World of Warships


I'm sure plenty of you on the NA server have played with or against 007 from DSTYR. He's a very solid player and platoonmate, very well-rounded. Turns out he's pretty squared away in the writing department too. He doesn't Reddit though, so I'm sharing this here because it's pretty good information… without further ado, enjoy!

007’s Guide to Battleships

In the following guide, I will cover every tech tree battleship line, focusing on tier 8 through tier 10. There are three sections to this guide. In part one, I will explain basic battleship roles and strategy. Part two is a comprehensive breakdown of each line, including strengths, weaknesses, and specific details regarding positioning and playstyle. For ease of classification, I have divided the six current battleship lines into three classes. Each line’s class is included at the beginning of its respective section. In part three, I will provide my personal recommendations for equipment, elite bonuses, and captain setups. I will not attempt to tell you which tech line is best for you, nor will this be an exhaustive exploration of each line’s characteristics. My goal is to provide general information that will help you improve your battleship game.

Section 1: Battleship Roles and Strategy

Battleships (BBs) are the largest vessels in World of Warships Blitz. Their armor, health, and firepower surpass all other classes. Therefore, it may come as a surprise that battleships are the most team-dependent ships in the game. Destroyers, cruisers, and carriers are able to tackle most situations on their own. A battleship requires constant support from its team. However, as a battleship player, your goal should be to provide competent support in return. Target enemy ships who pose the greatest threat to your team first. This means cruisers and other targets of opportunity. Once these threats are eliminated or driven off, focus the unsupported remainder of the enemy team. Awareness is key. Look for enemies making mistakes, and punish them. Use your minimap to keep track of your team, and stay with them at all times. You protect them, they protect you. An isolated battleship is easy meat. Some BB players rush into action ahead of their team, needlessly exposing themselves to enemy fire. Others hide so far back that they cannot provide support. Still more go on long flanking adventures, hoping to get behind the enemy. These players are both exposed and unable to support their teammates. Battleships should offer support with their guns, tank damage, contest capture circles, and act as anchors for their teammates. That’s the theory at least. In practice, map, spawn position, friendly/enemy team composition, and teammates’ choices all influence where you should be in any given situation. That’s a lot to keep track of. Fortunately, you only need to understand four basic strategies. Each applies to one of the four map types currently available in random battles: Base Capture, Domination, Center Control, and Epicenter.

Base Capture. This is the simplest map type to understand, but can be challenging in practice. Battleships spawn on one of two flanks or in the center. If you got the center spawn, stay in the center and advance until you are in range of enemy BBs and stop. Keep the range open (especially in the early game) and use island cover to limit possible approaches to your position. What if you get stuck on a flank? That is more difficult. You’re exposed and usually have only one or two teammates as support. Resist the urge to panic and steam for the center at top speed. If you leave the flank, your accompanying DDs and cruisers will be forced to fall back as well. The flank is left vulnerable to enemy attack. Instead of abandoning the flank, cozy up to nearby islands or (on maps like The Atlantic) push aggressively up the flank with support from the teammates who spawned with you. Remember, in the early game there are unspotted DDs around. Don’t get carried away with your maneuvers. You need your teammates’ scouting as much as they need your support. If the enemy appears on your flank in overwhelming force, conduct a fighting retreat. No points are awarded for idealism. Stay alive and keep your guns in the fight.

Domination. On this map type, the spawn positions are usually the same as on Base Capture. The difference lies in the objectives you must capture to win. Each flank and the center usually have at least one base to capture and hold. Here your teammates’ decisions are much more important. If they abandon a capture circle early on, so should you. Fall back to center and reinforce the remaining portion of the map. This is risky, but practically required on maps like Cage: Domination. If you are able to contest a capture circle with support from your team, be very cautious. Enemy DDs are usually lurking nearby and may launch area-denial torpedoes into the capture circle. Therefore, approach carefully and use islands to protect yourself while friendly ships scout. Once the DD and his torpedoes are spotted, you can (cautiously) move up and bring your guns to bear. If you spawn in the center, play it like base capture, except you prioritize obtaining and defending the objective.

