- Ships at Nats -
Using data from Nats 2015-2020, I compiled a list of the most popular capital ship classes, Class 4 and higher. They are organized by lead ship of the classification. The source data was filtered to include ships that participated in each fleet battle at Nats as a single data point. Campaign, night battle, one-on-ones, challenge battles, and ships that withdrew from combat were excluded. There were 755 data points. Percentage wise, QE was 14% of all instances of battled ships at Nats, NC was 8.8%, Nagato 7.4%. Seydlitz 6.9%, Kongo 5.7%, VDT 5.6%, Helgoland 5%. There were 37 different ship types in the 6 years included. 16 classes each had 1% or less (this division is between the Revenge and Jean Bart). The most popular 7 classes account for 53.5% of the ships battled.
In my opinion, it looks like the best ships are being built and battled more than less competitive ships. I think the QE (Queen Elizabeth) is the best allied boat and the Nagato is the best axis boat. These are both relatively large powerful ships with a high degree of effective fire power and will turn well. The NC (North Carolina) certainly holds a position of power, as does the Kongo, but for different reasons. The NC is best thought of as a large cruiser that can score devastating triple hits without much return fire and the Kongo has all kids of sidemount firepower but doesn’t turn well. The Seydlitz is the shortest 24 second boat and has minimal free board, it is a sneaky good ship and a handful of people have battled them at Nats consistently over the past few years very effectively. The VDT (Von Der Tann) is the best axis small sized 26 second ship. The ID (Iron Duke) is like a QE with a little bit different gun placement and fewer trigger pulls. The Invincible is the best small sized 26 second allied boat.
The numbers can be a little misleading. Consistency vs trend is difficult to see in the graph alone. For instance, the apparent relative popularity of the Helgoland is due mostly to the same captain battling it at 6 consecutive Nats. It is very common to captain the same ship for multiple years. Conversely, in 2017 there were 5 QEs and 0 Nagatos.
Though the better ships are more popular, people are also not afraid to battle whichever ship they desire.
My opinion of which ships are “better” is debatable but I think my reasoning is overall sound and roughly consensus. I have 13 years of battling experience and have personally built/battled various cruisers, Derfflinger, Invincible, Kongo, Nagato, Queen Elizabeth.