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Russian and Soviet (USSR) tech tree review / World of Warships guides / WoWS

Russian and Soviet (USSR) tech tree review / World of Warships guides / WoWS

By Denis Marasanov ☆ 30.07.2019

After the developers added a fully developed line of Battleships to the game late in spring 2019, the time for Soviet (USSR) tech tree review has come! Learn about the basic features and peculiarities of Soviet Destroyers, Cruisers, and Battleships in World of Warships!


Soviet Destroyers

Main features of USSR Destroyers:

  • Gunnery focused with great ballistics and short-range torpedoes
  • Large in size with long Rudder Shift Time
  • Great for destroying enemy Destroyers from mid-range
  • Great for setting enemy Battleships on fire from a distance
  • USSR Destroyers are not so good for beginners

In World of Warships, Soviet Destroyers are generally noted for their big size and hence poor concealment, good ballistics with slow rotating turrets and short-range torpedoes. In many aspects of play, Soviets are more of Small Light Cruisers, than Destroyers. Meaning that they are particularly good for supporting allied Destroyers that act as spotters. When exchanging fire with enemy Destroyers Soviets have a significant advantage at long distances, though lack DPS (damage per second) and turret rotation speed when fighting at smaller distances against gunnery Destroyers of other nations, most notably USN Destroyers.

Another good practice of using Soviet Destroyers is setting enemy Battleships on fire from a distance. Since Battleships generally lack accuracy, Soviet Destroyers can be used to distract the attention of enemy Battleships from allied forces.

The use of torpedoes on Soviet Destroyers is problematic because for the majority of Soviet ships the torpedo range is smaller than the surface detectability range. However, you can always count on newbie players on capital ships hanging about islands when playing on low-tier Destroyers. On higher tiers, the frequency of successful torpedo attacks reduces since the players become more cautious.

Destroyers to notice: a line to Khabarovsk with the tier X Destroyer Khabarovsk itself.

Notes on tier X Destroyer Khabarovsk: this top-tier ship is arguably the best Destroyer in World of Warships. Though it’s still more of a small light cruiser used to support allied Destroyers, setting enemy Battleships on fire and drawing fire upon itself.

Notes on tier X Destroyer Grozovoi: considering the fact that the class of Aircraft Carriers gains popularity, her AA-capabilities become more and more in demand.

Premium Soviet Destroyers: tier V Okotnik is both cheap and fun to play. Tier V Gremyashchy was great at the moment of World of Warships release, but its current qualities are questionable. Moreover, she was removed from sale since then. Tier VII Leningrad is great for getting fun and farming credits and experience, provided you love Soviet Destroyers in general. Tier IX Neustrashimy is a jack of all trades and unfortunately is poor both as a gunnery or torpedo focused warship.

Soviet Cruisers

Main features of USSR Cruisers:

  • “Third line” mid-tier Light Cruisers meant for setting enemy Battleships on fire from great distances, not too bad ballistics, short-range torpedoes
  • “Third line” high-tier Heavy Cruisers with great ballistics
  • Large in size, easy to hit and penetrate
  • USSR Cruisers are not so good for beginners

In World of Warships Soviet cruisers are represented by a light cruiser tech tree line and several premium cruisers, including one premium tier IX Large Heavy Cruiser Kronshtadt that was on sale for Free XP in 2018 – early 2019.

Soviet mid-tier light cruisers feature good ballistics, but that’s only in reference to their 6” (152 mm) caliber guns. It looks like the developers made them long-range gunners to counterbalance the size and fragility of Soviet Cruisers. Even taking into consideration the fact that in World of Warships Cruisers are supporters, Soviet Light Cruisers are more of “third line” ships, operating behind the lines of allied Battleships. Consequently, the Light Cruisers are played almost solely on HE shells; the use of AP shells can be rarely justified.

Soviet high-tier ships are considered Heavy Cruisers, specifically tier IX Dmitri Donskoi features 7” (180 mm) caliber guns, whereas tier X Moskva features 9” (220 mm) caliber guns. Thanks to good ballistics all Soviet Heavy Cruisers (including premium ships) are great in penetrating citadels, providing the enemy Cruiser is showing her broadside. Therefore combining AP and HE shells on Soviet Heavy Cruisers really pays off.

