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CaesarO

Shimakaze - early thoughts from my first 30 games in T10

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Well, after 3k plus battles I finally managed to finish a line all the way up to tier 10. I've played WoWs off and on since beta, and usually just play for fun which means I am normally picking something in tiers 5-7 for low stress pew-pewing.

Way back when, I loved the IJN DD line. I had more fun in the Isokaze than should have been allowed and worked my way off and on up to tier 9, which took forever because I'm an alt-a-holic and spent time leveling every other nation and ship type (except CVs) to at least tier 6 or 8. The Yugumo broke me, as I never could find a liking for this boat. Trash guns, good torps, sneaky as hell but slow and handled like a brick in a peat bog so I parked it for a LONG time.

After getting perturbed at WG for screwing everyone out of ranked AGAIN unless you had a T10 ship, I took it upon myself to suck it up, equip the Yugumo with every max XP flag and camo I had, and get it over with.

I read plenty of forum posts, reddit posts, watched videos, etc. of how 'bad' the Shimakaze compared to the 'best' T10 DD's. I was prepared for the worst, but...

HOLY HELL, am I glad I pushed through to get this boat. This is my super-early noob take on the Shima and how I feel she stacks up so far after 30 games.

  • Early game, she's best used to spot/skirt just outside the cap circles: Rushing into the cap is a good way to die quickly and do nothing for your team. The Shima is one of the stealthiest boats in her MM spread, and by running up the flanks of a cap and NOT in it will often reveal enemy DD's without revealing yourself. Also, your torps take ~2 mins to load, so taking the long way also nets you enough time to be fully armed and operational by the time you spot something close.

 

  • Don't be afraid to contest a cap in a gunfight, especially if you have support: Shima's guns surprised me, as I seldom see Shima captains use them. I've seen a ton of them in T8-T10 games and they all seem to be on the torp spam bandwagon. That's fine, but if you stay angled and kite you can effectively trade shots favorably with the majority of DD's you'll find in a cap circle and you're crippling yourself if you don't use them. If you happen to have support, by all means feel free to open up with the guns. By the same token, if you are alone in a cap with no support in sight, you need to pay extra attention to the possible locations of the enemy DDs and support. Shima's guns are adequate for the job, but you need to be careful when opening them up alone.

 

  • Pick your targets wisely: It can be hard to resist the Yamato sailing in a straight line at 10km out, but if there are any enemy radar ships or DD's, these are preferential targets to hunt early on. You want to establish vision control and cap control. Chasing map edge riding BB's, while good for padding damage totals, aren't really helping if enemy radar is lighting up the rest of your team like Christmas trees and raining fire on them with impunity. Even if you don't hit targets, sending torps toward last known/suspected positions of enemy cruisers will often flush them out or distract them long enough to give your team an edge and the Shima's 3rd launcher gives you the option to spend torps more freely. Sometimes I've gotten lucky and also killed enemy DDs who were hanging back there lurking with them.

 

  • 12km torps are money: I used free XP to unlock the 12km torps after reading that the stock ones are essentially visible from orbit. I haven't tried the shorter/faster torps or the stock 20km torps but so far I have had no issues landing hits with the 'mid-range' torps. It's still best to launch them as close as possible, and I usually find myself letting them fly on targets 6-8km out, maybe a little further if they are headed toward me. At some point I may switch to the short-ranged ones, but 12km is working so well at the moment I don't feel compelled to do so.

 

  • Saving one set of torps for emergencies/targets of opportunity is key: One of the nicest things about the Shima is the 3rd launcher. Yes, there have been times, usually late game, where I'll spend all 3 sets of torps to ensure a kill or hits on target, but even after 30 battles I can't begin to tell you what a lifesaver holding back a launcher is for that 'Oh !@*&' moment when an enemy DD appears out of nowhere behind an island, or an enemy CA/CL or BB pops up in a perfectly good place to eat some fish. 

 

  • Torps aren't just for sinking ships: Yes, of course that's their primary use, but if you save a torp salvo for problems, they also become very effective at forcing pursers to alter/change course which often can be the difference in escaping out of view range or turning the tide of a fight.

