ShipComrade

Premium Ship Review #102 – Monaghan

The following is a review of Monaghan, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of June 8th, 2018.
Cue crowd singing:  “Monaghan!  Monaghaaaan! Monaghaaaaaan!  MONAGHAN!”
(Mono…!  Doh!)

Quick Summary:  An AA-specialized Farragut that has the option for being outfitted as a gunship or torpedo-specialist.
Cost:  Undisclosed at the time of publishing.  Can be won through the American Cruiser Collection crates.
Patch & Date Written:  0.7.5.  May 30th to June 8th, 2018.
PROS
  • Option of two different armament load-outs — a gunship or a torpedo-destroyer.
  • Gunship destroyer has solid DPM on her main battery.
  • Long fuse timers on her AP shells make them excellent at citadelling cruisers at point-blank ranges.
  • Torpedo destroyer has access to quintuple torpedo launchers with tier VIII fish and has a Torpedo Reload Booster too.
  • Good AA power for a tier VI destroyer with access to Defensive Fire.
  • Fast and agile.
CONS
  • Horrible ballistic arcs on her 127mm/38 main battery.
  • Very long range on her main battery which increases her surface detection while firing her guns.
  • Gunship destroyer has short ranged torpedo armament.
  • Torpedo destroyer only has two guns mounted on the bow, making her largely unable to defend herself.
  • Her tier VIII torpedoes are slow at 55 knots.
  • Large surface detection range.
  • Does not have access to the American Smoke Generator. (!)
  • Defensive Fire and Torpedo Reload Booster are mutually exclusive.
Overview
Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult
Skill Ceiling: 
Low / Moderate / High / Extreme
Monaghan appears deceptively simple on the surface.  She’s a Farragut-class destroyer — a destroyer even relatively new players can get access to even with only a week’s worth of casual play.  This will suffice to familiarize most inexperienced players with the first hull option.  The second, however, is more reminiscent of the tier V Japanese Mutsuki.  I would not recommend Monaghan for novice players that haven’t already got a handle on these two types of game play lest they frustrate themselves.
Monaghan’s play style is immediately familiar to Veterans.   However, her torpedo-specialist build will feel awkward given the size of her surface detection range.
Here’s the break down of her components:
 
 – One of, if not the worst at its tier. This is a pronounced weakness.
 – Middle of the pack at its tier. Not terrible, but not terribly good either.
 – Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer.
 – No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship.
  • Whichever hull option you choose, Monaghan will have either  guns or  torpedoes.  This hurts her overall Firepower performance with her overspecialization leaving her with a  rating.
  • Her Vision Control (Refrigerator) and Defense are unremarkable while her Agility is .
  • Her Anti-Air is weird, having the potential to be the  at her tier, but only if you specialize deeply into it.

Monaghan only really excels in one place, and that’s the potential (not the initial value) of her anti-aircraft guns.  Most of the time, you’re not going to want to bother with touching them anyway.  On the whole, the ship rates only a  rating in the categories where it matters.

Ye be fairly warned, says I.

Options
Monaghan is two premium ships in one. She has two armament choices between her A-Hull (four guns, eight torpedoes, or “four-eight”) and her B-Hull (two guns, ten torpedoes, or “two-ten”). The former is a gunship, with short-ranged torpedoes that best performs as an anti-destroyer role with spotting and harassing of larger ships as secondary role. The latter is a torpedo destroyer, woefully under-armed to perform any kind of interdiction against enemy lolibotes. She can scout as a secondary role, but she must give way to any enemy opposition in between her torpedo reloads.
Consumables:

Monaghan’s consumables are odd.  Her Damage Control Party and Engine Boost are standard for an American destroyer, but her Smoke Generator is not.  You also have a choice in your 4th slot on which consumable to take between Defensive AA Fire and a Torpedo Reload Booster. Be warned, running this ship can get hella expensive.

