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  1. 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. 8. 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!
  2. Olá a todos, bem vindos ao guia geral de contratorpedeiros! Como base vou tomar o jogo em seu estado atual (0.7.4.1), e atualizando a medida que as coisas forem evoluindo. Objetivo deste guia é mostrar os papeis mais gerais e builds específicas para DDs, dividindo eles de acordo com sua funcionalidade, mostrando builds recomendadas de capitão e oferecer exemplos de navios que desempenham certos papeis. O Básico sobre Contratorpedeiros (DD): No geral, DDs são uma classe de navios que possui um ocultamento excelente* e possui em seu arsenal torpedos, velocidade* e manobrabilidade*. Você deve ter notado os asteriscos, toda vez que colocar eles quer dizer que há exceções a regra, mas não se preocupe ainda. DDs são scouts*, com capacidades de detectar navios, contestar caps, combater DDs inimigos e lançar ataques ocultos contra navios capitais (Encouraçados, Porta-Aviões, etc). Esses são papeis básicos de todo o DD, e no geral seguir essas regras vai ajudar e muito a sua equipe assim como a você melhorar sua jogabilidade. Nem todos os DDs nascem iguais... Então, eu tinha dito dos asteriscos, certo? Pois é, nem todos os DDs são iguais em sua jogabilidade, e alguns jogam de forma tão distinta que os torna muito diferentes dos demais. Para ajudar o entendimento e evitar que tenhamos que falar de todos os DDs do jogo e suas características em detalhes, podemos classificar eles de acordo com seus traços gerais e como fazer melhor uso das características de cada navio dentro de sua build. Apresentando o gráfico. Para ajudar o entendimento, elaborei este gráfico simples que divide em dois eixos: tipo de armamento mais eficiente e distância ideal de combate. A ideia dele é trazer uma ideia geral de onde DDs em geral acabam por cair e ajudar a explicar a diferenças nas builds de cada navio. "Livnick, isso quer dizer que meu DD só pode cumprir este papel?" Minha reposta para isso seria "não". No geral, os exemplos que darei são de DDs melhor adaptados para certas tarefas, mas isso não significa que sejam incapazes de fazer qualquer outra coisa. Leitura de jogo e posicionamento são fundamentais para o sucesso de um DD, e se isso quer dizer que você vê uma oportunidade de virar uma cap com seu Khabarovsk, faça isso. Bem simples, não é? Agora vamos colocar os DDs de acordo com suas características dentro do gráfico. Contestadores de Cap (Cappers): Ainda que o papel geral de um DD seja tomar controle de um objetivo, existem aqueles que são melhor equipados para esta tarefa do que outros. No geral são DDs que possui a vantagem em combates em curta distância e tem a artilharia para enfrentar qualquer DD que tente contestar o ponto de captura. As vezes eles possuem consumíveis (hidroacustica ou radar) que trazem uma vantagem sobre o oponente o que os torna mais eficazes em virar caps para sua equipe. Exemplos: Z-52, Lo Yang, Z-39, Black, Akizuki. Ao jogar com um deles exerça o controle da cap e use suas ferramentas para afastar qualquer tentativa de contestação de cap por parte de DDs da equipe adversária. Build Genérica Torpedeiros (Torpedo-Boats): São DDs com excelente ocultamento e letal armamento de torpedos, geralmente com alcance e recarga decentes, capazes de danificar ou forçar reparo em Battleships ou mesmo sem acertar algum torpedo forçarem o adversário a se reposicionar, favorecendo sua equipe. São comumente vistos como DDs negadores de espaço, por conta do volume de torpedos que podem ser lançados em um curto espaço de tempo em certas áreas do mapa. Exemplos: Shimakaze, Shiratsuyu, Asashio, Yugumo. Ao jogar com estes navios, use de seu ocultamento para se posicionar em locais vantajosos para você e sua equipe (canto do mapa não é local vantajoso), detecte navios inimigos, leia a equipe inimiga e reconheça quando eles começarem a avançar em um corredor e encha a posição de torpedos. Depois disso espere e veja seu indicador de hits de torpedo e seu indicador de dano causado aumentando :) Build Genérica Contratorpedeiros Artilheiros (Artillery DDs): São Contratorpedeiros com excelentes canhões, balística de longa distância e velocidade, enquanto abre mão de seu ocultamento e torpedos. São aqueles muitas vezes vistos como os mais egoístas, mas para ser justo eles cumprem um papel importante. Geralmente ficam nos flancos, constantemente disparando em mar aberto e causando incêndios com seu armamento PE (HE). Com isso, eles acabam atraindo para si muito fogo inimigo, e permite que sua equipe possa concentrar fogo no oponente sem se preocupar tanto com fogo de retorno. São DDs que "farmam" medalhas como "Secador" , "Calibre Grosso" e "Confederado", ainda que não contribuam tanto para capturar objetivos. Exemplos: Khabarovsk, Udaloi, Tashkent, Minsk, Kiev. Ao jogar com eles, seu objetivo é causar a maior quantidade de dano possível em battleships, enquanto mantendo distância. Geralmente não são navios que gostam de combates de curta distância e por isso o ideal é evitar combates assim fazendo o famoso "kitting". Build Genérica Contratorpedeiros de Suporte (Support DDs): São contratorpedeiros que jogam em sinergia com a equipe, e oferecem grande ajuda quando combinados com outros DDs. Eles apoiam DDs ao tomar objetivos, usando fumaça e até mesmo com Fogo AA para ajudar a combater ataques aéreos. São DDs que acrescentam muito valor em divisões e não é a toa que são comumente usados por equipes competitivas de World of Warships. Exemplos: Benson, Gearing Mahan, Fletcher, Kidd. Ao jogar com eles, busque ser o jogador que apoia seus teammates. Apoie DDs ao tomar objetivos, use Fumaça para ocultar seus cruzadores. Por geralmente serem navios bem versáteis, enquanto você espera a próxima fumaça, recarregar, detecte oponentes, lance ataques de torpedos, ataque e defenda caps. Build Genérica Build anti-aérea Contratorpedeiros Híbridos (Hybrid DDs): Aqui vale uma nota para contratorpedeiros híbridos, capazes de transitar entre duas categorias, dependendo da build e situação da batalha. São navios que nas mãos corretas podem cumprir essas funções sem muitos problemas. É o famoso "pau para toda obra", bom em quase tudo mas sem ser especialista de nada. Exemplos: Leningrad, Grozovoi. Ao jogar com eles, valorize sua versatilidade e cumpra as funções que sua equipe mais necessita naquele momento. Adapte seus planos de acordo com a batalha e mantenha em mente quais suas prioridades em cada momento. Build Genérica Mas os torpedos Deep-Water? DDs Pan Asiárticos vieram trazendo diversidade ao jogo com um estilo diferente de jogabilidade. Suas fumaças são mais voltadas para uso individual e os torpedos DW são o pesadelo de cruzadores e BBs, mas não para DDs. Por este motivo, tenha em mente que você tem essa desvantagem em um duelo DD x DD. Se use de kitting e evite duelos que te deixem vulnerável a ser atingido por torpedos, já que você não pode torpedear de volta. Como fica o gráfico? No gráfico estarão ao menos 1 representante de cada classe para que você tenha uma melhor ideia de como cada DD costuma se portar em batalha. Bem, espero que o guia ajude a entender melhor o papel e variações de contratorpedeiros dentro de World of Warships. Este guia não é definitivo, pois ainda há elementos que não foram levados mencionados, mas espero que sirvam como linha geral para ajudar a entender melhor como treinar seu capitão de acordo com o navio e estilo de jogo que você quer, assim como ajudar aqueles que desejam subir uma linha mas não sabem bem como jogar com os navios da linha. Obrigado pela leitura, e tenha um ótimo dia!
