Premium Ship Review: Oleg

Bogatyr in a sexy black dress.
Quick Summary:  A stock Bogatyr-class protected cruiser.
Patch and Date Written:  0.6.0 – January 25th, 2017
Closest in-Game Contemporary
Bogatyr, Tier 3 Russian Protected Cruiser
Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique

The Oleg is a stock Bogatyr-class.  Lert and I will go on at length about the difference between the ships, so I’ll keep it short here.  I was sorely tempted to compare her instead to the Aurora.  The Pallada-class is very similar in play style in World of Warships and short of an obvious difference in speed, it would be difficult to really set them apart in terms of performance.
  • The Oleg is very soft skinned leading to many over penetrating hits from battleship-caliber, armour piercing shells.
  • More hit points than the fully upgraded Bogatyr.
  • Fast for a protected cruiser at 24.0 knots.
  • Good HE performance, with 2,100 alpha strike per shell and 8% base fire chance.
  • Great handling, with a tighter turning circle than her sister ship at 450m.
  • Very easy to understand and with a very low skill floor.
  • Low DPM for a tier 3 cruiser with her 8-gun broadside and 9s reload.
  • Agonizingly slow turret rotation made all of the more noticeable by her small turning circle.  Guns will often slide off the target in a high speed turn.
  • Her top speed, while perfectly adequate when top tier is severely lacking when she faces tier 4 ships.
  • Short of the turrets, the entire ship has no more than 13mm of external armour plating. Much of it has 6mm. This makes her take high explosive penetrations from any size of shell that strikes her.
  • A small portion of the citadel is raised well over the waterline (found just beneath the two large lifeboats behind the last funnel). This portion has less sloping than the rest of the citadel.
  • Her AP shells are downright forgettable with poor penetration and requiring very short range engagements to be effective.
  • No anti-aircraft firepower whatsoever.
If you ascended the Russian cruiser line, you’ve already played the Oleg.  It’s disappointing to say, but there it is.  The Oleg is a stock Bogatyr with a few tweaks to her stat line.  They can be summarized by the following.  The Oleg:
  • Has more hit points.
  • Has a slightly smaller turning circle.
  • Has sexy black camouflage.

Good and we’re done.  Review over.  Goodnight everybody!

Huh?  What do you mean that’s not good enough!? Ugh!  Fine!
I’ve asked Lert to once again join me in this review to provide his views.  Lert has more experience in the Bogatyr than anyone else I know and he’s certain a better hand at it than I am.  He’ll even deliberately up-tier his cruiser to face bigger opponents like the good ol’ days.  Apparently baby seals aren’t enough to sate his appetite anymore.  I totally approve of this behaviour.
The Lertbox

Hello and welcome to another Lertbox. This time we’re discussing the russian tier 3 Bogatyr class cruiser Oleg. Is it worth your money? Is it worth being in this game at all?  For this Lertbox I will comparing her to Bogatyr, St Louis and Aurora. I feel these are very representative of the protected cruiser gameplay at the tier.

(He better make this review good cause I dunno how many times I can repeat myself in saying this is a stock Bogatyr and be expected to be entertaining!)

Doing the dance.  The Oleg cannot win by rate of fire alone.  Learn to WASD early and often with your cruisers.  It will serve you well.
No surprises here.  Low tier cruisers aren’t terribly complicated.

  • Damage Control Party

Module Upgrades: Two slots, standard cruiser 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.  The Oleg’s camouflage is pretty sexy looking.

Primary Battery:  Twelve 152mm rifles.  Eight guns are mounted in casemates along the flanks of the ships, four to each side.  The remaining four are divided into two, two-gun turrets on the bow and stern.
Secondary Battery:  Twelve 75mm rifles, with six down each side of the ship in casemates.
Let’s start with what was almost a deal breaker for me:  The Oleg has horrible gun handling.  It takes 30s to rotate her guns 180º.  This is so slow that in a turn, your guns will slide off your target every single time.  This is so slow that you’re unable to shift fire from one side of the ship to another quickly because it will take so long for the guns to acquire their target.  Yes, even the casemate guns bolted to the sides of the ship which can only face on side will take too long to rotate onto your target.  This is so slow that you’ll be using the rudder to line your guns up.  It’s that bad.  Expert Marksman, the tier 2 Captain Skill, is almost a must.

The Oleg has less main battery firepower than the Aurora despite having the same broadside of eight 152mm/45 Canet guns.   This disparity comes from a difference in rate of fire.  The Pallada-class cruisers reload in 8.6s while the Bogatyr-class cruisers reload in 9.0s.  This places the Oleg third from the bottom in terms of HE DPM among the tier 3 cruisers.

