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Kellar21

New Player, got a Kongo, looking for some tips.

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Hello Everyone, after some time watching videos and streams, I decided to give this game a try. I love naval warfare, and battleships especially.

I don't know if it's common but I got 50k Free XP on my first crate. So I researched my way to Kongo Tier V Battleship(my goal is of course Space Battleship Yamato) and all upgrades.

It's a very fast ship, so I can relocate and/or escape more easily. The guns have an awesome range(but I can`t seem to do much damage at more than 18km)

I have played some games with it, and I can't help but think I might be doing some things wrong.

At first, I would try to charge behind the cruisers to add to their Damage, but that didn't work. My most successful runs have been standing back and bombarding from 14-20km.

What's the best way to play it so I can help my team? Should I go a few km behind the cruises and try to keep the reds at 15km+? What are the best captain skills? Upgrades? Flags?

And this might be a noobish question(I did start playing yesterday) but when should I use AP and HE shells? The way I understood after watching some videos and watching others is that I should use AP to Broadside Cruisers and BBs and HE for everything else. Is that true?(Some of the info was quite a bit old).

Some help with how to use the aiming system properly would be good, I seem to overcompensate too much.

Thanks for all the help, really excited to keep advancing(though I heard I should skip Fuso and go for Nagato).

 

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For the Kongo, you should pretty much always use AP. You can maybe switch to HE when only destroyers remain, or if a particularly skilled and armored enemy is going against you bow-on, but as someone just starting out "AP always" is a good starting point.

4 minutes ago, Kellar21 said:

Should I go a few km behind the cruises and try to keep the reds at 15km+?

Yes, at least at the start of the game. Your destroyers and cruisers will screen you from enemy destroyers and planes, and you can use your superior range for the tier to punish reds.

But as you note, the Kongo's dicey accuracy makes that long range engagement somewhat ineffective. Later in the game, as you gain confidence and understanding of different ships, the Kongo's speed can let you bully ships closer in. Knowing when you can do that safely takes a long time to learn though, and something to keep in mind for later. To start, I'd focus on learning to hit reds reliably, learning where to go where you're safe from torpedos but in effective gunnery range, and learning how to angle/dodge to mitigate enemy fire.

For captain skills, there are other guides and the usual "tanky BB" setup is good for Kongo. Upgrades and flags won't matter too much at that tier.

Personally, I think the Fuso is one of the best ships in that line, and would recommend you spend some time at tier 6 since that is when you'll encounter tier 8 CVs, and other high tier ships that tend to punish mistakes a bit more thoroughly.

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Kongo is fast with good guns and a lot of health, but her armor is pretty light for a battleship (she’s an up-armored battlecruiser, after all). To do well in Kongo, you need to have good map awareness (that speed will get you into trouble), and a good understanding of how to angle to make her armor effective.

With only 25 battles, you did not do yourself any favors by jumping up to tier V. When you play your first battle in a tier V ship, the protected MM for new players (a certain number of battles, but I can’t recall off the top of my head) ends regardless of your battle count, so you are now being put in battles with the general population and not just newer players like yourself.

This probably isn’t the advice you were looking for, but I would strongly suggest you spend some more time playing ships at lower tiers (and all classes) to get a better understanding of the basics before proceeding up the tiers. At higher tiers, the game is much less forgiving and it will be more difficult to learn necessary skills, to say nothing of how much frustration you will feel.

Anyways, for captain skills I would start with PT, EM, SI, FP for your first ten points for most BBs. After you get some more experience you might find some skills better fit your playstyle over others, but these are almost universally useful for a BB captain.

Good luck and welcome to the game. :Smile_honoring:

Edited by Nevermore135
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14 minutes ago, Kellar21 said:

Thanks for all the help

So far it has seemed like a good idea to spend more time with the lower ships. I spent 20 games or more in mine to develop the skills and captains I would need for higher tiers. I really needed concealment expert for tier 5 and 6 American destroyers, and I'm happy I put in the work at easier tiers to get it.

I can progress to the tier 7 Mahan now, but I want more experience before I start facing tier 9 ships. I think it's a good idea to just take your time and get good at the lower ships before you expect to be any good with a tier 5 ship that faces tier 7 battleships pretty often.

I wish I had 50k free xp! How do you get that in a container???? lol

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I change ammo a lot more often than many. HE is a reliable way to damage all ships. I use it on BBs and cruisers facing me or running away. On very light cruisers HE will many times do more damage if they are broadside than an AP overpen will do. Broadside BBs use AP. Learning your guns is VERY important. I would not recommend changing ships constantly. For best results keep using a ship you do well with and really learn how to make those guns sing.

