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Most surprisingly good / disappointing ships?

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I'm curious to hear from everyone what ships they played and were surprised at how enjoyable they were to play vs. initial expectations or how disappointing they were after expecting more and it not working out in actual game play and why.

I'll start with a few-

Enjoyable:

Jervis- huge step up over the T6, has turrets that rotate 360 degrees; a seemingly small difference until you use it in live combat and then it really increases your overall flexibility.

Kitikaze- really flexible/balanced ship when you buff the torps vs. add everything into guns. Very well rounded and effective.

Jean Bart- yes, it's a premium so it's supposed to be good, but wow. Really suits my play style of being aggressive and dynamic. It's quick, fairly stealthy, handles well, decent accuracy and the reload booster can be a real game changer when used well in a tight situation.

Disappointing:

F.D.G.- with a full secondary build the current meta is so long-ranged that you rarely get to employ your secondaries to good effect. This goes for just about any secondary build at this point. Curious to see if the G.K. might overcome the F.D.G.'s weaknesses.

Massachusetts- it's great in Tier 8 games. But it's constantly uptiered to Tier 10 games. Like the FDG, you rarely if ever get to used your secondaries and when you do all the Tier 10 ships have enough armor that you're getting 90% shatters anyway. With the secondaries taken out of the equation all your left with is a worse North Carolina.

Neptune- I love the Edinburgh and I thought I would love the Neptune more. Stats-wise everything looked better. But then I found out the gun ballistics are much more "floaty" and the 40m/sec shell velocity difference makes a huge difference in effectiveness. And then the maneuverability that I liked on the Edinburgh wasn't there on the Neptune: it just turns/starts/stops worse in all respects. I thought the huge increase in torpedoes would be a big upgrade but you don't get that much opportunity to really use them.

 

Frankly, I think that for each national line of each type of ship there's one or maybe two radically different ships that stand out per line that are that magic combination of traits that makes them very usable/flexible while the rest are just frustrating to use at their tier/MM. What are your impressions? I'm genuinely interested to find out.

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Surprisingly Enjoyable:

- Gorizia - I actually like the ship with its German hydro better. It can go it and slaughter DDs and CLs, which is really what the Italian CAs are good at.  

- FdG - It was a much better experience than I thought. I rig out for survival, secondaries, and most powerful hydro I can. I tell the DDs that I have their back and push into the cap right behind them. It works surprisingly well. I rarely survived past midgame but my sacrifice won the match a lot. That extra close cover from a T9 bb worked out well especially when the enemy BBs constantly camped at 18km and couldn't directly support their own DDs. 

- Nueve de Julio/Boise - It feels like Helena in slow-motion but it works. That heal helps a ton on T7 and makes up for dreadful range, poor agility, slow speed and slow reload. 

- Le Terrible - Sweet Jesus I love this ship. It took a couple of @Notser videos to show me how to play it but it absolutely rocks. It is such a good assassin that it is hard for non CVs to counter you.

- Benham - Good god this ship is hysterical. I don't really understand why the felt it was balanced but it is fun to play. 

- Ark Royal and Enterprise - They just work well. You need to park the ship relatively close for Ark because her bombers are so slow, but the sight of stringbags lugging torpedoes into the fight just makes me smile. Enterprise is a hoot when you drop 6 AP citadels on a ship. German BBs and Yoshino (see below) are particularly fun. 

- Eitel Friedrich - I actually like this ship. It is fragile by German BB standards but it is no worse than the rest of the pack. The guns are small (not unusual for lower tier Germans), but they perform well. It also has good AA,  functional secondaries, and whopping good speed (which is unusual at T8). Honestly it is everything Dunkerque wishes it was (which is a terrible shame imho.). 

Didn't enjoy at all:

- Chapayev - the guns are beautiful and it is a beautiful looking ship. Nothing else about this ship is. It handles like a brick, it blows up if someone sneezes in its direction.

- Yoshino - I hate that ship with the fury of a thousand burning suns. It's another one that dies if a BB even looks hard at it and god help you if there is a CV with AP bombs. Any CV with AP bombs that it can see can rip it apart. I personally got 6 citadels on one in Enterprise. It is the only large ship easier to kill with AP bombs than Tirpitz. It eats BB citadels through the nose, even at long range and it's detection at BB levels so you can see it from space. The Shima torps really just encourage you to torp your own allies if they turn in front of you. 

