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Found 107 results

  1. Afternoon, all. Just floating an idea for the celebrating the USS Texas' upcoming and much needed drydock excursion and overhaul work. Maybe a small series of Texas themed combat missions to earn the Texas flag/Come and Take it flag (or any other on theme flag, really,) and possibly the Texas flag camo? (Obviously that's more of a reach.) I think it could be fun and raise some awareness for the foundation about their upcoming challenges as they get the ship out of the water for the work. As I said, just floating the idea... let's see what the community thinks?
  2. Atlantico the Monster By Sparta0237 So currently a lot more people are coming down to the ending of the dockyard and I think this would a great time to put out a guide on this Monster that WG has unleashed on this game. I will be breaking down the ship in the order of the dropdown menu in game. So it is easier to follow along with this guide. Also In no way do u have to follow anything in my guide. Just as one of the new people that had it within 5min of it launching in the dockyard. Thinking its better to help people understand how this ship functions. Armor Layout: Bow and Stern: 32mm with 102-152mm Ice Breakers Torpedo Protection: 32mm Superstructure: 19mm (very minimal) Casemate: 51mm Deck with upper armor belt to waterline belt consisting of 152-356mm armor Citadel Armor: 90mm Deck, 25-102mm front and back armor, 51mm Bulkhead Armor Gun Mount Armor: 102-305mm Armor Pros: Standard 32mm bow able to bounce the usual shells. Icebreaker when angled correctly can easily bounce a lot of the higher caliber shells if angling at 10-20 degrees on the ship your fighting. Waterline Citadel, i actually find myself contently turning broadside on certain ships not eating any cits (not that i recommend doing that). Low amount of Superstructure to burn. 51mm Deck that either cucks you with AP bombs or bounces them completely. Cons: (Personal:) Feels like i burn for 3234 Years at a time. Yamato, DM, Alaska, Petro, Worchester, Elbing, Any British T10 ship, Jinan. Ship to Avoid because of HE spam, Or because the AP doesn't care about your armor at all. Avoid any and all torpedo boats. This ship has a low amount of torpedo protection. A T7 DD can slap u with those Danger Pylons into the next match. Survivability: Middle Tier to high-ish when compared to the other ships at T8 Artillery: 5 Twin Barrel, 381mm Main Battery Guns (same MM as the Italian T10 BB C. Columbo) 8 Twin Barrel, 234mm Large Caliber Secondary's (4 on each side) (basically have mini goliaths strapped to your sides) 10 Single Barrel, 127mm small Caliber Secondary's (5 on each side) (these are your rapid rain chip damage) Main Battery 18.6km firing range. Pros: Extremely hard hitting main guns when they hit Secondary's can get up to 11.3 with full secondary build and flag are on 234's can cause over 3k damage with RNG being a factor 234's have a 22% fire damage. Along with with 59mm of pen (Destroyers be ware) Can easily clean up low health kills Easy Cits on most broadside targets, except for u know German BB's Cons: Main batteries have what i would call Columbo Dispersion. All though C.C has the advantage of throwing enough crapat the wall to hit. Atlantico will just miss by a mile. (get used to it early on or u will quit this ship early before u can master it) Most things will outrange your with your low Gun Range Because of the guns being so punchy u can easily over pen everything Dispersion...... Dispersion...... Dispersion...... ........ Dispersion......... Airstrike: 3 Separate charges, charging at 37 seconds in succession Great for striking a area to make sure the sub cant run and making sure they get hit no matter what side they run too 1 Plane, 2 bombs per strike Max damage is 2,300 AA Defense: Going to summarize from here on out For T8 This ship has decent AA Consisting of 4x4 Bofors and 4x2 Bofors and other small caliber AA defenses Not a lot of flack but consistent damage isn't bad Basically think short range American AA suit u can decently knock at least 17 planes out the sky if the CV is careless Maneuverability: 26kts for the love of god always have a speed flag on A T4 CV Hosho (Japan) Is 1kts slower then you (Honestly why) Being this slow means you cant dodge torpedoes when they come at you from flat broadside Also means that once you are spotted the people that are smart will start shooting you Never reverse in this ship it takes way to long to start going forward again Plan your path early on and don't stick yourself in the rear of a flank Concealment: 14.2 Not Good. For being a little sneaky can be dropped further with the captain skill Don't shoot in smoke just let your secondary's go off and deal damage with chip damage or fire chance Detection by air is 11km (useless your gonna be detected no matter what) Use your detection to your advantage, angle and bounce shells and soak damage. Summary: So for the most part we have a well defined battleship that loves to brawl and be in the middle of everything. The Greatest feeling u will have when your secondary's chunk the last bit of health off of a ship, while your Main Bat gets all over pens. Its not really that hard to brawl T10's in this ship. For most of my games when I fist got her I was dropped into T10 games every match. Learning how to brawl against them will be your biggest advantage. Except for the ships that I mentioned above that will either HE spam you to death, OR there AP just doesn't care about your armor so no matter what angle u are at it will just be full pens. Please be careful of the "Yamato Cheek" you have behind your Bow armor. That angled armor can be a blessing and a curse as it can cause your #2 turret to get locked out very easy. Also this ship dose not deal with Kiting ships good at all. On the other end of that it can kite decently. as u can get all your guns or your Rear 3 to shoot without exposing much of a angle. Fire can be a problem but for the Repair party is American so you got 20 seconds of problem solving that can get you too a repair party. Upgrades are as follows: 1. Auxiliary Armaments Mod 1 2. Damage Con 1 3. Secondary Battery Mod 1 4. Concealment Expert 1 For Captain Skills this would be my personal picks: 1.Emergency Repair Specialist 2. Grease the Gears 3. Long Range Secondary Bat 4.Manual Secondary Aiming 2. Vigilance (see Armor section for why) 4. Close Quarters Combat (This Brawler needs it in my personal opinion) After this its all up to your personal choice u can pick up any of the other 4 point skills they all have reasons and good ones to be on the ship. Or if u want more AA Take the 2 AA skills on the far right. There are so many good combinations for the captain skills to go with this ship that i can see at least 3-5 other builds for her. But to end this all off trust the armor. Act as if your a T10 in certain situations, DONT USE YOUR S KEY IT WILL GET YOU KILLED, always turn and let the armor handle the work for u. also TAKE SHOTS at DD's no matter what, the dispersion can handle it, just lead. DD's are slippery and having shells that go all over the place will in fact make it easier to hit them. Also if you are having problems aiming these guns don't aim at the waterline good way to waste your shots unless your 5km or less broadside. Aim for the upper Armor belt or the deck, you will surprising get a dev strike or two (Cits not included :) ) I Hope u find this guide useful - [IND8]Sparta0237 AKA Fleet Admiral Atlantico
  3. The following is a review of Brandenburg, the tier VIII premium German battleship, was sponsored by my patrons on Patreon who helped me afford this ship. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.11.4. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. The purpose of this review is to support the players, not the company behind the product. Isn't Brandenburg just a better Odin? That was my initial thought when I heard Brandenburg's announcement. I appreciated that they were different animals, with Brandenburg being derived from concept work leading to the Bismarck-class. However, it's hard not to see parallels between the two. I was worried that Brandenburg would make her obsolete. Then I remembered that Odin was already obsolete upon release and stopped feeling bad. WELCOME TO MY REVIEW OF BRANDENBURG! ♫ I started this review on March 20th, 2022. I had a lot of tier VIII battleships in my backlog, so I was using Atlântico's upcoming (at the time) release this as an excuse to try and clear out some of these neglected vessels. My usual turn around time for a review is about two weeks so long as I do absolutely nothing else during that time period. Updating my tier VIII battleship database would speed up the review process for subsequent ships by a few days. With this in mind, I was certain I could get a couple out before unlocking Atlântico. Brandenburg was the first one up and I planned to queue up Borodino and Constellation afterwards. It was going to be a hellish six weeks, sure, but knocking out four reviews in that time would be so worth it, at least so long as nothing went wrong. And oh boy did things go wrong. I got immediately sidetracked by projects like: ... pointing out all of the bad copy in Wargaming's premium shop and Armory. ... working on that AA catalogue I started back in January. ... putting time in to work on some related art projects with @Chobittsu. ... continuing to play with submarine damage models and depth charge mechanics. ... surviving COVID. So ... yeah, it's been a trip. I'm terrible at planning. I set myself some outrageous goals that don't allow for any leeway should things go wrong. I then proceed to beat myself up for not being able to fold space and time itself to meet said deadlines. Before we get started... You're going to notice a slight change with some of the graphs in this review. I experimented with trying to cut down the bloat that's ever increasing in World of Warships. There are thirty-one tier VIII battleships in World of Warships presently with more on the way. Rather give everyone eye-strain trying to compare them all in individual graphics, I cut things down to the tech tree battleships plus the other German premiums. This reduces the count down from thirty-one to twelve which is a lot more manageable. Now I'm not entirely happy with this and I recognize the flaws. For one, it shapes impressions. A given premium might stack really well against the tech tree ships but still be a poor offering compared to its peers. For another, these graphics have proven to me to be a quite helpful snapshot about the meta at a given point in time. Missing data points will make that harder to track in the future. Finally, it feels like I'm wussing out. I'm sure I could make thirty-one data points fit, gosh darn it, if I just tried a little harder! Oh well, what's done is done. Just thought you all should know. Please leave me some feedback on your thoughts and ideas. PROS Dispersed, heavy armour scheme and full icebreaker bow. Thick turtleback citadel. Good gun handling. Surprising accuracy for a twelve-gun armament with 1.8 sigma. Powerful secondary battery with improved accuracy, good fire arcs, long range and 1/4 HE penetration. Good top speed of 32.5 knots and fast rate of turn. She has torpedoes! CONS Small hit point pool for a tier VIII battleship which also compromises healing. Poor anti-torpedo protection. Short ranged at 18.5km. APPALLING FIRE ANGLES. [edited] ME, THEY'RE BAD. Small calibre AP shells lack overmatch potential and penetration. Unlike most other high-tier German battleships, she lacks Hydroacoustic Search. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / CHALLENGING / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme What happens when you take a brawling battleship, give it bad guns and chain it to a small hit point pool? You get a YOLO disaster waiting to happen again and again and again. Brandenburg is a bad battleship for inexperienced players. Her guns seem trollishly designed to punish new players. Her bad AP performance and her bad fire angles force inexperienced players to flash their broadsides and get themselves killed. Without a big hit point pool, they die in a hurry. The only bit of saving grace here is that at least she comes with a German battleship protection scheme, but even that seems flawed. This thing is fast too, so it's easy to over-extend and get sent back to port for being the easiest thing to shoot at. Experienced players can do a bit of flexing with Brandenburg, showing off their in-game knowledge on where it's best to change up ammo, how to optimize her with commander skills and when and how to brawl. I'm not saying she's going to be a successful ship because of this -- Brandenburg, like a lot of 2021 ship releases, punishes players for trying to play her as designed. It's just that an expert player can get a bit more out of her. Options Nothing too surprising here, other than what's missing. Brandenburg doesn't have access to Hydroacoustic Search. Otherwise, you'll have to choose whether or not to specialize in brawling, but that's an easy choice to make. If you want to win, you'll avoid brawling. If you want to be cool, brawling is the only acceptable answer. Now, you're not some kind of sensible LOSER, are you!? Options Brandenburg's Damage Control Party is perfectly normal for most battleships. It comes with unlimited charges and an 80 second reset timer. It's active for 15 seconds. In slot two, you get a standard Repair Party for a battleship. It heals back up to 14% of the ship's health over 28 seconds, queuing 10% of citadel damage, 50% of penetration damage and 100% of everything else. It has an 80s reset timer and starts with four charges. In Brandenburg's third slot, it's choice time with either a Spotter Aircraft and a Catapult Fighter. The Spotter Aircraft comes with four charges, increases her main battery range by 20% for 100s and has a 240s reset timer. Her Catapult Fighter launches 3 aircraft which stay on station, orbiting the ship at a range of 3km for 60s. It comes with three charges and has a 90s reset timer. Upgrades Let's go down the list! Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. Damage Control System Modification 1 goes into slot two. It's choice time. If you're cool, you'll take Secondary Battery Modification 1. If you're smart, you'll take Aiming Systems Modification 1 instead. You're not one of those smart people are you? Let's hope not. Damage Control System Modification 2 is the better choice at slot four. You can take Steering Gears Modification 1 if you prefer, just be aware that fires are going to hurt all the more. And because I know you're super cool, you're going to compromise your fire setting in the commander skills section in order to build for secondaries, right?2 Finally, grab Concealment System Modification 1 because Wargaming still hasn't gotten around to giving us a competitive alternative in slot five, making it a non-decision for most ships. It's just a dumb 2M credit tax at this point. Commander Skills There are obviously two commander skill builds I'll champion. The first is the basic survivability build. Memes aside, this is hands down the optimal build for Brandenburg as it emphasizes fire resistance. But that's boring. A brawling build for Brandenburg plays up to the novelties (and stereotypes) of the German battleship line. As a less than optimal build, there's a lot more leeway on what you pick and choose for your backup skills -- the idea being that you're already compromising on optimization, so you may as well just try out some fun and weird combinations. Still, the general idea is to emphasize your secondary strengths. Beyond the obvious Manual Secondary Battery Aiming and Long Range Secondary Battery Shells you want to look at grabbing either Demolition Expert or Inertial Fuse for HE Shells (or both). The latter-most skill is contentious given that it compromises the fire setting of your entire armament. It's really only worthwhile if you intend to throw Brandenburg into brawls on the regular with high-tier battleships (though it does help with high tier cruisers too, especially with amidship hits). So you may want to hold off on IFHE. Boooooring. Tasty! Camouflage Brandenburg was sold with two camouflage options, Type 10 and German Eagle. They provide identical bonuses of: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -10% to post-battle service costs. +50% to experience gains. This is the only screenshot I took of Brandenburg's German Eagle camouflage and it's terrible (the screenshot, not the camouflage). The camo was only available in a bundle when the ship was initially sold and I have not seen it made available since. I didn't pick it up at the time and it seems I've missed out. Brandenburg's base Type 10 camouflage is a striking black, white and grey. It's quite handsome. I am not a fan of the alternative palette for her Type 10 camouflage. You can unlock this via completing portions of the German Navy Collection under your Profile tab. Firepower Main Battery: Twelve 305mm/56 guns in in 4x3 turrets with an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration Secondary Battery: Twelve 150mm/55 guns in 6x2 turrets and twenty 105mm/65 guns in 10x2 turrets. The large calibre guns are set on the main deck with the 105mm guns superfiring on one deck higher. The secondaries are divided evenly down each side. Torpedoes: Eight tubes in 2x4 launchers mounted behind the funnel on either side of the ship. Brandenburg has crappy guns, but she gets a lot of them and they're reasonably accurate. Gun Calibre, Penetration & Reload Time Brandenburg has small calibre guns for a high-tier battleship. Her 305mm weapons are the same as those found on Odin. For 305mm guns, her shells have good ballistics and penetration, but that's only for a 305mm gun. You're not contesting battleship belt armour at battleship engagement distances with her AP rounds, for example. You're also missing out on overmatching anything greater than 19mm with her AP rounds. Her individual hits aren't particularly powerful and her HE shells suffer from the usual German affliction of dealing less damage per hit than similar shells of their calibre. It's the quantity of shot that's supposed to make up for all of this, but even here, Wargaming pulled their punches. This is a recycled graphic pulled from my Odin review. Odin and Brandenburg have identical AP penetration performance. These numbers are approximate and pulled from wowsft.com. Brandenburg's AP penetration isn't great. She largely loses the ability to contest battleship belt armour outside of 12km if there's even a bit of angling going on. You want to throw AP shells as much as possible with Brandenburg, even against soft targets. Unlike other nations, her anemic HE shell damage is so much lower than her AP shells that they're only competitive when her HE is guaranteed to deal full penetrating damage. If a target has been partially saturated, her overpenetrating AP rounds will put out more hurt. This limits the optimal use of HE rounds to the following situations: (1) Against targets you cannot hurt at all with AP. (2) You're trying to start fires. Even against submarines at periscope depth, Brandenburg's AP will deal more damage. The only catch here is that Brandenburg's AP shells just don't have the bite needed to work against heavy armour. So you're forced to HE and suck up the damage disparity. Allow me to elaborate. For the longest time, I have held that 30 seconds is the standard reload time of battleship guns. This isn't necessarily true, but it's been an unspoken standard for a number years. So much so, that you could safely predict that any new battleship being added to the game would have it. Wargaming has begun to deviate from this standard. This largely began with the Soviet battleship line. Where once the odd ship with a weird reload added a little variety to a tech tree line, we're seeing slow or faster reloads defining and entire swathe of releases. Still, I find myself trained to look for a 30 second reload on any new battleship Wargaming adds. When the number is greater or lesser, it shapes my perception of its intended performance. For ships to match the 30 second reload output with a smaller armament (be it number of guns or smaller in calibre), I expect to see a faster reload. If an armament is especially large or hard hitting, then I expect to see a slower. So let's look at where Brandenburg's armament and reload sits: 22.5 seconds - Zieten with 3x2 406mm 23.0 seconds - Odin with 3x3 305mm 25.0 seconds - Famous & Historical Monarch with 3x3 381mm, Vanguard with 4x2 381mm 26.0 seconds - Bismarck & Tirpitz with 4x2 380mm 26.5 seconds - Brandenburg with 4x3 305mm 28.0 seconds - Gascogne with 2x4 380mm 28.6 seconds - Chamapgne with 2x3 406mm 30.0 seconds - Amagi & Kii with 5x2 410mm, North Carolina, Alabama & Massachusetts with 3x3 406mm, Constellation with 4x2 406mm, Richelieu with 2x4 380mm, Roma & AL Littorio with 3x3 381mm and Atlântico with 5x2 381mm 31.0 seconds - Borodino with 2x3 406mm 33.0 seconds - Ignis Purgatio & Ragnarok with 5x2 410mm, Vladivostok & Lenin with 3x3 406mm, Flandre with 3x3 380mm 34.0 seconds - Vittorio Veneto with 3x3 381mm 40.0 seconds - Kansas with 4x3 406mm This looks reasonably competitive, at least until you account for all of the flaws with her shells. I'm still balking that they didn't give Odin the same 20 second reload as Scharnhorst and Brandenburg's 26.5 second reload feels like more of the same mistreatment. Brandenburg isn't a particularly hard-hitting ship. Or rather, her guns just don't scale well against higher tiered targets and other battleships. Overall, her 26.5 second reload time isn't a flaw, per se, but it's not a strength either. It seems carefully measured to ensure she's reliant upon her other weapon systems. More on that later. Brandenburg's potential AP DPM looks great. But this doesn't account for the woes of dispersion, penetration, firing angles, auto-ricochet checks, etc. The POTENTIAL is there, sure, provided you've got an opponent willing to make things easy for you. Short of picking on lower-tiered cruisers or inside of brawling scenarios, the potential is difficult to realize. Like most German battleships, her HE shell DPM falls off the rails. I'd like to make a big deal about her improved HE penetration but Brandenburg's 76mm penetration just isn't impressive when compared to the 68mm being tossed around by most of the American, Soviet and Japanese battleships at this tier. So yeah, Brandenburg has good HE penetration for a 305mm armed battleship but that's only for a 305mm armed battleship. When stacked against the 406mm guns or the 1/4 HE penetrating 380mm/381mm guns from the Royal Navy and other German ships (and nevermind the Italian SAP shells), Brandenburg's HE looks crappy. It would be a struggle to call any of the tier VIII battleships "good" fire starters. King George V is pretty much the gold-standard of this for mid-tier battleships and she comes out just shy of 10 fires per minute before you account for things like accuracy (cut that number down to a third) and fire resistance (reduce it again to two thirds its initial value). Once reality sets in, you're looking at about two to three fires per minute for KGV. Apply the same approximates to Brandenburg and you come out at nearly two. This is probably the most reliable way for her to attempt to stack damage against enemy battleships. But unlike the British, don't expect a whole lot of direct damage to accompany Brandenburg's HE spam. There are tricks to make these guns work. HE spam is one such way. Your direct damage numbers will suffer, sure, but they won't suffer as badly if you simply stuck to AP rounds the whole time. You can try the whole "aim higher" with AP, hoping to bullseye the upper hull and superstructure of enemy battleships at range, but dispersion will troll you outside of near brawling ranges, so that's not entirely reliable. Brandenburg's guns are just not fun to use and you have to overcompensate a whole heck of a lot to get those numbers to stack. Gun Handling & Accuracy While Brandenburg's reload time is only ever going to be decent, her accuracy isn't as bad as I was expecting for a twelve-gun armed ship. 1.8 sigma isn't terrible. In fact, for a ship with as many guns as she has, it's higher than I thought it would be. Coupled with American battleship dispersion and a twelve-gun broadside, she isn't as likely to get trolled by RNG(eebus) as ships with fewer guns or worse sigma. This ultimately comes down to feels -- Brandenburg's salvos feel reasonably accurate even if their dispersion describes her as being only average. It's rare that a well aimed shot isn't going to yield at least a handful of hits. Brandenburg is good at putting warheads on foreheads at least so long as you ensure that all twelve guns are firing. And this is the other issue -- getting all of those guns firing. And maybe this helps explain some of my gripes with her reload. Brandenburg's arcs are HORRIBLE. For those unaware, I have a bias against crappy firing angles. Outside of PVE situations, Brandenburg when she fires all twelve of her guns. She's unable to angle correctly against return fire while doing so, which opens her up to taking some pretty bad hits in return. As you'll see in the Durability section, Brandenburg doesn't have a lot of hit points and she cannot afford to trade them away for the modest returns another six guns bring. Without a fast(er) reload on her guns and without good firing angles, her DPM suffers appreciably. So that paper DPM value shown before falls even further into the toilet. One of my standard dispersion tests. This is 180 AP shells fired at 15km at a stationary Fuso bot. Brandenburg is using Aiming System Modification 1, while the Fuso is completely stock and without camo. Shots are coming in from right to left with the Fuso effectively bow tanking. At 1.8 sigma and German dispersion, Brandenburg's gunnery feels "average", at least until you remember she has twelve guns and a quick(ish) reload. Volume of fire lends a sense of accuracy all on its own and Brandenburg ends up feeling more accurate than she actually is, even with a full secondary build. The HORROR. Main Battery Gun Summary Brandenburg has crappy guns, but she gets a lot of them and they're reasonably accurate. I wish I could say she had good fire angles or that they reloaded fast enough for that not to matter, but they don't. I found these guns to be incredibly frustrating to use, especially when facing same tier or higher opponents. The AP doesn't hit hard enough. And even when you do land some good hits that don't ricochet or shatter, they just don't do enough damage. Every time I reached for HE, it felt like I was giving up and begging for fires that usually didn't come. Brandenburg's gunnery takes a long time to stack appreciable damage. Brawling battleships are cool It's a good thing she's a brawler. She's designed to supplement her damage by creeping into secondary range (where possible) and spraying enemy ships down with a torrent of cruiser and destroyer-calibre HE. Up close, the deficiencies of her 305mm AP penetration falls away too and they become a lot more threatening. She's fully capable of blowing out the machine spaces of any enemy battleship with a vulnerable citadel and her twelve gun broadside ensures that it will hurt. The threat of her torpedoes makes even other heavy weight brawlers take notice. This is where she belongs. This is where she demands respect. And for a German battleship, her secondaries are contenders for the best out of all of them with better firing angles and more DPM and FPM than most. Combined with improved German secondary accuracy, 1/4 HE penetration and more guns than other German battleships, Brandenburg has some of the best brawling armaments at her tier. Check it out: Some notes to keep in mind: Massachusetts, Atlântico and Brandenburg have the same DPM when brawling, kiting or firing broadside. Zieten has the same DPM when brawling or kiting. Before you get too excited and run out and buy a Flandre or Kii, I remind you that DPM charts are not the be-all, end all. The majority of Flandre's damage comes from 100mm secondaries that only have 17mm of penetration and no improved accuracy (Gascogne has this same problem). A lack of improved accuracy also plagues Kii on top of having only a range that caps out at just shy of 10km with all buffs. Brandenburg combines good range, good penetration and good potential damage on top of solid firing arcs. She's the total package. The only thing we could ask for more would be a further improvement on her already improved "German" secondary accuracy or upgrading her 105mm to 128mm like Odin so that she can pen battleships without needing IFHE. Spreadsheets are not cool So Brandenburg has better secondaries than the other tier VIII German battleships, right? That's what the numbers say? Good, cuz I couldn't tell. Seriously, this is one of those cases where my notes on how a ship felt to play did not reflect the data I collected afterwards. I should explain -- my process for writing these reviews is to play the ship, take notes while doing so and then as questions come up, look at the ship's stats to try and understand where the feels are coming from. At no point in my play testing of Brandenburg did her secondaries stand out in any appreciable way from other German battleships I've played. I seriously thought her secondaries were bog-standard for a German brawler. It was only as I put together the graphics for this section that I said "wait, hold up" -- she has more DPM and better fire angles? Huh! So why didn't it come up? You'd think counting an extra pair of 105mm would have tipped me off. While I was conscious of them, they weren't anything to get terribly excited about. I liken it to the extra 100m Odin has on her secondary range. It's nice but it's not game changing. It was the same case for her firing angles. They're good, sure, and better than most of the other German battleships. But there's still that ugly deadzone straight ahead. Ultimately, this blasé attitude says a lot about how situational brawling is. In PVP, good brawls are so uncommon that they're an event when they finally happen. Thus, it's hard to get a good sense of value out of a secondary armament. This goes double when you've invested in them so heavily between skills, upgrades and consumables. And this is what it came down to: Brandenburg's secondaries didn't feel appreciably better than those of Tirpitz or Odin. So it was hard to care about them when the awesome experiences just didn't happen. So yeah, Brandenburg has good secondaries. But as far as I'm concerned, that trait is shared by all other German battleships so it's not a stand-out feature, so don't look at me singing Brandenburg's praises for her secondary potential as a selling feature of this ship over other German premiums. They all perform very much alike in this regard -- their potential is there, but it's so terribly situational. The pain and suffering that went into making this. Brandenburg was originally launched with bugged, asymmetrical secondary arcs on her forward-most 105mm guns. Those on her starboard side could fire up to 20º off her stern while the port side could only fire 30º off her stern. I've highlighted this difference with the two arrows in the graphic above. This was corrected with patch 0.11.4 with her port side now mirroring her starboard side (they can both shoot 20º off her stern now). Brandenburg's secondary arcs are okay. They're not great. At least she can bring all of her weapons the bear 30º off either her bow or stern, so you can use those to help ensure you're auto-ricochet safe in a brawl. I was going to ramble on about her torpedoes, but I think I can just summarize them here. Brandenburg's fish are short ranged but pack a comfortable punch, perfect for delivering a crippling blow in a brawl. The four she launches per side will not guarantee a kill on an enemy battleship unless they're already mauled, so keep that in mind. Her fire arcs are decent, able to launch 30º off her bow and just over that off her stern for a total of a 119º firing arc per side. Like other German battleships, her torpedoes are pretty fragile and have a habit of getting destroyed if she takes a lot of HE fire, so make sure they're still operable before committing to a joust. Summary Brandenburg may have crappy guns but she has good secondaries backed by short-range torpedoes. Firepower wise, she sucks if you can't get her into a brawl. If you can, Brandenburg's numbers jump tremendously. While you can all but guarantee this each and every time you take her out to a Co-Op battle, it's harder to ensure in PVP. I don't rate Brandenburg's firepower very highly. It's alright. When the stars align, it can be good. But you're setting yourself up for disappointment in PVP outside of those rare games where your enemies make the mistake of letting you brawl. VERDICT: Situational. Unreliable. Inconsistent. Durability Hit Points: 58,800 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 32mm / 19mm / 145mm / 50mm to 80mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 350mm belt plus 110mm to 120mm turtleback plus 45mm citadel wall Torpedo Damage Reduction: 23% Third from the bottom. A German juggernaut Brandenburg is not. Remember how players made a big stink about Odin's lack of health? Well, if you weren't around at the time, Odin was largely panned by the community for her tiny (52,800) hit point pool. Brandenburg has just 6,000 more. That's not a lot. That's like two more penetrating hits from battleship AP, and given Brandenburg's crappy fire angles, those penetrating hits are coming sooner rather than later. Brandenburg's hit point pool would be dead average for a tier VII battleship. And that's bad. That's very bad. Thus, Brandenburg suffers a lot of the same problems as Odin -- namely, not having enough HP left over to successful brawl when the opportunity finally arises in the mid to late game. Brawls always cost HP. Brawls can cost a lot of HP. And if you've already bled a lot of your initial health, it can be hella disheartening to not have the staying power to actually enjoy a good scrap. What might have been a game winning situation is now just a spiteful act of defiance before you're sent back to port. Even setting brawling aside, with the teething problems of her main battery guns, Brandenburg is just plain bad at trading. She doesn't have the health to spare to exchange body blows. This is partially mitigated by what appears to be a traditional German battleship protection scheme. Brandenburg has dispersed armour, including a full length 60mm icebreaker bow, thick upper hull and deck armour that will troll most HE (and some SAP!) thrown her way. This just leaves her (admittedly huge) superstructure and the tiniest portions of her bow and stern vulnerable and makes her largely proof against AP shells when angled. As for her citadel? I have ... mixed feelings... about Brandenburg's citadel protection. It's geometry is weird. It comes to a narrow point towards the bow. This creates some odd angles reminiscent of Yamato's octagonal citadel -- Brandenburg has similar "cheeks" that can theoretically yield citadel hits even when the ship is angled. Now, ostensibly, her turtleback should mitigate this. Unfortunately, I took a massive double-citadel hit early on when testing Brandenburg. Granted, these came from long range fire and double-granted, it was my fault for flashing that much side in the first place (gawd, I hate her firing angles). But given the tiers at which Brandenburg operates, most of what's going to be thrown at you from other battleships will be at long range so I got incredibly gun-shy after this. I couldn't play Brandenburg with the same confidence I could with other German premiums. I fully accept that this could have been an exception; an anecdote that biased me towards keeping a sharp eye out for repeat occurrences in a way I might not have otherwise fussed over. But it's definitely coloured my experiences. I'm aware that the odd citadel hit can (and do) happen with other German battleships so I dunno why this one shook me up as much as it did. I blame her fire angles. I'm always going to scapegoat her fire angles. Brandenburg feels squishy for a German battleship and I don't like that. Brandenburg has a dispersed armour scheme and odd citadel geometry I'm still torn if the latter is a blessing or curse.. Her citadel's 180mm tip is very thin. Combined with her icebreaker bow, this ship is incredibly difficult to citadel directly from the front when perfectly nosed in. However, that same tapering tip does make her more vulnerable when angled, in a similar manner to Yamato's infamous "cheeks" (though nowhere near to that extreme). Losing 25,000 health in a single salvo and these aren't even citadel hits. VERDICT: Squishier than her pedigree would otherwise suggest. Agility Top Speed: 32.5 knots Turning Radius: 820 meters Rudder Shift Time: 15.7 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 4.6º/s at 24.3kts Main Battery Traverse Rate: 6.0º/s Brandenburg (8) joins the SoDak-twins (2), Constellation (10) and Champagne (12) as one of the best turning ships at this tier. This is largely thanks to her high top speed. Brandenburg has a great top speed, a decent (but not good) turning circle radius and a rudder shift time on the poor side of average. These latter traits obfuscate what is, in fact, a quite agile vessel as far as battleships go. Speed corrects a lot of issues with agility, especially when they're only held back by "average" values elsewhere. Brandenburg's good top speed and modest turning circle radius translates to one of the best rates of turn for not only the tier VIII battleships, but most battleships in the game. Let's talk more about speed. It is a tremendous advantage. Not only does it allow you to get where you need to be faster, a greater range of speed makes it harder for opponents to properly guess your ship's momentum and lead appropriately. It also allows for a greater degree of control while kiting opponents which is arguably one of the most effective solo damage-farming techniques in the game. Being able to control engagement distances is a duel-winning strategy (though not necessarily a match winning one). In one game I managed to run down not one but two destroyers that strayed too close. Despite fleeing after being lit, they were unable to open up enough distance to get themselves out of spotting range before my secondaries chewed them to bits. Brandenburg's speed ostensibly makes it easier for her to commit to a brawl and use her secondaries and torpedoes, though there's a catch here. While speed is powerful, it can also be dangerous. If you're not careful, you can find yourself over-extending and making yourself an easy target for enemy focus fire. It's important to temper Brandenburg's potential with caution. She doesn't have a lot of health and it doesn't last long under concerted enemy attention. Mind that throttle. Vary your course and speed and beware blind corners. Please keep in mind that I'm comparing Brandenburg's agility to other tier VIII battleships and battleships as a whole. Brandenburg's handling still sucks compared to a cruiser. She does not compare well to Warspite's handling either. You're not going to be able to juke incoming fire or easily thread the needle and dance to torpedo beats. Finally, you can forget about Just Dodging™ air strikes. Still, Brandenburg's handling is very comfy. Good marks here. VERDICT: One of the best at her tier. Under attack from a Kagero and an Asashio. It's a losing battle from the start, but Brandenburg's agility at least frustrated the two destroyers, completely avoiding four salvos before finally being taken down by a fifth. Anti-Aircraft Defence Flak Bursts: 6 + 2 explosions for 1,400 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.2km. Long Ranged (up to 5.2km): 192.5 dps at 75% accuracy (144dps) Medium Ranged (up to 3.0km): 511dps at 70% accuracy (358dps) DPS Aura Ranges Total DPS by Range Effective Damage vs 186.2knot Aircraft Alright, let me try and talk about this without being snarky or going on a huge rant. Some facts: Brandenburg's large calibre AA is short ranged at only 5.2km. Brandenburg has the best AA values among all of the tier VIII German battleships. In terms of effective sustained AA DPS, Brandenburg sits just behind Kansas and slightly ahead of Kii, putting her solidly in the upper third for sustained damage output among tier VIII battleships. She generates a lot of flak for a tier VIII battleship, though not enough to make her stand out. The individual hits from her flak are fairly average for a tier VIII battleship. Because of her short main battery gun range, she is unlikely to be using a Catapult Fighter over her Spotter Aircraft. She does not have access to Defensive AA Fire, not no tier VIII battleship has that presently. Where my snark and rants will stem comes from the fact that as good as this all looks on paper, it's not enough to keep her safe. A hale and whole Brandenburg is an inconvenient target for tier VI carriers as the attrition rates will erode their hangar capacity eventually. Against higher tiered carriers, short of them obliging you by faceplanting into flak bursts repeatedly, Brandenburg cannot inflict casualties quickly enough to compromise their hangar capacity, never mind stop individual strikes. Her presence will not dissuade a CV on her own and owing to her short range, she is not a particularly good asset to help protect others. As such, when she is not top tier, she is a ready victim to air attack. She might pad her experience and credits earned with some air kills, but you cannot trust Brandenburg's AA defences to do anything to protect the ship in the current meta. And that's really all AA is for as far as surface ships are concerned: printing credits and xp in compensation for letting CVs have their way with you. VERDICT: Brandenburg is better at squeezing out rewards for being [edited]-slapped by aircraft than most at her tier. Vision Control Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 16.2km / 12.73km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 11.22km / 9.09km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 12.78km Maximum Firing Range: 18.46km Hydroacoustic Search. Bismarck has it. Odin has it. Zieten has it. Tirpitz (and her clone) does not. Neither does Brandenburg. This consumable has increased value as Wargaming works towards completing submarines in World of Warships. This comes not only for the ability to spot incoming torpedoes but also for detecting submarines that might be lurking nearby. German secondaries are excellent anti-submarine weapons provided their target is spotted and can be shot at. The general inaccuracy of these weapons isn't nearly as much of a problem as it is against destroyers when shells only have to land nearby to score damage. Thus lacking a Hydroacoustic Search is notable. As far as surface detection goes, Brandenburg's alright. She just barely manages to squeak into the top third within her matchmaking with her concealment. It's neither a tremendous help nor a significant hindrance. It's comfortable enough to be a non issue for most game play though you'll be hard pressed to turn it into a reliable advantage. Given her relative fragility compared to other German battleships, I would have preferred her to be a bit more sneaky, but as it is, her concealment is workable. I feel her lack of a Hydroacoustic Search more than whatever is going on with her surface detection. If I've counted, calculated and transcribed everything correctly (and I'm almost certain I have not), Brandenburg sits tied for 39th out of 110 battleships within her current matchmaking. This is sorted by columns, so 1-37 in the first column, then 38 to 75 in the second, 76 to 110 in the third column. VERDICT: Meh. Anti-Submarine Warfare ASW Armament Type: Airstrike from 0.5km to 10km (plus part of the bomb drop column) Number of Salvos: 2 Reload Time: 30 seconds Aircraft: Two Blohm & Voss BV 138C with 2,000hp each Drop Pattern: 3 bombs each dropped evenly over 1.1km column Maximum Bomb Damage: 2,800 Fire Chance: 21% Bomb Blast Radius: 300m Submarine game play is still ever changing. This section largely serves as a snapshot of how ASW worked at the time this article was published. No doubt further changes will occur before submarines get finalized. That said, Brandenburg and tier VIII German battleships in general have the best anti-submarine warfare load-out of their peers presently. Bismarck, Zieten and Odin sit at the top of the pile, combining the best air-dropped depth charges with great secondaries and Hydroacoustic Search to mitigate the influence submarines have on their game play. Brandenburg and Tirpitz have to make do without the consumable to spot fish and occasionally help sniff out subs. Now this doesn't make any of the German battleships good submarine hunters by any means -- it just means they're the best equipped battleships at their tier to fight back against submarines should they be called upon to do it. I've spent some time mapping out depth charge pattersn -- both from ships and aircraft and I'll probably publish an article a little later showing the coverage at a particular tier. VERDICT: She has the best battleship launched air strike at her tier combined with good secondaries. U-190 got too close to Brandenburg and pays the price. Final Evaluation I like Odin better than Brandenburg and I like Scharnhorst better than Odin. I think that sums up my feels about these "large cruiser" armed battleships. Short of dusting off snowflakes or whatever I'm required to test in the future, I'm not taking Brandenburg out. I don't like her guns. That's really all there is to it. Why would I want to play a ship where my primary way of interacting in the game is such a miserable experience? I mean it's a doubled-stacked turd sandwich with bad gun performance and bad fire angles. Blech. Brandenburg is just Odin-Two. The biggest difference between them is that Odin has Hydroacoustic Search and Brandenburg has more guns. There are other differences than that obviously. Brandenburg has more guns, more secondaries with better firing arcs but worse penetration. Brandenburg is faster and has better AA power and just enough more HP to fool you into thinking she might be a better experience overall. Odin is more stealthy and her guns fire faster and with much more comfortable gun laying. So pick your poison. I'm not convinced either ship is worthwhile. My honeymoon period with Odin has long since past -- as I feared in my review of her years ago, once her torpedoes became common knowledge and players became more familiar with her gimmicks, success became increasingly volatile. That volatility is alive and well with Brandenburg's game play too. It's that same feast-or-famine that so many brawling battleships struggle. It's hard to appreciate a vessel whose fortunes are so closely tied not only to what tiers matchmaker places you in but what kinds of ship you end up facing. The presence of a single carrier or a glut of torpedo boats or a brace of submarines and Brandenburg faces an uphill battle. And like most tier VIII premium battleships, facing tier Xs is never comfortable. Still, if you can manage to get her into brawls and win those scraps, her performance is fantastic. How frequently you can make that happen will dictate your success in this ship. If you can't tell, I couldn't make that happen often enough to put a smile on my face. So no thank you, Mister Brandenburg, you are not the ship for me. Of course, all of these complaints apply only to PVP game modes. In Co-Op, Brandenburg is a thug. Her guns still suck butts in there, unable to overmatch as the bots suicide charge, but at least her secondaries and fish can rip them open and help pad her numbers. Brawling in that game mode is guaranteed, so her success is all but guaranteed. Still, if you're going to buy a tier VIII German premium battleship, just buy Tirpitz. In Conclusion This one ballooned out of control. I spent way too much time fussing over getting a better understanding of AA and ASW mechanics that sidetracked me down several week-long exploratory tangents. I mean, I'm happy that I understand ASW and AA much better than I did at the onset and it's nice to be able to put into context how Brandenburg (and other future ships) will slot into this developing meta. But stack on some other projects and RL issues and the content drought really bugged me. I dunno which ship I'm going to review after this. I'm kind of "battleshippped out" at the moment. Maybe I'll poke Maya. We'll see. Speaking of other projects, you may have noticed that I changed avatars in my graphics. @Chobittsu did a wonderful job putting together this cute Fantasy Dwarf ship's captain per my request. Animating a bouncy version of her as a forum avatar is one of many things on my to-do list. Thank you all for reading and thank you so much for your continued support. ♥
  4. Wargaming doesn't just make fictional ships, it makes whole CLASSES of fictional ships! The following is a review of Giuseppe Verdi, the tier IX premium Italian battleship, was sponsored by my patrons on Patreon who helped me afford this ship. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.11.2. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. The purpose of this review is to support the players, not the company behind the product. Posting this review is not an endorsement of current goings on nor is it a statement about them. Giuseppe Verdi was released at the tail end of 2021 without much fanfare. I had hoped to review her immediately following my look at Marlborough. I could piggyback a bunch of graphics I had done for the British-chonker and even sneak some of my earlier Marco Polo graphics to speed up production. But then I got it in my head that I should finally get around to properly evaluating anti-aircraft DPS for the sake of tidying up future reviews. The idea seemed sound -- produce an active database of relative efficiency of AA DPS in World of Warships. Little would I appreciate just how big of a job that would prove to be and as such, Giuseppe Verdi's review sat in a "not even halfway finished" limbo as the days rolled by. Following Dido and Canarias' review, I had a brief window to squeeze another review out before patch 0.11.2 dropped, so I've done what I can to get this out the door in a timely manner. As is becoming increasingly commonplace, I grossly underestimated just how big of a job this project would be and I've spent more time with Giuseppe Verdi than I thought. Given that she's a ship that was largely dismissed by the community when she first arrived, this attention is perhaps undeserving. However, I feel this time has been well spent. Giuseppe Verdi surprised me. I hope you find this review worthwhile. I'm not expecting this review to change your mind about the ship, but maybe you'll learn something new. Oh, and keep this copy by Wargaming in mind. This is how they advertised the damn thing. We'll come back to it later. Quick Summary: A short-ranged Italian battleship with nine 406mm guns with HE shells, SAP-firing secondaries and an improved Exhaust Smoke Generator. PROS Dispersed armour scheme High velocity shells and good AP penetration HE shells deal increased module damage. Good gun handling and decent fire arcs. SAP armed secondaries. Competitive agility for a high-tier battleship Improved Exhaust Smoke Generator CONS Exposed citadel with easily overmatched turtleback Small hit point pool for a tier IX battleship Wonky dispersion Anemic HE shells and poor AP DPM. Short ranged main and secondary gun batteries. Crappy AA defences Differences Between Sisters Giuseppe Verdi borrows heavily from Marco Polo. She has identical durability, agility, anti-aircraft and detection parameters. The primary difference between the two vessels comes in the form of their firepower. Giuseppe Verdi's guns reload faster but don't hit as hard and her secondaries are significantly improved. In addition, the two ships have different consumables. The specific differences between the two vessels are: Canarias is only the most recent victim of weird shell weight nerfs. Before her, Giuseppe Verdi was attacked! Marco Polo on the left and Giuseppe Verdi on the right. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / CHALLENGING / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme I struggled a bit on where to slot Giuseppe Verdi for inexperienced players. Her exposed citadel and advertised secondaries sounds like a recipe for disaster. I had to conclude that if you played her as advertised, you were in for a rough time. The moment you try and bring those secondaries to bear, you also expose Giuseppe Verdi's weaknesses. Her guns don't perform well. Her citadel protection falls apart. However, were you to keep Giuseppe Verdi at a comfortable distance, then her initial skill floor drops down to a Casual rating. There's nothing much to worry about there short of "don't flash your sides" and vary your ammunition as needs be. Giuseppe Verdi has a very high skill ceiling, almost enough to warrant an Extreme rating. The extra level of game play provided by her Exhaust Smoke Generator when paired with possible brawling builds is just that much more enticing for players with a broad knowledge of systems and mechanics in World of Warships, especially spotting and auto-ricochet angles. This is a battleship with just that extra bit of special sauce which allows you to outplay others with its expanded toolkit. Options There are a couple of things to keep an eye on with Giuseppe Verdi. The first is her improved Exhaust Smoke Generator, which is so far unique in World of Warships. The second comes down to how you choose to build her -- wether that follows your more traditional battleship build or if you go down the brawling-battleship rabbit hole. Consumables Her Exhaust Smoke Generator is weird. Damage Control Party is standard for an Italian battleship. It comes with unlimited charges, an 80s reset timer and a 15 second action time. Her Repair Party is also standard. It heals back up to 14% of the ship's health over 28 seconds, queuing 10% of citadel damage, 50% of penetration damage and 100% of everything else. It has an 80s reset timer and starts with four charges. Her Exhaust Smoke Generator is something special. I'll do a quick side by side comparison with the one that comes on Lepanto, the tier IX Italian tech-tree battleship, which we'll use as our "normal" version of the consumable. Like the standard consumable, Giuseppe Verdi's version starts with 3 charges and it has a 180 second reset timer. But after that, things deviate. Giuseppe Verdi's version creates huge smoke clouds, 1.8km across! Lepanto's are 1.02km across. Furthermore, Giuseppe Verdi issues smoke for longer, pooping out clouds for 60 seconds instead of 45 seconds. And finally, the clouds take longer to dissipate. Normally, Italian Exhaust Smoke Generator clouds disappear within 10 seconds of being generated. You have a bit more leeway with Giuseppe Verdi as they last 15 seconds. In her final slot, you have the choice between a Spotter Aircraft and a Catapult Fighter. The Spotter Aircraft comes with four charges, increases her main battery range by 20% for 100s and has a 240s reset timer. Her Catapult Fighter launches 3 aircraft which stay on station, orbiting the ship at a range of 3km for 60s. It comes with three charges and has a 90s reset timer. Upgrades Let's do this! It's decision time. Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. Damage Control System Modification 1 is the only one that makes sense in slot 2. It's a shame she can't take some kind of smoke-making-better upgrade. You've got to choose your Destiny in slot three. The most efficient choice is Aiming Systems Modification 1, especially with how wonky Italian ballistics are. BUT, if you're going to be a CHAD-BRAWLER, then take Secondary Battery Modification 1 instead for the extra range and rate of fire. Damage Control System Modification 2 is the best choice in slot three. You can take Steering Gears Modification 1 instead if you want, but be prepared to burn. Still, for someone intent on brawling and knife fighting, it's not a terrible choice. Concealment System Modification 1 is still the only choice worth considering in slot five. And finally, you can choose between Main Battery Modification 3 to help with her shoddy reload or Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 to make up for her lacklustre range. Commander Skills Now OBVIOUSLY, the optimal build here is the same tried, tested and true battleship survivability-focused commander. You specialize in fire-resistance with your choice of skills at the lower, mandatory tiers. It's worth noting that for Italian battleships especially, the second tier Brisk is particularly effective. The extra jump in speed kicks in everytime they activate their Exhaust Smoke Generator, on top of the extended periods of time between their salvos owing to their longer (and sometimes downright punitive) main battery reload times. As a nerd that has spent way too much time twirling ships, I like the extra kick it provides to a ship's rate of turn. With Giuseppe Verdi's smoke lasting longer than other Italian battleships, she stands to benefit from this longer and getting her up to X knot top speeds is thrilling. It's like combining Engine Boost to your Exhaust Smoke Generator. Very fun. But SURELY you didn't come here for optimization; you came for AWESOME. I know your type. You're a Giga-Chad who plays a secondary-spec'd Montana. You're the Boss-[edited] who took Survivability Expert on your battleships. Well, Giuseppe Verdi will not let you down. Her SAP-firing secondaries are SCREAMING for a dedicated commander build to fully optimize the ship, citadel exposure be damned. Well, worry not my valiant, hyper-morphed blokes and lasses, I've got your needs covered. Brisk comes up once again as an excellent skill for this build. Secondaries don't increase a ship's spotting radius in smoke, allowing Giuseppe Verdi to close to knife fighting range while still delivering the hurt. Between Secondary Armament Modification 1, the November Echo Setteseven signal and the following build, she can yeet her shells out to a respectable 10.51km, making her a threat to anything she wants to flex on. Only Manual Secondary Battery Aiming and Long Range Secondary Battery Shells are truly mandatory for this build, leaving you with lots of options to play around. I'm a fan of pairing this with Concealment Expert and Emergency Repair Expert but you're free to pick and choose your favourites. Obviously, I'm biased towards a secondary build. You'll understand why by the time you get to my Final Evaluation, if not before with my Firepower section. Of course if you elect to use secondary build, that precludes Giuseppe Verdi from being an effective commander trainer for your other Regia Marina battleships. That's a significant strike against her and worth keeping in mind. Camouflage Giuseppe Verdi only has access to a single Type 10 camouflage. It provides the usual bonuses for a tier IX premium battleship: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -20% to post-battle service costs. +100% to experience gains. Giuseppe Verdi's base camo looks fine. It's helped that Regia Marina battleships look bloody gorgeous. Firepower Main Battery: Nine 406mm/50 guns in in 3x3 turrets with an A-B-X superfiring configuration Secondary Battery: Twelve 152mm/55 guns in 4x3 turrets and twenty-four 90mm/50 guns in 12x2 turrets superfiring over the 152mm guns. These armaments are spread evenly along each side of the ship. Main Battery Let's do things a little different this time and start with the main battery. There's a world of difference between Giuseppe Verdi's main battery firepower and Marco Polo's and it's worth reiterating them. Giuseppe Verdi has a faster reload by 5 seconds. Marco Polo is more precise with 1.9 sigma to Giuseppe Verdi's 1.7. Giuseppe Verdi's AP shells do 450 less damage and are lighter. Marco Polo has SAP shells, Giuseppe Verdi has HE shells. While it's nice that Giuseppe Verdi does not to have Marco Polo's 36 second reload, the rest of the changes suck monkey butts. I mean, I can accept having HE instead of SAP. It's a fair trade for the reload reduction. But, I have to ask just what the heck is going on with her AP shells? 450 less damage on a citadel (149 damage on a penetration) isn't a lot but that makes me wonder why it was even necessary. Now, I do like my consistency so incongruencies bother me more than they should. So I'm left scratching my head at this design decision. I think it points to Wargaming fussing with things that don't matter for the sake of making their "behind the scenes" performance-graphs look pretty. The same goes for a 31 second reload instead of the standard battleship 30 second reload. That smacks of Wargaming looking for optimization so someone can make their bonus rather than a design decision that's to the benefit of the players. That kind of change is a nuisance to players. Seriously, there's been a lot of this unnecessary fidgeting with stats away from established norms and I can't see the reason why. Giuseppe Verdi could have had a 30 second reload and 13,050 damage on her AP shells like her sister and it wouldn't have made an enormous difference -- her DPM would have still sat beneath Hizen's (freakin' Hizen for crying out loud). Wargaming could have bought back their numbers with something that players can't perceive anyway, like a 0.05 sigma reduction or whatever. When is Wargaming going to learn that messing with main battery performance is a sure-fire way to annoy their customers? Giuseppe Verdi isn't winning any prizes for sustained damage output. I'm aware I forgot Prinz Rupprecht. She's at the bottom of both. I'm not redoing these. Again, Prinz Rupprecht is missing, this time because I recycled this from my Marlborough review. She sits beneath Giuseppe Verdi and above Georgia. Speaking of annoying, let's talk about dispersion. Giuseppe Verdi's accuracy is ... well, it's not good. It combines the triple headache of French & Italian dispersion formulas AND Italian high-velocity vertical dispersion AND 1.7 sigma on top of that. Even if you do hit your targets, Giuseppe Verdi is likely to yeet her AP rounds clean through the broadside of a cruiser at anything less than 12km. Now, this is countered by the fact that her AP rounds retain a lot of energy over distance, so smackin' battleships for citadel hits at long range is totally in her wheelhouse... or at least it would be if she could reach out to 20km. You need to activate her Spotter Aircraft or install Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 in order to shoot that far. Her short range is a real pain in the butt sometimes, so ditch the Catapult Fighter and keep the other consumable on standby. You're going need it. If you don't, you'll have to install the range module instead and that's only going to push her DPM potential further down the list. Giuseppe Verdi's dispersion with 1.7 sigma on the left. Marco Polo's with 1.9 sigma (and minor ballistic changes) on the right. Giuseppe Verdi doesn't quite top the charts in terms of her AP penetration for a sixteen-inch gun but it's pretty darned close. She's a threat to battleship citadels up to 20km and beyond. A Curious Note Towards the tail end of this review, I noticed something weird in Giuseppe Verdi's datamined stats. This came from spotting a typo on one of my graphics. I got the HE damage value wrong, so I went back and double checked all of the info for her main battery HE shells just to make sure that I wasn't misquoting other stats. That's when this little value jumped out at me: "Alpha Damage 9,230" Now, Alpha Damage is weird. It's not the same as regular damage. That regular damage value for Giuseppe Verdi appears normal -- it's 5,700. It's the same amount of hurt that Iowa and Missouri spit out with their 406mm guns. Alpha Damage for HE shells is a bit of a holdover from the Closed Beta days where HE shells had a splash effect that could even damage ships on a near miss. To my knowledge, this may have had an effect still on modules (WG never gave me a clear answer on this as a Community Contributor). With the inclusion of submarines taking splash damage from near misses, it was something I had ear marked to explore when I could take submarines into the training rooms finally. So what does this value do? Well, frankly, I don't know. It could mean that Giuseppe Verdi will do more damage to submarines with her HE shells than she should. It could mean that she does more damage to modules (including exposed magazines of destroyers and some cruisers) than her contemporaries. Maybe it's more HE penetration against modules (they have a kind of armour -- module damage is hella weird). It could mean absolutely nothing and it's just a holdover from Closed Beta. Just be aware that she has more of this than Iowa and Missouri (4,620), Thunderer (7,730) or even Incomparable (7,800). I'll make some inquiries and keep you posted. [ Edit - This has been confirmed. Giuseppe Verdi does more module damage than other battleships. ] I'm borrowing this graphic from my Marco Polo review. The two sisters have the same firing angles. They're almost good. Almost. Main Battery Summary Giuseppe Verdi's main battery firepower sucks. She has bad range. Her AP shells have nerfed damage. She has only nine guns and yet she's stuck with an abnormally long reload. Her HE shells aren't SAP and they suck at starting fires. Her dispersion is also terrible. Her guns' redeeming qualities are decent fire arcs and gun handling, good AP penetration over range and you're playing with a larger calibre of gun than you normally can with Italian battleships. Seriously, that last bit is meant to be a selling feature of the ship and it makes me laugh. "Ooh, you get to play with 406mm guns!" Yeah, everyone else already does that and has been doing that since as early as tier VII. 406mm SAP with a bad reload was novel on Marco Polo. Nerfed 406mm AP with a bad reload is just a bad tier IX ship -- being Italian doesn't make that better somehow. Wargaming is obviously banking that her secondaries will make up the deficit. Her Secondaries Don't Make Up the Deficit There are four things I look for when evaluating if a ship's secondaries are worth upgrading into: Range: Look, you gotta have range. I don't care about the rest if a ship can't reach its target. Without range, secondaries are not going to come into play often enough to be worthwhile. The next three are all distant seconds to this first criteria. I cannot stress this enough: without good range, your secondaries suck. End of story. Dispersion: Dispersion helps put more hits on target for few shots. This can be counteracted somewhat by a high volume of fire (more bites of the apple) or meatier individual hits (good penetration / high damage or fire chance per shell). Penetration: Will my hits do damage when I get there? Like Dispersion, this can again be overlooked if the other two boxes are ticked . The idea being that if you don't have good penetration to hurt all targets, landing enough hits may pad the numbers through fires. Potential Damage: This category is kind of a catch-all. It combines volume of fire with fire arcs, shell damage and fire chance per hit. We're evaluating if the ship has the potential to deal a lot of damage -- pretty much, if all of the ducks were in a row, how much hurt can this ship dispense? A ship with poor potential damage may still be a decent contender for a secondary specialization if dispersion and penetration are present -- the idea being that you make up for the deficit by hitting more often and the quality of said hits being higher than average. We can look at a few examples: Prinz Rupprecht has arguably the best secondary battery at tier IX. She combines accurate "Massachusetts" level of accuracy with 1/4 HE penetration. Her 105mm guns fire quickly and her 150mm casemates hit like trucks. With nearly an 8km base range, the only marks against her are the poor firing arcs on her casemates and the fact that her 105mm can't quite penetrate 32mm battleship hull sections without dipping into IFHE. Still, she can do without and rely on fires to carry over the rest. Georgia is a step down from Prinz Rupprecht. Though she dittos the German battlecruiser's accuracy, she has slightly less range. Furthermore, her 127mm/38s don't have the penetration needed to contend with anything short of destroyers and very light cruisers. Dipping into Inertial Fuse for HE Shells allows her to engage cruisers, but this hurts her poor fire-setting ability when facing other battleships, forcing a choice. Her fire arcs, however, are excellent, ensuring she can bring her full secondary broadside on anything that creeps within range. Alsace has the range and massive volume of fire but she lacks everything else. Her penetration is infamously terrible with her 100mm guns unable to directly damage destroyers or the superstructures of ships at tiers VIII+ and her dispersion is just the baseline secondary accuracy which is awful. Still, she's one of the best potential fire starters. Marco Polo has absolutely nothing going for her. On paper, she can deal more potential damage than Georgia but her range is even worse. Furthermore, she inherits Alsace's penetration issues. The bulk of her fire comes from her 90mm guns and they can't hurt anything directly. She's only a modest fire starter and her accuracy is terrible. So where does Giuseppe Verdi fall on this spectrum? Giuseppe Verdi, Marco Polo and Friedrich der Große have the same brawling and kiting DPM. Pommern and Georgia have such good fire arcs that they can fire all of their guns whether kiting or brawling. Giuseppe Verdi's SAP ammunition provides tremendous potential, both through her theoretical DPM but also her high penetration. There's just one problem... SAP Armed Secondaries SAP secondaries are a game changer. On paper, Giuseppe Verdi's secondaries have more damage potential than Alsace's, which is pretty frightening. And this comes paired with high(ish) penetration. Her 152mm secondaries can smack 42mm hull sections and her 90mm can hurt up to 26mm. Pair this with (very) high damage per shell and she appears capable of front-loading some big alpha when her secondaries start singing. I was initially skeptical, expecting most of these shells to ricochet but her 152mm have VERY forgiving bounce angles. Her 90mm are less so, but still highly respectable. This was enough to make me curious. I could accept her not starting fires or damaging internal modules with these kind of stats (you're not detonating anyone with SAP). It stung a bit that her 90mm were stuck at 26mm of penetration -- 27mm would have been preferred to hurt ALL cruisers within her matchmaking, but I could deal with that, especially when her 152mm guns had been buffed with a slightly faster reload over those on her sister ship. Things were looking up. At least, they were until I looked at their range. Lemme dig up that meme I used on my Marco Polo review. There we go. With a 6.95km base range, Giuseppe Verdi's secondaries cap out at a modest 10.51km. That's a kilometre and a half shorter than Alsace and Prinz Rupprecht. That hurts. That sucks. What is it with these Italian battleship premiums post-Cesare being so close to good but fumbling at the last minute? Thus, Giuseppe Verdi ends up having excellent potential damage, good penetration, poor accuracy and, most damning of all, modest range at best, though I'm loathe to call it anything other than 'poor'. It's not that a 10.51km range isn't workable, it very much is, especially if you're a PVE-junky. Giuseppe Verdi's secondaries are boss-level badass in Co-Op and it's not uncommon to see her do in excess of 40,000 damage with her secondaries if you throw her headlong into jousting scenarios with a full secondary build. However, you can't expect this kind of regular performance in PVP where brawling scenarios are less common. Giuseppe Verdi doesn't pair these secondaries with a citadel profile that's healthy in a knife fight. That's not to say that there isn't some use for her secondaries in PVP, it's just not idiot proof the way it is on German battleships. Giuseppe Verdi's ace in the hole when it comes to making use of her secondaries is her Exhaust Smoke Generator. She can blink off people's radar, show up closer than people are expecting and saturate them with a hail of surprisingly damaging fire. This works best against destroyers and cruisers, obviously, and only select cruisers at that. But still, it opens the door for some fun, dynamic and aggressive plays that are so very dear to my blood thirsty heart. You just can't count on it being the trump card that people so often envision brawling to be. I really do like the combination of decent secondaries (I am loathe to say 'good') and an Exhaust Smoke Generator in brawling scenarios. So long as no one brings Hydroacoustic Search or a Surveillance Radar to the party, it's going to be amusing. I can't promise it will be game winning or even a good idea, but it will be amusing. After the disappointment of her main battery armament, having "amusing" secondaries is high praise. If you can fire all six of her 90mm guns at a target, you're showing waaaay too much broadside. Secondary Summary They're better than I initially thought. Their short(er) range is a pain in the butt and really hurts what could have been an impressive and novel armament. It would have been nice to see them reaching out to at least Georgia levels of range (7.5km) or getting at least German battleship levels of accuracy. Still, the way her secondaries synergize with her Exhaust Smoke Generator is a lot of fun, so top marks there. VERDICT: Giuseppe Verdi's offensive capabilities are only "okay". Her main battery firepower is pretty bad compared to her contemporaries and if you're not interested in a secondary-build, then you should probably stay clear of this ship. Durability Hit Points: 69,100 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 32mm / 19mm / 70mm to 80mm / 55mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 320mm belt + either 25mm turtleback or 50mm citadel wall Torpedo Damage Reduction: 27% Marco Polo and Giuseppe Verdi share the same hit point pool, which is really generous of them considering it's not very big. Giuseppe Verdi entirely clones Marco Polo's armour and hit point profiles. This means she has a tiny hit point pool for a tier IX battleship, a dispersed armour scheme and a highly vulnerable citadel. Giuseppe Verdi's armour is excellent for resisting cruiser calibre HE, SAP and AP rounds, even the latter two which may have improved auto-ricochet mechanics. Her amidships deck and upper belt are immune to HE rounds from even small battleship calibre weapons, being proof up to 330mm calibre guns. She can similarly shrug off the 1/4 HE penetration of 203mm calibre weapons found on the German cruisers. Similarly, all cruiser-calibre SAP rounds are patently incapable of damaging the ship in these places. This limits the effectiveness of these attacks to her extremities and superstructure. Given the difficulties of accuracy at range, the further away Giuseppe Verdi is from said cruisers, the more effective her armour becomes if only grace of dispersion. Even players who know what to target will find their shells occasionally straying and piffing off Giuseppe Verdi's thick plate ineffectively. Against battleship calibre rounds, she fares alright. She can bow-tank with the best of them, though she has to worry about the usual 460mm+ guns like everyone else. This all changes if she gives up a little too much side, however. Barring having an ice-breaker on her bow and stern, Giuseppe Verdi's external armour is excellent. The citadel protection of the Marco Polo-class isn't great. It's almost good enough. Almost. Against anything 356mm or smaller, it holds up well. Her turtleback is sloped steeply and it prompt ricochets (or at least ricochet checks) against most incoming rounds, deflecting them up and away from her magazines and machine spaces. However, at only 25mm thick, any larger AP shells simply ignores the armour entirely through overmatch mechanics. Similarly, ships with improved auto-ricochet angles like American heavy cruisers and battleships like Duke of York won't bounce off this plate. Granted these two ships in this specific example need to be extra close in order to get through her belt armour, but ships like Stalingrad and the Alaska-class do not. Exposing Giuseppe Verdi's sides is baaaad juju and it's just begging to get her sent back to port from the ensuing big citadel hits. That 25mm turtleback is just begging to be overmatched. It may as well be non-existant for any AP shells greater than 356mm. Flash her sides at your own peril. This raises the point on how it's generally a REALLY STUPID IDEA to bring this ship anywhere close to brawling distances against other battleships in PVP. Like, seriously. You'd have to be a flaming moron to want to engage in knife fights using Giuseppe Verdi and expect her to come out the better for it. Even her Exhaust Smoke Generator can't keep her safe at these ranges (and that won't save you from enterprising blind fires at a distance either, btw). Even if you don't get flashed by Surveillance Radar or sniffed out by a Hydroacoustic Search, the guaranteed detection range will ensure she gets lit. Barring "being the torpedo", you'll have to expose your sides to your quarry (if not their friends) and probably suffer for it. As good as her secondaries (potentially) are, Giuseppe Verdi's citadel protection should make you think twice about getting her anywhere close enough to use 'em. Or you can live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse. Up to you. Shut up. I look fabulous. VERDICT: Nice external armour. She doesn't have enough HP, though and her healing suffers because of it. Furthermore, citadel gets tapped too easily especially at brawling distances where WG wants her to be played. Agility Top Speed: 32 knots Turning Radius: 860m Rudder Shift Time: 16 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 4.3º/s at 24.1 knots Main Battery Traverse Rate: 5.0º/s Fourth from the top in bright, booger green. There's nothing really special about Giuseppe Verdi's handling. Her 860m turning radius looks decent. Her 32 knot top speed is good, but she's not the fastest at tier by a long shot. She lacks the Engine Boost consumable which makes Alsace, Wujing, Georgia and the Jean Barts so flexible. And finally, her rudder shift time is only kinda-sorta okay. Plug this all in and you get a ship that isn't exemplary in any one area, but she's not terrible in any of them either. And yet, she strangely feels kinda lame. This is largely owing to the empty niche at high tiers. We have fast battleships but we don't have any nimble ones. Put Giuseppe Verdi at any of the lower tiers and sure, her speed stands out, but her handling would be all kinds of meh by comparison. At tier VII, Gneisenau has a comparable top speed but scrapes off another 30m from her turning radius (and over a second from her rudder shift time), allowing her to manage a comfy 4.5º/s rate of rotation. The German tech tree ship feels fast and aggressive. Yet just a few different paraemeters undermines Giuseppe Verdi. The end result is that she only feels okay. There's room at this tier for Wargaming to play with agility as a perk if they wished. Something with short rudder shift time like Vanguard or Yukon would be welcome, especially if it came with something close to (or just below) an 800m turning cricle radius and around a 30 knot top speed. As it is, Giuseppe Verdi's agility misses the mark here. Because of this, I fell in love with the Swift commander skill in my play tests. Paired with the Sierra Mike signal and her Exhaust Smoke Generator, it gave her a top speed of 37.1 knots in a straight line and a maximum rate of turn of 4.5º/s over a 910m turning circle radius at a sustained turning speed of 26.6 knots (for those unaware, when you exceed your in-port top speed, your turning circle radius increases in size). Giuseppe Verdi can very comfortably come about 180º under the cover of her Exhaust Smoke Generator with time to spare. Furthermore, her Exhaust Smoke Generator ensures she can always have access to this extra speed on demand, allowing her to redeploy even from hotly contested fights. I know I'm making more of a big deal about her synergy with this skill than it perhaps deserves but I was delighted by this pairing and I'ma spread the word to mah peeps. Overall, Giuseppe Verdi's agility is "good enough", I suppose. It's not bad but there are better ships at her tier, like Georgia and Jean Bart. VERDICT: It's not terrible. It's not good either, but it's not terrible. Anti-Aircraft Defence Flak Bursts: 6 + 2 explosions for 1,330 damage per blast at 3.5km to 4.6km. Long Ranged (up to 4.6km): 196dps at 75% accuracy (147dps) Medium Ranged (up to 3.5km): 199.5dps at 75% accuracy (150dps) Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 206.5dps at 70% accuracy (145dps) Range of Gun Types and DPS Combined AA DPS by Range Look, the only thing "good" going on here is the wall of flak that Giuseppe Verdi puts out and even that's held back by the pathetic short-range of Italian large-calibre batteries. You can count on anything short of dive bombers being able to engage an attack run before they have to consider dodging and that really undermines their efficacy. On paper, she has enough sustained DPS to do some damage to loitering planes (if they loiter), but in practice she's one of the softer battleship targets at her tier. You're pretty much hoping that enemy aircraft will run into a combined flak-wall or be out-muscled by Giuseppe Verdi's DPS paired with something much more frightening, like an American or French battleship. Here's how Giuseppe Verdi's sustained AA DPS holds up against the best three and worst three battleships at her tier. This is the approximate damage done by sustained AA DPS against a fictional, 186.2 knot squadron travelling in a straight line from max range to 0km over a ship. The colours separate the damage done by mount type, with darkest being the large calibre mounts, the medium being the medium calibre and lightest being the small calibre mounts. Iowa (5833) Missouri (5019) Jean Bart & Jean Bart B (4884) Marco Polo & Giuseppe Verdi (2948) Hizen (2157) AL Sovetskaya Rossiya (1914) Musashi (1198) Overall, your best AA defence is going to be to activate her Exhaust Smoke Generator if you come under concerted attack. Make sure you put the rudder hard over to Just Dodge™ any blind drops of rockets, fish, bombs, or Soveit easy-mode ordnance. VERDICT: Not enough so it's entirely forgettable. Vision Control Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 16.8km / 13.2km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 12.98km / 10.51km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 16.26km Maximum Firing Range: Between 19.12km and 22.18km (max of 26.62km with Spotter Aircraft) 52nd (or 53rd) out of 93 vessels listed here. Giuseppe Verdi (and Marco Polo) have concealment on the poor side of average for a battleship within their matchmaking (the average being an upgraded concealment of 13.05km). That's not surprising given that short of Roma (and her unfortunate AL clone), most Italian battleships tend to have unremarkable surface detection ranges. However, with very few exceptions, it isn't the raw concealment value that's the interesting aspect of a given battleship's vision control -- it's what consumables they bring to the table to shake things up that makes individual ships stand out. With Italian battleships, it's access to their Exhaust Smoke Generator consumable that's their defining feature here. This provides concealment on demand, at least so long as they haven't fired their main battery guns recently. That Marco Polo lacked this consumable at all was a big hit against her comfort-level which was admittedly already suffering due to her punitive reload time on her guns. Well, it seems that Wargaming has taken the Exhaust Smoke Generator Marco Polo should have gotten and added it onto her sister-ship, because Giuseppe Verdi's smoke is strange and powerful. It provides all of the usual benefits for an Italian battleship, giving cover to allow it to disengage and manoeuvre as needs be. With her great secondaries, you can also use it offensively, spitting ribbons of SAP fire into the faces of enemies that get close without being spotted in return -- at least until someone activates Surveillance Radar or Hydroacoustic Search or slips within 2km of her. Still, this can be enough to cause some amusing shenanigans, such as foiling early torpedo attempts and getting a leg up on damage done, especially against the impatient. It might be enough to protect her citadel against some opponents. Exhaust Smoke Generators are a selfish consumable by their very nature. They don't really provide smoke that can be shared by other ships unless you VERY tightly coordinate with a peer. That's nominally beyond the scope of trying to help some Random Battle buddy you meet in a one-off match. The Exhaust Smoke Generator clouds don't last long enough for another ship to hide in them comfortably. Trail behind an Italian battleship by more than a boat length and you're not likely to keep hidden, especially if you're struggling at all to match their exact course and speed. This is where Giuseppe Verdi stands out. Her Exhaust Smoke Generator can be shared. While most Italian Exhaust Smoke Generators create smoke circles that are 1.02km in diameter, Giuseppe Verdi's is a massive 1.8km. The extra duration of each individual cloud also ensures that it lasts long enough for a friendly ship to be able to follow in her wake. Finally, the extra emission time gives a bit more room too coordinate. While this may still be beyond the average player in a pick-up battle, it is enough to provide at least temporary cover and easily too. That can make all of the difference in a Random or Ranked battle. Still, I wouldn't go so far as to say that Giuseppe Verdi's Exhaust Smoke Generator is game changing. It's just that much more comfortable to use and it opens the door for some team play options that didn't readily exist before. Lepanto on top with a standard Exhaust Smoke Generator. Giuseppe Verdi's smoke is large enough to hide a small fleet inside, provided they can keep up. VERDICT: Bad unless you account for her Exhaust Smoke Generator. Then it's at least interesting, if not downright competitive. Anti-Submarine Warfare ASW Armament Type: Airstrike from 1.5km to 10km (plus bomb drop column) Number of Salvos: Up to two Reload Time: 30 seconds Aircraft: Two Kawanishi H8K with 2,000hp per plane. Drop Pattern: 3 bombs each dropped evenly over roughly a 900m column Maximum Bomb Damage: 2,800 Fire Chance: 21% Not much to say here given that submarines were largely a non-entity during my playtesting. I'm recording these stats for posterity and they're likely to change in the future. VERDICT: I'm not looking forward to when this section becomes relevant, if only because these reviews will get even more complicated. #MouseTroubles Final Evaluation Marco Polo, was entirely forgettable and short of Christmas events, I never see any reason to take her out. This is largely owing to Marco Polo's atrocious main battery reload time. Seeing that corrected with Giuseppe Verdi caught my interest, especially when paired with the missing Exhaust Smoke Generator. But when I became aware of the other gunnery flaws, namely the 1.7 sigma, the terrible range, the 31 second reload (for some reason) and nerfed AP rounds, my enthusiasm was dashed. I resigned that she would never be anything more than another forgettable offering from Wargaming, not worth a deep dive. I began framing this review as a quick comparison between the two ships. That was until I took a look at how Wargaming was promoting her. I told you we'd come back to this. What stood out to me was the claims of a powerful secondary armament. Now, I was aware of her development and how she had been touted as having SAP secondaries. But just looking at their range gave me reservations, to say nothing when datamining pulled up that her dispersion wasn't improved. But the more I looked and the more I played Giuseppe Verdi, I felt it wrong to be so dismissive. There was something interesting there. Oh, my forays into trying to make her secondaries work in PVP were largely disastrous -- I'm not about to tell you that Giuseppe Verdi is a good ship, don't you worry. But what I did find was that they were fun, especially in PVE. I don't usually focus on individual game modes much in my reviews but I think it's worth examining here with Giuseppe Verdi. If you are a co-op main, Giuseppe Verdi is a fantastic ship. Secondary-heavy battleships and battleships with torpedoes do extremely well in PVE modes and Giuseppe Verdi is no exception. If you're looking to scratch of some event mission that requires secondary hits, this isn't a bad pony to bet on. In PVP modes, she's only alright though. You can pull off some fun shenanigans every now and then the same way you could with say, Tirpitz or Odin. I just don't feel that her long range fire is good enough to warrant purchasing. Yes, it's nice to have an Italian battleship with 406mm AP rounds AND smoke. But given how heavy handed Wargaming has been to balance her, I don't think she's worth while. Similarly, close combat just doesn't happen often enough in PVP battles to allow you to enjoy what makes her novel. Her shorter ranged secondaries make that even more challenging -- you're getting less secondary incidental fire than you would from any other specialist and that's a shame. I want to like Giuseppe Verdi, but I cannot in good conscious recommend her for anyone that enjoys Random and Ranked Battles. She's not terrible. She's certainly more novel than her sister ship, but I'ma stick to my guns. Give her a pass if you're a PVP junky. Thanks for reading. Mouse out. <Sinister pasta noises!>
  5. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: California

