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Destroyer Archive #3: VMF Grozovoi


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Today, I'll be covering a tech tree ship for the first time! Courtesy to @BOBTHEBALL for the suggestion and happy belated birthday (at the time of this post). As always, these are MY opinions on the ship, I'd love to see your feedback and viewpoints down below. As for now, 

Destroyer Archive #3: VMF Grozovoi

Historical Background

Project 35, which you may know as Udaloi, was considered obsolete after World War II. The Soviet Central Design Bureau took some inspiration on British and US destroyers, as well as experience gained in the aforementioned war to build a modern Udaloi class "large destroyer" with the latest technology. Based on the commission's conclusions, in the summer of 1945, the Main Naval Staff developed proposals for a 10-year military shipbuilding plan for 1946-1955. 

According to this plan, it was planned to build 132 “large destroyers” with three double-barreled 130-mm universal turret-type artillery mounts and 226 destroyers with two similar artillery mounts. Together with battleships , heavy and light cruisers and aircraft carriers, “large destroyers” were supposed to form the basis of the USSR Navy, designed to operate throughout the entire waters of the World Ocean. Grozovoi represents the sleek design of the modern, sexy post-war Soviet destroyer, known as Project 40N. You know what, forget I said that.

However, on September 27, 1945, a meeting was held in the Kremlin to consider a new ten-year shipbuilding program. I.V. Stalin, having read the words “large destroyers” in the draft program, immediately told the fleet leadership: " ...we can do without them. I would like to build as many destroyers as possible. » In response to urgent requests from the People's Commissar of the Navy. As a result, the project was shelved, but it influenced several other real projects in the navy, including Neustrashimy. 

(Thanks to Kremlin_Lover for the information)

First Impressions

Grozovoi stands at the top of the Soviet DD alternate branch. She has 3 twin 130mm mounts in an AXY layout, as well as two 533mm quintuple tubes mounted amidships. Here's a gentle reminder of what we could have gotten. Grozovoi as we now know her only became a thing in update 0.7.6 (she was released in 0.6.2).

 image.thumb.png.2ba45432a26df8f415f15b0ac5a797f4.pngimage.thumb.png.9ab5c4ee37d485db1060c821901e12ad.png

I really like this particular 130mm gun mount, I think it's really cute. Also, the goofy camo option has the trademark Soviet green-brown as the default rather than the alternate palette. 

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Grozovoi is a hybrid destroyer on paper, but a Soviet destroyer at heart. While she retains some open-water capabilities that the main line is known for, Grozovoi adds the potential to take on roles that a normal destroyer may be expected to undertake - contest caps and if you must, torpedo. 

Is she worth the grind? Let's find out. (I may do reviews of Udaloi and Ognevoi in the near future, too.)

"Soviet Gearing" - A deep dive

(Sorry, I'm struggling to think of a title here.)

Grozovoi is Soviet, and thus will be directly compared the most against her TX DD peers, Khabarovsk and Delny. Unlike these ships, Grozovoi can be played like a hybrid or even a torpedo DD if you feel like doing so (please dont), owing to her much better concealment and smaller size. However, she retains the ability to open-water, although admittedly not as good as her main line peers. Basically, you can think of her as your classic Soviet DD, but with more tactical freedom offered by her consumables and concealment. 

Compared to Delny, Grozovoi...

+ is stealthier (6.0km vs 7.4km)
+ has lower reload (4.2s vs 5s) and thus better DPM
+ has longer ranged (12km vs 10km) and harder hitting torpedoes (16.2k vs 15.1k)
+ has access to both smoke and heal, as well as DFAA 
+ has faster rudder shift (4.6s vs 4.9s)

- is slower (39.5kn vs 43.5kn)
- has a shorter range 
- has less effective HP (20.9k HP vs 22.7k HP, not forgetting that Delny has midsection armor and one more heal charge)


This looks real nice on paper. And it at least partially translates into gameplay experience. While you do lose out on the run-and-gun ability, you now have the ability to do normal DD things. This means your team will no longer scream at you for not cap-contesting as Khabarovsk when there's company nearby. However, there is some conflicting information in the change of Grozovoi's package compared to other Soviet DDs. 

