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Found 91 results

  1. As far as I can see, at this point in time, there only need to be 5 lines that need to be added to WOWS before we can stick a fork in it and call it done, only 5 lines to cover the main ships that actually fired their guns in anger in the first and second world wars. However, I have not seen any movement on these lines being implemented, so I decided that I need to do the heavy work for Wargaming, so they don’t have an excuse to pass this softball that I’m meandering over the plate. Below, I will list the line, the characteristics of the line, the historical reason that it should exist, the gameplay reason that it should exist, each tech tree ship in the line, each premium ship associated with the line, and god help me, when I get done with them, proposed stats for each stinking ship that I mention. A lot of thought and work will have gone into this, so if you hear me out, you have my thanks. Probably the line that needs to be added the least while still needing to be added to the game would be a line for British AA cruisers, so that is where I will start just due to the novelty of it. In terms of the historical reasoning for this line, during the 2nd world war, Britain was one of two countries to go all in with the idea of creating surface ships with a main role of screening against air attacks, and the first one to come up with the idea. In all, a total of 25 ships were built or refit as AA cruisers for the Royal Navy, more than any other navy in the world. These ships would serve from the beginning of the war, taking part in numerous surfaces actions, sometimes heavily outgunned, but punching far above their weight. At the end of the European theater, the Kriegsmarine would formally surrender on one of these vessels. Gameplay wise, there is a slight call for these ships to be added, with the feeling of CV’s being broken, perhaps a measure to help correct that. Really this is like a band-aid on a bullet wound, but a series of ships with noticeable AA advantages over their peers would be nice. Apart from that, the gameplay need is simple, new content to keep people engaged. So before we get into the individual ships of the line, we need to get into the characteristics of the line. The Feel of the Line. There are a lot of characteristics to this line that will be dictated by the characteristics of the historical ships in the line, and from here the remaining characteristics are added to flow with that established flavor. A lot of this has already been posted in my Bellona proposal, but as a refresher here are these restraining factors listed below. 1. These ships are small in comparison to other ships of their class and tier, this comes with the advantages of having best or near best in tier concealment, as well as best in tier or near best in tier agility, but at the detriment of having worst in tier or near worst in tier HP pools. 2. These ships have uninspiring armor, worse even than the British light cruisers. 3. The ships main battery are dual purpose mounts, and there is no secondary battery. They will have shorter range and are smaller in caliber than nearly every other cruiser gun in game. 4. The ships long range AA is going to be best in tier or pretty darn close. This is where most of the AA firepower comes from. 5. These ships are not particularly fast, in fact in many cases they are quite slow for a cruiser. So those are the historical constraints, and they already take care of the guts of the lines character. Now what needs to be filled in are any specific traits from the box of gimmicks to flesh things out. As far as this line specific traits, I have in mind a few. These traits being. 1. The ships have the RN CL energy retention in a turn. RN CL’s keep something like 98% of their top speed during turns while most other ships drop to like 80% or something. These cruisers would have that. They would not have the RN CL’s crazy acceleration. 2. The AA flak bursts would have lower accuracy than average. Currently, flak spawns in zones ahead of an aircraft carriers planes. The A zone is directly in front, and something like 80% of your shells spawn here. The B zones are off to the side, and shells have only a 20% chance of spawning here. I would have the flak bursts for these ships spawn either 50-50 between the A and B zones, or even 33-66 favoring B. the though behind this is that while it is easy to just turn and dodge the A zones and avoid most of the flak bursts, this would make it far more likely that you take from them. Finally, there is the question of what consumables would be used. As discussed with Bellona, I think that these ships should get AA defensive fire (they are AA ships after all) smoke, and a special radar. Pitchforks down please, hear my pitch. This smoke is going to be contentious but hear me out. I do not want these ships to have a repair party so any damage that they take should be permanent. Smoke is one of the few consumables that helps against aircraft (you pop smoke to frustrate their drops and can still shoot out of it) and would aid in this being an AA cruiser. Also, with one of the slots being AA defensive fire, there will be a fair few matches where that consumable is worthless, and you need a strong consumable to be able to rely upon. Also, to date I think that every cruiser that has smoke in game also has hydro-acoustic search, making it much harder to torpedo them in smoke. These won’t, which should make it much easier for countering HE spamming ships in smoke clouds. Finally, there is a little bit of democratization here, finally giving regular players who don’t buy premiums or farm silver in clan battles the ability to get their very on HE throwing cruisers in smoke. So the radar, good news, will be totally unable to detect ships. it’ll be a whole new type of radar, called “Air Search Radar” and its going to do 2 things. First is that it’ll detect planes. Through islands, sure, regular radar can. More importantly, through smoke, allowing the ships to totally on their own be able to smoke up and shoot out at aircraft with impunity and a degree of safety. The second thing that it will do is act as a combo of Radio location and incoming fire alert. When a enemy shoots at you from a far enough range (to be determined) the radar picks up the incoming fire and displays roughly where it is coming from, allowing you to make a educated choice on how to react to ships firing into your smoke from range. So, it is mainly a consumable against aircraft, but with a ship-to-ship combat benefit. So, there we go, in general, this is how the line would feel. Now to the individual ships. Stats will get added in as individual writeups are made. Ships of the Line Tier 4: The C class AA Cruiser. This is the AA ship that started it all. With the ships on hand and obsolete, the Royal Navy decided to do a refit after the Italian invasion of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1935. The Italians had a large air force at this point, and the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean would have to deal with them. Thus, there were 3 series of refits to the C class cruisers to make them AA ships. The first two converted, Coventry and Curlew, had 10 single 4 inch cannons and 2 octuple pompoms. However, the standard outfit was 8 of the dual 4-inch mounts that are ubiquitous on British cruisers, as well as a single quad pom-pom and a pair of quad Vickers 50 cals. This would be the A hull for this ship. The B-hull would be the refit applied to HMS Colombo, being 3 of the dual 4-inch mounts, 2 twin 40mm bofors, and 14 20mm cannons arranged in 6 dual mounts and a pair of singles. Armor: 6 mm turret armor 10mm superstructure plating 13mm end plating, plating, and barbette armor 25mm auxiliary spaces roof armor, citadel and auxiliary room bulkhead 38mm extremities belt armor 57mm mid belt armor 76mm citadel belt armor Survivability: ? Artillery: 4x2 4."/45 QF MkXIX (Standard AP+HE) (3x2 for B hull) MV: 811 m/s Reload: ? 180 degree turn time: 18s Max dispersion: ? Max AP Shell Damage: 1800 Max HE Shell Damage:1500 Fire Chance: 4% Range:? AA Defense: 4 x quad .50 : 35 DPS @ 1.5 Km w/ 85% accuracy 1 x quad 40mm Pom Pom:35 DPS @2.5 Km w/ 90% accuracy 4 x 2 102mm/45 Mk XIX : 96 DPS @ 5.8 Km w/ 90% accuracy Shell explosions: 4 x 1396 damage @ 2.5 – 5.8 km 2 x 20mm Mk IV: 16 DPS @ 2 Km w/ 85% accuracy 6 x dual 20mm Mk V: 81 DPS @ 2 Km w/ 85% accuracy 2 x 40mm bofors Hazemeyer : 126 DPS @ 3.5 Km w/ 90% accuracy 3 x 2 102mm/45 Mk XIX : 72 DPS @ 5.8 Km w/ 90% accuracy Shell explosions: 3 x 1396 damage @ 2.5 – 5.8 km Maneuverability: Max Speed: 29 Kts Turning Circle Radius: 580 m Rudder shift: 5.6s Concealment: Detectability by Sea: ? Detectability by Air :6 km Detectability of Gunfire in Smoke: 2.0 Km Consumables: Damage Control Smoke: 5 charges, 15 second emission, 50 second duration, 100 second cooldown Defensive AA: unlimited charges. 40 second action time, 70 second reload, +50% continuous damage, +300% shellburst damage Tier 5: The Proposed D class Cruiser AA refit. As a part of the AA cruiser refits, it was decided that the similarly obsolete but larger D class cruisers would get a slightly larger and better laid out version of the C class AA refit. These would be armed with 4 twin 4.5 in turrets (similar to the secondary battery of Ark Royal), a quadruple pom pom, and the 2 quad 50 cal Vickers guns. as below, but lose the aft pom pom and replace the 20mm cannons at the stern, behind x turret, and on the wing deck with a smaller amount of quad vickers guns, i'm thinking 4. B hull is as below, exactly as is. This means 3 quad pom poms, and 9 single 20mm mounts. This can be adjusted, but shows the general look and changes between hulls. Armor: 6 mm turret armor 10mm superstructure plating 13mm end plating, plating, and barbette armor auxiliary spaces roof armor, citadel and auxiliary room bulkhead 38mm extremities belt armor 57mm mid belt armor 76mm citadel belt armor Survivability: ? Artillery: 4x2 4.5"/45 QF Mk3 UD (Standard AP+HE) MV: 746 m/s Reload: ? 180 degree turn time: 18s Max dispersion: ? Max AP Shell Damage: 2200 Max HE Shell Damage:1700 Fire Chance: 6% Range:? AA Defense: 7 x single 20mm Mk IV: 56 DPS @ 2 Km w/ 85% accuracy 3 x quad 40mm Pom Pom: 105 DPS @2.5 Km w/ 90% accuracy 4 x 2 113mm/45 Mk III UD: 100 DPS @ 6 Km w/ 90% accuracy Shell explosions: 4 x 1470 damage @ 2.5 – 5.8 km Maneuverability: Max Speed: 30 Kts Turning Circle Radius: 590 m Rudder shift: 6.1s Concealment: Detectability by Sea: ? Detectability by Air :6 km Detectability of Gunfire in Smoke: 2.5 Km Consumables: Damage Control Smoke: 5 charges, 15 second emission, 50 second duration, 100 second cooldown Defensive AA: unlimited charges. 40 second action time, 70 second reload, +50% continuous damage, +300% shellburst damage Tier 6: Scylla HMS Scylla was a Dido class cruiser but modified to meet the urgent requirements of war. She and Charybdis were modified from the standard dido design to use 4.5-inch turrets originally made for the proposed D class AA cruisers, just because they were on hand and the ships could be completed much faster than waiting for the proper 5.25-inch mounts. She would also be modified for flagship duties, getting a action information organization room (same as a US navy C&C) and this would let her be the flagship at the D-day landings. Scylla would have the 4 twin 4.5 inch cannons, as well as 2 triple torpedo tubes, 2 quad pom-poms, and 8 20mm. b hull would replace the 8 20mm with six dual 20mm cannons. Armor: 6mm turret armor 10mm superstructure plating and machinery citadel roof 13mm end plating, plating, and barbette armor 25mm, auxiliary spaces roof armor, citadel and auxiliary room bulkhead 51mm Magazine citadel roof armor 89mm auxiliary room and citadel belt armor Survivability: 25500 HP Artillery: 4x2 4.5"/45 QF Mk3 UD (Standard AP+HE) MV: 746 m/s Reload: 4.5 seconds (13.33RPM) 180 degree turn time: 18s Max dispersion: 116m Max AP Shell Damage: 2200 Max HE Shell Damage:1700 Fire Chance: 6% Range:12.5 km Torpedoes: 2x3 533mm Mk IX Damage:15867 Range: 8 km Reload: 72s Speed: 61 Kts Detectability: 1.3 km AA Defense: 6 x dual 20mm Mk V: 81 DPS @ 2 Km w/ 85% accuracy 2 x quad 40mm Pom Pom: 70 DPS @2.5 Km w/ 90% accuracy 4 x 2 113mm/45 Mk III UD: 100 DPS @ 6 Km w/ 90% accuracy Shell explosions: 4 x 1470 damage @ 2.5 – 5.8 km Maneuverability: Max Speed: 32.25 Kts Turning Circle Radius: 610 m Rudder shift: 6.7s Concealment: Detectability by Sea: 9.65 km Detectability by Air :6 km Detectability of Gunfire in Smoke: 2.5 Km Consumables: Damage Control Smoke: 5 charges, 15 second emission, 50 second duration, 100 second cooldown Defensive AA: unlimited charges. 40 second action time, 70 second reload, +50% continuous damage, +300% shellburst damage Tier 7: Dido Dido was lead ship of the most numerous class of Royal Navy cruisers in WWII and had an absolutely stacked combat record that is far to lengthy to cover here, and is basically the main reason I'm doing this. Reference my profile, i'm a simp for this ship. Her A hull would have 4 twin 5.25 inch cannons, two triple torpedoes, 2 quad pom poms, and 2 quad .50 cal Vickers. B hull would have 5 5.25-inch cannons, the triple torpedo tubes, 2 quad pom poms, 2 single 20mm and 4 dual 20mm. Armor: 10mm superstructure plating and machinery citadel roof 13mm end plating, plating, and barbette armor 25mm all turret armor, auxiliary spaces roof armor, citadel and auxiliary room bulkhead 51mm Magazine citadel roof armor 89mm auxiliary room and citadel belt armor Survivability: 26000 HP Artillery: 5x2 5.25”/50 QF Mk1 (Standard AP+HE) MV: 814 m/s Reload:6 seconds (10RPM) 180 degree turn time: 18s Max dispersion: 116m Max AP Shell Damage: 2700 Max HE Shell Damage:1900 Range:13.5 km Torpedoes: 2x3 533mm Mk IX Damage:15867 Range: 8 km Reload: 72s Speed: 61 Kts Detectability: 1.3 km Or 2x3 533mm Mk IX Damage:15533 Range: 10 km Reload: 72 Speed: 62 kts Detectability: 1.3 km AA Defense: 2 x 20mm Mk IV: 16 DPS @ 2 Km w/ 85% accuracy 4 x dual 20mm Mk V: 54 DPS @ 2 Km w/ 85% accuracy 2 x quad 40mm Pom Pom: 70 DPS @2.5 Km w/ 90% accuracy 5 x 2 133mm/50 Mk 1: 150 DPS @ 6 Km w/ 90% accuracy Shell explosions: 5 x 1617 damage @ 2.5 – 6 km Maneuverability: Max Speed: 32.25 Kts Turning Circle Radius: 610 m Rudder shift: 6.7s Concealment: Detectability by Sea: 9.75 km Detectability by Air :6 km Detectability of Gunfire in Smoke: 4.4 Km Consumables: Damage Control Smoke: 5 charges, 15 second emission, 50 second duration, 100 second cooldown Defensive AA: unlimited charges. 40 second action time, 70 second reload, +50% continuous damage, +300% shellburst damage Tier 8: His Majesty’s Chongus Destroyer M1 One of the proposed 1943 light cruisers. Armed with 3 twin 5.25in turrets with improved gun and mounting, 6 dual 40mm mounts, 8 dual 20mm, and 2 quad torpedo launchers. There are literally no pictures of this thing. But have some characteristics to tide you over Armor: 13mm superstructure plating 16mm end plating and plating 25mm turret top, side, and barbette armor, and citadel and auxiliary room bulkhead 51mm auxiliary room roof, turret face, and citadel roof armor 76mm auxiliary room and citadel belt armor Displacement:7,150 tons length at waterline: 520 ft Artillery: 3x2 5.25”/50 QF Mk3* (Standard AP+HE) MV: 814 m/s Reload:3 seconds (20RPM) 180 degree turn time: 9s Max dispersion: ? Max AP Shell Damage: 2700 Max HE shell Damage: 1900 Fire Chance: 8% Range:? Torpedoes: 2x4 533mm Mk IX Damage:15533 Range: 10 km Reload: 96 Speed: 62 kts Detectability: 1.3 km AA Defense: 8 x dual 20mm Mk V: 108 DPS @ 2 Km w/ 85% accuracy 6x STAAG Dual Bofors mounts: ? @ 3.5 Km w/ 90% accuracy 3 x 2 133mm/50 Mk III*: 180 DPS @ 6 Km w/ 90% accuracy Shell explosions: 6 x 1617 damage @ 2.5 – 6 km Manuverability Max Speed:29 Kts (HP upgrade gives 30 kts) Turning Circle Radius: ? Rudder shift: ? Concealment: Detectability by Sea: ? Detectability by Air :6 km Detectability of Gunfire in Smoke: 4.4 Km Consumables: Damage Control Smoke: 5 charges, 15 second emission, 50 second duration, 100 second cooldown Defensive AA: unlimited charges. 40 second action time, 70 second reload, +50% continuous damage, +300% shellburst damage Air Search Radar: 4 charges, 60 second duration, 90 second cooldown. Tier 9: Cruiser proposal N2 The other proposed 1943 light cruiser. Armed with 4 dual 5.25 in turret like m1, with 8 dual 40mm mounts and 12 dual 20mm mounts, as well as 2 quad torpedo launchers. B hull would have 2 quad launchers per side, be capable of 30 knots. Armor: 13mm superstructure plating 16mm end plating and plating 25mm turret top, side, and barbette armor, and citadel and auxiliary room bulkhead 51mm auxiliary room roof, turret face, and citadel roof armor 76mm auxiliary room and citadel belt armor Displacement:8,650 tons length at waterline: 550 ft Artillery: 4x2 5.25”/50 QF Mk3* (Standard AP+HE) MV: 814 m/s Reload:3 seconds (20RPM) 180 degree turn time: 9s Max dispersion: ? Max AP Shell Damage: 2700 Max HE shell Damage: 1900 Fire Chance: 8% Range:? Torpedoes: 2x4 533mm Mk IX (B hull gives 4x4) Damage:15533 Range: 10 km Reload: 72 Speed: 62 kts Detectability: 1.3 km AA Defense: 12 x dual 20mm Mk V: 162 DPS @ 2 Km w/ 85% accuracy 8 x STAAG Dual Bofors mounts: ? @ 3.5 Km w/ 90% accuracy 4 x 2 133mm/50 Mk III*: 240 DPS @ 6 Km w/ 90% accuracy Shell explosions: 8 x 1617 damage @ 2.5 – 6 km Manuverability Max Speed:29 Kts ( HP upgrade gives 30 kts) Turning Circle Radius: ? Rudder shift: ? Concealment: Detectability by Sea: ? Detectability by Air :6 km Detectability of Gunfire in Smoke: 4.4 Km Consumables: Damage Control Smoke: 5 charges, 15 second emission, 50 second duration, 100 second cooldown Defensive AA: unlimited charges. 40 second action time, 70 second reload, +50% continuous damage, +300% shellburst damage Air Search Radar: 4 charges, 60 second duration, 90 second cooldown. Tier 10: So, this has gone through a few a few iterations. Initially, this was going to be moving the current Minotaur to this branch, rebalancing it, and replacing it with a modernized Plymouth in the Main tree. A bad idea, to say the least. Luckily, a much better idea was proposed by @AYYYYYYMD , but then another better idea was recommended by @Lord_Magus, and then I had another better idea. so here we have 3 ideas for tier 10, and not really knowing which one to pick, going to just throw them all down. Option 1: His Majesty's Australian Ship Mini Neptune: This was recommended to me by @AYYYYYYMD as a tier 10, and its a much better idea than what I originally had, which was moving Minotaur to this line and replacing it with another ship and re-balancing it as well. The main issues with this ship are that it has very little supporting material for it, the specification is pretty vague as well, and in a perfect world this would go into a no kidding commonwealth tree. However, this ship is the one of the 3 proposals for tier 10 that best fits in with the rest of the line, having 12 5.25 inch cannons on a small ship with no secondary armament and a heavy AA focus. Armor: 13mm superstructure plating 16mm end plating and plating 25mm turret top, side, and barbette armor, and citadel and auxiliary room bulkhead 51mm auxiliary room roof, turret roof, and citadel roof armor ? auxiliary room and citadel belt armor Displacement: 9000 tons length at waterline: 550 ft Artillery: 4x3 5.25”/50 QF Mk3* (Standard AP+HE) MV: 814 m/s Reload:3 seconds (20RPM) 180 degree turn time: 13.5s Max dispersion: ? Max AP Shell Damage: 2700 Max HE shell Damage: 1900 Fire Chance: 8% Range:? Torpedoes: 4x4 533mm Mk IX Damage:15533 Range: 10 km Reload: 72 Speed: 62 kts Detectability: 1.3 km AA Defense: 18 x dual 20mm Mk V: 243 DPS @ 2 Km w/ 85% accuracy 12 x STAAG Dual Bofors mounts: ? @ 3.5 Km w/ 90% accuracy 4 x 3 133mm/50 Mk III*: 360 DPS @ 6 Km w/ 90% accuracy Shell explosions: 12 x 1617 damage @ 2.5 – 6 km Manuverability Max Speed:30 Kts Turning Circle Radius: ? Rudder shift: ? Concealment: Detectability by Sea: ? Detectability by Air :6 km Detectability of Gunfire in Smoke: 4.4 Km Consumables: Damage Control Smoke: 5 charges, 15 second emission, 50 second duration, 100 second cooldown Defensive AA: unlimited charges. 40 second action time, 70 second reload, +50% continuous damage, +300% shellburst damage Air Search Radar: 4 charges, 60 second duration, 90 second cooldown. Option 2: His Majesty's Ship Chongus Dido: This is my option for Tier 10, it does have some pluses, but also a lot of downsides, I don't know if I'm over the moon about this one, but am putting it in here for completions sake. This is the Z4C or Sketch D of the Minotaur Class Crusiers, and the one that was being the most actively developed. So, the good news is that this is basically a Dido, but upscaled. Nothing weird happens with gun caliber or characteristics, and there is a design precident for this ship. the main bad thing is that this breaks the feel of the line, being larger than the regular line ship by 30 ft and also being taller courtesy of the 3 deck high turrets. Being longer and taller it would no longer be as nimble or as sneaky as its in tree counterpart. Still, it is a option. Armor: 13mm superstructure plating 16mm end plating and plating 25mm Conning Tower 38mm Turret Roof, Machinery Space Citadel Roof 51mm Barbette, Turret Side, and Turret Rear 57mm Magazine Citadel Roof 102mm Citadel belt, Turret Front 127mm Citadel Bulkhead Displacement: 15280 (for reference, Minotaur has 13870 tons displacement) length at waterline: 645 ft Artillery: 5x2 6”/50 Mk XXVI (Standard AP+HE) MV: 768 m/s Reload:3.2 seconds (20RPM) 180 degree turn time: 4.7s Max dispersion: ? Max AP Shell Damage: 3200 Max HE shell Damage: 2200 Fire Chance: 9% Range:? Torpedoes: 4x4 533mm Mk IX Damage:16767 Range: 10 km Reload: 72 Speed: 62 kts Detectability: 1.3 km AA Defense: 10 x dual 20mm Mk V: 135 DPS @ 2 Km w/ 85% accuracy 8 x 2 76.2mm/70 Mk VI: 508 DPS @ 4.0 Km w/ 90% accuracy 5 x 2 152mm/50 Mk XXVI: 360 DPS @ 6 Km w/ 90% accuracy Shell explosions: 10 x 1890 damage @ 2.5 – 6 km Manuverability Max Speed:33.5 Kts Turning Circle Radius: ? Rudder shift: ? Concealment: Detectability by Sea: ? Detectability by Air :6 km Detectability of Gunfire in Smoke: 5.4 Km Consumables: Damage Control Smoke: 5 charges, 15 second emission, 50 second duration, 100 second cooldown Defensive AA: unlimited charges. 40 second action time, 70 second reload, +50% continuous damage, +300% shellburst damage Air Search Radar: 4 charges, 60 second duration, 90 second cooldown. Option 3: His Majesty's Ship The Future: This is the ship proposed by @Lord_Magus and its pretty crazy. This is Sketch A of the 1960 cruiser, named so because the admiralty was convinced that in 1948 when they drew it that it would not be possible to make until 1960. It uses 4 of the very experimental N1 5"/70 cannons, with a proposed shell weight of 70 pounds, muzzle velocity of 1036 m/s, and maximum fire rate of 66 rounds per minute! This design has some pros, its a all gun ship, that would be new, would be a AA cruiser, and with a crazy low profile would fit in with the line to a good degree. the cons are the guns. at 127mm they would not benefit the same way that the 5.25 inch guns would from IFHE and thus the commander skills for this ship would be different from the rest of the line. More importantly, its crazy guns would be weird to balance. The High muzzle velocity would change the playstyle, not to mention the firing rate would need to be nerfed and the shell characteristics are wacky (the AP shell is basically SAP as specified, penetrating 1 inch of armor at "minimum striking velocity's and angles of 50 degrees" and having a bursting charge of 5 lbs, compared to the 6 inch cannons 3.75) this ship would be interesting to implement. Premium at Tier 6: Bellona A nice lower tier trainer for the AA cruisers. Have a write up here Armor: 10mm superstructure plating and machinery citadel roof 13mm barbette armor 16mm end plating and plating 25mm all turret armor, auxiliary spaces roof armor, citadel and auxiliary room bulkhead 51mm Magazine citadel roof armor 89mm auxiliary room and citadel belt armor Survivability: 27000 HP Artillery: 4x2 5.25”/50 QF Mk1 (Standard AP+HE) MV: 814 m/s Reload:6 seconds (10RPM) 180 degree turn time: 9s Max dispersion: 116m Max AP Shell Damage: 2700 Max HE Shell Damage: 1900 Range:12.7 km Torpedoes: 2x3 533mm Mk IX Damage:15867 Range: 8 km Reload: 72s Speed: 61 Kts Detectability: 1.3 km Or 2x3 533mm Mk IX Damage:15533 Range: 10 km Reload: 72 Speed: 62 kts Detectability: 1.3 km AA Defense: 2 x 20mm Mk IV: 16 DPS @ 2 Km w/ 85% accuracy 4 x dual 20mm Mk V: 54 DPS @ 2 Km w/ 85% accuracy 2 x quad 40mm Pom Pom: 70 DPS @2.5 Km w/ 90% accuracy 4 x 2 133mm/50 Mk 1: 150 DPS @ 6 Km w/ 90% accuracy Shell explosions: 5 x 1617 damage @ 2.5 – 6 km Maneuverability: Max Speed: 32 Kts Turning Circle Radius: 610 m Rudder shift: 6.7s Concealment: Detectability by Sea: 9.55 km Detectability by Air :6 km Detectability of Gunfire in Smoke: 4.4 Km Consumables: Damage Control Smoke: 5 charges, 15 second emission, 50 second duration, 100 second cooldown Defensive AA: unlimited charges. 40 second action time, 70 second reload, +50% continuous damage, +300% shellburst damage Premium at Tier 7: Sirius A premium for the RN Cl line. It being a Dido class I put it here, but gameplay wise it would be 100% RN CL. Have a writeup here, Here are the stats if you don’t much care for the whole thing. Armor: 10mm superstructure plating and machinery citadel roof 13mm end plating, plating, and barbette armor 25mm all turret armor, auxiliary spaces roof armor, citadel and auxiliary room bulkhead 51mm Magazine citadel roof armor 89mm auxiliary room and citadel belt armor Survivability: 26000 HP Artillery: 5x2 5.25”/50 QF Mk1 (Standard AP+HE) MV: 814 m/s Reload:6 seconds (10RPM) 180 degree turn time: 18s Max dispersion: 116m Max AP Shell Damage 2700 Range:13.5 km Torpedoes: 2x3 533mm Mk IX Damage:15867 Range: 8 km Reload: 72s Speed: 61 Kts Detectability: 1.3 km Or 2x3 533mm Mk IX Damage:15533 Range: 10 km Reload: 72 Speed: 62 kts Detectability: 1.3 km AA Defense: 7 x 20mm Mk IV: 57 DPS @ 2 Km w/ 85% accuracy 2 x quad 40mm Pom Pom: 70 DPS @2.5 Km w/ 90% accuracy 5 x 2 133mm/50 Mk 1: 150 DPS @ 6 Km w/ 90% accuracy Shell explosions: 5 x 1617 damage @ 2.5 – 6 km Maneuverability: Max Speed: 32.25 Kts Turning Circle Radius: 610 m Rudder shift: 6.7s Concealment: Detectability by Sea: 9.75 km Detectability by Air :6 km Detectability of Gunfire in Smoke: 4.4 Km Consumables: Damage Control Repair Party: 3 charges, 130 HP/sec, 28 seconds action time, 76 second reload time Hydroacoustic Search: 3 charges, 3 km torpedo detection, 4 km ship detection, 100 second action time, 114 second reload. Smoke: 3 charges, 15 second action time, 100 second dispersion time. 150 second reload. Premium at tier 8: K25F A paper design during the process of designing Fiji, has 8 of the twin 5.25in cannons. Would be a higher tier captain trainer. Armor: 10mm superstructure plating 13mm end plating 19mm deck and hull plating 25mm turret side and roof and barbette armor, citadel and auxiliary room bulkhead, and hull plating and roof over shell rooms (?) 32mm citadel deck over machinery 51mm auxiliary room roof and citadel roof armor over magazines 76mm auxiliary room and citadel belt armor at machinery, and turret fronts 89mm citadel belt armor at magazines Survivability: 31000 HP Artillery: 8x2 5.25”/50 QF Mk1 (Standard AP+HE) MV: 814 m/s Reload:6 seconds (10RPM) 180 degree turn time: 18s Max dispersion:? Max AP Shell Damage: 2700 Max HE Shell Damage:1900 Range:? Torpedoes: 2x3 533mm Mk IX Damage:15533 Range: 10 km Reload: 72 Speed: 62 kts Detectability: 1.3 km AA Defense: some mixture of light and medium AA 8x 2 133mm/50 Mk 1: 180 DPS @ 6 Km w/ 90% accuracy Shell explosions: 6 x 1617 damage @ 2.5 – 6 km Maneuverability: Max Speed: 31.7 Kts Turning Circle Radius: 670 m Rudder shift: ? Concealment: Detectability by Sea: 11.5 km Detectability by Air :6 km Detectability of Gunfire in Smoke: 4.4 Km Consumables: Damage Control Smoke: 5 charges, 15 second emission, 50 second duration, 100 second cooldown Defensive AA: unlimited charges. 40 second action time, 70 second reload, +50% continuous damage, +300% shellburst damage And those are the ships. Let me know what you think.
  2. Entered Service: 1953 The De Zeven Provinciën is an interesting cruiser. She has the firepower of a Tier 9 cruiser, the Anti-Aircraft defenses of a Tier 10 cruiser, but the hull of a Tier 7 cruiser. This proposal will discuss which tiers she could be placed at, and the nerf/buffs she will need in order to fit in at those tiers. As for how players will be able to get her, I would like for this to be the tier 8 or 9 in the Pan-EU CL tech tree, but she might very well be added as a premium ship instead. Survivability: The HP I got when I put the displacement into the formula was 32700, which is quite bad. BUT, most CLs at this tier have their HP bumped up by a few thousand. Worcester, for example, should have 43300 HP using the formula, so I’ll bump the HP to around 35700 HP, which is still not good. Armor: Belt: 50-76mm Citadel Deck: 20mm Deck: 30mm Turrets: 125 or 100mm faces, 50 mm sides. Conning Tower: 125mm. Nose Plating: 25mm First of all, you could probably get away with running the AA survival upgrade on this cruiser. The turrets are basically indestructible. I don’t think any other light cruiser has better turret armor. Secondly, while the 75mm belt might seem terrible at first glance, it's actually not as bad as it seems. Why? Well, consider that the De Zeven Provinciën’s beam is 17.25m, narrower than Smolensk’s hull (17.25 vs 18.1 m. beam), and the belt armor is only 5mm thicker than the Smolensk. What this means is that the De Zeven Provinciën can simply show flat broadside to most BBs and some cruisers at medium to close range and force overpens. Angled, this cruiser is prone to overmatch, due to the poor vertical protection, and poor firing arcs forward. Looking at the shape of the belt armor, it also looks like the ship has the infamous stepped citadel that seem to be designed to catch shells. The 25mm plating will bounce super-cruiser shells if angled, but most BBs will punch straight through. Maneuverability: Speed: 32 knots. Rudder shift: 7.6 s. Turning Circle: 710 m. It’s… ok. Concealment: Detectability by Sea: 13.7 km. Detectability by Air: 8.52 km. This ship may be smaller than most cruisers in the game, but this ship’s superstructure is the definition of a 5head- it's massive, and the antennas and radar equipment tower high above the ship. Main Armament: 4 x 2 Bofors 152mm kanon m/42 Rate of Fire: 15 shots/min. Reload: 4 seconds. 180 Degree Turn Time: 7.2 seconds. Base Firing Range: 17.1 km. Maximum HE shell damage: 2200 Fire Chance: 11% HE Shell Penetration: 30mm. Maximum AP Shell Damage: 3000 Shell Velocity: 900 m/s. The DZP's gun count is quite low for a light cruiser, with only 8 barrels. The fire rate however more than makes up for it. The good range on the DZP can be owed to the advanced and modern fire control systems on it, and the height of the rangefinders, making up for the poor concealment. The Bofors 152mm/53 fires an HE shell with a similar weight to USN HE shells (101 vs 104 Lbs), but with a faster shell velocity (812 vs 900 m/s). This means most players will find that they can comfortably land shells out to 17 km with this ship. The AP shells however are very light, and not likely to have very good penetration or ballistics at range. The firing angles to the front will be poor, but the rearwards firing angles will be quite good + the 180 traverse speed is incredibly fast. The playstyle of the De Zeven Provinciën would most likely be of a mid-to-long range HE spammer because of its weak armor but great firepower, and lack of torpedoes. Torpedo Armament: Nope. Sorry. Anti-Air: 4 x 2 Bofors 152mm kanon m/42 4 x 2 Bofors 57mm/60 M50 8 x 1 Bofors 40mm L/70 Base DPS: 106/456 Range: 6.9/4.0km. Hit Probability: 90% Number of Shell Explosions in a Salvo: 6 Damage by Shell Explosions: 1870 If DZP is put in as a Silver Ship, the ship should not have the 40mm guns put in place until Hull B is bought. This is because the ship didn’t receive them until the early 1960s, according to Navypedia. The Halland, with only 6 40mm and 1 twin 57mm, gets about 347 mid-range DPS, so it makes sense that the AA values here would be insane. With the new +20% AA DPs skill that you can take on cruisers, and the AA module, the DZP can potentially reach over 800 AA DPS. Yeah. European AA is just like that. I still have no idea how AA DPS is calculated, but I made a rudimentary guess using AA values from other Pan-EU ships. (Each 40mm L/70 mount is 47 DPS, and 57mm 67 DPS, that formula gets you 329 DPS on OSter, and 282 on Friesland, so I think it’s accurate). The 57mm guns also bump the mid-range AA to 4.0 km, like on the Halland. Placing her at Tier IX would prevent her from seeing Tier VI planes, but the AA values will need nerfing if she is to be placed at Tier VIII. Either way, carrier players will quickly learn to stay away from the DZP. Consumables: Standard DCP 4 x Repair Party Action Time: 28 s. HP Per Second: + 0.66% Reload Time: 80 s. In order to make up for the low HP pool, the DZP will get a slightly improved Repair Party, like on Colbert and Austin. If it’s placed at Tier VIII then this can be changed to a regular Repair Party. 3 x Hydroacoustic Search Detection of Torpedoes: 3.5 km. Detection of Ships: 5 km. Action Time: 100 s. Reload: 120 s. Having DFAA on this ship would be funny to see, but I think having the highest mid-range DPS in the game is enough for this ship. Still, the cards are on the table for DFAA.
  3. A_Horde_of_Sharks

