- Armed with seven (!) 130mm rifles, delivering a massive alpha strike potential per volley.
- All guns can rotate 360º, allowing for easier re-engagement of targets from one side to the other.
- Also armed with twelve (!) dorsally mounted (!!) torpedo tubes divided between four launchers.
- Fast reload time on her torpedoes of 47s per launcher.
- Her torpedoes provide some of the shortest reaction-time for her opponents with a mere 1.0km detection range. This gives targets about 6s to respond.
- Good concealment values for a ship of her length, with a 6.5km surface detection range while stock.
- She looks absolutely hilarious.
- Short ranged main battery with a reach of 9.2km
- Horrible turret traverse of 5.5º per second.
- Receives the 2.0km Soviet-destroyer stealth-tax to her surface detection range when she fires her main battery for a total penalty of +5.9km.
- Her torpedoes are short ranged with restricted forward fire angles.
- Pathetic AA armament and a big target for enemy aircraft — because she’s long.
- Enormous turning circle of 730m and slow rotation speed of 6º per second. Because long ship is long.
- Heavy reliance on a significant number of Captain Skills to make the ship competitive and enjoyable.
Okhotnik makes me think of what would happen if you asked a small group of six year old children to design a destroyer and they each tried to one-up each other.
“Yes, but MY destroyer is going to have FIVE guns and EIGHT torpedoes!”
This thing looks ridiculous. As a weapon system, Okhotnik looks as subtle as stuffing a brick into a sweat sock and swinging it around your head. It’s cumbersome, awkward and things get horribly stretched out. It’s also absolutely devastating when it lands a blow.
Lert’s joining me to show you how she compares directly to her competitors while I go over the nitty-gritty to explain how she can be used and abused.
Okhotnik has a very distinct (and low) silhouette. This latter trait plays very much to her advantage, making her difficult to shoot.
- Damage Control Party
- Smoke Generator
- Engine Boost
Module Upgrades: Three slots, standard destroyer options.
Premium Camouflage: Tier 2 to 5 Standard. This provides 30% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy.
- For your first slot, Magazine Modification 1 is your best choice. Your guns are fragile, though, so if being detonated doesn’t bother you, then taking Main Armaments Modification 1 is a reasonable alternative.
- In your second slot, you have a choice. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is best. This reduces your maximum dispersion by 7m at 11km… which isn’t a lot, but it is preferable to assist with your torpedo traverse. Alternatively, you can take Main Battery Modification 2 to increase your turret traverse but this comes at a minor loss to DPM.
- And for your third slot, take whatever because they’re all terrible.
Okhotnik naval rifles are the 130mm/55 B-7 and she gets a lot of them. This gun was first introduced to us last year with Krasny Krym, the modernized version of Svietlana. These are also found on Podvoisky, the new tier 5 Destroyer supplanting the Gnevny-class. They differ somewhat from the 130mm B-13s that are found on the higher tier Soviet destroyers. They have a slightly lower muzzle velocity and a worse penetrating shell. These do the same 2,500 AP and 1,900 HE damage with an 8% fire chance. Okhotnik is very short ranged for a tier 5 destroyer at 9.2km, which helps keep her power level in check.
Okhotnik trades away DPM for alpha strike. A single broadside of all seven rifles lands for 4,389 HE damage when they penetrate an unsaturated target. This is one third of a tier 5 destroyer’s health pool and amounts to a larger alpha strike per volley than the tier 7 Blyskawica. Landing hits like this made most of my opponents get all squirrely for some reason. They often elected to disengage rather than press any DPM advantage they had over me. Of course, missing with one volley is more tragic in Okhotnik than other destroyers and poor gunnery will punish you especially hard. Make those shots count or reap the consequences.
