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Balao

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Balao
Balao_wows_main.jpg
Submarine | U.S.A. | Tier X
Tech Tree Position
Salmon
Arrow_down.png
Balao_icon_small.png
stock
 top
General
Research price355000 exp
Purchase price28,000,000 Credits
Hit Points20,200 
Torpedo Tubes
533 mm10 х 1 pcs.
Rate of Fire1.3 shots/min.
Reload Time46 sec.
Rotation Speed12 deg./sec.
180 Degree Turn Time15 sec.
TorpedoMk29 mod. 0 
Maximum Damage7,833 
Torpedo Speed86 knot
Torpedo Range12 km.
Maneuverability
Maximum Speed30 knot
Turning Circle Radius590 m.
Rudder Shift Time7.2 sec.
Concealment
Surface Detectability Range5.86 km.
Air Detectability Range2.17 km.
Battle Levels
12345678910
Wows_anno_flag_usa.png
X
Ship_PASS210_Balao.png
28,000,000

Balao — American Tier X submarine.

The submarines developed during the interwar period were designed to work together with battleships, provide reconnaissance, and finish off damaged enemy ships. They were supposed to have high speed and bear heavy armament. After the events in the Pacific Theater, these tactical concepts became obsolete, and the new Balao-class was intended for long-distance raids: The submarines were designed to be comfortable for the crew and capable of carrying a large supply of fuel and torpedoes. USS Balao carried out ten combat missions and sank ten enemy ships.

Modules

Hull Hit Points
(HP)
Armor
(mm)
Armor
(mm)
Main Turrets
(pcs.)
Secondary Gun Turrets
(pcs.)
AA Mounts
(pcs.)
Torpedo Tubes
(pcs.)
Hangar Capacity
(pcs.)
Research price
(exp)
Purchase price
(Credits)
Balao20,20062510 03,000,000
Torpedoes Rate of Fire
(shots/min)
Torpedo Tubes Reload Time
(sec)
180° Turn Time
(sec)
Maximum Damage
(HP)
Torpedo Speed
(knot)
Torpedo Range
(km)
Research price
(exp)
Purchase price
(Credits)
Mk29 mod. 0 and Mk28 MIE1.346157,8338612 02,000,000
Mk29 and Mk29 MIE1.540157,8338912 38,0002,500,000
Sonar Rate of Fire
(m/s)
Torpedo Range
(km)
Research price
(exp)
Purchase price
(Credits)
Engine Maximum Speed
(knot)
Research price
(exp)
Purchase price
(Credits)
Propulsion: 5,480 hp30 02,000,000

Compatible Upgrades

 Slot 1 
Main Armaments Modification 1
Damage Control Party Modification 1
Sonar Modification 1
 Slot 2 
Damage Control System Modification 1
Engine Room Protection
 Slot 3 
Torpedo Tubes Modification 1
Dive Capacity Modification 1
Sonar Modification 2
 Slot 4 
Damage Control System Modification 2
Propulsion Modification 1
Submarine Steering Gears Modification 2
 Slot 5 
Torpedo Lookout System
Ship Consumables Modification 1
Submarine Steering Gears Modification 3
 Slot 6 
Torpedo Tubes Modification 2
Dive Capacity Modification 2

Player Opinion

Performance

Performance:

Balao is the tech tree Tier X submarine for the American submarine branch. She is well equipped in terms of offense, having numerous homing and conventional torpedoes, and also has access to Enhanced Rudder GearsIncreases dive and ascent speed and reduces diving plane shift time.

Hull:

Balao’s survivability is mediocre, with an HP pool of 20,200. Her armor is nonexistent, with her entire exterior hull covered in 19mm. Players should be careful not to be spotted on the surface for extended periods of time, as she will suffer heavy damage.

Balao’s maneuverability is good at helping her survive the battle. Her turning circle and ruddershift are decent, at 510 and 4.30 seconds respectively, which aids in dodging depth charges. Her concealment, at 5.9km, is good but can still be outspotted by some destroyers in her matchmaking spread.

She has a high top speed of 30 knots on the surface. Her underwater speed is good at 26 knots. However, careful positioning is vital in order to not be stuck in bad situations where her speed will not be enough to survive. Her speed is not fast enough to outrun destroyers and her hull can be vulnerable to depth charges if the player is overextended.

