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Is it worth continuing up the KM BB tree?

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I found the Bayern to be okay, and really struggled through the Gneisenau. I felt the turtleback was a double-edged sword as although you don't get citadelled, you do take a lot of normal AP pen damage, and bow tanking didn't work well because only 4 guns on bow ( and six guns in total) with wonky dispersion and sigma. The advice of brawling didn't work well because the torps were situational and the secondaries weren't enough. 

I own a Bismarck, but its been collecting dust for over a month now, because imo the Gneisenau really soured my expectation of the rest of the line. It also doesn't help that the Bismarck only has two more main guns, leaving most of the hard work to the secondaries, which are situational most of the time (for me). I don't like the idea of relying on secondaries due to this reaosn. To add insult to injury, I have never lost a gunfight to a Bismarck in Richelieu, ever. (and I have seen a lot of Bismarck's in 28 games)

Is it really worth playing the Bismarck (I'm still stock) and continuing on to the Friedrich? The Friedrich also has only 8 guns albeit of a larger calibre)

 

 

Good luck and fair seas!

Edited by Indracool

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i would say "no" as of right now. i have a tirpitz and a gneisenau. i find them to be very boring and very weak ships to play. my good friend just finished the grind to tier 10 and the tier 9 was just plain hell for him, always the first spotted and always the first target. ever since a series of nerfs to the german bbs, the secondary fire chance nerf, the ap dive bombers and the chance of long range citadel hits makes me say "no thanks"

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It doesn't help that you become fodder in tier x matches most of the time. Bismark and company are really great ships- I ran mine a lot back when it was something pre sonar nerf. I'd like for it to get its good hydro back since its 15" guns really don't get much done in tier x but that will never happen. I used to love looking at her in port since she had the same camo I had on an old RC model my dad got me when I was a kid but I don't even do that anymore. 

 

The hard truth is that FDG is garbage at tier IX- well... not like it used to be anyway (I liked it but haven't played it in a year) and GKF is pretty strong but may not be worth the grind for you depending on your style and experience in tier x. 

 

What else are you grinding again?

Edited by Gascan75
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I might be in the minority here, but I do fairly well in the FDG.   I also did very well in the Biz. You need to stay angled, not bow tanking, but angled. Pick your moments to pop the rear turrets and also pick your moments to push. If you position correctly and time it your moves right you will have a definative impact in a victory. You won’t put up sexy damage numbers, but a good German BB player influences the game.  

 

What i found most frustrating about the Bismarck was the trollish performance of the main battery for its tier. A lot of bounces on even slightly angled targets and when bottom tier even some shatters. I play my FDG with the 420s and get better, more consistent gun performance.

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They used to be great but they got left behind by the meta pretty hard. If you want to test the Grosser Kurfuerst just drive Alldestroyer in space mode, that'll give you some hands on experience.

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German BBs aren't mean to be bow tankers.  You need fight with your ship angled so that you can get all of your guns to bear.

As for the Bismarck's 15" guns not getting it done at tier 10, well.... Yes, they're not as devastating as 16" gunned BBs at tier 8.  However, they're not as bad as some might claim.  When you're driving a BB with weaker guns, regardless of the tier, it's always the same.  Learn where to aim to maximize your guns' effectiveness.  Aim for superstructures on higher tier BBs.  Shoot at cruisers.  If you're uncertain about penning a higher tier BB at longer range and that's all you really have to shoot at, don't be afraid to use some HE.  Just don't fall in love with it.  The idea is to get some damage and hopefully start a fire.  The Bismarck's and Tirpitz's 15" guns are just fine in higher tier battles once you understand how to make them more effective with good target selection and intelligent aiming.

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15 minutes ago, gmrbull said:

I might be in the minority here, but I do fairly well in the FDG.   I also did very well in the Biz. You need to stay angled, not bow tanking, but angled. Pick your moments to pop the rear turrets and also pick your moments to push. If you position correctly and time it your moves right you will have a definative impact in a victory. You won’t put up sexy damage numbers, but a good German BB player influences the game.  

 

What i found most frustrating about the Bismarck was the trollish performance of the main battery for its tier. A lot of bounces on even slightly angled targets and when bottom tier even some shatters. I play my FDG with the 420s and get better, more consistent gun performance.

