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Bulachevsk

German Cruisers Review and How to Play Them

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I've been playing Wows since October 2015 and since around November I'm absolutely in love for the german ships (cruisers and battleships). Now that I finally got my Hindenburg the fun in the game is focused in upgrading my Roon captain to the Großadmiral rank (19 point captain). In the mean time I found interesting to share with the community my thoughts on what I consider the best line in the game: The germans.

 

First things you should know before starting your grind the the great Hindenburg is that the germans are very unique in its ship characteristics. Your main strenght relies in your artillery, without a good artillery and aim these cruisers become utterly useless. Your AP rounds are the strongest in the entire game and, even though low tier has better results with HE, you need to know how they work because, starting on tier five, you will probably forget your HE (It's a trap, don't do it). However the main weakness of these ships is in their armor. German armor is among the worst in the game and the basic with german cruisers (along with knowing AP usage) is ship angling, without it you won't be simply useless, you will be demolished from the surface. With that being said I think it's time for me to review the individual ships (yeah, this was the intro, so be ready for some huge texts).

 

The Hermelin, Dresden and Kolberg won't be reviewed by the simple fact that they are all just HE spammers, a lot of guns and are placed in a tier where strategy is often forgotten in battles. If any kind soul wants to write them down below, feel free

I refuse to review the Karlsruhe for the simple fact that I consider it, by far, the worst ship in the game. For this reason I believe that I haven't played it correctly and once I have time to start playing it I'll post a good review here in the Forum.

 

Königsberg

In my opinion, the best cruiser in the entire game. So good that some of you might see me sailing it around since I've chose her to upgrade my captain. its the first ship that actually shows the path of the german line: weak armor, precise and powerful guns, decent torpedos and a good speed. The armor goes up to 50mm thick, which is paper against any ship since tier 5 (even the 130mm from the russian destroyer Gnevny can citadel you... trust me, I used to do so in mine), so angle your ship in order to engage any enemy. The guns are great, even though they have the lowest caliber in tier 5, the amount of damage that the AP rounds can do is amazing. Any ship that offers you a broadside should get shot by AP, even some battleships if they are at 12km away or closer. However your ROF is so good that you can spam HE on those battleships and get some nice fire damage. I got to say that this tip is more for those ocasions on were you are fighting a strongly armoured battleship at range, so when your shells get to the target the kinectic force isn't enough to penetrate the armor. In this tier you receive the torpedos that will be used on all german cruisers until the Hindenburg: 6km with decent damage and fairly quick, but they are EMERGENCY TORPEDOS so don't get too excited about it. The manueverability and concealment are very standard, all german cruisers stay between 31 and 32,5 knts top speed and with the Königsberg is no different (32,5 knts).Enjoy this ship, use it to take lessons and make sure to understand how to play with it, she's the "role-model" to the future german cruisers so if you don't like angling your armor or using AP as main option you should better think about quitting this tree.

 

Nürnberg

This is basically a modernized Königsberg, she maintains similar guns (you get a 1.5sec reduction on your reload time and have a much better traverse speed, but the shells are still the same) and the same armor, however she is a little slower to manuever and I found it to be a little more difficult to play since her games are on higher tiers (Shells hit you harder and enemies are better). With the Nürrnberg you learn something really importaant on german cruisers: STAY IN THE BACK. With the Königsberg you could go for suicide runs on other cruisers or battleships and still get out of it alive, the case isn't the same with the Nürnberg. Your citadel is huge and you will get it hit a lot of times, but if you stay at range dropping your AP shells with your insane ROF I guarantee that you will deal good damage. Your main targets are the batlleships, their armor is kinda weak compared to your AP so you will often find yourself getting 5k dmg in one salvo, and when you can shoot every 7s that will add up resulting in a great damage. Just want to be clear about one thing, this ship is the one that I least liked between tier 5 to 10, purely because I only discovered how it is meant to be played on the last 15k xp needed for the Yorck, so stay at range spamming your AP and don't be the first ship between the enemy fleet and your allies... you will regret it.

