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ObiphanKenobi

Let's talk about the Helena

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                                                                                                              American Cruiser

 

Let's talk about the Helena (Part 1: Beginner guide)

 

She is a t7 USN light cruiser line (tech tree), from the recent released by WoWs. players have to obtain her from playing the Dallas. If you don’t like the grind, then most likely, Helena is not going to work out well for you. Helena’s triplet are the Boise and the Nueve de Julio (premium ships)

zv0ZkwN.jpg

 

At t7, there are a lot to be expected. It the next level from t5 meaning that you will facing the higher player skills and ships that 2 level from you. You will faces t9 ships and admittedly, those can be scary some time because you can get “devastating strike” and sunk if not playing carefully and using all your skills that you learnt from t1 and up. You can get citadel hits from across the map or from ships that you though it impossible to hit you. You will be getting frustrated, and though nothing work out and the grind is now so horrible, but to be honest about the game, it came down to HOW ARE YOU PLAYING HELENA? DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE GAME MECHANICS (there are at least 22 to go through)? DO YOU PLAY HER LONG ENOUGH TO GET USE TO HER? ARE YOU WILLING TO ACCEPT THE BAD, NOW PREPARE, AND PRACTICE TO GET BETTER? OR SIMPLY GIVE UP

 

Firstly, do not complain about MM (+/-2 level). WoWs designed the game this way from the original code, it is how it is. It much better compared to before when you have the match with 1 team having the CV and your team got none and manual drop was available from t4, or 1 team have more players then your team. Moreover, it naturally forced you to do well in the game. By doing so, it forces you to go back and uses all the skills that you already obtained, and made you to research, learn and practice new skills that you do not have; therefore improving on your game plays. It also provide you better XP/CXP/EXP and credit earning if you do enough damage when you are bottom tier, in this example t7/t8/t9 and the game is won. Now before you go any further, deep down, are you sure you done everything you can? For me, I am confident that even if I am at bottom tier, I can do well. For instance, when game start, I check post screen and look at enemy team and ships and comparing their characteristics to see which ship/s I can fight, which ship/s I can stalk and harass and also find out what on my ally. The second thing, quickly checking the map and develop a plan/spot/location I can go and have the most advantage for Helena to fight but the condition have to also match my playing style. 3rd check my spawning location, mostly likely who is the ship that I am going to face. 4th, I play game with positive attitude, I don’t go in the game with negative attitude. Just imagine that 2 Helena driver assigned on each team, 1 known every possible things to know against a negative driver that not preparing at the beginning of the game. Which team will with the most probability going to win? This is the moment to “git gud” or git lost!

So turn the negative to positive re-enforcement, instead of complaining in the public chat, you should be “hey, I am -2 bottom tier, but I will do my best to help everyone”.

Moreover, do not turn the team’s moral down when the game start. Don’t do it, moral also important as well.

OK, OK, it sound harsh, but let me give you another scenario, Helena and Shchor travel together to the island, suddenly you get “detected”, are you:

1 – ask the Shchor to send his scout plane up

2 -  ask the Shchor to use his hydro

3 – communicate to the Shchor to alternate your consumable (radar/hydro/plane to maximise the usage)

 

It very stupid and time consuming if you ask the Shchor to use hydro but instead ask the Shchor to use scout plane, and why the hell should you ask the Shchor to do such a thing? Remembered from the beginning, I talked about game mechanic? Your ally can help you with spotting, scout plane is 1 of the least scouting/spotting method. The plane will provide radius detection/spotting at each instance along the plane radius with line of sight spotting. Oh, how far is the Shchor hydro can detect? (I give you a hint: it will be less than 5km)

Remember I had mentioned about checking ships characteristic in the post screen from the paragraph above? If you do, you would have known and ask the right question and do the right thing. If the game allowable, you 2 will most likely will detect whoever detecting you in the first place and quickly kill that ship off. Who can tell me what is the award for first kill in the game (hint: First _ _ _ _)?