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Center Control. Perhaps the most difficult map type for a battleship. There is only one capture objective, but you are forced into close proximity with the enemy team. Fortunately, the map designers have provided islands which you can play around. These islands are located around the central capture point, so sail towards them. By approaching the islands slowly, you can enter the zone while still remaining safe. Keep your ship behind the islands in between reloads, and carefully drift forwards to shoot. If you are not being targeted by enemy ships, it safe to poke out and attract attention. Some players take this too far; they expose their entire ship, then find they cannot retreat. Some decide not to take risks at all; they hide behind their teammates and contribute nothing to the match. If you do this, you are allowing the enemy to focus friendly ships who cannot take hits. The result will be a swift defeat. Do not flank, do not snipe from spawn. Stay in the objective, keep your health intact, and prioritize sinking the most threatening ships to your team.

Epicenter. Center Control on steroids. Instead of a single large capture point in the middle, a small central zone is surrounded by two concentric capture rings. The outermost ring earns the least points, while the central zone earns the most points. Position yourself around islands in the inner or outer ring for safety. The only added consideration is making sure your team controls at least two of the objectives at any given time. Otherwise, these maps should be played exactly like Center Control games.

Important note: while these guidelines are the most likely to bring success, do not become ham-strung by dogged allegiance to them. Remember that reality is complicated and that there is no substitute for your analysis of a situation.

Section 2: Battleship Lines (by class)

IJN Battleships (sniper class). Japanese BBs are the quintessential snipers. They boast long range, high-caliber guns, and good accuracy. In return they sacrifice armor protection and anti-aircraft armament. When playing them, your goal is to destroy enemy cruisers and suppress battleships with long range, accurate fire. At all times, stay with your team but behind the vanguard. This keeps you in the fight, supporting your team, while minimizing your chances of being targeted. Avoiding damage is crucial: These ships are very soft and you should never trust your protection. At the beginning of the match, take a central position (or one which is reinforced by your team). Focus on eliminating cruisers first, then target enemy BBs. Japanese battleships have fairly high shell arcs, so aim a bit low (waterline for cruisers, top of belt for BBs). Keep the distance open and continue playing to your strengths. However, in the late game, if your team is moving forward, it is perfectly appropriate to follow them. Your primary goal is support. Balance this goal against the abilities of your ship, and your strategy on each map should create itself.

RN Battleships (sniper class). British battleships represent a unique development of the sniper class. Unlike all other BBs, who primarily rely on Armor-Piercing shells, British battleships load High Explosive ammunition. These shells have increased damage and penetration values compared to other nations’ HE shells, along with excellent fire chance. With a level 11 commander specialized for IFHE, even cruisers can be punished without resorting to AP. This is fortunate because the AP shells are quite weak. They suffer from exceptionally low penetration and damage, especially at tier 9 and 10. Other concerns are the comparatively short main battery range, weak armor, and unreliable accuracy. The high-tier ships also suffer from poor maneuverability. Stay with your team and focus enemy BBs. If they come close, cruisers and destroyers can be easily punished. At range, your chances of hitting/heavily damaging them are low. This makes many British BBs poor team players because they are only effective at dealing raw damage to large enemy ships. Use your HE to start fires, and the rapid reload skill to improve your chances of setting more once the enemy use their damage control kits. Keep shooting, keep dealing damage, and hope your team can pick up the slack.

