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Craterkhan_1

Misconception on Sinking Smolensk's

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So I was perusing the forums and I noticed that the salt over Smolensk was a bit higher than usual this week, mainly over the fact that it is, as termed by the majority of people, a "Smoke HE spamming uncitadelable monster." Now for me, the monster known as Smolensk isn't all that much a monster and I wanted to share some of the ways that I figured out that were quite good with dealing with a Smolensk in order to hopefully help those who have trouble dealing with the vessel. Keep in mind this is simply a VS comparison and these notes do not take into account the POTENTIAL positioning of a ship and it's teammates against an enemy team. Therefore do not read into it as a universal guide to sinking a Smolensk every time one appears. This guide is lengthy, so if you do not wish to read lots of text, do not attempt to read.

First, let's highlight some of the traits that make Smolensk a good ship.

1. 16 guns with very good velocity and a high ROF and fire chance for their caliber.

2. A skinny profile with minimal armor that most would think makes the ship easy to destroy with Battleship AP, but in reality, allows most Battleship AP to fly straight through it without detonating.

3. The Smoke Generator consumable allows the ship to maintain distance and remain undetected while being able to support a flank or a push with concentrated HE fire.

4. A powerful AA suite that can deter the majority of carrier players. Only a few select best can make it through her HP pool and cause damage.

All these aspects combined with other smaller factors such as high speed and good maneuverability make Smolensk a fearsome ship no doubt, but this is a "How to fight it" type guide, not a ship review.

The first thing that has to be overcome when fighting a Smolensk is the psychological factor. Many tend to believe because it is a light cruiser with minimal armor that it should be deleted by Battleships whenever it even appears on the minimap, but this simply isn't true. Quite the opposite in fact. Smolensk is one of the few ships that break the rock-paper-scissors type combat in World of Warships, and becomes the paper that breaks the scissors. Because of this, the mentality that a battleship should be able to destroy a Smolensk every time it appears should not stand. But the Smolensk becomes vulnerable to other factors in order to gain this power against battleships.

Namely cruisers.

Cruisers are by far the most effective vessel for fighting a Smolensk. Even contemporary light cruisers with the exception of the Minotaur stand a fair if not good chance of putting a Smolensk down. It should generally be preached that Battleships are NOT supposed to be the Smolensk's counter, but other cruisers. There are a few reasons for this.

1. Smolensk is equipped with 16 130mm rifles. Ordinarily, this is very scary to many foes, especially DD's with the lethally fast ROF. However due to the small gun caliber, the HE penetration of these guns is only 21mm. Couple this with Smolensk's pathetic stock firing range of 13.2km, and now Smolensk captains have to choose between two skills. IFHE, which will boost the penetration of these guns to 27mm while cutting the fire chance down, or AFT, which can boost the firing range out to 16.6 Kilometers. Concealment Expert is, for the most part, a given take on any vessel, and as such if you were to invest in all three skills (IFHE, AFT, CE), it leaves Smolensk captains with very few points to throw elsewhere. Most captains tend to choose AFT as operating with a 10km detection range on a light cruiser when the maximum firing range is only 13.2km leaves little wiggle room. A fair majority even sacrifice the 3 Million Credit module that enhances reload and instead opt for the extended firing range mod to bring the maximum firing range out to 19.2 Kilometers, adding a massive amount of room for Smolensk to operate in. This means that a lot of Smolensk captains must forgo IFHE in their builds. Those who do take IFHE certainly can penetrate 27mm of armor and cause amazing HE alpha damage due to shell volume, but this limits their maximum range to 16km, which can be a chore to work during a tier 10 match, and it cannot overmatch 30mm of armor plating still, a popular armor found on many cruisers including the Smolensk's deck itself.

Now let's take a look at all contemporary cruisers, including the battlecruisers. All of these vessels, both light and heavy, with the exception of Minotaur, possess at least 25mm of extremity armor plate (Minotaur only possesses 16mm of extremity armor plate). Most cruisers also have at least 30mm of deck and upper belt armor. This means that Smolensk's tend to shatter the majority of HE shells on cruisers that don't hit the superstructure, which on most cruisers, such as Zao, Des Moines, Worcester, Henri IV, and others, is quite hard to hit as their superstructure is smaller compared to the likes of Hindenburg and Moskva and Venezia. The battlecruiser Yoshino possesses very little superstructure with lots of 25mm armor plate, and I have found it is quite easy to push a Smolensk clean out of its position with the Yoshino, as their speeds are quite similar, meaning the Smolensk cannot run away easily.

2. Smolensk's shells have a stock fire chance of 8%, which can be boosted to 11% with proper flags and skills. This combined with its high ROF makes it a huge firestarter and is the main source of the Battleship's pain as well as a Smolensk's damage numbers. The sheer volume of fire chance is beyond lethal and Smolensk's can easily set 2-3 fires on a battleship in a matter of seconds. Damn those angry little turrets!

However in this category as well, a cruiser far outpaces it's larger cousins when fighting Smolensk's. Cruisers, unlike their Battlecruiser and Battleship cousins, only burn for 30 seconds maximum as opposed to the standard 60 seconds for larger vessels, and their fire prevention chance is similar to that of a battleship of the same tier albeit slightly lower. In practice, this means that Smolensk's primary source of damage, fire, has its overall damage slashed clean in half and possibly more depending on what type of build the enemy cruiser has. Cruisers also possess a faster recharging DCP, and can put out fires faster than battleships can.

3. Smolensk possesses a very skinny profile and very minimal armor of 16mm bow and stern armor, 30mm of deck armor, 70mm of citadel belt armor, and 50mm of citadel deck roof. When a battleship shoots at a Smolensk, this very minimal armor plate often fails to arm the majority of battleship AP shells. To put this into perspective, the Japanese Battleship Yamato requires 77mm of armor in order to arm the fuse in it's AP shell. This means by the time it penetrates 77mm of armor plate, it is already halfway through the Smolensk and from there the fuse timer begins to count down. However, once that fuse finally goes off, the shell has already exited out the other side of the Smolensk, resulting in an Overpenetration rather than a Citadel Hit. This is true for the majority of battleships, as even those with a lower AP arming threshold such as the Grosser Kurfurst with it's 68mm of arming threshold, often have a higher AP shell velocity, and so the shell travels through the skinny Smolensk even faster.

Cruisers however do not suffer the same issues as battleships, especially battlecruisers. All cruisers have a much lower AP arming threshold than Battleships and stick in the Smolensk's citadel far better than a battleship AP shell. Even the Worcester's AP shells, widely considered the most inferior AP shell of all the tech tree cruisers due to no improved angles or penetration as well as the smallest caliber, are lethal to a Smolensk, as they arm with only 25mm of armor plate. They cannot overmatch Smolensk's 16mm bow armor plate, but if a Smolensk is caught broadside by any cruiser, they will receive massive damage. A single salvo from the Des Moines frontal turrets is capable of dealing 30,000 points of damage assuming all 6 shells are citadel hits, which is actually not that hard considering Des Moines has very good dispersion even at range. This damage is almost ALL of a Smolensk's hitpoints. Factor in the back turret of a Des Moines and that is 45,000 damage, an easy devastating strike even against a Smolensk running the Survivability Expert commander skill. Battlecruisers, as well as the Henri IV, can also overmatch the 16mm bow and stern plating of the Smolensk, resulting in good penetrations, and for Battlecruisers, the occasional citadel through the nose or stern.

