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Valkyr's Ship Guides: Kirov

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Note: Based on my success with the Moskva guide, I want to continue the series with my second-favorite cruiser: Kirov.  I see so many people saying Kirov is bad, so I want to show them the actual way to play the ship.  I hate to brag, but if you don’t trust me, I am one of the top Kirov players on the server, without divisioning frequently (maybe a total of 10 or so battles in division and that’s me and TenguBlade just having our not-so-carry-hard division). 

 

Please note, it may appear that I have ripped of LittleWhiteMouse, but she doesn't hold a copyright for her guides, and I specifically asked her with my first guide if I could do ship guides, and she gave me the green light.

 

Guide Written as of Patch 0.6.0.1

 

 Project 26 Cruiser

Kirov

Russian Demo Version

KdjlmsI.jpg

Kirov in all her glory.

 

The Quick Review

 

Quick Summary: Tier V light cruiser that packs powerful, but nerfed, guns.  She plays a lot like Furutaka, but with much more range and bad torpedoes.  Her armor is below even the standards of the tier.  Has poor maneuverability which is trademark of all Russian cruisers.  If you want the “full version”, get Molotov.

 

Most Relatable Ships: Furutaka, Molotov

Resemblance: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique

                                                       Molotov           Furutaka

 

Kirov is the name ship of her class, the Project 26 cruisers.  I want to make this clear, she is NOT exactly the same as Molotov, which is Project 26bis.  They share many characteristics, but Molotov is about 300 tons heavier, less noticeable because of her smaller bridge, more armored, slightly faster, and has more AA.  These are historical differences, not just in-game differences.  Kirov would get the Molotov’s guns if they were balanced at Tier V, because the guns didn’t change between the two ships historically.

 

OK, that’s a really long digression from the guide.  But my main point is to show that Kirov is essentially a nerfed Molotov, or Molotov is a buffed Kirov, depends on how you look at it.

 

Anyway, my main point with the relatable ships was to relate Kirov to Furutaka, the original cruiser with big guns at Tier V.  Furutaka’s motto is to load AP and make citadel ribbons pop up on your screen by citadeling cruisers practically everywhere.  Kirov’s role is similar, but you cannot overmatch 13mm of bow armor that most cruisers at this tier have.  Therefore, Kirov needs a bit more thinking than just sticking to one shell type.  Kirov does have the luxury of a 16.3 km range, which is better than most Tier VII cruisers, so she fairs better when uptiered.  In addition, Kirov’s 4 km torpedoes can’t be used as an area-denial tool, unlike Furutaka’s 10 km torpedoes.  Both cruisers just suck with armor, both have decent AA for their tier, and both have powerful guns.

 

For those of you who don’t know what these are, “skill floor” is the experience needed to play the ship at an average performance.  “Skill ceiling” is the experience needed to play above average.

 

Skill Floor: Low / Low-Medium / Medium / Medium-High / High / Extreme

Skill Ceiling: Low / Low-Medium / Medium / Medium-High / High / Extreme

 

While not as demanding as some cruisers with bad concealment and slow-firing guns (i.e. Pensacola), she is rather demanding because of her unfortunate position in matchmaking.  Most players of this ship use HE all of the time and charge, which works but won’t get them far in terms of performance.  She does have good range, and good guns, so it’s not like you are helpless, but the armor is what really kills you.

 

Being able to play this ship expertly takes some serious skill (and luck sometimes), something even I have not mastered, despite the fact I hold top five on the server.  Making one mistake in this ship will have severe consequences, usually ending in your destruction.  Even in the few times you are top-tier, every decision can make or break your survival and your performance.  This ship is very unforgiving, and I can testify to that firsthand.  I cannot tell you how many times I made the wrong decision and I got punished, hard.

 

P.S. I had to change colors for the scale to comply with forum rules.

 

Anyway, down to the breakdown.

 

Cost: 18,500 XP to research and 1,650,000 ca$h

 

Strengths:

  • Nine powerful 180mm guns at Tier V.

  • HE is borderline broken (I’ll explain why later).
  • No cruiser has enough armor to stop your Stalinium rounds, even at max range.
  • Guns turn ridiculously fast for their tier and for being triple turrets.
  • Torpedoes do good damage and travel decently fast.
  • Second-longest range of cruisers at that tier at 16.3 km, only beaten by Königsberg with 16.5 km.
  • Even without the rangefinder upgrade, you still have a superb range that allows you to stay at a distance while effectively landing damage.
  • Faster than normal at 35.5 knots.
  • Although it has very little armor, this means battleships will have a hard time damaging you at close range because everything gloriously overpenetrates.
  • Stock hull has a spotter plane, which more than compensates for the absence of the rangefinder upgrade if you haven’t purchased it and if you have it you will exceed most battleships you will see in range.
  • AA Defense is good for Tier V.
  • Sits lower in the water than her sister Molotov, effectively making her harder to citadel.

 

Weaknesses

  • Tier Vs get farmed by Tier VIIs, you will probably be bottom tier every battle.