Never show the red team your broadside if at all possible. Time your turns after they fire and when turning away slow your engines to turn faster. Try to stay about 30* toward or away from the enemy ships to maximize your armor thickness and possibility of ricochets(also smaller target = less hits on you). After they fire all guns you can turn a bit more to fire your rear guns then turn back in.

Don't stay too far out. BBs can tank lots of damage and should provide a target for enemy ships to minimize the damage your cruisers are taking. It is a fine line between being too far and being too close though. Learn patience and wait for good shots rather than just blasting away at a BB 16km out face on to you.

Increase the size of your minimap to maximum(I forget which key it is(hit escape look in settings). It should be 3-4" wide compared to standard of maybe 2". Learn to look at this map a lot and look around the map a lot to know how things are progressing around you(use left mouse key to hold your guns on the same position while you free view around). Map awareness is KEY to good play.

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1 hour ago, Nevermore135 said:

Kongo is fast with good guns and a lot of health, but her armor is pretty light for a battleship (she’s an up-armored battlecruiser, after all). To do well in Kongo, you need to have good map awareness (that speed will get you into trouble), and a good understanding of how to angle to make her armor effective.

With only 25 battles, you did not do yourself any favors by jumping up to tier V. When you play your first battle in a tier V ship, the protected MM for new players (a certain number of battles, but I can’t recall of the top of my head) ends regardless of your battle count, so you are now being put in battles with the general population and not just newer players like yourself.

This probably isn’t the advice you were looking for, but I would strongly suggest you spend some more time playing ships at lower tiers (and all classes) to get a better understanding of the basics before proceeding up the tiers. At higher tiers, the game is much less forgiving and it will be more difficult to learn necessary skills, to say nothing of how much frustration you will feel.

Anyways, for captain skills I would start with PT, EM, SI, FP for your first ten points for most BBs. After you get some more experience you might find some skills better fit your playstyle over others, but these are almost universally useful for a BB captain.

Good luck and welcome to the game. :Smile_honoring:

I had thought of that. I noticed the sharp difficulty increase when I began playing with it. I thought it was common to have that 50k free xp(I was one battle away from being able to use Free XP).

What ships in lower tiers do you recommend I use to learn the mechanics? I think I like cruisers too, but not destroyers. I would even be open to using another nation's ships. I wanted to explore the German one (Bismarck) but apparently the current meta is either Russian or American and IJN.

I think I have enough XP to unlock some.

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Don't be afraid of DDs. I blap them regularly(especially with the Fuso). DDs players (which I used to main-now I prefer cruisers) get confidant and cocky that they can nuke you with torpedoes if they can get close enough. By planning ahead with HE loaded you can hunt them down and as they turn to torp you blast them with all barrels at 5km and poof they are gone. They will feint left or right to draw your fire but you wait a bit or hard turn. As you are turning to get all barrels on they will turn to torp you slow down to turn faster and throw off aim. blap them and secondaries can finish if they are not dead. either way you can only get hit by a few torps, if done right they aim badly and miss or don't even get shots off.

Play DDs a bit to realize how fragile they are and lose your paranoia. BBs tend to have this crazy fear of the bogeyman but they really aren't hard to deal with once you practice a bit. It is sad seeing 3 bbs hiding or running from a single dd due to that overarching concern of torps. Use your WASD keys a lot and remove that fear.

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10 minutes ago, Highblooded said:

Increase the size of your minimap to maximum(I forget which key it is(hit escape look in settings). It should be 3-4" wide compared to standard of maybe 2". Learn to look at this map a lot and look around the map a lot to know how things are progressing around you(use left mouse key to hold your guns on the same position while you free view around). Map awareness is KEY to good play.

I already do that, I am trying to keep good SA(very important is DCS too), after I sailed full speed into a cruiser formation while Sniping at a BB 18km away.

I thought Ctrl did that. But if I go to the sides too much the cannons move, I wish I could lock them, so I can look around while keeping them in the general direction of the enemy, even with traverse upgrades it's too slow.

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2 minutes ago, Kellar21 said:

I had thought of that. I noticed the sharp difficulty increase when I began playing with it. I thought it was common to have that 50k free xp(I was one battle away from being able to use Free XP).

What ships in lower tiers do you recommend I use to learn the mechanics? I think I like cruisers too, but not destroyers. I would even be open to using another nation's ships. I wanted to explore the German one (Bismarck) but apparently the current meta is either Russian or American and IJN.

I think I have enough XP to unlock some.

