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Psycodiver

Tier 6 Cruiser Review: Aoba

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Aoba

 

Welcome Captains to the Tier 5 C-hull Furuta....opps err I mean T6 Cruiser Aoba. Poor Aoba, ever since the Furutaka got the C-hull, she kinda lost her uniqueness at T6. The Aoba is one of the original cruisers first introduced into the game and was once considered one of the best tier for tier cruisers in the game but since the introduction of several cruiser lines and the mix of new Destroyer lines and Battleship lines have really chewed down that title. She suffers from power creep at this point but that doesn't mean she is a bad ship, oh no, she is merely just more balanced than ever before. She still packs 203mm guns that fire fast and accurate, she is also stealthy and fast. In exchange for that, she is one massive citadel with torpedo arcs that scream "delete me" for any enemy ship paying attention, her AA is laughable and her gun range is frankly lack luster. It somehow stacks up to be a comfortable ship to sail though, she has a jack-of-all-trades feel to her where I don't feel like she is being a burden to the team while nothing that screams that she is overpowered in any single category. She is the pair of old clothes you have laying around that fit right and look right for most occasions, but you tend to forget you own.

Health

The Aoba has a good amount of HP sitting around 31,900 which is more than the rest of the T6 cruisers minus the Cleveland and Graf Spree. She packs 76mm of belt armor and her citadel runs from the front of the turrets to the aft turrets with a large portion sitting well above water under the smoke stacks which makes her very easy to citadel. Most of her hull is covered in 25mm of armor which makes her resistant to HE fire from 152mm or smaller guns but vulnerable to IFHE shells but her bow and stern only gets 16mm of hull plating. Her turrets allow her to keep a fairly tight angle while maintaining all the guns firing which is a good thing but using your concealment and islands is the best practice especially with the lackluster gun range meaning you have to get allot closer than most cruisers in your tier.

Guns

The Aoba once again packs the biggest guns for her tier with six 203mm guns mounted in three dual turrets that have good angles especially when firing the rear. She has the worse range of the tech tree cruisers with only beating the Leander and barely beating the Cleveland although with the upcoming USN cruiser split its hard to tell how the Aoba will fair then. Her guns have the best penetration thanks to them being the biggest and her HE is all around good. They reload a decent 11 seconds but her turrets are slow at 36 seconds of rotation, I cut that down with both the EM skill and Main Battery Modification 2 to 27.9 seconds while only bumping reload up to 11.55 seconds. Originally I tried the Accuracy mod and AA mod but several times I got into a fight where due to hard maneuvering I was unable to get shots off and that was frustrating to say the least, this set up works for me so your mileage may very. Running a mix of AP and HE is a good idea, she can make quick work of slightly angled and broadside cruisers along with the upper belts of most battleships but if their angled go with HE. In all honestly her HE is solid enough to be used all the time but you will be leaving damage and kills on the table if you don't learn when to switch.

Torpedoes

The Aoba packs 2 quad mount torpedo launchers on both sides of the ship near the aft. They have a range of 10km with a reload of 102 seconds and a good max damage rating of just over 16,000 hp a piece. That said they have terrible arcs that force you to sail nearly broadside to launch them which is begging for you to get deleted. They work well for a ambush or last ditch weapon although if you run max concealment and have a enemy sailing towards you, you can fire them in concealment for hilarious effect. Otherwise forget they exist because while they are tempting to use it generally leads to your destruction as well.

AA

The Aoba's AA consist of mostly 25mm mounts and some 127mm along with Defensive Fire consumable. Overall its pretty weak, I tried running BFT, AFT and the AA mod because she does still see CVs fairly often but the pay off is pretty weak. I kept the Defensive Fire consumable on since it does still scatter incoming torpedo bombers and dive bombers, making it easier to dodge of course.

Speed/Rudder

At 35 knots she is tied with the Budyonny as the fastest cruiser in their tier and considering the amount of firepower she brings with her makes for a fun combination. This speed also aids in running island to island to cover your approach or escape so you can easily flex yourself across the battlefield. She also has a fast rudder shift of 8.5 seconds which really helps when your trying to dodge incoming fire

Concealment

The Aoba has some of the best concealment of her tier at 12.1 km and with camo and CE skill brings it down the 10.33km. This gives her allot of room to play in and with her speed makes for a dangerous combination allowing you easily flex from one area to the next.

Mods

I ran the usual Main Armament Mod 1, DCS Mod 1, Main Armament Mod 2 and Steering Gear mod 2. I ran AA mod and Accuracy mod but found MAM 2 to be more useful for my playstyle. 

