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Premium Ship Review: West Virginia '44


LittleWhiteMouse

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The following is a review of West Virginia '44, brought to you by my patrons on Patreon.  To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.12.5.  Please be aware that her performance may change in the future.

I'm doing things a little differently from my normal style of review.  I'm cutting corners on graphics to (greatly) accelerate the time it takes to produce this review.  Please let me know how you feel about this.

You're going to see me compare WV44 to Colorado a lot.  West Virginia '44 is a Colorado-class ship and measuring how she differs from the tech tree vessel will quickly illustrate what this new premium can and cannot do. To our advantage, Colorado hasn't changed much at all over the years.  So, if you've played with her or against her since 2020 your personal anecdotes will have value here.  You can keep Colorado's "power level" in mind while we make our comparisons and take note when abilities deviate significantly from what Colorado can and cannot do.

So I want to answer three questions in this review:

  1. How does West Virgnia 44 differ from Colorado?
  2. Is WV44 strong?
  3. Is she fun?

Let's get into it.

Quick Summary: A brawling variant of the Colorado-class with great AA firepower, improved secondaries, energy retention and Repair Party consumable.  Her main battery guns suck butts, though.

PROS:  

  • Enormous and thick anti-torpedo bulges that cover part of the upper hull
  • Shorter reset timer on her Repair Party consumable.
  • Good overmatch potential on her 406mm AP shells
  • Improved secondaries with a VERY high rate of fire and good accuracy
  • Improved acceleration
  • Improved energy retention in a turn at 4/4 power
  • Excellent (!) AA firepower for a battleship at her tier, including access to Defensive AA Fire.
  • Decent concealment

CONS:

  • Very floaty ballistics.
  • HORRIBLE AP penetration over distance.
  • Poor gun handling and bad firing angles
  • Her secondaries aren't very long ranged, they have bad HE penetration and low fire chance per shell
  • Slow as butts
  • Larger than advertised turning circle radius
  • Short ranged anti-submarine air strike

Overview

Skill Floor:  Simple / Casual/ CHALLENGING / Difficult
Skill Ceiling:  Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme

West Virginia '44's not a comfortable ride for new players, at least if you build her as advertised.  Brawling is fun and all, but the combination of her slow speed, terrible shell energy retention and short reach gets her into trouble.  She doesn't have the tools to dig herself out when things go horribly wrong.  For veterans, WV44 is a brawler and the more you know about the game, the more you can make this kind of weird build work.  Yeah, West Virginia '44 has her problems, but anyone familiar with how to work around them can still pull their weight and then some.

Options

West Virginia '44 is really spoiled for choice when it comes to builds, though if you're looking to min-max this ship, leaning into her secondaries is the way to go.

Consumables

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  • Her Damage Control Party is standard for an American battleship.  This has unlimited charges, a 20 second active period and a 120s / 80s reset timer.
  • Her Repair Party gets weird, though.  It heals back up 14% over 28 seconds like you would expect.  However it has a faster reset timer of 40 seconds instead of 80 seconds.  It queues up to 10% of citadel damage, 50% of penetration damage and 100% of everything else as standard.  It starts with four charges.
  • West Virginia '44 gets access to a Defensive AA Fire consumable, identical to the ones found on the alternate line of American battleships.  This has a 40 second active period where sustained AA DPS is increased by 50% and flak damage quadruples.  It has an 80 second reset timer and starts with four charges.
  • In her last slot, you have the choice between a Spotter Aircraft and a Catapult Fighter.  The former increases her range by 20% for 100 seconds.  It has a 240 second reset timer and it comes with four charges.  The latter launches three fighters which orbits on station for 60 seconds.  It has a 90 second reset timer and starts with three charges.

Upgrades

You'll need to choose between brawling or long ranged fire here.  Don't bother with AA upgrades even if you're considering an AA specialized build.  AA upgrades are terrible and don't appreciably help your AA performance.

