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  1. I haven't been sooper motivated to write lately, especially as I have promised to follow up with my Spanish Cruiser dissertation with a CA branch but alas, that'll have to wait. Because as of today, I got a BIG motivator: Now I'm not going to regail you with the details as many of you have already seen it (after all, if you actually read the forums you probably read the devblog too) but if not, go read it and weep. So having said that, what do I, the idiot who keeps making these theorycraft posts about such a 2nd DD line think of this? In truth: I'm conflicted. On the one hand the tiers V-VIII are... actually not bad. Still copypasta mind you (and I'll explain that in greater detail in a moment) but overall these are real steel ships that were really built and really served, though in Split's case, it wasn't completed to it's original design. But tiers IX and X OTOH, are... sus. Granted these tiers were always going to be a yuuuge challenge even for WeeGee to find suitable, well, anything but not impossible but instead they reverted to using what can only be described as a British Capitani Romani- class style ship that maybe, kinda, could've been built and then possibly sold to Greece guys I totally explain it all in my fanfic novel! Guys?... And then at tier X we have... a Polish Mogador? Because reasons? It should come as no surprise for longtime readers that I was/ am very disappointed in the recent announcement of the PanAm cruiser line as well for the same reason; that these were minimal effort, copypasta lines designed to maximize use of existing assets and minimize lead-in time for development. This Pan European DD line by extension appears to pretty much be the same thing. "But Trophy!" you say, "We've never had an S-class DD or Split for that matter in game or this British flotilla leader.. thing they can't show yet so clearly they put more thought into this than the Pan American line!!!" No, no they didn't. Pretty much everything presented here except for the tier IX is made up of reused assets, which is likely the reason they can show us this content at such an early stage in the first place! I actually have a personal theory about why they're doing this: you see, with the loss of Lesta (and the inevitable brain-drain that had caused as the employees there either didn't leave/ couldn't escape Russia) means that much smaller, more dispersed teams in satellite offices now have to pick up the slack for new content development (we're talking the offices in places like Austin and Prague) and because WeeGee is likely also trying to recoup losses of that capital they need content to entice the playerbase with, and they need it quickly, even while they're trying to get their house in order. The end result is stuff like this: So what then, about European destroyers? What would I do differently? Well lets theorycraft that shall we? The first thing I'm going to do is to simply try and improve the line as is. It is important to remember that the official line is VERY WIP, so my suggestions might not make any sense in the near future, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Also, in order to maintain continuity with the line as is, we'll skip the low tier stuff and start from tier V. Seriously if you want to see my thoughts on low tier ships, go read my Three Part Series and check them out. So we start off at tier V and are presented with Muavenet, a Turkish I-class DD and a very sensible start in all honesty. Keeping in mind that this sub branch is going to be more gun focused, a downtiered I-class with one less TT launcher is a perfectly cromulent place to start. Can we do better though? Possibly, as this line is essentially trying to be the DL line for Europe, something based on Ambuscade or Scott could work, despite doubling the torpedo armament. The Portuguese Douro- class would arguably be the best representative: Next up at tier VI is Norway's time to shine with Stord, and S-Class DD. Nice to finally get some of the WEP destroyers into the game, but I have no doubt this was in fact a reused asset. (Commonwealth/ Dutch DDs anyone?) Regardless, this is again, a perfectly acceptable option to have at tier VI but I think we can find something a bit more interesting. Since this line is looking to have some larger caliber guns than the main "Swedish" line, fitting of their role as DLs we could offer up Yugoslavia's first DL, the Dubrovnik: Armed with 4x1 140mm guns and 2x3 TT of the 21" variety this could be a really good step up, but progression from here to tier VII would be awkard due to the lack of any other ships armed with such guns. Instead we'll try and maintain some of the British flavor and go with one of my favorites, the Vasilefs Georgios I -class: These fascinating ships combined the hull of an H-class DD with German 12.8cm SK C/34 guns, same as on the Z1 and still keeping the same torpedo armament as above with Stord. At tier VII, the sensible, safe bet: Grom. Lead ship of her class and Błyskawicas sister, if you're going for gun power it's the most straightforward option you can have at this tier and honestly not a bad pick overall. But safe is boring, so lets spice things up a bit and throw in the Alp Arslan-class from Turkey: Essentially just a Lightening but with half of it's TTs taken away, it should be a good fit to drop down to tier VII. Alternatively, we could go with something