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Landsraad

So, secondary builds

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Okay I'm working on a few different battleship lines right now, and since the most of the questions I have for each line all involve the same topic I figured I may as well lump everything in here.

First, let's start off with the one I'm most unsure on: Is it a good idea to spec for secondaries on RN battleships? I haven't seen anything that says it is, but at the same time I keep getting into brawling range with my Nelson and KGV. Would AFT at the very least be a good idea? What about on French ships? I keep hearing people waffling on this one, but I found the Normandie to be an excellent knife-fighter when handled correctly, and just the other day I saw a Lyon kill higher health (!) Bismarck in a brawl.

Lastly, the big one: Is Manual Control for Secondaries worth it? 60% accuracy boost? YES PLEASE! But at the same time, is it worth the trade-off of those now super-accurate guns NOT shooting automatically?

Edit: To clarify, the last question is in reference to German BBs, specifically my currently Gneisenau soon to be Bismarck captain.

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 I am in the middle of an experiment on manual targeting now. Got rid of Concealment Expert. This for my Kurfurst, so won't help in the French of Brit lines, although some traits hold true across lines.

Manual Secondaries - 

You MUST be aware at ALL times.  It is a habit that must be learned or you lose out on a lot of potential damage.  If you DO get in the habit, they can chew ships up nicely. DDs that slip in and out of smoke get a free ride that they did not get before.

You give up double-sided brawling.  This is the big sticking point for me. I usually end up spewing rounds from both sides.  Not only does it keep DDs away, but it looks scary as h*ll to the enemy.  This may not be as much of an issue for non-KM BBs, as they don't have the secondary range that puts so many ships into their envelope.

It costs four points. My 19 point captain had to remap away from concealment to get it, as I wasn't about to give up AFT. This gets me seen before I can pick my spot and course. I have no French BBs and only low tier RN, so I am unsure if those points are better spent elsewhere. With concealment, my detect is only slightly greater than my secondary range. This allows me to get into knife range and get some brawling in untouched.

IF you remember to turn the thing on, and get into decent range, and are NOT double-sided by the reds... then you can chew on things nicely.

The test continues, but without serious results I may spend another 475 doubloons to put things back.

 

Hope that helps.

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Manual fire is nowhere near worth it at tiers below 6 where the boost is only 15%. In the upper tiers where you are usually only within secondary range of 1 or 2 guys, then yes, take manual on applicable ships, but be aware it does take getting used to to manually selecting targets. At first your go whole battles without a secondary hit, then after it hits you why and you feel stupid... But its worth it once you get used to it. BFT and AFT are really good skills for ANY ship because it helps both secondary and aa guns. Your are better defended with them. In the end it would depend on if you want a firepower or survivability build

My opinion on nations for secondaries

  • RN and American BBs shouldn't really be into secondary builds. Unless you count AA, because the US has awesome AA, and I dont think RN is too bad either. 
  • IJN can have secondaries, but youd have to be a secondary die hard. Overall go for survival or something
  • French do well with secondary builds, especially at the higher tiers. Ive heard insane things about the Alsace
  • KM secondaries is a no brainer. at like 8 km nothing will hit, after secondary builds you can nail BBs 11 km away.

By secondary builds I am referring to BFT, AFT, and manual, and of course there are numerous exceptions. I think Nelson gets AP secondaries, so that would be very fun to mess around with, especially when you are brawling.

 

Another interesting option is IFHE. With some ships (such as the Kurfurst), IFHE is the difference between your HE shells penetrating ships and not. Without IFHE a Kurfursts smaller caliber secondary guns can not damage a tier X enemy battleship bow on (I havent checked all the armor values for 8-9), but with IFHE if can pen with its 128mm guns, and that makes a huge difference. The problem is, BFT, AFT, Manual, and IFHE is 15/19 points, all put into secondaries which you may not always use. Plus 3 tier 4 skills means you can only take one tier 3 skill (BFT) and 1 tier 2 skill (usually EM or AR), and your stuck with 2 crappy tier 1 skills. 

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The French Secondary build will eventually outrange the Germans at higher tiers. I assume this is an offset for the tier 10 French BB only having two main guns. With a full secondary build, you are looking at around 12km+.

