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Found 9 results

  1. Its probably best if you just glance over the Underlined and bold parts. Its quite long. Plz reply and share your experiences. Hi everybody! I have been looking around at other forums and have thought that It would be a good idea to have one, big, main forum where everybody can voice their opinions (i.e. rage and complain) about the recent carrier rework. I have been getting several different opinions about what the carrier rework and hotfix has done to our warships. I have been looking around to see what kind of different opinions we have been getting about the carrier rework. From what I have currently seen, the most trouble has come from destroyers. The complaint is that aircraft spotting is too good, and that they are permaspotted and shelled by everything in the vicinity. The same can be said about scout cruisers, which lack the AA defense to repel concentrated air attack, and who cannot output enough damage to repel the hail of fire that the rest of the battle fleet will throw at it. This also does not allow it to spot other targets, voiding its purpose. Light and Heavy cruisers can output a substantial amount of AA firepower, but only the most powerful light cruisers and the most AA oriented heavy cruisers to repel a concentrated air attack. Under constant attack from my fully maxed Lexington, only the enemy Atlanta, AA spec Cleveland, a new Orleans with defensive AA fire, and a trio of battleships pooling their AA could prevent themselves from being decimated by my aircraft (even the AA ships still took minor damage from the remains of my squadrons). Light cruisers that shoot from behind islands are immobile, and vulnerable to attack from bombers and torpedo planes. Heavy cruisers, especially those with an AA focus, are the only ships capable of repelling constant attack by same tier carriers without major damage. Most battleships, with the exception of high tier American ones, generally have crap or mediocre AA, and need an escort or a division to pool their AA. However, concealment isn't really that important, and all BBs can take a hit, so other than being unable to dodge torpedoes, they did OK. The main consensus is that CV's are not that fun to play against. On top of that, It is hard to repel air attack, and being permanently spotted is deadly for most light cruisers and destroyers. I have also heard complaints from the aircraft carrier community. The US Cv community, complains that dive bombers require too much RNG and that the torpedoes don't do enough alpha. The IJN community is having trouble with AP bombs and the bomb sights, which are accurate but hard to use. The british CV line is still going through buffs and nerf at an alarming rate. Right now (2 patches from now this could have changed entirely) the british CV community complains that the short arming distance torpedoes are carried by aircraft that lack the health and speed to reach their target, and the bombing runs are rather flat and sort of have a forward rather than a mostly down trajectory. On top of that, all Cv's are having trouble doing reliable damage to ships. For example, American CV's struggle to inflict damage with bombs to well armored battleships, whose deck they fail to penetrate, and maneuvering cruisers, which they lack the accuracy to hit. Many Cv's complain that other ships do damage and earn credits farming damage off of cruisers and destroyers that they spot, while the CV hemorrhages aircraft trying to get damage done and the cruisers and destroyers rage over being spotted and focused down by the rest of the enemy ships. In conclusion, I believe that carrier spotting mechanics are a death sentence for any ships that rely on concealment. I also believe that Carriers fail to do much damage due to the fact that their planes, while fast, have too little health or maneuverability. Also, Carriers don't like being up-tiered. I look forward to your opinions and ideas about how to fix the carrier. Please PLZ! comment below. Photo gallery:
  2. Developement and planning of a new capital ship for Koko no Kaigun started on the sly in early 1934, after the Diet had passed the first Rearmament Bill. First drafts took off from some of the early 20s designs that had been shelved because of the Washington Naval Treaty. The 28,5-knot ones armed with eight and ten 409mm (16.1-inch) guns were immediately discarded as inferior to that of the Amagi and the cheating Kii Class,. Focus was thus shifted to the twelve-gunned 409mm design, the last approved and ordered before the WNT, and the early draft for a Battleship armed with six 460mm (18.1-inch) guns in twin turrets. At that time, the only requirement already set was a top speed of 30 knots, to allow the new battleship, if eventually built, to operate jointly with the Amagi and the two Kiis.The 12x409mm design was the first to progress into the planning stage. By mid 1935 it called for a 52.600ton ship at standard load, 259,6m long, 35m abeam with a draft of 9,5m. 360mm belt armor, 178mm decks, 76mm bulkheads and an endurance of 7.900 nautical miles at 16knots. Secondary armament was to be made of twelve guns, either 152 (6-inch) or 155mm (6.1-inch), augmented by eight 127mm (5-inch) ones. Design for the 6x460mm-gunned ship was less advanced, but called for similar specifications except for a secondary armament of fifteen guns.Koko's denunciation of the naval treaties changed the tables, shifting the design efforts towards the heavier gunned ships. Developement of a 460mm gun, suitably labeled 40cm/45 Type96 started in 1936 after the second Rearmament Bill passed by Morimoto's government. The Bill also approved construction of a new class of four Battleship. Following similar plans as the Japanese to give the fleet some edge over the USN and RN by building superior ships to counter numerical disatvantage designers ditched completely the 409mm-gunned design focusing solely on the 460mm one. Despite this, the Naval Staff was not satisfied with a main armament of just six 460mm guns, so a fourth twin turret was added, bringing the main battery to eight barrels. To counter the increased weight, maintaining the planned endurance and speed and thus make space for the extra main guns, the hull was lenghtened by over 20 meters and the fifth 152mm gun turret -to be placed on centerline aft, superfiring the 460mm one- was deleted entierely. Design was finalized by fall 1936, and the lead ship started construction on October 14th of the same year at Toumachi Naval Arsenal. She recieved the name Yashima a few weeks later, her sisters were to be called Suruga, Omi and Mikawa. Yashima's construction went on in deep secrecy -just like that of the Yamato in Japan- until her launch, on September 29th 1938, 23 months after she was laid down. Fitting out lasted for another 15 months. Yashima was commissioned as the new Koko no Kaigun Flagship on December 1st 1939, starting her trials immediately after. Despite the war in Europe was already raging since two months secretness around the newly built ship remained high. Especially, the Naval Staff accuratley avoided having any of the Kii class ships or the Amagi sitting in port or operating together with Yashima. The reason was obvious, since during her tortuous design phase the new Battleship had grown to massive dimensions.At 281,95meters (925feet, 1inch) in overal lenght she was the longest warship ever built by any navy up to that point, dwarfing any other warship -beign Carriers, Battleships or battlecruisers- by at least 11 meters (36 feet, 1 inch). Her waterline lenght was 276,01meters (905feet, 6inches), her beam 35 meters (114 feet, 10 inches) and her draft 10,6 meters (34 feet, 9 inches) for a standard displacement of 56.425 Tons and a full load one of 62.727.Compared to the earlier drafts, belt armor was increased to 409mm (16.1inch) of thickness, angled inwards by 10° with 270mm (10.6inch) angled bulkheads connecting the citadel ends to the main gun barbettes. Anti-torpedo bulkheads were also strenghtened to 112mm (4.4inch) while decks were left at 178mm (7inch). Steering gear was enclosed in a 200mm (7.9inch) box, with the quarterdeck also protected by 50mm (2.2inch) steel plates, a lighter 30mm (1.2inch) protection was also given to the foredeck up to the anchor capstans. Main guns were protected by 540mm (21.3inch) thick plates on face, 236mm (9.3inch) on sides and roof and 409mm (16.1inch) barbettes. Secondary guns had 50mm (2.2inch) faces and 25mm (1.inch) roofs, sides and barbettes. The conning tower was protected by 500mm (19.7inch) thick steel plates.Yashima main gun battery consisted of eight 460mm (18.1-inch) 45 caliber guns in four twin turrets. Almost identical in specification to the Guns of the Battleship Yamato, developed during the same timeframe, they had a maximum elevation of 43° and could fire 1.360kg (2.998lbs) standard and 1.460kg (3.219lbs) armour piercing shells at a maximum range of 41.780m (45.790yards), with a rate of fire of roughly 2 shots per minute, and 100 shells carried for each gun. Secondary armament was made up by four triple 152mm (6-inch) turrets, originally intended to arm the Senjo Class Cruisers before it was decided to convert them from CL to CAs. Fitted two on each beam, abaft the fore and aft superstructure, those 60-caliber guns fired 45,6kg (100lbs) shells up to 26.890m (29.414yards) away. They had a maximum elevation of 45° and a 6-round per minute rate of fire. 165 shells were carried for each gun. The main anti-aircraft weapon was the ubiquitous 127mm (5-inch) twin gun mount, their number increased from eight to twelve and fitted at midship in raised platforms. The guns were also shielded to offer further protection to the crew from the blast of the 460mm guns firing. They could elevate up to 90° and fire 23,45kg (51,7lbs) shells up to 14.800m (16.185 yards) with an effective AA ceiling of 9.400m (30.840feet) at 75° elevation. 300 rounds were carried for each gun. Light AA armament was made up by eight triple 25mm machine guns for a total of 24 barrels.Fire control for the main guns was provided by a 15-m rangefinder and director set fitted on top of the massive forward pagoda tower, with a backup director fitted on the aft superstructure. There were also two 4,5m rangefinder for the secondary guns fire-control located on the forward superstrucutre, and four combined HA director-rangefinder sets for the 127mm anti-aircraft fire: two on each side abaft the funnel and another two on the aft superstructure. Four searchlight and four machine-gun directors were also fitted, in addition to an 1,5m navigation rangefinder forward and an auxiliary lookout station on the aft superstrucutre. The searchlight themselves were four 110cm models fitted on platforms around the funnel, above one of the HA director sets. The ship could operate two seaplanes, Nakajima E8N, thanks to a collapsible crane and a catapult fitted at the stern. A small maintenance hangar located between the catapult itself and the aft 460mm guns could house a third dismantled seaplane.Engine-wise, twelve oil-firing boilers powered four steame turbines generating 167.522shp, driving four three bladed propellers. Coupled with the elongated hull lines and the specifically designed bulbous bow, the engines pushed the ship with ease to the intended top speed of 30knots. Thanks to a 6.300t bunkerage, endurance was 8.100 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 16knots, roughly 200 miles more than the original design.Complement for the Yashima was 2.363 officers and men. As flasgship this rose to 2.489.
