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Final Review: Soviet Tier VIII Premium Battleship Borodino

7 min read

On the 20th October 2019, Borodino, the Soviet tier VIII Premium battleship was revealed during the 9th King of the Sea tournament. After all this time, the ship is finally getting released as a Soviet “battlecruiser-like” battleship with Surveillance Radar. She is now available for 12 800 doubloons in the Armory or for cash in the premium shop.

Is she worth it? Is her firepower sufficient to stay relevant? Is she able to use her radar effectively? Here is my opinion about it.

Historical background

The Borodino is based on a project of “Small battleships” from the early 1950s.

Unlike the classic projects from the Soviet navy, these small battleships weren’t named “Project X” like Project 23 or Project 24 due to the fact that they were internal proposals from a private bureau.

The designs found support among the USSR Ministry of Shipbuilding but the Ministry of the Navy strongly criticized them. Multiple variants were proposed with a main battery composed of 406 mm guns in various configurations but the general idea was with one or two twin or triple turrets, all forward. The secondary armament would be triple or quadruple turrets with 180 mm or 220 mm guns.

The displacement was ranging from 29 000 tons to 49 100 tons.

The Borodino itself is based on a design with 2 triple 406 mm gun turrets and a secondary battery composed of a quadruple turret with 180 mm guns. However, we are sadly getting a modified design with two twin turrets instead.

She follows the same game design as Champagne, Slava, Florida, etc. with accurate guns but thin armor protection. She is also equipped with a Surveillance Radar.

Also, here is a size comparison made by good ol’ Ch0m1n between Borodino and her colleagues at tier VIII as well as with Iowa

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Same guns as Sovetsky Soyuz
  • Battlecruiser dispersion
  • Both main battery turrets at the front
  • Good firing angles at the rear
  • Fast turret traverse
  • Good overall armor protection
  • Compact superstructure
  • 12 km Surveillance Radar

The Bad

  • Slightly longer main battery reload time than average
  • Only 6 guns
  • Big vertical dispersion
  • Both main battery turrets at the front
  • 25 mm bow and stern
  • Exposed citadel with 220 mm main belt
  • Largest turning radius of all tier VIII battleships
  • Only 3 charges of Repair Party

The camouflage

The permanent camouflage of the Borodino provides the classic bonuses for tier VIII ships:

  • -3% to surface detectability range
  • +4% to maximum dispersion of shells fired by the enemy at your ship
  • -10% to the cost of the ship’s post-battle service
  • +50% to experience earned in the battle

 

Modules

Hull
Engine
Gun Fire Control System
Main battery

icon_module_Hull_installed

Borodino

icon_module_Engine_installed

Propulsion: 210 000 hp

icon_module_Suo_installed

GFCS VIII mod. 1

icon_module_Artillery_installed

406 mm/50 B-37 on an MK-1 mount

General Characteristics and playstyle

Tier VIII
Health 64 200 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction 24%
Displacement 45 206 tons
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range 19.570 km
406 mm/50 B-37 on an MK-1 mount 2 x 3 406 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range 6.600 km
180 mm/65 SM-45 on an SM-48 mount
2 x 2 180 mm
Maximum speed 31.6 knots
Turning Circle Radius 1 060 m
Rudder Shift Time 15.3 s
Surface Detectability 17.46 km
Air Detectability 11.79 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke 16.97 km
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 15 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Repair Party
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 28 s
Cooldown: 80 s
HP regeneration speed: +0.5%/s
Casemate damage regeneration: 50%
Citadel damage regeneration: 10%
Surveillance Radar
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 25 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Ship spotting range: 12.0 km

The Borodino, when it comes to her playstyle, is closer to a Stalingrad than your classic battleship. Generally, working close to islands to not expose your side and being close enough to capture points to put your radar to good use.
Her tanking capacity, while still respectable, is still behind her colleagues Vladivostok and Lenin. The 25 mm bow and stern are already a big downside but her citadel protection just doesn’t allow for any mistake as you will get heavily punished if you show broadside. Also, she is a fairly big ship.
The main battery being entirely at the front allows you to limit the risk of exposing your citadel. One thing for sure though, you really don’t want to meet a Manfred von Richthofen because with her rockets (and AP bombs), she will make short work of you.

The radar, while it’s somewhat situational, remains a really valuable tool, especially to catch cruisers pants down in smoke. Against destroyers, you are also very effective thanks to the great ballistics and good dispersion.
If we compare it to the radar of the Stalingrad, in action, it’s easier to use because the buffer zone between your spotting range and the radar is smaller and as such, you will have an easier time getting something in range. You can only get at best 2 salvos out of a radar so better make it count.

If you want to see the ship in action, here is a replay of one of my games in the current patch:

(You can’t imagine the struggle I had to get a watchable game in the middle of all the 7 minutes stomps and such.)