  • Normal American Destroyer Smoke Generators have a longer emission time.  In addition, their smoke clouds last longer than either Russian, British, French or Japanese destroyers.  For whatever reason, Monaghan doesn’t get access to the American consumable and has to make use of the ghetto one instead.This has a 20 second emission time and each cloud lasts 81 seconds.  By contrast, Farragut’s smoke has a 26 second emission time and each cloud lasts for 118 seconds. Boo-urns.
  • Monaghan defaults to a Defensive AA Fire consumable in her fourth slot.  This has a 30 second action time and it increases the damage done by her 127mm/38 and 40mm Bofors by a 4x multiplier.  You can swap this for a Torpedo Reload Booster.  This will reload all of her torpedo tubes in 30 seconds.

Camouflage

Monaghan comes with Type 10 Camouflage. This provides:

  • 50% bonus experience gains
  • 10% reduction to repair costs
  • 3% reduced surface detection range
  • 4% increased dispersion of incoming fire


Upgrades


For Monaghan’s upgrades, they’re mostly standard for a destroyer.
  • Start with Magazine Modification 1 to reduce your detonation chance.  If you like to live dangerously or you intend to be using a Juliet Charlie signal most of the time, then Main Armaments Modification 1 is superior.
  • Take Propulsion Modification 1 in your second slot.  Speed is life for a destroyer.
  • In your third slot, you have a choice.  Take AA Guns Modification 2 if you intend to specialize her as an anti-aircraft ship.  Otherwise, stick with Aiming Systems Modification 1.
  • Finally, take Propulsion Modification 2 to increase Monaghan’s acceleration.
Firepower
A-Hull Main Battery:  Four 127mm/38 in four turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration.
A-Hull Torpedoes:  Eight tubes in 2×4 launchers mounted amidships
B-Hull Main Battery:  Two 127mm/38 in two bow-mounted turrets in an A-B superfiring configuration.
B-Hull Torpedo Options:  As A-Hull above or ten tubes in 2×5 launchers mounted amidships
 Both versions of Monaghan use the infamous American 127mm/38.  It’s renown comes from it’s excellent rate of fire, gun handling and good shell damage with both AP and HE.  Its infamy comes from horrible ballistics and terrible fire setting properties on a per-shell basis.  Mongahan’s range with these guns borders on ridiculous, rivaling even USS Sims for maximum reach which is a mixed blessing (though primarily a liability).
With sufficient numbers of these weapons, Monaghan becomes a fierce prospect in a knife fight.  Without, she’s a victim.

USN 127mm/38 guns are some of the most interesting destroyer weapons in the game.  They are plagued by horrible shell flight times which makes them lob shells in “rainbow arcs” at even modest ranges.  Yet somehow they are among the best AP shell throwers — rivaling even Soviet 130mm — with their ability to devastate cruisers at point blank ranges with citadel hits.  These are weapons you need to be in close to make operate efficiently, particularly in an anti-destroyer role.  There, with her fast reload, a four-gun Monaghan can shred opponents in short order.
Four-Eight Monaghan
Monaghan’s four-eight configuration is a near-identical load-out to that found upon a C-Hull Farragut.  This is the knife fighting variant of Monaghan, designed to excel in close quarters combat.  Her short range torpedo launchers necessitate using ambush tactics to put them to use outside of suicidal brawls with larger ships.  On paper, four-eight Monaghan is only outgunned by contemporary destroyers Aigle and B-Hull Farragut.  In practice, she’s an excellent contender for one of the better cap-point bullies at her tier, but this performance falls away quickly when facing higher tiered opponents.
Outside of knife fights, this version of Monaghan begins to struggle.  The horrible ballistic arc on her 127mm/38s, while facilitating catapulting shells over obstacles like islands, makes gunnery against anything but slow and predictable targets almost impossible at range.  Monaghan can seldom take advantage of her phenomenal reach. However, she still must suffer the additional spotting range every time she opens fire.  Without Inertial Fuse for HE Shells, her ability to directly damage tier VI and VII battleships is limited to superstructure hits.  Even with the skill, she cannot hurt the extremities of tier VIII battleships wiht her HE shells.  Her short-range torpedoes are limited to ambush uses which are most easily deployed around islands.
Four-Eight Monaghan’s torpedoes are limited to the short-ranged, Mark 12 torpedo.  With a full concealment build, it is possible (if only just) for Monaghan to launch these weapons from concealment.  You have only a 210m window of opportunity to do this and it’s best done by sailing just in front of an enemy ship and dropping her fish into their path with the hopes that they sail into them.  This tactic is easily foiled by any form of detection consumable, however.
This version of Monaghan’s armament does not up-tier well.   Not only must she contend with other gunships with better DPM and larger hit point pools, some are stealthier besides.  In higher-tiered matches, engagement ranges increase and the amount of island cover decreases — two banes for a close quarters specialist like four-eight Monaghan.  Opportunities to use her torpedoes outside of knife fights melt away when she’s bottom tier.  The prevalence of Surveillance Radar and longer-ranged Hydroacoustic Search further compounds the difficulty of making her short-ranged weapons work.
Four-Eight Monaghan peaks early, often having its most dramatic moments when top-tier and early on in matches.
Two-Ten Monaghan
The Two-Ten Monaghan gives up any pretense of being a gunship destroyer (or even being able to adequately defend itself) to turn into a torpedo specialist.  I must stress this is an option — you may still equip the two quadruple launchers with the short-ranged torpedoes if you wish, but that would be a mistake.  Her access to the quintuple launchers firing tier VIII fish is probably the reason most players have any interest in this destroyer in the first place.
First, the bad news:  if your Two-Ten Monaghan gets tracked down by another destroyer, you’re dead.  In theory, you may be capable of outfighting a Mutsuki, but that would be a closer battle than anyone would want to reasonably admit.  Monaghan sacrifices of any pretense of competency with artillery to get access to the following:
 