  3. Hello Everyone, This brief annotated bibliography will act as a guide for anyone looking to read up on the Asia-Pacific War. Keeping up with the current historiography of the Asia-Pacific War, or any historical subject for that matter, is almost impossible for the casual observer. Hopefully this will help those of you that are intimidated by the sheer volume of works available and don't even know where to start. I will do my best to continually update the list, but keep in mind that it will never be exhaustive, nor is that the intention. This is only a starting point, with a few highlighted works on each topic. Please do not hesitate to ask me for more specific book/article recommendations on a given subject. I may not always have an answer, but the list below is barely the tip of the iceberg. Single-volume Surveys Multi-volume Surveys 2nd Sino-Japanese War/CBI Theatre/War of Resistance Pacific Theatre Japanese-Soviet Border Incidents and "August Storm" Additional Reading
  4. The following is a review of Asashio, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of April 15th, 2018. Abandon all hope, all ye of heavy displacement. Quick Summary: A stereotypical high-tier Japanese destroyer with specialized, 20km-range deep water torpedoes that make battleship players wet themselves with terror and unicum rage on the Forums and Reddit. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing. Patch and Date Written: 0.7.3, April 9th to 15th, 2018 PROS: Powerful torpedo armament. Enormous damage potential per torpedo hit at 20,967hp per unmitigated strike. Highest flooding chance in the game at a base value of 436% per torpedo hit. Her fish are fast (67 knot), long ranged (20km) and stealthy (900m detection) Excellent gun fire angles. When rigged for concealment, she can get her surface detection down to 5.37km. Access to a Torpedo Reload Booster consumable without sacrificing her Smoke Generator (!). Easy to learn and she makes scoring big damage totals trival. CONS Smallish hit point pool of 15,100hp. Slow firing guns with a 7.1s reload time. Sluggish turret traverse at 6.9º/s (26.1s for 180º). Torpedoes can only engage battleships and aircraft carriers (!!) Laughable AA defense. Slow for a high tier destroyer with a top speed of 35.0 knots. Matchmaking significantly affects the ability to influence a match in a positive way. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Asashio is a paradox. She is, simultaneously, one of the easiest and the most difficult destroyers in the game to play. This is a destroyer where a novice can score huge damage totals. It's also a destroyer where veterans are challenged to use every trick in their arsenal to get a win. Unlike other "easy to learn, difficult to master" ships, Asashio doesn't present a high skill curve. She presents a wall. Asashio's over specialized torpedo armament is terrible -- effectively limiting your tool kit so much that you cannot effectively engage two-thirds of the enemy roster. While she easily farms damage and kills on battleships, influencing the overall outcome of a close match is near insurmountable without a hell of a lot of skill and game knowledge. Thus, there are two tiers to Asashio game play and some players simply are not skilled enough to make her work in these situations. - One of, if not the worst at its tier. This is a pronounced weakness. - Middle of the pack at its tier. Not terrible, but not terribly good either. - Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer. - No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship. Most of Asashio's ratings aren't up for debate. She is the at stealth at her tier, bar none. Nothing is sneakier though some do have competitive Vision Control. Her anti-aircraft firepower is so as to be laughable. While she rates in both agility and durability, she only just manages to eke out these evaluations. She's on the very low-end for both and the introduction of another agile or another tough ship would knock her down into the rating. Where the debate will reside, if anywhere, is how to categorize her offensive capabilities. No one would argue that among the tier VIII destroyers, she has the firepower against battleships. At the same time, her firepower against cruisers and destroyers is downright . I give her the evaluation as a result -- a middle-ground compromise though her in-game performance may fluctuate wildly based on target availability. Options Consumables: Asashio has four consumable slots. Her Damage Control Party is standard for a destroyer. In her second slot, she has a standard Japanese Smoke Generator. This has a 28 second emission time and each cloud lasts for 89 seconds. Asashio's Engine Boost is standard. And finally, she rounds out her consumables with a Torpedo Reload Booster. This reloads her torpedoes in 8 seconds like Kagero, Harekaze and Yugumo. Unlike many other IJN destroyers, you'll note that Asashio does not have to choose between this consumable and her Smoke Generator. Upgrades: Five slots, standard destroyer upgrades. In your first slot, take Magazine Modification 1. You're a destroyer. You explode violently often. Next up, take Propulsion Modification 1. Speed is life for a destroyer and this will help keep your engines in the game. or Aiming System Modification 1 is optimal, providing a small improvement to your dispersion and accelerating the rotation rate of your torpedo tubes. Alternatively, you can try to correct her sluggish turret traverse with Main Battery Modification 2 at the cost of her already abhorrent rate of fire. Propulsion Modification 2 is generally preferred in slot number four. This gives improved acceleration from a dead stop. Asashio will spend some time parked within her own smoke and the extra pep in her engines is welcome. This is a no-brainer for most. Concealment Modification 1 will help her reach her maximum level of concealment. Black becomes green. Blue becomes black. White turns to more-different white. Thanks, Yamamoto collection! Camouflage: Asashio comes with Type 10 Camouflage. This provides a 10% reduction to repair costs, a 50% bonus to your experience gains, a 3% reduction in surface detection and a 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Similar to Atago, this camouflage starts off with a blue pattern, but you can change it to green if you've completed the Yamamoto Uniform collection. Firepower Main Battery: Six 127mm rifles in 3x2 turrets in an A-X-Y superfiring configuration. Torpedo Armament: Eight torpedoes in 2x4 launchers. Asashio has a singular designed purpose: to make the two principal warring factions on the World of Warships Reddit, the BBabies and the DD-Mafia, down-vote each other into oblivion. Wargaming knows that by doing this they can eliminate their two most vocal detractors, or at least keep them distracted long enough to finally get around to balancing Aircraft Carriers without interruption. TORPEDOES Asashio will slaughter your battleships without remorse and there's not much you can do to stop her. Asashio's tools of destruction are a pair of quadruple torpedo launchers mounted amidships. These have excellent fields of fire, a horribly long reload and they break often when you look at them funny. All of this is pretty standard fare for Japanese destroyers. What makes Asashio so special is that she effectively mounts the equivalent tier X, Shimakaze warheads two tiers lower. They are blisteringly fast, ridiculously long ranged and have enough striking power to end worlds. Wargaming has "balanced' this (ha!) by modifying them into a Deepwater variant -- because zero reaction time is what makes facing torpedoes fun and fair. This Deepwater thing has two components. First, it limits the number of targets that can be hit. Destroyers and Cruisers need not fear Asashio's torpedoes at all. She's utterly incapable of striking them. She is instead limited to damaging aircraft carriers and battleships. Given the logistical nightmare of encountering an aircraft carrier in the modern meta, Asashio therefor has a rather myopic fixation on nuking dreadnoughts. You can allay any fears you may have had about poor Asashio's success rate with landing hits, though. The second part of Deepwater torpedoes is their tiny surface detection. Asashio's fish are only spotted at a range of 0.9km. With the added nerf to aerial detection, her torpedoes can safely run their full track with little fear of being seen until it's too late. Short of preëmptive WASD hax, battleships do not have enough time to avoid Asashio's attacks if they wait until they're spotted which all but guarantees hits for well-aimed strikes. Even stacking anti-torpedo skills and modules does little to help. It's only those battleships with the Hydroacoustic Search consumable that have any hope of belatedly dodging Asashio's fish, and even then, Vigilance is almost a must. You have no real hope of trying to dodge Asashio's torpedoes in a battleship if you're only reacting the moment you spot them. Only those battleships with the Hydroacoustic Search consumable can afford complacency. Duke of York (tier 7), Bismarck (tier 8), Friedrich der Große (tier 9) and Großer Kurfürst (tier 10) are only ever safe while their consumable is active, however. The Two Layers of Stupid Asashio double-stacks the stupid with two scoops of insanity. Mindfuc ... er, "Vigorous Sexing of the Brain" the First: Asashio has a 20km range with her torpedoes. Alright, so Asashio has ridiculously long ranged fish. The implications of this are pretty horrifying when you stop to think a moment. With her 112s reload (which reduces down to 100.8 seconds with Torpedo Armament Expertise), Asashio is making her first cross-map launch before anyone has finished deploying. This means that in the opening minutes of a match, from the moment they are spotted, battleships must anticipate incoming torpedoes. Most battleships have scarcely moved beyond their starting location by this time and may only be taking their first speculative, long-range shots at their counterparts. There is unlikely to be any effective torpedo detection screen between them and this first salvo from Asashio, so battleships must begin evasive manoeuvres within the first two minutes of a match or risk taking torpedo hits. The travel time for Asashio's 67 knot torpedoes is less than two minutes to their maximum range. Battleships must make course adjustments with this 100 second reload timer in mind -- every minute and a half, change course and heading. The other element Asashio's ludicrous reach allows for is taking advantage of the Torpedo Acceleration skill without losing significant amounts of range. Asashio with Torpedo Acceleration now has 72 knot torpedoes at up to 16km, further reducing reaction times. This greatly increases their threat and this does very little to limit their practicality in long-range engagements. The only salve to all of this is that the gaps between torpedoes at very long ranges are huge. It is unlikely that more than a single torpedo will hit per launcher at ranges of 15km or more, even if they're perfectly aimed with a narrow spread. Asashio players that insist on trying for these Hail Mary shots will not prove very effective in the long run. But, of course, Wargaming thought of this, which leads us to... Vigorous Sexing of the Brain the Second: Asashio has access to the Torpedo Reload Booster consumable. If you thought there was any pretense of making this fair, Asashio can double-up on her torpedo drops every four to six minutes, allowing her to go Super-Saiyan and turn into a blonde-haired Shimakaze for a moment. Within 9 seconds, she can dump a full sixteen (!) torpedoes, dispensing a veritable "wall of skill" for battleships to face. At long-range, this increases the likelihood of landing multiple hits -- though usually no more than four on a single target. But that's not the real danger presented by this consumable. It's far more deadly when used to space out torpedo hits so that they land in between uses of the battleship's Damage Control Party. It's all but guaranteed that if one of Asashio's torpedo hits causes flooding that battleships will immediately patch this up. By waiting a mere 10 or so seconds to launch their second wave of torpedoes after the first, any follow-up hits are likely to stack the dreaded damage over time effect. And if you thought your anti-torpedo defenses on your Yamato-class battleship would keep you safe, I have news for you... Asashio Doesn't Care Whatever pretty little torpedo defense you think your battleship has, Asashio doesn't care. She's blessed with the highest flooding chance in the game. Even when facing targets with the best torpedo damage reduction and striking them directly on their anti-torpedo bulge, she is still likely to open them up to sea water and cause critical flooding. You know you're dealing with a monster when some of the best-protected ships in the game can't prevent flooding two-thirds of the time. This makes follow-up strikes much less of a gamble. Even a lone torpedo can doom a battleship to slowly hemorrhage up to 60% of their hit points. The inclusion of Torpeedo Reload Booster to Asashio's arsenal is that much more dangerous because of this fact. It's a damn good thing that her torpedoes don't override the damage mitigation provided by TDS as well or we'd have words. Asashio has the best flooding chance in the game currently. Even with maximized TDS, most battleships are very likely to take flooding critical hits. Even Kagero's torpedoes don't compare. Großer Kurfürst, Friedrich der Große, Lion, Iowa, Missouri, Kii, Nagato, Ashitaka, Dunkerque, Tirpitz, Bismarck, Monarch, Gneisenau, Scharnhorst, King George V, Duke of York, Mutsu, Warspite, Queen Elizabeth, North Carolina, Nelson, Bayern, Lyon, Hood, and Normandie have zero chance of preventing Asashio from flooding them. The absolute minimum torpedo defense system a battleship requires (before upgrades) to prevent flooding is a 28% reduction. Less than that and your TDS is trash. Torpedo Summary Asashio has some great torpedoes. They're so good in fact they outright negate most defenses battleships can take to mitigate them. Unless your battleship has a minimum of 28% base torpedo protection, Damage Control Modification 1 does nothing to increase your chances to mitigate flooding. Target Acquisition Modification 1 and Vigilance will not give enough warning to help avoid Asashio's torpedoes. Only Hydroacoustic Search does. Asashio's torpedoes are, by design, a hard counter to battleship play. It's too bad that's all they're good for. GUNS! To the detriment of many a team reliant upon Asashio doing more than farming damage off battleships, Asashio's guns will be a mere afterthought. Short of Akizuki, no other Japanese destroyer is as dependent upon her main battery armament for her success as Asashio. With her torpedoes so heavily specialized, proper management of her guns is absolutely critical for helping