Quick Summary: A New York-class Battleship with a heavily upgraded anti-aircraft armament and a slight reduction in mobility.
Armed with ten 356mm rifles with good AP performance.
A high 30% chance to start a fire with her HE shells.
Tough with a good hit point pool.
Tight turning radius of 600m.
Very powerful AA armament with higher raw DPS than the Atlanta or Cleveland.
All but immune to tier 4 carrier attacks and even some tier 5 carriers.
Slow rate of fire of 1.8rpm
Very slow turret traverse of 60s for 180' turn.
Limited fields of fire on her #3 and #4 turrets, forcing her to risk exposing her broadside to fire.
Pathetic secondary battery armament.
AA armament is limited to self defense ranges (3.5km).
AA armament cannot benefit from Manual Fire Control for AA Armament skill.
Very slow, with a top speed of 20.5knots.
Slower rudder shift than the New York of 14.0s.
Dangerously vulnerable to Destroyers.
The USS Texas is upgraded beyond the level of the New York-class Battleship from the tech tree. This runs contrary to the USS Marblehead, which was a partially upgraded Omaha-class cruiser. On it's surface, this may make the USS Texas appear to be better than the New York. However, like the anti-aircraft upgrades for USN destroyers, there's always a catch when you add more flak.
The Texas is a New York-class Battleship. For those familiar with the lead of her class as she appears in World of Warships, the changes which differentiate the Texas from the research vessel are minor and easily summed up. The Texas has a better anti-aircraft armament but the added weight makes her slower and less agile. In short, she gains defense against aircraft carriers but she pays for it with a small loss to her flexibility. The other differences are minor -- enough to make the Texas feel similar too, but distinct from the New York.
The Texas shares the same main armament as the upgraded New York-class. This comes in the form of ten 356mm rifles divided between 5 turrets. Two turrets are mounted on the prow in a superfiring position. Two are similarly arranged on the stern. The number 3 turret lies amidships behind the funnel but before the second mast. The performance of these weapons is identical to those found on the New York.
These weapons have a 15.6km range, putting out shells at a rate of sluggish 1.8 rounds per minute. Their alpha strike is sufficient, with a good AP shell and modest HE shell at 10,300 and 5,000 alpha damage respectively with a 30% chance to start a fire per shell. The slower rate of fire hurts somewhat, making bad episodes of RNG feel punitive. With USN dispersion being what it is, finding consistency with the accuracy of these guns is sketchy. This makes the Texas especially vulnerable to Destroyers which sneak past escorting elements. She just doesn't have the HE DPM to put down these small predators.
One of the issues with the Texas is the limited traverse of her amidships and rear turrets due to interference of her superstructure and deck clutter. The New York-class is infamous for the tiny field of fire of it's #3 turret due to the lifeboats on deck. This is corrected on the Texas, giving this gun mount a much better angle. However, the rear tower on the Texas is wider than on the New York, costing her some of her field of fire on that mount instead. Like the lead of her class, the Texas must present (and expose) it's full broadside to make best use of her guns, leaving her vulnerable to reprisals from other dreadnoughts.
The USS Texas above and the USS New York below, showing the differences of the turret angles. Though the Texas has better angles on her #3 turret, she has worse on her #4 turret. Like the New York, she must risk exposing much of her broadside to fire all ten of her guns.
The secondary battery of the Texas is uninspired and downright disappointing. She is armed with three 127mm rifles in casemate mounts on each side of the ship for a total of six guns. Firing a mere 8.6rpm out to a range of 4.0km, these high explosive shells do a maximum of 1800 damage with a 6% chance to start a fire. Her secondaries are utterly incapable of providing any form of appreciable self defense for the Texas. This makes her exceedingly vulnerable against any torpedo armed vessel that slips by the barrage of her main guns.
The Texas, overloaded with anti-aircraft mounts like she is, isn't a fast ship. She caps out at a maximum speed of 20.5 knots -- a half knot slower than the New York, which was never a fast ship to begin with. This really limits the tactical flexibility of the Texas, requiring you to put a lot of thought and care on where you're heading and when you need to redeploy. When combined with her modest range of 15.6km, this slow speed can be downright frustrating on some of the larger maps she can see -- keeping you forever out of range until the local engagement is already decided.