US BBs up to tier 5 are the most meat and potatoes of the BBs.  After that, their speed (lack of) is something you have to learn to deal with, but they teach all the basics.

I wouldn't normally free XP ships, but the Kawachi and Myogi are two that are tempting to skip.

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1 hour ago, Harmonieux said:

I wish I had 50k free xp! How do you get that in a container???? lol

I think it was the first container I opened on my first day(yesterday), it's probably something scripted to keep new players in. Or not. I thought it should be common. Like in Warframe, after staying some months away, the first "reward" I get when logging back in is almost always an 80% cash currency discount.

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Welcome aboard. Jumping up to tier 5 may be a mistake because you were still in protected match making and would have been for up to 200 matches or getting a tier 5. You got a truly super Super Container

22 minutes ago, DrHolmes52 said:

US BBs up to tier 5 are the most meat and potatoes of the BBs.  After that, their speed (lack of) is something you have to learn to deal with, but they teach all the basics.

I wouldn't normally free XP ships, but the Kawachi and Myogi are two that are tempting to skip.

The Kawachi is painful but the Myogi is actually quite good and with its speed is excellent at kiting.

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Use your free XP to research upgrades on ships so you aren't sailing stock, don't use it to skip entire ships if you are new to the game. You want to gain that experience. Rushing to tier 10 is generally a mistake for new players, take your time in the mid-tiers and learn the mechanics, maps, and meta - there is more to learn than you might think if you want to actually be good at this game. Make sure you are comfortable and aim for 50%+ win rate and good dmg avg. in current tier before moving up.

In most BBs you will want to fire primarily AP. Use HE vs. destroyers(fire AP if loaded though it can still be effective) or vs. angled top tier BBs(if you are bottom tier) that you are having a hard time damaging with AP.

Oh, and whoever told you to skip the Fuso is braindead. It's one of the best ships in the line, lots of fun.

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1 hour ago, Kellar21 said:

 I wish I could lock them, so I can look around while keeping them in the general direction of the enemy, even with traverse upgrades it's too slow.

You can.

If you hold RMB, you can "free look". The guns will stay in position, and releasing RMB snaps you right back to where the guns are aimed.

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55 minutes ago, BrushWolf said:

Welcome aboard. Jumping up to tier 5 may be a mistake because you were still in protected match making and would have been for up to 200 matches or getting a tier 5. You got a truly super Super Container

The Kawachi is painful but the Myogi is actually quite good and with its speed is excellent at kiting.

Wait, so if I go back to playing with lower tiers I will still be in "normal" Matchmaking, it's irreversible? Can't go back to "protected" one?

It's not like I would enjoy playing until I get into the "meat" of BBs, but I certainly would like an easier learning curve.

Well, in for a penny, in for a pound, time to practice.

Edited by Kellar21

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20 minutes ago, Kellar21 said:

Wait, so if I go back to playing with lower tiers I will still be in "normal" Matchmaking, it's irreversible? Can't go back to "protected" one?

It's not like I would enjoy playing until I get into the "meat" of BBs, but I certainly would like an easier learning curve.

Well, in for a penny, in for a pound, time to practice.

Nope, that is a one way street, the only way back would be to reroll and with only 25 matches you wouldn't be losing much unless you have premium time or ships.

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Patience is the name of the game. Stay at 15km range always. You are untouchable now. Wait for the enemy to show his sides. Load AP. Do not fire unless you get to shoot at the sides of BB, CL, CV. You've become the destroyer of worlds ships.

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36 minutes ago, Kellar21 said:

Wait, so if I go back to playing with lower tiers I will still be in "normal" Matchmaking, it's irreversible? Can't go back to "protected" one?

It's not like I would enjoy playing until I get into the "meat" of BBs, but I certainly would like an easier learning curve.

Well, in for a penny, in for a pound, time to practice.

Well, welcome to the game. First off, new players are put into "protected" matchmaking for their first 200 or so battles. What this means is that you'll only be matched up against bots and other new players.  

As for how to play Kongo, it is a good ship but not an easy one to play. First it is fast and fully upgraded can 30 knots with few ships within her MM spread. However she pays for this in all other respects, her armor and firepower are pretty much bottom of the pack when compared to other tier 5 bbs. What this means in practice is that you should stay at range and try and avoid close quarters combat. You also need to be disciplined with your angling to avoid taking massive chunks of damage and sending you back to port early. Some other general tips are to always maintain map awareness, in other words, keep track of the positions of your team mates and the enemy to avoid getting into "awkward situations", also hold your salvos and wait the best target(any who is broadsiding you) bbs in this game rely on big alpha strikes, and not so much continuous damage.

