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Final Review: U.S Tier VIII Premium Cruiser Congress

6 min read

Alright, Ladies and Gentlemen, we are getting the first Large Cruiser of tier VIII today. The Congress, fairly similar to Alaska a tier above, is now available in the Armory with the cheapest bundle being sold for 11 300 doubloons or alternatively, you will find it in the Premium Shop.

Is it worth it? Is it to Alaska what Musashi is to Yamato? Here is my opinion about it.

Historical background

So… Congress… well let’s make something clear with that thing, it is NOT based on the CA2-F (preliminary to the Alaska-class Large Cruisers). It is literally a copy-pasted Alaska hull (there is even the pennant number left on each side of the bow) on which they slapped two twin 305 mm gun turrets.

This here is the CA2-F:

It was much smaller, with two funnels; catapults on the stern and the turret layout was different with the triple turret being at the rear. When it comes to Congress, as I said, it’s literally the Alaska with a better-looking superstructure and the X and A turrets being twin instead of triple.
Somehow the displacement remains the same even though she has a reduced main battery and AA armament but at this point, whatever.

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Unparalleled armor protection among tier VIII cruisers
  • Highest HP pool of all tier VIII cruiser
  • Same guns as Alaska
  • Improved AP ricochet angles
  • Good main battery firing range
  • Good anti-air
  • Access to the Repair Party consumable
  • 10 km Surveillance Radar

The Bad

  • Only 7 guns
  • Poor main battery dispersion
  • Very long reload time
  • Poor firing angles at the rear
  • Only 3 charges of Repair Party
  • Repair Party that only heals 10% of citadel damage
  • Large target

The camouflage

The permanent camouflage of the Congress 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

Congress

icon_module_Engine_installed

Propulsion: 180 000 hp

icon_module_Suo_installed

‎Mk8 mod. 1

icon_module_Artillery_installed

305 mm/50 Mk.8 in a turret

General Characteristics and playstyle

Tier VIII
Health 51 150 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction 13 %
Displacement 34 250 tons
Dimensions
Overall length 274 m
Beam 33.07 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship) 38.18 m
Freeboard 4.46 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range 17.500 km
305 mm/50 Mk.8 in a turret 1 x 3 305 mm
2 x 2 305 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range 6.600 km
127 mm/38 Mk.12 on a Mk.32 mount
6 x 2 127 mm
Maximum speed 33.0 knots
Turning Circle Radius 850 m
Rudder Shift Time 13.0 s
Surface Detectability 15.50 km
Air Detectability 9.72 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke 12.09 km
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Slot 4
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 5 s
Cooldown: 60 s
Defensive AA Fire
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 40 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Continuous Damage: +50%
Damage from shell explosions: +300%
Surveillance Radar
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 35 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Ship spotting range: 10.0 km
Repair Party
Number of charges: 2
Work time: 28 s
Cooldown: 80 s
HP regeneration: 0.5%/s
Casemate damage regeneration: 50%
Citadel damage regeneration: 10%
Hydroacoustic Search
consumable_PCY016_SonarSearchPremiumNumber of charges: 3
Work time: 100 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Torpedo spotting range: 3.5 km
Ship spotting range: 5.0 km
Fighter
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Number of planes in a squadron: 3
Spotting Aircraft
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 100 s
Cooldown: 240 s
Maximum firing range: +20%

Well, it won’t come as a surprise to you but Congress isn’t trying to re-invent the wheel. It literally is a tier VIII Alaska in terms of playstyle buuuuuut… well at the same time, it loses a lot by being thrown at tier VIII.

Of course, one would say that it’s required considering how strong Alaska is at tier IX but there was a point where Wargaming should have stopped and… well, in my opinion, they crossed it.

When comparing to the Alaska, you lose a grand total of 30% of her firepower (without counting the fact that Congress also doesn’t get access to the 6th slot upgrades), almost 10k of the raw HP pool as well as a charge of Repair Party. In action, while the ship still tanks well thanks to her armor protection that remained untouched, dealing damage isn’t her strong point.

Honestly, except for her tanking capacity, most of the time, a Baltimore (closest cruiser to Congress that I can think of at tier VIII) would just be more effective. Hell, if you want a big ship to tank and with radar at tier VIII, might as well take a Borodino or… or even a freaking Constellation at this point.

