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Premium Ship Review HMS Warspite9/19/2016 11:53:36 PM
Published By: LittleWhiteMouse

"Mommy's favourite baby girl."


Quick Summary: A surprisingly agile, if slow battleship with the worst turret traverse rate in the game. She has very accurate, hard hitting guns for her tier, including an impressive secondary gun battery. Arguably the Battleship with the most special features found in the game at present.
Cost: 6500 Doubloons through the in game tech tree.
Patch & Date Review was Written: Mid-June through to mid-September 2016.  This spans between 0.5.7 and 0.5.11

Closet in Game Contemporary: Tier 6 German Battleship Bayern
Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class/ Similar Role / Unique

The HMS Warspite has so many special features going for it, it truly is one of a kind among battleships. On the surface, she may appear vaguely similar to the Bayern with a similar caliber of guns and gun layout, good secondaries and an armour scheme designed for up close engagements. However, when you look at her perks, she begins to step away from other Super dreadnoughts. Excellent handling, special repair mechanics, special damage control mechanics; it all adds up to a battleship that's truly one of a kind in World of Warships.


PROs

  • Largest caliber guns at tier 6, providing individually hard hitting AP and HE shells and able to overmatch enemy BB bow armour.
  • Good dispersion values for her guns including a 2.0 sigma.
  • Heavy secondary battery armament, almost all forward facing, with good base range of 5.0km.
  • Excellent handling, with a tiny 550m turning circle.
  • Good effective armour for defeating 356mm and smaller caliber AP shells when angled at medium to close range.
  • Can heal back 20% more damage from penetrating hits than normal battleships.
  • Repair Party heals back 20% more per charge than normal battleships.
  • Has a cruiser's Damage Control Party with 90s reset timer and 5s active period.
  • Decent surface detection range of 14.2km -- well inside her main battery range.


CONs

  • Absolutely horrid turret traverse at 72s for 180' turn (2.5' per second). This is the worst found in the game.
  • Low muzzle velocity for Battleship caliber guns at 732m/s.
  • Under gunned when compared to most other tier 6 Battleships.
  • Range is lacking, with a maximum reach of 16.3km without her float plane.
  • Rather slow with a maximum speed of 23.5 knots.
  • Overall weak armour scheme against anything larger than 356mm rifles.
  • Weak anti-torpedo bulges mitigate only 24% of torpedo damage.
  • Modest to weak AA compliment as of 0.5.3.


I've wanted to revisit the Warspite review for a long time but I kept putting it off in favour of covering new ships instead.  I first began laying the ground work for this review when the Captain Skills changed in 0.5.3 but I soon had other priorities.  Finding time to update older reviews is more difficult.  Wriing for ShipComrade does provide me a ready excuse to do it though so that there's at least one copy of every review I've done in her archives.

 

A lot of changes have occurred in the game since November of 2015 when I last took a look at HMS Warspite.  The list is pretty extensive when you get down to it, including (but not limited to) the Captain Skill update, the reworking of modules, never mind two updates to the Warspite herself including additional AA mounts and having her armour model changed.  But perhaps the most extensive difference since I last looked at this ship is the inclusion of the German (and French!) Battleships.  Their presence has really forced a re-evaluation of what makes a "good" battleship in World of Warships.  Let's see how the Grand Old Lady stacks up to her rivals.


Options

On paper, the Warspite doesn't have a lot of options. She has four module slots -- standard for a tier 6 Battleship. She doesn't have anything unique, like a special consumable not normally found for her class. She doesn't get the choice between different types of float plane. What is significant, though, is the nature of her Repair Party and Damage Control Party consumables.   See the durability section below for further elaboration on how these change.

Consumables: Three slots

  1. Damage Control Party
  2. Repair Party
  3. Spotter Aircraft

Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard options. Does not have access to the American Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 range bonus.
Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy.


Artillery

Primary Battery: 381mm main guns in 4x2 turrets (A-B-X-Y arrangement, super-firing)
Secondary Battery: 8x1 152mm casemates, 4x2 102mm dual purpose deck mount turrets.

Short of the Yamato's guns at tier 10, you will not find as disproportionately powerful a gun as the Royal Navy 15" rifle at tier 6. Due to the overmatch mechanics, this allows the Warspite to best any section of a vessel with 26mm of armour or less. This is significant because it allows it to blast shots clean through the bow sections of vessels like the New Mexico, Dunkerque, Arizona and Colorado from any angle. Your shells simply won't bounce off these thinly armoured sections like a 356mm rifle would. As if this wasn't enough, the Warspite has a very tight shell grouping for a Battleship of her tier. While not quite on par with the IJN for the raw dispersion value, it's much improved over the USN and Kriegsmarine and has internal metrics which further increase her accuracy. For hitting power, the Warspite's guns sit between USN 14" and 16" rifles, with up to 11,400 damage per AP shell, 5300 per HE shell and a 34% chance to start a fire.  These are harder hitting than the Bayern's with a 500 AP and 900 HE advantage.

