Quick Summary: The Leningrad is one of the fastest destroyers in the game; she’s even faster than the Kiev. Her gun DPM is on the low side with slow turning turrets and bad fire angles but she makes up for this with a good, medium range torpedo armament. Finally, she has good stealth ratings — a rarity for late-tier Soviet destroyers.
Cost: Undisclosed at the time of this review.
Patch & Date Written: 0.5.11, September 26th & 27th, 2016.
Large hit point pool of 15,200hp.
Armed with five Soviet 130mm naval guns with great ballistics.
Powerful AP shell, quite capable of landing citadels on cruisers at close range with 2,500 alpha strike.
With the proper Captain Skills and camouflage, she’s able to stealth fire her guns with a 1.39km concealment window.
Excellent torpedoes with an 8km range at 60 knots, allowing her to stealth fire while stock.
Ridiculous top speed of 43.0 knots. With a signal and engine boost, this caps out at 48.7 knots!
With her high top speed, she can lay down more smoke clouds per consumable than IJN Destroyers.
Anemic High Explosive shell damage of 1,600hp and lowest HE DPM of the Tier 7 Gunships.
Deck elements restrict the fields of fire on her number 3, 4 and 5 turrets.
Slow turret traverse at 6.5’/s.
Long torpedo reload of 92s.
Enormous turning circle for a Destroyer of 690m.
Smoke clouds have shorter duration than USN or British ships.
Gun sounds are from the dual-gun turrets of the later Soviet DDs rather than that of a single barreled turret. Nitpicky, I know, but it annoyed the heck out of me.
The Leningrad is a gorgeous model with lots of details cluttering the deck. Unfortunately, this clutter (namely in the form of 76mm AA-guns) gets in the way of your gun angles.
I was delighted to be handed a premium destroyer to review. I was even happier to see that it was Soviet. The Russians have been hurting for a premium destroyer for like … ever. The IJN have had the Fujin, Kamikaze R & Kamikaze along with the Tachibana. The Americans have the Sims and Smith. Even the British have the Campbeltown. While I would like to see a German destroyer trainer at some point, I don’t think anyone could argue that the Russo-Soviet tech tree has been in need for one for quite some time now. Whatever plans that Wargaming may have had for filling this gap with the Gremyashchy had to be shelved due to her overperformance.
Of course the question becomes: Is this another Gremyashchy?
There is nothing special at all about the Leningrad’s module, consumable and camouflage options.
Damage Control Party
Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard Soviet Destroyer options. Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ Standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy.
Primary Battery: Five 130mm guns mounted between five turrets. Two superfiring forward, two superfiring rear with the fifth gun rearward facing between the bridge and forward funnel. They have a range of 11.6km.
Torpedoes: 53-39 mod 2 torpedoes in 2×4 dorsal launchers
The Leningrad is a clumsy gunship. She has slow turret traverse with a lot of deck clutter restricting her fields of fire. The two combined can lead to some frustration with the lay of her rifles, making it difficult to track targets and discouraging you from touching your rudder at all once you’ve got an enemy in your sights. Any veteran destroyer player knows this is dangerous and not really practical — moving on a predictable course is as reckless for destroyers as it is for other ships. You will often find you’re firing with as little as one gun and struggling to bring the others to bare. She can fire a maximum of two guns forward and all of one directly to the rear. It’s only when giving your broadside that you can manage all five (with better rearward arcs than forward). This can make knife fights with enemy DDs especially dangerous and the Leningrad feels vulnerable in these situations.
The HE DPM disparity between the Leningrad and the other tier 7 gunships is telling, even before you factor in the problems with gun handling.
135,000dps – Mahan B-Hull
130,909dps – Sims
115,200dps – Kiev
109,846dps – Blyskawica
96,000dps – Leningrad
63,000dps – Hatsuharu A-Hull
Fortunately, the Leningrad is a rather stealthy ship — at least for a Soviet Destroyer. Even with the 2.0km concealment penalty found on the Soviet 130mm guns, the Leningrad is fully capable of firing from stealth with a properly trained Captain. With Concealment Expert, she can stealth fire at targets from a range 12.5km. This unfortunately predicates you acquiring Advanced Fire Training to extend her reach out to 13.9km to take advantage of this as she doesn’t have the reach while stock. To compensate, the Leningrad can fire her torpedo armament from stealth right out of the gates even without Captain Skills.