Balao’s Dive Capacity depletion is standard at 1 unit/sec and the Dive Capacity recharge rate is high, at 1.3 unit/sec. However, her Dive Capacity reserve is average, at 276 units, allowing her to stay underwater for around 4 and a half minutes. Balao has no other ways of increasing her time underwater besides surfacing, which is not always possible to do safely. Thus, upgrades towards Dive Capacity are a viable choice.


Armament:

Balao’s sonar is a helpful tool for dealing effective damage. The velocity is good at 600 m/s, however it has a short range of 12 km and a 7s reload time. Double pings last for 65s which allows ample time for homing torpedoes to arrive.

Homing Torpedoes Balao’s homing torpedoes allow for long range torpedo attacks. The homing torpedoes have a range of 12km. They deal 7,833 damage, travel very fast at 89 knots, and have a 31.5% chance of flooding. While her homing torpedoes are good at long range, their fast speed and short arming distance allow them to be used at close ranges against small and agile targets, especially when shotgunning. Shotgunning is the act of closing distance to a target (around 2-3km) and launching torpedoes at it, often heavily damaging or destroying low-health ships. Due to having 6 bow torpedo tubes, shotgun attacks with homing torpedoes can deal respectable damage and can kill low health cruisers/destroyers with a maximum alpha strike of 46,998 damage. Balao also has 4 rear torpedo launchers, which can be used after diving below targets and repeating the shotgun with rear launchers for an alpha strike of 31,332 damage.

Both homing and conventional torpedoes have the same reload time, 40 seconds. However, Balao as an American submarine reloads 2 bow and 2 stern torpedo tubes at a time, with the others waiting to be reloaded after the previous 4 are finished.

Conventional Torpedoes

Balao’s conventional torpedoes deal high damage, at 14,967, have a range of 10km, and travel at 69 knots. With 6 bow tubes and 4 rear tubes, a full salvo can cause crippling damage or outright kill large/slow targets with a maximum alpha strike of 149,670 damage (89,802 from the front tubes, 59,868 from the back tubes). These torpedoes have a fast reload of 40 seconds at the cost of reloading 2 bow and 2 stern tubes at a time. Due to having a longer arming distance and slower speed, conventional torpedoes should be used against slow or stationary targets.


Consumables:

Balao has a standard Damage Control PartyWhen activated, instantly repairs fires, floods, and incapacitations, and prevents more for the duration., with three stock charges and a long 21 second duration time. This makes her relatively safe from module and damage over time effects as long as players can go undetected within the 21 second period. Players should be careful not to quickly exhaust their limited charges or will rapidly lose HP to flood and fire damage.

Her hydrophone is useful for tracking the location of surface ships while underwater. As Balao has higher concealment than most destroyers, the hydrophone is useful for gauging when it is safe to surface and recharge dive capacity. It lasts 30 seconds, has a long 9km range, and a 60s reload time. Balao’s Submarine surveillance aids her in detecting enemy submarines but has a short range of 6km. This can be a considerable downside when enemy subs with longer surveillance range spot her (U-2501 with 9km surveillance) and Balao cannot spot them back.

Balao, as an American submarine, gets access to the Enhanced Rudder Gears, which reduces diving plane shift time by 20% and increases her maximum dive and ascend speed by 20%. This allows Balao to change diving planes quickly, allowing her to either rise to surface level quickly during attacks or dive faster to avoid detection.


Gameplay:

Balao is a less flexible but more damage oriented submarine. She gains increased alpha strike and stronger overall damage capabilities with forward and rear torpedo tubes at the cost of mediocre concealment, battery time, and information consumables.

Balao is best played at range and in an area where she can use all ten torpedo tubes with ease. Open areas that allow players to circle around and continue torping targets will bring the best results in terms of damage. The fast reload and speed of the homing torpedoes allows Balao to harass enemy ships with constant pings and torpedoes. It is important to note that multiple pings will give away the approximate location of the player and homing torpedoes are less effective against targets that are turned away or have their damage control party available. Due to how deadly ASW damage is at tier 10, it is advised to minimize being spotted or blind dropped by ASW planes.