 

Yorck

Yes, the Yorck is a papership, give up on trying to find it in wikipedia. A lot of people used to hate this ship, however I simply loved it, firstly because she is beautiful and second because she's great. The armor gets a "huge" improvement, goes from 50mm to 80mm (citadels are still a BIG concern for you, but after the Nürnberg you should probably be used to it already), the guns look fantastic when you see that they are 210mm, but, even though they are the second largest cruiser caliber, that's not actually the case. The arcs are insane and, when you consider that with german cruisers the best is to stay at range, you find it a little difficult to hit the targets. The turret speed is painfuly slow so you learn another great thing that will be used on any other ship: plan were to point your guns before entering the fights so, when you do, you have them ready to fire at the target. Remember about the APs? forget them! The Yorck arcs are so big that when your shells hit the enemies they dont have the force to penetrate the armor so you will be using HE most of the times and, since the caliber of the Yorck's guns is great you can do some very solid damage with it. But don't forget AP, if you find yourself in a fight closer than 12km with another cruiser or battleship your arcs become normal and the kinectic force return to your shells resulting in a good amount of damage per salvo if you hit the right spots in the enemy. 

 

Admiral Hipper

My favorite ship in the entire Kriegsmarine, along with the mighty Bismarck. The admiral Hipper doesn't see much improvement in the armor, but her guns become the fenomenal german guns that you follow you until the end of the line. The arcs are great, the AP is excellent and with the 203mm caliber finally reaching the german cruisers you start having the feeling of high tier battles in the german side. The main concern that a Hipper captain should keep in mind is the HP. In the tiers wich the Hipper plays the shells are very strong and your armor is too weak, so even when you don't receive a shot in the citadel you will lose a good amount of HP. When I was playing my Hipper I used to get citadeled quite a lot, even with the angling, however when I played against other Hippers with my Roon, I found very diffcult to citadel them. I don't know if its poor aiming of mine or just bad RNG, but the Hipper may be quite solid sometimes. Now going to artillery, forget the HE. Seriously, your AP is so good that I advice firing it even on destroyers and carriers, and your HE is really bad so you will often kill these ships faster with the AP rounds than you would with HE. The guns of the Hipper are great but they have one downside: You turrets are doubled barreled, which means only 8 round per salvo (I know that in the Yorck it was the same, but at this point you start missing some more firepower). And the manueverability starts getting to the turns-like-a-brick-level, which is standard for all of the high tier cruisers, at least on the germans and, especially, the russians. It's a very fun ship, one of my favorites and I really miss her, hope you guys like it too.

 

Captain Skills: 

1-Basic Firing Training 

2- Expert Marksman

3- Vigilance

4- Advanced Firing Training

5- Concealment Expert

 

 

Roon

Another papership, give up searching for it too. The Roon is one of the most fenomenal and underrated cruisers in the game. It's basically a heavy cruiser version of the Nürnberg and it is spetacular. Firstly, the armor becomes actually acceptable going to the 100mm on the citadel (forget that in case you are fighting a Yamato) and the guns become, in my opinion, among the best in the game (very accurate, strong and decently fast). The 203mm becomes triple-barreled and now you can do an insane amount of damage on enemy ships. The ship is kind of slow in terms of manueverability (it's speed is standard, but the turning used to piss me off sometimes) and the concealment becomes your greatest enemy since the battleships can citadel you from 20km+ so be very cautious about it. The ship relies on its accuracy, not much else to be said about it, shoot AP on broaside targets and HE on heavily angled battleships and armoured cruisers (the HE on tier 9 and 10 are decent). The ship is very versatile, you can go for AA, Range, and Concealment builds and you don't necessarily need to choose between them. I used to try to mix the three on mine, had something around 88 AA rating, 20.7km range on my guns and 12km concealment (couldn't get Concealment Expert in time, but if I did that would fall to around 10km) with the range of 24km if I used a spotter aircraft. I recommend using your third captain point on Superintendent because now you have the repair party consumable. The Roon is a fantastic ship and I found its only downside to be the arrangement of the turrets (1 in the front and 2 in the aft) but that can be easily dealt with. Even though she's a fantastic ship you have to respect her, if you push her too much into the enemy lines you will regret and the regret becomes bigger when you see the repair costs.

