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Found 18 results

  1. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review #148 - Odin

    The following is a review of Odin, the tier VIII German battleship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this article are accurate as of patch Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. Quick Summary: Tirpitz-lite. Same great Tirpitz flavour with half the fat. I mean efficiency. Wait, that doesn't work. I really should mention the guns or agility. How about: Imagine if Bismarck and Graf Spee loved each other VERY much and.... Probably best I stop right there. Uh, okay, here we go: Imagine a tier VIII Scharnhorst that went to the gym and got super cut. She ends up with slightly improved punch but she tore a few muscles dead-lifting so she can't carry anymore. Bam. Nailed it. PROS Excellent citadel protection with turtle-back armour. Good armour layout -- especially for shrugging off HE shells, including a thick deck, ice-breaker extended waterline belt and strong upper hull protection. Heavy secondary battery with very long range, good rate of fire and excellent penetration values. Decent agility, especially for a high-tier German battleship. Good concealment for a tier VIII battleship (especially for a German one). She combines Bismarck's Hydroacoustic Search with Tirpitz's torpedoes. CONS Tiny hit point pool for a tier VIII battleship (which also reduces the amount she can heal). Poor anti torpedo protection with only a 22% damage reduction. Main battery guns are only 305mm in caliber causing all sorts of problems from poor HE performance, poor AP penetration and limited overmatching ability. Secondaries have wonky fire angles. Forward fire angles on her torpedoes are very limited. How to Acquire Her Before I get into the review proper, it's worth mentioning how you're (supposed to be) able to get this ship. Akin to Puerto Rico, Odin is part of a dockyard event. You complete missions to increase the rate of production of the ship itself with the option of spending money to accelerate construction. Unlike Puerto Rico which could technically (and rarely in practice) be earned for free, Odin has specifically been declared as requiring at least some expenditure of cash (or doubloons) to complete her -- something to the tune of a minimum of 3,500 doubloons. Now I mention all of this because the event hasn't gone live yet and, let's be honest, anything can and will change before the event launches. Don't come crying to me if you get burned from buying the pre-hype wholesale. I'm waiting to see how the event finally shapes up, what bugs are present and what the functional asking price for this ship is. Fairly warned be ye, says I. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / CHALLENGING / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH/ Extreme Odin has a small hit point pool and crappy guns. You're putting that on a ship that ostensibly is made to brawl and handing that to new players? That's a recipe for disaster -- or at the very least, low damage totals if they manage to keep themselves alive or a quick trip back to port if they push too early. This isn't a ship for new players. For veterans, however, there's all sorts of fun shenanigans that can be accomplished with Odin, aside from the obvious brawling. Good ammunition choices, proper commander specialization, use and abuse of her agility and concealment and map knowledge will all go along way to improving your gains with this ship. The question is, though, is it worth the effort? Options Consumables Her Damage Control Party is standard for a German battleship with unlimited charges, a 15s active period and an 80s reset timer. Her Repair Party is also normal. This heals back up to 14% of her health over 28s and starts with four charges. This has an 80s reset timer as well. Convenient! In her third slot you have a choice between a Spotting Aircraft and a Catapult Fighter. The former starts with four charges, lasts 100s with a 240s reset timer. This increases her range by 20% (up to 22.9km) for it's duration. The latter has three charges to start, lasts 60s and has a 90s reset timer. She launches three fighters at a time. And finally, Odin borrows Bismarck's Hydroacoustic Search. This has three charges to start with a 100s active period. It detects torpedoes at 3.5km and ships at 5km. It has a 120s reset timer. Upgrades There's not a whole lot of variety here. Optimally, you're going to want to build for fire mitigation and improved main battery performance. To this end, take Damage Control Systems 1 & 2 and Aiming System Modification 1. But nuts to that. That's not fun. What you should do is take Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1, Secondary Battery Modification 1 and Steering Gears Modification 1 to soup-up Odin's performance for those brawls you want to get into. Optimal? No. Awesome? Hells yeah. I said "soup-up Odin's performance", Potage. Captain Skills So, there's a good argument to be made that Odin, like other German battleships, should simply default to the Standard Battleship Build™. That is to say: Priority Target at tier 1. You can swap this for Incoming Fire Alert, Expert Loader or Preventative Maintenance based on your preferences. Take Adrenaline Rush at tier 2. Next up comes Basics of Survivability at tier 3 to help mitigate fire damage. And cap it off with Fire Prevention at tier 4. This will maximize your fire resistance potential. After that, take what you will. Skills such as Concealment Expert, Superintendent, Expert Marksman and High Alert all being suitably hyped to round out your 19pts. Of course, this is loser-quitter talk and what you really should be doing is building for awesomeness: Both Superintendent and Basic Fire Training are equally awesome. I prefer the former, myself, and this is the build I've been using for Odin. Superintendent gives her a bit more survivability. Camouflage Odin has three available camouflage patterns, Type 10 Odin, Nordic and War Paint. They have identical statistics making them just cosmetic swaps between them. They provide the usual tier VIII bonuses: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -10% to post-battle service costs. +50% experience earned. I like Odin's base camo. When are the Germans going to get an alternate palette swap? ] I'm not a fan of Odin's War Paint camo. But I love her Nordic camo. Firepower Main Battery: Nine 305mm guns in 3x3 turrets in an A-B-X superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Six 150mm guns in 2x3 turrets mounted superfiring over B and X turrets and twelve 128mm guns in 6x2 turrets with three mounted per side. Torpedoes: Eight tubes in 2×4launchers in wing mounted just behind X-turret on the rear deck. The Woes of the Three Oh Fives Let's not mince words. Odin's main battery firepower is trash-tier. This isn't because her guns are "only" 305mm. If 305mm guns were automatically bad, we wouldn't be making the fuss that we do over ships like König Albert, Alaska and Stalingrad. They can be good, gun caliber be damned. It's all a matter of their individual performance parameters at a given tier. In Odin's case, these parameters suck moose-balls. Odin's main battery faults are numerous and I'll go over each. Hits on Target Odin dispersion test while equipped with ASM1. 180 AP shells fired at a Fuso-bot that had no camouflage. Shots were coming in from right to left (Fuso is bow-tanking). Owing to her higher shell velocity, Odin tends to overshoot and undershoot targets more often than American or British battleships despite using the same dispersion formula. This is bog-standard for German battleships. The first hurdle you'll experience with Odin's gunnery is getting enough hits. Now her dispersion isn't terrible -- for a tier VIII battleship it's not only normal, it's fairly decent with her 2.0 sigma value. However, a lack of any improvements to dispersion when stacked with the rest of Odin's woes means that you're not landing the number of hits needed to compensate for the other drawbacks. I could have just as easily griped about her rate of fire for not being better instead. Throughout most of her testing, she reload in 20 seconds instead of the current 23s which helped her put more shells on target through volume of fire (increasing from 23.5 rounds per minute to 27). Either one of these could have been massaged. The simple fact of the matter is that Odin doesn't generate the number of hits needed to be competitive with other tier VIII battleships once all of the other gunnery parameters are considered. AP Penetration & Overmatch Approximate penetration values of the high-tier German battleships. Odin doesn't have the punch necessary with AP rounds to contest battleship belt armour at ranges greater than 12km or so once you account for even slight angling. Belt armour of high-tier battleships easily flirts in excess of 300mm. Alright, so why does she need to get more hits? Well, her low AP penetration is perhaps the biggest problem with Odin's guns. She has similar problems to Scharnhorst in this regard but as a tier VIII ship, there are even fewer overmatch targets. As a German battleship, we can forgive her poor HE shell performance -- the expectation is that her AP shells should compensate for any drawbacks there. In some regards they do -- Odin's AP shell damage is more than sufficient. Even with her 305mm guns caliber and the woes with over matching targets, her AP shells deal almost as much damage as French 340mm weapons. Her overmatch caps out at 21mm -- largely limiting her to destroyers and tier VI and VII cruisers (and the occasional super-light cruiser across all tiers). You can forget about comfortably engaging battleships. She struggles to best battleship belt armour within nominal engagement ranges. It's only in brawls -- where her secondaries are already engaging targets -- when you can expect her to punch through belts without frequent shatters. There are ways around this, of course. You can aim higher and go for upper hull and superstructure hits. I do stress that with Odin's dispersion issues mentioned above that the sheer number of hits made won't equate to the same level of damage as her contemporaries. What's more, she still sees a lot of overpenetrations. She still has 0.033s fuse timers and she still needs 51mm of armour to fuse. So those soft sections of enemy battleships won't necessarily arm or slow down the shells enough to give meatier numbers. This all contributes to further reduces her damage output. It's hard to keep up when you can't land reliable penetrating AP shell hits. As you might expect for a faster-reloading battleship-caliber gun, Odin's AP DPM is decent despite the smaller gun caliber. I do stress here that this is potential damage -- it in no-way represents the actual gun performance, discounting factors such as dispersion, range, firing angles, ballistics, penetration, etc. These are just the theoretical maximums. HE Performance There's a lot of changes coming to the tier VIII meta shortly, though it remains to be seen how these five test ships will finalize. On topic: Odin's HE DPM is kinda terrible. I badmouthed Roma's HE DPM (though granted, that was coupled with her shoddy dispersion) and Odin's damage output is worse than that. No one should be surprised that Odin's HE performance is garbage. It's only her fast reload that creates any semblance of "close to acceptable" damage output and fire setting. Given her poor AP penetration and lack of overmatch, Odin has to reach for her HE shells in spite of this lackluster showing. It's not something you want to spam, mind you -- use them as often as you need to but no more than that. Stacking fires or hoping for big tallies of damage this way just won't happen with some severe hand-holding from RNGeebus (praise be!). It's the disparity between her HE and AP performance which makes her HE shells so unnattractive. An AP overpenetration is worth more than an HE saturated hit -- almost to a 2:1 ratio. Compare: This isn't a problem unique to Odin. The hope is that fires will off-set the damage disparity between the two shells. However, this depends not only upon the chance to actually set a blaze, but also the target that it is set upon. Lighting a destroyer or carrier on fire offers little in the way of damage return where as it's disproportionately more valuable when used against a battleship or large cruiser. Shell choice thus matters greatly and Odin should, whenever possible, lean upon her AP shells instead of her HE. Expert Loader is a very worthwhile skill for this reason -- you want to have the correct ammunition at the ready when opportunity presents itself. I think you'd be hard pressed to call any of the tier VIII battleships "good" fire starters. Nelson and King George V at tier VII really set the bar and Monarch (despite being Famous & Historical) falls short. Once you account for fire resistance and battleship accuracy, these values drop down to about 1/4 to 1/6th of their theoretical averages. Of course, RNGeebus being RNGeebus, lucky volleys can and will change everything (praise be!). All things said, Odin's fire setting isn't terrible but it's certainly not a strength. Overall Feels It's hard to have anything nice to say about these guns. The best I can manage is that some of their parameters are "okay", but there's nothing that stands out as fun or interesting. I honestly prefer Scharnhorst's 283mm guns to Odin's 305mm -- at least Scharnhorst's guns have fast traverse rates and good forward fire angles. Scharnhorst's matchmaking also means she can sometimes see super-squishy tier Vs. Let's talk about Odin's HE for a moment as it sort of encapsulates the issue here -- the improved penetration she gets might have been a plus had she the damage to back it up. But without it, her high HE penetration is just window dressing on more mediocrity. Like her improved rate of fire or meatier-than-they-should-be 305mm AP shells, it just doesn't matter. No other flaw of this ship is as damning as that of her main battery armament. This is where your decision on whether or not to invest in this ship should be made. Stacking reliable damage from Odin's main battery guns is frustrating, especially in the first half of battles where you're trading fire at long range. Her AP shells simply aren't good enough for this and her HE shells only stack damage slowly. Because of these deficiencies, players may be baited into pushing too soon in an effort to make use of her secondaries and torpedoes. This exacerbates the problem of her small hit point pool while simultaneously throwing away her advantages in concealment. In higher tiered games, this will get Odin sunk in a hurry -- players have to accept what little returns their guns can achieve, focusing primarily on softer targets until they can safely begin closing the distance and unleashing her other weapon systems. Odin's forward fire angles on her guns are good and crap on her torpedoes. Her rearward fire angles on her guns are crap and great on her torpedoes. Torpeedus Odin has torpedoes. Evaluating their effectiveness based on early play-testing is difficult. They're easily more potent during this stage as not everyone knows Odin is packing fish. So setting aside the successes during my games (including torpedoing a Kagero, lul), we can look at them more critically by comparing them to those found on Tirpitz. Still, lemme just humble-brag and say that I got to torpedo a LOT of people with Odin during play-testing and it never got old. There are two significant differences between the two ships when it come to their torpedo armaments: Their fire angles. Their survivability. Odin's fire angles on her launchers are pretty terrible. They're limited to launching at 39º off her bow. Rearwards, she's better, needing only a 22º angle off her stern to fire that way (which is amazing), giving her a total launching arc of 119º per side. Tirpitz, by contrast can launch 34º off her bow which is better (not great, but better) but she pays for it with more limited reward launch angles of 33º. This gives the OG German premium a 113º launch window. If you think I'm going to therefore justify Odin's launch angles as "better", you're mistaken. I would much rather have Tirpitiz's launchers based on their firing angles. These ships tend to use their torpedoes offensively rather than defensively, so forward firing angles matter a Hell of a lot more than rearward. So points to Tirpitz here. Odin has to swing herself out more than Tirpitz to squirt off a load which causes all sorts of problems from making her more likely to take damage on the return to simply (and embarrassingly) beaching herself. However, where Odin does get better marks is the survivability of her fish. Individually, the launchers on the two ships are just as squishy, it's merely their position upon the ship that counts here. Having Odin's torpedoes mounted on her stern puts them largely out of harm's way -- they're more likely to be available than Tirpitz's and much less likely to be sniped off. Odin's torpedoes are nice to have, short ranged though they are. They make her an absolute terror in a close-range brawl. Getting that close to her in a battleship is all but a death sentence. Her fish are more awkward to use than Tirpitz's but they're much less likely to get broken beforehand. There's few things as heartbreaking for one of these torpedo-armed battleships than having their torpedo-mounts destroyed when they finally (FINALLY!) get a chance to use them. Secondaries The final piece of Odin's firepower puzzle is her secondaries. I wanted to simply write praise for Odin's secondaries, boasting about their increased range, rate of fire and penetration over Tirpitz's guns, concluded that they were therefor better and been done with it. I was then told by my peers, in so many words, that this would be disingenuous and I should take the time to properly compare Odin's secondaries to the other AI-driven pew-pews. Tirpitz has words regarding my early praise of Odin's secondaries. So let's get into it. The first thing to consider is their raw damage potential. At tier VIII there are six ships which have "good" (or merely goodish) secondaries -- Massachusetts, Bismarck, Tirpitz, Gascogne, Odin and Graf Zeppelin. I'm leaving out Amagi and her clones because, despite having improved accuracy, they are short ranged as all get out and not practical. All of these secondaries put out comparable damage when firing broadside, though the carrier is the hilarious front-runner. However, a more nuanced look changes things when you consider a practical application: There's a few things to keep in mind here. First, Graf Zeppelin and Massachusetts have (much) improved accuracy with their secondaries -- they generate far more hits than their competitors. Second, Inertial Fuse for HE Shell may be necessary to enable these ships to fully maximize their direct damage potential against select targets. Odin doesn't care about that last part, though, so points for that. Odin's secondary firing angles are a bit of a surprise. With all of her 128mm guns mounted flush on the deck, they have limited firing arcs. Her 150mm guns are interrupted by the ship's superstructure and are similarly limited. There's a 20º dead-zone on either side of Odin's prow where only her superfiring 150mm secondary can engage targets. Once you swing out, the majority of her secondaries will begin firing. She is not as well setup for kiting, though. Her butt is a mess though (ew!), with staggered fire angles. Mounted fore and aft, Odin's superfiring 150mm secondaries have limited fire arcs. There's only a small window where all five of her secondary mounts can be brought to bear on a target, and that obviously opens her up to return-fire. It's best just to stick with four on the attack and two when kiting. Odin's secondary fire arcs aren't comfortable. I don't know how much potential damage I've wasted merely because I was sitting bow-in with only my superfiring 150mm gun spitting off the occasional shot. Odin has to angle out at least 20º off her snoot to get a reasonable volume of fire going. This isn't much, but this 40º not-quite-deadzone forward is much more sizeable when you account for manoeuvre, navigation and dodging. This was especially frustrating when dealing with ships in smoke -- having to turn away to begin blasting them with secondaries. All of the other ships fire off with more than a single turret's worth with just a couple of degrees worth of allowance. Still, Odin does have more range than her contemporaries, right? It's not much, really. It's 200m base and 300m when the two ships are fully upgraded with all of the trimmings. Still, it's enough that Odin can almost (ALMOST!) stealth-fire her secondaries in open water, with her surface detection getting as low as 12.02km and her secondaries reaching out to 11.642km. That would have been hilarious had Wargaming accidentally let that happen. Oh well. This is the worst dispersion I got with Odin's secondaries. Most kills occurred within 120 rounds fired (about 40s), so I thought this one would make a more obvious indicator of the total area her shots could stray within. German secondaries are the current runner-up in the secondary effectiveness race. American secondaries, specifically those found on Massachusetts and her descendents, are the current gold-standard. That Massachusetts accomplishes this with only 21mm worth of penetration is testament to just how accurate those weapons are compared to (nearly) everyone else. Against soft skinned targets, it will take Odin twice as long to do comparable damage to Massachusetts. That's not an approximate either. I ran dozens of tests between them and Massachusetts lewds lolibotes two times faster than Odin. The marked difference between them and where Odin claws back a little deserved renown, is with her penetration. Even without Inertial Fuse for HE Shells, she's capable of damaging tier VIII+ battleship hulls with her secondaries without having to wait for RNGeebus to descend from on high (praise be) and gift her with a fire or to disperse one of her shells into their superstructure. This extends also to high-tier cruisers which Massachusetts can only directly damage if she spends the skill points on IFHE. The obvious question is: Are Odin's secondaries better than Massachusetts? Well, no. And that's the wrong question. Are they good enough is more apt. And yes, yes they are. All things told, I rate them better than Tirpitz's secondaries despite being more fussy to use. That extra penetration is just lovely and Tirpitz's 105mm, which form the bulk of her damage output, don't cut the mustard. Odin's secondaries are a reliable workhorse and definitely worth investing into to improve. This goes double given the woes of her main battery firepower. Summary Her secondaries are good. Her torpedoes are nice to have, but they're too short ranged to make regular use out of outside of PVE game modes (and one-on-one Ranked Battles, lul). But at the core, her main battery firepower is a huge let down and it severely compromises all other aspects of this ship. Her secondaries are almost great but they lack accuracy and fire arcs to contend with the current heavyweight champion. Her torpedoes are awkward to use but at least they don't break as often as Tirpitz's. Her main battery firepower is garbage. You can make it work, but you're not going to like it. VERDICT: Your butt belongs to RNGeebus. Praise be, you filthy sinners. Defense Hit Points: 52,800 Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mm extremities, 45mm upper hull & 50mm deck Maximum Citadel Protection: 320mm belt + 105mm to 120mm turtleback + 45mm citadel wall. Torpedo Damage Reduction: 22% There's no getting around it: Odin's base hit point pool sucks when compared to the other tier VIII battleships. However, her theoretical effective health isn't that much lower than Lenin's -- a ship which is considered Tonka-tough™. Apparently there's more to battleship survivability than base hit point totals including such factors as armour, citadel protection, favoured engagement ranges and many more elements besides. Of course, dwelling upon the esoteric doesn't make for a very good sound bite, now does it? Hit Points We may as well start with the poop-storm that is her hit point total. Odin has less than 60,000 hit points. She has a lot less, in fact. She sits at 52,800hp. Let's put some averages up on the board, ignoring reskinned clones: Tier VIII Battleships (excluding Odin): 66,400hp Tier VII Battleships: 60,200hp Tier VI Battleships: 53,800hp (aww, bae-bote's average! ♥) Tier V Battleships: 46,300hp Odin has the hit point totals of a tier VI battleship -- and slightly lower than average for a tier VI battleship at that. Oof. Yes, this is bad. No, it's not the end of the world. There's more to ship survivability than just their hit points after all, though let me be clear, this does put her at a marked disadvantage. A lack of hit points has a couple of trickle-down effects. Her Repair Party's efficiency is tied to her base hit point total -- 14% of her health healed per charge up to a maximum of 16.8% with a flag. Fires and Flooding are also tied to her base hit point total, with the former doing 18% unmitigated and the latter doing 20% unmitigated). The damage done here can be healed back 100% with sufficient charges of her Repair Party. However, the flat damage done by bombs and shells hurts her more than higher-hit point total battleships. 10,000 HE damage done to Odin hurts more than 10,000 HE damage done to Nagato (18.9% of her health versus 15.4% for Nagato). Simply put, fires hurt all battleships equally but being shot does not -- the latter hurts lower health ships more. Thankfully, Odin is pretty well setup to resist shell damage in the first place. Armour & Citadel Protection A very German armour layout. Odin's protection scheme is analogous to (but distinct from) that of the Bismarck-class. This means ice-breaker bows, an extended waterline belt that covers her stern as well, thick upper hull protection and a reinforced deck amidships. Short of her icebreaker bow extending further up, this is about as good as you could ask for in terms tier VIII battleship protection. Her 45mm and 50mm hull sections along with her extended belt will foil many HE shells (pretty much anything that's not a German or British heavy cruiser or throwing battleship-caliber HE). This improved HE protection does make her more vulnerable to AP penetrating hits if they catch her broadside, so bear that in mind. When you look at her citadel defense, it's S-class -- as German as you can get. If you listen closely, you can hear the AP bombs drooling. Compiled from GameModels3D.com. This highlights Odin's turtleback and the two different armour values present. She has 120mm over her forward and rear magazines and 105mm over her machine spaces. This belt of steeply angled armour keeps her largely immune to AP shell citadel hits except from high-penetration shots at very (VERY) long ranges. Also from gamemodels3d.com. Odin has a "hidden" 60mm deck-plate linking the two sides of her icebreaker on both her bow and stern. Even if Yamato, Musashi or Shikishima overmatches her 32mm upper-extremities from range, this plate will prevent the shell from plunging into the 200mm transverse bulkhead of Odin's citadel. Bismarck and Tirpitz both lack this, having only a smaller (and easily overmatched) 20mm plate protecting this area. This isn't a game-changing bonus, but it's nice to have. Mitigation Odin's low hit point total eclipses her otherwise great survivability traits. These include her decent AA power, better-than-average agility and better than average concealment. All of these combined create a ship that honestly has a lot of tanking potential. Still, I shouldn't sugar coat it -- as well equipped as Odin is to control the engagement and shrug off attacks, her low hit point total is always going to be something you have to keep in mind. Exercising her mitigation tools is the best bet you have to giving Odin some carry potential. Use her Hydroacoustic Search to lower the amount of torpedo damage you take per game. Abuse her good concealment to go dark until there are juicier targets to shoot at. Invest in skills and signals to add efficiency to your consumables. And most of all, keep to the second line until it's time to push. It's a lot of work to keep Odin hale and whole. This is probably off-putting for a lot of people but I find it worth while and accessible. Keeping her healthy for the mid-to-late game allows her to pull off all sorts of shenanigans where her protection scheme and mitigation tools really allow her to flex. In the end, she is still a German battleship -- tough as old boots and built to brawl with the best of them. You just have to live long enough to get to that stage where the opportunities are more likely. I am convinced that her hit points are a bit of a red herring when it comes to the flaws of this ship. With a bit of know-how, the woes of her low hit point total can be easily mitigated. You can't say that about the performance of her 305mm guns, however, which are the real source of woe with this ship. The greatest criminal mastermind of our time. VERDICT: Solid armour, nigh-impervious citadel protection (outside of AP bombs) and good damage mitigation but she's still the Viribus Unitis of tier VIII. Agility Top Speed: 30 knots Turning Radius: 790m Rudder Shift Time: 14.1 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 4.4º/s "It's not terrible." - Mouse, June 2020. Odin has better-than-average agility for a tier VIII battleship. However, she's no where close to being a top contender, lacking the straight-line speed (Richelieu, Gascogne), turning radius (So-Daks), rate of turn (Azur Lane's Littorio) or rudder shift time (Vanguard). She's just average or slightly better than average in a few key areas without being horrible where she's found lacking. It's worth mentioning that AL Littorio and Champagne are still works in progress and subject to change. VERDICT: It's not terrible. Anti-Aircraft Defense Flak Bursts: 5 explosions for 1,775 damage per blast at 3.5km to 6km. Long Ranged (up to 6.0km): 88dps at 75% accuracy Medium Ranged (up to 4.0km): 333dps at 75% accuracy Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 109dps at 70% accuracy Screw it. I was going to make a pretty AA graphic but you can have my preliminary notes instead. I had a wth moment and ended up spending a couple of hours chasing down leads. APPARENTLY the Japanese Type 96 25mm AA gun is the most accurate mount out of any battleship AA gun. Look, I'm not the most savvy historionatrix -- scarcely better than the History Channel -- but even I