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Ensign_Cthulhu

Stepping Up: Quick Notes on New Ships. Devonshire --> Surrey.

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THE OLD:

Devonshire is the Tier 6 British Heavy Cruiser, and is the last of the ships in this tech tree line to be built and serve.

I won the Devonshire as an early unlock in the closing days of the British Cruisers pre-release event and didn't ever have to play her stock, nor grind or pay for any of her hull or gunnery upgrades. She came with her Victorian White permacamo fitted. Most of the grind was done over a handful of days' play in the Submarine Battles mode that was active at the time (straddling 0.9.4 and 0.9.5), which was restricted to Tier 6 ships and included bots on both sides. This had the effect of giving me some very good battles to close out the Devonshire grind, including four straight wins to finish off. Thus I'm seeing her through very rose-tinted glasses, but with that caveat in mind, I enjoyed the ship and will be keeping her. 

Devonshire finishes out her T6 grind with 34,400 Health, 31kt speed, 710m turning circle and a 7.8s rudder shift. She turns quickly enough, but really needs Propulsion Mod 1 to get off the line in a hurry. Her 8" guns (eight, in ABXY twin turrets) reach out to 14km fully upgraded and do 3300 max HE and 4500 max AP damage.

THE NEW:

Surrey, at Tier 7, is the first of the "paper" ships in the British Heavy Cruiser tech tree, but is the closest of these to having been real; she was intended for construction but later cancelled, and in-game she represents an incremental outgrowth of the Devonshires.

Surrey cost me a 72,000 XP grind from Devonshire, plus 4,802, 500 credits with my clan bonuses, another 1.875 million for her modules (I chose Main Armaments Mod 1, Engine Systems Protection, Aiming Systems Mod 1 and Propulsion Mod 1), and 200,000 to half-retrain her captain.

Across the life of the ship, the further fixed costs include 1.6 million for the B hull (24,000 XP), and 1.45 million (16,000 XP) for the B gun fire control system.

Total fixed costs for a player with a fully-buffed clan base are therefore just a little less than 10 million credits.

Per-battle costs with full clan discounts (15% reduction) are 28,575 credits in co-op and 35,700 credits in Randoms. Shells cost 25cr per shot and torpedoes 250.

Permanent camo for this ship costs 2000 doubloons for either the Victorian White or standard-pattern Tier 7 permacamo and brings a further 10% reduction to service costs (total 25%).

 

Enough about the economics; on to the fighting qualities. The stock Surrey takes a 500m hit on main gun range compared to fully-buffed Devonshire, using the same guns (in number and layout), but unlike Devonshire she has a spotter plane that pushes her stock gun range out to a shade over 16km. This spotter does not compete for anything; the only consumable choice to be made is Hydro vs. DFAA. Surrey fires slightly faster (12.5 second reload down from 14 in the Devonshire). She has four torpedoes per side that reach out to 8km at 61kt (without enhancements) and reload in just over 1.5 minutes. The secondary/AA suite consists of six twin 4" guns, a suite identical to that seen on the light cruiser Edinburgh a tier higher, plus smaller. It felt subjectively useful, but I have insufficient experience against CV in this new ship to be certain. Detectability is 11.2km out of the box, 10.8km with a camo fitted and then 9.7km with a captain aboard who has the Concealment Expert skill; she is fractionally better than Devonshire.

With Propulsion Mod 1 fitted, Surrey feels quick off the line and handles well. Her main battery rotation feels comfortable enough not to need Expert Marksman, though she would no doubt feel a lot better with it, and the guns feel comfortable to use against cruiser size targets and larger. The limited gun range when the spotter is down is the worst thing about this ship; she is comfortably outranged by a large number of cruisers she faces at tier and even lower, and in my opinion she needs to lose the spotter plane and have the extra ranged baked into the hull. She is also terribly vulnerable against "sniper" battleships like the Sinop or Vladivostok, which also comfortably outrange her. A single major-calibre shell getting anywhere into the middle 50% or 60% of this ship will register as a citadel, carve a large chunk of her health away, and be difficult to heal.

The worst case this ship can face is to be bottom tier against Tier 9, which is what I faced in both the Random battles I took her out in. For this reason, I would call Surrey as having a moderately high to high skill floor until I have more experience in her. That being said, after two completely stock battles with a zero point captain (one co-op, one random) and a further two (again, one co-op and one random) with all the module slots filled and the 10 pointer brought up from the Devonshire, I wanted to keep on playing her.

THE VERDICT:

The Surrey is a contradiction - a ship with significant handicaps and only intermittent and temporary mitigations that plays on the knife edge, yet inspires confidence in me to do so. Needs at least another kilometre of gun range to make her comfortable, and her citadel dropped a bit, and any buffs would quite frankly be welcomed, but I am optimistic for the long run. If the good vibes continue, she'll get a permacamo and keep her 10-point (soon to be 11 point) captain for the long haul.

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Enjoyed Hawkins, Devonshire, Drake and Goliath.

Surrey is really handicapped by the short gun range and speed.

Abemarle is just run of the mill - would rather play Baltimore or Charles Martel - don't have Tallinn yet, perhaps her too.

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Played through Devonshire - Drake on this line. Found that even though the 6/7 are basically made of citadels or overpens vs BB, shells, they are small and nimble enough I could actively dodge to end up on the overpen side most of the time.

Not so the AlBRUHmarle... worst ship I actually ground all the way through since my first run through the Famous and Historical Monarch... be prepared to get sent back to port from full health the moment a BB looks at you unless you stay at useless spotter plane range the whole time since the ship is a wallowing tub with the most vulnerable citadel in the game to any shell with 25mm overmatch... while at the same time your 203's feel like they're the same guns the Devonshire has... and what's just okay at T6 is pretty bad by T8

Thankfully that only lasts for a tier since the Drake is far tougher and I've found the 234's can definitely discourage BB's from rushing in to blap you in a way the 203's fail.

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For what you write I have the feeling it is the same as Hawkins and Devon, meaning you live to ambush things and hard cover is a must.

I play them as sneaky pirate ships and have a lot of fun with them. You don't have range but you have insane camo.

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The Surrey is so strong. 9.7 conceal at tier 7 and a big heal, good guns, high fire chance.  Spotter gives you 17k+ range …...forward torps Best tech tree Cruiser at it's tier.

This thing is a Goliath at tier 7.

Edited by Joyous_Vibes

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Surrey has been surprisingly good.

But, nothing on the ship screams "this is your first 3-point captain skill".

Does anyone have suggestions / arguments for a particular 3-pt skill, on a Surrey captain that might end up on Drake or Goliath eventually?

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