  • 140,000 – Bogatyr (B-Hull) 152mm
  • 126,667 – Bogatyr (B-Hull) 130mm with Basic Fire Training
  • 126,000 – St.Louis
  • 118,800 – Kolberg with Basic Fire Training
  • 117,209 – Aurora
  • 114,000 – Bogatyr (B-Hull) 130mm
  • 112,000 – Oleg
  • 108,000 – Kolberg
  •   96,000 – Tenryu
But let’s be clear here — she’s not that far behind the Bogatyr with 130mm before Captain Skills.  The 2,000 DPM between them is the difference of 1 extra hit from the Oleg’s 152mm rifles.  In the real world with shot dispersion, the Oleg’s damage is going to compare very closely with the Bogatyr until Basic Fire Training is added.  To this end, the Oleg won’t feel that far behind ships like the Aurora or an upgraded Kolberg.
The Oleg’s main battery is supplemented by twelve 75mm secondary guns.  However, like most low-tier vessels, her secondaries are hamstrung by painfully short range — in this case, a mere 2.5km.  Their small caliber isn’t too much of an issue against anything short of a Battleship.  While it’s possible to engage targets with these guns, it’s never going to end well unless you already have the upper hand by a significant margin.
Overall, the Oleg’s firepower is pretty average with nothing really spectacular about it.   She has only a modest a 10.8km range,  her AP performance is hamstrung by poor ballistics and she can’t out muscle any of her contemporaries in terms of raw damage.  This might be acceptable if the Oleg had other abilities to supplement her firepower but as you’ll see in subsequent sections, these advantages fail to materialize.  While her guns are completely capable of doing damage and performing, the Oleg does not win any recognition for what she brings to the table as a gunship.
Rivals:  Versus the Bogatyr

Against a bone stock Bogatyr you actually stand a chance in an Oleg. Similar range, similar broadside with the same guns, similar reload,  similar speed, same armor profile but more hit-points. It’s when the Bogatyr starts upgrading though that Oleg is left choking in the dust. The B hull gives Bogatyr a heavier broadside, the FCS gives the tech tree ship better range and the 130mm guns give her a better fire chance. Plus, if the Bogatyr player has the 130mm guns mounted and AFT researched, he can keep you at arm’s length without ever allowing you a chance to shoot back.

The best (and only) way to handle a Bogatyr is when the latter is distracted. Get your fire in, while he’s concentrating on other things. Try not to be the easy target, because he outguns and out-ranges you.

The Oleg, doing what she does best:  Providing supporting firepower into an engagement from the second line.  She doesn’t have the DPM, armour or hit point total to trade blows effectively.
Top Speed: 24.0 knots
Turning Radius: 450m
Rudder Shift Time: 7.1s
This is probably the best bit of news about this ship.  The Oleg is, for a tier 3 protected cruiser, both fast and maneuverable.  Her 24.0 knots isn’t a blistering top speed by any means, but it does give her longer legs than most of her contemporaries with the exception of the Tenryu and Caledon.  Her turning circle is also very tight at a mere 450m.  This is a marginal 10m improvement over the Bogatyr herself, though she loses out on rudder-shift time.  Still, she is very wiggly and this can be used to help dodge incoming fire and attack planes.
Her top speed really feels lacking when she’s facing tier 4 ships, though.  She’s easily outpaced by every other cruiser found at this tier and even some of the Battleships like the Ishizuchi and Myogi are outright faster.   Being kited is a real risk in this ship, especially if the Oleg is fool enough not to silence her guns and turn away to drop back into concealment.
A second drawback is that the Oleg WILL out turn her turrets.  Firing and maneuvering just isn’t possible as your guns will slide off their targets.  Even with Expert Marksman, it’s impossible to keep her guns tracking an enemy while she has her rudder hard over at full speed.
Hit Points: 24,100

Citadel Protection: Layered armour, with a 13mm outer hull and a sloped 70mm citadel deck.

Min Bow & Deck Armour: Between 6mm and 11mm.
 The Oleg is an experience and credits pinata in her matchmaking spread.  Hit her with anything and rewards leak out.  She can be penetrated almost everywhere even by the smallest caliber HE shells and her bows can be overmatched by even 88mm worth of AP fire. You’re simply not going to bounce a whole lot in this ship.  Though she has more hit points than the Bogatyr, it isn’t an appreciable gain over her sister ship, nor is it anywhere near enough to allow her to make up for the deficiencies in her DPM against vessels like the St.Louis.  The Oleg shares the raised citadel weakness of the Bogatyr.  There’s a small section behind the funnels, found underneath the large lifeboats mounted there where the citadel rides significantly higher than the waterline.
The only defense the Oleg has is to use terrain and her maneuverability to attempt to avoid fire.
Rivals:  Versus the St.Louis

On paper, Oleg looks ok against a stock St Louis. You have a heavier broadside, slightly more range and are a hair faster. But that’s where your advantages end. Even stock, a St Louis has more hit-points and better armor. When the American fighting lady is fully upgraded however, you’re in trouble. A heavier broadside, much more hit-points, better armor, similar range and only a little bit slower, she’ll outgun, out-tank and out-brawl you.

