The following is aimed at new(ish) players looking to find a little more information about various ships from events, for premium currency or for real-world cash. The goal is to allow players to make an educated decision before parting with their time and money and to find premium vessels that suit their chosen style of play, whether that is competitive, cooperative, or simply for fun. The idea here is to elabourate on information not commonly available through reading statistics and provide some (heavily) biased anecdotal evidence to encourage or dissuade you from making your purchase. The usual disclaimers apply: everyone knows the Matchmaker clearly loves me because I spend money so that's why I occasionally get really good games, not because I have any particular skills of note.
Other articles in this series:
Available Ships: Atlanta, Atago, Aurora, Ishizuchi, Murmansk
Pre Order Ships: Sims, Yubari, Gremyashchy
Limited Release Ships: Tirpitz, Fujin, Campbeltown, Warspite, Imperator Nikolai I, Molotov, Mikhail Kutuzov, Blyskawica, Anshan,Lo Yang, Saipan, Texas
Gift & Reward Ships: Albany, Arkansas, Tachibana, Kamikaze, Iwaki, Mikasa, Diana, Emden, Marblehead
Arpeggio of Blue Steel Ships: Kongo, Myoko
Condensed Reading: Mouse's Quick Summary of Premium Ships
Without further ado:
The Soviet Navy Kirov-class Cruiser
Quick Summary: A Kirov-class cruiser armed with 180mm rifles with improved performance.
Cost: 4550 Doubloons (coming soon to the tech tree!)
Armed with nine high velocity 180mm guns. Has significantly better gun performance than the Kirov. Decent range of 15.5km. Can be increased temporarily to 18.7 km with her float plane. Very fast with a 36.0 knot top speed. Decent rudder shift of 7.8s.
Unable to fire from stealth without the use of her float plane. Very fragile, with 28,400hp and vulnerable citadel from all angles to heavy cruiser and battleship caliber guns. Torpedoes are short ranged at 4.0km. Horrible AA defense, both short ranged and low DPS. Large turning circle of 860m.
The Molotov is the quintessential, tier 6, support gunship. She doesn't have any tricks or special consumables to give her a sense of flair. She's not well armoured or especially stealthy. She can't take a hit to save her life. Her premium ship "quirk" lies entirely in her armament which allows her to deal a tremendous amount of damage at long range with brutally accurate, fast reloading 180mm rifles which feel way out of place at their tier. But is that enough to make her a worthwhile purchase?
These guns are the reason you want to play the Molotov. Though the look like the same armament as the Kirov (and they are), they have the same stats as those found on the tier 9 Dmitri Donskoi. This means a faster rate of fire, more damage from her AP shell and higher muzzle velocity.
Would I Recommend?
There's a pretty high skill ceiling on the Molotov. You have to have good situational awareness (not the Captain skill, the real-world skill!) to be able to make this ship perform. She has no get-out-of-jail-free cards. She has no Smoke Launcher, she has no ability to fire from stealth. She doesn't even have a great, trumping torpedo armament that will surprise enemies at medium to close range.
For those that have played and truly enjoy the Soviet Cruisers (or even the mid-tier German cruisers), she's worth looking at. Just be aware she's not very forgiving. If you want a forgiving cruiser trainer for the Soviets, look no further than the Murmansk at tier 5 or the Mikhail Kutuzov at tier 8.
The Molotov has four upgrade slots, common among all tier 6 and 7 ships.
For your first slot, Main Battery Modification 1 is your best choice, if only to help keep your awesome guns from turning into scrap metal. I equipped Gun Fire Control System Modification 1 in the second slot, to reduce her gun dispersion down to 130m. The only other viable option I would ever consider for the Molotov might be AA Gun Battery Modification 1 to increase her AA power, but I honestly don't feel you could ever get her AA up to a level where that would be worthwhile. There are two decent choices for the third slot, Propulsion Modification 1 or Steering Gears Modification 1 to help keep either your engine or your rudder from being damaged. As we'll likely be investing in the Last Stand Captain skill, neither of these is particularly an imperative but it's nice to have these working at full efficiency. I prefer the Propulsion mod, myself. Lastly, equip Steering Gears Modification 2 for your last slot to drop your rudder shift time down to 6.3s.
Unlike more recent premium ships (Mikhail Kutuzov & Lo Yang, we are looking at you), the Molotov has standard consumables consisting of a Damage Control Party and the choice between Hydroacoustic Search and Defensive Fire. The premium version of the Damage Control Party is never a bad idea, though you should be doing your best to never truly need it. Of the other two consumables, both are highly situational. I find Hydroacoustic Search more valuable.
Though she's sleek, the Molotov rides rather high in the water compared to a Kirov-class.
Recommended Captain Skills
Though there may be some temptation to build her as an AA cruiser, she really excels as a long range gunship and I would choose skills to help support the latter.
Your first skill should be Situational Awareness. You need to keep your eyes on a swivel anytime this goes off. I preferred Last Stand for my tier 2 skill. Alternatively, you can try Incoming Fire Alert if you need the extra help on being aware when you're being targeted. It's really that important in the Molotov. Still, I would recommend the former over the latter and try and teach yourself to work on your awareness. For tier 3, Vigilance is nice to have and probably the best choice from among these skills. For tier 4, there isn't a lot that's particularly valuable to the Molotov. I would recommend Demolition Expert to increase her HE performance. This will raise her chance of starting a fire per shell up to 16%. And lastly, at tier 5, Concealment Expert is pretty much a no-brainer.