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Kongo_Pride posted a topic in French CruisersA heavy cruiser project (Project C5A3) designed to rival potential adversaries: new ships of this type that were being built in Germany. The main difference from the previous ships was manifested in the enhancement of the ship's main guns located in triple turrets. WGWiki Meep! Meep! This cruiser really is the Road Runner of Tier VIII cruisers. When I think of the Charles Martel as compared to other Tier VIII cruisers, I see a lot of great potential. When the French cruiser line was first advertised, many noted that the ship had a high citadel and that the wet tissue paper protecting the citadel was insufficient for the ship to survive. Because of this obvious weakness, many recommended that sailing the French would lead to disaster and frustration. I have found that this cruiser does not need to be well armored, because like the Khabarovsk, she can sit at a distance and simply pepper her enemies to death with high explosive shells all the while running and dodging everything they are throwing at her. How to Sail Her: This will likely receive some backlash, but I will make the statement, this cruiser excels in open water. I know counterintuitive to traditional cruiser play. The Martel needs to be moving, constantly, and almost never in reverse, although be used to kiting early and often in the match. A sitting Martel is going to be dead from AP in a few short bursts. You want your cruiser moving in open water, zigging and zagging between 13.5km and 17.5km from your targets. I have found that I am most effective with this cruiser at these ranges, at least until the later portion of the mid-game or even late game when you either need to make a play or you are on mop-up duties. So, is the Charles Martel another Heavy Cruiser designed to spam high explosive shells on a target for shock value after getting in as close as possible? Some would argue yes. I find that the Martel is best suited for shooting early, often and starting with the largest ships available. Now this might seem backwards to those who play cruisers/rely on them and those who feel the job of the cruiser is to sink the destroyers first and foremost. Do not get me wrong, a destroyer inside of 11km is still a viable priority target, but outside of that look to bigger slower moving targets. Let your damage per a minute slowly eat away at the enemy fleet. Unlike the Japanese Cruisers which use stealth to get close and punish, the Martel wants to simply get off the first shot while kiting away. Other cruisers want to deal with DDs, the Martel, wants to deal with/impact the overall health pool of the enemy team. During the early game, that is the first five minutes of the match, the most important thing you can do is, ensure you are not seen until you fire your first salvo, be already turning away before you fire, and don’t take massive damage to early. Try to avoid getting any closer than 14km from a BB during this period because inside of 14km they can and will citadel you. Additionally, unseen cruisers screening for them will likely be 2-4km in front of them and will melt you. The key is to try and do 20-30k early damage, cause some fires, evade, and escape to the mid-game where your ship will really begin to excel. During the mid-game 15 minutes remaining till about 6 minutes remaining OR when the enemy is reduced from 10 to 5 ships remaining, your ship needs to pull its weight. No matter the tier. Here, you need to pound overextended battleships, lighting fires as you go. Once one or two are set and burning, move on to the next target. Keep the fires spreading around the enemy fleet. Here you may even find a use for your torpedoes. I usually use my speed boost to get to a weak flank, and since the enemy is usually pushing at this point, here is where I let the torpedoes fly. This is often done between 13 and 10.5km, as an oncoming ship will more than make up the ground to run into the torpedo before it hits its maximum 9km range. Most importantly, during this time is keeping the guns hot. Always be moving and always keep them shooting as much as possible at something. If not, be moving to an area where they will have that impact. During the late game, that is when the enemy is reduced to less than 5 ships or under six minutes remain, you may have to be a little more aggressive. If that means capping, do it. Whatever it takes. Your speed makes you probably the most flexible cruiser in the game (tier for tier). You may have to risk your ship, at least you know you can still outrun problems. Strengths: Speed/Maneuver: So the base speed with my signal flag is 34.1 knots. With the Speed Boost, I can hit 40.2 knots. Only thing outrunning you at that point is a Russian DD…and let’s be clear, you probably don’t want to be chasing a Khab anyways. This really makes this ship the Road Runner as I suggested above. You can outrun just about every design to hurt you, but if Wyle Coyote ever catches you, it’s going to hurt a lot. If I could give advice to Captains (BB and CA) who are engaged with a Martel, break contact (run away) and don’t waste ammo on one that is over 14km away and actively maneuvering unless there is just no other target available. You will miss most of the time, and this can become a very frustrating ordeal as your decks go up in fire. The exception to that comment is the Zao and Moskva, which with their rail guns, seem to have better success. Also, since you are usually operating from a bit further in the back…things like radar are of little consequence. High Explosive Shells: In my ships current configuration, I have a 19 percent chance to cause a fire with each salvo. Not as good as the Japanese cruisers with their 22 percent, but with a faster rate of fire, it all works out. With a range of 17.6km, you will start hitting enemy battleships early in the match and this is always a great benefit to the team. Most BB captains tend to let a single fire burn. If you are trying to stack damage, I found that by the 16-minute mark remaining, I was often sitting at 25k+ damage and it would just continue to roll. I would average about 12 fires per a game in the Martel, and having an Arsonist or Witherer every few matches was not uncommon. Survivability: Yes, I just said that about a French cruiser. Of all the cruisers that I own at Tier VIII (which is all of them), the Charles Martel has the highest survival rate. Interestingly, because of this, I think I have also benefited from a higher win rate, damage per battle, and overall experience. Something about this ship just clicks, and because of its speed and maneuverability combination, it is not easily killed. Even