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Found 49 results

  1. The following is a review of Brandenburg, the tier VIII premium German battleship, was sponsored by my patrons on Patreon who helped me afford this ship. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.11.4. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. The purpose of this review is to support the players, not the company behind the product. Isn't Brandenburg just a better Odin? That was my initial thought when I heard Brandenburg's announcement. I appreciated that they were different animals, with Brandenburg being derived from concept work leading to the Bismarck-class. However, it's hard not to see parallels between the two. I was worried that Brandenburg would make her obsolete. Then I remembered that Odin was already obsolete upon release and stopped feeling bad. WELCOME TO MY REVIEW OF BRANDENBURG! ♫ I started this review on March 20th, 2022. I had a lot of tier VIII battleships in my backlog, so I was using Atlântico's upcoming (at the time) release this as an excuse to try and clear out some of these neglected vessels. My usual turn around time for a review is about two weeks so long as I do absolutely nothing else during that time period. Updating my tier VIII battleship database would speed up the review process for subsequent ships by a few days. With this in mind, I was certain I could get a couple out before unlocking Atlântico. Brandenburg was the first one up and I planned to queue up Borodino and Constellation afterwards. It was going to be a hellish six weeks, sure, but knocking out four reviews in that time would be so worth it, at least so long as nothing went wrong. And oh boy did things go wrong. I got immediately sidetracked by projects like: ... pointing out all of the bad copy in Wargaming's premium shop and Armory. ... working on that AA catalogue I started back in January. ... putting time in to work on some related art projects with @Chobittsu. ... continuing to play with submarine damage models and depth charge mechanics. ... surviving COVID. So ... yeah, it's been a trip. I'm terrible at planning. I set myself some outrageous goals that don't allow for any leeway should things go wrong. I then proceed to beat myself up for not being able to fold space and time itself to meet said deadlines. Before we get started... You're going to notice a slight change with some of the graphs in this review. I experimented with trying to cut down the bloat that's ever increasing in World of Warships. There are thirty-one tier VIII battleships in World of Warships presently with more on the way. Rather give everyone eye-strain trying to compare them all in individual graphics, I cut things down to the tech tree battleships plus the other German premiums. This reduces the count down from thirty-one to twelve which is a lot more manageable. Now I'm not entirely happy with this and I recognize the flaws. For one, it shapes impressions. A given premium might stack really well against the tech tree ships but still be a poor offering compared to its peers. For another, these graphics have proven to me to be a quite helpful snapshot about the meta at a given point in time. Missing data points will make that harder to track in the future. Finally, it feels like I'm wussing out. I'm sure I could make thirty-one data points fit, gosh darn it, if I just tried a little harder! Oh well, what's done is done. Just thought you all should know. Please leave me some feedback on your thoughts and ideas. PROS Dispersed, heavy armour scheme and full icebreaker bow. Thick turtleback citadel. Good gun handling. Surprising accuracy for a twelve-gun armament with 1.8 sigma. Powerful secondary battery with improved accuracy, good fire arcs, long range and 1/4 HE penetration. Good top speed of 32.5 knots and fast rate of turn. She has torpedoes! CONS Small hit point pool for a tier VIII battleship which also compromises healing. Poor anti-torpedo protection. Short ranged at 18.5km. APPALLING FIRE ANGLES. [edited] ME, THEY'RE BAD. Small calibre AP shells lack overmatch potential and penetration. Unlike most other high-tier German battleships, she lacks Hydroacoustic Search. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / CHALLENGING / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme What happens when you take a brawling battleship, give it bad guns and chain it to a small hit point pool? You get a YOLO disaster waiting to happen again and again and again. Brandenburg is a bad battleship for inexperienced players. Her guns seem trollishly designed to punish new players. Her bad AP performance and her bad fire angles force inexperienced players to flash their broadsides and get themselves killed. Without a big hit point pool, they die in a hurry. The only bit of saving grace here is that at least she comes with a German battleship protection scheme, but even that seems flawed. This thing is fast too, so it's easy to over-extend and get sent back to port for being the easiest thing to shoot at. Experienced players can do a bit of flexing with Brandenburg, showing off their in-game knowledge on where it's best to change up ammo, how to optimize her with commander skills and when and how to brawl. I'm not saying she's going to be a successful ship because of this -- Brandenburg, like a lot of 2021 ship releases, punishes players for trying to play her as designed. It's just that an expert player can get a bit more out of her. Options Nothing too surprising here, other than what's missing. Brandenburg doesn't have access to Hydroacoustic Search. Otherwise, you'll have to choose whether or not to specialize in brawling, but that's an easy choice to make. If you want to win, you'll avoid brawling. If you want to be cool, brawling is the only acceptable answer. Now, you're not some kind of sensible LOSER, are you!? Options Brandenburg's Damage Control Party is perfectly normal for most battleships. It comes with unlimited charges and an 80 second reset timer. It's active for 15 seconds. In slot two, you get a standard Repair Party for a battleship. It heals back up to 14% of the ship's health over 28 seconds, queuing 10% of citadel damage, 50% of penetration damage and 100% of everything else. It has an 80s reset timer and starts with four charges. In Brandenburg's third slot, it's choice time with either a Spotter Aircraft and a Catapult Fighter. The Spotter Aircraft comes with four charges, increases her main battery range by 20% for 100s and has a 240s reset timer. Her Catapult Fighter launches 3 aircraft which stay on station, orbiting the ship at a range of 3km for 60s. It comes with three charges and has a 90s reset timer. Upgrades Let's go down the list! Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. Damage Control System Modification 1 goes into slot two. It's choice time. If you're cool, you'll take Secondary Battery Modification 1. If you're smart, you'll take Aiming Systems Modification 1 instead. You're not one of those smart people are you? Let's hope not. Damage Control System Modification 2 is the better choice at slot four. You can take Steering Gears Modification 1 if you prefer, just be aware that fires are going to hurt all the more. And because I know you're super cool, you're going to compromise your fire setting in the commander skills section in order to build for secondaries, right?2 Finally, grab Concealment System Modification 1 because Wargaming still hasn't gotten around to giving us a competitive alternative in slot five, making it a non-decision for most ships. It's just a dumb 2M credit tax at this point. Commander Skills There are obviously two commander skill builds I'll champion. The first is the basic survivability build. Memes aside, this is hands down the optimal build for Brandenburg as it emphasizes fire resistance. But that's boring. A brawling build for Brandenburg plays up to the novelties (and stereotypes) of the German battleship line. As a less than optimal build, there's a lot more leeway on what you pick and choose for your backup skills -- the idea being that you're already compromising on optimization, so you may as well just try out some fun and weird combinations. Still, the general idea is to emphasize your secondary strengths. Beyond the obvious Manual Secondary Battery Aiming and Long Range Secondary Battery Shells you want to look at grabbing either Demolition Expert or Inertial Fuse for HE Shells (or both). The latter-most skill is contentious given that it compromises the fire setting of your entire armament. It's really only worthwhile if you intend to throw Brandenburg into brawls on the regular with high-tier battleships (though it does help with high tier cruisers too, especially with amidship hits). So you may want to hold off on IFHE. Boooooring. Tasty! Camouflage Brandenburg was sold with two camouflage options, Type 10 and German Eagle. They provide identical bonuses of: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -10% to post-battle service costs. +50% to experience gains. This is the only screenshot I took of Brandenburg's German Eagle camouflage and it's terrible (the screenshot, not the camouflage). The camo was only available in a bundle when the ship was initially sold and I have not seen it made available since. I didn't pick it up at the time and it seems I've missed out. Brandenburg's base Type 10 camouflage is a striking black, white and grey. It's quite handsome. I am not a fan of the alternative palette for her Type 10 camouflage. You can unlock this via completing portions of the German Navy Collection under your Profile tab. Firepower Main Battery: Twelve 305mm/56 guns in in 4x3 turrets with an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration Secondary Battery: Twelve 150mm/55 guns in 6x2 turrets and twenty 105mm/65 guns in 10x2 turrets. The large calibre guns are set on the main deck with the 105mm guns superfiring on one deck higher. The secondaries are divided evenly down each side. Torpedoes: Eight tubes in 2x4 launchers mounted behind the funnel on either side of the ship. Brandenburg has crappy guns, but she gets a lot of them and they're reasonably accurate. Gun Calibre, Penetration & Reload Time Brandenburg has small calibre guns for a high-tier battleship. Her 305mm weapons are the same as those found on Odin. For 305mm guns, her shells have good ballistics and penetration, but that's only for a 305mm gun. You're not contesting battleship belt armour at battleship engagement distances with her AP rounds, for example. You're also missing out on overmatching anything greater than 19mm with her AP rounds. Her individual hits aren't particularly powerful and her HE shells suffer from the usual German affliction of dealing less damage per hit than similar shells of their calibre. It's the quantity of shot that's supposed to make up for all of this, but even here, Wargaming pulled their punches. This is a recycled graphic pulled from my Odin review. Odin and Brandenburg have identical AP penetration performance. These numbers are approximate and pulled from wowsft.com. Brandenburg's AP penetration isn't great. She largely loses the ability to contest battleship belt armour outside of 12km if there's even a bit of angling going on. You want to throw AP shells as much as possible with Brandenburg, even against soft targets. Unlike other nations, her anemic HE shell damage is so much lower than her AP shells that they're only competitive when her HE is guaranteed to deal full penetrating damage. If a target has been partially saturated, her overpenetrating AP rounds will put out more hurt. This limits the optimal use of HE rounds to the following situations: (1) Against targets you cannot hurt at all with AP. (2) You're trying to start fires. Even against submarines at periscope depth, Brandenburg's AP will deal more damage. The only catch here is that Brandenburg's AP shells just don't have the bite needed to work against heavy armour. So you're forced to HE and suck up the damage disparity. Allow me to elaborate. For the longest time, I have held that 30 seconds is the standard reload time of battleship guns. This isn't necessarily true, but it's been an unspoken standard for a number years. So much so, that you could safely predict that any new battleship being added to the game would have it. Wargaming has begun to deviate from this standard. This largely began with the Soviet battleship line. Where once the odd ship with a weird reload added a little variety to a tech tree line, we're seeing slow or faster reloads defining and entire swathe of releases. Still, I find myself trained to look for a 30 second reload on any new battleship Wargaming adds. When the number is greater or lesser, it shapes my perception of its intended performance. For ships to match the 30 second reload output with a smaller armament (be it number of guns or smaller in calibre), I expect to see a faster reload. If an armament is especially large or hard hitting, then I expect to see a slower. So let's look at where Brandenburg's armament and reload sits: 22.5 seconds - Zieten with 3x2 406mm 23.0 seconds - Odin with 3x3 305mm 25.0 seconds - Famous & Historical Monarch with 3x3 381mm, Vanguard with 4x2 381mm 26.0 seconds - Bismarck & Tirpitz with 4x2 380mm 26.5 seconds - Brandenburg with 4x3 305mm 28.0 seconds - Gascogne with 2x4 380mm 28.6 seconds - Chamapgne with 2x3 406mm 30.0 seconds - Amagi & Kii with 5x2 410mm, North Carolina, Alabama & Massachusetts with 3x3 406mm, Constellation with 4x2 406mm, Richelieu with 2x4 380mm, Roma & AL Littorio with 3x3 381mm and Atlântico with 5x2 381mm 31.0 seconds - Borodino with 2x3 406mm 33.0 seconds - Ignis Purgatio & Ragnarok with 5x2 410mm, Vladivostok & Lenin with 3x3 406mm, Flandre with 3x3 380mm 34.0 seconds - Vittorio Veneto with 3x3 381mm 40.0 seconds - Kansas with 4x3 406mm This looks reasonably competitive, at least until you account for all of the flaws with her shells. I'm still balking that they didn't give Odin the same 20 second reload as Scharnhorst and Brandenburg's 26.5 second reload feels like more of the same mistreatment. Brandenburg isn't a particularly hard-hitting ship. Or rather, her guns just don't scale well against higher tiered targets and other battleships. Overall, her 26.5 second reload time isn't a flaw, per se, but it's not a strength either. It seems carefully measured to ensure she's reliant upon her other weapon systems. More on that later. Brandenburg's potential AP DPM looks great. But this doesn't account for the woes of dispersion, penetration, firing angles, auto-ricochet checks, etc. The POTENTIAL is there, sure, provided you've got an opponent willing to make things easy for you. Short of picking on lower-tiered cruisers or inside of brawling scenarios, the potential is difficult to realize. Like most German battleships, her HE shell DPM falls off the rails. I'd like to make a big deal about her improved HE penetration but Brandenburg's 76mm penetration just isn't impressive when compared to the 68mm being tossed around by most of the American, Soviet and Japanese battleships at this tier. So yeah, Brandenburg has good HE penetration for a 305mm armed battleship but that's only for a 305mm armed battleship. When stacked against the 406mm guns or the 1/4 HE penetrating 380mm/381mm guns from the Royal Navy and other German ships (and nevermind the Italian SAP shells), Brandenburg's HE looks crappy. It would be a struggle to call any of the tier VIII battleships "good" fire starters. King George V is pretty much the gold-standard of this for mid-tier battleships and she comes out just shy of 10 fires per minute before you account for things like accuracy (cut that number down to a third) and fire resistance (reduce it again to two thirds its initial value). Once reality sets in, you're looking at about two to three fires per minute for KGV. Apply the same approximates to Brandenburg and you come out at nearly two. This is probably the most reliable way for her to attempt to stack damage against enemy battleships. But unlike the British, don't expect a whole lot of direct damage to accompany Brandenburg's HE spam. There are tricks to make these guns work. HE spam is one such way. Your direct damage numbers will suffer, sure, but they won't suffer as badly if you simply stuck to AP rounds the whole time. You can try the whole "aim higher" with AP, hoping to bullseye the upper hull and superstructure of enemy battleships at range, but dispersion will troll you outside of near brawling ranges, so that's not entirely reliable. Brandenburg's guns are just not fun to use and you have to overcompensate a whole heck of a lot to get those numbers to stack. Gun Handling & Accuracy While Brandenburg's reload time is only ever going to be decent, her accuracy isn't as bad as I was expecting for a twelve-gun armed ship. 1.8 sigma isn't terrible. In fact, for a ship with as many guns as she has, it's higher than I thought it would be. Coupled with American battleship dispersion and a twelve-gun broadside, she isn't as likely to get trolled by RNG(eebus) as ships with fewer guns or worse sigma. This ultimately comes down to feels -- Brandenburg's salvos feel reasonably accurate even if their dispersion describes her as being only average. It's rare that a well aimed shot isn't going to yield at least a handful of hits. Brandenburg is good at putting warheads on foreheads at least so long as you ensure that all twelve guns are firing. And this is the other issue -- getting all of those guns firing. And maybe this helps explain some of my gripes with her reload. Brandenburg's arcs are HORRIBLE. For those unaware, I have a bias against crappy firing angles. Outside of PVE situations, Brandenburg when she fires all twelve of her guns. She's unable to angle correctly against return fire while doing so, which opens her up to taking some pretty bad hits in return. As you'll see in the Durability section, Brandenburg doesn't have a lot of hit points and she cannot afford to trade them away for the modest returns another six guns bring. Without a fast(er) reload on her guns and without good firing angles, her DPM suffers appreciably. So that paper DPM value shown before falls even further into the toilet. One of my standard dispersion tests. This is 180 AP shells fired at 15km at a stationary Fuso bot. Brandenburg is using Aiming System Modification 1, while the Fuso is completely stock and without camo. Shots are coming in from right to left with the Fuso effectively bow tanking. At 1.8 sigma and German dispersion, Brandenburg's gunnery feels "average", at least until you remember she has twelve guns and a quick(ish) reload. Volume of fire lends a sense of accuracy all on its own and Brandenburg ends up feeling more accurate than she actually is, even with a full secondary build. The HORROR. Main Battery Gun Summary Brandenburg has crappy guns, but she gets a lot of them and they're reasonably accurate. I wish I could say she had good fire angles or that they reloaded fast enough for that not to matter, but they don't. I found these guns to be incredibly frustrating to use, especially when facing same tier or higher opponents. The AP doesn't hit hard enough. And even when you do land some good hits that don't ricochet or shatter, they just don't do enough damage. Every time I reached for HE, it felt like I was giving up and begging for fires that usually didn't come. Brandenburg's gunnery takes a long time to stack appreciable damage. Brawling battleships are cool It's a good thing she's a brawler. She's designed to supplement her damage by creeping into secondary range (where possible) and spraying enemy ships down with a torrent of cruiser and destroyer-calibre HE. Up close, the deficiencies of her 305mm AP penetration falls away too and they become a lot more threatening. She's fully capable of blowing out the machine spaces of any enemy battleship with a vulnerable citadel and her twelve gun broadside ensures that it will hurt. The threat of her torpedoes makes even other heavy weight brawlers take notice. This is where she belongs. This is where she demands respect. And for a German battleship, her secondaries are contenders for the best out of all of them with better firing angles and more DPM and FPM than most. Combined with improved German secondary accuracy, 1/4 HE penetration and more guns than other German battleships, Brandenburg has some of the best brawling armaments at her tier. Check it out: Some notes to keep in mind: Massachusetts, Atlântico and Brandenburg have the same DPM when brawling, kiting or firing broadside. Zieten has the same DPM when brawling or kiting. Before you get too excited and run out and buy a Flandre or Kii, I remind you that DPM charts are not the be-all, end all. The majority of Flandre's damage comes from 100mm secondaries that only have 17mm of penetration and no improved accuracy (Gascogne has this same problem). A lack of improved accuracy also plagues Kii on top of having only a range that caps out at just shy of 10km with all buffs. Brandenburg combines good