And to answer another of your questions, you should mainly stick with AP, in wows there is mechanic called "over match" where an AP shell will pen a piece of plating up to a certain thickness regardless of the of the angle of said plating. You can find the over match capability of your guns by taking the gun caliber and dividing it by 14.33(always round down), which in Kongo's case is 24mm. All tier 5 and lower bbs are covered in 16mm and 13mm plating(though there are quite a few exceptions) and most tier 6 and below bruisers are the same. 

Those are just some general notes but I would strongly recommend that you go back to lower tiers as have many others, and learn the basic mechanics of the game. Once you get out of protected MM, you will be slaughtered by more experience players and you will be miserable. A good ship to learn the ropes would be the Tier 3 American Cruiser St. Louis. It's a power house that is bristling with and fairly tough for a cruiser, though the down side is that is rather slow.    

Edited by cheekywarship2018

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1 hour ago, cheekywarship2018 said:

Well, welcome to the game. First off, new players are put into "protected" matchmaking for their first 200 or so battles. What this means is that you'll only be matched up against bots and other new players.  

As for how to play Kongo, it is a good ship but not an easy one to play. First it is fast and fully upgraded can 30 knots with few ships within her MM spread. However she pays for this in all other respects, her armor and firepower are pretty much bottom of the pack when compared to other tier 5 bbs. What this means in practice is that you should stay at range and try and avoid close quarters combat. You also need to be disciplined with your angling to avoid taking massive chunks of damage and sending you back to port early. Some other general tips are to always maintain map awareness, in other words, keep track of the positions of your team mates and the enemy to avoid getting into "awkward situations", also hold your salvos and wait the best target(any who is broadsiding you) bbs in this game rely on big alpha strikes, and not so much continuous damage.

And to answer another of your questions, you should mainly stick with AP, in wows there is mechanic called "over match" where an AP shell will pen a piece of plating up to a certain thickness regardless of the of the angle of said plating. You can find the over match capability of your guns by taking the gun caliber and dividing it by 14.33(always round down), which in Kongo's case is 24mm. All tier 5 and lower bbs are covered in 16mm and 13mm plating(though there are quite a few exceptions) and most tier 6 and below bruisers are the same. 

Those are just some general notes but I would strongly recommend that you go back to lower tiers as have many others, and learn the basic mechanics of the game. Once you get out of protected MM, you will be slaughtered by more experience players and you will be miserable. A good ship to learn the ropes would be the Tier 3 American Cruiser St. Louis. It's a power house that is bristling with and fairly tough for a cruiser, though the down side is that is rather slow.    

Thanks, I think I might actually do that. I will try out the St. Louis.

A question though, I normally use Dynamic crosshair, but there's a video from 2019(

saying it has variations regarding range, so for example at 19km you have to reduce lead by 2 and so on. Has this been fixed? Is the video correct? Is there anywhere with updated information about how the dynamic crosshairs work exactly(I must have watched 10 different videos and only this one said it had this variation.)

I feel like most of my bad aiming is due to me not understanding how the crosshair works.

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The Kongo works best when you master angling your hull armor and don't take fire from two different directions. Although she can fire from a great distance, she really shines at mid-range, picking off stranded ships. She has very respectable secondary cannons too. Try to be a bodyguard for your cruisers: they will protect you from planes, and you'll protect them from other battleships. Stick with her, she's one of the most enjoyable ships in the game and certainly a keeper.

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4 hours ago, Kellar21 said:

I had thought of that. I noticed the sharp difficulty increase when I began playing with it. I thought it was common to have that 50k free xp(I was one battle away from being able to use Free XP).

What ships in lower tiers do you recommend I use to learn the mechanics? I think I like cruisers too, but not destroyers. I would even be open to using another nation's ships. I wanted to explore the German one (Bismarck) but apparently the current meta is either Russian or American and IJN.

I think I have enough XP to unlock some.

The German battleship line are excellent "Jack of all trades" ships, I highly recommend them. The Sharnhorst/Gneisenau sisters are like super-Kongos with torpedoes.

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4 hours ago, BrushWolf said:

Welcome aboard. Jumping up to tier 5 may be a mistake because you were still in protected match making and would have been for up to 200 matches or getting a tier 5. You got a truly super Super Container

The Kawachi is painful but the Myogi is actually quite good and with its speed is excellent at kiting.

The only problem with Myogi is as a kiting battleship, it is the first time you come across such a thing.  The speed and range are excellent.