    The following is a review of California, the tier VII American battleship. This ship has been provided to me by Wargaming for evaluation purposes -- I did not have to pay for this thing, which is a good thing because I would have felt offended had I shelled out money for this horribly mistreated piece of history. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this article are current as of patch 0.9.5.1. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. I'm not going to waste too much time on this review (she says, and then spends four whole days on it). USS California's inclusion in World of Warships bothers me on so many levels. I should preface this by saying that I love the American standard-type battleships. I think they are some of the most interesting warships of the Second World War. They are phoenixes that rose from the ashes of Pearl Harbor. Despite their outdated designs, they went on to not only find a role in the fast-modernizing US Navy but they went on to engage triumphantly in one of the final battleship surface actions in history. They could have just as easily remained a footnote in the war, left behind by fate. So, you can keep your Iowas, the romance (to me) lies in names like West Virginia, Tennessee and California. This is why I took issue with West Virginia appearing in her Pearl Harbor mien and not that of Surigao Strait. So imagine my disappointment when, against all advice, Wargaming stuck to their guns and pulled a copy-paste job of USS Arizona's performance and tacked it onto California. Now, let me be clear: Arizona, the tier VI American premium, is awesome. Lert really helped me appreciate the game play of the "American Bricks" way back in 2016. However, I do not love Arizona so much that I think cloning her game play and asking people to pay a premium price tag for a tier VII version is right. While California does have some minor improvements over Arizona, they are (in my opinion) inconsequential. I fear that these buffs will blindside people to what is nothing more than an already existing tier VI premium with a tier VII price tag. With that in mind, this review is going to myopically focus on the differences between Arizona and California and why one ship is worth the money and the other is a slap in the face. As much as I need a break right now, USS California is a big enough name to elicit sales simply merely by reputation. I know it. You know it. Wargaming knows it too. I want to head off any impulse purchases and warn players that they're not getting a ship worthy of California's name. Quick Summary: A slow American standard-type battleship with horrible gun firing arcs but improved long-range gunnery with her twelve 356mm guns. She has excellent AA firepower. PROS Fully submerged citadel. Heavy broadside of twelve 356mm/50 guns. Long ranged with a starting reach of 19.9km which can be extended to as much as 27.7km between upgrades and consumables. Decent gunnery dispersion with 1.9 sigma. Small turning circle radius of 640m. Excellent AA firepower, equivalent to a tier VIII American battleship. Good concealment with a surface detection as low as 11.8km. CONS Painfully long, 34.2s reload. 356mm guns lack overmatching ability against targets with 25mm+ extremities. Horrible gun handling and appalling gun firing angles. Very slow top speed of 20.5 knots and poor handling as a result despite her smaller turning circle radius. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging/ Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / MODERATE / High / Extreme California isn't difficult to play. Picking her up and farming some damage is pretty easy. Were it not for her horribly slow speed, I'd have given her a 'simple' rating. All you really need to know are the battleship basics: use the correct ammo, beware of flashing your sides, try not to get left behind. California's speed is a severe handicap, but you knew that coming in. California gets no tools to seriously mitigate this. Long range is nice, so flex those aiming skills you've acquired, but her gun caliber and long reload will largely limit the impact this has. You can largely forget applying those brawling skills or getting to cap or even angling to mitigate damage -- it's just not applicable. There's a pretty hard cap on how far skill will take you with this ship. Options There's nothing too surprising about California's options. She conforms to the norms for American battleships. She doesn't get access to Aiming Systems Modification 1 to reduce her main battery gun dispersion. Instead, she has Gun Fire Control Modification 1 which increases her main battery gun range. Consumables California's Damage Control Party is standard for an American battleship. It comes with unlimited charges and an 80s reset timer. For US battleships, this is active for 20 seconds rather than the 15 seconds for other nations, so bonus there. Her Repair Party is also standard. It queues up 50% of penetration damage, 10% of citadel damage and 100% of all other damage types. Each charge heals a base of up to 14% of the ship's health over 28 seconds. She starts with four charges. In her third slot, you have the choice between a Spotting Aircraft and a Catapult Fighter. The former increases range by 20% for 100 seconds. It comes with four charges and a four minute reset timer. Her fighter is active for a mere 60 seconds (like all Battleship fighters) and resets in 90 seconds. It has three charges base and sends up a squadron of 3 planes. Upgrades There should be no surprises for anyone here. Build for survivability and fire resistance. Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. In the second slot, begin your fire resistance build with Damage Control Systems Modification 1. Most people are going to want to spring for more range for California and thus Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 will seem optimal. However, once you get behind the helm of California and play with her (as I have), you'll come to hate her sluggish gun traverse as much as I do and Main Battery Modification 2 will look hella appealing. Damage Control Systems Modification 2 is your best choice for slot four, however, given California's ridiculously-poor fire angles, you will not be blamed for reaching for Steering Gears Modification 1 in order to help with rudder shift time to swing her butt out and back in between salvos. Commander Skills Time to re-use a graphic because battleship skill optimization has stagnated! Same old, same old. Build for fire-resistance first, then double back for your other skills. You probably want Expert Marksman over Adrenaline Rush on your first pass. Camouflage California has access to two camouflage patterns: Type 10 Camouflage – California and Freedom -- California. The two are merely cosmetic swaps of each other, providing the same benefits. You'll probably have to shell out some extra cash for the Freedom camo, whether that will be through a bundle or with doubloons after the fact. 3% bonus concealment from surface targets 4% increase to enemy gunnery dispersion 10% reduction to post-battle service costs 50% bonus to experience gains. Summary so far: Well, so far so good, I suppose. There's nothing out of the ordinary here. I dunno what's going on with California's turrets with her Freedom camouflage. Firepower Main Battery: Twelve 356mm/50 guns in 4x3 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Sixteen 127mm/38 guns in 8x2 turrets in superfiring pairs on either side of the ship facing fore and aft. Arizona & California's Main Battery Differences California has more range (19.9km vs 16km) California's AP shells do more damage (10,500 vs 10,300) California has a faster reload (34.2s vs 35s) California's AP shells have higher penetration. California's shells have higher muzzle velocity. California has higher sigma (1.9 vs 1.8). California has much reduced firing arcs (102º broadside vs 113º) California uses New Mexico's 356mm/50 caliber guns rather than Arizona's 356mm/45s. A lot of what's listed above owe to the differences of the gun calibers. Compared to New Mexico, California has increased range (19.9km vs 16.1km) and better sigma (1.9 vs 1.5) but again that horrible deficit in fire arcs (102º broadside vs 109º). So while California is an obvious gunnery upgrade over New Mexico, California is only a soft upgrade on Arizona. The biggest advantage here is her increased range with the rest largely being window-dressings. Calfornia does have a higher muzzle velocity and thus better AP penetration over distance. However this gap isn't quite as pronounced as the difference in speed would suggest as Arizona has higher Krupp, a coefficient WG uses to directly modify penetration values. California's increased rate of fire, higher shell damage and sigma are all nice but the difference is so minor as to be largely unnoticeable. California is a slow reloading, reasonably accurate 356mm armed battleship. The 0.8 second faster reload still does not make her feel like she has anything but a painfully slow rate of fire. The 0.1 sigma difference is imperceptible in game play -- you couldn't tell the difference if you tried. And finally, as nice as the extra damage is, these are still 356mm guns. Compared to the 380mm, 406mm and 410mm shells being thrown about by some of her tier mates, their individual shell performance is middling at best. Thus cutting through all of the crap, California's only significant change is her range increase over Arizona and she pays for this with truly appalling gun fire arcs. Observe: California has absolutely horrid main battery traverse rates, coming about at a glacial 60s for 180º. California has tier VI firepower with tier VII range. As much as I would like to be excited about her range, she needs it or the ship simply doesn't work. Wargaming will try and sell you this ship bragging that this reach is to California's advantage. Simply put, it's the only thing which makes this ship viable as a tier VII vessel and even then it barely passes muster. This ship is slow. Unlike Arizona which finds herself occasionally enjoying the 36km x 36km claustrophobic maps of lower tiers, California more often than not sees the 42m x 42km and 48km x 48km maps of higher tiers. That extra reach is an outright necessity to bring her guns into play before the battle moves on without her. Even then, it's often not enough. You can get a taste for this already by playing Arizona in bottom tiered matches and struggling to keep up with the pace of battle. California's reach partially mitigates this, but only partially. Her horrible gun fire angles necessitate that she swing out and show a lot more broadside in order to bring the weight of fire to bear on targets. This exaggerated manoeuvre bleeds speed (to say nothing of changing her heading and possibly navigating away from battle), further slowing her already ponderous pace. Thus her range becomes even more important. Are California's main battery guns better than Arizona's? Absolutely. Are they good enough to be tier VII guns? Sure -- they have better range and much better sigma than New Mexico's. The issue, though, is that they're not improved enough over the tier VI premium's to be worthwhile. Arizona's weapons are amazing at tier VI. California's weapons are only okay at tier VII. This means, gunnery wise, you're paying more money for a worse experience. This means for California to be worth her price tag, she's gotta make it up elsewhere. Once again, here are some dispersion tests. These are 180 shells fired at 15km locked onto the stationary Fuso bot. The bot was without camouflage. Unlike my normal dispersion tests, as Arizona and California can't equip the dispersion reducing ASM1 upgrade, their fields look comparatively larger than ships of the same tier. Shots are coming in from right to left with Fuso bow-tanking. One of these is California, the other Arizona. I'm not telling you which ship is which. If you're struggling to see a difference in as clinical and sterile a trial as this, you have no hope of feeling the difference through normal game play. In battle, targets are moving at different angles and speeds which makes any reasonable evaluation exceedingly difficult unless there is a tremendous change in performance. This is why I frown on a difference of 0.1 sigma being used as a selling feature -- it's a "spreadsheet" value that will affect a ship over the course of several games but isn't likely to be significant within a single match. A Missed Opportunity California doesn't make up for her main battery gunnery with her secondaries. California's secondaries are crap and they didn't have to be. Despite constant suggestions to give her improved accuracy and/or range on her secondaries, Wargaming wouldn't budge on keeping them standardized. These weapons are not worth upgrading any more than you would find it worthwhile to upgrade North Carolina's or Alabama's secondaries. California's AP penetration is okay. It's not high-velocity Soviet-good like Poltava's, though, nor does it have Duke of York's improved auto-ricochet angles (which shares the same penetration as KGV). Landing citadel hits against enemy battleships tends to fall off at ranges over 14km or so, but you should still be able to land penetrating hits through most belts you'll encounter. In theory, California has some pretty good AP damage output. She doesn't have boosted HE shell damage the way Japanese and British battleships do, so she's kind of lackluster there. That hurts given her inability to overmatch 25mm armour that's so commonplace within her matchmaking spread. Arizona sits just behind California in AP and HE DPM, but not so much that you'll notice in most cases. Summary so far: You're buying a longer-ranged Arizona. The 0.8s improved reload time and harder hitting AP shells are okay, but you can't feel the 0.1 sigma difference. However you're paying for the improvements with very crappy gun fire angles. Options: Nothing unusual, for good or ill. Firepower: Arizona with longer range, slightly improved damage output but much worse fire arcs. Durability Hit Points: 58,300 Min Bow & Deck Armour: 26mm extremities, upper hull and deck with some 31mm rear deck sections behind the superstructure. Maximum Citadel Protection: 35mm anti-torpedo bulge, 343mm belt and 44mm citadel wall. Torpedo Damage Reduction: 36% California's protection scheme is perfectly adequate for a tier VII battleship. It's comparable to Arizona's and they each have their strengths. California versus Arizona's Durability California has more health (58,300hp vs 57,200hp) Arizona has better anti-torpedo protection. No, really. (37% damage reduction for Arizona vs 36% for California) Arizona has better upper-hull armour. (Arizona has a strip of 37mm armour above her belt while California's upper hull is only 26mm). California has better deck protection (California's deck behind her superstructure and around her X & Y turrets is 31mm thick. All of Arizona's decks are 26mm). Overall, the ships are very comparable in terms of their protection and durability. While California has the slight edge in health, it pays to keep in mind that Arizona has a large hit point pool for a tier VI battleship while California is on the low side of average for tier VII. Tier for tier, Arizona is the better protected ship with her armour and hit points meaning more at tier VI than California's at tier VII. That 35mm anti-torpedo bulge covers a huge section of California's side. All things told, it's not bad for helping keep shells out (especially when angling). Her 31mm rear deck will help shatter small-caliber HE shells too, as will her 50mm armoured secondaries. Look at this chungus. This is a top-down view of California with her 343mm belt highlighted in red. You can see just how massive her 35mm anti-torpedo bulges are. Shells which fuse inside this bulge but outside of the hull spaces underneath result in zero damage penetrations. Here's a better view of how deep California's belt extends. The dark red is 343mm thick while the orange strip at the bottom is where it tapers to 273mm. In order to land citadel hits, shells must contend with her 35mm anti-torpedo bulge then her 343mm belt and finally her 44mm citadel wall. California's citadel (in yellow) is fully submerged well below the waterline. Short of adding a turtleback, it's as well protected as you could hope it to be. The most dangerous shots come from medium to long range where shells have a bit of drop going for them to strike beneath the waterline and angle towards the citadel. As good as California's lateral protection is, her big weak spot is her bow. Her stern is made up of composite layers of armour beneath the 26mm outer shell in a similar vein to Giulio Cesare's bow. It isn't anywhere near as vulnerable. But her bow? It's just the 26mm outer portion until you smack the transverse bulkheads protecting her citadel. They're not thick enough to keep battleship caliber shells out. Furthermore, that big 26mm area is just begging to receive hits from HE spam. California faces a lot more opponents that can easily best her extremity and deck armour -- not only with battleship caliber AP but also HE spam from cruisers with enough base penetration to out-muscle her structural protection. Once engaged at medium-range, there's really not much this ship can do about it short of trying to fight her way out. As we've already covered, she doesn't really have that much better of a chance of doing so than Arizona. California's protection scheme is decent for a tier VII battleship but it's nothing special either short of her anti-torpedo protection (which is good but not as amazing as the size of her bulges would suggest). She doesn't have improved heals like the British battleships. She doesn't have a nigh-impervious citadel like Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. She's missing an ice-breaker bow like the aforementioned German ships. The Soviets infamously have it too. Were it me at the helm of California's project, if improving her offense was off the table I would have done something here. There's lots of ways they could have gone about it, though I think the most elegant solution would have been to give her 32mm structural plate on her bow, stern, deck and upper hull, akin to a tier VIII battleship. She would have felt immediately tankier but still vulnerable to higher tiered ships. Oh well, missed opportunities. California's on the low end of average for her potential health. This isn't exactly welcome for such a slow brick with a big squishy snoot to boop. California has a boring ol' 14% healed over 28s, not the 16.8% of the KGVs and Hood, the 40% Nelson or even Colorado's 18.48%. It could be worse, I suppose. She could have ended up like Poltava with a max of 4 charges of heals. Summary so far: Worse protection than Arizona, tier for tier, but that's largely owing to a deficit of hit points as a tier VII battleship. Her protection scheme is otherwise fine though her snoot is a huge weak spot. Options: Nothing unusual, for good or ill. Firepower: Arizona with longer range, slightly improved damage output but much worse fire arcs. Durability: Comparable durability to Arizona even though she sits a tier higher. Agility Top Speed: 20.5 knots Turning Radius: 640m Rudder Shift Time: 14.7 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 3.7º/s So, there are slow battleships in World of Warships and then there are the American premium standard-types. You see, the normal American tech-tree battleships have an artificial boost added to their engines -- they don't bleed speed like normal battleships do. It's akin to (but not a copy of) the UFO-style acceleration found on British cruisers and destroyers. However, the premium standards Arizona, West Virginia 1941 and now California, all lack this boost. They decelerate like normal battleships. This means the moment you touch their rudder, they dump their speed faster than a tweaked-out college student having their dorm inspected. The net effect is that though California has a 20.5 knot top speed, she's usually flirting with much less -- as little as 15.3 knots at 4/4 engine settings. Colorado at least manages 19.2 knots under heavy manoeuvres. The horrible fire arcs on California's guns will necessitate more manoeuvring to swing out her guns and then duck back which will only ensure she's stuck on the lower end of this speed. I have no idea why Wargaming didn't provide her with the tech-tree style energy preservation. This would have made her functionally as fast as Nagato under manoeuvres. So you can largely forget about getting anywhere fast. You can forget keeping up with the pace of battle. You can also forget about successfully kiting or disengaging when things turn sour. I think the real unfortunate detriment here is that it makes California more vulnerable to torpedoes. If you're trying to get from A to B as fast as possible, you're not going to want to touch your rudder. That just makes her easy meat for enterprising lolibotes. Ostensibly, California's range is supposed to help her here. She might not be physically present in the heat of combat, but her reach should allow her to at least offer some contribution while she lags way in the back. Summary so far: California's agility is absolutely appalling and worse than it had to be. Still, she's not far removed from Arizona -- like, the differences are barely perceptible. However, the larger map sizes makes this a lot more problematic. Options: Nothing unusual, for good or ill. Firepower: Arizona with longer range, slightly improved damage output but much worse fire arcs. Durability: Comparable durability to Arizona even though she sits a tier higher. Agility: An ever-so-slightly worse Arizona but now deployed on larger maps. Anti-Aircraft Defense Flak Bursts: 5 explosions for 1,400 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.8km. Long Ranged (up to 5.8km): 137 dps at 75% accuracy Medium Ranged (up to 3.5km): 364 dps at 75% accuracy Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 490dps at 70% accuracy So here's California's main selling feature. You get tier VIII American battleship AA firepower at tier VII. This is in contrast to Arizona which has like ... no practical AA to speak of. As far as gimmicks go, it's downright laughable in the current meta. This might have meant something back before the CV rework, but it's a joke currently. Before patch 0.8.0, the levels of AA firepower California puts out would have been formidable and worth celebrating. She would have been a meme the way USS Texas used to be down at tier V. Now such AA firepower is merely an inconvenience to CVs. While tier VI carriers have to respect your AA firepower they can still strike you. Furthermore, it's not going to put off a determined tier VIII carrier even for a moment. The best that can be said is that California won't be high on the enemy aircraft's priority list. However, she has enough problems already without considering CV strikes. I've sorted these ships by the formula I like to use (DPS x [range-1km]) to give a better, but not entirely accurate, impression of AA effectiveness -- the logic being that longer range AA is better than shorter range AA. Hood is listed without DFAA active, just know that the numbers shown here jump by 50% when she pulls the trigger. Nothing can touch California, though, which sits smack in the middle of the tier VIII American BB range, rubbing elbows with Alabama, North Carolina and everyone's favourite: Massachusetts. Summary so far: California has absolutely amazing AA levels. She's boasting not only tier VIII AA firepower at tier VII but good tier VIII firepower at tier VII. Unfortunately the state of the CV rework makes AA unrewarding and frankly useless at times no matter how much of it you have. This is a booby prize in the current meta. Options: Nothing unusual, for good or ill. Firepower: Arizona with longer range, slightly improved damage output but much worse fire arcs. Durability: Comparable durability to Arizona even though she sits a tier higher. Agility: An ever-so-slightly worse Arizona but now deployed on larger maps. AA Defense: Excellent and sadly irrelevant. Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 13.5km / 11.79km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 9.69km/ 8.72km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 11.71km California is very sneaky for a tier VII battleship. I wish this could have meant more than it does. This ship isn't likely to sneak up on anyone, mostly because it's patently unable to catch up to anything that doesn't want to be caught. At best, you might be able to setup an ambush and catch someone unawares but that's not likely to happen -- again because of that lack of speed. Ostensibly, this should allow her to disengage more easily by holding fire but let's not kid ourselves into imagining that she can escape pursuit. Without allies to road-block, California will be run down, sneaky or not. The final thing to keep in mind is that because of her long range, every time she pulls the trigger, she rings the dinner bell. This can be especially problematic if you've boosted her range and there are silly things like a bored Musashi or Champagne itching for targets. So California has good concealment! Unfortunately she can't really take advantage as well as another battleship might because of her slowness. Summary so far: California's concealment is meant to be her saving grace. With a base 900m advantage over Arizona, this is supposed to facilitate not only engaging the enemy but escaping from difficult situations. However, without it being paired with improved agility or durability, this bonus is merely nice to have, rather than ship-defining. Options: Nothing unusual, for good or ill. Firepower: Arizona with longer range, slightly improved damage output but much worse fire arcs. Durability: Comparable durability to Arizona even though she sits a tier higher. Agility: An ever-so-slightly worse Arizona but now deployed on larger maps. AA Defense: Excellent and sadly irrelevant. Vision Control: Better than Arizona by a lot, but she isn't able to take ready advantage of it. Summary: California vs Arizona California is a longer ranged Arizona with slightly improved damage output between better AP shells and a faster reload. Her improved dispersion via sigma will only be apparent over the course of multiple games rather than individual matches. She has greatly improved anti-aircraft firepower and she's more stealthy. However, she has very poor gun fire angles, horrible agility and no appreciable gains in defense all while being up-tiered to tier VII. The final difference is cost. Arizona will set you back the equivalent of 6,900 doubloons. California will cost you around 10,000 for a worse experience, tier for tier. It's worth being said: Arizona over-performs at her tier. She is a powerful tier VI battleship, so you might think my comparison unfair. California isn't broken, she's just not over-tuned the way Arizona is. And that's fair to say. However, for a consumer looking for the best bang for their buck, why buy California when Arizona is available? If you had to choose one, Arizona is the better purchase, hands down. What's more, California does not offer anything novel in the way of game play short of having better AA firepower. Are you really inclined to pay to play Arizona with worse matchmaking for the simple sake of being slightly less victimized by aircraft? Arizona is "long ranged" for a tier VI battleship once you install Gun Fire Control System Modification 1, so you largely duplicate California's schtick there too. California plays like Arizona but she plays less comfortably owing to her worse fire arcs and even more sluggish handling. I'm left to wonder what the point of California's design implementation as is. Rather than look for something new or novel, Wargaming played it safe. This might have worked had Arizona not been on offer -- California would have been more rightly compared to New Mexico and her strengths would seem obvious. "Ooh, 1.9 sigma with twelve guns? That's MUCH better than 1.5 sigma on New Mexico!" But again, Arizona is a thing. We already got that game play and at a better price and matchmaking. Hell, if you're a fan of PVE you get an even better deal with most scenarios now being limited to tier VI these days. With Arizona existing, Wargaming should have either retired the Pearl Harbor monument or dredged up something from their box o' gimmicks for California to compensate. California is a ship without game play identity. She is to Arizona what Alabama is to Massachusetts & North Carolina-- entirely forgettable and an unfortunate waste of money for worse game play. California is a beautiful port queen that doesn't live up to her fantastic history. It's such a bloody shame. This screenshot makes me sad. Once upon a time, seeing a ship with this much AA would have made me very excited. Now it's just a reminder of how much potential is wasted in the current meta. Final Evaluation Let's pretend Arizona doesn't exist. Is California worth it? No. No, she isn't. I love my standards -- I love them to death. But playing a standard-type battleship at tier VII or above needs to come with some pretty juicy perks or I'm not biting. The issue is their inflexibility. Once you start stacking on any other flaws and they just become unpalatable -- and California's gun handling and reload are some pretty wonky flaws, especially when paired with her slow speed. And she gains naught for these handicaps. The perks they gave her to compensate, namely good AA, nice range, good concealment and more accurate guns, don't cut the mustard for me. This is largely owing to what should be her main selling feature being laughable. Phenomenal AA power is watered down more heavily than American Lite Beer. Like American Lite Beer, the CV rework has a lot to answer for. It should be hella tasty and refreshing. Instead, it's so much thinned out swill with a rancid aftertaste, leaving you to wonder what could have been. California isn't fun to play and that's her greatest crime. If she can't be powerful, she needs to be interesting and she fails at that utterly. I'll play a shoddy ship back to back for hundreds of games provided she's fun (I've done it too -- I loved Atlanta before Surveillance Radar was a thing). I don't want to touch California. I'm constantly fighting with her rudder or her guns and she has nothing I value to compensate for it. Hard pass, ladies and gentlemen. California is a hard pass. Conclusion I was going to take a break after Siegfried and Agir's review was published. However, California's an important release and, more pressingly, I don't feel she's a good ship. Had she been strong, I think I could have just sat aside and let people discover that for themselves. But seeing how she was being released reminded me of why I write these reviews in the first place: To protect other players from making bad purchases. Wargaming burned me once too often in World of Tanks. If I can help others avoid that, I will. Now that said, with this high-profile release covered and my feels (hopefully) clearly broadcast, I'm taking some much needed time off.
  6. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Florida

