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Found 33 results

  1. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review - Congress

    The following is a review of Congress, the tier VIII American Large Cruiser. This ship was provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes at no cost to myself. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.10.9. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. I'm approaching this review a little differently. I want to examine Congress the way an experienced player might; one that followed the quick descriptions made about her around the time of her development. Namely: "Congress is a tier VIII Alaska with two fewer gun barrels." I want to explore how close this kind of shorthand is and if it actually reflects how Congress plays. To this end, I will be directly comparing Congress to Alaska; a ship that has since been retired for "too much battle influence" (or too much popularity). For someone fearing of missing out, knowing Alaska's fate (and that of most large cruiser premiums in World of Warships), Congress might not be available forever. So let's get stuck in. PROS Congress has the largest hit point pool of the tier VIII cruisers. Access to a Repair Party. Excellent armour protection for a cruiser with 229mm belt, 27mm extremities and 36mm thick deck. Excellent AP performance, including good penetration and improved auto-ricochet angles. Good accuracy with battlecruiser dispersion and 2.05 sigma. Good anti-aircraft firepower. Access to Surveillance Radar. CONS Fires burn for a full 60 seconds. Main battery only consists of seven guns, making bad RNG feel a lot more punitive. Floaty ballistics at long range. Poor damage output and fire setting. Bad rearward firing angles. Sluggish handling and poor overall agility. Bad concealment. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / CHALLENGING / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme Wargaming really missed the mark when designing Congress. She struggles to win any of the fights she picks. While she is tough for a cruiser, she's not battleship tough. For a new player, this means low-damage games or quick returns to port. Sometimes both. The real damning element here is her reload time and the small number of gun barrels. She punishes bad aim and bad RNG can punish even well aimed shots. For a ship that struggles to put out the damage, this is the kind of thing that quickly erodes player confidence. For someone inexperienced with the game, Congress is setup to frustrate rather than delight enterprising players. For veterans, Congress' durability is more exploitable. Similarly, her vision control, grace of her consumables, can turn key moments in game play. Finally, the improved auto-ricochet angles on her AP rounds is also something that can be exploited. However, the small number of guns limits this last influence considerably. There's some carry potential here, mostly in a team-comp setting where being able to bring a radar with heals matters. Options There are a few differences to note between Alaska and Congress here, but they're both very influential. The most notable is that Alaska has access to the 6th upgrade slot while Congress does not. The second is a modification to her Repair Party consumable, with Congress having one fewer charge than Alaska. Third, if you take her Catapult Fighter, Congress launches 3 aircraft instead of Alaska's 4. I've highlighted these differences in purple. Consumables At a glance, Alaska and Congress have the same consumables, but there are some slight differences between the options available to the two ships. Congress's Damage Control Party is standard for a cruiser. It has a 60s reset timer with a 5 second active period and unlimited charges. You have two choices for her second slot. Defensive AA Fire provides a 50% sustained DPS increase for 40 seconds along with quadruple flak burst damage. This has an 80s reset timer. Congress receives the American cruiser bonus with this consumable, starting with four charges instead of three. Hydroacoustic Search detects torpedoes at 3.5km and enemy ships at 5.0km. This has a 100s active period and a 120s reset timer. It comes with three charges base. Her third slot presents the choice of three options: Her Surveillance Radar has a 10km range, a 35s active period and a 120s reset timer. It comes with three charges. Her Catapult Fighter launches 3 planes. The aircraft remain active and on station for 60s at a range of 3km. It has a 90s reset timer and three charges base. Finally, her Spotter Aircraft increases her firing range by 20% for 100s (to 21km). This has a 240s reset timer and comes with four charges base. Finally, Congress' has a Repair Party. This comes with two charges base. Each charge queues up to 50% of penetration damage and 10% of citadel damage. She heals up to 14% of her health over 28 seconds with an 80 second reset timer. Upgrades There's a lot to cover here, including multiple Special Upgrades which can be purchased through Armory for 17,000. Remember that Alaska can take the sixth upgrade slots while Congress is limited to these five. Otherwise, their choices of upgrades are identical in the current meta. For your first slot: Main Armaments Modification 1 is arguably your best choice to help keep your guns in the game longer. However, there are some choices (and I can't believe I'm about to suggest the following): Given the extra burden being placed on Congress' Damage Control Party with the unmitigated disaster that is submarine implementation at the moment, there's a good argument to be made for taking the special upgrade, Damage Control Party Modification 1. I don't feel this is optimal but I would be remiss not to suggest it given the careful timing needed to kill torpedo guidance on top of Congress' vulnerability to fire. Finally, extra range makes this ship easier to play, so the special upgrade, Spotting Aircraft Modification 1 is worth mentioning. Alaska is unlikely to take this mod given her improved gunnery range over Congress. For your second slot, it's again a glut of choice. The special upgrade Surveillance Radar Modification 1 is arguably best. This is closely followed by Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 which is also a special upgrade. Taking this precludes you from using her Defensive AA Fire consumable, though (not a terrible loss, admittedly). Finally, if you cannot afford either, default to Damage Control System Modification 1. In your third slot, things calm down considerably. Aiming System Modification 1 is your best choice, hands down. Like, it's not even close. However, if you hate slow turret traverse rates and find yourself losing out on damage because of how much time you spend waiting for turrets to catch up, then there's a case to be made for Main Battery Modification 2. In your fourth slot, we're back to a glut of choice. Damage Control System Modification 2 will help reduce the damage over time effects from fires and floods. Steering Gears Modification 1 is my preferred choice as it helps avoid damage in the first place. However, I don't think that she mathematically exceeds the efficiency of DCSM2 by much, if at all. Finally, there's a VERY strong case to be made for Propulsion System Modification 1 in the current submarine-meta. Island camping is the best way to avoid torpedoes and fast acceleration throws off their tracking considerably. In your fifth slot: Concealment System Modification 1 is best. There's a case to be made for Steering Gears Modification 2 as an option, particularly when paired with the same upgrade in slot four. Alaska has a sixth slot. Congress does