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Found 30 results

  1. Name: Hood Ship type: battlecruiser Class: Admiral Nation: United Kingdom Tier: VII Greetings fellow captains, supreme overlords, and dispersion divinities. Today, in the third installment of Naval Intelligence, I bring you one of Britain's icons of World War II and the inter-war period, the premium Tier VII British battlecruiser: Hood. My objective is to inform players about a different, and factual piece of information that hopefully will aid you in deciding whether to purchase this ship or not. This review will go over its history briefly, her in-game characteristics, and other factors such as aesthetics, modules, and what you can expect if you so decide to give her a place in your port. History “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” - Winston Churchill The ship belonged to a class of four battlecruisers known as the Admiral-class. Hood was the sole representative to be completed once the other three members -Howe, Rodney, and Anson- were canceled. Hood 's keel was laid down on September 1st, 1916 by John Brown & Co. in Clydebank, Scotland. She was launched on August 22th, 1918, and she entered service on May 15th, 1920. For twenty years, Hood remained as the world's largest and most powerful warship in the world. Her design was the result of maximizing a battlecruiser's traits (light armor, high speed, and battleship guns) while considering the occurrences regarding the Royal Navy's battlecruisers -three months prior to Hood's construction- during the Battle of Jutland. Two of the most significant adjustments made to the design, thanks to the loss of 3 battlecruisers at Jutland, was the increase in thickness of the main armor belt to 305 mm (12 in), and the internal armor plating that protected the forward magazines. This addition in weight plagued Hood with a lower freeboard, which attained her several nicknames such as: "Largest Submarine in the Fleet", "HMS Wobbly", and "The Seven B's" ("Britain's Biggest Bull*****ingest B***ard Built By Brown"). Throughout the inter-war period, Hood saw extensive service as the flagship of the Battlecruiser Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet and became the Royal Navy's poster boy (or girl, depending on personal perspective) due to her size, media coverage, and inter-war actions. She took part in a worldwide cruise which lasted from late 1923 to 1925, the purpose of the cruise was to project British naval power and influence to other countries and colonies (something that came to be known as "gunboat diplomacy"). Throughout her service, the ship became the pride of Britain and the Royal Navy, being appropriately referred to colloquially as "The Mighty Hood". After the cruise ended, she was refitted from 1929 to 1931 and continued to go on cruises, training, and minor refits. Through the 1930's, Hood's dire need of a major refit and modernization became apparent (such as her power plant's diminishing performance and the crew's inability to wash and bathe due to the fresh water evaporators being redirected to the boilers). She was scheduled to enter drydock in 1941 for a significant refit; however, the outbreak of World War II altered her fate in history. In 1940, Hood became the flagship of Force H and participated in the destruction of the French fleet that was docked at Mers-el-Kébir, French Algeria (present day: Algeria). She scored four 15" shell hits on the French battleship Dunkerque and was straddled in return by the same ship. Once the operation ended, Hood returned to Scapa Flow where she was replaced by Renown as the flagship of Force H. She participated in a couple of sorties without much success afterward. In honesty, Hood's recognition and popularity stem from the wrong reasons. During the Battle of the Denmark Strait, Hood, alongside the much newer battleship HMS Prince of Wales, was ordered to intercept the German battleship Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. Hood's participation in the engagement was brief, after one of Bismarck's 15" shells struck the leading battlecruiser and provoked a series of events which can, in majority, only be speculated upon; however, most theories converge on the idea of the German shell hitting Hood's after magazines and producing a jet of fire that erupted near the mainmast of the ship. The subsequent blast resulted in a fatal explosion that claimed Hood herself and most of her crew. Only three crewmen survived. Specifications “Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral” - Melvin Kranzberg Hood was powered by 24 Yarrow oil-fired boilers and 4 Brown-Curtis turbines. Her power output was rated at 144,000 shaft horsepower and produced a speed of 32 knots at the time of her commission; however, the lack of a major refit and meticulous repairs decreased her speed to 29 knots. She was armed with eight 381 mm (15")/42 BL Mk I rifles that were capable of firing a shell every 30 seconds. Her secondary armament comprised of fourteen 102 mm (4.01") QF Mk XVI dual-purpose guns on seven dual mounts (in-game their range as a secondary armament and an anti-aircraft gun is 5 kilometers, with an average damage of 65.8). The anti-aircraft suite on Hood was additionaly composed of twenty-four 40 mm QF 2pdr -also known as "Pom-Poms"- that were mounted on three sets of eight barrels (in-game range and average damage: 2.49 km, and 59.4); for close range she possessed four quadruple 12.7 mm Vickers Mk III machine guns (range/damage: 1.2 km/8.4), and finally she had the experimental UP AA Rocket Launcher Mark I -this particular armament was deemed inefficient and potentially dangerous by the Royal Navy- it never shot down any aircraft but in-game they possess a range of 1.5 kilometers and an average damage of 50 (though their historical range is 305 meters/1,000 feet). In the tradition of World War I warship design, Hood was also equipped with six 533 mm (21") torpedo tubes that were fixed in the hull. Four of the tubes, two on each side, were mounted above the waterline and remained onboard the ship until her demise in 1941. Meanwhile, the remaining two torpedo tubes were submerged and located near the "A" turret, but they were removed in 1937. Hood's essence is that of a battlecruiser, and her armor scheme reflects this. Her main armor belt is 305 mm (12") thick and is mostly underwater while being covered by her torpedo bulges which provide most of the ship with a torpedo damage reduction of 18%. Above the main belt, Hood's thinner armor belts can be found: the one directly on top of the main belt has a thickness of 178 mm and is relatively small when it is compared to her 127 mm (5") belt that ends at the weather deck. Internally, Hood's armor is also reminiscent of a World War I capital ship. Her citadel has a turtle back armor scheme which increases the protection of her vital parts at close range -though not as effectively as her German counterparts- and reduces her armor's effectiveness at long range due to plunging fire. Hood's citadel armored deck slopes have a raw thickness of 51 mm and are sloped inward. The battlecruiser's deck protection is also inherited from World War I designs. Her deck armor thickness is distributed among two decks in-game: the weather deck near the bow and the stern share a thickness of 25 mm, while the midships section has 51 mm. Her citadel's deck armor can be sectioned in two parts: machinery and magazines. The machinery spaces such as the engine rooms are protected by 38 mm near the centerline, and 51 mm on the sides; while the magazines of the main battery turrets are shielded by 76 mm of armor -with small portions near the ends of the front and after sections being protected by 108 mm and 127 mm respectively. In all, Hood's armor scheme is sufficient to make angling possible and shield the ship from cruiser-like armaments, but it gives out easily against high-caliber guns when showing a poorly angled broadside to enemy battleships. Her bow and stern are covered by 25 mm of plating; however, small 127 mm and 152 mm plates can be found next to the main belts (these can be used to bounce enemy shells through angling, but the Hood's captain should not actively look for close range engagements against capital ships of any kind. Playstyle “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” - Bruce Lee Hood's style resembles that of Kongo's. To players of the Japanese battleship line, this comes to no surprise, as both vessels were designed as battlecruisers; ships equipped with battleship guns, relatively light armor, and a powerful array of boilers and turbines to give them a speed advantage over contemporary battleships. One must make the most of the battlecruiser's armament of eight 15" guns and their armor-piercing (AP) shells which have a short arm time, a maximum damage of 11,400 points, and a slow shell velocity of 731.5 meters per second which is shared with the guns' high-explosive (HE) shells. Hood's HE shells are respectable; possessing a 34% fire chance, a maximum damage of 5,300 points. Unlike most battleships of the Royal Navy, these HE shells are not subject to the 1/4 HE penetration rule. The lack of this rule provides Hood's 381 mm HE shells with a standard penetration value of 63 mm. Further, the battlecruiser's speed must be used wisely in maneuvers and fleet operations; such as a push or taking a defensive position. Her turning circle of 910 meters, accompanied by a rudder shift of 13.4 seconds and large dimensions make her commander think ahead of their maneuvers, and opt for open waters which allow the usage of Hood's speed and rudder shift. Related to the previous paragraph, the spotting of opportunities and potential flanks alongside friendly cruisers must be prioritized. Her short-fuzed AP shells make her an effective counter to enemy cruisers and lightly armored battleships; however, the shells' short fuze is also one of her weaknesses since they are unreliable at penetrating main armor belts at any range (most times they will shatter or bounce). The correct shell usage and proper aiming are necessary to obtain high damage games with the Hood. Her AA suite on its own is not impressive, but Hood has access to a unique Defensive AA Fire consumable that multiplies her UP Rocket's average damage by x25. But more on this consumable on the following section. Consumables “The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in.” - Henry Green Hood comes equipped with standard British Damage Control Party and Repair Party consumables. The Repair Party is similar to those found on equal, and lower tier Royal Navy battleships. Additionally, Hood has access to a special Defensive Fire AA consumable that multiplies her short range aura -comprised of her rocket launchers- by 25 times for 60 seconds. This translates to an impressive 1,250 average damage while using stock values, and it can be enhanced by Advanced Firing Training, Basic Firing Training, AA Guns Modification 2 Upgrade, and the November Echo Setteseven signal flag. Aesthetics “Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated.” - Paul Rand Her sleek, long, and lean hull make her a sight to behold. The superstructure is an interesting blend between World War I and inter-war designs. The funnels of Hood also project this peculiar idea that she possesses a massive power plant and can stretch her legs when she's needed to do so (that is if ships have legs... but that is a topic for another day or a more laid back discussion). Conclusion “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” - Albert Einstein Personally, I quite enjoy her, especially considering her historical significance and the recognition from the H.M.S. Hood Association that this premium ship has. She is a formidable team member when used correctly, not as a brawler, but as a flanker and an opportunist that can hit hard and fight hard. Her presence in a match also allows for some light-hearted banter to take place between the teams at the start of a battle. And what better way to honor the real HMS Hood by making conscience about her through playing her in-game and getting to know her story and rise as a naval legend. "Ad Astra Per Aspera" Phantom out. References Allen, F., Bevand, P., & Charpentier Ltd. (2014). H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood - Ship Specifications and Armament: H.M.S. Hood - Notes for Visitors. Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/ship/pamphlet30s.htm Allen, F., Bevand, P., & H.M.S. Hood Association. (2014). H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood - Ship Specifications and Armament: Hood Factoids. Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/ship/hoodspecs7.htm Wargaming.net. (2018). Hood. Retrieved from http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Ship:Hood Wikipedia. (2018). HMS Hood. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Hood Wikipedia. (2018). Attack on Mers-el-Kébir. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Mers-el-Kébir Quotes recovered from Goodreads, website: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes In-game images and icons recovered from the Wargaming Wiki, all credit goes to their respective authors. Other images recovered from Google Images. Due to my circumstance, I must make do with electronic sources and screenshots from other players or the wiki itself.
  2. The one premium, the Saipan, in my opinion is truly the bane of any carrier player who's gotten up to Tier VII on any of the lines. Don't get me wrong, I don't think Saipan is totally overpowered, I think it's incredibly strong, even captained by a mediocre player, but it definitely can be abused by someone who's seasoned. For instance, if you division pair the Saipan with AA ships, usually Kutezovs, Kidds, Atlantas, etc you get some imbalanced matches if you queue solo. I remember one match an Atlanta parked directly next to the Saipan behind an island and prevented anyone from getting near him from sea or air. Division issues aside, what am I, as a Ranger, Hiryu or Kaga supposed to do against the 3-0-1? 12 Tier IX Fighters against Tier VI and Tier VII planes barely equal to that amount. It's not even the health of the plane squadrons, it's how fast they can cover a map. This is huge for scouting, as a 2-0-2 ranger you at least had a shot. Now you are stuck with 1 fighter squadron against potentially 2 that will be much faster and strafe you to oblivion. Don't bother trying to sneak bombers, they can cover the maps so unfairly fast at lower tiers it's barely worth trying. Most often I park my bombers near AA ships in the lemming train, and then try and micro my fighters into strafe matches and hopefully come out slightly better than my opponent. Even with the 2-2-0 Saipan still can be microed easily, since anything you face will have at least an even amount of slower squadrons moving around. Even if they lock your fighters up in a dogfight, no problem. Strafe out and don't lose a plane, foolproof escape. Compared to the Enterprise and the Kaga, Saipan has a matchmaking bonus too. Consider this, Enterprise has tier VII planes, but will almost always be downtiered against tier IX and X AA. Despite having Beefy squadrons, it gets chewed through, but it is a high skill, high reward kind of ship. Similarly with Kaga, which has a slight favor of being able to see tier V's, but can see up to tier IX's. Saipan can see tier IX's but has tier IX planes, that are balanced relative to the AA at those tiers. Not necessarily as powerful as an Essex or Taiho, but you still have a fighting chance, something any Kaga going up against Iowas or Enterprise seeing Des Moines with downtiered planes doesn't have the luxury of. The issue with the Air Supremacy Skill is the biggest force in my opinion that makes Saipan Overpowered. I honestly think the devs only considered the 3 fighter squadrons when testing it. That would still make it competitive with speed and scouting, but more balanced in terms of CV vs CV. I understand the AA aspect, but the speed you get far outweighs the plane reserves of the other carriers at the same tier. I think this is the main reason most people don't complain about the Saipan, as it doesn't always get a lot of damage out, it's just so annoying and laborious to play against it as a carrier. TL;DR Saipan is annoying to play against mostly due to the Air Supremacy skill, speed and scouting ability, ability to shut down another CV with low effort, and the strafe out mechanic is unbalanced
  3. Name: Scharnhorst Ship type: battleship Class: Scharnhorst Nation: Germany Tier: VII Greetings fellow captains, supreme overlords, and dispersion divinities. Today, in the second installment of Naval Intelligence, I will be sharing with you a review about one of the most loved battleships in the game, the premium Tier VII German battleship: Scharnhorst. My objective is to inform players with a different, and factual piece of information that hopefully will aid you in deciding whether to purchase this ship or not. This review will go over its history briefly, her in-game characteristics, and other factors such as aesthetics, modules, and what you can expect if you so decide to give her a place in your port. History “Study the past if you would define the future.” - Confucius The Scharnhorst originated from the idea of having to counter contemporary French, and British battlecruiser designs; such as Dunkerque, Hood, and Renown. France's Dunkerque and Strasbourg were scuttled in 1942, and Great Britain's battlecruisers were sunk during the early years of the war. The Kriegsmarine also considered that the Panzerschiff (also known as the pocket battleship, an example being the Admiral Graf Spee) was not intended to be a mainline ship made to fight battlecruisers and emerging fast battleships; instead, that particular type of ship was ideal for raider operations and anti-cruiser/destroyer roles. Furthermore, the compliance of the new Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935, which allowed the construction of a Kriegsmarine that would be restrained to a size equal to 35% of the Royal Navy, was also considered prior to the design of the first German battleships of the new era. With that settled, I will briefly talk about Scharnhorst's service record to make way for the ship's specifications. The battleship's keel was laid down by the Wilhelmshaven Navy Yard in 1935, in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. She was launched in 1936 and entered service in 1939. Though her sister ship, Gneisenau, was completed before Scharnhorst, the class was widely considered by many sources as the Scharnhorst-class regardless. Both members of the class saw service accompanied by one another. Where one would go, the other would follow. During a raiding cruise in November 1939, the merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi fell prey to the pair, engaging the two battleships despite overwhelming odds. In the April of 1940, the pair encountered the battlecruiser HMS Renown while supporting the German landings during the Invasion of Norway. The aging British capital ship scored hits on the Germans and successfully made the two battleships retreat. Two months later after repairs, the duo met the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious and her escort screen. Glorious was sunk with the loss of over 1200 hands (receiving the unfortunate distinction of being the only fleet carrier sunk by enemy gunfire in the war), but Scharnhorst was damaged yet again. Fast forward to 1942. Scharnhorst took part in the "Channel Dash".The two battleships, heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, and 6 destroyer escorts made their way through the English Channel to reach German ports while evading Allied forces. The operation was a success, although Scharnhorst sustained damage by mines and remained at Kiel for most of the year due to repairs. On the day of December 25th of 1943, Scharnhorst would weigh anchor for the last time with orders to intercept allied convoys headed for the Soviet Union. Accompanied by five destroyers, she headed to the Atlantic to find the valuable transports to the Allied war effort. Distant from her destroyer screen, Scharnhorst moved in to engage one of the convoys, but she encountered an enemy escort screen lead by the battleship HMS Duke of York. Faced with insurmountable odds, Scharnhorst was sunk with the loss of 1968 of hands. Only 36 were rescued. The Battle of the North Cape would go down in history as a major British victory. A memorial stone dedicated to the ship and her crew can be found today in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Specifications “We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.” - Douglas Adams Scharnhorst's power plant consisted of 12 Deschimag ultra-high-pressure oil-fired boilers which fed steam to 3 Brown, Boveri & Co. geared steam turbines and produced 160,000 shaft horsepower. Historically, she was able to produce 32 knots (36.8 mph/59.2 kph) at full speed but in-game, she is limited to a speed of 30 knots (34.5 mph/55.5 kph), a respectable number at Tier VII, which is only superseded by Gneisenau and Hood at the time of writing this review. Her rudder can shift from side to side in 14.5 seconds; it can be brought down to 11.6 seconds with the rudder shift upgrade. Lastly, her turning radius is rated at 800 meters. The ship's main armament is composed of nine 283 mm/11.1 in L/54.5 Drh LC/34 naval guns which are capable of firing every 20 seconds. The guns themselves are complemented by a firing range of 19.9 kilometers (this can increase temporarily to 23.88 km by a spotting aircraft, but the guns' effectiveness at that range is questionable). This rate of fire and gun caliber is uncommon among battleships and cruisers, which makes this ship the more unique to play due to her cruiser-killing capabilities. The accuracy of the main armament is not exceptional, but it allows the Scharnhorst to punish broadside targets at medium and short ranges with AP shells capable of dealing a maximum of 7,600 damage. While the HE shells are not exceptional, they possess a 20% fire chance and are subject to the 1/4 penetration rule, which grants them 70.75 mm of penetration. Scharnhorst's secondary armament comprises of 12 150 mm guns and 14 105 mm guns, making it a force to be reckoned with at close range. The 150's are encased in four dual turrets and four single mounts, while the 105's are encased in dual mounts. The secondary armament is evenly distributed along the ship's sides with the exception of a 105 mm mount which is located behind the Caesar (number 3) turret on the center-line of the ship. Her secondaries have a base range of 5.3 kilometers but can be increased to 8 kilometers with captain skills (most notably Advanced Firing Training, which increases the range of all secondary guns by twenty percent), Secondary Armament Modification 2 upgrade, and Mike Yankee Soxisix (this signal flag increases maximum secondary battery range by an additional five percent and reduces dispersion by that same amount). Scharnhorst's AA suite comprises of fifty 20 mm barrels mounted on single and quadruple mounts (short range aura: 2.01 km, 30 DPS) followed by sixteen 37 mm guns found on dual mounts (medium range aura: 3.51 km, 20.8 DPS). Lastly, the 105 mm dual mounts double up as anti-aircraft mounts (long range aura: 4.5 km, 116.2 DPS). The AA range and effectiveness can be increased with the relevant skills, upgrade, and signal flag. It must be noted that these numbers are stock values. The battleship also comes equipped with two triple torpedo launchers - one on each side - that have a short range of 6 kilometers and deal a maximum damage of 13,700, their reload is timed at 68 seconds. These tubes allow the Scharnhorst to excel at brawling and deal a considerable blow to any possible opponent, if not sink them outright. The Scharnhorst is one of, if not the most durable battleships tier-for-tier in the game. Her 350 mm main armor belt (red) is one of the thickest belts up there (when compared to ships like Nagato, Bismarck or Alabama) and can be used to bait enemy fire while presenting odd angles. The thinner plates on the fore and aft ends of the hull (yellow) offer the opportunity to bounce shells (or arm them without intending to do so), their thicknesses are 70, and 90 mm, respectively. The bow and stern are covered by 25 mm plating while the plating above the main belt is 45 mm thick. The deck itself is 50 mm thick, and the citadel deck plating found below the main deck is mostly 80 mm, increasing to 95 mm near the barbettes. The turrets have a face thickness of 360 mm, a roof thickness of 150 mm, and a side thickness of 220 mm. One of the most recognizable aspects of German battleships is their turtle back armor scheme, which makes them very durable at close to medium-range engagements. Scharnhorst is no exception to this, and her citadel is further protected by 110 mm slopes that are angled inwards on its sides, it is also worth noting that Scharnhorst's citadel sits below the waterline, making it near impossible to hit at close ranges. However, this armor scheme has the disadvantage of losing effectiveness at long range, so plunging fire can be effective against the Scharnhorst. Her torpedo bulges mitigate 24 percent of all torpedo damage that strikes this ship. The bulges don't cover any part of the bow or stern whatsoever; instead, they cover the citadel as much as the armor belt does. These disadvantages can be offset by the ship's maneuverability, good situational awareness, use of consumables (Scharnhorst does not get access to hydroacoustic search, but could utilize a fighter plane at the captain's discretion), and Vigilance (which adds 25% to torpedo acquisition range). Playstyle “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald Scharnhorst's style is a blend between a conventional battleship and a heavy cruiser. One has to prioritize lightly armored targets - most notably cruisers and thinly-armored battleships - to make good use of her 283 mm guns such as cruisers and battleships that have thin upper armor belts or plating. She is an opportunist that is able to push, retreat and relocate fairly quickly for a battleship, allowing her to pick fights carefully and spot opportunities to flank the enemy. She can keep up with friendly ships that are capable of ~30-knot speeds, so the opportunities of a major push or a flank can be exploited heavily if the Scharnhorst is located in an advantageous position. Strong armor allows the battleship to get up-close-and-personal with enemy cruisers or battleships, but one must be aware of positioning, angling, and numerical supremacy in order to succeed. Like any other vessel, she is vulnerable to focus fire, and she can be her team's damage powerhouse if she possesses ideal support from her teammates (especially against aircraft carriers and destroyers). This ship is not invincible, but she can be a force to be reckoned with if the Scharnhorst's captain uses her strengths to their favor. Remember, you are part of a team, and they depend upon you as much as you depend upon them. Coordination and knowledge can make way to a successful match (or at least a very good one that is worth remembering). Consumables or "...there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other..." - Albert Einstein Scharnhorst has access to German battleship damage control, a good heal, and the option between a spotter aircraft for a temporary firing range increase or a fighter aircraft to counter aerial strikes (or give oneself a higher chance of dodging enemy shipborne torpedoes). Usually, I find myself using the heal so I can maximize my ability to tank and last longer in the main battle line or a brawl, so it is my personal recommendation to consider implementing Superintendent in your set of skills. Aesthetics “Rules of taste enforce structures of power.” - Susan Sontag Her design is composed of smooth curves, and her superstructure is not cluttered. This is only enhanced by the shape of her Atlantic bow, the shape of her gun turrets, and her secondary battery mounts on the weather deck and the sides of the superstructure. The battleship's fog horn has a satisfying yet menacing sound which can be used to taunt enemy warships or announce the battleship's arrival to a brawl. Finally, her premium camouflage is identical to the one she was using around 1943, and it is absolutely gorgeous (one that doesn't use skin modifications can only hope that Wargaming gives her sister ship the premium camouflage she deserves, unlike the one she sports in the game right now). Conclusion “The ending is nearer than you think, and it is already written. All that we have left to choose is the correct moment to begin.” - Alan Moore Scharnhorst is a fine ship, and she is by far my favorite premium, but I have written this review with objectivity as a priority. In my eyes, she is a must-have if you're looking for a fun credit grinder or a German battleship commander trainer (cruiser commanders can also work, but normally they don't make much use of her secondary armament), then this ship is for you. I cannot stress enough how rewarding, and flexible this ship can be in the right situations. In Random Battles she is an absolute beast and can hold her ground against higher tier opponents rather well; however, she's not invincible or lacking weaknesses (such as her torpedo protection or small gun caliber). In Co-op and Scenarios, she is a joy to sail; her fast reload, maneuverability, and endurance make her a solid choice for any scenario that allows her access. If what you seek is history, then the Scharnhorst is definitely worthy of your port. As stated further above in the review, she saw her fair share of action and earned herself, and her crew, a place in modern history's halls of fame. "Ad Astra per Aspera" Phantom out. References Wargaming.net. 2018. Scharnhorst, website: http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Ship:Scharnhorst Farley, R. 2017. Scharnhorst: Nazi Germany's Super Battleship or Paper Tiger? The National Interest, website: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/scharnhorst-nazi-germanys-super-battleship-or-paper-tiger-20078 Wikipedia. 2018. List of battlecruisers of World War II, website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_battlecruisers_of_World_War_II Wargaming.net. 2018. Dunkerque, website: http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Ship:Dunkerque The Authors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2013. Anglo-German Naval Agreement. Encyclopaedia Britannica, website https://www.britannica.com/event/Anglo-German-Naval-Agreement-1935 Wikipedia. 2018. Scharnhorst-class battleship, website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scharnhorst-class_battleship Metz, K. & Van Lönnen, H. Memorial Stone Battle Ship 'Scharnhorst'. Traces of War, website: https://www.tracesofwar.com/sights/25374/Memorial-Stone-Battle-Ship-Scharnhorst.htm Wargaming.net. 2018. Upgrades, website: http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Ship:Upgrades Quotes recovered from Goodreads, website: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes Amor scheme image provided by @Naesqr Revision consulted with @Maceswinga In-game images and icons recovered from the Wargaming Wiki, all credit goes to their respective authors. Other images recovered from Google Images. Due to my circumstance, I must make do with electronic sources and screenshots from other players or the wiki itself.
