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  1. Like many other people who plays WOWS regularly, I received the USS Kansas free of charge before the full release of the new line of low speed American BBs. The Kansas turned out to not be the best BB at tier 8. But from my perspective, it's also not the worst. It's slow in a straight line. But it turns okay. It's vulnerable to HE hits and fire. But its citadel also happens to be well armored and fairly low in the water. (in practice, AP hits that miss the citadel tend to overpen) Its 40 second reload on the main battery takes getting used to. But the fact that you have 12 16" guns at tier 8 despite the slow reload and semi iffy accuracy seem to work out as more of a trade off in play style than an outright disadvantage in comparison to the main batteries of other T8 BBs. At the end of the day, the Kansas worked out okay for me. Its HP pool is decent. Its AA is actually semi reliable. (I was able to fight off attacks by a Hakuryu with it) When fighting against lower tier enemies, it has no problem doing its part as it's essentially a bigger and heavier dreadnought style BB. Against same tier and higher tier enemies, it isn't really more vulnerable or helpless than some other T8 BBs as its heavy broadside compensates for its poor accuracy and slow reloads while its protection scheme remains workable. I managed to earn enough XP in the Kansas to research the Minnesota just in time for the line's full release. Unfortunately, the Minnesota seems to have some very serious problems. It very much struggles in combat and might just currently be the worst tier 9 BB available in game... Here are some of my observations: On survivability 1. Unlike with the Kansas, the entire superstructure of the Minnesota seems to receive normal penetrations instead of over-penetrations when hit by AP shells of all calibers. Angling or facing the enemies bow on does not seem to mitigate this problem at all. Maybe this is due to the size and volume of it. 2. The 38mm plating on the ship is obviously meant to give it a degree of protection from smaller caliber HE shells as it prevents light cruiser caliber HE from penetrating. But it seems that when hit by enemy AP shells, the 38mm plating often arm their shells' fuses resulting in normal pens rather than over-pens. When angling against the enemies just enough to still use all 4 of your turrets, enemy AP hits on the upper cheeks of the ship's frontal hull (essentially the upper parts of the ship's 38mm torpedo bulge) seem to almost always result in normal pens. It's not unusual for enemy AP salvos to do about 10k damage each despite angling and maneuvering. 3. When sailing away from the enemies, the ship's 38mm plating and superstructure's vulnerability to normal pens seem even more pronounced as the Minnesota has a stern quarter deck a full deck lower than is the case towards the bow. In this situation the superstructure is even larger and more easily hit. 4. So even before we factor in the damage the ship can take from HE and fire, it already has a major weakness of taking high damage AP salvos if and when it's hit by the enemies around its center of mass regardless of positioning. In practice, any enemy ships of all classes with good AP performance or shoot AP regularly are serious threats to the Minnesota. The Stalingrad, Moskva, Petropavlovsk, and other Soviet cruisers, any German cruisers, any British light cruiser, any Soviet DD, any Italian cruiser with SAP shells, any German DD with their high alpha AP, and British DDs with good AP normalization can all quickly farm off HP from a Minnesota. They can usually do it way more efficiently than a Minnesota can reply. 5. Despite the prevalence of 38mm CL HE resistant plating on the ship, its superstructure is large relative to the ship and very easily hit in combat. So it remains very vulnerable to enemy HE and fires, particularly if we consider the ship's small for a tier 9 HP pool, poor for a tier 9 mobility, and the lack of a superior than standard heal consumable. 6. Ironically despite the ship's relatively small HP pool and short length, its concealment is not great. Technically it's worse than that of several other tier 9 BBs that are longer. So the low speed, short length, and smaller HP pool did not provide any perk in terms of concealment to compensate. Its concealment is outright worse than a similar configured Kansas (with concealment upgrade and camo paint) at 15.3km vs the Kansas’ 14.5km. 7. Being a dreadnought and US standard style BB, the ship is proportionally wide and stubby for a tier 9 BB. I would think that these traits would allow the ship to turn well despite the inferior straight line speed in comparison to same tier BBs that are longer. But unfortunately the ship turns sluggishly and reluctantly in a way that's possibly worst in tier. Maneuvering the Minnesota to dodge incoming enemy fire is usually ineffectual and a fruitless chore. On its effectiveness in combat As a design concept, The Minnesota seems to be very similar if not too similar to the Kansas. I