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  1. The following is a review of HMAS Vampire, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of December 5th, 2017. The Hickey giving Lolibote. Quick Summary: A destroyer-hunter with decent guns and a terrible torpedo armament. Cost: Earned through a four-part mission. Destroy 20 ships. Win 7 battles. Earn 25,000 experience. Deal 750,000 damage. Alternatively, it may be bought in a bundle $26.29 USD, including a port slot, commander, flag, doubloons, upgrades and 14 days of premium time. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.14.0, December 1st through 5th, 2017. Closest in-Game Contemporary Clemson, Tier IV American Destroyer Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique High praise, indeed, but misleading. Vampire closely resembles Clemson in the gunship / destroyer hunter role. Both ships bring a surprising amount of main battery firepower at their respective tiers. Neither ship could be counted as steatlhy. Neither ship could be described as exceedingly agile or quick at their tier. Their similarities largely end there. PROs Good hit point pool for a tier 3 destroyer at 9,500. Excellent gunship performance with high DPM for its tier. X-turret can rotate 360º making it easy to shift fire from port to starboard when charging the enemy. Torpedoes can be launched individually. Gains no surface detection when firing guns in smoke. Uses an American Smoke Generator consumable with longer emission and duration times. CONs Guns are small caliber, unable to directly damage extremities of battleships with HE shells. Poor shell ballistics. Only a single triple torpedo launcher, greatly limiting her alpha-strike potential. Torpedoes are slow, short ranged with a large surface detection range for their low speed. Poor overall concealment. It's been a long time since we've had a helping of low-tier ships. The last entry-level premium to hit World of Warships was the Russian cruiser, Oleg, back in February of 2017, which I admit I didn't receive very enthusiastically. Vampire thankfully changes this. On paper she doesn't look terribly exciting. She's a four-gun destroyer with a limited torpedo armament. I am happy to say that she surprised me. Options Ah, low tier ships. They're so much easier to review because there's little weirdness down at these tiers. HMAS Vampire still surprises, though. She uses the American Smoke Generator, which has an increased emission time (23s vs 20s) and increased duration on the individual clouds she creates (109s vs 69s). Consumables: Damage Control Party Smoke Generator Engine Boost Module Upgrades: Two slots, standard destroyer upgrades Premium Camouflage: Standard Type 9/10. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Be careful of loading up on too many premium consumables at low tiers, however. You earn less credits and experience at tier III than you do with a tier VIII premium, for example, and the 22,500 credit resupply price tag of these consumables can eat into your rewards significantly. I would prioritize them in order of Damage Control Party first, then Smoke Generator and leave off Engine Boost altogether. Here's your quick and dirty upgrade guide: Take Magazine Modification 1 in your first slot. Mitigate those Fun and Engaging explosions. Follow this up with Propulsion Modification 1 for your second. Speed is life in a destroyer. This will help keep it intact. Special Upgrades! HMAS Vampire isn't compatible with any special upgrades, so don't worry about it. Firepower Primary Battery: Four 102mm/45 rifles in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Torpedo Armament: Three tubes in a 1x3 launcher mounted down the centre line behind the funnels. I admit that it took me a few games to finally figure out what I was supposed to be doing with HMAS Vampire. I stubbornly wanted to use her as a torpedo boat and this ship fought me the whole way. I had dismissed her main battery armament out of hand when I saw their performance stats. Combined with her anemic torpedo armament, she was a destroyer with few apparent charms. In truth, she's a gunship destroyer, well suited to hunting down enemy destroyers and harassing enemy cruisers. Vampire will help your team dominate capture points and annoy the Hell out of larger vessels. The combination of tools she has to accomplish this are as subtle as they are interesting and they took me by surprise. Before I sing the praises of Vampire's main battery guns, let's get their flaws out of the way. These are very telling and must not be ignored as they will largely dictate the successes you can enjoy with these weapons. Poor HE and AP penetration values. Poor fire starting qualities. Poor ballistic arcs over long distances. Penetration So let's talk about penetration (lewd!). You'll be reliant upon HMAS Vampire's HE shells as her AP shells just don't have the bite at range, leading to a lot of bounces and ricochets. Even if a cruiser gives up their broadside, your AP shells will struggle to citadel them outside of 5km ranges. Protected cruisers are all but immune to citadel hits from her. Testing revealed the following values as the upper limits of their penetration which worked out to the following: 100mm @ 3.6km - Equivalent citadel protection of most protected cruisers. 76mm @ 5.3km - Citadel protection of most scout-cruisers and destroyer-leader cruisers. 50mm @ 7.8km - Extremities of battleship belt armour 32mm @ 10.2km - Adequate to damage most "soft" areas on cruisers, battleships and aircraft carriers. Short of suicidal ranges to blow out the citadels of cruisers, the only time you should take AP shells is to hammer battleships in their upper hulls and extremities. Even this damage will fall away if the ship begins to angle. Her reliance on AP shells to hurt battleships comes from the lack of penetration on HE shells. Vampire can only penetrate areas of 16mm worth of armour or less with her HE. Low tier battleships have a minimum of 19mm worth of armour protection outside of their superstructures, ensuring that almost everything thrown at them by Vampire will shatter without effect. This can be mitigated with a commander using Inertial Fuse for HE Shells, which props up her penetration to affecting areas of up to 21mm. Now that talking about penetration has got you all hot and bothered, let's turn up the heat and talk about fire. Vampires like fire, right? Fire Starting Wrong. She's terrible at this. It's almost like Vampires were allergic to fire or something. HMAS Vampire has a 5% chance to start fires per shell hit. Given her limited Matchmaking, we can easily calculate her fire chances per shell. Right click and "View Image" to enlarge. HMAS Vampire's fires per minute versus ships between tiers 2 (purple), 3 (green) and 4 (red) both stock, with fire prevention upgrade (Damage Control Mod 1), skills (Fire Prevention) and a combination of the two. HMAS Vampire will never be a stellar firestarter, unlikely to ever exceed 4.0 fires per minute, even with the assistance of Basic Fire Training, Demolition Expert and Adrenaline Rush. While it's possible to farm some damage via fires, this will not be where the majority of her damage comes from -- this goes doubly so if you take Inertial Fuse for HE Shells to help you damage battleships directly. You can hope that some battleship will mismanage their Damage Control Party but she's really going to struggle to hurt those big ships with her guns. Ballistics They're worse than the USN 127mm/38s that we all know and love. Don't bother with learning Advanced Fire Training -- your lead times are over one second per kilometer at those ranges. If you keep engagement distances under 7km, you'll have 5 second lead times which is more than manageable, even against fast moving lolibotes. AND NOW THE GOOD STUFF... HMAS Vampire's guns have poor ballistics, poor fire starting and their penetration values are found wanting -- so what (if anything) is good about them, you may ask? Two things, really: Solid DPM Excellent fire angles Damage per Minute Vampire's damage per minute is solid. When you compare her to her contemporaries, she comes out looking very good even when bottom tier. This is important. When you come across enemy destroyers, you want to have your guns singing right from the start. Let other players fumble trying to get their torpedoes away -- you should be taking the early lead in getting damage out. Unchecked, Vampire will quickly overwhelm another destroyer. Damage per Minute (x103) with HE shells with main battery guns for tier 2 & 3 destroyers (in red) and 3 & 4 destroyers (in purple). As a destroyer hunter, HMAS Vampire is very well equipped to outgun other lolibotes, even when bottom tier. She's capable of keeping pace with even such vaunted gunships as the American Clemson-class. Players should endeavour to increase their firepower with Basic Fire Training to help overwhelm opponents quickly. Them firing curves What makes Vampire so good at fighting off would be slayers are her forward fire angles. On the attack, she can bring A, B and X turret to engage enemies a mere 7º off her bow. Y turret can join in at 30º. This makes her extremely dangerous in the pursuit, allowing her to maintain 75% of her firepower in a chase without letting opponents open up the distance. But it gets better. X-turret can rotate 360º. This mitigates her sluggish turret traverse of 10º/s and it allows Vampire to zig-zag while approaching enemies and have three guns once again singing within 2 seconds of beginning the turn. Thus, HMAS Vampire can dodge while maintaining a high volume of fire -- far more so than any of the other destroyer she faces, at least so long as she's on the attack. If you surrender the initiative and you're forced to retreat, the 294º and 284º arcs of the forward guns are less than impressive. Provided you can force your lolibote opponents onto their back foot, Vampire will win out on most DPM races. And this is a good thing because her torpedoes are downright unfortunate. I like to imagine Vampire's torpedoes have a primary job -- to sweep enemy smoke screens clear of camping destroyers. Beyond that, any damage they do is just icing on the cake. Vampire's torpedoes aren't easy to use. They're slow. They have a large surface detection range relative to their speed. They don't reload quickly. And, for such limited armament, they don't hit especially hard either. HMAS Vampire has a single triple torpedo launcher. While her torpedoes may be fired individually, her combined volley of three fish doesn't have enough of a high damage yield to seriously threaten a full health battleship. Once you factor in damage mitigation and saturation effects to the extremities, Vampire is incapable of effectively destroying a hale and healthy battleship in a single salvo. She must give way to battleship and rely on damage over time effects or slowly chipping away at Dreadnoughts to bring them down. Summary: Excellent destroyer hunting guns, especially for twisting and dodging knife fights. Decent at harassing cruisers and aircraft carriers with a combination of fish and guns. Really struggles to do damage to battleships. DurabilityHit Points: 9,500Maximum Protection: Up to 10mm Hit point totals of destroyers when Vampire is top tier (green) and bottom tier (blue). There's not a whole lot to talk about here. Vampire has a healthy slug of hit points for a tier III destroyer but she's unremarkable when stacked up against tier IV destroyers. She's still a destroyer, with all of the inherent vulnerabilities therein, such as no armour, exposed magazines and a propensity to take module damage from loud noises half a kilometer away. Survivability Expert is a skill worth considering, though, adding 1,050 hit points to Vampire's totals (an 11% boost) given her role as a destroyer hunter. This would put her hit point total just shy of Shenyang's at 10,550. The combination of the extra hit points and her DPM can mean all of the difference. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 34.0knotsTurning Radius: 520mRudder Shift: 2.5s Maximum Turn Rate: 8.5º per second. Vampire won't win any prizes for her agility at tier III. When top tier, she's just slightly faster but noticeably less manoeuvrable than her opponents. When bottom tier, she's just slightly slower but with comparable agility to all of her contemporaries. Mediocrity truly defines her in this category, with no traits that truly stand out, but without any telling weaknesses either. An Orion gets ambushed by Vampire. Three, single fired torpedoes stack on top of each other's wake. With a fire already burning, this dreadnought is unable to stop the resulting flooding. This is one of the few ways Vampire can take down larger ships with any kind of haste, but it requires careful setup. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 6.48km Air Detection Range: 2.97 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 5.66km Main Battery Firing Range: 10.11m Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 2.0km Surface Detection Rank within Tier: 4th out of 6 destroyers Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: Tied for 14th out of 19 Destroyers For a low tier destroyer, HMAS Vampire has a large surface detection range. She's not Clemson-bad, but she shares the larger surface detection radius of Shenyang. When stalking other lolibotes, this can be a real issue as she can have as much as 900m to sprint through to find the ship that's spotting her. If this sneaky opponent is staking you out for her bigger friends, the last thing you'll want to do is extend further. The only consolation is that low tier maps are small and claustrophobic with all of their island cover. Your reliance on open water stealth is of less importance provided you can slip from island to island to get closer. An interesting quirk of Vampire's guns is that they do not penalize her at all when she fires from smoke. Her surface detection when firing in concealment is no different from her automatic detection range (2.0km). But speaking of her weapons, it's only with a full concealment build (Concealment Expert + Camouflage) that Vampire can get sneaky enough to dump her fish without being spotted. She has less than 400m window from which to do this, but hey, it's something. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 40mm / 20mm / 13.2mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 2.5km / 2.0km / 1.2kmAA DPS per Aura: 11.4 / 3.4 / 8.2 That Vampire has any anti-aircraft firepower at all should be considered amazing -- many low tier premiums do without entirely. It's safe to say that her AA-power isn't good, but at least it's present. You might shoot down a plane through the course of a game -- especially if an enemy CV attempts to keep you spotted. Neither Langley or Hosho can afford to lose many aircraft, so every kill will help. At least, that's what you need to tell yourself while your guns shoot ineffectively at enemy aircraft. The Lolibote and the Damned Seeing as the British Commonwealth doesn't have a techtree, you can really spoil yourself and custom build a commander specifically for HMAS Vampire. This may have some overlap with HMAS Perth and any future releases Wargaming brings out of haidaing down the line. Your first 10pts should look like this: Start with Priority Target. Next take Last Stand. Basic Fire Training should be your next choice to get your DPM up on your guns. Finish it off with Concealment Expert. Your job is to protect your big friends from the predations of enemy lolibotes. To this end, take the following skills: Vigilance - not only to spot torpedoes aimed at you, but also to sniff out Deepwater torpedoes for your big friends behind you. The more warning you give them, the more time they have to figure out what WASD does (also, the more hilariously epic your facepalm will be when they die to them anyway despite having been spotted 5km out). Survivability Expert - Some lolibotes, like Clemson and Shenyang, like to fight back. Teach them who the apex predator really is. Besides, you know you'll be using this skill with the next British Commonwealth destroyer. ♥ Demolition Expert - To give her fangs more bite when only larger prey remains. No means no! Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Vampire is a challenging bote for a novice destroyer player. Her torpedoes such and her mainstay is the ever-so-dangerous destroyer knife-fight and firing from smoke at larger ships. You have to have good reflexes, solid gunnery skills and at least basic knowledge of concealment to make her work. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Veterans will find Vampire a very comfortable fit, rewarding them for using an abusing concealment, being able to snipe with her single-fire torpedoes and bullying capture points. She's held back in her carry potential by the lack of a high-alpha strike and her issues with concealment. Mouse's Summary: -bote. Proof positive that you don't need consumable gimmicks to make an interesting, fun ship. Enjoy making Pan Asian destroyers cry. Vampire chews on enemy lolibotes until they're dead. As a destroyer predator, Vampire is arguably the best in this role at her tier. There's a very real need in low tier games for a destroyer-hunter role -- it's one of the reasons Clemson is so adored by those who have discovered her potential in this regard. In fact, Vampire could be compared quite reasonably with Clemson -- both ships bring a surprising amount of main battery firepower to any engagement at their tier which makes enemy lolibotes cry. Recent changes to the meta with the introduction of the Pan Asian destroyer line has only amplified this need. I cannot stress how important a job this is. Take one look at the destroyer lineup in tiers II through IV. Umikaze, Wakatake, Isokaze, Longjiang, Phra Ruang, V-25, Clemson -- these are all seal clubbing dream-boats. They are overpowered little devils. Vampire may be named after a monster, but the list above list are the real fiends. When playing Vampire, you get to be the hero that saves those poor, innocent baby seals from these nightmares, especially when they're crewed by veterans. Vampire trumps the torpedo boats and gives even Clemson something to worry about Can a ship that preys upon overpowered ships avoid the label herself? I'm convinced Vampire does. While she may be well designed for winning knife fights against enemy destroyers, her attack power versus battleships is lackluster. She does alright against cruisers -- though she's very reliant on smoke to engage them with any degree of safety. I'm very excited about this ship. She has no real gimmick, she offers solid game play with a definite purpose and she demonstrates good performance. I hope we see more ships like her in the future. Would I Recommend? HMAS Vampire can be earned for free if you're willing to put the time in to do so. This mission ran on the North American server from December 5th through 20th and was a four-part mission. You needed a tier IV ship at a minimum and had to accomplish the following in subsequent steps in any battle mode of your choosing. Sink 20 enemy vessels. Win 7 battles. Earn 25,000 experience. Deal 750,000 damage. She's well worth putting the time into acquiring -- especially if you'd normally be playing anyway. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? No. Vampire really lacks the hitting power you want to contend with bots in Co-Op. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Honestly? No. Low tier premiums do not have good credit or experience earning coefficients in of themselves. The British Commonwealth line does not have a tech tree associated with it either. About the only thing she'd really be good for, then, is farming signal flags. I had a lot of success hoovering up Confederate and Kraken Unleashed medals with this ship, but understand your own performance level. If these medals are rare for you, Vampire may make them a little less rare. Maybe. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Yes. Stat pad to your heart's content with Vampire. She's a strong ship and a perfect little chariot to hunt would-be seal clubbers in Pan Asian and Japanese torpedo ships. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Yes. HMAS Vampire had earned five battle honours by the time of her loss in 1941. There's a lot of history in this little boat. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Very yes. She's very comfortable and fun to play. 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.
  2. The following is a review of Huanghe, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. To the best of my knowledge, this is the release version of the ship and the stats are current as of November 30th, 2017. Red River, Yellow River, Red River, Yellow River, Red River, Yel -- ow, I just bit my tongue. Quick Summary: A British light cruiser with Soviet guns, a Japanese destroyer torpedo reload consumable and a Commonwealth cruiser's smoke generator. She's fragile, agile and tiny. Cost: $26.49 USD with a port slot. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.13.1 to 0.6.14.0 November 16th, 2017 to November 30th, 2017. Closest in-Game Contemporary Perth, Tier 6 British Commonwealth Cruiser Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Huanghe is an Arethusa-class light cruiser -- a design that came immediately after the Leander-class. There are a lot of obvious similarities between the two, with the Arethusa being a less expensive alternative, allowing the Royal Navy to get more ships for the equivalent cost. In game, the ships appear similar but their performance values are vastly different. They don't share the same guns, torpedoes, armour, consumables or handling characteristics, with Perth being arguably better built in almost every case. PROs Excellent gunnery performance with great ballistics, high fire chance and good AP penetration. Accelerated rate of fire of 8.57 rounds per minute. Extremely agile with a faster rate of turn than some IJN Destroyers (!) Small surface detection, capable of being reduced to 8.14km. Powerful anti-aircraft firepower for her tier. Equipped with the equivalent of Propulsion Modification 2 for free. Has the option of taking a Torpedo Reload Booster. Comes with HMAS Perth's Smoke Generator, with a 90s emission time, allowing her to stay mobile while remaining concealed. CONs Exposed citadel over the waterline, capable of being penetrated by all German and British battleship HE. FUN AND ENGAGING! Her magazines are not housed in her citadel with as little as 32mm of armour protecting them. She has an absolutely tiny hit point pool for a cruiser at 24,100hp. Small main battery armament of only 6 guns. Terrible main battery range of 13.2km which cannot be extended. Torpedoes may only fire in a thin spread with no option for wide or single fire. No Defensive Fire consumable. No aircraft consumable to assist her in detecting enemies while hiding in her own smoke. This review is being published a little later than I would like. It's been a difficult testing period, frustrated by more limited access to this ship than I would like. The wait to publish hinged on confirming final release details -- looking for issues that were noted during the testing period and seeing whether or not they were corrected when she went live. These were tidbits that wouldn't be covered in patch notes or described on third party datamine sites, such as her handling, torpedo spreads or which modules she was compatible with. I didn't get access to the ship until after she had been put up for sale, which is why this is being published now instead of prior to release as I would prefer. Anyway, here we are a day late. Let's hope this review isn't a dollar short. Options Huanghe is weird when it comes to her options. This is, I think, symptomatic of her troubled development cycle as different gimmicks were tried and tested and a hodge-podge of abilities emerged in an effort to balance her. Let's go through them. First, Huanghe counts as a British cruiser for the purposes of her upgrades. As such, she cannot take Propulsion Modification 2 as it's already installed for free. Second, she may take a Torpedo Reload Booster. She's the first cruiser to have access to this traditionally Japanese destroyer consumable. This reduces the reload time of her torpedo tubes to 8 seconds. This has a six minute reset timer for the standard consumable and a four minute reset timer for the premium version. Third, her Smoke Generator is odd, mirroring that found on the tier VI British Commonwealth cruiser, HMAS Perth. This comes with three charges by default and has a 90 second emission time, with each cloud only lasting for 10 seconds. This allows Huanghe to continue to creep forward at 1/4 speed and remain concealed while she moves. The reset timer on her consumable is 240s / 160s depending on if you take the free or premium version. Consumables: Damage Control Party Hyroacoustic Search or Torpedo Reload Booster Smoke Generator Module Upgrades: Four slots. British cruiser upgrades. Premium Camouflage: Standard Type 10. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Huanghe's upgrade choices will deviate somewhat from standard Light Cruiser equipment. Take Magazine Modification 1 in your first slot. Huanghe's magazines are not located in her armoured citadel and they have as little as 32mm worth of armour protecting them. She's as vulnerable to detonations as Perth and Leander are to HE shells of 152mm caliber or larger. If you prefer to live dangerously, you can take Main Armaments Modification 1, but don't come crying to me when you get your ship blown out from under you by a stray 152mm HE shell. In your second slot, you have a choice. You should probably take Propulsion System Modification 1 to protect your engine. However, it's your rudder that will get knocked out most frequently. For that, take Steering Gears Modification 1. For your third slot, take AA Guns Modification 2 for the increased range. Huanghe is a very short ranged cruiser, so it's difficult to justify Aiming Systems Modification 1 as it only reduces her maximum dispersion by a mere 8.7m (from 124m to 115m). And in your fourth slot, take Steering Gears Modification 2. Special Upgrades Huanghe is compatible with the following Special Upgrades. Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 replaces Propulsion System Modification 1 in your second slot. This increases the action time of your consumable to 110 seconds. Smoke Generator Modification 1 replaces AA Guns Modification 2. This increases the active time of your Smoke Generator from 90 seconds to 117 seconds, but shortens their duration from 10 seconds to 9.5 seconds. Both of these consumables are excellent choices for Huanghe. If you have access to them (and no better ships to place them upon), I would highly recommend installing each. Firepower Primary Battery: Six 152mm/57 in three turrets in an A-B-X superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Eight 100mm/70s in four turrets mounted behind the funnels Torpedo Armament: Six tubes in 2x3 launchers straddling the rear funnel. A lot of justified disdain will be aimed squarely at Huanghe's main battery. Let's get them out of the way. Huanghe has only six 152mm rifles at tier VI. This is appalling and regardless of what other merits I list here, there's no getting around just how terrible this is. Huanghe's lack of sufficient main battery firepower really holds her back. Are we all clear on this? I'm saying Huanghe's guns are bad. This "badness" is tempered by a few positive traits, that while welcome, they are insufficient to redeem the overall lack of firepower. These traits are: Huanghe uses Soviet 152mm/57 rifles instead of Royal Navy 152mm guns. These are the same guns found on Budyonny, Shchors, Mikhail Kutuzov & Chapayev. These guns have excellent ballistic arcs, great AP penetration and a high fire chance per shell hit which exceeds those found on the equivalent (premium) Royal Navy armament. Huanghe has an increased rate of fire with her guns to help offset her low DPM and overall fire-setting abilities. She reloads in 7.0 seconds flat as opposed to 7.5s of her Soviet counterparts. Yep, that's it. She's using Soviet guns instead of British and they have an increased rate of fire. In practical terms, this means Huanghe does more damage on a per-gun basis than Perth, Belfast or Leander which is definitely a plus. You'll set more fires, land more citadel hits, and generally be more accurate. However, this does not offset the disparity of losing out two rifles. Perth and Leander both struggle to kill even soft targets quickly and Huanghe amplifies this weakness. I wish I could say that was the end of the bad news, but it gets worse. Huanghe does not have access to the Spotter Aircraft consumable enjoyed by her British and British Commonwealth contemporaries. This means she's capped with an awful 13.2km main battery range with no way to fire beyond that. She also doesn't have very good fire arcs, with her C-turret only capable of engaging enemies 37º off her bow. Her rearward arcs are better, but still not great, with all three turrets capable of putting shells on targets 33º off her stern. If there's one area where Huanghe's guns are at least not-terrible, it's fire starting. She can be a respectable firebug -- almost on the same level as a nine-gun Galissonniere if she specializes for it (and I do stress "almost"). This will come at the expense of direct damage, though. Huanghe would need to sacrifice taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells to do it which is almost a must have for all 152mm HE throwing cruisers. I'm repeating myself, but let me be absolutely clear: Huanghe's main battery firepower sucks moose-balls. Not just moose-balls, but hairy and sweaty moose balls. It all comes down to her not having enough guns. Good as they are individually, they can't make up for the fact they're overtaxed for damage output. You're welcome for that moose-visual. Huanghe, on paper, has better overall DPM and fire starting abilities than ships like Aoba and Molotov. What these graphs do not describe is the ease at which this firepower is put to use. Molotov can engage enemies at long distances. Aoba's 203mm guns aren't reliant upon commander skills to ensure her HE shells penetrate. Huanghe is best compared with HMAS Perth and Leander in regards to her damage output -- all three are painfully short ranged. However, all three are capable of maximizing their DPM for short periods of time when they can setup their smoke. Her torpedo armament doesn't make up for the faults of her guns. Huanghe has a pair of triple launchers off each side of her ship. If you're hoping she'll get some world-ending fish to compensate for the problems with her guns, Huanghe will let you down. The good news is that these aren't Deepwater torpedoes -- they can engage any target she faces. The bad news is that these aren't Deepwater torpedoes -- they don't hit especially hard, move particularly fast, have great range or good concealment. Huanghe can't even launch these torpedoes from stealth. What's more, Haunghe's torpedoes appear to have been implemented haphazardly. It's as if they copy and pasted the British torpedo launchers, removed the British single-fire option and then forgot to replace it with the wide spread after the fact. This means Huanghe is limited to a narrow spread and a narrow spread only. It becomes almost laughable that Wargaming baits players to take a Torpedo Reload Booster to prop up Huanghe's firepower. This is the first time this consumable has been made available outside of the Japanese destroyer line. In order to take it, a player must surrender access to her Hydroacousic Search consumable. This gimmick might have more weight and appeal if Huanghe had an impressive torpedo armament -- something with more launchers or more teeth. The ability to double dip with another helping from her triple launchers doesn't strike me as terribly appealing. I can imagine some scenarios where it might change the outcome of a given match, but on the whole it's highly situational for an armament that's already lacking in versatility. In my play testing, I never came across an opportunity where I could have made good use of it. In short, redemption isn't found in Huanghe's torpedo armament. Summary: Garbage-tier firepower. Yeah, there are some redeeming qualities. No one could argue otherwise. But on the whole? Garbage. With all of this poo-pooing of Huanghe's firepower, do not make the mistake of thinking she's utterly incapable of dealing damage. That's not the message I'm trying to deliver. She's not going to put out as much damage as comparable ships, or do so as reliably. More fool you if you underestimate her. Are you regretting purchasing her yet? DurabilityHit Points: 24,100Maximum Citadel Protection: 70mm Min Bow & Deck Armour: 16mmTorpedo Damage Reduction: None Everything here is also terrible. Huanghe puts on a whole new level of 'suck' when it comes to defining mid-tier cruiser durability. She makes Omaha look tough. Within her matchmaking spread, there is no cruiser with less hit points. The closest is Königsberg with 24,300hp -- a ship that's already known for capsizing and exploding violently when a loud noise occurs in the next grid-square over. Every other ship has a more significant advantage in health. It's well within the math for some tier VII and VIII battleships to delete Huanghe outright with no more than a pair of citadel hits. It's not like things get any better when you look at her armour scheme. Huanghe shares a similar protection scheme to the preceding Leander-class upon which the Arethusa-class was based, albeit having a weaker scheme overall. This comes with a few quirks: She has a small citadel, composed of only her engine spaces which sits slightly over the waterline. Her citadel wall extends to the exterior of the ship, making them potentially vulnerable to HE citadel hits. Her magazines lie outside of the armoured citadel directly beneath her guns and well submerged. So the only ray of sunshine is that people may miss your citadel when they think it extends further forward and back than it actually does. If you're lucky, you'll take some overpenetrating hits there which will keep you in the game just a little longer. As damning as this assessment is, let's be real: few light cruisers could ever make the claim of being reasonably protected. What's likely to kill an Arethusa-class would be just as traumatic and world-ending to a Nurnberg or Leander. Heavy cruisers will bully you. Battleships will savage you. And, even destroyer-caliber guns can be painful if you have to suffer their attentions for long. But this is worth looking into more closely. Yes, a Leander or Nurnberg may appear on the surface to be as fragile but Leander can heal. Nurnberg or Budyonny can sit back at 14km+ and use that extra range to give them more time to dodge. Huanghe can't. She has to tough it out and 'tough' is something she does not do well. Really, though -- don't expect to live long under fire. Death comes quickly and suddenly to Huanghe -- and it's your own damn fault for buying her. Shame on you. Though Huanghe's durability would have you wanting to hiding around friendly battleships in the second line, her range dictates that she must go forward into harm's way to score any damage. This is a common problem associated with all British cruisers. They get around this vulnerability by making use of a Smoke Generator and good concealment values -- traits Huanghe boasts as well. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 33.0knotsTurning Radius: 570mRudder Shift: 6.7s Maximum Turn Rate: 7.1º per second. Alright, I can almost forgive you for forking out the cash for Huanghe for her agility. If she had a little more speed, she'd put many destroyers to shame. As it is, she out performs all other cruisers with her ability to dodge and twirl. She can even out turn several IJN destroyers. It's strange, but she does this without the funny turning-acceleration quirks found in the Royal Navy cruiser line. Huanghe doesn't preserve speed in a turn the way Leander, Belfast or Minotaur does. She does have the equivalent of Propulsion Modification 2 installed -- her initial acceleration from a dead stop is very comfortable. She just doesn't get all the Royal Navy manouevrability quirks. The only thing she really lacks is a little more grunt in her engine and I could ignore all of the miserable, eye-bleeding terrible aspects of her durability. She's just not fast enough to dictate engagement ranges against anything other than a standard-type battleship and that's a big fly in the ointment. At 33 knots, she's not terrible in this regard, but I would have been much more excited to see her exceed 34.5 knots. At least at this speed she could conceivably run down a destroyer she caught flat footed and out pace any battleships she might face without much issue. I dunno, maybe I'm just being greedy. But after the disappointment of her guns and torpedoes, can you really blame me? Manoeuvrability ratings of the tier 6 cruisers. Note that De Grasse and La Galissonniere have access to the Engine Boost consumable which increases their top speed by 15% for 3 minute intervals. Huanghe's ability to turn and throw herself about is on par with many destroyers she faces. She's only lacking in a good top speed to really allow her to enjoy the same level of flexibility. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 9.54km Air Detection Range: 5.97 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 8.14km Main Battery Firing Range: 13.18km Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 4.2km Surface Detection Rank within Tier: 1st among 14 cruisers. Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: 1st among 43 cruisers Huanghe's concealment also redeems her somewhat, but again it's not without its flaws. This is the sneakiest cruiser within her matchmaking spread and not by a small margin either. When fully specialized, she enjoys as 450m advantage over Perth and a 600m advantage over Leander and Belfast. The closest non-British cruiser comes in with New Orleans with nearly a 1km gap and everything else is considerably worse from there. As good as this looks, let's be realistic -- it's not enemy cruisers that you need to worry about spotting you; it's destroyers and aircraft carriers. We'll speak about the latter in the next section, but let's discuss destroyers for a moment. Huanghe is looking at needing to sprint across as much as a 2.7km gap in order to illuminate what's detecting her, all the while being under fire from the lolibote's big friends in the back. Given her 33 knot speed, it's just not feasible for her to cover this distance unless the destroyer makes a stupid mistake. As good as her concealment is, she can't perform the role of a forward scout even though her main battery range precludes her from skulking in the second line and firing from a distance. You're going to need to use cover to stay undetected to move into engagement ranges -- at least until the herd thins out. Thankfully, she brings her own concealment with her. Smoke Generator Huanghe has the same consumable found on HMAS Perth. While each smoke cloud lasts a mere 10 seconds, it continues to dispense smoke for a minute and a half. While Huanghe's Smoke Generator is in use, she may remain mobile and keep concealed while she does so, though she is normally limited to between 1/4 and 1/2 speed (12.5 knots). This allows her to foil the usual traps of air dropped and ship launched torpedoes aimed at smoke clouds as she slowly crawls away. Allied ships may also make use of this smoke, though doing so is much more difficult and it requires a conscious effort to match speed and heading. Huanghe has less tools to provide her vision beyond her smoke than HMAS Perth, though. While both use the same Hydroacoustic Search consumable, HMAS Perth has the extra advantage of a Spotter Aircraft to assist with detecting enemies. This lack would be damning were it not for the changes in smoke detection while firing. Any enemy battleships that opens fire within 10.5km of Huanghe is visible for twenty seconds and she can use that to give herself something to shoot at. This is a bit of a double edged sword, however, with Huanghe herself being visible within 4.2km within her own smoke when she shoots beyond it. This makes it risky to charge cap circles early on (a challenge she shares with Perth), especially if there are larger craft looming behind the lolibotes that have also rushed the control point. Even with these challenges, Huanghe's smoke is meant to redeem all of the other weaknesses so far described. She may have low DPM, but her smoke allows her to cycle her guns aggressively to take better advantage of their reload time for short periods. Her fragility may be masked behind concealment. Her difficulties in disengaging with her modest top speed can be corrected by hiding in smoke until she can put an island between her and her enemies. This is a huge burden for one consumable to bear, and I'm not certain it entirely corrects the deficiencies found so far within Huanghe. Still, it's not hard to see how powerful Huanghe can be in the right circumstances through clever use of her concealment and smoke. Opening moves on an Epicenter match. Though Huanghe shares a lot of traits in common with destroyers, it would be a mistake to play her as one. You're a support ship, not a front line scout or knife-fighter. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 100mm / 37mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 78 / 73.6 / 28.8 Huanghe doesn't approve of your planes. One of this ship's most surprising characteristics is her anti-aircraft firepower. She uses a modern Soviet anti-aircraft suite -- a combination of dual purpose 100mm guns and 37mm automatic cannon to make the life of any planes within her sphere of influence miserable. It can be a rude shock for carriers that loiter around Huanghe's moving smoke cloud, hoping to spot her when the consumable wears off, only to have their air groups shredded. This is something HMAS Perth could never do. In terms of raw damage, Huanghe sits behind only Cleveland at tier VI in terms of her anti-aircraft firepower, which is no mean feat. Unfortunately, she does not get access to Defensive Fire. This was one of the casualties of Huanghe's long development cycle -- she used to have Defensive Fire and in this role, she could play an excellent support vessel. However, she had to surrender this for her Smoke Generator in one of the updates, so it was a fair trade off. Huanghe's anti-aircraft firepower will never truly be a dominating threat to enemy carriers and remains merely a nuisance that will cause them a few casualties, but it cannot stop attacks from being made. From HuangMeh to HuangGud Like all 152mm HE throwing cruisers at mid tiers, Huanghe's performance is really locked behind getting access to 14pt commander. While she can perform reasonably well before this, it's the ability to direct damage to all targets that makes her come into her own. Give the skills which optimizes her performance, she becomes a poor choice for training Pan Asian destroyer commanders, unfortunately. Here's what your first 10pts should look like: Take Priority Target. Follow this up with Adrenaline Rush. Your DPM needs all the help it can get. Next, take Demolition Expert. Setting fires is the only thing you're good at. And finally take Concealment Expert. The big skill you're racing towards is Inertial Fuse for HE Shells which should be your 14th skill point. This gives her the ability to directly damage large areas of any battleship she might face, along with some of the heavy cruisers when she's bottom tier. Your final 5pts should be placed between Vigilance (which stacks with Hydroacoustic Search to better spot torpedo threats while you're creeping along in smoke) and either Expert Marksman to buff your horrible turret traverse or Last Stand if you're sick of having your rudder shot out. An inefficient, entirely situational build for hilarity's sake is an anti-aircraft build. Drop Demolition Expert and take Basic Fire Training instead. Load up on Advanced Fire Training and Manual Fire Control for AA Guns and complete the set with Preventative Maintenance. This is hardly a good build, but at least you'll shoot down a lot of planes. Oh, it's going to be like that, is it? Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Huanghe isn't going to do novice players any favours. She's a British light cruiser without a Repair Party that has to sneak in even closer to do damage. That's a recipe for disaster. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Properly managed, Huanghe can pull her own weight -- you just need to really flex those carrying muscles to do it. This makes for an interesting challenge for those inclined. Getting those Soviet 152mm up close opens up the opportunity for all kinds of hilarity, especially against enemy cruisers that are probably not used to getting their citadels shot out from smoke 12km away. However, her overall lack of firepower holds her back. Mouse's Summary: Perth-lite. Same Perth flavour with half the effectiveness! I kid, Huanghe isn't that bad. She's just not as good as Perth. I can already tell there's going to be a counter-culture movement that absolutely loves this ship... Can destroyer-levels of agility, the smoke generator of HMAS Perth along with good values for her AA firepower and concealment make up for garbage levels of firepower and durability? I was full ready to slap a 'Garbage' label on Huanghe and wash my hands of her. I don't care if she has good AA firepower -- that's a window dressing; it doesn't define a ship as being good or bad. Destroyer levels of twirling are nice but without speed to dictate engagement distances, it's a half measure. Her stealth is good, but not good enough especially in light of her weapon ranges. These arguments all strongly point towards a wholesale condemnation of this ship, but there's one thing and only one thing giving me pause. It's her damned Smoke Generator. Without it, this would be cut and dry: slap a trashbote label and move on. But, I cannot ignore how powerful this is when played well. It allowed me in play testing to rip the throat out of several ships that, on paper, had me dead to rights based on firepower, speed and durability. Yet, I must remind myself that a bad ship is still fully capable of doing damage and even sinking another. This isn't a game like World of Tanks where a disparity in power levels can mean outright immunity to a lesser-vehicle's attacks. I cannot outright dismiss the successes I did enjoy with this ship, but I must weigh them in context. Perhaps it's simply best to separate the two. Huanghe is a trashbote with a good Smoke Generator. So ask yourself: What you want to play with? Is it the trashbote, or is it the Smoke Generator? Because if it's the latter, HMAS Perth will be back around in the shops sometime soon... Would I Recommend? I'm forced to ask myself: "Why would you buy this?" If you're looking for comparable game play, HMAS Perth is superior in almost every regard. For trainer for the Pan Asian destroyer line, there are better choices. Loyang is one of the most competitive destroyers at her tier and Anshan comes in at a similar price tag with added economic bonuses baked in to boot. Huanghe is a premium without a purpose... PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? No. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Also no. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Very no. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Very no on toast. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Actually, yes. Be advised: Mouse has a soft spot for lame-[edited]ships, like the pre-buff Atlanta, Albany and Prinz Eugen. What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE - Grossly uncompetitive and badly in need of buffs.Mehbote - Average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable, but certainly not advantageous.Gudbote - A strong ship that has obvious competitive strengths and unique features that make it very appealing.OVERPOWERED - A ship with very clear advantages over all of its competitors and unbalancing the game with its inclusion. Her Smoke Generator gets a Gudbote, though.
  3. The following is a review of USS Kidd, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of November 9th, 2017. With historical ties to the vessels Essex, Alabama, Arizona and Black which also appear in World of Warships. Quick Summary: A Fletcher-class lolibote that sacrifices one quintuple torpedo launcher and manoeuvrability for improved speed, anti-aircraft firepower and a Repair Party consumable. Cost: The equivalent of 9,100 doubloons Patch and Date Written: Patch 0.6.12.1 to 0.6.13.0, October 28th to November 9th, 2017. Closest in-Game Contemporary Fletcher, Tier 9 American Destroyer Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique There are many small differences between the two ships. The most telling are their speed, consumables, torpedo armament and anti-aircraft firepower. Kidd is faster than Fletcher but she doesn't handle as well. She has only a single quintuple torpedo launcher and she's stuck with Fletcher's stock torpedoes. Her anti-aircraft is improved with additional 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikons. As a tier VIII ship, she has less hit points than Fletcher but she compensates for this with a Repair Party consumable. There are other minor differences too, such as Kidd having slightly worse concealment by air. PROs Comes with a Repair Party consumable. Armed with five rapid-fire 127mm rifles with amazing turret traverse speeds of 34º/s. Excellent AA power for a destroyer, including access to Defensive Fire. Good top speed of 38.0knots. She's very stealthy with a 5.80km surface detection range with a full concealment build. Combined features make her an excellent forward scout. CONs The shell flight time on her 127mm/38 guns is horrible. She has only a single torpedo launcher. The torpedoes are the same fish found on Benson (the stock torpedoes for Fletcher -- boo-urns). The reload on this torpedo launcher is longer than HMCS Haida's development time (Summer 2018, maybe?) Emphasis on "for a destroyer" in regards to the excellent AA power thing. They require a deep investment in skills to make them a credible threat and then only with her Defensive Fire consumable active. Large turning circle for a destroyer at 620m. She's not doing a lot of damage on her own with her current build, making her more reliant on support-damage to be profitable. I'm always excited to see new tier VIII premiums. They feel, I dunno, more legitimate than other premiums. It's a silly sentiment, but they truly are the flagship vessels in a given line. People look to them not only for grinding out experience to train Captains, but also to earn credits to help maintain their fleet. Tie in the added bonus of the competitive meta surrounding tier VIII in Ranked Battles and tournaments and it's hard not to get excited. Seeing the United States Navy finally get some tier VIII premium love in 2017 with Alabama and Enterprise has certainly been a highlight for me. I couldn't be happier to see USS Kidd join the fleet. At least, that was my initial sentiment until I played her. For those unaware, she had a rather troubled and delayed development cycle and for a while, it was anyone's guess whether she'd actually make it into the game or not. The ship we received looks normal enough on paper, but her looks can be deceiving. What we've received is a highly specialized vessel with a very distinct role at which she excels. Getting the most out of this vessel is a real challenge. Truth be told, USS Kidd reminds me a lot of USS Sims in terms of game play. Options Well, there's one fun little surprise here with Kidd's Repair Party, but the rest is to be expected. Her Damage Control Party is standard for a destroyer. Kidd is an American lolibote. Right out of the gates, she has access to the improved Smoke Generator for that nation. This improves not only the smoke cloud's duration (124 seconds vs 89 seconds at tier VIII), but also the emission time of the smoke (28 seconds vs 20 seconds at tier VIII). In short, it allows USN destroyers to lay more smoke which lasts longer. In practical terms, Kidd can generate up to 10 individual smoke clouds maximum. This comes with the standard two charges by default. Now let's talk about the exciting bit: Kidd's Repair Party is a standard version of this consumable. Kidd queues up 100% of fire, flooding, ramming and overpenetration damage. She queues up 50% of everything else. It's nice not to have to worry about citadel hits. Each charge heals up the standard 14% of the ship's maximum HP (2,338 damage in Kidd's case) over 28 seconds. This comes with two charges by default. Finally, Kidd must choose between the Engine Boost consumable or a Defensive Fire consumable. I say this is a "choice" but it's not. Take Defensive Fire. The destroyer version of Defensive Fire has a reduced active period of 30 seconds compared to the 40 seconds of a cruiser version while sharing the same 180/120 second reset timer. However, the DPS gain from the destroyer consumable has increased from x3 to x4 with patch 0.6.13. Either one of these consumables comes with two charges by default. Make sure you load up on as many premium consumables as you can afford. Kidd is an expensive ship to run. Consumables: Damage Control Party Smoke Generator Repair Party Engine Boost or Defensive Fire Module Upgrades: Five slots, standard destroyer upgrades Premium Camouflage: Type 10. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. This is the gorgeous Measure-22 paint scheme which you will also see on other American premiums like Missouri, Alabama and Massachussetts. We're going to build Kidd to emphasize her AA power. In her first slot, take Magazine Modification 1. She's a destroyer with a Repair Party. Your cause of death to detonations just went up because you can take more hits than other destroyers. In your second slot, take AA Guns Modification 2. This will bump up your AA range handsomely and better allow you to assist allies when they come under aircraft attack. In your third slot, take Propulsion Modification 1 to help keep your engines intact. It will help a little and speed is life. In your fourth slot, take Propulsion Modification 2. You may find yourself parking in smoke on occasion and this will give you a nice jump start. And finally, take Concealment System Modification 1 to make yourself sneakier. Special Upgrades! There are three Special Upgrades worth considering. If you don't have access to these, don't worry about it. They are rare. You can win them from Super Containers or from Ranked Battles and other events. Smoke Generator Modification 1 would replace AA Guns Modification 2 in the second slot. This increases the smoke generation time for Kidd from 28 seconds to 36 seconds but reduces the individual cloud duration to 118 seconds. This isn't a very strong choice. If you wanted to throw away Kidd's anti-aircraft firepower advantages and reduce your spotting-experience gains, go nuts, but it's a loser move. Next up in the Special Upgrades you won't be using but technically are compatible with Kidd is Engine Boost Modifiaction 1. This competes with Propulsion Modification 1. You won't take this because you'll have Defensive Fire and not Engine Boost on this premium like a smart person. And finally, also competing with Propulsion Modification 1 is Defensive Fire Modification 1. Now this seems like a no brainer -- it increases the active time of Kidd's Defensive Fire from 30 seconds to 36 seconds. The only reason I would imagine that someone wouldn't want to stick this on Kidd would be the rarity of the consumable and the demand to put it on other ships before giving it to a destroyer. Firepower Primary Battery: Five 127mm/38 rifles in an A-B-P-X-Y superfiring configuration. Torpedo Armament: Five tubes in a 1x5 launcher behind the funnels facing forward. Kidd's firepower sucks. USN 127mm/38 Mark 30s, we meet again. The last time we crossed swords with these weapons on a premium ship was with USS Sims at tier VII. These are the same guns found on Fletcher, Black and Benson, so veterans of the American destroyer line should immediately be familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of these guns. They mirror these other ships identically with their excellent rate of fire, the wicked fast gun traverse, the horrible muzzle velocity and the oh-so infamous shell flight time. Penetration and fire chance are all on par too. The detection in smoke while firing is different, however, with Sims having a 2.8km detection while everyone else has a 2.7km. Don't ask me why. It's not even a contest. The shell flight time for the USN 127mm/38s is terrible. We're probably going to have to wait for the Royal Navy destroyers before we see Kidd's shell flight time compare favourably to anything. This is compensated for by some of the highest HE DPM among the high tier destroyers. The lesson here is that Kidd can potentially do a lot of damage with her guns -- but only so long as you can overcome the challenges of her weak penetration and horrible ballistics. In theory, these guns are ideal for short range knife fights with enemy destroyers where they can throw out a wall of rapid fire shells and pummel their opponents into submission. The reality is that outside of 8km, it becomes very difficult to lead other lolibotes properly -- especially if you're working with a 1920 x 1080 screen resolution (or smaller) and you have a habit of firing from maximum zoom. Kidd needs to seize enemy destroyers by the belt buckle, keep close to them and hammer shells home lest she embarrassingly gets outgunned by a Yugumo. Once ranges increase beyond this comfort zone, it's better to go gun silent, dodge and disengage; especially if they run away to tattle on you to bigger boats. The stranger-danger presented by grown-up ships is quite palpable given that you cannot rely on Kidd's torpedoes. The USN 127mm/38s really struggle at tiers VIII+ to put out the damage on larger vessels. Their anemic fire chance, horrible ballistics and poor penetration values all compound to a muddy mess. Kidd's HE penetration sits at 21mm which can be boosted to 27mm with Inertial Fuse for HE Shells at the expense of her chance to set fires. This is already quite low on a per-shell basis, though the recent changes to the skill have softened this blow somewhat. This improvement to penetration will allow Kidd to damage the extremities of all battleships at tiers VI and VII, along with those of most cruisers up to tier X with the exception of the American and German cruisers at tiers VIII+. Without this boost, she's reliant upon setting fires and peppering superstructures to do the lion's share of her damage. Damage saturation mechanics, the reduced fire damage on cruisers and the increased prevalence of fire resistance skills and upgrades among battleships only makes it harder on Kidd to be relevant with her guns alone. If this sounds bleak, it's because it is. Kidd is reliant on landing a high volume of hits to start fires. The numbers presented here are very generously assuming 100% accuracy which is a pipe dream. In addition, high tier ships will reduce these numbers further, cutting them almost in half. Starting two fires per minute with Kidd is an ambitious goal. Start praying to RNGesus. There's a grim methodology to engaging enemy capital ships with Kidd's guns. Choose a target. Struggle to hit said target. Laugh as you suddenly light two fires in quick succession. Rage as your target uses their Damage Control Party and you're unable to light a subsequent blaze for the next two minutes. Hoover up a pittance in shell damage as you quickly oversaturated their superstructure. Slowly lose your sanity as that ship heals up all of the damage you did and then some. Question the meaning of life, the prevalence of the battleship meta and why oh why didn't you heed Mouse's colourful graphs and charts!? Their colours warned you! THEY WARNED YOU IT WOULD BE LIKE THIS! Kidd's guns may not be terribly effective against larger ships when you get down to it, but at least they're fun to use. The sheer volume of fire they put out is meme worthy (plus it's fun to say "pew!" every time they fire). They're decent enough against close range targets but because of the prevalence of Surveillance Radar and Hydroacoustic Search, it's dangerous to get that close, so pick your battles carefully. Still, they'll shred other destroyers, so that's something at least. Kidd needs more 'pedos. They took five of her 'pedos away to give her more AA power. You only have a single torpedo launcher on USS Kidd. Yes, this sucks. No, you don't get Fletcher's upgraded Mark 16 torpedoes with their awesome range and hitting power. No, they didn't improve Kidd's torpedo soft-stats to compensate. These are the exact same torpedoes as on the stock-Fletcher or upgraded Benson. They have decent range and modest damage totals, but they're slow as all get out and their reload time is downright punitive. So not only do you have your torpedo armament halved, you're also waiting just as long to fire them off as Benson does. If you're hoping to make torpedo soup with USS Kidd, your broth is going to taste pretty thin. Getting the most out of this horrible helping of fish requires a lot more skill than just dropping the pip onto the torpedo lead indicator and hoping for the best. You can't saturate an area or hedge your bets with a second launcher. Picking the right target at the right moment and anticipating how they're going to move in the 60 some odd seconds it will take for your torpedoes to reach their maximum range is a real challenge, even for veteran commanders. Landing even a couple of hits really helps pad the terrible damage numbers that USS Kidd puts out. The threat of Kidd's torpedoes is often worth more than the actual damage they put out. Your opponents are inclined to be more cautious if they believe you're able to dump a salvo into them when they're most vulnerable. Their imaginations will often envision far more devastation than Kidd can actually conjure, so sometimes it's worth holding onto your fish just for this bully-factor. Summary: Kidd's firepower is terrible. Same ol' USN 127mm/38s we know and love (and hate). Kidd's 'pedos suck -- and not always in the sexy way. USN 127mm/38 gunnery in a nutshell: First, pick a target. Next, setup outside of radar range. Step three: deploy smoke. And finally, step four: put four salvos into the air before your first shells connect. DurabilityHit Points: 16,700Maximum Protection: 19 to 20mm Well, this is shaping up to be a pretty negative review so far, innit? Thankfully, it gets better from here on out. Kidd comes with a healthy chunk of hit points -- 1,300hp more than Benson and 2,100hp more than Loyang. This still pales compared to the tier VIII thunderchunckers Akizuki and Z-23 which have a 3,700hp and 2,800hp advantage respectively over Kidd, but at least she can say that she's not at the bottom of the pile here. Taking Survivability Expert can prop this number up further, bumping Kidd up another 2,800hp which would make her competitive against some of the tier IX and X destroyers as well. However, she's not as reliant upon this skill as other destroyers and the points are better spent elsewhere. Kidd joins Khabarovsk with a fun dose of Russian-bias in the form of a Repair Party consumable. Each charge can heal back 2,338 hit points (this does not change if you take Survivability Expert). She begins the game with two charges that can be boosted up to four with a premium version of the consumable combined with the Superintendent commander's skill. Without a citadel, Kidd can always heal back a minimum of 50% of damage done to her which ensures you get the maximum use out of each charge. I tell myself that this is the reason that Kidd gives up a second torpedo-launcher. It's not the real reason, but it certainly has improved my attitude towards this ship. Kidd's Repair Party is a real boon. She effectively has up to 30,722hp if fully optimized for maximum toughness (Superintendent, Survivability Expert, premium Repair Party used four times, India Delta signal), allowing her to take an absolute beating, survive and later return to the fight hungry for more. This gives her endurance and longevity that Benson, Fletcher and Black could only dream of having. So while it may take forever to do any appreciable damage with Kidd's terrible weapon load-out, her improved survivability all but guarantees she's got the time to do it. The only thing you need fear is taking massive alpha strikes or sustained burst damage. Watch out for Surveillance Radar equipped vessels and practice dancing to those torpedo-beats. The John McClane of destroyers. Kidd rarely comes out of a match without looking like she was thrown through a plate glass window. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 38.0knotsTurning Radius: 620mRudder Shift: 3.9s Maximum Turn Rate: 7.9º per second. As far as destroyer agility goes, Kidd is decidedly average and is best compared to the Soviet destroyer Ognevoi in terms of her speed and handling. For a Fletcher-class destroyer, she's much faster than either Fletcher or Black but this comes at the cost of her turning circle which is 60m wider. Overall, this gives her power and speed enough to run down any Japanese torpedo destroyer within her Matchmaking spread and enough wiggle in her tush to dance to torpedo beats and dodge incoming shellfire. However, she won't feel as nimble as either of her sister-ships. For those who intend to play Kidd aggressively, I cannot stress enough how important the Vigilance skill on your commanders will be. High alpha strikes are the bane of this ship and there's few things worse than being blindsided by a wall of skill you didn't anticipate and being sent back to the port early. Pertinent agility statistics for Kidd's contemporaries (click to enlarge). She's decidedly average, with her high top speed compensating for her larger turning circle compared to Fletcher and Black. If you want to try out Kidd's handling for yourself before making a purchase, play around with the tier VIII Soviet destroyer, Ognevoi. The two are very similar in their overall handling characteristics with the biggest difference between them being their rudder-shift-time. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 40mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 53.5 / 65.7 / 36.6 In exchange for losing a quintuple torpedo mount, Kidd gains 21dps over Fletcher. Most of this DPS advantage doesn't come from the 40mm quad Bofor nests that replaced her torpedoes, but rather from the upgrade of her 20mm Oerlikon from single to twin-gun mounts. Her anti-aircraft firepower is good for a destroyer, but terrible overall if you merely wish to rely on her raw damage numbers alone. Kidd has less AA firepower than Tirpitz and no one would ever claim that Tirpitz has good AA firepower at tier VIII. It's only with a heavy investment in AA skills that her DPS truly becomes something to concern enemy carriers. So your choice to keep your lolibote safe from white-van driving CVs is to have them stay close to grownup ships like Kii and North Carolina or activate their 'emergency whistle'. Note that this whistle got extra loud in 0.6.13, multiplying your 40mm and 127mm DPS by four instead of just three. This is reflected in the animated gif above which turns Kidd into a pocket North Carolina temporarily in terms of AA power. The game changer is her access to the destroyer version of Defensive Fire. While some other tier VIII destroyers also get access to this consumable, only Kidd has the numbers to make it truly effective beyond a disruption effect. Like them, she must exchange her Engine Boost consumable to gain access to this but it's well worth the trade. Under the effects of this consumable, she becomes a credible threat to enemy aircraft and she may even be able to drive off fighters sent to perma-spot her. Let's be clear: Her anti-aircraft firepower under Defensive Fire will maul attack craft waves from tier VI and even some tier VII carriers but it cannot be relied upon the prevent a strike altogether. This may be enough to make a carrier look for a less thorny target, but against veteran CVs, it's simply going to delay their attack while they wait on your 30s consumable to run out of steam. Destroyers are too valuable a target to leave unmolested. It's possible, albeit very expensive to deep specialize Kidd into anti-aircraft firepower to try and make her more formidable against aircraft. Realistically, however, it's unlikely for Kidd to have this kind of specialization in the face of more survival based skill choices. Still, Kidd can survive better than any other destroyer under the eye of an enemy carrier. This gives her a little more autonomy than other scouting destroyers and it also allows her to play the supporting role in disrupting attacks against her allies if you're so inclined. More importantly, this gives Kidd the ability to extend beyond the cover of your team mates to better play out the role of a scout. Now you know what to do when an enemy CV offers you free candy. White van, white plane -- same difference. I DON'T KNOW THIS PLANE! THIS PLANE IS NOT MY MOM! HELP! HELP! STRANGER DANGER! STRANGER DANGER! Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 7.38km Air Detection Range: 4.11 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 5.80km Main Battery Firing Range: 12.1km Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 2.7km Surface Detection Rank within Tier: Tied for 5th with Benson & Loyang, sitting behind the Kagero-sisters. Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: Tied for 6th out of 36 places. This graph shows the advantage in surface detection Kidd enjoys over her contemporaries. All of the numbers are assuming the destroyers in question are fully rigged for stealth with all of the applicable options available to them (Concealment Expert, Concealment Camouflage, Concealment System Modification 1). Thus, the disparity in these numbers may be even greater to Kidd's advantage in select cases. For those that are math inclined, you can use this to estimate how much of a reaction time you have to steer away from enemy ships in order to preserve stealth and remain undetected. For example, if you stumble across a Mahan running perpendicular while you sail towards it at 38 knots, you have approximately 11 seconds to adjust course. However, if the same were to occur with a Z-23 heading towards you with both of you at full speed, this reaction time drops to a little over 2 seconds. There are very few destroyers that are more stealthy than USS Kidd. Kagero, Harekaze and Yugumo exceed her stealth rating. Benson, Loyang, Fletcher & Black match her. Hatsuharu and Shiratsuyu are close enough to make little difference. Against any other opponent she enjoys a minimum of a 140m surface detection advantage. When she's top tier, her advantage is almost comical. Between her speed and concealment, she can easily dictate engagement distances or simply keep enemies spotted. And herein lies Kidd's greatest strength. More than any other destroyer in the game, she is almost an ideal scout. Kidd is well suited to spotting targets for your allies to kill. She's tough, she's fast, she has excellent smoke and she has one of the best surface detection ranges within her matchmaking spread. And, it's a damn good thing too -- outside of a knife fight with another destroyer, she sucks at dealing her own damage. The only other traits you could ask for would be some punchier guns or some form of detection consumable like Hydroacoustic Search. Still, she's very well equipped for this task. This makes Kidd a real threat on cap circles. She may not be the immediate terror like Black, but she is dogged. Her presence around one of these control points is a real obstacle for the enemy team. Spotting Economy I had the pleasure of speaking to Boyarsky regarding the economy surrounding destroyer spotting mechanics. While I will compile a more complete article later, I thought it worth sharing with USS Kidd, given how dependent she can be upon the rewards earned from providing vision for her team. There are two types of spotting (as if it wasn't complicated enough). The first is simple and easy to understand. There is a reward for the first ship to detect an enemy that has not been seen before. This is a flat value. The second type of spotting is where you facilitate damage done to the enemy team. What it is: A destroyer can receive substantial rewards by scouting ahead of the allied fleet and keeping enemy ships detected to facilitate gunnery and torpedo attack for allies that would not otherwise be able to see them. How it works: An ally shoots at a target that the destroyer can see. The ally must not be able to see the target themselves. The destroyer earns a bonus percentage of the rewards that ally receives for damaging that target. Reward amount: The destroyer receives approximately 45% of the experience and credits for applicable damage done to targets they spot. Other ships may earn an award too, but they do not earn nearly as much as destroyers. Multiple spotters: If multiple friendly ships are providing vision upon a target and an ally who cannot see the target fires, the rewards are divided by the number of allies present. So if two destroyers and an aircraft carrier providing vision, the reward for the destroyers would be divided by three. Errata: Note that the destroyer only receives the reward if, when the attack was launched, the ally could not see the target and the destroyer could -- not when it strikes the target. This applies to all shell and torpedo attacks. These rewards scale as you would normally expect. In other words, you will earn more rewards for assisting a lower tiered ship to do 10,000 damage to a destroyer two tiers higher than you would for helping a higher tiered ship do 10,000 damage to a battleship that's two tiers lower than itself. The big complication for earning these rewards comes from the spotting mechanics themselves. If your allies can see the target without your help, then you earn nothing. Given the recent changes to smoke, this pretty much means you're not going to earn much of anything at all sitting between two groups of warships shooting at each other in open water. The bloom of their surface detection every time they pull the trigger is going to make them visible to one another. Similarly, the presence of aircraft carriers will also eat into your earnings as their planes put eyes on targets you're spotting. Spotting is a high risk venture and it does not always pay well. A keen understanding of vision mechanics and how ships interact with smoke is paramount to increasing your earnings One of the tricks to earning more spotting damage is to use your Smoke Generator to hide your allies. At full speed, lay a long 10-cloud fog bank between your friendly ships and the enemies but don't hide in it yourself. Then position yourself between your smoke and the enemy team. The concealment bonus provided by smoke will reduce the surface detection of both sides -- protecting your allies but also blinding them to the enemy team save for the data relayed by your spotting. In this manner, you help keep your team safe AND you collect a handsome reward for the damage you helped inflict. How to Avoid Pedo-Bears You can't. Far too many people told me that Kidd was too sexy. We have a real epidemic in our community, I swear. Your first ten points should be distributed like this: Start with Priority Target. Take Last Stand. Next grab Superintendent. This will give you an additional charge of smoke, heals and emergency whistle. And finally, take Concealment Expert. This should be considered the absolute minimum to take to do well with Kidd. From here, there are high value skills and players should mix and match based on their preferred play style. Demolition Expert and Inertial Fuse for HE Shells may seem like gimme skills for dealing more direct damage with Kidd. Tag on Adrenaline Rush and you are good to go for pew pews. For those who are super-salty about the stranger-danger presented by enemy carriers, Basic Fire Training and Advanced Fire Training pair nicely to give you some good punch against incoming planes and also let you help out beleaguered allies. Just beware of your increased spotting range from AFT when you fire your main battery. If you are more concerned with personal defense than helping others, swap Advanced Fire Training for Manual Fire Control for AA Guns. The survivability skills Vigilance and Survivability Expert make Kidd harder to kill. Not much harder, mind you, but you're less likely to get obliterated by a high alpha strike. I tried out a lot of different commander builds when testing Kidd. I did everything from loaning an anti-aircraft specialized Atlanta-captain to failing horribly with a 3pt newfish. If I had a dedicated Kidd 19pt commander dropped on my lap, I would take the initial 10pts skills listed above plus Vigilance, Demolition Expert and Survivability Expert. You'll note the lack of any anti-aircraft firepower skills and a reliance on fires to deal damage to larger vessels. "Fire Alarm..." In case you're wondering, the Legendary Captain, Steven Seagal, doesn't really add anything useful when he commands a destroyer. His skill bonuses apply to Expert Loader and Expert Marksman skills -- neither of which are of particular use on a ship that already has ridiculously fast reload times and turret rotation rates. However, if you want to phone it in the same way he narrated his dialogue, feel free to use him here. Kidd's bread and butter: Trading fire with other destroyers and outlasting them between her Smoke Generator and Repair Party. She didn't choose the scout-life. The scout-life chose her. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Kidd struggles to do damage. Her improved survivability traits are locked behind proper consumable management and having a commander with not only enough skill points, but the correct setup as well. And even then, her play style is going to be utterly alien to many players. NOT shooting? NOT firing torpedoes? Wut!? Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Kidd is all about surviving some of the most dangerous encounters in World of Warships -- namely, dominating cap circles early on in a match. She's got almost all of the proper tools to do it short of some form of Hydroacoustic Search or Surveillance Radar. Correctly managed, Kidd can survive for a very long time, making life miserable for the Reds. With such limited firepower, you're really going to have to milk every advantage to get the most out of this ship but she'll reward you handsomely for it. Mouse's Summary: "Tough" really defines Kidd. She's tough in that she can take a lot of punishment. But she's also a tough ship with which to do damage. In this regard, she's also tough to love. Poor child. She's totally going to become a delinquent when she grows up. Like USS Sims before her, she's going to be doomed to mediocrity in Randoms. A lot of people will pick her up, wonder why all of the CCs were enthusiastic about her and let her collect dust in their ports if they bothered to pick her up at all. Then someone's going to rockstar with her in Ranked or some other competitive mode and everyone and their mother will suddenly want one. I'm disappointed to see Repair Party used to balance yet another premium. Healing potion proliferation feels like an arms race waiting to happen. Remember, you didn't trade your torpedoes for more AA power -- you traded them for her Repair Party. All of the banes she suffers from her poor torpedoes should be made up for with the advantages her Repair Party provides. Really focus on outlasting your opponents. Take a few extra risks that other destroyers wouldn't dare and hold onto your fish for the best target possible. Scouting feels super rewarding. It's hard to pull off, but it pays well if you can manage it. Few ships have made me feel as categorically stupid as USS Kidd did during play testing. I got myself delorted in the opening minutes of a match more often in this destroyer than I have in any of the others I've tested this year. It's only when I smartened up and exerted a little more caution that things (mostly) got better. Vigilance helped too. Let this be a lesson -- be aggressive; just don't be stupid. So let's get to the meat of the matter: Is Kidd a good ship? My answer is: Yes, absolutely. She just totally sucks at doing damage and killing things. This does not preclude her from winning games. In fact, she's quite good at doing that so long as you don't trip over your own ego and pull a few stupids trying to pad your damage numbers instead of focusing on winning. The toolkit with which they've equipped her makes her an absolute beast when it comes to helping your team win matches. The manner in which she helps dominate spotting and cap control will secure you many wins. The trouble is that spotting is feast or famine. If there's aircraft carriers present or the enemy team roster is composed primarily of battleships, you're not going to earn many rewards for sitting gun silent. Under the correct conditions, you can earn a lot of rewards for providing vision. At others, you might struggle to scrimp out competitive gains compared to other tier VIII American premiums like Alabama or Enterprise. Economy concerns aside, Kidd does win matches. She's just not doing it with her own firepower most of the time. To this end, if grinding for credits and experience is your goal, I would have to give Kidd a solid pass. However, if your goal is simply to win -- such as in Ranked Battles where the quality of the win doesn't matter, just the win itself -- then Kidd is an amazing ship. Kidd is a premium with a purpose. If you don't espouse this purpose, you're going to really struggle to find satisfaction with what she can do. Would I Recommend? Let me apply a filter to my recommendations here. I must stress the skill floor to play Kidd well. If you're a novice destroyer player, you'll have a hard time with Kidd. Just because she gets a nod from me as being good at X does not mean that you'll be good with Kidd at X. This is not an easy ship to play. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Very no. While she can turn a profit with a 47,250 repair cost and less than 10,000 on ammunition costs for a long game, Kidd struggles to do damage quickly. And let's face it -- that's really what you want in Co-Op battles; that knockout punch. Kidd does't have that. She licks things to death. It's slimy. It's awkward. It's not very fast. It's kinda hot, really, but not terribly effective or fun. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Do you like a challenge? Do you have enough patience to stomach hoping the lottery will hand you a team that can capitalize on the opportunities you'll create? Do you like working super hard so that other people get all of the rewards? Then go nuts. Otherwise? Stay clear. This is a support ship. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Very yes. Really, this is the primary reason you'll want Kidd. A tier VIII destroyer with Repair Party and Defensive Fire? She'd have to be a steaming turd in all other aspects to not to kindle people's interests in this vessel for Ranked Battles. Be aware that her role is to provide vision and cover, brawl with enemy destroyers and above all else: Survive. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Museum ship? Check. Tons of history? Check. Awesome looking boat? Check. We are good to go. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? I really enjoyed playing her, but she wasn't like ... Okhotnik fun. The enjoyment I got out of Kidd was learning how to rise up to a challenge. So it's probably safe to say that you have to be all kinds of weird to find this ship fun. 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.
