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Noppers

Ship Classes - Beginner's Guide To Tree Selection

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All,
 
Regarding new players, each class has strengths and weaknesses. You'll learn them as you go. I've prepared some notes below for your general reading, to hopefully provide you with some guidance on what to expect for classes and trees, and how to perhaps assist gameplay improvements. It's an opinion piece only.....not an extensive guide. It's aimed at newer players to help with ship selection. Just click on each spoiler below to see nation detailed information, and / or read summaries underneath for each class.
 
(NOTE:  DD = Destroyer, CA/CL = Cruiser Heavy / Cruiser Light, BB = Battleship, CV = Carrier)
 
US Destroyers

Think "Patrol Boat". Generally short range torpedoes means that you have to see whites in eyes to get an effective strike off....which means under 5km range. That opens you up to secondary fire, especially from BBs. The guns on the US DD are pretty good though, and my understanding is that the very high tiers (7+) have some devastating continuous fire, mostly against other DDs and CA/CL. The US DDs are also tough to play at lower levels, as they're underpowered in almost every aspect. My recommended playstyle is a bit 'in your face', but using islands as cover and using guns where possible. Primary targets should be other DDs for your guns, and CLs. BBs should be the focus of your torp strikes.....followed by CVs if you can get through the enemy lines......and you need to plan and stalk your target effectively. Rule of thumb - at the start of the battle, identify where the enemy CAs are.....and head in the opposite direction.
 
IJN Destroyers

You will have fun in these, providing you avoid those CAs and learn how to torpedo strike. Guns on the IJN DD are slow in all aspects, and are your second option when it comes to damaging targets (but don't forget to use them when appropriate). Generally you'll see upwards of 10km range on torps, once you upgrade your ship. Isokaze is pretty good. Minekaze is one of the top 3 ships in game IMO. Mutsuki is ok, but struggles against the larger CA/CL because it's tier 6.....and cruisers at tier 6 and above are brutal. Again, stalk a BB and / or CV and take it out. Find targets of opportunity along the way. Avoid CA/CL where possible. Use guns to supplement your firepower, but only fire them when you're already spotted.
 
For all Destroyers
Turn your AA off by pressing the P key (you'll see 2 small yellow icons appear to the left of your HE ammo, indicating AA is off). Only turn on your AA if you are fully spotted by aircraft (i.e. they're above your head).
Do not drive in straight lines. Ever.
Do not expect to gun duel with anyone and live. It's the other stuff shooting at you, because you are lit, that will probably get you.
 
US Cruisers

Probably one of the best trees to go down. The St Louis (T3) is a HE spamboat. The Phoenix (T4), in the right hands, is a great ship (has torps too). The Omaha (T5) is a souped-up Phoenix (I have a battle with 3200+ raw experience in one of these). And then you get to the Cleveland (T6)......again, one of the top three ships in game. You will shred ships in this. Above T6, the ships aren't bad....but they are a bit fragile sometimes against the higher tier BBs and so on. Play strategically, as an AA defense ship, as your primary role from T6 upwards. You're kind of the sniper with lower HP than the heavies (think French tanks in WoT). Using HE against BBs is your speciality......it's fun to create a giant pile of burning metal in the ocean. Your role also is to hunt and destroy the DDs. For the lower tiers, torps are a secondary role...if you're trying to use them as a primary, you're not using your ship to full potential. Use "sequential" fire.....keep your finger on the left mouse button, and walk fire into the line of travel of your target. Oh, and drive around like a maniac in these ships, if you're being shot at.
 
IJN Cruisers

Kind of like the poor cousin to the US CA/CL line, in some aspects. The Tenryu (T3), in the right hands, is an amazing ship. Great torps, reasonably good guns. But, a well placed AP salvo from another cruiser or a BB will tear it apart. This is the theme of the IJN CA/CL line......can dish out the smack if played well, but as strong as wet tissue paper. The Kuma is a pretty good ship......the Furutaka is probably one of the hardest ships to play in the game (slow turrets, poor torps, sluggish ship). I tend to find myself playing these in an 'aggressively defensive' role (I hide behind stuff) as I go up the tiers. I recommend hunting DDs in these, and other cruisers at the lower levels........I don't recommend going against a Cleveland until you're in T8.
 
For all Cruisers
As you get into higher tiers (5 and upwards), you should be thinking about how you support your team. One of your first roles should be to position yourself as AA cover for those who need it, for the first few minutes of battle. This may mean hanging within a grid square or so of your CV(s).....because the enemy will be sending strike aircraft your way, and you can demolish their first wave in a CA/CL.
Very important overall that you pick your targets.
Don't pretend to be a DD. They're better at it than you ever will be. Be a shepherd for your fleet instead. Either destroy DDs, or at least drive them (and their torps) away from your herd.
Use sequential fire, HE, if and when you can. Hard to avoid a storm of HE, regardless of what ship you're in.
HE is your preferred ammo type, but AP can be useful against the right targets (sometimes BBs).
 
US Battleships

Slow as ten slow things, generally short ranged guns (I mean, cruisers out-range you frequently at tier 4-7 at least), but can be quite devastating with their firepower. Vulnerable to aircraft attacks, despite AA. Can absorb a fair amount of enemy fire though. Your best option with these ships is to identify an "area" of the map that you wish to dominate, and head there. However, take a CA/CL or two with you.....or follow a CA. You will need the AA support, and you will need their rate of fire to keep the pressure on the enemy ships. Fire broadsides, use AP for the majority of targets (HE is better against DDs for the crits)......and aim at waterlines with your AP for maximum chance of citadel damage.  Target enemy BBs where possible......CA as your second priority (unless the CA is more dangerous at the time, then hit it as primary).
 