With enough practice, you can do these within the time frame allow during the post screen battle. Wait, I do not have enough time to check all the ships possible, it 23 of them. Well, at least you know your enemy by half of their team. Wait, what about the map and location and plan? Well, practice make perfect. Keep practice this to make your game more easy to play. I am average player, I would said around 55% and I am already doing well, imagine the other 45% people doing better than I am.

 

Best places to practice, any game mode except Random. Practice shoot over the islands, obtain XP for Helena upgrades and hull/GFCST. For god sake, don’t bring a stock Helena into a random match where it going to be punishable with the armour and then blamed WoWs, the ship and the MM but except yourself. But if you made a decision to join random, then play the game the way it lay out and give it your best.

 

2nd, be flexible/un-predictable.

Let continue with the above scenario, ok you and Shchor detected, plane up in the sky, radar used and suddenly the enemy amass to your side. You quickly check and unfortunately you and the Shchor are the only 2 ships on this side, are you:

1 – stay and fight recklessly

2 – activate WASD HACK, turn around and run

3 – use whatever available try to stall the enemy team as much as possible

 

The reward are the damage that you rack up during the game. You have the battle ground of your choice, duh, otherwise you will not headed to this side of the map in the first place, isn’t it? ISNT IT?

I hope by now, you know the game mechanics, out of those game mechanic, I think you should know 16 of them, 2 from Basics, 7 from Game Mechanics, 6 from Options, 1 from Information. You can find them from Wiki (http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/World_of_Warships)

You can also check it out at WoWs “How it work” (https://worldofwarships.com/en/media/?category=historical-video&category=game_updates&category=how-it-works&category=developer-diaries)

 

I will also address this in Part 2

 

3rd, knowing Helena

Clarification, the only flag that provide any benefit is the Military Month Contributor flag. If you done the collection and the cruiser is now allow to equip 2 flags, that is a whole new level of benefit since

That given to normal player with the benefit of +5% to XP, +5% to credit and +5% to Commander XP

Other signals that Helena should equip before battle:

Victor Lima, India X-Ray, Julie Charlie, India Yankee. It very straight forward here, you would want to increase the fire chances by the 2 signals and mitigate the side effect of detonation to 0%. Couple this with Demolition Expert, that an extra 2% to fire chance.

Then it come to the 4th captain skill which is Concealment Expert or IFHE. It is in no way forcing player to pick either one. It boiled down to how do you handle the Helena and does it fit your play style. As for me, when I am playing Helena at stock, my choice was CE (-12% to detection radius is major help when ship at stock) and the reason is that I need to survive longer, sneaking around and “island hoping”. As I am gaining enough credit and upgrades to B hull and GFCST, I re trained my capt to get IFHE and at 14 point, I immediately get CE (damn WoWs for retraining capt using doubloon). The time taken for the grind gave me confident in playing Helena, I am more capable of dealing more dmg without CE so CE is not that important any more. And because I chosen CE, my 2nd tier I pick EM. Since Helena benefit from the CE skills I activated a lot WASD HACK, I need my gun to turn and stay on the intended target/s.

When I retrained my capt, with intended IFHE, I also changed to AR. Since I am no longer benefit from CE, I am going to get hits from every angles, the AR let me shoot back faster, dealing more damage and taking full advantage fire chances raining on enemy ships.

If you want to enjoy Helena, experiences and play her because my play style and skills based are different from your, I can only listed out why I am doing it so that you as a reader can see and choose skills that fit just for yourself. It also expensive when you retrain the capt because it required doubloons and I am not a big whale wallet warrior.

Captain’s Skill

Initially, I go with:

  1. PT

  2. EM

  3. DE

  4. CE

I then retrain my captain as follow:

  1. PM

  2. AR

  3. DE

  4. IFHE

  5. CE

 

You may want to think about Mike Yankee Soxisix to extend your little secondary range to %5, 5% secondary shoot faster and 5% to secondary dispersion (will be explain in Part 2).