Summary of Main Battery Strengths:
  • Large caliber allows her to overmatch the angled bow armour of many Battleships, something 356mm rifles cannot do.
  • Great hitting power, shell per shell, compared to other tier 6 Dreadnoughts.
  • Has one of the best dispersion modifiers for a battleship in the game which reduces vertical dispersion, results in tighter groupings of shell fall among Dreadnoughts as they are less likely to overshoot where you aim.

The Grand Old Lady doesn't have everything her own way, however. The over match mechanics she so enjoys against lower tiered ships falls away against vessels like the Amagi, Bismarck and North Carolina, which have 32mm forward ends. She has very low muzzle velocity for a Battleship at 732m/s and the lowest Krupp rating (shatter resistance) of any of the tier 6 Battleship shells.  While this can help with achieving citadel and penetrating hits against more lightly armoured targets, that's small consolation. This hurts her penetration values somewhat which end up being marginally worse than a comparable 14" shell from the Fuso or New Mexico. This also requires more shell flight time to targets at range, adding to the amount of lead necessary to hit evasive targets. But more pressingly, perhaps, the Warspite has the worst turret rotation in the game, on par with that of the Yamato. The Warspite's turrets move at a glacial 72s for a 180' rotation, or 2.5's. It is absolutely impossible track targets with her guns and you will constantly be tempted to use your rudder to accelerate bringing weapons to bear. You can forget switching fire from one side of the ship to the other or snap firing at targets of opportunity. Lastly, the Warspite's main battery range is a mere 16.3km. This may look comparable to the New Mexico, but USN ships have access to the Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 and can pad their range up by an additional 16%. This means that the Warspite is out ranged by all of her contemporaries -- a problem that only magnifies against higher tiered opponents.


Summary of Main Battery Weaknesses:

  • Absolutely horrid turret rotation. Downright frustrating when trying to track targets.
  • Lower muzzle velocity than contemporary Battleships.
  • Low Krupp rating leads to more shells shattering against thick armour.
  • Short ranged for a tier 6 Battleship which forces a reliance on her Spotter Aircraft to engage distant targets.

The secondary gun batteries on the Warspite deserve special notice. Though the weight of fire coming off the mix of 152mm and 102mm rifles doesn't look very impressive, what should concern most players is their range and placement. Properly upgraded, the Warspite can extend the range of her secondaries up to 7.56km between modules, captain skills and a signal flag. This range outstrips the respective torpedo armaments of the tier 6 Farragut and Ogenvoi and every tier 5 destroyer aside from the Gremyashchy.

 In addition, unlike the impressive secondary gun armaments of the Bayern and Dunkerque, the Warspite's secondaries can all fire towards her forward quarters.  This means that so long as you can keep your enemies in front of you, you can nail them with the full weight of your secondary armament. Dispensing a homogenous wall of high explosive fire, these guns can (and will) spell the end of an unwary, low health destroyer captain that strays too close to the Warspite. In close range duels, the good fire chance off her 152mm rifles will help stack extra damage against anything that you charge, making the Warspite a potentially dangerous brawler despite her slow turning main guns.
 
Rivals:  The Fuso (1915)You're outgunned when you're facing a Fuso in the Warspite.  The IJN tier 6 juggernaut has more range and more barrels.  She'll do more damage than you in most of her games, being perfectly built for absolutely ruining the day of anything dumb enough to offer her a broadside at any range.  And let's face it, this is really the beginning and end of the Fuso's specialty.  Her twelve gun salvos are fearsome, but she pays a lot for it.  Modest amour, poor handling and only mediocre AA power all define the Fuso.  She can brawl, but she's only okay at it.  The addition of the Arizona, Dunkerque and Bayern hasn't been kind to the Fuso.  Her 356mm guns feel less and less adequate as these more functionally armoured vessels enter the fray.  The Warspite always had to respect the Fuso at long range, but if she was able to close the distance and keep angled, she would come out the better.

The Warspite has aged better than the Fuso.  Her 381mm guns keep her relevant as armour values (particularly bow armour values) have increased.

Advantages:  Enormous broadside damage potential with tremendous range and fast rate of fire.  Moderately faster than the Warspite too and better waterline protection when bow-on.
Disadvantages:  Clumsy, impossible to hide and arguably one of the "softest" of the Warspite's Battleship rivals where her armour is concerned.  The performance of her 356mm guns drops off tremendously against an angled target.


This Nicholas discovers, to its peril, that the secondary battery guns on the Warspite is more than enough to doom an enterprising low-health destroyer that gets too close.  One of the best uses of the Warspite's secondaries are as an alarm-bell.  When an enemy strays to within secondary range, the sound of her secondary batteries opening fire should alert the player to stop whatever it is they're doing and address the immediate threat.

