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Friedrich the Great, or the art of fail.

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So I'm trying to grind the FdG and I'm in serious need of advice. The guns on this ship are unreliable, so hanging back is like throwing the game on purpose. But pushing in always leaves me alone and focused by the enemy team, because at high tier every other BB and even tanky cruisers are so yellow they shine like the sun. Even DDs hang back, so I often see them passing me by in the direction of our spawn. :cap_wander:

I'm at my wits end how to play this ship. Any advice?

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Unfortunately thats german meta right now. This game doesnt allow you for solo tanking and judging from your post thats what you are trying to do. Germans were designed to get close and personal and soften up target with secondaries, but they werent designed to do it alone. Thats the reason I sold my Kurfurst after 8 battles. At this tier 9/10 teams will hang in the back. Thats where You will be least effective.

 

My advice is to invest everything You have in range and accuracy and stick with your team. Also You have to watch out when Your team panics and starts running away because You are the biggest target there is and will be focused by most ships. You should stick with larger part of Your team, because it is less likely to suddenly retreat and panic. Check in the beginning where more ships are going and stick with them. I know its against the rules of good gameplay, but thats how it is. I remember loving playingmy Bismarck like a brawler, but now I dont even take it out from port. I even retrained my 19 point captain to gneissenau, because thats where pleasurable game wih german ends in my opinion.

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Liked this ship. Usually I didn't go for early push since the arcs of back guns are tremendously bad + huge target. Guns are trollish but hard hitting (using 420s), avoid showing broadside when being focused. I played her more like a support/flanking BB. As for the build I'm not sure, moved my captain to GK. Would go for tanky + stealth one same as on GK. As for the modules/upgrades I went for Flamu's advice. 

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Went for the Flamu tank build and I must say the games have become a bit more consistent. The AA is a weak spot, but I'm getting better at picking engagements and unless the carrier focuses me I can survive.

One thing is certain, this ship plays different than the Bismarck.

 

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The Freddy has the one of the best armor in Tier 9(ignoring the Musashi) and tutrleback. You can shatter alot of cruiser HE shells on everything but your superstructure. Just don't fall for the temptation to get the all guns on the target in a heated situation because you want to do damage. An well angled Freddy is a fortress. The bad turret angles and the weak broadside armor against other BBs shouldn't be exposed lightly. If you do that against enemy battleships then you will usually receive double the damage in return which is a bad trade of course. The FdG broadside armor is prone to full AP penetrations from other BBs. Even if they cannot citadel you, they will do tons of full pens to your broadside at medium to close ranges.

 

These are my experiences with the FdG.

 

MfG

Boom

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Call me old fashioned but I still use a full secondary build and CE on Freddy. She is the last ship of the line that can get away with that. She is much more powerful than Bismarck thanks to her 406mm guns while being more maneuverable than Kurfürst which is a frickin island.

 

Just whatever you do, don't sit still (or choose the time and place veeery carefully). Despite their appearance, German high tier BBs are excellent when angled away - their backward gun angles are much more convenient. So luring enemy ships into chasing you certainly is an option.

 

As always, there is no "first always do this, then do that". Most of it is just guts. I like to play rather risky anyway, sometimes turning full broadside in front of a heavily armed enemy, hoping for the best, and I get away with that surprisingly often. Maybe because the enemy thinks no one can be that stupid.

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Personally I did not love FdG, but didn't dislike it either. I did very well in it most of the time by being extremely aggressive and communicating with my team. When I say "Let's push A" for example, I check what the team replies. If I get a DD and hopefully a CA/CL or another BB to help me, I pop hydro and push. This worked very well for me - shoot front guns at target A, back guns at target B, all while secondaries are frying one of them (or target C). If HP goes too low, hide behind an island and heal or yolo someone with the only torpedo you have - your hull. This typically resulted in loads of damage done and total disarray of the enemies near me, usually leading to victory.

 

Two things are worth mentioning though:

1. I've had one of my most infuriating moments in the game in this ship. I completely missed a broadside Iowa 2 or 3 times in a row from 4km distance. The guns on the FdG can do damage, but will hit anything only when RnGesus says so (even at point-blank range).

 

2. I played it in a different meta. Nowdays it's full of deep-water torps and long range HE spamming cancers (RN BBs), so more careful gameplay is necessary. Judging from my GK, one needs to be close to cover, not show broadside, time heals and DCP carefully and push only with hydro active. Also never separate from your team (but that's not specific to these BBs) and play in divisions when possible to ensure you have someone helping you when things go south. 

 

Most of what I said is just common sense but the main thing to keep in mind with brawler BBs is to carefully pick your fights and go with your team. Better to go with the lemming train to one cap than to yolo the enemy team alone.