Gunpower

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I did say that Grozovoi has better DPM than Delny, but that is like saying it's better than absolute trash. (Delny has the poorest DPM of all TX DDs bar Shimakaze.) Grozovoi has slightly below mediocre DPM on paper for a TX DD, though. Her HE DPM sits at 154k, a number similar to that of the inherently underpowered Ragnar. This is around 100k off the DPM king Marceau, and in fact Yueyang has slightly higher DPM on paper. 

As always, the numbers here don't tell the full story. Grozovoi, being Soviet, retains the very good ballistics of her cousins. This allows her to hit targets reliably at range...oh, it's routine for any Soviet destroyer at this point. 

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Let's put things into perspective. Bright orangey-red is Grozovoi. Here's the numbers at 10km. 

Grozovoi: 5.9s
Kleber: 6.1s
Regolo: 6.6s 
Z-52: 6.9s
Daring: 7.9s
Gearing: 8.8s (skull)

Here, have another graph. This time it's Grozovoi against all the proper gunboats at TX, regardless if they're smoke or run-and-gun. Grozovoi's the same colour here.
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The attentive reader will have noticed that Khabarovsk is missing. She actually has the flattest ballistics of any TX destroyer, it's very marginally better than Kleber on this graph but her low range means she appears as just a tiny line slightly below her, which you would probably not see. Elbing is also missing, because I forgot. 

This time, I won't take the raw numbers at any point. Kleber is the gold standard of DD ballistics, losing little time and keeping the flattest curve throughout. Next is Sherman and then Grozovoi, which shares her ballistics with cousin Delny. Ragnar and Tromp (which I forgot to put in) as well as Druid lag behind a little bit, then the field starts to spread out. It's not like Marceau or Smaland are known for their great ballistics, anyway. 

In any case, Grozovoi demonstrates exceptional ballistics on her guns, which allow her to comfortably hit back at range. So, it does feel better than what raw numbers suggest. It's highly applicable at any range and definitely makes the ship feel Soviet to play. 

Mass-produced Stalinium

Soviet DDs are known for being thunderchonkers. Their high HP pools, combined with their armor plating as well as access to repair party, give them reputations as nigh-on unkillable. Delny, in particular, lives up to the "Cockroach Gaming" grindset for being hard to hit and kill. Grozovoi inherents the repair party, though her HP pool isn't as impressive as some of her other gunboat friends. 

Her 20.9k HP pool is average for her tier as a whole (you guys are familiar with the lower end of the spectrum, 17.9k). However, it's definitely inferior to other dedicated gunboats. For instance, she is missing almost 6k HP off the almighty Alvaro de Bazan. The difference is not that much smaller for her Soviet and French competitors, at least more than what raw numbers would tell you. She's down just 1k from Marceau and Kleber, but both have French saturation. A similar gap exists between her and Khabarovsk/Delny, but both have one more heal and armor plating. 

She has 2 heals stock, which gives her some degree of longevity in the long run. Now, her HP pool isn't bad, it's above average for her tier all things considered. Compare to, say, Gearing or Z-52 her HP pool is actually real beefy and allows you to trade rather effectively. Against a dedicated gunboat, though, you may have much more HP to chew through. 

My Lada is stuck in the mud

Again Grozovoi half-inherits her Soviet cousins' genes. Khabarovsk and Delny are both blisteringly fast at TX and are some of the fastest destroyers in the game. Grozovoi loses a few knots, though her rudder shift is thankfully better. Her turning circle, however, is pure Soviet. 

Grozovoi moves at 39.5kn, the 8th highest at TX and slightly higher than Shimakaze. She is beaten out here by (in order) Marceau/Kleber, her Soviet friends, Gdansk, Regolo and the almighty Alvaro de Bazan. This is still great, mind you, and is immensely useful when open-water gunboating or repositioning. 

Her rudder shift is on the worse side but it's not gunboat-standard bad (unless you are Smaland or V2). At 4.6s, it's faster to respond than other dedicated gunboats, but still far inferior to the absolute units on the more torpedo-centric destroyers. 