  4. The following is a review of Loyang, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. These stats are current as of November 16th, 2017. The classic spy. Quick Summary: A C-Hull Benson-class lolibote with less hit points (for some reason), two torpedo options and access to an improved version of the Hydroacoustic Search consumable. Cost: Sold in bundles starting at $33.99 USD including a port slot. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.13.0 to 0.6.13.1, November 9th, 2017 to November 16th, 2017 Closest in-Game Contemporary Benson, Tier 8 American Destroyer Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Loyang is USS Benson which was transferred to the Republic of China Navy in 1954. In game, she closely resembles a C-Hull Benson-class destroyer with some changes. She has 800 less hit points. Maybe it's harder for her to get cheeseburgers in Taiwan? Loyang has access to Hydroacoustic Search. Benson has 40m more main battery firing range than Loyang (seriously?) Her optional Mark 31 torpedoes are 13 knots faster than Benson's upgraded Mark 15 Mod 3 torpedoes at the cost of 2.5km worth of range. PROs Armed with four USN 127mm/38s with their super-twirly turret rotation and ridiculous rate of fire. Access to two different torpedo armaments. Uses standard torpedoes, not the deep-water variants of the Pan Asian line. Fast, agile, and very, very responsive. Stealthy as all get-out, with a great surface detection range. Decent AA firepower values for a destroyer. Uses an American Smoke Generator, with longer emission time and longer lasting clouds. Loyang's Hydroacoustic Search has a fearsome 5.4km range for peeping on enemy ships and lasts for a minute and a half. CONs Small hit point pool of 14,600hp. Armed with four USN 127mm/38s with their horrible gun ballistics and anemic fire chance per shell. Her first torpedo armament is very slow with anemic warheads Her second torpedo armament is dangerously short ranged with painfully long reload. Without Defensive Fire, her anti-aircraft firepower just doesn't cut it when you're cornered by a carrier. It's been a long time since I last looked at Loyang. I first reviewed her when she was released, almost two full years ago and so much has changed with the game in that time. We've seen a minor and a major skill overhaul, an upgrade module overhaul, the death of open water stealth-firing, changes to concealment in smoke and a direct buff to Loyang as well. It's well worth looking at her again. Looking Back... Loyang was originally released back in patch 0.5.3 back in February of 2016. With patch 0.6.6 in early June of 2017, Loyang received a series of buffs which upgraded the performance of her short-ranged torpedoes and the acquisition range of her Hydroacoustic Search consumable. Acquisition Range of Torpedoes: from 2.52 to 3.75km Acquisition Range of Ships: from 3.48 to 5.43km Torpedo Range of "533 mm Mk15 mod. 0": from 6.0 to 6.7km Same great C-Hull Benson-flavour, with only 14,600 hit points. Options You are spoiled for choice with Loyang. First off, you have the choice between two torpedo armaments. The one that's quick and dangerously short ranged while the other one is safer, slower and marshmellow squishy when it strikes (seriously, it should make a squeaky-toy sound when it hits). Next you have your choice of three different consumables for your third slot. Her Damage Control Party and Engine Boost is standard for a lolibote. Loyang uses an American Smoke Generator. This is improved over the standard version of other nations. It has a longer emission time (28s versus 20s) and each cloud lasts longer too (124s vs 89s). Loyang's Defensive Fire is again standard for a destroyer. This has a shorter active period than a cruiser's (30s instead of 40s) but it multiplies the damage of her 127mm and 40mm guns by four instead of three as it would for a large vessel. But it's her Hydroacoustic Search consumable which really deserves special attention. This is the equivalent of a German tier VII cruiser's version of the consumable in terms of range, though it has a shorter duration of 90 seconds. It will spot ships at 5.43km and detect torpedoes at 3.75km. Having Loyang near a contested cap circle is a nightmare for the enemy team as she'll easily light up all of the ships hiding in smoke for her allies to tear apart while she can remain safely hidden within her own smoke. I dunno -- it seems kinda pervy to me -- like Loyang is some peeper hiding in the bushes with a pair of binoculars and streaming the whole thing on her smartphone. The poor lolibotes have no idea she's about to spy on them when they're at their most vulnerable until it's too late. Really, you should be taking Hydroacoustic Search. This is what makes Loyang special... and a criminal. Consumables: Damage Control Party Smoke Generator Engine Boost or Defensive Fire or Hydroacoustic Search Module Upgrades: Five slots, standard destroyer upgrades Premium Camouflage: Standard Type 10. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. When equipping Loyang, be sure to take premium versions of all of your consumables. Yes, this is expensive. Yes, this is going to eat into your earnings. Unless you're playing co-op against bots, pull the trigger here. You'll need them. Loyang's upgrades are pretty standard fare for a destroyer. Take Magazine Modification 1 in your first slot. Next, equip Aiming Systems Modification 1. This doesn't provide a real boost to your guns accuracy (the gains are minuscule) but it does provide a nice rotation speed increase to your torpedo armament which is nice. Alternatively, you can take AA Guns Modification 2 here, but Loyang isn't known for her AA power. In your third slot, take Propulsion Modification 1. Fourth comes Propulsion Modification 2. And finally, take Concealment System Modification 1 in your final slot. Special Upgrades! At the time of publication, Loyang has access to five Special Upgrades, but only one is worth considering. Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 changes the active period of her consumable from 90s to 108s. This replaces Propulsion Modification 1. If you do not have access to this consumable, you are missing out as it makes Loyang all the more dangerous to her enemies. They are typically found within Supercontainers. Before you buy this ship, it's worth checking your account inventory in port to see if you have earned one of these to immediately equip it to this ship. Firepower Primary Battery: Four 127mm/38 rifles in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Torpedo Armament: Ten tubes in 2x5 launchers straddling the rear funnel. Choice of either Mark 15 Mod 0 or Mark 31 torpedoes. Loyang's guns really emphasize how much you're going to need to outplay your opponents make this ship work. Truth be told, she's under armed as far as gunnery is concerned with only four Mark 30 USN 127mm/38 rifles. While these guns have excellent handling and can dispense almost eighteen rounds per minute, this won't be enough to keep up with other destroyers if it comes down to a slugging match. Do these graphs look familiar? They've been requisitioned from my USS Kidd review. USN 127mm/38s Mark 30s are a common weapon used across many ships (including no less than four premium ships currently) so data in these graphs will get some mileage. Loyang sits in the middle of the pack for damage output. Her shell flight time precludes her from trying to engage destroyers at long range. She cannot out-muscle enemy destroyers in gunnery duels, not without a plan. Fortunately for Loyang, her preferred hunting ground is cap circles where enemies often oblige you by staying close and making terrible mistakes. Loyang isn't very tough and she doesn't hit especially hard. But what's important is that she hits hard enough -- often enough to prompt them to use smoke. Loyang's secret weapon is the combination of her Smoke Generator and her Hydroacoustic Search. Regardless of which destroyer smokes up first, Loyang can activate her second consumable and continue to spot enemy destroyers. The range of Loyang's Hydroacoustic Search will nearly span the diameter of many cap circles leaving enemy lolibotes no where to hide from this Peeping Penelope. If they foolishly try and continue to contest the cap, Loyang has all of the time in the world to tear them apart. This combination of an American Smoke Generator duration combined with what amounts to a German Hydroacoustic Search consumable allows Loyang to sit comfortably in smoke, unafraid of ambushes from torpedoes and cycle her guns to her heart's content. This can really help her attempt to pad her damage stats by bombarding enemy battleships at medium ranges. Given the low fire chance of her shells, this time is greatly appreciated. Without her consumables to support her, Loyang's gunnery feels lackluster. To this end, premium consumables help considerably -- providing an extra charge and reducing the reset timers of each. When her consumables run dry, Loyang is easily outgunned by just about any destroyer she may encounter due to the combination of poor ballistics, only middling DPM and her own small hit point pool. Torpedoes Loyang gives you the option of using one of two different torpedo armaments. One is fast, short ranged and reasonably hard hitting. The other is slow, long ranged and downright tender and nurturing when it comes to touching enemy ships with their tiny warheads. One of these armaments has a ton of street cred -- I'll let you decide which. Mark 31s. Live fast. Die young. Leave a beautiful corpse. Mark 15s. Magical baby bunny kisses from the sea Stats wise, the MANLY METAL DEATH FISH OF JUSTICE are no harder hitting than Benson's upgraded torpedoes. They also share the same reload time with Benson's upgrade. With the prevalence of Surveillance Radar, float plane aircraft and Hydroacoustic Search among Loyang's manly prey, making proper use of these torpedoes presents a very high risk and it's no wonder only the most brutal and cunning Loyang commanders elect to use this armament. This is an armament suitable for giant-mans. Instead, most choose to wuss out and use the Happy Marshmellow Springtime Friendship torpedoes (yay!). These are identical to Benson's stock (baby) torpedoes with a comfortable range but anemic warhead that hits for less than 10,000 damage per strike against large targets. The flooding chance on these fish is worse by a large margin too. While they're easier to land hits on target, the chance for doing catastrophic damage is greatly reduced. What did you expect of a torpedo armament suitable only for tiny-baby-mans? Flooding chance per torpedo hit against tier VIII Battleships with Damage Control Modification 1 installed. These apply only to hits which strike their anti-torpedo bulges amidships. Hits that strike unprotected ships (or the bow or stern) have a 89.3% chance of causing flooding for the Manly Metal Death Fish of Justice while the Happy Marshmellow Springtime Friendship Torpedoes (yay!) have a 60.8% chance. Once you've unlocked a 10pt Commander, either one of these torpedo armaments may be launched from concealment. The question really becomes how close do you dare get to the enemy? There's no doubt that the stock Benson-torpedoes are much safer and easier to use, even if they are wanting in their damage totals. The 'upgraded' torpedoes are just too short ranged to be effective outside of ambushes and suicide strikes. You're just so very likely to be spotted before you get a chance to use the shorter-ranged fish which will often end in disaster. Loyang has more of a dependence upon her torpedo armament to stack up impressive damage totals, however, it would be a mistake to think of her primarily as a torpedo-based destroyer like some of the Japanese ships. Summary: vs USN 127mm/38s, we meet again. Her guns by themselves won't let you win knife fights. You're going to have to play smart. Deep Water Torpedoes Loyang does not use the deep-water torpedoes of the Pan Asian Destroyer line. Unlike her sister ships within the tech tree, she's capable of engaging all types of enemy ships with her fish instead of merely being limited to larger vessels. The down side is that her Loyang's torpedoes are more easily spotted (and thus easier to avoid) than the other Pan Asian lolibotes. A large portion of Loyang's effective damage is going to be done just like this -- sitting in smoke, cycling her guns as quickly as she can. Her USN 127mm/38s are not the hardest hitting of guns, with terrible ballistics and horrible fire settings properties. Given enough time, however, they can stack up some respectable damage totals, especially when supplemented by the torpedo style of your choice. DurabilityHit Points: 14,600Maximum Protection: 19 to 20mm *Hsienyang is still in testing and her statistics many not be final. There's not a whole lot of good news here. Loyang has the second lowest hit point total among the tier VIII destroyers. This puts her on lower footing than even some tier VI and VII destroyers, such as the German Ernst Gaede, the upcoming T-61 premium (still a work in progress) and Leberecht Maass along with the Soviet Leningrad-class destroyers. This should further emphasize how important it is for Loyang to use every tool she has at her disposal to outplay enemy gunships rather than simply trying to trade fire with them. It's almost an imperative that you invest three commander skill points into Survivability Expert to bump Loyang's totals up to a more competitive 17,400hp. Fighting in and around cap points is exceedingly dangerous and not for the faint of heart. Loyang is well equipped to bring vision into these control points and bully enemy destroyers out of them. However, when radar-packed ships appear, even she needs to beat a hasty retreat. Compared to the other gunship destroyers at tier VIII, Loyang is fragile and she doesn't stand up to such abuse very well at all. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 38.0knotsTurning Radius: 570mRudder Shift: 2.7s Maximum Turn Rate: 8.5º per second. In all respects, Loyang has the exact same agility as USS Benson, right down to their rate of turn. She shares the title of being, hands down, the most agile destroyer at her tier. This doesn't quite make her the most agile ship within her matchmaking spread, though. She still pales compared to 9.2º/s rotation rate and the 38.5 knot speed of USS Sims. Loyang should be used carefully to try and control engagement distances -- whether that is keeping out of the range of Surveillance Radar armed cruisers or sprinting the distance between itself and a newly raised Smoke Generator cloud to light the occupant with your Hydroacoustic Search. Rivals: USS Kidd When it comes to being tough, few tier VIII destroyers can boast the kind of durability that USS Kidd has. For those who have been living under a rock, USS Kidd has access to a Repair Party consumable -- currently, she's the only tier VIII destroyer with this ability. All told, this functionally gives her upwards of 30,724 hit points under perfect circumstances. This isn't the only trick up Kidd's sleeve -- she also has excellent anti-aircraft firepower for a destroyer. Unlike Loyang, she doesn't give up access to Defensive Fire for her gimmick, keeping her a credible threat and nuisance to enemy aircraft carriers. Kidd risks supplanting Loyang's supremacy in the competitive scene. At the time this is being written, we haven't seen another season of tier VIII Ranked Battles, but there's a lot of excitement to see how this new tier VIII destroyer will fare. In a straight up match, Loyang may be able to bully or even destroy Kidd in the short term provided she falls for Loyang's usual peek-a-boo tricks. What Kidd wants to do is get a few licks in with every such encounter and then break contact. In this manner, she can turn the fight into one of attrition -- one that she will win given enough swings. Her five-gun firepower will out muscle the four of Loyang and her ability to recover from damage done is likely to overwhelm to peeper. Like Loyang, Kidd is a difficult destroyer with which to be successful. While Kidd trivializes dealing with enemy aircraft, her offensive firepower is lacking with only half of a torpedo armament. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 7.38km Air Detection Range: 3.60 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 5.80km Main Battery Firing Range: 11.55km Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 2.7km Surface Detection Rank within Tier: Tied for 5th with Benson & Kidd, sitting behind the Kagero-sisters. Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: Tied for 6th out of 36 places. Like USS Black, Loyang is a creepy pervert that likes to peek in on ships hiding behind their blinds. Loyang didn't invest in the deluxe, top of the line binoculars the way Black did with her Surveillance Radar, opting instead for a handsome, German-engineered Hydroacoustic Search she bought on sale. However, unlike the lonely German destroyers, Loyang has the short ranged surface detection to get very close to her targets before she's spotted -- almost within the same range of her Hydoacoustic Search consumable which makes her nearly as good as Black at catching her prey unawares. Fully specialized for stealth, Loyang's surface detection range is 5.8km compared to the 5.4km range of her hydro. Loyang can sneak right up to point blank range against enemy destroyers, initiate a knife fight and when they smoke up, continue keeping them spotted for all of the world to see. Unlike Black's victims, Loyang can keep said targets lit for up to one minute and 48 seconds with the right upgrades, which is insane. She can even do this through her own smoke. What's more, her Hydroacoustic Search has the dual function of lighting up torpedoes too, so the vain flailing by the enemy lolibote to try and cover herself with a spread of fish goes all for naught. This gets especially funny if you can pull it off against larger targets like Mikhail Kutuzov or British & Commonwealth Cruisers. Just beware of enemy radar ships. Loyang blends well into the crowd too, with a competitive surface detection that matches Black, Benson, Kidd and Fletcher. This is bested only by a couple of Japanese Destroyers -- Kagero and Harekaze. She's an excellent agent to contest and push on capture points, putting pressure on enemy destroyers that have the misfortune of crossing her path. Her Hydroacoustic Search is best foiled by simply opening up the distance. However, this very act often surrenders the cap circles her enemies had originally come to take in the first place. The only reliable ways of pushing Loyang back when she takes root is with Surveillance Radar or another larger ship engaging her with Hydroacoustic Search. Aircraft can pressure her too, but she'll simply hide in smoke until the control point is secured before sneaking away like the criminal voyeur she is. Finally, opponents can try and charge her and close the distance -- hoping to weather the torrent of fire her 127mm/38s will spit out before they can close to 2.7km and dodge any MANLY or Friendship fish she might spit out to deter their reckless advance. Loyang patrols around the border of a capture circle as the Reds begin to secure it. She has spotted a smoke cloud at the far side of the capture point and readies torpedoes to try and snipe the enemy lolibote before giving away her presence, ready to move in to prevent them from capturing the area uncontested should her fish miss. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 40mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 42.8 / 22.6 / 14.4 Loyang shares USS Black's vulnerability to aircraft. Both ships sacrifice their Defensive Fire consumables to gain access to their detection consumables instead. While Loyang could, in theory, forgo taking her Hydroacoustic Search to gain a strong measure of anti-aircraft defense, this would be surrendering one of her greatest advantages. As a matter of course, players should rightly assume that Loyang's defenses against aircraft will be lackluster and that she shares the same vulnerabilities to aircraft predation as German and Japanese destroyers. Just think of aircraft carriers as the neighbourhood watch, keeping an eye out for dirty peepers like yourself. Rivals: HSF Harekaze In terms of accessibly, Harekaze is a better premium destroyer than Loyang. Using Harekaze is straightforward. She's a torpedo destroyer with decent guns. If your goal in your premium destroyer is to play it safe, stand off and dump fish into big-dumb-battleships, then Harekaze is hands-down preferable to Loyang in this regard. She's capable of some gunnery action too, though this is often locked behind taking the proper commander skills to make these weapons sing. Loyang is the better premium destroyer between the two, but there's a very high skill threshold to unlock her potential in this regard. This doesn't preclude novice and casual players from having some success with her. Her Happy Marshmellow Springtime Friendship torpedoes (yay!) are still capable of putting out decent numbers, but this play style would be better served with a destroyer that would reward such play more, like Harekaze. Loyang's full potential is only unlocked in the thick of the action -- hunting down enemy destroyers and unmasking lurking cruisers. This is a very dangerous game to play and it's not for the inexperienced. Players lacking the situational awareness, map knowledge and tactical acuity to pull this off will not find Loyang a comfortable fit. In this regard, Harekaze is more ubiquitous and better suited to the population at large than the Pan Asian destroyer. Posting your Treasures on Instagram Your first ten skill points are going to look like standard fodder and fare for a gunship destroyer. Begin with Priority Target to know when it's time to disengage. Don't let yourself get blindsided in a knife fight when a new challenger joins unexpectedly. Next, the old destroyer standby, Last Stand is imperative to keep your engine and steering gears operational when they inevitably get knocked out. Cause they will. Often. Take Survivability Expert (3pts) to nudge your hit points up to 17,400. This will make you more of a credible threat in a knife fight when your Hydroacoustic Search consumable is down And finally grab a nice big, roomy trench-coat & fedora in the form of Concealment Expert to complete your super-sneaky look. Your next nine points are yours to spend as you see fit, with high value skills including Radio Location (4pts), Inertial Fuse for HE Shells (4pts), Superintendent* (3pts), Vigilance (3pts), Demolition Expert (3pts), Basic Fire Training (3pts), Torpedo Armament Expertise.(3pts) and Adrenaline Rush (2pts) * A Not so Super Superintendent Mouse, why aren't you recommending Superintendent for Loyang in the first 10 skill points? Surely, having up to four charges of your oh-so powerful consumable combination would be best? It's funny what happens when you sit down and do the math. Loyang's Smoke Generator dispenses smoke for 28s and it takes 160s for the reset timer to expire. This gives us 188s -- or a little over three minutes, per charge. Her Hydroacoustic Search is even worse, with upwards of a 108s active period and a 120s reset timer. This adds up to 228s or almost four minutes between charges. When you lay out the time between charges, you can calculate how long a match needs to run to make use of all four charges. 00:00 - Both consumables used. (Base charge) 03:08 - Smoke Generator is available and used again. (Base Charge) 03:48 - Hydroacoustic Search is available and used again. (Base Charge) 06:16 - Smoke Generator is available and used again. (Premium Charge) 07:36 - Hydroacoustic Search is available and used again. (Premium Charge) 09:24 - Smoke Generator is available and used again. (Superintendent Charge) 11:24 - Hydroacoustic Search is available and used again. (Superintendent Charge) Note, these times are assuming you're using them immediately when they become available. Any lapse in the action and this delays even further. This may not look too bad -- most games are going to last 12 to 15 minutes or so, but this isn't including the delay before the first time you're going to need to use your consumables. It often takes as much as three to four minutes before you'll be prompted to use your first cloud of smoke. never mind reaching for Hydroacoustic Search. Where Superintendent will come into play are hard carries -- where the game is coming right down to the wire after nearly 20 minutes of play and you're milking every last drop of performance out of your destroyer. For most players, these situations are going to be especially rare and you really need to be realistic with how much you're willing to prepare for outside occurrences like this. You will definitely get more mileage out of skills that you use more regularly. You can rig your Loyang into a torpedo boat if you wish. This will make her easier to play. However, to get the most out of her, you're going to have to go destroyer hunting and that's a far riskier venture. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult As far as American-style destroyers go, Loyang is forgiving. At her simplest, Loyang can stand off at the edge of her Happy Marshmellow Springtime Friendship torpedo (yay!) range and just lob fish and hope to score a few hits. This is far enough away that she can turn and run from radar armed vessels and her hydro will also keep her mostly safe when she does have to fight other destroyers. Your team mates may curse the wasted potential of this ship, but it will get the job done. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Loyang is well loved by players with an eye on the more competitive meta. As far as Randoms go, she's arguably the most powerful of the tier VIII destroyers, contending only with the USS Kidd for primacy. In the hands of an expert, she can control vision, bully capture points, dig out cruisers and destroyers hiding in smoke and still manage to put out reasonable levels of damage herself. Her only real weaknesses are radar-equipped cruisers, aircraft and being caught between Smoke Generator resets by more powerful gunships. Mouse's Summary: I spy with my hydro-eye... Does anyone actually use the MANLY METAL DEATH FISH OF JUSTICE? I mean, I totally see why people don't. I'd want to give people seaborne magical baby bunny kisses too. Loyang is HMS Belfast in lolibote form. I exaggerate, but only a little. Loyang is a trapbote in the same vein as the infamous British premium. She forces enemy players to re-evaluate the manner in which they normally play. Rushing headlong into a cap -- already a risky venture, becomes downright suicidal if Loyang is present. A team that exploits the advantages Loyang can setup is well placed to take an early lead; especially if they can uncover an enemy unfamiliar with the threat Loyang presents. I cannot stress this enough: The ability to dominate the vision game early on and catch ships unaware is overpowered. Loyang surrenders two things to pull this off: hitting power and defense. Though she's built and billed as an American-based ship, she cannot fend off enemy aircraft. She also sits with a hit point deficit compared to every other gunship at tier VIII. What's more, having only four guns to the standard five puts her on the back foot when it comes to knife fighting. Her torpedoes are similarly cropped, with either short-ranged or anemic fish (player's choice). Thus, while Loyang is still capable of stacking the hurt, she doesn't hit as hard and she cannot last as long in a straight up fight. Wargaming would call this balance. Personally, I'm not sure if they pushed her back far enough. The only thing that keeps me from condemning her outright as overpowered comes from the not-unsubstantiated rumours that the Pan Asian destroyer line will have access to the Surveillance Radar consumable at high tiers, so we may be about to see a proliferation of this meta. Loyang is one of the best destroyers at her tier, bar none. In the hands of a purple player, she's an absolute nightmare to face for the enemy team. I suppose the only saving grace is that while she's gentle enough for a casual player to score some damage and maybe secure a cap, she's not so forgiving with mistakes. Knife fighting in capture points is a recipe for disaster for inexperienced players and it will just get you sent back to the port in a hurry if you try and pull it off. This speaks a lot to the wasted potential of this destroyer in the 'wrong' hands (I hate to use that term). There's just a vast gulf between what she can do and what she will do in a given match depending upon who is using her. Effectively, this means that your mileage with Loyang will vary considerably -- almost as much as with USS Kidd. I do believe Loyang is the easier to use destroyer between the two of them. You can stand off, build her to drop baby bunny kisses every 97 seconds and hope to get lucky with stacking floods. This really makes her more accessible and perhaps better than Kidd overall as a premium for the community because of this ease of use. However, I caution players that in this lower-skill threshold, Loyang isn't rewarding. You would be better served buying yourself a Harekaze instead if this is the style of play you want to espouse. So, are you hungry for a destroyer that will make you a better player? Loyang is a powerful ship that will challenge you and reward you for patience as well as aggressive plays -- just don't think that it will necessarily be easy. (Economic) Rivals: Anshan If you're looking for a trainer for the Pan Asian destroyer line, why should you get Loyang when you could get Anshan instead? Anshan is a dream premium, to be sure. She's a Gnevny-class destroyer but without the Gnenvy-class weakness of short ranged torpedoes. The 8km range on her fish is perfectly serviceable, giving this lolibote a wonderful bit of balance between her guns and torpedo armaments. Within her own tier, she's a perfectly competitive ship, well balanced against her peers. The real icing on the cake for those looking to use her as a trainer is her premium camouflage bonus. Anshan's premium camouflage earns double the free experience gains on top of the usual premium camouflage bonuses. This makes her better suited for use as a trainer than Loyang -- allowing you to better amass free experience for use of unlocking modules to accelerate progression through the tech tree. Loyang can't really compete this way short of earning more base experience grace of her higher tier. However, the gains between the tier disparity aren't so much that this will undo Anshan's free experience bonus. Where Loyang stands above Anshan is her ubiquity in other game modes. Loyang, at tier VIII, is better positioned for the competitive arenas. For players looking to graduate towards more aggressive, high skilled play, Loyang is the premium to choose. If you are looking to find a good trainer for the Pan Asian line and you've no interest in competitive battles, Anshan is the better purchase. She's less expensive and the free experience gains will serve you well. Would I Recommend? Loyang has had new life breathed into her import with the release of the Pan Asian destroyers. She can now assist with training up commanders and assisting the transfer of captains from one ship to the next. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Very yes. Bots are dumb. Loyang has sufficient hitting power to punish them and their inevitable headlong charge. The combination of her Smoke Generator and her Hydroacoustic Search will allow her to let the bots get in close before shoving torpedoes up their nose. In this manner she can be quite profitable. Just don't go ham on buying premium consumables -- it will eat into your profits. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Again, very yes. Loyang is arguably the best premium tier VIII destroyer in the game when it comes to ruling the roost in Random Battles. Her combination of smoke, torpedoes, hydro and stealth is almost Belfast-worthy (almost). For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Yes with a but. American-style destroyers with their good manoeuvrability, concealment and super-long smoke time have always been highly sought after in competitive environments. The addition of USS Kidd, however, may have supplanted Loyang here. While still an excellent choice, if enemy aircraft carriers are prevalent then Kidd becomes more advantageous, if only just. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. She's a destroyer that was built in steel. In USN service, she earned four battle stars. Her service with Taiwan appears to have been largely uneventful. I dunno, I could take it or leave it. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? If I say 'yes', does this brand me as a lewd? 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.
  5. The following is a review of Ashitaka, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of November 30th, 2017 No butt jokes here.. Quick Summary: A battlecruiser with great speed, amazing broadside firepower but garbage AA values, poor armour protection and some serious shell penetration issues. Cost: Bundles begin at $41.99 including a port slot. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.14.0, November 30th, 2017 Closest in-Game Contemporary Amagi, tier VIII Japanese Battleship Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Back in January of 2017, Amagi and Nagato received a significant quality of life buff. Their stock hull was being removed from the game. Now they would only need to research a single hull to upgrade their vessel. These ships were horrible to grind while stock -- not only did they have poor anti-aircraft armaments and long rudder shift times like other stock vessels, they were also forced to use guns with worse penetration values. Some players lamented that it was a shame to lose the distinct models. Indeed, their designs were quite recognizable. Wargaming made plans to return these ships as premiums, with Mutsu representing a modified A-Hull Nagato and Ashitaka representing Amagi. In both cases, these ships are downtiered in an attempt to balance their poor characteristics compared to their sister ships. Short of the gun layout and handling, Ashitaka is night and day different from Amagi in terms of overall performance. They may be related, but they're very different craft. Liking one will not guarantee you like the other. PROs Heaviest main battery broadside firepower at her tier. 410mm guns are capable of overmatching the bows of any ship tier VII or lower. Fast, with a top speed of 30 knots Reasonably good rate of turn at 4.0º/s Straight forward game play -- no gimmicks, just gunnery. Option of purchasing the Makoto Kobayashi camouflage with its improved economic bonuses. CONs Weak belt armour, with only 254mm of protection. Long (31.0s) reload on her main battery guns. Poor penetration values on her AP shells. Large turning circle of 870m. What anti-aircraft firepower? Enormous surface detection range. Wargaming has succeeded in seriously pissing me off. I'm going to try and remain objective here, but if a little more snark comes through this review than intended, you'll have to forgive me. This review is being put together under exceedingly short notice. A special thanks to KJar, Lert, Pigeon_of_War and the Wiki-staff for keeping me sane through this crunch time. Options Depending upon the bundle purchased, Ashitaka comes with two different camouflage patterns. This mirrors the release of Battleship Kii in September of 2017. Otherwise, there are no surprises here. Consumables: Damage Control Party Repair Party Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard non-American battleship options. Premium Camouflage: Ashitaka's default camouflage is the standard Type 10. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Makoto Kobayashi -- Ashitaka camouflage provides 100% bonus experience gains, -50% to the post-battle service costs, +20% bonus credit earning, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. For your upgrade choices, it's more straight forward than ever. Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. Next, take Damage Control Modification 1. After that, there's no point on taking anything other than Aiming System Modification 1. And cap it all off with Damage Control Modification 2. There are no Special Upgrades worth installing on Ashitaka at this time. Firepower Primary Battery: Ten 410mm rifles in an A-B-X-Y-Z configuration. A&B turrets along with Y&Z turrets are superfiring. Secondary Battery: Sixteen 140mm guns in casemates and four 120mm guns in single deck mounts. It's hard to argue with the problem solving capabilities of ten 410mm naval rifles. On paper, Ashitaka has the largest main battery armament of any of the tier VII battleships, outshining the ten 356mm armed King George V-class battleships. The broadside firepower that Ashitaka dispenses will end worlds. This is a ship that faces puny little Omaha, Emerald and Königsberg-class cruisers, for crying out loud. If you can catch a cruiser with all ten of these guns, there will be nothing left of them but a bad smell. This similar weight of firepower can be downright disastrous for destroyers too. Even a couple of overpenetrating hits will gut a lolibote and leave them regretting their life decisions. I am sure you could all smell the 'but' coming. These aren't your Amagi's 410mm guns. Well, they are -- they're just not using the same AP shell. Like Battleship Mutsu before her, Ashitaka makes use of the 410mm AP/APC Type 88 shell instead of the Type 91 shell found on battleships Nagato, Amagi and Kii. Let's take a look at what differences this entails: The kick in the pants that everyone will focus on are her penetration issues. With her lower Krupp rating, Ashitaka's shells not only lack penetration power, they're also more likely to shatter against thicker armour plate. In practice, Ashitaka's AP shells behave very similarly to the 356mm shells of the King George V-class, keeping comparable penetration power up to about 15km. Beyond that, Ashitaka's performance begins to fall noticeably behind. So let's go back to gloating about kicking the butts of Omaha, Emerald and Konigsberg-class cruisers for a moment. The other side of the coin here is that she'll also be trying to penetrate the armoured belts of Izumo, Iowa and Friedrich der Große-class battleships at range. You can imagine how well that's going to go over. Veterans of the Royal Navy battleship line -- true veterans; the ones that were playing HMS Warpsite and HMS Hood before the rest of the fleet showed up, will well understand the challenges presented here and know the work around. Ashitaka needs to aim for the upper belt and hull of enemy battleships at range to inflict damage. Similarly, she needs to abandon the idea that she can inflict citadel hits on any battleship that's same tier or higher at anything beyond 12km. Going for these upper hull shots can still yield some impressive damage totals, but it takes practice and patience to adjust your gunnery habits. Ashitaka's slower reload time makes any bounces and ricochets feel especially punitive, however, and it can be an exercise in frustration. Even good aim will not always avail you -- these are battleship caliber guns after all, with battleship dispersion and 1.8 sigma. Unlike the tech tree Royal Navy battleships, Ashitaka doesn't have the increased penetration to make spamming HE an attractive counterpoint to trying to bullseye ships with AP. These are issues that have plagued HMS Warspite, Hood, and Mutsu. Players should know what to expect by now. DPM and Penetration values for AP shells. AP penetration values are taken from Wargaming's own Armada videos. Ashitaka, Nelson and Colorado penetration values are a best estimates using available data. Backing up the mixed performance of Ashitaka's main battery guns is a heavy secondary gun battery of equally mixed performance! Hooray! This comes with a 7km range and a 10-gun broadside. However, you're not going to want to specialize too heavily into this armament. The rate of fire on Ashitaka's weapons are on the slow side. What's more, the 140mm casemate guns which form the lion's share of her firepower shoot an AP shell, not HE. Boo-urns. Still, these guns will surprise you. I stuck a secondary-specialized commander into Ashitaka and quickly hoovered up a pair of Close Quarter Expert medals for killing a Farragut and Atlanta. So it's not like they don't have their uses. Summary: Her guns aren't as bad as their penetration values might otherwise indicate. Her slow reload doesn't help matters, though. Her secondaries look more threatening than they actually are. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 17.28km Air Detection Range: 13.71km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 14.41km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 16.9km Main Battery Firing Range: 19.88km Surface Detection Rank within Tier: Last out of nine battleships Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: Tied for 37th out of 39 battleships with Friedrich der Große and Amagi. You're visible from space. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 120mm / 25mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 4.5km / 3.1km AA DPS per Aura: 10 / 74.9 No. Just... just, no. I cry every time. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 30.0knotsTurning Radius: 870mRudder Shift: 14.9s Maximum Turn Rate: 4.0º/s Tier VII is a fun tier for battleships. This where most of the nations find their running legs (except 'Murica, who shows up late for the war again). The average top speed at this tier is 27.8 knots, buoyed on the high end by Hood and Gneisenau at 32 knots and held back by Colorado at a mere 21 knots. This makes Ashitaka's 30 knot top speed look very attractive. It allows her a great deal of flexibility not often enjoyed by mid tier battleships. She can easily keep up with the flow of battle and redeploy as needed. She is unfortunately cursed with the second largest turning circle at her tier, with only Hood's 910m being worse. The next closest is Gneisenau at 830m. This isn't a ship that answers her rudder quickly. Her rotation rate is on the slow side, though she is better than the slugs Nagato and Nelson which truly drag their heels due to their lower top speed. Still, Ashitaka is going to struggle to dodge incoming fire with anything less than a 7 second aim time. Varying her speed as well as her heading is going to be needed to attempt to avoid long distance volleys and even then she's not going to pull it off easily. DurabilityHit Points: 59,400Maximum Citadel Protection: 254mm +70mm turtleback Min Bow & Deck Armour: 25mm Torpedo Damage Reduction: 25% Hull armour protection. There is an absolutely tiny strip of 203mm armour on the bottom of the 254mm belt well beneath the waterline. While Ashitaka's durability isn't good, it's not as bad as it could be. Ashitaka is about 1,000 hit points (or about 2%) shy of the average total at her tier now that Colorado has been propped up to acceptable level, so this isn't terrible. The real concerns are her armour values. Ashitaka is a wet dream for any light cruiser using Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. The whole expanse of the ship from bow to stern, with the exception of her belt and gun turrets, is kerosene soaked HE pr0n, never exceeding 25mm in thickness. She's such a large target with little in the way of superstructure to get in the way of the fall of shells. Cruisers (and even some destroyers) will trip over themselves to be the next in line to shoot you. As guns increase in size, it doesn't get much better. Her belt armour caps out at 254mm at the waterline tapering to a 203mm thickness beneath the surface. Unlike Nagato, she does not have an extended belt stretching to cover her bow, though she does have one towards her stern where the armour thins over her steering gears to a 'mere' 229mm. This makes it difficult for her to angle against incoming battleship shells without risking them overmatching her thin prow and hammering into her magazine. Oh, that's worth mentioning -- Ashitaka's citadel raises up over the waterline beneath her A & B turrets. What's more this raised area is entirely composed of her forward magazine; because reasons. This means that any citadel hits punching into your bow are likely trying to cook off your ammunition. Time will tell if Ashitaka pops more often than other battleships. The only spot of good news is that most of her armour protection against AP dive bombers is too thin to arm the fuse. The exception to this are the 70mm turtleback areas that will arm the bombs and result in Ashitaka taking full out citadel hits from the attack. This should be rare, however. But given her poor anti-aircraft firepower, it's not like the enemy carriers are going to be lacking surviving aircraft to give it another go. Tightening up Amagi's A-Hull The one consolation with Ashitaka -- skills don't make her subsystems a whole lot better. This means you can focus on a survivability build with a clear conscience. Here's your first 10 skill points: Start with Priority Target. Grab Adrenaline Rush to try and hack at that 31s reload time. Take Basics of Survivability. Finish it up with Fire Prevention. For your next nine points, take Concealment Expert so you're only visible from low orbit instead of across the solar system. Grab either Superintendent or Vigilance (your choice). And finally take Expert Marksman to get your guns twirling faster. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Ashitaka doesn't reinvent the wheel. Protect your citadel. Fire pew pews at the enemy. The only real bump in the road is learning to make use of the lower penetration on her AP shells. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Ashitaka has speed and firepower. That's recipe enough for skilled players to cause a lot of havoc. However, there's only so far skill will take you on Ashitaka. She's too big to hide. She can't effectively angle against most battleship opponents. This leaves you with out-trading your opponents and for that, you're reliant upon your aim and RNGesus. If she had a single universal ammo type, I could drop this down to 'low'. Mouse's Summary: Ten guns really does solve a lot of problems. So does having a good top speed. It's just a shame about all that other stuff... Ashitaka isn't a good battleship. Firepower solves a lot of problems in World of Warships, and Ashitaka has a healthy helping of that. Were her guns firing the Type 91 AP shell found on Nagato, Kii and Amagi, I don't think there would be any real debate on her viability as a battleship. As it is, the Type 88 shells have a reputation -- one I feel is slightly exaggerated and undeserved. While they are obviously somewhat lacking, they are not unserviceable. It's the inconsistency of their performance which causes them to be so demonized. And let's be fair -- battleship reloads are long and each volley already feels like a roll of the dice. A series of shatters at the wrong time will feel downright punitive and that's an understandable deal breaker for some. So while I may wish for better shells, that leaves me to take a frank appraisal of everything else she has to offer. Her range is adequate. Her gun handling isn't terrible. Her accuracy is okay. Her secondaries are fun but forgettable. She's fast -- I like fast ships. Fast ships provide flexibility and flexibility wins games. Her concealment and durability have a lot to be desired though. Are these last two elements combined with her shells enough to condemn her to wallow with the likes of Huanghe, Krasny Krym and Oleg? I honestly don't believe so. Ashitaka isn't a trashbote. She's not good -- I think we can all agree she's not incredibly advantaged. She pays very dearly to have access to ten 410mm guns at tier VII, so dearly I would struggle to recommend her, even though I know she can and will perform in the right hands. Ashitaka's armour and durability need to be weighed against her offensive power. She's fragile for a battleship, admittedly -- but is she so fragile she can't survive long enough to deal reasonable amounts of damage? We've looked at her guns and her armour. Top tier, she can bully with the best. Her armour's proof enough against 356mm guns or smaller. But she does not up tier well. It's funny, but t I think the A-Hull Amagi was better. At least she had 32mm of bow armour. Would I Recommend? Ashitaka "becomes worthwhile" with the Makoto Kobayashi camouflage. Now, I was reluctant to describe it this way as it prompts players to fork out an additional sum in order to prop up an otherwise flagging premium. However, it would not be fair to fail to mention the merits. With this camouflage, she joins the ranks of Kii, Prinz Eugen and Missouri as an incredibly profitable premium ship. Missouri still wins out, but Ashitaka will make bank for those looking for a credit earning ship. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Yes. In the close-range encounters typically found in Co-Op and Operations, Ashitaka thrives. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. I'll give her a pass here. For the money, you could take Kii or Mutsu -- one being cheaper and the other arguably more effective against everything within her matchmaking spread. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. What are you, nuts? No. Go away. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. The Makoto Kobayashi camouflage adds a fun collector's element to this ship. Yeah, I could see people justifiably wanting her for that if they were a fan. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? No. Go away. 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. 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. Other articles in this series: Ships for Doubloons: Atlanta, Texas, Tachibana, Atago, Ishizuchi, Diana, Aurora,Murmansk, Molotov, Mikhail Kutuzov, Emden, Tirpitz, Campbeltown, Warspite, Blyskawica Limited Release Ships: Fujin, Kamikaze, Katori, Yubari, Gremyashchy, Krasny Krym, Imperator Nikolai I, Anshan, Lo Yang, Smith, Sims, Marblehead, Indianapolis, Arizona, Saipan, Scharnhorst, Dunkerque Gift & Reward Ships: Albany, Arkansas, Flint, Iwaki, Mikasa, Arpeggio of Blue Steel Ships: Kongo, Kirishima, Haruna, Myoko Condensed Reading: Mouse's Quick Summary of Premium Ships Without further ado: The Tier 6 French Battleship Dunkerque "Battlecruiser 2: Revenge of the Battlecruiser" Quick Summary: A lightly armed and armoured battlecruiser with eight 330mm guns mounted between two quadruple turrets on the bow. The ship is fast, her reloads are quick and her muzzle velocity is excellent. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of writing this article. Patch & Date Written: 2016.07.30 & 2016.08.12, Patch 0.5.9 to 0.5.9.1 Closest in-Game Contemporary: Molotov Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Despite the superficial similarities to the Izumo, the Dunkerque has much more in common with the play style of the Soviet premium cruiser, Molotov. Both are fast, fragile vessels with more speed than agility. Yet they both rely on engaging enemies at range with hard hitting alpha strikes from high-muzzle velocity weapons. Both are unable to conceal themselves. They are gunship support vessels, relying on clever use of speed and turning to keep themselves safe from reprisals. PROs: All of her guns are mounted on the bow, making it easy to maximize firepower. Fast turret rotation of 5' degrees per second. Good rate of fire with a 28 second reload. Excellent muzzle velocity on shells of 870 & 885m/s between AP & HE. Good HE performance with 4800 alpha strike and 35% chance of starting a fire. Excellent range of 18.2km which can be extended with a float plane. Secondaries have a 5.0km range Fast with a top speed of 29.5 knots. CONs: All of her guns are mounted on the bow. She is unable to fire to the rear. Turrets are very vulnerable at close ranges. Losing one halves her firepower. Ship ripple fires 4 guns at a time. Lowest alpha strike and Armour Piercing DPM of any of the tier 6 Battleships. Very weak belt armour and citadel protection of only 225mm. Small secondary gun battery compliment with highly restricted arcs. Poor overall AA defense. Sluggish handling, with a large turning circle of 730m. Very large surface detection range of 16.4 km. The first of the French Navy warships has arrived in the form of the Dunkerque. This all-bow mounted gun design will be something we see repeated in the Richelieu-class and may become something the French ships are known for. Once more into the breach. Today Lert and I will be looking at the first French warship to join World of Warships -- the Dunkerque. She's an odd ship, a true Battlecruiser in my opinion and she needs to be played as such to get the most out of her. I had a lot of success with her right out of the gates though speaking with other contributors, this wasn't something that was universal. This prompted a long discussion about her merits and flaws and I'm happy to share them with you today. Lert will be joining me, providing a voice of moderation to my more emotionally enthusiastic descriptors. You can find his contribution in the separated (and ostracized!) Lerboxes. Take it away, grumpy-kitty-man! The Lertbox Once again LWM has graciously allowed me some space in her review to post my own thoughts about an upcoming premium ship. This time a ship that I had some trouble getting my head around, but which after a dozen battles or so finally started to 'click'. It's the first French ship in the game, and it offers a unique and unprecedented playstyle. But then, it wouldn't be properly French if it didn't have some quirks to set it apart, would it. For this review I will be comparing her to Fuso, New Mexico and Warspite. Options There are no surprises with the Dunkerque. If you were hoping for some unique French flavour to be found in her consumables or modules, I didn't find any present here. The only option she has unique to Battleships at tier 6 is the option of swapping out her Spotting Aircraft for a Catapult Fighter, but that's hardly enough to get excited about. She does not get access to the Artillery Plotting Room 1 Modification. That remains American only.Her Damage Control party conforms to the standard we've seen so far for German and Russo-Soviet Battleships. This provides a 15s immunity window and a 120s / 80s reset timer. Similarly, her Repair Party is also standard, restoring up to 14% of her maximum base HP per charge. Consumables: Three slots Damage Control Party Repair Party Your choice of a Spotting Aircraft or Catapult Fighter. Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard options. Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Firepower Primary Battery: 330mm in 2x4 turrets mounted in an A-B superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: 130mm in 2x2 turrets in wing mounts, and 3x4 turrets on the stern. The most defining feature of the Dunkerque is the layout of her primary battery. She has only two turrets but they sport four guns each. At 330mm, these are the smallest caliber weapons found on a Battleship at tier 6. You could be forgiven for expecting them to have a bunch of excellent traits to justify her matchmaking weight. The Bad News Let's get the bad news out of the way. The Dunkerque is not going to be wracking up big damage totals as quickly as her peers. She's an eight-gun Battleship with a lot of short comings in terms of firepower. The Dunkerque is competing head to head with twelve-gun, Super-Dreadnoughts like the New Mexico-class, Fuso-class and the Arizona. The Bayern and Warspite may also only have eight guns, but their shell caliber is much larger at 380mm. While the Dunkerque has an accelerated reload to help prop up her DPM, this isn't any faster than the Fuso's. At 28s per volley, she doesn't really gain any ground n the DPM race. The Dunkerque's armour piercing DPM weighs in at a theoretical maximum of 166,300hp, while the twelve gun Dreadnoughts all top well over 215,000hp. Even the Jutland veterans manage over 175,000hp with their eight guns. To put this into perspective, the tier 5 Kongo with a 30s reload manages 163,200hp. The Really Bad News On paper, her secondary compliment looks like it can take up some of the slack from her primaries. With a total of sixteen 130mm rifles mounted in some impressive looking turrets, they have an excellent range for their tier of 5km. However, the angles at which they can fire are horrid. All of the quad-mounts are facing the stern and will only engage enemies once they clear well past 40' off the bow of the Dunkerque. This is hardly ideal with her primaries all mounted forward. It's best to forget any pretense of her secondaries helping at all. This leaves only a pair of 130mm rifles off each side (each in a dual mount) that will attack enemies coming from the front. The Really, REALLY Bad News I was hoping to see the Dunkerque's 330mm turrets modeled with their historical compartmentalization when it came to taking damage. Without going into too much detail, the big quad-mounts were divided into two pairs of guns so that a single hit to the turret wouldn't deprive their ship of half their firepower. If modeled correctly in World of Warships, while the ship would have two turrets, it would take four separate critical strikes to knock out all of her guns. Except it isn't present here. I heard rumours to the effect that the game engine couldn't handle half of the turret being knocked out at a time. I don't know the truth of this rumour but it sounds feasible enough. Hopefully this could be remedied in the future, the same way AA mounts couldn't be mounted on turrets previously. As it stands, the Dunkerque's 330mm turrets can and will be knocked out wholesale by single hits. Though effectively immune to 203mm batteries head on up to (and including) point blank range, even the 283mm rifles off of the Scharnhorst are capable of catastrophically damaging the Dunkerque's turrets. As you'll want to be facing bow on to enemies to minimize her profile, your gun mounts often take the brunt of the punishment. Don't be surprised if you lose a turret. Don't be surprised if you lose both turrets if you end up in close-range encounters with enemy Battleships. The main batteries of the Dunkerque are not compartmentalized. Critical hits will temporarily damage or destroy the entire turret, not two guns at a time. Why Can't I Quit You? Yet for all of these faults (and some minor ones besides), the Dunkerque's gun batteries perform very well. The first thing you'll notice is that she has rather fast turret traverse. At 5' per second, she'll complete a 180' rotation in 36 seconds -- except that she never really has to complete a 180' rotation. With all of her guns mounted on the bow, adjusting fire takes mere moments. Tracking targets or acquiring a new one is a breeze. And let's emphasize this. All of her guns are on the bow. Short of wiggling your tush at the enemy, you can always fire all eight guns at a target. This is something the other Battleships can't boast -- not without risking exposing themselves to return fire and getting spanked. The Dunkerque can point her snout right at the enemy and confidently unload all eight barrels with every reload cycle. My feeling is that while she may not have the same theoretical DPM as her competition, it's far easier to maximize the DPM of the Dunkerque than say the Fuso, Arizona or New Mexico. And it gets better. Her shell grouping is downright fantastic. Unlike recent German Battleships, the Dunkerque's dispersion is very kind. On paper, she has the same linear value as the German warships, however the concentration of all four guns in close proximity combined with what appears to be a very favourable sigma variable means that her shells seem to stick together in flight and land in tight clusters. You can (and should) equip Aiming Systems Modification 1 to further capitalize on this great accuracy. With very little flight time from her high velocity shells, you can try taking pot shots at even elusive targets like dodging cruisers and slippery little destroyers with surprising levels of success. At 9,700 damage per AP shell, this is punchy enough to really thoroughly gut a target that you hit. While it pales compared to the 380mm of the Bayern or Warspite, it's less than 1000hp behind the New Mexico and Arizona. This is enough to make a cruiser suffer a significant emotional event when you disembowel him with a single hit. With her accuracy, it's rare that it's lone shells that strike the target in this manner. With some good aim, you will readily print yourself some Devastating Strike medals. Against heavily armoured or angled targets, you can reach for her fantastic HE shells. With 35% per shell to start a fire, the Dunkerque's HE volleys are something to be respected, especially with their 28s reload. Stacking fires is childishly easy and you can force higher tiered Battleships to turn away when sufficiently scalded. The Lertbox Artillery: Dunkerque has eight 330mm rifles, in two quadruple turrets mounted up front. While historically these turrets were subdivided into two groups of two barrels per turret separated by a thick armored bulkhead, in-game this is not the case. These turrets behave as two quad-barrel turrets, and getting one turret knocked out means you lose half your firepower. Further bad news comes in the form of having the lowest theoretical DPM in class and tier, significantly behind Warspite even. Finally, their dispersion is nothing to write home about either. Fortunately that's where the bad news ends. Dunkerque turrets have the best traverse time in class and tier, and the guns reload the quickest of the four battleships in this comparison. Also, because of the way the guns are mounted, the shells leave the ship in a nice tight cluster which negates a part of her bad dispersion. Finally, despite all the major caliber guns being up front, this French fighting lady has remarkably generous 'over the shoulder' shooting angles. Still her low alpha damage and low DPM means Dunkerque loses this category. New Mexico comes third, with a powerful set of 14" /50 guns, but the range and dispersion let her down. Warspite comes second in this category with the power of a heavy 15" and very accurate punch, but the sheer range and volume-of-fire of Fuso gives the fighting Geisha the win here. Dunkerque: 1 pt Warspite: 3 pts New Mexico: 2 pts Fuso: 4 pts Secondary firepower: On paper Dunkerques secondary battery is not bad with a total of sixteen 130mm guns, but the way they're mounted mostly in the rear gets in the way; the arcs are just horrible and superstructure often gets in the way, precluding the secondary turrets from acquiring targets. Plus, the use of quad turrets means that a single hit to a secondary turret can seriously cut into your backup firepower. Warspite shares the same 5km base secondary range that Dunkerque has, but boasts a more intelligent layout of her eight 102mm and eight 152mm guns. New Mexico has the familiar mid-tier american 127mm guns divided into anti-surface and dual-purpose guns, but they only reach out to 4km base. Fuso brings to bare an impressive set of eight 127mm guns and a further fourteen 152mm cannons. She wins this category, despite these guns only having a range of 4km. Dunkerque: 1 pt Warspite: 3 pts New Mexico: 2 pts Fuso: 4 pts Summary: Great gun handling with a fast turret rotation and good range. Easy to maximize firepower and keep all eight barrels singing. Only modest alpha strike potential from AP. HE is decent. Lowest potential DPM. Guns are very accurate with excellent shell grouping. The potential of her secondaries are limited by poor gun arcs. Losing a gun halves her firepower. Ill suited to brawling other Battleships. The Dunkerque can make a very dangerous opponent for destroyers that get too close. While her secondary armament is light and poorly arranged, her main battery is very easy to bring to bear. With good HE shells, excellent accuracy and tight shell grouping, enterprising destroyers can find themselves taking several penetrating hits at a time. This poor Minekaze made this discovery to her cost as did the Kiev the Dunkerque sank moments before with the same trick. ManeuverabilityTop Speed: 29.5 knotsTurning Radius: 730mRudder Shift: 14.0s The Lertbox And this is where the good news begins. Dunkerque is the most mobile and agile out of these four ships. Despite having the second largest turing circle, her high top speed and par rudder shift means she feels very agile, and can flex across the map far better than the other ships. And now the bricks: Warspite is second despite a relatively pedestrian top speed, but the best turning circle of the four and par rudder shift. Fuso comes third with a fair-to-middling top speed, but it's her turning circle that lets her down, combined with the fact that Dunkerque will easily race past. New Mexico is last, at this tier a 21 knot top speed just doesn't cut it anymore. Dunkerque: 4 pts Warspite: 3 pts New Mexico: 1 pt Fuso: 2 pts The Dunkerque has a really good top speed. And it will get you killed on occasion. At 29.5 knots, she's the fastest of the tier 6 Battleships. This isn't by a small margin either with a 4.5 knot advantage over her closest competitor. This exceeds all of the 7 Battleships as well with the exception of the Scharnhorst against which she can claim near parity. It's important to keep the engagement range up in the Dunkerque when there are enemy Battleships present. The flip side to this is that you do want to get closer to cruisers and the occasional destroyer to ensure their demise. It's very tempting in the Dunkerque to find yourself a good gunnery position and then cut the engines. Bow onto the enemy, with your finger on the rudder for little adjustments, you can easily seesaw back and forth at 1/4 to 1/2 ahead and then alternate with reverse to throw off the aim of your opponents. Players of the North Carolina will recognize this maneuver. With all of your firepower mounted on your forward decks, it's easy to see the merits of not moving if you don't have to. Smart opponents will punish you for this though. As a Battlecruiser, her speed is supposed to be her armour and there will be times you will need to open up the throttle. While her straight-line speed is excellent, her handling is best described as poor. With a similar turning radius and rudder shift to the Fuso, she doesn't corner well or quickly. The one consolation is that she will not out turn the traverse of her guns. Still, when engaging enemies at the limits of her range, even this poor agility can throw off the desperate return-fire of your opponents. The Dunkerque pursues a fleeing Cleveland-class cruiser through the narrows of the Two-Brothers archipelago at nearly 30 knots. DurabilityHit Points: 52,600Citadel Protection: Up to 225mm.Bow & Deck Armour: Minimum of 25mm each.Torpedo Damage Reduction: 27% The Lertbox Here again Dunkerque shows herself to be a ship of extremes. She is by far the softest of the four ships on trial here, possessing the lowest hit-points, the thinnest armor and the second worst torpedo belt. But it's worse than that. While on paper her armor should be better than that of Kongo at tier 5, in practice it feels a lot worse. Dunkerque can't tank hits to save her life. Kongo's armor is troll. Dunkerque's armor is paper. Anything more than 20 degrees off a bow-on position, and Dunkerque's armor starts falling apart versus 14" AP, with 15" AP and bigger just being able to sail clean through the tin foil and into the gooey bits inside. New Mexico is the other extreme. Tough, tanky, hard to take down. She is followed by Warspite which retains her troll armor and good hit-point pool, despite her healing potion having been nerfed before. Fuso takes up third place. Despite being the healthiest of the four ships, she has the second thinnest armor and a lot of holes in it you can exploit when she's angled to your fire. Dunkerque: 1 pt Warspite: 3 pts New Mexico: 4 pts Fuso: 2 pts So ... 225mm of belt armour. That about summarizes the fragility of the Dunkerque. Think of the Dunkerque like a tier 6 Kongo and you get a better appreciation of how much damage she'll take from various sources. You can bounce battleship shells off her belt with some angling and the 25mm of bow armour is proof against most 356mm rounds thrown at you. The landscape of tier 6 battles is changing, however. 380mm will soon be the new normal, found on the Bayern as well as the Warspite. Like the 410mm guns found at tier 7, these can and will overmatch the 25mm sections of your bow and deck and result in penetrating hits, regardless of the angle. It's worth speaking again about the vulnerability of her turrets. The casemates have a maximum of 225mm of armour, which makes them rather vulnerable to Battleship caliber shells. Thankfully, the front face is rather small -- little taller than the gun barrels themselves and the roofs of the turrets are sloped. However, torpedo strikes hitting the bow or midships can also knock them out as the blast damages the barbettes or ammunition magazine. She has poor torpedo mitigation so be very conscious of this. Sitting stationary, bow onto the enemy is just asking to get plastered by these large caliber shells or long range torpedoes. This is where the speed of the Dunkerque becomes key and you'll need to keep the distance open to give yourself time enough to shift and dodge incoming fire -- or at least minimize the damage it will do. Concealment & Camouflage16.9km Surface Detection, 12.0km Air Detection You're not hiding this ship. Battleships generally have poor concealment. However, there's poor concealment and then there's poor concealment. In her matchmaking spread (from tier 5 through to tier 8) only two Battleships have a larger surface detection range, and that's the Fuso & Nagato. The Colorado comes close at 16.7km. Why is her poor concealment a big deal? The Dunkerque will usually be one of the first ships spotted. Short of having a Fuso beside you, you can count on being the first target lit on your team. This means that every gun on the enemy team will be pointing at you from the onset and you need to take defensive measures immediately until more of your team engages and fire disperses among your allies. The hail-mary shots from every Battleship will be heading your way early on in the match, so take care. Her large surface detection range also makes it easy for stealth-gunships -- those boats that can sit in open water and fire without being spotted, to pick out the Dunkerque. Short of clever use of terrain, you'll never be sneaking up on anyone. The Lertbox Warspite wins, New Mexico second, Dunkerque third, Fuso last. It's as simple as that. Dunkerque: 2 pts Warspite: 4 pts New Mexico: 3 pts Fuso: 1 pt Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 130mm, 37mm, 13.2mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.2km, 3.0km, 1.2kmAA DPS per Aura: 54dps, 12dps, 40dps Time for some more bad news: The Dunkerque has rather poor anti-aircraft defense. As a Battleship scuttled in 1942, she never received the upgraded AA armaments that became commonplace later on. Think of her like the Arizona ... but worse, which is definitely saying something. She does have some good range with her 130mm dual-purpose secondaries and they're pretty punchy for their tier but her smaller caliber weapons really let her down in either DPS or range. You could attempt to bolster her poor numbers by heavily investing into anti-aircraft buffs -- most notably, Basic Fire Training, Advanced Fire Training & Manual Fire Control for AA Armament from your Captain skills. This would boost her 130mm DPS from 54dps to 130dps at 6.2km against targets that you manually select.. Still, even coming in the 650hp pulses every 5 seconds, the Dunkerque will not be likely to shoot down more than a plane or two before competent CV players complete their attack runs. This will murder any planes that loiter around her and is worth considering. You can also prop up her flagging AA power with the choice to use her Catapult Fighter instead of a Spotter Aircraft. I have found these to be very handy in helping relieve some pressure off my Dunkerque, but these aircraft never last long in the face of a concerted attack. Still, this is a pretty heavy investment to nudge her AA rating from "poor" to barely acceptable. Still, when working with other warships, you can surprise yourself by racking up a good number of air-kills this way. The Lertbox Dunkerque's AA is just a hair above 'terrible'. She has the lowest DPS at all ranges out of the four ships on trial here. Warspite's is better, but only just. Fuso manages to beat them both, by a very small margin, but the clear winner here is New Mexico. Not that this surprises anybody... Dunkerque: 1 pt Warspite: 2 pts New Mexico: 4 pts Fuso: 3 pts The Dunkerque burns after being struck by American dive bombers. She was unable to shoot down any of the attack planes as they made their approach, but she shoots down two before they escaped with the help of her Catapult Fighter. Overall Impressions Mouse' Summary: Interesting guns, both in gun layout and performance but hampered by low overall DPM. Prefers to engage at range and very vulnerable in a brawl. Poor armour protection. Losing a gun halves her firepower. Good speed, poor agility and impossible to hide. Meat on the table for enemy CV attacks. The Lertbox Adding up the numbers: Dunkerque amassed 10 points Warspite gathered 18 points New Mexico scrounged 16 points Fuso tallied 16 points So, Warspite is the best and Dunkerque is hopelessly outclassed? I'm sure LWM will consider half of that statement undeniable truth and to anyone trying to play Dunkerque like a typical battleship the second half would ring true as well. Dunkerque can work, in the hands of a skilled player who understands her intricacies and follies, and in certain situations. But in the hand of the average player, this French ship will fold and collapse like a house of cards. She also really doesn't hold her own against tier 7 and 8 battleships. Dunkerque is a showpony. Warspite, New Mexico and Fuso are workhorses. If you drive Dunkerque like she was made out of glass, you can make her work. 'Play her like Molotov' you'll hear people say. I'm more tempted to say 'play her like a tank destroyer in WoT'. Park her next to a rock to protect your flank, keep your bow pointed at the enemy and let the rest of your team go first - because if you get focused, you die, and quickly so. Present the smallest target, keep map features between you and any flanking enemy, and Dunkerque might even reward you with her unusual play style. Objectively, there's not a lot to like about the Dunkerque. She pays a very big price for having all of her firepower easily accessed upon her snout. Bad armour, bad handling, bad camouflage, bad anti-aircraft guns, bad secondaries ... bad, bad, bad. So why the heck do I love her? I think it's a simple case of the comfort level that comes with the ease of use of her guns. Unlike other Battleships, I never found myself fighting with her guns. They turn well (and they never have to turn much). And the shots go where you point them. There's little to none of this wonky fire where shells go flying everywhere, so it gets pretty easy to stack appreciable damage with her. And for that, I think I was willing to forgive a whole lot. When you compare her gun handling to other Battleships, it's hard to find one that has the same combination of good turret traverse with good accuracy and a good range and a non-punitive reload. Playing the Dunkerque was relaxing for me, like lying on the beach at Marseilles. Her carry potential really isn't there, let's be honest. She specializes in murdering cruisers and when those targets dry up, she's a little out of her element. Though she's classified as a Battleship, she's truly a Battlecruiser at heart. Her guns can out-range and out-muscle any cruiser she might face. And she's got the speed to out run the Battleships she can't outfight. It's a bit of a delight to see that this original design brief for a Battlecruiser is alive and well in the Dunkerque... even if it is a little underwhelming overall. If this style of play doesn't appeal, I would keep clear of her. Would I Recommend?Yeesh, this is going to be a tough one to recommend. For Random Battle Grinding: Mouse: Maybe? You'll get your money's worth here. Her accuracy and gun handling will make farming the damages (and thus the credits and experience) easy enough. At tier 6, you're not going to recoup tons of credits. Also, keep in mind that as a Battleship, you're likely going to be running with at least one premium consumable, so that's going to eat into your earnings. I found her a delight to play, but she doesn't have tremendous carry potential. So that in turn is going to hurt those looking to pad their win rates. She can do very well, but like the Molotov, you need to do well early with overwhelming ad strategically placed damage to effect a win. Lert: No. She requires a silken touch and a captain who pays constant attention. Plus, she gets her face pushed in by tier 7s and 8s. For Competitive Gaming: Mouse: No. I wouldn't recommend the Dunkerque for things like Team or Ranked Battles. She takes damage too easily and losing one turret to a single torpedo or volley of shells will really set your team back. There are much better ships at her tier. Lert: Oh hell no. For Collectors: Mouse: She's the first French ship in the game. That's novel enough for many to grab her. She didn't have an illustrious career, so that tarnishes her worth, but at least she's a historical vessel. Lert: Yeah, sure. Dunkerque offers something no other ship in the game offers so far. For Fun Factor: Mouse: I would pick her up for this alone. Her guns are a joy to use -- so much so that I am willing to forgive a whole lot of her flaws. I'll be putting a lot of play time into the Dunkerque. Lert: Maybe. She can be rewarding if you treat her right, but is very unforgiving of mistakes. In defense of the base, this badly damaged Dunkerque pursues and destroys an enemy Myoko-class cruiser. While the IJN warship is faster than the Dunkerque in a straight line, she made the mistake of turning to launch torpedoes which allowed the French ship to keep within close range and finish her with two salvos of her 330mm rifles. Outfitting your Dunkerque Recommended Modules There's thankfully few surprises here. It's an absolute necessity that you equip Main Armaments Modification 1. You need to do everything you can to prop up your main battery. If you lose even one, you're in very rough shape. Take Aiming Systems Modification 1 for your second slot. None of the others are worthwhile. For your third option, I take Damage Control System Modification 1. I keep hoping they'll make these choices more interesting for Battleships, but until they do, this module is the only one worthwhile. And for your fourth option, you have a choice. I would strongly recommend Damage Control System Modification 2 to reduce the amount of time a fire burns. You can opt to take Steering Gears Modification 2 to reduce her rudder shift time from 14.0s down to 11.2s. Recommended Consumables As a Battleship, taking a premium Damage Control Party is always a sound investment. This reduces her reset timer to 80s from 120s which can be the difference between life and death when fires and flooding begin stacking. You can expect a lot of pressure from aircraft attacks, especially when facing higher tiered CVs so proper use of this consumable to mitigate damage is imperative. There's less need to take a premium version of her Repair Party. I usually favour doing so with my Battleships for the shorter reset timer (80s from 120s). The extra charge is nice but often not needed. For your third slot, you have the choice on which to take. Both are rather good options. Her Catapult Fighter helps with her AA defense. They also have a long air-time which can help with spotting incoming torpedoes. Alternatively, her Spotter Aircraft plays to the strengths of her main battery and it's unlikely you will ever play a game without an opportunity for very long range shots. Recommended Captain Skills The Dunkerque uses a fairly standard set of Battleship skills for her tier. The first skill I would grab for the Dunkerque is Basics of Survivability. Your secondaries are poorly placed and your AA power is overall lacking to make Basic Fire Training a first choice, but it's decent enough for a follow-up. For your second skill, take Expert Marksman. This will reduce the time it takes your guns to rotate 180' from 36s down to 31.6s. At tier three, there's always the debate. Superintendent gives your Repair Party an extra charge. I would only take this if you're good at disengaging with the Dunkerque to give yourself time to use all of the charges. Vigilance is very handy for helping spot torpedoes, especially with her poor handling where every second counts. Lastly, High Alert is probably your best choice to give you a faster reload on your Damage Control Party. At tier 4, Advanced Fire Training should be considered the best choice. Your AA guns and secondaries will reach out to 6.2km (with Aiming Systems Mod 1). This can set you up to take Manual Fire Control for AA Armament and make her dual purpose 130s really put the hurt on attack craft and maybe bluff your way out of being picked on. This will preclude you from being able to take a tier 5 skill, however. At tier 5, Jack of All Trades is your best choice. This reduces the reset timer on all of your consumables which is helpful. Concealment Expert looks nice, but combined with camouflage this will only reduce your surface detection range to 14.1km which is better but not really amazing.
