ShipComrade

Premium Ship Review #146 – Pyotr Bagration

The following is a review of Pyotr Bagration, the tier VIII Soviet light cruiser.  This ship was kindly provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes.  To the best of my knowledge, the performance and statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.9.4.  Please be aware that the ship may change in the future.

Quick Summary:  A long-range Soviet cruiser with excellent ballistics.  Ostensibly, she trades access to Surveillance Radar and some firepower for a Repair Party.  In reality, she’s just losing out on radar — her firepower is alarmingly on par with her contemporaries.

PROS

  • Large hit point pool plus access to a Repair Party.
  • Well protected citadel that’s entirely internal — it does not abut against the ship’s hull.
  • Excellent 18.5km range on her main battery guns with the ballistics to take advantage of it.
  • Very good penetration on her 180mm AP shells.
  • Improved auto-ricochet angles on her AP rounds.
  • Excellent AA firepower.

CONS

  • Her Repair Party only queues up 10% of citadel damage instead of 33% like most other cruisers.
  • Low theoretical DPM and poor fire setting characteristics.
  • Horrible fire angles, especially rearward.
  • Very slow gun traverse at 6º/s.
  • Her flat ballistic trajectory makes using island cover more of a challenge.
  • Her torpedoes are slow, modestly ranged and don’t hit particularly hard.
  • Awful butt wiggle and cottage cheese thighs.  Her turning radius is large and her rate of turn isn’t good.
  • (Temporary) Bugged Hydroacoustic Search consumable providing the incorrect (and shorter) ranges for torpedo and ship detection.

Overview

Skill Floor:  SIMPLE / Casual / Challenging / Difficult
Skill Ceiling:  Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme

Pyotr Bargation is an incredibly forgiving cruiser to play.  Her guns are easy to use, facilitating firing from the back line.  Her protection scheme is more than decent.  She also gets a heal to help band-aid misplays.  Furthermore (and perhaps most importantly) she lacks any serious weaknesses.  Thus, she isn’t severely penalized in any way that would jeopardize a novice player.  She’s about as basic as you can get for a high-tier cruiser.

Veterans will like her simply for all of the aforementioned plus they get to use and abuse some of their skills they’ve acquired, including when to push, what islands to use, concealment mechanics and all of the kiting they could possibly want.  Her lack of team-based utility hurts her somewhat but her staying power more than makes up for it.

Options

Consumables

Upon release, there was a bug with Pyotr Bagration’s Hydroacoustic Search.  She is intended to have a 3.5km torpedo detection range and a 5km ship detection range.  This will be corrected upon a later patch.

 Her Damage Control Party is standard for a cruiser with a 5s active period, a 60s reset timer and unlimited charges.

In slot two, you have the choice between two consumables.

  • Her Defensive AA Fire consumable provides the usual bonuses of 50% extra sustained DPS and 300% extra flak damage over 40s.  It comes with three charges and has an 80s reset timer.
  • Her Hydroacoustic Search was released with a 3km torpedo and 4km ship detection range for 100s.  It has a 120s reset timer and also has three charges.

Finally (and perhaps most importantly) Pyotr Bagration has a Repair Party in her third slot.  This heals back up to 14% of her health over 28 seconds.  This queues up 50% of penetration damage, 10% of citadel damage (unlike most other cruisers) and 100% of everything else.  It has an 80s reset timer and three charges base.

Upgrades

Pyotr Bagration deviates from other high-tier Soviet cruiser upgrades because of her lack of a Surveillance Radar.

  • Start with Main Armaments Modification 1.
  • Surprisingly, I prefer using Engine Room Protection over Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 in slot two.  The latter may be purchased from the Armory for 17,00010px-Coal_icon.png&key=97026adbcf5e30ac0.  My reason for this is pretty simple — I’m not always taking Hydroacoustic Search in this ship so I get less use from it.  Still, your choice here depends on your consumable preference.  I don’t think Defensive AA Fire is good (especially not good enough to be worth spending coal on a questionable upgrade) even if you’re using that consumable instead.
  • Aiming System Modification 1 is still optimal in slot three.
  • I prefer Steering Gears Modification 1 in slot four.  There is a case for Propulsion System Modification 1, particularly if you make regular use of island cover (which is more of a challenge in Pyotr Bagration than other ships) or if you have a buddy providing smoke at the ranges where her gunnery is more comfortable.
  • Concealment System Modification 1 is still optimal in slot five, but for those with a bit of dare, Steering Gears Modification 2 isn’t a poor choice for helping her toss her mayonnaise-butt around.

