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MakersMike

USN BB's - How Bad?

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I'm a new player, 324 battles in.  I hadn't read up too much on the different battleships and have just researched and purchased the New Mexico.  Then I searched for some information and am seeing many negative things about New Mexico and the USN line in general.  Should I just stop now? 

One question I have is regarding some stat sites like wow-numbers.com.  The USN BB's rank near the bottom for every tier for win % and damage.  But they're also the number 1 most played BB in most every tier.  So, are they as bad as the stats show, or are the stats somewhat misleading because every noob like me researches the USN line first so they have a lot of inexperienced players hurting the stat numbers?

Should I just stop the line now, and save some dignity or is there some silver lining that I'm missing?

I know it varies by play style, but I'd like to know what you think are the best BB lines in general.  The Izmail looks pretty awesome so I'm starting the Russian line, and as slow as it is, I'm doing good in the British Iron Duke and enjoying it. *I'm trying to use AP when I'm seeing a lot of broadsides, so I don't become too lazy and learn bad habits relying on that HE, but it's pretty nice to set all those fires.    

Thanks

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@MakersMike,  yes, you should stop now, not because USN BBs are bad, but because you need a lot more experience before you can handle things at T6, and because you need a lot more experience before you can play BBs well. 

My advice, always, is to play 200 games in low tier DDs before you venture into BBs. Play IJN torp boats. They will teach you positioning, and situation awareness, and mini map reading. You will learn to think like a DD driver so you develop that supernatural ability to automatically WASD and avoid getting torps, since you know where the DDs will be. Finally, you will come to understand the flow of the match so you know where you will need to be three minutes down the road. 

BBs are easy to play, but hard to play well. USN BBs are really tough, because it is hard to recover once you misposition, since they are slow (I think of all USN BBs prior to Iowa -- cepting Alabama and Massachusetts -- as food no matter what ship I am in). I suggest once you start playing BBs you go up the French or IJN BB line, since they are faster, more forgiving of positioning errors, hit hard, and have lots of guns.

Good luck!

PS: play lots of coop to practice your gunnery and brawling in BBs. Also, join our operations Discord Hoperations to practice operations and practice shooting and positioning properly. PM me for invite. You need at least a T6 cruiser...

Edited by Taichunger
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no! they get better as they go. NC is Great. dont listen to others, or believe what you read. find out for yourself.NC and

montana are worth the effort

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Do you know about the Global Wiki page: https://wiki.wargaming.net/en/World_of_Warships

It is good to research before you buy. Like Taichunger says, play coop. I did for a long time because I never thought I was good enough for Random back then.

I use 3 British BB's (King George V, Warspite and Monarch) I'm so close to research the "Lion" tier 9 BB. I like BB's, but I also run cruisers.

 

Edited by Alienmenace_1

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The early tier USN BBs have a lot of trouble because they are too damn historically accurate 21 knots slow. They are extremely inflexible, so they have difficulty getting into position, and have trouble relocating.

YMMV but afaik the consensus is that it starts getting better at Colorado, and then it's good from North Carolina onwards. The  US also has some very fun premium later tier BBs like Massachusetts and Georgia. 

Also what you researched has a lot of truth. The USN tech tree was one of the first lines released with the game. This is also the North American server, where many new players from America will pick their nation first because MURICA! So there's been a long time for people to drag the tech tree down. Look at your own US battleship stats which reflect this.

The best lines imho for learning how to battleship imho are the French and Japanese. So how about trying those first?

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Tech Tree USN BB Line is downright atrocious to barely mediocre at Tier VII and below.  Premium Tier VI Arizona is quite good, but it still is slow.  But this Line is what I call a "Late Blooming" ship line.  Once it reaches Tier VIII, it becomes great and all those stupid annoying problems from prior tiers are gone.  High Tier USN BBs are very relevant to the reality of High Tier Combat, i.e. long ranged fighting.  Even the Tier IX-X USN BBs are the only BBs in the game that can access the unique Artillery Plotting Room Mod 2 in Slot 6 to improve main battery dispersion by a whopping 11% instead of the typical Aiming System Mod 1 upgrade (Slot 3) that does it by 7% (which no USN BB can access).