4. Smolensk possesses the Smoke Generator consumable. This consumable allows it to fire from long range without being detected by enemy warships. Due to the small caliber of its guns, it's smoke firing penalty is only 5.91km, which means it is safe from enemy fire past this range excluding torpedo attacks.

Cruisers are the perfect counter to Smolensk's smoke. Cruisers have a very low detectability in general (Excluding obvious no's such as a Moskva) and can get close to a Smolensk's smoke without being seen and shot at. They also have a much better chance of dodging Smolensk's torpedo's than a battleship does. A lot of cruisers also possess means of long-range detection. Both the Worcester and Des Moines equip radar, which can reveal a Smolensk in smoke from 10km away. The cruiser Moskva possesses an even farther 12km reach with its radar, completely invalidating a Smolensk's smokescreen. Hindenburg, while not fast enough to pursue a running Smolensk, can utilize it's Hydroacoustic Seach consumable to detect the Smolensk in smoke and a Henri IV, while possessing a shorter range Hydroacoustic Seach consumable, can easily run down a Smolensk that tries to retreat out of its smoke. Battlecruisers such as the Yoshino which I mentioned earlier, can also drive a Smolensk out of its smoke with its speed and cause significant damage.

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Now what if you are a battleship player. I've enumerated that cruisers are a significant counter to Smolensk, but not everyone runs cruisers. So here I will add an addendum as to some options to fight a Smolensk in a battleship, a carrier, and a destroyer.

In a Battleship:

Your primarily designed to engage big targets. A Smolensk shouldn't be a target you aim at every time, as the majority of times you hit it, it is like hitting a destroyer, for very minimal damage. If you must shoot a Smolensk with AP shells, you must wait until it either turns it's nose towards you or presents an angle so your AP shell can pass through more armor. Doing this will allow your AP to arm inside the Smolensk and explode inside, most likely in the citadel. The majority of battleship devastating strikes that occur against a Smolensk is when a Smolensk is nose-on to the battleship. Granted this requires a lot of RNG to accomplish, but it does net at the very least a solid penetrating salvo, which hurts enough considering Smolensk's low HP pool of 32,400. Alternatively, battleship HE is quite effective against Smolensk. With the exception of Montana, almost all battleships at tier 10 possess over 70mm of HE penetration, more than enough to score HE citadel hits against the Smolensk, which can cause significant damage as well as destroy modules with ease and start fires on the firestarter itself.

In a Destroyer: 

Engaging a Smolensk in a destroyer directly is a fool's game. With its incredible guns for anti-dd warfare, a Smolensk easily cleans up destroyers like a Roomba picking up dirt, but there are ways to for a destroyer to fight the Smolensk. Smolensk does not possess the ability to mount radar, and so farming a Smolensk from smoke is an easy game. Even the British destroyers without IFHE can damage a Smolensk's main armor plate of 16mm, and thus can melt down a Smolensk very quickly. Smolensk's that sit in their smoke also make themselves prime targets for torpedoes. The Harugumo, Kleber, and Khabarovsk are all very good destroyers for annihilating Smolensk's with main guns provided you play the ships as they were intended.

In an Aircraft Carrier:

It can be hard to launch an attack on a Smolensk. It's already impressive AA is married with a Defensive AA Fire consumable, making Flak Clouds able to literally deplane a squadron in a single second. The primary type of ammunition to use against a Smolensk with an Aircraft Carrier is Rocket Attack Aircraft as they can easily penetrate Smolensk's armor and cause a lot of damage while being relatively easy to aim. American Tiny Tims makes quick work of Smolensk's. Do be careful however as rocket planes are shot down very easily. HE Bombers and Carpet Bombers especially can cause an immense amount of damage to Smolensk, and so those should be the backup type of attack you utilize against Smolensk. Refrain from using Torpedo Bombers if possible as Smolensk's agility and high speed makes it very likely to dodge a torpedo attack.

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I do hope this guide, lengthy as it was, provides insight on how to defeat the Smolensk. Personally I don't consider the Smolensk overpowered (It's nowhere near the top of the stat boards that I look at). I can see why it might be unfun for a lot of people to play against, but personally, a Worcester presents a deadlier threat than Smolensk. So far in Ranked Worcester has proven to 1up Smolensk by a huge number. But that could be attributed to luck. Anyways, good luck out there captains, and happy Smolensk hunting!

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Smolensk is sensitive right now due to it's proliferation in Ranked battles.  It is very annoying, but I can attest that Zao AP can eat a foolish Smolensk for lunch.

In other news, I've also heard that every time a Smolensk dies, an angel gets it's wings.  Yeah, couldn't help myself....it's Christmas season.

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My favorite anti-Smolensk ship is the Minotaur. 

1:1 the mino crushes the Smol. Use torps to flush it out of the smoke, then pummel it with low caliber AP rounds. A dozen citadels later, the Smol is dead. 

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20 minutes ago, OgreMkV said:

My favorite anti-Smolensk ship is the Minotaur. 

1:1 the mino crushes the Smol. Use torps to flush it out of the smoke, then pummel it with low caliber AP rounds. A dozen citadels later, the Smol is dead. 

Mine too, which made it serendipitous that the only Tier X ships I have right now are Smolensk and Minotaur. If I see lots of Smolensks, I run Minotaur with radar. The only way Smolensk wins is if he can keep you at range and spotted. In a 1:1 fight, Minotaur has the stealth advantage, so if Smolensk starts kiting and spamming HE, you just go dark until you vanish from his screens.

One thing that's really crippling me right now is that with Smolensk, until you have a 19-point captain, you have to choose between range, rate of fire, and concealment, with AFT competing with CE for captain points and MBM Mod 3 and GFCS Mod 2 competing for upgrade slot 6. My Smolensk build went for MBM Mod 3, which meant I had to take AFT first to have usable range. I don't have enough captain points for CE, so I'm stuck at 11.2 km surface detection until I earn another three captain points.

Edited by RainbowFartingUnicorn

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The problem isn't Smolensk, it's the ongoing obsession with farming citadels with AP, resulting in players who rage and rage about not getting their precious AP citadel hits.   

Just shoot the damn thing with HE.

 

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8 minutes ago, KilljoyCutter said:

The problem isn't Smolensk, it's the ongoing obsession with farming citadels with AP, resulting in players who rage and rage about not getting their precious AP citadel hits.   

Just shoot the damn thing with HE.

 

Conqueror approves this message.

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6 minutes ago, Doombeagle said:

Conqueror approves this message.

Any ship with big guns and HE ammo should approve that message.

I swear every thread I see about Smolensk, half the complaints are about overpens and not getting citadels... makes me wonder if the posters have even tried shooting HE at Smolensk.  

 

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3 minutes ago, KilljoyCutter said:

Any ship with big guns and HE ammo should approve that message.

I swear every thread I see about Smolensk, half the complaints are about overpens and not getting citadels... makes me wonder if the posters have even tried shooting HE at Smolensk.  

 

Is it ironic that the best way to deal with the most annoying to BBs HE spamming cruiser is to shoot HE at it?

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Contrary to popular belief, Smolensk DOES eat BB AP pens, particularly when it's angled.  Believe me, I know this because I've been on the receiving end on numerous occasions.  

Basic rule of thumb - see the Smolensk, shoot, no matter what ammo you have loaded.

