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Buyers Beware: Lenin

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Buyers Beware

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Texas | Scharnhorst | Gneisenau | Leningrad | Belfast | Perth | Mutsu | Alabama | Massachusetts | Prinz Eitel Friedrich

I'm supposed to be writing a modpost but I'm on three hours of sleep and my funny bone needs activation first. Don't read too much into that statement.

The above statement was Past Vaexa. I started writing this three weeks ago but imposter syndrome and stress are both absolutely bitches.

Boy HOWDY has it been a while, huh? More in the afterword. I'd rather get stuck into this ship right now.

Let's go let's go before I lose all my inspiration.

The bad stuff

  • Um. This ship is pretty unlike anything else (maybe Nelson, but still different), so I can't really draw any comparisons yet.

Primary armament

  • There's plenty of good stuff to say about this thing's guns but also plenty of bad. Perfectly balanced, as all things should bE HAHA I didn't even see Endgame yet. Or Infinity War for that matter. Fuck you.
  • The first ''bad'' thing is a purely relative one: the Russian nAtIoNaL fLavOuR has traditionally been fantastic shell ballistics. Lenin is a curious exception to this rule. The ballistics are by no means bad (they're not the ultrafloaters the US gets at this tier) but you're not going to be 360 quickscoping stuff 18km away.
  • She does have magically higher air drag than Vladivostok, which is supposed to use more-or-less the same guns, so… Again, they're not mega floaty rainbow shells, but they're not the Russian railguns you're accustomed to.
  • You're not going to do that anyway because Lenin is subject to the Russian Battleship Dispersion Curve, which dictates your shells will likely land nowhere near your target at longer range.
  • It's certainly not as jarring as it was during early testing, but it's still a thing and Lenin is not very accurate at long range (think past 15km or so)
  • The HE is naff but I mean, why would you care?
  • It's not really that naff but there are only some fringe cases where you should be using them, anyway.
  • Um. I just don't have a lot to say about these guns! Nothing strikingly bad, anyway.
  • Actually I do and I just remembered it and I'm going to work it in weirdly so you get the authentic Vaexa Writing Experience: the reload is subpar for the tier, at 33 seconds. That's 10% more than most other battleships at this tier!
  • Sure sounds long when I put it that way, doesn't it? Anyway, Lenin inexplicably reloads slower than a lot of her peers.
  • The layout itself is all forward which does mean you have absolutely nothing to cover your rear quarter, and Lenin is a strikingly poor kiter as a result. You might want to keep that in mind in your positioning, and have an escape plan that allows a fighting retreat.

Secondary armament

Secondary battery

  • It gets 6'' guns in its secondary battery which is nifty but I mean…
  • Why bother building secondaries on ships that aren't Massachusetts (and, if you're that kind of WoWS player, German battleships)? They won't hit anything and they won't contribute much meaningful damage at all.
  • If you still want my detailed analysis/like watching me vigorously scream at things (I know some of you weirdos do), here goes:
  • Their 5km base range is, for a ship like Lenin, just kind of short. We'll get into why that is in a minute, but it's short. I'm going to resist making any jokes involving the word ''short''.
  • Also there's like six 6'' guns per side and the rest is 100mm junk which is just a notoriously shitty calibre range for secondary guns to be in, so just don't bother.


  • I'm really struggling to pass any judgment on AA in the post-rework wasteland, but I included this point and gosh be darned I'm going to… say something about the AA.
  • It's not standout. I guess.
  • More specifically, and this is definitely what'll fuck Lenin over the most, the DPS itself just is kind of shitty. Any competent carrier player is not going to smack face first into your (not super impressive) flak clouds, so you're stuck relying on DPS. Lenin just doesn't put out enough to deter any sort of strike.
  • It's junk. Is what I'm trying to say.



