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BrandonKF

A Guide to the Kii, by Brandon F.

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Good day/evening, and a soon to be Happy New Year, I hope and pray for one and all.

I joined into this game several months ago. Since that time I've become rather obsessed with doing well (a fatal flaw in my make-up, I think).

Still, after this much time I have driven enough battles in a particular vessel that I thought I might write out my thoughts and my observations and advice to those who might not have driven this vessel, and intend on purchasing it for themselves, or for those who, like me, started out driving her and discovered just how difficult it can be to really get the most out of her.

Note that I am not writing about purple or pink gamers, those who can make just about any vessel seem to be the best of the best. These individuals often division together and don't have much trouble garnering high damage totals and wins for themselves. Rather, I am writing this to those gamers who join this on a casual/average basis, who might question why they even bothered with this ship in the first place.

I am writing, of course, of the Kii.

A Ship of Contrasts

When one plays Japanese battleships, one understands that they fulfill the role of a burst sniper. The ships that are hardest hit by inaccuracy are the tier 3 Kawachi, the tier 4 Myogi, and the tier 6 Fuso. However, an argument can be made for the Kii, since during testing its sigma was reduced to a paltry 1.7. Thus while your aim might be good, the shells themselves will find a way to miss the target.

In addition, the Kii was given a hat trick of torpedoes. Cool, right? A Japanese Tirpitz!

For the Kii, though, the torpedoes are a nerfed version of what one might find in a tier VI Japanese destroyer. With a paltry range of 6 kilometers, they also have a firing arc which, while exceptional to the rear, is horrendous from the front. In order to fire forward, one must either be passing an opponent in a brawl - not a place Japanese battleships typically like to find themselves - or they must be chased at close range.

Not a problem, if she had protection.

Yeah, About That Armor...

When reviewers stated that the Kii was not a well-protected vessel, I feel that there should have been more emphasis in making this statement.
Do not believe that because she has thicker armor belt that she is tougher than the Amagi. She is not.
Let’s consider the differences.

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The Amagi has 32mm bow armor, and round her midsection an outer layer of armored torpedo bulges of 25mm which is wrapped around her armor belt of 254mm. She has an upper citadel deck slope of 102mm and 114mm amidships.

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The Kii has 32mm bow armor, however she has no armored torpedo bulges (the torpedo ‘bulge’ is underneath the belt armor). Her 292mm belt armor lies directly along her hull at the waterline. Her upper citadel deck slope is 38mm, and her citadel deck amidships is 63mm. The citadel athwartships at the bow end is 73mm. Even if it is low in the water by certain ship standards, the athwartships casemate armor above, while 267mm thick, creates a nice shot trap in the form of an inverted U.
As if to add insult to injury, her athwartships armor on the upper deck is 25mm, angling into her barbettes’ 51mm armor. This makes it incredibly easy for same-tier ships to arm their warheads and disable your forward main guns, and it will happen very often.

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Now, before people talk in terms of cumulative numbers, allow me to be very clear. 292mm of belt armor is nothing for the tiers you are competing in. These are tiers at which the tier 10s regularly need a whipping boy, and you’re it. 292mm thickness just means that your opponents’ AP shells – whether of same tier or higher – will have just enough armor to slow down and then kick around inside your ship for a fleeting nanosecond before causing a citadel ribbon to appear in your enemies’ screen.
I have been citadeled by tier 6 Fusos while broadside at 16 kilometers. That is the amount of armor you are given.

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The only time that you will ever bounce shells from anyone in your tier or higher is if you are angled approximately 5 degrees (not directly bow-on, but close), and you are under 10 kilometers and turning. I’ve done that exactly twice against Yamatos, a few other times with Iowas, North Carolinas, Bismarcks, and what-have-you.
At any other time, any greater than 10 degrees, you will likely eat one or two normal pens, and if the enemy is feeling cheeky, they’ll aim a little a higher just to get into your upper armor and knock out one or two of your turrets along with it.
Do not be mistaken. Even with the module Main Battery Modification 1 (increasing survivability of torpedo tubes and main batteries) you will likely suffer - at minimum - 1 of your turrets being disabled for roughly 20 seconds. Without MBM1, this goes up. I’ve suffered turrets being TKOed in one salvo, leaving me with 8 guns instead of 10.
Also, do not think that because your torpedoes are protected by the deck above them that they are safe. While driving away from your enemies, a lot of shells will bounce off your deck armor, and more than a few will chip through that deck armor into the compartment below, disabling your torpedoes, or outright destroying one or both launchers.
It is because of this propensity to eat damage, combined with your horrible surface detection, that you will often be center of attention at match start (more on that later). Expect that within 3 or 4 minutes of start, you will eat at minimum one or two normal penetrations, unless you creep at one-quarter or one-half speed to the battle. And while creeping, don’t forget that if you’re against tier 9s or tier 10s, they can send a long-range salvo very accurately to find your citadel.
The number of times that I have cursed while a Yamato, Montana, Iowa, Grober Kurfurst or North Carolina has stripped 30,000 of my vaunted 68,000 hit points away in one salvo are too numerous to count.

Fire - HotHotHotHotHotHOT!!!!!

Likewise, fire. I have lost my temper very, very often with this. And there is no reason I shouldn’t. I have let one fire burn out a third of my health, and immediately after that fire is out, a single HE shell will reach out, touch my superstructure, and I am on fire again. No matter how many charges of Repair you have left, there will never be enough. Fire Prevention assists with this only be reducing the amount of places you will be on fire to three. That being said, even two fires are enough to rapidly deplete your health reserves.

