World of Warships

Alaska and Azuma

Content of the article: "Alaska and Azuma"

So, as a proud owner of both of these ships, I reckoned I'd give a bit of insight into the two, for those who are deciding what to buy.

I first got the Alaska and I was absolutely delighted with its playstyle. Its enhanced autobounce angles make its AP stupidly efficient against cruisers and battleships, and her AP performance is unrivalled in the game. Her extensive set of consumables make her a literal game-changer, allowing her to control cap points, delete key targets, and do everything. She's the true jack of all trades; she can tank, hunt DDs, farm battleships, and do just about anything you want her to do. Granted, ships that are specialised at their tasks will do better than Alaska in certain circumstances, but the true power of Alaska is that she never is found without answers to any situation.

After many games in the Alaska, curiosity got the better of me and I got the Azuma.

She sucks. At least you'll think so if you have the same expectations you have with the Alaska.

Brawl? Get deleted or torped to oblivion. Contest cap points, bow in? Most BBs will effortlessly citadel you through the nose. Hunt DDs? You don't have radar. DPM games with a bow-on Des Moines? 20 second reload says no. You quickly find that the only thing you can do is sit in the back and spam HE.

And that's when you find out that the Azuma is amazing.

You see, Azuma is a far cry from what the Japanese envisioned her to be. She's no Japanese Alaska. Doing Alaska stuff will get you a very quick ticket back to port.

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However, once you embrace the back-line sniper role, you'll find that the Azuma is easily the best at doing so.

You have stupidly long range, and you have the accuracy (even more than Alaska) to back it up. You have nice concealment (at least at the ranges you play at), making it easy to slip away if the heat is on. Good speed and decent maneurverability make it frustrating for BBs to hit you, especially US/UK BBs with slow shell speeds. Speaking of shell speed, Azuma's ballistics are top-notch. You won't have trouble landing shots at any range, unlike Alaska. Your rearward firing angles are amazing, making kiting extremely comfortable. And with all that, with good aim you can consistently score 5k-10k HP shots with every salvo (IJN enhanced HE shells help a lot), and maybe a fire or two with every 2-3 salvos. It's a nightmare to fight this thing at range.

There's also a psychological factor involved; each salvo comes every 20 seconds, and don't hit for tremendous damage. That makes it easier for the enemy to ignore you and your squishy ship, even though you steadily farm huge damage numbers. The fact that everyone seems to think that the Azuma sucks helps you; you're much less likely to be targeted. Who wants to shoot a high-speed kiting cruiser anyways.

I've found that my damage numbers are easily higher in my Azuma than my Alaska. No contest at all.

That being said, the Azuma rarely wins games. It merely participates in games where the team wins. The Alaska, with its amazingly varied utility, is far more competent at actually winning a game for your team. Don't take Azuma into ranked or CB, you'll be a non-entity to your team.

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But for random grinding? Whether you win or lose, your consistent 100k damage games will keep your xp per game quite high, and the high damage equates to extremely high credit earnings. If you need a credit printer, I'm fairly convinced that this is one of the best ships to do that in, at least of the ones that you can currently acquire.

Do note that if you want versatility and you want to boost your win rate, the Alaska wins by a mile. But if you just wanna snipe and do a lot of raw damage, the Azuma is probably the best ship out there for that.

I'm not sure I fully understand all the Azuma hate, because while it's a one-trick pony, it's easily the best pony that does that rather powerful trick.


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