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World of Warships Ship Opinions: Minotaur *loads guns* Time to bring on the stupid train. When the time comes for cleanup, you ask for one of three things: either a battleship to mop the floor with a troublesome cruiser, or a cruiser to wipe out a bothersome DD, or a DD to nuke a battleship. Then there’s the ship that does all three at the same time, while also clearing the skies of those flying nuisances called planes. Meet the Minotaur, the original tier 10 light cruiser, and also the most fearsome light cruiser in the game, with an arsenal of weapons and tools that makes it’s stablemates go red with envy, makes battleships fret about each lost hitpoint, and makes destroyers crap their pants the moment they see it, and makes carriers seriously regret their life choices. At the same time, it’s become a bit of a punching bag for some ships, such as the more accurate battleships in the game, with it’s weak armor, large size, and horribly exposed citadel. Still, this is the one thing you DON’T want to see when you’re in any ship, even at full HP. Wanna know why? Stick around. First off, the most important, and most stupid thing, is the survivability of this light cruiser. Honestly, it’s a tale of extremes. All the light cruisers at this tier, this thing, Smolensk, Colbert, and the Worcester, all have either good HP or a gimmick that allows them to survive for longer. Minotaur has both, with 43,300 stock HP ( better than Zao) and literally the stupidest heal I have ever seen WeeGee stick on a cruiser, ever. It heals back 75% of normal penetration damage and 50% of citadel damage. Fifty percent, are you kidding me!? Then again, it’s not unreasonable. Minotaur also has a terrible armor scheme, largely due to a couple of factors, one being it’s positively titanic citadel, and the other being it’s terrible plating of just 16mm all around, making it hideously vulnerable to high explosive from almost any ship. Hell, even Mega-Zao ( Thanks, Flamu) will citadel this thing with HE. So don’t count on lasting for very long if you get caught out in the open without your repair party at the ready. On the other hand, when firepower is concerned, let’s just say that most ships don’t survive that long, either. Minotaur’s primary armament is enough to make most ships sweat just thinking about. She packs 10 rapid fire 152mm Mk. XXVI Rifles in 5 dual purpose double turrets. While the layout is somewhat inconvenient, it makes up for it with a blazing quick turret traverse of 4.7 seconds for a full 180 turn, and the reload, well, it’s stupidly quick. It’s just 3.2 seconds stock, with a reload of 2.8 seconds when equipped with the module, meaning that she puts out enough modified AP shells ( they have improved auto-bounce angles) in a short space of time to make the Kremlin sweat. Now I say AP because, if you remember correctly, Minotaur only has access to AP shells in it’s magazines, no form of HE otherwise. Still, it’s pretty damn epic to see the unending barrage of AP shells raining on targets ( and I say raining because the shell arcs are terrible as well ). Still, I bet you thought the DM loaded its shells quick. Got that one wrong, huh? And let’s not forget that it also packs a MASSIVE torpedo arsenal as well. On each side it has a pair of 4 tube launchers, with the option to either single fire, or expend the whole launcher at once. While the warheads aren’t much better than mid-tier Japanese ones, clocking in at around 16.7k a pop, they have an excellent range of 10km, 62 knots of speed, and pretty decent detectability of 1.3km, making them fairly useful in those circumstances where you have those brown pants moments ( thanks, Jingles ) when a BB pops up just a short ways from you, and you neeeeeed to do something fast. That’s where another dangerous aspect of the Minotaur comes in: it’s one of only three tier 10 cruisers that ( the others being Zao and Venezia) that can stealth-fire it’s torpedoes. More on that later. The AA is also ,frankly speaking, stupid. It doesn’t have quite the long range punch that the Neptune has, because it carries no secondaries, but it has a set of 8 dual 76mm mounts that make it’s midrange so punishing to deal with, not to mention the brutal DPS of both its long range and midrange AA bubbles. The only problem here is, obviously, the lack of DFAA to boost the AA even further, but honestly, when WeeGee butchered the AA to the point that even Atago’s pretty terrible AA looks like an angry pufferfish ( I’m going to bring this up a lot, don’t mind me), who cares at this point. Still, it’s fun to watch bottom-tier carriers face-plant into this thing and then rage over their mistakes. The agility isn’t as impressive as some will lead you to believe. It’s quick, sure, with that special British Cruiser acceleration gimmick, but it only has 33 knots of speed ( on the slow side ), and a rather large 660 meter turning circle. Now, I know that Fiji was pretty damn spectacular with it’s handling, what with that 590 meter radius that makes high tier DDs jealous, and you’d have those expectations here, but they aren’t fulfilled , well, not to the same degree, anyways. It’s manageable, but don’t count on winning any handling competition with a legendary-spec DM. The concealment, on the other hand, is, again, stupid. Fully rigged, it has the lowest detection radius of any of the tier 10 cruisers, at 9.1 kilometers ( if anyone remembers, before the Concealment changes, it had 8.9 or so, and it’s still pretty good). And here we’ll go back to the stealth fire torpedoes, as well as two other things. With this full stealth build, Mino has a 900 meter buffer to launch off her torpedoes without being spotted. This is similar to what a concealment-spec Zao, Irian, or Atago can do. Edinburgh and the Italians can do the same, but their torpedo banks are largely forgettable. Then there’s the radar. The British light cruisers can equip Surveillance Radar from Tier 8 onwards, though they have to give up their smoke generator in order to use it. On the plus side, like the torpedoes she has a 900 meter buffer in which she can use it. Worcester can do the same, but the Rooster has other issues to deal with that make that somewhat difficult to pull off. On the downside, the smokescreen provides some sort of a buffer in order to keep herself safe, should something nasty pop up that she doesn’t have the ability to deal with. That’s your choice. Finally, we’ll come to the Legendary module. This is largely a modification to your smokescreen, and honestly, you’d rather yolo a Worcester in a Shimakaze than take this, at least one of them would inevitably succeed. The reason why I say this is because of the fact that the modification turns your smoke into a rolling smoke similar to the one found on the HMAS Perth. I like Perth's smoke, not this, because it doesn’t change it enough to make it into a rolling smoke, with only 150% added to your deploy time and a reduction of 15% or so of the duration. If WeeGee had gone out of their way to actually make it anything like Perth’s, then I would have agreed. I don’t know about you people, but this feels half baked to me. Consumable wise, you ain’t really spoiled for choice. The only choice you’re really making is either smoke or radar, and again, that’s really yours. So, I’m going to keep this brief. The Minotaur is, hands down, the best light cruiser that ever existed. Yeah, Smolensk and Colbert pack more guns and “more fun”, but they’re both just pay to win monsters that Wargaming has created to lure players into playing the game, just to make a profit out of it. Most of us know why, but still. The Minotaur arrived to the game with serious competition at it’s tier, ranging from heavy cruisers to super cruisers to pseudo battleships, and it still kicks more than it should, even with all the new stuff that’s coming in. All hail the Royal Gatling Gun, I say. (Then again, who needs a Gatler when you got a Sword) (*prepares 18.1 inch katana with malicious intent*)