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Why were German BBs given such Excessive Dispersion?

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Hello all,

     I have often wondered why German BBs were given such mediocre dispersion performance, when, in fact, theirs should have been near the top, or at the top of the line.  I understand the stale, and largely disingenuous argument of "balance", but that doesn't explain why a T6 ship like the Fuso (which in reality, was a re-built WWI ship, using 1920's technology, save for her 10-meter rangefinder from 1938) can drop a 226 meter pattern at 21.8 km, while Bismarck, a ship built using 1940 technology, is shooting 273 meters at only 21.2 km!?  The other slightly annoying fact about this performance, is that it's just plain FALSEHOOD!  Analyzing the battle of Denmark Strait, the British were amazed at the shooting performance exhibited by both German ships.  I offer this excerpt from the HMS Hood Association website, from the Royal Navy analysis of the mentioned battle: (http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/official/adm234/adm234-509guns.htm)

E - Notes on Enemy Gunnery

  1. Spreads. - The small size of the enemy spreads was remarkable. The driving bands of the 15-in. projectile discovered in Prince of Wales are in a perfect state of repair and appear tougher and larger than those of our shell. Although this may assist the accurate ranging of their guns, it is likely that such driving bands cause the guns to wear more quickly.1
  2. Method of Fire. - Bismarck appeared to fire the whole of her fore group (i.e. "A" and "B" turrets), followed by the whole of her aft group ("X" and "Y" turrets). Towards the end of the morning action, guns in a group were definitely observed to "ripple" as if one or more turrets were in gunlayers' firing.2
  3. All enemy cruisers and capital ships appear to have their large rangefinders mounted considerably higher than than in our ships. Provided vibration can be eliminated, this fact should be kept in mind in future designs of our ships.3, 4

   Yes, I understand that this isn't a sim, blah, blah, blah, but if one were to try to sell the argument that WG was striving for balance, and therefore sabotaged the Bismarck's performance so that it didn't make the other nations' ships look so undesirable, and uncompetitive, I would answer that there must be a better structure for a naval combat game's balance, than trashing the best ships' performance, so that it is no better, or worse than the mediocre ones.  The code generated for this game required many hours of hard work, and creativity; I submit to WG that it would take a lot less effort to find a better balancing mechanism for ship performance, than just creating fictitious numbers, for the sake of making superior units, work with inferior ones.

Following are my remarks on the board's observations/conclusions.

 

Peace.

 

1) This is another reality with the Littorio's guns; Ansaldo wanted the best possible shot patterns for their guns, and sacrificed barrel wear to that end.  The wear was not solely due to shell velocity, as is so often stated.  Ansaldo recognized that a capital ship's guns are her line between life and death, and wanted to make sure that their ships were on the correct side of that line.

2) The Germans were easily smart enough to recognize the impact of proximal blast forces on accuracy.  Each gun was electrically rigged to fire a short time after the adjacent barrel was discharged, and the British were witness to this fact in 1941.

3) If one reads the entire article, they will encounter passages describing the effect of smoke on the spotting of fall of shot.  Bismarck had a wonderful 15-meter rangefinder built into her foretop MFC director, which must have towered 110 feet above the water; Adalbert Schneider would have had a perfectly unobstructed view of his targets, with his ship leaving its trail of cordite and funnel smoke behind, at a rate of almost 35 mph (even if the funnel smoke was almost invisible, due to the highly efficient German boilers, which created very little smoke).  For the British, it was necessary to use the foretop FCD, due to the fact that "A" turret's rangefinders were awash in water, as were the gun chambers themselves, and "X" turret was still out of the action.  Interestingly, "B" turret never showed any sign of malfunction, as it was simply a 14-inch version of the perfected BL-1 design (and, was out of the way of incoming seawater).