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  • Start with Main Armaments Modification 1.
  • In slot two, go for Damage Control System Modification 1.
  • In slot three, you have the choice, but it's deceptive.  Normally, I'd tell you that focusing on your main battery firepower is optimal, but West Virginia '44 is weird.  Instead, you want to upgrade your secondaries.  No, I'm not kidding.  Take Secondary Gun Modification 1.  Trust me.  If you want, you can reach for Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 instead, but don't say I didn't warn you.
  • In the fourth slot, you have another pair of options.  Damage Control System Modification 2 is optimal, but you can improve rudder shift time with Steering Gears Modification 1 if you prefer.  Note, she can't take Propulsion System Modification 1 as it's already "baked in" as it were.

Commander Skills

Lemme dust these off again.

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Normally, I'd champion a Survivability Build,  BUT given the woes of her main battery, you REALLY want to buff her secondaries.

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She's a brawler.  Seriously.  Upgrade her secondaries, then lean into what survivability stuff you can afford.

If you're looking to build for AA firepower, just include AA Defense and ASW Expert (2pts) into your build.  You could go deeper with Focus Fire Training (3pts) but that's really not necessary.  I'd just stick with the former at most.  Weave it into whatever spec you're going for and enjoy the (situational) rewards.

Camouflage

At the time of release there were two camouflages available for West Virginia '44 -- her Default and Risen from the Ashes.

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Her Default camouflage has an alternate palette swap if you've completed the correct collection.

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The phoenix camo is melt-your-eyeballs bright.  As it should be.

Firepower

Main Battery:  Eight 406mm/45 guns in 4x2 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration.
Secondary Battery:  Sixteen 127mm/38 guns in 8x2 turrets in superfiring pairs on either side of the ship facing fore and aft.

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Spotter up and discovering that there's something wrong with the ballistics of my shells...

Inconsistency

Wargaming continues to throw away consistency in gun performance.  Once upon a time, if you saw a new ship added firing the same gun and ammunition as another ship that already existed in game, you could predict everything except the reload time, dispersion and range.  This made it easier to at least have a rough idea of how a given ship would play, even if you hadn't sat down at the helm.  There have always been exceptions.  The Soviet 130mm guns have been all over the map with their shell damage, for example.  And let's not forget Murmansk with it's god-tier penetration over Omaha (for Soviet-bias reasons).  But these exceptions were rare and really weird when they appeared.  Sadly for players, Wargaming has strayed from this formulaic approach making every new ship a total crap-shoot when it comes to their gun performance.  You cannot count on given weapon to perform in a manner you might expect.  Consumers can easily get burned if they bank on their familiarity carrying over to a purchase they haven't properly researched.

So if you were expecting West Virginia '44 to have Colorado's guns ... prepare to be disappointed.  West Virginia '44 got done dirty here.

For differences, there's the usual culprits which you might expect.  West Virginia '44 has stock-Colorado range.  This weighs in at 17.12km which is ... well, it's not terrible, but only because she's an American battleship.  If you upgrade with Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1, this bumps up to a very respectable 19.84km.  But that's if you choose to use that upgrade.  If you're a brawling enthusiast, life's going to suck with that 17.12km reach and you'll be reaching for your Spotter Aircraft consumable often.  Similarly, the always-mutable sigma value for her dispersion is a bog standard 1.8 instead of the improved 2.0 on Colorado.  This is the same as West Virginia '41, so again, that's something we can work with. 1.8 sigma is bog-standard for most battleships in the game, so WV44 is average here.  A 0.2 sigma value is difficult to discern in single-match game play.  So though this is a downgrade from Colorado, it's not a serious one.  WV41 makes good use of 1.8 sigma, after all, and she's a beast at tier VI.

But the real weirdness (and nerf) of WeeVee 44's gunnery is the increased drag on her shells.

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Yikes.  You won't notice any difference until the range climbs up to the double-digits, but once it does, you REALLY feel it.

They increased the drag by A LOT.  It's almost (but not quite) 50% higher on West Virginia '44 than on Colorado.  This drop in shell velocity over distance gets REALLY noticeable starting at about 11km and ballooning up from there.  I found her lead times quite uncomfortable at ranges of 15km or greater, with it being far too easy for cruisers to wiggle out of the way of my shots if they were paying even the least amount of attention.  You're really hoping for your opponent to be deathly allergic to using WASD in order to land hits at longer distances.  In this regard, a brawling build for West Virginia '44 almost makes sense.  It's really uncomfortable to try and snipe with this ship.

