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The following is a review of Azur Lane's Sovetskaya Rossiya - the tier IX Premium Soviet Battleship. This ship was kindly provided to me by Wargaming in order to make this review. I did not have to pay for her. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.9.6.1. Please be aware her performance may change in the future. After the disappointment of AL Littorio being nothing more than a reskinned Roma-clone, it's a bit of a relief to review AL Sovetskaya Rossiya (hear after referred to only as "Rossiya"). Now, I stress it's only a minor improvement. Like AL Montpelier and AL Yukikaze from the year before, Rossiya does not differentiate herself all that much from other ships already extant within the game. The best that could be said about Rossiya is that she takes the game play from Sovetsky Soyuz, tweaks it oh-so slightly, and makes a premium ship out of it. This is great news if you like Sovetsky Soyuz. AL Montpelier ostensibly did the same for Cleveland, giving players access to a premium version of an already popular tech tree ship and I can understand the appeal. However, if you're looking for new and novel game play, you won't find it here. With all of this in mind, this review is being formatted in the same manner as my reviews of AL Yukikaze and AL Montpelier, focusing on the differences between Rossiya and Sovetsky Soyuz. Players wishing to try out Rossiya for free before purchasing need only unlock Sovetsky Soyuz and keep the differences discussed in this article in mind. Summary of Differences Comparing the differences between Rossiya and a fully upgraded Sovetsky Soyuz, you get the following: The Gud + Rossiya is more precise than Sovetsky Soyuz. + Rossiya's main battery guns are more durable than Sovetsky Soyuz. + Rossiya has improved economy. + Rossiya comes with permanent camouflage. The Meh Rossiya uses American battleship dispersion instead of the Soviet battleship dispersion used by Sovetsky Soyuz. Rossiya has the stock secondary layout of Sovetsky Soyuz instead of her upgraded secondaries. And the Garbage - Rossiya has fewer hit points than Sovetsky Soyuz. - Rossiya has a slower gun traverse than Sovetsky Soyuz. - Rossiya has worse AA defense than Sovetsky Soyuz. Stock-Hull Syndrome Rossiya is ostensibly a stock version of Sovetsky Soyuz but with improved rudder shift time and range so that she matches the tech tree ship. The net effect here is that Rossiya comes with Sovetsky Soyuz's secondary layout, AA armament and hit point disparity of the stock version of Sovetsky Soyuz while still enjoying the upgraded agility and range of a fully researched ship. In this regard, she's quite similar to Ashitaka, the tier VII Japanese premium battleship which pulled a similar trick with Amagi's old stock-hull (though Ashitaka enjoys this at a full tier lower). Categorically, Rossiya's defense is inferior to that of Sovetsky Soyuz, though the amount of disparity is quite minor in truth. The loss of AA firepower is laughable and hardly worth considering in the current meta. Similarly, the difference in secondary arrangement is more of a curiousity than it is advantageous or disadvantageous. Soviet battleships are not known for their secondaries in the first place so the changes here are not worth fussing over. For those that do want to fuss over it, Rossiya's has the larger volume of fire coming off her secondaries but much of that comes at a deficit of HE penetration, making them incapable of directly damaging even the hulls of tier VIII+ destroyers. Her 152mm guns are harder hitting, making them able to directly damage even some cruisers, but they come with a slower rate of fire. Overall, though, Rossiya's secondaries the better fire starter with a theoretical 9.2 fires per minute versus Sovetsky Soyuz's 5.8. HOWEVER, given their short range and the general allergy Soviet battleships have to brawling, celebrating these differences is silly. It's technically correct that Rossiya has the better secondaries. Differences in Hit Points Sovetsky Soyuz's Hit Points: 88,100hp Rossiya's Hit Points: 80,900hp Sovertsky Soyuz's Maximum Effective Health through Heals: 147,303hp Rossiya's Maximum Effective Health through Heals: 135,265hp Individual Component Hit Points breaks down as follows (Rossiya/Sovetsky Soyuz): Hull: 60,700hp / 66,100hp Superstructure: 3,700hp / 4,100hp Magazines (each): 40,500hp / 44,100hp Steering Gear: 24,300hp / 26,400hp Differences in Secondaries Sovetsky Soyuz Secondary Armament: Twelve 130mm/55 in 6x2 turrets 130mm Gun Performance: 5km range with 1,900 damage per shell with 22mm of penetration. They have an 8% fire chance and 5 second reload. Rossiya's Secondary Armament: Twelve 152mm/57 in 6x2 turrets and eight 100mm/56 in 4x2 turrets 152mm Gun Performance: 5km range with 2,200 damage per shell with 25mm of penetration. They have a 12% fire chance and an 8 second reload. 