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Shimakaze — Japanese Tier X destroyer.
Shimakaze, hull number 125, was an experimental destroyer, envisioned as the new generation of destroyer design for the Imperial Japanese Navy, born from the 1939 4th Naval Armaments Supplement Programme. Bigger and greater in tonnage than previous types, she carried a larger, higher pressure power plant than her predecessors, which resulted in the highest speed of any Imperial Japanese destroyer, along with the largest torpedo broadside of any previous destroyer, while still carrying a typical complement of main guns.
As the pinnacle of the Japanese Destroyer tech-tree, Shimakaze epitomizes the play-style of the main line of ships: a long-range torpedo boat with solid – albeit rather underwhelming – artillery. Shimakaze also boasts the absolute lowest detection range of any Tier X destroyer, further adding to the play style of the main line of Japanese destroyers.
The fundamental flavor of this ship are the unmatched volume of torpedoes that can be launched at once; therefore players must consider which torpedoes they wish to use, as it will affect the manner in which the ship will be utilized. It must be understood that the torpedoes individually are not as good as other nations’. The high range Type 93 torpedoes have an impressive range, but the torpedo detectability range of them is exceptionally poor at 2.5 km and this coupled with the lower than typical speed means landing hits is extremely challenging. The other two options are far more viable; the Type 93 mod 3 of 12km range has an on-par high speed, significantly lower detection and the strongest punch of any torpedo; The Type F3 of 8km range has outstanding, unrivaled speed, and a quicker reload, but at the cost of slightly worse detection and lower damage. The latter choice leads itself to very risky gameplay, but they are much more likely to land on a target, whereas the former 12km option leads itself to metered, conservative gameplay. With any option great care must be taken on positioning the ship safely to launch, and in considering and predicting the enemy’s expected movements.
Yūgumo and Shimakaze are the two 12.7cm-gun Japanese destroyers that enjoy relatively good gun reload compared to their predecessors and acceptable turret traverse speeds, and thus can be utilized as a reasonably acceptable gunnery platforms in some circumstances. This is not in line with some popular conceptions about Japanese destroyers. It is worth noting that while the reload is acceptable and the gun’s range is excellent, the damage-dealing capability will always lag behind other lines of destroyers by a large margin, so more than ever direct gun trades are not advisable. Japanese torpedoes have the highest flooding chance, so using the guns to light fires and damage modules before and after torpedo attacks can form a very effective and integrated play-style. Great care must be paid to enemy formations, especially in the case of hydro-acoustic search, radar, and enemy aircraft, as well as other ships.
In the hands of a cunning but cautious hunter, the Shimakaze can be made to shine.
Very good HE alpha damage, and nice rate of fire and turret traverse by IJN DD standards
Type 93 mod. 3 torpedoes have amazing damage and flood chance
Absolutely devastating salvo of fifteen (15) torpedoes
Three quintuple torpedo launchers provide significant flexibility
Fast rudder shift time, like other Japanese destroyers
Best concealment of all Tier X destroyers, can out-spot most Tier IX destroyers, too
Best speed of all IJN destroyers at 39 knots.
Smallest health pool of all Tier X destroyers
Torpedoes have poor stealth and are easily detected
Very long torpedo reload time
Somewhat poor torpedo launch arcs
Weak AA suite, vulnerable to plane attacks
Very large turn radius for a destroyer.
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