KMS Battleships (brawler class). German battleships have the best armor in the game. Impenetrable belts, strong deck plating, and minimal casemate allow them to withstand severe punishment. Increasingly large HP pools grant them powerful heals and complement their damage-tanking abilities. Unfortunately, as a German BB player, you will have to contend with much more than AP shells aimed at your belt armor. Because their superstructures are so large, German BBs burn easily. Furthermore, they have low damage-over-time (DOT) resistance. This means that fires and flooding deal increased damage. Another issue is their large overall size, which translates to poor handling. While the Sonar consumable can give you more reaction time when facing DDs, it cannot fix the problem. Be absolutely certain when making a maneuver, because your ability to cancel it is minimal. In terms of firepower, German BBs have few main guns but high velocity and penetration. Accuracy is not great, but usually manageable. These ships’ real offensive strength is the secondary battery. Manual secondaries firing AP shells can chunk DDs, while massed HE-firing auto-secondaries heavily damage every ship caught within their considerable range. Above tier 8, however, your chances of seeing these guns in action is quite low. Since brawling as a meta is almost non-existent, you are usually compelled to snipe. Build your German BB for accuracy and armor protection. You play as an attention whore, drawing fire from enemy BBs at range while showing maximum broadside. (that may sound counterintuitive, but angling in makes you more vulnerable to plunging fire). You should be positioned to the left or right of center, slowly moving forwards and backwards. Bait the enemy into shooting your armor belt and pound them in return. If you don’t hit a shot (which happens fairly often), just try again. At 19 seconds, your reload is faster than most others’. Keep absorbing damage while targeting enemy BBs and cruisers. Realistically, your chances of effectively hitting an enemy cruiser are low, but a cruiser kept busy dodging shots is one which isn’t hurting your team. Once HE spammers and DDs are dead, you can push in and brawl. This is where KMS BBs truly shine, but don’t get carried away: you can still die under concentrated fire, and brawling is a dead meta anyway.

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RU Battleships (brawler class). Russian battleships are currently a line without many advantages. They’re big, with large HP pools, but have terrible armor. DOT resistance is practically non-existent. The ability to take a fourth damage control kit helps, but it’s not enough. Accuracy is poor, except in the 20-second spurts when their Precise Aim 3 skill is active. While the guns deal more damage than most, the abysmal 25-second reload largely cancels out any extra DPM. The anti-aircraft firepower is good at tier 10, but inadequate at lower tiers. When playing Russian BBs, focus on mitigating incoming damage by staying at range with good support. Fire on targets of opportunity with the Precise Aim skill. You can occasionally land a massive salvo, especially on an unlucky cruiser, but the low shell arcs and high velocity means that plunging fire on enemy BBs is very difficult. Stay with friendly cruisers who can scout and defend you from DDs. Alone you represent a juicy target since your torpedo belt and maneuverability are so weak. In short, you cannot brawl, you cannot tank, you can only snipe, and that not very well. Instead of anchoring one side of your team’s position, use them as meat shields while you aim for valuable targets, and stay alive as long as possible.

USN Battleships (general purpose class). American BBs are the jacks-of-all-trades, masters of none. They feature big guns with high arcs and good hitting power, strong AA, and solid DOT resistance. They don’t handle incredibly well, nor is the armor very good (especially at high tiers). Furthermore, the accuracy is questionable. All that said, American BBs are still the best battleship class for beginners. Take a central position where you will receive cruiser support, and shoot anything that moves (in order of importance, of course). Plunging fire allows you to chunk BBs, hard-hitting shells wreck cruisers, and decent HE counters DDs fairly well. The mediocre armor encourages you to play intelligently, and good AA means that most carriers will strike someone else first. The line becomes less dominant at tier 10, where the 406mm gun caliber and lackluster accuracy are greater issues. However, the Montana is a still a good all-round battleship. The broadside is very heavy and AA is best-in-class. You still target anything and everything, but you will be most effective while sniping enemy BBs from cover. At mid- to long range, take a long lead and aim low to compensate for the poor ballistics. At short ranges, use the auto-aim toggle available in settings to turn of automatic target lock. This will allow you to hit weak spots on large enemy ships, minimizing the chance of firing a salvo straight into the armor belt of an enemy vessel. Montana and the American BBs in general demand patience and care. Focus on learning what the ships can teach you about strategy and positioning rather than their occasional failings.