Those are Benson’s upgraded torpedoes and ten of them between two launchers.  While they’re pretty meh at tier VIII, they’re hella powerful at tier VI.  Even one of those slammed down the throat of an enemy lolibote at tier VI and VII will kill them good.   Only a scarce few German destroyers (and Aigle) are able to suppress their gag reflex and manage to hold on after getting one of those shoved in their faces.
These fish are not without their flaws, however.  They are slow — their 55 knot speed means that it takes almost 62 seconds for the torpedoes to reach the end of their run at 9.2km.  If they’re spotted anywhere along their course, even at close to their 1.1km detection range, they’re quite easy to dodge.  In addition, their flood chance is only on the better-side of average for a tier VI destroyer. It’s comparable to that found on the IJN torpedo boats.  Finally, being quintuple launchers, they have an appalling two-minute reload timer.   I strongly recommend looking at Torpedo Armament Expertise for any commander dedicated to sailing Monaghan.
All of these flaws can largely be forgiven when you account for Monaghan’s Torpedo Reload Booster consumable.  Before you get too excited (because you skipped the Options section and didn’t read it there first), this isn’t the lightning-quick, 8 second torpedo reload consumable found on Japanese destroyers.  Monaghan isn’t capable of deploying a twenty-torpedo wall of skill.  Her consumable accelerates the reload to 30 seconds.  Those of you with a touch of evil in them will have realized that this is just long enough for an enemy that got hit by your first wave of torpedoes to go “Oh, shoot, I’m flooding!”, activate their Damage Control Party and have it go back on cooldown before your second wave hits.  Hilarity and Liquidator medals ensue.
That’s Monaghan in a nutshell really and why people will want her. You can turn a Farragut-class destroyer into what amounts to a Mutsuki with a consumable that allows her to double-dip fish into unsuspecting enemies sailing in straight lines.
As good as this sounds, it barely keeps pace with ships like Fubuki or Shinonome.  If you map out the maximum number of torpedoes that can be fired over ten minutes, Monaghan puts out 70 torpedoes compared to 72 of Fubuki and 81 of Shinonome (Fubuki needs another 8 seconds to get out her next 9).  Monaghan just doesn’t quite keep up with these torpedo specialists, especially given the versatility of three triple launchers and the massive Japanese warheads on their torpedoes.
Evaluation:  
What it would have needed to be
 :  Of her two builds, the Two-Ten Monaghan is closer to boasting a  rating but even that’s a long ways off.  She’s not as good of a torpedo destroyer as Shinonome or T-61 for example.  In Monaghan’s gunship build, she doesn’t stand up to Farragut (B-Hull) and Aigle.
Defense
Hit Points: 13,900hp
Minimum Extremities & Deck Armour: 16mm