The German Secondary build is a certainty because of their intended purpose and design. That being: Get in close. Bismarck and higher tiers reach out to 11.5km's. A good range to be at to get some fires going.

Both of the above are very well suited for having secondary builds that can come into play in most any battle.

 

The next one to look to for a "Secondary" build would be the US line. Not for their Secondary Guns, but for their impressive AA. You will not want to have your secondary's going off. If you do, somethings wrong. But that AA boost is certainly a boon to this particular line of ships.

 

The ones that are iffy at best for Secondary Builds are the Japanese and British BB's.

 

The Japanese BB line has only two ships that have the range to have their secondary guns become active for any decent game. Any BB below tier 9 should definitely not be firing off their secondary guns if they can help it. The Izumo and Yamato respectively (and the Musashi of course) can get their guns to reach out a way though. Their range is the same as the Germans, but these ships are not designed for brawling... well, the Yamato can do whatever it damn well pleases really lol. 

But gun wise and playstyle wise, they are better at sitting back a ways instead of being in secondary gun range like the Bismarck. BUT those secondary's can still reach out to 11.5km's, so... depending on how you prefer to play, you can give those secondary guns a workout. AND it doesn't hurt to give these two Japanese BB's some extra AA capability (which comes mostly with the Secondary build regardless).

 

The British BB's on the other hand... I don't really know. I've not made it too far in that line to tell if they are worth it or not. AA and Secondary guns seem decent enough, but I don't see anything particularly stunning about them.

 

The only skill that is questionable is the secondary gun accuracy boost. On the plus side, you gain 60% better accuracy... but... there are quite a bit of cons to this as well.

1st: You lose out on any other lv4 skill. Concealment would be a better choice all round or even going for full AA over the secondary guns accuracy boost with +100% damage to larger caliber AA gun damage would be equally beneficial.

2nd: Your secondary guns will only fire IF you specifically give them a target. If you aren't good at micromanaging a situation, or just flat out forget to do so, those secondary guns will simply let a DD waltz right up beside you.

 

Now, I'm not saying that that 60% boost to accuracy is bad. With all of the added flags and modules, you are looking at 85% accuracy. <A definite improvement to hit chance. But you will also want to spend more skill points in order to increase the chance to start fires and possibly even HE penetration. Now, you'd have a straight up flamethrower for close range combat and with the added penetration, you'll have even more rounds taking bits of damage out of a ships hull rather than bouncing off.

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What everyone else said. 

I just want to add that, situational awareness is a big deal for secondary builds. What I do, is that as soon as someone on my team spots a destroyer (in my zone), I will set the secondaries to attack it. Even if it disappears for a while, when it's spotted again, the secondaries will target it. It's sort of a defensive insurance policy. At least twice, I've suddenly realized my secondaries are firing and there's a DD behind me that got past our line somehow. 

The other thing is that I drive the ship using the minimap. If I'm close to islands, then I'll steer on the main screen, but for general moving, I use the minimap. That let's me A) avoid islands I can't see while looking at a target and B) let's me know what is going on around me. 

In the Bismark, even though I can only target one ship at a time, I've easily gotten 200+ secondary hits. 

Now, the secondaries don't mean that you're invulnerable and if you rush a cap early on, you'll be killed before you get into secondary range. But late to mid-mage, when you can 1-1 duel an enemy ship, the secondaries are brutally effective. I've been in situations where I fought 2 full-health BBs in a damaged Bismark and crushed both of them because of the secondaries. They keep the fires going and they simply lost health faster than I did because of it. 

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8 hours ago, OgreMkV said:

What everyone else said. 

I just want to add that, situational awareness is a big deal for secondary builds. What I do, is that as soon as someone on my team spots a destroyer (in my zone), I will set the secondaries to attack it. Even if it disappears for a while, when it's spotted again, the secondaries will target it. It's sort of a defensive insurance policy. At least twice, I've suddenly realized my secondaries are firing and there's a DD behind me that got past our line somehow. 

The other thing is that I drive the ship using the minimap. If I'm close to islands, then I'll steer on the main screen, but for general moving, I use the minimap. That let's me A) avoid islands I can't see while looking at a target and B) let's me know what is going on around me. 

In the Bismark, even though I can only target one ship at a time, I've easily gotten 200+ secondary hits. 

