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ddoubletapp1

Iowa/Montana - Secondary Build Viable?

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I've only played a handful of games in my newly purchased Iowa - and I've been wondering about the viability of a secondary build for her.

I've started most games striving to play her in that 10-15km sweet-spot - but my playstyle often sees me much closer by the mid-point of the game - and actively contesting (from within a cap circle) or taking caps by the late stages.

I went with APR Mod1(?) in the second slot, but am thinking about switching out for the secondary module - as I don't find the extra range to be all that handy, and don't seem to get focused by red CVs (in the few games I've seen them) enough to justify the AA spec (and with the BFT/AFT Skipper skills, the Iowa's AA seems devastating enough).

My current Skipper spec.

I'm not sure I would go "all in" and re-spec the Skipper for manual secondaries (though I could be persuaded) - but was just thinking of adding the secondary module and flag.

So - my question - is there anyone finding a secondary build on the Iowa/Montana strong enough to justify spec'ing for it?

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The thing is that if you take BFT and AFT, you're getting double value with the bonuses to both AA and secondaries.  Is taking ManSec worth the 4 skill points on an Iowa/Montana?  I don't know.  And is it better to take the AA upgrade module or the secondaries upgrade module?  I suppose that it may depend on how often you see CVs with either of those BBs and how important it is to you to have maximized AA potential.

EDIT:  Also if you're preferred range is around 10-15 km with those 2 BB's, it seems to me that APR1 is a waste of an upgrade. (+16% range on top of those guns already good range is what seems like a waste to me, but YMMV.) And perhaps you should narrow your choice to either the AA or secondary module.

 

Edited by Crucis
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1 minute ago, Crucis said:

The thing is that if you take BFT and AFT, you're getting double value with the bonuses to both AA and secondaries.  Is taking ManSec worth the 4 skill points on an Iowa/Montana?  I don't know.  And is it better to take the AA upgrade module or the secondaries upgrade module?  I suppose that it may depend on how often you see CVs with either of those BBs and how important it is to you to have maximized AA potential.

Basically this. Having a Yamato and a GK myself, I wouldn't feel comfortable in secondary range against either of those in a Montana. I'd go for BFT and AFT, because you can't go wrong with the AA boost and incidental damage if anything gets into secondary range, but I wouldn't spend 4 points on manual secondaries for Montana. With the advent of RN BBs and the size of a Montana, you're probably better off with fire prevention anyway.

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IMO, FWIW. The stock main gun range of the ships is more than adequate without adding more (IMO). With how slow the shells are and how long they hang before dropping I couldn't imagine trying to shoot further than the stock 23km they each have. So for me, APRM1 is out. APRM2 in slot 3 to reduce the dispersion of the main guns is the no brainer for main gun upgrades.

So that leaves boosting AA or boosting secondary guns with slot 2. I think for both Iowa and Montana the AA is what should be boosted in slot 2 as it is such a force even if you only see CV now and then. When you see them it will be of immense value. Melting torp plane squadrons before they can drop is a huge bonus for ships that turn so sluggishly. This is how I went on both of them. 

By the time you reach Iowa and Montana I would think you would at the minimum be using a 12pt+ Capt which means both BFT and AFT can be added which not only boosts your already formidable AA but helps with secondary guns too. Both my Iowa and Montana are AA spec, as are the Capt's with BFT/AFT, which also boosts my secondary guns out to 7.2km. If I used SBM2 instead of AAGM2 my secondary gun range, with a Capt running BFT/AFT, would only be 8.64km. I am not sure that is enough of a boost vs what the AA upgrade gives the ship?

Iowa and Monatana are both tough but I am not sure they are brawlers? I guess the secondary range would help keep DD's and CL's more at range. Your call obviously but IMO boost your AA in slot 2 and use APRM2 in slot 3 to help your main gun accuracy.

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AdmiralThunder, I guess the question might be this.  Say that one set up their Montana for a full secondary build, and assume that you were willing to close to within max secondary range on a regular basis.  How much value (damage) would you REALLY get out of your fully enhanced secondaries? (For what it's worth, I'd probably try to find a way to take DE as well, for the secondaries.)  Arguably, you may see more brawling action on a regular basis than you saw carriers.  Also, about the only 2 AA related things a full-on sec build would be missing is the AA upgrade module and ManAA.  It seems like this would still make for a nasty AA ship, even if it's not as absolutely deadly to planes as possible.  Might be more than good enough vs tier 8 carrier planes, I suppose.  But if you feared tier 10 CV's, you might care more about the full on AA build.

 

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Is it viable, sure. Is it maybe the best thing, probably not.

 

The USN BBs are good a two things, AAA and stealth. Secondaries aren't their thing. Now, the MT with full secondary build is still pretty good. But, I think it's better to build AA and stealth, as well as the dispersion upgrade. You have great concealment, ridiculous AAA. The secondary range is OK with AFT and BFT from the AA build. The way I look at it, you're not going to win a secondary fight with a German BB anyway, so be good at something else.