There is no gameplay footage this time, sorry. Currently in the middle of nowhere (also called Gers, a lovely department in the South-West of France), just being able to get a bit of 4G so uploading a vid would potentially take… a long time.

Main Battery

1 x 3 305 mm/50 Mk.8 in a turret
2 x 2 305 mm/50 Mk.8 in a turret
 Maximum Firing Range 17.500 km
 Reloading Time 22.0 s
180 Degree Turn Time 30.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front 30°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 37°
Sigma 2.05 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 195 m
Shells
Type of Projectile  HE – 305 mm HE Mk17 mod. 1
Alpha Damage 4 300 HP
Damage 2 810 HP
Penetration capacity  51 mm
Explosion size 1.62
Fire chance 27 %
Projectile Speed 808 m/s
Air Drag 0.343
Projectile Mass 462.3 kg
Type of Projectile AP – 305 mm AP Mk18 mod. 1
Alpha Damage 8 900 HP
Projectile Speed 762 m/s
Air Drag 0.334
Projectile Mass 517 kg
Projectile Krupp 2 470
Projectile Detonator 0.033 s
Detonator threshold 51 mm
Ricochet Angles 60° – 67.5°

As I said previously, when it comes to her firepower, the Congress is badly crippled compared to her big sister Alaska. She loses firing range, reload speed and 2 guns of her main battery with her DPM being 70% of what Alaska is able to deliver without the upgrade. With Main Battery Modification 3 taken into account, it drops to 62%.

The problem is that those 62% are… pretty disappointing at tier VIII. If you get to fire some AP salvos at broadside cruisers or battleships and that the dispersion on your 7 shells doesn’t screw you up, you will get some good damage numbers. For everything else… Well, the trade will basically never go in your favor and you will be more of a punching bag than anything else.

The other problem is when you get a destroyer on your radar and you try to damage it. Here, you will honestly feel a bit miserable with the reload time and shell volume combined with the fairly poor dispersion.

Secondary Armament

6 x 2 127 mm/38 Mk.12 on a Mk.32 mount
Maximum Firing Range 6.600 km
Reloading Time 6 s
Sigma 1.00 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 127 mm HE Mk32
Alpha Damage 1 800 HP
Damage 380 HP
HE penetration 21 mm
Explosion Size 0.38
Chance to Cause Fire 5 %
Projectile Speed 792 m/s
Air Drag 0.347
Projectile Mass 24.5 kg

Mostly for decoration and AA.

Anti-air Armament

6 x 2 127 mm/38 Mk.12 on a Mk.32 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 5.8 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 31
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 109
Flak clouds number 5
Flak cloud damage 1 540
14 x 2 40 mm Bofors on a Mk.1 mount
Sector range 0.1 km -3.5 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 78
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 273
20 x 1 20 mm Oerlikon on a Mk.4 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 2.0 km
Hit chance 85 %
Sector’s damage 43
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 151

The anti-air on Congress is pretty nice but somehow, with such a big cruiser, you still end up with slightly worse anti-air than Baltimore.

The Armor

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Congress has the exact same armor protection as Alaska but a tier lower. This allows her to tank a whole lot of incoming fire, even against higher-tier battleships.

General External Armor Protection:

Front and Read Internal Protection of the Middle Section:

Hidden Armored Deck:

Citadel Protection:

Turrets Armor Protection:

Final Opinion

Honestly, I can’t recommend the Congress for random battles.

As I said earlier, it’s not like on Musashi where, except for the loss of sigma, the firepower remains the same. Here, you get crippled hard to the point where, unless you get paid actors, you will generally trade poorly against most cruisers of the same tier.

The only real strength of Congress is her armor/hull that is a full 1:1 to Alaska. This at least gives her the capacity to tank a lot of incoming fire and it miiiight have some use in competitive I suppose.

Other than that, fun, 0/10, historical value, 0/10.

Recommended Build

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

  • Expert Loader
  • Priority Target
  • Superintendent
  • Concealment Expert
  • Top Grade Gunner
  • Adrenaline Rush
  • Grease the Gears
  • Heavy AP Shells

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

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Have a good one and see you soon!

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