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Been a while since I played it, but it has been my favourite tier 9 BB untill Alsace came around. So my advice may be debatable due to meta having moved on.

 

However I would say 100% go for 406mm guns. The accuracy is so unreliable that the ROF is a must, the gain from the 420 in pen is minimal and the alpha is beaten by the 406 having higher DPM. On top of it all, looking at the meta it would make sense that you'd be forced to shoot HE from time to time, and 406 are just straight up better when it comes to HE.

 

Another thing Im sure of, dont go with a full secondary build. Fire survival, concealment and gun dispersion is much more important. 

 

On the other hand though, ive had a blast brawling in the early game with the squishy Alsace, so I guarentee its doable in the current meta with FdG as well. Ive learned from playing IFHE secondary GK thats its difficult to explain/teach how to play super aggressive but safe at the same time in such big ships with 0 concealment.

 

If I were to explain it in a simplified manner, play like you would play an aggressive cruiser (like USN or RN). Use islands to compensate for lack of concealment, dodge incoming damage and hide your broadside while turning or crossfired. Always go to the flank that has the islands (unless you have no support). If you feel confident with this playstyle picking AFT and/or manual secondaries will pay off (both are not necessary, one is enough to increase effectivness by a lot, but both will take away two of the following FP, CE or BoS/EM).

 

RN BB meta was bad for KM BBs, but that time is over. I dont see a reason why FdG cant work as well for me now as it did back in the days, especially with how aggressive I was able to play Richelieu, Alsace, Gascogne and Republique as well as I still have no issues playing IFHE GK.

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Well, Notser has a new FdG video up. It shows how not to play the ship, as the secondary build he uses makes him go deep into a cap, eat a ton of damage, and leaves him unable to carry anything.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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I quit the German line at Bismarck because of its over-reliance on getting close to targets. They are no longer efficient ships in the current meta, where HE, concealment and accurate guns are dominating factors in battle these days. These are something that German BBs lack. They even get victimized by them fairly often imo.

The problem isn't brawling itself but rather it is the difficulty in getting into one.

If you still want to play through FDG, a tank build is highly effective. I don't find secondary builds reliable anymore. It is very situational and team dependent. Unfortunately, teams aren't always dependable. That's just the way things are and there is no choice but to adapt.

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18 hours ago, GeneralSavage said:

and accurate guns are dominating factors in battle these days. These are something that German BBs lack.

 

Ever played RN or Frenchies? :> In terms of accuracy I'd choose my Freddy or Kurfürst over any of these two nations' high tier BBs anytime (except maybe Republique as I have not played her yet). Yet of course, Yamato's and Montana's accuracy are still top dog.

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On 9.4.2018 at 8:21 PM, GeneralSavage said:

I quit the German line at Bismarck because of its over-reliance on getting close to targets. They are no longer efficient ships in the current meta, where HE, concealment and accurate guns are dominating factors in battle these days. These are something that German BBs lack. They even get victimized by them fairly often imo.

A very flawed way of thinking. 

 

KM BBs are literally the BBs that resist HE the most out of all BBs. So how do you get victimized by it or the lack thereof?! If anything you should be a counter to the current meta then.

 

Accurate guns are more or less only a must in competitive gamemodes. On the other hand KM BBs have faster shell velocity than IJN and USN BBs (exception being Izumo) which makes up for the worse dispersion by being easier to hit with due to lower time to target. 

 

And as for concealment... Idk dude concealment is always good to have (and must in competitive), but there are a plethora of ways to play around it in random battles. Lately Ive actually opted to skip CE on my random battle BB builds for more fun or situationally essential skills. Ive had a ton of fun and a good run with French BBs not to mention that I still occasionally play GK, Scharnhorst/Gneisenau and Tirpitz without CE on any of these.

 

Blaming the meta is not something done lightly, but I see so many people throwing the "muh unfitting meta" card all over without actually realizing that they are both referring to a meta long passed AND that doesnt even apply...

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20 hours ago, deadly_if_swallowed said:

 

Ever played RN or Frenchies? :> In terms of accuracy I'd choose my Freddy or Kurfürst over any of these two nations' high tier BBs anytime (except maybe Republique as I have not played her yet). Yet of course, Yamato's and Montana's accuracy are still top dog.

RN isn't too bad because because the number of guns compensate. Of course, 95% players rely on HE and 1 shell touching any part of the ship can start a fire. KGV seems to have decent accuracy. Only T8 and T9 have some issues in terms of accuracy but they have their HE to (more than) compensate for it. 

