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Cpt_Snafu_Idgaf

RN Premium BBs; to HE or not?

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I’ve always heard and seen about the HE spamming Conquerors but when it come to the RN premium BBs what’s the best choice?   Back during the RN event for their CVs I was never really sure. Seems like the Warspite is AP all the time but the Hood and Vanguard I just don’t know.  

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It all depends on context. Warspite is generally AP, yes, though you will want to swap when fighting DDs exclusively. Hood you swap when there's nothing you can pen or when shooting DDs-given the bounce angles on the AP, mostly the latter unless fighting very well angled higher tier BBs. I've not played Vanguard, so I can't tell you there.

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I run over 98% AP on the Hood, rarely use HE, usually when up tiered and facing something nasty...Hood AP seems very capable.  I actually run about 40% AP on my Conq. ...too many broadside shots on potato BBs.  Fires are nice, but AP citadels are hard to come back from.  KGV, and Lion probably about the same...  Warspite and under almost all AP.  But I am sure other players have found success using more HE than I use....

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KGV is probably the one that HE spam will work the best for, seeing as its only got 14 inch guns, and it AP isnt that good, Lion and Conq have 16 inch guns, HE spam in them is more or less just to be memey

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Just my 2 pennies:

Dreadnought: Mostly AP. cruisers don't have any armour at low tiers so go blap them.

Warspite: Mostly AP. Warspite predates the RN BB tech tree and HE slinging 'flavour'. Her AP will overmatch most things in her tier bracket. Only times Warspite should be firing HE is when she's facing an angled tier 8 BB or a DD

Hood: Mostly AP. Almost the exact same guns as Warspite but lacks the pen. See above. 

Duke of York: I don't have her, but it's the same guns as KGV. The thing to bear in mind is that DoY only has 356mm guns. Fire AP against broadside cruisers and the upper belts of broadside BBs. But for anything else and any other scenario fire HE.

Nelson: a mix of AP and HE. Both have their uses. Can't really go wrong with either. 3x3 16 inch guns at tier 7 solves a lot of problems no matter what ammo is loaded.

Vanguard: a mix. Vanguard needs to use both. Neither the A or HE are particularly great and the ship needs to switch between them depending on the situation.

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Duke of York, you'll be using HE a lot but consider that her AP shells are special.  They have the short fuse of Tech Tree RN BB AP, but DOY's AP shells have special bounce angles.  Everybody knows about the common place short fusing of RN BB AP, but nobody ever mentions DOY has special AP bounce angles.  Hood is also in on this.

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DOY has the same AP bounce angle benefit that USN CAs have compared to their peers.

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Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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Hood and Warspite I would certainly encourage players to shoot predominantly AP.

Vanguard depends somewhat more on the matchmaking, if top tier AP is a sensible default, bottom tier against lots of 32 and 27mm in particular I wouldn't hesitate to fall back on HE. You won't citadel that Yamato at any range but he'll burn nicely, and HE on destroyers is excellent.

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Welp, let's go over the AP and HE properties of each of the premium Royal Navy battleships.

AP Shells

Most mid-tier or higher Royal Navy battleships have reduced fuse timers which makes them more likely to detonate inside of more lightly armoured ships (provided they fuse properly in the first place) but it makes them more poor for detonating inside of the machine spaces of ships with deeply buried citadels.  Standard fuse timer is 0.033s for most battleships and 0.015s for mid to high tier Royal Navy battleships.

  • Dreadnought - Reduced fuse timer on her AP shells with a 0.015s fuse.
  • Warspite - Standard AP shells with a normal 0.033s fuse.  They have slightly better penetration than other Royal Navy 381mm/42 guns.
  • Hood - Improved AP shells with increased auto-ricochet angles (60º to 67.5º) and a normal 0.033s fuse.
  • Nelson - Reduced fuse timer on her AP shells with a 0.015s fuse.
  • Duke of York - Reduced fuse timer on her AP shells with a 0.015s fuse and increased auto-ricochet angles (60º to 67.5º).
  • Vanguard - Standard AP shells with a normal 0.033s fuse.

So Dreadnought and Nelson conform to Royal Navy battleship norms.  Hood and Duke of York have "improved" AP shells, less likely to ricochet against angle targets.  Vanguard and Warspite have "normal" AP shells which you might find on battleships of most other nations.