Now, the secondaries don't mean that you're invulnerable and if you rush a cap early on, you'll be killed before you get into secondary range. But late to mid-mage, when you can 1-1 duel an enemy ship, the secondaries are brutally effective. I've been in situations where I fought 2 full-health BBs in a damaged Bismark and crushed both of them because of the secondaries. They keep the fires going and they simply lost health faster than I did because of it. 

Looking forward to being able to take Manual Secondaries once my Bismarck captain hits 14 points.

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In today's meta I have found even Iowa with Manual secondary is worth it I of course use the first secondary equipment that extends the range and decreases the dispersion. Secondaries work to keep DD's away.

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Never use secondary builds on RN BBs, they have the same set up of only 8 guns per side from t7 all the way up to t10, with pitiful range to boot.
RN BBs are also not good brawling ships and are best played as a mid range HE spammer, even more so for Nelson since it has a very high sitting citadel,

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I feel like I need to hammer home that manual secondaries are obligatory if you actually want to hit things more then a few km away.   It takes extra situational awareness but its more than worth it in the end.  Losing the ability to fire off both sides is no where near as bad as it seems since usually you aren't going to be in those situations so long as your map awareness is going and you're setting up targets for the proper amount of secondary guns to be on target.  Past that secondary effectiveness is a bit of a crap shoot:  I've melted DD's and I've barely tickled them.  Whims of the AI and RNG,  I suppose.

Everyone else covered all but one ship,  the Iron Duke.  I'd say she's the only tech tree RN BB capable of brawling and she's pretty good at it.

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Question on secondary builds. 

Secondary 2 module is a must. Can’t see getting secondaries 3 module. 

The modules affect all secondary guns even those bigger than 139 mm?

AFT I put on almost all bbs due to its aa affect but doesn’t affect secondary guns greater than 139 mm? BFT seems like a waste as it only affects 139 mm or smaller and I take BoS instead. 

So even in the German brawlers I take secondary mod 2 and aft. That it. Am I missing something?

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4 hours ago, wstugamd said:

Question on secondary builds. 

Secondary 2 module is a must. Can’t see getting secondaries 3 module. 

The modules affect all secondary guns even those bigger than 139 mm?

AFT I put on almost all bbs due to its aa affect but doesn’t affect secondary guns greater than 139 mm? BFT seems like a waste as it only affects 139 mm or smaller and I take BoS instead. 

So even in the German brawlers I take secondary mod 2 and aft. That it. Am I missing something?

If it's listed in your secondaries armament list, then SBM2 & 3 will buff them.

 

BFT & AFT affect all your secondary guns.  Take note of the wording.

 

AFT:  "Extends firing range of main guns with a caliber up to and including 139mm and all secondary battery guns. Also increases range of all AA guns."

 

The 139mm wording restriction is only regarding main battery.  BFT, AFT buff all secondary and AA guns.

Example 1:  BFT & AFT buffs Tier VI Cleveland's AA & Secondary Battery mounts.  However, due to the 139mm restriction, the 2 skills do not buff Cleveland's main battery of 152mm guns.

 

Example 2:  For Tier V Krasny Krym, BFT & AFT buffs her AA, Secondary Battery, and Main Battery mounts.  The skills buff the AA / Secondaries as usual, but the extra catch is Krasny Krym's main battery are 130mm guns.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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9 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

If it's listed in your secondaries armament list, then SBM2 & 3 will buff them.

 

BFT & AFT affect all your secondary guns.  Take note of the wording.

 

AFT:  "Extends firing range of main guns with a caliber up to and including 139mm and all secondary battery guns. Also increases range of all AA guns."

 

The 139mm wording restriction is only regarding main battery.  BFT, AFT buff all secondary and AA guns.

Example 1:  BFT & AFT buffs Tier VI Cleveland's AA & Secondary Battery mounts.  However, due to the 139mm restriction, the 2 skills do not buff Cleveland's main battery of 152mm guns.

 

Example 2:  For Tier V Krasny Krym, BFT & AFT buffs her AA, Secondary Battery, and Main Battery mounts.  The skills buff the AA / Secondaries as usual, but the extra catch is Krasny Krym's main battery are 130mm guns.

