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  1. This is a review of Mikoyan, the tier V Soviet light cruiser. She was provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes at no cost to me. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.9.4. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. Hullo, everyone! This review is going to be a little bit different than my other reviews -- mostly because I've assigned myself an artificial time limit. I'm not allowed working past 24 hours total on this article (And I almost made it too. - Future Mouse). This doesn't include play test games but those were similarly cut short from my usual 30 or so to a mere dozen Random Battles and about the same in Co-Op. My reasons for doing this? I'm trying to get another review out before the end of May and to not go nucking futs working on what is ostensibly a free ship. That Mikoyan can be purchased directly to short-cut the event necessitates that she gets a review but I'm not killing myself over this one. Thanks for your understanding! And nuts to you if you don't get it! Quick Summary: A soft and squishy fast-cruiser with a small battery of Soviet 180mm rail-guns. PROS Belt is so thin that it doesn't fuse battleship caliber AP shells that strike her broadside-on. Excellent range and the ballistics to take advantage of it. Great rearward firing angles -- perfect for kiting. High AP penetration. Good HE penetration for a tier V cruiser. Good top speed of 35.5 knots. CONS Tiny 21,000 hit point pool. Wonky dispersion for a cruiser. Very little citadel protection which is vulnerable to larger caliber HE shells. Slow rate of fire. & poor fire setting characteristics. Very sluggish gun handling with poor forward-fire angles. Torpedoes are painfully short ranged. Large turning circle radius and horrible handling. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / MODERATE / High / Extreme Mikoyan is pretty basic. I'd have given her a "simple" skill floor evaluation if she was a little more forgiving when it came to "accidentally pushing". As it is, her gun handling and agility holds that back so I can't quite give her that rating. As it is, though, a novice player can do reasonably well in this ship by parking in the back line and just launching shells down range. For experts, Mikoyan is pretty surprising with her potential. Her thin belt armour is a double edged sword that can allow you to pull off some pretty troll shot baiting. If she was more agile, this could almost be clever but she doesn't have the wiggle needed to pull it off, sadly. Kiting works well, though the claustrophobic maps upon which she plays makes this difficult. You've got your work cut out for you -- carrying with Mikoyan is really difficult. Options Not much to go over here. Tier V cruisers aren't especially outlandish. Consumables Her Damage Control Party is standard for a tier V cruiser, with unlimited charges, an active period of 5s and a 60s reset timer. Her Hydroacoustic Search also conforms to tier V cruiser norms. She starts with three charges and a 100s active period. It detects torpedoes at 3km and ships at 4km. Finally, her Spotter Aircraft has four charges and provides the usual 20% range increase (bringing her up to 19.44km) for 100s. It has a 240s reset timer. Upgrades Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. In slot two, Engine Room Protection is optimal. This may surprise you given that she can take Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 for for 17,000 from the Armory, but she doesn't do well up close so you're better off protecting her machine spaces and steering gears. If you intend to use the commander skill Last Stand then you can grab the Hydroacoustic Search upgrade instead. And to no one's surprise, Aiming Systems Modification 1 is still optimal in slot three. Captain Skills Don't take Inertial Fuse for HE Shells on this ship. Never ever ever. A Soviet destroyer build is pretty close to ideal here, again so long as you avoid IFHE. Start with Priority Target. Depending upon your personal level of situational awareness, you can swap this out for Incoming Fire Alert, Preventative Maintenance or Expert Loader. More on this last skill in a bit. Take Last Stand at tier two. Loud noises a whole grid square over tend to break Mikoyan's engine and rudder. You have your pick of skills at tier three. None of them are particularly good for Mikoyan. I went with Demolition Expert as a default measure, but you could simply go with Survivability Expert for the extra 1,750hp. Finally take Concealment Expert as your last skill. There aren't a whole lot of high-tier skills that otherwise benefit this ship overmuch. If you didn't take it for your first skill, then Expert Loader is definitely worth picking up. Grab Adrenaline Rush and Expert Marksman too. You may as well grab Radio Location as your last skill, but hunting destroyers isn't a comfortable role for this ship. Instead you may want to pick skills that at least make her decent as an alternative captain for some other ship. Camouflage Mikoyan has Type 9 Camouflage. It provides the following benefits: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -10% to post-battle service costs. +50% experience earned. Mikoyan's default camo scheme. I much prefer the alternative palette which you can unlock via collections. Firepower Main Battery: 3x2 180mm guns in an A-B-X superfiring configuration. Torpedoes: 2x3 launchers with one launcher per side mounted between the two funnels. Mikoyan's Fish Let's start with her torpedoes. They're largely forgettable due to their short, 4km range. This limits them to weapons of ambush and desperation -- and these tend to be linked. This ship dies a horrible death in close-quarters brawls. Her protection scheme is entirely ill-suited to fighting up close and the only time you're ever going to use her torpedoes are when you or your opponent has screwed up horribly. Those two are not mutually exclusive either. Outside of co-op, it's best to forget these even exist. Mikoyan's Guns I could go on forever and a day here, but I'll let the graphics do the talking for the most part. Here's what you need to know: Mikoyan is armed with six of the new Soviet 180mm guns. These have excellent ballistics, god-tier AP penetration across all distances, improved auto-ricochet mechanics and are stupidly-long ranged. That's the good news. The bad news is that they have horrible gun handling, poor HE performance and trollish dispersion. These are weapons designed for camping the second line, using AP shells whenever possible (which is more often than not) and praying to RNGeebus for dispersion to be kind. These are NOT weapons for spamming HE. They are very poor fire starters and their sustained damage output with HE shells is just pathetic. Also, don't bring these things into a brawl -- their gun handling is atrocious, to say nothing about their sustained damage output or burst potential with only six rifles. Mikoyan's HE damage output is pretty terrible but her AP performance is good despite her only having six guns and a slow reload. Keep in mind that her AP shells are further strengthened by truly excellent penetration values that easily exceed the 203mm performance of most other ships. Seriously, Mikoyan can citadel battleships at point blank range. Don't try it, though. You'll die. Mikoyan also has improved auto-ricochet angles meaning her shells will bite in more frequently into ships that are trying to deflect your shots. Please be aware that at the time of publishing, Kotovsky has not yet been released and her performance may change in the future. This deficit of HE performance carries over into Mikoyan's fire-setting