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LordOuranos

Just starting the US Battleship line

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I have seen a lot of discussions around for info on specific ships, but I was wondering if anyone had a decent overview of how the US battleships worked? I just came from T5 German Battleships (god id rather stick my hand in a blender than play that trash again), and I have gotten a lot of habits that are supposedly bad for US ships. Is there a general strategy that the US ships have? (like for germans its generally, hide behind islands hoping to not get torpedoed and bum rush into secondary range) Or are they too varied to have a general game plan for them? Also how is the line overall? Bad parts, good parts, etc?

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12 minutes ago, LordOuranos said:

I have seen a lot of discussions around for info on specific ships, but I was wondering if anyone had a decent overview of how the US battleships worked? I just came from T5 German Battleships (god id rather stick my hand in a blender than play that trash again), and I have gotten a lot of habits that are supposedly bad for US ships. Is there a general strategy that the US ships have? (like for germans its generally, hide behind islands hoping to not get torpedoed and bum rush into secondary range) Or are they too varied to have a general game plan for them? Also how is the line overall? Bad parts, good parts, etc?

Their slow... Did I mention they were slow? At least until North Carolina.

Map awareness and thinking ahead are a must.

Generally better to maneuver and angle well and fight at medium ranges, at least until mid/late game.

AP generally like most everyone else, but it’s good to develope a sense of when it’s time to switch to HE.

South Carolina can be a surprisingly good brawler, but not as good as Nassau.

Wyoming is the first shotgun, (12 guns,) which can make up for bad aim, but it’s better to have good aim.

New York/Texas can be agony, but are still workable, (especially if you go back to them after a lot of higher tier battleship experience.)

New Mexico is another shotgun, but has better groupings than Wyoming, (fewer turrets, same amount of guns.) Decent secondaries, potentiality good AA, but still not as good as most of the other T6 BBS. Excellent torpedo protection and maneuverability.

Colorado is more agony, but if mastered has guns that hit like a truck, and an excellent heal ability.

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Are they generally required to be within 6km or so (secondary range) to be usable (like german) or can you get away with more range?

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29 minutes ago, LordOuranos said:

Are they generally required to be within 6km or so (secondary range) to be usable (like german) or can you get away with more range?

The only reason for AFT is for a AA build. They really aren't brawlers.

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1 hour ago, LordOuranos said:

I have seen a lot of discussions around for info on specific ships, but I was wondering if anyone had a decent overview of how the US battleships worked? I just came from T5 German Battleships (god id rather stick my hand in a blender than play that trash again), and I have gotten a lot of habits that are supposedly bad for US ships. Is there a general strategy that the US ships have? (like for germans its generally, hide behind islands hoping to not get torpedoed and bum rush into secondary range) Or are they too varied to have a general game plan for them? Also how is the line overall? Bad parts, good parts, etc?

Lol man have you gotten the German BBs wrong, when played correctly they are up supporting front lines with the CAs and DDs. German BBs Guns are great at 16km or less distance and their armor is superb for brawling. My German BBs almost never gets hits to their Citadels.

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Some general points about the USN BB Line.

 

Speed:  Below Tier VIII, notoriously slow at around 21kts, if even that.  Later it gets respectable.  Tier VIII is 27kts, Tier IX is 33kts, X is 30kts.  27kts is good but it's not the standard of 30kts that German BBs set.

 

Maneuverability:  Below Tier VIII, very good rudder shifts and turning circle radius, good BBs to actually torpedo beat with.  Tier VIII-X agility gets worse.  Note:  Premium Tier VIII Massachusetts & Alabama, both South Dakota-class, get to have the 27kts of North Carolina at Tier VIII but have the turn capability of the lower tier USN BBs.  Best of both worlds.

 

Protection:  Relative to their tier, USN BBs are fine, provided you maintain the basic tenets of BB survival.  Tier VIII-X you can bow tank with confidence against any BB AP below IJN 460mm AP as found on Yamato & Musashi.  Something of note is that due to the "fatness" and massive superstructures of the USN Standard BBs (Tier VII and below) they are IMO, easy to hit and get penetrations.  Their citadels on, say, New Mexico, are respectably protected, but the USN Standards eat lots of penetration damage.

 

Secondaries:  Unless you have Tier VIII Premium Massachusetts, all USN BBs have horrible secondaries and poor Secondary Build candidates.  Tier X Montana actually has some pretty good secondary guns, but the max range even in a Secondary Build is pitifully short.

