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Question about advanced game mechanics: sigma, autobounce, angling, and overmatch???

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Hey everyone! As I progress further in the game I have some questions about mechanics. I've done some reading on the forums but a lot of the posts on the subject are old and in some cases I don't fully understand them. Just wondering if someone can offer some advice/clarification and/or check my understanding is correct.


Sigma: a value not shown in the game's ship stats the determines how likely shells/salvos are to land towards the middle of the dispersion circle/ellipse. If we think of horizontal dispersion (shown in-game) as the x axis and vertical dispersion (estimated based on shell speed and firing arc) as the y axis, this shows how likely a shell is to land in the middle of that ellipse vs towards the edges. This concept I feel like I have a fairly good grasp of.

Angling: I understand that you want to angle your ship. The simple part of this is that by angling yourself towards/away from incoming fire you make yourself a thinner target and reduce the exposure of your broadside, making your ship harder to hit. This makes the wider dispersion of larger enemy ships like BB's work more in your favour. Where things start to get hairy is....

Autobounce angle: I understand that shells fired from a narrow angle are more likely to ricochet. If we call the bow 0°, what exactly defines a narrow angle? Something like +/-15-30°? What is this mythical autobounce angle where every shell that hits you will supposedly ricochet, and what are some tips to put this to practical use when playing? Is there something in the user interface to help with this? I've found I can occasionally bounce shells, but want to know how to do it predictably and repeatably.

Overmatch: As I understand it this is related to autobounce but I don't fully understand the relationship. From what I can tell it seems to be that really large guns (like many BB guns) can penetrate clean through thin armour (like bow armour on a CA) without arming, then arm when they hit the citadel armour, fully penetrate the citadel armour, and then get citadel hits. I've heard this is why you don't want to drive straight at anything with big guns, because these shots hit your deck/bow armour and go right through, but I don't know if that's true. Can I somehow use angling to stop these hits? If so how, and what's the relation to the autobounce angle? On the flip side, if I'm driving a BB how do I know when I can overmatch another ship?


For context, I'm mostly a DD and CL/CA player and have decent situational awareness so I've found at lower tiers (III-VI) I can often go dark and kite my way out of trouble. At higher tiers not so much, and as I experiment with KM BB's this becomes even more evident. In the BB's I find I'm taking a lot of pen damage even if the turtleback saves me from citadels. It seems I'm either lagging behind and as a result causing little damage, or that I get focus-fired and eat a bunch of pen and fire damage when I push forward to try to get in the action and make myself useful.

Any help/advice/clarification is greatly appreciated!

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Hello, it sounds like your honing your grasp of the game mechanics. That is great! Sigma sounds like you pretty well have it. Angling it depends somewhat on what ship you are sailing and what ship is shooting at you. The over simplified answer is dig deeper into the ship you are sailing and what you commonly face. Some ships have better armor protection, bigger or smaller citadels, some ships like the 8" USN cruisers have good penetration/auto bounce. Overmatch, most higher tier BB's will overmatch most cruiser armor. Some have the ability to overmatch other BB's that have angle on bow.

There are many really good players who share their knowledge. You could type some searches into Youtube and find some tutorial videos. I'll share one with you, Destroyer KuroshioKai. I refer to him with my destroyer questions. He gives really good informative no nonsense information.


also I'd recommend Little White Mouse. She does some very good reviews.



Edited by Capt_Ahab1776

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I'll try my best to help here, but its kinda late and I apologize for any typos  :)

Sigma: Yeah sounds like you already know what this is pretty well

Angling: That's part of it, but the main point of angling is that you can increase your effective armour thickness to projectiles because trigonometry exists. I'd highly recommend watching the video below which explains better. Also, I'm assuming you know already but to state the obvious, angling, auto bouncing and overmatch only applies to AP shells. 

Autobounce Angle: Shells will always go through the penetration check described in the video above until 45 degrees, at which point an "auto bounce" mechanic kicks in, causing a ricochet to occur. This process is calculated with RNG, and scales up until a 60-degree angle threshold, at which point shells are guaranteed to bounce. Therefore, you'd ideally want to keep an angle of around 60 degrees to incoming fire, though in practice reducing your angle slightly further should be fine too since its usually enough for your main armour to shatter shells fired by the same class ship as you. 

But wait, there's more; certain ships in this game are exceptions to the 45-60 threshold rules. High tier US heavy cruisers, high tier RN light cruisers and Russian cruiser Stalingrad have buffed up AP shells which improved the angles at which auto bouncing starts and is guaranteed. IIRC, 60 degrees is when auto bounce starts and 67 is when auto bouncing is guaranteed, so stay a little bit more angled to these ships as you normally would.

Overmatch: This is probably the most difficult concept out of the four. When the caliber of a shell is 14.3 times greater than the armour it hits, it will essentially ignore the armour completely and penetrate regardless of the angle of incidence. I think it might be easiest to explain with examples.

-A tier 10 light cruiser (say Worcester) with 25mm of bow armour is parked bow into a battleship which fires 380mm guns (say Bismark). The shells hit the Worcester on the bow at an 80-degree angle. Since 380mm divided by 14.3 is around 26.5mm and is greater than the 25mm bow armour, overmatch instead of auto bouncing occurs and the shells do damage.

-A tier 10 heavy cruiser (say Des Moines) with 27mm of bow armour is parked bow into the Bismark. The shells hit the Des Moines on the bow at an 80-degree angle Since the overmatch threshold of the 380mm guns is only 26.5mm and is less than the 27mm of bow amour, overmatch does not occur and the shells auto bounce harmlessly instead. 

There are no exceptions to overmatch as had been with auto bounce. Every ship will use the same the magic 14.3 number to do overmatch calculations. Overmatch is also why ricochets do not occur when firing high calibre guns against the superstructure of ships or against destroyers. Unfortunately, exactly which ships can overmatch which sections of other ships will take a while to learn but is what separates good players from potato ones.

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