The negative 10 percent chance that Fire Prevention offers is almost laughable, if it weren’t vexingly necessary. Any cruiser which loads fire flags in addition to Demolition Expert without IFHE will almost certainly get you lit, and not in the way kids on Reddit/4chan/Anonymous today like to be lit.

Without Fire Prevention, you are a floating inferno waiting to happen.

And the reds know it.

Torpedoes - Fishies with Teeth

Torpedoes will always, always, always hit you if a destroyer is able to sneak in and get an aim on your broadside without being detected by your team. Your rudder shift time is abominable, and your turning radius is quite possibly the absolute worst in your tier (even with the Rudder mod that I typically run, without which you are just an arrow of a battleship). To destroyers, you are, once again, nothing but a fast-moving, slow-turning object from which to farm damage.
Slowing down and turning in will save you… unless of course they have pre-empted you and launched another flight of fish inside their first. Pulling away from them, of course, just means more torpedoes to be eaten.

Now, considering who you will be facing, I have a list of what you can expect with various ships.

Carriers - That Sky Magic

Here, the Kii has one distinct advantage, since her AA is nothing for a carrier captain to sneeze at. LittleWhiteMouse's estimates of the ship's capabilities are well recorded and regarded, and you can rest assured that you will always have a few planes shot down if and when the carrier captain decides to send over her squadrons to you. The downside is that while they will bring down a few planes, a dedicated strike by two or three torpedo bomber or dive bomber squadrons will see them get through and bring their munitions to bear on you.

With the recent influx of AP bombs, these will often strip away 8-10,000 from your health pool in one solid strike, if they don't set you on fire.

And a manual torpedo drop from a Midway or Hakuryu will end you. Full stop. See torpedoes section, and imagine that those torpedoes come out directly next to your ship just in time to arm.

If you see these individuals' ships appear before you, arm the AP and let'em have it. Note: Using High Explosive to set them on fire is not a good idea, since many carrier captains at these tiers will have the Emergency Takeoff skill researched, and you do not want to speed up their planes' launch time. It's wiser to use Armor Piercing, aim for their citadels, and let them eat damage.

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Tier X

Yamato/Montana/Grober Kurfurst – Extreme threat.
Citadels or regular penetrations. Well-driven tier X battleships will see you as a chewtoy for padding their damage statistics.


Conqueror – Extreme threat.
Fire. Lots. Add broken modules and busted engines thanks to IFHE.


Minotaur/Zao – Extreme threat.
Smoke-firing and sniping firestarters. Even with Fire Prevention, you will burn. Add in their rapid reloads, and with AP they can chew off 4,000-8,000 damage repeatedly until you go down.


Hindenburg/Des Moines – Extreme threat.
Firestarters and AP. Same as above, but Des Moines is slightly less well armored. Hindenburg is practically a mini-battleship.


Destroyers – Extreme threat.
Torpedo walls plus stealth. Enough said. Rue the Shimakazes.


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Tier IX

These are much the same as the above. All extreme threats.

A caveat: The Iowa, Missouri, and Izumo in particular are your opportunity to land citadels. It's easier with the Iowa or Missouri when she is broadside, and the Izumo has to be compensated because all her rifles are located forward of her superstructure. Sadly, because of the Matchmaking set-up, you're less likely to run into tier IX, and more likely to get pulled in with a couple of them to be in a X match.


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Tier VIII


North Carolina/Alabama/Massachusetts/whatever else they throw in tier VIII American – Extreme threat.
The North Carolina class has 16-inch rifles that will find your citadel or put 8,000-10,000 damage into your broadside or angled ship. Your only redeeming quality is you can return the favor if they are driving broadside to you. Never pass up this opportunity. Most will slow down if they see incoming, so whatever your shell flight time, reduce that by a couple tic marks on your dynamic sight. Whether they turn away or turn towards your ship’s rifles is up to the driver and the obstacles surrounding them, so pay attention, you might have a cue as to which way they’ll want to turn and pre-empt it, but not too much, because even a difference of a hundred meters can result in straddles and splashes where you thought they’d be and where they end up.


Amagi – Extreme threat.
Your sister class is tankier, but it will eat citadels at range if you get plunging AP through her decks broadside. At closer ranges – inside 15 kilometers – you will see far more bounces and shatters. And with your sigma, you’ll want to get in closer.
Meanwhile, her guns are more accurate, and they will citadel you often if you are three-quarters or broadside, and regular pen if you are nearly bow-on.


In a recent Ranked match, I was focus fired by a North Carolina and Amagi. One salvo from the North Carolina reduced Kii’s hit points from full to half health. Over 30,000 damage. I healed, took another 3k hit from the North Carolina at three-quarters angled, and shortly thereafter, the Amagi’s broadside wiped me out.


Monarch – Extreme threat.
British battleship and fire, these two things go together. If they are smart, they’ll try using their AP on you, and while they might not citadel, they will eat regular penetrations for days.


Bismarck/Tirpitz – High threat.
The only reason these two don’t go into the extreme category is due to their sigma and dispersion. Do not misunderstand me on this though. They can citadel you, even at ranges of 16-17 kilometers. One lucky shell and 12,000 hit points are gone.
They will also be upgraded to an extreme threat at sub-12 kilometers. That’s when their rifles get accurate and their secondaries begin coming into play.
The Tirpitz adds this with excellent torpedoes which, if you choose to attempt to fight in close, she can use effectively against you, because of your slow turning radius. Unless you want to ram her, I suggest waiting to see her fish have been launched and then close the distance.


