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o The following is a review of Fen Yang, the tier VIII premium Pan Asian destroyer. 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 0.10.0. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. Quick Summary: An Akizuki-class destroyer with improved AP shells instead of improved HE shells commonly found on the Akizuki-class. She has weird, battleship & carrier-only deep-water torpedoes. Finally, she comes with a Defensive AA Fire consumable. PROS Large, 19,700 hit point pool. Improved auto-ricochet angles on her AP shells. Good fire setting ability. Comfortable gun fire arcs and nice gun handling. Good anti-aircraft firepower defence for a destroyer. Her Smoke Generator has two additional charges. Access to the Defensive AA Fire consumable. Suck it, duckies! CONS Shockingly slow 5.2 second main battery reload. Only has 17mm of HE penetration, making her unable to directly damage tier VIII+ destroyer hulls and battleship superstructures. Her guns are VERY skill hungry. Single torpedo launcher (with crappy fire angles) that can only damage carriers and battleships. Slow and clumsy. Large surface detection range. Horrible premium for training Pan Asian captains. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / CHALLENGING / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme Fen Yang presents too many challenges to make her a comfortable ride for novice players. Her ammunition is temperamental. Her concealment sucks. She's slow. She has only a single torpedo launcher. She's very reliant on a 'proper' skill build to pad her strengths and mitigate weaknesses. Her saving grace is that she has a nice consumable suite to help correct some of these deficiencies, but even they require some knowledge to make them effective. New players beware. Fen Yang's gameplay largely revolves around being an angry smoke cloud and spitting hot death at anything that comes within range. Expert players will be rewarded with smart ammunition choices, making bold plays to get torpedo angles on targets and knowing which destroyers they can out gun. Options Consumables Fen Yang comes stocked with a glut of consumables. Her Damage Control Party is standard for a destroyer with unlimited charges, a 5 second active period and a 40 second cooldown. Fen Yang uses a standard Pan Asian Smoke Generator, identical to the ones found on Siliwangi and Hsienyang also at tier VIII. It comes with a 30 second emission time, 100 second reset timer and each cloud of smoke lasting 70 seconds. She has five charges to start. Her Engine Boost consumable is also standard for a destroyer, providing an 8% boost to engine speed for 120 seconds with a 120 second reset timer. It starts with three charges. Next up we have her Torpedo Reload Booster. When activated, it reloads her torpedoes in 5 seconds. It has a 160 second reset timer and starts with three charges. Finally, she has access to the Defensive AA Fire consumable. When activated, it provides an X increase to sustained DPS and Y increase to flak explosion damage for 40 seconds. It has four charges to start and an 80 second reset timer. Upgrades As far as upgrades go, there's not a whole lot of choice to worry about here. Main Armaments Modification 1 is optimal in your first slot. If you want to stem the tide of Fun and Engaging™ mechanics, then take Magazine Modification 1 instead if you don't want to dip into your supply of Juliet Charlie signals to mitigate detonations. The special upgrade Engine Boost Modification 1 is the best choice in slot two if you can afford it. It will set you back 17,000 from the Armory. If you cannot, default to Engine Room Protection. Aiming System Modification 1 is the only upgrade worth considering in slot three, and that's not saying much. Fen Yang loves camping smoke, so Propulsion Modification 1 is the best choice here for the extra pep in her engines when moving from a dead-stop. You can take Steering Gears Modification 1 instead if you prefer a more open-water play-style but it's the lesser choice. Finally, and perhaps to no one's surprise, Concealment System Modification 1 is still the best (and overpowered) option in her fifth slot. Don't even look at the other options. Skills You have to decide how often you're going to reach for Fen Yang's AP rounds before you settle on a commander's skill build. The primary difference will be if you decide to invest in Inertial Fuse for HE Shells or not. Generally speaking, IFHE will yield better numbers overall and it makes the ship much easier to play. But for the connoisseur, being all snooty and tossing mostly AP will necessitate a different build. Your