I followed some other advice and went with the faster reload on the smaller caliber guns given the 8 rifle limitation. I run full spec 420 on GKF... which doesn't much matter since like I said I don't play FDG anymore but I changed it anyway just in case :)

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Haven't played them in awhile but in 100 battles, my Bismarck averaged a 65% winrate, so they seemed like very powerful carry vessels, capable of shooing out any DD that went anywhere near a cap.  Even at tier 10, the Bismarck was a deathmachine against DDs.

Edited by Sventex

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The Gneisenaeu and Bismarck are the best ships (tier for tier) in the line, and are very competitive when played correctly. I would not recommend the FDG and GK however - the firing angles combined with their lack of mobility (turning radius, rudder shift, etc) make them suffer. 

You need to show 45 degrees of broadside to use your rear turrets in a GK - at that angle you will take a LOT more AP damage then you can sustain. 

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1 hour ago, Indracool said:

I found the Bayern to be okay, and really struggled through the Gneisenau. I felt the turtleback was a double-edged sword as although you don't get citadelled, you do take a lot of normal AP pen damage, and bow tanking didn't work well because only 4 guns on bow ( and six guns in total) with wonky dispersion and sigma. The advice of brawling didn't work well because the torps were situational and the secondaries weren't enough. 

I own a Bismarck, but its been collecting dust for over a month now, because imo the Gneisenau really soured my expectation of the rest of the line. It also doesn't help that the Bismarck only has two more main guns, leaving most of the hard work to the secondaries, which are situational most of the time (for me). I don't like the idea of relying on secondaries due to this reaosn. To add insult to injury, I have never lost a gunfight to a Bismarck in Richelieu, ever. (and I have seen a lot of Bismarck's in 28 games)

Is it really worth playing the Bismarck (I'm still stock) and continuing on to the Friedrich? The Friedrich also has only 8 guns albeit of a larger calibre)

 

 

Good luck and fair seas!

6 months ago, definitely. Now? meh.

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from my experience bismarck is way overrated, and FDG sucks

to make german great again, WG need more cyclone, so you can get brawling range without getting focus fired and sink in no time

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1 hour ago, Indracool said:

I found the Bayern to be okay, and really struggled through the Gneisenau. I felt the turtleback was a double-edged sword as although you don't get citadelled, you do take a lot of normal AP pen damage, and bow tanking didn't work well because only 4 guns on bow ( and six guns in total) with wonky dispersion and sigma. The advice of brawling didn't work well because the torps were situational and the secondaries weren't enough. 

I own a Bismarck, but its been collecting dust for over a month now, because imo the Gneisenau really soured my expectation of the rest of the line. It also doesn't help that the Bismarck only has two more main guns, leaving most of the hard work to the secondaries, which are situational most of the time (for me). I don't like the idea of relying on secondaries due to this reaosn. To add insult to injury, I have never lost a gunfight to a Bismarck in Richelieu, ever. (and I have seen a lot of Bismarck's in 28 games)

Is it really worth playing the Bismarck (I'm still stock) and continuing on to the Friedrich? The Friedrich also has only 8 guns albeit of a larger calibre)

 

 

Good luck and fair seas!

What? You had a bad time in the Gneisenau??!?

Personally, I didn’t enjoy the FdG at all, but I really enjoy the Gneisenau, Scharnhorst and Tirpitz (less so the Bismarck, but it was OK). 

Perhaps the line simply isn’t for you?

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Freddie is pretty bad if you ask me. The Bis is pretty good though. Can be a lot of fun. I hear the GK is really good, but I cannot confirm.

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3 hours ago, Indracool said:

I found the Bayern to be okay, and really struggled through the Gneisenau. I felt the turtleback was a double-edged sword as although you don't get citadelled, you do take a lot of normal AP pen damage, and bow tanking didn't work well because only 4 guns on bow ( and six guns in total) with wonky dispersion and sigma. The advice of brawling didn't work well because the torps were situational and the secondaries weren't enough. 