 

As for Frenchies, the sheer number of guns compensate for high dispersion and low sigma.  I mean, look at Lyon with its 1.5 sigma tearing things apart. Did a 16k on Hsienyang very recently with it. Richelieu may have a harder time because 8 guns. Tried Paris (Republique) in Space battles and I gotta admit- those guns are monstrous with its alpha and reload. They felt pretty accurate but you can expect RNG to screw you over.

 

Kurfürst and Konig are the two German silver ships that have more guns to compensate for their dispersion, which is why they can deal higher damage per salvo. FDG has access to gun reload module to reduce its comparatively short reload even more. Plus its caliber compensates.

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Exactly. You see the flaw in your argument about accuracy? The ships you mentioned to back up your statement (except Republique) all rely on some thing else.

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14 hours ago, Affeks said:

A very flawed way of thinking. 

 

KM BBs are literally the BBs that resist HE the most out of all BBs. So how do you get victimized by it or the lack thereof?! If anything you should be a counter to the current meta then.

 

Accurate guns are more or less only a must in competitive gamemodes. On the other hand KM BBs have faster shell velocity than IJN and USN BBs (exception being Izumo) which makes up for the worse dispersion by being easier to hit with due to lower time to target. 

 

And as for concealment... Idk dude concealment is always good to have (and must in competitive), but there are a plethora of ways to play around it in random battles. Lately Ive actually opted to skip CE on my random battle BB builds for more fun or situationally essential skills. Ive had a ton of fun and a good run with French BBs not to mention that I still occasionally play GK, Scharnhorst/Gneisenau and Tirpitz without CE on any of these.

 

Blaming the meta is not something done lightly, but I see so many people throwing the "muh unfitting meta" card all over without actually realizing that they are both referring to a meta long passed AND that doesnt even apply...

1) We're talking about fires more than HE penetration damage. And we all know that fires are more of a threat than the shell itself, something very contrasting compared to AP. Its often the fires that are a threat for BBs, not the HE shell itself.

 

2)  A German BB can sit back and use its 'fast reload and low time to target' but unfortunately its a game of dice and an unreliable method to stay relevant in battle, whatever mode it may be (Random/competitive). The truth is that almost all the other BBs can do this  better than the Germans, making them less reliable. Maybe you prefer rolling the dice every salvo hoping to deal a respectable chunk of damage on a cruiser or BB. But hey, that's not for me. 

 

3) Is staying under concealment foolproof? Certainly not. Is staying under concealment fun? Maybe. Not for me and not for plenty of players (especially KMS BB mains). Secondary builds are never not fun. But concealment is something that can cement a victory or buy yourself some time to come back up and strike in full force. In the end, all the perks are situational if you think of it-be it AA, secondaries or concealment. I personally feel that concealment is more effective as of now.

 

4) '...meta long passed that AND that doesnt even apply...'. Are you serious about this? We've recently seen the entry of Conqueror's and Republique's HE. Not satisfied? Worry not. Worcester is coming.  

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5 minutes ago, deadly_if_swallowed said:

Exactly. You see the flaw in your argument about accuracy? The ships you mentioned to back up your statement (except Republique) all rely on some thing else.

The Germans rely on secondaries. They require a highly skilled captain to make use of this. Moreover, I (personally) find secondaries less reliable and highly situational.  French have greater guns that allows you to take up the role of staying at range while still remaining effective. Germans, however, cannot do this and they have to be closer to the enemies. Doesn't always work out as expected you know....

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German BBs have secondaries. They do not rely on them. Secondaries are a gimmick, a nice cherry on top. And hence, they don't have to be closer to enemies either.

 

edit: get yourself a Richelieu and/or Alsace. We will talk about "great guns" again later :> I don't know about you but I prefer guns that can hit targets.

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2 hours ago, GeneralSavage said:

1) We're talking about fires more than HE penetration damage. And we all know that fires are more of a threat than the shell itself, something very contrasting compared to AP. Its often the fires that are a threat for BBs, not the HE shell itself.

Haha this is comedy gold!

BBs can heal 100% of fire damage but only 50% of HE pen damage. Fires are countered by good dmg con management, commander skills and ship upgrades. HE alpha is only countered by ship armor layout itself (where as KM BBs are the best by far). HE alpha is instant damage while fires are over time. One has impact, the other doesnt mean anything untill the damage racks up. One wins you the game the other pads your damage numbers. If fires were an actual threat then why is IFHE essential on CLs? Simply because spreading 4 fires on 3 different BBs does nothing to stop their push, while focusing down one BB and cutting their firepower is a one way ticket to victory. That is why IFHE and HE alpha is key.