Captain Skills

The big question here is whether to specialize for Inertial Fuse for HE Shells or not.

  • Start with your tier 1 skill of choice.  I prefer Priority Target, but skills like Incoming Fire Alert, Preventative Maintenance and Expert Loader (more on this later) are acceptable choices.
  • Next up take Adrenaline Rush.
  • At tier three, Superintendent is best to add an extra charge to your Repair Party.
  • And you have a choice at tier 4.  Here’s where you need decide if you’re going to take Inertial Fuse for HE Shells or specialize for fires instead.  It should be your first choice if you want to go for direct damage. Whether you take it as your first pick or not, make sure to take up Concealment Expert.

Those should be your first 10 to 14 skill points.  After this, pick and choose skills to your preference.  Some good ones include:

  • Demolition Expert – increase her fire setting chance.  Only do this if you haven’t taken IFHE.
  • Expert Marksman – Pyotr Bagration’s turret traverse is hella slow.  If you’ve got the points to spare, this is a nice one to take.
  • Expert Loader – If you didn’t take this skill on your first pass, it’s not a bad skill to have.  Pyotr Bagration’s gunnery rewards being dynamic with ammo choices as opportunities present themselves.

From there, skills get pretty situational — pick and choose to suit your preferences.

Camouflage

Pyotr Bagration has two different camos.  She comes with Type 10 camouflage by default and provided you’ve completed the right collections, you can also use the alternative colour palette.  In some of the higher tier bundles, you get access to Soviet – Pyotr Bagration.  These two camouflage patterns have the same bonuses and are merely cosmetic options.

  • -3% surface detection
  • +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells.
  • -10% to post-battle service costs.
  • +50% experience earned.
I have to say, I really like the green, black and grey alternative palette.  The original one is super bland.
I’m usually a fan of over-the-top camouflage patterns.  And while I admire the design for this one, it’s simply not for me.

Firepower

Main Battery:  Nine 180mm/57 guns in 3×3 turrets in an A-B-X superfiring configuration.
Secondaries:  Sixteen 100mm/70 guns in 8×2 turrets with a pair straddling the bridge, four straddling the rear funnel on a raised deck and the last pair mounted on the stern deck before X-turret.
Torpedoes:  Ten tubes in 2×5 launchers mounted between the funnels.

There’s a lot to go over here.  Let’s start with her least effective weapon systems and work our way up.

Surprisingly Plentiful

It should be no surprise that I’m ragging on her secondaries.  Thus far, Wargaming hasn’t produced a finalized cruiser with secondaries worth getting excited about.  This is a shame.  Pyotr Bagration has a lot of secondaries — eight guns per side, but they’re functionally useless.  They’re held back by not only a 5km range, but also with having only 17mm worth of HE penetration.  At best they might start a fire or two in the rare situations where you’re bringing said guns into a fight but Pyotr Bagration is a cruiser that belongs at a distance — not knife fighting.  Maybe in co-op battles you might start a fire or two with these weapons but given the nature the jousts in that combat mode, that’s only going to last as long as it takes you to blow out their citadel with your main battery guns or slam fish down their throats.  Speaking of…

A weapon of desperation or Co-Op.  You know, now that I think about it, these are kind of the same thing.

Torpeedus

“Almost functional” is how I would best describe Pyotr Bagration’s torpedoes.  They’re weapons of desperation rather than utility.  Her quintuple launchers are a credible threat to anyone coming close, but I see them more as a deterrent than anything else outside of co-op battles. Use these to force enemies to respect your zone of control around your ship.  They should prevent (or punish) anyone from contesting whatever island cover you elect to use.  Ambushes are possible, if largely limited to rare opportunities later on in a match given her poor concealment.  The fish themselves are slow at 55kts and not particularly hard hitting either.  It’s necessary to land multiple hits to guarantee the destruction of a target — even against destroyers, though even a single hit may be enough to clinch the outcome of a brawl if you’ve got Pyotr Bagration’s guns facing the right direction.

