This is a guide for new and intermediate players looking for some direction on how to build a viable HMS fleet efficiently.
Potential final team
Backline: Queen Elizabeth // Hood // Warspite
Escort: Belfast // Edinburgh // Leander Kai
- Queen Elizabeth (QE) is necessary, her HMS boosting aura is the linchpin of this strategy. Luckily, she is farmable at 5-2 and 7-1, in addition to being craftable from the Heavy Ship and some event recipes.
- Hood is not strictly necessary, but she’s absolutely busted and will increase your overall party firepower manyfold. You can get her by being lucky in crafting, or hope for her to appear in medal rotation. If you do have her, strongly consider assembling an HMS fleet.
- Warspite occupies the wildcard slot in the backline. She’s a solid BB with useful skills, but she can be replaced by another good HMS backline ship for fleet locking requirements, or if you are missing her.
- Belfast wins best the best SSR CL award by virtue of not being San Diego. Has excellent well rounded stats and two very relevant abilities. You can get CLs from any crafting recipe, use the cheap light ship recipe if you’re specifically aiming for Belfast.
- Edinburgh is another well rounded performer that boasts a massive max 4078 hp for a CL. Unfortunately she’s construction only, so try to get her while crafting for Belfast.
- Leander occupies the wildcard slot in the escort fleet. Her useful skills and kai blueprint tree help compensate for her normal rarity stats. She is a common drops from many maps
Other ships to consider:
- Illustrious is an SSR Fleet Carrier that will shield your escort fleet for 10% of Lusty’s HP for 8s on airstrike. Along with the quick cooldown provided by Hood and stats from QE, this can make an extremely annoying escort to deal with in PvP. A very strong choice that you may struggle to acquire.
- Unicorn is a SR Light Carrier that heals your escort fleet for 8% per airstrike and boosts escort reload by 15%. A PvE superstar for long maps, her low HP makes her a bit of a liability in PvP. All JP players were gifted a copy, but you can farm her in 4-4, 5-4.
- Ark Royal is a SR Fleet Carrier with a unique torpedo attack that slows the enemy. Lacking the defensive presence of the other carriers, she is reputedly good against certain bosses in world 8 and 9. Find her in world 6-3.
- Rodney/Nelson are SR BBs that have a 40% chance of doing a sweeping barrage on shelling. Durable, solid contributors who mesh well with Hood’s skill. Craft or farm them at 2-3 (Nelson), 2-4 (Rodney), 5-4 (both)
- Prince of Wales essentially has a blank skill in an HMS fleet, but as a stat stick to be boosted by QE she is very respectable.
- Cygnet Kai has a smokescreen and self-dodging skill. Despite her normal rarity she’s a very solid pick for when you want a DD in your lineup. Find her as a common drop in many maps, especially in world 1, 2 and 5.
- Suffolk Kai, Ajax Kai, York, London and Exeter are some interchangeable options if you need to run a CA in your fleet. They all offer solid boosts to their own firepower, but are fragile for CAs, especially compared to the beastly CLs available to HMS.
- Dorsetshire is an SR Heavy Cruiser that offers a fair bit more durability than the other HMS CAs (> 4k HP). Unfortunately she pairs a torpedo skill with a low torpedo stat, so don’t expect much offense from her.
(Bolded maps are where I expect you may have to stay for a while to gather equipment, if you didn’t open them in boxes)
- 1-4: Repulse, Renown – If you’re just starting out, you can find two HMS BBs here. I wouldn’t recommend farming them, as the XP gain for world 1 is fairly awful.
- 2-3, 2-4: Nelson, Rodney, Shouhou (IJN) – If one of these SR BBs fall into your lap while going through world 2, they will serve you well. Also, keep any copies of Shouhou you find – she’s a very useful healing carrier that only costs 4 fuel at level 70. Again, try to advance quickly to better XP maps.
- 3-2: Catapult, 127mm Single – If you want to use carriers extensively, it may be worth completing an SR catapult or two.
- 3-4: Akaga – A new player may want to spend some time here farming for toolboxes, and if Akaga fall into your lap, be happy. No need to dally too long here, though, better XP/equipment maps await.
- 4-2: TbtsKC36 150mm, 152mm triple – Grab a couple Tbts for your non-Belfast light cruisers, and the 152mm as a secondary for your battleships.
- 4-4: Unicorn, Cleveland – Extra copies of unicorn if you want to limit break her. If you’ve been very unlucky crafting HMS CLs, good old Clevedad can tide your escort fleet over until your fortune turns.
- 5-2: Queen Elizabeth – if you don’t have her yet, it’s time to put your grinding hat on. Dominus Reginam Conseruet
- 5-4: Unicorn, Rodney, Nelson // 40mm “pom pom” – A great map to farm if you want to beef up your backline or equip your front line with pom-poms.
- 6-2: 406mm MK6T3, 155mm triple – If you have Belfast and have not lucked into her gun from a box, you can look to farm the purple version here (or the gold version if you are verrry patient).
- 6-3: 406mm MK6T3, 410mm dual, autoloader – Make yourself comfortable, this will be your version of 3-4 for a while. Both BB guns are serviceable, and you want to gather as many autoloaders as you can. At the very minimum, get 2 copies for Hood.
- 6-4: Yuudachi // 610mm Quad (SSR, SR), 533mm Quint (SR), 105mm SKC – feel free to sit here and fish for Yuudachi all you like, and fill out your torpedo stock in the meantime, as well as gather AA guns for you backline.
- 7-1: Queen Elizabeth // 40mm “pom pom” (SSR) – Still don’t have her, or are looking to farm copies? Try this map, and you can even complete a great AA gun if you are patient.
- 7-4: 533mm Quint Torpedoes (SSR)
This guide is a work in progress, so please feel free to respond with any corrections or additions, and I’ll integrate them in as appropriate. I hope at least a few of you found it helpful!