  4. Hey everyone, Isaac here and I'm back with another video preview on the PTR USN cruiser changes! This one is on the New Orleans which has taken the tier 7 slot, down from tier 8. Changes were to be expected from the down-tiering of the ships, and the New Orleans was actually a refreshing change from the Pensacola. Still definitely an upgrade over the Pensacola, and despite what she's lost, she will be far more useful in Tier 7 Operations than the Indianapolis will EVER be (barring a RoF buff, but that's just a pipe dream and wishful thinking currently). Nothing the USN has for cruisers can top the Atlanta however for tier 7 Ops (yet), but the N'Ola is looking to be far better off than Indy is, especially if you're grinding down the line. All in all, her theme is very much what a certain historian said of the US Army's M4 Sherman. "She wasn't the best, but she was *good enough* to do the job." That is very much true for the New Orleans. She's not the best, but she is good enough to do the job..... and certainly leaps and bounds better than the Pepsicola is at tier 6. You will be breathing a sigh of relief when you finally get into the New Orleans, and since she is now at tier 7 she enjoys much better matchmaking odds of being top tier where her decently quick firing 203mm rifles can wreak havoc with both HE and AP on anyone unfortunate enough to land in your gunsight. Hug those islands though and find one to make your waifu as her armor still won't support risking going out into open water. Her concealment, while leaps and bounds better than the Pensacola, still suffers at having lost the Concealment Systems Mod 1 5th upgrade slot upon the down-tiering. Her shell velocities are the same as Pensacola's are, while her range is just slightly further. Her guns spin onto targets *MUCH* quicker than the Pensa's currently do and that is probably the biggest relief you'll find when playing her. Reload isn't as good as the current tier 8 New Orleans (13 sec vs 12 sec) but it's not the horrible 15 seconds that Pensacola deals with. The loss of radar is a very hard hit however, and you'll have to try and make up for this with nothing more than a fighter plane consumable for peeking over islands. All in all? She's good enough. And definitely one that I'll probably be keeping in my port, especially for the tier 7 operations. Despite lacking the Radar that the Indianapolis has, you won't be suffering as much with the reload speed as Indy, the gun range is better, and your AA is good enough to do the job. Keep those 203mm rifles singing and stick with your fleet to provide cover from enemy planes and you'll do good enough. For Tier 7 Operations: Is she better than the Atlanta? Nope, not even close. Is she better than the Indianapolis? Definitely. Is she better than the old tier 7 Pensacola? ....Seriously? Did you really need to ask that question? F*** yes she's better! Overall Impressions: Is she the best at what she does? No, *BUT* that doesn't matter as much as what one might think. She's **good enough** to get the job done. As always Captains, stay safe!
  5. Name: "Z-39" Ship type: destroyer Class: Type 1936A (Mob)/Narvik Nation: Germany Tier: VII Greetings fellow captains, supreme overlords, and dispersion divinities. Today, in the first installment of Naval Intelligence, I will be sharing with you my first review (and one of my first posts in the forum, fancy that); this review will be about no other, but the premium Tier VII German destroyer: Z-39. My objective is to inform players with a different, and factual piece of information that hopefully will aid you in deciding whether to purchase this ship or not. This review will go over its history briefly, her in-game characteristics, and other factors such as aesthetics, modules, and what you can expect if you so decide to give her a place in your port. History “Study the past if you would define the future.” - Confucius I will start off by sharing a bit of her past in this post. Z-39 was the last member of the Type 1936A (Mob)-class destroyers (also known as the Narvik-class by the Allies) that were ordered and built for Germany after the outbreak of World War II. Z-39 was built by the Germaniawerft, in Kiel, Germany. She was laid down in 1940, launched in December 2nd, 1941, and finally commissioned in August 1943. Z-39's service record under the Kriegsmarine flag is not exactly spectacular: she took part in sorties near Norway and the Baltic Sea. In 1944 she was damaged and was hit again while undergoing repairs, disrupting the process. She entered service once more in 1945 but nothing noteworthy occurred during that time. After the end of World War 2 in Europe, Z-39 was transferred to the United States Navy and was renamed DD-939. After extensive equipment trials, she was once again transferred, only this time to the French Navy, where she was cannibalized for parts in 1947 and was finally broken up in 1964. Specifications “We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.” - Douglas Adams Z-39 is powered by six Wagner oil-fired boilers that feed two Deschimag geared steam turbines, her power plant is rated at 70,000 shaft horsepower and produces 36 knots (66.6 kph, 41.4 mph). In the game, the destroyer can shift her rudder from one side to the other in 4.5 seconds stock and has a turning circle radius of 670 meters, her maneuverability is somewhat similar to Błyskawica's, and thus pales in comparison when compared to Sims', Gadjah Mada's or Mahan's. Her main armaments are one of the traits that set her apart from other nations' counterparts, considering she is armed with four 150 mm L/48 LDrh LC/38 guns, with two encased in a dual turret facing forward, and the other two on single mounts facing aft. This peculiar armament allows her to severely damage cruisers that are in close ranges and showing a broadside with her armor-piercing shells, while her high explosive shells are sufficient to set ships on fire and damage unarmored sections of a vessel; however, these guns will make gunfights with fast-firing destroyers more hazardous due to their rate of fire of 8 shots/min. (7.5 seconds) and a turret traverse of 8 deg/s that occasionally trails behind the desired aiming direction when executing hard or exceedingly aggressive maneuvers. Z-39 is also equipped with two 533 mm quadruple torpedo launchers that use the G7 "Steinbarsch" (rock bass) torpedo. This projectile travels at an adequate speed of 65 knots to a maximum range of 8.49 kilometers, its warhead is capable of dealing 14, 400 damage and can send any ship to the bottom or at least cripple them enough to finish the job with gunfire or assistance from other ships. The torpedo tubes are fully reloaded after a relatively small period of 90 seconds (1 minute, 30 seconds). The last specifications I will touch upon will be her anti-aircraft suite and her concealment since armor values for a destroyer do not vary that much; however, '39 is a big destroyer, and this makes her prone to activate fuzes on AP shells even when presenting herself horizontally to the enemy. The destroyer possesses an AA suite that is good enough to shoot down the occasional spotter or catapult fighter but doesn't have enough stopping power to shoot down entire squadrons if an aircraft carrier decides to target you. When fully specialized in concealment, her air detection is equal to her stock AA medium-range aura of 3.5 kilometers. Now, Z-39 is a stealthy tier 7 destroyer thanks to her ability to equip Tier VIII upgrades in the fifth upgrade slot (this includes the concealment system modification that reduces her detectability radius by 10% and increases the maximum dispersion of incoming fire by 5%). Her base detection ranges are not great, however, she's spotted at 7.74 km on the surface and at 4.38 km on the air, but this can be reduced by using camouflage, training Concealment Expert on your commander, and purchasing the concealment upgrade reaching detection ranges of 6.1 and 3.5 kilometers respectively. Playstyle “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald Lovers of the German line and the 150 mm guns specifically will find themselves at home with this premium Tier VII destroyer, she is essentially a down-tiered Z-23 with all the bells and whistles that define her, such as a very large health pool for a destroyer of 19,600 hit points (100 more points than the B hull of her older sister). One can adopt a hybrid style, blending gunboat and torpedo-boat traits, also, the transition between torpedoes or gunnery as main damage factors is not uncomfortable; she can push when she's needed to do so, and she can also defend an area with a division or friendly destroyers exceptionally well with torpedoes. By the time of this review, I'm running Z-39 with a 10-point commander with a rather generic destroyer build: Priority Target, Last Stand, Superintendent, and Concealment Expert. Now, she can benefit from using skills like Adrenaline Rush, Preventive Maintenance, Jack of All Trades or Survivability Expert, so prioritize the usage of your skill points according to your playstyle or recommended builds proposed by the community. Note: Be careful of using Advanced and Basic Firing Training on this ship. Her main armaments exceed the gun caliber limit that is allowed by these two skills, which is 139 mm, making them only affect your AA guns. Consumables "...there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other..." - Albert Einstein Where to begin when there are so many? Z-39 has access to your typical destroyer damage control party, German smoke, engine boost, and a hydroacoustic search consumable with a range of 4.4 km (unheard of amongst destroyers of Tier VII with the exception of Leberecht Maass). These consumables allow Z-39 to become a very adaptable and supportive vessel in combat, as stated before, her wide array of consumables and good combination of stealth, speed, and firepower allow her to perform any task one could ask for from a destroyer rather well; she needs her team's support in order to succeed and not succumb to focused fire. Keep this in mind when you see a Z-39 on your team. Aesthetics “Rules of taste enforce structures of power.” - Susan Sontag What better way to sink your opponents other than looking good while doing it? Z-39 is a looker when it comes to destroyers, her Atlantic bow adds a very nice touch to her profile and it combines really well with her bridge and her forward gun turret. It's almost as if you had a modern destroyer at the front and a slightly more old-fashioned design at the rear. This is a really nice combination in my book, and her premium camo only helps her case in my eyes. Conclusion “The ending is nearer than you think, and it is already written. All that we have left to choose is the correct moment to begin.” - Alan Moore Z-39 is a very capable destroyer that can reach its full potential in a division or with very good coordination with your teammates. She is a worthy opponent in Random Battles, and in Co-op, she is rather entertaining (though I found myself craving for other players on the enemy team to show off the ship's looks and capabilities). This destroyer is also quite expensive to run (just look at all those consumables and tell me it wouldn't hurt to have to replenish them all with your hard-earned credits after a battle) but overall, she is a very rewarding experience to play, once you've come to terms with her limits and niches. Did I mention she is a premium destroyer? If you're out on the market for a German DD/CL trainer, Z-39 is a very good and solid choice (and only one in the immediate future, since T-61 sailed into the sunset, and has yet to return). So there we have it, my first (and hopefully not the last) review! Captains, did you like it? Do you have any suggestions or questions? Please, let me know. "Ad Astra per Aspera" Phantom out. References Whitley, M.J. 1988. Destroyers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. Naval Institute Press. Pages: 67-68. Recovered from: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015020687821;view=1up;seq=9 Wargaming.net. 2018. Z-39, website: http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Ship:Z-39 Wargaming.net. 2018. Błyskawica, website: http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Ship:Błyskawica Wargaming.net. 2018. Gadjah Mada, website: http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Ship:Gadjah_Mada Wargaming.net. 2018. Mahan, website: http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Ship:Mahan Wargaming.net. 2018. Leberecht Maass, website: http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Ship:Leberecht_Maass Wargaming.net. 2018. Upgrades, website: http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Ship:Upgrades Quotes recovered from Goodreads, website: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes In-game images recovered from the Wargaming Wiki, all credit goes to their respective authors. Other images recovered from Google Images.
  6. Premium Ship Review: Z-39

    The following is a review of Z-39, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of May 13th, 2018. (Still) Not T-61. Quick Summary: An under-armed tier VIII destroyer crammed in at tier VII but it kept it's tier VIII bonuses. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing. Patch & Date Written: 0.7.4 to 0.7.4.1, May 4th to 13th, 2018. PROS Massive hit point pool of 19,600hp. Large caliber HE shell with excellent fire chance per hit and good penetration potential. Good AP shell penetration for a destroyer. Decent personal AA defense. Access to Hydoracoustic Search like all German Destroyers. With upgrades, she's one of the stealthiest destroyers at tier VII. Has several tier VIII destroyer bonuses, including: 5th upgrade slot. Improved fire resistance coefficient. Longer range and duration time of her Hydroacoustic Search Longer smoke duration for her Smoke Generator CONS Horrible DPM output, especially with HE shells against destroyers. Her torpedoes don't hit very hard. AA DPS is short ranged and restricted to fragile small & medium caliber AA guns. Feels very clumsy with a large turning circle and modest top speed. Enormous aerial detection range of over 4km. Stuck with a German Smoke Generator with their reduced smoke duration times. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Z-39 is a German destroyer with training wheels. She has excellent concealment and an enormous hit point pool -- two traits that will make her much more forgiving in the hands of inexperienced commanders. The only hiccough here is her clumsy handling, but her Hydroacoustic Search should ease dealing with any manoeuvrability issues in regards to torpedoes. For experts, Z-39 is a German destroyer but with surprisingly good (!) concealment for her tier. This opens up all sorts of game play opportunities not normally available to German DDs which she can use and abuse to great effect. Her systems break down as follows: - 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. Z-39 has the concealment and the durability at her tier which is all kinds of crazy. Her firepower is is on the low side of saved only by the large caliber of her guns which opens up gunnery possibilities not normally available to destroyers. Otherwise, it would be . Her anti aircraft defense is unremarkable. Her handling is about as as you would expect for a large, German destroyer and compares poorly to her contemporaries. What we have with Z-39 is a destroyer that has the ability to control engagements with its superior concealment and detection tools and her ability to endure punishment far greater than normally possible for a tier VII destroyer. This helps make up for her mediocre firepower. Note that she's not fast or agile enough to unilaterally dictate engagement distances. Options Consumables: There are two consumables worth noting on Z-39. Despite being a tier VII destroyer, Z-39 has tier VIII versions of these consumables. German Smoke Generators produce individual clouds that do not last as long as other nations. For tier VII German destroyers each cloud lasts 65s seconds. On Z-39, her smoke lasts 69 seconds. This is still less than the standard at tier VII which is 85 seconds for most destroyers and 121 seconds for American DDs. Once again, Z-39's Hydroacoustic Search has improved duration and range over her tier VII counterpart. Her hydro picks up torpedoes from 3.12km (up from 2.97km) and ships at 4.44km (up from 4.2km). Camouflage Z-39 comes with Type 10 Camouflage. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, a 10% reduction to repair costs, 3% reduced surface detection range and increases dispersion of incoming fire by 4% Upgrades The big surprise for Z-39 is that she has access to a 5th upgrade slot at tier VII. In your first slot take Magazine Modification 1. You're a destroyer with a lot of hit points. Don't let a sudden detonation undermine that. Alternatively, if you like to live dangerously, you can take Main Armaments Modification 1. If you have access to it, the special upgrade Hydracoustic Search Modification 1 is optimal for your second slot. Without it, take Propulsion Modification 1. Speed is life for a destroyer. Aiming System Modification 1 is best for your third slot. However, the special upgrade Smoke Generator Modification 1 is also a good choice if available. Take Propulsion Modification 2 in your fourth slot for more get-up-and-go when parked in your smoke. And finally, round things off with Concealment Modification 1. Firepower Main Battery: Four 150mm rifles in 3 turrets with a twin-gun turret on the bow and X-Y turrets in single, superfiring mounts. Torpedo Armament: Eight torpedoes in 2x4 launchers mounted down the center line. Z-39's gunnery is weird. She uses enormous 150mm rifles -- the largest weapons currently found on destroyers. Her guns are also laid out in a strange arrangement with a 2-1-1, A-X-Y superfiring layout. None of this makes her gunnery feel novel, however, and it's often a struggle to make Z-39's artillery perform as needed. The DPM Deficit The biggest obstacle with getting Z-39 to perform is overcoming the challenges in getting her damage numbers up. While she does boast the largest guns among destroyers at her tier, they are slow firing with a 7.5 second reload time. Unlike Blyskawica which also shares a long, 6.5 second reload, she doesn't have a lot gun barrels with a mere four. These also have pretty sluggish gun handling for a destroyer and their large size precludes them from maximizing the effects of Expert Marksman. Combine this with impotent performance of her HE damage for a large-caliber gun and she cannot keep pace with the throughput of the other destroyers. She is the worst for potential HE DPM and third from the bottom for AP DPM. Embarrassingly, even Shitarsuyu puts out more HE shell damage than Z-39. This is made worse in that Z-39's guns cannot have their rate of fire upgraded with Basic Fire Training which only widens the gap further. Her fire setting ability is similarly balls, even though she has a great fire chance per shell. She just doesn't throw enough munitions downfield fast enough to make her particularly good at taxing Damage Control Parties to make multiple fires stick. If it weren't for her beefy hit point pool, taking this ship into a fight with enemy destroyers would be a fool's errand. Z-39's firepower woes can't be blamed on her gun angles, at least. They're not great, but they're not terrible. Stickin' It In Z-39's guns aren't though. While they lack in a knife fight, Z-39's guns are not missing out in penetration potential. Her AP shells boast up to 100mm of penetration up to ranges just shy of 10km. Most other destroyers can scarcely manage that at 5km to 7km. The comparison gets better with HE shells. While German destroyers do not enjoy the 1/4 HE pen found on German battleships and cruisers, Z-39 still fares better than her contemporaries. Their large-caliber can be upgraded with the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells commander skill to damage the extremities of any ship she encounters. Most destroyers are unable to hurt the bow, deck and stern of tier VIII+ battleships even with this skill. Z-39 has a larger range of targets she can directly damage with the right upgrade choice. Z-39 may not output damage as quickly as other lolibotes, she's better equipped to stack damage reliably against a larger number of targets. At Least She's Not Minsk Z-39's torpedoes are as unexciting as her guns. However, given the spotty torpedo performance of the other destroyers at tier VII, having some mediocre workhorse torpedoes isn't a bad thing. Indeed, Z-39's fish have a lot going for them. They have good range unlike the painfully short reach of Minsk or one of the two armaments for Sims. She uses quadruple launchers instead of the triples like Blyskawica. She has two launchers instead of the single launcher found on Cossack. They're fast too, unlike the sluggish wallow of those found on Mahan, and the second armament for Sims. The only area where Z-39's torpedoes are truly found wanting is their hitting power. At 14,400 damage per, they're simply uninspiring. And that well describes her torpedoes. A much more meaty 16k damage per hit would really make these weapons stand out. As it is, they're functional but they're not show stoppers. They're sufficient unto the task and nothing more. Summary: Her guns are pretty terrible for taking on enemy destroyers but alright for padding a bit of damage on anything else. This said, don't be shy of slapping lolibotes around with them. Her torpedoes are okay. Not bad. Not great. Just okay Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Z-39 only escaped a evaluation because Sims & Minsk exist and I'm still not entirely convinced that Z-39's firepower bests either one of them. Defense Hit Points: 19,600hp Maximum Protection: 30mm faceplate on A-turret Minimum Extremities & Deck Armour: 19mm Destroyer defense and durability is pretty easy to measure. It really boils down to the following three questions: Does the ship have any weird durability related consumables like Repair Party? Does the ship have any weird superfluous hull armour that any of the other destroyers lack? How many hit points does it have in comparison to the other destroyers at her tier? The answers are no, no and lots more than those puny, wimpy boats. Z-39 is a thunderchunker that, with Survivability Expert, can boast nearly 10,000 more hit points than some of its tier VII competitors (to say nothing of tier V and VI DDs). This more than makes up for the DPM deficit on her main battery guns and allows her to easily bully almost any other same-tier destroyer. On top of this, some of those tier VIII bonuses carried on here. Datamining revealed that Z-39 kept her improved fire resistance coefficient. This is really a minor bonus all told, but it does mean that she comes baked in with 6% improved fire resistance over other tier VII destroyer. It is a good day to be giant man. Hit Point totals of tier VII destroyers, including the WiP HMS Cossack. Note the bar in purple represents the 2,450hp gained through using the commander skill, Survivability Expert. Evaluation: What would have to happen to DOWNGRADE to : Something would have to be released with weird (better) hull armour plating, a Repair Party or more hit points than Z-39. Agility Top Speed: 36.0 knots Turning Radius: 670m Rudder Shift Time: 4.5s Maximum Rate of Turn: 7.0º/s While Z-39's agility is her worst quality, I rate it as less of a weakness than her temperamental main battery firepower. Still, it would be a mistake to underestimate the impacts here. Z-39 isn't just slow for a tier VII destroyer, she's slow for a destroyer within her Matchmaking spread. Her Engine Boost consumable should be reserved for getting her out of the trouble. She'll struggle to dictate engagement distances otherwise. Her turning radius is appalling for a destroyer. Combined with her modest top speed, this makes her really sluggish in a turn. Just to make things worse, her gun traverse is only 1.0º/s faster than her maximum rotation speed. This makes her gun handling feel even worse and you'll be reaching for your rudder to help with bringing your guns on target. Expert Marksman can only correct this by 0.7º/s owing to the larger caliber of Z-39's guns. Z-39 handles like a bus. It's a good thing she has Hydroacoustic Search to give her more time to prep for torpedo beats. Without it, she'd be a blind bus. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : At a minimum, a 38 knot top speed to at least bring her up over the average for a tier VII destroyer. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 37mm / 20mm AA Umbrella Ranges: 3.5km / 2.0km AA DPS per Aura: 46.4 / 20.4 While not up to American (or later Soviet) destroyer standards, Z-39 has an impressive anti-aircraft suite. This is largely owing to the excellent performance of the twin 37mm Flak LM/42 mounts of which Z-39 boasts four. This destroyer can put out a surprising amount of AA DPS into the air, which is a welcome change from most DDs which are generally little more than victims to air predation. There are a couple of downsides to Z-39's AA protection, however: First, Z-39 has an enormous aerial detection range of 4.38km. This outstrips the range of her AA gunners by 700m. While this does mean that you can keep Z-39's AA defenses active without worrying about giving away her position, it does mean she gets spotted by aircraft without any ability to retaliate if her range isn't upgraded with AA Guns Modification 2 or Advanced Fire Training. Secondly, Z-39's entire AA defense is built around small and medium caliber AA guns which are excessively fragile, particularly when she takes HE damage. Only a few HE strikes are needed to end her AA defense entirely. Overall, it's not worth specializing into AA firepower with Z-39. At best, you can hope to shoot down a couple of enterprising aircraft in the opening stages of the match, particularly if they're lower tiered planes. But it would be a mistake to expect anything more from her defenses. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Dual purpose guns are a must to form a backbone of longer range AA defense. Refrigerator Surface Detection Range: 7.74 km Air Detection Range: 4.38 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 6.08km Concealment when Firing in Smoke: 3.31km The only thing keeping Z-39 from dominating Vision Control at tier VII is the looming threat of HMS Cossack. What makes Z-39 so powerful is the combination of her enormous hit point pool and concealment. Thanks to access to her 5th upgrade slot where she can install Concealment Modification 1, Z-39 is one of the stealthiest tier VII destroyers in the game. The only destroyers that are more stealthy are Shirtatsuyu with a 5.8km surface detection range and the still-under-development HMS Cossack with a 5.7km surface detection range when each ship is fully upgraded. This 400m gap means less when you account for Z-39's Hydroacoustic Search consumable. This allows her to all but dominate vision where smoke and torpedoes are concerned. She again only comes up second with HMS Cossack's own hydro which, while not as long ranged, is long-lasting. It's a close competition between these two premiums for dominance in vision control at tier VII and Z-39 will hold primacy at least until HMS Cossack's release. A word of caution for all this praise, however. As nice as Z-39's concealment is when she's top tier, it falls apart when she's not. Every single tier VIII and IX destroyer has better surface detection than Z-39 with the exception of the German and Soviet tuba-players and lolibotes. Unlike the lower tiered boats that can out spot you, just about all of these will fight back and embarrass you. So this advantage goes right out the window. Evaluation: What would have to happen to DOWNGRADE to : Cossack (and possibly Haida's) release. From A to Z Optional Skills in green & purple. There's a bit of flexibility when it comes to choosing Z-39's skills. However, you want to begin with a solid foundation. Feel free to try out some builds of your own with ShipComrade's Skill Calculator. Start with Priority Target. You're still a destroyer, so Last Stand is of paramount importance. Take Survivability Expert at tier 3 to bump up your hit points. And finally take Concealment Expert at tier 4. I highly recommend taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells as your fifth skill -- this opens up a large range of gunnery targets for Z-39, including all cruisers and battleships at tier VIII+. You can opt out of doing this if you wish, but her damage potential will suffer. For optional skills, I recommend Adrenaline Rush and Superintendent to round out your last two skill choices, but you have options here depending on what role you envision your destroyer using. If you wish to try to tax the Damage Control Party of enemy ships, then dropping IFHE for Demolition Expert and Torpedo Armament Expertise is a viable option. I would round this out with Superintendent for added smoke. Vigilance is a more passive skill choice but your battleships will thank you for the increased torpedo detection range you will provide, especially when your Hydroacoustic Search is active. Expert Marksman is, overall, a weak choice but it will increase the comfort of handling Z-39 while under manoeuvres. Final Evaluation Mouse's Summary: For such a wet-noodle when it comes to firepower, Z-39 doesn't struggle to stack damage. There's something to be said about being the toughest little tyke in the kiddy pool. The bonuses she kept on from her time as a tier VIII test ship make her feel just that little bit more special. As far as gimmicks go, this is more refreshing than simply seeing a Repair Party or Torpedo Reload Booster used to correct an under-performing ship. Stealth and size both? Just who the Hell does she think she is? HMS Conqueror? I was genuinely shocked at how well this destroyer plays. It really surprised me. I took one look at her four 150mm guns with their odd placement and slow traverse and dismissed her something I wouldn't enjoy playing. It seemed like a distraction until something better (namely T-61) came. Suffice to say, Z-39 changed my opinion. and I'm glad she has. Let me add a few sobering words -- Z-39 is amazing when top-tier but her luster fades when facing higher tiered ships. It's common for a vessel to lose a bit of flair when Matchmaker slaps you around. However, Z-39's advantages -- namely concealment and her hit point total, don't amount too much when facing higher tiered ships. The stealth that makes her remarkable at tier VII is on the poor side for a tier VIII ship. Her beefy hit point total more than makes up for her ... well, let me be kind in saying "limp" main battery performance amounts to little when dueling with ships with enough hit points to challenge her. There's a reason, after all, that Wargaming elected to drop her from tier VIII to tier VII. Z-39 brings up the question of power creep. She's arguably one of (if not the) best destroyers at her tier. When she can guarantee to receive protected Matchmaking, such as in Ranked Battles, it's hard to argue against her merits. On the one hand, this is welcome for all the wrong reasons: the German destroyer tech tree has been utterly lacking in any form of premium for training purposes. I'm glad to see this gap filled. On the other hand, I am looking at Blyskawica with an air of pity as she becomes just that much less special. Z-39 herself is going to be power creeped with HMS Cossack (and possibly HMCS Haida) coming on the horizon which threaten to undermine her vision control dominance. This begs the question on how stable the meta is at tier VII for destroyers. Tier VII has long been red-headed step child tier for lolibotes. Like most vessels, destroyers tend to get larger as you climb in tiers and their surface detection balloons as they go. At tier VIII this gets mitigated by the Concealment System Modification 1 upgrade. With concealment being such an integral aspect of so many destroyers, their tier VII brethren suffer greatly when up-tiered. To this end, I loathe the 5th module upgrade slot for creating this artificial performance cliff. It doesn't just affect destroyers but cruisers and (to a lesser degree) battleships. So while Z-39 is a good tier VII destroyer, destroyers at tier VII are generally not good unless top-tier. This must moderate my opinion somewhat and I caution anyone new to the game that is as yet unaware of this stigma. Would I Recommend? I think the most relevant question would be if Z-39 is worth it or should a player wait for T-61, the other German premium destroyer. T-61 remains a Work in Progress -- subject to change if Wargaming so wishes while Z-39 is finalized in her current form. The two destroyers are very different beasts. As I write this, T-61 is the best destroyer at tier VI and not by a small margin. She's a torpedo destroyer primarily, but her guns aren't terrible. What makes her so memorable is her lack of overall weaknesses and the fast reload on her heavy torpedo armament. T-61 currently up-tiers better than Z-39, only feeling uncomfortable when she faces tier VIII opponents. Naturally, play style preferences may dictate one ship being preferable over the other, but in terms of relative power level, Z-39 is comparable to T-61, tier for tier. It's all a matter of personal choice. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Yes. Destroyers are a bit of an odd duck in PVE modes. Alpha strike and concealment are of paramount importance as the bots always know where you are (though they won't fire at you until you're spotted). Z-39 has the hit points to tough out attacks and her quad torpedo launchers hit hard enough to best most bots. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Yes. Z-39 is a thug. Top tier, it doesn't feel fair going up against enemy DDs. She's tough enough to be a threat to any destroyer within her matchmaking spread. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Yes. The combination of stealth, Hydroacoustic Search and deep health reserves makes Z-39 a solid contender for competitive modes. The only down sides, really, are her poor striking power. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. No. Z-39 was built in steel and served during WW2. Her career didn't see any action against enemy surface ships, however, which kinda limits her appeal. She did survive the war and ended up serving briefly with the United States and France. For Fun Factor Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Yes. She's a bully with all the tools you could ever want in a German destroyer. What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE - The boat is unbalanced, not fun to play and weak. The ship desperately needs some buffs or some quality of life changes.Mehbote - An average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable however she's not going to be considered optimal.Gudbote - A powerful ship, often one of the best ships at a given role within its tier. Usually considered optimal for a given task.OVERPOWERED - The boat is unbalanced and powerful. Typically she's either horrible to play against or she redefines the meta entirely. In Closing This is Premium Ship Review number 99. I'm pretty sure I know what number 100 will be. It's amazing to me that I'm reaching this number at all, especially given the hurdles on getting here. I have a pretty good idea on what number 100 is going to be given the number of premiums Wargaming has dropped on my lap for testing and the small windows I have to review them. The next review should be up within the next week and a half. I would like to thank my patrons on Patreon for their continued support. Their contributions help make putting time into these reviews possible. Even the small donations make a world of difference, so thanks to everyone that tosses in even a few bucks. Thank you all for reading! Appendix A list of sites, programs and people I rely upon to create my reviews. For a list of my other reviews, please visit this thread. Destroyers and Cruisers are linked on post #2. Battleships and Aircraft Carriers are on post #3.
