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Err0r404DignityNotFound

When to fire AP and HE

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I am still really confused by the AP and HE shell mechanics.What i know is that he is for firing at weakly armoured targets and targets that your ap cant penetrate and ap for thps targeta that have just the right amount of armour.This still leaves many unanswered questions.How do you know an ap shells penetration?Does distance affect shells?Where should i fire at to do maximun damage with ap for example?At higher tiers ive seen battleships take out around 3/4 of a cruisers health with a single AP salvo.I tried this with my kawachi at tier three on a st louis if i remembered correctly.No luck,i think all the ap shells overpenned.I have a feeling there are still a ton of game mechanics i don't understand yet so if anyone could give me a basic rundown on some other important shell mechanics that would be greatly appreciated:)

Btw this is the kind shells i usually fire when using certain ships

 

battleships-AP at other battleships and he for everything else.

For any other ship i just spam HE mainly because i have no idea what i should do and he will always do a good amount of damage and set things on fire.

 

 

Edited by Err0r404DignityNotFound

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[BMRSF]
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373 posts
2,516 battles

aim for Citadel part of the ship (the one in the middle) and when play at first Load HE because you're likely to meet DD first in the match, use AP only when you're are the same class or superior than the enemy (for example you using Battleship and you meet other Battleship or cruiser, don't load AP to attack destroyer at short range and don't Load AP when you using cruiser but engage the Battleship) When you attack Battleship with AP get as close as possible, so the Shell will be stuck inside enemy ship and exploded. and keep some distances when you meet cruiser for maximum effect. try to see the tips on youtube.

 

for armor:

 

for Type of shell:

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[ATLAS]
Beta Tester
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It's mostly experience, also overmatching mechanic if you know how to calculate it (i forgot the formula). But generally speaking, broadside cruiser should be the best target for any AP shells, even destroyers. Against battleship, unless you are also a battleship it is usually not worth it shooting AP if they show broadside since you  have better chance to set fires into 4 zones. There's exception of course like Moskva, German cruisers, and soviet destroyers although aside from Moskva, the other 2 has to shoot the deck/superstructure instead of the water line.

 

In a very close combat, ships like American Cruisers with 203mm can also lay waste to battleship by shooting AP slightly behind the 2nd turret, it is highly recommended tactics if you are really close to a Battleship.

Edited by Vio_Strygun

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Super Tester
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For someone who frequently plays cruisers, at low tiers HE spam is the way to go. The larger the guns, the higher the chance of fires. If you are the kind to charge in (or be at the front of your team's push) at the start, HE might be the way to go. With the exception of BBs, most of the time I just fire HE. If you see a broadside cruiser then shoot AP.

 

Regarding penetration and citadels, you might need to know your enemy's ship just as well as you know your ship. The st louis' citadel armour is a little unique so usually I'd just HE spam it if I see one. Once you get to higher tiers and start having guns above 200mm, AP is generally a safe bet if you drive cruisers. Of course, if you see a DD and already have AP loaded, just fire AP first, sometimes you will be able to detonate a DD with AP if it doesn't overpen.

 

As a general rule of thumb, against any thickness or armor targets you should use HE at range unless you are a drive BBs and in that case you will load AP. At closer ranges you can use AP against moderately to heavily armored targets (because of higher shell velocity and hence penetration), but for lighter targets HE may be better. That being said, different ships handle differently and it all comes down to practice. There is really a lot to cover regarding shell mechanics so experimentation is a good way to learn.

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Beta Tester
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enemy is presenting broad surface go for AP.
enemy is angled go for HE.
if you are in IJN heavy cruiser and you are targeting battleship, destroyer or angled cruiser go for HE, if the target is a cruiser presenting broadside fire load AP.

 

for russian cruiser its kinda situational, Russian ap also deal lots of damage on Battleship supper structure but stick to HE first and set fire as many ship as you can, if target battleship is already burning in multiple location load AP and fire on superstructure.

 

if your on battleship just Load pure AP. if the enemy is angled in front, try to aim at the guns to disable it or even destroy it. AP can even devastate destroyer so stick with AP. unless you're in scharnhorst stick with AP.

 

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Member
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I'm a rookie and I was using the S.Carolina battleship in a battle. I saw a Kawachi coming up and fired AP rounds at the ship. However the only thing that happened was that the shells dealt a lame 821 damage and I also find it hard to hit the magazine despite aiming below the main battery of the enemy ship. Why???

 

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Alpha Tester
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I'm a rookie and I was using the S.Carolina battleship in a battle. I saw a Kawachi coming up and fired AP rounds at the ship. However the only thing that happened was that the shells dealt a lame 821 damage and I also find it hard to hit the magazine despite aiming below the main battery of the enemy ship. Why???

