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What am I missing with Minotaur?

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I recently unlocked Minotaur (first tier X yay) and after 20 or so battles I just can't seem to make it work. I have all the upgrade slots filled and a 14 point captain in her so it's not like I'm taking her out at a huge disadvantage. It just seems like I can't punish broadside targets like I could in Fiji-Neptune even with the faster firing guns. I've been playing her like I did her predecessors and I'm not awful in those with greater than 55% win rates and above average damage in both Fiji and Neptune and about 50% in Edinburgh (but I didn't like Edinburgh very much for whatever reason) but am sitting at an abysmal 40% in Minotaur with around 50k average damage and it's starting to make me feel like a potato.

So I have to ask: is there something I'm missing? Is Minotaur supposed to be played radically different from the previous ships? I just feel like I shouldn't be nearly this bad in her when Neptune seems to have worse stats in just about every way and yet is my absolute favorite ship in the game.


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16,027 posts
12,803 battles

nah, Minotaur plays 100% the same as its predecessors.

Although, one thing to realize with Minotaur is that your guns now have excellent shot groupings, which allows you to pummel angled targets as well.

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Beta Testers, Alpha Tester
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The main thing is you're in higher tiers now. There's a lot more radar around. A lot of long range and very lethal ships. Plenty of torps swarming in the water. Lots of things that make life a lot more difficult even if basic playstyle is the same.


Best general tips I can offer are...

1. Have patience. It can suck to be twiddling your thumbs while the rest of the team is exchanging long range fire, but... don't let that tempt you into going out of position.

2. Use islands. Islands are your friend.

3. Even with smoke, always have an exit plan. You really don't want to have several reds at 5km when your smoke wears off or you leave.

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Beta Testers
2,589 posts
8,799 battles

You went for Minotaur as your first 10? I salute your bravery sir. 


I do well in my Minotaur but I also have a 40% ish WR in it... Because it's very hard to influence games in something that squishy. Don't get me wrong, I love the ship, but pushing caps? LEL. 

You might could try Manotaur build. Double rudder and radar and juke a lot. 

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Alpha Tester
1,658 posts
6,794 battles

I had a rough start with mino too - 34% win iirc.  I couldn't figure out what i was doing wrong.  Now, after about 100 battles, i'm up to about 54% win and find this ship to be the knees of the bees. What changed?  The same thing that changes every time i play to play a ship like some other ship i was comfortable playing - i stopped doing that.


Mino has a fairly short range, so close ranges are necessary to even do damage.

Mino is a pinata, so close ranges are danger.

Mino isn't quite atlanta, but it does have fairly lofty shell arcs. again making long distance hits a bit harder.

Mino has guns that will absolutely wreck any DD that challenges you, and smoke and hydro to help facilitate capture zone challenges, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility that you can stop other dds from getting caps if not outright getting them yourself.

But danger from radar + squishiness, what to do about that?


Put all these things together and you start to get a model of where you should be.  Islands. I park behind islands as a first order of business and shoot over them at any BB in range.  They just can't get out of range fast enough before you've put 40k damage into them.  The key is to aim for the superstructure.  If you ever aim for the hull on any ship except a dd or a broadside cruiser at close range you're just asking for bounces.  Remember your shells come in from orbit, so let the plunging fire work on the deck.


Also, incredibly important, manage your sight lines.  hiding behind islands isn't good enough.  If you're spotted, you're a stationary target - yes you can accelerate pretty quickly, but they can shoot you quickly too and that isn't a race you want too often.  Also if you leave your island cover, what blocks your shots then?  You're a close range marshmallow armored cruiser in the open at that point - who ISN'T going to shoot you first?  You have to manage your sight lines.  many islands do not exist as solitary masses.  For every island on your side, there is often an island on the opposing side too.  Combined, they can form line of sight blocks against cruisers.  Mino has to fire constantly to do damage, so assume your spotting distance is 15km all the time.  Hence, sight line management is key.  Shoot your target yes, but watch other ships to make sure they don't break the visual blocks you have in front of you and get you spotted.  


Smoke - smoke is great, but slowing down in open ocean to get below about 18km so you can safely stop in smoke is not a trick that works at T10.  BBs and cruisers alike are hip to that game, and will happily citadel you.  DDs know what you're going to do.  You have about 30-45 seconds before torps will be there, which is a waste of your smoke time.  If you're on ocean, that might be all you can do, but on most maps you can probably do better.  it's easy to hit a ship that is about to deploy smoke because you see their last position before the smoke covers them.  It's much harder to hit a ship in smoke that you didn't see before the smoke was there, and there lies the key - sight line management again. Mino has fairly good concealment.  DO NOT FIRE until smoke has been deployed if you want to stop in open ocean for a gun barrage.  Make sure you're not spotted first, then stop and hit smoke, then fire.  Also move back and forth slightly in the smoke to throw off people who are tracking your shells.  You don't have to be impossible to hit, just harder than the next ship.  Also, hydro in smoke always if there is a dd or long torp cruiser anywhere in the area.  Eating torps in smoke is beneath you at T10.  You accelerate quickly, but not enough to save you if you don't have early warning from incoming torps.  