core build for destroyers has changed with Priority Target no longer being a 1pt skill. Most of the tier I skills are pretty situational, but you can default to a "safe" (but not quite optimized) 10 points that look like this: Start with Preventative Maintenance. Take Last Stand. Next comes Survivability Expert. Finish it off with Concealment Expert. From here you have 11 points to spend. The default, no-brainer build is: Inertial Fuse for HE Shells Main Battery & AA Specialist Extra-Heavy AP Shells This gives a comfortable mix of improved HE penetration, better AP shells, and improved main battery DPM, allowing her to engage all targets she comes across with her guns. This leaves three skill points to be spent how you wish. Superintendent is the obvious choice, giving her an extra charge of all of her consumables. Adrenaline Rush is useful for propping up her low DPM. However, I found myself instead reaching for Priority Target (I love this skill too much) and Consumables Specialist. Alternatively, you could drop Inertial Fuse for HE Shells and take Pyrotechnician. This would give you four points to spend which could be put towards extra range (Main Battery & AA Expert) or increased rate of fire while spotted (Fearless Brawler). It is early yet in the 0.10 patch cycle, though. I am sure my preferences on skills will evolve as we all get more comfortable with the new skill system. This was the build I settled upon as being most comfortable (and ultimately brainless) for playing Fen Yang. This is a very specific build for this ship providing little overlap with other Pan Asian DDs, greatly limiting this ship's effectiveness as a tech-tree commander trainer. Camouflage Fen Yang has two camouflage option. The first is the standard Type 10 Camouflage. There is also the Lunar New Year - Fen Yang camouflage as a cosmetic option (which I like because it glows). Both versions provide the identical 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. It may not be realistic or historical but her Lunar New Year camo sure is pretty. Firepower Main Battery: Eight 100mm/65 guns in 4x2 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Torpedoes: Four tubes in a 1x4 launcher mounted on the centre-line. All four of Fen Yang's A & B gun turrets can fire 31º off her stern and her X & Y turrets can fire 30º off her bow. This is pretty good. You could be forgiven for imagining this ship providing you with hawt, ducky-action. Sadly, Fen Yang does not duplicate Akizuki's cork-screwing gunnery ability. Fen Yang may be an Akizuki-class destroyer but she does not replicate Akizuki's gunnery. I will say this again so it's crystal clear: FEN YANG DOES NOT HAVE AKIZUKI'S GUNNERY She has a 5.2 second reload, NOT 3 seconds like Akizuki She has 17mm of HE penetration, NOT 30mm like Akizuki In fact, other than gun handling, Fen Yang's main battery performance is a complete departure from Miss Ducky. DPM numbers can be terribly misleading as they don't account for things like accuracy, penetration and ricochet mechanics. Always take such numbers in context and with all of the facts possible. High Explosive Let Down Down the rabbit-hole we go. Starting us off, Fen Yang's HE shells are a far-cry from those of Akizuki. This is, in part, to compensate for her sloppy reload time, giving her a bigger punch and better fire starting on a per-shell basis. While these individual hits are bigger (and fierier -- I can't believe that's an actual word) she does not hold a candle to Akizuki's damage-per-minute or fire setting ability once you factor in the differences in their reload. Fen Yang's HE damage output is comparable to (in more than one way) to HMS Lightning, the tier VIII British destroyer. Her fire setting is better, but we'll get to that. Overall, her raw numbers aren't terrible but for a ship-class that's known to be a potent gunship this represents an enormous performance gap. Of course, with Fen Yang, her HE deficit goes beyond just raw DPM numbers. While her slow reload isn't enough to damn her HE performance, the lack of penetration on her HE shells certainly does. At 17mm, Fen Yang cannot directly damage the hulls of other tier VIII+ destroyers nor the superstructures of tier VIII+ battleships. The shells will simply shatter. While taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells helps, bumping her penetration up to 21mm this comes at the further expense of the only thing really good about her HE rounds which is that respectable fire setting. So just to make her useful with her HE rounds against all targets, she has to kill the one thing she has going for her. To make this worse, Fen Yang's boosted 21mm of