Cruisers – High threat.
Moreorless the same as Tiers X and IX, albeit with slightly less damage output. Also, the good ones will use their WASD keys to continually keep moving and juking, and with your sigma, you’ll see a mix of citadels versus splashes.


Destroyers – Extreme threat.
Torpedo walls. Less damage than the higher tier versions, but with enough flooding they can swamp you. This often occurs directly before or after you just repaired those fires and your Damage Control Party is in cooldown. Do not misunderstand intent with U.S., Russian or German destroyers. These can and will start fires very often because of their excellent gun characteristics.

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Tier VII

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Nagato – Extreme threat.
At 14 kilometers and above, she has the guns to citadel you if she hits while sniping. Inside that, angled, you might bounce her more often, but broadside she will once again find your citadel.


Colorado/Gneisenau – High threat.

Shotguns with good rifles that can penetrate. The Gneisenau is more a threat in brawling ranges due to her torpedoes and her fire-starting secondaries.


King George V/Duke of York – High threat.
British battleship and fire. Need I say more? Less of a threat when you can find their citadels, but that’s easier said than done.


Cruisers – High threat.
Fire. Are we seeing a pattern?


Destroyers – High threat.
Torpedo walls. Yep, definitely a pattern. Though these typically do not have the concealment ratings of their higher-tier mates, thus you might have an opportunity to catch them unawares. Still not a threat to be taken lightly.

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Tier VI


Fuso/New Mexico – Medium threat.
Your lower-tier sibling is far less accurate, but if you have driven her you know that her broadside can eat you up just by the sheer number of shells she can dish out. The New Mexico joins her.

Bayern – Medium threat.
The Bayern is typically a medium threat due to its inaccuracy. However, those who are good can hit you, and their rifles being of the same caliber as the Bismarck, you will see citadels against you often. Letting them get into brawling range with their AP is a no-no; occasionally, with your torpedoes you can surpass them once in a while.


Queen Elizabeth – Medium threat.
Her fire-starting capabilities should not be underestimated. However, she is King George’s little sister, so you can handle her at range if you can aim well enough. Sadly, sigma will often laugh at you.


Cruisers – Medium threat.
Rinse and repeat as above, except they have slower reloads and less ability to use AP against your angled hull. Be grateful for that, but don’t let them live long with their HE spam.


Destroyers – Medium threat.
Torpedoes.

So, what is a Low threat?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Maybe a tier V that got dragged uptier, but even these I don’t discount until I’ve sunk them.

 

How Do You Drive Her?


It’s one of the most vexing things that I have with this ship, which I bought because of my love for mecha, and on top of which, thought would be a great entry point. My early matches were beyond substandard, enough to make me break teeth (I’m fairly sure I’ve felt a few chips in my enamel of late), and I finally had to embrace the fact that the Kii will never do as I desire she should. Unless I make her.


There will be matches where you will be given perfect broadsides in the early stages upon which to citadel enemy cruisers, and find your ribbons racking up no matter what. In opposition, other matches you will have perfect broadsides, or an angled shot you aim perfectly, only to watch sigma and dispersion troll you by washing the red ship’s paint with seawater.


Not just cruisers, either, but also enemy battleships. I have bounced and broken and over-penned superstructures so many times, and other times hit with a register only to hit some spare module that is of no consequence and see no damage given.
There is little that can be done about this. As is said often on The Mighty Jingles channel, “Throw enough crud at the wall, and some of it will stick.”


The issue is that despite you’re having a greater health pool than your sister ship, it will never last nearly so long as the Amagi because of your thin skin. So, while sniping is often considered the way of the purple, for most of us, such things are more miss than hit.


Occasionally with the spotter plane you’ll have a great opportunity only to watch your shells give your opponent yet another wash, and rarely – very rarely – you will reach out with staggered shells and watch one find the citadel for 10-12,000 damage.
The other issue is that with such inconsistent sniping, you cannot provide the long-range fire support that is necessary to exert map control. You give up 6 or 7 kilometers of ocean that your team could use to maneuver when you do so.


However, advancing closer to the action invites catastrophe, as all eyes now focus on your shiny premium and want to end your match prematurely.


An example. Without Concealment Module, I Randomed in to a tier 7-9 match. Here are the results.

26170345_10156608646029386_5572059805246

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Two matches later, and two losses later, I chose to go with Concealment module. I ended uptiered against almost all Tier X ships. Here are the results.

26116221_10156608646039386_3018871406978

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Notice the potential damage. Even though I ate AP shells from a Yamato to the point that I was almost dead at the start of the match with Concealment, that additional dispersion is almost certainly what assisted in throwing off a LITTLE of his aim, and since I wasn’t seen from orbit, I couldn’t be focused nearly as much.

2.5 million potential damage and a loss, versus less than 1 million potential damage and a win.

Do not think that this will always happen. The best matches for your damage and/or kills will likely find a round 2 million potential damage in your screen, if the enemy was paying any attention to you.


This is the ‘balance’ of the Kii as I have found it.

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But What About Angling?

HAHAHAHAHA!

26173464_10156608646154386_2215721376680

There's your angling.

Notice the red 12983. That was 'angled' against a Missouri.

I'm not saying you shouldn't. If I hadn't been angled as much as I was, I'd have eaten one or three citadels.

Just don't expect your lifespan to be measured in bounces and shell shatters.