range, good penetration and good potential damage on top of solid firing arcs. She's the total package. The only thing we could ask for more would be a further improvement on her already improved "German" secondary accuracy or upgrading her 105mm to 128mm like Odin so that she can pen battleships without needing IFHE. Spreadsheets are not cool So Brandenburg has better secondaries than the other tier VIII German battleships, right? That's what the numbers say? Good, cuz I couldn't tell. Seriously, this is one of those cases where my notes on how a ship felt to play did not reflect the data I collected afterwards. I should explain -- my process for writing these reviews is to play the ship, take notes while doing so and then as questions come up, look at the ship's stats to try and understand where the feels are coming from. At no point in my play testing of Brandenburg did her secondaries stand out in any appreciable way from other German battleships I've played. I seriously thought her secondaries were bog-standard for a German brawler. It was only as I put together the graphics for this section that I said "wait, hold up" -- she has more DPM and better fire angles? Huh! So why didn't it come up? You'd think counting an extra pair of 105mm would have tipped me off. While I was conscious of them, they weren't anything to get terribly excited about. I liken it to the extra 100m Odin has on her secondary range. It's nice but it's not game changing. It was the same case for her firing angles. They're good, sure, and better than most of the other German battleships. But there's still that ugly deadzone straight ahead. Ultimately, this blasé attitude says a lot about how situational brawling is. In PVP, good brawls are so uncommon that they're an event when they finally happen. Thus, it's hard to get a good sense of value out of a secondary armament. This goes double when you've invested in them so heavily between skills, upgrades and consumables. And this is what it came down to: Brandenburg's secondaries didn't feel appreciably better than those of Tirpitz or Odin. So it was hard to care about them when the awesome experiences just didn't happen. So yeah, Brandenburg has good secondaries. But as far as I'm concerned, that trait is shared by all other German battleships so it's not a stand-out feature, so don't look at me singing Brandenburg's praises for her secondary potential as a selling feature of this ship over other German premiums. They all perform very much alike in this regard -- their potential is there, but it's so terribly situational. The pain and suffering that went into making this. Brandenburg was originally launched with bugged, asymmetrical secondary arcs on her forward-most 105mm guns. Those on her starboard side could fire up to 20º off her stern while the port side could only fire 30º off her stern. I've highlighted this difference with the two arrows in the graphic above. This was corrected with patch 0.11.4 with her port side now mirroring her starboard side (they can both shoot 20º off her stern now). Brandenburg's secondary arcs are okay. They're not great. At least she can bring all of her weapons the bear 30º off either her bow or stern, so you can use those to help ensure you're auto-ricochet safe in a brawl. I was going to ramble on about her torpedoes, but I think I can just summarize them here. Brandenburg's fish are short ranged but pack a comfortable punch, perfect for delivering a crippling blow in a brawl. The four she launches per side will not guarantee a kill on an enemy battleship unless they're already mauled, so keep that in mind. Her fire arcs are decent, able to launch 30º off her bow and just over that off her stern for a total of a 119º firing arc per side. Like other German battleships, her torpedoes are pretty fragile and have a habit of getting destroyed if she takes a lot of HE fire, so make sure they're still operable before committing to a joust. Summary Brandenburg may have crappy guns but she has good secondaries backed by short-range torpedoes. Firepower wise, she sucks if you can't get her into a brawl. If you can, Brandenburg's numbers jump tremendously. While you can all but guarantee this each and every time you take her out to a Co-Op battle, it's harder to ensure in PVP. I don't rate Brandenburg's firepower very highly. It's alright. When the stars align, it can be good. But you're setting yourself up for disappointment in PVP outside of those rare games where your enemies make the mistake of letting you brawl. VERDICT: Situational. Unreliable. Inconsistent. Durability Hit Points: 58,800 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 32mm / 19mm / 145mm / 50mm to 80mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 350mm belt plus 110mm to 120mm turtleback plus 45mm citadel wall Torpedo Damage Reduction: 23% Third from the bottom. A German juggernaut Brandenburg is not. Remember how players made a big stink about Odin's lack of health? Well, if you weren't around at the time, Odin was largely panned by the community for her tiny (52,800) hit point pool. Brandenburg has just 6,000 more. That's not a lot. That's like two more penetrating hits from battleship AP, and given Brandenburg's crappy fire angles, those penetrating hits are coming sooner rather than later. Brandenburg's hit point pool would be dead average for a tier VII battleship. And that's bad. That's very bad. Thus, Brandenburg suffers a lot of the same problems as Odin -- namely, not having enough HP left over to successful brawl when the opportunity finally arises in the mid to late game. Brawls always cost HP. Brawls can cost a lot of HP. And if you've already bled a lot of your initial health, it can be hella disheartening to not have the staying power to actually enjoy a good scrap. What might have been a game winning situation is now just a spiteful act of defiance before you're sent back to port. Even setting brawling aside, with the teething problems of her main battery guns, Brandenburg is just plain bad at trading. She doesn't have the health to spare to exchange body blows. This is partially mitigated by what appears to be a traditional German battleship protection scheme. Brandenburg has dispersed armour, including a full length 60mm icebreaker bow, thick upper hull and deck armour that will troll most HE (and some SAP!) thrown her way. This just leaves her (admittedly huge) superstructure and the tiniest portions of her bow and stern vulnerable and makes her largely proof against AP shells when angled. As for her citadel? I have ... mixed feelings... about Brandenburg's citadel protection. It's geometry is weird. It comes to a narrow point towards the bow. This creates some odd angles reminiscent of Yamato's octagonal citadel -- Brandenburg has similar "cheeks" that can theoretically yield citadel hits even when the ship is angled. Now, ostensibly, her turtleback should mitigate this. Unfortunately, I took a massive double-citadel hit early on when testing Brandenburg. Granted, these came from long range fire and double-granted, it was my fault for flashing that much side in the first place (gawd, I hate her firing angles). But given the tiers at which Brandenburg operates, most of what's going to be thrown at you from other battleships will be at long range so I got incredibly gun-shy after this. I couldn't play Brandenburg with the same confidence I could with other German premiums. I fully accept that this could have been an exception; an anecdote that biased me towards keeping a sharp eye out for repeat occurrences in a way I might not have otherwise fussed over. But it's definitely coloured my experiences. I'm aware that the odd citadel hit can (and do) happen with other German battleships so I dunno why this one shook me up as much as it did. I blame her fire angles. I'm always going to scapegoat her fire angles. Brandenburg feels squishy for a German battleship and I don't like that. Brandenburg has a dispersed armour scheme and odd citadel geometry I'm still torn if the latter is a blessing or curse.. Her citadel's 180mm tip is very thin. Combined with her icebreaker bow, this ship is incredibly difficult to citadel directly from the front when perfectly nosed in. However, that same tapering tip does make her more vulnerable when angled, in a similar manner to Yamato's infamous "cheeks" (though nowhere near to that extreme). Losing 25,000 health in a single salvo and these aren't even citadel hits. VERDICT: Squishier than her pedigree would otherwise suggest. Agility Top Speed: 32.5 knots Turning Radius: 820 meters Rudder Shift Time: 15.7 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 4.6º/s at 24.3kts Main Battery Traverse Rate: 6.0º/s Brandenburg (8) joins the SoDak-twins (2), Constellation (10) and Champagne (12) as one of the best turning ships at this tier. This is largely thanks to her high top speed. Brandenburg has a great top speed, a decent (but not good) turning circle radius and a rudder shift time on the poor side of average. These latter traits obfuscate what is, in fact, a quite agile vessel as far as battleships go. Speed corrects a lot of issues with agility, especially when they're only held back by "average" values elsewhere. Brandenburg's good top speed and modest turning circle radius translates to one of the best rates of turn for not only the tier VIII battleships, but most battleships in the game. Let's talk more about speed. It is a tremendous advantage. Not only does it allow you to get where you need to be faster, a greater range of speed makes it harder for opponents to properly guess your ship's momentum and lead appropriately. It also allows for a greater degree of control while kiting opponents which is arguably one of the most effective solo damage-farming techniques in the game. Being able to control engagement distances is a duel-winning strategy (though not necessarily a match winning one). In one game I managed to run down not one but two destroyers that strayed too close. Despite fleeing after being lit, they were unable to open up enough distance to get themselves out of spotting range before my secondaries chewed them to bits. Brandenburg's speed ostensibly makes it easier for her to commit to a brawl and use her secondaries and torpedoes, though there's a catch here. While speed is powerful, it can also be dangerous. If you're not careful, you can find yourself over-extending and making yourself an easy target for enemy focus fire. It's important to temper Brandenburg's potential with caution. She doesn't have a lot of health and it doesn't last long under concerted enemy attention. Mind that throttle. Vary your course and speed and beware blind corners. Please keep in mind that I'm comparing Brandenburg's agility to other tier VIII battleships and battleships as a whole. Brandenburg's handling still sucks compared to a cruiser. She does not compare well to Warspite's handling either. You're not going to be able to juke incoming fire or easily thread the needle and dance to torpedo beats. Finally, you can forget about Just Dodging™ air strikes. Still, Brandenburg's handling is very comfy. Good marks here. VERDICT: One of the best at her tier. Under attack from a Kagero and an Asashio. It's a losing battle from the start, but Brandenburg's agility at least frustrated the two destroyers, completely avoiding four salvos before finally being taken down by a fifth. Anti-Aircraft Defence Flak Bursts: 6 + 2 explosions for 1,400 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.2km. Long Ranged (up to 5.2km): 192.5 dps at 75% accuracy (144dps) Medium Ranged (up to 3.0km): 511dps at 70% accuracy (358dps) DPS Aura Ranges Total DPS by Range Effective Damage vs 186.2knot Aircraft Alright, let me try and talk about this without being snarky or going on a huge rant. Some facts: Brandenburg's large calibre AA is short ranged at only 5.2km. Brandenburg has the best AA values among all of the tier VIII German battleships. In terms of effective sustained AA DPS, Brandenburg sits just behind Kansas and slightly ahead of Kii, putting her solidly in the upper third for sustained damage output among tier VIII battleships. She generates a lot of flak for a tier VIII battleship, though not enough to make her stand out. The individual hits from her flak are fairly average for a tier VIII battleship. Because of her short main battery gun range, she is unlikely to be using a Catapult Fighter over her Spotter Aircraft. She does not have access to Defensive AA Fire, not no tier VIII battleship has that presently. Where my snark and rants will stem comes from the fact that as good as this all looks on paper, it's not enough to keep her safe. A hale and whole Brandenburg is an inconvenient target for tier VI carriers as the attrition rates will erode their hangar capacity eventually. Against higher tiered carriers, short of them obliging you by faceplanting into flak bursts repeatedly, Brandenburg cannot inflict casualties quickly enough to compromise their hangar capacity, never mind stop individual strikes. Her presence will not dissuade a CV on her own and owing to her short range, she is not a particularly good asset to help protect others. As such, when she is not top tier, she is a ready victim to air attack. She might pad her experience and credits earned with some air kills, but you cannot trust Brandenburg's AA defences to do anything to protect the ship in the current meta. And that's really all AA is for as far as surface ships are concerned: printing credits and xp in compensation for letting CVs have their way with you. VERDICT: Brandenburg is better at squeezing out rewards for being [edited]-slapped by aircraft than most at her tier. Vision Control Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 16.2km / 12.73km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 11.22km / 9.09km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 12.78km Maximum Firing Range: 18.46km Hydroacoustic Search. Bismarck has it. Odin has it. Zieten has it. Tirpitz (and her clone) does not. Neither does Brandenburg. This consumable has increased value as Wargaming works towards completing submarines in World of Warships. This comes not only for the ability to spot incoming torpedoes but also for detecting submarines that might be lurking nearby. German secondaries are excellent anti-submarine weapons provided their target is spotted and can be shot at. The general inaccuracy of these weapons isn't nearly as much of a problem as it is against destroyers when shells only have to land nearby to score damage. Thus lacking a Hydroacoustic Search is notable. As far as surface detection goes, Brandenburg's alright. She just barely manages to squeak into the top third within her matchmaking with her concealment. It's neither a tremendous help nor a significant hindrance. It's comfortable enough to be a non issue for most game play though you'll be hard pressed to turn it into a reliable advantage. Given her relative fragility compared to other German battleships, I would have preferred her to be a bit more sneaky, but as it is, her concealment is workable. I feel her lack of a Hydroacoustic Search more than whatever is going on with her surface detection. If I've counted, calculated and transcribed everything correctly (and I'm almost certain I have not), Brandenburg sits tied for 39th out of 110 battleships within her current matchmaking. This is sorted by columns, so 1-37 in the first column, then 38 to 75 in the second, 76 to 110 in the third column. VERDICT: Meh. Anti-Submarine Warfare ASW Armament Type: Airstrike from 0.5km to 10km (plus part of the bomb drop column) Number of Salvos: 2 Reload Time: 30 seconds Aircraft: Two Blohm & Voss BV 138C with 2,000hp each Drop Pattern: 3 bombs each dropped evenly over 1.1km column Maximum Bomb Damage: 2,800 Fire Chance: 21% Bomb Blast Radius: 300m Submarine game play is still ever changing. This section largely serves as a snapshot of how ASW worked at the time this article was published. No doubt further changes will occur before submarines get finalized. That said, Brandenburg and tier VIII German battleships in general have the best anti-submarine warfare load-out of their peers presently. Bismarck, Zieten and Odin sit at the top of the pile, combining the best air-dropped depth charges with great secondaries and Hydroacoustic Search to mitigate the influence submarines have on their game play. Brandenburg and Tirpitz have to make do without the consumable to spot fish and occasionally help sniff out subs. Now this doesn't make any of the German battleships good submarine hunters by any means -- it just means they're the best equipped battleships at their tier to fight back against submarines should they be called upon to do it. I've spent some time mapping out depth charge pattersn -- both from ships and aircraft and I'll probably publish an article a little later showing the coverage at a particular tier. VERDICT: She has the best battleship launched air strike at her tier combined with good secondaries. U-190 got too close to Brandenburg and pays the price. Final Evaluation I like Odin better than Brandenburg and I like Scharnhorst better than Odin. I think that sums up my feels about these "large cruiser" armed battleships. Short of dusting off snowflakes or whatever I'm required to test in the future, I'm not taking Brandenburg out. I don't like her guns. That's really all there is to it. Why would I want to play a ship where my primary way of interacting in the game is such a miserable experience? I mean it's a doubled-stacked turd sandwich with bad gun performance and bad fire angles. Blech. Brandenburg is just Odin-Two. The biggest difference between them is that Odin has Hydroacoustic Search and Brandenburg has more guns. There are other differences than that obviously. Brandenburg has more guns, more secondaries with better firing arcs but worse penetration. Brandenburg is faster and has better AA power and just enough more HP to fool you into thinking she might be a better experience overall. Odin is more stealthy and her guns fire faster and with much more comfortable gun laying. So pick your poison. I'm not convinced either ship is worthwhile. My honeymoon period with Odin has long since past -- as I feared in my review of her years ago, once her torpedoes became common knowledge and players became more familiar with her gimmicks, success became increasingly volatile. That volatility is alive and well with Brandenburg's game play too. It's that same feast-or-famine that so many brawling battleships struggle. It's hard to appreciate a vessel whose fortunes are so closely tied not only to what tiers matchmaker places you in but what kinds of ship you end up facing. The presence of a single carrier or a glut of torpedo boats or a brace of submarines and Brandenburg faces an uphill battle. And like most tier VIII premium battleships, facing tier Xs is never comfortable. Still, if you can manage to get her into brawls and win those scraps, her performance is fantastic. How frequently you can make that happen will dictate your success in this ship. If you can't tell, I couldn't make that happen often enough to put a smile on my face. So no thank you, Mister Brandenburg, you are not the ship for me. Of course, all of these complaints apply only to PVP game modes. In Co-Op, Brandenburg is a thug. Her guns still suck butts in there, unable to overmatch as the bots suicide charge, but at least her secondaries and fish can rip them open and help pad her numbers. Brawling in that game mode is guaranteed, so her success is all but guaranteed. Still, if you're going to buy a tier VIII German premium battleship, just buy Tirpitz. In Conclusion This one ballooned out of control. I spent way too much time fussing over getting a better understanding of AA and ASW mechanics that sidetracked me down several week-long exploratory tangents. I mean, I'm happy that I understand ASW and AA much better than I did at the onset and it's nice to be able to put into context how Brandenburg (and other future ships) will slot into this developing meta. But stack on some other projects and RL issues and the content drought really bugged me. I dunno which ship I'm going to review after this. I'm kind of "battleshippped out" at the moment. Maybe I'll poke Maya. We'll see. Speaking of other projects, you may have noticed that I changed avatars in my graphics. @Chobittsu did a wonderful job putting together this cute Fantasy Dwarf ship's captain per my request. Animating a bouncy version of her as a forum avatar is one of many things on my to-do list. Thank you all for reading and thank you so much for your continued support. ♥
  2. Mordt

    Maass or Z-31

    I'm nowhere near completing the grind with the Gaede but I was wondering which line is better for getting close (say, 4-5 km or so) and shredding BB's to bits. So basically, which one has faster torps/better damage, and higher survivability( whether from high HP, speed, smoke,armor, low detectability or a combination of them).
  3. rafael_azuaje

    Prinz Eugen , why NO red Guns???