4) If you want to read a horror story of what can go wrong in a capital ship's main battery, I suggest reading the entirety of this report.  I am simply amazed at the British resolve, and determination to make their armament function, in the face of a near total system breakdown.  Rammers jammed, hoists filled with water, and in general, every part of the main battery saw some difficulty.  Further, those of you who scoff at the impact of "superstructure hits", find the description of how the Prince of Wales' rangefinders were jammed by either enemy action, or mishandling under pressure by their own crews.  Real life surface combat is nothing like this game portrays it, as this particular title has no provision for damage to very critical sensors, which could easily have swayed a battle one way or another, depending on their state of operation.  This was proven when Bismarck, after losing both her forward turrets to a non-penetrating superstructure hit, lost the mentioned 15-meter MFC to a 203mm shell, and then, minutes later, lost her aft 15-meter FCD to a glancing blow from a 14" AP shell.   At that point, Bismarck's remaining two aft turrets went to local control, which was not how they were ideally meant to function, and could not land a hit on the British attackers, before being disabled.  Therefore, Bismarck was, in effect, defeated by three superstructure hits - not dramatic penetrations to her vital innards, which the British were incapable of doing.

Edited by Rotten_Fish

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Because this is a game, not a simulator. And even for a game - the mean accuracy of ships is substantially higher than it ever was in real life.

 

Secondly, because German BBs are both ridiculously tanky and have all the traits of great brawlers with good secondary builds. You're, ideally, supposed to brawl with them.

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I        h  a  d     n  o    t     n  o  t  I  c  e  d        a         l o t          o f          d    I     s     p    e     r     s         i     o      n    

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To balance competitive hitpoints, best armor and very powerful secondaries. Because we already have enough battleships that snipe from range. To encourage battleships moving up closer.

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29 minutes ago, Rotten_Fish said:

Hello all,

     I have often wondered why German BBs were given such mediocre dispersion performance, when, in fact, theirs should have been near the top, or at the top of the line.  I understand the stale, and largely disingenuous argument of "balance", but that doesn't explain why a T6 ship like the Fuso (which in reality, was a re-built WWI ship, using 1920's technology, save for her 10-meter rangefinder from 1938) can drop a 226 meter pattern at 21.8 km, while Bismarck, a ship built using 1940 technology, is shooting 273 meters at only 21.2 km!?  The other slightly annoying fact about this performance, is that it's just plain FALSEHOOD!  Analyzing the battle of Denmark Strait, the British were amazed at the shooting performance exhibited by both German ships.  I offer this excerpt from the HMS Hood Association website, from the Royal Navy analysis of the mentioned battle: (http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/official/adm234/adm234-509guns.htm)

Then tell me:

How would you balance the current Gneisenau at T7?

Gneisenau has it all: Speed, armor, AA, Torpedoes, Secondaries, turret rotation, reload speed. She outmatches every T7 Battleship in several, if not all of these categories. Now let's add superior main gun performance and she would make Nagato and Colorado 100% obsolete.

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30 minutes ago, Cruiser_DesMoines said:

Because this is a game, not a simulator. And even for a game - the mean accuracy of ships is substantially higher than it ever was in real life.

 

Secondly, because German BBs are both ridiculously tanky and have all the traits of great brawlers with good secondary builds. You're, ideally, supposed to brawl with them.

I think you missed the point of my remarks.

 

Peace.

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10 minutes ago, SireneRacker said:

Then tell me:

How would you balance the current Gneisenau at T7?

 

   I don't need to balance Gneisenau at T7; I didn't write a video game.   The point I tried to make, is that I am convinced that WG can do better, if they wanted to.

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1 minute ago, Rotten_Fish said:

   I don't need to balance Gneisenau at T7; I didn't write a video game.   The point I tried to make, is that I am convinced that WG can do better, if they wanted to.

 

They really can, it'd just take adjusting a few values. But if they do too well they'd severely compromise game balance. German line is fine, that dispersion kicks you in the face sometimes, but occasionally it can correct shots you'd miss because of enemy maneuvers as well, also when you get to Grosser Kurfurst you have 12 large guns that shotgun a whole area so most of the time you'll hit quite a few shots regardless of how many go astray.

