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The Smith Hey everyone. Welcome to the second last instalment on the Grand Naval Battles ship previews. Today we are looking at probably my favourite gameplay-wise. You can go and check out the other ones I did, currently we have: "What is the Smith?" you may ask. Well, to put it simply, it’s a Sampson with one more gun and a lot less torpedo tubes. At least that was the first impression I had of it. Here I have listed a table with all key differences. Basically, on paper, the Sampson does everything better or on par with the Smith. Later, we will be having another look at these two again in detail. First of all however, I want to focus on the Smith itself. Like in my previous previews, we're gonna have a shakedown of the ship itself, then move on to a short conclusion of the given stats, finally follow up with a verdict and some gameplay. Pros: -Very good concealment. The concealment comes close to that of a Japanese destroyer. 5.6 Kilometres aren’t enough to drop your torpedoes concealed, but allow you to get quite close to your enemies before they can shoot at you. -Great Rudder shift time 2 seconds is a good rudder shift time, beating the Sampson’s by 0.7 seconds. -Large number of guns The Smith is able to fire 4 of her guns in each direction at a time. That’s 1 more than the Sampson and a lot better than the Umikaze. -Great torpedo reload At 11 seconds the Smith has arguably the fastest reload of all torpedo bearing ships -Good Turn circle The Smith comes very close to the Tachibana in terms of turn circle, putting it in second place out of the tier II destroyers. Cons: -Slow for a destroyer It’s 28 knots wouldn’t probably only look good on a cruiser. It’s however manageable with engine boost. -Low count of torpedo tubes The Initial payload the Smith can launch is a lot smaller than most of it’s DD counterparts, Therefore a player has to be quite precise with his torpedoes, as he can’t fan them like with other destroyers. More on that later. -Low amount of hitpoints Even the Storozhevoy beats the Smith in terms of hitpoints. You can’t be shot at for too long since you will die very quickly. -Short range on her armament This is probably in combination with the small calibre. 6.5 kilometres doesn’t leave a lot of engagement space. -Tiny calibre on it’s main armament (76.2mm Main guns) The guns which otherwise would be secondaries (like the Umikaze’s) are considered primary on the smith, the Sampson’s guns are 30mm larger than the Smith’s. With this, penetration and damage output drop as well. AP penetration and fire chance are very low as well. Conclusion: This ship can’t fire concealed, not even with AFT, which can push the gun range up to 7.9 kilometres by the way. The guns are nothing I’d go gunboating with, but can be quite useful when dealing with enemy destroyers and finishing enemies. Overall the first impression feels like the Smith is very much a Kamikaze boat. But so are most Destroyers in low tiers. The Smith and the Sampson Like before stated, the Smith seems to be like a slightly worse Sampson. However, I can tell you gameplay-wise, both ships are very different from one another. The Smith doesn't play like any destroyer I've had. The Models: The Smith's waterline profile sits a lot higher than the Sampsons. This means you are a bigger target for incoming fire. This handicap is only really significant for the bow of the ship, since unlike the Sampson, the Smith doesn't have a lot of mid-ship objects on it. Therefore, it is in fact harder to hit the Smith from the side over the Sampson. The smokestacks are more spread out, with only the 2 and 3 one being close to each other, meanwhile the Sampson carries 4 lifeboats and has cram tightly packed smokestacks, which make it susceptible for HE hits. The weaponry placement: The two ships only share the position of 3 of their guns, these being the front placed, and the front-mid-ship guns which can only fire into one direction. Therefore, the Smith can fire 4 guns each broadside, while the Sampson can only fire 3. The torpedo tubes on the smith have a similar layout to it's mid-ship guns. It has one single tube launcher that can fire in both directions towards the aft, while it has 2 single tube launchers which can fire in each direction respectively. The Sampson has 2 twin tubes for each side at mid-ship. Torpedo Armament of the Smith and Sampson The Sampson can fire 4 Torpedoes in one salvo in each direction at a time, while the smith can only fire 2, the Smith can, however fire her torpedoes twice as fast: Torpedo launches over time Final Conclusion: Is it better than the Sampson? No, it's not. There are clear problems with this ship, it's hitpoints, it's speed, it's armament. The Sampson beats the Smith in every respect. The Smith however, has the unique torpedoes. While firing a whole bunch of torpedoes with a single salvo has a huge damage output, once you fired, you have to reload. While other ships would have to wait a significant amount of time before you can launch torpedoes again. And what if your target dodges your spread completely? You see these kinds of problems don't affect the Smith, at 11 seconds reload time, you're basically firing your torpedoes as some ships would with their main guns. This allows for some very unique gameplay, here is a screenshot of my very first match in my Smith. For the Smith, it doesn't matter whether you miss with some torpedoes, because you can just fire again and again, at some point you will hit your target. You force enemy players to spend their whole time dodging your torps, or get hit. It's not unlike a gunboat at higher tiers, you're the annoying mosquito, that constantly harrasses other ships. Everyone wants you dead. Which is why the bad concealment-torp range is a big problem. You need to make islands work, get your positioning right, use your engine boost to position yourself close to an island and close to the enemy, pop your smoke if it gets dangerous, don't manfight. Surprise battleships that don't expect you coming around the corner. You can bait people with your guns to come into the little trap that you prepare with this nasty little strike package. Use. Your. Torps. I know this might sound like a nobrainer, but your guns are not worth the effort once your enemy is torp range, you can pop some shots at them, but you should really be focusing on your torpedo launching. This is how I feel the Smith plays like. Rapid torpedo launching is it's game, and islands and smoke screens are it's best friend.This is why, for me, this is the best out of the lot. Katori gets all the collector points, but gameplay-wise, the Smith takes the crown. So If you are wondering what you should do with your diamonds, prioritize the Katori if you're a collector, take the Smith if you want some unique and fun gameplay. Or take both, since why wouldn't you if you can! I have read very often people saying that previews and reviews don't really reflect the gameplay of a ship since the reviewers only show the ship at it's best. Therefore I have picked an average gameplay video to present what a match in the Smith might look like. How did you guys feel about the Smith?