not. Camouflage The main difference here is that Alaska has tier IX permanent camo with improved economic gains. Congress's camo provides the usual tier VIII bonuses: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -10% to post-battle service costs. Alaska receives -20%. +50% to experience gains. Alaska receives +100%. Congress comes with the dark blue camo scheme. You can unlock the (much better looking) pale grey version through completing the 5th tab of the American Cruiser Collection. Differences in Options The biggest difference between Alaska and Congress is one of tiering. Being a higher tier, Alaska has more upgrade options and better camouflage. The only other differences of note are with their consumables, with one being minor (one fewer aircraft for their catapult fighter squadrons) and one major (Congress receiving one fewer charges of her Repair Party than Alaska). To me, only the Repair Party disparity really stands out as something somewhat unexpected for a tier VIII version of Alaska but it's easy enough to justify if the ship was too survivable at her tier. We'll have to keep this difference in mind for the Durability section below. Firepower Main Battery: Seven 305mm/50 guns spread between three turrets in an A-B-X superfiring configuration with the guns laid out in a 2-3-2 pattern. Secondary Battery: Twelve 127mm/38 guns in 6x2 turrets with one superfiring forward over the main battery forward, one superfiring aft and the other four divided evenly along the sides. Congress has the same AP penetration values as Puerto Rico and Alaska. For a large cruiser, her AP penetration is decent, but not top of the line. The 305mm/50 guns found on Congress, Alaska and Puerto Rico are excellent weapons. Their AP shells boast improved auto-ricochet angles, akin to the "American Piercing" shells found upon their heavy cruisers. They do not begin checking for ricochet until they strike a plate angled 60º from the perpendicular as opposed to 45º for most AP rounds. They are not guaranteed to ricochet until they hit a plate 67.5º from the perpendicular instead of 60º. This almost (ALMOST) makes their AP shells the only ammunition you need to have loaded. However, there are still many instances where their HE shells are still necessary. Anything other than very light and some lower tiered cruisers and destroyers can bow-in an auto-ricochet their AP rounds. You'll want HE shells against the lolibotes because they only take 10% damage from penetrating battleship calibre AP rounds (and these shells certainly qualify). Obviously the biggest difference between Congress' armament and that of Alaska is the number of guns. But there are three other differences of note. The first is something minor. Congress' X turret has better fire angles than Alaska. She's capable of maintaining auto-ricochet angles on her hull while still engaging targets which is REALLY nice but ultimately not game changing. While this will allow her to (partially) bully 381mm armed battleships and large cruisers, there's a glut of battleships that can overmatch her 27mm snoot. And it's not like those extra few degrees are inaccessible to Alaska either; she just needs to flutter her rudder back and forth between salvos. Thus this is really more a quality of life benefit than anything worth celebrating. The second is one of range. Alaska has excellent range, able to reach out to almost 19km. Congress makes do with a respectable but nowhere near as amazing 17.5km. Unlike Alaska, Congress cannot elect to increase this further through a sixth-slot upgrade. While people are more likely to reach for a faster reload if this option were available, it's still worth noting. The third (and most pressing) is Alaska's guns reload 2 seconds faster base. Congress's 22 second reload is identical to that of Puerto Rico two tiers higher. But unlike the higher tiered ships, Congress cannot take the sixth upgrade slot's Main Battery Modification 3 to accelerate her rate of fire. Combined with the two fewer guns you get the following shell outputs for the three ships (stock/MBM3) Puerto Rico: 32.7 / 37.2 rounds per minute Alaska: 27 / 30.7 rounds per minute Congress: 19.1 rounds per minute This is a HUGE disparity, with Congress having less than two-thirds the firepower of Alaska despite having over three-quarters of her main battery. This right here is what turns many people away from Congress who are expecting Alaska-levels of performance Congress looks even worse when you compare her to other cruisers and she's not even competitive with tier VIII battleships despite her faster reload. The reality is that Congress' damage output is painfully low if you cannot reliably land citadel hits. Her HE damage output and fire setting is especially pathetic. This isn't a ship designed to out-trade opponents, but rather one that's in it for the long haul; taking opportunistic bites where they present themselves and keeping an eye out for vulnerable targets where she can blow out their machine spaces and magazines. Even then, her alpha strike is much more limited and with a smaller number of guns. Her DPM is appalling and made worse that her gun accuracy is worse than all of the other cruisers on this list. It's important to keep in mind that larger gun calibre ships tend to have lower DPM. To put this in perspective, stock Alaska (which is a good ship) has 240,300 AP DPM and 116,100 HE DPM which would look rather modest when stacked against tier VIII cruisers, to say nothing of tier IX ships. You're not going to find anything redeemable about her fire setting either. After you account for innate fire resistances of higher-tiered targets and your own dispersion, you'll be lucky to make a single fire stick onto a target. If you're trying to set blazes, pick on something that already has her Damage Control Party taxed from submarines or HE spam. Congress has the same gunnery dispersion as Alaska (shown here). This is 180 AP shells fired at a stationary Fuso bot at 15km. The Fuso lacks camouflage while Alaska was using Aiming System Modification 1 to reduced dispersion by 7%. Shots were coming in from right to left. Alaska, Puerto Rico and Congress all use Graf Spee's horizontal dispersion formula (Range x 8.4 + 48m). Alaska and Congress both have 2.05 sigma. So what gives? Is Congress crap? Does her poor firepower reign her in? Has Wargaming nerfed the concept too much that it's no longer competitive? Well, no. Her numbers are fine (in fact, she's one of the better performers at her tier). The issue is that her gunnery feels miserable. This is largely owing to the fewer gun barrels. RNG feels much more influential when a ship fires fewer shells per volley. You'll notice that one stray shell more than you would in a broadside of nine, ten or twelve guns where one or two errant trajectories is more easily dismissed. Compound this with her long(ish) reload and her dispersion feels downright cruel at times despite being no different than Alaska's -- doubly so when you're not always in range. This is the same affliction which makes German battleship dispersion feel terrible despite them having comparable accuracy to British battleships. Fewer shells means RNG matters that much more. So while Congress is capable of putting out some reasonable amount of damage, you're much more likely to remember that time RNGeebus gave you the finger and made you miss the citadel of that broadsiding Mogami. Unlike Alaska, Congress' selling point isn't her guns. They're decent but they don't feel anywhere near as good as her tier IX counterpart's. If you need your premiums to wow you with their firepower, then stay away from Congress. Differences in Firepower