  7. 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. Other articles in this series: Ships for Doubloons: Smith, Sims,Atlanta, Texas, Saipan, Tachibana, Atago, Ishizuchi, Aurora,Molotov, Mikhail Kutuzov, Emden, König Albert,Tirpitz, Campbeltown, Warspite, Limited Release Ships: Fujin, Kamikaze, Katori, Yubari, Gremyashchy,Leningrad, Diana,Murmansk, Krasny Krym, Imperator Nikolai I, Anshan, Lo Yang, Marblehead, Indianapolis, Arizona, Prinz Eugen,Scharnhorst, Dunkerque, Blyskawica, Belfast Gift & Reward Ships: Albany, Arkansas, Flint, Iwaki, Mikasa, Arpeggio of Blue Steel Ships: Kongo, Kirishima, Haruna, Hiei, Myoko, Ashigara, Nachi, Haguro Non Premiums: Gneisenau, Bismarck, Iowa,Isokaze, Bogatyr Condensed Reading: Mouse's Quick Summary of Premium Ships Without further ado: The Swiss-Army knife of destroyer mutilation. Quick Summary: A stealthy, Light-Cruiser gunship with a large number of consumables and an additional module upgrade slot. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of this review. Patch & Date Written: 0.5.12.1, October 12th & 13th, 2016. Closest in-Game Contemporary: Cleveland, Tier 6 American CruiserDegree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class/ Similar Role / Unique At her core, the Belfast is a gunship. She has no torpedoes to speak of and she's armed with twelve 152mm rifles. This makes her, at least superficially, quite similar to the Cleveland in terms of play style. But once you add in all of the weird quirks she gets -- like which modules and consumables she can and cannot arm herself with, the Belfast quickly becomes her own beast. Some may want to point to other smoke-launching cruisers like the Kutuzov or Flint but she's much further apart from these ships because of her limited armament which largely dictates her play style. Maybe she'll find a closer analogue when the Royal Navy joins World of Warships in force. But for now, the Cleveland is the closest ship to which we can compare. PROs: Reasonably durable for a cruiser with 35,700hp and 114mm belt armour. The Belfast can stealth-fire with the proper setup of modules and camouflage, even without a 15pt Captain. Fast rate of fire at 8.0rpm and second highest DPM of the current 6" (150mm to 155mm) armed light cruisers. Good AA armament. Depending on your module & skill choices, the Belfast can have as low as a 8.7km surface detection range. Depending on your module choices, the Belfast can have a rudder shift as low as 4.6s. Has access to Radar and Hydroacoustic Search at the same time. She has access to a Smoke Generator with a longer-than-standard smoke duration. She can mount up to five module upgrades. She's currently the only tier 7 with access to this fifth slot. CONs: Very limited ability to deliver high alpha strikes. For a cruiser, she has a low base chance to start a fire at 9% per shell. Slow turret rotation at 7' per second. No torpedo armament. Low top speed for a cruiser, limited to 32.5 knots. Stock rudder shift is on the slow side at 9.6s. No access to Defensive Fire. No access to Propulsion Modification 2. Smoke Generator creates a tiny amount of smoke before shutting down -- enough for up to two smoke cloud Wargaming continues to outdo themselves in the quality of their models and textures. Can it truly be happening? Is the Royal Navy finally going to be joining World of Warships? Wargaming may just be initiating another Royal Navy tease. We've had the Warspite. We've had the Campbeltown. Now we have the HMS Belfast joining the game. This long awaited ship is a delight to see in game. The model is absolutely gorgeous, representing the post-war refits of this historic vessel. With her inclusion we now have a Battleship, Destroyer and Cruiser in the game. What's next? The Ark Royal? Who can say? But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Lert will be joining me today providing a comparison to some of the Belfast's rival cruisers in the Rivals sections. NoZoupForYou will also be joining us to provide his voice talents to our project. I even got them both to fill in the 'Recommendations' section, so enjoy! Thank you, Zoup! The Lertbox Once again LWM has allowed me space to express my thoughts and opinions about an upcoming premium ship, and this time it's a very interesting one. The HMS Belfast is the first premium Royal Navy cruiser, and possibly even the very first Royal Navy cruiser that you can get your hands on. As such, she will set expectations for the Royal Navy light cruiser line, when it comes out. Belfast as she appears in this game is a tier 7 light gun cruiser with a lot of interesting tricks up its sleeve. It's one of ten Town class cruisers, and she appears as she was after her 1959 modernization, which saw her superstructure rebuilt, lattice masts added and her torpedo armament removed. The premium camouflage Belfast carries is her 1969 museum-ship color scheme. Departing from the usual Lertbox style of direct stat comparisons I will write opinion pieces about how she in my experience compares to Cleveland and Indianapolis, the two ships she'll be most likely compared to. Options There's a whole lot of weirdness going on with the options for the Belfast. First of all, she has four consumables but no choices to change them out for something else. You cannot swap out Hydroacoustic Search for Defensive Fire, for example. In fact, she doesn't get access to Defensive Fire at all, which should surprise some people. Her Surveillance Radar is on par with the American version found on the Atlanta and Indianapolis, with an 8.49km range and 25s active period. Her Hydroacoustic Search is also the standard version found on other nations (as opposed to the souped up version found on the German ships). But it's her Smoke Generator that's truly the odd duck. The deployed smoke has a longer duration than most other nations (103s vs 85s) though it still falls short of the American (121s). However, there's only a 7s window to lay smoke clouds, limiting the Belfast to making only one or two "puffs". Another fun bit of weirdness for the Belfast is that she has five upgrade slots instead of the normal four found at tier 7. This extra slot gives her access to the Concealment, Target Acquisition System and Steering Gears modifications which are gain the normal purview of tier 8 and higher vessels. The Belfast seems to trade for this by being unable to equip Propulsion System Modification 2. Beware of sitting stationary in your tiny amount of smoke. Overall, the module upgrade options are phenomenal for the Belfast, allowing you to choose between excellent agility or improved concealment, depending on your preferred style of play. Consumables: Damage Control Party Hydroacoustic Search Smoke Generator Radar Module Upgrades: Five slots. Does not have access to Propulsion Modification 2 for it's fourth slot.Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ Standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Firepower Primary Battery: Twelve 152mm rifles in 4x3 superfiring turrets in an A-B-X-Y configuration. Secondary Battery: Eight 102mm guns in 4x2 turrets mounted amidships. If you strip away all of the toys on the Belfast, what you're left with is a no-nonsense gunship. She doesn't have torpedoes, so she's entirely reliant on the performance of her guns. This may look like a crippling flaw as the Belfast has some of the worst alpha strike potential of any 6" armed cruiser from her individual shells. Indeed, the Belfast is largely bereft of any ability to deal large amounts of damage in a single attack. Her weapons do not have great muzzle velocity either leading to a lot of hang time and necessary lead to land hits and precluding her from using AP against enemy cruisers until she's quite close. But this is all compensated for by a good rate of fire. When measured against other Light Cruisers in and around her tier with a similar armament, she comes in second for AP and HE DPM which is nothing to sneeze at. Just always keep her lack of torpedoes in mind when looking at these numbers. Gun performance comparison between 150mm to 155mm armed Light Cruisers The gun handling of the Belfast is reasonably comfortable. Her turret rotation is slower than I would want at 7' per second (25.7s for a 180' rotation). This value is similar enough to some of the Soviet cruisers like the Mikhail Kutuzov and Shchors and better than that of the upgraded Cleveland. It's not fast, but it's passable. Your shell flight time will always be on the long side, however. These are not the high velocity shells found on the Soviet cruisers or the Mogami's 155mm. They share a lot similar flight patterns to the USN Cleveland, so you're going to struggle a bit to hit anything but large or predictably moving ships at range. You can expect to see up to 11s lead times while stealth-firing, which this ship can manage at ranges from 14.5km with Concealment Modification 1 or 13.3km when combined with Concealment Expert. While the ship's range is nothing impressive at her tier, she is sneaky enough to easily get within range to be able to engage targets without risk of early detection. While this looks like good news, it's that low chance to set fires that really hurts the Belfast and precludes her from ever being considered an optimal fire-starting gunship. In the practical sense, when engaging other capital ships, her damage potential falls away if she cannot start sufficient blazes to give enemy Battleships pause. So she's rather RNG dependent in this regard. This is very important to keep in mind as the Belfast can (and will) go up against the more heavily armoured Battleships at tiers 8 & 9 where plating in excess of 25mm will result in zero-damage hits from her high explosive rounds. Still, the 9% fire chance is passable. It can do the job. It's just not optimal, especially when compared to her competitors.. Like all cruisers, her secondary armament is pretty forgettable. It has some good traits, though. She has a 5.0km base range with them and they fire 20rpm. But this isn't like you'll win a war with them. I did finish off a Leningrad with my secondaries, so that was cute. But I wouldn't expect this to be the norm with her. Overall, her guns are very well suited to putting the hurt on lightly armoured ships. Combined with other features, her weaponry seems almost ideally designed to make destroyers balk at being anywhere within 10km of a Belfast. She will also give pause to other cruisers, while being passable (but not ideal) for harassing Battleships in between interdiction missions. I'm not in love with her guns. They are decent though and they do the trick. Just don't expect miracles or fast results. You'll be dodging torpedoes a lot in the Belfast -- mostly because your guns, concealment distance and consumables make you an absolute nightmare for enemy destroyers. Rivals: The Cleveland Let's get the obvious comparison out of the way. At first glance Belfast comes across as an up-tiered Cleveland with added toys. This isn't an unfair assessment, as they share many attributes. Both are 32 knot, agile light cruisers with twelve rapid fire 6" guns. Neither have much armor, but both have a module layout that makes them a bit more survivable than their tier- and class mates like Budyonny, Shchors and the like. Both have a generous bag of hitpoints. Cleveland is more durable though. Her hit points last just a bit longer because of her lower tiering, and her citadel is notoriously difficult to hit reliably. Belfast feels a bit softer when under fire, mostly due to her citadel area being considerably longer than Cleveland's. The Cleveland is more agile with a faster rudder shift and a slightly tighter turning circle. Also, Cleveland gets a defensive fire consumable that Belfast doesn't, making her a nightmare for enemy carrier jockeys. Finally, Cleveland will theoretically light more fires per minute than Belfast. Where Belfast beats out the American fighting lady though is in pure volume of fire, 96 shells per minute verses Cleveland's 90. She has a higher base DPS on her AA, higher DPM on her guns and that very valuable fifth equipment slot which can fit either concealment to make a very stealthy cruiser or rudder shift to make her more agile than Cleveland will ever be. Also, the added value of smoke and radar can not be denied. It might not be fair to compare a tier 7 CL to a tier 6 one, but Cleveland is slated for an up-tiering when the CA / CL split happens, and since Belfast and Cleveland share so many play style elements the comparison holds. Belfast is by far the more versatile ship. Maneuverability Top Speed: 32.5 knotsTurning Radius: 680mRudder Shift: 9.6s The Belfast has a bit of a sluggish rudder shift. That's the bad news. The good news is that she can take two module upgrades to mitigate this, dropping it down as low as 4.6s which is downright awesome. With just the first module, you'll be looking at a 7.7s rudder shift time which is still a bit clunky but manageable. With her fair turning circle, she has a lot of hustle in her bustle. The Belfast doesn't get down to American levels of cruiser wigglyness (Zoup told me this was a perfectly cromulent word), but it's still more than sufficient to throw off the aim of enemies at range if you keep your patterns irregular. So, if you take a module or two to tighten up the response time of her rudder, the Belfast will feel very nimble with her handling. This compensates somewhat for her only modest top speed which is again, downright American in that respect. The 32.5 knots is the same legwork found on the Pensacola, Atlanta, Flint and Indianapolis. This lags well behind the more fleet footed Soviet and Japanese cruisers. As such, it will be impossible to run down all but the most complacent of destroyers. You'll also have a hard time fleeing from a fast Battleship that's intent on closing with you. There are few things more frightening than an Iowa bellowing, "Get in me belly!" while it chases your Belfast. Fire and maneuver is the name of the game with the Belfast -- tossing evasive maneuvers in between salvos. This isn't a ship with which you'll want to ever be caught stationary. Wargaming seems to be going out of their way to discourage this. First, they've removed the option to take Propulsion Modification 2 which would provide her with a lot more startup agility when caught sitting still. Second, her smoke screens are pathetically small requiring her to be at a near dead stop before activating or she risks slipping out of her tiny bank of fog. This makes her an easy target just before deploying her concealment and should make many a Belfast player think twice about using it this way. DurabilityHit Points: 35,700 Citadel Protection: Up to 114mm.Bow & Deck Armour: Minimum of 13mm each.Torpedo Damage Reduction: 4% The armour setup on the Belfast is a bit of a mixed bag. She has 114mm belt armour, which is rather good for a light cruiser, and certainly well above what we might see on her Soviet counterparts. Unlike ships like the Budyonny or Shchors, her citadel is at or below the waterline of the ship. Combine this with her 35,700hp and she's looking rather well protected -- or at least as well protected as a cruiser could be. And that's really the catch, isn't it? You cannot expect the Belfast to repulse Battleship caliber firepower, especially not at tier 7+. They will happily oblige you by emancipating your ship of it's hp poolt with a storm of 380mm+ shells. Don't give them the opportunity if you can at all help it. Use your agility and your stealth as your defense. What this level of armour plate will actually provide is reasonable protection from small-caliber (180mm or smaller) guns trying to throw AP at you. This can be rather commonplace as you close in with enemy destroyers and cruisers that will switch ammunition types if they think they can catch your broadside. Use your rudder, force those bounces off your angled sides. It is fun to note that the Belfast does have some small anti-torpedo bulges, providing a 4% damage reduction. Once you plug in Damage Control System Modification 1, this jumps up to 7%. It's not great by any means, but hey, cruisers should rejoice with any little durability bonuses they can claim. The angled belt armour of the Belfast bounces a 210mm AP round from a German Yorck-class cruiser. This is an uncommon occurence. Even bows on, the Belfast's prow is overmatched by 203mm shells or greater. Be very careful when engaging heavy cruisers at point blank range. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 11.3km Air Detection Range: 8.1 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 8.7km Concealment Penalty while Firing: +4.56km (vs 15.4km gun range) Don't let these numbers fool you. Like her rudder shift time, the Belfast's concealment rating is something you can play with right out of the box with module choices. This is an either-or choice, though. You can either have gorgeous rudder shift or improved concealment rating, as they both take up the 5th module slot. This is very important feature to remember. With Concealment Modification 1 and her premium camouflage, a starting Belfast with a fresh Captain will have a 9.9km surface detection range and nearly a 1km window from which it can stealth fire at enemies from open water. Any Atago player will tell you the wonderful merits of a cruiser that's able to sneak within 10km of an enemy ship. This opens up the door for all sorts of clever play, including interdicting enemy destroyers and sneaking onto caps the enemy thinks are reasonably covered. Once you add a 15pt Captain with Concealment Expert, this range drops down to 8.7km which is just outside of the Belfast's radar range. This can quickly spell the doom for an enemy DD that's not paying attention to enemy team lists. It can find itself with a rapid fire light cruiser at point blank range, hammering it with salvos of 152mm with no easy way to escape. Hydro will sniff out any desperate torpedo drops. Radar will keep them lit even if they attempt to blow smoke. Her concealment allows the Belfast to contest capture points in Domination maps, especially from destroyers that have outstripped their support. In my test games, this became a rather common occurrence. Often happening not just once but twice in several encounters. Even without a 15pt Captain, I was comfortably able to pull off ambushes against lower tiered destroyers, like IJN Minekaze, Mutsuki and Kamikaze-class destroyers that often risked getting within 8km to launch torpedoes. USN and Soviet cruisers that popped smoke and began firing from within the cover of their concealment were simply ringing the dinner bell for my Belfast to come feast. Good times. This same concealment rating is also the Belfast's best armour when facing off against enemy cruisers. She has one of (if not the) best concealment ratings for her tier bracket. When you don't want to fight something, silence your guns and turn away. You're almost like an oversized destroyer in this respect. This ability to drop back into stealth is imperative given the rather modest top speed of the Belfast. You'll need to plan your escape at an early juncture if the enemies are pushing your flank aggressively. Lastly, special mention should be made towards the Belfast's Smoke Generator consumable. It's ... well, it's odd. It does not create a lot of smoke, but the smoke that it does leave down lasts longer than that of the Soviet or IJN ships. You have a little over a minute and forty seconds worth of concealment from the Belfast's smoke but you're not likely to get more than two smoke clouds out when you activate the consumable. It seems that Wargaming intends that the Belfast's smoke to be used primarily on the defensive rather than offensive role. This is further paid evidence to with her lack of the Propulsion Modification 2 -- slowing to a stop in your own tiny smoke screen is all well and fine, just be aware that you're not going to be able to get up and go in a hurry afterwards. Rivals: The Indianapolis Ah, the other tier 7 premium cruiser with a gimmick, this being radar in the Indianapolis' case. Here the difference is that the Belfast is a light cruiser and Indianapolis a heavy cruiser, armed with very potent 203mm guns. These USN 8" rifles have a very unique attribute: they are better at defeating angled opponents by virtue that they have a wider angle to work with before autobounce starts becoming a thing. This makes the American 203mm AP very dangerous to soft cruisers like Belfast. In a pure gun duel, I would imagine a smart Indianapolis drive to defeat an equal-skilled Belfast driver. The Belfast can't run away from the Indianapolis, so any duel between them comes down to using the environment and concealment versus gunnery skills, and the best the Belfast can do is try to not get shot too much. But these ships don't fight in a vacuum, and 1v1 fights are rare. Indianapolis' radar has proven itself a very useful piece of equipment, and Belfast gets access to an equally potent one. But where Indianapolis has to choose between hydro and defensive fire in one slot and radar and a fighter in the other, Belfast gets to use hydro, smoke and radar at the same time. It's hard to say which is the 'better' ship. They serve distinct roles. Indianapolis is better at putting the hurt on battleships and annoying carriers, Belfast is better at ferreting out destroyers, both can put the hurt on cruisers. But where Belfast might rely on a combination of HE spam, fire-hosing and some AP damage, Indianapolis can get away with relying on AP more. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 102mm / 40mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.5kmAA DPS per Aura: 72 / 140 The Belfast does not get access to the Defensive Fire consumable. This isn't a matter of having to choose between it and Hydroacoustic Search -- it's simply not an option at all. This immediately precludes the Belfast from being a dedicated anti-aircraft escort, which is a bit of shame because she has some rather impressive anti-aircraft firepower. When you compare her to the other tier 7 cruisers, her AA DPS is quite respectful -- the second highest overall. 224dps - Flint 212dps - Belfast 207dps - Pensacola 202dps - Indianapolis 182dps - Yorck 177dps - Atlanta 153dps - Shchors 151dps - Myoko Of course, there's a lot more to AA gunfire than raw DPS. Having it concentrated in the large caliber AA guns is important for a start. This is what makes the Atlanta and Flint so dangerous -- having enormous 127mm dual-purpose batteries. The Belfast does alright here, having 5.0km reach on her 102mm batteries with good DPS. She backs this up with the always reliable 40mm Bofors at a good defensive range of 3.5km. If the Belfast did have access to Defensive Fire, she'd be an absolute monster for enemy CVs. Without it, she's still a target to be respected but she won't be causing any form of disruption to aircraft groups. I was frequently shooting down a half dozen same-tier planes in games where there was an enemy CV present with only Basic Fire Training to improve my ships gunners. To this end, if you fancy playing the role of a makeshift AA escort, keep close to the ships in need of protective cover. Just be aware that you will never reach the same levels of anti-aircraft firepower as Defensive Fire spikes the DPS of the ship in question up tremendously when active, on top of its other benefits. Without Defensive Fire, even Dive Bombers present a serious threat to the Belfast as she has no way of disrupting their drop patterns. Her AA defense is good overall, and you can expect to seriously punish any groups making their attack runs against you. But you're still going to have to weather their drops. Overall Impressions Skill Floor:Simple/ Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling:Low/ Moderate / High / Extreme The Belfast looks complicated, but she's really not. For all of the confusing mess of consumables and modules, the Belfast is, at her core, a light cruiser gunship. It's all about avoiding the attention of warships bigger than you while picking on those that are smaller. Even a novice player can take her into a match, rig her for concealment and do reasonably well farming HE and fire damage off of enemy capital ships at extreme range. The meta for her is making destroyer lives miserable and bullying capture points which is a high-risk, high-reward style of play but one that can quickly decide a match when done correctly. The Lertbox Belfast is perhaps the most versatile ship in the game at this moment, depending on captain skills and equipment fitted. You could go for a ballerina build and bring her rudder shift down to ridiculous levels, or go for a concealment build and have an almost comically sneaky little cruiser. Her AA is formidable even lacking a defensive fire module and properly specced she can function as AA escort, but she can just as easily ferret out destroyers trying to hide inside their smoke screens, while sitting comfortably in her own. She can even lay down a strategically placed puff of smoke to help conceal her team. During playtesting I found that a very effective tactic was to appropriate a friendly smoke screen in or near a cap and popping my own when it started running out, thereby extending the duration of the smoke screen by a considerable margin. Not many people dare attack a smoke screen that threw as many shells as these did, as well as intermittent torpedo fire from the friendly destroyer which laid the original screen. One misses defensive fire and her fire chance is a bit low, but were those present she'd be overpowered at tier 7. I can't stress how potent the combination of hydro, smoke and radar available without having to choose between them is. It's enough to elevate what is basically a very potent tier 6 ship up to tier 7. Mouse's Summary: The Belfast is the Inspector Gadget of warships. You have a gizmo for most situations, especially when facing destroyers. You'll have to pick between awesome rudder shift and awesome concealment. The lack of Defensive Fire and a high-alpha strike attack keeps her from being immediately overpowered. Best played patiently with a slight aggressive streak where DDs are concerned. The Belfast makes me miss a lot of things. I miss Defensive Fire. I miss being able to deliver high alpha strikes. I miss going fast. But if she had access to any one of these things, she'd be overpowered. The Belfast is a very comfortable ship to play. Once you wrap your head around the fact that you're not going to kill any big ships quickly, it gets quite easy. Avoid being spotted by capital ships. Get wiggly when you are spotted. Punish destroyers that over extend. That's about it, really. Where she gets very interesting is all of the wonderful tools you have to make destroyer lives miserable while not quite having the absolute optimum load-out to do so. Out of the ships presently available in the game, it would still be hard to argue that the Belfast is probably the best destroyer hunter out there. And that's what the Belfast truly embodies -- it's the destroyer hunter that we've all been wanting. Radar is fun and all on an Atlanta or a New Orleans, but neither ship can risk getting in close to make use of it to counter the Udaloi, Bensons or Blyskawicas out there that are sitting in their smoke screens and dropping pew pews on our team. The Belfast can risk it. She's got the tools to get in. She's got the tools to quickly isolate and punish the enterprising destroyer. And she's got the tools to get out afterwards. Top on my wish-list to make her even better at destroyer hunting would be a little more speed. It's just not there. Her 32.5 knots means that you're relying on destroyers making mistakes more than actively pursuing them. Hear that, DDs? It's your own darned fault that I'm making a mess of your ships with my Belfast. That the Belfast is so good at putting the hurt on over extended destroyers is likely going to make her a high priority target when word gets out. The mere presence of this rapid fire cruiser near a cap point can lock down any attempts by the Red team to ninja cap. It becomes suicidal for an enemy destroyer to venture anywhere near the Belfast's zone of control without big guns backing her up. This ship may shake up the current Random Battle meta somewhat. It's certainly going to make playing the lone-wolf destroyer much more difficult. The Belfast counters the Minekaze just as readily as she does the Udaloi and I was very happy to see that consistently in play. The only thing that would make me back off from a destroyer would be a Battleship lurking in the area. But if this capital ship was distracted or more than 14km off from my area of engagement, I was still going to eat me some destroyer goodness. When it came to pelting bigger ships with her guns, the Belfast wasn't anything special. She bombards predictably moving capital ships about as well as you can expect. She'll set a fair number of fires but not a whole lot unless your enemy plays dumb. This can make trying to accumulate high damage totals a bit of a challenge, but it's again just a matter of patience and picking your targets. Your enjoyment of the Belfast will largely be determined if you can make these 152mm guns work. Like many light cruisers, you're dependent on fire damage to maximize your output against Battleships. They're perfectly suitable for blowing up enemy light cruisers and destroyers, however. Would I Recommend? Heh, this is one of those ships that I feel like it doesn't matter what I say, people are still going to grab it. It's the first Royal Navy Cruiser available in the game. On top of that, it's a Premium Cruiser leading the release of the Royal Navy Cruiser line, so people will be wanting to grab her for a training analogue for their Captains. To top it all off, she's a museum ship. This is a difficult ship not to recommend, with the only caveat of course being that if you don't like mid-tier cruiser game play, this ship will not sell you on it. ForRandom Battle Grinding: Mouse: The Belfast is a good Random Battle boat. She can cap and defend. She can harass big ships. She can interdict and assassinate destroyers. Her big weaknesses are, of course, competently played Battleships. You'll also have to worry a bit about good carrier and cruiser players, but not nearly as much as the big capital ships trying to delete you. As she's designed to pick on destroyers, she nets quite a healthy sum of credits and experience for even small damage totals off these fragile boats. When pressured by enemy BBs, however, her performance really starts to hurt as I had to go gun silent to avoid getting obliterated. This in turn really affected my rankings and experience gains. The other thing to consider is that if you go premium consumable heavy (and you can go really heavy in the Belfast), you'll eat into your earnings very significantly which will hurt the rate at which you're grinding credits. Lert: Yeah, Belfast is a fun and comfortable, reliable if fragile, very versatile ship. Smacking destroyers around is not only a lot of fun, but nets you a nice amount of credits and XP as well. Zoup: I find the Belfast to be highly enjoyable in random battles. Despite this, I don’t find that I’m putting the amount of damage out that I would like. I attribute this to the fact that the Belfast has a low burn percentage. It isn’t really a ship that you want to go toe to toe with against Battleships unless their attention is already occupied by other ships. Against other CLs, its more than capable though, with HE or AP. The Belfast has a specific mission, and that is to aide your team by being a destroyer’s worst nightmare. And that is exactly what the Belfast is. You get all the normal goodies that come with premium ships and premium ship camo, but the most important thing is that you have a trainer for the RN cruiser line. I don’t see myself playing the Belfast exclusively over and over in randoms, but I will definitely play it often. It’s fun and offers something different from the other ships in the game. For Competitive Gaming: Mouse: The Belfast would have been a very interesting choice in Season 4 of Ranked Battles, when tier 7 was the top. I don't think she would have been capable of toppling the unfortunate meta that resulted in that season, but she certainly has the concealment and spotting tools to have upset the occasional game. Her lack of any high alpha strike limits her somewhat and her fragility would make her a rewarding target that would no doubt get her focused early when lit. Lert: I can only imagine what havoc a ship as versatile as Belfast would've wrought on the tier 7 portion of the previous ranked battle season. It's almost like this ship was made for competitive play. While she lacks the firepower of larger gunned ships, competitive play ensures that there are teammates with said bigger guns ready to pick up the slack, while you concentrate on spotting and intercepting destroyers and other cruisers. Zoup: The jury is out whether or not the Belfast would have succeeded in the Tier 7 battles from previous ranked gameplay. I’m going to go out on a limb though and say that it would make a good competitive ship. For this basis, I am going to point to the Atago and its stealth capabilities. I believe that it’s the 8.7km concealment that will make the Belfast a valuable ranked cruiser if we ever go back to Tier 7. Its stealth combined with hydro and radar allow it to both cap while defending against enemy destroyers. It has the ability to remain hidden from larger ships by use of low surface concealment and smoke. While it may not have torpedoes and the healing capabilities of the Atago, I feel it is ultimately the Atago’s concealment which helps it to excel in ranked gameplay. The same likely will prove true for the Belfast. Only time will tell. For Collectors: Mouse: She's a museum ship. She's also gorgeous. Absolutely, yes. Lert: This is a storied ship that still exists as a museum ship you can visit to this day. How storied, you ask? She participated in the battle that sunk Scharnhorst as well as being part of the escort fleet to the carriers that launched an attack on Tirpitz that saw the latter disabled and immobilized for several months. Though Belfast never fired on Tirpitz, she did on Scharnhorst and it was her fire combined with that of Norfolk and Sheffield that turned Scharnhorst into the waiting jaws of the heavier task force that eventually sank her. Zoup: This one is easy. Absolutely. She’s dead Sexy and I still remember seeing her sitting on the Thames when I vacationed in England back in 2012. She will be a must buy for many. For Fun Factor: Mouse: The Belfast is a very comfortable ship to play. She has the same foibles as most cruisers -- notably the fragility when Battleships are looking at her. So if that doesn't appeal, I would keep away. But as a light cruiser enthusiast, I really enjoyed her. Lert: She's very comfortable and versatile. You can adapt her to almost any role you could conceivably want a light cruiser to play. If you like cruisers, you'll like Belfast. Zoup: You can customize the Belfast to your hearts desire in more ways than most ships. She's fun to play for the ability to live on the edge of danger with her awesome concealment and destroyer destroying capabilities. Care must be taken though. You're still a cruiser. If you hate taking damage or like to show your broadside often, this ship will make you pay for it. This ship plays like a big destroyer that lacks torpedoes. The fun factor is there indeed. The question is: How long will the novelty of the extra module last, or is this what we should expect with the RN Cruiser line as a whole? Outfitting your Belfast isn't complicated as she doesn't specialize for any role other than "make a destroyer's life miserable" very well. You can try and make her an AA cruiser but she'll never really compete with dedicated AA escorts. Outfitting your Belfast Unlike other cruisers, there aren't multiple builds for the Belfast to allow her to accomplish different rolls. Without access to Defensive Fire, she's never going to be a specialized AA escort. This isn't to say you can't try and improve her anti-aircraft firepower -- it's just not going to have the same effect as it might on a Soviet or American cruiser, for example. Recommended Modules The list of modules to equip your Belfast are pretty straight forward. Do keep in mind that she gets five module upgrade options instead of the normal four found at tier 7. For your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 is probably the best choice. This will help keep your four turrets in the game. However, as a Light Cruiser, you have to contend with detonations more frequently than a Heavy Cruiser or Battleship. So Magazine Modification 1 isn't a poor choice. I was detonated once during playtesting by a Fuso AP shell without this mod equipped. For your second slot, you have three choices. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is arguably the most optimal. This will tighten your shell fall and give a slight bump to your secondary performance. Anti Aircraft Modification 2 isn't a great choice but it certainly has its merits. This will extend your AA umbrella up to 6.0km which may cause a CV Captain to pull his planes back. I wouldn't count on it though. Lastly, Main Battery Modification 2 will accelerate her turret rotation from 25.7s for a 180's rotation down to 22.3s. This will cost you some of your DPM, bringing your rate of fire down from 8.0rpm to 7.6rpm. For your third slot, Damage Control System Modifcation 1 is the best choice. They're all pretty terrible really. For your fourth slot, Steering Gears Modification 2 is optimal. This will reduce your rudder shift time from 9.6s to 7.7s. And finally for your fifth slot, there are two interesting choices. Concealment Modification 1 is arguably the best choice. This drops your surface detection range with camouflage from 11.0km down to 9.9km. This will also allow you to fire from stealth at a range of 14.5km. Alternatively, if you want to give her destroyer like turning, take Steering Gears Modification 3. This will reduce your rudder shift from 7.7s to 4.6s. Recommended Consumables You don't have any consumable options for the Belfast, short of deciding if you're going to pay for the premium versions or not. Out of these, Damage Control Party is hands down the best one to take as a premium, as it will help mitigate fires and other critical hits. Taking premium versions of Surveillance Radar and Hydroacoustic Search really only come into play when facing multiple destroyers for an extended period of time. This will reduce their reset timers from 3 minutes down to 2 minutes. Keep in mind that stocking up on premium consumables will quickly eat into any earnings you're making and with four consumable slots, if you went all out, that's a 90,000 credit deficit you need to make back each and every game. Recommended Captain Skills From the first tier, Basic Fire Training is the best choice. This will give a boost to your AA firepower as well as accelerating the reload of your secondaries. From the second tier, you have a choice. Expert Marksman is nice for accelerating the turning speed of your main battery. WIth as much maneuver as you will be doing in the Belfast, this can assist with keeping your guns trained on target, or at least hasten bringing them to bear when re-engaging. Alternatively, Last Stand will help keep your ship operable when taking critical hits to the rudder or engine, which happens often enough in Light Cruisers. From the third tier, there are two very good options. Vigilance will help with spotting the torpedoes launched form the Destroyers you will be pursuing. Alternatively, Superintendent will provide an extra charge for three of your four consumables which is also handy -- especially if you're not taking the premium versions. Unlike most cruisers, it's Demolition Expert which is the hands down best choice at tier 4 for Captain Skills. This will bump up your chance to start a fire with your main battery from 9% to 12% which is huge. Advanced Fire Training is reasonable, but be aware that the AA power of the Belfast will forever be held back by her lack of Defensive Fire. This 20% increase to your range can get her reach out to 7.2km with assistance from the Anti Aircraft Modification 2. In addition, this will bump up your secondary gun range to 6km from stock or 6.3km with Aiming Systems Modification 1 which will come in handy when you're using radar and hydro to flush out destroyers. Finally, at tier 5, Concealment Expert is your best choice. This really puts the Belfast's stealth rating at whole other level, dropping her surface detection range to as low as 8.7km and allowing her to fire from stealth at a range of 13.3km.
  8. The Gerkin of Armaggedon. The Doomsday Baby Dill. The original Deathpickle. Quick Summary: A Super-Saiyan Tenryu with a smoke generator, stealth-firing torpedoes, and guns that can be upgraded to some of the most accurate weapons found in the game. Acquisistion: Iwaki Alpha was awarded to testers in March 2015 for those players who had played 100 matches during the Closed Alpha period. It has not been made available since short of the rare press account. Patch and Date Written: Patch 0.6.7. June 30th to July 11th, 2017. Closest in-Game Contemporary Tenryu, Tier III Japanese Light Cruiser Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Iwaki is a theoretical upgrade with improved engine and weapon performance of the Tenryu-class. She's better armed and much faster than Tenryu, on top of which she has a whole load of gimmicks which sets her even further apart. PROs With upgrades, Iwaki has some of the most accurate guns in the game with good fire arcs. Powerful torpedo armament with a 10km range and 16,267 alpha strike. Very fast with a top speed of 35.0 knots. Tiny turning circle of 580m and a 3.8s rudder shift time giving her amazing agility. Good surface detection range of 10.1km stock, allowing her to potentially fire torpedoes from stealth. Equipped with four upgrade slots at tier IV. Has a Smoke Generator consumable. CONs The entire midsection, from keel to deck is a citadel. Exposed, unprotected magazines vulnerable to HE fire in the bow and stern. Tiny hit point pool of 18,600hp. Slow stock turret traverse. Short ranged main battery of 10.2km Poor forward torpedo arcs. Short ranged AA defense with only modest DPS totals. This one has been on the books for a long time. You don't know how excited I am to be able to cross this one off my list. Short of providing a review for a Kitakami (and I don't know how I'm going to get access to one of those), I will have finally cleared my backlog of older premiums to review. Hooray! Part of the problem with reviewing this ship was getting my hands on one. I am a Closed Beta Tester. I joined the game about two to three weeks after Alpha Testing concluded, so playing one of these (without breaking the EULA) was really tough. Thankfully, I finally given access through a temporary Press Account provided by Wargaming and played as many games as I could in her in the time allotted (sadly, no Kitakami on the account -- otherwise you guys would have got a two-fer). While I could have easily theory-crafted this review earlier, I really wanted to have some hands on experience with the ship before commenting. Now, just to ensure that I'm not all sparkly-eyed about the one ship I cannot have, I made sure to drag in the surliest gentleman I could find to assist me with this review. Their credentials include having Iwaki Alpha forever. So, rest assured they are blasé about the ship to counter balance my flappy-armed, super-bouncy enthusiasm. You all know him and his grumpy puss: Lert! He's (finally!) back in his box and provided us with some insight on the Deathpickle. The Lertbox I protest! I am not a gentleman! It's been a while since I did one of these, hasn't it? The subject of today's review is the Alpha reward ship. Iwaki is a theoretical upgrade on the Tenryu platform and is better than it in every respect. You know, as one might expect for a ship a tier higher. For this Lertbox I will be trying a variation on what I normally write. As the chances of Iwaki ever being released again in any form are slim to non-existent, I will be describing what you might do when you face one in a same-tiered cruiser, rather than how to defeat a same-tier ship while driving an Iwaki. I will be describing this encounter from the viewpoint of the three most popular cruisers by battles played over the past two weeks, which at the time of writing this are Duguay-Trouin, Phoenix and Kuma. The remaining tier 4 cruisers are quite similar in many respects to these three, so I believe this to be a decent cross-section of ships to compare Iwaki to. Poor lambs. They didn't stand a chance. Options Iwaki Alpha has four upgrade slots at tier IV instead of the usual two. Normally this isn't available until tier VI. On top of this, she has access to the IJN module, Aiming Systems Modification 0 which provides a huge list of upgrades, including buffs to the traverse speed of her guns and torpedoes and a 40% reduction to her shell dispersion (!). Last, but definitely not least, she has access to a Smoke Generator consumable. This is a special version with only a 15s emission time as opposed to the normal 20s found on destroyers. The smoke lasts longer than normal tier IV destroyer smoke, having a full duration time of 80 seconds instead of 73 seconds. Consumables: Damage Control Party Smoke Generator Module Upgrades: Four slots, with access to Aiming Systems Modification 0 in slot one. Otherwise standard tier VI cruiser upgrades. Premium Camouflage: Tier II to V Standard (Type 9). This provides 30% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. As a fun little aside, Iwaki Alpha's camouflage is noteworthy because it was the one of the first (if not the first) camouflaged ships available in the game. This originally didn't provide any bonuses and effectively was a unique skin. It earned the ship the moniker of "the Pickle" with all sorts of descriptors tied to this (Death Pickle being the one I heard most often). Little did we know that almost all IJN ships would soon be able to paint themselves to match. You must install Aiming Systems Modification 0 immediately on Iwaki Alpha. You'd be a fool not to. When you slap it on there, her stats change in the following manner: Her main battery traverse changes from 8.49º per second to 10.23º per second. Her torpedo traverse changes from 25º per second to 30º per second. Her main battery dispersion drops from 103m at 10.2km to 62m. In your second slot, I strongly recommend Aiming Systems Modification 1. This takes the aforementioned stats and drops them even further. Her main battery dispersion drops down to 58m at 10.2km. Her torpedo traverse increases again to 36º per second. In slot three, take whatever you like. I prefer Damage Control System Modification 1 but it's really up to you. The gains are minimal for any of the upgrades for this entry. In your final slot, I highly recommend Propulsion System Modification 2. You're going to be sitting in your smoke often enough that it's handy to give yourself a head start when you need to get moving once again. Firepower Primary Battery: Five140mm rifles in single turrets in an A-P-Q-X-Y configuration. Torpedo Armament: Six tubes in 2x3 center line launchers mounted on either side of the funnels Iwaki Alpha gets the same torpedo armament as Furutaka but a full tier lower. These fish are phenomenal and what's more, the platform on which they're launched has a big trick up it's sleeve. An Iwaki Commander with Concealment Expert can get her surface detection down to 8.6km, giving her a 1.4km stealth launching window with her torpedoes. The general lack of spotting aircraft means that these torpedoes are unlikely to be detected until they close with their prey. While they are visible at 1.5km, opponents at low tiers are often unaware anti-torpedo tactics and attempt to dodge at the very last minute. The only flaw with Iwaki as a torpedo ship are the horrible forward fire arcs of her launchers. This is limited to a little over a 45º arc approximately 80º off her beam with a rearward bias. Veterans of the IJN Heavy Cruiser line will be familiar with this kind of limitation. Like with all IJN Cruisers, swinging the ship around to let loose a broadside of torpedoes will often just get your ship blown out from under you if you attempt it against a wary opponent while spotted. Such attempts are an easy telegraph of the coming torpedo attack and any veterans slumming it down at tier IV will have their eyes open for such an opportunity. When these torpedoes do hit, they hit hard and with one of the largest module-damaging explosions at her tier (only rivaled by Battleship caliber HE -- though these do not have as much penetration power). This puts every ship they strike at tremendous risk of not only sinking from multiple hits, but single hits are quite capable of one-shotting even a Battleship with a magazine detonation. The torpedo defense of lower tiered dreadnoughts just isn't up to scratch and these catastrophic hits are far more commonplace at this tier with ships like Iwaki being one of the culprits. Iwaki is armed with an unimpressive number (5) of unimpressive guns (the IJN 140mm rifle) with unimpressive range (10.2km). It's made worse that you're only ever bringing four guns to bear. These are the same weapons on Tenryu and Kuma. Overall, they have rather lousy ballistics, low shell damage and very bad penetration values. What you're left with is a cruiser that really struggles when facing other capital ships. This armament is more than sufficient to bully destroyers but they are not up to scratch to let you go toe to toe with other cruisers, even when she's top tier. The best feature these guns can boast is a very high fire chance -- base 10% per shell. Battleships will learn to hate and fear you, especially when you bombard them from smoke and set them ablaze from stem to stern. There is a ray of sunshine, though. Thanks to her module options, namely Aiming Systems Modification 0 and Aiming Systems Modification 1, Iwaki can have the lowest horizontal dispersion value found on any capital ship in the game. Aim properly and you'll hit your target almost every time -- it's really quite nice. This can (generally) make up for the lower number of guns she sports, particularly when you get the drop on an enemy ship. However, once they find the range to you, short of some epic butt wiggling or hiding in smoke, they will out trade you every time. The Lertbox Duguay-Trouin vs Iwaki: The Frenchman has an advantage in hit points and firepower, but most other categories go to the Iwaki. The Japanese ship has better speed, accuracy, armor, stealth, torpedoes and agility, not to mention her smoke. However, you have a very comfortable five kilometer buffer where you can hit her while she can't hit you back. The problem is that you won't be able to see her without someone else spotting her until it's too late and she's in range. Once you have her spotted though, keep your angles in mind and make your overwhelming firepower count to try and delete her as quickly as you can. Aim for center mass shots, but keep your angles in mind because you're softer than your opponent and her 140mm guns will hurt you badly if you show just a bit too much broadside. Once you've smacked her around a bit she's very likely to smoke up and send a surprise package of seafood your way, so be ready to pop your hydro acoustic and push into her smoke to bully her with your firepower. You might try using your torpedoes, but the fast and maneuverable Iwaki is difficult to hit with such slow fish. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 35.0knotsTurning Radius: 580mRudder Shift: 3.8s Maximum Turn Rate: 7.26º per second. Iwaki is a cruiser with destroyer levels of agility. This probably makes some sense as a destroyer leader, and it's not like this agility is misplaced. Without it (and her Smoke Generator), she'd be a victim waiting to happen. Her most impressive feature, by far, is her amazing top speed. She caps out at 35.0 knots which is nearly the fastest ship at her tier, with only the German V-170 being half a knot faster. This allows Iwaki to run down and pursue any prey worth chasing while also being able to open up the distance on anything bigger than her short of a Phoenix-class cruiser. Iwaki has an excellent rate of turn at 7.3º per second that's almost fast enough to out traverse her turrets. Aiming Systems Modification 0 makes this a non-issue as it greatly improves her gun handling -- as if you needed more excuses to equip this. To put her rate of turn into perspective, USS Clemson, the tier 4 American Destroyer has a maximum rate of turn of 8.6º per second which doesn't place Iwaki Alpha that far behind. So not only as she as fast (or faster) than many of the destroyers she faces, she can also evade just as effectively. Were it not for her larger size, she'd be an absolute nightmare for enemy ships to try and hit with guns, bombs, or torpedoes. DurabilityHit Points: 18,600Maximum Protection: 63mm Min Bow & Deck Armour: 10mm Iwaki Alpha is a ship that allows for very little margin of error. Generally, it only takes two mistakes to get this ship sent back to the port. The first mistake is letting something shoot at you. The second is letting something hit you with said attacks. Iwaki Alpha is one big floating citadel. She has enough armour to arm the fuses of any AP shells that strike her amidships and not enough armour to repulse anything bigger than destroyer-caliber. Combine this with the painfully short ranges of low tier maps and you've a recipe for disaster. Iwaki melts under fire. Battleships will one shot you. Cruisers can one shot you with a well placed volley. Destroyers will destroy you in as little as two hits of their torpedoes. The good news is that in low tier matches, it's rare you'll encounter anyone that knows how to properly use their AP shells, never mind aim effectively. And that AP/HE disparity at low tiers would be great except Iwaki's powder magazines lie completely outside of her citadel. These are largely unprotected, with no more than 10mm of armour. While this will be too little to arm the fuses of most AP shells, this does leave them open and exposed to high explosive fire, particularly from 305mm battleship caliber shells, bombs and torpedoes so prevalent at lower tiers. Detonations in this vessel are, for a cruiser, quite commonplace, and shouldn't be unexpected. Sadly, Aiming Systems Modification 0 provides no protection from magazine explosions, so brace yourself for experiencing the occasional bout of fun and engaging fireworks displays at the expense of your ship. So this makes for a fun bit of irony. While Iwaki would succumb very quickly to AP fire, the inexperience of your opponents may just get you detonated dramatically instead through the use of derpy HE fire. Ah, justice never tasted so sweet. The Lertbox Phoenix vs Iwaki: You are the bully in this engagement. Bigger guns and more of them, better range, more hit points, better armor, the same speed and Hydro-acoustic to warn you of incoming torpedoes and ferret your opponent out of smoke should she smoke up. When faced with a Phoenix a savvy Iwaki driver might simply choose not to engage, knowing you have the advantage in a direct slug fest. Iwaki doesn't have the speed to close to engagement range, so as long as you keep your distance you should be able to bludgeon her without fear of reprisal. Should she smoke up, close the distance and push in. Use your hydro acoustic consumable to give you an early warning of incoming torpedoes, and simply devastate her with your far superior guns. Of all the tier four cruisers, Phoenix is perhaps the most well equipped to take out an enterprising Iwaki, and a smart Iwaki driver will avoid a direct confrontation. Unfortunately for you, any Iwaki you will encounter will be driven by someone with 2+ years of experience. That's a whole lot of 'nope'. Iwaki will surprise your opponents with how agile she is, but this will only last for so long. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 10.1km Air Detection Range: 4.8 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 8.6km Main Battery Firing Range: 10.2km Iwaki feels like a big ol' fat destroyer and this holds true with her concealment rating. For a while, she was one of the stealthiest cruisers available in the game, though the British cruisers have made this trait considerably more commonplace. Properly specialized, Iwaki can get her concealment below 9km which allows her to use her 10km torpedo range to engage enemy ships from a position of stealth. This can be devastating, especially against the novice Captains that frequent low tier matches. Her concealment is a necessity, however. Iwaki is such a vulnerable ship that her only real defense when things go wrong is to silence her guns and hide. In the claustrophobic environments of low tier maps, this isn't always an option however which can make playing her successfully quite challenging. It's almost a blessing when you face tier V ships as it means you are (likely) to be on a map where her concealment can be used. Her fallback will always be the use of her Smoke Generator. I tried very hard to save the limited number of charges of Iwaki's smoke consumable for aggressive plays rather than defensive -- to set up opportunities to finish off ships with gun fire or to mask a close range torpedo launch, but this wasn't always an option. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 25mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 3.1kmAA DPS per Aura: 31 For anti-aircraft defense, Iwaki has five triple 25mm mounts. This provides some medium range anti-aircraft firepower which might shoot down a plane or two, but that's not really her best defense against enemy air groups. Dive Bombers are your bane, while auto-aimed torpedo planes are only an issue if they set up a cross-drop upon you. Even then, Iwaki's best defense against aircraft will always be her speed, agility and, (if worse comes to worst) her smoke generator. The Lertbox Kuma vs Iwaki: A more even matchup. Both ships follow a very similar design philosophy, that of a small but fast, lightly armed destroyer leader. You have the same guns as Iwaki, but can bring half again as many to bear, and with superior range. With more hitpoints and armor, any direct gunnery duel between an Iwaki and a Kuma should go to the Kuma. Be wary of Iwaki's torpedoes though, they're considerably superior to your own with better range, speed and damage. The Iwaki is slightly faster than Kuma and has a tighter turning circle, but the real difference between these two ships lies in Iwaki's smoke. Here too the same basic advice goes, once Iwaki smokes up, activate hydro, close in and bully for the victory. Adding Omega to your Alpha With her 140mm guns, Iwaki might not optimize perfectly as a trainer for some IJN Destroyer Captain builds. If you've focused on trying to pad the awful performance of he 127mm/50s on your IJN DDs, those skills will do you no favours with Iwaki. Otherwise, she's a good ship to train up commanders for the Japanese cruiser and destroyer lines. Priority Target should be the first skill you grab. Follow this up with Last Stand. Iwaki takes a lot of damage to her engine and steering gears, much like a destroyer. Arguably the best skill at tier 3 is Torpedo Armament Expertise to reduce her reload time down to 68 seconds. And finally, take Concealment Expert to get her surface detection range down to 8.6km. Other useful skills include Adrenaline Rush, Demolition Expert, Vigilance and Radio Location. But when push comes to shove, she can still play her trump card. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Iwaki is an unforgiving ship. She has a lot of advantages, but one misplay is going to get you sent back to the port in a hurry with your citadel blown out or simply overwhelmed by even a small volume of return fire. In the hands of an expert, Iwaki is a predator -- a barracuda among small fry. She's fast, she's agile, she's accurate and she strikes so very, very hard. Setting up these attack runs in the tight confines of low tier maps is a really uphill battle, though. Mouse's Summary: I feel so dirty. I can understand well why veteran alpha testers love this ship. So many baby seals died to bring you this information. The Lertbox Iwaki tops the leader boards for tier four cruisers, but that's more to do with the caliber of people playing her than with any quality of the ship itself. She is a destroyer lead with superb torpedoes, mobility and a smoke consumable, but sacrifices dearly for these advantages with all-round rather mediocre firepower and very low survivability. A savvy Iwaki driver will always seek to avoid a direct confrontation with same-tier cruisers as they all out-gun her, forcing the Iwaki driver to employ wits and strategy to beat her opponents. She truly is a destroyer lead, playing much like a large destroyer with a citadel. Still, with the caliber of players driving her and the specific tool set she brings to the table, an unchallenged Iwaki is a dangerous opponent. This is a ship that flourishes with player skill, and is owned exclusively by very experienced players. PS. If you ever run into MaliceA4Thought driving his Iwaki, murder him with extreme prejudice and tell him I sent you. It'll be funny. This one has been on the books for a long, long time. Iwaki Alpha has aged very well in World of Warships. She was unaffected by the removal of stealth-firing with main battery guns in 0.6.0. The more recent skill overhaul back in the Winter/Spring of 2017 was kind and skills like Priority Target have simplified playing this fragile ship. She did take a hit back in 0.5.3 when Basic and Advanced Fire Training no longer affected her 140mm guns, but the addition of Aiming Systems Modification 0 seems to me like a reasonable trade-off. For as well as she has aged, Iwaki is an increasingly rare sight and she's likely to become largely irrelevant to the low tier meta balance. On the North American server, it's rare that more than 100 games get played in Iwaki Alpha in a given week. There were nearly twenty times as many games played in the Arkansas Beta. This isn't an outlier, either -- other servers report similarly low numbers. On the EU server, the Iwaki Alpha accounts for less than 0.1% of the total game volume played by tier IV vessels in recent times. If you played tier 4 exclusively, you'd have to play 30 to 35 games straight before you were likely to run into one of these ships and that number is only going to drop as time goes on. When it came to prioritizing a review of Iwaki Alpha, this lack of relevance compounded the problems of access. Why waste time talking about a ship no one can get and so few people play? I'm glad I could scratch this one off my list, but it feels entirely academic. Iwaki Alpha is a pink unicorn -- a rare sight that, short of Wargaming incentivizing tier IV game play, is likely to vanish almost entirely over the life of this game. I enjoyed my time playing with this fossil, but how could I not in such an overpowered little monster? Her fragility was meant to keep her balanced but her Smoke Generator largely makes this a non-issue in my opinion. She hits too hard. She's too fast to catch and too stealthy and agile to stay visible for long with gimmicks to facilitate her escape. I felt super powered while playing her. She may be unforgiving, but once you hit your stride? The enemies just don't stand a chance. Angry YouTube Review 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. Thank you, Lert, for the Dogebote review. I'd have placed her at overpowered.Lert and I differ on the point of her power level. He has more experience with the vessel, having owned it for two plus years. I got to play it over a weekend. What I saw impressed me greatly. Your own mileage may vary.
  9. The following is a review of HMS Nelson, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of August 14th, 2017. The Walking Dead. Quick Summary: A slow Royal Navy battleship with all of her guns mounted forward on her bow. Her repair party consumable can allow her to come back from the dead twice over. Cost: 375,000 free experience. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.9. August 10th through 14th, 2017 Closest in-Game Contemporary Imperator NIkolai I, Tier IV Russian Battleship Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Whoa, no one panic! Nelson is not the second coming of the Nikolai. She simply shares a very similar gun layout and achieves a similar state of resilience (though admittedly through different means). They also share the affliction of having a very high citadel which means they both fold like a deck of cards if someone catches their side with battleship AP. Finally, like Nikolai, Nelson's big weak spot is her bow. While the Russian battleship really only has to worry about shells punching through the upper part of her snout, Nelson's entire bow can be easily overmatched by most of her contemporaries, but this is a common affliction to all tier VII Battleships. PROs Powerful Repair Party consumable, restoring up to 40% of the ship's hit points per charge. Good armour protection versus American AP Bombs. Good 1.9 sigma value which helps tighten up her dispersion. Flexible gun layout, able to switch fire from port to starboard very quickly. Short fuse timers on her AP shells, leading to less over penetrations. Ridiculous HE performance, with 101mm of penetration, high alpha strike and a 46% chance of starting fires per shell. CONs She feels blind with no consumables to aid with spotting (plane, radar, hydro) Citadel sits high over the waterline. Lackluster penetration values, comparable to HMS Warspite at tier VI. Slow turret traverse of 4.0º per second Anti-aircraft firepower is concentrated in short range (and excessively fragile) batteries. Nelson is slow with a maximum speed of 24 knots. Large surface detection range of 15.3km. HMS Nelson is the last of the so-called "Big Seven Battleships" to find their way into World of Warships. These were the battleships of the United States, Japan and Great Britain that were allowed to be armed with 16" guns under the Washington Naval Treaty after World War One to put an end to the naval arm's race. They consisted the Nagato-class, represented by Nagato and Mutsu, the Colorado-class of three ships, Colorado, Maryland and West Virginia and Nelson-class with Nelson and her sister ship, HMS Rodney. Of these seven vessels, the Nelson-class are certainly the standouts where design is concerned. There's no denying that their silhouette is very distinctive. When play-testing her, I received many comments about her looks (often derisive, but a few people had the right of it and called her 'awesome looking'). I can say that her play style is as distinctive as her appearance. Let's get into the hows and wherefores of their performance in game. Options Nelson has access to an improved version of the Repair Party consumable. This restores 1,188hp per second for 20 seconds, healing up to 40% of the ship's hit points per charge. However, this only comes with two charges as opposed to the usual three for battleships. Nelson queues damage in the similar manner as other Royal Navy battleships. She uses the same Damage Control Party of other Royal Navy Battleships (except Warspite) with a 15 second active period. Consumables: Damage Control Party Repair Party Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard Battleship options. Premium Camouflage: Type 10, tier VI+ standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. For your upgrades, you'll be picking standard battleship options. In your first slot, take Main Armaments Modification 1. You're going to be tanking a lot with your bow and turrets, so your guns take a lot of abuse. In particular, her B turret gets disabled and destroyed frequently. In your second slot, Aiming Systems Modification 1 is your best choice. Nelson's horizontal dispersion is not as good as previous Royal Navy premium battleships, so the extra accuracy is sorely needed. Her anti-aircraft guns and secondaries are not worth upgrading. In your third slot, take Damage Control System Modification 1. This will boost your torpedo damage reduction up to 21%. And in your fourth slot, you have a choice. Steering Gears Modification 2 will reduce your rudder shift down to 11.9s. Alternatively, you can take Damage Control System Modification 2 to reduce fire and flooding damage if that's your preference. Special Upgrades The only special upgrade that has any sort of application on HMS Nelson is Damage Control Party Modification 1. When applied to HMS Nelson, this would increase the active period of her consumable from 15 seconds up to 21 seconds without affecting the reset timer. This competes with Main Armaments Modification 1 in HMS Nelson's first upgrade slot. Given the amount of abuse her main battery takes, this special upgrade isn't worth applying. Firepower Primary Battery: Nine 406mm rifles in 3x3 forward facing turrets in an A-B-C layout on the bow with B superfiring over A. Secondary Battery: Twelve 152mm rifles in 6x2 turrets and six 120mm rifles Nelson's approximate penetration values for her AP shells are 550mm at 5km, 450mm at 10km and 350mm at 15km. Like Dunkerque, Nelson is largely defined by the layout of her primary gun battery. She mounts all nine of her guns ahead of her superstructure. Veterans who have played Izumo and are concerned about her gun handling can rest easy -- Nelson's gunnery is very comfortable; more akin to the Soviet tier IV Battleship, Imperator Nikolai I than the tier IX Japanese vessel. Her A & B turrets have excellent fields of fire with a 300º and 322º firing arc respectively. C is more limited, but still easy to use. It can engage enemies 25º to 137º off its side for a total combined field of fire of 224º. In most engagements, you'll be primarily making use of A & B turret with C being used to take opportunistic shots where possible. Nelson's turret rotation may not be fast at 4º per second (45 seconds for a 180º rotation), but with these guns all being forward facing, it's very easy to shift fire left to right as needed. Overall, Nelson's gun placement makes gunnery enjoyable. Even firing over the shoulder isn't too difficult. Nelson's accuracy, however, is a bit of a mixed bag. Her shell groupings are rather tight with a 1.9 sigma value, however she does not have the vaunted Royal Navy battleship shell dispersion seen previously on HMS Warspite and HMS Hood. Her linear horizontal dispersion appears to be the same as USN Battleships. This is still better than French and German vessels, but it's hardly enviable. As a result, when firing Nelson's guns, you can be blessed by a string of really tight shell groupings and then suffer some really wonky strays. Nelson's AP shells aren't terribly inspiring but her HE shells are phenomenal. The latter does not replace the former, however. Nelson's AP shells have almost identical penetration over distance to HMS Warspite's 381mm guns, while having a shorter- fuse timer as seen on HMS Hood. This is perfectly adequate (and even ideal) for bullying any cruiser within her matchmaking spread, but it's a different story where battleships are concerned. Her 406mm gun caliber ensures she can overmatch the bows of any cruisers she encounters, as well as the bows of battleships at tiers VII and below. Unfortunately, her ability to land citadel hits against enemy battleships has largely fallen away by ranges of 12km except for the softest skinned targets such as Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya. Landing reliable penetrations becomes questionable outside of 14km. These ranges drop further when Nelson is bottom tier or she's shooting at thick skinned dreadnoughts. Closing the distance isn't always the best option with HMS Nelson. While this does greatly enhance the penetration powers of her 406mm guns, the backup provided by her secondaries is less than inspiring. Nelson's secondary gun complement is divided between 120mm dual-purpose guns in single mounts and six, large twin-gunned 152mm turrets. They are better positioned than those on Dunkerque, but these guns are still poorly laid out to support an attack. The volume of fire they put out is also less than stellar. Her 152mm guns fire a mere five rounds per minute with their AP shells. Her 120mm fire twelve rounds per minute with HE and a great 8% fire chance per hit, but these are largely rear facing and cannot begin engaging an enemy until they're alongside Nelson. Nelson does not appear to use the same dispersion model as Warspite and Hood. Her 1.9 sigma value keeps her groupings tight, however. Nelson's main battery HE shells are something to behold. They boast 6,900 alpha strike per shell, 101mm of penetration, and a 46% fire chance. The list of ships that Nelson can citadel with her HE shells is long -- long enough that a player might be tempted to think that spamming HE shells is an optimal way to play this battleship. While each penetrating hit does land an impressive 2,277 damage, this number quickly falls away as areas become saturated. This leaves her impressive fire starting ability to take over damage dealing which can be hit or miss on focused targets that already have blazes set. Nelson's AP shells should be relied upon as the principle damage dealer for this vessel, with HE used as situational backup. Nelson's HE shells are best used opportunistically, such as when an enemy battleship angles in at a distance, or as a one-off to help support a friendly CV by knocking out masses of AA guns in a single volley. The enormous 39.2m blast area of her shells will cause extensive module damage against any target she strikes, even if they fail to penetrate. These shells have a larger and harder hitting explosion than anything short of the Yamato, Lion and Conqueror. This can leave a formidable AA armament in tatters. It may also force ships to reach for their Damage Control Party consumable to repair disabled engines and steering gears, leaving them vulnerable to follow-up fires. It can even set off the magazines of destroyers and cruisers with the concussive force alone. An Iowa-class battleship can be stripped of all (yes, all) of it's small and medium caliber AA gun mounts in as little as two to three volleys of Nelson's guns. Peppering a few preliminary HE shells around like this in the early stages of a match can go a long way towards helping your CV allies out, especially before closing into more effective AP shell range. Just don't forget to prioritize nailing those cruisers with AP when you see them. Between gun handling, AP and HE performance, Nelson's firepower is incredibly forgiving. A novice player could, in theory, spam HE constantly and still amass some pretty respectable damage totals provided they survived long enough. They would definitely lose out to a Nelson commander who varied their ammunition choices, however. Rivals: Battlecruiser HMS Hood HMS Nelson is the second tier VII premium British battleship in the game, with HMS Hood preceding her by a few months. The two ships are so very different in design and game play as to be almost laughable. Nelson is a slow, enduring and relentless. Hood is fast, flexible and fragile. Nelson is victimized by aircraft and Hood is a nightmare target for enemy carriers. Both struggle when facing tier IX ships. It's HMS Nelson's gunnery which sets her ahead of HMS Hood, in my opinion. Nelson deals damage reliably -- something the British flagship cannot claim, even with its (much) improved accuracy. With the coming of the rest of the Royal Navy line, I wonder if we'll see HMS Hood get some minor tweaks and buffs to bring her into line with the rest of the British ships. Only time will tell. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 24.0knotsTurning Radius: 750mRudder Shift: 14.9s Maximum Turn Rate: 3.71º/s Nelson is slow. 24.0 knots is almost acceptable. Almost. Nelson is a full knot slower than Nagato which is already a ship that struggles somewhat with agility. This limits Nelson's flexibility and her survivability. She cannot control engagement distances. She cannot escape by outrunning her opponents or the reach of their guns. These problems compound when she faces tier VIII and tier IX opponents where not only are most ships faster than her, the map sizes make her low speed especially punitive. It's only when Nelson is top tier that her low top speed is less of a liability as she faces more of the standard-type American battleships and the distances she needs to cover are further reduced by the smaller maps. Now don't get me wrong -- this isn't Arizona-slow. And while she does have a three knot advantage over Colorado, she does not get Colorado's special speed preservation in a turn. Like most battleships, Nelson bleeds off 25% of her velocity when she's under manoeuvres, slowing down to 18.0 knots with her rudder hard over. If you're applying WASD hax as you should, you'll often see your speed struggling to get over 20 knots and this can feel like a real crawl when you're trying to get into position or you're trying to get away. Nelson is a pig in a turn. Nelson's only saving grace is that she rotates 0.1º/s faster than a Nagato, which isn't saying much. The good news is that she's incapable of out turning her turrets, even with their slow rate of rotation. The bad news is that while she may answer her rudder quickly, the effect of her rudder just isn't substantial enough to throw the ship about. This makes her very vulnerable to torpedo and aircraft attacks. DurabilityHit Points: 59,400Citadel Protection: 32mm anti-torpedo bulge + 356mm belt. Min Bow & Deck Armour: 25mm Torpedo Damage Reduction: 19% Armour layout of Nelson's belt, turrets and citadel. The only additional protection is a 32mm outer hull and upper deck not shown. At first glance, Nelson has horrible durability for facing off against enemy battleships. She has a citadel that sits so high over the water line, you would think she was a copy-paste job of the old Iowa and Montana-class battleships. What's worse, she's tier VII so her enormous bow is only 25mm thick. It gets overmatched by all AP shells larger than 356mm which includes the guns of all tier VII+ battleships with the exception of Scharnhorst. While she does boast some decent armour values, with up to 356mm of belt armour and a 305mm transverse bulkhead on her citadel, they are both heavily overtaxed trying to protect her vitals. The sad reality is that it's this 305mm bow plate which is HMS Nelson's achilles heel. Even with perfect angling (approximately 25º to 26º) bow on to the enemy, this plate just cannot stand up to any guns that can overmatch her bows. Bayern, HMS Hood and Queen Elizabeth need to get close to citadel her through the bow like this. They can only do so at ranges of 12.0km or less. Warspite and Mutsu can pull it off at at 13.0km. Things jump up considerably from there. Colorado can do so reliably from 18.0km. Everything else can do so at ranges in excess of 20km. When under fire from enemy super dreadnoughts, angle as best you can, know your ranges and hold your breath. In short: She eats citadels for days and then begs for a second helping when facing enemy battleships with 380mm guns or larger. Things don't get much better in regards to soaking up torpedoes. HMS Nelson has terrible torpedo protection with only a 19% reduction that can be boosted to a mere 21% with Damage Control System Modification 1. While this is better than that of HMS Hood, at least HMS Hood begins her turns faster. I lost this ship more often to torpedoes than any other damage source. Sometimes it was my own dumb fault. In others, the lack of damage mitigation simply overwhelmed the modest hit point pool of this battleship. Finally, there's the issue of her turrets. I have not been able to isolate why it happens so frequently, but HMS Nelson has her main battery guns disabled very often. B-turret seems especially susceptible. This is strange given the thick armour of her turret faces (406mm) and her barbettes (356mm). My guess is that shells are striking her barbettes or catching the softer sides of the turrets and prompting the critical damage rolls. Whatever the reason, you can expect to have one of your guns temporarily disabled at least once in a match. Yet for all of the deficiencies and even her modest hit point total, Nelson is quite easily capable of being the toughest ship afloat at her tier. This is all thanks to her Repair Party consumable. Unlike most battleships that recover up to 14% of their maximum hit points over 28 seconds, Nelson recovers up to 40% over 20 seconds. Yes, you read that right. This works out to 23,760 hit points that Nelson can heal with each charge of her Repair Party consumable. Nelson will, time and again, appear to be on her last legs only to spring back, hale and healthy and itching for a fight. Adding a India Delta increases this value up to 48% (or 28,512hp) per charge. With Superintendent, this provided HMS Nelson with a theoretical maximum damage total of 173,448 hit points needed before she sinks, provided her consumable is used optimally. I cannot stress this enough. Warspite, a ship known to be a tough little monster, would call receiving 80,000 damage before sinking a good match. This works out roughly 1.5 times her starting health. For Nelson, that number sits around 150,000 damage -- in excess of 2.5x her health pool. You can delay the enemy team simply grace of being a damage sponge they cannot sink quickly. This makes Nelson an absolute beast when it comes to facing enemy cruisers. She can soak the bombardment and the resulting fires for days and deny them any progress with a touch of a button. The only thing that keeps this from being disgustingly overpowered is the aforementioned tendency for Nelson to eat citadel hits. Her Repair Party consumable only queues 10% of citadel damage into the healing pool, while 60% of normal penetrations and 100% of flooding, fire, ramming and over penetrations make it into the queue. Her consumable also shares the long reset timer of other battleships. Large alpha strikes or masses of sustained damage can (and will) sink this ship in between cooldowns. Finally, she only gets two base charges of her Repair Party as opposed to the usual three. Overall, Nelson is incredibly resilient to fire damage because of this consumable. She simply laughs it off and heals all of the damage back, undoing the burn stacked by cruisers, destroyers and dive bombers without issue. This makes this vessel particularly well suited to farming up Fireproof and Dreadnought awards. Nelson is a zombie. If you do not put her down properly, she will keep coming back from the dead. Head shots, in the form of citadel hits or mass torpedo strikes, are the only way to ensure she goes down for good. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 15.30km Air Detection Range: 12.36km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 12.76km Main Battery Firing Range: 18.21km Min Surface Detection Rank within Tier: 2nd out of 7 Min Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: 19th out of 37 Wargaming has hyped that the Royal Navy battleships at tiers VII+ will have great surface detection stats. That's not present here. Within her own tier, when all of the ships are rigged for stealth, she sits 500m behind King George V and ahead of the Scharnhorst-sisters by 300m or so. In a cross-section of all of the battleships she may face, she's decidedly average, sitting right in the middle of the pack. Regardless if she's top tier or bottom, there are potentially battleships that she'll spot first and others that will be more stealthy. Concealment for a slow warship helps keep them alive. When Nelson silences her guns, her surface detection range goes down to 12.8km with a full stealth build. This can allow her to sneak up on unsuspecting targets until she gets within a more optimal firing range or angle. Sadly, she does not have the speed to really allow her to take advantage of this. Short of one-time ambushes or picking on distracted enemies, it will be very difficult to sneak up upon wary targets. It should be noted that Nelson is a terrible ship for doing her own spotting. She's effectively blind without any consumables to help her in detecting enemy ships, aircraft and torpedoes. Skills like Vigilance become increasingly important for her as a result, especially when it comes to navigating around islands or through channels. Nelson's concealment is alright. It's not a real telling strength, but it's not a liability either until she's uptiered. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 120mm / 40mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 4.5km / 2.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 36 / 119 / 126 (133 in 0.6.10) Do not let the big DPS numbers fool you. Nelson's anti-aircraft firepower isn't as healthy as it looks. It boils down to two issues. Nelson's AA firepower lacks range. Nelson's AA firepower is concentrated in a small number of fragile mount-clusters. Nelson doesn't boast the best range with her anti-aircraft firepower. The 4.5km reach on her dual-purpose mounts is disappointing but would workable if they did more damage. Unfortunately, the majority of her strength is located in her small and medium caliber mounts. Nelson's 40mm pom-poms only reach out to a range of 2.5km and her 20mm guns reach out to 2.0km. This largely limits her anti-aircraft firepower to self defense actions only and she cannot provide fleet support, even when specialized with AA Guns Modification 2 and Advanced Fire Training. The small firepower total from her 102mm guns ensures that Manual Fire Control for AA Guns just isn't worthwhile. But it gets worse. Her anti-aircraft defense is easily knocked out by even small amounts of HE fire. Nelson only has six of the octuple pom-pom mounts. Losing one reduces her medium range AA firepower by 19.8dps, and four of these guns are mounted in pairs along the long axis of the ship, making them easy prey for bombs and HE spam. Things don't get any better with her 20mm Oerlikons. She has thirty five scattered across the surface of the ship (with two more being added in 0.6.10). However, they are packed closely together in large groups which reduces their survivability. For example, ten of these reside in a tight cluster on her bow in front of A-turret. Any HE salvos will usually knock out these small caliber mounts in handfuls, quickly decimating Nelson's AA effectiveness. The only real ray of sunshine is that Nelson has fairly decent protection against American AP Bombs. Tests have shown that only a rare drop with all bombs hitting will cause anywhere close to 10,000 damage. More often than not this sat at a considerably lower total. Preliminary tests with Graf Zeppelin's AP bombs were much more damning, however, but these are still in the development phase and very much a work in progress. In summary: Nelson has pretty good raw AA values, but this is only useful for self defense and it will not hold up over the course of a battle. Taking even minor HE damage can quickly gut the potency of her flak. While the ship is pristine, she'll put up a good fight against aircraft, but their short range means that the enemy will still drop their ordnance. With luck, you'll simply make it expensive for them to do so. Dive Bombers do not present Nelson with that much of a threat, even if they're armed with AP Bombs. She's able to heal back any resulting damage with ease. Torpedo bombers are another matter, however. Nelson's anti-aircraft firepower isn't up to the task of keeping her safe. Nevermind the Manoeuvres HMS Nelson is a little weird when it comes to choosing her skills: short of her core skills, she just doesn't care. Optimizing HMS Nelson really doesn't go beyond ensuring she has Superintendent and Concealment Expert. After that, do what you want. There are three general builds which will likely end up popular. Of these three, a Survivability Build is optimal. Next comes a general anti-aircraft build (minus Manual Fire Control for AA Guns which is all but useless for her). This second build will be pretty similar to low-tier (and very high tier) Royal Navy battleship builds. Finally, you can specialize towards spamming HE like a derp cause it's hilarious. The core for all three builds is as follows: At the first tier, Preventative Maintenance is the optimal choice, but only if your own situational awareness is elevated to such a degree that you can track threats when spotted. If not, then Priority Target should be your default choice. At tier two, take Adrenaline Rush. As you take damage, your DPM will increase. Note that with the huge jumps back and forth with Nelson's hit point pool, the gains from this skill vary considerably. Alternatively, you can take Expert Marksman for better gun handling, though Nelson isn't hurting here much. At tier three, take Superintendent. This will increase the number of charges of your Repair Party by one. And finally, at tier four, take Concealment Expert. You're a big ship, but you're not Fuso-Fat. This will help keep you alive and give you more time to use your Repair Party. You can place the next nine points where you wish. Survivability Build This is, in my opinion, the best way to build up Nelson. Reach for skills that will keep you in the fight longer and improve your damage output. High Alert, Basics of Survivability, Vigilance, and Fire Prevention are all great skills for this, so pick and choose your favourites. Make sure you take Preventative Maintenance too if you took Priority Target as your first skill. Your guns are going to get knocked out a lot. Anti-Aircraft Build Be aware that while Nelson has some pretty potent looking AA DPS numbers, her anti-aircraft firepower will only ever be for self-defense purposes and not fleet support. In addition, it's incredibly fragile and easily knocked out by even a small volume of HE fire. While the ship is pristine, she can be a thorny target for carriers but she's never going to be considered a "good" flak platform. If you wish to go this route, take Basic and Advanced Fire Taining for a total of 7pts. High Alert or Expert Marksman (or Adrenaline Rush if you opted for the other) are your best choices for the remaining two points. HE Spammer Now, for the player that wants to derp around with HE shells, let's talk about specific HE-boosting skills. DO NOT take Demolition Expert. The difference between 46% and 48% fire chance just isn't worth the investment. This is too expensive a skill for too little gain. Expert Loader might actually find some use, though, when you need to smarten up and reach for your AP shells. Now let's talk about Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. HMS Nelson is fully capable of damaging any ship within her matchmaking spread with HE without any need for taking this skill. This includes battleships and the armoured deck of carriers like Taiho. Her penetration is so high, she can citadel almost half of the cruisers in her matchmaking spread. Doing so provides a big boost to Nelson's damage totals, but this is a harder shot to land than with AP shells. Here's the list of cruisers HMS Nelson can citadel stock with HE: France: De Grasse, Charles Martel, St.Louis United Kingdom: Emerald, Leander Soviet Union: Kirov, Murmansk, Krasny Krym, Molotov, Shchors, Chapayev, Mikhail Kutuzov United States: Omaha, Marblehead, Pensacola, Atlanta, Flint, Indianapolis Japan: Furutaka, Aoba, Mogami, Ibuki Others: Perth. Taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells only opens up small sections of battleships to penetration damage and none of them large enough to be worth it (with the exception of HMS Hood and Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya which each have large sections of their upper hull that becomes vulnerable). It does nothing to help you with aircraft carriers or destroyers. Where it does come into use is against cruisers. Taking the skill adds the following ships that HMS Nelson can now citadel: France: La Galissonniere, Algerie, United Kingdom: Fiji, Belfast, Edinburgh, Neptune Soviet Union: Budyonny United States: Cleveland, New Orleans Japan: Myoko, ARP Myoko, ARP Ashigara, ARP Haguro, ARP Nachi, Eastern Dragon, Atago, ARP Takao You'll note the absence of German cruisers and the Italian premium, Duca d'Aosta. The spaced armour around their citadels prevents HE from penetrating their machine spaces (though the modules themselves can still be damaged by the shockwave). Note that all of the French ships listed above are also largely immune but they were included because of small sections directly beneath their turrets that will allow HE to citadel them. Landing citadel hits with HE is different than landing them with AP shells. HE shells detonate immediately upon contact with any surface. Thus, you need to bulls-eye the outer citadel wall to land these high-damage hits. On some of these vessels, the amount of surface area is painfully small -- sometimes only a sliver over the waterline. The only consolation is that HE shells don't concern themselves with angle at all. Whatever surface upon which they first make contact is the one affected by the attack, so you can do some rather rude things to select ships that might otherwise bounce AP shells. I must stress, however, that as fun as it may sound to citadel cruisers with HE shells no matter how they angle, Nelson can do this with AP shells most of the time anyway. AP shells also do more damage. As hilarious as it is to make Belfasts cry when you not only carve out most of their hit points with an HE volley but also blow apart their modules and set fires, your four skill points could be better spent elsewhere. You don't really need any special skills if you want to be an HE spammer in this ship. Feel free to toss your Belfast Captain in here if you want, though. Jack Dunkirk The Legendary Commander, Jack Dunkirk, makes a rather good Royal Navy Battleship captain. His Smoke Screen Expert bonus is wasted upon these Dreadnoughts, however, but the bonuses he provides to Jack of All Trades and Expert Marksman makes him very appealing for ships like Nelson. Remember, so long as the commander build includes the skills Superintendent and Concealment Expert, Nelson is largely forgiving. So, if Jack has skills specialized for one of your cruisers, he can still train in Nelson with only a small dip in expected performance. Boom, baby! Nelson using HE in the opening stages of a match, bombarding an enemy Scharnhorst at 17km. By her fourth salvo, Nelson had destroyed both of the Scharnhorst's torpedo tubes, set three fires and crippled her anti-aircraft battery. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Nelson is really going to punish novice players. They're going to make mistakes and Nelson is going to slap them around for it. Her armour needs a subtle touch to be angled properly. Spamming HE doesn't generate great damage numbers. Her AP will bounce a lot at long ranges. She's too slow and too big to easily extract herself from trouble situations or to position herself where she's needed most. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme In the hands of an expert, Nelson becomes a different beast altogether. She just will not die. Proper management of her Repair Party will have her coming back from the dead twice over, ensuring that her team can have a near full-health battleship late in the game, even after tanking a ton of damage. Similarly, proper ammunition use can pay enormous dividends. Her carry potential is limited by her slow speed and lack of vision control, however. Mouse's Summary: She's like a zombie. Without a headshot to put her down for good, she keeps rising from the grave. Her HE shells are a hella fun to use, but it's a mistake to rely on them heavily. You'll kick yourself for every time you have HE loaded and some dumb cruiser or battleship suddenly offers up her broadside. She does not up-tier as well as Nagato, Gneisenau or Scharnhorst. This ship is so much fun. So I know the big question on everyone's mind: Can you spam nothing but HE shells and make this thing work? The answer is 'yes'. You won't do as much damage as you would if you fired AP shells, but it's entirely possible for you to just spit out walls of HE shells instead of anything else and rack up some decent damage and kill totals. The catch is always going to be that you could have done more damage if you fired AP instead. In close matches where the outcome is neck and neck, the lost opportunities to land AP citadel hits may well end up costing you the game. The wiki-editors and I challenged one another to try playing some matches where we shot nothing but HE. Topping 120,000 damage was more difficult than a mix of AP and HE, but it was possible, especially with stacking fires. So, go ahead and spit out nothing but flaming death onto your opponents if you want, just be aware that your damage (and win rate) will take a small hit as a result. This ship seems to be designed to farm salt from the enemy. Between the fires she can set and the absolutely trollish heals, she'll make the enemy want to focus you down hard and fast (lewd!). It's absolutely mean what you can do with her HE shells. See that Scharnhorst / Gneisenau / Tirpitz that's trying to brawl your friends? It would be a shame if someone tore off their torpedo tubes, wouldn't it? Or how about that North Carolina that thinks itself immune to air attack from your tier VII Kaga division mate? It would be a shame if someone stripped them of all of their close and medium range AA power. This is the kind of nonsense that Nelson's HE allows you to do better than other battleships at her tier and it's a very fun shakeup of the usual game play. For all of these tricks and hilarity HE can offer, her AP is still just so much better. Why butcher a New Orleans' AA firepower when you can just blow their citadels out of the water instead? While it's fun to congratulate yourself for a 5-shell, 11,385 damage high explosive volley, this is still less than a single AP shell citadel hit (barring fires of course). There are right times to fire HE, do not get me wrong, but AP should really be the staple of your damage totals in this vessel. Nelson is a good ship, but she's not great. She's got three big flaws in my opinion: Her citadel is too high. She's blind. She's too slow. That high water citadel is going to be a deal breaker for some. When you're up against someone that really knows how to aim (or simply in a tier IX battleship), her weak spots are all but impossible to protect. This all but negates the awesomeness of her Repair Party consumable. And speaking of negating her Repair Party, torpedoes have a habit of doing this too. She has no tricks to help her spot these warheads or their source before it's already too late -- destroyers can pester you with impunity. Given the island humping meta that's so essential to master, Nelson really feels the pinch when she can't send up a plane to take a quick peek on what's going on around the corner. Finally, she is slow. And, I think the worst thing about Nelson's slow speed is that she's not slow enough that many players will see it for the flaw that it is. Nelson will get caught out on occasion and it will cost you games -- not a lot of them, but enough to impact her overall performance. Her big gimmick, though, is damage management. I put an India Delta signal on my Nelson and I took no small amount of pleasure announcing in all chat, "Watch my hp," as my poor, battered dreadnought jumped from 1/3rd of her hit points remaining back up to a hale and healthy 5/6th remaining. The outrage was delicious. I even made a Belfast player complain Nelson was OP when I denied him a kill by healing up from 1,200hp to almost 30,000. Pulling this off requires careful management of your concealment and positioning, disengaging from the thick of the fighting to lick your wounds and then returning to the fray as fast as your slow speed will allow. If it weren't for those three aforementioned flaws, Nelson would be overpowered as all get out. As it is, she's an excellent competitor for any veteran player and she will challenge you to find balance between ammunition choices, fighting at the head of the pack and withdrawing to conduct repairs. Rivals: Battleship USS Missouri HMS Nelson is the second premium vessel to be made available for free experience. The first was USS Missouri, the tier IX American battleship. Missouri's price tag weighs in at a hefty 750,000 free experience -- double that of HMS Nelson. So the question becomes: if you had to choose one, which one would you get? Obviously, if a player prefers one nation's game play over another, that will bias them in favour of a given vessel, but in terms of raw utility, it's hard to argue against the American juggernaut. Missouri has an enormous credit-earning coefficient baked into the ship. She trivializes the earning of credits, with even a poor game netting players in excess of 200,000 to 300,000 credits. Players that own Missouri have posted battle results screens showing them earning over 1.5M credits in a single match. No other premium vessel in the game is as profitable. HMS Nelson simply cannot compete with her on that level. Would I Recommend? Nelson can only be acquired (so I'm told) by spending 375,000 free experience. At a 1 doubloon to 25xp conversion rate, this works out to a cost of $63.25 USD for this ship if you had to buy the 15,000 doubloons necessary at full price. Weigh this against the cost of Scharnhorst, another tier VII premium battleship which weighs in at $42.99 including the port slot (which you'll have to pay extra for with Nelson). PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Battleships almost always do well in Co-Op battles. Nelson does alright, though be aware that things can get a bit tight on coin if you run with premium consumables and you don't have a premium account. We haven't seen any tier VII scenarios yet, so it's difficult to say if she'll meet their requirements well or not. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. If you're not going to get USS Missouri, then hells to the yeah. If nothing else, Nelson will print Fireproof and Dreadnought medals like you will not believe. She's not a bad Arsonist and Witherer farmer either if you want to derp around with HE shells. She's a great trainer for your Belfast Captains in this regard (even if there are going to be some wasted skills here and there). She also works well for training your RN Battleship commanders given that she accepts most builds with a shrug of her shoulders. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Nelson will rock people's socks in Ranked Battles. A fire slinging, super-healing, bow-tanking battleship? Unless she's put down quickly, she's just going to keep coming back and driving the enemy team nuts. When she's not on your team, you're going to hate it when your team mates waste ineffective firepower on her. She gets my vote. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. I would have preferred HMS Rodney -- Nelson's sister ship has a much more storied history. While HMS Nelson served throughout WWII, her exploits mostly involved catching 4 torpedoes and 3 naval mines through the course of her career. She saw little to no surface action, being too slow to catch the Scharnhorst-sisters and too far away to participate in engaging Bismarck. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Depending on your play style and your tolerance for derp, Nelson is either going to be the most fun you can have in a battleship with your pants on or a lackluster mehbote that does nothing for you. I have a high stupid-tolerance, so I say yes. 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.
