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ComputerWhiz

How do you play Japan BB AP?

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I've been exploring the Japanese BB line and have been able to grind up to the T7 Nagato. I really enjoy(ed) the line. The Fuso was awesome at deleting cruisers at a decent range. However, I'm having trouble with the Nagato, in particular the AP. It seems simultaneously too powerful and weak at the same time.

I've tried shooting at cruisers giving a good broadside, but all I'm able to score on them are over penetrations. Even when they are giving a flat broadside and I land a salvo at just the right place, I'll walk away with 5 hits... all of which are over pens. In the Fuso, a salvo like that would have deleted the ship.

But then against other battleships, it's a whole other story. Even against flat broadsiding battleships, I can't penetrate the armour. I ended up in a close range battle with another battleship a few battles ago. They turned to broadside me at a 5km range. I hit them with an AP salvo and I got a bunch of ricochets and a couple of over pens (for the ones that went into the superstructure I assume).

Is there a trick to playing with the Japanese AP shells? I would like to continue the line because I really like the ships so far, but I'm tempted to just abandon the line altogether. I haven't been playing the line much simply because I don't feel like I can do a whole lot of damage to help the team and I'm much more helpful in a French or Russian ship.

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5 minutes ago, ComputerWhiz said:

I've been exploring the Japanese BB line and have been able to grind up to the T7 Nagato. I really enjoy(ed) the line. The Fuso was awesome at deleting cruisers at a decent range. However, I'm having trouble with the Nagato, in particular the AP. It seems simultaneously too powerful and weak at the same time.

I've tried shooting at cruisers giving a good broadside, but all I'm able to score on them are over penetrations. Even when they are giving a flat broadside and I land a salvo at just the right place, I'll walk away with 5 hits... all of which are over pens. In the Fuso, a salvo like that would have deleted the ship.

But then against other battleships, it's a whole other story. Even against flat broadsiding battleships, I can't penetrate the armour. I ended up in a close range battle with another battleship a few battles ago. They turned to broadside me at a 5km range. I hit them with an AP salvo and I got a bunch of ricochets and a couple of over pens (for the ones that went into the superstructure I assume).

Is there a trick to playing with the Japanese AP shells? I would like to continue the line because I really like the ships so far, but I'm tempted to just abandon the line altogether. I haven't been playing the line much simply because I don't feel like I can do a whole lot of damage to help the team and I'm much more helpful in a French or Russian ship.

There isn't a trick to IJN AP shells. They are not gimmicky. Basically, aim at the waterline of broadside targets. If your shells ricochet because the enemy angles, use HE.

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5 minutes ago, ComputerWhiz said:

I've been exploring the Japanese BB line and have been able to grind up to the T7 Nagato. I really enjoy(ed) the line. The Fuso was awesome at deleting cruisers at a decent range. However, I'm having trouble with the Nagato, in particular the AP. It seems simultaneously too powerful and weak at the same time.

I've tried shooting at cruisers giving a good broadside, but all I'm able to score on them are over penetrations. Even when they are giving a flat broadside and I land a salvo at just the right place, I'll walk away with 5 hits... all of which are over pens. In the Fuso, a salvo like that would have deleted the ship.

But then against other battleships, it's a whole other story. Even against flat broadsiding battleships, I can't penetrate the armour. I ended up in a close range battle with another battleship a few battles ago. They turned to broadside me at a 5km range. I hit them with an AP salvo and I got a bunch of ricochets and a couple of over pens (for the ones that went into the superstructure I assume).

Is there a trick to playing with the Japanese AP shells? I would like to continue the line because I really like the ships so far, but I'm tempted to just abandon the line altogether. I haven't been playing the line much simply because I don't feel like I can do a whole lot of damage to help the team and I'm much more helpful in a French or Russian ship.

Aim at the waterline.  Water will slow your shells down and they'll explode inside of the ship rather than going right through.

The ship you hit was at least somewhat angled to you and thus your shells ricocheted.  Flat broadside the Nagato's shells will punch through any BB armor in the game at that range.

Nope, no trick.  They are pretty bog standard.

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40 minutes ago, ComputerWhiz said:

all I'm able to score on them are over penetrations.

Shoot at them while they are angled and have more metal to trigger your AP, stupid but it works. Hit red BBs in their superstructure, or hit them with HE.

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Just now, Umikami said:

 Hit red BBs in their superstructure, or hit them with HE.

Do not do this.  It is "advice" intended to make you play poorer.

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Take it to the training room and practice on ships you commonly face that give you trouble. Doesn't cost anything and will give you hands on experience at shooting ships in their weak spots.

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2 hours ago, ComputerWhiz said:

Even when they are giving a flat broadside and I land a salvo at just the right place, I'll walk away with 5 hits... all of which are over pens. In the Fuso, a salvo like that would have deleted the ship.