Balao can still be played as a shotgun submarine, albeit at higher risk of dying. Her conventional torpedoes have very high alpha strike, allowing her to deal devastating damage to unaware targets. However, the irregular reload of the torpedoes, mediocre surface concealment, and lower Dive Capacity reserve mean mistakes with managing battery reserves can lead to a quick trip back to port.

When closing distances to shotgun targets, players should primarily approach battleships and cruisers. Once at around 6 km, players should dive to periscope depth and further close distance. At around 2-3 km, conventional torpedoes will arm and deal high damage to targets. Thus, players should quickly launch all torpedoes before proximity detection (2km) and dive quickly to avoid detection. Against maneuverable targets such as light cruisers and destroyers, homing torpedoes can be used as they have fast speed and lower arming distance. Players can also ping destroyers at close range as the homing shut off distance is short for destroyers (240m). Balao having 6 torpedoes on her bow makes shotgun attacks deadly, with most ships unable to survive the burst damage. Her 4 rear torpedo tubes can be used as a follow up attack after diving below and going behind crippled targets.

Against enemy submarines, her long Damage Control Party duration can assist in denying homing torpedoes for the duration and allow Balao to get the first strike with fast homing torpedoes. However, the short range submarine surveillance can be detrimental against other submarines.

Balao is an offense oriented submarine, and her playstyle mainly involves pumping torpedoes into enemy ships from a distance. Her strengths and weaknesses are shown through the emphasis on torpedo damage and reload while sacrificing utility and survivability.

Pros:

  • Homing torpedoes with good range and fast sonar ping velocity
  • Conventional torpedoes have high damage
  • Fast torpedo tube reload
  • 6 torpedo tubes on the bow, 4 tubes on the stern
  • Good surface and underwater speed
  • Long range hydrophone
  • Access to the Enhanced Rudder Gears consumable

Cons:

  • Mediocre HP pool
  • Long sonar ping reload time
  • Torpedoes reload 2 bow/2 stern at a time
  • Mediocre Dive Capacity reserve
  • Non existent armor
  • Mediocre concealment
  • Short range Submarine Surveillance

Research

Unlike most Tier X ships, Balao has modules to research:

  1. Sonar: Upgrade to Mk.10 mod. 2 for a faster sonar reload.
  2. Torpedoes: Upgrade to Mk29 and Mk29 MIE for faster torpedo reload, better speed on the homing torpedoes, and improved range, speed, damage and flooding chance for the conventional torpedoes.

Optimal Configuration

Upgrades

The recommended upgrades are:

Commander Skills

Consumables

Balao equips the following consumables:

Signals

Note: Use of the Juliet Charlie signal makes detonation impossible.

Gallery

Historical Info

Historical Gallery

References


Ship Change Log

See here for links to Update notes.

  • First available for testing for all players from random bundles from Update 0.10.7 until Update 0.11.0.
  • Made available for testing again for all players in Update 0.11.2 from sequential combat missions until Update 0.11.9.