  • Russians love being noticed, you have a 14.2 km detection range.
  • What armor?  It has the worst at Tier V.  Destroyers will citadel you.  Cruisers will definitely citadel you.  Battleships will citadel you (with HE too).  It’s just the life of this ship.
  • Citadel size is comparable to Siberia.
  • Did I forget to mention practically everything will do damage to you?
  • HP is only mediocre, combined with the poor armor you probably will die fast if you are focused-fired.
  • Russian AP bounces more frequently than political dissidents get sent to the gulag (at least when it strikes armor that will overmatch).
  • Dispersion is as wide as Russia at max range without Aiming Systems Mod 1.
  • Torpedoes die after 4 km.
  • Guns are operating on a reduced charge, with an 800 m/s velocity instead of the typical 925 m/s.
  • Stock hull is a pain, especially with the 11-second rudder shift.
  • Even the upgraded hull still has trash agility with an 860 m turning radius.
  • Upgraded hull sends the spotter plane to the gulag, or basically it gets removed.
  • Even on the stock hull, you can’t equip a catapult fighter for additional aircraft defense because logic (Emerald can replace smoke with a catapult fighter or spotting aircraft for whatever reason).
  • Since you get uptiered all the time, your AA is not sufficient to take on Tier VII or even VI carriers.

 

The More Serious and Comprehensive Review

 

Survivability

 

HP: 23,400 (26,200)

Armor:

  • Forward and After Ends: 13mm

  • Armored Deck: 13mm
  • Bulkheads: 50mm
  • Citadel Belt: 13-50mm
  • Citadel Deck: 50mm
  • Turrets and Barbette: 50-70mm
  • Superstructure: 10mm-150mm

Torpedo Protection: None

 

Alright, we all know Tier V cruisers are made of paper mâché, but Kirov is made of tissue paper.  It has the worst citadel armor, and there is no turtleback that protects it from destroyer and cruiser AP like in Königsberg, not to mention the high citadel.  OK, well the Omaha family also has a giant citadel, but they don’t turn like Soviet Union politics.  In addition, Kirov has the worst detection of all cruisers at the tier, which means sniping BBabies will try to shoot you the moment you are detected.

 

You know what else makes Kirov’s life hell sometimes?  The fact most players at this tier use HE because they don’t know what AP is.  Well, destroyer and cruiser HE always does damage to Kirov unless it hits the citadel belt or turrets, and battleship HE will citadel you if it hits the belt.

 

Once I got nuked by a Wyoming for over half of my health and I died instantly (and he insisted that I should uninstall the game because I suck apparently).  It was funny how he died to an Isokaze about 10 seconds after that happened, and went on a rant about how destroyers are overpowered and they need to be removed.  First-world problems I guess.

 

Well I digressed again, sorry.  Anyway, here’s a comparison with other cruisers.

Cruiser

HP

Min.-Max. Armor of Hull

Min.-Max. Armor of All Sections

Torpedo Protection

Omaha/Murmansk

26,800

10-76mm

10-76mm

None

Marblehead

27,000

10-76mm

10-76mm

None

Furutaka

30,700

13-105mm

6-105mm

None

Königsberg

24,300

10-50mm

10-100mm**

None

Kirov

26,200

13-50mm

13-150mm**

None

Krasny Krym

25,100

10-75mm

10-75mm

None

Emerald*

27,100

10-76mm

10-76mm

None

*Has a repair party

**That exceptionally high armor is for the conning tower.

 

Well, Kirov’s armor doesn’t look as bad now that it’s compared to the other Tier V cruisers.  In fact, she has the luxury of having 13mm of bow armor like Furutaka so at least she can overmatch her own shells.  However, bear in mind the other cruisers all have better concealment and maneuverability than Kirov, and the majority of them have a low citadel.

 

Fun fact: Kirov once had 19mm of bow armor for whatever reason.  Russian Bias xaxaxa.

 

So what is good about the Kirov?  Let’s talk about artillery, my favorite part of her.

 

Artillery

 

Main Battery: 3 x 3 180mm/57 MK-3-180

Rate of Fire: 4 rounds per minute

Reload Time: 15 seconds

            180o Turn Time: 22.5 seconds

            Traverse Speed: 8 degrees per second

            Range: 14.8 (16.3 km)

            Dispersion: 135 m (146 m)

            HE Damage: 2500

            Fire Chance: 13%

            AP Damage: 4100

            Velocity: 800 m/s

            Shell Weight: 97.5 kg*

*Source: NavWeaps.com

 

When I first got the Kirov, she reminded me of Furutaka but having more guns and less hitting power with each gun.  Unlike other cruisers such as Omaha (which is a glass assault rifle) or Königsberg or Emerald (which are just glass) or even Furutaka (which is a glass cannon), Kirov is a glass howitzer at Tier V.  She hits REALLY HARD.  No other cruiser can bring nine heavy-caliber guns to bear at Tier V.

 

I cannot count how many cruisers I have nuked in this ship.  You can punish stupid cruisers in this ship better than battleships.  If you wait until the enemy battleships are dead, you can also brawl in this ship quite well, since 180mm guns overmatch 10mm of armor and most people think angling = invincibility.        Plenty of people have tried charge for a torpedo run when I play Kirov, and it doesn’t end well for them.  Even higher tier cruisers like Myoko or especially Pensacola will have to watch out for your powerful AP.  They might demolish you if you aren’t careful, but you can kill them easily if they are careless.