It helps a lot to know where to aim on a St Louis. While she has better armor, that only covers her machinery spaces. Her extremities and  superstructure are still soft, and that’s where you should put your HE. Other than that though, the best you can do is pray that the St Louis driver is a worse shot than you are. She will outlast you in a direct slugging match.

Concealment & Camouflage
Surface Detection Range:  10.3km
Air Detection Range:  5.7km
Minimum Surface Detection Range: 8.8km
Concealment Penalty while Firing: +4.56km (versus 10.8km maximum range)
The best that can be said for the Oleg is that at least her surface detection range doesn’t outstrip her guns.  It’s a very near thing, though, and something for players to be aware of.  In the claustrophobic maps found at tiers two through four, there’s not a whole lot of room to use range to hide, but there are a plethora of islands behind which cover can be found to break line of sight.  Make judicious use of these to keep your Oleg not-sunk and to control the engagement.
Anti-Aircraft Defense
You can find it by reaching down and grabbing your ankles.  It’s down there somewhere.  Just keep looking.
Rivals:  Versus the Aurora

Finally a comparison where Oleg comes out at least looking equal to her competitor. Where Aurora has slightly more range, she’s considerably slower. Where she turns better, she has less hit-points. The differences are small though, except for a 5 knot speed difference. Even the armor scheme is close to the same. With Oleg’s superior speed you might try to kite Aurora and rain down fire from range, but she can turn better to avoid your fire, and return fire from just outside our range. Conversely you might try closing the distance to knife fighting range and bringing your secondaries in, but you’re not walking out of that trade smelling of roses.

In a 1v1 duel between these two Russian premium tier 3 cruisers, it usually comes down to who is the better shot and who manages his damage control party better. Both ships are underwhelming compared to their direct rivals, but between the two of them I would still choose Oleg. Her 5 knot superior speed cannot be underestimated, it gives her an edge in flexibility that Aurora simply cannot match.

The Oleg is utterly reliant on friendly ships to shoot down aircraft.  With it’s good agility, it can be an annoying target for inexperienced carrier players, especially for torpedo bomber strikes.  But don’t get complacent.

Overall Impressions
Skill Floor
Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult
Skill Ceiling
Low / Moderate / High / Extreme

Game play doesn’t get much more simple than that found in the Oleg.  The only complexity to this ship is the choice of ammunition, the use of range, terrain and maneuver and the optimization found in the correct choices of Captain Skills.  This is one of the ship’s greatest strengths.  It’s also one of the ship’s greatest weaknesses.  There’s not going to be a whole lot that separates an experienced Oleg pilot and a great Oleg pilot.
The Lertbox

Welcome to the most superfluous ship in World of Warships. Yet another Russian premium ship, at a tier where one already exists, and offering a playstyle that is done better in the free tech tree ships. Oleg offers nothing that hasn’t already been done better before. She doesn’t really offer that great captain training, and did we really need another premium Russian cruiser?

Mouse’s Impressions:
  • Dirt simple game play — often devolving into simply trading damage.
  • There are a couple of ways to include sister ships in the game — this isn’t a very interesting way of doing it.
  • Not different enough from the Aurora to matter, IMO.
  • Her awful gun traverse was almost a deal breaker for me.  Expert Marksman is a must-have.

The Oleg has it pretty rough.  Her big sister Bogatyr is arguably one of the best tier 3 ships in the game.  I had high expectations for the Oleg as a Bogatyr-class premium.  She looks really sharp in her black and gold camouflage.  However her performance is admittedly lacking.  She’s not a bad ship, but she’s definitely not a great one either.  She’s just the sister ship of a vessel already available in the tech tree, accessible simply by not unlocking any improvements.  This is probably a big strike against her for some players, especially when she doesn’t offer anything new in terms of game play.