100mm Gun Performance: 5km range with 1,400 damage per shell with 17mm of penetration. They have a 6% fire chance and a 3.75 second reload. Differences in AA Firepower Sovetsky Soyuz's Flak: 5 explosions for up to 1,610 damage per blast, 3.5km to 6km range. Rossiya's Flak: 4 explosions for up to to 1,400 damage per blast, 3.5km to 5.8km range. Sovetsky Soyuz's Continus DPS: 66 at 6km / 187 at 3.5km / 49 at 3.1km Rossiya's Continuous DPS: 58 at 5.8km / 200 at 3.2km Differences in Economy As a tier IX premium, AL Sovetskaya Rossiya is one of the highest credit earners available presently, matching the majority of other tier IX premiums for their gains. Only Missouri (not available) along with Roma & Kii using their Makoto Kobayashi camouflages have higher credit earning potential in the game at present. With her premium camouflage included, she is far and away superior to Sovetsky Soyuz that it's no contest whatsoever. But you should expect that for a premium ship. Whatcha Paid For Like her waifu-avatar, it's all about the big guns. The big difference between the two ships comes with their main battery gun performance. Lemme break down the nitty-gritty of the differences first: Sovetsky Soyuz's Gun Traverse: 6º/s Rossiya's Gun Traverse: 4º/s Sovetsky Soyuz's Gun Hit Points: 20,000 per turret Rossiya's Gun Hit Points: 40,000 per turret Sovetsky Soyuz's Horizontal Gun Dispersion: [ range x 11.9 ] + 33 Rossiya's Horizontal Gun Dispersion: [ range x 10 ] + 60 Sovetsky Soyuz's Sigma: 1.6 Rossiya's Sigma: 1.8 ... and for those that love stupid minor differences: Sovetsky Soyuz's Main Battery Range: 19,382m Rossiya's Main Battery Range: 19,380m So it looks like some of these differences are important. Others, not so much. We can outright dismiss the 2m difference in main battery gun range as being entirely inconsequential, but what about the rest? The most curious change between the two ships is Rossiya's increased gun survivability. Doubling the gun's hit points makes them not only more difficult to destroy but it also makes them harder to temporarily disable. You'll still want Main Armaments Modification 1 to help mitigate critical hits but still, it's impressive. Clearly this chonktacular buff to Rossiya's hit points gummed up the traverse mechanism because Sovetsky Soyuz's turrets turn 50% faster. Once you slap on Main Battery Modification 3, Rossiya's turret traverse gets downright glacial, so make sure you invest in Expert Marksman if this kind of thing bugs you. This is another point against Rossiya keeping pace with Sovetsky Soyuz. For those keeping track, she now has worse AA power (who cares?) along with worse hit points and heals. Wargaming's selling feature for this ship is (and I quote): "Unlike the researchable Soviet battleships, shells launched by AL Sovetskaya Rossiya have standard accuracy parameters for the ship type." If you're wondering what this gobbledygook means, Rossiya has American battleship dispersion patterns instead of Soviet dispersion patterns. Here's what their horizontal dispersion looks like over distance: At very (very) close ranges, Sovetsky Soyuz has a smaller dispersion area than Rossiya. At very long ranges, Rossiya gets more accurate. Couple this with Rossiya's increased sigma value (making it more likely for her shells to group towards the center of her targeting area) and Rossiya is more of a sniper than Sovetsky Soyuz. Her gunnery is more consistent over range than her tech-tree sister-ship. However, before anyone gets too excited, lemme slap a big ol' butt onto this with the following caveat: You're not likely to notice a difference -- and if you do, it's largely in your head. The difference in the gunnery between the two ships is largely a "spreadsheet value" -- like tweaking Kremlin's AA defense. Over the course of many games, the numbers will tell. However, on a per-match or even a per-volley experience, the real-world game play will feel hella-similar. Observe: Again, my standard dispersion test. Each ship fired 180 AP shells at a stationary Fuso that did not