 

 

Which mean most of your shells got deflected

The angled Armor is harder to penetrate, especially from a battleship

The turrret does not contain all the magazine, the magazine is located far under it, at what we call citadel

If you shooting the the turret directly, you will have a chance to knock it out or rightly put it out of action

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I'm a rookie and I was using the S.Carolina battleship in a battle. I saw a Kawachi coming up and fired AP rounds at the ship. However the only thing that happened was that the shells dealt a lame 821 damage and I also find it hard to hit the magazine despite aiming below the main battery of the enemy ship. Why???

 

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I'm a rookie and I was using the S.Carolina battleship in a battle. I saw a Kawachi coming up and fired AP rounds at the ship. However the only thing that happened was that the shells dealt a lame 821 damage and I also find it hard to hit the magazine despite aiming below the main battery of the enemy ship. Why???

 

 

IS the Kawachi presenting a broadside, or is he sailing towards you at an angle.... if it is the latter, then the shells probably bounced. You can also turn on the detailed ribbons to see whether your rounds penetrate, over-pent or bounced

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Member
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I always use HE in my BB when fighting other BB at maximum range. Then I switch to AP when I get close. Sometimes I even us HE all the way. I found that the ensuing fire damage can be more devastating than the damage from the shell hit. If you get lucky, you may set the enemy ship of fire a second after he use his repair crew.

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Member
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As a cruiser player i just sling HE all the time , the only time i sling AP is against fellow cruisers or anything that i think i can pen with my guns. 

And cruiser on cruiser if he keeps on angling i switch back to HE. 

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Super Tester
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Use the armor viewer in your game to check and memorize the armor layout  of ship classes (they are mostly similar). if AP and HE only penetrates, then you get 1/3 rd of max damage. Since AP will always have higher max damage than HE, if your shells have a chance to penetrate, use AP, or else use HE.

 

in short, if something like cruisers or battleships show you broadside:

a) You are in a battleship -> use AP,

b) You are in a cruiser and your shells do not go to orbit -> use AP,

c) You are in a destroyer -> use AP if target is sub 8 km,

any other cases use HE on superstructure.

 

if a destroyer shows you side:

a) if you are shooting low caliber shells, fire HE,

b) if you are high caliber like battleships, fire AP. (If anyone tells you you have to switch to HE when fighting DD in a battleship, they do not understand the game)

 

if you find a CV:

a) keep shooting HE till there are fires on the deck, once fire set, its up to you whether you use AP or HE. Personally, a CV who has no planes or cannot land / launch planes is no threat and therefore not worthy to be spent time upon unless that is the only target around you.

 

Just remember: 

Citadel = Max damage (both for AP and HE, and dive bomber bombs)

Penetration = 1 / 3 rd of max damage

Overpen = 1 / 10 th of max damage

 

HE has an additional property of setting fire which does DoT. However, if you are not reliant on DoT and want to finish the target quicker, AP is often beneficial, specially in IJN and KM cruisers.

Edited by icy_phoenix

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Member
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Know your caliber and opponent's armor thickness, and remember 10km. At max range, your guns can pent enemy armor with no trouble if the caliber of your guns are greater than their armor. For example, your 305mm guns can pent 305mm armor with no difficulties. At 10km, your guns can pent double thickness of armor. in this case, your 152mm guns can pent 304mm armor. This is a quick guide for new players, which allow you to level up your performance in a short time. Things may change in the battle field. 

 

Finally, St Louis citadel is weird, so don't even think about penting it. 

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[RTANZ]
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How hard is it to detonate the mag of a ship from afar?

 

If your the Bismark shooting at the Hood, its dead easy! lol

 

As a new player, whats interesting about HE and AP..... i am currently experimenting with the Molotov in Co-op battles, and i find my team score position is usually quite low.

 

I decided to give AP a go from start to finish and noticed my score improved significantly! So AP verses HE in all situations, overall AP performs better in the Molotov, other ships might be different?

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[RTANZ]
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AP does better damage under the right circumstances.   Everything from armour angle to penetration mechanics affects what you should use.

 

 

 

 

 

Yea.... i am noticing where HE has its advantage, the advantage is minimal, but where AP has its advantage, the advantage is significant..... so i can easily just use AP, and i am content to leave destroyers to others, unless i am in the better position to target it, only then i switch to HE

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[RTANZ]
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Watch a BB burn and go salty.  You will see the advantage of HE.  Not so smart BB players use the repair consumables then you light them again and watch the damage mount.

 

Usually the damage that mounts is against my ship! hehehehe..... since spamming HE in a Molotov at a battle ship seems to attract the attention of it, and its teammates!!

 

But thats ok, gotta make use of my hit points, no use finishing games on full health.

 

 

Edited by Sy_dn_ey

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Alpha Tester
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A good channel with fair better explanations of mechanics and what to do and what not to do is iChaseGaming  he has a series on tips and teaching you what to do called Captains Academy it might good to go through and watch it.

 

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