Tier 7 and 8 BBs are in a bit of an odd place when it comes to penning cruiser citadels.  The thin low tier cruisers with 100mm of armor or less are actually poor targets when completely broadside.  For example, a Roma with her extreme shell velocity can overpen the 102mm thick forward citadel on a broadside Pensacola even at 7km out.  Luckily if you wait at all for the enemy ship to angle, the chances of that happening go down significantly.  Against the same guns that same Pensa will eat cits through the same armor when angled at 45 degrees.  This problem is not as common at higher tiers, 152mm cruiser armor will eat citadel penetration when broadside as close as 2km.  Below that though, overpens can happen.

Fuso has slower shells than Nagato, so the chances citadel overpenetrations happen goes up a bit.  If you're shooting a thin cruiser it's best to wait until they begin a turn if you want to score citadels.  The important takeaway though, is if your target ship ISN'T one of those thin cruisers with ~100 belts and you're still overpenning, you're aiming too high and hitting the plating.  Nagato requires 68mm of effective armor to arm her shells, so you literally cannot score penetrations against 25-27mm plating unless you hit the target at above 70 degrees or so.  Either that or you need to hit thicker armor behind the plating.

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1 hour ago, Helstrem said:

Do not do this.  It is "advice" intended to make you play poorer.

Image result for ww2 battleships

This is the angle most often seen when shooting in the game; where do you suggest he aim and what ammo do you suggest he use?

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Just now, Umikami said:

Image result for ww2 battleships

This is the angle most often seen when shooting in the game; where do you suggest he aim and what ammo do you suggest he use?

You need to position better.  Properly played Japanese BBs should rarely use HE.

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11 minutes ago, Helstrem said:

You need to position better.  Properly played Japanese BBs should rarely use HE.

Musashi and Yamato should almost never use it at least, their overpens are more powerful than HE rounds.

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On 10/8/2019 at 9:51 PM, ComputerWhiz said:

I've been exploring the Japanese BB line and have been able to grind up to the T7 Nagato. I really enjoy(ed) the line. The Fuso was awesome at deleting cruisers at a decent range. However, I'm having trouble with the Nagato, in particular the AP. It seems simultaneously too powerful and weak at the same time.

I've tried shooting at cruisers giving a good broadside, but all I'm able to score on them are over penetrations. Even when they are giving a flat broadside and I land a salvo at just the right place, I'll walk away with 5 hits... all of which are over pens. In the Fuso, a salvo like that would have deleted the ship.

But then against other battleships, it's a whole other story. Even against flat broadsiding battleships, I can't penetrate the armour. I ended up in a close range battle with another battleship a few battles ago. They turned to broadside me at a 5km range. I hit them with an AP salvo and I got a bunch of ricochets and a couple of over pens (for the ones that went into the superstructure I assume).

Is there a trick to playing with the Japanese AP shells? I would like to continue the line because I really like the ships so far, but I'm tempted to just abandon the line altogether. I haven't been playing the line much simply because I don't feel like I can do a whole lot of damage to help the team and I'm much more helpful in a French or Russian ship.

First of all, welcome to IJN hate code. From Nagato onwards your AP will be always hard coded to overpen almost every shot...its the way WG implemented to make IJN's long range accuracy perk be worth very little. Remember soviet BBs get AP that not only will literally pen and arm inside any ship it hits regardless of range but they also gave them near zero vertical dispersion under 15km as an added bonus...thus every shot will pen and arm and every salvo will land almost all shells exactly at the horizontal aimpoint you aimed for. 

That being said, as IJN you have to work with this soviet hate code issue. 

First of all, follow a simple rule of thumb:

If ship is broadside to you:

- Under 15km aim a pixel below waterline. This will make your flat trajectory shells try and hit the citadel... this is common sense. The below-waterline aim is to use the water as an extra 'make the damn AP arm if it hits' buffer. You will see at least half of your shells fall short in the water and do nothing. The other half will be hitting just below the waterline to above the waterline due to dispersion/RNG. Of those, if RNG likes you, one or two at best will be around the waterline and ONE of them might be just below waterline and give you a citadel hit. You will usually net 3 overpens (above waterline hits), 1 pen and 1 citadel (or 2 pens if RNG didnt like you) and 4 shells will fall into the water and do nothing. 

- From 15km to 20km aim at a midpoint between waterline and the the mid-armor belt. Aka aim at waterline then aim for a midpoint between waterline and the middle of the hull side of the ship.  This is because your shells at this range will be arriving at an arc...and you want them to hit at this point so their arc+striking the ship allows the shell to hit the citadel from a slight top-down angle. 