  3. Dummies Guide to the USS Sims United States Premium Destroyer I've had Sims for a while now. I'm doing this guide at the behest of a clanmate of mine, bolstered by all of the questions about the USS Sims on the US DD thread in general. I've personally always enjoyed the Sims. If you play it correctly, it can be a fun and even decent ship. However, I would argue that it will never be a good ship. Here's why. (As always, stats are provided below) - Stats - All stats provided are base without captain skills HP: 13800 Main Batteries: 4x1 127mm Main Battery Firing Range: 12.9km Maximum HE Shell Damage: 1800 Fire Chance per Shell: 5% Maximum AP Shell Damage: 2100 Main Battery Reload: 3.3 seconds Main Battery 180 Degree Rotation Time: 5.3 seconds Maximum Dispersion: 112m HE Shell Initial Velocity: 792m/s AP Shell Initial Velocity: 792m/s Sigma Value: 2.0 Torpedo Tubes: 2x4 533mm Maximum Torpedo Damage: Mk15 Mod. 0 - 11600, Mk7 Mod. 2B - 8500 Torpedo Range: Mk15 Mod. 0 - 5.5km, Mk7 Mod. 2B - 9.2km Torpedo Speed: Mk15 Mod. 0 - 65kt, Mk7 Mod. 2B - 49kt Torpedo Reload: Mk15 Mod. 0 - 87 seconds, Mk7 Mod. 2B - 72 seconds Torpedo Tube 180 Degree Rotation Time: 7.2 seconds Maximum Ship Speed: 40.4kt Turning Circle Radius: 500m Rudder Shift Time: 2.1 seconds Surface Detection: 7.3km Air Detection: 3.7km Detection Firing from Smoke: 3.3km Consumables: Damage Control Party | Smoke Generator | Engine Boost/Defensive AA Fire - Guns - The main batteries are pretty typical USN DD guns. Same damage, same shell velocity, same arcs, yadda-yadda-yadda, etc. The gun layout is basically a Benson minus 1 gun. Or if you're newer to the game, it's the exact same setup as the Hsienyang, the T8 Pan-Asian DD. Reload and DPS output are excellent. Your smoke lasts about as long as a typical university lecture on how paint dries, so be sure to use that to your advantage. Islands are also your friend, as your gun arcs are wicked high. Smoke is great, but always remember: In USN DDs, HE reigns supreme. Use AP only in extreme circumstances at incredibly close ranges and only on lightly armored targets like broadside DDs and British CLs. But for the most part avoid AP. DD Gun fights are also easy to handle in most cases thanks to the main battery turrets turning faster than a hamster wheel. Keep in mind that it's much easier to win DD fights in Sims when you close the distance. Stay outside of torpedo range but stay close enough that it doesn't take your shells 87 years to reach the target. - Torpedoes - So let me start with this before we go any further: These torps are BAD. Very bad. The only redeeming feature is one torpedo option that can stealth torp. They do practically no damage, the reload's nothing to write home about, and the speed, oh god the speed. Or realistically, the lack there of. See, you have 2 options for torpedoes on the Sims. Sounds great right? Wrong. One option is the awful short-range situational shotgun torps you've been dealing with all the way up to T7 in USN DDs and have been trying to get away from the whole time. The second option is a set of torps that go 9.2km. The only issue is that they go 49kts. 49kts. What are these? Aerial torps? They might as well be, because they also do 8500 damage. Yaaaaaaaaaay. Now, these are possible to use. Just keep in mind that they're out performed by Duca torps in pretty much every way. Let that set it in. - AA - Now, having explained both the guns and torpedoes, I will explain in this section why the Sims will technically never be the best choice. Because AA is your best choice. Can you run a gun boat build? Sure, but you won't out gun an actual dedicated gun boat. Can you do a torp build? Uh... don't. The point is, this thing's AA is HELLA STRONG. Build up that AA, slap that DF consumable on with the might of Zeus, and div up with you friend's favorite T7 CV because it's time to go plane hunting. The AA spec Sims was the Kidd before there was a Kidd. CVs, Kaga in particular due to it's low plane HP, hated this thing with a burning passion. Most still do. Make no mistake this is the best, nay, the only way to play the Sims. Now go my friends. Go and slaughter the enemy aircraft. Watch them all fall from the sky while the enemy CV goes off in chat about how broken DD AA is. And then laugh. Laugh because it's hilarious. - Captain Skill Builds - Gun Build: Meme AA Builds (Extremely Viable): - Conclusion - Thanks for reading my Sims guide for dummies! I hope you liked it. These will become more normal as I'm thoroughly enjoying making them. Look forward to more in the future! Please feel free to leave any feedback below.
  4. Scharnhorst replay with commentary

    Feedback please. Much love ;D
  5. DD Manifesto

    Destroyers, or the DDs, have a set of very specific tasks during each phase of a match. A match is separated into three parts, the beginning, the mid game, and the late game. Depending on the phase, a destroyer player must perform certain tasks. 1. Beginning Destroyers must utilize their camo values to advance as far as safely possible and spot the enemies. This allows other players on the DD's team to make informed decisions on their position. This also helps the DD to contest objectives effectively. A DD without LoS to the enemy is a useless DD in this phase. 2. Mid Game Destroyers in this phase takes on the role of area denial. Staying alive is the priority. By simply staying alive, and optimally undetected, a DD can zone out the entire enemy team from key areas of the map. In this phase, a DD should also position itself for effective torpedo salvos. Since torpedo reload is extremely long, staying alive increases the chance a DD can use its torpedo armament, thus, maximizing its impact on the match. This is also the phase where the DD has to decide if the smoke is used on the team, or itself. 3. Late Game Point elimination is the word in this phase. Enemy team should be scattered and BBs should already been separated from their escort cruisers and destroyers. This is the phase damage can be easily farmed by single out a BB, for example, and torp it to death. Because torpedoes, the great equalizer, have potential to sink any ship in a single salvo, DDs should select their targets carefully for point elimination. Sacrificing themselves in suicide runs, if needed. The general idea behind the flow of matches for any DD is to stay alive, stay in LoS of the enemies and spotting them, and to eliminate vulnerable targets. Decisiveness is required for any DDs, but overly aggressive at the beginning is never the optimal way to win.
  6. The following catastrophe is what happens when an average player tries to make a guide. Take everything I say with a grain of salt. Right, Mutsuki. A ship almost universally derided (and rightfully so) as one of the worst ships in the game. Yet somehow... She became my most played ship. So, 150 battles later, I'm writing a guide for the new player who has to slog through this ship like so many others have before. Super Quick Condensed History: The twelve Mutsuki-class destroyers were built from 1924 to 1927. They were an improved version of the previous Kamikaze-class destroyers, introducing triple 24" torpedo tubes. All twelve ships were named for traditional poetic names of the months of the year of the Lunar Calendar. Throughout World War II, the ships received different modifications, such as the loss of one or two guns and torpedo mounts, providing more deck space for cargo and AA, facilitating their role in "Tokyo Express" transport missions. None of the ships survived World War II. Survivability: 9 500 (stock) 11 300 (upgraded) hitpoints Upgraded, Mutsuki has 11 300 hitpoints. This is far on the low side for a tier 5 destroyer, only more than Minekaze and Kamikaze (+clones), and equal with T-22. Speed and Maneuverability: Maximum speed: 37.5 knots Turning circle: 550m Rudder shift: (3.2 stock/2.1 B-hull) For a tier 5 destroyer, you're middle of the pack. You're half a knot faster than Nicholas, Gremyaschy, Jianwei, and you're quite a bit faster than T-22. You're slower than Minekaze, Kamikaze, and far slower than Podvoisky. As for maneuverability, you're equal to Minekaze and better than all the other tier 5 destroyers. Realistically, you're second among the tier fives because Minekaze's higher top speed means that Minekaze will be able to complete her turn quicker than Mutsuki. Gun Armament: 2x1 120mm/45 3rd Year Type (stock) 2x1 120mm/45 3rd Year Type Fancy Mount (upgraded) Range: 8.1km (stock) 8.9 km (upgraded) Your gun armament is pathetic. That's the only way to describe your guns. Stock, Mutsuki has weaker gun power than Isokaze a tier lower, with the same fire rate (12 seconds), more AP alpha (2000 vs 1800), and a higher shell velocity (825m vs 660m), but only half the gun mounts and a slower turret traverse. You would struggle to best a tier 1 in a gunfight. You can't keep your guns on target during a turn. Simply put, your stock guns are useless. Luckily, there's hope! You can upgrade your 120mm/45 3rd Year Type guns to... 120mm/45 3rd Year Type guns. "What's the difference", I hear you ask. Well, the guns are now mounted in large late-war mounts. Your gun power, in my opinion, now better than Minekaze and Kamikaze. Better, however, doesn't mean good, or passable. Your gun power is still bad. It's just less bad now. Your rate of fire more than doubles, from 12 seconds to a brilliant (for an IJN DD anyway) 5.5 seconds. This is the third fastest out of any Japanese destroyer, only behind Akizuki and Harekaze, although Yugumo and Shimakaze can still attain a higher rate of fire after upgrades due to the high tier reload modification. Your turret traverse increases as well, from 25 seconds to 18 seconds. This is now enough to keep your guns on target even during a close range knife fight, and faster than almost any other Japanese destroyer. The guns are slightly more accurate now as well, from 82m to 76m maximum dispersion. These guns, individually, don't look half bad, don't they? So, what's the problem? Well, you still only have a grand total of two guns. Mutsuki has the dishonour of having the fewest number of guns on any ship in the game other than aircraft carriers. They also have meh gun arcs forward but pretty good arcs to the rear. Discounting a low health destroyer, the only ships at your tier you can hope to defeat barring a lucky torpedo strike will be: Minekaze and Kamikaze: very poor turret traverse means that you can defeat them in a knife fight with your superior turret traverse. Watch out for torpedoes, especially Minekaze's fast loading fish. Podvoisky and Gremyaschy: poor turret traverse that cannot keep up with quick maneuvers means that you can defeat them in a knife fight with your superior turret traverse. Watch for high alpha potential of 130mm guns and torpedoes. T-22: pitiful gun power due to weak 105mm guns and German HE. Watch for high rate of fire and torpedoes. Against Nicholas or Jianwei you may as well not even try. The best choice when up against another full health destroyer will almost always