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German Apex - Z-52 in preview and gameplay

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Community Contributor, Players, Beta Tester
367 posts
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The Z-52

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Ahh, yes. The Z-52. The Tier 10 of the German Destroyers. The Z-52 was one of five Destroyers laid down, none of which left the slipway, as they were cancelled in 1943. They were to mount 3 sets of dual 128mm FlaK dual purpose gun mounts, and two quadruple torpedo tubes armed with 533mm torpedoes.

 

Before we go on, I will quickly Highlight the setup I was using:

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When I read dual purpose, I always get excited. The idea of having good AA on a DD brings a warm feeling to my heart, as I share a special relationship with Carriers nowadays (since a couple of AA buffs for BBs came along). So naturally I invested quite the amount of skill and modules into it. Alternatives I'd see befitting are the fire rate increase module for 3 million and the accuracy module for 500,000. If you would like the vanilla stats of this ship I would point you to this site:

Wargaming Wiki

 

Moving along swiftly, let's get right into the preview.

Z-52 is a quite healthy boat coming in second at tier 10 after the Khabarovsk. You can stay in the fight for quite some time and even take torpedoes. The armour is DD so let's not talk about it, though it does seem to like getting penetrated for full damage, so be careful with those BBs.

The guns peform decently, the calibre is a bit low so I found myself switching over to AP instead of HE when engaging destroyers, like the Akizuki. The AP does consistent damage, the shell speed is a quite bit lower (170m/s to be exact) but the penetration is better than on the 'Zuki. With AFT and without the range module the guns have a maximum firing range of 14.5km (DoI 18/12/2016). At longer ranges, engaging anything smaller than a cruiser becomes difficult. Luckily the gun arc is something between a VMF and a USN DD, so giving lead is not as annoying. I would deem it to have good gun performance at mid to short ranges.

Ahh, the torpedoes. I am not sure what to think of these. I'd put these in below the Shimakaze and the Gearing (No I don't care about the Khabarovsk's torps). It cannot contest the sheer range of the Gearing's torps, but they are 4 knots faster. Shimakaze has a plethora of torpedoes to choose from, if you pick the F3's, you have superior speed, if you pick the 93's, you have superior range. Seems like a good deal right? I mean the reload is quite decent on the torps as well! Not quite. The torp damage is, let's face it, crap. While the Shima's torps are above 20k in damage and the Gearing's fall just short of 17k, the Z-52 runs around with a measily 14400 dmg. But rejoice, the below average torpedo damage is evident on most of the German DDs.

The AA, as stated before, is good to great. Sadly the sheer DPM of the Duals is worse than the Aki's by 40%. The Z-52 mounts 3 55mm mounts which can however fire at maximum range too, negating this drop in DPS, in fact increasing it by 20%. On my setup the Z-52 does on average 132 DPM at 7.2km. a circle of 7 dual-37mils forms the second defense circle, doing 99 DPM at 5.1km.

The ship has a decent top speed of 37.5 knots and a turn circle of 700 metres. The rudder shift is at 4.5 seconds stock. I found the ship to neither be slow or lumbersome, nor to be very nimble. It is very "average" when it comes to maneuverability.

The Detection range on the Z-52 with CE, camo and concealment module is 6.4km, ranking in at place No. 3 on the table of sneak at tier 10. Stock would be 8.1km. I should point out that the Tier 10 trades 0.5km detection range for 400 Hitpoints, better AA and 0.5km longer range torpedoes.

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The firepower for Z-52 and Z-46 are almost identical. For Z-46, the two superfiring gun mounts are located at the aft, while the Z-52 has them located at the front. The significant difference comes from the gun range.

 

 

That's all fair enough, but there is more, isn't there? Correct. As of our current versions, the Z-52 mounts hydro (or Sonar in some speaks) with a range of 4.92km (subject to change in 0.5.16).

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This is the "gimick" of all German DDs from T6 onwards. They all mount hydro. And unlike the Americans they don't even have to trade in engine boost. If you ever played in a Lo Yang that I am sure you undestand what possibilities arise from having sonar.

 

 

In conclusion, What are German DDs, and are they any good?

Difficult. German DDs are strange. I've heard quite a lot of rumors in my time testing about how the German DDs are going to be, how they will perform, whether they'll be gunboat or torpedoboat. I don't think they're either. They are as average as they are gonna get. The guns are decent, the torps are okay, their detection is nothing to write home about. The only thing that makes them unique is the sonar. They are not "cruiser hunters" as one person once said. They excel at one thing, flushing out DDs. Hydro in a close quarters scenario involving a lot of small boats with smokescreens, torpedoes and good concealment can sometimes be a game changer. What I think of it? I think it can go two ways. Firstly, it can be ridiculously overpowered, denying a team access to a single cap, and being able to outspot destroyers while sitting in your own smoke. And secondly, it can encourage new tactics and teamplay. The old sitting-in-a-smokescreen tactic has suffered since the first introduction of sonar and later radar. It's become somewhat bland, always having to seek the engagement with DDs that only seem to be interested in the cap xp. I'd hope to see this maybe calling for a bit more teamplay, getting bigger ships stuck in the fight around caps. (yes, I just proposed randoms employing tactics, ha ha me).