when I did die, it was often because I was the last ship on the field. This ship has the potential to carry a Captain to the late game, they just need to understand how to sail her. Weaknesses: Armor: Wet tissue paper over an ammo magazine. You will get citadel’d from just about any angle if you take a hit. If not, it will almost certainly be a pen. The key is to keep moving, stay over 14km, and dodge. Taking a pen or over-pen is fine if you are greatly punishing the pursuer in return. Health: You can ill afford to get into a gun duel with a well angled cruiser inside of 12km. They will eat you alive. Even if you win the exchange you are usually reduced to under 25 percent health. The exchange in this manner just is not good, and this is in large part due to the soft armor of the ship. Worst mistakes I have seen and committed myself, was getting to close to a Bismarck or other German BB with secondary’s that melt your hull. Destroyers: This ship can deal massive damage to a DD inside of 10km. That is not the point. The slower reload makes it better suited for hitting larger ships. I have struggled with this ship to take down destroyers. However, in the current meta, with heavy focus on BBs, this shortcoming is easily overcome. Other: The torps have good angles, but do mediocre damage for torpedoes and rarely cause flooding. Lastly, there is only one set, so they are meh, if not a bonus. The armor piercing is solid and I have scored plenty of citadel hits on other cruisers from Tier VI to Tier X, but it is nothing extraordinary and seems standard for a cruiser. The shell arcs are in the middle of the pack and I have adjusted to them. They are not rail guns, but they don’t take 3 minutes to land on a target either. Captain Skills: I took the following skills to complete my French Captain, slowly building them over time. This is the recommended order. Priority Target (1) – Always good to know who is looking at you and how many. Expert Marksmen (2) – Turret traverse was important for me as I was constantly re-angling my ship to avoid incoming fire. Demolition Expert (3) – 2% Fire Chance to hit. Yeah…extremely useful. This skill is critical to maximizing the fire starting on enemy vessels. Concealment Expert (4) – I like stealth. I prefer to get in the first shot. I do not like having the priority target indicator showing 4-8 before I ever open fire with my main battery. Adrenaline Rush (2) – Critical in the mid to late stages of the game. This will increase your rate of fire and just makes your ship a juggernaut of burn to enemy vessels. Advanced Firing Training (4) – I elected to go AA build on my cruiser. I was rarely if ever in torpedo range, and therefore skills like Vigilance were never really needed. In 100 games, I think my ship hit a total of 4 or 5 torpedoes. Basic Firing Training (3) – To help finish the AA build, plus made the secondary batteries a bit meaner. Ship Modules: Main Armaments Modification 1: A must have. The turrets on this cruiser tend to get incapacitated on the regular, (especially the rear turret) as you kite away. This will reduce that just a bit. Aiming Systems Modification 1: Again, I want as many shells to land on the target I am aiming at as possible. While many will shatter, the chance of fire is greatly increased. Engine Boost Modification 1: Four minutes and thirty seconds of speed boost per a charge. Enough said. This also allows you to save captain points and not necessarily invest in Superintendent. You essentially have a charge available for every stage of the game and can be moving at full speed for 13.5 minutes of the match. That is a nice feat. Steering Gears Modification 2: Let’s be clear, your turning shift is not great, this gives you a 20 percent reduction and brings your rudder shift down to 7.9 seconds. While not ideal, this combined with your speed should be just enough to get you over the hump. Concealment System Modification 1: This will bring you down to a 10.5km detection range. Not great at Tier VIII for a cruiser, but good enough that you can be sure to get in your first shot instead of waiting for the enemy to give you theirs. Also, the +5 percent to dispersion of enemy shells can really help! Signals: Here is my recommended list of signal flags by priority for this ship; Victor Lima, India X-Ray, Sierra Mike, India Yankee, November Foxtrot, Juliet Charlie, November Echo Setteseven, and Juliet Whiskey Unaone. The first two increase fire damage/chance for flooding, the next speed. Beyond that it is more about ship survivability and managing your health pool by reducing the time a fire will burn, cooldown on consumable, and risk of detonation. The remainder is about improving AA, and chance a torpedo will cause a flood. Of note, I did not use detonation flags and was only detonated one time in 100 matches with the ship. In summation, in the current heavy BB meta, this cruiser is absolutely broken and in my opinion the strongest cruiser at Tier VIII. Its ability to do damage, survive, and avoid a lot of damage make it an ideal cruiser for captains to try out. For me, averaging over 99k damage a game and having a 55 percent survival rate says it all. Now, that said, if the meta returns to a DD or Light Cruiser play, then perhaps you put this ship aside for a while in exchange for something else. As always, I look forward to feedback and constructive criticism/techniques you have found useful when sailing this ship.
Now to show what I had started advertising with my previous thread on Monday. On Saturday night, we had 3 out of 4 straight games in Cherry Blossom where we encountered this version of the scenario. The first time we were still figuring out what the heck was going on, and didn't win that time. The second time, we ended up down to two ships at the end, finishing with four stars. The third game, we managed to pull off a five star win with no ships lost, and that is what I am here to show you. There will be one upload each day, starting with this one I uploaded yesterday evening of myself in the Charles Martel. There will one this evening as well if you want to go watch it before I add it here. Now on with the show. Now a couple screenshots to show my damage to the Zaos. Will this get Cherry Blossom nerfed? I don't really think so because this is not a normal game, and WoWs staff may be wanting to see these replays. We have run 5 ship divisions before and I had no desire to add them to my channel, as that is simply showing off and grounds for getting nerfed but this is a special case. @Radar_X @KamiSamurai @turbo07 @Gneisenau013 or someone else in the staff, let me know if I should be sending the original replay files to support or somewhere else to be looked at.