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2 minutes ago, Rotten_Fish said:

   I don't need to balance Gneisenau at T7; I didn't write a video game.   The point I tried to make, is that I am convinced that WG can do better, if they wanted to.

It's impossible, simple as that. Unless they artifically nerfed another aspect of Gneisenau she would be insanely broken. But that would not solve your problem.

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5 minutes ago, Rotten_Fish said:

I think you missed the point of my remarks.

 

Peace.

I think you missed the point. There is literally no reason asides from balance. There is no argument to present other than balance. What's the difference between a Bismarck and a Fusou? A Bismarck has way more armour. A Bismarck has way better secondaries. So the Bismarck is balanced in these regards by having worse dispersion, and encouraging her captains to get closer and brawl with ships rather than camp in the back and snipe like a Fusou. Does this mean the Fusou is bad at brawling, and the Bismarck is bad at sniping? No. But they're better off doing what they were balanced to do.

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12 minutes ago, Rotten_Fish said:

I think you missed the point of my remarks.

 

Peace.

The point of your remarks is that you are not at all interested in balance, you just want the German ships to be better than everyone else.  Is that correct?

Edited by crzyhawk
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3 minutes ago, Rotten_Fish said:

I understand the stale, and largely disingenuous argument of "balance", but that doesn't explain why a T6 ship like the Fuso (which in reality, was a re-built WWI ship, using 1920's technology, save for her 10-meter rangefinder from 1938) can drop a 226 meter pattern at 21.8 km, while Bismarck, a ship built using 1940 technology, is shooting 273 meters at only 21.2 km!?

Well, if it's disingenuous then there's no argument to be had.

 

You conflate accuracy and precision in your opening argument. The ability of German ships to accurately range the target in real life is irrelevant in game. In game we all get an aiming cross hair which tells us exactly and entirely accurately the distance to the target, and the shell flight time to get there. We just have to correct for speed and heading. The human in the game is the FCS, everything about how good the German 15m set is is irrelevant to the game.

The precision in game is effectively the dispersion, no matter how good the FCS is that's more down to ballistics of the barrels (so long as the solution is accurately passed to all the guns). Although the British noted the tight spreads of the German shellfire at those ranges at Denmark Strait and with a modern system I don't think it's that remarkable.

I'd also note that the German dispersion curve may be worse at long range, but it's steeper rather than higher, so at close range there's less difference. Bismarck also graces herself with 1.8 sigma while Fuso has 1.5 - so in your example Bismarck does have some advantages, she'll land shells in the middle of her dispersion far more frequently.

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17 minutes ago, Rotten_Fish said:

   I understand the stale, ....'snip'

I not only understand the 'stale', I embrace it. just this morning, I took 'stale' a step beyond the pale, and consumed some stale pizza for breakfast. i'm with you on this, man. far out. keep on keepin' on.

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26 minutes ago, Rotten_Fish said:

   I don't need to balance Gneisenau at T7; I didn't write a video game.   The point I tried to make, is that I am convinced that WG can do better, if they wanted to.

Yes, they could make the Gneisenau's main guns more accurate.  But then she wouldn't be balanced for tier 7 any longer.

Furthermore, this is a significant problem IMO when they tried to shoehorn in a BB designed and built in the 1930's into the same tier as BB's designed in the late 1910's and built in the early 1920's.  I have no doubt that they did it in the name of variety.  But in doing so, they introduced many other balance challenges.  Furthermore, the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau, whether in their original 11" gunned version or the planned 15" gun version were in an odd spot historically speaking because they were light for new build BB in the 1930's, at least compared to the US and Japan (though their only new BB in the 1930's were the Yamatos, which clearly outclassed them).  And I suppose that the KGV's also out-classed the Sch and Gn, though they're certainly closer in capabilities.  What I'm getting at is that either version of the Sch or Gn would be a tough fit at tier 8, even with more accurate guns, because it would be hard to put a same tier BB with only six 15" guns or nine 11" guns up against USN BB's having nine 16" guns.  Arguably, the Sch and Gn are sorta-kinda like tier 7.5's.  They don't have the firepower to be a full blooded tier 8, but are overall better in a lot of ways then their older tier 7 competitors.