know this is a facepalm. Also, Champagne and Borodino are still works in progress and subject to change. I'm not going to waste too much time here. Take a Catapult Fighter instead of a Spotting Aircraft consumable. If you've upgraded your secondaries, you'll have a bit more bite to your AA guns which should be enough to make a tier VI carrier cry and mildly annoy a tier VIII carrier enough to make them alternate aircraft types they hammer you with to mitigate losses. But don't kid yourself into thinking that this provides anywhere close to "good" AA firepower. She has marginally better defense than Bismarck but she still sits well behind ships like the So-Daks, North Carolina and Kii. VERDICT: Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 15.3km / 12.02km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 9.86km/7.99km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 11.9km Main Battery Firing Range: 19.09km / 22.87km with Spotting Aircraft active Hydroacoustic Search Ranges: 3.5km torpedoes, 5km ship detection. I'm about to heap a whole lot of cautionary praise on Odin's surface detection. Lemme state this fact before I get started: Odin's concealment is nothing special for a battleship; it's simply better than expected. High-tier German battleships are thunder-chunkers with choo-choo thighs. Odin isn't. This opens up the door to actually weaponizing her concealment as some other battleships can and German battleships typically can't. Clear? Cool. Vision control is, in my opinion, the ship's saving grace. Like Roma before her, having good concealment prevents Odin from being an unmitigated disaster of a ship (boy, has my opinion of that ship evolved over time). In particular, it softens the blow of Odin's smaller hit point pool, adding a bit of much needed survivability that she might otherwise lack. Playing up to this concealment advantage will keep this ship alive -- Odin belongs on the second line, playing more like a large cruiser than a true battleship, at least until the end game when she can finally choose to spend her hit points where it will actually matter -- in brawls and securing objectives. Of course, Odin's concealment advantages are easily undone. All it takes is a flanking destroyer or a determined aircraft carrier to undermine her stealth, lighting her up for the enemy team. At least in Randoms you can count on not being the first ship targeted if you're in the second line -- PUBies tend to shoot at whatever is closest rather than what's optimal, so again, I stress -- keep her in the second line, even if her damage output is going to be garbage for a while. Odin's vision control extends beyond playing peek-a-boo whenever she fires her guns from range. Having access to a Hydroacoustic Search is an underrated boon. It is primarily defensive, ostensibly keeping her safe from torpedo hits while it's active. However, I find it much more rewarding to use it offensively to sniff out ships behind cover even if opportunities to do so prove much more rare. This consumable does provide a welcome bit of supporting confidence to aggressively push when the time is right. Finally, like Roma before her, Odin is better equipped to flank and steal shots from an unseen quarter than some other battleships. On my wish list, including a kilometer less surface detection, would be a bit more speed to better take advantage of this ability, but it's good enough. Odin can make good use of islands on top of sneaking through open water to set up ambushes. Unlike her Italian counterpart, she's generally not doing it to put main-battery firepower pressure on the enemy, but rather to safely close and begin using her fish and secondaries. I honestly wish there was more to get excited over about this aspect of Odin. It's a panacea to her durability woes, but a single aircraft carrier will put a fly in that ointment. VERDICT: It's sad when arguably the best thing about the ship is a mediocre showing like this that band-aids other problems. Final Evaluation Odin or Tirpitz? I think that's the big question out there. If you have Tirpitz, why would you want Odin? If you don't have either, which one should you get if you had to choose between the two? Muh History aside, I prefer Odin but I don't think she's better. I admit some of this affection towards Odin is owing to her being new and my rather enjoyable bouts of play-testing. It was a challenge to play Odin well -- to preserve her hit points and then pounce upon the unsuspecting. This probably explains the success I had with Odin. She's so new that the population at large isn't aware of her torpedoes yet. Once they become common knowledge, players will learn to stay away as vehemently as they do from a charging Tirpitz. The shine will come off Odin's star soon enough leaving us with two very similar ships. Is Odin optimal? Hells no. Is Odin better than Tirpitz? Situationally yes. Situationally no. Tirpitz has better firepower, hands down. The overmatch of her 380mm guns is great. Tirpitz is arguably a better top-tier bully too where the deficiencies of her 105mm secondary penetration doesn't matter as much and she can make much more use of her overmatching ability. Odin is no slouch, she just does things a little differently -- playing hit and fade until it's time to stove someone's face in. Despite the deficit in hit points, Odin feels more survivable to me as a veteran player. I don't have to be a damage sponge. The catch, of course, is that her main battery guns suck. Dealing reliable damage outside of a brawl is difficult. And there will be matches where you don't get a chance to wade in and that will show in your results. Frustrations aside, for those who love brawling, it's those matches where you do finally get to sneak up and wade in, where you do get to put torpedoes up someone's nose or rip someone's citadel out at point blank range which makes all of the previous frustrations moot. Bonus points if you use Odin's concealment to set it up. As I mentioned, those games came frequently during play-testing and that's why I enjoyed this ship as much as I did. Was it because Odin is so sneaky or was it simply because people were ignorant of what Odin can do? I think it's both, to be honest. While I do imagine those opportunities will wane somewhat as people get wiser, those opportunities are so worth it. Overall, I think Tirpitz is more consistent, but there's room for Odin in my port. Conclusion Not bad -- a week's turn around time from when Odin's finalization was announced to getting this one out the door. I put a lot of extra work into this one and I hope the quality shows. Thank you to my Patrons on Patreon for their continued support and making these articles possible! ♥
  2. The following is a review of Azur Lane Littorio, the tier VIII Italian battleship. This ship has been provided to me by Wargaming for evaluation purposes -- I did not have to pay for this thing. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this article are current as of patch Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. So first some bias warning: Wargaming has pissed me off with AL Littorio. You're going to see a lot of negativity in this (blessedly short) review. The worst part is that I'm partially muzzled with NDAs on explaining why I'm mad with Wargaming. I have to be very careful here, but I'll tip-toe and disclose as much as I am able. Weeks and weeks ago, I was play-testing the tier VIII Italian Battleship Impero. Impero, like all test ships, was a Work in Progress -- with any and all of her performance characteristics subject to change at Wargaming's whims. She appeared superficially as a clone of Roma, the tier VIII Premium Italian Battleship but she was armed with SAP shells instead of HE Shells, she had improved agility but her reload was three seconds longer. Finally, she had access to an Italian cruiser Exhaust Smoke Generator. While I cannot comment on how she performed, there was nothing out of the ordinary with receiving a test ship with new and novel game play features. What was out of the ordinary was the trio of mistakes Wargaming would make regarding Impero. The Three Blunders MISTAKE THE FIRST: Impero was called "Impero (AL Littorio)" in Wargaming's internal documentation. When I first saw this, the hype was real. I do so enjoy crossovers. But internal documents are internal documents and subject to NDA so I wasn't going to spread this far and wide. "But how is this a mistake?" you ask. Well, dear reader, according to Wargaming, Impero wasn't meant to be labelled such. MISTAKE THE SECOND: Wargaming accidentally leaked a Supertest announcement: So the above oops was unfortunate but it might not have been so bad if it didn't contain this second element. When new ships are issued to testers, Wargaming messages the individual testers. This contains not only the itemized list of everything that has been credited to accounts, but it also provides links where feedback can be submitted. In or around the second week of April, this message (found below) was sent out accidentally to non-testers. Now Wargaming's "typo" was spread far and wide: MISTAKE THE THIRD: Wargaming failed to notify anyone that Impero was not AL Littorio. With the leak, Community Contributors could now discuss the upcoming Azur Lane crossover. While Impero's performance was (and remains) strictly off the table, her name was now tied to Impero's stats because of this leak. If Wargaming intended to separate the association between the two, they missed their early opportunity to do so with clear communication. This is when you start seeing me include AL Littorio instead of Impero in graphs and charts like this one for Odin's review back in early June: The "AL Littorio" is actually what Impero used to do. Impero, as designed during this test phase, doesn't exist anymore. For the current AL Littorio performance, look at Roma on this chart. The only problem, of course, is that Wargaming didn't think to correct all of the "AL Littorio" feedback they were receiving in place of Impero's. Now I stress that what abilities Impero had were all transitory -- Wargaming could change her however they wished, throwing everything out on a whim. But this does not diminish the fact that Impero's performance was tied to the AL Littorio name in the hearts and minds of testers, to say nothing of the attentive members of the community who were following her development through what snippets they could acquire. Divorcing the notion that AL Littorio and Impero were one in the same should have been high up on the priority list, but apparently this miscommunication slipped through the cracks. It wasn't until the official announcement on the Japanese World of Warships / Azur Lane collaboration stream that this fact came to light in the most jarring way possible. Who doesn't love getting important information from a third party source? AL Littorio was not getting Impero's performance. She was just going to be a Roma-clone in almost every respect. Mouse's Mistake So I have found myself the perpetrator of spreading misinformation. What's extra-frustrating is that the new "lack of preview" system the Community Contributor program has in place is meant specifically to mitigate this sort of thing from happening, but it went and happened anyway. While I reported Impero's performance accurately at the time, it was under the label of AL Littorio which is patently false. Let me be crystal clear: AL Littorio is not Impero. AL Littorio does not get Impero's SAP shells instead of HE shells. AL Littorio does not have Impero's 33 second reload. AL Littorio does not have Impero's Exhaust Smoke Generator. AL Littorio does not have Impero's improved agility. AL LITTORIO CLONES ROMA'S IN-GAME PERFORMANCE IN EVERY WAY THAT MATTERS. AL Littorio is a boring ol' clone of Roma in all respects but one: you can't buy a Makoto Kobayashi "Beer Can" camouflage for AL Littorio and received (much) improved economic gains. So... lesson learned: Going forward, I'm not going to include any test-ship data in any of my graphs and charts, pertinent though they may be to the community discussions going on at the time. Hopefully this will nip any of these miscommunication SNAFUs on Wargaming's part in the bud. I hate to leave stuff out but at the same time, it's not worth having my readers misled. For my part in this whole mix-up, I am truly sorry. I cannot properly express how mad I feel. The lack of clear information from Wargaming, the air of deliberately misleading me through withheld information, pisses me off to no end. I feel very much disrespected, especially when it came to light that, according to the game files, Impero is AL Littorio after all. I was jerked around -- there's no other word for it. I wasn't worth communicating to regarding Wargaming's intentions for the project. No one saw fit to make sure that I was being properly informed. They effectively put the onus on me to fact-check them on EVERYTHING they disclose, no matter how inane. To say that my trust in them is horribly shaken would be an understatement. And best of all, they pulled another Graf Zeppelin / German Destroyer swapperoo -- changing everything at the last minute without telling the CCs first. So not only am I very much a part of the whole spreading of misinformation, I wasn't given the opportunity to undo the damage in a timely manner. The NDAs on these ships have only just been lifted with the ships going on sale with the big ol' butt added on that Impero's performance is still off the table. Yay. Now, as I have said, Wargaming is free to change test-ship performance however they like. They MUST be allowed to try out new things. Sometimes this results in some real gems making it to the live client. For example, Haida's success story could not have come to pass without this level of experimentation. However, for every Haida there are ships like Duke of York where the concept gets axed at the eleventh hour, potentially never to see the light of day again (we STILL don't have a ship that matches the original Duke of York's play style). While I suspect the information collected with Impero may end up shaping the Italian battleship line in some shape or form, Impero's test-ship game play isn't replicated in AL Littorio. I must stress that this is only a suspicion that Impero's performance may re-emerge with the Italian tech-tree battleships. I do not begrudge Wargaming's need to change test-ships. However, if they want me to produce content about these ships, they must appreciate that jerking me around does not make for a happy Mouse. Roma in 2020 Roma hasn't changed much since I first reviewed her two and a half years ago. She's a ship I very much want to like but she's held back by two elements that are difficult to overcome. For those unfamiliar with Roma, her performance summarizes to the following PROS and CONS: PROs Dispersed armour layout with thick upper hull, amidships deck armour and an extended belt, all resistant to HE damage. Good gun handling with fast turret traverse. Phenomenal muzzle velocity and energy retention, giving her fast shell flight times over distance. Great AP penetration power over range, especially for guns of her caliber. Good concealment with a 14.9km surface detection range which can be reduced down to 11.7km. CONs Soviet-style high-water citadel. Short ranged for a tier VIII battleship at 18.1km. Horrible dispersion on her main battery guns. Her high-velocity, high-penetration AP shells consistently over-penetrate cruisers. Her 381mm AP shells cannot overmatch 27mm+ hull sections found commonly on many cruisers within her matchmaking. Awful HE performance with low alpha strike, poor fire chance and mediocre module damage. Large turning radius, mediocre ship rotation rate. Roma are AL Littorio are flanking battleships. The idea is that they're able to get into a forward position and hammer the enemy with crossfire. However, this is where those aforementioned problem-elements come in. The first is that their guns are horribly inconsistent. Their gunnery dispersion is just horrid -- behaving just often enough to give you hope that you can land hits on a crucial shot only to troll you when you need them to behave. Out of all of the ships in the game I have so far mapped dispersion for, Roma has the worst I've seen. It's really bad. Adding to this gunnery inconsistency is the double-feature of struggling to land anything but over-penetrating hits on the flat broadside of cruisers. Roma' and AL Littorio's AP shells are simply too fast and have too much penetration -- they punch clean through cruisers rather than exploding within them unless targets are pretty far away (12km to 14km depending on the chubbiness of the ship in question). Finally, her 381mm caliber means that they can't overmatch the 27mm hull sections found on many tier VIII+ cruisers. American and German cruisers that bow in can bounce their AP for days. Their HE shells are terrible so they don't pick up the slack. The second issue is one of being too easily detected. Back when I first reviewed Roma, carriers were largely a non-issue. Now they're commonplace. Assigning "concealment" as a battleship's strength is a bit of a hard sell when aircraft can undo this even accidentally, without actively trying to keep Roma lit. This means taking up forward or flanking positions is a no-go and simply guarantees you'll be focus fired. AL Littorio and Roma aren't without their merits, though. The punch on their guns really is phenomenal. You can reliable citadel most battleships up to maximum range (provided their citadels are exposed and they're giving you a broadside to shoot at). Their armour layout is super tanky, lacking just the full-on ice-breaker bow to make it perfect. Unlike Soviet ships, they're not shackled with horrible surface detection and agility either, so provided no one's looking, they can redeploy effectively. All things told, AL Littorio and Roma are balanced Mehbotes. I just wish their gunnery was more interesting. Final Evaluation So AL Littorio is Roma with an Azur Lane camouflage. She is a worse Roma, as a matter of fact -- as I said, you can't fork out money to get Roma's beer-can camouflage. AL Littorio is only worthwhile if: (a) you want Roma and (b) you don't have Roma and (c) you never intend to buy Roma's Makoto Kobayashi camouflage because you're allergic to fun and pope hats.
  3. The following is a review of Mainz, the tier VIII German light cruiser. This ship was kindly provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes. To the best of my knowledge, the performance and statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch Please be aware that she may change in the future. I can't think about this ship without thinking of dseehafer, one of the players and forumites from the North American server. I knew dseehafer from his "Know the Difference" series of articles. My grasp of the history surrounding these ships has always been shaky so I gravitated towards people in the know, particularly those who can present such information in a fun way. I always looked forward to one of his comparisons and history blurbs. Like many of us obsessed with this game, he proposed possible candidates for future vessels in World of Warships. One of his proposals was this very ship -- an Admiral Hipper-class cruiser with 150mm guns. This was the first I became aware of the possibility and it seemed like a wonderful idea. Like many of you, I've been annoying Wargaming about it off and on over the years. Regardless of how it came to be in World of Warships, to me this is dseehafer's ship. He passed away almost two years ago today. I hope he would have enjoyed Mainz. I wish he was still around to be able to tell me everything that's wrong about it. This review is dedicated to his memory. PROS Her citadel protection is very trollish at medium-to-close ranges. Good main battery firing range of 17.5km. Awesome guns with high DPM and HE penetration. Heavy, fast-loading torpedo armament. Impressive levels of AA firepower. German Hydroacoustic Search. Doesn't require a deep commander-skill build to make her effective. CONS Light cruiser armour instead of mirroring Admiral Hipper & Prinz Eugen's structural plate. Bad fire angles on her main battery guns, especially rearward. Short torpedo range. Slow and clumsy. Stonkin' huge and visible for miles. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging/ Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH/ Extreme Mainz is easy to play: Hold down your left mouse button and hoover up massive amounts of damage. Her HE spam and fire setting are both top shelf. I'd rate her as "simple" if it wasn't so hard to keep her alive. Novice players will get themselves killed pretty quickly if they're not careful. For veterans, the combination of her poor agility, enormous surface detection and squishy outer armour holds her back. This ship is on the cusp of greatness if she had just a little bit more armour or heals or something. Still, she can pull off some pretty amazing things provided your opponents are idiots. But that's not a caveat you want to count upon. Options It's kind of refreshing to see a no-nonsense ship like Mainz. Consumables Nothing out of the ordinary here except for the usual German-cruiser hydro bonus. Mainz's Damage Control Party is standard for a cruiser with unlimited charges, a 5s active period and a 90s/60s reset timer. Her second slot provides you with a choice between two consumables: Her Hydroacoustic Search is the improved German-cruiser version. This comes with two charges base, a 120s active period (as opposed to 100s for most cruisers) and a 180s/120s reset timer. Her detection ranges are also improved: 4.0km for torpedoes (instead of 3.5km) and 6km for ships (instead of 5km) . Alternatively you can swap for Defensive AA Fire. This comes with two charges base with a 40s active period and a 120s/80s reset timer. This provides the usual 50% increase to sustained DPS and 300% increase to flak explosion damage. Finally, Mainz has a Catapult Fighter. This comes with two charges base with the fighters patrolling for 60s with a 135s/90s reset timer. She deploys a squadron of three planes. Upgrades This is all pretty standard fare for a cruiser. Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. There's a lot of choice in your second slot, but it's really a matter of being able to afford what's best: Get Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 from the Armory. This will set you back 17,000 Coal . This will lock your consumable choice in, but it's a good choice. Heck, it's the best choice right now Defensive AA Fire just isn't what it used to be and increasing Mainz's Hydroacoustic Search run time from 120s to 144s is wonderful. If you can't (or won't) take the hydro-mod, then you have the choice between Engine Room Protection and Damage Control System Modification 1. Neither are going to rock your socks, with the former taking a bit of strain off your Damage Control Party (not that it's especially taxed) and the latter providing a bit of damage-over-time mitigation. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is really the only upgrade worth considering in slot three, I'm sorry to say. For slot four, you're making a choice between two different play styles. If you're intending to make use of island cover, then Propulsion Modification 1 (that rename is throwing me off) is your best bet to give that all important improved acceleration from a dead stop to better duck in and out of cover. If you're more intent on firing from open water, then grab Steering Gears Modification 1 (ugh, rename) instead to reduce her rudder shift time. There's a similar choice to be presented in slot five. Concealment System Modification 1 is still too good to pass up. Increased stealth and increased dispersion from enemy fire? Yeah, it's hard to say no. Even for a thunderchunking tuba-soloist like Mainz, this is still a good investment. If you're feeling brave and want to double-down on that open-water firing, then you can opt for Steering Gears Modification 2 (ugh, rename!). Commander Skills Mainz doesn't require a deep skill build in order to make her effective. This means she's far more forgiving of a captain trainer than many other premiums out there. This makes her an ideal ship for leveling up the captains of your heavy cruisers and battleships. I've circled what are arguably the most effective skills for Mainz in this graphic though your own mileage may vary. For your first 10pts, I would go with Priority Target (1pt), Adrenaline Rush (2pts), Demolition Expert (3pts) and Concealment Expert (4pts), but you have some wiggle room here and there. The only real "must haves" in my opinion are Adrenaline Rush, Demolition Expert and some kind of skill to provide warning of incoming fire, be it Priority Target or Incoming Fire Alert, based upon your preferences. Camouflage Mainz comes with Type 10 Camouflage, providing the usual bonuses: A 3% reduction in surface detection ranges. A 4% increase to the dispersion of enemy gunfire. A 10% reduction to post-battle service costs. A 50% increase to experience earned. Alternative camouflage not found. Firepower Main Battery: Twelve 150mm L/60 guns in 4x3 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Twelve 105mm L/65 guns in 6x2 turrets with three turrets per side. Torpedoes: 4x4 launchers with two per side straddling the fore and aft superstructures. Mainz's main battery guns are hella awesome. They're the same 150mm/L65 guns found on Nurnberg and Mainz boasts twelve of them. They have three primary strengths which makes them so competitive: They are long ranged. They have an excellent rate of fire. They have phenomenal HE base penetration values. Range Shell flight times for the tier VIII Light Cruisers. Mainz's ballistics are comparable to Mogami 155mm which isn't terrible. Let's start with the simplest element to grasp: Mainz's range. Her 17.5km reach is very comfortable, above the 16.6km average for cruisers of her tier. Range keeps cruisers alive -- it allows them to stand off further away and thus gives them more time to respond to threats and make better use of what concealment they have. To Mainz's benefit, her ballistics allow her to capitalize on said range, with reasonably comfortable gunnery up to about 15km. At the extremes of her range, she has as much as a 12.5s lead time which largely precludes her from bombarding all but the most predictably moving vessels. Still, Mainz won't be lacking for targets like this in higher tiered matches. Furthemore, at these longer ranges, her gun arcs allow her to better capitalize on island cover which will also help keep her alive. Rate of Fire That's a lotta damage. Mainz's targets better have Flex Seal™ on hand. Mainz's guns reload in six seconds; that's hella fast. Mainz easily keeps up with the other light-cruisers in terms of fire setting and damage output, even with her anemic HE shells. When opportunities present themselves for her to make use of her AP rounds, she can really punch hard. These changes aren't commonplace but capitalizing upon them makes all of the difference. But it's Mainz's HE shells that are the real superstars thanks to the changes from patch 0.9.2. I had it in my head that Mainz's AP penetration was terrible, but it's reasonably comparable to everything that's not Soviet. The big thing to keep in mind is that Mainz doesn't have any improved auto-ricochet angles, so you're only really going to get to make use of her AP when you've got some reasonably flat surfaces to shoot at. You can pull this off, even at range, provided you aim for the squishy bits. Penetration values are approximate (like, really approximate) and drawn from proships.ru. Increased HE Penetration Not a whole lot changed for Mainz during testing. It's unfortunate, but she brushes with greatness -- with IFHE she's not quite able to reach the necessary 50mm worth of penetration to make her HE shells the scourge of any Soviet battleship she might face. It's worth keeping in mind that Mainz is capable of doing now what Bayard did previously. Right out of the box, Mainz has 38mm worth of HE penetration. This is enough to directly damage the structural armour (bow/stern) of any ship she comes across. In addition, it allows her to penetrate the upper hull and decks of tier VIII+ American battleships. But there's more to it than that. Mainz doesn't have to choose between direct damage and setting fires. Most other light cruisers are shackled to using Inertial Fuse for HE Shells in order to get similar levels of penetration. Furthermore, taking this skill cuts their fire setting chance in half, forcing them to choose their style of play. Mainz, on the other hand, gets it all. What's more, she gets it for free. The significance of this can't be understated. Mainz keeps old-timey, pre-0.9.2 light-cruiser fire setting capabilities and damage output, all in one. In practice, this makes her one of the better potential damage dealers out there while simultaneously not requiring a deep commander skill-build in order to be at her most effective. In short: Mainz spits out a lot of shells, over long range and most of what those shells will hit will take damage from them and be set ablaze. Because Mainz isn't slaved to the IFHE skill, she's likely to set more fires than other tier VIII light cruisers without compromising her direct damage with HE. She might not rival the raw fire setting potential of ships like Bayard and the Clevelands, but they're likely to slash their fire setting in half in order to gain the ability to hammer battleships directly with their HE spam, giving Mainz the lead. The Party Pooper You have to expose a lot of broadside to bring all of Mainz's guns on target, especially when she's kiting away. Mainz doesn't have everything going her way. First and foremost, her hull is less than ideal. I'll get into more of that in the later sections, but you'll see what I mean. Sticking to just firepower elements, Mainz has poor gunnery fire arcs and modest-to-slow gun traverse. In short, her gun-handling kinda sucks. It's not on catastrophic Vanguard-levels of restricted fire lanes nor Queen Elizabeth sluggish gun-traverse, but neither element is ideal, so I think it worth mentioning. Furthermore, though her torpedo armament is heavy, her reload times fast and their fire arcs good, at a mere 6km range they are hard to use. They're nothing more than weapons of desperation. You're only going to make effective use of them when your opponent screws up. Her individual fish don't hit especially hard either, so you'll need multiple hits to put anything down. Neither of these would make me damn the armament had they been mounted on a ship capable of surviving in brawling ranges outside of co-op but this isn't