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2Zons

340mm French Guns

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I'm working my way up the French BB line and am in the stretch of 3 ships with the 340mm guns.  They have been infuriating.  When I use AP against BB's half my hits will over-penetrate and the other half will either not penetrate or ricochet.  This doesn't make any sense to me.  These things are both extreme's of the possible outcomes.  How can all my rounds be too strong, or not strong enough.  When I shoot CA's with AP they seem to do fine.  You think if they don't overpen a CA then they should definitely not overpen a BB.  The idea of an over-penetration against a BB seems kind of ridiculous to me, actually an over-penetration pretty ridiculous on any ship.  If the round goes right through the ship without hitting anything critical it will put holes through it.  Holes are not a good thing to have in a ship.  Holes below the water line should cause flooding, and holes in bulkheads should cause flooding to spread from one compartment to the next.  Especially 340mm holes.

I understand the need to balance gameplay, but it's pretty frustrating when you are in a BB shooting at another BB, using HE has very little penetration, and AP does either not enough or too much at the same time result being very little damage.

Anyone else notice this?  I haven't noticed the problem with any other BB gun.

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The French BBs are cruiser murderers.  Always use those AP shells there.  With BBs you have to consider the target and angle and not be afraid to use HE.

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In addition to the above, if you have relatively weak battleship guns, hitting the citadel of enemy battleships is going to be tough outside of very particular circumstances (such as enemy B.B. being broadside, and in a turn away from you, at close range). Therefore, instead of aiming at the waterline, instead aim at the top half of the hull in order to maximise the number of 1/3 pens. Given the French bbs are shotguns and inaccurate, you will still get shatters and overpens, but you should get fewer of those and more full pens to get solidly 10k damage salvos. You may need to get a bit closer (10-12km) which is dangerous for you too. 

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Do you know what an all-or-nothing armor scheme is?

 

Battleships were ultimately developed with virtually no armor on their bow and stern, and all their armor on the middle protecting the vital areas of the ship. Allowing only shatters and overpens was the very purpose.

 

Don't be afraid to use HE on battleships if you have baby guns or are fighting at long range, especially if they are end-on.

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When you get to Lyon, Cruisers and Destroyers are your primary prey.  The mass of 16 AP shells flying at a Cruiser is deadly to them.  Your AP shells will get bounced / non-penned by BB Armor, but Cruisers will fuse these shells and get crushed by Penetration & Citadel damage.  A mass of 16 Lyon AP shells can dev strike DDs if RNG blesses the salvo enough.

 

But against heavy armor is where the 340mm AP fails.  Sure, you got a broadside, nail them, but if the opponent isn't stupid, you will need to swap shells back and forth for the right situation.  You are not going to scare an angled North Carolina, Musashi, Iowa, Amagi with your AP.  You can try for AP against the superstructure if they are bow on, angled but you will likely bounce off the turrets or get Overpens on shots high in the superstructure.  Feed them 16 340mm HE shells to the face, they start respecting you some.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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That's some good feedback, thanks guys.   The "all or nothing" point hit home.  It totally explains why some are shatters and some are overpen's.   Looks like It will be HE on BB's until I get to bigger guns.

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I would advise not using HE on heavily armored BBs, just aim at the weather deck of a broadside BB and watch 4-6 normal penetrations give you 15-19k damage.  Otherwise, I agree that aiming for waterline with the lesser guns at range is a waste of time.

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17 hours ago, Meeso_Thorny said:

Don't be afraid to use HE on battleships if you have baby guns or are fighting at long range, especially if they are end-on.

Lyon HE salvos are glorious.

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18 hours ago, 2Zons said:

When I shoot CA's with AP they seem to do fine.  You think if they don't overpen a CA then they should definitely not overpen a BB. 

It's all about the ship's armor scheme. Many BBs have "all or nothing" protection. There is literally no effective armor whatsoever in much of the bow and stern, so you get overpens, just like a DD. Cruisers are like this to some degree, but are smaller and typically have less "empty space" fore and aft, so have a smaller area to be hit with overpens.

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The idea of an over-penetration against a BB seems kind of ridiculous to me, actually an over-penetration pretty ridiculous on any ship.  If the round goes right through the ship without hitting anything critical it will put holes through it.  Holes are not a good thing to have in a ship.  Holes below the water line should cause flooding, and holes in bulkheads should cause flooding to spread from one compartment to the next.  Especially 340mm holes.

Holes are not a good thing to have in a ship, that's true, but sailors have been practicing methods of plugging holes since ships were wood and you used oars in combat.

Compartmentalisation makes their job much easier, and the nice thing about a high-velocity AP round overpenning a steel hull, is that it makes a pretty neat hole.

Considering Condition Z, backed up by all the electrical and mechanical pumping capacity available on a 500'+ long 20th-century warship that displaces 30000+ tons of water, not to mention the ability to quickly shore and weld patches, you'd need a lot of those holes to seriously inconvenience a ship.

It's like trying to sink an aluminum canoe with a bolt-action rifle, when the canoer has 8 arms, a case of chewing gum and a bucket.

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I understand the need to balance gameplay, but it's pretty frustrating when you are in a BB shooting at another BB, using HE has very little penetration, and AP does either not enough or too much at the same time result being very little damage.

Anyone else notice this?  

All the time. It becomes important to not just hit the target, but to hit the target in a good location. And unless you're good, you won't do that from 15+km.

Edited by Skpstr
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Just because people verbally abuse those who fire nothing but HE from RN battleships, doesn't mean you should be loath to use it in any BB (including British) when the occasion demands. Do what you must to get the damage you need.

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Once you figure out when and where to shoot with them the French guns are great.

If you're not in brawling range don't shoot at the citadel of an enemy BB aim for the upper plate just above that citadel armor, basically treat every BB like a German BB and aim accordingly.
When you get close though the guns have such high velocity that they punch through armor like butter. At max range you're better off using HE.

When shooting cruisers at range nothing much changes but If you are shooting at light cruisers think of them like DDs if they turn when you shoot your shells won't over pen. It was always amusing when a cruiser would try to bow tank my french BBs, "thanks for making this easy" blap.

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