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Final review: Soviet Tier X Reward ship Slava

12 min read

Ladies and Gentlemen, almost 1 year and 5 months ago, Wargaming revealed to us the Slava, initially named Pobeda. After a first series of testing and a last devblog mentioning her on the 1st of August 2019, we thought that Wargaming completely abandoned her. Well… little did we know!

It’s on the 25th of June 2020 that they brought her back with a fairly modified design. Just like the Champagne and Borodino (that still hasn’t been tested on the live server), she received the “Battlecruiser treatment” with her armor made thinner, but with more accurate guns than other battleships at the same tier (even though in her case, it’s only more accurate than the others at long range).

Today, she is finally getting released for…

*DRUM ROLLS*

63 000 Research points, joining the Ohio, Colbert and Siegfried as a reward of the Research bureau!

Is she worth grinding at least 3 or 4 lines? Does she bring something meaningful on the already crowded table of the tier X battleships? I will give you my opinion about it but first, a bit of history because history is important!

Historical Background

Slava is based on one of the later versions of the Project 24 of battleships from the Soviet Union. Unlike Kremlin that carries 457 mm guns, Slava is equipped with more realistic 406 mm guns as even Stalin told the ship designers that 457 mm guns were out of the question.

Instead, this version of the design was meant to be equipped with 9 406 mm guns in 3 triple turrets with a modern loading mechanism to ensure a faster rate of fire than other 406 mm guns.

In the end, when Stalin died in 1953, the project was completely abandoned.

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Long main battery firing range
  • Great ballistics making it very easy to hit shells at long range
  • Unique vertical dispersion parameters leading to a very flat spread
  • Unique horizontal dispersion formula that leads to great accuracy at long range BUT at the same time, at close range, the dispersion will be higher than those of other battleships.
    Note: IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT SHE IS MORE ACCURATE AT LONG RANGE THAN SHE IS AT CLOSE RANGE! It just means that her dispersion doesn’t increase as much as it would for other ships over range. Get your facts right boys and girls!
  • Amazing armor penetration
  • Good firing angles
  • Good concealment
  • Strong anti-air
  • Low profile, which makes it hard to hit reliably the citadel

The Bad

  • Only 9 406 mm guns with a long reload
  • Slow turret traverse
  • Low HP pool
  • Large target since she uses the same base model as Kremlin
  • Weak 32 mm deck armor
  • 25 mm bow and stern so any other battleship she can face (except Odin) can overmatch them
  • Soviet level of turning radius (so absolutely huge)

The camouflages

The camouflage of Slava provides the classic bonuses for tier X ships:

  • -3% to surface detectability range
  • +4% to maximum dispersion of shells fired by the enemy at your ship
  • -50% to the cost of ship’s post-battle service
  • +100% to experience earned in the battle

shot-20.06.13_20.06.44-0616

Modules
Hull
Engine
Gun Fire Control System
Main battery
icon_module_Hull_installedSlava

icon_module_Engine_installedPropulsion: 280 000 hp

icon_module_Suo_installedGFCS X mod. 1

icon_module_Artillery_installed406 mm/55 B-52

General Characteristics and playstyle

GeneralConsumables
Tier X
Health 91 800 HP
Displacement 82 149 tons
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range 24.680 km
406 mm/55 B-52 3 x 3 406 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range 6.000 km
130 mm/60 BL-110 8 x 2 130 mm
Maximum speed 29.5 knots
Turning Circle Radius 1 090 m
Rudder Shift Time 16.3 s
Surface Detectability 16.74 km
Air Detectability 13.68 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke 16.19 km
Slot 1
Slot 2
Damage Control Party
Work time: 15 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Repair Party
consumable_PCY010_RegenCrewPremium
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 28 s
Cooldown: 80 s
HP regeneration time: 0.5% HP/s

Well… MY GOD SLAVA IS OVERPOWERED! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WG?! RUSSIAN BIAS!!! STILL PISSED ABOUT TSUSHIMA!!!

d518802fbfe0180d5c818f388e5979a8

Let’s get things right from the start. No, she definitely isn’t overpowered, unlike the very first version that was ever tested in 2019. In fact, when you compare her to the likes of Thunderer, Ohio or Bourgogne, she is a bit of a disappointment.