Overall, her fish are meh.  8km is too short a range to be useful, not when this ship likes to fight in the back line.  Something has to go wrong before you’ll get any real use out of these outside of PVE modes.

Pyotr Bagration gets poor marks when it comes to her fire angles.  She has to expose way too much broadside when firing forward and it’s downright appalling when firing to the rear.  Make sure you keep your distance or someone will swat you for flashing your sides to the enemy.

No, I’m Spartacus

Soviet 180mm/57 guns are infuriating.

I don’t mean game-play wise.  In game, they’re amazing.  They have ridiculous levels of AP penetration, god-tier ballistics and they hit almost as hard as 203mm rounds.  I’m talking from an analysis standpoint.  Between Kirov, Mikoyan, Dmitri Donskoi, Tallinn and Pyotr Bagration, there are five (yes five!) distinct 180mm/57 gunnery styles with different ballistics and resultant AP performance.  And don’t try and give me any of that cold-witted sass: “It’s not the gun, it’s different shells!”  You shut your hoarfrost mouth.  There are two AP shells between all five ships and none of these five ships behave the same.  Not a one!  The only overlap is between Molotov and Dmitri Donskoi and everything else kinda spitballs their gunnery values in the general vicinity of the awesomeness of the whole.  This gets even worse when you start looking beyond just ballistics and penetration as the different guns have different damage (really), dispersion values (yes, really) and auto-ricochet mechanics (yes, really-really).  I could easily stomach different ranges and reload times for the sake of balance but this is just over complicating matters. This is all just a rant to say that the only thing consistent between these guns is their inconsistency.  And their awesomeness.

To understand what makes Pyotr Bagration’s gunnery interesting, you have to understand the alternate Soviet branch of cruisers and the general weirdness of their guns.  Their primary design features are:

  1. Improved AP auto-ricochet angles (50º to 65º)
  2. Short AP fuses (0.022s)
  3. Worse dispersion values.

Two of these features are designed to make their AP shells more useful instead of forcing a reliance on HE shells.  They are less likely to ricochet and when they do penetrate a target, they are less likely to over-penetrate even with their higher muzzle velocity.  For example, an AP shell from the new ships striking a 32mm plate at 15km will need about 10m to fuse and explode where as Dmitri Donskoi’s would need about 16m. This obviously may cause issues against ships with citadels buried deeper within the vessel but I wouldn’t worry too much about it.  For these new Soviet ships, the trade-off comes with decreased accuracy.  Their dispersion values are noticeably worse over range than previous Soviet cruisers.  Thus while your AP shells are more likely to do damage compared to previous 180mm armed Soviet ships, you will see fewer hits overall.

So now that you’ve got all of that in your head, promptly forget about it.  Here’s why:

  1. Pyotr Bagration’s AP auto-ricochet angles are further improved over the other Soviet cruisers (55º to 65º)
  2. Pyotr Bagration has the same short AP fuse (0.022s)
  3. Pyotr Bagration uses the old (better!) dispersion values.

So her AP shells are better still than those on Tallinn and she hits more often.  The trade off, of course, is their rate of fire — though this is a much closer exchange than you might otherwise guess.  Tallinn has a twelve gun broadside, firing 53 rounds per minute.  Pyotr Bagration, with her nine guns (but a faster reload) manages a 49 rounds per minute.  So Pyotr Bagration lags a half-broadside behind Tallinn for every minute of sustained fire.  That’s not terrible.  In fact, given the other improvements, including Pyotr Bagration’s improved range over Tallinn, I’d argue the premium gets the better end of this deal.  It’s only in HE trades where she lags a little behind and even then, she comes out the better in fire chance.  The reason is the differences in their shell performance, which (of course!) are different between the 180mm armed ships.

