OnboardG1

Onboard Reviews the T8s

62 posts in this topic

Since I've now played a substantial cross-section of the T8s figured it was a good time to do a rundown of the various ships. Most of these I've played with existing mechanics, but where I've not I'll indicate that fact. Grading is entirely arbitrary and based entirely on my subjective opinion. I have given each ship a rating for each type of play: solo, division and organised (including Clan Wars, Ranked and Team Battles). These ranks are as follows from high to low:

1.      Exceptional: This ship is so strong it is amongst the best ships tier-for-tier in the game and is critically important in the game type listed

2.      Strong: This ship is powerful and frequently used by top players and clans in the game type listed.

3.      Competitive: This ship is competent in its role and is commonly used in the game type listed.

4.      Underperforms: This ship underperforms in the game type listed and is not commonly used. This might be due to the ship being bad or just having its role performed better elsewhere.

5.      Garbage: This ship is never used willingly in the game type listed and you will often be laughed at for bringing one.

Also note that I'm not a carrier player and won't be covering them in any form.

USA

 

North Carolina - Solo: Strong, Division: Exceptional, Organised: Strong to Exceptional (map specific)

 

Probably one of the best battleships tier for tier in the game. This monster has the best short range armament in the game (and it isn't too shabby outside the 10km optimal either). They're accurate (2.0 sigma) and have a fantastic terminal ballistic characteristic, rarely overpenetrating and frequently getting lol citadels (if you can handle the slow shell speed). It has tough armour, it's comfortably fast and the AA is brutal. Its only weaknesses are the somewhat poor handling characteristics and the torpedo belt. That hurts when someone shits torps at you, but provided you aren't dense enough to sit still in the open (you aren't are you?) it isn't a huge issue. It frequently sees play in comp as an anchor ship for a flank.

Benson - Organised: Exceptional

 

I've not actually played this ship since beta, and it's very much on my to-do list. However, all you need to do is look at the competitive meta to see how strong this boat is. Good torps, solid guns, enough health and speed. It's the perfect generalist and it has the best smoke in-tier. That makes it a fantastic support ship in a division, or a good soloist.

New Orleans - Solo: Competitive, Division: Strong, Organised: Underperforms

 

Used to be utter crap. Now it's one of the strongest, most consistent cruisers in tier. It's been progressively buffed since inception and had lots of tools added to its arsenal. In its current iteration it has solid DPM (yay 6.1 buff), good armour and based US AP shells (which have an 80 degree autobounce angle rather than a 70 degree autobounce angle). The HE isn't actually too bad either. You lack some of the versatility of the Atago with its torpedoes, but your guns are undoubtedly better. The addition of Radar makes the NO quite genuinely competitive in random games, where your ability to chase destroyers and Kutuzovs out of smoke is nothing short of game-winning. Paired with a short detection range you can sneak up on smoke clouds and end unwary dwellers very quickly with your fat Yankee shells. It sees less use in competitive because the Chapayev has stronger damage output and a longer range radar (generally you need less actual radar time in competitive and more range).

Russia/Soviet Union

 

Mikhail Kutuzov - Solo: Exceptional, Division: Exceptional, Organised: Exceptional (perfect score!)

 

Hands down broken monster that has absolutely everything a cruiser should have and more. One of those accidentally OP ships where power creep played in its favour (it wasn't actually seen as that hot when it was first released). Where to begin with this 1954 model Russian Bias? It has a standard DD smoke, which allows you to lay big corridors for your team and then wander around in it spamming your IFHE shredder barrage. 152mm is, of course, the optimum IFHE calibre and you can inflict both huge alpha and huge DOT damage with your HE. That isn't to say the AP is bad either. Flat but not railgun arcs give good penetration characteristics and terminal ballistics, meaning you can DPM out just about anything that isn't a lower tier German or Japanese Battleship (not enough freeboard). The fact that you can use smoke to either aggressively approach to do this, or to kite away and HE spam is icing.

It has enormous range too and an adequate concealment rating, meaning that you can play it like a traditional cruiser when you run out of smoke. The armour is terrible, but the ship is manoeuvrable and skinny enough that you can evade most fire sent your direction. Oh and the AA is best-in-tier godly so anyone stupid enough to try to fly planes near you will lose all of them. It also has a good torp armament, which allows you to get off ambushes or last-stand a charging battleship quite effectively. Or you can send them out the back of your smoke as you're leaving as a nasty surprise for anyone closing, since they have 8km range. It's used a lot in competitive for good reason. If you are going to buy one prem, it's this one.