  7. The following is a review of Duca degli Abruzzi, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of April 27th, 2018. The markings on her bow are caution stripes: "Danger, contents under pressure and may explode if penetrated". Quick Summary: A fast but fragile light cruiser that lacks in hitting power. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing. Patch & Date Written: 0.7.2 to 0.7.4. March 1st through April 27th, 2018. PROS: Extended waterline belt armour of 30mm allows her to pull off some surprising close-range bounces. Decent anti-torpedo protection for a cruiser. Her torpedoes have excellent range of 12km. Very fast with a top speed of 35 knots. Good rate of turn of over 6.3º/s. Decent stock 11.2km surface detection range. Abruzzi has access to both Hydroacoustic Search and Defensive AA Fire at the same time. Access to the Repair Party consumable (!). CONS Enormous, vulnerable citadel sitting high over the water's surface. She eats citadels from battleships for days. I actually have some live footage of Abruzzi gobbling up a bowl full of citadel hits. Seriously, just when you think she couldn't possibly pack in another citadel hit, she goes and surprises you. Small main battery for a tier VII cruiser with only ten 152mm rifles with mediocre DPM. Low AP shell penetration values. Poor fire chance on her HE shells making her incredibly dependent on a commander with at least 10 to 14 skill points to inflict reasonable amounts of damage. Her torpedoes are very slow at 51 knots and she doesn't have enough of them. Short of having access to Defensive Fire, her AA firepower and range are both terrible. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Welcome to Hell. Duca degli Abruzzi is not a ship for inexperienced commanders. Owing to her fragility and poor attack power, she's going to punish novices. Veterans who know how to use and abuse concealment, cover and WASD hax can generate some decent numbers, but these tricks will only save you until a battleship casually swats you for all of your health. While Abruzzi can perform, it's a lot of (unnecessary) work. Her components break down as follows: - 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 Her guns under perform and so do her torpedoes. She's vulnerable as all get out to sudden deletion if a battleship even looks at her. Abruzzi's AA firepower is terrible, even with Defensive Fire. Her only good points are her agility and her Repair Party consumable, but the latter is shackled to a citadel that explodes if you look at it funny. She's fast and she has decent handling -- not the best at her tier, but one of the best overall. Her concealment and vision control (Refrigerator) is okay but she's nowhere near the best at it within her tier. Candy-cane striping won't save this ship. Options One of the defining characteristics of the Italian cruisers is their consumables. Other cruisers are forced to choose between Hydroacoustic Search and Defensive Fire, if they're given a choice at all. Abruzzi and d'Aosta have access to both at the same time, giving them more flexibility, but at the cost of lacking any form of specialization, such as extra range on German Hydroacoustic Search or an extra charge of American Defensive Fire. However, Abruzzi must choose between Defensive AA Fire and her Spotter Aircraft which is an uncomfortable choice. Unlike most tier VII cruisers, she has access to Repair Party. Overall, Abruzzi's options are "safe". They're convenient rather than competitive, differing from the game-winning combinations of Smoke Generator and Radar of Belfast, for example. Consumables: Abruzzi has access to four consumable slots. Abruzzi's Damage Control Party is standard. Hydroacoustic Search is also standard in her second slot. or In her third slot, you must choose between Defensive Fire and a Spotter Aircraft. Abruzzi rounds out her consumables with Repair Party. This is a tier IX cruiser version of the consumable, healing back up to 14% of her maximum health over 28 seconds. She can queue up 33% of damage to her citadel, 50% of any penetrating hits and 100% of flooding, fire, ram and over penetration damage. Camouflage: Abruzzi uses Type 10 Camouflage. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, a 10% reduction to repair costs, 3% reduced surface detection range and increases dispersion of incoming fire by 4% Upgrades: Abruzzi has four upgrade slots with standard cruiser options. There are no Special Upgrades worth considering for this ship. Take Main Armaments Modification 1 for your first slot. or or Damage Control Modification 1 for your second slot. Alternatively, Steering Gears Modification 1 is a good choice given how frequently her rudder breaks. It's almost chronic with this ship. If you have access to Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 and no better ship to put it on, it's not out of place here. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is optimal for your third slot. Don't bother with AA Guns Modification 2 -- you can't salvage her AA power. or Steering Gears Modification 2 is arguably the best of the fourth-slot options. Alternatively, if you want to improve her mitigation of fire damage for the sake of maximizing your Repair Party consumable, you may take Damage Control Modification 2. Offense Primary Battery: Ten 152mm naval rifles in a 3-2-2-3, A-B-X-Y arrangement. Secondary Battery: Eight 100mm guns in 4x2 turrets with one facing forward and the other backward on each side. Torpedo Launchers: Six tubes in 2x3 launchers with one to each side between the funnels. Abruzzi's guns are terrible. Her AP shells have bad penetration performance. Her HE shells are anemic with low damage and low fire chance. She only has 10 guns compared to the 12 guns found on all other tier VII light cruisers. She does not have an accelerated reload / normalization / autobounce angles to facilitate doing damage despite these disparities. Her fire arcs are bad. Generally speaking for mid-tier cruisers, 152mm guns are the best gun caliber in the game currently. They sit in this wonderful spot where taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells gives them tremendous damage output. While this skill is considered mandatory, their high explosive (HE) shells benefit so much from it that the four point cost seems a bargain. With the boosted penetration provided by this skill, they can spam HE against any targets they encounter and gradually tear them apart. Though they pay for this bonus with a slight dip in fire-setting efficiency, the trade off is largely considered worthwhile to emphasize their enormous damage-per-minute (DPM) potential. Would that Abruzzi also benefited. Abruzzi's fire angles are almost amazing, but her X-Turret ruins everything. She effectively turns Abruzzi into an 8-gun cruiser most of the time. Inertial Fuse for HE Shells (IFHE) should still be considered mandatory for Abruzzi. And yes, she does enjoy the same spike in penetration power which lets her hammer tier VIII and IX cruisers and capital ships for damage with this skill. However, she does not have the DPM of her contemporaries. Abruzzi's damage per shell is comparable and so is her rate of fire but she has less guns. Abruzzi's base fire chance per shell is also terrible and IFHE just makes it appalling. She sets less fires on average than the other tier VII cruisers which will light half again as many as Abruzzi will over time. The damage-stack from these damage-over-time effects are critical for burning down larger enemies and Abruzzi is left wanting in this regard. This might not be terrible if her AP shells were more reliable, but they're not. They suck, frankly. Unlike German cruisers which also suffer from anemic HE shells, Abruzzi does not have improved AP damage to compensate. Abruzzi's AP rounds are run of the mill, comparable in damage to Belfast's shells but with even worse penetration. Seriously. Abruzzi has the worst AP penetration of any of the 152mm light cruisers at tier VII+. They're even worse than the penetration values on Duca d'Aosta's guns at tier VI. For whatever reason, Abruzzi's AP shells have horrible shell drag and lower Krupp value than the other Italian premium cruiser. You're going to have to rely on HE shells to do the heavy lifting. Abruzzi is largely incapable of landing citadel damage against enemy cruisers at ranges at 9km and beyond. Source: proships.ru/stat/ships/ Which brings us back to how awful her HE shells are. There's nothing redeemable about these weapons at all. Bad damage. Bad rotation speed. Bad fire setting. You're going to need a 14pt commander (with Concealment Expert and IFHE) just to make her gunnery not be a painful sack of [edited]. The cardinal sin of Abruzzi's main battery armament, however, is their poor fire angles -- especially on X turret. You're already in the hole when it comes to DPM races and the wonky arc of fire on X-turret is just the king pisser. However, anytime you open fire with X-turret (or even with Y-turret), you open yourself up to taking massive amounts of damage in reprisals and this will quickly spell the end of your ship. And don't think your torpedoes can save you... While Abruzzi's guns are objectively worse than Duca d'Aosta, at least they both share the same torpedo armament. These are super long ranged (for a cruiser) and super slow (for anyone). With only a pair of triple launchers, they don't hit especially hard and short of point blank launches, it's difficult to land more than a single hit on anything. In short, her torpedoes aren't going to save her damage output. They reload reasonably fast, so drop them whenever you can safely. You never know -- you might actually hit something at long range. Summary: ThoughAbruzzi is a 10-gun cruiser, she's effectively an 8-gun cruiser because of her poor fire arc on X-turret. Given the poor performance of AP shells and bad arcs, she's functionally worse than Duca d'Aosta at tier VI most of the the time. Her torpedoes are water mines. Drop them regularly in the vague direction of the enemy and cross your fingers. You may get lucky. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : My vote would be to give her 1/4 HE penetration. This would free her up from being shackled to IFHE which would also give her an artificial boost to her fire chance. Defense Hit Points: 32,500 Maximum Citadel Protection: 30mm + 130mm Minimum Bow, Deck & Stern Armour: 16mm Torpedo Damage Reduction: 16% Allow me to illustrate Abruzzi's single biggest issue in regards to her survivability: At least she can't be citadelled by HE shells. The entire thing is internal. That's her citadel. It runs half the length of the ship. It sits high over the water line. There's not enough armour to keep enemy AP shells out but more than enough to make sure that when they penetrate, they stay in. Abruzzi's armour scheme is designed to foil AP shells from other cruisers and, to it's credit, it doesn't do a terrible job at this. At close range, provided you can keep the ship angled, your machine spaces and magazines are proof against AP fire from just about any cruiser you may encounter. This is largely due to her extended waterline belt, which is 30mm thick and cannot be overmatched by anything a cruiser will throw at you. In order to take advantage of this, though, Abruzzi needs to close the distance so that shell trajectories remain flat and attempts to citadel her must pass through this belt protection. Of course, this all falls apart when there's a battleship somewhere on the map. And those Battleships will murder- Abruzzi so hard you'd think they were trying to manifest Slaanesh. Now let's talk about her Repair Party. Abruzzi has one! Urra! Normally this would be enough to propel a ship up the durability ranks. However, it really doesn't do that much good here. Abruzzi does not have any issues when facing destroyers and cruisers, which is largely where her Repair Party will prove functional. In this regard, she feels very tanky, able to recover from small-caliber AP and HE penetrations and shrugging of fires like they were nothing. This is what elevated her from to , btw. Abruzzi can be an annoying ship to take out if you can't citadel her. In fact, she can be downright trollish in this regard, particularly against enemy cruisers and destroyers. Fires are of little concern which eases the taxation of your Damage Control Party. This is good given Abruzzi's unfortunate habit of losing her rudder. To this end, Last Stand isn't a bad investment to keep it functional during its frequent breaks -- this will let your Damage Control Party be on hand to address blazes and floods where your Repair Party can top off any lost health. The flip side of this is that her Repair Party all but guarantees Abruzzi will be at full health when a battleship does deign to bless you with the presence of their 283mm+ AP shells. Then her consumable avails you not as your innards get sprayed over the surface of the ocean in a thunderclap of 'sucks to be you'. Abruzzi hands this medal out a lot. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Where to start? Without her Repair Party consumable, I rate Abruzzi as being less durable than Atlanta and Flint -- two light cruisers with almost 5,000 less hit points. Her biggest flaw is the height of her citadel. Lowering that would help tremendously. It needn't be submerged entirely, but Abruzzi is little more than an experience pinata for battleships at the moment and there's very little she can do about it. Image courtesy of gamemodels3d.com, showing the extended, 30mm waterline belt of Abruzzi. This belt can frustrate battleship and cruiser attempts to citadel you at point blank range if you angle aggressively. Good luck with that, though. Agility Top Speed: 35.0 knotsTurning Radius: 680mRudder Shift: 8.9s Maximum Turn Rate: 6.3º/s at 4/4 speed Abruzzi's best characteristic is her speed and handling. Still, she does not stand out in any one aspect of her agility. She is not the fastest ship at tier VII -- Shchors is faster and Myoko is just as quick. She does not have the smallest turning radius. That distinction lies firmly with Atlanta and Flint. Her Rudder Shift is on the slow side, but Indianapolis, Algérie and Belfast are worse. She's right in the middle of the pack when it comes to bringing her bow about, with a rate of turn that sits comfortably in the middle. Yet as an overall whole, she stands apart. She combines straight line speed of the Soviet and Japanese cruisers with the American rates of turn. This flexibility is welcome for such a fragile vessel. Opponents will tend to underestimate the lead time necessary to catch Abruzzi when she's going flat out at range. In addition, she can dodge with the best of them. I have nothing but praise for Abruzzi's handling and only wish the rest of the ship was so comfortable. Test run at 4/4 speed. Nothing unexpected here. Abruzzi's turning circle isn't abnormally large and she loses the usual 20% speed in a turn like most cruisers. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Be British. Fiji is remarkably agile, quick to accelerate and handles beautifully. Fiji's speed in a turn is greater than Algérie's in a straight line. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 100mm / 37mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 4.0km / 3.5km / 2.0km AA DPS per Aura: 26.4 / 46.4 / 18.2 Abruzzi's raw anti-aircraft firepower is terrible -- it's the worst of the cruisers at her tier by a large margin. If Defensive Fire wasn't so good, I would pan her AA guns as all but useless and label this ship as fodder for CVs as much as she is battleships. As it is, her anti-aircraft defense is for personal defense only and it cannot be relied upon the do anything other than bruise incoming aircraft squadrons. They will drop ordnance. Your consumable will merely scatter it. There's nothing here really worth improving. Save your skill points and upgrade slots. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : A whole lot of buffs to range and firepower, or some stupid gimmick. Refrigerator Base Surface Detection Range: 11.16km Air Detection Range: 7.65km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 9.53km Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 5.16km Main Battery Firing Range: 15.06km Abruzzi has decent concealment when fully specialized with a stealth build. However, she does not have the tools or ability to dominate stealth. Even at her own tier, she's bested by the British cruisers, Fiji and Belfast. She also sits behind Atlanta and Flint. This list grows longer when you look within her matchmaking spread, including more British cruisers and even some of the Japanese heavies like Atago. Combined with her speed, stealth and Hydroacoustic Search consumable, on paper she makes a decent potential destroyer and light cruiser hunter. She should also be able to dictate engagement ranges against most opponents. However, Abruzzi cannot safely engage enemies while in the line of fire of enemy battleships. She has two means of defense against fire from these large capital ships -- be behind hard cover, or be far enough away that she can avoid their shot. Engaging battleships at the extent of her normal range does not give her enough time to realistically dodge. While her torpedoes may be safely launched from stealth, they travel too slowly to have a realistic chance of delivering many hits without luck and experience. This just leaves island humping, lobbing shells over hard cover as the only appreciable way for Abruzzi to engage battleships. This is a good skill to learn as it will serve you well with higher tiered American cruisers. However, Abruzzi's fragility will make the pains of learning this lesson far more acute than it needs to be. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Abruzzi loses out big to three other premium ships that all have much better vision control -- Belfast, Flint and Atlanta. Belfast reigns best overall with good concealment and her broken combination of consumables that allows her to utterly dominate stealth and detection at tier VII. Behind her, Flint and Atlanta are also stealthier than Abruzzi and bring either smoke or radar respectively to the table. I would even rate Fiji better than Abruzzi, even though the British tech tree cruiser has a larger surface detection range. Smoke is invaluable and negates any range issues this ship may have had. Duca, Duca, Goose Performance in Duca degli Abruzzi is heavily dependent on having a commander with enough skill points. The two big hurdles are acquiring first 10 skill points and then your 14th skill point. One could argue your 17th is equally important too. Follow along and try out your own builds with ShipComrade's Captain Skill Calculator. Start with Priority Target. Don't skimp out on this one -- it's almost a must with this ship. If it ever ticks over to "2" and there's a battleship in the vicinity, it's time to stop firing and hide. You have a choice at tier 2. Last Stand is helpful -- Abruzzi's steering gear in particular is prone to breaking. If you feel brave enough to manage your Damage Control Party without it, then Adrenaline Rush should be your port of call as the optimal skill to pick at this tier. Next up, Superintendent is the best skill at tier 3 to get you an extra charge of Repair Party (and everything else). The order in which you spend your next eight points is irrelevant. In either case, you'll spend four and then immediately wish you could spend four more. Concealment Expert and Inertial Fuse for HE Shells are both defining skills for Abruzzi, with the former making play easier (but never forgiving) and the latter facilitating damage dealing (while never making her good at it). Drop back down to tier 3 and pick up Demolition Expert for your 17th skill point. And finally round out your selection with whichever skill you skipped at tier 2 the first time through or Expert Marksman to improve your gun traverse. Final Evaluation Mouse's Summary: It's an uphill battle to tally a decent damage total. It can be done, but man, you're going to have to work at it. Abruzzi will make you think that she's a lot tougher than she is. You might have a nice streak of games where your Repair Party lets you tank effectively. But just as likely, you may have a not-so nice streak of games where you get deleted. This ship really encourages passive play as a result. You're doing small amounts of chip damage over time, skulking at the periphery and trying to be the least appetizing target you can be. I don't like this ship. Ship Jesus help me, I really tried to enjoy my time in her. I would like to imagine that I'm a patient player. Abruzzi tested my limits. I can stomach glass cannons -- Atlanta is one of my favourite ships in the game, for example. Abruzzi has the 'glass' part down, but she's really lacking the cannon element. I have already gone on at length about her firepower deficiencies. With her X-turret being so badly positioned, Abruzzi is no better armed than Duca d'Aosta much of the time. So she's stuck with tier VI firepower (and admittedly weak tier VI firepower) through much of her engagements. This should indicate that she's meant to be a bit of a tank, but she's just a victim when facing anything other than cruisers or destroyers which makes me have a sad. Abruzzi isn't the first cruiser (or even the first premium cruiser) that gargles on battleship AP shells so expertly that dreadnoughts can't help but whip their guns out her way. Testing Abruzzi has taught me that if I see her on the enemy roster while I'm in one of my battleships that I should make her a priority target -- not because she's a threat, but that because like Pensacola and the Omaha-sisters before her, I'm likely to be rewarded with a super-easy kill. As knowledge of Abruzzi's citadel weakness become more widespread, this problem will prove chronic and I feel bad for those players who find this instant deletion frustrating. I will admit, in those situations where Abruzzi can engage cruisers and destroyers without battleship interference, she's a lot of fun to play. However, those engagements aren't commonplace. The first you'll often note about battleship attentions is losing most (if not all) of your health. Suffice to say, Abruzzi and I were not a good fit for one another. I am sure some people will enjoy her and even rack up some impressive games with her. Performance wise, I was able to do the same, but the amount of work needed wasn't to my liking. Abruzzi only really punishes you against battleships -- in most other respects, she's alright and certainly not broken. It's just the passive game play needed to make her perform isn't competitive and I don't find it very fun. A string of three good games in Abruzzi. I was alarmed. Thankfully the fourth game sets things straight as I got casually deleted by a battleship from 16km away before I could manage 14,000 damage. Good games are possible, but terrible games will happen too no matter how skilled you are. Would I Recommend? At the time of writing, Duca d'Aosta is available across all servers both in the stores and within the tech tree for 4,700 doubloons. Controversial as Duca d'Aosta is, she's a much better purchase than Abruzzi for someone looking for an Italian light cruiser. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Meh. I want to say 'no', but she will probably be alright in scenarios. Co-op will be hit or miss. She will struggle to hit the top of the team lists -- she just doesn't output damage fast enough. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. No, no, no, no, no. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. No, there are much better premiums you could bring for competitive game modes like Ranked Battles. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Yes. She is gorgeous -- there's no denying that. She was also built in steel and survived the war, so there's that going for her too. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Blech. No. What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE - The boat is unbalanced, not fun to play and weak. The ship desperately needs some buffs or some quality of life changes.Mehbote - An average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable however she's not going to be considered optimal.Gudbote - A powerful ship, often one of the best ships at a given role within its tier. Usually considered optimal for a given task.OVERPOWERED - The boat is unbalanced and powerful. Typically she's either horrible to play against or she redefines the meta entirely. Conclusion Two months I have been working on this review, on and off. Most of it was written by mid-March but then word came down that the test-build for Abruzzi was going to be upgraded with a Repair Party consumable. I held my breath hoping it would salvage this ship from a looming Garbage evaluation. It did -- which says a lot about the power level of a Repair Party when it's not commonly available to most other ships. It just didn't save this ship for me. This is one of those ships I'm not likely going to want to come back to. This is why it was so satisfying to animate blowing it up. Thank you all for reading. As this is being written, I am just shy of halfway through my updated Prinz Eugen review, crunching through Defense and AA graphics. I suspect she may be pushed to the back-burner to get an evaluation of Z-39 done, but we'll see. Maybe I can push through a miracle or two this weekend. I do want to push out Prinz Eugen sooner rather than later in thanks to my supporters on Patreon. Their patronage helps keep me fed and the lights on and I'm grateful to anyone that can help this way. Until next time! Someone suggested I market LWM Bobble Heads. I dunno, they kinda freak me out. Appendix
  8. Colorado Welcome Captains to the Buckin' Bronco the Colorado class battleship. The Colorado is the ultimate culmination of the USN Standard Battleship Doctrine and the "All or Nothing" armor concept. This means her armor is focused around her guns and citadel while leaving the rest of the ship lightly armored, this actually has its pros and cons which I'll touch on later. Standard battleships had a standard max speed of around 21 knots with similar maneuverability through all ships, this would allow a battlegroup to operate in unity, not regulate all ships to the speed and maneuverability of the slowest and poorest handling ship. Unfortunately this doesn't translate well to the game since we don't operate in a cohesive battlegroup but more of a "every man for them self" mentality. This ship is pretty notorious for being a terrible ship for which I can understand where most players are coming from, but I find she requires a different play style, a play style that actually teaches you to be a better captain. All things said this is my favorite and most played ship in the game, I grinded her back during her original incarnation and halfway through my grind she got her first buff, mainly to her reload, turret traverse and improved Repair Party consumable. She got a second buff along with the rest of the USN BB line with much needed buffs to their gun range and she just got recent buff to her HP which tied to her improved Repair Party means she print Dreadnoughts. Without further or due lets dive a little deeper into this ship. Health The 'Rado recently got a HP buff bringing her HP up to par with most tier 7 battleships at 59,300 hp and along with her improved repair she can heal a maximum of 13,160hp per charge and a total of 65,800 hp while using appropriate flags and captain skills. While this isn't Nelson territory, it is a great deal better than most battleships and as I said before this ship will print Dreadnoughts. She also has 343mm of armor protecting all four sides of her citadel so when properly angled (NOT bow on, that isn't angling) she will be nearly impossible to citadel. That said she is covered in 25mm of hull plating and 16mm of superstructure armor. This makes the ship a HE magnet BUT this also means most battleship shells will over penetrate, all of which is fully repairable. Proper use of Damage Control is a must in this ship, heck it is a must in every ship honestly. She has great torpedo protection at 37% and mixed with her excellent handling means the 'Rado can easily mitigate torpedo damage as long as your paying attention. Guns The LoLrado has eight 16" guns packed into four turrets with two barrels per turret, they have a maximum possible range of 21.85km without spotter aircraft while using Artillery Plotting Room Mod 1, otherwise it is a pretty standard 18.83km (when compared to the other T7 battleships that is). The guns have a reload of 30 seconds and a 360 degree rotation of 45 seconds which can be brought down to 38.3 seconds with Expert Marksman (or 36 seconds while using the John Doe captain). She carries the second best penetration right behind the Nagato and with a flight time that is pretty much in the middle of the rest of the T7 battleships (no she does not have 'floaty' shells). Her guns have a good angle of attack that allow you to keep the ship's armor properly angled. She was recently nerfed in her sigma from 2.0 to 1.9, its a small amount though and haven't really noticed it to much. Her HE performance is rather meh and should be reserved for destroyers and light cruisers because of her high penetrating guns she can over penetrate a light cruiser's citadels Her secondaries are similar to the New Mexico with a mix of 5"/51 and 5"/25, they are rather low damage but have a good ROF along with good fire chance. She is no Bismark but in full secondary build she is pretty hilarious because what she lacks in raw alpha damage she makes up with starting lots of fires. With Manual Secondary skill I didn't find her all that good at deleting aggressive destroyers but in a brawl with another battleship she will at times burn the enemy from bow to stern. I wouldn't recommend it but it is fun and very unexpected for most opposing captains. AA The Colorado has ok AA in raw terms but with AFT and BFT skills along with the AA mod and AA flag moves her AA up to a rating of 87. Since she still sees allot of T5 and T6 CVs this means absolutely massacring flight groups, including Kagas (my favorite meals), Saipans and Enterprises. Most CV captains don't expect it and I've been called a hacker and cheater more times by a salty CV captains than any other kind of player. I hate CVs so I run a solid AA build although a Manual AA is a option of your really hate planes like me. Speed/Rudder Welcome to the last USN BB running at 21 knots, there is nothing that can be said that hasn't been said before. She has a meh rudder shift of 16.1 seconds and rudder mod brings with down to 12.9 seconds, she also has a turn radius of 640 meters. She also maintains good speed while fully turning which makes for a battleship that can't be beat at dodging, but she isn't a cruiser or destroyer, just better than most battleships. Concealment Her concealment is pretty bad, but at least it isn't Nagato bad. She can be seen out to 16.7km but with camo and Concealment Expert brings it to 13.93km. While not great this will allow her to get a little closer and possibly sneak away when needed Mods I ran Auxiliary Armament Mod 1, AA Guns Mod 2, DCS Mod 1 and Steering Gears Mod 1. Artillery Plotting Room could be used if you are a sniping scrub or find yourself to far from the action regularly. DCS Mod 2 could be used also if you find yourself burning allot Captain Skills For captain skills I ran Preventive Maintenance, Expert Marksman, BFT and AFT, I came around and picked up Adrenaline Rush and Concealment Expert which would serve well if the captain is transitioned to the North Carolina. That said a tank build using Jack or All Trades, Basics of Survivability and Superintendent could be used. Manual AA is another good skill if you really hate planes or Manual Secondaries if you want to have allot of fun Tactics This is the area I feel most players struggle with. first mistake I see from most USN captains is trying to sail across the map at the beginning of the match, YOU ARE TO SLOW TO DO THIS!!! Work in the area you start in, if all your allies start to leave, then follow them and act as a rear guard by utilizing your great repairs and hitting enemy ships that make mistakes. Second thing I see is they try to bow tank ships with guns bigger than 14", YOU CAN'T DO THIS EITHER!!! You have 25mm of bow armor, it will bounce 14" or smaller shells when bow tanking but anything bigger will go through. You have 343mm of armor surrounding your citadel in the form of a rectangle, point the corner of the rectangle to the enemy firing at you, this angles your armor to protect your citadel while still allowing you to fire all your guns. Now if the enemy is packing 14" or smaller guns while firing AP then go ahead and bow tank them. That said I like to keep the enemy 13-15km from me, this was the sweet zone for the I found for theguns. In between salvos look at the map, pay attention to last known DD locations and on top of that look at what the enemy is doing AND what your allies are doing. If your friendlies decide to turn tail and run, you need to be right there with them because you will not catch up to them. Use islands to mask your approach or retreat, islands are your best friends so hug them like those creepy otakus hug those creepier anime pillows. Focus on cruisers first, you can tank BB damage better than most battleships if you are angling properly but sustained HE fire from multiple cruisers really adds up, plus getting rid of them lets your destroyers do their thing which is spotting and killing other battleships. Don't try to go off and sail around the big islands if you don't have to, this takes your guns out of the fight longer than other ships. Learning to anticipate what your friendlies and enemies are doing is key and having situational awareness is VERY important. This ship quickly punishes bad moves faster than any other battleship, but if you learn not to screw up this will make you a better captain for other ships because they are more forgiving. How did I do? This ship gets allot of hate, yes she is slow but her guns hit hard and when properly used is very hard to put down Out of 10 battles I saw CVs 40% of the time, I averaged 8 plane kills during those CV matches. I was in Tier 9 matches 0% of the time (this is common for every T7 I play btw), tier 8 30% and I was top tier 70% of the time. I averaged 1430 base XP with my best game was 2212 base XP. My winrate was 80% and I survived 80% of the time with a kill average 2 ships per game. Accuracy was 29% with average damage of 85,679, my best game was 150,988 with a average damage per shell of 2255(meaning every shell that hit averaged out to this number). Please remember this is only out of 10 games, your millage may very! How Does She Compare? As the slowest ship at T7, well she is slow, but in the grand scheme of things the Nagato and Nelson are not much faster than her especially when comparing the Scharnhorst sisters, KGV and Lyon to them. She requires more skill than the rest of her counterparts, but this skill translate extremely well to other ships. You need to learn to predict what other players are going to do because you don't have the speed to chase. When I finally 'got it' I started to become a better player overall, figuring this ship out was my turning point to becoming a better player. Most enemy players think your a easy mark which makes them over confident, make that over confidence their downfall.