be to pop smoke and run away. Torpedo Armament: 2x3 Type 8 mod. 3 torpedoes Right, we're getting into the meat of the matter. These torpedoes will form the bulk of your damage numbers. They have 8km of range and a 73 second reload. They offer 14 600 damage and make their way towards victims targets at a reasonably quick speed of 63 knots. Pretty good, eh? These torps starting to make you wonder why this ship is so hated? Well, here's why. First off, you have two triple mounts, rather than three twin mounts like Minekaze or Kamikaze. This means that they have a longer reload than twin mounts. Also, there will be larger gaps between torpedoes when you launch. You also have less freedom with torpedo usage. In Isokaze or Minekaze, you can launch four torpedoes and keep two for emergencies, or use them to cover more ground. You can't do that as effectively with Mutsuki. This is the first Japanese destroyer torpedo to be hit with the longer detection ranges common among Japanese ships, with 1.6km surface detection as compared to 1.4km surface detection or lower compared to other tier 5 destroyers. Anti-aircraft Armament: 6x2 25mm: 30dps @ 3.1km (stock) 4x1 25mm, 6x3 25mm, 2x1 120mm: 44 dps @ 3.1km 6 dps @ 5 km -- 50dps total (upgraded) You know, there is a reason two of Mutsuki's main guns were removed. That reason is to cram as much AA as possible on the ship. For a tier 5 destroyer, your AA isn't half bad. This is one dps better than Nicholas, and while Nicholas gets defensive fire, you can bring all your DPS to bear at a longer range than Nicholas can. Only T-22 has more raw DPS. Your upgraded guns are dual purpose, which was why they gained all that traverse and fire rate. One slight problem, though. Your 120mm guns reach out to 5km. Your air detection range is 3.1km. This means that you will need to turn your AA off (press P to turn AA on and off) to keep stealth until aircraft come within AA range, where you can let loose and watch planes fall (slowly perhaps, but they will, which is already better than a lot of other destroyers). These four 25mm triple mounts replace two of your 120mm guns Concealment: 6.2km surface detection 3.1km air detection 2.2 smoke firing detection You are really stealthy. Really, really stealthy. You can creep undetected to fantastic positions to launch torpedoes at the edge of stealth. You can keep other destroyers lit while staying in stealth yourself. When fully rigged for stealth with concealment expert and camo, you will have 5.4km surface detection and 2.8km air detection. You are stealthier than all except for Minekaze and Kamikaze, which match your detection. This will give you enough stealth to contest caps because you will be able to spot destroyers entering it to give you enough time to run away (except for Minekaze+Kamikaze, but let's be honest, they're not going to want to gunfight anymore than you do). Make sure to equip camo, any camo that offers a concealment boost. Captain Loadout and Upgrades (First 10 points): For one point skills, I recommend Priority Target, so you know how many players want you at the bottom of the ocean. For a second point skill, I recommend Last Stand, basically a standard skill for destroyers, because of how easily your rudder and engines are knocked out. Torpedo Armament Expertise to reduce your torpedo reload to 65.7 seconds is probably the best skill for three points, because at tier 5 it's unlikely that the extra consumables offered by Superintendent will be put in use often. Survivability Expert probably isn't needed because that's more needed to survive gunfights, something you should do your best to avoid. For four points. Concealment Expert is a no brainer. For your first upgrade slot, I recommend Main Armaments Mod. 1 to make your torpedo mounts more durable. For your second slot, Propulsion Modification 1 because while you are still reasonably maneuverable with Last Stand and a damaged rudder, you will take a rather big hit in speed. Aiming Systems Modification is the only real choice for slot three, unless you want to set up an AA troll build. Signal Flags: Sierra Mike to boost your speed to 39.4 knots Juliet Charlie flags to remove the chance of detonation Juliet Whisky Unaone to improve your flooding chances November Foxtrot to improve your consumable reload time November Echo Setteseven if you really want to be an AA troll that badly Conclusion: Mutsuki is a ship that will teach you to not pick fights with other ships unless you're sure you can win and to stealth torp (if you don't already know that's launching torpedoes from outside your detection range. Turn on the detection rings on the minimap). The guns are individually fine but are handicapped by having only two guns and poor forward firing arcs. The torpedoes have large detection ranges but otherwise aren't bad. Your AA is decent enough and might keep a low tier aircraft carrier off you but don't expect to be some AA escort. You are stealthy and reasonably fast, and you should use that to keep out of trouble. I actually rather like Mutsuki, oddly enough. I guess she just clicks with me or something. Good luck with this ship, and may your grind be quick! Kancolle Pic to trigger people
  7. Hey all. I have started to put together some guide videos on how to improve. Hopefully the community will enjoy them and they help out in anyway. The first one is "What to shoot and When", a look at ammunition choices at a given target. To be honest, the audio quality isn't great due to some major hardware issues, but these have since been corrected. I would remake this video, but unfortunately the raw footage was lost to me. The Second in the series is "Map Awareness", taking a look at how to use what the mini map shows you to your advantage. All hardware issues were resolved with this one so I'm hoping its up to scratch. Part 3. How to (Ab)Use Terrain to Your Advantage. Those bits of land in your way, what use are they to you? This vid will hopefully help you to use, and abuse the terrain to help you stay alive and sink red ships. I will be adding more to this series as i make them. Hope you enjoy, and feel free to leave any comments. Vossie
  8. The overmatch mechanic in the game is not something that new or even more seasoned players often think about or even know about when they are in game. It is the first 'check' that is made when you shoot at another ship (or they shoot at you) to determine whether or not your shells will penetrate. That's why it's actually good to know about and consider when positioning your ship for a head to head battle. Overmatch is the term that is used to describe the relative ratio of a shells caliber to the armor it will come into contact with. That ratio is 14.3:1. That means, if the shell is 14.3 or more times greater than the thickness of the armor, regardless of angle, it will penetrate. For low tier ships this is not too important to know about as the bow-in game play is not as relevant due to inexperience and armor tends to be so thin, most cruisers can overmatch other cruisers. At mid to high tiers, however, (tier 5+) players start to learn the advantages of being bow in from more experienced players on their team. This is also where there are far more distinct lines between ship armor thickness and gun caliber. Most cruisers after tier 5 have bow armor that exceeds 13mm, meaning that with few exceptions only battleships can overmatch their bows and not other cruisers as most cruisers between tier 5-7 are boasting 152mm guns; 13mm is overmatched by 186+mm guns. As you progress down the cruiser lines your bow armor will get thicker, usually from 13mm to 16mm and typically topping out at 25mm at tier 8. Battleships on the other hand, have bow armor at about 19mm at tier 5 and typically top out at 32mm at tier 8. Of course there are exceptions to this, such as the German BB's who tend to have this thickest bow armor with plating. The thickest is actually the tier 5 Konig with 150mm plating on its bow. Though there are areas of the bow with 19mm, the majority of the bow, specifically providing cover for the citadel, is 150mm. This means that a tier 5 battleship can actually bow tank every ship in the game under most scenarios. Further, due to the larger caliber of guns on battleships, and heavier armor overall, there is more of a propensity so go bow in against another battleship. This is where the overmatch mechanic is really worth understanding. The only 2 ships, per WarGaming's design, that are capable of overmatching the bow of (nearly) every ship are the Yamato and Mushashi with their 460mm guns; the largest guns in the game. Therefore, going bow in against them is ill advised. The only ships that are theoretically able to go bow in against them are the Kurfurst and the Frederick der Grosse as they have 60mm plating on their bows. Though there are places where the armor is only 32mm, the thickness that 460mm guns can overmatch, much like the Konig, this plating will prevent frontal citadels under most circumstances. Both cruisers and battleships are capable of bow tanking ships of the same type and tier. Knowing who can you go face to face with can be critical in certain battles, especially in competitive play. Once again, this is a particularly common tactic among battleships but cruisers can do it as well. For those that wish to know if you can be overmatched or overmatch a certain ship simply divide the ships gun caliber by 14.3. If your armor thickness is greater than that, you're good, if not, find another tactic. Similarly, you can multiply your armor thickness by 14.3 to find out the minimum caliber of gun required to overmatch your bow. Finally, if you don't know any of this info or just don't want to worry about doing the math, I've created a Google Sheet than can do the calculations for you or you can look up the ships by name. A disclaimer for this calculator though is I have not included clone ships, such as any of the ARP ships, which are clones of the Myoko and the Kongo. You can find the link below. If you have any trouble with it, find errors, or have some suggestions for improvement, please let me know. Bow In Calculator
  9. Destroyers (the "DD") being the most influential class of ships, second to only the current OP and badly designed CVs, are vital to any team in any match, be it pro or random pubs. But the fragile nature of the ship makes them hard to perform in the hands of less experienced players. Just like any profession, DDs have their own bag of tricks, many of you would have learned through endless trial and error. Being humans with a written language, it provides us with the ability to pass down our hard earned experiences. Now what do you think contribute to player DDs better? Start with a simple one: Know your opponents camo ratings, especially of the destroyers on the enemy team.
  10. API Guide?

    Does anyone know if there's a guide for how to use the WG API? The search function couldn't find anything on "API". Further, does WG keep track of players in divisions? Thanks for any and all assistance.