Main Battery

2 x 3 406 mm/50 B-37 on an MK-1 mount
 Maximum Firing Range 19.570 km
 Reloading Time 31.0 s
180 Degree Turn Time 30.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front
Optimal firing angles at the rear 30°
Sigma 2.00 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 213 m
Shells
Type of Projectile  HE – 406 mm HE Model 1937
Alpha Damage 5 800 HP
Damage 5 020 HP
Penetration capacity  68 mm
Explosion size 2.53
Fire chance 40 %
Projectile Speed 830 m/s
Air Drag 0.304
Projectile Mass 1 108 kg
Type of Projectile AP – 406 mm AP Model 1937
Alpha Damage 13 250 HP
Projectile Speed 830 m/s
Air Drag 0.247
Projectile Mass 1 108 kg
Projectile Krupp 2 300
Projectile Detonator 0.033 s
Detonator threshold 68 mm
Ricochet Angles 45° – 60°

The main battery of the Borodino is overall below average. On one hand, the combination of battlecruiser dispersion and Sovetsky Soyuz guns gives her a really nice punch.
On the other hand, being stuck with 6 guns and a slightly longer reload than average drags her down. You also have the poor vertical dispersion but it’s honestly not the end of the world.

For the shells themselves, the AP is really good with the penetration being, above 4.5 km, the second-best at tier VIII by a pretty good margin but still not reaching the railguns of Champagne.
The ballistics is a bit of a double-edged sword because, due to the high muzzle velocity, you tend to overpenetrate tier VI/VII cruisers quite a lot. Against battleships though, she slaps them hard.
For when it will be needed, the HE will also work decently but it’s definitely not the HE of a British battleship.

Secondary Armament

2 x 2 180 mm/65 SM-45 on an SM-48 mount
Maximum Firing Range 6.600 km
Reloading Time 6.0 s
Sigma 1.00 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – HE-32
Alpha Damage 2 500 HP
Damage 1 010 HP
HE penetration 30 mm
Explosion Size 0.73
Chance to Cause Fire 13 %
Projectile Speed 1 000 m/s
Air Drag 0.243
Projectile Mass 97.5 kg

Sad.

It is really sad because there was some serious meme potential with those 2 Nevsky turrets at the back. It would have been really fun to give them an improved dispersion to compensate for having only 4 guns and giving you the opportunity to bamboozle a destroyer or cruiser approaching you from the rear but instead, we just get the usual decorative shotgun.

Anti-air Armament

2 x 2 180 mm/65 SM-45 on an SM-48 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 5.8 km
Hit chance 75 %
Sector’s damage 12
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 42
Flak clouds number 2
Flak cloud damage 1 820
12 x 2 57 mm ZIF-31B mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 4.0 km
Hit chance 75 %
Sector’s damage 102
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 357
12 x 4 25 mm 110-PM on a 4М-120 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 3.1 km
Hit chance 70 %
Sector’s damage 58
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 203

Her anti-air is relatively decent but has some notable issues.

First and foremost, the long-range AA is terrible. Very low DPS, only 5.8 km range even though they are the same turrets as on Alexander Nevsky and only 2 flaks per salvo.
The mid and close range aren’t anything brilliant either but it’s for a more specific reason. As you can see on the picture above, the different AA mounts are very close to each other. This means that any sort of HE spam will make quick work of her anti-air, especially if it’s with large caliber rounds.

The Armor

In action, Borodino pretty much has the same armor as Stalingrad with one of two differences. While angled, the ship can tank for an extended period of time but you REALLY don’t want to get caught broadside.

Also, pray for any existing God to never met a Manfred von Richthofen that focuses you because the AP rockets can actually penetrate your citadel.

External armor protection:

Front and rear armor protection of the middle section:

Internal belt behind the torpedo bulge:

Citadel armor protection:

Turrets armor protection:

Hidden armor protection inside the bow and stern:

Final Opinion

Overall, the Borodino is a fine premium. Would go as far as saying a balanced one (unless you play on the ASIA server where any BB with less than 22 km range is dead with how passive the meta is there, sucks to be you).
The firepower and tanking capabilities are still respectable and you are bringing the God blessed radar to the table. I would say that nerfing the main battery reload time that much really wasn’t needed but I really can’t call her underpowered as she currently stands.

If you are able to play it carefully and play around her radar and tanking capacity, I think that you will appreciate this ship.

Recommended Build

During the testing of the Borodino, I was running the following build:

 

  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Grease the Gears
  • Adrenaline Rush
  • Concealment Expert
  • Fire Prevention
  • Emergency Repair Expert
  • Priority Target
  • Expert Loader

 

This concludes my review of the Borodino. Thank you for reading this article!

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