It’s not that the ship is bad, it’s just that she really doesn’t bring anything interesting compared to other battleships with her only remarkable feature being her unique horizontal and vertical dispersion parameters as well as her AP penetration.

Let’s actually give more details about her dispersion, or at least the horizontal dispersion. For the vertical one, there are values in the game files, they are lower than those of the other battleships but it is still unknown how they work together.

Her horizontal dispersion formula is the following: Y (maximum horizontal dispersion in meters for a given range) = 5 x R (the range in kilometers) + 105

Compared to other ships, the coefficient applied to the range value is very low which means that over the distance, the dispersion will not increase as much as for others which is similar to what we have with the Japanese battleships.
However, the fixed B value which corresponds to the maximum horizontal dispersion at 0 kilometers is much higher than on other formulas so, at close range, she will have worse dispersion than other battleships.

If you want to see other horizontal dispersion formulas to compare, here is a spreadsheet that lists them all (credits to Kingpin6100).

When it comes to the playstyle, unlike the Champagne that could use her great speed and agility to flank the enemy, the Slava has a much more static playstyle. She won’t necessarily stay at long range, I was personally fairly often at mid-range as well (roughly 14 km) but she will rarely be able to be on the frontline. Her lack of tankiness between the low HP pool and weak armor are really limiting her in that regard.

What the ship will be excelling at is punishing broadside ships but the moment the target will understand the secret art of angling its 30 mm+ platings and citadel against you… well she will feel a bit helpless.

Main Battery

shot-20.08.03_20.48.29-0674

Main Battery
3 x 3 406 mm/55 B-52
 Maximum Firing Range 24.680 km
 Reloading Time 33.5 s
180 Degree Turn Time 45.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front 30°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 30°
Sigma 1.90 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 229 m
Shells
Type of Projectile  HE – 406 mm HE B-37
Alpha Damage 5 800 HP
Damage 5 020 HP
Penetration capacity  68 mm
Explosion size 2.53
Fire chance 40 %
Projectile Speed 870 m/s
Air Drag 0.2
Projectile Mass 890 kg
Type of Projectile AP – 406 mm AP B-37
Alpha Damage 12 100 HP
Chance to Cause Fire -0.5 %
Projectile Speed 870 m/s
Air Drag 0.2
Projectile Mass 890 kg
Projectile Krupp 2 890
Projectile Detonator 0.033 s
Detonator threshold 68 mm

The main battery of the Slava really is the only thing that would make you think “Boy, I want a Slava!”

She has overall, the “weakest” broadside of all tier X battleships with only 9 406 mm guns. These guns also have a long reload and the damage per shell is the lowest at this tier for 406 mm AP shells, only 200 alpha damage higher than the 380 mm shells of the Bourgogne.

However, these shells have great, railgun-like ballistics, combined with high penetration capacity which make the Slava a terribly effective ship to demolish enemy ships that would be giving broadside at any range.

Belt Penetration and Impact Angle
Penetration capacity and shell impact angle of Slava (in purple and green) and Yamato over range (in brown and blue)
Shell Flight Time and Impact Velocity
Shell velocity and flight time of Slava (in purple and green) and Yamato over range (in brown and blue)

That’s also the problem though because it’s really all Slava is about, punishing unaware enemy ships giving too much side. The moment the enemy decides to angle against you, all of a sudden, her guns performances will start to fall behind that over other ships, especially considering that, in action, her HE firepower really isn’t anything crazy since she lacks either the damage or the volume of fire of other battleships.

That’s also why you don’t want to be too close to the frontline. You want the enemy to not pay too much attention to you while still being close enough to have an impact and, if needed, tank some shots.

Secondary battery

shot-20.08.03_20.48.43-0206

Secondaries
8 x 2 130 mm/60 BL-110
Maximum Firing Range 6.000 km
Reloading Time 4.0 s
Sigma 1.00 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – HE-42
Alpha Damage 1 800 HP
Damage 500 HP
HE penetration 22 mm
Explosion Size 0.43
Chance to Cause Fire 8 %
Projectile Speed 950 m/s
Air Drag 0.291
Projectile Mass 33.4 kg

While Slava has the somewhat improved dispersion of the Soviet 130mm secondaries, don’t expect them to be really useful except for the anti-air.