    ♫ Florida man, Florida man... ♪ Guess the tune. The following is a review of USS Florida, the tier VII American premium battleship. I did not pay for this ship. It was provided to me by Wargaming for evaluation purposes. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.9.9. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. Quick Summary: A tier VII, prototype version of the North Carolina-class battleship with twelve 356mm guns instead of nine 406mm guns. She's highly accurate but her guns don't hit very hard, even for 356mm rounds. On top of this, she's super squishy. PROS Huge broadside of twelve 356mm guns. Solid rearward firing angles, well suited to kiting. Uses the improved battlecruiser dispersion instead of that of American battleships. Good range for a tier VII battleship, able to reach out to 21.6km with her APRM1 modification. Improved penetration on her AP shells for their calibre. Good anti-aircraft firepower, including access to Defensive AA Fire. Decent concealment. CONS Small hit point pool for a tier VII battleship. Softer-skinned than contemporary battleships with 25mm extremities. Vulnerable, high-water citadel with as little as 285mm worth of armour. A 33.5 second reload. Anemic damage values on both her HE and AP rounds along with poor fire setting. Horrible rudder shift time of 15.4 seconds. Has one fewer Repair Party charges than most other battleships. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / CHALLENGING / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Difficult New players beware. As easy as border-humping battleships can be, Florida asks a bit more of players in order to get her to perform. Neither her AP or HE shells are idiot proof, requiring players to be dynamic with their ammunition choices. That's bad enough, but even when you have the right ammo loaded for the right target, her anemic shells leave a lot to be desired, especially with so long of a reload. Even her good improved accuracy can be a bit of a turn off -- at least with bad dispersion even a poorly aimed shot might have something strike the target. Finally, this ship just feels cumbersome with sloppy handling, a slow reload and sluggish turret traverse. Her carry potential is limited. While expert players can flex a lot of their in-game knowledge to get more out of Florida's potential, her defensive limitations thwart most attempts to push aggressively. Her guns don't hit hard enough or fast enough and are foiled by even limited angling. Still, she's a nice support ship. If you want to play a more passive, supporting role, Florida works well, especially against CVs. Options Consumables Florida's consumables are a little weird. There are two items of note: Florida uses an American battleship version of her Damage Control Party. This has a longer-than-usual active time compared to other battleships, repairing critical damage and preventing fires and flooding for 20 seconds instead of the usual 15 seconds. It has unlimited charges and an 80 second reset timer. Her Repair Party is also standard for a battleship. It queues up 50% of penetration damage, 10% of citadel damage and 100% of everything else. It heals back 0.5% of her health every second for 28 seconds. Her consumable has an 80 second reset timer but only comes with three base charges instead of the usual four. Like the other new American battleships, Florida has access to Defensive AA Fire. This is active for 40 seconds per charge with four charges base. While active, this provides a 50% increase to sustained AA DPS and a 300% increase to flak damage. It has an 80 second reset timer. Finally in the last slot, you have your choice between a Spotting Aircraft or Catapult Fighter. The former comes with four charges and is active for 100 seconds, during which time main battery gun range is increased by 20%. It has a 240 second reset timer. Her fighter has the usual 60 second active period with three fighters patrolling around the ship. This has a 90 second reset timer and comes with three charges base. The big takeaways here are that Florida has access to Defensive AA Fire and her Repair Party has one fewer charge. Upgrades Florida's upgrade choices are pretty dull. Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. It's arguably the best choice in the first slot. You can take the special upgrade Spotting Aircraft Modification 1 to increase the active time of her consumable from 100s to 130s but this doesn't exactly wow me. This upgrade will cost you 17,000 from the Armory. Unless you plan to hump the back-line regularly, you're better served increasing the survivability of your guns. Damage Control System Modification 1 is the best choice for slot two. Again, if you feel the need, you can take another special upgrade. This time, Defensive AA Fire Modification 1 is up for grabs at the same 17,000 cost in the Armory. This increases the active time of her consumable from 40 seconds to 48 seconds and reduces the reset timer from 80 seconds to 72 seconds. In slot three, Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 is really the only one worth considering. This will up her main battery firing range from 18.62km to 21.6km (her secondaries get boosted from 5km to 5.25km). Finally, in slot four, fire damage mitigation is still your best option so Damage Control System Modification 2 is your best choice. If you want to be a little more active in your dodging, then you can take Steering Gears Modification 1 instead. This will reduce her rudder shift time from an appalling 15.4 seconds down to 12.32s. Captain Skills You're not reinventing the wheel with Florida. Take the usual battleship survivability build. It's boring but it works. For variety's sake, you can swap out Priority Target and Expert Marksman for your tier 1 and tier 2 skills of choice. Some good alternatives are Expert Loader, Jack of All Trades and High Alert. Expert Loader in particular is a very good choice. I'm getting a lot of mileage out of this graphic. This speaks a lot to how badly the skill system needs to be reworked given how optimized skill choices have become. Camouflage Florida has access to two different camouflage patterns. By default, she comes with Type 10 Camouflage. However, They provide the same bonuses and are merely a cosmetic swap. -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -10% to post-battle service costs. +50% to experience gains. Florida's default camo is alright. I really don't like her alternative palette. It's a dull, elephantine grey in unflattering patterns. Florida's "Golden Eagle" camouflage has the same pin-up girl on her funnel as the camouflage made available for the new American tech tree battleships. I'm surprised by how much I enjoy this camo, though that may simply be because I'm not big on the other two. Firepower Main Battery: Twelve 356mm/50 Mk11 rifles in 3x4 turrets in an A-B-X super-firing configuration. Secondary Battery: Sixteen 127mm/38 guns in 6x2 turrets and 4x1 turrets. Huh! Neat! Let's start with Florida's secondaries, because they're kind of neat in a pointless, fun bit of trivia kind of way. Her secondary armament is divided into two gun types. The first is the twin 127mm/38 we're used to seeing on every American battleship. But these are supplemented by four single 127mm/38 turrets akin to what you might find on an American destroyer like Benson or Sims. This effectively gives her an eight-gun secondary broadside -- two fewer than you'll see on higher tiered American battleships like North Carolina, the SoDaks, the Iowa-sisters, etc, but it's right on par with California's battery. However, Florida manages to have the equivalent broadside to a ten-gun secondary battery like the higher tiered ships because most American twin 127mm/38 guns have an artificially lowered rate of fire and the singles have a boosted one. Check out this nonsense! Iowa & Missouri's secondary broadside: 10 guns with 6 second reload = 100rpm. North Carolina & Alabama's secondary broadside: 10 guns with 6 second reload = 100rpm. California's secondary broadside: 8 guns with 6 second reload = 80rpm. Florida's secondary broadside: 6 guns with 6 second reload + 2 guns with 3 second reload = 100rpm So there you go! Florida has a better secondary battery than California, equivalent to most of the other American battleships (but obviously excluding Massachusetts & company cuz theirs are souped up). Florida's secondaries are too short ranged to be worth specializing into. They also lack the accuracy buff that makes Massachusetts and Georgia such units. These twin factors are enough to discourage anyone from spending skills or upgrade slots on them, to say nothing of Florida's durability issues (which I will [edited] about at length below). Alright, that's enough fussing over what is little more than a curiosity. Let's get onto the meat of the matter. Big Guns Go Boom Make Squeaky-Toy Noises I don't like Florida's guns. They're perfectly adequate -- I'm not here to tell you that they're broken, bugged, under-performing or what have you. They're well balanced and put out the hurt reasonably well. In fact, they've got a lot of good things going for them including good(ish) fire arcs, good range, decent AP penetration values and that sweet, sweet battlecruiser dispersion. So what's my beef? Well, its' two things gentle reader: She has a slow rate of fire. Her shells suck moose-balls. The first element is symptomatic of American battleships as a whole, especially the new line of American battleships that Florida heralds. At 33.5 seconds per volley, Florida's reload isn't as bad as some of the others in the new tech-tree, but let's not mince words: It sucks to wait that long between trigger pulls. I can stomach this if the results for waiting are particularly amusing, however Florida's gunnery is an exercise in frustration for me because of my second gripe: Florida's shell hits are not satisfying. Florida's shells, both AP and HE, don't hit especially hard. Their damage values are lower than you might expect for a 356mm weapon. In fact, Florida's damage output on her AP and HE shells is most closely matched by those off the sixteen-gun Lyon. Lyon has only a 30 second reload, I remind you, 3.5 seconds faster than Florida with a four-gun advantage. Compare: American 356mm/50 (Florida): 9,500 AP damage, 4,750 HE damage, 22% fire chance American 356mm/50 (New Mexico, California): 10,500 AP damage, 5,000 HE damage, 30% fire chance American 356mm/45 (Arizona, New York, Texas): 10,300 AP damage, 5,000 HE damage, 30% fire chance French 340mm/45 (Bretagne, Normandie, Lyon): 9,500 damage, 4,700 HE damage, 26% fire chance Her individual hits just aren't doing as much damage as other American battleships. While she still has better broadside weight than the ten-gun armed New York-class, she's well behind the other twelve-gun armed American standards despite having a better reload time than all of them. This deficit in shell damage (combined with her slower reload) means that in terms of raw damage potential, Florida falls way behind, ending up in the bottom half of the DPM charts despite her large number of guns. Take these values with a pinch of salt. This is not accounting for such factors as accuracy, penetration, overmatch, normalization, etc. In terms of raw DPM, yes, Florida lags behind. She's also hurting when it comes to overmatching targets, especially when she's middle or bottom tier. However, her penetration is decent and her accuracy is good, offsetting these factors somewhat but only against select targets. More on this later. Look at all of this negative space! This is what happens when I scale the HE values to the same scale as the AP values. The order of ships shuffles a bit with German HE shells being terrible and British and Japanese HE shells doing more damage than you might otherwise expect for their calibre. Florida's HE performance remains unfortunate. However, given the troubles with her AP shells, you'll still be reaching for them often. Don't Trust DPM Charts The problem with simply looking at DPM charts is that it assumes everything is not only 100% accurate, but also that all shells perform equally when they strike a target. It patently ignores two crucial elements: How easy it is to hit a target. How likely your shells are to do damage if they do hit. As Roma so painfully demonstrated, you can have gorgeous paper stats but if you simultaneously struggle to (a) hit a target and (b) get anything other than over-penetrations, then your experience is going to be hella inconsistent. Florida has her own struggles, but at least she's very consistent when it comes to landing hits. Florida uses battlecruiser dispersion -- the same found on ninja-accurate battleships like Thunderer. Sadly, this isn't paired with a god-tier sigma value. Florida has 1.7 sigma competed to 1.9 of Thunderer or 2.0 of Champagne, so she doesn't feel quite so accurate as some of the higher-tiered snipers. The lower sigma means that the occasional shell will still fly wonky, though the smaller dispersion area means this won't be as wildly askew as other ships. In short: Florida's accuracy is good. You should land more hits per volley than her contemporaries which should help mitigate some of her DPM issues -- not all of them, but some. Florida (on the left) using a standard dispersion test. This is 180 AP shells fired at a stationary Fuso bot. Shots are coming in from the left to right (Fuso is bow-tanking). California is on the right with the same parameters. California uses American battleship dispersion with 1.9 sigma versus Florida's battlecruiser dispersion with 1.7 sigma. Florida feels appreciably more accurate than most other American battleships, though her lower sigma value will make her feel only slightly better than ships like California or Arizona. The difference in penetration performance between California and Florida is manifold. Their shells have different masses (555kg for Florida vs 680.4kg for California), different shell velocities due to different drag coefficients (0.271 for Florida vs 0.331 for California) and different Krupp values (2,945 for Florida vs 2,545 for California). AP penetration is more of a contentious issue for Florida. There's a stigma against lower-calibre guns for having poor penetration performance and this is largely undeserved. American 356mm AP shells, for example, have very good penetration and Florida's is improved even beyond this. She is capable, for example, of penetrating upwards of 400mm worth of plate at 15km. She has more than enough punch to land citadel hits against just about any broadside target, including some of the softer-skinned battleships up to ranges of 20km. So you don't need to worry about Florida not having enough teeth to citadel an Iowa in most encounters, should the opportunity arise. I stress the word opportunity, however. As nice as the raw penetration values are on Florida, she doesn't have a lot to spare once you aim at battleships in excess of 15km out. Using the usual tricks of aiming for softer sections of the hull can help, especially given Florida's reasonably tight dispersion to ensure good groupings. This helps somewhat, but again, angling is very effective against Florida's guns because she doesn't overmatch a whole lot of armour. Her 356mm AP rounds overmatch a maximum of 24mm worth of plate and there's a whole lot of structural steel within her matchmaking that's 25mm or thicker. Tier VI+ battleships, tier VIII+ cruisers all have a minimum of 25mm worth of structural armour. But that 25mm+ threshold crops up in other places, such as the decks and amidship hulls of tier VI and VII heavy cruisers and the decks of tier VI and VII lights. Having a working knowledge of which ships you can still punish when they angle helps immeasurably, but Florida is very often forced to rely on either aiming for over-penetrations through superstructures or resorting to her HE rounds. Ouch. I don't know why Wargaming decided to neuter Florida's fire setting so badly. I guess this will encourage players to reach for AP whenever possible. Keep in mind that these values do not include the fire resistance of their opponents nor the ship's accuracy. Fire resistance values against the opponents Florida usually faces is anywhere between 30% to 45% or so. So if you're managing to hit with 1/3 of Florida's shells against a tier VIII target, then instead of 4 fires and change, you're more likely going to see one per minute. Maybe. Sadly, Florida's HE are lacking. Their modest damage per-shell and slow reload might not be such a bad handicap if their fire chance was better, but her fire chance per shell is horrible. The 22% value she's shackled with is downright painful for such a slow rate of fire. Getting one permanent fire to burn is a feat, never mind doubling up. Her HE performance is so bad that I would happily recommend sticking with AP spam if it weren't for the aforementioned issue with angled and higher-tiered targets. It's stupid-important to be patient with your shots. Look for opportune targets where you can maximize her AP efficiency. You don't want to have to start spamming HE. Similarly, you don't want to force encounters where this is your sole option. Florida doesn't have the armour or hit points to facilitate trades against same-tier (or even tier VI) opponents. Blapping a full broadside of HE into an enterprising lolibote is hilarious, don't get me wrong -- her improved accuracy means that she easily can land four to six shells (or more!) against a destroyer at stupid-close ranges. But against any other target, her HE is just found wanting. If given the opportunity to fire nothing but AP, Florida does really well. Frankly, this is only going to happen if your opponents are idiots. You have to remain flexible with her ammunition choices. Keep the Expert Loader skill in mind. It's very handy for this ship if you're going to build a dedicated Florida captain. Enough Facts, Gimme the Feels I hate these guns. Lemme stress: They're fine. And I mean that in the same way I tell my significant other that "it's fine" when things are clearly not. It's all of the little things which add up to a bad experience for me. If you asked me to point at the one thing that bugs me the most about them, I'd probably tell you it's the 4º/s gun traverse, which seems stupid to complain about given all of the other issues. However, I think that this quibble illustrates my beef with Florida's gunnery as a whole. Her slow turret traverse is just that "one more thing" that feels off about this ship. No matter her advantages, there's always a big ol' butt attached. Florida has good AP penetration she has overmatch issues. Florida has good dispersion her sigma value is subpar. Florida has a huge broadside her shell damage is artificially low. Florida has decent fire arcs her turret traverse is slow. Florida can land a lot of hits with her HE shells she's terrible at starting fires. It goes on and on like this. Yes, yes, yes, this is all in the name of BALANS™, tovarish, and Florida's gunnery is balanced. I just don't like it. Florida's fire angles are decent. They're not good -- good is a 300º fire arc or more, but she's not as appalling as some of the ships I've dealt with recently. I just wish her turret traverse was better. Summary Big broadside, wussy shells. Guns are very accurate. You have to be dynamic with shell choice. VERDICT: You would think that for a sniper-battleship, her guns would be fun. But they're not fun. I didn't have fun at all with these weapons (except for maybe paddling a lolibote or two at very close range. Defence Hit Points: 51,800 Min Bow & Deck Armour: 25mm extremities, 26mm upper hull & 37mm deck Maximum Citadel Protection: 285mm belt or water + 213mm belt + 56mm, 96mm or 140mm citadel wall. Torpedo Damage Reduction: 26% Short Version Florida is pretty much a normal tier VII battleship with an exposed, vulnerable citadel and weak Repair Party. Florida's citadel layout tells you all you really need to know about this ship's durability. The TL:DR is that her citadel abuts against the exterior of her hull and it sits above the waterline. With only 285mm worth of belt protection, this exposed "T-section" of her citadel is stupid-easy to bullseye for waterline-aimed shots from enemy battleships. For 380mm+ AP shells aimed at her bows, her transverse bulkhead is almost as vulnerable. Irrelevant trivia time. There is a 16mm hidden plate dividing the upper and lower parts of Florida's citadel. The line of it can be found between her 285mm upper belt the 213mm of her lower belt Long Version The most pressing thing to worry about when playing Florida is her citadel. Unlike the other "sniper" battleships like Slava and Champagne, the "softness" of Florida's hull is barely a concern. The 25mm extremities which damn her higher tiered cousins do not apparently have a lower-tier equivalency. I was expecting Florida to appear with 19mm of extremity armour but she instead clones the higher tiered ship weakness with 25mm instead. Given that all of the other tier VI and VII battleships are rocking 26mm worth of extremity plate, the loss of a single millimeter is not that much of a drawback. At most, this makes Florida slightly more vulnerable to HE shells from small and medium caliber guns -- specifically 152mm HE shells from tiers VII and below do not need to reach for Inertial Fuse for HE Shells in order to stack direct damage against Florida as they would against her tier-mates. Similarly, Florida is vulnerable to 120mm HE shells with Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. That's really the extent this soft skin provides in terms of vulnerability. Otherwise her superstructure, upper hull and amidships deck all conform to normal parameters for a tier VII battleship. If you swapped out Florida's 25mm bow and stern for 26mm versions, she'd be a perfectly normal tier VII battleship. Florida's artificial fragility instead comes from three sources. The most influential of these is her citadel placement and geometry. Any battleship with her citadel sitting high over the waterline and abutting against the ship's exterior has a big ol' weakspot that's pretty easy to exploit. That, in of itself, isn't enough to damn a ship. For example, Soviet battleships all share this weak point, but many (if not most) of them are considered super-tanky. Therein lies Florida's second weakness: she lacks any form of extended armour to assist with shattering HE shells and ricocheting incoming AP rounds. While her amidships deck is a respectable 37mm, her butt, snoot and upper hull are all highly vulnerable. 25mm and 26mm armour are easily over-matched by the oh-so commonplace 380mm+ AP shells found at this tier. This armour similarly doesn't hold up against HE spam from cruisers and some destroyers. Thus Florida is much more limited when it comes to tanking incoming rounds. She can bounce 356mm armed battleships throwing AP in her face for days but angle improperly or test your luck against larger caliber guns and she goes down in a hurry. The last piece of her squishy puzzle is her effective health pool. Florida's hit point pool is small for a tier VII battleship. Heck, it would be on the low end for a tier VI battleship. This isn't enough to damn her in of itself -- she's not so low that she's on Viribus Unitis levels of parody. But a smaller hit point pool means that she heals less penetrating damage with her Repair Party. While this has no impact on fire and flooding damage (as their damage amount scales with the starting hit points of the ship), 10,000 damage worth of penetrations hurts Florida more than other tier VII battleships. But there's more. Florida comes with one fewer charges of her Repair Party, so this deficit is felt even more. I wanna gloat like a happy teaboo, but Florida's health is just too appallingly low for me for me to brag with good conscience. Her lacking an entire Repair Party charge just feels mean. I have felt these three combined weaknesses acutely with Florida. I don't feel that they're enough to damn the ship, but they are very obviously weaknesses. Unlike the higher tiered sniper-battleships, Florida finds herself more often in claustrophobic maps where she cannot rely on simply out-ranging targets. She's asked to tank a lot more more than say, Champagne. Even when she does appear on larger maps, this comes with the threat of higher-tiered opponents and more overmatching guns so it's catch 22. Knowing which opponents you can face tank and which you can't are important. But so very often I was forced to show my cute butt and kite away when the pressure was on. Florida's not-good(ish) forward fire angles meant that firing all three turrets forward was just asking to have shells rammed into her stepped citadel. It was far safer to fight, firing over her shoulder with her forward turrets slinging shells to her rear. Being far more limited in what aggressive plays this ship can make hurts her carrying ability. Turning to fight will often just get you killed. It limits what decisive actions she can take. It's hard to be heroic if you're constantly forced to follow Sir Robin's playbook. VERDICT: She's squishy -- squishier than the usual tier VII battleship and they struggle a lot with durability. Florida struggles even more. Don't brawl. You'll die. Agility Top Speed: 27 knots Turning Radius: 760m Rudder Shift Time: 15.4 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 4.1º/s If Florida was a battleship from any other nation, there would be very little worth noting here. Her top speed of 27 knots is completely acceptable for a tier VII battleship. Her turning radius of 760m is decent. It's not amazing, but it's alright. Her rotation rate of 4.1º/s is again, pretty average. Her rudder shift time of 15.4s is the most remarkable thing about her and not in a good way. It's slow. Her 27 knot top speed has the illusion of meaning something only because she's an American battleship. All other American battleships from tier VII and below cap out around 21 knots as their top speed. With the nerfing to American Standard-type battleship agility with patch 0.9.6 Florida's speed advantage is even more pronounced. Were she a battleship from any other nation, her 27 knot top speed would be unremarkable. So yes, Florida is faster than Colorado or California. Big deal. So is everything else at this tier. Focus instead on her sloppy rudder shift time. She doesn't feel like she handles well because of it. Add on her modest turret traverse rate and she feels like a chunk-lord. Ships with stars have been changed or added since patch 0.9.6. VERDICT: Not as nimble as you might expect. Good enough, I suppose, but definitely not one of her strengths. Anti-Aircraft Defence Flak Bursts: 5 explosions for 1400 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.8km. Long Ranged (up to 5.8km): 157.5dps at 75% accuracy Medium Ranged (up to 4.0km): 269.5dps at 75% accuracy Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 318.5dps at 70% accuracy I've sorted these by the formula of [ AA dps x { range - 1km} ]. It's not a perfect system but it does weight heavier, longer-ranged firepower over masses of short-ranged defence. I admit a terrible reluctance to call any battleship's AA firepower "good". This said, when a pristine Florida activates her Defensive AA Fire and doubles her DPS, she has good AA firepower. Florida's AA power is nice. Taken on it's own merits, her AA power is pretty fearsome when it comes to personal defence. In the support role, she's not bad either, with a sizable chunk of her AA power dedicated to long and medium range weapons. When her Defensive AA Fire is active, she can wipe out full tier VIII squadrons -- it's not contest here. A determined CV player will still be able to make a drop, but it will cost them everything. Carriers must anticipate that she will always have Defensive AA Fire ready and it's best to bait its use by ducking in and out of her 5.8km bubble and then waiting it out, even if she's not your primary target. Florida is effectively a no-fly zone for tier VI carriers because of this consumable and raw AA power combination which is a pretty impressive boast. Add on a catapult fighter and Florida duplicates this for tier VIII carriers too, at least until she comes under sustained HE attack. Most of her teeth come from her 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikons, barring a CV being gracious enough to face-plant into a flak-cloud. These do not survive long under HE fire and even cursory smattering of HE rounds will quickly reduce the effectiveness of her AA and open her up to the potential of air-attack. All hail Florida's lord & saviour. VERDICT: Honestly, some of the best AA defence we've seen in a long time. I'm kinda shocked. Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 13.86km / 12.1km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 10.08km/9.07km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 12.01km Maximum Firing Range: Between 18.62km and 25.92km Flordia's concealment values are pretty darned good. She doesn't quite get into that magical sub-12km surface detection range which is quite impressive for a battleship, but at least she gets close. Given her preferred engagement distance, it's pretty easy for this ship to drop off from detection range in typical encounters -- especially given her long reload. If she had a bit more grunt in her engines, controlling the engagement through use of her stealth would be a lot more feasible, but her 27 knot top speed just isn't enough to kite away from all of the battleships she faces, to say nothing of cruisers and destroyers. Florida's great range (especially when upgraded and modified with her Spotter Aircraft consumable) can work against her here, especially with those enterprising shots in the early stages of a match as everyone's deploying. While it can be super-tempting to try your luck against targets spotted early by your own lolibotes or Just Dodge™ simulators, you can all but guarantee you'll be spotted in return when you pull the trigger. With nothing else to shoot at, you can bet that every battleship on the enemy team that can draw bead on you will take a shot and given Florida's super-squish citadel, bad things will happen if they've got the range. Keep in mind that Florida's rudder is terrible so it's not like she dodges well. This is definitely a risk-reward element at play here, so be careful. VERDICT: Pretty darned good for raw concealment values, though she struggles to spot stuff on her own. It's too bad she doesn't have the agility to make better use of this trait. Final Evaluation When it comes to my battleships, I know what I like. Big, punchy guns are a must. I prefer durability to agility, but I need one of those two elements to be present. If a battleship can't manage these things, they've got a big, uphill battle to win my affections. Some of them still manage it. Scharnhorst, for example, doesn't have the main battery guns to wow me, but she still pulls off a win between her secondaries, fish and the combination of speed and tankiness. I've tried to keep an open mind while play testing Florida, but good gravy, my time in her has not been pleasant. I'm under no illusions that this is very clearly a me problem. Florida herself is a well balanced ship. I just hate her. She doesn't have any one element of this trifecta that I enjoy in my battleships. When Florida was first announced, I thought she would immediately obsolete California. I tore California a new one a few months ago for being not worth the asking price. While I do feel that Florida is a superior vessel to California, I don't feel that she's worth it either. Frankly, you're better served picking up Arizona at tier VI or even Alabama at tier VIII instead of Florida. Let me stress this: I don't think Alabama is worth the asking price either, but I would definitely recommend her over Florida. She's more reliable, if dull. The best bang for your buck for American premium battleships is Massachusetts and she's been one of the best premiums you can buy if you're shopping for one. Her primacy isn't challenged by Florida in the least. With Black Friday a little over a month away, if you're in the market for Massachusetts, then you might want to wait a month and grab it when her Black version goes back on sale if you like the cosmetic difference. I don't mean to try and sell you on other ships, my point is simply that there are a lot better choices for your time and money than investing in Florida. In closing, I should stress again: Florida is fine. She's not broken. There will be some people who really dig her sniper game play. I'm not one of those people. I like to have the option of getting in close and hitting people with my sword. Florida doesn't let me do that. In Closing Well, this accidentally turned into a much longer review than I had intended. I was originally just going to line up Florida alongside California, compare the two and then pull a surprise-reveal that they both suck equally. Instead, I learned last week that Ship Comrade, the site run by @Critter8 that has hosted my reviews since the first quarter of 2016 was going to close down. Instead of working on how to cleverly cast shade on anyone that enjoyed either one of these tier VII American premium battleships, I spent the better part of two days going through years worth of archived jpegs and text, reflecting on the years I've spent writing for World of Warships and all of the help, support and encouragement Critter8 provided me. I wouldn't be a Community Contributor (CC) if it weren't for Critter8. I'm not sure the WGNA CC-program would have even existed if it weren't for him. Back in 2015, before there was a Community Contributor program, content creators like myself worked unsupported by Wargaming in any capacity. The predecessor to the NA-CC program was Club Wargaming which promised the world and delivered nothing but a booger-green title on the forums. Club Wargaming included dozens of content creators which had sprung up during Closed and Open Beta, including some big names like @PhlyDaily. All of us were paying out of pocket to produce content or having to rely on donations from fans to get access to the newest premium content. Critter8 took exception to this. He had made Ship Comrade -- a fan site whose best early features included tracking Rank Battle progress and had one of (if not THE) first Captain Skill calculator. He took his fandom seriously and wanted a professional relationship with Wargaming to facilitate content production. He approached me about my frustrations with Club Wargaming and he took an active leadership role among the various content creators to approach Wargaming about our complaints. It was by his initiative that the WGNA CC-program took shape under NikoPower (of CorgiFleet fame). From those conversations, @iChase, @NoZoupForYou, @Notser, @TitiuBlack, Critter8 and I became the first NA-CCs in early January of 2016. While I could gush endlessly about everything NikoPower did for us, it was Critter8 who stands out as the leader we needed. He brought the six of us would-be professionals (with integrity) together. For me, Ship Comrade allowed me to greatly increase the quality of my reviews. This long format, like you're seeing here with Florida, was facilitated entirely by having my content written for Ship Comrade. Critter8 encouraged CCs like myself and @Aetam to host our content on his site. As you can imagine, writing for a web-page is much more forgiving than writing for a forum post -- it didn't have to all be written in a single sitting, for example. In going over Ship Comrade's archives, it was a treat to watch how my reviews grew in size and ambition. My early reviews were usually written in an afternoon and seldom held more than four or five jpegs. Florida's review has nearly thirty and has been written over the course of a week. I am endlessly grateful for the opportunity and help he provided for me. For personal reasons, he had to step back from World of Warships. As the CC program again got overhauled, Wargaming dropped his CC-status despite his continued efforts to host and support other CCs. Sadly, Ship Comrade was never a profitable enterprise. Donations helped keep the lights on for a time, but all things must come to an end. He ran the site out of his own pocket for over five years. I don't fault him in the least for retiring. Thank you for everything. And thank you all for reading. I'm going to take some time sorting and organizing some of my older reviews over the next week or so.
  7. The following review of Marlborough, the tier IX premium British battleship, was sponsored by my patrons on Patreon who helped me afford this ship. Yes, I whaled for this damn thing. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as patch 0.10.11. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. Wargaming has gone out of their way to actively sabotage anything redeeming about Marlborough. I would like to say that this is the kind of design I would have cooked up if I was actively trying to troll the community, but I have to be honest with myself: I am not capable of coming up with something this frustrating to play. Marlborough's sins are many, though the base premise is one that is very appealing: Lots of guns big guns firing very quickly. It's a testament to how badly the ship is built that this core design gets mangled so thoroughly. Quick Summary: A tier IX battleship with an enormous battery of sixteen, quick-firing 356mm guns. She has poor fire arcs, poor gun handling, anemic AP and HE shell performance, horrid accuracy and bad armour. PROS Enormous battery of sixteen 356mm guns with ridiculous DPM potential and fire setting. HE shells have 89mm of penetration. Solid top speed of 31.5 knots. Good concealment with a surface detection as low as 12.07km. CONS Horrible citadel placement and protection. Highly vulnerable to HE spam with her homogenous 32mm structural plate. Poor anti-torpedo defence. Some of the worst battleship sigma in the game at 1.4. Only modest range. Awful fire arcs and poor gun handling. Terrible shells with anemic individual performance across AP penetration, HE damage and fire chance. Slow rudder shift time. Unlike other British battleships, her Repair Party only queues 50% of penetration damage. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / CHALLENGING / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme Marlborough punishes players. If you try and use her as designed, you'll end up back in port very quickly. Her horrible citadel placement combined with terrible fire arcs means that if you open fire and the enemy shoots back, you're going to lose the exchange. And better still, she's just fast enough to get you into position to get spanked without enough agility or protection to survive attempting to disengage. This is toxic to inexperienced players who will find themselves getting smoked for playing the ship exactly as envisioned. How is that fair? Marlborough's carry potential is as mild as may. The surest path to reasonable numbers from this thing is to spam HE. But those reasonable numbers won't come quickly and you better know when it's safe (and necessary) to push. Marlborough doesn't do you any favours when it comes to outlasting the enemy and you're certainly not going to win any damage trades. Most of your game play in this thing devolves to bow tanking and hugging islands. Options The only surprises with Marlborough's options is how few (and crappy) they are. Consumables For instance: Marlborough only has two consumables. Her Damage Control Party is standard for a British battleship with a 15 second active period, unlimited charges and an 80 second reset timer. Her Repair Party is also standard, but not for a British battleship, which often have all sorts of weirdness going on. Instead, Marlborough's consumable is akin to one you might find on a French, German or Japanese battleship. Marlborough's version comes with four charges base and an 80 second reset timer. It heals up to 14% on her maximum health over 28 seconds. It queues up 10% of citadel damage, 50% of penetration damage coming from torpedoes, bombs, rockets and shells and 100% of all other damage types. Upgrades I'm not a fan of using upgrades to band-aid over flaws, but on Marlborough, it's almost necessary. Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. Next, start building up your anti-fire regimen with Damage Control System Modification 1, though we might not go full hog here. You have a choice in slot three. Aiming System Modification 1 is generally going to be optimal, HOWEVER, Marlborough's fire angles are crap and her gun handling isn't good, so Main Battery Modification 2 isn't a bad idea. it will also save you a couple of commander skill points from having to purchase Grease the Gears. Priority Target is much more important for Marlborough, so saving those two points here is pretty important. Similarly, in slot four, Damage Control System Modification 2 is optimal for reducing fire damage. HOWEVER, Marlborough's fire angles are crap and her gun handling isn't good. Therefore, having the improved rudder shift time from Steering Gears Modification 1 isn't a terrible idea. Concealment System Modification 1 is the only consumable worth considering in slot five. You've got another choice to consider in slot six. Understandably, having an even faster reload is most appealing in Marlborough. Main Battery Modification 3 enables that, dropping her reload from 25 seconds down to 22 seconds. However, given Marlborough's fragility woes, standing further back from the action isn't remiss. Taking Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 increases her range from a modest 20.86km to a respectable 24.2km. Commander Skills I don't think anyone is really surprised I get to re-use this same battleship commander skill graphic yet again. Without improved secondaries, there's nothing really noteworthy here, so fall back on the standard battleship survivability build. Camouflage Marlborough came with two camouflages when you unlock her via the dockyard. They provide the usual bonuses for a tier IX premium: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -20% to post-battle service costs. +100% to experience gains. Marlborough's War Paint camo is the typical over-the-top patriotic style we've seen repeatedly in World of Warships. As garish as the War Paint camo is, Marlborough's default Type 10 camo makes it look downright appealing. Blech. This camo pattern is hideous. The alternative palette (unlocked through the Naval Aviation collection), tones down the Type 10's garish colours at least. Firepower Main Battery: Sixteen 356mm/45 guns in 4x4 turrets with an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration Secondary Battery: Sixteen 133mm/50 guns in 8x2 turrets in superfiring pairs firing forward and aft down each side. Let's start with the obvious: On paper, Marlborough has fantastic damage output. Sixteen battleship calibre guns with a 25 second reload are a potential nightmare. With the right upgrade, Marlborough can reduce this to 22 seconds. Marlborough puts a lot of shells downrange very quickly and she has the potential to stack damage out faster than her contemporaries. This is the dream that Wargaming is selling, but it's not a dream that's easily realized. As we'll see, there are a stack of problems that get in the way, making this advertised gameplay challenging to achieve at best and downright frustrating to pursue. Marlborough is a case study on why DPM charts shouldn't be taken at face value. Problem the First Much ado has been made about Marlborough's poor dispersion but it's not as bad as players imagine. This lies solely at the feet of her 1.4 sigma which is among the worst sigma values in the game. Marlborough's dispersion values are otherwise normal for a British battleship, using the same horizontal dispersion values as most of the British, American and German vessels. Thus any accuracy woes the ship suffers must be laid at the feet of her shell grouping. So the question becomes just how bad is 1.4 sigma? Well here, judge for yourself: These are three of my "standard dispersion tests". This is 180 AP shells fired at 15km at a Fuso bot. All of these tests were conducted using the Aiming System Modification 1 upgrade to reduce dispersion by 7%. The Fuso bot was stationary and lacking camouflage. Shots came in from right to left. Two of these dispersion tests were conducted with Marlborough's 1.4 sigma. One was conducted with King George V, who uses identical guns but has 1.8 sigma instead. The difference may be a little harder to discern than expected. Sigma is an often overvalued statistic among players and represeents only a trend, not a guarantee of better accuracy on a per volley (and per match) basis. Dispersion is highly volatile, even with excellent sigma parameters. Marlborough's poor sigma makes it less likely that shells cluster towards the centre of the target area, spreading them out to the same overall area as her contemporaries but more like a "shotgun blast" than ships with higher values. Still, thanks to RNGeebus, it's entirely possible to have good salvos with poor sigma and terrible salvos with excellent sigma. With how few salvos are often fired in a single match of World of Warships and how few key "match defining" shots are needed to make accuracy stand out for good or ill, Marlborough's poor sigma value generates vastly different experiences for players. Missing key citadel hits when the perfect broadside is available is infuriating and likely to stick in someone's head, especially with the knowledge that had the shells behaved, a Devastating Strike was guaranteed. I spent a few days combing over accuracy statistics of some of the better players who had unlocked Marlborough and compared them to how said players did in HMS Lion. The overall accuracy difference was about 1% to 4%. So Marlborough's accuracy is worse, but it's not worse on a level that would be readily apparent if you just went by number of hits. That's perhaps misleading as the quality of said hits will also suffer. There's an enormous disparity in player experience for having a salvo land three citadel hits versus one that lands three over penetrations through the super structure. So yes, Marlborough's sigma value is bad, but it's not game-defining terrible. It's a flaw that's worth keeping in mind, but I personally feel that the import of sigma is overvalued. Problem the Second Marlborough's TERRIBLE fire angles are why I hate playing her. It's no secret that I despise a ship with poor firing angles, particularly if it's paired with shoddy gun handling. Marlborough ticks both of these boxes and, as we'll later see in the durability and agility sections, compounds it with hilariously bad protection and sloppy turning. In order to fire all sixteen guns, Marlborough opens herself up to taking citadel hits in return from not only enemy battlehips but some high-tier cruisers as well. This danger is so pronounced that you can only cycle all your sixteen guns when the Red Team is too busy to shoot back. And so, her main selling feature is horribly compromised. In practical terms, Marlborough is not a sixteen-gun battleship. She's an eight-gun battleship, incapable of using her full broadside for fear of getting clobbered or beaching herself every time she does. For expert players, the big drawback here are her rearward firing angles. Marlborough cannot kite to save her life. In order to trade fire, her only option is to fight bow-in, preferably keeping an island to one flank to prevent crossfire. This severely limits not only her firepower but overall flexibility. Marlborough should be treated as an eight-gun battleship that can occasionally fire sixteen guns. Between her awful fire angles, poor protection and agility, she cannot take advantage of her full broadside unless the Reds are already losing or they're idiots. While bow-tanking at high tiers is nothing new, it is much more pronounced iwht Marlborough. Thus, I feel that it's this second issue, Marlborough's gun handling and fire arcs, that is the most damning for the ship. But we're not done trash-talking yet... Problem the Third Marlborough's AP shells are effectively non-functional. Alright, I'm exaggerating but Marlborough's AP shells are very bad. As 356mm rounds, they lack penetration necessary at this tier. Outside of 14km, they lose all ability to contest battleship belt armour and their ability to citadel enemy battleships falls away significantly closer. Given Marlborough's horrible fire angles, gun handling and protection woes, taking her into a brawl to be able to use her AP decisively is a loser-move. Firing at range means aiming for superstructures and the upper hull, but her dispersion makes that a bit of a crap shoot anyway. You would think that it would get better when facing cruisers but it's still a mixed bag. While she has the penetration necessary to land citadel hits against cruisers at just about any range, she lacks the ability to overmatch anything but very light cruisers like Minotaur, Edinburgh or Smolensk. I would have thought Wargaming would have at least gone so far as to give her AP rounds improved auto-ricochet angles to prop up their poor penetration values and lack of overmatch but it's not meant to be. This means that most cruisers can simply face-tank Marlborough's salvos, risking only taking over penetrating hits through their superstructure or turrets. And speaking of over penetrations, Marlborough doesn't even benefit from the short fuse timers of other Royal Navy battleships. Her 0.033s fuse timers makes over penetrations much more likely against cruisers, especially ships with a narrow beam like Ochakov and Smolensk. With her AP rounds being such poor performers, that just leaves her HE. Problem the Fourth So Marlborough is ostensibly relegated to being an HE spammer. With Marlborough's AP being so crap, I would have thought that Wargaming would have leaned more heavily on Marlborough's HE performance but that's not the case. Like Agincourt and Repulse before her, Wargaming has been nerfing the HE performance of newer Royal Navy battleship designs. But while Agincourt's HE was only gently nudged away from these higher damage and fire setting values, Marlborough's were thoroughly gutted. So while Marlborough is an HE spammer, she's a bad HE spammer, especially when you remember that between fire arcs and accuracy, you're not landing as many hits as her on-paper design would have you think. Those fearsome 10k+ salvos just don't materialize very often and Marlborough is usually only slapping targets for 3k at a time (if even that -- her individual shells usually strike for 480 to 1,584 damage). She's not even a particularly fearsome firebug. On paper she's the best at her tier. In practice, Alsace and the German battleships are more apt. Marlborough just doesn't get to fire all sixteen guns often enough (or hit often enough) to realize anywhere close to her potential. The best thing she has going for her is the increased HE penetration on her shells, but 89mm of HE penetration isn't that much more effective than the 59mm of HE penetration she would have otherwise had. There's a few decks and upper hulls that she can now directly damage that she might not have otherwise, but it's such a niche ability that it's not a merit worth considering. Marlborough's fire setting potential is the best at her tier though it's surprisingly only marginally better than that of Lion. This, of course, hinges on the ability to be able to fire all of her guns and hit stuff reliably ... which you won't. Problem the Fifth This last bit is just nit-picky but it plays into how inept Marlborough's base design is. The best way to counteract all of Marlborough's gunnery and durability issues is to keep her at range. From further away, she's a less appealing target. This, in turn, gives her more opportunity to take full advantage of her fast-reloading broadside. Her HE (crappy as it is) isn't affected by distance and her armour becomes more effective against AP rounds fired back at her. But, once again, Marlborough is held back. While her 20.86km range isn't terrible (it's average for her tier) there's two things to keep in mind. First, Marlborough does not have access to a Spotter Aircraft consumable to provide a temporary boost to her reach. Second, unlike most of the other battleships at her tier, Marlborough's performance improves considerably the more reach she has. When you're bad or your battleship is bad, humping the back of the map and farming fire damage is the way to go. If Marlborough had a few more kilometers of base range, then her design would work as advertised. As it is, taking Artillery Plotting Room Modification 2 helps band-aid a lot of her other problems. Secondaries They suck. Ignore them. Summary Marlborough is a ship that punishes you for trying to play her to her advertised strengths. Her guns are difficult to bring to bear. And when you do get guns on target, she's not going to land as many hits as you might imagine. And what few hits you do land aren't likely to be effective on a per-hit basis. Would that Marlborough's problems end here, but there's more problems coming that compounds her gunnery woes. Her dispersion is bad, but it's not as bad as you're imagining. She has a lot of guns and they do fire quickly, but it's rare you get to use all sixteen of them. Her individual shell performance sucks. Unless you can land a lot of hits, her salvos don't feel particularly strong. VERDICT: Wargaming believes that you should be punished for wanting to shoot Marlborough's guns. Shame on you. Durability Hit Points: 76,800 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 32mm / 19mm / 32mm / 32mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 381mm belt Torpedo Damage Reduction: 23% You could be forgiven for imagining that Marlborough's citadel layout mirrored that of Vanguard or the King George V-class battleships. But it's worse than that. It's much worse. While those battleships have citadels that sit at or just slightly above the waterline, Marlborough's citadel is hiked up to her nipples. The one (and only) advantage of this is that her citadel roof is made up of the 152mm reinforced deck found on most ships that's usually hidden by the armour viewer, making her immune to overmatching AP rounds that strike at a shallow angle. But, because her citadel sits so high (indeed, taking up the full height of her belt armour) the above advantage is irrelevant by making lateral hits against her citadel such an easy shot. I might have been okay with this if she had REALLY THICK armour, but 381mm of nearly vertical plate with no extra bells and whistles is pathetic at tier IX. Marlborough is dangerously vulnerable to citadel hits against her contemporaries at almost any distance. But it gets worse. Remember those awful fire angles we discussed earlier? If you try and fire sixteen guns at a target, their return fire can (and will) citadel you. Marlborough's fire angles are so terrible that incoming shells striking her belt will auto-pass their ricochet check a minimum of 81% of the time when she's firing forward and ALWAYS when she fires over her shoulder to the rear. It's never (EVER!) a good idea to trade fire with enemy battleships using all of Marlborough's guns. You'll give up huge chunks of your health if you don't simply die. Things don't get much better against cruisers or destroyers. Her homogeneous 32mm structural plate makes her an easy HE damage farm from heavy and light cruisers. Given her damage output woes, she's not likely to fare well in these trades. Incoming torpedoes from lolibotes and subs don't have to contend with very much anti-torpedo protection either. And if you're thinking "oh, well she's soft skinned because Royal Navy battleships get a good heal", stop right there. Marlborough has a worse heal than any of the other Royal Navy battleships in the game. So not only does she take more damage than other Royal Navy battleships, she doesn't recover health anywhere near as quickly. If you see Marlborough on the enemy team, know that she's an easy target. As an xp pinata, there's a lot to like with Marlborough. But playing her? She's a total drag. Marlborough's potential health is totally average. But when you combine this with her poor protection scheme, she's a lot more fragile than these numbers suggest. There are hidden armour plates in the bow and stern of Marlborough. Unfortunately, her citadel sits so high that any shells bouncing off these plates will just slam into her 305mm bulkheads and citadel her anyway. VERDICT: Bad, horrible and terrible. Agility Top Speed: 31.5 knots Turning Radius: 860 meters Rudder Shift Time: 16.8 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 4.2º/s at 23.5kts Main Battery Traverse Rate: 4.0º/s I wish Marlborough's agility was enough to bandaid her other problem. Sadly, one issue sours the experience. Let's start with the good: Marlborough's top speed is great. 31.5 knots is very comfortable at this tier. Similarly, her 860m turning radius isn't terrible; it's better than a lot of the other high-tier battleships, so I've got to give her a pass here as well. These two factors combine to a 4.2º/s rotation rate when she's at top speed which isn't stellar but it's okay. Unfortunately, this is enough to allow her to out-turn her turrets, but I've already complained enough about that. So you're probably wondering where the issue is. It's her rudder shift time. 16.8 seconds isn't appalling but it's pretty bad. And given her fire angle woes, her lack of torpedo protection and her citadel vulnerability, it's just that much worse. Marlborough feels like she handles poorly. Just Dodging™ isn't in her repertoire and you can forget being able to swing her butt out and back in order to flash her guns and avoid return fire. If she had Vanguard or Yukon's rudder shift time, I might be more forgiving here but given what Marlborough needs, her agility just doesn't deliver. Two things to note with this graphic. First, Giuseppe Verdi's agility is assumed -- I have not tested it yet. She appears to have the same agility as Marco Polo (I suspect her agility performance is cloned) but until I get my hands on her, I won't know for sure. The second item to note is the lack of data for Prinz Rupprecht. I have not unlocked her yet to test her. VERDICT: Close but no cigar. Anti-Aircraft Defence Flak Bursts: 3+1 explosions for 1,540 damage per blast at 3.5km to 6km Long Ranged (up to 6km): 80.5 dps at 75% accuracy (60 dps) Medium Ranged (up to 3.5km): 528.5 dps at 75% accuracy (396 dps) There's not much to say here. Marlborough doesn't put out a lot of damage overall. She's pretty crappy when it comes to how many flak explosions she generates (even if the individual hits are beefier than many at her tier). The best that could be said about her is that she has good reach with her long-ranged batteries so she can support her allies decently. But she just doesn't generate the numbers needed to make any CV player balk. VERDICT: A whole lot of meh. Vision Control Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 15.36km / 12.07km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 11.94km / 9.67km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 13.35km Maximum Firing Range: Between 20.86km and 24.2km when equipped with Artillery Plotting Room Modification 2. Marlborough's concealment is good. As it stands presently, Marlborough has the tenth lowest upgraded surface detection of all of the battleships within her matchmaking spread. She ends up with a surface detection around 12km which is very comfortable and about on par with a lot of cruisers she faces. With her guns silenced, she has little to fear from being spotted by larger ships, with only the usual culprits of submarines, aircraft carriers and destroyers being able to routinely outspot her. In late game settings, this gets quite powerful, particularly when she needs to disengage. It's unfortunate that she cannot pair this with good kiting fire angles, but such are the woes of her design. There are two other flies in the ointment. The first is her relative lack of range with no ability to boost it short of taking a 6th-slot upgrade. The second is a lack of any bonus detection consumables. Though the days are long gone where orbiting aircraft could help sniff out threats, consumables like Hydroacoustic Search aren't unheard of on a fair number of battleships and Marlborough goes without. Overall, her concealment is one of the few straight-up good things about the vessel. Marlborough has excellent concealment for a battleship. VERDICT: Good, but not good enough to save the ship. Anti-Submarine Warfare ASW Armament Type: Airstrike from 1.5km to 10km (plus bomb drop column) Number of Salvos: Up to three Reload Time: 75 seconds Aircraft: Two S.25 Sunderlands with 2,000hp per plane. Drop Pattern: 4 bombs each dropped evenly over roughly a 1.75km column Maximum Bomb Damage: 3,000 Fire Chance: 17% I'm again merely reporting this for posterity's sake rather than speaking towards its efficacy. The Royal Navy battleships have some of the better airstrikes in the game at this stage in testing. But with overhauls planned, who knows how things will change in the future? VERDICT: Don't know, don't care until things get closer to final. Final Evaluation Welcome to flavour country. Like the tobacco industry, Wargaming will tell you their product is well researched and fine for consumer consumption. This is despite their own evidence that players do not enjoy ships with compromised main gunnery performance. Playing Marlborough isn't likely to give you cancer as far as I'm aware. It just feels like it. This is a bad design on Wargaming's part. The amount of arrogance or ignorance needed to think that it's a good idea to [edited]-slap players for playing the ship the way they promoted her is just astounding. The worst thing is that Wargaming is patently aware that frustrating gunnery isn't received well by the player base, yet they go out of their way to cook up this mess. I'm glad most players I've encountered seem aware that this ship is poorly designed and are keeping away. I really wish Wargaming would stop jerking us around with bad products like this. But let's talk about what a "bad" product means in the context of this game, because invariably there's going to be someone that enjoys this ship -- whether by it's own merits or simply to because they're an unrepentent hipster that can't help but find enjoyment in things panned by the community. It's important to appreciate that unlike her sister game World of Tanks, bad premiums in World of Warships create the illusion of being redeemable. Any ship in the game is capable of damaging any other. It was a meme back in the day, but you could take a tier II Umikaze into tier X matches and with a bit of skill, still pull of some surprising numbers. This addage holds true for Marlborough. She's a bad ship, make no mistake, but she can still generate numbers. Fire and HE spam are the great equalizers after all. All it takes is someone stubborn enough to sit behind the helm and keep trying and Marlborough will eventually deliver. What makes Marlborough bad is the amount work needed to get the same results as other ships. Meanwhile, your team is forced to carry harder to make up for your ships deficits. This isn't an insurmountable ask by any means given how World of Warships is designed. But Marlborough is still a liability. This is obviously in the context of PVP modes. Bots are dumb and you can make nearly anything work in Co-Op. It wouldn't take much to make Marlborough less punitive to play. Wargaming can't do much about her fire angles without clipping into the ship's geometry, so that's a wash. But they could do one of or any of the following: Drop her citadel down another deck. Give her an improved Repair Party. Increase her range by 2.5km. Give her Duke of York's improved auto-ricochet angles (60º to 75º) on her AP shells. Give her King George V's HE rounds. Improve her rudder shift time dramatically. Improve her gun handling dramatically. Even the addition of only of these would vastly improve the experience of playing Marlborough. Some are admittedly powerful (KGV HE, I am looking at you) and might necessitate further balancing measures. Preserving her as-advertised 25 second reload might necessitate giving up range, speed and concealment. I would happily sacrifice those to make her a better gun platform. Main battery performance is the key aspect of game play for battleships in World of Warships and Wargaming screwed it up bad with Marlborough. You shouldn't feel like you're fighting with the ship in order to fire her guns -- especially not with a vessel that comes with a $200 price tag. Shame on you, Wargaming. Mouse out.
  8. rafael_azuaje

    Kearsarge Questions??