 

As someone that grinded to Tier X Montana and of course faced USN BBs, I have no respect for USN BBs Tier VII and below, except for Premium Tier VI Arizona.

X Montana?  Fantastic.

IX Iowa / Missouri?  Great.

VIII North Carolina?  Nice!

VIII Alabama / Massachusetts?  Awesome!

Any other USN BB lower in tier than them not named Arizona?  BLEGH!

 

USN Battleships are like that ugly girl you knew in high school.  You graduate and meet her again a few years later and now she's stunning.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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Thanks.  I appreciate the information.  I do play co-ops and especially when trying a new ship.  And I agree with the Japanese dd's suggestion.  I have been playing them, and one thing I find the most difficult with them so far is finding that fine line of being undetected and sending in torpedo's within range.  It's been fun.  I think it's helped me handle the Guepard that I just got from the french missions too.  And yes, I'm learning fast the problems of over-extending.  I'd say that was my biggest learning curve to start was getting impatient and pushing too far and realizing it's not so easy to back out once you do.  

I've played wot for years, and it's helped in some ways, but in other ways doing as I did in a tank creates massive failure.  I need to keep wot out of my head when playing wows. :cap_hmm:

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13 minutes ago, Super_Dreadnought said:

The early tier USN BBs have a lot of trouble because they are too damn historically accurate 21 knots slow. They are extremely inflexible, so they have difficulty getting into position, and have trouble relocating.

YMMV but afaik the consensus is that it starts getting better at Colorado, and then it's good from North Carolina onwards. The  US also has some very fun premium later tier BBs like Massachusetts and Georgia. 

Also what you researched has a lot of truth. The USN tech tree was one of the first lines released with the game. This is also the North American server, where many new players from America will pick their nation first because MURICA! So there's been a long time for people to drag the tech tree down. Look at your own US battleship stats which reflect this.

The best lines imho for learning how to battleship imho are the French and Japanese. So how about trying those first?

Sounds like a good plan.  Play some of these other lines that may be better in the lower tiers to learn before venturing onward.  

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16 minutes ago, MakersMike said:

Thanks.  I appreciate the information.  I do play co-ops and especially when trying a new ship.  And I agree with the Japanese dd's suggestion.  I have been playing them, and one thing I find the most difficult with them so far is finding that fine line of being undetected and sending in torpedo's within range.  It's been fun.  I think it's helped me handle the Guepard that I just got from the french missions too.  And yes, I'm learning fast the problems of over-extending.  I'd say that was my biggest learning curve to start was getting impatient and pushing too far and realizing it's not so easy to back out once you do.  

I've played wot for years, and it's helped in some ways, but in other ways doing as I did in a tank creates massive failure.  I need to keep wot out of my head when playing wows. :cap_hmm:

For new players, especially since they tend to gravitate to BBs, Destroyer players tend to own them when they use their Battleships.  Not knowing how DDs think, what they look for in ideal targets, and of course, not knowing how Concealment / Stealth mechanics work... That's why DDs in lower and mid tiers have a very high leg up advantage on new BB players.  Concealment mechanics in particular is a nasty one.  I lost track how many times some new player posts around here complaining about how a "Destroyer decloaked to my side at 2km and torpedoed me!"

 

There's a lot of signs of a DD lurking in an area, especially if you were doing your job as a BB and providing support to your own DDs ahead of you.  Your Minimap helps give you awareness on possible directions of attack by a DD.