Captain Skills

For captain skills I ran Priority Target, Expert Marksman, Demolition Expert and Concealment Expert (CE brings your concealment down to 10.33km). Coming around Last Stand is a good choice because her rudder and engines get destroyed regularly

Tactics

She has poor range considering the size of her guns, this means you need to be sneaky and if you don't have the CE skill yet, this can be a difficult task. With her fast speed though getting behind a islands is important. I try to keep the bulk of the enemy force at my max range where I can easily pelt them with a HE/AP combination. If your flank is winning, this is when you can open the throttles up and chase the enemy down, especially DDs because at 35knots you are hard to out run. If your flank is losing though and your forced into retreat then mix your speed up with along with swinging your ship back and forth to throw off the enemies aim, you should only fire your torpedoes when you are concealed. Your citadel is a big target so do what you can to protect it but if a BB fires at you there is not much you can do but pray to RNGesus

How did I do

I found her almost boring as for me play as there was nothing exciting about her, she was just a flat out solid performer for me. I didn't have any crazy great games, but I did complete the grind in 29 games thanks to some premium time and that I was power grinding Free XP when I first got her. I'm sure if I played her more I would have saw some great games but I doubt the overall feel would be different. To me she isn't a keeper, I'll struggle to remember any games but I will remember her as a good solid ship that does allot of things pretty well but nothing exceptional. She is nothing special which makes her special in this current meta of new "gimmick" ships that WG is putting out.

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I quite liked Aoba, but I played her ages ago so my stats in her are pretty [edited].

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Furutaka and Aoba are my better performing girls. Still keep them for seal clubbing reason. 

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When it was just USN and IJN, she was very good. Now power creep has just about made her useless.

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For the one person downvoting me....

I'll let you know that I bought premium cammo for her because she was so good.

German cruisers didn't kill her off, but that darn Russian,  y'all know her...yes whose your BUDDY....

He killed the Aoba.

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1 hour ago, AyanoMidori said:

I quite liked Aoba, but I played her ages ago so my stats in her are pretty [edited].

At Launch, Aoba was very well regarded, we used to have the saying, "Aoba is Love, Aoba is Life."  But the game has changed considerably since then.  Aoba hasn't really been altered, but everything around her has, in terms of power creep and MM.  At launch, Aoba's 8" guns used to smack around the likes of Tier IV ships.  Not anymore, she's saying, "Hi!" to Tier VII-VIII a lot.  She is simply one of those mid-tier ships that if she was playing her tier, she'd be pretty dang good.  But Amagi vs Aoba on a regular basis?  F--k that.

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Good review. I ain't played this ship for a long time. Keep up the good work :Smile_honoring:

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20 minutes ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

At Launch, Aoba was very well regarded, we used to have the saying, "Aoba is Love, Aoba is Life."  But the game has changed considerably since then.  Aoba hasn't really been altered, but everything around her has, in terms of power creep and MM.  At launch, Aoba's 8" guns used to smack around the likes of Tier IV ships.  Not anymore, she's saying, "Hi!" to Tier VII-VIII a lot.  She is simply one of those mid-tier ships that if she was playing her tier, she'd be pretty dang good.  But Amagi vs Aoba on a regular basis?  F--k that.

This pretty much right here.

This is why we have been asking for the Myoko Preliminary to replace her with the new meta. With Pensacola going down to tier 6, many of us are hoping that becomes a serious possibility. Aoba does fine when vs tier 5/6 where she can do well. Nurnberg also has an issue with being uptiered but the difference with Nurnberg is the rate of fire and longer ranged guns allowing it to better and more safely put stand off range from serious threats.

Main reason for Myoko Preliminary? It gets Myoko's armor, but 1 less turret so only 4 turrets. Same torpedo's, although main difference there is they would be the same position as Furutaka's meaning forward and a lot of arc space due to a lack of structure around it.

There is a reason why I went from a near 1500 WTR in Taco to 900 WTR in Aoba and back up to near 1400 WTR in Myoko using the same Island hopping tactics and everything. The Aoba does not uptier well at all. I managed a near 1300 wtr in Nurnberg in the same conditions but Nurn could put another 2km distance and or fire over hard cover much better than Aoba. Since they are never going to limited MM to a 1/1, Aoba just needs to go. She can be made into a premium or a give away ship but the reality is, the power creep is real with her.