  • This is generally a lot of good news, but it has to be prefaced by one bit of bad news.
  • Lenin has an actual citadel, which I know is just mindblowing when it comes to battleships. It's not particularly huge and the armour over it is pretty good, but it's a sizable citadel.
  • By which I mean it comes up to about halfway the ship's freeboard. A broadside Lenin will crumble, and fast. Mistakes in this ship should be swiftly punished, if only because the HP pool also just isn't big enough to come back from unfortunate citadel hits.
  • This is legit the worst thing I could possibly say about it. For a battleship, having such a tall citadel is pretty standout.
  • The flat turret faces really like to eat a lot of shit, especially because your turrets cover most of your target aspect (unless you have your ass pointing at the enemy, in which case something, somewhere, went seriously wrong).

Soft stats

  • I mentioned the HP pool, right? It's pretty low for its tier. Not standout low (I like the word standout, lately), but it does mesh with the tall citadel in a not-so-good way. Losing 10-13k HP to a battleship citadel really hurts when that's a sixth of your HP and you can heal back about 10% of it.
  • It's not an issue totally unique to Lenin but in absolute terms, it might be something that'll affect your purchase. Who knows!
  • A little bit of nAtIoNaL fLaVoUr that Lenin neatly inherits from her tech tree siblings is that she's strikingly vulnerable to prolonged HE spam. Not because of shitty plating, but because her damage control is literally limited.
  • This is something that's been glossed over a bit but I feel like it fucks me over more than anything else when I play Lenin. If you go all in on consumable reserves, you get five charges of it. That's not a lot. Now that flooding is basically meaningless it's a little easier to deal with, but if the enemy cruisers decide to burn you down, you're probably going to struggle. A lot.
  • This isn't totally unique to Lenin but being able to resist fires for only so long is.
  • Also she gets one less heal charge compared to her peers with no superheal fuckery because I dunno.
  • The concealment is so-so. Bad side of average. Ish. 13.1km is alright. I think.


  • Lenin is on the slower side for the tier, outrunning only the USN battleships, with a much larger turning circle than those.
  • I'd probably rate her as having the worst T8 battleship mobility if I were pressed, but the playstyle doesn't mandate any exceptionally nimble characteristics, and if you find yourself having to kite away in Lenin you seriously fucked up. Bad.
  • My opinionated bullshit aside her mobility really isn't stellar. She's not nimble.


  • She looks like a fucking slipper.
  • u6g4nq1 - Buyers Beware: Lenin
    No, really, she does.
  • If you love slippers (like me) this might actually be a plus.
  • Tier 8 is a really shitty tier to be at in the year 2019 because everything is about tier 10. Lenin handles it a little better simply because she has such a static, un-risky (that's a word now, sorry) playstyle, but it's still just painful as hell sometimes.
  • Miscellaneous bad thing: my reviews.
  • It's not a buyers beware unless there's self-deprecating humour, right?
  • This is an odd point, and a totally subjective one (unavoidable in a review, but I try to base the meat off of objective things like, you know, actual stats) but whenever I play Lenin I go in expecting to be wowed based off the stats, and then I end up just being let down nearly every time. Lenin lacks a certain je ne sais quoi, like there's something missing that would really tie the ship together. I just don't know what.
  • More on this in the summary, but I figured I should put it here.

There are a lot of bits about Lenin I do like. Which, traditionally, is what we're going to talk about now.


The good stuff


Primary armament

  • It's a Russian Nelson.
  • what more do you need to know honestly
  • The guns themselves are pretty middle-of-the-road tier 8 battleship guns, though unlike some other same tier battleships they're proper 406mm guns. This means you overmatch 27mm. In the era of ''15'' guns at tier 8'' this is a very nice perk to have, indeed.
  • The penetration is perfectly middling. Slightly below the USN 16''/45 gun, I guess, but it's not standout bad in absolute terms, so Lenin pokes holes in stuff just fine.
  • The firing sectors are absolutely fantastic. I'm pretty sure (though not certain) you need about 28 degrees off the bow to get your third turret into action, which lets you pop off all your guns while still being (somewhat precariously) in autobounce range.
  • The dispersion curve means the thing really is accurate at short-to-mid range: specifically, she hits stuff more betterly than IJN BBs until 12km (in pure dispersion ellipse terms, disregarding sigma) and only starts losing out to regular USN and RN battleships at 15km. Past that it's an absolute shitshow, but hey we talked about that in the negative stuff.
  • The lazyish arcs help with making damage stick for various exciting reasons!
  • Like, the shells hit armour at a steeper angle, which makes the armour effectively thicker than it is and help them fuze on shitty plating!
  • And also they just don't go through the ship as fast as proper railguns, which means they might not rocket out the other side without ever exploding!
  • They're not like the USN ultrafloaters in this way, but overpenning is real on some of these ships (and other railgun battleships like Roma) and Lenin's shell drag makes this slightly less of an issue. Slightly.