Her rudder shift is also slower than the New York -- 14.0s which cannot be improved by module upgrades (tier 5 ships do not have access to Steering Gear Modification 2).
As bad as these traits may seem, they are counterbalanced by her 600m turning circle. This is the one ray of sunshine when it comes to torpedo defense with the Texas. With proper set up, she can shimmy and wiggle her way between the runs of a torpedo salvo or surprise an overconfident destroyer with a (relatively) rapid change of direction. This also gives her the ability to navigate narrow channels rather easily. As tempting as this may be, however, when driving the Texas, be very wary of ambush locations for destroyers. She does not have the rate of fire or secondary batteries to keep her safe.
Her slow top speed also means that successfully disengaging when things turn south will often require the Texas to fight her way out. Almost every ship she encounters can keep pace with her in a stern chase. Keep a ready eye on your minimap. Otherwise, when the tables turn against you, you may not get a chance to pull away.
Cutting through the narrows on Fault Line, the Texas (wearing non-premium camouflage) is overtaken by a friendly Cleveland. Though she is agile enough to easily navigate through tight channels, her vulnerability to torpedo armed vessels makes staying close to islands a severe risk. Still, due to her slow speed, you will need to make risky plays like this to facilitate getting your Texas back into the action after securing a flank.
Durability and Defense
The Texas has 49,100hp -- 100hp more than the tier 7 Colorado (for some reason). Her armour layout appears to be standard for the New York-class, sharing the same overall characteristics. It's hard to describe it as a good armour scheme. It's decent, but it has weaknesses, particularly to the prow or stern. Make sure to angle properly and don't allow your opponents to blast right down the center line of your vessel.
For torpedo defense, her anti-torpedo bulges will reduce torpedo damage by 28% if you take strikes amidships. This will, of course, do nothing to torpedo strikes that hit her bow or stern. The catch here is that strikes amidships will also count as citadel damage, reducing the amount you can heal back with your Repair Party, while those on the bow or stern can have 50% of their damage repaired, provided the blast of the explosion doesn't hit the magazines of your forward or rear turrets.
Speaking of her Repair Party, it's identical to the New York, healing back 245hp per second (or just shy of 7000 damage per charge). She has no other consumables aside from the standard Damage Control Party which has the typical American values of a 20s up-time and 120s reset timer.
The slight modifications to her towers makes the USS Texas visible at 10.7km as opposed to 10.4km from the air, though she has the same surface detection range as the New York of 16.0km. With her premium camouflage, her surface detection range drops down to 15.5km, just inside the reach of her main batteries. Her premium camouflage also provides the standard boost to gunner disruption.
Where the Texas really stands out is her anti-aircraft armament.
She has the same weapon-types as the New York-class. This is to say, it's a combination of 76mm artillery pieces, 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikon cannons. These guns are short ranged, with the 76mm and 40mm guns being able to reach out to 3.5km and the 20mm automatic cannons only reaching out to 2.1km. This limits the Texas' AA power to self defense purposes. Even with the Advanced Fire Training Captain Skill & AA Guns Modification 2, this maximizes her umbrella out to 5.1km & 2.9km respectively. The difference between the Texas and the New York, however, is the number of these guns.
The Texas has four times as many 20mm and five times as many 40mm guns. This amounts to thirty-two single-mount Oerlikons and forty Bofors divided between ten quad emplacements. Along with the ten 76mm guns, these put out more combined DPS than the Cleveland or the Atlanta. Note that this is not the same as effective DPS -- the cruisers have better range and their dual-purpose mounts put out frightening amounts of damage in high alpha bursts every 5s. The cruisers can also benefit from the bonuses from Defensive Fire. In addition, with the small caliber of her 76mm artillery, the USS Texas does not benefit from Manual Fire Control for AA Armament, further limiting the ceiling of her damage totals.