potential. It's pretty bad. Thankfully, she doesn't need to touch IFHE. Mikoyan has 30mm of HE penetration -- more than enough to directly damage the extremities of any ship within her matchmaking spread. So there's your booby prize. Please be aware that at the time of publishing, Kotovsky has not yet been released and her performance may change in the future. The strangest dichotomy of the new Soviet cruisers (Mikoyan included) is that the ship is designed to perform best at long range due to the combination of poor gun-handling, poor agility and the excellent ballistics and penetration. Simply put, staying further back plays up to the strengths of these Soviet railguns while simultaneously hamstringing the return fire of the enemy and downplaying her own weaknesses. Yet there's a monkey-wrench in the works: As good as Mikoyan's 180mm guns should be, their dispersion keeps them from echoing the performance of ships like Molotov and Pyotr Bagration. Mikoyan's dispersion is trollish. It's not Roma-levels, mind you, but having shots land short or long is very VERY commonplace at ranges of 15km or more. I can't count the number of times I thought I had an enemy cruiser dead to rights -- a perfect broadside where I knew my AP penetration was more than sufficient to end them only to have no hits land. I wouldn't go so far as to say that this sort of thing happens constantly -- but it does happen often enough to be a marked flaw of this ship. It injects a big dose of unreliability into weapons that would otherwise be the best at their tier. 180 AP shells locked on and fired at a stationary Fuso-bot that had no camouflage. Mikoyan was using Aiming Systems Modification 1. Shots are coming in from the right -- Fuso is effectively bow-tanking the incoming fire. Imagine firing this at the broadside of a cruiser -- a lot of shells are going to fall short or fly long. I suppose the best thing that could be said about Mikoyan's gun performance is that they up-tier very well. Her ridiculously long range (pushing almost 20km with her Spotting Aircraft deployed) and effectiveness at this range means that she always has a role no matter what her opponents are. This is good news given how often tier V ships get pooped on in the Matchmaking. Seriously, in my dozen Random Battle playtesting, not once was I top tier. That could have been just a bad run of RNGeebus given how few games that is, but still. Overall, these are effective weapons so long as you can keep your ship in the game. That's what we like to call foreshadowing, boys and girls. Mikoyan's rearward fire angles on her guns are phenomenal. Firing forward, they leave her open to taking citadel hits in return. Her gun rotation is also on the poor side, with only an 8º/s rotation rate. VERDICT: Gun handling and dispersion nerf what are otherwise god-tier guns. Having only six of them holds her back too. Outside of PVE modes, you have to largely forget she has torpedoes. Durability Hit Points: 21,000 Maximum Citadel Protection: 13mm bow + 35mm transverse bulkhead or just a 35mm belt. Structural Armour: 13mm bow & stern, 16mm upper hull, 16mm deck amidships, 10mm superstructure. Torpedo Damage Reduction: None There's a lot to unpack here but I'll try and be brief. First, Mikoyan doesn't have a lot of health. And that's a bit of an understatement. Hawkins has more than 50% more health than Mikoyan and that's even before you account for the British cruiser's Repair Party consumable. Line up all of the tier V cruisers and you'll see a very marked gap in health pools from the top ships and those at the bottom. And Mikoyan sits even lower than that. So yeah, that's not good. So many cute little low-tier cruisers. Look at all of the tiny hit point pools. It would be a shame if someone were to carpet-bomb their 13mm and 16mm decks. Please be aware that at the time of publishing, Kotovsky has not yet been released and her performance may change in the future. This is made worse by her armour. It's standard tier V light-cruiser fare -- which is to say it provides almost no immunity or overmatch protection. Her 13mm bows can be overmatched by AP shells as small in caliber as 186mm -- so from Hawkins' 190mm guns to the 203mm guns on Genova, Furutaka and Exeter, she has to be careful. Similarly, she has almost no mitigation against HE shells being thrown about -- not even her belt is entirely proof there. Much ado is made about Mikoyan's citadel protection. Her 35mm belt is downright meme-worthy. Mikoyan can take HE citadel hits from whole slew of medium and large caliber HE shells. German 150mm guns (Konigsberg, Nurnberg, Makarov and the secondaries off of ships like Scharnhorst) are particularly frightening due to their high rate of fire, but HE shells from any battleship will similarly make her life hilariously short. You also have to worry about the 1/4 HE pen off of German and British heavy cruisers similarly making her life miserable. Coupled with this, her thin belt provides scarcely better than destroyer-levels of protection for her magazines and machine spaces. Near misses from HE explosions will frequently knock out her engines, to say nothing of direct hits. Last Stand is a solid investment to keep her from being caught dead in the water and then made dead in fact. Still, it's not all doom and gloom. Mikoyan's 35mm belt is too thin to arm any battleship caliber AP shells. It's only by striking the belt at an angle -- typically entering auto-ricochet territory -- that battleships have any chance of fusing their shells. There are three catches of course. Shells hitting the water. If the shells hit the water before the ship, they'll fuse beforehand and cause all sorts of unpleasantness. Overmatching down the length of the ship. If the shell penetrates the ship from the bow or stern, they'll have passed through more than enough steel to arm. EVERY battleship can overmatch Mikoyan's bow and stern. HE Shells. Just when you think you've got your auto-ricochet angles all figured out, they'll load the HE and blow you up anyway. Honestly, it's not battleships Mikoyan really has to worry about. It's other cruisers and destroyers -- which brings up an important topic: Do not brawl with this ship. I say again: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BRAWL USING THIS SHIP. Nothing will end your matches faster than thinking "Hey, this looks like a pretty good time to push in!" Don't do it. Resist the urge. Bad things will happen. That destroyer hasn't over-extended. You can't push that smoke screen. Don't attempt to ambush that battleship with torpedoes using that island. You're not going to end that beached cruiser quickly. "But Mouse, when I did it, everything went fine!" Shut up. You got lucky. Maybe the word hasn't been spread far and wide yet, but it will -- mark me, it will. Mikoyan is a victim waiting to happen and her executioners are anyone with a sub-10 second reload. For crying out loud, British 120mm/45 guns -- you know, those ones with the floaty, pissing-in-the-wind ballistics? THOSE can citadel Mikoyan 10km. They don't even have the ballistics to hit the ground at that range (look-out, moon!) and they're capable of punching into her machine spaces. Coupled with her poor DPM, agility (spoilers) and gun handling, bringing her carcass into close range is just serving herself up for the butcher. Your only defense is to keep the range up where their guns suck and yours aren't compromised. Mikoyan's durability is garbage. The only good thing about it is trolling battleships like a Chad-unicum by offering them up broadsides and watching them overpen. Of course if you think that will actually work, I'll remind you that you have even odds that the battleships