Testing Changes

  • DevBlog 181:
    • Adjusted maximum sonar ping and torpedo range from 14.2 to 14 km.
    • Adjusted detectability range:
      • By air and submarines: from 2.7 to 2.2 km.
      • When emitting a sonar ping in smoke: from 2.1 to 2.2 km.
    • Decreased dive capacity from 490 to 450 units.
    • Other changes:
      • Speed of torpedoes changing depth is now approximately 2.5x higher.
      • Detectability range after emitting a sonar ping now increases to a flat 4 km, rather than the detectability value of the submarine on the surface.
      • The width of the sonar ping and its impact radius has been increased 1.5x.
      • Speed of sonar ping emitted on the surface changed to 600m/s.
      • Submarine Steering Gears Modification 2 added in upgrade slot 4.
      • Submarine Steering Gears Modification 3 added in upgrade slot 5.
  • DevBlog 188:
    • Changed the parameters of torpedoes:
      • Speed increased from 70 to 89 knots.
      • Detectability increased from 1.9 to 2.4 km.
      • Maximum damage increased from 6,500 to 7,833.
    • Changed the "Hydrophone" consumable:
      • Action time of the consumable increased from 30 to 45 s.
      • Detection of ships decreased from 8 to 6.5 km.
      • Detection of submarines decreased from 8 to 6.5 km.
  • Update 0.10.8:
    • Dive capacity depletion when the submarine is detected increased from 2 to 4 points per second.
    • Dive capacity restoration rate increased from 0.3 to 0.5 points per second.
    • Detectability range by sea after using the Sonar Ping decreased from 4 to 2 km.
    • The time it takes the torpedoes to arm increased from 0.5 to 2 s.
    • Decreased the detectability after using the Sonar Ping in smoke from 2.2 to 2 km.
    • Changed the Hydrophone consumable:
      • Consumable action time decreased from 45 to 40 s.
      • Consumable cooldown time decreased from 90 to 80 s.
      • Reduced ship bearing distance and spotting range when submerged from 6.5 to 6 km.
  • Update 0.10.9:
    • Dive Capacity depletion rate when spotted decreased from 4 to 3 units per second.
    • Torpedoes are now launched one by one.
    • The width of torpedo launch cone increased 2.5 times.
    • Torpedo and sonar ping range decreased from 14 to 12 km.
  • Update 0.10.10:
    • Reduced maneuvering capabilities of homing torpedoes.
    • Distance in which homing torpedoes cease to home in on cruisers and destroyers increased twofold.
    • Added Mk29 MIE proximity fuse torpedoes with the following characteristics:
      • Reload time: 46 s.
      • Torpedo-type switching time: 5 s.
      • Range: 12 km.
      • Maximum damage: 11,600.
      • Speed: 89 knots.
    • The base visibility of surface ships at operating depth was decreased to 2 km.
    • Changes in the detectability of the submarine now occur at periscope and operating depth.
  • Update 0.10.11:
    • The torpedo homing mechanics were updated.
    • The Hydrophone consumable starts with a 300 s cooldown at the beginning of a battle.
    • Added an underwater torpedo reticle.
  • DevBlog 255:
    • Increased HP from 14,300 to 20,200.
    • Increased the duration of the double-pinged sector from 30 to 90 s.
    • Decreased the maximum depth from 80 to 60 m. The concealment and visibility parameters were changed accordingly.
    • Can no longer be detected with the Surveillance Radar consumable at periscope depth.
    • Can now detect ships in smoke from the assured acquisition range from operating depth.
    • Ships in smoke can now detect the submarine at the operating depth from the assured acquisition range.
    • Fixed a bug causing the submarine to be affected by a 20-second detectability penalty after using a sonar ping.
    • Fixed a bug that caused ships' detectability to increase for the submarine after firing main battery guns while in smoke.
  • Update 0.11.0:
    • Removed from the live server.
  • Update 0.11.1:
    • Minor corrections to geometry and textures of the ship.
  • Update 0.11.2.1 (This lists the overall changes made to the submarine, including DevBlog 289 and DevBlog 293):
    • Readded to the live server.
    • Can now be detected by Hydroacoustic Search at maximum depth from 2 km.
    • Operating depth removed.
    • Emits oil slicks when hit at periscope or maximum depth.
    • Sonar pings emitted by the submarine are visible to enemy ships at a distance of 8 km.
    • Changed the Damage Control Party consumable:
      • Number of charges decreased from unlimited to 3.
      • Cooldown increased from 40 to 60 s.
      • Action time increased from 5 to 15 s.
    • Changed the Hydrophone consumable:
      • Number of charges increased from 3 to unlimited.
      • Interval between pings decreased to 6 s.
    • Changed the parameters of homing torpedoes:
      • Arming time set to 2 s.
      • Ascent time increased by approximately 2 times.
