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Kongo_Pride

How to Leningrad (Tier VII Russian Premium Destroyer)

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Every once in a while, ever notice how you come across a ship you just should not have messed with?  The Leningrad stands out as a well above average destroyer and in the right hands is one of the most complete (superior) ships tier for tier in the game.  The Leningrad is capable of carrying games on its back and will do so if not wittingly sacrificed in the first three minutes of the game.  For those wandering if the Leningrad was a viable ship, I am here to confirm that not only is it viable, but I consider it superior to the Mahan, Sims, Akatsuki, Shiratsuyu (now nerfed), Minsk, and Maass.  Given an equal battlefield, this thing easily holds its own against higher tier destroyers to include ships such as the Ognevoi and the Benson.  It up-tiers very well and numerous times I was able to carry Tier IX match making.  If there was a Tier VII ship that could hold its own at intermediate range it would be the Blyskawica.  The Bly has enough guns and good arcs to stay in a knife fight.  Otherwise, I feel that the Leningrad is the king of Tier VII destroyers.

Early Game:  The first few minutes of any game are crucial for so many reasons.  Players that sail into caps, boldly, and then get torpedoed are one of the common mistakes that I see.  Fortunately, the Leningrad is not a capping type ship, at least not in the early game (usually).  I usually push my Leningrad into the cap if I am alone or if paired with another stealthier DD take up a flanking position using my speed to get into the optimal location.  I use the Leningrad to expose the enemy plan.  The Leningrad is fast enough and has enough health, that even if you get detected going into a cap, you can simply charge down the player before they realize that you are intentionally charging them.  So many times, I have charged and caught the DD sitting still or at quarter speed at the edge of the cap, not expecting me to go full throttle at them.  In their mind, they have allied cruisers to kill me.  In my mind, I have speed and health to give in the early game to bully them, contest the cap, and escape the withering fire of the cruisers using smoke if necessary.  Additionally, if my Leningrad starts taking fire, it often exposes the entirety of the enemy fleet, and in doing so gives the team a clear pictures of where the enemy cruisers are located.  Radar is really not a threat, because speed is your tool to evade the enemy, along with WASD.  There are many games in which I sacrificed between 2 and 12k health simply to bully the cap and usually see an enemy DD destroyed.  But the end-game benefit was that we knew where all the enemy ships were on that flank or in that area.  A DD is too tempting not to shoot at, and once they do, BBs start taking shots…and the deletions start to stack up. 

If there are no DDs at the cap, but a cruiser or battleship are making an advance towards your position, I usually pick one of them (if there are multiple) and based on speed let torps fly as they close usually between 8.4km and 10km.  I know that a charging cruiser or even a BB will make up the distance and too often they stumble into a torpedo or two.  As they get within in my smoke range, I will smoke up if I have spotting support and will harass them with HE fire.  If I can get a fire to double down after a damage control from a flood, this is damage over time they just have to endure.

Mid Game:  This is the point in the game where I often find myself chasing.  Usually after the initial fireworks, I am chasing, smoking, and using harassing fire to constantly be putting fires on a battleship or cruiser.  I like to only set a single fire before switching targets if possible.  To me, the enemy will damage control if they have more than one fire, but will let a single fire burn.  So, my goal is to hurt as many enemy ships as possible and let attrition overcome their ability to heal later on.  Most BB captains at the upper tiers will let a single fire burn, especially when they see gunfire from a DD for fear of being torped.  This is also a period in which I am better suited to cap with the Leningrad.  In most instances the destroyers in the game (at least the ones with boilers) have been cleared out and the caps are less contested.  I usually swoop in as I move to a needed flank and help to gain that critical point control especially in domination.  

For standard battles, there is often cracks in the enemy formation at this time and I have found on maps like Neighbors, you can bum rush their cap, forcing their entire fleet back to defend.  I will be frank, my detection is so great that I rarely survive this plan, but on numerous occasions I froze the point gain, and usually took one to three ships with me in addition to everything else I had already accomplished.  In doing so, our fleet was better able to push and this almost always led to a team victory. 

