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World of Warships Final Review: British Tier X Battleship St. Vincent

10 min read
For once, it’s not a picture in the nation’s port because, with the upcoming event, the London port turns into a giant opium den with all the smoke that covers the whole place.

Greetings Ladies and Gentlemen. As a Frenchman, it is to my great displeasure that I have to announce to you that the British or should I say the Bwi’ish are coming.

With update 0.11.6, the early access for the British battlecruisers will begin and will work in a similar way to previous events. When it comes to the way the ships will be available in the early access, it will work like this:

  • Indefatigable (Tier III) will be available from small daily random bundles for doubloons. There will be 12 bundles that cost 150 doubloons each.
  • Queen Mary (Tier IV) – Hawke (Tier VIII) will be available from consecutive bundles for tokens. Tier IV – Tier VII may be obtained for free.
  • Duncan (Tier IX) will be available from random bundles for doubloons, as usual. There are 70 bundles that cost 1 000 doubloons each.
  • St. Vincent (Tier X) will be available as the last consecutive bundle for 20 000 doubloons.

As you can see, it’s another event that will be stupidly pricy. For those who absolutely want to get the special skins…. well they will most likely only have their eyes to cry for the high-tier ships. One can only hope that the skins return somewhere down the line

Historical background

St. Vincent is based on the I3 design of battlecruisers. In terms of design studies, I3 preceded G3 and introduced the strange layout of having all turrets located forward of the ship around the superstructure and the engines at the rear. The purpose of this layout was to maximize firepower as well as engine power while still having a reasonably compact hull.

Thanks to this design, the estimated speed would have been 32.5 knots provided by an impressive 180 000 horsepower. The main battery consisted of nine 18-inch guns (457 mm) in three triple turrets, two superfiring at the front and one amidship facing aft.

Even with these innovations, the design was still considered too big which drastically limited the number of available drydocks. As such, it was abandoned in favor of the smaller G3 design.

If you want to learn more about the I3 design as well as the other battlecruisers designs from the Royal Navy, here is a video from Drachinifel covering them:

In World of Warships, we are getting a fairly good representation of the I3 design with some modernization done to the anti-air armament as well as some armor changes from what I see. The ship sits at the end of the battlecruiser line and presents the same underwater torpedo tubes as previous ships.

Ship’s preview

The camouflages

The permanent camouflage of St. Vincent comes with the standard permanent tier X economic bonuses:

  • +50% credits
  • +100% XP
  • +100% Commander XP
  • +100% Free XP

During the upcoming British Battlecruiser event, you will also be able to obtain the “Industrial” permanent camouflage that… almost make Vincent look good.

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Armed with nine 457 mm guns
  • Fast turret traverse
  • Battlecruiser dispersion
  • Good firing angles
  • High AP penetration
  • HE with high fire chances
  • Torpedoes with incredibly high damage
  • Torpedoes with fast reload
  • Great firing angles at the front for the torpedoes
  • Rather heavy secondary battery against destroyers rushing you
  • Good concealment
  • Above-average base speed
  • Improved acceleration
  • Access to an Engine Boost consumable
  • Access to a Specialized Repair Teams consumable

The Bad

  • It’s ABSOLUTELY HORRENDOUS TO LOOK AT
  • Low sigma on the main battery
  • Short firing range for a tier X battleship
  • No main battery turret able to fire directly at the rear
  • Second lowest HP pool at tier X
  • The bow and stern can be overmatched by almost all battleships as well as some cruisers
  • Thin main armor belt
  • Weak torpedo protection
  • Large turning radius, especially when using the Engine Boost