Pyotr Bagration’s HE shells have a higher fire chance per shell (13% vs 11% for Tallinn) making her the better fire-starter even with the RPM disparity between the two ships.  This gap widens again when you consider Pyotr Bagration’s improved accuracy and range.  But there’s more.  Pyotr Bagration’s shells have a larger blast when it comes to attacking modules (a whole half meter, but still) and her shells deal about 13% more damage per hit (there’s a lot of RNG involved here, but the average works out to about 13% more over the long run).  So, Pyotr Bagration has better AP shells and better HE shells to boot.

Pyotr Bagration is a poor fire starter, especially if you use Inertial Fuse for HE Shells.

So lets’ review:

  • Pyotr Bagration has better AP shells than Tallinn.
  • Pyotr Bagration has better HE shells than Tallinn.
  • Pyotr Bagration is a better fire starter than Tallinn.
  • Pyotr Bagration has more range than Tallinn.
  • Pyotr Bagration is more accurate than Tallinn.

And before you think that Tallinn’s a lemon, she’s a very powerful vessel.  Let’s not forget, the 180mm/57 guns are awesome.  The drawback for these guns are two-fold and the first one doesn’t matter.

On paper, these ships do not appear capable of winning DPM races.  But as we’ve gone over, the ballistics of these guns makes landing hits a triviality.  Aiming over distance is a breeze.  Thus any disparity in perceived rates of fire is compensated for by their ease of use granting them a larger number of hits.  This gap only really materializes in the hands of truly expert players who can land hits even when firing low-velocity trebuchets off American boats.  For the average player, Pyotr Bagration will improve your gunnery because of how easy it is to hit things.

The other drawback is one of HE penetration.  Pyotr Bagration has 30mm of base HE penetration — this is the same value as tier VIII 152mm guns.  The jump up in caliber provides no penetration benefits (boo!).  For guns with a more modest rate of fire (and barrel disparity), this puts Pyotr Bagration among the lower tier of not only HE damage output but fire setting as well.  If you elect to take Inertial Fuse for HE Shells to increase her penetration up to a level where she can directly damage 32mm hull sections of tier VIII+ battleships, this greatly compromises her ability to set fires such that it will be nearly impossible to tax a battleship’s Damage Control Party on her own.  This isn’t the ship to farm fire damage in if you’re electing to use this skill.  At most she’ll be able to reliably set single blazes and it will be rare that you double-stack them when it counts in solo-engagements.  For that reason, it’s important to focus fire if you’ve gone with this increased penetration route.  Given her good AP performance, it’s possible to skip out on using this skill entirely and instead rely on her great accuracy to aim for weak spots (superstructures) with her HE shells.  With some minor improvements you can turn her into a respectable fire bug on part with Mogami 203mm or Atago.

All of these comparisons aside, here’s the big picture:  Pyotr Bagration’s guns are excellent.  She excels from sniping from the second line with great AP penetration, shell flight times and accuracy over distance.  Her poor gun traverse, fire arcs and modest damage output precludes her from trading fire at closer ranges — it’s better to keep her at a distance where her guns perform better than her adversaries.  Similarly, their super-flat trajectory will make using island cover difficult, so exercising caution with the ranges at which she engages is paramount.  Players have the choice of electing for direct damage with their HE shells through IFHE or they can make her a decent fire-setter by specializing in setting blazes instead.  Top marks all around.

Don’t let her modest damage output fool you — these guns are easy to use.  That’s well worth the slight dip in theoretical damage.

VERDICT:  Excellent guns — use and abuse their long range performance.  Everything else is irrelevant.

Defense

Hit Points: 42,000
Maximum Citadel Protection:  25mm bow + 180mm transverse bulkhead or a 152mm belt + 40mm citadel wall.
Structural Armour:  25mm bow & stern, 25mm upper hull, 27mm deck amidships, 13mm superstructure.
Torpedo Damage Reduction:  16%

Pyotr Bagration holds the reputation for being one of the toughest cruisers at tier VIII.  Generally, this is earned by the trifecta of having access to a Repair Party, having good citadel protection and trollish external armour plating, though in extreme cases, just having the latter-most is sufficient.  However, I’d argue that Pyotr Bagration only accomplishes two out of these three points (and missed the key one).  Thusly she sits further behind everyone’s favourite chubby little sister, Prinz Eugen, who ticks all three boxes.  Let’s start things off by looking at Pyotr Bagration’s health pool and heals:

Pyotr Bagration’s potential health is very respectable, but mostly grace of having access to heals when most others do without.