 

My Set Up

I opted for a near-full secondary build, plus Concealment Module, which lowers my detection down to 15.6 kilometers. My captain skills include IFHE and Advanced Firing Training, plus Fire Prevention, as the aforementioned fire magnet that you are requires it. Why the IFHE? Largely because otherwise the 100mm dual mounts you pack on your sides would not come close to penetrating the hull armor of destroyers, much less light cruisers. I topped it off with Secondary Battery Modifications 1 and 2, increasing the secondaries and AA survivability to 100 percent and increasing the range an additional 20 percent while decreasing dispersion by 20 percent.

Why? In a word, destroyer extermination. Wait, that's two words.

Either way, with Mike Yankee Soxisix flag equipped, my secondary range is buffed to 7.6 kilometers. Without Mike Yankee Soxisix, it's 7.2 kilometers. This provides a very nice bubble into which those low-concealment driving destroyers will enter. And I always imagine that their eyebrows quirk up just slightly when they are detected and suddenly find themselves under fire from that harmless Japanese battleship that they thought didn't have the range to reach them. After all, only German battleships have those kinds of secondaries, right? I know a few drop their jaws or let out a little epithet when they turn an island corner 5 kilometers away and encounter a flying wall of incoming from the battleship they thought wasn't paying attention to them.

More than a few have ended up sunk because they were low health and running away and unable to escape detection and the range of my secondaries in time, or because they entered in close from around an island, fired at me while I was low on health, and found themselves sunk instead.

A fitting end for fire-spamming, smoke-firing Khabs and Gearings alike, I think.

This comes at a price. Mainly, my guns will often encounter shells and be disabled. My torpedoes, likewise, are often disabled. However, even with Preventative Maintenance and MBM1, I found my weapons were disabled often anyway, thus I have chosen to embrace the weakness for what it was and buff the secondary aspect of the vessel for the unseen advantage I feel it is.

Well, the advantage is not so unseen now, but not everyone reads these forums, so I'll continue to surprise destroyer captains when they get in close. And cruiser captains, too, as those 140mm rifles pack a rather nasty punch that can double down my main guns before I can get them swiveled around on the enemy.

The other downside is that, contrary to LittleWhiteMouse's observations, in a hard turn (ha, hard turn, more like a slow half-circle of impending citadels and please-don't-shoot-me and epithets while you eat said citadel or two), you will still find your turrets out-turned by your ship unless you equip Kii with Main Battery Modification 2 or the captain skill Expert Marksman.

 

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My summary leaves me questioning whether the Kii really is such a good buy. With the camouflage skin provided by Makoto Kobayashi, the expense was worth it in the long run for silver. You won't want for it if you dedicate yourself to fighting in her for 50 battles. But, that still leaves the question of whether she is 'fun' to play. How does one measure fun?

For some, it's dropping Devastating Strikes on enemy ships with your main battery. There is definitely an appeal to that, and it has happened before. However, there is also the fun of engaging in a tight brawl with another battleship, or even a couple battleships, launching torps, firing secondaries, and giving it your all while being pounded away.

Kii can do this, but only for a very brief and sometimes inglorious span. If you can find means to prolong that span, by using small islands and obstructions to keep the enemies' main guns off you, you can even win more than a few brawls. But this is not the surpassing quality I desire it to be. Ultimately, a Scharnhorst can do the same job with much less fuss, thanks to its triple mount rifles and its buried citadel, though this remains a chance encounter due to anyone knowing your strength and focusing you quickly to resolve the situation before you get within secondary range. Likewise, the Tirpitz can brawl easily thanks to its incredible secondaries at the same tier, and has torpedoes that I would consider a magnitude greater than Kii's, mostly for their increased damage potential and speed, which Kii cannot hope to outturn. However, her guns' lowered dispersion make her better when working over a Tirpitz at range until it is time to brawl. The trouble is finding her nemesis' citadel, which can remain very elusive.

As for being a rearward sniper, combining a Concealment Expert with Concealment Module will lower your rating to 13.6 kilometers, and with additional benefits to your main guns, you can expect to hold back 15 or 16 kilometers from the enemy and avoid any major repercussions. This will undoubtedly lead to your being called a coward by some because you are, once again, the classic 'sniping battleship' that does not push the front. And worse, your secondaries will fall flat on their face when an enemy destroyer makes its appearance.

So, which is most fun for you? I only know what is fun for me, and while she might be a square peg in a round hole situation, the Kii is still, for me, a nice ship. Not necessarily a 'gudbote', due to its inability to properly brawl as I desire, but a fair boat nonetheless.

Would I like to see her armor or her secondaries buffed? Absolutely. It would make her niche more palatable, instead of the awkward position she finds herself in now.

If you have tips or thoughts or considerations, please do provide them here, I'm open to having them shared with others for public consumption. Thank you.

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i see only one thing wrong with this, you put DDs as a MEDIUM threat at certain tiers, i, personally, see DDs as a extreme threat to BBs at any tier, but then again, i dont have Kii so i cant say for sure

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giphy.gif
Very interesting analysis of a ship you've clearly bled for.  Have a sparkle unicorn. 

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30 minutes ago, BrandonKF said:

If you have tips or thoughts or considerations, please do provide them here, I'm open to having them shared with others for public consumption. Thank you.

I think you either are playing her wrong, have her set up wrong or are just not good with Japanese BBs. Though I will admit Kii is tricky she is actually quite the powerhouse when played right. Try looking at @LittleWhiteMouse's review on the Kii it is very helpful.

