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Tachyon_Pixel

Just got Hipper, should I go for an AA build or a Secondary build?

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I recently got the Tier VIII German Cruiser Admiral Hipper, and people say to go for an AA build, which means AA gun mods and AA captain skills, but from my experience she also has good secondaries and I can't decide if I should go for a full AA build or a full secondary build. I'm wondering which would be more practical, useful, and beneficial. If it depends on playing style, I'll answer your questions in the comments.

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Between the two, I'd pick AA.

Though her secondaries may be alright, she's really not built to use them effectively. She has too few of them, and the range is lacking as well. This means to use them you'd have to really close the distance, and if you plan on fighting close you might as well resort to the four sets of harder hitting torpedoes on your port/starboard.

She already has pretty decent AA combined with the fact that she can mount the Defensive AA Fire consumable, so you might want to go that route. I do say this with some reservations though.

For example, I tend to run Hydroacoustic Search over Defensive AA Fire for a few reasons:

1. You won't always be fighting CVs, which means an all-AA build will prove useless if there are no planes to shoot down

2. It's German hydro, meaning it has more range than hydro of other nations. This can help you screen torpedoes for yourself AND your teammates, making it incredibly useful in shutting out enemy destroyers

3. Defensive fire, since the CV rework, has become largely inconsequential. It's not the amazing cure-all consumable for AA defense that it used to be. Learning to sector would be a lot more useful and opens up more opportunity for AA damage if managed correctly

 

I hope this is helpful, good luck on the seas :Smile_honoring:

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I went with hybrid build where you take Basic Fire Training which gives you a good increase in AA firepower as well as a bit of extra point blank secondary gun power. Then I took skill like Priority Target, Concealment, Superintendent, Expert Marksman, Adrenaline Rush, Demolition Expert. The idea being making the ship highly effective in combat vs other ships and giving the best AA defense within reason. Which if you have the C hull of Hipper and the BFT skill you will be able to fend off air attacks well enough.

And I would highly recommend doing this route as a full 100% AA or secondary build is not all that practical on Hipper. Plus by not having full secondary build you can lure ships into your torpedo range which have sank many ships including several DDs.

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On 5/22/2020 at 12:43 AM, Tachyon_Pixel said:

I recently got the Tier VIII German Cruiser Admiral Hipper, and people say to go for an AA build, which means AA gun mods and AA captain skills, but from my experience she also has good secondaries and I can't decide if I should go for a full AA build or a full secondary build. I'm wondering which would be more practical, useful, and beneficial. If it depends on playing style, I'll answer your questions in the comments.

You should never go with a secondary build on a cruiser. Secondary guns are essentially a DOT mechanic, and most cruisers just don’t have the staying power to make effective use of them, particularly at the secondary gun ranges you see on these ships. In the case of Hipper, you have 6 fast torpedoes on each side to put down anyone who tries to brawl you. So, of the two, a full AA build is more viable. However, the risk you run with investing too heavily in AA is that you will not always run into a CV, and you are essentially wasting those skill points in those battles.

My reccomendation for a captain build on Hipper would start with Priority Target, Adrenaline Rush, Demoltion Expert, Concealment Expert, and Expert Loader. The first four are fairly common for cruisers, and while I use EL on most of my CAs, it’s especially useful on Hipper and other German CAs. Her AP shells hit very hard but their penetration is poor, meaning her AP is only really effective against targets giving you a lot of broadside. In contrast, her HE alpha is poor, but German 203mm HE pens 50mm of armor, so it’s very consistent against angled targets, especially battleships. Being able to switch ammo types quickly is very important. If you are planning on moving the captain up the line, get Superintendent next for the extra repair party on Roon and Hindenburg. Otherwise, it’s not really needed. As a general rule, I only take the skill on ships that have a heal and/or radar. This leaves you with 5-8 points left over. Some strong options are:

1) BFT - If you want to boost your AA this is the one skill that will give you the most benefit, as it buffs continuous DPS.

2) Vigilance - This skill stacks with the excellent improved German hydro (which you should be using) and Hipper’s armor, torpedoes, and turret traverse make her very dangerous at close ranges late game or against isolated targets. If you are utilizing one of the Jutland brothers, the improved version of this skill is even more attractive. Plus, popping hydro and charging smoked-up DDs is always fun, and this makes it easier.

3) Expert Marksman - While Hipper has good turret traverse for a CA (22.5s to rotate 180 degrees) and doesn’t really need this skill, it’s always helpful if you have the points to spare. If you are moving the captain up to Roon and Hindenburg, this skill becomes more useful to counteract the pentalty of the reload module in slot 6.

4) Preventative Maintenance - This is the best remaining 1-pt skill. It keeps her torpedo launchers alive longer, and German turrets tend to be easier to knock out than those of other nations, particularly when hit from the side. In addition, You will likely be kiting often until late game, and hits that disable your engine or rudder can prove fatal considering the vulnerability to long-range fire that is characteristic of the German turtleback.

5) Jack of all Trades or High Alert: Both of these skills lower the cool down on your DCP, keeping you alive longer since you don’t have a heal and losing your engine or rudder while your DCP is on cooldown will often send you back to port in a hurry. JoaT has a lesser effect (5% vs 10%), but also effects your catapult fighter and hydro. If you are going to move the captain up the line, JoaT is definitely the stronger option (since it affects your heal); otherwise, it’s not as clear-cut of a choice. Of course, if you are using one of the Jutland brothers with the buffed JoaT skill, there is no reason to choose HA over it.

For modules, I would recommend (in order) Main Armaments, Hydro (if you have the coal to spend) or Damage Control, Aiming Systems or AA Mod (your choice, but I like aiming systems bonus to dispersion and torpedo tube traverse speed), Stearing Gears, and Concealment. Some players run both rudder mods, but I find the extra concealment more valuable.

Hopefully this helps. Hipper is an underrated ship, and if she didn’t have so many good sisters in game she’d be my favorite tier VIII cruiser.

Edited by Nevermore135
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