 

Here’s a comparison with other Tier V cruisers, with their maximum potential guns to bear

 

Cruiser

Max Firepower

RPM

HE Alpha

Fire Chance

AP Alpha

HE DPM

AP DPM

Omaha A/B/Marblehead

8/12 x 152mm/53 Mk13

8.57

2,200

12%

3,100

150,832

212,536

Omaha C/Murmansk

7/10 x 152mm/53 Mk13

131,978

185,969

Furutaka (203mm)

6/6 x 203mm/50 3rd Year Type

4

3,300

17%

4,700

79,000

112,800

Königsberg

9/9 x 150mm L/60 SK C/25

8

1,700

8%

3,900

122,400

280,800

Kirov

9/9 x 180mm/57 MK-3-180

4

2,500

13%

4,100

90,000

147,600

Krasny Krym*

11/15 130mm/55 B-7

6.52

 

(7.24)

1,900

8%

2,500

136,059

179,025

Emerald

6/7 x 152 mm/45 CPXIV

8

N/A

N/A

3,000

N/A

144,000

*Krasny Krym is difficult to judge its maximum firepower, as there’s a technique involving keeping the bow pointed but zig-zagging which allows 11/15 guns to be brought within a short cycle.  Because Krasny Krym is bad for Tier V, I gave her this generous value.

 

Kirov certainly does not have the best damage output, but bear in mind you have powerful, long-range, heavy guns.  Light cruisers will have their HE shatter on higher tier battleships, and their AP certainly does not have enough penetration to starting deal effective damage until close-range.

 

Cruiser

HE Penetration* (mm)

AP Impact Force (N)**

AP Overmatch (mm)

Omaha and Variants

25.33 (32.93)

43,598

10.63

Furutaka (203)

33.83 (43.983)

105,714

14.2

Königsberg

25 (32.5)

43,680

10.49

Kirov

30 (39)

78,000

12.59

Krasny Krym

21.67 (28.167)

28,844

9.09

Emerald

N/A

42,457

10.63***

 

*Parentheses indicates with the Inertial Fuses for HE shells skill

**Calculated by determining impact force of shells (Shell Weight x Velocity), at point-blank range.  Bear in mind the bigger the force, the higher the kinetic energy and the less the shell will seem to “drag” at long-range.

***Emerald has British overmatch angles, so it is less likely to autobounce.

 

Of course Furutaka has the upper hand in terms of power per individual gun, but she only has six guns.  Kirov has nine guns that have slightly less power.  At this tier, nothing has enough armor to make a difference in HE penetration, and overmatch angles can be somewhat disregarded since pretty much everything lolpenns (Omaha and Friends, Königsberg, and Emerald lolpenn each other).

 

Here's penetration data, taken from EU Forums.

MZK7PSY.png

 

On that note, let’s talk about the secondary armament.

 

A Hull:

 

Secondary Battery: 6 x 1 100mm/56 B-34

                        Rate of Fire: 15 rounds per minute

                        Reload Time: 4 seconds

                        HE Damage: 1400

                        Fire Chance: 6%

                        Velocity: 895 m/s

                        Range: 4 km

 

B Hull:

 

Secondary Battery: 6 x 1 100mm/56 B-34-USM

                        Rate of Fire: 16 rounds per minute

                        Reload Time: 3.75 seconds

                        HE Damage: 1400

                        Fire Chance: 6%

                        Velocity: 895 m/s

                        Range: 4 km

 

 

Let me put it this way, unless you somehow lost all of your armament, your secondaries don’t matter.  Sure they might hit occasionally and if you’re lucky, set a fire, but don’t trust them.  Why would you in a cruiser, unless you are a St. Louis (which has the most secondary guns of any cruiser). 

 

Don’t even ask for a secondary armament comparison, it isn’t worth my time or the space.

 

Torpedoes

 

Torpedo Armament: 2 x 3 533mm Triple 39-U

                                    Torpedo: 53-36

                                    Reload Time: 70 seconds

                                    Damage: 14,400

                                    Speed: 64 knots

Range: 4 km

                                   

 

Russian torpedoes are a joke usually, and this is no exception.  Well, they’re better than Svietlana’s 450mm torpedoes that basically tickle battleships.  However, you still have the shortest range torpedoes at the tier.  However, having short-range torpedoes isn’t a bad thing, as you will basically guarantee torpedo hits at the ranges you use them.  Their damage is pretty good too, but three torpedoes won’t kill a full-HP battleship.  Of course, you probably have damaged the battleship you were charging somewhat at least, or at least your teammates damaged him.

 

Here’s a comparison with other cruisers.  Note that all cruisers can only bring half of their torpedo armament on a broadside.  Also I used the upgraded torpedoes for every ship.

Cruiser

Torpedo Armament

Damage

Reload Time

Range

Speed

Spotting Range

Omaha B

4 x 3 533 mm

11,733

66 seconds

5.5 km

56 knots

1.1 km

Marblehead

2 x 3 533 mm

6,233

38 seconds

8.2 km

49 knots

1.2 km?**

Murmansk

2 x 3 533 mm

14,400

69 seconds

8 km

55 knots

1.3 km?**

Furutaka

2 x 4 610 mm

16,267

76 seconds

10 km

59 knots

1.5 km

Königsberg

4 x 3 533 mm

13,700

68 seconds

6 km

64 knots

1.3 km

Kirov

2 x 3 533 mm

14,400

70 seconds

4 km

64 knots

1.3 km

Krasny Krym

2 x 3 533 mm

13,200

70 seconds

5 km

65 knots

1.3 km

Emerald*

4 x 4 533 mm

15,733

80 seconds

6 km

59 knots

1.2 km

*Emerald can single-fire torpedoes, a tactic no other cruiser at the tier can do.