Chapayev - Solo: Underperforms, Division: Competitive, Organised: Exceptional

 

The Kutuzov's specialist sibling, the Chapayev has less utility in randoms but is critical to any competitive lineup. It has excellent guns and concealment, allowing you to sneak up on unwary targets or spam IFHE from range. What really distinguishes the Chapayev is the unbeatable support combination of good AA and the 12km radar. Paired with the concealment this allows you to support a push like no other. Or as RNGSama from our KOTS team put it: You're playing a very important button. The Radar is critical to most strats and is very useful in division for flushing ships from smoke. You don't have the solo carry power of the Kutuzov in randoms however, and your awful turning circle and armour will get you killed a lot. It's not much fun when you don't have competent players taking advantage of your Y key. However, it's not terrible given it has solid guns and a slim profile. The torps are defensive only (4km range), but they are there and worth remembering for the times when you need them.

Kiev - Solo: Strong, Division: Competitive, Organised: Underperforms

 

Started off as a disgustingly OP T7, then was nerfed down to something more reasonable. Now reborn as a T8, this is a nasty little gunboat with good range, fast firing guns and a frankly inane 11% fire chance when specced for it. Oh and it's bloody fast. So fast that people will genuinely struggle to hit you (even if the turning circle is like an oil tanker as a result). The main flaw with the Kiev is a lack of versatility. It's a superb damage dealer and it can punch a torp wall through a smoke (now with 8k Lenin-approved torpedoes), but the lack of good concealment and DPM disadvantages against American destroyers make it a dicey prospect to contest caps, plus it only has RU smoke so you can't lay long-lasting cover for your team. If you're in a good division or have a friend in an American or Japanese destroyer who can spot for you it shits damage like crazy and draws fire away from squishier friendlies.

Ognevoi

 

Got it but the captain isn't up to spec so I can't give a definitive answer on this one.

Japan

 

Kagero - Organised: Garbage

 

Not really my style of ship (SAIL AROUND AND KEK TORPS LUL) so I'm probably not going to play it. Reddit says its shit so it's probably alright.

Akizuki - Organised: Competitive

 

Weeb fangirl favourite. It's on the list and I've seen the blistering AP dpm in competitive.

Atago - Solo: Exceptional, Division: Competitive, Organised: Competitive

 

Once this was the king of T8, now it has been demoted to a mere Duke. The Atago is still a strong ship, but the addition of actually good T8 cruisers that are as powerful as it is has reduced its standing quite a lot. It still has a heal and so has unparalleled survivability amongst T8 cruisers. It has good torp arcs, brutal torpedoes that have 10km range and solid main armament. It's fast and stealthy. However, it is also a very selfish ship. It does damage and nothing else. You don't have any fancy toys to help out your team (apart from your defensive AA consumable but your AA is so bad that it doesn't do anything apart from panic drops). Thats fine in randoms, you can do a lot of work in the ship with the good concealment, speed and high fire-chance HE. However, it's fallen out of favour in competitive because of the lack of powerful support abilities.

Amagi - Solo: Strong, Division: Strong, Competitive: Exceptional

 

Everyone's favourite T8 fast-battleship. The Amagi is your flanking, tanking battleship of choice for mobile groups. The somewhat unique ABXYZ turret layout allows you to kite in ways that the vast majority of battleships can't. If you've fought an Amagi you'll know that when one sails away from you at just the angle to get all of its guns on target it's virtually indestructible. Because of the excellent armour layout and turtleback (yes it has one, go look in the armour viewer) it is exceptionally tanky, and the speed allows you to dictate the terms of the engagement. It has accurate, powerful guns that "feel" right. It's hard to explain. The North Carolina has guns that are exceptionally rewarding if you learn to use them. The Amagi just performs.

It's like the difference between a supercar and my MX5/Miata. The Supercar is going to perform better when you master it, but the Miata just works no matter how skilled you are. I love the Amagi main battery, even though I prefer the NC now that I've improved at the game. The ship is easy to play, versatile and difficult to kill. Oh and you have 40% torp damage reduction on the belt so air attacks are less dangerous and you can afford to eat the odd torp. The AA isn't great and you're very long so even though you have good torp resists you will eventually die to carriers. It's frequently used in the competitive scene because of the consistency of the guns, the mobility and the tankiness.