 

Hindenburg

Finnaly you reached your reward! I'll be honest to you, I have never played my Hindenburg yet. I consider it so special that I decided to play it only when I finishing installing all upgrades and when my captain reaches the 19 points. However I won't end it like this, the Hindenburg gets a 10mm improvement on armor, reaching the 110mm and receives a one extra turret on the front, so I expect it to play like a hard-hitting version of the Hipper (harder-hitting lol). But I think that I am as anxious to play it as I was at the start of it all, back there on the Dresden :)

 

[edit]

I'm playing the Hindenburg now (40k xp), and it's simply the best ship I have played so far in this game. The guns are simply fantastic, the armor is capable of providing good protection, the manueverability is standard and doesn't let me down. It's a great ship but, as with all other german cruisers, you got to respect her. Even though she will probably resist if you push her to her limits I preffer to play a little conservative because of the repair bills :D ... You will literally feel like the king of the seas, but you can still sink so treat her like if it was your real ship, stay at a decent range (13km+) and drop the shells as fast as you can, the guns are acurrate and you are capable of doing around 3k a salvo every 10 seconds. You need to have a lot of awareness so pay attention to what is happening around you all the time.

 

Ship Setup:

Main armaments modification 1 - the rest is useless

AA Guns modification 2 - You will want a good AA rating, and in this build you will get 100

Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 - The extra range is great at this ship, the reload mod is acceptable as well

Damage Control Modification 1 - Engine and rudder are well protected, so go for this one

Steering Gears Modification 2 - Her rudder shift time is high, this will make her more agile

Concealment System Modification 1 - She is a big ship, a good concealment may help in your survivability if you find yourself alone

 

Captain Skills:

1- Basic Firing Training - Part of the 100 AA plan

2- Expert Marksman - That will make your turret quicker, which is useful, and the other options are not that useful as well

3- Superintendent - You will get a extra heal and I think that is important. Vigilance is a viable option as well

4- Advanced Firing Training - That will buff your AA A LOT

4- Demolition Expert - The better fire chance is really useful, BBs at high tiers know how to angle well and you will never penetrate a bow-on Yamato

5- Concealment Expert - Better concealment is always welcome is high tier matches where there are 400mmish rounds flying everywhere

 

I don't use the AA barrage consumable, I found the german Hydro to be really efficient on spotting torpedoes and the pesky DDs, and with this AA build you can stop the attacks of CVs. However, if you want a complete annihilation of the bombers and feel safe against torps, get the AA barrage.

 

Special Hints:

-When you are playing a cruiser that has 2 turrets aft and one in the front (Königsberg, Nürnberg or Roon), turn you stern to the enemy and start reversing your engines, your top speed will be around 12knts, giving you the oportunity to find your confortable spot to drop good salvos on the enemy and still being quite angled

- The manuever listened above is more usedful with the Königsberg, purely because its stern has the inter-war period design, present on the Yorck as well, making it harder to hit and penetrate (you might get penetraded from the deck, so don't get too excited)

- I used my Yorck as a destroyer hunter every time that i had the oportunity to do it without the interference, the manueverability of the Yorck is quite good and the guns pack some serious punch with that caliber, so when you combine good aim with effective WASD hacks the destroyers won't get a chance.

- Always respect your ship, the german ones have very unique characteristics and every captain has to know your ship if he wants to be succesful, so search on tips and stats of your ship before saying it is garbage, sometimes the problem is on you (like I supposed with the Karlsruhe), deal with it and improve.