The Leningrad has modified version of the 59-39 torpedo with traits to make any Soviet captain smile. They have an 8.0km range with a 60 knot top speed. They hit for 15,100 damage each — the same as the stock Kiev torpedoes . With her pair of quad launchers this is up to 60,400 damage per salvo which is impressive. While this 8.0km is nice, it’s not perfect by any means. This is still on the short side. Making attack runs places the Leningrad in harm’s way. She’s likely to be spotted not only by spotter aircraft and screening destroyers but also radar-equipped cruisers. Still, if you can run the gauntlet, you can score some nice damage on the Red’s fatties.
The Leningrad has a good bit of versatility, both with her guns and with her torpedoes — at least in so far as picking on capital ships. You’ll struggle a bit more against destroyers in knife fights, so she can’t do it all.
Poor gun handling coupled with lots of deck clutter makes gunnery kind of uncomfortable, especially while under maneuvers. It’s really hard to bring all of your guns to bare.
Really hurting on DPM for a gunship — even worse than the Blyskawica. These two traits make her really bad at knife fighting other destroyers. Be careful about being spotted early.
Her good stealth rating means that with a properly specialized 15pt Captain, she can fire from stealth in open water.
Even with a novice Captain, she can fire her torpedoes from stealth. Just be careful of their shortish range.
The Leningrad shares a lot in common with the Polish destroyer, Blyskawica, not the least of which is the ability to fire medium-range torpedoes from concealment. The Polish ship edges the Leningrad out on gunnery performance while the Soviet destroyer has a superior torpedo armament. They trade many traits this way — closely comparable but different. The Blyskawica has more hit points. The Leningrad is faster. The Blyskawica turns better. The Leningrad is more stealthy. And so on.
Top Speed: 43.0 knots Turning Radius: 690m Rudder Shift: 3.7s
Rocket butt. That’s what this thing is.
The Leningrad is one of the fastest ships in the game. At her tier, nothing can touch her. She has a half knot speed advantage over the Kiev while maintaining the same level of “agility”. All of this speed comes at the cost of an enormous turning circle for a destroyer. While not as bad as some of the higher tier Soviet DDs, her 690m turning circle is pretty terrible. Thankfully she answers her rudder rather quickly. It should be noted that even with a large turning radius, the Leningrad is still fully capable of out turning her turrets without modifications and/or Captain Skills.
Slowest Destroyer Turret Rotations in the Game:
36.0s – Gremyashchy
36.0s – Gnevny (Slowest VMF)
30.0s – Kagero (Slowest IJN)
25.7s – Hatsuharu
22.7s – Leningrad
18.6s – Kiev
18.0s – Blyskawica
18.0s – Clemson (Slowest USN)
12.0s – Mahan
5.3s – Sims
This list should really put into perspective how difficult it is to make evasive maneuvers in the Leningrad while returning fire. Not only that, but you must keep her gun arcs in mind too. The Leningrad can only fire a single gun towards her rear quarter because of the deck mounted 76mm turret on her stern which obstructs her #5 gun and the funnels which block her #3. While evasion is important, remember that dead targets can’t shoot at you. Compromise between evasion and putting shells down range.
Durability Hit Points: 15,200 Maximum Protection: Up to 16mm.
The Leningrad has a healthy stock of hit points, coming in just behind the Blyskawica at tier 7 as the highest total on any of the Destroyers. This gives much needed durability, particularly when being engaged by other enemy DDs. Otherwise, expect the same sort of fragility as other destroyers. Expect to lose weapon mounts and modules constantly while under fire. Stock up on Juliet Charlie signals or install Magazine Modification 1 to mitigate unwanted detonations.
