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HerMajestys Ship Guides: Russian Cruisers in 0.9.4 (aka How to get Moskwa fast!)

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6,480 battles


Russian Cruisers Tier V-IX



May2020 version 0.9.4

Be welcome to the first of our guides. Initially next up we wanted to make a review of our friend the Duke of York or the Azuma, but we felt the urgent need to grind for Moskwa as she will get removed from the tech tree in 0.9.5. So now we instead will make a guide on how we are playing through the rather “interesting” Russian light cruisers and end up having fun with them.




We start with the Tier V Kirov, note she that differs from the rest of the line, as she is one of the two ships mounting 180mm guns. We will not see these guns again until tier IX on the DM. Donskoi. This guns at Tier V are just glorious, good reload of 13.5 seconds, good AP damage of 4100 good HE with a nice fire-starting chance of 13%. The main difference to the 152mm calibre of the rest is that the AP is just one step more hilarious. In the other aspects Kirov handles like the rest of them. This leads us to the main aspects accompanying us through the whole line till Tier IX.

First, the guns are quite simple to use. All of them have Russian standard infused AP penetration and hitting power. It is important to note that the AP is also very affective at mid ranges. And the HE is fun to use to, good damage and nice chance to start fire. All of them have good range on their guns when stock, and very good range when you get the fire control system B.

The Ships are overall quite fast in a strait line and have good to average rudder shift times. This may let you think: “Well this sounds quite manoeuvrable isn’t it your highness”

And sadly, we have to answer, yes and no, as the third factor namely the turning circle is, let us call it “a little bit offset”, as none of them has a turning circle below 820 meters. And to make it even better all of them tend to lose some speed during turns. So yes they are fast but turning takes ages.

So, we have light cruisers with high speed, good reaction time and gigantic turning circles which lose their good speed during turn. What do we have else?

Well their armour is a little bit special and depends on your movement and positioning. The armour values are so bad, that showing the slightest portion of your broadside will be immediately punished and doing a full-on broadside…well, may I ask you to greet Poseidon for me? But if you are active angling or dodging the armour will surely do the job against light and heavy cruisers. Against BBs you should always kite. As all BBs you face will overmatch your bow and stern, and past Tier VI most of them can overmatch nearly all your armour apart from the main belt.

On Tier V to VII the AA is garbage on the A Hull and acceptable on the B hull. The defensive AA consumable helped a lot but more on this later. Tier VIII and IX have good AA to start with and nice AA when you get the B hull.

On the gimmick side, Tier V-VII get a spotter plane and the option to use hydro or defensive AA. Tier VIII and IX exchange the ability to use spotter plane for a 12km ranged short time radar and on Tier IX you also get cruiser heal.

That was it for the base information now on our advice on how to play them.

Remember, we are fast so we can choose our position, but we have no armour to speak of, so we do not want to get shot at. We have good to excellent range and impressive HE which seems to be blessed by Stalin himself.

The following is the playstyle we found working best for our self, so this is not the only way these ships can be played.


We usually like to play aggressive, taunt our enemy or make cheeky early game torp attack, depending on the ship. However this was the first thing we learned not to, no matter how fast or slow your team is, you can move into position, but do not show up first on the enemies screen and never be in the first line at the start of the match. For the start we felt it worked best just playing as support, stay with the others or shoot from a position where you can retreat very fast. If you engage your enemy face towards or away from him but at no coast show broadside or over angle. When fighting against no BBs both can work but we highly suggest kiting away while engaging.

One way to create such a scenario can be to go towards your enemy and then start turning away before you get closer than 12km (if you do not have any camo, it should be 13km) to the nearest enemy,  for this to work it is important to know the position of the nearest enemy, so make sure you know where the DD is or if there are any. If an enemy DD is spotted, support your DD and try to prioritize the DD every time you can, as removing the enemy DDs will get you much more freedom of movement and room to work with. This does not work so good with Kirov and DM. Donskoi as both have terrible camouflage values. With them you must use terrain and islands for cover or to break line of sight so you can make your turn.

You need a good overview which enemies can and are currently firing at you so you can dodge them effectively. If you have no chance to make an unspotted turn but don’t want to charge your enemy try to wait for them to shoot you so you can dodge the first salvo before the turn, and hopefully finishing the turn before they can shoot again. They will most likely make their second shot when you are in the second half of your turn, this is dangerous, but this way you can still try to dodge and are not caught direct in the turn.


And while you are kiting away, HE spam any potential enemy and just do as Dave Amato has sung and "keep the fire burning".

Do not hesitate to use your AP, even at 14km, if you see an enemy cruiser broadside or open up, punish them. If you are fighting cruisers in a one versus one, angle to mitigate damage and use HE when they face towards or away from you but switch to AP as soon as you think they want to open up.



On Tier V-VII use your spotter while kiting away so you can further extend your range. On Tier VIII and IX you don’t have this option, but you will have radar which you can utilize to support your DD.


We stayed to use defensive AA instead of hydro acoustic search, as the likeliness of getting torpedoed while in the back row is very low, compared to the threat CV is due to spotting and attacking you.

When researching modules, we suggest always researching the fire control first, as the extra range helps to stay away from your enemy and thus making dodges easier. The extra HP is not very likely to save you as the overall target is to get not hit at all and getting hit by a BB will punch your citadel in most scenarios. However the Hull upgrade gives you a much better rudder shift time and thus a better reaction time while dodging, so it may also be valuable to choose the Hull first, we just felt the range is more important and helps more.



For the upgrades we will show you what we did, or would, utilize on each ship. We focus mainly on keeping our Guns and steering intact, get some more precision and buff manoeuvrability. On the later ships we favourite camo and range to get more space to work with.


Tier V Kirov:






Tier VI Budjonny:






Tier VII Schtschors:






Tier VIII Tschapaew:


For Tschapaew we you can try a full mobility build or a mobility plus camo. You should ask yourself if you want more and quicker control over the ship for better kiting, or if you want more time before you get detected and therefor more space to navigate.







Tier IX DM. Donskoi:


Here again you can use a build with camo or the full-on manoeuvre build.






Captain Skills:


We found that you can easily use the same captain for all the ships as the profit from similar to identical builds.



If you are building your captain up you can take the path on the right side as we did. Later superintendent becomes handy for the extra radar. Then you may choose superintendent as it shortens the cooldown on your consumables. Survivability expert may also be useful as the ships are very fragile and HP can be very handy.




And now that you are finished, sail out and get you that Moskwa!


Yar Majesty


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