Alaska has better firepower across most parameters. Alaska has nine guns to Congress' seven. Alaska's guns reload faster. Alaska's guns have more range. Alaska can mount an upgrade to either increase her range or reload time. Alaska has longer ranged secondaries. The only places where Congress is better is that she has an extra 6º worth of fire arc on her X-turret and her shells are 90 credits each instead of 125 credits. VERDICT: Unimpressive. A combination of slow-reload, only modest range and few guns dulls the performance of her otherwise excellent AP rounds. Durability Hit Points: 51,150 Maximum Citadel Protection: 27mm extremities + 260mm athwartship or 229mm belt + 19mm citadel roof or water + 178mm belt + 26mm citadel wall Min Bow and Deck Armour: 27mm Torpedo Damage Reduction: 13% Chonkzilla. Meet the best-protected tier VIII cruiser. Congress is a ship of durability superlatives at tier VIII. She has the best armour. She has the most hit points. She has the best-protected citadel. She even has a Repair Party -- something two thirds of the tier VIII cruisers lack. Congress has a larger effective health pool with her heals than anything short of the portable-dry-dock equipped British ships. Even her structural plate is the best you'll find at her tier, with extremities capable of auto-ricocheting up to 381mm AP shells and an amidships deck immune to 203mm HE rounds. Add on hidden deck, a waterline citadel placement and turret faces and barbettes in excess of 300mm thick and Congress resists damage better than any of her same-tier competitors. Like her sister ship, Congress is tough enough to take a turn up on the front lines if needs be and help the battleships tank incoming fire; especially when she's top tier. Short of hit points and heals, Congress shares the same protection scheme as Alaska BUT she has the bonus of facing lower-tiered opponents. Tier VI and VII light cruisers with 152mm guns cannot penetrate any of her structural armour without Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. She easily (EASILY) bullies lower tiered cruisers with almost disdainful ease and can even strong-arm some of the battleships at medium-to-close ranges thanks to her structural plate. Congress feels ridiculously overtuned when she's top tier because of this protection scheme, with only same-tier cruiser and battleship opponents being credible threats. When facing tier IX and X ships, her durability falls away to more reasonable, though still highly competitive levels. Would that this applied against all threats. Fire and torpedoes are Congress' bane, particularly the 0.9.10 threat of submarine launched fish. Though she has a cruiser's (relatively) fast-reloading Damage Control Party, in the current meta, it's easily overtaxed. Fires burn for full 60 seconds (18% of her total health instead of 9% like other cruisers). Her anti-torpedo protection is insufficient to resist all but air-dropped torpedoes and most hits strike her citadel, allowing only 10% of their damage to be healed back from her limited charges of Repair Party. Submarines absolutely LOVE her clumsy agility and allergy to fires. Congress is prone to having her Damage Control Party on cool down and she's not agile enough to dodge guided fish. As tough as she is, as big as her hit point pool might be, it only takes a few torpedo hits to send her to the bottom. While Congress is fairly resistant to shell damage, that's really the extent of it. Thus she's most comfortable against other surface targets slinging AP and HE shells at her. This extensive durability and survivabiliy is Congress's main selling feature. While Alaska is a more well-rounded when it comes to the balance between firepower and durability, Congress relies much more heavily on her durability to keep her competitive. The idea is that she outlasts other cruisers and can stay in the game long enough to make up for her lacklustre striking power. This definitely works. It's not terribly exciting, but it works. The Alaska-class has layers of hidden armour beneath her maindeck that you can't see in the port, including a 96mm/102mm deck between the upper deck and citadel roof (her roof sits just under the waterline). There are three ways for AP rounds to citadel Congress. The first is a subsurface hit that strikes the lower belt and punches into the 26mm citadel wall. Any battlehship calibre AP shell greater than 356mm can overmatch the 26mm citadel wall, so even heavily angled shots that barely passed the ricochet check against the outer hull can still cause citadel hits this way. The second is a bow or stern shot that goes through the 27mm extremities and then smacks into the 260mm transverse bulkheads that cap the citadel at either end. Finally, shells can punch through the 229mm upper belt and then overmatch through the 19mm citadel roof at a very shallow angle. Overall, Congress's armour is excellent for a cruiser. Differences in Durability There are three main differences between the two ships. Alaska has more hit points than Congress. Alaska an extra charge of her Repair Party. This gives Alaska a much larger potential health pool -- just over 100,000 hit points if all of her heals can be used optimally (and they never will) while Congress tops out just over 75,000. Alaska's superstructure hit-box does not include the extra bit of 16mm plate in front of her armoured conning tower. The 3D geometry of the two models is identical, but Congress maps out that hit box while Alaska does not. This makes Congress the slightest-bit more squishy to small and medium calibre HE shells as hits in this exact spot to Alaska will shatter off the armoured bridge. It's a silly, inconsequential difference, but hey, it's there. VERDICT: This is the best thing about her. Heals at tier VIII is huge, to say nothing of taking fewer citadel hits than her contemporaries. Agility Top Speed: 33 knots Turning Radius: 850 meters Rudder Shift Time: 13 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 4.8º/s at 26.4kts Main Battery Traverse Rate: 6.0º/s | Insert sad trombone noises here. Congress handles like a battleship, albeit a fast one with good turret traverse rates. Her 850m turning radius is appalling and her rate of turn lamentable. Pair this with a sluggish rudder shift time I've seen dogs drag their butts across the carpet with more grace than this ship handles. Congress isn't a fast cruiser either, by any means. Her speed of 33 knots (34.7 knots with a Sierra Mike signal) isn't enough to dictate engagement ranges at high tiers. Sure, while she's top tier she can run rings around most of the tier VI and VII super-dreadnoughts and post-treaty era battleships but nearly every capital ship gets going in a hurry once you cross that tier VIII threshold, to say nothing of the cruisers. Of course, running out in open water isn't exactly Congress's style either. She has horrible rearward gun angles which are patently ill-suited to kiting. Her horrible agility, modest top speed and similarly modest range don't lend well to trying to actively dodge either. Congress is most comfortable with an island protecting her side with her bows peeking out to take pot-shots at vulnerable targets. Sadly, this is more comfortable than effective. Differences in Agility Congress and Alaska have the exact same agility. Congress does NOT have very good fire angles for kiting with terrible rearward fire angles. Seriously: Booooo! And I don't mean that in the Hallowe'eny way either. Her forward fire angles are good though. It's kind of funny how the 6º/s gun rotation on Congress feels okay but this exact same value on a 203mm heavy cruiser feels painfully slow. VERDICT: She