 

Anti-Aircraft:  This eventually starts becoming a key line feature.  In the tech tree, VI New Mexico has okay-ish AA.  Not amazing but it's okay.  VII Colorado doesn't have good long range AA but her AA is very good for personal defense.  From Tier VIII on, USN BB AA has an A+++ reputation.  While other BB Lines are getting ripped apart by Carriers, USN BBs are chugging along just fine.  CVs will prioritize High Tier USN BBs much lower because of the deterrence of AA.  AA is also much more easy to implement on USN BBs than any other BB Line, which I'll get into later with the Upgrade System.  Let me just say this though.  There are other Non-USN BBs that on paper, can have just as good, possibly even better AA than USN BBs if they build for it.  But most of the time this is not a reality due to the Upgrade System.

 

Main Battery:  Tier VII and below, USN BB Main Batteries have a very mixed reputation.  Dispersion and power is so-so, but a major, major problem is range.  Tier VIII on, you have the range, power, dispersion (except for Massachusetts).  USN BB guns at High Tier strike a very good balance.  The Tier VIII ones have a bit of "float" to them which requires practice to understand how much you need to lead, but otherwise you got some of the best BB guns and shells in the game.  German BB players in Bismarck, Gneisenau, Tirpitz, FDG would kill to have something with the dispersion and power of the Tier VIII USN 16"/45 guns.  The Tier IX-X 16"/50 guns are even better.  Much stronger, faster flying shells, very accurate guns.  The 16"/50 guns are super, all-around BB guns that I feel very confident with, better than other BB Lines' guns except IJN 460mm.  IJN 460mm is more accurate, FAR stronger penetration capability, has LOLPEN capability.  The only problem they have is that Yamato-class only packs 9 guns, but they are the most accurate BB guns in the game.  The 16"/50 guns are still excellent, culminating in X Montana who packs 12 of these magnificent guns.  In Montana you have range, power, accuracy, rate of fire, and just as importantly... 12 shells to send down range with a good volume of fire per salvo.

 

Concealment:  As a line, USN BBs had the best stealth builds until RN BBs arrived.  In contrast you have IJN BBs with very bad concealment ranges.  Being able to sail undetected until you decide it's time to open up is a luxury.  It means you are not eating needless damage as much as sh*t concealment BBs.

 

UPGRADE SYSTEM!  Okay, finally getting into this.  4 things of significant note which is unique to USN BBs.

1.  USN BBs cannot slot ASM1 in Slot 3 which improves dispersion by 7%.  This is the same slot that AAGM2 (extra AA range), SBM2 (better secondaries), etc. are in.

2.  Tier IX-X USN BBs however, access APRM2 in Slot 6, which improves dispersion by 11%.  This is a totally different slot than AAGM2.

3.  This means that when USN BBs start developing good AA, the player goes for an AA Build because they literally have nothing else to build for.  Below Tier IX they cannot improve dispersion.  They all, with the exception of Massachusetts, have horrible Secondaries.  So what are they going to build for?  AA.  This really starts showing in VII Colorado, and VIII North Carolina and Alabama take this and run.

4.  With all the things above now realize this.  Because of all those previous 3 points, Tier IX-X USN BBs get to have their AA Build by slotting AAGM2 in Slot 3, while also improving their Main Battery dispersion with slotting APRM2 in Slot 6!  There is no other BB in the game that can do this, except for Tier IX-X USN BBs.  It's because of how the upgrade system works.

 

There are BBs out there, as I said, that on paper can have just as good or maybe even better AA than USN BBs.  Tier VIII-X RN BBs, Tier VIII Premium Kii, Tier VII+ French Battleships, VII Gneisenau are examples.  But if these BBs choose to go have an AA Build by slotting AAGM2 in Slot 3, that means they are not slotting ASM1 to improve Main Battery Dispersion.  Or it means not slotting SBM2 to have killer Secondaries.  On the flip side, if going for ASM1 or SBM2, then that means not having AAGM2 for good AA.

 

Tier X Conqueror is an amazing example.  I remember people, even some popular Youtube WoWS names, have gone on to say Conqueror's AA is better than Montana and makes Montana obsolete.  But the reality is 100% false.  You see, if Conqueror goes for an AA Build that means slotting AAGM2 in Slot 3.  This means not slotting ASM1 for Main Battery dispersion, and I'll tell you now, Conqueror's dispersion without ASM1 is actually pretty sh*t, and she's one of my favorite and effective Cruisers Battleships.  So I slot ASM1 with her because it makes her accuracy, gunnery much more reliable.  But I know, that even with captain traits BFT & AFT, without the extra range of AAGM2 upgrade installed, that the AA isn't going to scare any CV away.

