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  1. World of Warships Ship Opinions: Stalingrad Russian Bias at it’s finest ( also, SURPRISE!!!) Before I start, I’ll just say this one thing up front. I genuinely have a deep, heartfelt hatred for this ship, and I swore I would never review it. The only reason why I chose to do it was because my younger brother threatened to do something that I cannot speak of here if I did not do this review ( he’s 11, by the way, so go figure ). Also, I’m still trying to work out just how the hell I’m supposed to write a CV review of the Lexington when I don’t even play CVs, so I suppose this had to suffice, for now anyways. But I digress. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have here today, present amongst us, perhaps the most Biased of all Russian Biased ships: the Russian Large Cruiser, or better described, Battleship, VMF Stalingrad. Infamous for it’s Railgun-like cannons, ridiculous tankiness, and incredible point-and-shoot forgivingness, this ship has an incredible list of strong points that makes all other large cruisers look like an utter joke by comparison. Yet it does have its flaws, which, while difficult to expose, can seal it’s fate in a battle, should they be exposed for the whole enemy team to see. So then, does Russian Bias hold true, or is this the one ship that could actually prove that whole notion wrong? ( Spoiler: It doesn’t ) (Also, new 35 point grading scale instead of 25 points, so yeah, there’s that) Armor: Battleship under a Cruiser Icon Pros: Insane bow, Deck and Stern armor, HP pool better than some BBs Cons: Gargantuan Citadel Space, weaker armor than Moskva Sometimes, you have to change your perspective about what a ship actually is to understand better. It took me a while, but I eventually decided to look at Stalingrad as a super-battlecruiser or a fast battleship instead of a large cruiser to fully understand her. And would you look at that armor! Stalingrad has 50mm plating everywhere, especially on the nose, which largely renders her immune to BB overmatch and Cruiser HE. She does have weaker armor than the Moskva, but with this kind of bow-tanking capability, who friggin cares? Well, you should. Stalingrad’s citadel is downright ENORMOUS, and the armor is so dang weak that even destroyers like Kleber can put AP rounds through your sides and murder you. Making foregone conclusions like that isn’t new, but it is new to the Stalingrad, with that realization of the horrible armor on her broadside. Still, she’s got a nice big fat chunk of HP to work with, at 72,450 HP, so you have some leeway. Based upon that, tactical positioning is key, otherwise you’re gonna get smashed to pieces faster than a naked and spotted Minotaur exposed on Ocean map Rating: WTAF ( 5 / 5 ) Armaments: More Battleship under a Cruiser Icon. Pros: Main guns are literally railguns, decent secondaries Cons: Long reload, sluggish turret traverse, the Zao exists I’m sure someone at Wargaming must have decided one day to stick railguns onto a battleship, label it as a cruiser, send it to the Super-testers and CCs, stepped back, looking at all the carnage and rage and salt and whatnot and said: “Yes, I don’t see anything wrong with that!” Yes, I am comparing Stalingrad’s guns to railguns, because that’s what they are. Or rather, her Model 1928 305mm AP Shells. They have 950 m/s shell velocity, absolutely no air drag, lowered arming thresholds, improved AP auto-bounce angles, and insane accuracy courtesy of a large cruiser dispersion ellipse married to a 2.65 sigma rating, the highest in the game. These guns have the highest penetration values of all cruisers in the game, with better penetration than the Bismarck’s famed 380mm guns, better than some American 406mm guns, and even better than the British 419mm guns found on the Conquerer, while also boasting an extremely long range of 20.4km, the longest stock range of any of the Tier 10 cruisers. The only two downsides are the rather slow 20 second reload and the very slow turret traverse of 36 seconds, but both can largely be fixed with AR / MBM3 and EM / MBM2, respectively. But she also has other issues, largely with her secondary guns, and with the Zao. The first issue comes from a lack of usage for the secondary guns, as good as they are, with a quick fire rate and 6.5km range, due to her poor brawling armor. So how the heck does the Zao fit into this? It’s due to Stalingrad’s lack of torpedo armament, which the Zao has plenty of to help her nuke BBs. Point is, beyond her secondary guns, Stalingrad has very little in the way of back-up weaponry to help defend herself, should she be caught out up close. The reason why will become apparent soon, but for now, that’s all I can really say, beyond the fact that Stalingrad can actually nuke BBs with her guns. I’ve seen Notser land 30k salvoes on the likes of Alabama at pretty decent ranges, and I’m sure some have landed far more devastating volleys on even bigger targets ( i.e Flamu citadeling a Monty from across the map ) Rating: WTAF ( 5 / 5 ) AA: Clean Sheet ( Thanks LWM ) Pros: Fantastic long range DPS and flak thanks to BL-109 Guns, Dedicated Delete-your-Planes button, decent short and mid range AA. Cons: Decent short and mid-range AA barely cuts, the Thunderer exists. Stalingrad wins no prizes for her AA. It has it’s merits, but it’s not so effective as to make her virtually immune to air attack, like with HMS Neptune or Worcester. Her individual AA mounts are somewhat inspiring, especially the long-range 130mm BL-109 mounts and her mid-range mounts, with relatively good numbers. However, the total sum is slightly uninspiring, being slightly less than the Moskva when it comes to AA, which means it just cuts it. Adding to this flat flavor is the general positioning of these AA mounts. They are largely located around the superstructure, which makes them vulnerable to HE spam. Where does Thunderer fit into this? Thunderer has a reputation for AA demolishment with it’s massive High Explosive