The Soukou-Tei, Sakigake is a rank I Japanese armored gun boat with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.89 "Imperial Navy".
Survivability and armour
The Soukou-Tei (1927) has 6mm of RHA protecting the turrets and the bridge, apart from this the hull is made up of the standard 6mm of steel. Overall, it's not very survivable at all, it does have some armour, but no enemy boats are going to struggle to get through it, cannons and heavy machine guns will have no trouble punching through. Additionally, because this vessel is so slow it is very easy to hit, as not much lead is required to land shots accurately, this artificially makes it less survivable than contemporary boats, despite the armour protection it has. It does, however, sit very low in the water, so this could lead to enemies missing a fair few shots at you if they're at the range, although like the majority of vessels around this battle rating use autocannons, it likely won't take very long for them to correct the range.
The Soukou-Te has incredibly poor speed and overall mobility, it can reach a max of 26 kph in realistic battle modes, which is slower than the vast majority of ships in-game, on some of the larger maps this boat will take an unnecessarily long amount of time to reach combat ranges it can actually fight in, which can be tedious to play around. Its ability to turn isn't terrible but isn't overly impressive either, it's about as much as you'd expect from a vessel this slow.
This boat is equipped with a low-velocity 37 mm cannon for its primary weapon, its performance overall is very poor and leaves a lot to be desired. It can only fire HE rounds which don't have a lot of penetration power, but they do adequate damage for the calibre and the gun can fire very rapidly. Despite this, though the gun is very inaccurate and close to unusable at the range, even at close range it's easy to miss, and if your enemy is quite fast it will take a few shots to acquire the lead and start landing shots on target. Additionally, in rougher conditions, the gun is almost entirely unusable, as it will bob up and down to such an extent that it becomes a real chore to land shots within even a few hundred meters.
The Soukou-Tei also comes with two 6.5mm machine guns, and these are close to being the least effective offensive weapons in the entire game. They can't penetrate the hull of any ships reliably past a few hundred meters and are limited to only being able to knock out exposed crew members, and even this is incredibly unreliable. The guns can only really deal reliable damage against aircraft, however, the guns cannot elevate past 25 degrees, meaning that if an aircraft is diving down to attack, these secondary guns will not be able to fire at them.
Usage in battles
Because of all the various drawbacks this vessel has, it's hard to pinpoint a truly effective way to play it, as it just does not excel in any capacity. A safe, and arguably effective way to play it is by using it as an escort for some of the larger ships on your team, this works in theory, but in practice, a lot of the large support vessels around this battle rating are almost twice as fast as you, so you'll likely be left lagging behind the group.
In any case, though aiming to stay close to friendlies is the best way to keep yourself afloat, you can't take much fire and you can't dish out damage, so you'll need a buffer from your team to help you out, in a one on one engagement you'll likely lose, as you just don't have the accuracy of the firepower to be able to quickly sink enemy boats at long or close range. You can, however, aid some of the larger ships in sinking enemy boats, try to aim for the same targets as your team to contribute to knocking them out.
Because most if not all friendly vessels will outpace you, try to aim to reach some cover around some commonly travelled areas of the map first, and then team up with any large friendly ships that come close to you afterwards, this allows for you to stay relatively safe for as long as possible. Try not to stray too far from cover or friendlies, you can't reliably engage past 1,000 meters anyway, and if an enemy starts engaging you at range and you're not in cover, there's nothing you can do as you're just too slow to retreat, and lack the firepower to cause much damage.
Pros and cons
- Fast fire rate for the main gun
- Incredibly slow
- Very weak firepower overall
- Very inaccurate main gun
- Secondary guns can't aim upwards to defend from aircraft
"Soukou-Tei" (装甲艇), also called "AB-Tei"(AB艇) is a Japanese landing support craft built by Imperial Army since the 1920s.
"AB-Tei Pioneer" is the first prototype of AB-Tei built 1928. This boat was bit top-heavy so during the war it modified to mast get shorter. Pioneer means its hull name, "Sakigake"(さきがけ).
During early of Chino-Japanese war, this boat was used for a patrol around Tianjin.
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|Motor torpedo boats||T-1 · T-14 · T-14 (Mod. 1) · T-38 · Type T-51b · PT-15|
|Motor gun boats||Ha-Go (mod. 1) · Type 4 (mod. 2) · Type 4 (Mod 4)|
|Motor torpedo gun boats||PG 02|
|Armoured gun boats||Soukou-Tei · Soukou-Tei No.4|
|Gunboats||Akebono · Chidori|