  10. The following is a review of Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of July 27th, 2017. You don't wanna know how many times I misspelled that. Quick Summary: An ugly-as-sin Soviet battleship with twelve 305mm guns, surprisingly good anti-aircraft firepower and a unique Damage Control Party consumable. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.8. July 24th, 2017 until July 27th, 2017. Closest in-Game Contemporary Imperator Nikolai I, Tier IV Russian Battleship Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique The Gangut-class of Battleships, to which Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya belongs, precedes the Imperator Nikolai I through the Imperatrista Mariya-class of battleships, making the two ships two generations removed from one another. The two ships look very similar, though Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is quite obviously a more modernized (and ooglay) looking ship that shares the same design philosophy. Overall, Imperator Nikolai I is slower, tougher, with easier to use artillery. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is faster (but not much faster), with a quicker reload and comes with much better anti-aircraft firepower. Tier for tier, Nikolai is the better boat, hands down. I don't think anyone's surprised. PROs Unique Damage Control Party consumable, with an accelerated recovery time (30s/20s) between uses. Excellent waterline protection for bow tanking. Powerful broadside with twelve 305mm rifles, creating large alpha strikes & good DPM. Except for tiny sections of the bow and stern, her main hull and deck are all but immune to cruiser-caliber HE shells. Good anti-aircraft firepower for her tier. Small surface detection range for a battleship of 13.68km. Gangut butt is best butt. CONs Damage Control Party has a finite number of charges per match. Small hit point pool of 42,500. Poor overall protection with 225mm belt armour, 203mm turret faces and 10% torpedo damage reduction. Awkward gun placement combined with a slow turret traverse makes gun handling feel frustrating. Her 305mm lack penetration power, especially when facing tier VII ships. Pathetic secondary gun battery. Short ranged AA firepower and unable to benefit from Manual Fire Control for AA Armament. Feels rather blind without a spotter aircraft or float-plane fighter. This is one of those warships that I've been eagerly awaiting to join the game. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is the lead ship of the Gangut-class Battleships. She's actually the Gangut-herself, renamed by the Soviets after the Revolution. She appears in this game in her full modernization received by 1944/1945. This means she's a contemporary to the British Dreadnought-class battleship gussied up and shoe horned in a tier V. Colour me amused. Let's take a look under the hood. Options Like all battleships that aren't American or Japanese (or Warspite), Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's Damage Control Party has a 15s active period where it will not only remove any critical hits from damaged modules (as well as putting out fires and stopping floods), it will also prevent such damage from being reapplied so long as the consumable is active. Where this ship differs is with this consumable's reset timer. Normally, battleships suffer up to a two-minute cooldown between uses. This can be reduced to a minute and twenty seconds with the premium version. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has a thirty second reset timer, standard. The premium version drops this down to a mere twenty (!) seconds. And you're going to want the premium version of the consumable -- stock, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya can only use this consumable three times. Taking the premium version will not only accelerate her reset timer, it will also provide an additional charge. This can be further boosted with the Superintendent commander's skill to bring the total up to five. Her Repair Party is standard for most Battleships, healing back 14% of her maximum HP over 28s. Oktryabrskaya Revolutsiya has the option of an alternative premium camouflage. Consumables: Damage Control Party Repair Party Module Upgrades: Three slots, standard Battleship options. The Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya does not get access to the American Artillery Plotting Room 1 upgrade. Premium Camouflage: Oktyabrskaya has the option of two different camouflages. Her default camouflage is Type 9, tier II to V standard. This provides 30% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Alternatively, you can purchase (for 1,000 doubloons) Krasny Oktyabr - Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya. This is a cosmetic camouflage in the same vein as the USS Texas' Stars and Stripes camouflage. This provides the same bonuses as the stock camouflage. The optional Krasny Oktyabr camouflage does not provide any additional bonuses over the default camo and can be purchased for 1,000 doubloons. For upgrades, select the following: In your first slot, take Main Armaments Modification 1. This will help keep your guns active and will better allow you to face-tank incoming rounds. Your turrets will be disabled frequently and this will help mitigate this. In your second slot, take Aiming Systems Modification 1. Oktyabrskaya is a Soviet Battleship and she needs all of the dispersion help she can get. Alternatively, if you want to play with something sub-optimal, you can play up to her AA strengths and use AA Guns Modification 2 to help boost their range. This really helps if your Captain also has Advanced Fire Training. This can make tier IV and V carriers cry though be aware she'll never hold a candle to USS Texas. Do keep in mind this is highly situational in its use, it will not protect you against tier VI+ CVs and you do suffer a small performance hit for taking this upgrade instead of the aiming modification. In your final slot, take Damage Control System Modification 1. This will bump your torpedo damage reduction up from 10% to 13%. Firepower Primary Battery: Twelve 305mm rifles in an A-P-Q-X configuration. Secondary Battery: Ten 120mm rifles in casemates with six forward facing and four rear facing emplacements. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has marginally worse shell penetration compared to Scharnhorst which weighs in at 455mm / 363mm / 289mm respectively. This sits much further behind the 356mm guns found on New York and Texas with their values of 575mm / 467mm / 381mm and even the poor penetration values of HMS Hood at 491mm / 406mm / 337mm. This explains some of the difficulty this ship experiences when uptiered, especially against German and American Battleships. When this happens, choose soft targets or be flexible with your ammunition types. Let's start with her secondaries: They're terrible. By late WW2, the Soviet Army had already cannibalized six of her sixteen original secondary gun mounts for use in the defense of the Siege of Leningrad. This leaves Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya with a mere ten gun mounts for self defense and these guns are not up to the task. They are mounted in casemates down the sides of the ship, with three facing forward and two aft per side. In theory you could get five guns to engage an enemy ship, but that's seldom the case. Usually it's only three. They have many problems. We can forgive their lack of range. 4.0km is pretty typical for low to mid tier battleships. What's less forgivable is their horrid rate of fire at a mere 7.0rpm. We'd expect this of larger caliber guns as the alpha damage (and increased penetration) from individual hits would make up for the disparity in DPM. However, Oktyabrskaya Revolutisya's secondaries are a mere 120mm in size, dealing a pathetic 1,700 alpha damage and being capable of penetrating 19mm of armour or less. The only redeemable quality is their high chance to set fires per hit at a respectable 8% which, some will rightly argue, is a very sizable perk. Still, with the low volume of fire coming off the ship, any blazes will be a surprise. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya uses the same guns found Imperator Nikolai I but with improved characteristics in range (16.8km versus 14.1km), rate of fire (1.88rpm versus 1.67rpm) but worse overall shell groupings (1.8 sigma versus 2.0 sigma). Their weapon performance is otherwise identical . While these are formidable weapons in the limited matchmaker enjoyed by Nikolai at tier IV, the maps upon which Nikolai plays are small, the engagements ranges short, the action close and her opponents soft skinned. They really start to feel long in the tooth when regularly facing the demands found at tiers VI and VII that Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya faces. These are not bad weapons. For 305mm rifles, they have very high damage potential. Her AP shells are the hardest hitting of any of the twelve-inch guns with 8,600 alpha strike. The improved rate of fire over Nikolai combined with the twelve rifles enables Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya to compete well with the damage output of her peers. She is quite capable of deleting any cruiser withing her matchmaking spread from nearly any angle and at anywhere within her range, or biting big 9,000 to 12,000 chunks out of a battleship, even without any citadel penetrations. These guns aren't without their issues, however. First, they are not as well situated as Nikolai's guns. One of the notable strengths of Imperator Nikolai I is her ability to quickly reacquire targets on either side of the ship grace of having her A, P and Q batteries all forward facing. This made it very easy for her to brawl and face tank. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's P turret is rear facing, reducing her ability to shift her fire from port to starboard and back with anything resembling alacrity. It's not uncommon for P turret to be horribly out of position and unable to fire, or the ship needing the use of rudder to bring all of her guns on target. With a glacial rate of rotation of 56.3s for a 180º turn, this problem is exacerbated. This is, singly, the most frustrating aspect about this ship. Combined with this, her X turret has limited fields of fire and can only engage targets 39º off her bow. Opening fire with her X-turret opens this ship up to reprisals, so make sure you time your fire correctly. That ticks off problems two, three and four. Problem number five is one of penetration. As mentioned previously, these guns perform brilliantly on Imperator Nikolai I with the close-range encounters she typically faces. With Oktyabrskaya Revolutisya's ability to extend the weapon reach another 2.7km, the deficiencies in shell penetration become much more pronounced. These are not high-penetration guns and their performance drops below 400mm worth of penetration at about 7km, precluding her from reliably landing citadel hits on enemy battleships beyond this range. She loses the ability to reliably challenge battleship belt armour at 11km. Like other low-penetration battleships such as HMS Hood and Scharnhorst, it's important to shift fire from attempting citadel hits to instead aim for the upper hull of enemy dreadnoughts at these ranges. Otherwise, you'll find a lot of shells shatter, scatter and bounce off armoured belts. Her high explosive shells are passable but unremarkable. They do enjoy a high chance to start fires per shell at 33% and this can be a reasonable alternative when facing hard targets. This shouldn't be the default ammunition selected when facing an angled ship, however. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya can overmatch up to 20mm of bow armour which includes all cruisers within her matchmaking spread as well as all tier IV and V battleships. Here's the final fly in the ointment: Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's main battery has only 203mm worth of armour and a maximum of 150mm of barbette protection. Her guns take penetrating hits often. Even with Main Armaments Modification 1 and Preventative Maintenance, critical hits are common place and catastrophic turret destruction isn't a rare occurrence. The closer Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya gets to the enemy, the more often her turrets end up taking a lot of the abuse thrown at her. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has guns that are meant for brawling, but they're not quite ideally suited for such. Her guns are vulnerable for a battleship. The combination of poor turret placement, traverse times and fire angles increases the challenge too, and you can forget about her secondaries helping out. Still, it's hard to argue with twelve rifles that put out more potential damage than ten 356mm guns. Summary: Gun handling is very poor and cannot be significantly improved. Range is decent, firepower is good, penetration is fine at close to medium ranges. Challenging battleships outside of 10km requires careful aim or switching to HE. Her secondaries suck moose balls. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya allows us to now plot the progression of Soviet Battleship dispersion over distance. It appears to be similar to American Battleship dispersion but with very slightly improved accuracy over distance and slightly worse accuracy at closer ranges. This places the Russians behind the Japanese and British for battleship accuracy and ahead of American and German Battleships and probably the French. We'll need another French battleship in game before that can be made conclusive. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 23.0knotsTurning Radius: 630mRudder Shift: 12.6s Maximum Turn Rate: 4.3º per second. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is faster than a brick. Hooray! At a maximum speed of 23 knots (23.2 knots on a good day) she's not much faster, though. In practice, if you're taking the appropriate WASD anti-torpedo hax counter measures in mind (or just helping her sluggish turrets track targets), she's usually sailing at less than 20 knots. Like most battleships, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya loses about a little more than a quarter of her maximum speed while under manoeuvres. With her rudder hard over, she'll bleed down to 17.2 knots and she will not recover this speed quickly. This isn't a very flexible ship and on larger maps, she struggles as much as Warspite does to get from A to B. For a rate of turn, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya measures up rather well. She's not as agile as HMS Warspite -- arguably one of the fastest turning mid to late tier Battleships, but she does alright. At 4.3º per second, she's halfway between Warspite's 4.5º and the 4.0º per second rotation of New Mexico. Her 630m turning circle is comfortable, as is her 12.6s rudder shift time. Both allow her to slip between islands and slide between torpedo runs with ease. Be advised that as a tier V ship she cannot improve her rudder shift in any way. The only downside is that her turrets cannot keep up. They rotate at a mere 3.2º per second, and even Expert Marksman will not correct this, capping them out at 3.9º per second. Players will be tempted to use their rudder to accelerate the rotation of their guns -- a problem compounded by the need for P & X turret to rotate a minimum of 180º to engage targets on the other side of the ship. Given the problems Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has with her armour scheme, the inevitable over angling this causes can lead to the ship's destruction in short order. As you'll see in the next section, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya excels at tanking but from one direction (and one direction only). This places a burden on her movement expectations. You need to very carefully consider your lines of engagement. Her guns will not allow her to quickly acquire a secondary target coming from an unseen quarter and her armour will not stand up to abuse. Over extend, and you're dead. Allow someone to get your flank and you're dead. Careful positioning is the only way to counter this and she's not fast enough to allow you to recover from these mistakes. DurabilityHit Points: 42,500Citadel Protection: 225mm belt + 38mm turtleback + 19mm citadel wall Min Bow & Deck Armour: 19mm (50mm to 125mm waterline protection) Torpedo Damage Reduction: 10% The major external armour values of Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's protection scheme (rear architecture visible in insert). Note that while her armour isn't thick overall, having a little bit of armour almost everywhere provides some interesting quirks where HE and AP penetration are concerned. Her major weak spot is the 19mm 'beak' of her bow. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya will deliver a lot of mixed messages when you begin to analyze her survivability. She's a story of contrasts. It's best summarized by a quick lists of pros & cons The Good - Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has an armour design of a first generation dreadnought where the armour is spread out across the whole vessel. The armour isn't as thick around her vitals as it will become with more modern designs, but this does provide the following benefits: Short of her superstructure and tiny weak spots on her bow and stern, she is largely immune to direct damage from destroyer and cruiser-caliber HE shells. Only the Yorck can damage her reliably with HE. Even Inertial Fuse for HE Shells does not provide 152mm armed cruisers with enough penetration to regularly land damaging hits. The entirety of her waterline, from bow to stern is covered by a minimum of 50mm worth of armour with most of it being at least 125mm. She will bounce almost everything thrown at her when she angles properly. She can absolutely shut down attempts to stack damage over time effects on her with her short cooldown Damage Control Party. The Bad - The big flaw about having armour spread out everywhere is that it's not especially thick where you need it most. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's citadel protection is the worst at her tier with a maximum of 282mm worth of protection between the three layers of armour over her machine spaces. She is extremely vulnerable to taking citadel hits when she does not angle properly. Her turret faces are extremely thin for a battleship at a mere 203mm thick. Even sloped back as they are (40º) this provides no more than 265mm worth of protection against shots at point blank range. Her barbettes are worse at only 150mm thick. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya takes frequent critical hits to her guns, even from cruiser-caliber shells. She has almost no torpedo protection. Her Damage Control Party can run out. She has the lowest hit point total among battleships at her tier. So, she's a tough battleship that seems to shrug off AP and HE shells without issue one minute and, with one mistake, she's a sinking wreck the next. She can seem very forgiving but she punishes players dearly for their misplays. The end is usually quite abrupt. One of the culprits for this feast and famine durability is her low hit point total. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is not a very large vessel. Not only can she survive less damage overall, this also reduces the amount of returns she sees from her Repair Party. Her healing consumable can only recovery 5,950hp per charge. The two most likely culprits of Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's demise are torpedoes and AP shells. 'Well DUH,' you might say, but Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya takes battleship AP and torpedo vulnerability a step further than most battleships. Over angling is deadly to this battleship, with her belt armour at 31º only increasing to a relative thickness of ~435mm. This is well inside the penetration values of the American and Japanese 356mm guns at 10km or less and can result in the Oktryabrskaya Revolutsiya taking heavy damage from volleys. This is an affliction similar to the one affecting Kongo -- veterans of this ships should be well familiar with this frustration. Texas and König are more forgiving of angling mistakes, grace of the raw thickness of their belt armour which can present a formidable obstacle. Proper management of Oktyabrskya Revolutsiya's angles of approach is key. Never, ever give up her sides. Fortunately, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's armour scheme is proof against most heavy cruiser fire. Even the high penetration, high Krupp values of the USN 203mm from Pensacola and Indianapolis cannot citadel her outside of 5.0km ranges, even against her flush broadside. This ship has very little in the way of torpedo protection, taking near full health strikes from any fish that strike her hull. She starts with only a 10% damage reduction while König, Kaiser, New York and Texas boast a minimum of 22% and as much as 31%. Citadel protection of the tier V Battleships, including the WiP Iron Duke. * Hits penetrating torpedo bulges but not into the ship itself do not strip hit points from a vessel. To this end, the thickness of the belt armour is paramount for preventing ships from taking penetration damage. This explains why ships like Kongo still feel "soft skinned" even though she has similar levels of citadel protection to other battleships. Note that the angle turtleback armour is measured from the vertical, so 90º would be a horizontal piece of steel. Turtleback armour isn't the be-all, end-all for citadel protection. Burying the citadel deep beneath the waterline seems to do more for keeping these vulnerable areas safe. Where Otkyabrskaya Revolutsiya really stands apart from all other Battleships is her Damage Control Party. As previously mentioned in the options section, this has an accelerated reset timer of 30s/20s depending on the stock or premium version. With the skills High Alert, Jack of All Trades and the signal flag November Foxtrot, you could theoretically get this reset timer down to 16 seconds (that's a hell of an investment for a mere four second gain). On paper it would appear to give this Russian battleship near immunity to damage over time effects. However, the limited number of charges on the consumable precludes that. In my experience, it's better to keep to the same habits you would use with other battleships. Do not activate Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's Damage Control Party until there are two fires or a flood present. This will prevent you from running out of charges too early on in a match. You have the option of accelerating the use of the consumable when it will save you, but be cautious of over use. When I played this ship, I always began with five charges available and I only ran out during one match. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 13.68km Air Detection Range: 9.8km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 11.41km Main Battery Firing Range: 16.83km Surface Detection Rank within Tier: 1st Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: 3rd Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is one damn stealthy battleship. Only Imperator Nikolai I has less stock surface detection range. Arkansas Beta can out match her grace of its ship-defining access to extra upgrade slots that lets her potentially use Concealment Modification 1. But other than that, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is always going to see enemy battleships before they see her. This is a good thing for this vessel as this not only shores up her survivability, but it also lets her undermine one of the weaknesses of her main battery. She can close the distance and get close to her optimal firing range and not have to suffer the issues of her penetration. I do question how exactly Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is justified as being so stealthy. I mean, she's got a large enough superstructure to make Fuso say: "Whoa, that's a bit excessive, don'tcha think!?" Maybe the lookouts get blinded by the hideousness of this ship that they fail to relay her position? Well, that's certainly one way of staying undetected. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 76mm / 37mm / 12.7mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 3.5km / 3.5km / 1.2kmAA DPS per Aura: 21 / 103 / 47 For a tier V battleship, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has good AA defense. It's not exceptional, however. She stands above all of her contemporaries with the notable exception of the American premium, USS Texas. She actually shares the Lone Star State's AA flaw with her anti-aircraft guns being limited to self defense ranges. Her DPS weighs in at just shy of half the overall firepower of the American vessel and is comparable to HMS Warspite's totals while being a full tier lower. This is a very respectable sum and can form the basis of an efficient self defense umbrella should a player elect to increase this further. Basic Fire Training and Advanced Fire Training along with the upgrade AA Guns Modification 2 will round out Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's AA total at approximately 207dps with the majority of that firepower reaching up to 5.1km. She does not possess anti-aircraft mounts big enough to benefit from Manual Fire Control for AA Armament, so this skill should be avoided. Short of taking the November Echo Setteseven signal, this is the limit of the pre-game improvements that can be made. Left on it's own, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's anti-aircraft firepower is okay -- enough to bruise carrier squadrons up to tier V and make it far too expensive for tier IV carriers to make continued attack runs against you. The heavy specialization will make her a similarly prickly target for tier V carriers, draining their flight hangars of strike aircraft. However, she cannot make her anti-aircraft firepower strong enough to dissuade tier VI+ carriers, never mind provide her with the illusion of being safe from their predation. As word gets out about her Damage Control Party, it's possible that focus from enemy carriers will drop off. Carriers cannot stack damage over time effects on Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya. Dive Bombers start fires? Put them out. Within twenty seconds after it's active period ends it will be available again to stop any follow-up floods. It often takes carriers that long to line up their second attack run so the risks of receiving stacked damage effects is very low. Short of dealing massive alpha strikes, picking on Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya with combined air strikes just isn't worth the time and effort. A Tale of Two Builds Let's not mince words. Here's the optimal build for Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya. Here's what you take for your first 10pts: From the first tier, Preventative Maintenance is the best choice. However, if you find yourself struggling not only with situational and map awareness, but risk assessment, then Priority Target becomes more valuable. From tier two, take Expert Marksman. This will increase your turret rotation up to 3.9º per second. This is still terrible, but it's a damned sight better than it was. At tier three, take Superintendent. This doubles up to give you an extra charge of both Damage Control Party and Repair Party. You should still be taking the premium version of both of these consumables, by the way. This skill doesn't substitute the premium consumable, it only supplements it. And finally, take Concealment Expert at tier four. This plays to Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's strengths and lets you get into and out of trouble so much easier. From here, pick up Adrenaline Rush to boost your rate of fire as you take damage. This should be followed up with Basic Fire Training and Advanced Fire Training to boost your good AA power. Carriers are much more commonplace at low tiers, so you will get good use out of these skills, though they have diminishing returns when facing tier VI and VII aircraft carriers. The standard battleship survivability skills have much less value due to Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's Damage Control Party. However, a reasonable alternative to the AA build is to keep Adrenaline Rush but take Basics of Survivability and Vigilance instead. The former will reduce the damage taken from single-fires (which you should normally let run their full course) and Vigilance will give you a bit more warning on torpedoes. This is handy given her preference to be up front. With the one point leftover, double back and grab Priority Target or Preventative Maintenance -- whichever one you skipped out on at tier one. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult I still have concerns that the management of the charges on Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's Damage Control Party will present a skill-barrier for casual players who pick up this ship. Having five charges through the use of Superintendent and the premium version of the consumable is very comfortable. Three would not be. There's the added problems of her bad traverse and her squishy-as-an-Omaha (I exaggerate) citadel. Yeah, I can see a lot of inexperienced players being frustrated with this ship. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme This ship is rather inflexible. While she has the firepower to really carry a match, she's missing that element of speed to take her carries to the penultimate level. Most of the usual battleship tricks apply to this ship. The gimmick of her Damage Control Party is another parlor trick she can play against her opponents. Mouse's Summary: You're probably going to hear a lot of negative press about this ship facing higher tiered ships. Look, if you're normally intimidated by facing ships two tiers higher, then yeah, keep clear. However, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya can easily punch over her weight class. Seriously. Her guns are good. Her stealth is good. Her durability is good. You can make that work. Speaking of her guns -- treat them like Scharnhorst's AP shells and you'll do just fine. It's twelve Scharnhorst guns every 32 seconds as opposed to nine every 20s. The biggest hurdle in this ship is overcoming the awful traverse and placement of P-turret. Seriously, you're going to want to use your rudder to accelerate it's turn. Just don't do it. I dunno how many times this caused me to over angle and get me sunk. I loved playing this ugly ship. It's amazing how many problems you can solve with 5.65 tons of Stalinium. Every thirty-two seconds, there's another problem solved. Despite the teething issues I had with her gun traverse, this is a fun ship to play. She's as unsubtle as she looks. She hits like a truck, she tanks like a truck, and she looks like something a truck ran over. There was only one problem I really had with her: She doesn't brawl well. Imperator Nikolai I brawls with the best of them, so I thought it natural to give it a go in Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya. Imagine to my surprise to find out she had issues here. Don't get me wrong -- she's an absolute rockstar from the moment you set your sights on your prey and during the opening stages. She bow tanks with the best of 'em and her 305mm guns really put down the hurt. She just can't seem to finish the fights she starts. Everything on the approach will be just fine, but it's that key moment when your ship's paths cross alongside one another that everything goes to Hell. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya eats citadel hits like an Omaha in these engagements. It's like one moment she's a big ol' battleship and the next she's some wussy German light cruiser with an allergic reaction to loud noises. If you can survive that crossover, you should be okay. Her best-butt is pretty tanky. Just don't over angle. But it's surviving that crossover that's really going to be the clincher. I've only managed it once in all of my test games. It made me have a sad. Overall, this ship is a great addition to the meta. She's strong without being unfair. She's got flaws that can be exploited and I appreciate that not only from the challenge playing her well but also in anticipation of playing against her in the future. This battleship will make cruisers and gunship destroyers cry for the ease at which she shrugs off their fire damage. She'll frustrate CVs by negating their damage over time effects. Yet, torpedo boats will laugh at the ease at which they dispatch her small hit point pool and lack of torpedo protection. Enemy battleships that learn her weaknesses can bully her for days. I am very much looking forward to this ship being made widely available. Would I Recommend? Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is tier V and that's going to be a huge strike against her for many players. This tier is the first one out of the kiddy-pool, so to speak, and she shoulders an undue amount of Matchmaking burden to populate tier VI and VII matches. Tier V faces higher tiered opponents often in Random Battles -- maybe too often in the views of some players. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya isn't ideal for such fights, but she can certainly hold her own and she can certainly perform. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? She does splendidly in PVE Battles, so I would recommend her for Co-Op and Scenario Players. Most battleships tend to do well here and Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is no exception. In Scenarios, she might be a bit slow, both on straight-line speed and gun traverse to respond to threats quickly, so make sure you evaluate the needs of the mission before blindly taking this ship out. She's good for applying direct firepower and tanking from one direction (and one direction only). Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. It's harder to recommend her here, so I'm going to give her a pass. Lemme explain why: First, she's not a big credit earner. Anything below tier VI really struggles in that department, so that's out. Two, the experience gains for a truly excellent game will struggling to exceed 1750 base experience. This in turn means lower captain training. Three, she has some pretty specific needs for a Captain that do not gel well with the current Soviet tech tree, so she's a bad trainer. The one thing she is good at is achievements. She farms High Caliber, Confederate and Dreadnought achievements like a champ. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. She'll pad your win rate in Random Battles if you're confident with facing higher tiered opponents. She clubs seals like no one's business on top of that. If Wargaming opens up Ranked Battles for tier V, she'd be a good choice. The mix of firepower, durability, agility and AA power are all welcome. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. I still have very fond memories of sinking the Marat in IL-2 Sturmovik. This one is a no brainer for me, but I have a history with this class of ships. Some of you might not. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? If you can get past her awful turret traverse, then heck yeah, she's a lot of fun. 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.
  11. Poopin' rainbows. Quick Summary: A fragile anti-aircraft cruiser with radar and armed with sixteen 127mm rifles and short-ranged torpedoes. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.1. February 3rd, 2017 Cost: 9,000 doubloons. Closest in-Game Contemporary Flint, Tier 7 USN Cruiser Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Flint is an Oakland-subclass of the Atlanta-class cruiser, so it stands to reason that the two ships would be very similar. Flint has an upgraded medium-range anti-aircraft suite. She loses out on the two wing turrets found on Atlanta giving her a maximum of a twelve-gun broadside. Flint's superiority is very firmly set by her torpedoes which have a reach out to 9.2km. Lastly, the two ships trade out their third consumable, with Flint having a USN Smoke Generator instead of Atlanta's Radar. PROs Armed with sixteen, rapid fire 127mm rifles in eight turrets dispensing up to168 rounds per minute from a fourteen gun broadside. Turret traverse is blinding-quick at 25º per second. Able to fire over intervening terrain quite easily. Her main battery customizes incredibly with the 0.6.0 Captain Skills. Her torpedoes are very fast and very hard hitting for a cruiser of her tier. Powerful anti-aircraft armament, with unlimited charges of her Defensive Fire consumable. With a full AA-upgrade build, she has some of the best AA-power in the game, tier for tier. She has access to the USN Radar consumable. CONs Tiny hit point pool of 27,500hp. Her machine-spaces citadel sits over the waterline and has a maximum of 89mm of protection. Her bows are overmatched by 203mm guns or larger. Her turrets get temporarily disabled easily. Painfully short ranged at 11.1km stock. Very poor ballistics, with shells being launched into low orbit even at modest ranges. Poor penetration values on her AP and HE shells. She struggles to do damage to tier 8+ Battleships. Torpedoes are pathetically short ranged at 4.5km. Large surface detection range of 11.0km. My last review of Atlanta was over a year ago and there have been some rather significant changes to the game in that time. Atlanta has been graced by some better fortunes, including one direct buff and many smaller, indirect buffs caused by differences in new mechanics and systems. This time last year, she was an overspecialized oddity, unable to perform in the manner players wanted and expected her to perform. She remained a favourite to eccentrics and experts and downright punitive to novice players. Atlanta's fame (or infamy) has waned considerably over the year. She is no longer commonly available, having been removed as a permanent fixture from the online store. She is also gone from the in-game tech-tree where she could be bought with doubloons. Though far from rare, it is likely that as the game matures she may become a more uncommon sight. This said, her game play style has been diluted somewhat by the inclusion of USS Flint, an Oakland-subclass of the Atlanta-class cruiser. Flint shares many characteristics with Atlanta but with the benefits of better torpedoes and a smoke generator -- two fixes for the Atlanta-class many fans of her were clamouring for. We received different fixes for Atlanta instead of questionable effectiveness. This does raise the question if Atlanta is now worth purchasing for those who do not have her, especially given her limited availability. Hopefully this review will address said concerns. Atlanta subscribes to the original Wargaming design for premium vessels in World of Warships, where candidates were to be selected from ships that didn't fit in the tech tree. These "weird" vessels included ships like Kitakami and Tone. Options Atlanta's Defensive Fire is special. Unlike other ships, she has unlimited charges of this consumable. Its other characteristics, including reset timer, duration and intensity remain the same. Atlanta is also one of the few tier 7 ships with Radar. This has an 8.49km range, 25s duration and two or three minute reset timer depending if you took the premium version or not. Consumables: Damage Control Party Defensive Fire or Hydroacoustic Search Radar Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard USN Cruiser 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: Sixteen 127mm rifles in 8x2 turrets with an A-B-C-P-Q-X-Y-Z arrangement. A-B-C and X-Y-Z are superfiring, with all three turrets capable of shooting unobstructed directly forward or aft respectively. P and Q are wing turrets mounted just ahead of X-turret and behind the torpedo launchers. This gives the ship a fourteen gun broadside. Torpedo Armament: Eight tubes between 2x4 launchers. One is mounted to each side of the ship behind the rear funnel. Let's start with Atlanta's torpedoes; they are terrible. While individually hard hitting at 16,663 damage per and fast at 65 knots they are pathetically short ranged at 4.5km. This limits their utility to ambush scenarios and acts of desperation. In order to properly make use of Atlanta's torpedoes, your opponent has to have made a serious mistake. In such scenarios, a broadside of all four fish will be catastrophic and your opponent deserves the punishment these can dish out for being so horribly out of position. In close range brawls with enemy cruisers, a broadside of her AP shells is often more reliably devastating than her torpedoes. That's really all that needs to be said about these weapons. Main Battery Atlanta has arguably the most entertaining main battery armament in the game. There are few guns as interesting as the USN 127mm/38 rifles in World of Warships. They are not without their controversies either. With 0.6.0 they received a significant buff in regards to how they interact with select Captain Skills and the variety of builds centered around improving these weapons is diverse. But let's start with looking at their raw performance before we worry about how we can modify them. Common Captain Skills taken by Atlanta players to buff their Main Battery. Few ships benefit so greatly from Captain Skills as the Atlanta. From left to right: Basic Fire Training, Advanced Fire Training, Demolition Expert, Inertia Fuse for HE Shells, Adrenaline Rush and Expert Marksman. Not all of these skills should be considered optimal or even necessary. The 127mm/38 rifles found on Atlanta are similar to, but not an exact match to the weapons found on the USN Destroyers. They fire the same shells, with the same relative range, ballistic qualities, alpha strike, penetration values and fire chance to her line's destroyers. However, Atlanta doesn't enjoy the same rate of fire found on vessels like Mahan, Farragut or Sims. Farragut, at tier 6, fires 15 rounds per minute -- a value matched by Mahan at tier 7. Sims gets this volume of fire as high as 18.2 rounds per minute while Atlanta has to make do with 12. For those wondering, this isn't historical and has been reduced for balance reasons. Atlanta may appear to have the equivalent broadside to three USN Destroyers combined, once you factor in her reload time, this works out closer to two. And this brings us to our first two Captain Skills. Rate of Fire Atlanta reloads every 5s giving her fourteen gun broadside a potential rate of fire of 168 rounds per minute. There are two ways to increase this. As a destroyer-caliber weapon, Atlanta enjoys full benefits of Basic Fire Training which drops her reload down to 4.5s and increases her rate of fire up to just over 186rpm. As if that weren't enough, you can also take Adrenaline Rush which increases her rate of fire as your ship takes damage. At half health, this drops Atlanta's reload by another half second, increasing it to 210rpm. Let's look at some real-world examples. Assuming penetrating hits from her HE shells (594 damage per), a full 14 gun volley (8,316 damage per) yields the following. Against saturated areas, the damage will be half this. At 168rpm: 99,792 damage. At 186rpm: 110,494 damage. At 210rpm: 124,740 damage. This is contingent on being able to land hits with that level of accuracy and penetrate vulnerable areas. Like all guns, Atlanta's rifles are exceedingly dangerous up close. Landing with ten or more shells per volley is easy enough inside of 7km ranges. However, even veteran Atlanta players only land between 29% and 35% of their hits overall which much of the accuracy disparity coming from her poor ballistic qualities at range. Range and Ballistics One of Atlanta's biggest weaknesses is her lack of reach relative to her surface detection. Stock, Atlanta's guns can theoretically hit targets up to 11.1km away while she's detected from the surface from 11.0km. This 100m buffer for such a fragile ship forces her to be placed in harms way anytime she pulls the trigger. Taking the skill, Advanced Fire Training extends her reach up to 13.3km. Between camouflage and skills, it's possible to get her surface detection down to 9.4km. In theory, this opens the tiniest of stealth fire windows (less than 100m) but in all practical sense, Atlanta cannot engage targets and stay hidden without the use of cover. This is further compounded by the appalling ballistic qualities of her shells. At her maximum range, her shells are taking a full second per kilometer of distance traveled. This leads to horrible lead times. Depending on game resolution, some players may be prevented from using the maximum zoom when ranging their shells as their targets will be well off screen. This can make targeting specific sections of ships very difficult This is a necessary skill when facing off against heavily armored targets which her HE shells can struggle to damage.Penetration and Fire Atlanta has one of the lowest average damage per game values of any tier 7 cruiser. Stock, Atlanta's high explosive shells can penetrate a maximum of 20mm of armour. Aside from destroyers and some light cruisers, her shells just don't have the penetration power to directly affect vessels short of their superstructures. So while her guns may murder a destroyer with some alacrity, when facing against cruisers and battleships, Atlanta was often on her back foot. Atlanta's AP shells can be truly monstrous when properly applied. However, their penetration values due to their low muzzle velocity and poor ballistics arcs prevents them from being used efficiently outside of 7km ranges. Inside this distance, Atlanta is more than capable of blowing out the citadel of heavy cruisers or hammering the upper hull or extremities of a Battleship with her AP shells and wracking up enormous damage totals quickly. It's not uncommon for Atlanta to deliver seven to ten citadel hits against a broadside cruiser inside of knife fighting range. This can deal a whopping 29,400 AP damage if you can land 14 out of 14 shells as citadel hits. For this reason, Atlanta's torpedoes are often forgotten in the heat of a brawl as her AP can be more than sufficient to put down an enemy cruiser. Outside of this range or against even slightly angled targets, her AP performance becomes quite anemic. For this reason, the ship has often lived and died by her high explosive shells. In the past, this forced Atlanta Captains to rely on the fire potential of her weapons to inflict damage against larger capital ships. As a flamethrower, she was quite good at this in theory but in practice, this was never sufficient. Her individual shells have a poor base fire chance at 5% per hit. Demolition Expert can nudge this number up to 7%. However, this plugs into a larger formula: [Fire Resistance Coefficient x ( 1 - [Damage Control Modification 1 - [Fire Prevention ) x ( [Projectile Base Fire Chance + [Demolition Expert + [signals - [inertial Fuse for HE Shells) = Fire Chance Fire Resistance Coefficients vary, from 0.8668 for a stock tier 5 to 0.5671 for a fully upgraded tier 9 vessel. This makes the chances of stacking fires much easier against lower tiered targets than higher tiered, which is ironic given that Atlanta can often deal more damage directly to lower tiered targets than needing fires to prop up her damage totals. Here are some real world examples: Atlanta with Demolition Expert facing an upgraded Kongo with Damage Control Modification 1 (0.8335) x [1-(0.05) - (0) x [(0.05) + (0.02) + (0) - (0) = 5.54% per shell Atlanta with Demolition Expert facing an upgraded Iowa with Damage Control Modification 1 and Fire Prevention (0.5671) x [1-(0.05) - (0.1) x [(0.05) + (0.02) + (0) - (0) = 3.37% per shell Combine this with Basic Fire Training on the Atlanta (186rpm) and a 30% accuracy and you're looking at 3.1 fires per minute against the Kongo and 1.9 fires per minute against the Iowa. Based on these numbers, an Atlanta should be able to easily stack a fire or two past Kongo's Damage Control Party and disengage. Against an Iowa or similar tier 9 Battleship, it's questionable whether any fires will stick at all if the target Captain manages their consumable properly. Dueling with either Battleship for longer than a minute greatly increases the changes of reprisals from the now-annoyed battleship from which Atlanta is unlikely to survive, so it's important to stack fires in a limited time frame and disappear. Without the ability to do damage quickly to larger targets and her own poor survivability when such ships elect to shoot back, it's perhaps no wonder that Atlanta's average damage has been so low. There is a ray of sunshine, however. Inertial Fuse for HE Shells All light cruisers have benefited massively from this skill and it has been a real game changer. For Atlanta, this increases her HE penetration from 20mm to 27mm allowing her to now damage the extremities of tier 6 and 7 battleships and all cruisers within her matchmaking spread. With this skill, now Atlanta can drop those theoretical 8,314 damage, 14 penetrating hit HE volleys against most of her opponents. Only tier 8+ Battleships retain an immunity to her shells with the exception of their superstructures. This skill isn't without its trade-offs, however. It's an expensive investment for one, requiring the sacrifice of one or more beneficial Captain Skills. In addition, it damages her already poor base fire chance by a whole 3%. It's this latter trade off which can really hurt as her (in)effectiveness against tier 8+ Battleships plummets even further. Let's look at our Iowa example again. Atlanta with Demolition Expert and Inertial Fuse for HE Shells facing an upgraded Iowa with Damage Control Modification 1 and Fire Prevention (0.5671) x [1-(0.05) - (0.1) x [(0.05) + (0.02) + (0) - (0.03) = 1.92% per shell And if you can no longer afford Demolition Expert: Atlanta with Inertial Fuse for HE Shells facing an upgraded Iowa with Damage Control Modification 1 and Fire Prevention (0.5671) x [1-(0.05) - (0.1) x [(0.05) + (0) + (0) - (0.03) = 0.96% per shell Once again, assuming Atlanta is using Basic Fire Training and attaining 30% accuracy, this works out to 1.1 fires per minute with Demolition Expert and 0.5 fires per minute without. So it becomes a question of a trade off. Inertial Fuse for HE Shells greatly increases Atlanta's lethality against same tier or lower tiered battleships but worsens her performance against those found at tiers 8 and 9. Conclusions: Few ships have their performance defined so significantly by Captain Skills as Atlanta. With her torpedoes being a mere afterthought, how a player customizes and elects to use Atlanta's main batteries will largely define their level of success with this ship. There is no build that is optimal against all targets and some that are superfluous or even damaging to Atlanta's damage output depending on the ship type engaged. A player must decide well in advance what kinds of ships she wishes to specialize against and build her Atlanta accordingly. One of Atlanta's more infamous traits is the awful shell flight times. At maximum range (13.3km) it's possible to begin firing a fourth volley volley before the first has hit the target. This makes lead times downright punitive and adjusting fire difficult. Maneuverability Top Speed: 32.5 knots Turning Radius: 610m Rudder Shift Time: 8.4s Atlanta's top speed of 32.5 knots isn't particularly exciting. It's sufficient for her task as an escort cruiser, but she doesn't have the speed necessary to challenge evasive destroyers. Perhaps more pressingly, she is also lacking in sufficient speed to outrun fast Battleships that may seek to engage her, such as Bismarck, Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau or Iowa and she has no chance of outpacing Soviet and Japanese cruisers. So while not slow or inflexible, some care needs to be taken when planning Atlanta's course lest she find herself out of position or over extended. This is a problem common to all USN Cruisers. Ship rotation times from starting at maximum speed and rudder hard over. Each ship was run through the course five times (except Flint and Atlanta which were run for ten to confirm their similarities) and the average taken. Deceleration is the time taken for a ship to reach it's lowest speed in a turn. The two most important factors for determining ship rotation speed is the radius of her turn combined with the average speed while turning. Smaller turning circles and higher average speed will result in faster rotation rates. The tier 7 and tier 8 American cruisers are all very similar to one another in their performance, but Atlanta and her sister, Flint, are hands down the most agile of all of the mid tier USN Cruisers with between a 0.5s and 1.0s advantage in turning 90º. Atlanta's handling is almost identical to other vessels found in the American cruiser line. This similarity between mid-tier USN Cruisers makes for easy skill transference from one ship to the next. If you can torpedo beat in a New Orleans, you'll find Atlanta answer similarly to her rudder. Atlanta's turrets have no difficulties tracking targets, even with her rudder hard over. They traverse at a rate of 25º per second compared to the 6.3º per second she turns at full speed, allowing Atlanta to quickly acquire targets and engage new threats from one side of the ship to the other even while under heavy maneuvers. This makes the Captain Skill, Expert Marksman, much less valuable for Atlanta than on other USN Cruisers. Atlanta is rather agile and can be a real bothersome target for destroyers. Durability Hit Points: 27,500 Citadel Protection: 89mm of belt armour Min Bow & Deck Armour: 13mm Torpedo Damage Reduction: None. Over the last year, Atlanta has enjoyed a considerable buff to her turret durability. Patch 5.5 from April 26th, 2016, all small caliber weapons had their hit points increased as much as 2.6 times what they had been. Prior to this, Atlanta's turrets had 1,500 hit points each while she now enjoys 4,000 hit points per. Previously, it was a rare occurrence for Atlanta to survive a battle without losing some of her main battery. Now it's rather uncommon for Atlanta to permanently lose any of her weapons. However, much of what was previously said about Atlanta's durability still holds true.Atlanta is one of the worst protected cruisers in the game, making her truly a glass cannon. She has a pittance when it comes to her hit point total. Her armour layout is laughable with 89mm of belt armour. Her large citadel has a section that sits above the surface running beneath the twin superstructures, from the bridge to the wing turrets. Her bow has only 13mm worth of protection, making it possible to overmatch it with 180mm guns found on the Kirov, Molotov and Dmitri Donskoi, never mind the larger caliber guns found on heavy cruisers and battleships. There are few HE shells not capable of landing penetrating damage on Atlanta, no matter where they strike her. In short, an exposed Atlanta is very likely to become a dead Atlanta. It's imperative to make use of her concealment and agility to stay alive. Hug islands and use them to block incoming fire. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 11.0 km Air Detection Range: 6.4 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 9.4km Concealment Penalty while Firing: +3.8km (vs 11.1km gun range) For such a fragile and short ranged vessel, Atlanta is shackled with an enormous surface detection range. She is utterly incapable of engaging enemy targets with her torpedoes without giving her position away. It's only when either her main battery range or her concealment is upgraded that she can ambush surface targets with her guns. Even with a full investment into concealment and range modifiers, Atlanta cannot stealth-fire from open water and remains dependent upon friendly smoke or island cover to stay concealed. At best, Atlanta can get her surface detection range down to 9.4km which is still punitive for a ship of her size and range. She's unable to sneak up on destroyers and, unlike HMS Belfast, her surface detection range exceeds that of her radar, giving destroyers time enough to begin evading before Atlanta can light them up with her consumable. It is worth mentioning that Atlanta, with her radar consumable, can make better use of borrowed smoke clouds than some other ships. When divisioned with smoke-laying vessels, Atlanta can help provide eyes for herself and allies while remaining obscured within the smoke clouds. Though her radar has a very short duration, this can tip the balance in some engagements to let this fragile vessel exploit concealment mechanics within the game to her advantage and decide the local fight. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 28mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.1km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 121 / 27 / 29 Atlanta used to have the best anti-aircraft armament at tier 7 without contest She has been partially eclipsed by her sister ship, Flint, which has a modernized suite of weapons which replaces Atlanta's 28mm 'Chicago Piano' mounts with the famous (and more reliable and powerful) 40mm Bofors. This gives Flint a better punch at medium to close range while Atlanta dominates at a distance. When combined with Captain Skills and module upgrades, Atlanta competes very well with her sister. The image below breaks down how Atlanta's anti-aircraft power can be modified. * Bonuses are multiplicative, not additive. Note that all DPS values are approximate with some weird rounding occurring (which is why the tool-tip in port is weird when you begin stacking bonuses). This table can be used to calculate partial bonus stacks. For example, a 127mm mount (121dps) with Basic Fire Training (x1.2) Priority Target (x1.1) and Defensive Fire (x3) bonuses would generate an average of 479dps. The maximum output of Atlanta in an optimal situation would be a combined total of 1,215dps. Fully specialized and in an optimal situation, Atlanta puts out 1054 / 118 / 42 dps (a combined total of 1,215 dps) at ranges of 7.2km / 5.0km / 2.9km. Flint manages a combined total of 793 / 392 / 62 dps (a total of 1,247dps) at the same range intervals. No other ships at her tier come close to Atlanta as her sister-ship. With Atlanta's anti-aircraft firepower focused on her 127mm rifles and their 7.2km range, she makes a much better anti-aircraft escort over Flint and bests just about any other cruiser in the game, tier for tier. Atlanta's anti-aircraft advantages do not stop with just raw damage. Her aerial detection range is only 6.4km. If she keeps gun silent and switches off her AA guns, she can ambush incoming aircraft squadrons by sailing into their path to intercept them. By keeping her AA guns silent up until they're all in range, she gives the CV player no warning of her presence and can devastate a concentrated attack wave before the CV player can react. In addition, her and her sister Flint are the only ships in the game with unlimited charges of their Defensive Fire consumable. Specialized in this role, Atlanta becomes a 7.2km no-fly zone which any CV player is fool to test, no matter what their tier. But don't kid yourself. Without this specialization, without Defensive Fire specifically, you're only going to damage attack craft waves, not rout them. Any carrier wishing to delete you will be more than capable of doing so. In her element and unconcerned. Overall ImpressionsSkill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / DifficultSkill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Atlanta is not a friendly ship for beginners. Her weapons are too short ranged with a very temperamental damage output. Her surface detection range is too large and she has no easy-escape tools. She is far too fragile to account for any mistakes. While it's terribly fun to hold down your left mouse button and poop out rainbows of 127mm high explosive rounds, the efficacy of doing so is highly suspect at best. You can't deal damage quickly with Atlanta unless you get in close and without proper forethought, that will simply get you killed before accomplishing anything of note. The influence a well played Atlanta can have on a game is telling, but it depends entirely upon her Captain / Consumable / Module build. She's a good support ship, however the decision on how to support your team will largely dictate the spheres of influence you can perform. When Atlanta is caught out of position (which, let's admit, occurs almost continually in this ship), her ability to affect the outcome of the match falls away to nothing. Mouse's Summary: One of the oldest premiums in the game. She's also one of the most unforgiving ships in the game. The recent buffs were nice... sort of. I wanted Atlanta to get what Flint has. Despite all of her troubles, Atlanta is a riot to play. What a difference a year makes. Here's the long list of changes that occurred directly or indirectly to Atlanta between February 2016 and 2017. Her main battery durability was buffed, increasing her hit points 2.6 times. She no longer loses her turrets constantly (HOORAY!). The Situational Awareness skill was given out for free. Her AP shell normalization was changed from 8º to 10º. This means that if her shells strike at a 10º angle to the flat broadside of a ship, her shells will treat it as 0º and calculate as if they had struck flush. She received Radar. The new Matchmaker system places her at top tier very frequently. The Captain Skill changes have benefited Atlanta greatly, with easier access to quality of life improving skills like Concealment Expert and the introduction of Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. In addition, many players can't easily afford fire-mitigation skills like they used to. Atlanta has seen both feast and famine. During Closed Beta, when AP shells were dominant, she was as powerful as she has ever been. The changes to AP and HE shells nerfed her considerably, but she still had a lot of functionality with asymmetrical carrier Matchmaking and how common carriers were during Open Beta. There was almost always need for an AA escort and Atlanta filled that role nicely. Once deployment symmetry became a thing when the game was released in September of 2015, Atlanta's popularity began to severely wane. Now in 2017, it's the increase in smoke generators, specifically those of the British Cruisers, that have breathed new life into USS Atlanta. She has a purpose now -- an ability that's always welcome when there's an enemy that needs digging out. It's sad to say, but she gets more use out of that than she does her Defensive Fire consumable. Inertia Fuse for HE Shells has restored some of the bite Atlanta once enjoyed back in Closed Beta. While her upgraded HE shells don't have quite the same ubiquity as AP did back in the day, the average damage that Atlanta is dealing out has been on the rise in the last six months. Looking at a two-week snapshot of her performance ranks her 6th overall for damage output among tier 7 cruisers. It's still not a good performance, but it's definitely better than has been for the last year. Atlanta isn't back to her glory days from Closed Beta. Would I Recommend?Atlanta is a weird ship. She's not something you invest in because you think she's good. You do it because you want something unique. While it is possible to earn an equivalent through Ranked Battles in the form of USS Flint, Atlanta's analogue is likely to be out of reach for much of the player base. For Random Battle Grinding Atlanta isn't going to make it easy on you to earn rewards like High Caliber, Confederate or Kraken Unleashed. While she or any premium will earn a fair amount of experience and credits, Atlanta is difficult to make perform to make such numbers consistent. There are definitely better investments. So no. For Competitive Gaming No. There are much better ships to bring in a competitive environment than Atlanta. She's too fragile and if caught out of position, she has no get-out-of-jail cards to play. For Collectors Yes. They saw lots of action early in WWII and enjoyed success and tragedy (Google the Sullivan brothers and have tissues handy). For Fun Factor Very yes on toast. Her guns are hilarious. Staying near islands is imperative for the longevity of your Atlanta. Use it to set up attacks and cover your escape. Atlanta is not an easy ship to play. She's not like the British Cruisers or premiums like Mikhail Kutuzov or Flint where you can pop an easy smoke consumable and trump any attempts to engage you. Outfitting AtlantaAtlanta can be one of the most complicated premium ships to equip in the game presently. It's important to decide on a role for your Atlanta first. From there you may select Captain Skills and equip consumables which best support the role that you've decided upon. Modules: All of my builds for Atlanta include the same module choices. Main Armaments Modification 1, AA Guns Modification 2, Damage Control Modification 1, Steering Gears Modification 2. There's some pretty simple reasons for this. In slot 1, you can take Magazine Modification 1 if you're really paranoid about detonations. If you're intending to take Atlanta into a competitive environment, this choice should be moot as you should be using Juliet Charlie signals instead to mitigate detonations. Personally, detonations don't bother me. Atlanta does pop a little bit more than other cruisers, so keep that in mind. In slot 2, you may be wondering about the viability of Aiming Systems Modification 1. Skip it. At maximum range, and by that I mean 13.3km from Advanced Fire Training, ASM1 provides an eight meter dispersion reduction. Yep. That's it. Eight whole meters. It's 6.9m at 11.1km. Whoo. Exciting! Take the AA mod. You'll get more use out of it. All of the choices in slot 3 are terrible for the Atlanta. Take what you want. In slot 4, Propulsion Modification 2 is also a fair choice. However, Steering Gears Modification 2 will shave almost half a second off of a 90º turn going at full speed. Core Skills: Despite the 0.6.0 Captain Skill overhaul making several builds viable, there remain some skills that are optimal for Atlanta. They re included in all of the builds below. Your tier 1 skill for Atlanta should be Priority Target. Knowing when you're targeted and when you're not will save your ship and allow you to pull off some rather audacious feats. None of the other tier 1 skills is as useful. At tier 3, Basic Fire Training is the second essential. This increases your main battery rate of fire by 10% and your AA dps by 20%. Few ships gain so much as Atlanta from this skill. Bombardment Build This build focuses upon doing damage to larger ships -- specifically cruisers and tier 6 and 7 battleships. The idea is to keep her guns singing as often as possible and to use intervening terrain to keep safe. Because you're expected to be shooting almost non-stop, stealth abilities are less of priority. This build, grace of taking skills which improve her gunnery, also makes a passable anti-aircraft cruiser but this isn't our focus. Consumables: Damage Control Party II, Defensive Fire II, Surveillance Radar II Captain Skills: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/1000000000000011000010100010100019 This build is all about maximizing the performance of your guns against these targets. Basic Fire Training and Adrenaline Rush increase your rate of fire. Inertia Fuse for HE Shells allows you to land damaging hits against the plethora of 25mm armoured sections found on ships of your chosen targets. Demolition Expert helps mitigate some of the lost fire-potential. Variant: Swap Inertia Fuse for HE Shells for Concealment Expert. This changes the build from doing direct damage to relying on fire damage to affect your targets. This will generally result in increased survivability but you'll pay for it with lower damage totals. Destroyer Hunter The idea here is to sneak up as close as possible to destroyers and annihilate them at close range. She's built for stealth. This ship is rather vanilla when it comes to the performance of her weapons against larger targets, but such is the price you pay for being a specialized hunter. Keep your anti-aircraft guns disabled until you absolutely need them. Consumables: Damage Control Party II, Hydroacoustic Search II, Surveillance Radar II Captain Skills: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/1000000000000011000011000000001119 The first thing that should stand out is that this will keep your Atlanta shorter ranged than other builds. This will also impair her anti-aircraft power somewhat. Radio Location is used to assist with finding the little blighters. Concealment Expert is used to reduce the range at which you're spotted to give destroyers less time to react. In addition, you will have to go gun silent to evade return fire from larger capital ships. Superintendent provides an additional charge of your Radar and Hydroacoustic Search consumables. You'll use Radio Location to home in on the destroyers until you're spotted. If haven't uncovered the destroyer within 20 seconds of being lit, activate your Radar to light the destroyer and be ready to evade any return fire. Last Stand is there to help keep you alive when your rudder gets shot out as you try to evade. The destroyers will shoot back and they always seem to hit your rudder and set you repeatedly on fire. The last thing you want to be doing is spinning in circles. Anti-Aircraft Escort As the name suggests, this build focuses on protecting friendly ships from air attack. This is hardly an optimal build in the current Random Battle meta -- carriers are not as commonplace as they once were. However, few can argue against Atlanta's efficiency as an AA-platform with this build. Consumables: Damage Control Party II, Defensive Fire II, Surveillance Radar II Captain Skills: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/1100000001000000000010000000110119 Everything pushes towards increasing Atlanta's AA range and DPS. Basic Fire Training and Manual Fire Control for AA Armament boost your DPS directly while Advanced Fire Training provides the range. Concealment Expert provides some survivability while also helping prevent you from being spotted early by surface ships. This can allow you to better intercept an inbound bomber stream and ambush them. Jack of All Trades is used to reduce the reset timer of your Defensive Fire consumable so that it will always be ready when the next attack wave comes in.
  12. The following is a review of Enterprise, a ship provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of June 29th, 2017. It's about time. Quick Summary: An aircraft carrier with enormous hangar capacity and deep fighter reserves. She's held back by low tier aircraft, weird torpedo drop patterns and an overspecialization for nuking German battleships. Cost: $59.99 USD including a port slot. Patch and Date Written: Patch 0.6.6.0 to 0.6.7 June 10th to June 29th, 2017. Closest in-Game Contemporary Kaga, Tier 7 Japanese Carrier Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Enterprise shares a lot in common with Kaga. They both use downtiered aircraft. They both boast huge reserves. Their torpedo planes both have unique drop patterns. Where they differ primarily is their load-outs. Kaga is more strike-aircraft friendly, with more of her reserves and specializing focusing on the use of her torpedo planes and dive bombers. Enterprise has enormous fighter reserves and attack planes that are far less intuitive to use. PROs Enormous hangar capacity of 96 aircraft. Option of using AP bombs which can (easily) land 8,000 damage citadel hits on enemy battleships per bomb. AP Bombs are easy to use with a very accurate auto-drop function. Balanced 2-2-2 flight groups -- a rarity with American carriers. Fast reload time of her aircraft squadrons for an American carrier. Good anti-aircraft defense. Good anti-torpedo protection. Has access to the 6th upgrade slot. Makes German Battleships cry. It's not only a Yorktown-class, it's freakin' CV-6! CONs Aircraft operate in 5-plane squadrons instead of the usual 6 for American carriers. Enterprise's aircraft are all tier VII instead of tier VIII, making her fighters especially difficult to use effectively. Drop pattern of her torpedoes is enormous and clumsy, making it difficult to land more than 1 or 2 hits per drop. AP Bombs have limited reliability against anything other than battleship targets and are all but useless against destroyers. Her hangar reserves have nearly half their capacity dedicated to her under strength fighters. Largish surface and aerial detection ranges. I can't believe it took Wargaming this long -- almost two years past the start of Open Beta to get USS Enterprise into World of Warships. Well, she's finally here. The hype surrounding this ship on the North American server has been extreme. I have received more messages asking me when this review will be out more than any other ship in the past. I'm happy to finally deliver. GrafZeppelinKai from the World of Warships wiki team will be joining me to provide a look into the history of this auspicious vessel. History Lessons with GrafZeppelinKai Design By the 1930s, the USN had been developing their carrier doctrine for over a decade, and has acquired a wealth of knowledge. The previously built Ranger – while the Navy’s first purpose built carrier – was seen as a failure. As such, the new Yorktown-class carriers were built with protection in mind: the Ranger’s greatest shortcoming. Both the main belt and the bulkheads were 4-inches thick. This was deemed sufficient to mitigate damage from 6-inch shells from enemy cruisers. In consequence, the horizontal protection was limited to just 1.5-inches at the thickest. Later in the war, Enterprise would receive torpedo bulges. It had both air-filled and water-filled pockets to absorb and spread out the shock of impact. To simplify design, the aviation facilities were similar to the ones on Ranger. The single hangar was built on top of the hull main deck, whilst the flight deck was built on top of the hangar. The hangar itself was not fully enclosed, with side panels that opened up to the elements. This allowed for aircraft to be warmed up on the hangar deck, and during combat, fires and fumes could be ventilated. Standard to fleet carriers, Yorktown-class had three elevators, and two catapults on the flight deck. Interestingly, she had a third catapult on the hangar deck for reserve use. In total, the Yorktown-class carried 90 aircraft. Originally, her complement favoured dive-bombers as they were used both as scouts and bombers. By late into the war, her complement shifted to majority fighters, as they were the best defence against kamikazes. In order to make them flexible in combat, the Yorktown-class was designed with over 30 knots as a requirement. As such, they were equipped with 9 boilers and 4 turbines that generated over 120,000 shaft horsepower. In speed trials, this allowed for speeds in excess of 32 knots. The Yorktown-class had a plethora of anti-aircraft weapons for defence. For long-ranges, the class was equipped with the new 5”/38 DP guns. In combat they proved to be excellent weapons. For intermediate ranges the ships were armed with the 1.1”/75 guns, known as the ‘Chicago Pianos’. For short ranges, .50-cal machine guns were peppered over the ships. Over the course of the war, the latter two weapon systems were replaced. The machine guns proved to have inadequate stopping power, and the Chicago Pianos had poor handling characteristics. Throughout her service life, Enterprise underwent constant modifications to maintain combat effectiveness. She was equipped with state-of-the-art CXAM-1 radar set before the war in 1940. This gave Enterprise the capacity to detect enemy planes and coordinate her own: a life-saving ability. In 1942 20mm cannons were slowly replacing the .50-cal guns. As well, her hangar catapult was removed and her wooden crash barriers were changed to canvas ones. In 1943, Enterprise received a major refit. Her ‘Chicago Pianos’ were replaced with 40mm cannons, and she received new fire-directors. She was also the first carrier to receive equipment for night-fighter operations, along with a new CIC. Finally she had her torpedo bulges installed. Enterprise’s last refit in 1945 replaced most of her 20mm for more 40mm cannons. USS Enterprise (CV-6) was the second of the Yorktown-class aircraft carriers. She was laid down 16 July 1934 at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia and launched 3 October 1936. Service History Commissioned into the Navy in 1938, Enterprise spent the first few years of her career as a movie star and as a transport; hauling aircraft to various US airbases in the Pacific. In early December 1941 she undertook such a mission when the Japanese conducted their attack on Pearl Harbour. Although she was due in port on December 6th, the same storm that shadowed the Japanese delayed Enterprise’s arrival. While on-route, her scouts did briefly clash with the attack force. Now on wartime status, Enterprise refuelled and rearmed in a record 7-hours and was back out at sea, in her first wartime patrol. Enterprise was the first US ship to sink a Japanese vessel when, on December 10th, she sunk the submarine I-70. Immediately on the offensive, Big E spent the first four months conducting constant raids against the Japanese. In February she attacked the Marshall Islands to deny the Japanese a forward operations base. Between February and March she raided Wake and Marcus Islands to disrupt troop and supply movements. By April of 1942, Enterprise rendezvoused with her sister ship USS Hornet and provided her an escort while she conducted the famous ‘Doolittle Raid’. In June 1942 Enterprise, along with her sister ships headed to Midway Island in order to ambush the oncoming Japanese Fleet. Over the course of one day, Enterprise’s dive-bombers managed to sink Kaga and Akagi, whilst crippling the other two fleet carriers. The Japanese manage to cause some damage; USS Yorktown was sunk. In the end, the balance of power started to shift. By July, Enterprise was committed to the Guadalcanal campaign in the Solomon Islands, undergoing constant patrols. In August, Enterprise came toe-to-toe with a massive Japanese invasion force. Despite heavy damage, Enterprise managed to aid in the sinking of Ryujo. In October of 1942 the Japanese Navy sent another massive force to combat the beleaguered Americans. Despite serious odds, Enterprise was able to secure time desperately needed by the Guadalcanal garrison to reinforce, but at a heavy cost: USS Hornet was lost. Big E was now the only functioning US carrier in the Pacific Theatre; it was now Enterprise vs. Japan. She needed rest but Enterprise’s presence in the Solomon was crucial; crews were pressed to repair her while she was underway between patrols. She continued to guard the Solomon until the summer of 1943 – engaging the Japanese twice more – until she got some required respite when new Essex-class and Independence-class carriers came into commission. Back in duty by November of 1943, Enterprise committed to the “island hopping” campaign to secure the islands of the central Pacific. During the next seven months, she assisted with the invasions of the Gilbert, Marshall, Caroline, and Mariana Islands; working up to the Philippines. During this time, Enterprise was the first carrier to introduce night-fighter operations in the Pacific. Desperate to stem the US near the Marianas, in June 1944, the Japanese confronted the Americans in the largest carrier battle in history. After two gruelling days the IJN lost three carriers and 500 airmen; Japanese Naval Aviation was no more. By October, Enterprise had fought all the way to Leyte, where she contributed her strength to the eponymous battle. By December, Enterprise had fully converted to night operations and spent the next three months raiding the South China Sea. By February 1945, she supported the landings on Iwo Jima. March was spent raiding the Sea of Japan, and Japan itself. She spent the last two months of her war career supporting the Okinawa invasion until a single kamikaze took her out of combat, and the war in May 1945. Her only post-war service was ferrying back American servicemen from overseas. By now the Navy had dozens of newer fleet carriers and summarily, Enterprise was deemed surplus and decommissioned in 1946. Despite attempts to preserve the highest decorated US ship in history, Enterprise’s story came to its melancholic end in 1960 – in the scrapyards. Dive bombers engaging an enemy Bismarck. Options Enterprise comes with the option of what type of bomb to load on your Dive Bombers -- an HE or AP bomb. These are selected from the modules tab and they're selected the same way you would a researched component but without an attached experience cost. Enterprise also has the same number of upgrade slots as a tier 9 or 10 aircraft carrier, giving her one more than Shokaku or Lexington. Consumables: Damage Control Party Defensive Fire Module Upgrades: Six 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. Your build is going to be pretty standard. In your first upgrade slot, take Air Groups Modification 1. You want that extra 10% dps to your aircraft guns. In the second slot, it's Air Groups Modification 2. Don't neglect your fighters -- they're a huge part of playing Enterprise well. In your third slot, take Air Groups Modification 3. This will give your Dive Bombers and Torpedo Bombers comparable hit points to other tier 8 attack craft. In slots four and five, take Damage Control Modification 1 and Damage Control Modification 2. This will give you a little extra fire and torpedo protection. Finally, take Concealment Modification 1 in your final slot to help you sneak about. Air Groups Aircraft Types: Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat, Grumman TBF Avenger, SBD-5 Dauntless Dive Bomber Flight Control Groups: Two fighter, two torpedo plane, two dive bombers. Base Squadron Sizes: Five aircraft for each squadron type. Hangar Capacity: 96 aircraft with 43 fighters, 25 torpedo planes and 28 dive bombers One thing that will immediately stand out with Enterprise is that all of her aircraft squadrons run at five planes instead of the usual six of American carriers. This provides an accelerated reload time of all of her squadrons compared to Lexington, though she still lags well behind Shokaku. Fighters Similar to Kaga, Enterprise is the second premium carrier to use down tiered aircraft. Her fighters are the F6F-5 Hellcat found on the Ranger at tier VII and the stock Lexington at tier VIII. Nearly half her carrier capacity is given over to these fighters which means, down tiered or not, they form a crucial part of Enterprise's designed role. Functionally, she will have a very hard time running out of fighters. Even with upgraded squadrons of six planes each, you will have to lose five full squadrons before the new ones you launch will be below full strength. I'm not saying it can't be done, but you're going to have to go out of your way (or go full potato) to do it. Enterprise really broadcasts how unfriendly a carrier she is to inexperienced players with these fighters. They're slower than contemporary aircraft with less planes per squadron, less HP and less DPS. Enterprise's Hellcats will be outfought by enemy USN fighters (she can almost hold her own against a Shokaku) and they won't kill attack planes fast enough to save a beleaguered ally. Proper use of the strafe mechanic is key and this will really ramp up the learning curve to be successful with this ship. If you struggle to make use of strafing to engage not only enemy attack planes but to out play other fighters, it will be difficult to enjoy a lot of success with her Hellcats. You'll often feel that you're fighting a losing battle to win air superiority with Enterprise, but the presence of your fighters is paramount to pushing your attacks through and chewing up the enemy reserves. Enterprise has the hangar capacity to pull it off, but it will often feel like an exercise in frustration to wrest away air superiority. Torpedo Planes Like Kaga, Enterprise has her own, unique drop pattern with her torpedo bombers. This is done in two lines, with two torpedoes in the front and three in the rear. Casualties come from the rear most aircraft first, starting from the outside and working their way in. Enterprise does not carry very deep reserves of her torpedo planes with a total of twenty-five on board when the match starts. At first glance, Enterprise's torpedo planes are largely disappointing. Their drop pattern is enormous and easily avoided. The torpedoes themselves run a parallel course and do not converge or diverge in the same manner as Japanese or other American carriers respectively. About the best thing that could be said about these torpedoes is that they can cover a large area when it comes to flushing out ships hiding in smoke. However, the large gaps from her individual salvos are mitigated with Enterprise's second torpedo plane squadron. A stacked drop may provide sufficient density in the pattern to make dancing to the torpedo beats a real challenge. This by no means makes Enterprise's torpedo planes "good" -- they're not. But used in this manner, they're at least functional. Wargaming clearly didn't want to make Enterprise outright overpowered with normal USN CV drop pattern with two torpedo squadrons, especially when combined with the outstanding damage potential of her dive bombers (see below). As a result, we have this rather unfortunate drop pattern which on its own isn't very exciting but is no doubt an important balance mechanic. One of the oft spoken downsides to Enterprise's attack planes -- their low hit points, can largely be mitigated by giving her the upgrade Air Groups Modification 3 which isn't available to Shokaku or Lexington. This bumps up Enterprise's 1,510hp torpedo aircraft up to 1,736hp per. This compares very favourably to the 1,710hp found on Lexington's TMB-3s, giving Enterprise's attack planes only slightly less overall survivability due to the 3 knot difference in top speed and having one less aircraft per squadron. In summary, Enterprise's torpedo planes take skill to use effectively. Stock, they're terrible. Once upgraded with the proper module, they have an acceptable level of survivability little different from Lexington's. Individual drops are easy to avoid so it's imperative they be used on either vulnerable targets or that you stack or cross-drop with your squadrons. On a per squadron basis, Enterprise will not be doing as much damage as other CVs with her torpedo bombers and you're unlikely to be able to a delete an enemy ship at will. However, they form an important component of her strike package. Reference Mahan (104m long) for scale. If you find the gaps between Enterprise's torpedoes look punitively large, it's not just you: they're enormous. Enterprise has arguably the most ineffective torpedo drop pattern yet seen in the game per individual squadron. Coordinated drops with both of her squadrons are needed to land an acceptable number of hits per sortie. However, even with such tactics, it will be incredibly challenging to cause catastrophic levels of damage to a target in a single pass. You're going to have to do a lot of work to get the same damage output another carrier might manage with less effort. Dive Bombers Part of the explanation of Enterprise's lackluster torpedo drop pattern resides with the damage potential of her dive bombers. She's the first carrier to be given the option of using armour piercing bombs and it really feels like her damage output has been balanced around their inclusion. As such, Enterprise is one of the first carriers to where dive bombers aren't playing second fiddle to torpedo planes when it comes to damage output. Now, Enterprise may still use HE bombs -- these may be selected in port before starting a match through the list of upgrades available for the ship. These bombs have the same performance as those found on Ranger and Lexington -- she's just dropping one less bomb per sortie with Enterprise's reduced squadron sizes. Things change when she uses her armour piercing (AP) bombs. These weapons cannot start fires. They can ricochet if they strike a surface at less than a 45º angle. Effectively, they count as a 305mm AP shell being dropped vertically onto the decks of her targets. These weapons detonate for up to 8,000 damage each on a successful citadel hit, giving the maximum damage potential for a fully upgraded, six plane squadron at 48,000hp. The auto-targeting area is oblong, almost conforming perfectly with the dimensions of a Bismarck-class battleship. A manual drop reduces this by 10% easily ensuring all bombs will land atop of her decks but I found this to be generally unnecessary -- left to their own devices, the bombers were accurate enough to ensure 2/3s of their ordnance landed against most targets. Citadel hits are commonplace, especially German Battleships, making hit point recovery through their Repair Party consumable from such attacks problematic. Realistically, you can expect between 10,000 to 30,000 damage per bombing run against most battleships. And this is really the best target for Enterprise's AP Bombs -- enemy battleships (especially German ones). The performance of the bombs becomes suspect, at best, against any other targets. They will land nothing but 800 damage over penetrating hits against destroyers. Against cruisers, their performance is a mixed and unreliable. Some targets, like Moskva, are as vulnerable as Battleships. Others, not so much. Enemy Shokaku can only take citadel hits to small sections over her overall length. Lexington takes even less, making it nearly impossible to land anything more than 800 damage hits per AP bomb. Like Enterprise's torpedo planes, her dive bombers greatly benefit from taking the upgrade Air Groups Modification 3, which puts their hit points per aircraft better than those of Lexington, though it's worth keeping in mind that there are less aircraft per squadron giving the flight an overall smaller hit point pool. Air Group Performance A lot of undue fuss will be made about Enterprise's tier VII aircraft, but I've found their tiering to be largely irrelevant for her attack planes. Air Groups Modification 3 gives her comparable survivability for her bomber squadrons. Enterprise's Hellcats are really where the struggle is found and yet she can hold her own against a Shokaku with the proper skill setup. It really comes down to which CV player can better manage her planes. However, it's worth saying that Enterprise cannot stand up to Lexington's Corsairs. When Enterprise takes AP bombs, she's really choosing to specialize in damaging enemy battleships over all other targets. Her wide torpedo salvos already damage her ubiquity in engaging targets like destroyers and the ammunition selection of her dive bombers will remove any pretense of being able to threaten them. Enterprise can deal big damage numbers in a game, but like any ship that focuses primarily on farming damage against enemy BBs, I don't find these damage totals to be nearly as effective as those from other carriers. Enterprise struggles to assist in neutralizing destroyers -- a key component to stealing the initiative from the enemy, especially in early stages of a match when they're often operating beyond the smothering flak umbrella that's so dominant in high-tier game play. This specialization doesn't necessarily make her better at killing enemy battleships than other carriers -- it just gives her a different method of doing it when she takes AP bombs. A battleship would be just as dead from taking a double stack of Shokaku torpedoes chased with dive bomber fires. Summary: Fighters are under-strength, but between an enormous hangar capacity and proper skill setup, she can hold her own against a Shokaku. Good luck against an Air Superiority Lexington, however. AP armed Dive Bombers are a fun gimmick and are very effective against battleships -- not so much against anything else. They are super easy to use, however, and are a good fire and forget weapon. Enterprise's torpedo bombers are much harder to use efficiently because of their enormous and ineffective drop pattern. Stacking the squadrons or using cross-drops is key to ensure hits but she will not output more damage than a Lexington with her torpedo planes or compete with the effectiveness of a Shokaku's torpedoes. Enterprise's fighters have an uphill battle ahead of them in every match. Don't dismiss them out of hand, though. Firepower Secondary Battery: Eight 127mm guns in single mounts, four to each side. Enterprise's secondaries aren't anything special. She has eight single mounts of her 127mm guns, four to a side with four mounted forwards and four aft. They have a 4.5km range and are immediately forgettable. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 32.5 knotsTurning Radius: 1070mRudder Shift: 13.1s Maximum Turn Rate: 3.14º per second. Enterprise truly is a fleet carrier with her decent (but not great) top speed. This will largely keep her out of trouble, at least until her team goes belly up. Like all carriers, her turning circle is enormous which in turn leads to a horrible rate of turn. You're not going to be dodging much in Enterprise, but I don't think anyone really expects her to. DurabilityHit Points: 51,400Maximum Protection: 21mm + 102mm through the bow to a transverse citadel bulkhead. Min Bow & Deck Armour: 21mm extremities, 25mm flight deckTorpedo Damage Reduction: 28% At 51,400hp, Enterprise has the exact same hit point total as Shokaku when she's fully upgraded. This pales compared to the enormous Lexington which has an advantage of an additional 5,900hp. Enterprise is very lightly armoured overall, with her thickest steel plates being found in transverse bulkheads protecting her citadel fore and aft, with most of everything else being sandwiched layered compartments between 19mm and 40mm thick. For HE protection, Enterprise isn't well set up to resist damage. Her flight deck is 25mm. Her flight hangar is armoured at 38mm, but there are large sections of her hull that are 19mm to 21mm thick. One thing she does boast over other carriers is excellent torpedo damage reduction at 28%. With Damage Control System Modification 1, this increases up to 30%. This is the second highest damage reduction for any CV in the game behind only the tier 9 Essex. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 14.6km Air Detection Range: 13.8 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 10.7km Minimum Aerial Detection Range: 10.4km As high tier American CVs go, Enterprise isn't out of the ordinary when it comes to her concealment rating. For surface/aerial detection, Lexington comes in at a whopping 17.5km / 15.0km surface detection range. Ranger came in at 14.2km / 13.3km and Essex at 14.9km / 14.4km, so she's right in the ballpark of what we would expect. The combination of modules and Captain Skills can bring this right down to an acceptable level and it's not like she's going to be up close where the action is anyway. So her stealth rating is not bad, but it's not great either. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 40mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 64 / 185 / 180 Enterprise has respectable anti-aircraft firepower, though it is primarily built around personal defense. It pales compared to Lexington's own strength of fire and she's especially lacking in long-range firepower needed to blunt strike aircraft. Enterprise does have the carrier version of Defensive Fire, this may thwart a clumsy carrier-sniping attempt but overall, her anti-aircraft firepower isn't sufficient to keep her safe from multiple strikes. At best, you can hope to make such attempt expensive. An Enterprise captain cannot be complacent. Bad drop. Only two out of six bombs hit this North Carolina due to a hasty aim. Jedi Training Enterprise conforms to most of the skill choices for strike-squadron aircraft carriers for the American navy but with one catch. Your core skill build should be the following for the first 11pts: Take Aircraft Servicing Expert at tier 1. Also take Dogfighting Expert right away before moving up to tier 2. The order isn't particularly important, just take both before moving on. Follow this up with Torpedo Acceleration at tier 2. Next comes Torpedo Armament Expertise at tier 3. And finally take Air Supremacy at tier 4. This all should look pretty normal, especially for players that normally play Japanese carriers. The importance of Dogfighting Expert is paramount for Enterprise. This will bump her fighter DPS when she engages planes from Shokaku or Lexington, bringing it up to a maximum of 68dps when combined with Air Groups Modification 1. Lexington's Corsairs will have 69dps.and Shokaku's Shiden have 77dps. From there, take the usual assortment of skills that help carriers. Concealment Expert should be at the top of the pile. AA guns skills, Advanced Fire Training, Basic Fire Training and Manual Fire Control for AA Guns are nice but not amazing on Enterprise. Emergency Takeoff is situational -- you're likely dead anyway if it comes to this, but if you have the points to spare, go for it. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Welcome to Hell! To succeed with Enterprise, new players must master fighter strafing. On top of this, they also have to have a good grasp of manual torpedo dropping -- except this is hard-mode manual torpedo dropping, not regular ol' easy-mode of torpedo dropping with Lexington torpedoes. To top it all off, they also have to keep an index of high AA firepower ships in their heads from tiers 8+ otherwise their planes will evaporate when they're not top tier before they drop. This all just to do an acceptable level of damage. For the veteran knowing when it's acceptable to sacrifice planes to make a drop on a high-value target is difficult. Managing Enterprise's reserves to win this war of attrition efficiently is key. Trying to juggle your fighters against forces that can outrun and/or outgun you isn't fun. And finally, getting her ordnance on target is always a challenge, particularly when it's not just sniping dumb, lone battleships. Then comes the question of juggling damage over time effects versus with fires / floods or eschewing that and going for AP bomb drops instead. There's so much to know for small but appreciable gains in performance! Mouse's Summary: This is not a new-player friendly carrier ... and carriers aren't new player friendly to begin with. This is worse. This is an expert's carrier and they may not want to bother with the amount of work needed to make it excel. I'm happy to see they went with what amounts to a historical load-out of Enterprise's air groups. I just wish that had a more positive effect in game play. I totally get why the torpedo drop pattern is enormous. No one wanted to see two carrier flight groups dump double-USN torpedo strikes and make CV-6 overpowered. They're just not that fun to use though. German Battleships: Beware! Enterprise isn't broken. She's not a bad ship either. In the right hands, she can be a very good tier 8 carrier. Her tier 7 fighters, with the right skills and consumables are workable. They're not doing you any favours, but you can make them work. Being downtiered with her attack planes doesn't matter. I personally feel that only having 5 aircraft per squadron is more of an issue than them being tier 7. Access to the 6th module slot largely mitigates this flaw. Her dive bombers are actually a lot of fun. It's very satisfying to drop bombs and see them do as much as 30,000+ damage to an unsuspecting battleship. I'll be honest -- her torpedo planes are not great. It takes two squadrons to do the job of one of Lexington's squadrons. And even then, they don't do the job as well, at least not with a whole lot of cleverness on behalf of Enterprise's player. I understand why they're like that. If they had any tighter of a drop, they'd be too good. So fine, I can swallow that especially given that her dive bombers spit out so much damage on select targets. I think Enterprise's greatest flaw is also her greatest strength. She's built to make battleship lives miserable and short and she's damn good at it. Meta wise, this will make Enterprise will probably end up with some respectable average damage totals because of this preferred enemy type, but I fear that she's not as versatile as other carriers when it comes to engaging other ship types. The argument will be made by some that Enterprise does not up-tier well. This is fine. Neither Lexington or Shokaku. When she's top tier, the lives of ships like Bayern, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Tirpitz and Bismarck are going to be especially bleak if they don't run with air cover protecting them. German Battleships are finally going to be collecting all of those citadel hits they've been dodging since their release, and that makes me smile. I would have to say that, overall, I am pleased with the end product Wargaming has produced. I was doubting for a time that they would be capable of producing a premium aircraft carrier that wasn't polarized between being absolutely worthless and ridiculously overpowered. Enterprise strikes a very good balance, all told (even if she's a nightmare for inexperienced players). I can't say how the consumer will respond -- Enterprise is not the next best and brightest star in the game. She won't be the flavour of the month, not with her current stats. As difficult as this review process was, Enterprise is a welcome addition to the game in her current form. Would I Recommend? Let's clear the air: Enterprise wasn't a fun ship for me to play. I hated playing her. I don't want to play her again. This entire testing period was an exercise in extreme frustration and one of the most negative experiences I've had yet as a Community Contributor. I've tried to remain as objective as I could through this review and not let these bad feels get in the way of covering her merits and flaws objectively. I don't think I was entirely successful in that, and for that I apologize in advance. For PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Mouse: Enterprise isn't going to be a big credit earner in Co-Op battles, though she doesn't have any overhead costs to worry about except repair and rearming fees. She can do just fine against bots. She doesn't have the big "delete anything" punch of Shokaku, though. Still, she's pretty profitable even without a premium account, so I'll give her a green light here. GrafZeppelinKai: I was able to perform well with Enterprise against bots. As I didn't have to worry about enemy fighter strafes and I was able to autodrop my AP bombs, it made micromanaging my aircraft more simpler. I could see this as a benefit for newcomers to CVs. For Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Mouse: Tier for tier, Saipan is the better boat. It's hard to recommend a tier 8 carrier when the tier 7 carrier is just so much better. If you don't have access to Saipan and you're looking for a trainer and credit earner, don't get Enterprise. Get a Saipan. So again, a big nope. The only way I could really justify it here is if you really hate German Battleships and want to pee in their cornflakes. GrafZeppelinKai: She will not be forgiving to newcomers here. Enterprise counters certain targets well and will naturally fall into a specialist role. This means players will have to have a greater understanding of proper target selection; something that only comes with experience. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Mouse: No, Shokaku is better at nearly everything short of landing citadel hits with bombs. GrafZeppelinKai: Although I'm very curious as to see how AP dive-bombers will alter the current meta, I feel her decreased effectiveness in engaging cruisers and destroyers means she isn't as versatile as her tech-tree comrades. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Mouse: Absolutely here. It's the USS Enterprise! GrafZeppelinKai: To quote Pigeon_of_War: “Mother. F***ing. Enterprise!!!” For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Mouse: I didn't like her, but I hate carrier game play, so that probably isn't the most objective answer you're going to get. Her AP Bombs are fun though and I do have to say, it's very cathartic to land regular citadel hits on German BBs with them. GrafZeppelinKai: Although I'm a terrible CV driver, the AP bombs have really intrigued me and I enjoyed learning how to use them. The feeling of watching the enemy hitpoints melt is therapeutic. 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.