If there is one thing I think I should point out, this statement here;

"When one plays Japanese battleships, one understands that they fulfill the role of a burst sniper."

While this idea can be argued it is not the end-all-be-all, not all the Japanese BBs play the same, having a mentality like this can cause problems with playing a ship that is not the same. The Kii is a great example of this. She isn't a sniper her sigma and shells just don't work well at that range and close range is not the best for her, she can do it but the risk dose not equal the reward in most cases (though it is hilarious to troll BBs who forgot about your torps) she is a mid-range shooter 9-14 Km is the magic range for her in my experience. Also remember, the Kii has high maneuverability, like the Kongo while her armor is lacking if you quickly turn and change course she will not be hit of if she is it is mitigated. However this is just my experience so your mileage may very.

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56 minutes ago, tcbaker777 said:

i see only one thing wrong with this, you put DDs as a MEDIUM threat at certain tiers, i, personally, see DDs as a extreme threat to BBs at any tier, but then again, i dont have Kii so i cant say for sure

You are correct to a degree. Once you see tier VI destroyers, though, you can typically take precautionary maneuvers to avoid their torpedoes. And they are far less than the threats at tiers VIII, IX, and X.

53 minutes ago, LittleWhiteMouse said:

giphy.gif
Very interesting analysis of a ship you've clearly bled for.  Have a sparkle unicorn. 

Much obliged, Mouse.

53 minutes ago, Fog_Repair_Ship_Akashi said:

I think you either are playing her wrong, have her set up wrong or are just not good with Japanese BBs. Though I will admit Kii is tricky she is actually quite the powerhouse when played right. Try looking at @LittleWhiteMouse's review on the Kii it is very helpful.

If there is one thing I think I should point out, this statement here;

"When one plays Japanese battleships, one understands that they fulfill the role of a burst sniper."

While this idea can be argued it is not the end-all-be-all, not all the Japanese BBs play the same, having a mentality like this can cause problems with playing a ship that is not the same. The Kii is a great example of this. She isn't a sniper her sigma and shells just don't work well at that range and close range is not the best for her, she can do it but the risk dose not equal the reward in most cases (though it is hilarious to troll BBs who forgot about your torps) she is a mid-range shooter 9-14 Km is the magic range for her in my experience. Also remember, the Kii has high maneuverability, like the Kongo while her armor is lacking if you quickly turn and change course she will not be hit of if she is it is mitigated. However this is just my experience so your mileage may very.

Her review was the first thing I read when considering purchasing the Kii. I've gone back to it, at a minimum 20 times, to read and re-read.

Your thoughts about her main guns' optimal range are not incorrect.

There is one fatal flaw.

Her armor cannot withstand punishment at those ranges.

Her high maneuverability is, I'm sorry to say, a laughable thing. At sniping ranges exceeding 16 kilometers, you might be able to dance with the incoming, but any closer and the rounds start quickly stacking against her. And at those ranges is where high tier destroyers and cruisers live. They are never to be underestimated. Their rapid fire starting swiftly burns you down to next to nothing, and from there a good salvo or two from a red battleship will see you watching her break in two.

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12 hours ago, BrandonKF said:

Her review was the first thing I read when considering purchasing the Kii. I've gone back to it, at a minimum 20 times, to read and re-read.

Your thoughts about her main guns' optimal range are not incorrect.

There is one fatal flaw.

Her armor cannot withstand punishment at those ranges.

Her high maneuverability is, I'm sorry to say, a laughable thing. At sniping ranges exceeding 16 kilometers, you might be able to dance with the incoming, but any closer and the rounds start quickly stacking against her. And at those ranges is where high tier destroyers and cruisers live. They are never to be underestimated. Their rapid fire starting swiftly burns you down to next to nothing, and from there a good salvo or two from a red battleship will see you watching her break in two.

I really have had no issues at medium range with my KII, I play her like my Kongos, (laughs at irony of having Hiei as my KII captain) I fight on the front line and if things get to hot I wait for the last fired salvo to mis and then turn in a tactical withdrawal. KII's armor is like the Kongo's fine for her tier but not so much when uptiered, I have bonced shells in my KII with surprising regularity against same or lower tier enemies. Your example against the Missouri is flawed as well. The Missouri is a tier IX American BB, it's AP shells have amazing pen already plus your angle is wrong you overangled. You were too far over which exposed more of your weaker armor and made it flat to the Missouri if you had actually angled less you would have ate less damage. I know that sounds counter intuitive but it is a lesson I learned in my Kongo. Her armor is a bit weird, if you hit her at a certain angle you can actually do more damage then with other ships at the same angle with similar armor thickness my personal theory (and if I'm wrong @LittleWhiteMouse feel free to correct me) the sharper bow of the Kongo and by extension the Kii (both with similar bow shape) means you need to angle differently against shells. Again this is just my honest opinion, the Kii is a very powerful ship she just doesn't forgive mistakes. Try playing her like your Kongo see how it goes with the free retraining on Captain Skills and reduce module mounting cost happening it wouldn't hurt to try a Kongo type build for her. Though Aiming System Mod 1 is a must, the only difference between my Kongo and my Kii. Again this is just my opinion, whatever you do is your choice. 

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Errr, while I always appreciate a discussion of a ship I personally consider to be fantastic, I'll have to unfortunately disagree on quite a few points. Note that like yourself, I'm no unicum. In fact, I have a little over 2000 matches with a 51.5% solo WR, so it's very comparable to your's.