It gets worse, though.  Her AP penetration similarly suffers. Though West Virginia '44 has 2.4% more Krupp over Colorado, this is a non-issue.  It in no way makes up for energy loss over distance.

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West Virginia '44 loses AP penetration very quickly over distance. She cannot reliably contest battleship belt armour beyond ranges of 14km.

Overall, this means West Virginia '44 is functionally a short-range battleship, akin to Yukon in terms of practical gunnery range.  You might be able to hit a battleship at long distance if you lead well, but you're not getting through their belts which often leaves you with snacking on a good mix of overpens when your shells actually do find something they can bite into.  You can't even argue that West Virginia '44 is meant to pick on cruisers.  Cruisers need to be oblivious or in brawling distances to reliably pick them off.  This is REALLY a short-ranged battleship which means you have to get stuck in to make her guns count.  She's saved only by the good overmatch potential of her 406mm AP rounds at her tier and her surprisingly not-appalling gun firing angles.

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You're not winning any DPM races with WeeVee 44's weapons.  While she sits on par with Colorado's numbers, remember that Colorado has a longer effective range with slightly better accuracy.  Colorado will hurt most targets that she can hit.  The crappy penetration on WeeVee 44's AP shells makes this a bit more questionable.  Even getting those hits in the first place is more of a challenge with those terrible ballistics of hers.

Box o' Gimmicks

So instead of a sniper, they've ostensibly made West Virginia '44 a brawler.  They've done this in a number of ways, but the most noticeable is the increased performance of her secondaries.  West Virginia '44 has a broadside of eight 127mm/38 guns in the 4x2 turrets.  These are the same style of mounts found on California and most of the tier VIII+ American battleships and cruisers, but with improved range, accuracy and rate of fire.

  • RANGE:  6.3km (max 9.53km)
  • RELOAD TIME:  2.5 seconds (min 2.14 seconds)
  • BROADSIDE SHELLS PER MINUTE: 192 (max 224)
  • HORIZONTAL DISPERSION at 9.53km:  345m (min 118m)

This gives West Virginia '44 a secondary performance that almost matches Massachusetts.  I stress almost.  she doesn't have the reach of the higher tiered ships and range is one of the most important aspects of making secondaries "good".   Tier VII brawlers get shafted this way -- it's not just West Virginia that suffers.  Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and Prinz Heinrich similarly cap out at an upgraded 9.53km range while Massachusetts throws shells out over 11km.  This is just another one of those artificial gaps in performance between tier VII and VIII vessels that we just have to swallow, like access to the 5th upgrade slot or the difference between 26mm and 32mm extremity plating.  There's also the issue of firing angles to consider.  While Massachusetts can get all ten guns firing at targets 25º off her bow, WV44 can only do this at 30º (it's slightly better to the rear).  Still, West Virginia '44 puts out more shells per minute per broadside than Massachusetts; 192 base to Massachusetts 150.  That's worth paying attention to.  So Massachusetts has more reach but when targets are finally within WV44's fire sector, she'll throw more weight of fire. 

In my test games, these fully upgraded these secondaries wrecked stuff.  In my first six games, I got four Close Quarter Expert medals, finishing off two cruisers, a submarine and a destroyer.  The amount of damage padding these secondaries do is quite noticeable, though they'll never rival your main battery .  The low penetration of these guns precludes them from being able to take all comers, limiting them to just setting fires on battleships and high-tier cruisers if they don't hit the superstructure.  Her fire chance isn't great either, but throw enough hits out there and you'll eventually get lucky.

Given the horrid ballistics on her guns, a full secondary build is almost preferable to buffing the range of her main battery guns.  Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 makes West Virginia '44 more capable when up-tiered, but a full secondary build might actually win out when she's top tier and bullying ships from tiers V and VI. 

