|Tier VII KM BB|
|Armament|| 13.8"/45 SK L/45 2 x4 (HE: 3,744)
|Upgradeable Stats|| Main guns, to 4,064 HE damage and 12.71s reload.
|Landing Force Power||928|
The Mackensen is another WWI-era BB. Though 7 were planned, none were ultimately constructed.
Suggested Strategy Edit
If you haven't grown accustomed to proper BB gameplay by this point, the Mackensen is going to come as a severe wake-up call. It's much larger and clumsier-feeling than any of the previous BBs in the KM line. You're much easier to hit, and it's much harder for you to get away when you get into trouble, so if you haven't mastered the art of playing to stay alive, you'll more than likely experience some difficulty when first playing this ship. You can upgrade your speed to a respectable level, but you'll likely want to bypass those in favor of getting to the next ship as soon as you can.
Your turning force is poor, so you absolutely must plan every move far in advance -- if you see even the slightest potential for the momentum of battle to shift against you, you'd better not be advancing toward the enemy, or you'll wind up dead. As such, situational awareness is extremely crucial, and you have to learn to see things coming from miles away, be they enemy surface ships, subs, or even aircraft.
Although the Mack certainly hits a lot harder than the previous ships in the line, this damage comes at the cost of some brutally inaccurate shell spread, for which most of the T7 BBs in the game are (in)famous. Further worsening your accuracy is the fact that your turrets are spread quite far apart, due partially to the sheer size of the ship, and partially to the fact that turret #4 is a non-conformist who plays by his own rules and likes to chill farther toward the aft than one would normally expect. If you're using auto FCS, combat this by making liberal use of the E key to converge your guns.
Other factors which might hinder your ability to hit targets at range are the Mack's abysmally poor muzzle velocity. Especially when engaging at max range, you have to provide more lead than you think necessary simply because it takes so long for your shells to reach the destination.
Accuracy issues in the Mack are also made more stressful by its unimpressive ammo loadout. You've got to make every shot count, and even then you may often find yourself in a position where you have to carry a game, but don't have enough ammo left for your main battery to get the job done.
The Mackensen is also somewhat unusual in that its AA guns are on a dedicated tertiary battery, rather than simply being a secondary ammunition choice for your secondary battery. This offers both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, it's yet another thing to micromanage. On the other, though, it means you never have to choose between defending yourself from air attack, or defending yourself from rushing DDs. Given the extremely healthy damage output of the Mack's secondary guns, you definitely wouldn't want to give up their HE-firing ability for the slightest bit of time, even if you had the option. When the occasion calls, keep those secondary guns singing! Their alpha damage and DPM is incredibly potent , and comparable to the main batteries of most similarly-tiered cruisers. Plus, our main guns have quite a hefty reload time of ~13 seconds, so you'll have time to kill in between salvos. Just make sure you keep aiming your main guns while you wait for them to reload, especially since they turn rather slowly.
Your AA battery is less-than impressive both in numbers (a mere 4 guns for each side of your ship) and in alpha damage, but any amount of AA is far better than no AA. If you're having trouble making effective use of the Mack's AA, try switching them to gradual fire by pressing X.
One last thing to keep in mind about your secondary and AA batteries is their poor firing arcs. These batteries have firing arcs of 180* at the most. Some of the mounts have even less freedom of movement than that, as these screenshots illustrate:
As a result, the Mackensen is extremely weak when advancing directly forward or retreating directly backward, as its secondary and AA batteries cannot assist it at these angles. Keep this in mind, both when driving the Mackensen, and when fighting them.
In short, the Mackensen can be quite challenging to drive, and will undoubtedly disappoint a lot of people. However, it can be a powerful teacher. It serves, essentially, as an introduction to high-tier BB play -- many of the factors which make it frustrating are things which persist throughout the rest of the BB line, across all nations. So, when you get to the Mackensen, bear with it for a while and try to get used to the challenges demanded by high-tier BB gameplay. If, after a while, you find that you're really not enjoying BB gameplay, now is the time to get out and start leveling a different line. Conveniently, the Mackensen links to the T7 Konigsberg CL, so if you decide to give up on BBs halfway through your grind to the Bayern, you ca at least avoid wasting your hard-earned exp.
- Repair crew and/or Enhanced FCS
- 1 stack each of deck, belt, and bulge armor. Play around with your armor setup to match your personal tastes and needs. You may find that you prefer to mount less armor and maximize your speed, in which case a Boiler would also be quite helpful. Or, you may find that you don't take many hits to your belt, but often get jumped by subs, in which case it would make sense to double- or even triple-up on bulge. It all comes down to personal experience and planning ahead for the types of situations in which you most often find yourself.