really left field: This is Bulgarian DD Georgi Dimitrov, an Ognevoi-class DD that Bulgaria acquired after WWII and was it's second, and last destroyer ever. Making up in caliber what we lack in barrels, we have the same 2x2 130mm guns that the Soviet tier VIII gets and still the same torpedo count as Grom, 2x3. With this ship, we're still able to maintain that heavier gun progression from tier VI as we make our way up to VIII with: This is Split as she was originally meant to be completed, with 5x1 140mm guns and still 2x3 TTs, it would have been an impressive ship. But after getting passed around during WWII Yugoslavia eventually did complete it but was rebuilt with American guns and equipment turning it into... I guess you could say a worse Velos? By choosing this ship however, WG sort of painted themselves into a corner. There were no ships planned by anyone (believe me when I say I looked, oh boy have I looked) with guns larger than 5", especially after WWII. This means the only option is the alt-reality nonsense ships that they have subsequently come up with. So, is there something better than this? Why, yes yes there is. But to do so we'd have to abandon our large caliber ships. First off we could just have Split in her 1958 form with the 4x1 5"/38s: Unfortunately, this too is going to paint us into a corner later on so instead lets see if we can continue from Grom, and that could potentially present us with two options: The first option is that we simply bump Grom up to tier VIII or it's follow on Huragan series ships which weren't built but were, again just follow on ships with heavier AA and other minor improvements. The other option would be another Norwegian, this time the Cr-class ship Trondheim: At first glance this doesn't look much different than the earlier S-class ships but the key is that in choosing this, we are abandoning large caliber gunboats for small caliber ones. This ship, while only have 1x4 TT launcher does get 4x1 4.5" guns of Daring fame and can now fire at up to 24 rounds per minute! This now changes up to perspective of our high tier ships from big alpha, to dakka dakka. Tiers IX and X would either have to once again be made up, kept as they are currently or abandoned in favor of our dakka botes. However, at least at tier IX we could introduce yet another Fletcher from Turkey or West Germany, making them sidegrades to Velos, with all other stats being the same. So to present a more realistic dakka alternative, here's me just cribbing my own words from a year ago: Tier IX: Błyskawica 50' Here it is, the ultimate evolution of Błyskawica. Refitted with an all new Soviet armament consisting of... either 8 or 4 100mm B-34 guns. This weapon is already in game as secondary armaments to a few Soviet cruisers and aside from a slightly smaller shell (duh) and higher velocity is more or less the same as the 4" guns mentioned above. What isn't clear though is the mounting. One source says that they had 4 guns in singe mounts of standard design of the time. They were improved with full electric drives and loaders and in theory allowed for ROFs that were similar to the aforementioned 4" British mounts (around 20 RPM) again, I'm not 100% clear on the capabilities of these mounts. However, if it did in fact have 8 guns, then it sound like the Poles or Russians or whoever just rebarreled the British MkXIX mounts in which case... 20RPM it is? In addition she was also given much more modern Soviet AA guns, a single quintuple TT launcher, radars and sonars. Seriously, if someone has some images or more definitive information about it's loadout post 1950 I'd be grateful! Nonetheless, I think that this might just be crazy enough to work at tier IX, if given 8 guns. So with that established, what exactly is the tier X? Well as you can see, this line had led me to small caliber guns equipping high tier destroyers, Harugumo style. Unfortunately, the ships that I found that were equipped with such weapons were predominately frigates, which lacked the high speed, torpedo armament and even enough guns and displacement to be effective at tier X, so that was a non-starter. Surely someone had to produce a proper destroyer with 100mm or similar guns in Europe at this time?!?! And as it turned out someone did, from a most unlikely source... West Germany: Tier X: Hamburg-class This ship is downright wacky. I still can't believe it existed. Main guns 4x1 100mm Mle 1953 with a rate of fire of up to 60 rounds per minute! A one second reload. Torpedoes are even wackier. 5 single 21" tubes, 3 in the bow and 2 in the stern wait, wha? Yes, in the bow. Granted they were later sealed up when the ships were converted to DDGs in the 70's but still, this ship is all kinds of insane and I love it. The only problem with this ship, other than whether or not you consider West Germany to be lumped into the main German line or stand as it's own nation is is this too radical? After all we are talking about ships that, while designed and built in the 50's weren't commissioned until the 60's! How advanced is too advanced? Personally, I think it's kind of a moot point at this point because, well, what's the alternative? Sadly, as much as I'd like to believe our words mean something to this company, I know all too well that the best we can do is keep hope alive that we get to see some of our favorite ships show up in one form or another, all the while wondering what fight have been...
