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World of Warships Ship Opinions Number 13 : Iowa One hell of a Bad-[edited]Battleship People say that the old ways are gone. That the people who play these old school machines are being complete and utter turds. Well, those people are more incorrect than anyone else out there, my friends. These people are not only some of the most experienced players out there, they’re also total badasses. And the ships they drive are badass rides as well, the best example being the Iowa. Iowa has been powercrept in recent months and years with the introduction of larger and harder hitting battleships, such as Georgia and Sovetsky Soyuz, but she’s still an amazing ship nonetheless. She’s fast, stealthy, durable, and most of all, she packs one hell of a haymaker with those massive 16 inch guns. Still, she has a lot of faults that are sort of difficult to overlook and ignore in typical gameplay. So then, is she still good, is she better, or is she just another Graf Zeppelin? Let’s take a look Armor: All or Nothing, baby Pros: 38mm deck shatters all light cruiser HE, Meaty HP pool, can bow-tank for days, Improved Heal and Damage Control Cons: 32mm bow can be overmatched by Musashi, HP pool and armor pales in comparison to FdG, Soyuz and Musashi, Lion has a far better heal, waterline citadel Iowa is hands down one of the highest endurance battleships at her tier. Her armor follows the all or nothing armor scheme, which means 32mm extremities and all of her major armor components compressed into her 320mm belt ( though she has a waterline citadel that leaves her vulnerable when broadside). Her armor scheme also gives her a large immunity zone to AP shell hits at ranges from 12 to 17 kilometers, thanks to a 38mm deck that also shatters all light cruiser HE shells and a good number of heavy cruiser shells at her tier as well ( with the exception of Roon and Drake ). But that’s where the problems start. You see, Iowa doesn’t have a unique armor scheme like Friedrich der Grosse or Sovetsky Soyuz, where those two have angled armor belts that allow them to bounce almost everything hurled in their direction. Her bow is entirely 32mm, which means that, while she’ll tank pretty much every single Tier 9 AP shell in history, Iow can be overmatched by Musashi straight through the nose (thankfully, at Tier 9, it’s only Musashi that can do that). However, should she take damage, Iowa can easily migitate it, thanks to an improved repair party consumable that heals back a good chunk ( 0.66% / second ) of her 79,000 point HP pool, as well as a boosted Damage Control party that lasts longer than all others at her tier. However, the Lion has a far superior Repair Party consumable that recovers 2% / second, which, admittedly, is the best in the game. Overall, Iowa scores pretty high here. If she had more HP, she’d be one of the best battleships in the game tier for tier, but she doesn’t, so we’ll leave it at that. Rating: Good Armaments: “Boom” Pros: Colossal Alpha Strike, Unique upgrades give her insane accuracy and Yamato beating range, Super-Heavy AP shells have excellent energy retention and penetration Cons: Long shell flight times, Lackluster secondaries, Musashi has better Alpha, Alsace boasts better DPM American Battleships in general are renowned for their Hiroshima-grade artillery capabilities, and Iowa is no different. Her 9 406mm/50 Mark 7 cannons, mounted in 3 Three-gun turrets, have long firing ranges courtesy of American Fire Control and Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1, excellent accuracy courtesy of a 1.9 sigma rating and Artillery Plotting Room Modification 2, and a massive alpha strike of over 120,000 damage that can blow anything out of the water, thanks to the same Super-Heavy Mk8 AP shell that the North Carolina and Montana, which also means excellent energy retention and armor penetration even at longer ranges. That being said, the shells are quite slow, requiring an excessive amount of lead at longer ranges that can let opponents play a game of “Just Dodge” and win. There are other problems as well. Her secondaries are lackluster compared to the likes of FdG and Izumo ( though the latter is debatable ), with just 6.0km of range base and a relatively low rate of fire, which makes them only good for taking out detected destroyers within their range. Also, her guns might be amazing, but there are other battleships that outperform her in some regards. The Musashi, for starters, boasts a much higher Alpha strike of nearly 135,000 damage, compared to 120,000 damage. The Alsace also boasts higher DPM than the Iowa ( though that's because of the fact that she has 3 more barrels than the Iowa, not because of a larger caliber gun ). She certainly outperforms the Sovetsky Soyuz and Friedrich Der Grosse, but not those two in their respective regards. Overall, Iowa certainly has been outclassed in firepower, but she still holds on to enough of her past self ( and the fact that she makes cruisers wet their pants the moment they see her ), to earn her ranks Rating: WTAF AA: Holy mother of BOFORS, that’s a lot of flak Pros: Durable AA mounts, brutal short and long range AA, HELL-RIPPING Medium Range AA Cons: The Lion called, he wants an AA-mount sandwich for lunch. Iowa’s