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< terrified Maass noises wishing WV44 would just stop and leave it alone >

Summary

So West Virginia '44 has crappy guns, propped up by their overmatch potential.  But that overmatch starts losing its value when she faces higher tiered opponents.  Her secondaries are good but this is in spite of their modest range and crappy penetration.  These deficits really start to show when she faces higher tiered opponents.  Are you noticing a pattern?

My feelings about West Virginia '44's damage output is that she's disproportionately powerful against same-tier and lower opponents.  While I hate her floaty ballistics on two levels (it sucks to play and I hate non-standard weapon and ammunition profiles), I don't feel West Virginia '44 is underpowered offensively.  Her short-range isn't much of an issue -- her Spotter Aircraft is sufficient to pad the lack.  This is a ship begging for a secondary build.  The only catch is how to keep her alive so she can make use of it.

Now if all of this is sounding painfully familiar, like a certain piece-of-trash tier V premium battleship, you're wise to be cautious.  At a glance, West Virginia '44's firepower has a lot in common with Oklahoma's.  Both ships have low penetration main battery guns.  Both ships prop this up with ostensibly powerful secondaries.   Both ships benefit from being top tier, where their main battery guns are capable of overmatching the extremities of battleships.  But the differences are present and they're important differences.  West Virginia '44 isn't shackled to a horribly long reload.  West Virginia '44's secondaries work thanks to their enormous volume of fire, while Oklahoma spits out a pittance.  This doesn't mean West Virginia 44's guns are good (they're not).  This also doesn't mean that her secondaries solve all of her offence problems (they don't).  West Virginia '44's firepower is simply "good enough" while Oklahoma's never manage to be acceptable.

So in short, WeeVee 44's firepower isn't great.  It's not even close to good, but it's enough.

Oh, and one last thing:  WeeVee 44's fire angles may be bad, but they're actually better than West Virginia '41's.  I was pleasantly surprised.

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This is West Virginia 41.  West Virginia 44 has the exact same fire angles on X and Y turret but A and B have an extra degree of fire arc rearward, being able to shoot 37º off the stern for a total of a 286º fire arc.  These may be better than WeeVee 41's, but they're a far cry from good.  Paired with a 4º/s gun rotation rate and her gun handling feels pretty bad.

VERDICT:  Bad energy retention makes these guns effectively short-ranged, regardless of what their actual range might be.  Her secondaries good for a mid-tier battleship, but they don't compare to 'good' tier VIII+ secondaries.

Durability
Hit Points: 59,100
Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck:  26mm / 16mm / 26mm to 35mm / 26mm to 31mm
Maximum Citadel Protection: 35mm anti-torpedo bulge + 343mm belt + 44mm citadel wall
Torpedo Damage Reduction:  37%

There are two big quirks to West Virginia '44's durability.

  1. Her improved Repair Party consumable.
  2. her massive anti-torpedo bulges.

These two elements improve her survivability considerably.

Her Repair Party is easiest to understand.  With its reset timer slashed in half, it's available almost as quickly as your guns reload.  When WV44 is taking sustained damage, she's much less likely to leave charges of her Repair Party "on the table" as it were, dying between cooldowns.  This greatly increases the value of Repair Party buffs, such as Emergency Repair Expert (+1 charge, +10% healing efficiency) and the India Delta signal (+20% heal efficiency).  Overall, it means that West Virginia '44 is very likely to play with a larger effective health pool than other ships.  This ship is meant to take damage and claw it back.  Given the woes of her main battery range, this is a very necessary improvement.

This isn't the most efficient Repair Party consumable in the game, though, or even at this tier.  While her consumable is improved over a baseline Repair Party, there are definitely better ones out there. Here's how I rank them at tier VII:

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Colorado and Rooke are about on par with one another.

Where West Virginia '44's consumable interests me in particular is fire management.  Fire is a particular problem for West Virginia '44.  With her penchant for brawling builds, taking the Fire Prevention Expert skill isn't guaranteed.  This means she's (much!) more likely to have several fires burning on her decks at once.  But rather than taxing her Damage Control Party to extinguish these blazes, she can lean more on her Repair Party to claw back this health as needed.  It's not a perfect (or even ideal) situation, but had I more time to devote to this review, it's something I would have deep dived upon.  Anyway, her Repair Party is more-better.  Moving on!