sucks and not in a sexy way. Anti-Aircraft Defence Flak Bursts: 4 + 1 explosions for 1,540 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.8km. Long Ranged (up to 5.8km): 108.5dps at 90% accuracy (97.7dps) Medium Ranged (up to 3.5km): 273dps at 90% accuracy (245.7dps) Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 150.5dps at 85% accuracy (127.9dps) So this section is why this review was so delayed (I was originally planning to have this review out a week ago). You see, Congress inspired a project. Annoyed with the post-rework AA, I wanted to see how well Congress' AA would stack up back before patch 0.8.0 dropped. This involved way too much research time and digging through the Wayback Machine to look at archived stats. Before I knew it, I was collecting the old AA values for every single AA mount in the game and it was suddenly Wednesday. Whoops. For those unaware, unlike today, the old system had AA values determined by weapon mount. A quad-barrel 40mm Bofors nest always generated 15.9 at 3.5km per mount (these could then be modified by skills, upgrades, consumables, player actions and signals). So if you saw a ship with eight of these Bofors nests, you knew that this ship generated 127.2 dps at 3.5km. It didn't matter what tier the ship was. It didn't matter what type the ship was. You also knew that each Bofors nest lost through combat would reduce your AA DPS by that same 15.9 value. It was very intuitive, even if the rest of the AA system was a convoluted mess (seriously, lots of RNG to determine if an individual plane was shot down). But it meant that you could look at historical ships and get EXCITED if they had a lot of AA mounts on a given ship. That's something that's been lost since the rework. Wargaming makes up the values with a hefty-dose of BALANS™ thrown in and we get what we get. Now, the reason I did all of this was because I wanted to see if Congress would have been a GOOD AA ship back in the day. If I can't be excited for what we have (spoilers!) then maybe I could sigh whimsically at what could have been. Anyway, that just explains the delays. It's a going-nowhere project sparked by a heavy dose of nostalgia for the game as it existed back in 2018. I blame everything that happened with Yukon and the current submarine mess for making this trip worthwhile. Anyway, back on task! You could be forgiven if you mistake Congress for having a similar AA layout to Alaska minus some Oerlikon mounts. Wargaming did make some significant changes, though, halving the number of Bofors barrels by cutting Alaska's quads down to twins on Congress. As a result, Congress has about two-thirds the effective AA firepower to Alaska which puts her right-around Cleveland and Montpelier levels of overall effective AA cover. By the standards of today, this makes her AA power "good" for a tier VIII cruiser though it's hard to call any tier VIII AA firepower "effective" against anything other than tier VI CVs. Sure, you can bruise incoming squadrons but you can't prevent drops. The best you can hope for against tier VIII and X CVs is to be too expensive of a target to drop on repeatedly. However, if it comes down to winning the game, there's not much you can do to prevent them from taking you out. Your AA is good, but good doesn't cut it these days. Congress' AA firepower will not keep you safe. At best, it makes you a lower priority. Differences in AA Defence Let's do the list. Alaska's twelve 127mm/38 guns generate 94.5 dps while Congress' twelve 127mm/38s generate 97.7. No, this does not make sense. Yes, they are the exact same mount. Alaska has fourteen quad-40mm Bofors generating 337.1 dps while Congress has fourteen twin-40mm Bofors generating 245.7 dps. Alaska has thirty-four 20mm Oerlikons generating 208 dps while Congress has only twenty 20mm Oerlikons and generates 127.9 dps. Alaska's flak explosions deal an average of 1,610 damage. Congress' do 1,540 damage because she's lower tier (flak explosions scale with tiers). Alaska's flak explosions have a slightly larger blast size. VERDICT: Functional. Vision Control Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 15.5km / 12.18km Base/Minimum Air & Underwater Detection Range: 9.72km / 7.87km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 12.09km Maximum Firing Range: 17.5km This all suuuuuucks! But she can have an American Surveillance Radar, so that's pretty good. Differences in Refrigerators Nadda. Alaska and Congress are identical here. VERDICT: Suuuuuuuucks except for the radar. Find island. Make them your Waifu. Anti-Submarine Warfare ASW Armament Type: Airstrike up to 5km away Number of Salvos: Up to two Reload Time: 90 seconds Aircraft: Two flights of two PBY Catalinas with 2,000hp per plane. Drop Pattern: 6 bombs each dropped evenly over roughly a 4km column Maximum Bomb Damage: 2,100 Fire Chance: 12% The usual caveats for discussing anything related to submarines apply here: submarines and anti-submarine warfare are all highly volatile at the moment. I didn't get to playtest Congress much against submarines, so I don't have a lot to add. Her armament represents the current low-bar minimum for high-tier ASW, with a pathetic 5km range (and 4km drop column) on a spread of depth charges. This is, unfortunately, more effective than depth charges as Congress can launch these without needing to drive right overtop of a sub. While depth charges will do more damage, Congress is more likely to survive attacking a sub. In my not so humble opinion, all ships should have access to ASW airstrikes as subs are designed currently. Yes, even destroyers and cruisers with depth charges. They should get airstrikes too. Differences in ASW None. Again, Alaska and Congress ditto one another here. VERDICT: I regret that this section is a thing. Final Evaluation Let's start off by addressing this assumption: "Congress is a tier VIII Alaska with two fewer gun barrels." She isn't. Congress is a nerfed tier VIII Alaska with two fewer gun barrels, most notably losing out on health, heals, rate of fire, range and AA firepower. If Alaska is a fun, competitive tier IX premium, Congress is merely an average tier VIII offering. Yes, Congress is tough as all get out. Yes, her individual AP shells hits are frightening but as a 'total package' kinda deal? Don't buy into the hype. Congress is a shadow of her tier IX sister-ship. Really, the best thing about this ship is her survivability and that only applies if you play her conservatively. Still, tough as she is, she's not going to stay in the game long if you play recklessly (believe me, I tested this thoroughly with VERY aggressive pushes). Her small main battery makes it very difficult to win in straight up trades provided your opponent isn't an idiot.. And even when they mess up and give you one of those juicy broadside hits, a bad bout of RNGeebus will exaggerate Congress' small broadside weight. It's a tough pill to swallow when a ship's performance is so closely tied to taking opportunistic shots when so few shells fly downrange on a per-volley basis. It's hard to find much endearing with a ship who sells itself on citadel-striking ability but it can't deliver on that promise. All of this is made worse in that Wargaming totally butchered the historical design they claim Congress is based upon. Congress isn't the CA-F2 project. Wargaming very-lazily cloned Alaska's hull assets and swapped around her armaments with guns inspired by (but not matching) CA-F2's layout. @Kingpin61 put together this post way back in April 2021 and I'm shamelessly borrowing one of his jpegs here so you can see for yourself. This is the ship we should have gotten: Note the twin funnels and placement of the rear catapults, to say nothing of the four-guns forward, three guns aft layout. Congress reminds me of Yukon on so many levels. She's tough. She doesn't hit very hard. Her name sucks. She's a disappointment to those who were most invested in seeing her added to the game. Congress isn't terrible, but lordy, she's very obviously intended to ride the Alaska hype-train and hope that generate sales. When you look at her on her own, washing away the Alaska pedigree, there's not a whole lot to love here. This is a ship that needs time (and enemy mistakes) to do well in. Her durability combined with the utility of her Surveillance Radar guarantees that she's got enough of a toolkit to be useful. But lordy, I miss the days when premium ships had some striking power to them. I did not have a good time with Congress. Not during testing and not during my revisit of her in October to refresh my memory. I don't think very highly of Wargaming's design and I didn't find her game play entertaining. If I'm going to play an anemic tank, I'll play the one Chobi and I had a hand in making. Solid pass from me.