 

That said, if it floats your boat, try it. I'd go the full mile though. AFT, BFT, MFCSA. Both secondary upgrades, maybe the auxiliary armaments one too. I play the bismark from the campaign, have a 10pt captain. Secondaries are good, but the dispersion is atrocious, very few hits. Tried it with manual secondaries on the PTS, and a huge difference. Go with MFCSA if you want to go secondary spec.

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The issue is opportunity cost. You can buff your secondaries all you want on Montana/Iowa, but you're still not going to even be in the same league as German BBs. You have bigger main guns, and German BBs have armor that is toughest at close range. Plus you'll hit far more of your shots at longer ranges than German BBs. 

 

Putting 4 points into manual secondaries on a Monty or Iowa is 4 points you can't use elsewhere, in order to buff secondaries that are maybe half as effective as German secondaries if that. It's not that this wouldn't be useful, it's that for these ships there are usually better uses for 4 points. 

 

On my Missouri I have a 19 point captain. With CE, AFT, and my lower level skills (superintendent, BFT, AR, EM, etc.) I don't have 4 points to spare. IF you forgo CE, maybe you can get manual secondaries but I personally find stealth to be more useful.

Edited by poeticmotion
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Hey ddoubletapp1! - I experimented w/a secondary build back w/a T8 NC, but found a better compromise to leverage the strength of the USN anti-air was the following build.

 

Captains skill (NC-Iowa-Montana) - AFT, BFT & Conceal, w/ Adrenaline Rush (no Manual AA or Manual Secondaries)

Module Upgds - AA options, particularly Range & ROF.

 

The above build gives you 100 AA ratings w/a decent range on secondaries.  It doesn’t bump the AA to double the large caliber DPM or give you a 60%bump in secondary effectiveness, but it’s a good compromise that lets you shred a lot of equal tier air attacks but still gives you a decent secondary capability against DDs in close or against another BB.  You won’t win a secondary battle against a secondary spec German BB anyway, either in range or overall secondary firepower even if you max spec your USN BB for secondaries.

 

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Thank you, Gentlemen - some very considered thought in the replies.

I logged into the game, and found I had a spare secondary module - so gave it a try (with the secondary flag - but without re-spec'ing the skipper) - it was an improvement - but, not a big difference.

In the third game, I was deleted by a CV - ha ha!

Went back to port, and mounted the AA module, instead  It wouldn't have saved me - but I could have made that CV pay more dearly for his kill.

In retrospect - I concur with what has been said here - play to the ship's strengths, which is AA and concealment.

Thank you all again for your thoughtful replies.

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One thing I wanted to mention earlier in my other post, and forgot, was to take into account the number of secondary guns a ship has to see if it is even worth doing a secondary build. If you boost the range, ROF, and DPM of your secondary guns, but only have a few, is it worth it? 

The Iowa and Montana don't have as many secondary guns when compared to the KM and IJN T9/T10 BB's. The BRN T9/T10 BB's have even fewer. So not only are you at a range disadvantage vs KM and IJN BB's at T9/T10 re: secondary guns but you are also at a disadvantage as far as sheer number of them. So KM and IJN get you 2X's in that regard = more range and more DPM. So to me, as I said above, build to the strength of the 2 ships (Iowa & Montana). Go for AA and an increase in main gun accuracy.

Between Iowa and Montana, even though they have the same exact guns and # of guns, Montana would benefit more from a secondary build as it has a greater ROF and almost double the fire chance.

FWIW this is what a secondary build would do for the T9/T10 BB's in game (fully upgraded) using the secondary module + a Capt w/ BFT/AFT. Stats will include # of guns & MM + range, ROF, shell type, damage, and chance of fire. Note - I have vision issues so I believe these to be correct but it is hard for me to see stats on ships I don't own on that gray port screen. Hopefully I got them right.

KM:

  • FDG = 8X2 105MM / 10.94km / 3.06 sec / HE / 1200 / 5%
  • FDG = 6X2 150MM / 10.94km / 6.75 sec / HE / 1700 / 8%
  • GK = 10X2 128MM / 11.08km / 3.6 sec / HE / 1500 / 5%
  • GK = 4X2 150MM / 11.08km / 6.75 sec / HE / 1700 / 8%

IJN:

  • Izumo = 12X2 127MM / 10.08km / 5.4 sec/ HE / 2100 / 8%
  • Izumo = 1X3 155MM / 10.08km / 10.8 sec / AP / 3300 / 0%
  • Yamato = 6X2 127MM / 10.08km / 4.5 sec / HE / 2100 / 8%
  • Yamato = 6X2 127MM / 10.08km / 5.4 sec / HE / 2100 / 8%
  • Yamato = 2X3 155MM / 10.08km / 10.8 sec / AP / 3300 / 0%

USN:

  • Iowa = 10X2 127MM / 8.64km / 5.4 sec / HE / 1800 / 5%
  • Missouri = 10X2 127MM / 8.64km / 5.4 sec / HE / 1800 / 5%
  • Montana = 10X2 127MM / 8.64km / 3.6 sec / HE / 1800 / 9%

BRN:

  • Lion = 8X2 134MM / 7.2km / 6.03 sec / HE / 1900 / 8%
  • Conqueror= 8X2 134MM / 8.64km / 6.03 sec / HE / 1900 / 8%

 

Edited by AdmiralThunder
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WHy dont they just give the USN Secondaries 15 RpM base, along with an increase to accuracy.  4s and more hits, yes please.

