World of Warships

Weekly Ship Spotlight! March 12 Somewhere, 2019: Yorck

WorldOfWarships3 - Weekly Ship Spotlight! March 12 Somewhere, 2019: Yorck

I'll start this off by saying I was half way through a much longer spotlight that dug further into this strange ship's history when I encountered a random bluescreen during a break in Apex (thank you, retpoline). Thankfully there are other WoWS players who have dived into Yorck's interesting background, so I'm only going to cover the important bits here. Namely, Germany possessed a number of older protected cruisers armed with 210mm guns that were in need of replacing. Most of the remaining 210mm guns were given to the army which primarily used them as coastal artillery, and some were even used to arm railway batteries. Used for these purposes, new high explosive shells were developed. When plans were laid out to use some of these remaining 210mm guns to arm a new class of ocean trawler heavy cruiser the intention was to develop a modern AP shell as well, but the plans were scrapped before such a shell was developed.

* * *

That brings us to the Yorck, in-game. This is a ship most of us have probably breezed through and don't remember fondly at all. For those of us who remember playing it in the days of yore, it sat square in the middle of the German cruiser line, hyped for its AP, with the biggest guns on a tech-tree cruiser in the game before the Moskva's 220s took that crown, and its AP was atrocious. It was almost doing everything it could to punish you for wanting to use its AP, from the obvious things like its terrible penetration to the less obvious things– like its extremely poor alpha, and the fact it had completely different ballistics compared to HE from the same barrels. In fact, at max range, the shells would take almost 2 full seconds longer to reach their target. It was a ship that promised big things and then stole them all away from you.


However, it was still an extremely potent ship. It just demanded some special considerations. Its HE was always uniquely strong, its citadel low and turtlebacked, its main sections covered with armour from tiers above it, and its lackluster AP even having sheer size on its side to overmatch some of its opponents– raw penetration be damned. It's remarkably maneuverable despite all this, at 32kn with a 650m turning circle, and it boasts 6 fast torpedoes on each side with extremely aggressive angles, making it lethal to even much larger vessels in a brawl. If you're anything like me then after some initial aggravations and relearning you came to enjoy the Yorck for its eccentricities. And then WarGaming started beating the crap out of it with the buffbat and just didn't stop. Yorck gained 1/4 HE pen along with its cousins, making its HE even more ubiquitous. Then, more recently, the AP shell that was never replaced was replaced. The AP gained alpha, huge penetration power, and ballistics superior to the HE shell. Then, for good measure, the HE shells ballistics were slightly enhanced to match it.

All this results in a ship that is good at dancing and dishing out pain at any range. Yorck isn't really about finesse. It's about getting the job done, and it does that very well. There's truth in the saying that if all you carry is a hammer every problem begins to look like a nail, so be like Yorck and carry lots of different hammers for all of life's nails. If it's a bit too dangerous, hang back and bomb them with massive HE. Enemy misplays? Massive AP. Upgrade your already solid AA to fend off planes if you feel the need, or keep your enhanced Hydro on standby for bullying the little ones.

These days, Yorck is packing firepower far superior to what many of us likely remember. While you were pushing your Hipper out of port, glad to have moved down the line, Yorck was training. While you were starting another line, perhaps learning the joys of French cruisers, Yorck was training. While you settled in, assured that few things would catch you off guard in this game as a veteran player amassing a nice pile of T10s, Yorck was training. You can unfortunately no longer really celebrate Yorck's eccentricities by yelling "BLAST FROM THE PAST" as you pummel something at point blank with its woefully outdated AP, but you might have a lot of fun anyway if you revisit this weird old girl, devastating your peers with enormous alpha and refined ballistics stacked on top of a large toolbox of goodies to both get you into and out of trouble.

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