penetration is a far cry from Akizuki's 30mm of base value, to say nothing of the 37mm she accomplishes with IFHE. In short, while Akizuki's HE shells are ubiquitous, capable of comfortably damaging just about any opponent she comes across, Fen Yang's HE shells barely pass muster. Unmodified, use them to engage lower-tiered destroyers and light cruisers. You can also have them set fires on battleships, just be aware that they will not be doing much direct damage. Fen Yang's HE shells are incredibly situational and only get promoted to "meh" with a lot of skill points spent. For those who only speak Angry YouTuber: "They're useless." Note that there are two versions of Le Fantasque and Le Terrible. Those marked with an asterix (*) are using their Main Battery Reload Booster for 15 seconds of 60 seconds. Fen Yang has some very respectable fire setting potential, especially when fully gussied up for the role. Of course, this precludes her from stacking direct damage with her shells, so the trade off isn't a good one. Taking IFHE drops her fire setting to about 6.5 fires per minute, assuming you take all of the other buffs described here. Maybe AP Can Save Her! Fen Yang is designed instead to be an AP spammer. Dust off your shiny, new Extra-Heavy AP Shell skill, because here we go. With all of the problems plaguing her HE shells, Fen Yang's AP shells are a breath of fresh air. Like her HE rounds, they have improved damage performance over those found on Akizuki's. Again, the deficit in reload times means that even with this improved damage-per-hit, she cannot rival the overall damage output of the Japanese ducky-bote, assuming every shot hit and did damage. However, this gap narrows considerably with Fen Yang's improved auto-ricochet angles. Akizuki's AP shells have a chance to begin ricocheting at 45º and automatically fail this check at 60º or more. Fen Yang has the same angles found on "American Piercing" AP rounds found on their heavy cruisers, with ricochet checks not beginning until 60º with the automatic failure occurring at 67.5º. Her AP shells are thus less likely to slide off her target if they hit at a sharp angle which can (but doesn't necessarily guarantee) better performance in fighting scenarios. The extra damage and improved auto-ricochet angles are nice, but they do not make Fen Yang's AP rounds a universal shell. They still require a minimum of 17mm worth of steel to arm their fuses or they will over-penetrate and deal minimal damage. This precludes them from being effective against the broadside of lower-tiered light cruisers and destroyer hulls, along with the superstructures of lower-tiered battleships. Such targets need to be angled at a minimum of 20º for the relative thickness of the steel to be great enough for Fen Yang's AP fuses to arm. Against such opponents, she must reach for her HE shells. Finally, there's her raw penetration to consider. As high-velocity as Fen Yang's 100mm rounds are, their Krupp value is poor leading to lower penetration values. This means it's just one more think to keep track of when engaging targets; knowing which ones are vulnerable to AP and which are vulnerable to HE. Finally, as good as her auto-ricochet angles are, a target coming in too steeply will automatically bounce everything you throw at her. Without HE to fall back upon, Fen Yang simply cannot damage those targets. This is made worse by the specific ineffectiveness of her torpedoes which we'll get into. So while Fen Yang's AP shells are more use than on your typical destroyer, they are not without the usual problems facing lolibote pea-shooters. Fen Yang's torpedo arcs are pretty bad, only able to hit targets 55º off her bow or 63º off her stern, necessitating her giving her full broadside to launch. Feels and Fish Ignoring all other comparisons, Fen Yang's gunnery is barely adequate right out of the box. The inability of a main battery gun at tier VIII being unable to penetrate 19mm worth of steel without IFHE is inexcusable. The improvements made to her shells, both AP and HE do not make up for this deficit and she's an uncomfortable gunnery platform as a result. Wargaming is clearly trying to minimize the number (or effectiveness) of angry smoke clouds dispensing hailstorms of bullets. Honestly, I would have preferred losing access to a Smoke Generator in order to keep that vaunted 3 second reload of the Akizuki-class. Oh well. You can (and probably should) spend a lot of commander skill points to improve their performance. Extra-Heavy AP Shells is one such investment. Inertial Fuse for HE Shells, Main Battery & AA Specialist, and Adrenaline Rush are all but must haves. And let's