- I see this often when people are talking about their favorite battleship, but there is no battleship in the game that has an especially high risk of fire compared to others her tier. The base fire chance is equal across the board, so the only difference lies on how easy said battleship is to hit with HE. Obviously, the more shells land, the greater the chance of fire. In this regard, Kii seems slightly bigger than Amagi, so there's that.

- Secondary build with IFHE?? What?? IJN BBs suck in brawls. Even Amagi with her stellar turtleback is worse in a brawl than most of the other BBs she sees due to her enormous turning circle. IJN BBs are snipers. They have crazy good muzzle velocities and should generally stay around 10 to 15km away from a fight unless it is absolutely required of them to push (like your team losing on points and desperately needing a cap with a couple of minutes to go). Kii suffers a bit because of her 1.7 sigma, but given I've had the biggest damage dealing game in my life with her at those ranges, I'd say she still does well here. In my opinion, the only two skills worth taking in that row if you're playing IJN BB are Concealment Expert and Fire Prevention. Mind you, a case could be made for AFT to increase AA range. But Manual Secondaries and IFHE? Hell no. The only BB line where IFHE is even remotely decent are German BBs  as those ships are brawlers by design. Also, the module to increase secondaries range on her is much worse than either reduced dispersion or increased AA range. You want to boost what she's good at, namely her hard hitting guns and amazing AA.

- Her armor is indeed quirky, I'll give you that. But she angles well with all her guns and I've not typically had problems ... except for once when a Montana managed to citadel me though her rear while I was moving directly away from it. If anyone knows why this seemed to happen, I'd love to know. I should check on her armor scheme again once I'm back home. I'd say, overall, she has better armor than Amagi at long range, and worse than Amagi up close. Mind you, also as a general rule, IJN BBs are known for having quite a few armor weaknesses compared to other lines, which I guess compensates for their ridiculously good long range accuracy.

By the way, as you brought it up ... has anyone tested AP bombs on Kii? I know Amagi takes moderate (but not extreme) damage from them. Maybe a bit more than North Carolina, but significantly less than Bismarck. I'm curious to see how Kii's deck armor does against those.

TL;DR: Kii is a great ship and I don't know why people complain about her. In fact, she's the two week BB win rate champ on both NA and EU. Plus with her special camo, she's one of the best money makers in the game, bested only by Missouri and the soon to be released Musashi. One of my best purchases by far.

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5 hours ago, KaptainKaybe said:

Errr, while I always appreciate a discussion of a ship I personally consider to be fantastic, I'll have to unfortunately disagree on quite a few points. Note that like yourself, I'm no unicum. In fact, I have a little over 2000 matches with a 51.5% solo WR, so it's very comparable to your's.

- I see this often when people are talking about their favorite battleship, but there is no battleship in the game that has an especially high risk of fire compared to others her tier. The base fire chance is equal across the board, so the only difference lies on how easy said battleship is to hit with HE. Obviously, the more shells land, the greater the chance of fire. In this regard, Kii seems slightly bigger than Amagi, so there's that.

- Secondary build with IFHE?? What?? IJN BBs suck in brawls. Even Amagi with her stellar turtleback is worse in a brawl than most of the other BBs she sees due to her enormous turning circle. IJN BBs are snipers. They have crazy good muzzle velocities and should generally stay around 10 to 15km away from a fight unless it is absolutely required of them to push (like your team losing on points and desperately needing a cap with a couple of minutes to go). Kii suffers a bit because of her 1.7 sigma, but given I've had the biggest damage dealing game in my life with her at those ranges, I'd say she still does well here. In my opinion, the only two skills worth taking in that row if you're playing IJN BB are Concealment Expert and Fire Prevention. Mind you, a case could be made for AFT to increase AA range. But Manual Secondaries and IFHE? Hell no. The only BB line where IFHE is even remotely decent are German BBs  as those ships are brawlers by design. Also, the module to increase secondaries range on her is much worse than either reduced dispersion or increased AA range. You want to boost what she's good at, namely her hard hitting guns and amazing AA.

- Her armor is indeed quirky, I'll give you that. But she angles well with all her guns and I've not typically had problems ... except for once when a Montana managed to citadel me though her rear while I was moving directly away from it. If anyone knows why this seemed to happen, I'd love to know. I should check on her armor scheme again once I'm back home. I'd say, overall, she has better armor than Amagi at long range, and worse than Amagi up close. Mind you, also as a general rule, IJN BBs are known for having quite a few armor weaknesses compared to other lines, which I guess compensates for their ridiculously good long range accuracy.

By the way, as you brought it up ... has anyone tested AP bombs on Kii? I know Amagi takes moderate (but not extreme) damage from them. Maybe a bit more than North Carolina, but significantly less than Bismarck. I'm curious to see how Kii's deck armor does against those.

TL;DR: Kii is a great ship and I don't know why people complain about her. In fact, she's the two week BB win rate champ on both NA and EU. Plus with her special camo, she's one of the best money makers in the game, bested only by Missouri and the soon to be released Musashi. One of my best purchases by far.

To your first point, yes, the chances of fire are no different, except for the enemies one faces. Almost every one of my 600 matches in Kii (which make up the vast majority of my matches in my time here) have been in Random solo drops. Of those, I would guess that approximately half of those involved tier IXs and Tier Xs. At those tiers, outside the Public Test server, many run Demolition Expert in addition to IFHE and utilize as many fire flags as is possible.