    Where is the planes fight catapult?? he need your his planes figthers he is BB/CV hybrid. WG please ADD planes fighters for this ship! is of Logic>!
  9. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review - Agincourt

    The following is a review of Agincourt, the tier V British premium battleship. This ship was provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes at no cost to myself; I did not pay to get access to this ship. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.10.4. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. Summary: A slow but stealthy WWI era Dreadnought armed with fourteen 305mm guns in seven turrets (!) and a powerful secondary battery. PROS Dispersed armour scheme with an icebreaker bow & stern and resilient upper hull and amidships deck. Comfortable forward fire angles for most guns and that gorgeous Friday 360º turret traverse. Massive broadside of fourteen 305mm guns. Improved HE penetration. Powerful, accurate secondaries with long range and increased rate of fire. Tiny surface detection. CONS None of her armour is especially thick, making her easy to damage with battleship AP if not perfectly angled. Painfully long 36 second reload. Horrible main battery dispersion with 1.5 sigma. Terrible ... nay, craptacular AP penetration. Reduced HE damage. Slow and cumbersome. No anti-aircraft firepower whatsoever. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme For an inexperienced player, Agincourt is a bit of a rough ride. This is all down to her horrible rate of fire. At 36 seconds, a missed volley is downright painful and this is further complicated by the poor performance of both her AP and HE shells. You might aim properly but still find everything shatter or ricochet. There are further challenges with trying to manage her poor armour values and sluggish handling. At least they don't need to worry about managing AA defence as she doesn't have any. Admittedly, Agincourt's skill ceiling all comes from managing the brawling side of things. If you ignore that potential, then her skill ceiling is no higher than Moderate. But Agincourt fully encourages you to get your brawl on and it's a lot of fun. Agincourt embarrasses a full health KGV in a joust with a Devastating Strike. Options One of the nice things about reviewing lower-tiered ships is that there are fewer options to worry about. Still, there's quite a bit of weirdness going on here so pay attention. Consumables Her Damage Control Party is standard for a British battleship. It is active for 15 seconds, repairing all critical damage and removing fires and floods. It has unlimited charges and an 80 second reset timer. Agincourt's Repair Party is strange only in that it's perfectly normal. It lacks the additional damage queue normally found on British battleships nor does it heal an additional amount. Instead it queues up 50% of penetration damage from shells, bombs, rockets and torpedoes, 10% of citadel damage and 100% of everything else. Each charge heals up to 14% of her starting health over 28 seconds. She begins with four charges and an 80 second reset timer. Upgrades Business as usual here. Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. Then take Damage Control System Modification 1. For your third slot, you have a choice between main battery optimization or going with some secondary craziness. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is generally optimal for your main battery performance though there's a good argument to be made for taking Main Battery Modification 2 to reduce the time it takes to switch aim between targets. HOWEVER, the Agincourt does very well with a secondary specialization (yes, you read that right), so taking Secondary Gun Battery Modification 1 is the start of that magical journey. Commander Skills There are two builds worth considering here. The first is your typical fire resistance specialization. Start with your choice of Emergency Repair Specialist (1) or Gun Feeder (1). That's 1pt spent. Grease the Gears (2) is next. That's 3pts total. Basics of Survivability (3) is the first of our fire-mitigation skills. We're now up to 6pts. And Fire Prevention (4) caps us off. That's 10pts. From here, you're encouraged to pick skills that again emphasize survivability and main battery performance where possible. Good skills include: Emergency Repair Expert (4), Concealment Expert (4), Adrenaline Rush (3) and Priority Target (2) along with doubling back for the tier 1 skill you skipped. The second build is a brawling spec. You want to pair this with the Secondary Gun Battery Modification 1 upgrade for maximum effect. It starts pretty familiar with either Emergency Repair Specialist (1) or Gun Feeder (1) again but we also toss on Pyrotechnician (1) as a tertiary option (in both meanings of the word). That's 1pt spent. Grease the Gears (2) is still the best option, though Priority Target (2) is equally good for dealing with low-tier lolibotes, so it becomes a choice here. Now we're up to 3pts. Long Range Secondary Battery Shells (3) is the first major deviation we're seeing. Grab it. This is 6pts spent. Finish this off with Improved Secondary Battery Aiming (4). And that's 10pts. From here, grab a mix of survivability and gun performance skills along with doubling back for some of your favourites you had to pass over. Good skills include: Emergency Repair Expert (4), Concealment Expert (4), Adrenaline Rush (3). Fire Prevention (4) and Basics of Survivability (3) still have their place but you'll have to make some compromises somewhere. It is worth mentioning two controversial skills for Agincourt's secondary build. These are Inertial Fuse for HE Shells (2) and Swift in Silence (4). The former will make Agincourt's 76mm secondaries capable of directly damaging most tier VI and VII destroyer extremities, along with buffing her 152mm secondaries to be capable of doing the same versus tier VI and VII battleships. This comes at the cost of gutting their fire chance, which is a pretty stiff blow when dueling other dreadnoughts, especially with the prevalence of dispersed armour schemes that even the improved HE pen on her 152mm won't be able to best. Still, it's hard to argue with more direct damage. As for the latter skill, I go into more detail in the agility section below. I'm not a fan. Camouflage Agincourt has access to two camouflage patterns, Type 9 and Veteran of Jutland. They are cosmetic swaps of one another and both provide the following bonuses: 3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells -10% to post-battle service costs +50% experience earned. You can unlock the alternative colour palette (the blue) by completing the appropriate section of the Royal Navy Destroyers collection. Agincourt's Jutland camo. Like the ship itself, this is only available from a loot box. Where's that puky emoji? Firepower Main Battery: Fourteen 305mm guns in 7x2 turrets in an A-B-P-Q-X-Y-Z layout. A-B are in a superfiring configuration. P faces forward, Q aft. Y-turret superfires over X and Z, with X facing forward. Secondary Battery: Twenty 152mm guns and ten 76mm guns. Fourteen 152mm guns are mounted in casemates in the upper hull, four mounted in casemates in the fore and aft superstructure and two deck mounts straddling the main bridge. Eight of the 76mm are mounted in casemates on the upper-superstructure with a pair of turrets one platform higher on the rear superstructure. Fourteen Guns and They're All Crap Agincourt's guns are terrible. Ostensibly she uses the same guns as Bellerophon and Dreadnought, the tier III British battleships. However, they somehow manage to be worse on a per-gun basis. Specifically, Agincourt's 305mm guns have a longer reload than her tier III predecessors, worse dispersion and gutted HE performance. Yes, you have fourteen of the bloody things, but they're terrible. Unequivocally terrible. If Oklahoma weren't a thing, Agincourt's guns easily takes the prize for the worst gun performance at her tier. Thankfully, they have two redeeming qualities. She has fourteen of them. She has improved HE penetration. The major issue facing Agincourt's gun performance is her AP shells. If Oklahoma's AP was bad, Agincourt's is worse. It's so bad you can't reliably penetrate battleship belt armour outside of 8km distances. This necessitates keeping a ready list in your head of what the armour thicknesses are of select battleships and, in turn, what ranges you can engage them. Does New York have in excess of 340mm of belt armour, or is it only 280mm? At what range can Agincourt citadel a broadsiding Izmail? How much relative armour does a Conte di Cavour have at a 50º angle? When in doubt, you can always aim higher and hope for penetrating hits but you're working against troll, 1.5 sigma dispersion. Now you could be forgiven for thinking that Agincourt's AP penetration woes would make her better at landing citadel hits on cruisers, but this simply is not the case. Unlike other low-tier, small-calibre guns, she does not have the shortened, 0.01s fuse timers ideally set to for dealing with the smaller breadth of low-tier cruisers. Instead she has the longer, 0.033s fuse timers that are better suited for plunging deep into a heavily armoured vessel in order to destroy machine spaces and magazines. Thus, Agincourt's AP shells work at cross purposes to themselves. She does not have the penetration to readily duel with other dreadnoughts and her fuse timers are poorly set for popping the thinner citadels of low-tier cruisers. About the only targets where this low penetration and long fuse timers work to her advantage is blasting shells down the length of bow-in ships you can overmatch. Waiting that painfully long 36 second reload, setting up for that perfect broadside shot only to watch everything thrown at your opponent over penetrate or shatter is heartbreaking. That's painfully commonplace. Agincourt has some of the worst AP penetration values at her tier. And just to make things more frustrating, she has abnormally long shell fuse timers too which makes over-penetrations against cruisers more likely. So they suck on both ends of the spectrum. The two differences between the HE shells on HMS Dreadnought and Bellerophon versus those of Agincourt. Graphic pulled from gamemodels3d.com which i cannot recommend highly enough for players looking to expand their knowledge into the more esoteric details of World of Warships. Things get a little better with Agincourt's HE shells, but it's not all sunshine, rainbows and puppies here either. You need only look at the difference between Bellerophon and Dreadnought's HE shells versus those Agincourt was dealt. Dreadnought's HE shells hit 18% harder than Agincourt's and have slightly improved fire setting characteristics. Thus Agincourt's broadside is the equivalent of a 12-gun British battleship, not 14. Agincourt's HE DPM is little better than Wyoming, the tier IV American battleship, though the differences count. Perhaps the best saving grace of Agincourt's HE shells is that they retain the 1/4 HE penetration of the British battleship tech-tree. At 76mm, the modest damage output of her HE rounds becomes much more formidable and she is capable of landing citadel hits on a whole list of cruisers within her matchmaking, including but not limited to such prominent targets as the American Omaha-class and Pensacola-class. Farming up some of those black ribbons with HE shells is very satisfying, especially after being repeatedly trolled by her AP, let me tell you. Guess which ammo you'll be relying on? Agincourt's a decent fire setter. If you can land the hits, a full broadside is quite formidable. The catch to that, of course, is landing those hits in the first place. Her dispersion isn't kind nor is her reload. There just isn't anything really redeeming about Agincourt's main battery firepower short of the number of barrels. That 36 second reload is painful in the extreme. Her 4º/s gun rotation is lame, but at least she cannot out-turn her turrets (even if you slap on a Sierra Mike signal and the Swift in Silence commander skill). Her fire arcs aren't great on the whole. Some of her gun turrets are amazing but in order to maximize her firepower, you have to expose a lot of broadside. Her ballistics are incredibly floaty, with her shells suffering from a heavy amount of drag. And finally there's that awful shotgun dispersion of her's which can foil even the most carefully aimed shot. On the flip side, every now and then you'll land this amazing, Devastating Strike and it will make you wonder why you can't do it more consistently. I'm not a fan of Agincourt's main battery guns, if you can't tell. You can make them work, don't get me wrong, but it's an uphill battle. Okay, making this graphic nearly broke my brain. Y-Turret is my favourite (TGIF! ♥). Not only does it have great arcs, it can also rotate 360º. So long as you keep P and Q turret masked, Agincourt's forward fire arcs are very good. Historically, these seven turrets were named after the days of the week, from Sunday through Saturday, fore to aft. One of my standard dispersion tests. This is 180 AP shells fired at 15km. Agincourt is equipped with Aiming Systems Modification 1. Shots are coming in from right to left with the stationary Fuso-bot effectively bow-tanking. Agincourt's 1.5 sigma makes her gunnery all kinds of wonky. Their low velocity has their shell fall angle coming in at a rather steep 17º angle. I Need a Hero! ♫ Agincourt's secondaries to the rescue. Low-tier secondaries have long sat in the shadow. This was largely owing to the old Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament skill which provided a 60% dispersion reduction to tier VII+ ships that designated a target for their secondaries but only a 15% for lower tiered vessels. For four skill points, it just wasn't worthwhile. That's changed with the skill rework, with low-tier battleships gaining the same flat 35% dispersion reduction as higher tiered vessels. So while high-tiered battleships definitely had the potential of their secondaries nerfed with the rework, lower-tiered vessels had their's buffed. But there's more to secondary performance than how well it synergizes with a particular commander build. There are four main elements to look for to see if secondaries are worth specliazing into: Range. This is the real kicker. If your secondaries don't have the reach, they're not of much use. A 5km base range is really the minimum I consider to be viable for secondary builds. Between skills, signals and upgrades, a 5km secondary can reach out to 7.56km which is outside of torpedo range for most destroyers, giving the guns some comfortable use. Most low-tier secondaries sit between 4km and 5km in reach. Agincourt's have a 5.5km base range, maximizing out to 8.32km which is very usable in lower-tiered matches. Volume of Fire. You need a lot of guns and/or a fast rate of fire to make a secondary build worthwhile. This simplifies to looking at the damage-per-minute potential of the base secondaries and seeing if they're putting out big enough numbers to make opponents balk. Agincourt has more DPM potential than a lot of the high-tier secondary heavy-weights. Yes, really. The reload on her guns is ridiculously short, with a mere 2.7 seconds on her 76mm and only 4 seconds on her 152mm guns. She puts out a lot of fire, very quickly. Penetration. Having a lot of potential damage doesn't matter much if those guns are incapable of directly doing any harm to the targets they hit. This is what largely damns a lot of high-tier French battleships. This is one area where low-tier battleships luck out. Structural armour plate at low tiers allows for even small calibre guns to be useful. Agincourt's 76mm can still directly damage the hulls of all tier IV and V cruisers and destroyers and even those of the very light cruisers at tier VI and VII. Her 152mm are a threat to anything but tier VI+ battleships and select heavy cruisers. Accuracy. The final piece of the puzzle is accuracy. If this isn't present but all of the others are excellent, then it can be overlooked. However, having this is definitely the icing on the cake. Agincourt has improved secondary accuracy on ALL of it's guns, not just the casemate weapons as found on ships like Warspite and Iron Duke. This gives her Massachusetts-style dispersion patterns on her secondaries. Agincourt's secondaries fall under the "accurate" category. Agincourt ticks all of the right boxes. Good range, solid DPM, workable penetration and great accuracy. I am firmly of the opinion that if you do not specialize Agincourt with a deep secondary build, you are doing it wrong -- or at the very least, you are missing out on one heck of a ride. While I can appreciate that some people do not find the AI driven guns to be entertaining, there is no arguing their efficacy on this ship. Fully tricked out, Agincourt's secondaries shred exposed destroyers and I've seen them make cruisers and battleships panic. As if their direct damage weren't enough, they're INSANE fire starters -- like Worcester levels of fire starting potential. If you've already been throwing HE shells from your main battery guns about, your secondaries will often find targets that have their Damage Control Party consumable on cool down, making for some easy damage as you move in to a joust. I cannot sing high enough praises for these weapons. Bring them into range whenever possible. You won't be disappointed. Have some perspective. Of the 452k done by Agincourt's secondaries, 330k comes from her higher penetration 152mm casemates. These can be buffed with IFHE to make them capable of damaging the hull extremities of anything within her matchmaking. If mapping her main battery guns nearly killed me, this turned me into a trigonometry zombie. This maps the fire arcs of Agincourt's secondaries with her 152mm in red and her 76mm in light blue. Agincourt's secondaries have most of their arcs weighted rearward. However, do not ignore the fact that she can still bring six of her 152mm guns to bear on a 30º angle forward, giving her a very meaty weight of fire on a brawling aspect while maintaining auto-ricochet angles. Go ahead and take IFHE if you want. She's got FPM to spare. Summary Terrible (HORRIBLE) main battery AP shells but decent HE. Long reload and wonky dispersion makes for very trollish gunnery. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it's heart breaking. If you're not spec'ing Agincourt for secondaries, you're missing out. Seriously. Durability Hit Points: 48,400 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 19mm / 13mm / 152mm / 38mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 229mm belt + 38mm turtleback + 38mm citadel wall. Torpedo Damage Reduction: 14% Dispersed Armour The thickness of Agincourt's armour is a serious issue. In order to cram so many guns onto her hull, her armour was compromised, shaved down to the level of a WWI era battlecruiser. She simply does not have the overall thickness needed to repel battleship calibre AP shells at any range. Even heavy cruiser AP rounds become an issue at closer distances. Without careful angling, Agincourt surrenders too many hit points to high-penetration AP attacks. The thick plates covering the ship ensure that every AP shell that does best the armour will fuse for full damage. The only ray of sunshine here is that while she may not have thick armour overall, it is well dispersed which can be downright troll against certain attacks. For cruisers and destroyers slinging HE and SAP shells, Agincourt has only a few vulnerable areas, namely her bow, stern and her small superstructure. Everything else they throw at her will shatter or ricochet which makes Agincourt feel quite tanky. Similarly, these vulnerable points are the only areas where battleships can land overmatching penetrating hits when Agincourt angles correctly. With her icebreaker bow, waterline shots will simply ricochet off. It pays to keep her gun fire angles that we discussed earlier in mind. Unmasking P & Q turret will generally leave her vulnerable to returned AP shells. You don't want to nose in perfectly as this will bait shots into her vulnerable upper snoot and barbettes, but sit her at a slight angle. If you can unmask everyone's favourite day of the week (Y-Turret) then you're doing it right. Thus Agincourt's armour protection rewards player skill; both for the attacker and defender. Knowing how to exploit her weaknesses bipasses a lot of her strengths. Knowing how to properly angle her can mitigate a lot of incoming damage. Look at that lovely dispersed armour scheme. Agincourt's armour is excellent when angled in a close-range brawl, though it doesn't quite stand up to long-range punishment. Still, keep her angled and she'll serve you well, resisting AP, SAP and HE shells equally. Do it wrong and those thick armour plates will ensure that battleship calibre AP shells fuse and deal full penetration damage. Her big 19mm snoot and butt are obvious weak points. Citadel & Turret Protection Understandably, the issues with her thin belt carry over to a poor citadel protection scheme. In particular, Agincourt is highly vulnerable to 380mm+ calibre AP shells as there are sections of her citadel which may be overmatched; namely the walls of her boilers, machine spaces and the roof. Still, Agincourt isn't a free meal for overmatching weapons. There is a hidden 25mm and 38mm plate in her bow and stern that caps directly on top of her 102mm and 152mm belt respectively, along with her 38mm turtleback. While the 25mm plate cannot resist 380mm+ AP shells, the latter 38mm will foil shots that come in a bit higher. Her turtleback isn't a significant barrier on its own. However, if she is angled, it's one more plate that may prompt a ricochet and save her for from taking a citadel hit. And really, that's the best you can hope from Agincourt's citadel protection: to turn a catastrophic hit into merely a serious one. One of the things AP shells LOOOOOVE to fuse on are Agincourt's turrets. She has a lot of them and they act as catchers mits for battleship calibre rounds. This leads to a lot more damage than you might otherwise expect and it's definitely a weakness to exploit when going toe to toe against her. While their turret faces are a chunky 305mm in thickness, this isn't enough to repel anything but the longest range fire from the weakest guns out there. Furthermore, below deck, the barbettes of her P, Q and X turrets are just 76mm. Penetrating AP hits love arresting within these rings and blowing up your guns. Similarly, the roofs of her guns are only 76mm. While their slope alone is more than enough to see off AP and SAP shells, Royal Navy battleship HE can and will penetrate if you're unlucky enough to get hit there. This will deal HE penetration damage AND prompt a critical damage check and again, you may end up temporarily losing a turret. Because so much of Agincourt's deck space is taken up by main battery guns, they get hit often. This in turn means more critical damage rolls so be prepared to see more temporarily disabled weapons on this ship than you might otherwise be used to. That's okay, though. You have more where those came from. The last thing to touch upon here is that with Agincourt's citadel being so long (long, long maaaaaan! ♫) every torpedo that hits you will be causing citadel damage. Agincourt has almost nothing in the way of usable anti-torpedo defence. She floods easily and you're not healing back much (if anything) from torpedo hits. Agincourt's main battery turrets are not very well protected, with P, Q and X-turret having very thin barbettes. It is not uncommon for any of her weapons to be disabled or permanently knocked out over the course of the battle when trading fire with other battleships. Y and Z turrets mirror B & A's barbettes respectively. Furthermore, Agincourt's citadel has 25mm sections of it vulnerable to 380mm+ AP shells overmatching. Be careful when facing battleships with these higher calibre weapons. Do keep her hidden geometry in her bow to help protect from overmatching hits punching through her 19mm bow and stern. Also, there's a 38mm turtleback that runs from the 152mm plate in the fore to the one dittoed in the rear, adding to her citadel protection but it's angled incorrectly to prompt ricochet checks. Health and Heals The strangest thing about Agincourt's durability is that it's so normal. Royal Navy battleships have, since their introduction into World of Warships, had special Repair Party consumables. While the portable dry-docks of Nelson, Lion and Conqueror are perhaps the best known among the community, Warspite always healed back more damage per charge of her consumable while also queuing up more damage as well. Even Iron Duke queues up 60% of penetration damage. Agincourt doesn't have any of that. Her Repair Party consumable is completely normal, healing back a "mere" 14% of her starting hit points per charge (base) and queuing up a "mere" 50% of penetration damage. The only ships she has a leg up on are Soviet battleships with their reduced number of healing charges. So while she may have a comparable number of starting hit points to Oklahoma, for example, she has less overall healing potential. Similarly, while Iron Duke's theoretical hit point pool is smaller, the tech-tree battleship has more efficient heals. So there's nothing really worth getting excited about. Thanks to the smaller hit point pools of Conte di Cavour and Viribus Unitis, Agincourt has a better-than-average base hit point pool but that's nothing remarkable. Nothing too out of the ordinary here. For those wondering, Agincourt's maximum effective health is 2.61 Viribus Unitis while New York, the best of the bunch, has 3.05. Summary Agincourt's dispersed armour scheme is a mixed blessing. It's good against small and medium calibre HE and SAP but only good against AP when perfectly angled and useless when not. Her guns get knocked out often and this has a spillover effect leading to Agincourt taking more penetrating hits. Nothing special about her heals. VERDICT: Pretty average for a low-to-mid tier battleship. Better than some, worse than others. Agility Top Speed: 22 knots Turning Radius: 670m Rudder Shift Time: 13.4 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 3.8º/s at 16.6 knots While Agincourt may have a battlecruiser's armour, she does not have a battlecruiser's speed. This is a slow, cumbersome ship. Her only saving grace is that there are a lot of slow, cumbersome ships at tier V so she doesn't feel horribly out of place. This said, her turning radius is one of the largest at her tier. And while a 670m turning circle radius looks pretty good if you're used to higher tiered ships, this is pretty bad down here in the kiddy pool where islands are plentiful. When paired with her pedestrian top speed, this results in one of the slowest rates of turn for a low-tier battleship. Agincourt feels big and sluggish. What's more, she doesn't get anywhere quickly. This isn't so bad if she ends up on a low-tier map, but when Agincourt gets uptiered, you really start to feel this lack of flexibility. Maybe there's room for the new Swift in Silence skill? I want to be able to recommend it. I would love it if the skill was competitive for certain ships and certain builds, but it's so hard to justify. With it and combined with a Sierra Mike signal, Agincourt's speed gets up to an impressive 25.4 knots, which largely corrects any flexibility deficiencies. That's incredibly enticing. The catch is, of course, that she needs to go undetected in order for this to work. Put one aircraft carrier in play or end up on a flank with a concealed lolibote and her boost goes away. One of the major reasons I want the extra speed is to allow Agincourt to kite but if she's detected (or firing her guns), that's not going to work. Furthermore, the skill and signal combined do not significantly boost her rate of turn, upping it to 4.0º/s. This comes at the cost of her turning circle, jumping up Agincourt's radius to 730m. At four skill points, it's just not quite there in my opinion. Maybe if the speed was always on? Maybe if it provided more speed? I dunno. Agincourt has some of the worst agility at tier V. She's not only slow, but she has a large turning radius at her tier too. Granted, that 670m is pretty small compared to higher tiered battleships, but still, it gives her some of the worst handling at her tier by a noticeable margin, making her feel like one of the higher tiered thunderchunkers when she tries to come about. VERDICT: Crap. Arguably one of, if not the worst at her tier. Anti-Aircraft Defence Flak Bursts: None Long Ranged: None Medium Ranged: None Short Ranged: None There are two ways of looking at Agincourt's complete lack of anti-aircraft firepower. The first is to look at it as a crippling flaw. Any aircraft carrier that knows that Agincourt is bereft of AA defence can attack her with impunity; especially if she's isolated. Furthermore, tier VI carriers can drop fighters on top of her and keep her perma-spotted until she sails out of their spotting range. At her slow speed, this will take quite a while and it strips her of her stealth advantage. The general lack of long-range AA support at low tiers makes this quite likely and carriers can engage her confident that they will less planes than if they attacked one of her supporting team mates. Playing on the receiving end, it's a bit disheartening to know you're going to take repeat drops and it necessitates changing some behaviours. We already know that Agincourt is not agile enough to pretend to Just Dodge™ ordnance but if the CV player is in a hurry, they might flub a torpedo or bomb drop. But what's most important is to properly gauge when to use her Damage Control Party. Don't make the mistake of dousing fires too early or patching up floods you could just heal through. The second and cynical way of looking at things is that Agincourt's lack of anti-aircraft firepower doesn't matter. Few tier V battleships have any kind of anti-aircraft firepower worth getting excited about nor can they see to their own protection. In this sense, Agincourt dispels any illusions of counterplay against a carrier. There's not much anyway, so removing it entirely provides a more "pure" CV vs Surface Ship experience. Man, that's [edited]. And they said there's no such thing as a free lunch. VERDICT: There is now a level zero. Vision Control Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 12.24km / 10.69km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 8.7km / 7.83km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 9.35km Maximum Firing Range: 15.34km Upgraded includes the use of a camouflage providing a concealment bonus and the use of the Concealment Expert skill and Concealment System Modification 1 upgrade if available. Agincourt has no right being as stealthy as she is. She is the stealthiest battleship in her matchmaking pool. If she were a tier V cruiser, she'd be sneakier than half of them. It's a shame she's not a faster battleship because she could then take full advantage. The closer Agincourt can get, the better. Her armour just isn't thick enough to trade at range and her own AP shell performance is piss-poor until you're up close -- sometimes point-blank-range close. As it is, you can almost (almost!) get her to within secondary battery range before she's detected which is pretty hilarious. You need simply sprint the last 2.37km to start opening fire. Unfortunately, that 2.37km "sprint" is more of a wobbling bag of rancid liposuction meat gently rolling downhill. 2.37km is pretty substantial for a ship that can only manage about 22 knots; it takes her a full 40 seconds to cover that distance. Without the use of island cover, boxing your target in or your opponent making a mistake, Agincourt's not sneaking up on anyone this way. Agincourt's stealth is meant to band-aid a lot of other flaws. Bad AP penetration? Sneak up and get closer. Reliant upon secondaries? You can almost sneak into range. Poor armour protection from long range fire? Keep silent and go stealthy to mitigate it. I mean, Agincourt's stealth certainly helps but again, that lack of speed really makes it difficult to fully capitalize upon. It's only on those claustrophobic, island choked maps where this stealth + speed combination works in her favour and can be used offensively. In all other aspects, Agincourt's stealth becomes a purely defensive ability and used whenever she holds fire. Now this can be used to great effect by an experienced player. Disengaging at the right time will keep you alive, after all. But there are a whole range of "what ifs" that undo it -- the most simple of which being a shadowing lolibote or aircraft. Agincourt's stealth is a trait that's nice to have but it's hard to argue that it's especially powerful without speed to control engagement distances. VERDICT: Cool to have but not game-changing. Final Evaluation As Drachinifel has elucidated, Agincourt has always been a troublesome vessel. Her acquistion caused problems then and it's causing problems now. The only way to get Agincourt at her launch was through gambling through loot boxes. There was no direct sale offered. Using my press account, it took me 11 pulls before she dropped. That's 8,250 doubloons worth if I bought the crates individually. I didn't, I bought a huge bundle so it technically would have cost me 13,750 doubloons. That's the cost of a tier VIII premium for a tier V ship. While receiving dragon signals is nice, I have no practical use for any of the other contents from the containers. Ergo, these loot boxes are worthless to me but for the ship and the permanent camos. If I didn't get access to Agincourt via Wargaming, I would not touch this vessel with a ten foot pole. And that's a shame. This is a really fun ship. I've enjoyed Agincourt immensely and I highly recommend her for anyone that misses brawling in higher tiered vessels. But I hate loot boxes. I cannot and will not support them. So hard pass on Agincourt until she's made available by more conventional means. Thank you for reading.
  10. So over the last month and a bit I've been studiously grinding out my German tokens to unlock the new German line up to and including Prinz Heinrich and have been playing said new ships and it's led me to wonder what purpose the old German BB line will serve in the future as this new line seems superior in a lot of ways. For a direct point of comparison (because I have both), I'll point to the Gneisenau and the Prinz Heinrich: So what advantages does the Gneisenau have over Heinrich? Well, it's faster by quite a bit, it has better armour plating (thicker) and a turtleback, an extra heal, and marginally better AA. It also has faster torps and it's main guns have better ballistics due to being more modern resulting in a potentially higher Alpha. It's guns are also longer ranged, though what this is worth in a brawling ship with turtleback is debatable. What advantages does the Heinrich have over the Gneisenau? 8 guns versus 6, plus one rear gun being 360 degrees meaning you can likely always have at least 3 guns on targets. It again has older style guns with worse ballistics and raw alpha potential, but on the other hand it seems to have pretty vastly superior dispersion allowing it to reliably put 6-8 shells into targets, even without dispersion mod on them, compared to the Gneise scattershotting all over the place. It also has imo vastly superior secondaries due to them also being more accurate, so even if the Gneise has GK calibre secondaries, they do not hit the target nearly as much and I seem to get much more reliably secondary dps out of my Heinrich. On top of both of those things it has extra torpedo tubes that are much better protected and don't break, with better torp reload times and a longer range for area denial, very good main gun turret traverse speed, and, unlike Gneisenau, it still has all of that damage output plus Hydro to allow it to safely push against DDs. Oh and also don't forget Heinrich's better concealment. ______________________________________ So knowing all of that now, and having seen Potato post the sec dmg charts for Zeiten and Schlieffen and such, I'm starting to wonder what the point of the old German line is. These new German BBs are certainly squishier, but what good is being tanky when you can't put down damage enough to make your brawls worth it? These new BBs certainly do that. Even if I push in and die, I'm usually making sure 2-3 other boats die with me, and especially with Hydro and torpedoes and top tier secondaries, DDs can't just charge me without very seriously risking their own rapid deaths. And when you are waiting for the right time to push, because your dispersion isn't garbage, you can actually hit things at range and do damage! The line up to Prinz Heinrich was pretty nice, but my god she really takes it to a new level, and I assume it only gets better from here. Really the only thing I wish Heinrich had was turtleback, but with how low in the waterline its citadel is that hasn't been much of an issue anyways. It seems to me old German BBs are being power crept pretty hard and are going to need some tweaks here to be considering viable and worth playing. I say this as someone that has always loved German BBs for brawling and specifically been very fond of Gneisenau. Clearly Wargaming thinks the same with the Kurfurst being replaced by something with bigger main guns, so should the rest of the line get a similar boost?
  11. Navios tartaruga, notável invenção coreana do Séc. 15 Quando pensamos nos grandes avanços náuticos do passado nossa irremediável cabeça ocidental evoca imagens de Cristóvão Colombo, ou das navegações portuguesas. Mas os asiáticos desenvolveram avanços definitivos, como a ‘agulha de marear’ que ajudou os lusitanos na maior epopeia náutica de todos os tempos. A bússola, e tantas outras novidades na arte da construção de navios como os cascos estanques, são invenções dos chineses, que dominaram os mares um século antes dos lusitanos. (...) Hoje vamos comentar outros avanços náuticos daquelas paragens do globo: a invenção dos navios tartaruga pelos coreanos. Um dos grandes nomes que surgem ao pesquisarmos o assunto é o do almirante Yi Sun-shin (1545-1598). Ele travou 23 batalhas contra os invasores japoneses da Coreia, entre 1592 e 1598, e venceu todas sem perder um único navio. Além disso, em 14 dessas batalhas, nenhum navio japonês sobreviveu. Como ele conseguiu, e por que o Japão não soube derrotá-lo mesmo tendo vencido quase todas as batalhas terrestres travadas no mesmo período, é a pergunta que se impõe. A resposta? Os navios tartaruga considerados por alguns como o primeiro couraçado, artifício parido pela necessidade e gênio asiático séculos antes dos ocidentais o ‘inventarem’. Surgimento dos primeiros navios tartaruga As primeiras referências aos ‘modernos’ navios tartaruga datam de 1413 e 1415, nos registros dos Anais da Dinastia Joseon, que mencionam batalhas entre coreanos e piratas japoneses. Mas eles entraram para a história mundial por meio do almirante Yi Sun-shin e suas vitórias contra a invasão japonesa. Segundo consta, o primeiro novo navio tartaruga deste período foi concluído em 12 de abril de 1592. No dia seguinte, começou a invasão japonesa. (...) Características do navio Os navios tartaruga tinham 34,2 m de comprimento, 10,3 m de largura e 6,4 m de altura. Deslocavam entre 100 e 300 toneladas. Na proa ficava uma cabeça de um dragão que servia para intimidar os oponentes. Mas não era apenas isso. Por sua boca podiam ser disparadas balas de canhão, chamas ou nuvens de fumaça de enxofre. Para impedir que fossem invadidos, os navios tinham um teto de ferro, com espinhos do mesmo material escondidos por tapetes de palha. Havia dois decks. No convés inferior ficavam os remadores. Geralmente remos e velas eram usados em combinação, mas na batalha as velas eram baixadas. No andar superior, havia arqueiros e artilheiros. Estes navios, por sua proteção de ferro, mais tarde foram considerados os precursores dos couraçados. Enquanto os navios tartaruga podiam se infiltrar e atacar os inimigos, estes não podiam lhes causar danos. Segundo nossas fontes, nunca houve mais de seis em uso ao mesmo tempo. Depois de mais de 150 anos de paz, acabaram fora de uso. De acordo com o site www.military-history.org, “O fracasso da marinha japonesa contra o navio tartaruga se assemelha à derrota da Armada Espanhola pelos navios de guerra ingleses em 1588. Como os galeões espanhóis, os navios japoneses eram usados como castelos flutuantes, mantendo o maior número possível de soldados para a guerra anfíbia. Seu método preferido de combate era abalroar e embarcar em navios inimigos.” Barcaças costeiras Os navios tartarugas, ou Geobukseon como eram chamados na Coreia, não eram adequados para a navegação em mar aberto; mas essencialmente uma barcaça blindada. Sua velocidade era limitada pelo design “quadrado”, que os fazia lidar mal com ventos fortes. Eram navios projetados para uma finalidade específica: navegar por vias costeiras e interditar a navegação inimiga. Eram armados com cerca de 26 canhões, de calibres variados mas pequenos. Isso lhes dava grande vantagem já que os japoneses ainda não contavam com estas armas. Os barcos coreanos, apesar do desenho ‘quadrado’, eram menores e mais fáceis de manobrar que os grande juncos japoneses. FONTE: https://marsemfim.com.br/navios-tartaruga-notavel-invencao-coreana-sec-15/ (Desculpem a formatação confusa do texto. Tentei ajeitar, mas ainda estou aprendendo a usar as ferramentas daqui do Fórum, e também peço desculpas adiantadamente se alguém já havia postado informações sobre esse assunto, antes)
  12. rafael_azuaje

    ISE QUESTION?

    Why Ise has bad dispertion? (Horrible) and WG said has sigma 2.0 why Ise has Bad penetration? (sucks, ugly) COTTON SHELLS , Corn pop shells? the Ise has only decent AA & Planes torps. but the Main Guns are USELESS! Please fix the guns of ISE dont wreck it ! THANKS.......................
  13. Na live do EU no dia 02/12/21, foi anunciado, junto com a nova linha de destroyers italianos, o encouraçado brasileiro "Atlântico" de Tier VIII. Atlântico é o 4° navio da nação Pan-America e o 3° navio brasileiro no jogo e o 1° encouraçado da Pan-America e 1° encouraçado brasileiro no jogo, sendo os outros navios o Juruá e o Almirante Abreu, e nesse artigo quero trazer algumas curiosidades, fatos e referencias que esse navio possui. I- O nome e origem Bom, vamos começar com o nome "Atlantico". Esse nome nunca foi usado na marinha brasileira até o ano de 2018, quando o Brasil comprou da Inglaterra o HMS Ocean e o rebatizou de NAM Atlântico (A140). Outra referencia que pode ser notada é a origem desse encouraçado e o atual navio almirante da Marinha do Brasil, onde ambos são de origem Inglesa. E o fato que ambos os navios carregam armamentos de origem Americana. II- A Camuflagem Para o segundo fato eu trago a camuflagem, que pode parecer aleatória, mas não é. A camuflagem escolhida para esse encouraçado é referencia a camuflagem que foi pintada no encouraçado brasileiro São Paulo III- O Motivo de Armamentos Ingleses e Americanos Durante os anos de 1890-1918/19, a Marinha do Brasil buscava muitos projetos e parcerias com o Reino Unido, tanto apos o plano naval de 1905 que aprovou a construção de encouraçados e cruzadores, o Brasil buscou a Inglaterra e encomendou os futuros encouraçados São Paulo, Minas Geraes, Rio de Janeiro, os cruzadores de patrulha Bahia e Rio Grande do Sul e os Destroyers da classe Pará. Contudo, após 1919, o Brasil se viu politicamente, economicamente e militarmente sob a esfera de influencia dos EUA, tanto que a maioria dos armamentos e navios adquiridos pelo brasil durante e após a 2° Guerra são americanos. IV- De onde a WG se inspirou? Como você provavelmente notou, o design e a escolha dos armamentos secundarios é um tanto quanto...exotica. Bom, eu estou aqui para dar luz a essa escuridão e confusão. Pelas minhas interpretações, a WG se inspirou em 2 designs de 2 encouraçados que quase fizeram parte da Marinha Brasileira, um é o aclamado pela comunidade brasileira, o Rio de Janeiro, e outro, não tão conhecido, o encouraçado Riachuelo. O modelo que a WG escolheu para o Atlântico é o Design 782 do Riachuelo, que foi encomendado a Inglaterra pelo Brasil em 1913-1914, e a Armstrong and Vickers fez alguns designs para o que seria o Riachuelo, um dos designs favoritos foi o Design 782, com 10(5x2) canhões de 15 polegadas (381mm). Já a escolha do armamento secundario pode ser relacionado a um dos designs do nosso querido Rio de Janeiro (HMS Agincourt/Sultan Osman I Evvel), mais especificamente, Design 686, apelidado de Monstro de Bacellar, devido ao uso inotordoxo de canhões de 9.4 polegadas em torres como bateria principal. Abaixo eu trago para vocês os designs que falo. Caso se interessem nesses designs e queiram ver mais, eu tirei esses desenhos do livro "Warships for Export - Armstrong Warships" de Peter Brook Muito Obrigado pela sua atenção, e até uma proxima God Bless the King and God be with you James I, King of Great Britain
  14. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review - Oklahoma

