The following is a review of Lenin, the tier VIII premium Soviet battleship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. Please be aware that though this represents the release version of the ship, her statistics may change in the future. To the best of my knowledge, these stats are accurate as of patch 0.8.7.
I am happy to be reviewing one of the sexiest looking ships to come to this game in the last year. Lenin has undeservedly been pushed back on my release schedule for a while now and I’m glad to finally get this out the door.
- Excellent armour profile for shattering HE shells and autobouncing AP.
- All forward gun arrangement with excellent 6º/s rotation rate and good fire arcs.
- Very accurate at medium to close ranges.
- Powerful, 406mm AP shell with high, 13,100hp damage.
- Very nice HE shell with decent damage (5,850hp) and good fire chance (41%).
- Soviet Damage Control Party.
- High-water citadel, making the ship very vulnerable when flanked.
- Smaller hit point pool and low healing potential.
- Inflexible with short main battery range and only a modest top speed.
- Slow rate of fire with a 33s reload.
- Only modest AP penetration for a 406mm armed battleship.
- Mediocre anti-aircraft firepower.
- Large surface and aerial detection ranges.
- Soviet Damage Control Party and Repair Party.
Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL/ Challenging / Difficult
Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme
For a battleship, Lenin is easy to understand: protect her citadel, watch for torpedoes and manage her limited consumable charges. Her HE is good enough that it can be spammed for decent results, so it’s not like proper ammo choice is a necessary baseline skill. If it weren’t for her high-water citadel, she’d be downright simple to play.
Playing Lenin well means knowing when you can push in to take advantage of her excellent medium-range gun performance and incredible armour profile. This also stresses proper consumable use, knowing how to angle and being able to defend against brawling attempts.
– Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer.
– No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship.
If you’re new to Soviet battleships, then Lenin’s Damage Control Party will look a little weird with its short action time and (more alarmingly) the limited number of charges it has access to. The commander Superintendent skill and a premium version of this consumable are all but mandatory. Similarly, her Repair Party appears to short-change you on a charge, but this is normal for Soviet battleships.
- Let’s start by talking about her Damage Control Party. It starts with 3 charges base (yes, really) and is active for 10s per charge. It has a 60s / 40s reset timer.
- Short of the number of starting charges, Lenin’s Repair Party is standard for a battleship. It has two charges base instead of the usual three like other Soviet BBs. It’s active for 28s, healing back up to 14% of her starting health. This queues up 10% of citadel damage, 50% of penetration damage and 100% of everything else. This has a 120s / 80s reset timer.
- Lenin’s third slot is a Catapult Fighter (with no option for a Spotter Aircraft). This starts with 2 charges based and deploys 3 fighters. They are active for 60s with a 3km operating area. The reset timer is 135s / 90s depending whether use premium or not.
Soviet battleships greatly simplify upgrade choice because of their Damage Control Party. Fire and flood mitigation is paramount to take the strain off your limited number of charges.
- Main Armaments Modification 1 is optimal in slot one, if only because your guns take a lot of abuse with the amount of face tanking you’re going to do. Alternatively, if you have access to it, you can make use of the special upgrade, Damage Control Party Modification 1.
- In your second slot, take Damage Control System Modification 1.
- In your third slot, Aiming Systems Modification 1 is optimal.
- In your fourth slot, take Damage Control System Modification 2.
- And finally take Concealment Modification 1 in your final slot.
Lenin comes with Type 18 Camouflage – Lenin providing the usual 3% bonus concealment from surface targets, 4% increase to enemy gunnery dispersion, 10% reduction to post-battle service costs and 50% bonus to experience gains.
Lenin has an alternative camouflage, Lenin – Victory Banner, that could be purchased in a bundle or bought separately for doubloons. This skin is a cosmetic swap, providing the exact same bonuses as the Type 18 Camouflage above.
Main Battery: Nine 406mm/45 rifles in 3×3 turrets in an A-B-C configuration with B raised to a superfiring position and A and C flush to the deck.
Secondary Battery: Twelve 152mm/54 rifles in 4×3 turrets in a forward-facing, superfiring position with two turrets per side straddling the funnels and 6×2 102mm/56 turrets mounted towards the ship’s rear.
