Welcome Captains to the Misunderstood Brawler, the Bayern. Now I know what your saying, misunderstood? Well yea she is misunderstood because she plays less like a pure German BB and more like a hybrid USN/KM BB. Let me explain, she is big, somewhat slow, kinda soft with derpy guns, sounds like a USN BB to me, heck she has the same turret arraignment! For someone that does well with USN BBs I found the Bayern allot of fun and I did pretty well with her. Her 15" guns are ok, they hit hard when they do and her secondaries put on a fantastic fireworks show starting at 7.2km and will do more to dazzle the enemy than actually damage them. The speed is ok with a fairly average rudder shift and a good turn radius. For me I can't recall many if any devastating strikes or huge damage games but she is very reliable in the damage she puts out.
Finally a battleship with worse HP then a equal USN counterpart, she even gets the worse torpedo protection. In exchange though you get a ship that is near impossible to citadel and its very tough nut to crack. She gets pumped up to 25mm of bow and stern armor which makes her able to bow tank 14" gunned ships and her belt is fairly tall making for some nice ability to bounce 16" shells when your able to bait shots into it. That said that durability comes at a price, battleships can get regular penetration hits which can be just as damaging as a citadel hit
The one thing most players that hate the Bayern agree on the most is that the guns suck and I can't disagree with that, but at the same time I do disagree. For one thing their dispersion is pretty bad and only having 8 guns vs the IJN and USN counterparts 12 guns leave a smaller chance to hit, but with the Aiming Mod it does make them pretty acceptable. Another issue is they don't have the same penetration characteristics the other tier 6 battleships get, they tend to shatter easily but due to overmatch mechanics this allows you to punch through the nose of most ships you see. Aiming a little high is a pretty good tactic in my opinion, that way you can hit the thinner upper belt of most ships leading to better damage potential
This is the first KM ship a secondary build is somewhat viable since they can go out to 7.2km but unfortunately the Manual Secondary skill isn't very effective at this tier. The AP and HE combo works well most times with the AP being more viable in top tier situations while being more of a hindrance in bottom tier games
The Bayern has the best long range AA of any BB at tier 6 and if you build around it, it will provide a useful AA protection for just not yourself but nearby allies also. The mid and short range AA is fairly weak though even in a full AA build. If you hate CVs then Manual AA skill is a must
At 25 knots she is fairly average by being a few knots faster than the New Mexico, about the same speed at the Fuso. This comes in handy with keeping up with the flow of battle but if your in a mostly tier 8 match you may find yourself all alone because you can't keep up, this is where playing her like a USN BB comes in handy because using the same positioning tactics help stay relevant in the battle. She has a tight rudder shift with a average rudder shift which comes in handy for torpedo dodging which is a must do to your lack of HP and torpedo protection
I ran the usual Main Armament Mod 1, Secondary Guns Mod, and Damage Control Mod 1 and Damage Control mod 2. I ran Aiming Systems mod for a few games and I found it really helps the guns out BUT I found the Secondary Guns mod more useful in the long run. I also ran DCS 1 and 2 because she is a tank and has to be at the front line to taking damage is important
For the first tier I Preventive Maintenance because she doesn't get a plane to launch, At T2 Expert Markmans since her turrets are so slow, T3 Basics of Survivability to increase the tanking more but Superintendent good choice as well, T4 I ran Advanced Firing Training for the long range AA and secondary battery. Coming back around I ran Adrenaline Rush with your choice of Manual Secondaries if you plan to send this captain up the tech tree or Manual AA if you really hate CVs and plan to keep this captain in the Bayern
As I mentioned she plays like a USN/KM hybrid, you need to pick a area you plan to be in, usually the closest to where you start is best. Try to roll with the cruisers, this takes fire off of them since BBs are generally a juicer target. Work on target anything giving a broadside followed by the closest target you can easily hit. Use that illegal hack the developers put in the game called "Mini-Map", inbetween salvos look around and see what your allies and enemy are doing, pay attention to DDs and their last spotted locations. You don't get access to a plane on this ship so you don't get a poor man's Hydro ability the planes give. Your secondaries are flashy but any good DD captain and Cruiser captain will know they won't get hit much so they may try to suicide torp you, so knowing where the enemy is very important
How did I do
I like this ship allot and I did fairly well the first time through and picking her up for this review and I did just as well. She is a fun ship and easy for me to play, that said I understand other players complaints about her and I see why they have issues with her.
Out of the 10 battles I saw CVs 60% of the time, out of those CV games 2 of them with dual CVs per side matches, I averaged 3.3 plane kills during those CV matches. I was in Tier 8 matches 30% of the time, tier 7 20% and I was top tier 50% of the time. I averaged 1013 base XP with my best game was 1635 base XP. My winrate was 60% and my survived 60% with a kill average .9 (yes you read right) . Accuracy was 31% with average damage was 66,635, best game was 125,017 with a average damage per shell of 2032 (meaning every shell that hit average out to this number). Please remember this is only 10 games, your millage may very
How Does She Compare
I found her more than competitive to the other T6 BBs, with good AA, tough armor and good but 'different' guns, I found her to be a excellent balance to the other line ships. Against premiums she still stands well, as I mention before, tier for tier, T6 is one of the best balanced with ships that are just as capable as each other. Sure you can try to play her as a standard KM BB by rushing in guns blazing but that will send you back to port quickly. Knowing where to position yourself is important, trying to sail across the map will go as well as trying to do so in a USN BB, it will end in frustration. You don't get the long range accuracy of the Fuso to hammer the enemy across the map and you don't have the ability to fill you dispersion zone with shells guaranteeing a couple hits like the New Mexico does. You have to play your area, win it and move on. You have to be the brick wall that doesn't fall and the hammer that crushes anything that gets to close, master this and you will love the ship