XP signals to your liking

Interesting builds worth mention

Hotel Yankee, Juliet Whiskey Unaone – to be address in Part 2

 

 

Helena’s damage

Ok here the bread and the butter, Helena now have 15 guns lay out in 5 gun turret of 3 each. You will have 9 guns front and 6 aft. Hey WoWs Wiki Editor, please fix this

Three rear facing turrets allows for effective kiting tactics”

 

Helena, like every other Cruiser her tier, is coated in 16mm armor for her bow, hull, etc.  BBs are your most dangerous threats.  That gets overmatched by 229mm AP, so practically every BB she encounters will overmatch.  Your best hope is not to get hit.  If I am sailing one of my BBs, I don't care what angle Helena is in.  Big AP Pens are what I go for and Citadels will follow eventually.  Check the AP threshold chart below:

 

http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Ship:Armor_thresholds” Thank you to @HazeGrayUnderway ™  input

 

Her gun angles if you want max firepower is mediocre. But many Cruisers are like that.  You have to make the judgement call on when it's appropriate to fire all turrets for max DPM.  But to fire max guns, she has to show a lot of sides, which can lead to a lot of damage in return. Helena also had lack of range, even with the GFCST upgraded, 14.6km she still is out range.

 

The Cruiser threats Helena players should be concerned with:  USN CA that get close.  Baltimore in Tier VIII goes down to about 9.7km with a stealth build.  With USN CA AP bounce angles make them extremely dangerous for Helena.  They got the stealth to get closer and any temptation Helena has to use more guns, she'll get Mega penned by the USN CA.

Cruisers that are proficient at range will be a problem for Helena.  RU Cruisers VI+, IJN & German CAs Tier VII+.  Their shell behaviour at range is much more easy to handle compared to Helena's very floaty ranges.  Unless Helena is in shorter ranges where she can reliably hit, these opposing Cruisers will eventually win the ranged duel simply by hitting more and more over time.  Of course, a good counter by Helena to this is simply "Going Dark" and deny that kind of engagement.

 

Also, regarding special AP bounce angles, USN CLs don't get that, it's the USN CAs that do out of this line.  Just want to make that clear.  Even with Cleveland, Worcester, etc. AP is used very little and requires a very special set of circumstances.  The Tier VIII-IX threats that Helena will encounter can have some very heavy armour and the 152mm AP struggles, so you rely on your HE even more.

 

 

Quote and unquote from HazeGrayUnderway

Just remember, I have Helena but I have not played her much, but I do have a lot of Tier VII time, even Cruisers.  So my experience on Helena is mainly being familiar with her capabilities and facing her, not playing her

Where she stands in MM is actually very good.  Tier VII is one of the sweet spots for Seal Clubbing.  Regardless of tier she must respect any BB or get rekt.  However, if the BB player doesn't know how to aim well, Helena will eat them alive.  Against Cruisers, she will easily out muscle many lower tier ones.  152mm x 15 is no joke.  She has to be wary about the long ranged ones like Schors, Kutuzov, Chapayev who can consistently hit at long range.  She has to respect CAs with their AP shells, esp. USN CAs with their special bounce angles for their AP.  Still, I think she's a very respectable, well rounded Cruiser for her tier bracket.

When Helena starts connecting salvo after salvo, you can see people start to panic.

There was an experience I had about 1-2 weeks ago.  Was playing Ashitaka, ASM1 fitted and all that.  My flank pushed hard and we overwhelmed the reds on our side of the map.  An enemy Helena was the last surviving ship of that group, and was kiting away.  I consider myself to be a competent with my BBs, but I had a hard time hitting this Helena.  Her user made d*mn sure to be kiting and hitting from as long range as possible, while I had problems hitting her.  She maneuverered, did stop and go, etc, did everything possible to maintain distance against my fast sailing BB and being annoying to hit.  I got some hits, but none of the catastrophic AP shots I needed to put her down.  Eventually before we got Helena, she had something like 70k+ damage against me.  IIRC, about 40-45k of Fire damage.  I had a Div Mate with a Flint sailing with me, but Flint's gunnery is absolutely horrible against a kiting ship like a Cruiser that isn't in short range.  The only threat Helena really worried about was my BB.