Some of the negative traits of Okhotnik’s guns will be very familiar to veterans of the Russian and Soviet Destroyer line. First of all, she has the same 2.0km “stealth tax” when firing her guns. Instead of receiving a nominal 3.9km surface detection penalty (gun calibre x 0.3km), Okhotnik gains 5.9km of surface detection range when shooting. This precludes her from ever being able to fire from stealth short of lobbing shells from smoke or behind an island. She also shares the horrible gun traverse rate of the Gnevny-class. It takes her almost 33s to traverse her guns 180º which is downright appalling. However, you might not notice it as much given Okhotnik’s handling, but more on that later. The good news is that Okhotnik compensates for this by having a 360º rotation on all of her guns.
Okhotnik’s torpedoes are almost as hilarious as her gun mounts. She has four triple launchers, mounted dorsally. She can dump a broadside of 12 torpedoes at a target at once. This is a feat that isn’t matched until the Shimakaze at tier 10. These “walls of skill” are an absolute nightmare for enemies to try to avoid and it’s not uncommon to see players freeze in the face of the approaching doom. The only thing that keeps this balanced is the horrible performance of the torpedoes.
Okhotnik’s fish are unique currently. They have a 13,667 maximum damage listing which isn’t bad for a tier 5 destroyer (especially not one that can spit out twelve of the little blighters). They’re very quick too, traveling at 62 knots with a 1.0km surface detection range, giving opponents a mere 6.1s worth of reaction time when their death approaches. Worse, these things can be veritably spammed with their 47s reload per launcher. With their respectable damage output, Okhotnik can keep tubes in reserve, launching only what’s needed and keeping others on hand for a follow up target. The only thing gives these things a modicum of balance (and only just) is their short range of 4.5km.
Her torpedoes are one of the most unbalanced features about Okhotnik, and if she were any faster they would be horribly overpowered. With the ability to get the ship’s surface detection range down to 5.7km with Concealment Expert, Okhotnik can sprint the last 1.2km she needs to dump her fish against a chosen target in as little as 13 seconds against a ship running a perpendicular course. This isn’t a lot of time to react to the ambush. The only fly in the ointment here is that Okhotnik doesn’t have very good forward torpedo arcs as her first three launchers are sandwiched in between the fore and after superstructure and funnels so it will require her to manoeuvre to swing out her weapons.
Expect to see a lot of spectacular suicide torpedo runs and close-range island ambushes in this boat paying big dividends.
Wall of skill deployed.
Okhotnik is an enormous destroyer, yet she has better concealment values than Gremyashchy, Gnevny, Podvoisky, Nicholas and T-22. Her enormity is in one dimension only, however, and that may explain why she gets such a generous surface detection range. Okhotnik sits very low in the water, with her raised forward bow section lower than that of the Kamikaze-class and her bridge being much lower still. Within her Matchmaking spread, from tiers 4 through 7, only the IJN Destroyers Isokaze, Minekaze, Kamikaze, Mutsuki and the tier 4 German V-170 have a better surface detection range. Short of being sniffed out by aircraft or tripping over one of these ships, Okhotnik is going to see her opponents before being detected in turn.
Okhotnik moored alongside a reference-Minekaze. You can very clearly see the difference in length and height between the two images.
AA Battery Calibers: 76.2mm / 7.62mm
AA Umbrella Ranges: 3.0km / 1.0km
AA DPS per Aura: 3 / 7
Okhotnik has a real dependence on Captain Skills to make her an enjoyable and effective destroyer. Arguably, most destroyers manage this level of competitiveness with 10 skill points — when they unlock Concealment Expert. This makes Okhotnik very much a late bloomer.
Priority Target (tier one)
Okhotnik cannot engage enemies without being seen herself, short of abusing island and smoke cover. These forms of concealment will not always be readily available, so it’s important to know when it’s safe to pull the trigger and when you should go gun-silent to preserve your hit points. Due to Okhotnik’s middling speed and manoeuvrability, dodging fire isn’t as viable as dropping off the radar and disappearing. Knowing when you can continue pulling the trigger safely and when you should probably disengage will help keep this ship in the game. This can also allow you to know when it’s safer to attempt a point blank torpedo drop.
Expert Marksman (tier two)
During play-testing, Okhotnik was shackled with the same awful turret traverse with which Gremyashchy was originally introduced. This 5.5º per second rotation didn’t feel as limiting for this destroyer though. The reason was simple enough — unlike Gremyashchy, Okhotnik could only turn the ship itself at 6º per second. So while she could out turn her turrets, it wasn’t to such a dramatic degree as the original Soviet Premium Destroyer.