    Massachusetts she is not. The following is a review of the tier V American premium battleship Oklahoma. This ship was kindly provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes; I did not have to pay for her. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this article are accurate as of patch 0.9.10. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. Unfortunately for Oklahoma, Texas exists. In nearly every respect, Texas is the better state ship. Oklahoma doesn't clone Texas' performance but gives you the choice of a "more different" alternative that dittos Texas' game-play with some style changes. Specifically, Oklahoma is an attempt to provide Massachusetts-style game-play at tier V, with improved secondaries though this comes at the expense of her reload times and horrible (HORRIBLE) AP shell performance. Quick Summary: A slow-firing American standard-type battleship with crappy AP shells but improved range, heals and secondaries. PROS Good main battery range of 17.13km (19.87km with APRM1) Secondaries are long ranged (5.5km) with improved dispersion. Small surface detection range of 13.52km. Improved Repair Party which heals back 18.48% of her health per charge instead of 14%. CONS Soft-skinned externally, with most of the ship covered by only 19mm worth of steel. Painfully long reload time of 40 seconds on her main battery,. Horrible AP penetration. Like seriously. Lacklustre AA defence. Sluggish and slow. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / MODERATE / High / Difficult Battleships at tier V and below don't have it easy. They play on claustrophobic maps. CVs abound as do seal-clubbing torpedo destroyers. Furthermore, every single battleship can overmatch the bows of every other battleship (barring Gangut & Pyotr Belikiy), so you can't simply nose in and face-tank. The good news is that it's relatively easy to score some big numbers as everyone can reliably damage everyone else. Their primary prey, the plethora of light and scout cruisers, are made of citadels so Devastating Strike medals are commonplace and help offset the constant barrage of tier IV planes and constant waterboarding from torpedo-soup. And that's the joys when they're top tier! When bottom tier, they are outclassed so hilariously that the map size alone is enough to ruin their experience. So... yeah. Tier V battleships aren't in a good place. Inexperienced players can manage, but there's a lot of unpleasantness to watch out for. For veterans, Oklahoma offers nothing that Texas doesn't already, and Texas scales better with player skill with her dispersed armour values. Options Oklahoma doesn't have anything out of the ordinary beyond her Repair Party. Consumables Her Damage Control Party is typical for American battleships. It has a 20 second rather than a 15 second active period common to battleships from most other nations. It has unlimited charges and an 80 second reset timer. Her Repair Party is also an American battleship version, though this version doesn't tend to appear on premium battleships. It has four charges base and an 80 second reset timer. It queues up 10% of citadel damage, 50% of penetration damage and 100% of everything else. It heals back up to 0.66% of her health every second for 28 seconds instead of the usual 0.5% found on most battleships. Finally, Oklahoma has a Spotting Aircraft. It provides a 20% bonus to her range for 100 seconds. It starts with four charges and a 240 second reset timer. Upgrades There are pretty much two builds to consider with Oklahoma: Choose between either increasing her main battery gun range with Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 or emphasizing the strength of her secondaries Secondary Battery Modification 1. Captain Skills You're again making a choice between two different builds. The first is the boring ol' battleship build where you focus on mitigating fire damage. Or you can build for her secondaries. With Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament having the efficacy wall at tier VII+, it's not worth taking. Veterans will recognize this build as being analogous for a classic Warspite build. This is a lot more interesting, in my opinion, even if it's less effective overall. The graphic on the left is the default battleship build. The one on the right is chock-full of pluck and awesome. Pick your favourite tier 1 skill (in green) and then hoover up all of the yellow circles. Camouflage Oklahoma has two camouflage options. The first is her standard Type 9 camouflage. They're simply cosmetic swaps of one another. They both provide: 3% reduction to surface detection. 4% increase to enemy dispersion. 10% reduction to service costs. 50% increase to experience gains. The alternative dark-blue on her Type 9 camo is nice and striking, but it's the military camouflage I like the most. Gotta love that checkered funnel!d Firepower Main Battery: Ten 356mm/45 rifles in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration with three-gun turrets for A & Y mounts and two-gun turrets in B & X. Secondary Battery: Ten 127mm/51 single guns in casemate mounts and eight 127mm/25 singles in open mounts mounted a deck higher. Main Battery In the spirit of not spending forever writing this, I'm going to cut right to the chase. There are two stupidly-huge flaws with Oklahoma's main battery guns. The first is pretty obvious -- they say it right on the tin: Oklahoma has a 40 second reload. That's terrible. It seriously hurts her damage output and it's just plain not-fun to have to wait so long in between trigger pulls. Admittedly, this isn't that much longer than the already painful 34.3s reload on USS Texas, but I hate that reload too and this is worse. If this were Oklahoma's only main gunnery flaw, maybe I could overlook it if this paid for a bunch of other fun stuff, but the ride doesn't end there. She has horrible HORRIBLE AP penetration values for a battleship. Oklahoma makes use of the old-timey, not-in-the-game-anymore stock New York AP shells. These are so terrible she cannot best battleship belt armour outside of 10km engagement distances -- and even then, there will be some battleships she can't best until she gets even closer. You must aim for weak points which, with battleship dispersion, is tricky. So not only are you dealing with a very long wait between shots, but when you're finally reloaded, there may not be anything worth shooting at because of how poorly her AP rounds perform. It's tempting just to spam HE, but USN battleship HE shells are pretty terrible. In short: Her main battery gunnery sucks moose-balls. It's a disaster to use against other battleships. Stick to picking on cruisers unless you have no other choice. Oklahoma's AP penetration of her released version (patch 9.10) is buttacular. This runs contrary to how it performed during the last leg of testing (patch 9.9). See my rant below with the In Closing section about this. Have a quick DPM graphic. Oklahoma wins no prizes here. American battleships aren't particularly good fire setters. Oklahoma's fire arcs are decent. Her gun rotation rate of 3º/s is pretty terrible, though. Secondary Battery Ostensibly the woes of her main battery armament are counteracted by her secondaries. Ostensibly. Sure enough, if you can get Oklahoma in close enough to activate her secondaries, her opponents are going to have a bad time. Oklahoma has the same improved secondary dispersion as found Massachusetts and Georgia. What's not as well known is that this is the same secondary dispersion as found on all large calibre secondary gun batteries, such as the 152mm on Kongo and Warspite. I don't say this to nay-say Oklahoma's secondary performance, but rather to illustrate that one element isn't so rare at this tier, as a lot of the casemate weapons of tier V battleships are larger calibre. This said, what is out of the ordinary is Oklahoma's range. With a base reach of 5.5km, between upgrades, skills and signals, it can be extended out to 8.32km which is very impressive for her tier. It's a shame Oklahoma isn't faster because you're only bringing those into range if the enemy comes to you. I found the volume of fire coming from her secondary batteries to be a bit wanting. Her longer-barrelled 127mm/51 guns in the lower casemates have a 7 second reload compared to the 4.5 seconds of the upper-deck 127mm/25s. On top of this longer reload, they also have a worse fire-chance per shell, so it's the shorter-barrelled weapons which are really carrying the weight when it comes to shell volume. At least her forward fire angles are generous with six guns being able to open up at targets as little as 10º off her bow, with a maximum broadside of 9 guns from 40º off her bow to 108º. These are not good weapons for kiting, as towards her rear-quarter she is typically stuck with only three weapons firing. Overall, I rate Oklahoma's secondary weapons as "nice to have" but not game-changers. They're definitely more powerful against lower-tiered targets where their 21mm of penetration can hurt everything they come across. I again lament that Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament's efficacy is tied to tiering, because super-accurate secondaries could have been a game changer for Oklahoma. While a 30% buff is alright, it's a big point sink -- points that could be much better spent on fire mitigation and concealment. Oh well. VERDICT: Her secondaries are nice. Her main battery guns are anything but. That reload sucks. That AP penetration sucks more. Defence Hit Points: 48,200 Min Bow & Deck Armour: 19mm extremities, 25mm upper hull & 19mm deck Maximum Citadel Protection: 25mm anti-torpedo bulge + 343mm belt + 51mm citadel wall. Torpedo Damage Reduction: 18% I was going to make an armour profile graphic, but it's pretty uninformative. She's a standard-type battleship (one of the first) so she doesn't have a dispersed armour scheme with interesting bits like extended waterline belts or what have you. Oklahoma's extremities and deck are all 19mm thick. Her belt is completely covered by her 25mm anti-torpedo bulges and this armour value extends up to that aforementioned 19mm deck amidships. Thus, barring her 13mm superstructure, everything you can shoot at on Oklahoma is either 19mm or 25mm, which is all kinds of squish. The downsides to this layout is having that 19mm armour almost everywhere. It can be overmatched by any battleship caliber AP shell you come across, to say nothing of allowing HE penetrations from even destroyer-calibre rounds. In this regard, she's hardly unique. New York and Texas suffer from similar problems, even with their dispersed armour scheme, but it's only found on the American battleships at this tier. All of the other battleships have at least some amidships deck armour values that are higher, allowing them to ricochet and shatter AP and HE shells respectively. Thus, Oklahoma takes a lot more incidental damage than her contemporaries. To compensate she has access to the improved Repair Party of American tech-tree battleships. This heals up to 18.48% of her hit point pool per charge instead of the usual 14% of most Repair Parties. In theory, this gives her a larger effective health pool if properly managed. The catch, of course, is that she has to survive long enough to make use of all of those healing charges for this to off-set her fragility. Her citadel is at least reasonably protected. It sits at the waterline with turtleback sloped sides. The 51mm of the turtleback and citadel walls stacks nicely with her 343mm belt giving her some healthy protection. Her citadel roof is 38mm thick so it can't be overmatched. Oklahoma will take citadel hits if you expose her sides but overall the protection isn't bad. Overall, Oklahoma'a durability is alright. It's not fun to take damage from everything being thrown at you but at least she's given something to compensate for it. Viribus Unitis is a standard unit of measurement for battleship health. VERDICT: You're a piñata with a soft outer-skin but decent citadel protection. Manage your heals carefully and be careful of exposing your sides. Agility Top Speed: 19.7 knots Turning Radius: 610m Rudder Shift Time: 13.4 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 3.7º/s at 14.7 knots It's rare to see such an obvious and clear loser like this. This is downright embarrassing. Oklahoma manages to simultaneously be the slowest and the least agile of any of the tier V battleships. That's a pretty damning rap sheet right there but it gets worse. She lacks any kind of energy preservation. While New York was also stripped of her own improved energy retention in patch 0.9.6, Texas still maintains hers. This means that under any kind of manoeuvres, Texas is the fastest of the three, holding onto a minimum of 18.7 knots while New York flounders at 15.9 knots and Oklahoma wallows with 14.7. And you'll be putting her through manoeuvres often, if not to throw off the aim of your opponents then to try and counteract her horrible turret traverse. The 3º/s rotation speed of her guns often needs help and you'll be sore tempted to accelerate acquiring a target by swinging the ship's butt about. This has the net effect of further slowing down Oklahoma's average speed. The 19.7 knots you see on the tin is more like a constant 18.5 knots in practice as you're seldom going in a straight line long enough to take advantage of it, even when redeploying. Just to add insult to injury, even a slug-lord like Oklahoma can still out-turn her turrets unless you stack on Expert Marksman at a minimum -- Main Battery Modification 2 does not provide enough of a bonus to mitigate this disparity. For a ship reliant on making her secondaries count, it's not just her lack of speed that's disappointing, but her lack of energy retention too. She's not just slow, she's consistently slow -- unable to catch a break. The only way to make her secondaries work for her is to either corner someone when the opportunity presents itself on one of those smaller, low-tier maps or hope someone brings their ship into range for you. VERDICT: I cry everytime. Anti-Aircraft Defence Flak Bursts: 3 explosions for 1190 damage per blast at 3.5km to 4.8km. Long Ranged (up to 4.8km): 95dps at 75% accuracy Medium Ranged (up to 3.0km): 21dps at 75% accuracy Short Ranged (up to 1.5km): 84dps at 70% accuracy Aircraft carriers are omnipresent within Oklahoma's matchmaking. It is not uncommon to face two carriers -- and sometimes two tier VI carriers at that, so anti-aircraft defence is more important for ships at this tier than any other. I'm sorry to say that Oklahoma doesn't have good AA firepower by any measure. She has neither the damage-per-minute, range or consumables to truly be a threat to aircraft. She has about as much sustained DPS as König but with worse range brackets and one fewer flak bursts. This means you're going to get dunked on. A lot. In my test games, even a Langley to perform two drops with the same squadron of torpedo bombers -- and that's with my ship being pristine AND having my AA boosted with Basic Fire Training and focus-fire. Yes, I ended up shooting down a few planes. Yes, this will probably unsustainable for the carrier in the long run. No, that's not going to save you. VERDICT: Not good enough to matter. Sigh. With Oklahoma's uniform 19mm thick deck armour, she's exceedingly vulnerable to rockets and the bomblets dropped by Hermes and Ark Royal. Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 13.52km / 11.8km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 10.25km/9.23km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 7.12km Maximum Firing Range: Between 17.13km and 23.84km Oklahoma has better-than-average concealment for a tier V battleship. It's not god-tier by any means. It's not like Viribus Unitis where she can manage a 10km and change detection range. Still, make sure you use and abuse this concealment whenever you need to, especially in the later stages of the game when destroyers are thinned out. This can help you set up ambushing shots on cruisers or simply give you more time to come about or let a key consumable come off cool-down in order to save your ship when you're on low health. If Oklahoma had more speed, this trait would have more value, allowing her to flex unseen and pop up in places people do not expect. VERDICT: Nice to have but not game changing. Final Evaluation I'm glad you can earn this one for free. I don't like Oklahoma. Her gunnery is frustrating. Her agility is frustrating. She wasn't a fun experience for me. I hate waiting on her stupidly long reload. I hate having to wait even longer for a proper target to appear because my stupid AP shells can't reliably penetrate other battleships. I hate how stupidly sluggish her gun traverse is. I hate how slow she is. Hate. Hate. Hate. Sure, you can have some alright games in her, especially when she's top-tier. And in Co-Op, you don't have to worry about her AP penetration or struggling to bring her secondaries into range as the bots will oblige you by driving in close. In those two aspects, she's perfectly reasonable. But taken as a whole? Blech. Skip this one. Do not pay cash-moneys for her. That's my hot take, anyway. But lemme step away from quotable crap and elaborate further. I love American standard-type battleships. I love how they look. I love their history. And for the first few years of World of Warships' life, I loved how they played. New Mexico was my bae for a time. Lert and I had a great time playing our Arizona bricks side by side. I didn't mind Colorado, though she was my least favourite of the early three. I was disappointed when West Virginia appeared not in her late-war rebuild but in her 1941 state, adding my own voice to those dissenting Wargaming's choice to use her as a stock-Colorado instead of a phoenix that rose from the flames of Pearl Harbour and kicked so much butt at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. While West Virginia 1941 was at least a reasonably powerful ship, the offerings since then have not been. California was a disaster. She's been relegated to being one of the least memorable ships of 2020. Oklahoma is destined for similar ignominy. Her secondaries are meant to be fun, but there are so few opportunities to use them decisively. Had Oklahoma the old-style American battleship energy retention of yesteryear, it might be a different story. Like with West Virginia and California, Wargaming missed the opportunity to make a truly interesting vessel. Oh well. In Closing Before I conclude this review, I feel I need to speak to some of the challenges faced preparing these articles. My aim is to be as accurate as possible. While I don't feel that any of my fellow content creators would go out of their way to present false information, sometimes Wargaming makes it difficult for us to be accurate. The Community Contributors were told on October 22nd that Oklahoma had been finalized and that we were free to begin creating content which could be published on October 27th. I began work on the written portion of this review over the weekend of the 24th and 25th. Part of my process is to cross-reference the statistics of the current test-ship to the development blog's list of changes. Sometimes stuff gets changed at the last minute. Sometimes announced changes don't go through at all. Without clarification from Wargaming, it's impossible to know what the final product will look like. I've been burned by making assumptions here and I've learned to get specifics from Wargaming directly. In Oklahoma's case, the test-ship I had access to and was being asked to make content for was not what was going to be released. We were being asked to make content based on a ship whose performance was changing significantly post-launch. In Oklahoma's case, it was her Krupp rating -- a statistic which directly affects AP penetration values, which was being dropped by a whopping 40%. The 0.9.9 version of Oklahoma had better AP performance than any other tier V 356mm armed battleship. She could blow out the citadel of a Colorado at 16km. The launched version has the worst by far -- so bad she can't pull the same trick until she's within 5km of Colorado. This is a big deal! It completely changes how the ship feels to play. I didn't like Oklahoma's test version -- she was slow with a slow reload, but at least her main battery guns had some punch to them. Now I spoke to Wargaming about this and they were very open in acknowledging that the disparity between test-ship performance and release-ship performance is very much a serious issue when it comes to Community Contributors producing content about a ship. Steps are being taken to help mitigate any misinformation coming out in the future (how well this pans out will have to be seen). HOWEVER, the point I am making is that it's very important that when you're making buying (or time investment) decisions in regards to a premium vessel, check out multiple sources before pulling the trigger. This discrepancy was found in time for my review, but what about the other Community Contributors? More importantly, what did I miss? I'm not perfect. I don't have a team of fact-checkers dedicated to helping me spot things. I coordinate and collaborate with the other Community Contributors to try and find stuff like this but stuff will inevitably fall through the cracks. Please, please, PLEASE make sure you check out multiple reviews before you make a decision. You can always message me here or via Discord (AprilWhiteMouse#0536) if you have any questions about ship performance. If I don't know something, I will admit to as much and we can go find the missing information together. Thank you for reading, and thank you to my patrons on Patreon for supporting the production of these reviews.
  15. West Virginia is a slow brick with the biggest, baddest guns you're likely to find this side of tier VI -- at least until the upcoming Russian battleship tech tree. I want to thank Wargaming for providing me access to this ship. This is the release version of the vessel and all of the statistics discussed here are current as of November 30th, 2018. Be aware that Prinz Eitel Friedrich's statistics discussed in this article are still a Work in Progress and are subject to change. PROS Armed with 406mm guns with excellent damage, penetration and overmatch ability. That's it. That's all she's got. No, I'm not making this up. That one "Pro" is the reason that decides if you want this ship or not. CONS Small hit point pool of 50,200hp. Highly vulnerable to HE spam. Very slow and no improved energy preservation while turning. Bad anti-aircraft defense. Large surface detection range of 16.4km base. Overview Skill Floor: SIMPLE / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme Standard-type battleships are some of the simplest ships to play in World of Warships. West Virginia 1941 (WV41) makes this even easier by all but eliminating complicated decision-making for novice players. She's too slow to flex once she's committed to an engagement. Her AP shells are so good that you don't need to consider changing ammo types. She's going to get her bows overmatched by most of the battleships you'll face so don't worry too much about manoeuvres. You're also a ready victim of aircraft attack, so why bother stressing about it? Yep, dirt simple. Of course if you want to try-hard WV41 will reward you for it. She's got enough belt armour and agility to tank effectively. Her gunnery is wonderful so picking the right targets pays off huge. While she is slow, if you fancy yourself a master strategist then knowing just how and where you need to go to have the most influence will make all the difference. – One of, if not the worst at its tier. This is a pronounced weakness. – Middle of the pack at its tier. Not terrible, but not terribly good either. – Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer. – No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship. Her main battery guns are the about her. Her handling and anti-aircraft firepower are just plain . Her defense and concealment are passable, earning a rating. Options The only thing of note with WV41's options are her two camouflage patterns. Consumables WV41's Damage Control Party is standard for an American battleship. This has unlimited charges, a 20 second active period and a 120s / 80s reset timer. Her Repair Party is also standard, healing back up to 14% of her health over 28 seconds. This has a 120s / 80s reset timer. Finally, she has a Spotter Aircraft. There's nothing unusual here, with a 100s active period and a 360s / 240s reset timer. It starts with 3 base charges. Upgrades We're looking at the usual suspects for mid-tier American battleships with the exception of any anti-aircraft modifications. Like Arizona, WV41 doesn't have the AA power worth upgrading. Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. Next, take Damage Control Modification 1. Fires are a big concern for USN Battleships. After that, it's Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1. This will get your main battery range up from 16.06km to 18.63km. For your last slot, Damage Control Modification 2 is optimal for helping mitigate Fire damage. However, if you prefer, you can take Steering Gears Modification 2 to help with her sluggish handling. It's not going to do much, but every bit helps. Camouflage By default, WV41 1941 comes with Type 10 Camouflage. Alternatively, you can purchase W. Virginia 1941 as a cosmetic swap for 3,000 doubloons. Both types have identical bonuses, providing: 50% bonus experience gains 10% reduction to maintenance costs 3% reduction in surface detection 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. The big difference is how they sound. Yes, the W. Virginia 1941 camouflage has a custom horn! http://shipcomrade.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/West_Virginia_shiphorn_2.wav WV41's default camouflage pattern can be swapped for an alternative palette for those who have completed the second-medals section of the American Cruisers Collection. This changes the blue disruption pattern to a pale grey. For 3,000 doubloons, you can unlock the W. Virginia 1941 camouflage in red and brown. While this has the same economic bonuses, you do get a cute horn to toot Firepower Main Battery: Eight 406mm/45s in 4x2 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration Secondary Battery: Eight 127mm/25s on the deck and and Ten 127mm/51 mounted in casemates. Right, West Viginia 1941's main battery guns are the only good thing about this ship. I'm going to avoid doing Wargaming's hype-job for them by gushing overmuch about how good these guns are. This said, WV41's guns are easily the best battleship-caliber weapons available at tier VI. They're so good you're going to pay for it in almost every other facet of this vessel. If what we go over here in her Firepower section doesn't wow you, then this isn't a ship worth paying for. The Unnecessary I don't want to waste too much time on WV41's secondaries. There's not much going for them. They have a 4km range. They reload in 4.5 seconds. She fires a maximum of four guns (not turrets -- guns) per side. There's no potential here. Obligatory, ugly stats-dump. One of these days, I'll figure out a way to make this look pretty. Sorry, Mutsu WV41 is armed with the same naval rifles as Colorado at tier VII -- and here they are shoe-horned in a full tier lower. She inherits these weapons in full, and not having to suffer with inferior ammunition choices. The few differences summarize to the following: Main Battery Range - Colorado has 2.77km more base reach with her main battery for 18.83km vs 16.06km (or 21.84km vs 18.63km with upgrades). Sigma - Colorado has 0.1 sigma more than WV41 for 1.90 versus 1.80. Standard dispersion test. 180 AP shells fired at 15km at a stationary Fuso without camouflage. Colorado and WV41 have identical dispersion areas -- the only difference is how often shells cluster towards the center of your aiming point (as determined by sigma). Warspite, equipped with Aiming Systems Modification 1 has been included as she represents the gold-standard of what precision looks like among battleships at this tier. Penetrate All the Things With WV41's precision and dispersion being considered "average", her guns need to make up some ground to make this vessel worthwhile. Where she does this is in her penetration power. This she has in spades. WV41 has the best AP penetration among tier VI battleships, hands-down. With more than 450mm worth of penetration at 18km, she has enough to penetrate broadside battleship belt armour of anything she might face. Furthermore, the large-caliber of her shells allows her to overmatch 27mm worth of hull plating. WV41 will punish any cruiser within her matchmaking spread while also being able to do the same to tier VI and VII battleships, regardless of angling. This just leaves tier VIII battleships able to bow-tank her. In answer to this, WV41 must reach for her HE shells. She has no special quirks with her HE shells, so use them only when needed. They have 67mm worth of penetration which is more than enough to bruise any opponents pulling off these shenanigans. Unlike other tier VI battleships, WV41 is far less reliant on HE shells than most, so having only mediocre shells here isn't a drawback. Provided you aim well and dispersion doesn't troll you, WV41's AP shells have more than enough penetration to handle almost any target you might face. Let's take a look at some of the raw stats: These are the top 5 battleships at tier VI for AP penetration as of patch 0.7.11. Penetration values are approximate and courtesy of proships.ru (link in the Appendix -- give them some love). Generally speaking, battleships at this tier are forced to choose between having good penetration or the ability to overmatch. WV41 is unique at tier VI for having both. Go figure, bigger shells hit harder. WV41 tops the charts on a per-shell damage basis at tier VI, with one of her hits dealing 18% to 20% more damage than a comparable 356mm shell. This number is important to keep in mind when you account for potential damage output. WV41's precision, penetration and overmatch mechanics make individual damaging hits more likely in many (but not all) situations compared to her peers. They're not God-Tier Good as WV41's guns are, they're far from perfect As any veteran Roma commander will tell you: There's such a thing as too much penetration. It's possible to blow clean through the machine spaces of some cruisers without causing a citadel hit. Thankfully, this is largely limited to point-blank range engagements against the lightest armoured cruisers. WV41 doesn't couple of her enormous penetration levels with high muzzle velocity. Where they're really lacking, in my opinion, is reach. I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to tell you this early that mounting such potential on a standard-type hull is going to cause issues and she struggles to keep up with the flow of battle. WV41's fire angles are only alright. You have to expose a fair bit of side to get her full salvos off. This isn't too bad when she's top-tier. However, when she's at the bottom of the pile, the enormous levels of penetration present makes a mockery of your belt at anything but near autobounce-angles. This problem with being bottom tier compounds with her range. Again, it's perfectly acceptable when she's top-tier, but the large maps she has to navigate when she's facing tier VIIs and tier VIIIs makes me wish she had closer to Colorado-levels of reach. Finally, the last fly in the ointment is this: She only has eight guns. You really need to maximize the opportunities provided by your high-penetration and overmatch potential to make your advantages count. If you're facing opponents that are constantly sailing broadside at medium-close ranges, you would have been better served with a larger battery of smaller-caliber weapons. WV41's theoretical damage output isn't bad at all for an eight-gun warship at tier VI. It's considerably better when you factor in the gimmicks that make dealing said damage easier -- namely her high penetration and her overmatch potential. WV41 has to rely on said advantages to differentiate herself from the twelve-gun heavy hitters which use volume of fire to make something stick. Most of these suffer from 1.60 sigma or less which makes any pretense of precision dubious. WV41's fire arcs are average and on the poor side of average at that, especially when kiting. Her gun handling benefits greatly from Expert Marksman if you have the skill points to spare. You don't need it, but you'll want it. Summary Her guns deliver heavy damage, but they're not flashy. Their big deal is that they penetrate all of the things. Her secondaries suck, but no one's surprised. Evaluation: What would have to happen to DOWNGRADE to : Worse sigma, a longer reload, slower gun traverse, etc. Defense Hit Points: 50,200 Min Bow & Deck Armour: 25mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 343mm belt + 45mm citadel wall Torpedo Damage Reduction: 22% I told you: You're going to pay a lot of concessions to have 406mm main battery guns on a tier VI ship. This is the first of many areas where WV41 only manages to be so-so. An Aside about HE Damage Mitigation At tier VI, Fuso here is the gold standard for HE resistance, ticking all five five boxes including a fully reinforced main deck and upper hull. This gives her the best chance of shattering and absorbing HE spam from most CLs, CAs and DDs. Note that on the whole, these bonuses only provide some small amount of protection. Cleveland is still going to melt your face off. Let's talk a minute about HE damage mitigation from cruisers and destroyers. In general, there are five components to look for when evaluating how well protected a battleship is against small and medium caliber HE. The idea is that a ship has either spaced-compartments to absorb the shot or she has heavier armour than normal in a given place. This reduces the surface area where HE shells can land a damaging hit. Extended Waterline Belts must be above the surface to have any value, reducing the amount of target area on the bow and stern. These are typically found on German and lower tiered battleships. Imperator Nikolai I stands out in this regard. An Anti-Torpedo Bulge can have some merit provided it extends upwards to cover parts of the hull that would otherwise be vulnerable. The Queen Elizabeth-class are a great example of this, with bulges that extend forward far enough to help protect part of their bow. Armoured Bridge help foil HE shells from otherwise damaging your super-squishy superstructure. They typically have armour as thick as (or thicker than) the ship's belt which is a no-no for all calibers of HE. Reinforced Hulls and Reinforced Decks come with three distinctions -- no mitigation, partial mitigation and full mitigation. No mitigation speaks for itself. The plating is no thicker than the extremities and cruisers will hoover up damage here for days. Partial is thick enough to repulse some small and medium caliber HE shells, typically those of destroyers. Full mitigation will repulse 152mm shells buffed with IFHE or even some heavy cruiser shells. Note that some ships will only have a small part of their main deck reinforced -- pay close attention to the amount of area covered. The Bismarck-class is a good example of this. The Colorado-class relies on raw armour thickness to repel AP shells. Not much of her plate has any appreciable angle which would further increase its relative thickness. So while her 343mm belt looks solid, you'd get more mileage out of the sloped belts of some of the later USN battleships like the South Dakota, North Carolina and Iowa-class battleships which have better protection for comparable thickness. Given her 25mm extremities and deck plating, WV41 is dangerously vulnerable to AP overmatch mechanics from 380mm guns or larger and most HE shells she'll face. Armour Protection WV41's protection scheme is alright if only just. She relies on raw armour thickness to carry the day and there are glaring holes in her defenses which are easy to exploit. Her 25mm extremities and deck are vulnerable to overmatch mechanics and HE spam. She has poor anti-torpedo defense and no spaced armour around her belt. Her internal citadel wall is only a third as thick as the other standard-types at her tier. Finally, she has one of the lowest health pools at tier VI, barely scraping together 50,000 hit points. There are two reasons WV41's durability is considered adequate and the first isn't exactly flattering. The protection schemes of a lot of the tier VI battleships are found wanting. The other two standard-types are the only ones that could claim to have decent anti-torpedo protection, for example. Vulnerability to overmatch mechanics and HE is a chronic problem at this tier, with only a few ships boasting sections of upper hull or deck greater than 25mm. The list of problems among tier VI super-dreadnoughts goes on, with citadel height, hit point disparity and module vulnerability all plaguing ships to various degrees. So at least WV41's in good company. WV41's second saving grace is that her belt and citadel armour is good enough. When top-tier and with a bit of range or angling, she can avoid the worst from incoming AP shells. The high penetration of her own guns means that her opponent's protection scheme matters much less. If it comes to outlasting tier VI and VII opponents, WV41's defense is sufficient unto the task, allowing you to trade fire effectively. It falls apart against tier VIIIs, though. With her low hit point total, WV41 is second-to-last for effective HP among her peers. This is yet another way WV41 pays for those awesome guns and the cost is getting pretty steep. According to the Devs, WV41 (like other USN Premiums) is NOT slated to get the proposed Repair Party Buff coming to the American battleship line. I predict they'll rescind this statement. Repair Party You can't talk about American battleships without talking about this consumable. The lead of WV41's class, Colorado, has an improved Repair Party that heals back 18.48% of her health over 28 seconds instead of 14%. The entirety line of researched American battleships is getting said buff if the Work in Progress changes go through. The premium battleships are not, WV41 included. In this way, WV41 is being "Mutsu'd". While the Japanese premium was gutted by her poor shells, WV41 really feels the lack of Colorado's regeneration. Her hit point pool feels even smaller without it, and it's already pretty small. To put it another way, I was genuinely shocked when Wargaming told me that WV41 was not currently slated to be getting her Repair Party buffed in 0.7.12. It feels out-of-place. If she does eventually get it, it will be a welcome addition. Summary: Her armour is "okay". Her hit point total is not. Her anti-torpedo protection is unsightly compared to the other standard-types. Overmatch and HE are your bane. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : New Mexico's new Repair Party. Agility Top Speed: 21 knots Port Turning Radius: 670m Rudder Shift Time: 13.7 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Turning Rate: 3.6º/s WV41 chasing Colorado in a turning radius test. You'll note how the gif "pops" as WV reaches the 9 o'clock position and skips to the 6 o'clock position while Colorado's circle is complete. She's that much slower than Colorado. This test confirmed WV41's port-stats as accurate. However, it did provide proof that Colorado doesn't turn as well as advertised. The lead-ship has a 710m turning radius, not 640m, so WV41 has a slight leg up there. Standard-type battleships are notoriously slow. WV41 somehow manages to be even slower. Yes, really. Wargaming has artificially boosted the engine power of some of the American battleships in a similar way to Royal Navy cruisers and destroyers. For normal battleships, they lose up to 25% of their maximum speed while under manoeuvres. Thus, a 30 knot battleship will drop down to about 22.5 knots in a sustained turn. New Mexico and Colorado both lose less speed in a turn than they should -- much less in Colorado's case; a mere 9%. Not so WV41. WV41 is entirely normal when it comes to manoeuvrability penalties, joining Arizona in this sorry-state. Thus WV41's 21.1 knot top speed falls down to 15.9 knots in a turn. Unless you're sailing in a perfectly straight line, this ship struggles to maintain 18 knots with any consistency. Unlike Arizona, WV41 has a larger turning radius of 670m instead of 640m. The combination of this slow speed and larger turning radius makes WV41 positively glacial when it comes to her rate of turn and arguably the worst-handling of any of the American battleships in the game. The gone ray of sunshine is that she can't out turn her turrets. So yay? So WV41 isn't getting anywhere fast. You can be fatalistic or proactive with this. The former is pretty brainless -- you're not fast enough to flex, so pick a path and accept whatever happens beyond your range as being outside of your control. Blame teams for your losses and decry WV41 as a trashbote because of it. The latter means work -- a lot of work. Develop your situational awareness. Keep a ready eye on the minimap and have a keen sense of predicting the flow of battle. Flex well in advance and give yourself time to intercept key threats. It's exhausting but you can work around this deficiency. The larger the map, the more work this is -- perhaps more work than it's worth. Summary Blame Lert for inspiring this image. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : She's the worst of the worst here. It would take a lot to redeem her. She'd need a turning radius smaller than 640m or better energy preservation in a turn to overtake Arizona. That still wouldn't improve her standing. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Gun Calibers: 127mm/ 76.2mm / 12.7mm AA Aura Ranges: 4.2km / 3.5km / 1.2km AA DPS per Aura: 58.4 / 11.2 / 30.4 There's more bad news here. WV41's AA power sucks. It's worse than Arizona's, it's that bad. Do I need to elaborate more than that? What's this nonsense? "Effective AA DPS"? On the eve of the Aircraft Carrier rework, stressing over current AA mechanics just isn't worth while. Be glad WV41 isn't being sold on the premise that she has good AA. That might end up not meaning much in a few short months. This chart shows the relative power level of given AA armaments based on not only the amount of damage their mounts put out but also how far they can reach to keep enemy planes under fire. Thus ships which concentrate their firepower into long-range will get a higher rating than one that focuses on medium or short. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Technically she deserves a "" at least going by the metric that she's not the worst or second worst at her tier. However, AA power at tier VI is almost across the board with only a few battleships that have enough to give any CV pause. I'm not pulling any punches here. Refrigerator Base Surface Detection: 16.42km Air Detection Range: 14.68km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 13.70km Detection Range when Firing in Smoke: 15.9km Main Battery Firing Range: 16.06km (18.63km with APRM1) While it cannot be accurately said that WV41 pays for the power of her guns with a lack of concealment, this definitely isn't one of her strong points. Her concealment is on the bad side of average, sitting just above Dunkerque and Mutsu by 500m, but well behind just about everything else. A full stealth build is highly recommended -- use and abuse what little ability to hide that she has. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Losing two or three kilometers off her surface detection range. Taking Me Home WV41's skill choices are stupidly easy. With no real anti-aircraft firepower worth upgrading and secondaries that may as well shoot spit balls instead of HE shells, that just leaves a survivability build as the only real option here. Start with Priority Target. If you prefer, you can take Preventative Maintenance instead, but it's not optimal. Adrenaline Rush is your second skill choice. Take Basics of Survivability next. Finally, to round out your 10th skill point, choose between Fire Prevention and Concealment Expert. You'll be taking both, so the order is up to you. You'll take the other one for your 14th point. At 17pts you should take Superintendent. Note, if WV41 had the buffed Repair Party the other USN Battleships will be getting, you'd take this before Basics of Survivability and the two skills would trade places in order of priority. Oh well. And finally, round things off with Expert Marksman. If you prefer, you can take Jack of All Trades or High Alert instead. Final Evaluation Unless a ship is particularly novel, I'm not a fan of having to put in extra work to get a ship to perform. West Virginia 1941 is one such vessel. Her guns truly are phenomenal at tier VI. The rest of her, though? Well, it's all poor-to-average at best. There's a trap in such an evaluation though -- just because something measures up 'okay' compared to what else is out there, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's 'okay' on the whole. WV41's concealment is a good example of this. For a tier VI battleship, it's decidedly average. In order to be functionally competitive based on everything else, it's woefully inadequate. The same could be said for her AA power and agility. A case could even be made that her durability is similarly lacking. Those awesome guns have cost her dear. Her firepower up-tiers well even if the rest of her does not. WV41's weaknesses are scarcely noticeable when she's facing tier V and VI ships. This is largely owing to map sizes being so much more comfortable to her 'stately' waddle and modest range. Top-tier, she's truly a monster and you can really feel that this is what she was balanced for. She's on the tipping edge of being too powerful to be a tier VI ship. She's a solid contender for Ranked Battles. If Wargaming were to buff her with Colorado's agility and New Mexico's upcoming Repair Party improvements, she'll give Warspite a run for her money as the best choice in this limited competitive scene. The Random Battles queue won't let you play as top-tier all the time, however, so you have to contend with how WV41 stacks up against higher-tiered opponents. Provided you can get in range with her guns and not get focused, she performs well. The challenge, which is darn well near insurmountable at times, is getting into firing position, keeping up with the flow of battle, and being able to disengage when things get too hot. WV41 compounds the problems facing the Colorado-class as a whole by exaggerating the weaknesses that defined the class. Colorado is slow. WV41 is slower. Colorado isn't very durable. WV41 is weaker still. Colorado isn't flexible. WV41 is even shorter ranged. If a situation makes Colorado struggle, then WV41 founders. I'm not going to tell you this is a good ship. It isn't. I will tell you that her guns are good -- excellent, even. They're unfortunately mounted on an interwar, standard-type hull. In my opinion, the ship's worth playing for her guns alone. However, I wouldn't go so far as to say that the experience of firing her guns is worth paying for. My opinion here will probably change if she gets some small improvements, like that Repair Party buff. Would I Recommend? It's maybe a little presumptuous of me to say, but this isn't the ship that anyone asked for. Almost universally, if someone wanted West Virginia to show up in World of Warships, they wanted to see her late-war rebuild. Her story is a compelling one. She is a phoenix that rose from the ashes of Pearl Harbor and went on to avenge not only herself, but the United States Navy too. On top of that, her late war build is so much more interesting in terms of game play. What-if debates have gone back and forth on what tier she would end up and with what gimmicks to make her competitive. I don't think we'll see West Virginia 1944 anytime soon, though. If Wargaming rushed, they could have her out sometime in 2019, but I just don't think she's high priority. After all, they have West Virginia 1941 to sell. West Virginia 1945's anti-aircraft armament. My body is ready. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Yes for Co-Op, no for Scenarios. WV41 excels in Co-Op. You can count on the bots to always come charging blindly at you which mitigates her weaknesses. In Scenarios, her speed and lack of AA power is a big liability. Random Battle Grinding: This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. No. While she's a beast when top-tier, it's a roll of the dice to get that kind of favourable Matchmaking. If you could guarantee it? Absolutely, she's all kinds of fun when she's kicking in the teeth of her contemporaries. For Competitive Gaming: Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Yes. Oh look, guaranteed top-tier Matchmaking. For Collectors: If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. No. I'm waiting for West Virginia 1944. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Yes, surprisingly. I enjoyed playing WV41. I do love my standard-type battleships. What’s the Final Verdict? How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage – Meh – Gud – Overpowered? GARBAGE– I hate it! Mehbote – An average ship. Probably forgettable. Gudbote – The best thing ever. Totally not overpowered because I like padding my stats in it. OVERPOWERED – I hate playing against it! In Conclusion My goodness, I managed to get a review out on time over the holidays! That's one at least. The next ship to be reviewed is Bourgogne, the tier X French Battleship. I wasn't going to prioritize her initially, but news of Wargaming giving players the opportunity to acquire Steel outside of Ranked and Clan Battles has bumped her up my list. Hopefully I'll have her review out by this time next week. Dreadnought and Charleston remain in my backlog. Prinz Eitel Friedrich looks very close to being released too, so stay tuned!  Appendix Armour penetration data was pulled from: http://proships.ru/stat/ships/
  16. The following is a review of Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of July 27th, 2017. You don't wanna know how many times I misspelled that. Quick Summary: An ugly-as-sin Soviet battleship with twelve 305mm guns, surprisingly good anti-aircraft firepower and a unique Damage Control Party consumable. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.8. July 24th, 2017 until July 27th, 2017. Closest in-Game Contemporary Imperator Nikolai I, Tier IV Russian Battleship Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique The Gangut-class of Battleships, to which Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya belongs, precedes the Imperator Nikolai I through the Imperatrista Mariya-class of battleships, making the two ships two generations removed from one another. The two ships look very similar, though Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is quite obviously a more modernized (and ooglay) looking ship that shares the same design philosophy. Overall, Imperator Nikolai I is slower, tougher, with easier to use artillery. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is faster (but not much faster), with a quicker reload and comes with much better anti-aircraft firepower. Tier for tier, Nikolai is the better boat, hands down. I don't think anyone's surprised. PROs Unique Damage Control Party consumable, with an accelerated recovery time (30s/20s) between uses. Excellent waterline protection for bow tanking. Powerful broadside with twelve 305mm rifles, creating large alpha strikes & good DPM. Except for tiny sections of the bow and stern, her main hull and deck are all but immune to cruiser-caliber HE shells. Good anti-aircraft firepower for her tier. Small surface detection range for a battleship of 13.68km. Gangut butt is best butt. CONs Damage Control Party has a finite number of charges per match. Small hit point pool of 42,500. Poor overall protection with 225mm belt armour, 203mm turret faces and 10% torpedo damage reduction. Awkward gun placement combined with a slow turret traverse makes gun handling feel frustrating. Her 305mm lack penetration power, especially when facing tier VII ships. Pathetic secondary gun battery. Short ranged AA firepower and unable to benefit from Manual Fire Control for AA Armament. Feels rather blind without a spotter aircraft or float-plane fighter. This is one of those warships that I've been eagerly awaiting to join the game. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is the lead ship of the Gangut-class Battleships. She's actually the Gangut-herself, renamed by the Soviets after the Revolution. She appears in this game in her full modernization received by 1944/1945. This means she's a contemporary to the British Dreadnought-class battleship gussied up and shoe horned in a tier V. Colour me amused. Let's take a look under the hood. Options Like all battleships that aren't American or Japanese (or Warspite), Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's Damage Control Party has a 15s active period where it will not only remove any critical hits from damaged modules (as well as putting out fires and stopping floods), it will also prevent such damage from being reapplied so long as the consumable is active. Where this ship differs is with this consumable's reset timer. Normally, battleships suffer up to a two-minute cooldown between uses. This can be reduced to a minute and twenty seconds with the premium version. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has a thirty second reset timer, standard. The premium version drops this down to a mere twenty (!) seconds. And you're going to want the premium version of the consumable -- stock, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya can only use this consumable three times. Taking the premium version will not only accelerate her reset timer, it will also provide an additional charge. This can be further boosted with the Superintendent commander's skill to bring the total up to five. Her Repair Party is standard for most Battleships, healing back 14% of her maximum HP over 28s. Oktryabrskaya Revolutsiya has the option of an alternative premium camouflage. Consumables: Damage Control Party Repair Party Module Upgrades: Three slots, standard Battleship options. The Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya does not get access to the American Artillery Plotting Room 1 upgrade. Premium Camouflage: Oktyabrskaya has the option of two different camouflages. Her default camouflage is Type 9, tier II to V standard. This provides 30% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Alternatively, you can purchase (for 1,000 doubloons) Krasny Oktyabr - Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya. This is a cosmetic camouflage in the same vein as the USS Texas' Stars and Stripes camouflage. This provides the same bonuses as the stock camouflage. The optional Krasny Oktyabr camouflage does not provide any additional bonuses over the default camo and can be purchased for 1,000 doubloons. For upgrades, select the following: In your first slot, take Main Armaments Modification 1. This will help keep your guns active and will better allow you to face-tank incoming rounds. Your turrets will be disabled frequently and this will help mitigate this. In your second slot, take Aiming Systems Modification 1. Oktyabrskaya is a Soviet Battleship and she needs all of the dispersion help she can get. Alternatively, if you want to play with something sub-optimal, you can play up to her AA strengths and use AA Guns Modification 2 to help boost their range. This really helps if your Captain also has Advanced Fire Training. This can make tier IV and V carriers cry though be aware she'll never hold a candle to USS Texas. Do keep in mind this is highly situational in its use, it will not protect you against tier VI+ CVs and you do suffer a small performance hit for taking this upgrade instead of the aiming modification. In your final slot, take Damage Control System Modification 1. This will bump your torpedo damage reduction up from 10% to 13%. Firepower Primary Battery: Twelve 305mm rifles in an A-P-Q-X configuration. Secondary Battery: Ten 120mm rifles in casemates with six forward facing and four rear facing emplacements. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has marginally worse shell penetration compared to Scharnhorst which weighs in at 455mm / 363mm / 289mm respectively. This sits much further behind the 356mm guns found on New York and Texas with their values of 575mm / 467mm / 381mm and even the poor penetration values of HMS Hood at 491mm / 406mm / 337mm. This explains some of the difficulty this ship experiences when uptiered, especially against German and American Battleships. When this happens, choose soft targets or be flexible with your ammunition types. Let's start with her secondaries: They're terrible. By late WW2, the Soviet Army had already cannibalized six of her sixteen original secondary gun mounts for use in the defense of the Siege of Leningrad. This leaves Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya with a mere ten gun mounts for self defense and these guns are not up to the task. They are mounted in casemates down the sides of the ship, with three facing forward and two aft per side. In theory you could get five guns to engage an enemy ship, but that's seldom the case. Usually it's only three. They have many problems. We can forgive their lack of range. 4.0km is pretty typical for low to mid tier battleships. What's less forgivable is their horrid rate of fire at a mere 7.0rpm. We'd expect this of larger caliber guns as the alpha damage (and increased penetration) from individual hits would make up for the disparity in DPM. However, Oktyabrskaya Revolutisya's secondaries are a mere 120mm in size, dealing a pathetic 1,700 alpha damage and being capable of penetrating 19mm of armour or less. The only redeemable quality is their high chance to set fires per hit at a respectable 8% which, some will rightly argue, is a very sizable perk. Still, with the low volume of fire coming off the ship, any blazes will be a surprise. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya uses the same guns found Imperator Nikolai I but with improved characteristics in range (16.8km versus 14.1km), rate of fire (1.88rpm versus 1.67rpm) but worse overall shell groupings (1.8 sigma versus 2.0 sigma). Their weapon performance is otherwise identical . While these are formidable weapons in the limited matchmaker enjoyed by Nikolai at tier IV, the maps upon which Nikolai plays are small, the engagements ranges short, the action close and her opponents soft skinned. They really start to feel long in the tooth when regularly facing the demands found at tiers VI and VII that Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya faces. These are not bad weapons. For 305mm rifles, they have very high damage potential. Her AP shells are the hardest hitting of any of the twelve-inch guns with 8,600 alpha strike. The improved rate of fire over Nikolai combined with the twelve rifles enables Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya to compete well with the damage output of her peers. She is quite capable of deleting any cruiser withing her matchmaking spread from nearly any angle and at anywhere within her range, or biting big 9,000 to 12,000 chunks out of a battleship, even without any citadel penetrations. These guns aren't without their issues, however. First, they are not as well situated as Nikolai's guns. One of the notable strengths of Imperator Nikolai I is her ability to quickly reacquire targets on either side of the ship grace of having her A, P and Q batteries all forward facing. This made it very easy for her to brawl and face tank. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's P turret is rear facing, reducing her ability to shift her fire from port to starboard and back with anything resembling alacrity. It's not uncommon for P turret to be horribly out of position and unable to fire, or the ship needing the use of rudder to bring all of her guns on target. With a glacial rate of rotation of 56.3s for a 180º turn, this problem is exacerbated. This is, singly, the most frustrating aspect about this ship. Combined with this, her X turret has limited fields of fire and can only engage targets 39º off her bow. Opening fire with her X-turret opens this ship up to reprisals, so make sure you time your fire correctly. That ticks off problems two, three and four. Problem number five is one of penetration. As mentioned previously, these guns perform brilliantly on Imperator Nikolai I with the close-range encounters she typically faces. With Oktyabrskaya Revolutisya's ability to extend the weapon reach another 2.7km, the deficiencies in shell penetration become much more pronounced. These are not high-penetration guns and their performance drops below 400mm worth of penetration at about 7km, precluding her from reliably landing citadel hits on enemy battleships beyond this range. She loses the ability to reliably challenge battleship belt armour at 11km. Like other low-penetration battleships such as HMS Hood and Scharnhorst, it's important to shift fire from attempting citadel hits to instead aim for the upper hull of enemy dreadnoughts at these ranges. Otherwise, you'll find a lot of shells shatter, scatter and bounce off armoured belts. Her high explosive shells are passable but unremarkable. They do enjoy a high chance to start fires per shell at 33% and this can be a reasonable alternative when facing hard targets. This shouldn't be the default ammunition selected when facing an angled ship, however. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya can overmatch up to 20mm of bow armour which includes all cruisers within her matchmaking spread as well as all tier IV and V battleships. Here's the final fly in the ointment: Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's main battery has only 203mm worth of armour and a maximum of 150mm of barbette protection. Her guns take penetrating hits often. Even with Main Armaments Modification 1 and Preventative Maintenance, critical hits are common place and catastrophic turret destruction isn't a rare occurrence. The closer Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya gets to the enemy, the more often her turrets end up taking a lot of the abuse thrown at her. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has guns that are meant for brawling, but they're not quite ideally suited for such. Her guns are vulnerable for a battleship. The combination of poor turret placement, traverse times and fire angles increases the challenge too, and you can forget about her secondaries helping out. Still, it's hard to argue with twelve rifles that put out more potential damage than ten 356mm guns. Summary: Gun handling is very poor and cannot be significantly improved. Range is decent, firepower is good, penetration is fine at close to medium ranges. Challenging battleships outside of 10km requires careful aim or switching to HE. Her secondaries suck moose balls. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya allows us to now plot the progression of Soviet Battleship dispersion over distance. It appears to be similar to American Battleship dispersion but with very slightly improved accuracy over distance and slightly worse accuracy at closer ranges. This places the Russians behind the Japanese and British for battleship accuracy and ahead of American and German Battleships and probably the French. We'll need another French battleship in game before that can be made conclusive. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 23.0knotsTurning Radius: 630mRudder Shift: 12.6s Maximum Turn Rate: 4.3º per second. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is faster than a brick. Hooray! At a maximum speed of 23 knots (23.2 knots on a good day) she's not much faster, though. In practice, if you're taking the appropriate WASD anti-torpedo hax counter measures in mind (or just helping her sluggish turrets track targets), she's usually sailing at less than 20 knots. Like most battleships, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya loses about a little more than a quarter of her maximum speed while under manoeuvres. With her rudder hard over, she'll bleed down to 17.2 knots and she will not recover this speed quickly. This isn't a very flexible ship and on larger maps, she struggles as much as Warspite does to get from A to B. For a rate of turn, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya measures up rather well. She's not as agile as HMS Warspite -- arguably one of the fastest turning mid to late tier Battleships, but she does alright. At 4.3º per second, she's halfway between Warspite's 4.5º and the 4.0º per second rotation of New Mexico. Her 630m turning circle is comfortable, as is her 12.6s rudder shift time. Both allow her to slip between islands and slide between torpedo runs with ease. Be advised that as a tier V ship she cannot improve her rudder shift in any way. The only downside is that her turrets cannot keep up. They rotate at a mere 3.2º per second, and even Expert Marksman will not correct this, capping them out at 3.9º per second. Players will be tempted to use their rudder to accelerate the rotation of their guns -- a problem compounded by the need for P & X turret to rotate a minimum of 180º to engage targets on the other side of the ship. Given the problems Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has with her armour scheme, the inevitable over angling this causes can lead to the ship's destruction in short order. As you'll see in the next section, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya excels at tanking but from one direction (and one direction only). This places a burden on her movement expectations. You need to very carefully consider your lines of engagement. Her guns will not allow her to quickly acquire a secondary target coming from an unseen quarter and her armour will not stand up to abuse. Over extend, and you're dead. Allow someone to get your flank and you're dead. Careful positioning is the only way to counter this and she's not fast enough to allow you to recover from these mistakes. DurabilityHit Points: 42,500Citadel Protection: 225mm belt + 38mm turtleback + 19mm citadel wall Min Bow & Deck Armour: 19mm (50mm to 125mm waterline protection) Torpedo Damage Reduction: 10% The major external armour values of Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's protection scheme (rear architecture visible in insert). Note that while her armour isn't thick overall, having a little bit of armour almost everywhere provides some interesting quirks where HE and AP penetration are concerned. Her major weak spot is the 19mm 'beak' of her bow. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya will deliver a lot of mixed messages when you begin to analyze her survivability. She's a story of contrasts. It's best summarized by a quick lists of pros & cons The Good - Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has an armour design of a first generation dreadnought where the armour is spread out across the whole vessel. The armour isn't as thick around her vitals as it will become with more modern designs, but this does provide the following benefits: Short of her superstructure and tiny weak spots on her bow and stern, she is largely immune to direct damage from destroyer and cruiser-caliber HE shells. Only the Yorck can damage her reliably with HE. Even Inertial Fuse for HE Shells does not provide 152mm armed cruisers with enough penetration to regularly land damaging hits. The entirety of her waterline, from bow to stern is covered by a minimum of 50mm worth of armour with most of it being at least 125mm. She will bounce almost everything thrown at her when she angles properly. She can absolutely shut down attempts to stack damage over time effects on her with her short cooldown Damage Control Party. The Bad - The big flaw about having armour spread out everywhere is that it's not especially thick where you need it most. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's citadel protection is the worst at her tier with a maximum of 282mm worth of protection between the three layers of armour over her machine spaces. She is extremely vulnerable to taking citadel hits when she does not angle properly. Her turret faces are extremely thin for a battleship at a mere 203mm thick. Even sloped back as they are (40º) this provides no more than 265mm worth of protection against shots at point blank range. Her barbettes are worse at only 150mm thick. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya takes frequent critical hits to her guns, even from cruiser-caliber shells. She has almost no torpedo protection. Her Damage Control Party can run out. She has the lowest hit point total among battleships at her tier. So, she's a tough battleship that seems to shrug off AP and HE shells without issue one minute and, with one mistake, she's a sinking wreck the next. She can seem very forgiving but she punishes players dearly for their misplays. The end is usually quite abrupt. One of the culprits for this feast and famine durability is her low hit point total. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is not a very large vessel. Not only can she survive less damage overall, this also reduces the amount of returns she sees from her Repair Party. Her healing consumable can only recovery 5,950hp per charge. The two most likely culprits of Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's demise are torpedoes and AP shells. 'Well DUH,' you might say, but Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya takes battleship AP and torpedo vulnerability a step further than most battleships. Over angling is deadly to this battleship, with her belt armour at 31º only increasing to a relative thickness of ~435mm. This is well inside the penetration values of the American and Japanese 356mm guns at 10km or less and can result in the Oktryabrskaya Revolutsiya taking heavy damage from volleys. This is an affliction similar to the one affecting Kongo -- veterans of this ships should be well familiar with this frustration. Texas and König are more forgiving of angling mistakes, grace of the raw thickness of their belt armour which can present a formidable obstacle. Proper management of Oktyabrskya Revolutsiya's angles of approach is key. Never, ever give up her sides. Fortunately, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's armour scheme is proof against most heavy cruiser fire. Even the high penetration, high Krupp values of the USN 203mm from Pensacola and Indianapolis cannot citadel her outside of 5.0km ranges, even against her flush broadside. This ship has very little in the way of torpedo protection, taking near full health strikes from any fish that strike her hull. She starts with only a 10% damage reduction while König, Kaiser, New York and Texas boast a minimum of 22% and as much as 31%. Citadel protection of the tier V Battleships, including the WiP Iron Duke. * Hits penetrating torpedo bulges but not into the ship itself do not strip hit points from a vessel. To this end, the thickness of the belt armour is paramount for preventing ships from taking penetration damage. This explains why ships like Kongo still feel "soft skinned" even though she has similar levels of citadel protection to other battleships. Note that the angle turtleback armour is measured from the vertical, so 90º would be a horizontal piece of steel. Turtleback armour isn't the be-all, end-all for citadel protection. Burying the citadel deep beneath the waterline seems to do more for keeping these vulnerable areas safe. Where Otkyabrskaya Revolutsiya really stands apart from all other Battleships is her Damage Control Party. As previously mentioned in the options section, this has an accelerated reset timer of 30s/20s depending on the stock or premium version. With the skills High Alert, Jack of All Trades and the signal flag November Foxtrot, you could theoretically get this reset timer down to 16 seconds (that's a hell of an investment for a mere four second gain). On paper it would appear to give this Russian battleship near immunity to damage over time effects. However, the limited number of charges on the consumable precludes that. In my experience, it's better to keep to the same habits you would use with other battleships. Do not activate Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's Damage Control Party until there are two fires or a flood present. This will prevent you from running out of charges too early on in a match. You have the option of accelerating the use of the consumable when it will save you, but be cautious of over use. When I played this ship, I always began with five charges available and I only ran out during one match. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 13.68km Air Detection Range: 9.8km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 11.41km Main Battery Firing Range: 16.83km Surface Detection Rank within Tier: 1st Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: 3rd Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is one damn stealthy battleship. Only Imperator Nikolai I has less stock surface detection range. Arkansas Beta can out match her grace of its ship-defining access to extra upgrade slots that lets her potentially use Concealment Modification 1. But other than that, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is always going to see enemy battleships before they see her. This is a good thing for this vessel as this not only shores up her survivability, but it also lets her undermine one of the weaknesses of her main battery. She can close the distance and get close to her optimal firing range and not have to suffer the issues of her penetration. I do question how exactly Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is justified as being so stealthy. I mean, she's got a large enough superstructure to make Fuso say: "Whoa, that's a bit excessive, don'tcha think!?" Maybe the lookouts get blinded by the hideousness of this ship that they fail to relay her position? Well, that's certainly one way of staying undetected. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 76mm / 37mm / 12.7mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 3.5km / 3.5km / 1.2kmAA DPS per Aura: 21 / 103 / 47 For a tier V battleship, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has good AA defense. It's not exceptional, however. She stands above all of her contemporaries with the notable exception of the American premium, USS Texas. She actually shares the Lone Star State's AA flaw with her anti-aircraft guns being limited to self defense ranges. Her DPS weighs in at just shy of half the overall firepower of the American vessel and is comparable to HMS Warspite's totals while being a full tier lower. This is a very respectable sum and can form the basis of an efficient self defense umbrella should a player elect to increase this further. Basic Fire Training and Advanced Fire Training along with the upgrade AA Guns Modification 2 will round out Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's AA total at approximately 207dps with the majority of that firepower reaching up to 5.1km. She does not possess anti-aircraft mounts big enough to benefit from Manual Fire Control for AA Armament, so this skill should be avoided. Short of taking the November Echo Setteseven signal, this is the limit of the pre-game improvements that can be made. Left on it's own, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's anti-aircraft firepower is okay -- enough to bruise carrier squadrons up to tier V and make it far too expensive for tier IV carriers to make continued attack runs against you. The heavy specialization will make her a similarly prickly target for tier V carriers, draining their flight hangars of strike aircraft. However, she cannot make her anti-aircraft firepower strong enough to dissuade tier VI+ carriers, never mind provide her with the illusion of being safe from their predation. As word gets out about her Damage Control Party, it's possible that focus from enemy carriers will drop off. Carriers cannot stack damage over time effects on Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya. Dive Bombers start fires? Put them out. Within twenty seconds after it's active period ends it will be available again to stop any follow-up floods. It often takes carriers that long to line up their second attack run so the risks of receiving stacked damage effects is very low. Short of dealing massive alpha strikes, picking on Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya with combined air strikes just isn't worth the time and effort. A Tale of Two Builds Let's not mince words. Here's the optimal build for Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya. Here's what you take for your first 10pts: From the first tier, Preventative Maintenance is the best choice. However, if you find yourself struggling not only with situational and map awareness, but risk assessment, then Priority Target becomes more valuable. From tier two, take Expert Marksman. This will increase your turret rotation up to 3.9º per second. This is still terrible, but it's a damned sight better than it was. At tier three, take Superintendent. This doubles up to give you an extra charge of both Damage Control Party and Repair Party. You should still be taking the premium version of both of these consumables, by the way. This skill doesn't substitute the premium consumable, it only supplements it. And finally, take Concealment Expert at tier four. This plays to Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's strengths and lets you get into and out of trouble so much easier. From here, pick up Adrenaline Rush to boost your rate of fire as you take damage. This should be followed up with Basic Fire Training and Advanced Fire Training to boost your good AA power. Carriers are much more commonplace at low tiers, so you will get good use out of these skills, though they have diminishing returns when facing tier VI and VII aircraft carriers. The standard battleship survivability skills have much less value due to Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's Damage Control Party. However, a reasonable alternative to the AA build is to keep Adrenaline Rush but take Basics of Survivability and Vigilance instead. The former will reduce the damage taken from single-fires (which you should normally let run their full course) and Vigilance will give you a bit more warning on torpedoes. This is handy given her preference to be up front. With the one point leftover, double back and grab Priority Target or Preventative Maintenance -- whichever one you skipped out on at tier one. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult I still have concerns that the management of the charges on Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's Damage Control Party will present a skill-barrier for casual players who pick up this ship. Having five charges through the use of Superintendent and the premium version of the consumable is very comfortable. Three would not be. There's the added problems of her bad traverse and her squishy-as-an-Omaha (I exaggerate) citadel. Yeah, I can see a lot of inexperienced players being frustrated with this ship. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme This ship is rather inflexible. While she has the firepower to really carry a match, she's missing that element of speed to take her carries to the penultimate level. Most of the usual battleship tricks apply to this ship. The gimmick of her Damage Control Party is another parlor trick she can play against her opponents. Mouse's Summary: You're probably going to hear a lot of negative press about this ship facing higher tiered ships. Look, if you're normally intimidated by facing ships two tiers higher, then yeah, keep clear. However, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya can easily punch over her weight class. Seriously. Her guns are good. Her stealth is good. Her durability is good. You can make that work. Speaking of her guns -- treat them like Scharnhorst's AP shells and you'll do just fine. It's twelve Scharnhorst guns every 32 seconds as opposed to nine every 20s. The biggest hurdle in this ship is overcoming the awful traverse and placement of P-turret. Seriously, you're going to want to use your rudder to accelerate it's turn. Just don't do it. I dunno how many times this caused me to over angle and get me sunk. I loved playing this ugly ship. It's amazing how many problems you can solve with 5.65 tons of Stalinium. Every thirty-two seconds, there's another problem solved. Despite the teething issues I had with her gun traverse, this is a fun ship to play. She's as unsubtle as she looks. She hits like a truck, she tanks like a truck, and she looks like something a truck ran over. There was only one problem I really had with her: She doesn't brawl well. Imperator Nikolai I brawls with the best of them, so I thought it natural to give it a go in Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya. Imagine to my surprise to find out she had issues here. Don't get me wrong -- she's an absolute rockstar from the moment you set your sights on your prey and during the opening stages. She bow tanks with the best of 'em and her 305mm guns really put down the hurt. She just can't seem to finish the fights she starts. Everything on the approach will be just fine, but it's that key moment when your ship's paths cross alongside one another that everything goes to Hell. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya eats citadel hits like an Omaha in these engagements. It's like one moment she's a big ol' battleship and the next she's some wussy German light cruiser with an allergic reaction to loud noises. If you can survive that crossover, you should be okay. Her best-butt is pretty tanky. Just don't over angle. But it's surviving that crossover that's really going to be the clincher. I've only managed it once in all of my test games. It made me have a sad. Overall, this ship is a great addition to the meta. She's strong without being unfair. She's got flaws that can be exploited and I appreciate that not only from the challenge playing her well but also in anticipation of playing against her in the future. This battleship will make cruisers and gunship destroyers cry for the ease at which she shrugs off their fire damage. She'll frustrate CVs by negating their damage over time effects. Yet, torpedo boats will laugh at the ease at which they dispatch her small hit point pool and lack of torpedo protection. Enemy battleships that learn her weaknesses can bully her for days. I am very much looking forward to this ship being made widely available. Would I Recommend? Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is tier V and that's going to be a huge strike against her for many players. This tier is the first one out of the kiddy-pool, so to speak, and she shoulders an undue amount of Matchmaking burden to populate tier VI and VII matches. Tier V faces higher tiered opponents often in Random Battles -- maybe too often in the views of some players. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya isn't ideal for such fights, but she can certainly hold her own and she can certainly perform. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? She does splendidly in PVE Battles, so I would recommend her for Co-Op and Scenario Players. Most battleships tend to do well here and Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is no exception. In Scenarios, she might be a bit slow, both on straight-line speed and gun traverse to respond to threats quickly, so make sure you evaluate the needs of the mission before blindly taking this ship out. She's good for applying direct firepower and tanking from one direction (and one direction only). Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. It's harder to recommend her here, so I'm going to give her a pass. Lemme explain why: First, she's not a big credit earner. Anything below tier VI really struggles in that department, so that's out. Two, the experience gains for a truly excellent game will struggling to exceed 1750 base experience. This in turn means lower captain training. Three, she has some pretty specific needs for a Captain that do not gel well with the current Soviet tech tree, so she's a bad trainer. The one thing she is good at is achievements. She farms High Caliber, Confederate and Dreadnought achievements like a champ. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. She'll pad your win rate in Random Battles if you're confident with facing higher tiered opponents. She clubs seals like no one's business on top of that. If Wargaming opens up Ranked Battles for tier V, she'd be a good choice. The mix of firepower, durability, agility and AA power are all welcome. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. I still have very fond memories of sinking the Marat in IL-2 Sturmovik. This one is a no brainer for me, but I have a history with this class of ships. Some of you might not. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? If you can get past her awful turret traverse, then heck yeah, she's a lot of fun. What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE - Grossly uncompetitive and badly in need of buffs.Mehbote - Average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable, but certainly not advantageous.Gudbote - A strong ship that has obvious competitive strengths and unique features that make it very appealing.OVERPOWERED - A ship with very clear advantages over all of its competitors and unbalancing the game with its inclusion.
  17. CaptainRed_TheAngryBird