 

  • Use her speed to your advantage: With the speed flag equipped, she's a 40kt boat/ 44kts with boost. This enables you to get out of trouble quickly if your find yourself in a bad spot. It also enables you to steal caps - if your cap scouting reveals a bulk of the enemy on a cap, pop boost and go grab another one while simultaneously spotting that enemy clusterfk for a few seconds in hopes that your team will get a few free damage shots in on your way out.

 

  • The longer you live, the greater the impact you have: As I said before, I've played my first 30 games in Shima, and use to it flank cap circles and spot enemy positions. I cap if it's clear, but prefer max spotting first to figure out where the enemy is sitting - radar CAs/DDs in particular. Mid to late game, if you're one of (or the only) DD left on either side, it's party time. At this point you are by far imho the most dangerous threat on the water, and this is when it's time to stalk the biggest remaining threats - usually the BB's or any remaining enemy DD. Your stealth will give you a vision advantage and this is the time where those 'walls of skill' are hilarious to unleash on the enemy.

 

  • CV's have the greatest potential to impact your game negatively: If there is an enemy CV in your game, you MUST pay constant attention to where not only the enemy CV's planes are, but those of your own CV as well. If the enemy CV decides to park a plane over you once spotted, you have no choice but to run for the nearest friendly AA in order to eliminate the threat. As a DD that primarily relies on stealth and torps it is critical for you to be invisible as long as possible. You also need to limit where you go and be extra careful not to overextend unless you can be certain the enemy planes are not near where you are operating. I've had 2 games where I was spotted and kept lit (full potato friendly CV both times) for 1/2 the match. It sucks, but you have to stay on top of this in addition to your normal duties.

 

  • You have to respect other boats, but there is little need to fear anything you face unless permaspotted by a CV: Your stealth and speed give you the control to dictate most engagements. When those fail, sending 3 schools of fish into the direction of your harasser is a significant and often fatal deterrent. There are a lot of things while sailing other DD's I worry about, that are largely mitigated by the Shima. It's fast enough, stealthy enough, maneuverable enough and hard hitting enough that makes it a blast to play every game. 

This is by FAR one of my favorite ships in the game right now. My overall stats are not far from full blown baked potato, but so far in the Shima I'm averaging 77k dmg, 60% WR and 2.3 K/D. I'm amazed at what this boat can do.

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I've been playing the Shima for a few weeks now and in ranked...  Against random players she's pretty good.  Against Ranked players she's a bit below average because they know what she has and can do.   As the saying goes: "never take a knife to a gun fight" applies to this DD for me.  She's way too fragile for anything other than fringe spotting and long range torpedo engagements: for me.  Radar has made her a "port Queen for me..."  I've yanked the 19pt CPT from her and seldom use her anymore because she's not financially viable at tier 10.......to break even you have to do a lot of damage and with the radar meta, that seldom happens anymore.  The Tier 8 Kagero is a neat ship with the torp booster and I have mostly IJN stuff...  The Kity and her older cousin are neat "gun boats" but, they really are CL's not DD's.....and, for me, play that way... ( sales gimmick WG will soon nerf into obscurity....)

The Amagi is my anchor and cross to bear working up the IJN line to the Yammy......  I just can't bare the stress that ship produces because it simply can't hit crap.........one day, I may pick that piece of crap up and try again.  Even my Division mates are stuck with her as well.....

OP, good assessment.  Good luck with her !

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11 minutes ago, Asym_KS said:

The Amagi is my anchor and cross to bear working up the IJN line to the Yammy......  I just can't bare the stress that ship produces because it simply can't hit crap.........one day, I may pick that piece of crap up and try again.  Even my Division mates are stuck with her as well.....

