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Hello fellow Captains! (although at this point I don't consider myself a Captain... maybe more of a steward?)

 

It took me several thousand battles in WoT to figure out that I sucked.

It has taken less than one hundred in WoWS to get that same feeling. Allow me to elaborate (and rant a bit). Prepare your butts for a wall o' text.

 

I really suck at playing battleships. I currently have the Wyoming and I am finding it a good ship but severely limited by my skills and perhaps the game mechanics as well (more on that later). More specifically, I am struggling with...

1. Citadel hits: Despite the finicky nature of long-ranged combat, I am having trouble doing more than average damage on my shots because I can't consistently aim for citadels. Even with the Wyoming a well-aimed salvo is lucky to hit more than 4 times at long (10-14km) ranges. Most of the other shots straddle the target, making each shot count because guess what, you have a 30s reload on your hands. Is the best place to get citadel hits still by aiming at the waterline?

2. Destroyers: The bane of battleship's existence. Let's pretend you are driving a Maus on a completely flat map that is only swampy terrain. Then, give a LT on the enemy team the ability to fire the equivalent of a JPE100 gun (albeit with a terrible shell velocity) while remaining unspotted by you. Furthermore, let him fire it multiple times in a spread. By the time you see the torpedoes, it is already too late for your big, fat battleship arse to turn. Furthermore, if you manage to have a DD in your sights, have the AP broadside that you have loaded for everything else (and probably weighing more than the ship you fired it at XD) over-penetrate and do minimal damage, allowing him 30 seconds to HE spam/burn you to death while remaining enticingly out of your secondary weapon's range.

That has been my experience playing in a BB against a Destroyer. I consistently get wrecked by them and I am pretty sure it is operator error. Smug opponents have berated me for "Not staying 12km away" (DD's are 2x faster than me, I couldn't even if I wanted to. Besides, I am in an American BB, which barely has 12km of firing range as it is. If I am that far away from enemy destroyers (who are usually near the front) I am wayyy too far back to be of any use to the team) and "Straying from my cruiser picket line" (teamwork in WoWS is limited to driving in front of you as you release a full spread of torps at the enemy). Any good BB drivers (like Tedster?) have suggestions for how to deal with enemy destroyers?

3. Torpedo Bombers: Yes, I am watching my minimap. Yes, I can see them coming. Yes, I ctr+click on them to give my AA batteries a better chance at hitting them. I even go so far as making sluggish turns to try and throw their aim off.

Well, I still haven't shot a plane down and while I have avoided torpedoes more often than not, I haven't picked up on the animation that signals they are going to drop torps (anyone have a video of this?) I feel this is one skill you can never be too good at.

4. Spotting mechanics: Unlike WoT, there is no set viewrange for each ship, rather a range at which that ship can be detected. This means that the little icon that tells me that I am detected is constantly lit, sometimes less that 30 seconds out of the spawn point. This also leads to ships (mainly destroyers with their high concealment attribute and ability to pop a somkescreen) to simply disappear. I find this incredibly frustrating and as far as I know there is not much I can do about it.

5. The Phoenix: Yes, I know, it isn't battleship related. But of all the ships I have played, it feels the most uncomfortable. It feels like a destroyer/cruiser mix that has none of the redeeming qualities of either class. Besides free xping it (not an option), is there any advice for playing this ship? As of now it is completely stock.

 

I know this is a lot of text so if you have made it this far, good for you. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated, because I am not good at this thing called ships.

 

Thanks for your help! I can maybe put some replays up if I figure out how to activate them. My apologies for not having any at this time.

 

 

 

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I can't call myself a spectacular BB driver, but here goes.

1. Yes, Citadels are kinda luck at range. I just aim to hit at ranges over 10-12km, because none of the shells go exactly where you aim anyway. Under 10km, you should be able to reliably get citadels (not every salvo, but reliably) if the target drives in a straight line, and sometimes even if they maneuver. Under 5-6km never really happens in a BB against a BB or CA, but if it does you should be able to hit almost all your shots and get about one citadel every volley, one would hope. And yes, at (or just above) the waterline in the center of the ship seems to be the place to aim (against BBs I like to aim a tad over, so the water doesn't reduce my pen).