- Lion - I don't like this ship either. It feels fragile for a T9 BB and its turret arcs are some of the worst I have encountered on any BB. It may as well only have 2 turrets. 

- Roon - That turret layout. That's all I can say. It feels like the wrong 2/3 of a Hindenburg. Too much of your firepower is pointing the wrong way when you need it. It fights better when kiting away. The problem is if you are kiting away you are basically delaying a loss and hoping the rest of your team can do something. If you are pushing in and something happens on the other side you have to wait for 2/3 of your firepower to swing around to the other side. 

- Viribis Unitas - It is cheap and historic. Beyond that it is absolutely terrible. You really have to play one to know how frustrating this ship is to use. It is the most fragile BB I have, by far. IT really doesn't matter how you angle it can't reliably bounce BB fire. Oh and it is incredibly slow and has dreadful AA. The guns are nice, but that is the only thing nice about it. It is a strict port queen. 

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I'll go with one that disappoints new players.

Wyoming. 

Bigger and more guns than the South Carolina.  What's not to like?

New players don't know anything about dispersion or Sigma and find out all of their gunners are Otis the town drunk.

 

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Surprisingly fun - the high-tier Italian Cruisers, especially Venezia. When the CCs and Supertesters were playing them we kept hearing how SAP sucked and the boats seemed pointless. While they may not have a ton of utility in competitive, they are sure HELLA fun to play in randoms. Throw double rudder shift mods on Venezia, load up Sansonetti, and rain down SAP and collect damages all while collecting the salt of the players who can't hit you because you're instantly on a track 180 degrees from where you were when they clicked the mouse button. 

Currently the British heavy cruiser is filled with disappointment with the exception of Devonshire (which is a beast). Despite what we were told about hard-hitting HE and survivability, they're almost all limp noodles with no range (and no gimmick Sansonetti type commander to help with it in the lower tiers). They're just not fun to play. At all. I'm hoping Goliath will be better, from what I've heard so far.... probably not. 

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Donskoi.

I thought that 8" reload on less-than-8" guns would suck, but it's growing on me quickly.

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6 minutes ago, Tzarevitch said:

Surprisingly Enjoyable:

- Gorizia - I actually like the ship with its German hydro better. It can go it and slaughter DDs and CLs, which is really what the Italian CAs are good at.  

- FdG - It was a much better experience than I thought. I rig out for survival, secondaries, and most powerful hydro I can. I tell the DDs that I have their back and push into the cap right behind them. It works surprisingly well. I rarely survived past midgame but my sacrifice won the match a lot. That extra close cover from a T9 bb worked out well especially when the enemy BBs constantly camped at 18km and couldn't directly support their own DDs. 

- Nueve de Julio/Boise - It feels like Helena in slow-motion but it works. That heal helps a ton on T7 and makes up for dreadful range, poor agility, slow speed and slow reload. 

- Le Terrible - Sweet Jesus I love this ship. It took a couple of @Notser videos to show me how to play it but it absolutely rocks. It is such a good assassin that it is hard for non CVs to counter you.

- Benham - Good god this ship is hysterical. I don't really understand why the felt it was balanced but it is fun to play. 

- Ark Royal and Enterprise - They just work well. You need to park the ship relatively close for Ark because her bombers are so slow, but the sight of stringbags lugging torpedoes into the fight just makes me smile. Enterprise is a hoot when you drop 6 AP citadels on a ship. German BBs and Yoshino (see below) are particularly fun. 

- Eitel Friedrich - I actually like this ship. It is fragile by German BB standards but it is no worse than the rest of the pack. The guns are small (not unusual for lower tier Germans), but they perform well. It also has good AA,  functional secondaries, and whopping good speed (which is unusual at T8). Honestly it is everything Dunkerque wishes it was (which is a terrible shame imho.). 

Didn't enjoy at all:

- Chapayev - the guns are beautiful and it is a beautiful looking ship. Nothing else about this ship is. It handles like a brick, it blows up if someone sneezes in its direction.

