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hangglide42

WOWS Enjoyment - Accelerating Captains Training Strategies - How to Quickly Maximize 19 pt. Captains

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Hi All - Hangglide42 again with some suggestions for newer players re: strategies to train up your commanders faster.   I started this game as a "Freemium Player" in that I did not have a Premium Account or Premium ships and had the original 9 port slots.   If you enjoy this game and play  for any length of time, you may find (as I did) that you'll get an increasing number of port slots (thru missions, campaigns, containers, santas crates) and the ships in your port are going to increase.

In my case, I passed a point where I decided that WG deserved some compensation for my enjoyment (in the early vid game days, a game that gave you 100 hrs of enjoyment that you paid $49.95 for was considered a fair deal) - as a result I eventually bought Premium Time and a few Premium Ships (though I have more Premiums from Santa's crates & Campaigns/Missions than I've purchased).   This also made my Captain's Crunch (forgive the pun) more acute as my port now has 76 ships with the accompanying need for trained captains.

Hence this posting....

Why care about trained captains?

As you play the game, you'll find that there are certain "Tiers" of Captains Skill Levels that are almost essential if you are going to get the maximal enjoyment out of the ship you play.  This is not to say you can't play the ship if you don't have this, but to get the most out of the ship, you're going to want to have a set of Captain's skill of these tiers that will give you certain capabilities that represent needed characteristics of your ship.  Examples of these are:

  • DDs - 3 pts. - Last Stand - necessary for survival for DDs if your engine gets knocked out (very frequent) in engagements
  • DDs - 6 pts. - Superintendent - gives you an extra smoke charge for hiding
  • DDs - 10 pts - Concealment - minimizing your detection is key to DD survivial
  • CA/CLs (& some BBs) - 10 pts Concealment
  • DDs - 14 pts - AFT - Gunboat DDs like the Russian DDs w/ flat shell arcs rely on gunfire from a greater distance
  • CLs & DDs w/ 100mm guns  - 10 or 14 pts - IFHE - Due to the shell penetration mechanics, these ships benefit greatly from IFHE when dealing HE damage
  • CLs - 6 pts - Demo Expert (if not taking Superintendent)
  • CL/CAs - 10 pts - Concealment - Useful for most Cruisers for disengaging from bigger threats
  • BBs (Brawlers) - 14 pts - Manual Secondaries - for German BBs in particular who are good brawlers extend range of secondaries (w/ flags) out to 10.6 km
  • BBs (Stealthy) - 10 pts - Concealment - allows a NC or Iowa to sneak up to 12 km & change before unleashing initial salvo at unsuspecting targets

Typically, as you move up as a initial Fremium Player - you're moving your captain up w/ you as you go.  But as I moved to Tier 5 and beyond, I increasingly found ships I loved to play and wanted to keep - and these needed new captains that had to be trained quickly.  You'll also find that line splits (as happened w/ the Russian and IJN DD lines) - suddenly add ships to your port with a number of untrained captains.

 

3 Keys to the Strategy

The 3 mechanisms in this game to accelerate Captains training are:

Use Flags, Signals and Cammos

There are a number of Signals, Flags and Cammos that can be used to boost Commanders XP.  These should be "stacked" (i.e. used in conjunction w/ other Commander XP boosting signals,flags/cammos) to multiply the amount of Captains XP that you can earn in a given battle:

  • Military Month Contributor Flag - 5% Commander XP Boost
  • Zulu Hotel - 50% Commander XP Boost - Earned for Confederate or Purchasable
  • Dragon Flag - 333% Commander XP Boost - in Xmas Containers or special offerings
  • Red Dragon Flag - 100% Commander XP Boost (+ others) - Bismarck Campaign Containers or Purchasable
  • Hydra Flag - 150% Commander XP Boost (+ others) - Bismarck Campaign Containers or Purchasable)
  • Many Cammos - ref: to WOWS wiki for list

The following Forum Article does and excellent job of describing exactly how you stack flags & cammos to maximize the benefits you can get per game.  Use the priciples described in the article, but substitute flags & cammos that have Commander's XP bonuses (the article uses a Free XP maximization example): [ Posting from Edgecase ] Stacking Flags and Cammos to Maximize Free XP Collection