Secondary armament

Secondary battery

  • Do not.
  • No.
  • Fuck you.
  • If you spec into secondaries on this thing I will come to your house and shit in all your cups and bowls. Do not test me. I will do it.
  • Since I remembered I'm only supposed to say good things in this part of the review, there are 6'' guns. They will do damage. Extremely rarely they will hit a DD, and even more rarely still they might detonate it. It's funny when it happens.
  • The layout is kind of nifty, with the goofy triple turrets and all. They kind of look like Kirov's and I swear when they revealed this thing I thought she would have 180mm secondaries but alas, it was not to be.
  • It sure looks real fuckin neato when all your secondaries are popping off, barking smoke and fire, and still hitting absolutely diddly fucking squat.


  • Lenin has a few anti-air guns.
  • That's really it. The AA suite is just so strikingly mediocre for the tier that the most positive thing is that it's there, and that it might dissuade an enterprising tier 6 carrier from trying to fuck up your day. There's really nothing else to it.



  • O H B A B Y
  • There is a lot of good stuff to say about Lenin's if you totally ignore the hyuge citadel. Which you reasonably could, given this thing has all the death sticks pointing forward.
  • UNIMPORTANT THING: The main belt is 350mm which is actually pretty good. Cruisers aren't going to be citadeling you, unless they're fuckhuge death cruisers like the large cruisers/battlecruisers (if you argue this in the comments I will ban you) or Moskva.
  • The gunhouse and barbette armour plating isn't horrible, which is a thing that's actually pretty relevant for things that roughly want to keep their front oriented towards the enemy, since turrets and barbettes present such a huge target aspect.
  • IMPORTANT THING: Lenin has immense protected volume.
  • Let's start with the ends. While they're not super tall, Lenin has 100mm end belts protecting her stern and bow, which can challenge even the mighty Yamato's game contrivance fuckery. As long as she doesn't hit the prow, anyway. Bonus: they shatter HE, if your enemy is dumb enough to fire HE at your waterline.
  • The freeboard above the citadel (ie upper hull) and weather deck are also well-protected against HE spam and game contrivance bullshit, with the lower uppet belt (yes) 150mm thick (bonus: no CL AP spam getting through there, unless you're right next to one) and the upper upper belt being 50mm thick, which is enough to shatter anything short of German 8'' crap. The weather deck is 45mm thick, which for all intents and purposes does more or less the same.
  • The ends are short enough to present only a small HE-spammable target, and also they saturate quick enough.
  • The TDS is a pretty middling 22%. It's not great but it's also not terrible.

Soft stats

  • The one upside of the limited DCP gimmick is that it recharges sorta fast? It's not as fast as Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya (I spelled this out without any help) but 40 seconds between damage control periods is nothing to sneer at. Until it runs out and you're fucked.
  • Battleship. Heal. Woa.


  • Uhh
  • It's not horrible. I mean. If you need to reposition, you'll get there eventually.
  • I guess the base rudder shift is okay? Yeah, I've got nothing, sorry. It's just on the crappy side of average.