 

Taken from LWM review of the Boise, about the turret angle

https://forum.worldofwarships.com/topic/165841-premium-ship-review-107-boise/

 

The C turret blind spot are 30% front, 40% back

The X turret blind spot is 42% front

The Y turret blind spot is 42% front   (I will also discuss more about this blind spot angle in Part 2)     

You need to remember this blind spot angle so that when you are knitting away, you need to at some point in time, bring the Helena to full side and fire; then able to turn angle away to minimize the return salvo. You also need to know and able to count how long per the enemy gun reload in order to know when to angle away, and how many shots you had dished out, how many shots can you fire while you are angle away and how many shot you can fire again after the enemy salvo.

At the same time, you also need to see where you damaged the enemy and where the fire/s start, did the enemy use the repair consumable. How do you know the enemy use normal repair or premium repair in order to start another fire to maximize the Helena’s strength. Or if the IFHE taken effect so that your fire chance reduce per that salvo. Normally, if the damage number between 1200 to 1800 ish, that is IFHE and less fire chance. If the damage number less than 1200, no IFHE, fire chance are increase. Is that ship captain have Fire Prevention skill? How many fires taken place? Where did you aim to be able to create 4 or 3 fires if FP is in effect? Which ship to pick next to maximize your dmg?

Because if the enemy captain used the repair, there is 20 sec immune of that ship to catch fire. Surely you have to shoot at other ship or go dark or depend on the situation. Then what is the cool down time for normal and premium repair so that after 20 sec immune, what are you doing next?

Are you double left click (for all salvo) or hold the left button (for consecutive shots) to maximize your strength.

 

And, are you communicate these information to your ally as well? Because since your AP do little damage, HE/IFHE doing the work, what if your ally can also combine fire power? Letting them know the situation help them choose the correct ammo type.

For example: bb on fire, he just use his repair, and you wait and now get him on fire again, your ally should now use AP since the bb is now more succumb to AP.

 

Upgrades

  • Main Armament Mod 1

  • Steering Gear Mod 1

  • AA Guns Mod 2

  • Steering Gear Mod 2

I find that the Steering gear get knock out easily and it frustrated some time. WoWs made it so transparent to other nation cruiser line eg France Navy as well. Even with WASD Hack, 1 single shell can cripple it. I also unable to afford premium hydro to change it place

AA to scatter incoming planes, but the longer I played, I am think of switch over to Secondary Battery Mod 2

Steering Gear Mod 2 to dodge and wiggle, to activate WASD Hack and to position yourself at the island (I will discuss this in part 2)

 

To be continue …

 

ObiphanKenobi

Expert Reviewer

 

Edited by ObiphanKenobi
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28 minutes ago, ObiphanKenobi said:

Hey WoWs Wiki Editor, please fix this

Three rear facing turrets allows for effective kiting tactics”

But Helena does have 3 rear facing turrets. Turrets C, X, and Y are rear facing. While the C turret doesn't have the best angles for firing aft, the fact that you can swing this turret from port to starboard if needed and not have to wait on it is a big advantage over some other ships. You can keep 60% of your firepower facing the enemy while kiting at all times, regardless if you have to maneuver more than 90 deg. Very similar to Atago and Myoko when kiting, two other ships which are also very strong kiters.

 

28 minutes ago, ObiphanKenobi said:

Her gun angles if you want max firepower is mediocre.