The benefits of West Virginia 44's anti-torpedo bulges are less straight forward.  There's the obvious benefits:  she has a 37% torpedo damage reduction, which is nice.  This also provides an extra 35mm worth of armour plate to foil incoming AP shells aimed at her belt and citadel.  But it goes beyond this.  Without them, West Virginia is a very soft skinned battleship, with the whole of the vessel's structural plate (except for her lower amidships deck) never getting higher than 26mm in thickness.  This is makes her incredibly vulnerable to cruiser calibre HE spam as well as overmatching from 380mm+ AP shells. 

But these anti-torpedo bulges provide some protection here.  First, they cover the upper hull of the rear half of her amidships deck -- right where the hull drops down around her second superstructure.  Like most other anti-torpedo bulges, these act like a void.  Even if a given HE or SAP shell has enough penetration to best the 35mm plate of the bulges, it registers no damage to the ship itself.  If West Virginia is angled against incoming fire, these bulges provide another ricochet check on top of the improved armour thickness draining the bite out of their penetration value. 

The only drawback here is that West Virginia '44's snoot is a big ol' target.  Lacking an icebreaker bow, it's very easy to bullseye with AP rounds.  West Virginia '44 needs to angle out considerably, right towards the treshold of a 30º angle to try and bait shots under her turrets where the anti-torpedo bulge can accept the shot.  If a shell slams down the length of the ship, you're in trouble.  There's no hidden plates in her nose to keep those out of her citadel.  However, she DOES have an extended belt on her BUTT of all places.  It's beneath the waterline, but still.  Combined with the aforementioned, reinforced 31mm deck, she's SLIGHTLY tanky kiting than she is playing aggressively.  If only her rearward firing angles were a little better.  Oh well.

West Virginia '44 reminds me of German battleships, though with slightly more citadel vulnerability.  This is a ship that takes a LOT of damage due to her playstyle, though she's pretty good at shrugging off world-ending citadel hits.  Her heals can claw a lot of this damage back quickly, but if you're out of position (and you're slow and short-ranged so you will be out of position often), you'll die quickly.  This happened to me on more than one occasion.  I rate her durability as "slightly better than average" and by no means would I call it "good".

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Effective health of tier VII battleships.

VERDICT:  She's not weak.  She's tankier than you might expect but by no means tough.

Agility
Top Speed: 21 knots
Turning Radius: 670 meters 750 meters (!)
Rudder Shift Time: 14.8 seconds
4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 3.8º/s between 18.3 and 18.5 knots in steady pulses.
Main Battery Traverse Rate:  4.0º/s

West Virginia '44's agility is probably bugged.

I SAY AGAIN FOR PEOPLE IN THE BACK:
WEST VIRGINIA '44's AGILITY IS BUGGED. 
IT WILL (PROBABLY) CHANGE IN SOME WAY SOON™.

Wargaming has already been informed.  My best guess is that it will be her in-port turn radius stat that gets changed while the ship itself will remain the same, but it's possible we might see a nerf to her turning ability at some point in the future.  Please be aware of this possible upcoming change.

She does not conform to battleship norms, nor does she adhere to her in-port stats.  West Virginia '44 was advertised during development as borrowing the acceleration profile from Vermont.  West Virginia '44 has (or has something closely resembling) the old engine systems that Texas, New York, New Mexico and Colorado had from launch until patch 0.9.6 in June of 2020. 

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That's a big discrepancy but a familiar one.

There are two pronounced effects by this change over expected battleship agility:

  1. West Virginia '44 reaches her top speed more quickly, whether that be from a dead stop or making other types of manoeuvres.
  2. She changes her heading more quickly but she needs (a lot) more room to do it.