not forget Main Battery & AA Expert, Pyrotechnician and even Fearless Brawler being capable investments too. It's far too easy to break the bank on skill combinations here and I profess having not found one with which I was 100% comfortable. Can Fen Yang's guns work? Sure. Is she a powerful gunship? Meh. She's far from optimized and she doesn't fill a niche that was lacking in any regard. What you have here is a worse ducky-bote. This leaves a lot of heavy lifting to be performed by her torpedo launchers. As you can guess, with but a single launcher, this is a pretty tall order, but Wargaming went on to decide this wasn't good enough and Fen Yang had to experience torpedo hard-mode. Her fish are the deepwater type but what's more, they're incapable of hitting not only destroyers but cruisers too. I say again: FEN YANG'S TORPEDOES CAN ONLY HIT BATTLESHIPS & CARRIERS. Hooray! (Please note the sarcasm). It almost makes you wish she didn't have them at all so her guns could be a little better. So not only does Fen Yang have selective targeting on her HE rounds, her torpedoes do too! If you get charged by a cruiser or other destroyer, fighting your way out is really, REALLY challenging. Summary Fen Yang's weapons are best described as "not good". Her guns demand a huge investment in skill points to bring them up to speed, making her a very poor commander trainer for your other Pan Asian destroyer captains. With the right upgrades & skills, she's a gunship worth respecting but she can never be the fearsome "do not touch!" threat a full-health Akizuki presents. Fen Yang's weapon systems are just too fussy to ever be endearing. Even Asashio's limited arsenal is more compelling -- at least she does one thing stupidly well. Fen Yang's weapons are very middle-of-the-road, at least once you get around to souping them up. But right out of the box? Hard pass. Blech. VERDICT: Her guns aren't good until you invest pretty deeply with commander skills. Her torps are never good unless a battleship is being an absolute moron. Durability Hit Points: 19,700 Minimum Bow & Deck Armour: 19mm It's not terrible! There's not a lot to go over here. Fen Yang has a nice chunk of hit points for a tier VIII destroyer. That's good. It's not excellent, though. She doesn't have improved armour beyond the 19mm base structural plate. Furthermore, she lacks a Repair Party consumable to recover health which becomes increasingly commonplace among destroyers at higher tiers. Thus, while she is setup to trade health at an advantage against many opponents, her durability isn't idiot-proof. Spending her hit points recklessly will greatly compromise her effectiveness. It's worth keeping her main battery DPM deficit in mind when going toe to toe with other gunships. Watch their health. Watch your health. If you start shattering HE rounds or ricocheting AP shells, even with a head start on HP, you can still lose. VERDICT: Pretty good. Heals would be nice, but I can't say bad things about her here. Agility Top Speed: 33 knots Turning Radius: 730m Rudder Shift Time: 4.5s 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 5.9º/s Fen Yang sucks absolute monkey butts here. She is not only slow for a destroyer, she handles more like a chubby cruiser. That's pretty damning. If you split hairs, she has better energy preservation and thus a better rate of turn than Akizuki, but you'd never know it from day to day play. Treating Fen Yang like a destroyer will get you killed. Propulsion Modification 1 is a must-have if you intend to stay in smoke for any duration, with the acceleration needed to help avoid inevitable washes of torpedoes sent to scrub you out of cover. Her Engine Boost consumable is best used for emergencies -- for dodging fish or trying to control engagement distances when an enemy you can't fight gets too close. She's too fat of a destroyer (and a gunship besides) for Swift in Silence to be a reasonable investment, which is a shame given that she could really use the extra speed. Fen Yang is not a comfortable ride, agility wise. I'm being lazy, but I'm saving myself a couple of hours worth of work here by not redoing this graphic from my Z-35 review. Look all the way to the bottom. Fen Yang turns just slightly better than Akizuki but otherwise keeps her turning radius. Look at the difference between Benson and Loyang. It's like that -- just a nubbin on the end of Akizuki's pale green sadness. VERDICT: Horribad. Anti-Aircraft Defence Flak Bursts: 4+1 explosions for 1,400 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.8km. Long Ranged (up to 5.8km): 112dps at 100% accuracy (112dps) Medium Ranged (up to 3.5km): 133dps at 100% accuracy (133dps) Defensive AA Fire: Very yes! Dauntless dive bombers from a stock-Lexington get a little too close to Fen Yang's angry smoke cloud. Fen Yang has good AA defence for a tier VIII destroyers. It's not just good, it's great even, besting a good number of cruisers out there. When you weight her sustained AA DPS by range, she's at the top of the pile among tier VIII destroyers. What's more, she also has a respectable amount of flak explosions (five of 'em) and finally she has Defensive AA Fire -- something that's been long overdue on an Akizuki-class destroyer given their design role. So why am I not more happy about this? Fen Yang's AA defence is comparable to that of USS Kidd; just slightly better. As has been painfully demonstrated in videos and memes since, even Kidd's solid AA defence does not keep her safe. Fen Yang may be able to fend off bot-driven carriers in Co-Op mode (and this is a great way to farm AA kills for missions, by the way), it's a different story against players. Yes, tier VI aircraft carriers will have a hard time making repeated runs against Fen Yang. Yes, she can make it expensive for tier VIII carriers as well. But let's not kid ourselves: This will not keep her safe from a determined opponent. They can (and will) still drop on you. If they can line up an attack on you, you're taking damage. The only defence is to Just Dodge™ or blow smoke and hide. Blasting at planes from smoke will net some nice damage so the carrier's planes are not likely to stick around. With the extra charges she has on her Smoke Generator this is one of the better uses for it. I miss the AA picket-ship role, I really do. I was hoping that the skill rework might give this a big shot in the arm but it just didn't materialize. Fen Yang's AA is almost good enough. Almost. VERDICT: She could have been made interesting here. Vision Control Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 7.76km / 6.1km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 3.55km / 2.88km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 14.2km Maximum Firing Range: 12.46km to 14.95km To no one's surprise (I'm sure), Fen Yang's surface detection range is pretty crappy. She matches Akizuki here, so it's not like this is beyond the norm. She is tied for 18th place out 23 tier VIII destroyers in terms of concealment which is pretty bad. Her 6.1km minimum surface detection range sits almost in the middle of the 5.37km found on the five Japanese torpedo-destroyers and the appalling 7.07km of Kiev, though this Soviet ship is an extreme outlier with the French destroyers coming in at 6.43km and 6.65km, showing that Fen Yang is a significant chungus. This deficit of concealment is further magnified if the Fearless Brawler skill is taken to try and pad her poor reload rate on her guns, giving her an (at best) 6.4km surface detection range. Fen Yang's lack of heals and her general lack of agility makes taking the skill Fearless Brawler a significant risk. It's an expensive skill and Fen Yang is not best suited to firing out in the open. You can make it work, but this is down more to the idiocy and complacency of your opponents than the brilliance of Fen Yang's own design. This is not a ship that dodges very well, given her pedestrian speed and clumsy handling. Trading health with a larger ship while spotted just doesn't make a whole lot of sense, especially not when her guns have reasonable ballistics to make use of islands (at least at range) and her plentiful Smoke Generator charges should preclude her from the necessity of being spotted in the first place. Pan Asian smoke may not last as long as the smoke from other nations, but she gets more charges to compensate -- up to six with Superintendent. There's an argument to be made that she'll be out-spotted anyway by just about any destroyer she faces, to say nothing about the predations of aircraft braving her AA power. There is a maximum of a 30 second gap between the last cloud generated by her Smoke Generator dissipating and the consumable being ready again which may prompt an open water fight. Fen Yang is going to be lit by Surveillance Radar, to say nothing about the occasional close-range knife fight by an enterprising destroyer or charging cruiser. Ultimately, Fen Yang punishes, rather than rewards getting in close. Her torpedoes are ineffective against ships that are likely to charge her hiding places. Her guns, while not incapable of fending off snoops, aren't the powerhouses her ship's class would suggest. Regardless if she's going to be out-spotted or not, keep back. This ship does not take well to being up front. VERDICT: Poor and inflexible, saved only