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HolyWaterCow

The German BB Build Conundrum (secondary builds?)

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The obvious build ~1-2 years ago was a secondary build: all secondary modules and capt w/ secondary skills (particularly the two 4pt skills: Manual Secondaries & AFT for range). This secondary setup made sense to make use of the German BBs' exceptional secondary guns, great armor, and since the main guns are lacking (size and particularly dispersion), you'd use this setup and brawl.

Now, the secondaries are not all that exceptional (they're still the best but several other BBs have excellent secondaries as well) and there are so many new HE spamming ships that love nothing more than to burn down a big, slow German BB trying to push in close enough to use the secondaries.

So the conundrum is which German BBs do you still use secondary builds on (if any)?

T10 GKurfurst: I've given up on a secondary build on the GKurfurst. It's actually not that bad firing at distance with AP and it's almost like the guns are more accurate and do more damage from range than up close. Dunno why this is the case (perhaps too many overpens up close) but in my experience, this is often pretty effective. But still, the primary reason is that a secondary build for the GK is completely untenable now.

T9 FDG: I don't even play this ship anymore but if I did, I'd use a normal/balanced build like I do on the GKurfurst now

T8 Bismarck: This is the only tier that I've kept a secondary build. Reasons are that I just love the secondary brawling and don't want to abandon it completely plus at tier 8, a secondary build still seems relatively effective (given you aren't uptiered into a battle with loads of t10 or even t9 ships which is where most of the HE spammers exist).

T7 Gneis: I don't use the Gneis but I do have the Scharnhorst with a secondary build. Reason for this is to charge ships with both torps and secondaries. But I'm reconsidering this because that tactic is so dependent on circumstances and the secondary range is only 8km at its best (which is expected given it's only tier 7). I might just use a normal/balanced build and use primarily HE shells, using it as an HE spammer and only close distance to use AP and torps when the situation clearly calls for it.

 

Just curious who else has given up or kept secondary builds on German BBs and which tiers/ships to you still use it on? EDIT: Also, for those using secondary builds, which ships if any do you use IFHE (in other words, does IFHE improve the effectiveness of secondaries for any of the German BBs?).

 

Edited by HolyWaterCow

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13 minutes ago, HolyWaterCow said:

The obvious build ~1-2 years ago was a secondary build: all secondary modules and capt w/ secondary skills (particularly the two 4pt skills: Manual Secondaries & AFT for range). This secondary setup made sense to make use of the German BBs' exceptional secondary guns, great armor, and since the main guns are lacking (size and particularly dispersion), you'd use this setup and brawl.

Now, the secondaries are not all that exceptional (they're still the best but several other BBs have excellent secondaries as well) and there are so many new HE spamming ships that love nothing more than to burn down a big, slow German BB trying to push in close enough to use the secondaries.

So the conundrum is which German BBs do you still use secondary builds on (if any)?

T10 GKurfurst: I've given up on a secondary build on the GKurfurst. It's actually not that bad firing at distance with AP and it's almost like the guns are more accurate and do more damage from range than up close. Dunno why this is the case (perhaps too many overpens up close) but in my experience, this is often pretty effective. But still, the primary reason is that a secondary build for the GK is completely untenable now.

T9 FDG: I don't even play this ship anymore but if I did, I'd use a normal/balanced build like I do on the GKurfurst now

T8 Bismarck: This is the only tier that I've kept a secondary build. Reasons are that I just love the secondary brawling and don't want to abandon it completely plus at tier 8, a secondary build still seems relatively effective (given you aren't uptiered into a battle with loads of t10 or even t9 ships which is where most of the HE spammers exist).

T7 Gneis: I don't use the Gneis but I do have the Scharnhorst with a secondary build. Reason for this is to charge ships with both torps and secondaries. But I'm reconsidering this because that tactic is so dependent on circumstances and the secondary range is only 8km at its best (which is expected given it's only tier 7). I might just use a normal/balanced build and use primarily HE shells, using it as an HE spammer and only close distance to use AP and torps when the situation clearly calls for it.

Just curious who else has given up or kept secondary builds on German BBs and which tiers/ships to you still use it on?