In practical terms, with some defensive maneuvering to delay attack runs, the USS Texas is functionally immune from single squadron aircraft attacks from tier 4 carriers. Once upgraded with the proper modules and Captain Skills, this immunity extends up through tier 5 carriers as well. In addition she will absolutely maul tier 6 attack craft and severely damage tier 7 attack craft. If CVs get desperate and keep throwing their planes at you, you will find yourself receiving a Clear Sky medal without much effort. In short, savvy carrier players will look for easier targets rather than waste attack runs on the Texas. Those that try and bully through her flak bursts will suffer high casualties.
This does not make her a good escort ship, though. Even upgraded, her flak is just too short ranged to provide much in the way of overlapping fields of fire which is an absolute necessity for a good escort. Keep your Texas on the front lines and in the fight, not skulking in the back pretending to be of some use.
As good as her anti-aircraft firepower is, the USS Texas isn't invulnerable to air strikes. High speed planes (exemplified by these Skyraiders) can run the gauntlet of her short ranged guns and drop their payload before taking any losses. These six planes got all of their fish in the water before losing two of their number to flak. The Texas took four hits -- an uneven trade.
How to Kill It
The Texas is still a New York-class Battleship, with all of the weaknesses inherent to the vessel save AA-power. Tactics used to best low-tier American Battleships all apply here and players in surface vessels shouldn't balk at applying their tried, tested and true methods for engaging one of these Dreadnoughts.
The Texas is exceedingly vulnerable to Destroyers. When playing your tin cans, be aware of her 600m turning radius which can foil hastily launched torpedo salvos. Otherwise there isn't much to be concerned about here. Her turrets traverse very slowly and only with the assistance of her rudder can she track you at close range. Her secondary batteries are pathetic and her main battery dispersion isn't kind. She's also slow as all get out. Eat well and feel free to play with your food if you catch her stricken among islands.
Kiting the Texas works well for Cruisers. She's even slower than the New York-class, so keeping the range opened up will be to your advantage. Her gun accuracy isn't the greatest, but she puts a lot of metal in the air when she fires broadside, so keep moving and don't ever let her get a clean shot. When the Texas begins focusing upon you, open up the distance and use cover and concealment to break contact. Re-engage when her turrets turn away.
The New York-class is always an interesting Dreadnought to duel in Battleships. The Texas is easy to citadel when caught broadside on and she's vulnerable from certain angles towards the front and rear at close range, even from 356mm rifles. She has to turn nearly full broadside to fire all ten of her guns. Wait for the shot while angled and then punish her before she can turn back. At close range, hammer shells at the root of her #1 turret and you can get some surprising citadel damage this way, even through her prow.
The heavy AA armament of the Texas makes her a challenge for Carriers. At low tiers, it's best to avoid her altogether as you'll just feed her air kills. For all carriers, you must respect the firestorm of defensive flak she'll put up. Any attack runs should be made with massed waves of aircraft and done with no loitering around the Texas at all -- even if the attack angle is poor, trying to reset the approach will just cost you planes.
I like the New York-class Battleship. So how could I not love the USS Texas?
My first impression was coloured by what was missing on the USS Texas -- namely ship wakes and fire animations. For whatever reason, the Texas (and only the Texas) never displayed a wake. You'll notice in all of my screenshots that they're absent (though I do try and hide the fact by careful cropping). In addition, when she was set on fire, the fires never showed on the ship. I submitted my bug reports regarding these lacks, but I don't know how widespread they were with other testers.
It was hard not to play with an over inflated sense of invulnerability. It's funny what one perk can do for confidence levels. I often found myself leading the (slow) charge, driving headlong into the enemy with teeth grit into an evil smirk daring them to do their worst. It's also funny how that same confidence boost got my ship blown out from underneath me when enemy Destroyers paid me a reminder that the New York-class suffers greatly at their hands.
And this is what is best kept in mind: The USS Texas, for as much as some players may cry that she's overpowered, is nothing more than a New York-class Battleship with improved AA power and less mobility. And this lack of mobility -- a further enhancement of a weakness already present on the New York, is quite dearly felt. Her slow speed limits her carry potential. You can win a localized engagement and swat every single attack craft wave sent against you, but that will do you absolutely no good in carrying a match if you can't get to the next fight before the game ends because you're so slow.
