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World of Warships Final Review: British Tier VIII Premium Cruiser Hampshire

8 min read

Ladies and Gentlemen, a new British premium cruiser is making its way into the game. Sitting at tier VIII, here comes the Hampshire.

The way the ship will be available is rather… awkward. For now, she will only be available in random bundles with a total of 35 bundles costing each 1 000 doubloons. At the same time, she will also be available in the Premium Shop BUT only in the very pricy Admiral bundle. It’s only in early 2023 that the ship alone will become available in the Premium shop.

Is the ship in any way worth gambling on random bundles? Is she able to be relevant in the particularly crowded world of DPS cruisers at tier VIII? Here is my opinion.

Historical background

Hampshire is based on an early design of heavy cruiser from the Royal Navy. This design initially started as a larger York-class with five turrets and two layouts were considered. A first, ABC XY layout similar to what the Japanese Navy went with for the Myoko and Atago-class (the one we got) and another layout with the 5th turret placed in Q position behind the second funnel.

In the end, none of the designs was kept but the experience learned from it would serve to develop the never built Surrey-class.

In World of Warships, Hampshire shares similar features as those of the British light cruisers with improved acceleration and only AP shells for the main battery. However, her AP gets the improved penetration angles, short fuse timer, and reduced arming threshold.

Ship’s preview

Ship’s commemorative flag

The camouflages

The permanent camouflage of Hampshire comes with the standard permanent tier VIII economic bonuses:

  • +5% credits
  • +50% XP
  • +50% Commander XP
  • +50% Free XP

Another camouflage called “Cloud Privateer” will also be available in the random bundles.

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • AP with improved penetration angles
  • AP with low arming threshold and short fuse timer
  • Higher AP penetration than most 203 mm shells at tier VIII
  • Decent ballistics
  • Good firing range and access to Spotting Aircraft
  • Fast turret traverse
  • Second turret able to rotate at 360°
  • 30 mm deck armor
  • Small citadel
  • Good concealment
  • Hydroacoustic Search and Defensive AA Fire in separated slots

The Bad

  • No HE shells
  • Unable to get citadels on spaced armor, turtlebacks, and such
  • Very fragile turrets
  • Terrible anti-air
  • Low maximum speed
  • Loses a lot of speed when turning
  • Squishy ship with small main belt to help bouncing shells
  • ENORMOUS bow that will get overmatched by battleships
  • No Repair Party

Modules

Hull
Engine
Gun Fire Control System
Main battery
Torpedoes

icon_module_Hull_installed

Hampshire

icon_module_Engine_installed

Propulsion: 80 000 HP

icon_module_Suo_installed

‎‎Mk VIII mod. 1

icon_module_Artillery_installed

203 mm/50 Mk VIII on a Mk.I* mount

icon_module_Torpedoes_installed

‎533 mm QR Mk IV

General Characteristics and Playstyle

Tier VIII
Health 37 600 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction 0 %
Displacement 14 420 tons
Dimensions
Overall length 197.5 m
Beam 21.1 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship) 22.4 m
Freeboard 6.1 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range 16.800 km
203 mm/50 Mk VIII on a Mk.I* mount 5 x 2 203 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range 6.600 km
102 mm/45 QF Mk.XVI on a Mk.XIX mount 6 x 2 102 mm
Torpedo Armament
Maximum Firing Range 10.000 km
533 mm QR Mk IV 2 x 4 533 mm
Maximum speed 30.0 knots
Turning Circle Radius 710 m
Rudder Shift Time 9.6 s
Surface Detectability 12.34 km
Air Detectability 7.57 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke 6.99 km
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Slot 4
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 5 s
Cooldown: 60 s
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
Defensive AA Fire

Number of charges: 3
Work time: 40 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Damage from continuous DPS: +50%
Damage from flak explosions: +300%
Spotting Aircraft
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 100 s
Cooldown: 240 s
Maximum firing range: +20%
Fighter
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Number of planes in a squadron: 3
Patrol radius: 3.0 km

Hampshire can best be described as a budget britishized Atago. It is the same kind of damage-focused, kiting playstyle but in a far more limited version. Compared to Atago, Hampshire badly lacks the speed to be an effective flanker. Even with a Sierra Mike flag, she doesn’t even break 32 knots and while she has the British improved acceleration, she bleeds a ton of speed while turning. Apart from that, her playstyle is just down to spamming AP shells at whatever is in range and farming damage. At times, you might come across a cruiser with an exposed citadel that you can hit hard but other than that, it will be pure penetration damage farming. The problem is that, compared to the numerous other tier VIII cruisers, this damage farming is far less efficient as you are less effective against targets angling against you and you also lack the damage from fires.

Another problem of the ship is that, combined with her poor agility, her armor is far from good with a small main belt and for the rest, she isn’t particularly armored except for a small 30 mm deck that will help her against battleship AP to some extent. The citadel is quite small, meaning that you won’t be able to rely on the main belt to bounce shots. If you can, try as much as possible to keep your distance from the enemy or even to find a good island cover to be safe from enemy fire. In that regard, Hampshire is actually quite nice due to her good firing range.