 

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[TORAZ]
Beta Tester
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When cruisers became too powerful to attack, we turned to BBs.

When BBs became too powerful to attack, we killed DDs.

And now that DDs are about to get great AA (well, to be fair some already have it), I guess it's time to turn our CVs into harbor decorations.

 

*sigh* Great job, WG.

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Players
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Sounds similiar to the jack of all trades that is the Blyskawica. What you forgot though is to mention how long the smoke lasts. According to Flamu's video it isn't that long, which makes the "sit in smoke with hydro" trick less powerful.

 

 

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Sounds similiar to the jack of all trades that is the Blyskawica. What you forgot though is to mention how long the smoke lasts. According to Flamu's video it isn't that long, which makes the "sit in smoke with hydro" trick less powerful.

 

 

 

77s

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Players
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When cruisers became too powerful to attack, we turned to BBs.

When BBs became too powerful to attack, we killed DDs.

And now that DDs are about to get great AA (well, to be fair some already have it), I guess it's time to turn our CVs into harbor decorations.

 

*sigh* Great job, WG.

 

 

​this and this. Nice one WG.

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[-AWF-]
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But wait... It has 128 mm guns while lower tiers have 150 mm? Will not that make the players confused, just like you said were the reason Gnisenau could not have her historical guns?

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Community Contributor, Players, Beta Tester
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But wait... It has 128 mm guns while lower tiers have 150 mm? Will not that make the players confused, just like you said were the reason Gnisenau could not have her historical guns?

 

The Z-23 actually existed in that historical configuration. If you're interested in reading up on it, it's the type 1936A.

The second ship, the Ernst, is a bit different. I haven't seen this ship before. I believe it's a Dutch design, probably ran in it's stock gun configuration. In this case I'd think it's simply to add a bit of a different flavour to the ship. There may have been a Typ Flottentorpedoboot 1940 existing it that configuration, however it is more likely that this is fiction.

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[LAFIE]
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The Z-23 actually existed in that historical configuration. If you're interested in reading up on it, it's the type 1936A.

The second ship, the Ernst, is a bit different. I haven't seen this ship before. I believe it's a Dutch design, probably ran in it's stock gun configuration. In this case I'd think it's simply to add a bit of a different flavour to the ship. There may have been a Typ Flottentorpedoboot 1940 existing it that configuration, however it is more likely that this is fiction.

 

One of the 1934's (forgot which sorry) was used as a test boat for the 150mm guns (four singles in this case (a,b,x,y, presumably)). Unfortunately the Germans seriously messed up that test in one way or another if they thought a only slightly enlarged 1936 hull was going to handle them (which, it turned out, it didn't)

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one thing that should be mentioned is, that th Z-52, like all other german destroyers, has a huge increase in detection range after firing.

stock you will get spotted after 8,1km, after firing this range climbs up to 15,4km (thats close to the Khab, and 4km more than the Gearing for example)

this said you will have a hard time to get some stealth-fire possibilities with that ship, the smoke doesn't last as long as on other ships... but you will get used to that huge detection after firing from tier2 on, as the V-25 has a stock detection range of 5,4km before and 12km after firing :D

mfg

 

Ciao

Seisset

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[DUDES]
WoWs Wiki Team, Privateer
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Those gunfire penalties are a huge bummer. I don't know why it is so ****ing important to not have stealth fire in the game (with reasonable buffer range of about 1 km), when that is clearly a mechanics that forces ships to close in to detect the invisible enemy. I don't ask for several kilometres of stealth buffer but most destroyers with a buffer of just below 1 km are fine.

 

Those huge penalties on the other hand are just crazy. From what I have seen the shell trajectories are not comparable to those of the Russian DDs. And yet they receive a heavier debuff when they actually use their guns even from farther distances. I think this is an exaggerated balancing change. But the also crazy Hydro is ok?! By the way: that additional rudder shift time module on the concealment slot is just a joke.

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Community Contributor, Players, Beta Tester
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Those gunfire penalties are a huge bummer. I don't know why it is so ****ing important to not have stealth fire in the game (with reasonable buffer range of about 1 km), when that is clearly a mechanics that forces ships to close in to detect the invisible enemy. I don't ask for several kilometres of stealth buffer but most destroyers with a buffer of just below 1 km are fine.

 

Those huge penalties on the other hand are just crazy. From what I have seen the shell trajectories are not comparable to those of the Russian DDs. And yet they receive a heavier debuff when they actually use their guns even from farther distances. I think this is an exaggerated balancing change. But the also crazy Hydro is ok?! By the way: that additional rudder shift time module on the concealment slot is just a joke.

 

Agreed. Too bad we never got to test the ships in that state. Kind of ruins the idea of a preview.

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[TORAZ]
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I don't know why it is so ****ing important to not have stealth fire in the game (with reasonable buffer range of about 1 km)

 

My guess would be BBabies.

It's always the BBabies. :trollface:

 

Seriously though, think about it, almost every recent change and addition has catered to BBs, the sole exception being the new IJN DDs (which was sorely needed after WG completely murdered them with nerfs).

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