I own a Bismarck, but its been collecting dust for over a month now, because imo the Gneisenau really soured my expectation of the rest of the line. It also doesn't help that the Bismarck only has two more main guns, leaving most of the hard work to the secondaries, which are situational most of the time (for me). I don't like the idea of relying on secondaries due to this reaosn. To add insult to injury, I have never lost a gunfight to a Bismarck in Richelieu, ever. (and I have seen a lot of Bismarck's in 28 games)

Is it really worth playing the Bismarck (I'm still stock) and continuing on to the Friedrich? The Friedrich also has only 8 guns albeit of a larger calibre)

 

 

Good luck and fair seas!

German BBs are phenomenal. Both Bismarck and Kurfurst are beasts for their tier. Freddy is a bit weak, but its a means to an end. If someone cant make the Bismarck/Kurfurst work, its because of lack of skill - the ships themselves are excellent.

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7 hours ago, Gascan75 said:

It doesn't help that you become fodder in tier x matches most of the time. Bismark and company are really great ships- I ran mine a lot back when it was something pre sonar nerf. I'd like for it to get its good hydro back since its 15" guns really don't get much done in tier x but that will never happen. I used to love looking at her in port since she had the same camo I had on an old RC model my dad got me when I was a kid but I don't even do that anymore. 

 

The hard truth is that FDG is garbage at tier IX- well... not like it used to be anyway (I liked it but haven't played it in a year) and GKF is pretty strong but may not be worth the grind for you depending on your style and experience in tier x. 

 

What else are you grinding again?

I'm grinding the French BB's (richey), the VMF CL's (schors) and the USN BB's (NM).

 

Thank you all for your input, I think I'll keep the bismarck as a port queen

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Don't sit back and snipe with them. You will do badly. Move up with your DDs and Cruisers (about 5-8km behind is good), you know, support them (and hopefully they will return the favor). The last thing someone wants to see is thousands of tons of German steel bearing down on them. KM BBs are brawlers, use terrain to your advantage to stay out of the line of fire, get closer however you can and let rip. IJN and US BBs aren't a real threat once you get close. Angle, angle, angle. Bow tank in KM BBs and your done. Reverse bow tank and they should fit you for a hockey helmet and save a seat for you on the short bus. The biggest mistake I constantly see KM BBs doing is "sniping" from the blue line. Good way to lose games. 10-15km is where you want to be.

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13 hours ago, Indracool said:

I found the Bayern to be okay, and really struggled through the Gneisenau. I felt the turtleback was a double-edged sword as although you don't get citadelled, you do take a lot of normal AP pen damage, and bow tanking didn't work well because only 4 guns on bow ( and six guns in total) with wonky dispersion and sigma. The advice of brawling didn't work well because the torps were situational and the secondaries weren't enough. 

I own a Bismarck, but its been collecting dust for over a month now, because imo the Gneisenau really soured my expectation of the rest of the line. It also doesn't help that the Bismarck only has two more main guns, leaving most of the hard work to the secondaries, which are situational most of the time (for me). I don't like the idea of relying on secondaries due to this reaosn. To add insult to injury, I have never lost a gunfight to a Bismarck in Richelieu, ever. (and I have seen a lot of Bismarck's in 28 games)

Is it really worth playing the Bismarck (I'm still stock) and continuing on to the Friedrich? The Friedrich also has only 8 guns albeit of a larger calibre)

 

 

Good luck and fair seas!

IMO the German tech tree is a noob friendly tier where the ships get less and less impressive(relative to their peers) as you progress. The line doesn't really have any awful ships but while the Nassau, Kaiser, Konig and Bayern IMO(and statswise) are either the first or second best at their tier, Gneisenau, Bismarck, FDG and GK are relatively mediocre. Don't think the Germans have the worst BB at any tier except maybe T9(and that's a big maybe) and are pretty consistent but I think it's pretty clear IMO that this is a line that declines as you get to the end rather than improve. 