Anti-air Armament

shot-20.08.03_20.49.00-0547

Air Defense
8 x 2 130 mm/60 BL-110
Sector range 0.1 km – 6.6 km
Hit chance 75 %
Sector’s damage 55
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 193
Flak clouds number 8
Flak cloud damage 1 750
12 x 4 57 mm ZIF-75
Sector range 0.1 km – 4.0 km
Hit chance 75 %
Sector’s damage 136
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 476
18 x 2 25 mm 2M-3
Sector range 0.1 km – 2.5 km
Hit chance 70 %
Sector’s damage 58
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 203

Overall, the Slava has a fairly strong anti-air with high DPS on the long and mid-range as well as strong flaks that will help to deal with bad/average CV players.

She also has the advantage of not having the nerfed AA survivability of Kremlin which loses her AA mounts when a fly lands on them.

The Armor

Capture

Unlike Kremlin, Slava has fairly weak armor protection for a tier X battleship. Just like Champagne and Borodino, her bow and stern are 25 mm thick for the most part. She also has a thinner armor belt with, at best, a 370 mm main belt under the turrets.

The bow section

bow1

The bow is for the biggest part covered with 25 mm of armor. The only exception is the 100 mm short extended belt. Any other battleship (and also Siegfried) except Odin will be able to overmatch her bow so full bow camping isn’t really an option.

bow3bow2

Inside the bow, just above the extended belt, Slava has a 100 mm armored deck. It ends with a heavily angled 420 mm bulkhead. This means that overall, Slava is very hard to citadel through the bow as you would either need to penetrate the 100 mm extended belt or brute force through the bulkhead and somehow have enough penetration after that for the citadel athwartship.

bow4bow5

For the protection of the middle section, the upper casemate is 150 mm thick while the lower part is a uniform 350 mm plating covering the citadel athwartship and the bulkheads around it.

The middle section

mid1

For the protection of the middle section, the deck is 32 mm thick. It is seriously a free farming area for HE spammers. On the sides, the upper belt is 150 mm thick while the main belt is 370 mm thick under the turrets and 350 mm thick in the middle. Proper angling with that ship allows to mitigate the damage received significantly against AP.

Overall, the citadel is quite vulnerable but since the ship sits low on the water, in action; it is still hard to hit.

Finally, the torpedo bulge is 38 mm thick.

mid2

For the part of the citadel that is in spaced armor configuration (starting slightly below the waterline), it is 70 mm thick.

mid3

When it comes to the horizontal protection, outside of the 32 mm weather deck, she only has the 150 mm citadel main armor deck. This means that she is very easy to citadel with AP bombs. Even tier VIII carriers will be able to citadel her.

The stern section

stern1

For the stern, the most part is covered with 25 mm of armor. The exceptions are the extended belt with 100 mm of armor and the steering gears protection with 300 mm of armor.

Just like the bow, it is an overmatch free real estate for battleships so you will want to make sure that you are angled in a way that shells will most likely hit and bounce on your middle section.

stern2stern4

stern5

For the internal protection, there is an armored deck that is 100 mm thick except above the steering gears where it is 150 mm thick. She also has 2 bulkheads around the steering gears with the one closest to the end of the stern being 400 mm thick and the other, 100 mm thick.

stern3

For the protection of the middle section, there is the 150 mm upper casemate and then, a uniform 350 mm thick plating covering the citadel and the bulkheads around it.

She is pretty much impossible to citadel through the stern unless you get some weird armor desync.

The superstructure

supers

The superstructure is for the biggest part 19 mm thick. The exceptions are the barbettes of her secondaries that are 50 mm thick and the conning towers with the front one having 500 mm of armor and the other 200 mm.

The turrets

turrets

Compared to the rest of the ship, the turrets on Slava have a hefty armor protection, at least at the front. The turret’s face is 550 mm thick and heavily sloped. For the rest, the sides and roof are 254 mm thick and the back is 508 mm thick.
For the barbettes, the upper part is 475 mm thick and the lower part is 150 mm thick.

I personally never had any issue to keep them in action.