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2 minutes ago, Aaron_S_Merrill said:

Contrary to popular belief, Smolensk DOES eat BB AP pens, particularly when it's angled.  Believe me, I know this because I've been on the receiving end on numerous occasions.  

Basic rule of thumb - see the Smolensk, shoot, no matter what ammo you have loaded.

Also good advice. Even overpens represent a big percentage of its HP total.

My advice is directed specifically those who are enraged by not getting citadels -- point being, you don't need them, and HE does a number on the thing.

 

3 minutes ago, DrHolmes52 said:

Is it ironic that the best way to deal with the most annoying to BBs HE spamming cruiser is to shoot HE at it?

Lovely wonderful irony, yes. 

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3 minutes ago, KilljoyCutter said:

Also good advice. Even overpens represent a big percentage of its HP total.

My advice is directed specifically those who are enraged by not getting citadels -- point being, you don't need them, and HE does a number on the thing.

 

Here's another thing - so many players don't know how to shoot ships sitting in smoke.  I've probably done just as much, if not more, damage to Smolensks when they're in smoke then when they're outside of it.  Granted that having a spotter plane is a huge help shooting smoked up ships, you can still do it without one.

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I discovered a few weeks ago how vulnerable Smolensk is against HE rounds from my Georgia. 18” AP will overpen a broadside Smolensk regularly, so on a whim I tried HE. Full salvo of 6 shells, 4 hit, 3 for citadels. Worked quite well for me there :cap_tea:

Edited by Diesel_Thunder
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1 minute ago, throwawayforumalt said:

the only tier 10 ship i have is monty. 

this guide is useless

lolololol jk

After work today I’ll try to get in the training room with my Montana and a clanmate with his Smolensk and post what happens with both HE and AP shells. 

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6 minutes ago, Diesel_Thunder said:

I discovered a few weeks ago how vulnerable Smolensk is against HE rounds from my Georgia. 18” AP will overpen a broadside Smolensk regularly, so on a whim I tried HE. Full salvo of 6 shells, 4 hit, 3 for citadels. Worked quite well for me there :cap_tea:

And it's not just the raw damage, it's also the number of modules disabled or destroyed. 

 

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27 minutes ago, KilljoyCutter said:

Any ship with big guns and HE ammo should approve that message.

I swear every thread I see about Smolensk, half the complaints are about overpens and not getting citadels... makes me wonder if the posters have even tried shooting HE at Smolensk.  

 

If you are getting too many over penetrations you always switch to HE and it doesn't matter what you are playing or what you are shooting at. For the Smolensk though even CA's should consider switching to HE. If you have AP loaded fire it off and then switch.

22 minutes ago, DrHolmes52 said:

Is it ironic that the best way to deal with the most annoying to BBs HE spamming cruiser is to shoot HE at it?

 

18 minutes ago, KilljoyCutter said:

Lovely wonderful irony, yes. 

It is ironic but you are firing HE for the damage and fires are just a bonus instead of a large percentage of the firing ships damage.

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1 hour ago, Ace_04 said:

Smolensk is sensitive right now due to it's proliferation in Ranked battles.  It is very annoying, but I can attest that Zao AP can eat a foolish Smolensk for lunch.

In other news, I've also heard that every time a Smolensk dies, an angel gets it's wings.  Yeah, couldn't help myself....it's Christmas season.

Yup, there's one or 2 on every team in Ranked right now. Most are driven by idiots.

My Des Moines is having a good time. I had one idiot come around a corner broadside at 8km, see me, slow down and pop smoke still broadside:Smile_facepalm: Lit him up with radar and 15sec later he was gone. And happens all the time, sneak up using islands, pop radar, lob AP over island onto camping Smolensk, watch citadels appear, laugh as he's deleted. Reposition and repeat. Fun times.

Seriously, the number of Smolensks that are badly played is scary. People not using smoke, camping in useless position, denying themselves or (worse) the team vision. Sitting in front of torps, sitting in front of radar cruisers, forgetting to watch the smoke timer, having no escape plan. I think the potatoes have heard it's OP, and are buying them. But while it is incredibly strong, it's not forgiving of dumb play.

And yes, I've given up playing Montana in Ranked. If your cruisers aren't good, you're just going to get BBQ'd. And while you can sometimes delete one with AP, just as often you do squat.

And for all the people saying load HE, BBs don't reload very fast, by the time we empty the AP we have loaded and reload HE, often the opportunity is gone. When there's a forseeable chance sure load HE, but the couple of second you get when one is spotted going in or out of cover is no where near long enough to switch ammo. And no, I'm not going to start loading HE as the default ammo on my Montana.

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I saw a Smolensk the other day getting deleted right off the start of the game by an Ohio. Good riddance.

 

I find the Des Moines to be a pretty decent ship to fight the Smolensk as long as you don't get too close to be torpedoed.

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1 hour ago, KilljoyCutter said:

The problem isn't Smolensk, it's the ongoing obsession with farming citadels with AP, resulting in players who rage and rage about not getting their precious AP citadel hits.   

Just shoot the damn thing with HE.

 

That would require taking one hand out of the Cheetos bag. 

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2 hours ago, Craterkhan_1 said:

So I was perusing the forums and I noticed that the salt over Smolensk was a bit higher than usual this week, mainly over the fact that it is, as termed by the majority of people, a "Smoke HE spamming uncitadelable monster." Now for me, the monster known as Smolensk isn't all that much a monster and I wanted to share some of the ways that I figured out that were quite good with dealing with a Smolensk in order to hopefully help those who have trouble dealing with the vessel. Keep in mind this is simply a VS comparison and these notes do not take into account the POTENTIAL positioning of a ship and it's teammates against an enemy team. Therefore do not read into it as a universal guide to sinking a Smolensk every time one appears. This guide is lengthy, so if you do not wish to read lots of text, do not attempt to read.

First, let's highlight some of the traits that make Smolensk a good ship.

1. 16 guns with very good velocity and a high ROF and fire chance for their caliber.

2. A skinny profile with minimal armor that most would think makes the ship easy to destroy with Battleship AP, but in reality, allows most Battleship AP to fly straight through it without detonating.

3. The Smoke Generator consumable allows the ship to maintain distance and remain undetected while being able to support a flank or a push with concentrated HE fire.

4. A powerful AA suite that can deter the majority of carrier players. Only a few select best can make it through her HP pool and cause damage.

All these aspects combined with other smaller factors such as high speed and good maneuverability make Smolensk a fearsome ship no doubt, but this is a "How to fight it" type guide, not a ship review.

The first thing that has to be overcome when fighting a Smolensk is the psychological factor. Many tend to believe because it is a light cruiser with minimal armor that it should be deleted by Battleships whenever it even appears on the minimap, but this simply isn't true. Quite the opposite in fact. Smolensk is one of the few ships that break the rock-paper-scissors type combat in World of Warships, and becomes the paper that breaks the scissors. Because of this, the mentality that a battleship should be able to destroy a Smolensk every time it appears should not stand. But the Smolensk becomes vulnerable to other factors in order to gain this power against battleships.

Namely cruisers.

Cruisers are by far the most effective vessel for fighting a Smolensk. Even contemporary light cruisers with the exception of the Minotaur stand a fair if not good chance of putting a Smolensk down. It should generally be preached that Battleships are NOT supposed to be the Smolensk's counter, but other cruisers. There are a few reasons for this.

