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Some Vanguard Insights


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Still having fun with Vanguard after about 220 games.  It's a high skill ship, but with my skills set it has (at least for me) performed at or above average for a T8 BB.

It has some unique things that one must be cognizant of to do well.

It has a good heal package.  Not a super heal, but sort of a hybrid.  Although it has the 32mm bow, it doesn't get any boost on the deck...so that is a vulnerability when facing higher tier ships.  The good heal plus good conceal plus the vulnerability...makes this a mid range BB.

In additon to the better heal, they also come FASTER than other T8 BBs I play.  More heal faster.

Strategy is to be close enough to do the job, but far enough not to get destroyed or melted before your heals run out (up to 6 with Cunningham; 90K plus with flag).  The trick is finding that position...and it's very different when top tier vs bottom tier.

Angling and movement is life in this BB.  So... you're either angling on the attack...more often when top tier...or angling on the kite (more often when bottom tier).  It does very well when bottom tier when kiting.

I have noticed that many players do not understand this ship, particularly those who aren't playing it. I occassional get complaints about my positioning.  Vanguard is NOT a Bismarck.  It's not a brawler.  It does not have staying power up front..it dies quickly when focused short range.  It is a mid range attrition ship that has to protect from any bruisers than can land a broadside, and be able to survive fire breathers by going quiet and healing.  And when you win the mid range battle, you're sometimes alone.  Someone looks at the minimap and wonders what you're doing.  My reply..."winning".  So...if you play this ship well, expect to get criticized by those who don't understand how it plays.

The swithch from AP to HE is important.  I'm mostly AP top tier and mostly HE bottom tier...but there are exceptions.

As a game-long attrition ship, it seems Random is the place to be.  I can't see it doing well (in a relative sense) in any other mode.  It benefits from numbers (on both sides).  Ranked has too few ships and there are better solutions.  Co-op is pretty much a brawl fest; again, there are better solutions.   [Anecdotally, Tiger 59 is in a similiar situation - thrives on numbers].  Interesting, the two REAL post WWII UK ships both fit this pattern (more fleet shps than solo ships).

I've potated a few games.  And have made strategic and tactical mistakes along the way (lessons learned).  But all said, once you get the feel for it.  Feel for how to play it.  It does well.  I'm often in the top three regardless of tier.  [But you will occassionally find me mid pack or worse!]

It's a nice break from my Bismarck.  Two T8 BBs with very different play styles. So if variety is your game, and you are familiar with the mid range BB meta, Vanguard might be a ship for you.  I just have to remind myself of which ship I'm playing.  Can't run a Vanguard like a Bismarck and you can't play a Bismarck like a Vanguard.  Well, you can.  You just won't do as well.

Note on the first AA Captain's skill: This skill reduces expendable cooldown time when AA is active. In the world of subs and air strikes, this puts a lot more aircraft in the air.  Vanguard has 6 km AA and therefore will be shooting at a lot of these airstrikes as they fly around.  This shortens the already short cooldown of repair party, making an already Vanguard positive even more positive.  In fact, I often wonder if those who launch sub air strikes to initiate AA realize they are HELPING me heal!!! 

Another point on the long-game attrition ship strategy is how this plays into Cunningham.  The longer you stay alive, the more chance you will have to get the second kill that triggers the extra repair party. This dovetails nicely with the fact that the longer you survive the more likely you'll need it.  I've kited several ships that mano-mano can beat me, but in the kite with angling, faster heal (more heal), and my extra heal...I win.    

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