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SeaGladius

Wichita - A Misunderstood Gem

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I’ve been playing Wichita a lot lately and felt like writing up my thoughts on her.  I know that LittleWhiteMouse, Flamu, and others have written reviews or posted videos, but feel like they missed the point of the ship.  Like they made a chart of all the stats, assigned values to them, added those up, and found that Baltimore had a higher value than Wichita, and so is the better ship.  Flamu’s video is literally called “Not Baltimore, But Not Bad.”  And that’s the problem.  It creates this mindset that Wichita is a Baltimore that traded some gunpower, radar range and health for a little extra mobility and concealment, and that sounds like a bad trade.  For the longest time, that’s what I thought too.

I got Wichita in a Santa Crate this last Christmas, and recently decided to equip her with modules and take her out for a spin.  To be completely transparent, I’ve only played 23 games, so you can easily say that it’s not a representative sample, and that’s a valid point.  But my games haven’t felt like outliers.  I’ve had good teams, bad teams, close games and blowouts.  I’m playing well, but certainly not at Unicum levels – In those 23 battles, I have a 57% winrate, 44K average damage, and 750K potential damage.  I’ve survived 11 of the 23 games.

Beyond what any of those stats say about the ship though, I’m having a blast.  I have never felt as in control of engagements as I do in Wichita.  If a CV decides to bother me, Defensive Fire coupled with the 2-pt AA skill and priority sector convinces him to go somewhere else and the ship’s maneuverability helps mitigate drops that do get through.  If a DD gets close enough to spot me at 9.5km, then my 9 km radar plus 35 kt speed (with the speed flag) will counter spot him almost immediately, and he decides he needs to be somewhere else too.  Combined with the concealment, you can quickly reposition to unexpected places.  You get lots of broadsides to shoot AP into this way – you spot/target enemy ships, they freak out and start turning out because they don’t know what’s aiming at them, and you hit them in the side.  When they shoot back, you just dance around their shells.

Wichita is much more like a Cleveland that gives up 0.1 km of detectability and 20m turning circle for 1 second faster rudder shift, 1 kt faster speed, heavy cruiser armor and heavy cruiser guns.  That sounds like a much better trade.  Wichita is not designed to poke her nose around the corner of an island and bow tank, she’s designed to move.  To take advantage of her maneuverability, you need to be moving.  To take advantage of her concealment and pop up in unexpected places, you need to be moving.  You need to have good map awareness to play this ship well.  Wichita does not have the range to sit in the back and farm BBs.  This ship is designed to get up close and support your DDs by spotting the enemy DDs and forcing them to retreat.  So if you aren’t paying attention to the enemy BBs, they WILL dev. strike you.  You need to know when to hold your fire, and when to take advantage of island cover to really mess with those BB’s heads.  When you’re dodging shells, you need to mix it up.  Don’t be predictable.  Let them get off a few salvos that you dodge while farming them, then go dark and wait for them to look for another target before opening up again.

This is not a ship in which to farm huge damage numbers though.  Your primary job is rooting out DDs, and that’s always going to net you less damage than farming battleships.  Additionally, you’re still firing slow American shells, so it’s hard to hit DDs at range, and with a 10 second reload, you don’t get too many shots before they’ve booked out of your radar range again.  But since the margin between your radar range and concealment is so small, you tend to go dark shortly thereafter as well, and can now reposition to your next surprise spot.  And that’s how I’ve been most successful playing Wichita.  Surprise someone, get a few impactful volleys into them, then disengage, reposition, and repeat.  Always think about where you need to exert influence, and move there.

I use the propulsion mod instead of extra rudder shift because I feel like 6 second rudder shift is fast enough, and the ship is definitely sluggish at slow speeds (another reason to keep moving).  I’m using my John Doe captain, with improved shell switching, so I can have the right shell loaded within 2.5 seconds.  Also, improved Grease the Gears, AA expert, Superintendent, Adrenaline Rush, Concealment Expert and Top Grade Gunner.  That’s 18 points, and for my last three I’m still trying to decide between heavy AP shells or Priority Target with another 1 point skill.  If your map awareness isn't the best, I recommend Priority Target, or at least Incoming Fire Alert, since you need to know when to dodge.

Finally, I earn a ton of credits in this ship.  My standard practice is to run 2 dragon flags per random battle, whichever ones I have the most of. One of those usually has a bonus to credits, so that’s +50% or +20%.  With the performance I listed above, I easily earn at least 400,000 credits per match.  Most wins are in the 600,000 range, and my maximum was 929,000 credits in a single match.

Wichita isn’t going to be for everyone.  Playing an open-water cruiser at mid-range can result is some pretty spectacular deletions if you are not paying attention, but you almost always are impactful to the battle.  Plus, it’s exhilarating when you pull it off.  I love it, and it’s been the first, if not only, ship I reach for these days.

My intention is that this will be a springboard for more discussion.  Let me know your thoughts and experiences with the Wichita.  

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As of this morning, I’m up to 32 battles, 59% WR, and 46K average damage. I’ve survived 19 of the battles though my average potential damage  has fallen to 716K.

This ship is spoiling me.  I tried playing Helena and Atago, and really felt the lack of radar.  Again, not a large sample size, but I did not feel like I could push in either of those ships like I can in the Wichita.  It has all the qualities I need to have an impact in every game.

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I own Wichita on my main account and never play her, but I've been playing her as an event pirate and having crazy average damage and a lot of fun. 

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I enjoyed playing the ship but the guns are just too weak to make this my favorite to play anymore, even though it is my most played cruiser (soon Mainz will overtake it on games played). With the release of the Italian DDs and the new German DDs I have placed this ship indefinitely on the shelf. I can not destroy them with this ship. Last game I played in this ship made me so mad that a T9 German destroyer sat in front of me basically broadside and out gunned me. So sad. :cap_wander:

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Italian DDs?

German DDs are meant to counter light cruisers, and Wichita isn’t much tougher.  I’ve found success angling against German DDs.  Their dpm falls off if forced to use HE. Their strength is their guns, but it gives away their position. That lets you fire back, and you’re teammates should be helping out too.

But yeah, Wichita’s guns are just so-so.  Her strength is her concealment coupled with radar, and her maneuverability.  You have to give up something for those.

Edited by SeaGladius

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This morning I completed my 100th battle in Wichita.  This is my best ship by far.  It's actually ruining other ships for me, because you can be super aggressive in the Wichita and survive, whereas that gets you killed in other ships.

 

Wichita 100 Battles stats.jpg

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