that ship. Those are some pretty scrumptious fire arcs. Summary Mainz's guns are amazing. Effectively she gets Inertial Fuse for HE Shells for free without having to pay the price for reduced fire setting. Her gun handling and the ship upon which the guns are mounted are less than ideal. They're not terrible, but these are great guns mounted on a meh hull. Mainz's torpedoes are too short ranged to use outside of brawling situations, which she is not built for. Verdict: The guns sell this ship. Seriously, this is the high water mark. If they haven't wowed you, stay away. Defense Hit Points: 42,500 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 25mm/13mm/25mm/27mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 25mm outer hull + 80mm belt + 40mm turtleback Torpedo Damage Reduction: 22% Sorry, gang. She gets a light cruiser's armour profile -- not the one found on Prinz Eugen and Admiral Hipper which transforms all of those external 25mm plates to 27mm. Note that Mainz has an Admiral Hipper-style extended waterline belt and not the shortened version like Prinz Eugen. So that's nice. I had very high hopes for Mainz's defenses but she disappoints me. Let me preface this inevitable gripe-fest by saying that her defense is completely acceptable for a tier VIII light cruiser. In fact, she's the best protected tier VIII light cruiser, bar none -- that's even accounting for Edinburgh's portable dry-dock Repair Party. She has good citadel protection with effectively 145mm worth of armour at various angles to keep AP shells out of her machine spaces & magazines. The flatter the AP trajectory, the more effective Mainz's citadel protection becomes. She combines this with good anti-torpedo defenses and a reasonable chunk of hit points. Let me make this clear before I go off on a tangent: Mainz's defense is perfectly acceptable for a light cruiser and has some obvious good points. Got it? Good. Now let me get my rant on: Wargaming missed an obvious opportunity to give Mainz German Heavy Cruiser structural armour. With the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells rework with patch 0.9.2, Wargaming adopted a series of standardized armour values for cruisers. One of the effects of this was to subtly differentiate heavy cruisers from light cruisers, giving the former overall slightly better protection. This is especially pronounced in tier VIII+ German and American heavy cruisers who enjoy the vaunted 27mm bow and stern armour sections. This allows them the chance, when properly angled, to auto-ricochet 381mm AP shells that are so commonplace within their matchmaking. This 27mm armour threshold allows these cruisers to make the occasional bold play against select battleship opponents, engaging in close-range brawls and clinching key encounters. Mainz obviously missed out on this or I wouldn't be whining like a destroyer that just got cuddled 2 minutes into a match by a Midway. Had she been given the same treatment as the other Admiral Hipper-class cruisers, the entirety of her outer hull (less her superstructure) would have enjoyed a homogeneous 27mm armour thickness. While this doesn't guarantee ricochets, it does open up the door for some very interesting possibilities. Brawling possibilities. And I love brawling. With only her amidships deck reaching 27mm, Mainz feels very soft-skinned -- not only against battleship AP shells but also against destroyer-caliber HE shells. While it would have broken with the armour standards set with patch 0.9.2, I think it would have been an easy quirk to differentiate Mainz and make her appeal to expert players. Her lack of a Repair Party coupled with her enormous surface detection range and low top speed were always going to be liabilities that reigned her in. During my playtesting of Mainz, I kept getting surprised that she didn't have the same armour profile as Prinz Eugen and Admiral Hipper -- it seemed like such a natural fit. I'm very sorry to see this potential gimmick didn't make the cut. I just wanted to drive myself closer and hit things with my sword. At 42,500hp, Mainz has just as much HP as Cheshire but without access to a heal or heavy cruiser exterior armour plate. Rule Britiannia! Mainz has a heavy cruiser's health pool and citadel protection but a light cruiser's structural plate. Verdict: Pretty good for a tier VIII light cruiser, which unfortunately means it's terrible when you consider its overall effectiveness. The best you can hope for is to troll some AP fire that tries to citadel you, but that's really it. Agility Top Speed: 32.0kts Turning Radius: 720m Rudder Shift Time: 10.5s 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 5.5º/s There's really nothing but bad news here. It's not tragic news, mind you. Mainz is slow and most of her problems stem from this lack of speed. 32 knots is downright pedestrian for a high-tier cruiser and it has a trickle down effect. Because of this low top speed, her rate of turn suffers. Similarly, there's not as much variance in her forward momentum when she adjusts her throttle settings, making it harder (but not impossible) to dodge incoming fire with extreme-ultra-super-late-braking. Her rudder shift time is slow too, so that adds to the difficulties of dodging. Thankfully she has a decent main battery gun range, so at least she can use that to assist with avoiding incoming fire. Similarly, her Hydroacoustic Search should trivialize avoiding most torpedo salvos, providing ample warning. Given her love of island-camping, Propulsion Modification 2 is highly recommended to provide more grunt to her engines from a dead stop. This will facilitate making best use of the islands as well as dodging incoming attacks when targeted by guns or fish. Mainz wins no prizes here. She does not have a high top speed. She does not have a good rudder shift time. Her turning circle radius is only average and her rate of turn is generally slow. Boooooo. Mainz scores on the average-to-poor side of things for agility. All of her problems stem from her 32 knot top speed. Verdict: Mainz is too slow to be effective here. Anti-Aircraft Defense Flak Bursts: 6 explosions for 1,400 damage per blast Long Ranged (up to 5.2km): 119dps at 90% accuracy Medium Ranged (up to 3.5km): 319dps at 90% accuracy Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 147dps at 85% accuracy It's simultaneously awesome and infuriating that Mainz's AA power is so good. On the one hand, she has some of the best AA at her tier, which is really saying something. On the other hand, AA mechanics are terrible, clunky and boring, which is really saying something else. Mainz's AA defense is comparable to that of Baltimore, barring the disparity of range on her long range batteries. She easily dominates both Admiral Hipper and Prinz Eugen in terms of AA defense. The flip side of this is that it means almost nothing. While Mainz is capable of making attacks against herself costly to same and lower-tiered carriers, only a damn fool would think her immune to CV predation. Even with her formidable defenses, the best you can hope is that Mainz appears to be a less appealing target than other ships on your team. Good luck with that. It's for this reason that I don't recommend using Defensive AA Fire. It simply doesn't matter. Mainz's Catapult Fighter serves as warning enough for enemy CVs that coming near will be expensive and that should suffice to keep them away, at least on the short term. With apologies to the colour blind. This graph is the most time-consuming and least-effective at communicating data of all of the graphics I've made for this review. I'm still trying to figure out how to illustrate range and firepower more clearly. I have some ideas but I don't want to spend a day just working on it, especially for a system that really doesn't amount to much in the current meta. Oh well, at least the colours are pretty. I've stacked these ships in order of "effective AA firepower" -- namely an arbitrary way of weighting longer-ranged firepower as being more valuable than shorter-ranged AA. This graph doesn't take Defensive AA fire into account, nor AA gun accuracy or explosion damage. Still, with all of that said, Mainz's AA firepower is hella respectable. Would that this meant anything... Verdict: Bloody respectable for as much as that's worth. Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 15.3km/12.02km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 7.5km/6.08km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 8.41km Main Battery Firing Range: 17.52km Let's recap: Mainz's guns are great. Her torpedoes are meh but at least she gets a lot of them and they reload quickly. If you can get in close, you can really ruin someone's day. Her protection scheme has some trollish parts to her citadel defense. She's otherwise pretty squishy, so good luck with using those aforementioned fish. She's slow and that hurts her overall agility. Her AA power is pretty damn good but that doesn't matter. So we have a soft, slow but reasonably hard hitting cruiser on our hands. The final question is: Can Mainz fight effectively in open water? If she silences her guns, can she sneak into positions to make best use of her guns, torpedoes and cover? The answer is: very no. Mainz's surface detection is horrible -- it's actually the worst among the cruisers at tier VIII currently. It's still ahead of most of the battleships at tier VIII, so that's something, I guess, though Roma can sneak up on you. Still, her surface detection isn't doing the ship any favours and it largely limits her play-style to island humping if she wants to be effective. If she's not hugging an island, Mainz has to stay way at the back so that her modest wiggle gives her even a chance at dodging potential battleship attention. Even then, during playtesting I was loathe to chance it. She's just too sluggish to dodge effectively. It was only against the most novice battleship or heavy cruiser gunnery that I felt Mainz stood a chance of throwing off their aim. The only redeeming factor Mainz is her German Hydroacoustic Search. Sadly, this has less value on Mainz than it does on other German cruisers. She doesn't have the concealment or the armour profile to risk being up on the front lines. You'll have to leave sniffing out destroyers to other ships if there's any enemy support even vaguely present. Verdict: Hella poor. Her Hydroacoustic Searchi is really good, but the opportunities to use it offensively are limited to your opponents being really stupid or just-plain blind. Final Evaluation Remember how much of a fuss was made over Bayard's firepower when she was released back in July of 2019? Mainz is on that level and, what's more, she survived patch 0.9.2 intact. That can't be said about any other light cruiser short of Mogami 155mm. Now this doesn't make Mainz "the new Bayard" -- not by a long shot. Frankly, there's a lot about Mainz that sucks. My bias is to nay-say her agility most of all; that's certainly the area where she differs most from the French demon. I'm still pretty miffed by her armour profile. Without armour, speed is king and Mainz just doesn't have it. Troll citadel protection at point blank range is nice and all, but it's so seldom going to come into play -- not when everything else thrown at her can penetrate (HE) or overmatch (large caliber AP). I don't have anywhere near the confidence in Mainz's ability to dodge in open water as I did with faster ships. The challenge with Mainz comes down to keeping her in the game long enough to make the theoretical potential of her weapons count. I don't feel that this is something many players will find easy in Random or more competitive battles, though it's dirt-simple in PVE modes. Veterans of Light Cruisers, particularly American ones, will have a better time of it -- just pull up your laundry list of workable islands and go from there. More power to you if you can wiggle and dodge to make open water play viable -- it wasn't something I had success with but maybe others can pull it off. Again, in theory, if you can make this work her potential jumps up tremendously and she'll rival what Bayard was one capable of performing. I honestly hope I'm making mountains out of molehills in regards to Mainz's drawbacks. I want this ship to be good and better than I perceive her currently. That's probably blinding me to the overall potential of this vessel. So take what I've said with a big ol' heaping tablespoon of salt. This is dseehafer's ship and I want it to be a good one. Conclusion March can suck it. World of Warships wise, my first couple of weeks was dominated by finishing London and prepping Cheshire. When patch 0.9.2 dropped and Cheshire was sidelined. All of my focus shifted to answering questions about IFHE. Then Wargaming announced to us Community Contributors that Mainz would be releasing April 1st and Cheshire's review again was pushed back in order to try and get this review out in a timely manner. This was annoying because that review is almost finished. Wargaming has changed the focus of the Community Contributor program away from providing previews of in-development ships and towards vessels as they're released. I'm shifting priorities to try and keep up immediately with the release schedule like I did in years previous. It's going to force a few changes in my review backlog, but hopefully it will ensure that going forward, anything new that comes out will have an article out almost as soon as they're released. That is, of course, barring the challenges of self-isolation. Please look after yourselves and your loved ones. Listen to medical professionals and do what they recommend as much as you can. May April be safe and uneventful, pun 100% intended.
  4. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Roma

    The following is a review of Roma, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. As far as I am aware, this is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of January 12th, 2018. However, things may change before release. 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. Quick Summary: A fast, sneaky battleship with excellent gun handling on its nine 381mm rifles. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing. Patch & Date Written: Patch to January 1st through 12th, 2018. PROs Has an extended belt which reaches halfway up the prow. Excellent gun handling with fast turret traverse. Phenomenal muzzle velocity and energy retention, giving her fast shell flight times over distance. Great AP penetration power over range. Good concealment with a 14.9km surface detection range which can be reduced down to 11.2km. CONs Citadel sits well above the waterline. Short ranged for a tier VIII battleship at 18.1km. Her guns misbehave, with poor dispersion values, overmatch problems and overpenetration after overpenetration. Awful HE performance with low alpha strike, poor fire chance and mediocre module damage. Anti-aircraft firepower is short ranged with only modest DPS. Large turning radius, mediocre ship rotation rate. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme The ease of her game play is facilitated by her excellent gun handling and good concealment values which will make her more forgiving to novice players. However, her raised citadel and gun accuracy will cause them problems. The combination of high concealment, speed and firepower will be of interest to Veterans and the power of these traits must not be overlooked. Roma's citadel and her smaller-caliber AP shells will hold her back from being a true monster, though. Roma is not a complicated battleship to play. She has no gimmicks to espouse. The summation of her various traits is as follows, with a more thorough breakdown found below in the larger sections. GARBAGE - One of, if not the worst at its tier. This is a pronounced weakness. MEH - Middle of the pack at its tier. Not terrible, but not terribly good either.GUD - Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer.BEST - No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship. Roma is no up-scaled Giulio Cesare. Her guns are average and she has mediocre durability and agility. She has no gimmicks to speak of. The only thing she does well is hide and her AA power is hot garbage With all of these disparate traits, she probably doesn't look very appealing. So how the heck did I reach a "Gudbote" conclusion? Well, let's look into that... Options Like the Japanese premium battleships Kii and Ashitaka, Roma is receiving a special camouflage designed by Makoto Kobayashi. This is not just a skin, but a full on geometry change for the ship, including the infamous "beer can" where her rangefinders would be. It will likely be available through the larger bundle packages when you buy the ship through the online store. Consumables: Roma's Damage Control Party is standard for a non-American / Japanese battleship with a 15s active period and a 120s / 80s reset timer depending on which version you purchase. Her Repair Party is also standard, healing back 14% of her maximum health over 28s. Finally, her Spotter Aircraft is normal. You can swap this out for a Float Plane Fighter which provides 57 DPS and boasts 1,590hp. She has higher DPS than Japanese or American float plane fighters and more hit points than Japanese, American or British fighters. Premium Camouflage: There are two available: The default, Standard Type 10 camouflage provides 50% bonus experience gains, a 10% reduction to maintenance costs, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. The Makoto Kobayashi - Roma 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. When I first saw this alternative camouflage scheme, I thought it looked ridiculous. However it has really grown on me. The amount of small detail is spectacular. Plus, it looks like Roma is wearing a hat. I like it when not-people things wear hats. Ergo, I like this camo. Module Upgrades: Five slots, standard battleship options. In your first slot, take Main Armaments Modification 1. Next, take Damage Control Modification 1. In your third slot, Aiming Systems Modification 1 is optimal. It's not worth trying to upgrade her AA Guns or Secondaries. Damage Control Modification 2 is optimal for her fourth slot. You may be tempted to take Steering Gears Modification 2 but this will not significantly improve her agility . Finally, take Concealment Modification 1 in your final slot. This will reduce her surface detection down to 13.04km with camouflage before Commander Skills or 11.22km with camouflage and Concealment Expert Firepower Primary Battery: Nine 381mm rifles in three turrets in an A-B-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Twelve 152mm rifles in four turrets, Twelve dual-purpose 90mm rifles in single turrets. Roma's main battery guns will deceive you. You're going to imagine them as being far more effective than they truly are. The deceptive veil she'll cast over your eyes has three layers; namely gun handling, shell flight time and penetration. They will cloud your vision and make you less aware of two flaws -- one minor but one pronounced -- the latter of which has the potential to greatly sour your enjoyment of this ship, no matter how comfortable her earlier lies may have felt. Beautiful Lie #1: Gun Handling The first beauty-mark you'll note is Roma's turret traverse rate and she may win you over with just this aspect. Her gun handling is simply gorgeous with her turrets rotating at 6º per second (a mere 30 seconds for 180º). This is 50% faster than the 4º per second rotation of ships like Kii, North Carolina and Monarch and a whole degree per second faster than Bismarck and Tirpitz. Thanks to this, laying her guns on target is a breeze and there's no chance of her aim slipping off target even while under heavy manoeuvres. In brawls, Roma can easily track enemies even on close approaches. Her forward fire angles are similarly wonderful. They almost hit the highly sought after (but so seldom realized) 30º-off-the-bow benchmark which defines truly excellent fire arcs. Her X-turret can engage enemies 31º off her forward centerline, allowing Roma to take very aggressive bow-on attack angles and necessitating only the slightest touches of a rudder to unload all nine guns. In short, Roma's gun handling is fun. You will never feel like you're fighting with this ship to bring your weapons to bear. Beautiful Lie #2: Shell Flight Time Roma has one of the fastest muzzle velocities of any tier VIII battleship, making gunnery a delight. What's more, her shells preserve this energy beautifully over distance which in turn leads to lower shell flight times. She can put a shell out to 10km in less than five seconds and one out to 15km in less then eight. This is something which Bismarck, Amagi, Monarch and North Carolina cannot boast. In the time it takes North Carolina to throw a shell out to 17km, Roma can bullseye a target at 20km. Her short lead times greatly cuts into the reaction time enemy ships have to evade your shells, even at range. Beautiful Lie #3: Penetration The high velocity of Roma's shells translates to great kinetic energy. It's the preservation of said energy over distance which makes Roma's penetration values so frightening. She doesn't have the same raw penetration power at point blank ranges of the Japanese 410mm shells. However, at ranges greater than 10km, Roma takes primacy, outstripping every other battleship with her energy retention. She has comparable and better penetration at 20km than Bismarck and Monarch (respectively) have at 15km. Roma is thus a threat at all ranges, capable of stacking damage even against thick hided battleships within reach of her weapons. These three traits will deceive you into thinking she's well set up to land damaging hits against enemy vessels. Her guns can snap onto a target quickly. Her muzzle velocity makes leading said targets easy, allowing you to catch targets before they're able to dodge or angle. Her penetration power all but guarantees that any hits you land will be damaging ones. That's all well and fine in theory, but in practice, problems arise. Roma boasts good fire arcs forward thanks to the excellent sweep of her X-turret. Her rearward arcs are terrible, forcing you to expose far too much of your broadside. Anytime you fire to your rear, you risk taking catastrophic damage. Harsh Truths No one can take away the awesomeness that is Roma's turret traverse rate and shell flight time. Let me be clear: few battleships have as smooth and comfortable a rotation and short lead times of their main battery as this Italian beauty. However, not everything about her guns lends to good performance. Roma's fire angles are the first let down. It's true, her forward fire angles are wonderful. However, rearward, it's a completely different story. Firing from A or B turret while on the retreat will get you sunk in a hurry. This isn't a problem unique to Roma, but few battleships can be punished as readily as Roma when they over angle due to her high water citadel (more on that later). I've found it preferable to use (and abuse) Roma's concealment if forced to retreat. At close range, her high muzzle velocity can also be a detriment. With the standard 0.033s fuse timer, Roma's shells risk blowing clean through more lightly armoured cruisers, especially at short ranges. To test this, I used a Reference-Omaha™ and found that Roma must be at least 13.3km out in order to land citadel hits on a target showing her flat broadside, provided the shells didn't strike water first. North Carolina can manage the same at 5.0km, owing to her lower muzzle velocity and steeper angle of her shell fall. This is a problem that extends beyond Reference-Omaha™ and it can be infuriating to catch a cruiser broadside with perfectly aimed (and dispersing) AP shells only to watch them all over penetrate a Chapayev or Edinburgh. Being unable to overmatch the bows of select cruisers just exacerbates matters. This leads me to stare down the problems Roma has with AP penetration with her 381mm rifles. She cannot overmatch the 27mm extremities found on many heavy cruisers at tier VIII+. It's surprising how much of an issue this causes. A properly angled American or Japanese heavy cruiser can simply bounce her AP shells for days with the appropriate stance. When combined with the fuse problems mentioned above, Roma must juggle different optimal fire ranges when engaging different targets. To penetrate small, lightly armoured vessels like Nurnberg-class, French or Royal Navy light cruisers you need distance. You may have to wait until the target angles slightly before sending your shells off. For tier VIII+ heavy cruisers, you need to catch them broadside or risk seeing your volleys bounce ineffectively. Roma's dispersion with Aiming Systems Modification 1 installed. 180 shells fired, salvo by salvo at 15km, locked onto a stationary Fuso. One of Roma's more pronounced gunnery weaknesses is her poor dispersion. This isn't so much a trait of her 1.8 sigma, but more of her long vertical dispersion axis which you can see here causing tremendous levels of overshooting and undershooting the target by a whole ship length to either side. This is approximately 50% larger than comparable area of battleship Alabama and Massachusetts which cannot mount any dispersion modification. The Big Fail: Dispersion and HE. Roma's most telling flaw with her guns is her dispersion. The Italian battleships of the Regia Marina use German dispersion patterns. In this regard, Roma's gunnery is most akin to Bismarck with one extra gun barrel and 4 seconds longer on her reload. The high velocity of her guns causes many shots to land long or short. Couple this with the wider base horizontal dispersion than any other battleship group in the game, and Roma's German dispersion leads to a lot of wonky shell groupings. It's not like Roma can simply reach for HE and solve her penetration issues either. Roma's HE shells deal a low amount of damage at 5,100 maximum per shell. That's 1,683 per penetrating hit and 852 damage per saturated penetrating hit. These values do not compare well to the 1,200 damage done by one of Roma's over penetrating AP shells. Her fire chance is abysmal at a mere 24%. She doesn't even have an especially large module-damage radius. For all this lackluster performance, she doesn't even get to enjoy the German bonus HE penetration. You largely want to avoid having to resort to these shells unless circumstance deem it necessary. Relying on Roma's HE shells too often will see her damage potential plummet. In summary Roma's gunnery is inconsistent -- more so than many other battleships. While it is easy to bring her guns on target with her fast traverse and anticipate their manoeuvres with her high muzzle velocity, Roma is unreliable at landing solid, damaging hits. This is very frustrating for a ship where the gunnery otherwise feels very comfortable. Her dispersion forces you suffer the whims of RNG. Even when you line up the perfect shot, over penetrations and ricochets will abound and her HE shells are downright anemic. Roma has two secondary gun types and neither is effective. They lack range, with a 5.0km base reach. In addition, one mount does not fire fast enough and the other is too small in caliber. The most dramatic of the pair are her 152mm rifles, mounted in triple gun turrets, two per side flanking B and X turret respectively. They are incredibly slow firing with a horrendous 12.0 second reload and they use AP ammunition. The best thing that could be said about this particular mount is that the muzzle blast is enormous and your opponents may mistake it for you firing your main battery guns in a brawl and expose their sides, thinking themselves safe to fire back. Roma's 90mm guns fire much more quickly with a 4.0s reload. Though they fire HE, their fire chance isn't particularly good. What's more, their small gun caliber makes them ineffective at dealing direct damage enemy ships. Even most destroyers in her matchmaking spread can boast enough armour to foil the penetration value of her HE shells. Short of peppering superstructures, these guns aren't going to do much in the way of direct damage themselves. Taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells will increase her penetration enough to allow her to directly damage destroyers and some light cruisers with these guns, but that's a heavy investment for questionable gains. In general, it is not worth sinking upgrades, consumables or skills into Roma's secondaries. Conclusions It's hard to call any of Roma's weapon systems "good". Roma's 381mm guns do not enjoy the rate of fire bonus found on Monarch, Tirpitz and Bismarck. Maybe if she had that phenomenal rate of fire or some accuracy tweak, I could shower them with praise with good conscience. However, with a piss-poor HE shell and forgettable secondaries, Roma is reliant upon her main battery AP shells to carry the day. Fortunately, they're sufficient to the task. And maybe that's the best way to define Roma's AP gunnery: It's comfortable and it's sufficient. She won't win any prizes but she'll hold her own. Summary: Roma's gunnery feels so comfortable. Her gunnery performance is spotty. They seem to do really well against battleships (up until they angle) but against cruisers, it's a lot more inconsistent depending on angle, ship type and range. Her secondaries aren't worth specializing into. Evaluation: MEH What it would have needed to be GUD: Roma's dispersion can be very unkind. A buff to her sigma value would alleviate this. An alternative solution would be shaving a second or two off her reload time. With so many misunderstandings about the reload time of the Littorio-class, I suppose we should be glad that Wargaming kept it to a mere 30 seconds. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 30.0 knotsTurning Radius: 810mRudder Shift: 15.6s Maximum Turn Rate: 4.2º/s Tier 8 Battleship speed, turning radius and rate of turn. Roma doesn't excel in any one area nor does she have any glaring weaknesses. Roma is on the good-side of average for manoevrability for a tier VIII battleship. Her top speed is okay but there are faster ships. Her rate of turn is alright, but she's not exactly agile like the South Dakota-class sisters. Her turning circle isn't terrible, though its certainly not great. Overall, her handling is best compared to Bismarck -- a ship that isn't lacking overall in comparable agility but not a ship anyone would dare say has "good" manoeuvrability. The reason Roma feels so agile is probably due to her gun traverse. At 6º per second, it's rare that you ever need to use your rudder to accelerate bringing your guns to bear onto a new target. It's impossible for this ship to out turn her turrets, so there's little strain on her handling to keep her weapons singing. The best trait about her here is her top speed. 