    How do you carry games in the Yoshino

    I'm at a loss. I can usually figure out how to flip games in most ships solo, but this one seems harder than expected. Playing the Yoshino usually boils down to sitting on the second line since it does not have much pushing power, making it heavily reliant on teammates to provide a buffer. However, with Dead-eye and most bbs staying further back it makes this type of play-style much more difficult. It's like having too much dps on a team in an rpg. I'm thinking about retiring this ship into a trophy ship until the meta changes, but at this point I'm not certain since I still want to give this ship some love. Any recommendations on how to flip this ship's win rate? What kinds of builds do you use for this ship in the dead-eye meta? Thanks!
  4. I usually play BB or DD, but sometimes I try to play cruiser, I got the 2 ARP cruiser, but wth, I get destroyed after 3 salves from battleships, every time. This doesn't seem normal. On top of that the reload time of my main battery is slow, close to a BB. When I fight cruiser with my T6 or T7 BB, It need to hit them a lot. I play the german BB and my expertise say, they do the most damage per shell. What am I doing wrong? I'm not the best player, I'm more mediocre, but my aim is pretty decent, I miss most shots because of the dispersion of shells, so why are most other players hit me with all their shells, there shells are most of the time very close and hit almost the same spot. Not all players, but some.
  5. It Would be Pretty Cool if HMS Bellona was Added to the Game. So, remember when I said that while no ship needs to be added to the game, HMS Sirius really ought to be added to the game? HMS Bellona does not really need to be added to the game, but it would be pretty cool. Also, because Bellona is not the slam dunk that Sirius is, I must think a bit more about how it would be implemented and more importantly what the flavor of the ship would be. For Sirius, it was simple, extrapolate values from existent ships and characteristics and make it conform to British light cruisers. I know that it will be acceptably balanced (well, maybe some things need tweaking) and not meta breaking or making because that meta already exists. If I do the same thing for Bellona, that would be boring. So, same format as before, I’ll talk about the ship’s history, why this ship in particular needs to be added, the stats of the ship and expected playstyle, and then who will want to buy it. So, without further delay. HMS Bellona: A Primer. HMS Bellona was ordered as a standard Dido class cruiser in 1939 as a part of 5 war emergency ships. Construction continued until there was a pause in May of 1940 due to the fears of invasion, with the material and expertise being moved elsewhere. This allowed time for the Directorate of Naval Construction to look at what could be adjusted on these ships to make them more efficient. The chief thing on their mind was removing the topmost front turret. If they did that, it would give them the following benefits. 1. They were no longer fighting as much with the KGV’s for turrets. While less of a issue the further into the war they got, initially the Dido’s were finishing with 4 turrets and getting their 5th later because the KGV’s had priority. Less turrets in general meant this was less of a issue. 2. The overall height of the ship could be dropped. For their dimensions, the Dido class was tall, because the top of the bridge had to see over the third turret. With that turret removed the overall height could be removed, and these weight savings could be transferred to improving protection and AA armament, speaking of... 3. A mid-range AA gun could be added that covered the front arc of the ships. Any air attack that was not a torpedo run would go down the length, so a close in AA mount that could cover that angle was very desirable. So, the gun was removed. The remaining guns had their mounts improved with more power available from an additional generator to increase their rotation rate from 10 to 20 degrees per second. Added into their connection with the high angle Control system and radar, and the main armament became much more flexible against enemy aircraft. The funnels were straightened, and more 20mm cannons were added for close in air defense. In all, these ships could engage enemy aircraft much more effectively at the cost of effectiveness against surface units, but the trade was deemed to be a good one. So, at the end of October 1943 Bellona commissioned into the Royal Navy. With less than 2 years left in the war one may be forgiven for thinking that her career was uneventful. To the contrary, it was packed. At the start though, it was not looking good. Electrical faults kept it from joining the fleet until January of 1944, where it joined the English Channel force 26 as flagship, charged with keeping the German destroyers and E-boats bottled up as invasion preparations were set in motion, as well as attacking any convoys it ran across. In March, it finally ran across some E-Boats on the 15th in a mutually inconclusive action. At this point HMS Black Prince relieved it, and they prepared for supporting the invasion. During the invasion Bellona deployed off Omaha beach, providing naval fire support as well as AA picket duty, where during a night attack it got a confirmed aircraft kill. By mid-June, she was sent to reserve, and prepared to move to the Norway theater. She covered a carrier attack on Tirpitz in July, then returned to Plymouth and force 26 to hunt E-boats. In August, Bellona started racking up some kills. On the night of the 6th, she ran into a pair of convoys sinking 2 minesweepers, a patrol boat, and an aircraft repair ship as well as disabling 2 more vessels. with the help of the 4 tribal class destroyers she was assigned with (one of them being Haida). In September, she was refit, with more 20mm slapped on wherever possible. In October, she escorted Implacable for airstrikes in Norway. In November she joined force 2 with HMS Kent and 4 destroyers, running into a German convoy and sinking 2 merchantships and 2 minesweepers. December brought a trip to the arctic convoys. January, another anti shipping strike, with a force of one heavy cruiser, 2 lights (the other being Dido) 10 destroyers and 2 escort carriers they ran into a convoy of 8 ships, 4 being destroyers. All the merchantmen but one was sunk, no word on the destroyers. She would spend the rest of the war alternating between arctic and Norwegian duty. Clearly, Bellona’s service was worthy. But why add in a Bellona, and why this one considering their extensive postwar career with the New Zealand navy and Pakistani navy. Why Bellona. Bellona, in a perfect world, or at least one where I made the ships for WOWS, would be a tier 6 premium for the RN. The reason for her inclusion would be more than just because of her career or to add a Dido (remember in this perfect world we already have Sirius), it's to be a premium for a new line of Royal Navy anti-aircraft cruisers. So, this premium is also a sneak peek at how I would expect to balance this entire line, which by virtue of the ships included would already have a fair few parameters attached to them that make balancing tricky. Those parameters are as follows. 1.The lowest or really close to the lowest HP in the tier for cruisers, based on their small displacement. 2. Pretty uninspiring armor. 3. The highest or really close to the highest concealment for a tier based on the dimensions of the ship. 4. The highest or really close to the highest agility for a tier, based on the dimensions of the ship. 5. Mediocre to average speed at best. 6. Really good for tier AA, with lots concentrated at range. 7. Short-ranged cannons that are small for their tier. With these factors baked in, there is not a whole lot of room for balancing them via consumables. You’ll just have to see how I handle it. Oh, and as to why Bellona as opposed to the other modified Dido’s, Bellona has the most interesting career in the RN, and the lamest career postwar. Leave the others to a Pan Asian or Commonwealth tree. So, what does Bellona look like in World of Warships? HMS Bellona in World of Warships Armor: The armor on HMS Bellona required much more thought than I initially expected it to, but ended up with a answer that was a lot easier than I thought that it was going to be. The general layout is the same as on my proposed Sirius. The citadel is completely underwater, with the roof over the magazines being 51mm thick, but the roof over the engines being a measly 13mm. at the engines and boilers, the belt armor is 76mm thick, but once you punch through that your odds of a citadel are decent if your fire is plunging. The roof of the auxiliary room armor is 51mm as well, and the end caps are 25mm. So where is the more thought than initially expected? That comes from Norman freedman’s book “British Cruisers: Two World Wars and After.” This has the weight of armor for the Dido class as 718 tons, and the Bellona’s as 860. Where did this extra weight go? The answer is into splinter protection. Near misses from bombs, it was discovered, could cause flooding from splinter penetrations outside of the main belt. Therefore, splinter protection was improved on the Bellona’s, which had time to update for this. In game, we will model this as the ship having 16mm plating everywhere exempting the superstructure. Therefore, unlike with Leander and Fiji, Bellona will not have 8-inch shells autopen if they hit bow or stern. Such a small mercy, but this ship is not supposed to be the most survivable ship. This is reflected in her HP pool. With Sirius weighing in at 6850 tons deep load compared to Bellona’s 7200, she would have marginally more HP than 26000, but less than the 28700 of Leander. Making it simple, 27000 seems right. Armament: The good news is that now some of those stats from the KGV secondary’s start to become relevant again, bad news is that one of the other stats now needs massaging down to tier 6. That’s range. While I would love for the 13.5 km range of my proposed Sirius to still be in force it now outranges Leander, Perth, and Huang He. I can’t abide that. That means that this ship will have a pathetic range of 12.7 km, at best 13.1. Ouch. As to the gun’s stats, the AP remains similar to what I said for my proposed Sirius, with the 133mm shells doing 2700 damage on a citadel hit. On Bellona and the AA cruisers, the special RN AP with much improved auto-bounce and fuse times gets replaced with a regular old AP shell. This means that this ship will not be able to rely solely on AP for its damage. The HE shell can be lifted directly from KGV’s secondary battery’s. With 1900 damage per shell and a 8% fire chance, all that’s needed is the 6 round per minute fire rate to start comparing its potential DPM and fire-starting chances to the other cruisers at tier 6. As far as AP DPM goes, things are in theory not bad. With 80 rounds of max 2700 damage per minute, it clocks in at 5th out of 20 ships. HE looks better, coming in third overall with 152000 potential damage per minute and not being far behind the two ahead of it. However, when considering the smaller gun caliber and thus the reduced amount of things it can penetrate at this tier, this high potential HE damage is needed. Coming in 7 out of 20 as far as fire-starting goes, she does not look to be too disturbing on that count. However, we need to add in the effects of fire flags and IFHE. This ship, like most ships below 152mm at this tier just need IFHE. With that, the deck armor of most tier 6 and 7 battleships as well as the armor plating of tier 8 American and German heavy cruisers becomes penetrable. So, when factoring in IFHE on all ships that would benefit from it, as well as DE and fire flags, Bellona sits pretty much in the middle. Without IFHE Bellona crawls her way to the middle of the pack. Pretty clearly so far Bellona’s battery is not exceptional in any way apart from her extremely fast 20 degree per second stock turn rate. Whoop de do. Something of a sticking point, however, would be her angles of fire. Her turrets are alleged to be able to turn 340 degrees according to Norman Friedman, However the firing angles listed by the Armor Layout for Dido has her only being able to shoot on 280 degree arcs. What this means gameplay wise is that the ship has to be angled 40 degrees in order to get all of its guns on target, way out of the autobounce angles. The only respite from these crappy angles is that given that the guns can traverse to greater angles than they are limited to fire, the firing arcs of X turret can be increased to 320 degrees based on there being no physical obstructions to it having these firing angles. This means that the ship would only have to angle 20 degrees off the bow for it to get 3/4 of its armament on target. She also has a torpedo armament, and these should just be a direct copy of what’s on Fiji. For reference, that’s 8 km, 72 second reload, 15867 max damage, and 61 knots with ability to single fire. Concealment: Being based on the Arethusa (represented in game by Huang He) and being essentially the same height and length, I propose that Bellona have a standard detection range of 9.55, going down to 8.34 km. Agility: Bellona has a top speed of 32 knots. She should keep the incredibly high energy retention in turns of the other RN light cruisers, but not retain the absurd acceleration. Her turning circle should be as I proposed with Sirius, 620 meters, able to put her rudder hard over in 6.7 seconds, giving her a rotation rate of 7.86 degrees per second. Again, average speed at best, but very agile. AA: Bellona should have good AA. In real life, she entered service with 6 dual 20mm, 12 single mounts, 3 quadruple pom-poms, and the 4 twin 5.25 in cannons. After number crunching, she should do 189 DPS at 2 km (from 8.1 dps per single based on Nelson and 13.5 dps per double based on Edinburgh), 105 dps at 2.5 km (from 35 dps based on Haida, and 120 dps per second at 6 km (my made up number again). These base values are best in tier for continuous damage. Her flak barrage would be 4 bursts at 1617 per burst. Consumables: Alright, that covers our main stats. now that we have our meat and potatoes, time to give it some flavor. Which just means some consumables and any other stat modifiers. The main thing that will cover the flavor of this ship is the fact that this, and this line, is supposed to be AA cruisers. They are supposed to be exceptionally good against enemy carriers. So, it stands to reason that one of the consumables should be defensive AA. Fair enough. And now comes the disappointing part. The ship cannot carry any aircraft (none of the RN AA CL’s can) so catapult fighter and spotter aircraft make no sense. Engine boost just does not feel right, all of the RN ships are slow. Main battery reload booster, no, already using the reload rates firing pell mell. Torpedo reload booster? Don’t make me laugh. So now we have as our final contenders the most cancerous consumables. Radar, repair, smoke, and hydro (which to be fair is not that bad). So, before we get much further, lets rule radar right out and argue about the last 3. Repair is a decent choice; it helps with the issue of this ship having a low HP pool and crappy armor. That and the fact that all the other RN tech tree cruisers have it make it an obvious move. Smoke also isn’t bad. It allows the crappy short ranged average guns to sing without as much fear of retaliation. And hydro paired with smoke makes for a potent combo, allowing you to charge down people in smoke if they are inattentive, or get out of dodge when a wall of skill comes at you. But only one of these things helps to shoot down aircraft. And that is what these are all about. So I would give it smoke. Yes, that means that this premium, and this line, is all going ships that sit in smoke and spew HE. Before you get out any pitchforks, hear me out. I think that one of the main issue with every cruiser that has been introduced with smoke so far is the fact that they all get hydro. This allows them to sit comfortably with the knowledge that they are likely safe from a marauding destroyer ending them with a wall of skill. I do not intend for that to be an option for this ship. I want to have the player have to worry in their cloud of smoke unless they have taken the care to be sure they cannot have this happen to them. I think that would go a ways to making this feel a little less… cheap. Further, smoke allows this ship to perform better against carriers, seeing how Bellona could just pop smoke to frustrate the carrier’s attacks and continue to fire away at the planes. Yes, perhaps this would just make for bad meta, but I am not currently convinced. Ok, rant out of the way, I would propose this smoke to sit between RN destroyer and RN light cruiser smoke, with 5 charges of 15 second emission and 50 second duration, and a cooldown of 100 seconds. Pretty much dead between the two in all stats. Finally, as a last bit of added flavor, I wonder if perhaps these would be better against aircraft if their flak bursts were less accurate? Currently, flak bursts try to appear most in the area directly ahead of the incoming squadron. If you don’t turn, you get massacred. If you do turn, odds are with you that you will avoid most of the damage. Right now, 80% of the shells go to this A zone, the rest to the B zones at the sides, incidentally, where a plane would turn into. If the odds of a shell appearing in A were reduced to 50-50, would this make it more likely for a maneuvering squadron to eat flak bursts? If so, that would be an important part of the ship and the lines flavor, taking this from a decent AA ship, to pretty terrifying. And that, I think, is all there is to discuss with Bellona. Why people would buy Bellona Man, remember when Sirius had everything going for it? It filled a role that was currently not filled in game in a satisfying way, was a historical ship with a good career that collectors would really be interested in, and had an anime tie in that weebs would trip over themselves for? Bellona fills a role that does not currently exist (trainer for a non-existent tree), has no anime tie in, and is a historical ship with a good career, but frankly just not as good as Sirius. There’s only one good reason to include her in game, and that would be blunted if there was already a HMS Sirius added. I would get 2 didos (honestly, I would as many as they would offer to me) but a lot of people would have that collector itch scratched at one. Perhaps if ranked went to tier 6 (does it?) it could be quite powerful, but I don’t know. Really this is about testing a playstyle. So, what do you think? How does this thing sound to you?
  6. The following is a review of Smolensk, the tier X premium Soviet light cruiser kindly provided to me by Wargaming. Please be aware that though this represents the release version of the ship, her statistics may change in the future. To the best of my knowledge, these stats are accurate as of patch 0.8.8. Someone thought it would be a good idea to release a tier X version of USS Flint but with Soviet flavour-crystals. Players in the know are disinclined to drink the red Kool-aid -- and with good reason. If you're hoping that I was going to feed the drama llama and tell you everything is fine with Smolensk, I'm sorry to disappoint. Smolensk is an unapologetically powerful premium and continues the 2019 Stalinium trend. I should call Smolensk by her proper appellation: a "Reward Ship". This distinction is hella-important. Reward ships can still be directly nerfed after-release. Barring extraordinary circumstances, a premium cannot. This is, of course, adding to the feelings of frustration within certain circles of the community -- knowing that Wargaming could apply corrections to Smolensk but hasn't. I'm personally not getting my hopes up. So let's take a look at this calamity and why Smolensk has so many people sipping Tang. PROS Troll armour scheme, with 30mm hull amidships, 50mm citadel roof and a thin armoured belt which prompts frequent AP ricochets and over-penetrations. Armed with sixteen (!) rapid-fire Soviet 130mm guns that upgrade well with commander skills. Has the ability to make players give up on life and/or rage quit simply by bringing them under fire. Speaking of fire, she's good at setting it. Good accuracy and shell ballistics for a light cruiser. Downright trollish protection scheme. Excellent concealment. It's so good that she can hide her over-performance from spreadsheets. Fast and agile. Good anti-aircraft firepower. Has access to a Smoke Generator. CONS Super squishy with a tiny hit point pool, pathetic armour and zero anti-torpedo protection. Speaking of squish, her citadel is exposed over the waterline and just begging to be groped by AP shells. When things go wrong, they go wrong quickly. Short ranged guns and torpedoes. But you can fix the former and you don't necessarily need the latter (nice as they are to have). Poor HE and AP penetration for a tier X cruiser (not that this matters, really, but someone would complain if I didn't put it here). It's Soviet, so it's not allowed to be good. Smolensk is an HE spamming, torpedo-armed light-cruiser with smoke. In theory, she's soft and fragile. In theory. In reality, she's hard to spot, she's hard to hit, and when you do hit her, you can't guarantee good damage numbers. The Details You Need to Know There are four main elements you need to know about Smolensk. Weapons Main Battery: Sixteen 130mm/57 guns in 4x4 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Torpedoes: Ten torpedo tubes in 2x5 launchers with one mounted on each side in wing mounts straddling the rear funnel. Smolensk has destroyer-caliber guns. This presents a few problems but, as we'll see, these are problems that are largely irrelevant. These imagined difficulties are: Smolensk is short ranged. She only has a modest fire-chance per shell compared to 152mm+ armed cruisers. She has low damage per shell compared to 152mm+ armed cruisers. Her AP penetration and HE penetration are poor. Smolensk starts with a mere 13.8km reach. This is near-suicidal range for a cruiser at tier X, but Smolensk has two ready fixes. Between the Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 upgrade and the Advanced Fire Training commander skill, Smolensk's range can be modified to 16km or 16.6km respectively. The choice between these two options lets players pick one of the two without taxing their ability to boost Smolensk's DPM or set fires. Combine the two (often at the expense of reload) and you have a reach of 19.2km. These options more than undermine any deficiencies in the reach of her guns. Furthermore, unlike some other destroyer-caliber armed cruisers, Smolensk's guns are comfortable to use up to ranges of 15km and have better ballistics than British or American 152mm. Shell flight times estimations (in seconds) of most of the tier X cruisers. These were taken from the in-game client with guns trained broadside. Smolensk's 130mm guns have shell flight times similar to Des Moines and Salem at very long ranges -- much improved over the more floaty ballistics of American and British 152mm guns. At ranges less than 10km, they're more akin to Henri IV's 240mm guns. Speaking of damage output and setting fires: It's true that Smolensk's AP and HE shells are found wanting in terms of raw damage output and fire chance compared to the 152mm, 203mm and 240mm guns of her competitors. However, the sheer volume of fire and her improved accuracy more than make up for any perceived deficit here. Furthermore, Smolensk can directly increase her rate of fire with Basic Fire Training -- something the other cruisers at tier X cannot, stacking this on top of Main Battery Modification 3. In addition, she takes less fire-chance penalty for using the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells skill than her contemporaries. This just leaves the issue of penetration, and this isn't one that can be corrected. Even with Inertial Fuse for HE Shells, Smolensk is incapable of damaging areas of armour thicker than 27mm with her high-explosive rounds. Her AP shells are similarly anemic with less than 100mm of penetration at ranges greater than 8km. However, her low penetration is largely a non-issue. Smolensk is more than capable of aiming for weak spots, and when you're tossing out that many shells, you're bound to hit something squishy sooner or later. Her AP shells are still able to chew through mouthfuls of an enemy ship's hit points if they present their broadside. She need merely aim at their softer hull sections like the bow, stern or upper hull. And for those tougher nuts out there, her fire setting will burn them to the waterline before long. Whatever perceived flaws Smolensk has with her guns are laughable, easily corrected if they were something that needed correcting in the first place. The sheer volume of fire her sixteen guns put out is nightmarish -- driving off and intimidating opponents. Softer hulled ships vanish in just a few seconds, allowing even this soft-skinned ship to out-trade select opponents. And if that weren't enough, she has decent torpedoes to stove the face in of anyone that comes sniffing near her smoke screens. These are just the stock DPM values. This is before the influence of captain skills, before upgrades, before consumables and before special upgrades. This also doesn't account for penetration or accuracy or what have you. I could have made this graph stupidly complicated with seventeen different combinations of applied bonuses and caveats to damage output but I think this already illustrates all it needs to: Smolensk spits out a lot of shells. Don't be in their way. There is no way I didn't screw something up here or leave something off. But, you know what? I'ma roll with it. You can increase Smolensk's fire chance even further by using the Adrenaline Rush commander skill and take some damage, but I think covering 34 different combinations is plenty, thank you very much. Keep in mind that these are base fire-per-minute values, not counting enemy fire resistance. In practice, the actual value will be about 40% to 50% of what's listed here. Oh no, Smolensk might "only" be able to start one fire every other salvo. What a joke. Smolensk doesn't miss -- only players do. (180 shells fired at 15km locked onto a stationary enemy Fuso without camo. Smolensk was equipped with Aiming System Modification 1). If you're paying attention, then with that optimal fire build I just illustrated above, you should be starting a fire almost every 5 to 6 seconds. Consumables Speaking of smoke screens, there are two consumables here worth noting. Smolensk, like all tier X cruisers, has access to a Repair Party consumable. There's nothing out of the ordinary with her having one, but given the frustrations of landing hits on this ship (and good quality hits at that), it's presence is noteworthy. The real ship-defining consumable here is Smolensk's Smoke Generator. There aren't many cruisers with HE shells with a Smoke Generator and with good reason. Iwaki Alpha, Belfast, Mikhail Kutuzov, and Flint aren't exactly biword for balance. If it weren't for Perth and Huanghe providing some (occasionally) good press, this combination would deserve it's automatic derision. Still, Smolensk is moving the needle towards the direction of "never again" in my opinion (she says, then HMS London gets previewed). What's funny to me is that there were steps made to try and reign in Smolensk's Smoke Generator. Mikhail Kutuzov, the retired tier VIII Soviet premium cruiser uses the same Smoke Generator as tier VIII Soviet Destroyers. It would stand to reason that Smolensk would use the tier X version but she doesn't. She uses the same tier VIII version as Kutuzov. The difference here is that Smolensk's smoke "only" lasts for 89 seconds as opposed to the 97 seconds it could have been. r/There was an attempt... Smolensk's Smoke Generator combines with her excellent surface detection, getting down as low as 10km. Stack this onto her flexible gun range and she's a hard cruiser to find when she doesn't want to be seen. Aircraft carriers won't do the spotting here -- her aerial detection range is the same reach as her long-range AA bubble. That just leaves blasting her with radar, waiting for her to open fire or getting suicidally close. For destroyers, closing the distance is high-risk. Getting counter-spotted inside of 10km of Smolensk is a great way to get yourself sent back to port in a hurry. For anyone else, there's those torpedoes to worry about and that ridiculous DPM. Short of radar, a well played Smolensk is only seen when she wants to be seen, and that's only when she's pulling the trigger. Protection Hit Points: 32,400 Minimum Bow & Deck Armour: 16mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 16mm bow/stern + 100mm transverse bulkhead (70mm belt broadside) Torpedo Damage Reduction: Nope.jpg Armour so bad, it's good. Her conning tower and the forward faces of her turrets are 100mm thick -- just enough to prompt the occasional ricochet or shatter smaller caliber AP shells. Smolensk has an exposed citadel, but she's surprisingly resistant to broadside citadel damage from battleships. Her citadel roof is 50mm thick and will auto-ricochet any battleship shells attempting to penetrate it from a range of 21km or less (even then, good luck). So only shots aimed directly at her waterline (or just beneath) count. At 70mm, Smolensk's belt isn't thick enough to fuse AP shells greater than 420mm in caliber. There was some great work done on Reddit by U/R_radical (link here, please give it some well deserved love) which I followed up on for my own tests. The grossly simplified version is this: République, Thunderer, Ohio, Georgia, Musashi, Yamato and Kremlin are physically incapable of landing citadel hits against the flat broadside of Smolensk if the shells don't strike water before entering the ship. They need to hit angled surfaces to increase the relative thickness of Smolensk's belt in order to fuse. It gets worse, though. Smolensk has a narrow beam -- there just isn't enough room when striking Smolensk's flat broadside for most battleship shells with their 0.033s fuse timer to explode inside the ship. The shells have to be slowed down first and air drag doesn't really begin to be enough of an effect until you get to ranges of around 15km or more. For some battleships with high velocity shells like Roma, you're looking at ranges closer to 20km. Inside that distance, short of shells dunking beneath the water first, their AP rounds will pass clean through resulting in over penetrations despite hitting the bullseye of her machine spaces. Thus, battleships have to wait until Smolensk is angled in order to have a chance at landing penetrating and citadel hits. The size of these angles varies with range, but even at a distance of 15km, Yamato is looking at needing Smolensk to be angled out at least 30º from a flat broadside before she gets that magical combination of thick enough armour to arm her fuse AND enough space along her shell path to land a citadel hit. My own tests with Lert necessitated a 37º angle before we got lucky with Musashi's 460mm AP shells. If that wasn't enough, Smolensk still has a few tricks to play. Her 30mm will also autobounce any AP shells smaller than 429mm that strike it at too acute of an angle. And finally, if you think smashing shells through her fragile snoot will finally yield those big damaging hits, be aware that her upper transverse bulkhead is 100mm thick -- there's no overmatching that if the shell comes in too steeply as Smolensk angles away. The net effect to all of this confusing math is that Smolensk's armour is downright troll when battleships shoot at her. Over penetrations abound. Citadel hits are rare. Auto-ricochets happen just often enough to make you want to pull your hair out. Thanks to her Smoke Generator, hits alone are uncommon for slow-firing ships. If this analysis seems battleship-biased, you're right. That's because cruisers have no problems at all ripping apart Smolensk if they catch her. Smolensk has a tiny hit point pool -- a mere 0.9 Viribus Unitis (VU) worth -- which also means poor returns on her Repair Party consumable. While outright trading with Smolensk is generally a bad idea because of her monstrous DPM, the occasional pot shot from cruisers will yield big numbers when they slap this little Soviet monster. Do your poor battleships and destroyers a favour if you get the chance. Venezia and Puerto Rico are works in progress and still subject to change. Smolensk's HP total is awful. If skill points weren't at such a bloody premium, it would be worth spending three of them on Survivability Expert. The bonus 3,500hp (almost 11%) would make her equal to 1 VU. This is a totally important standard unit of measure for a cruiser, or so the constant whining about the new Austro-Hungarian battleship would have me believe. Agility Top Speed: 35 knots Reverse Speed: -13.6 knots Rudder Shift Time: 8.2 seconds Turning Circle Radius: 750 meters Maximum Rate of Turn: 5.7º/s at 4/4 speed Compared to other mid-to-high tier Soviet cruisers, Smolensk is hella agile. Krasny Krym, Murmansk and Makarov are the only ships that handle better (and I would question giving Makarov that honour). Krasny Krym manages it because she's a tier IV design. Murmansk and Makarov are borrowed ships from other nations. It's the smallest slights which sting the most. I think I might have stomached Smolensk's inclusion better had she not trespassed here. She doesn't handle like a Soviet cruiser and this irks me to no end. Allow me to explain. I've spent forever twirling boats. I've got a pretty good base understanding of how ships move in this game and I'm forever expanding that knowledge. I've come to recognize patterns and trends, not only between the different ship types but also within a given nation. Japanese cruisers are fast, American cruisers have small turning radii, British cruisers break the laws of physics, and so on and so forth. I must stress that these are trends -- not hard fast rules. Still, patterns exist and I don't think they're coincidental. The Soviet cruiser line is one of contrasts. Their low tier cruisers are ridiculously agile -- some of the most agile cruisers in the game. However at tier V, they transition to very fast ships with enormous turning circles. Barring borrowed and up-tiered designs (and Mikhail Kutuzov), Soviet cruisers pay for their sleek hull forms with poor handling. Smolensk doesn't. For a Soviet cruiser, she is bloody nimble. She's fast. Her rudder shift time is good. Her turning circle radius isn't appalling. And it's this last part where I take issue. I expected her to have a turning radius at the 820m mark or greater -- something like Chapayev or Shchors. This would scale back her rate of turn down from 5.7º/s to 5.2º/s or less -- still decent but definitely more in line with the Soviet light cruisers as a whole. And let me be clear: I'm aware I'm unfairly gate-keeping which ships are allowed to be agile. There's no hard-fast rule that says Soviet cruisers must handle like a pregnant yak in a mud-wallow. The Sverdlov-class doesn't. None of their low tier ships do either. It kinda makes sense that a small, anti-aircraft cruiser like Smolensk would be a wiggly little thing. Colbert is. The Atlanta-class is. Their radii are much tighter than what Smolensk can boast. Compared to those two, Smolensk is pretty chunktacular. In fact when you put her alongside these other AA cruisers, her turning radius is downright Soviet. Still, even with this minor disparity, this is one more thing Smolensk is hella-good at. She's got the firepower. She's got the stealth. She's got the smoke. She's got the speed. She even has the durability despite being worth 0.9 VU. Her AA power is excellent (specifically when you also account for her aerial detection). And now, with this, she's super agile too. She's hard to hit in the hands of a good player. It's bad enough that she's a small target and one that's hard to dig out of smoke. With her great range improvements, she can play the open water game and Just Dodge™ her way to victory when islands and smoke aren't an option. I suppose with all of the time I've spent with twirling ships, it explains why this is the final straw for me. It's kinda absurd, when I think about it, but when have feels ever made sense? I hate you, Smolensk and your cute, twirly butt. Placed against her peers at tier X, Smolensk comes out looking very good. She's behind Colbert, Minotaur, Venezia and Des Moines, but only when the American uses her Legendary Upgrade. Venezia and Puerto Rico are works in progress and still subject to change. Everything Else Just so I can say that I didn't leave it out: Camouflage & Refrigerator Smolensk's camouflage is the standard Type 20 Camouflage. This provides: 3% reduction of detectability by sea 4% increase of dispersion of shells fired by the enemy attacking your ship. 50% reduction of cost of the ship's post-battle service. 20% increase to credits earned per battle. 100% increase experience earned per battle. Smolensk's economy doesn't appear out of the ordinary, being comparable to the other tier X reward ships Bourgogne, Thunderer, Stalingrad, etc. Base Surface Detection: 12.78km Aerial Detection: 7.41km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 10.04km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 5.91km Main Battery Firing Range: Between 13.8km (stock) up to 19.21km Nothing further to add here that hasn't already been discussed above. Smolensk is smol and a sneaky danger-noodle. Anti Aircraft Defense Flak Bursts (3.5km to 6km): 8 explosions for 1,890 damage per blast Long Ranged AA Guns (6km): 167.6 damage every 0.32s Medium Ranged AA Guns (3.5km): 186.2 damage every 0.32s Short Ranged AA Guns (3.1km): 58.6 damage every 0.34s Smol-bote with biggish AA. It's important to note that with Concealment Modification 1 and Concealment Expert, Smolensk's aerial detection range is a mere 21mm (yes, millimeters) longer than her long-range AA power. Don't ask your CV to try and spot this thing -- they'll get shredded. Smolensk can bloody stealth-snipe aircraft. Final Evaluation From KC Green's fantastic Gunshow comic. I bloody hate this ship. I've hated working on this review all month. I've rewritten this damn thing so many times, never happy with the tone, never happy with the message. Even now I'm not sure I've properly communicated how frustrating it is to face off against a well-played version of this thing. I don't want to water down this sentiment (which I have so many times before) by mathing out the odds of actually meeting a competent Smolensk player or how, yes, it's technically possible to counter it with X, Y and Z. I don't like facing this ship for the same reasons that I cringe when I see a Flint, Belfast or Kutuzov on the enemy roster. In the end, it doesn't matter if the enemy Smolensk is good or not. My sentiments about the match are already soured. I consider myself a patient person and the presence of a Smolensk taxes even me. I am someone who can stomach playing against carriers. I enjoy my troll-ships. However, even I have my limits. I don't like playing Smolensk. It feels grossly unfair. It feels the same way as playing Belfast, Kutuzov or Flint. She has all of the advantages and few match-ups are unfavourable (short of derping into a Shimakaze torpedo like I did one game). The deeper I looked into Smolensk, the more concerned I became. There's a lot going on here -- a perfect storm of potential and so many different combinations to analyze that it's easy to see why Smolensk not only can be a piece of garbage in one player's hands and an absolute beast in another. If you don't have Smolensk yet, I dunno what to tell you. On the one hand, I don't want to play against your new ship. On the other, I know that there's a risk you could miss out. She's a bona fide reward ship -- not sold for cash money so nerfs are possible. What you invest in now might not be the ship we have six months from now. If you're hoping to preserve this sense of superiority, then she might not be worth the investment. This changes if she's eventually sold for cash. As a tier X ship, I see that as unlikely. This might change come Black Friday through Christmas, though. Wargaming does like to bundle everything together and ring the dinner bell. This is also the first year where we've had a veritable glut of tier X reward ships available. Once cash changes hands, Smolensk's performance is locked in. The only recourse from then on is to hope she becomes rare. And if that happens, if you haven't got her already, you're unlikely to ever get her. To Hell with it: If you don't have her yet, get her ASAP. Play her often. Play her so often that it chokes the matchmaker. T-59 this momo and have popularity necessitates re-evaluating her performance and availability. I don't see Smolensk surviving either change-free or remaining freely available, though who knows what kind of timeline this is on. She's that good. She's that annoying. How to Balans the Spreadsheets Recommended Upgrades There's a lot to unpack with the upgrades of high-tier ships, but it's generally simple. You want to build Smolensk for agility and gunnery. Everything else is secondary to this. Start with Main Armaments Modification 1 in your first slot. In your second slot, take the corresponding Special Upgrade for either Defensive AA Fire or Hydracoustic Search -- whichever consumable you tend to favour using. Barring that, default to Steering Gears Modification 1. You're going to be doing a lot of gunnery at range so Aiming Systems Modification 1 is a good investment (if only because the other upgrades are crap). If you prefer to play Smolensk more static -- hiding in smoke and behind islands, take Propulsion Modification 2 in your fourth slot. Otherwise, take Steering Gears Modification 2 for better open water agility. Similarly, if you prefer open-water play and feel confident with your ability to dodge, Steering Gears Modification 3 will serve you well. Otherwise take Concealment Modification 1 to make hiding easier. Between the two best options here, Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 is the preferred choice, extending Smolensk's range. This puts less of a strain on her commander skill options (the effects here can be replicated with Advanced Fire Training). If you've 4 skill points free, then by all means, take the range-skill instead and default to Main Battery Modification 3 for the increased reload speed. Or, you could get all the range and combine the two -- but at least one range upgrade is needed. Recommended Skills There's a bit of a balancing act going on here. You need to have at least one range-upgrade for Smolensk (need is a strong word, but trust me, it makes all the difference). So if you haven't taken Gun Fire Control Modification 2 then you have to select Advanced Fire Training for example. So let's look at the worth of individual skills rather than the total package: At tier 1, there are three skills worth considering. Priority Target and Incoming Fire Alert are the first pair and tend to be mutually exclusive -- take one, not both. The former gives you more information. The latter gives you more critical and specific information. The last skill that's worthwhile here is Preventative Maintenance, but it's definitely sub-optimal compared to the other two for Smolensk. At tier 2, Last Stand is highly recommended. While not on Destroyer levels of fragility, Smolensk's rudder gets shot out often and near misses from large caliber HE shells can (and will) knock out her engines. Adrenaline Rush is also a great skill if you have the leftover points to spend on it. Jack of All Trades is handy for reducing consumable reset timers, particularly when the action is heated and in combination with the November Foxtrot signal and premium consumables to further drop their cool down. Similarly, Smoke Screen Expert is nice for the extra room to move around, especially if you plan to be sharing your smoke with a friend. At tier 3, there's a glut of choices here. Superintendent is arguably the best of the lot for the extra heal and extra charge of Smoke Generator. Basic Fire Training and Demolition Expert also play to Smolensk's best strengths. Beyond this, there are skills that are simply "nice to have" but hardly an efficient use of points including Vigilance and Torpedo Armament Expertise. The tier 4 skills are contentious and, frankly, are largely a matter of personal taste. Advanced Fire Training is all but mandatory in the absence of Gun Fire Control Modification 2 (how many times have I said that now?). Concealment Expert is amazing for its points cost, improving not only her survivability but opening up the door to ambushing aircraft with Concealment Modification 1, yet I wouldn't consider this skill required. Probably the best investment is Inertial Fuse for HE Shells, opening the door for Smolensk to directly damage the extremities of all heavy cruisers within her matchmaking. But even this isn't mandatory if you just want to make battleships burn. Finally, for the truly eclectic, there's Radio Location for those who fancy themselves as destroyer hunters in the late-game. Green = All but Mandatory. Yellow = Highly recommended. Red = Situational. Note this only applies to normal commanders. Special commanders, with their baked in bonuses, changes things. Last Bits And here I told myself this was going to be a short review. The amount of prep-work for this review was insane. I started mapping the dispersion of cruisers (ugh!), tested battleship AP fuses, did more work on torpedo damage, played with AA, did even more twirling, never mind all of that dirty, DIRTY play testing. You'll note a lack of an Angry YouTuber jpeg at the end of this article. That's deliberate. Some of my readers get too hung up on the soundbite at the end rather than the message as a whole. They might return at some point, but I'm retiring them for the time being. Thank you for reading. 
  7. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review - Mysore