Concealment & Camouflage
Surface Detection Range: 7.6km
Air Detection Range: 4.3 km
Minimum Surface Detection Range: 6.63km
Concealment Penalty while Firing: +5.9km (vs 13.92km gun range)
The Leningrad sits on the cusp of having good concealment. When I first looked at the Leningrad, I got excited to see such a nice concealment rating on her — it was quite unexpected for a Soviet destroyer. That is until I really started looking at it. Here’s how she ranks up to the concealment values (without camouflage) of the other tier 7 destroyers
6.7km – Hatsuharu
7.6km – Sims
7.6km – Leningrad
7.7km – Blyskawica
7.9km – Mahan
9.0km – Kiev
The Leningrad doesn’t look too bad when you place her in that line up, right? However, the tier 7 destroyers have some of the worst camouflage ratings in the game, tier for tier. Only the Hatsuharu has a camouflage rating that’s anywhere near passable. These ships all regularly face tier 8+ destroyers with a 10% reduction to their surface detection rating. Plug this in and they’re running into the likes of the Lo Yang at 6.6km surface detection range, or the Fubuki with 6.3km, and that’s omitting a further reduction from Concealment Modification 1. It only gets worse if they have a 15pt Captain and you don’t.
The excess of a 7km surface detection range on the Leningrad isn’t bad. It’s on par with or better than the other gunships with which she competes. For a Soviet destroyer short of the Gremyashchy, it’s very good. You can fire your torpedoes from stealth. With an experienced Captain, you gain the ability to do the same with your guns too.
A special mention should be made towards her Smoke Generators. Without going into too much detail, high speed destroyers can put out more “puffs” of smoke than slower ones. This allows the Leningrad to put out a maximum of ten clouds of smoke if they’re moving flat out. Comparable IJN destroyers can only lay out seven. While this smoke doesn’t last as long as the USN equivalents (by a long shot), this can provide an enormous blanket of concealment for your team if used correctly.
This Bayern barely managed to claw its way out of its own deployment zone when it came under torpedo attack from an unspotted Leningrad. Without a proper screen of destroyers or aircraft, the Leningrad can and will make early stealth-strikes against your team’s capital ships. She’s able to make up to 48 knots to get into a position and launch pre-emptive attack runs.
Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 76mm / 37mm / 12.7mm AA Umbrella Ranges: 3.0km / 3.5km / 1.2km AA DPS per Aura: 7 / 26 / 14
The ranges might look a little backwards on her AA mounts, but trust me — I double checked them. Those 76mm guns are a real pain on the Leningrad. Not only do they provide only a paltry level of DPS, they’re also the gun mounts that obscure the lines of fire of your #4 and #5 turrets. They don’t even have the decency to provide some secondary firepower. The nerve! Overall, her AA looks decent for a destroyer, but it’s nothing really to write home about. It takes forever to shoot down a same-tier aircraft. Though maybe that’s noteworthy in of itself. She can shoot down enemy aircraft, even if it does take a long time. Unlike the USN Destroyers, you can’t pad your numbers with a Defensive Fire consumable, so you’re unable to accelerate it.
You’ll be leaving the Leningrad’s AA off most of the time and when you do have to turn it on, it won’t hit hard enough to drive off enemy planes. You really need to watch out for aircraft in the Leningrad. They’re one of your few hard-counters.
In higher tiered games, aircraft carriers become increasingly important for locking down enemy destroyers. The Leningrad is no exception, with it’s excellent ability to stealth fire. Carriers should endeavor not only to keep her lit, but make attack runs on the Soviet destroyer. Her large turning circle makes her about as agile as a light cruiser — so don’t be shy of trying to land torpedo hits. Don’t worry, her flak looks more frightening than it is.
The Leningrad isn’t going to be an easy ship to love — not if you don’t have a 15pt Captain to place in her right from the start. Concealment Expert makes or breaks this ship. While she can launch her torpedoes from stealth even with a novice Captain, it’s not easy with only a 600m window to do it from. She’s easily foiled by enemy destroyers. She doesn’t duel with them well. Enemy aircraft, particularly torpedo planes, are a real danger to her if you’re not careful. And let’s not forget her awful gun handling, which can be an insurmountable challenge for many players.
Once you have your ducks in a row and she’s properly equipped, the Leningrad is a nasty little boat. She has the potential, once the screening elements of the enemy fleet are neutralized, to farm an absolute truckload of damage. Your skill in this ship will dictate if you can handle the one-off encounters with enemy gunships, aircraft and radar equipped cruisers to help create your own opportunities to excel.
Having Concealment Expert, a 15pt Captain Skill, makes playing this ship so much more fun.
The Leningrad has a well balanced mix of gunnery and torpedo strengths. While neither are amazing in of themselves, combined they give her flexibility — something that other destroyers cannot readily boast.