2. To counteract DDs, try to avoid being on the front line (hide behind at least one ship, of any sort) just to give you more warning. Personally, if a DD gets within 8-10km or so (many qualifications here, if there's lots of allies around - particularly Cruisers - I don't act as soon), I like to start turning away and shooting at them. Until 5km or so you don't get reliable hits, but you can get hits from farther, and even an overpen from a BB does 1k damage or so - which is a good chunk of the DD's HP. A full salvo at about 5km should do half a DD's HP or so, unless they are facing you directly - and if so, wait for them to turn a bit to fire, it's worth it. If at that point they STILL aren't dead, you need to be turning as hard as possible to face at or away from them (yes it's hard, but the longer they stay near to maneuver the longer you have to reload, and if they get close enough that your turrets can't turn with them your secondaries can open up.) And to help with this, BBs get a range buff next patch to their accuracy under 3km.

3. The Wyoming has terrible AA, it's true. It gets better. But for now, some tips: again, don't be in front. CV's like to bomb the first non-DD they find, so don't be the first target. And if they DO decide to come for you anyway, that means they have to fly over allied AA. Also, turning towards the bombers really is a pain for the carrier driver - they have to fly circles to line up, which is still more time over AA. And sometimes, it's true, there's really not much you can do.

4. With Camo, some Commander skills, and a high-tier module, you can decrease the range you get spotted at. Yes, DD's can hide in smoke - smoke used to be way better, now it's very balanced. Yet again, not being at the front line reduces the odds of something sneaking up on you.

5. The stock Phoenix sucks, I hated it. The Phoenix fully kitted out is an awesome gunboat (and has about 2x the guns as the stock version). Be careful to drive at an angle to the enemy, because it is fairly easy to citadel and your guns work at weird angles anyway. Only thing I can say is be patient and get it upgraded asap. It is definitely a cruiser, not a DD, but if you find yourself too close remember that you have torps - and people tend to forget that.

ps - by "avoid being on the front line", I don't mean sit 15km away from the enemy and snipe, I mean keep an ally 2-3km closer to the enemy lines than you are - and if there is no ally with you, get out of there. Being alone is the fastest way to die.

pps - Jingles shows how to activate replays here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSaQKUT9_aI

Hope this helps :D

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A tip for dealing with destroyers - keep turning, a zig-zag will do. It throws off the lead highlighter when the player is lining up the torps on you making them much less likely to accurately predict where you will be.

The second you see torp bombers coming in, start turning towards them. Not only does it reduce the size of the target (aka you) you're then in a better position to navigate between them - if the spread allows for it - but even if it doesn't, you'll only take 1 torp at worst. Of course good CV players will spot you doing this and pull their bombers back and realign them at a better angle but all this time your AA will be firing and will likely shoot a couple down. Less planes in squad = wider torp spread = easier to dodge.

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Before I start, it sounds like you're still on the initial Tier 3 BB. They are not very representative of how BB drives even at Tier 4 besides the long reloads. I recommend getting to at least Tier 4 before you evaluate how you're playing BBs. At Tier 3 the range maxes out ~11km which is significantly shorter than even the short range of the USN Tier 4 BB the Wyoming at 14km, and hopelessly shorter than a Kongos that can shoot you at 21km; a BB that you can be matched against. The max range of the South Carolina is more like a short to mid range for higher tier BB. 

Also read this:

http://forum.worldofwarships.com/index.php?/topic/41728-dealing-damage-in-wows/

Hello fellow Captains! (although at this point I don't consider myself a Captain... maybe more of a steward ? landlubber)

1. Citadel hits: Despite the finicky nature of long-ranged combat, I am having trouble doing more than average damage on my shots because I can't consistently aim for citadels. Even with the Wyoming a well-aimed salvo is lucky to hit more than 4 times at long (10-14km) ranges. Most of the other shots straddle the target, making each shot count because guess what, you have a 30s reload on your hands. Is the best place to get citadel hits still by aiming at the waterline?

Citadel hits from BB requires predicting, and positioning yourself for an opportunity to hit the broadside of another BB; RNG is involved of course, but you can't get citadel hits if you can't even get into a position where it's possible to do so. There are basically 2 ranges where Citadel hits can happen regularly against a similar tier BB; At extreme long range where your shells are plunging down on to the top armor of the ship. You can get these citadel hits maybe within ~5-10% of your maximum range. The other region where you can regularly hit citadels are closer range ~ 50% of your gun's maximum range or less.