 
Aircraft

Air Group: Single deployed spotter aircraft.

This gives the Warspite a temporary maximum range of 19.6km. This can help mitigate some of her range issues with her guns. Due to her accuracy, she has a very comfortable shell fall at this range and you can surprise many opponents with some early long range damage, including citadels against enemy Dreadnoughts.  Note that short of someone mismanaging their module selection on an American Battleship or a stock Fuso, you will be out ranged by every other tier 6 Battleship when your Spotter Aircraft isn't active. 


Maneuverability

Top Speed: 23.5 knots.
Turning Radius:
550m
Rudder Shift:
14.2s

The Warspite is unique among current Battleships at her tier. With a 550m turning circle, the Warspite has one of the smallest turning radii in the game for a Battleship. To put this into perspective, this is rivaled only by the South Carolina (480m), the Nassau (510m), both at tier 3 and the Mikasa at tier 2 (450m). When you look at just tier 6 warships, she is tied for the smallest turning circle with the Mutsuki, the IJN Destroyer. If this makes you happy in your pants, it should. This is a holdover from a Closed Beta iteration of Battleship agility -- a trait which many ships shared but has since been lost when turning was rebalanced.

There's a couple of flies in the ointment, however. The first is that she has a glacial 14.2s rudder shift time. With modules, you can reduce this down to a more manageable 11.3s. Thankfully with her tight turning circle, she answers her rudder quickly, even to minor adjustments. This is invaluable due to the horrible rotation time of her turrets which often predicates you reaching for the rudder to adjust your aim with any alacrity. The last issue is that she doesn't have the best top speed of 23.5 knots.  This puts her near the bottom for top speed among the tier 6 Battleships, only ahead of the two American bricks, the Arizona and New Mexico at 21.0 knots each. This makes it take quite a while to finish a 360' rotation as she doesn't sail particularly quick through her circle.

This top speed is worth noting when compared to her contemporaries. Though marginally faster than the USN Standard-type Battleships (Colorado, New Mexico and the Arizona), she's still slow enough that flexing from one section of the map to the next takes a long time. Her acceleration is downright terrible too, needing almost a full minute to reach top speed from a dead stop (20s to reach 10 knots). To complete a 90' turn at full speed, it takes her around 20s, including time to shift the rudder hard over.

 

An older picture of the Warspite from just after the Captain-Skill change in 0.5.4.  You can tell by the missing 20mm Oerlikon cannons on top of her B-turret.

Rivals: The Dunkerque (1937)The French Battleship is the antithesis to the Warspite. They couldn't espouse more disparate combat styles if they tried. The guns of the Warspite are heavy, ponderous and rely on brute force to hammer targets with the hardest hitting shells at tier 6. They're so slow that it's difficult to bring the forward turrets onto a target, never mind those of the rear. Contrast that with the Dunkerque, using the smallest guns at her tier and the ease at which she can shift her fire from one target to the next with all eight barrels.   The Dunkerque's shells are high velocity and arranged in tight clusters.  While her raw dispersion isn't quite as good as the Grand Old Lady, it doesn't seem to matter given how easily she picks off even fast moving targets.

Agility wise, the Dunkerque feels modern and sleek -- she can shift to where she needs to be and get into and out of trouble quickly.  She pays for this speed with less armour than the Warspite and worse handling.  However, these deficits feel all but unnoticeable.  The Dunkerque may have less protection but it's not a night and day difference like with the Bayern.  She's less agile but her speed more than makes up for it.  And let's face it -- a Warspite captain would kill to have the Dunkerque's gun handling.

In a head to head duel, the Dunkerque fares poorly against a Warspite in most respects.  Short of catching the British Battleship's broadside or being able to stack multiple fires while the Warspite's otherwise distracted, she can't trade blows with the tough British lady.  Though when fire shifts to softer targets, the Dunkerque can sometimes feel miles ahead in terms of performance.

Advantages:  Some of the best Battleship gun handling in the game.  Easy to maximize firepower with a fast reload and great range to boot.  The ship herself flexes well, with excellent top speed.  Beware her HE spam.
Disadvantages:  Super squishy, impossible to hide, and under armed.  Her AP shells are completely inadequate for trading with the Warspite.

 

Durability

Hit Points: 53,800
Citadel Protection:
Up to 330mm.
Bow and Deck Armour:  Listed as a minimum of 25mm.
Anti-Torpedo Bulge: 24% damage reduction

This has always been the section that's most important to the Warspite. Most of her specialties lie within this domain.  In addition, the Warspite's model has received some updates which have changed some of her durability characteristics.  Let me try and be thorough.