As interesting as this all is, West Virginia '44 is NOT an agile ship, even with the unexpected bonuses uncovered here.  She is slow as butts.  She does not turn quickly.  "Good" battleship agility at this tier comes in the form of Gneisenau, Lyon, Caraccilo and Strasbourg -- all of which can achieve high speed and rates of turn of 4.5º/s or higher with comparable (or even better) turning radii than WeeVee 44 actually has.   Barring the acceleration aspect, West Virginia '44 behaves very similarly to Nelson.  If Wargaming nerfs her energy retention to make her conform to normal battleship behaviour, she'll turn similarly to California.  It'll suck.

So yeah, West Virginia '44's agility is a curiousity, but it's not "good".  In fact, it's among the worst at her tier and she's saved from that title only because California exists.  As Lert put it, WV44 isn't a slow pig like WV41.  She's a different kind of slow pig.

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670m radius, huh?

VERDICT:  Awful and improperly advertised.  Some fun quirks, sure, but it's still awful.

Anti-Aircraft Defence
Flak Bursts: 4 + 1 explosions for 1,400 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.8 km.
Long Ranged (up to 5.8km):  140 dps at 75% accuracy (105dps)
Medium Ranged (up to 3.5km): 262.5dps at 75% accuracy (197dps) 
Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 444.5dps at 70% accuracy (311dps)

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With DFAA active, the "Total" damage done to the theoretical attackers jumps by 50% to 5,693.  That's almost 30% higher than California, the previous front runner.

Well shut my mouth -- a battleship with good AA firepower.

WV44 can put out a tremendous amount of sustained AA damage -- enough to pulverize entire squadrons for tier VI aircraft and seriously maul tier VIII squadrons.  This is owing to the one-two combination of (relatively) high overall damage (for a tier VII battleship) but also the inclusion of the Defensive AA Fire consumable.  It's suicide for a carrier to attack a pristine and ready West Virginia '44.  Her AA potential is just that good.  You'll note that I added the caveats of "pristine" and "ready", though, and we do need to talk about those.

Most of West Virginia '44's AA damage output comes from medium and small calibre weapons.  These are notoriously fragile and prone to being destroyed in large swathes under any kind of sustained HE attack.  Her "good" AA firepower can end up being toothless in the latter half of a given match.  Similarly, she's entirely reliant on her Defensive AA Fire consumable to make her a world-ending threat to incoming planes.  Improper management of her consumable can leave her flat footed and allow a CV to score hits while minimizing their own casualties.  These two caveats don't overshadow otherwise excellent AA firepower. 

The only thing that might have made it better would have been if she could lend support to allies easier.  However the reach of her AA umbrella just isn't there.  Though her long range guns can help out with DPS and flak, operating in the general vicinity of WV44 isn't a death sentence the same way making an attack run is. 

Overall, WV44's AA firepower is the best at her tier by no small margin.  She's not entirely immune to air attack, but she makes it prohibitively expensive to engage her over and over without help.

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A Weser learns the hard way:  Don't mess with West Virginia 44's air defences.  Her entire flight of six aircraft were shot down before they could drop.

VERDICT:  Good in a way that's rarely enjoyed in World of Warships.

Vision Control
Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 14.0km / 12.6km
Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 10.2km / 9.18km
Detection Range When Firing in Smoke:  13.96km
Maximum Firing Range:  17.12km

West Virgina 44 has decent concealment for a tier VII battleship, though the value of this depends entirely on what opponents she's facing.

  • Within her own tier (such as in Ranked Battles), she ranks 8th out of 24 battleships (concealment range of 11.5km to 15.1km)
  • When she's facing tier V and VI opponents, she ranks 27th out of 64 battleships (concealment range of 9.4km to 16.5km)
  • When she's facing tier VI and VIII opponents, she ranks 30 out of 78 battleships (concealment range of 11.5km to 16.5km)
  • And when she's facing tier VIII and IX opponents, she ranks 25th out of 90 battleships (concealment range of 11.5km to 15.1km)

This is, of course, banking on players taking the commander skill Concealment Expert.  For brawling battleships, this is a bit of a hard sell as you usually have to choose between upgrading secondaries, reducing fire damage or increasing stealth.  While it's possible to grab all three, it's a tight squeeze for skill point allowances and many builds compromise by taking only two of the three,.  With West Virginia '44's crappy range and penetration woes, extra stealth seems like it would really be of use, but I found in my test games that I valued fire damage reduction more, just given the prevalence of lurking lolibotes and submarines that made a mockery of any attempts to stay hidden.  This devalues skills like Brisk which could certainly help with her waddling top speed.

