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Trying to understand AP and angling

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As I understand, this game has an AP algorithm that determines whether you penetrate, bounce, or over penetrate, much like Tanks in War thunder.

Anyways, with some common sense, one would think that, if I were to drive my BB DIRECTLY at another, nose forward, his shots AT my hull (not talking plunging shots) should more or less all be deflected, no? As I am maximizing my armor angle to his guns

Yet this does not seem to be the case in game

Can anyone explain if I am missing something?

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Not necessarily as there is a mechanic called Overmatch in the game.  What this means is that if the diameter of the shell is greater than 14.3 times the thickness of the armor it is hitting, the shell will ignore angling and is guaranteed to penetrate and do damage. 


For example, with the Fuso at tier 6, the bow armor is 25 mm.  Shells with a diameter of 357.5 mm (25 X 14.3 = 357.5) or greater will penetrate your bow.  In this example, against a New Mexico, Dunkerque, another Fuso, or all lower tier BB's, you will bounce their AP off your bow.  However, against the Bayern, Queen Elizabeth, Warspite, Mutsu, and all Tier 7 (except the Scharnhorst) and above, they will overmatch your bow, guaranteeing penetrations (and citadels, depending on how lucky they are with shell hit locations and the frontal bulkhead armor thickness).


At tier 8 and above, where bow armor is 32 mm, only the Yamato (and upcoming Musashi) can overmatch the bows of these BB's.

Edited by DanielLeary
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WoWS Community Contributors
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Look into over match.  Guns calibers can over ride any bounce if they exceed certain levels.  The wiki can explain this in more detail.  Read the section about angling most of the way through AP section.


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This is something I became aware of after many months of realising how my ship blows up when angling.

Also, I think knowing the calculations of your shell size, and the opponents ship armour value; is the line which distinguishes the good vs average players in the long run. But, i'm still playing this game with feel...yeah not a good thing for long term goals of maximising on your damage output.


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Another thing that might be going on, is that the enemy is aiming higher and is damaging your superstructure. As that'll can earn some extra damage points with over pens and even some full pens. The closer they get, the more damage they can do that way.

Edited by JB_24

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You forgot the overmatch mechanic.


AP penetration is one of the most complex mechanics in the game, and we actually don't know completely how it works. But here is my understanding.


When you fire a shell at something, several things happen. The first check is whether it can overmatch. I forget the formula, but for every caliber shell, there is a armor thickness below which the shell will pen no matter the angle. This is called overmatching, and is what is happening to you. The biggest case is the Yamato. It can overmatch the bow armor of every ship (I think) in the game. Straight through into the citadel through the nose. BBs can do this to cruisers, and some battleships can do it to other (lower tier) BBs. The counter is to not go bow on, but at an angle, so shell hits your belt armor at a steep angle and bounces.


Next comes the autobounce mechanic. This is an angle, which can vary with shell, beyond which the shell will always bounce regardless of angle. For example, one of the reasons for the great USN AP is it has better autobounce angles.


Once you go past those two checks, it's a factor of distance (shell velocity), several shell values, angle, and armor thickness along with some RNG I believe that determines whether the shell will penetrate.


Once you get a pen, then it's down to damage. This depends on what is behind the armor, the fuse timing on the shell, velocity and angle again. Thinly armored parts of the ship (superstructure) the shell will overpenetrate. This means the shell passed completely through without arming the fuse and exploding. The result is 10% of the maxmimum shell damage is applied to the ship. These are the 1000 hits you see.


If a shell arms and explodes, but not in a citadel area, then this is a normal pen, 33% percent max damage.


If the shell explodes in the citadel area, the shell does max damage.


The other possibility is a shatter, which means the armor defeated the shell, there was no penetration, and no damage.


I think this is how things work, but others feel free to correct if I'm wrong. I don't know the exact numbers off the top of my head, so I generalized a bit.


Finally, the WOWS wiki has all this info in greater detail and probably more clearly. Hope this helps.

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