 

2 hours ago, GeneralSavage said:

 

2)  A German BB can sit back and use its 'fast reload and low time to target' but unfortunately its a game of dice and an unreliable method to stay relevant in battle, whatever mode it may be (Random/competitive). The truth is that almost all the other BBs can do this  better than the Germans, making them less reliable. Maybe you prefer rolling the dice every salvo hoping to deal a respectable chunk of damage on a cruiser or BB. But hey, that's not for me.   

My point still stands. Cruisers, DDs and even BBs have a much easier time reacting to slow velocity shells than high velocity shells on KM BBs. Together with the reload you mentioned and faster traverse than lets say NC or Lion gives you a pretty good package when taking opportunistic shots at elusive targets at any range. That right there is a defining factor for viability in random battle meta. Not long range accuracy and compatability with borderhugging and sniping.

 

2 hours ago, GeneralSavage said:

3) Is staying under concealment foolproof? Certainly not. Is staying under concealment fun? Maybe. Not for me and not for plenty of players (especially KMS BB mains). Secondary builds are never not fun. But concealment is something that can cement a victory or buy yourself some time to come back up and strike in full force. In the end, all the perks are situational if you think of it-be it AA, secondaries or concealment. I personally feel that concealment is more effective as of now.

 

Concealment is certainly a competitive factor and one of the major quality of life factors on any ship... But my point still stands that you should try not running concealment builds on BBs and instead force yourself to use natural concealment like islands or smokes, manage flanks and incoming fire. This will help you become a much better player in the long run. Youll find its not make or break on almost any ship in random battles. Recently tried to skip concealment mod and even CE on some of my cruisers... And I was not surprised to find I could make them perform just as well in randoms as I did previously.

 

2 hours ago, GeneralSavage said:

4) '...meta long passed that AND that doesnt even apply...'. Are you serious about this? We've recently seen the entry of Conqueror's and Republique's HE. Not satisfied? Worry not. Worcester is coming.  

Conquerors are very rare already and doesnt define the meta at all... They have little impact on the game other than being a counter to camping BBs. Republique on the other hand.. Why would anyone ever shoot HE in that thing? Much less fear it? Alsace has decent HE power, but relying on it means youre playing the ship wrong and giving up that insane alpha and brawling potential. Low quality bait my friend.

 

Finally Worcester... Are you really afraid of a torpedoless, smokeless CL that cant pen 50mm deck plating and with a top speed of only 33 knots? It doesnt even have any 30mm plating that bounces GK or FdG shells afaik. This ship can murder 32mm plated BBs like Republique and Conqueror sure, even Yamato has 32mm upper plating that gets wrecked at closeish ranges. But in a KM BB only your superstructure is weak to it. Even when you show broadside it will have trouble getting through that 6" upper plating...

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52 minutes ago, deadly_if_swallowed said:

German BBs have secondaries. They do not rely on them. Secondaries are a gimmick, a nice cherry on top. And hence, they don't have to be closer to enemies either.

 

edit: get yourself a Richelieu and/or Alsace. We will talk about "great guns" again later :> I don't know about you but I prefer guns that can hit targets.

 

With my GK I can safely say that a lot of times I do rely on secondaries. Not as a main source for damage, but to deal with bow-on BBs (IFHE) and scare off DDs. Also the horrible main battery firing angles on GK usually mean that I will fire at one target with my front guns and another with my rear ones. In the same time (when possible) I would be focusing the more important target with my secondaries, or even fire them at a third one.

 

PS: FP is typically a better choice than IFHE for GK. I just hate bow-tanking Yamatos as they seem to be invulnerable to my main guns and my team's DDs never seem interested in torping them.

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2 hours ago, deadly_if_swallowed said:

German BBs have secondaries. They do not rely on them. Secondaries are a gimmick, a nice cherry on top. And hence, they don't have to be closer to enemies either.

 

edit: get yourself a Richelieu and/or Alsace. We will talk about "great guns" again later :> I don't know about you but I prefer guns that can hit targets.

I had no problem with Kurfurst's guns.  Bismarck and FDG really needed me to get close. Its just me being absolutely crappy. Maybe. You certainly seem to have no problems using their guns at range. Unfortunately, I did...no matter what I tried. Finally found love with US BBs and doing fine (Expect my Iowa's low WR but oh well).

 

I will get Richelieu in a matter of time. Please pray that I my hit targets.:Smile_honoring:

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4 hours ago, Affeks said:

HE alpha is only countered by ship armor layout itself (where as KM BBs are the best by far).