 

Other BB Lines can go home from the bakery with only 1 kind of cake:  AA Build, Secondary Build, or Main Battery Build.

Tier IX-X USN BBs can go home from the bakery with 2 cakes at the same time:  AA & Main Battery.

 

General Playstyle:  Intermediate ranged fighting is their forte.  12km to just above 15km is ideal.  The general idea is to fight as close you can but outside Secondary Ranges of ships like Bismarck, Gneisenau, Scharnhorst, GK.  At Tier VIII-X you can play long range when needed, gets easier with the IX-X USN BBs.  USN BBs fit right in with the Long Range Meta of High Tier.  Generally not a good idea to brawl with the Secondary Build oriented German BBs who also have turtlebacks.  USN BBs with proper angling, etc. can brawl if needed, but you have to choose your fights carefully.  Your High Tier AA is amazing, but don't get stupid and be caught sailing alone, especially against the likes of Taiho, Hakuryu, Midway.  Your high AA is a great deterrent but it will be even better with mutual AA of other ships in the area.  There are tricks that USN BBs can do in brawling ranges even against German BBs like Bismarck, but that's for another time.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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Being one of the first two BB lines in the game, I'd say the US BB line has a higher difficulty threshold than, say, the German or French lines. 

Tiers 3-7:  Due to the geographical position of America being isolated by two enormous oceans, the US dreadnought naval strategy emphasized armor and firepower over speed, as they expected any enemy to have to come to them.  That is modeled well in the game.  It is also a lot of fun playing warships that enjoyed long, rich histories, with many earning battle pendents from two world wars.  The US Standards especially have a fascinating history since they were designed for WW1, but battle proven in WW2.  Only the USS Texas remains.

  • Very heavy, reliable armor.
  • Very good gunnery.  Not as good as the Japanese, but overall very good.
  • Superb rudder shift and turning radius.  Helps with dodging torpedoes.
  • Very good TDS if you happen to get hit by torpedoes.
  • Agonizingly slow, but the ships don't lose much speed when turning.
  • Functional AA 'cause you kinda have to spec into it.
  • Junk secondaries.
  • Average concealment.

Tiers 8-10:  The fast battleships have a completely different playstyle, but were functionally built to both escort carriers and fight alongside the US Standards in a battle line.  Like the US Standards, the Fast Battleships were heavily influenced by the geopolitical nature of America's isolation between two vast oceans.  Fast battleships enjoyed highly reliable, and extremely efficient machinery, greater crew comforts, incredible range, and vastly more refrigeration space compared to their British counterparts.  They also enjoyed long, rich histories, and can all be visited in some fashion in various ports around the United States (Alabama, North Carolina, and all four Iowa's).

  • Good speed, finally!
  • Brutally hard hitting guns that punch through belt, gun, and deck with ease.
  • Very slow shell velocity.  Only British AP is slower, but they generally use HE.
  • Larger turning radius and slower rudder shift compared to T3-7 (Alabama and Massachusetts are exceptions).
  • Excellent deck and turret protection, making these ships very tough when bow on. 
  • Very poor armor belt protection.
  • Average TDS (Alabama and Massachusetts are exceptions).
  • Junk secondaries (Massachusetts being the only exception).
  • Excellent AA, but sadly this rarely gets as CVs are uncommon at the higher tiers.  Also, too, it's important to understand the AA values:
    • American AA is strong at short, medium, and long ranges, so aircraft take more punishment the closer they get.
    • German AA is mostly concentrated at the longer ranges, and doesn't ramp up line American AA does.
    • British AA is concentrated at medium range.
    • French and Japanese AA is spread between medium and longer ranges. 
  • 2nd best concealment.

Having just got my Montana, my general thoughts on the line are this:  American battleships are very good warships, but they're harder to play.  They're really meant to fulfill that "Jack of all Trades" role, which is probably why they're so popular for clan play, but that can be frustrating sometimes being that you're not really specialized for any one thing.  At the lower tiers, they're easy targets for torpedoes.  They're painfully slow, which means you have to plan your every move.  Getting caught overextended is a sure death every time.  And, contrary to popular belief, their AA is not their strong suit.  At the higher tiers, their greatest strength rarely gets utilized. 

But sticking to the positive, American battleships are very reliable.  They reliably hit hard.  They're reliably tough.  Their dispersion is reliable.  Their AA is reliable.  That's really the common theme with the USA line; they're reliability.  As long as you know your limits, you will reliably do well with them.