With 42,000 health, Pyotr Bagration’s base hit points are decent but rather pedestrian at tier VIII.  She sits behind a list of other ships including Prinz Eugen & Tallinn (45,000hp), Admiral Hipper & Albermarle (43,800hp), Amalfi (42,800hp), Mainz & Cheshire (42,500hp) and finally Baltimore (42,400hp).  So the only thing that’s going to make her stand out is access to her Repair Party.  Now having heals at tier VIII is top shelf for a cruiser as so many have to go without.  This is especially important when facing tier IX and X opponents where everyone gets a heal and those without are a full step behind.  However, when you line up the quality of the Repair Party consumables, you’ll discover that Pyotr Bagration ended up with the worst of the lot.

I wonder what the logic was behind this exception?

My first instinct when I saw this was to assume that this was a bug (akin to the one that afflicted her Hydroacoustic Search ranges upon release).  However, my contacts at Wargaming confirmed for me that in this case, the values are correct.  Pyotr Bagration just has a crappy Repair Party compared to other cruisers.  Oh well.  Gift horses and what not.  I don’t feel this matters a whole lot and it’s not really a strike against her.  There are too many tier VIII cruisers dying (literally) for access to a heal.  This goes double when you take into account how good her citadel protection actually is.

There are three primary strengths to Pyotr Bagration’s citadel protection:

  1. The thickness of her armour.
  2. Its immunity to overmatch mechanics.
  3. It’s entirely internal with none of her citadel abutting against the exterior of the hull.

In terms of raw armour thickness protecting her machine spaces, Pyotr Bagration is way up there.  For hits striking a cruiser’s broadside, she has the thickest armour protection of the tier VIII cruisers at a combined total of 192mm (152mm belt + 40mm citadel wall)  keeping shells out of her machine spaces.  Her next competitors include Wichita, Albemarle and Cheshire with a flat slab of 152mm belt armour (which doubles as their citadel wall) and the layered composition of Prinz Eugen’s 147mm between (27mm anti-torpedo protection, 80mm belt and 40mm turtleback).  Pyotr Bagration’s advantage here is that she puts a thick piece of metal on the exterior, giving her the best chance to shatter (and ricochet) smaller caliber shells before they even enter the ship — preventing damage entirely.  This keeps her safe(r) from citadel attempts from destroyer-caliber weapons and those of some light cruisers as well, but again only at a distance.  At extreme ranges where Pyotr Bagration likes to fight, this can even foil some 203mm AP shells, though this is chancing matters.

Even if a shell does penetrate her, the thickness of her citadel’s armour prevents overmatching, even from the largest caliber AP shells out there.  Her multi-layered citadel defense allows her to “double dip” with ricochet mechanics — if not quite angled perfectly, shells that pass the first ricochet check and punch through her belt have to make another before getting a chance to hammer through her 40mm citadel wall.  This alone helps reduce the number of citadel hits, greatly adding to her longevity.  Similarly, shells aimed high will skip off the roof of her citadel.  Having her machine spaces and magazine entirely internal prevents Pyotr Bagration from taking any citadel hits from HE bomb and shell attacks.  It can even provide an internal volume in which AP shells can fuse and detonate before reaching her citadel.

The image on the left shows Pyotr Bagration’s citadel dimensions and armour layout.  The one on the right shows how the ship’s belt armour and hull encompasses the entirely internal citadel.  That gap can cause all sorts of weird penetration mechanics to occur, such as internal ricochets, providing a space for short-fuse shells to explode in, etc.  The effect here is to reduce the frequency of citadel hits this ship receives, especially from smaller caliber AP shells.