you'll be facing haven't figured out that they're not supposed to spam HE. Ignoring her belt armour (I know, it's hard), Mikoyan's structural armour is super average (squishy). The geometry of her citadel's butt is more interesting than the flat surface at the front. There too, it's 35mm thick for the upper portion (kinda like a wrap-around belt) with a 6mm lower portion. But her butt (heh) has a weird little step with a 50mm shelf. This 50mm shelf can't be overmatched, so there's some largely irrelevant good news. VERDICT: Yer gunna die. Lul. Agility Top Speed: 35.5 knots Turning Radius: 830m Rudder Shift Time: 5.9s 4/4 Speed Rate of Turn: 5.3º/s She's fast but she turns like butts. Combined with her sluggish turret traverse, this is bad. The disparity between good and bad manoevrability at higher tiers is far more pronounced than down here at tier V, however the maps are a lot more claustrophobic at lower tiers so you'll feel Mikoyan's rancid-mayo handling more. There's not much more to say than that. You're an idiot if you bring her into a brawl and hope for good things to happen. I was an idiot often during play testing. Mikoyan always made sure I felt like one for thinking she had any kind of wiggle that might save me. Mikoyan's agility is "the best of the worst" among the tier V cruisers. Furutaka looks agile by comparison. For those unaware, a lot of the in-port turning radius values are a lie. Ship agility is complicated. Please be aware that at the time of publishing, Kotovsky has not yet been released and her performance may change in the future. VERDICT: Anti-Aircraft Defense Flak Bursts: 1 explosions for 910 damage per blast at 3.5km to 4km. Long Ranged (up to 4.0km): 21dps at 90% accuracy Medium Ranged (up to 3.2km): 91dps at 90% accuracy Short Ranged (up to 1.5km): 46dps at 85% accuracy If you were hoping for a colourful, confusing graphic here, I'm sorry to disappoint. It would take too long to say: "all tier V cruisers have crappy AA defense". It's saying something when the best protected cruisers from air-power at this tier are all of those who can call on smoke (Emerald, Exeter and Montecuccoli). Sustained DPS never gets high enough to truly threaten carriers. Range is generally lacking too. Short of having smoke, a Catapult Fighter is the best deterrent you could hope for at this tier. So, lacking smoke and a fighter, you can pretty much tell that Mikoyan is screwed. And not in the fun way. Even if tier V cruisers had AA levels that could be sufficient to seeing to their own defense (or at least frustrating carriers), Mikoyan is in the bottom half (and almost the bottom third) for AA performance at this tier anyway. Mikoyan is boned. Again, not in the fun way. VERDICT: Irrelevant. Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 11.98km / 10.46km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 6.38km/5.74km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 6.25km Main Battery Firing Range: 16.2km / 19.44km with Spotting Aircraft active Mikoyan's surface detection is pretty average for a tier V cruiser -- being neither bad nor good. I'd argue that she benefits from this "average" concealment more than many other ships, if only grace of her predilection for firing from the second line. It doesn't hurt that she's painfully allergic to pushing. This is a ship where you want to keep your opponents at a minimum of 12km range -- preferably more if they're trying to shoot back. That way she can silence her guns and easily drop back into concealment to avoid the worst of their return fire. To this end, her Hydroacoustic Search kind of goes to waste. Short of being actively hunted by a Japanese lolibote or in an end-game scenario where you can charge an isolated destroyer hiding in smoke, there's really little need to make use of it. It's a shame really, but this just compounds upon the difficulties this ship has with performing up close. Oh well. VERDICT: Good enough, I guess. Final Evaluation Well, at least she's free. Lemme preface this: I like lower tiered ships. I really do. However, the Matchmaking tier V ships end up facing has definitely curbed that enthusiasm. Tier V ships get the worst luck when it comes to Matchmaking. They either face a glut of carriers when top tier or they end up being the little fish against higher tiered boats. This makes evaluating them difficult -- they're forever in a disadvantageous situation where it's rare to see them at their best. I think it's points in Mikoyan's favour that at least she deals with being up-tiered about as well as you could hope. Still, I feel her design is a poor one for the tier she's placed in. This is a ship with long legs and long range that really wants some room. She is a high-tier ship design -- built for kiting. That's not something that works especially well in lower tiers. The maps down here feel island congested and claustrophobic. Mikoyan can't flex the way she needs to in order to be at her best. Even still, when she finds herself on maps with tier VII ships, her guns are a bit of a let down. Her dispersion really surprised me -- especially after having recently spent so much time with Ochakov and Pyotr Bagration. Her gunnery simply felt "off". This is entirely by design, though it's not a design i find particularly rewarding. I can stomach it more with my battleships for the promise of massive alpha strikes. For a ship that struggles to compete in the DPM races like Mikoyan, it just feels like I'm being cheated when my perfectly lined up shots stray because of RNGeebus (love you, big guy -- mad respect, but can you just chill?). When Mikoyan's guns work, they work beautifully. There's just a dash of inconsistency that makes me wary every time I pull the trigger. Most times they behave. Most times. I'll be damned if my brain doesn't remind me of the occasional failure like it was a constant oppression though. On the whole, I give Mikoyan failing marks. I don't like her. I won't be playing her. If I want this kind of game play, I'll dust off Molotov. I'm glad you can earn Mikoyan for free -- to me, she's not worth the coin needed to buy her. Conclusion I really tried to limit myself with how much time I was going to spend on this review. May has been hella-busy. This is my fifth review published this month behind Cheshire, Orkan, Ochakov and Pyotr Bagration. I wish I could say playing these ships was fun. I really only enjoyed Ochakov and even then, she's not likely to be a ship that I dust off for her own sake. Ugh. This month has felt like a whole lot of work. I cut corners here where I could to expedite getting this one out. I can't say I'm happy with the results, though I am glad to get this out in a timely manner. I won't have the luxury of half-assing the next three reviews coming up, one of which is my 150th. The big one-five-oh should line up with Odin's release if I understand the timing correctly. I think that's reasonably auspicious right there. I've been floating the idea of doing an "open book" review -- showing my process as I go, making rough drafts and notes available as I piece it together in my usual methodology. It's one thing to say that a lot of work goes into these reviews. I think it would be eye opening for some to see everything that doesn't end up in the final review. Lemme know if you think this is something you'd enjoy seeing. It will involve some extra work, but I think it's worthwhile if there's enough interest. For now, I need a break. There's a lot of work still to be done with the submarines on the live server, so I'm going to have to try those out. And that's not discounting the next ships to evaluate which are coming up shortly. I need to fast recharge my batteries.