To your second point, that is indeed how one usually fights in a IJN battleship. One issue I have noticed is that, coupled with Amagi's enormous turning circle, Kii's slow rudder shift makes her enormously susceptible to destroyers approaching her. To wit:

4 hours ago, Warchild360 said:

Perhaps they dont like her because pubs are a completely different environment than competitions and she just doesnt work well in a chaotic group of  strangers all dashing about????

Warchild360 hits on the point I should have made more clear, I think.

Destroyers in the Public server are crewed by a mixture of personalities. Some destroyer captains will charge recklessly in to get their kill, die, and get on to the next match within a three-minute span. Some will approach caps slowly, or circle around, in the hopes of not being detected so they can approach battleships unaware. Some will fire out of smoke until a torpedo catches them. Others will have the experience and temperament to smoke, fire, launch, retreat, then come back for another go. Typically it is the ones with the cooler, more patient head that will take those little racecars loaded with fishies to your battleship.

-

Insofar as armor.

I read alot of people say, 'quirky', 'tricky'. Let's stop beating around the bush. It is worse. Not as bad as a light or heavy cruiser, but her citadel is vastly exposed from most angles. As you quite likely saw in that replay I posted. One shell equaled 17,000 damage within a minute of match start.

That's not an anomaly. That's the standard fare for you when you drive Kii repeatedly in Public drops. You cannot start match protected behind an island and lob rounds. You are going to have to get somewhere to find a position. In the time it takes to do so, you are almost certain to get broadsides sent your way, and out of all those RNG tests, one is going to fail you.

Insofar as how the Montana citadeled you.

26170713_10156610184929386_2729066627167

26114696_10156610184934386_3455836341834

There's your most likely answer. Disregard the 32mm deck armor. If it is penetrated, the aft end of your vessel is easily regular penetrated, and it is a short stop into a citadel. This also is why torpedo launchers are often disabled or destroyed.

Meanwhile, insofar as testing against AP bombs, I've had a dozen or so matches against Enterprises and others with saidsame munitions.

I lose at minimum 8-10,000 a strike. That's thanks to this (the other reason plunging fire will make a laughable work of your Kii):

26060328_10156610184939386_6796296757340

-

So, to answer your question as to why people complain with her, the likely reason is that she is not as well-protected as everyone says she is. Many of those who purchase her on the Public server are either new to the game, or inexperienced with her idiosyncrasies and weaknesses.

To wit, when you consider the list of people at the top of marked Public server battles in her:

25790920_10156610212409386_6187580134229

There is vastly more red and orange than green or even blue, much less pink or purple. And her average frag and K/D ratio is performing on par to the North Carolina and Tirpitz, two vessels that have millions of fights involved, compared to her paltry sub-50,000 at this time.

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Even the secondary build German bb's are being respecced towards alternatives. I can't really agree with a secondary build Kii. She's all about the AA and 16 inch mid range bombs.

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1 minute ago, Spartias said:

Even the secondary build German bb's are being respecced towards alternatives. I can't really agree with a secondary build Kii. She's all about the AA and 16 inch mid range bombs.

In Public matches you are less likely to encounter aircraft at higher tiers than you are at the mid-tiers. You can equip the Kii to be an AA monster. Against tier IX and X planes, she will likely be the first target for a run, and while the carrier commander will lose planes in the deal, you will lose likewise first and foremost.

Manual drops for a vessel like the Kii are a short death sentence.

The other reason I personally believe many are going away from secondary builds is due to the slight meta changes with deep water torpedoes, smoke firing, AP bombs, and of course fire.

All of these force a battleship driver to consider backing away from areas of crossfire, reinforcing the mindset of more passive play.

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14 hours ago, BrandonKF said:

Conqueror – Extreme threat.
Fire. Lots. Add broken modules and busted engines thanks to IFHE.

Wut? :Smile_amazed:

Are you suggesting Conq. players are using IFHE?

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2 minutes ago, sbcptnitro said:

Wut? :Smile_amazed:

Are you suggesting Conq. players are using IFHE?

He is having his Notser moment  :P

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8 minutes ago, sbcptnitro said:

Wut? :Smile_amazed:

Are you suggesting Conq. players are using IFHE?

 

6 minutes ago, centarina said:

He is having his Notser moment  :P

There is such a thing?

Probably I'm mistaken. But I have distressingly had my engine broken by incoming HE. A real pain in the aft.

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So I have a Kii. And It does great things for me. Personally, I think it all comes down to Gameplay. I tend to Kite with mine out between 15km to 19km range from the enemy and I do a lot of damage. I use My spotting aircraft as much as its available and in ranked the ship just works for me vs other T8 Battleships. Depending on if there are CVs out or not also changes things since I will build out my secondary but still keep my big guns accuracy vs an all-out aa build.  So basically I kite as long as possible and when I get the enemy down or they are down in numbers I will move in closer to attack with secondaries and torpedos if need be. 

Overall a good ship in the right hands. I saw no reason to keep my Amagi once I had the Kii. 

Edited by Filthy_Pelican

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The advantage Amagi has over Kii is the slightly better Sigma. But its not as significant a deal as other BB linee. IJN BBs have very good base dispersion, meaning that even those shells that sigma doesn't favor can still land somewhere painful. Its why Fuso is so strong despite having a 1.5 sigma. And as discussed, Amagi also has more reliable armor, especially up close. I find the two fairly balanced against one another. Although as Brandon mentioned, the lack of CVs makes Kii's AA less useful. I have the AA range module loaded right now, but i might switch it to the dispersion one.