30 knots, while unremarkable at high tiers, is the benchmark I want to see. Anything less is an obvious flaw. Roma has the flexibility to go where she's needed and she's fast enough to make pursuit and escape possible when required. This also allows her to make better use of her concealment to better position herself. Most important of all, Roma's manoeuvrability is sufficient to protect her vulnerable citadel while still maintaining a steady rate of fire with all nine of her guns. Evaluation: MEH What it would have needed to be GUD: Roma already sits on the cusp of being 'GUD', she would just need a little help. An extra knot of speed, getting her turning radius below 800m or increasing her rotation rate by another two tenths of a degree per second would each tip her over the edge to something quite remarkable. Fortunately, you can pull this off yourself with the use of a Sierra Mike signal. Rate of Turn There are several factors which affect how quickly a ship comes about. The most significant are the ship's forward momentum and the size of her turning radius. As a ship slows down, their turning radius changes, but not always for the better. To make things more complicated, different ships also preserve speed better in a turn. When it comes to changing your heading, maintain speed whenever possible. If you want a tighter turning circle, slow down to 3/4 engine power -- but be aware that your ship will not manoeuvre as quickly. Steering Gears Modification 2 reduces Roma's rudder shift time from 15.6s down to 12.5s. However, this does not appreciably affect her turning values. This upgrade can be seen as more of a placebo than a practical bonus. When attempting to measure the gains made, some of the results fell within the margin of error of my own reaction time -- meaning that a good night's sleep or a cup of tea had more effect on the timed rate of turn than whether or not Roma had this module installed. With torpedo and shell reaction times often being less than 8 to 10 seconds, having this module installed will not help you. You would be better served by having a cup of coffee. Thus, I strongly recommend installing Damage Control Modification 2 in your fourth upgrade slot instead. None of the values found on Roma were far from what was expected. Her measured turning radius was slightly higher than that found in port and she bled the usual 25% maximum speed with her rudder hard over. 360º Rotation Rate (Ship Maximums): 1/4 speed (7.3 knots): 1.0º/s rotation, ~1099m turning radius 1/2 speed (13.8 knots): 2.5º/s rotation, ~851m turning radius 3/4 speed (18.6 knots): 3.6º/s rotation, ~800m turning radius 4/4 speed (22.4 knots): 4.2º/s rotation, ~829m turning radius 90º Rotation Rate (Stock): 1/4 speed: 1.0º/s rotation for 90.7s 1/2 speed: 2.3º/s rotation for 39.0s 3/4 speed: 3.2º/s rotation for 28.5s 4/4 speed: 3.6/s rotation for 25.0s 90º Rotation Rate (Steering Gears Modification 2) 1/4 speed: 1.0/s rotation for 90.6s 1/2 speed: 2.4º/s rotation for 38.4s 3/4 speed: 3.3º/s rotation for 27.4s 4/4 speed: 3.7º/s rotation for 24.2s Roma sits upon the cusp of greatness where her agility is concerned, but she falls short. You're not likely to notice though -- you'll be too enamored with how well her turrets traverse. DurabilityHit Points: 65,400 Maximum Citadel Protection: 375mm + 40mm Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mmTorpedo Damage Reduction: 38% Let's start with the bad news: Roma wears a really short skirt. While I appreciate that she wants to show off her lines, her citadel is left exposed over the water's surface by a not-insignificant margin. The exact height of her citadel is easy to see: it's directly behind her 375mm armoured belt. Veterans of the American battleship line that played the ships before the citadels were lowered in early 2017 will remember well what this entails. Roma can and will suddenly explode in a horrendous space-kablooie when she's caught broadside. There's nothing you can do about it but [edited]. There's another piece of not-so-great news. Her A-Turret barbette also seems to be part of the citadel, comprising a rounded 210mm bulge to her transverse bulkhead. This gives shells that might have skipped over a flat surface another bite at the apple if they catch this rounded surface. It's just another little quibble to sour Roma's armour protection. Alright, with that out of the way, let's talk about the good stuff: Her main deck is 45mm thick. This is proof against 152mm HE spam. Hooray! She has a 130mm extended forward armoured belt. When she angles, can foil even 460mm shells. Rejoice! Her upper hull is 70mm thick. This is proof against HE from 420mm or smaller unless it's British BB or German BB & CA thrown. This will also provide you with some very comfortable bounces when you angle just right. Her torpedo damage reduction is pretty darned good, so to speak. At tier VIII, torpedo defenses are either amazaballs (Amagi, South Dakota sisters) or they suck moose balls (everyone else). Roma's in the good half of the dichotomy. Her deck armour profile is a bit of a mixed blessing when it comes to armour piercing bombs, however. In testing, American AP bombs just didn't seem to be able to stack damage quickly. Without heals, it took over 20 bomb hits to sink her from American planes. Graf Zeppelin's (admittedly still in testing) bombs weren't automatic world-enders, but she could reliably sink Roma with two squadrons. On the whole, if it weren't for Roma's citadel situation, she'd have a great armour profile. As it is, it's only okay. Roma face tanks like a boss, particularly at medium ranges (between 8km and 14km) but when things go wrong, she comes apart in a hurry. Roma's armour, including details of her citadel. Evaluation: MEH What it would have needed to be GUD: Lower her bloody citadel. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 90mm / 37mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 4.0km / 3.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 114 / 128.4 / 54.4 The graph on the left shows the raw AA values per aura range of the AA mounts of tier 8 Battleships. The graph on the right applies a formula {AA DPS x ( Range - 1.0km )} to calculate the overall effectiveness of the ship's AA power. This weights longer ranged weapons as being much more valuable as planes will linger within their effect longer. Weapons with less than a 2km range are only really effective if the enemy aircraft carrier parks planes on top of you. If there's one good thing you could say about Roma's anti-aircraft firepower, it would be that it's at least better than that found on Tirpitz. Roma's AA rating sits squarely in between the German premium and Amagi, and this isn't a good place to be. Worse, it's not like Roma's anti-aircraft guns are a straight up improvement over the performance of the German premium -- she just has more of them. Roma's large caliber, 90mm guns are hands down inferior to the 105s that Tirpitz uses. They have 500m less range and they do less DPS over all, which makes the effective AA defense worse were it not for Roma's 37mm autocannons and Tirpitz's near lack of medium caliber guns. It takes a rather heavy investment to get Roma's anti-aircraft firepower anywhere near effective in terms of range, and it's downright impossible to make it effective in terms of damage done. With Advanced Fire Training and AA Guns Modification 2, you can increase the reach fo her 90mm guns from 4.0km up to 5.76km but they'll never have the punch to make anything but a stock tier VI aircraft carrier balk. Taking a Float Plane Fighter can add a very helpful disruption effect to an incoming wave which can save your ship, but it's so short lived and difficult to rely upon. Roma doesn't have the agility to easily dodge air dropped torpedoes, nor does she have the armour profile to spare her the nightmare of being one-shot by German AP dive bombers. Roma, when isolated from allies, is easy prey for an enemy aircraft carrier and she must be played with this weakness in mind. Evaluation: GARBAGE What it would have needed to be MEH: Roma really needs more range. The 4.0km reach of her large caliber, dual purpose guns does her no favours. Alternatively, it would take a huge DPS boost to make her AA power competitive which is a much more significant change. None of Roma's AA mounts are especially durable. Even her dual purpose AA guns can only boast 800hp with her 37mm and 20mm guns having only 200. A few HE hits will strip her of most of her AA power. Vision Control Base Surface Detection Range: 14.94km Air Detection Range: 13.35km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 11.22km Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 13.68km Main Battery Firing Range: 18.12km Detection Consumables: Spotter Aircraft / Float Plane Fighter Short of the famous and historical HMS Monarch, Roma is the stealthiest battleship within her matchmaking spread. What's perhaps more frightening is that she's stealthier than almost half the cruisers she faces, even when they're rigged for full concealment. Tier VI and VII cruisers are especially vulnerable with 11 out of 24 ships unable to hide from Roma and another 7 unable to hide if they don't have a full concealment build. When top tier, especially against inexperienced commanders, Roma becomes truly a monster. Without spotting aircraft or a destroyer screen, she can move about the battlefield at will, confident she can outfight anything that detects her. Let me stress this: Without aircraft or destroyers, Roma is quite capable of being the stealthiest ship on the playing field. Unlike the famous and historical HMS Monarch, Roma has the speed to better exploit this concealment. And it's here, with this combination of speed and concealment where Roma becomes a truly frightening vessel. Novice players take note: these are traits that expert players exploit to win matches. The longer a match goes on, the more powerful this advantage of speed and stealth becomes. It gives Roma time to heal, to flank, to secure objectives or escape. She can dictate engagement distances, abuse cover and surprise enemies. This is the game changer for this ship. This is what glosses over all of her other mediocre ratings and propels her towards excellence. Now this all said, this is a very difficult advantage to exploit properly and it can be outright negated by aircraft (especially given Roma's poor AA rating) and destroyers. Proper use of her aircraft consumable (with the skills to support it) will help her control vision and make lurking around islands less dangerous. But, it's knowing when to keep her guns singing and when it's best to hold your fire that really defines Roma's use and abuse of her concealment. Evaluation: GUD What it would have needed to be BEST : Monarch has a smaller surface detection range and similar consumable options. The alternative to making her sneakier than Monarch would have been to provide her with some detection consumable like Hydroacoustic Search or Surveillance Radar which is bloody unlikely. I think we can all be happy that Roma's concealment is as amazing as it is. Nursing the Twins For Roma, a survivability build is best after grabbing your concealment skills. Start with Priority Target unless you've seen the oracle and you already know the future. Then you can go for skills like Direction Center for Catapult Aircraft instead for your first choice. Next up, we want Adrenaline Rush to increase her sluggish rate of fire. After that, you have your choice of Basics of Survivability or Superintendent depending on how much you hate fire damage. Finally, grab Concealment Expert to level up Roma to her final form. For your next 9pts, I strongly recommend Fire Prevention, whichever tier 3 skill you skipped and your choice of Expert Marksman (cause why not?), Jack of All Trades or High Alert. Now get out there and murder your brother. Tier for tier, Giulio Cesare is the better of the two Italian Battleships. However, the Makoto Kobayashi: Roma camouflage combined with Roma's higher tier will make her the better potential earner. Final Evaluation Mouse's Summary: Concealment and comfort define this ship. I stress that Roma's high water citadel will be a deal breaker for some. As cool as Roma's secondaries and AA batteries look, they're pretty darned useless. Roma's scorecard looks a little better than my first evaluation once you peel back the layers and take a closer look. Her great concealment might functionally be the best within her Matchmaking spread thanks to her speed. Similarly, her agility is also reasonably good, just not quite enough to make her remarkable. This synergy between speed, gun handling and concealment has all the hallmarks of a competitive ship. Her gunnery and durability are the let downs, though. Her weapons are inconsistent -- prone to bouts of greatness and then some frustrating droughts of non-performance until you figure out her penetration. Knowing what ships you can and cannot handle at which ranges mitigates some of this lack, but only just. Contrarily, her secondaries, like her AA guns are garbage no matter what you do.. Then there's that citadel of hers -- that fly in the ointment that will preclude her from ever being the darling of the competitive scene. In Randoms, with proper positioning, it's not really a big deal, but when it lets you down, it lets you down hard. Roma is so much fun to drive it's hard to dismiss her out of hand, even despite these setbacks. My own experiences in Roma were decidedly mixed. It took me a while to figure her out. Once I accepted I was throwing around what amounted to a squishy, nine-gun Bismarck with no secondaries, things got a little better. To say my performance in her was inconsistent would be an understatement. The number of losses I suffered during the latter half of play testing wasn't fun, however this was broken up by some ridiculously high performing games. Boiled down, Roma is a medium-range brawler. Her gun accuracy and armour profile both excel if she can hold this range -- just on the cusp of her detection radius, and hammer the enemy over and over and over again. Ideally you want to sneak to a vantage where your opponents can't help but give up their side to either you or their allies. If they choose to face you, tank them and do the best you can to hurt them back -- it's not going to be easy with those 381mm guns. If they choose to face your allies, tear them a new one until they smarten up and fall back. The final question is if this is a role that's asked for in the current meta. She's not a brawler like Bismarck or Tirpitz, a DPM juggernaut like Amagi, and she doesn't werf the flammen like the famous, historical battleship Monarch. Roma encroaches upon the flanking meta espoused by the American battleships. She's certainly faster than North Carolina or the South Dakota sisters. She's also more stealthy. However, she lacks the AA power to afford her autonomy when enemy aircraft carriers are in play. -- not that they're out there that often. It's still difficult to call just based on that. Things change when you look at her tiering. Top tier, she's an absolute monster. She would easily hold my pick for one of the best battleships for clubbing lower tiered vessels and this in of itself should say something. That comfort and control pays dividends and her armour maximizes in these encounters where shell penetration may not be enough to seriously threaten Roma's raised citadel. She uptiers alright against tier IX ships, but like all tier VIIIs, she really struggles in tier X matches. If I could guarantee she would never see tier X games, I could slap an "OVERPOWERED" label on her and be done with it, but no such luck. As it is, I'm inclined to say Roma has earned her laurels. Would I Recommend? Some caveats must be exercised here. The Italian Regia Marina is solely comprised of premium ships at the moment. Between the battleships Roma and Giulio Cesare there are also the light cruisers Duca d'Aosta and the upcoming Duca degli Abruzzi. If you had to choose one and only one, Giulio Cesare is still the front runner performance wise, even at tier V. Roma does not displace her. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? We have no tier VIII scenarios (yet), but Roma's a decent ship to take against bots. Her AP shells struggle a little against cruisers at the point blank ranges which so often result. Her running costs are 35,438 credits including the 10% discount provided by her camouflage (this drops to 19,688 credits with Makoto Kobayashi: Roma camo) while you can make around 100k on a decent win. Skip those premium consumables. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. She's a tier VIII premium, so economy wise, she'll do you just fine. The increased earnings will also make her a wonderful trainer. Note if you have the Makoto Kobayashi: Roma camouflage, her earning dividends just got that much better. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. I have to give her a firm pass here. Between her high water citadel, 381mm teething issues and poor AA power, she's not ideal. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. What are you, new? It's not only the first Littorio-class battleships it's Roma. Even as a port queen, she's gorgeous to look at. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Hells to the yeah. Roma doesn't always behave, but when she does... In Closing That about wraps it up for Roma -- arguably the most anticipated premium of 2017. Hey, stop looking at your calendar! She's here and she's not terrible; that's a win. I keep a list of premium ships that I enjoy playing; that I reach for whenever I just want to play World of Warships and unplug my brain from all of this analytical nonsense. These are ships that I play simply for the love of the game. I think it's high praise when a new premium ousts one of the old guard and muscles in on this list. Roma isn't there yet -- we're fighting, truth be told. She's got a long ways to go if she thinks she can earn her keep. I'm very happy with the balanced state of Roma. I'm very happy to have this review done. The next review coming up will be Musashi, the tier IX Japanese battleship that's causing all kinds of controversy. Roma and Musashi both came off of the content-embargo on the same date, but I had no warning about the latter. You can expect this next review in about a week's time with an undue level of snark laced throughout. A very special thank you to Lert for his continued editing efforts and to my patrons on Patreon. With as much time and energy I devote to these reviews, I cannot afford to do it alone anymore. Your continued support means the world to me and allows me to keep my head down and working hard with less worry. Thank you for reading and for all of your feedback, criticism and fun gifs too! My current ten favourite ships. Top Row: Fujin, Atlanta, De Grasse, Prinz Eugen, Atago. Bottom Row: Scharnhorst, Nelson, Harekaze, König Albert, Warspite. Will Roma or Musashi earn a spot? Tune in next week! iChase put together a wonderful little history piece for those who want more Roma in your Roma review!
  5. The original and best. Quick Summary: A Bismarck-class battleship that trades away Hydroacoustic Search and AA-power for deck mounted torpedoes. Cost: 12,500 doubloons Patch & Date Written: 0.6.4 to 0.6.12, April 19th, 2017 to October 27th, 2017 Closest in-Game Contemporary Bismarck, Tier 8 German Battleship Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique The differences between Bismarck and Tirpitz are distinct. While they share the same main and secondary gun battery performance, Tirpitz has access to two quad-torpedo launchers while Bismarck has Hydroacoustic Search. Bismarck has a tremendous advantage in AA power over her sister ship, while also enjoying marginal improvements in armour protection, speed, agility and aerial concealment. Finally, the position of two of their 105mm dual purpose secondaries differs slightly, with Tirpitz having better firing arcs. PROs: Excellent armour protection and nigh invulnerable to citadel hits from AP shells. Main battery has a fast, 26s reload and good gun handling characteristics with a traverse rate of 5º per second. High penetration HE shells, capable of besting 95mm of armour with a 34% fire chance per shell. Heavy secondary gun battery complement with excellent 7.5km base range and improved, 37mm penetration on her 150mm guns. Powerful torpedo armament, especially for a battleship. Fast at 30.5 knots. Awesome selection of premium camouflages for long-time veterans. CONs: Poor anti-torpedo defense. Inaccurate main battery guns with low DPM, poor HE shell damage and poor fire angles. 105mm secondaries cannot damage the hulls of tier VIII+ destroyers. Short 6km range on her torpedoes. Torpedo tubes are vulnerable and get disabled often. Weak AA power for a tier 8 Battleship and easily one-shot by AP Bomb armed carriers. Very large turning circle of 850m. Lacks Hydroacoustic Search found on high tier German Battleships It's been a long time since I last looked at Tirpitz. Heck, I've been working on this review for six months now. When patch 0.6.4 dropped and Tirpitz received a buff to its secondary gun range, I thought the timing was perfect to sit down and look at her again, especially as she seemed to be encroaching upon Bismarck's supremacy. Well, things got busy and the meta surrounding German Battleships took a huge shift. Enterprise's AP bombs were one such jolt. The Royal Navy Battleships shook things up again and it forced me to review what I had so far evaluated and elect to wait to see if things shifted further. Things appear stable now. The Hallowe'en 2017 event has introduced another (so awesome looking) camouflage pattern to Tirpitz, so I thought it best to get this one off my list while the getting was good. So here we go -- six months late but hopefully not a dollar short. My big concern is that the buffs from 0.6.4 have largely made Bismarck obsolete. Bismarck can boast a few advantages that she trades in exchange for Tirpitz's torpedoes -- the question is "did Wargaming go too far when they improved Tirpitz's secondaries?" Well, let's take a look. Lert will join me with his final thoughts on this venerable premium. The three camouflage patterns for Tirpitz. These have become available for players who have owned her for a long time and has greatly increased her value. The Tarnanstrich camouflage greatly increases the amount of free-experience Tirpitz can earn while Magnu-S provides a small (about 4,000) credit boost. Note that the Magnu-S Hallowe'en camouflage can only be seen if a player enables the filters in port. Options Tirpitz shows her age when it comes to her options. First, she does not have access to Hydroacoustic Search as other tier 8+ German Battleships do. Second, she has access to three different premium camouflages. Initially, she comes with the standard Type 10 camouflage. The second camouflage came grace of the Hunt the Graf Spee campaign over Christmas 2016 and into New Year's 2017. It has not been made available since. The third camouflage pattern became available Hallowe'en of 2017 and it's likely that this too will become a rare accessory. It remains to be seen if Wargaming will offer these options again in future events. Her consumables are standard, with her Damage Control Party having a 15s active period and a 120s/80s reset timer. Consumables: Damage Control Party Repair Party Spotter Aircraft or Float Plane Fighter Module Upgrades: Five slots, standard battleship options Premium Camouflage: There have been three Tirpitz camouflage types. When purchased, you receive the Tier 6+ Standard (Type 10). This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Veterans with Tirpitz may have access to Tarnanstrich - Tirpitz. This is the equivalent of the Type 11 camouflage found on Anshan. It provides 100% bonus free experience in addition to the Type 10 camouflage buffs. For Hallowe'en of 2017, the camouflage Magnu-S - Tirpitz became available. This provides the same bonuses as the Type 10 above but includes a 10% reduction to repair costs. (A special thanks to SoliDeoGloria for their help with this). These bonuses are identical to the premium camouflage you can purchase for Bismarck for 4,000 doubloons. Remember to equip as many premium consumables as you can readily afford. In order of priority these should be Damage Control Party, then Repair Party and finally her Spotter Aircraft or Float Plane Fighter. Of the two options provided, the Spotter Aircraft is (generally) more useful. This not only provides additional range (which is of limited use), but it also allows you to better triangulate the necessary range needed to bulls-eye ships hiding in smoke screens by homing in on the origin of their tracers. Her Float Plane Fighter isn't an awful choice, however, and with the right skill build, can be very useful in spotting approaching torpedoes and even detecting enemy destroyers. For upgrades, take the following: In your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 is essential. Your torpedo tubes will get knocked out often and your guns are going to take a lot of abuse too. In your second slot, you have a choice. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is optimal. This increases the performance of your main battery, but it comes at a cost -- the maximum range and accuracy of your secondary gun systems. If you want to use a full secondary build, take Secondary Guns Modification 2. In your third slot, take Damage Control System Modification 1. In your fourth slot, you have a choice. Damage Control System Modification 2 is optimal. Fire damage is more prevalent than ever. This module will save you 1,871hp per fire that's allowed to burn itself out (2.7% of your HP). Alternatively, you can take Steering Gears Modification 2 to assist with agility, but on its own, it will not improve manoeuvrability much without help. And finally, in your final slot, take Concealment Modification 1. Versus Bismarck There are a few difference between the two sister ships. Bismarck gets access to the Hydroacoustic Search consumable. Veterans of Bismarck may also have access to up to four different permanent camouflage patterns, though their bonuses are all identical to the permanent camouflage Bismarck can purchase. Firepower Primary Battery: Eight 380m rifles in 4x2 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Sixteen 105mm rifles in 8x2 turrets, twelve 150mm rifles in 6x2 turrets. Torpedoes: Eight tubes in 2x4 launchers, one off each side behind the funnel. Torpedoes Tirpitz's torpedoes help make her the Best Brawling Battleship in World of Warships. This is a title she's held since her introduction in September of 2015 and she hasn't surrendered it to any contenders since. Tirpitz was the first battleship in World of Warships to be given a torpedo armament and it caused a lot of fuss back in the day. Since then, Mutsu, Kii and the Scharnhorst sisters have joined her, but this hasn't diminished her prestige. Tirpitz's torpedo armament is the heaviest among battleships. However, when the stats of her torpedoes are examined on paper, they seem hardly inspiring. With a range of a mere 6km and a hitting power that seems more akin to weapons found on tier V or VI vessels, they can appear deceptively lackluster. Tirpitz's torpedoes are a brawling weapon and in this regard, they can be viewed as the equivalent of dealing a citadel penetration with her main battery per individual torpedo strike. Being able to deliver up to four of these against any target (regardless of angle) is an enormous strength and makes Tirpitz an exceedingly dangerous opponent in close quarters. Even single hits can be near catastrophic with the threat of flooding stacking upon the fires lit by her secondaries. Their lack of range is their biggest weakness. It's so short that it's a rare game that a well played Tirpitz gets to use them at all. And I do stress this "well played" part. Pushing to brawling ranges too early will only isolate Tirpitz from her support and invites to get her focused down by enemy vessels. Many a novice Tirpitz player has brazenly charged ahead to try and make use of this trump card, only to frustrate themselves with getting sent back to port for their folly. There's a reason this ship has earned the moniker "Derpitz" -- this mistake is commonplace. Don't be one of those chowderheads that helps propagate this stereotype. Another flaw of Tirpitz's torpedo launchers is their fragility. They get damaged often -- disabled both temporarily and permanently. This stems from three inherent problems with her torpedo launchers. Their hit point total. Their lack of armour protection. The amount of fire Tirpitz takes. Tirpitz's torpedo launchers have a standard 1,200 hit points -- a value common to all torpedo launchers, as is their 25% chance of being temporarily disabled per damaging hit received. They are effectively unarmoured, making them exceedingly vulnerable to high explosive shells. Taking Main Armaments Modification 1 increases their hit points to 1,800 and reduces the chance of being critically damaged down to 20% per hit, which is better, but not great. It's only by stacking the captain skill, Preventative Maintenance, that you can get their critical hit chance down to a more manageable 14% per hit taken, but this won't save them from total destruction.The volume of fire Tirpitz takes in a typical match all but guarantees your torpedoes will be temporarily disabled at least once. It's heartbreaking to lose one of these mounts permanently. There are few things worse than finally securing a chance to use them in close quarters only to find them missing. The prevalence of Royal Navy battleship high explosive fire has only increased the likelihood of Tirpitz losing her torpedoes. If you find yourself coming under fire from a British battleship, you're very likely to have your torpedoes permanently stripped after receiving a volley or three. Provided Tirpitz can survive getting into a close quarters engagement (and with her torpedo armament intact), her torpedoes give her an excellent chance of clinching the win in any brawl, even against tier X battleships. Tirpitz's main battery penetration values courtesy of World of Warships Armada. Secondaries One of the most significant changes that came to Tirpitz has been the improvement of her secondary gun battery. Tirpitz now boasts one of the most fearsome secondary gun complements in the game, with phenomenal reach and volume of fire. No other ships in the game currently put out the same wall of fire as German Battleships can. The buff Tirpitz received increased her secondary gun battery range from 4.5km when she was initially released