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10 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

Lol man have you gotten the German BBs wrong, when played correctly they are up supporting front lines with the CAs and DDs. German BBs Guns are great at 16km or less distance and their armor is superb for brawling. My German BBs almost never gets hits to their Citadels.

I try to watch youtube vids of superb players and the such and I try to mimic them. Somehow Instead of tanking by and annihilating people in brawling range, I find the destroyers prancing by and killing me with torpedoes as my team ignores it, or simply being focused and killed since people arent dumb and know I am powerful in close. Its not really how you play correctly, its how the people around you play to support your position. If my team ignores the destroyer and lets it torpedo me, im not sure how my skill is supposed to mystically make the torpedoes stop before they kill my slowboat. With the way people play selfishly in this game, its better off not choosing a ship who relies heavily on other players skill, and instead on my own skill.

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4 hours ago, LordOuranos said:

I try to watch youtube vids of superb players and the such and I try to mimic them. Somehow Instead of tanking by and annihilating people in brawling range, I find the destroyers prancing by and killing me with torpedoes as my team ignores it, or simply being focused and killed since people arent dumb and know I am powerful in close. Its not really how you play correctly, its how the people around you play to support your position. If my team ignores the destroyer and lets it torpedo me, im not sure how my skill is supposed to mystically make the torpedoes stop before they kill my slowboat. With the way people play selfishly in this game, its better off not choosing a ship who relies heavily on other players skill, and instead on my own skill.

The trick is to have something that can be ready for team play since team play happens quite often actually. But if you end up with a team that is not interesting in team play then those ships can endure overwhelming odds admirably. I go into a battle expecting some team play, but if I see the team not acting well at the start then I move into plan B and hope I can do enough damage and kills to carry the team.

You need some Captain skills on your German BB: Preventive Maintenance, Expert Marksman, Basic Fire Training, Advanced Fire Training. This will be a 10 point German captain and you can get one of those in one of the Scenerio battles. And these skills will help with fighting aircraft and DDs. After this you will need Superintendent and High Alert skills to help you survive  longer. A few of the videos you might watch on German BBs will recommend Manual Secondaries, but mainly those are only good if you are using Bismarck or higher. Tier 3-7 in German BB line are better with other skills instead of the Manual Secondaries. And most of the top players agree on this.

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5 hours ago, LordOuranos said:

I try to watch youtube vids of superb players and the such and I try to mimic them. Somehow Instead of tanking by and annihilating people in brawling range, I find the destroyers prancing by and killing me with torpedoes as my team ignores it, or simply being focused and killed since people arent dumb and know I am powerful in close. Its not really how you play correctly, its how the people around you play to support your position. If my team ignores the destroyer and lets it torpedo me, im not sure how my skill is supposed to mystically make the torpedoes stop before they kill my slowboat. With the way people play selfishly in this game, its better off not choosing a ship who relies heavily on other players skill, and instead on my own skill.

If you have the extra time, I highly, HIGHLY encourage you to play a Non-Russian Destroyer line, especially IJN which absolutely lives and dies on stealth and torpedoes.  When you spend some time with Destroyers, it opens up their thinking process.

 

The kind of fights they prefer, the positions and angles they prefer relative to the enemy.  Where they like to move around to in a given match scenario.  You learn of the signs a DD looks for in choosing someone to attack.

 

It's not an easy learning curve in DDs, it's actually very unforgiving.  But you see from a DD player's eyes what they try to do and how they do it.  And with that experience, you can apply that knowledge when you play other ships.  Playing DDs was a whole different world that Battleship nor Cruiser play can replicate.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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I suppose my biggest concern there is how to play the ships. People seem to agree that the Germans are easier to play, but so far I have seen the opposite effect. Most games with my Konig or kaiser I was running maybe 40k damage even when against same to lower tier ships, which is pretty bad overall. The requirement to get in close seems to mess me up as going in without the team is death, but not going in and trying to range it is also death as the German ranged is quite pitiful compared to battleships of the same tier. So far with the USN battleship (just the tier 3 South Carolina) I have seen comparable damage to my t4 and t5! Without the need to go in close (where dd's in smoke await to slaughter me while the enemy battleships tear me to pieces 15km away) I can easily dodge torpedoes and deal damage. Maybe the trick is to wait until later tier, but there is no fun in grinding through hours on a game to finally hit the decent bits. Maybe someday Ill try the Konig again and see if people will be nice enough to not CV or DD or torpedo cruiser me before I hit my secondary 6km range, but until then this USN line is already playing fantastically for me. Thanks for the gameplay advice as well, everyone.