    Whay WG not Add Camo Red Guns to Prinz Eugen???? Historicaly had Camo Red guns ,. WG please Paint Red main guns Prinz Eugen looks better and most real.
  4. 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.
  5. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Pommern

    The following is a review of Pommern, the tier IX premium German battleship. Wargaming very kindly provided me access to her at no cost to myself. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed here are current as of patch 0.9.10. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. 2020 has been one Hell of a year, and not in a good way. There was so much craziness going on, it's easy to miss that 2020 was the year that German premiums got good. Mainz, München, Lowenhardt, Agir and Siegfried -- they're all damn respectable premiums. Even Odin and Z-35 aren't terrible. To cap everything off, in late summer Wargaming released Pommern. On paper, she looks kinda blah. A slow-firing, 380mm armed version of Friedrich der Große? Screw off. This ship has no place being decent. Yet to hear the hype surrounding this ship, she's not only decent but well liked. So what the Hell happened? Well, gentle reader, let's take a look... Pommern = Chungus-Tirpitz. Damn it, that's a much better name. Quick Summary: A Friedrich der Große-class battleship with twelve, inaccurate 380mm guns. She also has two quad torpedo launchers and the Hydroacoustic Search consumable. PROS German citadel protection, effectively making her immune to AP shell citadel hits except under extreme circumstances. Excellent armour profile for shrugging off HE hits with an ice-breaker bow, thick upper hull and amidship deck armour plates. Heavy broadside of twelve guns. Heavy, long-ranged secondary gun battery with improved HE penetration values. She has torpedoes (!) She has access to Hydroacoustic Search. CONS Absolutely appalling gun fire angles. Long 33 second reload. 380mm AP shells cannot overmatch 27mm hull sections found so commonly within her matchmaking. 1.5 sigma dispersion on her main battery. 105mm secondaries have only 26mm of penetration, limiting their effectiveness against heavy cruisers and battleships. Horrible handling. Anti-aircraft defence is too short ranged. Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme German battleships are very new-player friendly. They are ostensibly immune to citadel hits. They have good armour protection for shrugging off HE shells. Their gunnery has been improved too, so it's not like you're dealing with the worst dispersion in the game anymore. Secondaries are fun and easy to use, automatically hoovering up damage. Aside from being packed in at a high tier, Pommern is a very easy ship to see success in. The only downsides for new players is that she forces them to sail broadside to unmask all of her guns which can lead to her getting chunked by return fire. While these aren't likely to ever be citadel hits, that doesn't really matter when every salvo lands multiple penetrations. For experts, Pommern provides all of the usual German battleship brawling benefits with the added plus of the combination of torpedoes and her Hydroacoustic Search. She can play more boldly than Tirpitz can, for example. She has more raw durability than Odin does too, so it pays to play aggressive when the timing is right. Brawl and jousting kills are the best kills and this is the ship to do it in. However, only a skilled player can pull these off with any reliability outside of PVE modes. Options Pommern is pretty bog-standard for a German battleship, showing up with Hydroacoustic Search and baiting players to spec secondaries instead of their main battery. Consumables Pommern's Damage Control Party is standard for a German battleship. It comes with unlimited charges. It's active for 15 seconds. It has an 80s reset timer. Her Repair Party is also standard, healing up to 14% of her health over 28 seconds per charge. It queues up 10% of citadel damage, 50% of penetration damage and 100% of everything else. It comes with four charges and an 80s reset timer. Finally, she has a Hydroacoustic Search consumable common to tier IX and X German battleships. Pommern starts with three charges which are active for 120s each and a 120s reset timer. It detects torpedoes up to 4km away and ships up to 6km away. Upgrades & Captain Skills Look, there are two ways you can build Pommern -- optimally or the correct way. Optimally involves building to buff your main battery firepower while simultaneously building for fire mitigation. This will give you the most consistent performance out of Pommern. Hey, look! It's this graphic again! Thankfully, you're not a snivelling, simp-wimplodite that caves to peer pressure. You know that the best experiences in World of Warships come from out-brawling your opponents. Build your ship towards going ham with secondaries, Hydroacoustic Search upgrades and improved rudder shift time. Chicks dig brawlers. I should know. Make the right choice. Note that I didn't flag IFHE here. Camouflage Pommern has access to two camouflage options. They provide identical bonuses standard for tier IX premiums: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -20% to post-battle service costs. +100% to experience gains. It needs to be said: Pommern's default camouflage is bloody gorgeous. The alternate palette isn't bad either. Finally there's the "Iron Cross" camouflage pattern which was earned through completing missions tied to the release of the German Aircraft Carriers. Firepower Main Battery: Twelve 380mm guns in 4x3 turrets in an A-B-X-Y super-firing configuration Secondary Battery: Eight 150mm guns in 4x2 turrets and sixteen 105mm guns in 8x2 turrets divided evenly down the two sides. Torpedoes: Eight tubes in 2x4 launchers with one mounted on each side between the funnels. Pommern is no Thunderer. In terms of firepower, the two ships are diametrically opposed. Thunderer has massive, quick-firing and super-accurate guns with decent fire angles but horrible gun handling. Pommern has relatively small-calibre guns, she's slow-reloading, she has good traverse but is stuck with horrible fire angles. Pommern subscribes to the whole 'toss enough poop at the wall' philosophy where accuracy is concerned. Conversely, you can brawl with Pommern and brawl well. Thunderer just sort of whimpers and dies in those situations. That's enough of my soon-to-be-retired meme-boat. Let's talk more about Pommern. With many guns comes much DPM. Pommern doesn't quite keep pace with Alsace, the other twelve 380mm-gun armed battleship at this tier. Alsace has a better AP shell and slightly faster reload. Pommern's HE DPM is pretty German -- which is to say crappy. Her one advantage is her 1/4 HE penetration (95mm) which means that while her individual salvos don't do as much potential damage, she's more likely to hurt hard-targets like German and Soviet battleships. Approximate AP penetration values drawn from wowsft.com. Pommern's AP penetration isn't great, but that's largely owing to 380mm guns being rather small caliber for her tier. Belt armour and citadel protection gets ridiculously thick within her matchmaking too, so you can't count on long-range citadel hits against other battleships. An Egg Through a Garden Hose Pommern has four weaknesses with her main battery firepower: Her fire angles suck. Her reload time sucks. Her dispersion sucks. Her gun calibre sucks. I hate Pommern's fire arcs. Her 5º/s rotation rate is okay, though. A-turret: 38º off the stern. B-turret: 41º off the stern. X & Y-turret: 42º off the bow For those of you who can't abide any ship with obvious weaknesses, you can tap out right here. Those of you who couldn't look past Odin's hit point total: shoo. Begone. This isn't the ship for you. For the rest of you, let's go over these drawbacks and look at them in closer detail. There's always a price for having a lot of guns -- at least until you hit tier X. Usually this is just crappy dispersion but it's not uncommon for battleships to have compromised rates of fire too. While not as bad as the new American battleships, Pommern has a "reload tax" for her twelve gun armament, paying for it with an extra three seconds on each reload. Even with this deficit, her AP damage output still keeps ahead of all of the other eight and nine gun armed battleships at her tier with the exception of Musashi and Jean Bart (and then only when the French ship is on drugs) so that's nice. Pommern's HE damage is another story. German HE shells, while benefiting from massively improved penetration, tend to suffer from a very mild case of being the absolute worst. She's only just ahead of Friedrich der Große, the six-gun armed Georgia and the Sovetsky Soyuz-sisters when it comes to sustained HE damage output. You might think that this means you should stay away from her HE. Well, no. It has a purpose. While you should generally stick to AP shells wherever possible, her HE rounds do have their strengths. Though she lacks raw damage, her higher penetration is more likely to ensure her shells will do damage against bow-tanking battleships. Pommern's 95mm of penetration should ensure that short of striking turrets, belts and conning towers that her numbers tick over -- modest numbers to be sure, but still. Similarly, an unappreciated aspect of German HE shells is that their fire setting chances aren't terrible. While not British-good, they are reliable fire setters which can be a good avenue for some supplementary damage (at least so long as you didn't spring for IFHE for your secondaries). This is particularly true when trading fire with intransient bow-on battleships or just before a brawl to tax enemy Damage Control Parties before your secondaries open up. Despite her poor damage showing, Pommern's a pretty decent fire bug for a tier IX battleship. German HE damage is lackluster but their fire chance per shell is pretty good. This performance is, of course, assuming you can stack the hits which has its own set of problems. This all said, Pommern's AP shells are far and above better, damage wise. The only issue is that their overmatch potential at tier IX has a lot to be desired. With more and more ships having 27mm+ sections of armour along their hulls, Pommern cannot reliably penetrate angled targets. Angling against Pommern works very well in anything but a very light cruiser. While there are a glut of 25mm cruiser bows and sterns to bullseye (and the occasional 26mm bow on tier VII battleships when Matchmaker is being gentle), Pommern's AP rounds are far from reliable. If it were just a question of having enough raw AP penetration, it wouldn't be so much of an issue, but her inability to best 27mm+ hull sections is a real drawback given their prevalence. But all of these questions of rate of fire, overmatch and flagging HE damage are all moot if you can't reliably put shells on target. Pommern's dispersion is ... well, it's not good. With Pommern's 1.5 sigma rating, RNGeebus has been given free reign to troll or bless you as He sees fit. Her twelve guns deliver a shotgun blast of shells flying every which way. Your aim can be perfect only to be plagued by overshoots and undershoots. Similarly, you can be well off your mark only to have this same spread of shot veer a shell straight into your target's citadel, making you look like a genius. The better you are at aiming, the more frustrating Pommern's dispersion seems. Yes, stray shots will sometimes work out in your favour but it's not something to be relied upon. Couple this with her longer reload and this wonky sprays are all the more saddening. Overall, Pommern's main battery gunnery is a mixed bag. Now, I am of the opinion that having twelve guns solves a lot of problems. Her 1.5 sigma isn't that bad when there's so many shells being spat out. Her 33 second reload isn't so awful that her damage suffers thanks to firing so many barrels at once. Her AP shells might not be able to overmatch all targets, but when the shells do land, they have decent penetration and respectable damage values. Her HE shells might have low damage per shell, but they have great penetration and solid fire setting chances. Her fire angles make my eyes bleed but at least her turret traverse is okay. So there's give and take in nearly every aspect. I think it's easiest to say that Pommern's guns are simply "sufficient" and leave it at that. They're not terrible but they're not good. Once again, a standard dispersion test. This is 180 AP shells fired at 15km at a stationary Fuso bot. Shots are coming in from left to right with the Fuso effectively bow-tanking. Pommern was equipped with the Aiming System Modification 1 upgrade, effectively making this sampling a "best case scenario" in terms of her overall dispersion area. Pommern's torpedo arcs are very comfortable and you can use them to ensure that you're not overangling against an enemy. Just switch over fast to your torpedoes. If you can line the fish up with the bow of your opponent, you're showing too much side and are in danger of taking penetrating AP hits. When it comes to her secondaries, their only major drawback is the 26mm penetration on her 105mm guns. You'll be tempted to take IFHE to make them more effective but that's an expensive choice and it will severely hurt the fire chance on not only them but her main battery guns as well. It's not worth it, in my opinion, but you do you. Secondaries & Fish to the Rescue! As a certified Bigpitz, Pommern's secondaries and torpedoes are both excellent. We'll start with her torpedoes. They have one fault and that's only have a 6km range. This is a common enough flaw among German battleships; they're all shackled to this range. In PVP battles, the opportunities to use her torpedoes are uncommon because of this short reach but they are oh-so satisfying. A broadside of four torpedoes is enough to cripple just about any battleship she comes across with only the chonkiest of thunderchunkers able to shrug off said hits and stay mean. Just about anything else will be reduced to a snivelling wimplodite crying hax. You totally get bonus points if you sink a destroyer with them too. With Pommern's Hydroacoustic Search, closing to such distances is a lot less risky than it is for Tirpitz but she has more advantages over the tier VIII premium than just that. Pommern's secondaries have excellent firing angles. She doesn't contend with any of the wonky weirdness of other German battleships' fire arcs. Odin, Bismarck and Tirpitz secondaries have some turrets which behave like they're occluded when they really shouldn't be. At a 30º angle, Pommern can bring all of her secondaries to bear onto a target, bathing them in a torrent of fire from fourteen barrels worth of hot-LUV! There are only two issues with Pommern's secondaries. The first is one of accuracy. Pommern's secondaries do not have the improved dispersion found on ships like Massachusetts and Georgia. It takes her more shots to land a similar number of hits. You'll just have to deal. The second issue is one of penetration. Pommern's secondaries have the same 1/4 HE penetration of her main battery guns which is amazing. However, her 105mm secondaries "only" have 26mm of HE penetration. Without Inertial Fuse for HE Shells, these guns struggle to deal direct damage to anything other than destroyers. As Pommern's 105mm guns make up the bulk of her secondary battery, it's a bit of a bummer. They're so close to being all kinds of awesome. Oh well. You'll just have to burn the thicker targets to death instead. So how good are these secondaries anyway? They're #2 in my books for secondaries at tier IX. Here they all are, ranked: Georgia - Excellent fire arcs, high rate of fire, good range and improved accuracy. The only issue with these guns is that they lack penetration to hurt anything bigger than a destroyer. While their chance to set fires is also pretty low, their improved accuracy makes up for the difference. Pommern - Excellent fire arcs, high rate of fire (105mm), good range, very high penetration. If Pommern had accuracy and/or a uniform battery of German 128mm, she'd be god-tier. Friedrich der Große - High rate of fire (105mm), good range, very high penetration. Friedrich der Große doesn't quite ditto Pommern's fire arcs so she misses out. Alsace - French secondaries look better than they are. They're held back by a lack of penetration on their 100mm shells. They can't even directly damage tier VIII+ destroyer hulls. At least they can set fires with the high number of shells they spit out. Jean Bart - She largely dittos Alsace but with worse firing angles. Izumo & Bajie - Decent range. That's really all these guns have going for them. Their fire arcs are bad. Their rate of fire is nothing special. Musashi - She just has decent range. She doesn't have enough of a broadside to be worthwhile. Lion, Iowa, Missouri, the Sovetsky Soyuz-sisters - lul. No. Playing second fiddle to Georgia's secondary is pretty damn high praise, I've got to say. Go, Bigpitz! Much better. See? These are what good fire arcs look like! Pommern's 105mm secondaries not only make up the bulk of her defensive damage output, but they also have the best fire arcs. Summary: Meh gun performance but she gets twelve of 'em, so that fixes things. Torpedoes are bae. Secondaries are bae. VERDICT: Hilarious up close. Meh at a distance. Defence Hit Points: 81,900 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 32mm / 19mm / 145 to 235mm / 50 to 80mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 300mm belt + 150mm turtleback + 45mm citadel wall Torpedo Damage Reduction: 25% Pommern has a big ol' slug of hit points and standard heals. Nothing fancy, just effective. Yes, I made these colours deliberately as pretty as possible. Pommern is blessed with all of the usual defensive boons of German battleships. Namely: She has a large hit point pool. She has excellent protection against cruiser-calibre HE shells. It is very difficult to land citadel hits against her with AP shells. German battleships aren't built lean. They're enormous. While this does make them a bigger target, easier to hit with ... well, anything ... it does ensure their hit point pools are on the large side. This in turn means more raw hit points can be hoovered up through their standard Repair Party consumables. This does, unfortunately, make them attractive targets for anyone looking to farm up large amounts of fire damage. While Pommern can do nothing but properly manage her Damage Control Party consumable to mitigate the resulting blazes, she is at least well protected against HE shells. Her distributed armour scheme generally just leaves her superstructure and the very tips of her bow and stern vulnerable to direct damage from small and medium caliber HE rounds. Similarly, this distributed armour scheme ensures that Pommern has little to fear from overmatching AP shells from the largest Japanese battleships. Short of better defence against bombs and torpedoes, you couldn't ask for a better armour layout. So she's fat and tough. This is nice. There's a hidden plate along the underside of the 150mm extended waterline belt. It's divided into two parts and helps plunging fire overmatching the 32mm bow from entering the citadel. The forward part is only 20mm thick. But echoing the layout of the 50mm deck plate is another 50mm plate which cannot be overmatched. Thus even if Musashi, Yamato, ARP Yamato or Shikishima overmatches the 32mm bow, it's nigh impossible for them to score citadel hits on Pommern through her snoot. There's another hidden plate in the stern protecting the citadel in a similar fashion, but it's 110mm thick. The geometry there is a bit janky to accommodate the steering gears though. Bigpitz also inherits a turtleback protection scheme for her citadel. Turtlebacks have a reputation for providing immunity to citadel hits, but this is undeserved. A well designed turtleback can help mitigate citadel damage, but this needs