 

Also, the stats don't lie. Psycodiver himself did better in the Taco before and the Myoko after than he did in the Aoba.

Psycodiver

Ship WTR Battles
Furutaka 1261 31
Aoba 1091 28
Myoko 1333 2

Azumazi

Ship WTR Battles
Furutaka 1489 26
Aoba 894 38
Myoko 1354 55

 

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Honestly the only thing that really kills this ship for me is T8 MM. She's perfectly serviceable otherwise.

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1 hour ago, Flashtirade said:

Honestly the only thing that really kills this ship for me is T8 MM. She's perfectly serviceable otherwise.

I suppose, personally I dislike Aoba. I loved (and kept) the Kuma and the Furry Taco was great fun but once I got the Aoba, I pretty much just stopped bothering trying to grind it out. The slow firing, slow turning guns, crappy torpedo arcs, and overall sluggishness of the ship, even fully upgraded, just burned me out. I love cruisers and cruiser play both in PvE and PvP but the Aoba is just too much of a dog for my tastes. I stupidly purchased the permanent camo for Aoba when I got the ship since I had been enjoying the line but I kick myself for spending real money on such a terrible ship since I won't be playing or keeping it. In PvP play it is just terrible, in PvE play the ship is close to worthless unless you stay to the back of the group of humans. The torps are so situational (unless you go on a suicide run) that you forget they are there. Using her in co-op is just embarrassing, I tend to score near the bottom of the roster when using her. When I was grinding her upgrades, I tended to use the entire ship as a torpedo, just ramming stuff to earn some xp and moving on to something fun to play. It is an uninteresting ship and dealing with DDs in her is just an ordeal.  On the upside she is pretty.. 

BTW I have played lots of cruisers and the only one I hate is Aoba closely followed by the Pensacola before they gave it a detection buff. The New Orleans is "meh" but every other cruiser in the game I actually enjoyed playing even the much despised Emerald. The Aoba is just awful in my opinion. 

Edited by Taylor3006

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1 hour ago, Azumazi said:

Also, the stats don't lie. Psycodiver himself did better in the Taco before and the Myoko after than he did in the Aoba.

Psycodiver

Ship WTR Battles
Furutaka 1261 31
Aoba 1091 28
Myoko 1333 2

Azumazi

Ship WTR Battles
Furutaka 1489 26
Aoba 894 38
Myoko 1354 55

 

He has 2 battles in the Myoko?

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He just unlocked it most likely, but so far most people have the same trend going from Taco to Aoba to Myoko. And mind you, that's his WTR in it over the weekend with potato's about.

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19 minutes ago, Taylor3006 said:

I suppose, personally I dislike Aoba. I loved (and kept) the Kuma and the Furry Taco was great fun but once I got the Aoba, I pretty much just stopped bothering trying to grind it out. The slow firing, slow turning guns, crappy torpedo arcs, and overall sluggishness of the ship, even fully upgraded, just burned me out. I love cruisers and cruiser play both in PvE and PvP but the Aoba is just too much of a dog for my tastes. I stupidly purchased the permanent camo for Aoba when I got the ship since I had been enjoying the line but I kick myself for spending real money on such a terrible ship since I won't be playing or keeping it. In PvP play it is just terrible, in PvE play the ship is close to worthless unless you stay to the back of the group of humans. The torps are so situational (unless you go on a suicide run) that you forget they are there. Using her in co-op is just embarrassing, I tend to score near the bottom of the roster when using her. When I was grinding her upgrades, I tended to use the entire ship as a torpedo, just ramming stuff to earn some xp and moving on to something fun to play. It is an uninteresting ship and dealing with DDs in her is just an ordeal.  On the upside she is pretty.. 

BTW I have played lots of cruisers and the only one I hate is Aoba closely followed by the Pensacola before they gave it a detection buff. The New Orleans is "meh" but every other cruiser in the game I actually enjoyed playing even the much despised Emerald. The Aoba is just awful in my opinion. 

Don't quit at Aoba, Myoukou and those after her start putting out some serious damage. Imagine playing the Aoba, except you average around 5k in raw HE damage per salvo and light a fire every third trigger pull. However, the torps will forever remain niche unless you buy an Atago (which has some of them facing forward).

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7 minutes ago, Flashtirade said:

Don't quit at Aoba, Myoukou and those after her start putting out some serious damage. Imagine playing the Aoba, except you average around 5k in raw HE damage per salvo and light a fire every third trigger pull. However, the torps will forever remain niche unless you buy an Atago (which has some of them facing forward).

