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Trophy_Wench posted a topic in Player Feature and Gameplay SuggestionsSo, a funny thing happened on the way to finishing up my last dissertation on Pan-European destroyers when this knowledge bomb dropped: ... Yeaaaaah. In truth I'm just going to wait until they actually unveil the line to comment on them as there is A LOT to unpack there. So until then, lets theorycraft the Spanish Cruiser line! Spain is a very unique nation to bring to WoWs and one that I have been excited for for a very long time. As the last of the so called "Major Minor" nations of Europe left, its entirely fitting and appropriate that they be given their own tech tree rather than be lumped into Pan-Europe since, as it turns out, there is a pretty substantial amount of paper ships to sift through that can help to flesh out their tree. Way more than the Dutch or, honestly the rest of the minor European navies for that matter. When it comes to cruisers specifically, what can we expect? Whelp, IMO these ships will play like a mix between British and Italian cruisers, unsurprisingly to some. Low to mid tier ships will straight up use British hulls and guns (albeit modified) while higher tier ships will have a mix of Italian and indigenously developed hulls. German and Italian AA weapons will be predominant throughout and somewhat extensive to boot. Almost in similar vein to Dutch cruisers. Also like the Dutch and Italians, spotter planes will be available at the mid-tiers to extend the range of the guns, but also like the Italians, these ships won't have much in the way of vision control. I don't foresee Hydro or Radar being offered on them but would (much like Canarias) have a speed boost. Coupled with either an Italian or British (or both!) smoke and a "why the hell not" DFAA, Spanish cruisers will be less about utility and more about simply doing damage. On top of all this, there are two other gameplay factors to consider when crafting this line. First, the line would in true British form stick to improved AP only. Given that Canarias is already offering this style of gameplay somewhat, I think an entire line of this would offer some interesting options. This leads us to factor two: burst fire mode. Many of you may recall that Canarias was initially tested with this concept only to have it removed (though in fairness, her "alt-firing mode" also significantly changed the performance of her shells which was dumb.) but did end up reappearing in the brand new DD-cum-tiny CL Alvaro de Bazan. It's clear that WeeGee wants to make burst fire a "thing" for Spain at least to try and differentiate it a little more than simply being a copypasta line. So keeping all that in mind, lets take a look at what Spain could offer. Tier I: Pizarro-class Essentially a sloop broadly similar to the Black Swan-class in Britain, these ships actually went on to have fairly long and successful careers in the Armada both as escorts and then later refitted as light ASW frigates. In game, expect her to either pack 3x1 4" Vickers guns, or 3x1 4.1" German guns and be otherwise completely forgettable. Moving on... Tier II: Reina Regente protected cruiser This ship was actually laid down prior to the Spanish American war (!) but due to the war, the ensuing financial crisis and design changes didn't get launched until 1906 (!!) and wasn't commissioned until 1910!!! Essentially making her obsolete as soon as she entered service. Capable of not quite 20kts, she is armed with 15cm guns in both broadside casemate mounts and in twin turrets fore and aft. A total of 10 guns with a healthy 7 gun broadside. While impressive for her tier, her middling speed, slow rate of fire and lack of torpedoes would allow her to balance out any raw damage output she may posses. Tier III: Navarra light cruiser This ship is the ex Reina Victoria Eugenia, essentially a modified version of the Birmingham-class CLs (akin to the Weymouth in game for those keeping score at home.) And I know what you're thinking, "why not put this ship at tier II if it's just a Weymouth or at least her original version?" Truth be told, I have waffled with this decision quite a lot but decided on this arrangement for two reasons. One, the RVE didn't really see any major upgrades... like, at all until she was reconstructed into Navarra in 1937. this inherently limits her potential. Reason number two: torpedoes. Creating a cohesive line of ships for Spain by simply putting ships into the same tier as their parent designs (which is easy since said ships are all already in game with the British) ends up creating weird gaps and other problems further up the line. And given how many of Spain's cruisers were heavily modified/rebuilt I want to celebrate that uniqueness so as to rely less on the copypasta. So what does that have to do with torps then? Well, this line up allows TTs to show up later in the line but remain a consistent feature of higher tier ships while down here at tiers II and III we are all gun. I have also seen some theorycrafters try and shoehorn this ship up at tier IV but would have to imply that her AA is way better than it actually is and would have to be very heavily massaged to have capabilities to match at that MM spread. Remember, still a tier II hull after all. As for Navarra herself, she carries 6x1 6" guns, same as on the old RVE but now all on the centerline. Being rebuilt as something of an AA cruiser, she has a secondary battery of 4x1 88mm DP guns (the same ones as on older German BBs) and some Italian HMGs for close in defense, later upgraded to 2cm Flak. Her top speed is still a rather mediocre 25kts and again, she lost the TTs in the conversion. Nonetheless, I think that this ship does an outstanding job of forming the basis of the rest of the CL's "flavour" if you will. Tier IV: Blas de Lezo (or is it Méndez Núñes?) These ships were... well they were just C-class cruisers. With an extra gun, but the guns are not all on the centerline so... yeah. Why is this tier IV? Well two reasons. One, torpedoes! 