How Not to Suck at WOWS – Battleships

The battleships are the floating fortresses of World of Warships: heavily armored, carrying massive guns and firepower, these harbingers of death pack a punch from miles away. These guys are not about subtlety and stealth: they’re about kicking down the door and scoring citadel penetrations on ships sailing peacefully on the other side of an island: not sucking with these ships comes down to artillery skills. There isn’t really anything one has to watch out for when driving battleships. There are no risk factors involved: common sense, some teamwork and some good old-fashioned whoop-behind is what it is about.
The first thing one has to understand about artillery is that at longer ranges, rounds are getting lobbed at the target rather than shot at it in a straight line. The plunging projectiles are then more capable of penetrating the deck of the adversary (especially if one uses armor piercing rounds) and score a nasty citadel hit – which is according to some, the very reason WoWS is played to begin with. As said above, battleships are extremely forgiving platforms: if you just load HE and spam it out at everything, you will do just fine. That works too. Things are much more interesting though if you use armor piercing against other battleships and even cruisers. Just remember, when it comes to dealing with destroyers, revert to HE because it is extremely effective against them. Also, when destroyers get too close, use your secondary batteries on them (mark them for targeting by pressing Ctrl and then clicking on them). They are much better at this point than your primary guns. The range on these secondary batteries is amazing in some cases, and it can be further extended through upgrades. Given the sheer mass of the ship, ramming the small destroyers is always an option. If everything fails and you end up with a badly bruised boat, with the battleships, you also get a limited damage repair ability.
The bottom line is that battleships are easy to play, and if ruthless efficiency is the only thing you’re aiming for, they can grow rather boring. Cruising around and spamming HE rounds out of a kazillion blazing barrels will get old rather fast. Dealing monstrous amounts of damage though, with well-placed citadel hits is a different sort of game altogether. One more thing you need to know about battleships artillery-wise: when you’re using AP rounds, go for the deck (at great distance) and the sides when closer up. That’s the best way to hit a citadel. If you switch to HE though, strafing the sides of the superstructure is the best. Other than that: just don’t shoot your teammates and try not to ram them. (Seb: also beware of the carrier planes and their bombs/torpedoes)
Peter Wassenberg works for Gosugamers, the web’s top spot for eSports coverage and everything related to competitive gaming.