**I found conflicting sources for these two cruisers, and I am ultimately unsure which is correct.

 

I have to split the guide here, since I reached the limit for one post.

 

 

 

Edited by ValkyrWarframe
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OK, I'm going to pick up where I left off.

The More Serious and Comprehensive Review (continued)

 

 

Anti-Aircraft Defense

 

A Hull:

 

Short-Range AA Guns: 4 x 1 12.7mm DshK

                        Range: 1.2 km

                        Damage Per Second: 14.4

 

Medium-Range AA Guns: 4 x 1 45mm 21-K

                        Range: 2.5 km

                        Damage Per Second: 12

 

Long-Range AA Guns: 6 x 1 100mm/56 B-34

                        Range: 3.5 km

                        Damage Per Second: 16.8

 

Total Damage Per Second Below 1.2 km: 43.2

 

B Hull:

 

Short-Range AA Guns: None

 

Medium-Range AA Guns: 9 x 1 37mm 70-K

                        Range: 3.2 km

                        Damage Per Second: 51.3

 

Long-Range AA Guns: 6 x 1 100mm/56 B-34-USM

                        Range: 5 km

                        Damage Per Second: 42

 

Total Damage Per Second Below 3.2 km: 93.3

 

Kirov has probably the best AA of any cruiser at Tier V once upgraded.  However, she lacks defensive fire which makes her vulnerable to determined carrier players, and also higher tier carriers.  For reference, most planes at Tier V have around 1,000 or so HP and are pretty slow.  At Tier VI and VII, they start having 1,200+ HP, and become rather fast.  You might shoot down a Zuiho’s or AS or GP Bogue’s strike, but a good Zuiho or a strike Bogue will demolish you.  You also can be citadeled by Saipan’s 1000 lb bombs, and possibly the American 500 lb bombs too, isn’t that great? 

 

Here’s a comparison with other cruisers in their top configuration, in no particular order. 

Cruiser

Short-Range DPS

Medium Range

Long-Range

Max DPS

Murmansk

60 at 2 km

51 at 3.5 km

None

111 at 2 km

Marblehead

None

11 at 3.5 km

None

11 at 3.5 km

Omaha C

36 at 2 km

56 at 3.5 km

None

92 at 2 km

Furutaka ©

7 at 1.2 km

20 at 3.1 km

20 at 4.5 km

47 at 1.2 km

Königsberg

12 at 2 km

10 at 3.5 km

24 at 4 km

46 at 2 km

Kirov

None

51 at 3.2 km

42 at 5 km

93 at 3.2 km

Krasny Krym

19 at 1.2 km

57 at 3.2 km

14 at 4 km

90 at 1.2 km

Emerald

58 at 2 km

28 at 2.5 km

8 at 3.5 km

94 at 2 km

 

Well, Kirov does not have the best damage per second, nor the highest range for the max damage.  However, the top ship (of course it’s Russian Bias Omaha) has the majority at 2 km, which means those guns will be firing only for a few seconds.  I would definitely argue Kirov is the winner here, but that doesn’t mean you can walk through a gauntlet of aircraft without harm.

 

To evade aircraft attacks, you obviously have to throw off their aim. I remember this: broadside dive bombers but turn into torpedo bombers.  Dive bombers have to line up either on the bow or stern of your ship to land maximum hits, and torpedo bombers do the opposite by striking your broadside.  Now, of course, prioritize torpedo bombers over dive bombers.

 

A lot of people do the latter, but feel there is nothing to do against dive bombers.  I can understand maybe in a battleship or carrier there is not much you can do to stop a carrier strike other than to pray that RNG blesses your AA guns. However, cruiser players need to remember what I said earlier.

 

Of course, don’t broadside dive bombers and end up broadsiding a battleship too.  Battleships are more likely to kill you than dive bombers, at least smart battleship players are.  Dive bombers rely on RNG affecting their dispersion, and getting citadeled by a bomb is pretty rare in general (unless your ship is named CaledonDanae, or Emerald).

 

The only time you should always take evasive action against dive bombers is against a Saipan’s cancer dive bomber squad.  That explains itself, eight or nine 1000 lb bombs will turn your ship into Russian Pot Roast.  Even if they miss, they will almost always take out your engine or rudder because of the giant blast radius of the bombs.  No amount of your AA alone is going to save you from these guys.  The best thing you can hope for is to clump into a fleet with your allies and pray that the combined AA will shoot a lot of planes down and that the Saipan targets someone else.  Safety in numbers I guess.

 

On that note of maneuvering, let’s talk about how this ship handles. 

 

Maneuverability

 

Propulsion: 110,000 hp

Max Speed: 35.5 knots

Rudder Shift Time: 11 seconds (7.8 seconds)

Turning Circle Radius: 860 m

 

Well, this ship does not handle well at all.  Sure, she may be fast, but that’s only good for either running away (which is good) or getting yourself killed faster.  She also loses a ton of speed while turning. She accelerates rather slowly too, but conversely she decelerates rather quickly.  This is actually due to the fact she has too much power per propeller.  Anyway, combined with rudder inputs, you can actually slow down pretty darn fast in this ship.