- Yoshino - I hate that ship with the fury of a thousand burning suns. It's another one that dies if a BB even looks hard at it and god help you if there is a CV with AP bombs. Any CV with AP bombs that it can see can rip it apart. I personally got 6 citadels on one in Enterprise. It is the only large ship easier to kill with AP bombs than Tirpitz. It eats BB citadels through the nose, even at long range and it's detection at BB levels so you can see it from space. The Shima torps really just encourage you to torp your own allies if they turn in front of you. 

- Lion - I don't like this ship either. It feels fragile for a T9 BB and its turret arcs are some of the worst I have encountered on any BB. It may as well only have 2 turrets. 

- Roon - That turret layout. That's all I can say. It feels like the wrong 2/3 of a Hindenburg. Too much of your firepower is pointing the wrong way when you need it. It fights better when kiting away. The problem is if you are kiting away you are basically delaying a loss and hoping the rest of your team can do something. If you are pushing in and something happens on the other side you have to wait for 2/3 of your firepower to swing around to the other side. 

- Viribis Unitas - It is cheap and historic. Beyond that it is absolutely terrible. You really have to play one to know how frustrating this ship is to use. It is the most fragile BB I have, by far. IT really doesn't matter how you angle it can't reliably bounce BB fire. Oh and it is incredibly slow and has dreadful AA. The guns are nice, but that is the only thing nice about it. It is a strict port queen. 

Regarding Roon, Lion and VB: agree 1000%! The VB particularly. OMG it's terrible at Tier 5. If it were Tier 4 and never saw anything but Tier 2/3/4 ships it would be okay. But not at Tier 5 getting put in Tier 7 games. 

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For me, the enjoyable ones were more based on what I had heard from other players before playing them, specifically about how bad the ships are. Although there are others, my top three for that would probably be:

T7 Pensacola - I got up to old Cleveland and then just sat there while I went up the US BB line based on how literally everyone I talked to said that was one of the worst and most unfun cruisers in the game. But when I finally went back to the US cruisers before the split to pick up some more ships, I absolutely adored that effectively mini battleship (after the stealth changes, so I wasn’t playing it when its detection was longer than its range). Super squishy when in the open, but get it in a defensible location with cover and the enemy has to put in a lot of effort to get you out of there. That was my first introduction to the more heavy cruiser side of the US line and the game overall, and it’s still one of my favorite mid tier cruisers. Of course, the stock turrets were annoying, but my first game I got enough xp to upgrade them and the rest of the grind was ridiculously fun. Especially when I’d watch enemy battleships try to push me and show side to get all their guns on target and I’d shove a few 8 inch shells of freedom into their citadel. 

Emerald - Another ship everyone seemed to hate, and I definitely felt the same after free xp-ing up to it for the Graf Spee event a few years back. But when I went back to it much later (once I was more of a cruiser main than a battleship main) and started working my way up that line, it was quite trollish in randoms, even when bottom tier. Everyone thinks it’s an easy citadel so they shoot at you and you laugh as stuff falls all around you and they rage. In fact, I think I finished that grind with an 80 something % winrate an a pretty high survival rate while being in the top 1/4 of my team pretty much every game. Being quite familiar with both cruiser and battleship play by that point certainly helped, but it definitely made me enjoy that line again. 

Clemson - so many people love to put down the US DD line and especially the lower tier ones, but that ship is a complete blast to play, and that coming from someone who rarely plays DDs and doesn’t even consider himself a DD player. It may not be the best torp boat down there, but those guns are so stupid against other DDs and cruisers. Combined with just being a fun ship overall, it’s so far one of the only non premiums below t5 I’ve never even considered selling off. 

An honorable mention goes to all of the t9s I’ve gone through so far, especially the cruisers (Donskoi, Seattle, and Buffalo so far). The general consensus is that they’re all bad to meh and not worth keeping once you get the t10. Besides the fact that I wouldn’t sell them anyway because of the various snowflake events, I’ve actually enjoyed every single tech tree t9 I’ve played, and never really felt they were super outclassed by the following t10 to the point of being worthless. Yes the t10s were all upgrades of varying degrees, but the t9s are still reliable and worth playing (even though most of my high tier play now is either grinding new ships, grinding elite commander xp (meaning premiums mostly), or playing in divs (again mostly in premiums for the commander xp) with clan mates).

