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Ibuki to Zao transition

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I am close to unlocking the Zao. The Ibuki grind was in the end not the worst experience. Halfway i changed reload for range module and I always had above average games. In the end i specked sonar to hunt dd's more actively but in the end getting to close to the enemy BB's at the game starts is a high risk strategy.

 

For me the Ibuki was a natural upgrade from the earlier Myoko, Mogami (for the short time i used the 203's) & Atago/Takao. Now before i sell my Ibuki how does the "way you play the Zao" really differs from the earlier ships? I know you finally get a slightly better reload but you lose out some concealment and torp range.

 

Does the Zao requires a different approach or is it a logical continuation of the earlier ships?

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[PARAZ]
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I'd call Zao a logical continuation. You're still a superb long range HE spammer.

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[W-C]
Beta Tester, Players, In AlfaTesters
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It's basically a mogami but much better (faster and better shells)....It doesn't really need that much of a change in gameplay

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[AAO]
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Faster shells devastating AP on broadside, very accurate and bad torpedo angles although fast and hard hitting torps. It is alot easyer and stronger long range than ibuki ever will be, flat arcs and good range, this will give some issues firing over islands compared to Ibuki. 

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On 29-1-2018 at 1:19 PM, Guillotine said:

devastating AP on broadside

this

 

do NOT underestimate Zao's AP

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[HAIFU]
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8 hours ago, PzychoPanzer said:

this

 

do NOT underestimate Zao's AP

Nice to see people recommending the use of AP. I guess the Hindenburg and Moskva get the YouTuber's praise, but all AP seems to hit hard at high tiers. I don't have the Zao, but I've seen people do 10-20k volleys on broadside cruisers at some range, so it must be good.

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[RUFL]
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Take also this (https://forum.worldofwarships.com/topic/121468-armor-penetration-curves-for-tier-x-cruisers/) thread as a reference. While Zao does not have the impressive AP DPM of Hindenburg it has the best penetration values out of all 203mm armed cruisers. Zao e.g. penetrates the same amount of armor at ~15km as Hindenburg would at ~11km.

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1 hour ago, Centurion_1711 said:

Nice to see people recommending the use of AP. I guess the Hindenburg and Moskva get the YouTuber's praise, but all AP seems to hit hard at high tiers. I don't have the Zao, but I've seen people do 10-20k volleys on broadside cruisers at some range, so it must be good.

The irony is that I have tried to make the ap on the Hindenburg work as all round ammo for way too long. With the built in ifhe change and that merciless dpm i've changed to spamming he more for more consistent results, and kept ap for targets less than let's say 13 km.

 

Zao ap on the contrary will feel more consistent, also on longer distance targets with the not perfect 180 degree angle.

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[JUNK]
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It plays like the rest of the IJN cruisers, but you use AP much more.

 

I consistently deal more damage per game with AP than I do with HE+Fires+torpedoes combined. Zao s a real cruiser killer at mid-long ranges. 

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[B0TS]
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I guess that expert loader is a nice to have or a must have, or is the reload time decent enough not to bother with for Zao?

(not far off unlocking her myself).

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6 hours ago, philjd said:

I guess that expert loader is a nice to have or a must have, or is the reload time decent enough not to bother with for Zao?

(not far off unlocking her myself).

I use expert loader on all my tier 10 cruisers (except mino ofc), when I learned to use it I found I was able to snapshot sooo much better. PM and double spotter are good picks as well, but I use spotter plane instead of fighters so double plane isnt that good. 

 

So expert loader isnt a must, but I take it over any of the other level 1 skills.

I use a 1-2-2-2 build on my captain so only place for 1 level 1 skill and Id take expert loader any day.

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[UTW]
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I can't find the video anymore, but I remember a Youtube replay with a Zao literally nuking a broadside Iowa at close range with APs. Something like half his HP disappearing and a devastating strike reward for the Zao.

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[GURKA]
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Ibuki is like a T8 with higher range, Zao is like a T11. I mean all T10 feel like a T11 for a T9 ships, there is huge gap between T9-T10, at least for Ibuki and Izumo

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3 hours ago, ShinGetsu said:

I can't find the video anymore, but I remember a Youtube replay with a Zao literally nuking a broadside Iowa at close range with APs. Something like half his HP disappearing and a devastating strike reward for the Zao.

94ApqaK.png

according to fnord_disc's awesome penetration curves and ofc my own experience you can literally oblitirate BB broadsides on point blank ranges. ofc Iowa doesnt have that high citadel anymore, but still on very close range getting 6/6 citadels against a yamato isnt that hard at all. Thats like over 30k damage. 

 

Of course this is true for the other tier 10s as well, but its really make or break on the penetration, it can be the difference between 6 out of 6 shatters or 30k damage. 

 

In short remember your pen thresholds and know the belt armor of the enemy youre facing. 

 

Remember, if enemy is angled their belt is effectively thicker. If in doubt just shoot upper plating youll still do around 10k plus depending on aim. 

At sub 5km you can pen most BB belts, but some can still shatter if slightly angled. of course Zao has standard outobounce angles.

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