AA is so brutal that carriers prefer to avoid her entirely. Her long range and short range AA numbers are comparable to or better than that of the Friedrich der Grosse, but her medium range AA is so powerful that any plane that it touches gets instantly vaporized. Tier 8 carriers have nightmares about this thing day-in and day-out, and Tier 10 carriers will balk at attacking her when she’s made her presence known. Add to this the typical American auxiliary mount durability and the proper commander skills and upgrades, and she’s one hell of an AA platform. The only problem is that HE spamming BBs and cruisers such as Lion and Seattle exist, and they will chew through those mounts faster than I chew through my dinner ( which is pretty damn fast ) If they didn’t exist, I would give her a WTAF rating. As seeing that they exist, it’s merely a “good”. Still, holy mother of Bofors, that is one hell of an AA defense. Rating: Good Maneuverability: Historical accuracy Pros: Fastest Battleship in the game, decent turning radius. Cons: Engine Boost BBs exist, bleeds speed in a hard turn, slow-[edited]rudder. There are BBs, there are fast BBs, and then there’s Iowa. Iowa holds the title of the fastest non-gimmick battleship in the game, with a top speed of a blistering 33 knots. Add Sierra mike and she does 34.6 knots, which is patently absurd for something so large as this thing. Admittedly, Alsace and Georgia are faster than this thing, but those two make use of an overclocked engine boost to do it. Otherwise, the next fastest ship is the Georgia, which is basically an Iowa with 18 inch guns. There are other problems besides speed, however. Iowa has a rather large turning circle compared to the North Carolina that precedes her, at 920 meters, and while this isn’t bad for Tier 9, the in-port stats don’t tell everything. As LittleWhiteMouse so kindly pointed out in her review of the Bajie, the Iowa’s radius is actually larger due to the fact that she has rather poor inertial retention in a turn, which translates to a rather slow turning speed as well. Adding to this is a pathetically slow rudder of 17.1 seconds, which makes turning around a hassle compared to the other battleships at her tier. Overall, it’s only acceptable at this point. She’s fast, but not agile. Rating: Acceptable Stealth: Good Pros: Sub-13km stealth when fully rigged, decent aerial detection Cons: Not as stealthy as some of the other ships at her tier. I won’t really dive into much here about Iowa’s stealth. Fully rigged, Iowa can hit 12.7km of stealth, which is fairly impressive for such a large Battleship. Her aerial detection of 9.23km when fully rigged is also fairly good, which means carriers actually have a hard time trying to find her, should they choose to go looking for her ( not that they want to find her, anyways). There are few ships at this Tier that beat her, including the Lion and Sovetsky Soyuz, with all other comers being far worse than she is. However, her stealth isn’t enough to warrant a WTAF rating here, but it’s not an “acceptable”. It’s good, for the most part, and that flies just fine with me. Rating: Good Ergonomics Playing Iowa immediately calls to mind the infamous Missouri. Missouri was essentially an Iowa, but with the Surveillance Radar consumable, better AA, and what was then the stupidest credit earning coefficient ever seen on a ship to that point. Iowa, however, is not like that. They may be sister ships, but Iowa is a tech tree ship, which means lowered credit earnings than her premium sister, as well as higher fitting out costs and repair bills. But that said, both ships are also equally difficult to master ( because they’re sister ships, no duh ), with plenty of experience required to function in combat as a part of a team. However, the experience is rewarding when, after months of training and experience accumulated, you finally enter a game and proceed to hard carry while smashing your own damage record ( and the jaws of several cruisers ) to pieces along the way. That’s just how “worth it” it is. Rating: Acceptable Fun Factor Like I said with the Leander, I’ll sum it up in a few words. Or not Iowa is perhaps one of the most fun battleships I ever played. It’s high speed, powerful guns, and insane AA give it flexibility more akin to a cruiser, which makes it that much more fun to play. Like I said, you will smash open whatever comes across your path like it’s a nut. And you’ll have one damn big grin across your face the whole time Rating: WTAF Verdict Armor: 4 / 5 Armaments: 5 / 5 AA: 4 / 5 Maneuverability: 3 / 5 Stealth: 4 / 5 Ergonomics: 3 / 5 Fun Factor: 5 / 5 Overall Score: 28 / 35 ( Exceeding ) General Writer Verdict: While the Iowa might appear to be overperforming, she’s actually fairly well balanced in all aspects, as all American Battleships are. I have nothing to say here. Iowa was a true blast to play, and it made me feel like myself again, a true BB main with the spirit of a musketeer and the vengeance of Flamu. The Bayern versus Queen Elizabeth test will come tomorrow, and I will also be accelerating the number of reviews I make per week for the next month, from 2 or 3 to 5 or 6, due to the fact that the coronavirus has shut down my school district until April 13. Welp, that’s all folks Peace!