 

Speaking of her rudder, her rudder shift is slower than Soviet Union politics, which means she has equivalent maneuverability to Amagi in terms of turning circle and has a rudder shift equivalent to Baltimore (and she can equip Steering Gears Mod 2 and 3).

 

Obligatory comparison with her contemporaries, in top configuration of course:

Cruiser

Top Speed

Turning Circle

Rudder Shift Time

Khorosho Omaha

34 knots

590 meters

3.8 seconds         

Marblehead

34 knots

600 meters

7.8 seconds

Capitalist Omaha

34 knots

600 meters

5.7 seconds

Furutaka ©

34.5 knots

750 meters

5.7 seconds

Königsberg

32.5 knots

680 meters

6.9 seconds

Kirov

35.5 knots

860 meters

7.8 seconds

Krasny Krym

29 knots

590 meters

7.2 seconds

Emerald

33 knots

670 meters

7.8 seconds

Yeah…Kirov kinda lacks in the maneuverability field.  She has the worst turning circle, and tied for the worst rudder shift time.  Destroyers can do the Indianapolis 500 in the time it takes you to make a complete circle, and I’m only half-joking.  Even battleships can turn inside of you, Kongo can outturn you despite the fact she has nearly double the rudder shift time.  It isn’t that bad once you get used to it; believe me when I say there is a way to deal with it.

 

Meanwhile, lend-lease Omaha somehow gets a destroyer’s rudder shift despite the fact she’s not any different than her sisters serving in the U.S. navy.  Hell, Gnevny doesn’t even have a rudder shift like that.  Just…how…it doesn’t make sense. 

 

OK, so where was I?  Ah yes, the way you deal with it.

 

Now, there is a way to turn this to your advantage.  Let me put it in terms of keyboard inputs: a lot of people use the A and D keys (or Q and E respectively), but few use the W and S keys.  Still don’t get what I’m saying?  Use your darn throttle keys.  You don’t just firewall the throttle and leave it as that, there’s a reason the player Eurobeat (Yuro) invented the WASD HackTM, not the AD Hack.

 

Anyway, when you are being shot at, people will expect course changes through rudder inputs, and you can add an extra element of trickery by slowing down and making them miss.  Similarly, when they expect a dodge, you can feign them out by not dodging at all.  No I’m not joking; average people are actually this dumb.  There are so many ways to dodge, so analyze the enemy’s level of prediction, and rack up some potential damage.  Kirov actually has the upper hand in this kind of dodging; most people don’t expect a cruiser to turn so badly.  The same applies to torpedoes, although I think dodging torpedoes is easier. 

 

Of course, they may get lucky because of how dispersion works, and there are also the even dumber people who don’t learn from their mistakes, and keeping leading as if you won’t dodge.  However, most of the time you will avoid heavy damage, but just remember not everyone is capable of predicting their target.  It actually works better at high tier, because people try to predict you more often and gun accuracy is generally better.

 

Random Note: Kirov sits rather low in the water for a Russian cruiser, even more than her normal loaded draft.  This reverse-Nurnberg syndrome means it is hard to hit the citadel sometimes.  I dug this image up on reddit, and there is a noticeable difference in draft.

0hgRCbJ.jpg

According to SubOctavian, “Ship draught has both historical and gameplay value. It is OK if it slightly differs between ships of the same type (like Molotov/Kirov) or from IRL sources for balance purposes.”

 

Well, that just leaves one question.  When will Nurnberg have her draft fixed for balance?

 

So, that just leaves the final area, concealment.

 

Concealment

 

Surface Detection Range: 14.2 km

Air Detection Range: 7.5 km

 

Um…yeah, concealment is definitely not this ship’s khorosho area.  Thanks to the giant quadrupled mast, she is the Tier V pre-buff Pensacola when it comes to concealment.  With concealment exceeding most of her successors, she cannot keep a low profile, just like Communist parties.  Man Communists just want to be noticed.

 

Once again, I’m putting her up with her rivals in comparison.

Cruiser

Surface Detection

Air Detection

Minimum Surface Detection*

Omaha and Friends

13.5 km

6.7 km

11.5 km

Furutaka

12.2 km

7.0 km

10.4 km

Königsberg

12.4 km

6.5 km

10.6 km

Kirov

14.2 km

7.5 km

12.1 km

Krasny Krym

13.7 km

6 km

11.7 km

Emerald

11.5 km

6.8 km

9.8 km

*Using camouflage and concealment expert.

 

Yeah, not great.  If you don’t like being shot at, quit the Russian cruiser line now and go play Japanese destroyers.   It’s as simple as that.  That doesn’t mean you have to like being shot at like with Russian destroyers (which outrun 90% of the shells fired at them anyway), but you have to be cool under fire and at least be familiar with kiting and dodging techniques.

 

At least battleships at this tier are relatively inaccurate, or you would get sniped pretty quickly.  If you get spotted, try to look around for incoming shells.  Never assume you are safe in this ship when you are detected, I assumed I was once and got nuked by a concealment-built Arkansas Beta.  Having 10.5 km detection range on a battleship, it’s pretty ridiculous.