  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. How To: Benson in Ranked

    Actual battle starts at 4:30 Future videos will be edited properly. I don't have the time to learn how at the moment. https://youtu.be/r7LzU2W07y0
  13. IJN Cruiser Guide

    IJN Cruiser Strategy Guide This general guide works for all Japanese Cruisers, as a history buff on the side I like to incorporate some real world philosophies and strategies used by the respective navies and apply it into the game. If you just like to see my ship and commander build just skip through my background section. Some Historical concepts Japanese ship design in WWII was a mix of good hull designs and armament but poor technology in terms of radar and other aspects as compared with navies from the other nations. As we know IJN radar technology and fire control systems was quite underdeveloped compared to the USN, RN, and Kriegsmarine even by early war standards. However, even with this disadvantage they were still able to push back the British and American navies from the beginning of the War in 1939 to 1942 and even enjoyed some victories in the late war period against radar equipped USN ships. They understood their disadvantages and developed equipment and tactics to counter these. The common Japanese naval tactic was to approach unseen during the night, using their night binoculars and expertly trained lookouts they could spot a ship at 20,000 yards. Once all ships were in favorable position the lead ship illuminated the target with a high powered searchlights or even no lights at all and bombard the enemy with shells and torpedoes. The attack was intense to cause massive confusion and before the enemy could react they used the cover of darkness to slip away or to reload for another attack. So, What does this mean in game Well at first I recognized night battles and search lights are out of the question as it is not a game feature or designed in this way. However we have the concealment mechanic to substitute for this, if the enemy can't see you then you're basically in the "night". My entire loadout philosophy is going to be focused around concealment and fighting battles on your grounds. Many of the national characteristics already favor this approach, the IJN cruisers have high base concealment, accuracy, maneuverability, long range torps, and slow turret traverse. My loadout (I will be using the Zao a basis) Keep in mind our goal is to be sneaky and fighting battles on our own conditions General Loadout (Ships T5+ as they have access to more upgrades) 1 Slot: Main Armaments Mod 1 - A no brainer choice, as your guns and torpedoes are your primary weapons and reducing incapacitation chance is always important 2 Slot: Amining Systems Mod 1 - This should be the standard choice as your guns do quick significant damage and are already accurate, this mod makes your shot grouping even tighter. Using main battery mod 2 for turret traverse is ill advised since the turrets are already so slow it makes a small impact. The only ship I'd recommend with the mod is the Atago/Takao as their stock turret rotation is fast enough (though still slow) to keep with your turns. However you can tweek as you like. Also for AA mod again the Moyoko Ibuki and Zao are the only ones that can make the build viable as they have numerous small caliber AA guns with a good overlap coverage. 3 Slot: Damage Control Mod 1 - Again no brainer as it reduces chance of flood and fire 4 Slot: Damage Control mod 2 or Propulsion - This slot is completely to the person's liking, personally I chose propulsion as it boosts my mobility. Since all the cruisers up to T10 with fully upgraded hulls have a rudder shift of 7.1sec Steering gears is not really necessary, so having propulsion combined with my already fast rudder is a good combo. THis gives you high mobility which should allow you to not take hits thus kinda making Damage Control Mod 2 irrelevant. 5 Slot: Concealment System Mod 1- This is a very important choice and one which the entire loadout is based upon. Concealment mod allows your detectability to be very low as your stock concealment is already higher than other nations. This high concealment allows you to position yourself and bring all your weapons to bare before launching the attack, if need be you can hold fire and maneuver to drop off detection. 6 Slot: Main Battery mod 3 or Torpedo tubes mod 3 - this is again to personal tastes though I recommend taking main battery as the high detectability of the torps in the current meta especially at high tiers outweighs their capability. Consumables: Catapult Fighter Hydroacoustic - I would recommend this only for tiers 6 - 7 as CV threat is not that significant and close range battles are common. At high tiers Def AA is a must. This depends on your playstyle if your looking for extra AA protection then go AA if your DD hunting or doing close range work which the night battle streaty is all about stick with Hydro. Repair Party Commander Skills: 1 point: Preventative Maintenance, Direction center, and Priority Target 2 point: Expert Marksman 3 point: Demo Expert, Superintendent 4 point: Concealment Expert, AFT Most the these skills enhance your ability to do damage and boost survivability, Japanese cruiser armor is quite good compared with other nations but are still vulnerable to BBs and other cruisers. The first slot of skills allows you to reduce the chance of your primary armament going down and boosts survivability for both surface and air action. Expert marksman is a no brainer for your very slow turret traverse. Third point skills are also straightforward, though you could sub in BFT if you're looking for more of an AA build/support role though I would only recommend this on the Moyoko, Ibuki and Zao as they have better AA armaments. For the four point slots Concealment is important as combined with Concealment mod it makes you a ninja and the main point of this build, and AFT for a boost in AA especially for mid to high tier play when CVs are more numerous. Playstayle: Using the basis of the night attack strategy it is quite clear how to utilize your ship. As a cruiser you're job is to escort and support other ships since IJN cruisers do not have good AA your primary tasks will be to deal support damage and kill DDs. Use your concealment to maneuver to an advantageous position, take the time to bring all weapons to bare. You have to choose your engagements carefully and make sure you have an upper hand and the element of surprise. Once you're ready you can start the attack with either a stealth torp launch or main battery, once the target is eliminated go back to being a ghost or if conditions become unfavorable drop off detectability and reposition. Conclusion: This build is strictly using the Japanese disadvantage to your advantage and is revolved around sneaking to allow you to be in an advantageous position for your attack. Just like IJN tactics during the war which worked to a surprising effect against ships more advanced than theirs. IJN ships in game are not really cut out for support roles as they lack good AA, smoke, or good Hydro but they do make up for HE, accuracy, long range torps. There is a lot of freedom in this build and you can tailor it to however you want to play it. Though the main focus is concealment which gives you that positioning capability and fight on your terms, don't be afraid to hold fire till you're close or in position.
  14. Guide for new Captains Part 1

    Hello new Captains! My name is Zatriel_Blue ( just call me Zat) I have never written anything like this before but I have always wanted to. This is a guide that will cover most things that you will learn in your first 1000-2000 games. You might as well learn them and put them into practice now so you can start REALLY having fun! In this guide I will cover Armor Angling and Ammo Selection/ Mechanics. If this is well received I will write a Part 2-5. Armor Angling This is one of, if not the, most important parts of the game. Angling your armor will dramatically increase your effective up by mitigating and negating the effectiveness of incoming shells. So what exactly is Armor Angling? It is increasing the angle the shells hit your ship. To put it in a way that is easy to understand is to imagine if you had a large square of cardboard and a rock. The rock represents a shell that is fired and the cardboard is the armor of a ship. What would be the best way to throw the rock and make it go through the cardboard? Throw it directly at it from a perpendicular 90° angle or sort of diagonally at a 45° angle? The correct answer is the 90° angle because it allows the full kinetic force of the rock to transfer to the impact site on the cardboard. If it hits it at a 45° angle the rock cannot fully transfer its kinetic force to the cardboard. An in game example of this would be to say you have two identical battleships shooting AP (Battleships almost always shoot AP) X and Y. If X orients itself to where his broadside (flat side of ship) is at a 90° angle to Y's turrets and Y orients itself to where his broadside is angled 45° or less to X's turrets, Y will always win because X's shells are not able to penetrate Y's armor as well as Y's shells. 2. Ammo Selection Your ammo choice varies on the situation and can be tricky to fully master it on all ship types. I will cover the general rules for all classes and explain how AP and HE work. HE mechanics. HE shells have two possible outcomes when hitting a target, shatters, penetration, or citadel. Shatters yield 0 damage but still can set fires, penetrations deal 33% of the max shell damage and can set fires and citadels (highly unlikely) deal full shell damage. Here is the formula for the penetration values of HE shells. Shell caliber divided by 6 equal the amount of armor it can penetrate. Exceptions are British battleships, German battleships and German cruisers who's shell caliber is divided by 4. HE does not take into account angles of armor and does not continue through the ship to hit vitals. AP mechanics. They work by attempting to penetrate the outer later of armor and detonating inside the ship. AP shells have 5 possible outcomes. Shatter, ricochet, overpen, penetration, and citadel. Shatters and ricochets yield 0 damage, overpens (when your shells penetrate the full ship and fail to detonate inside it) yield 10% of max shell damage, penetrations yield 33% of max shell damage, and citadels (when your shells penetrate the ships vital parts) yield 100% of max shell damage. Ricochets are calculated based on the angle of the target. 0°-30° is an auto ricochet (0°-22.5° for USN 8inch shells). 30°-45° is a chance to ricochet (22.5°-30° for USN 8 inch shells). 45°-90° a ricochet will not happen ( 30°-90° for USN 8 inch shells). AP shells can also completely ignore some thicknesses of armor, this is called Overmatch. Overmatch is calculated by taking your shell size and dividing it by 14.3. The resulting number ( rounded down) is the thickness of armor that your shells will not calculate for ricochets. For battleships the general rule of thumb is to almost always shoot AP with the exception of the main line British battleships. The reason for this is the devastating power of a battleship AP pen and/or Citadel due to the high damage values of the shells. AP on battleships in its current iteration is effective vs every ship type in the game ( An AP penetration is crippling to destroyers). For British battleships AP still should be used rather heavily on targets that are showing broadside or that aren't very armored (Cruisers) and its is preferred to shoot HE on angled battleships due to its high penetration and fire chance. Cruisers will tend to generally fire more HE than AP due to the lower caliber of their shells but there are exceptions that must be adhered to. With the flat penetration of HE it is more consistent versus battleships at most ranges, generally better on cruisers at longer ranges and 99% of the time best on destroyers at all ranges. The exception to this comes with range and angles. Your AP effectiveness is increased by three factors: range, angle, and area of impact. Your range to the target is paramount because the shell loses penetration the longer it is in flight due to its smaller/lighter caliber. Angle matters because of the reasons stated earlier in the article. Area of impact is the last key factor and this varies on target. If you are shooting at a battleship and you are relatively close close and have a good angle, you have two good places to shoot AP at. These are the superstructure ( the tower and smokestacks) and the side of the bow (front) and stern (rear). These are the least armored areas that will net you penetrations. On cruisers the same first two principles apply but the area of impact should generally be in the center of the ship at the waterline as they are not as armored and can produce citadels. It is not recommended to AP destroyers. With destroyers the same rules as cruisers apply except that you favor HE even more in most ships. Higher tier Russian and Germans use the cruiser strategy for AP as their shell velocity and shell damage can produce devastating amounts of damage with their high reload. This concludes Part 1 of my guide. Please let me know how you feel about it and good luck out there!