 

Premium Ships

Despite the obvious "buy a premium" payment option, the game will offer you various opportunities to obtain Premium ships by executing various missions, campaigns or goals w/o a cash payment.  Examples of these are the Missouri which is attainable w/ a 750K free XP payment or the Graf Spee, Shinonome, Kamikaze R which were attainable through a campaign or event (Clash of Fire) - these ships can be earned by your efforts in-game at no cost to you other than game time involvement.  Other ships in my port such as the Emden, Indianapolis, Blyskawica were obtained thru Santas Crates - this is a Xmas promo by WG where you essentially can buy or gift presents for a nominal cost of $1/$3/$5 per box.  The boxes are "guaranteed" to include items that are list priced by WG greater than the cost of the boxes, but as in my case, a few gift boxes yielded a number of new Premium ships (the 3 ships I mentioned were in $3 gift boxes and there were actually 2 more Emdens that were dups so WG compensated me instead giving me a duplicate of the ship).

Premium ships have the 2 characteristics that are key to accelerating the training of your commander -  they award more Commander XP than tech tree ships (50% more) and you can freely move any commanders in that Nations ship lines (tech tree or Premium) into your premium ship for retraining.  Thus, if you need a particular tech tree ship Captain trained, you play the tech tree ship, move the Captain into the Premium and take advantage of the daily win bonus in both ships to increase the speed of your Captains training.

Two things to be aware of when getting Premium Ships (especially if you're buying them for training purposes):

  1. Ship Captains are Nation-aligned - this means that you can only move Captains along nation boundaries (i.e. you can't use a IJN Captain in a KM ship) - so isolated ships like the Blyskawica, Anshan and Perth that do not have a full national line associated with it are not useful as training vessels
  2. Training a captain for a DD or CV is very different from a BB/CL/CA.  When you are considering getting a Premium, take into account which ship types you're most likely use the Premium to train Captains for.   If you're playing mainly BB/CL/CAs in a national line - a BB or CL/CA Premium would be most productive.   If you're playing a DD or CV, you probably should get a DD or CV respectively.  Though this is a consideration, there are cases where you can "get away with" training a DD captain in a CL for example - I've done this w/ my Mikhail Kutuzov (training a russian DD captain) - but this is not a preferred match and I could do this because the Kutuzov is somewhat OP and the DD skills actually didn't adversely affect its performance too badly).

 

Free Commanders XP

The primary goal is to reach a 19 point Captain ASAP so you can start unlocking freely movable Free Commanders XP.  Free Commander XP is a nice, relatively recent, addition to WOWS that allows you to use any Commander XP earned once you get a 19 pt captain on another Captain of your choice.

Yes, I recognize that accumulating the 1708000 Captains XP needed to get a 19 pt Captain is not easy, but the idea here is to get ONE.  Once this happens and it's properly aligned, you can leverage this Captain to cascade further maxed out captains a lot quicker - in other words if you have a choice of advancing one captain exclusively or many captains simultaneously it is more advantageous for you to get that 1st 19 pointer because it makes getting upgrades to all your captains a lot quicker, 

Thus the most efficient strategy to get a multiplicative effect on increasing your Commander's skill levels quickest is to:

  • Get a Premium (or more than one) ship in a national line that you play a lot
  • Get a 19 point Captain in that National ship line suitable for training also on that Premium(s)
  • Once one 19 point Captain is achieved, take advantage of the daily bonuses & play that same Captain along your National line Premiums

What it looks like in practice - I recently got my 1st 19 point Captain in the German BB line so if I wanted to maximize my Captains training I have the following ship play strategies aligned for my own Free Commander XP generation strategy:

  • FDG/Tirpitz/Scharnhorst/Graf Spee - Advancing Tech Tree to get GK, TIrpitz has 100% free XP Bonus, 3 Premiums w/ 50% Commanders XP & Daily Win Bonuses
  • Montana/Missouri/Indianapolis - Missouri is a credit earning monster, 2 Premiums w/ 50% Commanders XP & Daily Win Bonuses
  • Yamato/Mutsu/Ishizuchi - 2 Premiums w/ 50% Commanders XP & Daily Win Bonuses
  • Yugumo/Shinonome/Kamikaze R - 2 Premiums w/ 50% Commanders XP & Daily Win Bonuses (Shima is already unlocked & Captained at a lower skill level)
  • Donskoi/Kutuzov - Advancing Tech Tree to get Moskva, 1 Premium w/ 50% Commanders XP & Daily Win Bonuses
  • ARP Kongo - Getting 19 pt. Captain in this ship allows farming on 3 other ARP BBs for Commanders XP & Daily Win Bonuses (less optimally, can use same Capt as Myokos)
  • ARP Myoko - Getting 19 pt. Captain in this ship allows farming on 4 other ARP CAs (including Takao) for Commanders XP and Daily Win Bonuses (less optimally, can use same Capt as Kongos)

The basic principle is, for the minimum number of actual 19 pt. Captains you have, you can maximize the number of Free Commander's XP you can farm because you can play these captains on many other ships. In the above list, just six 19 pt. Captains can be farming Free Commander's XP on 24 ships in your port.

I currently have 1 19 pt Captain in the FDG, but am farming 40+K free Commanders XP from just playing the German line of ships - but with this strategy should have 2 additional 19 point Captains for the Montana & Yamato within a week and the remainder within a month.  I've actually purchased only 4 Premiums in this list of 24 ships (Tirpitz/Scharn/Mutsu/Kutuzov - on sale) - the ARP ships, Graf Spee, Shinonome, Kami R and Missouri (13 ships) are Mission/Campaign-earned ships and the Indianapolis and Ishizuchi are Santa's Crates ships so this strategy does not necessarily require a huge expenditure in ship purchases (i.e. you work within your time/budget constraints).  With the list above, if all the purchased ships were removed, this would still be 5 19 pt. Captains out of 19 total ships that were entirely in-game tech tree/earned via missions or campaigns/santa's crates ships.

With this math, my goal is to unlock the single 19 point captain in each of the groups (5 more assuming all ARP ships can use the same Capt.) which will allow up to (if generating Commanders XP were my sole play goal) 300+K of Free Commander XP daily which can quickly train up a lot of ship captains to their critical skill levels and eventually to their own 19 pt range.

Hope this gives you some insight into the Captain's skill mechanics and good luck training your new skippers!

[ Update: within 6 months of the posting of the article, I was able to get my 10th 19-pt Commander following the principles outlined ]

A complete list of Forum Articles in the links below can be found in WOWS Enjoyment - List of Forum Articles & Guides.

 

 

Edited by hangglide42
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I'm doing some of the same things you're doing . I have well over 11,500 battles with a total counting ARP and Dragon ships ( 188 ) and all of the Premium ships . So far I have (4) 19 point Captains one for each nation I still need a 19 point captain for the Russian ships though . But now I'm taking advantage of those 19 pt captains to train up new future British captains for those British Battleships which will soon be here....and I thought I was one of the few who knew those tricks  , shame on me for thinking that......You've provided some very good advice I salute you ............. 

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Great info for newer players, or even casual long-time players. Thanks for putting this together. +1 for you!

 

Respects,

 

Am

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Flags are finite (esp. the big ones like Dragon and special flags), so you might as well wait to stack it all with as big a bonus as you can find...like triple dailies or commander boosts.

Coming from a totally free player that had scrounge up a few stuff along the way...

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Overall, good write up!

Quote

BBs (Brawlers) - 14 pts - Manual Secondaries - for German BBs in particular who are good brawlers extend range of secondaries (w/ flags) out to 10.6 km

Actually, Manual Secondaries only improves secondary gun dispersion at the cost of only being able to fire at a single target at a time and the player must manually designate a target in order for them to open up at all.  I can get 10.6 km secondary range out of my Bayern, with flags of course, and my Bayern captain does not have this skill. 

For players who may not be the best, I recommend leaving this off of your secondary-build BB captains specifically because of those two 'costs'.  If you're a little lower on the skill spectrum, you can get almost as much performance out of your secondaries without the worry that you might forget to set a target in the heat of the moment, and therefore get no performance out of them.  Then you can get a skill that will be more helpful to you, like Fire Prevention.  Before anyone starts thinking I'm talking down to people, this is the way I do it myself.