One of the biggest (and most recent) changes to the Warspite was having the whole ship lowered in the water.  Her armoured citadel now rests completely beneath the waterline, which is a significant blessing for the Warspite. This historically prompted change adds to her durability in close-range brawls. This also submerges more of her belt armour, providing more underwater protection from shell fall. This does not provide any form of functional immunity to citadel damage for the Warspite, however.
 
In addition, one of her old weak spots seems to have been covered up.  The Warspite used to have a 6mm armoured "hole" behind her hangar -- approximately where the Fritz X guided missile struck and nearly sank her in 1944.  This area is now listed as having 25mm in the in-game armour viewer and on 3rd party armour-viewing sites.  This seems to have occurred when the USN Battleship line had its armour models updated.  The Warspite received a similar treatment providing not only more polygons but some updates to the respective armour values of these new splines.
 

Pictures from GameModels3D.com showing the difference between the Warspite in November of 2015 and September of 2016.  Notice the extra polygons used in the latter, rounding off shapes like the stern, her secondaries and funnels.  In addition, the armour has been updated with the inclusion of anti-torpedo bulges (covering the Warspite's belt armour).  I find it odd to see that her 20mm Oerlikon mounts don't appear to have a visible hit box.  Maybe they're just not armoured?

Armour & Torpedo Bulges

The Warspite, as a Queen Elizabeth-class Battleship, eschews the use of an All or Nothing armour scheme. She was designed in an era of the arm's race, where the largest caliber guns of her opponents were 13.5" and 14" rifles and combat was expected to happen and what World of Warships considers to be medium-to-close ranges (between 5km and 10km). This makes her the oldest Battleship at her tier and her armour reflects this. In game play terms, this means that her protection isn't as thick as her contemporaries and it's spread out further along the waterline. With a minimum of 25mm of bow and deck armour, this provides her with functional immunity when properly angled to AP rounds up to (and including) 356mm at medium to close ranges due to the over matching and ricochet mechanics. An opponent armed with such weapons has only three options, then: try and bulls-eye one of the thickly armoured turrets with a precise shot, settle for over penetration damage with hits to her superstructure or switch to high explosive fire.

As good as her armour sounds, it's far from perfect. With the large, slab-sided superstructure, the Warspite is an easy target for high explosive fire. Shots coming in at a range of greater than 12km to 14km will also plunge sufficiently to make a mockery of her deck, as it requires only a 150mm rifle to score penetrating high explosive damage against her 25mm decking. Additionally, if a warship gets her side, she has less overall armour protecting her citadel than other Battleships, particularly the Standard-type of the USN or the German Dreadnoughts like the Bayern. You can also forget her bow or deck armour being proof against 15" (380mm+) caliber weapons which will easily overmatch her bow, even when angled. This can (and will) result in occasional citadel penetrations, especially at range, as her transverse bulkheads are only a 102mm thick.

Lastly, for anti-torpedo protection, she's rather lacking. Though she has anti-torpedo bulges, they barely manage to strip a quarter of the damage from hits amidships compared to almost half by the USN Battleships at her tier.

 
Rivals: The Bayern (1916)The Bayern encroaches on the Warspite's brawling supremacy. The Bayern is functionally immune to citadel hits.  This is enormously powerful in of itself.  But when you combine it with excellent armour, 380mm guns and heavy secondary battery, its an all around, exemplary package.  Her waterline protection when bow-on is even better than that of the Warspite, allowing her to shrug off even 410mm rifles if her opponents aim low while her own 380mm allow her to dominate close range engagements -- well, almost.

The Bayern's guns are not as good as those on the Warspite, with less performance on a per-shell basis.  They have more reach, but without a float plane, her range is never spectacular.  In addition, she doesn't share the Warspite's accuracy, especially with her widely spaced guns.  Lastly, while she appears to have a heavier secondary gun battery than the Warspite, the Bayern's secondaries are not ideally placed for brawling engagements, with more than half of her 150mm casemates rear-facing and unable to engage targets with which you're closing.

While the Warspite is good at recovering from damage, the Bayern is almost ideally suited to avoiding it in the first place if you can keep yourself angled and aware of incoming threats.

Advantages:  Nigh impossible to citadel, excellent belt armour and 380mm guns overmatch up to 26mm worth of armour.  She's an excellent brawler with good secondaries and reasonable agility.
Disadvantages:  Main guns aren't as accurate or as powerful.  Secondary placement isn't ideal.  Prow is still vulnerable to the Warspite's guns.  But I'm really grasping at straws here trying to find weaknesses that the Warspite could exploit.  The Bayern is one tough cookie for the Warspite to face.


Hit Points & Repair Party

At 53,800 hit points, the Warspite is on the lower side of average for her tier. But this is made up for by her Repair Party.