 

 

 

Customization

Upgrades:

Slot 1:

 

Main Armaments Modification 1 is definitely a good choice.  You got three turrets, which get incapacitated more frequently than Soviet Union has an economic downturn (which is always).  You also got two torpedo tubes you definitely don’t want to lose at the wrong time.  Nothing sucks more than losing your torpedo tubes when you need them to torpedo someone at close range.  My brother can attest to this whenever he plays Scharnhorst.  Tengu I am still disappointed you Shingo’d yourself (inside Initial D reference).

 

Slot 2:

 

Here you have two choices to pick, either Aiming Systems Modification 1 or AA Guns Modification 2.

 

Aiming Systems Modification 1 I would advise since your accuracy is key for nuking people with AP.  Your AA is good for Tier V, and smart maneuvering will deter the average carrier.  However, you get uptiered frequently, so you should not rely on your AA all the time.  Yet, carriers are not guaranteed in every match, so you can run the risk of Aiming Systems Modification 1 and usually get away with it.  In case you do run into a carrier, however, you will be in trouble.

 

This is why I recommend AA Guns Modification 2 as an alternative.  It gives the extra range needed to bring the damage out farther and deal more damage before the planes drop their payload.  Of course, it won’t stop a determined carrier player, but pooling with some allied ships should give you a nice protective blanket of AA.  Stick with a battleship or other cruisers for the best results.

 

Slot 4:

 

I would recommend having Damage Control Modification I for this slot.  However, I know some people who run Steering Gears Modification 1 or even Propulsion Modification 1.  Why propulsion or steering gears mods you may ask?  Well, Kirov’s hull sections have trash armor, so unless you have last stand you probably want steering gears or you’re gonna be in some real awkward situations when you can’t maneuver.  The ship also gets its engine destroyed by most medium-caliber HE shells and their blast radii, and don’t even get me started on dive bombers.  I get scared every time someone I see that nine-plane squad of ruin, mainly due to Saipan traumatizing my destroyer experiences.

 

(New) Commander Skills:

 

Since the commander rework seems overwhelming to many people, I’m doing a more comprehensive analysis of skills.  Read away!

P.S. I copied this from my update of the Moskva guide, so it does follow a very similar format.

 

Bold indicates I recommend

 

One-Point Skill(s):

 

Honestly, for Endurance, both skills are pretty darn useful.  I grabbed Priority Target because I want to know who’s shooting me, but Preventive Maintenance helps because Kirov’s modules get incapacitated real easily.  If you have Main Armaments Modification 1, you can probably get Priority Target and be fine. 

 

On the other hand, the one-point Attack skills are pretty trash.  I wouldn’t recommend any of them, considering Expert Loader is for those who load the wrong shell (and honestly what’s the harm in firing the wrong shell when more than half of the cruisers at this tier get lolpenned anyway) and Aircraft Servicing Expert doesn’t even apply.

 

The one-point Support skills don’t apply, so don’t even bother.

 

Versatility skills also are a bit lacking at this level, Incoming Fire Alert is mediocre; I don’t recommend it.  Evasive Maneuver doesn’t apply.  However, the best of Versatility comes later.

 

Two-Point Skill(s):

 

In the Endurance field, you have High Alert which could be useful.  I recommend it, but not as strongly as another two-pointer.  Jack of All Trades is pretty much a nonspecific version of High Alert, so not really useful considering how few consumables you have anyway.

 

For Attack, you only got one skill that even applies.  Torpedo Acceleration makes your torpedoes even more useless, as you don’t need the extra speed anyway.

 

Support skills have failed you, again.

 

Versatility brings in the must-have skill.  Last Stand mostly removes the need to have Preventive Maintenance, so you aren’t screwed if you get your engine or rudder incapacitated.  I cannot stress getting this skill enough, take it above all other skills at this level.  Meanwhile, discount-Last Chance (aka Adrenaline Rush) is somewhat useful but even if you are at 1 HP your reload goes to about 12 seconds, which is good but not worth taking off Last Stand.  Take it as the second two-pointer if you want to ramp up your damage output.

 

Three-Point Skill(s):

 

For the first time, the Endurance field doesn’t have a skill that is useful.  I mean, Basics of Survivability is OK, but it isn’t worth the three points now.  Survivability Expert is pretty darn useless, unless you think it is absolutely necessary to have an extra 1750 HP.

Attack skills are still bad.  When will you be using your torpedoes so frequently that you need a 63 second reload compared to a 70 second reload?  Emergency Takeoff doesn’t even apply, unless you are waiting for a Russian carrier to appear (which won’t happen for a LONG time, if at all).  Why would you train a captain on this ship anyway?

 

This time, the Support skills are somewhat useful.  You have Superintendent, which you could use.  If Kirov had the option of a catapult fighter, I would recommend this skill, but she doesn’t.  You also have Basic Firing Training, which helps your AA a little, but not worth the three points.

 

So what is useful at this level?  Well Versatility takes the spotlight with Demolition Expert, even if it is slightly nerfed.  This skill is a seal-clubber’s dream (if Tier V counts as seal-clubbing-tier anymore, more like the seal-tier), I would recommend it on any cruiser or destroyer with HE.  You also have the good ol’ Vigilance, which now stacks with Hydroacoustic Search.  If you are smart about dodging in general, you shouldn’t need this skill, but it is probably the second-most useful skill at this level.

 

Four-Point Skill(s):

 

Endurance brings skills for battleships at this level, so you should avoid the skills here.

