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Battleship Guide - My New BB is Performing Wrong As Expected

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Introduction

 

yuJvSun.jpg

 

So maybe you saw this poster. You saw Mighty Mo kicking rear, taking names, dropping lead on some mother-FIRE! and you want to do the same. You endured Erie/Hashidate, and charged through Chikuma/Chester, and toughed out Tenryuu/St Louis and finally, FINALLY unlock the superdreadnoughts, the capital ships, the big guns. South Carolina and Kawachi.

 

Then you take it out for your first battle, and then die in a storm of shells and torpedoes and wonder what went wrong.

 

This is a new player's guide to battleships. Battleships play similar to cruisers, relying on their main batteries to dish out the damage. But unlike cruisers, battleships have a much, much steeper learning curve, and if you don't get the hang of it quickly, you're going to be a glorified target barge in battle.

 

What I'll do here is outline the pros and cons of battleships, as well as discuss the early battleship tiers from 3-5. I'll outline some tips and tactics, and throw in a few useful video guides near the end of excellent battleship players you should be learning from. But I'll warn you now, the best way to learn how to play a battleship is to go out there and suffer. Suffer until you learn to dish out the hurt before the hurt dishes out to you. If you can't handle being shot at, I highly suggest going back to cruisers right now.

 

Still with me? Then read on.

 

Pros and Cons

 

Like all ships in the game, battleships come with their own pros and cons. Learning and internalizing this is required for performing well in a battleship.

 

Pros:

1. Ludicrous hitpoints. Battleships have the highest survivability values in the game, and this translates to the highest amount of combat capability (hp). Battleships are capable of taking an incredible beating that will sink any lesser ship, and keep functioning.

2. Health regeneration. In addition to the above, all battleships get access to the skill "Repair Party". This can be used 3 times in a match (4 with the commander skill), which has a 2 minute cooldown and regenerates a % of light and medium damage over time. It is quite possible for a battleship to take hits by smaller shells, suffer light damage, then regenerate a third or more of their hitpoints

4. Heavy armour. Battleships, being the largest, heaviest ships in the game, also carry the heaviest armour - their sides are virtually impervious to AP shells fired by anything other than other battleships. Battleships also frequently mount torpedo bulges, which are capable of slightly reducing the amount of damage done by torpedo attacks.

5. Big guns. Battleships carry the largest guns ever put on a vessel out to sea - their AP shells are capable of oneshotting lesser ships, and they can fire from a distance smaller ships are hard-pressed to respond. And battleships mount 6-10 of these monster guns. Throw in the spotter plane that most battleships get, and you can fire these babies at targets up to around 17km away.

6. All-range attacker. In addition to their long-range main batteries, battleships also possess a large number of short-range secondary guns for close-in defense: any vessel approaching you will have to contend with a hail of gunfire from you.

 

Now, all this sounds great and all, but as usual, there's a catch. A massive, massive, massive catch.

 

Cons:

1. Huge detectability. Battleships can be detected from over 15km out. And that value increases the moment you fire your main guns. There's no hiding in a battleship, and no sneaking around. The moment you open fire, everyone on the map will know where you are.

2. Massive, massive inaccuracy. In order to stop battleships from literally oneshotting everything, there's a high amount of random dispersion built into all of a battleship weapons. Yes, that includes your secondary battery too. In a salvo of 10 shots, expect 3-4 to hit. And that's on a good day. And secondary batteries have an average hitrate somewhere between 10-20%. It's not uncommon to fire at a target and see all your shells straddle it.

3. Big superstructures that are perfect for bonfires. Expect every player to fire HE shells at your big superstructures. Expect to be wreathed in smoke and flame from stem to stern. Expect to lose a lot of hp to the flames.

4. Poor maneuverability. Battleships generally have a low top speed and worse, take a lot of time to accelerate up to their top speed. Furthermore, it takes a lot of time to shift a battleship rudder, so battleships turn like a tub.

5. Torpedo bait. Big, slow, highly visible target? Expect destroyers and carriers to direct torpedo attacks on you all day, everyday.

6. Poor turret traversion and long reloads. It takes forever for a battleship's main battery to turn 180 degrees. Once you aim a guns at one side, it tends to stay aimed at that side throughout the battle. Furthermore, battleships can usually only fire their guns twice a minute, which means if you miss, expect a punishingly long reload time.

