Tier X US BB review: Montana and Vermont

2022.01.19 23:43 FATEdPondera Tier X US BB review: Montana and Vermont

So, a common question I have seen on these boards is which American BB line to pursue? The Montana or the Vermont? With this in mind, I have chosen to review both of them seeing as how Montana was the first tier X I ever grinded out, back in my early days when I was a mere sprite of the sea. I also acquired Vermont when it was released last July, so I do feel somewhat qualified to speak on the topic. That being said, let's get started on your daily whenever I feel like giving it to you dose of history, sardonic wit, and in-depth analysis of incredible violence at sea.
Designation: Montana/Vermont
Built: Both are fanfic ships. Montana was designed in 1939, but cancelled in 1942. Vermont is a hypothetical ship of what America would have built if it hadn't dropped the sun on Japan twice.
Displacement: Monty: 65K T, Vonty: 77.56K T
Affiliation: United States Navy
Overview
I am EXTREMELY fond of these red, white and blue slaughter machines, and to answer the question so many on this board have asked: Both. Both are good.

GET BACK HERE AND READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW, DAMMIT! Seriously, you people are like herding cats. Anyway, Montana is an excellent battleship that does everything you would expect a battleship to be able to do. It's quite speedy for its weight, can take a hit, and dish it right back out again. She is what you would get if you took an Iowa, slapped another 3x gun turret on dat fine ass, and fixed the problems with her armor layout.
Now, Vermont, on the other fin, is a beast of a different nature. She is what you would get if you took a big, fat, armored brick that could float, and covered it with guns, and more armor and more guns and more armor... and then bolted some engines to the back of it as an afterthought when you realize she needed to move around to kill folks. She's a few steps away from being an immobile turret. If you're fine with getting places really...really...slowly... and then violently murdering everyone you see when you get there, Vermont is going to be your steady girl.
History
So to understand how these battleships came about, you need to know your history. Specifically, the Washington Naval Treaty, which is one of the most important pieces of absolute bureaucratic failure in the entirely of the Post WW1 era because everyone on Team Evil simply decided to ignore it in favor of world domination aspirations when the sequel to the war to end all wars rolled around. In theory, it was supposed to bind all the nations who signed it by limiting how many warships a nation could have, and how large they could be and it was different for each signing nation. For instance, the United States and United Kingdom were bound to a limit of 525,000 tons of displacement across all their vessels (but the UK sneaked in a clause saying that its carriers under construction, the HMS Argus, Eagle, Furious, and Hermes were “experimental” and didn't count. LOL noobs). However, in the Second Naval Treaty in 1938, there was an “escalation clause” detailing how one could respond to those who broke the agreement, or didn't feel like signing. Like how the Empire of Japan refused to sign... and then started building the Yamato.
Uh oh.
Make no mistake, when the US found out about the future Space Battleship, despite the IJN's best Shinobi fueled attempts of secrecy, you could hear the sounds of masonry being excreted in Washington from South Carolina. This DEFINIELY qualified as a breech in the treaty since the Yamato was nearly 30,000 tons overweight, and so, work began on the Montana project: a battleship completely unbound by treaty limitations and meant to fight the decisive battle the IJN craved and win...
And then Pearl Harbor happened.
A long story made slightly less long, the United States lost a good chunk of its battleships. Arizona was lost with all hands (though that doesn't stop her from kicking ass in Blitz), as was West Virginia (however, she was too angry to stay dead), and the US decided to shelve its future plans for battleships in favor of stimulating the 60 foot erection topped with a cheese burger it had for aircraft carriers. I jest, but I think they realized that if they fought this war Japan's way, the IJN would win. The Big Sisters of the American Fleet are from a timeline where the United States never came to this realization, and kept right on with their battleship plans. This is what they WOULD have built if Japan hadn't sucker punched them, and then cried uncle when America dropped the Thermonuclear people's elbow on them (twice) to completely erase nearly 200,000 people from existence in what is definitely NOT a war crime. DON'T ASK QUESTIONS.
Survivability: A for both.
Honestly, both of these girls are sturdy bitches. At 62k HP, Monty can take nearly as much punishment as her sister, who sports 65k, but with the proper build, Monty's F&F protection lops nearly a 3rd off fires and floods, while also making her REALLY damn hard to ignite and moisten. Both girls have similar levels of damage and citadel protection, but where Vermont really shines is her TPD, which can be increased over 30%. Vermont can tank the best any nation's destroyer can throw at her, and even stomach the insane void-collapsing death torpedoes of the Shimakaze, and still have a pulse.