Though most Soviet Cruisers feature torpedo launchers, the torpedo range is only 4 km with the exception of premium tier VIII Light Cruiser Mikhail Kutuzov and the above mentioned Dmitri Donskoi that feature 8 km torpedoes. At first glance, it doesn’t seem much, but that’s obviously more than nothing. Unlike e.g. USN Cruisers you can always count on your torpedoes in close quarters unless you’re on Moskva or Kronshtadt that have no torpedo launchers for what-so-ever reasons.

Cruisers to notice: tier III Bogatyr is great for the annihilation of novice players. Tier VI Budyonny features a comfortable arrangement of gun turrets and can do damage without showing her broadside. Tier VIII Chapaev is the first linear Soviet Cruiser to have a Surveillance Radar consumable.

Notes on tier X Cruiser Moskva: thanks to its well-armored fore, Moskva is very tanky, though the gameplay is mostly about holding the position and hiding her broadside behind a nearby island. This tactic is effective, though the gameplay is recherché.

Premium Soviet Cruisers: tier III-V ships are basically generic low-tier cruisers. Some of them are worse than linear ships; some of them are on par. Tier VI Molotov is basically a linear tier V Kirov with turrets and guns taken from tier IX Dmitri Donskoi. As a result, the ship is fun but tends to overpenetrate much. Tier VI Admiral Makarov is basically a German Light Cruiser Nürnberg, so I personally recommend researching and buying this linear German ship for credits instead. Tier VII Lazo is adjusted for long-range artillery fire by using the Spotting Aircraft consumable and is not-so-good in close quarters. Tier VIII Mikhail Kutuzov is obviously overpowered, thanks to its Smoke Screen consumable, great Rudder Shift Time and long-range torpedoes. The reason why Mikhail Kutuzov has such unusual characteristics is that she first appeared in World of Warships long before the developers finalized the Soviet Light Cruiser tech tree line. Tier IX Kronshtadt is a great Large Heavy Cruiser with good ballistics and penetration and lower accuracy compared to USN Alaska and IJN Azuma. And tier X Stalingrad thanks to its better main battery guns and good armor protection is even better.

Soviet Battleships

Main features of USSR Battleships:

  • A bonus to accuracy at shorter ranges, making long range shell fire not very effective; rather short Firing Range
  • Unlike German Battleships, Soviets have no other bonuses for close quarter fights (like good Rate of Fire, epic Secondary Armament and Belt Armor, etc.)
  • In short, these are “glass gun” close quarter warships, an attempt to reconcile the contraries
  • USSR Battleships are not so good for beginners

This tech tree line is maybe the strangest in World of Warships. The concept behind the Soviet Battleships is that these ships are meant for close quarters, though they lack Rate of Fire, Secondary Armament, Torpedo Launchers, Belt Armor, Anti-Torpedo Protection, Concealment, and low- and mid-tier Battleships lack Turret Rotation Speed. So what makes them close quarters Battleships you ask? The answer is better main battery accuracy at short ranges and controversial Damage Control Party consumable, which has limited charges but lesser cooldown.

Does it work? Tell you what, though main battery hits are random, Soviet Battleships give epic moments and aggressive play influences a battle results a lot. What you need is to find the edge of aggressiveness and realize the full potential of Soviet main battery firepower. To give players a nudge towards close quarters play the developers even nerfed the Firing Range, so long-distance fire exchange on Soviet Battleships is almost impossible.

Just remember that Soviet Battleships lack all those things that make a Battleship good for close quarters in terms of protection. They utilize the concept of “glass guns” making flanking fire deathful.

Battleships to notice: tier IV Gangut, tier VI Izmail and tier VII Sinop are great thanks to great weight of fire and dispersion, though the Turret Rotation Speed is too uncomfortable. Tier VIII – X Battleships are great without any qualification.

Notes on tier X Kremlin: a great Battleship for killing enemy warships close-in. Just remember that Kremlin is a “glass gun”.

Premium Soviet Battleships: tier IV Imperator Nikolai I was long removed from sale because she was obviously overpowered at launch. Maybe she will return someday if the developers consider she's back in balance. The main battery of tier V Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has no fancy tuning for close quarters, so this ship is just a generic but effective Battleship with many guns and a great weight of fire. If you want to test the fabulous Soviet dispersion, that’s not the ships to consider, go for our next lot: tier VIII Lenin. That’s the ship you want!