  2. 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.
  3. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review #128 - Hill

    The following is a review of the American Destroyer USS Hill, kindly provided to me by Wargaming. To the best of my knowledge, this represents the release version of the ship. Be aware her statistics may change in the future. Of the two ships that are new (Benham was released too), Hill has the less remarkable debut. She takes her cue from Nicholas but don't misconstrue: the comparison of the two becomes askew when their differences are run through. With this in mind, let us cut into this review: (enough of the rhymes, whew!) PROS Armed with 5 rapid fire guns with good damage output. Good gun handling and fire arcs on most of her mounts. Heavy torpedo armament of nine torpedo tubes. Good top speed of 37.5 knots. Agile with a good 560m turning radius and a high rate of turn. CONS Only a modest hit point total for a gunship. Bad ballistics on her guns. Horrible forward fire angles on her middle turret. Torpedoes are painfully short ranged at 5.5km with limited arcs per launcher. Enormous surface detection range of 7.38km Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual/ CHALLENGING / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH/ Extreme Hill is a typical mid-tier American destroyer. While she's easy enough to play when top tier, as soon as she steps out of the kiddy pool, she'll prove to be a challenge for novice players to wrestle. Her short range torpedoes, the poor ballistics of her guns, her enormous surface detection and modest hit point pool do not lend themselves well to the inexperienced. Veterans can make good use of her, though. Map knowledge can help mitigate her torpedo range and allow her to capitalize on island terrain. Her smoke is excellent and can be used and abused. Finally, her excellent agility makes her a potent knife fighter. – One of, if not the worst at its tier. This is a pronounced weakness. – Middle of the pack at its tier. Not terrible, but not terribly good either. – Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer. – No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship. Hill is reliant upon her guns to keep her firepower competitive. While they have great potential damage output, their ballistics really hold them back. Her torpedoes are too short ranged and too slow to be of much help. Hill's defense and agility have nothing wrong with them -- they just don't top the charts among the other tier V destroyers. Agility wise, she handles very well, but there are simply other destroyers at this tier which handle better. Anti-aircraft firepower remains a work in progress. Hill has a solid foundation here and should rank among the better tier V destroyers for AA power. What that will actually mean remains to be seen. We'll have to wait until the dust settles. Hill is visible from space. It's unfortunate. Her stealth sucks. Options Hill stands out in two areas. First, she lacks access to Defensive AA Fire. This isn't unusual in of itself, however the consumable is commonplace on upgraded American destroyers, so it's absence is worth noting. Second, Hill has access to two permanent camouflage patterns. Consumables The only consumable of note with Hill is the use of the American Smoke Generator with a longer emission time (30s vs 20s) and duration (115s vs 77s). Upgrades Upgrade wise, Hill is pretty standard. Start with Magazine Modification 1. If you don't mind detonations you can swap for Main Armaments Modification 1. Propulsion Modification 1 is the only consumable really worth considering in your second slot. Your third slot is a little weird with neither being especially good for a low tier destroyer. AA Guns Modification 1 gives your AA a bit more teeth against novice CV players. Alternatively, you can take Aiming Systems Modification 1 though this really is only useful for increasing your torpedo tube traverse. I've been playing tier VI+ destroyers for a while and I had forgotten how accustomed I was to the acceleration provided by Propulsion Modification 2. Hill, as a tier V destroyer, can't equip it and this has gotten me killed far too often. Ugh. So embarrassing. Camouflage Hill has access to two camouflage options, the standard Type 9 and the Master of the Water World. They are effectively cosmetic swaps of one another, providing the same bonuses. If Hill doesn't come with the second camouflage, it may be purchased for 2,000 doubloons. +50% experience gains -10% to post-battle costs. -3% to detectability by sea. +4% to enemy dispersion. The alternative palette swap for her base camouflage can be unlocked through completing the American Cruiser collection. I quite like the alternative palette. It reminds me of Easter. Firepower Main Battery: Five 127mm/38 guns in single turrets in an A-B-P-X-Y configuration with A-B and X-Y superfiring. P-turret is mounted between the two funnels (unfortunately). Torpedoes: Nine tubes in 3x3 launchers with a wing mount to each side and one mounted on the center line. American 127mm/38s, We Meet Again These are the staple of the American destroyer line from tier V+. They are characterized by the following: Dual Purpose. High rate of fire. Good gun traverse speeds. Low muzzle velocity and horrible ballistics. Poor fire chance per HE shell. As you climb in tiers, their rate of fire tends to improve and that's about it. It shouldn't be a surprise then that Hill's rate of fire isn't that impressive compared to some of the later offerings in the tech tree. Hill dispenses 12.5 rounds per minute (rpm) per gun, giving her a broadside of 62.5rpm before any upgrades. This is on the slow side, with most American destroyers with 127mm/38s spitting out a minimum of 15rpm per gun at tiers V and VI and jumping up to 18.18rpm by tier VII. She compensates for this deficit by mounting five guns, at least allowing her to keep pace with Nicholas at her own tier. The usual caveats with DPM charts apply. This only describes the potential damage output of these guns and it doesn't account for things like how easy it is to bring guns onto a target (traverse, fire angles), how easy it is to hit a target (dispersion, ballistics) or how easy it is to deal damage (penetration). But you're all smart enough to know that, right? This is sorted by HE shells for the simple reason that they get spat out more often. Gremyashchy has the most useful AP shells at this tier and is the most likely to do something effective with them. Hill just barely keeps ahead of Nicholas in terms of potential damage output but only if she can bring all of her guns to bear. Thankfully many of the low tier destroyers have gun angle issues, so it's a pretty close contest. To make the best use of Hill's guns, she generally has to get close. The ballistic arcs on the 127mm/38s is notoriously bad, making attacking ships at anything beyond stupidly-close ranges a challenge. The one benefit to this is that she's quite capable of lobbing shells over intervening terrain (or team mates) without issue, so