Remember when destroyer durability was relegated to just hit point totals? It’s nice being back at a tier where it’s just about hit points again and not wonky armour schemes or Repair Party consumables.
Compared to Farragut, Monaghan has a fine ol’ slug of hit points.  Skills like Suvivability Expert will help, adding another 2,100hp putting her just shy of Gaede.  This is especially handy in her Four-Eight build where she’s expected to trade hit points in gun duels with enemy destroyers.  In the grand scheme of things, though, she’s decidedly average for a tier VI destroyer — neither fragile nor tough.
Evaluation:  
What it would have needed to be
 :  Monaghan would need another 2,000 hit points to be any kind of contender here.
Agility
Top Speed: 36.5kts
Turning Radius: 560m
Rudder Shift Time: 3.4s
Maximum Rate of Turn: 8.4º/s
Monaghan is almost identical to Farragut in terms of her agility, with only a minor disparity in her rudder shift time to differentiate the two.  What defines Monaghan (and Farragut’s) agility the most is their small turning radius of 560m.  American destroyers have always been incredibly agile with tight turning circles and Monaghan are no different.  She’s only outdone by HMS Gallant in this regard at her tier.  Monaghan also boasts a decent top speed which helps her progress through her turns faster while also giving her the option of dictating engagement distances against slower ships, like Japanese destroyers.
Overall, Monaghan handles beautifully.  This is arguably one of her best traits and it makes her super-comfortable in knife fights.
Evaluation:  
What it would have needed to be
 :  Rejoin the British Empire, you rebel.  Gallant has a tighter turning circle and nearly as much speed which makes her more nimble by far.
Anti-Aircraft Defense
A-Hull AA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 20mm
A-Hull AA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 2.0km
A-Hull AA DPS per Aura: 22 / 28.8
B-Hull AA Battery Calibers:  127mm/ 40mm / 20mm
B-Hull AA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.5km / 2.0km
B-Hull AA DPS per Aura: 6 / 49.8 / 21.6
It’s time to celebrate mediocrity!
Monaghan, regardless of her configuration, has the potential to have the best anti-aircraft firepower at her tier.  Lemme preface this by saying that stock, she doesn’t have the best anti-aircraft firepower among the tier VI destroyers.  That honour belongs to Hatsuharu (of all things) which really puts everything into perspective.  Monaghan does take upgrades well — specifically, she takes Defensive Fire well and, on paper, she looks like she may be a competent anti-aircraft picket ship.  With her consumable blazing and every upgrade stuffed down her throat, Monaghan puts out some decent killing power.
But at what cost?
Let’s be real:  If you’re using the Two-Ten Monaghan, you’re going to want Torpedo Reload Booster instead of Defensive Fire in your final consumable slot.  Upgrading her for anti-aircraft firepower is a waste of points and upgrades that could be better spent on emphasizing her torpedo performance.  It’s only the Four-Eight Monaghan where taking Defensive Fire makes any kind of sense and even then, I’m not entirely convinced you wouldn’t be better served sticking with the Torpedo Reload Booster anyway.
If you do go this route — if you go full hog and bathe Monaghan in all of her anti-aircraft potential, then you get comparative killing power to a mid-tier British cruiser while Monaghan’s Defensive Fire is active.  Unlike a British cruiser, you will have the added bonus of a disruption effect.  This can be hella-annoying for enemy CVs; especially for inexperienced aircraft carrier commanders not expecting this from a mid-tier destroyer.  They may even make the mistake of trying it twice, not recognizing that you’re the one scattering her drops.  Throughout this, you shouldn’t expect to swat down entire waves of aircraft.  You’re likely only to bruise them unless the squadrons linger.  Still, this can be a nice supplementary source of credits and experience if you want to go this way.  Just keep in mind what you’re giving up.
So Monaghan has great AA power — AA power you’re unlikely to ever exercise to its full potential because there are better choices out there.
Evaluation: 
What would have to happen to DOWNGRADE to :  Don’t take Defensive Fire.  If you don’t, then Hatsuharu is better.
Refrigerator
Base Surface Detection Range: 7.2km
Air Detection Range: 3.48km
Minimum Surface Detection Range:  6.29km
A-Hull Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 2.68km
B-Hull Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 2.43km
Main Battery Firing Range: 12.51km
Much ado has been made that Monaghan has better surface detection range than the lead of her class, Farragut.  This is accurate.  It’s entirely irrelevant, mind you, but it is accurate.  Monaghan is a total cow when it comes to being stealthy which is really not what you want to be when you’re a gunship that specializes in close-range knife fights.  It’s even less desirable in a torpedo-destroyer that can scarcely defend itself from a Japanese destroyer, never mind a competently played hunter.  While Monaghan is able to stealth fire her fish in both configurations, her large detection range is a nuisance.  Her guns make it worse.
Her main battery range is an alarming 12.51km but most of this range is already useless given the horrible shell flight times.  So not only do you have useless range, it also allows Monaghan to be spotted from a long ways away when she has to pull the trigger.  Where this gets just downright idiotic is that this range weakness compounds if you have the audacity to try and specialize Monaghan towards her AA power — y’know, one of the selling features of the ship?  Yeah, tacking-on Advanced Fire Training to boost the range of your AA power also boosts her 127mm/38 guns to have a reach of 15km.  So she’s a stupid, fat cow with a bullhorn screaming at the Reds to shoot at her.
And for whatever reason, Monaghan doesn’t even get access to the improved American Smoke Generator consumable.  Instead she has to make do with the same one found on Soviet, British, French and Japanese destroyers. This means less smoke made and your smoke clouds don’t last nearly as long as other American destroyers — because reasons. Ugh.
 Monaghan’s only saving grace is that she’s not German.  Or tier VII.
Evaluation:  
What it would have needed to be
 :  She needs to get her surface detection below 6km with upgrades.
Genuine Bona Fide Electrified Six-Tier Monoghan
There are two builds to consider with Monaghan.
First off, though, a caution: A full anti-aircraft build just generally isn’t worth it for this destroyer.  Her Two-Ten hull doesn’t have enough AA DPS situated in her 127mm/38s to be worth upgrading with Manual Fire Control for AA Guns and Advanced Fire Training is a loser-skill option that will only make it easier for enemy ships to spot you when you’re engaged in gunnery battles which is bad news for both hull types.
 