  9. Preamble: I know it has been a couple months since my last review but a combination of the busy season at work, family and burnout on this game forced me to take a step back for a little while but I'm back with another round of ship reviews Nagato Welcome Captains to the Glass Cannon known as Nagato. I'm sure several players are already not happy by that first line but hear me out. She has the most powerful guns for her tier, the most accurate guns for her tier yet she is surrounded by 15" and 16" gun ships that hit faster and/harder than she does with the least citadel protection for her tier. Powercreep has caught up to the mighty Nagato and while her guns are first rate her protection is in the back of the pack. She was one of the first battleships introduced into the game and since then has not received any major buffs nor nerfs outside of losing her original A hull. I actually ground this ship during this time and rage sold her. I did recently come back and now that I am a better player, I can appreciate her to her fullest. I found her to be a nice grind, while not my favorite ship I can easily see why many players do love her Health Nagato has the second largest health pool of the tier 7 battleships sitting in at 65,000 which is a good amount more than everyone else except for the Hood which only overtakes the Nagato by 2,000HP. As with earlier IJN battleships, your going to need that HP because she is poorly protected and will eat citadels from 15" and 16" guns at nearly every possible angle. She was one of the first battleships in the game and at the time of release she was consider well protected because every ship under her carried at max 14" guns which having 25mm of outer hull plating meant she could bounce most of those shells with a steep angle. Now that several ships below her carry 15" guns, this spells trouble. Also add in the fact that when she was introduced IFHE wasn't in the game yet, with that low caliber HE shells now could easily penetrate her hull. Using her superior range and accuracy becomes very important, this allows you to stay at or beyond the max range of most ships while your still able to massive chunks off of them. Guns This is the most redeeming quality for this ship, her guns. She packs 8 410mm guns pack into 4 turrets with 2 barrels each. They have the slowest rate of fire at Tier 7 at 32 seconds with a modest 360 degree rotation of 47.37 seconds (40s with Expert Marksman). They feature a 2.0 sigma and reach out to 20.46km with a dispersion of 231m while still having enough energy to still punch through 386mm of armor. Her guns have the best penetration for her tier with the Colorado only being a tick away from her. In practice her guns are plain wonderful but their very accurate so to hit targets you also have to be accurate. I know that sounds odd but understand that other battleships have worse accuracy so if your aim is off RNG will sometimes take over and a random shell or 2 will still hit while with the Nagato, where you aim is pretty much where your going to hit The Nagato features secondaries that are very familar to the Fuso, Kongo, and Myogi. They work but are to short ranged and the AP tends to be lack luster against BBs and angled cruisers. I don't see a point in investing into them because this isn't a front line brawler, shes a deadly sniper waiting from the enemy to present broadsides that she can hit. AA Her AA is the weakest of the standard line BBs (excluding premiums naturally) consisting of a ok mid range and meh long range AA. When I first got into her I went with BFT, AFT, Fighter, and AA module and this served her pretty well against most CVs I faced. They would still get through but I would at least shoot down enough planes that I could usually dodge torpedos. Later I respeced the captain and took away BFT and AFT and I was totally trashed by a T6 CV. This leads to a tough decision because Tier 4-6 still has a good bit of CV play so running into them in battle is fairly common. If you plan to keep the ship I would recommend investing into her AA as a just in case. Speed/Rudder At 25 knots she used to be considered fast, but with recent lines coming she is really feeling slow. While her rudder shift isn't terrible she feels sluggish when compared to the other lines also which technically she isn't bad, but she feels like it Mods I ran the usual Main Armament Mod 1, AA Mod, and Damage Control Mod 1 and Steering Gear mod 2. I ran Aiming Systems mod for a few games and I found the guns more than accurate enough without it so AA for me felt like the next best option Captain Skills For the first tier I Preventive Maintenance, at T2 Expert Markmans since her turrets are so slow, T3 Basics of Survivability to increase the tanking more but Superintendent good choice as well, T4 I ran Concealment Expert (this captain is going up the line) this brought her concealement down to a okish 14.26km. Coming back around I ran Adrenaline Rush and Superintendent. Tactics As with the previous Kongo and Fuso, she is more of back line fighter. You use her superior accuracy, range, and hard hitting guns to strike unsuspecting enemy ships. Sitting at the enemies max range or beyond will allow you more time to respond to incoming fire. That said she is a softy so while brawling is not recommended, it will happen and if you haven't learned how to bait shells into your angled belt armor, now is the time to learn because she just doesn't have the raw armor otherwise. She is very good at failing flanks because she has a really nice ability to kite the enemy How did I do As I said I can see why people love this ship, but she really isn't my style of play because if forces me to be more passive which is not something I am, I prefer to be aggressive. That said I do not ever see myself buying her back and keeping her Out of the 10 battles I saw CVs 40% of the time, I averaged 3.33 plane kills during those CV matches. I was in Tier 9 matches 10% of the time, tier 8 20% and I was top tier 70% of the time. I averaged 1212 base XP with my best game was 1695 base XP. My winrate was 60% and my survived 70% with a kill average 1.6. Accuracy was 26% with average damage was 70,559, best game was 128,665 with a average damage per shell of 2138 (meaning every shell that hit average out to this number). Please remember this is only 10 games, your millage may very How Does She Compare While the power creep is real, she still feels very competitive. Her guns are her shinning point with good marksmanship being very important. In T9 games her shells, range and accuracy help keep her relevant but her armor is just unable to take any sustained abuse. Mixed with her poor concealment means she usually the first seen in the game which means usually the first shot at, mix that with T8s and T9s they have the same ability to hit her back at the ranges she is most comfortable. I found the best way to use her is not to be the most savory target to the enemy, try to go unnoticed and strike the enemy when their attention is else where
  10. Premium Ship Review: Ashitaka

    The following is a review of Ashitaka, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of November 30th, 2017 No butt jokes here.. Quick Summary: A battlecruiser with great speed, amazing broadside firepower but garbage AA values, poor armour protection and some serious shell penetration issues. Cost: Bundles begin at $41.99 including a port slot. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.14.0, November 30th, 2017 Closest in-Game Contemporary Amagi, tier VIII Japanese Battleship Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Back in January of 2017, Amagi and Nagato received a significant quality of life buff. Their stock hull was being removed from the game. Now they would only need to research a single hull to upgrade their vessel. These ships were horrible to grind while stock -- not only did they have poor anti-aircraft armaments and long rudder shift times like other stock vessels, they were also forced to use guns with worse penetration values. Some players lamented that it was a shame to lose the distinct models. Indeed, their designs were quite recognizable. Wargaming made plans to return these ships as premiums, with Mutsu representing a modified A-Hull Nagato and Ashitaka representing Amagi. In both cases, these ships are downtiered in an attempt to balance their poor characteristics compared to their sister ships. Short of the gun layout and handling, Ashitaka is night and day different from Amagi in terms of overall performance. They may be related, but they're very different craft. Liking one will not guarantee you like the other. PROs Heaviest main battery broadside firepower at her tier. 410mm guns are capable of overmatching the bows of any ship tier VII or lower. Fast, with a top speed of 30 knots Reasonably good rate of turn at 4.0º/s Straight forward game play -- no gimmicks, just gunnery. Option of purchasing the Makoto Kobayashi camouflage with its improved economic bonuses. CONs Weak belt armour, with only 254mm of protection. Long (31.0s) reload on her main battery guns. Poor penetration values on her AP shells. Large turning circle of 870m. What anti-aircraft firepower? Enormous surface detection range. Wargaming has succeeded in seriously pissing me off. I'm going to try and remain objective here, but if a little more snark comes through this review than intended, you'll have to forgive me. This review is being put together under exceedingly short notice. A special thanks to KJar, Lert, Pigeon_of_War and the Wiki-staff for keeping me sane through this crunch time. Options Depending upon the bundle purchased, Ashitaka comes with two different camouflage patterns. This mirrors the release of Battleship Kii in September of 2017. Otherwise, there are no surprises here. Consumables: Damage Control Party Repair Party Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard non-American battleship options. Premium Camouflage: Ashitaka's default camouflage is the standard Type 10. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Makoto Kobayashi -- Ashitaka camouflage provides 100% bonus experience gains, -50% to the post-battle service costs, +20% bonus credit earning, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. For your upgrade choices, it's more straight forward than ever. Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. Next, take Damage Control Modification 1. After that, there's no point on taking anything other than Aiming System Modification 1. And cap it all off with Damage Control Modification 2. There are no Special Upgrades worth installing on Ashitaka at this time. Firepower Primary Battery: Ten 410mm rifles in an A-B-X-Y-Z configuration. A&B turrets along with Y&Z turrets are superfiring. Secondary Battery: Sixteen 140mm guns in casemates and four 120mm guns in single deck mounts. It's hard to argue with the problem solving capabilities of ten 410mm naval rifles. On paper, Ashitaka has the largest main battery armament of any of the tier VII battleships, outshining the ten 356mm armed King George V-class battleships. The broadside firepower that Ashitaka dispenses will end worlds. This is a ship that faces puny little Omaha, Emerald and Königsberg-class cruisers, for crying out loud. If you can catch a cruiser with all ten of these guns, there will be nothing left of them but a bad smell. This similar weight of firepower can be downright disastrous for destroyers too. Even a couple of overpenetrating hits will gut a lolibote and leave them regretting their life decisions. I am sure you could all smell the 'but' coming. These aren't your Amagi's 410mm guns. Well, they are -- they're just not using the same AP shell. Like Battleship Mutsu before her, Ashitaka makes use of the 410mm AP/APC Type 88 shell instead of the Type 91 shell found on battleships Nagato, Amagi and Kii. Let's take a look at what differences this entails: The kick in the pants that everyone will focus on are her penetration issues. With her lower Krupp rating, Ashitaka's shells not only lack penetration power, they're also more likely to shatter against thicker armour plate. In practice, Ashitaka's AP shells behave very similarly to the 356mm shells of the King George V-class, keeping comparable penetration power up to about 15km. Beyond that, Ashitaka's performance begins to fall noticeably behind. So let's go back to gloating about kicking the butts of Omaha, Emerald and Konigsberg-class cruisers for a moment. The other side of the coin here is that she'll also be trying to penetrate the armoured belts of Izumo, Iowa and Friedrich der Große-class battleships at range. You can imagine how well that's going to go over. Veterans of the Royal Navy battleship line -- true veterans; the ones that were playing HMS Warpsite and HMS Hood before the rest of the fleet showed up, will well understand the challenges presented here and know the work around. Ashitaka needs to aim for the upper belt and hull of enemy battleships at range to inflict damage. Similarly, she needs to abandon the idea that she can inflict citadel hits on any battleship that's same tier or higher at anything beyond 12km. Going for these upper hull shots can still yield some impressive damage totals, but it takes practice and patience to adjust your gunnery habits. Ashitaka's slower reload time makes any bounces and ricochets feel especially punitive, however, and it can be an exercise in frustration. Even good aim will not always avail you -- these are battleship caliber guns after all, with battleship dispersion and 1.8 sigma. Unlike the tech tree Royal Navy battleships, Ashitaka doesn't have the increased penetration to make spamming HE an attractive counterpoint to trying to bullseye ships with AP. These are issues that have plagued HMS Warspite, Hood, and Mutsu. Players should know what to expect by now. DPM and Penetration values for AP shells. AP penetration values are taken from Wargaming's own Armada videos. Ashitaka, Nelson and Colorado penetration values are a best estimates using available data. Backing up the mixed performance of Ashitaka's main battery guns is a heavy secondary gun battery of equally mixed performance! Hooray! This comes with a 7km range and a 10-gun broadside. However, you're not going to want to specialize too heavily into this armament. The rate of fire on Ashitaka's weapons are on the slow side. What's more, the 140mm casemate guns which form the lion's share of her firepower shoot an AP shell, not HE. Boo-urns. Still, these guns will surprise you. I stuck a secondary-specialized commander into Ashitaka and quickly hoovered up a pair of Close Quarter Expert medals for killing a Farragut and Atlanta. So it's not like they don't have their uses. Summary: Her guns aren't as bad as their penetration values might otherwise indicate. Her slow reload doesn't help matters, though. Her secondaries look more threatening than they actually are. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 17.28km Air Detection Range: 13.71km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 14.41km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 16.9km Main Battery Firing Range: 19.88km Surface Detection Rank within Tier: Last out of nine battleships Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: Tied for 37th out of 39 battleships with Friedrich der Große and Amagi. You're visible from space. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 120mm / 25mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 4.5km / 3.1km AA DPS per Aura: 10 / 74.9 No. Just... just, no. I cry every time. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 30.0knotsTurning Radius: 870mRudder Shift: 14.9s Maximum Turn Rate: 4.0º/s Tier VII is a fun tier for battleships. This where most of the nations find their running legs (except 'Murica, who shows up late for the war again). The average top speed at this tier is 27.8 knots, buoyed on the high end by Hood and Gneisenau at 32 knots and held back by Colorado at a mere 21 knots. This makes Ashitaka's 30 knot top speed look very attractive. It allows her a great deal of flexibility not often enjoyed by mid tier battleships. She can easily keep up with the flow of battle and redeploy as needed. She is unfortunately cursed with the second largest turning circle at her tier, with only Hood's 910m being worse. The next closest is Gneisenau at 830m. This isn't a ship that answers her rudder quickly. Her rotation rate is on the slow side, though she is better than the slugs Nagato and Nelson which truly drag their heels due to their lower top speed. Still, Ashitaka is going to struggle to dodge incoming fire with anything less than a 7 second aim time. Varying her speed as well as her heading is going to be needed to attempt to avoid long distance volleys and even then she's not going to pull it off easily. DurabilityHit Points: 59,400Maximum Citadel Protection: 254mm +70mm turtleback Min Bow & Deck Armour: 25mm Torpedo Damage Reduction: 25% Hull armour protection. There is an absolutely tiny strip of 203mm armour on the bottom of the 254mm belt well beneath the waterline. While Ashitaka's durability isn't good, it's not as bad as it could be. Ashitaka is about 1,000 hit points (or about 2%) shy of the average total at her tier now that Colorado has been propped up to acceptable level, so this isn't terrible. The real concerns are her armour values. Ashitaka is a wet dream for any light cruiser using Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. The whole expanse of the ship from bow to stern, with the exception of her belt and gun turrets, is kerosene soaked HE pr0n, never exceeding 25mm in thickness. She's such a large target with little in the way of superstructure to get in the way of the fall of shells. Cruisers (and even some destroyers) will trip over themselves to be the next in line to shoot you. As guns increase in size, it doesn't get much better. Her belt armour caps out at 254mm at the waterline tapering to a 203mm thickness beneath the surface. Unlike Nagato, she does not have an extended belt stretching to cover her bow, though she does have one towards her stern where the armour thins over her steering gears to a 'mere' 229mm. This makes it difficult for her to angle against incoming battleship shells without risking them overmatching her thin prow and hammering into her magazine. Oh, that's worth mentioning -- Ashitaka's citadel raises up over the waterline beneath her A & B turrets. What's more this raised area is entirely composed of her forward magazine; because reasons. This means that any citadel hits punching into your bow are likely trying to cook off your ammunition. Time will tell if Ashitaka pops more often than other battleships. The only spot of good news is that most of her armour protection against AP dive bombers is too thin to arm the fuse. The exception to this are the 70mm turtleback areas that will arm the bombs and result in Ashitaka taking full out citadel hits from the attack. This should be rare, however. But given her poor anti-aircraft firepower, it's not like the enemy carriers are going to be lacking surviving aircraft to give it another go. Tightening up Amagi's A-Hull The one consolation with Ashitaka -- skills don't make her subsystems a whole lot better. This means you can focus on a survivability build with a clear conscience. Here's your first 10 skill points: Start with Priority Target. Grab Adrenaline Rush to try and hack at that 31s reload time. Take Basics of Survivability. Finish it up with Fire Prevention. For your next nine points, take Concealment Expert so you're only visible from low orbit instead of across the solar system. Grab either Superintendent or Vigilance (your choice). And finally take Expert Marksman to get your guns twirling faster. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Ashitaka doesn't reinvent the wheel. Protect your citadel. Fire pew pews at the enemy. The only real bump in the road is learning to make use of the lower penetration on her AP shells. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Ashitaka has speed and firepower. That's recipe enough for skilled players to cause a lot of havoc. However, there's only so far skill will take you on Ashitaka. She's too big to hide. She can't effectively angle against most battleship opponents. This leaves you with out-trading your opponents and for that, you're reliant upon your aim and RNGesus. If she had a single universal ammo type, I could drop this down to 'low'. Mouse's Summary: Ten guns really does solve a lot of problems. So does having a good top speed. It's just a shame about all that other stuff... Ashitaka isn't a good battleship. Firepower solves a lot of problems in World of Warships, and Ashitaka has a healthy helping of that. Were her guns firing the Type 91 AP shell found on Nagato, Kii and Amagi, I don't think there would be any real debate on her viability as a battleship. As it is, the Type 88 shells have a reputation -- one I feel is slightly exaggerated and undeserved. While they are obviously somewhat lacking, they are not unserviceable. It's the inconsistency of their performance which causes them to be so demonized. And let's be fair -- battleship reloads are long and each volley already feels like a roll of the dice. A series of shatters at the wrong time will feel downright punitive and that's an understandable deal breaker for some. So while I may wish for better shells, that leaves me to take a frank appraisal of everything else she has to offer. Her range is adequate. Her gun handling isn't terrible. Her accuracy is okay. Her secondaries are fun but forgettable. She's fast -- I like fast ships. Fast ships provide flexibility and flexibility wins games. Her concealment and durability have a lot to be desired though. Are these last two elements combined with her shells enough to condemn her to wallow with the likes of Huanghe, Krasny Krym and Oleg? I honestly don't believe so. Ashitaka isn't a trashbote. She's not good -- I think we can all agree she's not incredibly advantaged. She pays very dearly to have access to ten 410mm guns at tier VII, so dearly I would struggle to recommend her, even though I know she can and will perform in the right hands. Ashitaka's armour and durability need to be weighed against her offensive power. She's fragile for a battleship, admittedly -- but is she so fragile she can't survive long enough to deal reasonable amounts of damage? We've looked at her guns and her armour. Top tier, she can bully with the best. Her armour's proof enough against 356mm guns or smaller. But she does not up tier well. It's funny, but t I think the A-Hull Amagi was better. At least she had 32mm of bow armour. Would I Recommend? Ashitaka "becomes worthwhile" with the Makoto Kobayashi camouflage. Now, I was reluctant to describe it this way as it prompts players to fork out an additional sum in order to prop up an otherwise flagging premium. However, it would not be fair to fail to mention the merits. With this camouflage, she joins the ranks of Kii, Prinz Eugen and Missouri as an incredibly profitable premium ship. Missouri still wins out, but Ashitaka will make bank for those looking for a credit earning ship. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Yes. In the close-range encounters typically found in Co-Op and Operations, Ashitaka thrives. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. I'll give her a pass here. For the money, you could take Kii or Mutsu -- one being cheaper and the other arguably more effective against everything within her matchmaking spread. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. What are you, nuts? No. Go away. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. The Makoto Kobayashi camouflage adds a fun collector's element to this ship. Yeah, I could see people justifiably wanting her for that if they were a fan. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? No. Go away. What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE - Grossly uncompetitive and badly in need of buffs.Mehbote - Average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable, but certainly not advantageous.Gudbote - A strong ship that has obvious competitive strengths and unique features that make it very appealing.OVERPOWERED - A ship with very clear advantages over all of its competitors and unbalancing the game with its inclusion.
  11. Akatsuki Guide?

    My record in Akatsuki is abysmal so far with only 7(!) out of 23(!!) battles won and is ninth from the bottom in terms of win rate in my profile summary. I don't really want to practice in Co-op because I don't feel that fighting bots in Co-op will give me a "realistic" experience. Links to up to date guides and tips would be appreciated. How my Akatsuki is currently set up below: Modules: B Hull Stock GFCS Type 90 mod.1 torpedoes (the upgraded torps) Captain Skills: Preventive Maintenance Last Stand Superintendent Concealment Expert Upgrades and Camo: Main Armaments Mod 1 Main Battery Mod 2 Steering Gears Mod 1 Steering Gears Mod 2 Type 5 Camo Signals: Equal Speed Charlie London India Bravo Terathree Sierra Mike November Foxtrot Victor Lima Juliet Whisky Unaone Juliet Charlie I also fly The Hard Fought Victory flag, if you must know. My AA is turned off unless Planes fly through my air detection range and I tend to fire all nine torpedoes at once (not a good idea, I know). Have some replays of some of my better/average games to analyze how I play(yes I do like aiming in and out for no reason and hitting other buttons down the left side of my keyboard for no reason) https://www.dropbox.com/s/icfnb2ellhr5wb7/Akat help example 1.wowsreplay?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/2f15dyqvknw7v5u/Akat help example 2.wowsreplay?dl=0 You may, if you read my earlier thread regarding Pan-Asian DDs, recognize it as the result of the second replay.
  12. One of the latest post on SEA group on yesterday showed some balance change. You could go read there. https://sea-group.org/?p=3703&lang=en and one change come into my eyes Colorado - Hitpoint on B Hull increased from 50100 to 59300, and no change to her Repair Party. - Her main gun accuracy is adjusted to 1.9σ from 1.8σ (Hull A) and 2.0σ(Hull B), respectively. Let just say she got HP buffed but she trade with some accuracy when she fully upgraded. let's discus if this is what she really needed or not?