Grozovoi's 720m turning circle is slightly below average for TX, but considering her lower top speed and better rudder compared to the worse offenders (ahem, Harugumo, Elbing) it's proportionally horrible. So she is still Soviet, after all. 

A bit of an odd spot, then. Not quite the open-water gunboat (she lacks the last degree of speed) nor the standard DD (her turning circle and rudder shift are still too poor). This isn't all bad, mind you. Like I said earlier, it gives you more tactical freedom to do what you want - she still retains fairly good characteristics for long-distance farming. She's not particularly good at either role, but she fills them fairly well. So use her dynamics as you see fit. 

Torpedo Power

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Why did WG buff the Grozovoi torps? They definitely didn't really need a 12km range, because that's actually really good for a ship that can open-water gunboat. Before you remind me that Smaland is a thing, those torp plushies don't deal any damage. These ones have decent characteristics across the board. Okay damage (16.2k) with passable speed (65kn) and reaction time (7.5s, which is actually not bad). Besides, unlike say, Sherman, they actually have alpha strike as it's two quintuples worth of torps. 

Of course it wasn't going to be all beds and roses. Grozovoi's torpedoes are shackled to a 129s long reload timer, which she shares with her cousins. This is about as bad as Shimakaze (131s) on a ship with 2/3 the salvo weight. However, like the absolute garbage torpedo reload on Marceau (142s on TRIPLES) this is to emphasise the torpedoes' roles as a secondary weapon. The guns will be used in most combat situations. That is not to say they're useless, though.

Grozovoi's longish reach, again, expands the actions you can take against enemy ships. So you can shoot out your torpedoes in hopes of setting that permaflood and get some extra damage in, as they are quite good in their own right, but held back by a long reload. Use them wisely and preferably in conjunction with the guns when you farm at range. Just so you know, my opinion wouldn't change if the range had stayed at 10km, it's occasionally useful regardless. And please, god, DON'T BUILD FOR THEM. Your guns cry out to you. 

Honey, I forgot the last charge

Grozovoi has one of the most varied consumable sets of any DD. She gets a repair, speed boost, smoke and DFAA in separate slots. The issue is, with the exception of DFAA, they all start with one less charge. This caused the discrepancy of HP I mentioned earlier against her main line cousins, who get 3 stock. However, unlike them, she has both heal and smoke. A fair trade-off, I guess. No other DD at TX has both heal and smoke except for Daring, and guess what, she gets two charges of heals too. Suck on that. 

The DFAA isn't terribly useful either. Grozovoi does not have the AA to repel attacks reliably. To an extent she suffers from having post-war AA syndrome - great AA mounts, but not enough of them. It's sufficient to shoot down fighters, but when the CV is out to remove you, you better pray, dodge and run. Maybe smoke, though you only have 3. Eh, you can open-water anyway. 

Take SI and be thankful. Having 3 heals max is a bummer though. Don't tell Daring. Or Huron. 

Peek-a-boo!

Khabarovsk is renowned for having the worst concealment of any destroyer in the game at 7.9km fully maxed out. Delny shares her concealment with Tashkent at 7.4km, which is less bad, but still bad.

Grozovoi has actually decent concealment at 6.0km, a value shared with Halland and Daring. A Soviet gunboat (a term I use with caution, but she is still one in my opinion) with decent concealment, you read that right. She will outdetect most dedicated gunboats in her tier, such as Druid (6.6km), Sherman (6.5km) and obviously Marceau (7.0km) and Kleber (7.8km maxed out). However, she cannot get the edge on torpedoboats or certain sneaky gunboats like Lushun and Vampire II. She outruns them all, anyway. Big deal. 

Remember the problems I said Grozovoi has earlier? Can you figure it out, or maybe I haven't laid out all the clues for you.

- Her guns favour long range engagement.
- She has decent concealment. 
- Her DPM isn't, like, amazing or anything. 

No? Alright, that's fine. I'm not sure if this is a real issue either. 

The Grozovoi Paradox 

Grozovoi is a bit like Alexander Nevsky. She wants to be a destroyer hunter and normal destroyer fused into a sleek package, just like how Nevsky is supposed to be a CA with CL rate of fire, or something like that (shush, let's pretend Des Moines was never a thing). She never truly does one thing well enough to get all their pros, while inheriting some of their cons in the process. A bit like how Hayate is the bastard child of Harugumo and Shimakaze, taking their meh or bad points into one 2 million FXP or whatever it's going for nowadays package. 