As for this, I wouldn't necessarily call them mediocre. In fact, Helena seems to have some of the best forward firing angles of any 6in gun cruiser in the game, given how many barrels she carries. Especially compared to her IRL contemporary, 155mm Mogami, which seems to still be restricted in forward firing angles due to AA mounts unlike Helena(WG should really go back and look at this. Mogami has to show near perfect broadside to bear all 15 rifles, when it looks like there's clearance enough to train them farther forward, at least on Y turret. X turret may simply be blocked due to the catapult. B and C turret, I think, may be slightly restricted in rear-facing angles due to some AA mounts where it looks like they would normally have clearance. Meanwhile, Helena doesn't have to show near as much broadside to bring all of her guns to bear forward).

Helena can bring all 15 barrels to bear forward while maintaining a very strong defensive position. I find it very easy to wiggle in Helena when advancing and unmask the C turret then move back into a strong defensive position.

Edited by GhostSwordsman
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I am in the process of drafting Part 2, please make new post if you want to discuss with link to this post. Otherwise it confusing in between the gap with replies

thanks

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1 hour ago, dmckay said:

Nice book. Snore. :Smile_veryhappy:

No freakin' kidding.  I started to read the OP, got confused by horrible grammar, saw 7,198 more words, and gave up.

Can I get a TL;DR?!?

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2 minutes ago, desmo_2 said:

No freakin' kidding.  I started to read the OP, got confused by horrible grammar, saw 7,198 more words, and gave up.

Can I get a TL;DR?!?

Visual representation of the opening post...

Helena_150K_HighCal_Confed_4G_DS_Kraken_10-22-18.jpg

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First of all, good effort

3 hours ago, ObiphanKenobi said:

I then retrain my captain

Second, no, this is not how you write a guide to a Tier 7 ship. By the time players get to this tier, they either know how to retrain commanders already, or they almost absolutely reject retraining commanders.

Which you need to give a "From your 1st commander skill point" track somewhere.

I would recommend for Helena, stepwise build up to 14 points:

Priority Target--always the 1st skill point

Last Stand--because you might need your repair kit for engine or rudder

Demolition Expert--BURN THEM ALL

IFHE--Battleships and Tier 8+ cruisers can no longer bow-tank you. (Not sure if the 155mm guns pen 25mm or 26mm HE, but if it's the latter then it's Tier 8+ BBs and heavy cruisers that you can newly HE-pen, instead of Tier 7 BBs and Tier 8+ cruisers.

CE--stealth is a Great Thing.

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21 hours ago, ObiphanKenobi said:

Ok here the bread and the butter, Helena now have 15 guns lay out in 5 gun turret of 3 each. You will have 9 guns front and 6 aft. Hey WoWs Wiki Editor, please fix this

Three rear facing turrets allows for effective kiting tactics”

I am not sure what you are trying to say here, Obi.  That statement is 100% correct.  You look to be mixing terminology.

You are correct that the turret layout is three turrets forward and two turrets aft, so it does have "three forward turrets."  However, the third turret (the rearmost forward one) is not setup in a super-firing position (i.e. a raised mounting so that it can fire over the other two turrets).  This affects both its firing arcs (what it can hit) and its rotation arcs (which ways it can turn).  Its firing arcs are restricted both forward (by the other two forward turrets) and aft (by the superstructure).  However, its rotation arcs are only restricted forward.  That is, it can only rotate so far forward because the middle turret blocks its guns physically past a certain point, but it has sufficient clearance from the superstructure that it can swing its guns freely on an aft-facing arc.

The result is that the guns swing on an aft-facing arc just like the aft turrets do.  Thus, the rearmost forward turret is a forward-mounted, but aft-facing turret.  You can see this most clearly when the guns are at rest while ship is in port or prior to the start of the start of the battle before the turrets move. The two most forward turrets are pointing forward, aligned with the bow, while the rearmost forward turret is pointing aft like the two aft turrets are.  You can also see that, as the guns traverse, it moves in sync with the aft turrets, not with the two more forward turrets.  This is why it is a kiting friendly layout.  Since it moves with the aft turrets, it is always pointing where they are, so once you angle enough to clear the superstructure you can get 9 guns on a target you are kiting.  If it were a forward rotation arc mount, it would still be in the process of making the long trip around the bow with the other two forward turrets.

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