Late Game:  I have zero qualms with sacrificing my ship at this point, should it lead to victory.  I preferred to be in the action, to nursing a ship with near zero health.  If I can, I will try to cap and end the game by points.  However, at this point there are so many variables on what to do.  Going yolo, surviving, using HE to farm damage if ahead are just some of the possibilities.  The late game is really that point where there is less than five enemy ships left and your fleet size will greatly determine your actions.  I refuse to play passive, and several of my games were decided by decisions I made late in the game with my DD. 

Strengths:

Guns – With Basic Firing Training your guns can get down to a reload of 4.5 secs.  That is a nice reload as it enables you to keep pressure up on enemy ships, constantly harassing them as they move on the battlefield.  The guns are strongest at intermediate range (6km-9km), but will likely see the majority of usage at the long range (9.1km-11.6km).  If you are under 6km or at short range, the guns are certainly effective, however, against United States destroyers you will be at a disadvantage because they have a stronger rate of fire.  Once you start extending that range between you and say a Benson, the Benson has no chance (unless RNG wills it).  Other nice perks of the guns is their velocity, shell arcs, and fire percentage chance.  With a base fire chance of eight percent, and the addition of flags and captain skills, Leningrad jumps to an 11 percent fire chance.  That gets nasty rather quickly.  When I am spamming HE, and the battle lasts more than 15 minutes, 12 to 18 fires is no issue.  The other part of the guns that I like is the armor piercing.  Against Tier V through Tier VII cruisers, who decide to get within 7km and sail broadside, well, 2,500 damage ap into their citadel two to six times tends to wake them up…or they just chose to die, which happened on more than one occasion.

Speed – The speed of the Leningrad is one of the best features on this destroyer.  It has the speed to bully into a cap and charge down another destroyer “detecting” it, before the other destroyer can react to the fact that it’s excellent concealment will not deter this hunter from finding, fixing, and finishing the enemy.  Once you have located your enemy, and his friends start to respond, the speed gives you the ability to quickly kite away, and usually survive the encounter with still over half your health.  Granted, this is not always the case, you must have very good map awareness before committing to this type of action.  The speed also allows you to chase down fleeing ships or reach areas of the map that are hotly contested, and just maybe you can make the difference in the battle.

Health Pool – When combined with this ships speed, I have found that I can “tank” quite a bit of incoming fire.  Your health is the highest of any Tier VII destroyer, allowing you to eat a torpedo and often still win a knife fight.  Combined with Survivability Expert your health exceeds 17k.

Torpedoes – Unlike her Russian counterparts at Tier VII and below, the Leningrad brings a sneaky surprise.  Her torpedoes can actually reach out and touch people at a range of 8km.  More importantly, they can be fired from stealth and have the benefit of the low detection, which means the torpedoes are a surprise for those who are unfamiliar with the ship.  They aren’t too terrible at causing flooding either.

Weaknesses:

Anti-Aircraft – You have really bad anti-air weaponry.  Worse still, a few HE hits and what you had is completely erased, I have had numerous battles where my AA was reduced to 3 or less damage for long range…3.5km.  As your air detection range is better than your AA range, there is usually no reason to turn your AA off.  So there is that.  But don’t expect to shoot down a lot of planes with a little over 40 damage a second.

Detection – You have a detection of 7.3km and an air detection of 4.3km, both of which are rather large for a Tier VII DD.  CVs will feast on this large air detection range, and I have suffered terribly to competent CV players who prioritize gunboats.  Your turning circle is not the best and you will almost always eat one torpedo from a cross drop.

Turning Radius – At 590 meters, you are not exactly nimble.  Because of this, you are vulnerable to torpedoes more than other ships.  A Japanese DD inside of 3km is almost always lethal to this destroyer.  So, give a little room when pieing an island and turning a corner, because you need the extra room to maneuver away from a threat.

