High Explosive Spam in World of Warships
High Explosive Ammunition Spam (HE SPAM for short) is something that we all must learn to deal with as we progress to tier 10. It’s not a tier 10 exclusive tactic but it begins to hurt bad at tier 8 and gets more dangerous at tier 9 and 10.
HE SPAM is a two-pronged attack, not only does HE explode on contacts with the possibility of doing damage regardless of armor angel it also has a chance to start a fire. That chance of starting a fire is based on the ship shooting at you. The tier 10 Royal Navy Battleship Conqueror has a 48% chance of setting fire per HE shell hit. Royal Navy tech tree cruisers have a 0% chance to cause fire with the main battery as they only have armor piercing ammunition. Cruisers and destroyers are the main ships to use HE but the Royal Navy Battleships are the ones that get people mad over HE ammunition.
The potential fires caused by high explosive ammunition is the main reason so many players feel its over powered and unrealistic. One of the main arguments is that HE ammunition was not historically used in ship VS ship engagements. This is true with the exception of a few specialized types of ammunition in use during WW2, but World of Warships is not a simulator game, it’s an arcade style game. In World of Warships high explosive ammunition is used for game balancing reasons, not historical accuracy.
Imagine trying to kill the USN battleship North Carolina in a cruiser with no torpedoes equipped with 152mm main battery and only had armor piercing ammunition. You would have almost no chance in that situation as the 152mm shells do not have the penetrating power to damage anything of significance on the North Carolina. On the other hand, the North Carolina only needs to get a few hits when returning fire on the cruiser to kill it, with the possibility of killing it in one salvo if the citadel gets penetrated.