  13. 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 elaborate 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. Without further ado: Workhorse. Quick Summary: An almost-stock Fubuki-class Destroyer but with three, slow firing turrets instead of two. Her torpedo armament has an 8.0km range. Patch & Date Written: 0.5.15, December 1st, 2016 Closest in-Game Contemporary: Fubuki,Tier 6 Japanese Destroyer Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class/ Similar Role / Unique The Shinonome is the sixth ship of the Fubuki-class. Veterans of the IJN line will recognize her three-turret layout as being that of the A & B Hull Variants when the ship was a tier 8 destroyer. Her torpedoes are much more powerful due to their longer range over the stock Fubuki. Otherwise, she's very similar to her tier 6 stock-counterpart with only small differences here and there. PROs Armed with six 127mm rifles -- yay, old-school Fubuki is back! (Or is it!?) Guns have a flat arc with a high velocity shell that makes aiming up to maximum range a simple feat. Armed with three triple torpedo launchers which allows for all sorts of tactical options when it comes to torpedo runs. Good individual torpedoes with 14,600 alpha strike, an 8.0km range and 63 knot top speed. CONs Short reach on her main battery of 9.0km and very poor gun handling with a 6'/s rotation. Slow rate of fire (6.67rpm) with the new shell damage, resulting in only modest to poor DPM. Large turning circle for a destroyer at 640m and only a modest top speed of 35.0 knots. Almost no AA power. The Shinonome is a reward ship, joining the ranks of vessels like the Flint, Kamikaze R and Emden. With patch 0.5.15, any player can earn her by completing a series of missions through the campaign system. Overall, the campaign difficulty is quite low, with only two real hurdles to overcome. First, the missions require a tier 8 to 10 vessel. Second, completing the campaign takes a lot of time. Players can, if they so choose, simply repeat the same missions over and over at each stage. This lets them cherry pick the easiest missions, though this is where a lot of the time requirement comes in. Alternatively, they can attempt more challenging missions to speed up the process, but these may take multiple attempts to achieve. So acquiring the Shinonome becomes a question of inevitability rather than outright difficulty. The timing of the Shinonome's arrival is quite fortuitous as it overlaps the revamp of the IJN Destroyer tech tree. For players without any form of premium vessel, the Shinonome would arm them with a premium trainer ideally suited to helping them redistribute their Captains to the new vessels they would be adding to their ports. But would she be any good as a training ship? Could she perform? Did Wargaming give away a beautiful gem of a ship like the Kamikaze R or is the Shinonome more forgettable? Leading the way. IJN Destroyers make good scouts with their low surface detection range compared to the other ships they face. Sadly, they're rather undergunned for dealing with any enemy destroyers they encounter. The Shinonome is no different, despite having six guns to the usual four of IJN tin cans at her tier. The real struggle that most DDs encounter is in the opening minutes of match where so many of their number are culled early. Options There are no surprises to be found here. Consumables: Damage Control Party Smoke Generator Engine Boost Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard destroyer options.Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ Standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Firepower Primary Battery: Six 127m rifles in 3x2 turrets. One on the prow, two on the stern in a superfiring configuration. Torpedoes: Nine tubes in 3x3 launchers mounted dorsally. Let me be a little different with this review and start with her torpedoes. As a Fubuki-class destroyer, the Shinonome comes with a very heavy torpedo armament that's guaranteed to make Battleship players poop themselves with rage and terror. She comes with three triple launchers, all mounted dorsally with good fields of fire. These tubes reload in a minute and twelve seconds each, making it very easy to keep a constant cycle of fish in the water. Sounds all pretty nice so far, doesn't it? Well, read on. The Shinonome uses the stock torpedoes found on the Hatsuharu and Fubuki. These do 14,600 damage each with a 63 knot speed and 1.6km detection range. These aren't as hard hitting as the upgraded tier 6 torpedoes found on the IJN ships which cap out at 16,267 damage, but they are faster. But what makes these fish memorable is their range. Unlike the stock torpedoes on the Fubuki and Hatsuharu which are limited to 6.0km, the Shinonome's fish reach out to a very serviceable 8.0km without any reduction in speed or damage for the upgrade. So short of missing out on a bit of alpha strike, you can perceive the Shinonome as having a nice compromise between the faster stock fish and the longer ranged upgraded torpedoes they eventually unlock. They even match well against the Anshan's, being faster, hitting marginally harder and reloading more quickly. I've found them to be a quite comfortable fit. The real danger of these torpedoes is just how many she can fire at a time. The Fubuki-class can dump two launchers worth and hold her third in reserve. Firing only these six still gives her parity with every other destroyer at her tier short of the Farragut. The flexibility of being able to hold back her third launcher is incredibly powerful. It opens up all sorts of opportunities to catch unwary ships with a blindside of fish when they think themselves safe for having avoided two full spreads already. Without going into length, a complacent enemy might commit to a turn to avoid the first salvos only to be struck by the third. Or they may assume that all of the fish have been launched only to be caught out by a surprise point blank ambush with the last launcher. The only real downside is that the Fubuki can make her torpedoes better than the Shinonome through the use of the Captain Skill Torpedo Acceleration. This would change the 10km, 59 knot Fubuki torpedoes into 8km, 64 knots torpedoes with their more powerful warhead. While the Shinonome would still enjoy a faster rearm process for her fish, it's hard to argue that these stealthier, faster and harder hitting Fubuki torpedoes aren't an improvement. Still, I am very pleased with the Shinonome's torpedo armament. It's quite powerful and unique. The Shinonome may seem like a fun throwback when it comes to her guns, at least for veterans of the IJN line. Players of the original Fubuki will recognize the weapon layout as that of the class before 0.5.15 if you used the A or B-Hull rather than the anti-aircraft C-Hull variant. I was more elated to see this than perhaps I should have been. Not only was her gun layout preserved but so too was her rate of fire. To say that her gun performance is rather lackluster is a bit of an understatement. * includes the use of the Advanced Fire Training Captain Skill where necessary. Gun performance values for tier 6 Destroyers. This lower rate of fire is combined with the nerfed shell performance from 0.5.15 which reduced HE damage per shell from 2,100 to 1,800. Her base fire chance is also reflective of the new shells at 7% per hit as opposed to 9%. While this does put her ahead of the Hatsuharu and Fubuki in terms of raw DPM and Fires per Minute (FPM), she lags considerably behind the Ognevoi, Anshan and the Farragut. In addition, she doesn't have that much of a lead on the IJN Destroyers. I was personally hoping to see the Shinonome with a Hatsuharu or at least a Fubuki's rate of fire. But being stuck at 6.67rpm instead of 7.5rpm or 8rpm is a big disappointment. This is compounded by the stereotypical poor gun handling of the mid tier IJN Destroyers. The guns take 30s to rotate 180' so you can forget brawling. The final nail in the coffin for me in regards to her guns is the 9.0km range. Their only saving grace comes from the good ballistics of her shells. Like all IJN 127mm Destroyers, her guns are very high velocity with very flat trajectories. This makes accuracy not much of a problem and it's more than sufficient to slap a prospecting hunter in the face. They can also be used sufficiently to finish off wounded prey if you're still in the vicinity after dumping your awesome fish. The Shinonome encounters a Hatsuharu inside a squall. Her primary battery allows her to battle from a position of superiority against other same-tier IJN Destroyers. Rivals: Hatsuharu The Hatsuharu doesn't come off looking to good in comparison to the Shinonome. Her torpedo armament is worse. She might have better rate of fire, but with only a 20% increase in reload speed compared to the 33% increase in available guns on the Shinonome, the Hatusharu falls well behind in that regard. Well, at least she has better range than the Shinonome. Sort of. That 300m is hardly decisive. About the only place where the Hatsuharu is hands down superior to the Shinonome is in regards to her agility and concealment. The Hatusharu is faster and she handles better. She's also got a 300m stealth advantage over the premium ship. Both of these traits are nice but when it comes to outright performance, I've got to give the laurels to the Shinonome in this comparison. Maneuverability Top Speed: 35.0 knotsTurning Radius: 640mRudder Shift: 3.2s The Shinonome nearly clones the Fubuki when it comes to her agility. This puts her on the slow side for a tier 6 destroyers, with a largish (but not unprecedented) turning circle and a rudder shift that lags behind the lead of her class by 0.7s. So while not terrible, the Shinonome doesn't have good handling either. She can and will out turn her sluggish turret traverse and you will find yourself tempted to touch the rudder to correct your aim or to speed up bringing your guns to bear. I find this to be largely a mistake as it can lead to all sorts of navigational problems, including often fatal beachings. DurabilityHit Points: 12,900 Bow & Deck Armour: Minimum of 12mm The Shinonome has less armour than the Fubuki, believe it or not. A few millimeters of missing armour plate aren't going to make a whole lot of difference, though. Any gun in the game can penetrate your bows with HE shells, so it's not like you'll enjoy any form of immunity to any kind of attack short of bouncing 152mm AP shells tossed into your face at point blank range. Her hit point pool is decent, though a far cry from the 15,500hp found on the Ognevoi or the 14,400 of the Anshan. Still this is on par with the Fubuki and it's higher than that found on any other USN or IJN destroyer at tier 6. This isn't really enough to make trading DPM with her main armament feasible, but it can provide a buffer to make picking on a damaged ship more worth risking. Rivals: Ognevoi & Anshan These ships are faster than you, tougher than you, with better DPM. These ships from the Soviet Block have the muscle to bully you off of objectives and drive you away from making attack runs on their big friends. They're anything but stealthy, however. And while their guns look more impressive, they're not that much better at slinging high explosive shells than you are. Properly equipped (with boosted hit points) and with the advantage of getting the first volley, you might be able to out trade these ships with your Shinonome. But beware if they switch over to armour piercing shells. They'll pull away on damage. Still, the only real contender for the Shinonome is the Premium Anshan, which preservers the gunship qualities of the Ognevoi but adds a potential 8km torpedo armament. This pales compared to the three triple launchers of the Shinonome, though. You can also console yourself that the Anshan has similarly poor gun handling, so neither one of you is going to want to adjust your heading while trading blows. Like a sick game of chicken, the first one to make a mistake or to veer away loses. Aware that she would be horribly outgunned and outclassed by the Akizuki, the Shinonome makes use of an island to keep out of line of sight of the fearsome IJN gunship. Pick your battles! Concealment and Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 7.0km Air Detection Range: 3.8km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 6.11km Concealment Penalty while Firing: +3.81km (vs 9.0km gun range) With her large hit point pool, it's perhaps not surprising that the Shinonome is a big boat. Her 7.0km surface detection range, while not so troublesome when the Fubuki was tier 8, is a little more problematic at tier 6. Thankfully she goes up against the likes of the Ognevoi (7.7km), Farragut (7.6km) and Anshan (7.2km). She really begins to hurt when up-tiered (as all sub tier 8 destroyers do) which face enemy tin cans that have access to Concealment Modification 1 which provides them with an immediate detection advantage. Still, her 7.0km is serviceable. Right out of the box with her premium camouflage, she has a 6.8km surface detection range, giving you a very comfortable 1.2km concealment window from which to deploy your torpedoes against larger ships. Fully upgraded, you can get the Shinonome's surface detection range down to 6.1km. This does open up a tiny opportunity to stealth fire from open water if her Captain takes Advanced Fire Training. Don't think that this will redeem her gunnery, however, as it's only a 900m window. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 12.7mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 1.2kmAA DPS per Aura: 4 Hahaha! No. Turn this travesty off and leave it off. You've got more hopes of Wargaming implementing mid-air collisions than getting the Shinonome to shoot something down. Rivals: Farragut The Farragut contrasts the Shinonome greatly. Faster, more agile, with nimble guns that unleash a blistering rate of fire -- out of all of the tier 6 Destroyers the Shinonome might encounter, the Farragut is her worst nightmare. Armed with up to five 127mm rifles which cycle once every four seconds, she can stack the hurt in a hurry and disable weapons and systems under her incessant volley. With a pair of quadruple torpedo launchers with a 6.4km range, you have to be wary of where and when you turn when a Farragut engages. You're not going to out trade a Farragut. In a straight line, you're not going to outrun her either. Your best bet is to point your stern into their faces and run, firing back with your four rifles. If she wants to keep up, the Farragut will have to go bow on and only be able to reply with two. But no Farragut should be fool enough to fall for that trick for long. Disengage when you see a full health Farragut prowling near you. You've got a very small stealth advantage over her. Use it and look for greener pastures. After encountering a Lo Yang inside of 6km, the Shinonome blows smoke and heads out to open sea after dumping fish. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme As an IJN Destroyer, the Shinonome is a pretty forgiving boat. While she struggles with her guns, it's just hard to argue the point that being able to spit out nine torpedoes from three launchers doesn't facilitate hitting targets and doing damage. I would say that the baseline difficulty for the Shinonome is higher than that of the Fubuki. Her extra guns are nice but not enough to provide a solid deterrent to would be aggressors. 10km torpedoes are easier to use than 8km torpedoes, if only from a survivability perspective. Efficacy remains up for debate. It's this same torpedo armament which in the hands of an expert player become a real nightmare. Three triple launchers provides a whole measure of control that's all too dangerous in the right hands. Combined with stealth and agility, a Shinonome, like a Fubuki, that's left unchecked into the later stages of a match can quickly spell the end for an unwary team that has lost their vision. Mouse's Summary: The Shinonome looks less impressive than she is. It's easy to get caught up on how she's not-quite a Fubuki. Her gun armament will disappoint many who are expecting great things from it. She's no gunship. Overall, she's a good workhorse premium, with no flash or pizazz. I was initially disappointed in the Shinonome. While I was working on trying to figure out a way to summarize her for people that asked me what she was like, I found it easiest to compare her to what people knew. She's a stock Fubuki, with three turrets instead of two. She reloads more slowly. She has 8km torpedoes instead of 6km. That really doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement. In fact, it sounds downright lackluster. But that's undermining just how good the Fubuki is at tier 6 and how the Shinonome, as a Fubuki herself, does just fine as a result. I am delighted that they included this ship as a reward vessel accessible to anyone with a tier 8+ ship and time to grind out the Campaign Missions. This will give players who don't normally have access to premium content, and who might be newer and have missed out on previous promotions, a chance to grab a trainer and credit earning ship to assist them in playing World of Warships. The Shinonome will work well for anyone that's looking to help retrain their Captains, especially with the changes to the IJN Destroyer line. The only unfortunate part is that the time needed to complete the campaign may make their own acquisition of the Shinonome so delayed as to be moot for this purpose. Oh well, she'll be ready the next time she's needed. The Shinonome is a workhorse. Like the Kamikaze-class before her when the Minekaze still reigned king, she does not look that impressive compared to her non-premium counterpart. Don't let that fool you. You don't drive the Shinonome to be fancy or to be noticed. She's there to get the job done, and she's got all of the right tools to assist you in doing so from start to finish. Rivals: Fubuki The Fubuki outclasses the Shinonome in everything but main battery firepower. But let's be thorough and go over the specific differences compared to the upgraded ship. In parenthesis, the Fubuki will be first, Shinonome second. The Fubuki is better armoured (16mm bow vs 12mm) The Shinonome has a larger main battery (4 guns vs 6) The Fubuki reloads faster (8s vs 9s) The Fubuki is longer ranged (10.0km vs 9.0km) The Fubuki has better torpedoes (16,267 damage, 59 knots, 10km range, 1.5km detection vs 14,600 damage, 63 knots, 8km range, 1.6km detection) The Fubuki has better AA DPS (19 vs 4) The Fubuki has better Rudder Shift Time (2.5s vs 3.2s) The Fubuki is an excellent destroyer at tier 6 -- arguably one of the most powerful destroyers at her tier and certainly in contention for being one of the most powerful destroyers tier for tier in the game (provided we pointedly ignore the Gremyashchy). That the Shinonome compares so closely to this strong destroyer really speaks well for this premium ship. The Fubuki and Shinonome. The Fubuki has the busier camouflage scheme between the two of them. Visually, they are quite similar though still distinct. The Shinonome is easily identified not only the number of turrets but by their style, which are slender and boxy. Would I Recommend? The Shinonome is a free ship (for now). The only way to acquire her is to put in time to the Campaign and unlock her through the step by step process of completing Missions. Time is precious, and it's ultimately up to the individual how to spend their precious hobby hours. With this in mind, here are my recommendations: For Random Battle Grinding: Yes, she's worth it. As I said earlier, she a stable, reliable work horse. The Shinonome is perfect for helping grind out your IJN Destroyer Captains and she's no slouch for your cruiser Captains either. She synergizes well with most of the Captain Skills you could want for either the gunship or torpedo boat line for the destroyers. Do keep in mind that as a tier 6, she will be facing against higher tiered opponents more often than not. It will be rare that you're not facing off against tier 7 opponents at the very least. Make use of her concealment, sneak those caps where you can and put fish into their big stuff to gradually accumulate the experience and credits you need. Stay away from anything with radar. For Competitive Gaming: It's harder to recommend her here. The Fubuki is better. Still, she can be pressed into performing if needs be. Like I said, it's hard to argue with the merits of three triple launchers. Personally, she wouldn't be the destroyer I would reach for. For Collectors: The end of the historic Shinonome is a mystery. Even the whereabouts of her remains haven't yet been confirmed. Like the Arizona, she didn't have a wartime career and is more famous for the events surrounding her sinking than in any action in which she participated. For Fun Factor: For Captains who love their IJN Destroyers, the Shinonome is a good fit. She doesn't have any gimmicks to make her stand out. But if you like Fubuki-style game play and wish you could make a few more credits and experience while enjoying that style, then the Shinonome is a great investment. She will not convince someone who does not like Destroyer game play, particularly Japanese destroyer game play, to change their colours however. Outfitting your Shinonome Recommended Modules There shouldn't be any surprises in this section. For your first slot, I strongly recommend Magazine Modification 1 for all destroyers. This turns detonations from an uncommon (but jarring) occurrence to a statistical outlier. You will take gun hits in your destroyers and they can and will result in the complete annihilation of your vessel with some frequency (as much as 1 game in 20). This will reduce this down to almost 1 game in 67 at most. If you feel like living dangerously, or if you intend to always equip Juliet Charlie signals, then Main Battery Modification 1 isn't a bad choice. Just don't complain when someone asplodes your boat. For your second slot, it's a no brainer. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is best. The third slot options are still pretty terrible. Take whichever one you like. I usually go with Propulsion Modification 1 in the vain hopes that my engine might bust less often. It doesn't seem to be working. Finally, for your fourth option, Propulsion Modification 2 is handy, particularly if you find yourself accelerating and decelerating to take advantage of smoke. For aggressive players that like to ninja caps, this is definitely the best option. Steering Gears Modification 2 isn't bad, but this only nets you a 0.64s gain on your rudder shift which is hardly noticeable. Recommended Consumables The Shinonome isn't too pricey when it comes to maintaining her consumables. Due to her decent stealth window, you can eschew the use of a premium Damage Control Party if you wish. The 60s reset timer on the standard version is normally sufficient for a vessel that doesn't intend to use her guns that often. The same can't be said for your Smoke Generator. Don't skimp out on that and spend the 22,500 credits to increase the number of charges you get and to reduce the reset timer from four minutes down to two minutes and forty seconds. I wouldn't bother with a premium Engine Boost consumable. Its use is highly situational. You can just hold onto it until you really need it. Recommended Captain Skills With the way the IJN Destroyer tree has branched, it's not uncommon to see some skill choices that seem less optimal for select destroyer types. The Akizuki has very specific demands, for example. To this end, they may not mesh up perfectly with the Shinonome. Here's the skills I recommend for her optimal performance. For your first skill, Basic Fire Training is best. This will bump up her anemic reload rate from 9s to 8.1s. Next, grab Last Stand to keep your engine and steering gears operational after taking damage. Torpedo Armament Expertise is very powerful on the Shinonome, reducing her reload from 72s per launcher down to 65.7s and should probably be acquired on a subsequent pass through the list. Lastly, Expert Marksman is alright, but it won't suddenly make the guns amazing. I would skip it personally. At tier three, Superintendent is probably the best choice. This will give you an extra (and welcome) charge of your Smoke Generator and Engine Boost consumables. At tier four, you have three reasonable choices. Advanced Fire Training seems like the optimal choice, increasing your gun range from a pathetic 9.0km to 10.8km which is much more versatile. Alternatively you can reach for Demolition Expert to nudge the fire chance of this ship from 7% to 10% per shell which is respectable. However, I feel that Survivability Expert is probably best for the Shinonome, bumping her hit points up to 15,300. And finally, at the last tier, Concealment Expert remains too good of a choice to pass up for Destroyers. For more articles in this series, please visit: LittleWhiteMouse's Mega Ship Review Guide
  14. Bogatyr in a sexy black dress. Quick Summary: A stock Bogatyr-class protected cruiser. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.0 - January 25th, 2017 Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing. Closest in-Game Contemporary Bogatyr, Tier 3 Russian Protected CruiserDegree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique The Oleg is a stock Bogatyr-class. Lert and I will go on at length about the difference between the ships, so I'll keep it short here. I was sorely tempted to compare her instead to the Aurora. The Pallada-class is very similar in play style in World of Warships and short of an obvious difference in speed, it would be difficult to really set them apart in terms of performance. PROs The Oleg is very soft skinned leading to many over penetrating hits from battleship-caliber, armour piercing shells. More hit points than the fully upgraded Bogatyr. Fast for a protected cruiser at 24.0 knots. Good HE performance, with 2,100 alpha strike per shell and 8% base fire chance. Great handling, with a tighter turning circle than her sister ship at 450m. Very easy to understand and with a very low skill floor. CONs Low DPM for a tier 3 cruiser with her 8-gun broadside and 9s reload. Agonizingly slow turret rotation made all of the more noticeable by her small turning circle. Guns will often slide off the target in a high speed turn. Her top speed, while perfectly adequate when top tier is severely lacking when she faces tier 4 ships. Short of the turrets, the entire ship has no more than 13mm of external armour plating. Much of it has 6mm. This makes her take high explosive penetrations from any size of shell that strikes her. A small portion of the citadel is raised well over the waterline (found just beneath the two large lifeboats behind the last funnel). This portion has less sloping than the rest of the citadel. Her AP shells are downright forgettable with poor penetration and requiring very short range engagements to be effective. No anti-aircraft firepower whatsoever. Doing the dance. The Oleg cannot win by rate of fire alone. Learn to WASD early and often with your cruisers. It will serve you well. If you ascended the Russian cruiser line, you've already played the Oleg. It's disappointing to say, but there it is. The Oleg is a stock Bogatyr with a few tweaks to her stat line. They can be summarized by the following. The Oleg: Has more hit points. Has a slightly smaller turning circle. Has sexy black camouflage. Good and we're done. Review over. Goodnight everybody! Huh? What do you mean that's not good enough!? Ugh! Fine! I've asked Lert to once again join me in this review to provide his views. Lert has more experience in the Bogatyr than anyone else I know and he's certain a better hand at it than I am. He'll even deliberately up-tier his cruiser to face bigger opponents like the good ol' days. Apparently baby seals aren't enough to sate his appetite anymore. I totally approve of this behaviour. The Lertbox Hello and welcome to another Lertbox. This time we're discussing the russian tier 3 Bogatyr class cruiser Oleg. Is it worth your money? Is it worth being in this game at all? For this Lertbox I will comparing her to Bogatyr, St Louis and Aurora. I feel these are very representative of the protected cruiser gameplay at the tier. (He better make this review good cause I dunno how many times I can repeat myself in saying this is a stock Bogatyr and be expected to be entertaining!) Options No surprises here. Low tier cruisers aren't terribly complicated. Consumables: Damage Control Party Module Upgrades: Two slots, standard cruiser options.Premium Camouflage: Tier 2 to 5 Standard. This provides 30% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. The Oleg's camouflage is pretty sexy looking. Firepower Primary Battery: Twelve 152mm rifles. Eight guns are mounted in casemates along the flanks of the ships, four to each side. The remaining four are divided into two, two-gun turrets on the bow and stern. Secondary Battery: Twelve 75mm rifles, with six down each side of the ship in casemates. Let's start with what was almost a deal breaker for me: The Oleg has horrible gun handling. It takes 30s to rotate her guns 180º. This is so slow that in a turn, your guns will slide off your target every single time. This is so slow that you're unable to shift fire from one side of the ship to another quickly because it will take so long for the guns to acquire their target. Yes, even the casemate guns bolted to the sides of the ship which can only face on side will take too long to rotate onto your target. This is so slow that you'll be using the rudder to line your guns up. It's that bad. Expert Marksman, the tier 2 Captain Skill, is almost a must.The Oleg has less main battery firepower than the Aurora despite having the same broadside of eight 152mm/45 Canet guns. This disparity comes from a difference in rate of fire. The Pallada-class cruisers reload in 8.6s while the Bogatyr-class cruisers reload in 9.0s. This places the Oleg third from the bottom in terms of HE DPM among the tier 3 cruisers. 140,000 - Bogatyr (B-Hull) 152mm 126,667 - Bogatyr (B-Hull) 130mm with Basic Fire Training 126,000 - St.Louis 118,800 - Kolberg with Basic Fire Training 117,209 - Aurora 114,000 - Bogatyr (B-Hull) 130mm 112,000 - Oleg 108,000 - Kolberg 96,000 - Tenryu But let's be clear here -- she's not that far behind the Bogatyr with 130mm before Captain Skills. The 2,000 DPM between them is the difference of 1 extra hit from the Oleg's 152mm rifles. In the real world with shot dispersion, the Oleg's damage is going to compare very closely with the Bogatyr until Basic Fire Training is added. To this end, the Oleg won't feel that far behind ships like the Aurora or an upgraded Kolberg. The Oleg's main battery is supplemented by twelve 75mm secondary guns. However, like most low-tier vessels, her secondaries are hamstrung by painfully short range -- in this case, a mere 2.5km. Their small caliber isn't too much of an issue against anything short of a Battleship. While it's possible to engage targets with these guns, it's never going to end well unless you already have the upper hand by a significant margin. Overall, the Oleg's firepower is pretty average with nothing really spectacular about it. She has only a modest a 10.8km range, her AP performance is hamstrung by poor ballistics and she can't out muscle any of her contemporaries in terms of raw damage. This might be acceptable if the Oleg had other abilities to supplement her firepower but as you'll see in subsequent sections, these advantages fail to materialize. While her guns are completely capable of doing damage and performing, the Oleg does not win any recognition for what she brings to the table as a gunship. Rivals: Versus the Bogatyr Against a bone stock Bogatyr you actually stand a chance in an Oleg. Similar range, similar broadside with the same guns, similar reload, similar speed, same armor profile but more hit-points. It's when the Bogatyr starts upgrading though that Oleg is left choking in the dust. The B hull gives Bogatyr a heavier broadside, the FCS gives the tech tree ship better range and the 130mm guns give her a better fire chance. Plus, if the Bogatyr player has the 130mm guns mounted and AFT researched, he can keep you at arm's length without ever allowing you a chance to shoot back. The best (and only) way to handle a Bogatyr is when the latter is distracted. Get your fire in, while he's concentrating on other things. Try not to be the easy target, because he outguns and out-ranges you. The Oleg, doing what she does best: Providing supporting firepower into an engagement from the second line. She doesn't have the DPM, armour or hit point total to trade blows effectively. Maneuverability Top Speed: 24.0 knots Turning Radius: 450m Rudder Shift Time: 7.1s This is probably the best bit of news about this ship. The Oleg is, for a tier 3 protected cruiser, both fast and maneuverable. Her 24.0 knots isn't a blistering top speed by any means, but it does give her longer legs than most of her contemporaries with the exception of the Tenryu and Caledon. Her turning circle is also very tight at a mere 450m. This is a marginal 10m improvement over the Bogatyr herself, though she loses out on rudder-shift time. Still, she is very wiggly and this can be used to help dodge incoming fire and attack planes. Her top speed really feels lacking when she's facing tier 4 ships, though. She's easily outpaced by every other cruiser found at this tier and even some of the Battleships like the Ishizuchi and Myogi are outright faster. Being kited is a real risk in this ship, especially if the Oleg is fool enough not to silence her guns and turn away to drop back into concealment. A second drawback is that the Oleg WILL out turn her turrets. Firing and maneuvering just isn't possible as your guns will slide off their targets. Even with Expert Marksman, it's impossible to keep her guns tracking an enemy while she has her rudder hard over at full speed. Durability Hit Points: 24,100 Citadel Protection: Layered armour, with a 13mm outer hull and a sloped 70mm citadel deck. Min Bow & Deck Armour: Between 6mm and 11mm. The Oleg is an experience and credits pinata in her matchmaking spread. Hit her with anything and rewards leak out. She can be penetrated almost everywhere even by the smallest caliber HE shells and her bows can be overmatched by even 88mm worth of AP fire. You're simply not going to bounce a whole lot in this ship. Though she has more hit points than the Bogatyr, it isn't an appreciable gain over her sister ship, nor is it anywhere near enough to allow her to make up for the deficiencies in her DPM against vessels like the St.Louis. The Oleg shares the raised citadel weakness of the Bogatyr. There's a small section behind the funnels, found underneath the large lifeboats mounted there where the citadel rides significantly higher than the waterline. The only defense the Oleg has is to use terrain and her maneuverability to attempt to avoid fire. Rivals: Versus the St.Louis On paper, Oleg looks ok against a stock St Louis. You have a heavier broadside, slightly more range and are a hair faster. But that's where your advantages end. Even stock, a St Louis has more hit-points and better armor. When the American fighting lady is fully upgraded however, you're in trouble. A heavier broadside, much more hit-points, better armor, similar range and only a little bit slower, she'll outgun, out-tank and out-brawl you. It helps a lot to know where to aim on a St Louis. While she has better armor, that only covers her machinery spaces. Her extremities and superstructure are still soft, and that's where you should put your HE. Other than that though, the best you can do is pray that the St Louis driver is a worse shot than you are. She will outlast you in a direct slugging match. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 10.3km Air Detection Range: 5.7km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 8.8km Concealment Penalty while Firing: +4.56km (versus 10.8km maximum range) The best that can be said for the Oleg is that at least her surface detection range doesn't outstrip her guns. It's a very near thing, though, and something for players to be aware of. In the claustrophobic maps found at tiers two through four, there's not a whole lot of room to use range to hide, but there are a plethora of islands behind which cover can be found to break line of sight. Make judicious use of these to keep your Oleg not-sunk and to control the engagement. Anti-Aircraft DefenseYou can find it by reaching down and grabbing your ankles. It's down there somewhere. Just keep looking. Rivals: Versus the Aurora Finally a comparison where Oleg comes out at least looking equal to her competitor. Where Aurora has slightly more range, she's considerably slower. Where she turns better, she has less hit-points. The differences are small though, except for a 5 knot speed difference. Even the armor scheme is close to the same. With Oleg's superior speed you might try to kite Aurora and rain down fire from range, but she can turn better to avoid your fire, and return fire from just outside our range. Conversely you might try closing the distance to knife fighting range and bringing your secondaries in, but you're not walking out of that trade smelling of roses. In a 1v1 duel between these two Russian premium tier 3 cruisers, it usually comes down to who is the better shot and who manages his damage control party better. Both ships are underwhelming compared to their direct rivals, but between the two of them I would still choose Oleg. Her 5 knot superior speed cannot be underestimated, it gives her an edge in flexibility that Aurora simply cannot match. The Oleg is utterly reliant on friendly ships to shoot down aircraft. With it's good agility, it can be an annoying target for inexperienced carrier players, especially for torpedo bomber strikes. But don't get complacent. Overall ImpressionsSkill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / DifficultSkill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Game play doesn't get much more simple than that found in the Oleg. The only complexity to this ship is the choice of ammunition, the use of range, terrain and maneuver and the optimization found in the correct choices of Captain Skills. This is one of the ship's greatest strengths. It's also one of the ship's greatest weaknesses. There's not going to be a whole lot that separates an experienced Oleg pilot and a great Oleg pilot. The Lertbox Welcome to the most superfluous ship in World of Warships. Yet another Russian premium ship, at a tier where one already exists, and offering a playstyle that is done better in the free tech tree ships. Oleg offers nothing that hasn't already been done better before. She doesn't really offer that great captain training, and did we really need another premium Russian cruiser? Mouse's Impressions: Dirt simple game play -- often devolving into simply trading damage. There are a couple of ways to include sister ships in the game -- this isn't a very interesting way of doing it. Not different enough from the Aurora to matter, IMO. Her awful gun traverse was almost a deal breaker for me. Expert Marksman is a must-have. The Oleg has it pretty rough. Her big sister Bogatyr is arguably one of the best tier 3 ships in the game. I had high expectations for the Oleg as a Bogatyr-class premium. She looks really sharp in her black and gold camouflage. However her performance is admittedly lacking. She's not a bad ship, but she's definitely not a great one either. She's just the sister ship of a vessel already available in the tech tree, accessible simply by not unlocking any improvements. This is probably a big strike against her for some players, especially when she doesn't offer anything new in terms of game play. The Oleg doesn't follow the example of the Missouri or Texas which are an improvements over the Iowa and New York respectively. She also doesn't have a gimmick in the way the Lo Yang incorporates a Hydroacoustic Search to the Benson. She's not even like the Shinonome which now offers a weapon configuration no longer available to the Fubuki. I mean, if we thought the Prinz Eugen was pretty blah for being so similar to the Admiral Hipper, well at least the Prinz Eugen compared well to an upgraded Admiral Hipper. And on top of that, she had a baked in bonus with her premium camouflage. But the Oleg doesn't even have that going for her. And worse still, it's not like there's a drought of low-tier Russian protected cruiser premiums. The Diana and Aurora are so similar in play style as to be almost comical. Taken in isolation? Yeah, the Oleg is an okay-ish premium if you absolutely must have a low-tier cruiser to help train Captains. But she's not good and she's not special. Would I Recommend? No, I wouldn't. For a start, the Oleg isn't that different from a stock Bogatyr -- meaning if you really wanted to try this ship out, play a stock Bogatyr. The differences are so minor as to be near trivial. On top of that, there are comparable ships in and around that Matchmaking spread. While she's objectively better than the Aurora grace of her speed, that doesn't make her a "good" ship. For Random Battle Grinding Mouse: I did earn Confederate medals very easily in the Oleg. But then again, I earn Confederate medals very easy in an Aurora, St.Louis or a Bogatyr so... yeah. Nothing special there. So overall? Nope. Lert: No. She barely makes more than a tech tree ship, and she doesn't offer that much in captain training. If you really need a captain trainer or credit grinder there are better options out there. For Competitive Gaming Mouse: No, the Bogatyr is hands down better. And free. Lert: Ha. You make good joke. For Collectors Mouse: The Oleg is a well storied ship and for those interested in Imperial Russian Naval History, she's a little gem. Aside from that? Meh. Lert: Maybe. Oleg's combat history is actually quite extensive. She fought at Tsushima and survived, she fought in World War I and survived, finally meeting her end in combat in the Russian Revolution, being sunk by a Royal Navy torpedoboat. All that still doesn't make her a good ship though. For Fun Factor Mouse: Meh. I love riding on a sleek, black vessel as much as the next girl but I didn't get my jollies on the Oleg. Lert: No. There are tech tree ships that offer the same play style but are more fun to drive and flat-out better. Plus, they're free. Fire is a huge problem for low tier ships. Proper use of your Damage Control Party is paramount to survival. How to Equip your Oleg Recommended Modules As a low tier ship, the Oleg doesn't have a whole lot of options to choose from. Take Main Armaments Modification 1 in your first slot and back that up with Damage Control System Modification 1 in your second slot. Recommended ConsumablesThere's only one consumable here. You'd be wise to upgrade to the premium version of the Damage Control Party. Fires will be everywhere and the shorter reset timer can really help mitigate the damage here. Recommended Captain Skills The essential skills for the Oleg on your first pass through the tree are: At tier one, Priority Target. This will let you know when it's absolutely imperative that you start wiggling your tush. You should be going semi-evasive anyway to avoid torpedoes, but this is less of a concern at lower tiers. Follow this up with Expert Marksman at tier two. You'll almost be able to keep your guns on target while turning. At tier 3, Demolition Expert is probably your best choice as the rest of the skills are pretty lackluster for the Oleg. And finally, at tier 4, Concealment Expert is your best choice to let you go gun silent and sneak away when things get scary. Other useful skill include: Preventative Maintenance (T1) and Last Stand (T2). The Oleg loses her engines and steering gears frequently and each of these skills can help with that. If you take Last Stand, you won't necessarily need Preventative Maintenance, so make it an either-or choice. High Alert and Adrenaline Rush are both good skills from Tier 2. The former will reduce your reset timer on your Damage Control Party to as low as 54s if you're using a premium consumable. Adrenaline Rush will help accelerate your DPM as you take damage. And you will take damage in almost every game. Skip Tier 3 skills. Vigilance would be the only other one worth while here. None of the other Tier 4 skills are particularly useful for the Oleg though there's two interesting choices at least. Inertia Fuse for HE Shells is curious. There isn't enough 25mm armour at tiers 2, 3 and 4. Most Battleships have 16mm of armour on their decks and extremities and your 152mm HE shells will handle that just fine. However, the decks of all of the IJN cruisers found at this tier are vulnerable if you take this skill, letting you land citadel hits against them. If this feels like a worthwhile investment for you, go for it. It's a lot of points to spend to help against one specific enemy. Radio Location may look appealing and you can certainly consider it but you won't get much use out of it in low tier games unless you come across an Isokaze seal-clubbing division.
  15. 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 elaborate 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. Without further ado: The Facilitating Squid. Quick Summary: A shorter ranged, sneakier Leander-class Cruiser with HE shells and a weird smoke generator consumable. Patch & Date Written: 0.5.13.1, November 2nd & 3rd, 2016 Closest in-Game Contemporary: Leander,Tier 6 British Cruiser Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class/ Similar Role / Unique The HMAS Perth was a modified version of the Leander-class cruiser. The primary difference was an improved propulsion system. In game, this is easy to see with the different funnel layout with the Perth having two to the Leander's one. Here's a quick summary on how the two ships vary: Hull: The Perth has an improved armour scheme but less overall hit points. Weapons: Perth has access to HE shells. While she has AP, her fuse timers and arming thresholds are nowhere near as forgiving as those found on British cruisers. Her ricochet angles are less generous. The Perth is also shorter ranged. AA Guns: Perth has a mid-war AA armament and lacks 40mm Bofors or Vickers pom-poms. She's quite vulnerable to aircraft attack. Agility: Perth has slightly faster rudder handling. Stealth: Perth is marginally stealthier with a 200m surface detection range advantage over the Leander. Fun Stuff: Perth's smoke generator is unique. PROs: Though she's based on a British cruiser, she has access to HE shells. She has a powerful torpedo armament, capable of doing nearly 62,000 damage per salvo. Torpedoes may fire individually. The Perth is wonderfully agile with a small turning circle of 640m and decent rudder shift time of 7.6s. Very wiggly. She has good concealment, starting with a 9.8km surface detection range with her camouflage. The Perth uses the British spotter aircraft consumable. This lasts for a full three minutes per charge as opposed to just 100s. Her Smoke Generator is active for 90s, generating smoke the entire time. This allows her to lay more smoke clouds than any other ship currently in the game. While the individual clouds don't last very long, this thing poops out smoke for days and allows her to remain mobile while staying concealed. CONs: She cannot be used to train British Captains. The HMAS Perth is the first of the Commonwealth ships which count as a separate nation. She's very squishy, with a small hit point total and insufficient armour to provide any kind of protection from large caliber (203mm+) shells from heavy cruisers or battleships, which can overmatch her bows and deck plating with their AP shells. The Perth does not have access to the special British AP shells. She uses normal fuses and detonators, making her AP perform more akin to standard cruiser guns. These are the same weapons as found on the HMS Belfast. Her HE performance is modest at best with only a 9% chance to start a fire per shell. Short ranged main battery at 12.8km. This makes engaging certain ship types exceedingly dangerous especially at close range. She is incapable of firing her main battery from concealment in open water, even when fully upgraded for stealth. She must make use of her consumables or terrain to be able to attack without being spotted. Her turret rotation speed is on the slow side at 7' per second. The Perth has a poor AA compliment and does not get access to Defensive Fire. Welcome to another Premium Ship Review -- the ever evolving series where the format subtly shifts and guest authors abound. Once again, Lert and NoZoupForYou join me in looking at this newest helping from the dry-docks of the Wargaming devs, the HMAS Perth. Lert will be providing his views in a versus series while Zoup summarizes the Pros and Cons above. Both gentleman offer their recommendations below too so you know you've got a more diverse set of opinions when basing your own decisions on whether to make your purchase. On with the show! The Lertbox Hello and welcome to yet another Lertbox portion in a LittleWhiteMouse review. I've long since given up trying to figure out why she keeps letting me do this, but here we are. Today we'll be talking about the HMAS Perth, a modified British Leander class light cruiser, sailing under the Australian flag. In this game, she's a premium ship for the newly introduced Commonwealth nationality. I will be writing a few short opinion pieces about how Perth compares to Cleveland, Molotov, Nurnberg and Belfast, which I believe to be a decent cross-section of direct competitors. Mouse has already written about how she compares to Leander herself. The Perth shares much in common with the Leander-class, at least superficially. But the manner in which you use her guns and smoke will largely define this new premium vessel. Options, Upgrades & Consumables The Perth doesn't have a lot of options, but she does have an interesting consumable. Her Smoke Generator is unique. It has an enormous up-time, continuing to create new smoke clouds for an astounding 90s. To put this in perspective, this is three times longer than the previous front runner, the American tier 10 Gearing-class Destroyer (30s) and four and a half times longer than standard destroyer smoke generators (20s). The downside to this smoke is that it each cloud she creates only lasts for a mere 10 seconds. This precludes anyone else from trying to park in her smoke while still allowing the Perth to use her consumable offensively. She can do this by cutting her speed down to 1/4 and walking slowly, generating new smoke as she moves. In this manner, she remains unseen for up to 100s which is consistent with most smoke screens. Thus the Perth has a very unique manner in which her consumable is used, allowing her to keep partially mobile. Very fun. In addition, she has access to the British Spotter Aircraft consumable. For any other nation, the normal duration for this consumable is 100s. The Perth's spotter aircraft lasts for 180s -- a full three minutes, just like those of the UK tech tree. Note that between her spotter aircraft (which allows her to fire from concealment in open water) and her smoke generator, the Perth can cycle offensive actions against enemy ships without being spotted. Proper management of these consumables is key to keep out of harm's way. Consumables: Damage Control Party Hydroacoustic Search Spotter Aircraft or Catapult Fighter Smoke Generator Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard cruiser options.Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ Standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Firepower Primary Battery: Eight 152mm rifles in 4x2 turrets mounted in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Primary Battery Fields of Fire (AB & XY): Front: 294', 290' Rear: 294', 288' Secondary Battery: Eight 102mm rifles in 4x2 turrets amidships by the rear funnel. Torpedoes: Eight tubes in 2x4 launchers, one to each side. The Perth is armed with the same 152mm rifles -- and more importantly, the same ammunition as the HMS Belfast. While her gun handling is identical to that of the Leander with a 7' turret rotation speed, it's this difference in ammunition that's quite telling. The Perth does not have access to the "improved" armour piercing shells of the Royal Navy. She has a standard fuse-time, ricochet angles and detonator threshold rather than the more sensitive, deep-biting and fast-exploding shells found on the British Cruisers. You will see a lot of over-penetrations against lightly armoured targets with your AP shells in the Perth and ricochets when they strike at oblique angles. You're forced to make dynamic ammunition choices in the Perth depending on your targets. Like the Belfast, the Perth's HE shells are considered modest at best. While they're superior to the HE shells found on the 150mm rifles of the Nurnberg, they're far and away inferior to the six-inch shells found on the American Cleveland, Japanese Mogami, or the Soviet Budyonny, Shchors, Chapayev & Mikhail Kutuzov cruisers. The real downside to these shells is their low chance of setting fires for a cruiser-caliber shell at 9% per hit. Combined with a smaller number of rifles, the Perth isn't an ideal firebug. DPM values for tier 6 cruisers. The Perth isn't last! But she doesn't have the alpha strike capabilities of the other low-DPM cruisers. Where the Perth's main armament really hurts is their range. She comes with a 12.8km maximum reach which is downright punitive at tier 6. This creates a lot of problems for the ship and greatly reduces her survival chances when facing large capital ships. She has a reliance on two of her consumables to safely engage dangerous opponents: her Smoke Generator and her Spotter Aircraft. With her spotter, her range increases to a more manageable 15.36km. This will allow her to stealth-fire at targets from open water from ranges starting at 14.4km and as low as 13.4km with a 15pt Captain using Concealment Expert. But it's her smoke from which most of her damage can be safely inflicted. It does require a player to keep an eye on its active period and plan an extraction vector before the smoke wears off. Using these two properly can largely mitigate her range deficiency, but each can be countered and leave the Perth dead in the water. While her guns are on the lower scale of muzzle velocities, their short range ensures she's not penalized by very long lead times. Like the Belfast, her AP shells can penetrate up to 118mm of armour at 10km so pick your ammunition types accordingly based on what you're facing. Like the Leander, whatever perceived disparities of the Perth's main battery are propped up by her torpedo armament. The Perth has the same upgraded armament of the Leander with two quadruple launchers off each side, mounted just behind the rear funnel. Like British cruisers, the Perth may fire in a salvo or launch her torpedoes individually. With an 8.0km range and 61 knot top speed, these are wonderfully hard hitting fish at over 15,000 damage per. The only downside to them is their range is a little lacking. Making use of her torpedoes necessitates getting in "danger close" to the enemy. This increases the skill threshold needed to do well in the Perth, maybe beyond the level at which many players will be comfortable. The Perth sits inside a cap circle in the early minutes of a match, smoke deployed and steaming ahead at 1/4 speed. Her guns are hammering the approaching Red Team, lobbing high explosive shells onto the bows of Battleships and cruisers. The Perth can often find herself as a front runner -- taking position of caps and strategic locations to put early pressure on the enemy. Just make sure you have an escape plan in mind before engaging. Your smoke will only last so long. Rivals: vs Cleveland Cleveland boasts more hit-points, a higher RPM, better DPM, more range, a better armor scheme and a better hidden citadel. On the surface, Perth is really the underdog here, and that's how you should approach this theoretical duel. You're not entirely without options, though. Your float plane gives you a nice boost to your range, your smoke is very tactical and can give you an edge and your torpedoes force the Cleveland to stay at range. Both ships boast a similar top speed and agility but Cleveland has four additional guns with roughly the same ROF, and a better fire chance on her HE shells. You're not going to win a direct gunnery duel, but you can use your smoke to conceal yourself, while having your floatplane up to keep eyes on the Cleveland. If she starts getting too close, dissuade her with torpedoes, all the while keeping your fire up. A duel between a Cleveland and a Perth is not an easy fight for the Commonwealth ship, nor is it a foregone conclusion in the Cleveland's favor. Maneuverability Top Speed: 32.5 knotsTurning Radius: 640mRudder Shift: 7.6s She handles like a dream. Once you drop Steering Gears Modification 2 onto the Perth, her rudder shift time drops down to 6.1s. This gives her a destroyer-quality handling making her feel very responsive. She definitely a light cruiser when it comes to her agility -- nice and wiggly. It's easy to reverse course and throw off the aim of ships that are expecting you to move predictably. She also dances to torpedo beats like a champ. Speed wise, it's a bit more mixed. While not terrible, there's nothing impressive about her 32.5 knot top speed. However, unlike other cruisers, I found myself quite often sailing at 1/4 engine power to take full advantage of her smoke generators. Out in the open water, though, her 32.5 knot speed is nice but she's running up against fleet footed ships such as the Scharnhorst-class. While you can be more reactionary with her great handling, don't let yourself get run down by aggressive opponents. Rivals: vs Molotov Molotov has more powerful guns, higher range and a higher top speed, but is decidedly less agile and has a slightly weaker armor profile than Perth. Also, the Russian's torpedoes are short range self-defense ones, not even on the same level as the Australian's exploding fish. Plus, the Molotov does not get smoke, and is visible from much further. Approaching a Molotov requires patience and luck. Your AP will wreck a Molotov from the side, but be aware that she'll do the same to you if given half a chance. Fortunately, Molotov's 180mm AP is not quite big enough to overmatch your bow armor, so neither ship can lolpen the other. I am tempted to say 'Approach the Molotov', but with the Russian ship's far superior speed this is easier said than done. The best way to engage a Molotov is to approach using stealth, then use your torpedoes to funnel him into showing you his broadside, and smacking home a salvo or two of AP. Use your smoke to disengage the now wounded Russian or finish him off in a slugging match. While he has the bigger guns, you have the better agility and both ships have similar DPM so a slugging match tends to go to whoever manages to wound the other first. And as far as that is concerned, Perth holds some pretty strong aces with its concealment, torpedoes and smoke. DurabilityHit Points: 27,100 Citadel Protection: Up to 100mmBow & Deck Armour: Minimum of 13mm (immunity up to 180mm AP shells) There's no way really to sugar coat this: The Perth is really lacking in survability and protection. She's on the low side for her hit point totals for a tier 6 cruiser -- she sits just above the Nurnberg in second last place. But it's really her armour values which let her down. The Perth has 13mm of bow and deck armour. This is sufficient to protect her from Light Cruiser caliber AP fire. Shells up to (and including) 180mm will bounce when she angles but anything larger will easily overmatch her. While she does boast an impressive 100mm belt armour, it's a significant challenge to find ways to put this to work for you. Expect to take frequent module damage and to lose weapon mounts. In short: don't expect the armour of the Perth to hold up under fire. Her citadel, while on the smallish side, has a section that sticks up just over the water's surface which runs from beneath her first funnel to the aft superstructure. While this would be difficult to hammer at close ranges, shells with a slight arc (such as those from a Battleship shooting at 12km out) will easily slam home. This vulnerability becomes especially pronounced due to the short range of the Perth's weapon systems. Like the USS Atlanta, she has to get very close to deal damage -- close enough to be inside the optimal firing ranges of Battleship and Heavy Cruiser caliber guns. It's imperative, therefore, to make good use of her concealment values in conjunction with her consumables and agility to avoid damage. The Perth plays a dangerous game with a New York-class Battleship. Using the island, she approached within 4.0km of the American and crept out using smoke at 1/4 speed to unleash a point blank assault using high explosive shells and individually launched torpedoes. The fish of the Perth can deliver monstrous alpha-strikes, ideal for putting down unwary ships that get too close. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 10.1km Air Detection Range: 6.9km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 8.62km Concealment Penalty while Firing: +4.56km (vs 12.8km gun range) I'm of two minds about the Perth's concealment rating. It's so good, yet at the same time, it's not quite good enough. Right out of the box, the Perth has a 9.8km surface detection range with her premium camouflage. I rubbed my hands with glee when I saw this value and prepared myself to write a "Perth is overpowered" review (that changed when I saw her weapon ranges). The Perth is forever doomed to have a stealth rating that's on the cusp of excellence. She's sneaky enough to navigate from point A to B without being spotted, but she's not sneaky enough to engage enemy targets with her weapon systems without giving her position away. Perhaps I shouldn't be too critical. Ships like the Molotov would give up their left propeller shaft for this kind of stealth, but this lack of range really hurts the Perth and makes her challenging to play -- at least until you factor in her consumables. The gimmick of the Perth is her smoke generator, which is the complete opposite of the one found on the Belfast. The Belfast suffers from performance issues when it comes to her smoke, being able to (at best) create two clouds before her generators give up the ghost. These clouds will last for 103s, so it gives this higher tier British cruiser plenty of time to park her butt and pew pew to her heart's content. However, they're not going to provide significant cover for friendlies, nor are they going to be of much use in trying to escape. The Perth, by contrast, can create a maximum thirty-one clouds of smoke when moving at full speed with a signal flag to improve her engine performance. Individually, these clouds only last for 10s which makes them useless for parking inside. The Perth must keep moving while laying down smoke. So too must any friendly ship looking to take advantage of this. The values work out to the following: Forward Speeds 10 clouds @ 1/4 speed (8.1 knots). Maximum of 2 clouds active -- usually just 1. 18 clouds @ 1/2 speed (16.3 knots). Maximum of 3 clouds active -- usually just 2. 30 clouds @ 3/4 speed (24.3 knots). Maximum of 4 clouds active -- usually just 3. 30 clouds @ 4/4 speed (32.6 knots). Maximum of 4 clouds active -- usually just 3. 31 clouds @ 4/4 speed + signal (34.1 knots). Maximum of 4 clouds active -- usually just 3. The Perth herself cannot make more than 1/4 speed and remain hidden within her smoke. Any ships wishing to enjoy concealment with her have to be right up on her stern. Being more than a ship length back will mean that they may end up being detected intermittently as one cloud dissipates around them as each new cloud is laid down. It's possible for the Perth to provide smoke cover for larger ships by matching their speed as best she can and dropping smoke immediately in front while following their path. This will preclude her from taking advantage of her smoke herself if this requires her to move over 12.5 knots, but it's a tactic worth keeping in mind. Still, I would not expect most of her allies to appreciate the nuances of her smoke and I can foresee the Perth's smoke generator causing friendlies some grief as they try to take advantage of it only to have it disappear around them. Players of the Perth will need to communicate directly, "Make 1/4 speed and follow me close while I lay smoke" to ensure that their team gets the most out of their consumables. I must say I was disappointed to see that her premium camouflage was of the standard type found on tier 6+ ships. While I am hoping that this will be changed before release (and fed such information back to Wargaming), I am not holding my breath. The HMAS Perth counts as a Commonwealth ship and not a British ship, she's useless as a Captain Trainer. To this end, I would have preferred to see some additional effect found on the Perth's camouflage, such as the Anshan's bonus free-experience modifier or even a Captain Training bonus such as the one found on the German Prinz Eugen. Moving at full speed while deploying smoke, the Perth is able to provide concealment for this Gneisenau as she opens fire without the German Battleship having to slow down. Unlike destroyers, she can maintain this level of concealment for over a minute and a half. This can be up to four and a half times longer than normal smoke. This is much easier for a Battleship to remain within than trying to stop suddenly to take advantage of a cloud dropped in her path. With this setup, the Perth can still provide vision for the Gneisenau against enemy Battleships at range without worrying about being seen herself so long as she keeps her guns silent, while protecting her allied BB from return fire. Rivals: vs Nurnberg The German tier 6 cruiser is a DPM monster firing very fast shells with a very flat arc. She has a vicious set of torpedoes reaching only two km less than Perth's. In a straight-up duel, she'll pummel Perth and take home the win. She's about as fast as the Commonwealth ship too, and not that much less agile. Plus, she has a far better range on her guns. The only benefits you have is better concealment, longer range torpedoes, smoke and better agility. So how to fight a Nurnberg in a Perth? Use destroyer tactics. Use concealment. Use islands. Ambush her with your torpedoes. Use your hydroacoustic search to warn you of return torpedo fire. Harass her when she's distracted, then pop smoke sneak off into stealth when she turns her guns on you. Use your longer range torpedoes to funnel her, try to force her to make a mistake. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 102mm, 20mm, 12.7mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km, 2.0km, 1.2kmAA DPS per Aura: 38 / 7 / 11 Access to Defensive Fire: Not available. There's not a lot of good news here, but let's start with what's available. The Perth has the same dual-purpose 102mm rifles found on the other mid-to-high tier British cruisers. These have some rather nice teeth, being both long ranged (5.0km) and doing a fair amount of DPS per mount (9.5dps). These lack some of the hitting power found on other dual-purpose turrets, such as the American 127mm (15.17dps) or the German 128mm (12.36dps), but they'll do -- especially for a mid tier ship. Where the Perth is let down is the lack of decent medium-caliber AA guns to back this up. Most of the British cruisers will follow up on these 102mm rifles with 40mm Bofors which are a splendid anti-aircraft weapon. But the Perth does not get access to this or even the Vickers 2pdr pom-poms. So while the Perth can deal a good initial slap to enemy aircraft as they wander into range, her umbrella doesn't appreciably increase in damage the closer you get. Overall, this leaves her dangerously vulnerable to enemy aircraft -- particularly dive bombers. She's nimble enough to make attacks by torpedo planes difficult but there's little defense against well aimed dive bombers, especially from ships like the Saipan. Seeing eight Skyraiders angling against you is truly a frightening prospect in the Perth. Keep a wary eye to the skies. You don't have access to Defensive Fire to break up attacks. You're not likely to have a Float Plane Fighter to assist you. If you're caught out by yourself, you deserve what's coming. Rivals: The Belfast Notice how I didn't say 'versus' here, because a Perth versus a Belfast would not be a fair fight. However, many people will compare the two, as both are 'British' premiums, and both are light cruisers. Besides, they're only one tier apart. So on the surface of it they should be comparable, right? Here it's the consumables that define each ship's playstyle and role. Both are 'support ships', yes. But where Belfast is an exemplary destroyer hunter, Perth is less so. She doesn't have radar, limiting her use in that role. Her short gun range is balanced out by the long duration on her scout plane and her hydroacoustic is useful, but she simply doesn't have the tools to counter smoke that Belfast has. Where Belfast is more a ship that pushes aggressively in front of her team and spearheads the advance, Perth is best served escorting larger ships and lending her fire to theirs, giving concealment where necessary. The Perth's worst nightmare: Skyraider Dive Bombers from the USS Saipan. Struck by three bombs, she burns from bow to stern. The Perth has very little in the way of AA defense and enemy carriers should take full advantage of this. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple/ Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low/ Moderate / High / Extreme The HMAS Perth reminds me oh-so much of a French auto-loader from World of Tanks. For those not familiar, these vehicles have, instead of a steady rate of fire, an ammunition drum that allows them to dispense an enormous amount of damage in short order. They then have to suffer through a very long reload timer as the magazine gets replaced. During this time period, they are defenseless. Many players die in this interim, managing only to dispense the 4 to 6 rounds in their first drum before burning up in a greasy fireball. The Perth has a similar affliction. I'm convinced any player will be able to make decent use of her up to and including the duration of her active smoke generator. What will separate the successful players from the non-successful will be how they play the Perth during this cool down period when they have no smoke and the enemies want them dead. If they have over extended and didn't plan an extraction path, they'll be stuck with the 10,000 to 30,000 damage they managed while their smoke was up and then get sent back to port. Maybe they'll get a flag capture in. Maybe they'll take out an enemy destroyer or get lucky with their first drop of torpedoes. But it won't be consistent. For those that plan ahead, the sky becomes the limit. This is the real trick with this vessel. She has a rather high skill ceiling. She can be used to support friendlies so long as you're daring and sociable. Her torpedoes give her the chance to do some frightening damage against enemy capital ships and she's a very real threat to enemy destroyers. As the teams thin out, the Perth becomes more viable, especially if she's still got her consumables handy. Her stealth rating provides all sorts of advantages, allowing her to ninja caps and support friendlies without being spotted in return. Her smoke can allow her to dictate who gets seen and when. Finally there are her ammunition choices. Earning Witherer medals isn't beyond the scope of the Perth with clever use and combinations of her single-fire torpedoes and high explosive shells. The Lertbox Perth is an escort ship. Not a ship to fight others in a straight gun fight in. She doesn't have the super AP that Leander gets, she doesn't have the radar and volume of fire that Belfast gets, she doesn't have the raw DPM that Nurnberg gets or the alpha smash and speed that Molotov gets. What she does have are solid but unremarkable guns, solid but unremarkable speed, solid but unremarkable torpedoes and a very interesting smoke screen. If you're okay with letting other people have the limelight and supporting your team from the shadows, there are worse alternatives than Perth. But she's not a good ship for glory-hounds, and her carrying potential is limited. She's not a bad ship, just not a very remarkable one with big shiny features. Mouse's Summary: The Perth is a squid. She squirts all of the ink. She's a challenging ship to use to influence the game. While she can remain hidden, her offensive power is a bit lacking outside of her beautiful torpedoes barring recklessness on the part of the enemy. As a support ship, she can selflessly use her smoke to cover larger ships without them having to slow down for well over a minute. Coordinating with team mates is key. This can be quite powerful when used correctly but may be outside the scope of pick up matches in Random Battle games. The Perth is super squishy against anything outside of enemy destroyers and some light cruisers. You're not going to win duels if you trade blows. Let's get to the meat of the matter: The Perth is going to be a difficult ship to love -- which is weird, because I liked the Leander when I played her. While delighted to see the British Commonwealth represented in the game (and hoping this means the HMAS Australia and HMCS Haida are on the horizon) I am very frustrated to see that British Captains cannot be trained on this vessel. I held my breath and hoped to see some further motivator applied to her camouflage to make the Perth an immediate must-have such as bonus credit earning or experience gains -- you know, something to buff her appeal. There wasn't anything during testing. When I asked my contacts at Wargaming, they didn't believe that there would be any immediate alternative camouflages when she was released. So take that into consideration. Game play in the Perth didn't enamour me early on either. On the surface, the Perth doesn't have a lot of teeth. She only has the eight guns and that mediocre AP and HE fire from the Belfast. Well, maybe that's not fair: I do love her torpedoes. While they don't have the range or hitting power of the IJN, they are something nice and I really missed having those when I played the Belfast. Success in the Perth comes down to proper management of your consumables. Assuming you're using premium consumables (and you'll want to use premium consumables), you've got 1 minute and 40 seconds of concealment from smoke with a 2 minutes and 40 seconds of down time while it resets. Use this time to open up the range and then activate your spotter aircraft. This will provide you with 3 minutes to continue dropping shots on target. Wiggle your tush to dodge any return fire if you can't get out to stealth range. Once this cools off, you'll be once again ready to use smoke for another minute and 40 seconds worth of killing. Your plane will be back online in 4 minutes. So you'll want to yo-yo between medium-close to medium-long range to take advantage of your consumables and keep your weapon systems active while avoiding reprisals. It's kind of a fun dance to do when you're doing it right. But misstep and everything goes to poop. The Perth isn't like the HMS Belfast where you're absolutely dominant against one particular class. She's not as good of a destroyer hunter, though she is capable enough in the right hands. She's certainly got sufficient DPM to put the hurt on any underage ship that lets her within 7km. But like the Belfast, the Perth really begins to struggle when facing other light cruisers or heavier ships. Then it becomes absolutely necessary to properly cycle smoke, especially if you can't get off an ambush with your fish. Where she really shines is when you can coordinate with one of your team mates, preferably in another cruiser and let them make use of your smoke while you do the same. A simple message like, "My smoke's ready. Slow to 1/4 and keep within 0.5km of my stern," is usually enough to allow another player to take full advantage. Teamwork is OP in World of Warships after all. So what's all this mean? Is the Perth a bad ship? Well, no. She can perform. She can support. You're just going to have to work harder at it than say, the Molotov or Belfast. She's not going to be an easy ship to recommend though. One of the neat side effects of the Perth's smoke is that it ships begin sailing in close formation to take advantage of it. This ends up looking really cool. Here, the Perth leads a Fiji-class cruiser as they engage enemy Battleships without being spotted in return. Would I Recommend? The Perth is a difficult ship to recommend because it's pretty unforgiving. I maintain that anyone should be able to do some damage, maybe even sink a ship on occasion in her so long as they use their smoke consumable properly. She's going to frustrate a lot of opponents who don't anticipate her continuing to move when her smoke is laid down instead of puffing a couple of clouds and parking stationary within it. How players manage the transition between smoke clouds with largely determine their success rate. Those who like the Leander will probably enjoy the different take on the same class that is the Perth. I had a great time testing this ship. ForRandom Battle Grinding: Mouse: Eh, no. First and foremost, the Perth cannot be used as a trainer short of her own dedicated Captain. There are no other Commonwealth ships. In addition, she's premium consumable-hungry. I can't stress enough the importance of taking at least two, maybe even all four slots as premium versions, so this will eat into her credit earning potential. So for credit earning and captain training, she gets two strikes.When it comes to earning experience or completing missions, my feelings are mixed. My damage totals usually sat between 40,000 and 90,000 in the Perth. I only managed a single 2000+ base experience game, with most sitting between 1,100 and 1,300 on a win. This often wasn't enough to top the team roster on the results screen. To be fair, I did win far more than I lost. Still, I would pass on her specifically for those interested in finding a ship to grind for experience, training, credits, signals or mission rewards. Lert: No. There are other ships out there with better characteristics for grinding. She can't train British captains, her credit earning potential is on par with other tier 6 ships and she doesn't earn more XP than them either. Zoup: For me, I can't imagine myself using this ship too often in battles. In many ways, its quite similar to the Atlanta. Sadly, its not a lower tiered version of the Atlanta because it lacks the fire-starting capabilities of the Atlanta, along with the rate of fire. I enjoy the Atlanta despite its shortcomings and lack of range. The lack of range for the Perth hinders it significantly, in my opinion and at Tier 6, the Molotov offers a much better premium option than the Perth. For Competitive Gaming: Mouse: Let me be honest: there are better ships for this. She doesn't have great hitting power short of taking advantage of the bumbling incompetence of your enemies. And while the Perth can be used as a support vessel, it's of a very limited fashion. She'll be forever vulnerable to dive bombers and she's super squishy. Her smoke, while amazing, kind of makes her a one-trick pony. You have to risk a lot to get the Perth to perform and any competitive team will punish you for the slightest misstep.Lert: I would say no. Her mediocre speed, low gun range and lack of primary firepower hold her back in a way that a decent set of torpedoes and interesting smoke can't really balance out. Zoup: I could possibly see the Perth being used in competitive gaming as a high risk high reward ship for capturing points. It's torpedoes have the range to provide denial of swaths of sea and if DDs wander to close, it will give them a bad day. The problem is once its spotted, if any large ships focus fire, the Perth won't last long. Highly skilled players will likely make use of the Perth in ranked, but I doubt it will be a go-to ship. For Collectors: Mouse: Hells yeah. Commonwealth represent! Lert: It's the first Commonwealth ship in the game, and worth nabbing for that reason alone. Time wil tell what other Commonwealth ships will eventually make it into the game. She's also a storied ship, having fought at Java Sea and survived, only to be torpedoed and sunk at Sunda Strait. Zoup: I think the ship is collectable. It's the first Aussie ship in the game and has a very noted history to it. With that, it meets the criteria for a collector ship. There is a market for it. More so than some of the previous premiums, like the Lo Yang. Though popular, I doubt the Lo Yang was purchased for its service history. So yes, I think the Perth will be collected. For Fun Factor: Mouse: I really had a lot of fun in this ship. I think it was because it prompted some of my team mates to work in close support with one another to make use of her wonky smoke. But that stayed with me. There was also the fun of using torpedoes and fires to really put the hurt on enemies. Yeah, it was a blast. Of course, I do like the Atlanta, so take this recommendation with a grain of salt. If you enjoyed the Leander? The Perth will suit you. If you didn't? Best to steer clear. Lert: Maybe? She's a support ship, not a glory-hound. She does a thankless job, and is adequate at it. If this is something that appeals to you, then yes. Perth won't let you down. Zoup: Meh. It's not great, but it's not bad. It can be fun, but it's not always fun. It's nice having a lot of smoke, and you can shred ships that get too close. However, it works both ways, and ships will shred you as well. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a risk and reward ship. You have to be deliberate. If you are playing too deliberate, you aren't having as much fun as you could be. The Leander with the Perth off her rear port quarter. These two ships share many similar characteristics but the differences in their ammunition is the most telling. They work very well in support of one another, shortening the window in which they have no cover from smoke. Outfitting your Perth Recommended Modules The Perth has four module upgrade slots. Given her poor AA values, there's not much point in trying to prop it up. This leaves a single, optimal build for the Perth. For your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 is your best choice. From experience, I can say that she loses weapon mounts frequently. I had my torpedo tubes destroyed several times and my guns temporarily knocked out regularly. Alternatively, if you're horrified by the possibility of being detonated, Magazine Modification 1 will help you considerably. I was not detonated in my test games with the Perth but you never know... For the second slot, Aiming Systems Modification 1 provides its usual benefits. This is less useful on a cruiser than a Battleship, however. A good alternative is Main Battery Modification 2. This accelerates her turret rotation by almost a full degree per second at the cost of her reload speed. As the Perth will be throwing herself about often in order to dodge fire, this can help keep guns on target. For your third slot, as ever, Damage Control System Modification 1 is the only really vaguely decent one. Hint-hint, Wargaming. For the fourth slot, take Steering Gears Modification 2. This will improve your rudder shift time from 7.6s down to 6.1s. As the Perth is rarely (if ever) stationary, this depreciates the value of Propulsion Modification 2 so I would avoid it. Recommended ConsumablesThe Perth can be a very premium-consumable hungry vessel. The merits of taking a premium Damage Control Party are pretty self evident. You don't have a lot of hit points to spare and even a single fire can eat away at far too much of that precious health (especially if there are dive bombers hunting you). Taking a premium version of her Smoke Generator is also a pretty obvious move. This increases the charges from 2 to 3. More importantly, this reduces the reset timer from 4 minutes down to 2 minutes and 40 seconds, which is huge.Of the other two consumables, it's a little more open ended. To keep the Perth's guns singing at range, it may be worthwhile upgrading her Spotter Aircraft to reduce the reset timer from a punitive 6 minutes down to 4. This will allow you to easily use it three times within a match as opposed to just twice. On most other ships I couldn't recommend this with a straight face, but on the Perth? It's quite valuable. I would avoid taking a Float Plane Fighter of any description. You'll need the extra range well over the small boost to AA defense the fighter might provide. Lastly, there's Hydroacoustic Search. This is a very situational consumable so you can probably afford just the standard version if you find your credit costs are running high. The premium version reduces the reset timer from 3 minutes down to 2 minutes. Recommended Captain Skills The choices for the Perth's Captain Skills are fairly straightforward. As she's the only ship within her own nationality (go, Commonwealth!), you don't have to worry about these skills pairing up nicely for an alternate vessel. From the first tier, it's actually difficult to recommend Basic Fire Training because of her poor AA values. Still, this does provide a little bit of help and it's certainly the strongest choice at this tier. This will provide a boost to her secondaries too and the Perth does end up in sub 5km fights often enough. From the second tier, both Expert Marksman and Last Stand have a lot of value. The latter is obvious enough -- your engine and steering gears are almost as vulnerable in the Perth as they would be in a destroyer. The former provides a 10% boost to your turret rotation speed, changing a 180' rotation from 25.7s down to 23.4s. This really helps given how much you'll be throwing the ship about. If you've taken Main Battery Modification 2, this will combine to reduce her turret rotation to 20.6s for a 180' turn or 8.74' per second. From tier three, grab Superintendent right away. This provides an extra charge of your Smoke Generator. Note that you should keep an eye on your play style before taking this skill. If you're using the premium consumable already and not running out on your matches, then there's no point on taking this. Alternatively, Vigilance is a great skill for helping spot torpedoes early. At tier four, Demolition Expert is wonderful. This will increase your chances to start fires from 9% to 12% per shell. Beauty! And finally, at tier 5, Concealment Expert is the most valuable. This will reduce your surface detection range from 9.8km down to 8.6km. Keep in mind this will not allow you to stealth fire either your torpedoes or your main battery from open water. Alternatively, Jack of All Trades is interesting because it reduces the reset timer on your Smoke Generator, from 2 minutes and 40s with premium to 2 minutes and 16 seconds. For more articles in this series, please visit: LittleWhiteMouse's Mega Ship Review Guide A special thank you to NikoPower for providing access to the Perth, PigeonofWar for answering my questions and to Lert and Zoup for their contributions to the article. Also, a big thanks for the support offered by KJar, Argh_My_Liver, EroSun, MagisterAurelius and "Large Handsome Dog" (you know who you are). They helped keep me sane while trucking through the writing process. Lastly, a very special thanks to AfroSquirrel for that one game we ended up together in testing that was super fun to play.