  • The trawler-like ramp on the stern is kind of hilarious. I like it a lot. I don't know what purpose it really serves (did they value boat handling that much? I can't image that deck would've been very comfortable in bad weather) but it's cute.
  • The superstructure looks really cool, imposing and mean. It's like the Kriegsmarine admiral's bridge except it looks like an angry bunker.
  • I personally just really have a weak spot for all these wild Soviet-era paper designs. I know a lot of people hate them, but they're so charming and endearing I really can't help but like them, at least from an aesthetic point of view.
  • It's tier 8 so naturally it shits credits.
  • It's perfectly fine with any Russian captain you might choose to shove into it (well, maybe not a DD captain). In light of the recent Russian battleship line release, this is a neat little thing to have, I guess.

The history stuff

  • Uhh
  • Let's get this out of the way: Lenin was never built. Not even laid down. It didn't even have funds allocated for construction.
  • Soviet capital ship design is really not my area of expertise (I know some stuff about Project 23 because the preliminaries for it were really funny) but I'm going to try to talk about it anyway.
  • The Lenin we have in-game is Project 21/Design KB-4. Hearts of Iron 4 players might recognise Project 21 from before the Man the Guns naval rework.
  • To the best of my knowledge, design work on Project 21 was started in 1936-ish as a battleship for service in the Baltic Fleet. The design bureau worked on it for a while, but it came to nothing, and eventually the VMF decided to put their money on the larger Project 23 class.
  • I really don't have much else to say. If anyone has any interesting books on Soviet battleship design to recommend, please do hit me up.

In summary

All-forward ship, decent guns, fantastic plating. And yet something about Lenin feels off.

It's like there's something missing that really ties the ship together. Maybe I don't like the static playstyle. Either way, I can't put my finger on it. It's probably something subjective.

Likely-subjective bullshit aside, while Lenin is no world-eater of a ship, it's certainly very solid; it suffers more than usual when broadside and is one tough cookie when angled. It doesn't like extended DoT application. It's just a good, solid boat with a funny turret arrangement.

tl;dr Russian Nelson with all of the citadel and none of the shitty plating and soft defence (and also no bullshit HE)


As if ranked is ever going to return to tier 8.

If it ever does, Lenin might be an interesting option to consider over the usual North Carolina picks; you're not going to be flexing around as much, and when Lenin finds a position to sit in, it'll sit there for a while. Ranked also tends to have a bit less HE flying around to burn it down. It's certainly a ship to keep an eye on.

Should you buy her?

I know it's not in the shop anymore (I think) but for future reference.

  • If you're looking for a good ship: I mean, sure. Lenin is allround just a solid ship and it's not exactly hard to make her work to an acceptable degree.
  • If you're looking to buy an XP/credit grinder: sure. It's tier 8 which means mucho silver, and it's the only high tier captain trainer option you have for Russian battleships, which is an interesting proposition if you're considering going up the line.
  • If you're looking for something silly and/or fun: uh, I mean, no? It's a boring as hell playstyle and there's nothing really goofy about it apart from the fact it's shaped like a slipper.
  • If you're looking for a challenge: not… really? It's a perfectly good ship with all the tools it needs to have an impact on a fight. It's not really that challenging.
  • If you're looking for something historically significant: only if you like slipper-shaped historical curios or VMF stuff, like I do.

It's the return of the

Captain building corner

How horrifying is the mental image of building a captain? God.

I think I sorta know what skills do again. Maybe. Good thing you can basically ignore AA skills on this thing.

Full(ish) tank

A pick of tanking skills that just make you better at soaking up damage and punching people square in the dick. This is the only build worth a fuck on this ship.

  • Priority Target/Preventative Maintenance > Adrenaline Rush > Superintendent > Concealment Expert/Fire Prevention > Fire Prevention/Concealment Expert > Basics of Survivability > whatever the fuck you want

In that order.

Priority Target is the second best skill in the game imo. Knowing when you can and can't make cheeky turns is immensely valuable even on a battleship. A serious case can be made for Preventative Maintenance on a ship that likes getting hit in the turrets. Take your pick.