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Another thing to note about ships to be used for captain training is how well they work with untrained captains.  Take the Kamikaze R for example, it's a great boat even with a 1 point captain (whereas some ships aren't.)  It also functions well even if you are training a captain for something else, skills like Expert Marksman are fairly useless, but you can still play the ship. 

Pretty much every Japanese captain I have spent time training on the Kami.

 

Or alternately you can use a crapwagon like the Emerald or Painsecola to train captains ....  they'll be happy to move to ANY other ship!

Edited by Admiral_Cirno
misspelling

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1 hour ago, Fishrokk said:

Overall, good write up!

Actually, Manual Secondaries only improves secondary gun dispersion at the cost of only being able to fire at a single target at a time and the player must manually designate a target in order for them to open up at all.  I can get 10.6 km secondary range out of my Bayern, with flags of course, and my Bayern captain does not have this skill. 

For players who may not be the best, I recommend leaving this off of your secondary-build BB captains specifically because of those two 'costs'.  If you're a little lower on the skill spectrum, you can get almost as much performance out of your secondaries without the worry that you might forget to set a target in the heat of the moment, and therefore get no performance out of them.  Then you can get a skill that will be more helpful to you, like Fire Prevention.  Before anyone starts thinking I'm talking down to people, this is the way I do it myself.

 

Hey Fishrokk - just one clarification - the secondary build usually helps T7 BBs & higher because the manual capability buffs the dispersion by 60% for these tiers vs 15% for the Tier the Bayern is at.  Also, if I'm not mistaken the max secondary range on the Bayern w/ all the modules, Capt skills & flags will get you out to 7.6 km (same as the Scharn/Gneis) not 10.6 km like the Bismarck and higher Tiers.  

 

I too have done a variation & speced my Gneisnau for stealth - what I call a hybrid secondary/AA (no manual sec or AA, but conceal, BFT & AFT) so I can play the German BB lines w/ either this hybrid Stealthy build that has decent & longer ranged secondaries & AA or a traditional secondary build on my T9/T10 ships simply by swapping Captains on my Tirpitz or Scharn.

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You're right on the Bayern secondary max range - I have confused my Tirpitz and Bayern. 

I'm not saying no one should take Manual Secondaries - probably most players in late tier German BB's should.  I'm just saying it's not necessarily the best choice for *absolutely everyone* setting up a secondary build.

I was having fun with the Bayern in the Operation this week; you drive it to a certain spot, and the secondaries on both sides open up and bombard shore emplacements. 

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1 hour ago, Fishrokk said:

You're right on the Bayern secondary max range - I have confused my Tirpitz and Bayern. 

I'm not saying no one should take Manual Secondaries - probably most players in late tier German BB's should.  I'm just saying it's not necessarily the best choice for *absolutely everyone* setting up a secondary build.

I was having fun with the Bayern in the Operation this week; you drive it to a certain spot, and the secondaries on both sides open up and bombard shore emplacements. 

Hey Fishrokk - you're right - the examples I gave in the OP are just common capabilities that players often seek (maybe that's a better way of putting it).  Everyone has their own style of play and Captain skill priorities based on that - so the examples weren't any particular comment on what was necessary, just that there are certain thresholds of Captains skills that you want to get to as fast as possible w/o having to grind in particular to get there - which was the intent of the OP - to help folks get to their desired Captain Skills level faster and minimizing their pain.

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I would add that a 19 points captains on tier 10 earn more XP than on lower tech tier ships. So this free commander XP can be given to lower tier captains thereafter.

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+1!  I only have one 19 pt captain at this point, who is switching off between my Tirpitz and FDG.  Tirpitz is such an awesome XP farming ship.  Used it to get a big chunk of the XP I cashed in for the Missouri this week and it pulls in a lot of Elite Commander XP now.

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3 hours ago, SmithWinston_655321 said:

Where does ship XP go for a completed ship?

Just to same ship XP?

What can be done with that? 

Just spend dubloons to turn into FREE XP or something else?