to have very shallow angles relative to the horizontal in order to prompt ricochet checks. It also has to be set to the correct depth so that shells can't plunge underneath it, bypassing it entirely. If the turtleback is angled too steeply, aside from providing another (hopefully) thick piece of steel to slow down incoming shells, it can actually work to the ship's detriment, steering shells via normalization mechanics into the citadel rather than away from it. Thankfully for Pommern (and most German battleships), her turtleback is well designed and short of shells being thrown at it from very long distances, it is guaranteed to auto-ricochet any AP rounds that punch through her belt. Even at these distances where her turtleback can no longer guarantee to ricochet shells, the combination of belt, turtleback and citadel armour is usually in excess of the available penetration. Pommern might take penetrating hits but the shells soon run out of steam before reaching her citadel itself. It is safe to say that she's is largely immune to AP citadel hits. While Pommern has the angles of her turtleback correct, it suffers from a high-water placement that can be bypassed. Normally this isn't an issue. However, when Pommern turns, she unwittingly hikes her citadel's protection up over the waterline "flashing her panties" as Yuro coined it. Any perfectly placed sub-waterline hits WILL citadel Pommern when she's in a turn like this. Needless to say, it's a pretty rude shock for Bigpitz drivers when they get walloped for most of their health simply for playing with their rudder. Note that this raising of her citadel happens on the inside of her turn, not the outside which dips down somewhat. This dip reduces the effective angle of her turtleback by about 2.5º or so -- it's not enough to foil her turtleback's protection but it is a slight reduction which helps with those auto-ricochet checks. This is all to say that Pommern is vulnerable while turning, but it's not an enormous and easy-to-exploit weakness. It has been hyped as being more exaggerated than it is. Just because she can take citadel hits, this does not mean that she will. To land hits like this, Pommern needs to be giving up a near perfect broadside, so time those turns appropriately, watch out for flanking fire and it becomes largely a non-issue. It is worth mentioning that this dispersed armour scheme can work against her when it comes to shrugging off AP hits, especially if you're lazy about keeping her properly angled. The thick plates of her upper hull and along her waterline ensure that every penetrating AP shell fuses. Provided the shell is slowed down sufficiently to pop inside her, she takes full penetrating hits when other battleships might only suffer over-penetrations. This is where her shoddy fire angles on her turrets is a big liability. In order to unmask her twleve gun broadside, she has to give up protection against return fire from AP shells. In order to stay AP-safe, she's reduced to a six-gun battleship. This reduced battery makes RNG's influence on her awful dispersion all the more pronounced and can be frustrating. Pommern's more telling weakness comes from torpedoes, bombs and fire. She does have a Hydroacoustic Search to help mitigate the foremost of the three, though that's no help against air-dropped fish. Similarly, AP bombs make a ruin of her and it's not like her AA defense is up to the task of keeping her super safe (more on that later). She's her own worst enemy when it comes to fire mitigation. You're going to want to build her up for secondary bonuses. This precludes her from taking much-needed (and let's face it: optimal) fire reduction skills. This means it's open season to stack blazes against her and you KNOW every Royal Navy battleship is going to paint your decks with their phat HE shells. Similarly, you can expect almost everyone else to huck HE at her given the difficulties of hurting her with AP. As awesome as full secondary builds are, the prevalence of fire damage means that such build are never optimal. Overall, Pommern is a well protected battleship -- as well protected as you could want and then some. She has her weaknesses, so do what you can to mitigate them. Otherwise, enjoy your tuff-bote. e German battleship armour is stupid complicated and the in-port armour viewer does NOT help you see everything that's important -- most notably the angles and thickness of turtleback armour but all of that other stuff I mentioned too. Note how high Pommern's citadel sits and how little of her turtleback dips beneath the water's surface -- only the corners submerge and only just. VERDICT: Top marks. Agility Top Speed: 31 knots Turning Radius: 940m Rudder Shift Time: 17.3 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 3.8º/s at 23.3 knots With three exceptions (and only one of them notable), tier IX battleship agility sucks inflamed, red monkey-butts. I'd call Pommern's agility a disaster but Minnesota exists, so that would feel like a misplaced superlative. Instead I'll just describe Pommern's agility as "not good". She has so little going for her here. I mean, at least she has a decent top speed of 31 knots. She also doesn't out turn her turrets, so there's that too. After that, though, everything goes the way of Harambe. Her turning radius is a travesty. Her rudder shift time is upsetting. Her rate of turn is bad though admittedly better than some of her contemporaries. However if you think that's worth celebrating then I'm worried you might also have a strange oral fascination with inflamed baboon posteriors. The best thing that could be said about Pommern's agility is that you really don't need this ship to do more than travel in a straight line most of the time. You don't need pants for the victory dance... ♫ VERDICT: Awful. The only reasonable part about her is her speed. Anti-Aircraft Defence Flak Bursts: 7 explosions for 1,470 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.2km. Long Ranged (up to 5.2km): 158dps at 75% accuracy Short Ranged (up to 3.0km): 466dps at 70% accuracy Bigpitz is an HP pinata for enemy carriers (as are most battleships, frankly). While she does spit out a welcome amount of flak, that's hoping that enemy carrier players will oblige you by flying their planes into one of those blasts. Her AA DPS is largely centred around personal defence, being short-ranged and intense only within her closest aura. The best she can hope to do is make attack runs against her expensive -- shooting down planes only after they've dropped. Given her large size and horrible handling, she's such a tempting target for CV drops -- be it with bombs, rockets or torpedoes. AP bombs hurt. HE bombs and rockets stack those fires she's so often poorly specialized to handle and her enormous broadside makes her an easy mark for full spreads of torpedoes. Keep close to your allies to make yourself an unappealing target. Accuracy values greatly reduce the impressive baseline sustained AA DPS values listed in port. The above values have been modified by accuracy and demonstrates the numbers you're more likely to see before aircraft armour is accounted for. VERDICT: It's open season on your hit points. Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 17.28km / 13.58km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 12.81km / 10.38km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 16km Maximum Firing Range: Between 21.34km and 24.75km Well this is all just an embarrassing bucket of fail. Her surface and aerial detection are just plain bad. You're not hiding this ship. While there is an argument to "not bother", particularly when it comes to the expensive investment of skills like Concealment Expert (which could be better spent on Fire Prevention or something to boost her secondaries), the Concealment System Modification 1 upgrade is still worthwhile if only to add further disruption to enemy gunnery. Furthermore, with the large maps and longer engagement ranges in higher tiered matches, it's not that hard to get outside of 14km of enemy ships -- at least in the early minutes of the game. This can be life saving if Pommern comes under focus-fire from HE spamming ships. Still, the best way to keep her safe is arguably to use an island to break contact or at least to frustrate incoming fire. Given her crappy agility and size this is much easier said than done. You an also pull off fun tricks like parking in friendly smoke and keeping her main battery guns silent and just letting your secondaries go hog-wild. Do mind the inevitable wall of torpedoes, though. Truly, the best thing about Pommern is that she gets access to Hydroacoustic Search. The only other German battleship that gets both torpedoes and hydro is Odin, so this is pretty noteworthy. Still, having Hydoracoustic Search isn't enough to keep Pommern safe if she's stationary -- Pommern already needs to be moving to dodge anything. She doesn't have enough acceleration or agility at low speeds to get out of the way of incoming threats unless she's already moving at a fair clip. You can use this consumable offensively, which is super fun to pull off on the rare occasions where it's relevant. Do mind the retalitory fish from whatever you dug out of their smoke clouds, though. VERDICT: Terrible, generally. Hydro is nice, though. Final Evaluation If I'm terribly honest, Pommern didn't wow me. It's not that I don't think she's a good or fun ship, it's just that she treads familiar ground. Tirpitz, Scharnhorst and Odin all echo Pommern's general design principles. "Bigpitz" describes her well. She's an improved, up-tiered Tirpitz. This didn't guarantee Pommern would be good, mind you -- Wargaming has mishandled such projects before (California comes to mind). But Pommern didn't stray from the established formula too much. The craziest thing about her is the inaccuracy of her guns and even that's a pretty safe measure given that she has twelve of them. I enjoyed Tirpitz, Scharnhorst and Odin, so Pommern is comfortably familiar for me. She's about as safe of a tier IX premium as Wargaming could hope to design. For Wargaming, this is doubly important given the number of "failed state" premiums there are at tier IX. The list is hella long: Missouri, Musashi, Kronshtadt, Jean Bart, Benham have all been retired with Alaska and Georgia set to join them in the new year. Seven of the fifteen tier IX premiums released so far have been or are slated to be retired with two (Black & Neustrashimy) still MIA with fates undisclosed. Pommern and the upcoming Hizen have some pretty big boots to fill with all of those absentee premiums. Pommern has to be good but she's not allowed being too good lest she become too popular and get the axe as well. I'm not trying to instill a sense of panic-buying in anyone, but I do fear that given the competency of this ship's design, she may end up being a little well liked by the masses and end up retired herself. Time will tell, I suppose. Overall, I give Pommern good marks. She performs exactly as advertised and she's different enough to be fun and novel. Good work, Wargaming. It's too bad for them that this year will be remembered for civilization threatening to collapse and not for the year that Wargaming let German ships get good. They've knocked out quite a few good hits under the German flag. Maybe that's just a sign of the Apocalypse. Thank you for reading! 
  6. After a bit of spastic inspiration and not a small bit of sleep deprivation-induced delirium, I present the results of my bout of research: German Big-Gun Battleships, or another way to put it, German Battleships based around the idea of long range combat. These ships all pack guns larger than 406mm (16-inches), with the exception of the proposed premium that could be brought into the game, which has 406mm, exactly. While the shells thrown by these battleships are slow, they pack a punch and have smaller dispersion and better Sigma values, when compared to the secondary focused battleships currently in the game. To help distinguish them from the current line, their brawling capabilities have been reduced by having a slower reload on their secondaries, removal of the hydro-acoustic search and fighter plane consumables, and a slight reduction in the response of the rudder. To offset this, starting at Tier 7, the battleships get torpedoes, though the launchers are mostly ripped directly from the Gneisenau, meaning that they shouldn't be able to just nuke everything in drive-bys. For readability's sake, I have placed the stat blocks into spoilers, since they have gotten quite long. And sorry, no pictures for now, since I am having trouble finding good pictures of these and they are basically stretched versions of 2 different ships, so there would be a lot of 'sameness', anyway. Tier VII L 20e Kaiser Wilhelm II Only a step away from the final design that would be the successor of the Bayern-Class, the L20e was designed to carry the new 42cm main gun that the German Admiralty wanted on their next generation of battleships, as they learned at the Battle of Jutland that they needed larger guns to deal with the British Queen Elizabeth-Class battleships. These ships have a reduced secondary battery when compared the the Bayern, but have better anti-air capabilities. There is not a lot, if any, armor improvement, but given the turtleback, citadels should be rare. Tier VIII L 24e α Hessen The competitor to the L 20e α, which was actually selected to be built as the next class of battleships for the German Navy, the L 24e α differs by being longer (and thus displacing more) and slightly faster. Also, while the L 20e α mounted it's torpedoes underwater, the L 24e α opted to carry them above water, so I have chosen to mount them singlely in the casemate, much like Mutsu. This means that they reload quickly and have a very narrow spread, but it also means they have a narrow arc of fire. Damage is calculated based on the amount of Hexanite, based on damage per kilogram derived from the G7a T1. Other than the torpedoes, she doesn't really stand out too much, compared to her tiermates, but she is noteworthy in that she'd have the largest guns at her tier. Tier IX H-41 Kaiser Karl de Grosse An actual H-Class battleship design, instead of the hybrid design that serves as the base for the FDG and his derivatives. As I can't find any dimensions for the FDG, I can't tell you which is longer, but the H-41 should be heavier, just judging by the HP, but that is only if WG stuck close for the formula for it. Tier X H-42 Schleswig-Holstein Sort of like a Grosse Kurfurst with Hannover guns, the H-42 differs by having a thinner belt and turtleback over the machine spaces, but makes up that by having a thicker turtleback and decking over the magazines. While I can't find the thickness of the Athwart Bulkheads, it wouldn't be a stretch to give the H-42 the same sort of tappering as found on Hannover. This, however, might not even be needed, as it is hard enough to citadel a GK as-is. I know there are people who are proficient in doing it, but mostly, I've only seen that at close range and usually with a stationary GK, not one actively maneuvering. The triple torpedo launchers this ship has will also help disway people attempting to line up for the shot, too. Gun-wise, he sits between the 18-inch and 20-inch guns of the IJN, which is perfect. Tier VIII =Premium= H-39 Wittelsbach The H-39 is basically a Tirpitz that trades a torp on each side, as well as size armor in both the main belt and upper belt for a better extended belt, better turtleback over the magazines, and better Athwartship Citadel Bulkheads and trades brawling ability for long range accuracy. Thanks for taking the time to get this far. Please leave a comment with your thoughts, and if you want more history on these ships, just say so.
  7. Hi Folks, Here's my video review and first impressions of the new premium tier-VII German light cruiser, the München. The video is a tad long featuring gameplay covering her play style, in-port review of her specifications, guidance on the build (upgrades, skills, signals), and some final thoughts. There's an index in the video description in case you want to skip around to topics that better interest you. The TL;DR version of the review is that the München plays like a high-speed, well-concealed tier-VII Nürnberg with loftier shell ballistics. Those who enjoy the play style of the Obligatorily Exploding Nürnberg and know how to manage a squishy light cruiser should do well playing the München. Such players should be thrilled with her un-German-like speed (36kn base, 37.8kn with a SM signal) and concealment (9.4km with CE skill and camouflage), but will need to spend some time learning her un-German-like shell ballistics. München players will spend most of their time working targets from range either through kiting or terrain abuse (or both). Under the right conditions, she can be an excellent destroyer hunter-killer thanks to her high speed, good concealment, strong DPM, and German hydro. Note that like the Nürnberg, one lucky battleship AP salvo will immediately give a München player a huge Adrenaline Rush boost or simply end their game—such are the risks of playing squishy cruisers. Some have described the München as a "mini-Mainz". As a pathological KM cruiser main (feel free to look at my WoWs record), I consider that description misleading. Yes, both the München and Mainz are premium German light cruisers that fire 150mm shells, but beyond that, virtually all of their characteristics deviate significantly (HP, armor, DPM, shell ballistics, range, torpedo capacity, speed, concealment, AA, etc., etc.). Whether she's worth 35 USD (or more for bigger bundles) comes largely down to how much you like playing squishy long-range artillery light cruisers. So far I have quite enjoyed the München; I like most of her play characteristics, love her speed and concealment, and welcome the challenge of successfully managing a fragile ship. Given my aforementioned bias toward KM cruisers, it's OK to take some of my input with a grain of salt. I will say, however, if light cruiser action currently isn't your thing, the München is almost certainly not for you. Even if you skip the video and only consider my TL;DR version in this post, thanks for listening. Happy sailing!
  8. In the Tech Tree, for 3 of the new German DDs (0.10.3) it indicates - "You can gain early access to this ship by completing a special mission." One would assume that the "German Destroyer Mission 1" is that special mission, though it simply shows a gift container as the final reward. If that is the special mission for getting the early access, they should clarify this rather than make players wonder if that gift is early access for all ships, one ship, or actually something different. I have read through WOWS main pages and googled to find clarification as to what the special mission is/are, or how to access them, but found nothing. One issue with not knowing what you receive by completing "German Destroyer Mission 1" is that one of the sub-missions requires either the new Schultz or new ZF-6. This requires spending at least 1500 doubloons if lucky and even possible, or possibly quite a lot more. - To acquire F. Schultz - Only option is via Random bundles (1500 DBLN each) - Odds should be 1:7 of getting Schultz for each random bundle purchase, but given WG's history with the word "random", it might require buying a couple "random" bundles before having a chance to get it. - To acquire ZF-6 - Must complete the ship in the dockyard. Which cost between 2200 and 8950 DBLN depending on how much you want to accelerate the build. Is there something I am missing? Have they done it this way in the past? Or is the "German Destroyer Mission 1" the special mission they refer to? Early access for the Italian ships seemed a lot simpler. Sorry it took this much to explain, and especially if there is just something I somehow overlooked.
  9. warheart1992