This is definitely a ding to West Virginia '44's survivability.  Even with the improvements provided by her better Repair Party and those hefty anti-torpedo bulges, her short range and slow speed left me open to return fire more often than I would like.  This ship never felt tanky but I attribute that most to 1.) being spotted often and 2.) often being the closest visible target to shoot at.

Oh well.

VERDICT:  Better than average but hard to use to your advantage.

Anti-Submarine Warfare

ASW Armament Type:  Airstrike from 0.5km to 8km (plus part of the bomb drop column)
Number of Salvos:  Two
Reload Time:  30 seconds

Aircraft:  One PBY Catalina with 2,000hp
Drop Pattern: 1 bomb
Maximum Bomb Damage:  3,400
Fire Chance: 19%
Bomb Blast Radius: 300m

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U-69 diving away from the torrent of secondary fire WV44 lobbed at it.

West Virginia 44's ASW is uninspiring, but it works.  With the homogenization of all tier VI and VII battleship ASW, there's not much to write about here.  If you've dinked around in Colorado, Warspite or any other number of mid-tier battleships, you know exactly what to expect.  Usually, your bomb hits will net you 1,700 damage if you can lead the target properly and the 30 second reset timer isn't the worst cool down to sit through before you can dunk again.  I managed to put a number of bombs on target in my test games, but this had more to do with opportunistic drops on my part exploiting the spotting of others rather than me outplaying the enemy sub to any degree. 

Her secondaries are a big threat to subs if they're caught within their range, though, so that's worth mentioning.  Their accuracy and high volume of fire can shred them in very short order -- especially with the increased hit rate owing to the AOE effect of HE shells around the submarine itself.  Even near misses stack hits pretty quickly, so being detected on the surface or at periscope depth within secondary range is just asking for a pasting.

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You can hide, but you can't run.

VERDICT:  Meh. It's fun when her secondaries get to take part, though.

Final Evaluation

Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way:

  • I am happy West Virginia '44 is finally in the game.
  • Yes, I think she's a fun, balanced boat.
  • I think she's comparable to, but not significantly better or worse than Colorado.  Use that as a measure of power level.
  • No, I don't think she was worth the near five-year wait never mind all of the drama needed to get WG to live up to their promise in the first place.

If you don't have my emotional baggage with the game's long history, West Virginia '44 is worthwhile to own.  Whether or not she's worth the asking price depends upon your own financial situation.  It's your hobby-money, spend it responsibly.

Her game play is (mostly) fun, though that depends on your tolerance for tanking unavoidable damage.  Her short effective range means you're going to be the first up on the chopping block, though her slow speed means it might take you a while before you can climb up on the firing step.  Once she gets into the fight, between her main and secondary battery (and airstrikes), she can do work.  She'll surprise you in pleasant ways, like her gun firing angles (which aren't horrid), her energy preservation which pads her speed (which is still horrid), and just how many planes you can shoot down (surface ship vs CV interaction is still horrid). 

So yeah, let's keep this short and sweet.  West Virginia '44 is an okay boat.  I like her.  And things could have been much worse.

She could have been another California.

Thank you for reading.  I got this one out as quickly as I could.  Feedback is always welcome.

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Another post rescued from the sinking WGNA forums.  Please keep in mind, the changes to her agility have already been announced by Wargaming.  I discussed this in another thread, but here's the relevant post:

On 8/15/2023 at 12:54 PM, LittleWhiteMouse said:

Let's get the information train going.

For those unaware, the tier VII American premium battleship West Virginia '44 has had the incorrect turning circle radius advertised since she entered the game.  Wargaming is looking to correct this with patch 0.12.7 which will come out later this month.