    The following is a review of Mysore, the tier VI British Commonwealth cruiser. This ship was provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes at no cost to myself. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.10.1. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. Mysore is a curious ship. She competes directly with not only HMAS Perth, the other tier VI British Commonwealth light cruiser but also Huanghe, the Pan Asian tier VI light cruiser. All three ships are of British design and incorporate, to varying degrees, elements of the British tech tree light cruiser game play while adding on a Crawling Smoke Generator. Mysore keeps to the "AP only" element of British gunnery, for example, while Perth and Huanghe more closely match the British energy retention. Throughout this review, I'll be touching base back to how Mysore matches up against these other two premiums while using Leander, the tier VI British tech-tree light cruiser as a baseline measurement. Quick Summary: A slow-firing, nine-gun armed British light cruiser with excellent handling and agility and a Crawling Smoke Generator. She has no torpedoes or HE shells, using only modified AP rounds. PROS Improved auto-ricochet angles on her AP rounds AP shells have shortened fuses with improved sensitivity to limit over-penetrations Excellent acceleration and agility Stealthy Has a Repair Party Has a Crawling Smoke Generator CONS Short range Slow reload on her main battery, greatly reducing her DPM No access to HE shells or torpedoes Struggles to damage severely angled targets Short fuses makes it difficult to land hits on internal citadel spaces No access to Defensive AA Fire. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme Mysore looks new-player friendly on the surface -- sneak around, park in smoke, apply pew-pews. Her fragility and short-range make this risky though. It's not the firing in smoke that presents any kind of challenge; it's surviving in between those smoke clouds which is difficult. There are other challenges too, but they're relatively minor compared to managing her consumable use properly. It's her low damage output which limits her performance in the hands of an expert, however. Her inability to deal large alpha strikes or even output damage reliably holds back her carry potential. Options Consumables Mysore's Damage Control Party is standard for a cruiser with a 5 second active period, a 60 second reset timer and unlimited charges. She has a standard Repair Party. It heals back up to 14% of her starting health over 28 seconds. It queues up 10% of citadel damage, 50% of shell, bomb, rocket or torpedo penetration damage and 100% of everything else. Her Hydroacoustic Search is also standard for a tier VI cruiser. Active for 100 seconds and with a 120 second reset timer, it comes with three charges to start. It detects ships at 4km and torpedoes at 3km. Finally, she uses a Crawling Smoke Generator. It belches out smoke continuously for 90 seconds with each cloud only lasting 10 seconds. It starts with three charges and has a 160 second reset timer. Upgrades Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. The special upgrade Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 is the best choice in slot two if you can afford it. It costs 17,000 from the Armory. If you cannot afford that, default to Engine Room Protection. Also for 17,000 (and best in slot) is the Smoke Generator Modification 1 special upgrade. If you can't afford that, default to Aiming System Modification 1. And finally, take Steering Gears Modification 1 in slot four. Captain Skills For testing, this was the build I settled upon for Mysore. I started with Last Stand. Though ships can still crawl when their engines are knocked out and still turn (kinda) with their rudders damaged, this gives a bit more speed and agility which is life for a cruiser under fire. Priority Target is too good of a skill to pass up at tier 2 and was my go-to choice there. I grabbed Superintendent at tier 3 as my first pick for more smokes and heals. And finally Concealment Expert just makes the most sense at tier 4. That doesn't leave a whole lot of viable skills beyond that for Mysore to take. Adrenaline Rush is easily the most advantageous, but after that, the pickings get pretty slim. I eventually settled upon skills that would help Mysore play keep-away, namely Radio Location and Outnumbered. Camouflage Mysore has access to Type 10 Camouflage providing the usual tier VI bonuses of: A 3% reduction in surface detection ranges. A 4% increase to the dispersion of enemy gunfire. A 10% reduction to post-battle service costs. A 50% increase to experience earned.  Mysore's simple, uniform colour scheme is kinda nice. She comes with the default blue, but you can unlock the tan-colour by completing the "Naval Aviation" collection. Firepower Main Battery: Nine 152mm/50 guns in 3x3 turrets in an A-B-X superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Eight 102mm/45 guns in 4x2 turrets, with two turrets per side, mounted behind the rear funnel facing forward and back. Only having one ammunition type sure simplifies this data dump. Mysore pays dearly for her access to her consumables. Her firepower is downright terrible, owing to the staying power of this ship. Between her Repair Party and her Crawling Smoke Generator, Mysore has a good survivability toolkit -- better than Leander, Perth or Huanghe. Thus, Wargaming has paired her with bad damage output, probably figuring that given she'll be around longer (on average), her numbers over time will win out. Given that I prefer glass-cannons to cast-iron squirt-guns, you can guess why this disappoints me. The problem here is three-fold. Mysore does not have access to HE shells. Mysore does not have access to torpedoes. Mysore's reloads more slowly than my 2021 update schedule. A lack of any one of these isn't damning in of itself (though it does bear investigating). But having all three shoves Mysore into the doldrums of damage-output. Let's look at why. A More-Different Perth The lack of HE shells on Mysore immediately sets her apart from Huanghe & Perth. Like Leander, short of (somehow) managing to pepper targets with her secondary batteries, Mysore cannot start fires. She cannot take advantage of skills like Inertial Fuse for HE Shells, Pyrotechnician or Heavy HE and SAP Shells. Mysore is restricted to firing AP shells, slightly modified versions to those tossed out by Leander herself. These behave like normal 152mm AP shells with the following differences: They have improved auto-ricochet angles. Mysore's AP shells do not check for ricochet until they strike at an angle of 60º to the perpendicular as opposed to the nominal 45º. The do not auto-ricochet until they strike at an angle of 75º as opposed to the nominal 60º. Thus Mysore's AP shells are much less likely to ricochet off an angled target, making them more viable against enemies that aren't offering up their flat broadside. Note that this does not come with increased penetration values. These shells have the same normalization as other 152mm armed guns (8.5º) and must contend with the increased relative armour thickness the same was any other AP round. Thus, Mysore's shells may be less likely to ricochet, they may still shatter if the sloped plate of steel has a relative thickness too great for her to punch into. Furthermore, it is still possible to ricochet these shells by angling aggressively against incoming fire from Mysore. They have improved fuse sensitivity. Mysore's AP shells arm upon impact with thinner steel than other 152mm rounds. Normally, a 152mm AP shells needs to strike steel 25mm thick (relative thickness due to angling counts). Without this, the shells will not arm and you will only see overpenetrations. For Mysore, her fuses are much more sensitive and need only 12mm to activate. Thus penetrating hits are more likely. They have shortened fuse timers. On top of their increased sensitivity, Mysore's AP shells explode more quickly when the fuse is armed. This again reduces the chances of the shells overpenetrating. In this case, they are more likely to blow immediately after entering a ship. In Mysore's case, her fuse timers are a mere 0.005s -- translating into a maximum distance crossed at muzzle velocity of 4.4m. Had she normal fuse timers, this would have translated to as much as 21.8m (though keep in mind, no shell will arrive inside a ship travelling anywhere close to muzzle-velocity; air friction and punching through steel slows them down appreciably). The reduced fuse timer is bit of a double edged sword, however. While it does mean that Mysore's shells are more likely to deliver penetrating hits, they cannot punch deep into a ship to strike buried citadels. Thus against ships with fully internalized citadels or with anti-torpedo protection, it's entirely possible that Mysore is patently incapable of landing citadel hits. Mysore's shells have a bit more punch than Leander's, grace of increased damage, shell mass and muzzle velocity, though this comes at the expense of less Krupp. So Mysore's AP shells are good, but they're not so great that they replace HE (or SAP) shells entirely. To this end, it's Huanghe and Perth that take the lead here when it comes to gunnery and I'm inclined to give it overall to the Pan Asian ship simply because she can make best use of both ammunition types with her high-velocity Soviet AP shells that make her a little more capable of landing citadel hits at range. Mysore comes dead last, of course. Mysore's not too far behind Huanghe in terms of penetration values over distance. While she is capable of landing citadel hits against soft-skinned cruisers that have their machine spaces abutting against the exterior of the hull (such as the Omaha-class for example), her ability to do so against other cruisers largely falls away after 10km. This isn't a problem unique to her but she feels it more with AP being her only ammunition choice. No Country For No-Fish Cruisers Why are torpedoes good? Well, three reasons. They can be used to aid in gunnery. No, really. When in doubt about the direction or velocity of a given target, switch over to your torpedo launchers and take a look at the lead indicator. This can tell you if a bow-on ship is reversing or not. It can also show you when a ship is slowing down, speeding up or changing direction. This is easily the most minor bonus having torpedoes provides, but it's handy and Mysore misses out. Obviously, they can be used to deal big alpha strikes. Individual torpedoes easily deal damage equivalent to a battleship-calibre citadel hit (or greater!). Land multiple fish at once and print those Devastating Strike medals. Mysore obviously doesn't get this and what's more, she's largely left without an ability to rack up damage quickly save for against specific cruisers and a few aircraft carriers that have their citadels abutting against the exterior of their hulls. It takes her time to chew through an opponent's hit point pool and she's generally incapable of dealing singular knockout blows. Torpedoes are a deterrent. You have to be stupid-confident (or just stupid) to close with an enemy ship with loaded torpedoes. Closing with an enemy ship that has torpedoes is always a gamble and this can be enough to deter people from trying to sniff out your ship in smoke, for example. Similarly, torpedoes can be used offensively to prevent people from camping their own smoke cover or for pushing them away from a strong-point such as an island. Short of supporting fire, there's nothing to deter an enemy from charging Mysore when she's sitting in smoke. Especially coming at her bow-on, they can largely mitigate any damage she can do them as they charge in. Leander and Perth have the best torpedo armaments of the four (naturally). Huanghe sits well behind them, not only for having triple launchers instead of the quadruples boasted by the Leander-sisters, but because she cannot single-fire her torpedoes as they can and is stuck with only a narrow-band when launching. Mysore really feels her complete lack of torpedoes, particularly when enemy ships come sniffing her out in her crawling smoke. Heavy Cruiser Reload The lack of alpha-strike potential on Mysore gets even worse when you consider her poor damage output. Her 10.7 second reload is just downright painful and greatly hurts her damage output. You can't count on Mysore to be able to out-trade some destroyers, particularly in close-range knife fights where they might be able to land the occasional citadel hit. Just look at this shoddy DPM: Mysore's slow reload gives her less potential DPM than Huanghe, despite having 50% more guns than the Pan Asian cruiser! Granted, it's easier to damage with Mysore's AP shells than it is Huanghe's. Now down to brass-tacks. Mysore's AP DPM is so low that some of the better HE DPM at tier VI rivals her. HE has the benefit of being much easier to use and it stacks some tasty fires as well. The only drawback to HE is that it's very skill-hungry in order to optimize. And even then, for a tier VI cruiser, it doesn't optimize well. Odds and Never-Ends-Well Overall, Mysore does not put out damage quickly, but she does do so steadily provided she's picking the right target. To this end, close-range fights are invariably a disaster with all but the most fragile of targets. Instead she's best served by keeping at a distance and peppering shells annoyingly at exposed enemies. She can use her Crawling Smoke Generator to do so for long periods (largely) uninterrupted, and really, the strength of this shouldn't understated. With her smoke deployed, Mysore's gunnery switches over to easy-mode and she can cycle her guns with near impunity for nearly two minutes (fully buffed). It's what comes after that's more difficult. When her smoke is on cooldown, she's reliant on either firing from open water (bad idea) or using island cover to keep bombarding targets. Otherwise, she'll have to go dark and redeploy. Mysore's range is on the short side -- just 14km, so the islands she uses has to be close to the front. This same lack of reach makes firing from open water stupid-dangerous. While she is an agile little boat, the shell flight time for incoming battleship rounds is much too short to be able to dodge effectively and her thin extremity plate and exposed citadel makes every hit hurt a lot. As for the rest of it? Her traverse rate is mediocre. Her gun fire angles are trash. Her ballistics are kinda floaty (though admittedly better than Leander's) and her her AP penetration sucks. Overall, Perth takes the big win here. Perth has both ammunition types. Perth has good torpedoes. Perth's reload rate doesn't suck and she has eight guns. Mysore is sadly at the bottom of the pile. This imposes limits on how Mysore can be played. It's too dangerous for her to be up on the front lines or to try and rush down targets because she simply cannot kill most enemies with any kind of alacrity. While the other three cruisers are not front-line brawlers, they can manage it in a pinch. Mysore's fire arcs are pretty terrible (most Royal Navy ships have poor fire arcs). Her 7º/s gun rotation rate is pretty meh too. Summary It's all about the AP spam. Her low DPM and lack of torpedoes makes her struggle to kill anything quickly. Play keep away and just keep spitting out shells. VERDICT: Pretty uncomfortable, I'm not going to lie. She's the worst of the four. What's worse, Mysore's gunnery isn't fun which is pretty damning for a premium. Durability Hit Points: 30,600 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 16mm/10mm/19mm/19mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 114mm Torpedo Damage Reduction: None Mysore is easily the best-protected of the tier VI British light-cruisers. Objectively, Mysore is the most resilient of the four cruisers. She has Leander's ability to heal coupled with better citadel protection than any of the other ships. Her armour profile is overall better too. It doesn't hurt that she comes with more hit points than any of the other ships either. For a cruiser, for a light cruiser especially, Mysore weighs in well. Her 114mm belt armour is very respectable at her tier. Her citadel placement, while peeking just over the waterline, isn't so high that it's a ready flaw. Furthermore, she doesn't have any "camel hump" shell traps that afflicts so many British cruisers (infamously damning some of the British heavies). The stepped section of her belt leading up to the 51mm portion of her deck doesn't count as part of the machine spaces the way it does on Perth and Leander. While admittedly her citadel is larger than her three competitors, it's hard to argue that she's more vulnerable than Perth or Leander due to their wonky citadel geometry. Huanghe arguably has the best citadel layout but hers has the worst protection. All four ships have an easily overmatched "hole" directly overtop of the machine spaces where any shells coming in high can easily dip into the citadel and generate big damage. Unlike Leander, all of the premium ships conform to normal, tier VI light-cruiser armour layouts, with 16mm extremities and 19mm upper hull and deck armour. Leander only has 13mm on her bow and 16mm on her upper-hull and deck, leaving her vulnerable to overmatching through her butt and snout by 203mm AP shells to which the premiums are thankfully immune. As for heals, only Leander and Mysore have them which puts them well above the others in terms of survivability. Combine this with Mysore's Crawling Smoke Generator and Hydroacoustic Search and she is easily the most survivable of the four. Her consumables remove many opportunities to easily pick her off with either torpedoes, aircraft or shells making her very annoying to deal with. The elephant in the room is, of course, that heals don't amount for much if you lose all of your hit points quickly. Mysore's horrible gun arcs means that any target she's engaging with all three turrets can damage her back and quite easily. The nightmare scenario for this poor ship is knife fighting with any other vessel. Even some destroyers are capable of out-trading her provided they keep angled to foil her AP rounds. And if Mysore is trying to protect her own citadel, this disparity in damage output only increases further. Her defence is far from perfect. While she is a tough little ship for a light cruiser, she is still a light cruiser. Keep her to the second line. Your best defence is to keep from being spotted in the first place. Mysore's base hit point values are pretty modest, but the presence of her heals makes her far more resilient. When you include how often her Exhaust Smoke Generator keeps her from being an easy target, she fast becomes one of the longest-lasting cruisers at tier VI. Her opponents really need to prioritize bringing her down in those rare occurrences where she's exposed or she'll keep coming back. Of the four British light-cruisers (highlighted in red) she has the most effective health to play with. VERDICT: Great survivability, especially for a light cruiser. She's the best of the four here and beyond that, she's one of the best cruisers at her tier for survivability. Very respectable. Agility Top Speed: 31.6 knots Turning Radius: 610m Rudder Shift Time: 8.6s 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 6.5º/s When evaluating a ship's agility, there's a checklist of factors I consider. I tend to favour a high-top speed over most other factors, especially when paired with a quick rate of turn. But there are other things to weigh my decisions, including turning radius, rudder shift time, energy preservation and acceleration. Mysore is weird in this regard. Top Speed: Let's start off with how slow she is. Mysore's top speed is slow for a cruiser. She's not in the thunder-chunker, waddle-bert zone of Graf Spee, but make no mistake, she is not quick. She is one of the slowest of the tier VI cruisers. Unlike the slugga-butt La Galissonniere, she does not have access to an Engine Boost consumable to help pad her numbers. Equipping the Sierra Mike signal is a very good idea to help cover this mistake. Similarly, the captain skill Outnumbered can help, but generally speaking, if the enemies are in that close, you're in a whole lot of trouble anyway. Turning Radius: Mysore has a nice, tight turning radius. She'd be best in category if it weren't for Huanghe. So this is great. Rudder Shift Time: Mysore's rudder shift time is a bit chunky. It's not terrible, mind you, but it's on the slow-end for a tier VI cruiser. However, with her lack of access to Propulsion Modification 1 means that you will always have Steering Gears Modification 1 installed instead. Granted, most other cruisers will too, so Mysore's not gaining a leg up here, but the raw value isn't as bad as it looks. Acceleration: Mysore has ridiculously-good acceleration. She reaches 30 knots in almost no time at all with a similar kind of rocket-butt acceleration Propulsion Modification 1 applies to the first get-up and go from a dead stop. This is all but identical to the same acceleration found on Royal Navy tech tree cruisers like Leander. Energy Preservation: Mysore does not have any special energy preservation. The Royal Navy tech tree ships are famous for bleeding little to no speed in a turn (they maintain upwards of 98% of their 4/4 speed setting while turning). Mysore is decidedly normal in this regard, keeping the usual 80% of her 4/4 engine speed while turning. Rate of Turn: Her lack of improved energy preservation means that her rate of turn is normal for cruiser with her speed and turning radius. Though she is slow for a tier VI cruiser, it's not by such a large margin that her tighter turning radius doesn't end up being the deciding factor here. Mysore's rate of turn is better than average, but far from the top competitors at her tier, behind the likes of Hangue, Perth, Leander and Trento. Altogether, Mysore is a very responsive cruiser with good handling but a slow top speed. She has much more in common with Huanghe than Perth or Leander in this regard. While none of these four ships could be considered fast, Mysore is definitely the slowest of them. On top of this, due to the improved energy retention on Perth and Leander, they can at least maintain their top speed for longer (on average) than Huanghe or Mysore. Mysore really struggles to control engagement distances, subject to its whims rather than being able to comfortably dictate to it. For a cruiser that really doesn't like being up-close in a brawl, this is bad news. While she has a lot going for her, it's this lack of speed which bothers me the most. VERDICT: Good overall handling but she's not perfect, not with that slow top speed. Anti-Aircraft Defence Flak Bursts: 2 explosions for 1,120 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.8km. Long Ranged (up to 5.8km): 52.5dps at 90% accuracy (47.3dps) Medium Ranged (up to 3.5km): 161dps at 90% accuracy (144.9dps) Lemme open with this graph: These are sorted roughly by effective AA DPS using the formula [DPS x (range -1km)] to value longer-ranged defences more. Mysore looks pretty good sorted like this. Mysore almost has good anti-aircraft firepower. Almost. The catch is that it's hard to claim that any tier VI cruiser has "good" AA defences, especially when they're regularly forced to contend with tier VIII aircraft carriers. I'm aware this is a bit of an unfair comparison; weighing the merits of a given system against ships two tiers higher. I didn't weight Mysore's DPM against tier VIII cruisers, for example, nor her durability. Maybe this says something towards my frustration with surface ship interactions with aircraft in general? Be aware of the author's bias, peoples! Mysore's numbers are 'okay'. With all of her guns intact, she has enough DPS to knock down a plane or two, but she's not going to prevent drops, never mind provide adequate defence for ships around her. Generally speaking, what tends to make or break whether or not these ships can deter same-tier carriers is their access to Defensive AA Fire. And most of these ships have to choose between taking that or Hydroacoustic Search. The latter usually wins out from a pure utility standpoint which weakens AA power as a whole in a given match. This said, Huanghe, Perth and Mysore definitely have it easier time protecting themselves from bombers, but not because of their AA firepower. Their crawling smoke really gives them an edge in frustrating carrier drops so it would be inaccurate to label any of them as 'useless' when it comes to seeing to their own protection. Mysore and Huanghe especially are particularly good at chewing up aircraft that make the mistake to linger over their smoke screens, but that's a rookie mistake you can't count on a CV to make. It's disappointing that the best AA feature of Mysore comes from her smoke. But it is what it is. VERDICT: Mysore and Huanghe are definitely the better of the four (with Huanghe being way at the top) but tier VI AA firepower just isn't good on the whole. Vision Control Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 10.98km/9.59km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 6.44km/5.8km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 5.04km Maximum Firing Range: 14km What Mysore does well (and what all of the tier VI British-designed cruisers do well) is her vision control. This is a stealthy ship that easily gets her surface detection down below a sub-10km range (which is great). On top of that, she has Hydroacoustic Search which is always a plus for sniffing out fish and the occasional ship hiding in smoke. But moreover, it's her access to her Crawling Smoke Generator which is the feather in the cap of this ship's design. Of the different varieties of Smoke Generators in the game presently, Crawling Smoke Generators are one of the more powerful for individual ship play (they have less value in team-based, competitive modes). The moving nature of the rolling smoke screen allows Mysore to take it with her. It helps frustrate torpedo salvos intent on combing her out of her cover and similarly, it provides some protection against counter-battery fire from people trying to blind-snipe Mysore from smoke. Finally, it's a very effective from of AA defence. While said smoke can be used offensively (as Haida has want to do), Mysore does not belong up on the front lines due to her poor damage output and alpha-strike potential. This all combines to make it a lot more difficult to take out one of these ships using Crawling Smoke. Perth, for example, is notorious for her longevity because of this. Mysore inherits this but couples it with her improved durability and heals, giving her even greater staying power. Short of charging this ship in point-blank encounters or scoring a lucky broadside's worth of battleship-calibre citadel hits, Mysore is a difficult ship to put down quickly. If she had a little more range, she'd be downright overpowered even with her horrible DPM, simply because it's such a nuisance to put her down permanently. Her points of vulnerability here come from the usual suspects: Surveillance Radar - There's not much you can do about this short of doing your best to keep out of range. Generally speaking, you should be far enough back that only Soviet Surveillance Radar should pose any kind of threat. While you may be picked up from other sources, you can usually count on there being an island being in the way. However, in those circumstances where Mysore is caught flat footed by a radar-flash, she gets wrecked in a hurry. Keep an eye on those team rosters and watch your minimap. Aircraft - There's not much you can do here. If you're in danger, you can try hiding in smoke. Destroyers - These present a much greater threat to Mysore than they do to many other cruisers. This is largely owing to her low-damage output which is easily foiled by aggressive angling on the part of the destroyer in question. While having some friends nearby should (SHOULD!) discourage a lolibote from sniffing around, if Mysore is caught alone, she's in for a lot of trouble -- especially if the destroyer knows what they're doing. Smoke on Cool Down - And here is perhaps the greatest challenge to playing Mysore well. With as much as two and a half minutes in between smoke charges, figuring out how to engage the enemy without getting blown up is just something you have to figure out for yourself. Take a page from the old light-cruiser playbook; make an island your waifu and rain fire as your ballistic arcs and range will allow until your smoke allows you to get a little more adventurous. The temptation with Mysore is to be overly reliant upon her smoke. Want to shoot someone? Blow smoke! Aircraft overhead? Blow smoke! Get spotted by some under-aged boat? Blow smoke! Battleships looking at you funny? Blow smoke! Sometimes it's definitely the right call, but using her smoke preemptively will greatly reduce her efficacy. This isn't easy to get right and it's dirt-simple to get wrong. VERDICT: Excellent vision control, easily on par with Huanghe and Perth. Final Evaluation Mysore feels like a British light cruiser that's been sprinkled with British heavy cruiser flavour crystals. She espouses the same game play from that whole line. To refresh people's memories (or to educated those who have wisely kept away from them), the British heavy cruisers have poor damage output but improved survivability. The premise is simple enough; these ships survive longer, ergo they will have similar damage output to more fragile, harder-hitting cruisers -- at least on average. The combination of consumables on Mysore makes her VERY likely to survive a long time (provided she's played reasonably) so her damage output really sucks butt. Is she BALANS™? Probably. I suspect Mysore's numbers will end up being pretty decent once they've had some time out in the wilds for a few months. She can be really slippery so there's plenty of opportunity to make even her modest guns put out some hurt. Is she fun? Not in my opinion. Mysore's game play is excessively passive. What's worse, she only deals one particular type of damage -- AP chip-damage, specifically. She doesn't have HE. She's not farming fires. There are no big alpha strikes from fish. And she's not even likely to be landing citadel hits either. You're just going to see penetrations, saturated penetrations and the rare over-penetration with Mysore. If you play in PVE modes, MAYBE you'll see a few citadel hits at point blank ranges. Her need to play constant keep-away in PVP modes really limits the variety of her game play. There's still enough to do, I suppose, in between managing her smokes, reset-timer and making best use of islands. But that lack of variety (and quality) in damage output really bugs me. The bad news for Mysore is that Perth is a thing that exists. These two ships directly compete with one another and Perth is, hands down, the more interesting ship to play. I would have much preferred to see Wargaming shove Mysore in at tier VII and maybe stuck their hand into their bag of gimmicks to make her more interesting. Honestly, if they had just given her a British dry-dock heal and/or massaged her reload time to 8 seconds, she would have made a great tier VII cruiser. I don't understand why she ended up at tier VI. It doesn't make sense to me, business wise. But I can't see the full picture there. As it is? Mysore's a hard pass for me. Perth's the better bote. It's not that I think Mysore is awful, perse. She's just not fun. Heck, I'd rather play Huanghe and I didn't enjoy her the first time around. I think that says a lot right there.
  8. The following is a review of both Agir & Siegfried, the tier IX German large cruisers. These ships have been provided to me by Wargaming at no cost to me (though I do have to unlock Siegfried again). To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are accurate as of patch 0.9.5. Please be aware that their performance may change in the future. Whoo, double-header! Wait, does this count as reviews #150 and #151? Bah, I'll figure that part out later. Welcome to my mistake! There is a lot of similarities between the two O-class sisters, but there are some marked differences too -- not the least of which is their actual game play. I've tried to separate things out to make things more readable but it's kind of a mess with all the back and forth going on. I'm worried that I've focused too hard on one ship over the other. Oh well, I committed to this folly and I'm going to ride it out to the very end! Let's begin! Agir Summary: A tier IX Odin in cruiser-form with improved main battery guns, but she has worse protection and secondaries. Siegfried Summary: A tier IX Gneisenau in cruiser-form with better guns, secondaries, torpedoes, AA power, agility and concealment. She is squishier than the tier VII battleship though. Difference Summary: Siegfried and Agir share the same protection scheme agility and concealment. However their weapons differ. Siegfried's has more powerful 380mm guns, is more accurate, has fewer but (much) longer-ranged secondaries. Agir has 305mm guns and an extra two-pairs of short-ranged secondaries and better torpedo arcs. In addition, Siegfried gets more consumables. Because reasons. SHARED PROS Strong citadel protection for a cruiser with a 190mm belt backed by an 80mm turtleback and 45mm to 60mm citadel wall. Good structural armour protection with 27mm thick extremities, 90mm thick upper hull and 30mm thick deck. Phenomenal anti-torpedo protection for a cruiser with a 37% damage reduction. Hell, most battleships would love to have this level of defense. Long ranged main battery guns (18.5km for Agir, 20.64km for Siegfried). Excellent main battery HE penetration for both ships. Secondaries have 32mm of penetration, making them capable of directly damaging the extremities of even tier VIII+ battleships. Good anti-aircraft firepower. Access to the improved German cruiser Hydroacoustic Search consumable with it's increased detection ranges of 4km for torpedoes and 6km for ships. SHARED CONS Turtleback isn't angled steeply enough to guarantee auto-ricochets, leaving their citadels potentially vulnerable. Wait, how is this a flaw, really? Most cruisers would give away their X-turret for this level of citadel defense. Agir and Siegfried's not-perfect turtleback be damned. Fires spank for a full 60s, and floods waterboard you for 40s. Kinky. Poor main battery HE DPM. Horrible main battery gun fire angles both forward and backward. Torpedoes are pathetically short-ranged at 6km. Chunktacular agility with handling for a cruiser that feels like sticking your hand in cottage cheese or duck puke. Large surface detection for a cruiser. SPECIFIC PROS Excellent AP penetration and overmatch ability with Siegfried's 380mm guns. Siegfried makes use of cruiser dispersion (!) with her battleship caliber guns. Siegfried has long range-secondaries with good fire arcs (better than Agir's for some reason). Agir has the same fire-setting ability as Azuma and Alaska with her main battery guns. SPECIFIC CONS Low AP DPM on Siegfried's guns (combined with that earlier low HE DPM). Siegfried is a bad firebug with a low fires-per-minute. Agir's main battery lacks AP penetration making it difficult to contest battleship armour except at ranges of less than 12km. Agir may have more secondaries but they too short ranged to be useful. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High/ EXTREME Large cruisers tend to be pretty forgiving as far as cruiser game-play goes. They borrow a lot from battleships which are some of the easiest ships to play. For beginners, Siegfried and Agir provide these training wheels along with very forgiving gunnery dispersion. For veterans, imagine German battleships that actually hit whatever you aimed at. Yeah, scary, especially in Siegfried's case. Stack onto that good survivability, brawling, kiting, DD hunting with their hydro, using islands for ambushes / cover -- yeah, there's a lot of room for skill to affect game play. Let's do these next few sections out of order and focus first on where they're similar and then touch on where they're different. Defense Hit Points: 62,850 Min Bow & Deck Armour: 27mm extremities, 90mm upper hull & 30mm deck Maximum Citadel Protection: 190mm belt + 80mm turtleback + 45mm to 60mm citadel wall. Torpedo Damage Reduction: 37% How the hell are these things balanced? Siegfried and Roy are just a couple of key-features away from having a god-tier cruiser protection scheme. Let's go through the checklist: Anti-torpedo damage reduction in excess of 25% Citadel capable of repelling even large-caliber AP shells 27mm extremities or greater Upper hull in excess of 30mm Amidships deck in excess of 30mm Ice-breaker bow & stern So barring having a Furutaka-style deck and a Stalingrad ice-breaker, Siegfried and Agir have about the best defenses for cruisers that are available. But let's go into the details: Anti-Torpedo Protection Look, most cruisers don't have any torpedo damage reduction to speak of, never mind the "better-than-many-battleship" levels boasted by Siegfried and Agir. At present, they have the BEST fish-protection found on any cruiser in the game. Let's not forget that these two ships also have a German Hydroacoustic Search which further reduces the dangers presented by torpedoes. Short of these ships being more nimble (which they are decidedly not), you have the best defense you could ask when it comes to mitigating torpedo damage. Cruiser Turtlebacks & Internal Citadels Taken from GameModels3D.com with colours exaggerated to show the different layers of citadel protection on the O-class battlecruisers. This way you can clearly see the external 190mm belt in red (sloped at -1º to -21º), the 80mm turtleback in yellow (sloped 49º to 60º) and the citadel itself shown in blue (0º). Most AP shells have to contend with passing at least one auto-ricochet check to punch through her turtleback. The protection scheme of the O-class battlecruisers citadel protection closely resembles that of a German battleship. Their armour is optimized to protect the magazines and machine spaces in medium to close range encounters. However, it remains vulnerable to high-penetration, long-range fire. While these ships are not immune to citadel hits, they are about as well protected as you could hope for a cruiser to be. The effectiveness of their citadel protection varies depending upon where the ship is struck and the angle of incoming fire. Their lateral belt + turtleback protection covers the whole range from "impossible to citadel" to "difficult but not impossible" depending. Barring a shell moving at a perfect horizontal or slightly upward motion (possible due to normalization after penetrating the reverse-sloped belt), the O-class's turtleback isn't inclined enough to guarantee ricochets. Thus there's always a chance of a shell with sufficient penetration to punch into their magazines or machine spaces. The two layers of armour work in tandem with the near vertical sections of belt armour around the funnels being mated with the most steeply sloped turtleback and the more shallow angled turtleback around the magazines is paired with the most exaggerated reverse slope of the belt. The biggest danger to these ships when caught broadside are the (relatively) low velocity but high penetration shells of American battleships or the massive shells off Yamato, Musashi and Shikishima. At range, every battleship becomes more dangerous. Every time you get shot, you're rolling the dice and hoping that RNGeebus will be kind. So don't go offering up your broadside unless you're one pious momo. Their biggest citadel weakness is their enormous 27mm thick snouts which can be overmatched. Unlike other high-tier German cruisers, they have no 'ice-breaker', no extended waterline belt to help foil shots aimed at their squishy bits. For opponents that aware of this vulnerability, this area can be hit for days for easy big-damage. I'm not going to lie -- it can be frustrating to try and protect this weakness. If your opponents aren't playing ball, you're going to have a bad time. Make no mistake: Agir and Siegfried are not battleships -- they can't stand up to battleship levels of punishment. The O-class's 90mm upper hull is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it helps you resist HE shells and ricochet AP rounds when you're angled. On the flip side, it guarantees fusing every single AP shell it faces if the shell manages to penetrate, leading to Siegfried and Agir taking big damage. The recess into which Siegfried's hull-mounted torpedoes are set opens up a further shell-trap that can be exploited by your opponents. Be careful. Suck it, 381mm Guns You too, 127mm guns. Let's step away from dwelling on citadel hits and simply talk about resisting damage entirely. Given the glut of 381mm and smaller caliber guns throwing AP shells about at high-tiers these days, these ships can face-tank select targets with relative impunity. Furthermore, the 27mm threshold makes them immune to direct damage from 127mm HE shells even if they're using the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells skill, so that's pretty nice too. Their 90mm upper hull is again capable of being pretty troll when it comes to resisting damage -- both AP and HE shells, though you need to angle to resist the former. This opens the door for some interesting (if limited) brawling opportunities. The flip side is that this thicker armour all but guarantees everything (and I do mean everything) will have their AP shells fuse properly and deal chunktacular penetration damage. This can be as devastating as individual citadel hits. Overall, though, these ships are better at resisting citadel hits than they are direct damage. HE spam from cruisers is stupid-dangerous. Siegfriend and Agir's 30mm decks and 27mm extremities are big weak spots for HE to exploit. Lemme repeat myself: these are not German battleships -- they're not built to shrug off damage to the same level as those Deutsches-Stahl leviathans. You can lose HP in a hurry even if you never take a single citadel hit. So beware. Barring exceptions, most cruisers can queue up to 33% of citadel damage for repairs. Agir & Siegfried's large hit point pool gives them access to better heals, but this still falls behind the extra Repair Party charge enjoyed by Azuma and the portable` dry-docks of the British cruisers. Overall Feels The O-class sisters remind me a lot of tier VI and VII battleships -- tough but not invulnerable, with stupidly-big weak spots that are easy to exploit. Fire is a problem. Overmatch is a problem. HE spam is a problem. AP penetrating hits are a problem, but proper angling can help mitigate it. Citadel hits happen but they're uncommon and largely caused by your own mistakes, so that's easier to stomach. If you think of playing one of the O-class as the equivalent of bringing a tier VII battleship up into a tier IX match, you're not far off in terms of considering their durability. Their protection level is much better than that of the typical cruiser, but they fall well short of god-tier. VERDICT: Hella good, very rewarding and lots of fun. Agility Top Speed: 33.5 knots Turning Radius: 880m Rudder Shift Time: 14.0 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 4.7º/s These aren't cruisers. Well, they are -- they conform to cruiser norms in terms of energy retention, for example. The rest of their agility parameters are very much those of a battleship. These aren't ships with which you can wiggle and dodge. Their bad fire angles on their guns, especially when kiting, makes this dangerous to attempt -- doubly so with their 27mm extremities being the literal back door into their citadel. They barely have more speed than most of the battleships they face, to say nothing of the cruisers, so kiting is made even harder. You have to pay close attention to the flow of battle and plan your moves accordingly. This largely limits their manoeuvres of defense to flashing their sides just enough to bait hits into their belt rather than their honkers and playing keep-away from the second line until it's time to brawl. It could be worse, I suppose. They could crawl like Roon does. Apparently Dmitri Donskoi's in-port stats are being fixed soon! VERDICT: One of the weaknesses of these ships. Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 15.12km / 11.88km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 10.74km/8.7km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 11.9km Hydroacoustic Search Ranges: 4km torpedo detection, 6km ship detection. If these were battleships, their Vision Control would be excellent, but they're not. They're cruisers, so their Vision Control kinda sucks. While they do bring the German cruiser Hydroacoustic Search to the table, they're not pairing it with great surface detection or good sprinting speed. This largely limits aggressive use of the consumable to misplays on your opponent's part. Otherwise, it's just there to keep you and your allies torpedo-safe. Like Azuma before them, these ships also lack the Surveillance Radar boasted by American & Soviet large cruisers. That consumable is nearly a must-have in team settings, so going without a huge strike against these ships. Overall, Siegfried feels this deficiency in concealment much less than Agir. Siegfried's guns are more comfortable at a distance and she has longer range to boot. Heck, Siegfried can almost stealth-fire her secondaries (one of these days, WG will screw up and I will have my stealth-firing secondary cruiser). This, in my opinion, makes her the easier and more powerful ship between the two when combined with everything else. VERDICT: This is another area where they perform poorly, but it's not unexpected. Alright, that's all of their similarities. Let's go over what makes them unique. Options Let's start with the pretty mild differences of their option optimization. Consumables Agir and Siegfried differ in their consumable load-outs with Siegfried having more options than Agir. I've highlighted the consumables that are Siegfried-only. Agir and Siegfried share the following consumables: Their Damage Control Party is standard for a cruiser with a 60s reset timer and 5s active period. It comes with unlimited charges. They have access to a German Cruiser's Hydroacoustic Search with a 4km torpedo detection range and a 6km ship detection range. Both start with 3 charges and have a 120s reset timer. Finally, they both share a Repair Party. This heals back 14% of the ship's health over 28s. 50% of penetration damage is queued up along with 33% of citadel damage and 100% of all other damage types. This starts with 3 charges and has an 80s reset timer. For Siegfried, I prefer a Hydroacoustic Search along with a Spotting Aircraft for my consumables of choice. SIEGFRIED ONLY CONSUMABLES Siegfried may swap its Hydroacoustic Search for Defensive AA Fire which comes with three charges and an 80s reset timer. Siegfried bumps her Repair Party over to the fourth slot and has the option of both catapult aircraft in her third slot. Her Spotting Aircraft provides the usual 20% bonus to range for 100s. It comes with 4 charges and a 240s reset timer. Alternatively, she can use a Catapult Fighter. The squadron is active for 60s with a 90s reset timer and comes with three charges. Upgrades There's a smart way to build for these ships but there's also the fun way. Being some of the first cruisers with capable secondaries, it's fun to build for them for a lark. In Siegfried's case, this may even be slightly competitive. Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. You have a choice in slot two. Fire damage is pretty dangerous for these ships so Damage Control System Modification 1 is a sound investment. Alternatively, you can go into the Armory and spend 17,000 for Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1. In slot three, Aiming System Modification 1 is optimal for both ships. Alternatively, you can grab Secondary Gun Modification 1 for the memes. This will pay off more for Siegfried but it can work for Agir too, especially in PVE modes. Again, with full-damage fires being a threat, Damage Control System Modification 2 is optimal for slot four but you can swap it out for Steering Gears Modification 1 if you prefer to take a more active hand in your defense. Concealment Expert is too good not to be the optimal choice in slot five. For those who like to live fast and dangerous, Steering Gears Modification 2 is an option, but keep in mind that these ships have bad fire angles for kiting so this isn't ideal. Finally, let there be no doubt that Main Battery Modification 3 is the best choice for slot six. Captain Skills There's a smart way to build for these ships and then there's the German secondary battleship build. The smart way borrows the entirety of the "fire resistant battleship" build. I agree, girls. So dull even if it is the "ideal build". You can swap out Priority Target for another tier 1 skill of your choice. Expert Loader is a good idea, but the usual standbys of Preventative Maintenance and Incoming Fire Alert are reasonable. German battleship build, recently recommended with my Odin review! Make sure you take Secondary Gun Modification 1 for this build and load up on Mike Yankee Soxisix signals. All of the cool kids are doing it. Camouflage Both ships have their default Type 10 Camouflage and you can purchase the Nordic Camouflage separately as a cosmetic swap. Both provide identical bonuses, so don't stress about missing out on possible economic gains by not spending more money. These are standard bonuses for tier IX premiums: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -20% to post-battle service costs. +100% to experience gains. So nothing too extreme there. Let's move onto their anti-aircraft firepower. Verdict: Siegfried has better options than Agir by a country mile, offering two distinct and viable play styles not only in PVE but PVP as well. Siegfried's default camo scheme, which is pretty sexy. Agir's default camo scheme is more grim. The Nordic camouflage looks good on Siegfried. But it looks better on Agir, in my opinion. Anti-Aircraft Defense Flak Bursts: 5 explosions (6 for Agir) for 1,540 damage per blast at 3.5km to 6km. Siegfried / Agir Long Ranged (up to 6.0km): 102 / 130 dps at 90% accuracy Siegfried / Agir Medium Ranged (up to 4.0km): 329 / 364 dps at 90% accuracy Siegfried / Agir Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 147 / 119 dps at 85% accuracy Agir has better raw AA numbers than Siegfried. Siegfried has access to Defensive AA Fire (if she chooses to ditch Hydroacoustic Search). Both ships have "good" AA firepower, but this doesn't particularly matter. Individually, these ships have enough teeth on them to make dropping on them expensive in the long run. However, it would be a fool's mistake to think they're capable of fending off a determined CV by themselves. Apply the standard anti-CV tactics in order to keep safe. Blob-up and Just Dodge™. Otherwise, you're food. Long story short: Agir's AA is noticeably better (flirting with Alaska-levels) but Siegfried can take DFAA. I've ranked these in order of "effective AA DPS" -- meaning simply that I applied a formula (DPS *[range-1km]). This weights longer ranged AA mounts more than shorter ranged ones but it doesn't do so perfectly. This order only really gives an impression of ranking of personal AA defense, not overall effective values (such as providing support to an ally). At the end of the day, everything between Brindisi and Saint Louis are very, very close and this ranking doesn't really speak to in-game effectiveness. That's because none of this really matters. Sadly, CVs can still dunk on you no matter what and the idea that REALLY GOOD AA firepower could somehow prevent drops is a thing of the distant past. VERDICT: Disappointingly good. I say disappointing because good AA doesn't really mean anything unless the enemy CV is a total novice. Firepower Main Battery: Nine 305mm guns in 3x3 turrets (Agir) or six 380mm guns in 3x2 turrets (Siegfried). Both are setup in an A-B-X superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Eighteen 128mm guns in 9x2 turrets (Agir) and fourteen 128mm guns in 7x2 turrets (Siegfried). Torpedoes: Eight tubes in 2x4 launchers mounted on either side amidships. Let's start with the similarities between the two ships. Torpeedus Agir and Siegfried both have access to the same Steinbutt torpedoes (heh, butts). If you imagine Tirpitz's torpedoes but add an extra knot of speed, you're bang on the money. So they're stupid short ranged and kinda wimpy on a per-torpedo basis all things told. You're only ever going to get to use them in brawls or ambushes so keep that in mind. I can forgive their performance as both Agir and Siegfried feel like battleships, even if they are ostensibly cruisers. Their fish are super fun to use but you won't get to use them in every game. Still, those moments are always memorable and totally worth it. The big difference between the two ships in terms of their torpedoes are how they're mounted. Agir has them on deck giving her good forward firing arcs. Siegfried houses hers in the hull lower down, greatly reducing their field of fire (and opening up a potential shell trap besides). Agir has good torpedo arcs and terrible gun firing arcs. Siegfried has terrible torpedo arcs and less terrible (but still awful) gun firing arcs than Agir. Secondaries Siegfried has the better secondaries. This is despite Agir having more of them. Normally I wouldn't bother wasting more than a couple of sentences on cruiser secondaries, but these ships are special ... and not in that "Kiev also has a secondary!" kinda special. Siegfried's secondaries are so good, she's arguably the first cruiser in World of Warships where a full secondary build is competitive. While Siegfried doesn't have the broadside weight of a battleship, her secondaries are good enough with the combination of high penetration, good range and a decent rate of fire. Mouse's impression of the effectiveness of most cruiser secondaries. Agir should be in a similar state but she's not. Despite having the same penetration and an even better volume of fire grace of having an extra turret firing broadside, her arcs are slightly worse and she loses out on range. While you can still make this work in Co-Op battles, it's really not viable in a PVP environment -- not for the returns you get. Personally, I totally blame Flamu for this as he spilled the beans on how fun this is. Now your only way to get access to this game play is by grinding out the Research Bureau. BOOOO, Flamu! BOOOOO! You ruined everything! ♥ I stress it's this deficit of range that really hurts Agir and range remains the key factor that determines secondary-build viability in Random Battles. Agir's 5.3km base range can only be upgraded as far as 8.01km with a deep secondary build -- compare that to Siegfried's 11.49km and there's just too much of a gap. Perhaps more importantly, Siegfried's main battery gun performance isn't as hurt by spending her third upgrade slot to increase range as it is with Agir, owing to Siegfried's improved main battery gun dispersion (more on that later). You can make a secondary build on Agir work, but it's a pale shadow of the potential found on Siegfried. On the whole, it's exciting to see secondaries on cruisers being viable both to a lesser and greater degree on Agir and Siegfried respectively. I would have preferred to see this on a 203mm or 152mm armed cruiser rather than a near-perfect battleship analogue, but hey, it's progress. No, it doesn't make sense. Whatever logic was used to determine these fire angles, it's not consistent between the two vessels. Siegfried simply has better arcs on her secondaries. I have no idea why. Main Battery Guns These two ships couldn't be any more different when it comes to their main battery guns. Since I recently finished reviewing Odin, let's start with Agir's armament first because there's a lot of parallels there. Odin, Perfected If you read my review of Odin, the tier VIII German battleship, I wasn't very flattering when it came to my evaluation of her guns. Odin's 305mm guns struggle to put enough shells on target. Her battleship dispersion and her slower rate of fire just means that not enough shells stack to keep up with the damage she needs to put out. This might not be such a big issue if Odin struck like a hammer from on high, but she doesn't. While her 305mm guns are pretty good cruiser killers once you compare them to the other super cruisers, they're really lacking. Alaska & Stalingrad have improved auto-ricochet mechanics. Kronshtadt and Stalingrad have god-tier levels of AP penetration. Azuma and Yoshino have improved HE damage. So without any of these specialities, Odin was left struggling to deal damage when someone angles or plays a battleship that won't brawl with them. For comparison, here is Odin's main battery dispersion (in yellow on the left) using a standard dispersion test. This is 180 AP shells fired at 15km, locked onto a stationary Fuso bot. The Fuso lacks camouflage and Odin is using Aiming Systems Modification 1 to reduced her dispersion by 7%. Shots are coming in from right to left (Fuso is bow-tanking). Odin's 'good for a battleship' dispersion is alright, but it doesn't do the ship any favours given the rather wimpy punch of her shells. Agir's main battery gun dispersion (in pink on the right) following the same parameters as Odin's above. While Odin makes use of the American-British-German battleship dispersion area, Agir makes use of the Graf Spee (aka "Battlecruiser") dispersion. Agir inherits Odin's lackluster AP penetration and anemic HE issues. Boooo. However, her improved dispersion and faster rate of fire compensates somewhat for this disparity in performance. Her shells are "bad" but she fires enough of them and hits often enough to kinda-sorta offset her disastrous ammunition. Still, this isn't a ship in which you want to be actively trading fire with opponents. She's not a high DPM monster nor are her alpha strikes particularly impressive barring a cruiser derping monstrously. Fire opportunistically and avoid return damage as best you can. I struggle to call Agir's main battery firepower "good". It's alright -- I'd give it no more than that. There's nothing here really to get excited over. Siegfried, on the other hand... Gneisenau, Perfected Imagine if Gneisenau (or Tirpitz for that matter), hit with nearly every shell she fired. German 380mm guns are notorious for their inaccuracy so that might be a little difficult, but make the effort. Difficulties visualizing aside, take a cruiser and equip it with a small battery of battleship caliber weapons and make them stupid-accurate. That's Siegfried. That's her thing. It goes beyond that though. Siegfried takes Gneisenau's offensive abilities and improves upon them to such a degree that it's hard to believe Siegfried made it out of testing without significant nerfs. She boasts a slightly more powerful torpedo armament than Gneisenau. Her secondaries are longer ranged, using the same excellent 128mm L/61s with their improved penetration. And finally, Siegfried's main battery guns hit whatever you aim at -- something the tier VII and VIII German battleships could only dream of. It's this last part, it's her main battery guns, which puts her head and shoulders above Gneisenau despite the similarities of their armaments. Let's take a blast from the past to illustrate why Siegfried's accuracy is so jaw dropping. This is Bismarck's old dispersion (in yellow on the left), back when she was still using the French & Italian battleship patterns. Gneisenau and Tirpitz shared in this performance, with all three ships having 1.8 sigma. Things have improved slightly -- at 15km the width of their fall has reduced by 3 meters from 198m shown here (with ASM1 installed) to 195m with the new American battleship dispersion they're presently using. Yeah, you kinda got bamboozled if you thought the recent changes fixed anything. Siegfried (in blue on the right) uses cruiser dispersion. No, not battlecruiser -- actual cruiser dispersion. She has the same spread of shots as you'd find on Cleveland or Henri IV. She has their 2.05 sigma too unlike the 1.8 sigma you played with when using German battleships. Aim well and you can hit with everything. It's for this reason that Siegfried can get away with upgrading her secondaries rather than focusing on reducing her main battery dispersion -- it's baseline value is already good enough and ASM1 isn't changing much. Aim well and you can hit with EVERYTHING. Look, German 380mm L/52s aren't the most impressive of battleship weapons but they're certainly novel on a cruiser. Even with that said, landing six out of six battleship caliber shells of a given volley is enough to make anyone sit up and take notice regardless of the ship type. Like Jean Bart, Siegfried will tear you a new one if you're foolish enough to give her a broadside. While the French battleship will do it through volume of fire, Siegfried will do it with a single well placed shot. Even her awful HE performance is counteracted (somewhat) by this phenomenal accuracy she boasts. Siegfried almost feels Soviet, what with firing high-velocity shells and having the ability to snipe destroyers from a distance. It's that accuracy that solves a lot of Siegfried's woes -- not all of them, mind you, but a lot. Without landing citadel hits or steady penetrations, Siegfried will lose just about any damage race. So while her individual hits are pretty jaw dropping, it's a struggle to land enough of them to make a difference if you're not prioritizing targets properly. As good as Siegfried's guns are on paper, without a good head behind the helm, she can be pretty terrible. Unlike Agir's guns, which improve upon pretty forgettable weapons, Siegfried's are an improvement on some rather novel guns. If nothing else, Siegfried makes for some interesting gunnery. Imperfect Perfections As different as the guns are on the two ships, Siegfried and Agir share a couple of problems. Poor damage out put. Poor gun firing angles. As good as Siegfried and Agir's guns can be, they're fouled by angling. Granted, Agir is more vulnerable to this than Siegfried, but Siegfried performs even more poorly when it finally meets a target it can't overmatch. German HE performance is notoriously terrible and if these ships are forced to fire it for long, their numbers will tank. Agir's only saving grace in this regard is her fire setting ability which is ... well, it's not great but it's not at the appalling levels Siegfried suffers. In short, these ships struggle in head-up fights where they can't brawl and they can't use their AP shells reliably. If an enemy is aware of them and reacts accordingly, they can largely shut down their damage output outside of close-range knife fights. Agir's AP DPM is pretty darned respectable -- more-so if you consider she can make ready use of it more often than many other cruisers. Siegfried, by contrast, is way behind. But when you remember she has battleship caliber guns, capable of actually landing citadel hits reliably at a distance, this helps make up for it. However, she's always going to lag on damage output, so she needs to aim well and survive long to keep up. I made this graph the same scale as the AP DPM so you could compare them. The O-class cruisers really miss out on HE DPM -- Siegfried's is especially appalling. Landing six penetrating HE shells is only 8,712 damage -- and that's a best case scenario every 22.9 to 26s. While this will ruin any destroyer's day, other targets can shrug that off, especially when it halves due to saturation. While Agir's HE shell performance may be lacking, her fire setting is on par with Azuma and Alaska, which is respectable. Siegfried is again pretty embarrassing. As for firing angles, well... they're terrible, frankly. You have to expose a whole lot of broadside to fire forward and even more to fire rearward. Agir is especially bad for this which opens up these ships to taking a lot of damage they should otherwise be able to avoid. Furthermore, this makes both ships very poor choices for kiting. When engaging targets chasing them, their guns are doubly terrible. First, their overmatch potential is limited -- Agir moreso than Siegfried, but the latter has her problems too. Next, you're faced with the loser choice of either firing with a single turret or slowing yourself down when you open up your broadside to return fire with their A & B turrets. Agir is much worse for this than Siegfried -- as if Siegfried needed any more improvements over her sister. The only place where Agir's gun handling performs better is her faster turret traverse. Once you stack on Main Battery Modification 3, Siegfried's gun traverse gets so sluggish she can actively out-turn her turrets. I hate that. You'll want Expert Marksman if you can afford it, but Siegfried's deep secondary build might preclude you from having the points to pick it up. Finally, the biggest drawback of these ships is the need for time deal their damage. While you can hope for some cruiser to offer themselves up as an easy meal, their low damage output means that you're leaning on their survivability to last longer -- giving you more opportunities to make their weapons count. This can be from stacking fires in Agir, padding numbers with Siegfried's secondaries or finally getting a chance where you get to use their fish. Siegfried's numbers are especially volatile with her 380mm guns providing periods of both feast and famine. More time gives you more chances to finally find those opportunities. Agir Summary Agir corrects some of the problems found with Odin's armament but then takes on additional problems of poor fire angles and ineffective backup weaponry. Firepower wise, I'd rather have Alaska or Azuma. These ships all have similar AP penetration but Alaska has her improved autobounce angles and Azuma has way better HE shells. All three are comparable firebugs. Still, the torpedoes that Agir has are nice but I can't see myself enjoying her secondaries outside of co-op. So yeah, poor marks here. Siegfried Summary By contrast, Siegfried's main battery guns are exciting and so are her secondaries. Yeah, she has problems but they're not insurmountable and it's a worthwhile price to pay to have access to 380mm guns that hit with (almost) everything. Verdict: Siegfried's weapons are fun and unique. Agir is Odin Two: The Electric Boogaloo with better main battery guns but worse secondaries which is boring as all get out. Final Evaluation I have nothing but praise for Siegfried and I'm generally dismissive of Agir. The basis of these feels is pretty simple: Siegfried's game play is new and novel -- she's effectively a glass-cannon version of Gneisenau, greatly improving offense at the expense of durability. Agir, by contrast, is a more-different Odin but she loses out entirely on secondaries and adds durability issues. The other way of looking at Agir is to compare her to the front-running large cruiser at tier IX, Alaska. Comparing the two of them, Alaska is hands down better -- she has better artillery and better team utility. Agir only wins out in brawls. I wouldn't go so far to say that Siegfried is better than Alaska, but at least Siegfried offers a change in game play. Fun and novelty is a worth the price of optimization in my opinion. I'm not surprised Siegfried is the more compelling choice over Agir, not when she's locked behind the Research Bureau grind. Unlike Agir which seemed to be nerfed every step along the way of her development, Siegfried had only two significant changes made to her since her introduction in early 2019. First, her AA power got played around with. That shouldn't be unexpected given the volatility of the CV rework over that same time period but it is what it is. Second, her torpedoes dropped from an 8km range to a 6km range. Wargaming have, quite deliberately, preserved the attractive secondary-heavy game play that turned people's heads during Agir's development. Siegfried is a big ol' fat carrot on a stick hoping to lure you into regrinding a few tech tree lines. To me, Agir feels like a consolation prize -- a poor man's Siegfried, as it were. Though she is a lot more accessible and she's not terrible, she's a distant second to her sister ship and even further behind Alaska. Given the ongoing events, if people wanted Agir, I'd steer them to Odin instead. I can't speak for Siegfried being "worth it" for having to participate in the Research Bureau, but she is a good ship -- as I have said repeatedly, she's interesting if nothing else. It's up to you if that's worth your time investment. So yeah, that's the O-class. A fun ship locked behind a painful experience and a meh ship that will forever have you looking over your shoulder wondering what you could have had instead. Siegfried turned quite a few heads during play testing. Agir just turned stomachs with her constant nerfs. Conclusion Wargaming is still at it. Champagne has been finalized so there's another ship added onto the pile that needs reviewing. I need some time off after this one, so I don't anticipate having another review out before early July. Thank you very much for reading.