      • Reload time decreased from 46 to 40 s.
      • Flooding chance decreased from 42% to 32%
    • Changed the parameters of conventional (proximity fuse) torpedoes:
      • Visibility reduced from 2.4 to 1.6 km.
      • Damage increased from 11,600 to 14,967.
      • Range decreased from 12 to 7.5 km.
      • Arming time set to 5 s.
      • Speed decreased from 89 to 64 knots.
      • Flooding chance increased from 66% to 90%.
    • Sonar reload time decreased from 10 to 7 s.
    • Decreased the duration of the single-pinged sector from 30 to 25 s.
    • Decreased the duration of the double-pinged sector from 90 to 65 s.
    • Dive capacity decreased from 450 units to 240 units.
    • Dive capacity recharge rate increased from 0.5 to 1.5 units/s.
    • Dive capacity depletion rate when detected decreased from 3 to 1.3 units/s.
    • Flooding duration decreased from 40 to 30 s.
    • Maximum flooding damage increased from 25% to 33% of total HP.
  • Update 0.11.3:
    • Changed the parameters of the conventional torpedoes:
      • Speed increased: 64 to 69 knots.
      • Range increased: 7.5 to 10 km.
      • Arming time decreased: 5 to 4.6 s.
  • Update 0.11.4:
    • Disabled the possibility to launch conventional torpedoes at maximum depth.
    • Disabled the increased dive capacity depletion rate when the submarine is detected by the enemy.
    • Replaced ping movement effect with ping launch effect when undetected, displayed within a range of 1 km from the submarine and lasting 5 seconds.
    • The characteristics and capabilities at periscope depth are now maintained while staying at that depth and right until the submarine has reached her maximum depth.
    • The border separating the periscope and maximum depths now lies at 15 m.
    • Maximum depth values were changed to 30 and 60 m.
  • DevBlog 329:
    • Added dispersion when launching torpedoes:
      • 16 ° for bow and 11 ° for stern tubes.
  • DevBlog 332:
    • Changed the dispersion when launching torpedoes:
      • For bow tubes - reduced from 16 ° to 5 °.
      • For stern tubes - reduced from 11 ° to 3 °.
  • Update 0.11.5:
    • Replaced the rotation of torpedo launchers with torpedo turning mechanics.
    • Fixed a bug that caused the submarine at the start of each new battle to select a torpedo type that was different from the last selected type in the previous battle.
    • Fixed a bug that prevented the submarine's torpedo reticles from turning to follow the sonar.
  • DevBlog 338:
    • Dive Capacity recovery rate reduced from 1.5 to 1.2 units/s.
    • Changes to speed and turning circle radius:
      • Surface speed: from 28 to 30 knots.
      • Underwater speed: from 29 to 26 knots.
      • Turning circle radius: from 650 to 590 meters.
  • DevBlog 348:
    • Removed the Hydrophone consumable.
    • Added the Echo-Ranging Set consumable with the following settings:
      • Action time: 30 s.
      • Reload time: 60 s.
      • Interval between pings: 6 s.
      • Ship bearing effect duration: 4 s.
      • Ship bearing distance: 9 km.
      • Number of charges: Unlimited.
    • Added the Low-Frequency Hydrophone consumable with the following settings:
      • Action time: 60 s.
      • Reload time: 120 s.
      • Submarines' spotting range: 6 km.
      • Number of charges: Unlimited.
      • Preparation time: 360 s.
  • Update 0.11.7:
    • Renamed the Echo-Ranging Set consumable to the Hydrophone consumable.
    • Renamed the Low-Frequency Hydrophone consumable to the Submarine Surveillance consumable.
    • Disabled guaranteed detection for the submarine in the submerged position.
    • The visual effects above the submarine when using sonar is now also displayed for the submarine herself.
  • Update 0.11.8:
    • Added a visual distinction between the effect of acoustic homing torpedoes and regular ones.
    • Fixed a bug that caused Credits to be deducted for resupplying only a part of the submarine's ammunition.
    • Fixed a bug that caused tooltips to overlap the screen with the composition of teams when playing the submarine.
  • DevBlog 370:
    • With the release of Update 0.11.9:
      • Preparation time for the Submarine Surveillance consumable reduced from 360 to 330 s.
  • Update 0.11.9:
    • Readded the ping movement effect.
    • Added a special indicator to notify players when there is little diving capacity remaining.
    • Updated the set of sound effects for torpedo launching.
    • Updated the icon for acoustic homing torpedoes.
  • Introduced to the game as a researchable ship in Update 0.11.10.
  • Update 12.0:
    • Improved the geometry and textures of the ship.
    • Fixed a bug that caused the submarine's diving planes to freeze when using the Enhanced Rudder Gears consumable.
  • Update 13.1:
    • Turning circle radius reduced from 670 to 520 m.

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