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9 minutes ago, DrHolmes52 said:

The only problem with Myogi is as a kiting battleship, it is the first time you come across such a thing.  The speed and range are excellent.

The French forward turrets only BB's are surprisingly good at kiting because of the excellent gun arcs.

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6 hours ago, Kellar21 said:

Hello Everyone, after some time watching videos and streams, I decided to give this game a try. I love naval warfare, and battleships especially.

I don't know if it's common but I got 50k Free XP on my first crate. So I researched my way to Kongo Tier V Battleship(my goal is of course Space Battleship Yamato) and all upgrades.

It's a very fast ship, so I can relocate and/or escape more easily. The guns have an awesome range(but I can`t seem to do much damage at more than 18km)

I have played some games with it, and I can't help but think I might be doing some things wrong.

At first, I would try to charge behind the cruisers to add to their Damage, but that didn't work. My most successful runs have been standing back and bombarding from 14-20km.

What's the best way to play it so I can help my team? Should I go a few km behind the cruises and try to keep the reds at 15km+? What are the best captain skills? Upgrades? Flags?

And this might be a noobish question(I did start playing yesterday) but when should I use AP and HE shells? The way I understood after watching some videos and watching others is that I should use AP to Broadside Cruisers and BBs and HE for everything else. Is that true?(Some of the info was quite a bit old).

Some help with how to use the aiming system properly would be good, I seem to overcompensate too much.

Thanks for all the help, really excited to keep advancing(though I heard I should skip Fuso and go for Nagato).

 

Ahhh.... Kongo.  The ship I like so much, that I have welcomed five versions of her to my port.  :-)

shot-20_08.27_19_23.42-0018.thumb.jpg.6074947913ba07e954bb7fa2fa942068.jpg

Here are the Captain's Skills I'm using.  Your mileage may vary and other's may disagree, but I often sail my Kongo and her sisters in the thick of the action.

shot-20_08.27_19_31.28-0741.thumb.jpg.074209b91ad55b224199e6c790cf1e42.jpg

I load HE projectiles at the start of the match.
Why?
1.  Because the first things you'll see will be fast, small and thin-skinned.  HE won't over-penetrate and might start a fire.
2.  Early in the battle the BB's tend to be out of range or sailing towards you with a small target-profile and their armor angled to defeat AP projectiles.  Again, HE makes sense to more reliably cause damage and perhaps cause a fire.

When do I switch to AP?
Answer = When there is a strong chance of getting a shot at a ship's broadside that won't get over-penetrated.  Also, because it takes time to switch ammo, plan this in advance.
Example:  I'm sailing towards another BB who is also pointed towards my ship (more or less).  It is likely that we will pass each other in a "joust".  So, I'll salvo 'em with HE while they're still at medium range and switch to AP soon enough so that I'll have AP loaded as we get close to each other.  I'll then try to use AP to hit their broadside and hopefully something vital like a magazine or a citadel.  If for some reason they're sailing in reverse before we pass each other in a jousting exhibition, then AP can be used to attempt to incapacitate their main-gun turrets.

AP has virtues and vices.  If it bounces, it does no damage.  If it over-penetrates, it does little damage.  When used properly and aimed correctly on an appropriate target, the hits on target tend to get good results.
HE is more forgiving, but it doesn't have the same maximum damage potential.  But, at least HE has a chance to start a fire.

As for Fuso and Nagato?
I like them both.  They're good ships and they have access to Scenario Operations battle modes for some variety and increased earnings potential for credits and XP.
World of Warships wiki-page on Scenario Operations
https://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Ship:Scenarios

You've already gotten good posts about Kongo's wonderful speed, her somewhat squishy armor scheme and her virtues.  So I won't re-hash that here.

Play your Kongo for the fun of it and send some "Kantai Collection *Burning Love*" towards opposing ships.  :-)
 

 

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6 hours ago, Kellar21 said:

Hello Everyone, after some time watching videos and streams, I decided to give this game a try. I love naval warfare, and battleships especially.

Hi, welcome to WoWS and the forums! 

6 hours ago, Kellar21 said:

I don't know if it's common but I got 50k Free XP on my first crate. So I researched my way to Kongo Tier V Battleship(my goal is of course Space Battleship Yamato) and all upgrades.

Receiving a super container with 50k free XP in it is very rare - you are exceptionally lucky.  The IJN Battleship tech tree line is pretty good though, and despite the Yamato being one of the oldest ships in the game she remains very powerful - good choice! :)

6 hours ago, Kellar21 said:

It's a very fast ship, so I can relocate and/or escape more easily. The guns have an awesome range(but I can`t seem to do much damage at more than 18km)

I have played some games with it, and I can't help but think I might be doing some things wrong.