  16. The following is a review of De Grasse, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of June 9th, 2017. Workhorse Quick Summary: A Jack-of-All-Trades light cruiser, excelling at nothing but being pretty good at just about everything ... except shooting down planes.Cost: Approximately $25 USD.Patch and Date Written: June 6th, 2017 to June 9th, 2017, Patch 0.6.5.1 to 0.6.6 Closest in-Game Contemporary La Galissonnière, tier VI French Cruiser Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique I'm stepping slightly away from my usual format to compare De Grasse directly to La Galissonniere in each section. De Grasse is largely an improvement over La Galissonnière in nearly every category that matters. PROs Large hit point pool for a tier VI cruiser at 31,200hp. Trollish armour along her citadel against British Light Cruisers Her nine 152mm guns have good fire starting characteristics. Good shell performance for both HE and AP adding to her versatility against all targets. Excellent gun handling with a 12º per second rotation speed and decent shell flight times over range. Decent torpedoes with a 9km range, 60 knot top speed and 14,883 damage. Flexible agility -- able to bump her speed up to 38.5 knots for three minutes with Engine Boost consumable. CONs Her citadel sits high in the water and is very exposed beneath her #2 turret and bridge. She's a large target -- easy to damage with HE Shells. Poor fire angles on her forward guns which makes kiting difficult and dangerous. No spotter aircraft to extend the range of her guns or to assist in aiming into concealment and cover. Disappointing AA DPS despite her good range. Only modest rate of turn, maxing out at about 6º per second. Large surface detection range of 13.3km. I am pretty salty about this ship. Lert had gotten my hopes up about De Grasse after he introduced me to the ship through one of his "A Detailed Look At" articles about the ship itself. This isn't that cruiser. Well, it is, but it's the De Grasse that could have been had WW2 not broken out in 1939. Lemme tell you, this ship had to do a lot of heavy lifting to make me start liking her with this disappointment dogging my review. Thanks a lot, Lert. Fortunately for everyone involved, De Grasse did win me over. Options De Grasse has a lot of consumable slots, but this should become quite familiar for most French cruiser players. The only real choice to make is whether to equip Defensive Fire or Hydracoustic Search. Consumables: Damage Control Party Defensive Fire or Hydroacoustic Search Engine Boost Catapult Fighter Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard cruiser upgrades Premium Camouflage: Tier VI+ Standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. You're not reinventing the wheel when it comes to De Grasse's upgrade choices. For your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 is arguably your best choice. Alternatively, if you're allergic to detonations, you can elect to take Magazine Modification 1. This module does help a lot, people. If you hate suddenly blowing up more than your guns being temporarily disabled, it's a good choice. For your second slot, Aiming Systems Modification 1 is optimal to help tighten up your dispersion at range. Alternatively, you can elect to take AA Guns Modification 2 if you fancy giving her a bit more AA range over gun accuracy. By default, take Damage Control Systems Modification 1 for your third slot. This will give a nice bump to your torpedo damage reduction. If you have it available, the Super Upgrade Engine Boost Modification 1 is an excellent choice in this slot. And for your final slot, Steering Gears Modification 2 is arguably the best for Random Battles. If you team up with smoke-laying allies often, then Propulsion Modification 2 is the better choice to help accelerate you from a dead stop when the smoke expires. Make sure to equip premium consumables as you can afford. The priority should be on Damage Control Party first, followed by Engine Boost, then the others as credits will allow. Firepower Primary Battery: Nine 152mm rifles in 3x3 turrets in an A-B-X superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Six 100mm rifles in 3x2, rear facing turrets with one mounted on the centerline Torpedo Armament: Six tubes in 2x3 launchers, one to each side mounted behind the funnel De Grasse is very well armed for a tier VI cruiser, with versatile weapons. French 152mm guns are no slouches. They have comparable shell damage to Soviet 152mm guns while retaining the fire chance of American weapons. Where Krupp, muzzle velocity, shell flight time and penetration are concerned, the French goes round out as being quite average -- never at the bottom of the pile, but never on top either. What holds these weapons back on la Galissonnière is their horrible rate of fire at 6.67rpm. De Grasse doesn't suffer quite this much of a setback, firing at 7.4rpm, though this lags behind ships like Budyonny with 7.5rpm. Combine this with nine guns, a decent range of 16.2km and excellent gun handling (12º per second gun rotation) and you effectively have one of the better gunships at tier VI in terms of raw potential. De Grasse is certainly not the best when measured against her peers. However, she doesn't come out poorly in direct comparisons. She is the third best fire starter at her tier. She comes in the middle of the pack among the 6" armed light cruisers for AP and HE DPM. Approximate HE explosion sizes of tier VI Cruisers (and Dunkerque). Reference Mahan (208m in-game length) used for scale. This gives an idea of the radius in which modules can be damaged by HE shells, including AA guns and weapon mounts, but also including things like the magazine and engine. De Grasse's HE shells, like those of other 6" armed cruisers, do not generate a significant blast size and precise aim is necessary to bulls-eye specific modules in order to disable or destroy them. Budyonny has the best HE shell ballistics among the 6" armed cruisers, with the shortest shell flight times to range. De Grasse's are decidedly average, being closely comparable to German 150mm guns. De Grasse's secondaries are largely forgettable. They have decent rates of fire and a good range of 5.0km but she has only six barrels with which to shoot and only four of those will be brought against a target at a time. For torpedoes, she has two triple launchers with a 90 second reload. These are quite respectable torpedoes, though they're not the heavy hitters found on British or Japanese cruisers. Still, with their 60 knot top speed and 9km range, they have enough reach to cause enemies issues if they're not careful. Regrettably, De Grasse cannot launch them from stealth without the use of allied smoke or an island for cover. This relegates them to an opportunistic weapon. They have better rearward firing arcs than forward. Summary De Grasse is a cruiser designed to fire from the second line, similar to Budyonny, Molotov or Cleveland. She is not meant to be a frontline scout in the same manner as Duca d'Aosta, Perth or Leander. Her guns are excellent harassing weapons, ideally suited to taking bites out of everything she can lay her sights upon. Combined with Inertial Fuse for HE Shells on her commander she can do significant amounts of direct damage to the extremities of all Battleships she will encounter, greatly increasing her threat to these warships. Demolition Expert can help pad her fire starting numbers back up to 11% which will greatly tax the Damage Control Party of these larger vessels. Remember not to neglect her excellent AP shells, though. Inside of ranges of 12km, De Grasse is quite capable of stacking citadel hits against select enemy cruisers that offer her a broadside. There are only a couple of drawbacks to De Grasse's guns. Their range is only a modest 16.2km. This isn't a serious flaw by any means as her speed can help bring her into range when needed. However, De Grasse lacks any float plane aircraft to further increase this reach which limits some of her versatility. This makes her average engagement range sit in around 14km which is well within medium (and even close range) for some Battleships. Proper use of cover is essential to keep her from suffering the predations of these larger warships if she wants to keep her guns singing. The second is rather poor rearward firing angles. While she can bring all of her guns against targets 36º off her bow, she has to swing out a full 45º off her stern to fire them all to the rear. Be very careful while making fighting retreats. De Grasse can brawl in a pinch. Her durability and agility do not make her well suited to this role (see below). However, between her fast turning turrets and the sting of her torpedo armament, she can be a dangerous opponent at these ranges. Fighting at range allows De Grasse to maximize her enormous damage potential while also giving her time enough to dodge return fire. De Grasse versus la Galissonnière De Grasse uses slightly modified versions of the French 152mm naval rifle. In almost every respect that counts, they identical to the guns of la Galisonnière except in three key areas. De Grasse has 300m more range than her tech tree counterpart. The difference in range isn't terribly surprising as this is generally evaluated on a per-ship basis. Still, the premium ship has the advantage. De Grasse's main battery is dual purpose and lends firepower to AA defense. De Grasse uses more modern 152mm, dual-purpose guns circa 1936 versus 1930 for La Galissonnière. De Grasse has a 0.9s faster reload and thus 11% more DPM than la Galissonnière. For secondaries, la Galissonnière has more of them (eight 90mm guns in 4x2 turrets), but De Grasse's weapons do more damage with the same reload rate. They also start more fires and have 500m more range. Each ship can only bring four guns against a single target, providing la Galissonnière the advantage only if she was ever bracketed on both sides by close range, enemy ships, which would let her fire with all eight to De Grasse's six. It doesn't get any better with torpedoes. La Galissonnière can only launch two torpedoes per side to De Grasse's three. This does give la Galissonniere a 30s advantage on reload. Otherwise the torpedoes are identical in terms of speed, damage, range and detection. So, short of being in a prolonged close-range brawl where torpedo reload decides an engagement, De Grasse outclasses la Galissonnière. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 33.5knotsTurning Radius: 690mRudder Shift: 8.8s Maximum Turn Rate: 6.0º per second. De Grasse disappoints in the agility department, at least initially. On the surface, her top speed and turning isn't bad. She manages 33.5 knots in a straight line. This puts her behind ships like Duca d'Aosta, Molotov, Budyonny and Aoba. Touching her rudder will see her speed bleed down to 26.8 knots which makes chasing destroyers a no-go, especially when you have to avoid incoming fire from her allies. At least she handles reasonably well in the turn, doing as much as 6.0º per second rotation rate, though she only manages about 5.3º per second in the first 90º. With De Grasse's Engine Boost consumable, she tops out at 38.5 knots for three full minutes. This is a tremendous advantage when used properly -- especially in the closing minutes of a match when it can allow her to run down destroyers she might not otherwise catch or to move from one end of the map to the other to secure objectives. If you have access to it, the Super Upgrade Engine Boost Modification 1 is an excellent choice for De Grasse, extending this time to four and a half minutes per charge. Add a Sierra Mike signal and you'll see a maximum speed of 40.5 knots. You'll have the enemy destroyers wetting themselves with terror and enemy battleships and cruisers cursing your ability to control engagement ranges with these velocities. De Grasse versus la Galissonnière La Galissonnière comes out favourably against De Grasse in this category, at least in part. The French tech-tree ship has a tighter turning circle by 40m and a 1.1s faster rudder shift right out of the box. However, she is slower than De Grasse by a full 2.5 knots. This lower top speed means that her rotation rate slows down to be comparable to De Grasse overall, despite having a tighter turning circle. So while on paper la Galissonnière appears more agile, in practice the only real advantage she has is the ability to cut in a little tighter on corners. She still needs as much time as De Grasse to complete a manoeuvre. DurabilityHit Points: 31,200Maximum Protection: 100mm + 18mm Min Bow & Deck Armour: 16mmTorpedo Damage Reduction: 10% Don't get your hopes up. De Grasse has two good features in regards to her durability (and really only two). The first is her torpedo damage reduction. It's a mere 10%, but that's a far cry more than what a lot of mid tier light cruisers can boast. The second is a related feature. Along her machine spaces, there is a pronounced gap between her belt armour and the citadel itself. This creates a trap of sorts which can cause smaller caliber AP shells with short fuse timers (typically those of British cruisers but including some destroyers) to detonate within this gap, causing the ship no damage. This will award the attacking ship a penetration ribbon, but De Grasse will go onto absorb these shells indefinitely. This really only works against hits that strike De Grasse in the waterline in the section behind her bridge extending back towards her crane. It is not something to be relied upon. These are both small consolation prizes for what is otherwise quite a fragile vessel. De Grasse is a large target. This, in part, explains her large hit point pool but it also creates a large and inviting silhouette for enemy gunnery. This might not be so bad except that she has an equally large citadel with 2/3s of its length being exposed over the waterline. Her real weak spot, however is located beneath her #2 turret extending back to her bridge where her citadel flares outward and abuts against the edge of the hull. This section is easily struck by ships that have her broadside and is especially vulnerable to battleship fire coming head on. Her transverse bulkhead is a mere 60mm thick. Shells that overmatch her bows have only this 60mm plate standing between them and hoovering up all of De Grasse's hit points with a couple of citadel hits. At least her large magazines are fully submerged. De Grasse's weapon mounts and modules get damaged frequently. To this end, Main Armaments Modification 1 is almost a must have to keep them working. In addition, the Captain Skills Preventative Maintenance and Last Stand aren't bad investments either. Two images showing De Grasse's citadel. Much of it resides over the water, but it's the forward section that's most vulnerable, especially to Battleship caliber guns. The image within the image is looking down the long axis of De Grasse and shows the gap between the belt armour (yellow) and the narrow part of her citadel (teal). AP shells with fast fuse timers that penetrate her belt will detonate in this dead-space in between for no damage, but this is largely limited to British cruisers and destroyer AP shells. De Grasse versus la Galissonnière La Galissonnière and De Grasse both are large, vulnerable cruisers. While De Grasse has nearly 4,000 more hit points, la Galissonnière has 5mm more belt armour and 2mm more citadel armour along her long axis. La Galissonnière also has a (marginally) less exposed citadel. These difference don't amount to much, however De Grasse's extra hit points will be more valuable over the long run, if only just. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 13.3km Air Detection Range: 7.7 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 11.4km Main Battery Firing Range: 16.2km De Grasse shares Cleveland's ignominious distinction of being the most visible cruiser at tier VI -- larger in surface detection than even the monster, Admiral Graf Spee. This is largely what precludes De Grasse from being a good scout. She's spotted far too early and when spotted, it will take her a lot of room to disengage from enemies. Her large size and exposed citadel make her a very inviting target to battleships with itchy trigger fingers in the early stages of a match. It's really ill advised to put De Grasse on the front line until enemies are spotted and engaged. Her large surface detection range makes her decent gun range and her reasonable agility all the more important. Speed must be De Grasse's armour. Holding fire to drop back into concealment will often be a must to keep this ship alive. Husband your Engine Boost consumable until you need it. It can often save your life by helping De Grasse disengage from tight spots, or to sprint from cover to cover. De Grasse versus la Galissonnière La Galissonnière has just as large a surface detection range as De Grasse, but her aerial detection range is 500m smaller. At least in this regard, the tech tree ship can look down her nose at her premium counterpart. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 152mm, 100mm, 37mm, 13.2mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.0km / 1.2kmAA DPS per Aura: 45 / 9 / 12 For those of us who were hoping to see her anti-aircraft cruiser, postwar design, De Grasse's AA power in World of Warships is doubly disappointing. If anything good could be said about her AA power, it's that it's long ranged. De Grasse's 152mm and 100mm guns both contribute to a 5.0km AA bubble and form the lion's share of the vessel's damage against strike aircraft. The bad news is that she does not follow this up with any appreciable medium or short ranged AA guns of note. It is possible to specialize De Grasse into a fleet-defense anti-aircraft ship, but she's a pale shadow of what she could have been. Cleveland has more AA power in her 40mm Bofors than De Grasse has in her entire compliment of weapons. To make her any sort of credible threat to aircraft, you need to invest heavily into upgrades, skills and maybe even a signal flag to boost her AA power and range in every capacity. Even then, De Grasse will at best be a nuisance and not a show-stopper when it comes to hampering enemy aircraft operations. I am disappoint. Probably the best recourse with De Grasse is not to bother specializing into AA Power to any serious degree (if at all) and instead keep her armed with Defensive Fire. Your mileage may vary given the frequency of encounters against enemy CVs, but this will play up to De Grasse's strength of being able to handle herself in any given situation, if only to make the attack planes flub their drops. De Grasse versus la Galissonnière De Grasse's anti-aircraft firepower is such a disappointment, is it any surprise that this is the one area where la Galisonnière stands ahead? Well, she kinda does anyway. You see, la Galisonnière's 90mm guns cap out at a 4.0km range which really hurts her ability to provide AA defense to friendly ships. Maximizing her reach between skills and upgrades buffs her reach up to 5.8km which isn't terribly useful. Overall, la Galissonnière can really only boast that she has more AA DPS, with most of it relegated to self defense ranges. How to Save 'Murica You could build your De Grasse commander to shoot down aircraft, but it's going to require a very heavy investment to make it anywhere close to worthwhile. These are skill points that could be much better served making her a sleek gunship and late-game destroyer hunter. However, let it never be said that I wasn't thorough. Let's take a look at a couple of Commander Skill options. You're going to want to race to the tier 4 skill right away, so take one from each tier to begin with. Your core 10pt skills for any build should be: Start with Priority Target. Next, take Adrenaline Rush at the second tier. Follow this up with Demolition Expert at tier three. And finally take Concealment Expert at the last tier. For an AA build, you'll want Advanced Fire Training and Manual Fire Control for AA Guns. Some quick math will tell you that this will use up all but your last point if you follow the core-build as described above. And this really speaks to how sub-optimal the AA build will be for De Grasse. If you want, you can drop Concealment Expert to take one of the two aforementioned AA skills. This will free up more points to grab good follow ups like Basic Fire Training and Superintendent -- the first for 20% more AA DPS and the latter for an extra charge of your Defensive Fire consumable. Just be aware that you've really hurt your damage potential by doing so. A more reasonable choice would be to keep the core build and add onto it Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. Now your tier VI cruiser is a credible threat to tier VIII battleships. Good follow up skills include: Superintendent, Last Stand (she loses her steering gears often when dodging), Preventative Maintenance, Directional Center for Catapult Aircraft, Radio Location and Vigilance. Mix and match to your preferences. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme De Grasse plays very much like Budyonny with a bit of a safety net. On the surface, this isn't very complicated: pick a target, select HE and hold down the left mouse button until it burns to death. Hooray! Bonus points if you don't get your citadel blown out by their return fire. The skill ceiling for De Grasse doesn't max out, however. She's not stealthy enough to take full advantage of a concealment / spotting meta. She has enough armour to angle against most cruisers, but nothing over that. Her exposed citadels really hurt her. This limits some of her carry potential and how far skill will take you. Mouse's Summary: Jack of All Trades, Master of None Very comfortable to play. She burns stuff very nicely. She's still very much a light cruiser. She pops quite suddenly. De Grasse is a great mid-tier cruiser. She's not the best at any one category but she holds up well. She has good DPM, great fire starting, good agility, decent main battery range, good speed, excellent gun handling, a workable reach on her torpedoes and reasonable levels of protection for a light cruiser. There are only two real areas that I can point where she comes out weak -- that's overall AA power (even though her AA auras are nice and big) and her concealment, which isn't terrible but it's not good. So I say again: De Grasse is an excellent mid-tier cruiser. For all of my salt about De Grasse being better than la Galissonnière, she is not overpowered. While it's lamentable that a premium ship is better than the tech tree counterpart within the same nation, she does not inherently unbalance the tier at which she plays. I will say she is a strong contender for being one of the best tier VI cruisers right now. However, she will not displace Cleveland (DPM monster, best AA ship currently). She does not provide the long range, accurate firepower of Molotov or Budyonny. She doesn't have the speed and concealment of Duca d'Aosta or Aoba. She doesn't have the ability to scout and smoke up like Perth and Leander. She does not have the durability and alpha-strike of Graf Spee. De Grasse has a place in the cruiser lineup as a good jack of all trades ship. La Galissonnière never did. Wargaming ensured that when they nerfed her rate of fire to oblivion during development. Her flexibility will not appeal to everyone. For those looking for excellence and primacy, look elsewhere. That's not De Grasse's appeal. Instead, if you like a ship that can handle herself against almost any opponent if you've built her right, then look towards this ship. Take Defensive Fire instead of Hydroacoustic Search even without an AA build and you're going to be nuisance to carriers while still maintaining that awesome damage potential. De Grasse doesn't have a lot of flaws and those she does have aren't crippling. If you're looking to be distracted bells and whistles, you won't find them here. But if you can see past the gimmicks and glitter, De Grasse is one fine ship. Would I Recommend? For PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? I highly recommend De Grasse for PVE modes. Her high fire chance is great for prompting bots to waste their Damage Control Party, often within the first volley. This makes stacking fires upon them very easy and greatly increasing her damage output. Combined with her ability to flex with her Engine Boost, De Grasse is an excellent ship for co-op or operations. Just be careful of loading up on premium consumables as you may end up winning but losing credits. For Random Battle Grinding This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. It's difficult to recommend her here. The only issue with buying De Grasse to train Captains is that all of the high tier French Cruisers are heavy cruisers, so the Captain Skill choices may not mesh up very well. Taken on her own merits for grinding credits and the like, she does alright. However, having four consumables can get expensive if you're the type of player that buys premium versions for each, especially without a premium account. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. De Grasse isn't the best choice for competitive environments. Don't get me wrong -- she can do very well here with her reliable damage output and speed. However, her gimmick (high top speed for a limited time) isn't a trump card the way smoke or amazing anti-aircraft firepower can be in the right circumstances. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. I wouldn't recommend her for collection's sake. While it's nice to have a version of the ship as she was meant to be designed, historically it would have been nicer to see her as-built. For Fun Factor:Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Hells to the yeah. She's a very comfortable ship to drive. If you like making Battleships cry while they burn to death, so much the better. 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.
  17. The Tier 8 German Battleship Bismarck "Legendary" Quick Summary: A specialized brawling Battleship that's near impossible to citadel at close ranges. Her strengths include great secondaries, a high top speed, good durability and the German hydroacoustic search consumable. Patch & Date Written: 0.5.10.1. August 25th to August 27th, 2016. Premium Ship Shortcuts Closest Premium Ship: TirpitzDegree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class/ Similar Role / Unique Well, who didn't see this one coming? The Tirpitz is the obvious closest analogue to the Bismarck, what with being her sister ship. Still if you're looking to skip the grind with purchasing a premium ship rather than researching your way to the Bismarck you're going to miss out. Though they are sisters, their game play is different in a few places. PROs: Excellent citadel protection with her turtleback armour, making her functionally immune to citadel hits. Bow armour of 32mm and deck armour of 50mm allows her to easily tank when prow on towards enemies at medium to close range against guns up to 420mm. Large hit point pool at 69,200hp. Fast reload time on her 380mm rifles with with a 5' per second turret rotation which provides good gun handling. Good range of 21.2km which can be extended with a spotter aircraft. Excellent secondary armament with massive 7.0km base range. Well balanced anti-aircraft complement. Good top speed of 31.0 knots. Has the Hydroacoustic Search consumable. Enormous carry potential -- incredibly forgiving. CONs: Armour isn't overall as thick as some advertise, leading to many normal penetrations unless properly angled. Poor anti-torpedo defense with only a 22% base damage reduction. German Battleship dispersion on main batteries can feel punitive at times. Small main battery with only eight 380mm rifles. Poor HE performance with 4,400 alpha strike. Awful handling, with a 16.0s rudder shift time and 850m turning circle. Enormous surface detection range of 16.4km and aerial detection range of 14.7km. Rough stock-grind until you unlock her Hull Upgrade. Rest easy, fans of the Bismarck. Her legacy is safe in this game. The Bismarck is for World of Warships what the Pz.Kpwf. VI Tiger is for World of Tanks. She is the stuff of legends and surrounded by so much hype and misinformation to make it difficult to separate fact and reality. Sensationalized documentaries often describe her as the single greatest threat that the British Royal Navy ever faced in the Second World War. This leads to some very high expectation (and trepidation) in regards to her inclusion in World of Warships. The Zoup Can For those adverse to reading and who enjoy the soothing tones of a Virginian gentleman, NoZoupForYou has offered to collaborate. He reads out the summary of this article along with the list of Pros and Cons for the Bismarck. One of our North American Community Contributors, Zoup does his own reviews which you should check out. Personally, I'm a big fan of his "Real Warship Genius" series. Options The headliner for the Bismarck's options is the inclusion of the German Hydroacoustic Search. This is identical to that found on the German Cruisers of the same tier with their extended range. This makes closing in to brawling ranges a lot more comfortable. Harrowing panic situations when enemy DDs or smoke-launching cruisers are harassing you become almost laughable. This pairs well with her heavy secondary armament which can quickly doom lightly armoured ships caught out by your consumable. Consumables: Four slots Damage Control Party Repair Party Choice between Spotter Aircraft and Float Plane Fighter Hydroacoustic Search Module Upgrades: Five slots, standard German options.Camouflage: The Bismarck has the option of purchasing premium camouflage for 3,000 doubloons. This provides -3% to your surface detection range, increases enemy dispersion by 4%, provides a 50% bonus to experience gains and reduces your repair costs by 5%. Firepower Primary Battery: 380mm guns in 4x2 turrets in an A-B-X-Y arrangement.Secondary Battery: 105mm guns in 8x2 turrets, 150mm guns in 6x2 turrets. At first glance, the Bismarck looks under gunned compared to the other tier 8 Battleships. And you wouldn't be remiss in thinking so. Her eight 380mm rifles pale compare to the nine 406mm found on the North Carolina or the ten 410mm guns found on the Amagi. She compensates for this by having the same reload time as the Gneisenau -- a mere 26s per volley. This helps pad her DPM numbers somewhat but she's still trailing the leaders in terms of potential damage output. The 380mm caliber guns first introduced at tier 6 with the Bayern are starting to feel a bit long in the tooth by tier 8, even with the improved performance over their WWI predecessor. With their accelerated reload and reasonable alpha strike, they can be quite the nightmare for unwary cruisers. There's enough punch in each AP shell to take the fight out of anything smaller than a Battleship. But you're not going to find the single, overwhelming blows found on the North Carolina's 406mm shells. Fights with other BBs can take a while. Her HE shells also are downright terrible, but that's nothing new for German ships. Another point of contention is the wide spacing of her guns. This tends to exaggerate the wonky dispersion RNG occasionally throws your way. Still, with a 5' per second turret rotation, the gunnery on the Bismarck is pretty comfortable -- comfortable enough that you'll likely forgive her being a bit lacking on alpha strike and DPM. Where the Bismarck really shines is with her secondary armament. She not only has a lot of guns (14 per side) but their range is incredible at 7km. With the right upgrades, skills and signals, you can get her range up to 10.58km which is insane at her tier. Many a Bismarck captain has decided to specialize their ship around these guns and few are disappointed. This makes a 10-skill Captain almost a must to maximize the Bismarck. My only area of contention with the Bismarck's secondaries is that they appear to have a bit of a blind-spot directly ahead of the ship. The good handling and fast reload on her main battery combined with her fearsome secondaries makes the Bismarck a real monster in a brawl. Her firepower traits make her very forgiving to play. A missed salvo with the Bismarck doesn't hurt as much as you can reload and readjust sooner than other Battleships. Her secondaries passively stack damage and can wrack up impressive totals without much input from the player. Summary: Main armament is very comfortable to use, with good turret rotation and a faster reload. Heavy secondary gun battery with excellent range for her tier. Ship is somewhat lacking in alpha strike and DPM potential. Gun accuracy can feel a bit off at times with the wide gun spacing on her turrets. Secondaries have a blind spot directly forward of the ship. From left to right, the Bismarck (tier 8), Bayern (tier 6) and Gneisenau (tier 7). Each use 380mm guns with comparable hitting power, though only the Gneisenau and Bismarck use the same type. The Bayern uses a WWI era 380mm rifle with different characteristics for its reload and shell. Compared to the Tier 7 Gneisenau The Bismarck feels like a linear upgrade to the Gneisenau. You do lose a couple of nice features though. You're upgrading from 6 guns to 8. They're the same weapons as you've used before, you're just getting more of them. Your secondary guns change from being powerful to godly, with an enormous reach. You do lose your torpedoes. Your armour improves overall, with excellent bow armour though you lose some along your waterline. The Bismarck will feel much tougher against most opponents. Your AA power improves but not enough to feel like a big step up from the Gneisenau. The Bismarck will feel tankier than the Gneisenau. You can take more hits and you no longer have to fear 380mm or 410mm guns if you angle properly at the right range. You'll be delighted to have the Hydracoustic Search module -- enough that you'll really miss it if you go back to playing lower tiered German Battleships. The loss of your torpedoes will be felt, but the secondaries from the Bismarck almost make up for it. Maneuverability Top Speed: 31.0 knots.Turning Radius: 850mRudder Shift: 16.0s The Bismarck is one of the fastest Battleships in the game at present. Only a handful of enemy capital ships can outrun her. This gives the Bismarck a tremendous amount of flexibility, especially when top tier. She can dictate the ranges at which combats will occur and force enemy Battleships to play on her terms. It's only when facing the higher tiered German Battleships and the Iowa that she needs to be wary. Largely, you'll want to hold off on using her speed in the early portions of the game until you can best isolate the opening you want to exploit. The downside to all of that speed is that the Bismarck doesn't turn very well. Stock, her rudder shift is an absolute nightmare and it only gets marginally better with her hull upgrade. The good news is that she'll never out turn her turrets. However, that's small consolation when enemy destroyers send a swarm of torpedoes at your broadside. Durability Hit Points: 69,200Citadel Protection: Up to 315mm + turtlebackBow Armour: 32mm (immunity to 410mm rifles)Torpedo Damage Reduction: 22% Tier for tier, you're going to struggle to find a Battleship as well protected as the Bismarck at medium to close ranges. And there's the key -- getting her in close. Bow on, she can deflect the 283mm to 420mm rifles found at tiers 7 through 10 with ease, having only to worry about the shells striking her turret faces or barbettes. Properly angled at this engagement range, she can repulse any guns she faces, bouncing even the fearsome main battery of the Yamato. Against the IJN flagship, you'll need to angle 20' to 30' and bait shots against your belt armour as her 460mm guns can still over match your bow. She is also functionally immune to citadel hits against her broadside at ranges up to (and including) 16km. One of the few ways to land citadel hits is to strike her while she's sailing directly towards or away and slam shells down the length of her ship or through her deck armour. This is much easier said than done and the Bismarck can largely ignore the threat of citadel damage. This immunity comes from the layer of her turtleback armour -- angled armour plates behind the belt designed to deflect shells up and away from the machines spaces and magazine. As good as this all sounds, the Bismarck isn't impervious to damage. Far from it. While citadel hits are difficult (nay, nigh impossible) to land on her, this doesn't mean you can sail around exposing your broadside. Her belt armour is only 315mm. And while the turtleback internal armour will protect your vitals, you will still take a lot of damage from penetrating hits. If you expose her broadside, do not be surprised to take in excess of 20,000 damage from a rival Battleship smacking you upside the head with full penetrating salvos. It's critical to keep your Bismarck angled and to use your rudder and speed to avoid incoming fire. One "interesting" (read: overpowered) consequence of the difficulty of dealing citadel damage to the Bismarck is that her main hull can be over saturated. This reduces the damage of AP hits from 0.33x maximum damage down to 0.165x maximum damage, greatly increasing the amount of punishment needed to put her down. Once all of the localized hit points of this section are reduced, it's possible for the Bismarck to take full on penetrating salvos for zero-effective damage. Enemies must switch their fire to the bow, stern or superstructure to finish off the Bismarck in these cases. You're rarely ever going to encounter a situation where the Bismarck is taking zero-damage penetrating hits to a section of her hull, but damage saturation is commonplace. Be aware you may need to shift your fire when facing her if your damaging hits aren't quite up to muster. Another benefit to this immunity to citadel damage is that this greatly increases the efficiency of her Repair Party consumable. Only 10% of the damage done to the citadel of a Battleship may be recovered, while 50% of penetrating hits may be restored. It's easier to get more use out of your Repair Party in the Bismarck as you don't have to worry about being "cheated" out of 40% of a heal from a citadel hit. Her larger base hit point pool also means she recovers more hit points per charge than a North Carolina or Amagi. The Bismarck doesn't have everything her own way. She is very vulnerable to torpedo hits, reducing the incoming damage from those waterborne warheads by 22% before modules, and only against hits that strike her bulges amidships. Coupled with her large turning circle, she needs to be wary of destroyers and their main armament. This said, with her Hydracoustic Search consumable, she can give herself a big head start on getting out of the way of incoming strikes. Summary: Very large hit point pool & functionally immune to citadel hits except from torpedoes. Repair Party synergizes well with citadel immunity and large hit point pool. Good armour that can be actively angled to foil or minimize damage -- best suited at medium to close range. Still vulnerable to penetrating hits which can be quite commonplace if not angled properly, especially at range. Very vulnerable to torpedoes. Into the Maelstrom. The Bismarck is tough enough to forgive many a mistake -- such as finding yourself over extended and facing the teeth of the enemy fleet. If this happens, turn around and get out. Unlike other Battleships, you have little to fear from citadel damage and the sooner you can mitigate the harm being done, the better. Find cover, begin regenerating health and go at them again. The Stock Grind: The Bismarck is one of those ships you're going to want to have some free experience saved up to take the sting off of playing her stock. It's only the one module, her hull, that needs addressing immediately. Without it, your AA power is bad but most distressingly, your bad rudder shift time is downright awful at 22.4s. The first module you'll want to upgrade is her hull. I cannot recommend strongly enough that you use any saved free experience to accelerate this. At 52,000xp, it is expensive but worthwhile. It provides the following: 4,700 extra HP, a 6.4s improvement to your rudder shift time and it overhauls your AA armament from 203dps to 374dps. The rudder shift time alone will make this feel worthwhile. Everything else is a bonus. With her stock engine, the Bismarck makes 28.5 knots which isn't bad. This will allow you to keep pace with the flow of battle though you may struggle to close into brawling ranges until you get this upgraded to her 31.0 knot top speed. Without her rangefinder upgrade, the Bismarck has a reach of 19.3km. On some of the larger maps you'll find yourself, this may feel a bit lackluster. You can prop this up through the use of her spotter aircraft for small windows of opportunity. With her final upgrade, her range increases to 21.2km. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 16.4kmAir Detection Range: 14.7kmMinimum Surface Detection Range: 12.31kmConcealment Penalty while Firing: +11.40km The Bismarck is a large Battleship with a surface detection range to match. You can invest heavily in trying to camouflage her but this will largely be an exercise in futility. A heavy investment may pay dividends in late-stage matches where there are no aircraft present. This will allow you to "sneak" to almost within extended secondary gun-battery range on open water. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 105mm, 37mm, 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 4.5km, 3.5km, 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 133 / 103 / 138 The Bismarck may feel like a small step backwards from the Gneisenau in terms of AA defense. Where the Germans enjoyed overall anti-aircraft superiority at tier 7, they are very much put in their place by the arrival of the North Carolina and her modernized AA batteries. It's not that the Bismarck's AA power is bad. It's very well balanced between her three umbrellas, almost evenly splitting into thirds at each step. The only real unfortunate change from the Gneisenau to the Bismarck is the loss of the 5.2km range from the Gneisenau's dual purpose 128mm rifles. The Bismarck is armed with 105s instead which go back to the Bayern's maximum range of 4.5km. This is a marked downgrade and should be treated as such. Though the overall values of the Bismarck's aircraft damage per second have gone up, this loss of range should be as keenly felt as a significant dip in DPS. This does mean that tier for tier, the Gneisenau has better AA power than the Bismarck. It also reduces the standing of the Bismarck's AA power from "good" to "average", sitting just over the Amagi but several steps behind the aforementioned laurels of the North Carolina. Functionally, when facing same tier or higher enemy carriers, you can expect the Bismarck's AA to bloody incoming attack planes but not see them off. You're also going to be the preferred prey of torpedo bombers if they're given the choice between you and an American Battleship. Thanks to the Tirpitz's reputation as a poor AA boat, many CVs may be more inclined to try their luck against your hide. It's important to stay with the fleet and to not isolate yourself when there's an enemy carrier on the team. Your AA power isn't bad, it's just not enough to keep you safe if you're caught out alone. You will bloody their noses, but that's small recompense when aircraft are easy to replace. Your hit points are less so. The Bismarck warily eyes fifteen dive bombers passing 4km away. These planes had no interest in the German Battleship and were on their way back to their ship. The Bismarck's flak only managed to shoot down one of them. She has decent AA power, but not enough to give a tier 10 carrier pause. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult The Bismarck is one of the most forgiving Battleships in the game. She has good armour, good speed, good gun handling, good reload times and AA power. She will reward a Captain playing her over cautiously from the second line and she'll be equally as forgiving to a Captain that pushes a little too aggressively, keeping her alive long enough to repeatedly pull the trigger. Neither Captain will be helping their team very much, but the Bismarck Captain will feel like they contributed. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme The meta for the Bismarck is a game of patience. You're excellent up close but you cannot risk over exposing yourself early on. Her game play, at it's most complicated, is looking for an opening where you can close in to within 8km of an enemy and put your tremendous secondary gun batteries and your excellent armour to work. Otherwise, she can sit back and snipe with the rest of the fleet without too much of a depreciation of her combat abilities. Her carry potential is enormous and you don't have to be unicum to exercise it. Mouse's Summary: Her main battery isn't her strong point nor is it a liability. Her secondaries are excellent -- the best for her tier. Ridiculous potential durability, making her one of the tankiest Battleships in game when played well. She has the speed, flexibility and firepower to help decide matches. As a veteran of World of Tanks from 2013, I am still a little gun-shy regarding German vehicles in Wargaming's IP. I keep expecting them to have larger-than-necessary drawbacks, or to be significantly up-tiered from what they were designed to face. You can well imagine what a pleasant surprise the Bismarck has been for me. Short of her handling like a fat cow, she really does not have much in the way of serious weaknesses. And these balancing measures are, if we're completely honest, insufficient from keeping her from being an overpowered monster. There, I said. I'm in for it now. The Bismarck is overpowered. I can't take it back. She is, hands down, the most forgiving Battleship I've played -- and I own the Imperator Nikolai I. This doesn't make her more powerful than the Russian Behemoth, tier for tier. She's not firing at poor baby seals with twelve laser-accurate rifles after all. But she does have enough going for her that I seriously question if she can evade the nerf hammer for long. A lot, if not all of it, has to do with her durability. It would be enough of a bonus if she simply had her functional immunity to citadel damage short of torpedo strikes, but it goes beyond that. She has good overall armour which lets her face-tank against anything short of a Yamato. She's got a bucket load of hit points which, when combined with "only" taking penetrations, allows her Repair Party to work that much more efficiently. Unlike the Imperator Nikolai I, she's got reasonable AA power too. Oh, and she's got secondaries for days. Anything that gets within 8km of a Bismarck needs to start living in fear of watching their HP hemorrhage between small-caliber shells and resulting fires. I'm very tempted to crown the Bismarck as THE ship to grind for in the German line. As nice as the improvements are on the Friedrich der Grosse, the Bismarck can see tier 6 Battleships. And you haven't seen disgusting levels of puppy kicking until you've seen a Bismarck wade into the ranks of several tier 6 vessels at point blank range and come out with several kills and most of her hit points intact. It's downright obscene. It's even more disgusting when you see her pull the same stunt against tier 7 ships. With careful play, she can also pull it off against tier 8s. It seems silly to call the Bismarck overpowered and not raise the same flag over-top of the Tirpitz, her premium sister-ship. There are differences between the two craft and I think they're telling. Between 2km extra range on her secondaries, her better AA power and her hydroacoustic search, I feel that the Bismarck is more forgiving than her sister ship. The Bismarck has eyes (and guns) trained against all threats. Her player doesn't need to actively participate to dissuade a destroyer from slipping within 10km or to handle incoming aircraft as much as they would at the helm of the Tirpitz. The only thing that's going to keep her in line are those eight 380mm rifles. She might dodge immediate nerfs if her damage totals aren't through the roof. She may even escape player attention because of it (players are so enamoured with high damage totals). But damage doesn't tell everything. The Bismarck, when played with even a modest bit of skill, will really make the enemy team work at trying to sink her. Seriously, get out there and enjoy. The Bismarck-class and Admiral-Hipper-class together once again. These make good division mates and look awesome too. Stay tuned for a review of the Prinz Eugen! Compared to the Tier 9 Friedrich der Grosse: When you unlock the Friedrich, you're essentially getting a bigger, fatter Bismarck. A lot of the upgrades are simply mediocre. Her AA bumps up, primarily with her 37mm mid-range auto cannons but this still keeps her a far cry from comparing to the USN Battleships. Her secondaries are identical to those of the Bismarck, but at a tier higher. She's not as fast. She's got even worse handling. And she even loses out somewhat on the Bismarck's range if that can be believed. All of these lackluster "improvements" pave the way for a single gain: You upgrade to fast-firing 406mm rifles or the incredibly punchy 420mm guns. This gives you the choice of keeping to the rapid-fire gun play that you were accustomed to through the Gneisenau and Bismarck or trading up for the apocalyptic smash of Montana-equivalent shells on a longer reload. Sadly, the Friedrich only has the eight guns between four turrets like her predecessor. So even as the German Battleships finally reach gun caliber parity with their contemporaries, they continue to trail on DPM. Still, the Friedrich der Grosse preserves the vaunted durability of the Bismarck class. You just need to play her a little more carefully. Outfitting the Bismarck Recommended Modules The big decision you need to make with the Bismarck is whether or not you want to heavily invest in her secondary armaments or not. Like the Gneisenau, you're going to feel spoiled for choice. For your first slot, I'm going to do the rare thing and recommend two different options. Main Armament Modification 1 should be your default option. However, for those of you raising a fuss about being detonated, Magazine Modification 1 will keep you safe from those rare torpedo-inspired explosions that make your face turn purple with the rage. The mod will reduce the likelihood of those occurring from an approximate 1 in 100 scenario to 1 in 300. For your second slot, you need to decide if you want to focus on her primary battery or secondary battery. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is definitely the better choice, providing a modest boost for both systems. This will nudge her secondary range up to 7.35km. However, you can go full hog and grab Secondary Battery Modification 2 which will up her range to 8.4km. The third slot options are still terrible. Take Damage Control System Modification 1. It will help reduce flooding and fires and give you a 2% boost to your damage reduction against torpedoes. At your fourth slot, you've again got a choice to make (yay, no obvious min-maxing!). The decision rests between trying to improve her sluggish handling with Steering Gears Modification 2, or reducing the impact of fire and flooding damage with Damage Control System Modification 2. The former will reduce her upgraded rudder shift time from 16.0s to 12.8s. This is arguably the best choice. However, with as much high explosive fire as the Bismarck will take, it's hard to discount the merits of reducing fire damage and taking the burden off her Damage Control Party. For your final slot, you have the choice between reducing her detection range by 10% with Concealment System Modification 1 and boosting her minimum acquisition ranges for torpedoes and enemy ships with Target Acquisition System Modification 1. With her Hydroacoustic Search, the latter is of less value IMO, making the Concealment mod more attractive. Recommended Consumables Like most Battleships, the Bismarck should equip a premium version of her Damage Control Party. This will reduce the reset timer from an appalling 120s down to an almost manageable 80s. It's up to player choice if you wish to also follow suit with a premium version of your Repair Party. Along with reducing the cool down, this will provide an additional charge which can be very useful for this front line brawler. You have your choice of using either a Spotter Aircraft or a Float Plane Fighter in your next slot. Float Plane fighters are perilously short-lived in higher tiered matches with the massive, overlapping AA umbrellas. To this end, I tend to prefer the Spotter Aircraft for it's early-game utility to help snipe when ranges are still wide open. Still, the Fighter isn't without its merits, particularly in end game scenarios where there aren't many ships left. This can help spot enemies and incoming torpedoes, reducing the burden on your Hydroacoustic Search. Recommended Captain Skills The Bismarck's skill choices will be pretty standard for a high tier German Battleship. From the first tier, Basic Fire Training and Basics of Survivability are both valuable, with the former being more optimal as it boosts your secondary batteries and your AA power. I would strongly recommend grabbing both. From the second tier, Expert Marksman is your best choice. This will increase your turret rotation from 5' per second to 5.7' per second -- a 14% increase. At the third tier, you have three choices depending on how you want to specialize your ship. Vigilance will give you increased time to react to enemy torpedoes. Note that this does stack with Hydroacoustic Search and can be invaluable this way. High Alert helps ease the burden on your often overtaxed Damage Control Party, reducing it's reset timer by 12s / 8s. Lastly, Superintendent will provide an extra charge for all of your consumables -- very handy for both your Hydroacoustic Search and Repair Party. At tier 4, Advanced Fire Training is the most valuable choice. This boosts both your AA and secondary battery range. When coupled with your second module, this will boost your secondary range to 8.82km / 10.08km depending on your choice. At tier 5, I strongly recommend Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament. This concludes the closer look at the Bismarck. A special thanks to Lert for being my division-buddy and helping gather screenshots and game play. Stay tuned every Friday on ShipComrade.com for a new review of a tech-tree ship. You can request the next non-premium ship I look at.
  18. The Defiant. A very special thanks to KillJoy1941 and x2_Weekends for making this review possible. Quick Summary: A large, fast, hard hitting destroyer with a seven gun broadside and 8km torpedoes. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.1 through to 0.6.7.1 March 5th to July 15th, 2017. Cost: 4,800 doubloons. Closest in-Game Contemporary Leningrad & Minsk, Tier VII Soviet Destroyers Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique It wasn't until the Royal Navy (and British Commonwealth) destroyers joined World of Warships that we began to see a match to Blyskawica's pedigree. At best she could previously be compared with some of the Soviet ships, like Leningrad and Minsk, which are fast gunship platforms but still far removed from this Polish beauty. She is the first British-built destroyer in the game after all, with a resemblance that most closely matches the famous Tribal-class destroyers. To this end, I had a want to compare her to HMS Gallant. However,even with Gallant joining the ranks, Blyskawica's play style still resembles the Soviet Destroyers far more than any other ships presently in the game. I fear it won't be until we see the Tribals that we'll have anything close (if even then). PROs Very large hit point pool for a tier VII destroyer at 15,500hp. Her hull and deck are 16mm thick -- capable of auto-bouncing British Cruiser 152mm AP shells when properly angled. Armed with a seven 120mm rifle broadside, providing a powerful alpha strike per volley. Excellent fire starter with the highest fires per minute of any tier VII Destroyer. Long ranged for a destroyer with a 12.0km reach on her main battery with good shell ballistics to these ranges. Can fire her torpedoes from concealment. At a top speed of 39.0 knots, she's quite fast for a mid-tier destroyer. CONs Blyskawica is a very large target for a destroyer with a prominent superstructure and funnel. Her 120mm guns have a 6.5s reload time, hurting their DPM output. Bad firing angles on her #4 turret. Low individual shell damage and poor penetration values on AP shells. Her torpedoes have only modest performance with 14,400 damage and a 57 knot top speed. Terrible anti-aircraft firepower. Sluggish handling for a destroyer with a 5.8s rudder shift time and 610m turning circle. She is one of the least stealthy destroyers in the game. No other Polish ships in the game, limiting her use as a Captain Trainer. I've wanted to come back to revisit Blyskawica and update her review for a long time. When Wargaming let it be known that they intended to change how concealment works and greatly reduce the impact of firing from stealth in open water, I put plans to update this review on hold. I had to wait not only for this game-changing patch to come down but also to wait and see if any buffs would be provided to compensate for its loss. No such gifts and goodies have materialized, so it's probably safe to say that Blyskawica's current self is stable for the time being. Thus, here is the long overdue reprise of this review. Lert will be joining me to provide his take on this iconic destroyer released in World of Warship's first year. The Lertbox When Mouse approached me to write a Lertbox for Blyskawica I jumped at the chance. This little Polish firecracker has been one of my favorite ships in the game ever since she was gifted to me for my birthday in 2016. She is my most played destroyer with two and a half times as many battles as the runner up. I've trained her captain from three points to eighteen, and she has almost a million XP on her. To say I like the ship is like saying that the sun is a wee bit warm. At first I considered writing a "Why Blyskawica is the best ship of its type in tier" style Lertbox like I did for Bogatyr, however I just can't honestly argue that she is the best destroyer in tier. Mahan is a better knife fighter, Shiratsuyu and Akatsuki are better torpedo boats, Leningrad and Minsk are faster - but then I realized: none of those ships are as well-rounded as the Polish cavalrist. Options No surprises here. Poland doesn't appear to have any specialties when it comes to its consumables -- at least among the destroyer variety. Consumables Damage Control Party Smoke Generator Engine Boost Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard Destroyer options. Premium Camouflage: Tier VI+ Standard (Type 10). This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy You'll want to shell out the extra credits to afford the premium versions of Blyskawica's Damage Control Party and Smoke Generator consumables. These will set you back 22,500 credits each and are well worth the investment. While this destroyer excels at firing from range, you'll be on the receiving end of damage often -- so often, in fact, that you will want to protect yourself with faster repairs of crippled systems and a quicker reload time of smoke. Note, if you're going to use the rare Engine Boost Modification, do invest in the premium version of that consumable too. For your modules, Blyskawica is pretty standard. In your first slot, Magazine Modification 1 is the best choice. She detonates as regularly as other destroyers and this will help mitigate that. If you're using Blyskawica competitively, then equip Main Armaments Modification 1 and don't skimp out on the Juliet Charlie signals to prevent detonations. You can do this latter configuration in Randoms if you prefer, just be aware you could lose your ship to a magazine explosion with some frequency if you are not running the signal. For your second slot, take Aiming System Modification 1. This will tighten her dispersion by 7m at 12km or 9m at her modified maximum range of 14.4km. Honestly, this isn't much but you're dependent on tight shell groupings to really take advantage of Blyskawica's alpha strike ability with her gun volleys. The added bonus of faster traversing torpedo tubes makes it worth while -- especially compared to the other modules you could place in their stead. The third slot for Destroyers is still pretty terrible. The new Engine Boost Modification 1 which provides a 50% increase to the duration of her Engine Boost consumable is probably the most interesting. If you don't have access to that (it only comes from Supercontainers and promotions), take whichever one you want. Their gains are minimal. For your fourth slot, you've a choice. Steering Gears Modification 2 will reduce your rudder shift time from 5.8s down to 4.6s. Alternatively, Propulsion Modification 2 is an excellent option\ (and the one I prefer myself). See the Manoeuvrability section below for the impacts of Steering Gears Modification 2 on ship turning time. Firepower Main Battery: Seven 120mm/50 rifles between four turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring arrangement. The forward most turret is a single mount. The other turrets have two guns each. Torpedo Armament: Six tubes between 2x3 dorsal launchers. Main Battery Tier VII Rankings (out of seven) 15,400 AP Alpha Strike: 1st 11,900 HE Alpha Strike: 1st 142.153 AP DPM: 5th (B-Hull Mahan 1st with 157,500) 109,846 HE DPM: 5th (B-Hull Mahan 1st with 135,000) 0.49 Fires per Salvo: 1st 5.17 Fires per Minute: 1st 12.0km Range: 3rd (Sims 1st with 12.9km) I both love and hate Blyskawica's guns. On a per shell basis, Blyskawica has some of the weakest guns at her tier. This should probably be expected given their caliber. Blyskawica fires 120mm shells while everyone else is using 127mm or larger. Their saving grace is that they aren't dual purpose weapons, but dedicated anti-shipping naval rifles. They have great muzzle velocity and shell flight times, but her shells individually do little damage and reload slowly. Range and Ballistics One of the best features of Blyskawica's weapons is their shell flight characteristics. Her 12.0km stock range can be upgraded to 14.4km with the tier 4 skill, Advanced Fire Training. Her range is behind only the American premium Sims and the Soviet Minsk. Unlike Sims, Blyskawica has an excellent 900m/s muzzle velocity, giving her slightly less than a 9s lead time to targets out to 12km. This makes hitting targets at range quite comfortable -- something that only the Soviet destroyers can similarly boast. Other destroyers simply do not have the range or their shells have a lot of "float" at these distances. This makes Blyskawica a bit of a long range specialist among destroyers and she's most comfortable engaging enemies at arm's reach. Fields of Fire and Gun Handling It's a good thing Blyskawica's guns have such good reach and flight characteristics out to range. Up close, her gun handling and fire arcs cause problems. Her gun fire arcs break down as follows: A Turret: 276º front B Turret: 294º front X Turret: 300º rear Y Turret: 270º rear This provides an average field of fire of 285º per turret. When you compare this to similar A-B-X-Y gun mounts on destroyers (ignoring the P mounts between the funnels which area always restricted), you really start to see how often these gun are occluded despite their ideal placement. Here's the average fields of fire for the other tier VII destroyers with these same turrets: Mahan and Sims (4 turrets): 300º Shiratsuyu (2 turrets): 300º Akatsuki (3 turrets): 293.3º Leberecht Maass (4 turrets): 285.5º Leningrad & Minsk (4 turrets): 284.5º Blyskawica's only saving grace is that she concentrates all seven of her guns within these modest sets of firing arcs. The Leningrad-class, Shiratsuyu and Mahan all have an extra turret with heavily restricted fire arcs to add onto this average to bring the number down further. Blyskawica's gun traverse isn't terrible, but it's not good either. Her guns rotate at 10º per second. This is far better than those of the Soviet or Japanese destroyers (which lurch at a paltry 6º per second) but a far cry from the American rotation speeds of 15º and 34º per second off the Mahan and Sims respectively. She won't ever out turn her turrets in the manner that Soviet and Japanese destroyers will, but in an intense knife fight, you'll struggle to keep guns on target. The Tier 2 Captain Skill, Expert Marksman can be used to help ensure her guns are brought back on an opponent quickly while Blyskawica dodges enemy fire, but it's not like she needs the skill to keep her guns fixed while manoeuvring. Damage, Rate of Fire and Shell Penetration Each shell has a 2,200 AP and 1,700 HE alpha strike. This is slightly better and worse than the USN 127mm guns and only slightly behind the IJN 127mm rifles found on Shiratsuyu and Akizuki. Individually these shells don't do a lot of damage. With a 6.5s reload, it's not like she's going to win any DPS races. However, Blyskawica does have her own trump card. Her seven rifles can deal a larger alpha strike in a single volley than any of her contemporaries. A salvo of Blyskawica's guns does a full 25% more damage than Leningrad or Minsk. She puts out 3,927 HE damage per penetrating volley -- enough to strip between a quarter to a third of the hit points of almost any destroyer she faces. So while she may not fire fast, when she does land hits, they are potentially devastating. There's only one fly in the ointment. With 120mm shells, Blyskawica's HE penetration is limited to affecting areas of armour that are 19mm or less. While this is more than sufficient to bully destroyers and harass British Cruisers, it does leave her lacking when it comes to facing Battleships of tier VI or higher. She may also struggle against specific heavy cruisers -- especially those at tier VIII+. When facing these targets, they often have large sections completely immune to her HE shells and short of stacking hits against their superstructure, Blyskawica's damage totals against these ships falls away quickly. There are two solutions, of course. The first is to switch to armour piercing ammunition when confronted with these targets. This can yield some surprising bursts of damage, but only at close range. Blyskawica's penetration values on her AP shells is very lackluster and you can find them bouncing and shattering off of even thinly armoured plate at modest distances. The alternative is to invest four skill points into Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. This allows Blyskawica to penetrate up to 25mm worth of armour, removing the shell immunity from all of her targets short of tier VIII+ Battleships and select cruisers, though it does hurt her chance to start fires. This is a precious asset to hamper. The buffs to the prow of select cruisers, bumping them up to 27mm worth of armour further diminishes the value of this skill for Blyskawica such that it's very difficult to recommend. One of Blyskawica's greatest strengths is her ability to set fires. Taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells damages this ability significantly -- she never quite recovers primacy among tier VII destroyers, even if you use Demolition Expert to prop her numbers back up. Fire Chance Blyskawica is the best fire starter of the tier VII destroyers. The combination of her large number of guns with a high fire chance per shell gives her the lead in this regard, but this can be padded further with two Captain Skills. Basic Fire Training increases her rate of fire and Demolition Expert to increase the raw chance of starting a blaze. This is one of the most significant ways Blyskawica can pad her damage numbers against targets like Nagato or Iowa that are largely immune to the direct harm of her guns. This has the added benefit of keeping pressure on your target's Damage Control Party, making her more vulnerable to flooding or fires set by your team mates. The question becomes if it's worth trading off the chance of setting fires to open up direct damage opportunities against tier VI and VII battleships with Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. Know that this harms your fire chances significantly., especially given that you may have to give up Basic Fire Training or Demolition Expert to afford it. In my opinion, when it comes to engaging capital ships, destroyers should hit and run and not dabble with illusions of providing sustained bombardment to wear down their foes. It provides too many opportunities for reprisals on a ship that should rely on stealth and speed to stay alive. To this end, I prefer Blyskawica specialized to set blazes rather than deal direct damage. Torpedoes In contrast to her guns, Blyskawica's torpedoes are a bit of a let down. They're not terrible, per se, but they certainly aren't anywhere close to good. Heck, they're not even interesting. There are three major flaws with Blyskawica's torpedoes that make them so lackluster. They are slow. They are not long ranged. She cannot do a lot of damage. Her fish travel at 57 knots which is shy of the minimum of 60+ knots you want to see on any ship that relies on their torpedoes to do a significant portion of their damage. It takes her torpedoes in excess of 53 seconds to reach the end of their running distance. A torpedo traveling 62 knots would cover this five seconds faster. This disparity in speed over running distance makes landing those long range hits difficult. The more time goes by, the more likely your target will dramatically change course, reducing the use of the aiming predictor to land hits reliably on target. At 8.0km, Blyskawica's torpedoes do allow this large destroyer to launch her fish from concealment, but only just. At best, Blyskawica can count on a 1.3km stealth firing window to engage her targets. This limits the use of her torpedoes to direct attacks only rather than having any use as an area denial weapon. This 8.0km range makes the risks of being spotted so close to potential prey items near catastrophic. This is easily inside radar range of even tier VII ships and well within the reach of terrifying German secondary gun batteries. Individually, her torpedoes don't hit especially hard either. At 14,400 damage, Blyskawica's torpedoes sit on the low side of average at tier VII. However, she only mounts six torpedo tubes versus the minimum of eight found on every other contemporary destroyer. So while salvos from other tin cans (short of a Sims) are likely to be catastrophic against all target types, Blyskawica has to often make due with simply mauling a hale and healthy target with her strikes. This limits Blyskawica's ability to outright delete select targets and usually necessitates falling back on her guns to try and finish off what she started. Summary Blyskawica should be thought of as a gunship that has workable torpedoes. She isn't a knife fighting destroyer like the Sims or Mahan and she needs to open up the range and use her better ballistic arcs to out trade the Americans. She doesn't have the DPM of the Soviet destroyers so she needs to force a knife fight where the Soviets will struggle to bring their guns to bear. This makes any gun fights with Blyskawica interesting and rewarding when you can use your ship's advantages and out play your opponents or infinitely frustrating to forever be caught out of your element. Her torpedoes are functional but not exciting by any means and make a good backup weapon to prey upon larger ships when their little friends have been thinned out. Versus Mahan You have the speed advantage over the American and more comfortable gunnery at range. The Mahan has better DPM, turns better and arguably has better torpedoes. However, when properly played this duel should be a gunnery duel from beginning to end. Keep the Mahan at range and wiggle, but keep a wary eye out for stray torpedoes. As long as you keep the battle at around 9 ~ 11 km, his torpedoes shouldn't be a threat and your comfortable gunnery should beat out his DPM. It won't be easy landing reliable hits if he's waggling his aft like he should, but with his gunnery hitting you will be even more problematic. With your speed you should be able to dictate the engagement and keep him right where you want him. In this engagement it's probably in the Mahan's best interest to go dark and try to escape. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 39.0 knots Turning Radius: 610m Rudder Shift Time: 5.8s Maximum Rate of Turn: 8.2º per second. Blyskawica feels like a big destroyer -- she's sloppy in a turn. Though she answers her rudder quickly enough, she feels like she slides a lot,owing to her large, 610m turning circle and the 5.8s rudder shift she possesses. There's not much that can be done to alleviate this bloated feeling when it comes to Blyskawica's handling. Adding Steering Gears Modification 2 provides only a 0.15s gain on a 90º turn, improving her rotation rate by a mere 0.06º/s to 7.56º/s over this turning angle. The closest analogue to Blyskawica's rate of turn is found in the Soviet Minsk and Leningrad. It's not until Blyskawica decelerates to her optimal turning speed of 32.8 knots that she really bites into the water. Blyskawica will reach this speed under full power in about 19 seconds of hard manoeuvres, though it can be reached faster by adjusting her engines. Overall, Blyskawica responds poorly to sudden threats, yet she comes into her own over the course of a protracted series of wiggles and dodges. This creates a frustrating duality: enemy torpedo salvos are incredibly dangerous to Blyskawica while incoming fire from larger vessels can seem just as easy to avoid in this Polish ship as other destroyers. Part of the reason enemy torpedoes are so dangerous is her good speed. At 39.0 knots, Blyskawica doesn't win any awards for being the fastest ship out there (that is firmly held by the Soviets for now), but she's no sluggard. She can easily control engagement distances, closing the range or kiting as needed. However, this great speed can get her into trouble quickly -- such as finding herself with torpedoes ahead and being unable to manoeuvre into the gaps or tripping over the scouting elements of the enemy fleet. Vigilance is a very valuable skill for players who like to contest cap circles early in their Polish destroyer to provide more reaction time to this threat. Versus Leningrad & Minsk And now the trickiest theoretical duel. These Russian ships have a slight DPM advantage and a less-than-slight speed advantage. Their turning circle is greater but their additional speed means that they're almost as fast through a turn as you are. Their gunnery is as comfortable at range as yours is, and their concealment is near identical to yours when neither is firing. One minor advantage you have is that their DPM relies on fast ROF rather than large volleys, meaning that they have less time between volleys to concentrate on steering. With their superior speed they can close the distance quickly or disengage when the duel is going sour. I have to be honest here, dueling Leningrads (and since 6.2, Minsks) has always been a problem for me in Blyskawica. You have the gunnery to beat them up, but only if they allow it, and hitting such a speedy target isn't easy. Meanwhile, they can give just as hard as they can receive. Blyskawica's saving grace in this theoretical duel is her faster turret traverse, allowing you to keep your guns on the Russian boat while throwing your ship around more. Still, this isn't a duel where you can press your advantages and force your strengths on their weaknesses, this is a duel where the superior driver wins. Not the superior boat. Blyskawica may be a large destroyer, but she's so very small compared to proper cruisers, like Cleveland. Ideally, she should be working closely alongside support gunships like Cleveland, Shchors and Yorck, providing second-line artillery fire to supplement the heavy hitters once the enemy destroyer threat is neutralized. When needed, she can redeploy as a scout or to drop smoke for her team mates to help control vision. Durability Hit Points: 15,500 Min Bow & Deck Armour: 16mm Blyskawica is a large destroyer with a lot of health to match. At 15,500hp, she has the second highest hit point pool at her tier, outdone only by the enormous Leberecht Maass. Given her DPM disparity with her guns, this advantage in hit point should be put to good use when knife fighting with enemy destroyers. It also doesn't hurt to play to this advantage by padding it further with Survivability Expert. Taking this skill adds another 2,450hp to Blyskawica's total, bringing it up to 17,950hp which makes trading with American and Soviet destroyers much more tenable. Players should be aware that Blyskawica has a very large forward powder magazine, meaning almost any HE hits taken from behind her A turret right to her bridge are likely going to be damaging the magazine and prompting those dreaded detonation rolls. Her rear magazine is long and slender but slightly less exposed. Unfortunately, both lockers reside well over the waterline and catastrophic explosions in this ship should not be unexpected, especially if someone is boneheaded enough not to run with Magazine Modification 1 in their destroyer. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 7.7 km Air Detection Range: 3.8 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 6.8km Within her matchmaking spread Blyskawica is one of the least stealthy tin cans available This problem is further compounded by her tier. Destroyers at tier VIII have access to Concealment Modification 1 which further reduces their surface detection range, putting Blyskawica at a further spotting disadvantage when facing stronger opponents. You can almost always count on being seen first when engaging enemy lolibotes with a mere 3 exceptions (Mahan, Kiev, and Tashkent) . It cannot be understated how much of a drawback this is for tier VII destroyers and Blyskawica specifically. Given Blyskawica's long range gunnery, players should pay close attention to their minimap and mind which ships will be able to spot her when she fires. Dealing the killing blow on an enemy destroyer may keep Blyskawica imperiled by vessels further afield that are still within her gunnery range. This goes doubly so if a player elects to use Advanced Fire Training. The good news is that unlike many of the large Soviet Destroyers, Blyskawica is capable of launching her torpedoes from concealment without issue. Once the enemy scouts are taken care of, she can make use of her modest concealment to make attack runs on larger ships. Just be wary of spotter aircraft. Versus Shiratsuyu You have the speed and the gunnery advantage, he has his imposing walls of skill. Remember though that Blyskawica is a big boat, especially compared to Japanese torpedo boats, and thus he'll probably spot you before you spot him. Often times the first sign that a Shiratsuyu is in the area is the torpedo wall approaching your ship at speed, forcing you to put on your best torpedo beats to survive. If the situation allows, turn to hunt him down with your significantly superior speed. When he's lit, give him that biblical beating that he deserves with your far superior gunnery. Be aware however that he might have another set of torpedoes ready for you when you do find him, with his torpedo reload boost consumable he can have a second set of eight torpedoes ready a mere five seconds after firing the first. This duel comes down to your skill in avoiding torpedo walls. In a gunnery duel Shiratsuyu doesn't stand a chance unless Blyskawica is near death already. Press that advantage. This graph shows the lowest possible surface detection range of the respective ships using commander skills, upgrades and camouflage of all of the ships in Blyskawica's matchmaking spread. Notice the upward trend in spotting distance from tier V through to VII and the sudden drop at tier VIII and IX. This really damages the competitiveness of tier VII.Minekaze Group includes: Minekaze, Fujin, Kamikaze, Kamikaze R, MutsukiFubuki Group includes: Fubuki, Shinonome, GnevnyBlyskawica Group includes: Blyskawica, Leberecth Maass, Minsk Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 40mm / 13.2mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 3.5km / 1.2kmAA DPS per Aura: 22 / 14 For a ship that was historically renown for having the best AA firepower for a destroyer at the time of her construction, Blyskawica's anti-aircraft firepower in World of Warships is pretty terrible. To be fair, the anti-aircraft defense she famously provided for a British town was done with a more modernized armament than what we see in World of Warships. She has no large-caliber anti-aircraft artillery (her main battery is not dual purpose) and thus she struggles to fight back against enemy planes. How to Bring the Thunder! Wait, no, that one sank... Blyskawica has her own dedicated Captain with no other Polish ships (yet) added to the game. This means there's no excuse not to optimize your build to maximize her efficiency. Your core skills should be the following: Take Priority Target as your first skill. Next, take the good ol' destroyer standby: Last Stand. After that, you have your choice of two skills: Demolition Expert or Basic Fire Training. I'm of the opinion that the former is preferable to the latter on your first pass but you will want both eventually. Take one and move on. Finally, take the second destroyer must-have: Concealment Expert. After you've doubled back to grab the other third tier skill, it's time to look at other options. Here are the most common skills associated with Blyskawica and the merits and flaws of each: Tier 1: Preventative Maintenance. A lot of players prefer taking this skill over Priority Target, but the gains aren't what they appear to be. The incapacitations described in the skill refer to the temporary disabling of modules, or the "critical hits" that can affect main battery, torpedoes, steering gears and engines. As the hit point pool of these modules depletes, the odds of a critical hit increase. Preventative Maintenance tweaks those odds. So if, a shell has a 20% chance to knock out your ship's steering gears when struck, this skill would reduce that down to 14%. The exact numbers for the critical hit chance per module is not known at this time. Tier 2: Expert Marksman. This is a handy skill for Blyskawica, especially for players that like to wiggle and dodge while returning fire. This increases her turret rotation rate up to 12.5º per second, a full 4º per second faster than her maximum ship rotation rate, making it much easier to keep your guns fixed on target during evasive manoeuvres. Tier 2: Adrenaline Rush. It's hard to argue with a soft boost to the reload rate of your guns and torpedoes as you take damage. This can make all of the difference in a close fight. However, on some games, you just won't get a return on your investment. Tier 3: Survivability Expert. This skill is worth its weight in gold in competitive environments, boosting Blyskawica's hit point total up to a massive 17,950hp. If you're planning to take her into Ranked Battles, this is a solid investment. Tier 3: Torpedo Armament Expertise. I'm not convinced Blyskawica's torpedoes are good enough to warrant this investment. Some may, and that's up to their play style choice. Tier 3: Vigilance. If you fancy contesting capture circles and bullying lesser gunships with Blyskawica but (like me), you find yourself quite embarrassingly getting your bow blown off by enemy fish, this can help make you look less like a scrub (like me). Note, the get-gudders out there won't need this one. Tier 4: Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. This is the oh-so controversial skill. This increases the armour that Blyskawica can damage with HE shells from 19mm to 25mm, which effectively allows her to directly bombard all tier VII and lower battleships and most (but not all) heavy cruisers she encounters. This comes at the expense of what is an excellent chance to set fires. It's really up to the player to decide how they want to stack their damage. Tier 4: Advanced Fire Training. This will boost Blyskawica's gunnery range from 12km to 14.4km. She has the shell ballistics to make landing hits at this range comfortable, especially against large capital ships. The increased surface detection range may make contesting cap circles early on more risky, but the advantages of a larger stand-off range while engaging enemy ships is a definite plus. Tier 4: Radio Location. If you fancy yourself a nightmare for all things IJN, this is a fun (if expensive) skill to have. My own suggestion would be the following builds. Long Range Fire Starter: Core skills (including both Basic Fire Training and Demolition Expert). Advanced Fire Training and Adrenaline Rush. Cap Circle Duelist: Core skills (Basic Fire Training but no Demolition Expert). Vigilance, Survivability Expert, Expert Marksman, Preventative Maintenance. Blyskawica has the second largest surface detection range at tier VII behind only Mahan. Out of all of the ships she faces in her matchmaking tier, she is only more stealthy than three other vessels: Mahan, Tashkent and Kiev. Out of all destroyers from tiers V through X, she is tied for 37th place with four other ships among 45 vessels. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Destroyers are one of the more challenging classes to play effectively in World of Warships, particularly as you climb into the higher tiers where the threats keep multiplying. Radar ships being appearing at tier VII with premiums like Belfast, Atlanta and Indianapolis and are outright commonplace by tier VIII. Radio Location becomes a common skill among IJN destroyers. And to top it all off, you're playing at a tier that has the highest average of improved detection rate of any of the destroyers in the game, with Blyskawica being one of the largest overall. Good luck! Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / ExtremeBlyskawica will reward you with all of the usual tricks and plays expert Destroyers have crafted and honed, yet her unforgiving surface detection range makes the knowledge of these skills all the more important. She can perform beautifully, especially with long range gunnery harassing larger ships, but the risks are great and only experience will let you know when they outstrip the rewards. The Lertbox I love this ship. It speaks to the quality of the ship that she has an answer for almost every situation, be it long range bombardment of battleships, outrunning cruisers, laying down some decent torpedoes or bullying destroyers on at least equal footing. Only against planes does she have a weakness, and Leningrads / Minsks are the bane of her existence. That said though, when I was play-testing Minsk and Leningrad, I always reached back to Blyskawica when the testing was done. In my opinion she's just a more well-rounded ship than either Russian offering. Make no mistake: other Tier VII destroyers are better at some things. Shiratsuyu and Akatsuki are better torpedo boats, but Blyskawica is good enough. Mahan is a better gun boat, especially up close, but Blyskawica is good enough. Leningrad and Minsk are faster and more flexible in a tactical sense, but Blyskawica is good enough. While each of the other offerings might be better in certain situations, I'm hard pressed to think of one where Blyskawica can't compete. And that flexibility, that ability to handle almost any situation and make a strong showing makes this Polish Winged Hussar my favorite tin can in the game. Mouse's Summary: Surface Detection range for tier VII Destroyers sucks. Blyskawica has super fun guns and only "meh" torpedoes. I cannot, for the life of me, pull my win rate out of the gutter on this ship. Blyskawica, more so than almost any other destroyer in the game, was adversely affected by the removal of stealth-firing in 0.6.0. She could boast upwards of a 4km stealth-firing window -- one that was exceeded by ships like Sims, but with a difference. Blyskawica had the ballistic arcs to make firing from this range rather elementary. She used to be able to rain shells down with impunity on larger targets once the escort screen of enemy destroyers were clear. Only enemy aircraft could foul this up, and then only just. Radar ships, even the vaunted super-reaching radar of the Soviet Cruisers, couldn't unmask a Blyskawica with Advanced Fire Training, intent on pummeling larger surface ships to death. While she didn't have the shell caliber sufficient to land direct damaging hits to many parts of the capital ships she faced, she could light fires aplenty and that worked beautifully... well, beautifully for Blyskawica. It was annoying as Hell for the person on the receiving end. Since the changeover, she's done alright. She's not a dominant force within her tier. The changes to stealth firing really made her large surface detection range matter more. Advanced Fire Training, has become a double-edged sword rather than a play-style choice. She still provides excellent harassing gunnery support -- perfect for chasing off IJN Destroyers that get too close or lending firepower to help punish capital ships that find themselves out of position. However, Blyskawica's star has dimmed somewhat with the loss of her gimmick. This should be expected of a generalist, especially one that has lost the one thing that made her special. As Lert is fond of pointing out, Blyskawica's specialty is that she doesn't overspecialize in any one thing. She's fast, but she's not the fastest ship. She's a gunship but she's not a DPM or knife fighting monster. She has decent torpedoes but not a good torpedo armament. I love Blyskawica, I really do. She's a "cursed" ship for me -- one that I don't play often enough and when I do, I end up losing. A combination of (really) stupid mistakes with the usual small-sample size of games played means that I haven't (yet) rescued my win rate from the dregs on this boat. I still recognize her as a good ship, but it would be a lie if I said she was still very competitive in Random Battles. I think this may be more symptomatic of the problems with tier VII destroyers on the whole, however. They sit right at the crossroads -- destroyers get larger as they climb in tiers, thus increasing their overall surface detection range. At tier VIII, this reaches a critical point and Wargaming have opted to provide the Concealment Module to bring their surface detection range back down to competitive levels. While I don't think Blyskawica needs buffs to be viable, I wouldn't mind seeing some small tweak here or there. I think that says a lot about the state of this ship currently. Would I Recommend? PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Mouse: Like all destroyers in PVE Battles, Blyskawica does have to contend with bots that always know where she is (even when she's not spotted). If you can get over this hurdle and adjust your play appropriately, she's a great contender. We have not seen any scenarios where Blyskawica can be used. I was personally hoping to see her eligible for the Dunkirk mission (she was there, after all!). Otherwise, I would keep clear. Lert: With the bots target prioritization being what it is, driving any destroyer is difficult. However, Blywkawica's lack of stealth compounds the problem. Be aware of these factors when considering her for PvE. If this didn't scare you away, she can be a rewarding drive. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Mouse: Honestly? I kinda have to give Blyskawica a bit of a pass here. She can do well, don't get me wrong, but tier VII destroyers have it rough. She's alright when top tier, but she's been hurting as mid and bottom tier far more so than she once did. The lack of stealth firing really hurts, but not as much as being one of the easiest destroyers in the game to detect and with only medium range torpedoes. Lert: Yep! In case Mouse and me haven't made it clear yet there aren't many situations where Blyskawica falls short and at the tier she makes a decent amount of credits too. The only fly in the ointment is that she's the only Polish ship in the game so she isn't really suitable for captain training. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Mouse: Blyskawica has always stood out as a great Ranked Battle ship. She's right up there with Sims as one of the go-to vessels at tier VII to run amok. The removal of stealth firing has knocked some of the wind out of her sails, but she's still a strong ship in this environment. Lert: Oh yes. That same flexibility counts here as well, but it's her speed and comfortable gunnery that sets her apart and makes her an ideal choice for competitive play. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Mouse: All Canadians should own this ship. She's the official sister ship to HMCS Haida for good reason. The two ships served alongside each other in multiple operations. Blyskawica has an amazing amount of history to her. Lert: Yes. She's a beautiful and storied ship that survives as museum. She's a legend in her own country and helped save a British town from German air attack during the war. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Mouse: If nothing else, Blyskawica is a very fun ship to play. She has unique gunnery not seen on other ships. She's got better gun handling than the Soviets while offering a similar style of play which just makes her all around more comfortable. Lert: She's my favorite destroyer in the game, by far. Do you really expect me to answer anything but a resounding 'yes' here? 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. I wish the same could be said about tier VII as a whole for destroyers. Tier VII is GARBAGE tier for destroyers.
