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Friday, September 4, 2015

Fleet Friday: My New New Mexico

Yesterday I finally had enough experience and cash to research, purchase and fully upgrade a New Mexico class battleship. The New Mexico is a nice upgrade to the New York class battleship, featuring better armor and four more guns. In her fully researched and upgrades configuration, she was a work horse of the U.S. Navy in World War II.

The actual USS New Mexico, BB-40, served all over the Pacific theater. She took part in retaking the only U.S. soil occupied by Japan (two islands in the Aleutian chain of Alaska,) and participated in the island hopping campaign that took the war to Japan. For the first year of the war she served as flagship for various admirals, but eventually got into the action toward the end of the Solomons campaign. She didn't suffer her first casualties until 1944 at Kwajalein, where she lost the pilot of her Kingfisher scout plane when it was shot down over the lagoon. She served with distinction through the end of the war, taking damage and suffering casualties from Kamikaze on several occasions. She was in Tokyo harbor for the surrender. She was decommissioned on July 19, 1946. Click the image above for her full history at the USS New Mexico Association website.

To date I have fought seven battles in my new New Mexico. Here are the statistics. And don't let the warships destroyed number fool you. There were a lot of ships I weakened considerably before someone else took them out.

What can I say about tactics with the New Mexico after seven battles? Well, those seven battles were on the new Strait map (twice,) Ocean, Hot Spot, and Fault Line (thrice.) My first observation is the reload time on the New Mexico is superior to the New York. Also, with the appropriate upgrades the traversal time of the turrets is considerably less. They traverse fast enough to stay on target though a anything but a hard turn. You can actually maneuver and fire in this ship, keeping your armor angled while your guns reload. This was problematic in me with the New York. I spent far too much time with my citadels exposed waiting for turrets to align. In the New Mexico you should work those angles for all they're worth.

The range on the New Mexico is good. It's very good when the spotter plane is aloft. However, dispersion at that range makes hitting anything smaller than a battleship difficult. I find the spotter plane is most useful in determining which way the enemy ships are heading. Sometimes it's difficult to know from the mini-map and tall islands block direct observation, but the top down view the spotter plane gives makes it easy. Islands are not an issue and you can see ships that would normally be beyond your spotting range. Often being in the right position at the right time is half the battle.

You can take more damage too. Don't be afraid too (but don't be dumb about it either.) In my second battle on the Strait map, I was in a close fight with a Fuso, as in our secondaries were firing too close. I had him crossed, and he had far fewer HP than I. And naturally that's when the remaining carrier pilot decided I was busy enough that a few torpedoes wouldn't be noticed. They were but that's not the point. I had an island to my left so I only had one direction I would turn. The carrier pilot knew that and dropped appropriately. It wasn't a bad drop, nicely crosshatched. I avoided all but one torpedo in the first drop, but that put me mostly broadside to the second. I took three torpedoes from that drop as I didn't slow. They did not sink me because they only did 35,000 damage. Unfortunately my Fuso was scragged by one of my team mates before I could fully re-engage him and get the kill myself. Still, I survived a close brawl and four torpedo hits. This ship can take some damage. But don't get too cocky. It can be burned down to the waterline by a cruiser flotilla, or dive bombers even, like any other battleship.

And lastly, I'd like to point out that no battleship was ever designed to operate on its own; not even the Bismarck. Most defeats I've seen are because people thing warships are tanks and can be fought like tanks. They are NOT TANKS. If you decide to solo, unless you are in a destroyer you are failing. Ships are best when they are together, and nothing can stand in the way of a determined push of battleships, surrounded by cruisers, with destroyers scouting in the vanguard. That's a winning team practically every time. Stick with your fleet when you sail the New Mexico. You will do better for it.

That said, when World of Warships leaves open beta on September 17th (hooray!,) and ranked battles start, I am so looking forward to getting into them. It is my hope that those who participate will already understand warships are not tanks, and it takes more than running willy-nilly across the ocean trying to sink things by yourself. Trust me, you don't get that many more points for sinking a ship. You get the points for damaging the ship, especially if it is higher tier than you and you can manage penetrations, fires and most importantly citadel hits.

If you've sailed the New Mexico in World of Warships, let me know what you think of it in the comments. Cheers!

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