What chafes me the most about playing her is her lack of decent secondary gun batteries. I think I could forgive all of her other flaws if she had a decent secondary armament to fall back upon. But I think it's that lack which keeps her very well balanced when she's summed up. The USS Texas is a nightmare for carriers to engage but she's a ready victim for destroyers.
I greatly enjoyed my time in the USS Texas, but only because I enjoy mid-tier Battleships. With as much time as I have spent in the HMS Warspite, I felt quite at home in a lumbering, slow WWI era Dreadnought. I can't wait to see what the Texas will look like in 0.5.5 with the upgraded improvements to AA animations.
Would I Recommend?
At the time I'm writing this, I don't know the cost of the USS Texas. That's worth remembering.
I am delighted (and even a little excited) to see a mid-tier USN Premium, and a Battleship at that. It's hard not to let my bias colour my impressions. Let me be clear: This is a New York-class Battleship. If you didn't like the New York-class Battleship, then the USS Texas isn't going to win you over. If you haven't played the USN Battleships before, know that this is a slow, clumsy, unsubtle brick of a warship that's got some pretty cool AA power and that's about it.
Me? I loved her. But my resume includes loving several wonky premium ships, such as the USS Atlanta & Saipan.
The USS Texas has three module upgrade slots.
For the first slot, equip Main Battery Modification 1. Keep your main guns alive.
For your second slot, AA Guns Modification 2 is your best choice. This exemplifies her AA defense ability which really is the defining feature of the Texas. This will increase her range from 3.5km to 4.2km and is the first piece of the puzzle for making her AA guns truly formidable.
For your third slot, I would recommend Damage Control System Modification 1. To be fair, the gains here are very minor, but it's the best choice of the three for a Battleship.
The USS Texas has access to two consumables -- a Damage Control Party and a Repair Party. Upgrading the Damage Control Party to the premium version is almost a must with most Battleships. This reduces the reset timer from 120s down to 90s which will help mitigate the inevitable swathe of fires that enemy high explosive rounds will set on your decks. It's up to you on if you want to upgrade her Repair Party as well.
Keep in mind, that like many Battleships, the USS Texas benefits greatly from the India Delta signal which boosts her Repair Party's output by 20%. In addition, I find it useful to put on an India Yankee to reduce the time required to extinguish a fire. Lastly, no other mid-tier Battleship benefits as greatly from the November Foxtrot Setteseven signal which boosts her AA power by a further 10%. But frankly, this is just overkill.
When kitting out any of your ships, keep her strengths and weaknesses in mind. Pay special attention to how much it will cost you to mitigate her weaknesses and if this price is to dear -- especially when the points might be better spent exemplifying her strengths.
Recommended Captain Skills
You're going to want to select Captain Skills that boost her AA power. Again, this plays to the strengths of the USS Texas.
Your first skill should be Basic Fire Training. This nudges up her AA power by 10%. It also boosts your secondary gun batteries but they're all but forgettable.
At tier 2, make sure you grab Expert Marksman. This will reduce your turret traverse from 60s down to 48.6s which is still slow (let's be honest) but at least it wont make you want to pull your hair out.
At tier 3, you've got the choice of three good skills, IMO:
Superintendent is usually my go-to skill for Battleships. I always like having as many Repair Party charges as I can get.
However, a good case could be made to go for High Alert instead, to reduce the reset timer of your Damage Control Party from 120s to 108s (or from 90s down to 81s with the premium version installed). Fires are the bane of US Battleships.
And lastly, Vigilance isn't a bad skill either for the Texas. Without a spotter aircraft, your ability to detect incoming destroyer-launched torpedoes is limited and this can help somewhat.
At tier 4, Advanced Fire Training is your port of call. Combined with AA Guns Modification 2, this will extend her maximum range from 4.2km out to 5.1km.
Be very aware that Manual Fire Control for AA Armaments is useless for the USS Texas. The skill only works with AA guns of 85mm or greater and hers cap out at 76mm. You will gain no benefit from using this skill.
Though I don't put much value on the tier 5 skills for the USS Texas, Jack of All Trades has it's uses. Personally? I would rather use the 5 points acquiring some more low tier skills.
Other useful skills for the USS Texas include: Basics of Survivability and Situational Awareness at tier 1.