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3 minutes ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

If you have the extra time, I highly, HIGHLY encourage you to play a Non-Russian Destroyer line, especially IJN which absolutely lives and dies on stealth and torpedoes.  When you spend some time with Destroyers, it opens up their thinking process.

 

The kind of fights they prefer, the positions and angles they prefer relative to the enemy.  Where they like to move around to in a given match scenario.  You learn of the signs a DD looks for in choosing someone to attack.

 

It's not an easy learning curve in DDs, it's actually very unforgiving.  But you see from a DD player's eyes what they try to do and how they do it.  And with that experience, you can apply that knowledge when you play other ships.  Playing DDs was a whole different world that Battleship nor Cruiser play can replicate.

The odd bit here is I actually started a little on playing destroyers like the wickes and enjoying it quite a bit. I learned how to quite easily ambush people and destroy battleships, so I have a good idea of how to stop them from a distance. The problem is the advice on how to play German BB's is oddly exactly where my strengths as a DD were with respect to using islands and such to block shots and get in close. The problem is that what the people advise me to do on the German Battleships are exactly what makes me a happy DD player. To see an enemy battleship coming at me to get in close while I can easily stealth and use smoke to make sure they cant see, while my torpedoes rip them a new one... absolute heaven. Its the fact I have an idea of how DD's play that makes me cringe whenever I see advice  in the form of "do exactly what an enemy DD would love you to do". On the USN, however, Like I said I know what the Destroyer is going to do, and since I have no need to move in close to make use of half my damage output (in the form of secondaries)  I can easily stay at range, dodge torpedoes, and rip into the destroyers like paper.

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15 minutes ago, LordOuranos said:

The odd bit here is I actually started a little on playing destroyers like the wickes and enjoying it quite a bit. I learned how to quite easily ambush people and destroy battleships, so I have a good idea of how to stop them from a distance. The problem is the advice on how to play German BB's is oddly exactly where my strengths as a DD were with respect to using islands and such to block shots and get in close. The problem is that what the people advise me to do on the German Battleships are exactly what makes me a happy DD player. To see an enemy battleship coming at me to get in close while I can easily stealth and use smoke to make sure they cant see, while my torpedoes rip them a new one... absolute heaven. Its the fact I have an idea of how DD's play that makes me cringe whenever I see advice  in the form of "do exactly what an enemy DD would love you to do". On the USN, however, Like I said I know what the Destroyer is going to do, and since I have no need to move in close to make use of half my damage output (in the form of secondaries)  I can easily stay at range, dodge torpedoes, and rip into the destroyers like paper.

Battleship play requires a delicate balance.  You need both aggression and caution.

 

You need aggression to get into close enough ranges where you can actually reliably hit.  For Secondaries Based BBs, this need to close in will be even stronger.  A BB pushing hard at the right time is often the mailed fist needed to break a match, or a portion of the map wide open for victory.  The BB on a push with a DD screen in front is a terrifying thing.  Radar Cruisers SHOULD be countering that DD screen, but not if there's BBs in the area that will delete them.  Etc, etc.  The BB-DD push is powerful when it goes into effect in a match.

 

But caution is still needed.  You cannot recklessly push because as you saw in your time as a DD, that is EXACTLY what you want, a dumb BB player pushing at the wrong time.  That kind of BB play is half the reason why people make fun of Battleship players.  What's better?  Having to go out hunting for something to eat?  Or have that duck literally land on a plate in front of you?  A BB needs to read when it's time to push closer, when to push through.  That's the hardest thing to master as a BB player, IMO. 

 

You also as a BB player need to read your teammates.  After enough time, judging by how your team is sailing, what they're doing on the minimap, you can tell if they're good, aggressive players, dumb aggressive idiots, or cowards that will bail on you the moment a DD shell lands in their half of the map.  Estimating the quality of your team is important because it determines how aggressive you can be as a BB.  If you try to sail aggressively in any ship, but your team is a bunch of cowards, you'll die early.

 

Any BB advice to just simply power through is idiotic.  It will get you rekt.  DDs will feast on you, and if the BB somehow survives the torps, the Cruiser and Battleship focus fire will surely finish it off.

Edit:  Oh, and then there's the carrier.  Pushing at the wrong time as a BB will make you a juicy CV target.  The CV won't even have to fly its bombers around Cruiser AA, not when the dumb overaggressive BB player is so far out ahead that it's alone with no friendly AA to help.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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5 minutes ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Battleship play requires a delicate balance.  You need both aggression and caution.