  9. Throughout the course of maritime warfare history since the advent of steam-powered engines in marine engineering, the cruiser-class warship has retroactively proven itself to be a versatile naval war machine on numerous naval combats, capable of performing a wide spectrum of combat roles & tasks depending on the nature of a cruiser's design philosophy, of which neither a battleship nor a destroyer were capable of at those times before the early years of Cold War. Cruisers can be designed & built in various shapes & forms, such as armored cruiser, torpedo cruiser, battlecruiser, scout cruiser, light or heavy cruiser, cruiser killer & even aircraft cruiser. Both of those aforementioned varieties of cruiser-class warships were purpose-built on the framework of their respective design philosophies to determine their technical performances on both tactical & strategic values as an assets in naval warfare. One of the most peculiar cruiser-class warships even existed in concept & design before WWII, was the USSR's Large Cruiser Project "X". Whilst its design was initially intended to be a "cruiser killer" type of heavy cruiser, it was also given a few more combat roles to ensure the Project "X" large cruiser, at least theoretically, is capable of coordinating a small fleet or a flotilla, as well as able to operate independently from fleet command for at least within a few days or within a week period at most. Hence, Project "X" was dubbed, for the lack of better term, the "Superman of Soviet Lands". Soviet Large Cruiser Project "X" - Multipurpose Reconnaissance Heavy Cruiser Concept By 1935, as Dr. Anatoly I. Maslov unveiled Pr. 26 - Kirov to be the first contemporary "light cruiser" for the Soviet Navy in the intensive efforts to rebuild the maritime force of the Soviet Armed Force under the Big Fleet Program at the behest of Joseph Stalin, his colleague V. P. Rimsky-Korsakov conceived the Project "X" large cruiser as the first attempt to materialize the first "heavy cruiser" for the Soviet Navy. Rimsky-Korsakov's concept for his "large cruiser" was not only to be capable of destroying enemy cruisers being as large as the German Deutschland-class cruiser with its main guns being larger than 203mm in caliber, but also to be self-sufficient enough to conduct an autonomous operation outside of the fleet command's chain of command within a certain period of time while coordinating its task/strike force in the form of a small fleet division or a sizable flotilla consist of a few light cruisers, destroyer leaders such as Kiev-class & Tashkent-class, along with a handful of destroyers, submarines, support ships & other smaller sea combatants. Be it carrying out anti-submarine warfare, commerce raiding, intercept enemy raiders or operating a small-medium scale skirmishes, Project "X" was intended to fulfill those aforementioned roles in an unconventional means. Project "X" was designed on the standard displacement of at least 15,518 tonnes & about 17,350 tonnes on full load displacement. In terms of ship hull dimension, it would be 233.6 m in length, 22.3 m in width & 6.6 m in waterline draft. Armed with 4 x 3 - 240 mm/60 main guns; supplemented with 6 x 2 - 130 mm/50 B-2LM twin gun deck turrets, 2 x 3 - 533 mm triple torpedo tubes, 6 x 1 - 45 mm/46 21-K AA cannons & 4 x 1 - 12.7x108 mm DShK heavy machine guns. 240 mm/60 naval gun specs:- • projectile weight: 235 kg • muzzle velocity: 940 m / s • charge mass: 100 kg • ammunition per gun: 110 rds. • rate of fire at an elevation angle of 10 degrees: 5 rds / min • traverse angle: –5 degrees to +60 degrees As for propulsion, Project "X" was designed in the 3-shaft propellers configuration; powered by a total six steam turbine engines & six boilers to generate a total power output of 210,000 shp to produce a top speed of not more than 38.0 knots, in theoretical calculations. Each propeller shaft was to be powered by two steam turbine engines & two boilers to generate a local power output up to 70,000 shp. Such kind of propulsion system would then be applied on destroyer Pr. 45 - Opytny. Armor scheme: Belt - 115 mm Deck - 75 mm Barbette - 115 mm Conning tower - 100 - 150 mm Main turret - 75 - 115 mm B-2LM turret - 50 mm Bulkhead - 115 mm Project "X" was designed on an unusually large hull profile possibly based on Kirov-class in design, with an elongated aft & stern sections to include a large aircraft hangar to accommodate an unusual number of seaplanes of choice (i.e. KOR-1/Be-2 or KOR-2/Be-4) up to at least 9 seaplanes. As such, Project "X" would have effectively function as an aircraft cruiser. Interestingly, the design philosophy behind Project "X" was likely to be based on the Imperial Japanese Navy's Mogami-class & Tone-class heavy cruisers, which were then modified into an aircraft cruiser capable of accommodating between 6 - 11 seaplanes, with the former historically capable to carry up to 11 seaplanes at the very least. It was probably no accident that Rimsky-Korsakov came up with the idea of multipurpose large cruiser, based on the intel gathered from an espionage on the IJN's activities. Moreover, there also was the light cruiser Ooyodo which also initially built to function as an aircraft cruiser, but ultimately functioned more as a command cruiser. IJN Light Cruiser Ooyodo Ultimately, they would mean the Project "X" large cruiser would have been the combination of a firepower of German's Deutschland & Japanese's Tone, plus the multipurpose functionality of the Japanese's Ooyodo. In addition, Project "X" was to get at least two submersible torpedo boats/midget subs designed by TsKBS-1 design bureau, known as the "Flea" - «Блоха» . "Flea-400" submersible torpedo boat/midget sub - «Блохи-400»
  10. A 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.
  11. It's double-header time! The following is a review of both Belfast and Belfast '43, the tier VII and VIII British premium cruisers. These ships were provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes -- I did not have to shell out any dollarydoos to get access to them. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.9.10. Please be aware that they may change in the future. Belfast is a total meme. I am delighted to see that Belfast '43 is being added to the game. Belfast is an important museum ship and it's so unfortunate that her premium had to be retired. She is the poster-child for unbalanced premiums so it's nice to see that Wargaming is correcting the lack of Belfast with what is ostensibly a more balanced version. Now I could just review the new one but I know I'd be hounded by the need to constantly compare the two. And if I half-butted the comparison, there would be tons of questions and comments asking that I follow up. So to correct this, I'm going to review both ships at the same time. So consider this an update to the old tier VII Belfast while simultaneously evaluating the newer, tier VIII version. God, Belfast is such a meme. Azur Lane went so far as to predict this too with Belfast and mini-me clone version of her. No, I don't get it either. Comparing Belfast to Belfast is going to get confusing in a hurry. In order to try and keep things clear, I will be not only referring to them by their tier but I will also colour code them. The discontinued tier VII premium cruiser will be referred to by Belfast (T7) while the newer, tier VIII version will be referred to by Belfast '43 (T8). Quick Summary: Two British light cruisers with the best combination of vision-control consumables in the game. Belfast '43 (T8) has slow-firing but harder hitting guns. Belfast (T7) is a meme-ship whose over-the-top performance has transcended not only World of Warships but in Azur Lane too. Shared PROS British cruiser with access to both AP and HE rounds. Improved acceleration. Good concealment with a surface detection as low as 8.91km. Access to a Smoke Generator AND Surveillance Radar AND Hydroacoustic Search all at the same time. (!) Shared CONS Very light cruiser armour profile with very thin hull plates that are easily overmatched. Enormous 6mm "hole" in citadel roof that's easily overmatched by any AP shell of any size. Does not have the same style of AP rounds as the rest of the British light cruiser line. Poor fire chance per shell for a 152mm round of only 9%. Horrible gun firing angles, necessitating giving a full broadside to bring all of her guns to bear. Bad gun traverse speeds of only 7º/s. Only a modest top speed of 32.5 knots. Not a good training ship for British light cruiser commanders. These two ships are defined by three things: (1) They're hard to engage but squishy if you can hit them. (2) They have an excellent combination of Vision Control consumables. (3) They have HE shells. Their game play is largely defined by taking station near an island, deploying smoke and HE-spamming the snot out of anything that comes within range. As if this wasn't bad enough, their combination of detection consumables makes them an absolute nightmare for destroyers who cannot dare to operate in their vicinity. Belfast's Hydroacoustic Search and ridiculous rate of acceleration keeps her safe from most torpedo strikes, nullifying one of the greatest risks to sitting in smoke while her Surveillance Radar ensures that any destroyers operating in the area quickly regret their life decisions. Ostensibly this is balanced by their poor fragility and gun handling, but the high concealment and agility of these ships coupled with their Smoke Generators makes even drawing a bead on them in the first place quite difficult. This combines with ballistics that are favourable for making use of island cover that further off-sets any deficits to survivability. All of the above strengths and weaknesses apply to Belfast '43 (T8) with the addition of the following: Belfast '43 (T8) Specific PROS High HE alpha strike for a 152mm armed ship from improved HE shell damage. Can single-fire her torpedoes. Small turning circle radius of 680m. Very short reset timer between final cloud dissipation and reactivation of her Smoke Generator. Starts with an extra charge of her Smoke Generator for a maximum of 5 charges with Superintendent. Can stealth-radar (albeit with only a 90m window at most but still). Belfast '43 (T8) Specific CONS Small hit point pool of 38,400hp. Long reload of 10.5s on her main battery leading to poor DPM and fire setting. Torpedoes are short ranged at 8km. Horrible anti-aircraft firepower for a tier VIII cruiser. Few charges of her Hydroacoustic Search and Surveillance Radar. Short duration on her smoke clouds. Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / CHALLENGING / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme Belfast '43 (T8) appears to have a balanced armament between AP & HE shells and her torpedoes. However, she pays for her triumvirate of consumables with nerfed weapon systems. Her main battery guns have a horrid reload time. Similarly, her torpedoes are much too short ranged to be used easily. Her AP shells suck, so that just leaves you with HE. Finally, as good as her consumable-combination is, they are limited by having either fewer charges (radar & hydro) or shorter duration (smoke), making it a challenge to manage them properly over the course of a full match. All of the shared merits and flaws listed at the top of this section apply to Belfast (T7) with the addition of the following: Belfast (T7) Specific PROS Fast, 7.5s reload leading to good DPM. Access to British light-cruiser energy retention, bleeding almost no speed in a turn. One of the few tier VII cruisers with Surveillance Radar. Has access to the 5th upgrade slot -- a rarity for tier VII ships. Belfast (T7) Specific CONS Only has 25mm of HE penetration. No torpedo armament. Long rudder shift time for a tier VII cruiser at 9.6s. Skill Floor: SIMPLE / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme Belfast (T7) is a different beast to Belfast '43 (T8) despite their similarities. This is largely owing to the differences in matchmaking -- Belfast (T7) gets to pick on tier V ships when matchmaking is being kind. Moreover, she's a rockstar at her tier giving up little while enjoying all of the same (but better) consumable benefits of the tier VIII newcomer. What's more, she fires three seconds faster per salvo and that makes a world of difference whether its stacking fires on an enemy battleship or lewding on a lolibote that you've flashed with her radar. Finally there's the extra agility Belfast (T7) enjoys. Her improved energy preservation means that Belfast (T7) is overall faster on average despite the two ships have the same top speed. This gives her a better rate of turn than her tier VIII-self despite having a larger effective turning radius. Just from the PROS and CONS list alone, you can clearly see that Belfast (T7) is much stronger (and easier to use) than Belfast '43 (T8). Bumping Belfast (T7) up to tier VIII would add on a low hit-point flaw but she would lose the slow-rudder shift as her 9.6s rudder shift time is on the slower-side of average for that tier. Belfast (T7) is, in fact, more than good enough to be a tier VIII cruiser with nothing changed about her. This explains why she was retired in the first place. So the question becomes not if Belfast '43 (T8) is a good enough replacement for Belfast (T7), because she's not, but rather if Belfast '43 (T8) is a good enough cruiser at to be worth picking up for anything but her name and history. Options Consumables At a glance, the first obvious difference between the two ships is that Belfast '43 (T8) can take a Catapult Fighter and Belfast (T7) cannot. But there's much more to it than that. Both ships share the same Damage Control Party. It has a 5s active period, a 60s reset timer and unlimited charges. Belfast '43 (T8), being a higher tier, has improved range with her Hydroacoustic Search over Belfast (T7) but with fewer charges. Belfast (T7) has a 3km torpedo detection range, 4km ship detection range, 100s active time, 120s reset timer and three charges to start. Belfast '43 (T8) has 4km torpedo detection range, 5km ship detection range, 100s active time, 120s reset timer and two charges to start. This deficit of one charge of her consumable is odd as most cruisers begin with three. Belfast (T7) has the much easier-to-use (and arguably better) Smoke Generator compared to the the new fish. Belfast '43 (T8)'s smoke is comparable to that of British destroyers, having more charges and a fast reset timer but with the smoke lasting for much less time. Belfast (T7)'s consumable is active for 15s with each 600m radius cloud lasting for 103s. It has a 160s reset timer and starts with three charges. Belfast '43 (T8)'s consumable is active for 15s with each 600m radius cloud lasting for 40s. It has a 70s reset timer and starts with four charges. Like with their hydro, Belfast '43 (T8) has improved range with her Surveillance Radar over Belfast (T7) but again, with fewer charges. Belfast (T7)'s radar is active for 25s and detects ships at 8.5km with a 120s reset timer and three charges to start. Belfast '43 (T8)'s radar is active for 25s and detects ships at 9km with a 120s reset timer and two charges to start. Only Belfast '43 (T8) can swap her radar for a Catapult Fighter. I dunno why you'd do that but hey, it's an option. Belfast (T7)does not have access to it all. Belfast '43 (T8) deploys three fighters which are active for 60s that patrol a 3km radius around the ship. It has a 90s reset timer and three charges to start. I think it's pretty easy to declare Belfast (T7) the winner here when it comes to her consumable options. Still, it would be foolish to deny that Belfast '43 (T8) has an excellent consumable suite, giving her some of the best tools possible in the game for vision control. Upgrades With Belfast (T7) being able to fit five upgrade slots like a tier VIII ship, the ideal upgrades between the two ships are identical. With both ships having improved acceleration, they cannot take the Propulsion Modification 1 upgrade in slot 4. The only apparent option in the second slot comes down to what you can afford. Surveillance Radar Modification 1 is optimal, adding another 5 seconds to the active period of their Surveillance Radar consumables. If you cannot afford that but have access to a Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 upgrade then equip that instead. Each of these cost 17,000 in the Armory so default to the former if you can afford it. If you can't pick up either one, then take Engine Room Protection. So the optimal build is: Main Armaments Modification 1 is slot 1. Surveillance Radar Modification 1 in slot 2. Aiming Systems Modification 1 in slot 3. Steering Gears Modification 1 in slot 4. And finally Concealment System Modification 1 in slot 5. Captain Skills There are effectively two builds for the Belfast-twins. They differ on whether or not to take Inertial Fuse for HE Shells (IFHE) to increase their penetration or to build for increased fire chance. Belfast '43 (T8) benefits more from the penetration provided by IFHE than Belfast (T7) due to how the skill scales with tier. Thus, the higher-tiered ship is more likely to build for IFHE but either build can work for either ship. Well this is a colourful, confusing mess. But there's a method to my madness. Start by picking one of the two skills in the yellow squares at tier 1. Next, hoover up the light blue circles. After that, decide if you want increased HE penetration with IFHE or increased fire chance with Demolition Expert. You can take both, but it's hella expensive. The remaining skills circled in red are nice to have. Use them to pad out your remaining available points. Camouflage Between all of the camouflages available between the two ships, they share identical bonuses. 3% reduction to surface detection. 4% increase to enemy dispersion. 10% reduction to service costs. 50% increase to experience earned. Belfast '43 (T8)'s Type 10 Camouflage. Belfast (T7)'s Type 10 Camouflage. Belfast (T7) received an additional camouflage through the Azur Lane crossover. In general, the Azur Lane camouflage disappoint me. World of Warships Blitz the crossover-skins had some fun geometry changes to the model too. Still, this one is at least nice and striking, even if it's just a skin. The best thing about it is that for my purposes, it's the easiest way to differentiate between the two ships in this review when I use screenshots. Firepower Main Battery: Twelve 152mm/50 guns in 4x3 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Belfast (T7) Secondary Battery: Eight 102mm/45 guns in 4x2 turrets. Belfast '43 (T8) Secondary Battery: Twelve 102mm/45 guns in 6x2 turrets. Belfast '43 (T8) Torpedoes: Six tubes in 2x3 launchers with one launcher per side mounted in the hull between the funnels. Belfast (T7) has the Union Jack on top of her B-turret except with her Azur Lane camo. Belfast '43 (T8) has AA mounts on top of her B-turret instead. Belfast '43 (T8). Note the differences in reload time, HE penetration, IFHE penetration and HE shell damage. Balancing ships is difficult. "Murder your darlings", an often quoted phrase stolen from Hollywood, has made the rounds in game design. The premise is simple enough: Identify what you like best about something you've made and then remove it from the design entirely. Such design elements will tend to lead projects astray and create complications further down the line. The darling in Belfast (T7)'s design, I am convinced, is her access to HE shells. At the time of her release back in the autumn of 2016, it was this feature which made her stand out more than any other from the British light cruiser line. Belfast (T7)'s HE shells did make her unique, but they ultimately broke and doomed the project. To be clear, HE in of itself isn't unmanageable. Belfast '43 (T8) is Wargaming's attempt to correct some of the earlier problems of Belfast (T7)'s design while still keeping access to HE shells. In my mind, it's a lot of extra work to accommodate something that was already out of place, long long ago. The time and energy could be better spent elsewhere and left us with a premium that was better suited to training British light cruiser tech-tree captains. As it is, Wargaming tweaked Belfast '43 (T8)'s HE shells to conform to the numbers they wanted to see. These changes are so odd they will understandably cause you to second guess her performance and potential. Fool me once, shame on you Belfast (T7)'s main battery firepower conforms entirely to light-cruiser norms. Her twelve 152mm guns behave exactly as you would expect. They fire a shell with modest damage output, with a rather floaty ballistic arc over medium range. To compensate, they have a high rate of fire. This seems simple enough. The only real oddity here is their rather poor fire chance per shell. If you line up the guns from most of the other 152mm armed light cruisers, Belfast (T7) looks pretty normal. Her 7.5 second reload fits in snugly between the long, 10 second reload of Mogami 155mm, the stately 8 second reloads of Soviet guns from ships like Shchors, Chapayev and Irian and the blistering quick reloads of Cleveland (6.5 seconds), Ochakov (6.1 seconds), Mainz (6 seconds) and München (5 seconds). However, only Mikhail Kutuzov is an apt comparison for Belfast (T7)'s ability to spit shells down range. Gun performance stats from patch 0.5.12.1 back in October of 2016 back when these were among the few 152mm armed contemporaries of Belfast (T7) at the time of her release. Mikhail Kutuzov, Budyonny and Chapayev all ditto'd Shchors's shell performance but with reduced DPM in Budyonny's case. Belfast (T7) and Mikhail Kutuzov can cycle their guns for long periods of time without interruption. Their Smoke Generators are the great facilitator, increasing their chances to not only find uninterrupted periods where they can spam HE to their heart's content but also survive longer within a match to do it over and over again. While ships like Cleveland or Helena can mathematically spit out more DPM, the survivability of these other ships is far more limited. It's easier for Belfast (T7) to take full advantage of her DPM potential and do it for more of a given match than it is for comparable cruisers. Belfast (T7) puts out a lot of damage mostly because she can take advantage of situations other cruisers can't. While others have to fish for cover or worry about dodging, she can just hold down her left mouse button. Her angry smoke clouds easily bully other ships, creating 15km zones of control. The only limit to Belfast (T7)'s potential is HE penetration. The changes to HE penetration and the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells skill hurt tier VII light cruisers in a bad way. It's hard not to feel like this was an attack specifically against Belfast (T7) to reign her in. Without the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells (IFHE) skill, Belfast (T7) cannot directly damage a long list of ship hulls. Taking IFHE shortens this list considerably. However, she still cannot directly damage the hulls of tier VIII+ battleships even with this skill. Furthermore, IFHE neuters her fire-setting chances, hurting her efficiency against these high-tier chunguses (chungi?) . Thus, whether you choose to go with or without IFHE is up to you -- both styles are viable and both have their drawbacks. Presently, it feels like tier VII ships get pulled into higher tiered matchmaking more often (though who knows what the actual math is on that) so I tend to steer away from IFHE on Belfast (T7) for the moment. This hurts her efficiency against cruisers, but I tend to focus on accosting lolibotes and burning battleships so this works out well for me. Overall, Belfast (T7) is as crazy-efficient as any tier VII light cruiser could hope to be. Her Smoke Generator allows her long periods of time where she can cycle her guns with near impunity. Belfast (T7)'s fire arcs are both varied and crappy. That would matter more if she had to wiggle and dodge, but she doesn't. You have to love how naively optimistic Belfast (T7)'s design is. "Sure! Give it better-than-average damage output for a tier VII light cruiser. Never mind all of the stealth and smoke advantages she has! It will all work out!" There have been so many lessons learned over the years... I apologize for these crappy graphs. I borrowed them from my München review and didn't bother to spruce them up. The IFHE+ and Max categories are assuming that the ships are using the Demolition Expert skill, both fire-improving signals and, in Flint & Atlanta's case, using the Basic Fire Training skill as well. The base 9% fire chance per shell pumps the brakes on Belfast (T7)'s ferocity somewhat. She merely ends up being a better-than-average fire setter overall for a tier VII cruiser rather than a high-roller like the other lights... at least until you remember that she can park and hold down her left mouse button with little worry of reprisals. Fool me twice, shame on me Alright, so Belfast (T7) proved we can't have nice things. Wargaming tried their best to make sure that Belfast '43 (T8) didn't repeat this travesty. Their solution? Nerf her rate of fire into the ground. Belfast '43 (T8) has a terrible rate of fire for a tier VIII light cruiser. It's a half-second worse than the fifteen-gun Mogami 155mm's 10 second reload. That's right; Belfast '43 (T8) has a 10.5 second reload. As you can imagine, this puts her DPM numbers into the toilet. When slinging her AP shells, she has worse potential DPM than most of the heavy cruisers at her tier which is downright terrible. Normally, when your DPM is that bad, they give the ship some form of compensation for this. For example, Atago & Mogami 203mm have greatly improved dispersion and kick-butt torpedoes. Then there's Amalfi who has a long list of advantages including high speed, agility, SAP shells and her Exhaust Smoke Generator. Finally there's Albemarle and Cheshire which have ... uh ... Wait. Wait. Hold on, I can do this. Finally there's Atago & Mogami 203mm which have greatly improved dispersion and kick-butt torpedoes! So as you can see, Belfast '43 (T8) is going to be leaning pretty heavily into her other advantages. Thankfully, this deficit is somewhat mitigated when it comes to her HE shells. Wargaming artificially boosted the shell damage of Belfast '43 (T8)'s HE rounds, up from Belfast (T7)'s 2,100 max damage to 2,450; a 16.7% increase. Belfast '43 (T8)'s individual salvos thus hit harder. It's not a lot harder, mind you (especially once you account for the 0.33x penetration damage modifier), but it is harder. When you then rank Belfast '43 (T8)'s HE performance up in a DPM chart, she sits above all of the heavy cruisers but behind all of the lights. On paper, this feels right -- especially given what we've learned about Smoke Generators on cruisers. Iwaki Alpha, Mikhail Kutuzov and Belfast (T7) ruined the gimmick for everyone else. Still, it's hard not to feel like this penalized reload is just plain punitive. It's painful and prevents her from playing to the same extremes as Belfast (T7). Belfast '43 (T8) is nowhere near as good of a destroyer hunter, for example. The opportunities to pack some loving onto lolibotes is fleeting and her long reload often limits such molestations to a single broadside slap rather than a repeated, fast-cycled spanking. Though her alpha strike on her HE shells is improved, Belfast '43 (T8)'s HE shell performance isn't improved so much that your singular volleys will guarantee a mauling. At best, you're looking at 9,702 damage per broadside to a destroyer compared to Belfast (T7)'s 8,316. Yes, it's more damage, but it's not "call you daddy" kind of damage. These problems are further compounded when it comes to Belfast '43 (T8)'s fire setting. While her HE shell damage is improved, her fire chance remains the same ol' unfortunate 9%. With that shackled to her 10.5 second reload, her chance to set fires drops from "worst of the light cruisers" to Cheshire levels of bad. Mother truckin' CHESHIRE LEVELS OF BAD, ladies and gentlemen. ARGLBARGL!!! If you take Inertial Fuse for HE Shells on Belfast '43 (T8) you can largely forget about farming fire damage even if you pad everything back up with Demolition Expert and signals. You'll be lucky if you get one fire to stick on permanently against high-tier targets, to say nothing of two. Your opponent has to already have their Damage Control Party severely taxed before you'll stick blazes onto their hulls. This is not a ship I would recommend building for just fires -- it's too much of a gamble with her poor fire setting characteristics. Despite this, it would be a mistake to skip taking IFHE on Belfast '43 (T8). Unlike Belfast (T7) she has the higher base penetration number (30mm) to allow her to abuse any target she comes across, so the direct damage is worth it. You might be thinking, "oh, but her torpedoes surely balance things!" NO. NO! Go gargle some liquid nitrogen and shut your hoarfrost mouth! Forget her torpedoes. At 8km and with only a pair of triple launchers, Belfast '43 (T8)'s torpedoes will not carry the day unless your opponents are idiots. If something big enough drives within range of your fish, you're either playing co-op or things have gone to poop. They are weapons of desperation, no more and no less. Arguably, the only good they do is to allow Belfast '43 (T8) to keep up in close-range firefights against other cruisers, compensating for her horrible reload. That's at least until you remember that most other cruisers will be spitting out fish too. It's a damn good thing Belfast '43 (T8) has those improved HE shells because her AP shells and torpedoes are liabilities. Belfast '43 (T8)'s fire arcs are closer to uniform but still crappy. Her torpedo arcs have an 88º fire angle starting from 50º off her bow. This is also crappy. Belfast '43 (T8)'s DPM has a lot to be desired. With her 3,100 damage AP shells and 10.5s reload, she has some of the worst AP damage output of any of the tier VIII cruisers. The boosted damage on Belfast '43 (T8)'s HE shells allows her to keep ahead of the heavy cruisers, but she still ends up with one of the worst HE damage outputs of any of the tier VIII light cruisers. Think Ochakov-bad. Use islands and her smoke to give her more time to cycle her guns. Bruh. Role Models Despite their differences, Belfast (T7) and Belfast '43 (T8) have the same role. Their primary job is to make destroyer lives miserable. Their secondary role is to harass anything else that comes into range with HE spam, either from angry smoke or from the cover of islands. Belfast (T7)'s longer lasting smoke and higher rate of fire makes her better at this, but Belfast '43 (T8) holds her own mostly owing to her higher HE penetration. Belfast (T7) is better at putting the hurt on bigger ships with fire stacks while Belfast '43 (T8) is more focused on doing it with direct, penetrating hits. The ballistics of their guns facilitates camping islands. It's not quite American in terms of their arcs, but they are pretty damn floaty. This is good news given how much broadside these ships need to show in order to bring their weapons to bare. Both have terrible fire arcs but that largely doesn't matter unless they're out in open water (which they shouldn't be). Overall, I'm pretty disappointed with both of their armaments. In Belfast '43 (T8)'s case it's because her torpedoes are too short ranged and that long reload isn't fun to play with. It's not terrible, but it's not fun. In Belfast (T7)'s case, it's because she's overpowered. She could have just had the same semi-AP shells of the rest of the British light cruiser line and this whole mess could have been avoided or at least mitigated. Boo-urns, I say. Belfast (T7) need not apply. Belfast '43 (T8) only. VERDICT: Belfast (T7) overperforms, but no surprises there. The IFHE changes have at least turned her from a "brainless, spam HE at everything and hoover up stupidly-big damage" to a "brainless, spam HE at everything and hoover up only modestly-big damage." Belfast '43 (T8) is supposed to have a more balanced armament between torpedoes and her AP rounds, but she's utterly reliant upon her HE shells in order to compete so that kind of undoes anything interesting about her weapons. Defence Belfast (T7) Hit Points: 35,700 Belfast (T7) Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 13mm/10mm/19mm/19mm to 51mm Belfast '43 (T8) Hit Points: 38,400 Belfast '43 (T8) Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 16mm/13mm/19mm/19mm to 51mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 114mm belt. Torpedo Damage Reduction: 4% Please note the difference in scale at the bottom of these two charts. I know someone will complain if I don't point that out. I needed more room for Albermarle's "anti-fail" mitigating drydock. There's not a whole lot to say here. Belfast '43 (T8) doesn't have a lot of hit points for a tier VIII cruiser. It's not a catastrophic deficit by any means -- she just doesn't have a lot. Belfast (T7) has fewer still, but she sits a tier lower so the gap isn't as pronounced. Neither ship has access to heals via a Repair Party (could you imagine if they did?) so that really puts them behind the health-pool front-runners. Given their poor fire angles of their guns, they tend to show a lot of broadside. Their 114mm of belt armour is good enough, with only Belfast '43 (T8) being vulnerable to citadel hits from HE rounds, but that's only from HMS Thunderer (love you, boo! ♥). Still, unlike some of the more recent British cruisers, their citadel does not match the 'hump' of their belt armour, laying flush just over the waterline. At least they have that going for them. These ships have two pronounced flaws to their protection scheme, with one exacerbated by the poor fire angles of their guns. First, Belfast (T7) and Belfast '43 (T8) have only 13mm and 16mm worth of extremity armour respectively. This is easily overmatched by every battleship calibre gun they will face. Belfast (T7) is particularly vulnerable as her 13mm extremities can be overmatched by even 203mm AP shells making every heavy cruiser a very pronounced threat. Belfast '43 (T8) has it better against other cruisers, with only the 234mm and 240mm guns of Cheshire, Drake, Goliath and Henri IV capable of doing the same. The second flaw has to do with their citadel armour layout. On both ships, there is an enormous, 6mm "hole" over top of the machine spaces. If an AP shell of any caliber punches through the belt, it can easily overmatch this roof-armour and enter the citadel without contest. Thus, even shots aimed too high will still land citadel hits provided they drop through this large opening -- the 6mm plate only prevents AP shells smaller than 85mm from overmatching. It's not going to happen all of the time, but this second bite of the apple will generate a few more citadel hits that would otherwise ricochet if the armour was thicker. Because these ships have to present so much broadside to fire their guns, this vulnerability over their machine spaces can be exploited more often. These are squishy ships. HE of nearly any calibre hurts. AP will wreck them in short order. Their fragility is meant to be a key flaw in World of Warships. However, given their stealth, ballistics and smoke, this isn't as much of a pronounced weakness as it might otherwise be. If you're dumb enough to sit out in open water and try and trade with another cruiser (or battleship for that matter) you get the spanking you deserve. Belfast '43 (T8)'s armour layout is almost identical to her tier VII counterpart. There are subtle differences here and there, like around the steering gears (not pictured) but other than the differences in super-structure and extremities, they're functionally the same. You can clearly see that 6mm hole in her citadel roof that matches the raised 114mm belt section. Her turrets aren't likely to resist damage with 102mm front plates, 51mm side plates, roof and (mostly) 38mm barbettes. Belfast (T7) is very soft-skinned. Even destroyer-calibre HE shells are more than capable of direct-damaging her even without IFHE. VERDICT: Soft and squishy, just like her Azur Lane design. Agility Top Speed: 32.5kts Belfast (T7) Turning Radius: 730m/740m Belfast (T7) Rudder Shift Time: 9.6s Belfast (T7) 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 6.7º/s at 31.8kts (!) Belfast '43 (T8) Turning Radius: 680m Belfast '43 (T8) Rudder Shift Time: 9.9s Belfast '43 (T8) 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 5.9º/s at 26kts I have Edinburgh (and Belfast (T7) who clones her agility performance) listed here at a 740m radius. Her calculated radius is technically 736m or so. Normally Wargaming tends to round up when generating in-port stats but not always. So 730m or 740m is technically correct. I could go back and fix this graphic to have her overlap with Bayard and Baltimore but screw it. The best thing about Belfast '43 (T8)'s handling is her small turning circle radius relative to the other tier VIII cruisers. British light cruisers are weird. This should come as no surprise. The physics-defying, flying-saucer behaviour of British light cruisers is pretty infamous at this point. They bleed almost no speed in a turn and can, in fact, accelerate flat out with their rudder hard over in ways that appear to defy all logic and reason. Belfast (T7) conforms to these insane-norms, largely cloning Edinburgh's performance. Where most cruisers can only preserve up to 80% of their speed with their rudder hard over, Belfast (T7) preserves almost 98%. This gives her an excellent rate of turn, making her far more agile than her other manoeuvrability characteristics would imply. Furthermore, this ship has ridiculous acceleration. It's better than having the Propulsion System Modification 1 upgrade installed on a comparable ship which is probably why Belfast (T7) can't take it. Combined with her Hydroacoustic Search consumable, it's exceedingly difficult to catch Belfast (T7) with a spread of torpedoes while she's parked in smoke short of deploying a wide net in the form of a "wall of skill" from multiple salvos coordinated from several ships. The only drawback Belfast (T7) has, really, is her relatively sluggish rudder shift time. But seeing as she doesn't have to choose between taking Propulsion System Modification 1 and Steering Gears Modification 1, she can always choose to improve her rudder, so it's not real drawback there either. She gets the best of both worlds. The only place where Belfast (T7) lacks is her top speed. This makes dictating engagement distances a constant worry, especially given her lack of torpedoes to shoo-away bigger ships that she can't burn down quickly enough. It's not a crippling flaw by any means, but it's worth keeping in mind. Now, if you were hoping (or expecting) Belfast '43 (T8) to conform to the same behaviours as her predecessor, you're mistaken. The only element she inherits is the improved acceleration (and the inability to mount Propulsion System Modification 1). Belfast '43 (T8) behaves like a normal cruiser in all other respects to her agility. She may appear to have a smaller turning radius, but this is a booby-prize -- Belfast (T7)'s larger turning radius is an artifact of her preserved speed in a turn. When she was released, Belfast (T7) was advertised as having the same 680m turning radius as Belfast '43 (T8). However that derived value assumes that a cruiser only turns at 80% of her 4/4 speed, so it had to be corrected to its current value (which is, frankly, still off by 10m -- it's closer to 740m according to my tests, but whatever). So Belfast '43 (T8) has the tighter turning radius, however this only applies at 4/4 engine power. Things get ... well, they get weird at other engine settings. Belfast (T7) is the more agile ship with a tighter turning radius AND better rate of turn at all other engine settings. Here's a quick look at the other tier VIII cruisers with a top speed of 32.5 knots and how they compare to these two ships: Problems circled in red. Belfast '43 (T8) bleeds too much speed at all but the 4/4 engine settings in a sustained turn. Though this is true for almost every engine setting, it's especially pronounced at 1/2 and 3/4 power. Belfast (T7) (and Edinburgh) behaves better than its 730m (or is it 740m?) in-port turning radius would suggest at all engine settings, but this really stands out at 4/4 power where it bleeds almost no speed at all. Cleveland and AL Montpelier bleed too much speed at 4/4 engine power. The effects of these other engine settings are not likely to apply often in the average game of World of Warships. All you need to know is that Belfast '43 (T8) has worse performance than she should while Belfast (T7) has better-than-average performance at all engine settings. In short, other than in acceleration, Belfast '43 (T8) has worse agility than she should. Without the energy preservation that Belfast (T7) enjoys at 4/4 engine power, Belfast '43 (8) is otherwise unremarkable short of her small turning circle radius for a tier VIII cruiser. Belfast (T7) is the much better ship, agility wise with a laundry list of strange benefits. VERDICT: The improved acceleration is wonderful to have, especially for camping the relatively small smoke banks that these ship generate with the short action time of their Smoke Generators. Belfast (T7) has the standard, British light cruiser physics-defying engines while Belfast '43 (8) is pretty normal. Anti-Aircraft Defence Belfast (T7) Flak Bursts: 3+1 explosions for 1,330 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.8km. Belfast (T7) Long Ranged (up to 5.8km): 91dps at 90% accuracy (82dps) Belfast (T7) Medium Ranged (up to 3.5km): 255.5dps at 90% accuracy (230dps) Belfast '43 (T8) Flak Bursts: 3+1 explosions for 1,260 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.8km. Belfast '43 (T8) Long Ranged (up to 5.8km): 80.5dps at 90% accuracy (72dps) Belfast '43 (T8) Medium Ranged (up to 2.5km): 80.5dps at 90% accuracy (72dps) Belfast '43 (T8) Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 143.5dps at 85% accuracy (122dps) Some of this makes sense to me and then some of it doesn't. The part that makes sense to me is where Belfast (T7) has better AA power than her '43 counterpart. She is, after-all, a more modernized version of her earlier self, so I can stomach her having improved AA power if only from that aspect. What doesn't make sense to me is the incongruity between the number of dual-purpose 102mm guns and the amount of sustained AA DPS and flak bursts between the two ships. Logically Belfast '43 (T8), with her twelve 102mm guns, should produce more long-range AA DPS and flak explosions with her larger battery of large-calibre weapons. Instead, Belfast (T7) not only has more DPS but she generates the same number of explosions AND those explosions individually hit harder too. I suppose I'm forced to chalk it up to some nebulous hand-waving towards Belfast (T7) having improved AA detection systems or some such nonsense. The only consolation is that at least Belfast '43 (T8)'s long-range AA woes are at least consistent with those found on her tier VIII sister-ship, Edinburgh. Suffice to say, Belfast '43 (T8) doesn't have good AA firepower. She lacks access Defensive AA Fire (thought that's honestly a bit of a booby-prize in the current meta when forced to choose between it and Hydroacoustic Search) and she doesn't have the raw numbers to ensure her own safety. Then again, that's not something that Belfast (T7) can easily boast either, so it's not like Belfast '43 (T8)'s predecessor has an enormous leg up or anything. The only real bummer is that Belfast '43 (T8) has to deal with tier X carriers on occasion which will never (ever) go well. Overall, Belfast '43 (T8) is a decided downgrade from what Belfast (T7) can do. She's even a downgrade from Edinburgh and most other tier VIII cruisers, only having better AA power than the Japanese heavies. Word will eventually get out that Belfast '43 (T8) is an easy mark for carriers. While you could take her Catapult Fighter to provide some protection, it's not worth losing her Surveillance Radar for what little deterrent a fighter actually provides. The values here have been adjusted by the weapon accuracy (90% for large and medium calibre guns, 85% for small) and then sorted by the formula DPS x [ range -1km ]. This provides an approximate ranking system for effectiveness of AA, valuing longer-ranged mounts than shorter ones. If you're looking for Belfast '43 (T8) she's third from the bottom -- just beneath Anchorage and above the two Japanese cruisers. Yeah, her AA is that bad. Most of these ships have the option of increasing their sustained AA DPS by 50% through the use of the Defensive AA Fire consumable, but not all of them will have it due to having to choose between it and Hydroacoustic Search. The exceptions are Cleveland, Montpelier, Ochakov and Wukong which will always have it and Edinburgh, Belfast '43, Anchorage, Irian and Amalfi which cannot take it at all. For those curious, Belfast (T7) would sit just beneath Wichita on this chart, so slightly better than Edinburgh. VERDICT: Belfast (T7) has decent (but not great) AA firepower. Belfast '43 (T8) has poor AA defence for her tier. Their Smoke Generators are arguably your best protection against planes, but you should be understandably reluctant to use that unless your life depends upon it. Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 11.34km / 8.91km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 7.16km/5.8km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 5.28km Maximum Firing Range: 15.42km I dunno what this is or where it's from, but it's pretty apt at describing Belfast's monstrous refrigerator (Vision Control). This is the reason that Belfast (T7) is overpowered. There's a lot to cover here, so let's get stuck in. Angry Smoke Clouds Smoke Generators on cruisers, particularly HE spamming cruisers, is highly contentious. The only thing worse than being on the receiving end of an endless torrent of HE spam is aircraft carriers. ... ... Huh? Oh, right. HE spam from smoke is pretty awful too. The two Belfasts have different strengths when it comes to their Smoke Generators. Belfast (T7) has easier to use, longer-lasting smoke. Belfast '43 (T8)'s smoke is much (much!) shorter duration but it comes off cool-down very quickly -- from 15 seconds from the dissipation of your last smoke cloud to as little as 8.2 seconds if you double stack Jack of All Trades with the November Foxtrot signal. Thus for higher-skilled players, Belfast '43 (T8)'s shorter duration smoke is less of a liability as it's more likely to be available when they need it. For less expert players, the (much) shorter duration of her smoke makes it much more dangerous to use as they're more likely to be caught out when it dissipates. This said, I do believe that Belfast (T7) has the better smoke. Though Belfast '43 (T8) has an extra charge, Belfast (T7) has more overall time in concealment. When you account for the bonus charge provided by Superintendent, Belfast (T7) has as much as 472 seconds worth of smoke cover per match (just shy of 8 minutes or just over with an X-ray Papa Unaone signal). Belfast '43 (T8) has only 275 seconds (just over 4.5 minutes and just shy of 5 minutes with an X-ray Papa Unaone signal) in a best-case scenario. But let's put this math into terms that really matter: the number of salvos each of these versions of Belfast can fire from smoke. As discussed earlier, Belfast '43 (T8) has really crappy DPM owing to her long reload. Let's assume our Belfasts are moving at 1/4 speed and open fire the moment they activate smoke, targeting enemies spotted for them by allies. Here are the best case for the number of salvos fired without being detected with a single charge of smoke: Belfast (T7) - 16 salvos (192 shells) Belfast '43 (T8) - 6 salvos (72 shells) It's not even a contest. Belfast '43 (T8) doesn't spam HE from smoke so much as take a few pot shots before scuttling away. Belfast (T7) meanwhile can sit comfortably and commit Dresden-style war crimes on anything that happens into range. Thus, Belfast '43 (T8) is much more dependent upon using island cover and kiting in open water than her tier VII-self. This doesn't make Belfast '43 (T8) bad by any stretch -- smoke of any kind is a very powerful consumable. Being more flexible with the use of open water and island terrain can lead to more longevity, given that firing into smoke has become a lot more common of a player skill since Belfast (T7)'s introduction back in the Fall of 2016. However, the knowledge on how to pull this off successfully is less likely to be found in a lower-tiered lobby. Furthermore, Surveillance Radar and long-ranged Hydroacoustic Search is much more prevalent within Belfast '43 (T8)'s matchmaking, while Belfast (T7) may end up being the only ship on either team with radar so she need not contend with it as often. So, the theory goes with Belfast '43 (T8) being less dependent upon smoke, her performance will somehow make feel more fair, balanced, earned, legitimate, or whatever other buzzwords people want to assign to her reduced smoke-crutch. The simple truth is that her smoke is worse. You need to do more work in Belfast '43 (T8) to get the same kind of potential as Belfast (T7)'s easy mode. Thus, Belfast (T7) has the better smoke. What's more, she has the better matchmaking which makes said smoke all the more advantageous. Belfast '43 (T8)'s smoke is strong, but Belfast (T7)'s smoke is game-changing. Showing Ark Royal how it's done If Belfast (T7) was simply an angry HE-spamming smoke cloud, she would still have garnered a lot of hate. Mikhail Kutuzov generated similar amounts of ire (and similar amounts of being pulled from the stores). But what makes these ships such monsters is their trifecta of lolibote hunting Vision Control (refrigerator) traits. Namely: Low surface detection to close with her targets to get close-to or inside of Surveillance Radar range. Hydroacoustic Search to neutralize torpedoes or charge smoke. Surveillance Radar to scatter the roaches. For a destroyer, these things are a nightmare. There is little to no warning before they're detected and once they are spotted, you risk being in Surveillance Radar range. Belfast '43 (T8) is more dangerous in this regard, having a long-ranged, 9km consumable than Belfast (T7)'s 8.5km radar. Belfast '43 (T8) is one of the few non-Soviet cruisers capable of stealth-radar, but her window for doing so is exceedingly small (less than 100m). Still, if she's detected it means that whatever ship is doing so is within her Surveillance Radar range which is a hella dangerous situation for any lolibote to be in. While there is a small chance that Belfast (T7) shorter range might not reach out to whatever destroyer that's lighting her, it's again a small window -- a mere 400m grace. The big difference between the two ships is what they can do once they have lit a target with Surveillance Radar. Again, Belfast '43 (T8)'s crappy DPM rears its ugly head and prevents her from being the god-tier lolibote molester like Belfast (T7). At best, Belfast '43 (T8) is getting off three salvos against a destroyer lit by Surveillance Radar with one of those being fired blind. Belfast (T7) gets three guaranteed salvos and maybe a fourth chasing the DD after it disappears. The only consolation here is that Belfast '43 (T8)'s higher alpha strike per salvo helps reduce the gap somewhat, but it's still around a 4,000 penetration damage advantage to Belfast (T7). Finally, it needs to be repeated but Belfast (T7) is one of the few ships armed with Surveillance Radar at all at tier VII. This alone is a huge advantage. Both ships are excellent destroyer hunters. Belfast '43 (T8) looks more attractive grace of her improved Surveillance Radar range, but Belfast (T7) wins out overall for the combination of higher DPM without giving up much of anything in the exchange. She's simply more capable given the opponents she faces due to her lower tiering. Mister Horse The presence of these ships forces your opponents to play differently. Belfast (T7)'s presence is more pronounced, precisely because of all of the Vision Control (refrigerator) advantages she brings to the table for a tier VII ship. She is visible less often owing to her longer-duration smoke. She's able to do more damage and start more fires from concealment. Finally, she's just as capable as Belfast '43 (T8) at sniffing out lolibotes. Belfast (T7) is a priority kill if she's on the enemy team. Yes, sometimes she's an easy mark -- particularly if she faces an opponent who knows how to blind fire into smoke and RNGeebus says . But I certainly don't like that gamble. These ships both have amazing refrigerators. VERDICT: God tier, the both of them. Belfast (T7) wins out, mostly because she's only tier VII. Killing destroyers wins games and these things are purpose-built to make their lives short. Final Evaluation Long, long ago in a fondly remembered patch from many iterations before, Wargaming wished to add a new cruiser line to World of Warships. This was in the before-time, back when the game only had American, Japanese, German and Soviet cruisers -- and even then, only a single line for each nation. This was before Inertial Fuse for HE Shells existed, when four-stacks of fires were an ever-present danger and a single flooding critical could doom a ship. It was a time of a cross-drops and inpenetrable smoke that even a battleship could fire from undetected. It was a time of fresh optimism as the third battleship line ever had just been introduced and German ships were actually good. And so it was the British light cruisers were added to World of Warships and with them, a whole slew of odd features. Repair Parties across half the line. SAP shells before SAP was a thing. No HE rounds. Single fire torpedoes. Improved engine performance. Weird, short-emission time smoke. And with this new release, Wargaming needed a premium. Belfast (T7) was to be that premium. She would resurrect elements of the earlier design iteration of this weird and wonderful British light cruiser line. She kept the HE that had been nixed from Supertest from the tech tree line. But to do so she had to sacrifice almost everything else that made the British light cruisers unique. No SAP. No torpedoes. No heals. They gave her extra detection consumables to compensate and assumed the job balanced and done. Well, we all learned how that turned out. Reception was everything from "it's good" to "it's too good" and she'd only get better over time. Belfast (T7)'s legacy would be to remain on sale for 12 months before being pulled for being too popular (for obvious reasons). Moreso than almost any other over-performing premium in the game, she became the face of "pay to win" in World of Warships, earning the justifiable moniker "Payfast". This was a sorry fate for such an important museum ship. Belfast (T7) has enjoyed a long reign as an overpowered premium. She has survived well over the years with only two major hits to her dominance. The first was matchmaking. Gone are the days where tier VII ships enjoyed being top-tier in most of their games. With the sale of tier IX premiums, the higher tiers are so well populated that she gets dragged up far more than down. The second blow came with the changes to HE penetration and Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. She was stripped her of the ability to directly damage tier VI and VII battleship hulls without IFHE and tier VIII and IX battleships even with IFHE. Cruiser armour improved too. Her HE shells shatter against a wider range of targets she faces than they once did. Though her efficiency has been hit and hit badly, I don't think she's been brought into line. Belfast (T7) is still ridiculously capable. Her presence upon the enemy team forces players to change the way they play until she's neutralized (or recognized to being played poorly). Which brings me to Belfast '43 (T8). I'd argue the best thing about her is her consumable combination, but even that's nowhere near as dominant as her predecessor. Higher tiered matchmaking sees to that. The prevalence of Surveillance Radar, the crappier quality of her Smoke Generator and horribad reload ensures that Belfast '43 (T8) doesn't ditto Belfast (T7)'s performance. But this is still a ship to be wary of, especially if you're muckin' about in a destroyer. Belfast '43 (T8) simply isn't the nightmare to larger ships the way Belfast (T7) used to be. She's still unpleasant to face. Angry smoke clouds and HE spamming islands aren't fun to deal with if you're in a battleship. They're not much fun for anyone to deal with frankly. She is still a serious threat to any destroyer, but that's not unique to her. Any Surveillance Radar light cruiser at tier VIII+ is something destroyers need be wary of. Still, Belfast '43 (T8) doesn't make my cut of ships I'd go out of my way to play. She's a museum ship, though, with lots of history to her name. In competitive, her smoke and radar will ensure she's got some legs to her, but she's not going to be a monstrous repeat of Belfast (T7). I'm not entirely convinced her slow reload will keep her in line. It just takes her longer to farm the same kind of damage Belfast (T7) used to. Belfast '43 (T8) has potential -- you just need to put in more work. That'll be a turn-off for some (and understandably so), but a blessing for others that want such performance gated behind a higher skill wall. Overall, I have to say I'm happy that Belfast '43 (T8) is now available, if only because she's such an important ship historically and as a museum ship. This iteration lets people taste the same style of game play as Belfast (T7) can do, but with fewer tears of justifiable rage coming from your opponents. In PVE modes, Belfast '43 (T8) even manages to be the better ship, if only because she has torpedoes and bots are dumb. Belfast '43 (T8) really only has one major failing, honestly. She's a horrible commander trainer for the Royal Navy Light Cruiser line. Here we are, four years later, and we still don't have a good Royal Navy light cruiser premium for training up commanders. The Belfast-twins use HE, necessitating the use of Demolition Expert or Inertial Fuse for HE Shells -- skills useless on the tech-tree light cruisers. That just leaves the heavy-cruiser premiums. Exeter is powerful, bless her heart, but the penatlies of playing low-tiered ships hurts her earning potential. London does it a little better. But again, you may be tempted to take Demolition Expert on these ships. That just leaves Cheshire, bloody-monkey-sucking CHESHIRE as the de facto "best" British light-cruiser trainer among the cruisers. CHESHIRE, Wargaming's apology letter for the two years of Royal Navy battleship HE spam, as the only cruiser-premium worth training British light cruiser captains. What the Hell!? Welp, let's hurry up and wait. Maybe Plymouth will rescue us all. Somehow I doubt it. She's not likely to be accessible to everyone even if she does tick all of the other boxes. The worst thing about Belfast '43 (T8) is that she has kept Cheshire relevant. For those unaware, LittleWhiteMouse hates Cheshire and hated reviewing her. That Belfast '43 (T8) forced Mouse to remember Cheshire's existence is a crime for which she cannot be forgiven. It pisses her off so much she starts referring to herself in the third person. In Closing Heyo! ♪ Double-feature over! I hope you all enjoyed this detailed look at the two ships. I hope my colour coordination helped differentiate the two for you. Thank you very much for reading and thank you so much to my patrons for making these reviews possible. 
  12. Battlecruiser_Yavuz