So Okhotnik’s turret traverse doesn’t feel as punitive as Gremyashchy’s did while the ship is under manoeuvres. However, Okhotnik struggles to use her rudder to help bring her guns to bear on a new target. To this end, Expert Marksman is a very important skill to help her re-engage targets quickly.
Without this skill, Okhotnik is still playable though switching sides with her guns takes a very long time (as much as 33 seconds). This said, having a 360º rotation on her turrets will help some, at least with tracking a new target. Thus, this should be the last skill you pick up.
Last Stand (tier two)
You’re a destroyer, and one that cannot stealth-fire at targets. It’s safe to assume your steering and rudder will be knocked out regularly. Take this one on your first pass through the skill list.
Concealment Expert (tier four)
With Concealment Expert, Okhotnik gains the ability to spot other gunships before she herself is detected. Provided her turrets are properly aligned, this all but guarantees her to get off the first volley of shells. As Okhotnik focuses on alpha strike and not DPM with her guns, this can mean the difference between clinching an engagement with that first strike or being on the back foot every time she meets another destroyer.
Advanced Fire Training (tier four)
One of Okhotnik’s biggest flaws is the short range of her main battery. Her 9.2km stock range may seem like a nuisance at first, but it works considerably to the detriment of the ship when it comes to engaging capital ships. Advanced Fire Training opens Okhotnik’s range up to 11km and the importance of this range increase cannot be understated. Her guns, with their good ballistic qualities, are still very accurate to this range.
Okhotnik shares a low surface profile, similar to the German V-170. With almost no deck structures, hitting Okhotnik with main battery fire is a challenge. The more range you can open up between yourself and your targets, the safer Okhotnik becomes. While you can never remove the threat of return fire in Okhotnik, you can make it so annoying to shoot her that opponents elect to fire somewhere else.
So if you intend to use Okhotnik to abuse larger ships, this skill is almost a must. This should be acquired as soon as you have Concealment Expert.
Final Note on Captain Skills
If you’ve done the math, you’ll note that with taking only a single tier 3 skill, this adds up to 16pt Captain. The only real variety and choice for Okhotnik comes in with her tier 3 skills and there are a lot of good options there. I personally prefer taking Basic Fire Training as my primary skill at tier 3 and Demolition Expert as a follow up. Decent alternative skills include Survivability Expert and Superintendent.
- Priority Target
- Last Stand
- Basic Fire Training (or tier 3 skill of choice)
- Concealment Expert
- Advanced Fire Training
- Demolition Expert (or tier 3 skill of choice)
- Expert Marksman
Aircraft carriers should make taking this destroyer out a priority. However, they need to switch up the tools they use to do so. Torpedo bombers are very effective against this clumsy ship.
Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme
As far as destroyers go, Okhotnik is pretty forgiving but only with the right Captain Skill choices. Properly set up, she can hide from anything she can’t outfight and barring tripping over a Belfast or Atlanta, she can outfight anything from which she can’t hide. She’s always going to be detected when you engage enemy targets, so there’s no fussy stealth-firing calculations to make. You can blindly rush unwary capital ships and make their lives miserable with a suicide torp-wall of doom and they’re equally effective at deterring enemy destroyers from knife fighting. About the only bad trait about her for inexperienced or novice players is her horrible handling but don’t let that stop you.
But again, that’s contingent on having the right skills to optimize this destroyer’s strengths. Without the right setup, novice players may find this ship frustrating.
For veterans and skilled players, Okhotnik is going to be a little monster. The damage this ship can put out demands a lot of respect and her base concealment rating allows players to control the engagement. Her ability to deliver sudden and massive alpha strikes with her torpedoes and guns will put many inexperienced opponents on their back foot right from the word go and allow Okhotnik to bully with ease.
- Longship is long. It should come with Vikings.
- She doesn’t handle very well, but that didn’t bother me.