Nominally, a Repair Party consumable regenerates a maximum of 1/200th of a ship's total hit points every second for 28 seconds for a total of 14% of their maximum HP. This is the value for almost  every single other Battleship in the game with only a couple of exceptions.  We should expect to see the Warspite restore 269hp every second for a total of 7,532 hit points. Instead the value for this ship is 20% higher -- 322hp per second for a total of 9,038 hit points maximum. That's a flat bonus of 1,506hp which would be good enough in itself, but it doesn't stop there. When a Battleship takes a penetrating hit that does not damage her citadel, normally 50% of this damage may be recovered. So a Battleship taking 10,000 damage from these sources could heal back 5,000 of this. For the Warspite, this value is 60% -- 6,000 of the 10,000hp lost. Note that this bonus does not apply to damage done by fires, floods, over penetrations or attacks that strike her citadel. In summary it looks like the following:

Normal Battleships

  • Can heal back 100% of fire, flooding and over penetration damage.
  • Can heal back 50% of penetrating hits that do not strike her citadel from bombs, torpedoes and shell hits.
  • Can heal back 10% of hits that strike her citadel.

HMS Warspite

  • Can heal back 100% of fire, flooding and over penetration damage.
  • Can heal back 60% of penetrating hits that do not strike her citadel from bombs, torpedoes and shell hits.
  • Can heal back 10% of hits that strike her citadel.

Bonuses provided by the India Delta signal flag (adding 20% to the amount healed by her Repair Party) stack on top of these figures, allowing the Warspite to gain even more from the use of this signal than most other ships.  With the signal, your heal jumps up from 9,038 hit points to 10,846hp.  As the Warspite will be stacking more damage in the queue, this signal lets you gobble it all up so efficiently.

Damage Control Party

Once upon a time, all Battleships had the same Damage Control Party consumable. This was identical to the cruiser Damage Control Party -- it had a 90 second reset timer and was active for a 5 second duration during which all incoming criticals were automatically repaired. This was changed in the last days of Closed Beta. Based upon the nation of the Battleship, the immunity period was extended to a minimum of 10s (for IJN Battleships) all of the way up to 20s (for USN Battleships). Nations which came later, the Tirpitz for the Germans, the Dunkerque for the French and the Imperator Nikolai I for the Russians each got 15s worth of immunity, sitting right in the middle. To balance out the power of these extended immunity periods, the reset timer was extended to a full two minutes (120s).

Not so for the Warspite. She retains the old-style Damage Control Party for Battleships. She has a shorter immunity period, but by contrast, she has a much shorter reset timer. If a player equips the premium version of the consumable, this drops down to a mere 60s before the next time it can be used after the immunity period ends. This is incredibly powerful for a class long beleaguered by fire damage.

With the proper use of signals, captain skills and consumables, it's possible to reduce the total damage a fire does from 18% of a Battleship's total health down to 11.5% -- or a mere 35s of total burn time. Couple this with the Warspite's faster resetting Damage Control Party and her tremendous amount of healing done by her Repair Party and the Warspite can shrug off blazes like no other ship in the game.


Durability Summary:

  • Updated armour model has corrected two major weaknesses.  This has lowered her citadel beneath the waterline and plugged the 6mm hole in the Warspite's rear deck.
  • Repair Party heals back 20% more HP than normal Battleships -- and gains more from the India Delta flag as a result (!).
  • Repair Party queues up 20% more damage for healing from penetrating hits than normal Battleships.
  • Damage Control Party is on a shorter reset timer than normal Battleships at the expense of a shorter immunity window.
  • Armour is excellent when angled against targets at short to medium ranges slinging AP shells from 356mm guns or smaller.
  • Armour isn't sufficient to protect the Warspite when taking shots to the side, rear or from long range.
  • Armour is vulnerable to 15" AP shells or greater at nearly all angles.
  • Has rather poor anti-torpedo defense for a Battleship.
An oldie but a goodie.  There are few screenshots as dramatic as the Warspite bouncing a full salvo of 356mm AP from a Fuso at point blank range.
 

Concealment & Camouflage

Surface Detection Range: 14.2km
Air Detection Range: 11.4 km
Minimum Surface Detection Range: 11.85km
Concealment Penalty while Firing: +11.43km

As far as stealth goes, the Warspite is rather average for a tier 6 Battleship.  With camouflage applied, the 'average' tier 6 Battleships  rank as follows:  Arizona (14.0km), New Mexico & Warspite (13.8km), Bayern (13.4km).  The outliers are the Dunkerque (16.4km) and the Fuso (18.3km) -- the latter of which is possibly visible from space. 

This camouflage rating is worth exploiting as all of these ships can and will see tier 8 opponents with astronomical ranges.  For the Warspite this is especially crucial as much of its survivability and offense requires it to close within medium to close ranges to make best use of its guns and her armour values.  There are few things as satisfying in the Warspite as sneaking up on a cruiser and delivering a catastrophic volley into her machine spaces.  This ability to hide becomes an imperative when she needs to disengage.  Properly specialized, at 12km you effectively drop off the radar and can spend time licking your wounds -- something the Warspite is optimized to do.
 