I have lots to talk about here. This is my first chance to talk at length about Soviet battleship guns and their wonky dispersion. But let’s not get ahead of myself — Lenin’s gun layout is the first order of business.
These Guns are Big, Yo.
Lenin’s main selling points her all-forward, 406mm gun arrangement. These guns are big, yo — 406mm caliber which may have been the standard when World of Warships launched. However, with the introduction of French, British and German battleships with their puny 380mm/381mm wimplodite guns, 406mm caliber can’t be taken for granted, especially given the competitive edge it provides via overmatch against the plethora of 27mm hulls found on various heavy cruisers.
Onto gun placement! Lenin mirrors HMS Nelson’s gun layout, keeping her C-turret facing forward instead of rearward like Izumo. While on the attack, this gun arrangement is incredibly flexible, allowing Lenin to shift fire from left to right very quickly. Combined with her excellent 6º/s gun traverse rate, her gun handling feels very comfortable — at least until you’re forced to run away.
While Lenin’s gun arrangement is perfect for an aggressive stance, it’s hardly ideal when running away. She’s only able to engage targets 31º off her stern which, while not terrible, certainly isn’t ideal. Lenin is thusly much more defensible bow-on to a target rather than being stern-chased. When facing enemies head-on, she can fire all three gun turrets while still being able to auto-ricochet return AP shell fire from most other battleships. When wiggling her shapely aft at enemies, this isn’t the case. The only plus side is that her B-turret can rotate 360º so at least it’s fast to track targets on either side of her attractive tuckus.
This, of course, means that your blind spot has to be covered by your secondaries…
Leave it to me, Onee-chan!
It’s rare to see such a spectacular example of failure. Lenin’s secondaries remind me of the cheese-scented, fedora-wearing, white-knighting blowhards that struggle to wipe their own butts yet still demand a chance to perform. Reality check, you sad secondaries, you’re not only an embarrassment, you disgust me.
Speaking of struggling to wipe one’s butt, Lenin’s secondaries can’t cover hers. That’s right, her secondaries can’t even fire directly backwards. This is nothing new for most battleships, with only a rare few with guns mounted on the centre-line capable of covering the rear. In Lenin’s case, this is tragic. She has a 22º blind spot directly to her stern where neither her primary or secondary guns can do anything. Enemy ships can sit there for days with the only danger being if Lenin decides to put her engines full astern to butt-bump her assailants. With her bandonkadonk being hella sexy, I can’t blame anyone wanting a closer look.
The final bits of secondary fail come down to the following:
- They only have a 5km range. This is stupid and nowhere near long enough to protect her.
- Her 100mm guns can only damage 16mm worth of armour. You need to take Inertial Fuse for HE Shells just to be able to directly damage tier VIII+ destroyer hulls. Even then, that’s not going to be enough to hurt most of the other ships you’ll face.
- Her 152mm guns have an 8 second reload and only two turrets (six barrels total) Seriously.
Lenin’s secondaries make me want to puke. Don’t waste time with them.
There are two elements which are supposed to moderate the striking power of Lenin’s guns. The first is their slow reload. This is meant to counterpoint their improved alpha strike. Lenin (and Vladivostok’s) AP shells are the hardest hitting at their tier, tying with the American 406mm shells on North Carolina, Alabama, The Southern Lewd, Massachusetts and the East Coast Edgelord. Lenin and Vladivostok’s HE shells are decent — better than the Americans but falling well behind Japanese and British HE in terms of damage output but being excellent fire starters. The time between their reload is just enough to make them miss out on opportunistic shots which should, in theory, limit their ability to trade fire.
The second, and more telling element affecting Lenin’s offensive striking power is her dispersion. I’ve been struggling for a while on how to discuss this with any bit of clarity without having to devote 40+ hours to shell dispersion mapping to better illustrate Lenin’s strengths and weaknesses. You’ll have to forgive me if I grossly simplify things.
The long and the short of it is this: Lenin’s horizontal shell dispersion is excellent at medium to close ranges — ideally less than 14km. Beyond that and her dispersion becomes mediocre, little better than her contemporaries. With her poor sigma value and longer reload, engaging enemies further out exemplifies these weaknesses.