    Z-31 first impressions

    So, I got this week my hands on Z-31 and decided to run it through it's paces to see whether all the hate by many was warranted. Here's a very small sample, 10 battles. It's nowhere near a completely objective indicator on whether the ship is bad but I believe it would be a decent basis for some first impressions. The stats: Note the 71% accuracy on main battery and 2% on torpedoes. The Commander (10 points): First of all let's get the matchmaking I got out of the way. 4 tier IX battles, 3 tier VII, 3 tier VIII. Not particularly good, but you gotta learn to make do. The good: sizable HP. a part of the midsection is 25mm, shattering some DD HE, though this is a double edged knife when it comes to CA AP. Built in IFHE means you can penetrate with HE any ship on your MM bracket. improved ricochet angles are always welcome in AP. the accuracy is impressive. If you have Katori or Yubari with the special Upgrade it comes pretty close. You can pretty much pick which section of a ship you want to hit. The bad: Relatively bad reload time on main battery. Relatively bad reload time on torpedoes Torpedoes do mediocre damage. Ship is somewhat clumsy and slow. Okayish concealment, nothing too good but not unworkable. The oh so very ugly: Horrendous HE. Horrendous torpedo speed. Horrendous smoke duration. ONLY DAMAGE CONTROL AND SMOKE. NO ENGINE BOOST FOR YOU. What AA? So, is the ship a good one? Hell no. Is it bad? Damn right. Is it part of an effort to get you to spend some FXP to get the next, hopefully better tier? Most likely. Is it warranted all the hate it gets from absolutely everyone, including former and current CCs? Nope. The ship is bad but workable. The AP can help pad your damage numbers when you get some broadsides or nice juicy BB superstructures. You are horribly outmatched by pretty much any DD, but the silver lining is if you know how to play with AP and angles you can get penetrations which hurt and can dissuade them from pursuing you. Other than that you are free meat. The torpedoes exist just to launch in the hopes of getting any random hit. But the worst issue with the ship is how to get the most out of it you sacrifice your role as a DD to a large extent. The greatest danger to a DD is most of the time another DD, and Z-31 simply can't do anything to influence decisively these encounters. Other ships sacrifice their role as DDs too, like the French or Soviet open water gunboats. But they can still play support to a friendly DD and help secure caps or lock down flanks. The problem I see is that I am a relatively good DD player and had to put quite a bit of effort to get Z-31 to work respectably. Z-31 and am afraid the line in general in the hands of the average player will simply feel like a horrible joke played by WG. Possible improvements: Though obviously I doubt the ship will be touched as it looks like a gatekeeper along with G.J Maerker for the decent tier IX and X ones, aside from an obvious buff to reload time, maybe they could get a choice between the long range slow torpedoes, and fast with lower range that they had initially. At least that could give a tool in close encounters with DDs or allow you to drop them at a smokescreen and hope of actually hitting something. Thanks for reading, and hey, maybe give Z-31 another shot with a different mindset, it might make the experience less bad. Tl;dr What Wargaming did was add the niche gameplay equivalent of something like Neustrashimy or Friesland on a tech tree line. The concept is pretty alien to most and it takes experience to get some results out of it.
  10. The combat missions which need to be completed for german tokens have disappeared. I really want to unlock Z-31 and its camo. WOWS please help...
  11. Michael_Gary_Scott

    German Type 125 Frigate Criticism

    This article criticizes the German Navy F125 Frigates being lightly-armed for their size (7,200 tons) and under-performing due to what was included in their design (ex. a doubly redundant radar array, 2 x helicopter hangers, 4 x RHIB launch bays, etc...). Reading this article, I can see that compared to the rest of the world's frigates that it does not look comparable. After reading some of the comments however from actual taxpaying Germans (further below in the article), these ships sound like they are actually excelling in what they were made for which I think I agree with in the end. It excels in areas like performing escort, anti-piracy, humanitarian operations, etc... which are the most common missions in reality rather than possible eventualities. Nice ships. https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/16920/the-curious-case-of-germanys-massive-new-but-relatively-toothless-type-125-frigates
  12. dEsTurbed1

    POMMERN [Is she worth it?]

    You say to yourself, " but, dEsTurbed1 I already have a FDG". Do you want to have fun in a FDG? ..... I was looking at German Carriers part 2 missions and saw a lovely sight. Bottom 2 mission threads: 1) BB 5 TO 10 get German containers. 2) Pommern or ( T6 premium German CV) to get German containers. A though occurs, use coupon and 3200 steel to get POMMERN and grind both at same time. Looking at an earlier thread, I realize I struck lucky with this combo. So I pulled the trigger. Is she fun, heck yes. Is she tanky? Well duh, it's a FDG. I found out DO NOT RUN AAM1 or face loosing your torp tubes every game. MAM1 IS A MUST along with PM. I ran secondary range mod and secondary boost instead of reduced dispersion. The main guns performed better than expected without any help. Captain build: PM, EM, BFT, AFT. FP & SI. It is a hybrid tank/secondary build. NICE AA boost. Overall the ship is built to tank and dish out the hurt. Hydro and torps are icing on a very tasty cake.
  13. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review - Z-44