  2. Here we go! This is a complete rework of my previous USN CB Line, this time starting from tier 5. The only ship to not be reworked is the Tier 10, USS Guam. Tier V USS Memphis Last of the Big Armored Cruisers, the Tennessee-Class were the largest and most powerful class of armored cruisers built by the USN. The four ships of the class were initially named after states, but were named after cities in those states in the 1920s, when they were reclassified as heavy cruisers to free up those names for battleships. The ship, as presented stock, is based off of the Memphis (ex-Tennessee) as she was commissioned. In this configuration, she’ll mostly play as a battleship, except with fewer guns and weaker armor, those with subsequent upgrades, she will start playing close to a battlecruiser or supercruiser. The most visible change, of course, would be the Hull B upgrade, which would reduce the funnels for 4 to 3 and change the bow from a ram bow to a flared bow similar in design to the one found on the Lexington-Class Battlecruiser (modeled in-game as Constellation). It would also eliminate the lower 6” casemates and 3” sponsons, while adding some of those 6” guns as open mounts on the upper decks. It would also add in at least some anti-air in the form of 5”/25 and .50 cal guns. While I’d want the funnel change to be reserved for the engine change, I do not know of any ships that have such a feature. Speaking of engines, it was found that they could install a power plant similar to that found on USS Ranger into the 3 remaining ships of the class without having to reshaft the ships, which would give the ships (USS Memphis having earlier being destroyed by a tsunami) a speed of 26 knts. This was never carried out. As part of the various modernization plans, where was discussion of replacing her aging twin 10”/40 main battery with newer triple 8”/55 guns, which I believe would appear similar to the B and X turrets of the Pensacola. Tier VI “Reciprocal Cruiser” USS New York City [Picture Not Available] A follow-up design to the Tennessee-Class, this ship was proposed by the Naval War College and was favored for a time, before losing out in favor of the battlecruiser. The idea of the “Reciprocal Cruiser” was to trade armament for speed, as opposed to the battlecruiser, which traded armor for speed. This cruiser was supposed to be powerful enough to fight through a screening element and survivable enough to comeback to report what intelligence was gathered. At this moment, I have been having difficulty getting hard numbers for this ship, but what is known is that it would have been similar in size to the Tennessee, but would trade the latter’s 6-inch battery for heavier armor and 12-inch guns. For armor, I looked to period USN battleships and used their upper belt for the main belt and the casemate armor for the upper belt, while the deck armor was kept the same (meaning a vulnerability to plunging fire). The turret armor is off of the USS Connecticut (1906), which also used the same guns. The speed is based off of the fact that the USN wanted ships 20% faster that battleships to handle this role (this was shortly after the battlecruiser won out over the reciprocal cruiser, but they were two different ways to do the same job, so I thought it appropriate). The upgrade from Hull A to Hull B will follow the same idea as the previous class, with a more modern bow being added, as well as sacrificing the lower casemates and sponsons, which would be wet, anyway, for better compartmentalization. Tier VII Heavy Cruiser Scheme 3 USS Sacramento One of the designs leading up to the Alaska, this scheme was rejected, as it was seen as "unbalanced". That is, this design was meant to stand up only against 8" gun fire, and not 12" guns. I feel that the Sacramento would be a good transition from the Armored Cruisers to the Large Cruisers, without being too over powered. She introduces the three turret layout and the speed, while missing the overall heavy armor of the preceding ships. Tier VIII CA2-E USS Samoa While at first glance, the Samoa might look like a Congress with one less gun, but the Samoa follows the armor profile of the actual CA2-E, meaning that the main deck is 51mm, as opposed to the 38mm of Congress. Overall protection from bombs should be the same, as the main deck is thicker, the armored deck is thinner. This is will give some protection from HE spammers. Tier IX CA2-G USS Philippines While the CA2-G lacks a barrel when compared to the Alaska, she makes up for this in armor. The turret layout has a 3-gun turret fore and aft, with the two-gun turret superfiring over the forward turret. Tier X USS Guam Instead of trying to pare down the Alaska to a Tier 9, it seemed easier to push her up to Tier 10. Increased reload, better range, better turret rotation, and increased health are some of the things that have been improved. CA2-H would be a more consistent choice with the line, but the Guam was a 'Real Steel' ship and so I chose her. Premium Tier VIII “Improved Wichita” armed with 12” guns USS Madison [Picture Not Available] The “Improved Wichita” would eventually become the Baltimore-Class. There was discussion on what it would take to equip this ship with 12” guns. Mostly this entailed increasing the length by some 6 feet in order to make room for the ammunition. She should handle much like the standard Wichita, for the most part, just with bigger guns.