she's quite apt at taking advantage of island cover. Still, when it comes to engaging enemy destroyers, she's going to need to grab them by their belt buckle which isn't always comfortable. For a ship reliant upon knife fighting to secure kills, at least her gun traverse is fast enough to keep up no matter how she wiggles or dodges (and she's good at the wiggles). On the whole, Hill's guns are pretty darned good, second only to Gremyashchy's guns for overall performance, but that's mostly owing to Gremyashchy's AP shells being so good. Hill's forward fire angles are pretty good except for her P-turret. This shouldn't really surprise anyone given that the darned thing is sandwiched between her two funnels. As a consequence, if Hill wants to top the DPM charts at tier V, she has to expose her full broadside in order to do it. She has much better fire angles to the rear which makes for better kiting performance. Keep this in mind when parking in smoke. It's better to turn away from your opponent and angle your butt towards them. Not only will you have an easier time bringing all five guns to bear, you can also prep for a quick getaway. Short Range Torpeedus I'm spotted here as I drop my torpedoes at this König. Anyone taking bets on if he attempted to dodge? Low tier American torpedoes suck. There. I've said it. They're short ranged, slow and they don't hit very hard. The one advantage they do have is that American destroyers have a lot of them. Hill doesn't quite pack as many, with only nine compared to Wickes, Clemson's and Nicholas' twelve launchers. One of the (additional) issues I had with Hill's torpedoes was the limited arcs. They can't aim at anything less than 50º off her bow and her center-line launcher can barely reach anything to her rear. Like with her P-turret on her guns, you've got to give up a lot of broadside to be able to put your swimmers into the water. Her fish are at least more versatile than low-tier Soviet torpedoes but that's not saying much. If you want to make use of Hill's fish, you're going to have to rely on close range ambushes or suicide-torping a target at point blank range. Just be aware that some of the higher tiered ships will have enough hit points to tank taking repeated hits and make you look like an idiot when your tubes are empty. You're not going to get much use out of them in higher tiered matches which makes her all the more reliant on her guns. Summary I dare say that Hill is almost under-armed. Bad fire angles keep her from being able to use all five her guns reliably. Her torpedoes are almost no help outside of top-tier matches. For a tier V boat, I guess that's good enough but this ship isn't winning any prizes. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Better fish or a higher rate of fire on her guns. It shouldn't be any surprise that Gremyashchy tops the charts here with the Kamikaze-sisters hot on her heels. Defense Hit Points: 12,100hp Minimum Bow & Deck Armour: 10mm Hill has two huge flaws. The biggest is definitely her surface detection. The second is her modest hit point total. For a gunship, Hill's hit points are kinda meh. While Survivability Expert is all but mandatory for destroyers, it's doubly so in Hill's case. She's too fat to hide and she's going to have to trade hit points in most encounters in order to deal damage (barring island humping and hiding in smoke). I mean, her hit point total isn't terrible, but it's uninspiring for a gunship, barely scraping together 12k to her name. 13,100 hp - Nicholas, Gremyashchy 12,700 hp - Podvoisky, Okhotnik 12,500 hp - Jianwei 12,100 hp - Hill 11,300 hp - Mutsuki, T-22 11,200 hp - Acasta 11,100 hp - Fujin, Kamikaze R, Kamikaze 10,900 hp - Minekaze A thousand extra hit points here could have easily changed Hill from a decent ship to an excellent one. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : A thousand more hit points would do it. Agility Top Speed: 37.5 knots Turning Radius: 560m Rudder Shift Time: 3.1s 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 8.6º/s One of the best things about Hill is that she has a low-tier lolibote's agility. She's got that smol lolibote wiggle in her tush with a rate of turn that's oh-so tight...! ♥ Azur Lane's Ark Royal was drawn by HM & Tomodachi and misappropriated for this review. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : While Hill does have that smol-bote sway, most of the other tier V destroyers have it too. Minekaze is the princess of this tier when it comes to agility and Hill is way down the list. This just kinda illustrates the flaw in a ranking system. Hill may not be the best, or even the close to the best in this category, but she still boasts some amazing handling. To top Minekaze she'd need more speed while preserving all of her other characteristics. Anti-Aircraft Defense Long Ranged (5.8km-1.8km): 190 damage every 4.5 seconds and 1 explosion at 560 damage. Short Ranged (1.8km to 0.1km): 50 damage every 1.96 seconds. Look, AA defense and aircraft survivability is going to be all over the map between now (0.8.5.1) and the next few patches (0.8.7 at least). There's not much point in reviewing a ship's given AA power at the moment. Don't buy a ship based on its AA power for the foreseeable future. Ugh, six more weeks of volatility. To the tune of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck", in memory of destroyer game play from patches 0.8.0 to 0.8.4. The pendulum has swung hard in favour of AA power in 0.8.5. Hill's AA defense is very comfortable against tier IV CVs at the moment, but will it last? Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Access to Defensive AA Fire. Of course this is all irrelevant anyway given how volatile AA power continues to be. Hill's in a good spot right now. We'll see if that continues. Refrigerator Base Surface Detection: 7.38km Air Detection Range: 2.85km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 6.44km Detection Range when Firing in Smoke: 2.75km Main Battery Firing Range: 11.35km (13.62km with Advanced Fire Training) Let's look at some numbers. I've listed all of the destroyers that Hill can face, ranking them by their upgraded surface detection. I've applied camouflage (3% surface detection reduction) and the Concealment Expert (10% surface detection reduction) to all of these ships and Concealment Modification 1 (a further 10% surface detection reduction) on Z-39 cuz she's hella balans. Now, it's important to keep in mind that the lower tiered destroyers -- specifically those at tiers IV and V (and even some VIs) might not be running with full concealment builds so take these numbers with a pinch of salt. Dangerous gunship opponents which are stealthier than Hill are highlighted in red. Those dangerous gunships she can out-spot are highlighted in green. When Hill is Top Tier (Tier IV & V opponents) 5.34km - Isokaze 5.41km - Minekaze, Mutsuki, Fujin, Kamikaze R, Kamikaze 5.50km - V-170 5.66km - Shenyang, Wakeful, Okhotnik 5.69km - T-22 5.81km - Nicholas 5.97km - Acasta, Jianwei 6.11km - Gremyashchy 6.13km - Clemson 6.44km - HILL 6.76km - Podvoisky Hill doesn't come out looking too good when she's top tier, but that's okay. She can effectively outgun most of her opponents here with only the American and Soviet destroyers being any real threat to her in a gun duel. Engaging torpedo destroyers successfully isn't too much of a problem here because the maps are so claustrophobic that you can abuse map borders and islands to cage them in. Still, Hill wins no prizes here. When Hill is "Mid" Tier (Tier V & VI opponents) One of the other possible matchmaking oddities for tier V is that they can end up just facing opponents one tier higher with nothing beneath them. This results in the following list of opponents: 5.41km - Minekaze, Mutsuki, Fujin, Kamikaze R, Kamikaze 5.66km - Okhotnik 5.69km - T-22 5.81km - Nicholas, Hatsuharu 5.97km - Acasta, Jianwei, Gallant 6.11km - Gremyashchy 6.13km - Fubuki, Shinonome, Gnevny, T-61, Fushun 6.29km - Monaghan, Anshan 6.44km - HILL 6.60km - Farragit. Ernst Gaede 6.76km - Podvoisky, Aigle There's a lot more dangerous opponents now, but Hill thankfully out-spots many of the new ones including the tier VI ships Aigle, Farragut and Gaede. Still, the Soviet and Pan Asian additions are worth minding. When Hill is Bottom Tier (Tier V, VI and VII opponents) Big surprise -- there's a lot of scary opponents two tiers higher. 5.41km - Minekaze, Mutsuki, Fujin, Kamikaze R, Kamikaze 5.66km - Okhotnik 5.67km - Haida 5.69km - T-22 5.81km - Nicholas, Hatsuharu, Shiratsuyu 5.97km - Acasta, Jianwei, Gallant 6.08km - Z-39 6.11km - Gremyashchy 6.13km - Fubuki, Shinonome, Gnevny, T-61, Fushun, Gadjah Mada 6.29km - Monaghan, Anshan, Jervis 6.44km - HILL , Akatsuki 6.60km - Farragut, Ernst Gaede, Sims, Leningrad 6.67km - Mahan 6.76km - Podvoisky, Aigle, Leberecht Maass, Blyskawica As you can clearly see, Hill's concealment doesn't do it any favours. Thankfully, her stealth is JUST good enough to keep her nose clean in higher tiered matches, though she barely has any reaction time between spotting some of those dangerous gunship opponents before being detected in turn. To be comfortable, I'd generally want a minimum of 250m worth of difference between the detection ranges of two ships to allow players time enough to make a decision whether to engage or begin retreating. This is not enough time to prevent being spotted in the first place (a 30 knot ship covers 250m in 3 seconds) but it can give you enough of a head start to make a decision. Hill is a big girl with all of the challenges that brings. This is, in my opinion, what really holds her back from being a "good" ship. She doesn't have the stealth to sneak up on much and her guns are reliant upon her closing the distance (to say nothing of her torpedoes). Worse, the extra range on her guns makes her visible from further out. This range is mostly useless given the horrible ballistics on her guns. This is probably her biggest weak point overall. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Hill's stealth rating is pretty terrible. It could be worse, but let's not go there. King of the Hill Hill accepts a standard American destroyer captain build and shouldn't give anyone any issues with skill compatibility. Your first 10 skill points should look like this: Start with Priority Target. Next take Last Stand. I really hope Wargaming does something about this skill. It's mandatory on all destroyers. Survivability Expert is next at tier 3. This will add another 1,750hp to your total which can give you the edge over the other low-tier gunships that haven't taken this. Concealment Expert rounds things off. As you double back through the line, take skills which emphasize her gunnery. Basic Fire Training is a great choice. Superintendent is nice too because it gives you another charge of smoke that you can use to camp out and spray down larger ships without being seen (just watch out for fish). Adrenaline Rush is always worth the points. Over the Hill To appreciate Hill you need to take a close look at Nicholas, the tier V American tech-tree destroyer. If you listen to the peanut-gallery, they'll tell you the two of them are very close. They're technically correct (the best kind of correct) despite the two ships having an enormous laundry-list of differences. While Hill and Nicholas share the same guns (127mm/38s) and torpedoes (Mark 11s) the soft-stats of the ships differ wildly. But don't you fret: this doesn't affect performance much. Let's get into the list: Where Hill is Better than Nicholas: + Hill has 5 guns to Nicholas' 4. + Hill has an 11.3km range to Nicholas' 10.9km. + Hill has better main battery firing angles than Nicholas. + Hill has better long-range AA firepower. + Hill has a top speed of 37.5kts to Nicholas' 37kts. + Hill has a 560m turning radius to Nicholas' 600m radius. + Hill turns at 8.6º/s, Nicholas turns at 7.9º/s. + Hill has premium economy, Nicholas does not. + Hill has TWO permanent camouflage options, Nicholas doesn't have access to any. Where Hill is Worse than Nicholas: - Hill has 12,100hp to Nicholas' 13,100hp. - Hill's hull armour is no thicker than 10mm, Nicholas has 13mm amidship decks and a 15mm hull. - Hill reloads in 4.7s, Nicholas in 4.0s. - Hill has three triple torpedo launchers, Nicholas has four. - Hill has worse torpedo fire angles than Nicholas. - Hill has worse short-range AA firepower. - Hill has has a larger surface detection of 7.38km to Nicholas' 6.66km - Hill has a larger aerial detection of 2.85km to Nicholas' 2.45km. - Hill is visible in smoke from 2.75km compared to Nicholas' 2.49km. - Nicholas can swap her Engine Boost for Defensive AA Fire. Now if you take a look at that list, you're probably going: "Hey, Mouse, those two ships aren't alike at all." Well, duh, no kidding. When you get into the nitty-gritty, it becomes a stretch to say that Hill shares much in common with Nicholas without a huge number of big ol' fat buts attached. This said, only a big ol' fat butt would try and lord over the differences like they really amounted to much. Boil it all down and the differences between the two comes to this: Nicholas is more survivable, being tougher and more stealthy. Hill is more agile. Overall, they're pretty damn close. They're both American destroyers sharing the same weapons, after all. Let's describe Hill on her own merits: Hill has good guns, good agility but terrible torpedoes and horrible concealment. Without a huge slug of hit points, it would be a stretch to call her "good". Her design is perfectly adequate when she's top tier, especially in the claustrophobic maps she finds herself in during those matches. She's especially effective at running down other destroyers with her rapid fire guns and using her agility to dodge attempts to torpedo her. However, Hill does not up-tier well at all. She's too fat. She's too fragile. She's too short ranged to hit hard enough to keep up with stronger opponents. This summation fits Nicholas to a T which is probably why the two destroyers are viewed so similarly. Of the two, I'd argue that Nicholas is the better boat, if only for