Grozovoi has decent concealment. But her guns do not want her to take an engagement at 6.0km. They prefer something above, like, 9km. She will lose in a duel against a Gearing assuming it pops up in her face at 5.9km, which it probably will. At that range her ballistics mean nothing and it's too close to dodge. She must open the range for an advantage, lest the weaknesses in her gunnery (lowish DPM) begin to show. Only at longer ranges does her ballistics shine through and allow for a situation where you can outdamage your enemies, or at least have a higher chance of doing so. It's why Soviet DDs can drop conceal - they prefer engagement at longer range. But Grozovoi offers better concealment and thus controls engagements better. Are you willing to capitalise on this even if it means shooting yourself in the foot, potentially?

Is this a problem? No. It's a challenge to play around, if you will. And you must keep this in mind if you build her for concealment like I do. Close range is not your forte (in most cases). Instead, bait the enemy into engaging you where it's favourable for you by opening the range. Is this effective? Maybe. Is it fun? No. You may still end up losing the trade. 

But you must remember that you are not either role, you fall into both categories of open-water gunboat and traditional DD. To critique that you cannot beat either in each specific role is to miss the point. You are not specialised like that. Grozovoi is able to switch playstyles based on what is demanded by the situation. That flexibility is what gives the ship its power, in my opinion. 

Verdict

So, do you want to grind for Grozovoi? Specifically, do you desire:

- MORE SOVIET GUNBOAT
- An alternative taste of the Soviet destroyer formula
- Gearing (or any hybrid, really) but I cannot aim past 10km 

I don't know if these are clear or accurate criteria, they probably don't make sense to you. Grozovoi is an odd duck, and all the better for it. It's annoying sometimes, but when you realise the at-odds nature of the ship and consciously work around it, you will have a better gameplay experience. And despite what I just said about the Grozovoi Paradox, I actually find her really fun. The conflicting nature of the ship can actually help it in how it is played, if you want to see it that way. The cost of having two playstyles in one is ultimately never really excelling in any one, but two distinct playstyles is two distinct playstyles. I recommend it, even if I have second thoughts about its integrity as a ship. It's very capable of winning games regardless and taught me a thing or two about...ahem, adapting and overcoming. 

Now imagine if she got radar instead of repair party, Gdansk would have come 5 years early. 

Taking care of my little destroyer

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Your default build is similar to the Soviet gunboat build, but you actually build for concealment. In my opinion, the concealment is useful for catching out or controlling engagements regardless, especially with a ship of your speed. Buff the guns as much as you reasonably can. Take SI as your first 3 point skill after SE, you will need it.

AFT gives you the extra range you need to aid dodging, as is the case with most gunboats with good ballistics. The last one point goes to GtG - this is more of a quality-of-life choice because the traverse isn't particularly slow, if you don't feel confident with your situational awareness you could take IFA, but learn to live without this and assume everyone will shoot at you. 

If you prefer to play Grozovoi up closer often like her concealment encourages, you may take BFT instead to remedy your lowish DPM, then spec another 2 point skill of your choice. None of them are particularly useful - you could opt for Consumable Enhancements or DE. Or you could just take both IFA and GtG.  

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Alternatively, if the Grozovoi paradox bothers you, drop the concealment and go for maximum DPM like you would on the main line. Grozovoi favours taking engagements starting from 6.6 or 7.4km rather than 6.0km - less distance for you to run to make yourself effective. Enemies may not take you up on that offer though. Or just don't close in within 10km of anything and click LMB for big damage number. 

How much you want to drop depends on you. If you do not feel confident having Delny concealment on a ship that is not as durable, go for concealment mod in slot 5. This is the jackass farm build though, Grozovoi can get away fine with this kind of loss in concealment, and a decrease in rudder shift is always welcome. 

Just keep in mind - you lose valuable ambush and engagement control ability over torpedoboats and dedicated gunboats. And you should probably take AFT here - I wouldn't swap it off to maximise farming potential.