Mogami - Solo: Underperforms, Division: Garbage, Organised: Garbage

 

Note, I played this before IFHE so it will have some more damage potential now. The Mogami has potential but is VERY hard to play effectively. Mogami has a problem, and it's the gun choice. You can either have a mediocre 8" gun with reasonable handling, or an excellent 6" gun with terrible gun handling. The turrets turn so slow I was actually happy to give up some of my DPM to buff it with the turret traverse mod. It also has a strange quirk that means you pretty much have to play it stock: The stock hull has lower detection range and can stealth fire. This means that if you're lucky and skillful you can hover on the edge of your range and shit on people with the 15 6" guns. The firepower is crazy good for that sort of play. At the end of the day though it's too finnicky, hasn't got good AA and is very squishy. I played through it but it's probably the weakest cruiser in tier (maybe, see below) and lends virtually nothing to a two or three man division.

Germany

 

Z-23 - Organised: Garbage

 

I've shat on these things so often I never want to actually play one. Sorry, don't have anything more to say on this topic.

Admiral Hipster/Prinz Eugen - Solo: Underperforms, Division: Underperforms, Organised: Garbage

 

These ships should be good. They have a seemingly high DPM, fast shells and good torpedoes. It also has a turtleback, making it hard to citadel from close range. However, at the end of the day they just end up being very mediocre. The AP is alright but the moment you see angles it starts bouncing and the HE is a little too anaemic to take up the slack. They're a bit slow and the Hipper is garbage stock. I can't really think of much to say. It's like that old Top Gear review of the Vauxhall Astra: "Eughhh". I guess they're okay when you stay at range? It survives being worst in tier because the AA is serviceable and can help your division mates. Or you can stack hydro for whatever reason.

Tirpitz - Solo: Strong, Division: Competitive, Organised: Underperforms

 

The Lowe of WoWS, the Derpitz is often seen being driven by Wehraboos with 15 battles under their belt charging an enemy DD to "use torps". This is a ship with a crap main battery on a good platform. The ship is fast and fairly nimble, with fast turning turrets. Having a turtleback it suits brawling, particularly when you see the dismal spread that the guns have. They also have totally awful ballistics. They're too fast at close range, ending up with lots of overpens and lacking the plunge angle to easily dive below the water and still reach the ship. At long range the scattershot spread means you frequently miss. However, the Tirpitz has a trick up its sleeve: four torpedoes on each side. This means you can run into trouble and use your 25s reload and torps to shoot your way out. Just be warned that if you show broadside you will get wrecked even with turtleback. The turtleback is there to save you in a brawl when you cannot avoid showing your side. Showing your sides the whole time will result in you taking 20k hits from Amagis and NCs. Even worse is if you turn into a target and flash your petticoats at the enemy because they can citadel you in that moment. This used to be used quite a bit in competitive but its role has mostly been subsumed by Bismarck.

Bismarck - Solo: Strong, Division: Strong, Organised: Competitive

 

Speaking of which, Bismarck. This is a Tirpitz without the torps but with some additional toys. You can set the ship up to fire 10km with the secondaries and set many, many fires (since they all fire HE). You also have hydro to detect torpedoes and flush people out of their smokes. I'm going to be honest here, I hate this ship. It's distressingly pleb-proof. You don't even need to shoot well, just charge at people, ctrl-click their ship and then go for tea or something. The hydro makes them almost immune to torps and the turtleback makes it hard to punish mistakes quickly. Meanwhile the guns are so inconsistent that skillful shot timing and placement frequently gets destroyed by RNG. At the end of the day it's powerful, but very boring and not a particularly skilful playstyle.

 

UK

 

Edinburgh - Organised: Underperforms to Competitive depending on map

 

It's on the list, but doesn't frequently feature in competitive so it isn't a focus right now.

Pan Asia

 

Lo Yang - Solo: Competitive, Division: Competitive, Organised: Underperforms

 

Lo Yang is a competent DD which has been somewhat overshadowed by its base class (the Benson) and by its special ability no longer being so special. You're basically a C hull Benson with Mahan torpedoes (bad damage and all) and hydroacoustic search. Hydro is pretty great but with the advent of significantly larger numbers of Radar and hydro cruisers you're no longer quite as unique in the tier. You're still a Benson clone mind, so you have high DPM guns (but very slow arcs) which turn very quickly. This means that you can usually win a DPM fight with all but a B hull benson, and your torpedoes while weak can still deal a reasonable amount of damage. Sadly because you don't bring the DPM or a particularly useful and unique ability the Lo Yang has been demoted from top-tier competitive to a substitute ship for emergencies or for weird niche strats. In randoms you do bring a useful advantage over the Benson which is that your hydro can spot torps in the smoke, so it does still have a nice niche for itself, just not in organised play.

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how does Kiev have 13% fire chance, starting with only 8% ?