    Journey To The West Ships Review?

    Hello! I am curious what people think of the Journey to the West vessels. They are the following: -The Tier IX battleship Wujing -The Tier VIII aircraft carrier Sanzang -The Tier IX battleship Bajie -The Tier VIII cruiser Wukong What are they based on? Are they worth playing (price is not a factor to me)? Thanks!
  13. Lose_dudes

    The story of Ark Royal

    This is for all of you who only know the superficial details. The life story of an old aircraft carrier. I was gonna do more about snoopy but changed my mind.
  14. DISCLAIMER: THIS STORY TAKES PLACE IN AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE; ONE WE ARE GLAD WE DON'T LIVE IN. A complete analysis on the sinking of the Bismarck(British Version) We are rather unclear about the events during and after the sinking of the Bismarck. This is the best explanation we can offer. At around that day the Bismarck sank or something, the royal navy dispatched HMS Rodney and HMS Ark Royal. Now this was probably a good decision, as Ark Royal was probably one of the most emotionally secure ships in the entire RN and wouldn't fall for Bismarck's confidence-undermining techniques. Rodney's attitude was, on the other hand, slightly troubling... but it was all a ruse to get Bismarck off guard. (Or so claims meta-academic epidemiology) Anyways, the Bismarck's rudder was hit earlier by velociraptors. After that, the captain of the Ark Royal decided to send torpedo rocs to destroy the Bismarck once and for all. On 8:14 (BTW 60% of the statistics in here are made up) in the morning, the torpedo rocs lifted off and began attacking the Bismarck. For some reason, the resilient gruyere the torpedo protection was made of was actually swiss, and the torpedoes easily blowed a hole in the side of the Bismarck. The ship capsized, and yet the Admiral was nowhere to be seen. Later, both Admiral Lutjens and the ship Bismarck were rescued onto the HMS Rodney, then transferred to the Ark Royal. The two ships apparently shared a piece of gruyere cheese armor and quickly build a relationship, then transferred back to England after the sinking of the Ark Royal. Epilogue: Ark Royal and Bismarck Are on an unknown area of the British Titan colonies under the witness protection program, in a scandal involving the HMS Prince of Turtles (Hey we couldn't come up with better names so don't judge)'s Phaser mounts, which were later discovered on a french battlecruiser. War almost erupted, until France threatened to activate Vacuum Decay if Britain declared war.
  15. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Huanghe