The Oleg doesn’t follow the example of the Missouri or Texas which are an improvements over the Iowa and New York respectively.  She also doesn’t have a gimmick in the way the Lo Yang incorporates a Hydroacoustic Search to the Benson.  She’s not even like the Shinonome which now offers a weapon configuration no longer available to the Fubuki.
I mean, if we thought the Prinz Eugen was pretty blah for being so similar to the Admiral Hipper, well at least the Prinz Eugen compared well to an upgraded Admiral Hipper.  And on top of that, she had a baked in bonus with her premium camouflage.  But the Oleg doesn’t even have that going for her.  And worse still, it’s not like there’s a drought of low-tier Russian protected cruiser premiums.  The Diana and Aurora are so similar in play style as to be almost comical.

  Taken in isolation?  Yeah, the Oleg is an okay-ish premium if you absolutely must have a low-tier cruiser to help train Captains.  But she’s not good and she’s not special.
 Would I Recommend?
No, I wouldn’t.

For a start, the Oleg isn’t that different from a stock Bogatyr — meaning if you really wanted to try this ship out, play a stock Bogatyr.  The differences are so minor as to be near trivial.  On top of that, there are comparable ships in and around that Matchmaking spread.  While she’s objectively better than the Aurora grace of her speed, that doesn’t make her a “good” ship.

  • For Random Battle Grinding

Mouse:  I did earn Confederate medals very easily in the Oleg.  But then again, I earn Confederate medals very easy in an Aurora, St.Louis or a Bogatyr so… yeah.  Nothing special there.  So overall?  Nope.

Lert:  No. She barely makes more than a tech tree ship, and she doesn’t offer that much in captain training. If you really need a captain trainer or credit grinder there are better options out there.

  • For Competitive Gaming

Mouse:  No, the Bogatyr is hands down better.  And free.

Lert:  Ha. You make good joke.

  • For Collectors

Mouse:  The Oleg is a well storied ship and for those interested in Imperial Russian Naval History, she’s a little gem.  Aside from that?  Meh.

Lert:  Maybe. Oleg’s combat history is actually quite extensive. She fought at Tsushima and survived, she fought in World War I and survived, finally meeting her end in combat in the Russian Revolution, being sunk by a Royal Navy torpedoboat. All that still doesn’t make her a good ship though.

  • For Fun Factor
Mouse:  Meh.  I love riding on a sleek, black vessel as much as the next girl but I didn’t get my jollies on the Oleg.
Lert:  No. There are tech tree ships that offer the same play style but are more fun to drive and flat-out better. Plus, they’re free.

Fire is a huge problem for low tier ships.  Proper use of your Damage Control Party is paramount to survival.
How to Equip your Oleg
Recommended Modules
As a low tier ship, the Oleg doesn’t have a whole lot of options to choose from.  Take Main Armaments Modification 1 in your first slot and back that up with Damage Control System Modification 1 in your second slot.

Recommended Consumables
There’s only one consumable here.  You’d be wise to upgrade to the premium version of the Damage Control Party.  Fires will be everywhere and the shorter reset timer can really help mitigate the damage here.

Recommended Captain Skills
The essential skills for the Oleg on your first pass through the tree are:
  • At tier one, Priority Target.  This will let you know when it’s absolutely imperative that you start wiggling your tush.  You should be going semi-evasive anyway to avoid torpedoes, but this is less of a concern at lower tiers.
  • Follow this up with Expert Marksman at tier two.  You’ll almost be able to keep your guns on target while turning.
  • At tier 3, Demolition Expert is probably your best choice as the rest of the skills are pretty lackluster for the Oleg.
  • And finally, at tier 4, Concealment Expert is your best choice to let you go gun silent and sneak away when things get scary.

Other useful skill include:  Preventative Maintenance (T1) and Last Stand (T2).  The Oleg loses her engines and steering gears frequently and each of these skills can help with that.  If you take Last Stand, you won’t necessarily need Preventative Maintenance, so make it an either-or choice.  High Alert and Adrenaline Rush are both good skills from Tier 2.  The former will reduce your reset timer on your Damage Control Party to as low as 54s if you’re using a premium consumable.  Adrenaline Rush will help accelerate your DPM as you take damage.  And you will take damage in almost every game.

Skip Tier 3 skills.  Vigilance would be the only other one worth while here.
None of the other Tier 4 skills are particularly useful for the Oleg though there’s two interesting choices at least.   Inertia Fuse for HE Shells is curious.  There isn’t enough 25mm armour at tiers 2, 3 and 4.  Most Battleships have 16mm of armour on their decks and extremities and your 152mm HE shells will handle that just fine.  However, the decks of all of the  IJN cruisers found at this tier are vulnerable if you take this skill, letting you land citadel hits against them. If this feels like a worthwhile investment for you, go for it.  It’s a lot of points to spend to help against one specific enemy.
 Radio Location may look appealing and you can certainly consider it but you won’t get much use out of it in low tier games unless you come across an Isokaze seal-clubbing division.

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