1. Smolensk is equipped with 16 130mm rifles. Ordinarily, this is very scary to many foes, especially DD's with the lethally fast ROF. However due to the small gun caliber, the HE penetration of these guns is only 21mm. Couple this with Smolensk's pathetic stock firing range of 13.2km, and now Smolensk captains have to choose between two skills. IFHE, which will boost the penetration of these guns to 27mm while cutting the fire chance down, or AFT, which can boost the firing range out to 16.6 Kilometers. Concealment Expert is, for the most part, a given take on any vessel, and as such if you were to invest in all three skills (IFHE, AFT, CE), it leaves Smolensk captains with very few points to throw elsewhere. Most captains tend to choose AFT as operating with a 10km detection range on a light cruiser when the maximum firing range is only 13.2km leaves little wiggle room. A fair majority even sacrifice the 3 Million Credit module that enhances reload and instead opt for the extended firing range mod to bring the maximum firing range out to 19.2 Kilometers, adding a massive amount of room for Smolensk to operate in. This means that a lot of Smolensk captains must forgo IFHE in their builds. Those who do take IFHE certainly can penetrate 27mm of armor and cause amazing HE alpha damage due to shell volume, but this limits their maximum range to 16km, which can be a chore to work during a tier 10 match, and it cannot overmatch 30mm of armor plating still, a popular armor found on many cruisers including the Smolensk's deck itself.

Now let's take a look at all contemporary cruisers, including the battlecruisers. All of these vessels, both light and heavy, with the exception of Minotaur, possess at least 25mm of extremity armor plate (Minotaur only possesses 16mm of extremity armor plate). Most cruisers also have at least 30mm of deck and upper belt armor. This means that Smolensk's tend to shatter the majority of HE shells on cruisers that don't hit the superstructure, which on most cruisers, such as Zao, Des Moines, Worcester, Henri IV, and others, is quite hard to hit as their superstructure is smaller compared to the likes of Hindenburg and Moskva and Venezia. The battlecruiser Yoshino possesses very little superstructure with lots of 25mm armor plate, and I have found it is quite easy to push a Smolensk clean out of its position with the Yoshino, as their speeds are quite similar, meaning the Smolensk cannot run away easily.

2. Smolensk's shells have a stock fire chance of 8%, which can be boosted to 11% with proper flags and skills. This combined with its high ROF makes it a huge firestarter and is the main source of the Battleship's pain as well as a Smolensk's damage numbers. The sheer volume of fire chance is beyond lethal and Smolensk's can easily set 2-3 fires on a battleship in a matter of seconds. Damn those angry little turrets!

However in this category as well, a cruiser far outpaces it's larger cousins when fighting Smolensk's. Cruisers, unlike their Battlecruiser and Battleship cousins, only burn for 30 seconds maximum as opposed to the standard 60 seconds for larger vessels, and their fire prevention chance is similar to that of a battleship of the same tier albeit slightly lower. In practice, this means that Smolensk's primary source of damage, fire, has its overall damage slashed clean in half and possibly more depending on what type of build the enemy cruiser has. Cruisers also possess a faster recharging DCP, and can put out fires faster than battleships can.

3. Smolensk possesses a very skinny profile and very minimal armor of 16mm bow and stern armor, 30mm of deck armor, 70mm of citadel belt armor, and 50mm of citadel deck roof. When a battleship shoots at a Smolensk, this very minimal armor plate often fails to arm the majority of battleship AP shells. To put this into perspective, the Japanese Battleship Yamato requires 77mm of armor in order to arm the fuse in it's AP shell. This means by the time it penetrates 77mm of armor plate, it is already halfway through the Smolensk and from there the fuse timer begins to count down. However, once that fuse finally goes off, the shell has already exited out the other side of the Smolensk, resulting in an Overpenetration rather than a Citadel Hit. This is true for the majority of battleships, as even those with a lower AP arming threshold such as the Grosser Kurfurst with it's 68mm of arming threshold, often have a higher AP shell velocity, and so the shell travels through the skinny Smolensk even faster.

Cruisers however do not suffer the same issues as battleships, especially battlecruisers. All cruisers have a much lower AP arming threshold than Battleships and stick in the Smolensk's citadel far better than a battleship AP shell. Even the Worcester's AP shells, widely considered the most inferior AP shell of all the tech tree cruisers due to no improved angles or penetration as well as the smallest caliber, are lethal to a Smolensk, as they arm with only 25mm of armor plate. They cannot overmatch Smolensk's 16mm bow armor plate, but if a Smolensk is caught broadside by any cruiser, they will receive massive damage. A single salvo from the Des Moines frontal turrets is capable of dealing 30,000 points of damage assuming all 6 shells are citadel hits, which is actually not that hard considering Des Moines has very good dispersion even at range. This damage is almost ALL of a Smolensk's hitpoints. Factor in the back turret of a Des Moines and that is 45,000 damage, an easy devastating strike even against a Smolensk running the Survivability Expert commander skill. Battlecruisers, as well as the Henri IV, can also overmatch the 16mm bow and stern plating of the Smolensk, resulting in good penetrations, and for Battlecruisers, the occasional citadel through the nose or stern.

4. Smolensk possesses the Smoke Generator consumable. This consumable allows it to fire from long range without being detected by enemy warships. Due to the small caliber of its guns, it's smoke firing penalty is only 5.91km, which means it is safe from enemy fire past this range excluding torpedo attacks.

Cruisers are the perfect counter to Smolensk's smoke. Cruisers have a very low detectability in general (Excluding obvious no's such as a Moskva) and can get close to a Smolensk's smoke without being seen and shot at. They also have a much better chance of dodging Smolensk's torpedo's than a battleship does. A lot of cruisers also possess means of long-range detection. Both the Worcester and Des Moines equip radar, which can reveal a Smolensk in smoke from 10km away. The cruiser Moskva possesses an even farther 12km reach with its radar, completely invalidating a Smolensk's smokescreen. Hindenburg, while not fast enough to pursue a running Smolensk, can utilize it's Hydroacoustic Seach consumable to detect the Smolensk in smoke and a Henri IV, while possessing a shorter range Hydroacoustic Seach consumable, can easily run down a Smolensk that tries to retreat out of its smoke. Battlecruisers such as the Yoshino which I mentioned earlier, can also drive a Smolensk out of its smoke with its speed and cause significant damage.

----------

Now what if you are a battleship player. I've enumerated that cruisers are a significant counter to Smolensk, but not everyone runs cruisers. So here I will add an addendum as to some options to fight a Smolensk in a battleship, a carrier, and a destroyer.

In a Battleship:

Your primarily designed to engage big targets. A Smolensk shouldn't be a target you aim at every time, as the majority of times you hit it, it is like hitting a destroyer, for very minimal damage. If you must shoot a Smolensk with AP shells, you must wait until it either turns it's nose towards you or presents an angle so your AP shell can pass through more armor. Doing this will allow your AP to arm inside the Smolensk and explode inside, most likely in the citadel. The majority of battleship devastating strikes that occur against a Smolensk is when a Smolensk is nose-on to the battleship. Granted this requires a lot of RNG to accomplish, but it does net at the very least a solid penetrating salvo, which hurts enough considering Smolensk's low HP pool of 32,400. Alternatively, battleship HE is quite effective against Smolensk. With the exception of Montana, almost all battleships at tier 10 possess over 70mm of HE penetration, more than enough to score HE citadel hits against the Smolensk, which can cause significant damage as well as destroy modules with ease and start fires on the firestarter itself.