- Im not a native speaker, so pardon the grammar mistakes please :)

I hope you all have good games, captains!

Edited by Bulachevsk
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I personally love the Roon. She is so much like a battlecrusier to me compared to a standard heavy cruiser. She hits hard with her AP, is stealthy as a *bleep* and with the rudder upgrade, manouverable enough.

 

 Hindenburg even more so. I find she is a quick turner and her guns...my lord her guns. VS a Montana, I can average 5 to 8k every 10 seconds with AP. Similar on a Yamato, even, though that is more situational. And you'd be surprised, Hindenburg I find can shrug off 16/50 shells with not too much of a problem. Just remember that WASD hack and the ship can be near invincible. Killed a Montana a few nights ago almost solo, granted my last salvo was an HE salvo and she burned to death...but still. Don't discount the German HE now that they got a buff. Not nearly as good as their AP, but respectable now.

 

 

And as much as I love Hipper....And how well I do,...I cannot win much with her. Makes me sad.

Edited by TabbyHopkins
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Karlsruhe has been the recipient of a string of buffs. I haven't played it since the buffs, but some very respected forumers have suggested that she might actually be good now.

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I personally love the Roon. She is so much like a battlecrusier to me compared to a standard heavy cruiser. She hits hard with her AP, is stealthy as a *bleep* and with the rudder upgrade, manouverable enough.

 

 Hindenburg even more so. I find she is a quick turner and her guns...my lord her guns. VS a Montana, I can average 5 to 8k every 10 seconds with AP. Similar on a Yamato, even, though that is more situational. And you'd be surprised, Hindenburg I find can shrug off 16/50 shells with not too much of a problem. Just remember that WASD hack and the ship can be near invincible. Killed a Montana a few nights ago almost solo, granted my last salvo was an HE salvo and she burned to death...but still. Don't discount the German HE now that they got a buff. Not nearly as good as their AP, but respectable now.

 

 

And as much as I love Hipper....And how well I do,...I cannot win much with her. Makes me sad.

 

That just made a lot me more anxious to play the Hindenburg lol

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Karlsruhe has been the recipient of a string of buffs. I haven't played it since the buffs, but some very respected forumers have suggested that she might actually be good now.

 

Going to give it try after I finish buying all the upgrades of the Hindenburg, after all I miss the Karlsruhe... always found it to be a beautiful ship 
Edited by Bulachevsk

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Excellent reviews, but the Hermelin does really have some great AP. You can shred ships from almost any angles or ranges. I rarely even bother using HE on that ship except maybe on the Chester that's not showing me a broadside.

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That just made a lot me more anxious to play the Hindenburg lol

 

I was the same way. I got it and then didn't want to play it...But I did. She hits like a hammer, and with WASD, as hard as an anvil.
Edited by TabbyHopkins

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I was the same way. I got it and then didn't want to play it...But I did. She hits like a hammer, and with WASD, as hard as an anvil.

 

​I wanted to play it, I was just broke as hell. (32k credits (x_x)

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​I wanted to play it, I was just broke as hell. (32k credits (x_x)

 

ooooh, that's bad. Got a mid tier Premium to play?

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(O-o)

​Feel free to check my stats for premium ships...

 

A far few of them...You should be able to make money rather easily...

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  I rebought the Karlsruhe due to the recent buffs, and gave it another whirl.

 

  I actually like it, now!   Especially so, since I'm currently grinding the Svetlana.   That latter just feels sooo sluggish, and it turns like a canal barge.  The DD caliber guns don't help.  I find myself relying too heavily on it's torpedoes to take other ships out- esp since maps at that tier are small, and I tend to get spawned close to the enemy.

