Yeah, I'm a day behind, stupid work.
So I'm going to go over the lessons I've been learning for each of the four ship classes in the coming weeks, starting with the iconic Battleships.
King of the Seas
Battleships are big in every aspect in World of Warships (aka WoWS). Big hitpoints, big guns with big range and big damage. They are the line breakers of the battles, wading into the thick of the fight and raining death on opposing ships... assuming they don't get torpedoed to death from sly Destroyers that try to sneak up on you from behind that island over there, or a couple flights of torpedo bombers from the enemy carrier.
Currently in closed beta there is only the Imperial Japanese Navy line of battleships, seven hulls of which I have tried the first four of. The tier III Kawachi is the first of the line and is really a chore to use with its pathetic range of its main guns only being around 8.5 km and lacking any real Anti Aircraft (AA) defense. It feels more like a cruiser and a true battleship.
The tier IV Myogi is significantly better with 50% more range which allows it to duel at longer ranges, but the line really starts to feel impressive at the tier V Kongo which has the scout plane, range over 15 km, and four big double turret main guns. I'm currently on the tier VI Fuso battleship and it is a glorious engine of destruction with 6 double turret main guns, decent AA, and lots of hit points.
As powerful as battleships are, they work best in conjunction with other ships: other battleships to pound a target to death faster, cruisers to provide additional AA cover and destroyer defence, and friendly destroyers for destroyer defence and throwing distracting torpedoes at enemy battleships and cruisers. One of the greatest threats to slow turning battleships are torpedo bombers so its wise to stay in open water where you can make evasive turns and conversely avoid channels or getting too close to land in general. Not to mention being close to land gives more blind spots for hostile destroyers to try and sneak up on you. Related to this, treat smoke clouds with heavy suspicion as well because destroyers can easily launch torpedoes out of them to your surprise.
For offensive capabilities, practice long range firing. The Fuso can fire about 20 km and getting early hits on enemy battleships and cruisers can be invaluable when the fight gets heated later, not to mention the bonus of a magazine detonation if you get a lucky hit on the citadel (the area low in the ship where the munitions are stored). But for target selection I almost always go for closer targets than farther as they are easier to hit with more shells and present a greater danger to myself and my allies.
Battleships sport secondary batteries which engage targets within 5 km and can take some limited direction in terms of target priority, and can be useful for dealing with close destroyers or adding damage on cruisers, battleships, and carriers. But don't depend on them to save you from enemies, your proper captaining and good artillery fire will do that.
Another capability of battleships are often a scout plane that you can launch about 3 times a battle and provides longer sight for you, including detecting enemies on the other side of land masses. I try to stagger launching mine with watching when my fleet mates launch theirs (if any) so we have some scout plane coverage when refueling of the first of them occurs.
Finally, battleships have an ability to send repair crews out and get some hit points back, giving them a bit more survivability over the long term. In a heated fight it won't save you, but if you clear a flank (or run away) and start moving towards another fight, while travelling there you might get to repair damage a couple times and get back into decent fighting shape.
Next week we'll take a look at cruisers.