Currently, my AL runs the AA modules and crap, she shreds planes.  Pesky CVs think they will cancer lance me....no sir.

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Kinda related, a while back I tried out a secondary build in my Colorado for giggles, BFT, AFT, Secondary mod and manual secondary. It doesn't have the alpha damage the KM BBs can put out but boy did it start a ton of fires. Thats pretty much it though, just fire, it doesn't have that kick the KMs seem to get but it did seem to start allot more fires than my Shiney Horse sisters did with the same build.  I imagine doing the same in a Montana would yield the same results but honestly how often do you get into that situation? Thats the question that should be asked

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2 minutes ago, Psycodiver said:

honestly how often do you get into that situation? Thats the question that should be asked

Exactly this. I will admit I brawl more often than I should in both my Missouri and my Conqueror (I'm the king of overextending and over aggression) but high-tier USN BBs are strongest when played at mid-range with an eye to lancing in when possible... They can lead a push with support to secure flanks but they can't survive in a knife-range furball the way German BBs can, and if you're finding yourself in that situation often you need to reevaluate your play. RN BBs are very much support BBs and even less suited to brawling; my best games are when I can stay on the second line and dish out DPS. Secondary builds will help any BB in a brawl, but some BBs are less suitable for a brawl than others.

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8 hours ago, poeticmotion said:

Exactly this. I will admit I brawl more often than I should in both my Missouri and my Conqueror (I'm the king of overextending and over aggression) but high-tier USN BBs are strongest when played at mid-range with an eye to lancing in when possible... They can lead a push with support to secure flanks but they can't survive in a knife-range furball the way German BBs can, and if you're finding yourself in that situation often you need to reevaluate your play. RN BBs are very much support BBs and even less suited to brawling; my best games are when I can stay on the second line and dish out DPS. Secondary builds will help any BB in a brawl, but some BBs are less suitable for a brawl than others.

I apparently have a long lost twin Brother. LOL

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On 10/9/2017 at 8:56 PM, AdmiralThunder said:

Between Iowa and Montana, even though they have the same exact guns and # of guns, Montana would benefit more from a secondary build as it has a greater ROF and almost double the fire chance.

Not the same guns. Iowa has the 5"/38 Mk12 dual mounts you see on a plethora of other USN ships, while Montana gets dual 5"/54 gunhouses. (The only other ship that mounts those guns is the Midway, albeit in single mounts.) 

Of course, even if they were the same, you are correct that the stats wouldn't match. Just look at the wide range and ROF differences between those very 5"/38 Mk12s across the board.  

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Montana secondaries are very effective at causing destroyers to screw off, much like the German 15cm secondary guns are. Worth considering if you really, really hate Fletchers. The cost to your AA exists, but remember that many carriers fear you enough to simply avoid attacking you.

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9 hours ago, rapier_ape said:

Not the same guns. Iowa has the 5"/38 Mk12 dual mounts you see on a plethora of other USN ships, while Montana gets dual 5"/54 gunhouses. (The only other ship that mounts those guns is the Midway, albeit in single mounts.) 

Of course, even if they were the same, you are correct that the stats wouldn't match. Just look at the wide range and ROF differences between those very 5"/38 Mk12s across the board.  

I just meant 127MM and 10X2 in total for both ships. I didn't even look for the model of the 127MM as really that is irrelevant. What matters is ROF, damage, and fire chance. Montana does better in 2 of them. Thank you though for the info. :Smile_honoring:

Edited by AdmiralThunder

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I've actually done pretty well with a secondary build on my Iowa.  Can't wait to get Missouri.  Radar is the only thing missing in the combo.

 

Haven't played my Montana much yet.  I'm thinking that it is just too cumbersome to make a secondary build work.  Not that Iowa was nimble, but you could dodge torps with it usually.  We'll see.

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I run a secondary build on my Montana, and have had pretty decent luck with it at times.  It's not a full on secondary build, because I still get the accuracy module for the mains and I still operate that ship under the plan of not trying to get into secondary range all the time.  She isn't made to brawl like a German, but those secondaries are good enough to make anyone think twice of getting close.  More than once, they've saved me by covering the side where I didn't have my guns pointed or let me lay down enough cover fire to angle and clear out to safety.

So a Montana secondary build is viable, it just isn't the best thing for everyone to run.  Your own experiences will probably vary.

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