your team win. Ignoring or dismissing them will cost you many games. You cannot (and must not) ignore destroyers and cruisers in favour of making battleships poop themselves with rage. Like it or not, you're going to have to use your guns in Asashio if you want to succeed. For such a critical weapon system, they suck moose balls. Her gun armament is almost identical to that of a fully upgraded Kagero or an A-Hull Harekaze. The only difference is range where Asashio enjoys an extra 1.6km reach. While this does give her a larger surface detection bloom when she opens fire, the extra distance is quite welcome given the different targets you will have to attack with these guns. While they have excellent ballistic arcs and shell performance, they are utterly lacking in rate of fire and damage output. Their traverse rate is horribly sluggish. You cannot and will not enjoy firepower superiority over anything short of select lower-tier IJN destroyers, and then only if your guns are already facing in the right direction. Yet, you will be repeatedly asked (and expected) to take on the likes of Bensons, Fletchers and Khabarovsks in Asashio if you want to win. The nightmare scenario for Asashio is to find herself in end-game of a close match facing a hale and healthy cruiser or destroyer. To this end, aggressive plays with her guns are often a necessity early on in engagements where friendly ships can help secure a kill or drive off enemies. However, these attacks are not without their risks and attempting them at the wrong time against the wrong target will simply make you look foolish. Make use of smoke and every cheap tactic you can imagine. Join fights late to preserve your own hit points and take pride in whatever licks of damage you can get in. You don't want to have to do this on your own late in a game. Asashio's guns are utterly ill-suited for the heavy lifting that's asked of them, but they're all you've got so make the most of it. Asashio isn't outgunning any of her contemporaries without help. So this is the part where I'm supposed to tell you that disparity of the two weapon systems creates some semblance of fairness. I'm not gonna. The asymmetry of the power level between Asashio's guns and torpedoes does make an interesting case study on the subject. My own opinion is that Asashio is decidedly lopsided -- downright comically so. This is a ship whose success can largely be attributed to team Matchmaking. If there's a lot of battleships on the enemy team and not many destroyers, you'll have a great game and likely come out as MVP if you time and aim your fish correctly. When it's not, most players will fail their teams utterly and it's really not their fault. In this regard, Asashio is best compared to HMS Conqueror, the tier X Royal Navy battleship. Armed with twelve 419mm guns spamming nothing but HE shells, Conqueror often tops the team lists and gives the illusion of being an absolute rock-star. No enemy battleship can stand against Mega-Zao (thank you, Flamu, for that wonderful name). Similarly, no battleship stands any kind of chance against Asashio. Facing either of these monsters is not fun. However, they won't win as many games as their ridiculous damage totals indicate they should. Short of an early Devastating Strike or gutting several battleships at once, Asashio's influence is surprisingly limited. I cannot stress this enough, and it will be difficult for some players to reconcile -- Asashio's armaments are as controversial and heavy-handed as Royal Navy battleship HE. They will seem to contribute far more to team success than they actually do. For some players that are just looking to get some big damage numbers, Asashio will be a dream boat. For those where winning is more important, Asashio is a liability if Matchmaker is unkind. The more I played Asashio, the more I began to appreciate and value gun-kills over torpedo kills. I loved the challenge of contesting and battling over cap circles. My torpedoes farmed some easy damage, credits, experience and complete missions (often with trivial levels of difficulty), but the real battle was taking on and besting enemy destroyers and cruisers with her artillery. For high-end play in this ship, it's all about how and when to use her guns rather than maximizing her torpedoes which I find delightfully ironic. This isn't easy and this isn't for everyone. If you prefer, you can just mindlessly dump fish into battleships at the cost of objectives and winning. It's what everyone is expecting you to do. Summary Asashio's torpedoes are brainless easy-mode. Asashio's torpedoes will not win you games. You're going to have to use your guns if you want to win. Often a lot. And it's not always going to work out for you. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : I was really on the fence with this one. I almost bumped her up from a rating, so it's not going to take much to upgrade. Faster firing guns alone would probably do it. If her torpedoes became even more versatile she'd be so broken it's not even funny. Defense Hit Points: 15,100hp Maximum Protection: 20mm gun turrets. Minimum Extremities & Deck Armour:19mm Red bars are not to numerical scale (just to feels scale). For those without feels: You're an inhuman monster. Evaluating destroyer durability is pretty straight-forward. At tier VIII, there's only one destroyer with a gimmick and that's USS Kidd with her Repair Party. All of the other destroyers conform to the norms found at tier VIII, with 19mm worth of armour covering the hull and deck and 13mm superstructures. Thus comparing them is simply a matter of looking at hit point totals and lining them up from best to worst. Kidd wins out with the third highest overall hit point pool and her mutant healing powers. Asashio doesn't come out well in this line up, truth be told. She's not as as Harekaze and she even beats out Loyang, but it would be a mistake to think that she's in a good place. She's just not strong enough to trade with enemy destroyers at her tier. All of those problems with her guns compound because she's just not tough. In order to have any chance of staying alive, it's imperative that you invest in Survivability Expert to give Asashio an additional 2,800hp. While you're likely to meet opponents who have the same skill, in those encounters where you bump into someone without, this can make all the difference. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Kidd's Repair Party or 5,000 more hit points. Asashio is nowhere close to being in this category. Agility Top Speed: 35.0 knots Turning Radius: 640m Rudder Shift Time: 3.6s Maximum Rate of Turn: 7.0º/s How to have not-terrible agility at tier VIII: Stand next to ducky. Bonus points if it's a static bot. This works well for tier VII battleships too, though they must stand next to Colorado. All jokes about Akizuki aside, Asashio's agility is not in a good place. Her 35 knot top speed is slow for a destroyer. Once outliers are removed, 35 knots is among the slowest top speed you'll find within her Matchmaking spread. She's not alone at this value, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Fubuki and Shinonome at tier VI, Mahan at tier VII, Kagero at tier VIII and Black at tier IX. Combined with her large(ish) turning radius of 640m and Asashio doesn't come about particularly quickly. She's no slug, but she's definitely no American DD. This package of traits is nothing new. Most IJN destroyers share the same combination of lackluster traits which makes them vulnerable to being run down by enemy gunships and it complicates avoiding aircraft. This is definitely one of Asashio's weaknesses, but it's not an exaggerated or crippling weakness to be sure. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Asashio is only because Akizuki is also a tier VIII destroyer. She's right on the cusp of being . To get her out of the doldrums, she would really need something special here, like an extra five knots of speed at the very least and more perks besides. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 25mm AA Umbrella Ranges: 3.1km AA DPS per Aura: 10 Please note the sarcasm. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Not allowed. This is the fulcrum upon which all Asashio balance is based. Honest and for true. I mean it for realsies, guys. Refrigerator Surface Detection Range: 6.84 km Air Detection Range: 3.78 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 5.37km Concealment when Firing in Smoke: 2.55km Asashio is not only the stealthiest destroyer at her tier, she's the stealthiest destroyer within her Matchmaking spread. While she is matched by Kagero and Harekaze for surface detection, Asashio squeaks out a smaller aerial detection on top of this. Now this is really splitting hairs, given that it's a paltry 60m, but still. For a destroyer that boasts upwards of a 14.63km stealth-launching window for her torpedoes, her surface detection range looks like complete overkill, but it's not. It's one of the few tools that gives Asashio any pretense of supporting her team, should her player be so inclined. Like IJN destroyers, Asashio has the stealth advantage and can usually spot enemy destroyers before being spotted in return. The safety window for doing this is tiny in some cases and always full of risk. Short of tripping over some of the biggest thunder-chunkers masquerading as fellow lolibotes (Khabarovsk, I am looking at you), there's often not time enough to turn away before being seen in return. Given Asashio's weakness to winning one versus one engagements, it's imperative to capitalize on these early encounters when there are still friendly guns around to provide backup. Don't be shy of sacrificing a few hit points to help ensure that an enemy lolibote gets wrecked. Don't be so quick to reach for your Smoke Generator either -- try to force the enemy to smoke up first and keep providing eyes for your team. As wonderful as Asashio's dominance of stealth is, she doesn't have everything her own way. She cannot scrape off enemy aircraft to save her life which can easily keep her perma-spotted. In addition lots (and lots) of radar / sonar equipped ships would love to trip over a vulnerable Asashio. Once they get on your butt, you're in for a rough time. Evaluation: What would have to happen to DOWNGRADE to : This is much closer than it looks, with Loyang being an easy contender for the best at her tier and Harekaze & Kagero sharing functionally the same concealment. While Asashio dominates in stealth, Loyang combines reasonable concealment with her totally-not-overtuned-in-the-slightest Hydroacoustic Search with its extended range. How to Help Control the Battleship Overpopulation Asashio makes a great trainer for higher tiered IJN destroyer commanders, though she may not be ideal for lower tiered ones. The following is the ideal build for Asashio. Feel free to follow along using ShipComrade's Captain Skill Calculator to try out various test builds. Start with Priority Target. This skill has lesser value in IJN destroyers (if you're seen, it's pretty safe to assume everyone is shooting at you), so I would value Preventative Maintenance with equal weight here. You're still a destroyer, so Last Stand has the highest value at tier 2. Next up, take Torpedo Armament Expertise. This will drop your reload time from 112 seconds to 100.8 seconds. For your 10th skill point, Concealment Expert shouldn't surprise anyone. And finally, double back to tier 3 and take Survivability Expert to boost up your hit points from 15,100 to 17,900. After this, it becomes a question of choosing between some high value skills between your six remaining skill points. At tier 2, Torpedo Acceleration is of the highest value, with Adrenaline Rush and Expert Marksman following in order. At tier 3, Basic Fire Training is of higher value than Superintendent. At tier 4, Radio Location is invaluable for influencing vision control. Between these six skills, distribute your six remaining points as you choose. During play testing, I used a 15 point commander that took Torpedo Acceleration. Development Version 1.0 She began life in late December of 2017. Her first iteration was little more than a Kagero-clone in terms of game play. The reactions to her announcement were... well, they were to be expected. Version 2.0 Fast forward to early February and we received a new version of Asashio. She acquired her now infamous Deepwater Torpedoes and her Torpedo Reload Booster no longer competed with her Smoke Generator. I had a lot of fun playing this version of Asashio. I admit, I gave her a big ol' thumbs-up during my first few times out in her and she kept right on delighting me. The honeymoon I was having with her was short-lived, however. A week later and I began having concerns that she was a little overtuned as it was far too easy to damage battleships, though I admit this view was narrowly focused. Not all the other testers were enjoying the same level of success. Version 3.0 Two weeks after version 2.0, we received the third and what would prove to be the final version of Asashio. She received a slight increase in the surface detection of her torpedoes. This change would not significantly affect her performance. This brought her gun handling and rate of fire to the same level as Kagero. This opened up the possibility of engaging lower tiered IJN destroyers in uneven gun fights. It was clear that Wargaming wanted a battleship hunting monster and that was the ship Asashio was to become. My views would mellow out over time, however... Final Evaluation Mouse's Summary: Asashio won't break the game. When you look at her analytically, she's not a very competitive destroyer all told. The current battleship-heavy meta empowers her. She's only as good as the persistence of that environment. Asashio, by her very design, will polarize opinions. She is very good at being simultaneously a battleship assassin and a punching bag for cruisers and gunship destroyers. This is a ship built upon the principle of no counter-play, exaggerating the old paper-rock-scissors design of 2015. Dreadnoughts that are alone and/or exposed or those that are sailing predictably at long-range are going to get punished and punished hard. One on one, they also stand no chance. Similarly, there is very little Asashio can do to an enemy gunship destroyer or cruiser that wants her booty when she's caught without support. She is, in all aspects, a comical exaggeration of the IJN destroyer stereotype, for good and for ill. I do not see her being much different from a less versatile version of an old-timey Shiratsuyu or a similarly myopic Kamikaze-sisters that's all about the battleship damages. Really, boiled down to the sum of her parts, Asashio is a trashbote that is poorly equipped to play objectives, but at least she'll wreck something. This makes evaluating her fun. Let's use the Angry Youtuber scale for this. I know, I know, I'm getting this review format slightly