 

You need aggression to get into close enough ranges where you can actually reliably hit.  For Secondaries Based BBs, this need to close in will be even stronger.  A BB pushing hard at the right time is often the mailed fist needed to break a match, or a portion of the map wide open for victory.  The BB on a push with a DD screen in front is a terrifying thing.  Radar Cruisers SHOULD be countering that DD screen, but not if there's BBs in the area that will delete them.  Etc, etc.  The BB-DD push is powerful when it goes into effect in a match.

 

But caution is still needed.  You cannot recklessly push because as you saw in your time as a DD, that is EXACTLY what you want, a dumb BB player pushing at the wrong time.  That kind of BB play is half the reason why people make fun of Battleship players.  What's better?  Having to go out hunting for something to eat?  Or have that duck literally land on a plate in front of you?  A BB needs to read when it's time to push closer, when to push through.  That's the hardest thing to master as a BB player, IMO. 

 

You also as a BB player need to read your teammates.  After enough time, judging by how your team is sailing, what they're doing on the minimap, you can tell if they're good, aggressive players, dumb aggressive idiots, or cowards that will bail on you the moment a DD shell lands in their half of the map.  Estimating the quality of your team is important because it determines how aggressive you can be as a BB.  If you try to sail aggressively in any ship, but your team is a bunch of cowards, you'll die early.

 

Any BB advice to just simply power through is idiotic.  It will get you rekt.  DDs will feast on you, and if the BB somehow survives the torps, the Cruiser and Battleship focus fire will surely finish it off.

Edit:  Oh, and then there's the carrier.  Pushing at the wrong time as a BB will make you a juicy CV target.  The CV won't even have to fly its bombers around Cruiser AA, not when the dumb overaggressive BB player is so far out ahead that it's alone with no friendly AA to help.

Which is exactly why I don't get how a German BB push would make any sense right? A ship that has much bigger main guns (anyone other than Germans) without the requirement to go hard in can easily counter your slamming BB push by simply... moving away. Now the German BB is slinking around being useless while the enemy ships with actual range continue to bombard the team and annihilate them. This easily counterable offensive also requires a team that knows what teamwork is! While I can maybe agree that a good German BB with an actual team would work fantastically, this still requires a competent team. The question really comes in, exactly when does a solo BB with a team that doesn't know what teamwork is go in? It really isn't that hard to push when you have a team that knows what they are doing, that's a no-brainer that honestly makes me wonder why people don't understand it. While a USN ship can fire from a distance, and simply use their skill at aiming to decimate the enemy (with some knowledge of stupidly simple angling mechanics and leading your aim) what does a solo German Battleship do except for exactly what the USN ship does, but far worse due to its generally far worse ranged weaponry?

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6 hours ago, LordOuranos said:

Which is exactly why I don't get how a German BB push would make any sense right? A ship that has much bigger main guns (anyone other than Germans) without the requirement to go hard in can easily counter your slamming BB push by simply... moving away. Now the German BB is slinking around being useless while the enemy ships with actual range continue to bombard the team and annihilate them. This easily counterable offensive also requires a team that knows what teamwork is! While I can maybe agree that a good German BB with an actual team would work fantastically, this still requires a competent team. The question really comes in, exactly when does a solo BB with a team that doesn't know what teamwork is go in? It really isn't that hard to push when you have a team that knows what they are doing, that's a no-brainer that honestly makes me wonder why people don't understand it. While a USN ship can fire from a distance, and simply use their skill at aiming to decimate the enemy (with some knowledge of stupidly simple angling mechanics and leading your aim) what does a solo German Battleship do except for exactly what the USN ship does, but far worse due to its generally far worse ranged weaponry?

That's the conundrum of Secondaries Build Battleships.  When it works it's fabulous but getting to that point to do a proper push is the problem.

 

Tier VIII and below matches, it's easier for, say, Bismarck to force itself down people's throats and get away with it.  She after all, sees some 21kt BBs that will get penetrated at any angle even by Bismarck's terrible 380mm guns.  But as you point out, that's not the case all the time, especially high tier where the Meta is Long Range Meta.

 

I have GK in Secondaries Build.  She's fabulous.  But she requires timing on when to push hard.  There are times where that never arrives in a match.  You have to be patient.  Watch and recognize what's going on in the match at your part of the map and then commit to the push.

