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Battleship help

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37 posts
3,900 battles

I was playing my Nelson today and I don't know how to improve but I felt that the cruisers sitting broadside in front of me were safer than I was.  I fired what looked like good shots but I only end up doing about 7k dmg per salvo.  I aim at the waterline and hope for the best.  It is so frustrating because I know if I was in those cruisers I would have been obliterated.  I feel like this happens more often than not in my other battleships too. I ended up doing 35k dmg before they burned me down. I don't know what to do.

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61 posts
1,727 battles

You'll get a lot of overpens with Nelson's big guns hitting cruisers. Even with other BBs I find I can get 6 OP and 1 pen on lightly armoured cruisers. 

On rare occasion they'll just be completely deleted. RNG

The same salvo against broadside BBs should be pretty devastating. Whenever there's a Nelson on the enemy team people are always wary of her gun power. 

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139 posts
2,205 battles

In the Nelson, here's some advice based on the type of target and tier:

Target is T7+ cruiser:

  • Generally, use HE.  Aim for the upper-hull; aiming for the waterline will often result in hitting the main belt armor, and you have a pretty good chance of shattering on that.  HE should reliably pen every other part of these cruisers, with very few overpens or shatters.
  • If you get flat broadside, use AP. Aim for the waterline here, because you WANT to hit the main belt, where you can penetrate for a citadel.  AP will give you a noticeable amount of over-pens, however, particularly on RN CLs. 

Target is T6 or less cruiser:

  • Generally the same as for T7+ cruisers. However, due to the much thinner armor on most of these cruisers, expect to see the occasional HE overpen.  For AP, it's mostly either overpen or citadel - normal pens are much less likely to happen.


Target is DD (any tier)

  • Shoot HE. Aim pretty much anywhere. It should almost always pen.
  • If you have to shoot AP, aim as low as you can. You'll probably still overpen almost all the time, but you MIGHT get a pen now and then.

Target is BB (any tier)

  • Use HE, and aim for the upper hull. Most of the time, you'll pen. Occasionally you should shatter, after hitting something like the main belt or turrets.
  • If you get flat broadside and are inside 8km or so, use AP, and aim for just above the waterline. You should generally get pens and the occasional citadel there, and a few overpens (like when you hit superstructure or even the bow/stern).  AP will generally shatter or overpen out past 8km.


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318 posts
9,799 battles

The catch of the situation is broadside cruisers while very vulnerable are also prone to overpens because they are presenting the thinnest dimensions of the ship. With dispersion and other factors it can be a bit inconsistent at times. If you are confident in your aim trying shooting when they aren't perfectly broadside and are at an angle, more of the ship for the shell to travel through. Though this works best when you can punch through the nose or aft as the belt armour starts to become effective if their angle gets sharp enough. The best thing is to keep as AP as the majority of Cruisers in Nelsons MM spread are vulnerable to overmatch and just keep working on aim. Extremely low tier RN cruisers HE can work because they have such thin armour.

Nelson is a ship with effective HE and AP, I disagree with the generally use HE approach. The calibre of her guns means that you flat out overmatch Cruiser bow and stern armour, so if they're coming nose on you can punch straight through with AP. This applies also to T7 and below BBs. In the spoiler below are some pictures of BB bow armour that give a basic explanation of the overmatch mechanic. But in short, T7 and below you will punch straight through the nose with AP, making it a reliable choice against even bow on BBs. Cruisers have 25/27mm or less of bow/stern armour in Nelson's MM spread.



T7 BB (Nelson in the picture) has 25mm Bow and Stern, 16" guns can punch straight through regardless of angle. T7 and below have this weakness.


Exceptions exist such as Scharnhorst, she has armour extending all the way to the bow that prevent this overmatch, simply aim higher though and you still get standard pen damage as the green section is 25mm.


T8 and above ships have 32mm bow armour, 16" guns can't overmatch this, this is a situation where HE is superior, against a bow on Bismarck, note the small strip of armour at the waterline that section is 60mm.


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7,496 posts
9,519 battles

Nelson is pretty amazing in ship, but are a few things you need to do. 1st equip premium Damage Control and Repair Party using credits, Nelson needs them and can afford them since it’s a Premium ship so you will get the credits to pay for those and extra. Now in battle remember that you have super heals and that means you can take a lot more damage from fires and regain the HP back. You do want to be careful not to get hits to your sides since those can hit your citadel. Nelson is a mix of highly durable and highly vulnerable armor characteristics making her an interesting Warship.

Also good to coordinate with allied ships since Nelson only does 23 Knts top speed which means that enemy ships like fast BBs, CAs, and DDs can outrun or catch up to you. I have had to coordinate with Allies when possible which works out well since they can help spot enemies and Nelson can obliterate them with tightly grouped HE or AP salvoes. ( the 3 Main gun turrets grouped all in the bow of the ship does aid in having shells all hit in tighter area.)


  • Cool 1

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