HE Shells

There are three elements which make Royal Navy battleship HE so good.  First, they have higher-than-average damage for shells of their caliber.  Second, they have higher than average fire chance for shells of their caliber.  Third, they have higher penetration than shells for their caliber.  We can look at these three elements (damage/fire chance/penetration) and see if they're present for each of the premiums.  Note fire chance for RNBBs tends to be on the high side anyway, so that one is a gimme.

  • Dreadnought - Increased damage, increased fire chance, increased penetration.
  • Warspite - Normal damage, increased fire chance, normal penetration.
  • Hood - Normal damage, increased fire chance, normal penetration
  • Nelson - Increased damage, increased fire chance, increased penetration
  • Duke of York - Increased damage, increased fire chance, increased penetration
  • Vanguard - Increased damage, increased fire chance, increased penetration

So, Dreadnought, Nelson, Duke of York and Vanguard all have improved HE shells.  Hood and Warspite do not. 

Conclusions

With this information we can look at preferred ammunition types (if any) for each of the premium Royal Navy battleships:

  • Dreadnought - HE preferred.
  • Warspite - AP preferred.
  • Hood - AP preferred.
  • Nelson - HE preferred.
  • Duke of York - No preference.
  • Vanguard - No preference.

Now, just because something is 'preferred' doesn't mean it should be your default ammunition.  You can spam HE in Warspite and do alright.  You'd do better to lean on (and look for opportunities to use) her AP shells instead, however.  Duke of York and Vanguard are very flexible in this regard, having comparable AP and HE performance, allowing them to deal quite a bit of damage no matter what your opponents are and how they try and defend against you.

Edited by LittleWhiteMouse
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3 minutes ago, LittleWhiteMouse said:

Welp, let's go over the AP and HE properties of each of the premium Royal Navy battleships.

AP Shells

Most mid-tier or higher Royal Navy battleships have reduced fuse timers which makes them more likely to detonate inside of more lightly armoured ships (provided they fuse properly in the first place) but it makes them more poor for detonating inside of the machine spaces of ships with deeply buried citadels.  Standard fuse timer is 0.033s for most battleships and 0.015s for mid to high tier Royal Navy battleships.

  • Dreadnought - Reduced fuse timer on her AP shells with a 0.015s fuse.
  • Warspite - Standard AP shells with a normal 0.033s fuse.  They have slightly better penetration than other Royal Navy 381mm/42 guns.
  • Hood - Improved AP shells with increased auto-ricochet angles (60º to 67.5º) and a normal 0.033s fuse.
  • Nelson - Reduced fuse timer on her AP shells with a 0.015s fuse.
  • Duke of York - Reduced fuse timer on her AP shells with a 0.015s fuse and increased auto-ricochet angles (60º to 67.5º).
  • Vanguard - Standard AP shells with a normal 0.033s fuse.

So Dreadnought and Nelson conform to Royal Navy battleship norms.  Hood and Duke of York have "improved" AP shells, less likely to ricochet against angle targets.  Vanguard and Warspite have "normal" AP shells which you might find on battleships of most other nations.

HE Shells

There are three elements which make Royal Navy battleship HE so good.  First, they have higher-than-average damage for shells of their caliber.  Second, they have higher than average fire chance for shells of their caliber.  Third, they have higher penetration than shells for their caliber.  We can look at these three elements (damage/fire chance/penetration) and see if they're present for each of the premiums.

  • Dreadnought - Increased damage, increased fire chance, increased penetration.
  • Warspite - Normal damage, increased fire chance, normal penetration.
  • Hood - Normal damage, increased fire chance, normal penetration
  • Nelson - Increased damage, increased fire chance, increased penetration
  • Duke of York - Increased damage, increased fire chance, increased penetration
  • Vanguard - Increased damage, increased fire chance, increased penetration

So, Dreadnought, Nelson, Duke of York and Vanguard all have improved HE shells.  Hood and Warspite do not. 

Conclusions

With this information we can look at preferred ammunition types (if any) for each of the premium Royal Navy battleships:

  • Dreadnought - HE preferred.
  • Warspite - AP preferred.
  • Hood - AP preferred.
  • Nelson - HE preferred.
  • Duke of York - No preference.
  • Vanguard - No preference.