I started with the German BB line and loved it at first but on the grind from T6 and T7, I began to lose interest and started to gravitate more and more to the UK BB's who I had originally just intended to play up to T5. Preferred the UK premiums greatly to the Tirpitz as well and this slowly translated to the tech tree ships. Another thing I noticed is that lower tier German BB's IMO appear to be worse when you are playing them after getting the higher tiers. For example to a noob Nassau's sub 11km range isn't all that bad, a disadvantage for sure but not one that makes the ship all that much less fun, once you've been used to ranges in the high teens and twenty's, that range is crippling, and the low tier German BB's have pretty bad range too though not quite that bad. Anyway I got the Gnesenau, used her a few times when I needed a ship with torps and she's been sitting in my port ever since. When I got a Tirp there's already no reason to get a Bis and the forum reputation of FDG and GK didn't exactly motivate me at all to continue the line, so I've stayed at T7. 

I think the German line would be much more appealing in a game where the UK BB's and French BB's didn't exist and the introduction of these lines, makes the line seem mediocre. Gnesenau, Bismarck, FDG and GK look a whole lot more appealing in a game where KGV, Lion, Conqueror, Lyon, Richelieu, Alsace and Republique don't exist. Lower part of the tree is still great but when you get near the end 

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16 hours ago, Indracool said:

I found the Bayern to be okay, and really struggled through the Gneisenau. I felt the turtleback was a double-edged sword as although you don't get citadelled, you do take a lot of normal AP pen damage, and bow tanking didn't work well because only 4 guns on bow ( and six guns in total) with wonky dispersion and sigma. The advice of brawling didn't work well because the torps were situational and the secondaries weren't enough. 

I own a Bismarck, but its been collecting dust for over a month now, because imo the Gneisenau really soured my expectation of the rest of the line. It also doesn't help that the Bismarck only has two more main guns, leaving most of the hard work to the secondaries, which are situational most of the time (for me). I don't like the idea of relying on secondaries due to this reaosn. To add insult to injury, I have never lost a gunfight to a Bismarck in Richelieu, ever. (and I have seen a lot of Bismarck's in 28 games)

Is it really worth playing the Bismarck (I'm still stock) and continuing on to the Friedrich? The Friedrich also has only 8 guns albeit of a larger calibre)

 

 

Good luck and fair seas!

Honestly, with your low number of battles I would stop for now at Bismarck. You need to learn the game mechanics better before moving up any further. Try playing some of the other classes and learn what works and doesn't against the ships you want to "Main" in. It will improve you and your temmates experience.

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17 hours ago, Indracool said:

I found the Bayern to be okay, and really struggled through the Gneisenau. I felt the turtleback was a double-edged sword as although you don't get citadelled, you do take a lot of normal AP pen damage, and bow tanking didn't work well because only 4 guns on bow ( and six guns in total) with wonky dispersion and sigma. The advice of brawling didn't work well because the torps were situational and the secondaries weren't enough. 

I own a Bismarck, but its been collecting dust for over a month now, because imo the Gneisenau really soured my expectation of the rest of the line. It also doesn't help that the Bismarck only has two more main guns, leaving most of the hard work to the secondaries, which are situational most of the time (for me). I don't like the idea of relying on secondaries due to this reaosn. To add insult to injury, I have never lost a gunfight to a Bismarck in Richelieu, ever. (and I have seen a lot of Bismarck's in 28 games)

Is it really worth playing the Bismarck (I'm still stock) and continuing on to the Friedrich? The Friedrich also has only 8 guns albeit of a larger calibre)

 

 

Good luck and fair seas!

It is worth it to go up ALL of the tree's eventually.   Some ships are better then others in the same tier.. some struggle against higher tier but few of them if any are "Bad" ships.  They are what they are.   How ever there are a LOT of  lets say not so good players out there who never learn the ship they're in.   

Pay attention to a ships strengths and weaknesses.  Always play and position to mitigate the not so good and accentuate the strengths.  Don't expect perfection as it's not going to happen, and it is utterly stupidly arrogant to assume otherwise.

Horatio Nelson said it best to paraphrase  "No captain can do far wrong to engage the enemy.  Some things must be left to chance"

I forget whether that was Trafalger or the Battle of the Nile thats from but he was a pig proponent of punching ships into insanely close action and letting the superior skill of british crews and officers carry the day.  Be of superior skill!

 

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Secondary-specced Bismarck is one of the most enjoyable ships, if you like brawling. It does take good positioning and timing, but when those 11.3km secondaries open up, it's gold watching DDs and cruisers panic and the little damage rolls on BBs. Tirpitz beats Bismarck in brawls if gets within 4km because of her torps.