    ISE needs some help....

    ISE, while a good ship depending if you use her properly, needs some assistance when you take off in fighters or some sort of buff or situational awareness at least. Maybe for ship: buff the secondaries when planes are launched? Better concealment when planes are launched? and/or for aircraft: (only if you do not take the above options): Better Torpedeos? (Slightly faster. and maybe at least 3000 damage perhaps upgradable to 5000 dmg? Now dont crucify me for my ideas. The are ideas. Some ships need better work, especially premiums. Wargaming is not in a good position lately, and they are not going to be selling many premiums if they dont do something to make them worth purchasing or acquiring to begin with.
  18. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Pommern

    The following is a review of Pommern, the tier IX premium German battleship. Wargaming very kindly provided me access to her at no cost to myself. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed here are current as of patch 0.9.10. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. 2020 has been one Hell of a year, and not in a good way. There was so much craziness going on, it's easy to miss that 2020 was the year that German premiums got good. Mainz, München, Lowenhardt, Agir and Siegfried -- they're all damn respectable premiums. Even Odin and Z-35 aren't terrible. To cap everything off, in late summer Wargaming released Pommern. On paper, she looks kinda blah. A slow-firing, 380mm armed version of Friedrich der Große? Screw off. This ship has no place being decent. Yet to hear the hype surrounding this ship, she's not only decent but well liked. So what the Hell happened? Well, gentle reader, let's take a look... Pommern = Chungus-Tirpitz. Damn it, that's a much better name. Quick Summary: A Friedrich der Große-class battleship with twelve, inaccurate 380mm guns. She also has two quad torpedo launchers and the Hydroacoustic Search consumable. PROS German citadel protection, effectively making her immune to AP shell citadel hits except under extreme circumstances. Excellent armour profile for shrugging off HE hits with an ice-breaker bow, thick upper hull and amidship deck armour plates. Heavy broadside of twelve guns. Heavy, long-ranged secondary gun battery with improved HE penetration values. She has torpedoes (!) She has access to Hydroacoustic Search. CONS Absolutely appalling gun fire angles. Long 33 second reload. 380mm AP shells cannot overmatch 27mm hull sections found so commonly within her matchmaking. 1.5 sigma dispersion on her main battery. 105mm secondaries have only 26mm of penetration, limiting their effectiveness against heavy cruisers and battleships. Horrible handling. Anti-aircraft defence is too short ranged. Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme German battleships are very new-player friendly. They are ostensibly immune to citadel hits. They have good armour protection for shrugging off HE shells. Their gunnery has been improved too, so it's not like you're dealing with the worst dispersion in the game anymore. Secondaries are fun and easy to use, automatically hoovering up damage. Aside from being packed in at a high tier, Pommern is a very easy ship to see success in. The only downsides for new players is that she forces them to sail broadside to unmask all of her guns which can lead to her getting chunked by return fire. While these aren't likely to ever be citadel hits, that doesn't really matter when every salvo lands multiple penetrations. For experts, Pommern provides all of the usual German battleship brawling benefits with the added plus of the combination of torpedoes and her Hydroacoustic Search. She can play more boldly than Tirpitz can, for example. She has more raw durability than Odin does too, so it pays to play aggressive when the timing is right. Brawl and jousting kills are the best kills and this is the ship to do it in. However, only a skilled player can pull these off with any reliability outside of PVE modes. Options Pommern is pretty bog-standard for a German battleship, showing up with Hydroacoustic Search and baiting players to spec secondaries instead of their main battery. Consumables Pommern's Damage Control Party is standard for a German battleship. It comes with unlimited charges. It's active for 15 seconds. It has an 80s reset timer. Her Repair Party is also standard, healing up to 14% of her health over 28 seconds per charge. It queues up 10% of citadel damage, 50% of penetration damage and 100% of everything else. It comes with four charges and an 80s reset timer. Finally, she has a Hydroacoustic Search consumable common to tier IX and X German battleships. Pommern starts with three charges which are active for 120s each and a 120s reset timer. It detects torpedoes up to 4km away and ships up to 6km away. Upgrades & Captain Skills Look, there are two ways you can build Pommern -- optimally or the correct way. Optimally involves building to buff your main battery firepower while simultaneously building for fire mitigation. This will give you the most consistent performance out of Pommern. Hey, look! It's this graphic again! Thankfully, you're not a snivelling, simp-wimplodite that caves to peer pressure. You know that the best experiences in World of Warships come from out-brawling your opponents. Build your ship towards going ham with secondaries, Hydroacoustic Search upgrades and improved rudder shift time. Chicks dig brawlers. I should know. Make the right choice. Note that I didn't flag IFHE here. Camouflage Pommern has access to two camouflage options. They provide identical bonuses standard for tier IX premiums: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -20% to post-battle service costs. +100% to experience gains. It needs to be said: Pommern's default camouflage is bloody gorgeous. The alternate palette isn't bad either. Finally there's the "Iron Cross" camouflage pattern which was earned through completing missions tied to the release of the German Aircraft Carriers. Firepower Main Battery: Twelve 380mm guns in 4x3 turrets in an A-B-X-Y super-firing configuration Secondary Battery: Eight 150mm guns in 4x2 turrets and sixteen 105mm guns in 8x2 turrets divided evenly down the two sides. Torpedoes: Eight tubes in 2x4 launchers with one mounted on each side between the funnels. Pommern is no Thunderer. In terms of firepower, the two ships are diametrically opposed. Thunderer has massive, quick-firing and super-accurate guns with decent fire angles but horrible gun handling. Pommern has relatively small-calibre guns, she's slow-reloading, she has good traverse but is stuck with horrible fire angles. Pommern subscribes to the whole 'toss enough poop at the wall' philosophy where accuracy is concerned. Conversely, you can brawl with Pommern and brawl well. Thunderer just sort of whimpers and dies in those situations. That's enough of my soon-to-be-retired meme-boat. Let's talk more about Pommern. With many guns comes much DPM. Pommern doesn't quite keep pace with Alsace, the other twelve 380mm-gun armed battleship at this tier. Alsace has a better AP shell and slightly faster reload. Pommern's HE DPM is pretty German -- which is to say crappy. Her one advantage is her 1/4 HE penetration (95mm) which means that while her individual salvos don't do as much potential damage, she's more likely to hurt hard-targets like German and Soviet battleships. Approximate AP penetration values drawn from wowsft.com. Pommern's AP penetration isn't great, but that's largely owing to 380mm guns being rather small caliber for her tier. Belt armour and citadel protection gets ridiculously thick within her matchmaking too, so you can't count on long-range citadel hits against other battleships. An Egg Through a Garden Hose Pommern has four weaknesses with her main battery firepower: Her fire angles suck. Her reload time sucks. Her dispersion sucks. Her gun calibre sucks. I hate Pommern's fire arcs. Her 5º/s rotation rate is okay, though. A-turret: 38º off the stern. B-turret: 41º off the stern. X & Y-turret: 42º off the bow For those of you who can't abide any ship with obvious weaknesses, you can tap out right here. Those of you who couldn't look past Odin's hit point total: shoo. Begone. This isn't the ship for you. For the rest of you, let's go over these drawbacks and look at them in closer detail. There's always a price for having a lot of guns -- at least until you hit tier X. Usually this is just crappy dispersion but it's not uncommon for battleships to have compromised rates of fire too. While not as bad as the new American battleships, Pommern has a "reload tax" for her twelve gun armament, paying for it with an extra three seconds on each reload. Even with this deficit, her AP damage output still keeps ahead of all of the other eight and nine gun armed battleships at her tier with the exception of Musashi and Jean Bart (and then only when the French ship is on drugs) so that's nice. Pommern's HE damage is another story. German HE shells, while benefiting from massively improved penetration, tend to suffer from a very mild case of being the absolute worst. She's only just ahead of Friedrich der Große, the six-gun armed Georgia and the Sovetsky Soyuz-sisters when it comes to sustained HE damage output. You might think that this means you should stay away from her HE. Well, no. It has a purpose. While you should generally stick to AP shells wherever possible, her HE rounds do have their strengths. Though she lacks raw damage, her higher penetration is more likely to ensure her shells will do damage against bow-tanking battleships. Pommern's 95mm of penetration should ensure that short of striking turrets, belts and conning towers that her numbers tick over -- modest numbers to be sure, but still. Similarly, an unappreciated aspect of German HE shells is that their fire setting chances aren't terrible. While not British-good, they are reliable fire setters which can be a good avenue for some supplementary damage (at least so long as you didn't spring for IFHE for your secondaries). This is particularly true when trading fire with intransient bow-on battleships or just before a brawl to tax enemy Damage Control Parties before your secondaries open up. Despite her poor damage showing, Pommern's a pretty decent fire bug for a tier IX battleship. German HE damage is lackluster but their fire chance per shell is pretty good. This performance is, of course, assuming you can stack the hits which has its own set of problems. This all said, Pommern's AP shells are far and above better, damage wise. The only issue is that their overmatch potential at tier IX has a lot to be desired. With more and more ships having 27mm+ sections of armour along their hulls, Pommern cannot reliably penetrate angled targets. Angling against Pommern works very well in anything but a very light cruiser. While there are a glut of 25mm cruiser bows and sterns to bullseye (and the occasional 26mm bow on tier VII battleships when Matchmaker is being gentle), Pommern's AP rounds are far from reliable. If it were just a question of having enough raw AP penetration, it wouldn't be so much of an issue, but her inability to best 27mm+ hull sections is a real drawback given their prevalence. But all of these questions of rate of fire, overmatch and flagging HE damage are all moot if you can't reliably put shells on target. Pommern's dispersion is ... well, it's not good. With Pommern's 1.5 sigma rating, RNGeebus has been given free reign to troll or bless you as He sees fit. Her twelve guns deliver a shotgun blast of shells flying every which way. Your aim can be perfect only to be plagued by overshoots and undershoots. Similarly, you can be well off your mark only to have this same spread of shot veer a shell straight into your target's citadel, making you look like a genius. The better you are at aiming, the more frustrating Pommern's dispersion seems. Yes, stray shots will sometimes work out in your favour but it's not something to be relied upon. Couple this with her longer reload and this wonky sprays are all the more saddening. Overall, Pommern's main battery gunnery is a mixed bag. Now, I am of the opinion that having twelve guns solves a lot of problems. Her 1.5 sigma isn't that bad when there's so many shells being spat out. Her 33 second reload isn't so awful that her damage suffers thanks to firing so many barrels at once. Her AP shells might not be able to overmatch all targets, but when the shells do land, they have decent penetration and respectable damage values. Her HE shells might have low damage per shell, but they have great penetration and solid fire setting chances. Her fire angles make my eyes bleed but at least her turret traverse is okay. So there's give and take in nearly every aspect. I think it's easiest to say that Pommern's guns are simply "sufficient" and leave it at that. They're not terrible but they're not good. Once again, a standard dispersion test. This is 180 AP shells fired at 15km at a stationary Fuso bot. Shots are coming in from left to right with the Fuso effectively bow-tanking. Pommern was equipped with the Aiming System Modification 1 upgrade, effectively making this sampling a "best case scenario" in terms of her overall dispersion area. Pommern's torpedo arcs are very comfortable and you can use them to ensure that you're not overangling against an enemy. Just switch over fast to your torpedoes. If you can line the fish up with the bow of your opponent, you're showing too much side and are in danger of taking penetrating AP hits. When it comes to her secondaries, their only major drawback is the 26mm penetration on her 105mm guns. You'll be tempted to take IFHE to make them more effective but that's an expensive choice and it will severely hurt the fire chance on not only them but her main battery guns as well. It's not worth it, in my opinion, but you do you. Secondaries & Fish to the Rescue! As a certified Bigpitz, Pommern's secondaries and torpedoes are both excellent. We'll start with her torpedoes. They have one fault and that's only have a 6km range. This is a common enough flaw among German battleships; they're all shackled to this range. In PVP battles, the opportunities to use her torpedoes are uncommon because of this short reach but they are oh-so satisfying. A broadside of four torpedoes is enough to cripple just about any battleship she comes across with only the chonkiest of thunderchunkers able to shrug off said hits and stay mean. Just about anything else will be reduced to a snivelling wimplodite crying hax. You totally get bonus points if you sink a destroyer with them too. With Pommern's Hydroacoustic Search, closing to such distances is a lot less risky than it is for Tirpitz but she has more advantages over the tier VIII premium than just that. Pommern's secondaries have excellent firing angles. She doesn't contend with any of the wonky weirdness of other German battleships' fire arcs. Odin, Bismarck and Tirpitz secondaries have some turrets which behave like they're occluded when they really shouldn't be. At a 30º angle, Pommern can bring all of her secondaries to bear onto a target, bathing them in a torrent of fire from fourteen barrels worth of hot-LUV! There are only two issues with Pommern's secondaries. The first is one of accuracy. Pommern's secondaries do not have the improved dispersion found on ships like Massachusetts and Georgia. It takes her more shots to land a similar number of hits. You'll just have to deal. The second issue is one of penetration. Pommern's secondaries have the same 1/4 HE penetration of her main battery guns which is amazing. However, her 105mm secondaries "only" have 26mm of HE penetration. Without Inertial Fuse for HE Shells, these guns struggle to deal direct damage to anything other than destroyers. As Pommern's 105mm guns make up the bulk of her secondary battery, it's a bit of a bummer. They're so close to being all kinds of awesome. Oh well. You'll just have to burn the thicker targets to death instead. So how good are these secondaries anyway? They're #2 in my books for secondaries at tier IX. Here they all are, ranked: Georgia - Excellent fire arcs, high rate of fire, good range and improved accuracy. The only issue with these guns is that they lack penetration to hurt anything bigger than a destroyer. While their chance to set fires is also pretty low, their improved accuracy makes up for the difference. Pommern - Excellent fire arcs, high rate of fire (105mm), good range, very high penetration. If Pommern had accuracy and/or a uniform battery of German 128mm, she'd be god-tier. Friedrich der Große - High rate of fire (105mm), good range, very high penetration. Friedrich der Große doesn't quite ditto Pommern's fire arcs so she misses out. Alsace - French secondaries look better than they are. They're held back by a lack of penetration on their 100mm shells. They can't even directly damage tier VIII+ destroyer hulls. At least they can set fires with the high number of shells they spit out. Jean Bart - She largely dittos Alsace but with worse firing angles. Izumo & Bajie - Decent range. That's really all these guns have going for them. Their fire arcs are bad. Their rate of fire is nothing special. Musashi - She just has decent range. She doesn't have enough of a broadside to be worthwhile. Lion, Iowa, Missouri, the Sovetsky Soyuz-sisters - lul. No. Playing second fiddle to Georgia's secondary is pretty damn high praise, I've got to say. Go, Bigpitz! Much better. See? These are what good fire arcs look like! Pommern's 105mm secondaries not only make up the bulk of her defensive damage output, but they also have the best fire arcs. Summary: Meh gun performance but she gets twelve of 'em, so that fixes things. Torpedoes are bae. Secondaries are bae. VERDICT: Hilarious up close. Meh at a distance. Defence Hit Points: 81,900 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 32mm / 19mm / 145 to 235mm / 50 to 80mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 300mm belt + 150mm turtleback + 45mm citadel wall Torpedo Damage Reduction: 25% Pommern has a big ol' slug of hit points and standard heals. Nothing fancy, just effective. Yes, I made these colours deliberately as pretty as possible. Pommern is blessed with all of the usual defensive boons of German battleships. Namely: She has a large hit point pool. She has excellent protection against cruiser-calibre HE shells. It is very difficult to land citadel hits against her with AP shells. German battleships aren't built lean. They're enormous. While this does make them a bigger target, easier to hit with ... well, anything ... it does ensure their hit point pools are on the large side. This in turn means more raw hit points can be hoovered up through their standard Repair Party consumables. This does, unfortunately, make them attractive targets for anyone looking to farm up large amounts of fire damage. While Pommern can do nothing but properly manage her Damage Control Party consumable to mitigate the resulting blazes, she is at least well protected against HE shells. Her distributed armour scheme generally just leaves her superstructure and the very tips of her bow and stern vulnerable to direct damage from small and medium caliber HE rounds. Similarly, this distributed armour scheme ensures that Pommern has little to fear from overmatching AP shells from the largest Japanese battleships. Short of better defence against bombs and torpedoes, you couldn't ask for a better armour layout. So she's fat and tough. This is nice. There's a hidden plate along the underside of the 150mm extended waterline belt. It's divided into two parts and helps plunging fire overmatching the 32mm bow from entering the citadel. The forward part is only 20mm thick. But echoing the layout of the 50mm deck plate is another 50mm plate which cannot be overmatched. Thus even if Musashi, Yamato, ARP Yamato or Shikishima overmatches the 32mm bow, it's nigh impossible for them to score citadel hits on Pommern through her snoot. There's another hidden plate in the stern protecting the citadel in a similar fashion, but it's 110mm thick. The geometry there is a bit janky to accommodate the steering gears though. Bigpitz also inherits a turtleback protection scheme for her citadel. Turtlebacks have a reputation for providing immunity to citadel hits, but this is undeserved. A well designed turtleback can help mitigate citadel damage, but this needs to have very shallow angles relative to the horizontal in order to prompt ricochet checks. It also has to be set to the correct depth so that shells can't plunge underneath it, bypassing it entirely. If the turtleback is angled too steeply, aside from providing another (hopefully) thick piece of steel to slow down incoming shells, it can actually work to the ship's detriment, steering shells via normalization mechanics into the citadel rather than away from it. Thankfully for Pommern (and most German battleships), her turtleback is well designed and short of shells being thrown at it from very long distances, it is guaranteed to auto-ricochet any AP rounds that punch through her belt. Even at these distances where her turtleback can no longer guarantee to ricochet shells, the combination of belt, turtleback and citadel armour is usually in excess of the available penetration. Pommern might take penetrating hits but the shells soon run out of steam before reaching her citadel itself. It is safe to say that she's is largely immune to AP citadel hits. While Pommern has the angles of her turtleback correct, it suffers from a high-water placement that can be bypassed. Normally this isn't an issue. However, when Pommern turns, she unwittingly hikes her citadel's protection up over the waterline "flashing her panties" as Yuro coined it. Any perfectly placed sub-waterline hits WILL citadel Pommern when she's in a turn like this. Needless to say, it's a pretty rude shock for Bigpitz drivers when they get walloped for most of their health simply for playing with their rudder. Note that this raising of her citadel happens on the inside of her turn, not the outside which dips down somewhat. This dip reduces the effective angle of her turtleback by about 2.5º or so -- it's not enough to foil her turtleback's protection but it is a slight reduction which helps with those auto-ricochet checks. This is all to say that Pommern is vulnerable while turning, but it's not an enormous and easy-to-exploit weakness. It has been hyped as being more exaggerated than it is. Just because she can take citadel hits, this does not mean that she will. To land hits like this, Pommern needs to be giving up a near perfect broadside, so time those turns appropriately, watch out for flanking fire and it becomes largely a non-issue. It is worth mentioning that this dispersed armour scheme can work against her when it comes to shrugging off AP hits, especially if you're lazy about keeping her properly angled. The thick plates of her upper hull and along her waterline ensure that every penetrating AP shell fuses. Provided the shell is slowed down sufficiently to pop inside her, she takes full penetrating hits when other battleships might only suffer over-penetrations. This is where her shoddy fire angles on her turrets is a big liability. In order to unmask her twleve gun broadside, she has to give up protection against return fire from AP shells. In order to stay AP-safe, she's reduced to a six-gun battleship. This reduced battery makes RNG's influence on her awful dispersion all the more pronounced and can be frustrating. Pommern's more telling weakness comes from torpedoes, bombs and fire. She does have a Hydroacoustic Search to help mitigate the foremost of the three, though that's no help against air-dropped fish. Similarly, AP bombs make a ruin of her and it's not like her AA defense is up to the task of keeping her super safe (more on that later). She's her own worst enemy when it comes to fire mitigation. You're going to want to build her up for secondary bonuses. This precludes her from taking much-needed (and let's face it: optimal) fire reduction skills. This means it's open season to stack blazes against her and you KNOW every Royal Navy battleship is going to paint your decks with their phat HE shells. Similarly, you can expect almost everyone else to huck HE at her given the difficulties of hurting her with AP. As awesome as full secondary builds are, the prevalence of fire damage means that such build are never optimal. Overall, Pommern is a well protected battleship -- as well protected as you could want and then some. She has her weaknesses, so do what you can to mitigate them. Otherwise, enjoy your tuff-bote. e German battleship armour is stupid complicated and the in-port armour viewer does NOT help you see everything that's important -- most notably the angles and thickness of turtleback armour but all of that other stuff I mentioned too. Note how high Pommern's citadel sits and how little of her turtleback dips beneath the water's surface -- only the corners submerge and only just. VERDICT: Top marks. Agility Top Speed: 31 knots Turning Radius: 940m Rudder Shift Time: 17.3 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 3.8º/s at 23.3 knots With three exceptions (and only one of them notable), tier IX battleship agility sucks inflamed, red monkey-butts. I'd call Pommern's agility a disaster but Minnesota exists, so that would feel like a misplaced superlative. Instead I'll just describe Pommern's agility as "not good". She has so little going for her here. I mean, at least she has a decent top speed of 31 knots. She also doesn't out turn her turrets, so there's that too. After that, though, everything goes the way of Harambe. Her turning radius is a travesty. Her rudder shift time is upsetting. Her rate of turn is bad though admittedly better than some of her contemporaries. However if you think that's worth celebrating then I'm worried you might also have a strange oral fascination with inflamed baboon posteriors. The best thing that could be said about Pommern's agility is that you really don't need this ship to do more than travel in a straight line most of the time. You don't need pants for the victory dance... ♫ VERDICT: Awful. The only reasonable part about her is her speed. Anti-Aircraft Defence Flak Bursts: 7 explosions for 1,470 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.2km. Long Ranged (up to 5.2km): 158dps at 75% accuracy Short Ranged (up to 3.0km): 466dps at 70% accuracy Bigpitz is an HP pinata for enemy carriers (as are most battleships, frankly). While she does spit out a welcome amount of flak, that's hoping that enemy carrier players will oblige you by flying their planes into one of those blasts. Her AA DPS is largely centred around personal defence, being short-ranged and intense only within her closest aura. The best she can hope to do is make attack runs against her expensive -- shooting down planes only after they've dropped. Given her large size and horrible handling, she's such a tempting target for CV drops -- be it with bombs, rockets or torpedoes. AP bombs hurt. HE bombs and rockets stack those fires she's so often poorly specialized to handle and her enormous broadside makes her an easy mark for full spreads of torpedoes. Keep close to your allies to make yourself an unappealing target. Accuracy values greatly reduce the impressive baseline sustained AA DPS values listed in port. The above values have been modified by accuracy and demonstrates the numbers you're more likely to see before aircraft armour is accounted for. VERDICT: It's open season on your hit points. Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 17.28km / 13.58km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 12.81km / 10.38km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 16km Maximum Firing Range: Between 21.34km and 24.75km Well this is all just an embarrassing bucket of fail. Her surface and aerial detection are just plain bad. You're not hiding this ship. While there is an argument to "not bother", particularly when it comes to the expensive investment of skills like Concealment Expert (which could be better spent on Fire Prevention or something to boost her secondaries), the Concealment System Modification 1 upgrade is still worthwhile if only to add further disruption to enemy gunnery. Furthermore, with the large maps and longer engagement ranges in higher tiered matches, it's not that hard to get outside of 14km of enemy ships -- at least in the early minutes of the game. This can be life saving if Pommern comes under focus-fire from HE spamming ships. Still, the best way to keep her safe is arguably to use an island to break contact or at least to frustrate incoming fire. Given her crappy agility and size this is much easier said than done. You an also pull off fun tricks like parking in friendly smoke and keeping her main battery guns silent and just letting your secondaries go hog-wild. Do mind the inevitable wall of torpedoes, though. Truly, the best thing about Pommern is that she gets access to Hydroacoustic Search. The only other German battleship that gets both torpedoes and hydro is Odin, so this is pretty noteworthy. Still, having Hydoracoustic Search isn't enough to keep Pommern safe if she's stationary -- Pommern already needs to be moving to dodge anything. She doesn't have enough acceleration or agility at low speeds to get out of the way of incoming threats unless she's already moving at a fair clip. You can use this consumable offensively, which is super fun to pull off on the rare occasions where it's relevant. Do mind the retalitory fish from whatever you dug out of their smoke clouds, though. VERDICT: Terrible, generally. Hydro is nice, though. Final Evaluation If I'm terribly honest, Pommern didn't wow me. It's not that I don't think she's a good or fun ship, it's just that she treads familiar ground. Tirpitz, Scharnhorst and Odin all echo Pommern's general design principles. "Bigpitz" describes her well. She's an improved, up-tiered Tirpitz. This didn't guarantee Pommern would be good, mind you -- Wargaming has mishandled such projects before (California comes to mind). But Pommern didn't stray from the established formula too much. The craziest thing about her is the inaccuracy of her guns and even that's a pretty safe measure given that she has twelve of them. I enjoyed Tirpitz, Scharnhorst and Odin, so Pommern is comfortably familiar for me. She's about as safe of a tier IX premium as Wargaming could hope to design. For Wargaming, this is doubly important given the number of "failed state" premiums there are at tier IX. The list is hella long: Missouri, Musashi, Kronshtadt, Jean Bart, Benham have all been retired with Alaska and Georgia set to join them in the new year. Seven of the fifteen tier IX premiums released so far have been or are slated to be retired with two (Black & Neustrashimy) still MIA with fates undisclosed. Pommern and the upcoming Hizen have some pretty big boots to fill with all of those absentee premiums. Pommern has to be good but she's not allowed being too good lest she become too popular and get the axe as well. I'm not trying to instill a sense of panic-buying in anyone, but I do fear that given the competency of this ship's design, she may end up being a little well liked by the masses and end up retired herself. Time will tell, I suppose. Overall, I give Pommern good marks. She performs exactly as advertised and she's different enough to be fun and novel. Good work, Wargaming. It's too bad for them that this year will be remembered for civilization threatening to collapse and not for the year that Wargaming let German ships get good. They've knocked out quite a few good hits under the German flag. Maybe that's just a sign of the Apocalypse. Thank you for reading! 
  19. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review - Hyuga

    The following is a review of Hyuga, the tier VII Japanese premium battleship. This ship was provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes at no cost to myself; I did not have to pay money to get access to her. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.10.3. Please be aware that her statistics may change in the future. I always start these reviews with the above disclaimer. I do it for a couple of reasons. The first is to let you all know that there is some intrinsic bias in this review. I am only human (beep-boop ♪) and it's possible I will make some reporting errors on stats and numbers. It's also to let you know that I have a relationship with Wargaming through the Community Contributor program. After all, I get these assets for free to review them and that's absolutely going to colour how I feel about a ship and my readers absolutely need to know about that partnership. However, what I wanted to draw your attention to was this: 'Please be aware that her statistics may change in the future.' I originally wrote this to to warn players of meta shifts. While the core stats of a given ship might not change, the game most assuredly does. Mechanics get tweaked, new ships get introduced and before you know it, your once S-tier Blyskawica is unable to keep up. This past month, this warning has taken on new meaning: The newer premiums may have their performance stats directly nerfed by Wargaming. This is a change from their old policy and it only applies to these newer ships. I had originally wanted to discuss this with my Flandre review but I totally brain-farted on that. Since Flandre, Hyuga and HSF Harekaze II have also been affected by this so it's time to make sure I cover this info. You can see Wargaming's notice of such in the detailed description they provide of an individual premium. I've highlighted the pertinent part: What this means: Hyuga and newer premium vessels do not have protection from being directly nerfed in the future. Changes are not guaranteed, but they are possible. Please, please, PLEASE take this into consideration before pulling the trigger on any purchase. Got it? Good. There's lots of room to discuss this change in policy and how it affects your personal buying decisions. Please feel free to discuss it in this thread or quote back this section in a new post if you prefer. For now, let's get back to my review of Hyuga. Quick Summary: A modernized WWI-era Japanese battleship with twelve, quick-firing 356mm guns, a dispersed armour scheme and access to the Main Battery Reload Booster consumable. PROS Trollish armour scheme for resisting SAP and HE hits, including thick upper hull, deck armour and voids. Good reach on her main battery guns. Very comfortable dispersion for such a large main battery. Excellent main battery DPM between her quick, 28 second reload and her twelve guns. The bulk of her secondary battery has increased accuracy. Has access to the Main Battery Reload Booster. CONS Wonky and weird citadel geometry. Seriously, it looks like a Picasso painting. Overmatch issues with her smaller gun calibre. Horrible gun handling and awkward fire angles. Only a modest top speed and not especially agile. Horrible anti-aircraft defences. Enormous surface detection range. Overview In the long-long ago, in the before-time, back when there was only three tier VI battleships in this game, a debate raged on which was the best. The answer is obvious now (it's bae-bote, always and forever) but it was a very eye-opening discussion. You see, back then it was Fuso that appealed to most. It's not hard to see why with her trollish armour and phenomenal firepower for her tier. She was faster than her two competitors and this was also back before sigma was understood. Some had a grasp of what overmatch was but others did not. It's not hard to see why Fuso was a long-standing favourite and her successor, Nagato, was often seen as a step down in terms of performance. It's surprising to me we've had to wait this long for a premium based around her game play. There are plenty of options with Fuso and Yamashiro from the Fuso-class and then Ise and Hyuga of the subsequent Ise-class. Well, the wait's over. We finally get what we've always wanted, however it is at the wrong tier. Up-tiering Fuso's gameplay begs the question if any gimmicks could make her worth playing. That's the Hyuga quandary in a nutshell: Is it worth paying money for an up-tiered Fuso with weird gimmicks? Skill Floor: SIMPLE / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme Hyuga's pretty new-player friendly. Keep back. Keep AP loaded. Pull the trigger. You can forget about nuances of angling properly; her gun arcs don't allow for that. She's not so fast that she'll get you into trouble nor is she so slow that she cannot keep up with the pace of battle as it progresses. So green light all around. She's an easy battleship to play and she'll deliver reasonable results to anyone of any particular skill level. For veterans, well there's lots to like here. Her consumables alone open up all kinds of opportunity for optimization, to say nothing of her fast-reload guns and her massive broadside. Hyuga's alpha strike potential is downright cataclysmic, reigned in only by modest penetration values which is yet another bit of info to out-skill. Still, as good as her armour profile appears, this is a difficult battleship to effectively tank damage, limiting her appeal as a front-line vessel for pushing and progressing the battle. Overall? Good marks for skill-potential and growth, but certainly not the best out there for that. Options Aside from her Main Battery Reload Booster, there's not a whole lot out of the ordinary for Hyuga when it comes to outfitting her. Consumables Hyuga's Damage Control Party is standard for a Japanese battleship, meaning that it's only active for 10 seconds as opposed to 15 seconds for most other battleships (and 20 seconds for Americans). It has unlimited charges and an 80 second reset timer. Her Repair Party is also standard. It queues up to 10% of citadel damage, 50% of penetration damage and 100% of everything else. From this queue, it will heal back up to 14% of the ship's starting hit points per charge over 28 seconds. It starts with four charges and has an 80 second reset timer. Her Main Battery Reload Booster is weird (not the least of which is seeing a MBRB on a battleship at all). It is active for 15 seconds, doubling the rate at which shells are reloaded during that time (each second spent reloading counts as two). It starts with three charges and it has a 60 second reset timer. Finally she has a Fighter. This launches three (3) aircraft which orbit on station for 60 seconds. It comes with three charges and a 90 second reset timer. Upgrades There's three builds to consider here: Optimal, comfort and PVE-shenani-nani-gans. Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. Begin your anti-fire regimen with Damage Control System Modification 1. So all of the fun happens in slot three. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is your best choice here. However, you can take the slight dispersion hit for Main Battery Modification 2 to increase her admittedly horribad turret traverse rate. For you PVE-nutters out there, you can also consider electing for a secondary build here with Secondary Battery Modification 1 if you like. Whatever your choice, follow that up with Damage Control System Modification 2 in slot four. Commander Skills Until Dead Eye (4pts) is dead and buried, it's going to remain optimal for all battleship builds. That's going to be the first priority on any PVP battleship build. From there, your next priority is to mitigate fire damage through Basics of Survivability (3pts) and Fire Prevention Expert (4pts). Next up comes buffs to gun performance, namely in the form of Adrenaline Rush (3pts) and Grease the Gears (2pts). That leaves you 5pts to play with (including a 1pt skill compulsory). Recommended skills include: 1 point skills: Gun Feeder, Emergency Repair Specialist 2 point skills: Priority Target 3 point skills: Super Heavy AP Shells 4 point skills: Emergency Repair Expert, Concealment Expert If you're a PVE main and want to dabble in a brawling build (because bots love to brawl), then you can skip the fire prevention stuff and just load up on secondary buffing skills instead, dropping Dead Eye and avoiding Concealment Expert because neither are ever going to do you any good. Camouflage Hyuga has access to two camouflage options. She comes with Type 10 Camouflage regardless of how you acquire her, but when she was first sold, the higher tiered bundle came with the Japanese Lacquer camouflage as well. This alternative camo is merely a cosmetic swap, providing the same identical bonuses of: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -10% to post-battle service costs. +50% to experience gains.  Hyuga's Type 10 Camouflage is the usual browns and greens you've come to expect from Japanese premiums. If you've finished the appropriate section of the Isoroku Yamamoto collection then you can palette swap to the blue instead. I really like Hyuga's lacquer camo. We've seen it before on Hayate. Firepower Main Battery: Twelve 356mm guns in 6x2 turrets in an A-B-P-Q-X-Y in superfiring pairs. Secondary Battery: Sixteen 140mm guns in 16x1 hull-mounted casemates with eight to a side and eight 127mm guns in 4x2 turrets with a pair on either side of the main superstructure. I'ma take a quick moment and start with Hyuga's secondaries. Outside of PVE modes, don't worry about them. If you prefer Co-Op, you can buff her secondaries and get some nice results. Hyuga's 140mm casemates have improved gunnery dispersion, akin to that found on other large-calibre casemates of ships like Nagato, Amagi, Iron Duke and Warspite. Her 127mm have normal ol' (bad) dispersion, though. Fully buffed, you can get their reach out to 8.47km which is pretty respectable and more than worthwhile when bots come rushing blindly at you. Their smaller calibre will prevent them from dealing direct damage to all but the softest skinned targets, but you'll undoubtedly start a fire or two in every match if you get stuck in. Don't bother with them in PVP, however. Twelve 356mm guns with a 28 second reload with 1.8 sigma and a Main Battery Reload Booster at tier VII. For those experienced with the game, that's all of the information you really need to know to appreciate Hyuga's strengths and weaknesses. There's minutia, of course; other details that matter, but the lion's share of the information you need comes right there. Let's break it down: Twelve guns: This is a lot, no matter how you slice it. Most battleships in the game sit with between eight and ten guns with twelve tending to be towards the upper limit (laughs in Lyon). Regardless of gun calibre, this promises a large broadside and huge alpha strike potential. 356mm gun calibre: By tier VII, this gun calibre is a bit long in the tooth as more and more vessels drift upwards towards 380mm and 406mm guns. It is below average for its tier despite the glut of ships still using it (Poltava, California, Florida, Duke of York, King George V and Hyuga). 356mm guns obviously don't hit as hard as the larger gun calibres, but they are also incapable of overmatching structural plate that's 25mm or thicker. 25mm and 26mm structural plates become increasingly commonplace at mid-to-higher tiers, preventing ships armed with 356mm guns from being able to bully these vessels at any angle they take. 28 second reload: Go back even a year, and the perceived "normal" reload time for a battleship was 30 seconds. However, between the new American and Italian tech-tree battleships released this past year, Wargaming seems increasingly weary of keeping to this standard. A glut of newer vessels have greater-than-30-second reloads to their name, which makes Hyuga's 28 seconds all the more remarkable. Again, I stress that this is with a large main battery of twelve guns. Even with their smaller gun calibre, Hyuga's damage potential is some of the best at her tier. 1.8 sigma: This is the "workhorse" value Wargaming typically assigns to most battleships. The average sigma among the seventeen unique tier VII battleships is 1.79 just to give you an idea. The trend tends to be for ships with a large number of guns to have lower sigma; usually in the 1.5 to 1.6 range. This afflicts the tier VI battleships with twelve guns with Fuso and New Mexico both stricken with 1.5 sigma while Arizona feels decidedly over-performing with her 1.8 at the same tier. To see Hyuga with 1.8 sigma speaks to the comfort of her long-range gunnery. Aim well and she'll reward you with multiple hits. Main Battery Reload Booster: This consumable is a game changer. Hyuga already fires very quickly. She is more likely to have shells at the ready when a target of opportunity presents itself. The faster a battleship fires, the more forgiving the vessel is for poorly aimed shots. This consumable turns everything on its head, providing Hyuga with shells on demand. With a touch of a button, you all but guaranteed to be able to put shells down range to capitalize on an opponent's mistake. This stacks with the strengths of her larger battery (twelve guns) and decent sigma (1.8) to make these shots count. With the short reload on the consumable, it's again likely to be ready when the next opportunity arises. The only thing arresting the overpowered nature of this combination is Hyuga's gun calibre. If she was capable of overmatching any target she faced, this would simply be a raw DPM increase. As it is, she still needs to look for the best shots possible. Give Hyuga your broadside at your peril. Hyuga's 1.8 sigma makes for comfortable shell groupings. It's not S-tier by any means, but it's a far cry better than Fuso's 1.5 sigma shotgun blasts. This is largely the means by which Wargaming justifies Hyuga being a tier VII. This is what Fuso's 1.5 sigma shotgun blasts look like. Both ships are using Aiming Systems Modification 1 (but not Dead Eye), firing 180 AP shells at 15km against a stationary Fuso bot without camo. Shells are coming in from right to left (the Fuso is bow-tanking). Twelve guns with a 28 second reload means that Hyuga very comfortably sits near the top of the potential damage charts, even with her smaller gun calibre. It doesn't hurt that Japanese HE shells deal more damage than most of the contemporaries of the same calibre, with only the Royal Navy HE being beefier on a per-hit basis (6,100 damage from a KGV-class HE shell versus 5,700 for Hyuga). I swore I'd never do one of these graphics again and YET, here I am... Twelve 356mm guns with a 28 second reload with 1.8 sigma and a Main Battery Reload Booster glosses over a lot of problems. Hyuga's gun handling isn't particularly good nor are her fire angles comfortable (more on these in the Durability section below). Her range is good, but it could be better. Without access to a Spotter Aircraft, there's no temporary flexibility to chase targets just beyond her nominal reach. Next, her HE shells aren't good fire starters. Finally, her penetration just isn't up to scratch to compete with battleship belt armours outside of 14km. There is also the added problem that with such fast firing guns, Hyuga remains spotted longer than other battleships, revealing herself with every blast of her weapons. All of these problems are easy to forget with just how many shells she puts downrange and how often the land hits. Yes, ricochets are annoying. Yes, it sucks when a salvo of multiple hits from HE fails to start a fire. These issues help reign Hyuga in from over-performing, because there's a little too much good going on here. A lot of the premium battleships at tier VII use 356mm guns for some reason. Ashitaka uses 410mm, to be clear, and is present here because she's the other Japanese premium. Despite her increased HE shell damage, she's only a modest fire starter and only because she has so many guns and fires so quickly. Her individual shell hits have some of the lowest fire setting at her tier. SUMMARY: Very comfortable gunnery platform. Maybe a little too comfortable. Durability Hit Points: 60,700 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 26mm / 16mm / 149mm / 35 to 44mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 32mm anti-torpedo bulge + 299mm belt + 32mm turtleback + up to a 230mm citadel wall. Torpedo Damage Reduction: 26% I'm going to start with this graphic. It may seem a little out of place, but hear me out. "It could be worse" sums up Hyuga's fire angles. Between these and her poor gun handling, she gets poor marks here. 'If you can shoot them, they can penetrate you,' sums up Hyuga's firing angles. Assuming you can set things up absolutely 100% perfect, there's still around a one in three chance of their AP shells doing unspeakably ugly things to your ship. Get sloppy by as little as 3º and their chances jump up to half with the enusing reduction of relative armour as an additional kick in the teeth (her 299mm belt drops from approximately 520mm of effective armour down to 485mm). Hyuga's firing angles aren't well designed for trading fire. She's not meant to tank damage in gun duels like this. She's much better suited at shooting things that aren't shooting back. You're pretty much forced to choose between damage out put and tanking effectively. She's not really agile enough to pull off both without making some serious compromises to one or the other. It's not all doom and gloom, though. The Ise-class is a WWI era super-dreadnought and this is reflected in her dispersed armour scheme. This means that other than her extremities and (admittedly sizeable) superstructure, Hyuga has thicker armour than expected. Combine this with her enormous anti-torpedo bulges (which don't work very efficiently against torpedoes for some reason), Hyuga's armour profile is downright troll for resisting AP, SAP and HE shells. The latter two especially struggle to deal reliable damage if they miss her snoot, booty or hat. Against AP shells, it's a bit more of a mixed-blessing. Her dispersed armour does make it more likely to AP shells to ricochet if she's angled correctly. However, the thicker armour plate also has the effect of guaranteeing to arm the fuses of large calibre AP rounds, all but negating the chance for reduced damage over-penetrations when shells do bite into these places. Overall, her dispersed armour scheme is more of a blessing than a bane. Before moving on, it's worth mentioning that her turrets have about 300mm worth of usable armour between their turret faces and barbettes. These are an admitted weak point when face-tanking if an opponent can't simply overmatch her 26mm bows with 380mm+ calibre AP rounds. Hyuga's guns break often when forced into this role. Hyuga's huge 32mm anti-torpedo bulge acts as a void. Any HE or SAP attacks that strike here will deal zero damage to the ship. Peel back that anti-torpedo protection and there's a mess of different armour values for AP shells to contend with. None of these values are especially high, so maintaining correct angling is paramount to resisting battleship-calibre AP fire. When it comes to citadel protection ... it's complicated. Around Hyuga's rear magazines, her protection is pretty damn good with a combination of up to 593mm worth of steel at funny angles aimed to keep shells out. But depending on where she's hit, this value can be as low as just 288mm. Add onto this the wonky (janky!) geometry, especially around the P and Q turret magazines and the rear machine spaces and Hyuga's presents shell trap after shell trap after shell trap for penetration AP rounds to catch upon and deal big damage. It's worth mentioning that her turtleback isn't angled steeply enough to resist flat-trajectory fire, to say nothing of long-range fire and it's from the latter that you need to worry about big damaging hit the most. The reason I have made such a big deal out of Hyuga's poor firing angles and gun handling has a lot to do with how badly this ship resists citadel hits from the incidental attacks that come from long range duels. Look, I was going to show the armour values for this but ... it's like Jackson Pollock painting. It's a total mess. There are so many different armour values and weird geometries going on. I want to rate Hyuga's overall durability more highly than it deserves. In truth, her protection scheme could be really troll if she had better firing angles to capitalize on it. Furthermore, being a tier VII battleship, that leaves those huge vulnerable overmatching holes in the form of her bow and stern for easy back-doors into big damage against this ship. And if those aren't available, you can always smack her in the barbettes and get some nice damaging hits that way -- the changes made to penetrating hits against guns has greatly hurt the durability of mid-tier battleships, especially in brawls. I suppose the best that could be said about her is that she's pretty good at resisting poorly aimed cruiser HE and SAP spam. However, her superstructure and extremities are large targets so you cannot expect any experienced player to ignore those soft spots. Furthermore, Hyuga burns just as well as any other Japanese battleship. Hyuga's health pool is only average. VERDICT: Pretty good if you can stay angled or your opponents are n00bs. I wouldn't count on either one of those, though. It'll work well against bots, though. Agility Top Speed: 25.3 knots Turning Radius: 750m Rudder Shift Time: 15 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 3.9º/s at 18.9 knots Tier VII is a transition-tier for battleship agility. This is where we start to see some really fast battleships appearing however there are still some 20-knot holdovers in the form of the American standards. This combines with a mix of different handling characteristics, with some retaining the early-battleship tight turning radii while others begin to have their turning circles balloon out to the massive sizes we see at higher tiers. Thus there's a lot of variety between the best and worst performers and everything in between. Hyuga is definitely one of those in between. Her speed is slightly below average for her tier and her turning radius is alright. At 25 knots, it's just about enough to keep up with the pace of battle or to disengage during the opening stages of a fight. As the battle progresses, however, Hyuga's pedestrian top speed is more of a liability where the threat of allied support begins to dry up and enemies can push more aggressively if she's exposed. Similarly, her modest top speed leads to a cumbersome rate of turn. The good news is that she doesn't quite out-turn her turrets. The bad news is that you're still going to be tempted to use your rudder to bring guns to bear and that's going to open up your sides for penetrating AP hits. To this end, taking traverse-improving skills and upgrades helps improve this ship's durability, if only to keep your fingers away from the WASD keys when switching targets. Think of Hyuga as a slightly-faster Nelson. VERDICT: Nothing terrible but nothing good. Anti-Aircraft Defence Flak Bursts: 2 explosions for 1,330 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.8km. Long Ranged (up to 5.8km): 63dps at 75% accuracy (47dps) Short Ranged (up to 2.5km): 75.5dps at 85% accuracy (62dps) Yeah.... no. The only reason Hyuga isn't at the bottom of the pile for AA defence at this tier is because Ashitaka is a stock, interwar-era Amagi. VERDICT: Yeah... no. Vision Control Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 16.84km / 14.7km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 10.46km / 9.41km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 14.84km Maximum Firing Range: 20.31km Have some raw data. Hyuga's surface detection is pretty bad. Hyuga's surface deteciton is pretty terrible. Stock, it's 2km better than Fuso (a little bit less if they're both fully upgraded), so that's something I guess. But that's like saying your tier V battleship has more health than Viribus Unitis. Even with a full concealment build (which should still do, by the way), until the enemy destroyers have been thinned out, you have to count on being permanently lit if you're anywhere close to the front. Being so easily spotted means that Hyuga spends more time being the only target available than her contemporaries. I'm sure Wargaming has some metric out there to illustrate this that would justify my suspicions, but between Hyuga's enormous surface detection and rapid fire guns, she ends up making herself a target more often than most. This means more incidental fire comes her way, especially from other battleships. While not all of this will connect, it's just that little bit of extra chip-damage that will eat at her health or tax your Damage Control Party that makes Hyuga and Fuso feel squishier than their armour profiles would otherwise suggest. It's just something to keep in mind. Having Priority Target is recommended if only to let you know when you need to silence your guns and think about rotating towards the back of the line to ease off some of the pressure. Hyuga's lack of a Spotter Aircraft tends to keep Hyuga closer to the action than Fuso, even with the two ships having comparable ranges. For the sake of her gun performance, this is generally a good thing though I found myself missing that extra bit of reach-on-demand in higher tiered engagements. Still, I have no real complaints about her engagement distances. Hyuga has nothing else really to speak of when it comes to her Vision Control. She's a fat battleship, possibly visible from space. This gets her shot a lot, though often it's more incidental fire than anything concentrated. Still, you can't count on being able to properly disengage unless you keep her in the second line. VERDICT: Just plain bad. Final Evaluation This isn't the first time Wargaming has taken an existing design and up-tiered it by making some small changes. While Hyuga is not a Fuso-class, their design looks superficially analogous from a game play perspective, what with both ships being large, twelve-356mm gun armed Japanese battleships. However, the differences between them is extensive. While describing Hyuga has a Tier VII Fuso is a good shorthand for setting expectations, it's far from accurate. This isn't a complete list of differences (you could write a book on their armour and hull geometry differences alone), but here's the important bits that separate the two vessels: The Basics Hyuga is an Ise-class, with overall larger dimensions than the Fuso-class and, most notably, different P & Q gun turret layouts. Hyuga is tier VII, facing a maximum of tier IX opponents and Fuso is tier VI facing a maximum of tier VIII opponents. Hyuga is a premium with all that this entails and comes with permanent camouflage. Firepower Hyuga has access to a Main Battery Reload Booster. Hyuga has improved sigma (1.8 vs 1.5) Hyuga has longer ranged secondaries (5.6km vs 4.96km) Hyuga has sixteen 140mm casemate secondaries, Fuso has fourteen 152mm casemate secondaries. Fuso is longer ranged (21.81km vs 20.31km) and she has access to a Spotter Aircraft. Durability Very different armour layouts and hull geometries. No, I'm not going into detail. Hyuga has better overall citadel defence. Hyuga has more hit points (60,700 vs 57,100) Hyuga has better built in fire resistance from her tier (30% vs 23.5% approximately). Fuso has better anti-torpedo defence (34% reduction versus 26%) Agility Hyuga is faster (25.3kts vs 24.5kts) Fuso has a tighter turning radius (730m vs 750m) Fuso has a faster rudder shift time (14.9s vs 15s) Anti-Aircraft Defence Fuso has better AA DPS at close range (150.5dps vs 75.5dps) Hyuga has a Fighter consumable. Vision Control Hyuga has a better surface detection range (16.89km vs 18.9km) Fuso has a better aerial detection range (9.74km vs 10.46km) So Hyuga's not a Fuso clone, but really, the three big differences between the two vessels are her consumables, her range and her dispersion. Hyuga is a much better gun platform than Fuso, even with her deficit of reach. Her gunnery is more reliable than the tier VI vessel. She puts more shells on target from accuracy and more shells down range grace of her Main Battery Reload Booster consumable. In fact, Hyuga's gunnery is so much better that it feels downright comfortable; and that, to me, is always a warning sign that a ship is perhaps a little too good. If I find myself feeling cozy in a given vessel, that's a sure sign that something about it is overtuned in my hands. Whether or not this translates to being similarly good in the hands of the masses is another thing entirely, but a lot of the ships I like end up getting pulled by Wargaming -- just saying. In Hyuga's case, Wargaming's new policy on adjusting premiums should keep this ship from ever getting withdrawn from sale barring her becoming way too popular. But as it stands, I think Hyuga is a fantastic Japanese premium. She's right up there with some of the other top-tier Japanese premium battleships including Ashitaka, Musashi and Shikishima.
  20. alexc123