  15. [REQUEST] Sound mod for AA

    So Long story short, I saw a somewhat recent thread about modding This SFX into the game for the various AA auras. Can anyone make this or ELI5 how to do so myself? Looking to make as wacky/meme worthy a game through mods as possible to share videos with friends. Thanks in advance
  16. Preface- This is my attempt to give back to the community and maybe help someone else. Special thanks to all those who have taught me whether they know it or they dont. Intro- This guide is a guide not on how to better play a ship or a certain class, it is about becoming a better player. It is not about skill but about the thinking behind. It is an attempt to bracket my experience through stages and explaining each stage. Preperations- These are the ingame preperations you should make. 1)Turn on alternative battle interface which will show you shell flight time and didstance 2) Make the minimap as large as possible. Stage 1: I just downloaded the game:- You have just downloaded the game and are playing your first match. Don't learn to crawl before you learn to breathe. Focus on having fun and you will slowly get a grasp of the mechanics of the game. But please, learn to LOVE THE GAME. Stage 2: I think there is a budding romance:- Watch youtube videos, preferably those more about content and less about humor or entertainment. Players like IChase, Flamu, Jingles are good for beginners. Listen to advice since no matter how much you think you understand the game, your limited experience means that 9/10 any advice given is gonna be beneficial to you, even so called bad advice to the average. This is if you are player with skill level 1 with average player base skill level 5, a skill level 2 advice is still better then a skill level 1 even though it is below average. Remember, at this stage you are still an infant, you should try and experience as many different things as possible and take in as much as you can to grow. Understand that people cussing you out is usually a sign that you are making a mistake. Take out the cuss words and see if you can gain any advice from it. Stage 3: Okay I think I am not a beginner but I am below average:- The stage 2 advice still holds for this stage. Additionally I want you to push in more, even if it seems suicide unless a better player tells you not to. This is because I want you to over-extend rather then under-extend. The thinking behind it is something I learned from golf coaches. In putting, it is preferable for a beginner to overshoot in a putt then undershoot since overshooting will allow you to see your limits and have a better grasp of the field then undershooting. Thus I want you to overextend and get yourself killed. THIS WILL TANK YOUR WR AND WTR HOPEFULLY. I want you to continue to be aggressive for at least 200 games. This would hopefully teach you the limits of your ship and how to survive in unwanted situations. Slowly after 200 games tone down on the aggressiveness, start to try and survive a bit more, slowly and surly pull back on the overextend. Simple advice to give at this stage 1) HE spam in CA and AP spam in BB. Yes there are situations where switching ammo works but for now focus on how to use the bread and butter of each ship. 2) It is never too early to learn about positioning. Start paying attention to the minimap. Make it a habit. 3) having fun is not an excuse to stay in this stage. Usually people in this stage are making obvious mistakes that would be commented on by other players. Learn from it while you keep having fun. Stage 4: YAY IM AVERAGE (and/or close or green wtr):- Now you are an average player. You are at this stage making mistakes less. The mistakes you make are mostly due to over-extension rather then under-extension. This is important, if you are under extending more then you are overextending go back to stage 3. I rather you know your limits of a ship then not now your limits, and the best way to learn is through trial and error. The usual metric to go by is go to warships today, compare the average damage/winrate to average survival rate. I want your average survival rate to be lower or equal to average of the server shown. Now the preface of this part is over lets get to the main part. Start playing the other classes of ship and see how they work. Learn what they like and what they dislike. The difference between many average players and above average players is target selection and positioning. This comes down to mini map awareness, positioning, experience with other classes of ship and overall experience of the game. Analyse on how you can do better. Try not to blame the team. You cannot change the team but you can change yourself. Ask yourself how you could have survived better. Maybe you should have pushed in less, maybe you should have shot another player. Did you use up all your heals in the game? Was there a shot you missed that you could have hit? learn from all these mistakes. Knowing which advice to take is now harder since statistically speaking only 50% of advice is beneficial to you. A good indicator is to take advice, no matter how much it seems to be countering your logic from someone with a significant win rate or wtr above you. This is usually because they have an understanding of mechanics that you do not. Yes some people farm wtr but more often then not they got there with their own skills. You can check their average tier to see if they got there seal clubbing or not. Also experiment with different Ammos. Stage 5: Im now blue, blue bababeedam bamdiumbiamba:- Not all youtube videos are created equal. Learn from the better ones and watch for enjoyment the others. You will naturally know which ones you have risen above and which ones you still need to learn from. Trust yourself. Try and division with other better player and learn from them. Keep improving. You got to blue and thus you should know your stuff. Most purple players I know are usually willing to play with dark blue or light blue players. If you cant find anyone feel free to division with members of the Night Owl, (shameless clan promotion). Remember to keep your chat open and see if you can get advice from others. Usually the advice wont work but once in a while you get a uni-cum player commenting on your play harshly or not and you can improve. Always look and see if you could have contributed more for the team, did you use all heals? did you hit all vital shots? If not improve. Dont blame the team cuz you cant change them, change yourself. MOST IMPORTANTLY HAVE FUN -(but try and be at least average) Special Thanks- Thank you for all players who have criticized me, no matter the language used or harshness, when I made a mistake. Special thanks to YourACTScore, LordBenjamin, NTLR, o_JMack_o, and other memebers of the NO for playing with me and teaching me during ranked and random. Thanks to Flamu, KamiSamurai, Ichase, Phildaily, Noster, and other youtubers for keeping me interested and teaching me the game. A little bit about the Author- BB main with a special emphasis on stealth Missouri and Monty. Played all BBs except the new British line and the GK. have completed both the IJN and USN line for cruisers and is now on the tier 8 for British and Russian while tier 9 on the German. Stat wise Last 430 days solo I have played 1184 cruisers and 2082 BB games with a win rate of 53.72% (1223 WTR) CA and 56.48% (1218 WTR) BB at an average tier of 7.3. Last 90 days solo I have played 244 cruisers and 496 BB games with a win rate of 56.56% (1324WTR)CA and 59.27% (1272WTR) BB at an average tier of 7.4 CA and 8.8 BB. These are used for your convenience to judge how much I know I am talking about. Afterwords:- It is your choice to take the advice (good or bad I do not know, though it is good advice in my opinion) and thus I would not be arguing in the comments but would still pop in time to time to do some clarification.
  17. I made a video for noobs

    Feedback please. Feed me your hate.
  18. Here, I will outline the basics of effective gameplay, by learning off of what others are doing. This guide assumes you already have a basic understanding of each ship type. Steps Enable Replays Play WoWs Identifying effective tactics Incorporating said tactics into your own game-play Perfecting and Learning even more tactics 1. Enable Replays. It's very simple. Just follow the guide in the official link: https://na.wargaming.net/support/kb/articles/517 If you don't have replays enabled, at the very least, record your game using OBS, or other similar game capture software. 2. Play WoWs Probably the most difficult part of this. I highly recommend playing a variety of ships at a multitude of tiers. The basics of gameplay are the same at any tier, but there will be minor differences between differing tiers, due to the way the armor, weapons and abilities improve in the ships. I will stress the point of playing multiple ships types, because this is the easiest way to encounter a variety of tactics employed by a variety of ships. You are likely to suffer from many deaths, because you are your own lab rat. Mistakes were made... but this is just a game, so you can learn from them 3. Identifying effective Tactics This is actually very easy to identify, but you may get annoyed. The very simple matter of the fact is, if you are getting annoyed at what someone is doing to your ship, it's very likely to be an effective game tactic. Such tactics may not be immediately obvious from the perspective of a unicum replay or video footage, because such players can make it look easy by cherry picking the best examples. Rest assured, a majority of these tactics have their counter-play, but you may not always see it. Every time you become annoyed at what the reds are doing, make a note of it and watch what is happening in the replay. If you are unsure what went wrong, don't be afraid to ask the forums for knowledgeable advice, as there might be more than one tactic, a compounded tactic, at work. Replays or footage are a must. For Example: Atlanta firing from behind an island Focus fire from different angles {aka: Crossfire} Kiting reds across the map, especially with HE Blindsided by torps Blindsided by many Battleship AP shells Radar caps from behind islands etc. Some crazy Ultra Unicum tactics being employed, but I can't make heads or tails of how or why this works 4. Incorporating effective tactics into your own game-play Now that you have identified some highly annoying tactics, try it out yourself. You may be surprised at the results. The thing to realize here, is that a majority of these annoying tactics are only effective in certain situations. In other situations, they become completely useless. Other tactics might even have a perfect counter-play. Wait, are you saying I can experiment on other people now? :evil laugh: For example Atlanta firing from behind an island is only effective when it squats in front of an advancing fleet, while also having the ideal island to shoot over Focus fire and Crossfire can be avoided entirely by merely kiting Kiting with HE only works when the reds give pursuit Torps can be WASD most of the time Make a note of your ship's concealment range and mind the islands and your ship angle if you are spotted Radaring caps from behind islands doesn't allow you to join in with your guns, or be all that effective with your guns for the entire time you are setup etc. This will make a fine... wait, it's already captioned! 5. Perfecting and Learning even more tactics Perfecting some tactics might not be that easy. Some are more difficult to perfect than others, but don't worry too much about perfecting them. The important bit is to identify when the tactic would be effective and attempting to use it. As highlighted in (4), there are even perfect counter-plays to the tactics you have just learned. Here, the game-play becomes a bit more advanced, so this may not seem immediately obvious, but this can be identified by your newly learned tactics being ineffective. The reds are not playing into your well crafted and well thought out plans. Again, make a note of it, watch what is happening in the replay and try to copy what the reds were doing to outplay your hand. Again, if you are unsure of what happened, don't be afraid to ask the forums, but do provide a replay. Emotional roller-coaster ride when your newly learned tactics work and don't work. All in all, I think "Unicum" game play in WoWs is about how well various tactics and counter-plays the player is able to memorize and utilize to maximize the performance of their ships. Not playing into the hands of the reds is also very important, but I think this is more related to staying alive for longer in a match, rather than maximizing the effectiveness of the ship. Good aim and prediction are also highly important to doing well, but I think good tactics plays a larger role in improving win rate and stats. Realistically, if your hit rate is equal to your opponent, the person in the better tactical position is going to win almost all the time. This image really does surmise most Unicum level gameplay in randoms. Reds get distracted by your team and then you blind side the reds with a devastating strike from stealth.
  19. Need Help With New Orleans

    Hello fellow captains, I've recently gotten the New Orleans, and I just cannot figure out how to play it. I keep getting citadeled from the bow, made a prime target, while having extremely slow reloading guns. I had absolutely no trouble with the Pensacola, but I am struggling quite a bit with this ship. Any help is appreciated!!
