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World of Warships Final Review: Japanese Tier IX Premium Battleship Iwami

8 min read

Ladies and Gentlemen, today we will talk about Iwami, the new tier IX premium Japanese battleship. The ship will become available starting from the 8th for 19 300 doubloons or 228 000 coal in the armory. Alternatively, she will be available in the premium shop with the standard bundle costing 63.49€.

Is she worth it? Are we getting the first Japanese battleship made for brawling? Here is my opinion on the subject.

Historical background

Iwami is based on two of the preliminary A-140 designs that lead to the Yamato-class battleships. She gets the general armament layout and hull design of the A-140-J3 with four main battery turrets in AB-XY configuration for the main battery and then three triple 155 mm secondary turrets around the Y turret. However, she gets the main armament of the B2 variant with four twin turrets.

Now on that table, the main battery caliber is 40 cm (400 mm) but it’s how Japan was calling the 460 mm guns. Iwami on the other end is armed with 410 mm guns. The ship also gets a Kii-like refit with two quadruple torpedo launchers at the rear as well as many twin 100 mm secondaries.

Ship’s preview

Ship’s commemorative flag

The camouflages

The permanent camouflage of the Iwami provides the classic bonuses for tier IX ships:

  • -3% to surface detectability range
  • +4% to maximum dispersion of shells fired by the enemy at your ship
  • -20% to the cost of ship’s post-battle service
  • +100% to experience earned in the battle

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Below average main battery reload time
  • 2.1 sigma
  • Very good firing angles
  • Improved secondary dispersion
  • 100 mm secondaries able to penetrate 30 mm platings
  • One quadruple torpedo launcher on each side
  • torpedoes with 20 km range
  • Good concealment by sea
  • 50 mm deck armor

The Bad

  • Only eight guns
  • Poor vertical dispersion
  • Lack of spotter plane to extend her firing range
  • Fragile secondaries
  • Poor firing angles on some of the secondaries
  • Rather poor firing angles for the torpedoes for close-range engagement
  • High detectability range on the torpedoes
  • Mainly protected with 32 mm armor
  • Below average maximum speed

Modules

Hull
Engine
Gun Fire Control System
Main battery
Torpedoes

icon_module_Hull_installed

Iwami

icon_module_Engine_installed

Propulsion: 145 000 HP

icon_module_Suo_installed

Type9 mod. 1

icon_module_Artillery_installed

410 mm/50 10th Year Type Mod.A in a twin turret

icon_module_Torpedoes_installed

Type93

General Characteristics and Playstyle

Tier X
Health 80 700 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction 37 %
Displacement 58 962 tons
Dimensions
Overall length 255.2 m
Beam 37.4 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship) 35.71 m
Freeboard 6.24 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range 22.300 km
410 mm/50 10th Year Type Mod.A in a twin turret 4 x 2 410 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range 6.950 km
155 mm/60 3rd Year Type in a triple turret
100 mm/65 Type 98 on a Model A mount
3 x 3 155 mm
8 x 2 100 mm
Torpedo Armament
Maximum Firing Range 20.000 km
610 mm Quad
2 x 4 610 mm
Maximum speed 28.2 knots
Turning Circle Radius 880 m
Rudder Shift Time 13.9 s
Surface Detectability 16.38 km
Air Detectability 12.19 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke 15.94 km
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 10 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Repair Party
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 28 s
Cooldown: 80 s
HP regeneration speed: +0.5%/s
Casemate damage regeneration: 50%
Citadel damage regeneration: 10%

The Iwami is suffering from a serious identity crisis. She isn’t a good Japanese battleship and neither is she a good brawling ship, making her sit in a particularly uncomfortable spot.

When it comes to her classic Japanese battleship side, she really doesn’t bring much to the table. Her only two strengths are the great firing angles and the 2.1 sigma. Other than that, she is stuck with only eight guns and a reload that is only a little bit below average. The AP penetration is far worse than what you would find on Izumo and is outclassed by the other 16-inchers at medium range and beyond. She also lacks a spotter plane to bring any sort of real crossfire potential from across the map while Izumo has no issue with that and the same goes for Hizen.

For the brawling part, she lacks many things to make her anywhere near viable in that role. Outside of the high HP pool and 50 mm deck, she is really easy to farm with the 32 mm armor and large superstructure. She is also far from being particularly mobile with a maximum base speed of only 28.2 knots. This means that if things get hot, she can’t disengage fast. Her secondaries are also nothing spectacular. Not enough guns, lack of range, not enough damage output, and also too squishy to provide any meaningful damage source. Obviously, the torpedoes are here to help but you can only use them at the last moment if you don’t want to get punished due to the firing angles.

There is no commented replay this time because I’m too short on time lately.