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FR Battleships (general purpose class). French Battleships are high-speed assassins. Most of the line features ships with sub-par armor, low caliber guns, but high speed and decent accuracy. They are the only line which is truly effective at flanking (though doing so is risky and should not be attempted unless under the most favorable circumstances). Another unique feature, found mostly on tier 8 Gascogne and tier 10 Republique, is exceptionally low vertical dispersion. In practice, it means that the shells land in a line, like this: “……..”. Such low vertical dispersion makes French BBs ideal for paddling broadsides. For most of the line, this is pretty much all they’re good for. Shell performance against heavily armored targets is disappointing, and armor protection is so poor that your playstyle closely resembles that of a heavy cruiser. Alsace at tier 9 is particularly afflicted. Unlike Gascogne, which can deal with most threats by flanking and kiting away, Alsace should be played almost exactly like the premium Richelieu. Nose in next to an island and engage with your front turrets. Ignore the rear turret. Its only purpose is tricking idiots into showing broadside. Gascogne’s playstyle returns with Republique at tier 10. Republique features powerful artillery (backed up by the Rapid Reload III consumable) and improved armor. With its good range and high speed (especially with engine boost running), Republique can charge flanks or contest the center. The AA is solid, so with some help it’s possible to repel most carrier attacks. However, Republique is not for the reckless. The ship presents a large target, its deck armor will not resist plunging fire, and the DOT resistance is poor. While the guns are excellent, good aim is required. Bad shots on heavily armored ships will be punished with half-pens and bounces. French BBs are the thinking man’s ship, and if played with proper care and team support, the thinking man will be richly rewarded.

Section 3: Equipment and Setup (by line)

The setups below are my personal preference, based on what I have found works for me in the current meta. Some skills are linked with an “-or-“. This indicates an alternative setup or a choice which I think is purely subjective. In creating this list, I have chosen to ignore premium captains with unique skills, as well as legendary modules.

IJN Battleships

  1. Equipment: Main Battery Mod III, Damage Control System Mod I, Steering Gear Mod II -or- Torpedo Defense Mod I

  2. Captain Skills (in order): Underwater Protection Expert, Torpedo Alert, High Alert, Victorious Charge, Survivalist, Generalist, Marksman, Extinguisher, Demolition Expert, Compartment Maintenance, AP Capped Shell, Horizontal Protection Expert

  3. Elite Bonus: Elite Gun Operator

RN Battleships

  1. Equipment: Main Battery Mod III, Steering Gear Mod I, Propulsion Mod II

  2. Captain Skills (in order): Underwater protection Expert, Torpedo Alert, High Alert, Victorious Charge, Fire Supremacy, Generalist, Fully Prepared, Extinguisher, Demolition Expert, Master Reloader, Inertia Fuse HE Shell, Horizontal Protection Expert

  3. Elite Bonus: Torpedo Defense System

KMS Battleships

  1. Equipment: Main Battery Mod III -or- Secondary Battery Mod II, Deck Protection Mod I, Steering Gear Mod I

  2. Captain Skills (in order): Underwater Protection Expert, Torpedo Alert, High Alert, Victorious Charge, Survivalist, Recon and Surveillance, Fully Prepared, Extinguisher, CQC Expert, Compartment Maintenance, AP Capped Shell, Horizontal Protection Expert

  3. Elite Bonus: Improved Main Armor Belt -or- Secondary-Gun Specialization

RU Battleships

  1. Equipment: Main Battery Mod III, Deck Protection Mod I, Steering Gear Mod I -or- Torpedo Defense Mod I

  2. Captain Skills: Underwater Protection Expert, Torpedo Alert, High Alert, Victorious Charge, Fire Supremacy, Generalist, Marksman, Extinguisher, Demolition Expert, Compartment Maintenance, AP Capped Shell, Horizontal Protection Expert

  3. Elite Bonus: Damage Control Center

USN Battleships

  1. Equipment: Main Battery Mod III, Steering Gear Mod I, Propulsion Mod II

  2. Captain Skills: Underwater Protection Expert, Torpedo Alert, High Alert, Victorious Charge, Survivalist, Generalist, Fully Prepared, Extinguisher, Demolition Expert, Master Reloader, AP Capped Shell, Horizontal Protection Expert

  3. Elite Bonus: Damage Control Center -or- Advanced Gun Director

FR Battleships

  1. Equipment: Main Battery Mod III, Damage Control System Mod I, Torpedo Defense Mod I -or- Propulsion Mod I

  2. Captain Skills: Underwater Protection Expert, Torpedo Alert, High Alert, Victorious Charge, Fire Supremacy, Generalist, Fully Prepared, Extinguisher, Demolition Expert -or- Engine Overload, Master Reloader, AP Capped Shell, Horizontal Protection Expert

  3. Elite Bonus: Elite Gun Operator


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