 

To me it's not a simple, "If X & Y are happening, then it's time to push."  There's lots of signs to look for with what the enemy is doing, what your team is doing, and whether you feel the people around you will push.  Sometimes those indicators are there.  Sometimes it isn't.  That's the trouble with Secondaries Build Battleships.

 

Which is why a ship like Missouri, Montana, Yamato, Amagi can stay relevant to a match no matter what.  They aren't dependent on needing to get up close.

 

Montana just keeps pounding away.  When British Battleships came out, I still remember the various proclamations that, "Conqueror has made Montana obsolete!"  Yet...

5eb6dc58-47e8-11e8-8a57-d89d6715223c.jpg

https://worldofwarships.com/en/news/common/steamed-clans/

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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You can't really do a good secondaries build on German BBs until tier 6 or 7 anyway, and at those tiers the French BBs are better at it.  As for tier 5, Konig is just a faster New York.  Once you get to the Bismarck though...

 

For US BBs, get used to being slow, and plan ahead several more steps than you would in any other battleship.  You're not a backline sniper, but not a close-range brawler either.  Something of a mid-range power projector.

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17 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

If you have the extra time, I highly, HIGHLY encourage you to play a Non-Russian Destroyer line, especially IJN which absolutely lives and dies on stealth and torpedoes.  When you spend some time with Destroyers, it opens up their thinking process.

 

The kind of fights they prefer, the positions and angles they prefer relative to the enemy.  Where they like to move around to in a given match scenario.  You learn of the signs a DD looks for in choosing someone to attack.

 

It's not an easy learning curve in DDs, it's actually very unforgiving.  But you see from a DD player's eyes what they try to do and how they do it.  And with that experience, you can apply that knowledge when you play other ships.  Playing DDs was a whole different world that Battleship nor Cruiser play can replicate.

I've been working my way up the USN DD line and I have to agree that the play style is very different. I am actually trying to start playing BBs and CAs more but I am having some trouble. I kind of just brute forced my way up the USN CA/CL line and I seem to do fine playing RN CLs like Leander as with full concealment I can kind of play them like a DD but I just struggle with moving from stealth and mobility with slow torps to armor and big guns. I almost never get hit by torps from a DD and I understand some basics such as bow tanking and don't wander off alone but fighting at long range with my much larger concealment or short range with my comparatively slow guns tend to end with my ship being sent to the bottom. Do you have any advice on tactics I should be using or lines that I should try?

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To followup on the map awareness, if you haven't already, you'll want to maximize your map size, set the map water to semi-translucent and turn on all the range circles. US BBs are all about pre-positioning and map awareness, so you'll want to find spots where you can provide effective fire on multiple strategic areas. 

Also, finding that with the 14/45s beyond around 10km or 30 degrees angled, you may want to consider HE against high tier targets. 

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13 hours ago, Florendo19 said:

I've been working my way up the USN DD line and I have to agree that the play style is very different. I am actually trying to start playing BBs and CAs more but I am having some trouble. I kind of just brute forced my way up the USN CA/CL line and I seem to do fine playing RN CLs like Leander as with full concealment I can kind of play them like a DD but I just struggle with moving from stealth and mobility with slow torps to armor and big guns. I almost never get hit by torps from a DD and I understand some basics such as bow tanking and don't wander off alone but fighting at long range with my much larger concealment or short range with my comparatively slow guns tend to end with my ship being sent to the bottom. Do you have any advice on tactics I should be using or lines that I should try?

Funny you mention Leander, because her and Perth during last Tier VI Ranked were the only Cruisers to do well.  Even Cleveland was getting rekt.  Even Budyonny with her long range was getting rekt by the Battleships.  Leander & Perth succeeded in Ranked because, I'm sure you'll find this funny, is that they were being used as Pseudo-Destroyers.  When the DDs have been killed off and it's nothing but Battleships, Perth and Leander were stealth capping.  That's how they were winning.  Not raw damage.  Capping :cap_like:

 

USN CLs are stealthy as we get into the upper tiers.  Cleveland is amazing with 9.1km stealth.  IIRC, Worcester at Tier X has around 9.7km, which is pretty darn good but Minotaur is still stealthiest.  It's super convenient having a stealthy Cruiser and being able to cross deadly stretches of open water and not get spotted from afar from a random hidden DD 13km away.

 

It's going to get harder relying on firepower to carry the day with USN Cruisers climbing up the tiers, because you will be more worried about incoming gunfire that can, and will delete you.

 

For USN Cruisers, or any Cruiser that has very floaty shells, you'll also probably seen comments of island hugging.  It's very valid, but it's not the only way to use islands for cover.

