The latest tier 10 ship, the Russian BB Kremlin, is an absolute monster. She has been my primary ship for ranked this season and shy of my general screw up, has earned me a star or prevented me from losing one. In only 24 battles (yes it’s early) I’ve survived 13 with 16 victories and only 2 stars lost averaging ~112k damage a game. She is incredibly powerful at ranges shy of 15km and that’s where I try to keep her. So what makes the Kremlin such a powerful ship? Lets go over the facts.
Kremlin has excellent armor all around. While the bow and stern can be overmatched by the Yamato due to being 32mm, the sides are very well protected with even the upper belt being 150mm. This means plunging fire or shots at her while angled just ricochet. However, he citadel goes right to the outside of the ship and while protected by 430mm of armor, does not have the benefit of spaced armor and it sits well above the waterline. Long story short, do NOT show broadside to other battleships at medium to close range – it will hurt. Further, the turrets of the Kremlin are protected by sloped, 530mm plates with very little of the barbettes showing. This makes knocking out her turrets in a bow in brawl quite difficult – good for the Kremlin, bad for you. Finally, her torpedo protection is second only to the Yamato at 46%. Of course this is great when pushing in due to destroyer threats, but it can also be frustrating for CV’s when they only can manage 2-3k or less damage per torpedo hit on the bulge.
The bread and butter of this battleship is her main guns. The 457mm guns have a great traverse rate, great accuracy within 15km with decent dispersion out to its max range of 20.7km, which is usable and they hit hard. With 15,500 max damage to a citadel these guns can make quick work of a broadside cruiser or battleship. There have been multiple instances where I have achieved 60k+ salvos on other tier X BB’s. Further, her, HE shells have a great fire chance. Though they do not get the extra pen like the Germans and she is by no means a Conqueror, 48% is nothing to scoff at so don’t be afraid to switch to HE against a bow in battleship since you still can’t overmatch 32mm bows.
Kremlin’s secondaries are nothing special, while they will start fires and do damage to ships that get too close, they are not that of the G.K. or the Republique. However, here anti-air is something worth spec’ing towards. They make short work of tier 8 CV planes and let even tier 10 planes know they hurt. This of course, is of particular note in the current meta and state of the game with the number of CV’s now. Just remember to set your sectors accordingly.
Here are my captain skills and module selections, respectively.
My focus here is to move up and dig in close to an island and use my armor and guns as a great deterrent to the enemy. I have been able to do this with great success with my excellent turrent traverse, close range accuracy and increased survivability. I play this as a damage sponge and it does very well in this configuration at that. Like all battles though, knowing when and where to move into is key, otherwise you will get focused. This has worked really well for me, especially in ranked. Your results may vary, but it is very important to know which targets to shoot at and which to ignore – initially, as you will likely find yourself in a target rich environment.
As I mentioned previously, this ship plays best in close to medium range. Her armor will cause the enemy much frustration due to ricochets and shatters. Even HE has a hard time against this ship due to her 60mm deck armor, so while the dakka dakka from Haragumos and Worcesters will start fires and be otherwise annoying, their raw damage is relatively low compared to that done to the GK, Rep, or Conq. Angled and bow in towards the enemy works really well for the Kremlin and with the very fast turret traverse, so long as you pay attention, it will be hard for an enemy to get around without taking damage.
The Kremlin is a great ship and certainly powerful in the right situations, some might say even overpowered. However, she is not without her weakness such as her large and exposed citadel. This means that you cannot just turn broadside to the enemy and expect to not be punished like if you were in the GK. Further, due to her play style, if you prefer to not get dug in and tank damage for you team and would rather snipe from a distance, this ship is NOT for you. Sure you can get good salvos from beyond 15km, but those are few. Overall, if you build this ship similar to how I have – for tank and fast guns, and know how to pick the time and place of your close in engagements, she will perform.