shells. In other words, one good shot from a Thunderer, and it’s all gone to pieces. The one thing that bumps her up is the dedicated plane-delete button, which actually works, for some reason... Rating: Good ( 4 / 5 ) Maneuverability: Brick ( Or an Iceberg, I don’t really know ) Pros: Fast, quick rudder shift Cons: What in the name of God is that turning circle!? Stalingrad is going to lose a turning contest, period. She might have 35 knots of speed to play with, as well as a 12.5 second rudder shift time, but her godawful 1130 meter turning circle is the one thing that brings it down faster than a brick thrown off a building. It’s not the radius that I’m worried about, though. Rather, it’s the trouble that said radius can bring. With a Des Moines, for example, you can bring your ship around with quick maneuvers to dodge torpedoes because your turning circle, rudder shift, and top speed all work well together to allow for the torpedobeat montage. With Stalingrad, she might have the last two, but that huge radius works against her, making it difficult to immediately change course when trying to play a game of “Just Torpbeat” with a DD, due to the fact that the massive radius also significantly hampers her turning rate ( It’s physics, that’s the only way I can propery explain it without making this an LWM length review ). Otherwise, it’s mostly fine, with that rudder shift and fantastic speed that allows her to keep pace with the allied fleet. That goddamn radius, though, REEEEE!!! Rating: Poor ( 2 / 5 ) Stealth: *Re-insert Overused Yo Mama so Fat Joke* Pros: 12km Soviet Radar Cons: It’s fatter than Iggy Pop by some considerable margin Stalingrad is fat, and I’m not saying just fat, like Bismarck fat, I’m talking like it could suck-start a Harley with that detection radius. Stalingrad’s surface detection of 18.1km is some of the worst in the game, with only the Grosser Kurfurst, Izumo, and the worst-in-the-game Fuso being the only ships he outspots, which is embarrasing. The only thing she really has going for her here, and the only reason why it was spared a rating of “horrendous”, is that 12km Soviet Radar, which, being Russian, also has a relatively long uptime of 30 seconds, which can catch out any ship within it’s radius and expose them to the wrath of Stalin himself. However, another problem crops up in that she can only minimize her surface detection to just 14.2km, which is literally the worst of all cruisers in the game. Hell, it’s even worse than the actual Russian Tier 10 BB, the Kremlin, where that thing has 13.4km concealment. That large detection radius also alerts DDs and light cruisers, her favorite food, to her presence, and, given that forewarning, will maneuver out of the way and avoid what would otherwise be an almost certain death sentence, while that detection also almost guarantees that any positioning errors will be swiftly punished and the driver of the Stalingrad will be promptly sent back to port to learn about making mistakes in battle in this thing. Rating: Poor Ergonomics Pros: Makes money like there’s no tomorrow, extremely easy to use, forgiving in combat. Cons: Tier 10 ships cost a LOT, you know; Steel is hard to come by, requires actual skill to make the most out of in battle Stalingrad makes money, and it’s ridiculously easy to do it. It’s just park, wait, point and shoot, all day long. There’s no such thing as turning, nor is there any concept of skilled play. In other words, she’s extremely forgiving to newer players, and it also means that, even on defeats, thanks to premium credit earning standards, she makes a TON of money. There are, however, downsides. First off, she’s 28,000 Steel, which already makes her one of the most expensive ships in the game, sitting just behind Bourgogne. Also, remember, she’s Tier 10, which means she needs a mad load of credits to not just fit her out, but also to service her as well, not to mention the relatively expensive captain that she requires ( I had to get to a 15 point captain before I felt comfortable in her ). Overall though, she’s extremely forgiving to both run and play. Just remember that it’s also gonna take a LOT more than just some good practice with the whole “point-and-shoot” thing you learn in lower tiers, as only really good captains can really maximize her potential. But then again, WG is just throwing steel at everyone, aren’t they? Rating: WTAF ( 5 / 5 ) Fun Factor The fun factor of a ship is relevant based upon how well she holds up in a battle and whether or not the captain has fun doing it. For me, the Stalingrad was novel, at first anyways. It had the potential to smash apart anything that even dared to wander within her crosshairs, but soon after, it became flat and flavorless, because that’s what this ship is designed to do, just sit in one corner and punish people who make mistakes in front of it. It makes you feel like Stalin himself, for a moment, but that’s it. But that moment feels damn good, so it’s worth it. Rating: Good ( 4 / 5 ) Build While I would actually say Bog-Standard BB build here, I would actually replace Basics of Survivability with Vigilance, which allows her to detect and dodge torpedoes more effectively. I suggest taking Znamensky to alleviate her turret woes with Expert Marksman, and replace ASM1 with the reworked turret module to make her guns more manageable under heavy maneuvering. Verdict Armor: 5 / 5 Armaments 5 / 5 AA 4 / 5 Maneuverability 2 / 5 Concealment 2 / 5 Ergonomics 5 / 5 Fun Factor 4 / 5 Total: 27 / 35 General Writer Verdict: I half expected her to get more than 30 points. That she ended up here is surprising as anything. I have nothing else to say here. The numbers might say that she’s fine, but in game experience tells the other half of the story. I don’t need to repeat myself in saying that this ship is broken as hell, as it’s already evident. That being said, you really need to rein in her firepower, and learn to control it, lest it comes to bite you in the butt harder than a bulldog crunching on a bone. Peace!