 

Next, a lot of new players aren't familiar with the WASD Hax.  Occasionally change course, alter speed for a bit to make your BB an annoying target to hit with a medium or long range torpedo drop.  The longer the range in torpedo drop, any change in course, speed of the target can throw it off.  Destroyer players love BB players that sail "Straight and Dumb."  This image below is often used when some BB player wants to complain hard about torpedoes.

Image result for world of warships stop sailing in straight lines

Take the words to heart because it's a harsh truth in the game.

 

An example of this in action, one of the things that drove the point home for me was long, long ago around 2015.  Back when Fubuki was a Tier VIII Destroyer.  I was spectating this Fubuki on our team, he was doing well.  He spotted some enemy Iowa at around 9km away, going max speed to join some fight.  Fubuki player drops his torps at the broadside Iowa at 9km.

Me:  "9km?  That's a bit long, aren't those going to miss?"

Fubuki player:  "Nah, I got him, watch him, he's sailing straight and fast."

 

We wait and wait and wait... DEV STRIKE, Dead Iowa.  Not once did he change course nor alter speed.  The Fubuki caught the BB in a dangerous situation.  Iowa was going max speed to join a fight where he feels he is needed, so yeah, he just goes max speed without changing course to get there ASAP.  But if you got an opposing DD operating in between you and your destination, you just put yourself on a silver platter for the DD.  When guys are fighting, shooting at each other, they're maneuvering.  But when they think nothing is around (not paying attention to the "DETECTED" indicator) and are just in transit... That's when people get careless.  That's when those stream of accurate torpedoes "come out of nowhere" and the target eats lots of torpedoes.

 

Also, be especially careful near islands.  That's where DDs would like to lurk and come out for a torpedo rush / ambush.  Even some Cruisers with torpedoes may try that.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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Don’t worry about where the ships stand in terms of stats, the US ships stats are pulled down by the large number of new players that start with that nation.

Enjoy whatever tier you are at, work on understanding the game and reflecting on your decisions and improving your skills and over the long haul this game can provide enjoyment and sense of accomplishment for years.

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Do you watch any youtube channels on ships?

1. Lord Zath -  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3Xy0NjaupmmfvZ90Zeq2PQ

2. Notser - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-c1d4QVKztu8_3f8VqMtKw

3. Flambass - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJvPHnm-qNEUsNhx47s9qxw

4. The Mighty Jingles - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpnjlvS2zxhbNJuGNo_TxkQ

Out of the (4) Lord Zath and Notser are very informative. Jingles have a bunch of other things on his channel. They will review ships and do videos that people send in to see if they can improve on it.

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Just now, HazeGrayUnderway said:

For new players, especially since they tend to gravitate to BBs, Destroyer players tend to own them when they use their Battleships.  Not knowing how DDs think, what they look for in ideal targets, and of course, not knowing how Concealment / Stealth mechanics work... That's why DDs in lower and mid tiers have a very high leg up advantage on new BB players.  Concealment mechanics in particular is a nasty one.  I lost track how many times some new player posts around here complaining about how a "Destroyer decloaked to my side at 2km and torpedoes me!"

 

There's a lot of signs of a DD lurking in an area, especially if you were doing your job as a BB and providing support to your own DDs ahead of you.

 

Next, a lot of players aren't familiar with the WASD Hax.  Occasionally change course, alter speed for a bit to make your BB an annoying target to hit with a medium or long range torpedo drop.  The longer the range in torpedo drop, any change in course, speed of the target can throw it off.  Destroyer players love BB players that sail "Straight and Dumb."

Just now applying that.  Changing speed, cruising at more of an angle back and forth.  It's helped avoid a more salvo's and torps.  When I started I definitely got surprised by stealthy dd's just waiting for my noob *ss to come floating by.  

I'd say my first 250 battles were very rushed and I thought I could kill it because I was good at tanks and I was a little too impatient to spend a lot of time in co-ops.  I took a step back and focused, and it's taking some time to dig out of the hole I made, but damage and experience are much improved since I slowed down and took more time. And I'm taking more advantage of co-ops to learn. 