  20. River's Guide to 'Git Gud'

    Hello everyone. Odds are, you've seen the term 'Git Gud' before. Maybe you've used it yourself (Or a variation thereof), or had something similar parroted at you in the past when making a post on the forums, or saying something in-game. So, what does it mean? What should you take away from it? The (kinda) start of it all: Once, there was a game. It was called Dark Souls. Okay, so the term 'Git Gud' did not originate from Dark Souls, as is commonly assumed. It is, however, very much a part of that particular game's mentality, and as such the community of Dark Souls adopted 'Git Gud' for themselves. It stars in numerous memes and stories involving Dark Souls, and has become somewhat infamous among their circles. I guess before explaining 'Git Gud', I should talk a bit about Dark Souls itself, as a game. You know, since I'm sure there are some who haven't heard of it, nor know of it's reputation. So then, Dark Souls. It's a bloody difficult game where you almost spend more time dying than playing. Someone going through the game gets very used to those crimson words scrawled across the screen's middle, in a mockery of your pathetic attempt to 'beat' Dark Souls. It's a genuinely and unapologetically hard game to play through. The mobs are difficult. The plants will kill you. The bosses will crush your ego. Hell, even the chests full of loot will occasionally try and murder you viciously. Lots of people who play Dark Souls do it for the challenge, and the fulfillment of processing in a difficult game. It requires a lot from you, in dedication and patience. There is no 'easy' way to the finish line, and no ways to artificially lower the difficulty. (It actually get's harder the more you play through it.) To beat the game, you have to 'Git Gud', as the players would say. So then, that brings us back the the original question. What is 'Git Gud'? What does it mean!?: Speaking simply, it's just a bad way of spelling 'Get Good', meant somewhat as a mockery towards whomever the phrase might be directed. Typically, it's used in response to specific types of people and/or comments. And...er...we're rather well aquatinted with the types of comments that might inspire the 'Git Gud' retort. How about an example or two? (Or seven...) "____ class is OP, and needs nerfing!" "____ class is UP, and needs buffing!" "____ class needs to be added!" "____ mechanic sucks, and needs to be removed!" "____ mechanic need to be added!" "MM is broken, and sucks!" "The game hates me in particular!" By no means am I limiting the 'Git Gud' inducing comments to only these—no, there are far, far more that have been passed around these forums, and dismissed. So then, what does it mean when you write a thread about one of the above issues (or anything else) and someone responds with a 'Git Gud' like comment? What should you take it as? Well, simply—it normally means that you should probably look at your own performance in game, and see if perhaps there might be something that you can improve on. At least, that's what it's meant as towards those who complain of game balance and fairness in things like Dark Souls, and Call of Duty (*shivers*). However, my own interpretation of getting good is somewhat different. My own opinion: Okay, so look—I don't like the term 'Git Gud', at all. It's just not a very helpful answer to someone asking or suggesting something. I do agree with the sentiment behind getting good, though. A player should always strive to better themselves and their gameplay. Even if they're just playing for fun. And especially if they have an complaint which is based upon game balance. Someone should know full well the consequences of their suggestions, and how it might effect the game as a whole. And the only way to do that, is to have experience of the whole game. I firmly believe that someone should play the game as it exists now, instead of trying to get the game balance to change. If you want to get better at the game, use what's available to your ownadvantage, instead of letting the red team use it. That's the very first thing you need to do in order to win more. Accept the game as it is. Use what you have to gain an upper hand, and win. Abuse the mechanics to sink as many ships as you can. Learn to counter things, with whatever means are needed. Be ruthlessly cold-blooded, and don't care about fairness and 'game balance'. In fact, tell fairness where it can shove off to. Because, you want to be stacking the odds in your favor. That's how you win—by making sure the enemy will lose an engagement. And if game mechanics are patched, or otherwise change? Adapt. It's not the end of the world. The developers were just doing their job—which is making sure their game remains playable, and has a modicum of balance. 'Cause, that's what they do. They make the changes. (Not us here on the forums) I prefer to trust them, and I like to think that they know what they're doing. Maybe they do, maybe they don't. Doesn't really matter, in the end. Oh, and everyone else? If you see a player struggling with the game, or making...questionable tactical decisions, be nice. Give them good, solid advice, and try to at least help them. Be mindful of your tone while doing it, as well. There's a fine line between helpfulness and snobbery. And if the player doesn't want your help, drop it there. No use in arguing with them past that point. TL;DR Don't hate the game for 'unfairness'. Instead, try using it to your advantage. Maybe that's why the developers put it in?
  21. Need Help

    I've made it to T8 in the USN DD line by scouting and surprise torping ships around islands. At T8 however I just couldn't play anymore as the ROF, DAM, and mostly planes spotting me(CV and Cat launched) would kill me inside of 5 minutes every match. As I main CVs, I know that I can loose my whole squad instantly by flying into a smoke-hidden group so I decided to try playing escort DD just ahead my team just for the AA support and WOW IS IT BETTER! I know I'm not scouting as well, but I'm not being nuked and burned to death either. The Team AA cover keeps the planes off me, which are often targeting me anyway so they don't get bombed in the first wave and with fewer planes I don't get hit RNG'd so much. Mostly though I have support less than 2K behind me to shoo away the cruisers and DDs so I can keep pushing the front in the early/midgame In summery, I've never lived so long and done so well with a just a change in mindset that I always want to be near jump distance to at least 1 other ship on my team. I'm sailing at half speed until I reach a cap point/make first contact then it's circles all match around my teammates shooting the whole time and torping when I get the chance. Is this strategy viable for you experienced DD capts, am I doing something new or unusual? Is this annoying and ineffective? I've always watched the DDs rush forward then fall back or seek cover, never actually playing escort. What do you think?
  22. Disclaimer: Wall of text incoming... Greetings! As some of you know, I'm Kelorn of the Warships Podcast. If you've listened to the show, you know that I consider myself to be something of a battleship specialist. In the last 286 days, my top two played ships are the Yamato and the Grosser Kurfurst, and had the following stats: With bona fides established, I would like to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the Yamato, how to use her most effectively, and what are the dangers of her armor scheme. In short, How to Make the Most of the Yamato. Armor and the Yamato The Yamato's armor belt is 410mm thick and is unified with the hull of the ship. This means that unlike the German battleships, which use a turtleback armor scheme, the Yamato's Citadel has only a single thick "layer" of armor for AP shells to penetrate. The armor is inclined inwards at approximately 15 degrees, increasing the effective armor against direct fire, in a minor way, and against higher angle fire, in a greater way. According to the design specifications in Target of Opportunity & Other War Stories by Robert Mckellar, the Yamato was designed to be immune to its own guns between 20,000 and 35,000 meters. The concept of an "Immunity Zone" in the form of "X to Y meters" is such that the belt armor can be penetrated below X meters, and the deck and citadel deck armor can be penetrated by a high angle plunging shell above Y meters. Below you can see the armor profile of the Yamato at amidships: In our case, the Yamato deck armor can be penetrated at 35,000 meters by 460mm guns. This isn't a terribly useful piece of information for us in World of Warships as the only guns with that kind of range are Yamato's own guns, with the Range extension module and the spotter plane active. Additionally, the chances of hitting a ship at that kind of range are minimal, even if the ship is sailing in a straight line. More useful is the fact that the Yamato can penetrate the belt armor of another Yamato at under 20,000 meters with a zero angle of incidence. This number is approximate, but it's safe to assume that you're vulnerable to another Yamato when broadside on at under 20 km. At about 18km you're vulnerable to the 406, 410, and 420mm guns of the other battleships in your matchmaking tier. Lesson learned? Don't show broadside. Armor Angling So, we're not showing broadside to our enemies, that's step one. The next step is to learn about armor angling. For the purposes of this section, we will ignore the possibility of the bow armor and transverse citadel bulkheads being penetrated. This is something we'll cover in the next section. So what is the effect of armor angling and how do we understand the concept of auto-bounce mechanics in World of Warships? Note in the upcoming Paragraphs, I will refer to the angle of incidence. Please see the following diagram, which uses the terms Laser light and image sensor, but the concept is the same: The first formula we need to understand is that of effective thickness in the case of inclined or sloped armor: Effective Armor Thickness = Actual Armor Thickness / Cosine of the Angle of Incidence As any World of tanks player will tell you, never park your tank pointed straight at the enemy, give him an angled side to shoot instead. The concept for World of Warships is exactly the same. In the case of Yamato, the 410mm belt armor, (ignoring for a moment the inclined inwards plate), when angled at 50 degrees to the front has an effective thickness of 637mm. Therefore, shooting at the angled belt armor of a Yamato angled at 50 degrees of the angle of incidence to your guns is nearly impossible to penetrate, even at extremely close ranges. The second formula we need to understand is that of the Auto bounce mechanic. 0-30 degrees -> auto ricochet (0-22.5 for USN 8" shells) 30-45 degrees -> chance to ricochet (22.5-30 for USN 8" shells) 45-90 degrees -> ricochet doesn't occur (30-90 for USN 8" shells) Simply put, if the shell impacts armor and does not overmatch, then if the angle is between 60 and 90 degrees of the angle of incidence (aka 0-30 degrees in the table above), then the shell will automatically bounce. Between 45 degrees and 60 degrees of the angle of incidence, then you may bounce. Under 45 degrees of the angle of incidence and ricochet cannot occur. So now we're not showing broadside, and we're angling to at least 45 degrees of the angle of incidence, preferably at least 60 degrees. So we're done, right? Sort of. If you've done this correctly, with your armor angled to 60 degrees of the angle of incidence you are functionally immune from being citadeled by guns of any caliber less than 457.6mm. Therefore, against Montana, Kurfurst, Izumo, Iowa, Fredrich de Grosse, North Carolina, Amagi, Bismarck, and Tirpitz you are completely safe if their fire comes at you from any angle over 60 degrees angle of incidence. Overmatch So why did I specify against guns of under 457.6mm in the previous section? The last mechanic a Yamato captain must be aware of is the concept of overmatch. It too is a simple concept, as is one that is crucial to understanding how and why you take damage when facing enemy Yamatos. Overmatch: If Armor Thickness < Shell Diameter / 14.3, then shells cannot ricochet This last section applies only when facing enemy Yamatos, as only the Yamato (as of this writing) has guns with a diameter greater than the 457.6mm necessary to penetrate the 32mm of bow armor on a Yamato. Incidentally, if you were curious why you have a hard time shooting bow on Moskva's, its because they have 50mm belt armor that extends to the bow of the ship and you'd need 715mm guns to overmatch it. Now we get into the peculiarities of the armor scheme of the Yamato. Instead of having flat transverse