In a Destroyer: 

Engaging a Smolensk in a destroyer directly is a fool's game. With its incredible guns for anti-dd warfare, a Smolensk easily cleans up destroyers like a Roomba picking up dirt, but there are ways to for a destroyer to fight the Smolensk. Smolensk does not possess the ability to mount radar, and so farming a Smolensk from smoke is an easy game. Even the British destroyers without IFHE can damage a Smolensk's main armor plate of 16mm, and thus can melt down a Smolensk very quickly. Smolensk's that sit in their smoke also make themselves prime targets for torpedoes. The Harugumo, Kleber, and Khabarovsk are all very good destroyers for annihilating Smolensk's with main guns provided you play the ships as they were intended.

In an Aircraft Carrier:

It can be hard to launch an attack on a Smolensk. It's already impressive AA is married with a Defensive AA Fire consumable, making Flak Clouds able to literally deplane a squadron in a single second. The primary type of ammunition to use against a Smolensk with an Aircraft Carrier is Rocket Attack Aircraft as they can easily penetrate Smolensk's armor and cause a lot of damage while being relatively easy to aim. American Tiny Tims makes quick work of Smolensk's. Do be careful however as rocket planes are shot down very easily. HE Bombers and Carpet Bombers especially can cause an immense amount of damage to Smolensk, and so those should be the backup type of attack you utilize against Smolensk. Refrain from using Torpedo Bombers if possible as Smolensk's agility and high speed makes it very likely to dodge a torpedo attack.

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I do hope this guide, lengthy as it was, provides insight on how to defeat the Smolensk. Personally I don't consider the Smolensk overpowered (It's nowhere near the top of the stat boards that I look at). I can see why it might be unfun for a lot of people to play against, but personally, a Worcester presents a deadlier threat than Smolensk. So far in Ranked Worcester has proven to 1up Smolensk by a huge number. But that could be attributed to luck. Anyways, good luck out there captains, and happy Smolensk hunting!

Can confirm.

I have a Smellensk, along with 5 other T10 cruisers, and I find that cruiser HE will shred a Smol in short order. Seen it from both sides.

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4 hours ago, Craterkhan_1 said:

So I was perusing the forums and I noticed that the salt over Smolensk was a bit higher than usual this week, mainly over the fact that it is, as termed by the majority of people, a "Smoke HE spamming uncitadelable monster." Now for me, the monster known as Smolensk isn't all that much a monster and I wanted to share some of the ways that I figured out that were quite good with dealing with a Smolensk in order to hopefully help those who have trouble dealing with the vessel. Keep in mind this is simply a VS comparison and these notes do not take into account the POTENTIAL positioning of a ship and it's teammates against an enemy team. Therefore do not read into it as a universal guide to sinking a Smolensk every time one appears. This guide is lengthy, so if you do not wish to read lots of text, do not attempt to read.

First, let's highlight some of the traits that make Smolensk a good ship.

1. 16 guns with very good velocity and a high ROF and fire chance for their caliber.

2. A skinny profile with minimal armor that most would think makes the ship easy to destroy with Battleship AP, but in reality, allows most Battleship AP to fly straight through it without detonating.

3. The Smoke Generator consumable allows the ship to maintain distance and remain undetected while being able to support a flank or a push with concentrated HE fire.

4. A powerful AA suite that can deter the majority of carrier players. Only a few select best can make it through her HP pool and cause damage.

All these aspects combined with other smaller factors such as high speed and good maneuverability make Smolensk a fearsome ship no doubt, but this is a "How to fight it" type guide, not a ship review.

The first thing that has to be overcome when fighting a Smolensk is the psychological factor. Many tend to believe because it is a light cruiser with minimal armor that it should be deleted by Battleships whenever it even appears on the minimap, but this simply isn't true. Quite the opposite in fact. Smolensk is one of the few ships that break the rock-paper-scissors type combat in World of Warships, and becomes the paper that breaks the scissors. Because of this, the mentality that a battleship should be able to destroy a Smolensk every time it appears should not stand. But the Smolensk becomes vulnerable to other factors in order to gain this power against battleships.

Namely cruisers.

Cruisers are by far the most effective vessel for fighting a Smolensk. Even contemporary light cruisers with the exception of the Minotaur stand a fair if not good chance of putting a Smolensk down. It should generally be preached that Battleships are NOT supposed to be the Smolensk's counter, but other cruisers. There are a few reasons for this.

1. Smolensk is equipped with 16 130mm rifles. Ordinarily, this is very scary to many foes, especially DD's with the lethally fast ROF. However due to the small gun caliber, the HE penetration of these guns is only 21mm. Couple this with Smolensk's pathetic stock firing range of 13.2km, and now Smolensk captains have to choose between two skills. IFHE, which will boost the penetration of these guns to 27mm while cutting the fire chance down, or AFT, which can boost the firing range out to 16.6 Kilometers. Concealment Expert is, for the most part, a given take on any vessel, and as such if you were to invest in all three skills (IFHE, AFT, CE), it leaves Smolensk captains with very few points to throw elsewhere. Most captains tend to choose AFT as operating with a 10km detection range on a light cruiser when the maximum firing range is only 13.2km leaves little wiggle room. A fair majority even sacrifice the 3 Million Credit module that enhances reload and instead opt for the extended firing range mod to bring the maximum firing range out to 19.2 Kilometers, adding a massive amount of room for Smolensk to operate in. This means that a lot of Smolensk captains must forgo IFHE in their builds. Those who do take IFHE certainly can penetrate 27mm of armor and cause amazing HE alpha damage due to shell volume, but this limits their maximum range to 16km, which can be a chore to work during a tier 10 match, and it cannot overmatch 30mm of armor plating still, a popular armor found on many cruisers including the Smolensk's deck itself.

Now let's take a look at all contemporary cruisers, including the battlecruisers. All of these vessels, both light and heavy, with the exception of Minotaur, possess at least 25mm of extremity armor plate (Minotaur only possesses 16mm of extremity armor plate). Most cruisers also have at least 30mm of deck and upper belt armor. This means that Smolensk's tend to shatter the majority of HE shells on cruisers that don't hit the superstructure, which on most cruisers, such as Zao, Des Moines, Worcester, Henri IV, and others, is quite hard to hit as their superstructure is smaller compared to the likes of Hindenburg and Moskva and Venezia. The battlecruiser Yoshino possesses very little superstructure with lots of 25mm armor plate, and I have found it is quite easy to push a Smolensk clean out of its position with the Yoshino, as their speeds are quite similar, meaning the Smolensk cannot run away easily.

2. Smolensk's shells have a stock fire chance of 8%, which can be boosted to 11% with proper flags and skills. This combined with its high ROF makes it a huge firestarter and is the main source of the Battleship's pain as well as a Smolensk's damage numbers. The sheer volume of fire chance is beyond lethal and Smolensk's can easily set 2-3 fires on a battleship in a matter of seconds. Damn those angry little turrets!