out-of-order, but indulge me: GARBAGE - The boat is unbalanced, not fun to play and weak. The ship desperately needs some buffs or some quality of life changes. Mehbote - An average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable however she's not going to be considered optimal. Gudbote - A powerful ship, often one of the best ships at a given role within its tier. Usually considered optimal for a given task. OVERPOWERED - The boat is unbalanced and powerful. Typically she's either horrible to play against or she redefines the meta entirely On the one hand, you've got the obvious Battleship perspective: To Battleship Players: Asashio is the end of all things. Game balance and fun as we know it is doomed. Uninstall now. The good times are over. Despite Asashio's predation techniques already being present in the Pan Asian destroyer line, this time it's super-cereal because it's now in the hands of an IJN destroyer that couldn't fight their way out of a wet shoe-box. At the other extreme, we have the perspective of someone who abhors the current BB-heavy meta: The Return to Eden. This is the destroyer those BBabies deserve. Now you can punish those BBabies for having the nerve, nay the audacity to dare enjoying that ship type and game play. They're about to Get Balanced™ in the most extreme way possible. It's doubly delicious that it's coming from an IJN destroyer, whose tech-tree line has suffered the ignominy of being nerfed over and over and over again while battleships have only ever received buffs! Don't fact check that last part! For anyone else, she's just another IJN destroyer but with gimped torpedoes. Asashio is about as terrifying as a cute little bunny. Most ships in the game can counter her easily with a simple count of three (counting to five is right out). Still, you've got to give her mad props for flying about and decapitating BBabies. Asashio is not well designed. In the hands of the masses, I predict she will hoover up some ridiculous damage totals but her win rate is going to suck. She should mirror Shimakaze in many respects. Most players will enjoy her -- she'll do some nice damage but short of being in the hands of a unicum, her influence on the overall outcome will be dictated by what Matchmaker hands to her. It's a fallacy to think that she will greatly influence the meta. Battleships are already loathe to push if they even smell a destroyer ahead of them. Few take the time to differentiate the threat between ship classes, treating all destroyers as if they had the ability to catastrophically end them suddenly. Similarly, assuming that Asashio will unnecessarily punish any battleship that does have the audacity to push is also fallacy. ALL destroyers (and all cruisers and other battleships) will always focus on the closest battleship. It's already chronic on how many players will focus on the ease of stacking damage against battleships over more critical (and perhaps closer) targets. Asashio does not change this. What Asashio does do is exaggerate these bad habits. I grant you: she's not well designed. But at least she does this because she has to rather than by the fault of the player. Would I Recommend? Asashio absolutely trivializes a lot of requirements for missions and campaigns. She's also going to be a great ship for people that are trying to unlock achievement badges for destroyers and Japanese ships. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? No, I wouldn't. The mirrored team building in Co-Op means it's possible for you to end up in matches with only a single target for your torpedoes. This makes it hard for her to earn XP and Credits. Similarly, if there was ever a Scenario which didn't have a plethora of enemy battleships to target, Asashio would suck hard and not in the sexy way. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Very yes on toast. This is where she belongs and she'll reward you well. Devastating Strike, Witherer, High Caliber and LIquidator medals will come easy. You may struggle to achieve Confederate medals however, unless Matchmaker REALLY likes you. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Please don't bring this on my team in Ranked. I'll forgive you if somehow the meta is something other than destroyers this season. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Yes, Asashio is a storied vessel with not only an extensive service record, but a sad and honourable end. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? I enjoy this ship a lot, though I do so with some mild pangs of guilt. They're only mild, though, so I wouldn't call the affliction serious enough to stem any recommendation. In Closing I had a lot of fun putting this one together. I've hoped you enjoyed reading it. This is one ship where I would love to look over Wargaming's shoulder an analyze the meta-data as it comes in after it gets a general release. There have been all sorts of predictions on how she will perform and what influence she will have on the game. Being able to see which side of the debate is vindicated by official stats would be interesting. My thanks go out to my Patrons on Patreon. Dozens of hours of work were put into the review you just read including time spent play testing, writing and doing graphics. Working around my schedule to get these out on time is difficult and the financial support provided by my patrons facilitates this. Every dollar helps. So thank you all -- not just those who donate, but those who read and enjoy these reviews. It means a lot to me. Appendix A list of sites, programs and people I rely upon to create my reviews. For the complete list of my other reviews, please go here:
  5. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Kaga

    The following is a review of Kaga, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of June 1st, 2017.The awkward teenager. Quick Summary: An enormous carrier with specialized dive bomber and torpedo bomber squadron attack modes. Her fighters are not up to snuff.Cost: $43.99 USD including a port slot.Patch and Date Written: May 17th to May 30th, 2017. Patch 0.6.5 to 0.6.5.1. Closest in-Game Contemporary Hiryu, Tier VII Japanese Aircraft CarrierDegree of Similarity:Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Kaga is only superficially similar to a stock Hiryu. At least then Kaga shares Hiryu's fighters, torpedo planes and dive bombers. However, all of Kaga's strike aircraft have unique ordnance, strike patterns and squadron sizes. The physical ship itself shares very little with the other carriers, with her hull based on that of a battleship. PROs Large hit point pool. Well protected citadel, including anti-torpedo bulges. Specialized large dive bomber squadrons with super-accurate drops. Specialized, large torpedo plane squadrons with a special drop pattern. Enormous carrier capacity of 85 planes. Excellent (and optimized) Flight Control Group of 2-2-1, allowing her to use and abuse two torpedo squadrons at the same time. CONs Huge target with large, soft areas that are easy for any HE shell to penetrate. Her impressive looking secondary compliment is more for show. Fighter groups are only tier VI, making them the underdog in almost any match-up. Poor damage potential from her aerial bombs. Her larger flight groups lead to longer reload times for her strike aircraft. Only modest AA power. She turns as like a one legged cow. She's about as fast too. Very easy to spot. Enormous aerial detection range and a large surface detection range too. Kaga is a beast and she looks the part. This carrier is absolutely enormous and she looks armed to the teeth with huge aircraft squadrons cluttering her decks and massive, heavy-cruiser sized defensive batteries. Tack on all of the history behind the vessel and what's not to love? In World of Warships, she's a very interesting aircraft carrier and worth taking a closer look, even if you're not a fan of the ship type. OptionsKaga has the option of using two different Flight Control groups, divided between 1-1-3 squadrons and 2-2-1 squadrons between fighters, torpedo planes and dive bombers respectively. For the first Flight Control group, the hangar capacity is divided between 11 fighters, 21 torpedo planes and 53 dive bombers. The second splits the hangar capacity with 28 fighters, 43 torpedo planes and 14 dive bombers. Consumables:Damage Control Party Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard aircraft carrier upgrades. Premium Camouflage: Tier VI+ Standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. For upgrades, I would select the following: In your first slot, take Air Groups Modification 1. Your secondaries and AA guns aren't good enough to be worth hurting your fighters any further. In your second slot, you have a choice. Flight Control Modification 1 is probably considered optimal. Kaga's larger strike air groups have almost a 30s reload time between waves and this will reduce them down by about four seconds. Alternatively, you can try and make your fighters a credible threat by using Air Groups Modiifcation 2. Understand that if you go this route, it's an uphill battle. Your fighters alone aren't likely to win you air supremacy that wasn't already gift wrapped for you by your opponent selecting a Strike-Ranger. In your third slot, take Damage Control System Modification 1. This will get your anti-torpedo protection up to 24% which is quite nice for a carrier. And in your final slot, take Damage Control System Modification 2. You will come under attack and you will suffer fires and floods. It's possible this last module will be the difference between surviving or not. Besides, nothing can really help Kaga pretend to be nimble, so don't kid yourself that the other mods will do you any service. Air Groups Aircraft Types: Mitsubishi A6M2 fighter, Nakajima B5N2 torpedo plane, Aichi D3A1 dive bomber Flight Control Groups: One fighter, one torpedo plane and three dive bombers (1-1-3) or two fighter, two torpedo plane, one dive bomber (2-2-1) Base Squadron Sizes: Four fighters, Six Torpedo Planes, Six Dive Bombers Hangar Capacity: 85 Like Saipan before her, Kaga has some unique features where her air groups are concerned. Fighters Kaga uses tier VI A6M2 "Zero" fighters. These are the exact same fighters you first unlock on the tier VI Ryujo and use again with the stock tier VII Hiryu. They even come in the same squadron size of four fighters which can be upgraded to five if you take the Air Supremacy skill. With mirrored matchmaking between carriers, these fighters have an immediate disadvantage over most other fighters you will encounter. Proper use of the strafe mechanics is key to doing the most damage possible. This will buy your strike aircraft time to do their job. You'll hemorrhage fighters quickly in most cases and eat through even Kaga's substantial reserves. So long as this is used to make strikes to the betterment of your team, the losses are acceptable. It can be worthwhile to freely offer up your fighters to lock down those of your enemy to give your bombers a clear attack run -- with Kaga, this is often all that's needed. More than any other carrier, Kaga benefits from the skill, Dogfighting Expert. It's rare that she will ever face same-tier fighter squadrons, and this provides a ready boost to their (in)efficiency. While this won't give her close to parity in performance with A6M5s or Hellcats (never mind Corsairs), it will give them a bit more attack power to help draw out fights. A6M2 Zeroes hound a Ranger's TBF Avengers. Dive Bombers There are several odd points about Kaga's dive bombers. Superficially, they share the same baseline stats as Ryujo's tier VI D3A1s. This includes hit point total and speed, but the similarities end there. Kaga organizes her dive bombers in squadrons of six planes instead of the usual four found on standard IJN Carriers. Their turn around time in the hangar is 31 seconds up from 19 seconds for Hiryu's dive bombers. In addition, they use a different armament. Kaga's D3A1s are armed with the Type 99 N6 Mod 1 bomb. Compared to those found on Hiryu, they have less armour penetration, a smaller blast-size, reduced fire chance and, most crucial of all, they do less damage. All of these drawbacks are compensated by having an dispersion radius nearly half that of normal IJN dive bomber squadrons and could be closely compared to that from Saipan's. Unlike the American premium, Kaga can tighten this further with a manual drop, landing nearly all of her bombs with pin point accuracy. Properly aimed, you can guarantee all of her bombs will strike a target. This is very necessary as her bombs only do 858 damage per hit (or less on saturated targets). An upgraded squadron with seven planes is only going to put out a maximum of 6006 damage with their strikes which is a far cry from the destroyer-busting salvos from Saipan. With a manual drop, it's unlikely that more than a single fire will be lit as they will all cluster on a single section and most ships will laugh off this kind of damage. It's only through the use of multiple dive bomber squadrons that Kaga can stack any substantial amount of damage and it's not easy going. Moreover, it's often not worth the effort of trying to land these pinpoint strikes and this, in turn, diminishes the value of the 1-1-3 control group. I've found that it's not really necessary to manually drop Kaga's dive bombers. I will spend little more time with them than to align their approach vector along the long-axis of the ship and let them auto drop. This will not result in as many hits overall, but it is more likely to spread fires across multiple sections of the ship. This in turn taxes the Damage Control Party of my target and sets up follow up attacks with torpedo planes quite nicely Overall, Kaga's dive bombers are interesting but they're not the weapon of choice for maximizing damage with this vessel and they largely play a secondary or follow up role. Blast radius of the dive-bombers from tier VII carriers with a reference-Mahan for scale. Kaga is the least likely to detonate targets she strikes with bombs as hits must be grouped quite precisely over top of the magazines to set them off. Other carriers need only land them within the same postal code to have a chance at damaging a whole number of modules. Torpedo Planes Once more, Kaga borrows from Ryujo with the B5N2 torpedo plane. In this case this isn't acting at a disadvantage to Hiryu as both carriers use this aircraft. Immediately players will notice that Kaga's squadron size for her torpedo planes is enormous, comparable to the six-plane squadrons of USN carriers. Their reload time is 29 seconds compared to 21 seconds for Hiryu's squadron of four, but is far in advance of Ranger's 41 seconds. This even compares well to Saipan's 22 second rearmament with her Skyraiders. Taken in isolation, Kaga can turn around more torpedo bombers faster than any of the other tier VII carriers. The large squadron size also comes with