Having just re-leveled through the German BB line for RB purposes, I can tell you that:

  • T10 Kurfurst - The IFHE rework made her secondary battery exceptionally nutty (as if it wasn't already) due to now having innate 32mm penetration across the board.  Still, it's not the easiest to pull off as T10 is a very unforgiving tier.
  • T9 FdG - If I had to play again, I wouldn't even bother with a secondary build.  It's not that the FDG is a bad secondary ship.  She's waaaaaaay better than the Bismarck.  It's that she has to give up her standard battleship role to make it happen, which makes her a one-trick pony.  Personally, I found her to be extremely lethal and fun in a full survival build.  Never thought I'd say that, but she's fantastic, reliable, and deadly in full survival mode.
  • T8 Bismarck - Honestly, I think if you want a good German T8 brawler, the Odin or Tirpitz will serve you better.  The problem I have with the Bismarck is her frustratingly bad secondary firing angles.   As a result, while her secondary battery parses decently well in a simulated environment, it's trash in practice because so few of them are firing at any given time.  Additionally, her rear 105mm batteries don't fire over top of the 150mm mount below it due to a bug (Tirpitz doesn't have this bug). The only way to get ALL of her secondaries going is to literally go flat broadside to your target.  No thanks!
  • T7 Gneisenau - This ship is the bipolar wackadoo of the German line.  Some games are flipping awesome.  Some games make you want to punch through your monitor.  Like the FDG, the Gneisenau has to give up her standard battleship role to make a proper secondary build work.  The Scharnhorst, on the other hand, is a much more balanced ship with strong secondary performance, but still decent main battery functionality. 

Overall, my #1 biggest complaint with the German brawlers is that they suffer extensively in the standard battleship meta when in a full secondary build.  This meta is that typical mid/mid-long range where you're firing on cruisers and battleships from 10-15km back.  In a full survival build, German battleships occupy this space quite well.  In secondary mode, they struuuuuggggle to perform here to do the loss of accuracy and dpm.  In comparison, ships like the Scharnhorst, Odin, and American brawlers can still function in this space just fine. 

Nowadays if I want a good secondary experience, I'll just play the Massachusetts, Georgia, and on very rare occasion the Gneisenau.  Otherwise I've pretty much given up on German brawlers for the time being.

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This is my typical German BB build (Haven't gotten FDG yet): http://shipcomrade.com/captcalc/0100000000100010100001001000100019

I think it's about striking a balance between builds. For example, alongside the build I run Damage Control System Modification 2 and India Yankee for a combined 50% lower fire duration ( I also run India Delta for better heals).

I personally am not a huge fan of Fire Prevention because I would rather have the secondary damage and I don't find that I get caught on fire twice in the midsection (and when I do I'm usually either out of position or on the way back to port already).

Sidenote: I also run the same build on my Gneisenau. I've had a few matches where it has made a world of a difference (i.e. pushing into two BB while an enemy DD pops up behind me). Given the concealment can't be saved on the Gneisenau, I'm really only missing out on Fire Prevention which I've already discussed.

I don't use IFHE also because German HE already has 1/4 pen and the point cost for the skill is too significant.

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Secondary builds seem alive and well. With so many secondary spec ships being played these days there is always another brawling ship you can count on to get close and joust with. Surviving the HE is a constant struggle. I trade CE for FP on my secondary build ( playing Sharnhorst, Bismark &  Tirpitz) and it seems worth it more often than not.

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2 hours ago, Barazzuolio said:

Secondary builds seem alive and well. With so many secondary spec ships being played these days there is always another brawling ship you can count on to get close and joust with. Surviving the HE is a constant struggle. I trade CE for FP on my secondary build ( playing Sharnhorst, Bismark &  Tirpitz) and it seems worth it more often than not.

Secondary Spec is fine in today's game.

 

But come the Skill Rebork, it won't be for most Battleships, even Ze Germanz.  The gutting of Manual Secondaries trait to make it a lot less accurate has a very large impact from tests done by players on PTS.  It's very clear compared to the current game Manual Secondaries.

 

The "benefit" WG gave for the gutting of Manual Secondaries trait accuracy is that secondaries on both sides can now still fire.

This may be fine for PVE but not fine for PVP, because in a PVP setting, having players on both sides of your ship means you're about to die a horrible, horrible death.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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I recently bought the Pommern. Shes big and is susceptible to HE spam, i mostly bought her to brawl with bots in Coop. After several games in full secondary build mode I switched modules from Secondary Armament modification to Aiming System Modification and it immediately started paying huge dividends. Prior to the switch id get a CA line up at 10km and you would do damage but not those devastating strikes as shells went all over the place. After the switch those salvos started crippling CAs like they are supposed to. Secondaries are nice for those DDs and to start some fires but her main guns and torps are her bread and butter IMO so i have switched from full out secondary build and will probably never look back. As mentioned above it may be moot after the captain skill rework anyway.

 

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It sounds to me like secondary builds fundamentally aren't worth it.

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