However in this category as well, a cruiser far outpaces it's larger cousins when fighting Smolensk's. Cruisers, unlike their Battlecruiser and Battleship cousins, only burn for 30 seconds maximum as opposed to the standard 60 seconds for larger vessels, and their fire prevention chance is similar to that of a battleship of the same tier albeit slightly lower. In practice, this means that Smolensk's primary source of damage, fire, has its overall damage slashed clean in half and possibly more depending on what type of build the enemy cruiser has. Cruisers also possess a faster recharging DCP, and can put out fires faster than battleships can.

3. Smolensk possesses a very skinny profile and very minimal armor of 16mm bow and stern armor, 30mm of deck armor, 70mm of citadel belt armor, and 50mm of citadel deck roof. When a battleship shoots at a Smolensk, this very minimal armor plate often fails to arm the majority of battleship AP shells. To put this into perspective, the Japanese Battleship Yamato requires 77mm of armor in order to arm the fuse in it's AP shell. This means by the time it penetrates 77mm of armor plate, it is already halfway through the Smolensk and from there the fuse timer begins to count down. However, once that fuse finally goes off, the shell has already exited out the other side of the Smolensk, resulting in an Overpenetration rather than a Citadel Hit. This is true for the majority of battleships, as even those with a lower AP arming threshold such as the Grosser Kurfurst with it's 68mm of arming threshold, often have a higher AP shell velocity, and so the shell travels through the skinny Smolensk even faster.

Cruisers however do not suffer the same issues as battleships, especially battlecruisers. All cruisers have a much lower AP arming threshold than Battleships and stick in the Smolensk's citadel far better than a battleship AP shell. Even the Worcester's AP shells, widely considered the most inferior AP shell of all the tech tree cruisers due to no improved angles or penetration as well as the smallest caliber, are lethal to a Smolensk, as they arm with only 25mm of armor plate. They cannot overmatch Smolensk's 16mm bow armor plate, but if a Smolensk is caught broadside by any cruiser, they will receive massive damage. A single salvo from the Des Moines frontal turrets is capable of dealing 30,000 points of damage assuming all 6 shells are citadel hits, which is actually not that hard considering Des Moines has very good dispersion even at range. This damage is almost ALL of a Smolensk's hitpoints. Factor in the back turret of a Des Moines and that is 45,000 damage, an easy devastating strike even against a Smolensk running the Survivability Expert commander skill. Battlecruisers, as well as the Henri IV, can also overmatch the 16mm bow and stern plating of the Smolensk, resulting in good penetrations, and for Battlecruisers, the occasional citadel through the nose or stern.

4. Smolensk possesses the Smoke Generator consumable. This consumable allows it to fire from long range without being detected by enemy warships. Due to the small caliber of its guns, it's smoke firing penalty is only 5.91km, which means it is safe from enemy fire past this range excluding torpedo attacks.

Cruisers are the perfect counter to Smolensk's smoke. Cruisers have a very low detectability in general (Excluding obvious no's such as a Moskva) and can get close to a Smolensk's smoke without being seen and shot at. They also have a much better chance of dodging Smolensk's torpedo's than a battleship does. A lot of cruisers also possess means of long-range detection. Both the Worcester and Des Moines equip radar, which can reveal a Smolensk in smoke from 10km away. The cruiser Moskva possesses an even farther 12km reach with its radar, completely invalidating a Smolensk's smokescreen. Hindenburg, while not fast enough to pursue a running Smolensk, can utilize it's Hydroacoustic Seach consumable to detect the Smolensk in smoke and a Henri IV, while possessing a shorter range Hydroacoustic Seach consumable, can easily run down a Smolensk that tries to retreat out of its smoke. Battlecruisers such as the Yoshino which I mentioned earlier, can also drive a Smolensk out of its smoke with its speed and cause significant damage.

----------

Now what if you are a battleship player. I've enumerated that cruisers are a significant counter to Smolensk, but not everyone runs cruisers. So here I will add an addendum as to some options to fight a Smolensk in a battleship, a carrier, and a destroyer.

In a Battleship:

Your primarily designed to engage big targets. A Smolensk shouldn't be a target you aim at every time, as the majority of times you hit it, it is like hitting a destroyer, for very minimal damage. If you must shoot a Smolensk with AP shells, you must wait until it either turns it's nose towards you or presents an angle so your AP shell can pass through more armor. Doing this will allow your AP to arm inside the Smolensk and explode inside, most likely in the citadel. The majority of battleship devastating strikes that occur against a Smolensk is when a Smolensk is nose-on to the battleship. Granted this requires a lot of RNG to accomplish, but it does net at the very least a solid penetrating salvo, which hurts enough considering Smolensk's low HP pool of 32,400. Alternatively, battleship HE is quite effective against Smolensk. With the exception of Montana, almost all battleships at tier 10 possess over 70mm of HE penetration, more than enough to score HE citadel hits against the Smolensk, which can cause significant damage as well as destroy modules with ease and start fires on the firestarter itself.

In a Destroyer: 

Engaging a Smolensk in a destroyer directly is a fool's game. With its incredible guns for anti-dd warfare, a Smolensk easily cleans up destroyers like a Roomba picking up dirt, but there are ways to for a destroyer to fight the Smolensk. Smolensk does not possess the ability to mount radar, and so farming a Smolensk from smoke is an easy game. Even the British destroyers without IFHE can damage a Smolensk's main armor plate of 16mm, and thus can melt down a Smolensk very quickly. Smolensk's that sit in their smoke also make themselves prime targets for torpedoes. The Harugumo, Kleber, and Khabarovsk are all very good destroyers for annihilating Smolensk's with main guns provided you play the ships as they were intended.

In an Aircraft Carrier:

It can be hard to launch an attack on a Smolensk. It's already impressive AA is married with a Defensive AA Fire consumable, making Flak Clouds able to literally deplane a squadron in a single second. The primary type of ammunition to use against a Smolensk with an Aircraft Carrier is Rocket Attack Aircraft as they can easily penetrate Smolensk's armor and cause a lot of damage while being relatively easy to aim. American Tiny Tims makes quick work of Smolensk's. Do be careful however as rocket planes are shot down very easily. HE Bombers and Carpet Bombers especially can cause an immense amount of damage to Smolensk, and so those should be the backup type of attack you utilize against Smolensk. Refrain from using Torpedo Bombers if possible as Smolensk's agility and high speed makes it very likely to dodge a torpedo attack.

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I do hope this guide, lengthy as it was, provides insight on how to defeat the Smolensk. Personally I don't consider the Smolensk overpowered (It's nowhere near the top of the stat boards that I look at). I can see why it might be unfun for a lot of people to play against, but personally, a Worcester presents a deadlier threat than Smolensk. So far in Ranked Worcester has proven to 1up Smolensk by a huge number. But that could be attributed to luck. Anyways, good luck out there captains, and happy Smolensk hunting!

Doctor Smolensk! Great post.

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4 hours ago, Craterkhan_1 said:

So I was perusing the forums and I noticed that the salt over Smolensk was a bit higher than usual this week, mainly over the fact that it is, as termed by the majority of people, a "Smoke HE spamming uncitadelable monster." Now for me, the monster known as Smolensk isn't all that much a monster and I wanted to share some of the ways that I figured out that were quite good with dealing with a Smolensk in order to hopefully help those who have trouble dealing with the vessel. Keep in mind this is simply a VS comparison and these notes do not take into account the POTENTIAL positioning of a ship and it's teammates against an enemy team. Therefore do not read into it as a universal guide to sinking a Smolensk every time one appears. This guide is lengthy, so if you do not wish to read lots of text, do not attempt to read.