 

  Then, I jumped into my Karl.  Night and day difference.  Karl is faster feeling, and is definitely much better at turning.  Not Phoenix good, but not too far behind.  The 150mm guns do more damage for me, and the torps are way better.  I'm actually having way more fun in it now than I ever had whilst grinding it.  (of course, I'm also way more experienced, too)  AA leaves a lot to be desired, but it can easily dodge air dropped torpedoes.

 

  It IS German, so watch who is shooting at you, and don't expose too much side.  Use your range, maneuverability and speed to keep out of too much trouble.

 

  Give it a try, OP- it's cheap enough, and it's a fun one to play now.  Maybe not dominant, but fun.

 

  Lighting BB's on fire, then torping them for good measure, is quite rewarding at this tier!

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Tier one was a fun little ship that I enjoyed playing. Tiers two and three were so so bad that I truly believe they were put there by the developers to dissuade players from progressing down the German cruiser line. So much so that after starting down the line when they were released I quit playing them at tier three as I just wasn't prepared to spend my time on something so unenjoyable.

I picked them up again with the recent sale weekend and tier three still sucked, so I spent free xp to get to tier four, which I actually liked enough to play for a week, even if I struggled to get results. Then I unlocked tier 5 and oh. my. god.  all of a sudden a German cruiser is the ship that I want to play - it is everything the previous ships were not - good speed, good guns, good shell arcs, good maneuverability, good everything except armour, which is a trade I can live with. I like it so much I'll be keeping it when the time comes to buy the Nurenburg.

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How do you play German cruisers?  DON'T.  They will only lead you to disappointment.  Switch to American BBs and attempt to survive some rounds.

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How do you play German cruisers?  DON'T.  They will only lead you to disappointment.  Switch to American BBs and attempt to survive some rounds.

 

its only a matter of knowing how to use it, that's why I made this topic

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How do you play German cruisers?  DON'T.  They will only lead you to disappointment.  Switch to American BBs and attempt to survive some rounds.

 

This makes me giggle.  

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How do you play German cruisers?  DON'T.  They will only lead you to disappointment.  Switch to American BBs and attempt to survive some rounds.

 

What?  Getting HE-spammed?  Yamato LOL-PEN'ing-CIT'ing the USN BB from the front?  And the inglorious life of a BB that gets left behind by their teammates the moment a stray shell or torpedo goes by within 10km?
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Nürnberg

This is basically a modernized Königsberg, she maintains the same guns and armor, its a little slower to manuever and I found it a little more difficult to play since her games are on higher tiers (Shells hit you harder and enemies are better). With the Nürrnberg you learn something really importaant on german cruisers: STAY IN THE BACK. With the Königsberg you could go for suicide runs on other cruisers or battleships and still get out of it alive, the case isn't the same with the Nürnberg. Your citadel is huge and you will get it hit a lot of times, but if you stay at range dropping your AP shells with your insane ROF I guarantee that you will deal good damage. Your main targets are the batlleships, their armor is kinda weak compared to your AP so you will often find yourself getting 5k dmg in one salvo, and when you can shoot every 7s that will add up resulting in a great damage. Just want to be clear about one thing, this ship is the one that I least liked between tier 5 to 10, purely because I only discovered how it is meant to be played on the last 15k xp needed for the Yorck, so stay at range spamming your AP and don't be the first ship between the enemy fleet and your allies... you will regret it.

 

 

 

Why does everyone say this? Nurnberg with the rudder shift mod has a faster rudder shift than K-Berg and beats it in mobility. It even goes the same speed as K-Berg and it's guns fire faster and traverse faster. As fun as K-Berg was, she was ugly, turned like a brick on sandpaper and her turret layout was unconventional, while Nurnberg is a perfectionist's dream aesthetically. Her turrets are misaligned and they also have better arcs than K-Berg. The faster rudder shift helps her turn better too. Both have the raised rear so torps that would normally hit just pass under that area though :trollface:

 