 

What kills you the most:

1. Torpedoes: Torpedo spreads deal massive amount of damage when they strike you due to the high damage per torpedo. In addition, they inflict the flooding status on you, cutting your speed and producing a horrendous damage over time effect. Primary source of torpedoes - destroyers, or torpedo squadrons from aircraft carriers.

2. Fire: As most smaller ships are not capable of breaching your armour, they will be firing large amounts of HE shells at you, hopefully setting multiple fires on your ship in order to cause your hitpoints to steadily tick away. Failing to deal with HE spam and get fires under control will result in your ship burning to the waterline.

3. Citadel strikes from other battleships: Superdreadnought guns on other battleships are capable of breaching your armour and striking deep into your critical zones, resulting in heavy damage on hits. Take enough of them and it will kill you.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Now, in addition these pros and cons, the individual nations' ships have their own pros and cons as well. These are mainly dealing with the lower tier battleships - I expect players going on to higher tier ships to not need a guide in order to play well.

 

IJN Ships

Pros: Heavy secondary battery armament (IJN ships, especially at the higher tiers, mount 14cm guns in their secondary batteries - the same guns that their cruisers have as their primary guns), good range and top speed when upgraded.

Cons: Poorer AA, making them perfect carrier targets. 

 

USN Ships

Pros: Good AA when upgraded, making them capable of mounting a token defence against incoming planes. Good turn rate too, which helps in evading torpedoes.

Cons: Lower top speed, poorer range at low tiers (its around the same as most cruisers, and much lower than IJN BBs). This means it may take a while for USN ships to get in firing range of an enemy fleet.

 

Neither are objectively better than the other - its a question of which you prefer.

Edited by Syanda

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Knowing your ship: Battleship Ammunition and Consumables

 

When to use HE and AP

 

tl;dr As a general rule, always load AP in a battleship. Once you're more experienced, you'll know when to mix HE and AP.

 

Battleships possess guns with the highest penetration values in the game. That means its usually always worth it to fire AP shells at cruisers and other battleships. I wrote up a guide over here on how to obtain citadel hits, please do give it a read. With the largest guns in the game, going for citadel hits will be your bread and butter skill when playing a battleship. Take note of your long reload and wide dispersion - aim so that hopefully, at least one or two shells will strike the hull and penetrate the citadel.

 

Note, however, the problem of overpenetration. If you fire at AP shell and it hits a lightly armoured zone, your AP shell will pass right through the target ship and deal only 10% damage. Try to make sure your shells never land on the following areas: Bows of a ship in front of the turret, stern of a ship behind turrets, ship superstructure (masts and funnels). Aim instead for the citadel zones shown in the linked guide to maximize the damage you do.

 

Note also that destroyers are lightly armoured everywhere and have no citadels. When fighting a destroyer (which is NOT RECOMMENDED) fire HE at it. Just one or two HE hits will cause major damage and several critical hits to a destroyer.

 

Consumables

 

1. Damage Control Party: Damage control party repairs damaged modules, extinguishes fires and removes flooding. Battleships have the longest cooldown for damage control party, so save it for when you really need it. If you have just one fire burning, resist the urge to hit damage control immediately. Likewise if one of your guns is temporarily down. You'll want to save damage control for when you have more than on fire burning, or when you're flooding. Both of these status effects will be seen very often as it is the primary method of killing you. Save your damage control, and you might end up saving your ship down the line.

 

2. Repair Party: Repair Party regenerates a portion of the damage done to you. How it works is like this: Damage comes in three flavours - light, medium, and heavy damage. In a nutshell, Repair Party regenerates a portion of all light and medium damage that you have suffered, but will not regenerate heavy damage. Typically, light and medium damage come from HE shells, destroyer/cruiser guns hitting your superstructure, fires and flooding. Heavy damage are penetrating AP hits/citadel hits from other battleships, and torpedo hits. Therefore, save your repair party for when you can figure out that you've taken a lot of light damage - like after a fire has finished burning out or after taking a lot of fire to your superstructure. Resist the urge to hit the button immediately, until you've lost at least a third or so of your health. Note that battleships will get an achievement for surviving a battle with more damage done to them than their hp.