At first, I would try to charge behind the cruisers to add to their Damage, but that didn't work. My most successful runs have been standing back and bombarding from 14-20km.

What's the best way to play it so I can help my team? Should I go a few km behind the cruises and try to keep the reds at 15km+? What are the best captain skills? Upgrades? Flags?

So, there isnt really an easy answer to this - it comes with experience.  But I have copied some information below that might help you out a bit - see the info in the spoiler.  

Spoiler

Ultimately, being able to read the maps and anticipate what the enemy is going to do is very challenging for new players - it will simply come with experience.  

Still, there are a few key points that you can apply early on that can hurry up this learning process: 

  • Recognise whether you are on the 'strong flank' or the 'weak flank'.  In almost all WoWS battles, your team will split up unevenly - about 1/3 will go one way (lets say towards Capture Point A) and 2/3 will go the other way (lets say to Capture Point C).  Within the first minute of the battle, see if you can work out if you are on the strong of the weak side of your team.  
  • Similarly, recognise whether the enemy in front of you is either strong or weak.  Just as your team broke up unevenly, so did the enemy team. 
    • Also, in addition to absolute numbers, pay attention to their composition including type and tier - for example, are all their high tier battleships on one side, but with no destroyer or cruiser support? This could be a delicious hunting ground if you are a destroyer, and your grave if you are a bottom-tier battleship. 
    • This is where 'spotting' the enemy team to see where they are early on is very important - this is typically the job of destroyers and aircraft carriers.  But a destroyer who gets good spotting in early is at extreme risk of being killed by the enemy team.  Keeping your destroyers alive to late battle is far, far stronger and more important than rushing in at the start - so you need to be close enough to give them supporting fire but not expose yourself to too much return fire.  Its a delicate balancing act.  
  • IF you are on the strong flank and you are facing the enemy's weak flank, and you have an interest in winning, then you have an obligation to push your flank to defeat the enemy on your side of the map - before the enemy can wipe out your teammates on the far side of the map.  Once you have defeated the enemy locally, mid-battle move towards the centre of the map to support your team on the far side of the map - try to shoot at the enemy from the side and rear.  
    • If you are going to do something aggressive, like push a flank, I've always found announcing what you are going to do in team chat (green - not the white global chat!) about 30 seconds to a minute in advance can help garner some support.  Not always, though, and relying on your team to perform critical tasks as always a hiding to nothing (see LittleWhiteMouse's guide on how to control your winrate for further guidance). 
  • IF you are on the weak flank and you are facing the enemy's strong flank, then DO NOT PUSH the enemy - they will focus fire you and melt you down quickly.  Instead, you should try to turn away and 'kite' them (see some later posts in my Ship Role Quick Reference Guide for a longer description on kiting the enemy).  
    • Your primary job is to keep the main enemy force occupied and to slow them down so that you buy time for your strong flank to defeat the enemy on the far side of the map, then come and help you out late battle.  This can be hard to do and takes a lot of practice.  Also, I've found letting your team - politely - know in chat that the enemy is strong on your side of the map and they should immediately push harder on the far flank can help.  
  • IF you and the enemy are evenly matched - whether strong/strong or weak/weak, the outcome of the battle is usually determined through personal skill of the players involved. 
  • Regardless of the situation you are in, there are important things you can do to help your side win: 
    • Shoot weakened ships until they are killed - an enemy on 1% health still shoots back with 100% firepower, can spot you and your team for their teammates to shoot you, and each enemy ship alive is worth points that could result in their victory even as the fighting rages on. 
    • Focus fire - if your teammates are shooting an enemy ship, then you should shoot at it too even if it doesnt present the best target for you.  This is to knock out as many enemy ships as fast as possible, which preserves your own team's HP for later (when it is more important) and can have a psychological impact on the enemy team, who may turn defensive instead of pushing you.  
    • Always shoot at a spotted enemy destroyer - these stealthy ships can run the entire battle undetected but have few hitpoints; shoot at them so they are more concerned about their own survival rather than lining up you or your teammate as their next victim.  
    • Never be alone - enemy carriers and destroyers (in particular) see a lonely enemy ship as simply food.  Even the mightiest battleship alone will still die surprisingly quickly.  This is a team game, so sticking together and working as part of a team is most likely to result in success. 
  • Staying alive as long as you can and doing your job well are important contributors to winning, but controlled aggression is the key to winning this game - getting the balance right between taking risks, and when to hold your fire to: get out of the hot spotlight and heal up; remain undetected and slip behind enemy lines; or wait until the enemy is committed to a turn before shooting at an exposed broadside to get maximum damage. Camping at the back loses battles.  Rushing into the middle of the map at the start of battles with no exit plan (patricularly as a cruiser) gets you killed and loses battles just the same.
    • On that note, always having an exit plan ready to go before you start shooting at a new enemy is a really helpful way to rapidly build map awareness - typically this involves deciding which island to turn behind to keep you safe from enemy fire, but could mean you need to start turning your guns around before you start firing.  Planning ahead saves lives!  