Brandon, if AP bombs are doing up to 10k per squad drop on you, thats pretty much the same as Amagi. Its certainty much better than the 30 or 40k the Bismarck has to deal with ;)

 

 

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On 12/27/2017 at 8:23 PM, KaptainKaybe said:

The advantage Amagi has over Kii is the slightly better Sigma. But its not as significant a deal as other BB linee. IJN BBs have very good base dispersion, meaning that even those shells that sigma doesn't favor can still land somewhere painful. Its why Fuso is so strong despite having a 1.5 sigma.

And significantly better armor.

I just ate a citadel from a Gneisenau at 14.5 kilometers. The rear quarter's armor belt won't bounce shells coming from there. Shells coming in will just angle into the thin roof behind the thicker belt.

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Dude ... I disagree with so many things that you said, I dont even know where to start.

But my BIGGEST problem is your build, why the hell would you ever spec IFHE and secondaries on a ship that was clearly NOT designed to brawl? Thin belt, exposed citadel with little turtle back, terrible secondaries and a wide turning circle ... each and every one of these things should tell you "stay the hell away and angle". No matter how many secondary modules you equip or how many points you waste on your commander trying to spec for secondaries, it will not keep enemy DDs away. In addition IJN secondaries have /6 modifier instead of the german /4, meaning even with IFHE you cant pen 32mm bows of tier 8+ BBs. That, combined with the fact that its only 100mm shell size, means you will barely scratch anything around you. The only thing you can hope for is fires, but 100mm explosive radius is so small and the accuracy of the secondaries is so low (has to land on superstructure to be effective) that the amount of damage they can do even at point blank is little to none. 

So you just wasted a ton of commander skills and module slots on secondaries that cant keep DDs away and dont even scratch the BBs at tier 8+. I can understand taking AFT, perhaps even BFT (even though I wouldnt), but taking IFHE + secondary modules on a ship that clearly cant brawl or keep opponents away from it is just ...

 

P.S To give an example of something I would use: 

- All-purpose build (recommended) - best against ships in random matches

Preventative Maintenance, Expert Marksman, Adrenaline Rush, Basics of Survivability, Fire Prevention, Concealment and Superintendent (or Vigilance).

Or

- Pure AA build (not recommended) - best for when you are dealing with CVs. I wouldnt take BFT if I were you.

Preventative Maintenance, Expert Marksman, Adrenaline Rush, Basics of Survivability, AFT, Concealment and BFT (or Superintendent or Vigilance)

Edited by Ulthwey

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On 12/29/2017 at 2:33 AM, Ulthwey said:

Dude ... I disagree with so many things that you said, I dont even know where to start.

Okay.

On 12/29/2017 at 2:33 AM, Ulthwey said:

But my BIGGEST problem is your build, why the hell would you ever spec IFHE and secondaries on a ship that was clearly NOT designed to brawl? Thin belt, exposed citadel with little turtle back, terrible secondaries and a wide turning circle ... each and every one of these things should tell you "stay the hell away and angle". 

And as I've made clear, "angling" is not something you can do as easily as you say with the aforementioned thin belt and little turtlebacm.

On 12/29/2017 at 2:33 AM, Ulthwey said:

No matter how many secondary modules you equip or how many points you waste on your commander trying to spec for secondaries, it will not keep enemy DDs away. In addition IJN secondaries have /6 modifier instead of the german /4, meaning even with IFHE you cant pen 32mm bows of tier 8+ BBs.

For some that might be true.

Experience has taught me differently. 

On 12/29/2017 at 2:33 AM, Ulthwey said:

That, combined with the fact that its only 100mm shell size, means you will barely scratch anything around you. The only thing you can hope for is fires, but 100mm explosive radius is so small and the accuracy of the secondaries is so low (has to land on superstructure to be effective) that the amount of damage they can do even at point blank is little to none. 

4,000 damage to a destroyer with AP is the equal of 25,000 to a battleship. And only the Kidd has a heal right now.

On 12/29/2017 at 2:33 AM, Ulthwey said:

So you just wasted a ton of commander skills and module slots on secondaries that cant keep DDs away and dont even scratch the BBs at tier 8+. I can understand taking AFT, perhaps even BFT (even though I wouldnt), but taking IFHE + secondary modules on a ship that clearly cant brawl or keep opponents away from it is just ...

My style.

On 12/29/2017 at 2:33 AM, Ulthwey said:

 

P.S To give an example of something I would use: 

- All-purpose build (recommended) - best against ships in random matches

Preventative Maintenance, Expert Marksman, Adrenaline Rush, Basics of Survivability, Fire Prevention, Concealment and Superintendent (or Vigilance).

Or

- Pure AA build (not recommended) - best for when you are dealing with CVs. I wouldnt take BFT if I were you.

Preventative Maintenance, Expert Marksman, Adrenaline Rush, Basics of Survivability, AFT, Concealment and BFT (or Superintendent or Vigilance)

Both of those generic builds are, for lack of a better term, predictable, and boring.

I personally would rather try a different style as long as I have the patience for it.

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Thanks for this guide. Won the Kii yesterday in a Santa crate so will enjoy learning this ship.

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14 hours ago, Confucious said:

Thanks for this guide. Won the Kii yesterday in a Santa crate so will enjoy learning this ship.

Congratulations on your gift. :cap_like:

Let me know in a week or so how she's treating you, or if you have any questions.

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