 

3. Spotter Plane: Spotter plane is a bit interesting. What it does is extend your maximum range by 20%, and changes your camera angle as long as the spotter plane is in the sky. What this means is that you'll be able to see over islands, and more importantly, fire over them. It takes a while to get used to aiming in spotter plane mode (its actually similar to aiming in regular mode), but can be very rewarding when you snipe out enemy carriers from more than 15km away. Myougi and Kongou get their spotter planes when they upgrade their hulls.

 

Modules and upgrades


Battleships typically have three module research paths: hull, gun fire control system, and engines. What you want to do is grab the hull upgrade ASAP. Stock battleships have terrible AA, and grabbing the hull upgrades will modernize the hull and stick AA guns on to mount a token defense against aerial attacks. Given that battleships are the primary target of carriers, you'll want this ASAP. Following that, decide on whether you want to grab the gun range upgrade first, or the engine upgrade. This one is up to personal preference.

 

Upgrade-wise, low tier battleships typically have very heavily armoured turrets which can only be knocked out by another battleship, while their secondary batteries are vulnerable to HE fire. However, magazine detonations (from torpedo hits or a citadel hit from another battleship) are capable of oneshotting you, so keep that in mind when deciding the first upgrade. Given the sheer amount of HE fire and torpedoes a battleship will face, you will almost always want to take "Damage Control System Modification 1". For tier 5 battleships and above, there is a choice of upgrading your AA range (which USN battleships can take advantage of), Secondary range (which IJN ships can take advantage of), or tighten your dispersion (which all battleships would benefit from). I do not suggest getting the Main Battery Modification 2 - your reload time is long enough, making it longer is not worth the increase to turret traversion speed.

 

Recommended Captain skills - low tier

 

You'll want to be able to deal with your primary threats (fire and flooding) as soon as possible. Therefore, a good first captain skill to take is Basics of Survivability so that if your damage control is on cooldown, negative effects will be removed quicker. Fire Prevention is also an invaluable skill to have. Reducing Damage Control's cooldown with High Alert is also highly desirable. Basic Firing Training may be useful for air defense and for improving your secondary guns.

 

Edited by Syanda

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Tictacs Tactics

Threats and threat prioritization

 

1. Aircraft Carriers: Due to your low turn rate and high detectability, aircraft carriers will be directing airstrikes at you typically right from the start of the battle. Always keep one eye on your minimap. The moment you see torpedo bombers appear on a minimap that look remotely like they are heading towards you, turn so that you're either facing them head on or moving directly away from them - this is a matter of life and death. Don't worry too much about dive bombers, as they don't do too much damage and turn hard when they get near you - their function is to get you to spend your damage control taking care of inevitable fires so follow-up torpedo flooding will sink you. When the planes are within 5-6km of you, make a hard turn - this makes it harder for planes to successfully hit you. Hold control and left click on torpedo bomber squadrons to focus AA damage on them - every plane shot down is one less torpedo aimed at you. When all else fails and you see torpedo bombers headed straight for your bow on your broadside at 4km, go to full reverse immediately while your rudder is still full port/starboard. With any luck, this might cause them to drop their torpedoes too far forward and pass harmless in front of you, or you'll just take maybe one hit to the bow. Target prioritization - if you see an aircraft carrier in range of your main guns, forsake all other targets and fire at it with what you have loaded. Killing a CV is a prime opportunity. If you have a chance for a follow-up salvo before the CV flees out of your firing range, reload HE. You have the biggest shells in the game with the biggest chance of fire, abuse it and give that CV a bad day.

 