Also, as a new player, you might find the below information and guides helpful.  

New player friendly tech tree lines

Spoiler

For new players, I recommend the following nations and tech tree branches as easy to learn and to play: 

  • Destroyers: American destroyers are the easiest to play - their fast firing guns, and torpedoes on both sides (at low tier) means that its a fast, fun run-and-gun style, with great smoke screens.  They are very forgiving - rush in, gun enemy destroyers, and if you win and live, then rush up to a battleship and shove him up with torps... once you get more experience, you can do all of those things better, faster, longer etc. 
  • Cruisers: French cruisers are probably the easiest to play at low-mid tiers. Load HE, shoot slow targets at near your max range to set them on fire - when they repair those fires, set more.  Dodge incoming shells (particularly from battleships) by slamming into full reverse and throwing the rudder over into a hard turn - then accelerate away again before the next salvo comes.  Use your long-range torpedos to shoot down narrow alleys where the enemy is coming from - sometimes you'll get a hit, and it'll be great. More fires!
    • DO NOT start on the British Light Cruiser line (ending in Minotaur) - these ships take detailed understanding and experience of the game mechanics in order to play; things like target selection, map positioning, map awareness, spotting mechanics, AP bounce and shatter mechanics, smoke screens, fire detection range in smoke, sonar and torpedo aim all to be functional. Experienced players even struggle with this line.  Steer clear.  
  • Battleships
    • British: These are sturdy battleships that have excellent HE direct damage and high fire chance - unlike most battleships, shooting HE at things will make them go boom. Because of that, and because they have decent armour protection generally, these battleships are easy to learn: aim well, and profit. 
    • German: Much stronger armour, but wonky/inaccurate main guns - you'll mostly be shooting AP shells at enemy battleships and cruisers.  However, your battleships have good to excellent secondary battery (particularly from Tier 7) and are a defining feature of the line.  Because they are meant to be played up close to the enemy, these ships are easier to aim, take solid damage, and encourage your team to push the capture point you're currently on, helping to win games. 
    • French: Low tier these ships arent anything special; however, by mid tier they become multi-barrelled shotguns and by T8+ they become (less armoured) speed demons - a truly varied line that might help you determine what kind of ship you like playing. I found them fun.  
  • Aircraft carriers: Personally, I suggest avoiding them entirely for now - they are very different to play and hard to do well at.  However, as a general principle Royal Navy carriers are easier to play but less impactful on the battle - seek out enemy ships that have just used DCP in order to set lots of fires that stick.  USN carriers are the most traditional and grasping these will transfer to other nations' carriers - they are a bit tricker to play but have more impact on the battle than Royal Navy carriers.  Japanese carriers do far more direct damage with their AP bombs and heavier torpedo plane squadrons, but they are harder to play and you need to understand AP bomb pen mechanics and search for citadels. German carriers are quite different, are the hardest to play and require a skilled hand as they are unlike the others.  See iChase's video guide to get a grasp of the basics of CV play.  Also, TopTier's example shows how to play low tier carriers well - in particular, where you should drive your carrier to stay alive. 

Links

Spoiler
6 hours ago, Kellar21 said:

And this might be a noobish question(I did start playing yesterday) but when should I use AP and HE shells? The way I understood after watching some videos and watching others is that I should use AP to Broadside Cruisers and BBs and HE for everything else. Is that true?(Some of the info was quite a bit old).

That's pretty good advice.  As a general rule, you want to use AP on broadside battleships and cruisers - try an aim so that your shells hit the enemy ship at the waterline under their smoke stacks.  There are certain exceptions - some ships (indeed, the Yamato) is vulnerable underneath their gun turrets, and other ships (like UK Battleships) have great HE that you might want to use more often than otherwise; however, for the vast majority of cases what you describe is still good advice.  

6 hours ago, Kellar21 said:

Some help with how to use the aiming system properly would be good, I seem to overcompensate too much.

You should try to use the 'dynamic crosshair' as soon as you can - go to the options and turn it on.  It makes leading targets much easier (though its not perfect) - the rest of aiming is practice, practice and much practice.  