    Premium ship to buy????

    I can not decide which premium ship to get between the crosiers and our Battleships bellow. If anyone could give me advice on which is the best overall Cruiser and which one of the BB is. If I missed one that is not on this list please add it if you dont mind I know is is subjective but also take into account fun factor as well Thanks prinz eugen Pommern Agir Roma mainz Vanguard bayard Azuma atago Alabama
  21. The following is a review of Giulio Cesare, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of October 20th, 2017. This was a triumph. (I'm making a note here: "Huge success".) It's hard to overstate my satisfaction. Quick Summary: Giulio Cesare feels like a traditional battlecruiser -- fast, hard hitting but with a poor protection scheme. She's incredibly agile for a ship of her size. Cost: $24.99 USD with a port slot. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.11.1 to 0.6.12.0, October 12th to October 19th, 2017 Closest in-Game Contemporary Kongo, tier V Japanese Battleship Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique Kongo is about as close as you'll get to a ship with similar game play style to Giulio Cesare, but this is still a rather far cry from the Italian Battleship. Cesare is stealthy while Kongo is not. Cesare is agile while Kongo is not. Both ships excel at engaging enemy ships at medium distances, using their speed to dictate the range. Cesare exerts far more control than Kongo between her superior firepower, gun handling, agility and stealth. PROs Extended waterline belt armour helps bounce shells when properly angled. The inside of the prow has an 85mm armoured "beak" which makes citadel penetrations through the bow more difficult. Guns feel very accurate with a combination of a 1.9 sigma value and the turrets being mounted close together. HE shells have an excellent base fire chance of 35% and a rather large splash radius of 28m for damaging modules. Fast gun traverse of 5.0º/s Small, 640m turning circle, good rudder shift time of 13.0s and a fast top speed of 27.0kts, making her one of the most agile battleships currently in the game (yes, even more agile than Warspite). She's a small target, smaller than many light cruisers with an excellent surface detection range of 13.7km. CONs Exceedingly fragile with poor torpedo defense, low hit point total, a large exposed citadel and poor armour values overall. Secondaries are lackluster with a modest rate of fire and a combination of HE and AP shell fire. Poor anti-aircraft firepower and range. Feels blind without any form of spotter aircraft, float plane fighter or similar vision-assisting consumable. The Italian Battleships are here! Well, kinda. Giulio Cesare is an Italian battleship but for those who were hoping to be able to pin point what sort of flavour or gimmick they would have to differentiate themselves from the Germans, British, American and Japanese, you're going to be a bit disappointed. Giulio Cesare got the Dunkerque treatment in that there's nothing about her that points to some special flavour of the Regia Marina dreadnoughts. We shouldn't be too surprised given what's come before like with Hood and Tirpitz which were each poor indicators for the ship lines that came after. This doesn't preclude Giulio Cesare from being an interesting ship in its own right as you will see. I have to admit, even as a die-hard Royal Navy fangirl -- the Italian ships are simply gorgeous. Options Pretty run of the mill stuff here. Giulio Cesare has a standard battleship Damage Control Party with a 15s active period and a 120s / 80s reset timer depending on whether or not you go for a premium version. Her Repair Party is also standard for a battleship. Consumables: Damage Control Party Repair Party Premium Camouflage: Type 9/10. As of patch 0.6.12.0, type 9 and 10 camouflage patterns are identical. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Module Upgrades: Three slots, standard non-American battleship options. In your first slot, take Main Armaments Modification 1. In your second slot, take Aiming System Modification 1. If you really hate aircraft, you can take AA Guns Modification 2 instead. While this will help dissuade tier IV and V carriers, be advised this will not save you against tier VI+ carriers, even with a full anti-aircraft build. In your third slot, take Damage Control Systems Modification 1. Firepower Primary Battery: Ten 320mm rifles in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Twelve 120mm guns in 6x2 turrets and eight 100mm guns in 4x2 turrets I got so terribly excited when I saw the load-out of Giulio Cesare's secondaries on paper: a ten gun broadsides? That's almost German-good! Sure, this would be hamstrung somewhat by the 4.0km range, but I was gonna be happy and I was going to pew pew stuff in the face and be all, "Veni, vidi, vici!" on all of those gunship destroyers that think they're so great at tiers IV and V. Yeah, no. There are two little issues with my dreams of close-quarter conquests with a phalanx of secondary fire. Giulio Cesare's secondaries don't have quite the rate of fire I was hoping. Each gun fires 10rpm -- a whisker shy of the 12rpm I hope to see on secondaries at a minimum -- especially for low caliber weapons like 100mm guns. I mean, 10rpm isn't terrible but it's not ideal. Anyway, I could over look this in of itself... ...except that point number two is that her 120mm guns (which form the backbone of her secondary armament) fire AP shells. Blech. Now, don't get me wrong. In of itself, AP shells from secondaries can be good if they've got a lot of hitting power. But these ones don't. They have a maximum alpha strike of 2,000 damage per if they citadel and they're not going to do that often. It's like asking a cross-eyed Farragut to save your life from a rampaging Podvoisky and the fool loads AP instead of HE. As it turned out, getting that close with Giulio Cesare is generally a loser move anyway (see her protection scheme below), so having mediocre secondaries isn't that much of a loss. Still, it's a shame. I do love my low tier brawls. As it would fall out, I did find an elegant solution to that charging gunship-destroyer problem. Meet the problem solver. Giulio Cesare is one of the most comfortable gunnery experiences I've enjoyed in a battleship. It's kind of hard for me to believe she's stricken with German dispersion values. These are the worst in the game. Her guns feel far more accurate than what her dispersion value would suggest. This comes down to three factors: Her sigma value, the size of the ship and the number of guns she wields. Giulio Cesare boasts a sigma value of 1.9 which is a marginal improvement over the usual 1.8 value found on tier V battleships. The higher the sigma value, the more likely shells will land towards the center of the dispersion field. In practice this means there are fewer 'wonky' shots where shells fly every which way. They still occur, but more rarely than on other battleships like König or Iron Duke. The second factor is the proximity of Cesare's guns to one another. Cesare isn't a very large vessel -- she's shorter in length than many of the cruisers within her matchmaking spread. As a result, her guns are crammed closer together. This has the effect of reducing dispersion further This is part of why a ship like New Mexico feels more accurate than Fuso even though the latter has better dispersion values. Finally, Cesare has a ten-gun broadside. Had she only eight like Kongo, her dispersion wouldn't feel as generous. The sheer volume of fire does much to diffuse any perceptions of occasional inaccuracy grace that if you throw enough shells at a target, something's likely to hit. So despite the flaw of a large base dispersion value, you're seldom going to feel it. .Giulio Cesare's guns should be considered "good enough" in all other respects. She doesn't win out on DPM, alpha strike, penetration, or even fire chance (she's bested by Iron Duke, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya, New York, and Iron Duke again, respectively). However, she's a contender in each category without any serious weak spots. She has the second highest DPM for a battleship at her tier. Cesare's HE penetration value is artificially high. For a 320mm gun, we should expect her to be able to penetrate 52mm of armor. She can instead penetrate 55mm. This isn't an enormous difference, but it is a bonus. Cesare has a very high fire chance at 35% per hit. This contrasts with a more modest HE shell damage of 4,800 which is respectable but not great. Cesare's module blast radius is respectable for her tier at 28.35m even with her smaller caliber guns. Cesare is great at causing critical damage to enemy ships, including setting off magazines of light cruisers and destroyers. This just leaves Cesare's AP penetration to talk about. It's not terrible, but it's not great. Her shells have comparable penetration performance to Royal Navy 381mm guns found on Hood and Queen Elizabeth. This is perfectly serviceable at tier V and VI though it starts feeling a bit lackluster against some of the more heavily armoured American and German belt armour, especially at close to maximum range. Image courtesy of Wargaming's Armada video on Giulio Cesare. Cesare's penetration values lack the raw potential up close, though they preserve their power well over distance. Giulio Cesare is a battleship where you could be forgiven for spamming a single ammunition type and either one would yield good results. To be clear: Her AP shells are better than her HE shells, but the latter are no slouches. A player who elects to use just a single shell type won't perform as optimally as someone that's more dynamic with their ammunition choices. However, they will still do reasonably well. The only real weakness of Cesare's main battery armament (and I am really stretching things to call it a weakness) are her gun fire angles. They're not bad but they're not excellent. Her forward guns have a 288º fire angle. Her rear have a 290º fire angle. This means that to bring all eight guns on a target ahead, she needs to angle out to 35º -- this isn't auto-bounce territory (30º) so she needs to be careful lest she eat unwanted citadel hits. Towards the rear this is slightly worse at a 36º fire angle. Overall, Cesare has an excellent main battery armament that's not only easy to use but quite powerful. Summary: Good traverse rates and decent accuracy makes her guns very comfortable to use. Her per-shell damage may not be phenomenal, but the number of hits she can land more than makes up for this. Dynamic ammunition choice will yield the best results, but homogeneous fire of AP or HE can still score some impressive damage totals. Her secondaries are unfortunately lackluster despite the impressive number of weapon mounts. Giulio Cesare has got it where it counts. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 27.0knotsTurning Radius: 640mRudder Shift: 13.0s Maximum Turn Rate: 4.9º/s Cesare is fast and Cesare is agile. Her twenty-seven knot top speed at tier V is excellent. She's not the fastest ship in her tier -- that honour goes to Kongo -- but she is much faster than all of her other contemporaries. What's more, she doesn't pay for this speed with horrible handling. In fact, Cesare is one of the most agile battleships in the game. While Warspite may boast a smaller turning circle, Cesare preserves more speed with her rudder hard over, allowing the ship to rotate faster and change direction more suddenly than every other battleship she faces. This gives her a maximum rate of turn of 4.9º/s compared to 4.7º/s of Warspite. As you can imagine, this makes Cesare great at dodging incoming shells and other forms of attack. Speed is life for Giulio Cesare. The value of being able to control engagement distances must not be underestimated. Cesare's speed wanes as you face higher tiered ships, however. While her twenty-seven knots feels blinding fast in the small, claustrophobic maps of tiers IV and V, when you're up-tiered, it doesn't quite measure up. The maps get significantly larger and you begin to face opposition that is as fleet footed (or faster) than you are. Still, like with Nagato, Cesare's 27 knot top speed is sufficient at tier VII though not especially quick. It pays to be a little more cautious because of it. One of the most satisfying elements of Cesare's speed and agility is that she is all but immune to torpedo attack form tier IV and V aircraft carriers, provided you keep your wits about you. Turning radius difference between Giulio Cesare (left) and Kongo (middle), and Warspite (right) using navigational buoys on the Ocean map as markers. One frame = approximately 3.0s. DurabilityHit Points: 45,500Maximum Citadel Protection: 250mm +24mm turtleback + 40mm Min Bow & Deck Armour: 19mm Torpedo Damage Reduction: 19% All of Cesare's speed comes at a price. She doesn't have a lot of hit points, for one. This in turn means that her Repair Party consumable isn't terribly impressive, healing back a maximum of 6,370hp per charge. For another, she's almost sufficiently protected, but there are significant problems with her armor scheme. First and foremost, there is no avoiding Cesare's most crippling flaw: Her citadel sits high over the waterline, stretching from in front of B turret to all of the way back behind X turret. Her citadel continues, submerged, beneath A and Y turrets. She doesn't have good armour protection around her citadel either -- not with how high it stands. The maximum citadel protection she receives is a bit of an illusion as her citadel sits so high that her turtleback will not always come into play -- nor will her thickest belt armour which is also submerged. Often, Cesare is forced to try and protect her machine spaces with as little as a 130mm upper belt armor and a 40mm citadel wall which doesn't stand up to punishment, even at very long ranges. If you give up this ship's side, you can expect to take citadel damage as a matter of course. Bow on, the story changes. While she has an extended belt armour which helps her face tank some shells, there's still a large section of 19mm worth of armor that can be overmatched directly head on. However, she is unlikely to take citadel hits from this angle as there's an interior 85mm armoured "beak" inside the bow to help deflect shells away from her magazines and barbettes. This wedge is a mixed blessing. While it does largely prevent citadel hits, it also upgrades many hits that would simply be overpenetrations into penetrating hits instead. So while it's unlikely for Cesare to take catastrophic hits when sailing directly bow onto an enemy, she'll still take large damaging hits as a matter of course. Cesare's extended belt armour covers her entire waterline to the rear, however, making her surprisingly tanky on the retreat. Just make sure you're aware of her worse gun fire angles when shooting over the shoulder so as to avoid giving up too much side when firing A and B turrets. Given these deficiencies in her armour scheme, it's best to take on a 15º to 20º angle towards enemies either on the attack or retreat to maximize the protection provided by your belt. Use her excellent agility to bait and dodge shells while unmasking your guns to return fire. Her agility should not be underestimated. Speed and camouflage will be your best defense in gunnery duels. Oh, and you can forget about Cesare having good protection against torpedoes. They hurt more than being stabbed twenty-three times. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 13.68km Air Detection Range: 9.42km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 11.41km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 10.86km Main Battery Firing Range: 16.37km Surface Detection Rank within Tier: Tied for first with Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: Tied for fourth with Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya Giulio Cesare is incredibly stealthy for a battleship. When she's top tier, the only ships that have better potential concealment are rare premiums, Nikolai I and Arkansas Beta. When she's bottom tier, the closest tier VI ships are New Mexico and Warspite with Cesare enjoying a 400m advantage. The closest tier VII is King George V with Cesare enjoying a 700m advantage. Combining her great handling and top speed, Cesare can dictate engagement ranges when fighting other battleships, which is a good thing. She will be uptiered often and this measure of control makes such matches far more comfortable than they would be otherwise. Silencing her guns and turning tail will allow you to disengage from unfavourable encounters. This goes a long way towards increasing her survivability. This is especially important given how blind she is. Cesare suffers like many battleships do that lack float plane fighters or some gimmicky consumable like Hydroacoustic Search. When forced to do her own spotting, she's groping in the dark which makes spits of land all the more dangerous and dealing with enemy destroyers far more challenging. It's worth noting just how small Giulio Cesare is. Even Duca d'Aosta, a light cruiser, is longer than the new battleship. She has a comparable length to the short and squat (and very cute) USS Texas but with even better concealment values. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 100mm / 37mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 4.0km / 3.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 26 / 70 / 27 Planes are a problem for Giulio Cesare. For one thing, they have a nasty habit of negating Cesare's impressive surface detection range. For another, they like to drop explody things that make me have a sad. As mentioned previously, Cesare's agility will largely keep you safe from munitions from tier IV and V carriers so long as you keep a wary eye out. Cross drops from an expertly played Zuiho can still cause issues. Her anti-aircraft armament isn't terrible, but it's not good. At best you could say that she doesn't have the worst AA power among battleships of her tier. Her large caliber guns are hamstrung by a 4.0km aura. For much of the playtesting period, I used AA Guns Modification 2 to help compensate for this (mostly because Aiming Systems Mod 1 was not available to testers) and this provided her with enough teeth to shoot down two or three aircraft from same or lower tier carriers per attack run. When facing higher tiered planes, killing one plane was a victory. Killing two was a triumph. So keep an eye on the skies. You'll need to manoeuvre to avoid attack and that can leave you open to incoming fire. Be sure to evaluate threats appropriately. How to Train your Publius Crassus Your first ten skill points in Giulio Cesare are rather standard for a stealthy battleship. Start with Priority Target. For those players comfortable with their situational awareness, this can be swapped for Preventative Maintenance or Expert Loader. At the next tier, take Expert Marksman. You're going to be throwing Cesare about often in heavy manoeuvres. Her turrets can barely keep up with her maximum rotation rate and this will help get your guns back on target. Superintendent is your best purchase next to give you an extra charge of your Repair Party. And finally, take Concealment Expert at top tier to drop your surface detection range down to 11.4km. This will help you control fights, especially when you're bottom tier in the Matchmaker. The current meta will reward you best for taking survivability based skills after this. Fire Prevention (4) and Basics of Survivability (3), should all be considered high value skills. Fire damage is especially prevalent at lower tiers. For the remaining two points, Adrenaline Rush (2) is your best investment. If you're especially salty about aircraft and want to feel like a big fish in a small pond, you can build for AA-power with Advanced Fire Training (4) and Basic Fire Training (3) instead. Combined with AA Guns Modification 2, this will give you a rather healthy flak umbrella that will make tier IV and V carriers rather salty when they engage you. However, be advised this build is not only sub-optimal, it's all but useless when facing tier VI and VII carriers. Cool battleships don't look at exploding aircraft. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Giulio Cesare has one lesson to teach novice players -- don't show your sides. Beyond that, she's not a terribly complicated ships, with very forgiving attributes. She's agile enough to respond to belatedly addressed threats. Her AP and HE shells are both competitive even when the wrong ammunition choice for a task is selected. She's not so fast that you will easily outstrip your support. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Veterans will love her concealment value, agility and speed while celebrating the punishing hitting power of her guns. If she wasn't blind, she would be the perfect mid-tier battleship. She presents an interesting challenge on how best to maximize her armour and what few hit points she has. Mouse's Summary: 1.9 sigma, good muzzle velocity and her gun layout makes her feel more accurate than her dispersion stats would otherwise indicate. She does not stand up well to abuse. She's got enough armour to shrug off a few hits but under concerted fire, she's not going to last very long. Make sure the things that are shooting at you die painful deaths. Fast, agile, stealthy. She hates planes. She also hates torpedoes. Giulio Cesare had an interesting development cycle. Her first iteration was disgustingly overpowered with the ship enjoying the same horizontal dispersion value as Japanese Heavy Cruisers (!) with a 1.5 sigma value. The second iteration was the ship we see now but without the Aiming System Modification 1 upgrade which is what this review is based upon. As I write this, I haven't had a chance to play her with the accuracy increase and I'm very much looking forward to that. It's only going to make playing her more fun. Giulio Cesare is a battleship that rewards good gunnery and awareness skills -- so much so that I honestly believe she might be just a little overpowered but I'm on the fence. This ship is going to spit so much damage so regularly, that I anticipate she's going to end up near the top of the pile on the damage meters. The only thing that will hold her back is her survivability and that's not nearly as bad as some may be dreading. Overall, she's a very powerful ship in the right hands. What I found worked best was keeping engagement distances out to about 10km to 12km and holding it there. This let Cesare's guns land hits regularly while still giving her enough time to angle or avoid incoming fire. Against more serious threats like the Scharnhorst-class battleships, extending this range to 14km helped, as well as switching ammunition based on the opportunities provided. Cesare feels a bit idiot proof in that you can spam HE and get good numbers. I found myself leaning upon this ammunition a little more than perhaps I should have. As a consequence, this lead to more than a few detonations of enemy vessels -- a total of five out of forty-six games played. This number shouldn't be considered anomalous -- any battleship that spams HE at soft targets like cruisers and destroyers could get similar results provided they can land the hits in the vicinity of the ammunition lockers. Cesare was uniquely suited to this with not only her improved accuracy but also her speed which let me get her into positions to hammer these softer targets early on in a match. Much will be made of Cesare being a tier V battleship and suffering the ills of the current Matchmaking. This is a battleship that up-tiers very well -- at least provided there are no aircraft carriers present. In pure gunship fights, she has all of the tools necessary to contend with these larger vessels. I did not feel horribly disadvantaged facing a Colorado, Nagato or King George V. It was a challenge facing these ships, to be sure, but it wasn't a forgone conclusion like it might be had I been sailing a New York or König. When Cesare is top tier, it's really not very fair. There are only a few ships to give me pause in such match-ups. A well played Hosho, Kamikaze or Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya might make me play a little more cautiously, but Cesare provides so many advantages it's hard not to feel confident when Matchmaker spat me out into such a game. Like the French cruiser, De Grasse, Giulio Cesare surprised me with how much fun she was to play. This is a ship I will be happily revisiting in my spare time when I can get her on my personal account. Would I Recommend? Well, I want her... PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Giulio Cesare is a real bully in PVE battles. Her operational costs are 11,500 to repair and typical ammunition costs amounting to this value again. This is an easy sum to recover in Co-Op. I highly recommend her for players that enjoy battering bots. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Giulio Cesare is a monster in Random Battles. She's got all of the tools needed to carry the day here. She's an easy recommendation for battleship lovers. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. I'm torn here and I think I would give her a pass. Giulio Cesare thrives in the chaos of a disorganized melee of Random or Co-Op battles. In the more structured (and often static) environment of a competitive arena, she may not fare as well where fire is often quite focused and manoeuvre plays second fiddle to hugging islands and concealment. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Giulio Cesare is one of the few battleships in WWII to have engaged in surface action against other battleships -- namely, HMS Warspite. For that reason alone (and her association with my favourite bae-bote), she gets a nod here, especially for those that like to recreate historical engagements in training rooms. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Very yes. I had a lot of fun playing this ship. It reminded me of the good ol' days of playing Kongo back in Beta. What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE - Grossly uncompetitive and badly in need of buffs.Mehbote - Average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable, but certainly not advantageous.Gudbote - A strong ship that has obvious competitive strengths and unique features that make it very appealing.OVERPOWERED - A ship with very clear advantages over all of its competitors and unbalancing the game with its inclusion.
  22. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review - Wujing

    The following is a review of Wujing, the tier IX premium Pan Asian Alsace-class battleship. This ship has kindly been provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes -- I did not have to spend money to get access to this ship. To the best of my knowledge, the performance statistics discussed in this review are accurate as of patch 0.10.2. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. Look, this one is pretty simple: = Wujing is a Pan Asian, premium version of the fully-upgraded French tier IX tech-tree battleship, Alsace. She clones Alsace's performance in every respect barring economy where Wujing earns more and comes with free premium camouflage. If you want to try her out for "free" (barring the time to accomplish the grind), unlock Alsace, play a few rounds in it and imagine yourself earning more credits because, y'know, Wujing is a premium. Bam, there you go; that's Wujing. For posterity's sake, I'll record her stats as she appeared at the time of this article's publishing but I'm not going to do a deep-dive into her performance. Quick Summary: Wujing is a Pan Asian Alsace. Seriously, we just went over this. If I have to explain everything twice, this is going to take forever. PROS Good citadel protection with stacked layers of armour amounting to 482mm of straight-line protection. Large main battery of twelve guns. Heavy secondary battery with good fire setting abilities. Decent agility with her Engine Boost assisting with her flexibility. Good AA firepower when it comes to supporting allies with much of her DPS focused in long-range batteries & flak. CONS Only 32mm of structural steel on the entirety of the ship, making her very vulnerable to cruiser HE spam. Her 380mm AP shells are incapable of overmatching a lot of the structural armour on cruisers she faces. Long, 32 second base reload. Unfortunate 1.6 sigma makes her guns fire like a shotgun spread. Her secondaries look much more capable than they actually are, having accuracy and penetration problems which keeps them from pulling their weight, even with a deep-specialization. Enormous turning circle radius of 910m. I'm not a fan of Wujing, not because she doesn't perform well (though I could go on a small rant about the nerfs made to Alsace in order to make room for Bourgogne), but because she's simply a clone. As nice as the skin looks, she feels very low-effort. Bajie is a much more interesting choice, given that Wargaming at least massaged her stats a little. It's a bit of an aside but with Yukon on the horizon, I feel like we dodged a bit of a bullet that she's at least getting the Bajie treatment instead of a simple copy-paste performance job like Wujing. Overall? Skip this one unless you really (REALLY) love your Alsace and want a premium version of her. Alternatively, you could just toss the money into a premium, perma camo for Alsace. The economy gains won't come close but it's the principle of the thing. Stats Dump:
  23. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review - Flandre

    The following is a review of Flandre, the tier VIII French Alsace-class battleship. This ship has been kindly provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes -- I did not have to pay for access to this ship. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.10.2. In the back of my mind, I always knew that World of Warships would eventually reach a state where the lines became bloated as those in her sister-game, World of Tanks. The sheer volume of choice is daunting, overwhelming even. Flandre is that tipping point for me; that moment where tackling World of Warships content has personally gotten to the point where it feels like there's just so much stuff out there. Flandre is the third premium tier VIII French battleship. There are now as many French battleships at this tier as there are British battleships at tier VII. Imagine being a new player trying to decide between the three as your first premium purchase, never mind the other dozen premium battleships she competes with directly. Wargaming appears to be trying to simplify matters. There's no gimmicks to know with Flandre. There's no additional oddities to obfuscate her performance. She is exactly what is described on the tin: a nine 380mm-gun armed battleship with a very traditional turret layout. Forget all of the gunnery and armour weirdness of Champagne. Ignore Gascogne's special consumables and weird placement of her quadruple turrets. Flandre is an easy-to-digest, simple battleship with predictable levels of performance. So with everything getting more complicated, Flandre is a breath of fresh-air. That or she's incredibly boring. Your mileage may vary. Summary: A tier VIII Alsace-class battleship with nine 380mm guns instead of twelve and crappy consumables. PROS Enormous hit point pool for a tier VIII battleship at 75,400hp. Thick citadel protection with upwards of 500mm worth of armour. Excellent torpedo damage reduction of 44%. Comfortable gun handling with a 5º/s rotation rate. Heavy secondary battery with a 7.6km base range. Fast for a tier VIII battleship with a top speed of 33.5kts. Heavy DPS in her long-range AA batteries, good for providing friendly support. CONS Uncomfortably slow 33 second reload on her main battery. Limited overmatch potential on her 380mm guns. Poor forward firing angles on her main battery. Most of her secondaries are incapable of directly damaging her opponents. Large turning circle radius of 910m. Limited consumables with no Engine Boost and one fewer charge of Repair Party. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme Flandre is pretty basic as far as battleships come. She doesn't earn a Simple rating for the following reasons: She doesn't have a universal ammunition type. You have to know when to use AP and when to use HE and against which targets. She's still vulnerable to citadel hits, unlike some battleships I could mention. So you need to be aware of angling and making sure you're not accidentally flashing your sides to something halfway across the map. This is a ship built for kiting, not for head-on fights. She can do the latter, but she's much better when used in the former role. Her short range puts her in harms way way too easily. And that's it, really. Flandre is a modest ride for more veteran players with her speed easily being her best asset. It's not all sunshine and roses, though. Her lack of reach makes taking up a central position and capitalizing on those fire lanes a bit of a no-go. Similarly, her limited consumables provides less flexibility than other French battleships. She does really kite well, though, which is a skill onto itself that pays off, but instances where you can make best use of that are situational. Still, she does offer a variety of game play options, up to and including taking her into a brawl. So, there's more to know than the basics and it's nice when a ship can grow with your skill set. Options I'm going to do something weird here and advocate for a secondary build as an alternative to the more standard emphasis on main battery firepower and fire prevention builds. Please note that this is a meme-build, way-way-WAY sub-optimal for any kind of PVP battle. Like, it's embarrassing how badly a secondary build ranks up to the more common survivability + sniping build. However, it's fun. I recognize that a lot of my readers enjoy PVE modes and secondary builds certainly have a lot more functionality there where the optimization rules change considerably. Consumables Flandre is absolutely bare-bones when it comes to her low-quality consumables. Her Damage Control Party is normal at least with a 15 second active period and 80 second reset timer. It has unlimited charges, as you would expect. Her Repair Party, on the other hand, comes with three charges instead of the usual four. The rest is as expected, queuing 10% of citadel damage, 50% of penetration damage and 100% of everything else. It will heal back up to 14% of her health over 28 seconds and it has an 80 second reset timer. And that's it. Flandre gets no other consumables and her Repair Party is crappy. Looooser. ♫ Upgrades You want to build your ship for fire-mitigation while buffing your main battery firepower where ever possible. To this end: Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. Damage Control System Modification 1 is the only worthwhile choice in slot two. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is optimal in slot three and by a significant margin. HOWEVER, for those who like inefficient meme-builds (or simply those who prefer PVE-modes to PVP), then you can get away with Secondary Battery Modification 1. This is the start of that aforementioned secondary build I mentioned earlier and I will go into more detail about its strengths and weaknesses in the Firepower section below. Damage Control System Modification 2 is best in slot four. And Concealment Modification 1 remains optimal for just about everyone in slot five. No big surprises there. Commander Skills Oh yeah, it's time to re-use a graphic! ♪ Wuh-BAAAYUM! ♫ Circles are must haves with squares as alternates to your preference. Until Wargaming gets around to fixing things, Dead Eye is optimal but you do you, cupcake. If you want to try your hand at playing a secondary build, it's going to look something like this: For the yellow circles, pick the skill that best suits your playstyle, but only one at each tier. Then take the red circles and finally gobble up the last three in blue squares. The idea here is that you can eschew worrying about concealment. You accept that you're not going to live very long, so buffing the number of Repair Party charges you have access to doesn't really matter. You will be set on fire, probably repeatedly, so fire prevention and mitigation skills still have some value. But you're going full-bore on the secondaring buffing skills. You can swap out the fire mitigation skills for Emergency Repair Expert and Adrenaline Rush if you're feeling metal, though. Just appreciate that you will die screaming and one fire. Your secondaries will be rockin', though. Note that Inertial Fuse for HE Shells isn't 100% necessary but it comes highly recommended for the sake of allowing her 100mm secondaries to have a chance of directly damaging a limited number of targets. However taking it thoroughly neuters her ability to set blazes -- something her secondaries do stupidly well. Camouflage Flandre comes with Type 10 Camouflage, providing the usual bonuses for a tier VIII battleship: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -10% to post-battle service costs. +50% experience earned. Her alternative palette can be unlocked through completing the "Legion of Honor" collection. Firepower Main Battery: Nine 380mm guns in 3x3 turrets in an A-B-X superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Nine 152mm guns in 3x3 turrets mounted on the centreline with one superfiring over B-turret and two superfiring over X-turret and twenty-eight (!) 100mm guns in 14x2 turrets in a superfiring stair arrangement with seven turrets per side amidships. Ouch. Why are we spending money on this? You know your HE DPM is bad when ROMA outdoes you. Something smells fowl Why does Flandre have a 33 second reload with only nine 380mm guns? There's something ducky going on here. The duckyness stems from Flandre's Alsace-grade durability. She has a lot of hit points. She has good (but not amazing) citadel protection. Ergo, with a little tweak to her sigma, Wargaming felt justified in throttling her reload time. It's even worse than Alsace's own 32 second reload and Flandre does not get access to Alsace's Main Battery Modification 3 upgrade to cut that down to the much more manageable 28.2 seconds. Combine this with the (relatively) small calibre of Flandre's shells and her DPM stinks like monkey-butts. Keep in mind, this is at a tier where the other 380mm armed battleships flirt with 25 and 26 second reloads with eight or nine guns. Let's go through the list; Vittorio Veneto: Nine 381mm guns with a 34 second reload. Shut up, she gets SAP. Richelieu: Eight 380mm guns with a 30 second reload. Roma & AL Littorio: Nine 381mm guns with a 30 second reload. Gascogne: Eight 380mm guns with a 28 second reload. Bismarck & Tirpitz: Eight 380mm guns with a 26 second reload. Vanguard: Eight 381mm guns with a 25 second reload. Famous & Historical Monarch: Nine 381mm guns with a 25 (!) second reload. Obviously this means Famous & Historical Monarch's firepower is grossly overpowered. No wonder she was selected to be the basis of a new premium. Now where was I? Oh, right! As of late, Wargaming seems addicted to shackling battleships with reloads greater than thirty seconds. The last two battleship lines, the Italian and American standard-type battleships all struggle with appalling reloads and Flandre fits right in with this mould. It is not a shape I like. Usually there's a reason for these longer reloads and as stated earlier, Flandre's slacking on her rate of fire is supposed to be compensated for by her chunky hit point pool and armour. Is that worth it? Well, spoiler alert: Not for me. It's not that the extra durability isn't potent in its own right (and more on that later), it's that 380mm guns are already feeling a bit small in calibre by tier VIII. So Flandre was already facing some challenges right out the gates. But it gets worse when you start comparing her to the other French battleships at her tier. Let's ignore Champagne as she is very much her own beast. Richelieu's guns are easier to use with their all bow-mount layout. Gascogne has improved sigma over Flandre. On top of firing more quickly, both of these ships out-range Flandre to a significant degree. Flandre's 20km reach cannot be modified. She lacks access to a Spotter Aircraft (something both Richelieu and Gascogne enjoy) and it's infuriating how often Flandre's guns feel just out of reach, especially in the opening moments of a match when a friendly carrier might be spotting a juicy broadside. Thus the combination of the poor reload and reduced range makes Flandre's guns less able to take advantage of opportunities than the other French battleships. She may otherwise clone their ballistics and (good) penetration but she's much more limited in carry potential, at least firepower wise. Flandre's guns are ... well, they're not good, let's be honest. Nine 380mm guns with wonky French dispersion and a shoddy reload? That ducks. I don't care how tough you are. Oh, French dispersion, you so silly. This is a standard dispersion test with 180 AP shells fired at a distance of 15km at a stationary Fuso bot. Shots are coming in from right to left. The Fuso has no camouflage, upgrades or skills that disrupt incoming shell fire. Flandre was using Aiming Systems Modification 1 but not Dead Eye. Flandre's fire arcs are much better suited to kiting than going on the attack. If you can fire all three guns forward, your opponent's return fire can punch into your belt. Flandre's AP penetration is decent compared to the other 380mm/381mm guns at her tier. I'd make a bigger deal about her AP penetration but she's competing with 406mm and 410mm AP rounds against which she doesn't look so favourable. Approximate AP penetration data pulled from wowsft.com The Death of Secondary Specializations Once upon a time, many years ago, there was one (and only one) defining feature that dictated if a ship had good secondaries or not: Range. In our naivety in the long-long ago, in the before-times, if a battleship had 4.5km or (gasp!) 5km secondaries, they were good. So long as you had enough guns and your citadel wasn't hiked up to your nipples, you should seriously consider buffing them. This is why we had secondary-spec'd Nagato-class battleships wandering around (5km secondaries, my gawd!) back in 2015 and early 2016. Much has changed since then. We have had two commander-skill reworks, one major and a couple of minor upgrade reworks, the addition of new signals, changes made to secondary ammunition, changes made to secondary range and changes made to secondary accuracy besides. What's more, we have a better understanding now of things like penetration, module damage and most-recently, dispersion. Thus, for players, evaluating secondary quality is a much more refined (if complicated) process. Under the old system, Flandre's secondaries look like the sex. Under the new, they have a couple of things going for them but on the whole, they are found wanting. Here's the criteria we look for now and how Flandre stacks up: Range: Flandre's secondaries are long ranged with a 7.6km base reach which can be upgraded up to 11.49km which is very respectable. This is longer ranged than Massachusetts, equal to Bismarck & Tirpitz and behind Odin's own secondaries. Gun Types: Flandre uses two calibres of gun. The bulk of her secondary armament is made up of quick-firing 100mm guns backed by (much) slower firing 152mm guns. Generally speaking, a homogeneous secondary battery is preferred. It's easier to evaluate for one. For another, it's easier to decide if a given secondary battery is worth investing skills like Inertial Fuse for HE Shells when there's a singular armament. So this is a point against Flandre's secondaries as there are very different needs and performance between the two weapons. DPM: Obviously the bigger the numbers, the better. Flandre's secondaries have the potential to put out monstrous amounts of DPM. But there's a couple of catches... Dispersion: If you can't hit your target, that DPM is going to throttle quickly. Flandre's secondaries are bare bones when it comes to secondary accuracy, having neither the slightly improved German dispersion, nor the much-improved Massachusetts (and British & Japanese large-calibre) secondary dispersion. Boo-urns. Penetration: Next up, those hits don't matter much if they can't inflict damage. The bulk of Flandre's secondary fire has 17mm of HE penetration which isn't enough to directly damage the hulls of same-tier destroyers and makes her patently incapable of damaging same-tier battleships anywhere. Inertial Fuse for HE Shells can correct this somewhat, but..... Fire Chance: ... taking IFHE hurts her fire chance. While Flandre's direct damage potential is in the toilet, her fire setting is some of the best out there. Those 100mm spit out a lot of shells and that again leads to a lot of potential fires-per-minute (again so long as dispersion behaves). Unfortunately, you need to choose between Flandre's secondaries doing direct damage or starting fires if you choose to specialize into them which makes them work at cross purposes. Firing Arcs: Flandre's firing arcs are okay. They're not great with the majority of her fire being aimed towards her broadside (40º off her bow or stern). This doesn't make them the best for taking on an aggressive brawling stance. So even before we get into whether or not secondary commander skill builds are worthwhile, Flandre's secondaries are severely flawed. Stock, they're good at starting fires but that will only really work against enemy battleships. Against destroyers and cruisers, you're not going to stack significant fire damage (if at all, given their short Damage Control Party) and you need to invest into Inertial Fuse for HE Shells if you want to have even a chance to directly hurt most of the enemy vessels you'll be coming across. Because of this, outside of PVE-modes, you're never going to get as much mileage out of Flandre's secondaries to make the skill investment pay off. I supoose the one caveat there is that no one will really be expecting Flandre's secondaries to reach out and slap them at over 11km, so you might be able to catch someone off-guard But the simple fact of the matter is that commander skills cannot band-aid mediocre secondaries they way they used to. The disparity in accuracy is so significant between the old ways and the new that you're just not going to land the hits necessary to make Flandre's secondaries pay off -- especially when compared to a more traditional Dead Eye or survivability build. Summary Flandre's weapon systems are C-grade at best but that's only if I'm feeling generous. I would rather be using Gascogne's or Roma's armaments. What does that tell you? VERDICT: Blech. Durability Hit Points: 75,400 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 32mm / 19mm / 32mm / 32mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 50mm anti-torpedo bulge + 350mm belt + 50mm turtleback + 50mm citadel wall. Torpedo Damage Reduction: 44% The insert here shows Flandre's citadel and lower hull armour geometries. The citadel's roof sits between the two 370mm plates and has a 40mm roof. Flandre is a bit of a roller coaster ride when it comes to her protection. Flandre's Repair Party has one fewer charge than most other battleships. That's . Flandre has an enormous hit point pool. That's . All of her structural plate fails to exceed 32mm, making her highly vulnerable to cruiser-calibre HE fire. That's . She has excellent anti-torpedo protection! That's . Her turtleback isn't angled steeply enough to ricochet incoming fire. That's . She has many layers of thick armour protecting her citadel. That's . She doesn't come with a free Frogurt™. That's . Go figure, a given ship has both strengths and weaknesses. How nuanced. Of course, if writing ship reviews for six years has taught me anything, it's that the internet hates nuance. People want their facts delivered in grossly oversimplified sound bites, preferably packaged in memeable formats. So what's the skinny with Flandre? It's not good news on the whole. Yes, she has a lot of health. Yes, she has good torpedo protection. Yes she's got a lot of layered armour protection around her citadel. However, she does not repulse incoming fire well. Angled in, she can bounce AP shells, at least so long as shells don't strike her large superstructure. There's enough weird geometry going on there that she cannot guarantee over-penetrations, even from battleship calibre rounds. The 100mm barbettes of her secondaries are more than capable of fusing even Shikishima's AP shells, so Flandre may end up taking some big, meaty hits that way. Furthermore, she has no hope of stopping an HE farm upon her person. Finally, her modest 20km reach of her main battery guns means that she usually has to place herself within range of cruisers in order to be able to fire back at her opponents, so you're almost constantly at risk of trading fire. And so you're forced to lean hard on that big health pool of her's. Do savour the little victories where you can: Feel good when that combination of her torpedo bulge and belt armour bounces a long-distance AP shell or eats a SAP round. Rejoice that you took almost half damage from that Japanese torpedo that caught you amidships. Be glad when that battleship shell gets trolled successfully by her weird, layered citadel protection. Those are the good moments. But overall, she'll be giving up a lot of health over the course of a match. Despite having more starting hit points than any other tier VIII battleship, the loss of one Repair Party charge drops Flandre down the list in terms of potential health. Still, don't overlook that chunky hit point total. While it does mean that she shrugs off penetration hits better than her peers, HE spamming ships love her for the big damage totals they get from their fires. VERDICT: If I'm in an HE spamming ship, I am totally focus-firing any Flandre I see for easy big-numbers from the ensuing fires. Agility Top Speed: 33.5 knots Turning Radius: 910m 7Rudder Shift Time: 16.6 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 4.2º/s at 25 knots Flandre's only saving grace here is her high-top speed. And that top speed is great, do not mistake me. Her 33.5 knots is downright amazing and barring being run down by smaller ships, Georgia or French battleships, she's fast enough to fully control engagement distances. But this is but one of many failing attributes that her speed must band-aid. Her turning circle radius is atrocious for a tier VIII battleship but her speed allows her to maintain at least a passable rate of rotation in spite of this. Similarly, a higher top speed provides a greater variety of possible velocities at which she can be moving, which in turn can foul up enemy gunnery estimations. Given Flandre's soft outer skin, avoiding incoming fire altogether is really her only recourse for reliably avoiding damage. What disappoints me most here is the lack of an Engine Boost consumable so commonplace on other French battleships (though admittedly not universal). While Flandre's top speed is amazing, Gascogne and Champagne both gave better flexiblity grace of their consumables, on top of being more agile overall. Flandre doesn't have bad agility, but she's definitely the weakest of the four tier VIII French battleships. Flandre has enough speed to get her both into and out of trouble. It's all on how you use it. While Flandre's rate of turn isn't terrible, her turning radius is large. She's spared a worse agility rating thanks to her high top speed. VERDICT: Only passable thanks to her good top speed. Anti-Aircraft Defence Flak Bursts: 6+4 explosions for 1,400 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.8km. Long Ranged (up to 5.8km): 276.5dps at 75% accuracy Medium Ranged (up to 3.5km): 115.5dps at 75% accuracy Short Ranged (up to 2.5km): 73.5dps at 70% accuracy Flandre has two nice elements going for her when it comes to AA defence: She puts out a ridiculous amount of flak. She has a lot of sustained DPS focused into her long-range batteries. The division of Flandre's sustained AA DPS feels downright German. So much of it is focused within her long range betteries to the deficit of the efficiency of medium and small calibre weapons. Flandre's AA defence is comparable to (but worse than) a stock Alsace layout to put it in perspective, overall coming out about as efficient as Richelieu's. However, the massive weight of fire located in her large-calibre weapons front-loads her damage against incoming aircraft, making them feel more effectove than their numbers might otherwise indicate. This makes Flandre an excellent escort-vessel, able to provide effective, long-range support to allies. This combines with the fearsome number of flak clouds she puts out. Though these are individually less powerful than many of her contemporaries, she puts out so damn many of them. While you're not likely to catch an expert CV with one of them, the sheer volume will foul up more novice players and clobber bots hilariously. Look at all of that long-range AA DPS for Flandre! It's too bad she doesn't follow it up with medium and short-ranged AA DPS. Oh well. Those ships marked with an asterix include reskinned clones that share their AA values. VERDICT: Not bad at all. Flandre is definitely a friendly ship you want to hug if your own AA is a bit lacking. Vision Control Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 16.2km / 12.73km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 12.09km / 9.79km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 14.93km Maximum Firing Range: 20km There's not too much to go over here. Flandre has decent surface detection for a tier VIII battleship, but it's nothing remarkable. She doesn't bring any bonus detection consumables to the table, nor is she capable of boosting her main battery range. Yup, pretty normal. All you really need to know is her Dead Eye window is pretty comfortable but you're not likely to sneak up on anything. Have a data dump sorted by base surface detection range. Final Evaluation I was going to make a bad joke using John McCrae's famous poem. When Flanders is fielded, you've got to go On the A-line, or the back row To own some face; and with Dead Eye beg RNG and then ask why you get scarce hits upon your foe. Yeah, I think I'll stop there. Flandre! Is she good? Heck to the no, she is not good. Comfy? Yes. Adequate? Sure. Good? No way. Look, Roma is the better boat, no matter how you slice it. She has better protection, better guns, better concealment and better agility. The only thing that sets Flandre apart is her support AA-firepower and her big chunk of starting HP. So in matches where the damage you take comes at you all at once, sure, Flandre might survive where Roma might not. Maybe. Roma's more likely to shrug off the hits in the first place and go undetected. Roma's also better at dodging. So would you throw money at Roma? No? Then Flandre isn't worth it. Even if you stick within French lines, Gascogne is the more interesting vessel. Go back and look over all of those charts and graphs. Look at how Flandre stacks up to Roma and Gascogne. Roma has the additional benefit of not suffering from a commander-skill identity crisis. Though neither ship has secondaries worth upgrading, Flandre and Gascogne might fool you into thinking that they are. And Roma gets a beer-pope-hat. I really don't think I need to say more than that. Mouse out. So cool.
  24. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review - Hizen