2. Destroyers: Again, due to your high detectability and the fact you move like a tub of lard, you're going to be prime targets for any destroyer. Furthermore, destroyers are your natural predators - their low detectability, coupled with high speed, maneuverability, small target area and devastating torpedo attacks means they'll be sending fish slicing towards you whenever possible. To minimize being killed by destroyers, have map awareness - be sure of how many destroyers there are on the enemy team, and the moment you see their triangles on the minimap, be prepared to take evasive action if you're headed towards them. This means that you ought to be varying your speed and course as much as possible. Do not be fat, dumb, and happy travelling in a straight line if you don't want to eat torpedoes launched from beyond the range that you can see. Sometimes, destroyers will attempt to conduct close-range attacks on you. When this happens, turn so that you're facing towards or away from a destroyer immediately. Do not let a destroyer get broadside-to-broadside with you or you will die. By turning, destroyers will not be able to utilize their torpedo prediction well as the aim point will keep shifting. Do not decelerate when destroyers are at close range, just keep turning hard at maximum speed. Fire what you have at destroyers (AP if you have it loaded), then reload HE. Your chances of hitting a destroyer is low (unless you've got a lot of practice), but every little bit will help in fighting them off. Target prioritization: Only fire on destroyers if they're under 10km from you - don't bother trying to snipe them from long range. If they look like they're approaching you, hold control and left click on them to have your secondaries focus on them to give destroyers something more to worry about, and then fire your main batteries at them to hopefully kill or critically damage them before they can hit you at close range. If all else fails, ramming works.

 

3. Cruisers: Cruisers are your natural prey - with their thinner armour, larger target area and weaker guns. When fighting cruisers, try to go for their citadels (refer to the linked guide). Just one or two shells hitting a citadel can result in a cruiser losing 3/4 of its hp. Most cruisers will not try to fight you one on one, but instead turn to minimize their target profile and hammer you with HE shells to set you on fire. When this happens, Don't Panic! Save your damage control for when its needed, then carefully aim and pray to the RNG gods for a good dispersion to kill cruisers quickly. Note that some cruisers carry torpedoes - All IJN cruisers from Tenryuu and up, as well as Phoenix and Omaha have torpedoes. These cruisers will attempt to close in to torpedo range, and then swing their broadsides to expose their side-mounted launchers and fire. When this happens, fire at them when they're over 10km to try to damage them as much as possible, but when they are less than 10km away, save your next broadside for when they swing to expose their launchers - this allows you to put a spread of high-calibre shells straight into their sides, frequently oneshotting them. If you see them launch their torpedoes (launch animation, and cruisers start to turn away), turn away immediately as well to evade the torpedo spread. Shoot to kill cruisers quickly - depriving the enemy team of these ships can affect their ability to respond to the shifting battlefield and allow your team's destroyers to close with enemy battleships.

 

4. Battleships: XXX Hot battleship on battleship action (stations). Battleship AP is frequently the only thing capable of consistently penetrating battleship armour (the other being torpedoes). See another battleship and there's nothing else to shoot at? Fire AP at them. As usual, go for the citadels - you want to do heavy damage that they can't regenerate, and take out huge chunks of their health before they take out huge chunks of yours.

 

Engaging at long range vs CQC

 

It's tempting to sit back and use your superior range to fire at targets at long range, but honestly? The dispersion and slow rate of fire means its torturous to do so. My preferred tactic is to get in close (<10km) to targets and slaughter them with high alpha strikes. I've written a guide to CQC in a battleship elsewhere, and I'll just paste it below.

 

 

So I've fought CQC in every Japanese battleship and USN battleships up until Colorado against everything. First thing's first: IJN BBs are a hell lot better at it than their USN counterparts. With all the secondary battery upgrades and range extensions, IJN BBs open fire with their secondaries from 7km out (And Yamato and Izumo opens fire from 10km, I believe). I prefer to close nearly head-on until I'm in secondary range, and then tailor further maneuvers to the target. Frankly though, when you're that close to another enemy battleship, both of your are going to take a hell lot of damage.

 

When in close quarters against a battleship, You're going to want to go for citadels outright. The secondaries firing at each other is going to result in a constant drain of hitpoints, and setting of fires, and your damage control/repairs will NOT be able to keep up. Load up AP, put your aimpoint right where their bow is cutting the water, pray to the RNG gods and let fly. At under 5km range, your aiming point should be just forward of the first turret to strike the engine zones, or a bit further back to hit the after turret magazines. One good dispersion can and will kill an equal tier battleship - my most memorable experience was oneshotting a Fusou from nearly full hitpoints with my Nagato. You generally want to have as many of your main guns firing as possible to get the citadel hits. But either way, battleship CQC is mutual slaughter.