 

This goes to show you how different boats work better with different people's playstyles. I love the Amagi and damage wise she's my best performing T8 BB - I'm hitting 73k/game, which is more than I can do in my Bismarck, NC, or Alabama. For me the NC was the BB I had to struggle through. Just did not do well with it at all. I find if I keep my targets between 12-16km I can pretty reliably land hits with her. She bounces a good bit when angled, enough to be trollish at times. Just don't give anyone your broadside, and don't go places where you're the only target.  For whatever reason, I can get way more out of her that I ever got from the NC in the US line...

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glad you are enjoying her

 

strength are relative, it doesnt mean you'll have a bad time in shima, it just means you'll have a better time in other DDs

(plus random and ranked/CW meta are different, ship OP in one might not be as useful in another)

 

as for the points you listed.....they pretty much all apply to yugumo......i dont understand why your performance differs so much between the two

 

edit*

maybe you were playing yugumo before it had access to 12km type93m3?

Edited by jason199506

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38 minutes ago, jason199506 said:

as for the points you listed.....they pretty much all apply to yugumo......i dont understand why your performance differs so much between the two

 

edit*

maybe you were playing yugumo before it had access to 12km type93m3?

I honestly don't know. The Shima is a wee bit faster and has a faster rudder shift which seems to make a world of difference to me. I could not get comfortable with Yugumo at all. I did play it bone stock and upgraded it as I got the xp to unlock everything but I had it totally upgraded for at least half of my time in it. I will say I had much better games when I went back to it in order to finish the grind to the Shimakaze. That may well be due to the fact I gained a lot more experience with upper tier gameplay (Benson/Lo Yang and various T8/T9 BBs and CAs) in the interim where I had abandoned the Yugumo and the time I came back to it.

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1 hour ago, Asym_KS said:

I've been playing the Shima for a few weeks now and in ranked...  Against random players she's pretty good.  Against Ranked players she's a bit below average because they know what she has and can do.   As the saying goes: "never take a knife to a gun fight" applies to this DD for me.  She's way too fragile for anything other than fringe spotting and long range torpedo engagements: for me.  Radar has made her a "port Queen for me..."  I've yanked the 19pt CPT from her and seldom use her anymore because she's not financially viable at tier 10.......to break even you have to do a lot of damage and with the radar meta, that seldom happens anymore.  The Tier 8 Kagero is a neat ship with the torp booster and I have mostly IJN stuff...  The Kity and her older cousin are neat "gun boats" but, they really are CL's not DD's.....and, for me, play that way... ( sales gimmick WG will soon nerf into obscurity....)

The Amagi is my anchor and cross to bear working up the IJN line to the Yammy......  I just can't bare the stress that ship produces because it simply can't hit crap.........one day, I may pick that piece of crap up and try again.  Even my Division mates are stuck with her as well.....

OP, good assessment.  Good luck with her !

The Amagi was one of my favorite BBs, BUT I played her very early and I am pretty sure she has been power creeped.  Her speed was her asset back in the day, and now there are a lot of other fast BBs.  But on the other hand I am sure I am a much better player now...I should re buy her sometime...thought about it a lot.

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1 hour ago, CaesarO said:

I honestly don't know. The Shima is a wee bit faster and has a faster rudder shift which seems to make a world of difference to me. I could not get comfortable with Yugumo at all. I did play it bone stock and upgraded it as I got the xp to unlock everything but I had it totally upgraded for at least half of my time in it. I will say I had much better games when I went back to it in order to finish the grind to the Shimakaze. That may well be due to the fact I gained a lot more experience with upper tier gameplay (Benson/Lo Yang and various T8/T9 BBs and CAs) in the interim where I had abandoned the Yugumo and the time I came back to it.

I liked the Yugumo, but it is sloooooow! There's no escape if you over extend. 

I've found the Shima better in every way. Especially in the all important   Image result for monty python run away meme

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Love your comments about Shima, she has always been a favorite DD and I actually fit her out as a gunboat, she has surprised many when they expect you to run. Those Japanese guns hit hard!

Try playing Kag and Yugumo with torp reload booster rather than smoke...forces you to try to remain unspotted, which seems to be the way you prefer to play, and the ability to launch as many torps as Shima is hilarious.

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