Remember, concealment can buy you time.  Time allows you to use your Repair Party.  And your Repair Party is the best in the game.

Anti-Aircraft Defense

AA Battery Calibers: 105mm / 40mm / 20mm
AA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 2.5km / 2.0km
AA DPS per Aura:  38 / 79 / 47

When the Warspite was updated, she gained an additional four 20mm Oerlikon guns to her defensive AA armament.  These are modelled on top of her B and X turrets with a pair for each.  This isn't a tremendous improvement.  The Warspite's anti-aircraft firepower is a bit of a mixed bag.  In terms of raw DPS numbers, it's pretty good -- a total of 164dps.  This puts her second highest in terms of potential aircraft damage when you rate the tier 6 Battleships.
  1. 193dps - New Mexico
  2. 164dps - Warspite
  3. 147dps - Bayern
  4. 121dps - Fuso
  5. 115dps - Arizona
  6. 106dps - Dunkerque

The first thing that should be stated, is that none of the tier 6 Battleships have good anti-aircraft firepower -- not even the New Mexico.  They're all varied flavours of bad to average.  These raw DPS numbers are also misleading.  The Bayern has arguably better functional AA power with most of her damage being concentrated into her dual purpose 100mm guns that have great reach.  The Warspite focuses most of her AA strength into her 2pdr 40mm 'Chicago Piano' 8-barrel mounts.  These have a poor range of only 2.5km making them only suitable when under direct attack for self defense purposes.

It's simply not possible to get the Warspite's AA power up from the lower side of average to anything suitable.  She can and will damage aircraft waves -- usually on their way out.  But she's never going to be able keep herself safe from air attack by simply shooting down planes.  Stick close to allies.  Hug a Cleveland, Atlanta or Mikhail Kutuzov is they're available.
 
Rivals:  The Standard Type Battleships (1916 & 1918)The Tier 6 American Standard-Type Battleships, represented in game by the New Mexico & Arizona, are an interesting pair when compared to the Warspite.  Like the Fuso, they present a threat with overwhelming 356mm firepower from twelve rifles.  They will deliver more damage than a Warspite can and giving your broadside to either one of these ships is just asking to get your citadels blown out in a spectacular fashion.  While not impossible to citadel in return, their magazines and engine spaces are very well protected, especially at close range.

Going head to head with a Warspite isn't a comfortable situation for these American Super dreadnoughts.  Their best hope is to close to medium ranges and angle heavily but not go bow-on.  The hope is to bait shots against their phenomenally thick belt armour by pretending to offer their side and then turning in to increase the angle of attack.  If the American Battleships don't angle properly, the Warspite will hammer penetrating hits through their bow or belt.  If they let her get too close, the Warspite's secondaries will start taxing their Damage Control Party.  If they don't time their dance just right, they'll lose out on their firepower advantage.

Still, the Standard-Type Battleships are excellent vessels for wracking up impressive damage totals and can out compete the Warspite when shooting up soft targets.

Advantages:  Tremendous broadside firepower that must be respected.  Excellent belt armour and citadel protection.  Reasonable agility too.
Disadvantages:  Slow moving and slow firing.  Their 356mm AP shells are inadequate when facing an angled Warspite at medium-close ranges.  Poor secondary battery complement.

Caught in a bad turn, this Warspite is all but doomed to take a double-salvo of torpedoes from the attack planes of a Shokaku-class carrier.  Her AA guns blazing, she manages to shoot down three of the eight attack planes -- not enough to blunt the attack.

Overall Impressions

Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult
Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme
 
The Warspite is not an easy Battleship to love.  Her awful, AWFUL gun handling will turn many away from her, and rightly so.  I cannot imagine a novice or casual player enjoying playing the Warspite because of that terrible gun traverse.  Compound this with some of the shortest range at her tier, slow movement, vulnerability to citadel hits and only modest armour?  Yeah, she's not a forgiving ship.
 
The meta in the Warspite is about controlling engagement and buying time.  Just about any other same-tier Battleship you may face can out trade you with either more guns or more armour (or both).  To play to the Warspite's strengths, you need to mitigate (or recover) damage while optimizing your own firepower.  This can involve making use of your improved Damage Control Party and Repair Party to heal and recover damage sources after the fact or by using her excellent turning radius, good concealment values and what armour she does have to maximum effect.  
 
Players are often presented with the choice in the Warspite to do more damage or to preserve their own hit points and it's often a difficult trade to guess at.  The truly excellent players seem to manage both without much difficulty.  I dunno how they do it.
 