6 hours ago, Kellar21 said:

Thanks for all the help, really excited to keep advancing(though I heard I should skip Fuso and go for Nagato).

No worries, happy to help.  But dont skip ships if you can avoid it - they all have things to teach you.  And the Fuso is actually pretty strong, it just plays a bit differently to the Kongo so often people dont like her (I found you needed to get a touch closer to the enemy with the Fuso which puts you at more risk, but you should be aiming to be about 12-14km away from targets in a Fuso, if not a bit closer).  

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6 hours ago, Kellar21 said:

What ships in lower tiers do you recommend I use to learn the mechanics? I think I like cruisers too, but not destroyers. I would even be open to using another nation's ships. I wanted to explore the German one (Bismarck) but apparently the current meta is either Russian or American and IJN.

 I think I have enough XP to unlock some.

It is a good idea to play all classes, especially at the beginning, because the best way to learn how to counter a ship is to learn to play it yourself. For example, many new players that griaviate towards battleships struggle against destroyers and frequently find themselves falling victim to torpedo strikes. Playing destroyers will give you insight into how DD players think, and teach you to not sail in straight lines at a constant speed. :Smile_teethhappy:

As far as which lines to play for a beginner, here are my recommendations:

Destroyers: I would stay away from dedicated torpedo boats at first, as gunboats are easier to play, especially at lower tiers.

USN DDs at low tiers are well-rounded ships, with good guns and lots of short-range torpedoes. These destroyers also have the “best” smokescreen in the game, with a long deployment time (you can cover a large area) and the longest duration so you can farm lots of salt from concealment. Just be aware that smokescreens are torpedo magnets, especially at mid-to-high tiers.

UK DDs are also a solid choice. At low tiers they tend to have better torps than American DDs, but slightly worse guns. UK DDs have a unique smokescreen with a very short duration, but fast recharge and additional charges. It’s very useful for breaking contact if you find yourself in over your head. British destroyers are thus a little more forgiving than those of other nations.

Cruisers;

I would recommend German cruisers. The tier V and VI ships are quite squishy, but they have fast-firing, long range guns with enhanced HE pentetration (38mm) that can easily pen most armor in their MM spread without needing the expensive IFHE skill. The ships also have lots of fast, short range torpedoes for fending off ships that get too close. Playing a floating citadel will also force you to learn very valuable cruiser skills like how and when to kite and how to position properly to be effective while not make yourself too inviting of a target for enemy battleships to delete. At tier VII the line transitions into tanky heavy cruisers with good ballistics and range, good armor that can bounce AP shells from lower-tier BBs, and turtleback armor that make them difficult to citadel at close range. German AP is also very strong, but struggles more against angled targets compared to some other nations.

I would strongly reccomend against playing British cruisers until you have quite a bit more experience. UK CLs are very fragile and have a more “high risk, high reward” playstyle (in some ways they play like large destroyers), and UK CAs have short range guns and other characteristics that require good positioning and map awareness to do well.

Battleships:

The IJN and USN lines are good places to start, being the oldest lines with the fewest “gimmicks,” allowing you to focus on developing fundamental skills (aiming, angling, map positioning, etc.). Be aware that USN BBs are very slow until tier VIII, so proper positioning and good map awareness is key because you cannot relocate quickly. It is easy to find yourself either far away from the action or stuck in a bad situation with no ability to retreat. The line is very consistent up to tier VII though, making the transition from one ship to the next fairly easy.

Japanese battleships alternate between battlecrusiers (Myogi, Kongo, Amagi) and more traditional BBs (Fuso, Nagato, Yamato). The ships are significantly faster than their USN counterparts until tier VIII, but tend to have weaker armor. Japanese battleships also tend to have long range and good accuracy at higher tiers (Nagato at tier VII and Yamato at tier X in particular), so they are good ships to learn how to aim effectively at long range.

You brought up German BBs, and I find the line a lot of fun. German BBs have turtleback armor that makes them difficult to citadel at medium-to-short ranges. This makes them excellent brawlers and very forgiving (especially at low tiers), but you also might learn some bad habits that will not serve you well in other nations’ battleships.

CVs:

I would reccomend avoiding carriers for now, since CVs play very differently than other ships and require a completely different skillset. They are also very difficult to play well, requiring good map awareness, target selection, and knowledge of ship characteristics and the general flow of battle to truly excel. If you want to try them out though, American carriers are probably the most well-rounded and a good choice for beginners.

 

Edited by Nevermore135
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