the option with the 2-2-1 load-out to operate two squadrons simultaneously (with 31 reserve bombers!), opening up all sorts of brutal meta play. Kaga's torpedoes travel at 48 knots compared to the 35 knots of Hiryu's torpedoes with only a minor sacrifice of 400m worth of range, bringing their reach down to a 3km. This all comes without sacrificing damage which is obscene. Kaga's torpedo drop takes a unique pattern. Rather than dropping line abreast, the formation of six planes drops in two lines, one in front of the other. Each line has three fish. The torpedoes released closest to the target are spread further apart. The second line is more tightly packed -- akin to the initial spacing of USN aerial dropped torpedoes. Casualties taken from Kaga's torpedo planes removes aircraft from this second line first, diminishing the tighter cluster. Like all IJN torpedo aircraft, their torpedoes take a convergent path on a manual drop. The net of this drop is quite different from the usual pattern players are used to evading. By playing with the range of the attack and overlapping salvos, different combinations can be used depending on the target. The wide spread of advanced torpedoes can be ignored in favour of focusing on emphasizing the narrow spread that drops behind. These drops at near point blank range can see players panic to avoid the wide-spread fish only to expose themselves to the cluster coming in behind. The variations are many, especially when doubled up with a second squadron for a cross drop, bullet-hell nightmare that will make for some great YouTube montages. Kaga's torpedo planes allow her to assassinate most surface vessels outright through either a combination of overwhelming damage or a mix of direct assault and damage over time effects. She can afford to attack targets that other carriers might not brave grace of her deep plane reserves. Approximate size of manual torpedo drop spreads at minimum arming range for Ranger (left) and Kaga (right). Both carriers have comparable widths at this range, but Kaga's will converge the further her torpedoes run while Ranger's will diverge over distance. Reference-Mahan used for scale. Load Outs Given the ridiculous strengths of Kaga's torpedo bombers, her 2-2-1 build is optimal. A single torpedo hit against most targets will do more damage than an entire squadron of dive bombers. This build also gives her more fighters to work with to help unstick her attack planes from enemy bandits. The carrier-snipe potential from this build is very real and anyone facing a Kaga should be wary of misplacing Kaga's torpedo plane squadrons lest they find themselves ambushed. So while air superiority is difficult for this carrier to achieve, she can wrest it away by going for the source of enemy aircraft with alarming ease. Firepower Secondary Battery: Ten 200mm guns in single casemate mounts, sixteen 127mm 8x2 turrets. On paper, Kaga appears to carry more firepower than the mid tier IJN Heavy Cruisers. It would be a mistake to expect too much out of these weapons. First of all, they are divided into port and port and starboard batteries, giving her a maximum broadside of five 200mm guns and eight 127mm guns. Second, their fire angles preclude all of the guns from engaging a target in her forward aspect until they're 45º off her bow (or 30º off her stern). Third, their range is limited to 4.5km. And finally, Kaga is an aircraft carrier. She's not built to trade fire with surface ships. While it may be tempting to toss a secondary-specialized Captain in her, it's your funeral. Short of a low health, Soviet destroyer being stupid enough to stray into gun range, your secondaries aren't going to get a whole lot of exercise. Attempts to do so often end hilariously and with a sad trombone sound effect. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 28.0 knotsTurning Radius: 1080mRudder Shift: 14.4s Maximum Turn Rate: 2.69º per second. Kaga doesn't do anything particularly fast. Her top speed isn't impressive and this leaves her dangerously vulnerable if one flank collapses. When it comes to agility, whole generations live and die before she can manage to turn herself 90º, never mind coming full about. DurabilityHit Points: 51,000Maximum Protection: 19mm + 76mm + 152mm Min Bow & Deck Armour: 19mm extremities, 21mm flight deckTorpedo Damage Reduction: 22% Kaga has an enormous hit point pool for a tier VII carrier, which she deserves given the size of her. Being built on a battleship hull, her layers of protection around her citadel are quite formidable. Her citadel itself has 76mm of protection and is almost entirely submerged. At medium to close ranges, one must also punch through 152mm armoured belt and 19mm anti-torpedo bulges. While this won't turn away battleship shells, it does provide a reasonable obstacle for cruisers and destroyers, giving Kaga some survivability in such encounters, so long as they're kept brief. The downside is that all of this armour around her citadel is made largely irrelevant when it comes to high explosive attacks. Kaga is enormous and most of that upper structure right to her deck is easily penetrated by any high explosive shells she's likely to face. It's almost impossible to miss her once you start shooting and her tall silhouette makes a tempting target. Her torpedo damage reduction isn't great, but at least she has some. Not every carrier can boast that. This can save her from flooding damage and frustrate would-be carrier snipers. Secondary batteries exchange between Kaga and Dunkerque. Don't try this at home. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 12.6km Air Detection Range: 13.6 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 10.3km Minimum Aerial Detection Range: 11.4km Kaga makes Großer Kurfurst look like a modest design. This ship be huge. Specifically, Kaga is very tall. Her flight deck is almost at the same height as the top of Yamato's rangefinders. Yeah. She's that big. This comes with some understandable complications. Aside from just being easier to hit, she's also very easy to spot. Kaga has a larger aerial detection range than she does a surface detection range. Stray float planes and wandering enemy fighters are likely to uncover her at inopportune times. This makes taking an aggressive position filled with more risk than it might in a Hiryu or Saipan, for example, especially given her less than exemplary speed and agility. Once Kaga is detected by surface vessels, disengaging is all but impossible. She doesn't have the speed or stealth to open up the distance and, short of sinking her pursuers, she can only hope to make use of island cover to make her escape. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 25mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.1kmAA DPS per Aura: 81 / 70 Kaga's anti-aircraft armament isn't up to the task of keeping her safe. To be fair, it's only slightly behind that of Hiryu, but even being up to par with that CV wouldn't be anything worth bragging about. Kaga's fighter cover is really necessary to keep her safe from enemy attack, taxing her already over burdened (and up tiered) fighters even more. This makes Air Groups Modification 2 look even more appealing to provide her fighters with improved endurance to continue to harass and shoot down approaching attack planes. Given her large aerial detection range, you can expect to be sniffed out early and for many opponents to try their luck at taking you out with a snipe. Worse, her large aerial detection range far exceeds even the maximum upgraded range of her AA batteries, necessitating the use of fighters to search for and clear out spotters to keep enemy surface ships from trying their luck with a long ranged pot shot or two. How to Increase your Joy The commander skills needed to optimize Kaga aren't anything special. Her AA power and secondaries aren't really worth spending skill points into to try and emphasize. This leaves us with a focus of skills to improve her aircraft performance and rearmament times -- skills that mesh well with most of the other IJN carriers, making Kaga a decent training ship once the minimums have been selected. As usual, we'll be racing to select a top tier skill first before doubling back. To this end, we'll be selecting one skill from each tier for our first 10pts spent. Start with Aircraft Servicing Expert -- Kaga's reload timer with her strike aircraft is quite long compared to other IJN Carriers. Follow this up with Torpedo Acceleration at the next tier. This will drop your effective range of your torpedo planes to 2.4km but it will increase the speed of your torpedoes to 53 knots which is hilarious. Next, take Torpedo Armaments Expertise. Finally, take Air Supremacy. Now we can double back through the lines. For your 11th point, take Dogfighting Expert. Few carriers benefit from this skill as enormously as Kaga does with her tier VI fighters. With that, your fighter squadrons are now a credible threat to a stock Hiryu and a mismanaged Saipan. From this point, you can take skills to taste. I would strongly recommend taking Concealment Expert with your next 4 skill points -- Kaga gets spotted often and this can really help mitigate that. If you choose to live dangerously (or decide that being spotted is a forgone conclusion), you can elect to take Basic and Advanced Fire Training to prop up her modest levels of flak and pretend that her secondaries are a serious threat -- which they aren't. Skills like Expert Rear Gunner and High Alert are great follow up choices for the more serious minded. She's hyooj. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Carrier game play is largely unforgiving as a rule. That said, Kaga is about as suitable for a new player as any aircraft carrier is likely to be outside of tier IV. She's very auto-drop friendly and she can land a large number of bomb and torpedo hits, even if you don't know how to manually aim. In the hands of an expert, Kaga is easy-mode on a whole new level. I dread seeing the damage totals this thing will spit out when the veterans get a hold of her. She offers so much control of damage-over-time effects and high alpha strikes. The biggest hurdle will be proper management of her under-performing fighters while ensuring that her own strike craft deliver their payloads quickly and efficiently. Mouse's Summary: How did this get past testing in this form? The 2-2-1 load out is disgusting. The only real challenge with her is managing her under-strength fighter squadrons. The rest is easy mode. I'm sorry, Ranger. I am so sorry. Kaga is very powerful. Maybe too powerful. I get how Wargaming might considered her balanced. Her fighters, even when fully specialized, will never be match for her contemporaries. Kaga's strike squadrons take a long time to reload. Her dive bombers don't hit especially hard and, when manual dropped, aren't likely to set more than a single fire. She is awkward and she is slow to respond. She is clumsy. She's easily spotted even when she thinks she's being subtle and sneaky. And, of course, Kaga has really big guns that will only get her into trouble if she tries to flaunt them. I am getting high school flashbacks. This all goes towards making her 2-2-1 build acceptable at a cursory glance, which it really shouldn't be. I am not expecting the population at large to dominate with Kaga. Her performance is locked behind a skill wall. However, I do think attention needs to be justly placed on her potential. Facing off against a competently captained Kaga will be a nightmare. I had some serious open-Beta Midway flashbacks during my play-test sessions. It felt cruel how easy it was to stack floods, set up cross drops and largely abuse surface ships. I cringe to think why Wargaming decided this game play was unacceptable for Midway, yet perfectly cromulent for Kaga, especially when under performing ships like Ranger go without. Yet, Kaga won't paint any potatoes purple. She doesn't come with training wheels. Waste time setting up attacks and your team will melt around you. Botch a carrier snipe and you'll pay for it. Choose the wrong target and your planes will evaporate before placing their drop. Mishandle your fighters against a Saipan or HIryu and you'll be on your back foot from the word go. Kaga is easily a contender for the best carrier at her tier. She's hands down better than Ranger. On the attack, she's better than Saipan or Hiryu, but she's weaker than both defensively in terms of her fighters and also the vulnerability of the carrier herself. Is she overpowered? She definitely has facets -- or rather, one facet, that smacks of such. Would I Recommend? I should preface this with the following: Kaga isn't likely to convert any new carrier players to the fold. If you haven't enjoyed playing carriers before, I don't think she'll win you over. While the attack patterns of her dive bombers and torpedo planes are interesting, they are not some miracle fix to the disparate game play between carriers and surface vessels. For PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Very yes. Kaga can carry a PVE-match. Her damage output with the proper build is ridiculous. Snipe the enemy Kaga then farm damage at will. Her repair costs are just shy of a 34,000 credits while she'll gross between 75,000 to 100,000 easily on a decent match. For Random Battle Grinding This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. I could easily recommend Kaga to grind up through Random Battles, with the one provision that she only makes a suitable trainer for commanders with at least 10pts invested in aircraft carrier skills. Without these, she really struggles against anything short of a Strike Ranger. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. In competitive environments, a well commanded Kaga is a potential nightmare for the enemy team and a strong contender for one of the best carriers at her tier. In the hands of an expert, she can delete enemy ships at will. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Kaga has an extensive history, including her famous end at the Battle of Midway. For World of Warships players, she also represents the first IJN carrier premium, which is something in of itself. She's also the second carrier premium ever. For Fun Factor:Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? I generally dislike carrier game play so it was hard for me to enjoy my time with Kaga. Take that with the necessary pinch of salt. I didn't find anything particularly compelling about playing her. What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE- Grossly uncompetitive and badly in need of buffs.Mehbote - Average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable, but certainly not advantageous.Gudbote - A strong ship that has obvious competitive strengths and unique features that make it very appealing.OVERPOWERED - A ship with very clear advantages over all of its competitors and unbalancing the game with its inclusion.