    The following is a review of the German premium destroyer Z-44. She was provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes at no cost to me. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.9.11. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. Let's turn back the clock a few years, all the way back to mid 2016. If you had told me then that Wargaming was adding a German premium destroyer, the kind of ship I would have imagined then is very different from the kind of destroyers we're seeing now. I wouldn't have imagined improved AP shell performance. I wouldn't have gone with shorter smoke duration. I doubt I would even have imagined adding Hydroacoustic Search. It would have been a bare bones ship with nary a gimmick in sight other than being German. Z-44 feels like something I would have come up with then. You know, before there was a German destroyer tech-tree line -- where simply being German would have been enough to make her stand out from the crowd. In this regard, Z-44 reminds me a lot of Blyskawica's design. At a glance, Z-44 is a hybrid destroyer with a torpedo-bias. She has nothing special in the way of consumables save that short duration Smoke Generator. Her gunnery is lacklustre. Even her hit point pool is modest. With the near constant string of "more different" design, it seems like Z-44 doesn't have a chance to stand out and capture attention. Simply being German isn't enough to sell Z-44, not when there's a glut of other German premium destroyers like Z-39, T-61 and her sister-ship, Z-35. Yet hidden within this unimaginative veneer, Z-44 has some frightening potential that echoes the terror of Benham. Quick Summary: A Type 1936B-class German destroyer that trades access to a Hydroacoustic Search and main battery DPM for a bigger torpedo armament of longer-ranged, fast-reloading fish. PROS Solid chunk of health with 19,400hp. Good AP DPM. Excellent HE penetration, allowing her to directly damage up to 32mm hull sections. Fast reload on her quintuple torpedo launchers. Good range (12km) and speed (64 knots) on her fish. CONS Horrible HE DPM & fire setting. Terrible gun handling with bad rearward fire arcs. Anemic torpedo warheads that do only 13,700 damage per hit. Slow rate of turn. Short-ranged AA firepower with no flak. She's a German destroyer without Hydroacoustic Search. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH/ Extreme Z-44 is ostensibly a torpedo-destroyer. This does not deviate much from the formula first played at tier II, so even an inexperienced player will find the premise familiar. Her game play focuses around putting fish in the water and keeping herself from being detected which is pretty bare-bones material for destroyers. The only reason this doesn't merit a 'simple' evaluation is the added complexity of Surveillance Radar ranges with which she must contend, especially with her fish being incapable of out-ranging Soviet versions of the consumable. There is a lot of potential for expert players to tease out more performance from this ship. This includes, but is not limited to: Just Dodging™ (HA!), knowing the spotting ranges of rival lolibotes, knowing which of these destroyers your ship is capable of defeating in a gunfight (and how to do it), how to bait and survive radar, etc. This, again, should be familiar for any veterans who have put a lot of time into torpedo-destroyers that have only a modest gunship element to their game-play. Options Consumables What's most interesting about Z-44's consumables is what she lacks. She does not get access to a Hydroacoustic Search consumable which is found on most German destroyers. This is a significant drawback. Z-44's Damage Control Party is standard for a destroyer. This has unlimited charges, a 5 second active period and a 40 second reset timer. Her Smoke Generator is a slightly improved version for a German destroyer, but still of poorer quality than Smoke Generators of other nations. It has a 20 second emission time with each cloud of smoke lasting 77 seconds instead of the normal 73 for tier IX German destroyers. She starts with three charges and it has a 160 second reset timer. Finally, she has a standard Engine Boost consumable. This provides an 8% speed increase for 120 seconds. It comes with three charges and has a 120 second reset timer. Upgrades Ostensibly, you'll want to build Z-44 as a torpedo-destroyer, but you can mix in some gunship elements if that's to your taste. In your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 is optimal. However, if the thought of being detonated incenses you (and you do not have a ready stock of Juliet Charlie signals), then you can take Magazine Modification 1. The Special Upgrade, Engine Boost Modification 1 is best in slot two if you can afford it. It will set you back 17,000 from the Armory. If that's not available to you, default to Engine Room Protection. Given her reliance upon her torpedoes, Torpedo Tube Modification 1 is best in slot three. This combines with Main Armaments Modification 1 to further reduce the chance of your tubes being temporarily disabled and increases her torpedo speed from 64kts to 67.2kts. If you're looking to make better use of your guns, equipping Main Battery Modification 2 to increase her sluggish turret traverse will go a long way to improving her quality of life. Otherwise default to Aiming System Modification 1. Propulsion System Modification 1 is your best choice in slot four, giving you more acceleration from a dead stop which is helpful when island camping or hiding in smoke. If you prefer a more open-water style of play, then Steering Gears Modification 1 is better. To no one's surprise, Concealment System Modification 1 is still optimal in slot five. Steering Gears Modification 2 is a poor substitute but it has some (minor) viability when paired with Steering Gears Modification 1. And finally, Torpedo Tubes Modification 2 is your best choice in slot six for a torpedo-destroyer role. This reduces her reload form 85 seconds to 72.25 seconds (or 65.03 seconds when paired with the Torpedo Armament Expertise commander's skill). Alternatively, for improved gunship performance take, Main Battery Modification 3 to drop her reload from 4.2 seconds to 3.7 seconds (or 3.33 seconds with the Basic Fire Training commander's skill). Note that this does reduce her gun rotation rate from an already lethargic 8º/s to 7º/s. Commander Skills The choice on how to play Z-44 solidifies with her commander skill choices. I've highlighted some of the better skills for her but you cannot afford them all. Start with your choice of tier 1 skills. I prefer Priority Target but Preventative Maintenance and Incoming Fire Alert are reasonable choices. If you end up with 1 skill point leftover at the end, do not double up on Priority Target & Incoming Fire Alert -- always pair them with Preventative Maintenance instead. Next, grab the three skills highlighted with yellow circles: Last Stand, Survivability Expert and Concealment Expert. These are the mandatory destroyer skills that should be present on all of your lolibote commanders. If you have elected to play Z-44 as a dedicated torpedo destroyer, then Torpedo Armament Expertise is a must. If you're leaning more towards playing a traditional German gunship then you can skip that. After this, pick any of the red-square skills to your taste. In my testing, I favoured two builds after taking Torpedo Armament Expertise. The first included Adrenaline Rush paired with Radio Location. The alternative propped up my gunnery (somewhat) with Basic Fire Training, Expert Marksman and Preventative Maintenance. This isn't an exhaustive list. For example, if you can make Torpedo Acceleration work for you with faster, but shorter range torpedoes, go for it. This merely covers builds from which you'll tend to get the most mileage. Camouflage Z-44 comes with Type 10 Camouflage providing the usual tier IX premium-ship bonuses of: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -20% to post-battle service costs. +100% to experience gains. Z-44's default camo (white) is nice and striking. Firepower Main Battery: Five 128mm guns in 5x1 turrets in an A-B-P-X-Y superfiring configuration Torpedoes: Ten torpedo tubes in 2x5 launchers mounted ahead and behind the rear funnel. The Type 1936B Destroyers bear a cursory resemblance to the Fletcher-class. They're both large destroyers with five (roughly) five-inch guns in single turrets and two torpedo launchers, with Z-44 duplicating the quintuple mounts of the Fletcher-class while Z-35 makes do with quadruple mounts instead. However their performance is worlds away different from the Fletcher-class, both as gun and torpedo platforms as each over-specializes towards a singular aspect. Z-44 focuses on her torpedoes. Guns There is a statistics that I don't often talk about. It largely gets lost with all of the noise I make about gun fire arcs, fire setting and DPM. Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to talk about all of the rest, but there's an element that conspires against both Z-35 and Z-44 to make them less than ideal gun platforms. Wargaming defines these terms as Fuse Arming Threshold. Fuse Arming Threshold is the minimum amount of steel an AP shell needs to hit before the fuse on board arms. If a shell fails to strike a plate thick enough, it will continue to pass through the ship without exploding. In game terms this means that you will only see over-penetrations unless the shell hits something thick enough to prime the shell. This value is normally 1/6th of the shell diameter. In both Z-35 and Z-44's case, this works out to 21mm. Now this value is important because most structural steel of destroyers does not exceed 19mm, with tier VI and VII destroyers only having 16mm. This means that unless an enemy destroyer angles (thus increasing the straight-line thickness of their armour), Z-35 and Z-44's AP shells cannot arm and will only ever over-penetrate in destroyer knife-fights. In order to fuse against a tier VIII+ destroyer hull, your target has to be angled at 35º towards you. In order to fuse against a tier VI or VII destroyer hull, it needs to be angled at 40º towards you. So unless your opponent is taking an aggressive stance, Z-35 and Z-44's AP shells won't fuse. This is stupid-important when you begin comparing the damage output of their guns. Z-44's DPM drops from 70,714 AP DPM (0.33x penetration damage) to 21,287 DPM (0.1x over-penetration damage). Compare this to the 35,357 DPM (0.33x penetration damage) of her HE shells. Why does this matter? Because Z-44 has absolutely garbage damage output on her HE shells. This is owing to Z-44's slower-than-expected reload. Unlike Z-35 which reloads 0.6s faster than expected for a German 128mm gun, Z-44 reloads 0.2 seconds slower. So not only is she a gun behind Z-46, her guns are individually putting out shells at a reduced rate. The two values per bar are for full damage (citadel hits) and penetration damage (0.33x). Z-44's AP DPM looks very respectable but it would be a mistake to rely upon it in knife fights against other destroyers. In most circumstances except against angled targets, these shells will over-penetrate, giving her even less effective DPM than her HE rounds which are terrible. Z-44 is only managing 21,429 DPM with AP when she over-penetrates. That's worse than Paolo Emilio's HE output. Z-44 cannot keep pace with the damage output of other destroyers, not when there's a risk of her AP shells over-penetrating. In knife fights, this is a death sentence unless your opponents fool enough to offer that precious angle where your shells can penetrate but they don't angle so much that it prompts a ricochet check. These close-range duels are made all the more uncomfortable by Z-44's poor gun handling and awkward fire angles. You can deep spec into Expert Marksman and Main Battery Modification 2 to make up for her sluggish turret traverse if you wish. This largely relegates Z-44's gunnery to the role bombarding larger ships such as cruisers and battleships and outright avoiding destroyer on destroyer engagements unless she has the very obvious upper hand. In this regard, she very much reminds me of Japanese torpedo destroyers. In that role, Z-44 is much better suited. Not only are her AP shells more likely to find hull sections that will arm them properly, her HE shells can take advantage of their increased penetration. Z-44 can damage up to 32mm hull sections with her HE rounds without having to resort to using the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells commander skill. This boosts her admittedly poor fire setting characteristics relative to gunships like Kitakaze, though it's not enough to pull it out of the doldrums. When fully upgraded, she is no better at setting fires than a Fletcher-class. Similar to the Fletcher-class, her ballistics are very floaty, so boosting her range is ill-advised as gunnery becomes uncomfortable at anything beyond very modest ranges. Overall, Z-44 is a poor gunship. Duels with enemy destroyers are limited to opportunistic strikes at best. While her AP shells can put out some respectable damage, she's far from a terror when it comes to hammering larger ships from afar. Z-44's fire arcs are strangely worse than her sister's. Her arcs are not bad on the attack with four guns able to shoot 25º off her bow, but you'll need to offer up a full broadside to fire with all five. Rearward, things get pretty terrible. Her problems here are compounded with her poor 8º/s gun rotation.. Friesland still rules the roost when it comes to fire setting. Z-44's fire setting is pretty bad, but it pays to keep in mind that she's more likely to be hoovering up direct damage from HE hits than other destroyers, so the numbers may end up being closer overall. Still, it's all kinds of frustrating when a battleship blows their Damage Control Party from a torpedo hit and you can't follow it up with a blaze for that sweet, sweet damage-over-time effect. Torpedoes The woes of Z-44's guns are paid back in full with her torpedoes. She is a torpedo-destroyer after all which is odd because at a glance her torpedoes look crappy. Do not let the low damage per fish fool you. The strength of Z-44 as a weapon platform comes from the combination of her two quintuple torpedo salvos and their wicked-fast reload. Fully upgraded and specialized to cut down her reload time, Z-44 can drop a full spread of torpedoes every 65 seconds at full health. Add on the Adrenaline Rush skill, at 50% health, Z-44 is launching torpedoes every 58.5 seconds. This is faster than a lot of her opponents expect given that it takes a minimum of 49 seconds to run to their full range (9.6km at 72kts with Torpedo Acceleration & Torpedo Tube Modification 1) and upwards of 70 seconds (12km at 64kts). This means that by the time Z-44's torpedoes are spotted, she's ready to launch another salvo. For battleships this means that every other shot they take, they have to contend with dodging fish from a concerted attack from Z-44. This makes closing with Z-44 dangerous for larger ships, especially if they do not have a Hydroacoustic Search consumable ready. Though her torpedoes do not have improved concealment, the fan of five torpedoes per launcher presents a serious challenge when it comes to dodging. Z-44's long range with her torpedoes is very welcome, especially in the radar-heavy environment of higher tiers. She can outstrip British and American cruiser & battleship borne Surveillance Radar entirely though she still needs to be wary of Soviet cruisers and destroyer variants. She is most comfortable up on a flank, sending constant waves of fish into parked enemies bow tanking the rest of your team. So long as no other destroyer (or aircraft) comes to spoil the party, Z-44 can rack up a surprising amount of damage in short order. Of course, this all hinges upon your opponents being idiots. This is the common lament of any torpedo destroyer as these high alpha weapons are fickle in the extreme. Some games, you can do no wrong. On others, you'll be lucky for even a handful of hits. Though Z-44's reload is fast, it's not like she holds a candle to Benham's ability to make torpedo soup. Z-44 drops about 25% more torpedoes per minute than Fletcher but her torpedoes only deal 72% of their damage. If all you're getting is incidental hits, that's not enough to keep pace and you certainly can't rely upon Z-44's guns to make up the difference. The success of this ship hinges entirely upon getting into an opportune firing position and being able to put sustained pressure on the Reds with multiple reloads worth of torpedoes. In some matches with aggressive enemy gunships or aircraft, this just isn't possible. Thus, like most torpedo-destroyers, Z-44 is very inconsistent with her performance. Being able to fire ten torpedoes every minute is novel. It's even fun when everything's going well, but it's so easy for the Reds to undo. VERDICT: Her guns are worse than they look and relying on them will get you into trouble. Her torpedoes are amazing and a lot of fun to use. She's not quite Benham levels of torpedo-trolling but she gets close. Durability Hit Points: 19,400 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 19mm / 13mm / 19mm / 19mm There's not a whole lot to say here. Z-44 is covered with 19mm structural plate from bow to stern with no deviations. Every HE hit short of the 100mm secondaries off some French ships is going to hurt. Z-44 has a respectable amount of health, but she's by no means competitive in this area, lacking the truly gargantuan hit point totals of ships like Paolo Emilio or the health regeneration from Repair Party equipped ships like Neustrashimy or Östergötland. This necessitates picking her gun battles with extreme care. Her chunktacular hit point total will only allow her to trade with select opponents -- either ones where she commands a considerable health advantage or those with poor gun performance. Taking her in a heads up fight with another gunship is generally a loser-move without a whole lot of backup. Z-44 comes in just shy of the magical 20,000hp benchmark. To be fair, this is a lot of health but at tier IX with the proliferation of the Repair Party consumable, it just doesn't hold up on its own merits. This means that while she may hold the temporary advantage in a one-off encounter, over the course of a whole match, she doesn't have the endurance of some of the other destroyers she competes with. VERDICT: Decent starting health but no heals and no armour makes her no better than average overall. Spend her hit points wisely. Agility Top Speed: 36.5kts Turning Radius: 670m Rudder Shift Time: 4.4s 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 7.1º/s at 30.8kts Z-44 shares identical performance characteristics to her predecessor at tier VIII, Z-35. While not unprecedented for two sister ships to clone each other's agility, this isn't a hard-fast rule. One need simply look at the Fletcher-class to see the variety of performance characteristics between the four ships, with Black and Fletcher mirroring one another and Chung Mu and Kidd sharing different characteristics to the lead-ship. For such a large destroyer, it's perhaps unsurprising that she's a bit of a sluggard. While her top speed is alright, her larger turning radius makes her come about more slowly than most of her contemporaries. Z-44 feels closer to a nimble light cruiser than a true destroyer. This said, if you elect to equip Main Battery Modification 3, she will out-turn her turrets which is incredibly frustrating. Because of her deficiencies in gunship battles, her Engine Boost tends to be best used for controlling engagement distances. Use it to get away from fights rather than to navigate from point A to B. Z-44's cumbersome handling compounds the troubles of her poor gun handling and lack of a Hydroacoustic Search consumable. Torpedoes are more of a danger. Knife fights are uncomfortable, forcing you to reach for her rudder to track opponents. While she's still a destroyer and fully capable of Just Dodging™ as much as the next lolibote, it's hard to feel confident at her helm. Z-44's lack of agility makes every unexpected encounter a potential crisis. For a destroyer that performs best out on a flank, this is not a good trait to have. Z-44 has worse agility than Z-46 owing to her slower top speed. VERDICT: She has a decent top speed, but that's about it. Anti-Aircraft Defence Short Ranged (up to 3.0km): 255.5dps at 95% accuracy (242.7dps) Just Dodge™. VERDICT: Just Dodge™. Vision Control Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 7.78km / 6.11km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 3.7km / 3.0km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 3.06km Maximum Firing Range: From 11.11km to 15.47km It's not Z-44's guns nor her torpedoes or health that defines her nearly so much as her Vision Control. Let's start with her consumable situation. As has already been lamented, Z-44 does not have Hydroacoustic Search. Were she a destroyer from any other nation but German (or British) it wouldn't even be worth mentioning. However, German destroyers normally do have a hydro to play with and the fact that Z-44 doesn't is an unfortunate exception. Given her role, this isn't a terrible handicap however there's no arguing that having said consumable isn't advantageous. Without it, this further limits what team play this fat destroyer provides. She's certainly a clumsy forward spotter (and we'll get to that), but with hydro she could occasionally be of some use sniffing out torpedoes and (under very extreme duress given her gun performance) enemy ships hiding in smoke. On more than a few occasions during play-tests, I found myself noting all of the circumstances where it would have helped (including two close-range gun duels with a Kitakaze and one with a Fletcher through smoke). Boo-urns, I say. It's even more unfortunate that Z-44 doesn't conform to the German norms of having Hydroacoustic Search but does conform to having one of the crappier Smoke Generators in the game. Before I get too headlong into my [edited] here, let me be fair: Z-44's Smoke Generator is improved over the standard baseline version for a tier IX German destroyer. Her smoke clouds should only be lasting 73 seconds. Instead she gets a tier X version and a bonus of a whole four more seconds. Whoo. Please note my dripping sarcasm. Compare this to the 93 seconds enjoyed by Japanese and Soviet destroyers, to say nothing of the 127 seconds enjoyed by those filthy capitalist dogs lolibotes from 'Murica. 'Murica sez: "Deal with It." So all of that isn't looking good, but it's made worse by her horribad surface detection. Her base 7.78km detection radius is ... well, it's not insurmountable but I couldn't blame you for painting a big fat Nope.jpg across this ship and never looking back. There's a long list of destroyers within her matchmaking that can out-spot her 6.11km surface detection. Here's the list, with dangerous (to Z-44) gunships highlighted in blue. Tier VII: Haida (5.67km), Shiratsuyu (5.81km) & Z-39 (6.08km) Tier VIII: Kagero, HSF Harekaze, Asashio, AL Yukikaze (5.37km), Cossack (5.48km), Lightning (5.52km), Benson, Kidd, Hsienyang, Loyang (5.8km), Öland (5.83km), Orkan (5.91km), Siliwangi (5.94km), Ognevoi (6.08km), Akizuki (6.1km) Tier IX: Yugumo (5.52km), Neustrashimy (5.56km), Chung Mu (5.66km), Jutland (5.7km), Fletcher, Black (5.8km), Benham, Z-46 (5.94km), Östergötland (5.99km), Kitakaze (6.1km) Tier X: Shimakaze (5.59km), Somers (5.8km), Yueyang (5.83km), Gearing (5.94km), Daring (5.97km), Grozovoi, Halland (5.99km), Hayate, Z-52 (6.08km) This long list (and her lack of a hydro) makes contesting caps a stupidly-dangerous proposition. Knowledge of this list and paying close attention to the enemy roster and minimap is necessary before she dares stick her nose anywhere near those buoy rings. This goes double if a carrier is present and operating aircraft anywhere near her. The best practice for Z-44 is to turn tail whenever she is detected unless you know for certain you can win the ensuing gun-fight. Odds are, though, you're going to have to contend with your enemy's friends interjecting onto the encounter, so discretion is often the better course. I tend to reserve her Engine Boost consumable for these times to open up the distance. Her top speed is generally good enough to play keep-away, so that's a blessing. Using Radio Location is a tremendous help in knowing where threats will be coming from and I cannot recommend it enough on this ship, but that's torpedo-destroyer 101. And so that's the unfortunate situation with Z-44. She can't out-spot most of her opponents. She struggles to outfight gunships. She can't rely on stealth or smoke to keep her safe. This means keeping her opponents at arm's length and capitalizing on the good range of her fish to see out most encounters. Had she been more stealthy, she could have at least flirted with scouting, spotting or cap control in a pinch. But those avenues are largely closed to her until the enemy roster cleans out. VERDICT: Poor marks all around which greatly limits the number of classic destroyer-roles she can safely undertake. Cap circles are dangerous, yo. Z-44 is poorly equipped to contest them beyond flooding them with fish every minute or so. Final Evaluation Cut away all of the nonsense and Z-44 boils down to a single question: Do you want to play a torpedo-destroyer that can put a lot of fish in the water very quickly BUT her gunnery sucks, her concealment sucks and her torpedoes don't hit very hard? To that I have to ask: "how many fish" and "how hard are they hitting?". Those numbers have to be pretty respectable in order to make this ship work.. Honestly, the first number piqued my interest. Z-44's reload time on her fish is great, especially for quintuple launchers. It's kind of crazy just how many torpedoes she puts out (7.1 per minute, stock) especially when you compare it to ships like Fletcher (5.7), Neustrashimy (4.8) or Yugumo (4.3 with Type 93 mod 2s without Torpedo Reload Booster). Her fish may hit like fluffy bunny kisses but that's okay when there are so many of them. Her torpedoes aren't slow and their range is decent. She almost holds her own compared to Benham in this regard which pretty damn high praise. Except she doesn't. Nothing gets close to Benham's ridiculous 11.3 torpedoes per minute when she's wiggly enough to dump fish off both sides (and she so often is). Benham's fish hit 1.5k damage harder than Z-44's, they move 1 knot faster at the expense of 1.5km worth of range. Benham can put out sixteen torpedoes every 85 seconds to Z-44's ten. So while Z-44 echoes some of Benham's performance, it's definitely not on par. I suspect Wargaming is more than a little gun-shy of repeating that mistake. Z-44 puts out a lot of torpedoes and she puts them out quickly -- fast enough to be viable but not so fast as to be immediately compelling. This is her entire gimmick, like it or lump it. All of this said, it would be a mistake to underestimate what Z-44 can do. She is definitely a ship worth keeping an eye on if it appears on the enemy team. Torpedo spam is not fun to contend with if you're in a battleship. While Z-44 is an easy mark for destroyer-hunters (be they cruisers, carriers or other lolibotes), left to her own devices she can cause a lot of chaos in a short amount of time. I will leave it to angrier people than me to declare whether or not Z-44 is good for the game (go check out their YouTube video reviews when you're done here!). As an investment, I'll give her a pass. If I'm going to play a vulnerable torpedo destroyer, I'd rather have the ability to sneak around or push a cap. For novel torpedo action, I'll reach for Asashio. Z-44's okay, but short of using her to complete "get X number of torpedo hit missions", I'm not likely to want to play her again. It's been a while since I've let a jpg have the last word so here you go: Conclusion Thank you all so much for reading. Thank you very much to my patrons for their continued support. I had originally planned to review both Z-35 and Z-44 together in the same article in the same manner as my Belfast & Belfast '43 review or that of Siegfried and Ägir. However, time was not permitting. It is easier for me to separate the two of them rather than constantly lacing a narrative between the two ships. This is clearly a case of "if I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter". If you stumbled upon this review and are looking for her sister ship, you can find the link here. Go have a read before you pull the trigger on either ship.
  14. In those German dds where you have a choice, which gun caliber do you chose, the 128 or the 150 mm? The 150 mm are real thumper guns that can punish broadside cruisers with AP, but their ROF is a disadvantage in a close-quarters fight with other dds. I've chosen the 128's in the past as a default but now I'm questioning my choice. Are the different calibers better in different battle modes (Random vs Ranked, vs Scenario, etc.)?
  15. 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.
  16. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review - Z-35