bulkheads, set at 90 degrees to the belt armor, the Yamato's forward transverse bulkhead is set in three pieces, like a chopped off Pyramid, which you can see in the screenshot below: Because this piece of armor is protected by the 32mm bow armor and is only 350mm thick, it can be penetrated when the 32mm of bow armor is overmatched by the Yamato’s guns. Thus we all know the famous advice when shooting at Yamatos: Shoot under the #2 Turret. This advice takes advantage of this weakness in the armor. So what can we do to prevent taking frontal citadel damage from an enemy Yamato? The truth is that there is no 100% effective way to prevent taking this damage. There are, however, things we can do to mitigate the problem: Don’t be afraid to open your broadside enough to use your #3 Turret. Normally, exposing your broadside is a risk and many Yamato players don’t use the #3 turret at all. However, in a close range duel against another Yamato, your bow armor won’t protect you anyway. Get that turret into play and you’ll not only increase your damage output by 50%, but you’ll also increase the likelihood that his shots will hit your angled belt armor, instead of overmatching your bow and frontal citadeling you. Use your rudder and engine. This seems pointless in a ship as slow and unwieldy as a Yamato, but even small changes in angle and speed can throw off the aim of your enemy. Especially at close range, Yamato on Yamato duels are often orgies of mutual destruction, even small reductions in incoming damage can allow you to win the duel and limp away to heal. Ask for help. This is admittedly easier to do when you’re in a division with a destroyer, but even if you’re not, ask for help. Be polite, but ask if there’s a DD close enough to smoke you up. If they don’t, you haven’t lost anything. If they do, you have a chance to hide and make it harder for enemies to hit you. Conclusion The point of writing this article was to help the community understand what the strengths and weakness of the Yamato really are. She’s one of my favorite ships in the game and I like to see her being played well. Take Care and I’ll see you guys next week. =) Kelorn
  23. This week I realized that I've played a 250th battle in my Saipan. It is probably a large enough number to warrant a forum post which summarizes my experience with this incredibly fun boat. Below are my current stats with the ship. I don't mean to brag (well, maybe just a little bit ). Rather, I want to establish my credibility, and make it clear that what I'm going to describe in the following sections works quite well for me. And yes, my solo win rate/damage/airplane kills are pretty much same. A couple of quick disclaimers before we dive into details: (i) This is the way I play the ship. I happen to have quite a number of strong opinions on how Saipan and carriers in general should be played. However, that doesn't mean that everyone who doesn't do what I do is a n00b that should immediately uninstall; I firmly believe that you should play first and foremost in a way that will make the experience fun for you. If, for example, you find the air superiority loadout to be more fun (be it because you like shutting down enemy CVs, or because you don't have much luck with manual torpedo bomber drops) -- more power to you. However, I must point out that if you want to win more often than not, my methods are probably going to be better than whatever alternative approach you choose. (ii) As the title suggests, this is a guide for Random Battles only. Saipan in Ranked is a whole other beast that I don't really want to get into. Loadout Okay, let's begin. First, any new Saipan player will immediately ask himself/herself: which loadout should I use? One with three fighters and one dive bomber squads (hereafter refered to as 3/1), or one with two fighters and two torpedo bombers squads (2/2)? I, for one, firmly believe that 2/2 is the correct answer here, and in fact I played every single one of my battles save one with that loadout. Let me explain why. In my opinion, these are the main duties of a Saipan (or any carrier) player, from most to least important: (1) Killing enemy ships. Don't ever feel bad about expending a torpedo sortie on a ship with 1K HP, unless he was going to die within 5-10 seconds of your strike anyway. In WoWS, even if the ship has 1 hit point left, the salvos still do full damage and the torpedoes are just as deadly. You see a BB crawling back behind enemy lines at 1K health? Kill him, that way he doesn't heal up and come back to citadel the bejeezus out of your team's ship. You see an RN cruiser at 1K hiding behind terrain? Kill him, so he doesn't smoke up when the consumable is off cooldown, and wreck your teammate with impunity for a minute or two. An absolute majority of games are won by kills, always remember that. (2) Damaging enemy ships. This is a corollary to point #1. If you take off half HP from an enemy battleship, it will become that much easier for your teammates to kill that ship. Remember, absolute damage doesn't matter; the percent damage does. For example, generally cruisers should be prioritized over battleships if you're certain in your ability to hit them with minimal airplane losses, just because losing 20k health is so much more impactful for a cruiser than a battleship (not to mention that cruisers don't have good torpedo buldges and will take full torpedo damage). (3) Protecting your ships from the enemy, i.e. preventing the enemy carrier from killing and damaging your ships. Yep, this is a less important task than killing and damaging the enemy ships. If you have to choose between protecting your strike airplanes that are going to target and protecting your fleet from the enemy air, most of the time the former is a better choice. If you play air superiority game, the best you can hope for is shutting down the enemy carrier (which is not always possible). That means you simply eliminated two carriers out of the match, and now it will come down to a coin toss based on the skill level of the other 22 players. Why would you ever want that? (4) Scouting. That's right, this is the least important carrier duty. Let's not forget, we're talking about Random Battles here. Truth be told, most players won't be able to properly utilize the vision you're giving them. If I have to choose between killing and damaging enemy ships, and trying to enable my teammates to kill and damage enemy ships, I'll almost always chose the first option -- because I know that Saipan in my hands is most likely much better at killing and damaging enemy ships than my teammates. Now, don't for a second think that point 1 is always more important than point 4, for example. Use common sense. You have to call off a strike for a half a minute in order to wreck the enemy bomber clump? Do it. You have an opportunity to shadow an IJN destroyer that's harassing your advancing fleet on the strong flank, even at the cost of less efficient strike? Do it. Always do the thing that will get you closer to victory. Anyways, now that I've listed your main objectives, let's return to the loadout questions. The 2/2 loadout is better at killing and dealing damage, the 3/1 loadout is better at protecting your fleet from the air and scouting. It should be clear by now why I will whole-heartily recommend the 2/2 option. Your realistic alpha damage is much higher (i.e. you're much more likely to hit most of the torpedoes than most of the bombs). Your damage over time from flooding is much higher. You can stack damage over time much more easily. You get more flexibility with strikes, for example being able to kill a badly damaged ship with one TB squad, and going after somebody with another one. The aircraft turnaround time is a bit lower. Besides, having two fighters instead of three won't make you impotent when it comes to defending your fleet from the air or to scouting. I shoot down, on average, more than thirty aircraft every single battle with the 2/2 setup. This isn't the Ranger dilemma, when you have to pick between a fighter-less strike loadout and an air superiority loadout that does little damage; you can have your cake and eat it too. Side-note: for Ranked 3/1 is better, because vision and being able to effectively attack destroyers is a lot more important there. And that's all I'll say about Ranked. Upgrades & Signals These are the upgrades I run on my Saipan: Air Groups Modification 1 (AGM1) -- pretty obvious. You will use your two fighter squads extensively every battle, so +10% to DPS is welcome. The other upgrade is nearly useless anyways. Air Groups Modification 2 (AGM2) -- same thing. Bonus to fighter survivability and especially ammunition is nice (you get an extra strafe and a half out of it). These fighter upgrades mesh well with the air supremacy commander perk. FCM1 won't give you all that much, because you turnaround time is already very low. AAGM2 is nearly useless as well. Damage Control Systems Modification 1 (DCSM1) -- a bit better than useless. This distinguishes it nicely from the other two upgrades that are completely useless. Steering Gears Modification 2 (SGM2) -- I have this on all my boats. Torpedo dodged is HP saved. Helps quite a bit when the enemy carrier is trying to snipe you. Now, signals: Juliet Whiskey Unaone -- Saipan's areal torpedo don't have the best flooding chance, +15% is very nice. As for magazine detonation, carriers in-game don't have magazines, so we're all good Victor Lima -- same. Though the increase in flooding chance is only 4% here, so only run this flag if you have enough of them in stock. You can run whatever you want in the other two slots. I'm running flags that increase commander XP because I use my Saipan to generate free captain XP. Instead, you might run November Echo Setteseven for example, to make yourself slightly more safe against carrier snipes. Up to you. Captain skills The core eleven-point build is as follows:Aircraft Servicing Expert (ASE): bonus to aircraft HP and service time Expert Rear Gunner (ERG): because, apparently, one-seater Skyraiders can shoot backwards in this game. I just imagine a pilot spray-n-praying with a handgun over his shoulder, Annie Oakley-style Torpedo Armament Expert (TAE): better torpedo bomber turnaround time Air Supremacy (AS): increases your fighter squad power by 33%, makes Saipan borderline OP Dogfighting Expert (DE) (+10% ammunition for fighters) Now, Torpedo Acceleration (TA) isn't core, but it's still nice to have, at least in my opinion. Mind you, this won't make your torpedoes reach the aim point faster, despite an increase in speed (from 35kts to 40kts). The torpedo warhead arming distance is time-dependent, so they'll reach the target point at about the same time. However, faster torpedoes will allow you to strike at turning targets with greater ease, and also the distance between torpedoes decreases (albeit very slightly), which could mean the difference between getting three torpedoes on target, and getting two or even one. That now leaves us with six points to spend. I would recommend Concealment Expert (CE) + Adrenaline Rush (AR). CE enables you to stay a bit closer to the fleet, bringing your surface concealment from 11.9 to 10.0km, making you a tad bit harder to find when an enemy carrier is trying top snipe you. AR accelerates the reload of your aircraft by as much as 20% (however, the time for take-off remains the same). The catch to AR is, you'd have to take a large amount of damage and then survive long enough for the higher aircraft cycling rate to matter. So, it is for the most part useful if there was an unsuccessful carrier snipe attempt against you. This is our final captain build: Couple comments on other options. Firstly, you can pick Basic Fire Training (BFT) + Emergency Takeoff (EM) instead of CE+AR. BFT makes you safer against carrier snipes (+20% AA DPS is nothing to sneeze at). EM helps against DDs that have managed to sneak to your ship and are shooting it up -- you'll be set on fire, and damage control won't help because you'll just get light up again (so save it for ~3 fires!), but if you can still cycle torpedo bombers while on fire you have good chances of killing that DD and surviving. Still, I believe that CE+AR is better. Secondly, a side-note about the one-point Evasive Maneuver (EM) skill: not worth it on Saipan. You'll forget to use it properly from time to time (i.e. clicking near carrier for returning aircraft, and only hitting the F key when they're under attack or have gotten to the carrier), thus increasing the bomber cycling time. And your airplanes are fast enough to out-run enemy fighters anyway. However, this is a great skill for tech tree USN carriers, which incidentally means that Saipan requires a dedicated captain.