First, let's highlight some of the traits that make Smolensk a good ship.

1. 16 guns with very good velocity and a high ROF and fire chance for their caliber.

2. A skinny profile with minimal armor that most would think makes the ship easy to destroy with Battleship AP, but in reality, allows most Battleship AP to fly straight through it without detonating.

3. The Smoke Generator consumable allows the ship to maintain distance and remain undetected while being able to support a flank or a push with concentrated HE fire.

4. A powerful AA suite that can deter the majority of carrier players. Only a few select best can make it through her HP pool and cause damage.

All these aspects combined with other smaller factors such as high speed and good maneuverability make Smolensk a fearsome ship no doubt, but this is a "How to fight it" type guide, not a ship review.

The first thing that has to be overcome when fighting a Smolensk is the psychological factor. Many tend to believe because it is a light cruiser with minimal armor that it should be deleted by Battleships whenever it even appears on the minimap, but this simply isn't true. Quite the opposite in fact. Smolensk is one of the few ships that break the rock-paper-scissors type combat in World of Warships, and becomes the paper that breaks the scissors. Because of this, the mentality that a battleship should be able to destroy a Smolensk every time it appears should not stand. But the Smolensk becomes vulnerable to other factors in order to gain this power against battleships.

Namely cruisers.

Cruisers are by far the most effective vessel for fighting a Smolensk. Even contemporary light cruisers with the exception of the Minotaur stand a fair if not good chance of putting a Smolensk down. It should generally be preached that Battleships are NOT supposed to be the Smolensk's counter, but other cruisers. There are a few reasons for this.

1. Smolensk is equipped with 16 130mm rifles. Ordinarily, this is very scary to many foes, especially DD's with the lethally fast ROF. However due to the small gun caliber, the HE penetration of these guns is only 21mm. Couple this with Smolensk's pathetic stock firing range of 13.2km, and now Smolensk captains have to choose between two skills. IFHE, which will boost the penetration of these guns to 27mm while cutting the fire chance down, or AFT, which can boost the firing range out to 16.6 Kilometers. Concealment Expert is, for the most part, a given take on any vessel, and as such if you were to invest in all three skills (IFHE, AFT, CE), it leaves Smolensk captains with very few points to throw elsewhere. Most captains tend to choose AFT as operating with a 10km detection range on a light cruiser when the maximum firing range is only 13.2km leaves little wiggle room. A fair majority even sacrifice the 3 Million Credit module that enhances reload and instead opt for the extended firing range mod to bring the maximum firing range out to 19.2 Kilometers, adding a massive amount of room for Smolensk to operate in. This means that a lot of Smolensk captains must forgo IFHE in their builds. Those who do take IFHE certainly can penetrate 27mm of armor and cause amazing HE alpha damage due to shell volume, but this limits their maximum range to 16km, which can be a chore to work during a tier 10 match, and it cannot overmatch 30mm of armor plating still, a popular armor found on many cruisers including the Smolensk's deck itself.

Now let's take a look at all contemporary cruisers, including the battlecruisers. All of these vessels, both light and heavy, with the exception of Minotaur, possess at least 25mm of extremity armor plate (Minotaur only possesses 16mm of extremity armor plate). Most cruisers also have at least 30mm of deck and upper belt armor. This means that Smolensk's tend to shatter the majority of HE shells on cruisers that don't hit the superstructure, which on most cruisers, such as Zao, Des Moines, Worcester, Henri IV, and others, is quite hard to hit as their superstructure is smaller compared to the likes of Hindenburg and Moskva and Venezia. The battlecruiser Yoshino possesses very little superstructure with lots of 25mm armor plate, and I have found it is quite easy to push a Smolensk clean out of its position with the Yoshino, as their speeds are quite similar, meaning the Smolensk cannot run away easily.

2. Smolensk's shells have a stock fire chance of 8%, which can be boosted to 11% with proper flags and skills. This combined with its high ROF makes it a huge firestarter and is the main source of the Battleship's pain as well as a Smolensk's damage numbers. The sheer volume of fire chance is beyond lethal and Smolensk's can easily set 2-3 fires on a battleship in a matter of seconds. Damn those angry little turrets!

However in this category as well, a cruiser far outpaces it's larger cousins when fighting Smolensk's. Cruisers, unlike their Battlecruiser and Battleship cousins, only burn for 30 seconds maximum as opposed to the standard 60 seconds for larger vessels, and their fire prevention chance is similar to that of a battleship of the same tier albeit slightly lower. In practice, this means that Smolensk's primary source of damage, fire, has its overall damage slashed clean in half and possibly more depending on what type of build the enemy cruiser has. Cruisers also possess a faster recharging DCP, and can put out fires faster than battleships can.

3. Smolensk possesses a very skinny profile and very minimal armor of 16mm bow and stern armor, 30mm of deck armor, 70mm of citadel belt armor, and 50mm of citadel deck roof. When a battleship shoots at a Smolensk, this very minimal armor plate often fails to arm the majority of battleship AP shells. To put this into perspective, the Japanese Battleship Yamato requires 77mm of armor in order to arm the fuse in it's AP shell. This means by the time it penetrates 77mm of armor plate, it is already halfway through the Smolensk and from there the fuse timer begins to count down. However, once that fuse finally goes off, the shell has already exited out the other side of the Smolensk, resulting in an Overpenetration rather than a Citadel Hit. This is true for the majority of battleships, as even those with a lower AP arming threshold such as the Grosser Kurfurst with it's 68mm of arming threshold, often have a higher AP shell velocity, and so the shell travels through the skinny Smolensk even faster.

Cruisers however do not suffer the same issues as battleships, especially battlecruisers. All cruisers have a much lower AP arming threshold than Battleships and stick in the Smolensk's citadel far better than a battleship AP shell. Even the Worcester's AP shells, widely considered the most inferior AP shell of all the tech tree cruisers due to no improved angles or penetration as well as the smallest caliber, are lethal to a Smolensk, as they arm with only 25mm of armor plate. They cannot overmatch Smolensk's 16mm bow armor plate, but if a Smolensk is caught broadside by any cruiser, they will receive massive damage. A single salvo from the Des Moines frontal turrets is capable of dealing 30,000 points of damage assuming all 6 shells are citadel hits, which is actually not that hard considering Des Moines has very good dispersion even at range. This damage is almost ALL of a Smolensk's hitpoints. Factor in the back turret of a Des Moines and that is 45,000 damage, an easy devastating strike even against a Smolensk running the Survivability Expert commander skill. Battlecruisers, as well as the Henri IV, can also overmatch the 16mm bow and stern plating of the Smolensk, resulting in good penetrations, and for Battlecruisers, the occasional citadel through the nose or stern.

4. Smolensk possesses the Smoke Generator consumable. This consumable allows it to fire from long range without being detected by enemy warships. Due to the small caliber of its guns, it's smoke firing penalty is only 5.91km, which means it is safe from enemy fire past this range excluding torpedo attacks.