 

So so far most of the ships I’ve played I enjoyed (except my initial grind through Iowa, but that was because of me trying to play it as a NC when it couldn’t, which is why I enjoyed it a lot more when I went back to it for ranked), but probably the one ship that a lot of people loved but I really didn’t like is Nurnberg. I had a few good random games early on and did most of the grinding in ops, and while I thought it was decent the first few months I played it there, every time I tried to go back to it after finishing the grind it just felt like I was fighting the ship to get it to work. It’s a good ship on paper but except for that initial grind that ship and I just have never had a good relationship. I want to enjoy it again but it doesn’t seem to want to oblige. 

Edited by MidnightPhoenix07

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Emerald was not as bad as everyone said.

 

Belfast is not as OP as everyone said.

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1 hour ago, DrHolmes52 said:

I'll go with one that disappoints new players.

Wyoming. 

Bigger and more guns than the South Carolina.  What's not to like?

Wyoming is my ‘Ole Reliable,’ and was my ‘go-to’ for damage missions back in the day, (2016.)

30 minutes ago, Kizarvexis said:

Emerald was not as bad as everyone said.

Belfast is not as OP as everyone said.

Agree on both.

Emerald is a torpedo faucet.

Belfast’s only real advantage is it can use HE, which puts it miles above all the other CLs, which I loathe, (except Emerald.)

Enjoyable;

Vampire: surprised me with how well it’s AA works against T4 aircraft.

Mutsuki: ambush killer extraordinaire, useful AA. Can also annoy at long range.

The Donut: lots of guns. Get up close and into cover, and support your DDs by making life hell for the Reds.

Gallant: has always just clicked with me, since it came out with the first release of Operation Dynamo.

Normandie: taught me more about secondary builds and brawling than any of the more ‘traditional’ ships. What’s not to love about it’s ocean liner camp?

Genova: a really weird ship. With no review I could find, I gave it a secondary build, and that seems to work. (6k secondaries at T5...)

Gorizia: no torps, but as mentioned above the hydro is exceptionally useful.

Grozovoi: I despise high tier games with a passion. Groz is the only such ship I’ve found even a little enjoyment in using.

Disappointing;

Any RN light cruiser, (aside from Emerald.) I consider the RN SAP to be completely unreliable. Oddly, Hawkins outshines how I feel about Emerald because it has HE.

North Carolina: Raising up my original South Carolina captain and putting him in NC was one of my first long term goals in the game...

...what a disappointment it turned out to be...

...I do better in my SoDaks.

Harugumo: glacial torpedo loading and guns that don’t seem to hurt much. For a destroyer touted as a gunboat, it sure doesn’t seem to deliver. Five kills in a recent game...

...all with torpedoes.

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1 hour ago, Tzarevitch said:

 FdG - It was a much better experience than I thought. I rig out for survival, secondaries, and most powerful hydro I can. I tell the DDs that I have their back and push into the cap right behind them. It works surprisingly well. I rarely survived past midgame but my sacrifice won the match a lot. That extra close cover from a T9 bb worked out well especially when the enemy BBs constantly camped at 18km and couldn't directly support their own DDs. 

 

Thank you for that.  The going thing in this forum seems to be about surviving until the end. We all try to do that, but there is something to be said for being in either of the lovely furry old Grovers  & supporting your DD's into infinity & beyond.

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Disappointing:

Belfast, FDG, Hood, Indianapolis, Dunkerque, Nagato, Izumo, Gneisenau, Russian DD's, Pan Asian DD's

Enjoyable:

Huanghe, Pensacola, Yorck, Boise, British CA line thru Albemarle, Wichita, Thunderer*

*took a lot of stuff for choosing Thunderer over Smelly in the beginning - think I made the right choice (did get Smelly later) 

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     Best surprise: Exeter. Wonderful guns and great AA.

     Worst surprise: Roma. Like throwing meatballs at a pasta bowl across the street.

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2 hours ago, thebigblue said:

Good - old Baltimore. What a beautiful experience.