up to Bismarck's own 7.5km reach. Fully specialized, Tirpitz's guns may reach out to a range of 11.3km between modules, skills and consumables. This is insane. Like, seriously -- I get that Wargaming was trying to be consistent, but holy meatballs on a six inch sub, did she really need this buff!? The disruption effect of these secondaries is considerable -- it's like an aura of doom that gradually sucks the life out of enemy ships that stray too close to the German behemoth. Tirpitz is veritably surrounded by a dark cloud of death and destruction. The closer enemies get, the more deadly the storm of shell and fire, leaving opponent choking for air and desperate to get away. The better of the two guns are her twelve 150mm guns are mounted between six turrets. Four enjoy favourable forward firing angles. These guns have a slower rate of fire of eight rounds per minute stock (this can be increased to 9.36rpm between Basic Fire Training and the Mike Yankee Soxisix signal and bumped up further with Adrenaline Rush). However, they have a decent base fire chance of 8% per shell. More impressively, they have improved penetration values of 37mm (as opposed to 25mm as would be expected), allowing them to damage the extremities of any warship they should encounter. This makes it easy for Tirpitz to stack damage even against other high tier battleships at medium to close range encounters. Her sixteen 105mm guns form the backbone of her secondary armament and they have more mixed performance. They have an excellent rate of fire, being able to spit out a fearsome 17.91rpm per gun (increasing up to 20.95rpm with the skills and consumable mentioned before). Their fire chance is only modest at 5% but when coupled with their rate of fire, the chance to set blazes is better (pound for pound) than Tirpitz's 150mm guns provided you can land the hits. However, unlike the 150mm guns, Tirpitz's 105mm guns do not enjoy increased penetration values. This leaves them with a paltry 18mm of penetration which is utterly insufficient to damage the hulls of tier VIII+ destroyers. Short of landing shells upon a target vessel's superstructure in high tier matches, her 105mm secondaries are not going to be stacking direct damage. The solution may seem to be to reach for the skill Inertial Fuse for HE Shells to correct this, but this damages the fire chance of all of Tirpitz's weapon systems. Still, this would provide Tirpitz with the ability to ravage all destroyers and British cruisers within her matchmaking spread. One of the drawbacks of German HE shells, to which her secondaries are not immune, is their low damage per hit. Tirpitz will do no more than 561 damage per 150mm hit and a mere 396 damage at best per 105mm hit (compare this to the 726 damage from Warspite's 152mm HE and the 495 damage from her 102mm HE). It takes a long time for Tirpitz to stack damage with her secondaries. This damage will add up, but don't expect it to win matches by themselves. Like Tirpitz's torpedoes, rushing blindly forward to make use of these weapons will only get you killed. Support your team. Don't let yourself become isolated just because you want to subject your opponents to your poo-gas stink cloud of shelly-flamey doom. Overall, Tirpitz's secondaries are a powerful tool. They can provide an alarming level of supporting fire that can surprise and intimidate your opponents. However, they are not a wunderwaffe -- they will not win matches by themselves. It takes a significant investment to make them truly formidable, often at the cost of survival skills. Used correctly, her secondaries can help tip the balance in engagements and even in matches, but they are a support-weapon, not a primary weapon. Main Battery So, Tirpitz has great secondaries and powerful torpedoes -- but what about her main battery guns? I'm very tempted to say, 'What ABOUT her guns?' and leave it at that (what are you, greedy?), but they are worth examining. Tirpitz shares the same guns as Gneisenau and Bismarck. These are high velocity 380mm rifles that compete well with comparable 15" AP rifles found on any of the Royal Navy battleships. They have high shell velocity, and decent penetration power. They aren't without their problems, however. It may sound funny to say after reviewing her heavy torpedo and secondary batteries, but Tirpitz is under-armed. Let's start with her penetration power. While Tirpitz does enjoy better penetration than Monarch, all this means is that she doesn't have the worst penetration at tier VIII. The performance of her AP shells is best considered "sufficient" and no more than that. She sits well behind Kii and Amagi and even further behind Alabama, Massachussetts and North Carolina. Her HE shells do have better penetration than normal, sharing Monarch's ability to best 95mm of armour. However, unlike the British, German HE damage is anemic. In fact, the damage off both her AP shells and HE shells isn't great for her tier. They have decent fire chances, but you'd be a fool to reach for HE in this ship with any regularity. Accuracy wise, the news isn't good. Tirpitz has the least accurate guns at her tier. They're hit with a one-two punch of German battleship dispersion levels (which are the worst in the game) and 1.8 sigma. This is further compounded by the wide spacing of her guns not only on the ship (Tirpitz is enormous) but within the turrets themselves. The last piece of the puzzle is that players so often make things worse by not installing Aiming Systems Modification 1 in order to instead boost their aforementioned secondaries. Expect some serious misbehaving where gunnery is concerned. Her biggest weakness, however, is that Tirpitz has only eight 380mm guns. Though she boasts a faster reload time, this really hurts her outgoing damage potential. This is compounded when she's forced to angle against long range fire. Her guns all suffer from a 290º fire angle which isn't terrible, but it's not great either (we'd want 300º fire angles for 'great'). While Tirpitz is largely immune to citadel hits, she's not immune to taking massive 20,000 spikes of damage when an enemy battleship catches too much of her side. This disparity in guns really hurts in bow-tanking situations. The British and American battleships can trade fire back with six guns, you're often only left with four. So Tirpitz's main battery is meh. Sure, it handles great. Sure, she's got a good rate of fire and decent range. Her AP shells are good enough, but she doesn't put enough shells downrange to compete with the other big ships at her tier (other than her sister). It's a good thing she's got her secondaries and torpedoes. But, don't let all of this negativity lull you cruiser and battleship-drivers into complacency. Tirpitz is still a battleship and she's still throwing 6.4 tonnes of death at you every twenty-six seconds. If only a third of that hits you, you're still going to have what the Chieftain describes as "a significant emotional event". Her guns are good enough. However, her overall firepower is phenomenal. Summary: Her main battery is weak. Her AP performance is okay but still miles behind the Japanese and American battleships. If that weren't enough, the gun dispersion will troll you often. This isn't a long range sniper by any stretch. Her secondaries are awesome, though they're not the be-all-end-all murder-machines they appear to be. You'll rarely get to use her torpedoes, but when you do, they will be game changers Versus Bismarck Tirpitz is better armed than Bismarck, having access to deck mounted torpedoes while Bismarck does not. In addition, Tirpitz has slightly better forward fire angles on two of her 105mm secondaries which are placed further out from the hull. The two sisters are otherwise identical here. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 30.5 knotsTurning Radius: 850mRudder Shift: 16.0s Maximum Rotation Rate: 4.11º/s Tirpitz has speed to spare. She's not the fastest battleship at her tier (Bismarck holds that honour by a half knot), but she's pretty damn quick. A lot of apologies can be made for a ship with long legs. It facilitates much. It provides her with flexibility. It allows you to get out of (and into) trouble. It also can partially mitigate a bad turning radius as she'll come about faster than her turning circle might otherwise indicate. As far as her handling goes, it's not great. She has a long rudder shift time and an enormous turning circle. The only spot of good news is that she can throw the ship about at a respectable 4.1º/s despite these shortcomings. Adding Steering Gears Modification 2 can reduce her rudder shift time down to 12.8 seconds but this doesn't help her rate of turn significantly. In terms of manoeuvrability, Tirpitz will never be anything but average for a large battleship. She has more power than agility. Versus Bismarck Bismarck is half a knot faster than Tirpitz in a straight line. She's also slightly faster in a turn, keeping a speed of 23.4 knots when her rudder is hard over while Tirpitz lags behind at 23.0 knots. This increases Bismarck's rate of rotation to 4.2º/s. If there's one thing Tirpitz doesn't want for, it's speed. She's able to sprint at over 30 knots -- more than enough to keep up with the rest of the fleet and traverse the enormous high tier maps with haste. DurabilityHit Points: 69,300Maximum Protection: 315mm belt + 120mm turtleback + 45mm citadel wall Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mmTorpedo Damage Reduction: 22% There's a lot to talk about here and not all of it good. There has been a significant meta shift for Tirpitz over the summer of 2017. Let's start with the really bad stuff. First of all, Tirpitz has awful torpedo protection for a high tier ship. The values at tier VIII vary from 19% up to 49% and Tirpitz definitely sits in the lower half. At least she's not the worst. Torpedoes will hit her for most of their listed damage and you can expect to take flooding criticals from most hits. She's a big target and she doesn't dodge well, so torpedoes (especially the air dropped kind) love you. Moving on... Tirpitz is horribly vulnerable to both American and German AP bombs dropped by Dive Bombers. Ironically in this game, the more armour you have on your decks, the more dangerous AP dive bombers become. Suffice to say, Tirpitz is "well protected" across her decks and the roof of her citadel. In practice this means she has enough armour to arm the fuses of any AP bombs that strike her and guarantee they won't overpenetrate. She can and will take multiple citadel hits from armour piercing bombs and it is not uncommon for her to be deleted outright from an attack wave of dive bombers from Enterprise or Graf Zeppelin, even from full health. Anytime Tirpitz faces Enterprise or Graf Zeppelin (or any future CV with AP bombs), take heed. These are your nemesis. Citadel hits are thankfully rare otherwise. While her excellent armour scheme works at cross-purposes with itself against AP bombs, it functions as designed against shell strikes. The armour design is very straight forward with a 315mm thick strip of external belt armour, an interior 45mm thick citadel wall and, between them, a 120mm angled plate to help divert or deflect incoming shells. Were these a simple sandwich of vertical plates, this would combine to a total thickness of 480mm -- proof enough against the penetration power of even the vaunted USN 406mm/45s at a range of 15km but the angle of the turtleback makes this even thicker. In practice, her opponents cannot land citadel hits against her at medium to close ranges. It's only from far out shots, with high penetration shells that she need worry and even then it's a rarity. Her short range protection gets even more impressive under close inspection. Not only can she prevent citadel penetrations, but the extended 60mm bow armour can allow her to ricochet even Yamato's 460mm AP shells aimed at her waterline (this won't hold up if she aims a little higher, though). A properly angled Tirpitz can survive a ridiculous amount of AP-shell punishment thrown at her. It doesn't hurt that Tirpitz has the highest hit point total at her tier which translates to a Repair Party consumable that heals a generous 9,702hp per charge. With much of the ship being covered by a minimum of 60mm of armour, Tirpitz enjoys significant protection against HE throwing vessels. Her amidship hull is all but immune to damage saturation from destroyer and cruiser thrown-HE shells (the notable exception being Graf Spee). However, this all falls apart when the Royal Navy battleships show up to ruin the fun. This has presented a rather pronounced shift in Tirpitz's meta. Where before the ship could build for secondary gun fire, manoeuvrability and concealment, commanders are now forced to seriously consider stocking up on survivability skills instead to mitigate fire damage. There is no solid protection against the Royal Navy high explosive shells for Tirpitz, short of finding cover or sinking the offending party. Tirpitz's Damage Control Party is often overtaxed in such encounters and skills like Fire Prevention, Basics of Survivability and High Alert as well as upgrades like Damage Control Modification 2 have increased significantly in value. The prevalence of Royal Navy Battleships is beginning to ebb somewhat, but survivability builds are still very much worth considering. The shift in meta has hurt Tirpitz's survivability in a few short months. She's still a very tough ship, but the good grades she previously earned have been marred with new developments. While she has always had to fear airstrikes, AP bombs present a new and very immediate threat to which she has no answer but to hope allies protect her. The prevalence of high explosive shells being thrown everywhere has made her great armour scheme less valuable. At least the RAF doesn't get to dump Tallboy bombs on you. There are more answers to counter Tirpitz than before. This doesn't make her durability rating poor. She's just not the be-all-end-all that she once was in this regard. Versus Bismarck Tirpitz outweighs Bismarck and enjoys a 100hp advantage over her sister ship. Bismarck has a thicker armoured belt, though, which reaches 320mm. This 5mm advantage also extends to her underwater belt protection which is 245mm versus 240mm on Tirpitz. Otherwise, the two sisters are very close in this regard. Broken in half by sustained Battleship and Cruiser fire, this cross section (though tragic) gives a beautiful interior view of the compartmentalization and different armour layers which makes the Tirpitz so tough to citadel. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 16.38km Air Detection Range: 14.79 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 12.30km Surface Detection when Firing in Smoke: 15.05km Main Battery Range: 21.45km Surface Detection within Tier: 6th out of 9, behind Alabama & Alabama ST. Surface Detection within Matchmaking: 15th out of 33 The Bismarck-sisters used to be considered reasonably stealthy for a tier VIII battleship. The introduction of Royal Navy Monarch changed this definition, however, with a 1.8km advantage over the German leviathans. Still, Tirpitz's surface detection isn't terrible, it's just nothing to get excited about anymore. Still, it's pretty hilarious sneaking upon tier VII cruisers and magically appearing in front of them like a total creeper. Versus Bismarck The two sister ships have the exact same surface detection range. This extends to their detection range when firing their guns in smoke. Bismarck is marginally more stealthy overall, though, with an aerial detection range of 14.67km. This is really too close to matter very much, though, especially at the speeds aircraft fly. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 105mm / 37mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 4.5km / 3.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 134 / 21 / 84 Float Plane Fighter DPS: 60 Tirpitz has the lowest AA power among Battleships of her tier. Not only does she have less overall average damage per second, but her large caliber guns are shorter ranged than those found on Amagi, Kii, North Carolina or Alabama. This puts a big ol' target overtop of Tirpitz for any enemy carrier looking to hoover up some big damage numbers. However, Tirpitz is not without redeeming qualities. The majority of her anti-aircraft strength is found within her dual purpose 105mm batteries and this provides a comparable long-range punch to the American Battleships and gives Tirpitz a bit of a saving grace. Properly specialized with anti-aircraft skills, her AA defense can be brought up to a respectable level with Basic and Advanced Fire Training and the inclusion of Manual Fire Control for AA Guns. This is a heavy investment to bring Tirpitz up from a ready victim of aircraft to make her a less appealing target, though. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that an enemy aircraft will recognize or appreciate the difference. The stakes have only gotten higher for Tirpitz with the advent of armour piercing bombs. The proliferation of these weapons has made playing German Battleships more challenging. When one of these carriers is on the enemy team list, it's imperative (more so!) that Tirpitz hug the AA umbrella of friendly vessels judiciously, preferably with a cruiser armed with Defensive Fire to scatter the bomb drop. Even a 5.0km gap between vessels can spell the end, allowing for opportunistic strikes to end the German juggernaut in ridiculously short order. If I didn't impress it upon you earlier, I will say it again: ships like Enterprise and Graf Zeppelin are fully capable of destroying a full health Tirpitz with a single sortie of their bomber complement and there's no amount of manoeuvre that will save you. You do not have the AA power to fend off these attacks and you're one of the few targets they can do this to. You are a hunted ship from the moment the game begins, so seek the cover of your allies at all times. Yeah. Tirpitz's AA power is pretty bad. This is the reason every single aircraft will divert onto you if they see you're unsupported. Versus Bismarck Here's where the big difference really counts. Bismarck doesn't have especially good anti-aircraft firepower, but it's a damn sight better than Tirpitz. This can be enough to make Bismarck look like a less inviting target if a carrier needs to choose between them, which is really all that matters when push comes to shove. How to Made in German Insert mustachioed crazy-person picture here There are two primary builds for Tirpitz -- survivability and a manual-secondary build. You could consider this the difference between specializing for defense versus specializing for offense. For the Survivability Build your first ten skill points should be the following: Start with Priority Target. Take Adrenaline Rush for your next skill. If you're going to be taking damage, you may as well capitalize upon it. Next grab Superintendent for the extra heal. Cap it off with Fire Prevention to reduce the chance of being set ablaze and the number of fires that can be burning at one time. For your next nine points, spend them on Concealment Expert, Basics of Survivability and Expert Marksman. You have a little flexibility with this build. You can take High Alert as your last skill if you struggle on managing your Damage Control Party. This build is ideally backed with flags like India Delta (+20% Repair Party healing), India Yankee (-20% to Fire duration) and November Foxtrot (-5% to consumable reload time). For the Secondary Build, your first ten skill points looks like this: Begin with Priority Target. Take Adrenaline Rush for your next skill. Improve that secondary reload time! Up next is Basic Fire Training to increase their rate of fire further still. This has the added bonus of giving your AA power a little more teeth. Take Advanced Fire Training as your next skill to throw that range out to your maximum reach. For your next nine points, Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament should be your first priority. After that, it's up to you which skills to choose. The highest value skills for Tirpitz are (in no particular order), Fire Prevention, Expert Marksman, Concealment Expert, Vigilance, and Superintendent. Special mention deserves to be placed towards Manual Fire Control for AA Guns. You can try and put it in there to give Tirpitz's AA power a little more teeth. Her dual purpose 105mm guns do put out an excellent bit of firepower (albeit at 4.5km range). This will make her a thorny prospect for some of the lower tier carriers, but it will not save you when something of equal tier or higher decides it wants your hit points. Worse, even with this upgrade, it's unlikely to dissuade enemy CVs from trying their luck anyway and you're not going to wipe out the attack craft wave so you will still end up taking damage. Still, you can at least make attacks on your vulnerable BB more costly for the carriers, but don't kid yourself in thinking this will be a tremendous help. I never thought I would say this but air dropped torpedoes aren't Tirpitz's most pressing concern these days. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult If ever Tirpitz could have been called a premium battleship for beginners, that time has long passed. There are more threats to manage now and the use of consumables and positioning is of ever more importance. Granted, she is German and that does provide some training wheels for the novice, but she's not a simple ship to use... if she ever was. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Knowing every trick in the book will take you far with Tirpitz. She rewards angling, proper ammunition choices, abusing concealment, micromanaging consumables and min-maxing commander skills. However, she has no answer for aircraft from same tier or higher carriers (even Kaga and Saipan are considerable threats). Similarly, torpedo armed destroyers will dominate you. In this regard, no amount of skill will allow you to carry further beyond bringing a division mate to be your permanent flak battery and sonar buoy. The Lertbox Is she worth your money? The venerable Tirpitz. Is she still relevant? There is no denying that meta shifts and power creep have not been kind to her. Despite recent-ish buffs to her secondary range she still struggles around the middle of the pack in winrate and damage per game. I still have a soft spot for her though and believe she still has a place in this game. She's still the Queen of the Brawl with a very nasty poison dagger and destroyers should still fear her secondary battery. Where she falls apart though is in long range gunnery. Unfortunately with the introduction of the British BB line this is where the meta has been shifting; raining literal fire from afar. With only eight 15" barrels with mediocre accuracy she can't compete in a pure burning contest at long range. Other than that though, I believe Tirpitz still has a place in this game. She still excels in the brawl, she's still tough as nails. Even though she's not the queen of the tier 8 battleships anymore, she's still comfortable to drive. Mouse's Summary: Tirpitz is still the brawling heavyweight champion in the game. Her main battery guns wouldn't be terrible if they were more accurate or if she had more of them. Alas she doesn't. She's not incapable of doing large amounts of damage -- she just has to work at it more if you're only using her main battery guns. Once you supplement them with her secondaries and torpedoes, the sky's the limit. The only problem there is that opportunities to use the latter two weapon systems to their full effect aren't guaranteed and you run the risk of getting yourself wrecked if you try and do so before it's time. She's horribly vulnerable against aircraft and AP armed Dive Bombers make her wet herself and not in the sexy way. While it's arguably more intelligent to rig her for survivability, it's more fun to build her to use secondaries. I am glad I didn't finish this review when I started back in the Spring of 2017. I had originally wanted to talk about her after patch 0.6.0 -- to bring her up to date with the Captain skill change. However, it was when I received word that Tirpitz would be getting the same secondary gun range as Bismarck in patch 0.6.4 that pushed Tirpitz closer towards the top of my priority pile. 'What the heck is the point of Bismarck, then!?' I said to myself, groaning as yet another premium ship became arguably more powerful than her tech-tree counterpart. But I got busy -- first with Kaga, then Hood, then every other premium WG released over the summer. Tirpitz, and a hot-headed grump-fest about how she was superior to Bismarck, sat by the wayside. Then Enterprise showed up. Say what you will about this American carrier in World of Warships -- it announced a change in the meta that would be directed towards reigning in the dominance of battleships and the German battleships specifically. Tirpitz suffered especially with her poor AA rating. Wargaming followed this up by introducing Graf Zeppelin and the Royal Navy battleship line which seemed tailor made to neuter the German battleship strengths.. What made Tirpitz and Bismarck oh-so butt-kickingly powerful was punched in the throat. Their armour either mattered-for-not or it worked actively against them. So, powerful as Tirpitz is, she now faces one hard counter and a whole battleship line of soft counters. The meta has really shaken up around this premium battleship. Granted, she doesn't face this every game -- or even in most of her games. This has attacked some of the comfort level that used to exist when playing Tirpitz. In some games she can still be powerfully dominant. At other times, she's cowering on the second line until the bad airplanes and fire breathing dragons are properly neutralized. Now, I personally love this ship. It was one of the model kits that my father and I built together when I was little. Seeing her in World of Warships always touches on that small element of nostalgia for me. These rose tinted glasses are very dangerous to be wearing when trying to conduct an objective review. If I seem excessively negative about Tirpitz in this review, understand that I'm making sure I underline and stress her flaws. Tirpitz is still a great and powerful premium ship. Age may have tarnished her luster somewhat, but the buffs in 0.6.4 ensured she's able to stay not only relevant but highly competitive in the marketplace, even with AP Bombs and HE shells flying every which way. Tirpitz didn't sink the Bismarck when she received her improvements in 0.6.4, but she supplements her sister ship nicely. Any player that owns this ship should feel confident that she's still got it where it counts. Versus Bismarck Tirpitz does not make Bismarck redundant. The major difference between the two ships is the swap of AA Power and Hydroacoustic Search to equip yourself with a set of deck mounted torpedoes. That's a pretty serious quality-of-life changes for the sake of being able to shove fish up someone's nose. While it's wonderful for Tirpitz to be able to pull this off and it can be absolutely game changing when it happens, it's a rare occurence. AA power, on the other hand, is put to use far more often. So too can Bismarck's Hydrouacoustic Search any time she's being pursued by torpedo-armed destroyers. The buffs Tirpitz received didn't make her replace Bismarck -- she supplements her sister ship as any good premium sister-ship should, with her own fun strengths and weaknesses. Though things were looking up in patch 0.6.4, it hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows for Tirpitz since. Would I Recommend? Tirpitz used to be an easy recommendation across all categories. For PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Lert: Yeah. She still puts out a lot of damage at brawling range and she can still bully bots. She'll be a solid and steady earner. Mouse: Yes. Tirpitz is probably the ultimate Co-Op premium battleship so I cannot recommend her enough here.. Big guns, big secondary range and torpedoes? Combine that with speed and good armour -- those poor little bots don't stand a chance. You can forgo all pretense of subtlety and simply charge in, confident that you have the close-range damage to sink at least a pair of ships before going down. Earning 500 base experience in Co-Op is a breeze. This sort of confidence will no doubt spill over into Scenarios should they become available at her tier. Tripitz has a 39,375 credit repair cost with ammunition usually weighing and around the 7,500 to 15,000 credits to resupply. Thus, even a modest game will be self sustaining (especially with a premium account). You may have to forgo premium consumables if you have a stock account though. For Random Battle Grinding: This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Lert: She'll still pull in the credits and the close quarters expert badges and she'll still train your german captains in comfort. She gets a recommendation of Yes here. Mouse: Yes. Though Tirpitz is harder to recommend as a Random Battle vessel, I would still say she's a good purchase overall. She no longer feels like the dominating presence she was before Enterprise and the Royal Navy battleships joined the game. Moreover, on the North American server at least, she is facing tier X battles more and more often, but this is a problem inherent to all tier VIII premiums at the moment. For Competitive Gaming: Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Lert: No. There are other alternatives that better fit the meta. Mouse: No. Tirpitz is not the best choice for Ranked Battles. Her gunnery is too unreliable and her lack of anti-aircraft firepower can be a liability depending upon team composition. If this is your primary reason for wanting a premium ship, I would give her a pass here. She can compete, but there are better and more versatile choices. For Collectors: If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Lert: It's Tirpitz, the ship that scared the pants off of wartime Britain without actually doing anything other than sipping martinis and swatting at RAF flies in a fjord. Plus, she's one of the most beautiful ships in the game. Very yes. Mouse: Yes. Tirpitz's history is less glamorous than her sister ship and full of what ifs, but she certainly gets the imagination going. Plus, Wargaming can't seem to stop making cool premium camouflages for her. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Lert: Brawling is fun. Ships that are comfortable to drive are fun. A strong yes here. Mouse: Very yes. Tirpitz is the sort of ship where those memorable moments keep rolling in. What's the Final Verdict? How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Good - Overpowered?
