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old_radagast

Trying to get better in the North Carolina

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Hi, all!

First off, this is not a whine thread, or a request to change the game to match my mediocre skills. I understand, objectively, that the North Carolina is a very good battleship, and even with the stock hull (though with a 10 point captain and all the appropriate in-game money purchasable upgrades), she can take an astounding beating when angled properly. A lot of the rest of my challenges at Tier 8 are just learning how things work at higher tiers: the increased importance of angle ("bow-tanking," etc.), greater use of varying speed to either keep guns on target or reduce the ease of enemy aim, the astounding deadliness of well--played destroyers, and so on.

The problem that is perplexing me is about getting good performance out of her guns. They deal more damage than the Colorado's 16" guns - super heavy AP rounds - but have a higher, "floaty" shell path. That's causing some frustration - hitting a properly played DD or cruiser at longer ranges is a pain and seems to involve a lot of luck. But the other issue is that the shells feel anemic when they do hit, and I'm not sure why. 

Against higher tier BB's, which you run into all the time in Tier 8, I feel like I'm throwing spitballs unless they are nice enough to sail full broadside. Against cruisers, strangely, my hits seem less effective or likely to cause citadels than the similar guns on the Colorado. 

Am I doing something wrong here in my aim? Is there some other technique I should be using against higher tier BB's in particular to be effective against them? 

Thanks.

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At range exceeding 13K-ish, your dispersion is going to be a benefit towards the cruiser you are aiming at.  Until he shows his broadside (BB's included), keep your bow aimed at the cruiser, reduced speed and aim for the superstructure.  Get him to turn away and prepare for the broadside to shoot but me mindful if he is equipped with torps.  

For higher tiered BB's, switch to HE and ignite.  Stay with a higher tiered BB and support him, be ready to switch to AP should the enemy BB focus on your teammate.  It helped me to spec my secondaries with hope this would also ignite them during a close brawl and ward off the pesky DD roaches that roam around.  

I honestly hated the NC until I learned her strengths, which appears you seem to know.  

Edited by _ECSO_Sgt_088
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52 minutes ago, old_radagast said:

Hi, all!

First off, this is not a whine thread, or a request to change the game to match my mediocre skills. I understand, objectively, that the North Carolina is a very good battleship, and even with the stock hull (though with a 10 point captain and all the appropriate in-game money purchasable upgrades), she can take an astounding beating when angled properly. A lot of the rest of my challenges at Tier 8 are just learning how things work at higher tiers: the increased importance of angle ("bow-tanking," etc.), greater use of varying speed to either keep guns on target or reduce the ease of enemy aim, the astounding deadliness of well--played destroyers, and so on.

The problem that is perplexing me is about getting good performance out of her guns. They deal more damage than the Colorado's 16" guns - super heavy AP rounds - but have a higher, "floaty" shell path. That's causing some frustration - hitting a properly played DD or cruiser at longer ranges is a pain and seems to involve a lot of luck. But the other issue is that the shells feel anemic when they do hit, and I'm not sure why. 

Against higher tier BB's, which you run into all the time in Tier 8, I feel like I'm throwing spitballs unless they are nice enough to sail full broadside. Against cruisers, strangely, my hits seem less effective or likely to cause citadels than the similar guns on the Colorado. 

Am I doing something wrong here in my aim? Is there some other technique I should be using against higher tier BB's in particular to be effective against them? 

Thanks.

Dang Mister, I almost thought I wrote your question... Thanks for asking it. I've got the same things going on.

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NC is a ship that is good at medium ranges to shortish ranges.

Stopping and bow-tanking is a measure you should be taking when you know you can dish damage consistently, so if you're just sitting there bow-tanking another tier 8 BB, it's kind of futile unless you're keeping him distracted for your team.

NC has excellent stealth, which goes down to 11.8km with all modules and skills, this makes her a good flanker and brawler at medium ranges since you disappear after 20 seconds per shot.

Flanking and jumping unsuspecting ships is my way of playing USN BB's at high tier, they're fast, stealthy and have a decent AA suite to defend themselves with, 

Even though she has a really long range, don't rely on it, NC's guns are actually a copy-paste from Colorado's guns, but you have more range to play with. Iowa and Montana have their own gun, (406mm/50 cal, NC and Colo use 406/45 cal)

 

 

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1 hour ago, old_radagast said:

Hi, all!

First off, this is not a whine thread, or a request to change the game to match my mediocre skills. I understand, objectively, that the North Carolina is a very good battleship, and even with the stock hull (though with a 10 point captain and all the appropriate in-game money purchasable upgrades), she can take an astounding beating when angled properly. A lot of the rest of my challenges at Tier 8 are just learning how things work at higher tiers: the increased importance of angle ("bow-tanking," etc.), greater use of varying speed to either keep guns on target or reduce the ease of enemy aim, the astounding deadliness of well--played destroyers, and so on.