Well, good news, comrades! Lenin isn’t especially long ranged (cue sad trombone sounds) so you’re almost always going to be firing at medium to close range anyway! Hooray, I guess?
So What Did We Learn?
Lenin is at her gunnery best at medium ranges. This way, she plays up to her strengths — namely, fast gun traverse, excellent forward fire angles, great AP alpha strike, 406mm AP overmatch and small dispersion area. This also mitigates some of her weaknesses, including her poor rearward fire angles and her crappy secondaries which precludes her from wanting to outright brawl.
She is not a fast-firing battleship, however. Sniping from range will tend to exaggerate her wonky fall of shell. Still, in a pinch she can pull it off, but her AP penetration at a distance is somewhat lacking and her HE shells have a nice, high fire chance if you want to troll people at a distance.
If Lenin’s firepower seems a bit mediocre, you’re not alone. This isn’t where her ‘wow’ factor is. Her design was supposed to be one where manoeuvre and aggression would increase her ability to do damage and that’s kinda true. It’s not like getting inside 14km activates an “I win!” mode. In my experience, Lenin’s ability to deal punishment comes directly from her success to out-tank her opponents. Her hitting power is a secondary consideration.
Her weapons are simply “good enough”.
- Guns dispersion is nice up close and hella wonky at range. She is not consistent.
- The slow rate of fire hurts most out of all of her weaknesses but it’s amazing what alpha strikes and overmatching will fix.
- Great on the attack, craptacular when kiting.
Hit Points: 63,200
Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mm
Maximum Citadel Protection: 350mm belt
Torpedo Damage Reduction: 22%
Lenin’s firepower is unremarkable. Her defense scheme isn’t. Soviet battleships have a reputation for being tough mofos despite the damning flaw of having high-water citadels. Their exposed machine spaces were supposed to provide a modicum of balans. Instead, it’s presence simply serves to mock those who think they should be easy prey.
So let’s start with their glaring weakness and then go into why it doesn’t matter in the slightest.
Her Hit Points & Heals Suck
Lenin has the lowest potential health pool of any of the tier VIII battleships. This really shouldn’t be surprising. Her base hit points are tied for the second lowest of her contemporaries — better than Monarch and tied with Gascogne. However she has one fewer charge on her Repair Party. You’ll feel this deficit on longer, drawn out matches but it’s only a minor setback.
Her Citadel Placement Sucks
Lenin’s citadel sits slightly over the waterline and abuts against the outer hull. She joins the ranks of Monarch, Vanguard, Roma and Vladivostok in having this level of exposed citadel. Gather around, children, there are lessons to be learned:
- Don’t give up your sides or you’ll get punished.
- Don’t under-angle your bow either. She’s not quite as bad as Yamato for taking cheek-citadels, but it’s still happens with alarming regularity.
This precludes Lenin from jousting unless your opponent is an idiot.
Her Armour is Troll
Lenin has almost the perfect armour scheme for warding off penetrating hits. She’s well designed for avoiding taking any damage in the first place, making her smaller hit point pool much less of an issue.
- Lenin has an extended, 100mm waterline belt running right to the tip of her bow capable of auto-ricocheting any AP shells in the game. This will similarly shatter most HE shells.
- The entirety of her amidships hull is capable of auto-ricocheting AP shells of any caliber when angled.
- Furthermore, her deck and upper hull are all but proof against most cruiser-caliber HE shells. There are very few exceptions, nominally being limited to German guns with 1/4 HE penetration or very large guns. Often Inertial Fuse for HE Shells is still necessary to cause direct damage, even to the thinner 45mm and 50mm sections.
Lenin is a frustrating target to pepper with HE shells from cruisers (though Royal Navy Battleships won’t care). With her protection scheme, she’ll tend to take less damage overall than other battleships might, especially at medium ranges. She’s not invulnerable, however. Lenin still has those large 32mm bow, stern and the 19mm superstructure which will give up damage. Fire tends to be more of an issue for Lenin than direct damage from HE bombardment.