  6. So Zerra recently posted a video going on about the effect the IFHE and armor rework was going to have on tier 7 light cruisers, especially Belfast and Atlanta, and how they are going to be useless. I could not follow him. I already knew Atlanta was going to be in the minority of ships still needing to run IFHE after the rework via @Notser, but there were so many numbers being thrown around I couldn't follow it. I know something in my gut told me the math was off, but I couldn't put my finger on why. Does anyone have any answers on this?
  7. lordholland4293

    Tier 8 operation

    What does everyone thing about tier 8 operations and what would you like to see. Even though wargaming doesn't care about them.
  8. HMS Vanguard is the ghost of the Royal Navy battleship tech tree everyone wanted to see. Ostensibly, HMS Vanguard was designed to be a tier VIII version of HMS Warspite. However, Vanguard falls short of this aspiration. For a high-tier Royal Navy battleship, she's surprisingly not idiot-proof, with a vulnerable citadel that needs to be protected with angling and manoeuvres. What's most exciting: Her AP shells are wonderful. Wargaming has offered some concessions to both of the fans of the current Royal Navy battleship line. They included HMS Monarch's excellent high explosive shells to Vanguard's arsenal, ensuring that these two players can continue spamming HE without a guilty conscience while everyone else rolls their eyes. I want to thank Wargaming for providing me access to this ship. This is the release version of the vessel and all of the statistics discussed here are current as of November 15th, 2018. PROS Large hit point pool of 71,700hp. Main battery has a quick 25s reload and excellent gun handling. Has the same dispersion pattern as Warspite, Hood and Queen Elizabeth and boasts 2.0 sigma, making her one of the most precise battleships in the game. Excellent AP and HE performance for a 381mm shell, including good penetration and damage values, rewarding versatile ammunition choice. Very fast rudder shift time for a battleship of 9.7 seconds. Improved Repair Party, queuing and healing back more than standard and with fast reset timer. CONS Exposed, above-water citadel. Absolutely appalling firing angles on her main battery. Main battery is only eight 381mm rifles creating issues with overmatching and DPM. AA defense is for self defense only and is concentrated in 3.5km range, medium caliber mounts that are easily knocked out. Large turning radius of 850m and slow rate of turn exacerbates the issues with her fire angles. Overview The maximum rotation positions of X and Y turret (her rear guns). They are not new-player friendly. They're not even veteran-player friendly. Vanguard's terrible fire angles so utterly dominate her game play, I felt the tremendous compulsion to wear white-lace and beg her to be gentle. These fire angles screwed me over more times than I can count. Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / CHALLENGING / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme Vanguard encourages players to sail with their broadsides exposed. With her above-water citadel, you can imagine how well she's going to go over with novice players. You know what? Never mind the novices. The veterans are going to find this frustrating too as it limits the amount of firepower she can dish out when trading. She's a battleship that reward cautious, opportunistic play -- which is review-speak for "hide in the back, shoot when you can and don't brawl". – 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. Vanguard has strengths and weaknesses across the board, giving her a rating in Offense, Agility, Anti-Air and Vision Control. It's only in Defense where she stands out with a rating. Her citadel is very vulnerable for a battleship, however she counters this with a the largest hit point pool at her tier and an amazing Repair Party consumable. Options Aside from Vanguard's Repair Party, there's nothing out of the ordinary to be found here. Consumables Vanguard's Damage Control Party is standard for a British battleship. She has unlimited charges. It has a 15 second action time and a 120s / 80s reset timer. Her Repair Party is improved. See the DEFENSE section below. There's a lot to go over. This starts with 3 charges base. Upgrades Optimization of Vanguard's upgrades will see the usual suspects rear their tired old heads. Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. Next take Damage Control Systems Modification 1. You've got a choice in your third slot. As ever, emphasizing gunnery is best so your first pick here should be Aiming Systems Modification 1. However, if you're salty about CVs, taking AA Guns Modification 2 is an okay choice. It's not great, but it's okay. Damage Control Modification 2 is arguably the best choice for most players in slot 4. You can elect to take Steering Gears Modification 2 to emphasize the strengths of her already quick rudder shift time. Be aware this is harder to make use of optimally even if it can yield higher results -- it's easier to tank damage than it is to dodge it, after all. Finally, take everyone's favourite no-brainer: Concealment Modification 1. Camouflage Vanguard comes with Type 10 Camouflage. This provides: 50% bonus experience gains 10% reduction to maintenance costs 3% reduction in surface detection 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Firepower Main Battery: Eight 381mm guns in 4x2 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Sixteen 134mm guns in 8x2 turrets. These are superfiring with two forward facing and two rear facing per side. Secondaries Let's start with the small guns. You can largely forget that Vanguard has secondaries. These 134mm guns lack the range, reload time and volume of fire needed to present a credible threat to opponents. This is really unfortunate given their nice shell weight and fire chance. If they had the range or they had the rate of fire, maybe a secondary build would be fun to play around with. Lamentably, it's a mistake to invest anything in upgrading these weapons -- they simply can't do what you need them to. At best they might be able to start a fire on an enemy capital ship that strays too close. However, with Vanguard's high citadel, getting into a brawl is a death sentence, so stay out of secondary range. Main Battery Precision There's so much to like about Vanguard's main battery. First of, there's her precision. Vanguard is a blast from the past, sharing same horizontal dispersion value of the older British premium battleships, including Hood and Warspite. Inside of 12km, she overtakes even the vaunted Japanese battleship accuracy, making her much more adept at picking off close range targets like destroyers. Combined with her 2.0 sigma value, landing hits feels very comfortable, even at long ranges. Standard dispersion test for my reviews -- 180 shells fired at 15km locked onto a stationary target Fuso without camouflage. She was equipped with Aiming Systems Modification 1. Vanguard doesn't quite enjoy the same level of precision as Warspite owing to her faster shell velocity and energy preservation. This gives her a larger vertical dispersion area at all ranges. However, this does lead to improved shell lead times making gunnery easier. Note that Vanguard suffers from a lot of "downward drift" which adds a margin of error to these shell maps as I had to readjust aim with every volley fired. Thus the dispersion area maybe slightly smaller than shown. Shell Performance Vanguard's HE shells don't share the same performance anachronism as her dispersion. They're modern, almost (but not quite) matching HMS Monarch's HE, including her shell damage and penetration. Monarch's have a 1% higher chance to set blazes over Vanguard, though -- don't ask me why. Vanguard doesn't quite match up to the tech tree Royal Navy battleships for fire setting ability. This is good news to me -- it removes some of the brainless quality of HE spam. When you do reach over for her AP shells, you're rewarded with a welcome change from other Royal Navy battleship AP. Like Warspite before her, Vanguard has a longer fuse timer with her AP. This has a few effects. The downside is that she's more likely to overpenetrate soft targets, including broadside cruisers and battleship extremities. The upside is that it provides her AP with increased bite for reaching machine spaces and magazines buried deeper within the core of enemy warships -- especially those with spaced armour protecting their citadels. Vanguard is especially good at punishing broadside battleships at range. Approximate penetration values for Vanguard's AP shells. Vanguard's HE shells are fixed with 95mm of penetration -- not quite enough to punish the few exposed citadels found on high tier cruisers. Inertial Fuse for HE Shells will add a few more ships to the roster that her HE can punish, but it's not worth the points investment. Data pulled from World of Warships AP Calculator. Site linked in the appendix. Penetration wise, her AP shells are well setup, having comparable bite to Tirpitz and Bismarck. It pays to keep their caliber in mind, however. Her 381mm shells cannot overmatch the 27mm bows of American and German heavy cruisers. As good as Vanguard's AP shells are, spamming nothing but won't do you any more favours than if you used HE shells exclusively. Switch shells often in Vanguard and she'll reward you. Vanguard's fast 25 second reload facilitates swapping between ammunition while also padding her damage output when it comes time to cycle her guns. Damage output among the tier VIII battleships is very close. Vanguard keeps pace with her fast rate of fire, compensating for her smaller armament. As ever, take these numbers with a pinch of salt -- they do not represent the challenges of getting shells on target or penetrating when they get there. For whatever reason, Vanguard's HE shells only have a 34% base fire chance as opposed to Monarch's 35%. This creates an increased gap in their fire setting potential and makes Vanguard no better of a fire starter than American battleships. Still the increased damage she dispenses makes this more than worthwhile. Before any of you get yourself all hot and bothered about Monarch's fire setting, Cleveland (the gold-standard of tier VIII burnination) can spit out 9.97 fires per minute with the IFHE penalty and no other buffs. The same disclaimers apply for this chart as the others -- this is merely an indicator of performance and does not represent actual in game results. A myriad of factors will always conspire to mitigate a ship's ability to set fires including (but not limited to), target selection, opportunity, shell dispersion, fire resistance, etc. The Deal Breaker All of these strengths are present to pad for one massive weakness: Vanguard's appalling fire angles. Vanguard has a fast rate of fire, great HE shells, fast turret traverse and excellent precision because her fire angles are so bad. It's all meant to be compensation because Vanguard must present a near perfect broadside in order to fire all eight of her guns at a target. This leaves her incredibly vulnerable to reprisals. She is functionally incapable of autobouncing enemy shells while firing her full armament and instead she must rely on her armour thickness to repel shells. At anything but the longest of ranges, this is a fool's errand. Thus, Vanguard often has to sacrifice firepower in order to properly angle against her enemies. This is why her gun performance is so good: she's often forced to fight with only half of her weapons. Wargaming have done everything they can to make it easier to bring the other half to bear when possible. Her gun traverse is quick. Her reload is fast. She answers her rudder quickly too to help swing her butt out to unmask her guns. I'm not going to lie: These bad fire angles are enough to put me off this ship entirely, which is saying a lot given all of the wonderful perks her guns otherwise enjoy. Vanguard has the same (terrible) forward firing angles as the King George V-class battleships. However, her rearward firing angles are worse than the tier VII battleship. No matter how you choose to engage an enemy, when you use all eight of Vanguard's guns, you open yourself up to return-fire and potential citadel damage. Bad firing angles are one of my personal pet-peeves. I can stomach a lot of things, up to and including sluggish gun traverse, but not bad fire angles. This has greatly soured my opinion of this ship. Summary Secondaries are bad. Her main guns perform beautifully provided you can use all of them. Her fire angles will get you killed. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : I almost gave her a rating here -- that's how bad her fire angles are. However, there's just too many perks glued onto her weapons to make that a fair assessment. She'd need a much faster rate of fire before I would consider bumping this up. Or, you know, completely redesign the ship to give her better fire angles. That would work too. Defense Hit Points: 71,700 Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 356mm Torpedo Damage Reduction: 25% Armour Protection The 356mm/343mm armour is replicated again around her rear magazine. Her turret faces are 343mm front, 228mm side, 178mm rear, and 152mm on top with 305mm barbettes. Let's start with the elephant in the room: Vanguard's citadel sits over the waterline. Much fuss will be made over this and rightly so. Only Roma shares this high-water vulnerability and the Italian ship is much better equipped to angle and bounce incoming fire. The net effect is that Vanguard is more likely to take citadel damage than other battleships when someone catches her side. This isn't to say that citadel damage is an exclusive weakness to Vanguard. However, it pays to keep her vulnerability in mind. Her aforementioned firing angles on her main battery guns exacerbates this problem. When Vanguard is firing all eight of her weapons, whatever she's shooting at has an easy target from which to farm damage. What makes Vanguard's fire angles such a liability compared to other battleships has to do with autobounce mechanics. Let's get technical for a moment to explain why. If AP shells cannot overmatch armour, there's an autobounce check. This occurs before any penetration attempts are made. The angle of the shell is compared to the angle of the surface it strikes. Normally, battleship AP shells that hit with an acute angle of 30º or less will auto-ricochet. This is why bow-tanking is so prevalent -- shells simply slide off the ship's bow and deck, unable to bite into the armour. No matter how much penetration a shell has, if it strikes at too shallow of an angle, your ship can avoid damage. Normally, battleship AP shells that hit with an angle of 45º or more cannot autoricochet. Any shells that strike between 45º and 90º to the hull will follow normal penetration mechanics. In between these two values, the auto-ricochet chance scales linearly. For Vanguard, when she fires her all eight guns forward at a 43º angle, any return fire from her target has only a 13% chance of suffering a ricochet. When she fires all eight guns to the rear at a 40º angle, this improves to a 33% chance. Most battleships are capable of firing all of their guns 35º off their bow, allowing them to ricochet shells automatically 2/3s of the time. The steeper they angle themselves, the better this defense. This mechanic is absolutely essential for keeping battleships safe from the monstrous levels of penetration found at higher tiers. Not only does it provide a better chance of automatically deflecting shells, it adds relative thickness to their armour belts. The steeper you angle, the greater the effective thickness. Vanguard's belt has between 503mm and 522mm worth of protection at 43º. However, if she could fire at 35º off her bow, this would increase to 598mm to 621mm. Data pulled from proships.ru (link in the Appendix). Values are approximate, usually with about 5% higher estimates than Wargaming's values published in their Armada series of videos. You can see by these values that at range, Vanguard makes an excellent bully when top tier -- with rare exceptions, she can unmask her X and Y turrets and fire, confident that her belt will be proof against return fire. This falls away when dueling with tier VIII+ opponents. With few exceptions, they all have the raw penetration needed to best her belt while she fires a broadside. Her citadel protection isn't all bad, though. First off, AP bombs can't citadel you. Hooray! Second, shots that land high that attempt to bi-pass her belt and drop down into her citadel have to contend with a 32mm citadel roof. Only Yamato and Musashi's 460mm guns can overmatch this, meaning that any other shell will skip off the top of her machine spaces for only penetration damage. Thus it's only shots fired directly at her waterline which can damage her citadel. The use of Priority Target is almost a must to alert you when enemies are looking your way to give you time to angle in and protect yourself. Vanguard needs time to stack damage -- to find those moments where she can sit broadside and make excellent use of her precision and rate of fire but don't push your luck when you're taking hits. There's one last little point of contention with Vanguard's protection scheme: With the entirety of her deck and extremities boasting no more than 32mm of armour, Vanguard is a juicy target for light cruisers. Expect to burn a lot if they catch you out in the open. Provided you can protect Vanguard's citadel (and that's a pretty big if), she has the largest effective hit point pool of any of the tier VIII battleships. With optimal use of her consumable, her theoretical maximum (less Survivability Expert) effectively doubles her hit point pool. In practice, you're never going to see that kind of number. Repair Party If Vanguard appears a little squishy, she all but makes up for it with her excellent Repair Party consumable. While she doesn't boast the same portable dry-dock found on HMS Lion, Nelson and Conqueror, she has the next best thing. Here's the bonuses she has baked in: Her Repair Party resets quickly. The reset timer on consumable is 90 seconds / 60 seconds for standard / premium. Compare this to the usual 120 seconds / 80 seconds of the normal Repair Party. She queues up 60% of penetration damage. This is admittedly standard for Royal Navy battleships, so Vanguard doesn't stand apart from the rest of the ships in her line. For most other battleships it's 50%. Vanguard queues up 33% of citadel damage. This is huge. While it would best to avoid taking citadel damage of any kind, Vanguard heals up more than the 10% of other battleships. Keep in mind, this also applies to torpedo damage which is the most common form of citadel damage battleships receive. This is especially good in Vanguard's case given her poor anti-torpedo protection. She heals up to 16.8% of her hit points per charge. Normal Repair Party mechanics heal up only 14% over 28 seconds -- or 0.5% per second. Vanguard enjoys a 20% boost over this like Warspite, healing 0.6% per second over the same time period. With up to five charges at her disposal through the use of premium and skills, Vanguard's faster reset timer ensures that she's able to make full use of her health regeneration. Her enormous hit point pool also guarantees big returns as Repair Party scales with a ship's starting hit point total. Summary For all of Vanguard's potential vulnerability with her high citadel, she's well equipped to mitigate and manage said damage. When she's top tier, the vulnerability of her citadel drops down considerably, making her very powerful. Light cruisers are always going to be pain in the butt, though, and beware HE spam from battleships too. Vanguard isn't done yet with her tricks, though, as you'll see in the AGILITY section below. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Can a battleship with an exposed citadel even be considered ? It feels a bit of a stretch to me, but if you can keep her citadel protected, Vanguard is hella tough. That's a pretty big 'if' though when she's not top tier. She may lose her current rating when the North Carolina Repair Party buff goes through. Agility Top Speed: 30.0 knots Port Turning Radius: 850m Rudder Shift Time: 9.7 seconds (!) 4/4 Engine Speed Turning Rate: 4.1º/s The big thing to talk about here is Vanguard's rudder shift time. Now I've harped on rudder shift before -- it's a mean to an end, not an end of itself. Boasting that a ship has a great rudder shift time is like boasting that a ship has great range on its main battery guns -- it's nice to have but it's not a good indicator of a ship's performance. The same applies here. Vanguard answers her rudder quickly and her movements are much more precise as a result, but it would be a mistake to call this ship agile. Vanguard's rate of turn holds her back. 4.1º/s is painfully average for a high tier battleship. She sits well behind ships like the Richelieu-class sisters and the South Dakota-class sisters. This is caused by two things. One, her turning radius is big. Two, she doesn't have any baked in bonuses to help her preserve speed in the turn. The upside to her modest handling (and it's a stretch to call this a benefit) is that she can't out turn her turrets. She starts with a 5.0º/s rotation on her main battery guns and Expert Marksman only widens the gap, making adjusting her fire very comfortable if it weren't for those damned firing arcs. Vanguard's fast rudder shift time is almost good enough to allow her to fire her guns and angle back quickly enough to avoid reprisals. Almost. The simple fact of the matter, going from a 30º aspect to a 43º and back again takes too long. I never managed better than 15 seconds during trials. You might be able to pull this off against an inexperienced opponent but this is owing more to their mistakes rather than the merits of the ship itself. If you want to be able to fire all eight of Vanguard's guns while not getting your citadel blown out, you're going to have to play clever. Now just because Vanguard can't wiggle-wiggle-shoot doesn't preclude her from being able to dodge. This is something she's quite good at and where her rudder shift time makes her deliciously unpredictable. You'll still need range in order to pull this off, but you can pretend to begin unmasking your guns in order to bait shots and then double back on your course to bounce their shells. Similarly, the amount of bounce and twirl in her badonkadonk makes her a real nuisance for destroyers to land torpedoes. Vanguard is all about frustrating gunnery -- both yours and your opponents. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : She's not a speed demon like the French botes nor wiggling like the SoDaks. She's also not a thunderbutt like Kii, so there's that. I was personally hoping to see her preserve a little more speed in the turn to get her rotation rate up -- that would have done it, but it didn't pan out during testing. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Gun Calibers: 134mm / 40mm AA Umbrella Ranges: 5.2km / 3.5km AA DPS per Aura: 68 / 413.1 For personal defense, Vanguard's anti-aircraft firepower is excellent -- comparable to the American battleships. However, that's about as far as it extends. Vanguard lacks the weight of fire with her dual purpose guns to be a credible threat to aircraft further out. This precludes any claims of efficiency with Manual Fire Control for AA Guns -- too much of her flak is focused upon her 3.5km 40mm batteries. This adds a second weakness: her medium caliber weapons don't stand up to punishment very well. If you've taken even a light dusting of HE shells, odds are your anti-aircraft firepower is nowhere near as formidable as it once was. So, while you're pristine and perfect, you'll shred planes. It's worth investing in Advanced Fire Training to help boost this further, but that's about as far as improving her anti-aircraft firepower should go. Hey look, I made it through a section without mentioning her awful fire ang -- aw, damn it. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : She's very close. Were it not for FOUR American battleships all having very similar AA firepower (and Kii besides), she might be able to muscle in and make her presence felt. As it is, she sits in their shadow. Refrigerator Base Surface Detection: 16.04km Air Detection Range: 13.7km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 12.04km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 14.73km Main Battery Firing Range: 20.0km There's not much to go over here. Vanguard's concealment is "sufficient unto the task" and nothing more. She sits in the middle of the pack for surface detection behind Monarch (14.6km), Roma (14.9km) and North Carolina (15.7km) and just ahead of the Alabama-twins (16.2km) and Bismarck-sisters (16.4km). Vision Control consumables are rare at this tier, being limited to Bismarck's Hydroacoustic Search and various spotter and float plane fighters found on select ships. Vanguard doesn't have access to any of them and she ends up feeling blind without them. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : More stealth or a spotting consumable other than an aircraft. Alpha and Omega There's not much to say in regards to the skill choices for Vanguard. You can buff up her anti-aircraft firepower if you're super salty about CVs, but on the whole a generic battleship captain build emphasizing fire resistance would serve you better. Start with Priority Target. Take Adrenaline Rush as your second skill. Follow this up with Basics of Survivability at the third tier. For your 10th point-skill, choose between Concealment Expert and Fire Prevention with your 14th point-skill, take the alternative. With your remaining 5 points to spend, customize as you will. Advanced Fire Training will serve you well if you want a little more teeth to your AA guns -- especially when paired with AA Guns Modification 2 from your upgrades. For your remaining 1pt, take either Preventative Maintenance or Expert Loader. Alternatively, you can mix and match between Superintendent, Expert Marksman, Jack of All Trades and High Alert. Keep those tier 1 skills in mind as filler. Final Evaluation She has two main flaws and only two: Her citadel sits high over the water and her fire arcs suck. If you can mitigate these two weaknesses, this boat is amazing. She's been padded with all of the perks possible to compensate for these challenges. If you can't mitigate them, or you find it frustrating, Vanguard is a steaming pile of doo. "The second coming of Warspite" has such a nice ring to it. So many of us were hoping that the Royal Navy battleship line would have borrowed heavily from Warspite's game design -- namely her gun's precision, sluggish gun handling, good agility and improved heals. Instead we got a pack of flame throwers with cloaking devices and portable dry-docks. Complaining about what became of the Royal Navy battleships is so 2017, though. I had pinned my new hopes that Vanguard would be my baebote #2, echoing a lot of what made Warspite great. She almost got there which is pretty surprising. But let's not sugarcoat things -- Vanguard fell short of the mark. This isn't a tier VIII Warspite. So is Vanguard "good"? Well, yes. Yes, she is. However, there's a big ol' butt attached. She's good but she's also potentially frustrating as all get out. I've grumbled enough about her fire arcs. This is a personal pet peeve of mine, if you can't tell. This right here is what would relegated Vanguard to a port-queen for me. For others, her exposed citadel is going to be a big no-no. Why play a battleship that can get her machine spaces easily blown out when you could play something similar that doesn't have to put up with that nonsense? Her inability to overmatch select heavy cruisers will be a turn-off for others. It will keep her from being a contender in competitive play because of it. Finally, her longer AP fuse timer gives her an increased chance of overpenetrations. There's few things as heart breaking as lining up that perfect shot on a cruiser only to watch your shells sail clean through, inflicting minimal damage. One of the ways a premium ship can get in my bad books is by forcing a player to take extra steps to accomplish the same task as other vessels. Vanguard ticks this box. If Famous and HIstorical Monarch can do what Vanguard does and with less frustration, why bother picking up Vanguard? If the comparison to Monarch is bringing you pause, good. The two ships have very similar play styles with the tech tree ship being idiot-proof. I think this is perhaps the most damning thing that could be said about Vanguard: like Monarch, she's a little dull. Thankfully, Vanguard does borrow just enough from Warspite to spare her being called the second coming of the King George V that never was. I'm just not sure it's enough to redeem the ship in my eyes. Her perks are compelling, but it keeps coming back to those frustrating elements for me. I suppose that says it all right there. Know thyself. If those elements seem like turn-offs to you, then stay away. Otherwise, she'll do you no wrong. Would I Recommend? Vanguard acted as the gatekeeper to the initial offering of HMS Dreadnought. If you wanted the latter you had to also buy the former. Make sure you weigh the merits of both ships before pulling the trigger on a purchase like that. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Yes. Bots are dumb. Battleships vs bots is always a good fit. Random Battle Grinding: This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. No. You are absolutely spoiled rotten for choice when it comes to Royal Navy premium battleships. Warspite, Hood, Nelson, Duke of York and Dreadnought are all on offer. Vanguard does have the advantage of being the highest tier, and thus potentially making the most bank, but you could do almost as well for yourself in most of the others. (I can't believe I'm recommending Duke of York as a reasonable alternative...) For Competitive Gaming: Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. No. Get yourself Massachusetts or Alabama instead. For Collectors: If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Yes. She's the last Royal Navy battleship ever -- built in steel and she's drop dead gorgeous. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? No. I didn't find her fun to play. However, that's because I'm a whiner when it comes to firing arcs. Maybe your own mileage will be different. What’s the Final Verdict? How would the ship rate on oh-so scientific, not-sarcastic at all, Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage – Meh – Gud – Overpowered? GARBAGE– I hate it! Mehbote – An average ship. Probably forgettable. Gudbote – The best thing ever. Totally not overpowered because I like padding my stats in it. OVERPOWERED – I hate playing against it! In Conclusion It's only a week late. That's unfortunately going to be the status quo going forward as I perpetually play catch-up with releases. Since Dreadnought and Vanguard were ninja-announced last week, Bourgogne has been finalized. In addition Charleston was released without any warning, so there are three new reviews in the queue. What's more, the Black Friday ships, Massachusetts, Tirpitz, Atago and Asashio are on their way out. While Tirpitz and Massachusetts' reviews are still reasonably up to date, the changes to the latter two could warrant a revisit. Given the limited access I'm going to have with Bourgogne, I'll probably be prioritizing that one as my next review unless something else comes up. Thank you all for reading. Thank you very much to everyone that supports me on Patreon for helping me produce this content. Appendix Armour penetration data was pulled from two sites: http://proships.ru/stat/ships/ https://mustanghx.github.io/ship_ap_calculator/
  9. This thread is about two specific topics both rolled into one. I had the opportunity to tune into the fight for flagship tournament today and I would like to express my gratitude to a return to nostalgia and a second chance at redemption, which I will explain later. @Femennenly You wanted shout outs so here is mine. First things first, watching the streams today, there was some fun games and good plays. I also learned a lot about positioning and hope to apply it to my own gameplay. The Fight for Flagship tournament could serve several purposes; 1. Improve interest (indirectly) to the Research Bureau as tier 8 ships looked fun to play again. 2. Return to a Supremacy League style format that I used to watch. This was in my opinion the best of all competitive formats. Nostalgic soup! The option to have bans was also a nice touch. 3. Stagnation...by making one of the tournament formats something in other than tier 10...this also helped to be a bit more refreshing...again thank you. As for redemption, I would like to nominate @Quadrilus to be a Community Contributor. Quad assisted in putting together a great tournament and wrote a very length rule guide...which was refreshing and unique to other game modes I have seen. I do believe at one time he was being considered for a CC position but for some reason was not selected. I would strongly ask that you reconsider. He is critical to the community and a value added. In conclusion, give Fight for the Flagship tenure as a return to Supremacy League and give Quad a second chance at becoming a community contributor. Everyone deserves a fair shot at redemption...lets get him into the program!