Final Opinion

In the end, the ship really doesn’t bring anything that justifies grinding for her. It’s basically a very big Stalingrad with less effective tanking capacity and without the capacity to make any winning play unless you get glorified stormtroopers as enemies.

It’s not a bad ship, don’t get me wrong. In randoms especially, she will be very good at punishing broadside ships but overall, I really don’t see why I would play Slava over a Thunderer for example that doesn’t care at all about the enemy ships angling against her.

If you already got things like Ohio that is very strong with also good tanking power or the Siegfried that provides a unique gameplay for cruisers with her secondaries and pinpoint accurate 380 mm guns, you can go for Slava but frankly, I will personally take my sweet time to grind for her.

Recommended build

During the testing of the Slava, I used the following captain build and upgrades:

Captain build:

build

  • Priority Target: Very valuable perk to know how many enemies are aiming at you and with some experience, determine who the said enemies could be. It’s also very useful against destroyers since, when a destroyer switches to torpedoes, he isn’t counted anymore so this gives you an early warning for the nasty metal fishes.
  • Expert Loader: In case the enemy BBs or heavily armored cruisers actively angles against you, you will still end up having to switch to HE so might as well give it a little push.
  • Adrenaline Rush: Basically a must-have on all ships except carriers. The lower your HP is, the faster you will fire your guns. Very useful for the late-game.
  • Expert Marksman: The turrets of the Slava are quite slow and even though the ship ends up having a fairly static gameplay, it is still nice to be able to catch on time opportunistic broadsides that present themselves.
  • High Alert: The ship will often attract the attention of HE spammers so a faster cooldown on the Damage Control Party is welcome. If you have one of the Znamensky brothers, it will be even better.
    Alternatively, if you have Nikolay Kuznetsov, you can use him and take Jack of all Trades for the faster cooldown on the Repair Party as well.
  • Superintendent: The ship has from the start less Repair Party charges than other battleships so Superintendent really is important on her.
  • Concealment Expert: The Slava has a good base concealment that, with a full concealment build can go down to 13.15 km spotting range by sea and 11.08 km spotting range by air. This concealment will allow her to disengage if she attracts too much focus (and with her reputation, she surely will) but also to take advantageous positions to punish broadside targets.
  • Fire Prevention: It’s a battleship, It burns like a battleship and a big one on top of that. You will, of course, want to mitigate the risks of having multiple fires raging on the ship.

Upgrades:

  • Icon_modernization_PCM030_MainWeapon_Mod_I.png Main Armaments Modification 1: There is literally nothing else worth taking in this slot. You want to keep your turrets working.
  • Wows_icon_modernization_PCM020_DamageControl_Mod_I.png Damage Control System Modification 1: Useful to mitigate the risk of being set on fire. The ship doesn’t risk losing her rudder or engine anyway unless it’s from a direct torpedo hit on one of them.
  • Wows_icon_modernization_PCM033_Guidance_Mod_I.png Aiming Systems Modification 1: This ship being all about her guns, let’s make sure that the said guns land as many shells as possible.
  • Wows_icon_modernization_PCM023_DamageControl_Mod_II.png Damage Control System Modification 2: I would personally recommend this upgrade since you won’t be moving much with her anyway and it will limit the damage from HE spammers.
  • Wows_icon_modernization_PCM027_ConcealmentMeasures_Mod_I.png Concealment System Modification 1: As I said before, she has a good concealment to begin and doesn’t really like to get shot at so you will prefer to be able to keep a low profile.
  • Wows_icon_modernization_PCM013_MainGun_Mod_III.png Main Battery Modification 3: The range of 24.6 km is, as you can guess, already more than enough while having a faster reload is always appreciated.

This review is now over and so is the great saga of the Slava balancing that gets an end as satisfying as the one of Mass Effect 3. No giveaway this time, go regrind lines and sealclub happily if you want that ship!

1 thought on “Final review: Soviet Tier X Reward ship Slava

  1. “9 406 mm guns in 3 triple turrets with a modern loading mechanism to ensure a faster rate of fire than other 406 mm guns.”
    I know this is perhaps being a bit dumb, but I have to say, that’s a slight bit ironic, given the rate of fire in-game. Maybe they’ll buff it at some point, though.

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