With the influx of higher tier ships available for Coal and Steel as of late, I have seen a lot of chatter about whether Ship A or Ship B are worth sinking that hard-ground Steel/Coal/FXP for. I was in that similar boat (hah) before deciding to take the plunge and pick up the Jean Bart, largely on the grounds of being interested in the ship historically. I threw an essentially-still-new Honore in as the 10 point Captain, and I was off to the races.
Now I should add here that I am an average-to-poor player, with a win-rate that currently hovers in the 52% range. Not exceptional. My win-rate in the Jean Bart, however, sits at 80% currently (after 35 battles). Markedly higher than my average. This ship has seen me set and surpass my personal damage record twice, including hitting 294K today (sooooo close to 300K). I definitely should thank this Sub, as I have learned a ton from y'all over my years reading here!
A Nice JB Replay if anyone is so inclined, it’s the 294k match I mentioned above from this afternoon: https://replayswows.com/replay/45545#stats
Now, for the ship!
(Some of) The Pros:
-The Guns – I have found the pen and accuracy to be quite reliable (honestly the gunnery feels like what I wish Roma brought to the table in terms of pen, shell velocity, and accuracy). It reliably citadels BBs and CA/CLs when you would expect it to, and will often surprise you with the sheer volumes of raw standard penetration damage. The reload, especially if running the upgrade in slot 6, is a nice and speedy 23 seconds. A bad salvo really doesn't feel that punishing when you know you will have another coming up, and once Adrenaline Rush starts kicking in, you can really start sending 15" shells down-range.
-Main Battery Reload Booster – I wasn't quite sure how I would take to this module at first, but let me tell you, it can be brutal (and hilarious). Heading into a brawl with an enemy BB? Tap Y and get easily 3 salvos for his 1. Enemy Cruiser starting to show broadside? Have two cracks at him before he can complete that turn. Enemy DD spotted? Quickly cue up HE for your next salvo and nail him well faster than he expects. The number of times that I have had enemies commit to courses of action because they think they are "safe" only to be met with a salvo unexpectedly a few seconds later are numerous.
Maneuverability/Agility – I have found that between the speed boost and quick traverse of the main turrets, zipping around in the JB is quite easy and enjoyable. It easily changes targets within the scope of its forward mounted battery, and with the speed boost can keep pace with Cruisers and DDs in support of a push. I've also found that, if you find yourself in a brawl, that speed and agility can help avoid a potentially disadvantageous ram.
Honorable mention… the AA. It murders planes, for real. Even without investing a single captain skill towards it
(Some of) The Cons:
-The Armor- IFHE CLs will love you. Seriously, when focus-fired, the JB melts in a real hurry…. and between the speed afforded by that engine boost and the forward layout of the guns, I have too-often found myself further forward than I ought to be, and taking copious amounts of damage from cruisers. It also is no stranger to being citadeled if you give your side away…. which can make disengaging an awkward proposition.
Actually that's really the only bad thing that I can really harp on. The secondaries are a bit seductive I think, given their ROF, but their low caliber makes IFHE a necessity and that seems like quite the investment of skill points.
But yeah, TL:DR – Jean Bart is a whole heck of a lot of fun, brings great gunnery (with a wicked consumable), respectable AA, and that trademark French Speed in a package that suffers from an armor profile that can at times let it down, but which remains fun all the while. If you are on the fence I would definitely advise picking her up!
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