I'm trying to use co-ops to learn specific tactics in battles now, instead of just trying for easy bot damage which can lead to bad habits I think.  Instead I'm trying to test out different scenarios and situations, like using the islands for cover and shooting over them, timing torpedo launches, using smoke at the right times and locations, changing speed and directions etc.  Co-ops can be a good learning tool when I use it for these kinds of strategies and testing.      

 

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Just now, Alienmenace_1 said:

Do you watch any youtube channels on ships?

1. Lord Zath -  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3Xy0NjaupmmfvZ90Zeq2PQ

2. Notser - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-c1d4QVKztu8_3f8VqMtKw

3. Flambass - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJvPHnm-qNEUsNhx47s9qxw

4. The Mighty Jingles - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpnjlvS2zxhbNJuGNo_TxkQ

Out of the (4) Lord Zath and Notser are very informative. Jingles have a bunch of other things on his channel. They will review ships and do videos that people send in to see if they can improve on it.

Big fan of Notser so far.  Very helpful.  I've seen some Flambass and of course The Mighty Jingles is a long time favorite from playing tanks.  I will look for Zath.  

 

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Wow, you guys are super helpful.  Thanks so much for the insight.  I will take advantage of it!

Now, how about that damned Newport operation???  The others were so easy, and this one is so hard.  Why such a drastic change up?  They need to find a happy medium in there somewhere.

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I'm just a noob still amongst all these people that been out here for years. The 3 battleships I use, that I read about suggest to use HE most of the time.

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A lot of USN BB mains tend to get sailing in a straight line ingrained into their play style is due to the earlier BB's being so slow.  At T3 or 4, you're slow, but not a lot slower than others.  But as you go up in tiers, others gain speed but the USN BB's don't (until NC).  So people who play little more than that one BB line tend to sail straight because you almost have to or else the battle runs away from you.  And if you use your rudder, you'll bleed off what little speed you may have had.  

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Overmatch is a mechanic to get familiar with.  Cruisers and Battleships use this mechanic a lot but BBs most especially live off this.

Have you wondered why, when you shot at one ship with your Battleship's AP shells at a certain angle, you're doing reliable damage, then do the same to another ship sailing the same angle against you, and you can't damage them for sh*t?

Overmatch is why.  If you are playing a BB you really, REALLY need to know this as it becomes larger factor as you climb the tiers.

 

iChase has a very old Overmatch video.

 

The game has changed, i.e. Montana in that video no longer has that super tall Citadel.  But he explains how the mechanic works and that is still the same today as it was when he made that video in 2016.

Or if you want to read about it: https://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Ship:Gunnery_%26_Armor_Penetration#Armor-Piercing

 

"Properly angling the ship matters a great deal when the enemy is shooting AP shells: when an AP shell encounters armor at an angle, it has to pass a greater amount of armor for penetration. Additionally, at certain critical angle (below ~20-40°), the shell will simply ricochet, even if it might have ad enough armor penetration. A shell may still cause damage after the ricochet, but only to the same ship. If the armor thickness is less than 1/14.3 of shell's caliber, a ricochet does not occur regardless of armor encounter angle. This phenomena is called overmatching."

 

A simple cheat sheet on some common armor values and what it takes to Overmatch them with a minimum shell size.

https://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Ship:Armor_thresholds#AP_overmatch

Hop in the tech tree, check out a ship in port, hit the Armor Viewer and analyze armor values.  Some ships will surprise you.  You'll also notice patterns in armor thickness for locations once you change into certain tiers.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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USN and IJN were the first nation introduced in the game. Their stats are a bit meh because they're old but at the same time most people either start with US or Japan.

 

Personnally I hate slow ship which is why I ignored the USN BB line and went for IJN BB. But the line gets better starting with NC.

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It's not that bad, but back in the old days where there are only US and Japan nation, new players tend to go to their BBs as a first time playing.
Like for me, it was the US BBs that I went in and have bad stats on them since I didn't know how to play them before.