Her turret handling really is awful. Ugh, that rotation speed. But UGH, that deck clutter. “Why won’t that gun fire!? Oh… right. It’s those darned 76mm guns turrets again.” Chasing or being chased in the Leningrad is not a fun experience with so few guns with which to shoot.
The sound mismatch of two shots going off from the Leningrad’s single barrels really, really bugs me. Apparently I’ve been using sound feedback all this time to count how many of my guns have fired rather than count shells. So I’ll think I’ve fired four shells but instead only two are aloft.
Without enemy destroyers or carriers to keep her in check, the Leningrad is one monster of a ship. No one can catch her. And she can fire from stealth with all of her weapons with a well trained captain. This is a recipe for disaster for game balance.
Boy is she fast. She’s faster than an elf dancing on a mailbox.
My first impression of the Leningrad when it dropped into my harbour for testing was: “Wow, this thing looks overpowered.” It looked like a Kiev with more hit points, better camouflage and better torpedoes. This put a lump in my throat as I feared the coming cries of Soviet-bias throughout the various corners of the internet. It’s not fun reviewing overpowered ships. It requires a lot more work to ensure that I’m reporting things correctly and how they influence the meta.
I find it especially ironic that ships like the Kharbarovsk are being nerfed and then a premium ship is released that mirrors their old performance. There are three balance checks which keep the Leningrad in line — destroyers, carriers and her dependence on a highly trained Captain to excel. If they’re not present, then there’s nothing that keeps this ship from over performing. She’s too fast to be caught. And she won’t be seen unless she makes a mistake. The Leningrad can fire upon capital ships with impunity so long as she maintains a 12.5km range for her guns and a 6.6km range for her torpedoes.
Now this sounds rather damning (or it may have some players wanting to buy her immediately), but let’s keep this in perspective. There’s nothing the Leningrad can do that the Blyskawica doesn’t already do herself. The Blyskawica has slightly better guns and slightly worse torpedoes. She has more HP and agility but less speed than the Leningrad. If you consider the Blyskawica OP, then the Leningrad is more assuredly overpowered too. If you find the Blyskawica to be a balanced ship, then so too is the Leningrad. I personally feel that the Blyskawica is an excellent destroyer — maybe even a little too good. I feel the same about the Leningrad.
But, man, is her gunnery uncomfortable.
Would I Recommend?
The Leningrad will not convert someone who loathes destroyer game play. Let’s get that out of the way right from the start. She’s very much a Soviet destroyer at her core style. She’s fast. She doesn’t handle well. She’s got some great guns. It should be noted that she really only comes into her own with a 15pt Captain at the helm — the same for many tier 7 destroyers. Without that? It’s a bit of rough sailing. And some people will just abhor her for that slow turret rotation.
ForRandom Battle Grinding:
Eh? There’s a fun bit of duality here. If you have a 15pt Captain, the Leningrad will farm experience credits like a champ. If you don’t, you’ve got quite a bit more work ahead of you to make her compete. This makes her a bit of an odd training ship, what with needing a good Captain to facilitate getting good results.
For Competitive Gaming:
Yes, but with a caveat. She’s going to struggle to win destroyer duels. But that’s not why you take her. She can do the spotting for your team if you don’t have a carrier. And unlike Soviet destroyers, she’s stealthy enough to get away with it, being able to light most same-tier enemy destroyers before she’s seen in return. So not only are you getting to cap points first, you’re going to spot the enemies coming to stop you before they get there.
Historically, the Leningrad-class didn’t have an auspicious career. Still, she was built in steel so there’s that going for her.
For Fun Factor:
Well, I had fun in her. But if you dislike sloppy turret rotation and large turning circles, you may want to keep away from this one.
Did I mention that planes are the bane of the Leningrad? I think I did. Well, let me say it again — planes wreck the Leningrad. Keep her lit and she loses a lot of what makes her great.
Outfitting your Leningrad
You should be reaching for a fairly standard selection of modules here for your Leningrad.
For your first slot, I cannot recommend Magazine Modification 1 enough to destroyer Captains. This will reduce the amount of times you get detonated significantly (by 70%!). Even if you were being detonated as much as 1 game in 30, this would reduce this down to 1 game in 100. I’m of the firm opinion that if you get detonated in a destroyer and you haven’t taken this module, it’s your own darned fault. I don’t want to hear about any complaints.