Adrenalin Rush is the best skill in the game, absolutely bar none. There is no other skill that lets you trade your HP for much of anything. Trading it for DPM is immense. Always spec into it first.

Superintendent is particularly vital on Russian battleships, given the limited damage control party and loss of one heal charge. Speccing into it first will do wonders for your overall ability to survive a prolonged fight.

Fire Prevention is a good first skill if you're in the camp of ''I am always spotted by planes''. Fires are the no. 1 threat this ship will reasonably face, and being harder to burn down is very useful. I still think Concealment Expert is useful in spite of the planes flying around and the nerf. Up to you which one you take first.

Basics of Survivability further helps you to not get burnt down by meanies like Wooster and HIV and all the other HE spam bullshit that's going around and in the pipeline.

After that take whatever the fuck you like. I took EM because I'm a dumbass, but JoAT, HA and etc are perfectly fine picks too. Do your own thing. Follow your dreams. Have an adventure. Live life.


  • Slot 1 – Main Armaments Modification 1

Helps your turrets to not die. The other picks are worthless. Battleships don't detonate that often, and if you're really worried, just go boom once and then start running the flags. Or run the flags if you hae them.

  • Slot 2 – Damage Control System Modification 1

The bonuses are small, but propulsion or rudder loss in battleships isn't common enough to not take it. If you're really worried about your limited DCP, I'm not stopping you, but so far it hasn't fucked me over. Yet.

  • Slot 3 – Aiming Systems Modification 1

Still not a hugely useful module, but the AA and secondaries on Lenin are just too shitty to really spec into. ASM1 will likely do you more good.

  • Slot 4 – Damage Control System Modification 2

I have traditionally ran rudder shift in this slot on a lot of my ships, but Lenin has a somewhat static playstyle and you really do want to reduce the impact of DoTs as much as you possibly can.

  • Slot 5 – Concealment System Modification 1

Still more useful than fucking TASM.

ship?index=PRSB518&modules=1111&upgrades=114120&commander=PCW001&skills=2183218177&ar=100&consumables=111&lang=en - Buyers Beware: Lenin

Here's a handy dandy WoWSFT link with my build in it.

Not a Vaexa review without an afterword.

No giveaway this time. I apologise, I wanted to sort it out, but I forgot to grab my giveaway codes like a total dumbfuck. I'll do a big one next time as an apology. Or at least I'll try.

If you don't like watching me act like a soggy piece of shit, you can stop reading here. Thanks for reading, I still love you, and if I fucked anything up please send me a PM so I may fix it. Just do me a favour and don't shit up the comments on a non-CV review with CV salt, we have a lot of other threads for that.

It has been a while, hasn't it? My review output has really dropped lately, and, well, to tell you the truth:

First off, I have a job and also I go to uni so I'm busy with that. I don't have that much time between my social life, work and school to write reviews.

Whenever I do sit down I get hit by this overwhelming wave of imposter syndrome that tends to really seriously fuck up my mood. I know I'm a soggy mess and that I should probably just nut up, but it's kind of hard and I've legit scrapped about four different reviews because I just didn't have the heart to write them anymore. If you still enjoy these, thank you, it really does mean the world to me that people enjoy these garbage reviews.

Also the subreddit has been a really, really, really negative place lately. I'm not going to say it isn't justified at all, this isn't the place for that, but whenever I look at the subreddit it's just all ''CVs BAD'' and it wears on me immensely. I already get confronted with the worst shit this community has to offer through the modqueue, and it's very demotivating when everything is just so negative and gloomy.

I've kind of forced myself to push through both of these in writing this review. It's not a super positive or triumphant one, but it's not PEF review-levels of gloom and, well, maybe it'll be a welcome break from the status quo? I don't know. I'm rambling. I had fun writing this and that's that. We'll see how it pans out.

If you do read my afterwords, thanks, I appreciate it. The internet doesn't have to be a cold, cynical place all the time.

Thanks for reading! As always, if I made any grammar or spelling errors or if you really think I'm talking out of my ass, let me know and I'll fix it asap. <3

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