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Yep just tried " Newport operation  ". Not fun, well a little. But not bad first time.

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@MakersMike

USN bbs are great. Very balanced. Decent armor, gun caliber (super heavy shells), amazing aa, good dispersion, the floaty shells are annoying until you realize how punishing they are to ships with turtleback armor... their problem as a starting line is how punishing mistakes can be.

Ive always felt german bbs are the starter ship of choice... german bbs are duplos... usn bbs are legos... RN cruisers are raspberry pi arduino erector sets...

All three can build wonders... but starting from bare bones basics is how you get to a solid finish line.

And ignore comments about not going up the tiers... one of the best ways to improve is to play with and against higher skill sets... if you die hit space or shift and watch someone who seems like they know what theyre doing. Emulate their good ideas.

Look forward to seeing you out there. O7

Edited by Xanshin
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OP, you've got the right idea not racing up the lines. Get a few BBs and a couple of cruisers to tier 6 before you move up to tier 7. I went straight up to tier 8 and did not have a good time there until much later.

Since you have already started the US and Russian lines I recommend the Japanese battleships next followed by German and Japanese cruisers.

Save German battleships for last if you get them at all, they are good tier 6 and lower but they are too niche from tier 7 up.

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1 hour ago, MakersMike said:

I'm a new player, 324 battles in.  I hadn't read up too much on the different battleships and have just researched and purchased the New Mexico.  Then I searched for some information and am seeing many negative things about New Mexico and the USN line in general.  Should I just stop now? 

One question I have is regarding some stat sites like wow-numbers.com.  The USN BB's rank near the bottom for every tier for win % and damage.  But they're also the number 1 most played BB in most every tier.  So, are they as bad as the stats show, or are the stats somewhat misleading because every noob like me researches the USN line first so they have a lot of inexperienced players hurting the stat numbers?

Should I just stop the line now, and save some dignity or is there some silver lining that I'm missing?

I know it varies by play style, but I'd like to know what you think are the best BB lines in general.  The Izmail looks pretty awesome so I'm starting the Russian line, and as slow as it is, I'm doing good in the British Iron Duke and enjoying it. *I'm trying to use AP when I'm seeing a lot of broadsides, so I don't become too lazy and learn bad habits relying on that HE, but it's pretty nice to set all those fires.    

Thanks

Those telling you to slow down are giving good advice, I wished I had listened. 

From T6 on you do need 10pt or better commanders.

The slow speed of the US BB's forces you to plan your moves better than the faster BB's. Of course the faster BB's can get you in trouble quicker. Each ship has its pros & cons. People express their dissatisfaction more than give praise. Learn to play to the New Mexico's strengths and it is a good ship.

I believe your correct to think the number of new players lowers the stats on US BB's.

The best is very subjective. I think the Fiji & Scharnhorst are the only 2 ships most players have a high opinion of.

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I am a relatively new player as well (approaching 1,500 battles), and I am focused on the USN line.

My $0.02 -- check into Operations as well as Co-Op.

I have the Tier VI New Mexico and I have the XP to move to the Tier VII Colorado but I have only just gotten the New Mexico captain over the 10-point threshold and I am trying to develop him to about the 14-point level before I move up to Colorado.  I also have the Tier V Konig and I am working up that line as well.  (I am trying to get over the 14-point threshold for my Dallas, and my Farragut as well...)  

Overall, there seems to be a natural human tendency to blame the ship (and absolve the ship-driver) if things don't go well.  Some ships are better than others, but I ground my way to a 14-point captain on the Pensacola (which is not well-regarded) and I would have good games and bad games.  You can have success with New Mexico.

Having said that, play something that you enjoy playing.  This is not a job and it should not feel like work...and I worry a bit when I see advice that speaks to grinding up XYZ line to get to some better future-state or ship.  

 

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