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+3 with DE and +1 more with both fire flags gives you a 12%

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3 hours ago, xWulffx said:

+3 with DE and +1 more with both fire flags gives you a 12%

DE is now 2% more fire chance after the skill point reshuffle

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My opinion:

155 Mogami is more or less a one trick pony: damage dealer at range. She can occasionally surprise DDs and cruisers at close range with devastating alpha strike but any prolonged engagement at such range is detrimental due to its turret traverse limiting her firing while maneuvering.

 

Number crunching:

Kiev is actually slightly ahead of Lo Yang/Benson-C in both HE DPM and Ship HP thanks to the recent RU DD damage buff.

Ognevoi HE DPM is similar to Kagerou, which is underwhelming. But it does have a great torp suite better than that of Benson.

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Thank you for taking the time to rewrite this up and hopefully create a bit of a debate @OnboardG1 

I'm beginning to close in on several tier 8s, so having threads like this one is pretty nice :-)

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*stares depressingly at his Hipper, the first of his tier 8s*

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I can fill in for some DDs:

Benson - Solo: Strong, Division: Exceptional, Organised: Exceptional

The Benson is a storng DD in Solo play but the ever rising amount of radar hurts it quite a bit. The thing is that the Benson has shorter effective Range on it's guns than all the current Radar ranges. It is also among the slowest DDs of it's tier. Finally the DDs it faces at caps have become relatively stronger - even the Z-23, while not great overall, is a huge threat in 1vs1.

Just as in Organised play, it can excel in Divisions because the decent AA, high close range DpM, decent camo and awesome smoke can fill the gaps into every dvision nicely.

 

Kagero - Solo: Competitive, Division: Underperforms, Organised: Garbage

The Kagero has still one of the best detection ranges in the game. The torps are not omg omg plz nurf but they are strong. What makes the Kagero quite good is Radio Location - this skill helps escaping detection more than actually finding evading DDs and escaping detection is what the Kagero is all about. The ability to outspot any DD it meets  with ok speed (speed boost module is great on it) and a workable torp reload makes it a competitve ship, it's just the playstyle may not be to most peoples tastes as you basically run away for most of the game and this is also why the ship brings few things into a division.

 

Z-23 - Solo: Competitive, Division: Competitive, Organised: Garbage

The german DD line started dead in the water with the removal of their speciality just before launch. Low to mid tiers are pretty weak but the line becomes competitive with the Maass and the Z-23 is no exception. The problem of german DDs has always been that if you want to shoot and scoot, Ru DDs do it better and if you want to contest caps USN DDs do it mostly better while if you want to torp, IJN DDs (and USN starting tier IX) do it better.

But really, the Z-23 is not bad at any of those. While this still doesn't cut it at all for Organized where specialists are sought and generalists don't need to apply, it can work in solo and division. Indeed a Z-23 with a Benson can clear out any and all caps with great ease with the Benson spotting and forcing other Dds to smoke and the Z-23 flushing them out.

So all in all the Z-23 is an ok ship that (just like most IJN DDs) needs a ceratin narrow playstyle to work.

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11 hours ago, Crossfader said:

DE is now 2% more fire chance after the skill point reshuffle

Yeah got my maths wrong (and misread my captain skill set, derp). Fixed.

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I have never played warships nor have plans to, but I am amazed that boats can have such a diverse meta and competitive modes of play.

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5 hours ago, Pocktio said:

*stares depressingly at his Hipper, the first of his tier 8s*

Not having a Hipper, but I have an Eugen and I share the feeling. They should be good ships by all means, as they are tanky, have torps, good AA, tools to toy with and an AP that tears careless targets a new one, but they are so hard to play successfully due to each strength seemingly being complemented by a negative quirk, be it the useless HE, the relative inaccuracy and lack of volume of fire canceling the good guns, the absolutely atrocious detectability limiting the usability of the torps or the armor being useless against BBs, british CLs and everybody else is shooting HE anyways and so on and on.

These two, plus Yorck, are probably the ships that are most shat on by meta, paradoxical balancing and gimmick-overload. At least Hipper and Eugen are the most sexy ships in game, so... that is something?

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58 minutes ago, Luna said:

I have never played warships nor have plans to, but I am amazed that boats can have such a diverse meta and competitive modes of play.

It helps not having a class like arty and actual balanced MM

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I hope they buff the Hipper. I don't know how they would do it, but I hope they do.

Not sure which tier 8 to go for next, probably an Amagi or the Russian DD.

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1 hour ago, Luna said:

I have never played warships nor have plans to, but I am amazed that boats can have such a diverse meta and competitive modes of play.

AND PVE so the complete tards to play against robots...

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8 minutes ago, NightmareMk9 said:

AND PVE so the complete tards to play against robots...