Bad - Ohio. Complete waste of my time. So disappointing.

  Totally agree.   Prior to the down tier, I was well into Baltimore, and had the reload booster upgrade mounted.   That thing was mean, mean, MEAN!   And having a heal meant you could be mean for even longer, lol.

 Surprisingly good:

 Siroco.   A tier 5 DD with a reload booster!   Every bit as fun to me as the Jag- which was another favorite.

Acasta.  I was not prepared for how much I'd like this DD.   Evil, rotten, mean and nasty!   Can gun things down or it can blast things with torps.   Having Jingles as captain made it even more fun, lol.   The next one is even better.

Hill,  Rarely seen, and even more rarely talked about.  But it plays like a Sims mini-me with Mahans torps.   Also has surprising AA for a T5 DD.   For a freemium, it's surprisingly good, and really fun.   ( I love speedy gunboats!)

West Virginia.  I hated it at first, as RNGesus  trolled the hell out of me for many games.  However, it grew on me, and I now really enjoy playing it.

Seattle.  Again, after all the complaining, cussing, etc on here, I was NOT prepared for how EFFECTIVE this ship can be.   Yes, it's clumsier than Cleve (because it's bigger), and yes, the new DP gun arcs take some getting used to- but holy hell, this ship can dish out PUNISHMENT.   It's actually become one of my go to's, and I keep delaying moving the captain to Worcester because I like playing it so much.   ( my only other US CL captain worth mentioning for a high tier ship is in Cleveland- and that's also a go to...)

  Don't really have any surprising disappointments I can recall.  Most of those I knew about already, lol.

  I AM disappointed with how badly my US CA's and BB's perform in the current pve meta.   Other CA's and BB',s too- but the lack of a high alpha strike weapon like torps really hurts US CA's in a 3-5 minute average game time environment.  As does the glacial speed of the US Standard BB's.   It's frustrating as hell to play a ship you KNOW is good, only to have it underperform game after game...  (the battle is largely over before you get within range, usually)

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Surprisingly Good:

Trento: Red players in randoms tend to dismiss this boat thanks to her anemic offense and evasiveness making it 'not worth their time', which made my run through it quite enjoyable since a couple hits here, a sea mine there and suddenly you're talking about real damage...

Seattle: The Bad Cleveland is another bote that red players usually underestimate to their detriment if you find a bit of cover near a cap and dig in shooting red hot stinging IFHE while presenting the smallest profile you can.

Monarch (2nd time round): In my initial go around with RN BB's, the Monarch earned its place as my most hated BB in the game period. So when I reset the line I was well prepared to spend the FXP to skip but I though to play a few games after FXPing the B hull... and I was pleased as punch I did since, as the running theme is going, people *know* the HMS Mutt is a 'crap ship' and ignore at their peril.

Surprisingly Not Good:

Gadjah Madah: Me and T7 DD's do not get along, and the Gadjah Madah is the one I get along with the least. Everone else praises it to the heavens and rightly so but I just got dumped on game after game by catching every blind fired torp / picking the flank where all the radar cruisers went / CV's with Gadjahdar unerringly hunting me down especially when I was on the other side of the map trying to hide....didn't have any trouble with the T6 or T8... just this one.

KGV (2nd time round): First time around KGV was as monstrously good as she should be... second go around... *MAIN TURRET BLOWN UP* (and getting bowEVERYWHEREpenned / citadel'ed to death by effing SinOPs)

T61: All the fast reloading torps in the world are worthless when the 'narrow' spread always opens up a gap that a fully broadside straight lining Kurrywurst would fit between... oh and you think you can launch the second set to cover that gap? Too Bad that second set ALWAYS has a gap conveniently coinciding with the first spread! Never mind that you waited 10 seconds and the first set's gap is 2-2... this one is 3-1!

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Good: 

Krasny Krym -- no one expects to get Tommy-Gunned by a badbote.  BFT and AFT make a world of difference to the 15 guns, turning it into a beast. 

 

Bad: 

Fruitytaco -- one of the few ships I just sold off as soon as I could, and never looked back.  A total letdown after the very enjoyable Kuma, and nowhere near as good as advertised.  I literally almost gave up on the entire IJN cruiser line at one point because of this floater.