- Her torpeedus are amazing. She’s the perfect ship to dig out an enemy destroyers and cruisers hiding in smoke.
- Why is she so stealthy!?
As far as Soviet-bias goes, Okhotnik isn’t too bad — she’s only a little overpowered (like that’s a good thing). Her performance is gated behind a combination of skills so not every Okhotnik is going to be awesome. She isn’t unbalanced in the same manner as the Belfast. Her strengths are more well-rounded, with good guns, good torpedoes and good concealment without any gimmicks. This makes her strong without being dominating in a single arena.
Okhotnik up-tiers rather well, having little trouble facing off against tier 6 opponents as well as she might against tier 5. It’s only when the tier 7s appear, with higher velocity guns and ships like Belfast, Fiji and Atlanta, that she begins to feel a bit long in the tooth. Battleships also get faster and the maps are less claustrophobic making for fewer ambush-opportunities at close range. It’s a testament that Okhotnik is at least a little more balanced than Gremyashchy which scarcely notices when she’s up-tiered.
Okhotnik’s strengths really lie with her concealment / alpha strike ability. With this, I could engage even tier 7 Kiev-class destroyers and remain confident of winning. It’s not hard to land 6 or 7 shots when the engagement range begins at 6km and this initial 3,000 to 4,000 hammer blow into their hit points sets the tone for a winning battle. A second volley could often be delivered before the Kiev could bring all of her guns on target. It’s no wonder most of them would try to smoke up and reset the engagement at this stage. It was often wise to blow my own smoke at the same time and back off if the Kiev had spotters in the area keeping me lit. If not, there was no harm in dropping a wall of skill into their smoke screen. Easy money.
I had a lot of fun playing Okhotnik; she surprised me. I admit, I took one look at this derpy boat and thought I’d hate it but she won me over. Once I dropped my Gremyashchy Captain into her, she took me for a ride and I was grinning the whole time.
Okhotnik belongs up front in an aggressive stance. Use her excellent concealment values to spot for your team and screen them from attack.
Players are spoiled for choice where Russian premiums are concerned. Okhotnik competes directly with Leningrad (and for old, crusty veterans, Gremyashchy) for primacy among the Soviet Destroyers. She’s not as powerful as Gremyashchy, that’s for sure, but she will be less expensive than Leningrad which may immediately appeal to some consumers. Overall, I think Leningrad is the better boat for most of the reasons you’d buy a premium, but Okhotnik is definitely more fun (and stupid looking).
- For Random Battle Grinding
This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements.
Mouse: Well, maybe. She can do very well in random battles, earning you credits and medals galore. I found it an easy feat to get three or four kills per match, which made unleashing the Kraken not too much of a stretch. The problem is that she’s reliant upon having a Captain with the right skill combination to truly play efficiently. This precludes her use as a comfortable trainer for all but the last few skill points (and you’re completely out of luck if your skill choices don’t gel with Okhotnik’s needs) which sort of undermines the purpose of a premium ship. So your mileage will definitely vary. For me? I’d take her to farm achievements and Kraken medals.
- For Competitive Gaming
Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding.
Mouse: Her concealment value alone will make her a good choice for competitive environments, especially combined with her ability to deliver high alpha, opportunistic strikes with her guns. The only major downside is her lack of agility which makes her torpedo bait. She cannot compete with Gremyashchy (what can?) but for people looking to pad their win rates, Okhotnik is a good ship.
Lert: No. Too slow, too vulnerable to torpedo strikes, not agile enough. The only things she really has going for her is her stealth and initial alpha, which isn’t enough in a competitive environment.
- For Collectors
If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you.
Mouse: Ha! No. Okhotnik was never built in steel.
Lert: This is a paper ship with no actual history behind her. She looks amazing though. If you’re looking for historically significant ships, look elsewhere.
- For Fun Factor
Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play?
Mouse: Very yes. She’s a party boat.
Lert: Yes. Alpha strike is fun. Driving odd ducks is fun. Ships with interesting playstyles are fun. Crushing battleships as they round the headland is fun. Okhotnik is fun.