    The following is a review of Hizen, the tier IX Japanese battleship and reward vessel for the Christmas 2020 Dockyard event. This ship was provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes at no cost to myself -- I didn't have to grind or spend doubloons on it (but I did anyway). To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.10.2. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. Quick Summary: A Japanese battleship armed with twelve, slow-firing 410mm guns. PROS Thick lateral citadel protection. Armed with twelve 410mm guns, giving her the equivalent of a tier X alpha strike potential. Comfortable fire angles on her main battery guns. CONS Soft structural armour making her highly vulnerable to cruiser-calibre HE spam. Terrible (AWFUL) base reload time of 38 seconds per salvo. Slow for a high-tier battleship with a top speed of 28.2kts. Terrible anti-aircraft firepower. Visible from space. Her Repair Party has one fewer charges than a standard version of the consumable. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / MODERATE / High / Extreme Hizen offers stereotypical Japanese battleship game-play; the kind of stuff you cut your teeth on back with Myogi and Kongo back at tiers IV and V. Namely: keep back, stick to AP as much as possible and protect your citadel. It's not quite as idiot proof as say British or German battleship game play (which definitely deserve a "Simple" rating for most of their ships), it is pretty bare bones in terms of complexity. The biggest hurdle to overcome is reliable long-range gunnery. Her slow rate of fire punishes novice players in this manner, with every missed salvo hurting that much more. Sadly, this same lack of complexity reduced the carry value of this ship. Hizen doesn't brawl well. She's not fast or flexible. Expert players can make good use of kiting skills, ammunition choices and knowing where on the map to properly set up, but there are faster, tougher and overall better ships which can do Hizen's job and more besides. Options Consumables Hizen's consumables are normal for a Japanese battleship barring her Repair Party which has one fewer charges than expected. Her Damage Control Party is standard for a Japanese battleship with its 10 second active period. It has unlimited charges and an 80 second reset timer. Hizen's Repair Party is a disappointment, starting with only 3 charges instead of the usual 4. It heals back up to 14% of the ship's health over 28 seconds, queuing 10% of citadel damage, 50% of penetration damage and 100% of everything else. It has an 80s reset timer. In her third slot, you have the choice between a Spotter Aircraft and a Catapult Fighter. The former comes with four charges, increases her main battery range by 20% (up to 24.4km standard or 28.3km with Gun Fire Control Modification 2) for 100 seconds and has a 240 second reset timer. The latter launches 4 fighters which stay on station, orbiting the ship at a range of 3km for 60 seconds. It comes with three charges and has a 90 second reset timer. Upgrades Hizen's upgrade choices are bog-standard for a not-brawling, un-American, high-tier battleship Start with Main Armaments Modification 1 Mitigate fires with Damage Control System Modification 1 in slot two. You're a sniper, so grab Aiming System Modification 1 in slot three. Reduce fire and flooding damage with Damage Control System Modification 2 in slot four. Concealment Expert is still the best choice in slot 5. Boring, I know. Main Battery Modification 3 is the best choice for slot 6. Hizen's 38 second reload is appalling and you can reduce this 38 second warcrime down to a 33.44s political oopsie-daisy. However, if you want to buff your range from 20.33km to 23.58km instead, then Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 isn't a terrible choice. Commander Skills The more things change, the more they stay the same. There are a couple of "must have" skills for Hizen, namely Dead Eye (tier 4), Fire Prevention Expert (also tier 4) and Basics of Survivability (tier 3). Collecting these three skills is a must. After that it's down to recommended skills for you to mix and match to make your ideal build. At tier 1: Gun Feeder or Emergency Repair Specialist are your best choices. I'd only take one at this tier. At tier 2: Grease the Gears and Priority Target are the ones to focus on. On one of my builds, I grabbed both but this compromised the high-tier skills I could take. I prefer the latter to the former. At tier 3: After you take Basics of Survivability you're going to want Adrenaline Rush to attack her awful reload time. At tier 4: Dead Eye, Emergency Repair Expert, Concealment Expert and Fire Prevention Expert are all good skills. For Hizen, Concealment Expert is probably the weakest of the four while Dead Eye and Fire Prevention Expert are the strongest. Mix and match as you please. If you intend to take three tier 4 skills, you will end up with a build like the following: Gun Feeder (1) Priority Target (2) Adrenaline Rush (3), Basics of Survivability (3) Dead Eye (4), Emergency Repair Expert (4), Fire Prevention Expert (4). Camouflage Hizen has access to two kinds of camouflage. Type 10 and War Paint - Hizen. They provide identical bonuses of: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -20% to post-battle service costs. +100% to experience gains.  Hizen's Type 10 camouflage offers an alternate palette if you have completed the appropriate section of the Isoroku Yamamoto collection. In port, Hizen's War Paint camouflage will have 60 sailors out on deck in parade formation (I think that's what it's called). Firepower Main Battery: Twelve 410mm guns in 4x3 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Nine 155mm guns in 3x3 turrets and sixteen 127mm mounts in 8x2 turrets. Secondary Specialist Musashi Hizen's secondaries are crap. Hizen shares a similar secondary armament to Musashi barring the addition of two, faster-firing 127mm/40 guns per side. While the range of Hizen's secondaries is perfectly functional, their rate of fire is is slow. Were it not for the improved HE shell performance on Japanese battleships, her DPM would be in the doldrums with their crap reload. As it is, individual hits are chunky enough that on a raw DPM chart, she holds pace with Pommern and Friedrich der Große but with (much) worse fire angles and accuracy. Thankfully, the 0.10.0 skill rework made secondary-builds even less optimal than they once were, so you should have zero inclination on specializing Hizen down this route. Cross-Eyed Sniper It's all too easy to myopically focus on Hizen's 38 second reload and dwell on nothing but. However, she is decidedly more flawed than this mere lapse in reload-speed. Ostensibly, Hizen has a tier X armament that has been shoe-horned in to tier IX by nerfing the crap out of it. Wargaming managed this by giving Hizen's artillery three cardinal sins: Her reload is butts. Her accuracy is butts. Her range is butts. Hizen has slightly better penetration than Amagi (and her tier VII sister Ashitaka as well as Nagato). This is owing to a higher muzzle velocity and slightly reduced shell drag which provides better energy preservation over distance. This doesn't quite hold a candle to the punch of Izumo (and Bajie's) improved weapons which have more velocity, Krupp and even less drag. However, Hizen's reduced range makes it difficult to fully capitalize on this advantage. Let's start with the last thing first and begin with her range. Barring the new Italian battleships, Hizen has the worst range among the tier IX battleships, sitting 50m behind the Sovetsky Soyuz-sisters. After that, most of them best her by at least 1km with the American ships (aside from Georgia) being particular stand-outs given that they'll balloon their range up with third-slot upgrades to increase the gap even further. This range deficit might not be so bad if: (a) Hizen had better concealment... which she doesn't and... (b) Hizen had better armour protection ... which she also doesn't. Her 19.33km range may not seem like that big of a flaw; after all, it's just one upgrade away from being corrected and her Spotter Aircraft can provide some temporary relief. However, her lack of reach makes taking an influential, central map position more difficult. Again, her Spotter Aircraft may be enough to make up the gap, but if it's on cooldown when you need it most, the opportunity is wasted. Furthermore, if you upgrade her range, you then suffer the full force of her horrible reload. This largely relegates Hizen to straight up, heads-on engagements or waiting forever and a day fire between salvos if she does buff her range to enable flanking shots. While going heads-up works fine against smaller vessels (her 410mm guns are perfectly capable of overmatching the bows of any light, heavy or super-cruiser she comes across) she is less capable when facing other battleships. I make a lot of lists when putting together reviews. Notepad is my friend. This is the range of the tier VIII, IX and X battleships in order. 180 AP shells fired at 15km at a stationary Fuso-bot that has no camouflage. Shots are coming in from right to left, with the Fuso-bot effectively bow-tanking. All three firing vessels used Aiming System Modification 1 but did not use Dead Eye. Hizen's gunnery is a lot less comfortable than either Amagi's or Izumo's. It's frustrating how badly she scatters her shots like a shotgun blast. Hizen's gunnery woes compound further with her dispersion antics. While Japanese battleships have reduced horizontal dispersion over distance, their vertical dispersion at high tiers is much less forgiving. The overall area that Hizen blows her loads over is enormous and reminds me very much of some of my gunnery tests with Italian battleships. Admittedly, it's not as bad as that but after a few frustrating matches, it was hard not to draw the comparisson. Couple this with Hizen's 1.7 sigma value and her reliability just isn't there. For a ship with such a painfully long reload, watching your shells disperse to the four corners of the globe is infuriating (doubly so if you aren't using Main Battery Modification 3). Hizen's broadside of twelve guns will usually ensure that something hits, but it's easy to be blinded to their reduced efficiency that way. Hizen is slower firing and less accurate besides and this really hurts her damage output. Dead Eye is a must. Don't leave port without it and keep as far back as you can so that it's always working. Hizen's appalling reload time means that even with twelve guns she simply keeps pace with the eight and nine-gun armed ships at her tier. So, she's comparable DPM to an Iowa-class but with bigger alpha strike potential ... and worse accuracy. Japanese battleship HE shells do almost as much damage as British battleship HE shells. They just don't have the increased penetration or high fire chance of the British rounds. Which brings us now to Hizen's defining trait: her 38 second reload. Her twelve 410mm gun armament should stand out more, but it's caged and butchered behind this awful reload. Main Battery Modification 3 corrects this somewhat, morphing it down to a "mere" 33.4 seconds. With so many battleships at her tier firing between seven and ten seconds faster, Hizen's trades are dirt-poor. Despite what the DPM charts will tell you, her awful dispersion further throttles her damage output. She may appear to be able to keep pace (or be slightly better than) some of the nine-gun armed ships but the reality is that barring some spectacular RNGeebus-blessed alpha strikes, Hizen just doesn't keep pace. This is born out by performance stats where her damage totals are rather middling for such a large broadside. She's not terrible, but it would be a mistake to imagine that her large armament conferred any kind of advatage with all of these other flaws stacked against her. Hizen's fire angles are soooo close to being ideal, if only her rearward angles were a little more tight. Keep this fact in mind when we discuss kiting. Taking Main Battery Modification 3 guts her turret rotation rate from 4º/s down to 3.5º/s, allowing her to out-turn her turrets which is annoying. Summary The premise of Hizen is delivering these massive, twelve-gun alpha strikes at the expense of sustained fire. But she works at cross-purposes to herself with a lack of range and accuracy to facilitate dropping those bombs across people's decks. For such a long reload, another kilometer or two's worth of reach would have made all of the difference, allowing her to cross-fire from a central position. Her bad dispersion could have been swallowed as a throttling measure to keep her reliability down, necessitating taking several bites at the apple. As it stands, Hizen can put out some respectable damage and she can be an impressive artillery platform, but that's largely owing to RNGeebus being your close, personal friend and the Reds playing like idiots -- neither of these things should be counted on. Hizen's firepower doesn't open up opportunities. She's forced to have them handed to her. This kind of passivity is frustrating and uninteresting. VERDICT: Oh boy, "worse than it appears, but not so bad that it's terrible" summarizes Hizen's gunnery best. Durability Hit Points: 75,900 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 32mm / 19mm / 32mm / 32mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 356mm belt + 108mm to 115mm turtleback Torpedo Damage Reduction: 37% Hizen's defence is ... well, meh. (This uninspired sentence has been brought to you by: Chemical Dependence™. "Bring me caffeine or I'll eat your skin.") Hizen's armour protection is almost reasonable -- meaning that it's surprising how bad it is because it fails to meet even the low-set bar of Musashi and Izumo. I am shocked (shocked!) that Hizen's amidship deck is only 32mm while Musashi and Izumo both manage 57mm. Combined with her massive superstructure, Hizen is an easy damage farm for any cruiser-calibre HE shells. So that's unfortunate. She also inherits Izumo's buttacular shell-trap when she tries to kite. That stepped freeboard is an easy opening for incoming AP rounds to strike and there's no way to angle it to prevent that from happening. This is a shame because there's some very handsome extended waterline belt stretching out towards her butt which should foil attempts to penetrate her when angled. But all one needs to get around that is simply aim a little higher. You can't count on high-tier players to constantly derp shells into the waterline anyway. Bots will, players won't. Unless you're planning on using Hizen exclusively in co-op, her armour scheme gives away a lot of penetration damage, even when angled. It's best not to present any kind of target in the first place because her hit points drain fast when she gets focused. Which brings up the other thing: Hizen's Repair Party isn't good. While she has a very chunky hit point pool, having one fewer charge of her heals with no improvements to the consumable in compensation just means that she has less staying power than comparable battleships. Building for fire and flooding mitigation is doubly important because she simply isn't capable of recovering from them as readily as everyone else. Her citadel protection is ... well, like everything else, it's not great. It's slightly improved over Izumo's own, but only slightly. Given the sheer amount of metal in place, Hizen is generally safe from Citadel hits if she camps out at her maximum range. However, there are a few battleships out there that can manage in excess of 500mm of penetration out to 20km and those ones can still punish Hizen for giving up her sides, so be careful of flanking fire. Hizen herself doesn't quite have the range to comfortably sit back any further without compromising her already terrible rate of fire. Finally, there's some funny geometry going on with here forward citadel protection with the barbette of A-turret plugging a "hole" in the transverse bulkhead of Hizen's forward magazine. While this may present a "cheek" weakness similar to Yamato, I never received a citadel hit through it (that I'm aware of), nor was I able to generate citadel hits on the few opportunities I had to test it out in my games. It might be a weakness, but it wasn't easily replicable in my experience, so be aware that it might be a weakness, just not as enormous as Yamato's blushing cheeks. Overall, I can't call Hizen a durable ship. She has a lot of hit points, sure, but she doesn't hold up under concerted punishment. With homogeneous 32mm worth of structural plate, Hizen is an easy HE damage farm. Her citadel protection is improved over Izumo's, at least. But it's not so much better that I got super excited. Well, someone's got to be at the bottom. Hizen's effective health is lower than expected due to her missing a charge of her Repair Party. VERDICT: Not appallingly bad, but barely adequate. You would think for a ship with such troubled firepower that she'd be amazing here but nope. Agility Top Speed: 28.2 knots Turning Radius: 880m 7Rudder Shift Time: 17.1 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 3.8º/s at 21.2 knots Were it not for the other Japanese battleships, Hizen would be the least agile ship at her tier. This is largely owing to her sub-30 knot top speed which, when combined with an average turning radius for a tier IX battleship, she ends up feeling very sluggish. This is compounded by her slow rudder-shift time, though at higher tiers, such an affliction becomes increasingly commonplace. There are only two curiousities when it comes to Hizen's agility (which I rate as "poor" overall). The first is that she turns a bit more tightly than her in-port turning stat would suggest. She's closer to an 870m radius than an 880m. But as this still falls into my +/- 10m margin of error, I'll still consider the in-port stat accurate enough. The other oddity is more of a new trend where Wargaming have divorced themselves from top speeds that end in either full or half-knot values. It's only within the last year that we've seen ships like Hizen that end in something other than zero or a point-five. Neither of these curiousities have any redeeming value on Hizen's poor performance in this category, though. For nerds like me? They're interesting but nothing else. Hizen's agility is pretty trashy. VERDICT: 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): 105dps at 75% accuracy Short Ranged (up to 2.5km): 304.5dps at 85% accuracy Crap. Seriously. At least this is comfortably familiar. A Japanese battleship with bad AA? Totally unsurprising. VERDICT: No. Vision Control Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 17.38km / 13.66km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 12.96km / 10.5km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 17.01km Maximum Firing Range: Between 19.33km and 23.58km (max of 28.30km with Spotter Aircraft). Hizen is a big, fat battleship with a big, fat surface detection range. Aside from her Spotter Aircraft she brings absolutely nothing of value to the table here. She is a chunktacular travesty, visible from Mars and suffering for it besides. She needs more space than most to activate Dead Eye and she hasn't the range to capitalize on it either. This forces you to choose between boosting her range with Gun Fire Control System Modification 2, thus suffering the full wrath of her 38 second reload or coping with having a smaller activation window if you buff her rate of fire with Main Battery Modification 3. Hizen has similar tolerances as Marco Polo in this regard, which is pretty damning. VERDICT: Terrible and made worse that you need to choose between a bad reload or bad range in order to counter it. Final Evaluation Hizen is a Japanese Minnesota -- slow, fat and with a main battery armament that somehow manages to be disappointing despite its huge size. Being disappointing does not preclude Hizen from being effective, however. World of Warships is designed in such a way that even an aberrant, mediocre vessel can still perform in the hands of someone with the inclination (and enthusiasm) to squeeze some numbers out of it. The question becomes how much you have to work for it and Hizen is going to make you toil. Nothing for Hizen comes easy and her lists of serious advantages begins and ends with "twelve 410mm guns". I would much rather play Amagi at tier VIII or Izumo at tier IX than Hizen. Their advantages are much more clear cut, with Amagi offering almost as much firepower with slightly worse protection and penetration but increased agility and Izumo having great range, penetration and accuracy in exchange for slightly less potential DPM. Hizen doesn't slot well between them and feels clunky as a result. For those who have read my short summary of Hizen, I gave her a GARBAGE rating and I stand by it.: I think she performs fine, but I do not like this ship which is all I need to slap that label on her. She was not worth the grind, in my opinion, and worst of all, she's not fun to play. Those who failed to get her over 2020-2021's New Years aren't really missing out.
  25. Dunkerque overtaking Strasbourg. The following is a review of Dunkerque & Strasbourg, the tier VI & VII French battleships. They were both provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes at no cost to me. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.9.12. Please be aware that their performance may change in the future. I couldn't help myself. I saw an opportunity to not only review a new ship but to update an older one too. Maybe I'll make this a regular thing going into the future whenever Wargaming releases a comparable sister-ship -- review the new addition and touch base on an older one. It seems a bit ambitious to declare it as the new norm, but we'll see what happens. At any rate, this is a review of both Dunkerque-class battleships: Dunkerque at tier VI and her new sister-ship, Strasbourg at tier VII. The two ships are almost identical which raises concerns on balance. Strasbourg is Dunkerque in almost every metric that matters short of tiering and access to the Main Battery Reload Consumable. One can't help but ask the following questions: Is Dunkerque so good at tier VI that she can be effectively cloned and placed at tier VII with little issue? Just how influential are the small changes made between the two ships? Is Main Battery Reload Booster that powerful on a 330m armed platform? Is Strasbourg worth the grind or should you just stick with Dunkerque? Let's find some answers! Quick Summary: Fast, lightly armoured battlecruisers with all eight of it's quick-firing 330mm guns mounted in two quad-turrets on their bows. Strasbourg has access to the Main Battery Reload Booster consumable. PROS All forward gun arrangement simplifies maximizing firepower. Fast reload (26s Dunkerque, 25s Strasbourg) Good HE shell performance and fire setting. Comfortable gun handling. Long ranged with good ballistics over distance. Solid agility with a good top speed and rate of turn. Strasbourg Specific: Has access to the Main Battery Reload Booster consumable. CONS Unable to fire her main battery guns directly rearward (for some inexplicable reason!) Lightly armoured, highly vulnerable to AP overmatch and HE shells. Exposed, high-water citadel with thin belt armour. Terrible anti-aircraft firepower. Large surface detection range. Strasbourg Specific: Small hit point pool for a tier VII battleship. Summary of Differences If you're a crusty ol' veteran with playing Dunkerque, so experienced in Marine Nationale ways battlecruiser ways that you serenade baguettes, you don't need me to tell you what she's like. To expedite things for these players, here's a list of all of the differences between the two battleships, from the significant to the inane. These are listed Dunkerque vs Strasbourg: Tier: VI vs VII (duh) Economy: VI vs VII (higher tiered ships earn more credits and experience for the same actions) Fire Resistance Coefficient: 23.31% vs 29.97% Superstructure HP: 1,800 vs 1,700 Belt Armour: 225mm vs 283mm Rear Upper Athwartship: 198mm vs 210mm Turtleback: 40mm vs 50mm Turret Faces: 330mm vs 360mm Turret Backs: 335mm vs 352mm Turret Floor: 150mm vs 160mm Sigma: 1.7 vs 1.8 Main Battery Reload: 26s vs 25s Main Battery Range: 18.21km vs 19.1km A-Turret's Fire Arcs: 310º vs 294º Number of 37mm twin AA mounts: 5 (18dps) vs 4 (16dps) Flak Explosion Damage: 1,330 vs 1,400 Main Battery Reload Booster: no vs yes Tonnage: 35,500 vs 36,308 Permanent Camos: 4 vs 2 Overview Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Difficult Both ships are wonderfully uncomplicated to use. The all-forward gun arrangement helps keep new-players safe, mitigating the need to expose the ship's broadside in order to maximize firepower. Their long range also helps keep new players safe. The ship's speed is also a blessing -- fast enough to get the ship where it needs to go but not being so fast that she can easily out-strip support as new players are wont to do. Were the ship easier to hide or if it had a better protection scheme, it might have warranted a "Simple" rating. There's a lot of strong carry potential with these ships. The combination of good speed and a relatively fast reload allows these ships to wreak all kinds of mayhem. Strasbourg's Main Battery Reload Booster is particularly delicious for punishing exposed enemies, be they a briefly lit lolibote or a high-tier battleship that needs to be burned. Unfortunately, they are painfully soft-skinned and very difficult to hide which are both strong limiting factors. The lack of overmatch potential on their 330mm guns is also a bit frustrating, though proper ammunition use can help mitigate this drawback. Options Both ships share similar customization principles. The marked difference between the two is in their consumables (naturally), but otherwise they can be built the same. Consumables Both ships have the same, standard Damage Control Party for French battleships. This has a 15 second active period, an 80 second reset timer and unlimited charges. Similarly, they share the same Repair Party which heals back up to 14% of the ship's starting hit points per charge. It queues 50% of all penetration damage, 10% of citadel damage and 100% of everything else. It has an 80 second reset timer. Their last shared consumables are the option between a Catapult Fighter and Spotter Aircraft. Dunkerque mounts these in her third slot and Strasbourg her fourth. The latter consumable increases their range by 20% for 100 seconds with a 240 second reset timer. Both ships begin with 4 charges. The former consumable starts with only three charges, deploying a pair of fighters which orbit the ship for 60 seconds. It has a 90 second reset timer. What sets Strasbourg apart is her access to Main Battery Reload Booster in her third slot. This reduces the reload time of her main battery guns by half for 20 seconds. She comes with four charges to start and it has an 180 second reset timer. Upgrades Both ships use the same build. In your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 is arguably optimal given the relative fragility of the Dunkerque-class's main weapons. Nothing sucks more than losing one of only two turrets! Otherwise, the two special upgrades, Spotter Aircraft Modification 1 and Damage Control Party Modification 1 may be used instead. They can be purchased for 17,000 from the Armory . Damage Control System Modification 1 is the only upgrade worth considering in slot 2. In slot three, Aiming System Modification 1 is optimal. But if you want, you can trade that out for faster turret traverse with Main Battery Modification 2 but this has much less benefit than decreasing the dispersion area. There are interesting choices for these ships in the fourth slot. Damage Control System Modification 2 is the most straight-forward and optimal, reducing fire and flooding damage. You can naturally opt to improve their handling by taking Steering Gears Modification 1 -- their high rate of turn and long range does lend them well to active dodging. However, given the disposition of these ships and their love of hugging islands, there's some worth in taking Propulsion Modification 1 for better acceleration from a dead stop. It's up to you based on your preferred style of play. When in doubt, though, default to Damage Control System Modification 2. Commander Skills Both ships can easily make use of the same commander. The ideal build differs somewhat from the default boring ol' battleship build in that Dunkerque and Strasbourg both benefit considerably from the Expert Loader skill. Making room for it can leave you with a skill point leftover which isn't as optimal as other builds. Oh well. Start with choosing between Priority Target and Incoming Fire Alert. I much prefer the former, but it's up to you. Grab the skills circled in green next to complete your 10pt build: Adrenaline Rush, Basics of Survivability and Fire Prevention. Next double-back and grab the skills in the red squares: Concealment Expert, Superintendent and Expert Loader. The skills in blue squares are nice to have but you may struggle to fit them in with the above recommendations. Mix and match to your tastes. Camouflage There are multiple camouflage options between the two ships. Dunkerque has Type 10, Fleur d'Acier (Steel Flower), Azur Lane and Mid-Autumn Festival camouflage patterns. Strasbourg has Type 10 and Winter Holiday camouflage patterns. All of the differences are cosmetic, providing the identical bonuses of: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -10% to post-battle service costs. +50% to experience gains. As an older (and popular) ship, Dunkerque has had a large number of premium camouflage types -- which is hella fun. I really like her Azur Lane camo. It's nice and sharp with the red and white contrast. Strasbourg's camo options are much more subdued. I'm not a fan of her Holiday camo. Firepower Main Battery: Eight 330mm/52 guns in 2x4 turrets mounted on the bow in a A-B superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Twenty 130mm guns in 5x4 turrets with two turrets per side and one mounted on the centre line facing the stern. Lemme preface this by saying that I'm not going to talk about the secondaries off the Dunkerque-class. They're not worth specializing into at the moment with their limited fire arcs, to say nothing of how poorly these ships fare in a brawl. Onto the main event! Big Guns, Bad Habits & Bae Bote I admit I have a bit of a bias against smaller-caliber battleship guns at the mid-tiers. This stems from my early days in World of Warships, having fallen in love with the overmatch potential of Warspite's 381mm guns tier VI. Bae bote's artillery, while not idiot proof, certainly lent itself well to firing nothing but a homogeneous loadout of AP shells. With all of the heavy lifting those Royal Navy 15" guns could do, I still remember being disdainful of Dunkerque's paltry 330mm guns when I first reviewed her back in late summer of 2016. They had no overmatch potential so they were OBVIOUSLY garbage, right? I'm somewhat less naive than I was way back when. Only somewhat, mind you. I still have a bit of a blind spot with bae-bote and battleship caliber guns with large-swathes of overmatch potential. That's something these guns lack but that doesn't make them bad by any means. There's a lot of good things about the combat performance of these weapons. They have excellent ballistics over range. They have a fast reload. They're decent fire starters. They have good AP penetration. AP penetration values drawn from Wargaming's Armada 2 video on Dunkerque from August 2016. Dunkerque and Strasbourg have some very respectable AP penetration values for guns of their caliber. There are two drawbacks with these weapons to keep in mind: They have French (and Italian) gunnery dispersion. They lack overmatch potential with their AP rounds. There's not much to be said about the first flaw. French battleship dispersion is the worst in the game currently, being slightly worse than that of American, British and German battleships. This leads to wonky shell groupings from these guns, especially at the long ranges Strasbourg is so often forced to engage. Having both guns on the bow in quad mounts does make them feel a little more accurate, at least in terms of the initial outbound shell clusters. However, this is more of an illusion than a practical advantage. Still, they have average sigma values, so within their dispersion elipse (larger as it is) their shell fall is pretty standard, though the difference between the two ships in this regard is largely indistinguishable. The best players in the game struggle to discern the difference between 0.2 sigma in standard game play, to say nothing of the 0.1 sigma difference between Strasbourg (1.8 sigma) and Dunkerque (1.7 sigma). Overall, the guns feel reasonable with their accuracy though they will troll you. Thankfully, their rate of fire helps alieviate the feeling of being cheated. One of the best fixes for bad dispersion is to reload often. When individual salvos don't feel like they matter as much, it's easier to forgive a few stray shells. Dunkerque's 26 second reload feels very comfortable -- more than making up for low individual shell damage. The extra second shaved off Strasbourg's guns is nicer still, though like her dispersion you might not feel the difference. Short reload times on battleships is a hella powerful advantage, even with the slightly lower alpha-strike from their hits. Battleship gunnery is incredibly opportunist, with citadel hit "money shots" making or breaking their play experience. Dunkerque's guns are more likely to be reloaded (or almost reloaded) when an opportunity presents itself. Strasbourg's are all but guaranteed. Like Jean Bart before her, Strasbourg's access to the Main Battery Reload Booster consumable is a game-changer. She will have her guns reloaded when it matters most, ensuring she can put shells downrange at vulnerable targets and best capitalize on the opportunities presented -- whether this be blowing out the citadel of a Christmas-Makarov or stacking fires back onto a Hizen that just blew its Damage Control Party. If Strasbourg's guns had better overmatch potential, they'd be downright oveprowered. The lack of overmatch potential is a problem shared by all battleship rounds between 283mm and 356mm in caliber. While the Dunkerque-class can overmatch 23mm of armour with their AP rounds, in practical terms, 19mm plate is the last effective armour value they can best at any angle. This makes most tier V, VI and VII cruisers vulnerable to being overmatched by these AP shells, but only the very-light cruisers at tiers VIII+. Like with dispersion, this is more of an issue for Strasbourg as a consequence of her higher tiering. It's only the extremities of tier V battleships that these AP rounds can overmatch and only then if the ships in question don't have dispersed armour schemes which gets a little more common at lower tiers. Against any other target, both Dunkerque and Strasbourg will want to reach for the HE rounds instead. To this end, I've found having the Expert Loader skill very handy if you can spare the single skill point for it. Outside of issues where they might ricochet from striking a plate they cannot overmatch at too steep an angle, Dunkerque and Strasbourg's AP shells perform well, with very respectable AP penetration values across all engagement ranges, with even better penetration than New Mexico's 356mm AP rounds. It's not quite high enough to contest higher-tiered battleship citadels at ranges of 15km or beyond, but it's good enough. Dunkerque may not appear to have impressive DPM, but she is more likely to be able to fire all of her guns than most other battleships -- especially while under fire herself. Her all-forward gun arrangement allows her to maximize her firepower while still maintaining a defensive nose-in aspect. Strasbourg is listed twice. The one with the asterix denotes her using her Main Battery Reload Booster for 20s. Strasbourg's faster rate of fire gives her comparable DPM placement to Dunkerque, tier-for-tier. However, her Main Battery Reload Booster takes things to a whole other level, allowing her to punish opponents when they give her an opportunistic shot. Both ships are decent fire starters. Strasbourg flirts with Royal Navy levels when she activates her consumable (again, denoted by an asterix). Gun Layout Dunkerque's A-turret fire arcs are gorgeous. Her B-turret are much less so. This makes her B-turret a good indicator for over-angling with Dunkerque when firing to the rear. So long as A-turret can engage but B-turret cannot, she's still in auto-ricochet territory -- you know, provided that the incoming AP shells don't simply overmatch her hull. The all-bow mounted gun arrangement of the Dunkerque-class is their most striking feature. In World of Warships, this has more advantages than drawbacks. Dunkerque was not the first battleship in the game with this layout. However she was the first battleship in the game to have all of her guns capable of firing directly forward. Thus she was the first battleship in the game that could "bow tank" while still maximizing her firepower. At the time of her release, it was easy to underestimate just how effective this was and how effective it remains in World of Warships. It is very easy to maximize firepower with Dunkerque and Strasbourg. Barring kiting situations, it is easier to bring all of their guns to bear than on any other battleship. This is further facilitated by their fast (for a battleship) traverse rate of 5º/s (36s for 180º). Even in situations where Dunkerque is being chased, her "over the shoulder" firing arcs are respectable with her A-turret being capable of hucking shells 25º off her stern, still maintaining a perfect auto-ricochet target with her belt. Obviously the drawback here is that she cannot engage enemies directly to her rear. What's more, this all-forward gun arrangement makes her slow to switch sides when firing backwards as her guns have to come all of the way around. Still, the all-forward gun arrangement greatly facilitates bringing all guns on targets for much of the battle. It's this ease of bringing guns on target -- all of their guns on target -- which makes these ships dangerous and it's one of their many strengths. Strasbourg doesn't have Dunkerque's delicious A-turret's fire arcs. Summary "Always ready" -- this defines the gunnery on Dunkerque and Strasbourg, and Strasbourg more than her sister. When facing off against these ships, their faster rate of fire, good fire arcs and gun handling is what makes them dangerous. As gunnery platforms, they're super comfy and fun to play. Their individual salvos may not hit as big as other ships; a consequence of both shell size and trollish dispersion, but they don't feel at a deficit in either regard. VERDICT: Their guns perform better than their smaller caliber would suggest. Beware Strasbourg's Main Battery Reload Booster -- used correctly, it can devastate vulnerable enemies. Durability Hit Points: 52,600 Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck: 26mm / 16mm / 26mm / 26mm Dunkerque Maximum Citadel Protection: 26mm anti-torpedo bulge + 225mm belt + 40mm turtleback + 40mm/50mm citadel wall Strasbourg Maximum Citadel Protection: 26mm anti-torpedo bulge + 283mm belt + 50mm turtleback + 40mm/50mm citadel wall Torpedo Damage Reduction: 25% The durability fortunes of these two battlecruisers flips between their hit point totals and their armour profiles. While I would not call either ship blessed in either category, it's more that one or the other is "less-worse" in a given area than its sister ship. Overall, Strasbourg loses out wholesale to her sister, if only because she sits a full tier higher and contends with bigger threats. Health Pool Strasboug is the big loser here when it comes to comparing hit points. Dunkerque wins no prizes either, but as a tier VI vessel, she's she doesn't stand out in any negative or positive way. Strasbourg's woes come in two areas: She has a small (tier VI-sized) hit point pool. Her Repair Party is normal. The former kind of surprises me -- not that she has a small hit point pool, but that it's unchanged from Dunkerque's own despite the (slight) increase in tonnage. Best estimates should put Strasbourg's hit point total almost 1,000hp higher than Dunkerque. That's not enough to rescue her from the doldrums of tier VII health totals, but every scrap certainly helps and it would let her overtake Lyon at the very least. Moreover, the issue Strasbourg faces at tier VII comes from her plain-Jane Repair Party consumable. The glut of Royal Navy ships at tier VII along with Colorado makes Strasbourg's bare-bones Repair Party seem weak by comparison, especially on a ship with a hit point deficit. I suppose it's a blessing that she's not stuck with one fewer charges the way the Soviet ships and Florida are neutered, so that's something. Dunkerque's effective hit point pool is on the low side of average for a tier VI battleship. Now you can imagine what happens when you bring a "low side of average" effective health pool to a tier VII match-up. This is especially noteworthy as tier VII is where health regeneration gets super weird and powerful. Armour Profile When it comes to repelling HE shells, the two Dunkerque-sisters are functionally identical. While there exists some minor differences in their protection schemes, these are a non-issue when it comes to repelling HE shells. Dunkerque and Strasbourg are exceedingly soft-skinned and highly vulnerable to HE fire. Their near-homogeneous 26mm external plate makes them easy prey, not only for light cruisers but for 127mm+ armed destroyers. While the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells skill may be necessary, her opponents all have the potential to farm damage off the soft-skinned profiles of the Dunkerque-class battleships. Both battleships bleed a lot of hit points to small and medium caliber HE shells. Things don't get better when it comes to repelling AP rounds. Strasbourg attempts to correct some of the defence issues of her sister-ship with improved turret, belt and citadel protection profiles. Dunkerque is notoriously vulnerable to citadel hits, going so far as to have her machine spaces colour-coded through one of her camouflage patterns (thank you, Yuro, for pointing that out!). The thinness of her citadel protection means that with very few exceptions (Oklahoma, I'm looking at you), Dunkerque is vulnerable to battleship calibre AP shells at all ranges. This goes double for any AP rounds from guns of 380mm or larger as they are fully capable of overmatching her external armour plate and can land citadel hits at nearly any angle. Though Strasbourg's protection is improved, it's never so good that I would trust flashing her sides or snoot to incoming battleship rounds. Both Dunkerque-sisters take citadel hits frequently. They are both at risk of losing their turrets when they attempt to tank battleship fire. The best that could be said about Strasbourg is that she is largely immune to citadel hits from cruiser-calibre weapons, though again there are exceptions, especially at close range. Their armour profiles are almost identical but Strasbourg has the thicker belt, turtleback and turret faces. While the extra ~60mm of armour on Strasbourg's belt looks significant, the higher penetration gun she faces makes this improvement kinda moot. Summary These are ships that don't want to get hit -- like at all. Nearly every HE shell can hurt. Nearly every battleship-calibre AP round is a potential citadel hit. Having only two turrets makes the loss of one (even temporarily) a disaster. The best play with these ships is to not get hit in the first place; exercising their long range to make themselves a less appealing target. Anchoring one side against a piece of island cover is also a good practice, if only to mitigate flanking fire from enemy battleships from across the map. Limiting the angles of attack against these vessels is paramount to keeping them safe. They don't have a lot of armour. They don't have a lot of health. They don't have improved Repair Parties. VERDICT: Get hit, take cit. Agility Top Speed: 29.5kts Turning Radius: 730m Rudder Shift Time: 14s 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 4.7º/s at 22kts (Dunkerque) or 22.2kts (Strasbourg). What a difference a tier makes. Strasbourg and Dunkerque both have excellent agility for a battleship. Not only do they have a respectable top speed -- nearly reaching 30 knots -- but unlike higher-tiered battleships, they are not shackled with a punitive turning circle radius. No matter how you look at it, both battleships handle beautifully. This combines with their very nice gun traverse rates to make keeping guns on target a very comfortable experience. The only real fault for these two battleships is that they flirt with but never quite achieve cruiser-levels of agility. This flaw mostly resides with their rudder shift time which, while not punitive, is definitely too sluggish to affect reasonable dodging metrics. Active dodging is really only ever possible at the extremes of their range. It's a bit of a tease that way, but by any other measuire, their agility is solid. Dunkerque is very fast for a tier VI battleship which helps translate to a good rate of turn despite her larger-than-average turning radius at that tier. If it weren't for ships like Warspite (bae! ♥) and Normandie, she'd be the clear winner. Once you start comparing Strasbourg and Dunkerque to tier VII battleships, it's no longer a contest. Strasbourg is THE most agile tier VII battleship, bar none. Lyon and Gneisenau provide some competition, but Strasbourg is the hands down winner. VERDICT: Some of the best mid-tier battleship agility you'll find out there. Both ships handle beautifully and are very comfortable to drive. Anti-Aircraft Defence Flak Bursts: 3 explosions for 1,330 damage per blast (Dunkerque) or 1,400 per blast (Strasbourg) at 3.5km to 6.0km. Long Ranged (up to 6.0km): 84dps at 75% accuracy Medium Ranged (up to 3.0km): 24.5dps (Dunkerque) or 21dps (Strasbourg) at 75% accuracy Short Ranged (up to 1.5km): 105dps at 70% accuracy I'm going to let the graphics do the talking here. Kay, so this looks like a hot mess and there's value in this chaos too. There are so many disparate AA range values at tier VI, it's hard to keep track. "Why so much negative space?" you might ask. Well, I scaled this to match the AA values of the tier VII battleships as both tier VI and VII battleships have to contend with tier VI and VIII aircraft carriers. The ships here are arranged in approximate level of effective personal defense, sorted by the formula [ AA DPS * ( range - 1km) ], thus putting more value on longer ranged damage output. None of the tier VI battleships could be said to have "good" or "effective" AA firepower, even against tier VI carriers. While Dunkerque sits in the middle of the pack here, she's in the bottom half of the incompetent. The best thing about her, really, are those 6km ranged guns which can help a friend out with overlapping fields of fire. Strasbourg has worse personal AA firepower than Nagato. It's only when battleships get to California or Florida levels of AA firepower that they can start looking towards their own defense. And it's not like these ships can prevent CVs from dropping on them -- oh no, they simply make it expensive (and then only if they haven't had most of their medium and small caliber guns shorn off by a spray of HE fire). Strasbourg stands little chance and is an easy mark for carriers. VERDICT: Hilariously bad on both counts. Vision Control Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 16.92km / 14.77km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 9.58km / 8.62km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 14.2km Dunkerque Maximum Firing Range: 18.21km to 21.85km Strasbourg Maximum Firing Range: 19.1km to 22.92km The stealth of these two battleships is crap. I don't know what really needs to be said beyond that. Their surface detection range is atrocious for a ship of their size and you can never truly get it under control. For Dunkerque, this is a more pronounced problem given the smaller maps she end up on at lower tiers. The only way you're surprising anyone in these ships is with long-range fire. While this may end a cruiser in short order, you're only going to annoy battleships unless their citadel protection is very (very!) soft skinned. In practical terms, everything will spot you first. Due to her fragility, this will so often relegate you to play defensively, hugging islands to protect a flank or deny vision lest you get crossfired from unseen enemy. VERDICT: Downright terrible. Final Evaluation Let's go back to those questions that started this review: Is Dunkerque so good at tier VI that she can be effectively cloned and placed at tier VII with little issue? Just how influential are the small changes made between the two ships? Is Main Battery Reload Booster that powerful on a 330m armed platform? Is Strasbourg worth the grind or should you just stick with Dunkerque? The answers to those questions are: Hells no. Largely irrelevant, though the extra second shaved off her reload and the extra armour is nice. I'm kinda miffed about her A-turret losing out on those firing angles, though. Yes. It's a disgustingly powerful consumable and it's what carries this ship at tier VII. Well, that depends. How much do you love Dunkerque? Dunkerque is a good tier VI battleship. This is largely owing to two factors: She has good guns and she has good agility. Dunkerque is fast enough to bring her firepower where it will do the most good and her guns are reliable enough to stack steady amounts of damage. Her fast reload makes her particularly good at picking on cruisers and stacking fires. Yes, her stealth sucks. Yes, her AA power sucks. Yes, defensively she's a bit of a joke. But those, like Tempest Keep, are merely a setback. Stealth and AA rarely define the battleship meta. Better armour would be nice, but it's not like Dunkerque is incapable of face-tanking a whole range of battleship opponents provided they're not armed with 380mm+ guns. Dunkerque is a whole bunch of "good enough" packaged behind comfortable gunnery. As one of the oldest premium battleships in the game Dunkerque doesn't have a gimmick to make her stand out anymore. Being French was her gimmick back in 2016. Since the release of the French battleship line, she lost not only that distinction but also the uniqueness of her all-forward gun arrangement. Players can simply unlock Richelieu from the tech tree if they want to have a taste of that game play, albeit two tiers higher. There's not a lot of 'wow-factor' baked into Dunkerque. She's good, don't get me wrong, but she's not amazing. She's not meta-defining or great. She wasn't a solid pick in tier VI Ranked Battles, sitting behind battleships that brought that oh-so covetted overmatch like Warspite and West Virginia and beyond consideration in team-based competitive (though admittedly everything played second fiddle to Admiral Graf Spee). Strasbourg will be rightly compared to Jean Bart and there is a reason Jean Bart isn't commonly available anymore (I'm still shocked she reappered for Black Friday, but whatevs, clearly WG likes money). If you love Dunkerque's game play, Strasbourg is so worth it, it's not even funny. I cannot stress enough how much the Main Battery Reload Booster consumable improves on what was already some damn fine gunnery. That's really the whole summation of Strasbourg. Yes, there's a bunch of other little changes here and there, but they feel so inconsequential compared to those twenty-seconds of fast-firing guns when her consumable is active. During development, Wargaming seemed oh-so careful not to repeat the misteps of Jean Bart's overpowered self. Strasbourg had her rate of fire nerfed from an initial 21 seconds (yes, really) to 24 seconds and then eventually down to 25 seconds with a slight sigma buff (from Dunkerque's 1.7 to the current 1.8). That should be enough to keep her in line, but I admit I enjoyed myself a lot playing Strasbourg. Such enjoyment on a test ship usually means that the ship is a little too strong. This speaks a lot to what battleship gameplay fundamentally boils down to: delivering big hits. The difference between good performance and bad in a match can so often be separated by a single Devastating Strike. Even if you lose, if you erased one ship outright, it's hard to call that a bad showing. Strasbourg's consumable makes it easier to do that and that's hella powerful. If I had to choose between the two, Strasbourg is (to me) the obvious choice. Dunkerque doesn't have anything novel going for her, in my opinion. Her best selling feature now is her tiering. Strasbourg at least has that gunnery gimmick; something a lot of players may not have access to in the future given the increased rarity of Jean Bart. Strasbourg is a GUDBOTE -- or more accurately, she's a MEHBOTE with a good consumable.
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