have camouflage equipped. Both Rossiya and Sovetsky Soyuz were using the Aiming System Modification 1 upgrade. Shots came in from right to left with the Fuso effectively bow-tanking. The target ship upon which they were locked and the open water at which they aimed were both 15km away. Now lemme be clear: AL Sovetskaya Rossiya is the more accurate ship between the two. She is going to land more hits, on average, than Sovetsky Soyuz over the course of normal game play (outside of the rare close-range brawl). Ostensibly, this is what you're paying for when you buy this ship (other than anime boobies): a statistical increase in her main battery accuracy and (much) improved economy at the expense of gun handling and defense, all slapped onto the stupidly-tanky hull that is a Soviet battleship. That's Rossiya in a nutshell. Which Ship Is Better? Game play wise, Sovetsky Soyuz is the better ship by a small margin. Soviet battleships are known for their durability. While Rossiya has a slight improvement over Sovetsky Soyuz's gunnery, the difference in durability definitely goes to the tech-tree ship. This plays up to the strengths the Soviet line is known for and gives her the slight edge. Economy wise, Rossiya is the obvious winner. Cuz, duh. Overview "But Mouse," you cry, "I've never played Sovetsky Soyuz before. I have no frame of reference on if I should buy AL Sovetskaya Rossiya or not!" Well, shame on you. Go unlock Sovetsky Soyuz right now and play a few games to get a better idea. No? That's unreasonable? Fine. Here's a quick rundown of AL Sovetskaya Rossiya: Quick Summary: A high-tier Soviet battleship with American gunnery dispersion. PROS Excellent armour protection against HE shells, including a 60mm amidships deck & upper hull and an extended waterline belt towards the bow. Excellent armour protection for face-tanking AP shells, including the overmatching 460mm+ AP shells of high-tier IJN battleships. Access to the Soviet-battleship Damage Control Party with its very short reset timer. Stupidly-durable main battery guns. Uses American battleship dispersion on her main battery guns, giving her improved accuracy at long-range over other Soviet battleships. CONS Exposed, high-water citadel, making her exceedingly vulnerable if flanked. Limited number of charges on her Damage Control Party. Long, 33 second reload which hurts her overall damage output. Slow gun traverse at 4º/s (45s for 180º) Agility clearly sits in the "Mayonnaise Zone" with an enormous turning radius and slow rate of turn. Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme AL Sovetskaya Rossiya is a relatively easy ship to play. Point your snoot at those who are trying to boop and return fire with her (reasonably) accurate guns. So long as you don't over-extend, she's tanky enough to resist just about any hurt thrown her way. The only hurdles for a new player are protecting her citadel and managing the limited number of charges of her Damage Control Party properly. For veterans, Rossiya is a Soviet battleship in all respects. Use and abuse the hidden geometries of her ridiculously powerful armour layout to shrug off hits you have no business resisting. Trivialize fires and overmatch the snot out of vulnerable ships with her 406mm guns. She doesn't quite have the maximum carry potential -- she is squishier than her tech-tree counterpart owing to her smaller hit point pool and worse heals as a result, but she's definitely no slouch. Summary AL Sovetskaya Rossiya is hands down the best premium purchase of this Third Wave of Azur Lane content. But let's be fair: It's not hard to best a Roma-clone which is her only competition. Rossiya is about as safe a purchase as you could make -- there's nothing wrong with her and the ship upon which she's based is one of the stronger contenders at tier IX. She still sits well behind Missouri and Musashi, though, so don't get the mistaken impression that you're investing in a god-tier ship. She's solid, but she's not redefining the meta in any way. The good news for your non-weebs out there is that unlike when AL Montpelier and AL Yukikaze were first sold, if you disable the Azur Lane content in your port, you do get access to a ship with premium camouflage still intact. Wargaming thankfully did away with that particular goof-up a while ago, so it's welcome to see. Now, it occurs to me that there isn't any click-baity, rage-inducing drama in this review at all, so I'll leave those who want to get their hate on with the following: AL Sovetsky Rossiya is yet another premium ship being made from the stock-hull of an already existing ship. She joins the ranks of many previous premium in this regard. Personally, this doesn't bother me in the least. I don't care if a ship is similar to another existing ship -- I only care if the ship is fun to play. Having a premium version of Sovetsky Soyuz is a pretty darned safe move to make on Wargaming's part, if a little boring. Still, I'll take it over AL Littorio any day.