  13. Funnest Tier 7 Premium?

    Funnest Tier 7 Premium? List reason why
  14. So, having played through KGV and bought the Monarch, here's my review of the King George V, the tier 7 RN tech tree BB. For my review of Queen Elizabeth, the tier 6 RN BB, click here. Note: I am on the high side of average, skill wise, but no unicum. Also, while I did consult numbers and stats, my reviews are primarily based on the feel of the ship and my performance in her. This is of course a limited sample size, and is affected by my playstyle (which is generally fairly aggressive leading to occasional overreaches and a low survival rate.) Your mileage may vary. KGV was a difficult ship to click with at first. Queen Elizabeth was fairly easy to settle into once I realized how strong the AP was despite the good HE being the 'flavor' of the British line, and I played her much like I play my NorCar or Missouri, albeit much slower. King George V is much quirkier, and I had to unlearn what I'd learned from QE. As such, I was wildly inconsistent for the first dozen or so games before I settled into her. She's not armored enough to be terribly tanky, and she's undergunned compared to her peers. Queen Elizabeth is one of two 15" gun-armed researchable BBs at her tier, compared to the 14" rifles of most others at tier 6. So she's punchier than a New Mexi or a Fuso. KGV, on the other hand, drops down to 14" rifles at a tier where everyone else has 15" or 16" guns, with the exception, of course, of Scharnhorst. This meant I really struggled to do consistent damage until I figured out how to use her guns. KGV is stealthier, she's faster, and she reloads quicker than Queen Elizabeth (25 vs 30 seconds.) But because she's facing higher tier ships with thicker armor and has smaller guns, her AP wasn't nearly as effective. I struggled mightily with doing damage early on; I'd bust out a 70 or 80k game and then potato out with a 20 or 25k game. This changed once I equipped IFHE and switched to using HE most of the time,prioritizing cruisers as targets; over my last ten games I found it fairly easy to bust out 60-70k games consistently. IFHE meant I could lolcitadel many cruisers from any angle, and her high fire chance meant I could stack damage even on higher tier BBs with HE where I'd struggled to do any damage with AP. She seems to handle bottom tier better than her peers since she can still be a firestarter and still murder cruisers of any tier. Her guns turn far quicker than QEs, but unlike the QE, KGV's rear turret is very difficult to use while angled. QE's rear firing arcs were fantastic; I could use all 8 guns while staying tightly angled to the target. With KGV, you can still angle decently and use the rear turret, but it's a very narrow window. When dueling an enemy BB 1v1, probably better to just forget about the rear turret until you're very comfortable with your shiphandling of the KGV. I found myself most effective when I could stick with a pack and rain HE on a mass of enemy ships, switching targets as I stacked fires.Her AA is mediocre at best, which is another reason to not get isolated; you're going to need a cruiser or a BB with stronger AA along for help. I struggled to shoot down anything. You won't kill more than 1 or 2 planes out of a squad before they drop bombs or torps, even with your fighter up. How to play her? Play her like a mid-range Scharnhorst. Rain HE, murder cruisers and DDs, push when you can but she's a bit more fragile relative to her tier than QE is. She cannot survive focused fire for long. When top tier, you can play fairly aggressively and brawl; when bottom tier, stick back at midrange most of the time and take advantage of her good stealth to fade away and heal when needed. Note: For captain skills, I used PM, EM, Vigilance, CE, and IFHE. Still figuring out the rest of my captain build. You really need a 14-point captain to play KGV in my opinion; I found that CE and IFHE are both very important. I ran steering gear mod for faster rudder shift and then the typical BB picks for the other three slots. I did skip straight to B hull with free-XP as I hate stock grinds. Pros: Gunnery is accurate. I was wrecking DDs with snap shots consistently out to 10-12 km. Faster turret traverse High fire chance and excellent HE pen make her a cruiser murderer. You can citadel every CL I faced with HE from seemingly any angle and citadel most CAs fairly consistently. Speed enables ability to flex across map as needed. Solid support BB, most comfortable at mid-range but able to mix it up when necessary. Cons: Rear turret much harder to use while angling than QE. Takes damage quick when focused or unable to effectively angle. Rudder and engine especially seem fragile. Torps murder her. AA is borderline atrocious compared to Gneisenau (my other keeper t7 BB.) Final verdict: I loved her after two games, hated her after ten, but after the 32 games it took me to grind through her, she's a keeper. Welcome to my port, KGV.
  15. Premium Ship Review: HMS Nelson

    The following is a review of HMS Nelson, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of August 14th, 2017. The Walking Dead. Quick Summary: A slow Royal Navy battleship with all of her guns mounted forward on her bow. Her repair party consumable can allow her to come back from the dead twice over. Cost: 375,000 free experience. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.9. August 10th through 14th, 2017 Closest in-Game Contemporary Imperator NIkolai I, Tier IV Russian Battleship Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Whoa, no one panic! Nelson is not the second coming of the Nikolai. She simply shares a very similar gun layout and achieves a similar state of resilience (though admittedly through different means). They also share the affliction of having a very high citadel which means they both fold like a deck of cards if someone catches their side with battleship AP. Finally, like Nikolai, Nelson's big weak spot is her bow. While the Russian battleship really only has to worry about shells punching through the upper part of her snout, Nelson's entire bow can be easily overmatched by most of her contemporaries, but this is a common affliction to all tier VII Battleships. PROs Powerful Repair Party consumable, restoring up to 40% of the ship's hit points per charge. Good armour protection versus American AP Bombs. Good 1.9 sigma value which helps tighten up her dispersion. Flexible gun layout, able to switch fire from port to starboard very quickly. Short fuse timers on her AP shells, leading to less over penetrations. Ridiculous HE performance, with 101mm of penetration, high alpha strike and a 46% chance of starting fires per shell. CONs She feels blind with no consumables to aid with spotting (plane, radar, hydro) Citadel sits high over the waterline. Lackluster penetration values, comparable to HMS Warspite at tier VI. Slow turret traverse of 4.0º per second Anti-aircraft firepower is concentrated in short range (and excessively fragile) batteries. Nelson is slow with a maximum speed of 24 knots. Large surface detection range of 15.3km. HMS Nelson is the last of the so-called "Big Seven Battleships" to find their way into World of Warships. These were the battleships of the United States, Japan and Great Britain that were allowed to be armed with 16" guns under the Washington Naval Treaty after World War One to put an end to the naval arm's race. They consisted the Nagato-class, represented by Nagato and Mutsu, the Colorado-class of three ships, Colorado, Maryland and West Virginia and Nelson-class with Nelson and her sister ship, HMS Rodney. Of these seven vessels, the Nelson-class are certainly the standouts where design is concerned. There's no denying that their silhouette is very distinctive. When play-testing her, I received many comments about her looks (often derisive, but a few people had the right of it and called her 'awesome looking'). I can say that her play style is as distinctive as her appearance. Let's get into the hows and wherefores of their performance in game. Options Nelson has access to an improved version of the Repair Party consumable. This restores 1,188hp per second for 20 seconds, healing up to 40% of the ship's hit points per charge. However, this only comes with two charges as opposed to the usual three for battleships. Nelson queues damage in the similar manner as other Royal Navy battleships. She uses the same Damage Control Party of other Royal Navy Battleships (except Warspite) with a 15 second active period. Consumables: Damage Control Party Repair Party Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard Battleship options. Premium Camouflage: Type 10, tier VI+ standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. For your upgrades, you'll be picking standard battleship options. In your first slot, take Main Armaments Modification 1. You're going to be tanking a lot with your bow and turrets, so your guns take a lot of abuse. In particular, her B turret gets disabled and destroyed frequently. In your second slot, Aiming Systems Modification 1 is your best choice. Nelson's horizontal dispersion is not as good as previous Royal Navy premium battleships, so the extra accuracy is sorely needed. Her anti-aircraft guns and secondaries are not worth upgrading. In your third slot, take Damage Control System Modification 1. This will boost your torpedo damage reduction up to 21%. And in your fourth slot, you have a choice. Steering Gears Modification 2 will reduce your rudder shift down to 11.9s. Alternatively, you can take Damage Control System Modification 2 to reduce fire and flooding damage if that's your preference. Special Upgrades The only special upgrade that has any sort of application on HMS Nelson is Damage Control Party Modification 1. When applied to HMS Nelson, this would increase the active period of her consumable from 15 seconds up to 21 seconds without affecting the reset timer. This competes with Main Armaments Modification 1 in HMS Nelson's first upgrade slot. Given the amount of abuse her main battery takes, this special upgrade isn't worth applying. Firepower Primary Battery: Nine 406mm rifles in 3x3 forward facing turrets in an A-B-C layout on the bow with B superfiring over A. Secondary Battery: Twelve 152mm rifles in 6x2 turrets and six 120mm rifles Nelson's approximate penetration values for her AP shells are 550mm at 5km, 450mm at 10km and 350mm at 15km. Like Dunkerque, Nelson is largely defined by the layout of her primary gun battery. She mounts all nine of her guns ahead of her superstructure. Veterans who have played Izumo and are concerned about her gun handling can rest easy -- Nelson's gunnery is very comfortable; more akin to the Soviet tier IV Battleship, Imperator Nikolai I than the tier IX Japanese vessel. Her A & B turrets have excellent fields of fire with a 300º and 322º firing arc respectively. C is more limited, but still easy to use. It can engage enemies 25º to 137º off its side for a total combined field of fire of 224º. In most engagements, you'll be primarily making use of A & B turret with C being used to take opportunistic shots where possible. Nelson's turret rotation may not be fast at 4º per second (45 seconds for a 180º rotation), but with these guns all being forward facing, it's very easy to shift fire left to right as needed. Overall, Nelson's gun placement makes gunnery enjoyable. Even firing over the shoulder isn't too difficult. Nelson's accuracy, however, is a bit of a mixed bag. Her shell groupings are rather tight with a 1.9 sigma value, however she does not have the vaunted Royal Navy battleship shell dispersion seen previously on HMS Warspite and HMS Hood. Her linear horizontal dispersion appears to be the same as USN Battleships. This is still better than French and German vessels, but it's hardly enviable. As a result, when firing Nelson's guns, you can be blessed by a string of really tight shell groupings and then suffer some really wonky strays. Nelson's AP shells aren't terribly inspiring but her HE shells are phenomenal. The latter does not replace the former, however. Nelson's AP shells have almost identical penetration over distance to HMS Warspite's 381mm guns, while having a shorter- fuse timer as seen on HMS Hood. This is perfectly adequate (and even ideal) for bullying any cruiser within her matchmaking spread, but it's a different story where battleships are concerned. Her 406mm gun caliber ensures she can overmatch the bows of any cruisers she encounters, as well as the bows of battleships at tiers VII and below. Unfortunately, her ability to land citadel hits against enemy battleships has largely fallen away by ranges of 12km except for the softest skinned targets such as Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya. Landing reliable penetrations becomes questionable outside of 14km. These ranges drop further when Nelson is bottom tier or she's shooting at thick skinned dreadnoughts. Closing the distance isn't always the best option with HMS Nelson. While this does greatly enhance the penetration powers of her 406mm guns, the backup provided by her secondaries is less than inspiring. Nelson's secondary gun complement is divided between 120mm dual-purpose guns in single mounts and six, large twin-gunned 152mm turrets. They are better positioned than those on Dunkerque, but these guns are still poorly laid out to support an attack. The volume of fire they put out is also less than stellar. Her 152mm guns fire a mere five rounds per minute with their AP shells. Her 120mm fire twelve rounds per minute with HE and a great 8% fire chance per hit, but these are largely rear facing and cannot begin engaging an enemy until they're alongside Nelson. Nelson does not appear to use the same dispersion model as Warspite and Hood. Her 1.9 sigma value keeps her groupings tight, however. Nelson's main battery HE shells are something to behold. They boast 6,900 alpha strike per shell, 101mm of penetration, and a 46% fire chance. The list of ships that Nelson can citadel with her HE shells is long -- long enough that a player might be tempted to think that spamming HE shells is an optimal way to play this battleship. While each penetrating hit does land an impressive 2,277 damage, this number quickly falls away as areas become saturated. This leaves her impressive fire starting ability to take over damage dealing which can be hit or miss on focused targets that already have blazes set. Nelson's AP shells should be relied upon as the principle damage dealer for this vessel, with HE used as situational backup. Nelson's HE shells are best used opportunistically, such as when an enemy battleship angles in at a distance, or as a one-off to help support a friendly CV by knocking out masses of AA guns in a single volley. The enormous 39.2m blast area of her shells will cause extensive module damage against any target she strikes, even if they fail to penetrate. These shells have a larger and harder hitting explosion than anything short of the Yamato, Lion and Conqueror. This can leave a formidable AA armament in tatters. It may also force ships to reach for their Damage Control Party consumable to repair disabled engines and steering gears, leaving them vulnerable to follow-up fires. It can even set off the magazines of destroyers and cruisers with the concussive force alone. An Iowa-class battleship can be stripped of all (yes, all) of it's small and medium caliber AA gun mounts in as little as two to three volleys of Nelson's guns. Peppering a few preliminary HE shells around like this in the early stages of a match can go a long way towards helping your CV allies out, especially before closing into more effective AP shell range. Just don't forget to prioritize nailing those cruisers with AP when you see them. Between gun handling, AP and HE performance, Nelson's firepower is incredibly forgiving. A novice player could, in theory, spam HE constantly and still amass some pretty respectable damage totals provided they survived long enough. They would definitely lose out to a Nelson commander who varied their ammunition choices, however. Rivals: Battlecruiser HMS Hood HMS Nelson is the second tier VII premium British battleship in the game, with HMS Hood preceding her by a few months. The two ships are so very different in design and game play as to be almost laughable. Nelson is a slow, enduring and relentless. Hood is fast, flexible and fragile. Nelson is victimized by aircraft and Hood is a nightmare target for enemy carriers. Both struggle when facing tier IX ships. It's HMS Nelson's gunnery which sets her ahead of HMS Hood, in my opinion. Nelson deals damage reliably -- something the British flagship cannot claim, even with its (much) improved accuracy. With the coming of the rest of the Royal Navy line, I wonder if we'll see HMS Hood get some minor tweaks and buffs to bring her into line with the rest of the British ships. Only time will tell. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 24.0knotsTurning Radius: 750mRudder Shift: 14.9s Maximum Turn Rate: 3.71º/s Nelson is slow. 24.0 knots is almost acceptable. Almost. Nelson is a full knot slower than Nagato which is already a ship that struggles somewhat with agility. This limits Nelson's flexibility and her survivability. She cannot control engagement distances. She cannot escape by outrunning her opponents or the reach of their guns. These problems compound when she faces tier VIII and tier IX opponents where not only are most ships faster than her, the map sizes make her low speed especially punitive. It's only when Nelson is top tier that her low top speed is less of a liability as she faces more of the standard-type American battleships and the distances she needs to cover are further reduced by the smaller maps. Now don't get me wrong -- this isn't Arizona-slow. And while she does have a three knot advantage over Colorado, she does not get Colorado's special speed preservation in a turn. Like most battleships, Nelson bleeds off 25% of her velocity when she's under manoeuvres, slowing down to 18.0 knots with her rudder hard over. If you're applying WASD hax as you should, you'll often see your speed struggling to get over 20 knots and this can feel like a real crawl when you're trying to get into position or you're trying to get away. Nelson is a pig in a turn. Nelson's only saving grace is that she rotates 0.1º/s faster than a Nagato, which isn't saying much. The good news is that she's incapable of out turning her turrets, even with their slow rate of rotation. The bad news is that while she may answer her rudder quickly, the effect of her rudder just isn't substantial enough to throw the ship about. This makes her very vulnerable to torpedo and aircraft attacks. DurabilityHit Points: 59,400Citadel Protection: 32mm anti-torpedo bulge + 356mm belt. Min Bow & Deck Armour: 25mm Torpedo Damage Reduction: 19% Armour layout of Nelson's belt, turrets and citadel. The only additional protection is a 32mm outer hull and upper deck not shown. At first glance, Nelson has horrible durability for facing off against enemy battleships. She has a citadel that sits so high over the water line, you would think she was a copy-paste job of the old Iowa and Montana-class battleships. What's worse, she's tier VII so her enormous bow is only 25mm thick. It gets overmatched by all AP shells larger than 356mm which includes the guns of all tier VII+ battleships with the exception of Scharnhorst. While she does boast some decent armour values, with up to 356mm of belt armour and a 305mm transverse bulkhead on her citadel, they are both heavily overtaxed trying to protect her vitals. The sad reality is that it's this 305mm bow plate which is HMS Nelson's achilles heel. Even with perfect angling (approximately 25º to 26º) bow on to the enemy, this plate just cannot stand up to any guns that can overmatch her bows. Bayern, HMS Hood and Queen Elizabeth need to get close to citadel her through the bow like this. They can only do so at ranges of 12.0km or less. Warspite and Mutsu can pull it off at at 13.0km. Things jump up considerably from there. Colorado can do so reliably from 18.0km. Everything else can do so at ranges in excess of 20km. When under fire from enemy super dreadnoughts, angle as best you can, know your ranges and hold your breath. In short: She eats citadels for days and then begs for a second helping when facing enemy battleships with 380mm guns or larger. Things don't get much better in regards to soaking up torpedoes. HMS Nelson has terrible torpedo protection with only a 19% reduction that can be boosted to a mere 21% with Damage Control System Modification 1. While this is better than that of HMS Hood, at least HMS Hood begins her turns faster. I lost this ship more often to torpedoes than any other damage source. Sometimes it was my own dumb fault. In others, the lack of damage mitigation simply overwhelmed the modest hit point pool of this battleship. Finally, there's the issue of her turrets. I have not been able to isolate why it happens so frequently, but HMS Nelson has her main battery guns disabled very often. B-turret seems especially susceptible. This is strange given the thick armour of her turret faces (406mm) and her barbettes (356mm). My guess is that shells are striking her barbettes or catching the softer sides of the turrets and prompting the critical damage rolls. Whatever the reason, you can expect to have one of your guns temporarily disabled at least once in a match. Yet for all of the deficiencies and even her modest hit point total, Nelson is quite easily capable of being the toughest ship afloat at her tier. This is all thanks to her Repair Party consumable. Unlike most battleships that recover up to 14% of their maximum hit points over 28 seconds, Nelson recovers up to 40% over 20 seconds. Yes, you read that right. This works out to 23,760 hit points that Nelson can heal with each charge of her Repair Party consumable. Nelson will, time and again, appear to be on her last legs only to spring back, hale and healthy and itching for a fight. Adding a India Delta increases this value up to 48% (or 28,512hp) per charge. With Superintendent, this provided HMS Nelson with a theoretical maximum damage total of 173,448 hit points needed before she sinks, provided her consumable is used optimally. I cannot stress this enough. Warspite, a ship known to be a tough little monster, would call receiving 80,000 damage before sinking a good match. This works out roughly 1.5 times her starting health. For Nelson, that number sits around 150,000 damage -- in excess of 2.5x her health pool. You can delay the enemy team simply grace of being a damage sponge they cannot sink quickly. This makes Nelson an absolute beast when it comes to facing enemy cruisers. She can soak the bombardment and the resulting fires for days and deny them any progress with a touch of a button. The only thing that keeps this from being disgustingly overpowered is the aforementioned tendency for Nelson to eat citadel hits. Her Repair Party consumable only queues 10% of citadel damage into the healing pool, while 60% of normal penetrations and 100% of flooding, fire, ramming and over penetrations make it into the queue. Her consumable also shares the long reset timer of other battleships. Large alpha strikes or masses of sustained damage can (and will) sink this ship in between cooldowns. Finally, she only gets two base charges of her Repair Party as opposed to the usual three. Overall, Nelson is incredibly resilient to fire damage because of this consumable. She simply laughs it off and heals all of the damage back, undoing the burn stacked by cruisers, destroyers and dive bombers without issue. This makes this vessel particularly well suited to farming up Fireproof and Dreadnought awards. Nelson is a zombie. If you do not put her down properly, she will keep coming back from the dead. Head shots, in the form of citadel hits or mass torpedo strikes, are the only way to ensure she goes down for good. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 15.30km Air Detection Range: 12.36km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 12.76km Main Battery Firing Range: 18.21km Min Surface Detection Rank within Tier: 2nd out of 7 Min Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: 19th out of 37 Wargaming has hyped that the Royal Navy battleships at tiers VII+ will have great surface detection stats. That's not present here. Within her own tier, when all of the ships are rigged for stealth, she sits 500m behind King George V and ahead of the Scharnhorst-sisters by 300m or so. In a cross-section of all of the battleships she may face, she's decidedly average, sitting right in the middle of the pack. Regardless if she's top tier or bottom, there are potentially battleships that she'll spot first and others that will be more stealthy. Concealment for a slow warship helps keep them alive. When Nelson silences her guns, her surface detection range goes down to 12.8km with a full stealth build. This can allow her to sneak up on unsuspecting targets until she gets within a more optimal firing range or angle. Sadly, she does not have the speed to really allow her to take advantage of this. Short of one-time ambushes or picking on distracted enemies, it will be very difficult to sneak up upon wary targets. It should be noted that Nelson is a terrible ship for doing her own spotting. She's effectively blind without any consumables to help her in detecting enemy ships, aircraft and torpedoes. Skills like Vigilance become increasingly important for her as a result, especially when it comes to navigating around islands or through channels. Nelson's concealment is alright. It's not a real telling strength, but it's not a liability either until she's uptiered. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 120mm / 40mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 4.5km / 2.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 36 / 119 / 126 (133 in 0.6.10) Do not let the big DPS numbers fool you. Nelson's anti-aircraft firepower isn't as healthy as it looks. It boils down to two issues. Nelson's AA firepower lacks range. Nelson's AA firepower is concentrated in a small number of fragile mount-clusters. Nelson doesn't boast the best range with her anti-aircraft firepower. The 4.5km reach on her dual-purpose mounts is disappointing but would workable if they did more damage. Unfortunately, the majority of her strength is located in her small and medium caliber mounts. Nelson's 40mm pom-poms only reach out to a range of 2.5km and her 20mm guns reach out to 2.0km. This largely limits her anti-aircraft firepower to self defense actions only and she cannot provide fleet support, even when specialized with AA Guns Modification 2 and Advanced Fire Training. The small firepower total from her 102mm guns ensures that Manual Fire Control for AA Guns just isn't worthwhile. But it gets worse. Her anti-aircraft defense is easily knocked out by even small amounts of HE fire. Nelson only has six of the octuple pom-pom mounts. Losing one reduces her medium range AA firepower by 19.8dps, and four of these guns are mounted in pairs along the long axis of the ship, making them easy prey for bombs and HE spam. Things don't get any better with her 20mm Oerlikons. She has thirty five scattered across the surface of the ship (with two more being added in 0.6.10). However, they are packed closely together in large groups which reduces their survivability. For example, ten of these reside in a tight cluster on her bow in front of A-turret. Any HE salvos will usually knock out these small caliber mounts in handfuls, quickly decimating Nelson's AA effectiveness. The only real ray of sunshine is that Nelson has fairly decent protection against American AP Bombs. Tests have shown that only a rare drop with all bombs hitting will cause anywhere close to 10,000 damage. More often than not this sat at a considerably lower total. Preliminary tests with Graf Zeppelin's AP bombs were much more damning, however, but these are still in the development phase and very much a work in progress. In summary: Nelson has pretty good raw AA values, but this is only useful for self defense and it will not hold up over the course of a battle. Taking even minor HE damage can quickly gut the potency of her flak. While the ship is pristine, she'll put up a good fight against aircraft, but their short range means that the enemy will still drop their ordnance. With luck, you'll simply make it expensive for them to do so. Dive Bombers do not present Nelson with that much of a threat, even if they're armed with AP Bombs. She's able to heal back any resulting damage with ease. Torpedo bombers are another matter, however. Nelson's anti-aircraft firepower isn't up to the task of keeping her safe. Nevermind the Manoeuvres HMS Nelson is a little weird when it comes to choosing her skills: short of her core skills, she just doesn't care. Optimizing HMS Nelson really doesn't go beyond ensuring she has Superintendent and Concealment Expert. After that, do what you want. There are three general builds which will likely end up popular. Of these three, a Survivability Build is optimal. Next comes a general anti-aircraft build (minus Manual Fire Control for AA Guns which is all but useless for her). This second build will be pretty similar to low-tier (and very high tier) Royal Navy battleship builds. Finally, you can specialize towards spamming HE like a derp cause it's hilarious. The core for all three builds is as follows: At the first tier, Preventative Maintenance is the optimal choice, but only if your own situational awareness is elevated to such a degree that you can track threats when spotted. If not, then Priority Target should be your default choice. At tier two, take Adrenaline Rush. As you take damage, your DPM will increase. Note that with the huge jumps back and forth with Nelson's hit point pool, the gains from this skill vary considerably. Alternatively, you can take Expert Marksman for better gun handling, though Nelson isn't hurting here much. At tier three, take Superintendent. This will increase the number of charges of your Repair Party by one. And finally, at tier four, take Concealment Expert. You're a big ship, but you're not Fuso-Fat. This will help keep you alive and give you more time to use your Repair Party. You can place the next nine points where you wish. Survivability Build This is, in my opinion, the best way to build up Nelson. Reach for skills that will keep you in the fight longer and improve your damage output. High Alert, Basics of Survivability, Vigilance, and Fire Prevention are all great skills for this, so pick and choose your favourites. Make sure you take Preventative Maintenance too if you took Priority Target as your first skill. Your guns are going to get knocked out a lot. Anti-Aircraft Build Be aware that while Nelson has some pretty potent looking AA DPS numbers, her anti-aircraft firepower will only ever be for self-defense purposes and not fleet support. In addition, it's incredibly fragile and easily knocked out by even a small volume of HE fire. While the ship is pristine, she can be a thorny target for carriers but she's never going to be considered a "good" flak platform. If you wish to go this route, take Basic and Advanced Fire Taining for a total of 7pts. High Alert or Expert Marksman (or Adrenaline Rush if you opted for the other) are your best choices for the remaining two points. HE Spammer Now, for the player that wants to derp around with HE shells, let's talk about specific HE-boosting skills. DO NOT take Demolition Expert. The difference between 46% and 48% fire chance just isn't worth the investment. This is too expensive a skill for too little gain. Expert Loader might actually find some use, though, when you need to smarten up and reach for your AP shells. Now let's talk about Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. HMS Nelson is fully capable of damaging any ship within her matchmaking spread with HE without any need for taking this skill. This includes battleships and the armoured deck of carriers like Taiho. Her penetration is so high, she can citadel almost half of the cruisers in her matchmaking spread. Doing so provides a big boost to Nelson's damage totals, but this is a harder shot to land than with AP shells. Here's the list of cruisers HMS Nelson can citadel stock with HE: France: De Grasse, Charles Martel, St.Louis United Kingdom: Emerald, Leander Soviet Union: Kirov, Murmansk, Krasny Krym, Molotov, Shchors, Chapayev, Mikhail Kutuzov United States: Omaha, Marblehead, Pensacola, Atlanta, Flint, Indianapolis Japan: Furutaka, Aoba, Mogami, Ibuki Others: Perth. Taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells only opens up small sections of battleships to penetration damage and none of them large enough to be worth it (with the exception of HMS Hood and Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya which each have large sections of their upper hull that becomes vulnerable). It does nothing to help you with aircraft carriers or destroyers. Where it does come into use is against cruisers. Taking the skill adds the following ships that HMS Nelson can now citadel: France: La Galissonniere, Algerie, United Kingdom: Fiji, Belfast, Edinburgh, Neptune Soviet Union: Budyonny United States: Cleveland, New Orleans Japan: Myoko, ARP Myoko, ARP Ashigara, ARP Haguro, ARP Nachi, Eastern Dragon, Atago, ARP Takao You'll note the absence of German cruisers and the Italian premium, Duca d'Aosta. The spaced armour around their citadels prevents HE from penetrating their machine spaces (though the modules themselves can still be damaged by the shockwave). Note that all of the French ships listed above are also largely immune but they were included because of small sections directly beneath their turrets that will allow HE to citadel them. Landing citadel hits with HE is different than landing them with AP shells. HE shells detonate immediately upon contact with any surface. Thus, you need to bulls-eye the outer citadel wall to land these high-damage hits. On some of these vessels, the amount of surface area is painfully small -- sometimes only a sliver over the waterline. The only consolation is that HE shells don't concern themselves with angle at all. Whatever surface upon which they first make contact is the one affected by the attack, so you can do some rather rude things to select ships that might otherwise bounce AP shells. I must stress, however, that as fun as it may sound to citadel cruisers with HE shells no matter how they angle, Nelson can do this with AP shells most of the time anyway. AP shells also do more damage. As hilarious as it is to make Belfasts cry when you not only carve out most of their hit points with an HE volley but also blow apart their modules and set fires, your four skill points could be better spent elsewhere. You don't really need any special skills if you want to be an HE spammer in this ship. Feel free to toss your Belfast Captain in here if you want, though. Jack Dunkirk The Legendary Commander, Jack Dunkirk, makes a rather good Royal Navy Battleship captain. His Smoke Screen Expert bonus is wasted upon these Dreadnoughts, however, but the bonuses he provides to Jack of All Trades and Expert Marksman makes him very appealing for ships like Nelson. Remember, so long as the commander build includes the skills Superintendent and Concealment Expert, Nelson is largely forgiving. So, if Jack has skills specialized for one of your cruisers, he can still train in Nelson with only a small dip in expected performance. Boom, baby! Nelson using HE in the opening stages of a match, bombarding an enemy Scharnhorst at 17km. By her fourth salvo, Nelson had destroyed both of the Scharnhorst's torpedo tubes, set three fires and crippled her anti-aircraft battery. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Nelson is really going to punish novice players. They're going to make mistakes and Nelson is going to slap them around for it. Her armour needs a subtle touch to be angled properly. Spamming HE doesn't generate great damage numbers. Her AP will bounce a lot at long ranges. She's too slow and too big to easily extract herself from trouble situations or to position herself where she's needed most. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme In the hands of an expert, Nelson becomes a different beast altogether. She just will not die. Proper management of her Repair Party will have her coming back from the dead twice over, ensuring that her team can have a near full-health battleship late in the game, even after tanking a ton of damage. Similarly, proper ammunition use can pay enormous dividends. Her carry potential is limited by her slow speed and lack of vision control, however. Mouse's Summary: She's like a zombie. Without a headshot to put her down for good, she keeps rising from the grave. Her HE shells are a hella fun to use, but it's a mistake to rely on them heavily. You'll kick yourself for every time you have HE loaded and some dumb cruiser or battleship suddenly offers up her broadside. She does not up-tier as well as Nagato, Gneisenau or Scharnhorst. This ship is so much fun. So I know the big question on everyone's mind: Can you spam nothing but HE shells and make this thing work? The answer is 'yes'. You won't do as much damage as you would if you fired AP shells, but it's entirely possible for you to just spit out walls of HE shells instead of anything else and rack up some decent damage and kill totals. The catch is always going to be that you could have done more damage if you fired AP instead. In close matches where the outcome is neck and neck, the lost opportunities to land AP citadel hits may well end up costing you the game. The wiki-editors and I challenged one another to try playing some matches where we shot nothing but HE. Topping 120,000 damage was more difficult than a mix of AP and HE, but it was possible, especially with stacking fires. So, go ahead and spit out nothing but flaming death onto your opponents if you want, just be aware that your damage (and win rate) will take a small hit as a result. This ship seems to be designed to farm salt from the enemy. Between the fires she can set and the absolutely trollish heals, she'll make the enemy want to focus you down hard and fast (lewd!). It's absolutely mean what you can do with her HE shells. See that Scharnhorst / Gneisenau / Tirpitz that's trying to brawl your friends? It would be a shame if someone tore off their torpedo tubes, wouldn't it? Or how about that North Carolina that thinks itself immune to air attack from your tier VII Kaga division mate? It would be a shame if someone stripped them of all of their close and medium range AA power. This is the kind of nonsense that Nelson's HE allows you to do better than other battleships at her tier and it's a very fun shakeup of the usual game play. For all of these tricks and hilarity HE can offer, her AP is still just so much better. Why butcher a New Orleans' AA firepower when you can just blow their citadels out of the water instead? While it's fun to congratulate yourself for a 5-shell, 11,385 damage high explosive volley, this is still less than a single AP shell citadel hit (barring fires of course). There are right times to fire HE, do not get me wrong, but AP should really be the staple of your damage totals in this vessel. Nelson is a good ship, but she's not great. She's got three big flaws in my opinion: Her citadel is too high. She's blind. She's too slow. That high water citadel is going to be a deal breaker for some. When you're up against someone that really knows how to aim (or simply in a tier IX battleship), her weak spots are all but impossible to protect. This all but negates the awesomeness of her Repair Party consumable. And speaking of negating her Repair Party, torpedoes have a habit of doing this too. She has no tricks to help her spot these warheads or their source before it's already too late -- destroyers can pester you with impunity. Given the island humping meta that's so essential to master, Nelson really feels the pinch when she can't send up a plane to take a quick peek on what's going on around the corner. Finally, she is slow. And, I think the worst thing about Nelson's slow speed is that she's not slow enough that many players will see it for the flaw that it is. Nelson will get caught out on occasion and it will cost you games -- not a lot of them, but enough to impact her overall performance. Her big gimmick, though, is damage management. I put an India Delta signal on my Nelson and I took no small amount of pleasure announcing in all chat, "Watch my hp," as my poor, battered dreadnought jumped from 1/3rd of her hit points remaining back up to a hale and healthy 5/6th remaining. The outrage was delicious. I even made a Belfast player complain Nelson was OP when I denied him a kill by healing up from 1,200hp to almost 30,000. Pulling this off requires careful management of your concealment and positioning, disengaging from the thick of the fighting to lick your wounds and then returning to the fray as fast as your slow speed will allow. If it weren't for those three aforementioned flaws, Nelson would be overpowered as all get out. As it is, she's an excellent competitor for any veteran player and she will challenge you to find balance between ammunition choices, fighting at the head of the pack and withdrawing to conduct repairs. Rivals: Battleship USS Missouri HMS Nelson is the second premium vessel to be made available for free experience. The first was USS Missouri, the tier IX American battleship. Missouri's price tag weighs in at a hefty 750,000 free experience -- double that of HMS Nelson. So the question becomes: if you had to choose one, which one would you get? Obviously, if a player prefers one nation's game play over another, that will bias them in favour of a given vessel, but in terms of raw utility, it's hard to argue against the American juggernaut. Missouri has an enormous credit-earning coefficient baked into the ship. She trivializes the earning of credits, with even a poor game netting players in excess of 200,000 to 300,000 credits. Players that own Missouri have posted battle results screens showing them earning over 1.5M credits in a single match. No other premium vessel in the game is as profitable. HMS Nelson simply cannot compete with her on that level. Would I Recommend? Nelson can only be acquired (so I'm told) by spending 375,000 free experience. At a 1 doubloon to 25xp conversion rate, this works out to a cost of $63.25 USD for this ship if you had to buy the 15,000 doubloons necessary at full price. Weigh this against the cost of Scharnhorst, another tier VII premium battleship which weighs in at $42.99 including the port slot (which you'll have to pay extra for with Nelson). PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Battleships almost always do well in Co-Op battles. Nelson does alright, though be aware that things can get a bit tight on coin if you run with premium consumables and you don't have a premium account. We haven't seen any tier VII scenarios yet, so it's difficult to say if she'll meet their requirements well or not. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. If you're not going to get USS Missouri, then hells to the yeah. If nothing else, Nelson will print Fireproof and Dreadnought medals like you will not believe. She's not a bad Arsonist and Witherer farmer either if you want to derp around with HE shells. She's a great trainer for your Belfast Captains in this regard (even if there are going to be some wasted skills here and there). She also works well for training your RN Battleship commanders given that she accepts most builds with a shrug of her shoulders. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Nelson will rock people's socks in Ranked Battles. A fire slinging, super-healing, bow-tanking battleship? Unless she's put down quickly, she's just going to keep coming back and driving the enemy team nuts. When she's not on your team, you're going to hate it when your team mates waste ineffective firepower on her. She gets my vote. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. I would have preferred HMS Rodney -- Nelson's sister ship has a much more storied history. While HMS Nelson served throughout WWII, her exploits mostly involved catching 4 torpedoes and 3 naval mines through the course of her career. She saw little to no surface action, being too slow to catch the Scharnhorst-sisters and too far away to participate in engaging Bismarck. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Depending on your play style and your tolerance for derp, Nelson is either going to be the most fun you can have in a battleship with your pants on or a lackluster mehbote that does nothing for you. I have a high stupid-tolerance, so I say yes. What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE - Grossly uncompetitive and badly in need of buffs.Mehbote - Average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable, but certainly not advantageous.Gudbote - A strong ship that has obvious competitive strengths and unique features that make it very appealing.OVERPOWERED - A ship with very clear advantages over all of its competitors and unbalancing the game with its inclusion.
  16. The Defiant. A very special thanks to KillJoy1941 and x2_Weekends for making this review possible. Quick Summary: A large, fast, hard hitting destroyer with a seven gun broadside and 8km torpedoes. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.1 through to 0.6.7.1 March 5th to July 15th, 2017. Cost: 4,800 doubloons. Closest in-Game Contemporary Leningrad & Minsk, Tier VII Soviet Destroyers Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique It wasn't until the Royal Navy (and British Commonwealth) destroyers joined World of Warships that we began to see a match to Blyskawica's pedigree. At best she could previously be compared with some of the Soviet ships, like Leningrad and Minsk, which are fast gunship platforms but still far removed from this Polish beauty. She is the first British-built destroyer in the game after all, with a resemblance that most closely matches the famous Tribal-class destroyers. To this end, I had a want to compare her to HMS Gallant. However,even with Gallant joining the ranks, Blyskawica's play style still resembles the Soviet Destroyers far more than any other ships presently in the game. I fear it won't be until we see the Tribals that we'll have anything close (if even then). PROs Very large hit point pool for a tier VII destroyer at 15,500hp. Her hull and deck are 16mm thick -- capable of auto-bouncing British Cruiser 152mm AP shells when properly angled. Armed with a seven 120mm rifle broadside, providing a powerful alpha strike per volley. Excellent fire starter with the highest fires per minute of any tier VII Destroyer. Long ranged for a destroyer with a 12.0km reach on her main battery with good shell ballistics to these ranges. Can fire her torpedoes from concealment. At a top speed of 39.0 knots, she's quite fast for a mid-tier destroyer. CONs Blyskawica is a very large target for a destroyer with a prominent superstructure and funnel. Her 120mm guns have a 6.5s reload time, hurting their DPM output. Bad firing angles on her #4 turret. Low individual shell damage and poor penetration values on AP shells. Her torpedoes have only modest performance with 14,400 damage and a 57 knot top speed. Terrible anti-aircraft firepower. Sluggish handling for a destroyer with a 5.8s rudder shift time and 610m turning circle. She is one of the least stealthy destroyers in the game. No other Polish ships in the game, limiting her use as a Captain Trainer. I've wanted to come back to revisit Blyskawica and update her review for a long time. When Wargaming let it be known that they intended to change how concealment works and greatly reduce the impact of firing from stealth in open water, I put plans to update this review on hold. I had to wait not only for this game-changing patch to come down but also to wait and see if any buffs would be provided to compensate for its loss. No such gifts and goodies have materialized, so it's probably safe to say that Blyskawica's current self is stable for the time being. Thus, here is the long overdue reprise of this review. Lert will be joining me to provide his take on this iconic destroyer released in World of Warship's first year. The Lertbox When Mouse approached me to write a Lertbox for Blyskawica I jumped at the chance. This little Polish firecracker has been one of my favorite ships in the game ever since she was gifted to me for my birthday in 2016. She is my most played destroyer with two and a half times as many battles as the runner up. I've trained her captain from three points to eighteen, and she has almost a million XP on her. To say I like the ship is like saying that the sun is a wee bit warm. At first I considered writing a "Why Blyskawica is the best ship of its type in tier" style Lertbox like I did for Bogatyr, however I just can't honestly argue that she is the best destroyer in tier. Mahan is a better knife fighter, Shiratsuyu and Akatsuki are better torpedo boats, Leningrad and Minsk are faster - but then I realized: none of those ships are as well-rounded as the Polish cavalrist. Options No surprises here. Poland doesn't appear to have any specialties when it comes to its consumables -- at least among the destroyer variety. Consumables Damage Control Party Smoke Generator Engine Boost Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard Destroyer options. Premium Camouflage: Tier VI+ Standard (Type 10). This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy You'll want to shell out the extra credits to afford the premium versions of Blyskawica's Damage Control Party and Smoke Generator consumables. These will set you back 22,500 credits each and are well worth the investment. While this destroyer excels at firing from range, you'll be on the receiving end of damage often -- so often, in fact, that you will want to protect yourself with faster repairs of crippled systems and a quicker reload time of smoke. Note, if you're going to use the rare Engine Boost Modification, do invest in the premium version of that consumable too. For your modules, Blyskawica is pretty standard. In your first slot, Magazine Modification 1 is the best choice. She detonates as regularly as other destroyers and this will help mitigate that. If you're using Blyskawica competitively, then equip Main Armaments Modification 1 and don't skimp out on the Juliet Charlie signals to prevent detonations. You can do this latter configuration in Randoms if you prefer, just be aware you could lose your ship to a magazine explosion with some frequency if you are not running the signal. For your second slot, take Aiming System Modification 1. This will tighten her dispersion by 7m at 12km or 9m at her modified maximum range of 14.4km. Honestly, this isn't much but you're dependent on tight shell groupings to really take advantage of Blyskawica's alpha strike ability with her gun volleys. The added bonus of faster traversing torpedo tubes makes it worth while -- especially compared to the other modules you could place in their stead. The third slot for Destroyers is still pretty terrible. The new Engine Boost Modification 1 which provides a 50% increase to the duration of her Engine Boost consumable is probably the most interesting. If you don't have access to that (it only comes from Supercontainers and promotions), take whichever one you want. Their gains are minimal. For your fourth slot, you've a choice. Steering Gears Modification 2 will reduce your rudder shift time from 5.8s down to 4.6s. Alternatively, Propulsion Modification 2 is an excellent option\ (and the one I prefer myself). See the Manoeuvrability section below for the impacts of Steering Gears Modification 2 on ship turning time. Firepower Main Battery: Seven 120mm/50 rifles between four turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring arrangement. The forward most turret is a single mount. The other turrets have two guns each. Torpedo Armament: Six tubes between 2x3 dorsal launchers. Main Battery Tier VII Rankings (out of seven) 15,400 AP Alpha Strike: 1st 11,900 HE Alpha Strike: 1st 142.153 AP DPM: 5th (B-Hull Mahan 1st with 157,500) 109,846 HE DPM: 5th (B-Hull Mahan 1st with 135,000) 0.49 Fires per Salvo: 1st 5.17 Fires per Minute: 1st 12.0km Range: 3rd (Sims 1st with 12.9km) I both love and hate Blyskawica's guns. On a per shell basis, Blyskawica has some of the weakest guns at her tier. This should probably be expected given their caliber. Blyskawica fires 120mm shells while everyone else is using 127mm or larger. Their saving grace is that they aren't dual purpose weapons, but dedicated anti-shipping naval rifles. They have great muzzle velocity and shell flight times, but her shells individually do little damage and reload slowly. Range and Ballistics One of the best features of Blyskawica's weapons is their shell flight characteristics. Her 12.0km stock range can be upgraded to 14.4km with the tier 4 skill, Advanced Fire Training. Her range is behind only the American premium Sims and the Soviet Minsk. Unlike Sims, Blyskawica has an excellent 900m/s muzzle velocity, giving her slightly less than a 9s lead time to targets out to 12km. This makes hitting targets at range quite comfortable -- something that only the Soviet destroyers can similarly boast. Other destroyers simply do not have the range or their shells have a lot of "float" at these distances. This makes Blyskawica a bit of a long range specialist among destroyers and she's most comfortable engaging enemies at arm's reach. Fields of Fire and Gun Handling It's a good thing Blyskawica's guns have such good reach and flight characteristics out to range. Up close, her gun handling and fire arcs cause problems. Her gun fire arcs break down as follows: A Turret: 276º front B Turret: 294º front X Turret: 300º rear Y Turret: 270º rear This provides an average field of fire of 285º per turret. When you compare this to similar A-B-X-Y gun mounts on destroyers (ignoring the P mounts between the funnels which area always restricted), you really start to see how often these gun are occluded despite their ideal placement. Here's the average fields of fire for the other tier VII destroyers with these same turrets: Mahan and Sims (4 turrets): 300º Shiratsuyu (2 turrets): 300º Akatsuki (3 turrets): 293.3º Leberecht Maass (4 turrets): 285.5º Leningrad & Minsk (4 turrets): 284.5º Blyskawica's only saving grace is that she concentrates all seven of her guns within these modest sets of firing arcs. The Leningrad-class, Shiratsuyu and Mahan all have an extra turret with heavily restricted fire arcs to add onto this average to bring the number down further. Blyskawica's gun traverse isn't terrible, but it's not good either. Her guns rotate at 10º per second. This is far better than those of the Soviet or Japanese destroyers (which lurch at a paltry 6º per second) but a far cry from the American rotation speeds of 15º and 34º per second off the Mahan and Sims respectively. She won't ever out turn her turrets in the manner that Soviet and Japanese destroyers will, but in an intense knife fight, you'll struggle to keep guns on target. The Tier 2 Captain Skill, Expert Marksman can be used to help ensure her guns are brought back on an opponent quickly while Blyskawica dodges enemy fire, but it's not like she needs the skill to keep her guns fixed while manoeuvring. Damage, Rate of Fire and Shell Penetration Each shell has a 2,200 AP and 1,700 HE alpha strike. This is slightly better and worse than the USN 127mm guns and only slightly behind the IJN 127mm rifles found on Shiratsuyu and Akizuki. Individually these shells don't do a lot of damage. With a 6.5s reload, it's not like she's going to win any DPS races. However, Blyskawica does have her own trump card. Her seven rifles can deal a larger alpha strike in a single volley than any of her contemporaries. A salvo of Blyskawica's guns does a full 25% more damage than Leningrad or Minsk. She puts out 3,927 HE damage per penetrating volley -- enough to strip between a quarter to a third of the hit points of almost any destroyer she faces. So while she may not fire fast, when she does land hits, they are potentially devastating. There's only one fly in the ointment. With 120mm shells, Blyskawica's HE penetration is limited to affecting areas of armour that are 19mm or less. While this is more than sufficient to bully destroyers and harass British Cruisers, it does leave her lacking when it comes to facing Battleships of tier VI or higher. She may also struggle against specific heavy cruisers -- especially those at tier VIII+. When facing these targets, they often have large sections completely immune to her HE shells and short of stacking hits against their superstructure, Blyskawica's damage totals against these ships falls away quickly. There are two solutions, of course. The first is to switch to armour piercing ammunition when confronted with these targets. This can yield some surprising bursts of damage, but only at close range. Blyskawica's penetration values on her AP shells is very lackluster and you can find them bouncing and shattering off of even thinly armoured plate at modest distances. The alternative is to invest four skill points into Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. This allows Blyskawica to penetrate up to 25mm worth of armour, removing the shell immunity from all of her targets short of tier VIII+ Battleships and select cruisers, though it does hurt her chance to start fires. This is a precious asset to hamper. The buffs to the prow of select cruisers, bumping them up to 27mm worth of armour further diminishes the value of this skill for Blyskawica such that it's very difficult to recommend. One of Blyskawica's greatest strengths is her ability to set fires. Taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells damages this ability significantly -- she never quite recovers primacy among tier VII destroyers, even if you use Demolition Expert to prop her numbers back up. Fire Chance Blyskawica is the best fire starter of the tier VII destroyers. The combination of her large number of guns with a high fire chance per shell gives her the lead in this regard, but this can be padded further with two Captain Skills. Basic Fire Training increases her rate of fire and Demolition Expert to increase the raw chance of starting a blaze. This is one of the most significant ways Blyskawica can pad her damage numbers against targets like Nagato or Iowa that are largely immune to the direct harm of her guns. This has the added benefit of keeping pressure on your target's Damage Control Party, making her more vulnerable to flooding or fires set by your team mates. The question becomes if it's worth trading off the chance of setting fires to open up direct damage opportunities against tier VI and VII battleships with Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. Know that this harms your fire chances significantly., especially given that you may have to give up Basic Fire Training or Demolition Expert to afford it. In my opinion, when it comes to engaging capital ships, destroyers should hit and run and not dabble with illusions of providing sustained bombardment to wear down their foes. It provides too many opportunities for reprisals on a ship that should rely on stealth and speed to stay alive. To this end, I prefer Blyskawica specialized to set blazes rather than deal direct damage. Torpedoes In contrast to her guns, Blyskawica's torpedoes are a bit of a let down. They're not terrible, per se, but they certainly aren't anywhere close to good. Heck, they're not even interesting. There are three major flaws with Blyskawica's torpedoes that make them so lackluster. They are slow. They are not long ranged. She cannot do a lot of damage. Her fish travel at 57 knots which is shy of the minimum of 60+ knots you want to see on any ship that relies on their torpedoes to do a significant portion of their damage. It takes her torpedoes in excess of 53 seconds to reach the end of their running distance. A torpedo traveling 62 knots would cover this five seconds faster. This disparity in speed over running distance makes landing those long range hits difficult. The more time goes by, the more likely your target will dramatically change course, reducing the use of the aiming predictor to land hits reliably on target. At 8.0km, Blyskawica's torpedoes do allow this large destroyer to launch her fish from concealment, but only just. At best, Blyskawica can count on a 1.3km stealth firing window to engage her targets. This limits the use of her torpedoes to direct attacks only rather than having any use as an area denial weapon. This 8.0km range makes the risks of being spotted so close to potential prey items near catastrophic. This is easily inside radar range of even tier VII ships and well within the reach of terrifying German secondary gun batteries. Individually, her torpedoes don't hit especially hard either. At 14,400 damage, Blyskawica's torpedoes sit on the low side of average at tier VII. However, she only mounts six torpedo tubes versus the minimum of eight found on every other contemporary destroyer. So while salvos from other tin cans (short of a Sims) are likely to be catastrophic against all target types, Blyskawica has to often make due with simply mauling a hale and healthy target with her strikes. This limits Blyskawica's ability to outright delete select targets and usually necessitates falling back on her guns to try and finish off what she started. Summary Blyskawica should be thought of as a gunship that has workable torpedoes. She isn't a knife fighting destroyer like the Sims or Mahan and she needs to open up the range and use her better ballistic arcs to out trade the Americans. She doesn't have the DPM of the Soviet destroyers so she needs to force a knife fight where the Soviets will struggle to bring their guns to bear. This makes any gun fights with Blyskawica interesting and rewarding when you can use your ship's advantages and out play your opponents or infinitely frustrating to forever be caught out of your element. Her torpedoes are functional but not exciting by any means and make a good backup weapon to prey upon larger ships when their little friends have been thinned out. Versus Mahan You have the speed advantage over the American and more comfortable gunnery at range. The Mahan has better DPM, turns better and arguably has better torpedoes. However, when properly played this duel should be a gunnery duel from beginning to end. Keep the Mahan at range and wiggle, but keep a wary eye out for stray torpedoes. As long as you keep the battle at around 9 ~ 11 km, his torpedoes shouldn't be a threat and your comfortable gunnery should beat out his DPM. It won't be easy landing reliable hits if he's waggling his aft like he should, but with his gunnery hitting you will be even more problematic. With your speed you should be able to dictate the engagement and keep him right where you want him. In this engagement it's probably in the Mahan's best interest to go dark and try to escape. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 39.0 knots Turning Radius: 610m Rudder Shift Time: 5.8s Maximum Rate of Turn: 8.2º per second. Blyskawica feels like a big destroyer -- she's sloppy in a turn. Though she answers her rudder quickly enough, she feels like she slides a lot,owing to her large, 610m turning circle and the 5.8s rudder shift she possesses. There's not much that can be done to alleviate this bloated feeling when it comes to Blyskawica's handling. Adding Steering Gears Modification 2 provides only a 0.15s gain on a 90º turn, improving her rotation rate by a mere 0.06º/s to 7.56º/s over this turning angle. The closest analogue to Blyskawica's rate of turn is found in the Soviet Minsk and Leningrad. It's not until Blyskawica decelerates to her optimal turning speed of 32.8 knots that she really bites into the water. Blyskawica will reach this speed under full power in about 19 seconds of hard manoeuvres, though it can be reached faster by adjusting her engines. Overall, Blyskawica responds poorly to sudden threats, yet she comes into her own over the course of a protracted series of wiggles and dodges. This creates a frustrating duality: enemy torpedo salvos are incredibly dangerous to Blyskawica while incoming fire from larger vessels can seem just as easy to avoid in this Polish ship as other destroyers. Part of the reason enemy torpedoes are so dangerous is her good speed. At 39.0 knots, Blyskawica doesn't win any awards for being the fastest ship out there (that is firmly held by the Soviets for now), but she's no sluggard. She can easily control engagement distances, closing the range or kiting as needed. However, this great speed can get her into trouble quickly -- such as finding herself with torpedoes ahead and being unable to manoeuvre into the gaps or tripping over the scouting elements of the enemy fleet. Vigilance is a very valuable skill for players who like to contest cap circles early in their Polish destroyer to provide more reaction time to this threat. Versus Leningrad & Minsk And now the trickiest theoretical duel. These Russian ships have a slight DPM advantage and a less-than-slight speed advantage. Their turning circle is greater but their additional speed means that they're almost as fast through a turn as you are. Their gunnery is as comfortable at range as yours is, and their concealment is near identical to yours when neither is firing. One minor advantage you have is that their DPM relies on fast ROF rather than large volleys, meaning that they have less time between volleys to concentrate on steering. With their superior speed they can close the distance quickly or disengage when the duel is going sour. I have to be honest here, dueling Leningrads (and since 6.2, Minsks) has always been a problem for me in Blyskawica. You have the gunnery to beat them up, but only if they allow it, and hitting such a speedy target isn't easy. Meanwhile, they can give just as hard as they can receive. Blyskawica's saving grace in this theoretical duel is her faster turret traverse, allowing you to keep your guns on the Russian boat while throwing your ship around more. Still, this isn't a duel where you can press your advantages and force your strengths on their weaknesses, this is a duel where the superior driver wins. Not the superior boat. Blyskawica may be a large destroyer, but she's so very small compared to proper cruisers, like Cleveland. Ideally, she should be working closely alongside support gunships like Cleveland, Shchors and Yorck, providing second-line artillery fire to supplement the heavy hitters once the enemy destroyer threat is neutralized. When needed, she can redeploy as a scout or to drop smoke for her team mates to help control vision. Durability Hit Points: 15,500 Min Bow & Deck Armour: 16mm Blyskawica is a large destroyer with a lot of health to match. At 15,500hp, she has the second highest hit point pool at her tier, outdone only by the enormous Leberecht Maass. Given her DPM disparity with her guns, this advantage in hit point should be put to good use when knife fighting with enemy destroyers. It also doesn't hurt to play to this advantage by padding it further with Survivability Expert. Taking this skill adds another 2,450hp to Blyskawica's total, bringing it up to 17,950hp which makes trading with American and Soviet destroyers much more tenable. Players should be aware that Blyskawica has a very large forward powder magazine, meaning almost any HE hits taken from behind her A turret right to her bridge are likely going to be damaging the magazine and prompting those dreaded detonation rolls. Her rear magazine is long and slender but slightly less exposed. Unfortunately, both lockers reside well over the waterline and catastrophic explosions in this ship should not be unexpected, especially if someone is boneheaded enough not to run with Magazine Modification 1 in their destroyer. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 7.7 km Air Detection Range: 3.8 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 6.8km Within her matchmaking spread Blyskawica is one of the least stealthy tin cans available This problem is further compounded by her tier. Destroyers at tier VIII have access to Concealment Modification 1 which further reduces their surface detection range, putting Blyskawica at a further spotting disadvantage when facing stronger opponents. You can almost always count on being seen first when engaging enemy lolibotes with a mere 3 exceptions (Mahan, Kiev, and Tashkent) . It cannot be understated how much of a drawback this is for tier VII destroyers and Blyskawica specifically. Given Blyskawica's long range gunnery, players should pay close attention to their minimap and mind which ships will be able to spot her when she fires. Dealing the killing blow on an enemy destroyer may keep Blyskawica imperiled by vessels further afield that are still within her gunnery range. This goes doubly so if a player elects to use Advanced Fire Training. The good news is that unlike many of the large Soviet Destroyers, Blyskawica is capable of launching her torpedoes from concealment without issue. Once the enemy scouts are taken care of, she can make use of her modest concealment to make attack runs on larger ships. Just be wary of spotter aircraft. Versus Shiratsuyu You have the speed and the gunnery advantage, he has his imposing walls of skill. Remember though that Blyskawica is a big boat, especially compared to Japanese torpedo boats, and thus he'll probably spot you before you spot him. Often times the first sign that a Shiratsuyu is in the area is the torpedo wall approaching your ship at speed, forcing you to put on your best torpedo beats to survive. If the situation allows, turn to hunt him down with your significantly superior speed. When he's lit, give him that biblical beating that he deserves with your far superior gunnery. Be aware however that he might have another set of torpedoes ready for you when you do find him, with his torpedo reload boost consumable he can have a second set of eight torpedoes ready a mere five seconds after firing the first. This duel comes down to your skill in avoiding torpedo walls. In a gunnery duel Shiratsuyu doesn't stand a chance unless Blyskawica is near death already. Press that advantage. This graph shows the lowest possible surface detection range of the respective ships using commander skills, upgrades and camouflage of all of the ships in Blyskawica's matchmaking spread. Notice the upward trend in spotting distance from tier V through to VII and the sudden drop at tier VIII and IX. This really damages the competitiveness of tier VII.Minekaze Group includes: Minekaze, Fujin, Kamikaze, Kamikaze R, MutsukiFubuki Group includes: Fubuki, Shinonome, GnevnyBlyskawica Group includes: Blyskawica, Leberecth Maass, Minsk Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 40mm / 13.2mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 3.5km / 1.2kmAA DPS per Aura: 22 / 14 For a ship that was historically renown for having the best AA firepower for a destroyer at the time of her construction, Blyskawica's anti-aircraft firepower in World of Warships is pretty terrible. To be fair, the anti-aircraft defense she famously provided for a British town was done with a more modernized armament than what we see in World of Warships. She has no large-caliber anti-aircraft artillery (her main battery is not dual purpose) and thus she struggles to fight back against enemy planes. How to Bring the Thunder! Wait, no, that one sank... Blyskawica has her own dedicated Captain with no other Polish ships (yet) added to the game. This means there's no excuse not to optimize your build to maximize her efficiency. Your core skills should be the following: Take Priority Target as your first skill. Next, take the good ol' destroyer standby: Last Stand. After that, you have your choice of two skills: Demolition Expert or Basic Fire Training. I'm of the opinion that the former is preferable to the latter on your first pass but you will want both eventually. Take one and move on. Finally, take the second destroyer must-have: Concealment Expert. After you've doubled back to grab the other third tier skill, it's time to look at other options. Here are the most common skills associated with Blyskawica and the merits and flaws of each: Tier 1: Preventative Maintenance. A lot of players prefer taking this skill over Priority Target, but the gains aren't what they appear to be. The incapacitations described in the skill refer to the temporary disabling of modules, or the "critical hits" that can affect main battery, torpedoes, steering gears and engines. As the hit point pool of these modules depletes, the odds of a critical hit increase. Preventative Maintenance tweaks those odds. So if, a shell has a 20% chance to knock out your ship's steering gears when struck, this skill would reduce that down to 14%. The exact numbers for the critical hit chance per module is not known at this time. Tier 2: Expert Marksman. This is a handy skill for Blyskawica, especially for players that like to wiggle and dodge while returning fire. This increases her turret rotation rate up to 12.5º per second, a full 4º per second faster than her maximum ship rotation rate, making it much easier to keep your guns fixed on target during evasive manoeuvres. Tier 2: Adrenaline Rush. It's hard to argue with a soft boost to the reload rate of your guns and torpedoes as you take damage. This can make all of the difference in a close fight. However, on some games, you just won't get a return on your investment. Tier 3: Survivability Expert. This skill is worth its weight in gold in competitive environments, boosting Blyskawica's hit point total up to a massive 17,950hp. If you're planning to take her into Ranked Battles, this is a solid investment. Tier 3: Torpedo Armament Expertise. I'm not convinced Blyskawica's torpedoes are good enough to warrant this investment. Some may, and that's up to their play style choice. Tier 3: Vigilance. If you fancy contesting capture circles and bullying lesser gunships with Blyskawica but (like me), you find yourself quite embarrassingly getting your bow blown off by enemy fish, this can help make you look less like a scrub (like me). Note, the get-gudders out there won't need this one. Tier 4: Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. This is the oh-so controversial skill. This increases the armour that Blyskawica can damage with HE shells from 19mm to 25mm, which effectively allows her to directly bombard all tier VII and lower battleships and most (but not all) heavy cruisers she encounters. This comes at the expense of what is an excellent chance to set fires. It's really up to the player to decide how they want to stack their damage. Tier 4: Advanced Fire Training. This will boost Blyskawica's gunnery range from 12km to 14.4km. She has the shell ballistics to make landing hits at this range comfortable, especially against large capital ships. The increased surface detection range may make contesting cap circles early on more risky, but the advantages of a larger stand-off range while engaging enemy ships is a definite plus. Tier 4: Radio Location. If you fancy yourself a nightmare for all things IJN, this is a fun (if expensive) skill to have. My own suggestion would be the following builds. Long Range Fire Starter: Core skills (including both Basic Fire Training and Demolition Expert). Advanced Fire Training and Adrenaline Rush. Cap Circle Duelist: Core skills (Basic Fire Training but no Demolition Expert). Vigilance, Survivability Expert, Expert Marksman, Preventative Maintenance. Blyskawica has the second largest surface detection range at tier VII behind only Mahan. Out of all of the ships she faces in her matchmaking tier, she is only more stealthy than three other vessels: Mahan, Tashkent and Kiev. Out of all destroyers from tiers V through X, she is tied for 37th place with four other ships among 45 vessels. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Destroyers are one of the more challenging classes to play effectively in World of Warships, particularly as you climb into the higher tiers where the threats keep multiplying. Radar ships being appearing at tier VII with premiums like Belfast, Atlanta and Indianapolis and are outright commonplace by tier VIII. Radio Location becomes a common skill among IJN destroyers. And to top it all off, you're playing at a tier that has the highest average of improved detection rate of any of the destroyers in the game, with Blyskawica being one of the largest overall. Good luck! Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / ExtremeBlyskawica will reward you with all of the usual tricks and plays expert Destroyers have crafted and honed, yet her unforgiving surface detection range makes the knowledge of these skills all the more important. She can perform beautifully, especially with long range gunnery harassing larger ships, but the risks are great and only experience will let you know when they outstrip the rewards. The Lertbox I love this ship. It speaks to the quality of the ship that she has an answer for almost every situation, be it long range bombardment of battleships, outrunning cruisers, laying down some decent torpedoes or bullying destroyers on at least equal footing. Only against planes does she have a weakness, and Leningrads / Minsks are the bane of her existence. That said though, when I was play-testing Minsk and Leningrad, I always reached back to Blyskawica when the testing was done. In my opinion she's just a more well-rounded ship than either Russian offering. Make no mistake: other Tier VII destroyers are better at some things. Shiratsuyu and Akatsuki are better torpedo boats, but Blyskawica is good enough. Mahan is a better gun boat, especially up close, but Blyskawica is good enough. Leningrad and Minsk are faster and more flexible in a tactical sense, but Blyskawica is good enough. While each of the other offerings might be better in certain situations, I'm hard pressed to think of one where Blyskawica can't compete. And that flexibility, that ability to handle almost any situation and make a strong showing makes this Polish Winged Hussar my favorite tin can in the game. Mouse's Summary: Surface Detection range for tier VII Destroyers sucks. Blyskawica has super fun guns and only "meh" torpedoes. I cannot, for the life of me, pull my win rate out of the gutter on this ship. Blyskawica, more so than almost any other destroyer in the game, was adversely affected by the removal of stealth-firing in 0.6.0. She could boast upwards of a 4km stealth-firing window -- one that was exceeded by ships like Sims, but with a difference. Blyskawica had the ballistic arcs to make firing from this range rather elementary. She used to be able to rain shells down with impunity on larger targets once the escort screen of enemy destroyers were clear. Only enemy aircraft could foul this up, and then only just. Radar ships, even the vaunted super-reaching radar of the Soviet Cruisers, couldn't unmask a Blyskawica with Advanced Fire Training, intent on pummeling larger surface ships to death. While she didn't have the shell caliber sufficient to land direct damaging hits to many parts of the capital ships she faced, she could light fires aplenty and that worked beautifully... well, beautifully for Blyskawica. It was annoying as Hell for the person on the receiving end. Since the changeover, she's done alright. She's not a dominant force within her tier. The changes to stealth firing really made her large surface detection range matter more. Advanced Fire Training, has become a double-edged sword rather than a play-style choice. She still provides excellent harassing gunnery support -- perfect for chasing off IJN Destroyers that get too close or lending firepower to help punish capital ships that find themselves out of position. However, Blyskawica's star has dimmed somewhat with the loss of her gimmick. This should be expected of a generalist, especially one that has lost the one thing that made her special. As Lert is fond of pointing out, Blyskawica's specialty is that she doesn't overspecialize in any one thing. She's fast, but she's not the fastest ship. She's a gunship but she's not a DPM or knife fighting monster. She has decent torpedoes but not a good torpedo armament. I love Blyskawica, I really do. She's a "cursed" ship for me -- one that I don't play often enough and when I do, I end up losing. A combination of (really) stupid mistakes with the usual small-sample size of games played means that I haven't (yet) rescued my win rate from the dregs on this boat. I still recognize her as a good ship, but it would be a lie if I said she was still very competitive in Random Battles. I think this may be more symptomatic of the problems with tier VII destroyers on the whole, however. They sit right at the crossroads -- destroyers get larger as they climb in tiers, thus increasing their overall surface detection range. At tier VIII, this reaches a critical point and Wargaming have opted to provide the Concealment Module to bring their surface detection range back down to competitive levels. While I don't think Blyskawica needs buffs to be viable, I wouldn't mind seeing some small tweak here or there. I think that says a lot about the state of this ship currently. Would I Recommend? PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Mouse: Like all destroyers in PVE Battles, Blyskawica does have to contend with bots that always know where she is (even when she's not spotted). If you can get over this hurdle and adjust your play appropriately, she's a great contender. We have not seen any scenarios where Blyskawica can be used. I was personally hoping to see her eligible for the Dunkirk mission (she was there, after all!). Otherwise, I would keep clear. Lert: With the bots target prioritization being what it is, driving any destroyer is difficult. However, Blywkawica's lack of stealth compounds the problem. Be aware of these factors when considering her for PvE. If this didn't scare you away, she can be a rewarding drive. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Mouse: Honestly? I kinda have to give Blyskawica a bit of a pass here. She can do well, don't get me wrong, but tier VII destroyers have it rough. She's alright when top tier, but she's been hurting as mid and bottom tier far more so than she once did. The lack of stealth firing really hurts, but not as much as being one of the easiest destroyers in the game to detect and with only medium range torpedoes. Lert: Yep! In case Mouse and me haven't made it clear yet there aren't many situations where Blyskawica falls short and at the tier she makes a decent amount of credits too. The only fly in the ointment is that she's the only Polish ship in the game so she isn't really suitable for captain training. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Mouse: Blyskawica has always stood out as a great Ranked Battle ship. She's right up there with Sims as one of the go-to vessels at tier VII to run amok. The removal of stealth firing has knocked some of the wind out of her sails, but she's still a strong ship in this environment. Lert: Oh yes. That same flexibility counts here as well, but it's her speed and comfortable gunnery that sets her apart and makes her an ideal choice for competitive play. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Mouse: All Canadians should own this ship. She's the official sister ship to HMCS Haida for good reason. The two ships served alongside each other in multiple operations. Blyskawica has an amazing amount of history to her. Lert: Yes. She's a beautiful and storied ship that survives as museum. She's a legend in her own country and helped save a British town from German air attack during the war. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Mouse: If nothing else, Blyskawica is a very fun ship to play. She has unique gunnery not seen on other ships. She's got better gun handling than the Soviets while offering a similar style of play which just makes her all around more comfortable. Lert: She's my favorite destroyer in the game, by far. Do you really expect me to answer anything but a resounding 'yes' here? What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE - Grossly uncompetitive and badly in need of buffs.Mehbote - Average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable, but certainly not advantageous.Gudbote - A strong ship that has obvious competitive strengths and unique features that make it very appealing.OVERPOWERED - A ship with very clear advantages over all of its competitors and unbalancing the game with its inclusion. I wish the same could be said about tier VII as a whole for destroyers. Tier VII is GARBAGE tier for destroyers.
  17. Benson 8 DD USA 65 46.15% 44,914 1,764 2.6 1.3 0.0 51% 37% 8% 1,487 Sims 7 DD USA 21 71.43% 41,500 1,612 2.8 1.0 1.0 62% 40% 7% 1,705 Mahan 7 DD USA 36 72.22% 35,438 1,566 2.4 0.9 0.0 61% 34% 5% 1,589 Assuming the table pasted correctly on your screen, what you should be seeing is the jump from Tier VII USN DD to Tier VIII USN DD. A point of order - at 21 games, my Mahan performance was near identical to my Sims performance. I have played Mahan since 0.6.0 and the stealth fire nerf dropped, I have not played Sims since then. I attribute the difference in damage to that. However, my WR actually increased slightly after a short drop. Over the 57 games played between them, Sims and Mahan maintained a strong WR - each features about 1 kill per match, which is low-ish, and a 2.5-ish K/D. Benson features a middle of the road, same ball park, K/D, 1.3 kills per match - BUT, distinctly less survivability. Now, this is not to debate radar and CVs and all the other things that might be getting me killed in Benson. It is what it is, part of the game. Comparing Benson to Mahan, since both are 0.6.0, the damage bump is 10k or so...roughly 13-14% increase. I play the Benson in the same style I played the Mahan. OK - so...after all that, can someone help me to understand the change in USN DD play between Tier VII and Tier VIII? It's pretty clear that my play style isn't suited to Benson at all. The trouble is, my play style for USN DD hasn't changed. I don't know if it's a combination of high tier play AND 0.6.0 or what. I just know that I cannot win consistently in Benson. The payoff just isn't there and I am not sure how to change my tactics to suit higher tier USN DD play. I'm hoping to use the weekend event to research Fletcher...but, I need to get this ironed out before I go flailing around at Tier IX...if, indeed, I do at all.
  18. Premium Ship Review: Kaga

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

    I got the Maass this morning and am asking myself "Why?" Leningrad, Blyskawica and Shiratsuyu all have better win rates (past 2 weeks, solo). Same 3 lead the Maass in average damage, XP, kill/death and kills per battle. The eastern Europeans are faster & better gun boats with workable torps. Shira is, well, a torp monster. The Sims is more maneuverable with MUCH faster turret traverse & reloads, making it a better "jack of all trades, master of none." Is the Z-23 worth grinding the Maass? Hmmmm, Benson and Akizuki are 2 of my favorite DDs. Tier 9? Fletcher is really hard to beat. Tier 10? Maybe the Z-52 is worth the grind to Tier 10, but Khabarovsk still dominates there (even if it isn't really a DD). I'm not trying to be obnoxious here. Really want to know if I should keep going. The French cruiser line isn't working all that well for me - I have similar problems looking at Algerie vs. other T7 cruisers and looking up to T8-10. However, I like to be working on something...
  20. Best Tier 7's

    Post your reasoning below, NO PREMIUMS INCLUDED, part of another poll. I get ships are good in their own respects but I'm looking for both competitive and flexibility. Yes I know IJN CV's are better period but I have to give an option for unbiased poll.
  21. Premium Ship Review: Atlanta 3.0

    Poopin' rainbows. Quick Summary: A fragile anti-aircraft cruiser with radar and armed with sixteen 127mm rifles and short-ranged torpedoes. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.1. February 3rd, 2017 Cost: 9,000 doubloons. Closest in-Game Contemporary Flint, Tier 7 USN Cruiser Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Flint is an Oakland-subclass of the Atlanta-class cruiser, so it stands to reason that the two ships would be very similar. Flint has an upgraded medium-range anti-aircraft suite. She loses out on the two wing turrets found on Atlanta giving her a maximum of a twelve-gun broadside. Flint's superiority is very firmly set by her torpedoes which have a reach out to 9.2km. Lastly, the two ships trade out their third consumable, with Flint having a USN Smoke Generator instead of Atlanta's Radar. PROs Armed with sixteen, rapid fire 127mm rifles in eight turrets dispensing up to168 rounds per minute from a fourteen gun broadside. Turret traverse is blinding-quick at 25º per second. Able to fire over intervening terrain quite easily. Her main battery customizes incredibly with the 0.6.0 Captain Skills. Her torpedoes are very fast and very hard hitting for a cruiser of her tier. Powerful anti-aircraft armament, with unlimited charges of her Defensive Fire consumable. With a full AA-upgrade build, she has some of the best AA-power in the game, tier for tier. She has access to the USN Radar consumable. CONs Tiny hit point pool of 27,500hp. Her machine-spaces citadel sits over the waterline and has a maximum of 89mm of protection. Her bows are overmatched by 203mm guns or larger. Her turrets get temporarily disabled easily. Painfully short ranged at 11.1km stock. Very poor ballistics, with shells being launched into low orbit even at modest ranges. Poor penetration values on her AP and HE shells. She struggles to do damage to tier 8+ Battleships. Torpedoes are pathetically short ranged at 4.5km. Large surface detection range of 11.0km. My last review of Atlanta was over a year ago and there have been some rather significant changes to the game in that time. Atlanta has been graced by some better fortunes, including one direct buff and many smaller, indirect buffs caused by differences in new mechanics and systems. This time last year, she was an overspecialized oddity, unable to perform in the manner players wanted and expected her to perform. She remained a favourite to eccentrics and experts and downright punitive to novice players. Atlanta's fame (or infamy) has waned considerably over the year. She is no longer commonly available, having been removed as a permanent fixture from the online store. She is also gone from the in-game tech-tree where she could be bought with doubloons. Though far from rare, it is likely that as the game matures she may become a more uncommon sight. This said, her game play style has been diluted somewhat by the inclusion of USS Flint, an Oakland-subclass of the Atlanta-class cruiser. Flint shares many characteristics with Atlanta but with the benefits of better torpedoes and a smoke generator -- two fixes for the Atlanta-class many fans of her were clamouring for. We received different fixes for Atlanta instead of questionable effectiveness. This does raise the question if Atlanta is now worth purchasing for those who do not have her, especially given her limited availability. Hopefully this review will address said concerns. Atlanta subscribes to the original Wargaming design for premium vessels in World of Warships, where candidates were to be selected from ships that didn't fit in the tech tree. These "weird" vessels included ships like Kitakami and Tone. Options Atlanta's Defensive Fire is special. Unlike other ships, she has unlimited charges of this consumable. Its other characteristics, including reset timer, duration and intensity remain the same. Atlanta is also one of the few tier 7 ships with Radar. This has an 8.49km range, 25s duration and two or three minute reset timer depending if you took the premium version or not. Consumables: Damage Control Party Defensive Fire or Hydroacoustic Search Radar Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard USN Cruiser options.Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ Standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy Firepower Main Battery: Sixteen 127mm rifles in 8x2 turrets with an A-B-C-P-Q-X-Y-Z arrangement. A-B-C and X-Y-Z are superfiring, with all three turrets capable of shooting unobstructed directly forward or aft respectively. P and Q are wing turrets mounted just ahead of X-turret and behind the torpedo launchers. This gives the ship a fourteen gun broadside. Torpedo Armament: Eight tubes between 2x4 launchers. One is mounted to each side of the ship behind the rear funnel. Let's start with Atlanta's torpedoes; they are terrible. While individually hard hitting at 16,663 damage per and fast at 65 knots they are pathetically short ranged at 4.5km. This limits their utility to ambush scenarios and acts of desperation. In order to properly make use of Atlanta's torpedoes, your opponent has to have made a serious mistake. In such scenarios, a broadside of all four fish will be catastrophic and your opponent deserves the punishment these can dish out for being so horribly out of position. In close range brawls with enemy cruisers, a broadside of her AP shells is often more reliably devastating than her torpedoes. That's really all that needs to be said about these weapons. Main Battery Atlanta has arguably the most entertaining main battery armament in the game. There are few guns as interesting as the USN 127mm/38 rifles in World of Warships. They are not without their controversies either. With 0.6.0 they received a significant buff in regards to how they interact with select Captain Skills and the variety of builds centered around improving these weapons is diverse. But let's start with looking at their raw performance before we worry about how we can modify them. Common Captain Skills taken by Atlanta players to buff their Main Battery. Few ships benefit so greatly from Captain Skills as the Atlanta. From left to right: Basic Fire Training, Advanced Fire Training, Demolition Expert, Inertia Fuse for HE Shells, Adrenaline Rush and Expert Marksman. Not all of these skills should be considered optimal or even necessary. The 127mm/38 rifles found on Atlanta are similar to, but not an exact match to the weapons found on the USN Destroyers. They fire the same shells, with the same relative range, ballistic qualities, alpha strike, penetration values and fire chance to her line's destroyers. However, Atlanta doesn't enjoy the same rate of fire found on vessels like Mahan, Farragut or Sims. Farragut, at tier 6, fires 15 rounds per minute -- a value matched by Mahan at tier 7. Sims gets this volume of fire as high as 18.2 rounds per minute while Atlanta has to make do with 12. For those wondering, this isn't historical and has been reduced for balance reasons. Atlanta may appear to have the equivalent broadside to three USN Destroyers combined, once you factor in her reload time, this works out closer to two. And this brings us to our first two Captain Skills. Rate of Fire Atlanta reloads every 5s giving her fourteen gun broadside a potential rate of fire of 168 rounds per minute. There are two ways to increase this. As a destroyer-caliber weapon, Atlanta enjoys full benefits of Basic Fire Training which drops her reload down to 4.5s and increases her rate of fire up to just over 186rpm. As if that weren't enough, you can also take Adrenaline Rush which increases her rate of fire as your ship takes damage. At half health, this drops Atlanta's reload by another half second, increasing it to 210rpm. Let's look at some real-world examples. Assuming penetrating hits from her HE shells (594 damage per), a full 14 gun volley (8,316 damage per) yields the following. Against saturated areas, the damage will be half this. At 168rpm: 99,792 damage. At 186rpm: 110,494 damage. At 210rpm: 124,740 damage. This is contingent on being able to land hits with that level of accuracy and penetrate vulnerable areas. Like all guns, Atlanta's rifles are exceedingly dangerous up close. Landing with ten or more shells per volley is easy enough inside of 7km ranges. However, even veteran Atlanta players only land between 29% and 35% of their hits overall which much of the accuracy disparity coming from her poor ballistic qualities at range. Range and Ballistics One of Atlanta's biggest weaknesses is her lack of reach relative to her surface detection. Stock, Atlanta's guns can theoretically hit targets up to 11.1km away while she's detected from the surface from 11.0km. This 100m buffer for such a fragile ship forces her to be placed in harms way anytime she pulls the trigger. Taking the skill, Advanced Fire Training extends her reach up to 13.3km. Between camouflage and skills, it's possible to get her surface detection down to 9.4km. In theory, this opens the tiniest of stealth fire windows (less than 100m) but in all practical sense, Atlanta cannot engage targets and stay hidden without the use of cover. This is further compounded by the appalling ballistic qualities of her shells. At her maximum range, her shells are taking a full second per kilometer of distance traveled. This leads to horrible lead times. Depending on game resolution, some players may be prevented from using the maximum zoom when ranging their shells as their targets will be well off screen. This can make targeting specific sections of ships very difficult This is a necessary skill when facing off against heavily armored targets which her HE shells can struggle to damage.Penetration and Fire Atlanta has one of the lowest average damage per game values of any tier 7 cruiser. Stock, Atlanta's high explosive shells can penetrate a maximum of 20mm of armour. Aside from destroyers and some light cruisers, her shells just don't have the penetration power to directly