Thank you! 

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I juice most of my BB 2nds, but full 2nds build is the wrong priority on all high tier BBs except Alsace.  My Alsace has everything including IFHE at the expense of Concealment, and my playstyle relies on concealment on almost all ships. 

On almost any BB above T8, your main armament accuracy is more important than 2nds, from there you tailor what you want.  USN can't take accuracy so I throw 2nds mod on them sometimes, but never personally invest manual 2nds. 

As a habit, you should always be selecting ships and planes for secondary/AAA focus regardless of build.  

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On 5/9/2018 at 3:48 AM, Landsraad said:

Okay I'm working on a few different battleship lines right now, and since the most of the questions I have for each line all involve the same topic I figured I may as well lump everything in here.

First, let's start off with the one I'm most unsure on: Is it a good idea to spec for secondaries on RN battleships? I haven't seen anything that says it is, but at the same time I keep getting into brawling range with my Nelson and KGV. Would AFT at the very least be a good idea? What about on French ships? I keep hearing people waffling on this one, but I found the Normandie to be an excellent knife-fighter when handled correctly, and just the other day I saw a Lyon kill higher health (!) Bismarck in a brawl.

Lastly, the big one: Is Manual Control for Secondaries worth it? 60% accuracy boost? YES PLEASE! But at the same time, is it worth the trade-off of those now super-accurate guns NOT shooting automatically?

Edit: To clarify, the last question is in reference to German BBs, specifically my currently Gneisenau soon to be Bismarck captain.

Bismarck and Tirpitz yes to secondary builds even though they lessened the fire chance for theses guns a while ago, you need to the Captains build as well as anything that will help including flags

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9 minutes ago, Spooooooooooooooooooooon said:

Secondary build on my Alsace.  1/3 of my damage, reaching out to 11.3km.  Love it

shot-18.05.18_15.07.44-0170.jpg

shot-18.05.18_15.07.48-0780.jpg

Alsace has Minigun Secondaries.  I went full in with IFHE and it's nuts.

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Just remember that in ALL BBs the vast majority of your damage totals are coming from your main batteries, not your secondaries.

The costs are very high for a full secondary build, and your ship will perform worse anywhere outside brawling range. IMO most BBs are better off speccing for utility/survival(which also helps you brawl but is effective elsewhere as well).

...

Edited by Dr_Powderfinger

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1 hour ago, Dr_Powderfinger said:

 

Just remember that in ALL BBs the vast majority of your damage totals are coming from your main batteries, not your secondaries.

The costs are very high for a full secondary build, and your ship will perform worse anywhere outside brawling range. IMO most BBs are better off speccing for utility/survival(which also helps you brawl but is effective elsewhere as well).

...

I have reached Tier X in all the BB Lines.  I have all the Tier VII-X BBs from all those BB Lines still in my port.  I have my IJN & USN BBs already fitted primarily towards Main Battery Performance, or in the case of my High Tier USN BBs, AA+Main Battery (because that's the only BB Line that can roll like that :cap_cool:).  My Brawler BBs are geared for Secondaries, etc.

 

If you truly prize Main Battery performance over anything else, then why does one play German and French BBs?  You are better off in IJN & USN if you want to dedicate towards Main Batteries.  Those are the BB Lines with the Great Battleship Guns.

IJN 410mm performance with their Type 91 AP shells.

USN 406mm/45 with their American Piercing shells.

USN 406mm/50 with their American Piercing shells.

IJN 460mm with Super AP / LOLPEN Capability.

 

Their gunnery is more reliable.  The French 15" / 380mm have very high pen, but they also can get easily bounced by anything with 27mm or tougher bow.

 

When I see people talk about, "It's best to spec GK for Main Battery," it makes me sad.  Then GK is really only a worse version of Montana in that capacity and is truly nothing special then.

 

What is a Bismarck without Secondary Spec?  A truly terrible ship with nothing special going for her.

What is Alsace without Secondary Spec?  A Tier IX BB sporting 15" guns that get bounced by everything, even a number of high tier USN & German Cruisers.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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I'm currently collecting data on the effectiveness of secondary builds.   One thing I can tell you right off is that Manual Secondaries is DEFINITELY worth it for any secondary focused ship above Tier 7.