  3. I am a huge fan of the super cruiser playstyle. I have been since the Admiral Graf Spee came into the game, and I have enjoyed the playstyle that the other super-cruisers have had to offer. Some, I'll admit, are harder to love than others (looking at you, Azuma), but I do like them all, none-the-less. Therefore, I have taken it upon my self to do research and see if it was possible to bring a tech tree line of super-cruisers into the game. Here, I present the USN Larger Cruisers. My next project will be the KM Panzerschiffes, which I am currently sources for. Tier VIII Heavy Cruiser Scheme 4-A “Convertible” (Alaska Preliminary Design) USS Montgomery Perhaps my favorite design in this line, the Montgomery is based off of Scheme 4 in a series of designs that lead to the creation of the Alaska-Class large cruisers. At this time, the USN is trying to decide if a 12” gun cruiser was viable or even needed. One of the ideas was to build 8” gun cruisers that could later be converted into 12” gun cruisers if/when it was needed. This is one of the designs used to investigate the feasibility of this. Turrets A, B, and Y sit on barbettes designed for twin 12” turrets, while turret X sits on a much smaller inverted conical barbette, which is common for triple 8” turrets. When installing the 12” turrets in-game, the X barbette will be deleted, allowing for the Y turret to freely rotate 360 degrees. While the Montgomery has the 12" guns, for health and fire duration it is a cruiser. Tier IX 12” Gun Cruiser Study CA2-A USS Samoa One of the CA2 series of designs that would yield the Alaska-Class. Samoa is named for one of the canceled Alaska-Class, and is an attempt to make an actual Tier 9 Alaska, instead of the Tier 9.5 that that ship currently is. Samoa has super-cruiser health and fire duration. Tier X USS Guam Instead of trying to pare down the Alaska to a Tier 9, it seemed easier to push her up to Tier 10. Increased reload, better range, better turret rotation, and increased health are some of the things that have been improved. The idea is to make a balanced tier 10 Alaska, without being too strong or too weak. Premium Tier VI-VII Heavy Cruiser Scheme 3 USS Sacramento Similar to Scheme 4, but with the 12" guns mounted, when using the super-cruiser formula, the Sacramento's health drops considerably. Because of this, I think she would make a good Tier 6 or 7, depending on balance of consumables. She'd be roughly analogous so Graf Spee in terms of both health and dpm, but with slightly larger guns. With the Mk.7 12" guns, she'd have the same AP DPM that Graf Spee, but better HE. She'd also be more accurate, but lack the torpedoes of the Spee. Since Radar is rare at Tier 7, I figured I'd force the play into a tough choice of either Radar or Repair party. As Sacramento uses the super-cruiser health formula, she also burns like one. Tier VIII “Improved Wichita” armed with 12” guns USS Madison [Picture Not Available] The “Improved Wichita” would eventually become the Baltimore-Class. There was discussion on what it would take to equip this ship with 12” guns. Mostly this entailed increasing the length by some 6 feet in order to make room for the ammunition. She should handle much like the standard Wichita, for the most part, just with bigger guns. Madison uses cruiser health and fire duration. Tier IX CA2H USS Phillipines Where the Samoa is a faster, more lightly armored Alaska, the Philippines is a slower, more heavily armored one. CA2-H featured deep torpedo defenses, fashioned in the same style as USN Battleships, as well as thick armor. While I do not have deck plans of her, I believe she would look similar to the other CA2 designs, and a cross-section can be seen above. Possible Tier VI or VII Premium In 1929, when the details of the Deutschland-Class became available, there was a proposal to rearm USN CA with twin 10”/50 in place of their triple 8”/55 turrets. To reflect this in game, a Northampton, Portland, or (more probably) New Orleans could get a turret swap. The new turret should fit on the old barbettes, meaning little new modeling would need to be done. The biggest mystery at the moment, and the reason I haven’t drawn up stats for such a ship yet is that I cannot find any additional information about these guns. While they were not made, there was preliminary design work that was done, as these theoretical guns were used as stand-ins for the Deutschland’s guns while preparing the CA2’s Immunity Zone calculations. I have tried approximating these guns by up-scaling 8” ammo (Mark 8 and Mark 9) and down-scaling 12” ammo (Mark 12 and Mark 13). All designations are made up by me, as I have just about zero information on this weapon. 254”/50 Mark 4 Ammo: 254mm HC Mk.9 Max Damage: 3,050 Fire Chance: 16% Shell Pen: 42mm Muzzle Velocity: 808m/s 254mm HC Mk.13 Max Damage: 4,250 Fire Chance: 24% Shell Pen: 42mm Muzzle Velocity: 808m/s 254mm AP Mk.8 Max Damage: 5,500 Muzzle Velocity: 762m/s 254mm AP Mk.12 Max Damage: 8,150 Muzzle Velocity: 762m/s There is also mention of a study for a 15,000t cruiser with either six 11”/50 or 12”/50 guns, though I have not been able to find any more information on these, and I down even less work was done on the 11” guns than on the 10”. Thank you taking the time to read this and feel free to ask question or critique my choices. I enjoy the discussion about as much as doing the research for these ships (which I do, or else I wouldn't do it).
  4. The latest season of clan battles reminded of me the total lack of premium T9 non-super cruiser options. I mostly played in USS Alaska, which is not as good as it once was due to the loss of fire prevention. I find it curious that WG has not released any premium non-super cruisers at this tier. I consider T9 tech tree cruisers to be weak for their tier when compared to their T10 successors (e.g. USS Buffalo vs USS Des Moines), unlike several T9 tech tree DDs and even some BBs. In addition, many have some glaring vulnerability (e.g. HMS Drake's rear turret firing angles). Instead of a steady stream of more premium cruisers at T8, or more premium T9 CBs, why not cash in on the considerable pent up demand for balanced premium T9 CAs or CLs? Here are a few ideas based on ships that actually were built: USS Rochester - This ship belonged to the successor to the Baltimore class heavy cruiser, the Oregon City class. It was in service from 1946 to 1961. Here is how to bring the ship to the game: Start with a fully upgraded Baltimore Add a few thousand hit points Add a repair party and upgrade slot 6 (like all T9 cruisers get) Adjust the radar consumable to last 35 s (consistent with other T9 US cruisers) Increase turret rotation speed by 1 degree per second Decrease rudder shift by 0.5 - 1.0 s Slightly improve AA continuous damage to reflect historical AA battery and the better firing angles offered by the smaller super structure of this class Everything else stays virtually identical to the USS Baltimore The cool thing about Rochester is we know WG can balance what would essentially be a T9 Baltimore since that is where the ship was slated prior to the US cruiser CA/CL split. USS Fargo - This ship belonged to the successor to the Cleveland class light cruiser, and was the lead ship of the Fargo class. It was in service from 1945 to 1950. Here is how to bring the ship to the game: Start with a fully upgraded Cleveland Add a few thousand hit points Add a repair party and upgrade slot 6 (like all T9 cruisers get) Adjust the radar consumable to last 35 s (consistent with other T9 US cruisers) Decrease rudder shift by around 0.5 s Improve her concealment by -200 to -300 m Slightly improve AA continuous damage to reflect historical AA battery and the better firing angles offered by the smaller super structure of this class. Her AA should not be quite as strong as USS Seattle's because she did not have a dual purpose main battery. Everything else stays virtually identical to the USS Cleveland I'll do some further research on other historical T9 premium non-super cruisers that could be added to the game. One that comes to mind is the already in development: HMS Tiger. Maybe add HE shells, or a short range hydro and some more hit-points and up-tier her to T9? If anyone has any other cruisers that could fit in this category, historical or not, please share below. Thanks!
  5. Since it's recently been a topic of discussion, these are the restrictions for the Clan season. https://blog.worldofwarships.com/blog/128 Not a CB player, though afaik the bans/limits make sense. Mogador packs were reported to be pretty common, Musashi without CVs and overmatch capability was in a strong spot, Georgia with the quick heals, 30mm overmatch capability and nigh DD speed. Wondering what CB players have to comment on these changes.
  6. barbaroja_Ar