    The following is a review of the German premium destroyer Z-35. She was provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes at no cost to me. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.9.11. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. The Type 1936B destroyers bear a cursory resemblance to the American Fletcher-class. Tthe German and American ships are both large destroyers with five (roughly) five-inch guns in single turrets and two torpedo launchers, with Z-44 duplicating the quintuple mounts of the Fletcher-class while Z-35 makes do with quadruple mounts instead. However, the Type 1936B-sisters do not share the versatility of the American Fletchers, instead opting to specialize heavy towards a singular aspect. In Z-35's case, her strengths are so straight forward and unassuming, they''re easy to miss. Her smoke reloads quickly. Her guns fire 0.6 seconds faster than they should. That's it. That's Z-35. But these two things matter and they matter more than you might imagine as you'll see. Quick Summary: A heavy German gunship destroyer with five, rapid-firing 128mm guns but short-ranged torpedoes. She comes with a British destroyer Short-Burst Smoke Generator and a German destroyer Hydroacoustic Search. PROS Good chunk of hit points at 19,100hp. Good forward firing arcs. High DPM, especially with her AP shells. Boasts 32mm of HE penetration even before Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. Decent fire setting. Has a British destroyer Short-Burst Smoke Generator with lots of charges and a short reset timer. CONS Very (VERY) commander-skill hungry. Short ranged torpedoes. Slow turret traverse rates and poor rearward firing arcs. Sluggish rate of turn and large turning radius. Short-ranged AA firepower with no flak. Large surface detection range. No access to an Engine Boost consumable, limiting her top speed. Has a British destroyer Short-Burst Smoke Generator where her individual smoke clouds do not last very long. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / DIFFICULT Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH/ Extreme Of the two Type 1936B destroyers, Z-35 is the less inexperienced-player-friendly of the pair. She's fat, she's not as fast, and using her weapon systems at the wrong time will get you spotted and killed. She doesn't scout well. She's too easily spotted trying to take cap circles and she's not agile (or fast) enough to book it out of Dodge when things go pear shaped. Her huge chunk of health evaporates fast during these missteps. Oh, and carriers just love to chew on you. For veterans, Z-35 ticks the usual German destroyer boxes but with some British-destroyer flavour added in. The fast cool-down of her Short-Burst Smoke Generator opens the door to some slippery shenanigans that can infuriate your opponents. Good map knowledge and knowing which islands you can use to bombard enemies from cover helps immeasurably and saves those precious smoke charges. Finally, while difficult, it's possible to use her as a forward scout, providing vision for your team and screening for enemy destroyers. Options Consumables There are two items of note here. The first is Z-35's Smoke Generator. The second is her lack of an Engine Boost consumable. Her Damage Control Party is standard for a destroyer. This has unlimited charges, a 5 second active period and a 40 second reset timer. Z-35 borrows a Short-Burst Smoke Generator from the British tech tree destroyers. This has 6 charges and only a 70 second reset timer. However, it only generates smoke for 10 seconds and each cloud lasts a mere 40 seconds. Like with British destroyers, the individual smoke clouds generated have larger dimensions than normal smoke (600m instead of 450m). The Hydroacoustic Search she mounts in her final slot is standard for a tier VIII German destroyer. It's active for 100 seconds and over that time it spots torpedoes at 3.5km and enemy ships at 5.0km. It starts with three charges and has a 120 second reset timer. Upgrades In your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 is optimal. However, if the thought of being detonated incenses you (and you do not have a ready stock of Juliet Charlie signals), then you can take Magazine Modification 1. The Special Upgrade, Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 is best in slot two if you can afford it. It will set you back 17,000 from the Armory and will increase the consumable's action time from 100 seconds to 120 seconds. If that's not available to you, default to Engine Room Protection. I recommend Main Battery Modification 2 in her second slot to improve her gun handling. This will increase her gun rotation rate from 8º/s to 9.2º/s (up to 11.7º/s if you also add Expert Marksman). Otherwise default to Aiming System Modification 1. Propulsion System Modification 1 is your best choice in slot four. Z-35's Short Burst Smoke Generator does not generate many clouds so you have a lot less room to hide in. Improved acceleration is recommended.. If you prefer a more open-water style of play, then Steering Gears Modification 1 is better. To no one's surprise, Concealment System Modification 1 is still optimal in slot five. Steering Gears Modification 2 is a poor substitute but it has some (minor) viability when paired with Steering Gears Modification 1. Commander Skills After taking the mandatory survivability skills, prioritize skills hat will improve or facilitate Z-35's gunnery. Start with your choice of tier 1 skills. I prefer Priority Target but Preventative Maintenance and Incoming Fire Alert are reasonable choices. If you end up with 1 skill point leftover at the end, do not double up on Priority Target & Incoming Fire Alert -- always pair them with Preventative Maintenance instead. Next, grab the three skills highlighted with yellow circles: Last Stand, Survivability Expert and Concealment Expert. These are the mandatory destroyer skills that should be present on all of your lolibote commanders. After this, pick any of the red-square skills to your taste. Basic Fire Training should be considered all but mandatory but in the end it's up to you. There are lots of different viable builds for Z-35 and there simply are not enough commander skill points to go around. Finding what works for you may take some experimentation. She reminds me very much of HMCS Haida in this way. I found Radio Location to be especially helpful in Z-35. She's often out-spotted by enemy destroyers so this at least helps give a vector towards the skulking little monster. Camouflage Z-35 comes with Type 10 Camouflage providing the usual tier VIII premium-ship bonuses of: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -10% to post-battle service costs. +50% to experience gains. I'm not a fan of either of Z-35's camo palettes. They look dull and dingy. Firepower Main Battery: Five 128mm guns in 5x1 turrets in an A-B-P-X-Y superfiring configuration Torpedoes: Eight torpedo tubes in 2x4 launchers mounted ahead and behind the rear funnel. Z-35's forward torpedo launcher has a 40º to 119º arc off each side (79º total). Her rear launcher has a 41º to 129º arc (88º total). Yes, her arcs are slightly better than Z-44's. That will be a running theme. Forgettable Fish Let's start with Z-35's torpedoes because they're largely a non-entity. This is owing to the combination of their short range (6km) and Z-35's limited concealment (6.11km minimum surface detection range). Short of using smoke, island-cover or racing ahead of a fast-moving target to dump fish in their path, Z-35 is not launching her torpedoes from stealth. This largely limits them to a weapon of desperation -- either yours or the enemy's. These torpedoes clone those found on Z-44 save for range and reload. Z-35's 90 second timer is about what you would expect for a quadruple launcher and echoes the reload on other German destroyers like Z-39, Z-23 and Z-46. Part and parcel of this cloning was the anemic warheads found on Z-44's fish. To put down a full health battleship, you'll need both launchers, so don't skimp out. Overall, these weapons are largely forgettable. They are just too short ranged to make regular use out of them, though it's always exciting when you do. Great Things About Her Guns Z-35 is armed with five of the German 128mm/45 guns. These weapons are the same guns you first take up at tier VI T-61 and Ernst Gaede. They are defined by their excellent AP shell damage which is comparable to a 152mm round fired from a light cruiser. This improved AP damage comes at the expense of that of her HE shells which are downright wussy by comparison. While AP shells always deal more damagethan HE for all ships, the ratio here is a 2:1 difference which is really high. Nost range from about 1.4 to 1 (IJN 100mm, Soviet DDs) down to around 1.2:1 (American & Pan Asian destroyers) with some extremes going lower still. Thus, it's to Z-35's advantage to make use of her AP shells whenever possible, though that's seldom straight forward. The issue is two fold. Both problems boil down to the maximum and minimum amount of armour Z-35's AP shells are effective against. First, they're lacking in penetration even for a destroyer. She can't even managing to best 100mm of steel at 5km. On the flip side of things, her AP shells still need to strike a minimum armour value in order to properly fuse -- 21mm to be exact. Without hitting that her shells simply overpenetrate and her damage output drops below that of her HE shells. Thus her AP shells exist in this narrow band of utility. They don't have enough penetration to citadel cruisers (except in very extreme cases) and their fuses aren't sensitive enough to properly arm on the broadside of destroyer hulls or battleship superstructures. There's no helping the former short of getting suicidally close -- and at those ranges, your fish are a better option anyway. The latter can be worked around. Good ol' Pythagoras tells us that the 19mm worth of plate found on high-tier destroyer hulls and battleship superstructures becomes 21mm thick when angled at approximately 35º from the perpendicular (lower tiered destroyers and battleships necessitate even steeper angles). So switch over to her AP shells as enemies begin nosing in. Just make sure to switch back to HE if they angle in too steeply or show broadside again. Though Z-35's HE shells are anemic on damage per hit, they have excellent HE penetration. She's able to penetrate up to 32mm of steel right out of the package which allows her to direcly damage the extremities (and some hulls) of tier VIII+ battleships. Few other destroyers can manage this and those that can have to rely upon using the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells skill which damages their fire-setting. This means against those big ol' thunderchunkers, Z-35 tends to do more damage on per hit basis that contemporary destroyers despite the deficit on damage per shell as hits that stray from their superstructures still have a chance of dealing damage. Thus she can still farm some numbers while attempting to spread fires on the other sections of the hull. It is worth noting that once a hull section is blackened, switch back to AP shells even if they will overpenetrate. A saturated (0.165x) HE hit from Z-35's guns does 248 damage while an overpenetration from her AP shells does 300. There is a lot of this jockeying back and forth to keep Z-35's damage output optimal. Where Z-35 stands apart from other German destroyers is her rate of fire. She doesn't have the usual 4 second reload -- instead her's is only 3.4 seconds. A 0.6 second difference may not seem like much but it's a 15% increase to her rate of fire. With her five guns, Z-35 puts out 88 rounds per minute, allowing her to keep up to but not quite match Z-46's and Z-52's six-gun, 4 second reload with 90 rounds per minute (at least until they equip Main Battery Modification 3 and leave Z-35 in the dust). So it's fair to say that Z-35 has almost tier IX gun damage. Let's call it tier VIII+. Look up, look waaaay up and welcome to Z-35's castle made of excellent AP performance. Her HE DPM isn't bad which is surprising given the lacluster damage of her individual shells. A Little Bit Pear Shaped... There are three ... well, let's call them "soft problems" with Z-35's guns. They're not crippling flaws by any means, but they are problems you'll have to address in order to make this ship perform. This first is their ballistics. German 128mm/45 guns have comparable ballistics to British 113mm/45 guns found on Jutland and Daring. This is better than the American 127mm/38 trebuchets but just slightly worse than the 120mm Bofors found on the Pan European destroyers like Frielsand. There are three shell flight time incriments I like to look at when I'm analyzing a ship: Four seconds, eight seconds and twelve seconds. Four seconds is about the maximum lead time that I can confidently bullseye a fast moving, evasive target like a destroyer with (almost) every shot regardless of how they throw themselves about. Z-35's shells reach 6.5km or so in 4 seconds. Inside of this mark is her ideal knife-fighting range. An eight second lead time is that sweet spot for standard engagement distances. Most of my shells will hit, even if the target is under manoevres. But with this much shell flight time, active dodging becomes an issue and hits are not guaranteed. For Z-35 an 8 second lead time takes her to 10.5km. This is the distance she can comfortably spray down cruisers and battleships from cover. Once I hit a twelve second lead, I'm really only going to hit the target if they're moving predictably and even then I might have to range in a few shells before connecting. For Z-35, this is only reached if you use the Advanced Fire Training (AFT) commander skill to let her reach this 13.5km distance. This is the upper limit of where she's effective so generally speaking, you can do without boosting her range and just stick with her base 12.12km reach. AFT gives her a maximum reach of 14.54km but that's just wasted space she can't effectively use as it takes her shells over 13 seconds to reach this distance. The second issue Z-35's guns face is gun traverse rates. 8º/s is alright but at full speed, she turns at just over 7º/s. When guns traverse this slowly relative to their ship rate of turn, the temptation becomes to use the rudder to keep guns on target. Dodging gets sacrificed to maintain a rate of fire. This can (and will) get you killed on occasion. Between the Expert Marksman commander skill and Main Battery Modification 2 upgrade, Z-35's gun handling improves from 8º/s to 11.7º/s. It's still not ideal (I would prefer 12º+ for a dedicated gunship) but it can be made to work. Such a build is expensive, however, especially for a ship that's already starved for commander skills. Mitigating this issue requires a lot of forethought in planning your angles of attack. I'm an impulsive idiot, though, so I've found upping my gun rotation rate works better for me. The final piece of the puzzle is her fire arcs -- specifically her rearward firing arcs. Forward, they're gorgeous, with only her Y-turret being a bit of a loser, failing the manage my covetted 30º off the bow fire angle. Four of her guns can manage 25º, just like Z-44, which is super comfy. Rearward things get bad. Her two forward turrets can only engage targets 54º off her stern which is horrible. Engaging with these turrets makes Z-35 an easy target for return fire which will get you mauled in short order. Sacrifcing two turrets in order to kite effectively is a poor trade, especially in knife fighting situations against other lolibotes. She is much better on the attack than on the defensive -- keep that in mind when setting up your attack runs. Z-35 has much better fire arcs than her sister, Z-44 with slightly better arcs on A & B turret but MUCH better arcs on Y. Z-35 has excellent forward fire arcs but pretty crappy to the rear. Her gun rotation of 8º/s is pretty bad, though. Practical Application Making the most out of Z-35 is all about exercising patience. She's too fat to contest a cap circle in the opening minutes of a match. As soon as there's opposition and they have any kind of support, she needs to vacate. During the opening minutes of the match, Z-35's gunnery is best used sparingly. What she's looking for are easy targets to hose down with a mix of HE and AP shells while avoiding reprisals from radar cruisers and carriers. Shooting and scooting from behind islands and smoke cover is her bread and butter until things begin thinning out. Only then, with her hit points preserved, can she begin hunting down lolibotes, where she can out-trade them with her rapid-fire guns and large hit point pool. The modest damage destroyers generate against larger targets belies it's efficacy in turning the outcome of a game. It's intimidating and frustrating to be hosed down from an angry smoke cloud or island. Light a fire or two and most battleships will give up the fight, even if you've only scratched their paint up until this point. Picking on cruisers, especially ones that can't heal, is riskier given the possibilities of Surveillance Radar or simply using their faster-reloading guns to take enterprising shots into your smoke. Still, the rewards are great if you can pull it off, especially against cruisers that can't heal. But it's ambushing destroyers where she really shines -- especially when she can make use of her Hydroacoustic Search to flush them out at close range and tear them apart in short order with her rapid-fire guns. That's always so satisfying. Fully upgraded toward setting blazes, Z-35 is a respectable fire setter. That's not something you can say about her tier IX counterpart, Z-44. VERDICT: Great guns. Crappy fish. Durability Hit Points: 19,100 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 19mm / 13mm / 19mm / 19mm In a straight up fight, Z-35's glut of hit points is bloody intimidating. Combined with the high DPM, she'll come out the better in most trades, even with most of the same-tier gunships. It's only in a protracted engagement, over the course of many minutes that she falls behind those destroyers equipped with a Repair Party. Similarly, this advantage in hit points falls away when up against higher tiered opponents with their larger hit point pools and even more efficient heals. The solution is, of course, to put those little bastards down quickly making optimal use of her AP and HE shells. However, given Z-35's shoddy ballistics and modest speed (see below), encounters with other destroyers are seldom decisive. She's too fat to get close barring the enemies already hiding in their smoke. Her ballistics are too floaty to guarantee hits at range and her ammunition too temperamental. Thus it becomes a case of spending her hit points wisely in such encounters and keeping in mind that some ships will claw back the health you've taken from them... which unfair as you totally went out of your way to steal those hit points in the first place. These graphs are getting a little too cluttered. I think I'm going to have to start paring them down and only selecting a few key ships. Agility Top Speed: 36.5kts Turning Radius: 670m Rudder Shift Time: 4.4s 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 7.1º/s at 30.8kts And here, Z-35 doesn't fare so well ... This is a shame, because it had been pretty good up until this point. The disappointment she creates here isn't owing to a single thing but rather all of them working in combination. Her top speed is decent. 36.5 knots is more than reasonable. She's certainly not competing with the likes of the Soviet and French speed demons, but that's not a flaw in of itself. Her rudder shift time is fine. It could be better but it's not terrible. And finally, her turning circle radius is a bit on the large side, but alone isn't enough to damn her. But when you put this together, Z-35 handles like a fat, ill-tempered duck. She's anything but nimble and she ends up feeling more like an agile light cruiser than a destroyer. She can wiggle and dodge, sure, but it's not as comfortable as other destroyers. Her 7.1º/s rate of turn is close to that found on cruisers like Perth and Murmansk. Things get weirder when you look at her consumables. When I saw Z-35 had a Short-Burst Exhaust Smoke Generator, I got excited that we might see a German destroyer with British destroyer energy preservation -- you know, to facilitate stopping and starting in her tiny smoke screens. Well, a simple twirling test dismissed that notion. Then I thought, perhaps she will have improved acceleration. To this end, I compared her to Farragut, the tier VI American tech-tree destroyer that shares the same top speed. But Farragut reaches 36.5 knots a full second faster than Z-35, so that didn't pan out either. The last thing I checked was if Z-35 stopped faster (cuz I dunno, maybe it was a thing to help with braking into her own smoke?). Again Farragut achieves this a full second faster. The only thing these tests confirmed was that Z-35 is a chonker and she does have any special agility gimmicks. Taking Propulsion Modification 1 is thus highly recommended. It's the only extra grunt you'll get in her engines short of equipping a Sierra Mike signal. What Z-35 does have is an agility deficit and this goes beyond her modest-to-poor base stats. Without access to an Engine Boost consumable, she doesn't have that on-demand speed that's so helpful for destroyers for extracting themselves from bad situations (to say nothing of capitalizing on opportunities). Functionally, this reduces her flexibility to that of the Japanese torpedo-boats of this tier. Anything else can, with the touch of a button, out-strip her in straight-line speed. This limits Z-35's ability to control engagement distances. This, on top of her rearward fire-angle woes makes her a very poor choice when it comes to kiting opponents. Z-35 can gun but her run needs a lot of work. Pretty crappy. At least Z-35 isn't ducky-bad. VERDICT: Forget any hidden agility bonuses. She's as bare bones as she looks and she looks chonky. Anti-Aircraft Defence Medium Ranged (up to 3.5km): 122.5dps at 100% accuracy (122.5dps) Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 42dps at 95% accuracy (39.9dps) I crack the joke in my Z-44 review that all she can do is Just Dodge™. I thought it worth explaining why I'm generally dismissive of most destroyer AA defence. It comes down to two main reasons: They don't generate enough DPS. It's against their best interest to keep their longer-ranged AA batteries active until the last minute. The first one is pretty obvious. If you're not doing enough damage to shoot down so much as a single plane, there's nothing stopping the carrier from coming back again and again. Even if a destroyer does have enough DPS to shoot down an aircraft, they have to do so at a rate that taxes the regeneration of the carrier significantly or the carrier can simply absorb the losses and (once again) keep coming back. This problem compounds with destroyers keeping their AA disabled. Because of their only modest AA values relative to the hit points of individual aircraft, their best defence is to remain unspotted for as long as possible. To this end, destroyers will only activate their AA guns when planes wander into their aerial detection range. This further reduces the amount of time they have to shoot down aircraft. For example, to shoot down just one upgraded (health + armour) F4F Wildcat from a tier VI Ranger's attack-aircraft squadron, Z-35 needs anywhere between 4 seconds (absolute best circumstances with perfectly timed focus fire against a full-sized squadron) and 9.2 seconds (just base DPS, no focus fire) to shoot down one (1) aircraft assuming all of her guns are in range and intact. Things get worse when you face tier VIII and tier X aircraft. And that's the other thing, with Z-35's AA firepower based on medium and small calibre mounts, even a cursory smattering of HE damage will break many, if not most, of these weapons. A single HE rocket strike facilitates any follow up strikes. It gets easier and easier for the carrier the more damage she does. The only way to succeed here is not to get engaged at all. In order to stand a reasonable chance of discouraging predation, your little destroyer has to be shooting down three or more aircraft per squadron and that's largely beyond the capabilities of most tier VIII destroyers. Z-35 isn't the DPS front-runner. So Just Dodge™. You might shoot a few planes down. They will probably be summoned fighters. But don't kid yourself to think you have anywhere near enough AA protection to make a carrier think twice. Even the best performing AA-destroyers at this tier struggle, to say nothing of the rest of the plebes. VERDICT: Just Dodge™. Vision Control Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 7.92km / 6.22km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 3.7km / 3.0km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 2.99km Maximum Firing Range: From 12.12km to 14.54km Fat Z-35 is one heckin' chonker. To other ships, she's spotted just as easily as Z-23 and Harugumo. You're not sneaking up on much of anything. On the occasion the enemy lolibote doesn't spot you first, the margin of distance between your surface detection and that of your enemy is so small that you'll scracely have the reaction time to capitalize upon it. It's only the ships out there with the worst concealment that she can effectively out-spot and keep lit without giving herself away, assuming you went with a full concealment build. The list of ships she outspots by a distance by 400m or more is painfully short. Le Terrible (+430m) Mahan (+450m) Aigle, Guépard, Maass, Minsk, Blyskawica, Udaloi (+540m) Marceau (+760m Kiev (+850m) Paolo Emilio (+910m) Tashkent (+1,170m) Mogador (+1,280m) Kléber (+1,540m) Khabarovsk (+1,640m). You'll note that many of these ships include those that can exceed 40 knots. Even if Z-35 spots them first, there's no guarantee she can effectively play keep away if they're trying to sniff her out. Similarly, when Z-35 is detected first, she's not guaranteed to have enough speed to be able to run down those that are lighting her. She is generally ill-suited to hunting down destroyers for this reason., at least without a lot of help. Taking Radio Location as a commander skill is highly recommended as it lets you know the vector towards the nearest ship. This will, at times, allow you to plot more effective intercepts, especially with working map knowledge and how enemy destroyers like to take advantage of different locations. It also helps with using her other consumables efficiently, warning when using her Short-Burst Smoke Generator or Hydroacoustic Search are best held on standby. There are only ever bandaid solutions to correct for Z-35's large surface detection. Patience, caution, Radio Location all help but they're not a perfect fix. Keep this flaw in mind. Squid Ink Thankfully, Z-35 will (almost) always have her Short-Burst Smoke Generator on hand. The reload of this consumable is very short -- 70 seconds from the last smoke cloud's discharge. The delay between Z-35's last smoke cloud being issued and the consumable coming off cool-down is a mere 20 seconds. This can be further reduced with signals and commander skills, dropping the delay down to just 13.2 seconds (63.2 second reset timer) allowing Z-35 to become especially slippery. While her individual cloud may last only 40 seconds, the value of (almost) always having her smoke ready again when she needs it cannot be underestimated. It's this consumable which "fixes" her bad concealment. It also helps keep her alive with her smoke not allowing her to stay parked in one place for long without being spotted again. This can (and will) frustrate enemy torpedoes launched from long range to try and flush you out, sparing you some use of your Hydroacoustic Search. Gunning from smoke is Z-35's bread and butter, though efforts should be made to spare its use when possible. Assuming it takes Z-35 two minutes to make initial contact from the start of the match, she can blow through all six of her intiial smoke charges by the 10-minute mark of the game. It's surprisingly easy to run out. Superintendent helps, of course, but you can spare yourself the three commander skill points by having a list of islands in your head that you know you can make ready use, allowing you to bomabard enemies from relative safety. This can always be supplemented with a squirt of smoke if the firing angles change. Not a Cheese-Eating Surrender-Monkey With her great smoke and her poor concealment and awful kiting fire-angles, she is not well suited to blasting enemies from open water. As lolibotes go, Z-35 is a pretty damn easy target to bullseye for cruisers and battleships, even when she's attempting to make herself wiggly. Her (relatively) short engagement distances compound this. Her 36.5 knot top speed, her 7.1º/s rotation rate and her inflexible gun arcs means that her movements are limited and often predictable. A Z-35 that starts blasting out in the open is asking for trouble and is usually forced to squirt smoke to bail herself out when enemies start looking her way. Granted, this can be a pro teamplay move in order to distract the Reds but it's generally lumped in the "not a good idea" or "get yourself sent back to port stupidly fast" category of thought-processes. Stick to island cover. Use your smoke. Success & Lolibote Hugs Z-35 generally espouses standard German destroyer game-play because of her concealment woes. Don't push cap circles too early. Bombard targets from smoke. And, when opportunity permits, push on any destroyers hiding in smoke to flush them out with her powerful Hydroacoustic Search. This is, in my opinion, Z-35 at her most rewarding -- catching enemy destroyers unawares and ripping them apart with a hail of her rapid-fire 128mm weapons. Her awesome forward fire angles make this so heckin' comfortable. So long as you time your approach right and use their own smoke to prevent her friends from seeing you once you've finally got them lit, the pay-off is huge. You can then "borrow" their smoke afterwards and put shells in their friend's faces if there's any within reach, or simply go back and cap now that the enemy destroyer screen is thinned out. Z-35's stealth game is very nuanced. She's ill-suited to taking big risks, being (generally) unable to run if things go pear shaped (and they will). But, with careful husbandry of her vision control assets and some general patience for finding the right opportunities, she plays a mean game. Z=35 may have crappy stealth but she has good vision control. Getting the most out of it comes is locked behind a pretty high skill wall, making her unfriendly towards new players. But in the right hands, she's a beast. Island? Check. Enemy battleship inside of 11km? Check. Smoke at the ready? Check. This is Z-35 101. VERDICT: Far better than her crappy surface detection range would suggest. Final Evaluation I don't think I could have been any more dismissive of Z-35 if I tried. A big, fat German gunship with useless torpedoes? How boring. Why would anyone want to spend money on this thing when they could get something novel like T-61 or T-44? The simple answer is reliability. Z-35 is a workhorse. She's no show-pony. There's no glitz, no glamour. There's no fancy gimmicks. Hell , I even overlooked the quirk of her Smoke Generator on my first couple of play throughs. It wasn't until I noticed that it always seemed to be at the ready that I clued in (you would have thought the different icon would have tipped me off, but I'm an idiot, what can I say?). Z-35 is simply effective. That is not something you can say about her sister, Z-44, whose fortunes largely hinge upon the stupidity of her opponents. She's analogous to (and largely performs a similar role) to the IJN Ducky Botes like Akizuki, Kitakaze and Harugumo. It's hard to argue against their efficacy. Now being effective doesn't necessarily translate to being fun. A ship being good goes a long way towards that, let's not kid ourselves, and Z-35 definitely has one foot in the stirrups there. Where this ship excels, what truly makes her special, is how much control she gives to the player. Success with Z-35 doesn't hinge on having good team mates. She can do her own spotting even in her own smoke, picking on battleships made visible by the blast of their own guns. She's not beholden to there being gaps in the enemy lines in order to farm damage the way Z-44 and other torpedo destroyers are. Her tool-set gives her enough versatility that you can set yourself up to succeed and the ship's performance changes noticeably with different builds, lending this sense of customizability that feels so rewarding. You can make this ship your own, both through style of play and upgrades. So far, pretty high praise, no? Now the caveats Tier VIII matchmaking is junk. Tier IX is the new tier VII and Z-44 spits on Z-35's matchmaking. Z-44 enjoys fewer games with aircraft carriers in it -- a factor that greatly changes the quality of life for destroyers, I think we will all agree. For Z-35, the presence of carriers is normal, being bracketed by tier VI and tier X CVs within the matchmaker, to say nothing of those that populate her own tier. It's so commonplace that I sat up and took notice in my play sessions when there wasn't a carrier present, and thanked my lucky stars RNGeebus had smiled on me. Similarly, for pure economy reasons, tier VIII feels long in the tooth. Why earn 400,000 credits a match when you could earn so much more by playing a tier IX premium instead? It's also hard to feel like Z-35 is somewhat lacking in game play variety. In my heart I know this is a falsehood -- the manner in which she has to approach each match is varied depending on the opponents she faces. Some games she has to be especially slippery, dodging active hunters and farming what little damage she can as opportunities permit. On others, she gets to play a forward scouting role, pushing the enemies screens back. My perception no doubt comes from the lack of torpedoes which is so very much a staple of destroyer game play for me. This combines with the necessity of patience to make Z-35 work. I'm not patient in my game play. It's an uncomfortable fit for me and when every match starts with a delayed waiting period, they end up feeling similar. I'm sure this is all in my head. Overall, I'm very pleased with Z-35 but I can't recommend her. The skill floor is a little too high. If you're a veteran destroyer player with a solid understanding of stealth and gunship tactics, go for it.. Otherwise, respect this ship and keep clear. Conclusion Thank you all so much for reading. Thank you very much to my patrons for their continued support. I had originally planned to review both Z-35 and Z-44 together in the same article in the same manner as my Belfast & Belfast '43 review or that of Siegfried and Ägir. However, time was not permitting. It is easier for me to separate the two of them rather than constantly lacing a narrative between the two ships. This is clearly a case of "if I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter". If you stumbled upon this review and are looking for her sister ship, you can find the link here. Go have a read before you pull the trigger on either ship. I really like this screenshot. My new pooter makes things pretty.
  17. 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.
  18. So I’ve been working on a side project on my own for the past 6 or 7 years where I have been coming up with ideas for a fictional alternate history series. I had an idea for a German battlecruiser design that combines the designs (both external and internal designs and the armor layout) of the German battleship Bismarck (using wows’s B hull upgrade as the basis for her exterior design) and the British battlecruiser HMS Hood (using her design in wows as exterior basis). My question is what would this design probably look like in your opinion? I would also like photos/reference drawings to be used in this discussion if whoever reads this wants to in order to make it easier to visualize the design aspects used.
  19. HeavenlyWind_