  • For both builds, start with Priority Target and then pick up Last Stand at tier 2.
  • Tier 3 is where all of the choice begins and where the two ships diverge.  For the Two-Ten Monaghan, take Torpedo Armament Expertise to accelerate your reload.  The Four-Eight Monaghan should look at Survivability Expert or Basic Fire Training for their first tier 3 skill.
  • Grab Concealment Expert at tier 4 next for both builds.
For your next nine skill points, you’re spoiled for choice.
  • The Four-Eight Monaghan should look towards skills that help with gunnery.  Inertial Fuse for HE Shells will help damage battleships.  So too will Demolition Expert.  However, Superintendent is very useful for the extra smoke charge which, in long games, will allow you to sit still and bombard enemies with less worry about being damaged.  With any points leftover, take Adrenaline Rush or wherever you wish.

  • The Two-Ten Monaghan should look to skills like Survivability Expert and Superintendent as a matter of course.  Any leftover points can go where the player wishes, though I would highly recommend trying to squeeze in Radio Location so you can be where other destroyers aren’t.
Final Evaluation
  • Harekaze 2.0 this is not.
  • You’re getting the choice of playing a Mutsuki or 4/5ths of a Farragut
  • How many people use the C-Hull on their American DDs anyway?  Am I the only one that avoids it?

Two different armament options!?  Sign me up!