Fiji -- I just do not understand the hype.  Feels fragile and clumsy, despite not being that different from Leander and Edinburgh on paper (and I like both of those ships). 

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7 hours ago, Kizarvexis said:

Emerald was not as bad as everyone said.

 

Belfast is not as OP as everyone said.

Belfast is OP when it's top tier and played correctly. Plus you need a couple of DDs on your team to help with the spotting. Someone said once it's no good against BBs. LOL! I can eat up BBs with AP and HE when I'm in my smoke and another ship has them spotted. If one is low tier then the Belfast is not OP normally.

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Unexpected love: Gorizia (Love that hydro), Viribus Unitis (Treat her like a cruiser), Katori (Still my favorite AA ship at T3), Krasny Krym (T5 Atlanta. 'Nuff said.), Kaga (Undisputed king of co-op among CVs, and trust me, I've tried all but Indomitable! Just get your hull on the front lines, hide, and throw torps. Easy to get 20 torp hits by the end, even in shorter matches, as you have 36 of the things in your reserves to make squads of 12!), Jean Bart (I expected to like her, but found my favorite BB for random.), Hawkins (T5 Moskva, 'Nuff said.), Midway (Till they buffed the torps, I hated her.), and PEF (She's a jack of all trade, and has nasty AA for the tier.).

Unexpected Hate: Also Midway (HAAAATED that thing pre-buff. Was only good for farming fire ribbons in co-op!), Musashi (She really is only that great in T9 ranked, as no CVs, and basically about as hard for a DD to kill as it gets. She's just not a fun ship to use.), Minotaur (Eventually made me realize I like bigger shells, not more shells. More shells is just cumbersome, as either you have to hold it down (which I hate) or nearly spam click), and Graf Zeppelin (Don't get me wrong, I didn't expect to like her, and was gifted her almost forcefully, but even in co-op she leaves much to be desired. I don't want to use her in random, but I'd call it the place she does best, if you're willing to figure out how. That said, she's my favorite CV as far as history goes, so that's why I was gifted her.).

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Unexpected hero?

Mutsuki. I *hated* it to start with. 50 drops in...it’s a torpedo ninja. 

Hawkins. All the pundits say “what a bad cruiser.” I like it very much. Guns hit hard, torpedoes are usable, and it will take a beating unless you’re flat broadside on to enemy guns of over 152mm. 

VI Devonshire. Another one the pundits panned. But it is a tough, hard hitting brawler. 
 

Unexpected zero?

VIII Massachusetts. It’s too much like work these days because it always seems to face T9 and T10 opponents. It can take them one on one but good Lord that dispersion at range is awful. 

VII Duca degli Abruzzi. It’s my most played ship. It’s got all the tools. And it prints citadels like Oprah hands out Volkswagens. Anything mounting 8” or bigger guns looks its way...and boom, full health to no health in one hit. Regardless of angle or distance. If you can see it, it will kill you graveyard dead. But vs. DDs and other light cruisers it’s a menace and it pairs well with an 11 point Sansonetti so I keep on soldiering. 

VI Fubuki. This I didn’t expect...V Minekaze and Mutsuki are a lot of fun. But their big sister...awful. Slow, high detection range, bad guns. I keep wondering whether I ought to hold my breath and try the T7 that’s next in line...or bag it as a bad experiment. 

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Unexpected surprise. 1. Amalfi. Rigged her with double rudders and skipped the concealment mod. Fast and turns like a DD. That and thin hull make her very hard to hit at range. Then you get to shoot back with laser beam guns. I love kiting BBs at max range.  Oh yeah, there is the smoke too. Get out of jail free card. I love the Brindisi too but you got to take concealment over rudder with her so she is not as fun to drive. 

2. Perth. Picked her up after the fee rental because I could not seem to lose in her. Secret is to master the walking smoke. Once you do, she is OP.  Tiny with the best concealment and turns on a dime. What is not to like?  If she was only a few knots faster. 

Most disappointing.  Shimikaze. Just ground that whole line only to discover that I hated the ship I most coveted from the first day I got the game. Power creeped to redundancy. I can think of so many better DDs. 

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