on the enemy it is your job to leave the smoke and help them deal damage that way, sadly teamplay is not rewarded in this game as much as it should be. Your battleships and cruisers can always do more damage than you when they have the spotting so keep that in mind! Gun focused build: With a gun focused build your goal is to deal as much damage to BBs and knife-fighting DDs in close range. You would run smoke and with the captain skills I will link. Obviously it contains the reload module as well, but if you feel like that is not necessary feel free to switch to torpedo reload module. The playstyle relies heavily on sitting in smoke, hitting torps that cause a flood (even one is enough so you try to torp in a way you get guaranteed hits) and then set fires, or the other way around where you first try to force Damage Control System and then torpedo to get the permanent flooding. This tactic can be done with other builds too but in a less effective way due to missing Demolition Expert and higher reload on the guns. With the gun reload of 2.4 seconds you will have a huge DPM advantage over any other DD (unless it is the same built Yueyang or Gearing) that can make you victorious in fights where you have significantly less health. Use your gun power as much as possible, don't play selfishly and just play to deal damage, make sure to contest caps and kill DDs. Try to recognize when your friendly needs help with an enemy DD and try to kill the threat of your teammates. Remember that you aren't the only destroyer that is a threat to enemy ships, there are enemy destroyers that are a big threat to your team as well and you need to be there to help them out! Captain build: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/1100000000000011010010100000000119 Prefered modules: DD Hunter build: With a fairly similar build to the gun focused build you still want to maximize your gun reload and maximize your chances when fighting enemy destroyers, but with this build you want to slot radar to be able to counter their smoke or surprise them in the open. Your main source of damage will be torpedoes that will have quite slow reload, but if played correctly your average damage won't be sky high and you shouldn't bother with it. The win rate should be exceptional due to your influence on the game of killing destroyers and removing the threats of your teammates. Captain build: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/0100000000000011010010000000001119 Prefered modules: Torpedo focused: With a torpedo focused build in random battles you want to minimize the reload cycle of the torps and make sure that you send torpedoes every cooldown. With the excellent torpedo detection you have you can easily get devastating strikes on enemy battleships and cruisers. When you get a torpedo hit that causes flooding to an enemy battleships try to signalize your team to focus that ship as they most likely used their damage control. Getting permanent fires on them will kill them fairly quickly and help your team win! The more you play the ship or any destroyer for that fact will help you master your torpedo game. Try to predict enemy movements if you can, securing one hit is already very useful for your team! Even though you are focused around torpedoes don't forget to hunt DDs, I recommend radar for this build (even though smoke is as viable, it really is your choice) so don't forget to influence the game by doing what a destroyer such as Yueyang should do, spot for your team, try to kill enemy destroyers, your gun power is still better than what Shimakaze, Grozovoi, Z-52 can ever get, as well as equal to Gearing. The destroyer you certainly don't want to fight is a Khabarovsk but that is a rule for every other destroyer too. Captain build: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/0100000000000011011000000000001119 Prefered modules: To sum it up whatever build you are using in random games you must understand you are a destroyer before anything else. The value of spotting for your team is something that is so underestimated among the average players but is so useful for your team and can easily be a game winning factor. You also need to give your best in capping, contesting capture points, positioning yourself between an enemy DD and your battleship so you can spot the torpedoes. Sometimes you will get matchmaking with a carrier in it that will spot your torpedoes or keep you powerless by spotting you or even killing you and you can't do much about it. Those games don't happen always and it is luck based. Go over it and hope for better the next game. Lot of players complain about radar but there is very much a way to deal with it, use island cover to your advantage, practice your dodging and don't put yourself into unnecessary risks in the early game. You have great maneuverability. The longer you survive in a game the longer you can influence the game so save those risky moves for when you have to do it. Yueyang in Clan battles Yueyang is the most popular destroyer in Clan battles and there is a simple reason for it; it is the only T10 destroyer that can slot radar. And other than radar it is an excellent hybrid, something every clan would want. A mix of great guns, great torps, radar, very good concealment, great maneuverability is what in my opinion makes it so strong. There are 3 viable Yueyang builds that all differ in one T3 skill. Which one you take is your own preference, I personally run Torpedo Armament Expertise as I don't find Super Intendent useful at all, I never find myself in need of using over 3 radars in a clan battle game. The other one focuses on maximizing gun power when engaging enemy DD-taking BFT and Reload module over TAE and Torpedo Reload module. If you find yourself often fighting enemy DD then I would call it worth it, but most of the times you rely on your dodging and the support of your teammates to deal damage, if you can dodge better than the enemy DD you will win the trade. Probably the most important factor when playing DD in CBs is spotting; invest time in learning detection ranges of T10 ships and radar ranges. There are 2 ships that you as a destroyer player need to be extremely careful of; Worcester and Minotaur. Why are they so