    The following is a review of Huanghe, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. To the best of my knowledge, this is the release version of the ship and the stats are current as of November 30th, 2017. Red River, Yellow River, Red River, Yellow River, Red River, Yel -- ow, I just bit my tongue. Quick Summary: A British light cruiser with Soviet guns, a Japanese destroyer torpedo reload consumable and a Commonwealth cruiser's smoke generator. She's fragile, agile and tiny. Cost: $26.49 USD with a port slot. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.13.1 to 0.6.14.0 November 16th, 2017 to November 30th, 2017. Closest in-Game Contemporary Perth, Tier 6 British Commonwealth Cruiser Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Huanghe is an Arethusa-class light cruiser -- a design that came immediately after the Leander-class. There are a lot of obvious similarities between the two, with the Arethusa being a less expensive alternative, allowing the Royal Navy to get more ships for the equivalent cost. In game, the ships appear similar but their performance values are vastly different. They don't share the same guns, torpedoes, armour, consumables or handling characteristics, with Perth being arguably better built in almost every case. PROs Excellent gunnery performance with great ballistics, high fire chance and good AP penetration. Accelerated rate of fire of 8.57 rounds per minute. Extremely agile with a faster rate of turn than some IJN Destroyers (!) Small surface detection, capable of being reduced to 8.14km. Powerful anti-aircraft firepower for her tier. Equipped with the equivalent of Propulsion Modification 2 for free. Has the option of taking a Torpedo Reload Booster. Comes with HMAS Perth's Smoke Generator, with a 90s emission time, allowing her to stay mobile while remaining concealed. CONs Exposed citadel over the waterline, capable of being penetrated by all German and British battleship HE. FUN AND ENGAGING! Her magazines are not housed in her citadel with as little as 32mm of armour protecting them. She has an absolutely tiny hit point pool for a cruiser at 24,100hp. Small main battery armament of only 6 guns. Terrible main battery range of 13.2km which cannot be extended. Torpedoes may only fire in a thin spread with no option for wide or single fire. No Defensive Fire consumable. No aircraft consumable to assist her in detecting enemies while hiding in her own smoke. This review is being published a little later than I would like. It's been a difficult testing period, frustrated by more limited access to this ship than I would like. The wait to publish hinged on confirming final release details -- looking for issues that were noted during the testing period and seeing whether or not they were corrected when she went live. These were tidbits that wouldn't be covered in patch notes or described on third party datamine sites, such as her handling, torpedo spreads or which modules she was compatible with. I didn't get access to the ship until after she had been put up for sale, which is why this is being published now instead of prior to release as I would prefer. Anyway, here we are a day late. Let's hope this review isn't a dollar short. Options Huanghe is weird when it comes to her options. This is, I think, symptomatic of her troubled development cycle as different gimmicks were tried and tested and a hodge-podge of abilities emerged in an effort to balance her. Let's go through them. First, Huanghe counts as a British cruiser for the purposes of her upgrades. As such, she cannot take Propulsion Modification 2 as it's already installed for free. Second, she may take a Torpedo Reload Booster. She's the first cruiser to have access to this traditionally Japanese destroyer consumable. This reduces the reload time of her torpedo tubes to 8 seconds. This has a six minute reset timer for the standard consumable and a four minute reset timer for the premium version. Third, her Smoke Generator is odd, mirroring that found on the tier VI British Commonwealth cruiser, HMAS Perth. This comes with three charges by default and has a 90 second emission time, with each cloud only lasting for 10 seconds. This allows Huanghe to continue to creep forward at 1/4 speed and remain concealed while she moves. The reset timer on her consumable is 240s / 160s depending on if you take the free or premium version. Consumables: Damage Control Party Hyroacoustic Search or Torpedo Reload Booster Smoke Generator Module Upgrades: Four slots. British cruiser upgrades. Premium Camouflage: Standard Type 10. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Huanghe's upgrade choices will deviate somewhat from standard Light Cruiser equipment. Take Magazine Modification 1 in your first slot. Huanghe's magazines are not located in her armoured citadel and they have as little as 32mm worth of armour protecting them. She's as vulnerable to detonations as Perth and Leander are to HE shells of 152mm caliber or larger. If you prefer to live dangerously, you can take Main Armaments Modification 1, but don't come crying to me when you get your ship blown out from under you by a stray 152mm HE shell. In your second slot, you have a choice. You should probably take Propulsion System Modification 1 to protect your engine. However, it's your rudder that will get knocked out most frequently. For that, take Steering Gears Modification 1. For your third slot, take AA Guns Modification 2 for the increased range. Huanghe is a very short ranged cruiser, so it's difficult to justify Aiming Systems Modification 1 as it only reduces her maximum dispersion by a mere 8.7m (from 124m to 115m). And in your fourth slot, take Steering Gears Modification 2. Special Upgrades Huanghe is compatible with the following Special Upgrades. Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 replaces Propulsion System Modification 1 in your second slot. This increases the action time of your consumable to 110 seconds. Smoke Generator Modification 1 replaces AA Guns Modification 2. This increases the active time of your Smoke Generator from 90 seconds to 117 seconds, but shortens their duration from 10 seconds to 9.5 seconds. Both of these consumables are excellent choices for Huanghe. If you have access to them (and no better ships to place them upon), I would highly recommend installing each. Firepower Primary Battery: Six 152mm/57 in three turrets in an A-B-X superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Eight 100mm/70s in four turrets mounted behind the funnels Torpedo Armament: Six tubes in 2x3 launchers straddling the rear funnel. A lot of justified disdain will be aimed squarely at Huanghe's main battery. Let's get them out of the way. Huanghe has only six 152mm rifles at tier VI. This is appalling and regardless of what other merits I list here, there's no getting around just how terrible this is. Huanghe's lack of sufficient main battery firepower really holds her back. Are we all clear on this? I'm saying Huanghe's guns are bad. This "badness" is tempered by a few positive traits, that while welcome, they are insufficient to redeem the overall lack of firepower. These traits are: Huanghe uses Soviet 152mm/57 rifles instead of Royal Navy 152mm guns. These are the same guns found on Budyonny, Shchors, Mikhail Kutuzov & Chapayev. These guns have excellent ballistic arcs, great AP penetration and a high fire chance per shell hit which exceeds those found on the equivalent (premium) Royal Navy armament. Huanghe has an increased rate of fire with her guns to help offset her low DPM and overall fire-setting abilities. She reloads in 7.0 seconds flat as opposed to 7.5s of her Soviet counterparts. Yep, that's it. She's using Soviet guns instead of British and they have an increased rate of fire. In practical terms, this means Huanghe does more damage on a per-gun basis than Perth, Belfast or Leander which is definitely a plus. You'll set more fires, land more citadel hits, and generally be more accurate. However, this does not offset the disparity of losing out two rifles. Perth and Leander both struggle to kill even soft targets quickly and Huanghe amplifies this weakness. I wish I could say that was the end of the bad news, but it gets worse. Huanghe does not have access to the Spotter Aircraft consumable enjoyed by her British and British Commonwealth contemporaries. This means she's capped with an awful 13.2km main battery range with no way to fire beyond that. She also doesn't have very good fire arcs, with her C-turret only capable of engaging enemies 37º off her bow. Her rearward arcs are better, but still not great, with all three turrets capable of putting shells on targets 33º off her stern. If there's one area where Huanghe's guns are at least not-terrible, it's fire starting. She can be a respectable firebug -- almost on the same level as a nine-gun Galissonniere if she specializes for it (and I do stress "almost"). This will come at the expense of direct damage, though. Huanghe would need to sacrifice taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells to do it which is almost a must have for all 152mm HE throwing cruisers. I'm repeating myself, but let me be absolutely clear: Huanghe's main battery firepower sucks moose-balls. Not just moose-balls, but hairy and sweaty moose balls. It all comes down to her not having enough guns. Good as they are individually, they can't make up for the fact they're overtaxed for damage output. You're welcome for that moose-visual. Huanghe, on paper, has better overall DPM and fire starting abilities than ships like Aoba and Molotov. What these graphs do not describe is the ease at which this firepower is put to use. Molotov can engage enemies at long distances. Aoba's 203mm guns aren't reliant upon commander skills to ensure her HE shells penetrate. Huanghe is best compared with HMAS Perth and Leander in regards to her damage output -- all three are painfully short ranged. However, all three are capable of maximizing their DPM for short periods of time when they can setup their smoke. Her torpedo armament doesn't make up for the faults of her guns. Huanghe has a pair of triple launchers off each side of her ship. If you're hoping she'll get some world-ending fish to compensate for the problems with her guns, Huanghe will let you down. The good news is that these aren't Deepwater torpedoes -- they can engage any target she faces. The bad news is that these aren't Deepwater torpedoes -- they don't hit especially hard, move particularly fast, have great range or good concealment. Huanghe can't even launch these torpedoes from stealth. What's more, Haunghe's torpedoes appear to have been implemented haphazardly. It's as if they copy and pasted the British torpedo launchers, removed the British single-fire option and then forgot to replace it with the wide spread after the fact. This means Huanghe is limited to a narrow spread and a narrow spread only. It becomes almost laughable that Wargaming baits players to take a Torpedo Reload Booster to prop up Huanghe's firepower. This is the first time this consumable has been made available outside of the Japanese destroyer line. In order to take it, a player must surrender access to her Hydroacousic Search consumable. This gimmick might have more weight and appeal if Huanghe had an impressive torpedo armament -- something with more launchers or more teeth. The ability to double dip with another helping from her triple launchers doesn't strike me as terribly appealing. I can imagine some scenarios where it might change the outcome of a given match, but on the whole it's highly situational for an armament that's already lacking in versatility. In my play testing, I never came across an opportunity where I could have made good use of it. In short, redemption isn't found in Huanghe's torpedo armament. Summary: Garbage-tier firepower. Yeah, there are some redeeming qualities. No one could argue otherwise. But on the whole? Garbage. With all of this poo-pooing of Huanghe's firepower, do not make the mistake of thinking she's utterly incapable of dealing damage. That's not the message I'm trying to deliver. She's not going to put out as much damage as comparable ships, or do so as reliably. More fool you if you underestimate her. Are you regretting purchasing her yet? DurabilityHit Points: 24,100Maximum Citadel Protection: 70mm Min Bow & Deck Armour: 16mmTorpedo Damage Reduction: None Everything here is also terrible. Huanghe puts on a whole new level of 'suck' when it comes to defining mid-tier cruiser durability. She makes Omaha look tough. Within her matchmaking spread, there is no cruiser with less hit points. The closest is Königsberg with 24,300hp -- a ship that's already known for capsizing and exploding violently when a loud noise occurs in the next grid-square over. Every other ship has a more significant advantage in health. It's well within the math for some tier VII and VIII battleships to delete Huanghe outright with no more than a pair of citadel hits. It's not like things get any better when you look at her armour scheme. Huanghe shares a similar protection scheme to the preceding Leander-class upon which the Arethusa-class was based, albeit having a weaker scheme overall. This comes with a few quirks: She has a small citadel, composed of only her engine spaces which sits slightly over the waterline. Her citadel wall extends to the exterior of the ship, making them potentially vulnerable to HE citadel hits. Her magazines lie outside of the armoured citadel directly beneath her guns and well submerged. So the only ray of sunshine is that people may miss your citadel when they think it extends further forward and back than it actually does. If you're lucky, you'll take some overpenetrating hits there which will keep you in the game just a little longer. As damning as this assessment is, let's be real: few light cruisers could ever make the claim of being reasonably protected. What's likely to kill an Arethusa-class would be just as traumatic and world-ending to a Nurnberg or Leander. Heavy cruisers will bully you. Battleships will savage you. And, even destroyer-caliber guns can be painful if you have to suffer their attentions for long. But this is worth looking into more closely. Yes, a Leander or Nurnberg may appear on the surface to be as fragile but Leander can heal. Nurnberg or Budyonny can sit back at 14km+ and use that extra range to give them more time to dodge. Huanghe can't. She has to tough it out and 'tough' is something she does not do well. Really, though -- don't expect to live long under fire. Death comes quickly and suddenly to Huanghe -- and it's your own damn fault for buying her. Shame on you. Though Huanghe's durability would have you wanting to hiding around friendly battleships in the second line, her range dictates that she must go forward into harm's way to score any damage. This is a common problem associated with all British cruisers. They get around this vulnerability by making use of a Smoke Generator and good concealment values -- traits Huanghe boasts as well. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 33.0knotsTurning Radius: 570mRudder Shift: 6.7s Maximum Turn Rate: 7.1º per second. Alright, I can almost forgive you for forking out the cash for Huanghe for her agility. If she had a little more speed, she'd put many destroyers to shame. As it is, she out performs all other cruisers with her ability to dodge and twirl. She can even out turn several IJN destroyers. It's strange, but she does this without the funny turning-acceleration quirks found in the Royal Navy cruiser line. Huanghe doesn't preserve speed in a turn the way Leander, Belfast or Minotaur does. She does have the equivalent of Propulsion Modification 2 installed -- her initial acceleration from a dead stop is very comfortable. She just doesn't get all the Royal Navy manouevrability quirks. The only thing she really lacks is a little more grunt in her engine and I could ignore all of the miserable, eye-bleeding terrible aspects of her durability. She's just not fast enough to dictate engagement ranges against anything other than a standard-type battleship and that's a big fly in the ointment. At 33 knots, she's not terrible in this regard, but I would have been much more excited to see her exceed 34.5 knots. At least at this speed she could conceivably run down a destroyer she caught flat footed and out pace any battleships she might face without much issue. I dunno, maybe I'm just being greedy. But after the disappointment of her guns and torpedoes, can you really blame me? Manoeuvrability ratings of the tier 6 cruisers. Note that De Grasse and La Galissonniere have access to the Engine Boost consumable which increases their top speed by 15% for 3 minute intervals. Huanghe's ability to turn and throw herself about is on par with many destroyers she faces. She's only lacking in a good top speed to really allow her to enjoy the same level of flexibility. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 9.54km Air Detection Range: 5.97 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 8.14km Main Battery Firing Range: 13.18km Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 4.2km Surface Detection Rank within Tier: 1st among 14 cruisers. Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: 1st among 43 cruisers Huanghe's concealment also redeems her somewhat, but again it's not without its flaws. This is the sneakiest cruiser within her matchmaking spread and not by a small margin either. When fully specialized, she enjoys as 450m advantage over Perth and a 600m advantage over Leander and Belfast. The closest non-British cruiser comes in with New Orleans with nearly a 1km gap and everything else is considerably worse from there. As good as this looks, let's be realistic -- it's not enemy cruisers that you need to worry about spotting you; it's destroyers and aircraft carriers. We'll speak about the latter in the next section, but let's discuss destroyers for a moment. Huanghe is looking at needing to sprint across as much as a 2.7km gap in order to illuminate what's detecting her, all the while being under fire from the lolibote's big friends in the back. Given her 33 knot speed, it's just not feasible for her to cover this distance unless the destroyer makes a stupid mistake. As good as her concealment is, she can't perform the role of a forward scout even though her main battery range precludes her from skulking in the second line and firing from a distance. You're going to need to use cover to stay undetected to move into engagement ranges -- at least until the herd thins out. Thankfully, she brings her own concealment with her. Smoke Generator Huanghe has the same consumable found on HMAS Perth. While each smoke cloud lasts a mere 10 seconds, it continues to dispense smoke for a minute and a half. While Huanghe's Smoke Generator is in use, she may remain mobile and keep concealed while she does so, though she is normally limited to between 1/4 and 1/2 speed (12.5 knots). This allows her to foil the usual traps of air dropped and ship launched torpedoes aimed at smoke clouds as she slowly crawls away. Allied ships may also make use of this smoke, though doing so is much more difficult and it requires a conscious effort to match speed and heading. Huanghe has less tools to provide her vision beyond her smoke than HMAS Perth, though. While both use the same Hydroacoustic Search consumable, HMAS Perth has the extra advantage of a Spotter Aircraft to assist with detecting enemies. This lack would be damning were it not for the changes in smoke detection while firing. Any enemy battleships that opens fire within 10.5km of Huanghe is visible for twenty seconds and she can use that to give herself something to shoot at. This is a bit of a double edged sword, however, with Huanghe herself being visible within 4.2km within her own smoke when she shoots beyond it. This makes it risky to charge cap circles early on (a challenge she shares with Perth), especially if there are larger craft looming behind the lolibotes that have also rushed the control point. Even with these challenges, Huanghe's smoke is meant to redeem all of the other weaknesses so far described. She may have low DPM, but her smoke allows her to cycle her guns aggressively to take better advantage of their reload time for short periods. Her fragility may be masked behind concealment. Her difficulties in disengaging with her modest top speed can be corrected by hiding in smoke until she can put an island between her and her enemies. This is a huge burden for one consumable to bear, and I'm not certain it entirely corrects the deficiencies found so far within Huanghe. Still, it's not hard to see how powerful Huanghe can be in the right circumstances through clever use of her concealment and smoke. Opening moves on an Epicenter match. Though Huanghe shares a lot of traits in common with destroyers, it would be a mistake to play her as one. You're a support ship, not a front line scout or knife-fighter. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 100mm / 37mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 78 / 73.6 / 28.8 Huanghe doesn't approve of your planes. One of this ship's most surprising characteristics is her anti-aircraft firepower. She uses a modern Soviet anti-aircraft suite -- a combination of dual purpose 100mm guns and 37mm automatic cannon to make the life of any planes within her sphere of influence miserable. It can be a rude shock for carriers that loiter around Huanghe's moving smoke cloud, hoping to spot her when the consumable wears off, only to have their air groups shredded. This is something HMAS Perth could never do. In terms of raw damage, Huanghe sits behind only Cleveland at tier VI in terms of her anti-aircraft firepower, which is no mean feat. Unfortunately, she does not get access to Defensive Fire. This was one of the casualties of Huanghe's long development cycle -- she used to have Defensive Fire and in this role, she could play an excellent support vessel. However, she had to surrender this for her Smoke Generator in one of the updates, so it was a fair trade off. Huanghe's anti-aircraft firepower will never truly be a dominating threat to enemy carriers and remains merely a nuisance that will cause them a few casualties, but it cannot stop attacks from being made. From HuangMeh to HuangGud Like all 152mm HE throwing cruisers at mid tiers, Huanghe's performance is really locked behind getting access to 14pt commander. While she can perform reasonably well before this, it's the ability to direct damage to all targets that makes her come into her own. Give the skills which optimizes her performance, she becomes a poor choice for training Pan Asian destroyer commanders, unfortunately. Here's what your first 10pts should look like: Take Priority Target. Follow this up with Adrenaline Rush. Your DPM needs all the help it can get. Next, take Demolition Expert. Setting fires is the only thing you're good at. And finally take Concealment Expert. The big skill you're racing towards is Inertial Fuse for HE Shells which should be your 14th skill point. This gives her the ability to directly damage large areas of any battleship she might face, along with some of the heavy cruisers when she's bottom tier. Your final 5pts should be placed between Vigilance (which stacks with Hydroacoustic Search to better spot torpedo threats while you're creeping along in smoke) and either Expert Marksman to buff your horrible turret traverse or Last Stand if you're sick of having your rudder shot out. An inefficient, entirely situational build for hilarity's sake is an anti-aircraft build. Drop Demolition Expert and take Basic Fire Training instead. Load up on Advanced Fire Training and Manual Fire Control for AA Guns and complete the set with Preventative Maintenance. This is hardly a good build, but at least you'll shoot down a lot of planes. Oh, it's going to be like that, is it? Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Huanghe isn't going to do novice players any favours. She's a British light cruiser without a Repair Party that has to sneak in even closer to do damage. That's a recipe for disaster. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Properly managed, Huanghe can pull her own weight -- you just need to really flex those carrying muscles to do it. This makes for an interesting challenge for those inclined. Getting those Soviet 152mm up close opens up the opportunity for all kinds of hilarity, especially against enemy cruisers that are probably not used to getting their citadels shot out from smoke 12km away. However, her overall lack of firepower holds her back. Mouse's Summary: Perth-lite. Same Perth flavour with half the effectiveness! I kid, Huanghe isn't that bad. She's just not as good as Perth. I can already tell there's going to be a counter-culture movement that absolutely loves this ship... Can destroyer-levels of agility, the smoke generator of HMAS Perth along with good values for her AA firepower and concealment make up for garbage levels of firepower and durability? I was full ready to slap a 'Garbage' label on Huanghe and wash my hands of her. I don't care if she has good AA firepower -- that's a window dressing; it doesn't define a ship as being good or bad. Destroyer levels of twirling are nice but without speed to dictate engagement distances, it's a half measure. Her stealth is good, but not good enough especially in light of her weapon ranges. These arguments all strongly point towards a wholesale condemnation of this ship, but there's one thing and only one thing giving me pause. It's her damned Smoke Generator. Without it, this would be cut and dry: slap a trashbote label and move on. But, I cannot ignore how powerful this is when played well. It allowed me in play testing to rip the throat out of several ships that, on paper, had me dead to rights based on firepower, speed and durability. Yet, I must remind myself that a bad ship is still fully capable of doing damage and even sinking another. This isn't a game like World of Tanks where a disparity in power levels can mean outright immunity to a lesser-vehicle's attacks. I cannot outright dismiss the successes I did enjoy with this ship, but I must weigh them in context. Perhaps it's simply best to separate the two. Huanghe is a trashbote with a good Smoke Generator. So ask yourself: What you want to play with? Is it the trashbote, or is it the Smoke Generator? Because if it's the latter, HMAS Perth will be back around in the shops sometime soon... Would I Recommend? I'm forced to ask myself: "Why would you buy this?" If you're looking for comparable game play, HMAS Perth is superior in almost every regard. For trainer for the Pan Asian destroyer line, there are better choices. Loyang is one of the most competitive destroyers at her tier and Anshan comes in at a similar price tag with added economic bonuses baked in to boot. Huanghe is a premium without a purpose... PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? No. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Also no. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Very no. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Very no on toast. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Actually, yes. Be advised: Mouse has a soft spot for lame-[edited]ships, like the pre-buff Atlanta, Albany and Prinz Eugen. What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE - Grossly uncompetitive and badly in need of buffs.Mehbote - Average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable, but certainly not advantageous.Gudbote - A strong ship that has obvious competitive strengths and unique features that make it very appealing.OVERPOWERED - A ship with very clear advantages over all of its competitors and unbalancing the game with its inclusion. Her Smoke Generator gets a Gudbote, though.
  16. Hi all, I wish you all a happy new year! Are you a fan of HE spam? Are you afraid of them? Do you know how to encounter them? If you don't, then join them! Tier 9 Premium US Cruiser USS Fargo CL-106 Ship Length - 610 feet Beam - 66 feet Draft - 25 feet speed - 32.5 knots Hit points - between 39,000 - 49,000 Main Battery Four 150mm triple-barrelled guns Rate of Fire - 10 rounds per minute Reload Time - 6 seconds Firing Range - 18.29km Maximum HE shell Damage - 3,400 Maximum AP shell Damage - 8,200 Secondary Armament Six 130mm double-barrelled guns Firing Range - 5km Rate of Fire - 15 rounds per minute Reload Time - 4 seconds Maximum HE Shell Damage - 2,100 AA Defence Four 150mm triple-barrelled guns Average Damage per second - between 90 - 95 Firing Range - 6km Four quad 40mm Bofors Average damage per second - 270 Firing Range - 3.51km Six double 40mm Bofors Average Damage per Second - 135 Firing Range - 3.51km ten 20mm Oerlikon Average Damage per Second - 83 Firing Range - 2.01km Maneuverability Rudder Shift Time - between 7 to 9 seconds Speed - 32.5 knots Concealment Detectability by Sea - between 9 to 11km Detectability by Air - between 7 - 8km Aircraft Complement 4 Floatplanes Possible Consumables Damage Control Party Enhanced AA Fire Hydroacoustic Search/ Fighter Surveillance Radar/ Spotting Aircraft Repair Party
  17. rafael_azuaje

    Anchorage need buff

    I have the anchorage and in some battles I have observed, that it is half garbage, believe it or not. why?? ARMOR: this cruiser has armor very similar to FIJI (paper) the main guns a real disgusting, the reload is horrible 15.5 seconds. Baltimore can feel better armor than that of anchorage. Baltimore has the exact same guns and reloads in 10 seconds. AA: they are not useful, they are not useful, VS a Cv T6 will shoot down some planes, VS T8 CV, a single plane hopefully, VS CV T10 NONE. the damage that the anchorare repairs by aerial bombs is lethal for the cruise ship. TORPEDOS: it's the only thing that is decent about anchorage. SMOKE: it is medium useful, for example if it is inside your smoke, and a ship near you at 8K distance, that will make you 100% visible if you shoot, so it is not very useful. apparently the anchorage is version 1940, upload it to 1943 my advice: FIX reload main guns replace the 28mm MK1 with the borfors Add Defensive Fire AA in slot apart. North Carolina Shoot me to 20k Into smoke Baltimore does better battles
  18. FairWindsFollowingSeas

    Is Ägir Worth the FXP?

    Hi all! I'm curious, for those who have Ägir, if they enjoy playing her & believe it was worth the FXP. I am getting close to 1 mil FXP and was wondering if I should get Ägir, or save the FXP to work on Research Bureau regrinds. (Siegfried or Yolo Emilio... ) For the record I have Alaska, Friesland, Småland & Hayate; I love them all and play them frequently. Azuma doesn't really interest me too much. I wish WG would allow "rentals" for premium ships, so you can try it out for a few rounds to see if it's something you would like to add to your ship collection before you throw down your hard-earned resources/doubloons/FXP. They did that for Kaga & Saipan a while back, I thought it was a great idea. Anyways, if anyone has Ägir and loves it, hates it, or is just "meh" about it, let me know! Fair winds and following seas!
  19. I play mostly Co-op, but sometimes, when I get bored with the mindlessness of it all, I feel the strong need to play one Random Battle just to keep things fresh and in perspective. This was one match I really enjoyed.
  20. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review - Anchorage

    The following is a quick review of Anchorage, the tier VIII American heavy cruiser. This ship was provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes. I did not have to pay for it (though I did spend time grinding it out after-the-fact). To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this article are current as of patch 0.9.10. Please be aware she may change in the future. And now for something completely different. This is going to be a shot-review of Anchorage rather than an exhaustive one, greatly sped up thanks to being able to piggy back some of the graphics I did for Belfast '43. Anchorage is one of those ships that looked hella-interesting when announced but she didn't pan out. To this end, I'm glad that a lot of players earned her at a discount. I don't think she's really worth the full asking price (spoilers) but that's mostly owing to her slow rate of fire and wonky consumable options. Anyway, here is my review of ship named after the capital city of wannabe-Alberta. Quick Summary: An American heavy cruiser with smoke and torpedoes! PROS: 27mm external armour, preventing overmatch of up to 381mm AP rounds. Respectable anti-torpedo protection. Has "American Piercing" AP shells with improved auto-ricochet angles. Big alpha strikes from individual volleys. Good fire angles on her main battery. Strong torpedoes with a 66kt speed, 10.5km range and over 19k damage per hit. Has access to a Smoke Generator with increased emission time. CONS: Only a modest gun range of 15.6km. Long, 15.5s reload which hurts her DPM and fire setting. Slow gun traverse of 6º/s. Like, ew. Bad torpedo firing angles, making them awkward to use. A total chungus with a modest top speed but horrible handling. Terrible anti-aircraft firepower. Large surface detection radius when firing in smoke. Spartan consumable options. Overview Skill Floor: SIMPLE / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Difficult Anchorage is a dirt simple ship to use. Park in smoke. Select HE shells. Cycle guns and hoover up damage. Even a complete novice can score some respectable damage and maybe even shark a kill this way. Compared to other cruisers, this is pure easy mode, even if it's not terribly efficient. And that's really Anchorage's flaw. She's not efficient. Her long reload really holds back her carry potential, but there are other issues too. She's nearly blind which is kind of a shocker for an American cruiser. She's almost entirely reliant on having team mates spot for her whether she's parking in smoke or behind an island. This hurts her team-play contribution as it largely relegates her to just dealing damage and she's not particularly good at that. Yes, her alpha strikes are nice but that sustained output just isn't there. Similarly, her short range prevents her from kiting very effectively which is a shame because she has some nice fire angles. Overall, she's just not a carry-boat. Options Anchorage's consumables define her as much as her painfully long main battery reload (more on that later). It's not that her consumables themselves are odd, it's the combination of how they're allotted and which one she gets access to. You'll see what I mean: Consumables Anchorage starts off normal with a standard cruiser Damage Control Party. This has unlimited charges, a 5 second active period and a 60 second reset timer. Her second slot is a tangled mess. By default, she has a Catapult Fighter. This deploys 4 fighters which orbit 3km around the ship for 60 seconds. It starts with 3 charges and a 90 second reset timer. This can be swapped out for a Spotting Aircraft. Active for 100s, it increases Anchorage's range up to 18.72km. It starts with 4 charges and has a 240 second reset timer. What's weird is that this slot also competes for her Hydroacoustic Search. Yes, really. Other than this weirdness, this consumable is normal for a tier VIII cruiser with a 3.5km torpedo detection range and a 5km ship detection range. It's active for 100 seconds with a 120 second reset timer. It starts with three charges. Finally, there's the craziness of giving a heavy cruiser a Smoke Generator. It generates smoke for 30 seconds with each smoke cloud lasting for 104 seconds. It has a 160s reset timer and it starts with three charges. Upgrades Outside of destroyers, my recommendation for the first slot in most ships is dirt simple: take Main Armaments Modification 1 and be done with it. However, this is a case for Anchorage to take the oft maligned Spotting Aircraft Modification 1 special upgrade instead. At a cost of 17,000 from the Armory, this increases the duration of her consumable from 100s to 130s -- synching it up its duration almost perfectly with the combined emission and dissipation time of her Smoke Generator. This of course hinges on not taking Hydroacoustic Search in her second consumable slot. Speaking of her Hydroacoustic Search, I default to recommending Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 in slot 2 if you're not going to pull off that Spotting Aircraft combo in slot 1. Again, you're looking at a 17,000 cost from the Armory to equip this. If you can't or if you won't, take Engine Room Protection instead. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is (still) the optimal choice for slot 3. Because you're going to be parking in smoke or behind islands, Propulsion System Modification 1 is optimal in slot 4. If you prefer to fire from open water, you may take Steering Gears Modification 1 instead. Finally, Concealment System Modification 1 is still (disappointingly) optimal in slot 5. Captain Skills Anchorage doesn't reinvent the wheel. You can use whatever American heavy cruiser captain you're currently training or using and get solid results. She's not a very hungry ship when it comes to getting improved performance from her skills. For example, here's a quick throw-away build. Pick one of the tier 1 skills in green, then grab the ones in yellow. Perfect? No. Good enough? You betcha. Camouflage Anchorage has two camouflage options and they both share the same statistics, making them simple cosmetic swaps: 3% reduction to surface detection. 4% increase to enemy dispersion. 10% reduction to service costs. 50% increase to experience earned. Anchorage's Type 10 camouflage. You can unlock a palette swap for it. Anchorage's "National" camouflage. Firepower Main Battery: Twelve 203mm/55 guns in 4x3 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Eight 127mm/38 guns in 2x2 turrets with one mounted fore and aft and 4x1 in open-air mounts with two to each side. Torpedoes: Eight tubes in 2x4 launchers with one mounted to each side in the hull adjacent to the rear funnel. If it weren't for that reload, these guns would be great. That sounds like my complaint of Vermont. The more I played Anchorage, the more her firepower reminded me of Mogami, the Japanese tier VIII heavy cruiser. I don't mean the cool, fun Mogami. I mean the far more pedestrian 203mm armed variant that's overshadowed by it's stock 155mm guns. This is a bit unfair of a comparison to Anchorage because her weapon systems are a lot of fun -- or they would be if her guns weren't shackled to a 15.5 second reload. That's honestly their biggest drawback despite otherwise having a lot of cool features. Like Mogami, individual salvos, be it from Anchorage's guns or her torpedoes, are super satisfying. You just don't shoot often enough. But here's some of the reasons I generally like Anchorage's weapon systems: Her torpedoes are excellent. Their 66 knot top speed is amazing for a cruiser-launched fish and their individual hits are super-meaty. They're even beefier than IJN cruiser-launched torpedoes, surpassing those tossed by Mogami and Atago which is saying something. They even have more reach, albeit a mere 500m more for a 10.5km range. She's not quite able to launch them from stealth but that's close enough. Their only real downside is their horrible launch angles which forces you to give up a full broadside to send them off. She has American piercing shells. Anchorage's AP rounds enjoy the improved auto-ricochet angles of other American heavy cruisers. Their ricochet chance starts at 60º (rather than 45º) and doesn't become guaranteed until 67.5º (rather than 60º). They have good penetration for an AP round. The only downside is that these are New Orleans and Wichita's AP rounds, not the super-heavy versions found on Baltimore -- so they're not the god-tier version, just the good version. Her alpha strike from her individual broadsides is excellent. With twelve guns, the punch she delivers per salvo is sizable. Compare her HE penetrating broadside of up to 11,088 damage compared to Baltimore's 8,316. She even comes off better when compared to the Japanese heavy cruisers with their improved-damage HE shells. They only manage 10,890 damage per broadside ("only", she says -- that's still chunky). Slap a lolibote with that and they'll feel it. She has great fire angles. She can bring all four turrets onto a target 30º off her bow and 31º off her stern. Beauty. Her gun traverse sucks butts, but whatever. So there's a lot of good here. It's just unfortunate that it's all locked behind that painful main battery reload or those poor fire angles on her fish. Anchorage's good AP shells help pad her numbers here despite her poor rate of fire. Approximate penetration values of Anchorage (and New Orleans & Wichita's) penetration. American HE shells are nothing special though. Even with twelve guns Anchorage barely keeps ahead of Atago's 10-gun DPM despite having more guns and half a second faster reload. Her fire setting is pretty average for a tier VIII heavy cruiser, so that's a plus. Anchorage has "better than Benham" torpedoes. They're faster. They hit harder. They reload just as quickly. That's pretty impressive. It's just a shame they have limited arcs and they're not mounted on a ship that could take better advantage of them. So don't forget about these. Use them when you can because their stats are damn good. VERDICT: Almost excellent, but gutted so badly by that long reload that it crashes and burns. Defence Hit Points: 41,800 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 27mm / 16mm / 27mm / 27mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 152mm belt Torpedo Damage Reduction: 16% Anchorage's turret faces have some nice 203mm armour plate on them. Anchorage is a normal American heavy cruiser. This comes with some pretty nice perks in the form of being blanketted in 27mm worth of plate. 27mm is one of those key armour thresholds that have artificial importance due to the shell penetration mechanics in the game. 381mm AP shells and smaller cannot overmatch 27mm worth of steel. Furthermore, tier VII and lower 152mm HE rounds don't have enough base penetration to damage it without the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells (IFHE) skill. Finally, 120mm HE rounds (found on many British-derived destroyers) cannot penetrate it either even with IFHE. This opens up the opportunity to pull of some pretty fun shenanigans provided your facing off against the correct opponent. Anchorage can bow-in and joust against 381mm-armed battleships and wreck 'em with her fish... provided they don't blow out her citadel with AP rounds as you cross alongside one another -- make sure you bait those shots first! This is by no means guaranteed outside of PVE battles, but it's nice to have. She's otherwise unremarkable for a heavy cruiser. She doesn't have a lot of hit points, but she's not squishy in that regard either. She doesn't have any extra thick armour plates on her deck or any hidden geometries to wreak havoc on internal AP ballsitics. If you expose her broadside, you will take citadel hits -- especially through her machine spaces where her citadel pokes up over the waterline. She's vulnerable to AP bombs owing to her 76mm citadel roof. She does have some respectable anti-torpedo protection for a cruiser, namely because she actually has anti-torpedo protection. Many cruisers don't. Anchorage's longevity is thus linked to her ability to dodge, hide behind islands or use her smoke to extend her survivability. Trading in open water is a bad idea, but that's normal for any cruiser -- not just Anchorage. Pretty uninspiring but her smoke should (in theory) make her modest hit point total last longer. VERDICT: Hella normal. Nothing out of the ordinary here. Agility Top Speed: 33kts Turning Radius: 800m Rudder Shift Time: 11.2s 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 5.1º/s at 26.4kts There's not a whole lot to say here. Anchorage's handling is terrible. She has a large turning radius. She's not especially fast. Given her Smoke Generator, you're likely going to want to install Propulsion Modification 1 instead of Steering Gears Modification 1, so her rudder shift time feels chunky too. I don't have anything nice to say about her handling. Given her slow gun traverse, this feels even more pronounced as you'll be tempted to use her rudder to bring guns to bear faster which will just open up her squishy sides to getting citadelled. Poor marks all around. VERDICT: Terribad. She handles like a Soviet cruiser but at least those ships are usually high-speed. Anti-Aircraft Defence Flak Bursts: 3+1 explosions for 1,470 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.8km. Long Ranged (up to 5.8km): 87.5dps at 90% accuracy (78.8dps) Short Ranged (up to 2.4km): 213.5dps at 85% accuracy (181.5dps) Again, I don't have any nice things to say here, so forgive me while I grouch a bit at the state of Anchorage's AA firepower. Why was her Catapult Fighter equipped to the same slot as her Hydroacoustic Search? I am never going to take her fighter because of this which only increases her AA defence issues. While it's nice that she has a respectable amount of AA firepower in her 5.8km batteries, her supporting batteries are too short ranged to be anything other than 'vengeance weapons' -- you know, the kind that might shoot down a plane after the CV has finished dropping. This is a really poor showing. For such a large, cumbersome ship, she's meat on the table for carriers. Yikes. Are we sure this ship is American? VERDICT: Japanese-cruiser levels of bad. Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 13.62km / 10.7km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 8.02km/6.5km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 7.98km Maximum Firing Range: 15.6km to 18.72km with her Spotter Aircraft. So this is arguably Anchorage's strongest area after her firepower and we've already established that her firepower is a bit hit and miss (get it?). Concealment wise, she's decent. She has average surface detection for a tier VIII cruiser, so there's nothing to get excited about there. I'll be honest, this surprises me given the size of the ship, but I'll take it. Her aerial detection is a bit on the large size, but again it's nothing unmanageable or out of the ordinary. This just leaves her consumables to talk about. Had Anchorage been released anytime before the autumn of 2017, she would have been the bees knees. Back then, Smoke Generators were THE team-play consumable of choice. As it is now, smoke is still highly appreciated but detection consumables, namely long-range Surveillance Radars, are valued more. Anchorage flips the dynamic of American cruisers on its head when it comes to its consumables. It forgoes detection consumables -- even making Hydroacoustic Search compete for its slot in favour of her Smoke Generator gimmick. Now this is a good gimmick, do not mistake me. Anchorage doesn't just have a Smoke Generator, it has an American Smoke Generator which comes with increased emission time and duration. However, it doesn't quite ditto the improved performance of other American smoke generators when it comes to duration. For example, Benson and Kidd's smoke lasts for 124 seconds. Flint's smoke lasts for 121 seconds. However, she does have a leg up on Mikhail Kutuzov whose smoke is only emitted for 20 seconds and lasts 89 seconds. Sadly for Anchorage, she's not well setup to take advantage of her own consumable. Her 7.98km (effectively 8km) detection range when she fires within smoke greatly reduces its efficacy. She's simply too loud of a target to take full advantage of the smoke she drops. This is especially pronounced if there are any surviving lolibotes on the enemy team, sneaking around and sniffing out smoke-cloud contents. Anchorage's detection range when she fires in smoke is almost as long as some Surveillance Radar detection ranges -- it's that bad. She has to be one of the safest cruisers to approach when she's parked in her smoke. Yes, her torpedoes are a risk but their fire angles are bad so she'll clearly broadcast when she's about to launch them when she swings out her broadside. This largely relegates Anchorage's smoke use to firing from the second line. The short range of her guns precludes her from doing this from a comfortable distance unless she forgoes the use of Hydroacoustic Search to take a Spotter Aircraft, and even then that only mitigates the problem temporarily. I guess what I'm trying to say is that Anchorage's Smoke Generator isn't a good fit despite the good stats of the consumable. Had Wargaming ditched that and given her a Soviet style, short-duration but long-ranged Surveillance Radar, Anchorage would have been a lot more interesting and practical. VERDICT: She came with the wrong consumables for 2020. Final Evaluation There have been a lot of forgettable and unfortunate ships released in 2020. Anchorage is an excellent example of this -- where her design looks interesting but there's some game play element that just doesn't quite click and the ship ends up largely forgotten. Ironically, Anchorage is exactly the kind of premiums I was hoping to see in World of Warships back when I joined in 2015. She's different without being overpowered -- clearly sitting a step behind the tech tree ships in terms of her power level. I should be celebrating her release as-is but she merely feels like a missed opportunity. Still, I'm glad she ended up (mostly) free for players if they wanted to invest the time and handful of doubloons into unlocking her. As far as American premium heavy cruisers go, she's definitely not my top pick or even in my top three. Indianapolis and Wichita are more compelling choices in my opinion, with Alaska sitting as the crème de la crème. Anchorage is just too weird to tickle my fancy. She's not terrible, but she now sits alongside Puerto Rico as ships I'm never going to take out of port short of knocking off snowflakes or completing very specific missions where her tool-set will allow me to break the system. The best thing about her is her cool camouflage and looks, in my opinion. She's not a good PVP boat (she's not terrible either, but she's hardly advantageous), however she's a great Co-Op monster if that's your thing. Frankly, this is what Anchorage is best for: derping around in Co-Op and pulling off crap regularly that you'd only see once in a blue moon in PVP. In Closing Normally when I finish a big review like Belfast's, I can't stop work immediately afterwards. I need to wind down. Usually I take on a pretty small project and work a half-day. This may involve playing one of the test-ships that Wargaming has lent me or maybe collecting and revising some twirling data. Maybe I might map dispersion or simply spend time chatting with players, answering questions and reviewing their replays. The whole idea is to unwind slowly. I get something done, but it's at a much more relaxed pace than the gruelling final push to get an article out. With so many ships left to review in 2020, I've tended to default to getting started on the next review. Normally this is just filling out my template for these articles, getting the PROs and CONS settled and maybe filling out the Options section before calling it a day. With Anchorage... well, a lot of the work had already been done. I literally wrote this over the course of 8 hours. I had already play tested her extensively back in August-September (and didn't like her). I have most of the graphics done for her grace of just finishing Belfast '43. So I thought: "why not?" and tried to get this out in a single sitting. Hooray for me! This certainly isn't my best work and I definitely cut a lot of corners to get this out, but hey, it's done. For a ship I'm not interested in playing, that's more of a relief than I would like to admit. I don't want to have to come back to this one weeks or months down the road and have to remind myself of what she's like and spend hours (and days) doing graphics for a review I'll not enjoy doing. So Anchorage is done. I'm happy. What's more, I think I can take an honest to god break now. Thank you for reading, everyone. 
  21. Wookieswimnot