Now, just because something is 'preferred' doesn't mean it should be your default ammunition.  You can spam HE in Warspite and do alright.  You'd do better to lean on (and look for opportunities to use) her AP shells instead, however.  Duke of York and Vanguard are very flexible in this regard, having comparable AP and HE performance, allowing them to deal quite a bit of damage no matter what your opponents are and how they try and defend against you.

Crap, I ran out of reactions. Really well done. Thank you. :fish_book:

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4 minutes ago, I_Potato_Ther4_I_Yam said:

Crap, I ran out of reactions. Really well done. Thank you. :fish_book:

I gave her a +1 for you.

Mouse has basically written the book on the Warspite (and the rest of the premium ships as well), and few can rival her historical and ingame knowledge. And last I checked Warspite was still her all time favorite premium, so her advice there is especially on point.

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One thing I didn't touch base on (and should have) is AP overmatching.  This is when the caliber of the AP shell is large enough to outright ignore the structural plate of the decks and extremities of her opponents, even when they angle.  This is especially important for select Royal Navy battleships.  When you can't overmatch a target, it's generally good to switch over to HE shells.  Keep the ship's tiering in mind for the purposes of matchmaking.

  • Dreadnought (tier 3)- Can overmatch everything in her matchmaking spread.
  • Warspite (tier 6) - Can overmatch everything tier 7 or lower.  Cannot overmatch tier 8 battleships, tier 8 American and German heavy cruisers.
  • Hood (tier 7) - Can overmatch everything tier 7 or lower.  Cannot overmatch tier 8+ battleships, tier 8+ American and German heavy cruisers.
  • Nelson (tier 7) - Can overmatch everything tier 7 or lower.  Cannot overmatch tier 8+ battleships.
  • Duke of York (tier 7) - Cannot overmatch battleships at tier 6+.  Cannot overmatch any cruisers (except British) at tier 8+.
  • Vanguard (tier 8) - Can overmatch everything tier 7 or lower.  Cannot overmatch tier 8+ battleships, tier 8+ American and German heavy cruisers.

So going back to our previous preferences:

  • Dreadnought doesn't gain any special benefits for using AP.  All battleships can overmatch one another at low tiers.
  • Warspite is rewarded the most often for using AP (good AP shells, can overmatch most targets in her matchmaking).
  • Hood struggles a bit more than Warspite with her AP, but her improved autobounce should help mitigate this a lot.
  • Nelson has better overmatch performance with her AP shells but her lack of improved autobounce angles and her (relatively) low penetration means that HE is just easier to use.
  • Duke of York lacks the ability to overmatch most heavy targets, but her improved autobounce should help mitigate this.
  • Vanguard has to be VERY conscientious of what targets she's engaging and at what angle.  Angled, higher tiered targets will necessitate using HE shells.
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1 hour ago, Super_Dreadnought said:

Dreadnought: Mostly AP. cruisers don't have any armour at low tiers so go blap them.

Except I get more citadels with HE against cruisers at that tier because AP usually just overpens.

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39 minutes ago, LittleWhiteMouse said:

Duke of York and Vanguard are very flexible in this regard, having comparable AP and HE performance, allowing them to deal quite a bit of damage no matter what your opponents are and how they try and defend against you.

Let's give a rousing cheer that @LittleWhiteMouse has found something nice to say about Duke of York and Vanguard :P
Here are my two cents, although this has already been said on this thread. I currently have three British premium battleships, Dreadnought, Warspite and Duke of York. I haven't played Dreadnought in quite some time, she's so low-tier, but I remember using HE a lot. Warspite I almost exclusively use AP, unless fighting a T7-8 German battleship ( their armor can turn my shells) or a T6 carrier (the AP will just overpen). Duke of York I am flexible depending on the target. Destroyers, bow-in ships of any sort, and ships farther away than like 12 km I use HE. 12 km or closer I exclusively use AP; you might not citadel enemy battleships but you'll tear massive chunks out of them all the same, even T9s.
Ultimately, it depends on your situation. Use whatever ammunition will do the best work. Because...

Screenshot (1226).png

Edited by Nine_Lives_

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Played the Dreadnought last night. Really fun ship and I’m glad I knew about using HE beforehand. It’s shame I can’t earn points towards the current event with low tier ships but I get why. 

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I keep trying to make Duke of York not suck in comparison to KGV.  Especially in this age of CVs, since she has much better AA.  So far, no success.  But I guess I will keep trying.

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