That was my initial thought when I heard that Monaghan could swap between two very different builds.  This got me all kinds of excited.  I loved the change in game play styles offered when you can equip different weapon types.  This is part of what makes Harekaze and Mogami so much fun, in my opinion.  Yet for whatever reason, Monaghan just hit a sour note with me.  I never found my earlier excitement stoked further with compelling game play.  I find this incredibly strange given the enjoyment that can be found in torpedo destroyers and gunships respectively.
It took me a while, but I think the issue that makes me feel ‘meh’ (foreshadowing!) about Monaghan is her surface detection range.  I guess the Japanese destroyers have spoiled me.  If I’m running with so few guns, I want to get close to ensure torpedo hits.  But Monaghan’s too fat to get that close and unlike the higher tiered American destroyers, she doesn’t have the self defense armament to protect herself if she gets spotted by a picket ship.  Once you factor in the slow running speed of her torpedoes, this extra launch distance really makes landing those hits difficult.  Benson, with Concealment Modification 1 can get a whole 500m closer to fire off her fish and she’s generally not worried if she’s lit by another destroyer beforehand.
As for her Four-Eight hull, well — I have never found the C-Hull variants of the American destroyers particularly compelling.  Give me the choice between more dakka versus surface ships or more dakka versus planes, I am going to choose the former every time.  So Four-Eight Monaghan feels just under-gunned for me.  Her extra concealment over Farragut helps a bit here — I mean, you can choose to turn away, rather than engage some of the bigger, scarier boats but I’m still left wanting more.  Oh well.
Monaghan isn’t terrible, she’s just not for me.  The variety offered by this ship is a good thing.
Would I Recommend?
This isn’t a ship I would get for myself.  If I won it in a crate, hooray!  It would still most likely sit in my port unused barring use in some occasional Daily Mission.
  • PVE Battles
    How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots?

Yes.  Monaghan can spit out a lot of damage very quickly with her massive torpedo walls.  So long as you can survive closing with bots, you should be able to derp fish at point blank range up their nose and score some big damage in Co-Op.

  • Random Battle Grinding:
    This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements.

Yes.  Monaghan makes a great trainer for either your gunship destroyer captains or if you’ve specialized some of your high tier American destroyers commanders to emphasize throwing torpedoes instead.

  • For Competitive Gaming:
    Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding.

No.  Monaghan doesn’t have a competitive edge over ships like Shinonome, T-61 or Aigle.

  • For Collectors:
    If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you.

Yes.  Monaghan earned 12 battle stars in her service during WW2, including fighting at Pearl Harbour.

  • For Fun Factor:
    Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play?

No.  This one surprised me, but I just couldn’t get into this ship.  You would think with two hull options, the variety would appeal, but we just never clicked, Monaghan and I.  Your mileage may vary, though.

  • What’s the Final Verdict?
    How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage – Meh – Gud – Overpowered?

GARBAGE – The boat is unbalanced, not fun to play and weak. The ship desperately needs some buffs or some quality of life changes.
Mehbote – An average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn’t need buffs to be viable however she’s not going to be considered optimal.
Gudbote – A powerful ship, often one of the best ships at a given role within its tier. Usually considered optimal for a given task.
OVERPOWERED – The boat is unbalanced and powerful. Typically she’s either horrible to play against or she redefines the meta entirely.

In Closing
This took longer than I had planned.  I caught the summer flu that’s been going around locally and that cost me a few days.  My next review will be USS Salem, the tier X American cruiser.  Expect it around the week of June 18th.  Thank you all for reading.  If you enjoy my work and find it useful, please consider sponsoring me on Patreon.

Appendix

A list of sites, programs and people I rely upon to create my reviews.
Research:

Artwork:

For Graphics:

Programs Used:

  • World of Warships (duh)
  • Notepad (seriously)
  • MS Paint (also, seriously)
  • iPhone Stopwatch App (yep)
  • Puzzle Piece: (g last letter)

Hardware: Mouse toils away on an old i7-2600K 3.40GHz computer with 16GB RAM and an Nvidia 560Ti GPU running a 64bit OS.

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