 

The Attack field finally brings something noteworthy to the table, at least with first impressions it does with Inertia Fuse for HE Shells.  Thing is, your HE penetrates most deck armor you will be facing, so there is no point to this actually.  The thickest deck armor you see is 25mm, at least for extremities.  Some ships have thicker deck armor around the center, such as Fuso, but the superstructure will usually get hit and the shell will do damage anyway.  Sorry, the Attack field tried to redeem itself, but failed, but Kirov’s big sisters after her really love this skill.  Needless to say, Air Supremacy is useless.

 

In the Support field, the skills just improve your AA really.  Advanced Firing Training is a possible option, since your AA does get significantly better.  Manual Fire Control for AA Armament is not worth the points, since you got only six AA mounts that benefit, and they crank out a meager 84 DPS when affected.  Just get Advanced Firing Training if you are going to choose between the two.

 

Once again, Versatility wins again with the best skills.  Concealment Expert fixes the Kirov’s main problem, cause your concealment drops to 12.5 km, which is average for the tier.  Alternatively, you can take Radio Position Finding (also known as discount-radar, skill that shafts all of the Minekaze/Kamikaze ®/Fujin seal-clubbers, and WG PLZ REMOVE THIS SKILL IT MAKES BBs OP) which makes you invaluable to the team.  I’m not kidding, this skill has caused more controversy than Alabama ST, and for good reason.  Anyway, with this skill, you can lead your team and get a good idea of where enemies are.  Combine it with Vigilance and/or Hydroacoustic Search, you can piss off all the destroyers who torpedo you and rack up free credits and XP for spotting/dodging torpedoes.

 

Is she worth keeping?

That’s a flat-out no for those who are sane, thanks to the matchmaking these days.  Kirov may be good for her tier, but Tier VIIs will still stomp you.  Even the occasional Tier IV-V match where you dominate is not enough temptation to offset the high chance of being bottom tier.  Wish Tier III-V matches still existed, those were the good ol’ days.

 

Now, because I reject the helpless belief of Tier V against Tier VIIs, I kept her and still take her out occasionally.  Don’t follow my example unless you really want a challenge.

 

Well, thanks for reading!  If you have any questions, comments, or concerns; please post them below.

 

EDIT: Someone wanted me to put in her Warship Girl.

J0LmRVk.png

 

Edited by ValkyrWarframe
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Good thread.

 

Between Furu, K'berg and Kirov T5 Cruisers are a blast.

 

Hard to decide which I like more, probably Furu as the lack of range doesn't bother me, the stupid good torps and tank like armor.

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Good thread.

 

Between Furu, K'berg and Kirov T5 Cruisers are a blast.

 

Hard to decide which I like more, probably Furu as the lack of range doesn't bother me, the stupid good torps and tank like armor.

 

Furutaka gets shafted hard when uptiered, Kirov...not so much.  Range is key when uptiered, because people just get more and more campy.

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Going full LWM style eh? :trollface:

Nice writeup, +1

RVqtqRu.gif

A quick addition to Kirov's play style details:

Kirov is certainly what you would call an opportunist hunter. In an uptiered early game Kirov's safe range of engagement lies firmly beyond 12km, where dodging shells becomes possible. Against the majority of your targets I recommend your primary ammo choice to be HE, as Kirov's AP although haves decent damage and penetration, lacks shell speed and normalization values to punish enemy cruisers with any sense of attention and the unarmored parts of enemy battleships. Kirov's HE is very adequate for her tier with penetration easily going through superstructures and thinly armored hulls, for example the hull plating of Pensacola, Graf Spee and Cleveland.

When the game is reaching its peak, where clear patterns of offense and defense becomes apparent, Kirov's time to shine begins. Use the excellent speed to reach a flanking position, dipping in and out of dangerous zone of engagement, and starts to utilize the excellent AP alpha of Kirov. As long as Kirov is given targets our of auto-bounce angles her AP is very very efficient even without striking home against the citadels of your enemies. Cruisers, although may be more vulnerable to citadels, are not the easiest of targets should they react to your relatively slow shells. Battleships, however, specifically New Mexico and Colorado, are excellent targets, especially their large unprotected areas.

Edited by The_first_harbinger

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Going full LWM style eh? :trollface:

Nice writeup, +1

RVqtqRu.gif

 

Eh, I always wanted to voice my opinion on ships she probably wasn't going to cover, so yeah.  I did ask for her permission first though.

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Eh, I always wanted to voice my opinion on ships she probably wasn't going to cover, so yeah.  I did ask for her permission first though.

 

I like LWM. But you asked permission, seriously? Is there a hegemony over reviews, that I missed?

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I just got rid of her tonight.  She felt alot like Nagato to me in that while the ship was good, and i definitely enjoyed playing her, i never clicked with her.  I had one great game and alot of failing my way to the Budyonny(sp.)  Great guns that can punish anyone foolish enough to show a broadside to her.  If they ever change match making to not give tier 5 the shaft, i might pick her back up.  Then again, theres Furutaka at the same tier, so probably not.

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I think with ships like Kirov, this is just how I am anyway. if you aren't forced to play them, for example you grind her out and then pick her up a year later and play her sparingly, you come to a better appreciation of them.

 

I hated Furu/Kirov/K'berg the first time through, funny enough I loved Omaha tho, picked them up out of boredom and absolutely love playing them.