~Hunter

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Why does everyone say this? Nurnberg with the rudder shift mod has a faster rudder shift than K-Berg and beats it in mobility. It even goes the same speed as K-Berg and it's guns fire faster and traverse faster. As fun as K-Berg was, she was ugly, turned like a brick on sandpaper and her turret layout was unconventional, while Nurnberg is a perfectionist's dream aesthetically. Her turrets are misaligned and they also have better arcs than K-Berg. The faster rudder shift helps her turn better too. Both have the raised rear so torps that would normally hit just pass under that area though :trollface:

 

~Hunter

 

When I compared the ships in this review I compared them in their respective stock versions, which leaves a 0.9 sec difference between the rudder shift of the two ships, favoring the Königsberg. The turrets are "weird-placed" in order to give her a better firing angle (that's not me saying it, its the project). I have to agree with you on the turret traverse speed and ROF, didn't noticed that much when I played the Nürnberg since it is kind of a small difference and I was strugling to remember the gameplay with it since it has been a long time. Thanks for your corrections, I will be changing the text. Good game :)

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Karlsruhe has been the recipient of a string of buffs. I haven't played it since the buffs, but some very respected forumers have suggested that she might actually be good now.

 

I played her a bit on the 0.5.8 PT server.  Not any better that I can see.  Still too few guns, doing too little damage, with a stupid high shell arc.  Always a detriment to her team.
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Why does everyone say this? Nurnberg with the rudder shift mod has a faster rudder shift than K-Berg and beats it in mobility. It even goes the same speed as K-Berg and it's guns fire faster and traverse faster. As fun as K-Berg was, she was ugly, turned like a brick on sandpaper and her turret layout was unconventional, while Nurnberg is a perfectionist's dream aesthetically. Her turrets are misaligned and they also have better arcs than K-Berg. The faster rudder shift helps her turn better too. Both have the raised rear so torps that would normally hit just pass under that area though :trollface:

 

~Hunter

 

Konigsberg isn't ugly.  :unsure:   She's just off center.

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You'll have to forgive Hunter; his OCD has major, major issues with Konigsberg's turret layout. ;)

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The Ibuki clicks with me; the Roon doesn't. I have the mod on the Roon that increases the fire rate but slows the turret rotation. I am thinking that maybe I should of gotten the mod that extends firing range instead. Averaging something like 15k less dmg on Roon versus my Ibuki. Any insights?

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The Ibuki clicks with me; the Roon doesn't. I have the mod on the Roon that increases the fire rate but slows the turret rotation. I am thinking that maybe I should of gotten the mod that extends firing range instead. Averaging something like 15k less dmg on Roon versus my Ibuki. Any insights?

 

I used to have great games with my Roon, depends on how you play it. I always played it smartly and conservative, never taking too many uncalculated risks, staying at range and providing support for my team. In my opinion as a captain the best thing you can do in a high tier battle is to survive, that was my priority and I recommend. I started using the reload mod in the first game with the Roon, but over the time I changed my mind in favor of the range mod for some reasons:

1- the fire rate increase isn't that substancial, I haven't noticed too much of a difference on the performance when using it and when not, actually my performance increased with the range mod

2 The range mod is very good to match battleships. These monsters are quite easy to hit and do a solid damage over range when compared to cruisers

3- If you take the range mod, concealment mod and the concealment captain skill, you will have a stealth-fire window of about 3km! That's great on the end of the battles (remember the surviving strategy) where there are no destroyers to spot you.

The Roon is a fenomenal ship, and with a 21.7km range it can out-range japanese BBs like the Izumo and the Amagi! Hope that these tips can help your gameplay, if not, feel free to comeback here and share your experience :)

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The Karlsruhe still sucks IMO. Everyone out ranges your guns or more manueverable so getting in close is suicidal. It cant do carrier escort either since its AA is a joke. Getting in close for a torp run on anyone is also suicidal. Basically its just cannon fodder for the enemy. Just my opinion.

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