I would leave hitting Citadels at extreme range to RNG... there's just too many variables for you to aim at citadels besides aiming at center of mass for the ship (lucky that's generally where the machine spaces/citadel areas are too). The more hits you can get in, the more chances at RNG giving you that nice citadel hit. At close range, aim for waterline because that's where the citadel areas are. But you'll have to factor in your gun caliber and your opponent's armor... you are probably not going to get those citadel hits w/ those 14" guns on the Wyoming against a Warspite even with the perfect setup for example. Do keep in mind that getting citadel hits is not the be all end all of dealing damage, a penetrating hit that didn't over-pen  still do 33% of a citadel hits so every 3 times you do a penetrating hit it's like hitting them for 1 citadel. 

2. Destroyers: The bane of battleship's existence. Let's pretend you are driving a Maus on a completely flat map that is only swampy terrain. Then, give a LT on the enemy team the ability to fire the equivalent of a JPE100 gun (albeit with a terrible shell velocity) while remaining unspotted by you. Furthermore, let him fire it multiple times in a spread. By the time you see the torpedoes, it is already too late for your big, fat battleship arse to turn. Furthermore, if you manage to have a DD in your sights, have the AP broadside that you have loaded for everything else (and probably weighing more than the ship you fired it at XD) over-penetrate and do minimal damage, allowing him 30 seconds to HE spam/burn you to death while remaining enticingly out of your secondary weapon's range.

That has been my experience playing in a BB against a Destroyer. I consistently get wrecked by them and I am pretty sure it is operator error. Smug opponents have berated me for "Not staying 12km away" (DD's are 2x faster than me, I couldn't even if I wanted to. Besides, I am in an American BB, which barely has 12km of firing range as it is. If I am that far away from enemy destroyers (who are usually near the front) I am wayyy too far back to be of any use to the team) and "Straying from my cruiser picket line" (teamwork in WoWS is limited to driving in front of you as you release a full spread of torps at the enemy). Any good BB drivers (like Tedster?) have suggestions for how to deal with enemy destroyers?

Fighting in a BB against a DD is definitely one of the harder things to do in a BB (short of dodging TBs). I consider a minimum safe distance against a DD while in a BB to be ~5km. If you are driving parallel or away from them at 5km when they launch torps, you stand a pretty good chance of dodging them provided you regularly change course. You shouldn't have to worry about getting torped by a DD at 12km, but you should being reacting to them by not sailing directly at them. Assuming a 1 v 1 between you and a DD the standard MO is to sail directly away from the DD while lobbing as much HE shell you can at it. Sure they'll eventually catch you, especially if you are in a USN BB, but the idea is to prolong that as much as possible. It gives you 2-3 more salvos from your main gun and much more time for your secondary to do damage to it, but most of all torpedoes are the least effective when launched "stern on" against an enemy because the torpedo spreads out giving you more gap to slip through and your relative speed to the torpedoes are much lower giving you more time and make it easier to slip through. Bear in mind it really only take 1-2 HE hit from a BB to severely cripple a DD and 3-4 total to out right sink one.  It can be done, it just take recognizing possible ambush positions and give them a wide berth (~5+ km) and knowing what to do when you do spot one. I've soloed against 3 DDs at the same time in my BB before; sunk 2 and chase last one away to engage someone else with the strategy I used above. 

P.S. If you are sailing away from you and they are chasing you, they  can't torp you without turning broadsides to you. This gives you a big fat target to hit, or putting more distance between you and the DD.

3. Torpedo Bombers: Yes, I am watching my minimap. Yes, I can see them coming. Yes, I ctr+click on them to give my AA batteries a better chance at hitting them. I even go so far as making sluggish turns to try and throw their aim off.

Well, I still haven't shot a plane down and while I have avoided torpedoes more often than not, I haven't picked up on the animation that signals they are going to drop torps (anyone have a video of this?) I feel this is one skill you can never be too good at.