Captain Skills:  The following is my recommended captain skills by priority and commentary on each selected skill;

Note: I do not have a single four point skill on my captain build.

Priority Target (1):  Even a speed demon needs to know that once it is spotted and targeted by seven ships, that it might be time to start kiting away from the enemy.  The information provided by this skill is one of the cheapest (1 point cost) and best skills in the game for value gained.  A real bargain!

Last Stand (2):  You might be fast, but your engine is extremely vulnerable.

Expert Marksmen (2):  Turret traverse is a bit slow, so this is a perfect fit for this ship.

Demolition Expert (3):  With appropriate signals brings fire chance up to 11 percent.

Basic Firing Training (3):  Brings the rate of fire down by half a second.

Survivability Expert (3):  Making a nice strong health pool is good for most DDs...the benefit is real.

Preventative Maintenance (1):  -30 percent is good because your engine is critical.

Adrenaline Rush (2):  Rapid fire becomes more rapid.  Winning!

Jack of All Trades (2):  Reducing your consumable reload times is always nice, that little five percent translates to several critical seconds.

Other Possible Skill Selections:  I did not select the Advanced Firing Training skill.  For me, you have 8km torpedoes and can fire them with stealth.  AFT places you in a position where you want to be more passive and further removed from the fight.  It also takes you out of the effective range of combating enemy DDs.  So, on this ship I did not take AFT, although others I am sure could easily make a case for its use in the game.  Another possibility is the use of Concealment Expert, which does make the Leningrad a bit more competitive when approaching cap points, but you are going to be making sacrifices in other areas.  In the end, using either of these skills is optimal, but they just were not a good fit for me.

Ship Modules:  I recommend the following ship modules for the best performance on the Leningrad;

Main Armaments Modification 1:  Protecting your numerous modules is vital to your ships survival.

Aiming Systems Modification 1:  The seven percent to dispersion is useful as is the quicker turn rate of the torpedo tubes is a sound call.  I found that the seven percent does make a difference in hitting targets, especially DDs that sit low in the water.

Propulsion Modification 1:  Engines, Engines, Engines.  I don’t think much else needs to be said here.

Propulsion Modification 2:  I like being able to get up to top speed or slam on the brakes on a dime.  This modification allows you to dodge a lot of torps and other bad situations to include battleship AP.

Signal Flags:  I would recommend the following signal flags in the order of priority as set below;

1. Juliet Charlie – Lets be frank, the Russian DD is a floating stick of dynamite and seems to detonate more often than other destroyers.  Maybe it is just me.  In any event, this is the most important signal you can mount.

2. Sierra Mike – The Leningrad has a base speed of 43 knots.  This flag takes it to over 45 knots.

3. India X-Ray – An additional half a percent to the fire chance is always nice.

4. Victor Lima – An additional half percent to the fire chance and plus four percent to flooding chance, are a solid benefit.

5. Juliet Whiskey Unaone – The ability to make your chance for flooding greater is important.  Russian torpedoes are notorious for not causing a flood.  This 15 percent bonus gives you better odds.

6. November Foxtrot – A five percent increase to getting consumables available again is nice when you need speed and smoke constantly available.

7. Hotel Yankee – Not really even necessary, but if you want to turn your ship into a massive torpedo, then perhaps this is a good last resort.  If you are still grinding a captain, then I would put a Dragon Flag in this slot or any other signal that provides bonus experience to commander experience.

8. Papa Papa – I did not see a need to run additional flags and so I used this slot to stockpile free experience.  As a Tier VII DD that wrecks other DDs and can hold its own in combat, the experience racks up, and the 300 percent free is a solid return.