  10. Goal of the proposed change: Create a manageable balance between the Tier 8 and 10 Carrier Aircraft and the AA/Flak at Tier 8, 9 and 10. Make it easier to balance the Aircraft and AA/Flak at Tier 8, 9 and 10 by limiting the variations. Reason for the proposed change: Tier 10 Carrier Aircraft to a degree seem to be still able to inflict crippling damage to Tier 8, Tier 9 and 10 ships, even those that have some of the best AA/Flak in the game. At the same time Tier 8 Carriers mostly play between 55 to 70% of their matches at Tier 10. The AA/Flak concentrations of Tier 9 and 10 ships can be so severe that playing at Tier 9 and 10 is too player unfriendly for Tier 8 Carriers. This proposal is meant to address both issues, in other words to equally help Destroyers, Cruisers, Battleships and Carriers at Tier 8, 9 and 10. Proposed change: Decrease the effectiveness of all Tier 10 Carrier Aircraft by lowering the BASE Hit Points of all Tier 10 Aircraft to a maximum of 1200 for Rocket Bombers and 1400 for Torpedo and Dive Bombers. That lowering would include Tier 10 Aircraft on Tier 8 Carriers (including Premium Carriers). These maximum numbers can be raised by Commander Skills and Upgrades like is now also the case but they would still remain CONSIDERABLY below the current Tier 10 Aircraft base Hit Point levels. Introduce a NOMINAL and EFFECTIVE AA/Flak Damage Per Second and Damage CEILING level for Tier 9 and 10 ships. The NOMINAL AA/Flak DPS and Damage CEILING level for Tier 9 and 10 ships indicates the theoretical maximum values the ship has. The NOMINAL AA/Flak DPS and Damage CEILING CAN BE RAISED by Commander Skills and Upgrades. The EFFECTIVE AA/Flak DPS and Damage CEILING level for Tier 9 and 10 ships indicates what effective maximum values the ship can use in combat. The EFFECTIVE AA/Flak DPS and Damage CEILING CANNOT BE RAISED by Commander Skills and Upgrades. The EFFECTIVE AA/Flak DPS and Damage CEILING for Tier 9 and 10 ships would be equal to the NOMINAL AA/Flak DPS and Damage CEILING of the highest base AA/Flak rated Tier 8 ship (for example the Tier 8 Battleship MASSACHUSETTS). The EFFECTIVE AA/Flak DPS and Damage ceiling would be used by all Tier 9 and 10 ships till the point is reached where so many AA/Flak mounts of a Tier 9 or 10 ship are destroyed that the NOMINAL CEILING is lower than the EFFECTIVE CEILING. In that case the EFFECTIVE CEILING is no longer used, but the damage reduced NOMINAL CEILING is used instead. It all sounds a lot more difficult than it actually is. Here are two examples of how this works out: For the Tier 10 Carrier MIDWAY: the F8F Bearcat Rocket Fighter (Tiny Tims) HP would be lowered from 1660 HP to 1200 HP, the BTD Destroyer Torpedo Bomber HP would be lowered from 2050 HP to 1400 HP, the BTD Destroyer Dive Bomber HP would be from 2160 HP to 1400 HP. A Tier 10 MINOTAUR with Commander Skills and Upgrades has a NOMINAL AA/Flak DPS and Damage ceiling of 100. The EFFECTIVE AA/Flak DPS and Damage ceiling of that MINOTAUR would be only 77 (equal to base of MASSACHUSETTS). So the AA/Flak DPS and Damage would be EFFECTIVELY only at 77 and not at 100. The MINOTAUR would keep that 77 EFFECTIVE ceiling until her AA/Flak mounts would be destroyed to a point where the NOMINAL AA/Flak DPS would be below 77. When the NOMINAL CEILING due to damage drops below the EFFECTIVE CEILING the NOMINAL CEILING is used instead. So if the MINOTAUR loses so many AA/Flak mounts that her NOMINAL CEILING drops from 100 to 56, then the EFFECTIVE CEILING would also drop to 56. It is advisable to combine this "AA/Flak and Carrier Aircraft proposal for Tier 8-10" with the "Fighter Patrol Squadron Consumable proposal" that is described in another topic.
  11. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Asashio

    The following is a review of Asashio, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of April 15th, 2018. Abandon all hope, all ye of heavy displacement. Quick Summary: A stereotypical high-tier Japanese destroyer with specialized, 20km-range deep water torpedoes that make battleship players wet themselves with terror and unicum rage on the Forums and Reddit. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing. Patch and Date Written: 0.7.3, April 9th to 15th, 2018 PROS: Powerful torpedo armament. Enormous damage potential per torpedo hit at 20,967hp per unmitigated strike. Highest flooding chance in the game at a base value of 436% per torpedo hit. Her fish are fast (67 knot), long ranged (20km) and stealthy (900m detection) Excellent gun fire angles. When rigged for concealment, she can get her surface detection down to 5.37km. Access to a Torpedo Reload Booster consumable without sacrificing her Smoke Generator (!). Easy to learn and she makes scoring big damage totals trival. CONS Smallish hit point pool of 15,100hp. Slow firing guns with a 7.1s reload time. Sluggish turret traverse at 6.9º/s (26.1s for 180º). Torpedoes can only engage battleships and aircraft carriers (!!) Laughable AA defense. Slow for a high tier destroyer with a top speed of 35.0 knots. Matchmaking significantly affects the ability to influence a match in a positive way. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Asashio is a paradox. She is, simultaneously, one of the easiest and the most difficult destroyers in the game to play. This is a destroyer where a novice can score huge damage totals. It's also a destroyer where veterans are challenged to use every trick in their arsenal to get a win. Unlike other "easy to learn, difficult to master" ships, Asashio doesn't present a high skill curve. She presents a wall. Asashio's over specialized torpedo armament is terrible -- effectively limiting your tool kit so much that you cannot effectively engage two-thirds of the enemy roster. While she easily farms damage and kills on battleships, influencing the overall outcome of a close match is near insurmountable without a hell of a lot of skill and game knowledge. Thus, there are two tiers to Asashio game play and some players simply are not skilled enough to make her work in these situations. - 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. Most of Asashio's ratings aren't up for debate. She is the at stealth at her tier, bar none. Nothing is sneakier though some do have competitive Vision Control. Her anti-aircraft firepower is so as to be laughable. While she rates in both agility and durability, she only just manages to eke out these evaluations. She's on the very low-end for both and the introduction of another agile or another tough ship would knock her down into the rating. Where the debate will reside, if anywhere, is how to categorize her offensive capabilities. No one would argue that among the tier VIII destroyers, she has the firepower against battleships. At the same time, her firepower against cruisers and destroyers is downright . I give her the evaluation as a result -- a middle-ground compromise though her in-game performance may fluctuate wildly based on target availability. Options Consumables: Asashio has four consumable slots. Her Damage Control Party is standard for a destroyer. In her second slot, she has a standard Japanese Smoke Generator. This has a 28 second emission time and each cloud lasts for 89 seconds. Asashio's Engine Boost is standard. And finally, she rounds out her consumables with a Torpedo Reload Booster. This reloads her torpedoes in 8 seconds like Kagero, Harekaze and Yugumo. Unlike many other IJN destroyers, you'll note that Asashio does not have to choose between this consumable and her Smoke Generator. Upgrades: Five slots, standard destroyer upgrades. In your first slot, take Magazine Modification 1. You're a destroyer. You explode violently often. Next up, take Propulsion Modification 1. Speed is life for a destroyer and this will help keep your engines in the game. or Aiming System Modification 1 is optimal, providing a small improvement to your dispersion and accelerating the rotation rate of your torpedo tubes. Alternatively, you can try to correct her sluggish turret traverse with Main Battery Modification 2 at the cost of her already abhorrent rate of fire. Propulsion Modification 2 is generally preferred in slot number four. This gives improved acceleration from a dead stop. Asashio will spend some time parked within her own smoke and the extra pep in her engines is welcome. This is a no-brainer for most. Concealment Modification 1 will help her reach her maximum level of concealment. Black becomes green. Blue becomes black. White turns to more-different white. Thanks, Yamamoto collection! Camouflage: Asashio comes with Type 10 Camouflage. This provides a 10% reduction to repair costs, a 50% bonus to your experience gains, a 3% reduction in surface detection and a 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Similar to Atago, this camouflage starts off with a blue pattern, but you can change it to green if you've completed the Yamamoto Uniform collection. Firepower Main Battery: Six 127mm rifles in 3x2 turrets in an A-X-Y superfiring configuration. Torpedo Armament: Eight torpedoes in 2x4 launchers. Asashio has a singular designed purpose: to make the two principal warring factions on the World of Warships Reddit, the BBabies and the DD-Mafia, down-vote each other into oblivion. Wargaming knows that by doing this they can eliminate their two most vocal detractors, or at least keep them distracted long enough to finally get around to balancing Aircraft Carriers without interruption. TORPEDOES Asashio will slaughter your battleships without remorse and there's not much you can do to stop her. Asashio's tools of destruction are a pair of quadruple torpedo launchers mounted amidships. These have excellent fields of fire, a horribly long reload and they break often when you look at them funny. All of this is pretty standard fare for Japanese destroyers. What makes Asashio so special is that she effectively mounts the equivalent tier X, Shimakaze warheads two tiers lower. They are blisteringly fast, ridiculously long ranged and have enough striking power to end worlds. Wargaming has "balanced' this (ha!) by modifying them into a Deepwater variant -- because zero reaction time is what makes facing torpedoes fun and fair. This Deepwater thing has two components. First, it limits the number of targets that can be hit. Destroyers and Cruisers need not fear Asashio's torpedoes at all. She's utterly incapable of striking them. She is instead limited to damaging aircraft carriers and battleships. Given the logistical nightmare of encountering an aircraft carrier in the modern meta, Asashio therefor has a rather myopic fixation on nuking dreadnoughts. You can allay any fears you may have had about poor Asashio's success rate with landing hits, though. The second part of Deepwater torpedoes is their tiny surface detection. Asashio's fish are only spotted at a range of 0.9km. With the added nerf to aerial detection, her torpedoes can safely run their full track with little fear of being seen until it's too late. Short of preëmptive WASD hax, battleships do not have enough time to avoid Asashio's attacks if they wait until they're spotted which all but guarantees hits for well-aimed strikes. Even stacking anti-torpedo skills and modules does little to help. It's only those battleships with the Hydroacoustic Search consumable that have any hope of belatedly dodging Asashio's fish, and even then, Vigilance is almost a must. You have no real hope of trying to dodge Asashio's torpedoes in a battleship if you're only reacting the moment you spot them. Only those battleships with the Hydroacoustic Search consumable can afford complacency. Duke of York (tier 7), Bismarck (tier 8), Friedrich der Große (tier 9) and Großer Kurfürst (tier 10) are only ever safe while their consumable is active, however. The Two Layers of Stupid Asashio double-stacks the stupid with two scoops of insanity. Mindfuc ... er, "Vigorous Sexing of the Brain" the First: Asashio has a 20km range with her torpedoes. Alright, so Asashio has ridiculously long ranged fish. The implications of this are pretty horrifying when you stop to think a moment. With her 112s reload (which reduces down to 100.8 seconds with Torpedo Armament Expertise), Asashio is making her first cross-map launch before anyone has finished deploying. This means that in the opening minutes of a match, from the moment they are spotted, battleships must anticipate incoming torpedoes. Most battleships have scarcely moved beyond their starting location by this time and may only be taking their first speculative, long-range shots at their counterparts. There is unlikely to be any effective torpedo detection screen between them and this first salvo from Asashio, so battleships must begin evasive manoeuvres within the first two minutes of a match or risk taking torpedo hits. The travel time for Asashio's 67 knot torpedoes is less than two minutes to their maximum range. Battleships must make course adjustments with this 100 second reload timer in mind -- every minute and a half, change course and heading. The other element Asashio's ludicrous reach allows for is taking advantage of the Torpedo Acceleration skill without losing significant amounts of range. Asashio with Torpedo Acceleration now has 72 knot torpedoes at up to 16km, further reducing reaction times. This greatly increases their threat and this does very little to limit their practicality in long-range engagements. The only salve to all of this is that the gaps between torpedoes at very long ranges are huge. It is unlikely that more than a single torpedo will hit per launcher at ranges of 15km or more, even if they're perfectly aimed with a narrow spread. Asashio players that insist on trying for these Hail Mary shots will not prove very effective in the long run. But, of course, Wargaming thought of this, which leads us to... Vigorous Sexing of the Brain the Second: Asashio has access to the Torpedo Reload Booster consumable. If you thought there was any pretense of making this fair, Asashio can double-up on her torpedo drops every four to six minutes, allowing her to go Super-Saiyan and turn into a blonde-haired Shimakaze for a moment. Within 9 seconds, she can dump a full sixteen (!) torpedoes, dispensing a veritable "wall of skill" for battleships to face. At long-range, this increases the likelihood of landing multiple hits -- though usually no more than four on a single target. But that's not the real danger presented by this consumable. It's far more deadly when used to space out torpedo hits so that they land in between uses of the battleship's Damage Control Party. It's all but guaranteed that if one of Asashio's torpedo hits causes flooding that battleships will immediately patch this up. By waiting a mere 10 or so seconds to launch their second wave of torpedoes after the first, any follow-up hits are likely to stack the dreaded damage over time effect. And if you thought your anti-torpedo defenses on your Yamato-class battleship would keep you safe, I have news for you... Asashio Doesn't Care Whatever pretty little torpedo defense you think your battleship has, Asashio doesn't care. She's blessed with the highest flooding chance in the game. Even when facing targets with the best torpedo damage reduction and striking them directly on their anti-torpedo bulge, she is still likely to open them up to sea water and cause critical flooding. You know you're dealing with a monster when some of the best-protected ships in the game can't prevent flooding two-thirds of the time. This makes follow-up strikes much less of a gamble. Even a lone torpedo can doom a battleship to slowly hemorrhage up to 60% of their hit points. The inclusion of Torpeedo Reload Booster to Asashio's arsenal is that much more dangerous because of this fact. It's a damn good thing that her torpedoes don't override the damage mitigation provided by TDS as well or we'd have words. Asashio has the best flooding chance in the game currently. Even with maximized TDS, most battleships are very likely to take flooding critical hits. Even Kagero's torpedoes don't compare. Großer Kurfürst, Friedrich der Große, Lion, Iowa, Missouri, Kii, Nagato, Ashitaka, Dunkerque, Tirpitz, Bismarck, Monarch, Gneisenau, Scharnhorst, King George V, Duke of York, Mutsu, Warspite, Queen Elizabeth, North Carolina, Nelson, Bayern, Lyon, Hood, and Normandie have zero chance of preventing Asashio from flooding them. The absolute minimum torpedo defense system a battleship requires (before upgrades) to prevent flooding is a 28% reduction. Less than that and your TDS is trash. Torpedo Summary Asashio has some great torpedoes. They're so good in fact they outright negate most defenses battleships can take to mitigate them. Unless your battleship has a minimum of 28% base torpedo protection, Damage Control Modification 1 does nothing to increase your chances to mitigate flooding. Target Acquisition Modification 1 and Vigilance will not give enough warning to help avoid Asashio's torpedoes. Only Hydroacoustic Search does. Asashio's torpedoes are, by design, a hard counter to battleship play. It's too bad that's all they're good for. GUNS! To the detriment of many a team reliant upon Asashio doing more than farming damage off battleships, Asashio's guns will be a mere afterthought. Short of Akizuki, no other Japanese destroyer is as dependent upon her main battery armament for her success as Asashio. With her torpedoes so heavily specialized, proper management of her guns is absolutely critical for helping your team win. Ignoring or dismissing them will cost you many games. You cannot (and must not) ignore destroyers and cruisers in favour of making battleships poop themselves with rage. Like it or not, you're going to have to use your guns in Asashio if you want to succeed. For such a critical weapon system, they suck moose balls. Her gun armament is almost identical to that of a fully upgraded Kagero or an A-Hull Harekaze. The only difference is range where Asashio enjoys an extra 1.6km reach. While this does give her a larger surface detection bloom when she opens fire, the extra distance is quite welcome given the different targets you will have to attack with these guns. While they have excellent ballistic arcs and shell performance, they are utterly lacking in rate of fire and damage output. Their traverse rate is horribly sluggish. You cannot and will not enjoy firepower superiority over anything short of select lower-tier IJN destroyers, and then only if your guns are already facing in the right direction. Yet, you will be repeatedly asked (and expected) to take on the likes of Bensons, Fletchers and Khabarovsks in Asashio if you want to win. The nightmare scenario for Asashio is to find herself in end-game of a close match facing a hale and healthy cruiser or destroyer. To this end, aggressive plays with her guns are often a necessity early on in engagements where friendly ships can help secure a kill or drive off enemies. However, these attacks are not without their risks and attempting them at the wrong time against the wrong target will simply make you look foolish. Make use of smoke and every cheap tactic you can imagine. Join fights late to preserve your own hit points and take pride in whatever licks of damage you can get in. You don't want to have to do this on your own late in a game. Asashio's guns are utterly ill-suited for the heavy lifting that's asked of them, but they're all you've got so make the most of it. Asashio isn't outgunning any of her contemporaries without help. So this is the part where I'm supposed to tell you that disparity of the two weapon systems creates some semblance of fairness. I'm not gonna. The asymmetry of the power level between Asashio's guns and torpedoes does make an interesting case study on the subject. My own opinion is that Asashio is decidedly lopsided -- downright comically so. This is a ship whose success can largely be attributed to team Matchmaking. If there's a lot of battleships on the enemy team and not many destroyers, you'll have a great game and likely come out as MVP if you time and aim your fish correctly. When it's not, most players will fail their teams utterly and it's really not their fault. In this regard, Asashio is best compared to HMS Conqueror, the tier X Royal Navy battleship. Armed with twelve 419mm guns spamming nothing but HE shells, Conqueror often tops the team lists and gives the illusion of being an absolute rock-star. No enemy battleship can stand against Mega-Zao (thank you, Flamu, for that wonderful name). Similarly, no battleship stands any kind of chance against Asashio. Facing either of these monsters is not fun. However, they won't win as many games as their ridiculous damage totals indicate they should. Short of an early Devastating Strike or gutting several battleships at once, Asashio's influence is surprisingly limited. I cannot stress this enough, and it will be difficult for some players to reconcile -- Asashio's armaments are as controversial and heavy-handed as Royal Navy battleship HE. They will seem to contribute far more to team success than they actually do. For some players that are just looking to get some big damage numbers, Asashio will be a dream boat. For those where winning is more important, Asashio is a liability if Matchmaker is unkind. The more I played Asashio, the more I began to appreciate and value gun-kills over torpedo kills. I loved the challenge of contesting and battling over cap circles. My torpedoes farmed some easy damage, credits, experience and complete missions (often with trivial levels of difficulty), but the real battle was taking on and besting enemy destroyers and cruisers with her artillery. For high-end play in this ship, it's all about how and when to use her guns rather than maximizing her torpedoes which I find delightfully ironic. This isn't easy and this isn't for everyone. If you prefer, you can just mindlessly dump fish into battleships at the cost of objectives and winning. It's what everyone is expecting you to do. Summary Asashio's torpedoes are brainless easy-mode. Asashio's torpedoes will not win you games. You're going to have to use your guns if you want to win. Often a lot. And it's not always going to work out for you. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : I was really on the fence with this one. I almost bumped her up from a rating, so it's not going to take much to upgrade. Faster firing guns alone would probably do it. If her torpedoes became even more versatile she'd be so broken it's not even funny. Defense Hit Points: 15,100hp Maximum Protection: 20mm gun turrets. Minimum Extremities & Deck Armour:19mm Red bars are not to numerical scale (just to feels scale). For those without feels: You're an inhuman monster. Evaluating destroyer durability is pretty straight-forward. At tier VIII, there's only one destroyer with a gimmick and that's USS Kidd with her Repair Party. All of the other destroyers conform to the norms found at tier VIII, with 19mm worth of armour covering the hull and deck and 13mm superstructures. Thus comparing them is simply a matter of looking at hit point totals and lining them up from best to worst. Kidd wins out with the third highest overall hit point pool and her mutant healing powers. Asashio doesn't come out well in this line up, truth be told. She's not as as Harekaze and she even beats out Loyang, but it would be a mistake to think that she's in a good place. She's just not strong enough to trade with enemy destroyers at her tier. All of those problems with her guns compound because she's just not tough. In order to have any chance of staying alive, it's imperative that you invest in Survivability Expert to give Asashio an additional 2,800hp. While you're likely to meet opponents who have the same skill, in those encounters where you bump into someone without, this can make all the difference. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Kidd's Repair Party or 5,000 more hit points. Asashio is nowhere close to being in this category. Agility Top Speed: 35.0 knots Turning Radius: 640m Rudder Shift Time: 3.6s Maximum Rate of Turn: 7.0º/s How to have not-terrible agility at tier VIII: Stand next to ducky. Bonus points if it's a static bot. This works well for tier VII battleships too, though they must stand next to Colorado. All jokes about Akizuki aside, Asashio's agility is not in a good place. Her 35 knot top speed is slow for a destroyer. Once outliers are removed, 35 knots is among the slowest top speed you'll find within her Matchmaking spread. She's not alone at this value, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Fubuki and Shinonome at tier VI, Mahan at tier VII, Kagero at tier VIII and Black at tier IX. Combined with her large(ish) turning radius of 640m and Asashio doesn't come about particularly quickly. She's no slug, but she's definitely no American DD. This package of traits is nothing new. Most IJN destroyers share the same combination of lackluster traits which makes them vulnerable to being run down by enemy gunships and it complicates avoiding aircraft. This is definitely one of Asashio's weaknesses, but it's not an exaggerated or crippling weakness to be sure. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Asashio is only because Akizuki is also a tier VIII destroyer. She's right on the cusp of being . To get her out of the doldrums, she would really need something special here, like an extra five knots of speed at the very least and more perks besides. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 25mm AA Umbrella Ranges: 3.1km AA DPS per Aura: 10 Please note the sarcasm. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Not allowed. This is the fulcrum upon which all Asashio balance is based. Honest and for true. I mean it for realsies, guys. Refrigerator Surface Detection Range: 6.84 km Air Detection Range: 3.78 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 5.37km Concealment when Firing in Smoke: 2.55km Asashio is not only the stealthiest destroyer at her tier, she's the stealthiest destroyer within her Matchmaking spread. While she is matched by Kagero and Harekaze for surface detection, Asashio squeaks out a smaller aerial detection on top of this. Now this is really splitting hairs, given that it's a paltry 60m, but still. For a destroyer that boasts upwards of a 14.63km stealth-launching window for her torpedoes, her surface detection range looks like complete overkill, but it's not. It's one of the few tools that gives Asashio any pretense of supporting her team, should her player be so inclined. Like IJN destroyers, Asashio has the stealth advantage and can usually spot enemy destroyers before being spotted in return. The safety window for doing this is tiny in some cases and always full of risk. Short of tripping over some of the biggest thunder-chunkers masquerading as fellow lolibotes (Khabarovsk, I am looking at you), there's often not time enough to turn away before being seen in return. Given Asashio's weakness to winning one versus one engagements, it's imperative to capitalize on these early encounters when there are still friendly guns around to provide backup. Don't be shy of sacrificing a few hit points to help ensure that an enemy lolibote gets wrecked. Don't be so quick to reach for your Smoke Generator either -- try to force the enemy to smoke up first and keep providing eyes for your team. As wonderful as Asashio's dominance of stealth is, she doesn't have everything her own way. She cannot scrape off enemy aircraft to save her life which can easily keep her perma-spotted. In addition lots (and lots) of radar / sonar equipped ships would love to trip over a vulnerable Asashio. Once they get on your butt, you're in for a rough time. Evaluation: What would have to happen to DOWNGRADE to : This is much closer than it looks, with Loyang being an easy contender for the best at her tier and Harekaze & Kagero sharing functionally the same concealment. While Asashio dominates in stealth, Loyang combines reasonable concealment with her totally-not-overtuned-in-the-slightest Hydroacoustic Search with its extended range. How to Help Control the Battleship Overpopulation Asashio makes a great trainer for higher tiered IJN destroyer commanders, though she may not be ideal for lower tiered ones. The following is the ideal build for Asashio. Feel free to follow along using ShipComrade's Captain Skill Calculator to try out various test builds. Start with Priority Target. This skill has lesser value in IJN destroyers (if you're seen, it's pretty safe to assume everyone is shooting at you), so I would value Preventative Maintenance with equal weight here. You're still a destroyer, so Last Stand has the highest value at tier 2. Next up, take Torpedo Armament Expertise. This will drop your reload time from 112 seconds to 100.8 seconds. For your 10th skill point, Concealment Expert shouldn't surprise anyone. And finally, double back to tier 3 and take Survivability Expert to boost up your hit points from 15,100 to 17,900. After this, it becomes a question of choosing between some high value skills between your six remaining skill points. At tier 2, Torpedo Acceleration is of the highest value, with Adrenaline Rush and Expert Marksman following in order. At tier 3, Basic Fire Training is of higher value than Superintendent. At tier 4, Radio Location is invaluable for influencing vision control. Between these six skills, distribute your six remaining points as you choose. During play testing, I used a 15 point commander that took Torpedo Acceleration. Development Version 1.0 She began life in late December of 2017. Her first iteration was little more than a Kagero-clone in terms of game play. The reactions to her announcement were... well, they were to be expected. Version 2.0 Fast forward to early February and we received a new version of Asashio. She acquired her now infamous Deepwater Torpedoes and her Torpedo Reload Booster no longer competed with her Smoke Generator. I had a lot of fun playing this version of Asashio. I admit, I gave her a big ol' thumbs-up during my first few times out in her and she kept right on delighting me. The honeymoon I was having with her was short-lived, however. A week later and I began having concerns that she was a little overtuned as it was far too easy to damage battleships, though I admit this view was narrowly focused. Not all the other testers were enjoying the same level of success. Version 3.0 Two weeks after version 2.0, we received the third and what would prove to be the final version of Asashio. She received a slight increase in the surface detection of her torpedoes. This change would not significantly affect her performance. This brought her gun handling and rate of fire to the same level as Kagero. This opened up the possibility of engaging lower tiered IJN destroyers in uneven gun fights. It was clear that Wargaming wanted a battleship hunting monster and that was the ship Asashio was to become. My views would mellow out over time, however... Final Evaluation Mouse's Summary: Asashio won't break the game. When you look at her analytically, she's not a very competitive destroyer all told. The current battleship-heavy meta empowers her. She's only as good as the persistence of that environment. Asashio, by her very design, will polarize opinions. She is very good at being simultaneously a battleship assassin and a punching bag for cruisers and gunship destroyers. This is a ship built upon the principle of no counter-play, exaggerating the old paper-rock-scissors design of 2015. Dreadnoughts that are alone and/or exposed or those that are sailing predictably at long-range are going to get punished and punished hard. One on one, they also stand no chance. Similarly, there is very little Asashio can do to an enemy gunship destroyer or cruiser that wants her booty when she's caught without support. She is, in all aspects, a comical exaggeration of the IJN destroyer stereotype, for good and for ill. I do not see her being much different from a less versatile version of an old-timey Shiratsuyu or a similarly myopic Kamikaze-sisters that's all about the battleship damages. Really, boiled down to the sum of her parts, Asashio is a trashbote that is poorly equipped to play objectives, but at least she'll wreck something. This makes evaluating her fun. Let's use the Angry Youtuber scale for this. I know, I know, I'm getting this review format slightly out-of-order, but indulge me: 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 On the one hand, you've got the obvious Battleship perspective: To Battleship Players: Asashio is the end of all things. Game balance and fun as we know it is doomed. Uninstall now. The good times are over. Despite Asashio's predation techniques already being present in the Pan Asian destroyer line, this time it's super-cereal because it's now in the hands of an IJN destroyer that couldn't fight their way out of a wet shoe-box. At the other extreme, we have the perspective of someone who abhors the current BB-heavy meta: The Return to Eden. This is the destroyer those BBabies deserve. Now you can punish those BBabies for having the nerve, nay the audacity to dare enjoying that ship type and game play. They're about to Get Balanced™ in the most extreme way possible. It's doubly delicious that it's coming from an IJN destroyer, whose tech-tree line has suffered the ignominy of being nerfed over and over and over again while battleships have only ever received buffs! Don't fact check that last part! For anyone else, she's just another IJN destroyer but with gimped torpedoes. Asashio is about as terrifying as a cute little bunny. Most ships in the game can counter her easily with a simple count of three (counting to five is right out). Still, you've got to give her mad props for flying about and decapitating BBabies. Asashio is not well designed. In the hands of the masses, I predict she will hoover up some ridiculous damage totals but her win rate is going to suck. She should mirror Shimakaze in many respects. Most players will enjoy her -- she'll do some nice damage but short of being in the hands of a unicum, her influence on the overall outcome will be dictated by what Matchmaker hands to her. It's a fallacy to think that she will greatly influence the meta. Battleships are already loathe to push if they even smell a destroyer ahead of them. Few take the time to differentiate the threat between ship classes, treating all destroyers as if they had the ability to catastrophically end them suddenly. Similarly, assuming that Asashio will unnecessarily punish any battleship that does have the audacity to push is also fallacy. ALL destroyers (and all cruisers and other battleships) will always focus on the closest battleship. It's already chronic on how many players will focus on the ease of stacking damage against battleships over more critical (and perhaps closer) targets. Asashio does not change this. What Asashio does do is exaggerate these bad habits. I grant you: she's not well designed. But at least she does this because she has to rather than by the fault of the player. Would I Recommend? Asashio absolutely trivializes a lot of requirements for missions and campaigns. She's also going to be a great ship for people that are trying to unlock achievement badges for destroyers and Japanese ships. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? No, I wouldn't. The mirrored team building in Co-Op means it's possible for you to end up in matches with only a single target for your torpedoes. This makes it hard for her to earn XP and Credits. Similarly, if there was ever a Scenario which didn't have a plethora of enemy battleships to target, Asashio would suck hard and not in the sexy way. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Very yes on toast. This is where she belongs and she'll reward you well. Devastating Strike, Witherer, High Caliber and LIquidator medals will come easy. You may struggle to achieve Confederate medals however, unless Matchmaker REALLY likes you. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Please don't bring this on my team in Ranked. I'll forgive you if somehow the meta is something other than destroyers this season. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Yes, Asashio is a storied vessel with not only an extensive service record, but a sad and honourable end. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? I enjoy this ship a lot, though I do so with some mild pangs of guilt. They're only mild, though, so I wouldn't call the affliction serious enough to stem any recommendation. In Closing I had a lot of fun putting this one together. I've hoped you enjoyed reading it. This is one ship where I would love to look over Wargaming's shoulder an analyze the meta-data as it comes in after it gets a general release. There have been all sorts of predictions on how she will perform and what influence she will have on the game. Being able to see which side of the debate is vindicated by official stats would be interesting. My thanks go out to my Patrons on Patreon. Dozens of hours of work were put into the review you just read including time spent play testing, writing and doing graphics. Working around my schedule to get these out on time is difficult and the financial support provided by my patrons facilitates this. Every dollar helps. So thank you all -- not just those who donate, but those who read and enjoy these reviews. It means a lot to me. Appendix A list of sites, programs and people I rely upon to create my reviews. For the complete list of my other reviews, please go here:
  12. Hey guys, im running low on credits and decided to get a T8 premium ship to grind them out, the problem is i dont know what ship to get that will give me consistent good battles and credits, so far i have heard good things about Alabama and Atago so i dont know which one of these to get, any other ships are welcome for suggestion aswell! Edit: Hey guys! thanks for all the replies, i have read every comment and despite many people recommending ships like Scharnhorst and Tirpitz due to my experience with German Battleships, i have decided to get Atago, i have seen a couple of videos of it and looks very fun, the concealment, access to health repair party and great torps are very appealing to me. Reasons for not getting scharnhorst or Tirpitz is because i dont really want another close range Brawler battleship, Bismarck and Kurfurst are really fun but i do want to explore other game styles aswell. Thanks again for all the help, i didn't expect this many people to reply and help me out, what a great community! P.S: dont say Missouri 😂
  13. Muy buenas a todos, hace unos días jugue una partida con HSF harekaze con todos los bonos de creditos puestos, cuenta premium, etc. ¿La cantidad de creditos que saque es la normal con cualquier otro tier 8 montando los mismo bonos de creditos?
  14. Today I am going to showcase my experience in the Tier 8 Royal Navy Destroyer, the Lightning. Overall a decent ship, but my experience in it was "something different" compaired to other ships I have played.
  15. I have been playing T8-10 and I think the players in the weekends are casual and squishy, while those during the weekdays (even weekday evenings) are significantly stronger. Is this my confirmation bias or do you also observe it this way?
  16. I enjoyed playing ranked battles then there is last season. Last season at tier 8 was brutal, I started and ended season at just 2 ranks a part and had no fun. Win 1 and loss 2, Win 1 and lost 8, there was no joy of being stuck at more or less same rank. I am not the greatest player but should not have been so hard to get 2 ranks. I wanted to end at least rank 10 which before last season did in 20-30 matches moving up 10-15 ranks a season but took me 40+ to move just 2. Wargaming please do something to make playing ranked fun again because current season is repeating last one. I loved playing tier 7 ranked so maybe do that again?
  17. CommandantObvious

    Inertia Fuse on T8 Cleveland

    I have been playing the new T8 Cleveland for a while now but have been wondering if anyone has advise on using inertia fuse shells or not. 152mm guns are recommended to take it so I been playing with it since I got it (my Atlanta captain has found his non-premium ship lol). If not IFHE then what other 4pt trait? Thinking Advanced Firing training, but wanted to hear other thoughts.
  18. Leyendas Navales: Bismarck Si alguien hiciese una encuesta en todos los países del globo cual es el barco de guerra más conocido el Bismark sería probablemente el ganador. Fue el barco orgullo de la marina de Hitler. La representación del resurgido poderío Alemán. Y en su primera misión de combate logró hundir al Hood el orgullo de la marina británica pero fue hundido él mismo por los británicos tras una colosal cacería. Historia: Desarrollo: Esta icónica clase comenzó su desarrollo a comienzos de la década del 30 con estudios sobre un acorazado con 35000 toneladas de desplazamiento estándar. En principio iba a estar armado con cañones de 330mm pero cuando los franceses comenzaron su programa de rearme naval y se vislumbro a los Richelieu armados con cañones de 380mm Alemania se vio compelida a igualar la potencia artillera de quien veía como su potencial adversario. Dado que Alemania carecía de bases de ultramar se previó que tuviese gran alcance para embarcarse en la guerra de corso.Diseño: La disposición de 8 cañones en 4 torretas era heredada del Bayern. Esto hacía al diseño más pesado y con una ciudadela más larga pero ofrecía otras ventajas. La idea era minimizar las posibilidades que un tiro con suerte elimine mucho del potencial ofensivo del barco. Otra ventaja es que las torretas dobles podían mantener una velocidad de disparo ligeramente superior a las más complejas torretas triples o cuádruples. El tratado anglo alemán permitía el uso de cañones de 405mm, pero lo alemanes se decantaron por los 380mm por que ya tenía experiencia y podían ser terminados más rápido.A diferencia de la tendencia mundial de que la secundaria fuese de doble propósito, los alemanes mantuvieron una secundaria anti destructores y otra para función antiaérea. Esto se debe a numerosas razones. Una de las más importantes es que los alemanes temían más a los ataques de destructores que a los ataques aéreos. Otro factor era que las cureñas de los cañones antiaéreos pesados alemanes no lograban la estabilización en 3 ejes para hacerlos realmente efectivos en su rol antiaéreo. Esto de tener dos tipos de secundarias implicaba un gran peso agregado.Los motores eran turbinas engranada que impulsaban tres hélices. Este sistema fue criticado por que teóricamente debilitaba el casco. Sin embargo le daban al Bismarck unos muy buenos 30 nudos. Un problema no correctamente valorado es que el barco no podía girar bien sin usar los timones (o sea con diferentes velocidades en las hélices). Un detalle, quizás, pero que se mostraría fatal. En la gran interrogante de que priorizar: velocidad, protección o armamento los alemanes siempre se inclinaron por blindaje. Ellos visualizaban que el combate se daría en las nebulosas aguas del mar del norte o del atlántico norte y protegieron a su barco pensando en un combate a cortas distancias. El Bismarck asignaba el 40% de su peso total a blindaje. Una proporción nunca igualada por otro barco. Así se destaca su impresionante protección vertical. El blindaje de cintura protege el 70 % de la línea de flotación del barco con 320mm de espesor. Mucho más largo que cualquier otro acorazado. Por encima de esta el blindaje es de 145 mm. Y por debajo de la línea de flotación una franja más bien angosta (de altura) de 170mm. La protección horizontal no era tan espectacular. La cubierta superior tenía un grosor de 50 mm, aumentando a 80 mm en torno a las torretas. La cubierta subsiguiente es de 20mm. Y tras esta viene la cubierta blindada principal con un grosor de 95mm. La protección horizontal se conecta la vertical a través de una cubierta inclinada con un grosor de 120mm. El Bismarck también se rebeló como una plataforma de tiro muy estable gracias a que se lo hiso proporcionalmente más ancho que otros barcos de la época. Tras las pruebas se le cambió la proa recta por una más inclinada llamada "proa atlántica". Esto lo beneficiaba para mantener la proa un poco más seca, especialmente en mares gruesos. Historial de Servicio: La razón de la fama del Bismarck es su única, dramática y épica singladura. La operación Rheinübung tenía como objetivo permitir que los buques mayores de las Kriegsmarine burlaran el bloqueo ingles y una vez en el atlántico destrozar el sistema de convoyes aliado, ahogando a Gran Bretaña. En principio la idea era que participasen el Bismarck y el Prinz Eugen (crucero pesado clase Hipper) desde el Báltico y los crucero de batalla clase Scharnhorst desde la costa francesa. Pero estos dos sufrieron daños que no le permitieron participar. El Tirpitz por otro lado no estaba completamente listo para la batalla. Lutjens, el almirante a cargo de la operación, pidió demorar la incursión hasta poder sumar a este u otro barco pero Raeder, el almirante a cargo de toda la marina alemana, no lo permitió pues sabía que una vez comience "Barbarroja" la marina solo iba a ser comparsa de todo el esfuerzo bélico. Rheinübung entonces fue lanzado con solo su pinza norte el 18 de Mayo de 1941. Era clave poder mantener en secreto que los dos barcos se aventurarían al atlántico pero sin embargo cuando cruzaban el estrecho del kattegat fueron descubiertos por los Suecos, y estos informaron a los ingleses. Ambos barcos se reunieron en un fiordo noruego, donde fueron avistados por el reconocimiento aéreo ingles, y el 22 partieron hacia el atlántico. Los ingleses conocedores de lo que tal barco podría hacer a sus líneas de suministros movilizaron a la mayor parte de la flota para cubrir los posibles accesos del mar del norte al atlántico. De todas las posibles ruta la más al norte y lejana era la del "Estrecho de Dinamarca" que separa Islandia de Groenlandia y su pack de hielo. Aquí fue donde los encargados de la vigilancia de esta zona , los cruceros Suffolk y Norfolk detectaron a la fuerza alemana y se pusieron a seguirlos con cuidado de siempre mantenerse fuera del alcance de los cañones del acorazado. El seguimiento era para coordinar la congregación de las unidades más pesadas inglesas que se habían movilizado para cazar el acorazado alemán. Los más cercanos eran el crucero de batalla "Hood" y el acorazado "Prince of Wales". Así por la mañana del siguiente día estos aparecieron y dio comienzo la batalla del estrecho de Dinamarca. El Prince of Wales era una acorazado moderno, pero todavía no estaba debidamente asentado, fue rápidamente lanzado al servicio para esta operación. De hecho todavía tenía operarios civiles trabajando a bordo. El Hood por el contrario era un crucero de batalla botado en la primera guerra mundial y bastante modernizado para enfrentarse a cualquier barco moderno. Era el orgullo de la marina británica y su navío más famoso. Pero para este momento adolecía de un problema: su débil blindaje de cubierta.El almirante ingles sabiendo la debilidad de su barco a los tiros lejanos previó acercarse con la oscuridad y montar una batalla de corto alcance. Sin embargo no pude realizar esto y la batalla comenzó al amanecer a una distancia de 24 km. Los ingleses poseían artillería más poderosa pero la debilidad en la cubierta del Hood los obligaba a acortar distancia. Este fue el plan de Holland pero a los 6 minutos de comenzada la refriega un proyectil perforante del Bismarck penetro la débil cubierta superior del Hood y detonó en la santabárbara de las antiaéreas. Esto hizo que surgiera una columna de fuego continua, como un volcán de pirotecnia para que luego una poderosa explosión partiera al barco en dos. Solo 3 de los 1418 hombres a bordo sobrevivieron. El "Prince of Wales" siguió el combate por si solo pero fue alcanzado y perdió mucha de su capacidad artillera. Alcanzo al Bismarck pero este seguía disparando con toda su potencia intacta. Así que su capitán decidió romper el contacto y alejarse. En el Bismarck el jubiló invadía a la tripulación después de tan resonante victoria. El capitán quería perseguir y rematar al Prince of Wales pero el almirante Lutjens lo prohibió pues tenía órdenes de evitar combates. su objetivo era el comercio.Al comprobar los daños se enteraron que los tiros del "Prince of Wales" habían dañado el suministro de combustible. Esto obligó a Lutjens a abandonar la misión y llevar al Bismarck a algún puerto. Se decidió por la Francia ocupada. Los ingleses no se amilanaron por esto y siguieron firmes congregando todo barco disponible para detener al coloso alemán. El Suffolk y el Norfolk siguieron en la estela de la formación alemana pero ahora con el maltrecho "Prince of Wales" como refuerzo. mientras tanto Lutjens amago con encarar a los cruceros para permitir al "Prince Eugen" escaparse y cazar en solitario. El portaviones "Victorious" se encontraba a menos de 200km y lanzo un ataque nocturno con torpederos swordfish a las 10pm. Un solo torpedo golpeo al barco, pero su protección anti torpedo aguantó. A las 3 am un giro inesperado del Bismarck le permitió escaparse del contacto ingles. Estos se dispersaron y buscaron hacia el norte pero el Bismarck había enfilado al este, a Brest. Cuando los ingleses volvieron a encontrar el barco este ya había escapado del cerco que formaba la principal fuerza inglesa bajo el almirante Tovey. La última esperanza de detenerlo antes de que llegue a Brest era la fuerza H que venía desde el sur. Este tenía al portaviones "Ark Royal" que lanzo a sus swordfish. Estos primeros casi hunden a un aliado al confundir al crucero "Sheffield" con el Bismarck. Pero luego fueron rearmados y con un tiempo pésimo enfilaron hacia el alemán. El Bismarck al recibir el ataque de los Swordfish comenzó a maniobrar para esquivarlos y fue impactado en los timones cuando un giro lo dejo apuntando hacia el enemigo que hasta ese momento no podía alcanzarlo. El daño en los timones fue crítico. Los intentos de maniobrar el barco con las hélices fallaron y el barco quedo condenado. Por la noche varios destructores atacaron con torpedos pero fallaron. La mañana del 27 de mayo comenzó la batalla final. Los acorazados "Rodney" y "King George V" se abatieron sobre el Bismarck cuya capacidad de combate estaba muy mermada. La inclinación del barco debido a los daños sufridos afectaba su puntería, y la incapacidad de maniobrar y la lentitud (solo podía hacer 11 nudos) lo hacían un blanco fácil. Luego los cruceros Dorshetshire y Norfolk se unieron a la refriega. Tras 30 minutos de combate todas las armas del Bismarck habían sido silenciadas. El Rodney se acerco para fusilar al barco alemán a quemarropa. Sin embargo, pese a estar fuera de combate hacía rato, y mucho más bajo en el agua debido lo inundado que estaba, el barco se negaba a hundirse. Los barcos ingleses debieron retornar a puerto por estar cortos de combustibles y se dio la orden de que el Dorshetshire lo liquidase con torpedos. uno de estos impacto increíblemente contra la superestructura del barco. Mientras tanto en el barco se dieron cuenta que continuar la batalla era inútil y se colocaron cargas de demolición para evitar fuese tomado como presa por los ingleses. Este fue el final para el barco. Los ingleses levantaron a algunos marinos del mar pero la alarma de ver submarinos en la zona (falsa alarma resulto ser) los llevo a detener el rescate. Sobrevivieron poco más de 100 marineros de los 2200 que embarcaba el Bismark. En el Juego. El Bismarck fue precedido en nuestros mares por el Tirpitz. Si bien son similares hay diferencias. La más obvia es que no tiene torpedos. Posee sin embargo hidroacustic scanner. Este equipamiento le permite luchar contra el terror de todo capitán de acorazados: los destructores invisibles. El Bismarck es un "brawler", un peleador de combates cercanos. No me malentiendan, tiene un buen alcance, por lo que puede responder al fuego eficientemente a casi cualquier distancia. Pero donde sus características comienzan a brillar es en distancias inferiores a 10km. Sus secundarias son temibles y bien equipadas pueden llegar a este rango. Esto unido con el equipo hidroacústico le permiten contrarrestar bastante a los destructores y sus torpedos. Más aun el gigante es sorprendentemente ágil por lo que es improbable que una oleada lejana lo impacte. El otro factor que lo beneficia para el combate cercano es su impresionante blindaje. A los 315mm de cintura se le agrega el caparazón de tortuga inclinado lo cual hace muy difícil conseguir ciudadelas contra el gigante alemán. Este le permite recuperar puntos de vida después de un combate al no recibir ciudadelas. Entre los puntos débiles podríamos citar que su potencia artillera es inferior a la de sus contemporáneos, especialmente el Amagi. Que no posee los torpedos de su hermano. y Que la antiaérea si bien es buena es muy frágil y los HE de los cruceros rápidamente la reducen.