Well, starting with Mogami you can actually stealth torp if they are chasing you. Makes for some hilarious surprises when they see 16 torps in the water at them and there aren't any DD's about.

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7 minutes ago, Azumazi said:

He just unlocked it most likely, but so far most people have the same trend going from Taco to Aoba to Myoko. And mind you, that's his WTR in it over the weekend with potato's about.

So easier to get a higher WTR in the weekend, you mean?

Looking at WR over the server we see that Aoba is a better performer than the Furutaka.

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30 minutes ago, Flashtirade said:

Don't quit at Aoba, Myoukou and those after her start putting out some serious damage. Imagine playing the Aoba, except you average around 5k in raw HE damage per salvo and light a fire every third trigger pull. However, the torps will forever remain niche unless you buy an Atago (which has some of them facing forward).

Well I quit it for a while, oddly enough with the recent +200% weekend, I have taken her out to get a bit of xp. I still need 40k to get the next ship, actually thinking of using some of my banked free xp to do it. Just kind of hanging on to it to see if I need it for the upcoming USN CA split. I have heard good things about the Myoko, plan on retraining my 19 point Yamamoto from the Kuma to it. He does really well in the Atago! 

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1 minute ago, joris92 said:

So easier to get a higher WTR in the weekend, you mean?

Looking at WR over the server we see that Aoba is a better performer than the Furutaka.

Honestly I find it far easier to fluff WTR on the weekdays in the early morning or late night. Seems to be far more intelligent and adult players on at those hours who coordinate a lot better. Doesn't mean you can wreck face on the weekend with a good division though but solo, prefer the weekdays.

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I used to like her alot, but at mentioned already above, powercreep hit her hard. However, one thing I have found out and always appreciated in the Aoba is the ability to function respectably even with a 1 point captain. Her firechance is already good, the camo serviceable compared to its peers, and she doesn't need IFHE like most 152mm firestarters.

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Having grinded through pre-buff Furry Taco... The Aoba was a dream come true.  

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2 hours ago, joris92 said:

He has 2 battles in the Myoko?

I just unlocked her and only managed to get 2 battles so far

 

That said she could use a honest to goodness range buff, something like 1km to 1.5km would be a vast improvement without breaking her and a tweak to her torpedo arcs would be so very nice

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6 minutes ago, warheart1992 said:

I used to like her alot, but at mentioned already above, powercreep hit her hard. However, one thing I have found out and always appreciated in the Aoba is the ability to function respectably even with a 1 point captain. Her firechance is already good, the camo serviceable compared to its peers, and she doesn't need IFHE like most 152mm firestarters.

The big problem is the gun traverse that even a 19 point captain with EM can not help. The Aoba is absolute crap at fighting DDs, and crap is a nice way of putting it. Slow rate of fire, terrible gun traverse, and pretty awful AA, all of which makes her useless in a cruiser's most important roles. She is ok if you sail with BBs and use your guns against cruisers and battleships to start fires but trying to keep the guns on target of a DD just makes her a pathetic ship. I played two matches with her this morning, she is absolute crap. I have heard good things about Myoko but you know what, I have Atago, don't need nor want any further IJN cruisers. I already quit the IJN destroyer line at both tier 5's and their carrier line at tier 6. The Japanese ships just are "meh" IMHO. The premiums I have are all decent to play and fun. Their tech tree ships at tier 6+ are just not worth playing. Maybe some of the higher tiered stuff is good but it isn't worth my time to see. I know slow gun traverse is a "Japanese" trait in the game, but seriously it doesn't make playing them any fun. If I want glacial gun traverse, will stick with battleships. 

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18 minutes ago, Psycodiver said:

I just unlocked her and only managed to get 2 battles so far

 

That said she could use a honest to goodness range buff, something like 1km to 1.5km would be a vast improvement without breaking her and a tweak to her torpedo arcs would be so very nice

For the Myoko? Not OP enough?

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So far my favorite of the T6 tech tree cruisers. Leander is pretty nice too though. 

Edited by Yoshiblue

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29 minutes ago, Psycodiver said:

I just unlocked her and only managed to get 2 battles so far

 

That said she could use a honest to goodness range buff, something like 1km to 1.5km would be a vast improvement without breaking her and a tweak to her torpedo arcs would be so very nice

Omg, if she had 1.5km more range.

Zg32Zbt.gif

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15 minutes ago, joris92 said:

For the Myoko? Not OP enough?

Sorry I meant for the Aoba

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