  2. Firewalk

    German Cruiser Karlsruhe - Wreck Found

    The German cruiser Karlruhe has just been found resting in a depth of 490 meters! Here's an article: https://www.yahoo.com/news/sunken-german-world-war-two-123357570.html Here's also the original Norwegian article: https://www.nrk.no/norge/stort-vrakfunn-utenfor-kristiansand-_-krysseren-karslruhe-fra-andre-verdenskrig-funnet-1.15141691 A scan of the wreck:
  3. Landsraad’s Pan-Nordic Tech Tree Proposal Well I thought I’d try my hand at proposing some ships for the game. My intent when I first started this little exercise was to find ships from each of the Nordic nations (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland) and pull them together into a single cohesive tech tree drawing-hopefully-equally between the five. These dreams were dashed as soon as I started snooping around Wikipedia, however I will not call this a Swedish tech tree because, while I could find no suitable Icelandic ships at all and the other nations only contribute one or two at most, we can still add some national variety in here. Thanks in advance to @Lert for providing me with the formulas to estimate HP, damage output, and other things; and of course to @Fr05ty for coming up with them in the first place. So let’s dive in. Torpedoes One thing to get out of the way first, this is a destroyer line so naturally torpedoes will need to be taken into account for balancing reasons. Now this presents us with an interesting problem concerning the low tier torps, but let’s see what the high-tier ships would be using first, save the surprise for last. M/1927 JA 533mm (tier 6-10) 250kg TNT charge Range: 5km at 40knots, 10km at 33 knots, 20km at 26 knots Well that’s pretty slow, but then again most torps seem to get at least 10 knots added to their IRL speed for the game, so that brings them up to slow but serviceable. Still, the range needed for that speed is a bit on the short side. M/1893 450mm (tier 2-5) 53.5kg guncotton charge Speed: 26.5 knots Range: 0.7km … Oh wow we may as well not even USE these things. I mean… Wow that’s pathetic. Norway, what do you guys have? 45cm Horten 450mm 180kg TNT charge Range: 2.5km at 40 knots, 6km at 28 knots 53cm Horten 533mm 250kg TNT charge Speed: 42 knots Range: 2km 21” Mk 8 533mm 210kg TNT charge Speed: 26 knots Range: 14.6km 21” Mk VIII** 533mm 340kg torpex charge Range: 4.6km at 45.5 knots, 6.4km at 41 knots 21” Mk IX** 533mm 365kg torpex charge Range: 10km at 41 knots, 13.7km at 35 knots Well that’s better, but I’m still getting a distinct “Russian” vibe from these fishies. Looks like the a focus on gunnery might be necessary. Tier 1 Uusimaa (Finland) We have two candidates for tier 1, so I’ll start out with the less likely one. Uusimaa is just a standard little coastal patrol gunboat. She’s got two 102mm guns that fire 12 rounds per minute, tops out at 15 knots, and comes in at 400 tons of displacement. If implemented historically she’s basically be a big fat damage sponge with around 10000 hp and a low rate of fire. Not gonna lie, the only reason I’m even suggesting her is because she’s the only Finnish ship I found that would fit the line. There would need to be some MAJOR non-historical tweaks to this little boat to get her up to snuff. Still, that might be worth it to bring this little piece of history from the Winter War into the game. Clas Fleming (Sweden) For the more appetizing candidate we turn to Sweden and one of their armored cruisers. Clas Fleming is just as fast as the other tier 1s at 20 knots, comes armed with 4 120mm Bofors in superfiring single mounts (including one ON TOP OF the conning tower, weirdly enough), and actually has up to 25mm of armor over most of the ship, plus 75mm on the conning tower. She also tips the scales at 1575 tons for more than TWICE the displacement and hp of her competitors. Obviously this would need to be reigned in a bit or put at tier 2, but otherwise we’ve got a solid ship. Tier 2 Draug class (Norway) Now we’ve got something a bit interesting. We’ll start with the bad: At 26.5 knots Draug is easily the slowest destroyer in her tier. That said, she’s also small and stealthy with 6 guns. Again though, those are only 76mm QF guns. So where’s the appeal? Well