The problem that is perplexing me is about getting good performance out of her guns. They deal more damage than the Colorado's 16" guns - super heavy AP rounds - but have a higher, "floaty" shell path. That's causing some frustration - hitting a properly played DD or cruiser at longer ranges is a pain and seems to involve a lot of luck. But the other issue is that the shells feel anemic when they do hit, and I'm not sure why. 

Against higher tier BB's, which you run into all the time in Tier 8, I feel like I'm throwing spitballs unless they are nice enough to sail full broadside. Against cruisers, strangely, my hits seem less effective or likely to cause citadels than the similar guns on the Colorado. 

Am I doing something wrong here in my aim? Is there some other technique I should be using against higher tier BB's in particular to be effective against them? 

Thanks.

Your targets of choice are broadside ships within 16 km. Be sure to lead extra to make up for the slow shells. If charging is a bad idea, then bow-tank until you can move forward.

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I appreciate you asking the question because of the answers. I just picked up a couple of good tips also. Thanks guys.

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yeah, the shell arcs are a bit floaty, but that also helps to reduce the vertical dispersion of the shells.  they require more lead aim, but the guns on the NC are super accurate.  and the 2.0 sigma (iirc) doesn't hurt either.  also, yeah. someone said earlier that your optimal targets are those under 16km.  just thought i'd restate that. you don't have the armor or secondaries to be a super close range brawler (like the german line), but neither are you a sniper.  those same floaty shell arcs that help make the guns accurate also give targets far enough away time to react...or even if they're not aware you fired, it gives them time to change heading/speed for any other number of reasons.  high tier USN bb's are mid-range skirmishers.  try to keep targets at 10-16km.  hide behind islands low enough you can pop shells over.  angle well.  know when to try to go dark. never willingly give an enemy your broadside (you'll be punished).

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Thank you all for your comments and recommendations. I'm slowly figuring this ship out. Recent games have been somewhat better, at least in feel, though I have a ways to go yet. At least I have the B hull now, so my hitpoint pool is not laughable for my tier.

A few things I've learned the hard way, if they are of any value to anyone else, when playing the NC:

- Bow-tanking is a good tactic, but don't derp, over-use it, and sail too close to the enemy fleet like I did for a while there. That's a great way to get killed by German brawler BB's, cruisers that fire 1,000 shells a second, and endless torpedoes. Keep your distance and don't show your flanks. Bow-tanking seems to work best at a reasonable range when you're not likely to be caught on the sides by something else (like another BB or a DD close enough to torp you.)

- Don't fire pointless salvos at very long-range targets "just because I might hit" since this costs you your concealment. The NC is the first BB I've played where concealment is actually a valid tactic and strength of the ship. In most BB's, I'm just used to the enemy knowing about where I am almost all the time. In those cases, chucking long-range shots at things 20+ km away "just because I might hit" makes sense if you're already spotted, which you probably are. In the NC, this is a terrible tactic. The floating shells will probably never hit anything at those ranges anyway, and you've just given away your position and left yourself open to hits in return

- Full speed ahead is not always the answer. All my previous American BB's required me to basically keep the throttle up at full speed all the time to keep up with the fleet. But if you do that in the NC, at least when angling in towards the enemy, you risk getting too close and then having a bad encounter with torpedoes, German BB's, etc.  3/4 speed seems to work well for cruising closer to the fray, while flank speed can still let me move when needed.

It's a good ship, no doubt about it, but it is different to play than any previous US BB. I am finding - the hard way, usually - that I need to operate in a range window for maximum effectiveness. Shooting targets too far "just in case I hit" costs me stealth and leads to hits on me. Get too close, and I eat torpedoes or get focused down. This is not a complaint, mind you, just a change in style that rewards higher skill play better - she hits HARD when she hits - while punishing poor play more severely.

Thanks - I'll keep working to improve with this ship.

Edited by old_radagast

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33 minutes ago, old_radagast said:

At least I have the B hull now, so my hitpoint pool is not laughable for my tier.

 

And you're North Carolina is now more historically accurate to boot! Though WG still hasn't corrected the pre-war Kingfisher paint being on the late-43 early-44 ship. :Smile_facepalm:

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Slowly getting there... I had a few good plays today.

- I was able to survive for a while against a mess of a force containing a Yamato, a Musashi, 2 cruisers, and a DD. Eventually, our outgunned force on that part of the map fell, but I lasted a good while and even got a citadel on the Yamato. It was somewhere near the number 2 turret and that big, secondary turret that they borrowed from one of the cruisers.

- Another game had an interesting contrast between bow-tanking and showing sides. An NC comes around an island; I'm facing him and ready, he had his guns on me but was showing full flanks. He ate 3 citadels from me, while his return fire did almost no damage as it was deflected off my NC's armor via "bow-tanking." This game also included a citadel at long range with plunging fire somewhere near the front of a Bismarck, which was interesting - it wasn't where I would expect to get a citadel. 

Still a lot to learn.

