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Friday, June 3, 2016

Fleet Friday: A Fair Review of The U.S.S. Indianapolis

My mother hails from Indianapolis. She met my father there while he was stationed at Fort Benjamin Harris. My oldest sister was born there 11 months later. I have family there now. Of course I had to purchase the U.S.S. Indianapolis when it became available as a premium ship in World of Warships. There was never a second thought. It was a total shut up and take my money moment.

But the real question is, is she worth it. At $34.99, she doesn't come cheap. That's two thirds the price of Total Warhammer. (I much prefer that name.) It's a lot of money. The tl;dr is probably not. I purchased her for sentimental reasons more than practical reasons. The cost is, however, the largest "con" hanging around her neck.

The other "con" she has his her armor. Indianapolis was originally designed and designated a light cruiser. However, the eight inch guns mounted on her forced the designation to become heavy cruiser because treaties. Anything with an eight inch gun was a heavy cruiser; actual armor be damned. So if you buy her, whatever you do don't give away your broadside. You will be punished.

The last "con" I've noticed is her rudder shift time is 1.7 seconds slower than a comparably fitted Pensacola. You have to keep that in mind when outfitting her. My commander has vigilance just for that reason, and I take Hydroacoustic Search rather than Defensive AA. 

That said, she has several "pro" points. First of all, let's talk about those guns. They are absolutely devastating against other cruisers. With armor piercing (AP) loaded, she will easily over match any cruiser side armor and deliver multiple citadels at a time - providing you can aim.
But don't sell the high explosive (HE) short either. I moved my Pensacola captain over to her. He has demolition expert as a captain skill. The ship's HE starts with a 14% chance of setting fires. The skill raises that to 17%. If you are firing only the front two turrets, you're practically guaranteed to set a fire with at least one of those shells provided your aim is good. And when you're firing on a battleship, you've got an easy target to hit. Just have a look at the hell fire I wrecked this Warspite with in my third game. Out of combined 56,276 damage done to the New York and the Warspite, 32,132 was by fire. They were hating me HARD.
I managed to pummel the Warspite because he just couldn't get a good hit against me. I kept my bow pointed at him a la Yamato presenting a very narrow target to him. His dispersion ensured he could only chip away at my health pool a little at a time without chance of a citadel. In the end, I had the Warspite and the Colorado firing at me which suited me just fine. That allowed my teammates to win the match.

Oh, and the Indianapolis gets radar. It only has a range of 8.5 kilometers, is active for only 25 seconds which is less than two main gun reloads, and has a hella-long 360 second cool down, but it can be useful in certain situations.

There is one other thing you should consider if you've the money to buy her just laying around unclaimed. She is a credit earner. So my first game in her saw me get focused hard by all the cruisers on the enemy team. It was like, "Oh look, the new ship on the block. Kill her before she citadels us!" I landed a whopping twelve (12!) rounds before being wrecked. I still made 56,425 credits on only 434 base experience. I don't think it's possible to lose credits in this ship.

So the bottom line is she's a fine ship and fun to play when played to her strengths while minimizing her weaknesses. Mind your angling to reduce her armor deficiencies and you can engage battleships effectively - though you will be sank in all likelihood. And this isn't a ship with which your likely to carry your team. Your primary role is fleet escort eliminating enemy cruisers while helping to spot enemy destroyers and their damned torpedoes in time for your battleships to maneuver. If you create a division, I'd recommend you partner up with U.S. or Russian destroyers, or U.S. light cruisers and take on the anti-cruiser/anti-destroyer role with a vengeance. In a cruiser division your AA will also be devastating, but until carrier game play is made more appealing you're not likely to use your AA role a whole lot, which is why I outfitted for anti-torpedo and conflagration. If you've purchased the Indianapolis, what are your thoughts on her?

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