-From 20km to 25km aim for the upper side armor belt. Aka between the middle of the hull and the deckline. Shells are now arriving at a steeper arc but it is still more horizontal than vertical. You will never get a citadel hit from this but you will inflict heavy damage if you get multiple pens. I've done 40k damage in one salvo to a BB this way. 

-From 25km onward your shells are arriving at a steep angle..more vertical than horizontal. This is plunging fire. You want to aim at the deckling itself up to the mounts of the main turrets of the BB. I prefer to aim always at the mount of the forward turret closest to the superstructure..its easy to see and aim for and it provides a visual ranging for the shells to fire at. At that range the shell dispersion will have shells land all over the ship so you will likely have half of your shells hit the superstructure and do nice damage and the other half have a good chance of plunging down through the deck armor and hit citadel. 

 

If ship is angled to you ... just aim for upper belt armor and get pen hits rather than bounces or overpens from aiming lower. Note: Against german, IJN and soviet BBs if they are angled so that their secondaries can fire at you you can aim mid-deck a few meters in front of the forwardmost turret and have a high chance to hit citadel there. Does not work vs USN or UK. 

If ships is bow-on to you... aim waterline and or deckline depending on range. By the time you get to Yamato this will be your saving grace...if RNG likes you. 

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8 minutes ago, MerrikHyvornin said:

How much does the water slow down the shells?  10%20?

The important part isn't the velocity loss, it's that shells fuse instantly upon water impact IIRC, so they'll go off a short distance from the point of impact no matter what.

Edited by Edgecase

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4 minutes ago, MerrikHyvornin said:

How much does the water slow down the shells?  10%20?

No idea but its enough to remove the moronic overpen hate code IJN AP has. Just remember, IJN AP shell hate code is not that they penetrate so much armor..its that their arming timers are purposely made too long so the shell doesn't detonate inside the ship. 

 

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1 minute ago, Edgecase said:

The important part isn't the velocity loss, it's that shells fuse instantly upon water impact IIRC, so they'll go off a short distance from the point of impact no matter what.

The fuse timer starts whenever it hits something.. thats why hitting the water and yes, slowing the shell down a lil bit, helps the shell be INSIDE the ship when it actually explodes. What you experience with IJN ships when you aim perfectly for waterline broadside hit, see them hit..and get overpens is that you overpen'd the citadel...the shell went through the armor, didnt explode since its fuse timer was still ticking...and exited the other side. Overpen. 

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1 minute ago, Skyfaller said:

The fuse timer starts whenever it hits something.. thats why hitting the water and yes, slowing the shell down a lil bit, helps the shell be INSIDE the ship when it actually explodes. What you experience with IJN ships when you aim perfectly for waterline broadside hit, see them hit..and get overpens is that you overpen'd the citadel...the shell went through the armor, didnt explode since its fuse timer was still ticking...and exited the other side. Overpen. 

Mmm, it's not quite that. The issue on very lightly armored targets tends to be the fusing threshold more than the timing. Nagato's 410mm shells won't fuse until they hit a single piece of armor at least 68mm thick (effective, after angling; so a thin sheet at a sharp angle will trip the fuse). Until that happens, though, the shell is just a fast-moving piece of steel that can only overpen.

Hitting water, however, instantly fuses the shell, making the rest just a matter of making sure the shell is inside the ship 0.033s later.

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Just now, Edgecase said:

Mmm, it's not quite that. The issue on very lightly armored targets tends to be the fusing threshold more than the timing. Nagato's 410mm shells won't fuse until they hit a single piece of armor at least 68mm thick (effective, after angling; so a thin sheet at a sharp angle will trip the fuse). Until that happens, though, the shell is just a fast-moving piece of steel that can only overpen.

Hitting water, however, instantly fuses the shell, making the rest just a matter of making sure the shell is inside the ship 0.033s later.

I think we're using different terminology for the same thing. 

Thing is, WG is not modeling what the machinery inside the citadel area represents in terms of 'thickness' . A shell hitting boilers/engine room area will be going through several tons of very heavy steel machinery...its not an armor plate but its a lot of thick and heavy steel and it should be slowing the shell a lot. But since all they model are the armor plates you get a shell hitting the citadel, going through an empty room, going out the opposite wall and overpen'ing. 

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Just now, Skyfaller said:

I think we're using different terminology for the same thing. 

I'm referring specifically to this not-quite-correct line in your previous post:

17 minutes ago, Skyfaller said:

The fuse timer starts whenever it hits something

This is not true. It starts only when it hits something of sufficient thickness. If you blast the broadside of a destroyer with BB AP, the shell overpens because it never fused at all, not because it went through the target's hull too quickly. This also applies to many light cruisers. Thus, shooting water often isn't about slowing the shell down, but rather getting it to fuse at all. Eating up some of the fuse distance going through water rather than interior does help as well against skinny targets, though.