 

Elite Ship XP (I.e. any XP earned once a ship’s tech upgrades & the next ship is researched, but not necessarily purchased) is associated w/ the ship & any XP earned from this point by playing the ship is treated as Elite Ship XP.  

 

For all intents & purposes tho, since this is mainly treated as a common pool that can be converted to Free XP for doubloons (at 25:1 or 35:1 on sale), it really doesn’t matter which ship the Elite ship XP “belongs to”.  

 

The Free XP can then be useful for getting FXP ships (e.g. Missouri, Nelson, or possibly the upcoming Musashi) or using the FXP to bypass the XP hurdle for new ships or upgrade them past painful stock configurations.

 

You’re the best judge for whether you want to spend doubloons (I.e. real money) on the FXP conversion, or gather them for your advancement needs or ships by regular grinding. 

 

I’m actually wondering if you are asking about Free Commanders XP, which is what this posting is about.   Free Commander’s XP is collected once you get your 19-pt Captain, whenever you play ANY ship using that 19-pt Captain.  The Free Commanders XP goes into a common pool that can be used to upgrade ANY captain you have, irrespective of national lines.   

 

My personal opinion is that if you align your 19-pt Captains, you can “farm” Free Commanders XP on many ships w/ relatively few 19 pt Captains.  For example, I currently have 6 19-pt Captains, but can farm Free Commanders XP on 34 different ships.  Because of this multiplier factor, I usually think it’s not advisable to spend your precious doubloons on converting Free Commanders XP.

Edited by hangglide42
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On ‎6‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 9:18 AM, hangglide42 said:

There are a number of Signals, Flags and Cammos that can be used to boost Commanders XP.  These should be "stacked" (i.e. used in conjunction w/ other Commander XP boosting signals,flags/cammos) to multiply the amount of Captains XP that you can earn in a given battle:

  • Military Month Contributor Flag - 5% Commander XP Boost
  • Zulu Hotel - 50% Commander XP Boost - Earned for Confederate or Purchasable
  • Dragon Flag - 333% Commander XP Boost - in Xmas Containers or special offerings
  • Red Dragon Flag - 100% Commander XP Boost (+ others) - Bismarck Campaign Containers or Purchasable
  • Hydra Flag - 150% Commander XP Boost (+ others) - Bismarck Campaign Containers or Purchasable)
  • Many Cammos - ref: to WOWS wiki for list

All of these should be stacked w/as many regular XP boosts as well as all regular XP converts into commander XP as well...& camos should have the highest combo of both regular & commander XP as opposed to just commander XP as a 100% XP + 100% commander XP will = more commander XP than just 150% commander XP by itself [oh for more of those special Chinese camos...they just teased us w/3 of each of them...so evil...those make for insane commander (as well as all the other types of) XP].

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Great write-up, excellent summary of things not everyone might realize until its way too late.

With the recent changes all those left over ARP captains (6 & 10 pt) can now be re-trained into any IJN ships, which is a good jumping off point. And all those ARP ships can be used as IJN trainers. That's a lot of extra daily bonuses for IJN captains and FXP.

 

PS. the extra xp for premium or daily bonuses means earning crates faster; always take the camo & flags. They are worth more than extra silver and you can buy consumables with silver, you can't buy flags.

Edited by Jenska
added PS
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Bookmarked! 

Time for me to have a 19pt captain. I own Graf Spee and Asashio premium ships presently. 

Glad I took time out of game to learn about the game mech's.

Edited by IronShibby

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Updated the article with the following:

  • Added IFHE Captains skill reference due to increase in the number of 100mm gun DDs and CLs w/ the completion of the IJN DD line and split of the USN Cruiser line into a CL branch
  • Added a cross reference link to the flags/cammos sections to a posting which describes in detail how to stack flags/cammos to maximize gains per game.
  • Added a results epilog - following the article principles, author was able to go from 1 19-pt captain -> 10 19-pt captains within a 6 month timespan.

 

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Necro!!!

But, you answered most of my questions.  Thank you very much.  

So, for any of us complete NewBs out there (I just advanced to my Tier II IJN cruiser) this post is a great summary of building your captain(s).  Kinda complicated - even for someone familiar with World of Tanks.

Happy Hunting

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