I've secondary-specced Freddie too, but campfest meta makes poor positioning/timing less forgiving. I opted for MB reload over secondary reload because MB always sees action.

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Bismarck used to be a fun BB to play until tier 8s becoming not only bottom tier but the minority bottom tier as a norm. Unless WG starts taking our feedback more seriously tier 8 will remain the dreaded tier. Many just play their t8s to grind up to 10s and then but them back in the closet.
The only t8 BB I comfortable in 1 t10 match is Amagi. 
I hope they bring more balance to the tier 8s. Until then my Bismarck remains parked. 

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High tier German BBs are pretty balanced now. They used to be a touch OP, but now seem on par with their peers overall. So it depends what you want to do with it.

German BBs are brawlers. Now it's true that the meta discourages brawling and pushing early like it used to, but don't discount the need to push hard in the late gamer once you can find a hole to poke through or a flank to run around.

German BBs have an unusual armor scheme. It's very difficult to to citadel them close or mid range, but easy at long range. They also take regular pen damage very easily instead of overpens. Their deck protection is also not great and they are very susceptible to AP bombs. That's the bad news.
The good news is they have thick armor spread out everywhere, so that when sharply angled, they can resist a ton of firepower.

More importantly, they are very resistant to HE damage from cruisers. See, most BBs in the game follow the All or Nothing Scheme where only the citadel and decks are heavily protected. But everywhere else is just thin plating. Many of them in fact are just completely covered by said plating even over the citadel protection. This makes them very susceptible to steady HE spam. German BBs are much less vulnerable as only their very extremities and superstructure have thin plating. On top of that, many of them have Hydro. This means these ships are incredibly powerful against cruisers and destroyers. But only if they hit.

German BB guns are incredibly inaccurate at long range. Anything over, say, 12km is very spray and pray. you HAVE to get close be a big threat. That again is the bad news. The good news is their secondary guns. German secondaries are numerous, long range, fire often, and are all HE. With a proper secondary build, you can put the fear of god in destroyers. With IFHE, you can get a steady stream of damage on even battleship plating. On top of that, they can and will set fires rapidly. High tier German BBs under 11km are a gigantic threat.

You just have to get to those ranges first ... without getting focused down. That's the challenging part and you need to be patient early on whereas other BBs can reliably toss out the hurt from the get go.

Up till tier 6, they are good but unremarkable. At tier 7, you have the Gneisenau that has few unreliable guns, but has excellent armor, speed, AA, and torpedoes. At tier 8, you have Bismarck which is still an amazing ship as she is very responsive on the rudder and is the first of the line with the long range secondaries and Hydro.

At tier 9 is FdG. I was not a fan. She has the same number of guns as Bismarck but with a bigger shell, but is a good deal more sluggish. So it's like the worst of all worlds. But GK is the tier 10 and what a prize she is. 12 main battery guns, and her secondaries start at 127mm, meaning they are much more reliable against all ships she comes across, especially with IFHE. She also has the biggest health pool of all ships in the game. And size for that matter, lol. Despite that, she has a better rudder than both Montana and Yamato, so more responsive. Although stll beat by Republique and Conqueror on that level. One con for GK, though, is her rear turret firing angles are really not that great. But you can't win them all, right? ;)

tl;dr: If you're good at finding situations where you can brawl without being focused down, these ships absolutely shine. If you're more comfortable being back line artillery, play something else.

Edited by KaptainKaybe

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26 minutes ago, KaptainKaybe said:

High tier German BBs are pretty balanced now. They used to be a touch OP, but now seem on par with their peers overall. So it depends what you want to do with it.

German BBs are brawlers. Now it's true that the meta discourages brawling and pushing early like it used to, but don't discount the need to push hard in the late gamer once you can find a hole to poke through or a flank to run around.

German BBs have an unusual armor scheme. It's very difficult to to citadel them close or mid range, but easy at long range. They also take regular pen damage very easily instead of overpens. Their deck protection is also not great and they are very susceptible to AP bombs. That's the bad news.
The good news is they have thick armor spread out everywhere, so that when sharply angled, they can resist a ton of firepower.