the extra health and slightly better concealment. However, the reality is that Hill will perform better than Nicholas as a whole due her being a premium ship. You can put your tin foil hats away -- Hill's greatest strength is that she's likely to have a high skill-point captain commanding her. Nicholas, on the other hand, is hardly the darling of the American destroyer line and unlikely to have a commander exceeding 10 skill points at the helm. While there may be a few veterans about holding onto a Nicholas they've invested heavily into, she's overshadowed by Clemson and Farragut. Thus, Hill is likely to appear to be the better boat once stat-tracking gets some numbers to play with, even if Nicholas is objectively the better ship when you analyze her systems. So, yeah. Hill's alright -- I don't like her, but she's alright. She's a decent gunship destroyer when top-tier, for example. However, we have to pretend that Nicholas doesn't exist to reach that assessment. I'd much rather have one of the Kamikaze-sisters, Gremyashchy or Okhotnik if it came down to choosing a tier V premium and I'd still take Nicholas over Hill in a heartbeat. She doesn't really have a "point" compared to Nicholas other than simply offering more of the same in premium form. The huge stack of minor differences between her and her tech tree counterpart make her just different enough to be just that -- different for difference's sake. None of the tier V tech-tree destroyers are particularly fun to play, in my opinion, so take my saltiness over Hill with a pinch of ... well, even more salt. If you like Nicholas and want a mid-tier American trainer, then Hill is great news for you. Otherwise, Hill isn't worth playing, let alone paying for. Would I Recommend? There's a couple of ways of getting Hill. She was given away provided players completed a series of missions during patch 0.8.5. Alternatively you could just throw money at Wargaming if this was too much work. For PVE Battles? No. Gunship destroyers, especially ones with short ranged fish, aren't really a good choice for PVE battles. For Random Battle Grinding? No. There are better trainers and credit farmers out there for the US Destroyer line (Kidd comes to mind). For Competitive Gaming? Hells no. Take Nicholas instead if you're going to take a tier V American destroyer. There are much MUCH better choices at tier V for something like Ranked Sprint. For Collectors? No. Hill didn't exist in steel. The only real reason to want to collect her is that she had the potential of being free. For her Fun-Factor? No. I didn't enjoy playing Hill at all. What’s the Final Verdict? How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage – Meh – Gud – Overpowered? GARBAGE– I hate it! Mehbote – An average ship. Probably forgettable. Gudbote – The best thing ever. Totally not overpowered because I like padding my stats in it. OVERPOWERED – I hate playing against it! And WG said that players don't care about cosmetics. HA. Art Credits The Mouse Paper-doll was designed and drawn by Chobittsu (and is super fun to play with). Ark Royal was drawn by HM & Tomodachi. In Closing I was originally going to glue this together with Benham and also talk about the loot boxes all in a single article. Well, that quickly bloated to a monstrosity that would make my Haida review look brief, so I've elected to cut it up. Benham will be the next ship reviewed and it should be out within the next week. For those who can't wait that long: Benham is good. She's fun, even, if you like torpedo destroyers. She reminds me vaguely Harekaze -- a good mix of gunnery and torpedoes. I'm not sure she's worth busting your butt over on the grind, but there it is. Thank you all for reading.
  4. Battle of Jutland We will try this on this next coming Friday on Dec 7th 12/7/18. 9:30-11:30PM US Eastern standard time , 8:30-10:30 PM US CENTRAL TIME, 7:30-9:30 PM US MOUNTAIN TIME, 6:30-7:30 PM US PACIFIC TIME , 11:30AM -1:30 PM in Sydney Australia 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM in Perth Australia. This will be in the training room labeled "battle of jutland". search for training rooms by Outwardpanicjoe. if anyone is interested in helping to make new events or suggestions feel free to join the workshop discord https://discord.gg/ygjyP2G the event for this will be in the same discord for voice. TRAILER V General rules for the event: Try to stay in a battle line formation as much as possible. Battleships/battlecruisers will be using AP only. Each team will have 2 commanders of the line one in the lead and one to the rear of each battle line. If one of the commanders is taken out of the battle, the ship next in line takes command as flag ship. Chapter 2 - The Grand Battle UK mission- The battlecruisers are on the retreat intercept the german fleet and engage them from a battle line and surround the german fleet and pumble them into submission. Attempt to sink the rest of the German navy before they can try to escape to the map border. UK ships- 10 battleships and 2 other classes. 3 Queen Elizabeth classes including Warspite, 3 Orion class BBs , 2 Iron Dukes, 2 Bellerophon's, and 2 Other can either be a tier 2 dd or a tier 2 cruiser for spotting and supporting fire and smoke support no torpedos. Kaiserliche Marine Mission- Form a battle line and intercept the Grand Fleet. Try to sink 3-4 ships, or just inflict more casualties than the royal navy has before trying to retreat and avoid getting crossed by the T. Kaiserliche Marine Ships- 9 battleships and 3 other types of ship. 3 Konigs, 3 Kaisers, 3 Nassaus. And 3 other types, being tier 2-3 cruisers and DDs for spotting and artillery support and smoking support Torpedoes may only used in a fleet retreat and is limited to 1 reload. here are some pictures from the last event V
  5. I love my gunboat DDs. I'm an average at best cruiser player, and only good in some BBs, but my happy place is filled with names like Clemson, Farragut, Z-52, Akizuki/Haragumo, Vampire, Fletcher, etc. I enjoy hunting DDs, controlling caps, spotting and vision control, and such, and I find it's my best way to contribute to wins. I like playing fast and aggressive but still having to be thoughtful about movement and positioning. I'm an average player overall, but in a gunboat DD I can carry games that I am not capable of carrying in other ships. So when it became evident that the RN line would be optimized for the fleet DD role, I was excited. So far....the results are mixed, but I am optimistic for the rest of the line. I won't unlock Lightning until Wednesday as I've completed all the container missions and didn't unlock her, but I've gotten some time with Acasta, Icarus, and Jervis. (Valkyrie looks like it will play similarly to Vampire with a bit more torp flexibility and emphasis, so I'll try her and Wakeful after launch as well.) Here's my impressions of Acasta, with Icarus and Jervis coming later tonight or tomorrow and the rest coming soon (I probably wont have much time to play next weekend so it will be a bit of time before I cover Lightning, Jutland, and Daring.) 