  6. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Mutsu

    Please be aware that all of the statistics and performance discussed in this post reflect the version of the ship as she appeared during the testing period. These are subject to change before release. The following is aimed at new(ish) players looking to find a little more information about various ships from events, for premium currency or for real-world cash. The goal is to allow players to make an educated decision before parting with their time and money and to find premium vessels that suit their chosen style of play, whether that is competitive, cooperative, or simply for fun. The idea here is to elabourate on information not commonly available through reading statistics and provide some (heavily) biased anecdotal evidence to encourage or dissuade you from making your purchase. The usual disclaimers apply: everyone knows the Matchmaker clearly loves me because I spend money so that's why I occasionally get really good games, not because I have any particular skills of note. Mustu-have? Quick Summary: A faster Nagato-class Battleship with less armour, less efficient AP shells and almost no AA power whatsoever. She does get deck mounted torpedoes, though. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.0.1 - January 30th, 2017 through to February 3rd, 2017. Cost: Undisclosed at the time this article was published. PROs Largest hit point pool of any of the tier 6 Battleships at 58,400hp. Her 410mm shells are the highest damage rounds found at tier 6. Able to easily overmatch the bows armour of any Tier 5 through 7 battleships. Decent accuracy, including a 1.8 sigma vertical dispersion value. Excellent range at 20.4km. Armed with deck mounted torpedoes (!) Very heavy secondary gun battery. Good top speed of 26.5 knots. CONs Her citadel sits high in the water and is vulnerable to long-range, plunging fire. Poor overall armour values. Low Krupp (and penetration) values on her 410mm shells. Secondaries are short ranged at 4.0km stock. Very limited fire arcs and performance on her torpedoes. Rather large turning circle of 770m. Enormous surface detection range of 16.9km and the largest aerial detection range of the tier 6 Battleships at 13.3km Mutsu sets a new standard for poor anti-aircraft defense. Like, seriously. Her AA power would be shameful at tier 4. Patch 0.6.0 removed the stock hulls for Amagi and Nagato in the research tree and rendered these hull designs into two new premiums, Ashitaka and Mutsu respectively. Mutsu is the first of these ships to be released -- we'll see Ashitaka later on in the year. For those unfamiliar with the IJN Battleship line, the stock versions of these hulls weren't exactly good. While not as hamstrung as Fuso while stock, they certainly were not competitive at their tiers. For this reason, Mutsu appears in World of Warships as a tier 6 vessel instead of at tier 7 like her sister, Nagato. This allows this ship to be re-balanced based on her own merits and flaws rather than trying to shoe horn her into a tier where she doesn't belong. Mutsu as she appears in game represents the ship after her 1924 refit, where she acquired her serpentine shaped funnel but before 1926 where she lost her torpedoes. Of course all of this date specificity is moot when you you realize that she didn't get her catapults until the 1930s. Yay, fiction! I'm joined once again by Lert who will be providing his usual smarmy comparisons of some of this ship's contemporaries. I'm also trying something new. GrafZeppelinKai, one of the Wiki-Staff volunteers has written a lovely piece on Mutsu's history which can be found on the ship's wiki page. The wiki staff perform some wonderful written work and I'm trying to help give them a little more just deserved attention. I hope you all enjoy a bit of history about the ships. The Lertbox Hello and welcome to another Lertbox, in which I try to offer a counterpoint to LittleWhiteMouse's more in-depth review of an upcoming premium ship. This time it's Mutsu, a ship that earned its place in history for the same thing Arizona did: tragically blowing up in port with a lot of people inside. The cause of Mutsu's destruction is slightly more controversial than Arizona's, a Japanese investigation concluded that a disgruntled crewman sabotaged #3 turret and blew up the ship, while an alternative theory is that of a fire caused by 20+ year old electronics near #3 turret. All we know for certain is that Mutsu took 1121 crew and visitors with her, only 56 less than Arizona's demise claimed. For this Lertbox I will discuss how you would take on an Arizona, a Warspite and a Dunkerque in a theoretical 1v1. I hope this will give the reader an idea how Mutsu will perform compared to her peers. Given the Mutsu's large surface and aerial detection range, in combination with her vulnerable armour scheme to ranged fire, it's often best to let some of your allies screen your advance. History with the Wiki: Mutsu By GrafZeppelinKai, Originally published on the Mutsu's page for the World of Warships Wiki The Nagato-class battleships were the last pair of battleships build by the Japanese Navy before the global hiatus on capital ship construction due to the ratification of the Washington and London Naval Treaties. As such, the Nagato-class is seen as the culmination of all the experience learned by the Japanese Navy in dreadnought design and construction up through the end of World War I. Led by famed naval architect Yuzuru Hiraga, planning and design for the Nagato-class began in 1916. By this time, Japan was a steadfast, growing naval power and wanted their designs to reflect such a status. As such, from the outset the Nagato-class were set to be first-rate dreadnoughts, competitive with the offerings of the other navies of the world (chiefly the Colorado-class battleships that were being built by the United States). Hiraga and his team were meticulous, delaying final completion of her plans until mid-1917 in order to incorporate the lessons learned from the Battle of Jutland the previous year. What ultimately emerged were the most advanced battleships afloat in the world. The Japanese determined that high-speed was an integral asset to making a battleship an effective weapon; as such, the Nagato-class were designed to be the fastest battleships in the world. It was decided to fit no less than twenty-one (21) Kampon boilers into them: fifteen (15) oil-fired and six (6) mix-fired. These boilers then fed into four (4) geared turbines that each powered a single screw. Altogether, they generated 80,000 shaft horsepower and propelled the ships to speeds above 26 knots, significantly faster than their competition. This was not a fact the Japanese Navy boasted about, however, instead electing to keep the true speed a closely guarded secret. In fact, the US Navy didn’t know the true speed of the class until well into the late 1930s. In electing to focus on propulsion and speed, weight had to be saved from the armoring. Ergo, the Japanese opted to implement the “all-or-nothing” armor principle that was championed by the US; maximal armor to the vital areas whist non-critical surfaces receives minimal armor. The main belt and the barbette rings received 12 inches of armor, whilst the conning tower and the turret faces received 14 inches and 18 inches of armor, respectively. While this was sufficient to rival other battleships of the period, British and US battleships all had heavier armor, with belt armors exceeding 13 inches for many classes. After experimentation with the six turret design of the Fuso and Ise classes, Hiraga and his designers decided to revert back to a quadruple turret design, determining this configuration to be the most effective. In order to not decrease overall firepower — by reducing the number of barrels from 12 to 8 — the caliber each rifle was increased from the traditional 14 inches to 16 inches; in fact, the Nagato-class battleships were the first ships in the world to mount 16-inch naval rifles. To supplement the primary artillery, twenty (20) 5.5-inch casemate guns were added to the hull. Interestingly, the Nagato-class retained the Japanese tradition of fitting torpedo tubes to their battleships. Historically, eight (8) total tubes were incorporated in the design; 4 above the waterline and 4 submerged (only the four above the waterline are available in-game). Mutsu (named after Mutsu Province) was the second of the two Nagato-class battleships, built at the Naval Arsenal in Yokosuka. She was laid down 1 June 1918, launched 31 May 1920, and completed 24 October 1921. The Nagato-class underwent a modernization in the late 1920s and a reconstruction in the 1930s to keep the designs combat-capable. During the 1920s modernization, the first funnel was replaced with a serpentine funnel with a raked-top in order to attempt to fix the issue of the superstructure being occluded with smoke; the very funnel seen in-game. Furthermore, the torpedo tubes were traded-in for anti-aircraft artillery, in order to counter the growing threat of aircraft. Unique to Mutsu, her bow was remodeled in order to decrease water spray to her foredeck. The 1930s reconstruction proved to be a more extensive overhaul. The iconic 7-masted superstructure was replaced with a pagoda-mast style design, and the first funnel was removed altogether. The old boilers were replaced; the overall number was also reduced to just ten (10). Interestingly, the old turrets were replaced by the ones of the incomplete Tosa class battleships, allowing for greater gun elevation, ergo greater range. Furthermore, torpedo bulges were introduced. To mitigate the loss in ship speed due to the added weight, the length of the battleships were increased. Finally, a catapult was added to launch scout planes off the deck. Service History Commissioned in October 1921, Mutsu survived the Washington Naval Treaty, was assigned to BatDiv (Battleship Division) 1, and began an uneventful interwar career. From 1927 to 1933, Mutsu would receive periodic modifications, but in September 1934 she entered drydock for a complete rebuild and modernization. She remained in yard hands until September 1936. With the beginning of war with China in July 1937, Mutsu — having returned to BatDiv 1 alongside Nagato — joined the fleet for security and blockade patrols off the China coast. Mutsu would continue operations off China until March 1941. In August 1941, Mutsu began preparations for combat as Japan planned for hostilities with the United States. Mutsu would spend the beginning of World War II, from December 1941 to May 1942, in reserve and training. In June, she and the rest of BatDiv 1 — now including Yamato — sortied as part of the Main Body for Operation MO, the invasion of Midway. Other than to receive the transfer of survivors from Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu, and Soryu, Mutsu would not participate in the battle, and returned to Japan. In July, BatDiv 1, less Yamato, was attached to the 2nd Fleet. In August, they departed for Truk after the US landing at Guadalcanal. In late August, Mutsu was assigned to support the Main Body for the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, where she fired at an aircraft shadowing the fleet. This would prove to be her only shots fired in combat during the war. In September, Mutsu landed a party to help train anti-aircraft crews at Truk. She would remain and participate in exercises until January 1943, when she returned to Japan. Excepting one aborted sortie to the Aleutians after the Battle of the Komandorski Islands in late March 1943, Mutsu continued to conduct training and gunnery exercises until June 1943. On 8 June 1943, Mutsu was moored in Hashirajima harbor when, at approximately 1200 hours, her No. 3 turret suffered an explosion. The blast tore her in two, and the section forward the No. 3 turret rolled over and quickly sank. Her stern section sank early the next day. Of her 1,474 crew, 1,121 were killed. An investigation concluded human error was responsible for the explosion, and the Japanese Navy consequently altered regulations for the handling of explosives aboard ships. Mutsu was struck from the Navy List on 1 September 1943. Post-war salvage attempts proved to be failures, though Mutsu’s No. 4 turret, anchors, and other parts of the ship — including her bow — were successfully recovered in the 1970s. The gun barrels from the salvaged No. 4 turret were restored and are now on display in separate locations in Japan: one at the Museum of Maritime Science in Tokyo, and the other outside the Yamato Museum in Kure. Options Mutsu has standard tier 6 IJN Battleship options. There's nothing out of the ordinary here. Consumables: Damage Control Party Repair Party Spotter Aircraft Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard non-USN Battleship options.Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ Standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy Firepower Main Battery: 410mm/45 3rd Year Type in 4x2 turrets in A-B-X-Y configuration @ 20.4km Range Mutsu fires a Type88 1000kg AP/APC shell up to a range of 20.4km with a 790m/s muzzle velocity. This is the largest shell found presently at tier 6, eclipsing Warspite's own 381mm, 879kg shell by a healthy margin. Don't mistake these shells for the same ones found on the upgraded Nagato. The ammunition Mutsu uses is a pre-WWII shell and was originally found on the stock Nagato and Amagi. They have worse overall performance than those found on the IJN Battleships at tiers 7 and 8, with lower alpha strike, muzzle velocity and Krupp values while being slightly lighter overall by 20kg. This gives Mutsu significantly less penetration power over distance to the lead of her class, with many shells shattering or ricocheting against enemy warships at medium to long range. Despite my incessant whining, Wargaming wouldn't provide me the exact penetration values present on Mutsu. For now, we have only two sources to give us with a glimpse into what the raw numbers might be. The first comes from Wargaming's own Armada Videos. These are few and far between, but thankfully have included a plethora of ships found in Mutsu's matchmaking spread. Statics drawn from the World of Warships The second, and admittedly more awesome source, is the work done by fnord_disc on the European Server, who reverse-engineered an approximate model of the penetration mechanics. The numbers they worked out provide the following estimated values for Mutsu's AP shells: 548mm at 5km 426mm at 10km 332mm at 15km Even as an estimation, this puts Mutsu's shell penetration among the worst for tier 6 Battleships, ahead of only Warspite at extremely short ranges and only ahead of Bayern at anything beyond that. The net result of this will be less damaging hits against heavily armoured (or angled) targets. Datamining reveals that Mutsu's gun accuracy is decent -- she boasted a 1.8 sigma during testing combined with the typically tight dispersion values found on IJN Battleships. This is superior to anything short of tier 9 and 10 USN Battleships specialized for accuracy. On paper, this should help compensate for some of the penetration issues found on the guns. However, with the small number of barrels Mutsu brings to bear, every shot feels considerably more precious than the 'shotgun blasts' fired by 12-rifle ships. Thus, Arizona which has more overall dispersion but the same sigma value, feels more accurate than Mutsu by combination of having more guns and better penetration values. You're going to simply do more damage more consistently with a ship like the Arizona or Dunkerque despite Mutsu's advantages in accuracy. Comparative data between the tier 6 Battleships + Nagato. Mutsu's strengths are her range, the high alpha damage of her individual AP shells and her ability to overmatch the bows of any tier 5, 6 or 7 battleship. She also has the highest potential DPM values of any of the 8-gun Battleships. Her weaknesses include her low muzzle velocity and poor Krupp and penetration valuesvalues. While Mutsu's guns look like they have the potential to perform, you may find they let you down at long range engagements. I'm trying not to sound too bleak about Mutsu's main battery firepower. There are two versions of Battleship Mutsu's guns. The first was the version that I play tested. The second is the version that's being released. Wargaming let me know in advance what the changes would be and I tried to keep them in mind while I tried out this ship. I'm taking it on faith that Mutsu will be released as Wargaming announced. Mutsu had a 35s reload on her main armament. This is being reduced to 30s. Mutsu had a turret rotation speed of 3.3º per second. This was buffed to 3.8º per second (from 54.5s to 47.4s for 180º rotation). In short, Mutsu's gun handling and rate of fire was buffed rather significantly. This in turn greatly affected the DPM we saw during play testing. This put her optimal DPM down to 170,057 AP damage and 89,143 HE damage. The buffs provided by Wargaming increase her DPM by a full 17% which I think we'll all agree is enormous. Summary: Her main battery has mix of significant strengths and telling weaknesses. Shells are individually hard hitting, long ranged and capable of overmatching the bows of any tier 5 to 7 battleship. However, she is severely restricted by poor penetration values at range, a low Krupp rating and small main-battery. Probably her best feature is her "new" 30s reload which gives her the best potential DPM of the 8-gun Battleships. Secondary Guns Secondary Battery: 140mm/50 3rd Year Type in 20x1 casemates, 127mm/40 Type 89 in 4x2 turrets @ 4.0km Range The lion's share of Mutsu's secondaries are composed of her 140mm casemates. These fire 7.9 rounds per minute at a disappointing 4.0km range. Like all IJN Battleships, her casemates fire an AP shell instead of HE which reduces their overall performance. While on paper, AP shells do more damage, their output isn't consistent. They cannot light fires. They are likely to ricochet and shatter against even slightly angled targets. Her 127mm rifles do fire an HE shell, but these are limited to two pairs of turrets on either side of the vessel. It's difficult to justify investing heavily in upgrading Mutsu's secondaries to improve their performance, primarily given their poor range and unreliability. Torpedoes Torpedo Complement: 4x1 Launchers firing a 533mm Type 6 torpedo at 57 knots for 7.0km. Move over, Kriegsmarine; the IJN now has deck mounted torpedo launchers too. While the Tirpitz introduced Battleship-launched torpedoes to fanfare and fireworks, Mutsu's torpedoes feel like they should be announced by a kazoo. The Type 6 is the same torpedo found on the Isokaze and Minekaze. This strikes for 10,833 damage which, when facing the anti-torpedo bulges of contemporary Battleships, feel lackluster. The devil is in the details with Mutsu's torpedo armament. While its true that she has limited fire arcs, these have a forward facing from 55º to 105º. In addition, these have a ridiculously short reload rate at a mere 21s. These torpedoes do not give her the strength to effectively brawl with enemy Dreadnoughts. While theoretically being able to interweave broadside main battery fire backed by torpedoes, alternating each in rapid succession, practical experience makes it too risky. Mutsu has to expose her vulnerable citadel to launch torpedoes. While this is easily done in the first moments while the engagement ranges are still closing, it becomes impossible to get a second salvo off as ranges close and the fight devolves into a "death circle" at point blank range. Still, if you get locked in a battleship brawl, her torpedoes can be a welcome trump card to end the engagement favourably. Keep in mind that Mutsu does not have the armour profile or secondary ammunition to brawl effectively. Firepower Summary: Main Battery firepower is optimized for a mid-to-short range engagement, between 7km and 12km. Her secondaries are plentiful but are painfully short ranged and focused around a heavy broadside of AP shells which limits their utility. Her torpedo armament reloads very quickly but a broadside does not hit very hard. It is only suitable for finishing off already crippled targets and should not be relied upon as a trump-card. Playtesting Mutsu with a 35s reload wasn't fun. She'll be in much better shape now. Rivals: Arizona Lert: You have longer range, more hit-points, better speed, better dispersion at a given range and your 16" shells will overmatch Arizona's 25mm bow and stern armor. Sounds like a foregone conclusion, right? Well, not quite. Arizona's bow (or stern) is a difficult target to hit at range. Also your large shells lose a lot of penetration when flying that far and are likely to shatter on anything that isn't Arizona's bow. Plus, a low volume of fire makes missing the American ship or shells shattering a relatively more painful event, cutting down your already lacking DPM. Meanwhile Arizona's range isn't that much shorter, and she has a much higher RPM with her 12 14" rifles. Plus, Mutsu's armor is so soft that you're bound to take significant pen damage from any Arizona return volley. If you can, point your bow straight at Arizona and close the distance with your superior speed. Arizona's 356mm AP will mostly bounce off your 25mm forward end with only stray shells going into your superstructure, and your 410mm return fire will go through Arizona's bow like butter - if you can hit it. The ideal situation is to set up a drive-by. Pre-aim your guns when you're almost about to pass, fire your torpedoes into the Arizona's path, quickly switch back to your AP and let loose a devastating volley of 16" AP at point blank range. Mutsu's guns are accurate enough to let you snipe, but they just don't have the penetration value to reliably deal the damage you want at those ranges. Pick your targets carefully. You can still score some pretty impressive early damage if you know who to aim for. Maneuverability Top Speed: 26.5 knots Turning Radius: 770m Rudder Shift Time: 14.7s Mutsu is rather fast for a tier 6 Battleship. Her top speed of 26.5 knots makes her faster than most tier 5 through 7 Battleships with the exceptions of Kongo, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Dunkerque which is rather respectable. While this doesn't give her tremendous flexibility, it does allow her to keep up with the pace of combat. She can attempt to dictate engagement ranges instead of having them set for her. Like most IJN Battleships, her turning circle isn't small nor does she answer her rudder especially fast. In truth, her Rudder Shift Time isn't terrible, it's just that when combined with her large turning circle, she doesn't feel especially maneuverable. During play testing, even with this slow handling, she was still quite capable of turning the ship faster than her turrets could compensate for. She initially had a 3.3º per second rotation speed on her main battery guns. I'm assured this will be buffed to 3.8º per second before release which will help. Mutsu has a 1.5 knot advantage over her sister, Nagato. This advantage comes grace of less armour protection. Durability Hit Points: 58,400 Citadel Protection: 305mm belt armour + 76mm turtleback Min Bow & Deck Armour: 25mm Torpedo Damage Reduction: 22% Mutsu shares a lot in common with Nagato, as one might expect. This provides a bit of good news right off the start: Mutsu has the highest hit point total of any of the tier 6 Super-Dreadnoughts. Their armour profiles are almost identical but for the following changes: Nagato has 25mm of extra armour across her sides in the form of anti-torpedo bulges. These afford the lead ship a 5% further reduction in torpedo damage along with their armour benefits. Nagato has reinforced main battery turret and barbette armour, with 457mm turret faces and 405mm barbettes. These values never exceed 305mm on Mutsu. Nagato's forward magazine is protected by a 289mm turtleback. Mutsu has only 76mm on this section of plate. The citadel deck of Nagato ranges from 44mm to 197mm. On Mutsu, these values range from 25mm (!) to 51mm. The Nagato-class has never been considered a heavily armoured ship and the deficiencies on Mutsu only exaggerate this weakness. While she can angle against 356mm rifles, if she doesn't angle properly she can (and will) get citadelled with alarming regularity. Her citadel sits over the waterline and while her belt armour and the turtleback protecting these machine spaces looks formidable, these are often bypassed by shots striking her from range, which need only contend with the 25mm + 70mm deck armour found amidships and the pathetic 25mm roof her citadel. She has objectively worse protection than the Warspite at all ranges. This emphasizes the gunnery strength of Mutsu which seems designed around a mid to short ranged engagement. However, with her citadel sitting over the waterline, short of bow-on angles of attack, she is far too vulnerable to risk at point blank ranges against other battleships. This illustrates some of the dangers of trying to make use of her torpedo armament. Angling out to take the lead on a closing enemy Battleship at the very least exposes her forward magazine to citadel hits. So to maximize her armour values, Mutsu seems best at medium ranges -- approximately 7km to 12km away from her targets. Of course, this all goes to pot if she's facing anything with 380mm rifles or larger which overmatch the 25mm sections of her armour. When facing tier 8 opponents, her armour feels very deficient indeed. Like all IJN Battleships, Mutsu is shackled with the worst Damage Control Party consumable in the game. This makes the Battleship exceedingly vulnerable to fire and flooding damage. Rivals: Dunkerqueueueeueeeuueueue Lert: You have the advantage in hit-points, range and firepower. Dunkerque beats you in speed, agility and size, being a smaller target. She has the speed to dictate the engagement, allowing her to keep you at the max of your range where your dispersion and low volume of fire means you won't hit many of your shells. The ones that do hit and manage to avoid the Frenchman's armored belt will bloody her nose, but that's not reliable enough to count on. Meanwhile Dunkerque's 330mm rifles will struggle to do meaningful damage to you as well, especially if you keep properly angled .. ... But that's when the dastardly Frenchy will just switch to HE and burn you down. While your own HE shells aren't bad, they have 5% less fire chance and you have a lower RPM, so in a fire-hose contest you're going to lose. If you're taking on a Dunkerque in your Mutsu you better hope that you're going to get lucky or your opponent is stupid, because barring luck a smart Dunkerque driver will just wiggle around at range and burn your lumbering stern to the ground. This will happen a lot. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 16.9 km Air Detection Range: 13.3 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 14.1km Concealment Penalty while Firing: +12.3km (vs 20.4km gun range) Mutsu has arguably the worst detection range of any of the tier 6 Battleships. Actually, Mouse, Fuso has worse surface detection range, and while that's technically correct, Mutsu will be spotted from the air a full kilometer sooner while still having an astronomically huge surface detection range. If there's an enemy carrier present, you can expect to be the first ship spotted in Mutsu. This in turn means that you'll have every gun pointing at you first until squishier (and closer) targets get lit. Priority Target is well worth the investment. Given Mutsu's vulnerability to long range fire, it's important to engage in evasive maneuvers when she finds herself lit in these early moments of the engagement. Alternatively, she can elect to begin her own advance a little later than the rest of her team. Her large surface detection range makes disengaging from enemies exceedingly difficult. She does have the speed to help dictate engagement ranges against most Battleship opponents in her Matchmaking spread, along with the range to hammer them beyond their own reach. However, she is always going to be reliant on Allies to keep her opponents lit while attempting to keep enemies at arm's length in this manner. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 40mm / 12.7mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 2.0km / 1.