    Pensacola or Dallas

    Hey guys im grinding for a tier 6 cruiser and i want to know which is better, pensacola or dallas. i like playing fast and close range
  22. I had this happen yesterday, and I've watched this replay a couple times to determine what (if anything) I could have done differently here to mitigate the ultimate outcome. Loaded into a match with Hawkins as I decided to earnestly start the British CA line grind. I begin heading toward A cap, intending to support pink Farragut, stay on the flank and deter any push outside of the islands and target any enemy DD that heads that way to start the match. Enemy Weser spots me 45 seconds into the match, flying in with AP Rockets. I turn toward the rockets to ensure he doesn't have the ability to citadel me broadside and engage AA priority sector. I see my Priority Target indicator light up and climb quickly; I immediately hit the brakes to juke incoming BB fire, which I know is coming. First wave of rockets hit but do minimal damage; first round of salvos from enemy BBs arrive and miss due to throttle cut. Weser approaches from the west for AP rocket pass number two, as I've successfully shot down one plane. I engage AA priority sector again and head toward smoke the Farragut has laid for me; however, in doing so not only would I provide too much broadside to Weser's AP rockets, but I narrowly avoid a BB salvo aimed squarely at where I would have entered the smoke had I continued in that direction. AP Rockets hit the stern and rear of the ship for minimal damage. Less than three seconds later (which means the salvo had likely already been fired at that distance), AP salvo from Giulio Cesare finishes me in a Dev Strike before any enemies are even within striking distance of my ship. I finish the match with a total of 4 planes shot down, 0 total XP, and reported for being AFK. I'm genuinely curious – barring not choosing to play this particular ship, and staying where I spawned or attempting to hug the Texas who decided to head east (and still may not have stopped the rocket attack), what actual possible counterplay was there in this situation? I'm always attempting to improve my gameplay, I've watched the clip several times and I just can't think of anything different that could have been done here to prevent what happened, because even if I had stayed in spawn many of the enemy BBs had the range to strike me when spotted at that distance. What do you think?
  23. The following is a review of Pyotr Bagration, the tier VIII Soviet light cruiser. This ship was kindly provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes. To the best of my knowledge, the performance and statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.9.4. Please be aware that the ship may change in the future. Quick Summary: A long-range Soviet cruiser with excellent ballistics. Ostensibly, she trades access to Surveillance Radar and some firepower for a Repair Party. In reality, she's just losing out on radar -- her firepower is alarmingly on par with her contemporaries. PROS Large hit point pool plus access to a Repair Party. Well protected citadel that's entirely internal -- it does not abut against the ship's hull. Excellent 18.5km range on her main battery guns with the ballistics to take advantage of it. Very good penetration on her 180mm AP shells. Improved auto-ricochet angles on her AP rounds. Excellent AA firepower. CONS Her Repair Party only queues up 10% of citadel damage instead of 33% like most other cruisers. Low theoretical DPM and poor fire setting characteristics. Horrible fire angles, especially rearward. Very slow gun traverse at 6º/s. Her flat ballistic trajectory makes using island cover more of a challenge. Her torpedoes are slow, modestly ranged and don't hit particularly hard. Awful butt wiggle and cottage cheese thighs. Her turning radius is large and her rate of turn isn't good. (Temporary) Bugged Hydroacoustic Search consumable providing the incorrect (and shorter) ranges for torpedo and ship detection. Overview Skill Floor: SIMPLE / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme Pyotr Bargation is an incredibly forgiving cruiser to play. Her guns are easy to use, facilitating firing from the back line. Her protection scheme is more than decent. She also gets a heal to help band-aid misplays. Furthermore (and perhaps most importantly) she lacks any serious weaknesses. Thus, she isn't severely penalized in any way that would jeopardize a novice player. She's about as basic as you can get for a high-tier cruiser. Veterans will like her simply for all of the aforementioned plus they get to use and abuse some of their skills they've acquired, including when to push, what islands to use, concealment mechanics and all of the kiting they could possibly want. Her lack of team-based utility hurts her somewhat but her staying power more than makes up for it. Options Consumables Upon release, there was a bug with Pyotr Bagration's Hydroacoustic Search. She is intended to have a 3.5km torpedo detection range and a 5km ship detection range. This will be corrected upon a later patch. Her Damage Control Party is standard for a cruiser with a 5s active period, a 60s reset timer and unlimited charges. In slot two, you have the choice between two consumables. Her Defensive AA Fire consumable provides the usual bonuses of 50% extra sustained DPS and 300% extra flak damage over 40s. It comes with three charges and has an 80s reset timer. Her Hydroacoustic Search was released with a 3km torpedo and 4km ship detection range for 100s. It has a 120s reset timer and also has three charges. Finally (and perhaps most importantly) Pyotr Bagration has a Repair Party in her third slot. This heals back up to 14% of her health over 28 seconds. This queues up 50% of penetration damage, 10% of citadel damage (unlike most other cruisers) and 100% of everything else. It has an 80s reset timer and three charges base. Upgrades Pyotr Bagration deviates from other high-tier Soviet cruiser upgrades because of her lack of a Surveillance Radar. Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. Surprisingly, I prefer using Engine Room Protection over Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 in slot two. The latter may be purchased from the Armory for 17,000. My reason for this is pretty simple -- I'm not always taking Hydroacoustic Search in this ship so I get less use from it. Still, your choice here depends on your consumable preference. I don't think Defensive AA Fire is good (especially not good enough to be worth spending coal on a questionable upgrade) even if you're using that consumable instead. Aiming System Modification 1 is still optimal in slot three. I prefer Steering Gears Modification 1 in slot four. There is a case for Propulsion System Modification 1, particularly if you make regular use of island cover (which is more of a challenge in Pyotr Bagration than other ships) or if you have a buddy providing smoke at the ranges where her gunnery is more comfortable. Concealment System Modification 1 is still optimal in slot five, but for those with a bit of dare, Steering Gears Modification 2 isn't a poor choice for helping her toss her mayonnaise-butt around. Captain Skills The big question here is whether to specialize for Inertial Fuse for HE Shells or not. Start with your tier 1 skill of choice. I prefer Priority Target, but skills like Incoming Fire Alert, Preventative Maintenance and Expert Loader (more on this later) are acceptable choices. Next up take Adrenaline Rush. At tier three, Superintendent is best to add an extra charge to your Repair Party. And you have a choice at tier 4. Here's where you need decide if you're going to take Inertial Fuse for HE Shells or specialize for fires instead. It should be your first choice if you want to go for direct damage. Whether you take it as your first pick or not, make sure to take up Concealment Expert. Those should be your first 10 to 14 skill points. After this, pick and choose skills to your preference. Some good ones include: Demolition Expert - increase her fire setting chance. Only do this if you haven't taken IFHE. Expert Marksman - Pyotr Bagration's turret traverse is hella slow. If you've got the points to spare, this is a nice one to take. Expert Loader - If you didn't take this skill on your first pass, it's not a bad skill to have. Pyotr Bagration's gunnery rewards being dynamic with ammo choices as opportunities present themselves. From there, skills get pretty situational -- pick and choose to suit your preferences. Camouflage Pyotr Bagration has two different camos. She comes with Type 10 camouflage by default and provided you've completed the right collections, you can also use the alternative colour palette. In some of the higher tier bundles, you get access to Soviet - Pyotr Bagration. These two camouflage patterns have the same bonuses and are merely cosmetic options. -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -10% to post-battle service costs. +50% experience earned. I have to say, I really like the green, black and grey alternative palette. The original one is super bland. I'm usually a fan of over-the-top camouflage patterns. And while I admire the design for this one, it's simply not for me. Firepower Main Battery: Nine 180mm/57 guns in 3x3 turrets in an A-B-X superfiring configuration. Secondaries: Sixteen 100mm/70 guns in 8x2 turrets with a pair straddling the bridge, four straddling the rear funnel on a raised deck and the last pair mounted on the stern deck before X-turret. Torpedoes: Ten tubes in 2x5 launchers mounted between the funnels. There's a lot to go over here. Let's start with her least effective weapon systems and work our way up. Surprisingly Plentiful It should be no surprise that I'm ragging on her secondaries. Thus far, Wargaming hasn't produced a finalized cruiser with secondaries worth getting excited about. This is a shame. Pyotr Bagration has a lot of secondaries -- eight guns per side, but they're functionally useless. They're held back by not only a 5km range, but also with having only 17mm worth of HE penetration. At best they might start a fire or two in the rare situations where you're bringing said guns into a fight but Pyotr Bagration is a cruiser that belongs at a distance -- not knife fighting. Maybe in co-op battles you might start a fire or two with these weapons but given the nature the jousts in that combat mode, that's only going to last as long as it takes you to blow out their citadel with your main battery guns or slam fish down their throats. Speaking of... A weapon of desperation or Co-Op. You know, now that I think about it, these are kind of the same thing. Torpeedus "Almost functional" is how I would best describe Pyotr Bagration's torpedoes. They're weapons of desperation rather than utility. Her quintuple launchers are a credible threat to anyone coming close, but I see them more as a deterrent than anything else outside of co-op battles. Use these to force enemies to respect your zone of control around your ship. They should prevent (or punish) anyone from contesting whatever island cover you elect to use. Ambushes are possible, if largely limited to rare opportunities later on in a match given her poor concealment. The fish themselves are slow at 55kts and not particularly hard hitting either. It's necessary to land multiple hits to guarantee the destruction of a target -- even against destroyers, though even a single hit may be enough to clinch the outcome of a brawl if you've got Pyotr Bagration's guns facing the right direction. Overall, her fish are meh. 8km is too short a range to be useful, not when this ship likes to fight in the back line. Something has to go wrong before you'll get any real use out of these outside of PVE modes. Pyotr Bagration gets poor marks when it comes to her fire angles. She has to expose way too much broadside when firing forward and it's downright appalling when firing to the rear. Make sure you keep your distance or someone will swat you for flashing your sides to the enemy. No, I'm Spartacus Soviet 180mm/57 guns are infuriating. I don't mean game-play wise. In game, they're amazing. They have ridiculous levels of AP penetration, god-tier ballistics and they hit almost as hard as 203mm rounds. I'm talking from an analysis standpoint. Between Kirov, Mikoyan, Dmitri Donskoi, Tallinn and Pyotr Bagration, there are five (yes five!) distinct 180mm/57 gunnery styles with different ballistics and resultant AP performance. And don't try and give me any of that cold-witted sass: "It's not the gun, it's different shells!" You shut your hoarfrost mouth. There are two AP shells between all five ships and none of these five ships behave the same. Not a one! The only overlap is between Molotov and Dmitri Donskoi and everything else kinda spitballs their gunnery values in the general vicinity of the awesomeness of the whole. This gets even worse when you start looking beyond just ballistics and penetration as the different guns have different damage (really), dispersion values (yes, really) and auto-ricochet mechanics (yes, really-really). I could easily stomach different ranges and reload times for the sake of balance but this is just over complicating matters. This is all just a rant to say that the only thing consistent between these guns is their inconsistency. And their awesomeness. To understand what makes Pyotr Bagration's gunnery interesting, you have to understand the alternate Soviet branch of cruisers and the general weirdness of their guns. Their primary design features are: Improved AP auto-ricochet angles (50º to 65º) Short AP fuses (0.022s) Worse dispersion values. Two of these features are designed to make their AP shells more useful instead of forcing a reliance on HE shells. They are less likely to ricochet and when they do penetrate a target, they are less likely to over-penetrate even with their higher muzzle velocity. For example, an AP shell from the new ships striking a 32mm plate at 15km will need about 10m to fuse and explode where as Dmitri Donskoi's would need about 16m. This obviously may cause issues against ships with citadels buried deeper within the vessel but I wouldn't worry too much about it. For these new Soviet ships, the trade-off comes with decreased accuracy. Their dispersion values are noticeably worse over range than previous Soviet cruisers. Thus while your AP shells are more likely to do damage compared to previous 180mm armed Soviet ships, you will see fewer hits overall. So now that you've got all of that in your head, promptly forget about it. Here's why: Pyotr Bagration's AP auto-ricochet angles are further improved over the other Soviet cruisers (55º to 65º) Pyotr Bagration has the same short AP fuse (0.022s) Pyotr Bagration uses the old (better!) dispersion values. So her AP shells are better still than those on Tallinn and she hits more often. The trade off, of course, is their rate of fire -- though this is a much closer exchange than you might otherwise guess. Tallinn has a twelve gun broadside, firing 53 rounds per minute. Pyotr Bagration, with her nine guns (but a faster reload) manages a 49 rounds per minute. So Pyotr Bagration lags a half-broadside behind Tallinn for every minute of sustained fire. That's not terrible. In fact, given the other improvements, including Pyotr Bagration's improved range over Tallinn, I'd argue the premium gets the better end of this deal. It's only in HE trades where she lags a little behind and even then, she comes out the better in fire chance. The reason is the differences in their shell performance, which (of course!) are different between the 180mm armed ships. Pyotr Bagration's HE shells have a higher fire chance per shell (13% vs 11% for Tallinn) making her the better fire-starter even with the RPM disparity between the two ships. This gap widens again when you consider Pyotr Bagration's improved accuracy and range. But there's more. Pyotr Bagration's shells have a larger blast when it comes to attacking modules (a whole half meter, but still) and her shells deal about 13% more damage per hit (there's a lot of RNG involved here, but the average works out to about 13% more over the long run). So, Pyotr Bagration has better AP shells and better HE shells to boot. Pyotr Bagration is a poor fire starter, especially if you use Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. So lets' review: Pyotr Bagration has better AP shells than Tallinn. Pyotr Bagration has better HE shells than Tallinn. Pyotr Bagration is a better fire starter than Tallinn. Pyotr Bagration has more range than Tallinn. Pyotr Bagration is more accurate than Tallinn. And before you think that Tallinn's a lemon, she's a very powerful vessel. Let's not forget, the 180mm/57 guns are awesome. The drawback for these guns are two-fold and the first one doesn't matter. On paper, these ships do not appear capable of winning DPM races. But as we've gone over, the ballistics of these guns makes landing hits a triviality. Aiming over distance is a breeze. Thus any disparity in perceived rates of fire is compensated for by their ease of use granting them a larger number of hits. This gap only really materializes in the hands of truly expert players who can land hits even when firing low-velocity trebuchets off American boats. For the average player, Pyotr Bagration will improve your gunnery because of how easy it is to hit things. The other drawback is one of HE penetration. Pyotr Bagration has 30mm of base HE penetration -- this is the same value as tier VIII 152mm guns. The jump up in caliber provides no penetration benefits (boo!). For guns with a more modest rate of fire (and barrel disparity), this puts Pyotr Bagration among the lower tier of not only HE damage output but fire setting as well. If you elect to take Inertial Fuse for HE Shells to increase her penetration up to a level where she can directly damage 32mm hull sections of tier VIII+ battleships, this greatly compromises her ability to set fires such that it will be nearly impossible to tax a battleship's Damage Control Party on her own. This isn't the ship to farm fire damage in if you're electing to use this skill. At most she'll be able to reliably set single blazes and it will be rare that you double-stack them when it counts in solo-engagements. For that reason, it's important to focus fire if you've gone with this increased penetration route. Given her good AP performance, it's possible to skip out on using this skill entirely and instead rely on her great accuracy to aim for weak spots (superstructures) with her HE shells. With some minor improvements you can turn her into a respectable fire bug on part with Mogami 203mm or Atago. All of these comparisons aside, here's the big picture: Pyotr Bagration's guns are excellent. She excels from sniping from the second line with great AP penetration, shell flight times and accuracy over distance. Her poor gun traverse, fire arcs and modest damage output precludes her from trading fire at closer ranges -- it's better to keep her at a distance where her guns perform better than her adversaries. Similarly, their super-flat trajectory will make using island cover difficult, so exercising caution with the ranges at which she engages is paramount. Players have the choice of electing for direct damage with their HE shells through IFHE or they can make her a decent fire-setter by specializing in setting blazes instead. Top marks all around. Don't let her modest damage output fool you -- these guns are easy to use. That's well worth the slight dip in theoretical damage. VERDICT: Excellent guns -- use and abuse their long range performance. Everything else is irrelevant. Defense Hit Points: 42,000 Maximum Citadel Protection: 25mm bow + 180mm transverse bulkhead or a 152mm belt + 40mm citadel wall. Structural Armour: 25mm bow & stern, 25mm upper hull, 27mm deck amidships, 13mm superstructure. Torpedo Damage Reduction: 16% Pyotr Bagration holds the reputation for being one of the toughest cruisers at tier VIII. Generally, this is earned by the trifecta of having access to a Repair Party, having good citadel protection and trollish external armour plating, though in extreme cases, just having the latter-most is sufficient. However, I'd argue that Pyotr Bagration only accomplishes two out of these three points (and missed the key one). Thusly she sits further behind everyone's favourite chubby little sister, Prinz Eugen, who ticks all three boxes. Let's start things off by looking at Pyotr Bagration's health pool and heals: Pyotr Bagration's potential health is very respectable, but mostly grace of having access to heals when most others do without. With 42,000 health, Pyotr Bagration's base hit points are decent but rather pedestrian at tier VIII. She sits behind a list of other ships including Prinz Eugen & Tallinn (45,000hp), Admiral Hipper & Albermarle (43,800hp), Amalfi (42,800hp), Mainz & Cheshire (42,500hp) and finally Baltimore (42,400hp). So the only thing that's going to make her stand out is access to her Repair Party. Now having heals at tier VIII is top shelf for a cruiser as so many have to go without. This is especially important when facing tier IX and X opponents where everyone gets a heal and those without are a full step behind. However, when you line up the quality of the Repair Party consumables, you'll discover that Pyotr Bagration ended up with the worst of the lot. I wonder what the logic was behind this exception? My first instinct when I saw this was to assume that this was a bug (akin to the one that afflicted her Hydroacoustic Search ranges upon release). However, my contacts at Wargaming confirmed for me that in this case, the values are correct. Pyotr Bagration just has a crappy Repair Party compared to other cruisers. Oh well. Gift horses and what not. I don't feel this matters a whole lot and it's not really a strike against her. There are too many tier VIII cruisers dying (literally) for access to a heal. This goes double when you take into account how good her citadel protection actually is. There are three primary strengths to Pyotr Bagration's citadel protection: The thickness of her armour. Its immunity to overmatch mechanics. It's entirely internal with none of her citadel abutting against the exterior of the hull. In terms of raw armour thickness protecting her machine spaces, Pyotr Bagration is way up there. For hits striking a cruiser's broadside, she has the thickest armour protection of the tier VIII cruisers at a combined total of 192mm (152mm belt + 40mm citadel wall) keeping shells out of her machine spaces. Her next competitors include Wichita, Albemarle and Cheshire with a flat slab of 152mm belt armour (which doubles as their citadel wall) and the layered composition of Prinz Eugen's 147mm between (27mm anti-torpedo protection, 80mm belt and 40mm turtleback). Pyotr Bagration's advantage here is that she puts a thick piece of metal on the exterior, giving her the best chance to shatter (and ricochet) smaller caliber shells before they even enter the ship -- preventing damage entirely. This keeps her safe(r) from citadel attempts from destroyer-caliber weapons and those of some light cruisers as well, but again only at a distance. At extreme ranges where Pyotr Bagration likes to fight, this can even foil some 203mm AP shells, though this is chancing matters. Even if a shell does penetrate her, the thickness of her citadel's armour prevents overmatching, even from the largest caliber AP shells out there. Her multi-layered citadel defense allows her to "double dip" with ricochet mechanics -- if not quite angled perfectly, shells that pass the first ricochet check and punch through her belt have to make another before getting a chance to hammer through her 40mm citadel wall. This alone helps reduce the number of citadel hits, greatly adding to her longevity. Similarly, shells aimed high will skip off the roof of her citadel. Having her machine spaces and magazine entirely internal prevents Pyotr Bagration from taking any citadel hits from HE bomb and shell attacks. It can even provide an internal volume in which AP shells can fuse and detonate before reaching her citadel. The image on the left shows Pyotr Bagration's citadel dimensions and armour layout. The one on the right shows how the ship's belt armour and hull encompasses the entirely internal citadel. That gap can cause all sorts of weird penetration mechanics to occur, such as internal ricochets, providing a space for short-fuse shells to explode in, etc. The effect here is to reduce the frequency of citadel hits this ship receives, especially from smaller caliber AP shells. It's Pyotr Bagration's structural armour where I find she's lacking. She's a light cruiser and conforms to light cruiser norms barring her extended waterline belt. Thus, her structural armour doesn't exceed 25mm with the exception of her amidships deck. 27mm worth of structural armour is an important threshold since the Inertial Fuse for HE Shell rework. First of all, it provides HE shell immunity from destroyers of 127mm caliber guns or smaller (barring those with weird HE penetration such as the ducky 100mm) -- even with IFHE they can't get enough penetration to directly damage those hull sections. This provides protection against secondary fire too, such as those found on Massachusetts. But most importantly, 27mm hull sections give the ship immunity from overmatch mechanics from 381mm AP shells. It's a shame she has to do without. 27mm structural plate isn't an automatic "I win" attribute. Pyotr Bagration isn't crippled without it (though you definitely feel it more in Co-Op). It simply increases the ship's survivability against particular opponents and specific situations (which are, again, prevalent in Co-Op). Her lack of this armour cements for me her role as a back-line support ship. She belongs in the rear where her guns and her armour layout maximizes her performance for little risk. Her 40mm icebreaker bow is worth mentioning. While it will soak up the occasional AP and HE shell tossed at her waterline, I find it rather troll to be honest. Relying upon it will only get your face stoved in by overmatching battleship-caliber shells as there's still lots of 25mm sections to punch through. However, there's no arguing that it will further reduce the number of citadel hits she takes. Proof positive that Wargaming considers Pyotr Bagration a light cruiser. Her protection scheme conforms to light cruiser norms. Summary: She has a heal. Most tier VIII cruisers don't. Her citadel protection is good. It won't save you if you give up your broadside though. Her structural armour is squishy. She's very vulnerable to HE shells. VERDICT: Pyotr Bagration is easily one of the best protected cruisers at tier VIII. That doesn't make her invincible or even tanky for that matter, but she can survive for quite a while provided you play to her strengths. Agility Top Speed: 34.5kts Turning Radius: 890m Rudder Shift Time: 10.6s 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 4.8º/s There's only two good things about Pyotr Bagration's agility. Her guns have a 6º/s rotation rate. She's very long ranged. You'll note that neither of these things relate to how agile the ship is itself. That's because she isn't agile. Her handling comes from the same rancid mayonnaise jar as the other Soviet agility. Sure, it wiggles and jiggles when you shake it but it's sixteen months past the expiry date. Just trying to handle it is asking for an oily disaster as it goes everywhere but where it belongs. The best thing about her is her speed -- she goes in a straight line reasonably quick (just like that watery film on the top of your expired mayonnaise when you accidentally tip it over) but that's not remarkable. As terrible as Pyotr Bagration's rotation rate is, at least she can't out turn her turrets. It's a horrible bit of consolation but there it is. Bad handling is bad handling, but that doesn't hold Pyotr Bagration back because it doesn't matter. All she really needs from her agility is to be able to maintain distance in order to stay alive. That far out, even the lack of Soviet handling is enough to kite and dodge effectively. The ol' mayonnaise zone. VERDICT: Pretty bad, but irrelevant other than her straight-line speed. Anti-Aircraft Defense Flak Bursts: 8 explosions for 1,400 damage per blast Long Ranged (up to 5.8km): 189dps at 90% accuracy Medium Ranged (up to 3.5km): 158dps at 90% accuracy Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 70dps at 85% accuracy Pyotr Bagration has excellent AA firepower for a tier VIII cruiser. Given the distances at which she likes to fight, it's actually reasonable to without Hydroacoustic Search and use Defensive AA Fire instead. With so much of her damage output concentrated in her long-range batteries and a heavy amount of flak, she makes an excellent AA escort cruiser -- at least in so far as this role can still be said to be viable in the current meta. I think it's safer to say that you're not hurting your team's chances by spending a consumable to help bruise attack squadrons, though I wouldn't go so far as to encourage you to spend skill points or upgrades that way. Frankly, I look at this as a happy coincidence rather than something worth getting excited over. It's nice that Pyotr Bagration's penchant for shooting from the second line will keep her reasonably close to battleships and thus allow her to passively support them with her AA power too. With a lot of her AA power concentrated in her long-range batteries, Pyotr Bagration is a very good ship for providing support AA to allies. VERDICT: Pretty darned good. I wish that meant something. Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 14km / 11km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 8.23km/6.67km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 7.8km Main Battery Firing Range: 18.48km Pyotr Bagration's vision control is ... well, it's not good. But, like her agility, the failures here are largely irrelevant. Bugs with her Hydroacoustic Search aside, this isn't a ship that belongs up on the front lines anyway (outside of co-op -- everything brawls in co-op). So having a less-than-stellar surface or aerial detection isn't the end of the world. Pyotr Bagration's main battery performance and her protection scheme both thrive on this ship being in the second line, sniping from the rear. This said, I don't think Pyotr Bagration should go without Concealment System Modification 1 -- the additional dispersion gained from this upgrade in combination with the gains to her stealth are too beneficial to set aside. But it might be possible to go without the Concealment Expert commander skill if points are tight. Still, there is obvious benefit to padding these flagging numbers if you can. Being able to go dark is paramount for safety in open-water kiting. What is worth discussing is how little she brings to the table in terms of vision control for her team. Pyotr Bagration lacks Surveillance Radar, a staple of high-tier Soviet cruisers. Unlike Mikhail Kutuzov who also goes without, she doesn't bring a Smoke Generator either. She cannot even be relied upon to have access to a Hydroacoustic Search (nor ever be in a position where using one is advantageous given her gunnery needs). Fighting from so far back or behind cover, she's not likely to be doing her own spotting either. This is an entirely selfish ship in terms of team play -- best designed for solo-actions or relying upon team play to facilitate her damage output. The best she can hope to provide for her team are support AA-fire, good damage output and maybe distracting enemies with her kiting antics. VERDICT: Not great but this isn't a horrible drawback thanks to her protection scheme and gunnery. She's entirely dependent on her team for spotting. Final Evaluation Pyotr Bagration is a monster. She's a boring monster, but she's a monster none the less. I consider her to easily be more powerful than Ochakov, the other tier VIII premium released at the same time. However, I found Ochakov's game play to be much more rewarding, if exceedingly volatile. Pyotr Bagration is the much safer choice, promising reliable steady damage, good survivability and ... well, not much else, if I'm terribly honest. There's nothing wrong with that per se. There is a lot of reward to be found in frustrating your opponents by staying alive, harassing them with long range fire and kiting them out of position. Pyotr Bagration has very good staying power and you can always count on her guns to hit back. While Pyotr Bagration has her flaws (poor gun handling, poor fire arcs, poor agility, no vision control) I don't see any of these as being particularly damning for this ship. On the contrary, most of these feel trivial, especially when her incredible range and ballistics band-aids over these drawbacks to the point of irrelevance. In this regard, she reminds me of Giulio Cesare -- an earlier premium that, while she had her flaws, they didn't get in the way of the ship's strengths. We all know how that ship turned out. While I'm loathe to trumpet out an 'overpowered' warning without actually seeing her performance in the hands of the masses, she's certainly piqued my interest as one to watch for the future. So yeah. Pytor Bagration. She's an incredibly safe purchase, though her game play doesn't particularly appeal for me. I think Tallinn is the more interesting ship, and she's free. So make of that what you will. Conclusion Well, this one took longer than I thought it would. There's a lot of weirdness in this ship, particularly in her armour and guns that I wanted to double and triple check to make sure I did them justice. There was also the problem of getting access to Tallinn in order to make sure my comparisons were on point and that necessitated doing some grinding to unlock her. Oh well, it's done. The next ship on the docket is Mikoyan, the tier V Soviet cruiser. I dunno how this one flew beneath my radar but I totally blanked on her coming out. I'll be doing something special for her, so stay tuned! Thanks for reading!
  24. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: München

