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Plunging fire?

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[ST-EU]
Supertester
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This is really one for the guys with a good understanding of the game mechanics (fnord, looking at you). I occasionally see it mentioned in guides and threads that X ship has bad deck armour or Y ship is vulnerable to plunging fire, or even that Z ship is very good at delivering plunging fire. Sometimes this is a misunderstanding of real life properties but often it quotes specific game ranges. To me, this makes no sense. Given my understanding of the game mechanics, plunging fire in a BB vs BB situation should essentially be non-existent in game. Note, by "plunging fire" in this context I mean the penetration of an enemy BB citadel via the armoured deck.

 

Here's how I understand it. In game, we have an auto-bounce angle set at 30 degrees, meaning if the angle between the line of flight of the incoming shell and the face of the plate is <30 degrees, the shot will ricochet every time. Therefore, for plunging fire to occur against deck armour, the shell must have an angle of fall >30 degrees. Also, as far as I understand, ballistics in game are largely realistic up to the artificially capped range.

 

Let's take a gun, say NCs 16"/45 since that is often quoted as having good plunging fire ability. From Navweaps, shells from this gun have an angle of fall of about 25 degrees at 23km and 34 degrees at 27km. So, in order to reach that magic 30 degree angle of fall, you would need to shoot at about 25km or more. While I believe this is theoretically possible with the range mod and/or spotter plane, it's beyond even the worst camping we see today. Certainly it's way beyond the kind of ranges some people seem to claim NC can deliver plunging fire at.

 

There is of course the overmatch mechanic that can short-circuit the auto-bounce. But the biggest guns in game, Yamato's, can still only overmatch 32mm of armour. I'm pretty sure every ship that can meet a Yamato has way more deck armour over the citadel than that. The more common 406mm guns can overmatch 28mm of armour. Now, I'm not familiar with the armour scheme of every BB T5+ that can meet a gun this size, but I'm pretty sure most, if not all, have more than this.

 

So you can't overmatch, and the ranges required for true plunging fire are pretty absurd by game standards. Then why do people talk about plunging fire at the kind of <20km (often <15km) ranges that are more common in game? Are there some mechanics I'm missing, weak spots on certain ships?

 

I'm happy to be shown how this really works in game, that's why I phrased the topic as a question, but I want proper explanation of the game mechanics, not anecdotes of what you did last game that you think was plunging fire.

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Players
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I can't tell you about the mechanics you mention, just that it works!

I've had multiple citadels on high tier German BB's at the 15-20KM range but that just may be penetrating above the belt and continuing through to the citadel?


 

I find it interesting to watch my shells drop when using a spotter plane. Have you noticing no matter what the guns, they always appear to drop at a very very steep angle.

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[NWP]
[NWP]
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There is a dude on here who will say that plunging fire in WOWS doesn't exist as the ranges in game are too short!!

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[ST-EU]
Supertester
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I can't tell you about the mechanics you mention, just that it works!

I've had multiple citadels on high tier German BB's at the 15-20KM range but that just may be penetrating above the belt and continuing through to the citadel?

 

 

I find it interesting to watch my shells drop when using a spotter plane. Have you noticing no matter what the guns, they always appear to drop at a very very steep angle.

 

I always assumed the citadels on German BBs were due to the fact the turtledeck can no longer auto-bounce at those fall angles.

 

As for the spotter plane, the PoV is very high so of course it appears the shells fall very steep. I'm pretty sure I've seen screenshots taken in training room with the camera at sea level proving the shell angle of fall is realistic for the ranges we have. If you have evidence that the arcs are made up by all means post it.

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[SCRUB]
Supertester
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I think most of plungin fire citadel hits occur against shells entering the overmatchable superstructure, or ricocheting down wards off it, directly into the deck, at which point autobounce no longer occurs.

 

This is a vague assumption, not a hard fact, but this is about the best idea I have.

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[ST-EU]
Supertester
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If it is not artificially made, how they could change US shell arc to rainbow-like one ?

 

The US ships that have high arcs did have lower muzzle velocity than others. Not sure if the game distorts it but that is really a DD and CL issue, while this is a BB thread. But anyway the idea of a "rainbow" is exaggerated by perception because you're looking down the path of the shell so your whole view of the arc is distorted. As I said, no anecdotes please. I would be happy to see screenshots taken from a proper point of view, with angles drawn and measured to prove your point.

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Beta Tester
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I always assumed the citadels on German BBs were due to the fact the turtledeck can no longer auto-bounce at those fall angles.

 

As for the spotter plane, the PoV is very high so of course it appears the shells fall very steep. I'm pretty sure I've seen screenshots taken in training room with the camera at sea level proving the shell angle of fall is realistic for the ranges we have. If you have evidence that the arcs are made up by all means post it.

This is what I think happens as well. Shells will enter through the belt (or maybe even sligthly above it) and hit the turtle back at a more steep angle compared to close range, which is then no longer autobounce angle and have a chance of penning the citadel.

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Beta Tester
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Let's take a gun, say NCs 16"/45 since that is often quoted as having good plunging fire ability. From Navweaps, shells from this gun have an angle of fall of about 25 degrees at 23km and 34 degrees at 27km. So, in order to reach that magic 30 degree angle of fall, you would need to shoot at about 25km or more

 

​Not that I care about plunging fire in any way nor that I'm an expert on game mechanics but aren't you forgetting ship listing here, when the enemy ship turns away from the one who fires?

In those cases the incoming shells will hit the angled deck at angles closer to 90 degrees.

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[YARRR]
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If it is not artificially made, how they could change US shell arc to rainbow-like one ?

 

May I present to you the queen of all rainbow arcs that is the Cleve (of which the impact angle is historically accurate)?

 

3XhPZ3G.jpg

 
Doesn't look so rainbow from the receiving end, no?
Seriously, while tracers are actually accurate they create an optical illusion from the shooter's perspective, making shells appear to be falling far steeper than they actually do.
 

I always assumed the citadels on German BBs were due to the fact the turtledeck can no longer auto-bounce at those fall angles.

 

Meh, I always assume that I either penetrated a barbette or that my shells slipped past the turtleback under the waterline. Same effect either way.
 

​Not that I care about plunging fire in any way nor that I'm an expert on game mechanics but aren't you forgetting ship listing here, when the enemy ship turns away from the one who fires?

In those cases the incoming shells will hit the angled deck at angles closer to 90 degrees.

 

Theoretically it could happen. I think you're still fairly unlikely to get citadels tho if WG has modeled deck armor penetration correctly as the horizontal protection of BBs is usually enough at the ranges found ingame to prevent shells from penetrating the citadel.
Edited by El2aZeR

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[ST-EU]
Supertester
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​Not that I care about plunging fire in any way nor that I'm an expert on game mechanics but aren't you forgetting ship listing here, when the enemy ship turns away from the one who fires?

In those cases the incoming shells will hit the angled deck at angles closer to 90 degrees.

 This is a good point but also a separate question. Does the game actually take that into account properly?

 

Edit: thank you El2aZer, that was the screenshot I've seen before.

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Beta Tester
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Here a training battle with 12 active NC bots and 11 passive Yamato bots. The battle finishes with 5 dead Yamatoes and a lot of damaged Yamatoes :

Fighting range is about 14 km. All bots are immobile.

2u4uhqp.jpg

 

Edited by Darth_Glorious

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[ST-EU]
Supertester
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Thank you, excellent shot. I stuck a protractor on it, the angle of fall is approximately 12 degrees. Now from NavWeaps, angle of fall for NC's guns is 11.7 degrees at 13.7km. So the game ballistics are... basically perfect as far as angle of fall is concerned!

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