Turn on your smoke timer if you haven't done that already - seriously, i don't even know why this isn't just an always on thing.  You'd better watch it.  Round about 5 seconds left, accelerate, before the smoke runs out, stop firing and stay invisible.  If you find yourself in the spotting range of other ships, you erred about 30-90 ago, and your fate is probably sealed.  Don't let that happen.  You need to be close to hit with mino guns, but you don't need to be inside of 10km if you're raining on BBs.  chase targets away with your fire such that when the smoke does dissipate you stay invisible.  If they aren't dissuaded by the incoming fire you have two choices.  Kill them or run away even before the smoke ends, but using a smoke as a screen to cover your withdrawal.  A few well placed torps in their direction might get you a lucky strike too - don't forget, you've got a lot of torps on mino, and they're really good too - 10km hard hitting, single tube firing.  Ideally you aren't inside of 10km too often as that's danger spotting range, but a few ninja torps behind some islands or straight sailing BBs is never a bad thing.  Just don't fancy yourself an IJN DD - you're not, and trying to be one is not going to work out well.  


What else? Right.  MORE visibility management.  If you have to fight out in the open because no smoke or no islands or whatever (probably half your time or more tbh) then you still have to manage your visibility.  Mino is a target, a bullseye to every cruiser and BB out there.  You're guaranteed to be close and they know they can murder you with even accidental hits.  They will shoot you over almost everything else given the chance.  The classic rules apply - don't be the most inviting target, even when you are.  Don't just wail on mino guns all the time - it just keeps you spotted, and unless you're really accustomed to the arcs at long distance you won't do much damage anyway.  Get a buddy on your team (willing or not) who already has the enemy's attention.  Don't sail beside them, because of turret rotation - moving a couple degrees to hit you instead of them is easy, so every will do it.  Moving 20+ degrees is enough to get a lot of people (not everyone sadly) to stay focused on current target and give you 20-30 seconds of wail time, which is a hefty amount of damage if you hit with your shots.  If they start focusing you, stop firing and break visual contact again.  Reposition - important - because if you show up again their guns are already pointed in your direction AND they'll be reloaded waiting for you to appear.


Capping is bait.  You can do it, but you only should do it in limited circumstances.  Radar is not your friend, and many ships have it at T10.  You'd better know which ships do and do not have it and where they are.  If you don't know both of these things, assume you are not radar safe.  DDs are not a problem.  You can out maneuver torpedoes most of the time unless they surprise you at very close range, and any dd will be dead in about 3-5 salvos, plus you have hydro to help you chase them out of cap.  The problem as always is visibility.  If you're locking horns with a dd, you have to position to fight it or you'll eat torpedo.  That means you're also both visible AND probably not well positioned with respect to big gun fire from CA/BBs.  You have about 10 seconds of that before you're in big trouble that is not going to be easy to get out of.  IF there are lonely cap zones with no radar bearing ships around, you can use your concealment to cap zones often without even deploying smoke - just don't fire or you'll get lit up like a neon sign and they'll gladly shoot you.  If you really really want to fire, park first, smoke, then fire.  If you are getting radared, there are some times when that's okay - specifically when you're island shooting.  You may not even be hittable since you can shoot over some islands other ships cannot.  If you are getting targeted because of radar, smush up next to the island until the radar expires, then resume shell rain.


Mino is a hard driving ship.  If you stay in range AND manage your visibility you'll humble every BB in range with withering fire.  You'll dominate cap circles and keep the other team out or even push them out if the situation allows it. There are few other cruisers that can so dramatically grab and hold the attention of BBs like mino, due to the constant damaging rain of incoming fire.  They will literally stop what they're doing and do everything they can do break contact - this is benefit to your team both because they're taking what amounts to DoT damage AND they're not doing damage in return.  You cannot ignore getting shot by a mino.  Use that to your advantage to control the battle.


If you want to boil this text wall down to key things: Manage your visibility.  If you're firing you'd better be invisible.  If you're not firing you'd better be invisible.  If you're firing and visible, it better not be for very long or have team ships that are much better targets than you.


I haven't covered configuration in this post, but really, it doesn't matter that much.  Configuration of ship and captain skills is really just optimizing your own play style - mino is great as is, and no matter what you choose it will still be good.  However, if you're a min/maxer you can make some choices that are better than others.  I personally went for volume fire and AA - i really don't feel like dodging CV torps while i'm firing from smoke so maxing out AA at 100 is a thing i did and i don't regret it.  Aircraft just driving by die like swatted flies - awesome - extra XP for no effort on my part.  The key to mino success isn't config, it's visibility.  That's my opinion and i'm sticking to it, but i appreciate that others have learned to play this ship differently and they have good lessons to teach also.  


I hope this has been helpful in terms of giving you some tips.  Give it time - you'll figure mino out, and you'll never want to leave her.   It is the best ship out there imho.  It isn't easy by far, but the lulz when you get it right are well.. er.. lulz.  If you want to play sometime, i might be happy to div up in minos and troll some BBs with much steel rain.

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