If you want to see the ship in action, here is a commented replay:

Main Armament

5 x 2 203 mm/50 Mk VIII on a Mk.I* mount
The B turret is able to rotate at 360°
 Maximum Firing Range 16.800 km
 Reloading Time 10.5 s
180 Degree Turn Time 22.5 s
Optimal firing angles at the front 34°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 29°
Sigma 2.00 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 149 m
Shells
Type of Projectile AP – 203 mm AP 256 lb
Alpha Damage 4 350
Projectile Speed 884 m/s
Air Drag 0.304
Projectile Mass 116.1 kg
Projectile Krupp 3 000
Projectile Detonator 0.005 s
Detonator threshold 12 mm
Ricochet Angles 60° – 75°

The main battery of Hampshire is very similar to the British light cruiser. Just like them, Hampshire only has AP shells as possible ammunition. However, it’s buffed AP with a reduced arming threshold, heavily reduced arming time, and improved penetration angles. Also, compared to Albemarle, Hampshire’s AP has better penetration and ballistics.

Overall, that sounds nice on paper to have such AP but then, you start thinking about all the shortcomings that come with it. Firstly, having such short fuse shells means that any sort of turtleback or spaced armor will block you from dealing meaningful damage and especially, from getting citadel hits. Except for cruisers with exposed citadel, Hampshire will purely rely on penetration damage which can be compensated fairly easily by angling against her.
Secondly, as I just said, compared to all the other tier VIII cruisers focused on damage dealing, anything staying angled will be a nightmare for this ship. You can’t even say that she would be fine by flanking a target, but the problem is that she can’t properly do that with her low speed.

Other than that, the range on these guns is nice, especially with the available Spotting Aircraft. You also have a fast turret traverse and the second turret being able to rotate at 360° is equally useful when kiting. The thing is that, at the end of the day, the lack of versatility compared to a large percentage of other tier VIII cruisers makes Hampshire’s main battery meh at best. May it be Albemarle, Charles Martel, Atago,  Mainz, Bayard, or even Cheshire with the high HE penetration and fire chances, all of them are just far more reliable at dealing damage.

Secondary Armament

6 x 2 102 mm/45 QF Mk.XVI on a Mk.XIX mount
Maximum Firing Range 6.600 km
Reloading Time 3.0 s
Sigma 1.0 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 102 mm HE 35 lb
Alpha Damage 1 500
HE penetration 17 mm
Explosion Size 0.3
Chance to Cause Fire 6 %
Projectile Speed 811 m/s
Air Drag 0.33
Projectile Mass 15.88 kg

Decoration.

Torpedo Armament

2 x 4 533 mm Quad
533 mm Mk IXM
Reloading Time 96 s
Maximum Distance 10.000 km
Optimal firing angles at the front 37°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 41°
Damage 15 733
Flooding Chance 259%
Speed 62 knots
Surface Detectability 1.3 km

Hampshire’s torpedoes are a nice side weapon. While it is only four per side, they have a decent range and you can single launch them. This is particularly appreciable to dump them on battleships sitting angled against you in a static position. The concealment of the ship (which can go down to 9.7 km) will also help as you can drop the torpedoes at target in range while staying unspotted.

Anti-air Armament

6 x 2 102 mm/45 QF Mk.XVI on a Mk.XIX mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 5.8 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 21
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 74
Flak clouds number 4
Flak cloud damage 1 260
4 x 8 40 mm/39 Vickers QF Mk.VIII on a Mk.VI mount
4 x 4 40 mm/39 Vickers QF Mk.VIII on a Mk.VII mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 2.5 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 71
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 249
18 x 2 20 mm Oerlikon Mk.II on a Mk.V mount
4 x 1 20 mm Oerlikon Mk.I on a Mk.IIA mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 2.0 km
Hit chance 85 %
Sector’s damage 78
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 273

The anti-air of Hampshire is just terrible. The major part of it is focused on both close-range auras which means that, except against dive bombers (kinda), it will do close to nothing.

It’s basically free food for enemy CVs.

The Armor

Hampshire’s armor protection is really nothing great. You have a gigantic bow section that gets demolished by anything. The fact that the citadel is so short is also a downside on its own as it will limit the chances of having it bouncing AP shells or shattering HE.
As for the 30 mm deck, it’s somewhat nice to have but at the end of the day, it’s a rather small surface.

External armor protection:

Front and rear armor protection of the middle section:

Citadel armor protection:

Turrets armor protection:

Final Opinion

Would I ever gamble for this ship? Hell no.

There are just far too many tier VIII cruisers that are just better at damage dealing. The only real advantage that Hampshire has is her capacity to slap destroyers hard with AP but even then, you have Atago or Mogami for example that can do it just as well with HE.
Overall, the ship just lacks too much in terms of versatility and is too fragile compared to the other cruisers to be anything relevant.

Recommended Build

For the Hampshire, I recommend the following commander build and upgrades:

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

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Also if you are new to the game or want to get back to it, feel free to use my Recruiting Station code for free goodies such as Premium ships, premium time, and more: https://warships.net/yuzorah

Have a good one and see you soon!

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