Maneuverability: B for Montana, F for Vermont.
With a top speed of nearly 30 knots, Montana scoots about WAY faster than you'd think a girl of her size could, and is fairly agile to boot. This dodging and juking can make her a very difficult target to take down when combined with her survivability advantages. Vermont on the other hand... No. Just... no. She tops out at 23 knots with a wind at a her back, and trying to change her course is like trying to steer a whale's butt through a sea of pudding. Even with acceleration equipment, you could knit a sweater in the time it takes her to come to a complete stop. Her power comes with a cost, so you have to plan your movements CAREFULLY in Vermont. Because once you're in trouble, you're not getting back out of it.
Guns: A for Montana, JESUS CHRIST for Vermont.
Remember Yamato's 9 460mm guns? Yeah, Vermont has TWELVE of those. No other battleship can come close to Vermont's alpha strike damage output until they release the Italian BB's next spring-ish. I've had matches where I could decide who I wish to delete and then make them vanish like Heath Ledger's magic pencil trick at my leisure. The downside is that she takes 30 seconds to reload, but I like to think this gives your foes time to say their prayers before you send them to the crushing, black oblivion of Davy Jones' Locker. Comparatively, Montana has 12 406mm guns, and while they are nice, they just don't compare to the ability to drop the state of Texas and all its gun owners onto the target of your choosing with Vermont. Since this is America we're talking about here, both girls have excellent shell ballistics and range, being able to ring someone's bell from 16km away (that's just under 10 miles in Moon Landing units). They can strike foes from such a long range that Blitz' engine can't really render them properly, and let's be honest here. Without a carrier spotter plane revealing those targets to you, you're unlikely to ever use that much range consistently... but it is still nice to have :) Just remember, if a Monty or Vonty can see you, it can probably shoot you.
AA: A+
Again, these boats are American, and they suffer from PTSD (Pissed off Torpedo Slaughter Death) from Pearl Harbor. They are COVERED with AA guns, and while they are big, far targets, their gunners will eagerly zap IJN aircraft out of the sky. They might have a little trouble with Midway's nuke bombers and Malta's unsettling obsession with naval arson though.
Concealment: B
Now, hear me out here a moment. Given the outrageously long ranges both ships possess, they can sit outside the range of detection until an unaware foe has presented themselves in a vulnerable position. Then, said target can experience the bliss that is the white hot finger of death from out of the blue when they didn't realize anyone was there. Should they return fire, the US divas can simply sink back into the mists for their target to get nice and distracted again... but that is merely one strategy. Outside of that usage, you're not really hiding from anyone, and you'd need a rather large island to conceal yourself.
Skills: B for Montana, A for Vermont
Monty falls squarely in the realms of OK when it comes to skills with 3 uses of Rapid Reload I (+15% reload speed) and you can further enhance it with certain commander skills, but I'd save on postage and not write home. Vermont, however, has Precise Aim I (+25% accuracy) that turns her 12 460mm guns into long range DOOM LASERS rewarding those who can aim well with the immediate termination of your foe. This couples insanely well with George Dewey as a commander, and gives you a use of Precise Aim almost every other salvo. Vermont also has 3 uses of air defense alert (+100% AA damage) for those times where a carrier opts to make you his target, and you'd rather he go cry on the forums about how unfair your boat is.
Legendary Equipment: A. (Montana Only)
Montana was already impressively hard to ignite and burn to death, or to torpedo down. Her legendary, Damage Control Center, only makes that more true. With +8% to TPD and F&F protection, and -15% chance to fires on deck and superstructure, she can tank even that deranged pyromaniac, Worcester, and still be mostly okay. I run this equipment in my current build myself, and highly recommend it, especially since Monty can only juke and dodge for so long. Eventually, someone WILL connect given how long she is, and you'll be glad you could take an extra hit or two without something breaking below the waterline.
Summary
So, in closing, Montana is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys playing battleships, and is capable in a wide variety of roles. She can move, shoot, tank, and destroy with equal aptitude. Vermont is the One Punch Man of Blitz and can eliminate a good many opponents in but a single salvo, but moves slow, reloads slow, turns slow, and dies slow. NOW, you can make an informed decision about where to invest your time. Happy hunting!
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