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 40 / 16 / 5 To say that this Battleship has poor anti-aircraft firepower is a gross understatement. Mutsu has worse anti-aircraft defense than any of the research-based Battleships at tier 4. She's setting a whole new standard for what "bad" anti-aircraft firepower is at tier 6. She has half the DPS of Fuso, a Battleship that has some of the worst AA firepower at tier 6. Combined with her horrible aerial detection range, the sight of Mutsu on the enemy team should ring a dinner bell for all CV players. Rivals: Warspite Lert: A more even match, since both of these ships operate on the same basic principle: trading in number of barrels and DPM for shells large and powerful enough to overmatch the 25mm bow plating found on even tier battleships. Again, you have the larger health pool, better range and larger shells, but Warspite is notoriously wiggly making her a difficult target at range, has a superior healing potion and her shells aren't that much smaller than yours to begin with. She'll overmatch your bow as easily as you'll overmatch the grand old lady's, so face-tanking incoming fire isn't a thing like it is against Arizona or Dunkerque. Use your superior range to whittle her down and your superior speed to keep her at range. Conversely, you could go for the same drive-by tactic that I recommended for taking on an Arizona, but be aware that Warspite's 15" rifles will smash through your bow plating and bite chunks offa your face while you do it. Where against an Arizona you would charge in head on, you might try closing the distance under an angle to try to lure Warspite's return fire away from your bow and into your armor belt, where it will bounce off instead of eat up large chunks of your hit-points. A lot of CV pilots "experimented" with the AA defense on Mutsu while I was play testing her, but most weren't too interested beyond a cursory strike or two. As word gets out about Mutsu's vulnerability to air power, you can expect more concerted attacks. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Mutsu, as a tier 6 Battleship, already has a couple of strikes against her when it comes to evaluating her suitability to a novice player. She punishes players for exposing her broadside while simultaneously having a gimmicky weapon system that encourages exactly that. With poor armour, a (relatively) small number of main battery guns and secondaries that won't be of much help, a novice player could be forgiven for struggling to get any kind of reliable performance out of this ship. For the expert, Mutsu will reward good gunnery with excellent DPM values for an 8-gun Battleship. Her torpedoes will be a fun (if seldom used) gimmick that will clinch select engagements. Still, her horrible surface detection range, poor AA defense and poor armour values will limit her carry potential. The Lertbox I wanted to like Mutsu, but I just can't. She's wonderful in co-op where she'll just eat off everyone's face with her brutality, but against other people I found her lacking. Her WWI era shells don't have the penetration or the Krupp hardness to do significant damage at range, and she doesn't have the armor to mingle up close. Her hit-point pool gives her some staying power in a brawl and her torpedoes are a nifty poison dagger, but this is a ship with weapons that want to move in close and a hull that wants to stay far away. Comparing her to other tier 6 battleships makes her look better than she is. Truth is, Mutsu starts falling apart quickly against higher tiers, and I would take any of the other three into a tier 8 battle over Mutsu. Plus, there's the T6 MM to worry about, and Mutsu really does not up-tier well. I won't say that Mutsu is a bad ship per say, just that she's an alright ship in a pond of great ships, namely the trio I pit her against. Mouse's Summary: I have a love-hate relationship with Mutsu's guns. It was awful play testing with that 35s reload, but I could still make some great plays with them. I am very excited about their 30s reload. While I wasn't landing citadels as often against Battleships, they're perfectly adequate for regular penetrations. Her armour is super squishy for a Battleship. Also -- fires. Oh god, the fires. Her torpedoes were nice to have, but its rare when I got any good use out of them. Mutsu's secondaries were disappointing. She's a perfectly adequate ship ... until she has to face tiers 7 & 8. Wargaming didn't want a repeat of the German Destroyer incident. They let us Community Contributors know in advance that the Mutsu we were playing wasn't the final version. There were all of three changes that they gave us, but let me be be clear -- there may be others. As values like vertical dispersion, Krupp and shell-drag coefficient are not intended to be public knowledge, there are lots of parameters that could still change before release. So while I appreciate Wargaming striving to keep us in the know about what the release version of the ship may be, it pays to keep that disclaimer at the top of this article in mind. There was a third change, beyond rate of fire and gun traverse that Wargaming informed us of. It was this: "Increase rudder deflection speed from 19.2 to 17.9." Now, you would think that would coincide with Rudder Shift Time, but her rudder shift time is 14.7s. Whatever this value is, it represents a 7.3% change. From the way it's worded, it could represent either a buff or a nerf. If anyone has any grasp on what this is, feel free to let me know. My contacts at Wargaming who were relaying the information didn't know what it was either and couldn't get it clarified, so obviously someone at St.Petersburg has the info and simply assumed that we'd also know what it was. And so, I played Mutsu with a 35s reload and a 54.5s for 180º turret rotation speed and was asked to evaluate her performance. I won a heck of a lot of games. One day's worth of playtesting saw me win 12 out of 13 matches. However, let me add a qualifier to this win streak: I still have not broken a 2,000 base experience game in Mutsu. It wasn't a case of not being able to get the damage totals -- getting in excess of 100,000 damage wasn't impossible. But I never had any truly spectacular games. My personal best is 1,716 base experience which is disappointing with the typical "good" game sitting around 1,300 to 1,500 base experience. I took the occasional break from Mutsu by playing with my Warspite and Nagato and easily crushed that 2,000 base experience ceiling. I should warn everyone: I love Nagato, so it's probably no surprise that I took well to Mutsu, The improvements this ship will receive in terms of reload and gun handling (and the changes to whatever the heck rudder deflection speed is) will be welcome. Still, the ship isn't without its disappointments for me. The increased vertical dispersion of her guns over Nagato and the poor range on her secondaries really made me have a sad. Overall, Mutsu is a decent IJN Battleship but she's not phenomenal. I don't think anyone was expecting her to be outstanding, though -- not as an early version of a Nagato-class Battleship. So in that regard, she doesn't disappoint. Now if only the Matchmaker would let her be top tier more often... Would I Recommend? Mutsu makes a great Co-Op warrior. She's got powerful guns and she faces enemies that are, quite frankly, dumb as posts. The bots are unlikely to shoot at you when there are still cruisers and destroyers alive. This gives you lots of time to exercise your 410mm rifles often at very close range where their penetration issues aren't present. You'll also be able to use your torpedoes a lot and score hits too. Outside of Co-Op, Mutsu begins to suffer. It would be one thing if she was top tier as regularly as a tier 7 or 8 ship, but she exists in that special Hell that is tier 5 and 6 Matchmaking. She doesn't up-tier very well -- holding her own against tier 7 ships (if at a bit of a struggle) but really hurting once she faces tier 8s. Of course, this could be said about most of the tier 6 premiums, so that's nothing new. For Random Battle Grinding Mouse: It's sad to say, but Japan is rather lacking when it comes to premium Battleship trainers. The Ishizuchi is okay but, let's be honest, she's no Scharnhorst / Tirpitz / Arizona / Missouri. While Mutsu is a better fit, I wouldn't say she's a great fit. She can do what she needs to, however, and if you're hard pressed for a training ship, then Mutsu can step up to the plate. But I think you might be looking over your shoulder for the next IJN Premium Battleship. Lert: No. Arizona is IMO a far better ship, as is Warspite. And both of those are available in the tech tree for doubloons at the writing of this article. Consider Mutsu if you really need a Japanese battleship crew trainer, but buy American or British if you want a good ship to carry in. GrafZeppelinKai: Mutsu is a dependable battlewagon. Her above average gun handling characteristics, combined with a little practice, will come into it’s own. Similarly, if you’re looking for a dedicated IJN BB Captain trainer, Mutsu is your best option for now. For Competitive Gaming Mouse: No. She's too squishy and too huge. Lert: No. If you need range, bring a Fuso. If you need overmatching ability, bring a Warspite. If you need staying power, bring an Arizona.GrafZeppelinKai: It will take a bit more work to make her shine here, and her deficiencies will feel more glaring. Similar to Warspite, having good planning ahead of time will mean you’re able to dish the damage while not being the focus of the enemy. For Collectors Mouse: Yes. She's a beautiful ship with an interesting history and a tragic story. Lert: Yes. Mutsu has a place in history, and her configuration might appeal to people who like WWI era dreadnoughts. GrafZeppelinKai: I’m gonna be honest here: I like 1920s Mutsu. She’s very pretty to look at, and there are many subtle details that make her very period accurate. For that reason alone, she has a spot in my port. For Fun Factor Mouse: Well I liked her. However, I don't think I would play her very often, not compared to the other premiums 6s.Lert: She handles comfortable enough, if a bit sluggish on the rudder. I would consider her a fun ship if her shells didn't tend to shatter at long range, or her hull held up a bit better under fire. Plus, her torpedoes are just funny, if you get a chance to use them. Those are big if's though.GrafZeppelinKai: I enjoyed my time testing Mutsu. To me, the gunnery felt familiar and comfortable, and you can never resist a giggle when you surprise an adversary by pooping out a torpedo. In a brawl with Bayern and Nurnberg. Mutsu uses her main battery to finish off the German cruiser while dumping fish into the bows of Bayern. Brawling is exceedingly risky with Mutsu. Don't expect your torpedoes to clinch a fight for you. Outfitting Mutsu Mutsu doesn't require anything beyond the norm for IJN Battleships, which is a welcome relief. Recommended Modules For your first slot, take Main Armaments Modification 1. This should be no surprise. The armour around Mutsu's main turrets along with her barbettes is pretty substandard for her tier, so this will help keep them in the game. It should also help mitigate damage to your torpedo tubes, but they tend to go belly up if anyone looks at them funny. For your second slot, you may be tempted to try a secondary build, but in my experience this is a mistake -- you can't get her range out high enough to make it a credible threat.. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is arguably the most effective choice here. For your third slot, take Damage Control System Modification 1. This will help mitigate fire and flooding damage while increasing your torpedo damage reduction to 24%. And finally, take Damage Control System Modification 2 to reduce the burn-time of fires. You can take Steering Gear Modification 2 if you prefer, especially if you've taken Captain Skills to mitigate fire damage. Recommended Consumables Don't skimp out on the premium consumables for this ship. Taking a premium Damage Control Party is an absolute must. I also strongly recommend taking a premium Repair Party as well to reduce the reset timer of your healing potion and to give you an extra charge. I don't see much need in breaking the bank with a Spotter Aircraft, so it's up to you to invest in the 22,500 extra credits to make this premium or not. Captain Skills For the core build, we're going to want to emphasize her damage control abilities. For your first skill, you have a choice between Priority Target and Preventative Maintenance. I prefer the former on my first pass -- it's helpful to know when potential damage is incoming. The latter has currency with Mutsu due to the relative fragility of her weapon systems compared to other tier 6 Battleships. Next, at tier two, grab Expert Marksman. This was absolutely essential with her 3.3º per second rotation speed and it will still be worth while when this gets buffed to 3.8º per second. At tier three, Basics of Survivability should be the skill to grab to help mitigate fire damage. And finally, when you hit tier 4, take Fire Prevention. After this first pass, there are other skills to consider. The best of the bunch are Adrenaline Rush and High Alert at tier 2 and Superintendent at tier 3. This is one of those rare ships where I will not recommend Basic and Advanced Fire Training as the top picks. While these will help prop up her horrible AA firepower, it's really not going to move the needle enough to make it anywhere near acceptable. Similarly, her secondaries are just a little too short ranged to be worth specializing into. You can certainly try it out for yourself, but I don't think you'll find it pays off as well as it would for her tier 7 sister.
  7. This game just gets sillier each time there is a change. No Japanese naval aircraft used unguided (or guided) missiles during WW2. None. Yet because American aircraft used them (the HVAR) from the middle of 1944 and on into the Pacific theatre until VJ-day we now see WG equip the Japanese carrier aircraft with some fictional missile. No doubt this will be for "balance". As I said....sillier and sillier.
  8. A friend of mine compiled most of the United States Navy Technical Mission to Japan from the now defunct Fischer-Tropsch Archive so that people can navigate it again in one location. https://pacificwararchive.wordpress.com/2018/04/21/reports-of-the-u-s-naval-technical-mission-to-japan-1945-1946/ He is also working on the European one now. https://pacificwararchive.wordpress.com/2018/04/21/records-of-the-u-s-naval-technical-mission-in-europe-1944-1947/ Edit: He has added a fair amount of the Pacific portions of the USSBS to the blog now. They were mostly pulled together from the Japan Air Raids website, but he made them far easier to pick through here. https://pacificwararchive.wordpress.com/2018/11/15/us-strategic-bombing-survey-pacific-war/ Edit 2: He is now working on the Japan Monographs. At first he will be filling in the Monographs that HyperWar doesn't already have up. https://pacificwararchive.wordpress.com/2019/01/27/japanese-monographs/
  9. anonym_vZEhA5qGcpPF

    S2K now recruiting

    [S2K] is a new clan that is recruiting for any player who wants to come join us in victory as we will take over the seas by crushing anyone who stands in our way. We will be focusing on clan battles as well as divisions. Team practices will occur to keep us tip top shape. Requirements Must have a mic and discord Must be 18yr old Must have a tier 8 or higher. Must be willing to contribute in clan wars and team practices.
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