The loss of dual-sided fire is more than offset by the gain in accuracy.

Without manual secondaries, hit rates run in the 8% - 12% range.  With manual secondaries they run in the 28% - 35% range.   Basically, manual secondaries TRIPLES your hit rate.  Use it.

I'm currently doing analysis on damage/hit with and without fires.  I'll be looking into the use of IFHE eventually once I have a good baseline.  Right now it looks like your average HE secondary hit does about 120 damage without fires and 200 - 220 once the effects of fires are considered.  Averages mind you. . . they are all over the place against different opponents.

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I've been trying out IFHE on my French Richelieu, Alsace and Republique, and I think I'm going to recommend NOT taking it on the Alsace, but taking it on the Republique and possibly the Richelieu.

The 100mm guns certainly get a nice buff with IFHE for the Alsace - it allows them to pen BB superstructures and DD hulls.  But, ultimately, I think the 4 points aren't worth it for that.  They're already in short supply, and having to take 3 level 4 skills really, really limits your options on the Alsace.  Personally, I think it's better to go for the "firestarter" build - MFCSG+AFT+DE  or just go for straight survivability:  use SI instead of DE.  In either case, that leaves you with enough points for EM at level 2, which really helps brawling.  Oh, and this is definitely a case where the Secondary Battery Mod 3 (+20% to secondary ROF) is preferrable to the alternatives, and you always mount SBM2.

For the Richelieu, I tend to think that Fire Prevention is really, really a good idea, given that the ship will very often bow-tank and you take a lot of incoming HE spam that way.   Here though, I'm not allergic to having 3 Level 4 skills, so I would recommend either MFCSG + IFHE + AA module (since that gives you excellent AA and good-range/accurate secondaries for shoo-ing off DDs approaching from the rear), or AFT + DE + Secondary Module ( as that gives stellar fire-starting plus long secondary range and good AA).

In the Republique, it needs to brawl. It's limited by it's main guns, so secondaries are a huge deal to adding firepower.  the 127mm guns really benefit from IFHE, allowing them to [edited] cruisers, and the 152mm can now pen BB bow/sterns.  So, I'd recommend going full secondary here:   MFCSG + IFHE + AFT + SBM2 + SBM3 

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It simply doesn't worth putting a secondary build on Richelieu, the guns themselves are good and they have great range, but there's few of them installed in an awkward arrangement that makes them unable to fire forward, which is useless for bow tanking. In t8 Bismarck is still the all around best secondary ship.

Unless you're just grinding through the line and want a captain ready for Alsace, then by all means.

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12 hours ago, EAnybody said:

I've been trying out IFHE on my French Richelieu, Alsace and Republique, and I think I'm going to recommend NOT taking it on the Alsace, but taking it on the Republique and possibly the Richelieu.

The 100mm guns certainly get a nice buff with IFHE for the Alsace - it allows them to pen BB superstructures and DD hulls.  But, ultimately, I think the 4 points aren't worth it for that.  They're already in short supply, and having to take 3 level 4 skills really, really limits your options on the Alsace.  Personally, I think it's better to go for the "firestarter" build - MFCSG+AFT+DE  or just go for straight survivability:  use SI instead of DE.  In either case, that leaves you with enough points for EM at level 2, which really helps brawling.  Oh, and this is definitely a case where the Secondary Battery Mod 3 (+20% to secondary ROF) is preferrable to the alternatives, and you always mount SBM2.

For the Richelieu, I tend to think that Fire Prevention is really, really a good idea, given that the ship will very often bow-tank and you take a lot of incoming HE spam that way.   Here though, I'm not allergic to having 3 Level 4 skills, so I would recommend either MFCSG + IFHE + AA module (since that gives you excellent AA and good-range/accurate secondaries for shoo-ing off DDs approaching from the rear), or AFT + DE + Secondary Module ( as that gives stellar fire-starting plus long secondary range and good AA).

In the Republique, it needs to brawl. It's limited by it's main guns, so secondaries are a huge deal to adding firepower.  the 127mm guns really benefit from IFHE, allowing them to [edited] cruisers, and the 152mm can now pen BB bow/sterns.  So, I'd recommend going full secondary here:   MFCSG + IFHE + AFT + SBM2 + SBM3 

Richelieu is a bad Secondaries Build candidate anyways.  Not enough guns and they don't fire fast enough.  They have good range, that's about it.  I was initially wowed by the range with SBM2+AFT, but seeing the guns in action I only came away disappointed.

