Why the USS Montana is perfectly fine as she is and does not need a buff
I am bound to stir quite an argument with this, I am sure, but let me first present my arguments as to why I believe this. One thing is certain, the Montana is certainly not noob friendly, a welcome thing, in my eyes, in a game that is becoming increasingly noob friendly and bland. In continuation of this, the Montana caters to a different playstyle than her famed competitor - a playstyle which is far more dynamic than the dull bow-tanking playstyle of the top tiers. When taking apart the arguments most often thrown around on why she needs to be buffed, it becomes apparent that she is in no way inferior to Yamato. Neither does she seem to be to her german counterpart, though it should be said that I have no experience playing said ship.
Like many battleship players, the first line I completed in the game was the Japanese battleship line, culminating in the Yamato. This was partly because the Yamato is undoubtedly one of the most famous battleships ever built, but also partly because more or less every forum post concerning the T10 battleships agree that the Yamato is a beast, albeit with weaknesses, as with all ships, and vastly superior to the dreadful Montana which is in dire need of a buff. (This was quite a while before the release of German battleships.) Thus I never bothered purchasing the Montana until recently, after having researched and played most ships in the game, and though I've had her researched for quite some time.
The following arguments all assume that you're playing with a concealment build, which is in my opinion, playing to her strengths. Many of the points also tie in with each other.
"I receive citadel hits too easily in my Montana"
There is a reason for this. You are not playing her right. You should at no point show your broadside to the enemy when detected. Montana plays quite similar to the Amagi, a ship that I remember thoroughly enjoying. You have a menacing broadside, but it comes with a weakness. If you've reached Tier 10, there is no excuse whatsoever for not knowing this information already, as well as being more than competent at angling your ship. When angled, the Montana is surprisingly sturdy, taking minimal damage, even from a Yamato. Counter-arguments to this are of course that you're not able to fire your rear turrets when angling. Again, you've made it all the way to Tier 10, you should be familiar with wiggling your ship at this point. This is why the concealment build is so potent on the Montana: while undetected, you are able to show enough side to release your devastating broadside and being able to angle back before the enemy has a chance to return fire. Playing with the concealment build, get the rudder shift upgrade to aid in this - you don't need reduced repair on fire and flooding. If there are enemy battleships that have the opportunity to return fire instantly, let them fire off their salvos before you reveal your location with a deadly barrage of shells not even the Yamato can match.
"The Yamatos guns are more accurate than mine" Yes, the Yamato has the most accurate battleship guns in the game, but the Yamato never really goes for a stealth build and often spends large portions of the game bow-tanking. Thus, the Yamato can only fire six shells at the time. That means that even with laser accuracy (which no battleships have), the Yamato is completely reliant on a substantial part of those six shells to hit. The stealth Montana on the other hand, doesn't have to depend on only six shells. Yes, she has worse dispersion, but the sheer volume of shells she puts out counters that. If you are bow-tanking in a Montana and only using your two forward turrets, or three turrets in case you're slightly angled, for the majority of the game, you're not playing her right. "Yamato is more manoeuvrable" Montana is actually quite comparable in terms of rudder shift and turning radius. This is assuming you're using the rudder shift mod as mentioned earlier. What mitigates the difference in favour of Montana is her detectability as well as speed. She has a much easier time disengaging and can trust her concealment to the point where she can turn undetected if not in the middle of the action (where you shouldn't strictly be as this leaves you vulnerable to flanking as well). The Yamato, for reasons unknown, is often more frequently targeted by enemy ships, including DDs, and suffers from worse concealment and might find turning and showing the side towards the enemy significantly more punishing. Not even the Yamato is immune from devastating blows to its sides. The Montana is 3 knots faster than the Yamato. This may not sound like much, and this might be slightly subjective on my part, but I find that I have a much greater ability to support my team in the Montana, owing to the superior speed, and I am less likely to be left behind by my cruisers (who often have an inclination towards advancing in the opposite direction the moment an enemy ship is detected on the horizon). This speed also lets you choose between more targets and as a Montana, nearly always on the move, you have a far greater selection of targets than the stationary bow-tanking Yamato, to which a torpedo attack or rain of fire is often inevitable. Fun-factor Finally, perhaps the most important point, the Montana is, in my opinion, infinitely more fun to play. She is a throwback to the fun of lower tier battleships while packing a significantly bigger punch. She offers an alternative to the boring and frustrating gameplay you often get with the Yamato, her vulnerable sides only offering more excitement, punishing the lousy players who shouldn't be sailing battleships in the first place. (It is also very satisfying to watch her shred enemy planes, though how she compares to the Yamato in terms of surviving aircraft carriers is debatable.)
As you've probably noticed, none of the points above deal with one on one duels with Montana's counterparts. The thing to understand is that in many ways, the Montana plays similar to a Japanese cruiser or a stealth Missouri/Iowa. You are very vulnerable from the sides and you don't want to be caught brawling. Montana plays much more as a supporting ship and can play a much more significant role in aiding your team (by taking out cruisers and lower tier battleships more effectively than the Yamato). Your sea legs and concealment allow you to traverse the maps without too much difficulty helping your team secure capture points and strategic positions. However, and any tips are welcome to add to this, if you do find yourself in a one on one duel with the Yamato, your best bet is to close the distance and do a drive-by. This will negate the Yamato's superior armor and her turrets will be unable to keep up. As soon as you get close, lock your turrets to one side, pointing out from the middle of the ship, and as you pass the Yamato's citadel, let Montana's twelve guns tear her apart. This usually, if not always, results in a one-shot. I cannot give any advice against the Grosser Kürfurst as I have yet to end up in a pure one on one with one, but your best bet is probably to keep your distance and let your superior dispersion tip the battle in your favour. I have on numerous occasions completely wrecked enemy Grosser Kürfursts (including citadels at around 16 km range) by staying at range and angling between volleys, taking almost no damage in return. Again, any tips are welcome! Disclaimers: There are without doubt players out there far more capable than I am. I only play ranked to earn the commemorative flag every season. Playing intelligently and aiding my team are things I find more important than anything else. I have a 58% win rate in my Yamato and a 67% win rate in my Montana (along with a 2.5 destruction ratio and 1996 average XP). I have completed both the Japanese and U.S. battleship lines and I have the Bismarck from the German line without much interest in getting the Grosser Kürfurst for now. (I have also completed the US DD line, the IJN cruiser line and I am tier 8-9 in all other lines with the exception of the Russian and RN cruiser lines.) This post was not meant to say that the Montana is superior to the Yamato, but I would argue that she is not inferior either and can hold her own quite well when in the hands of a capable player (which I think everyone sailing a tier 10 should be). Also, a point often overlooked is that different ships suit different people and playing styles. If you are unable to make a ship work, you either stick at it or find another ship to play. It would be a shame if they buffed the Montana and that the fun of playing her somehow got lost in order to satisfy those who have no business sailing battleships at all.