  19. 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. Without further ado: Yeah, you better run, Iowa. I'm busy. Quick Summary: The original tier 1 Japanese cruiser with her historical armaments restored, bumping her up to tier 3. Slow, fragile, under gunned, but armed with torpedoes, a float plane fighter and given access to the Aiming Systems Modification 0 module to compensate. Patch & Date Written: 0.5.14.1, November 24th, 2016 Closest in-Game Contemporary: Yubari, tier 4 IJN Cruiser Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister Ship / Related Class/ Similar Role / Unique I struggled to find a similar ship. I wanted to compare the Katori to the Hashidate -- the tier 1 cruiser that replaced her but I think the Yubari's a better fit. They're both soft skinned. They're both using a rather similar combination of weapons. But the Yubari has agility on her side while the Katori is ... well, she's a hippo with a gland problem is what she is. PROs: Healthy hit point pool of 22,000hp. Has access to Aiming Systems Modification 0, which greatly improves weapon performance and handling. Great range, able to reach out to 13.5km with her rifles. Guns are accurate and reasonably hard hitting combined with a modest ranged torpedo armament. Has a float plane fighter which can be helpful with helping spot enemies. Decent AA rating for a tier 3 cruiser. Great agility, with a small turning circle and fast rudder shift. CONs: She has no real armour to speak of save on the roof of her citadel. Otherwise, she has less than 10mm of steel plate anywhere. Horribly under gunned. Slow turret traverse. Torpedo armament is reliant on the enemy making mistakes to able to use it. The Katori is painfully slow at 18.0 knots. The Katori finishes off the USS Burns with her secondaries. Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, the Katori was the tier 1 IJN Cruiser. When you first started World of Warships, this was the ship that greeted you in your first matches as you started on the Japanese tech tree. To fit her into the tier 1 slot, the Katori had to have much of her historical armament stripped away. Her secondary battery was rendered inactive and her torpedoes were removed. That didn't sit well with some purists who wanted to see the vaunted IJN Cruiser which went toe to toe with the Iowa-class Battleships restored to her historical armament. Thus, we have the tier 3 premium cruiser Katori, in all of her glory. Those tier 9 American Battleships had better watch out. This ship first went on sale on the North American server in a $400 Black Friday bundle that included every other premium ship currently available. Lert is coming by to provide a second opinion, because I think I might have problems reviewing this one with a straight face. The Lertbox Hello and welcome to another Lertbox in one of LWM's reviews. Let's get straight down to business, today we'll be talking about the Katori. What used to be the highly nerfed Japanese tier during beta has been restored to its full - ... uhm ... 'glory'. I use that word very loosely. I'll be comparing her to St Louis and Bogatyr. Why those two? Because they're the gold standard for tier 3 cruisers, if you can't hold your own against those two on even a basic level, you're not a player. I'll throw in Tenryu as well for good measure because Japanese. Options, Upgrades & Consumables The Katori, just like the Yubari and Iwaki, has access to the Aiming Systems Modification 0 upgrade. This godly mod is an absolute must-have. Make sure you equip it. Consumables: Damage Control Party Catapult Fighter Module Upgrades: Two slots, has access to Aiming Systems Modification 0.Premium Camouflage: Tier 2-5 Standard. This provides 30% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Firepower Primary Battery: Four 140mm rifles in 2x2 turrets mounted in an A-X configuration. Secondary Battery: Two 127mm rifles in a 1x2 turret mounted superfiring over X turret. Torpedoes: Four tubes in 2x2 launchers, one to each side. The Katori is armed with the same guns found on the Yubari, Tenryu and Kuma. These guns, particularly with the inclusion of the Aiming Systems modification, are laser accurate and rather hard hitting for their tier. Their HE performance is especially good, with a 10% chance to set fires and a rather high alpha strike for their shell size. She will feel underarmed though, an affliction that besets both the Yubari and Tenryu to a lesser degree due to their ability to deliver their torpedo armaments to compensate. While her gun handling isn't awful (it's not good, but not awful) you'll feel like you're struggling if you can't bring both turrets to bear on a target. The rear turret has a 76' blind spot to the front, with the forward turret having a 68' blind spot to the rear. This will force you to present much of your sides to bring both weapons to bear. The Katori also has torpedoes, sporting the same fish found on the Tenryu but in double instead of triple launchers, but she lacks the speed (and her torpedoes lack the range) to set up attack runs. She's rather reliant on enemies making mistakes to allow her to use them. Where her weapons really perform well is as a long range sniper. By keeping the Katori at range, this mitigates her fragility and allows her to pepper larger targets with impunity. The accuracy of these weapons, especially with the aiming module, cannot be understated. The only limitation is the somewhat slow muzzle velocity, leading to quite a bit of float to targets at a distance. Still, when picking on Dreadnoughts and protected cruisers, this usually isn't an issue. Thankfully (?) her slow speed will facilitate keeping enemies at arm's reach as she will often show up late to whatever engagement you choose to pursue, giving her plenty of time to drop shells on distant targets while she attempts to close. Hopefully your team will still be there by the time your fire begins to add up. One surprising little note is that her single secondary battery ends up with a 4.2km range when you add the Aiming Systems Modification 0. If your Captain has Advanced Fire Training, this will reach up to 5.0km and will be stupidly accurate. I actually managed to kill someone with this little weapon which is downright hilarious. Bet you didn't see that one coming, USS Bradford! USS Minneapolis burns in the background, powerless to stop the Katori's awesomeness. Rivals: Versus the St Louis You've got better range and are more agile. That's about it. St Louis has better armor, more hit-points, higher volume of fire, more powerful guns, better speed. Short of the St Louis driver being a noob and allowing you to 'sneak' up to use your torpedoes or being too distracted with other people, you're not going to beat him. His HE will mess you up, his AP will rend you asunder. St Louis is a bit of a tug-boat in maneuverability though so as long as you can manage to stay at the extremes of your range you can wither him down with relentless 140mm fire from your four barrels. Just be aware that he is faster than you, so the moment he gets annoyed enough to chase you, you've got your work cut out for you. Keep wiggling, keep turning, keep dancing to dodge as much as possible from his massive volleys and you might stay alive long enough to put a dent into his health pool. Maneuverability Top Speed: 18.0 knotsTurning Radius: 430mRudder Shift: 6.5s Like many low tier ships, the Katori has a lot of wiggle in her tush but not a lot of speed. Her 18 knots is on the slow side, even for low tiered vessels. This makes her the slowest cruiser at tier 3 and tied for the slowest ship overall at tier 3 alongside the South Carolina. This rather limits the effectiveness of her torpedo armament as, short of enemies coming to you, you'll struggle to find opportunities to use them. Any touches to her rudder makes her speed plummet which will only slow her approach further. This can make dodging very difficult as she may answer her rudder immediately, but it will take a long time for her to complete the turn due to her slow speed. DurabilityHit Points: 22,000 Citadel Protection: 10mm horizontally, 50mm from vertical fire. Yes, really.Bow & Deck Armour: Minimum of 6mm (No immunity) The good news is that the Katori has a pretty healthy hit point pool at 22,000hp. The bad news is that she doesn't have armour... at all. Well, except for that 2" steel plate welded to the roof of her citadel. This means she won't be able to bounce any AP shells that hit her. The only AP shells she can bounce off her bow are 76mm AP shells from the Smith and Tachibana... which is kinda hilarious. The only good news is that if people are throwing AP at you, they're likely to overpen (if they're not British). Her citadel is completely submerged, so there's some hope you won't get your machine spaces blown out each time you take fire. Some, but not much. The Katori is a rather large, soft skinned pinata of hit points waiting to be cracked open to gush forth that juicy credits and experience for the enemy team. Rivals: Versus the Bogatyr It's almost like Bogatyr was made specifically to counter Katori, because it has the exact right set of tools to do so. High volume of fire, potentially superior range, better speed by a considerably margin, enough agility to make you work for your hits and enough hitpoints to tank damage. A stock Bogatyr or one using the 152mm guns isn't as dangerous as a fully upgraded one with captain skills, but even against a stock Bogatyr, everything I said about fighting a St Louis applies here as well. Against a 130mm armed Bogatyr captained by an AFT trained commander though? Kiss your aft goodbye. 'Avoid at all costs' is my recommendation. He'll outmaneuver, outrun and out-gun you. Your only real hope is to be able to sneak up when he's not paying attention and drop fish into his side, but with a sub-500m turn radius on the Russian folk hero, good luck getting them to land. The USS New Orleans sacrifices herself in a vain attempt to slow the Katori's rampage through the US Fleet. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 11.0km Air Detection Range: 5.5km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 9.60km Concealment Penalty while Firing: +4.20km (vs 13.5km gun range) The concealment values on the Katori aren't bad. They're not great, but they're not bad. It can be said that at least her surface detection range doesn't outstrip her gun range, which is something. I would have preferred to see it about 2km less, personally, and open up more opportunities for her to use her torpedoes in an ambush capacity, or maybe provide some stealth-firing. But it is what it is. Thankfully, there are a lot of islands in low tier play and a Katori parked behind one is a pain to dig out. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 127mm, 25mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km, 3.1kmAA DPS per Aura: 10 / 20 Access to Defensive Fire: Not available. Let's be clear -- you're not going to encounter a whole lot of aircraft in the Katori, but she's ready for them if she does. Unlike just about every other tier 3 ship out there, the Katori has some reasonable anti-aircraft ability from not only her flak guns but also from her float plane fighter. While this won't shoot down a squadron of biplanes, it can mess up their approach and maybe pick off one or two of their number as they return to their ship. Given the low capacity of low tier carriers, these will be sorely felt casualties. Neat. Rivals: Versus the Tenryu On paper this is a much more even fight. She has the same torpedoes, though less of them on Katori, the same guns, though in 2x2 mounts instead of Tenryu's 4x1. The thing is though, Tenryu is faster. Much faster. As in, 80% faster. She can run circles around you. And that speed doesn't really come at a big cost either, Tenryu is not that lacking for agility. She has less HP than you though, but that's off-set by actual belt armor which will make your AP start bouncing at anything more than a 45 degree angle. One benefit you have is the ability to fit ASM0, to make your guns more accurate than his. Keep wiggling, and you can use this accuracy to lay more fire on him than he can on you, a long as the fight remains at a range for you to do so. Once again you need to pray that he doesn't take a specific interest in you or has some reason not to chase you. Tenryu is faster than some tier 2 destroyers and will run up and smack you in the face. TBF Avengers panic in the face of the Katori's overwhelming AA firepower and flub their torpedo drop. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Playing the Katori isn't hard. Like many low tier ships, a lot of the decision processes have been removed for you. You may have torpedoes but short of baiting an enemy to come dig you out of cover, you're not going to have many skill based decisions on when to use them. You cannot angle your armour. Your ammunition choices are straight forward. You don't have the speed to dictate engagement ranges. She's a very reactionary vessel rather than one that sets the initiative for a given match. The Lertbox What we have here is an overtiered relic with gimmicks that are interesting, at best. At tier 3 you won't find aircraft carriers, and her AA suite and float fighter won't significantly dent or deter tier 4 strike squadrons. What does live at the same tier are venerable warboats like St Louis and Bogatyr, which - given equally competent captains - will just eat you for breakfast in a few broadsides. Or ships like Tenryu, which can dictate the engagement with speeds that a Katori captain can only dream of. I wish WG had foregone the floatplane, nerfed the gun handling slightly, got rid of ASM0 and put her at tier 2. There she would've been a contender. Right now though she's a tier 2.5 because of gimmicks that are useless 95% of the time. Mouse's Summary: About time I got to play the Katori. No really, do you know how long I've been bugging Wargaming about her? What do you mean she's $400!? It was probably around March or April of 2016 that I started running out of Premium Ships to review. It became a bit of a challenge to try and "complete the set" as it were, and I began digging through stat tracking websites and checking out the Premium Shops on other servers, looking for vessels that I hadn't covered yet. This is how the Katori came to my attention and she immediately became a bit of a white whale for me. Around the same time, Wargaming provided me with a Press Account which comes chalk full of just about every ship you could ever imagine. And there she was: The Katori. Ooh, I could just TASTE finishing off all of my reviews and being able to proudly declare I had covered them all. But no, I wasn't supposed to touch her. Like the green Kamikaze, she was off limits on the North American server because she was not available for sale here. I can understand the reasoning -- how much of a tease would it be to see me parading about and talking about a ship that no one could ever have? Well, Black Friday 2016 has finally made this ship (and the green Kamikaze) available here so the limitations came off. Was the wait worth it? Oh, heavens no. This ship is awful. It's a Yubari wearing a Bogue-costume. She's a lot of fun in Co-Op, but I would never consider her to be a successful ship when it comes to facing anything other than bots. Now, my impressions might be slightly sullied by the $400 price tag presently associated with her. Funny how that can put some people off. Would I Recommend? Umm, do you not like money? For Random Battle Grinding: Mouse: No, I can't recommend grabbing the Katori for Random Battles. She's too fragile, too slow and she struggles to do damage against anyone with half a brain in their heads. Unless your opponents will either a.) Sit out beyond their range and let you pew pew them for hours on end or, b.) race suicidally-close while abstaining from shooting at you to let you hit them with torpedoes, you're going to struggle to tack up damage totals sufficient to be worth joining the queues in the first place. Lert: There are way better options out there that can fight on a more even footing and thus are easier and more comfortable to earn bank and XP with. Aurora comes to mind, if you must have a premium tier III cruiser. St Louis or Bogatyr if you're content with a tech tree one. For Competitive Gaming: Mouse: Haha! No. Lert: Hahahahaha. No. For Collectors: Mouse: There is a lot of history about the Katori. She has the distinction of being one of the few surface ships engaged by and sunk by the Iowa-class Battleships on the attack on Truk. If that inspires, then go right ahead. For everyone else that's looking to add her to your collection, if her current price tag doesn't throw you off, then by all means. Lert: She has the distinguished honor of having been torn asunder by Iowa. If this is reason enough for you to want her then, sure. Other than that, the IJN Katori's only claim to fame is having been the tier I in WoWS during beta. For Fun Factor: Mouse: You know, in Co-Op, she's a real hoot. The bots are dumb -- they'll get in close and let you hit them with torpedoes and even make her secondary gun feel useful. If you love your low-tier Co-Op battles, then you can probably find a lot of amusement with the Katori. I really couldn't find it elsewhere though. Lert: Success in Katori depends a lot on enemy stupidity, since she can't fight any other even-tiered cruiser on anything resembling even terms. Bots in coop are very stupid, and playing katori against them can be fun. Against anything else? No. Katori isn't 'fun'. She's a tugboat. You got lucky, Iowa. Outfitting your Katori Recommended Modules Well, this one is pretty much a no brainer. Make sure you equip Aiming System Modification 0 in your first slot. For your second slot, they're all pretty terrible. Damage Control System Modification 1 is probably your best choice but I would seriously debate if just saving the credits would be better. Recommended Consumables The Katori has only two consumables. Keep in mind, your finances can really hurt if you equip any premium consumables at low tiers. The Katori doesn't tend to earn a lot of bank, so be doubly careful. Still, the premium version of your Damage Control Party is probably an alright choice as HE is thrown everywhere in those matches. That should do you. Recommended Captain Skills There's nothing really surprising when it comes to the Captain Skill choices for the Katori. From the first tier, Basics of Survivability is arguably better than Basic Fire Training, but either one would be a reasonable selection for your first skill. Next, I would reach for either Expert Marksman or Last Stand. The latter will take the pressure off your Damage Control Party as the soft skin of the Katori will prompt her to take a lot of engine and rudder damage. Still, the former will improve her slow gun handling. At tier 3, Vigilance or High Alert are your best choices. I would lean towards the latter, as most salvos dropped in low tiers are short ranged enough that you'll see the destroyer before they dump their fish. Still, some Japanese destroyers and the Campbeltown can stealth-drop, so it may be worth taking. At tier 4, Demolition Expert is your best choice. And finally, at tier 5, Concealment Expert remains the best of the bunch. For more articles in this series, please visit: LittleWhiteMouse's Mega Ship Review Guide
  20. While steps have been taken to ensure accuracy, Alabama was a work in progress at the time of testing. Please be aware that all of the statistics and performance discussed here are subject to change before release. Average and good at it. Quick Summary: A Fast-Battleship with good handling and speed, excellent firepower and anti-aircraft protection. She suffers from a very large citadel placed high over the waterline. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing. Probably about the same as a Tirpitz. Patch & Date Written: 0.6.2, March 10th, 2017 Closest in-Game Contemporary North Carolina, Tier 8 American BattleshipDegree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Alabama feels like a weird amalgamation of the Colorado's ability to turn, North Carolina's guns and Iowa's 0.6.2 fragility. This combines to make a North Carolina that's both more agile and more fragile than you might otherwise be accustomed. PROs: Massive anti-torpedo bulges which provide 49% damage reduction -- the 2nd best value in the game. Powerful, long range guns with a 21.1km reach and good vertical dispersion. Responsive turret rotation at 4.5º per second. Excellent levels of anti-aircraft firepower. Good top speed of 27.5 knots. Small 710m turning circle and fastest turning rate of any of the mid to high tier USN Battleships. Excellent credit earning potential. CONs: Her citadel sits very high over the waterline, extending from beneath the full length of the #1 turret to the #3 turret. Her armour isn't quite as good as advertised. Improper angling will lead to many penetrating and citadel hits. Bow is easily overmatched by Yamato's 460mm rifles. Her aft transverse bulkhead protecting her lower citadel is only 16mm thick. Low muzzle velocity and long shell flight times over range. Finally, the American tech tree has access to a tier 8 premium. On top of that, she's a tier 8 Battleship. Better still, its USS Alabama, a famous museum ship and American icon. The hype is real and if I'm terribly honest, I was dreading having to review this ship. With such high expectations centered around this ship, especially after the debacle in December of 2016 with the announcement that she would be limited to Supertesters only, I feared she couldn't possibly live up to the hype. Well, I needn't have worried. There have been a few pessimistic reviews penned already and the word is out that Alabama is far from perfect. With that, I breathed a sigh of relief knowing I wouldn't be the messenger that risked being shot for delivering such glum tidings as Alabama not being the embodiment of Pax Americana superiority. But, like all things on the internet, people tend to focus on a single issue and blow it ridiculously out of proportion. Let Lert and I show you why you shouldn't believe everything you've heard about the tarnish on Alabama's reputation... The Lertbox Alabama. A Lertbox I've been both looking forward to and dreading to write. Looking forward because I like battleships and I've been wanting to sink my teeth into this one for as long as I've known she was coming. Dreading because after all the Alabama Drama on the forum, people will not accept anything less than an excellent warship as the USN's first Tier 8 premie. It's a good thing than that Alabama is exactly that. For this Lertbox I will be comparing her to Amagi, Bismarck and North Carolina, the three tech tree battleship peers she will be meeting in battle. A southern belle. Options There's nothing out of the ordinary here. Alabama uses the same improved USN Battleship Damage Control Party as other American Dreadnoughts. This has a 20s active period and a 120s/80s reset timer. Consumables: Damage Control Party Repair Party Spotter Aircraft / Catapult Fighter Module Upgrades: Five slots, standard 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. This is the gorgeous measure-22 camouflage. Alabama has a little more variety when it comes to what modules you'll select for her, and this is largely dependent on how much you want to emphasize her AA firepower. For your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 may seem like the default choice. However, Auxiliary Armaments Modification 1 is also practical for AA-specialized ships. This will help keep your 20mm, 40mm and 127mm mounts operable, especially when you take a lot of HE fire. For your second slot, if you're going AA spec'd, take AA Guns Modification 2 to bump up their range. Consider this ideal for this ship. Alternatively, take Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 to bump up your range from 21.1km to 24.5km. For your third slot, grab Damage Control System Modification 1. This will increase your already amazing torpedo damage reduction from 49% to 50%. In slot number four, I prefer Damage Control System Modification 2 to help mitigate fire damage. You can take Steering Gears Modification 2 if you prefer. This will drop your rudder shift time to 12.3s. And finally, in slot 5, take Concealment Modification 1. This will cut your surface detection range down to 14.1km with your camouflage. Firepower Primary Battery: Nine 406mm/45 rifles in 3x3 turrets in an A-B-X configuration. B is stationed in a super firing position over top of A. These have a stock range of 21.1km. Secondary Battery: Twenty 127mm dual purpose rifles in 10x2 turrets along the sides of the ship. There's a comforting familiarity to Alabama's guns. They're reliable, hard hitting and accurate. They are, however, plagued by the usual American gunnery weaknesses. They have a low muzzle velocity and Alabama has no way of reducing the enormous linear dispersion common to all USN Dreadnoughts. Right off the bat, she has comparable dispersion than any of the other high tier American Battleships, with a 1.9 sigma rating. Only Colorado and North Carolina, with a 2.0 value a tier lower, has less vertical dispersion. This helps prevent her shells from overshooting, removing some of the RNG influence of Battleship gunnery. Now, with this said, it would be a mistake to call her guns accurate. Short of the German Battleships, no other ships in the game have as terrible a dispersion value as USN Battleships. This only gets mitigated at tiers 9 and higher, when they can equip Artillery Plotting Room Modification 2. Sadly, (and I was really hoping for this), Alabama does not get access to this module. What Alabama does have is excellent damage potential on her shells. At 13,100 alpha strike, this gives a 500hp advantage over the Amagi's 410mm AP shells and 1,500hp more than the 380mm guns of the Tirpitz and Bismarck. This lets Alabama trade very favourably, especially with two-thirds of her weapons mounted on her bow, letting her angle aggressively and help mitigate return fire. Penetration values for Alabama's 406mm rifles For penetration, she sits well ahead of the German 380mm guns and just behind the 410mm of the Japanese, with better preservation of penetration characteristics at longer range over her IJN counterparts. Her effective penetration values are more than enough to demolish the citadel of just about any cruiser she faces within her engagement range. Inside of 15km, Battleship belt armour is of no-consequence though at these extreme ranges, ricochet is likely. This is in part due to the slow flight time of the USN 406mm shells. With armour piercing, it takes in excess of 10 seconds for Alabama's guns to reach 16km. They're a full second slower to 18km than the IJN 410mm shells and 1.6s slower than the 380mm guns off the Tirpitz and Bismarck. Thus, while it's sometimes frustrating to land hits with Alabama's guns,when she does land her shots, they strike harder than anything from Japan or Germany and they're more than capable of penetrating the targets she does face. Special mention needs to be made in regards to Alabama's gun handling. Her guns traverse a half degree per second faster than North Carolina's at a rate of 4.5º per second. Even in a hard over turn at top speed, Alabama will never out turn her turrets. If you put Mister Seagal on board with Expert Marksman, you can get this rotation speed up to 5.5º per second which is just wonderful. Alabama's secondaries are ... well, they're nothing to write home about. They can't stand up to the awesome batteries of the Bismarck and they're certainly not going to frighten away anything that gets close. Their modest range of 5.0km combined with their 5% chance to start fires per shell definitely hold them back from being anything worth specializing into. Brawling is something you generally want to avoid when sailing Alabama anyway, so at least her armament isn't working at cross purposes with itself. Summary: She has better accuracy than most mid-tier USN Battleships. Only Iowa, Missouri or Montana specialized for reduced shell dispersion are superior. Alabama is less accurate than IJN Battleships but more than German Battleships. Excellent gun handling characteristics, but poor shell ballistics. It's easy to get guns on target but harder to get the shells there. When you do land hits, the good penetration values and high shell damage will make it easy to rack up big damage totals. Her secondaries are meh. Rivals: North Carolina Lert: These ships are so near to each other in performance that it comes down to which one is driven by the better player. The differences between them are for the most part minor. Alabama turns better, North Carolina has better gun range. Alabama has a better close range AA umbrella, North Carolina a better mid-range one. Where the comparison falls apart though is in their citadels. North Carolina's is at the water line, Alabama's extends a deck above. With competent drivers behind the wheels, it's a wash between the two. The differences aren't enough to sway the battle either way. Until you start showing broadsides. Then driving a North Carolina or an Alabama is the difference between taking heavy damage or catastrophic damage. Between these two it comes down to player skill and the circumstances of them meeting rather than differences between the ships. Until you start having to turn. Alabama pursues HMS Fiji around the headland of an island and executes her at point blank range with six of her 406mm rifles. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 27.5 knotsTurning Radius: 710mRudder Shift: 15.3s Alabama stands out as the most manoeuvrable of the high tier American Battleships. While she doesn't keep the small turning circle of the Standard Type battleships (Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona), when compared to Iowa and Montana, she stands miles apart. It's quite surprising that this agility doesn't come at the cost of speed -- Alabama keeps pace with North Carolina and can turn inside her. At range, this ability gives an extra level of protection that is (unfortunately), sorely needed. When it comes to dodging, Alabama is very well equipped. She not only has the best rudder shift time of the high tier American Battleships, but she progresses through her turn far more quickly than even the 640m turning circle of the Colorado. In fact, she has a faster turning time than most of the tier 6 Battleships as well, being bested only by Dunkerque, Warspite and Bayern. She is the most agile of the mid to high tier American Battleships, bar none, and something to celebrate. Her top speed of 27.5 knots is decent, but sadly outstripped by the Bismarck-class and Amagi-class Battleships which can make dictating engagement ranges difficult. Once she's up tiered to face tier 9 ships, this lack of speed only magnifies. Alabama must use her good concealment values to help her disengage and redeploy as needed. Data drawn from running these ships at maximum speed and then placing the rudder hard over and timing their turn. Alabama is the most agile of any of the American Battleships. Pay close attention to how little benefit Steering Gears Modification 2 actually provides. Durability Hit Points: 63,300Maximum Protection: 32mm anti-torpedo bulge + 310mm belt armour Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mmTorpedo Damage Reduction: 49% Let's start with what's fun and remarkable about Alabama. She has the best torpedo damage reduction in the American tech tree. Alabama is surpassed only by the Yamato for the highest torpedo damage reduction currently in the game. Air dropped torpedoes feel especially anemic, striking for as little as 5000 damage along her armored belt. For as much work as carriers are going to have to do to land hits with their fish against this battleship, her anti-torpedo bulge will quickly teach them to look elsewhere. Sadly, that's about where the good news for Alabama ends as far as her armoured protection goes. Alabama suffers from all the same durability problems that the Iowa-class has had in World of Warships. Her citadel sits well over the surface of the water. This enormous vulnerability runs from just in front of her #1 turret all the way to her #3 turret. Short of her anti-torpedo bulge, there's no further protection beyond her belt armour to keep it safe. At 310mm, this is hardly adequate to repel the kind of firepower that's thrown at her. Alabama doesn't have any other tricks going for her. She has no turtleback, no armour sloping, no layering to keep her machine spaces and magazines safe. She's a painfully easy target to citadel and it will happen a lot to the unwary. I know this is a deal breaker for many, so let me emphasize this again: Alabama has awful citadel protection and she takes citadel hits regularly. You can see the problems readily in the armor viewer. Even her transverse bulkheads are poor. Her upper bulkheads are 287mm from the waterline on up. Beneath that, her forward bulkhead is a mere 156mm. The roof is 154mm. Her rear may as well be an open door at 16mm. Her fragility is further compounded by a tendency to take frequent penetrating hits from AP shells, even when angled. I suspect this is largely caused by shells striking the 32mm hull above the main armoured belt, where the funny contours might prevent auto-ricochet angles when your approach isn't sufficiently acute. In summary, while Alabama has some great anti-torpedo defense, she's a fragile warship. Use her great handling and concealment values to keep her safe. Rivals: Amagi Lert: You're slower, but not by much. Amagi also has better penetration at close and mid range, plus more accurate guns, more DPM through volume of fire and better gun handling. Alabama out-ranges her Japanese counterpart though, and that is an advantage you should take whenever you get the chance. It's a free salvo of damage the Fighting Geisha is unable to answer, unless she has a plane in the sky. While at range make your agility count, you're the most agile battleship in tier by far, making you a difficult target to reliably land solid hits on even for a ship with such comfortable gunnery as Amagi has. Both ships are very tanky against each other's AP fire when bow in, but here the turret layout of Alabama gives her an advantage, Amagi can only bring four barrels a-fore, Alabama six. In order to make her volume of fire advantage count, Amagi has to show a lot more broadside than she should, allowing you a large juicy target for your Mark 8 Superheavy shells. Fighting an Amagi in an Alabama is the same as fighting one in a North Carolina, except you want to show your side even less. Like all high tier American Battleships, Alabama has no business brawling. She can do it, but it puts her at such a tremendous disadvantage. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 16.2km Air Detection Range: 12.1 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 12.2km Concealment Penalty while Firing: +12.2km (vs 21.1km gun range) Alabama shares the same surface detection range as Missouri, but with the added bonus of being harder to see from the air. This doesn't quite measure up to the North Carolina, which enjoys a 500m advantage over her, but she does hide better than every other tier 8 Battleship. With a full concealment build, she can become downright stealthy with a 12.2km surface detection range and limiting her visibility from the air to a mere 9.4km. With Alabama's large, exposed citadel, she must exploit this to the utmost to keep herself safe. Alabama is a glass cannon. She is best played using her speed to move out to the flanks and catching the Reds in a cross fire. When the enemies turn their attention her way, she can cease-fire and drop back into concealment and redeploy. By playing up to this strength, she can strike from an advantageous position and let her guns go to work. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 40mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 151 / 191 / 187 She enjoys all the comforts the later USN Battleships when it comes to anti-aircraft firepower. Her air defense starts with the same battery of twenty 127mm dual purpose secondaries found on North Carolina, Iowa and Missouri. They provide a long reach and excellent alpha damage in five second pulses. When we filter down to her close-range batteries, they differ somewhat from her big sisters. While Alabama has the lowest AA power of the high tier American Battleships, it would be foolish to label it as anything other than excellent. Alabama's reach and firepower stands head and shoulders above her closest competitor, the Bismarck, with a full 117dps more than the German behemoth. She shreds enemy aircraft squadrons with alarming levels of ease and is a real asset when it comes to fleet defense from attack craft squadrons. This can (and should) be exemplified even more with modules and Captain Skills to increase their range and lethality. Properly specialized and manually targeting incoming squadrons, Alabama can get her average DPS up to well over 900, with almost half of that at a 7.2km range. Alabama's tighter turning circle and her anti-torpedo defense must not be forgotten. Against torpedo aircraft, no other Battleship is as well protected as Alabama. Enemy carriers will quickly learn to look elsewhere to farm damage. Throughout play testing, I was regularly shooting down in excess of 20 aircraft per game when carriers were present. This greatly increases the experience gains Alabama can earn. The average DPS of the high tier American Battleships and a comparison of tier 8 Battleship AA levels, divided by weapon ranges. Rivals: Bismarck Lert: She's tougher than you. You hit harder than her. She'll want to close in. You'll want to fight at range. Fortunately your turret angles are generous enough to keep all your barrels on your teutonic adversary without showing too much side. Try to keep her at range. Lure salvos into your armor belt while still inviting auto-bounces. This is a situation where Bismarck's 15" guns are simply not up to the task. Meanwhile your 16" super-heavies will nibble off more hit-points than you're losing. Unfortunately 'keep at range' is easier said than done as Bismarck is faster than you. In inevitable close range engagements it's imperative you use your superior agility to avoid showing a broadside, as even Bismarck's 15" guns can rip your citadel asunder. Try to keep a higher than 45 degree angle to the German warship, inviting those bounces off your armored belt, and retaliate with your own massive guns. You fire the biggest, baddest AP shells in tier, and while your opponent is difficult to citadel, a salvo of Mark 8 406mm shells into her side will still tear off bleeding chunks of hit-points through normal pens. Roll Tide! As an American Battleship, there are a few different skill builds that are viable for Alabama. They summarize generally to three main types, emphasizing particular strengths. Anti-Aircraft Firepower Concealment Survivability All of these builds will begin with taking Priority Target. This is, in my opinion, the strongest of the tier 1 skill for Alabama. It will let you know when you've got the attention of the Red team and when it's time to start putting that agility and concealment to work. For the Anti-Aircraft Firepower and Concealment build, your skill choice will be almost identical until tier 4. For the former, make sure you take modules that help boost your AA firepower. To this end, taking AA Guns Modification 2 in your second upgrade slot is key. I would also strongly recommend adding Auxillary Armaments Modification 1 to your first slot to help the survivability of your AA mounts. For the Concealment build, you can take whichever modules you want, except for Concealment Modification 1 which is mandatory. At tier 2, you have the choice between Adrenaline Rush and Expert Marksman for your second skill. Alabama is less dependent on buffs to her turret rotation, making Expert Marksman less of a necessity. But if you're using the Steven Seagal Captain, the bonus it provides makes it absolutely worthwhile. At tier 3, Basic Fire Training will increase your AA firepower by 20%. At tier 4, the Anti-Aircraft Firepower build should take Advanced Fire Training to further increase your guns reach up to 7.2km for your 127mm/38s. Next, they should take Manual Fire Control for AA Armament. This will maximize your AA firepower. For the Concealment build, take Concealment Expert instead at tier 4 and follow it up with Advanced Fire Training to add some reach to your AA guns. You'll have 5 skill points remaining at this stage. Spend them where you wish. Good skills to consider are: High Alert, Superintendent, Basics of Survivability and Vigilance. Concealment Expert for the AA build and Manual Fire Control for AA Armament for the Concealment build aren't bad choices either. If you're using the Steven Seagal Captain, then Expert Loader is also worth considering. Skip it otherwise. Sample Concealment & AA Builds Having your Cake and Eating it Too (Steven Seagal, Concealment & AA Hybrid) AA Build Concealment Build (No fires to increase detection) The Survivability build differs somewhat from these other two and there are many variations to consider. Make sure you take Damage Control Party Modification 1 & 2 in slots three and four of your modules. At Tier 2, take High Alert as your second skill to reduce the time on your Damage Control Party. At tier 3, you'll want Basics of Survivability. This will cut the duration of fires down to 43s. Basic Fire Training will get your AA firepower up to very impressive levels. Survivability builds greatly benefit from doubling up on skills. Jack of All Trades reduces the reset timers on your Repair Party and Damage Control Party. Superintendent gives you an extra charge of your Repair Party. Vigilance helps spot incoming torpedoes. Basic and Advanced Fire Training gives Alabama the necessary teeth to keep safe from aircraft. These skills are optimal. Concealment Expert will help keep you safe from harm. Finally, Fire Prevention helps reduce the chance of fires being set while also reducing the maximum number of blazes that can be set from four to three. Here are some sample variations of the Survivability Build: Fire Prevention and AA Power All of the Tier 3 Skills Consumables Buff Brave but foolish. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / ExtremeWhen patch 0.6.3 comes around, Alabama will be a bit of a dinosaur. Montana and Iowa will get their high-water citadels lowered and Alabama will be a relic of times gone by. For this reason, Alabama is a difficult ship to recommend for novice players. Her high citadel is going to punish recklessness. Once you're out of position, your game is going to end very quickly. As a result, Alabama will encourage novice players to avoid combat and snipe at very long-range. This will greatly reduce her efficacy. The only good news, really, is that whatever hits she does land can rack up some impressive damage totals. In the hands of more experienced players, the sky is really the limit. Like North Carolina, Alabama can dish out ridiculous amounts of punishment while supporting her team with impressive anti-aircraft firepower. Where North Carolina relies on pure stealth, Alabama provides agility to help mitigate damage. Her fragility will hold her back from ever truly dominating in some situations. The Lertbox Keep enemy battleship shells away from your flat, unangled side. As long as you can do that, Alabama will reward you. New players and players unused to USN battleships will struggle with Alabama. People who love North Carolina and Iowa will be able to make her sing and dance. She has a wonderful combination of agility and firepower with sufficient speed to move around the battlefield. Plus, she has that late war USN AA suite that we all love. Yeah ok so she's soft in the side, but I'll forgive her this foible. Alabama may not be newb friendly. But she's good. She's damn good. Mouse's Summary: Alabama is defined by five characteristics. Hard hitting guns, excellent AA power, great torpedo defense, good agility and that damned citadel height. Scoring enormous damage totals in this ship isn't hard. Getting yourself sunk because you made a stupid mistake isn't hard either. Alabama can't seem to help being a drama llama, now can she? When Wargaming originally announced she would be a reward ship for her Supertesters, the resulting poop storm was downright biblical. The early reviews from certain parties have blown new life into the turd tornadoes twirling around this ship. I'm not surprised. With the level of hype surrounding her, Alabama had to be perfect. Only small flaws would have been permissible. When I was doing my first pass for this review, only one glaring flaw stood out, and that's her citadel. This is the flaw upon which everyone has similarly latched on. For many players, it's a deal breaker. No matter what strengths the ship had, with a vulnerable citadel, some players just cannot warm up to her. And do you know what? That's a perfectly legitimate sentiment to have. I empathize completely with this revulsion and I know why some players will wash their hands of her right from the word go. Alabama isn't a battleship with training wheels. I also think that it's a completely reasonable flaw for the ship to have from a balance point of view. Lower her citadel and Alabama becomes a very, very powerful ship. She's already almost as agile as Bayern, with North Carolina's great guns and AA firepower combined with Yamato's torpedo defense. And people want her buffed!? Look, she's going to torpedo beat between fish, swat down planes, dodge long-range fire and drop diesel trains on the heads of anything she catches broadside. She needs a weakness somewhere. I'm exaggerating, but only a little. Lowering her citadel wouldn't make her immune to damage to her machine spaces, of course. It's not like she would suddenly gain German Battleship levels of durability. However, it would make her hands down better than North Carolina -- no question at all in my mind. She's harder to hit, just as punchy and harder to damage with fish. If that's the ship you needed to have to make Alabama an instant-buy, well, so be it. But be honest with yourself when you're writing off Alabama for that one (admittedly quite glaring) weakness. I had some phenomenal games in Alabama. I don't see that changing going forward. However, she doesn't have the optimal strengths of Bismarck. She's not the be-all, end-all tier 8 premium some players needed her to be. Alabama is delightfully average in many ways, with a great balance of features that made her a real treat. She just has that one weakness and I've always loved a challenge. Would I Recommend? Alabama competes with two other American premium battleships that bracket her tier: Arizona at tier 6 and Missouri at tier 9. Missouri is a troublesome ship for some players to afford, locked behind the wall of 750,000 free experience, while Arizona is an easier purchase but suffers due to the Matchmaker which often puts tier 6 at the middle or bottom tier. Truthfully, Missouri is the better ship to grab, especially after 0.6.3 when her citadel gets lowered. This doesn't make Alabama bad, but she cannot challenge Missouri for primacy. For Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Mouse: Alabama is an excellent credit earner, but she doesn't hold a candle compared to Missouri. If Missouri isn't available, then Alabama holds her own quite nicely, making around 350,000 credits before premium for a 2,000 base experience game. With her great AA power, shooting down even a handful of planes can greatly increase the amount of experience gained in a match, letting Alabama top the experience charts much more often than she might otherwise. Lert: Yeah. She's a tier 8 premium, and a very good one at that. Wear that Zulu flag and watch the credits roll in. Wear a dragon flag and a Zulu Hotel on watch that captain fast-track through training. In earning potential she's every bit a match for Tirpitz, Atago and Kutuzov, and second only to Missouri. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Mouse: Alabama will always suffer her citadel poorly in competitive environments. Using her speed and agility combined with her AA power, she's a good asset to the team. However, if she's ever caught out, she's a ready target for the enemy team. She is the less optimal choice when compared to ships like Bismarck or North Carolina. Lert: At first I was going to answer a tentative 'yes' here, seeing how comfortably she plays and how she compares to North Carolina. But honestly? You're likely still better off with a Bismarck. You'll give up firepower and agility for sheer brutish toughness, flexibility and secondaries. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Mouse: It's the Lucky A. Yes. What's wrong with you? Lert: Yes. While Alabama herself didn't do much of note during her service she still exists as a museum ship. Plus, she's the only South Dakota class currently in the game. For Fun Factor:Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Mouse: Very yes. I enjoyed my time very much sailing her... so much so that I'm giving North Carolina a bit of the stink eye. Alabama has good agility, great gun handling, punchy guns and who doesn't like making enemy carriers cry? Lert: Yes. Alabama is a comfortable and enjoyable ship to drive. Until you overestimate your turn and end up losing 2/3 of your health to some well placed battleship AP into your overexposed citadel. If you're the kind of person who can suck it up when that happens and admit it was your own mistake to show so much side, Alabama is a fun and rewarding ship to play.
  21. Let's try something a little different. The following is a preview of one of the new German Battleships. Though the stats discussed in this article were drawn from the client right before they went live, please be aware that they may be different with the final release. You never know. Now, with that out of the way, let's begin. The Tier 7 German Scharnhorst-class Battleship Gneisenau "She-Wolf" Quick Summary: A ridiculously versatile Battleship limited only by her small number of guns. She is very fast, armed with quick reloading 380mm rifles and has the same torpedoe load-out as the Scharnhorst. Combined with great AA power, secondaries and armour, she's one of the most powerful ships, tier for tier, in the German tech-tree. Patch & Date Written: 0.5.9.1. August 16th, 2016. Premium Ship Shortcuts Closest Premium Ship: ScharnhorstDegree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique A rarity in World of Warships, the in-game tech-tree ship isn't named for the lead of her class but rather the second vessel that was launched. This might be understandable in the Gneisenau's case as some people still debate which ship was the lead. Still, it should be unsurprising that these two ships are very similar. There are pronounced differences between the two however, including her anti-aircraft compliment, secondary armament, main battery armament, speed, handling and durability. The Scharnhorst, while not a perfect replacement for the Gneisenau, will give you a taste of what this ship has to offer and can be considered a viable shortcut for those not wanting to grind out the tree. There's room for both in my port, though. PROs: Heavy armour scheme with thick belt armour and turtleback which protects her machinery spaces. Nice gun handling on her 380mm guns with 5' turret rotation speed and a good range of 19.5km. Good rate of fire on her primary battery with a 26s reload. Guns feel nice and punchy at her tier, with 11,600 AP damage. Heavy secondary gun battery compliment with 5.0km stock range. Has torpedoes (!) Excellent AA defense with great range. Very fast with a top speed of 32.0 knots. CONs: Has only six primary guns, resulting in very low DPM. HE shell is rather lacking at only 4,400 damage even with a 34% chance to start fires. Guns share the normal wonky dispersion found on other German Battleship rifles. Enormous turning circle of 830m combined with a sluggish rudder shift of 14.7s Rather larger surface detection range of 15.7km The Gneisenau's primary weakness is the small number of primary battery guns. This has prompted many to dub her the Tier 7 Myogi. However, the Gneisenau is arguably one of the most interesting and powerful ships in the new German Battleship line. Compared to the Tier 6 Bayern Coming from the Bayern, there are three shocking developments that will immediately come to your attention when you first play the Gneisenau. The first is that you're downgrading your primary firepower. Even with the faster reload, the Gneisenau has less DPM than the already anemic batteries of the Bayern. This will be a grave disappointment for many. The second is that you have torpedoes. Originally the providence of just the Tirpitz and Scharnhorst, the Gneisenau is the first research-available Battleship to have deck mounted torpedoes. The third feature that will surprise (and delight you) is her speed. The Gneisenau is fast -- one of the fastest ships of her type found in the game at any tier. As Lert would be fond of saying, the Bayern is a Brick. The Gneisenau is a sleek hunter-killer. Gameplay wise, they share some traits. Both are similarly well armoured. They have a similar gun armament. They both have ferocious secondaries. But there are some very obvious differences too. The Gneisenau is a monstrous AA platform, rivaling the Colorado for the sheer amount of lead she can throw into the air -- something with which the Bayern struggled. But that vaunted speed the Gneisenau gains over the Bayern makes her awkward in a turn. You lose the wonderful agility of the Bayern to go faster in a straight line. The Gneisenau will not replace the Bayern. She's a completely different animal. She's not a series of upgrades over her predecessor, she deviates completely onto a different research track with a bold new design and way of playing. Options There are no real surprises when it comes to the options for the Gneisenau. She is the first German Battleship capable of launching aircraft and you have the choice between both a Spotter Aircraft and a Float Plane Fighter. The tier 7 German Float Plane Fighter is superior to the American but inferior to the Japanese. She comes with 1390 survivability and does 55dps (compared to the 1140 / 42 of the USN and 1420 / 55 of the IJN). Consumables: Three slots Damage Control Party Repair Party Your choice of a Spotting Aircraft or Float Plane Fighter. Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard German options.Camouflage: The Gneisenau does not have any form of premium camouflage available at present. Firepower Primary Battery: 380mm guns in 3x2 turrets in an A-B-X arrangement.Secondary Battery: 128mm guns in 11x2 turretsTorpedoes: 533mm G7aT1 torpedoes in 2x3 launchers, one on each side amidships. The Gneisenau is armed with the same 380mm L52 guns found on the Tirpitz and Bismarck. These have improved performance over the 380mm found on the Bayern, including the same accelerated reload found on the Bismarck-sisters. At 5' per second turret rotation, they handle very well and can follow most targets even while the ship is in a turn. She can overmatch 26mm of armour or less and, at medium to short ranges, punch clean through the bow sections of any Battleship at her tier or lower when head on. Finally, with a range of 19.5km she has a very comfortable reach for her tier. The marked disadvantage for the Gneisenau, however, is that she only mounts six of these weapons. This constitutes a significant DPM disadvantage for this ship and gives her worse overall damage potential than the tier 5 Kongo-class. In addition, the dispersion values of the German 380mm guns are not kind and it's not uncommon to see shots dispersing over wide trajectories from the point at which you aimed. As such, these guns perform best up close. To compensate for her smaller primary battery compliment, the Gneisenau has torpedo launchers. These are the same triple launchers found on the Scharnhorst, firing the G7aT1 torpedo found on most of the German cruiser line and the German premium Battleships. With a 6.0km range, 64 knot top speed and a warhead that strikes for 13,700 damage, this gives the Gneisenau a fearsome bite at close range. In addition, when upgraded she is armed with eleven twin-gunned 128mm, dual purpose secondaries. These fire 12rpm, have a 5.0km range but only a modest 5% chance to start fires per shell. With five turrets per side and one turret mounted on the center line facing aft, this can generate a telling broadside of supporting fire when you close range with enemies. The Gneisenau puts her 380mm AP shells clean through the bow of an enemy Furutaka, easily overmatching the thin armour present there. Maneuverability Top Speed: 32.0 knots.Turning Radius: 830mRudder Shift: 14.7s The Gneisenau is very quick. She boasts one of the highest top speeds of any Battleship presently in the game with only the Iowa capable of catching her. This speed should be a nightmare for certain ship types that need to keep the Gneisenau at arm's length to ensure their survival. Her speed allows her to largely dictate the engagement range, being able to close with and deliver her powerful close range armaments when she chooses. Still, her speed isn't without its cost. Her long, sleek hull gives her an enormous turning radius of 830m. When combined with a 14.7s rudder shift time, she cannot respond to sudden threats quickly. Destroyers and torpedo armed ships should take full advantage of this. The Gneisenau cannot begin or reverse her direction quickly. Durability Hit Points: 58,200Citadel Protection: Up to 350mm + turtlebackBow Armour: 25mm (immunity to 356mm rifles)Torpedo Damage Reduction: 22% The Gneisenau mirrors the excellent armour durability of the Scharnhorst with thick belt armour and a reinforced turtleback layer to help protect her machinery spaces. She does not echo the Bismarck-class with their 32mm of bow armour so direct head-on attack angles should only be used against Battleships with 356mm rifles or smaller. When angled, even the 410mm shells will bounce off her waterline, so try and position yourself about 15' to 25' when making approach vectors towards these ships. While you are largely safe from citadel penetrations at medium to close ranges, you will receive a lot of penetrating hits when your broadside is exposed, so be careful. She has a healthy amount of hit points for her tier -- considerably better than the Colorado but still well behind the Nagato by almost 7,000hp. Formed up into a wolfpack, the Gneisenau and Scharnhorst charged this Nagato from each side, putting shell and torpedo into either flank and disabling her quickly. The Gneisenau burns from secondary fire from the Japanese battleship while her sister-ship took the brunt of the Super-Dreadnought's primary battery fire. The Stock Grind: The Gneisenau has a very pleasant upgrade path and there's no need to spend free experience to unlock modules to make her playable. She has three elements to upgrade: her Hull, her Rangefinder and her Engines. The Hull upgrade is mandatory and required to unlock the Bismarck and continue research through the higher tiers. We'll start with the simplest upgrades. Stock, she has a 17.8km range which should be more than adequate given her playstyle. If you find this chaffing, you can use her Spotter Aircraft consumable to temporarily prop up this range for short intervals until you earn enough experience. With the upgrade, her range jumps by 10% to 19.5km. With her stock engines, her speed isn't bad. It's still faster than any of the contemporary Battleships with the exception of the premium Scharnhorst. At 28.8 knots, she has long enough legs to keep up with the flow of battle and flex where needed. The new propulsion system jumps from 125,000hp to 160,000 horsepower and gives the Gneisenau her ability to sprint with a maximum speed of 32.0 knots. Lastly, there's her hull. Unlike other ships, this isn't a massive overhaul. The primary difference is the change of her secondary gun compliment and a huge bump to her rudder shift time from 20.6s down to 14.7s. Stock, the Gneisenau has a secondary and AA compliment very similar to the Scharnhorst which is already quite good. This new upgrade does away with the 105mm and 150mm dual purpose and secondary guns and replaces them with a homogeneous load out of new 128mm dual purpose guns. These guns are the same as found on the T1 Hermelin. This upgrades her AA power from Scharnhorst levels (good) to beyond Colorado levels (amazing). In addition, you get a nice shot in the arm with 7,300 extra hit points. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 15.7kmAir Detection Range: 13.0kmMinimum Surface Detection Range: 13.10kmConcealment Penalty while Firing: +11.40km The Scharnhorst is one of the first German Battleships with a truly enormous surface detection range. It isn't worth heavily investing in concealment options for this vessel or the ships that proceed her. You may as well try and bail the ocean out with a teaspoon as try and hide these things. The question in both cases is "Where would you put it?" Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 127mm, 37mm, 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.2km, 3.5km, 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 136 / 62 / 92 This should be a pleasant surprise for many. The Gneisenau has excellent AA power. Combined, she has a total of 290dps -- most of it found in the very long ranged, 5.2km 128mm dual purpose secondaries. This provides the Gneisenau with some phenomenal versatility. She can be upgraded to perform an AA picket duty if you so choose, helping protect some of the other Battleships by simple proximity. This does create the option of specializing your Gneisenau as an anti-aircraft vessel if you so choose. For those who want a little payback against enemy carriers for the torment you've endured, this is a cathartic vessel to do it in. Fully upgraded, you can get her 128mm guns throwing 362dps at a range of 7.49km against targets you manually target. Tell me that's not appealing? The wicked sisters, dressed in matching camouflage. Though everyone will point to the difference of their guns, there are other changes between the two. When fully upgraded, the Gneisenau is faster, with better AA power and she has more hit points than the Scharnhorst. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Like many Battleships, the Gneisenau has a rather gentle learning curve. It's easy enough to hop into her and begin shooting at enemies and tanking damage. The addition of her torpedo weapon systems doesn't complicate matters overmuch. Her great top speed makes her able to flex and will help mitigate a player mistake where they're not paying close enough attention to the minimap. In addition, her great AA will make her a thorny target for same or lower tiered CVs. Her small number of main battery guns and her awful handling keeps this ship from being "Simple". Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme There's quite a bit of challenge to getting the most out of the Gneisenau. To truly excel at her, you need patience and a keen awareness of your surroundings. She does the most damage if she can get in close to enemy targets. And while durable, she's not invincible. Facing multiple opponents is a quick way to be sent to the bottom. So it pays to be able to look for opportunities and pounce upon them when they're apparent. Still, she has a Battleship's durability and that nice, tough German armour which may save you when you blunder. If you keep her at range all game, you won't get the damage totals you need. Go in too close, too soon and you'll get sunk. Therein lies the challenge. Mouse's Summary: An incredibly versatile ship, hampered only by her small number of guns. Like the Scharnhorst, she's an opportunistic brawler with backup weapons to clinch a fight. Fast as all get out and tough like an old boot when properly used. Dies like a stuck pig, flailing uselessly when you botch an approach. I thought the Bayern was going to be my favourite ship of those researched from the Battleship line. The Gneisenau surprised me. And she surprised me twice. The first surprise was how different she felt from the Scharnhorst. Even with all of her similarities, the difference in her primary armament and the subtle nuances between the two sisters makes them feel very distinct. That was a pleasant shock. The second was how much I enjoyed her despite having only six guns. The Gneisenau is an excellent ship. But she's going to make you work for the damage she puts out. Wracking up 100,000 totals can be done, and done readily, but you need to be planning out how you're going to accomplish it. Charging in will just get you killed. Her fish are good, but not that good. A full broadside of torpedoes might earn you 30,000 extra damage off of a Battleship which is only enough to gut, not kill one. So you need to do work with your guns beforehand. You need to find isolated or half-beaten prey and run them down. One of the real dangers this ship presents is how well she supports other vessels. She can (almost) keep pace with destroyers, flexing to an early cap point to scare the pants off a cruiser hoping for an easy meal on a DD. She can play the soak-vessel for cruisers, tanking damage to allow them to return fire and whittle down an enemy with focused attacks. She can provide AA and fire support for a Battleship, helping create a no-fly zone around her friendly super-dreadnought. For me, the greatest pleasure was teaming her up with her sister ship, Scharnhorst and forming a fearsome wolfpack of two high-speed Battleships and charging into the same number of enemy Dreadnoughts with guns blazing and torpedoes in the water. They didn't stand a chance. With a 2.0 knot advantage over her sister ship, a fully upgraded Gneisenau can overtake the Scharnhorst with ease. Compared to the Tier 8 Bismarck: When you leave the Gneisenau behind, you're getting a very powerful ship in the form of the Bismarck. In many respects, she's a straight upgrade. Her speed is similar and so is her handling. Her firepower is a straight improvement, keeping the same gun handling and reload but gaining an extra two-gun turret and a slight boost in range. Her secondaries, while not the vaunted 128mm of the Gneisenau have a deadly 7.0km base range. Most impressively, she gains durability. The Bismarck has 32mm of bow armour and a 50mm armoured deck which will allow her to tank 380mm & 410mm rounds bow on -- something the Gneisenau could never do. There's a slight cost, though. You lose your torpedoes, for one. That knock out blow in close quarters has disappeared. But you really won't miss them. The Bismarck also gains access to two important abilities. The first, she has the 5th module upgrade slot which should be put towards Target Acquisition System Modification 1 and then combined with her new consumable: Hydroacoustic Search. This allows the Bismarck to approach into close quarters with more confidence than any other Battleship before her. For a brawler, this is a safety net which lets her do what she does best with confidence and the Gneisenau can only wish she had access to both. The Bismarck probably won't replace the Gneisenau for some even with these improvements. Outfitting the Gneisenau Recommended Modules Like her sister ship, the manner in which you choose to equip your Gneisenau will affect how flexible she can be. For your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 is (still) the only one worth taking. Like the Scharnhorst, you can't afford to be losing your turrets. Your guns will be taking a lot of hits, so buff up their durability. For the second slot, the best choice will always be Aiming Systems Modification 1 as this improves the performance of your main battery, along with providing a small increase to your secondaries and the handling of your torpedoes. However, if you want to emphasize your secondaries, Secondary Battery Modification 2 will give them a big boost. With a combination of Captain Skills, you can make your secondaries rather frightening. Alternatively, I could also recommend AA Guns Modification 2 if you really hate carriers. Trust me, this one is funny but you're going to have to invest in some other AA buffs with your Captain Skills to make sure they get the punchline. For your third slot, they're all terrible! No, really. Pick whatever you want. I usually take Damage Control System Modification 1. It's not that good, but none of the choices really are. Lastly, for your final slot, you again have the choice. I prefer Damage Control System Modification 2 to help reduce the duration of fires. I find this helps take the strain off my Damage Control Party consumable. However, Steering Gears Modification 2 isn't a bad choice either to reduce her rudder shift time. Keep in mind, even with this steering mod, your agility is only going to go from "barfy face" to "boogers hanging from their nose face". It's still gross. Just not sympathetic vomit inducing. Recommended Consumables As a Battleship, I have to stress taking a premium version of her Damage Control Party. This keeps the same immunity period of 15s but it reduces the reset timer from 120s to 80s. I also find value in the premium version of her Repair Party to reduce the reset timer for similar reasons. For her plane consumable, I would recommend her Spotter Aircraft over her Float Plane Fighter. Your guns perform alright at a distance and the extra reach is welcome, particularly in some of the highest tiered matches. Still, the latter is nice for helping disrupt attack formations and can be worthwhile for a Captain wanting to specialize in AA power. For camouflage, I wouldn't spend much in the way of credits on this and stick with the disruption type (Type 2). Recommended Captain Skills You should choose Captain Skills that will compliment the modules you have selected. If you're keeping a Captain over from the Bayern and plan to move her onto the Bismarck, I would strongly recommend skills that specialize either her primary or secondary gun batteries. For the first tier, Basic Fire Training is important. All German Battleships have excellent secondaries and the Gneisenau is no different. This will also boost your AA power for those looking for an AA build. Basics of Survivability is also well worthwhile to help reduce damage caused by fire and flooding. At the second tier, Expert Marksman is your best choice. If you're keeping a dedicated brawling Captain for the Gneisenau, you may also consider Torpedo Armament Expertise which will get her torpedo reload down to 61.2s... which is insane. At the third tier, you've got a choice. Superintendent looks nice on the surface as it will give you an extra charge of your Repair Party, but you're unlikely to ever need more than 3 to 4 charges per battle. Vigilance is nice to help spot incoming torpedoes. High Alert is also highly desirable to reduce your Damage Control Party reset timer from 120s / 80s down to 108s / 72s. Any of these three are very good choices and it's really up to personal preferences. There are, again, two good skills to grab at tier 4. Advanced Fire Training is hands down, the best choice. This will increase the range of both your secondary gun batteries and your AA guns. If you are making a dedicated AA ship, get this skill first. Then afterwards, save up for Manual Fire Control for AA Armament because you hate carriers sooo much. There's are two skills worth considering at tier 5. For AA ships, short of training a 19pt Captain, if you double up on tier 4 skill you won't have access to these. Jack of All Trades helps increase the durability of your Gneisenau by reducing the reset timer on your Repair Party and Damage Control Party. Personally, I prefer Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament, which increases the accuracy of your secondaries by 60% when you manually target a ship.
  22. The following is a review of HMS Gallant, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of July 19th, 2017. Are you excited? I'm excited! More Royal Navy ships! Whoo! Quick Summary: A small, agile destroyer with an uninspiring main battery. She has a heavy torpedo armament with the ability to launch each fish individually, but she's held back by poor launch angles. Cost: Bundles started at $21.99 USD with a port slot. Patch and Date Written: June 8th, 2017 to July 18th, 2017, Patch 0.6.6 to 0.6.7.1 Closest in-Game Contemporary Gaede, Tier VI German Destroyer Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique As much as I would like to compare these to the Polish Grom-class, Gallant shares a lot in common with Ernst Gaede, the tier VI German Destroyer, especially when the German ship is armed with its (admittedly awful) 128mm guns. Am I foreshadowing bit? PROs Gallant has an 8% chance per shell to start fires and the highest Fires per Minute chance of any Tier VI DD. Powerful torpedo armament doing 15,433 damage per hit, with 8.0km range and 61 knot top speed. Torpedoes may be dropped individually in the same manner of Royal Navy cruisers. Tiny turning circle of 540m with excellent rudder shift time of 3.0s. Second best surface detection range at her tier of 6.8km. Small target -- less than 100m long. CONs Small hit point pool of 12,000hp. Weak main battery armament of four 120mm guns and low DPM. Short 10.2km range and clumsy firing angles on #4 turret. Worse shell ballistics than the American 127mm/38s with even more "float". Horrible fire angles on her torpedoes with a maximum forward fire angle of 68º off the bow. High learning curve with making optimal use of her torpedoes. An absolute laughable lack of any credible AA power. HMS Gallant surprised me when she was announced to be coming to World of Warships. As fighting vessels go, she was in the thick of the action in the early part of the war but she didn't participate in any major surface engagements as far as I could tell. It made me wonder why we were seeing Gallant represent the G-class destroyers in World of Warships when there were examples such as Glowworm which saw surface action against capital ships to draw from. Everything began making sense when the Dunkirk Scenario was unveiled. She's not the first British premium destroyer released in the game (that honour goes to HMS Campbeltown at tier III), nor is she first British-built destroyer in the game (that distinction goes to ORP Blyskawica). What she does provide, however, is a glimpse of what the British destroyer line may end up being in the future. It remains to be seen how many of the features on HMS Gallant will become standard to the British destroyers. Sharkbait_416 of the World of Warships wiki team has volunteered to join me in this review. He'll be providing a look into HMS Gallant's history and his impressions of the ship. Take it away! The Sharktank HMS Gallant, hull pennant H59, was a G-Class destroyer of the Royal Navy, launched on August 26, 1935. With the outbreak of WWII in 1939, Gallant began operating in the North Sea, primarily tasked with escort and patrol duties. Throughout the course of these duties, Gallant participated in rescue operations which saved the crews of multiple stricken ships, such as SS British Councillor, SS Santos, and HMS Princess Victoria. On May 25, 1940, Gallant was detached from North Sea operations to partake in Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk. On May 26, Gallant arrived in the channel. On May 27, Gallant and HMS Vivacious were notified that ORP Blyskawica was tasked to meet them. The Admiralty wanted the three ships to enter the port of La Panne to evacuate RAF personnel. However, Blyskawica was unable to locate the two British ships. The next day, Gallant embarked troops and transported them to Dover. Gallant made a second trip to Dunkirk on May 29, embarking more troops. Prior to arriving at Dover, Gallant was attacked by Luftwaffe dive-bombers. Despite suffering slight damage, Gallant managed to return to Dover under her own power. In total, Gallant rescued 1,466 personnel from the beaches of Dunkirk. In June 1940, Gallant assisted in the search for Scharnhorst and Gneisenau but was unable to locate the two German ships. In July, Gallant was tasked for duty in the Mediterranean, where she joined Allied forces to assist in operations in the West Mediterranean Sea. On October 20, 1940, Gallant used depth charges to assist in sinking the Italian submarine Lafolè. On November 27, Gallant fought in the Battle of Cape Spartivento as a part of Force B. While supporting convoy operations in the Straits of Sicily off Pantellaria, Gallant hit a mine on January 10, 1941. The force of the explosion tore the bow from the ship, killing 65 crewmen and injuring 15. The remainder of the ship was towed stern-first to Malta. Gallant began undergoing repairs, continuing into 1942. On April 5, 1942, a bombing raid resulted in a near miss that severely damaged Gallant. Due to extensive damage, Gallant was declared a constructive total loss. Gallant was used as a blockship in St. Paul’s Bay and scrapped in 1953. Rerences: http://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/4391.html & http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-10DD-25G-HMS_Gallant.htm Picture courtesy of Wikipedia. Options Gallant uses the same Smoke Generator consumable as the Japanese and Soviet Destroyers. This differs from Campbeltown, the other British premium, whose Smoke Generator echoes that found on American Destroyers. On the USN DDs. the emission time is longer and so is the duration of each individual cloud. This isn't the case on HMS Gallant. So, everything is standard here. Consumables: Damage Control Party Smoke Generator Engine Boost Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard cruiser upgrades Premium Camouflage: Type 10, tier VI+ Standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Remember to equip as many premium consumables as you can reliably afford on a per-match basis. The module options you'll be using are the standard fare for destroyers. In your first slot, take Magazine Modification 1. Seriously, don't take take Main Armaments Modification 1 unless you're going into Ranked and taking Juliet Charlie signals -- you're more likely to have your entire destroyer blown out from underneath you before you permanently lose one of your weapon mounts to direct damage. This way you can mitigate some of those detonations. In your second slot, Aiming Systems Modification 1 is the way to go. Note, if you're playing the Dunkirk Scenario, you want to take AA Guns Modification 2 for the extra range. It's useless otherwise, but you WILL NEED IT in the scenario if you're trying for 5 stars. Don't skimp out on this. In your third slot, take Damage Control Modification 1. The other two are terrible (not that DCM1 is much better). And finally, in your fourth slot, take Propulsion System Modification 1. If you have access to Super Upgrades, there's only one really worth considering and that's Engine Boost Modification 1. This would replace your Damage Control Modification 1 upgrade in your third slot. Firepower Primary Battery: Four 120mm rifles in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Torpedo Armament: Eight tubes in 2x4 launchers rear mounted down the centerline of the ship. Gallant's gunnery is pretty close to terrible. They may have decent gun handling and a nice krupp rating on her AP shells, but almost everything else is awful. Her 120mm guns are the smallest caliber at her tier and an armament we would expect on tier IV destroyers, not VI. Understandably, on a per-shell basis, they have some of the worst alpha strike qualities, besting only German 128mm HE shells. With her four guns, this makes her volleys rather anemic. But there's worse to come: The ballistic arcs on her 120mm/45 guns are worse than the American 127mm/38s. While Gallant has better muzzle velocity than Farragut's weapons, the shells are lighter and lose speed more quickly. At ranges greater than 5.0km, Farragut's 127mm/38s have better shell flight times over distance. Gallant's shells take 8.62s to hit targets at 10km compared to Farragut's 8.31s with HE shells. Gallant's range normally caps out at 10.2km, so this slow shell time to distance cannot be seen in full measure without Advanced Fire Training. With it, you'll see shell flight times of approximately 1 second per km traveled at ranges in excess of 10km. This makes Gallant's guns utterly ill-suited to engaging anything short of a slow turning Battleship or Carrier at range. You can largely forget about making use of AP except at stupidly close ranges where you'd be better of dumping fish into them instead. To engage enemy destroyers, she needs to be close -- ideally no more than 7km to 8km at most before the lead times greatly inhibit accuracy. And more often than not, she will not want to engage enemy destroyers in the first place. Gallant has two saving graces where her guns are concerned. She has a decent (but not great) rate of fire. With a 5.0 second reload, she can put out twelve rounds per gun. So while she may not be able to compete with any of her peers on a per-volley basis, she can out-muscle Japanese destroyers in a protracted gunnery duel through sheer volume of fire. On paper, she should also be able to compete with Ernst Gaede, the German tier VI, however in practice this often proves to be a fool's errand. Gaede's guns have better ballistic arcs and, more importantly, a lot more health. The second saving grace is more memorable. Gallant has a very high chance to set fires per shell. At 8% per hit, when coupled with her four guns and rate of fire, Gallant becomes the best potential fire starter at tier VI. While this will not help her against enemy destroyers, it does speak to a specialization which favours making the lives of enemy Battleships quite miserable. Overall, Gallant is only a better overall gun platform than Fubuki and Hatsuharu which is pretty poor marks. She edges out Shinonome too, but only just. She needs to force a slug fest to out perform the IJN premium. The reliable 6-gun alpha strikes are quite valuable as they can often decide a duel against a mid to low health enemy destroyer, forcing them to back off even if they have a DPM advantage. It's Gallant's ability to set fires which really redeems these guns. Without it, her main battery would be utterly lamentable. The worst part is that Gallant's guns feel very comfortable to use -- so much so that you might grossly over estimate how well they perform. They turn decently. Their rate of fire is nice. They cause lots of fires. This got me into a lot of trouble when it came to dueling with other destroyers. I'd feel I had the advantage only to see just how uneven a contest it actually was when I got myself butchered. Do not make this mistake. Gallant's guns aren't good. They're not terrible, but they can cause you more problems than they'll solve. Gallant largely redeems the poor qualities of her guns with her torpedo armament. They aren't without their (oh-so minor) faults. For a torpedo specialist, her range of 8.0km is decent but not enough to make captains of the Japanese destroyers sit up and take notice. Their 1.3km detection range gives opponents nearly eight seconds to react which is alright, but not great. The same could be said of their 61 knot top speed which is perfectly adequate but, again, nothing special or worth celebrating. But here's where things get exciting: Gallant has the same launch options as British cruisers. To be clear, the two fire options for Gallant are a narrow spread or to fire off her torpedoes individually. She does not have the wide-spread option found on other destroyers. It's this single fire option which is so desirable. This greatly increases the flexibility of Gallant's torpedo armament, whether this be dropping more complex patterns for opponents to dodge or holding fish in reserve when a target may think themselves safe from harm. On paper, the advantages of Gallant's single fire torpedoes are many. In practice? Many of these advantages are locked behind an admittedly difficult set of player skills, acquired only from experience and the lessons learned from lots of mistakes. Veterans of British cruisers will have a leg up on the competition here. Gallant's torpedoes are individually hard hitting at 15,433 damage and with eight tubes, Gallant's potential damage for a full launch exceeds all ships with the exception of Shinonome and Fubuki which launch nine. Even so, Gallant's torpedoes hit harder individually than Shinonome, so she's not far behind these Japanese torpedo specialists. The are a couple of serious flaws with her torpedoes. They have a punitively long reload of 96s for one, even for a quad launcher. This is common to launchers with more tubes, and Gallant loses out so significantly to the other torpedo-specialists with shorter reloads on their triple launchers with Shinonome having only a 73s reload while Fubuki and Hatsuharu make due with 76s. The second drawback are the awful firing arcs of Gallant's launchers. They only have a 55º launch arc with a rearward bias. The furthest forward they can target is nearly 70º which is appalling and can really hurt Gallant in close quarter brawls or when navigating through islands. This limited fire sector also means she can't use her torpedoes defensively very well, as she has to present her broadside to dump them into the water. So for all of their good hitting power, Gallant cannot launch her fish often and when she can, you may find yourself fighting the fire arcs of her launchers in order to do so. Summary: Her torpedoes are powerful. Single fire torpedoes are awesome, but it's going to take some practice to make them work. The limited fire arcs of her torpedoes can be immensely frustrating. The only thing saving Gallant's guns from being a complete write off is their good rate of fire and high fire chance. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 36.0knotsTurning Radius: 540mRudder Shift: 3.0s Maximum Turn Rate: 8.6º per second. Gallant is rather average for a tier VI destroyer when it comes to her top speed, though all of the destroyers with the exception of the Gnevny-class (including Anshan) slot in and around 35.5 to 36.5 knots. What she does have is great handling, however. She answers her rudder very quickly and can throw herself about in the water like no one's business. She's only held back by he modest top speed. She keeps over 30 knots in a turn, though just barely, and this limits her maximum rate of turn to 8.6º per second. DurabilityHit Points: 12,000Maximum Protection: 16mm Gallant's 12,000 hit points sits on the low side of average at her tier. She has more hit points than Farragut or Hatsuharu but less than the Gnenvy-class and Fubuki-class ships which make up more than half the destroyer population at tier VI. Gallant is tiny as far as ship length goes, but sadly she's also rather tall. This combines to make her a comfortable target to shoot at, unfortunately. Gallant does not have the DPM or accuracy over range to afford trading fire with other gunships. This is a risky venture even when she's top tier against tier V gunships like Podvoisky, Nicholas and Okhotnik. Only do so from a position of extreme advantage if you have to at all. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 6.84km Air Detection Range: 3.36 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 5.97km Main Battery Firing Range: 10.18km Surface Detection Rank within Tier: 2nd Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: 16th of 34. Gallant has a decent concealment rating. Properly specialized with a 10pt Captain and with her Premium Camouflage, Gallant will get her surface detection range down to just a hair beneath 6.0km. The only ship at her tier that bests her here is Hatsuharu with a 5.8km surface detection range. This is good news for an under-gunned destroyer that struggles to trade blows with any of her contemporaries. Perhaps most impressive is her small aerial detection range which is better than any of the other destroyers at her tier. As a tier VI destroyer, Gallant sits in that unfortunate 'sweet spot' shared with tier VII destroyers where their concealment seems decent until measured up against the ships she faces. She's larger than most of the tier V destroyers she faces, and while she's much more stealthy than tier VII DDs, she finds herself out done by tier VIII gunships like Lo Yang, Benson and Akizuki -- all of which can make her life miserable in short order. It's a rare game where she'll ever be the stealthiest thing out on the water. Gallant is really built for this short-ranged attack. Her torpedoes give her a 2.0km stealth firing window which is enough room to comfortably manoeuvre. Sadly, this does fall within the range of radar equipped ships that begin appearing at tier VII. Skirting too close to the edge of her launch window also puts her dangerously close to the 5.58km range of Hydroacoustic Search on tier VIII German Cruisers It pays to take a moment to study team rosters and identify problem ships lest you trip over them at inopportune moments. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 12.7mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 1.2kmAA DPS per Aura: 4 No. That small cloud of smoke is about to get really crowded with air dropped torpedoes in a moment. Pageantry and Gallantry Thanks to the Dunkirk scenario, there are going to be another build to consider for HMS Gallant, optimizing for achieving 5 stars in the scenario. For now, let me cover the basics for Random and Ranked Battles. As ever, we start with a core build of 10 skill points. Begin with Priority Target to increase your situational awareness when you no longer have concealment. Next, take the destroyer standby, Last Stand to give you passable engine power and rudder shift when these modules get damaged. You have a choice at the next tier. Torpedo Armament Expertise should be taken if you want to emphasize your torpedo rate of fire. Alternatively, take Demolition Expert to supplement your already excellent fire starting qualities on your guns. Do not double up on these at this stage. Finally, take Concealment Expert to get your surface detection down to 5.97km with camouflage installed. Here are the next skills to consider: Tier 1, Preventative Maintenance. For those who hate Priority Target, this can be taken as an alternative. This reduces the likelihood of critical damage occurring to any of your modules (except the Magazine). Tier 2, Jack of All Trades. This is handy for those players that like dropping smoke for their allies. Tier 2, Expert Marksman. This will increase your gun rotation rate from 10º per second up to 12.5º. Tier 2, Smoke Screen Expert. Are you a bro that drops smoke for your big friends in Ranked? Be an even bigger bro with bigger smoke! Tier 2, Adrenaline Rush. This is a long running favourite of many players. It increases your rate of fire of guns and torpedoes as you take damage. At 50% health, this shaves off almost 10s from your torpedo reload and increases your rate of fire from 12.0rpm to 13.2rpm. Always handy. Tier 3, Survivability Expert. This will increase Gallant's hit points from 12,000 to 14,100hp. Note that this won't give you advantage enough to reliably outgun other gunships that are at the same health you are, but it does provide more of a buffer. This can be especially handy in Ranked Battles. Tier 3, Basic Fire Training. Bump up that rate of fire from 12rpm to 13.2rpm. Don't worry about what it does to your AA power. It's not relevant in these game modes. Tier 3, Vigilance. Spot those torpedoes early for your big friends. Tier 4, Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. You can bump up her effective HE penetration from 19mm up to 25mm with this skill. This is enough to stack direct damage against any capital ship you face in Ranked Battles, provided you don't hit the armoured belt, as opposed to being stuck trying to hit the superstructure. Tier 4, Advanced Fire Training. I would recommend against taking this one, but it does have it's uses. This bumps up your maximum range from 10.2km up to 12.2km. Keep in mind your shell flight time is almost 1s per kilometer at those ranges. Tier 4, Radio Location. Like high tier IJN Destroyers, sometimes it's nice to know where the things you don't want to face in a gunfight are likely to be. I personally would recommend the following builds: Random Battles: Core skills (Demolition Expert and Torpedo Armament Expertise both for a total of 13pts). Then take Inertial Fuse for HE Shells and Adrenaline Rush. Ranked Battles: Core skills (Torpedo Armament Expertise or Demolition Expert, not both to start). Then take Survivability Expert. Spend the last six points where you will based on your play style. For cap control, take Basic Fire Training and Adrenaline Rush. For support, lean closer to Vigilance and Smoke Screen Expert. Finally we come to the scenarios. For Dunkirk, you want to emphasize your AA power (silly, I know, but you'll need it). Your core skills look like this: Take Preventative Maintenance first. No surface ships will be targeting you with their main batteries. Next, take Last Stand. The artillery will knock out your engines and steering gears on occasion. After that, take Basic Fire Training to buff your AA power. Then take Advanced Fire Training to buff your AA range up to a "massive" 1.44km. This build is pretty useless for outside of the scenario, but what are you going to do? This "AA Build" only works because of the funny low-health values of planes in this specific scenario, so don't hold any illusions this has any worth outside of it. Some other useful skills include: Tier 2, Jack of All Trades, to help bring your smoke generator off cool down faster. Tier 2, Smoke Screen Expert, to give your allied ships more cover when you drop your smoke. Tier 3, Vigilance, to spot those torpedoes sooner. That's it. This is such a specialized build, I really doubt anyone will have the spare Captain to do it, but maybe you have more doubloons available than sense? When in doubt, you can always suicide-torp battleships at close range. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Gallant is very much like IJN Destroyers where she requires just a little more understanding of destroyer game play to make her perform. She isn't utterly dependent upon her torpedoes for doing damage, but without a good grasp of how best to optimize them, inexperienced players will find this ship frustrating. The good news is that her guns are quite comfortable to play with. The bad news is that her guns will get her into more trouble than not which is a formula for disappointing many consumers. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Gallant will challenge players to really master aiming their torpedoes manually without the use of the leading marker. This is a new skill for some players to learn and it will only improve their overall game play. This bumps up her carry potential somewhat in the hands of a true expert. Her guns are also quite serviceable in the right circumstances, but knowing when to fight and when to cut your losses is something that comes only with experience (or spider sense). The Sharktank HMS Gallant can be a thorn in the side of the enemy team throughout a match if played properly. My overall impression is that she is very good at one thing—launching torpedoes from concealment. Her single-fire torpedo launchers enable her to achieve more hits than the wide-spread setting. This is exceptionally useful in launching torpedoes at ships that are bow-on, such as those charging a smoke screen. However, this may also result in missing all torpedoes if they are improperly aimed. Gallant benefits from excellent maneuverability and a tight turning circle, which enables her to weave and dodge incoming fire if spotted. Much like the British cruisers, Gallant is most effective when maintaining her concealment, whether it be in a smoke-screen or skirting her detection range. Her mediocre HP pool and poor gun performance mean that direct engagements with cruisers and other destroyers are not recommended unless in self-defense. Her abysmal anti-aircraft armament rating means that an enemy carrier may freely fly squadrons of planes over the Gallant, keeping her spotted. To have a great battle, it is imperative to pick-and-choose engagements wisely. Because of this, Gallant truly excels when she has a commander that is specialized with Concealment Expert. This provides Gallant with a 2-kilometer stealth-firing window for torpedoes, and ample range for maneuvering and repositioning while avoiding detection. Gallant’s playstyle is very appealing, but it is important that players have a solid understanding of spotting and detection mechanics in-order to utilize Gallant to her maximum potential. She is not the type of ship that can outgun an enemy destroyer in the beginning of the game after charging into the objective. Instead, patience and smart tactics will result in players being rewarded with opportunities to take advantage of Gallant’s primary strength, her torpedo armament. In summary, I feel that Gallant is a strong torpedo boat, but suffers from being situational, especially in matches with aircraft carriers. It requires a patient and vigilant captain who takes note of the positions where enemy ships were last spotted to predict their movements. These predictions are essential in maintaining concealment and succeeding in carrying out ambush style attacks on enemy ships, a tactic that Gallant excels at. Mouse's Summary: Gallant plays closer to an IJN DD than a Soviet or USN Destroyer Single fire torpedoes are nice .. but only if you can aim. They'll be a detriment otherwise. Her guns feel more comfortable to use than her torpedoes, but her torpedoes are more powerful than her guns. Like IJN Destroyers, she becomes more deadly the longer she can survive into the match. If you die early, you're not getting the most out of this ship. Stay alive. Then she'll shine. HMS Gallant is a pretty uninspiring premium. Her gimmick resides solely in her ability to drop single-fire torpedoes. Should the future British Destroyer line have this ability too, short of them having some flaw (like no HE shells), Gallant isn't going to age well. Her guns are okay, but she doesn't have enough of them and they don't hit hard enough. Her torpedoes are really good, but they didn't blow me away. Specializing a ship around their torpedo armament really makes their performance flirt with feast or famine -- either you have jaw dropping, amazing games or you strike out and muddle through with a pittance of rewards. It frustrated me to no end that her guns are comfortable to use and (generally) suck while her torpedoes are not comfortable to use and (generally) rock. If only I could bring the latter to bear more often without finding myself beached or making myself a bigger target for guns / torpedoes / airplanes. If only the former wouldn't let me down when I find myself going toe to toe with anything more shooty than a Fubuki. For all of the average components that make up HMS Gallant, she's not without her charms. The sum of her parts creates a versatile ship that, while vulnerable to enemy destroyer gunships (and aircraft -- but all destroyers suffer equally there), can still manage to be a thorn in the side of the enemy fleet. Success with this ship hinges on how well a player can make her torpedoes perform. And she's got most of the right tools for facilitating that. She's not slow. She's pretty stealthy. She handles like a dream. She's got enough guns to defend herself. In theory, Gallant should work for most players. I wasn't inspired, however. Gallant didn't romance me the same way some other premiums have -- even the lackluster ones. Is that a flaw of the ship? I think so. I couldn't get excited for this ship. Time will tell if I'm proven wrong and the community embraces this one as one of their own. Would I Recommend? PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Mouse: The big question is how will she do in the Dunkirk scenario? Well, she combines elements of both freely available destroyers. Gallant has the fast gunnery of Anthony and the Smoke Generator of Cyclone, so she'll do alright against the Schnellboots but she'll really struggle to shoot down aircraft unless you've built her with AA pew pews in mind. In regular PVE play, treat her like an IJN Destroyer and you'll do alright. Sharkbait_416: Yes; I would recommend Gallant for PVE battles. At Tier VI, Gallant has minimal service costs. She maintains a fair margin of profitability in well-played PVE battles, but premium consumables should be avoided to maximize income. Gallant fares well against bots due to her concealment. She can provide support to teammates, such as a smoke screen, while also engaging enemy ships with her single-firing torpedo launchers. However, her main battery guns are of a small caliber and suffer from long shell flight times, which makes hitting small and agile targets, such as PT boats, difficult. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Mouse: It all comes down to how well you think you can perform with your torpedoes. Personally, I would give Gallant a pass here. While she's perfectly adequate when top tier, she's really going to struggle when bottom tier in the same manner as Fubuki and Shinonome. If that's your cup of tea or you can stomach being the (severe) underdog, then go nuts, my friend. Sharkbait_416: Yes; I highly recommend Gallant for random battle grinding. She truly shines with a 10-point commander that is specialized with Concealment Expert. With this skill, Gallant has a 2-kilometer stealth-firing window for her torpedoes. Those who are familiar with single-firing torpedo launchers may be able to hit a target with every torpedo in the salvo. Good concealment and high-damage potential equate to a ship which is highly rewarding for those grinding for XP and rewards. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Mouse: Is Gallant better than the other tier VI destroyers for Ranked Battles? She's not better than Anshan or Shinonome, but I would say she's better than Gaede or Farragut in this environment. I'll give her a green-light here, but you'd be much better off with Shinonome or Anshan if you can your hands on them. Sharkbait_416: No; although Gallant is very powerful due to her torpedoes, she is easily countered by aircraft. Additionally, she is not very competitive in a fair fight with other destroyers of the same-tier, due to a smaller pool of hit points and poor gun performance. As much as I like her, Gallant is situational in competitive gaming scenarios. Generally, I would advise players to choose another ship for competitive gaming unless they are extremely competent in maintaining concealment, dodging incoming gunfire, and avoiding overextension on the map. Still, an aircraft carrier can easily ruin Gallant’s match by keeping her spotted with squadrons of aircraft. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Mouse: Eh. HMS Gallant has some story to her, but my initial reaction when I heard this ship was coming was "why not Glowworm?". I suppose if you want to own a little piece of Dunkirk memorabilia then snag her up. Sharkbait_416: Yes; Gallant served the Royal Navy honorably. Throughout the course of her service history, she saved the lives of nearly 1,500 personnel and sailors. Though she may not have the fame of other ships in the Royal Navy, Gallant served in numerous operations and escorted multiple convoys before being mined in the Mediterranean Sea. With her addition to the game coinciding with the Dunkirk Scenario, players can recreate her heroic actions in saving over 1,466 personnel from the beaches of Dunkirk in May 1940. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Mouse: Nope, I did not enjoy my time with Gallant. Her torpedoes are frustrating to use. Her guns aren't. Her guns suck though and her torpedoes don't. How to frustrate Mouse 101. Sharkbait_416: Yes; Gallant is very fun to play. As mentioned above, a captain specialized with Concealment Expert provides Gallant with a 2-kilometer stealth firing window for her torpedoes. Her single-fire launchers allow for the possibility of hitting every torpedo in a salvo. Gallant does best in battles with a high number of battleships and no aircraft carriers. In such games, Gallant can inflict serious casualties on the enemy team. It’s very satisfying to watch a single-file line of 8 torpedoes swim toward a battleship, knowing the unsuspecting battleship is in for a world of hurt! 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.