Yes. But that one HE shell can start a fire. Being a 100% f2p player, I only have a 9 pointer from Gneis and regular consumables. This is probably why I find fires that dangerous. Regular consumables take a longer reload time too. I'm just speaking from my bad experience. They were a blast in PTS.

T8+ German BBs are totally different with at least a 14 point captain. So until then it's a long struggle. 

4 hours ago, Affeks said:

Republique on the other hand.. Why would anyone ever shoot HE in that thing? Much less fear it?

This is WoWs, mate. Even Yamatos shoot HE here. Why wouldn't a Republique? One Yamato player justified himself by saying that he couldn't penetrate an Iowa, so he shot HE. And no, I don't shoot HE with my BBs except Orion.

 

4 hours ago, Affeks said:

But my point still stands that you should try not running concealment builds on BBs and instead force yourself to use natural concealment like islands or smokes, manage flanks and incoming fire.

 Will stand with this point. It's just that some BBs use islands without realizing that they're being ineffective being there. A concealment build can be very effective, but that's for a ship that can make a good deal out of it. A concealment build Kurfürst beats the purpose of its actual playstyle.

 

5 hours ago, Affeks said:

Finally Worcester... Are you really afraid of a torpedoless, smokeless CL that cant pen 50mm deck plating and with a top speed of only 33 knots?

I do admit that I fear cruisers in my experience with German BBs. It's the fires that trouble. There is a certain limit as to how much 'good dmg con usage' can help when more than 80% shells shot at you are HE. 

This is why I went to USN BB line and have no problems in dealing with anything. Just relying on my guns and my aim. Suits me.

 

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19 hours ago, GeneralSavage said:

Being a 100% f2p player, I only have a 9 pointer from Gneis and regular consumables. This is probably why I find fires that dangerous. Regular consumables take a longer reload time too.

You can switch to premium consumables without doubloons. There is a small drop-down arrow so you can switch to credits. 22.5k credits per premium consumable instead of 15 doubloons.

Yes, high tier ships are very expensive to maintain, especially without premium account or premium camo, so you will have to play some mid-tier battles in between (which you probably do anyway). But these consumables will have a significant impact on your battle performance.

 

Maybe this will help you gathering better experience and make you fear HE a bit less. Because seriously, fires are no problem. Fires are your friends. Fires buff your reload (Adrenaline Rush) and can be fully healed back.

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FP & Concealment is most definitely the way forward in the meta, but I simply love the IFHE AFT MFC secondary build. It's too situational to be especially good because you are encouraged to push and that means being focused and torched. The huge amount of HE you receive means your secondaries do tend to get knocked out without too much effort. You also invite torpedoes and it's easy to get trapped into eating torpedoes, or showing broadside. But, but, but, when you secondaries can knock 45,000 health off a Montana (notwithstanding the fires they cause) in a single sitting, melt DDs who have the temerity to get within around 8km when the shells start reliably landing, and kill off cruisers whilst your main battery engages another target, it's difficult not to love it. It's just very difficult to reach those situations where she excels.

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On 12/04/2018 at 5:17 PM, deadly_if_swallowed said:

You can switch to premium consumables without doubloons. There is a small drop-down arrow so you can switch to credits. 22.5k credits per premium consumable instead of 15 doubloons.

Yes, high tier ships are very expensive to maintain, especially without premium account or premium camo, so you will have to play some mid-tier battles in between (which you probably do anyway). But these consumables will have a significant impact on your battle performance.

 

Maybe this will help you gathering better experience and make you fear HE a bit less. Because seriously, fires are no problem. Fires are your friends. Fires buff your reload (Adrenaline Rush) and can be fully healed back.

Thanks for your suggestion. I am aware of this and I use with mid-tiers and sometimes high tiers. I don't know if you've faced it but  in case of Iowa, you need to have atleast 80k+ damage with a victory to brush through with a net 10k profit (50-70k max if you went through a path of destruction). I get a net loss of atleast 10k credits if it was an insignificant battle. I cannot use credits for consumables atm since I'm actively grinding two lines so need to save every bit.

 

As for fires. It is a plague for all my German BBs, no matter what. I suffer with them the since I keep landing shells into the ocean or just get an overpen on a broadside RN CL that wants to yolo me. I'm honestly fed up of getting uselessly burnt down without doing anything productive. Even grinding for a potent secondary build will take millenniums. Prem consumables are very significant, as you mentioned. Its just that I cannot always use them.

Fires aren't a problem at all for the rest of my BBs. I don't need a highly skilled captain to do well. This is why I could smoothly get myself a 13 point Iowa captain and give it an mini tank build (BoS) with BFT to back it up with better AA. AR is always my 2nd skill and has always helped all my ships.

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