Summary:  In summation, this ship is a lethal hunter and fully meets the criteria for those who coin Russian naval designs as…bias.  In my time playing this ship I achieved 10 Kraken Unleashed achievements in just 100 games.  That is a very high percentage of kills and furthermore shows how much impact this ship has on the battlefield.  In games where I had a Kraken achievement, the team I was supporting did not lose.  This ship is excellent in that it has a better than average damage for a destroyer, but furthermore, the quality of damage is high value in that I found I was efficient at killing destroyers, damaging and killing cruisers all the while harassing battleships.  This efficiency of lethality is a standout feature of this ship and quite honestly, the entirety of the Russian destroyer line.  It is the speed of this ship at Tier VII however, that helps it stand apart from its peers, having the speed to ruthlessly dominate and impose its will on those poor enemy ships on the battlefield.

And if the write-up doesn’t convince you, perhaps these statistics will:

Fine Print:  Results not always typical of non-unicum players; individual player results may vary.  Also this ship is perfectly balanced, do not nerf.

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Edited by KongoPride
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IMO, not having Concealment Expert on the captain you use in the Leningrad is a mistake.  Why?  Because if you do have it, you're able to stealth torp with her 8 km torps.  Sadly, my Khab captain doesn't have CE, which is a real pain if I want to use him (to grind out his 19 skill points) in the Leningrad.  I wouldn't dismiss the Leningrad's torpedoes. 

She's fairly similar to the Blys.  Both are strong gunboats that have 8 km torps and can stealth torp with a CE trained captain.  And like the Blys, she's a fairly demanding ship when it comes to having the best possible captain to get the most out of the ship.  Both benefit greatly from having CE, but also AFT.  

 

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On 9/27/2017 at 4:58 AM, Crucis said:

IMO, not having Concealment Expert on the captain you use in the Leningrad is a mistake.

Absolutely. Leningrad actually has quite good concealment out of the box for a tier 7 DD, and benefits nicely from a stealth build. That allows it to much more easily support other destroyers and contest caps in the early game, especially since it has the speed to get away if the situation gets too hot to handle.

Realistically I'd give up Jack of All Trades and Adrenaline Rush for that. AR is amazing, but on Soviet destroyers you rely less on your torpdedoes and the value of AR is diminished a bit, especially because they are such huge aggro magnets whenever they're spotted. Their large turning circles means they're comparatively easy to hit if you get too close, and you really don't want to risk your HP pool by playing too aggressively, if you can avoid it.

Actually, what I'd probably do is drop Demo Expert (because VMF DD AP is so good), BFT, and Jack of All Trades for both Concealment Expert and AFT, and keep Adrenaline Rush, just because of how insanely good it is. Your base DPM goes down a bit in the early game, but by the time you get to 50% health you're already getting the full benefit of both BFT and TAE, for a whopping 4 points less. It's kinda hard to argue with that value.

--Helms

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2 hours ago, thehelmsman said:

Actually, what I'd probably do is drop Demo Expert (because VMF DD AP is so good), BFT, and Jack of All Trades for both Concealment Expert and AFT, and keep Adrenaline Rush, just because of how insanely good it is. Your base DPM goes down a bit in the early game, but by the time you get to 50% health you're already getting the full benefit of both BFT and TAE, for a whopping 6 points less. It's kinda hard to argue with that value.

--Helms

Interesting take.  With my build I ended as being #2 on the NA server with my build/strat (source: wows numbers na).  

A little burned out at the moment, but I might look back into it in the future and try the stealth version to see how it affects the ship.  Thanks for the feedback, it is always appreciated not just for me, but for others as well who will use this ship.

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1 hour ago, KongoPride said:

Interesting take.  With my build I ended as being #2 on the NA server with my build/strat (source: wows numbers na).  

A little burned out at the moment, but I might look back into it in the future and try the stealth version to see how it affects the ship.  Thanks for the feedback, it is always appreciated not just for me, but for others as well who will use this ship.

Well, then, I'll just shut the hell up! :Smile-_tongue:

Srs, though, if your build appeals to somebody and they think it would fit their particular style, then they should roll with it. Really that's what matters; not everybody plays the same way, even in one particular ship.

--Helms

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