    Update 0.10.1 date?

    Hi all When is Update 0.10.1 due? February? 9.11 is in PTS, so it should be December I assume 0.10 will be January @Hapa_Fodderis there official release dates? TIA
  7. 6fingeredman

    Alaska and Smaland

    Two questions. What date should we roughly expect to lose Alaska and Smaland as fxp ships? Which one would people recommend? Going to be pushing hard to rack up as much fxp before they leave so I can at least get one. Edit: I enjoy all ship classes so I don't really have any preference when it comes to CA vs DD for clarification
  8. Friday bundle (source: Asia)
  9. Grand_Admiral_Murrel

    Super-heavy cruisers

    Hey shipmates! Just looking for opinions on the following topics: should super-heavy cruisers (such as Alaska, Agir, etc.) have shorter fire duration? And would giving tier 10s (and 9s?) 30 mm plating on the bow and stern be too powerful? Just thinking, Graf Spee is unique in that it has 45s burn time when on fire. Agir, for example, burns for 60s, and yet doesn't have a battleship's HP to weather the storm in (let's face it) a world where HE spam is the norm. It basically forces any serious players to take a survivability build if they want to try and make the most of their ship, which doesn't seem fair. Players shouldn't have to worry about such things. Look at the recent IFHE rework: they changed HE penetration and armour thresholds across the board to make taking the IFHE skill a choice rather than a necessity. On the note of armour, I find ships like Siegfried and Agir are extremely vulnerable to overmatch by basically all new battleships that have been introduced (Georgia, Ohio, Yashima, etc.), and since these ships are supposed to be more tanky than your average heavy cruiser, I feel like 30 mm bow and stern plating would be a plausible change. 30 mm is still able to be overmatched by large-calibre battleship guns, but it would increase survivability slightly. As I said earlier, these ships don't have the HP to brawl, so any slight increase would help. Let me know what you guys think in the comments below! Thanks! Grand_Admiral_Murrel
  10. anonym_bleJN7gXeLqd

    Love the Alaska....despise the Puerto Rico

    It is very unfortunate that the USS Puerto Rico is nigh impossible for me to acquire. I was much looking forward to getting the "Rich Port" in my own WoWS port, and sailing her to glory.....but the recent New Years' Directives being outrageously too difficult to complete within the 32 days it will last (my winter break does not even last that long), and with the desire for me to spend some quality time with my own family over the holidays...….I will have to pass over the Puerto Rico. But......why bother with the Puerto Rico in the first place when I have the USS Alaska? I am proud of my Alaska. She is a great Tier IX ship. Alaska actually built by the United States navy (unlike the Puerto Rico, who Wargaming based off of one of the submitted proposal designs to built the battlecruiser design that was to be the Alaskas). She has very good bulk, can tank a decent amount of damage to her citadel, and has powerful guns that make other cruisers subconsciously aware of their vulnerable citadels...... …….this is why I love the Alaska. She cost only 1 million Free XP and 1 single credit to get, and that is a hell of a lot better than the nightmarish grind that is the Dockyard to get Puerto Rico. So I am sticking firmly with my Alaska. If I really need to play a Tier X American cruiser, I will just rely on my good ol' USS Des Moines. And that's that.
  11. Good day dear sirs. Rigth now I got almos 180k worth in carbon and 1 million in free XP I was considering waiting and save such resources for the Siegfried- Ägir. But recently, as you already now, WG is removig some ships form the armory, and i got a breif glimpse that perhaps, Gerogia-Alaska would be removed for simliar reasons. ¿Should I grab Georgia-Alaska and get later Siegfried- Ägir ? Tnx for your attention
  12. So i was scrolling through the WOWs wiki, when I noticed that a new ship had been added to the American line. Its possibly a test ship, but it looks nothing like the other tier 10 USN cruisers. Hard to tell, but the closest ship it looks to is an Alaska, but it looks like it has a better AA sweep then the Alaska. Has anyone heard of Wargames testing for a tier 10 big gun cruiser?
  13. After getting Alaska (thanks again for the skill suggestions) & Halsey ... I decided to reopen the USN BB line ... languishing at the New Mexico for the past year. I bought Colorado, assigned Halsey, and put him on Alaska for retraining ... planning out an end state "combo" skill build, I didn't have enough points ... who does? I started with: PT, EL ... EM, AR ... SI, BoS ... CE, FP ..... but that's 20 points ... so I checked out Little White Mouse's review for Alaska ... LWM listed: PT, PM ... EM, AR ... BoS, SI ... FP, CE ... notice a pattern? and also 20 points I kept messing around with a lot of combinations which included JoaT, HA, PM, etc ... and finally came up with PT, EL, PM ... EM ... Bos, SI ... FP, CE ... 19 points ... picks up PM and removes AR ... and even more "tankiness" I wondered, is AR that critical for a BB with 30 sec reload and Alaska with 17.6? I do love it (on faster firing guns) ... but that pesky point thing. Right before your HP goes to zero, reload is only 20% less ... e.g. 24.1 and 14.1 for Montana & Alaska respectively. Any thoughts? TIA
  14. I can only imagine the in-game chat was like for the red team. He didn't do anything all game but creep from hidey hole to hidey hole (finished last on the xp table) and he almost got away with it, if it wasn't for those darn kids in their DDs
  15. Avenge_December_7

    Alaska Tactics?