 

Against cruisers, CQC isn't really as useful - it relies on the cruiser to be completely brainless. Only go for CQC against cruisers without torpedoes - that means Chester, St Louis, Cleveland and up, and avoid the IJN CAs. Same thing - aim just forward of the bow or on the bow itself, pray, and let fly. Cruisers can and will probably attempt to batter your secondaries to submission and set you on fire if you catch them at close range, but most are smart enough to cut and run when they're in secondary range. If they're not? One salvo can and will kill them. Against torpedo-armed cruisers, close in directly towards them at full speed while turning. You want to force them to panic and dump their torpedoes at a bad angle (putting them in a use 'em or lose 'em situation). Once the torps are gone, feel free to expose your broadside and dump shells into them. AP's fine, but if targets are headed directly towards or away from you, mix in some HE salvoes for critical hits - forcing a cruiser to use its damage control early will give it a lot of problems when your secondaries open up.

 

Funnily enough, taking destroyers in close combat is a pretty good idea as well. Destroyers are most dangerous when they launch on you without you noticing - either while you're distracted or while they're undetected, and they work best when your broadside is exposed to them. So, turn straight towards them and freak them out. While inaccurate, your secondaries can cause all sorts of problems as they easily land critical hits and set fires. Same tactics as fighting a torpedo cruiser - take it head on, make 'em panic and dump their torps early. However, always load HE against destroyers - AP is practically worthless.

 

Conclusion

Playing a battleship can be tough. There's a high skill floor required to do well in a battleship, and most players will give up and complain that battleships are impossible to play, turning instead to the easier cruisers and destroyers. However, if you stick it through and learn your ships well, battleships are absolutely deadly and perfectly capable of wreaking havoc on the enemy team. It's immensely satisfying to absolutely crush ships in single salvoes, and see the lamentations of enemy players who're destroyed before they have a chance to react, and you get the chance to do so every 30 seconds. Playing a battleship can definitely be very rewarding.

 

Feel free to ask any questions below.

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Some additional notes on target selection.

 

Although it is tempting to sit there pounding on that BB up the back - DONT unless there is nothing else out there.

Same for that pesky DD at ~10km away.  With your dispersion, leave them for your Cruisers - that's their job after all.

 

Priority 1 - Take out the enemy Cruisers fast (that's your primary job after all).  

This give's you a tripple win:

1.  It lets your DD's through the screen to cause havok amongst the enemy BB's and CV's.

2.  It removes the storm of HE coming at you and setting fire to you.

3.  It removes a large chunk of the enemy AA capability, giving your CV freer reign to rain down terror on the enemy BBs and CVs :)

(4.  if IJN CA it also remove another source of torps that so want to make holes in your hull)

 

Priority 2 - CVs

This is a pretty obvious one - these are amongst the biggest threats to you!

If you have the opportunity and have already switched to HE, hit the CV and set it alight then switch back to hitting the CA guarding them.

 

Priority 3 - Other BB's.

The battle everyone wants - sit there and pound on each other to prove who has the bigger guns, better armour and all that!

 

Priority 4 - DDs

Let's face it - DD's are always going to be priority 4 - your chances of hitting them are low unless they are doing a suicide run.

In which case - go for it.

 

Focus FIRE:

When working with your fleet (yeah I know team work ;) ) - call the target by mapping a key in the settings (most of the older Alpha/Beta players use G).

Use the targeting choices above and everyone hit the same target at once.

It's amazing how quickly you own a flank when everyone hits the same target then shifts to the next and so on.

 

 

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 2. Repair Party: Repair Party regenerates a portion of the damage done to you. How it works is like this: Damage comes in three flavours - light, medium, and heavy damage. In a nutshell, Repair Party regenerates a portion of all light and medium damage that you have suffered, but will not regenerate heavy damage. Typically, light and medium damage come from HE shells, destroyer/cruiser guns hitting your superstructure, fires and flooding. Heavy damage are penetrating AP hits/citadel hits from other battleships, and torpedo hits. Therefore, save your repair party for when you can figure out that you've taken a lot of light damage - like after a fire has finished burning out or after taking a lot of fire to your superstructure. Resist the urge to hit the button immediately, until you've lost at least a third or so of your health. Note that battleships will get an achievement for surviving a battle with more damage done to them than their hp.