  24. This guide is more intended for those who are relatively unfamiliar with forums, and do not know how to put fancy images and other media into a post. If this sounds like you, then read on. If it doesn't, then go read a salty thread or something. Images The first thing you need to know about images is that you can't put them into a post directly. At least, not in a way which looks good. Instead, you need an online link or URL in order to place a full-sized image into your post. Now, you may be wondering how one might get this online link, and how it can turn into a full-sized image. For the purposes of this demonstration, I will be using a website called Imgur. This site allows you to upload images, and copy a URL from that. Let's go ahead and go through the process of using Imgur. First thing, you'll want to sign up. It's completely free, and only requires you to create a username, give an email, and make up a password. Now, after having set up an account, you should be viewing the Imgur home page. Ignore the pictures there, and move your mouse up to the top right-hand corner. There should be a drop-down menu like this: You want to click on images. That'll bring you to an empty page where you can add images to your account via a green button that says 'Add Images'. This will prompt you to either drag an image to the screen, or browse your computer to find your image. Click on the spoiler below to learn what to do with those images, once they've been added to your account. Videos To place a video into a post requires only two distinct steps. First, you need a video from a website like Youtube. Like with the images, the URL is required to place the videos into your post. So, say I want to share with everyone the wonders of classical music. I'll look up an appropriate video on Youtube, and copy the URL of said video from the web address bar. The video I wish to share has an URL at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E6b3swbnWg. Like with the images, I need to go up into the icon menu above the post being edited, and click the icon that has the Youtube logo in it. Yes, this one. Good job past River, for highlighting that. I knew it would come in handy sooner or later. Clicking that icon will bring up a window to place the URL in. Again, fantastic highlight job. Just place the URL in the blatantly obvious URL section, and you'll be ready to post the video. You can also mess around with the Start at option to begin the video at a specific point, by following the notation. It's as easy as that. I hope you've found this guide to be the least bit helpful. Please, if you see someone struggling with their images, direct them here so that they can learn how to do it.
  25. River's Guide on Writing a Good Post

    So, I'll admit I'm writing this for entirely selfish reasons. Lately, there have been quite a few posts being made that upset my sensibilities as an author, and as a reasonable human being. I want to go over how to make a good post that quickly conveys a message in a way people will take seriously, and how not to say stupid stuff in said post. (Bonus points for fancy alliteration.) Formatting Firstly, one of the most important parts of a good post is formatting—and there are some that falter on this most basic and humble of skills. You know them—the ones who post a wall of text, or do odd things to the layout of said text. Such things often turn people away from whatever you wish to convey in the post, or immediately have them dismiss you. After all, if the OP can't even spare the effort to make their post look good, why should anyone pay attention? Trust me when I say there's an easy fix to such a problem. On your keyboard, there should be a key. That key should say "enter" on it. Amazingly, when you press that key, whatever you're writing drops down a line. This can be useful for separating different points into an easy to read way, giving them clear boundaries while also introducing an artificial pause in the reading. Now, that pause can be very useful in some instances, where you want people to stop for a short second or two, or if you simply want things to look and sound pretty when people are reading the post over. Like now. I had finished the points I wanted to make in the last paragraph, so I hit the enter key twice and dropped down to start a new one. It prevents the post from taking on a 'wall-of-text' feel, while also making it easier to understand and read. And when you're done with an entire section of points which are related to each other, and need to move on to the next big idea, either drop down a bit further, or introduce a divider element to the post. For shorter posts, I'd recommend just dropping down two lines, but for something like this, it's helpful to visually divide one section from another. I accomplish that like this: Now, onto my next topic! Grammar I won't wax lyrical on why proper grammar is important, because I'm pretty sure everyone understands or at least has heard that speech before. Instead, I'll tell you what grammar can do for you! First off, proper usage of grammar makes you sound good, and has people taking you seriously from the get-go. When I see a post missing capitalization, punctuation and such; I cringe a little. It immediately tells me that this person must have not put much thought, time, or effort into their post. Proper grammar will have people reading your post, and thinking about the points you make instead of "oh, there should be a comma there, oh, that's hideously misspelled, oh, that should be I, not i...." and so on, so on. Really, proper grammar is proper etiquette. Just as poor manners at a black-tie event will get you called a bumpkin and lessen other's opinion of you, poor grammar will have your readers think lesser of you. Now, how do you improve grammar? Well, there's no easy way about it. You have to read. *Gasps of horror* No, really. Just read a book every now and then, and take note of how things are written. Then, whenever you find yourself writing something, take a step back and think about how it could be improved. Authors call this process editing, and pretty much all of them do it. I know that once I finish writing this helpful little guide, I'll go back over it—combing for grammatical errors, awkward turns of phrase, and the ever present spelling mistake. And it's even more likely that there will still be something wrong that I missed. Word Choice Word choice is an oft discounted, but extremely important part of writing. And there's only one thing I can say about it. As long as the words are not overtly inflammatory, nor vitriolic in nature, stick with what you know. Too many times I've seen someone misuse a word pulled from a thesaurus in an attempt to sound smart. Hint: It doesn't work. If you can't think of a fitting word off the top of your head, use another. There's nothing saying that the vocabulary you have right now is inadequate. As long as you can articulate your message in an understandable way, everything is fine. But for those who want to add that little extra something special, and brutalize others with a massive vocabulary, well. Read more. That's how you grow your vocabulary list. I'm sure you've noticed how many big and not-so-well-known words I've used while writing this. That's just down to years of devouring every book thrown my way. So, in other words, don't use a thesaurus. Don't try to insert smart sounding words to sound smart. Instead, actually get smarter and learn while reading. Writing Style This is what I like to call "The Product". It's what comes from the other three points discussed thus far. Formatting, grammar and word choice come together to form a writing style that distinguishes you in some way or another. A lot of writers are vaunted for their unique and different writing styles. However, that doesn't mean that you have to develop something which separates you from the crowd. No, writing style is just the natural off-spring of everything else. It does have an impact on whatever you write though, in the same way your speech patterns change how you interact with people. Sometimes it can be antagonistic in nature, or humorous in other cases. My own writing style is a fine blend of pointed sarcasm, humor, and what I hope is intelligence. If for any reason you find that people are responding badly to something you've written, ask yourself if it might be the writing style. If you write very aggressively, then people might respond by getting defensive. If you write poorly, people might not take you seriously. Just stuff like that. Now, you can change your writing style. It's sometimes employed as a literary technique by authors to portray the different personalities of various characters, or changes in environment and setting. Unfortunately, changing your writing style requires you to be as objective as possible, to not be biased towards your words. It might be helpful to get a second opinion on the initial style, and some advice as to how it might be changed in a different direction. As I'm not an expert in such things, I'll refrain from outlining exact ways of accomplishing it. How to not be stupid. Congratulations. You can now write a somewhat cohesive and good looking post. However, there might still be a problem. The contents. It doesn't matter how good of a post you write, someone will think otherwise. To be human is to have opinions, and someone is certainly going to have one different from your own. I have my own opinions on right and wrong, and I occasionally blast someone I perceive for being a dummkopf. Now, there are some rules to writing a post which will not end in a typed screaming match. At least, these are the rule I try to use. Generally, they've worked out well. 1. Think before posting— "Is this really a good idea?" "What's the popular response going to be?" "Have there been other threads like this?" "How did they end?" Just stuff like this. Consider deeply whether it's a good idea to hit that Post New Topic button. 2. Be understanding— If people are demonstrating an opinion different from your own, wonder why they have they opinion. Don't automatically think that you are in the right. 3. Be humble— Otherwise, be ready for others to take a dump all over your post. Nobody likes a braggart. 4. Research— If you aren't sure something's true, then it might not be. Make sure that you've researched all your content for consistency's sake. 5. Never assume— The snakes will come out of the woodworks to prove just how wrong you are. 6. Be patient— Really. Like, really really. Nothing is accomplished by going off the rails at someone, even if it feels good. 7. Be helpful— Ask yourself, "what does this post add to the community?" If you don't have an answer, don't post it. These rules can also be applied to replies or comments after the initial post. In fact, they should be. You've all probably seen a thread that starts out well, then just implodes due to the things being said in the comments. Exercise these rules in that case. And whatever else you do, at least try to be nice, okay? Otherwise, I will become cross, and annoyed River is not a happy River. If you're reading this in order to better your writing skills, then I hope you've found this guide even the slightest bit helpful. If you're still struggling, I highly recommend checking out some of LittleWhiteMouse's ships reviews. Those are all great examples of a fantastic post, and demonstrates most of what I mentioned in the above post. If you're reading this because it looked interesting and there was no other new topics, then I have an idea. Post a link to this thread when you think someone else can benefit from it. I would like to see this community become better writers, one and all. TL;DR—Really? Put in a bit of effort man. Or watch this. It's what happens when you don't english right. Credit to Macabe for suggesting it, and Weird Al for the OC.
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