  • In Port Turning Radius:  670m
  • Actual Turning Radius: ~750m

This discrepancy was caused by West Virginia '44's improved energy retention during a turn, akin to that found on the alternate American battleship line (Kansas, Minnesota, Vermont).  Boosting the amount of speed maintained a turn increases the size of a ship's turning radius unless the latter is reeled back in.  When a problem like this gets flagged, Wargaming normally doesn't adjust the turning radius back down to what was advertised but instead changes the in-port stat to reflect what the ship has been doing all of this time.

The announced changes to West Virginia '44 will not change her in game performance at all.  It's just some house-keeping of the in-port stats, making them reflect what she has already been doing.

Math for those interested: Turn Radius In Game = ( [ 360º turn time in seconds ] * [ sustained turn speed in m/s ] * [ big world distance compression coefficient ] ) / 2 pi

At the 4/4 engine setting, West Virginia '44 maintains ~18.4 knots in a turn instead an expected ~15.8 knots. She completes a 360º turn in about 95.3 seconds.

Turn Radius In Game = ( [ 360º turn time in seconds ] * [ sustained turn speed in m/s ] * [ big world distance compression coefficient ] ) / 2 pi
Turn Radius In Game = ( [ 95.3  ] * [ 18.4 / 1.943844 ] * [ 5.22 ] ) / 2 pi
Turn Radius In Game = ( 95.3  * 9.47 * 5.22 ) / 2 pi
Turn Radius In Game = 749.78m

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  • LittleWhiteMouse changed the title to Premium Ship Review: West Virginia '44 (Repost)
13 hours ago, LittleWhiteMouse said:

Another post rescued from the sinking WGNA forums.  Please keep in mind, the changes to her agility have already been announced by Wargaming.  I discussed this in another thread, but here's the relevant post:

Thank you for the review and the update about the official change in published information, @LittleWhiteMouse.   Thanks_WorldofWarships_trophy-icon_03-23-2022_.jpg.e2154df38b1a226b8144e1172a46f7d6.jpg

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16 hours ago, LittleWhiteMouse said:

She could have been another California.

Ahhhh...Impeccably done roast.

pacha-perfect.gif.54efe76ad4e452403173bceeb025d4bc.gif

But true, California is so underpowered, it's flippin' criminal. Not even smooth criminal. Just criminal. 😪

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4 hours ago, Sailor_Moon said:

Ahhhh...Impeccably done roast.

pacha-perfect.gif.54efe76ad4e452403173bceeb025d4bc.gif

But true, California is so underpowered, it's flippin' criminal. Not even smooth criminal. Just criminal. 😪

Nawwww remember every good player has over 55% WR in her! Obviously needs nerfs since WG only looks at high WR player stats  and not overall stats 

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58 minutes ago, Copperhead550 said:

Nawwww remember every good player has over 55% WR in her! Obviously needs nerfs since WG only looks at high WR player stats  and not overall stats 

cheeky-hehe.gif.ea89abac44b5d8aea854e238e683d814.gif

Oh you

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1 hour ago, Copperhead550 said:

Nawwww remember every good player has over 55% WR in her! Obviously needs nerfs since WG only looks at high WR player stats  and not overall stats 

Looks like I'll have to "get gud", someday.  🙂
image_2023-08-17_205301272.thumb.png.614cd7cc2d49832026991a1ef5afeeb4.png
 

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2 minutes ago, Wolfswetpaws said:

Looks like I'll have to "get gud", someday.  🙂
image_2023-08-17_205301272.thumb.png.614cd7cc2d49832026991a1ef5afeeb4.png
 

get gud nub 😛

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I only have 6 games in WV '44, but I've had a reasonably good time so far... the speed is painful, but I've worked around it so far.WV.thumb.jpg.79d31de1224a4e257fea888c72c6fb3e.jpg

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  • LittleWhiteMouse changed the title to Premium Ship Review: West Virginia '44
  • 7 months later...

Received WeeVee '44 from the Wisconson dockyard.  She is not quite my style of BB but she is pretty good in the Utah Beach scenario, especially built for secondaries and light AA boost pretty much as Mouse indicated.

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