I find the retards also frequent PvP. 

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11 hours ago, CompanionCav said:

Number crunching:

Kiev is actually slightly ahead of Lo Yang/Benson-C in both HE DPM and Ship HP thanks to the recent RU DD damage buff.

Ognevoi HE DPM is similar to Kagerou, which is underwhelming. But it does have a great torp suite better than that of Benson.

However, Benson C-hull is a trap. From what I've heard, a lot of good players prefer the B-hull, for retaining the extra gun.

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The anemic Hipper is followed by the capable Roon which is in turn followed by the VERY capable Hindenberg.   I find the Hindy very comfortable to play as long as you don't get distracted and focus in on one target, allowing the inevitable extinction level event to occur from any tier 10 BB.

I agree with Onboards analysis of five of the tier 8's I have played frequently.  Kutuzov is unexpectedly good, Atago is a stealthy threat to distracted players.  North Carolina can rush up, point it's bow in the correct direction and alternate between 1/4 ahead and reverse, tanking like a pro and punishing anything in it's gun arc at tier 8 or below.  Bismarck and Tirpitz are both dummy proof to play in their own way, but I prefer the Bismarck if I am trying to be serious in a match - secondary's are more reliable damage dealers over a long match than the Tirp Torps.

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31 minutes ago, SoliDeoGloria said:

However, Benson C-hull is a trap. From what I've heard, a lot of good players prefer the B-hull, for retaining the extra gun.

IIRC Benson-B is used for both randoms and ranked, while Benson-C is widely used in competitive clan matches for DF.

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2 hours ago, BiggieD61 said:

The anemic Hipper is followed by the capable Roon which is in turn followed by the VERY capable Hindenberg.   I find the Hindy very comfortable to play as long as you don't get distracted and focus in on one target, allowing the inevitable extinction level event to occur from any tier 10 BB.

 

God could come after the Hipper. That doesn't or rather shouldn't have any impact on the useability, competativeness or balancing of it.

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1 hour ago, CompanionCav said:

IIRC Benson-B is used for both randoms and ranked, while Benson-C is widely used in competitive clan matches for DF.

Yeah this. DF is mandatory in competitive. In randoms the extra gun will do more work for you.

 

4 hours ago, Luna said:

I have never played warships nor have plans to, but I am amazed that boats can have such a diverse meta and competitive modes of play.

The comp meta tends to slide towards global maxima like the tanks one does. However in T8 about half the ships see some play which isn't bad.

The T8 random meta is actually pretty diverse. There's not much total trash in tier and everything can fight up competently.

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6 and 8 are pretty much sweet-spots and it stands to reason, that tier 5 would be as well, if it had less brutal MM.

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I find the NO to be nearly trash tier after the Pensacola. Sure, it gets armor upgrades, but that is offest by the fact that you can still be citadelled by BBs, no matter than angle, and it doesn't turn as well, so dodging doesn't really work. The shorter reload is nice, and the guns are definitely great. The radar is nice, but I find I'm rarely in a situation where I can use it effectively, as I have to be within my detection range. Honestly, I'd almost prefer to be back in the Pensacola in most of the tier 9 games. There's not much reason for me to go up a tier, and have half the average damage I had in the Pensacola.

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11 hours ago, Pocktio said:

*stares depressingly at his Hipper, the first of his tier 8s*

At least you didnt throw money at the Prinz Eu-CreamInMyPantsWhenISeeThisOnTheEnemyTeam-gen

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50 minutes ago, SoliDeoGloria said:

I find the NO to be nearly trash tier after the Pensacola. Sure, it gets armor upgrades, but that is offest by the fact that you can still be citadelled by BBs, no matter than angle, and it doesn't turn as well, so dodging doesn't really work. The shorter reload is nice, and the guns are definitely great. The radar is nice, but I find I'm rarely in a situation where I can use it effectively, as I have to be within my detection range. Honestly, I'd almost prefer to be back in the Pensacola in most of the tier 9 games. There's not much reason for me to go up a tier, and have half the average damage I had in the Pensacola.

If you try and play it like a Pensacola you'll fail. It's a ship made for aggression. Note: aggression not stupidity. That means pushing islands where you can remain undetected and use your radar before deciding to commit (Island north of A on Warriors is good for this). You should be using the rudder shift mod (the regular one, not the last slot one) if you're not. The ship is actually slightly more fleet than the Pensa (6.9 v 7s rudder) and is only 40m worse in the turning department. That's more than competent for dodging. I'll try to dig out a replay of what I mean (or actually I won't because the patch broke my replays).

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