    The following is a review of München, the tier VII German light cruiser. This ship was provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes -- I did not have to spend money on this ship. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.9.7. Please be aware her performance may change in the future. Quick Summary: A fast, stealthy and super-squishy German light cruiser. A More-Better Mainz München is very good at burning down Warspites. München is a fast, agile and stealthy German light cruiser. Stealth, by and large, is a non-entity among the German cruisers from tier V+, to say nothing of a high top speed. And now we have a ship that has not only stealth and speed but good handling too. You would think this would result in a compromise to striking power. If you crunch the numbers, sure, München appears to have a gunnery deficit, especially relative to the other German light cruisers. However, in practice, this drawback is a non-entity in every circumstance short of straight-out slug-fests. I know, I know, I'm already hyping this up to be a good German premium. The memes among the community would have you believe that's not possible. But you won't have to take just my word for it. Everyone's favourite part-time troll and two-parts heavy-metal enthusiast, Lert, is here to help us out. Hello and welcome to another Lertbox in which I pretend to know what I'm talking about. This time it's to write about München, gifted to me by a very generous friend. PROS Great AP DPM. Improved HE penetration, allowing her to directly damage 38mm hull sections. Fast for a German cruiser with good handling. Good concealment with a surface detection as low as 9.4km with all buffs. Access to a German Hydroacoustic Search consumable. CONS Small hit point pool. Very squishy with 16mm extremities and only 50mm of belt armour. Poor AP penetration, especially over distance. Meh HE DPM. Poor ballistics on her shells, with long shell flight times at ranges over 10km. Plagued with the same 6km range torpedoes of many German ships. Tier VII Matchmaking. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging/ Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH/ Extreme München's fragility is the only thing making her a bit unfriendly for inexperienced players. Otherwise she's a very comfortable ride with easy-to-use HE spam and good handling. Veterans will love the shenanigans you can pull between her HE and AP shells, to say nothing of using and abusing island cover and open water stealth to take up advantageous positions. Her speed is just delightful and she up-tiers well, making her a very flexible ship. Options Upgrades München's consumables are pretty standard fare for a German cruiser. Her Damage Control Party is active for 5 seconds and comes with unlimited charges. It has a 60 second reset timer. In her second slot you have the choice: Her Hydroacoustic Search has improved torpedo and ship detection ranges over standard versions of the consumable, picking out these threats at 3.75km and 5.5km respectively (instead of 3km for fish and 4km for ships). In addition, the consumable lasts 10 seconds longer for 110 seconds total. It comes with three charges and a 120 second reset timer. You can swap this out for a Defensive AA Fire consumable. This is standard for a cruiser providing and additional 50% continuous damage and 300% flak damage for 40 seconds. It has a three charges and an 80 second reset timer. Finally, she has a Catapult Fighter. It launches a flight of two planes which orbit on station for 60 seconds. It has three charges and a 90 second reset timer. You can leave Defensive AA Fire where it is. I stick with Hydroacoustic Search. Upgrades Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. Get Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 from the Armory. This will set you back 17,000 Coal . This will lock your consumable choice in, but it’s the better option. If you can’t (or won’t) take the hydro-mod, then take Engine Room Protection. München's steering gears have a habit of falling off to loud noises. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is (still) the only option worth taking in slot three. Because of München's propensity to hump islands, take Propulsion Modification 1 in your fourth slot. If you'd rather a bit more wiggle in her tush, then you can go for Steering Gears Modification 1 instead. Captain Skills I'm not going to deep dive on why the following skills are recommended (mostly because I spent way too much time this month already going over the proposed skill changes). Suffice to say there's a lot of potential overlap with other German light cruiser captains. This makes München a good trainer as she doesn't require any weird skills. Camouflage München comes with Type 10 Camouflage, providing the usual bonuses: A 3% reduction in surface detection ranges. A 4% increase to the dispersion of enemy gunfire. A 10% reduction to post-battle service costs. A 50% increase to experience earned. Yay, we finally have alternative colour palettes for German ships! Firepower Main Battery: Eight 150mm/55 guns in 4x2 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Four 105mm/65 guns in 2x2 turrets. Torpedoes: 2×4 launchers with one per side. These ain't yo daddy's German 150mm guns. München has her turrets lifted directly from the secondaries of battleships like Scharnhorst, the Bismarck-class and Friedrich der Große. These are the low-velocity, 55-caliber 150mm guns as opposed to the longer, higher-velocity 60-caliber 150mm weapons found on Königsberg, the Nürnberg-class and Mainz. München's ballistics suffer from these shorter barrel length. In addition, her AP shells do less damage. Let's keep this short and sweet, shall we? There's really only a couple of things to really talk about here, so lemme breeze through the rest to at least touch base. Her gun handling is alright. She has a 9º/s rotation rate. All eight guns can fire at targets 32º off her bow which is decent. However, they can only fire 36º off her stern which isn't ideal -- I would prefer to see this much closer to (or below) 30º. München's guns all have 1/4 HE penetration, allowing her to directly damage 38mm armour sections. This is awesome. Her main battery firepower range is okay-ish. 16.6km is serviceable but not great. I'd love to have more but for a tier VII light cruiser, this is average-to-good. On paper she is only a modest fire setter, falling well behind the fire setting potential of American and Soviet light cruisers. Because München isn't shackled to Inertial Fuse for HE Shells (IFHE) she has the potential to have much closer performance to her tier mates. However, IFHE isn't a must-have for tier VII light cruisers, she isn't necessarily a front-runner. Still, she is well ahead of heavy cruiser fire setting performance. Her torpedoes are an afterthought. You'll use them often in PVE modes but much (much!) less-so in PVP environments. They're the same G7a T1s you've seen time and again on German ships with their 6km range and only modest 13,700 damage per hit. Okay, all of that is squared away. Let's talk about the two primary facets of München's firepower. Only Eight Guns How the Hell is an eight-gun light cruiser supposed to keep up with the other light cruisers packing ten, twelve or even fifteen guns? I've already covered some of it and this just shows you aren't paying attention (YOU FOOLS!). München has that 1/4 HE penetration value, so she's more capable of landing direct-damaging hits with her HE shells against a wider variety of targets than her counterparts. But there's more to it than that. München has a 5 second reload. This is stupid-crazy. This is the same reload as Atlanta used to have with her 127mm/38 guns. With this being half again as fast as the standard reload of most of the other light cruisers, this allows München to put out twelve-gun numbers with only eight barrels. München spits out twelve rounds per minute per gun. This does beg further caveats, though. These are German 150mm/55 guns. They have their own issues which further complicates their numbers. First, they have artificially high AP shell damage values. Second, they also have low HE shell damage values. Third, München isn't the only 150mm/55 armed German cruiser with an increased rate of fire over 152mm armed ships. To say that München's rate of fire is comparable to twelve gun ship is a bit disingenuous given that we already have a German light cruiser using the same weapons but with a twelve-gun armament. So while I could compare München to the other tier VII cruisers, I think a better comparison would be to stack her up against the other German 150mm armed ships within her matchmaking spread to better illustrate her performance. Otherwise, her numbers are too easily taken out of context. AP shells in blue (top) and HE in red (bottom). München isn't that much better off than the nine-gun armed Nürnberg-class ships. With her lower quality AP shells, the race is even closer, though she remains comfortably ahead with HE. If you compare their reloads, München is the fastest at 5 seconds. Mainz, Nürnberg & Makarov have 6 seconds and Königsberg has a 7.5 second reload. So München is fast, but she's not that fast compared to other German light cruisers. Look at that. Perspective. German 150mm guns have shorter reloads than comparable light cruisers. München's reload is admittedly faster still but not so quick that she stands well apart from similar vessels. It is enough to put her slightly ahead of the nine-gun Nürnberg-class ships, but she's not putting out true "twelve gun" DPM numbers as Mainz shows. So her damage output is reasonable for a German light cruiser. With that settled, let's look at how she ranks up with the other tier VII ships. Alright, the usual caveats apply here. This is assuming such unrealistic parameters such as 100% accuracy. Also, I did not include the Italian SAP shells nor the influence of Algérie's Main Battery Reload Booster consumable. Got it? Good. München's HE output is very close to that of a heavy cruiser. So AP good, HE bad, right? Well, these numbers are misleading which is why I didn't want to lead with a simple DPM graph. München's shell performance is kind of like Atlanta's theoretical DPM -- the theoretical numbers do not necessarily reflect in-game performance. So you have to frame these numbers with some context. First, München's AP damage is held back by the typical AP shell caveats. They're not going to do well against anything other than broadside targets. Furthermore, they need to have enough penetration to deal damage in the first place. Finally, an overpenetrating hit (375 damage) isn't worth as much as an HE penetrating hit (561 damage). So like just about every other ship in the game, München's AP shells aren't brainless. The extra layer of challenge here is that München's AP shells don't have the greatest punch over distance as shown here: So as good as München's AP looks, the opportunities to use it effectively aren't plentiful. That leaves a lot of the heavy lifting on her modest HE damage totals, right? Well they're not as modest as they look. With apologies to those who are colour blind. The four categories are worth explaining. "IFHE" means the ship's base rate of fire with IFHE added and no other bonuses or penalties.. "IFHE+" is the maximum fire chance with all applicable bonuses (including BFT for Flint & Atlanta). "Base"is the ship's stock fire chance and reload with no bonuses or penalties. "Max" is going for the maximum fire chance with all bonuses applied (including BFT for Flint & Atlanta). This brings us back to that 1/4 HE penetration. Yes, I'm saying it again. Stop forgetting and I wouldn't have to. Sure, when paddling lolibote butts or similarly under-developed armour profiles, München's DPM can't keep up with the other light cruisers. But you're not paying for burst potential with München's HE -- you're paying for consistency. While other tier VII light cruisers struggle when up-tiered, München's gunnery is consistent no matter what she faces and the numbers she puts out are very respectable. For an eight-gun light cruiser, that's a pretty solid plus right there. Waifus and Kite String Here's the second facet of München's firepower worth addressing: Her ballistics. Her arcs are pretty terrible. They're not quite as bad as American light cruiser trebuchets but they're close enough. The good news is that these guns are wonderfully suited for taking advantage of your favourite island waifus and snuggling up to her to make a hot steamy mess on someone's deck. München's ballistic arc most closely resembles that of British light cruisers. The bad news is that they have pretty terrible AP penetration over distance. You're not going to citadel another enemy cruiser except at stupid-close, knife-fighting, reach-for-the-Soviet-4km-torpedoes kind of ranges. While this does make it less likely for her AP shells to over-penetrate relatively thin armour sections over distance, they still have to arm which necessitates striking a plate 25mm thick. This makes them ill-suited to hurting enemy destroyers BUT great at hitting soft-parts of higher-tiered cruisers and battleships just about anywhere that's not their belts. München's relatively short 0.025s AP fuse timer will help with this too. So when facing broadsiding battleships, feel free to switch over to AP rounds once you've set a fire or two to spike your damage totals up. Approximate AP penetration values drawn from wowsft.com. Firing from open water is possible. München's agility certainly allows for it (more on that later), but between her ballistic arcs and her poor(ish) rearward firing angles, this really isn't her forté. When München's guns get firing, the arcs she poops out paints a big ol' "shut me up" target on the back of her head, particularly if you're actually managing to land shells at the 15km+ distance you'll need to stay at in order to keep relatively safe. I'm sure some of you MLG Pros out there will pull it off beautifully but I think island-humping is definitely the safer way to go. München's oh-so forgettable fish. There has to be some element of desperation present before you'll get a chance to use these. Whether that's on your part or the enemy's is the question. Summary München's guns reward switching between ammunition types and making the best use of terrain features present on the map. These are both higher-skilled elements which may look a bit off-putting to some players. However, she is "good enough" even if you elect to spam one ammunition type (HE) and dodge and wiggle about in open water, hoping that the enemy doesn't shoot back. Her firepower is easy to use and scales well with player skill. Good HE shells with high penetration which makes them capable against all targets. They just don't put out massive numbers on their own. Her AP shells are fussy and harder to use but they have the potential of putting out a lot of damage in a very short time, but they are entirely situational. Depending upon your skill level, island-humping or open water wiggle & dash will give you varying levels of success. VERDICT: Pretty damn respectable. Defense Hit Points: 30,200 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 16mm/10mm/20mm/25mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 50mm belt + 35mm turtleback Torpedo Damage Reduction: 10% München has a tumour. It's one of those gross tumours. The ones that have grown their own hair and teeth and maybe an eyeball. This tumour is her citadel, which is one of the most hideous looking citadels I've ever had to study. This thing sits stupid-high in the water, has useless sloping features and bulbous growths. These features exist purely to make you the perfect sacrifice to hungry Gods. ] You're gonna need guts to cope with this citadel. Going berserk won't save you. If München has a flaw, this is it. München reminds me very much of the Nürnberg-class where death comes swiftly be it from massive alpha strikes or even by a thousand smaller cuts. Her small hit point pool and lack of armour means that everything that hits you is going to hurt. The shallow angle of her citadel slopes is terrible at keeping out AP rounds and the various bulbous steps and tumours along with that easily overmatched 20mm roof makes her vulnerable no matter how she angles. So yeah. Don't get hit. If you needed any further reinforcement on why this thing should island camp as much as possible, just check out these next two graphics: Yikes. Yikes-yikes. I'm not going to sell you any lies. It's not like München's durability is more volatile than say Shchors or Indianapolis. Like most tier VII cruiser, her defence is made from wishful thinking. If you get caught out, get on your knees and beg to RNGeebus and pray he doesn't take everything from you. VERDICT: Don't get hit. Agility Top Speed: 36.0kts Turning Radius: 690m Rudder Shift Time: 8.3s 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 6.4º/s At first glance, München's agility doesn't seem like a big deal. I mean, check it out: For a tier VII cruiser, München's agility looks pretty decent, but nothing to get excited about. She manages a good rate of turn but her turning radius seems pretty big. What's all the fuss? The big deal is that she has much better agility than anything else in her tech tree from tier V and above. German cruisers trend towards the slow side of cruiser speeds with only Siegfried & Ägir managing to exceed 33 knots and they handle more like battleships than true cruisers. Everything else largely sits at 32 knots with a couple nudging 32.5. And here München shows up with a top speed of 36! That she manages to do so without ballooning her turning radius any larger than she does is a breath of fresh air for an otherwise quite sluggish line. So while München's agility may look respectable for a tier VII cruiser, for a German cruiser, it's excellent and it opens up the possibility of some dynamic game play options they don't normally get to enjoy. And let's not overlook that a 36 knot top speed on a cruiser is pretty damn phenomenal. München is downright fast. There isn't much out there that can keep pace that's not a destroyer. Does it make sense now? VERDICT: Very comfortable. Anti-Aircraft Defense Flak Bursts: 1 explosion for 1,330 damage per blast Long Ranged (up to 5.2km): 46dps at 90% accuracy Medium Ranged (up to 3.0km): 270dps at 90% accuracy München's AA power is meh. It's all concentrated in her fragile and rather short-ranged 30mm batteries which won't survive long if you take any HE damage. Taken on her own merits, yeah, she can hold her own against tier VI carriers -- or at least make it expensive for them to repeat-drop on her, but they will be able to drop on her. There are worse-protected tier VII cruisers, at least she won't be a high priority target. This is largely why I advocate for taking Hydroacoustic Search over Defensive AA Fire. VERDICT: Hurry up and get here, new skill rework. I want my cruiser AA to be able to do something again. Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 10.8km/9.43km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 5.78km/5.2km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 4.89km Main Battery Firing Range: 16.61km München's concealment would be impressive on any other tier VII cruiser. It's doubly so because it's on a German cruiser. She is a very stealthy ship. Combined with her high speed and her excellent Hydroacoustic Search, she becomes an increasingly dangerous ship the more the ship rosters on each team thin out. München is well set up to control engagement distances. Her short concealment range makes it easier for her to kite away from unfavourable encounters and in a pinch, she can even flush out ships hiding in smoke (at 37.8 knots with a Sierra Mike signal, she can cross 5km in just under 50 seconds -- enough to light someone with her Hydroacoustic Search). So we're combining good striking power with good speed, good agility great concealment and an excellent detection tool. München has an enormous amount of potential flexibility and she's a very dangerous ship in the right hands. VERDICT: Downright amazing. Final Evaluation There should be more hype surrounding München, in my opinion. This is a damn fine premium ship and a worthwhile addition to any collection for light-cruiser fans. That she's a German ship of all things is just icing on the cake. The only real downside to this ship is her fragility and even that isn't that bad compared to other tier VII cruisers, not when there's the likes of Shchors or Abruzzi waiting to explode when someone passes gas in their general direction. Given the choice between this or Mainz, I can acknowledge that Mainz is harder hitting but München is more powerful tier for tier. She just has so much more carry potential. I really don't have much more to say than that. I can't sing this ships praises highly enough, so I'll let Lert close us out. München's not really a German light cruiser at all. Sure, her camo looks German, she's flying this game's version of the German naval jack and you can train a German captain on her, but in most gameplay aspects, she's really not a German light cruiser. And in some, barely a light cruiser at all. Allow me to explain. These are the characteristics of the high tier German cruisers: Relatively slow Turns sluggishly Bad concealment Tanky Solid secondary armament - you know, for a cruiser And München? Fast at 37.9 knots with speed flag Wriggly as a worm on a hook 9.4km concealment with stealth build Squishy as all hell Only like a single twin 105mm a side for secondaries So what we have left is basically a fat destroyer leader, with an armor scheme that's not meant to handle anything bigger than 150mm thrown at it due to thin total thickness and a relatively steep turtleback angle on an oversized citadel. What we have left is a small, fast, thin and agile ship that can keep up with destroyers, has deceptively good DPM on guns designed to deal with small targets and a nasty set of volkstorpedoes as backup. Volkstorpedoes? Yeah, your standard, 64 knot, 6km, 13700 dmg torpedoes you find on so many mid tier German premiums. The People's Torpedo. München has a vierling set on each side. Her AP DPM is decidedly German, artificially boosted on low Krupp shells, only good for short to medium range, broadside targets. Her HE DPM is also decidedly German, deceptively low at middle of the pack values, until you remember that she has the quarter-pen rule and doesn't need IFHE to do direct damage to armor plates up to 38mm. But where her guns fall down is in slow shell velocity and high arcs, plus mediocre range. So we have a light cruiser with Russian CL speed, British CL agility and squishiness, American CL shell arcs and range, but German hydro, DPM values and volkstorpedoes. People call her a Mini Mainz, but I think the descriptors German Micro-Wooster or Super Nürnberg are more apt. She has a high skill floor, and high skill ceiling. Bring your A game and she'll do you well - until you explode from a load of battleship or heavy cruiser AP ejaculated into your citadel. But is she a good ship? You have to answer that for yourself. She's very demanding, but very rewarding if you can put in what she demands. Yeah I think she's a very good ship. Very strong - until she is misplayed and unceremoniously deleted. Conclusion Thank you all for reading. This review almost didn't happen. I nearly gave up part-way. You may have noticed that the graphs aren't up to my usual standards. They're pretty bare bones. You see, I had them all done before -- pretty and perfect and raring to go until I noticed some calculation errors. Now one mistake isn't that hard to fix. It's about twenty minutes to half an hour's worth of work to adjust a finished bar-graph. But I found multiple mistakes on each graph. Given that one such graph is upwards of three hours worth of work (two being pretty average), this was a full day's work down the drain. This interrupted my writing process as I had to go back and fix these to make sure I wasn't misquoting figures in the body of my text. So while I was on track initially for a Monday-Tuesday publishing date and I didn't finish until Thursday. The worst part was that I was convinced in my sleep-deprived, overworked delirium that Thursday was actually Friday. I took some sound advice and just got some rest and caught up on some sleep. Yeah, it's not been a good week. Anyway, it's done. Thanks again for your time.
  25. The following is a review of Cheshire, the tier VIII British heavy cruiser. This ship was kindly provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes. To the best of my knowledge, the performance and statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.9.3.1. Please be aware that the ship may change in the future. Quick Summary: A stealthy, but terribly squishy British heavy cruiser with a small battery of powerful 234mm guns. PROS AP shells can overmatch 16mm worth of armour, including the extremities of many lower-tier cruisers and destroyers. Good AP penetration and improved auto-ricochet angles. Excellent HE penetration, capable of directly damaging most battleship decks. Good gun handling with 10º/s gun rotation rate. Excellent AA firepower. No, really. Yeah, I'm surprised too. Stealthy, with a surface detection as low as 9.5km. British "portable dry dock" Repair Party, healing up to 40% of her health per charge before modifiers. CONS Only six main battery guns, greatly reducing her alpha-strike and DPM. Her "stepped" citadel presents a shell-trap for large caliber battleship AP shells. Only modest gun fire angles, leaves her vulnerable to return fire from AP shells. Mediocre range on main battery guns for so vulnerable a ship. Torpedoes are short ranged at 8km. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual/ CHALLENGING / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / MODERATE / High / Extreme This ship doesn't do anyone any favours, new players least of all. Like the tier VII Pensacola of years prior, Cheshire is a lemon that will punish you for simply choosing to shoot your guns at the wrong time. As players become more familiar with the foibles of the British heavies, Cheshire (and her sister Albemarle) will become primary targets for the farming of easy Devastating Strike medals. For veterans, as appealing as the on-paper potential for this ship appears, in practice she's just too fragile to really feel worthwhile. You can do better in almost any other ship where skills like angling, island use, etc will serve you much better. Options Consumables There's nothing much out of the ordinary here short of her god-tier healing potion. Keep in mind that all consumables will be the premium version soon so I'm just listing those values. Cheshire's Damage Control Party is standard for a cruiser with a 60s reset timer. It's active for 5 seconds and has unlimited charges. Her Repair Party heals back up to 40% of her health base per charge over 20 seconds. She starts with two charges with a reset timer of 80s. You have the choice between two consumables in her last slot. Both consumables start with three charges base. Her Defensive AA Fire is active for 40s, increasing sustained DPS by 50% and explosion damage by 300%. It has an 80s reset timer. Her Hydroacoustic Search is active for 100s. It detects torpedoes at 3.5km and ships at 5km. It has a 120s reset timer. Upgrades Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. In your second slot, Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 is optimal if you can afford it. Obviously this dictates that you'll be eschewing using Defensive AA Fire but that's okay. This will set you back 17,000 Coal . Otherwise, default to Engine Room Protection. Aiming System Modification 1 is really the only upgrade worth taking in slot three. You have a choice in slot 4 depending on how you like to play. If you prefer island humping, then Propulsion System Modification 1 is preferable to improve your acceleration from a standstill. Otherwise, Steering Gears Modification 1 is your best bet. ER MAH GERD choice in slot 5!? Well, it's not really. Concealment System Modification 1 is still optimal. But, for the sake of argument, let's look at Ship Consumables Modification 1 and how it affects her consumables: With this, her Damage Control Party will now last 5.5 seconds. Yawn. Cheshire's Hydroacoustic Search will increase from 100s to 110s (or to 132s if you have Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 installed). This is nice. It's not game changing, but it's nice. Her Defensive AA Fire increases from 40s to 44s ... which doesn't really help. The duration of Defensive AA Fire was never the issue, but rather the damage it does. And here's the juicy bit: Her Repair Party adds another 2 ticks worth of healing -- or between 4% and 4.8% of her total health depending on if you're using the India Delta signal or not. This amounts to an additional 1,700 to 2,040hp per charge used with an upper maximum of 6,120 additional hp with three charges blown. So, is that worth giving up Concealment System Modification 1? Heck no. But Ship Consumables Modification 1 isn't terrible. It's just that Concealment System Modification 1 is (still) too damn good. Captain Skills Cheshire isn't a very skill-hungry boat. For the first 10 skill points, take the usual suspects. Your choice of a tier 1 skill -- I prefer Priority Target to let me know when my doom is nigh. Adrenaline Rush is optimal at tier 2. Through my play-testing, I used Superintendent as my skill of choice at tier 3, thinking I would get to make use of my Repair Party's extra heal. And to no one's surprise, Concealment Expert rounds things off at tier 4. Pick and choose your favourites for your remaining points. Camouflage Cheshire has two camouflage options: Type 10 and Victorian White camouflage. They both provide identical bonuses: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -10% to post-battle service costs. +50% experience earned. I do like the camouflage schemes for Cheshire. She's a nice looking ship. Firepower Main Battery: Six 234mm/50 guns in 3x2 turrets in an A-B-X superfiring configuration. Secondaries: Sixteen 113mm/45 guns in 8x2 turrets with four mounted each side in superfiring forward and rear positions. Torpedoes: Eight tubes in 2×4 launchers with one on each side mounted in the hull beneath the first funnel. Celebratory Pew-Pews Let's start with Cheshire's secondaries because they're largely forgettable. They are decent for cruiser secondaries. However, given that Wargaming has yet to implement any cruiser with kick-butt secondaries 'decent' doesn't matter. At least they have 19mm of penetration, so they're capable of directly damaging anything she faces. Their high rate of fire does spit out a lot of shells. But without phenomenal range or improved accuracy, they're just window dressing. I did kill a Dallas with one, so that was fun. The muzzle blasts off of Cheshire's guns are huge. Are 234mm guns worthwhile? This is the big question at the core of not only Cheshire's worth, but her higher-tiered sisters as well. What's the big deal with large-caliber guns on a cruiser? What can they do that faster-firing (or more plentiful) 203mm guns can't? What are their drawbacks? And finally, are they any good? In theory, a larger caliber gun provides inherent benefits over its smaller brethren. These include higher penetration values for both HE and AP shells, including energy retention over distance (which factors both into penetration and ballistics). In addition, the shells will individually cause more damage and have a higher chance of starting fires. The final benefit is that depending on the size of the shells, it's possible for their AP rounds to overmatch key armour values, ignoring ricochet mechanics. These benefits are typically off-set by a smaller number of barrels, a larger dispersion area, a slower rate of fire and worse gun handling. In summary, larger guns make it more likely that individual hits will cause significant damage but with fewer hits overall compared to smaller-caliber guns. Whether or not this exchange is worthwhile depends upon just how much these guns gain versus how much they surrender. For the sake of Cheshire's 234mm caliber weapons, we have a direct same-tier analogue to compare them to in the form of Albemarle's 203mm armament. Alpha versus DPM You would think that larger caliber guns, though fewer in number, would allow you to deliver more devastating volleys. The idea being that while you might not shoot as often, the fewer salvos hit harder. I wish that were the case. Let's take Albemarle vs Cheshire as an example. Citadel Penetrations (AP): 40,500 Albemarle vs 34,500 Cheshire Citadel Penetration (HE): 29,700 Albemarle vs 23,100 Cheshire Penetration (AP): 13,365 Albemarle vs 11,385 Cheshire Penetration (HE): 9,801 Albemarle vs 7,623 Cheshire Yeah, so that's a wash. A small bump up in gun caliber size does not provide an advantage in damage output on anything but a per-shell basis. So the increased shell damage does not make up for a three-gun deficit (though in theory it could make up for a two-gun deficit). Understandably, with a slower reload, the gap only opens up further. And it's not like Cheshire's reload is particularly slow either. Let me be clear, one of her gimmicks is the accelerated reload on her main battery guns. Drake and Goliath, using the same weapons, have a base reload time of 18 seconds. This can be modified down on these ships with the use of Main Battery Modification 3, providing them with a 15.8 second reload. Cheshire, meanwhile, boasts a 12.5s reload timer which is amazing -- this is a half second faster than Albemarle. So if there's any benefit to be found here, it has to be on how easily it is to make those shells deal damage rather than the damage potential itself. Cheshire's raw damage output values suck, so every hit needs to count. A cruiser with only six heavy guns has crappy DPM. Who knew? AP Performance Cheshire's AP shells are pretty good at ensuring they deal damage compared to 203mm AP shells found on Albemarle. I say 'pretty good' and not 'great'. There are three factors where they hold an advantage over her counterpart. She has high penetration. She has improved auto-ricochet angles. She has overmatch potential against a key structural armour value. ] Cheshire has Baltimore's AP penetration values with Japanese 203mm ballistics. Note that while Cheshire does have slightly improved auto-ricochet angles, they are not on par with Baltimore's. Her AP shells feel less effective overall because of this, even though they have about the same punch over distance. British 234mm AP shells have higher penetration than 203mm guns -- enough that it matters, but not so much where it's an advantage except at very close ranges. Like with HE shells, AP penetration values are important when they cross various functional thresholds -- like being enough to citadel cruisers at very long ranges or having enough to penetrate battleship belt armour at specific distances. Cheshire (and British 234mm guns in general) are capable of both of these things. Albemarle struggles but can still manage the former and is generally unable to do the latter. Understandably, this provides Cheshire with a bit more utility out of her AP shells -- at least in theory. That theory is much harder to put into practice. Punching through battleship belt armour is only possible at suicidal ranges -- well within 7km. At such distances, you're better suited to making use of her torpedoes rather than relying on the bite of her AP shells. I suppose every little bit helps, especially given that not all cruisers are capable of doing so. At least against cruisers, her AP shells are much more reliable, with enough extra penetration to contend with the relative increase in armour thickness due to angling. Of course, this only works up to a point. Curiously, Cheshire's 234mm AP shells have slightly improved auto-ricochet angles, though only slightly -- Cheshire's AP shells automatically ricochet at an angle of 65º instead of 60º though the chance for it to happen still starts at 45º. This runs contrary to the 234mm AP shells found on Goliath and Drake -- so it's something special found only on Cheshire. So it's less likely that Cheshire's shells will slide off before getting a chance to punch in, but only slightly. For example, 203mm AP shells normally have a 50/50 chance of ricocheting at 52º or so. That doesn't happen to Cheshire until about 55º. This a far cry from the American auto-ricochet angles, which on Baltimore run from 60º to 67.5º, This keeps Cheshire's AP from being a universal shell. Still, there are some targets that even angling against Cheshire will not avail them. Her AP shells can overmatch 16mm hull sections; an important armour threshold being found on the extremities and hulls of tier VI and VII heavy cruisers and tier VIII+ very light cruisers. It's also the armour value found tier VI and VII destroyer hull forms, providing the 234mm AP shells a whole range of targets where they need not wait for perfect broadsides in order to be effective. So that's kinda nice, if a bit of a niche superpower that 203mm AP shells can't pull off themselves. I did get a chance to put it to good effect against a Dallas in a brawl during playtesting which was nice -- he couldn't angle against me while I was able to smash shells down the length of his hull even when he angled. But that was one time in all of my play-testing. Matchmaking was part to blame in this -- being continually up-tiered meant that there were fewer targets where Cheshire's overmatch could be used, but even seeing an opponent I could overmatch didn't guarantee that I would have an opportunity to do so. These three elements make Cheshire's AP shells more useful than the AP shells of Albemarle though they don't stray into the potency of American Piercing shells which can be used a lot more often. So British 234mm AP shells are "more gooder" than Albemarle's 203mm AP shells, but I'd argue they're not good enough to make up for that alpha / DPM disparity. HE Performance The big numbers to concern ourselves with here are the thresholds needed to directly damage various parts of tier VIII+ battleships. These thresholds are: 1.) Their extremities (32mm) 2.) The upper hull and amidship deck of British & French battleships (32mm) 3.) The amidships deck of American battleships (38mm), 4.) The amidships deck of German battleships 50mm 4.) The amidships deck of Japanese battleships (57mm) 5.) The amidships deck of Soviet battleships (60mm). There is one thing, and one thing only to get excited over in regards to Cheshire's HE performance and that's her improved HE penetration. Cheshire has 59mm of base HE penetration as opposed to the 39mm she would be expected to have. This crosses an important (albeit, not crucial) threshold, allowing her to directly damage the amidship decks of many battleships along with the infamous extended armoured prows of Soviet ships. This, to me, creates a target preference for Cheshire . Specifically, she's better suited to hammering any vessel with extensive deck armour which includes most high-tier battleships (with the exception of the French and British) than most 203mm armed heavy cruisers. Cheshire is capable of stacking direct damage here where other cruisers will have their damage partially mitigated by shells that stray onto these thicker armoured sections. As nice as this is for Cheshire, it's a bit of a booby prize. While it does allow her to damage a wider variety of targets, when it comes to that DPM disparity mentioned previously, this advantage only comes into play in those select circumstances. HE penetration is a binary after all -- you can either penetrate or your shells shatter. There's no advantage to having more than you need. There's no point to Cheshire's 59mm of HE penetration when she's shooting up a destroyer or light cruiser. Thus, the only way her 234mm HE shells keep up with Albemarle's 203mm guns is through farming damage off of select battleships. That's really it. I've included the FPM of heavy cruisers using IFHE for the sake of comparison when trying to encroach upon Cheshire's massive penetration values (don't do this, it's silly). Overall, Cheshire is not a bad fire starter for a heavy cruiser. She's not great, mind you,but she's not bad. Cheshire may single fire her torpedoes like other British ships which is nice. I wish she had more range. These weapons are nice and hard hitting and could have done a lot to pad her mediocre gun DPM. But are they worth it? Heck no. Look, 234mm guns aren't terrible but short of pounding high-tier battleships with HE, Cheshire's main battery firepower offers nothing worthwhile. They didn't stand up to a direct comparison to Albemarle's guns and they're no rock stars, so where does that leave these things? Well, not in a good place. This isn't a ship that kills anything quickly, and that can be a real problem if she doesn't have the longevity to farm meaningful damage. To me, this means that the ship better have some miracle or gimmicks buried in the hull itself in order to make it worthwhile. Sadly, these don't materialize in her weapon systems. While Cheshire's six-guns are definitely a hurdle to overcome, I lay a lot of the blame with this ship's performance on her range. Her 16.1km main battery reach and her 8km range on her torpedoes makes maximizing Cheshire's firepower difficult. As you'll see in later sections regarding this ship, she just doesn't stand up to return fire. More range would have provided her with at least the semblance of being able to dodge. At 17.5km or more, I think I would have felt a lot more comfortable in this ship. 10km fish wouldn't have hurt either. In short, Cheshire's firepower is just plain bad. Her main battery guns can't keep up. Her torpedoes are too short ranged to be used in any role save that of desperation and cruiser secondaries are (still) not worth it. Like London, Cheshire's fire arcs aren't particularly good but at least they're consistent. For those wondering, "good" entails being able to fire 30º off the long axis of the ship, allowing the ship to fire while still giving her the best chance to take advantage of auto-ricochet mechanics. Still, Cheshire's 10º/s gun traverse is sexy. Verdict: Awful because she only has six guns. Also her torpedoes are too short ranged, but mostly because she only has six guns. Defense Hit Points: 42,500 Minimum Bow & Deck Armour: 25mm extremities with 30mm plating and deck amidships. Maximum Citadel Protection: 152mm belt armour Torpedo Damage Reduction: 19% With Cheshire's firepower woes, I was really (REALLY) hoping for some miracles in regards to her durability. I was an early optimist until I started playing this damn thing. Lemme show you why: [ Cheshire is a certified chungus. Look at that. Big healthy heals and a pretty chunky hit point pool to boot. Awesome! There's a whole lot to love here -- namely that Repair Party isn't a universal upgrade at tier VIII and just having one is a pretty solid advantage. Having a British "portable drydock" which heals back up to 40% of the ship's health per charge is amazing. In theory, Cheshire is built to outlast most of her contemporaries, which should largely make up for any deficits in her firepower. In theory. Cheshire's 30mm deck stands out -- normally tier VIII heavy cruisers only have 27mm thick decks. This does provide some benefits against small caliber HE shells from destroyers and overmatch protection against battleship caliber AP shells smaller than 429mm. That all falls apart when you realize that her protection scheme is a joke. Her citadel is specifically designed to maximize the number of citadel hits she takes -- I wish I was kidding. It's nigh impossible to angle Cheshire successfully against battleship fire of 380mm caliber or greater. Every incoming salvo is potentially world ending. She practically prints Devastating Strike medals for enemy battleships if they catch her out in the open, which means the best protection she could hope for is a big ol' rock to hide behind. The guilty party here is Cheshire's "stepped" citadel. Not only does this section sit up significantly higher (and let's keep in mind, the rest of Cheshire's citadel already peeks over the waterline), but the upright angles ensure that battleship caliber shells that are slamming down the length of the ship will still smack against the citadel if they're aimed high. Furthermore, it creates a weak point where ships capable of overmatching her 27mm upper hull can STILL dunk shots into her citadel when she's steeply angled where as other cruisers could at least content themselves that their belt armour will keep out the worst of it. And, while Cheshire does have some hull sections that can ricochet up to 381mm AP shells, her soft bow and stern provide openings that even these will get through. This isn't a problem unique to Cheshire, it's shared by Albemarle and to a lesser degree by Goliath. But spreading the pain doesn't make this any more acceptable. Kiting and dodging in open water a fool's errand -- any shots that come in are potentially lethal. When Cheshire is top tier, on the rare occasions where she's facing 356mm armed battleships (or smaller), surprise-surprise, she becomes a little monster. But banking on that kind of Matchmaking is a fool's errand for a tier VIII cruiser. I'm no stranger to playing squishy cruisers, but I'm used to there being some trade-off for it. Maybe the ship has excellent firepower. Maybe her consumables are amazing. Maybe she has excellent agility and speed to facilitate dodging. Maybe her Repair Party could come off cooldown very quickly? I dunno, I would expect something for all of Cheshire's woes. So here's the bad news. That 'hump' of Cheshire's stepped citadel is her Achilles' heel. It's too easy to hit and it makes angling in this ship next to impossible against high penetration AP shells. Oh, those thick citadel decks will also guarantee that AP bombs wreck you thoroughly. Verdict: Her Repair Party is amazing. Too bad she can't survive long enough to take advantage of it. Agility Top Speed: 34kts Turning Radius: 720m Rudder Shift Time: 10.5s 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 5.8º/s On the whole, I have to give Cheshire decent marks here. Her top speed is respectable for a cruiser. Her turning radius isn't horrible. Her rate of turn is acceptable. The only real glaring flaw is her rudder shift time and even that's not irredeemable. Don't get me wrong, she could certainly be better -- but she's not terrible. The only thing that I wish she had was better acceleration, especially given her love of island-humping. That can be partially corrected by taking Propulsion Modification 1 but that would preclude her from fixing her rudder shift time with Steering Gears Modification 1. I certainly value the former over the latter given the current meta. Given Cheshire's firepower and durability problems, "respectable" agility just doesn't cut it. In of itself, Cheshire's agility would be fine for a heavy cruiser -- even good, but with everything else stacked against this ship, it's just not enough. I would kill for her to have British light cruiser improved engine power -- to make taking shelter behind islands easier or to facilitate dodging. I would love it if she was even two knots faster, to make running down destroyers or dodging in open water feel a bit more viable, but it's just not there. Man, I've gotten to re-use this graphic three times now. All the time saved makes me very happy. VERDICT: She's not terrible, but she doesn't stand out here in a good or bad way. Anti-Aircraft Defense Flak Bursts: 7 explosions for 1,470 damage per blast Long Ranged (up to 5.8km): 168dps at 90% accuracy Medium Ranged (up to 2.5km): 228dps at 90% accuracy Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 249dps at 85% accuracy Cheshire has some truly monstrous levels of AA firepower -- it's enough to grant her near immunity to tier VI carriers. This, of course, translates to merely inconveniencing tier VIII and X aircraft carriers. Cheshire will shoot down a lot of planes. Given that she's not starved for commander skill points, you could even go so far as to spend a few towards boosting her AA performance further if you were so inclined. This ship has to be good at something, after all. With apologies (still) to the colour-blind. Cheshire has arguably the best AA firepower of any tier VIII vessel. Unless it was show-stopping levels of air-defense, you couldn't sell me a premium based on its AA firpower, though. Verdict: Really good. Like, "make tier VI carriers cry" levels of good. Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 12.1km/9.51km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 7.51km/6.08km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 7.5km Main Battery Firing Range: 16.1km Cheshire has good surface detection values. They're not great, but they're good. Any cruiser capable of dropping their concealment below the 10km range is really nice and I can't complain here at all about Cheshire's concealment values. Had this been paired with benefits anywhere else, such as agility, durability, firepower, good consumables, etc, I would probably be singing this ship's praises, but here we are. Cheshire doesn't interact well with smoke -- her 7.5km detection range when opening fire is scarcely better than her improved surface detection so she can't dare follow destroyers in to take advantage of their advanced smoke screens. Again, this further relegates this ship to humping islands and hoping against hope that she's an unappealing target. Verdict: Good, but not enough to save the ship. Final Evaluation I'm not going to mince words here. I hate this ship. I hate playing it. I'm glad this review is over. I'm not touching it again until Wargaming does something to improve her lot. Cheshire offers nothing, nothing of value. Her 234mm guns with their improved HE penetration could have been a very interesting armament but their performance stops well short of that mark. This ship needs more range, more agility and/or a faster reload before I would consider her to be a worthwhile investment. Even in co-op battles, while it's certainly possible to do well, you're not really gaining anything over taking out Albemarle instead. Yes, you might be able to get a few more HE penetrations on high-tier battleships, but you could get the same if you just stuck to peppering superstructures or the bows with 203mm guns. While overmatching the snoots of charging tier VI and VII bot-cruisers with AP shells is entertaining, it's not worth the price paid to acquire this ship. I'm sorry I didn't get this review out sooner. Keep well clear of this failure. Conclusion Reviewing Cheshire has been really taxing. My enjoyment of World of Warships was severely compromised with having to keep coming back to this damn thing. It's bad enough to play a bad ship, but it makes every little frustration just that much more poignant. Anyway, it's over, finally. I'm going to go do something else for a bit to recharge my batteries.
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