CSSBT posted a topic in General Game DiscussionAs a someone who primarily plays BBs, I've always kept an eye on the development and eventual introduction of new BB lines to the game. As of right now, off the top of my head, there seem to be actual ships available to fill several yet to be introduced lines, including: a British 2nd BB or battlecruiser line, a German battlecruiser line that might have no actual ships to fill in at above tier 8, a Japanese 2nd BB line featuring ships cancelled by the treaties and/or those that couldn't be built (like the replacement for the Kongos), an Italian BB line, and maybe just maybe a Russian/Soviet BB line. Out of all of those lines, I find the Russian/Soviet line to be the most elusive and potentially tricky to implement obviously due to historical facts and circumstances. But considering WG's background, I doubt a Russian/Soviet BB line is something they would be willing to give up on easily. (Unless they wanna go down the free xp or pay to win route ) As player, I think having such tech tree line might add good and welcomed content to the game, as BBs are relatively rare in comparison to smaller ships in history. It seems that some of the previous discussions on the forums and online on this topic point to a tree that roughly works out like this: Tier 3 - some variant of a prototype dreadnought or semi-dreadnought (as the Nikolai and ships similar to it might be too strong for tier 3, while Andrei Pervozvanny class pre-dreadnoughts might be too weak?) Tier 4 & 5 - variants or versions of the Gangut and/or Imperatritsa Mariya classes of dreadnoughts in different stages of modernization both historical or speculative Tier 6 - Borodino class battlecruisers: 4x3 356mm main battery and capable of 26.5 knots before modernization Tier 7 - Kronshtadt class battlecruiser, or a version of it: a configuration of the ship that uses 3x2 380mm German guns was mentioned? (it kind of becomes a Russian Gneisenau in game?) Tier 8 - Stalingrad class battlecruiser, or a version of it: it seems that the plan is to make them stand out as fast and having higher DPM than typical BBs in exchange for their marginal armor and smaller gun caliber? Tier 9 - Sovetsky Soyuz class battleship: it'll be the highest HP (60K ston displacement) and tankiest BB at tier 9, although probably also the slowest (28 knots) and a big target for HE spam? Tier 10 - Project 24 battleship (super Sovetsky Soyuz): this could get tricky in regards to the game's meta depending on how the ship's implemented. I've read that the ship is to be the tier 9 ship upgunned with 9x457mm guns, others mention 430mm guns, while others spoke of a design influenced by the Italians? As far as premium ships are concerned: The Novorossiysk (ex Italian battleship Giulio Cesare rearmed with Soviet 305mm guns and AA guns) should be a suitable tier 5 and fairly similar to Italian version of it (maybe with less gun alpha but higher dpm and better aa?) Meanwhile the Arkhangelsk (ex HMS Royal Sovereign) could make a decent tier 6 premium BB as a slower but better armored QE class BB? At tier 8, the Italian (Ansaldo) designed U.P. 41 battleship could also make a decent premium ship. It should be a Littorio class style BB uparmed with 3x3 406mm guns and an inferior torpedo defense system? To me, this rough idea on the line seem to work and I would love to eventually grind this line should it ever become available. But then as you all know, recently the Kronshtadt and Stalingrad have both been introduced into the game as high tier cruisers with some BB traits. That fact alone might signal the scuttling of a full tech tree BB line for the Soviets/Russians in the future. So how do you feel about this? What you think should be WG's proper plan moving forward regarding this? Can a proper Russian/Soviet BB line still work without the Kronshtadt and the Stalingrad? What have you heard about this recently? I'd love to hear from you all but would regret to miss out on this line in game...