dangerous for you? Because their detection range is lower than their radar range meaning when they get spotted they will instantly radar you. You will probably eat damage when that happens regardless of your position, but if you get caught nose in towards it you will need to turn away to disengage meaning you will get closer to him as well as him to you making you unable to leave his radar range-long story short you are most likely dead or lucky to survive. Therefore when you see one of those ships in an enemy lineup make sure to turn before you can possibly spot him and be ready to run away and dodge. You want to reverse spot him and when in that position you are already unpredictable when they need to aim. Next thing you must learn is to prioritize the shells you want to dodge. Zao shells will over be more dangerous than Worcester or Minotaur shells, BB shells will always be the most dangerous out of all. Watch when they shoot, don't try to dodge before they even shoot because just wiggling won't save you from eating their shells. There are many ways of throwing off the aim even of the shells as fast as Zao's. Dropping your speed completely and turning in a direction most likely will always work for a salvo or two, turning once when he shoots and then turning back as the shells come closer will make you dodge the shells. The more you dodge, better you will get at judgement of the shells and how to dodge them. As a destroyer in Clan battles you usually have a lot of time to think, therefore you must be a step ahead of your caller/commander, destroyer is also a good class for being a caller yourself for the same reason. Look at the minimap, try to see the potential plays you could do that would help your team. Your commander can't react at the perfect time for everyone to tell you what to do and it can be too late. Timing in this game is everything and doing something 20 seconds before you get called to do so can be a win/loss difference. Your every move must be well thought, the time you can see the move and how well you can do it differs the top from good, but if you are already thinking that way, hey you are already good at what your team needs. Becoming a consistent DD player in CBs takes time, it is a learning process and you will make mistakes on that journey, but make sure you learn from those and correct them the next time you get a similar scenario. You should try to always have an impact on the game, even though it is often not so easy, try to be a force on the map and don't sit in the backline unless you get said otherwise (there are scenarios where you simply can't help with anything and forcing yourself in the front line can get you in risk of getting killed, try to recognize those). Three captain builds: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/0100000000000011011000000000001119 http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/0100000000000011010010000000001119 http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/0100000000000011010001000000001119 Prefered modules: Regarding the smoke Yueyang it is used mostly in a very specific tactic that runs around it such as aggressive flank pushes with stealthy cruisers and the ability to dish out smokes fairly consistently with a lot of charges. Since the cooldown nerf I don't think it is worth for anything else, if you want to smoke up your cruisers in a defensive position I would take a Gearing. Important to remember: -You are the eyes of your team, learn the detection ranges of T10 ships -Be careful when facing a Minotaur or a Worcester -Prioritize the shells you want to dodge, some are more dangerous than the other -Be unpredictable with your dodging, don't dodge when shells aren't even fired -Think for yourself, try to be ahead of your caller and make well thought plays -Timing is everything -Becoming a great consistent DD player is a learning process, make sure to correct your mistakes and learn -Know when to shoot, engage the enemy destroyer and when to run Tips and Tricks Putting yourself in a favourable position in a gun fight: When fighting enemy DDs you must be aware that once you are nose in to him it is basically impossible to disengage before you kill him or you are forced to use your smoke, not every fight is a 1v1, being nose in makes you predictable and easier to hit so if you expect an enemy DD try to put yourself in a kiting position, that doesn't necessarily mean kiting from the start, but if you need to bail you will most likely survive easily plus if there are torps coming there is 90% of the time plenty of time to make a perfect dodge. This is a rule I would apply to every single destroyer in the game. Cap contesting: When contesting a cap both in randoms and especially in clan battles you can expect to be radared, torpedoed or rushed. It is incredibly important to have safety exit route, once again nose in means mostly death so you want to be in a reversing position towards the cap (stern towards the enemy). If the cap is contested and you want to challenge an enemy DD to a fight simply reverse towards the middle of the cap or until you spot him and you should already be in a favourable position. When capping don't leave the cap until you are reset, don't be so scared of radar because you can still pull of the cap for your team and that is where your judgement comes into play. Often in clan battles you will have a ship shooting at you with 5 seconds left on taking the cap, watch when he shoots and if you think shells might be going in front or exactly at the middle of your ship, try reversing in more to the cap as it will always be enough to secure the cap. Most of the time reversing in is something a BB player won't expect and he will miss but don't be overconfident, as it can be a double-edged sword if you misjudge the shells! Always have confidence in your moves, if something doesn't work you will have more experience for the next game. Hope everyone found this guide helpful, feel free to ask questions and please tell me if it really is useful. There would be nothing nicer to hear than that this helps people and that there is improvement! Good luck on the high seas and be smart! [RAIN]StorozhevoiGnevni
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