It’s against large caliber AP shells where Lenin’s defense scheme really shines. While all high-tier battleships are capable of bow-tanking with near impunity, Lenin’s protection scheme improves upon this even further, allowing her to get away with exposing a little more broadside than her contemporaries and still shrug off damage. She can thus bait shots against her upper hull amidships and cause auto-ricochets with some clever angling and turning. Combine this with her all-forward gun layout and excellent turret traverse and bow-tanking with Lenin is pure easy mode.
What’s more, unlike most other tier VIII+ battleships, Lenin has a chance (albeit a slim one) to auto-ricochet Yamato-class 460mm AP shells. This is guaranteed if they scrape along her amidships hull when angled but it’s also possible for her to prevent citadel hits through her bow with the two layers of protection found there. Her 100mm armoured beak will similarly knock any incoming shells into the drink if they strike too steeply, but attacks from range have to contend with a 60mm internal plates that can transform a citadel hit into merely a penetration or over-penetration instead. This isn’t a perfect defense, however, and it’s more trollish than effective against those monstrous Yamato and Musashi guns.
Of course, Lenin’s protection scheme isn’t perfect. It’s damn good, but don’t get cocky.
Fires and Floods
The final piece of the Lenin puzzle is her Soviet Damage Control Party. The Soviet battleship version of this consumable has a ridiculously short reset timer. To preface this, here are the timers for the existing battleship Damage Control Party consumables in the game, from longest to shortest with standard times given first and then premiums afterwards.
- Most battleships have a 120s / 80s reset timer.
- Warspite has a 90s / 60s reset timer.
- Most Soviet battleships (including Lenin) have a 60s / 40s reset timer.
- Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has a 30s / 20s reset timer.
The trade-off for the short reset timers on Soviet battleship Damage Control Party is the limited number of charges, starting with a base 3 charges compared to the infinite number of uses on other battleships. Between skills and taking a premium version of the consumable, this can be increased to a total of five.
The drawback here is obvious — after so many uses, Soviet battleships lose the ability to mitigate damage over time and crippling damage effects. However, the reality is that short of mismanagement (or making friends with an enemy Conqueror, Smolensk or Cockbote), five charges ends up being plenty. Lenin (along with most other Soviet battleships) feels more resistant to damage over time effects on the short term or during limited engagements. It’s only in prolonged matches where any deficit of fire and flood prevention is felt. This limits her hard-carry potential, to be certain, but you can expect some frustration and grief on the part of HE-spammers that don’t understand that you can only pull off these quick-extinguish tricks for so long.
Yes, Lenin has an exposed citadel. Yes, Lenin has a small effective health pool both in raw hit points and healing potential. Yes, Lenin has limited charges on her Damage Control Party. However, she has an excellent armour profile which is painfully effective at outright stopping her from taking AP and HE shell damage.e. What’s more, on the short term, she’s practically immune to stacked damage over time effects. Small hit point pools, exposed citadels and limited healing potential doesn’t much matter if it’s damn difficult to deal damage in the first place.
This is what makes the Lenin, and the Soviet battleships in general, such darlings of the competitive community. They can take what you dish out and they’re not terrible at hitting back.
Lenin is designed to out trade opponents by out-lasting them. The drawback of her main battery 33 second reload means less if she’s going to be around longer. Lenin is at her best at medium-range, bow on and slugging it out where incoming AP shell trajectories are almost flat; where HE shells can’t be lobbed form over cover. At close or long ranges, her armour profile doesn’t hold up as well. She’s more likely to take fire from a flank, lose a joust, get HE spammed to the waterline or simply eat fish.
- Great armour protection to mitigate AP and HE penetrations.
- Damage Control Party largely limits stacked damage-over-time effects on the short term but ends up being a weakness on long, close matches.
- Vulnerable citadel when caught broadside — much more so than most other ships. Beware brawling and long-range flanking fire.
Top Speed: 28.5 knots
Port Turning Radius: 840m
Rudder Shift Time: 13.5s
4/4 Engine Speed Rotation Rate: 3.9º/s
I have to give Lenin some pretty piss-poor marks here, at least in comparison to her tier VIII peers. Let me qualify this by saying that if you stack her up against tier VI, VII, IX and X battleships, it’s not quite as bad. It’s just that at tier VIII in particularly, there’s a nice combination of reasonably wiggly but fast battleships. This makes her look worse by comparison but I stress this isn’t a tremendous flaw. Here’s the details:
- She’s slow. Again, compare her to the other battleships in her matchmaking and the lower you go, the better her 28.5 knot top speed looks. Still Lenin wins no prizes being barely able to outpace Famous and Historical Monarch and having a full knot’s advantage over North Carolina and the So-Dak sisters. Everything else is faster.