It’s Pyotr Bagration’s structural armour where I find she’s lacking.  She’s a light cruiser and conforms to light cruiser norms barring her extended waterline belt.  Thus, her structural armour doesn’t exceed 25mm with the exception of her amidships deck.  27mm worth of structural armour is an important threshold since the Inertial Fuse for HE Shell rework.  First of all, it provides HE shell immunity from destroyers of 127mm caliber guns or smaller (barring those with weird HE penetration such as the ducky 100mm) — even with IFHE they can’t get enough penetration to directly damage those hull sections.  This provides protection against secondary fire too, such as those found on Massachusetts.  But most importantly, 27mm hull sections give the ship immunity from overmatch mechanics from 381mm AP shells.   It’s a shame she has to do without.

27mm structural plate isn’t an automatic “I win” attribute.  Pyotr Bagration isn’t crippled without it (though you definitely feel it more in Co-Op).  It simply increases the ship’s survivability against particular opponents and specific situations (which are, again,  prevalent in Co-Op).  Her lack of this armour cements for me her role as a back-line support ship.  She belongs in the rear where her guns and her armour layout maximizes her performance for little risk.

Her 40mm icebreaker bow is worth mentioning.  While it will soak up the occasional AP and HE shell tossed at her waterline, I find it rather troll to be honest.  Relying upon it will only get your face stoved in by overmatching battleship-caliber shells as there’s still lots of 25mm sections to punch through.  However, there’s no arguing that it will further reduce the number of citadel hits she takes.

Proof positive that Wargaming considers Pyotr Bagration a light cruiser.  Her protection scheme conforms to light cruiser norms.

Summary:

  • She has a heal.  Most tier VIII cruisers don’t.
  • Her citadel protection is good.  It won’t save you if you give up your broadside though.
  • Her structural armour is squishy.  She’s very vulnerable to HE shells.

VERDICT:  Pyotr Bagration is easily one of the best protected cruisers at tier VIII.  That doesn’t make her invincible or even tanky for that matter, but she can survive for quite a while provided you play to her strengths.

Agility

Top Speed: 34.5kts
Turning Radius: 890m
Rudder Shift Time: 10.6s
4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 4.8º/s

There’s only two good things about Pyotr Bagration’s agility.

  1. Her guns have a 6º/s rotation rate.
  2. She’s very long ranged.

You’ll note that neither of these things relate to how agile the ship is itself.  That’s because she isn’t agile.  Her handling comes from the same rancid mayonnaise jar as the other Soviet agility.  Sure, it wiggles and jiggles when you shake it but it’s sixteen months past the expiry date.  Just trying to handle it is asking for an oily disaster as it goes everywhere but where it belongs.  The best thing about her is her speed — she goes in a straight line reasonably quick (just like that watery film on the top of your expired mayonnaise when you accidentally tip it over) but that’s not remarkable.

As terrible as Pyotr Bagration’s rotation rate is, at least she can’t out turn her turrets.  It’s a horrible bit of consolation but there it is.  Bad handling is bad handling, but that doesn’t hold Pyotr Bagration back because it doesn’t matter.  All she really needs from her agility is to be able to maintain distance in order to stay alive. That far out, even the lack of Soviet handling is enough to kite and dodge effectively.

The ol’ mayonnaise zone.

VERDICT:  Pretty bad, but irrelevant other than her straight-line speed.

Anti-Aircraft Defense

Flak Bursts: 8 explosions for 1,400 damage per blast
Long Ranged (up to 5.8km):  189dps at 90% accuracy
Medium Ranged (up to 3.5km):  158dps at 90% accuracy
Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 70dps at 85% accuracy

Pyotr Bagration has excellent AA firepower for a tier VIII cruiser.  Given the distances at which she likes to fight, it’s actually reasonable to without Hydroacoustic Search and use Defensive AA Fire instead.  With so much of her damage output concentrated in her long-range batteries and a heavy amount of flak, she makes an excellent AA escort cruiser — at least in so far as this role can still be said to be viable in the current meta.  I think it’s safer to say that you’re not hurting your team’s chances by spending a consumable to help bruise attack squadrons, though I wouldn’t go so far as to encourage you to spend skill points or upgrades that way.  Frankly, I look at this as a happy coincidence rather than something worth getting excited over.  It’s nice that Pyotr Bagration’s penchant for shooting from the second line will keep her reasonably close to battleships and thus allow her to passively support them with her AA power too.