If you like Grozovoi, she benefits a lot from the Engine Boost mod available for coal. Her Unique Upgrade is also a worthy investment for being a great upgrade to her main guns (at the cost of the torpedoes, but let's face it, that's not what you're here for). 

If it were a car 

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The 2017 Mclaren 570GT. Derived from the 570S, a fine supercar in its own right, then taking away some sportiness for refinement in the form of more cab space above the engine bay, as well as softer suspension and better sound insulation. The best of both worlds on paper...not bad in its own right, but odd. Sometimes not in a good way. Its replacement, the dedicated grand-tourer model, the 2022 Mclaren GT, does a much better impression of a laid-back Mclaren. 

Afterword

I put this out ahead of schedule, yippee! It's not like I have one, though. With this I'll be on hiatus for a little bit, do give me suggestions on what I can review and how I can improve in the meantime. Thanks for reading!

- custom

 

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Nicely written, I would like to point out on her power ratio as well, at 18.97 hp/ton she sits kinda in the middle of the pack of t10 DDs, but if compared towards Khaba (30.37) and Delny (34.67) she is absolutely outclassed in this section, she's also worse than her predecessor Udaloi. I can't provide accurate tested data on how she performs in an inferior way compared to Delny & Khaba in this area, but she is noticeably clumsy in gaining speed and regaining speed while turning. And this is what a low power ratio will cause on her performances. 

This might not be too much of an issue if you are shooting at a longer range while maintaining vigilance, however when farming happily in smoke, her reaction towards sudden torps will be inferior compare to peers. Those who had lower power ratio than her has other gimmicks assisting them, such as hydro (Forrest sherman, Druid & Daring), UK style smooth acceleration (Druid Daring & Vampire 2), or doesn't sit in smoke farming all day long (Ragnar & Lushun). So , there are a few peers that have similar issue with Grozovoi, where they likes to farm in smoke, have long & clumsy hull without gimmicks helping them to dodge blind torps, and those peers are Harugumo and Elbing, frequent victims of getting dev struck in smoke. Groz, from what I experience and saw, are victim of this as well.

I had a very miserable start in her due to me trying to be a team player, spotting in the first line and cap fights. She can't do that, I changed my playstyle and try to support DDs from behind, dueling enemy DDs at mid to long range upon spotting from divmates, this is where the stats kinda improves. Then again, after those games in her, I thought I might as well just play something else with even better firepower to support DDs from behind, like Regolo & Ragnar. And this is the time where she was left in port. 

A good boat nonetheless, but I might not recommend it to ppl with lesser DD experience/newbies due to the role conflict mentioned, and how captain point hungry she is . Srsly, two smokes without SI...

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Well, Groz strength above other DD is really it ability to do everything,

-Gunboat

-Cap contest

-Early and mid-game spotting

-Trading DD

-AA

Issue with thing like Delny is that you can only play objective when the flank or battle is decisively in your favour, Grozovoi can play strategically in a far more contested space

It can also trade with basically the best of gunboat DD in certain situation, you ahve smoke to break vision from ship like Marc/Kleb, the ballistic to outtrade Smaland, etc. Groz don't straight outgun a lot of gunboat DD, but it strength is that it has an OPTION for playing against these ship unlike other DD like for e.g. Lushun, which just get chased down by gunboat with superior speed too easily

Having repair mean it sustain itself far better, alongside having smoke to time gated protection based on conceal, also allow it to engage ship in certain situation that ship like Ragnar/Khaba/Delny can only dream of, like Ven or Nevsky off radar CD

Groz also have iirc the best T10 DD AA bar Halland, with default built in DFAA meaning that it can not be perma spotted by fighter and will be good against plane which ahve hard on for you relative to other DD

It is perfectly fine gunboat platform, once you break a certain speed of around 38kn BB is never going to really hit you past 10-11km, and this is not mentioning it smoke which it can use to continue pressure even under sustained fire, which non-smoke ship again cannot do

Groz strength other ship like Delny is it ability to transition from cap contest to exerting map pressure through gunboat in the span of 20s, it is incredibly modular and can do so many role albeit not well

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