Welcome back to your weekly installment of the ship of the week! I'm sealclubbing moderator Tsukiumi – this week, we're taking things to the low tiers again (Someday, I’ll do a high-tiered review… As soon as Hellkuryuu season closes and the meta is more normalized). Without further ado, I bring you my most played ship…. Well, kinda. See, she never actually existed. So, we’ll do what any sane person would do and
omit the history section talk about her twin sister!
Without further ado, I give you the ship spotlight of the week!
The Kamikaze class destroyers were a slightly larger and improved Minekaze-class design. They carried the same armament as the Minekazes, but the location of the rearmost torpedo tubes and the guns were altered slightly. This actually manifests itself into game- we’ll talk about that in a bit. The lead ship of the class, Kamikaze, was laid down at the Mitsubishi Dockyard in Nagasaki towards the end of 1921. She was actually commissioned as “Destroyer No. 1”, being renamed to Kamikaze six years later.
By the time Japan entered war with China in 1937, these destroyers were obsolete. They were used as escorts for troop transports and invasion support. During World War II, they would also serve to escort merchant ships, and later, convoy escorts. Kamikaze was the only ship of her class to survive the war. She conducted several escort missions near the end of World War II near Singapore. She most notably engaged the submarine USS Hawkbill on July 18, 1945. The Hawkbill was attempting a torpedo run on a convoy off the coast of Malaysia. The torpedoes missed, and Kamikaze gave chase. She dropped several depth charges, which severely damaged the submarine, even partially blowing her out of the water. Hawkbill did escape though. After the war, captains Hitoshi Kasuga and Francis Scanland (Kamikaze and Hawkbill, respectively) wrote each other regarding the battle, and would become friends.
Kamikaze served for a brief period after World War II to bring Japanese troops home from Singapore, Bankok, and Saigon. She ran aground on June 7, 1946, while rescuing another repatriation ship off Cape Omaezaki. She was sold and broken for scrap in 1947. The other Kamikaze-class destroyers were all lost- four to submarine, three to air attack, and Hayate was sunk by shore batteries during the 1941 invasion of Wake Island.
Interestingly enough, according to the Wargaming Wiki, while Fujin never was an assigned name, her name is derived from reversing the Japnese kanji for Kamikaze’s name.
So, what’s she like in game?
Insanely fun. I'm closing in on almost 1,000 battles in my Fujin at the time of writing. Once you start playing her, you just don't want to stop! Three versions of the ship exist in game: The Kamikaze, Kamikaze R, and Fujin- All three are functionally identical; they only differ in appearance. Fujin comes with a Halloween-themed paint job that will take long-time players back to the 2015 Halloween event. Both the Salem Witch and Phantom Fortress share a similar paint scheme. For those who are newer to the game, here is the announcement for that event: https://worldofwarships.com/en/news/common/phantom-fortress/ .
My opinion of the event at the time was not positive in the slightest- the Salem Witch was pretty much a gimped Des Moines that went extremely slowly in a Tier IV ship slot, and the Phantom Fortress was essentially a gimped Essex at Tier V (With only one fighter plane per group). Back in 2015, matchmaker was different- often, Tier V would be top tier, and Tier III ships would be dragged into a Tier III-IV-V match. I have some awful memories of trying to fight these ships in a South Carolina and Saint Louis. But, I digress…. Kamikaze and Kamikaze R have a more conventional camouflage, while only Fujin has the Halloween paint scheme. A special “Clash of the Elements” camouflage for the Kamikaze R was also offered
Fujin and the twins Kamikaze compare most similarly to the Japanese tech tree ship Minekaze. At the time of release, they shared the same torpedo armament. Minekaze was hit with the nerf bat when the IJN DD tech tree split happened. Fujin and Kamikaze are slightly slower than the Minekaze, but make up for it in the attack department. Fujin and Kamikaze enjoy a higher torpedo alpha, and her torps are faster by a large margin. There is no noticeable difference in her torpedo launch angles, but her different gun placement means that in game she can make a broadside of her guns easier than Minekaze. She also enjoys a stronger HE shell alpha than Minekaze (2000 vs 1700).
Her anti-aircraft is pretty much a man sitting on the deck, who gives looks of disapproval to enemy aircraft. Her AA defense range is 0.99km, while she can bring her air detection radius down to 2.2km with the latest patch. You have no reason to turn off your AA in most circumstances, but don’t expect it to do anything. The all-time single game plane kills record on the NA server for Fujin, Kamikaze, and Kamikaze R is three plane kills each (Records held by Silverfox742, Cmdr_WSRamsey, and meatgrindr respectively). Seriously, those three people are the only three on the NA server to have attained three plane kills in a Kamikaze variant. You get the point- your AA is pretty much not a thing.
How to play the Fujin/Kamikaze/Kamikaze R:
**The first rule of torpedoes: They will hit ANYTHING in their way- NEVER fire them if allies could run into them. You will be launching torpedoes every chance that you can. **
Your torp reload is insanely quick- with commander skills, Fujin can reload in 42.3 seconds before Adrenaline Rush kicks in. Your fish will travel 7km at a speedy 68kts. Packing an alpha of 14,400 per torpedo, landing all six will kill almost all of the opponents that you will face, while a single torpedo can often take out an enemy destroyer for a nice, sweet “Devastating Strike”.
Fujin is excellent at contesting caps due to her concealment and torpedo power. With Concealment Expert and camouflage, her detection is 5.4km by sea (I know, right! Fujin’s camo totally blends in to her surroundings), and 2.2km by air after the latest patch. Playing one of these ships, you will likely outspot all the enemy DDs in game. Radar is not common at Tier VII, so often, you don’t have to factor that into a match.
If you have the commander skill points to spare, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you take the radio locater skill. Her torpedo reload is so quick that launching torps via the locater doesn't cost you much potential, and can often land in torpedoes landing if targeting a smoke screen.
Your torpedo aim will determine your abilities in this ship. Practice your torpedo aim, and you will have quite a few chances to rack up massive games. In fact, my damage record of 219,249 occurred in the Fujin. If you have the ability to catch an enemy off-guard, you will likely send him back to port quickly. If you catch an entire flank off-guard, you can rack up some insane games.
Fujin and Kamikaze are one of the last great torpedoboats in game IMO. Her reload, alpha, and concealment are extremely strong. In the right hands, she can be quite a powerhouse. If you’re facing against one, keep your turns random and vary your speed a bit, but don’t slow down too much, or you won’t be able to vary course too much. Sooner or later, almost any Kamikaze/Fujin captain will land a torp on you, but most captains will move to an easier target.
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