More importantly, they are very resistant to HE damage from cruisers. See, most BBs in the game follow the All or Nothing Scheme where only the citadel and decks are heavily protected. But everywhere else is just thin plating. Many of them in fact are just completely covered by said plating even over the citadel protection. This makes them very susceptible to steady HE spam. German BBs are much less vulnerable as only their very extremities and superstructure have thin plating. On top of that, many of them have Hydro. This means these ships are incredibly powerful against cruisers and destroyers. But only if they hit.

German BB guns are incredibly inaccurate at long range. Anything over, say, 12km is very spray and pray. you HAVE to get close be a big threat. That again is the bad news. The good news is their secondary guns. German secondaries are numerous, long range, fire often, and are all HE. With a proper secondary build, you can put the fear of god in destroyers. With IFHE, you can get a steady stream of damage on even battleship plating. On top of that, they can and will set fires rapidly. High tier German BBs under 11km are a gigantic threat.

You just have to get to those ranges first ... without getting focused down. That's the challenging part and you need to be patient early on whereas other BBs can reliably toss out the hurt from the get go.

Up till tier 6, they are good but unremarkable. At tier 7, you have the Gneisenau that has few unreliable guns, but has excellent armor, speed, AA, and torpedoes. At tier 8, you have Bismarck which is still an amazing ship as she is very responsive on the rudder and is the first of the line with the long range secondaries and Hydro.

At tier 9 is FdG. I was not a fan. She has the same number of guns as Bismarck but with a bigger shell, but is a good deal more sluggish. So it's like the worst of all worlds. But GK is the tier 10 and what a prize she is. 12 main battery guns, and her secondaries start at 127mm, meaning they are much more reliable against all ships she comes across, especially with IFHE. She also has the biggest health pool of all ships in the game. And size for that matter, lol. Despite that, she has a better rudder than both Montana and Yamato, so more responsive. Although stll beat by Republique and Conqueror on that level. One con for GK, though, is her rear turret firing angles are really not that great. But you can't win them all, right? ;)

tl;dr: If you're good at finding situations where you can brawl without being focused down, these ships absolutely shine. If you're more comfortable being back line artillery, play something else.

This is all good and true. However what really hurts the German BB line is the fact that they are designed to be brawlers, and close range knife fighters, but then got constant nerfs to their secondaries (now french BB's are actually better at it, and get .5km more range (what the german BB's USED To have)), and their guns tend to derp and bounce far too many shells, even against well angled high tier cruisers let alone BB's.... This causes you to have to side scrape with other BB's or targets, which while yes you're harder to citadel... All those perfect penetrations on you are gonna actually hurt far more than a normal BB where you may even over pen 1 or 2 shells and citadel once or twice.

Then of course the wonderful non existant torpedo protection... Brawlers that are supposed to spear head the attack against a the insane amount of torpedo spam in high tiers with no torpedo protection? The JPN back line snipers, and American ships are better brawlers purely for this reason. They have FAAAR better torpedo protection, so can survive those 40 torpedoes coming your way every 30 seconds. The Yamato and tier 9 can pen you frontally with ease, as well as the U.S. BB's, while still staying angled and bouncing most of your shots even at close range.

The 1 thing that gave the German BB's an edge were their secondaries which have been nerfed on several occasions, to the point that even Destroyers need not worry as much anymore.

As for the Germans being the least effected by HE... It's really not as great as you make it sound. While sure the damage may be a bit less, the fact you're about 25% larger target than usual means even more of those shells are gonna hit, and set you on fire. You're by far the easiest to spot, and easiest to hit, which means even when a Yamato is in sight, if you are, you're going to be the first targeted, and you will quickly watch all that extra HP burn to nothing.

If you dare close the gap, you just get melted in seconds, if you back off, you're now pretty much useless, as you said yourself anything past 12km you're easy to citadel, and every shot is a spray n pray..... Making German BB's early game nearly useless in comparison to another BB line taking your place.

While I love the German line, and yes you can do amazingly well in them. They are not by any means worthwhile if you are looking to play a competitive line. They are fun to play, but that's where their use falls off. Punch for Punch, any other nation tree is far better.

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