Mouse's Summary:
  • Some of the worst gun handling in the game.  Like, really.  Go buy yourself a Wyoming, put a new Captain in there without Expert Marksman.  Yeah, it's worse than that.
  • Until you're face to face with another Battleship at close range, her 381mm guns feel lackluster when compared to the twelve rifles off of the Fuso, New Mexico and Arizona.  Could be worse, I guess.  At least it's not the Bayern...
  • Secondaries and brawling is super fun but the Warspite dies in a hurry if you rush in and try and brawl right at the start.  Pick your moment or you'll pull a Barham.
  • She's super expensive to run.  I feel like I'm cheating myself I'm not running at least an India-Delta and Mike-Yankee-Soxisix signal on my Warspite.  And don't forget tacking on the premium consumables for your Damage Control Party and Repair Party.  Oh, and her premium camouflage?  Blech.  I prefer the for-credits premium camo.  Yeah, she doesn't earn me bank.
  • She dances torpedo beats like a champ.
  • Like many tier 6 Battleships, the Warspite feels like a rockstar when top tier but that falls away quickly when facing tier 7s or higher...
 This is the third time I'm reviewing the Warspite.  She's better off now than she was when I first reviewed her in July 2015.  This was back in a time when carriers were more prevalent and matchmaking between them wasn't symmetrical.  The game was still in Closed Beta and while recognizable, the meta was appreciably different.   The Warspite was about the only Battleship I would comfortably play during this time. My second review occurred in November of 2015.  The game had matured noticeably.  This was the Warspite at her peak, IMO.  Maps were more claustrophobic.  She was still matched up against tier 4 ships and she often found herself top tier, kicking puppies.
 
So this is the third time through.
 
The Warspite has aged well, but not without her problems.  The German Battleships with their impossible-to-citadel engine spaces & magazines represent a very real threat.  I usually made it a point to avoid expensive hit point trades with other Battleships when I could help it and those German BBs do not go down quickly.  In fact, they encroach on the Warspite's turf something awful and it's not like I can simply close the distance like I could on an American or IJN Battleship and expect to come out the better in the trade off.  I used to think the Warspite was tough.  They've clearly redefined what tough really is and the Warspite does not entirely measure up.  She can still take a hit like a champ and recover from it given enough time.  But those German Battleships need seldom worry about compromising durability for increased firepower.
 
 The Arizona and Dunkerque also stole a bit of the Warspite's thunder with their great gunnery.  The Dunkerque's guns are ... well, I've already said it.  In terms of gun handling, they're everything you could want.  The Arizona presents a great tier 6 "brick" Battleship with heavy firepower from an accurate battery of twelve 356mm rifles.  She's got armour too making her arguably a much better anti-cruiser bully at her tier than the Warspite ever could be.
 
 You're spoiled for choice when it comes to premium Battleships these days -- especially at tier 6.  The Warspite still is pretty unique, but not in a way that will grab you by the lapels and shake you.  I still love her.  I know how potent the combination of great rudder shift, decent camouflage and good guns can be.  Even with all of the new competition out there, she's still my favourite Battleship in the game.


It's not just you.  I am not fond of the Warspite's premium camouflage.
 

 
Would I Recommend?

Be very aware that I am horribly biased. This is my favourite ship in the game.

  • For Random Battle Grinding, the Warspite can do very well. Like many Battleships, though, she might not be too easy on your credit income. Battleships are very thirsty for the use of premium consumables (such as premium Damage Control Party, premium Repair Party) and this can take a big bite out of your earnings.  In addition, I really feel compelled to take signals when playing my Warspite and those can cost pretty dear too -- especially if you have a run where you aren't earning them back.

    Not taking these consumables can hurt your experience earning potential as they can greatly increase the longevity of your ship. I can give her a solid recommendation as a trainer. As a credit earner, not so much.

  • For Competitive Gaming, the Warspite can easily hold her own and over perform when top tier, especially when given breaks between engagements to maximize her health returns. Because of how her armour mechanics work, she's not nearly as competitive when faced with higher tiered vessels or those sporting 380mm rifles. In addition, the Warspite isn't fast. This can really put her at a disadvantage when it's time to move. On large maps, she just can't shift fast enough. She's not as good as the Fuso overall, but each has its own specialty.

  • For Collectors, this is one of the most storied Battleships of all time. The Iowa-class may have a longer service record, but it's nowhere near as intense as that of the Grand Old Lady. She's an absolute must for collectors, even if she is easy to acquire.

  • For Fun Factor, it's a bit of a mixed bag. If you really, really dislike her horrible turret rotation, stay away. I know that can ruin a ship for many people, and the Warspite is the worst of the worst for that currently. Ignoring that, she is an absolute blast. She handles well. Her secondaries are hilarious fun and her gun performance makes those 356mm armed ships cry.