by her smoke. Firing AP shells from smoke. Fen Yang's bread and butter. Watch those blind return-fire shots. Final Evaluation For those wondering, here is the list of all of the differences between Fen Yang and Akizuki: This was my early draft of the review from back in early January. Slap on a title, add a few snarky lines and call it done. I'm not sure that the full review is an improvement. You'll note that there are some differences between Fen Yang's final performance stats and those listed here, including changes to her range and ballistics. Such is often the case when composing these reviews, with last-minute changes between the final test version and the released version of the ship being commonplace. Thus, the final main battery gun range difference between the two ships is a whopping 3m in Akizuki's favour. There are some over-specialized premium ships that are defined by what they can do. Take everyone's favourite destroyer that single-handedly wiped out the battleship meta (HA!): Asashio. Despite all of the limitations placed upon this ship, she's known for being an excellent battleship-killer. She's known not for her weaknesses, but for that one insurmountable strength. The same goes for other specialist destroyers like Haida, Friesland or Kamikaze. You don't dwell on the slow speed of Black's torpedoes, for example. You focus on the (Balans'd™) combination of her Smoke Generator and Surveillance Radar consumables. The doesn't happen with Fen Yang. The closest she comes to that kind of comparison is with her AA-firepower. And it speaks to the horrible surface ship versus aircraft carrier meta that this isn't something worth celebrating. This was something worth celebrating in the past; take HMS Hood as an example, where her AA ridiculousness was meme-worthy. But we have not yet seen a premium of this type since the CV rework in 0.8.0. I do not like Fen Yang. I won't say she's terrible. She certainly can perform, but she'll make you work for it. She is to Akizuki what Belfast '43 is to Belfast. She leaves you asking the question: She might have been rescued with better AA firepower. She could have been saved by preserving Akizuki's rate of fire, even if this had come at the expense of smoke or torpedo performance. However, I think her cardinal sin is that Fen Yang doesn't work even as a commander trainer. The role of premium ships has changed with patch 0.10.0. Commanders can now have four builds at the same time, one for each ship type. Thus, you could conceivably buy a premium cruiser and use it to train a battleship commander as the skills you select for optimum (or fun) performance on the premium ship would not limit the performance of the battleship. But Fen Yang is a premium destroyer and, barring the tier I Chengan, there aren't any other Pan Asian tech tree ships that aren't destroyers. With Fen Yang demanding such a specific set of skills to unlock even an acceptable baseline level of performance which have little overlap with other Pan Asian lolibotes, she is worthless as a commander skill trainer. She misses the mark in so many ways, but this really bugged me. There's a lot of fail here. Fen Yang misses the mark. I cannot recommend her to anyone. If you want a good Pan Asian destroyer, Loyang is still top of the pile all of these years later. Gallery This are a few of the screenshots of Fen Yang I took making this review either that didn't end up in the review itself or that had words written all over them. For use as thumbnails on YouTube or what have you.
WG rolls out the Fen Yang. It's more or less an Akizuki clone having similar ship-handling and AA. It is distinguished from the 'Zukis by carrying deep-water torps, only good against BB and CV, and hydro plus defensive AA. I'd say this is balanced. It has the same 100mm cannon as well. But not the same, really. Akizuki pens 30mm of armor (with 5% chance of fire.) Fen Yang pens 17mm (with 8% chance of fire.) Asashio has 19mm of fore, aft, and side plating. Charging or running from Fen Yang in Asashio is pretty safe, IMHO, unless the chaser can always hit the superstructure. Sure you can spec for IFHE (and probably should) to get 21mm of pen (with 4% chance of fire). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ WG, could a mistake have been inadvertently made here? 1. The IJN 100's have a buffed pen to make them competitive. Was it a mistake to not give this to Fen Yang? OR 2. Fen Yang has guns that fit the penetration mechanic. Was it a mistake to buff all the other IJN 100's? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I will happily remain a Fen Yang-less DD main until one or the other mistake is resolved.