 

I dunno just my experience fwiw.

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I like LWM. But you asked permission, seriously? Is there a hegemony over reviews, that I missed?

 

I can show you the message she sent me, I'll PM you the image.

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I like LWM. But you asked permission, seriously? Is there a hegemony over reviews, that I missed?

 

 

I can show you the message she sent me, I'll PM you the image.

 

I don't think he's interested in seeing your permission slip from LWM.  He was asking why you felt you needed to ask permission in the first place.  I mean, I suppose it's polite and all given that LWM has written so many guides but I'm pretty sure she doesn't have a monopoly or patent on writing WoWs guides.  It's still (as of this posting) a free country...

:hmm:

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I don't think he's interested in seeing your permission slip from LWM.  He was asking why you felt you needed to ask permission in the first place.  I mean, I suppose it's polite and all given that LWM has written so many guides but I'm pretty sure she doesn't have a monopoly or patent on writing WoWs guides.  It's still (as of this posting) a free country...

:hmm:

 

Some people get a tad upset as your post may be mixed up with their style or w/e and thus devaluing it.

 

Overall a good job but could you change the font to something not so skinny? I have my browser set to 150% and was still a pain in the butt to read. Shut up my eyes suck >.>

I'd like to try my hand at stuff like this but I'm not really a numbers guy more of a history guy and well it would be Co-op related which wouldn't fly here :unsure:.

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Some people get a tad upset as your post may be mixed up with their style or w/e and thus devaluing it.

 

Overall a good job but could you change the font to something not so skinny? I have my browser set to 150% and was still a pain in the butt to read. Shut up my eyes suck >.>

I'd like to try my hand at stuff like this but I'm not really a numbers guy more of a history guy and well it would be Co-op related which wouldn't fly here :unsure:.

Sorry I type this up in Microsoft Word and I use small font when I type this up.  I guess standard 12 point Times New Roman is just not the font people are used to reading outside of school writing assignments.

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I don't think he's interested in seeing your permission slip from LWM.  He was asking why you felt you needed to ask permission in the first place.  I mean, I suppose it's polite and all given that LWM has written so many guides but I'm pretty sure she doesn't have a monopoly or patent on writing WoWs guides.  It's still (as of this posting) a free country...

:hmm:

 

Yes this, precisely. Once again I bear no ill will towards LWM, it is just that she does not have a copyright or trademark claims on reviews, not sure Valkyr gets that.

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That's a very good writeup. There's a reason why Kirov is my only tier 5 cruiser that isn't a premium.

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Yes this, precisely. Once again I bear no ill will towards LWM, it is just that she does not have a copyright or trademark claims on reviews, not sure Valkyr gets that.

 

I interpret things the wrong way all the time, sorry.  

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I loved Omaha.  Its too bad t5-7 matchmaking now, otherwise Omaha would be an amazing ship. 

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I loved Omaha.  Its too bad t5-7 matchmaking now, otherwise Omaha would be an amazing ship. 

 

She was only good at being a target that goes boom from any direction.

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I flat out hate this ship.  Next time I start alone on a side, I'm heading back behind everyone else. LOL

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What is the general consensus on hulls? Keep the A Hull with the scout aircraft for maximum range or go with the better AA on the B hull?

Rudder shift is very noticeable on the B hull but in keeping some distance is that significant?

Really enjoying this ship but it is quite the challenge to do so with best outcome, the info here has definitely improved my results. Thanks for all the intel by the way!

Is the Molotov a significant upgrade to the Kirov? 

 

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What is the general consensus on hulls? Keep the A Hull with the scout aircraft for maximum range or go with the better AA on the B hull?

Rudder shift is very noticeable on the B hull but in keeping some distance is that significant?

Really enjoying this ship but it is quite the challenge to do so with best outcome, the info here has definitely improved my results. Thanks for all the intel by the way!

Is the Molotov a significant upgrade to the Kirov? 

 

Never keep an A hull over a B hull. Trust me. the only benefit of the A hull is a spotter plane, while the downsides are numerous.  The A hull has a poor rudder shift, bad AA, and less HP than the B hull.  

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Thanks ValWar, honestly I didn't notice it right away after I upped to the B hull and was out cruising and went to launch the spotter...well needless to say, I was surprised by the lack of a button and wondered what happened, but was more curious about the overall affect on game-play with her. Thanks keep the tips coming, I enjoy this ship immensely even with the steep learning curve. Your take on Molotov?

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Any guides for the Budyonny out there Valkyr?

 

Nah, I never really liked Budyonny that much.  I kept Kirov cause I found out at the end of my grind that I somehow reached the top player list.

 

Budyonny isn't really much different from Kirov in terms of playstyle, both are long-range sniper cruisers, and Budyonny is better in every way.

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Thanks ValWar, honestly I didn't notice it right away after I upped to the B hull and was out cruising and went to launch the spotter...well needless to say, I was surprised by the lack of a button and wondered what happened, but was more curious about the overall affect on game-play with her. Thanks keep the tips coming, I enjoy this ship immensely even with the steep learning curve. Your take on Molotov?

As the only standard source of his premium ships, I can confirm he does not have nor will likely ever have a Molotov.  She didn't interest him when she was released, and I doubt that's changed.

Edited by TenguBlade

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