4x3 launchers baby, so any shortcomings she has in gun firepower she gets to (potentially) make up here! Reason number two is this: This is one of the modernization proposals for the surviving sister ship before it was decided to turn that into an AA cruiser. The ship would now have 3x2 6" guns on the centerline, a floatplane maybe and improved AAA but lose 1/2 of it's torpedoes it appears. I think WeeGee could be enticed to mess around with this one a bit since the Blas can essentially become a blank slate. As for her sister, Méndez Núñes in her final form would likely make for a great tier V premium: (Main armament here is 8x1 4.7" DP guns) Tier V: Príncipe Alfonso- class These ships are essentially just modified E-class ships, but with 8 guns to the Emerald's 7. The guns are arranged weirdly though, with 3 twin turrets in the A-Q-X positions and single mounts superfiring in the B-Y positions. Torpedo armament is still awesome with 4x3 launchers though these were gradually removed as the years and refits went on. (More on that later) Overall, a pretty cromulent tier V ship. As we come up on tier VI, we can start to consider a split between heavy and light cruisers. While it obviously would have made more sense to have Canarias show up at this point to kick such a line off, there are still plenty of paper design options that can fit at tier VI regardless (Canarias' sister ship Belares notwithstanding, as she didn't survive the war). However I plan to cover these ships in a separate thread. As my line is going to end with CAs anyway, having an entirely separate line would naturally be redundant even if you were to do heavy --> heavy-er cruisers, at which point you could have a French or Soviet style cruiser split at tier VIII. For now though, back to the ships. Tier VI: Miguel de Cervantes The ultimate development of the previous Alfonso-class ships. This ship was rebuilt in the 1940s to move her guns around to a more usable A-B-X-Y configuration as seen above, much heavier AAA, again the floatplane and again taking away half of her TTs. This ship would essentially become analogous to a Leander in most respects and should provide a good step up from her tier V sister. This also represents the last real steel ship in the line, everything from here on out is paper. Tier VII: SECN Project 124 This ship was designed just before the Civil War and is for all intents and purposes a Spanish Eintracht. 10 6" guns as shown above along with 3x2 90mm guns for long range AA defense (yes, those 90mm guns) plus associated German and Italian small caliber stuff and 2x3 TTs. All in all a pretty well stacked tier VII CL and one that also begins to transition to more Italian design influences. Speaking of which... Tier VIII: Ansaldo Designs VIII- 203 / XII- 152 So here at tier VIII we get a bit of a choice; a light (ish) cruiser, a heavy cruiser, or both! As you can see these ships were essentially just variations of the same base hull design (a third version IX- 203 is also lumped in with them but more on that one later). Obviously one had 6" guns in 4x3 turrets and the other 8" guns in 4x2s. Everything else, from the TT armament (2x4s) to the general AAA compliment is mostly the same. So lets get crazy... and Mogami-ify them together! With the upgraded gun option being the 8-inchers! "But Trophy!!!" I hear you cry, "that's such a downgrade over 12 6" guns especially if they're only shooting AP!" And yes, I would agree why would you want to combine these ships just to get less, marginally larger guns? Well, this is where the alt-firing mode comes back into play! (You thought I forgot about that didn't you?) Imagine an AP only Mainz and an AP only Hipper that can burst fire combined into one ship, and that is we could potentially have here. Tier IX: Ansaldo design IX- 203 This ship for all intents and purposes is the tier VIII Amalfi in the Italian tech line. And as you can see it's still the same general hull from tier VIII just with 3x3 guns now. So why move it up? Because burst-fire. Oh and just for good measure, give it a heal too. Tier X: SECN Project 138-A (Note the name Numancia was given by the artist.) Arguably the most sensible of Spain's vaunted "Super Washington" heavy cruiser designs, this 17 and a half thousand tonne design features 4x3 8" guns, 2x4 TTs and a fairly substantial AA capability to include 6x2 90mm guns, 75mm guns (for some reason) plus numerous smaller 37mm and 2cm mounts. Oh and it can somehow go 37kts. With the aforementioned burst-fire capability as well, this should make for a pretty capable ship in it's own right, even if 12 8" guns at tier X isn't exactly Earth shattering anymore. Before I wrap this up, there is one other important trait almost all of these ships have that I should mention; every ship from tier III on up gets depth charges. So there you have it, my take on what the Spanish cruiser branch could look like! As I mentioned previously, I will likely follow up with a supplemental Heavy Cruiser sub-branch at some point, so stay tuned!
In case you were on the fence about the Armada bundle and getting fewer doubloons for duplicate ships was a worry. https://eu.wargaming.net/shop/wows/vehicles/11293/ Please note: If you already have some of the ships in your collection, you will receive the ship's FULL price in doubloons as compensation.