There may be as many as thirteen premium ships being released over the coming holiday season. I want to cover them all, but I may need more time than is available to get my review done. These Little White Christmas Reviews are intended to be placeholders until I can finish the full article. This way, I can make sure I have at least something available when the ship hit the stores, even if it’s limited to general impressions. The full reviews, as you’re used to them, will follow. My priority order will be new vessels before reskins, high-tier ships before low tier and for-money (or free-XP) ships before coal, steel and reward ships.
HMS Dreadnought appeared in the online store on November 16th, 2018, but only in addition to HMS Vanguard — you could not pick her up solo during her initial offering. Dreadnought is a worse-than-stock Bellerophon that trades speed for modified armour and more stealth.
- Extended belt covers the entire waterline fore and aft.
- Royal Navy HE shells with increased penetration.
- Horribly sluggish gun traverse of 3.0º/s.
- Terrible firing angles on A and X-turret.
- Slow with a top speed of 19.0kts.
- No anti-aircraft firepower to speak of.
So here’s the basics of what you need to know about this ship:
Guns: 5×2 305mm with 17×1 76mm secondaries
She has secondaries but they suck. They have a 3km range, they fire once every 5 second with an anemic HE shell. I’m pretty sure you could do more damage to someone by downvoting them on social media.
I have a long rant prepared about the weirdness of low tier battleship gun performance but I’ll save it for another time. Dreadnought’s AP shells are alright. Her HE shells are decent, but not jaw-dropping amazing like you’ll get on Orion at tier IV. Still, given the likelihood of seeing that battleship AP vs DD change in the near future, better to have some good characteristics about your HE than not, especially at low tiers.
I do tend to find low tier battleship gunnery to be hella frustrating. The reloads feel punitively long for such close-in action. With Dreadnought’s lack of secondaries, you really feel that 30 second reload. Still, she’s perfectly capable of delorting enemy ships that offer a broadside and they’ll do it a lot in these match-ups.
Defense: 37,400hp with 279mm Belt, 16mm extremities and 13% TDR
Tier III dreadnoughts are squishy and HMS Dreadnought is no different. Dreadnought has a decent health pool — it’s middle of the pack. Her bows can be overmatched by any battleships she faces. She does have a nice extended waterline belt, so if you can take her into brawling range and bait shots against your waterline, you can bounce a whole lot.
However, given the prevalence of HE spam at lower tiers, this doesn’t really matter. Prep her for fire prevention and be ready to burn.
Agility: 19kt top speed with 520m turning radius and 11.6s rudder shift. 4.4º/s rotation rate.
Yes, HMS Dreadnought was famous for being fast — in excess of 20 knots fast. No, I don’t know why that’s not replicated here.
Stealth: 12.3km stock / 10.3km upgraded surface detection
Saying that your battleship has better surface detection than Bellerophon at tier III is like saying your tier X cruiser has better surface detection than Moskva. The best that could be said about Dreadnought’s concealment is that her surface detection doesn’t outstrip the range of her guns.
At the time I’m writing this, she is naked, however. She has a premium camouflage with bonuses but her skin doesn’t change. I’m told she’s supposed to get a nice checkerboard dazzle camo which would be pretty cool.
Would I Recommend?
Does it really matter if I didn’t? I mean heck, this thing could have been a floating turd and people would still throw money at Wargaming for the sake of having her as a Port Queen.
Well, Wargaming has figured out a way to make use second guess that easy purchase. In order to buy Dreadnought, you have to get her at the same time as Vanguard. For the time being, there’s no way to pick her up after. Given that I’ve said Vanguard is a hard pass for me, this makes Dreadnought very expensive. Is she worth the Vanguard plus asking price?
No. Not in my opinion’s she’s not. It’s not that Dreadnought’s terrible. She’s fine.
That’s it. That’s all she merits. She’s not great. She’s not terrible. She’s perfectly a-okay. Look, the bar on low tier battleships almost hugs the ground. While Kawachi and South Carolina have received buffs, nothing down there short of maybe Nassau and König Albert could be considered a powerhouse. She won’t replace German dominance at tier III but I think we all would have been pretty horrified (while being simultaneously delighted) if she had. She’s a less flexible Bellerophon. If you enjoyed her time in that, Dreadnought is right up your alley.
Unfortunately “fine” doesn’t cut it when she’s got Vanguard’s asking price slapped onto her, at least in my opinion. Whether or not you like Vanguard will already be a bit of a gamble. So while Dreadnought may have been a safe bet, the pair together isn’t a dice roll I’d want to make. Just wait until December and do the missions to earn her for free instead.
The Endy Bits
I’m looking forward to the full review of Dreadnought. There’s not a whole lot to write for when it comes to low tiered ships. It will almost be a bit of a breather before the panic mode of whichever other review needs drop on me at the last minute. Right! Til then!