Modules

Hull
Engine
Gun Fire Control System
Main battery
Torpedoes

icon_module_Hull_installed

St. Vincent

icon_module_Engine_installed

Propulsion: 180 000 HP

icon_module_Suo_installed

Mk X mod. 1

icon_module_Artillery_installed

457 mm/45 Mk.II in a turret

icon_module_Torpedoes_installed

‎622 mm Mk I

General Characteristics and Playstyle

Tier X
Health 79 400 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction 23 %
Displacement 57 893 tons
Dimensions
Overall length 280.0 m
Beam 32.25 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship) 38.0 m
Freeboard 5.9 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range 20.500 km
457 mm/45 Mk.II in a turret 3 x 3 457 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range 7.300 km
152 mm/50 BL Mk.XXII on a Mk.XVIII mount
113 mm/45 QF Mk.I/III on an RP10 Mark II BD mount
8 x 2 152 mm
10 x 2 113 mm
Torpedo Armament
Maximum Firing Range 10.000 km
622 mm PR Mk II
2 x 1 622 mm
Maximum speed 32.5 knots
Turning Circle Radius 970 m
Rudder Shift Time 17.0 s
Surface Detectability 15.79 km
Air Detectability 11.08 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke 17.31 km
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Slot 4
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 15 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Specialized Repair Teams
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 20 s
Cooldown: 80 s
HP regeneration speed: +2.0%/s
Casemate damage regeneration: 50%
Citadel damage regeneration: 10%
Engine Boost
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 120 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Speed bonus: +8%
Defensive AA Fire

Number of charges: 3
Work time: 40 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Damage from continuous DPS: +50%
Damage from flak explosions: +300%

I will be honest, I struggled quite a bit to get the proper approach with St. Vincent. While the line is overall designed for close to medium range combat, the ship’s lack of HP and fairly weak armor offer very little positioning or angling mistake. Obviously, there is the Specialized Repair Teams consumable to print back a lot of HP as well as the good concealment but it’s not going to save you from every situation.

Generally speaking, due to the rather messy gun dispersion, you will definitely want to get close, especially since the speed and concealment allow you to close the distance easily. The thing is that, once you are at the desired engagement range, you need to make sure that you will not be the main subject of attention as otherwise, you will quickly go down. Overall, the British battlecruisers actually remind me a bit of the French large cruisers as they follow somewhat similar designs. Ships that rely a lot on mobility and with a derpy main battery that force them to play at medium to close range. At least in the case of the British battlecruisers, the main battery will rarely disappoint you when the dispersion says yes.

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

Main Armament

3 x 3 457 mm/45 Mk.II in a turret
 Maximum Firing Range 20.500 km
 Reloading Time 30.0 s
180 Degree Turn Time 30.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front 30°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 30°
Sigma 1.6 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 220 m
Shells
Type of Projectile  HE – 457 mm HE Mk IIa
Alpha Damage 7 100
Penetration capacity  76 mm
Explosion size 3.25
Fire chance 63 %
Projectile Speed 757 m/s
Air Drag 0.29
Projectile Mass 1 814.0 kg
Type of Projectile AP – 457 mm AP Mk IIa
Alpha Damage 14 900
Projectile Speed 762 m/s
Air Drag 0.29
Projectile Mass 1 506.0 kg
Projectile Krupp 2 485
Projectile Detonator 0.015 s
Detonator threshold 76 mm
Ricochet Angles 45° – 60°

The main battery of St. Vincent is very hit and miss (quite literally). She is armed with nine hard-hitting 457 mm guns with good AP penetration, short fuse time, and for emergency situation strong HE. These are all really nice, especially the AP characteristics to slap cruisers. It actually seems to be the very purpose of the ship when you think about it. Being able to get to medium/close range and disrupt cruisers from farming in peace. The short AP fuse time has one downside though. Against some battleships, the shells will detonate before hitting the citadel. You will definitely get large chunks of damage from penetrations but that will be about it.

The problem is that the low sigma is at times ruining everything because the shells go everywhere except where you need them to. When I say “at times”, it sadly isn’t just one or two salvos here and there. You sometimes have consecutive salvos just deciding that they won’t hit the citadel of that broadside ship in front of you. It is incredibly frustrating as, other than the low sigma that screws you over at times, the ship’s main battery is pretty nice.

Another thing that is to be somewhat considered is that there is a 46° dead angle at the rear of the ship as the third turret is in the middle of the superstructure.

Secondary Armament

8 x 2 152 mm/50 BL Mk.XXII on a Mk.XVIII mount
Maximum Firing Range 7.300 km
Reloading Time 12.0 s
Sigma 1.0 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 152 mm HE Mk V
Alpha Damage 2 150
HE penetration 25 mm
Explosion Size 0.54
Chance to Cause Fire 9 %
Projectile Speed 884 m/s
Air Drag 0.362
Projectile Mass 50.8 kg
10 x 2 113 mm/45 QF Mk.I/III on an RP10 Mark II BD mount
Maximum Firing Range 7.300 km
Reloading Time 5.0 s
Sigma 1.0 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 113 mm HE 5crh
Alpha Damage 1 700
HE penetration 19 mm
Explosion Size 0.38
Chance to Cause Fire 8 %
Projectile Speed 746 m/s
Air Drag 0.329
Projectile Mass 24.95 kg

While St. Vincent doesn’t have any sort of improved secondary dispersion, their sheer number ends up making them an appreciable addition to your firepower when dealing with destroyers showing up too close.