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25 minutes ago, Edgecase said:

I'm referring specifically to this not-quite-correct line in your previous post:

This is not true. It starts only when it hits something of sufficient thickness. If you blast the broadside of a destroyer with BB AP, the shell overpens because it never fused at all, not because it went through the target's hull too quickly. This also applies to many light cruisers. Thus, shooting water often isn't about slowing the shell down, but rather getting it to fuse at all. Eating up some of the fuse distance going through water rather than interior does help as well against skinny targets, though.

OP mentioned 'even against battleships' so im focusing on that. The shell will arm the fuse when hitting anywhere near the waterline armor no matter what BB it is. Against cruisers this is why you want to hit the water not the hull itself of course, unless it a plunging fire range hit. 

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One thing that pretty much nobody mentioned is the difference in velocity between Fuso and Nagato's shells. I believe one person did mention it but did not mention the little side effect a change in shell velocity can have. One thing that's interesting and sometimes intensely frustrating about this game is that having the correct lead on a target can have drastic effects on your shot dispersion. The simple version is, when your aim is correct, the shells tend to group well, when your aim is off even slightly, you can get some fairly drastic spread. One thing that tends to happen, particularly if you get used to playing one particular ship with a certain set of guns, is that you instinctively know the lead distance needed for that particular gun and in the heat of a match, you forget you are no longer using that gun but still use the lead from it. It happens to me all the time, as I switch ships and even nations quite a bit, but I learned most of my BB skills from my time with Kongo and Fuso (even though that learning phase was 4 years ago), so I instinctively know the leads for the IJN 14"/45 guns without even thinking and still tend to apply them if I get distracted to this day. This often causes wonky dispersion depending on how different the velocities are from the old IJN 14"/45, which then causes my shells to fall short or hit the superstructure and overpen. I've gotten better about it in the last year or so, but I still sometimes catch myself doing it, and it doesn't entirely help that I still love Fuso and my 5 Kongo's and use them a fair bit (Fuso gets more action though because of ops). It may be part of your problem, it may not, but hopefully someone reads this and learns something new that they can put to use.

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On 10/9/2019 at 2:03 AM, Umikami said:

Image result for ww2 battleships

This is the angle most often seen when shooting in the game; where do you suggest he aim and what ammo do you suggest he use?

With Armor Piercing projectiles?
At the turrets, has been my experience.
Either incapacitate or destroy a turret with a good hit while still hurting their HP pool.
Hits to the armor of a "bow tanking" ship tend to ricochet.

With HE projectiles?
Aim at the superstructure just above the turrets or just aim "center or mass" and let the inherent dispersion send the projectiles wherever they'll go.  Hoping to start a fire with this method.

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On 10/10/2019 at 2:35 PM, Edgecase said:

The important part isn't the velocity loss, it's that shells fuse instantly upon water impact IIRC, so they'll go off a short distance from the point of impact no matter what.

I think this is exactly my problem. Didn't realize that the IJN ships have a longer fuse timer on their AP shells. I'll try adjusting my aim to slightly below the waterline.

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29 minutes ago, ComputerWhiz said:

I think this is exactly my problem. Didn't realize that the IJN ships have a longer fuse timer on their AP shells. I'll try adjusting my aim to slightly below the waterline.

The fuse values are standard. Arming threshold is based on shell caliber, and 0.033 is the base fuse time for nearly all battleships (RN AP is shorter on the tech tree BBs).

But the takeaway is the same, shoot water if the shell is going to pass through the target otherwise.

Edited by Edgecase

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8 hours ago, ComputerWhiz said:

I think this is exactly my problem. Didn't realize that the IJN ships have a longer fuse timer on their AP shells. I'll try adjusting my aim to slightly below the waterline.

I'm guessing the IJN BB projectiles are intended for use on other battleships.
  Hitting the thinner armor of a cruiser or destroyer means the projectile is likely to over-penetrate, unless you use the "aim for the water just under the water line" method in an attempt to make the salvo more effective.

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Most IJN BBs don't fare well in brawls. I've found that for even Izumo, generally they do better relying on AP plunging fire vs. cruisers and BBs.

Against cruisers, I just aim at the MB and superstructure because thanks to the in-game modeling, there's more armor to arm the shell if it's plunging fire. Go for waterline broadside, ok, but you need the shells slowed by water to detonate inside the citadel--tends to be inconsistent, so generally it's a last-ditch effort in my book.

BBs, surprisingly, are also vulnerable to this plunging fire approach even when bow-in. Only the MB turret armor will block your shots, so aim for superstructure. Gets deck pens easily enough, and AP damage isn't 100% repairable.

You can use HE, but I've found that's best used when: 1) Facing a DD 2) Forced to brawl a cruiser (for knocking out their torp tubes) 3) attempt to light a BB that just used DC.

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