Cruisers are the perfect counter to Smolensk's smoke. Cruisers have a very low detectability in general (Excluding obvious no's such as a Moskva) and can get close to a Smolensk's smoke without being seen and shot at. They also have a much better chance of dodging Smolensk's torpedo's than a battleship does. A lot of cruisers also possess means of long-range detection. Both the Worcester and Des Moines equip radar, which can reveal a Smolensk in smoke from 10km away. The cruiser Moskva possesses an even farther 12km reach with its radar, completely invalidating a Smolensk's smokescreen. Hindenburg, while not fast enough to pursue a running Smolensk, can utilize it's Hydroacoustic Seach consumable to detect the Smolensk in smoke and a Henri IV, while possessing a shorter range Hydroacoustic Seach consumable, can easily run down a Smolensk that tries to retreat out of its smoke. Battlecruisers such as the Yoshino which I mentioned earlier, can also drive a Smolensk out of its smoke with its speed and cause significant damage.

----------

Now what if you are a battleship player. I've enumerated that cruisers are a significant counter to Smolensk, but not everyone runs cruisers. So here I will add an addendum as to some options to fight a Smolensk in a battleship, a carrier, and a destroyer.

In a Battleship:

Your primarily designed to engage big targets. A Smolensk shouldn't be a target you aim at every time, as the majority of times you hit it, it is like hitting a destroyer, for very minimal damage. If you must shoot a Smolensk with AP shells, you must wait until it either turns it's nose towards you or presents an angle so your AP shell can pass through more armor. Doing this will allow your AP to arm inside the Smolensk and explode inside, most likely in the citadel. The majority of battleship devastating strikes that occur against a Smolensk is when a Smolensk is nose-on to the battleship. Granted this requires a lot of RNG to accomplish, but it does net at the very least a solid penetrating salvo, which hurts enough considering Smolensk's low HP pool of 32,400. Alternatively, battleship HE is quite effective against Smolensk. With the exception of Montana, almost all battleships at tier 10 possess over 70mm of HE penetration, more than enough to score HE citadel hits against the Smolensk, which can cause significant damage as well as destroy modules with ease and start fires on the firestarter itself.

In a Destroyer: 

Engaging a Smolensk in a destroyer directly is a fool's game. With its incredible guns for anti-dd warfare, a Smolensk easily cleans up destroyers like a Roomba picking up dirt, but there are ways to for a destroyer to fight the Smolensk. Smolensk does not possess the ability to mount radar, and so farming a Smolensk from smoke is an easy game. Even the British destroyers without IFHE can damage a Smolensk's main armor plate of 16mm, and thus can melt down a Smolensk very quickly. Smolensk's that sit in their smoke also make themselves prime targets for torpedoes. The Harugumo, Kleber, and Khabarovsk are all very good destroyers for annihilating Smolensk's with main guns provided you play the ships as they were intended.

In an Aircraft Carrier:

It can be hard to launch an attack on a Smolensk. It's already impressive AA is married with a Defensive AA Fire consumable, making Flak Clouds able to literally deplane a squadron in a single second. The primary type of ammunition to use against a Smolensk with an Aircraft Carrier is Rocket Attack Aircraft as they can easily penetrate Smolensk's armor and cause a lot of damage while being relatively easy to aim. American Tiny Tims makes quick work of Smolensk's. Do be careful however as rocket planes are shot down very easily. HE Bombers and Carpet Bombers especially can cause an immense amount of damage to Smolensk, and so those should be the backup type of attack you utilize against Smolensk. Refrain from using Torpedo Bombers if possible as Smolensk's agility and high speed makes it very likely to dodge a torpedo attack.

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I do hope this guide, lengthy as it was, provides insight on how to defeat the Smolensk. Personally I don't consider the Smolensk overpowered (It's nowhere near the top of the stat boards that I look at). I can see why it might be unfun for a lot of people to play against, but personally, a Worcester presents a deadlier threat than Smolensk. So far in Ranked Worcester has proven to 1up Smolensk by a huge number. But that could be attributed to luck. Anyways, good luck out there captains, and happy Smolensk hunting!

^ I agree 100%. Just to add:

Cruisers - USN CAs have improved autobounce angles. Not only will the shells tend to stick in the ship as you mentioned, but it is very hard for Smolensk to angle against them due to the improved autobounce. Buffalo and DM can nearly destroy a Smolensk in one pass at moderate ranges. If you can radar a Smolensk you have a good chance of killing him before he escapes. 

Carriers - The TBs are useful for forcing Smolensk out of its smoke. Midway in particular launches a big wave of (admittedly terrible) torpedoes but it covers a large portion of Smolensk's smoke cloud. I jiggle around so the sights don't stabilize completely and they fan out a bit for more coverage. The damage is terrible but you are really trying to force it out of the smoke and with Smolensk's tiny HP pool even a single Midway torp is a lot of damage (1/5-1/6 of its health or so). Generally though rocket planes and DBs are better tools. 

When attacking Smolensk you should drop some squadrons off before you enter the AA range to minimize the losses. Losing the entire squadron in return for some damage on Smolensk is perfectly fine provided it was an understrength squadron and you survived long enough to release because her health pool is so low. You send one group home, one group should live to drop even with Smolensk's AA (unless DFAA is up and you hit flak), the others will all likely die to pad the attacking squadron. Also if the Smolensk is near an island attack it from over the island to block its AA. For DBs, slingshot is your friend too.  Skip his long range AA and jump right to the meaty center. Smolensk has a lot of AA for such a tiny ship, but if you know where it is and pick the time and place of the engagement well it is perfectly manageable and comes with the weakness of being on a very fragile platform. Its low HP make it worth it to take chip shots on one whenever you can. If he is not mounting DFAA, he isn't that hard to handle. 

DDs - Torp the smoke. Like I mentioned with Midway, the cloud isn't that big and Smolensk tends to be stationary. Anything with moderately long-ranged torps or that can generate a wall-of-skill should fling it at the smoke. (Shima, Yugumo, Benham, Gearing etc.)  Even better if you have a reload booster. Saturate it. Smolensk tends to sit in its smoke more than DDs and while it is incredibly tiny for a T10 cruiser it is still much bigger and slower to accelerate and maneuver than a AA. Unless he was already facing in or out from the torpedo approach angle he will have to do some fast accelerating and turning to avoid and may move out of the cloud. Hitting with a torp is spectacular, forcing him out of the smoke is almost as good. Also Smolensk has no radar, DDs can get fairly close to it, while it is smoked, to get the torpedoes off. 

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5 hours ago, Craterkhan_1 said:

Namely cruisers.

I agree! I also find that many Smolensk players are a bit more "timid" than they may be in other ships. They seem less inclined to stick around and fight it out with other cruisers (for obvious reasons), so many times I will bully them out of their hiding spot 

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Get within 7km of a Smolensk in smoke to spot it as a DD and then your team will hopefully evaporate it. If you can get it into a 1v1, Kleber is very good as it only takes 3-4 salvos to sink one with its AP. I've also had good results in blowing them up with Hakuryu's dive bombers, and rockets do a lot. The only time that Smolensks are scary is when they're supported by their team, making it so that you can't get too close and they have spotting for when they are inside of their smoke screen.

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7 hours ago, Craterkhan_1 said:

"Smoke HE spamming uncitadelable monster."

People who don't know how to aim or using the wrong ammo - when I play the Smoi if a shell hits anywhere remotely near the ship causes a cit hit.  The cit is above the water - not that much different than RU BBs that are easy to cit when you get one broadside in your sights.

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BBs should use HE against a smolensk. I have citted them thus in mine.

It's hilarious!

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