Main Armament

4 x 2 410 mm/50 10th Year Type Mod.A in a twin turret
 Maximum Firing Range 22.300 km
 Reloading Time 28.0 s
180 Degree Turn Time 35.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front 25°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 28°
Sigma 2.1 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 244 m
Shells
Type of Projectile  HE – 410 mm HE Type 01
Alpha Damage 6 500
Penetration capacity  68 mm
Explosion size 2.34
Fire chance 30 %
Projectile Speed 834 m/s
Air Drag 0.34
Projectile Mass 1 016.0 kg
Type of Projectile AP – 410 mm AP/APC Type 01
Alpha Damage 12 750
Projectile Speed 834 m/s
Air Drag 0.34
Projectile Mass 1 020.0 kg
Projectile Krupp 2 650
Projectile Detonator 0.033 s
Detonator threshold 68 mm
Ricochet Angles 45° – 60°

The main battery of Iwami is quite underwhelming. From the start, she only gets eight guns compared to nine or twelve for the other Japanese battleships at tier IX. On top of that, the AP penetration is one of the weakest at tier IX, quickly falling behind all the other 16-inchers may it be Iowa, Sovetsky Soyuz, or Friedrich der Grosse at medium range.

In return for the limited number of guns, the ship gets a 2.1 sigma but then again, you still suffer from poor vertical dispersion. Get ready to see shells falling too high or too low fairly often.

As a bit of saving grace, she gets great firing angles to limit the amount of broadside needed to bring all guns in action but that’s about it.

Secondary Armament

3 x 3 155 mm/60 3rd Year Type in a triple turret
Maximum Firing Range 6.950 km
Reloading Time 12.0 s
Sigma 1.0 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 155 mm HE Type0
Alpha Damage 2 600
HE penetration 26 mm
Explosion Size 0.55
Chance to Cause Fire 10 %
Projectile Speed 925 m/s
Air Drag 0.335
Projectile Mass 55.87 kg
8 x 2 100 mm/65 Type 98 on a Model A mount
Maximum Firing Range 6.950 km
Reloading Time 3.0 s
Sigma 1.0 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 100 mm HE Type98
Alpha Damage 1 700
HE penetration 30 mm
Explosion Size 0.28
Chance to Cause Fire 6 %
Projectile Speed 1 000 m/s
Air Drag 0.331
Projectile Mass 13.0 kg

The secondaries of Iwami are not nearly as strong as they should be to make her a viable brawler. To begin with, she only gets a base range of 6.95 km which is the lowest you can have on tier IX battleships.  She also has a fairly weak broadside with only two triple 155 mm turrets that suffer from long reload and four twin 100 mm turrets that are fairly fragile. Another thing that further weakens the number of secondaries you can bring on target is the poor firing angles of one of the 155 mm turrets that forces you to give a lot of broadside to use it.

One good thing is that these secondaries get the same dispersion as those of the German battlecruiser line. Still, once again, with the weak broadside and low range, you really won’t achieve much since, with the combined poor range and low speed of the ship as well as her underwhelming armor protection, she will just take a lot of damage while trying to close the distance. Also, if you wanted the secondaries to be effective against battleships, you would need IFHE. The problem is that you don’t really have points to spare for them unless you drop Grease the gears but even then, with the low range and weak broadside, it’s honestly not worth it.

Torpedo Armament

2 x 4 610 mm Quad
Type93
Reloading Time 150 s
Maximum Distance 20.000 km
Firing angles at the Front 46°
Firing angles at the Rear 41°
Damage 20 966
Flooding Chance 406%
Speed 67 knots
Surface Detectability 2.5 km

One of the gimmicks of Iwami is that she gets one quadruple torpedo launcher on each side. Initially, it was 12 km torpedoes which were very useful when kiting as they had fairly good spotting range and were working well in relation to the surface spotting range of the ship.

Now, she gets 20 km torpedoes with lower damage, worse spotting range and as a whole, much less utility except against dumdums not paying attention.

Anti-air Armament

8 x 2 100 mm/65 Type 98 on a Model A mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 5.8 km
Hit chance 75 %
Sector’s damage 58
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 203
Flak clouds number 8
Flak cloud damage 1 470
18 x 1 25 mm/60 Type 96 on a single mount
24 x 2 25 mm/60 Type 96 on a twin mount
12 x 3 25 mm/60 Type 96 on a triple mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 2.5 km
Hit chance 85 %
Sector’s damage 81
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 284

While Iwami gets strong long-range anti-air, she is stuck like most Japanese ships with 25 mm AA guns as the next aura. The weak DPS, as well as low firing range on these, leads to them generating a weak aura, and overall, the anti-air on Iwami turns out to be unimpressive.

The Armor

External armor protection:

Front and rear armor protection of the middle section:

Main armor deck:

Citadel armor protection:

Turrets armor protection:

Hidden armor protection inside the stern:

Final Opinion

Honestly, I just can’t recommend the Iwami, even if you missed Hizen and Musashi. She isn’t absolutely worthless but compared to most tier IX battleships, she just doesn’t stack well. She suffers from a massive identity crisis, failing to be a good standard Japanese battleship because of the lack of punch of her main battery compared to other battleships at medium and long-range. At the same time, she also fails to be a brawling ship because of her lack of survivability, and underwhelming secondary battery. If it wasn’t enough, Japanese battleships actually have the worst dispersion at close range so that doesn’t help either.

If you want a Japanese battleship captain trainer, you have Hyuuga, Ashitaka, or even Kii. If you just want a strong Japanese tier IX battleship and don’t have Musashi, just get Izumo. If you want a brawling ship with strong secondaries, grind the German battlecruiser line. The Iwami… she is nothing more than a coal or doubloons sink. Even in that regard, there is still a long list of ships available for coal that are just better.

Recommended Build

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

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

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