'The Acasta Doing Business - Mid-Tier Meh "A lot like T-22, except even more boring and ineffectual" It was evident even before playing them that a lot of the British DDs would have reasonably high skill floors and would be 'better than sum of its parts' boats given the 'fleet DD' niche. Acasta is clearly a step in that evolutionary line, but in her case, sh's likely a 'grindwall' boat that most players will be glad to get out of. Even as someone with realistic expectations and who enjoys that playstyle, I didn't enjoy her. Full disclosure: I played 2 games in her and then sidelined her after unlocking Icarus mission. So maybe others make her work better after some more time, but I have played enough Gallant and enough other gunboat DDs to know Acasta wasn't for me. She's just aggressively meh. She doesn't excel in anything, but neither does T-61 and that's one of my favorite boats; she's just not good enough at enough things to make her fun. Her guns are meh, with a slow traverse and low dpm output making her vulnerable to USN DDs, and aside from the flexibility of her singlefire torps, her torps aren't anything to write home about. You can't launch from stealth except in ambush or at an approaching target. When the cards fall right, you can still devstrike anything easily with 8 torps on the same vector, or easily design your own spreads to improve odds of getting at least one hit. I have used this skill to great effect with my Gallant, but with 6km torps (and 6km stealth even at full-stealth build) I struggled to do so with Acasta. Good players will get some fantastic results out of these torps on occasion when they use single-fire perfectly, but it's going to be rare-ish and you're going to have to work harder to get good torp results than other DDs. Her guns are also a weakness. Like USN DDs, RN DDs have high shell arcs that necessitate engagements at closer ranges than Russian or (to a lesser extent) German DDs. But USN DDs just spank this boat 1v1 in a gunfight. She isn't even competitive with Clemson for cap control, much less Nicholas or Farragut. Her nimbleness helps her avoid torps but you wont dodge much gunfire at that range, and her RN smoke is even shorter because tier 5. Plus, the hydro later tiers get isnt present here. I've played a lot of Farragut and Clemson and know every trick in the book to use torps when you can't *quite* stealthtorp in most conditions, but the singlefire capability doesnt make up for the fairly weak torpedoes here, and her guns just aren't good enough to deal damage when you can't pull off ambushes, unlike the USN boats. This is a boat in which even experienced gunboaters will struggle to do damage on a consistent basis. She's nimble and accelerates quickly, she can use singlefire torps to torp entire smokescreens to flush or kill red DDs or to devstrike a BB from ambush, and she can spot and help kill DDs, but she doesn't beat ANYTHING 1v1 in a stand-up fight except a badly played IJN torpboat, and even then she doesn't have hydro for the extra cushion so her nimbleness is key to not eating torps. I think very good players can make her work very well, and I wouldn't be surprised to see her do well in the t5 ranked season in the hands of a good player. But she's going to uptier even more poorly than most tier 5 boats. She'll never be a popular boat; for one, the most OP dd for its tier is Kamikaze at tier 5, and although tier 5 is a fairly weak tier for gunboat DDs anyway, Acasta is just not equipped to excel in randoms with her toolkit. PROS: *Single-fire torps. Great for island ambushes of ships coming around a corner, strait/gap control, or torping smoke clouds when you're pretty sure a red DD is in there due to flexibility of torp spread design (can drop them all in a row or spread them out as you see fit. *Good acceleration and handling: RN DDs don't get speed boost, but they accelerate quick and hold speed in a turn. These aren't huge advantages, but they help you knife-fight other DDs and still avoid torps, and help get you out of trouble. *Decent stealth: You'll outspot Clemson and Farragut (Nicholas noses you out), outspot Gaede and Maass, and all Russian DDs. You get outspotted by IJN DDs but not by too much. And your smoke is great for breaking contact and vision control even though it sucks for offensive use. CONS: *Meh guns: the improved AP ricochet angles RN ships get doesn't seem to help much (although small sample size as I didn't play too much of her) and the low effective range (due to firing arcs), meh traverse, meh reload speed, and meh DPM mean you get your [edited]kicked by any other gunboat 1v1 assuming equally skilled players. *Situational torps: I'm used to not being able to stealthtorp; as I said, I play Clemson and Farragut often. But these torps are slowish, meh damage, and your torp range is identical to your concealment. Use them to torp smoke clouds, but don't count on racking up BB kills when they're not dumb enough to come around the corner of an island predictably enough for you to launch your torps in a line right at him. *No speed boost + low hp = low survivability: She's nimble, and her quick-reload smoke can help break contact, but if you overextend you're not going to find it easy to get back out. Her stealth is ok but she can still be outspotted by several common DDs at that tier, and she can't just boost out of trouble, so she can find herself getting focused down and her smoke is really the only thing that can buy time to bail. And once she is getting focused, she doesn't have the HP pool to last long. You've got to play smart; lone wolf deep-penetration tactics are a death wish in Acasta. *Tier 5 matchmaking: I personally enjoy the challenge of being bottom tier in most boats. However, aside from her stealth advantage over many tier 6 and 7 DDs, this is a boat that gets murdered at bottom tier. I think she'll surprise people in tier 5 ranked, but this boat is going to be terribad in randoms because she'll be bottom tier 40-50% of the time and she just doesnt have the toolkit to be effective at all. This is literally the worst t5 DD to be in a tier 7 match with. When you're uptiered, you'll jhave to work hard and play out of your mind doing all the little things to get your xp and contribute meaningfully, because you can't effectively engage anything but isolated and wounded targets and you will get pushed off caps easily. TL;DR: she fits perfectly in the niche Wargaming wanted RN DDs to fill, but in this tier, that niche just doesn't work. She's right up there with T-22 as an incredibly boring boat, and even when you find ways to win and contribute, you won't feel like you've done all that much even though you worked hard all game to do what little you did. But don't worry, Icarus is an improvement and Jervis is a strong boat, so just keep grinding. It'll be over soon. (My other reviews - British BBs: Conqueror/Lion Monarch KGV Queen Elizabeth French BBs: Overall Line Review German DDs: Flottentorpedoboot My Waifu)
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