With a lot of her AA power concentrated in her long-range batteries, Pyotr Bagration is a very good ship for providing support AA to allies.

VERDICT:  Pretty darned good.  I wish that meant something.

Refrigerator

Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 14km / 11km
Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 8.23km/6.67km
Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 7.8km
Main Battery Firing Range:  18.48km

Pyotr Bagration’s vision control is … well, it’s not good.  But, like her agility, the failures here are largely irrelevant.  Bugs with her Hydroacoustic Search aside, this isn’t a ship that belongs up on the front lines anyway (outside of co-op — everything brawls in co-op).  So having a less-than-stellar surface or aerial detection isn’t the end of the world.  Pyotr Bagration’s main battery performance and her protection scheme both thrive on this ship being in the second line, sniping from the rear.  This said, I don’t think Pyotr Bagration should go without Concealment System Modification 1 — the additional dispersion gained from this upgrade in combination with the gains to her stealth are too beneficial to set aside.  But it might be possible to go without the Concealment Expert commander skill if points are tight.  Still, there is obvious benefit to padding these flagging numbers if you can.  Being able to go dark is paramount for safety in open-water kiting.

What is worth discussing is how little she brings to the table in terms of vision control for her team. Pyotr Bagration lacks Surveillance Radar, a staple of high-tier Soviet cruisers.  Unlike Mikhail Kutuzov who also goes without, she doesn’t bring a Smoke Generator either.  She cannot even be relied upon to have access to a Hydroacoustic Search (nor ever be in a position where using one is advantageous given her gunnery needs).  Fighting from so far back or behind cover, she’s not likely to be doing her own spotting either.  This is an entirely selfish ship in terms of team play — best designed for solo-actions or relying upon team play to facilitate her damage output.  The best she can hope to provide for her team are support AA-fire, good damage output and maybe distracting enemies with her kiting antics.

VERDICT:  Not great but this isn’t a horrible drawback thanks to her protection scheme and gunnery.  She’s entirely dependent on her team for spotting.

Final Evaluation

Pyotr Bagration is a monster.  She’s a boring monster, but she’s a monster none the less.

I consider her to easily be more powerful than Ochakov, the other tier VIII premium released at the same time.  However, I found Ochakov’s game play to be much more rewarding, if exceedingly volatile.  Pyotr Bagration is the much safer choice, promising reliable steady damage, good survivability and … well, not much else, if I’m terribly honest.  There’s nothing wrong with that per se. There is a lot of reward to be found in frustrating your opponents by staying alive, harassing them with long range fire and kiting them out of position.  Pyotr Bagration has very good staying power and you can always count on her guns to hit back.

While Pyotr Bagration has her flaws (poor gun handling, poor fire arcs, poor agility, no vision control) I don’t see any of these as being particularly damning for this ship.  On the contrary, most of these feel trivial, especially when her incredible range and ballistics band-aids over these drawbacks to the point of irrelevance.  In this regard, she reminds me of Giulio Cesare — an earlier premium that, while she had her flaws, they didn’t get in the way of the ship’s strengths.  We all know how that ship turned out.  While I’m loathe to trumpet out an  ‘overpowered’ warning without actually seeing her performance in the hands of the masses, she’s certainly piqued my interest as one to watch for the future.

So yeah.  Pytor Bagration.  She’s an incredibly safe purchase, though her game play doesn’t particularly appeal for me.  I think Tallinn is the more interesting ship, and she’s free.  So make of that what you will.

Conclusion

Well, this one took longer than I thought it would.  There’s a lot of weirdness in this ship, particularly in her armour and guns that I wanted to double and triple check to make sure I did them justice.  There was also the problem of getting access to Tallinn in order to make sure my comparisons were on point and that necessitated doing some grinding to unlock her.  Oh well, it’s done.  The next ship on the docket is Mikoyan, the tier V Soviet cruiser.  I dunno how this one flew beneath my radar but I totally blanked on her coming out.  I’ll be doing something special for her, so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!

1 thought on “Premium Ship Review #146 – Pyotr Bagration

  1. Hello,

    Great review and I am seriously contemplating buying the ship. However, could you please link this review, the Ochakov review, and the Cheshire on your Patreon page?

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