 

There's little or no RNG at all to combat capability recovery. Light, medium and heavy damage aren't types of damage, it just refers to the amount of damage that you've taken. Obviously, if you took single a citadel hit it'll say heavy damage, but it will also say heavy damage if your ship took a dozen 14" overpens simultaneously (~12k damage). Type of damage refers to things like citadel hits, overpens, fire, flooding, etc. For example, you can only recover 10% of HP lost to a citadel hit while HP lost to fire and flooding is 100% recoverable (assuming you have enough duration/charges for repair party).

 

Note: The amount of HP recoverable per second can be found in the Repair Party's consumable tooltip. Therefore, there's a maximum amount of HP it can recover per charge (27s per charge). The signal flag India Delta increases the HP recovered per second by 20%.

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Beta Tester
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Do you think Co Op battle could be a good way to train you and 'get the hang if it' on your battleships?

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Beta Tester
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Do you think Co Op battle could be a good way to train you and 'get the hang if it' on your battleships?

 

Yes - First you are less stressful (Say Bots won't camp Blue Line) and Secondly they move less frequently than Human Players.

 

But Remember these Bots are not easy mode either - They are deadly Accurate, so RMB to wiggle in any ship.

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Thanks for the informative set of posts. I've been hating the South Carolina in particular ( I find the Kawachi not as frustrating for some reason). Hopefully your advice will make me do a lot better in the big battlewagons.

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[WOWMY]
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Nice post, main reason for me to play WoWs is to get the IJN BB and that will be Kongo and Yamato, Im on Tier 6 now and is having pretty hard time with Fuso's kawai range, but the 6 guns is good , fast reload and turning, no wonder its nerfed with the range Im guessing. but if Im in range, normally getting cruisers out first so they wont annoy me lol and then I can have lovely BB to BB battle. If all else fail, I would just go for the ram because its infinitely satisfying haha!

 

On another note and I like to take alot of screenshot whether at port or ingame to admire the BB's awesomeness, theyre just soooo cool and Wargaming practically let me inpect them closer than I can get with any wiki or library books. I would suggest a button for screenshot if there is none and perhaps some free camera mode while in port.

Edited by MaFlowerCrab

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Hi

 

Thanks for great guide :)

 

I had Tier 5 BB - New York. I dont know why i cant use ammo AP after i upgrade Mk5 mod.2 and AA Guns Modifications 2.

 

Please help with what wrong with my ship :(

 

 

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Beta Tester
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Hi

 

Thanks for great guide :)

 

I had Tier 5 BB - New York. I dont know why i cant use ammo AP after i upgrade Mk5 mod.2 and AA Guns Modifications 2.

 

Please help with what wrong with my ship :(

 

 

 

Press button "2" twice to switch to AP ammo.

pressing it once will make all your guns reload to AP ammo right after the previous rounds have been fired.

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thanks for the Guide, Ive been playing BBs and its really fun and yet frustrating at the same time specially when you're the one trying to reset cap against a DD, i agree that it takes a lot of skill to play a BB, you have to plan a lot, even when the game is in the loading screen I have to plan where I go relative to where I am in the map and find a route that does not take me to DD hotspots,

 

and not only will you be aiming and shooting something, you'll also be navigating,and you just cant make snap choices where to turn, cuz you'll be taking into account the islands near by, your general course of action, the edge of the map, the rotation of your guns and etc, and not only that you're also looking out for air raids, 

 

In a normal battle, i think i'd spend more of my time thinking about those stuff above than actually shooting, but it really takes a lot of practice to be good on a BB,

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Thanks for the guide. it's really worth to read. 

 

i just recently registered a month ago with WOWS Sea and i love the battleship class. and currently, i am with the south carolina class. i just notice that this type of ship requires a lot of skills and awareness but i like it except for the speed

 

 

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Damn, after I read this thread is kind of a little bit to late for me to fix this since I've already have a full upgraded Myogi. And about the crew skill, luckily most of the crew skill is correct, except the situational awareness.

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Beta Tester
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Tips on killing DD, don't be scared to hold your fire. If the DD starts rushing you at more than 5km, feel free to empty your guns on them. Remember to load HE. Now comes the part where most people screw up. When the DD tries to head towards you straight on, don't fire. Even at close range, you will miss a lot. What you wanna do is the wait for the DD to show broadside as they try to launch the torps. The trick is to judge when to fire when they turn, too fast and you miss. Too slow, and they get their torps off towards you.

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