think the 2 ships are similar enough to be sisters or half sister ships of the same class that just happened to have undergone a different modernization upgrade/rebuild. The Kansas is obviously a WW2 era update of the 1920 South Dakota class super dreadnought, which's essentially an enlarged Colorado class style design with 50% more main guns and a minor speed buff to 23 knots. Ironically the Minnesota could just as well also be a WW2 era update of the 1920 South Dakota class super dreadnought. Currently the Minnesota is visually similar (albeit at a larger size) to the late war rebuilt USS California as seen in game. I think for the sake of the game it makes sense to differentiate the 2 ships, more specifically it makes sense to make the Minnesota good enough to be workable for its tier. 8. For some reason the Minnesota’s main battery has a 40s reload like the Kansas’. I think the slow reload on the Kansas can be explained as “it just happens to be an early design for a 16” gun armed ship using triple turrets, so there’s a speed penalty for its once novel and advanced configuration, or rather in the context of the game to compensate for the heavy weight of its broadside for its tier”. (like how the New Mexico’s 4x3 14” main battery has a slower reload than the Fuso’s 6x2 14” main battery) But considering the Minnesota’s placement at tier 9, wouldn’t it make sense for the Minnesota to have a quicker main battery reload speed than that of the Kansas? I think a reload speed buff to 33s to 35s is reasonable. Currently the only advantage the Minnesota has over the Kansas in terms of DPM comes in the form of its AP shells having an extra 1000 HP points to their alpha. In practice, its impact is minimal. 9. I think both the Kansas and Minnesota’s main batteries are relatively unreliable when it comes to accuracy. The good range they have seem to only come in handy when shooting HE against slow or stationary and angled enemy BBs. Against maneuvering cruisers and DDs, neither the Kansas nor the Minnesota are reliable unless the enemies are close. In absolute terms, the Minnesota’s main battery feels somewhat more accurate and reliable than the Kansas’. But considering the meta of its tier (in terms of typical engagement range and enemies it faces regularly), the Minnesota fares significantly worse than the Kansas. Sure 12 16” guns are always nice to have at tier 9. But in practice the Minnesota seem to struggle with consistent damage dealing at range. I think the FDG is the only other BB of its tier that has issues in this regard.Also if we look at the other tier 9 BBs with 12 guns, the Alsace and Pommern, those ships are significantly superior to the Minnesota in every other way (in terms of speed, secondary armament, special consumables, and survivability) aside from their smaller caliber. 10. The slow top speed of 23 knots is a far greater handicap for a ship at tier 9 than at tier 8. It’s technically unprecedented, as before this new line of US BBs, the Musashi and Soyuz were considered slow for tier 9 BBs: in comparison the faster BBs like the Georgia, Iowa, and Alsace are all more competitive and user friendly. The Kansas is mobile enough when fighting against similar “slow” BBs found at tier 6 and 7 (Like the QE, New Mexico, Colorado, and other dreadnoughts), and when up tiered, as a tier 8 it at least has far less pressure to contribute and carry than a Minnesota at tier 9. Worse comes to worst a Kansas can play defensively and passively and be okay, while a Minnesota needs to push, chase, relocate, and disengage on a far more regular basis. Unfortunately the Minnesota struggles to move around fast enough to accomplish anything. On one hand it can be outright left behind by faster ships engaged in a running gun battle. On the other hand, should a Minnesota ever commit to a flank but it falls or is abandoned, it’ll inevitably not be able to escape from the falling flank. It’s seemingly too slow to even perform a fighting retreat properly. Often it’ll just be swarmed and shot up quickly through the back side of the superstructure from the rear end… I think if the Kansas retained its original speed like the standard battleships IRL, maybe it make sense to give the Minnesota a propulsion upgrade as a part of its fictional upgrade scheme and allow it to reach 25 knots. Something like this was done to the Kongo class in IRL and happened to the German Bayern class in game. (IRL and before their fictional modernization they were slower than the Queen Elizabeth class). It’s not too much to ask. I think this is enough analysis for now. Please feel free to discuss about how you feel the Minnesota and what should be done about it. The video below shows game I played in the Kansas with just a 6 point captain at the helm. The Kansas just somehow felt easier and more forgiving to play despite having to face off multiple tier 10s, including a Kremlin in a brawl and repeated attacks by a Hakuryu. Nowadays I almost prefer to play the Kansas in place of the Minnesota if I can…
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