WoWs: Yorck Review

I dreaded unlocking the Yorck. Why wouldn't I? I was coming down from two consecutive awesome ships that are called the Königsberg and the Nürnberg. The things I read about the Yorck on Reddit and the forums were nothing short of terrifying. Horrible guns, bad turret traverse times, low HP pool, bad ballistic trajectories. According to the internet, the Yorck was an utter failure. Kolberg kind of failure. So I said "Screw it!" and just stayed at Nürnberg.

This was until I got my hands on some premium time and watching some Admiral Hipper gameplay. Honestly, it was too good to pass on. So I assembled the 5.6M credits, said goodbye to my sweet Nürnberg and jumped into the Yorck.

Enter Yorck

The Yorck is actually pretty similar to the previous ships in every aspect except its guns. Its the squishiest Tier 7 cruiser with 32600 HP, a high base gun range (which means its more accurate), faster reloads and monster AP damage. However, Yorck is also the ship where the German cruiser line gets some serious raw firepower. Namely, the 210mm guns. The HE shell does 2900 damage and the AP shell does a whopping 5700 damage. Those are great values for a Tier 7.

Don't let the AP damage fool you though, the AP shells have such low velocity that it rarely makes sense to use them above 7-8 km against most targets. Their penetration angles also leave something to be desired; they sometimes refuse to citadel unless the enemy shows a perfect broadside. Fortunately, HE shells continue the German tradition of warp speed projectiles so that's what you'll be shooting 90% of the time.

As you start using the HE shells, you'll notice that these shells give you great damage from pretty much every angle. Not only that, they also absolutely devastate the modules on the enemy ships. A good salvo on a DD will disable pretty much everything, whereas cruisers tend to lose rudder and engine power. Good hits on BB superstructures will yield about 3-4k consistent damage. These shells are such mini-nukes that I also found out that you can take out the Nagato's rudders with it.

With a good HE salvo to the superstructure, lower tier ships tend to take 3-4k consistent damage and higher tier ships tend to take anywhere between 2-3k damage. This is lower than what you'll get with a Myoko, but the keyword here is consistency and accuracy. The Yorck is much more accurate compared to the other Tier 7 cruisers, so will land more shells with each accurate salvo. Add that the Yorck reloads its 210mm guns much faster than the other Tier 7 203mms and you get a mighty HE spammer that deals consistent damage throughout the match.

Lastly, the combination of an agile hull, amazing HE shells and the bonus to German Hydroacoustic Search ability (+4.5km assured detection range), makes the Yorck a viscious DD hunter. I especially love getting close to DDs, forcing them to smoke and then foraying into smokes. In these moments you only need to point your bow to the DD, evade whatever panic torp salvos it throws at you and then bring your rear guns to bear and just blast them off the water surface. It's very effective and satisfying.

Small pointers for doing well in the Yorck

  • At the beginning of the round don't rush in and get focused. If the map doesn't have much cover, stay at range and spam HE at spotted targets. If the map offers cover, use it to get to the choke points without being seen.
  • If both teams are timid, you can park your ship behind cover and just spam HE undetected. 
  • The Yorck is also great at ambushing bigger ships. With 6 torps per side, decent rudder shift speed and monster AP damage, it's a very dangerous opponent in 1v1 situations. Watch your minimap for enemy pushes and see if they're going to come around an island.
  • Always aim your HE at the superstructure (=everything above the main belt) for maximum damage. Especially BBs take no HE damage from shots to the belt.
  • Only use AP under 10 kilometers. Fire at the superstructure for BBs (4-8k salvos are doable against juicy BBs) and waterline for CAs. You can penetrate some BB belt armor at very close range, but don't expect citadels.
  • If 1v1 against a cruiser, just go straight at them. Before getting in real close (at 3-4 kilometers) slightly wiggle between reloads and launch your torps in either directions. Load up AP and wait for them to turn first, aim at the water centerline and watch as they die instantly.
  • The Yorck has superb AA for its tier. Its AA DPS is comparable to the Myoko. Even without AFT it mows down planes. AFT+Defensive Fire instantly clears the area around it of aircraft.
  • With some practice, you can reliably land shots on DDs at ranges greater than 10 kilometers. Remember your HE wreaks havoc on enemy DDs so prioritize them.
  • For some reason the Yorck doesn't tend to get citadelled from aft or bow, use it against other BBs to flee.


Conclusion: The rumors are not true

The Yorck is nowhere near a terrible ship. It's self sufficient, it's tough and can be utilized in many roles including long range HE spamming and close-range brawling. Unlike the other high-tier German cruisers which are pretty much locked into a permanent "fleet support" role due to their horrible rudder shift speed and long detection range, the Yorck can also be played as a lonewolf. 

It's not an easy ship to play due to how low its HP pool is, but it rewards taking risks. As such, I heartily recommend this ship to experienced captains. 

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About Rak

I'm an engineer who likes to write extremely long articles about games that border simulation and mainstream.
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