  23. The only real change to the Gremyashchy since I first reviewed her was the inclusion of camouflage for premium ships. And she looks rather dashing her in her off-white scheme. Quick Summary: A Soviet Gnevny-class destroyer with improved agility, concealment , torpedoes and HE rounds. Patch & Date Written: 0.5.16.0 - December 25th, 2016 Cost: Originally only sold individually or as a part of a pre-order bundle in Spring of 2015. During Christmas of 2016, many players reported acquiring them through the "Santa's Secret Stash" promotion. Closest in-Game Contemporary Anshan, Tier 6 Premium Pan-Asian DestroyerDegree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique I got quite upset, once upon a time, when various players reported that the Anshan was effectively a tier 6 Gremyashchy. I made it a personal mission to dispel this illusion, perhaps a little too vehemently. The two ships do share a lot of similarities, but the Anshan is a far cry from the second coming of the Gremyashchy. While superficially similar, the Asian destroyer doesn't have the same agility, high explosive shells or stealth capabilities of the pre-order vessel. PROs Good muzzle velocity and flat shell trajectory with her 130mm rifles with an impressive 11.9km range. Excellent AP performance with a high alpha strike of 2,500 per shell. Quite capable of stacking citadels upon cruisers that leave their broadside exposed at medium to close ranges. Better HE performance than any contemporary Soviet Destroyers, with 1,900 alpha strike and a base 9% to start fires with each hit. This makes her one of the best fire starting Destroyers in the game. Very good torpedoes with an 8km range and 14,400 maximum damage. Tiny turning circle of 510m and short rudder shift time of 2.7s Excellent concealment values while firing, giving her a 1.0km stealth firing window even without premium camouflage or Captain Skills. CONs Very low armour values of 10mm along nearly the whole length of her hull. British 152mm AP shells will easily overmatch this preventing her from being able to angle against it. Horrible gun traverse, with a 5° per second turret rotation (36s for 180°). The ship easily out turns them. Poor fire angles on her #3 turret. Torpedoes are slow at 55 knots. Large surface detection range for a tier 5 destroyer at 7.0km base. The sun sets on 2016. I'm very curious to see how much the game will change in 2017 and what effect it will have on the various premium ships I've looked at over the last year. Nothing has really changed on the Gremyashchy since I first reviewed her. However, the game has changed around her over the last year. Soviet and British cruisers have joined the ranks. So too have German Battleships and another handful of Japanese Destroyers. The module system got tweaked and Captain Skills were overhauled. Finally, and perhaps most significantly, Matchmaker changes pit the Gremyashchy more and more against what could be considered more fair opposition for this relic of the past. To be certain, the Gremyashchy is a fossil. Like the Warspite, she's a snapshot of World of Warships from an earlier time, representing norms that no longer exist. She used to be a middle-road destroyer with worse gunnery and brawling ability to the USN Nicholas and significantly worse torpedoes to the IJN Minekaze. She couldn't hold a candle to these two rival destroyers in their chosen areas of excellence and this made her seem a bit of a poor choice overall -- so much so that many players passed up the chance to purchase her when she was available. I cannot stress this enough: The Gremyashchy was often overlooked in favour of the Yubari and Sims at the time. Those that saw her merits loved her, but she was so often dismissed. With the typical attrition of the player base over time, the Gremyashchy has become an increasingly rare sight until recently. While it remains possible to earn a Gremyashchy through a Super Container, the 2016 Christmas Promotion, "Santa's Secret Stash" has yielded a significant number of these ships to the player base. This is by no means guaranteed, of course. The more premium ships a player owned already, the more likely they were to draw this ship as the loot containers seemed loathe to duplicate vessels already owned. While some seemed to acquire her with ease, others have gone through a long frustration of receiving anything but. To this end, I thought it prudent to revisit the Gremyashchy and express what all the fuss is about. Options The Gremyashchy is very predictable when it comes to her options. All of her consumables and module slots are standard for her nationality. There's nothing out of the ordinary here. Consumables: Damage Control Party Smoke Generator Engine Boost Module Upgrades: Three slots, standard destroyer options.Premium Camouflage: Tier 2 to 5 Standard. This provides 30% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Firepower Primary Battery: Four 130mm rifles in four turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration Torpedo Armament: Six 533mm torpedoes in 2x3 dorsal launchers. Let's start with Torpedoes. Like the Molotov, the Gremyashchy is armed with a weapon system of a comparable Soviet ship several tiers higher than it. While the Molotov gets the same guns as the tier 9 Dmitri Donskoi, the Gremyashchy gets a similar torpedo armament of the tier 8 Tashkent. If this raises a few alarm bells; it should. The Tashkent's torpedoes are terrible for a tier 8 ship. All joking aside, the Gremyashchy has torpedoes that now compete very closely to its tier 5 counterparts, but this wasn't always the case. To best understand the Gremyashchy's weapon systems and why they're considered so overpowered, you have to look at her competition when she was first introduced. Her only contemporaries at the time were the Minekaze and Nicholas, but these ships were very different at the time of their inception. Let's start by comparing their torpedo armaments from the Closed-Beta era. Values were pulled from World of Warships Closed Beta, around Patch 0.3.1.3 While it's perhaps common knowledge that the Minekaze was a better torpedo ship when compared to the Gremyashchy, it's important to appreciate just how much better the Minekaze was. While both ships had comparable hitting power with individual torpedoes, the Minekaze fired her torpedoes 50% faster than the Gremyashchy. Her fish moved at higher speeds regardless of which armament she elected to use. With her 1.1km surface detection range advantage over the Gremyashchy, she could get closer to her prey to help guarantee hits or sit way back and never risk detection with her 10km torpedoes. The Nicholas' torpedoes were designed for close quarters brawling. Let's look at how things have changed. Note the drop in reaction times. Tier 4 and 5 is always a kick in the teeth for novice Battleship Captains that don't appreciate that you need to dodge torpedoes long before they're spotted. The Minekaze has fallen a long way since Closed Beta. While she retains a blistering rate of fire, that's about all she can now claim. When we look at the Gremyashchy, she appeared to only be a modest torpedo boat in Closed Beta. However, it would be hard to argue that she's not one of the most attractive torpedo platforms at tier 5 currently, with only the Kamikaze, Mutsuki and T-22 being comparable or better. It should be noted that her torpedo armament does not stand head and shoulders over her competition, but that it merely remains competitive. She has the slowest torpedoes at tier 5 and one of the largest surface detection ranges. This requires her to launch torpedoes from further out, making it more likely for her to miss from minor course adjustments of her prey. The Gremyashchy doesn't have better torpedoes than any of her tier 5 counterparts. However, she is no longer outdone by them to any significant degree like she was when she was introduced. Now let's take a look at her Guns. Main BatteryThere are only a couple of downsides to the Gremyashchy's guns. The first is the most obvious: She has horrible gun traverse rates. Needing 36s to complete a 180° rotation, this can feel downright punitive until Captain Skills or modules are used to accelerate it. Still, even with all of the boosts available, the Gremyashchy can and will out turn her guns with even the smallest adjustments of her rudder. This will often get novice Gremyashchy players in trouble as they'll abstain from conducting any maneuvers at all while under fire, leading to predictable deaths from enemy gun and torpedo fire. The second setback is a minor one. Her #3 rifle has her fire angles impaired by a pair of 12.7mm machine gun mounts. This can only rotate forward to 53° while her #4 can reach as far forward as 30°. These drawbacks aside, it's hard to see the Gremyashchy's main battery as being anything but superior to her contemporaries at tier 5. In fact, it's not until you stack her against tier 7 ships that her performance begins to wane. Like her torpedoes, this again wasn't always the case. The Nicholas used to be a much better close-range gunnery platform to the Gremyashchy, back before the changes to AP and HE shells around 0.3.1 and through to 0.3.1.3. This saw AP and HE switch places in terms of primacy where destroyer shooting was concerned and the Nicholas never really recovered. After 0.3.1.3 in Closed Beta, the Gremyashchy began standing on par with the Nicholas or exceeding her and she's never really looked back since. Currently at tier 5, the Gremyashchy has the best AP shell, the second best HE shell behind only the premium Kamikaze-class Destroyers. Yet she's the best fire starter at her tier. On top of this, she has the excellent ballistic arcs found on the IJN ships yet without the range limitations. The Gremyashchy has a 1km reach advantage over the Nicholas and T-22 and only falls behind them in terms of rate of fire. It gets worse when you compare her to the lead of her class. She dodged the 0.5.2 nerf that shaved 300hp off of Soviet HE shells and dropped their fire chance from 9%,which the Gremyashchy retains, to 7% (this was later buffed back up to 8%). On top of this, she doesn't suffer the 2.0km additional surface detection range "tax" added to all Soviet 130mm Destroyer caliber guns. This allows her to stealth fire from the surface while stock at a range of 10.9km or greater. Once combined with Captain Skills and camouflage, this stealth-window gets absolutely insane. Summary Perhaps now you can start to see the issue with the Gremyashchy. She has not only an excellent main armament but she also has an excellent torpedo armament. No other destroyer at her tier mixes these two systems to the same effect. She doesn't meet any serious challengers to this kind of balanced mix of main battery & torpedo armament until the tier 7 Destroyers and she can almost keep up with those! Best overall gun performance at her tier. Highly competitive torpedo armament. Capable of using both weapon systems from concealment while stock. The only real downside is her sluggish turret traverse. Arguably the equivalent of a modest tier 7 destroyer in terms of firepower. The Gremyashchy's guns are horribly overpowered with ridiculous stealth characteristics. However, don't overlook her torpedoes. They are phenomenal in their own right. While leaning on only a single weapon system will still net you great games, using the right combinations of AP, HE and Torpedoes will allow you to utterly dominate in a given match. Maneuverability Top Speed: 37.0 knots Turning Radius: 510m Rudder Shift Time: 2.7s If you were hoping to see some form of moderation appear here, you're out of luck. Back in patch 0.3.1, the Gremyashchy had her turning circle kicked down from 630m to its current 510m. This was countered by a 6.0s rudder shift time, but clearly that didn't stick. So now she enjoys the best of both worlds and it's not like every other destroyer can say the same. She has the tightest turning circle at her tier and a very competitive rudder shift time. It should be noted that this agility comes with the price of being quite apt at out turning her turret traverse. While this may be frustrating, remember short of lining up a kill shot, it's always preferable to focus on evasion over doing damage in a destroyer. She's not the fastest destroyer (that honour goes to the Minekaze at 39.0 knots) but her own top speed is competitive enough to keep pace with everything she might face. Durability Hit Points: 13,100 Maximum Protection: 13mm Min Bow & Deck Armour: 10mm It probably comes as no surprise that the Gremyashchy is lightly armoured. What may surprise some of my readers is that she's more lightly armoured than most other destroyers at her tier -- and this can be a real problem thanks to the inclusion of the Royal Navy cruisers. It takes a minimum of 11mm of armour to be able to bounce the 152mm AP shells that the British cruisers fire. Though the Gremyashchy has these values along her deck and turret faces (as do all destroyers), she does not have them along her hull. This makes it impossible for her to angle against incoming AP fire from British warships and attempt some lucky ricochets -- something that all of the other destroyers can. This may seem like a small weakness, but it's worth keeping in mind. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 7.0km Air Detection Range: 3.6km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 6.1km Concealment Penalty while Firing: +3.9km (vs 11.9km gun range) This is the last piece of the puzzle which describes exactly why Wargaming will not sell the Gremyashchy anymore. She doesn't suffer from the same concealment penalties that have afflicted Soviet and German Destroyers. The original concealment penalty calculation when firing guns is 0.03 times the shell diameter. Soviet Destroyers add an additional 2.0km to this range and German Destroyers add 3.5km. Not so the Gremyashchy. The result is that while stock, she has a 1.0km stealth firing window (1.2km with her camouflage) when using her main battery. When Captain Skills are thrown into the mix, this can allow the Gremyashchy to sit just beyond 10km of an enemy and pour fire into her without risking detection. Keep in mind, at these ranges she can potentially citadel a light cruiser with her AP rounds or accurately place HE shells on each separate section of a Battleship to maximize fires. This is also close enough to continue pelting an enemy destroyer with a reasonable chance of landing shells on target even when they evade. Short of Wargaming overhauling the stealth-firing mechanics for the game as a whole (such as changing the stealth firing penalty to shell diameter * 0.04 or higher) , the Gremyashchy will always be overpowered in this regard. A mid-tier CV's worst nightmare: An alert Gremyashchy within gun range. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 76mm / 37mm / 12.7mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 3.0km / 3.2km / 1.2kmAA DPS per Aura: 4 / 23 / 17 For a mid-tier Destroyer, the Gremyashchy's anti-aircraft firepower is rather decent. It's not great by any means. I wouldn't trust it to shoot down anything before it made its attack run, but it may bruise any planes sent to linger around her in order to keep her spotted. Most of the time, though, you're best to just leave this turned off. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme The potential for this ship is enormous. Like many destroyers, she's not quite user-friendly enough that just anyone will be able to take her out and score big each and every time. Without an appreciation for stealth mechanics, without respecting ammunition choices and proper consumable management, the Gremyashchy will fail to deliver. The tools are all there, don't get me wrong, but a novice can still easily mishandle this little monster. But in terms of raw carry potential? The sky's the limit. If you see one of these ships on the enemy team, take any opportunity to delete it as of paramount importance. In the right hands, there are some ships on your team that do not stand a chance -- full stop. Slow "brick" Battleships are meat on the table. Light Cruisers without long-range detection consumables like Radar or Aircraft are horribly vulnerable. A Gremmy player that knows how to ride the knife edge of detection, that keeps map awareness up and juggles shell management like a boss will give any team a very, very bad day. Pray you can detonate the fiend. Mouse's Summary: What weaknesses? Seriously... Good guns, good torps, good stealth, good concealment, good agility... Need I go on? Let's hope that any changes to stealth firing in the future also affect the Gremyashchy, or she's only going to get worse. In her current state, she belongs at tier 7. Studying the Gremyashchy is fascinating. In writing this review, I spent a lot of time looking up her original stats from back in Closed Beta. This is no easy feat. Wargaming no longer appears to host the Patch Notes from those times on the North American or European Servers and a lot of changes were undocumented. It was only through reviews and replays that I could get a clear image of what she was compared to what she is now. A lot of the information was piecemeal. It was difficult enough to find what I wanted for the Gremyashchy and down right impossible to also find Minekaze and Nicholas data from the same patch. Changes were rampant back between patches 3.1 to 3.1.3 with a see-saw of gunnery statistics as the primacy of AP was diminished and HE became dominant. It has to be said that the Gremyashchy came out of Closed Beta in a very healthy state. This isn't something all Premiums can boast (I'm looking at you, Atlanta). But it wasn't just the changes to Closed Beta that put the Gremyashchy on top. It's been the continued refinement (some might describe it as an erosion) of the balance at tier 5. The 3.5km surface detection penalty while firing on German Destroyers looks downright punitive in the current meta. It makes the 2.0km surface detection penalty on the Soviet Destroyers look downright manageable. The Minekaze is a hollow shell of her former self. And if rumours are to be believed, the Kamikaze-class will no longer be made available for purchase in the future. It's clear the environment at tier 5 is becoming all the more forgiving for the Gremmy as serious competition is being shackled by more moderated stats. I seriously considered measuring the Gremmy not against the tier 5s but against the tier 7 destroyers. It was shocking to see just how close she came to the likes of the Leningrad. While she's lacking on DPM, as she is presently, I do think she could slot in at tier 7 provided stealth gunnery does not change in the future -- yes, I think she's that powerful. It would be a tough sell which is why I wussed out and decided to instead focus on her Closed Beta statistics. Cross drop? No problem. The Gremmy's agility makes dodging fish look easy. Would I Recommend? Like the Imperator Nikolai I, there's only two ways presently to acquire the Gremyashchy. The first is to find her in a Super Container earned through the daily experience grind. The more Premium ships you own, the more likely you are to finally get one, so that's pretty cool. I can only imagine how awesome it would feel to get her this way ... and how frustrating it must be if you've pinned your hopes on this. The other option is with the Christmas 2016 sale where players could buy different sized loot containers. I wish there was some actual data on the odds of earning a rare ship through this promotion. There are a lot of anecdotal experiences that can be found on Reddit or the official forums. It seems that similar to Super Containers above, the more Premium Ships a player owns, the more likely they are to acquire a Gremyashchy. But this is by no means certain. Anyone hoping to beat the odds should be careful with their coin. Getting the Gremyashchy, while it seems to be possible, may not be likely. For Random Battle Grinding The Gremyashchy is a PUB stomping monster. She's a perfect choice for someone looking to help train their Soviet Captains, to earn a few extra credits or simply to farm awards like Kraken Unleashed. I cannot recommend her enough for this. For Competitive Gaming If you have the option of using the Gremyashchy in some form of competitive arena, then she's an excellent choice. For Collectors Meh? For many of us in the West, the Gremyashchy has more value as a rare-ship in this game than for her historical achievements. She is one of the few Soviet Warships that saw surface action in WWII, engaging German Destroyers. For Fun Factor She's one of my most played ships for a reason. I just wish I didn't feel so dirty afterwards... How to Equip your Gremyashchy There should be no real surprises here. Recommended Modules As a tier 5 ship, there's only three module slots to contend with. For your first slot, take Magazine Modification 1 to reduce buzz-killing, horrendous kablooies. You have a choice for your second slot between Aiming Systems Modifaction 1 and Main Battery Modification 2. Which you take largely depends on the Concealment rating of your Gremmy. If you specialize her through your Captain Skills for range and stealth, the former will be more valuable as you will not need to maneuver your ship as often. Without them, then the latter is the better choice. This will keep your guns on target longer and offsets any loss to your DPM as a result. Guess what? The third slot modules are still terrible. Take whichever one you like. Recommended Consumables As a destroyer, I strongly recommend taking a premium version of your Smoke Generator. This will add an extra charge, but more importantly, it will also reduce the reset timer to 80s from 120s. It's up to you if you want to use premium versions of the other two consumables. I personally use a premium Damage Control Party, but most games it's largely superfluous. Those few times it has come in handy, it's more to bail out my own stupidity than any necessity predicated by ship performance. Recommended Captain Skills The big choice with the Gremyashchy is whether to push for Concealment bonuses right away or to linger in the lower tiered skills for more quality of life improvements. Here's how it breaks down. At the first tier, Basic Fire Training is your best choice. This bumps up her rate of fire to 13.2rpm. There's no surprise that as a destroyer, you'll want Last Stand first and foremost. However, you'll also (desperately) want Expert Marksman. And lastly, Torpedo Armament Expertise is also highly coveted to reduce that reload timer, but consider this a tertiary skill. At tier 3, Superintendent is still the best choice, if only for the extra charge on your Smoke Generator. At tier 4, there are two skills worth considering. Advanced Fire Training may seem like the obvious choice. This will increase your range up to 14.3km and boost your stealth firing window from 1.2km (with camouflage) to 3.6km. However, with discipline, you can just as easily manage without it and take Demolition Expert instead to increase your fire chance to 12% per shell. If you didn't double up on tier 4 skills, then Concealment Expert is the best choice at tier 5. Without Advanced Fire Training, this increases your stealth firing window with torpedoes AND guns to 1.9km. With Advanced Fire Training, your gun window opens up to 4.3km which is stupidly overpowered. For more articles in this series, please visit: LittleWhiteMouse's Mega Ship Review Guide
  24. USS Black is still a work in progress. Please be aware that all of the statistics and performance discussed here are subject to change before release. Hell and fire was spawned to be released. Quick Summary: A reward-version of the Fletcher-class Destroyer with Radar. Cost: Black is not for sale and can only be earned by achieving Rank One in five seasons of Ranked Battles. Patch & Date Written: 0.6.1, February 11th, 2017. Closest in-Game Contemporary: Fletcher, Tier 9 American DestroyerDegree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique USS Black is a Fletcher-class destroyer but, like most premium ships, she has a few changes to make her stand apart from her sister ships. The changes summarize to the following: Black has access to the USN Radar consumable as an option in her third consumable slot. Her deck armour is 19mm instead of 13mm. The torpedoes she launches are slower, longer ranged and harder hitting than Fletcher's with a faster reload. Black swaps out the two twin-gun 40mm Bofors mounts behind her #2 turret for a pair of twin-gun 20mm Oerlikons instead. She's slower than Fletcher by 1.5 knots. She turns slightly better than Fletcher. PROs Armed with five, rapid fire 127mm rifles. She can fire up to ten 13.7km range torpedoes, doing 21,600 damage each and a with reasonable 96s reload per launcher. Decent anti-aircraft armament for a destroyer, including the option to take Defensive Fire. Excellent handling, including a small 560m turning circle, a 3.0s rudder shift time and 34º per second turret traverse. Good concealment values, dropping down to 5.8km with proper specialization and providing a huge stealth-firing window. USS Black can combine smoke and radar, making her the ultimate spotting & support ship. CONs Her 17,100 hit points are on the low side for a tier 9 destroyer. Horrible gun ballistics which makes gunnery of any target outside of 10km punitive. Her torpedoes are the slowest ship-launched fish in the game at 43 knots, taking a full two minutes to reach maximum range. On the slow side for a higher tier destroyer with a maximum speed of 35 knots. Her consumable "options" aren't really optional. If you take anything other than Radar in her 3rd slot, you're a fool. Doesn't appear to have Missouri's massive credit-earning potential. Here it is. This is the second reward ship for Ranked Battles, requiring primacy in five seasons to unlock her. Even in her preview state, Black has caused a lot of fuss. This seems to be a trend with these reward vessels. This is not likely to ever be a common ship. While it can be argued that over time, more players will have reached rank one in five seasons, the natural attrition of the player base will also see some of these veterans hang up their cap and stop playing. Flint isn't commonplace. Black promises to be even more rare. That doesn't undermine the dangers to the meta that an unbalanced ship can present. Still, the alarm that has met Black's preview statistics has been considerable. While not quite an Alabama Drama Llama in scale, the sky is once again (or is it still?) falling in certain community groups. I stress that what we're seeing presently is nothing more than a preview of the ship and not her final form. Things can change. Hopefully this thorough look into USS Black's current build will provide enough insight to see where changes may or may not be needed. Black shares the same camouflage scheme as USS Flint, the first premium reward ship for Ranked Battles. #GetBoat OptionsBlack has the same options as the Fletcher-class but with the added bonus of getting access to Radar in her third consumable slot. You have to swap out Engine Boost for this. Her Radar is identical to that found on Baltimore and Missouri, with a 9.45km acquisition range for 35 seconds. I firmly believe that Wargaming made a misstep with Black's consumables. Swapping her Engine Boost for Radar is a non-decision with radar being optimal in the majority of situations. A more balanced option would have been to make players of USS Black choose between a Smoke Generator and Radar. Thinking this would balance her is, of course, contingent on believing that a destroyer having radar is acceptable at all. We'll see if this consumable combination survives testing. Consumables: Damage Control Party Smoke Generator Engine Boost or Defensive Fire or Radar Module Upgrades: Six slots, standard USN Destroyer options.Premium Camouflage: Can I call this tier 9+ standard? It provides the same bonus as the Missouri: A 3% concealment bonus, a 4% increase to enemy gunnery dispersion and a 100% bonus to experience gains. Firepower Primary Battery: Five 127mm rifles in single turrets in a superfiring A-B-P-X-Y arrangement. P turret is forward facing behind the torpedo launchers. Torpedo Armament: Ten 533mm tubes in 2x5 launchers mounted before and behind the rear funnel. Black is armed with five 127mm/38 Mark 30 naval rifles. These are the same guns first seen on the Benson-class destroyers at tier 8 without any significant improvement in performance. This staple of the USN Destroyer line is known for its tremendous rate of fire and excellent gun handling but also its famously poor ballistic qualities that lead to a very high shell arc over range. So while Black can potentially dish out monstrous levels of damage, landing those hits is considerably more of a challenge than the 130mm of Soviet Destroyers, for example. These weapons are very much par for the course for American destroyers and offer nothing in the way of surprises for veterans of the American destroyer line. By tier 8, destroyer caliber guns begin to lose the arms race versus the armour values found on capital ships. Even upgraded with Inertial Fuse for HE Shells, her rounds cannot penetrate tier 8+ Battleships anywhere except their superstructure. Her 127mm guns can only penetrate 21mm of armour without the skill while being able to best up to 27mm of armour with it. This value is important -- it's sufficient to damage the bows and sterns of all cruisers and select deck areas on most of these ships. But it's as a destroyer hunter where these guns excel, provided you can close the range. Their very fast turret traverse rate of nearly 34º per second allows the ship to be thrown into evasive maneuvers while maintaining her gun lock on target. This makes her a very real threat to any rival torpedo or gunship. Like USS Sims before it, Black has what the community has often referred to as "naval mine" torpedoes. Their speed is downright laughable at 43 knots (115.1 meters per second under the game's compressed distances). It takes these torpedoes almost a full two minutes to reach the end of their impressive 13.7km range. With a 96s reload, this allows you to put a second salvo in the water before the first is little more than 3/4s done their first run. The good news is that they have a very short surface detection range of 0.9km. However, given their slow speed, her targets have approximately 7.8s worth of reaction time which is fairly standard. Their real weakness is if they're picked up early. They're so slow that some ships can turn away and even outrun the darned things.Black's torpedoes are, at best, area denial weapons. While possible to ambush someone at point blank range and make their life miserable (and short), more often they're used as a fire and forget series of water-mines, helping push the Reds away from a given area. During testing, there was a bug present where Black's torpedoes weren't doing anywhere close to the right amount of damage. Though listed as capping out at 21,600, their damage was all over the map and never where it should have been. Several of the testers and I took USS Black out into training rooms and slammed fish into various bots, ensuring we got midship strikes with single torpedoes. Strikes against ships without anti-torpedo defenses never got higher than 12,804 damage. Hits to the Yamato's torpedo bulges did 8,368. Yet hits to a Mogami (A-Hull) did 13,093 while hits against the upgraded (C-Hull) did 12,397 damage. This is despite the torpedo bulges for these three respective ships reducing damage by 55%, 13% and 18% respectively. The math doesn't add up. Bug reports were filled out. Did I mention this ship was still very much a work in progress? Black's torpedoes will be a heck of a lot more fun to use when they work properly. Maneuverability Top Speed: 35.0 knots Turning Radius: 560m Rudder Shift Time: 3.0s The Fletcher-class, and by extension USS Black, has great agility. With a tiny turning circle and excellent rudder shift time, Black appears equally well set up to dodge fire as Fletcher. However, it should be noted that she's 1.5 knots slower than her sister ship. But there's more to this ship than that. Black bleeds speed faster than Fletcher does in a turn while maintaining a comparable maximum speed with her rudder hard over. It takes Fletcher approximately 20.4s to drop down to 30.6 knots in a turn while Black will drop to 30.3 knots in roughly 12.9s. This makes the Fletcher "skid" more through the first leg of the turn while Black's hull bites in. Thus, Black has a quarter of a second's advantage in progressing through a 90º turn at top speed and almost two-thirds of a second for full a 360º turn. Though Black has the same rudder shift time and turning radius of Fletcher, Black is slightly more agile in a turn despite their similar stat profile. Who'd have thought? Durability Hit Points: 17,100 Min Bow & Deck Armour: 19mm One of the strange differences between Black and Fletcher is Black's deck armour. It's 19mm on Black versus the 13mm found on Fletcher. This isn't a significant change but it has two highly situational benefits. First, it provides some protection against high explosive shells smaller than 120mm in diameter. HE Shells of this size, without a buff from the tier 4 Captain Skill, Inertial Fuse for HE Shells will simply shatter on impact for no damage. However, this caliber of gun isn't too commonplace within Black's matchmaking spread, being limited to the main battery of the Akizuki and the secondaries off of Russian and German Cruisers (yeah, like those are worth fussing over) and some of secondaries off of German Battleships (okay, THOSE are worth fussing about). Second, 19mm armour provides some defense against AP shells. Anything smaller than the 283mm off the Schanrhorst is unable to overmatch Black's armour. If (for whatever reason) a heavy cruiser decided to shoot AP shells, this creates a chance for the shells to ricochet off her deck if they come in at too shallow an angle. Yes, I know. Neither benefit is going to come into play very often. Overall, Black's hit points are on the low side for a Destroyer -- well behind the German Z-46 and the Soviet Destroyers (including the new ones which are also works in progress). It's only against the Yugumo that she has any advantage. Thus, engaging enemy destroyers isn't without risk -- Black simply doesn't have the big hit point totals to trade fire effectively, especially if she begins to struggle to land hits. This Akizuki didn't have the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells skill on her Captain. Short of hitting Black's superstructure, she couldn't hurt her with her HE. Had she been shooting a Fletcher, it's possible some of the splashes against her upper hull might have struck the deck and penetrated, but that's very unlikely given their flat trajectory at this close range. Concealment and Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 7.4kmAir Detection Range: 4.0kmMinimum Surface Detection Range: 5.8kmConcealment Penalty while Main Battery Fire: +3.81km (vs 12.9km gun range) Black has excellent concealment values for a tier 9 destroyer, bested only by the Yugumo. When fully kitted out for stealth, she weighs in with a 5.8km surface detection range and just over 9.6km when firing her guns in open water. Without boosting her range with Advanced Fire Training, this gives the ship a 3.3km stealth-firing window with her main battery. It's not unreasonable to see why there's very little need to extend the range of Black's guns, especially given the punitive ballistics at targets more than 10km away. More importantly is how this rather small surface detection range allows Black to shadow enemy ships and keep them spotted. There is no ship currently in the game that is as adept at spotting as Black. By keeping her guns silent, she can creep along, trailing enemy vessels from a safe distance. Should they try and blow smoke, she can make use of her Radar consumable which has a 9.45km range to continue to provide eyes on a beleaguered target. The only answer to such sneaky spotting tactics is to hope that a friendly ship can spot Black and put an end to her shenanigans, usually in the form of aircraft or an enemy vessel also equipped with radar, like a Soviet Cruiser. Black's worth is often measured by how well she can support her team. Black gives you some very powerful tools for controlling vision, with an American Smoke Generator, which provides 127s worth of cover to team mates while at the same time lighting up the enemy. In this way, under ideal circumstances your team can see the enemy and the enemy won't see yours. Black can continue to contribute by dropping her fish without losing her concealment values. Where her torpedoes are concerned, Black has an enormous stealth firing window when specialized for concealment. This is an obscene 7.9km. However, it should be noted that it will take Black's torpedoes 52 seconds to reach a target that's a mere 6km out. That's a long time for a ship not to make any course adjustments, so it's best not to use the lead indicator on the torpedoes and instead go for more of an area-denial approach to hedge your bets. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Gun Battery Calibers: 127mm / 40mm / 20mm AA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.5km / 2.0km AA DPS per Aura: 54 / 34 / 37 It's possible (though admittedly a bit of a waste with Black) to turn this ship into a passable AA escort. It's unlikely that this ship will ever be without some form of buff to its AA firepower, as Captain Skills aimed at improving her firepower will also affect her AA suite. This provides Black with an approximate DPS value per Aura of 64 / 41 / 45 which is rather respectable, especially for a destroyer. However, this isn't going to dissuade tier 9 and 10 air-groups from loitering in your vicinity. It's only with a heavy investment in skills and (for some reason) taking Defensive Fire that Black can make her anti-aircraft armament into a very real threat to enemy attack planes. As this would require you to drop Surveillance Radar, it's really not worth it. Black's AA firepower is enough to dent attack plane squadrons. But like most destroyers, you'll want to keep your AA turned off most of the time. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Playing destroyers in general isn't easy. However, Black is a little more forgiving than most. The Fletcher-class is already one of the better destroyers at tier 9 (and arguably, in the game as a whole). Black provides a set of training wheels in the form of her radar consumable to make life just that little bit easier for an inexperienced player. In the hands of a veteran, the combination of Black's consumables, concealment rating, agility and torpedo armament make her an enormous threat to the enemy team. For players who enjoy the support role, I can think of few ships as exciting as the (arguably overpowered) potential that Black provides. With the monopoly on radar for a ship with such a small surface detection range, Black will inspire many rage-threads in the future, I have little doubt. This ship lives to use and abuse spotting mechanics and strip any pretense of vision control from the enemy in local engagements. Mouse's Summary: Black is a Fletcher-class destroyer with Radar. If you didn't know it already, the Fletcher-class is hella-good in World of Warships. And now it has radar. The most rewarding use of this ship is through the control of vision in an engagement. Spot the enemy and protect your own team with smoke. The torpedo bug annoyed me to no end. Black is still very much a work in progress. Be aware this is a preview, people, not a review. So, this is a rather late preview. It's not a lack of effort, but moreover from a change in preview policies from Wargaming itself. Community Contributors should be getting earlier access to ships. What's more, we should also be providing our content much earlier within development cycle. But this in turn presents a problem: Ships early in their development cycle aren't necessarily well balanced and are likely to undergo a change or two before release. This should explain why I'm saying, over and over, this is a preview. This is why you'll see "Work in Progress" (WiP) watermarks on videos produced by my fellow contributors. It's also why there was a bit of concern about articles like these going into extensive depth about the current statistics of a ship rather than simply a broad overview. My own release was delayed until I got the specific okay to go into the minutia of this upcoming release. Playing USS Black was a real treat for me. First, it's a Fletcher-class and I have a real soft spot for the Fletcher. When I was little, my father had an old DOS-box he liked to keep running long past obsolescence which had a game "Wolfpack" on it. This pit Type VII, IX and XXI U-Boats against American Fletcher-class destroyers. It had a hot-seat PVP mode. My father would always play the Germans and I would get to take my turn as the Fletchers trying to defend my poor freighters and tankers from his predation. This mostly involved me chasing after his pillenwerfer and blowing the snot out of them with copious amounts of depth charges and hedgehog mortars. My father loved lording his gaming superiority over his then eight-year old daughter... USS Black brings back the warm fuzzies of those memories. Instead of chasing down U-Boats, I instead get to chase down enemy ships trying to hide in smoke while screening my own forces. It's a very rewarding style of play and it's such a shame that it's limited currently only to the Black. With that said, it's not without its dangers to the meta of game play. If Wargaming were to make such a combination more commonplace (either through many USS Blacks becoming available within the community or through the addition of Radar to a destroyer-line), combat in and around capture points would certainly chance towards the more passive. The only thing worse about being the first ship spotted is being the only ship spotted and focused by the entire enemy team. I personally think that combining radar AND smoke one a low surface-detection ship is the wrong way to go. I hope to see USS Black have to choose between the two. But who knows? We'll see how her development continues. In Closing As a final reminder, take what you've read in this preview with a pinch of salt. There's plenty to discuss, maybe even a few elements to be concerned about but I would hold off on brandishing torches and pitchforks if you object too strongly about something you see in USS Black. Similarly, don't get too excited or married to the idea of a particular combination of stats if you think this ship is a must-have. Things will change.
  25. While steps have been taken to ensure accuracy, Okhotnik was a work in progress at the time of testing. Please be aware that all of the statistics and performance discussed here are subject to change before release. HMS TOG II* eat your heart out. Quick Summary: A Viking long-ship. A TOG II* in World of Warships form. A fish story. A destroyer that's happy to see you. A meme waiting to happen. Patch & Date Written: 0.6.1 - February 16th, 2017 Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publication. Closest in-Game Contemporary Izyaslav, Tier 4 Russian DestroyerDegree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Okhotnik feels like something that would be concocted if someone was trying to describe the Izyaslav in a fish story. She's an exaggeration of the tier 4 Russian destroyer in almost every dimension (particularly length) while still keeping close enough to the source material. She really should be a cruiser, but she's not. PROs Armed with seven (!) 130mm rifles, delivering a massive alpha strike potential per volley. All guns can rotate 360º, allowing for easier re-engagement of targets from one side to the other. Also armed with twelve (!) dorsally mounted (!!) torpedo tubes divided between four launchers. Fast reload time on her torpedoes of 47s per launcher. Her torpedoes provide some of the shortest reaction-time for her opponents with a mere 1.0km detection range. This gives targets about 6s to respond. Good concealment values for a ship of her length, with a 6.5km surface detection range while stock. She looks absolutely hilarious. CONs Short ranged main battery with a reach of 9.2km Horrible turret traverse of 5.5º per second. Receives the 2.0km Soviet-destroyer stealth-tax to her surface detection range when she fires her main battery for a total penalty of +5.9km. Her torpedoes are short ranged with restricted forward fire angles. Pathetic AA armament and a big target for enemy aircraft -- because she's long. Enormous turning circle of 730m and slow rotation speed of 6º per second. Because long ship is long. Heavy reliance on a significant number of Captain Skills to make the ship competitive and enjoyable. Okhotnik makes me think of what would happen if you asked a small group of six year old children to design a destroyer and they each tried to one-up each other. “My destroyer is going to have four guns and six torpedoes.”“Yes, but MY destroyer is going to have FIVE guns and EIGHT torpedoes!” By the time you get to the kid that designs Clemson, with her twelve torpedoes and six rifles, you know things are getting a bit out of hand. The Okhotnik is the next abomination to be conceived and you should probably stop the exercise there before someone reinvents the Kitakami.This thing looks ridiculous. As a weapon system, Okhotnik looks as subtle as stuffing a brick into a sweat sock and swinging it around your head. It's cumbersome, awkward and things get horribly stretched out. It's also absolutely devastating when it lands a blow. I normally reserve all accusatory judgments to the end of the article but I'll say this right from the start: Provided you've got a highly-experienced Captain at the helm with the right skills, you're going to love playing this thing. Okhotnik is hilarious looking and a riot to play. She can be an overpowered little monster in her current iteration and there's only a few checks in place to give her the illusion of balance.Lert's joining me to show you how she compares directly to her competitors while I go over the nitty-gritty to explain how she can be used and abused. The Lertbox Mmh? ... I'm up. I'm awake, promise. zzzz .... What? Oh. Right. Okhotnik. Okhotnik has a very distinct (and low) silhouette. This latter trait plays very much to her advantage, making her difficult to shoot. Options No surprises here. Okhotnik uses the same three-tone camouflage scheme found on Imperator Nikolai I and Aurora. Consumables: Damage Control Party Smoke Generator Engine Boost Module Upgrades: Three slots, standard destroyer options.Premium Camouflage: Tier 2 to 5 Standard. This provides 30% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. As with most ships, you'll want to splurge on premium versions of consumables on an “as you can afford” basis. I strongly recommend taking a premium version of Okhotnik's Smoke Generator and Damage Control Party. A premium Engine Boost consumable is also nice to have, but it's not necessary. For her module choices, it's the same picks you'll take for most destroyers. For your first slot, Magazine Modification 1 is your best choice. Your guns are fragile, though, so if being detonated doesn't bother you, then taking Main Armaments Modification 1 is a reasonable alternative. In your second slot, you have a choice. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is best. This reduces your maximum dispersion by 7m at 11km... which isn't a lot, but it is preferable to assist with your torpedo traverse. Alternatively, you can take Main Battery Modification 2 to increase your turret traverse but this comes at a minor loss to DPM. And for your third slot, take whatever because they're all terrible. Firepower Primary Battery: Seven 130mm rifles, two on the bow and five on the stern. None of these guns are superfiring. Torpedo Armament: Twelve tubes in 4x3 launchers Okhotnik naval rifles are the 130mm/55 B-7 and she gets a lot of them. This gun was first introduced to us last year with Krasny Krym, the modernized version of Svietlana. These are also found on Podvoisky, the new tier 5 Destroyer supplanting the Gnevny-class. They differ somewhat from the 130mm B-13s that are found on the higher tier Soviet destroyers. They have a slightly lower muzzle velocity and a worse penetrating shell. These do the same 2,500 AP and 1,900 HE damage with an 8% fire chance. Okhotnik is very short ranged for a tier 5 destroyer at 9.2km, which helps keep her power level in check.Okhotnik trades away DPM for alpha strike. A single broadside of all seven rifles lands for 4,389 HE damage when they penetrate an unsaturated target. This is one third of a tier 5 destroyer's health pool and amounts to a larger alpha strike per volley than the tier 7 Blyskawica. Landing hits like this made most of my opponents get all squirrely for some reason. They often elected to disengage rather than press any DPM advantage they had over me. Of course, missing with one volley is more tragic in Okhotnik than other destroyers and poor gunnery will punish you especially hard. Make those shots count or reap the consequences.Some of the negative traits of Okhotnik's guns will be very familiar to veterans of the Russian and Soviet Destroyer line. First of all, she has the same 2.0km “stealth tax” when firing her guns. Instead of receiving a nominal 3.9km surface detection penalty (gun calibre x 0.3km), Okhotnik gains 5.9km of surface detection range when shooting. This precludes her from ever being able to fire from stealth short of lobbing shells from smoke or behind an island. She also shares the horrible gun traverse rate of the Gnevny-class. It takes her almost 33s to traverse her guns 180º which is downright appalling. However, you might not notice it as much given Okhotnik's handling, but more on that later. The good news is that Okhotnik compensates for this by having a 360º rotation on all of her guns. Okhotnik has next to no deck clutter. What's more, her guns aren't mounted in partially or fully enclosed turrets. Heck, they don't even have gun shields. So while her guns may not be mounted in a superfiring configuration, it's surprising how many you can bring to bear. All seven rifles can be aimed at targets 30º off her bow to either side. More surprising is that gun #2 can fire through gun #1. Yeah. Weird. This gives you two rifles that can shoot directly forward but only one gun can shoot directly astern. As you'll often be tacking towards or away from your targets at an angle, you'll often only need to adjust your heading by a little to bring all of your guns to bear. TorpedoesOkhotnik's torpedoes are almost as hilarious as her gun mounts. She has four triple launchers, mounted dorsally. She can dump a broadside of 12 torpedoes at a target at once. This is a feat that isn't matched until the Shimakaze at tier 10. These “walls of skill” are an absolute nightmare for enemies to try to avoid and it's not uncommon to see players freeze in the face of the approaching doom. The only thing that keeps this balanced is the horrible performance of the torpedoes.Okhotnik's fish are unique currently. They have a 13,667 maximum damage listing which isn't bad for a tier 5 destroyer (especially not one that can spit out twelve of the little blighters). They're very quick too, traveling at 62 knots with a 1.0km surface detection range, giving opponents a mere 6.1s worth of reaction time when their death approaches. Worse, these things can be veritably spammed with their 47s reload per launcher. With their respectable damage output, Okhotnik can keep tubes in reserve, launching only what's needed and keeping others on hand for a follow up target. The only thing gives these things a modicum of balance (and only just) is their short range of 4.5km.Her torpedoes are one of the most unbalanced features about Okhotnik, and if she were any faster they would be horribly overpowered. With the ability to get the ship's surface detection range down to 5.7km with Concealment Expert, Okhotnik can sprint the last 1.2km she needs to dump her fish against a chosen target in as little as 13 seconds against a ship running a perpendicular course. This isn't a lot of time to react to the ambush. The only fly in the ointment here is that Okhotnik doesn't have very good forward torpedo arcs as her first three launchers are sandwiched in between the fore and after superstructure and funnels so it will require her to manoeuvre to swing out her weapons.Expect to see a lot of spectacular suicide torpedo runs and close-range island ambushes in this boat paying big dividends. Rivals: Gremyashchy Lert: Gremyashchy is faster and has more range. She has better torpedoes, turns better and can fire from stealth in open water. She'll be spotted before Okhotnik is though, and if you catch a Gremy with its pants down you can smash him in the face with superior alpha strike, giving you the edge in the DPM fight that follows. Be wary of Gremy's torpedoes, which have twice the range of yours. Always be wary of potential torps and maneuver accordingly, you don't have the agility to dodge torpedoes you didn't expect. If Gremyashchy comes within 4km, flood the ocean with metal fishes, though a smart Gremy driver will avoid this situation. Try to control the engagement, difficult as it seems versus a ship that is faster and turns better than you. Keep the pressure on him, and you might come out of this engagement still floating. It's very important to get that first strike in though, and your superior stealth helps in this regard. Even then, it's an uphill battle and a savvy Gremyashchy driver will use his speed and agility to try and dictate the fight. Okhotnik is good, but it doesn't challenge Gremy's crown of best Russian destroyer at tier 5. Wall of skill deployed. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 34.5 knots Turning Radius: 730m Rudder Shift Time: 3.2s So here's where the bad news lies, and it's all in one trait, really. Okhotnik has a lower-than-average top speed and decent rudder shift. But where she really hurts is her turning radius, which is comparable to that of a Battleship. This is to be expected given her length. It takes Okhotnik just over 15 seconds to make a 90º turn and almost a minute to rotate 360º, slowing down to 28.9 knots with her rudder hard over. For comparison, a Farragut can make the same 90º turn in 11 seconds and the full rotation in 43. Okhotnik just doesn't answer her rudder quickly. This makes her rather vulnerable to enemy torpedoes as you can well imagine. Torpedo bombers are a particular weakness of Okhotnik's, as she has a rather large surface detection range for a destroyer while simultaneously having pathetic AA power (more on that later). The length of her hull only exacerbates the problem of avoiding these waterborne warheads. Still, even with this sluggish handling, she's still capable of out turning her even more sluggish turret traverse (6º ship turn, 5.5º turret traverse). Thankfully, her 360º turret rotation more than makes up for this. Okhotnik's lack of agility also makes dodging incoming fire a little more challenging. However, her low profile does maker her a difficult target to land reliable hits against, especially at range. Durability Hit Points: 12,700 Maximum Protection: 16mm Min Bow & Deck Armour: 10mm Okhotnik has a slightly-more-than-average hit points total for a tier 5 destroyer, but nothing to get too excited about. Her exposed main battery mounts have only 6mm of armour protection but they can absorb just as much damage as the weapons on other DDs. Still, expect HE splashes from large caliber guns to disable and destroy these vulnerable weapons regularly. With the length of her hull, it's important to keep incoming AP shell penetration mechanics in mind. Shots that strike her broadside are likely to over penetrate while those that travel the length of the ship are more likely to result in full penetration damage. Be careful on your approaches against Battleships. This makes the Captain Skill, Priority Target, worth it's weight in gold. Pay attention to what ships are shooting at you and with what ammunition types to best protect yourself. Rivals: Nicholas Lert: The American fighting lady has a hit point advantage, superior gun DPM, better range, better speed and is more agile. Her torpedo armament is arguably weaker than yours by volume and damage output, though not by range. This theoretical duel will depend greatly on who gets the initiative. Although she's faster, Nicholas has slightly worse detection than you, giving you a small advantage here. Make sure your first salvo hits, and hits hard. This will give you an advantage that you need to press. If Nicholas makes a mistake and comes close enough, perhaps to try and launch her torpedoes, make sure you close the gap and get your wall of skill in the water to crush her. Your volume of fish will mean no escape if the Nicholas makes the mistake of coming within 4km. Still, this is an uphill battle that depends greatly on who takes the initiative. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 6.5km Air Detection Range: 4.3km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 5.7km Concealment Penalty while Firing: +5.9km (vs 9.2km gun range) I dunno what they were thinking here.Okhotnik is an enormous destroyer, yet she has better concealment values than Gremyashchy, Gnevny, Podvoisky, Nicholas and T-22. Her enormity is in one dimension only, however, and that may explain why she gets such a generous surface detection range. Okhotnik sits very low in the water, with her raised forward bow section lower than that of the Kamikaze-class and her bridge being much lower still. Within her Matchmaking spread, from tiers 4 through 7, only the IJN Destroyers Isokaze, Minekaze, Kamikaze, Mutsuki and the tier 4 German V-170 have a better surface detection range. Short of being sniffed out by aircraft or tripping over one of these ships, Okhotnik is going to see her opponents before being detected in turn. This is good news for the Russian Destroyer given the short range of her weapon systems. She is utterly incapable of firing either her torpedoes or her guns without being detected by her enemies. Every time you pull the trigger, you're putting your ship in harm's way. One of the few balancing measures for Okhotnik shows up here with her very large detection range from the air. She's spotted 4.3km out, which is closer to the range you would expect for a destroyer-leader like the Tenryu or Yubari. Okhotnik moored alongside a reference-Minekaze. You can very clearly see the difference in length and height between the two images. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 76.2mm / 7.62mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 3.0km / 1.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 3 / 7 Ha-ha, who are you kidding? Okhotnik is dangerously vulnerable to aircraft and should be made a priority target by any CV that spots her on the team line up. Her long keel and horrible turning radius makes her a juicy target for torpedo planes though she is rather slender, making her a harder target for dive bombers. This is one of the few destroyers where you can safely keep her AA turned on at all times as their range is actually shorter than her aerial detection range. Rivals: Minekaze Lert: She's stealthier than you, faster than you, more agile than you and can fire torpedoes from outside her detection range. In Minekaze's ideal hypothetical scenario, you'll never see him coming and the first notice you have of him being near is the Sixth Sense warning icon appearing on the screen. Expect torpedoes in the water, and turn towards where you suspect he is. The concealment difference between the two is only 100 meters base, so if you guessed right, you'll be able to spot him once you make your turn. Smack him upside the head with a devastating volley and hope he doesn't just turn and run, in which case you'll never catch him. Any Minekaze driver worth his salt knows he'll never win a gunnery duel with a Russian gunboat, and will not engage in one if he has any say. Skills to Beat Sneaker wearing HedgehogsOkhotnik has a real dependence on Captain Skills to make her an enjoyable and effective destroyer. Arguably, most destroyers manage this level of competitiveness with 10 skill points -- when they unlock Concealment Expert. This makes Okhotnik very much a late bloomer. Whether a player considers her powerful will largely depend on the skills available to their Captain. While there's always some mutability in skill choice between players, the five skills below should be considered “must haves” for Okhotnik. As a trainer for your Soviet Captains, this dependence on certain skills can make Okhotnik ill suited to performing optimally with skills that run contrary to this recommended build.Priority Target (tier one)Okhotnik cannot engage enemies without being seen herself, short of abusing island and smoke cover. These forms of concealment will not always be readily available, so it's important to know when it's safe to pull the trigger and when you should go gun-silent to preserve your hit points. Due to Okhotnik's middling speed and manoeuvrability, dodging fire isn't as viable as dropping off the radar and disappearing. Knowing when you can continue pulling the trigger safely and when you should probably disengage will help keep this ship in the game. This can also allow you to know when it's safer to attempt a point blank torpedo drop.Expert Marksman (tier two)During play-testing, Okhotnik was shackled with the same awful turret traverse with which Gremyashchy was originally introduced. This 5.5º per second rotation didn't feel as limiting for this destroyer though. The reason was simple enough -- unlike Gremyashchy, Okhotnik could only turn the ship itself at 6º per second. So while she could out turn her turrets, it wasn't to such a dramatic degree as the original Soviet Premium Destroyer.So Okhotnik's turret traverse doesn't feel as punitive as Gremyashchy's did while the ship is under manoeuvres. However, Okhotnik struggles to use her rudder to help bring her guns to bear on a new target. To this end, Expert Marksman is a very important skill to help her re-engage targets quickly.Without this skill, Okhotnik is still playable though switching sides with her guns takes a very long time (as much as 33 seconds). This said, having a 360º rotation on her turrets will help some, at least with tracking a new target. Thus, this should be the last skill you pick up.Last Stand (tier two)You're a destroyer, and one that cannot stealth-fire at targets. It's safe to assume your steering and rudder will be knocked out regularly. Take this one on your first pass through the skill list.Concealment Expert (tier four) Take this as your first tier four skill. This may seem like a no-brainer. There are very few destroyers in the game where Concealment Expert doesn't provide a tremendous bonus to their effectiveness. Okhotnik isn't special this way by any means, but it's worth paying special attention why she gains from this skill. With camouflage, this drops her surface detection range from 6.3km to 5.7km. This does not allow Okhotnik to torpedo without being detected or to fire from stealth in open water, even with Advanced Fire Training . With this in mind, some players may be outright dismissive of the necessity of this skill, but it shouldn't be skipped over.With Concealment Expert, Okhotnik gains the ability to spot other gunships before she herself is detected. Provided her turrets are properly aligned, this all but guarantees her to get off the first volley of shells. As Okhotnik focuses on alpha strike and not DPM with her guns, this can mean the difference between clinching an engagement with that first strike or being on the back foot every time she meets another destroyer. Finally, when things do go south (and they will), it provides an additional 600m distance buffer to allow you to drop back into stealth when you silence your guns.Advanced Fire Training (tier four)One of Okhotnik's biggest flaws is the short range of her main battery. Her 9.2km stock range may seem like a nuisance at first, but it works considerably to the detriment of the ship when it comes to engaging capital ships. Advanced Fire Training opens Okhotnik's range up to 11km and the importance of this range increase cannot be understated. Her guns, with their good ballistic qualities, are still very accurate to this range.Okhotnik shares a low surface profile, similar to the German V-170. With almost no deck structures, hitting Okhotnik with main battery fire is a challenge. The more range you can open up between yourself and your targets, the safer Okhotnik becomes. While you can never remove the threat of return fire in Okhotnik, you can make it so annoying to shoot her that opponents elect to fire somewhere else.So if you intend to use Okhotnik to abuse larger ships, this skill is almost a must. This should be acquired as soon as you have Concealment Expert.Final Note on Captain SkillsIf you've done the math, you'll note that with taking only a single tier 3 skill, this adds up to 16pt Captain. The only real variety and choice for Okhotnik comes in with her tier 3 skills and there are a lot of good options there. I personally prefer taking Basic Fire Training as my primary skill at tier 3 and Demolition Expert as a follow up. Decent alternative skills include Survivability Expert and Superintendent. I firmly believe that a 14pt Captain is really needed to enjoy this ship, though 16pts is ideal. When combined with the inflexibility of skill choices, her uses as a Soviet training ship are much more limited. Recommended Build: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/1000000000100001000010100000100119 Skills should be taken in this order: Priority Target Last Stand Basic Fire Training (or tier 3 skill of choice) Concealment Expert Advanced Fire Training Demolition Expert (or tier 3 skill of choice) Expert Marksman Inertial Fuse for HE Shells Okhotnik doesn't need to take the tier 4 skill, Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. Her 130mm rifles are capable of penetration up to 21mm of armour without it. When she's top tier, short of the belt armour and turrets of larger warships, there are very few sections of any ships she cannot damage directly. If you can scrounge the points for it, this will give her the ability to extend this ability to penetrate all targets just about everywhere up through tier 6 and 7 battleships and some of the IJN and German Cruisers at tiers 6+. The only problem with taking this skill is finding the points necessary to afford it. The easiest place to acquire them would be to drop a tier 3 and a tier 2 skill to shoe horn this into your build. Alternatively, you could drop Concealment Expert, but this would prevent you from being able to effectively engage enemy destroyers.Alternative IFHE Bombardment: Build One: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/1100000000000001000000100010100119 Build Two: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/1000000000100001000010100010100019 Aircraft carriers should make taking this destroyer out a priority. However, they need to switch up the tools they use to do so. Torpedo bombers are very effective against this clumsy ship. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme As far as destroyers go, Okhotnik is pretty forgiving but only with the right Captain Skill choices. Properly set up, she can hide from anything she can't outfight and barring tripping over a Belfast or Atlanta, she can outfight anything from which she can't hide. She's always going to be detected when you engage enemy targets, so there's no fussy stealth-firing calculations to make. You can blindly rush unwary capital ships and make their lives miserable with a suicide torp-wall of doom and they're equally effective at deterring enemy destroyers from knife fighting. About the only bad trait about her for inexperienced or novice players is her horrible handling but don't let that stop you.But again, that's contingent on having the right skills to optimize this destroyer's strengths. Without the right setup, novice players may find this ship frustrating.For veterans and skilled players, Okhotnik is going to be a little monster. The damage this ship can put out demands a lot of respect and her base concealment rating allows players to control the engagement. Her ability to deliver sudden and massive alpha strikes with her torpedoes and guns will put many inexperienced opponents on their back foot right from the word go and allow Okhotnik to bully with ease. The Lertbox - Final Words Okhotnik struggles against same tier opponents in theoretical 1v1s. If you only read my three comparisons you might get the idea that she sucks. However, that's only if the opponent presses their advantage and pursues the engagement. Plus, Okhotnik is unrivaled in delivering apocalyptic devastating ambushes versus battleships - in a training room I was able to reliably one-shot (stationary and unarmed) Grosser Kurfuersts with her torpedo broadsides. Versus other destroyers, she relies on smashing alpha strike from a situation of stealth. She relies on dissuading gunship destroyers from engaging her by biting their face off, without warning. Once so hit, the enemy destroyer driver may panic and try to disengage or smoke up, at which point you've got them. Against cooler heads though, you're on the defensive. Against destroyer drivers who aren't intimidated by your first salvo you've got your work cut out. Without the ROF to pummel them down or speed to disengage, you're facing an uphill battle. I just don't think she's as OP as Mouse says. Time will tell though. Mouse's Summary: Longship is long. It should come with Vikings. She doesn't handle very well, but that didn't bother me. Her torpeedus are amazing. She's the perfect ship to dig out an enemy destroyers and cruisers hiding in smoke. Why is she so stealthy!? As far as Soviet-bias goes, Okhotnik isn't too bad -- she's only a little overpowered (like that's a good thing). Her performance is gated behind a combination of skills so not every Okhotnik is going to be awesome. She isn't unbalanced in the same manner as the Belfast. Her strengths are more well-rounded, with good guns, good torpedoes and good concealment without any gimmicks. This makes her strong without being dominating in a single arena. A lot of focus will be put on her torpedoes as THE defining feature of what makes her so advantageous, but this would be a mistake. If her torpedoes had more range, then certainly, I could agree with that sentiment, but it's the combination of traits rather than any one single element that makes her overpowered. She has great stealth but she can't stealth fire. She has a great torpedo armament, but good luck getting those off against tier 7 ships. Her guns are hard hitting, but they're not going to let you knife fight an American destroyer that wants to fight back. You're not fast enough to get away from an Atlanta or Belfast that's running you down with radar. Okhotnik dances the fine line between risk and reward. Aggressive players will love her. Cautious players might not.Okhotnik up-tiers rather well, having little trouble facing off against tier 6 opponents as well as she might against tier 5. It's only when the tier 7s appear, with higher velocity guns and ships like Belfast, Fiji and Atlanta, that she begins to feel a bit long in the tooth. Battleships also get faster and the maps are less claustrophobic making for fewer ambush-opportunities at close range. It's a testament that Okhotnik is at least a little more balanced than Gremyashchy which scarcely notices when she's up-tiered.Okhotnik's strengths really lie with her concealment / alpha strike ability. With this, I could engage even tier 7 Kiev-class destroyers and remain confident of winning. It's not hard to land 6 or 7 shots when the engagement range begins at 6km and this initial 3,000 to 4,000 hammer blow into their hit points sets the tone for a winning battle. A second volley could often be delivered before the Kiev could bring all of her guns on target. It's no wonder most of them would try to smoke up and reset the engagement at this stage. It was often wise to blow my own smoke at the same time and back off if the Kiev had spotters in the area keeping me lit. If not, there was no harm in dropping a wall of skill into their smoke screen. Easy money.I had a lot of fun playing Okhotnik; she surprised me. I admit, I took one look at this derpy boat and thought I'd hate it but she won me over. Once I dropped my Gremyashchy Captain into her, she took me for a ride and I was grinning the whole time. Changes from Play Test Okhotnik changed somewhat from the play test sessions I enjoyed to her release on live. Two were minor and one was rather significant. All of these changes have been considered and folded into the review already, so you don't need to back track and re-evaluate what was written. Okhotnik's turret rotation was buffed from 5º per second to 5.5º per second. Okhotnik's guns used to traverse with the same sluggish handling as Gremyashchy. A large number of the Soviet Destroyers got a gun traverse buff with 0.6.2 and Okhotnik was no exception. Originally only Okhotnik's two forward turrets could rotate 360º. This is a minor change, really. Now all five rear turrets can also rotate in a full circle. Combined with the minor turret traverse buff, this is a nice quality of life change but again not too significant. Fire angles of the aft guns (except for the last one) is limited to +/- 30º off the ship axis. Now this one is a kicker and represents a more significant (but not terribly damaging) nerf. Okhotnik's five rear guns used to be able to engage targets 20º off the forward or rear arcs of the ship. Okhotnik already has a small profile and being able to aggressively angle her towards or away from a foe while firing five (rearward) or seven (forward) guns was pretty huge. She doesn't have enough armour to auto-ricochet anything but a select few destroyer-caliber AP shells, but it did make her a much smaller target to bulls-eye. The individual fire angles for the rear guns began as little as 16º off the bow (#7). Okhotnik belongs up front in an aggressive stance. Use her excellent concealment values to spot for your team and screen them from attack. Would I Recommend?Players are spoiled for choice where Russian premiums are concerned. Okhotnik competes directly with Leningrad (and for old, crusty veterans, Gremyashchy) for primacy among the Soviet Destroyers. She's not as powerful as Gremyashchy, that's for sure, but she will be less expensive than Leningrad which may immediately appeal to some consumers. Overall, I think Leningrad is the better boat for most of the reasons you'd buy a premium, but Okhotnik is definitely more fun (and stupid looking). For Random Battle GrindingThis includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Mouse: Well, maybe. She can do very well in random battles, earning you credits and medals galore. I found it an easy feat to get three or four kills per match, which made unleashing the Kraken not too much of a stretch. The problem is that she's reliant upon having a Captain with the right skill combination to truly play efficiently. This precludes her use as a comfortable trainer for all but the last few skill points (and you're completely out of luck if your skill choices don't gel with Okhotnik's needs) which sort of undermines the purpose of a premium ship. So your mileage will definitely vary. For me? I'd take her to farm achievements and Kraken medals. Lert: Maybe. She doesn't really need premium consumables to shine, but tier 5 is in a bad MM spot right now, and tier 5 premiums are not really the greatest captain trainers or credit earners. Tier 6 is where you really want to be for that, minimum. Plus, she relies on a set of advanced captain skills to really shine, which makes her less ideal as a captain trainer. For Competitive GamingCompetitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Mouse: Her concealment value alone will make her a good choice for competitive environments, especially combined with her ability to deliver high alpha, opportunistic strikes with her guns. The only major downside is her lack of agility which makes her torpedo bait. She cannot compete with Gremyashchy (what can?) but for people looking to pad their win rates, Okhotnik is a good ship.Lert: No. Too slow, too vulnerable to torpedo strikes, not agile enough. The only things she really has going for her is her stealth and initial alpha, which isn't enough in a competitive environment. For CollectorsIf you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Mouse: Ha! No. Okhotnik was never built in steel.Lert: This is a paper ship with no actual history behind her. She looks amazing though. If you're looking for historically significant ships, look elsewhere. For Fun FactorBottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Mouse: Very yes. She's a party boat.Lert: Yes. Alpha strike is fun. Driving odd ducks is fun. Ships with interesting playstyles are fun. Crushing battleships as they round the headland is fun. Okhotnik is fun.