How well you can do depends on the skill of the CV captain. Against a unicum CV captain that's driving a CV 2 tiers above you... there really isn't much you can do besides grouping with the rest of the fleet and hope they have enough AA to deter their TBs; against a bad CV captain, all you really have to do is point your bow at them to dodge them. Your experience against TB is pretty much night and day depending on who's at the controls on the other end. At even mid tiers the AA on your BB is pretty much just decorations, you can't rely on them. your only hope is to really just doge them but there are a few things you can do to improve your odds.

Even when the TBs are 12+km out and you think they might gun for you, try to sail on a course that is ~+/- 45 degrees to their expected attack vector. This lets you take proper evasive maneuvers when it become certain that they are gunning for you while at the same time forces the TB driver to choose and decide how to preposition the TB to attack you from your port or starboard side; Too much he'll just come straight at your broadside, too little he just fly perpendicular to your course then turn around and come at your broadsides.. but if you are in between it lets you see what he's trying to do so you can maneuver the right direction to dodge. When you do your initial turn dodge (Before the drop happens), do not use Full rudder. It simply takes too long for you to reverse your rudder direction and telegraph which way your ship is going to point for the next 20-30 seconds. I would only use 1/2 rudder until you know the CV driver has committed to the run. this gives you more room to maneuver on either direction. You can do everything right and still eat 1 or 2 torpedoes, depending if it's an IJN or USN CV, taking 1 or 2 torps in a BB is still a victory because now the CV driver did ~5-10k damage and need to wait at least ~1-2 minutes before getting another chance. Do not use damage control until you are certain the attack is over. Getting holed below the waterline without a repair is pretty much certain death. 

4. Spotting mechanics: Unlike WoT, there is no set viewrange for each ship, rather a range at which that ship can be detected. This means that the little icon that tells me that I am detected is constantly lit, sometimes less that 30 seconds out of the spawn point. This also leads to ships (mainly destroyers with their high concealment attribute and ability to pop a somkescreen) to simply disappear. I find this incredibly frustrating and as far as I know there is not much I can do about it.

I've found 6th sense on a BB to be pretty useless just because everything can spot you from 1/2 way across the map. Only time i've found it useful is when you have a minekaze that's trying to stealth torp you from maximum range, even then its value is pretty dubious. Smoke is a double edge sword, sure you can't see them through the smoke but now they've telegraph the general vicinity of where they are. If you don't want to get torped, stay away from the smoke, that simple. If they are chasing you w/ the smoke on, then they'll out run their smoke every few seconds and you can time about when that will happen and give them a barge when they out run their smoke. I actually like the spotting system in WoWS a lot more because you don't have to estimate camo and take guesses at what range you are safe from spotting and what range you are not. 

5. The Phoenix: Yes, I know, it isn't battleship related. But of all the ships I have played, it feels the most uncomfortable. It feels like a destroyer/cruiser mix that has none of the redeeming qualities of either class. Besides free xping it (not an option), is there any advice for playing this ship? As of now it is completely stock.

Use it to bully ship that it is good against. CL like the Phoenix is very good against DDs with its rapid fire guns ,  the number of guns it has, its speed, and maneuverability. At the beginning of the game, sail behind a pack of DDs, and when the initial DD vs DD engagement happens, you can easily tip the fight to your side in a Phoenix. if that happens you can snow ball the fight to your team's favor fairly quickly. Against another CL, your odds are 50/50 and in general I try not to get into that situation before finding more favorable situation to tip the balance to your team. Do not engage BBs unless you have no choice or you and your team have a lot of advantage whether in numbers or position, their AP rounds can cripple or sink you in 1 salvo. 

 

 

 

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The Phoenix, fully upgraded, is pure sex. It's got destroyer speed, rapid firing guns, great agility, torpedoes. What's not to like? I've cracked 100k damage (in a co-op battle, tho) with this baby. Fire AP at cruisers and HE at destroyers and BBs and just keep dancing around at their extreme range limits. Love the Phoenix.

 

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The Phoenix, fully upgraded, is pure sex. It's got destroyer speed, rapid firing guns, great agility, torpedoes. What's not to like? I've cracked 100k damage (in a co-op battle, tho) with this baby. Fire AP at cruisers and HE at destroyers and BBs and just keep dancing around at their extreme range limits. Love the Phoenix.

 

^This. Then the Omaha which comes after it takes this perfection to an entirely new level.

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The other great thing about Omaha and Phoenix are that they just have guns everywhere. You can always fire four and six guns respectively at any aspect.

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