 
The level of detail on the models of World of Warships is quite impressive.  Especially the minutia like the binocular stands on top of the bridge.
 

Outfitting your Warspite

Recommended Modules

There's a few optional setups for your Warspite.  I'll list the optimal setup first with the situational upgrades.
 
  • For your first slot, the best option is Main Armaments Modification 1.  This helps tremendously given the amount of abuse your forward batteries taken when you're bow-tanking in the Warspite.  The other options aren't really worth while in a Battleship.

  • For your second slot, Aiming Systems Modification 1 is the most optimal.  The Warspite's guns are already pretty accurate and this emphasizes this strength.  This also provides a marginal boost to your secondary gun batteries too.  As most of your damage will be coming from your primary battery, it's wise to focus on improving this over other options.

    OPTIONALLY, you can choose Secondary Gun Battery Modification 2.  This provides a range and accuracy boost to your secondaries.  This mod is more fun but not more viable.  Understand that you are sacrificing main gun accuracy (something you're shooting at almost every opportunity) to improve secondaries you fire only in specific, close range circumstances.  DO NOT take Main Battery Modification 2.  The Warspite is already behind on DPM.  Don't make it worse.

  • For your third slot, Damage Control System Modification 1 is your best choice.  While this only provides an exceedingly marginal improvement to fire prevention, it does improve your torpedo damage reduction by 2%.  All of the other choices are terrible, so don't bother looking.

  • For your fourth slot, Steering Gears Modification 2 is your best choice.  This allows you to avoid damage and will also hasten bringing your guns to bear.  You'll be using your rudder for dodging long range shells, aircraft attacks and torpedo salvos.  This also exemplifies one of the Warspite's greater strengths -- her tiny turning circle.

    OPTIONALLY you can equip Damage Control System Modification 2.  This will reduce the amount of time it takes to repair fires and flooding by 15% and stacks with the Captain Skill Basics of Survivability.  While this seems good enough to compete directly with the Steering Gears Modification 2, it's always better to avoid damage entirely than try and tank through it.  Still, it's not that far behind in terms of power.


Recommended Consumables

 Make sure you take premium versions of your Damage Control Party and your Repair Party for the Warspite.  While the premium versions will both reduce their reset timers (to 60s and 80s respectively), this will provide an additional charge of your Repair Party.  More healing is good healing in the Warspite.  The standard Spotter Aircraft should be more than sufficient.
 
For signals, the Warspite benefits tremendously from two particular signals.  Like all brawlers with great secondaries, the Mike Yankee Soxisix signal provides an accuracy, rate of fire and range boost.  This can lead to more secondary gun kills which (in turn) leads to earning replacement Mike Yankee Soxisix signals.  In addition, the Warspite's Repair Party gets a huge boost with the India Delta flag.  This bumps her Repair Party charges by an additional 1,808hp to well over 10,000hp per charge.
 

Recommended Captain Skills

As a Battleship, a lot of the Warspite's skill choices will seem pretty standard.

  •  At tier one, taking either Basics of Survivability or Basic Fire Training are good choices to start.  I thoroughly recommend both, but start with one to begin your climb through the tiers, because...

  • You absolutely need Expert Marksmans at tier 2.  This changes her rotation speed from needed 72s to complete a 180' turn to 56.25s for the same rotation (2.5'/s to 3.2'/s).  Keep in mind, this is still awful.  But it's manageable awful.  Once you've got this, you can feel free to go back and grab that other tier 1 skill.  It's okay.  We'll wait for you.

  • At tier 3, you're spoiled for choice.  Superintendent, Vigilance, and High Alert are all good skills for Battleships.  High Alert has less value with the Warspite than with other Battleships because of her shorter reset timer on her Damage Control Party, but it's still worth while.  Superintendent can also be a bit situational.  If you're already using a premium version of your Repair Party, this skill is only worth taking if you regularly burn through four charges and could use a fifth.  The utility for Vigilance is pretty obvious, emphasizing making great use of that rudder shift time to dance to those torpedo beats like a pro.

  • I've experimented with a few skills at tier 4, but the only one really worth while is Advanced Fire Training.  While this does improve your AA range, you're really taking it for your secondary gun battery range. This will nudge their reach up from a stock 5.0km to 6.0km.  Depending on your module choice, this will stack to provide a 6.3km or 7.2km range.  Add your Mike Yankee Soxisix signal and you're rocking a 6.62km or 7.56km range. 

  • Finally at tier 5, you've got a choice.  Concealment Expert is arguably the best of the bunch but I find it situational.  Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament isn't really worth it at tier 6.  Additionally, Jack of All Trades doesn't feel quite as worth while with the Warspite unless you also stack it with High Alert (then it gets hilarious -- 46s reset timer on your Damage Control Party).  You can choose one of these or instead opt to double up on some more of those very nice tier 3 skills.
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