Sooooo…. on the 6th of February, in my case, 2 days ago, Wargaming announced the new “branch” of ships that will follow the Pan-European Destroyers. It turns out that it’s absolutely not what I was expecting.
I was expecting anything from Italian destroyers to a Japanese line split but we are actually getting a new Russian sub-branch, the heavy cruisers.
So, long story short, what is happening?
Basically, Wargaming wants to improve the progression of the current line of Russian cruisers that is, let’s be honest, all over the place. At tier 4, we have 130 mm guns, then it jumps to 180 mm guns at tier 5, from tier VI to VIII, we have 152 mm guns, then 180 mm again at tier IX and finally 220 mm guns at tier X.
On top of that, people are jumping from the Dmitri Donskoi to the Moskva that are basically day and night in terms of gameplay and captain build.
This line split is bringing a total of 6 new ships, including a Premium light cruiser but at the same time leads to the “removal” of 2 others. Let’s see that a bit more in-depth.
The light cruiser branch
First, let’s talk about what is being removed.
Since the main line will be the light cruisers with, starting from tier V, calibers going from 152 mm to 180 mm, the Kirov and Moskva will be removed from it.
In the case of the Kirov, it will become a Premium ship and if you have her in your port at the moment of the split, you will basically get a free Tier V Premium cruiser. You should also get the Kotovsky that will replace her.
For Moskva, the scenario is pretty much the same. The ship will be removed from the tech tree and will become a coal ship. She will keep her Unique Upgrade and if you don’t already have her permanent camouflage, she will get one. FOR NOW, it is not planned to refund the 5 000 doubloons that you spent on it. Also, we don’t know yet if people will receive the new tier X as well.
So far, that’s all we know about the fate of these 2 ships.
Tier V Soviet Cruiser Kotovsky
The first addition to the light cruiser line is the Tier V cruiser Kotovsky.
So far, I do not know much about the design she is based on except that it was a 6 630 tons light cruiser design with 2 variants. One was carrying 4 x 2 152 mm guns and the other 6 180 mm guns.
Tier X Soviet Cruiser Alexander Nevsky
Next, we have the new Tier X light cruiser, the Alexander Nevsky and my God, this ship looks good!
The ship is based on the Project 84 of light cruiser from the Soviet Navy.
These ships were intended as AA cruisers and were equipped with 4 SM-48 dual-purpose twin turrets with 180 mm guns, 6 SM-52 dual-purpose twin turrets with 100 mm guns and finally, 6 quadruple 57mm ZiF-75 AA guns. The ship is also armed with 2 quintuple torpedo launchers, one on each side of the ship.
Her main battery has the same turrets as the secondary battery of the Borodino and thanks to that, we already now that, performance-wise, the guns are much better than on the Dmitri Donskoi with better shell ballistic. These are some nice railguns right here.
Just like Chapayev and Dmitri Donskoi, she will be equipped with Surveillance radar.
The heavy cruiser sub-branch
This is actually a rather small addition since it’s only 3 new ships. These ships will have the Russian Surveillance Radar, strong guns with good penetration on the AP as well as, FOR NOW (yes I’m writing that in big because it’s just the initial concept) a short armor threshold on the AP, leading to less overpenetration. At the same time, they will have a dispersion similar in it’s progression to the Russian battleships meaning that on long-range, it will be worse than other cruisers (similar to Kronshtadt) and on close-range, it will be better.
Tier VIII Soviet Cruiser Tallinn
The first ship of this sub-branch is actually a real ship even though it got a bit of a “what-if” treatment.
The Tallinn, initially called Lützow, was a German cruiser of the Admiral Hipper-class. The ship was purchased by the Soviet Union in February 1940 and was renamed Petropavlovsk in September 1940.
At the moment of her transfer, the ship was not yet completed and only had half of her 8 203 mm guns installed (a twin turret at the front and one at the rear). Due to poor cooperation between the Germans and the Soviets, by the time of Operation Barbarossa, the ship was nowhere near finished but she still took part in the defense of Leningrad.
In September 1941, she was heavily damaged by German artillery and was later sunk in April 1942. She was then refloated in September of the same year and after repairs, she was used in 1944 during the count-offensive to free Leningrad. It’s also at that point that she received her name “Tallinn”.
Tallinn was used as a floating barracks after the war and in 1953, was renamed again to Dniepr. She was scrapped at some point between this year and 1960.
In World of Warships, the Tallinn is more or less following the principle of “What if the ship had been completed and didn’t get interrupted by the German invasion?”. With that in mind, she is carrying 4 triple turrets with 180 mm guns. These are the same turrets as on the Kirov and Molotov.
Tier IX Soviet Cruiser Riga
At tier IX, we have the Riga that is based on an early stage of the development of the Project 82 of battlecruiser.
Started in 1941, the Project 82 was initially meant as a smaller version of the Kronshtadt-class battlecruiser. The ships would follow the philosophy of “Outgun what you can’t outrun and outrun what you can’t outgun” with an armament easily able to deal with enemy cruisers and a speed that would allow them to flee from battleships in general.
The project was reimagined in 1944 to become more of a successor to the Kronshtadt and in 1951, it would become what we know today as the Stalingrad-class of battlecruisers.
For Riga, the ship is representing the Project 82 as it was in 1943. She is armed with 3 triple turrets with 220 mm guns, possibly the same guns as Moskva but it remains to be seen.
Tier X Soviet Cruiser Petropavlovsk
Finally, at Tier X, we have the Petropavlovsk.
The ship has the same origin as the Riga but is representing the Project 82 as it was in 1949. She is also armed with 3 triple turrets with 220 mm guns and this time, there is no doubt about it, these are the Moskva guns and turrets.
I have to say though, I find this ship really ugly. Very long hull but at the same time short and narrow superstructure. I have some Izumo vibes right here.
A New Tier VIII Premium Cruiser
On the 7th of February, During the Russian stream, another ship was teased, the Ochakov.
As some of you might have noticed even though with that picture, it’s not easy to judge, the ship has the same hull as Smolensk. Now, before people instantly go crazy, let’s look at things in detail.
The Ochakov is based on a variant from the series of Small light cruiser designs that the Soviet Navy worked on during the 1950s. These ships were meant to provide AA cover for the larger ships like the Stalingrad-class or the Project 24 battleships (what we know as Kremlin).
While the Smolensk is the MLK-16×130 so 16 130 mm guns, the Ochakov is the MLK-8×152 so 8 152 mm guns. This is already way less scary because you will not have 16 shells raining on your ship every 4 seconds, removing a large part of why Smolensk is very annoying to deal with.
Also, we are talking about a tier VIII ship so, first, it will not have 30 mm plating to bounce battleship shells. Second, shells at tier VIII are slower in general than at tier X and also you don’t have AP shells with huge arming thresholds which means that there is fewer risks of overpenetration on that ship.
Finally, while we don’t have any stats yet, we know for sure that the ship doesn’t have a Smoke Generator. Logically, the ship will instead have Surveillance Radar since she is supposed to help with the introduction of the new ships that all have this consumable.
For now, that’s all we know about the upcoming new ships and about how the tech tree changes will be handled. Next week, we will get the early test stats of the ships so we can get a rough idea of what to expect.