    I've recently managed to scrounge up enough free xp to get Alaska, and took her out for a few battles in co-op (since my computer cannot handle randoms at the moment) Granted, in co-op I take a far more aggressive approach than in randoms (usually just rushing straight in instead of stand-off distance), but I have not found much success using Kronshtadt's tactics—for some reason, Alaska seems a tad more fragile (or it could just be me stupidly sailing straight into an AI crossfire + bad luck with being targeted). How does one sail Alaska properly?
  16. Let me preface by saying that Alaska isn't a bad ship, but also not a great ship. She follows the exact same formula of the USN Heavy Cruiser line, and that's exactly why she's disappointing. If you look at Alaska as if she's the Tier 9 Baltimore, she's the XL version, and meets the mold of what you'd expect her to be. Big, with nothing extra, except the improved shell angles to help her to stand out. The problem is, that's all she is. All of her consumables are vanilla. She still has the same problems with ranged engagements due to shell velocity, and her consumables are wound tightly in a way that presents the Captain without choice. Being forced to take DF over Hydro, and Radar over over Spotter and Fighter. Regardless of your feelings on the Spotter Aircraft, having the option to take the Fighter would at least make Hydro an option over DF. And why would a ship designed to be in mid to close range combat with other ships not have Hydro? This has always been an area where the role of the USN Heavy Cruisers have felt at odds with the role they've been placed in, and the return of CVs has boldened this problem. The Alaska is already behind the 8-ball in terms of accuracy compared to upcoming and current Cruisers of her size at Tier 9, and that is before her velocity is taken into account. And her penetration isn't the best either. She also doesn't compete with them in terms of healing when you add up potential HP. Her armor is good against Cruisers but fails to protect her from BB caliber shells, just like the rest of the USN Heavy Cruisers, leaving her far softer than first glance indicates. In the end she remains a playable ship, but not a particularly good and definitely not a memorable one. She is a bologna sandwhich from pre-packaged meat and bread from the corner store. Other ships like her have cheese, pickles, mustard, and some are even made from fresher ingredients right from the deli. It's hard to get a taste of variety and quality and want to go back. At some point, being told to "be thankful" your not starving wears thin as an excuse when you have those other options. I just look at this ship and wonder, just like the rest of the USN Heavy Cruiser line, where is the reward for the draw backs? Where is the cherry on top of all the exceedingly average vanilla? I'm don't want a ship that is so powerful it makes me feel guilty playing it. I just want a ship that is has a little bit of flare to define it's roll. If I'm going to be in danger from torpedoes for being close to other Cruisers that out duel me at range, then give me Hydro so my advantage means something, and that my good play isn't punished by a last second get out of jail free card. If I'm going to hunt DDs don't make me blindly hunt an opponent that can spot me from double his range and dump tons of torpedoes at me while kiting away. Unlike the prey he hunts, I cannot take those hits, so give me a chance to avoid them while I risk my ship to protect my fleet. You don't have to improve my guns, make me a harder target, or increase my armor or HP. Just give me something to hang my hat on instead of just another ship that just falls short of having a clear purpose.
  17. paradat

    Reviews on Alaska

    Notser review is up
  18. ^Title ^ How many of those who received 1 million free xp at CV rework launch with 0.8.0 will spend their XP 'credit' (which was compensation for odd tier cvs) on Alaska? or to put it another way, Is Alaska a way for WG to soak up the current glut of free xp which has been caused by the cv rework? Bonus question What impact will Alaska have on CV gameplay, if any? General NA forum folder in a few hours time :
  19. Capt_Scuttlebutt

    Alaska Spotted!

    I spotted the Alaska today, skippered by none other than LittleWhiteMouse. Could it be that LWM was testing the final configuration in preparation of her review of the soon to be released but ever elusive Alaska?
  20. I just spent about 30 mins trying to find the answer, and I don't see anything official. So I figured I'd just ask: So, is the Alaska coming in the 8.0 patch? Is there an official word out there that I missed? Anyone got link?
  21. The Alaska class was a simple expansion of the Baltimore class. Triple 12-inch in place of the triple 8-inch guns and a suitable increase in size. They were designed in response to reports of a new class of Japanese armored cruisers based on the Deutschland, which never materialized. This and the emergence of carriers, is the reason their construction put on the back burner, or cancelled outright. Nice handsome ships, that made very expensive high speed flattop escorts. I am sure WOWs will sell plenty. But the truth be told, the Des Moines/Salem CAs should be clearly superior.
  22. I had been saving up my free xp for the Alaska and I'm currently sitting on 1.2 million free xp but the recent announcement regarding the removal of the Musashi in patch 8.0 predicted for mid January I am wondering if I should go for that instead? I'm using my ~190,000 coal for the Salem when the new coupon drops on Christmas Eve. About me and my playstyle: 1) I'm a Co-Op/Operations main, I rarely play random or ranked unless there's some sort of campaign or mission that requires it. Remember, Co-Op battles tend to be faster and it's harder for battleships to get into flanking positions ... you generally end up having to engage from bow on. 2) With the exception of a few battles in the Izuschi (I know I spelled that wrong! ) I haven't played Japanese battleships since I grinded to the Kongo in CBT but I would like to eventually try the line hence the desire to get the Musashi. 3) I'm currently at Tier 8 for both of the US cruiser lines. 4) I generally don't play battleships but I love going bow on in my Richelieu and tanking tons of potential damage while scoring citadel hits. I am leaning towards getting the Musashi and then hopefully I could get the Alaska sometime towards the end of 2019 ... however I am concerned that WG could pull it from sale before then if it proves to be 'popular'. There's also a widespread belief that the Alaska could cost as much as 1,000,000 free xp.
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