I would be lying if I was saying that they didn’t prove to be particularly useful at times.

Torpedo Armament

2 x 1 622 mm PR Mk II
622 mm Mk I*
Reloading Time 45 s
Maximum Distance 10.000 km
Optimal firing angles 0°-20°
Damage 29 367
Flooding Chance 355%
Speed 69 knots
Surface Detectability 1.7 km

The torpedoes of St. Vincent (and the British battlecruisers as a whole) are an incredibly cheesy armament that can completely flip the table in a brawling situation. For most of them, the launchers are underwater. This means that outside of large caliber HE from battleships or direct hits from torpedoes that can disable them, they will generally remain unharmed and fully functional.

While these launchers are fixed, the torpedoes actually will maneuver once launched to reach the desired trajectory. In the case of St. Vincent, this offers you some relatively generous firing angles at the front. Perfect when pushing towards a ship or to prevent a ram from happening.

Even though St. Vincent only has a single launcher on each side, the torpedoes reload particularly fast and, on top of that, they deal an absurd amount of damage of almost 30 000. These torpedoes are particularly hilarious when there is a DD showing up from behind an island, expecting an easy kill but the guy proceeds to get one-shotted by a torpedo.

There is only one thing to keep in mind with these torpedoes. They have a fairly high arming time so you will still need to mind the range when trying to go for a torpedo run.

Anti-air Armament

10 x 2 113 mm/45 QF Mk.I/III on an RP10 Mark II BD mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 5.8 km
Hit chance 75 %
Sector’s damage 29
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 102
Flak clouds number 5
Flak cloud damage 1 470
4 x 8 40 mm/39 Vickers QF Mk.VIII on a Mk.VI mount
14 x 1 40 mm/56 OQF Mk.III on a Mk.VII mount
10 x 2 40 mm/56 OQF Mk.1/2 on a Mk.IV mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 3.5 km
Hit chance 75 %
Sector’s damage 199
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 697

The anti-air of St. Vincent has fairly similar characteristics to the one of Thunderer. The long-range AA is mediocre with low DPS and weak flaks while the mid-range is reaching above 500 practical DPS. The problem is that since the large majority of the damage comes from the medium-range anti-air, not only is it easy to bring it down with HE spam but it also means that in the end… well you don’t shoot down many planes as they spend only a short time inside the medium-range aura.

Even with the Defensive AA Fire going, don’t expect to have the enemy planes just evaporate in seconds unless they somehow manage to hit multiple flaks. Quite an achievement considering how few she generates.

The Armor

The armor of St. Vincent is relatively decent but presents some serious flaws that end up working against her for her intended combat range. The most obvious issue is that the bow and stern are only protected by 25 mm of armor. This means that almost all battleships and even some cruisers can overmatch these parts of the ship. On top of that, the citadel itself isn’t fully covered so citadels through the bow or stern can happen.

As for the turtleback, while it can be useful at times, it is quite easy to punch through it compared to what you find on German or French battleships.

External armor protection:

Main belt:

Front and rear armor protection of the middle section:

Armored deck under the funnels:

Main armor deck:

Turtleback:

Citadel armor protection:

Turrets armor protection:

Hidden armor protection inside the bow and stern:

Final Opinion

Overall, while the dispersion of the main battery gave me some grey hair, I definitely can’t call the Vincent bad. It is for sure challenging to play as you have to carefully consider when and where you should engage in fights. However, once you have that figured out and you can cope with the dispersion that will be anything between amazing and tragic… well St. Vincent and the other British battlecruisers offer a respectable experience.

It is another line that will not redefine the meta and I don’t quite see Vincent seeing action in competitive but for random battles, they will do just fine. As a side note, for Operations connoisseurs, Rooke is particularly nuts.

Recommended Build

For the St. Vincent, I recommend the following commander build and upgrades:

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

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