for Draug specifically I’d go with her torpedo armament: 3 single-tube 45cm launchers. Why is this special? Because of their arrangement. Draug has two launchers amidships on either side, and one on the fantail that can cover her rear arc. Now that’s a neat trick to me, some ships can claim to have excellent firing angles covering their rear arc, but only Draug can fire torpedos straight backward. It’s not a very fancy trick, but one that I think will make her quite interesting at tier 2. Hugin class (Sweden) Small, not terribly slow at 30 knots, and equipped with 4 75mm guns plus 2 457mm torpedo tubes. Once again we have a ship that can excel on the run with the majority of her guns facing rearward, but Hugin is otherwise a bit unremarkable. Niels Juel (Denmark) Don’t worry Denmark, I didn’t forget you! It was hard to find a good fit for the Danes, and I’m not even sure how well Niels Juel fits stat-wise or where to put her, but this coastal defense ship seems most similar to a tier 2 armored cruiser and with her history it would be a shame to exclude her. 16 knots, 10 150mm guns, and up to 195mm of belt armor will make her a brick, but a very tough brick to crack. During WWII she was flagship of the Danish fleet, and as tensions rose and Germany finally decided to declare martial law sailors of the Danish Navy decided to scuttle or abscond with as many of their ships as possible to Allied, or at least neutral, waters. Niels Juel was out on training exercises at the time and opted for the latter, but before they could make it to Sweden it became clear that the ship would be caught by the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe, so the crew scuttled her. The Germans then raised and repaired the ship, pressed it into service as the training cruiser “Nordland”, and then two years later scuttled it themselves to keep the Allies from getting it. Tier 3 Sleipnir class (Norway) Compared to Draug, Sleipnir is a pretty standard destroyer. Top speed of 32 knots, three 100mm dual purpose guns in an A-XY configuration, and 2 single torpedo tubes that can be upgraded to a pair of double launchers. Wrangel class (Sweden) A small class of WWI era destroyers that could reach 34 knots, mounted 4 75mm guns, and 2 twin tube 457mm torpedo launchers. Tier 4 Ehrensköld class (Sweden) Well get ready, because it’s Sweden all the way down from this point on. Ehrensköld class ships were the first Swedish destroyers made after WWI, armed with three centerline 120mm Bofors guns and a pair of triple 533mm torpedo launchers. Add on a top speed of 36 knots and we’re looking pretty solid. The upgraded Klas or Klas Horn class could be used as either a premium or simply the upgraded form of this ship, since they were very similar in all ways that WoWs cares about aside from an increase in displacement. Gotland (Sweden) Once again we have a cruiser, but I’m not putting just any cruiser in here for premium fodder, oh no. Gotland has a rather major balance issue to overcome, mainly the fact that she was a float-plane cruiser, but I feel it’s worth it due to the ship’s history. See, for those who don’t know, Gotland is THE ship that sparked the hunt for the Bismarck. It was a sighting from her that alerted the Allies to Bismarck and Prinz Eugen making a run from the fjords. That alone is reason enough to have her. But if we do put her in-game, what would she be like? Well her armament is limited, but pretty standard light cruiser fare. 6 152mm guns in 2 double turrets and two casemates, sort of like Omaha. Top speed of 27.5 knots, and a pair of 533mm triple torpedo launchers for good measure. Now there are two ways to implement the ship from here, since she did receive upgrades during the war. Either we stick with the float-plane tender concept, in which case I would recommend the option of an upgraded spotter plane consumable that puts out three planes over wider area, or an upgraded “squadron” of three catapult fighters that stick together and can better stand up to CV fighters; or we go with her refit as a dedicated AA ship, in which case the aircraft handling facilities are dropped in favor of doubling her AA suite to 4 75mm and 4 25mm guns with EIGHT single 40mm Bofors emplacements. I don’t know about you guys, but I would haaaaaate to be a Hosho or Langley and run into that. Still, if the aviation cruiser form is what the devs want then we’ll be waiting until after the CV rework for sure. Tier 5 Mode class (Sweden) Things slow down a bit here with the Mode, an upgrade of the Italian Sella class which they had sold to Sweden. 