 

Alsace IFHE Secondaries Build is like a buzzsaw.  Most especially if your opponent is running anti-fire elements in their build, then what is your fire based attacks going to do?  Not much, and if your shells aren't penetrating to do damage, then you are doing next to no damage.  IFHE ensures you will be doing damage no matter what with her Secondaries.  It's a steep price to pay, but having Secondaries only useful against a few targets kind of makes the point of running a Secondaries Build meaningless.  Especially the target types you will be most eager and typically able to come into secondaries range with... Other Battleships.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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The problem I have with the Alsace and IFHE is that it doesn't do much against BBs.   You only get superstructure pens out of it, and that's maybe 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 shots that hit.  I'd rather spend the 4 points on something else.

For the Richelieu, I like the IFHE better because I want it for anti-DD work - it's for keeping them off my butt. Literally.

 

 

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8 hours ago, EAnybody said:

The problem I have with the Alsace and IFHE is that it doesn't do much against BBs.   You only get superstructure pens out of it, and that's maybe 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 shots that hit.  I'd rather spend the 4 points on something else.

For the Richelieu, I like the IFHE better because I want it for anti-DD work - it's for keeping them off my butt. Literally.

IFHE for Alsace secondaries is a game changer.  Without IFHE the secondaries literally do zero shell damage and the only thing they are good for is hoping they set fires.  With IFHE, the guns suddenly do reliable shell damage against a BB, and are still fire starters.  The secondaries are like buzzsaws with IFHE.

 

The question of course is if someone is willing to invest into it.  Secondary Builds are among the most costly builds in the game, especially BFT+AFT+Manual Secondaries.  That's 11pts right there.  Toss in IFHE, that can go as high as 15 out of your possible max 19pts.

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On 5/9/2018 at 4:48 AM, Landsraad said:

Okay I'm working on a few different battleship lines right now, and since the most of the questions I have for each line all involve the same topic I figured I may as well lump everything in here.

First, let's start off with the one I'm most unsure on: Is it a good idea to spec for secondaries on RN battleships? I haven't seen anything that says it is, but at the same time I keep getting into brawling range with my Nelson and KGV. Would AFT at the very least be a good idea? What about on French ships? I keep hearing people waffling on this one, but I found the Normandie to be an excellent knife-fighter when handled correctly, and just the other day I saw a Lyon kill higher health (!) Bismarck in a brawl.

Lastly, the big one: Is Manual Control for Secondaries worth it? 60% accuracy boost? YES PLEASE! But at the same time, is it worth the trade-off of those now super-accurate guns NOT shooting automatically?

Edit: To clarify, the last question is in reference to German BBs, specifically my currently Gneisenau soon to be Bismarck captain.

Each nations battle ships excel at different things.

The RN BB's are lethal with their HE main battery shells. You will see this at tier X. They have good AP, but having a chance of starting fires that is never lower than 40% (with base main batteries) and higher than 60% (with upgraded main batteries) makes the Conqueror something fearsome to anyone that gets hit by them. With this is in mind I would start to cater your commander for this and tier the commander as you work up the tiers. If this is for a premium commander than I would look at the base stats of the ship (eg. Hood, Nelson) and cater it to that particular ship. Even with premiums I would swap out regular commanders to the premium and work them to a 19 point commander rather than have the premium dedicated to only one commander to that ship.

 

In reference to Manual Control, it is the perfect icing to a commander that has other skills to boost secondaries. However, there is a particular set of skills I would have on that commander and only add Manual Fire Control when that commander is on a tier VIII ship (as it works much better from Tier VIII through X). The skills that I would add really depends on the ship. Here is what I would do (there are only two that can make this work in scary fashion):

 

German/French All Tiers:

Must: Basic Fire Control, Advanced Fire Control

Maybe: Demolition Expert, Inertia Infused HE (IFHE), Adrenaline Rush

Tier VIII through X: Manual Fire Control

 

The secondaries for both nations differ in certain respects, but they are both impressive in what they are able to do.

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