IJN Battleships

 
I have not gone above Tier 8 in these ships yet.
 
For all Battleships
People whine about BBs all the time, but you have to play them carefully or you will die pretty quickly....and it will be your own fault. Finding yourself without CA AA cover, being attacked by DDs that pop out from islands 4km away.....these are things that you can avoid.
Battleships are awesome and difficult at the same time. Nothing gives you the warm and fuzzies more than firing a broadside at a CA and wiping out it's 30,000 HP in the one salvo. But, nothing is worse than sitting there watching torps coming at you, and knowing that you have stuffed up and you can't possibly turn in time to avoid them.
Forget chasing DDs and enemy CVs.....you're slower, you have less spotting range, and a half decent enemy will kill you before you have a chance to curse their name. Your position in your fleet is "foundation"......pick that area of the map I mentioned, and head towards it.....then adjust strategy along the way.
 
US Carriers

Well, these are all about fighters honestly. Protect your fleet (stuff not covered by CA / CL AA). Put a fighter screen out there, gather intel, and seek out the enemy strike aircraft. After you have whittled them down a bit, don't be afraid to use your fighters as spotting aircraft for your team, especially to find enemy DDs. Most of the comments on CVs are in the "For all Carriers below".
 
IJN Carriers

These guys are about strike. You want to try and remove enemy CVs as priority, especially if they have lots of fighters.......if you remove the CV, you remove the fighter danger, giving you freedom of manoeuvre on the battlefield. Don't be afraid to use Bombers as a diversion / bait, allowing your real damage-makers (the torp planes) to get through and hit your target.
 
For all Carriers
NEVER send your fighters too far away from your ship, unless you know where the enemy CV strike aircraft are.
Don't always think that you have to kill the enemy CV(s). It is handy, but if you lose your aircraft doing it, you're useless. Enemy BBs are also very juicy targets, and can be game-changing if you remove them.
Learn how to use the ALT key to drop torps.
Sometimes, "bait" aircraft are useful. That includes baiting a lone enemy fighter flight into combat with two of your fighter flights......cut off his line of retreat by sending stuff out wide and behind him. Hard to explain this skill, but very effective.
Sometimes, it's better to try and hit the strike aircraft on their return leg home, instead of trying to chase them on their inbound leg. This means sending your fighters to the line of retreat for their strike aircraft. You may not stop this attack, but you'll probably be able to wipe them out so they can't attack again.
CVs are pretty game-changing, in the right hands.
Be aware that any DD worth his salt is going to be trying to break through your lines to hunt you down, and the average player knows exactly where you are on the map. Don't lose sight of the strategic picture, and move your ship accordingly.
 
Overall Advice
Division up when you can. Mad if you don't.
Don't be afraid to use Co-op to get to know a particular ship, before hitting PvP with it.
Try to avoid being the first person spotted. It draws enemy fire for some reason.....
Learn and understand your Commander's skills. Research, talk to others......before you allocate them. However, it isn't that expensive in Dubloons to reset if you muck it up. (note - the detection one is handy, even in a BB......sometimes you need to know when there's a DD nearby....)
 
As I said earlier, not an extensive guide or anything....there are plenty of other considerations, but this is just a guide for those who are starting up. Just my thoughts and playstyle. Folks are welcome to disagree with my tips here, but remember - this is my list of things. Each person might be different across a multitude of areas.
 
Cheers.
 
Noppers.
Edited by Noppers

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Alpha Tester
6,604 posts
2,477 battles

Leran to play Furutaka until you get used to her, after that, you will find playing other better cruiser is easy

(And at her tier, even 8 inch gun could penetrate Myogi)

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Super Tester
293 posts
4,850 battles

For Cruisers, when dealing against other Cruisers AP should be the first choice ( exception is the Atlanta, since her primary guns are 5 Inchers. Same ones that USN DD's use). Why? Aim at the right spots and you can get good amounts of dmg in one salvo ( This needs time and practice, but its worth it)

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Beta Tester
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Leran to play Furutaka until you get used to her, after that, you will find playing other better cruiser is easy

(And at her tier, even 8 inch gun could penetrate Myogi)

 

Exactly. Furutaka is the base for you to learn in how to use a 203mm gun onward. It may be awful at the beginning, especially when you're still with your practices in sailing a Tenryu or a Kuma; but once you've got her accuracy, you can easily burn or penetrate targets within 10km with the help of gun fire control modifications. She will be a great ship if you command her like a battleship instead of a cruiser when firing.
Edited by hattusa_042

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Member
1 post
557 battles

Great advice. Thank you.

 

After nubbing about like a rubber ducky for a few co-op missions, I watched a few game play vids which helped me. I'm currently grinding IJN Cruisers to get to BB.

 

I was a heavy WoT Blitz player, but I felt like trying this out and I'm kinda hooked now. If anyone wants to add me as a friend, I'm keen to play in divisions. I've tried to get a few of my Blitz mates to join me, but they're too hooked to move.

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Member
2 posts
1,038 battles

I am still new 

I have few questions here...

What does AP shell useful against? I mean like minimum armor thickness (blue, yellow, green,etc.)

 

 

GOOD DAY SIR!:honoring:

Edited by Yuisanaka

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Super Tester
7,527 posts
7,978 battles

I am still new 

I have few questions here...

What does AP shell useful against? I mean like minimum armor thickness (blue, yellow, green,etc.)

 

 

GOOD DAY SIR!:honoring:

 

Welcome to the game, this video will answer all of your questions about shell types.

 

 

You can do a lot of math grinding, but long story short, at low tiers, AP is good against broadside Cruisers, use AP if you are playing BB and HE if you are playing DD.

 

At mid and high tiers, the thing is a bit complicated, but you will get to know about everything long before that, so just don't worry.

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