30 knot top speed, a single 3 tube torpedo launcher, 3 dual-purpose 105mm main guns, and a healthy AA suite of two 40mm and two 20mm Bofors. The Sella class herself, under her Swedish designation Psilander, would actually probably be a good premium here. Tier 6 Göteborg class (Sweden) Going backwards just a we bit here (and it will be the only time, I promise), the Mode and Psilander were successors to the Göteborg, but armament, displacement, and speed tell which is the more capable ship. The Göteborgs were the last fully Swedish designed destroyers made before the war, and served mostly on neutrality patrol (like you do when you’re neutral). Their armament consisted of three 120mm guns, 6 530mm torpedo tubes in two triple launchers, and 4 25mm Bofors AA guns. Interestingly, Göteborg herself was damaged by several explosions at one point in her career. The ship was repaired and made combat worthy again, but this necessitated moving the center “M” turret to a superfiring “X” position. Her 39 knot top speed certainly won’t hamper performance. Tier 7 Visby class (Sweden) Built in 1942, the Visby was very much an upgraded Göteborg with greater displacement and four added 40mm AA mounts. This time the ship starts out with an A-XY turret arrangement, and her two triple tube torpedo launchers were eventually replaced with a single quintuple launcher in the forward position. Tier 8 Öland class (Sweden) The Öland introduces pretty much the standard layout that the line will use for the remainder of its run. Two torpedo launchers, Akizuki-like speed, tough hull, hefty AA, and two two-gun turrets. The guns in question here are Bofors 120mm M/44, good performance with a zippy 23 round-per-minute rate of fire. Honestly the more I look at these ships the more they seem to be some kind of strange German/US/Russian hybrid. Some kind of configuration emphasizing durability, gunnery, and picket duty either against other DDs or aircraft feels about right for these Swedish DDs. Something like the ability to swap speed boost for a heal, and smoke for hydro or DFAA. Tier 9 Östergötland class (Sweden) Remember when I said we were only going backwards once? I lied. Well, technically we haven’t backtracked yet as far as the Östergötland is concerned, that will come in a bit. The Östergötlands were the last destroyers the Swedish Navy built, a series of four ships that were basically trying to be a budget version of the ship that wound up at tier 10. Not terribly fast at 35 knots, but the speed isn’t so much a need if she’s kitted out right. Once again we’ve got four twin-mounted Bofors M/44s, backed up by two triple-tube torp launchers and seven Bofors M/48 40mm AA mounts. Planes beware. Tier 10 Halland class (Sweden) Hey Lert, think the Friesland wants some competition? Halland is basically the Östergötland unchained. She’s bigger, faster (37 knots), tougher, and has more teeth. In particular, her AA is augmented by exchanging a single 40mm for two 57mm guns, her forward torpedo launcher is a quintuple, and the main guns have changed from the Bofors M/44 to Bofors M/50s. Okay, what’s the big deal there? We’re swapping one dual-purpose 120mm for another, there shouldn’t be that much difference. Well six years is a long time, enough to work out an effective automatic loading system in fact. How effective? Try 42 to 45 rounds-per-minute effective. Yeah, it’s that kind of boat. So there we have it! A full line that, bonus points, doesn't have a single paper ship and can still fit into the game using only a little bit of fudging, plus plenty of historical changes on most ships that could be used as upgrades. If you have any comments, questions, or additional sources (I did mostly just do a preliminary search after all) please feel free to leave them below. Sources: Wikipedia (general details and history) NavWeaps (gun stats) Navypedia (torpedo stats) @Fr05ty (stat conversion equations)