Edited by old_radagast

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the under-turret magazines are considered citadels as well as the engine/machine compartments. your plunging fire probably penetrated his deck armor and hit one on the bismarck.  also, the yamato has a raised citadel (above-water), so they're not too hard to hit if the yammy gives you a shot.

i do feel the need to differentiate between "bow tanking" and "angling", though.  if you're "bow tanking", you're generally pointed directly at your enemy.  with some ships, this is a very valid tactic, but not so often with the NC, i find.  it has the benefit of making you a smaller target, but on the other hand, your bow is only 32mm of armor.  if an enemy can get through that, they have a straight shot at the very flat forward plating of your citadel.

hErhI0d.jpg

wbFWi2R.jpg

 

on the other hand, if you "angle" you bait shots into the much thicker belt armor, which has a much better chance to bounce or shatter incoming shells than your thin bow armor.

vNF9aiH.jpg

also, angling effectively increases the thickness of armor that a shell has to get through to do penetration damage.  and, it just takes a bit of rudder to swing your rear turret into the fight and back away again when you're ready to fire and your enemy has blown their load.

otherwise, i have no issues with any of your posted revelations regarding NC play :3.

 

o7, good hunting

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I have the Moskva(Easy to punish Broadside or in the nose straight in) and was told to play the NC similar. The Moskva is deadly from range and the NC has range. I'm sure you can find lots of stationary targets if you look for opportunities and bide your time to punish even with those lofty shells if you can ever master them. I'm still trying to Master my Atlanta shells and talk about things that sit in the air for awhile. Interesting topic thanks for opening it! Learning something here !!!

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Thank you for the clarification. I was angled hard to present the front part of the armor belt, not truly bow-tanking. I'll keep the proper definition of those terms in mind. This ship's armor is amazing when angled correctly; I had a whole salvo of Bismarck AP shells just bounce off the angled front part of the armor today at reasonably close ranges. Then, in the same match, an enemy NC was sailing backwards, presenting her full flank while moving slowly. So, yeah - I got a citadel on her, with other damage, and sunk her. That armor angle is so important in this ship.

Edited by old_radagast

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NC and Alabama have same problem, their are all artwork and no performance, secondaries on both ships are completely useless and might as well be removed from the ships as they would perform the same. Having a 5km range is a joke for secondaries and a complete waste of money trying to get any range with signal flags. It's all main gun fights with these ships which is just pitiful game play. Just use the Bismarck with a secondary build and good signal flags that actually work on this ship. Wargaming shutdown the secondaries on these U.S BB's so just leave them in the shipping yard and use Bismarck, much better game play and it actually fights like a BB. Until they remove the stupidity from NC and Alabama I wouldn't even waste my time with them.

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I really loved this ship and done alright in her. Most important thing is protect your broadside and sorta forget you have a rear turret.
After getting Montana I re brought the NC. 

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On 08/02/2018 at 4:36 PM, tropicthnder said:

NC and Alabama have same problem, their are all artwork and no performance, secondaries on both ships are completely useless and might as well be removed from the ships as they would perform the same. Having a 5km range is a joke for secondaries and a complete waste of money trying to get any range with signal flags. It's all main gun fights with these ships which is just pitiful game play. Just use the Bismarck with a secondary build and good signal flags that actually work on this ship. Wargaming shutdown the secondaries on these U.S BB's so just leave them in the shipping yard and use Bismarck, much better game play and it actually fights like a BB. Until they remove the stupidity from NC and Alabama I wouldn't even waste my time with them.

LOL,  (Quote) Main gun fights which are pitiful gameplay (UnQuote)  Main gun fights are what Battleships are all about. Secondaries are not required. :Smile_izmena:

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I managed to perform well above my average in this ship (63% win rate vs my average 47%), and the biggest thing I had to get used to was how to contribute in up tiered matches.  Also feel confident your ship can citadel Teir 9 and 10, and can do 100k damage in these matches.

A few things I found worked for me, they may not work for you:

Success factors:

a) Engage at closer ranges than may have been necessary in previous ships, you need to be less than 14km or so for your shells to be effective against higher tier ships.

b) Never go off on your own, you won't usually be a priority target if you sail with some cruisers and you can get some sweet shot opportunities as enemies are trying to navigate more in response to those you are with than you.

c) Help shoot things other people are shooting, don't take on a T9/10 health pool all by yourself

d) Try to always support DDs early in the game at caps, but don't go to a cap unless there are other ships, you cannot support a cap all by yourself like perhaps at lower tiers.  By doing this you will force yourself to be nose in, a bit closer range, and again you won't be priority target #1, your DD friend will be, so you can get some closer range opportunity shots which will help your confidence and highlight the ship.

e) Don't try to bow tank in T9/10 matches, you can bow fight, but if you start sitting still bow on, or slowly reversing, your likely going to die unless your in a zerg. 

f) Watch the ebb and flow of the action, your more maneuverable than many of the BB you will be playing against so you can adjust your position more readily than some, put yourself in situations where you are with 2-3 other ships and can engage at 10-14 km

 

Edited by Visidious

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