Frequently Asked Questions
-Standards vs. Alaska
-12" Guns vs. 14" Guns
-New Mexico (1930)
-New Mexico (1945)
-South Dakota (1939)
A Note on "Skill"
This guide was created to provide up-to-date information on how to command a USN
battleship. Previous guides have been rendered largely useless due to patch cycles which
have made drastic changes to the ships, and as a result there was little easy-to-find
information regarding current strategies for using USN BBs. To that end, I wrote this
guide to provide such information.
The previous BB guide by ar2d2 can be found in the following link:
The only real relevant information there not covered in my guide is regarding the Iowa and
Montana, and that only because the Iowa was changed very little in the BB4 patch and the
Montana has yet to go through its patch cycle. Otherwise, take the rest with a grain of
salt or two.
So, moving on. Assuming that you've read my other guide for DD to CA (which you should
have if you've managed to get this far), you know how this is going to go.
If you'll remember the good old days, USN BBs used to be at the absolute bottom
tier of all the BBs in the game; they were slow, horribly short-ranged, made of paper,
and only had their high points in a few places (Iowa L's on a NC, anyone?). Nowadays,
it's not much better, but for the most part, they are usable. Above all else, it takes skill
to use your ship properly, and this applies best to USN BBs than anywhere else.
BB driving, unlike DD, CL, or CA driving, actually takes skill to get good at. Unlike your
average Noobskrieg game where players just spray each other with shells and torps
at close range, battleships are literally capable of blasting each other to bits within 4
salvos or less (depending on the tier of the ship and the skill of the driver) from
halfway across the map with next to no warning, so learning how to use your ship has
a rather steep learning curve. This takes time, practice, and a lot of learning; I'm here
to provide a fraction of that last part for you.
Now, at this point, I'm assuming that you're competent in general ship usage. That
means that you're completely familiar with Manual FCS, you don't use torps, you use
scouts properly (or at least do use them at all), and you most certainly do not try to
deck whore your ship. But most of all, I will assume that you have read all of NF-Guides
and know how to look up information on Trainworld; those two are paramount among
all other things. If you don't, then go do that before continuing on. At this stage of the
game, nobody has any excuse not to know the bare minimum about how to play this
Assuming that you've read my DD to CA guide, and done all the required reading
at NF-Guides, what's next? There's still another tier of knowledge that you need
to overcome. The first of these is Adalbert's ability guide:
Not really absolutely required reading for most players, but it is for understanding
the finer points of this guide, since it will increase your understanding of how this
game works immensely. Having those numbers and formulas memorized in your head
isn't strictly necessary, but at the minimum have it bookmarked for future use in case
you need it.
The next step is to read my battleship tactics guide:
Note that the information in that thread is not exactly basic, but should become
second nature once you get more experienced at playing. As I also mention, they
aren't advanced playing tactics either, so that leaves room for you to grow after
reading it. Since I go over most of the bare basic tactics that you will use as a BB in
that sticky, I will assume that you have read it or will read it before I continue on, since
I'm too lazy to write it all over again in this guide.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I thought that I'd put this near the beginning of the guide rather than the end, since
it might cut down on lazy people not finding their answer and making useless posts. I
probably won't update this section a lot, but I'll answer most of the common
Q: What sailors should I raise?
A: The following is absolutely required:
1 Bridge Operator (2 is optional but highly recommended, 3 or more if you want)
2 Accuracy Gunners for main guns (Class Accuracy first, however you want later)
2 Reload Gunners for AA guns (Ditto above, but Reload first)
1 Rookie Pilot (Very important! Do not forget this one!)
3-4 Engineers (These are important! Keep them leveled properly!)
Having more than one BO is recommended if you like to plan ahead (more on this
later). Having at least one scout is required for BB play, so don't forget it. If you want
to try to get a BB6, you'll want 4 each of Repairers and Engineers, but having at least
4 Engineers is highly recommended no matter what (3 is the bare minimum and works for
most of your grind, but you'll have trouble near the end of the road), and whether you
want 3 or 4 Repairers is your choice. The amount of supports you'll use at each tier
varies: 4 for BB1, 5 for BB2-3. 6 for Iowa, 7 for Montana, and 8 for Nebraska. This, of
course, is assuming that one of your support slots is always occupied by a scout. So, at
the very end, you will want a total of 8 support sailors; how you mix that up is entirely
up to you.
Q: Why are Engineers so important?
A: Because this is USN. USN ships depend a lot on speed, and having more speed at
your disposal can work immensely in your favor. Every USN player should have at least
three Engineers on their ship whenever possible (four is recommended), and always at
most five levels below your BO, but not more. At higher levels, not being able to maintain
a high overheat speed is a serious liability, so make sure to keep leveling them. If you're
enterprising, though, you could choose to raise more than four and sell the extras off,
since USN Engys are in very high demand and can sell for a large amount of credits.
Q: How many support sailors should I raise?
A: As I mentioned above, you'll want a grand total of 8 for your Nebraska, and what
combination you use is up to you. Some people raise 3 Repairers and 5 Engineers, while
others raise 4 of both. I'm personally a student of the latter school, since, if you read
my Battleship speed cap guide, you'll learn that there is a diminishing return after three
or more Engineers, and four Engineers is enough to hit the speed cap by that level
(especially since the Nebraska requires all your support sailors to be at least level
115). After a certain point, extra overheat time can only help you so much, and repair
rate becomes more important.
Q: Why Reload gunners instead of AA gunners?
A: For the simple reason that the AA gunner class is unusable due to their lack of Reload
ability and the general uselessness of A var