affect vessels short of their superstructures. So while her guns may murder a destroyer with some alacrity, when facing against cruisers and battleships, Atlanta was often on her back foot. Atlanta's AP shells can be truly monstrous when properly applied. However, their penetration values due to their low muzzle velocity and poor ballistics arcs prevents them from being used efficiently outside of 7km ranges. Inside this distance, Atlanta is more than capable of blowing out the citadel of heavy cruisers or hammering the upper hull or extremities of a Battleship with her AP shells and wracking up enormous damage totals quickly. It's not uncommon for Atlanta to deliver seven to ten citadel hits against a broadside cruiser inside of knife fighting range. This can deal a whopping 29,400 AP damage if you can land 14 out of 14 shells as citadel hits. For this reason, Atlanta's torpedoes are often forgotten in the heat of a brawl as her AP can be more than sufficient to put down an enemy cruiser. Outside of this range or against even slightly angled targets, her AP performance becomes quite anemic. For this reason, the ship has often lived and died by her high explosive shells. In the past, this forced Atlanta Captains to rely on the fire potential of her weapons to inflict damage against larger capital ships. As a flamethrower, she was quite good at this in theory but in practice, this was never sufficient. Her individual shells have a poor base fire chance at 5% per hit. Demolition Expert can nudge this number up to 7%. However, this plugs into a larger formula: [Fire Resistance Coefficient x ( 1 - [Damage Control Modification 1 - [Fire Prevention ) x ( [Projectile Base Fire Chance + [Demolition Expert + [signals - [inertial Fuse for HE Shells) = Fire Chance Fire Resistance Coefficients vary, from 0.8668 for a stock tier 5 to 0.5671 for a fully upgraded tier 9 vessel. This makes the chances of stacking fires much easier against lower tiered targets than higher tiered, which is ironic given that Atlanta can often deal more damage directly to lower tiered targets than needing fires to prop up her damage totals. Here are some real world examples: Atlanta with Demolition Expert facing an upgraded Kongo with Damage Control Modification 1 (0.8335) x [1-(0.05) - (0) x [(0.05) + (0.02) + (0) - (0) = 5.54% per shell Atlanta with Demolition Expert facing an upgraded Iowa with Damage Control Modification 1 and Fire Prevention (0.5671) x [1-(0.05) - (0.1) x [(0.05) + (0.02) + (0) - (0) = 3.37% per shell Combine this with Basic Fire Training on the Atlanta (186rpm) and a 30% accuracy and you're looking at 3.1 fires per minute against the Kongo and 1.9 fires per minute against the Iowa. Based on these numbers, an Atlanta should be able to easily stack a fire or two past Kongo's Damage Control Party and disengage. Against an Iowa or similar tier 9 Battleship, it's questionable whether any fires will stick at all if the target Captain manages their consumable properly. Dueling with either Battleship for longer than a minute greatly increases the changes of reprisals from the now-annoyed battleship from which Atlanta is unlikely to survive, so it's important to stack fires in a limited time frame and disappear. Without the ability to do damage quickly to larger targets and her own poor survivability when such ships elect to shoot back, it's perhaps no wonder that Atlanta's average damage has been so low. There is a ray of sunshine, however. Inertial Fuse for HE Shells All light cruisers have benefited massively from this skill and it has been a real game changer. For Atlanta, this increases her HE penetration from 20mm to 27mm allowing her to now damage the extremities of tier 6 and 7 battleships and all cruisers within her matchmaking spread. With this skill, now Atlanta can drop those theoretical 8,314 damage, 14 penetrating hit HE volleys against most of her opponents. Only tier 8+ Battleships retain an immunity to her shells with the exception of their superstructures. This skill isn't without its trade-offs, however. It's an expensive investment for one, requiring the sacrifice of one or more beneficial Captain Skills. In addition, it damages her already poor base fire chance by a whole 3%. It's this latter trade off which can really hurt as her (in)effectiveness against tier 8+ Battleships plummets even further. Let's look at our Iowa example again. Atlanta with Demolition Expert and Inertial Fuse for HE Shells facing an upgraded Iowa with Damage Control Modification 1 and Fire Prevention (0.5671) x [1-(0.05) - (0.1) x [(0.05) + (0.02) + (0) - (0.03) = 1.92% per shell And if you can no longer afford Demolition Expert: Atlanta with Inertial Fuse for HE Shells facing an upgraded Iowa with Damage Control Modification 1 and Fire Prevention (0.5671) x [1-(0.05) - (0.1) x [(0.05) + (0) + (0) - (0.03) = 0.96% per shell Once again, assuming Atlanta is using Basic Fire Training and attaining 30% accuracy, this works out to 1.1 fires per minute with Demolition Expert and 0.5 fires per minute without. So it becomes a question of a trade off. Inertial Fuse for HE Shells greatly increases Atlanta's lethality against same tier or lower tiered battleships but worsens her performance against those found at tiers 8 and 9. Conclusions: Few ships have their performance defined so significantly by Captain Skills as Atlanta. With her torpedoes being a mere afterthought, how a player customizes and elects to use Atlanta's main batteries will largely define their level of success with this ship. There is no build that is optimal against all targets and some that are superfluous or even damaging to Atlanta's damage output depending on the ship type engaged. A player must decide well in advance what kinds of ships she wishes to specialize against and build her Atlanta accordingly. One of Atlanta's more infamous traits is the awful shell flight times. At maximum range (13.3km) it's possible to begin firing a fourth volley volley before the first has hit the target. This makes lead times downright punitive and adjusting fire difficult. Maneuverability Top Speed: 32.5 knots Turning Radius: 610m Rudder Shift Time: 8.4s Atlanta's top speed of 32.5 knots isn't particularly exciting. It's sufficient for her task as an escort cruiser, but she doesn't have the speed necessary to challenge evasive destroyers. Perhaps more pressingly, she is also lacking in sufficient speed to outrun fast Battleships that may seek to engage her, such as Bismarck, Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau or Iowa and she has no chance of outpacing Soviet and Japanese cruisers. So while not slow or inflexible, some care needs to be taken when planning Atlanta's course lest she find herself out of position or over extended. This is a problem common to all USN Cruisers. Ship rotation times from starting at maximum speed and rudder hard over. Each ship was run through the course five times (except Flint and Atlanta which were run for ten to confirm their similarities) and the average taken. Deceleration is the time taken for a ship to reach it's lowest speed in a turn. The two most important factors for determining ship rotation speed is the radius of her turn combined with the average speed while turning. Smaller turning circles and higher average speed will result in faster rotation rates. The tier 7 and tier 8 American cruisers are all very similar to one another in their performance, but Atlanta and her sister, Flint, are hands down the most agile of all of the mid tier USN Cruisers with between a 0.5s and 1.0s advantage in turning 90º. Atlanta's handling is almost identical to other vessels found in the American cruiser line. This similarity between mid-tier USN Cruisers makes for easy skill transference from one ship to the next. If you can torpedo beat in a New Orleans, you'll find Atlanta answer similarly to her rudder. Atlanta's turrets have no difficulties tracking targets, even with her rudder hard over. They traverse at a rate of 25º per second compared to the 6.3º per second she turns at full speed, allowing Atlanta to quickly acquire targets and engage new threats from one side of the ship to the other even while under heavy maneuvers. This makes the Captain Skill, Expert Marksman, much less valuable for Atlanta than on other USN Cruisers. Atlanta is rather agile and can be a real bothersome target for destroyers. Durability Hit Points: 27,500 Citadel Protection: 89mm of belt armour Min Bow & Deck Armour: 13mm Torpedo Damage Reduction: None. Over the last year, Atlanta has enjoyed a considerable buff to her turret durability. Patch 5.5 from April 26th, 2016, all small caliber weapons had their hit points increased as much as 2.6 times what they had been. Prior to this, Atlanta's turrets had 1,500 hit points each while she now enjoys 4,000 hit points per. Previously, it was a rare occurrence for Atlanta to survive a battle without losing some of her main battery. Now it's rather uncommon for Atlanta to permanently lose any of her weapons. However, much of what was previously said about Atlanta's durability still holds true.Atlanta is one of the worst protected cruisers in the game, making her truly a glass cannon. She has a pittance when it comes to her hit point total. Her armour layout is laughable with 89mm of belt armour. Her large citadel has a section that sits above the surface running beneath the twin superstructures, from the bridge to the wing turrets. Her bow has only 13mm worth of protection, making it possible to overmatch it with 180mm guns found on the Kirov, Molotov and Dmitri Donskoi, never mind the larger caliber guns found on heavy cruisers and battleships. There are few HE shells not capable of landing penetrating damage on Atlanta, no matter where they strike her. In short, an exposed Atlanta is very likely to become a dead Atlanta. It's imperative to make use of her concealment and agility to stay alive. Hug islands and use them to block incoming fire. Concealment & Camouflage Surface Detection Range: 11.0 km Air Detection Range: 6.4 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 9.4km Concealment Penalty while Firing: +3.8km (vs 11.1km gun range) For such a fragile and short ranged vessel, Atlanta is shackled with an enormous surface detection range. She is utterly incapable of engaging enemy targets with her torpedoes without giving her position away. It's only when either her main battery range or her concealment is upgraded that she can ambush surface targets with her guns. Even with a full investment into concealment and range modifiers, Atlanta cannot stealth-fire from open water and remains dependent upon friendly smoke or island cover to stay concealed. At best, Atlanta can get her surface detection range down to 9.4km which is still punitive for a ship of her size and range. She's unable to sneak up on destroyers and, unlike HMS Belfast, her surface detection range exceeds that of her radar, giving destroyers time enough to begin evading before Atlanta can light them up with her consumable. It is worth mentioning that Atlanta, with her radar consumable, can make better use of borrowed smoke clouds than some other ships. When divisioned with smoke-laying vessels, Atlanta can help provide eyes for herself and allies while remaining obscured within the smoke clouds. Though her radar has a very short duration, this can tip the balance in some engagements to let this fragile vessel exploit concealment mechanics within the game to her advantage and decide the local fight. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 28mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.1km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 121 / 27 / 29 Atlanta used to have the best anti-aircraft armament at tier 7 without contest She has been partially eclipsed by her sister ship, Flint, which has a modernized suite of weapons which replaces Atlanta's 28mm 'Chicago Piano' mounts with the famous (and more reliable and powerful) 40mm Bofors. This gives Flint a better punch at medium to close range while Atlanta dominates at a distance. When combined with Captain Skills and module upgrades, Atlanta competes very well with her sister. The image below breaks down how Atlanta's anti-aircraft power can be modified. * Bonuses are multiplicative, not additive. Note that all DPS values are approximate with some weird rounding occurring (which is why the tool-tip in port is weird when you begin stacking bonuses). This table can be used to calculate partial bonus stacks. For example, a 127mm mount (121dps) with Basic Fire Training (x1.2) Priority Target (x1.1) and Defensive Fire (x3) bonuses would generate an average of 479dps. The maximum output of Atlanta in an optimal situation would be a combined total of 1,215dps. Fully specialized and in an optimal situation, Atlanta puts out 1054 / 118 / 42 dps (a combined total of 1,215 dps) at ranges of 7.2km / 5.0km / 2.9km. Flint manages a combined total of 793 / 392 / 62 dps (a total of 1,247dps) at the same range intervals. No other ships at her tier come close to Atlanta as her sister-ship. With Atlanta's anti-aircraft firepower focused on her 127mm rifles and their 7.2km range, she makes a much better anti-aircraft escort over Flint and bests just about any other cruiser in the game, tier for tier. Atlanta's anti-aircraft advantages do not stop with just raw damage. Her aerial detection range is only 6.4km. If she keeps gun silent and switches off her AA guns, she can ambush incoming aircraft squadrons by sailing into their path to intercept them. By keeping her AA guns silent up until they're all in range, she gives the CV player no warning of her presence and can devastate a concentrated attack wave before the CV player can react. In addition, her and her sister Flint are the only ships in the game with unlimited charges of their Defensive Fire consumable. Specialized in this role, Atlanta becomes a 7.2km no-fly zone which any CV player is fool to test, no matter what their tier. But don't kid yourself. Without this specialization, without Defensive Fire specifically, you're only going to damage attack craft waves, not rout them. Any carrier wishing to delete you will be more than capable of doing so. In her element and unconcerned. Overall ImpressionsSkill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / DifficultSkill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Atlanta is not a friendly ship for beginners. Her weapons are too short ranged with a very temperamental damage output. Her surface detection range is too large and she has no easy-escape tools. She is far too fragile to account for any mistakes. While it's terribly fun to hold down your left mouse button and poop out rainbows of 127mm high explosive rounds, the efficacy of doing so is highly suspect at best. You can't deal damage quickly with Atlanta unless you get in close and without proper forethought, that will simply get you killed before accomplishing anything of note. The influence a well played Atlanta can have on a game is telling, but it depends entirely upon her Captain / Consumable / Module build. She's a good support ship, however the decision on how to support your team will largely dictate the spheres of influence you can perform. When Atlanta is caught out of position (which, let's admit, occurs almost continually in this ship), her ability to affect the outcome of the match falls away to nothing. Mouse's Summary: One of the oldest premiums in the game. She's also one of the most unforgiving ships in the game. The recent buffs were nice... sort of. I wanted Atlanta to get what Flint has. Despite all of her troubles, Atlanta is a riot to play. What a difference a year makes. Here's the long list of changes that occurred directly or indirectly to Atlanta between February 2016 and 2017. Her main battery durability was buffed, increasing her hit points 2.6 times. She no longer loses her turrets constantly (HOORAY!). The Situational Awareness skill was given out for free. Her AP shell normalization was changed from 8º to 10º. This means that if her shells strike at a 10º angle to the flat broadside of a ship, her shells will treat it as 0º and calculate as if they had struck flush. She received Radar. The new Matchmaker system places her at top tier very frequently. The Captain Skill changes have benefited Atlanta greatly, with easier access to quality of life improving skills like Concealment Expert and the introduction of Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. In addition, many players can't easily afford fire-mitigation skills like they used to. Atlanta has seen both feast and famine. During Closed Beta, when AP shells were dominant, she was as powerful as she has ever been. The changes to AP and HE shells nerfed her considerably, but she still had a lot of functionality with asymmetrical carrier Matchmaking and how common carriers were during Open Beta. There was almost always need for an AA escort and Atlanta filled that role nicely. Once deployment symmetry became a thing when the game was released in September of 2015, Atlanta's popularity began to severely wane. Now in 2017, it's the increase in smoke generators, specifically those of the British Cruisers, that have breathed new life into USS Atlanta. She has a purpose now -- an ability that's always welcome when there's an enemy that needs digging out. It's sad to say, but she gets more use out of that than she does her Defensive Fire consumable. Inertia Fuse for HE Shells has restored some of the bite Atlanta once enjoyed back in Closed Beta. While her upgraded HE shells don't have quite the same ubiquity as AP did back in the day, the average damage that Atlanta is dealing out has been on the rise in the last six months. Looking at a two-week snapshot of her performance ranks her 6th overall for damage output among tier 7 cruisers. It's still not a good performance, but it's definitely better than has been for the last year. Atlanta isn't back to her glory days from Closed Beta. Would I Recommend?Atlanta is a weird ship. She's not something you invest in because you think she's good. You do it because you want something unique. While it is possible to earn an equivalent through Ranked Battles in the form of USS Flint, Atlanta's analogue is likely to be out of reach for much of the player base. For Random Battle Grinding Atlanta isn't going to make it easy on you to earn rewards like High Caliber, Confederate or Kraken Unleashed. While she or any premium will earn a fair amount of experience and credits, Atlanta is difficult to make perform to make such numbers consistent. There are definitely better investments. So no. For Competitive Gaming No. There are much better ships to bring in a competitive environment than Atlanta. She's too fragile and if caught out of position, she has no get-out-of-jail cards to play. For Collectors Yes. They saw lots of action early in WWII and enjoyed success and tragedy (Google the Sullivan brothers and have tissues handy). For Fun Factor Very yes on toast. Her guns are hilarious. Staying near islands is imperative for the longevity of your Atlanta. Use it to set up attacks and cover your escape. Atlanta is not an easy ship to play. She's not like the British Cruisers or premiums like Mikhail Kutuzov or Flint where you can pop an easy smoke consumable and trump any attempts to engage you. Outfitting AtlantaAtlanta can be one of the most complicated premium ships to equip in the game presently. It's important to decide on a role for your Atlanta first. From there you may select Captain Skills and equip consumables which best support the role that you've decided upon. Modules: All of my builds for Atlanta include the same module choices. Main Armaments Modification 1, AA Guns Modification 2, Damage Control Modification 1, Steering Gears Modification 2. There's some pretty simple reasons for this. In slot 1, you can take Magazine Modification 1 if you're really paranoid about detonations. If you're intending to take Atlanta into a competitive environment, this choice should be moot as you should be using Juliet Charlie signals instead to mitigate detonations. Personally, detonations don't bother me. Atlanta does pop a little bit more than other cruisers, so keep that in mind. In slot 2, you may be wondering about the viability of Aiming Systems Modification 1. Skip it. At maximum range, and by that I mean 13.3km from Advanced Fire Training, ASM1 provides an eight meter dispersion reduction. Yep. That's it. Eight whole meters. It's 6.9m at 11.1km. Whoo. Exciting! Take the AA mod. You'll get more use out of it. All of the choices in slot 3 are terrible for the Atlanta. Take what you want. In slot 4, Propulsion Modification 2 is also a fair choice. However, Steering Gears Modification 2 will shave almost half a second off of a 90º turn going at full speed. Core Skills: Despite the 0.6.0 Captain Skill overhaul making several builds viable, there remain some skills that are optimal for Atlanta. They re included in all of the builds below. Your tier 1 skill for Atlanta should be Priority Target. Knowing when you're targeted and when you're not will save your ship and allow you to pull off some rather audacious feats. None of the other tier 1 skills is as useful. At tier 3, Basic Fire Training is the second essential. This increases your main battery rate of fire by 10% and your AA dps by 20%. Few ships gain so much as Atlanta from this skill. Bombardment Build This build focuses upon doing damage to larger ships -- specifically cruisers and tier 6 and 7 battleships. The idea is to keep her guns singing as often as possible and to use intervening terrain to keep safe. Because you're expected to be shooting almost non-stop, stealth abilities are less of priority. This build, grace of taking skills which improve her gunnery, also makes a passable anti-aircraft cruiser but this isn't our focus. Consumables: Damage Control Party II, Defensive Fire II, Surveillance Radar II Captain Skills: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/1000000000000011000010100010100019 This build is all about maximizing the performance of your guns against these targets. Basic Fire Training and Adrenaline Rush increase your rate of fire. Inertia Fuse for HE Shells allows you to land damaging hits against the plethora of 25mm armoured sections found on ships of your chosen targets. Demolition Expert helps mitigate some of the lost fire-potential. Variant: Swap Inertia Fuse for HE Shells for Concealment Expert. This changes the build from doing direct damage to relying on fire damage to affect your targets. This will generally result in increased survivability but you'll pay for it with lower damage totals. Destroyer Hunter The idea here is to sneak up as close as possible to destroyers and annihilate them at close range. She's built for stealth. This ship is rather vanilla when it comes to the performance of her weapons against larger targets, but such is the price you pay for being a specialized hunter. Keep your anti-aircraft guns disabled until you absolutely need them. Consumables: Damage Control Party II, Hydroacoustic Search II, Surveillance Radar II Captain Skills: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/1000000000000011000011000000001119 The first thing that should stand out is that this will keep your Atlanta shorter ranged than other builds. This will also impair her anti-aircraft power somewhat. Radio Location is used to assist with finding the little blighters. Concealment Expert is used to reduce the range at which you're spotted to give destroyers less time to react. In addition, you will have to go gun silent to evade return fire from larger capital ships. Superintendent provides an additional charge of your Radar and Hydroacoustic Search consumables. You'll use Radio Location to home in on the destroyers until you're spotted. If haven't uncovered the destroyer within 20 seconds of being lit, activate your Radar to light the destroyer and be ready to evade any return fire. Last Stand is there to help keep you alive when your rudder gets shot out as you try to evade. The destroyers will shoot back and they always seem to hit your rudder and set you repeatedly on fire. The last thing you want to be doing is spinning in circles. Anti-Aircraft Escort As the name suggests, this build focuses on protecting friendly ships from air attack. This is hardly an optimal build in the current Random Battle meta -- carriers are not as commonplace as they once were. However, few can argue against Atlanta's efficiency as an AA-platform with this build. Consumables: Damage Control Party II, Defensive Fire II, Surveillance Radar II Captain Skills: http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/1100000001000000000010000000110119 Everything pushes towards increasing Atlanta's AA range and DPS. Basic Fire Training and Manual Fire Control for AA Armament boost your DPS directly while Advanced Fire Training provides the range. Concealment Expert provides some survivability while also helping prevent you from being spotted early by surface ships. This can allow you to better intercept an inbound bomber stream and ambush them. Jack of All Trades is used to reduce the reset timer of your Defensive Fire consumable so that it will always be ready when the next attack wave comes in.
  22. I decided to take a look at World of Warships from a scientific perspective, hopefully to bring some real quantitative data to the table. There is plenty of qualitative data, but very little in numbers backing it up. Observation: There is a large amount of talk regarding the strength of tier 7 due to it's matchmaking spread, but is it true? Is tier 7 one of the strongest tiers in the game? If so, where is the strength coming from? Hypothesis: Tier 7 is one of the strongest tiers in the game. Ships that benefit the most, are ships that gain the greatest yield when top tier. First some basic data: I decided not to include the Flint due to it's precarious nature of being driven by highly skilled players. I also did not include any clone Myoko (ARP, Southern Dragon.) Constructing a Frequency table: Finding the range (highest value - lowest value) Belfast 55.67 - Ranger 47.25 = 8.42 rounded off to 8.4 (range/ # of classes) will determine the class width. Class number chosen 10. 8.4/10 = .84 Ranger will be the first lower class limit. .84 is the class width. Note: 1 additional class was added to account for the Belfast with a total of 11 classes. Classes Win rate #of occ. Additional info class 1: 47.25%---48.08% 1 CV Ranger class 2: 48.09%----48.92% 4 DD,DD,BB,CL Akatsuki Mahan Colorado Pensacola class 3: 48.93%----49.76% 4 CL,DD,DD,CL Yorck Sims Hatsuharu Atlanta class 4: 49.77%----50.60% 2 CL,BB Indianapolis Nagato class 5: 50.61%----51.44% 3 CL,CL,BB Shchors Myoko Gneisenau class 6: 51.45%---52.28% 1 DD Kiev class 7: 52.29%---53.12% 4 DD,DD,BB,CV Leningrad Leberecht Maass Scharnhorst Hiryu class 8: 53.13%---53.96% 2 CL,DD Fiji Blyskawica class 9: 53.97%---54.80% 2 DD,CV Shiratsuyu Saipan class 10: 54.81%---55.64% 0 N/A N/A class 11: 55.65%---56.48% 1 CL belfast As presented by the data, the mean is 51.86% The ship spread is also interesting, it shows that the majority of cruisers are between classes 1-5, making them fairly weak at this tier. Only the Fiji and Belfast are in the upper classes of 8 and 11. Destroyers are heavily polarized, with the American and most of the Japanese dds occupying classes 2 and 3. This puts them close to the bottom. Their russian counterparts, along with the german Leberecht mass and the japanese Shiratsuyu however, occupy classes 6-9, showing a much stronger performance. Here is a Histogram to better visualize how the data is spread out. 4 | |- -- --|-- - --| |- -- --| | | | | | | 3 | | | | |- -- --| | | | | | | | | | | 2 | | | |-- -- -| | | |- -- --|- -- --| | | | | | | | | | | 1 |-- - --| | | | |-- - --| | | | |- -- --| | | | | | | | | | | | | 0 |____|____|____|____|____|____|____|____|____|____|____| C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8 C9 C10 C11 As you can see, the data on this histogram is skewed to the left and not uniform. This means there are only a few ships at the top of the pile that perform far above average to compensate for the vast majority on the bottom. Conclusion: does the information support the hypothesis? Somewhat, but it would not be enough to put this into a working theory. More testing will be needed. The two most heavily armored ships at this tier, the german BBs, are high performing. It also shows that Cruisers, the class that arguably gains the least when top tier, is lagging behind at tier 7, with only the Fiji and Belfast on top. This is important, because it shows through the scientific law of subtraction, that chances are, if the ship isn't a cruiser, it will perform better, with only a few exceptions. Thanks for reading! (Source: na.warships.today 02/08/2017) Edit: Data was collected from all-time ship performance. Any further articles I will post will feature data that is 3 months or newer, to assure better accuracy while maintaining good sample size.
  23. Hi everyone, this is another element to the show that we are adding to give a brief summary and chance to discuss the topics we talked about per episodic cast. Episode 23: Special Guest Aerroon joined us in this episode and we talked primarily about the next Ranked Season and gave our thoughts about which ships we think will be strong, poor, and expanded upon certain captain skills for Ranked. We also began the show talking about personal experiences meeting with Developers and other Wargaming Personnel and our shared passion for the game and community. Kelorns gets us into Ranked discussion with a breakdown of all the new ships that have been added to the game since the last Tier 7 Ranked Season. However we begin our group discussion with possible options for Tier 6 (Which we feel will be the starting Tier for Ranked) Kami and Aerroon talked about Fuso, while I gave a surprising mention for the Perth. Moving into the heart of the new Ranked Season we started with Tier 7 Destroyers, and among the candidates discussed Shiratsuyu, Lennongrad, Blyskawica, Sims, Leberecht Maass, and Mahan. We talked about the Destroyers ability to defend itself and the likelihood of seeing a repeat of the last Tier 7 Ranked Season. Changes to the Meta with regard to Epicenter game mode and how that will impact Destroyers on the match. On the subject of Cruisers we discussed all the new entrants and how smoke/radar/sonar will play out giving the proliferation of these abilities. What will this mean for Epicenter matches and team play, as we discussed the pros and cons of Cruiser life. Should cruisers bring defensive fire, and should they have skills like RPF, and IFHE (HEAP). Cruisers which we discussed were Belfast, Flint, Atlanta, Fiji, Shchors, Indianapolis, Myoko, and the Pensacola... < . < Touching briefly on Carriers, we talked about Saipan and Hiryu. What loads you might see and with the changes to captain skills. How Air Supremacy might be a common thing seen in this coming Ranked Season. With regard to Battleships we debated the Pros and Cons of the old Tier 7 Battleships (Colorado & Nagato) compared to the new apparent Meta shift towards aggressive and more forgiving Battleship play with German Battleships. How much of an impact will the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau have on Meta going forward this Ranked Season, and our hopes for a better Ranked Season, then our last go around. Rounding out our show we gave some parting advice and wisdom for players going in. We talk about how every ship, every player is important to the team. Furthermore we strongly feel that Detonation Flags, Camo, Flags, and Premium consumables are a MUST! Aerroon imparts his ideal team member game play style and advice for players going into this season, as well as our picks for what we feel is our best ships going into Ranked: Kelorn: Scharnhorst w/ Blyskawica as a backup Kami: Belfast w/ Scharnhorst as a backup Aerroon: Shiratsuyu w/ Gneisenau as a backup Me: Scharnhorst w/ Gneisenau as backup Thank you for listening / participating! We look forward to your comments and continued discussion. Warships Podcast
  24. Premium Ship

    I would love to see WarGaming introduce a new US battleship. The USS West Virginia. The USS West Virginia is a Colorado class BB. I would like to see it at Tier 7. The West Virginia will make a great addition to the tier 7 BB line.
  25. Belfast EU - I has anxiety

    Not sure if I should be worried or excited. I can already hear the crackling of the velcro on my wallet. The numbers appear to be statistically meaningful... but I'm not sure if conclusions can be drawn so early. I guess we'll know soon enough, eh?
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