For those that like to live dangerously, or for those trying to farm more Juliet Charlie signals for the next season of Ranked Battles, then by all means: equip Main Armaments modification 1 instead. Keep in mind that unlike other high tier Soviet destroyers, the Leningrad’s guns are each mounted in their own turret. This makes having a turret knocked out a lot less crippling than it would be for an Ognevoi, Kiev or Kharbarovsk, for example.
For your second slot, you’ve actually got a choice. While Aiming Systems Modification 1 looks like the no-brainer, do consider grabbing Main Battery Modification 2. This will hurt your DPM (dropping it from 96,000 to 91,200) but it will add some much improved functionality to your slow turret traverse. Consider it an alternative if you can’t pick up Expert Marksman as a Captain Skill.
At your third slot, take either Steering Gears Modification 1 or Propulsion Modification 1. Pick whichever one you loathe having busted on you most (I go for Steering Gears, myself). Note that if you don’t have the Captain Skill Last Stand, then Propulsion Modification 1 is the best choice.
And lastly, take Propulsion Modification 2. This gives you an instant jump up to a 5 knot speed from a standstill which is incredibly handy if you’re the type to sit in your smoke (and you’ll want to occasionally sit in smoke in the Leningrad — especially while training up Concealment Expert). I find this much more handy than Steering Gears Modification 2 which would only provide a 0.74s improvement to your already fantastic rudder shift time.
If you take premium consumables on your premium ships, you can find it really eats into your credit earnings. So be careful about loading up on too many. This goes doubly for anyone not using a premium account. Still, they can provide a significant survival (and thus performance) boost. It’s up to you to decide if every 22,500 credits spent will earn at least that and more back on a per-game basis.
Out of any of the premium consumables you might take, I strongly recommend taking a premium version of your Damage Control Party. This drops the reset timer from 60s down to 40s which can save your life. This is especially important if the Captain your training on the Leningrad doesn’t have the Last Stand Captain Skill.
A premium version of your Smoke Generator is nice to have. Not only does it provide a faster reset timer (160s vs 240s) but it also provides an additional charge for you to play with. I do find that the value of this diminishes when your Captain takes the Superintendent skill which also provides an additional charge. It’s rare where I find myself using all of my smoke charges. However, if you don’t have Concealment Expert trained yet, you’ll need your Smoke Generator much more often, so it may be worth while if you’re still training up your Captain.
I don’t really foresee a reason to take a premium version of your Engine Boost consumable.
For signals, the Sierra Mike signal is amazing. The 5% boost to your top speed translates into 2.15 knots further exemplifying one of the Leningrad’s primary strengths.
Recommended Captain Skills
You’re going to be grabbing fairly standard skills for a gunship destroyer in the Leningrad. Her torpedoes are good, but probably not good enough to consider taking some of the torpedo-specialist skills.
For your first slot, Basic Fire Training is hands down the best choice. This increases your rate of fire per gun from 12rpm to 13.2rpm (a DPM increase from 96,000 to 105,600). You can bet every other destroyer you face will have this too so don’t fall behind.
At tier 2, there is one must-have skill and two interesting skills. Take Last Stand immediately. This is an absolute in any destroyer. There are two skills to consider after you unlock a 15pt Captain — Expert Marksman and Torpedo Armament Expertise. The former will increase your turret rotation speed down to 20.0s for a 180′ rotation. The latter skill will reduce your reload timer on your torpedoes from 92s down to 82.8s. I would only consider the latter if you fancy yourself quite the fish monger.
At tier 3, Superintendent is probably worth the most currency to destroyer captains, providing an extra charge of both their Smoke Generator and Engine Boost consumables.Vigilance is also quite handy to have, though I put a lesser value on it.
At tier 4, you’re again spoiled for choice. There are three skills to consider grabbing. Most will probably reach for Advanced Fire Training. This increases your range from 11.6km to 13.9km and opens up the ability to begin firing from concealment. If you prefer to live dangerously, you could also go for Demolition Expert to increase your chance to start fires with your shells from 8% to 11% per. Lastly, for the competitive scene, Survivability Expert will add another 2,800hp and make her considerably more resilient in a knife fight.
And lastly, it’s again a no brainer: take Concealment Expert as soon as you can in your Leningrad. This drops your surface detection range, with premium camouflage, down to 6.6km.