- She doesn’t change directions quickly. Lenin’s slow speed is coupled with what is, on paper, a very average turning circle radius for a tier VIII battleship. 840m is perfectly acceptable. However, in practice, her slower speed means that it takes her longer to traverse this circle so that her heading doesn’t change nearly as fast as her tier mates. In fact, she feels downright sluggish, handling more like Kii than ships with whom she shares a closer turning circle radius like the German and French tier VIII battleships. The only tier VIII battleship over which she has a clear advantage here is Vladivostok.
While Lenin may not compare well to her direct competitors, it’s not like she’s far and away worse. It’s just a slight disadvantage here rather than some crippling and easy-to-exploit weakness. Now this should have been her Achilles heel, but it’s not. Her citadel doesn’t remain exposed in a broadside long enough to set her apart from other battleships.
Flak Bursts: 5 explosions for 1,330 damage per blast
Long Ranged (up to 5.8km): 80.2 damage every 0.39s
Medium Ranged (3.5km-1km): 245.7 damage every 0.39s
Short Ranged: None
Is there anything I could say here that will have any impact or permanence going forward? I don’t think there is. While working on this review off and on for the last few months, Lenin’s AA stats and mechanics have changed significantly three (or is it four?) times. Now granted, I haven’t exactly expedited this project, but it speaks to the continued volatility of the anti-aircraft mechanics of this past year.
While I can’t speak to what Lenin’s anti-aircraft firepower will be in the future, I can speak to what it was in the past. She’s never been a battleships with good anti-aircraft firepower. We’re not talking Arizona-levels of travesty, but she certainly can’t hold her own while under air attack. That will probably still be the case when Wargaming finally figures out everything and finalizes AA and CV mechanics in October…
Base Surface Detection: 16.64km
Air Detection Range: 11km
Minimum Surface Detection Range: 13.07km
Detection Range when Firing in Smoke: 16.09km
Main Battery Firing Range: 18.4km
Lenin’s concealment and vision control is so completely average for a tier VIII battleship, it’s downright boring. Her base surface detection sits smack in the middle of all of the high tier battleships from tier VIII through X, sitting at 17th out of 34 places (excluding clones). There are no surprises with her aerial detection either. Finally, short of a catapult fighter, she doesn’t have anything to help her extend her vision. So on the whole, she’s unsurprising.
This should be well and fine. Section over! Nothing left to talk about, right? Well, no.
Lenin is relatively short ranged and not especially fast, so that decidedly average concealment rating has more of an impact on her than something with more reach and speed. In this manner, she’s analogous to Massachusetts and well, most of the other Soviet battleships. Rather than relying on concealment to get into position, Lenin is reliant upon tanking it. See above on why that can be absolutely hilarious some times and downright frustrating (or heartbreaking) at others.
Outplaying the Bourgeoisie
One of Lenin’s charms is that she’s a pretty darn normal Soviet battleship. She does not need her own special commander with a weird selection of skill choices to make her viable. As such, Lenin is an excellent trainer. Here’s what your commander skills should look like, leaning on a heavy survivability build:
- Start with Priority Target or Preventative Maintenance depending on your preference. The former is better, but some people can’t be convinced of that.
- Next up, grab Adrenaline Rush to pad your reload time as you take damage.
- Follow this up with Superintendent. Unlike with other battleships, you are far more likely to make full use of the extra consumable charges this affords.
- Finally, Fire Prevention should be your first tier 4 skill.
This covers your first 10 skill points. Superintendent and Fire Prevention really are a must. Don’t skip on them. For your next nine points, there’s one mandatory skill and that’s Basics of Survivability for three points. This helps reduce fire damage and, if at all possible, stack it with Damage Control Modification 2 to double dip on that fire reduction. If you can afford to run with India Yankee signals, do it. Pay to win mechanics rear their ugly head again.