    Something HUGE is coming...

    This has been in my head since Shikishima came out and for all I know this has already been said or thought of, but here I go: I'm sure when Kremlin was leaked, we all thought that 3 x 3 457/460mm guns would be the peak of gun caliber and quantity in the whole game. That was until Shikishima (Yashima at the time) was leaked and was revealed to have 3 x 2 510mm (20.1 inch guns). But it didn't stop there as you know the split US BB line that will be added to the game real soon with Vermont having 4 x 3 457mm guns. With all that, I'm theorizing that "the big one" is coming, that being the German BB H-44 , rumored to have 4 x 2 506mm (20 inch) guns. I've heard its rumored name might be Wotan, Hutten or even a recycled name like Kronprinz. Thus, it could be our first non-CV/non-Sub German T10 premium. What do you guys think?
  20. I recently got Erich Loewenhardt and I've played a few games with it. So far it is a fun CV to play, I don't have enough battles with her to give an overall impression. At any rate, I was curious & decided to test E. Loewenhardt's secondaries vs. her tech-tree counterpart, the Weser. Both have 5 x 2 105mm guns, but E. Loewenhardt has additional 8 x 2 150's in the hull, 4 turrets on each side. The test is as follows: both ships are taken into a training battle vs. a stationary Fuso bot. Both Weser & Loewenhardt have the secondary battery ship module, with a secondary signal mounted. I used my Graf Zeppelin captain, who has BFT, & AFT. Both ships secondaries reach 7.6 km fully spec'd. The carrier was approx. 7km away from the Fuso for each test & all secondary guns were able to fire on target. A timer was started when the secondaries began firing & stopped when the Fuso was sank. Each test was repeated 3 times for both Weser & Loewenhardt (6 tests total), to get an average of three. Here are the results: WESER vs. FUSO (Averages): Secondary Battery: Hits - 223.6 Shots fired - 1,037.3 Damage - 16,641.3 Fires: 4.3 Damage Caused by Fire: 40,458.6 Time to Sink: 5 min. 11.3 sec. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ERICH LOEWENHARDT vs. FUSO (Averages): Secondary Battery: Hits - 147.3 Shots fired - 1,082.6 Damage - 14,517.3 Fires: 4.6 Damage Caused by Fire: 42,582.6 Time to Sink: 4 min. 2.6 sec. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For every 4-5 shots fired by Weser, 1 would hit the target. (4.63) For every 7-8 shots fired by E. Loewenhardt, 1 would hit the target. (7.35) Based on the data & observations from the testing, E. Loewenhardt does not have the improved secondary dispersion & accuracy that Weser & the tech tree German CVs have. It seems to have standard secondary dispersion patterns, like other nation's CVs have. However, Loewenhardt was able to sink the Fuso quicker than Weser. Weser relies on her 5 x 2 105's, which pen 26mm by default. Loewenhardt's additional 150's can pen 38mm of armor. Fuso's central deck armor is 36mm, while her bow, stern & side plating are all 26mm (not including her side casemate armor, which is 152mm). Weser could only pen Fuso's superstructure, side plating, bow & stern, whereas Loewenhardt's additional 150's could pen all that plus the deck armor. So, in conclusion, E. Loewenhardt doesn't have the improved secondary dispersion the tech-tree German CVs get, but having the additional 150's makes up for the accuracy difference. I believe this test would go a lot differently vs. a smaller cruiser or destroyer instead of a Fuso, Weser might win in those cases. Any comments or questions are welcome! - FairWindsFollowingSeas [NA]
  21. Still sad to be a defeat in the end, but I beat my long-standing USS Iowa damage record of 221k in none other than my Bismarck. At least what I've learned is that if people don't focus you, you can be quite effective in these secondary-spec BBs. If singled out and focused, you die pretty quick. Enjoyed this round nonetheless even with a loss.
  22. Swizzle757

    Graf Spee main gun range

    I do think that the Graf Spee should have greater main battery range, and that it's secondaries have also been "nerfed" from what they could do in real life. However, I do realize that "game balance" is important. So, here's a thought about a change to that ship: Right now, it can only carry a Fighter. What about letting it carry a Spotter as well? Thanks for the upcoming discussion!
  23. OKIES_NAVY

    GERMAN CV's?

    I'm confidant this is about the last topic you'd care to hear about or more likely hear more about. I have to believe WOW has lost its way introducing German CV's to a game who hasn't seen an Italian Battleship or Destroyer line. Lines of ships that actually existed in history being pre-empted by a line of exclusively, save one, paper ships simply boggles the mind. Is there an Earth shaking demand for German CV's? Not only are you bringing to life paper ships but you are also endowing them with paper super weapons. Mind you the Germans had a guided missile, of sorts, but it was never launched from a CV. Perhaps that's another little surprise we have to look forward to in the future? To add insult to injury two of the three dominant Navies of WWII are withering on the vine. The USN and IJN are being power creeped into obscurity with only premium ships providing any grace what so ever. The Brits are having issues themselves. I have to assume these are purely business decisions. The NA player numbers is far from huge and I'm sure the number of Italian players is dwarfed by those from Russia. The only reason I'm doing this now is because I failed to include it in the after clan season survey. I felt it didn't really belong there any way.
  24. I saw this topic in the EU forums and realized I couldn't post since I have an NA account... so i thought I'd start a topic here since everyone seems to blow off the Agir as a poor ship.... I'm an average player who should know better... I often makes mistakes due to being too aggressive and not waiting long enough to make a push... I find AGIR to be a great ship at pushing caps and stalking island chains since its combo of Hydro, Torps and workable armour makes you a pretty good brawler. I've been using a tank survivability build with a quicker rudder, turrets, and stealth of course. His guns can hit very hard if you aim at the right areas... he has much better accuracy than Odin. Long range I shoot above the waterline at BB's and AP superstructure shots at bow on heavy cruisers.... Inside of 8-10km these guns can often punch thru any BB armour broadside.... With broadside cruiser I find that a little bit of angle... say 10*... mitigates a fair amount of shot that could become overpens... I had to pick up a work phone call while duelling the Riga and made two dumb mistakes... shot the rocks TWICE while trying to multi task... otherwise I should have been able to kill her and made more of a nuisance of myself. She didnt do to bad against the T8 CV.... was able to fend off most re-attacks after the first strike. Note that I only fired one broadside of HE all game... I usually load HE for starters to lit up DD's going for early caps. Secondaries did fairly well, 27% hit rate, and caused 3 fires... for a combined total of 15k damage.... I did NOTHING to buff them. I would also take this with a pinch of salt... as you will see that in the replay... a Bismarck tries to run from me at close range for a song and dance until I showed him what his brother Tirpitz got instead of Hydro... I was also able to tank almost 1.5 million potential damage... not bad for a ship in Cruiser MM... I also find that you get alot more opportunitites for crosffire broadsides on BB's since they have to angle against your teams BB's. All in all I am very happy with this ship so far... she needs to play a certain style but it fits me... also I may be biased towards the chonky Germans as I am basically an Angry Prussian in Space/ Imperial Fist. Appropriate meme for most of my playstyle this game .... 20200614_202938_PGSC519- BEST REPLAY AEGIR Aegir_25_sea_hope.wowsreplay
  25. What is taking so long for the Seigfried , the Agir to come out not to mention the Odin it seems like wargaming hates the Germans they take some of the most accurate ships known to make them suck at accuracy they give us a ton of Russian paper ships that quite frankly are over powered and some of the hysterically over powered , and we still have not seen these ships yet why not and last I checked they have nerfed them to the point where they are not good at all but buff Russian ships that were already overpowered wth is going on wargaming ohh and don't get me started on Italian battle ships where the hell are they why are we getting more Russian paper ships when there was a whole Italian fleet that was real and it is not in the game really come on , am I the only one who thinks this is messed up I love the game but come on even a blind man with one good ear can understand what they are doing so why do they hate the Germans and pretend that there navy was so awesome that it doesn't deserve the same treatment that every other navy is getting?
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