 

First trick is the obvious one, go real close to an island with a low enough rise, and simply fire shells over this.  Some maps this is easier to do than others.  Some maps have next to no islands to do this with.  Another trick is to find an island that looks like your shells can be lobbed over, but be further back.  You're relying on the max height as your shells travel to get over.  Regardless you need someone spotting.  So if you want a ship to not rely on people with, these kinds of Cruisers are poor ships.  You're better off playing IJN, German, RU Cruisers.  Another trick that can be used, even as a Non-USN Cruiser, is sailing along lobbing shells, but moving to use islands to break LOS and "go dark."  Then turn around back into the same path you just sailed, and start firing again.  Usually many guys, especially BBs, start looking for something else and fire, then you start shelling them again.  This is much better than the long process of firing, waiting to go dark, then firing later on.  Using islands to break LOS to you and go dark is immediate.

 

I was playing Conqueror today and there was this annoying Worcester doing exactly that to me.  He was actually riding at around 14km, which is normally super easy for me to crucify a Cruiser with BB Guns.  But he repeatedly broke LOS with this series of tall islands, and would reappear again, spamming me with shells.  If he was alone, it would be easier to time and wait for his appearance and try to blap him.  But because he was sailing with friends who were shooting also, it was extremely hard to focus on doing so.


Starting Tier VIII in USN Cruisers, you access Radar for both Baltimore and Cleveland.  Both are very good ships that do similar jobs but specialize in different things.  USN CAs have much stronger guns, but they don't have the CL side's stealth and consumables access.  Tier VIII-X USN & German CAs also have 27mm bows, so they can face tank 15" / 380mm AP.  Remember this.  You can leverage this in the right time for surprising effects.  The CLs don't have the 27mm bow, so Battleships can easily overwhelm you.  Anyways.  Radar again.  Use your concealment to be able to leverage Radar against Destroyers / Smoked Up ships, or aiding your own DDs.  This is a very dangerous game.  You're creeping into very short ranges to use Radar.  Some maps you got cover to approach targets and pop Radar.  Some maps, or map locations, you have zero cover at all and no friendly DD has the foresight to drop smoke for you.  If you're caught creeping close, then everyone instantly shoots at you.  But with proper game savvy, if you pull it off and pop Radar at the right time and place, you can expose ships in stealth or smoke so people can kill it, or at the very least drive it off.


Worcester is an example I'll use for a Radar Cruiser.  I go behind DDs, find some islands nearby the cap they want, and just wait.  I get close enough to fully or mostly cover the cap with Radar.  I watch the cap meter progress.  When it stops, that's an indicator some red ship is in the cap.   Pop Radar and everyone (hopefully) starts shooting at them.  Hopefully you get the kill or at least drive them off.  The result, ideally, is that your friendly DDs take the cap.  Sometimes when DDs see that there's a Radar Cruiser nearby, they're very reluctant to return and try again.  But you have to be careful as the better DD drivers are very slick accounting for your cooldowns, spotting you for their BBs to plaster you, or sitting at the very edge of the cap just out of your Radar range, etc.

 

Any success you have in the DD Meta of a match is profound, because if you can cause trouble, losses, damage to the enemy DDs, your own DDs' job get easier.  If your own DDs are having an easier time they hopefully are doing well.  And if your DDs are doing well, then you're well on your way to winning.

 

The easiest form of Cruiser play, is trying out the German, IJN, Russian Cruiser Lines.  They are more open water fighters with guns that are good at range.  You are less dependent on good teammates because if other guys potato themselves, you can at least farm damage at range and try to walk out the match with a decent score even on a loss.  You are also not playing the highly dangerous, highly stressful Cap & Destroyer Hunting Minigame.  There's 3 rules with German, IJN, RU Cruisers.

1.  Stay at range.

2.  Don't show broadsides.

3.  "Go dark" when the focus fire is against you.  Much more easy to do as IJN with their good stealth.

And that's it.  It's that simple.  Compare that to the paragraphs on SOME of the tips for US Cruiser Play I just gave, it's amazingly simple. 

 

US Cruiser play is very demanding.  You don't have the long range prowess of German, RU, IJN Cruisers.  You're about as squishy as an RN CL, and you don't have the smoke of RN CLs.  Hell, most US Cruisers don't even have torpedoes.  Farm Damage off people if at all possible as a USN Cruiser, but there's only so much you can rely on floaty shells and very average gun ranges.  You got to find ways to get your XPs and that's what makes it hard playing US Cruisers.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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