From here on out, pick and choose skills you think fits your play style. I’m a fan of Concealment Expert though this loses some of shine at the higher (and fatter) tiers.
This is as good an opportunity as any for me to talk about not only Lenin but the Soviet battleship line as a whole.
The Soviet battleship line annoys me. It’s not that the line itself is inherently bad or overpowered or whatever. Mine is more of a veteran’s complaint — the Soviet battleships get all of this attention but what I want to see is some more TLC being given to older lines: namely the German battleships, which I feel have been pushed out of the meta. My sour opinion of the Soviet battleships isn’t owing to any of their flaws, but rather that I see them borrowing elements I would have preferred to see glued onto the Germans. I’m feeling a little undeserved resentment towards the new instead of seeing one of my favourites getting the love instead.
This borrowed element is one of durability. The Soviet battleships are tough momos. This isn’t universal across the whole tech tree, but it definitely trends. Furthermore, those ships which really emphasize this element do so to an extreme, almost to the point of absurdity. That they manage this even with the gaping holes in their protection scheme (limited damage control, exposed citadel) speaks much about how effective their armour profiles are when properly angled. Finally, their guns aren’t terrible. This isn’t something the German battleship line can boast. The Soviet battleships, while not having ideal guns, certainly don’t have bad ones. Overmatching is hella OP. This has made the Soviet battleships the darling of the competitive meta. Not only are they tough, not only are they quite capable of putting out the damage, they’re not terribly slow. Their AA isn’t appalling. Heck, even their concealment isn’t the worst. There’s a whole lot of “good enough” padding out these ships which, when combined with that vaunted durability just makes them monsters.
This is a long winded way of me saying there’s nothing wrong with Lenin. She’s a good ship and he Soviet battleships are a solid line. Wargaming put together a nice offering in Lenin without having to rely on gimmicks. Lenin behaves like a Soviet tech-tree battleship in most respects, but with slightly improved armour protection, less health and her weird all-forward gun arrangement to make her stand out.
Still, Lenin does not usurp the top spot in the Random Battle meta from Massachusetts. She’s similarly inferior to Vladivostok — the tech tree ship plays to the Soviet strengths better than Lenin. Vladivostok has a lot more hit points with a similar protection scheme. Her guns are punchier and about as easy to use. In short, you’re not buying an advantage with Lenin — just a quirkier style of play.
And that’s really the whole of it. Lenin’s merit lies in that she makes a good trainer for Soviet battleship commanders and you can buy your way to a high tier Soviet battleship if you want one for soft competitive modes and you don’t want to grind the line. If you like your Soviet battleships, she’s going to offer you more of the same with a slight twist. Otherwise she’s a pass in my opinion.
Would I Recommend?
For PVE Battles?
Yes. It’s pretty easy to mitigate her weaknesses and bots LUV! to charge, ensuring that Lenin is always always ending up in her ideal gun range.
For Random Battle Grinding?
Yes. She’s a good trainer for Soviet battleship captains… at least until Wargaming eventually gets around to releasing a tier IX or X reward-ship battleship which doesn’t have to suffer through tier VIII matchmaking and invariably ends up making more baseline credits.
For Competitive Gaming?
Yes with a big ol’ butt. Lenin is a lazy-man’s (or rich man’s) Vladivostok. If you can’t be bothered to grind for Vlad, Lenin will do.
No. She was a design project and not built in steel.
For her Fun-Factor?
No. She’s comfortable to play but she didn’t wow me at all.
What’s the Final Verdict?
How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage – Meh – Gud – Overpowered?
- GARBAGE– I hate it!
- Mehbote – An average ship. Probably forgettable.
- Gudbote – The best thing ever. Totally not overpowered because I like padding my stats in it.
- OVERPOWERED – I hate playing against it!
Well, I can scratch Lenin off the list. Let’s see, that just leaves a backlog of: (in no particular order): Dreadnought, Siroco, Somers, Neustrashimy, Smolensk, and Colbert. I think I’ll put it up to my patrons on Patreon to vote which one I work on first seeing as my health is still keeping production slow and they should have some say in the matter of what’s coming next, review wise. I’ll put the choice of some quick previews of the new ships up there too.
Thank you all for reading!