Anyways, I don't think that it's as easy as you think.  I will say that perhaps including the Sch and Gn as battleships may have been a mistake, and that perhaps they could have been saved for an eventual battlecruiser line.  And the German WW1 design, L20 alpha (the intended Bayern successor), could have been the German tier 7 BB, which IMO would have been a far easier fit.

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Holly Typing Hell....TLDR.  But to paraphrase the OP...I want tight dispersion on German BBs...or any other ship I play.  

 

v/r, 

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1 hour ago, crzyhawk said:

 

The point of your remarks is that you are not at all interested in balance, you just want the German ships to be better than everyone else.  Is that correct?

No, it should be obvious that I only want the Italians to win all the time......  The Germans?  Only when I'm feeling particularly magnanimous.  

 

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1 hour ago, Crucis said:

Yes, they could make the Gneisenau's main guns more accurate.  But then she wouldn't be balanced for tier 7 any longer.

Furthermore, this is a significant problem IMO when they tried to shoehorn in a BB designed and built in the 1930's into the same tier as BB's designed in the late 1910's and built in the early 1920's.  I have no doubt that they did it in the name of variety.  But in doing so, they introduced many other balance challenges.  

Anyways, I don't think that it's as easy as you think.  I will say that perhaps including the Sch and Gn as battleships may have been a mistake, and that perhaps they could have been saved for an eventual battlecruiser line.  And the German WW1 design, L20 alpha (the intended Bayern successor), could have been the German tier 7 BB, which IMO would have been a far easier fit.

There you go.  I guess we'll just have to deal with WG's limitations, but as you just pointed out in one peripheral sentence, there ARE possibilities for getting these ships to fit better together, possibly with a bit more resolution on the unit type.

 

Peace.

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Rotten_Fish said:

There you go.  I guess we'll just have to deal with WG's limitations, but as you just pointed out in one peripheral sentence, there ARE possibilities for getting these ships to fit better together, possibly with a bit more resolution on the unit type.

The problem, Fish, is that people wanted to see the Sch and Gn ASAP.  There was probably no interest in seeing the German L20 Alpha design at tier 7.  There's also the issue that WG really has a hair across their butt about creating (fake) differentiation between ships, lines, and nations, rather than just accepting that battleships are battleships, regardless of the nation, and allowing the differences that REALLY existed to define the differentiation instead of creating fake differentiations.

 

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I think another consideration, that has been mentioned in some other unrelated threads, is that many of these ships were not designed to fight each other IRL.  I have always accepted the idea that balancing helps correct some of that mismatch.

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3 hours ago, Lert said:

 To encourage battleships moving up closer.

I'm sorry I missed your post earlier, as it's dead-on correct, and to the point.  

Cool avatar with the cat, BTW.

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Just now, Rotten_Fish said:

Cool avatar with the cat, BTW.

o7

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Ya know, part of me wonders if the tier 9 and perhaps tier 10 German BBs could use an accuracy buff.  I understand about balance, but hear me out.  

As the tiers increase, unless you get exactly the right map, it can be rather difficult to get into secondary gun range, even with a full secondary build, to bring their firepower to bear.  And if you don't go with things like the sec gun range enhancing module as well as AFT, etc. and choose to go with a more survivability build and main gun accuracy build, it seems like your secondaries are only barely better than those of other nations, as well as not long enough ranged to make them nearly as useful.  In which case, you're depending on your mains more.  And I'm not sure that even with an upgrade like Aiming mod 1 that your aim is good enough in the current high tier longer range engagements, particularly where cruisers are kiting away at long ranges.  I'm wondering if the value of supposedly great secondaries is worth the cost of rather iffy main gun accuracy, even when you set up for better main gun accuracy.

This is concerning me a bit these days because I'm around 40% of the way through the grind on the FDG and I'm just not sure if it's worth it or for that matter, if the GK is worth it either.  I don't know if it's my imagination, but the Tirpitz's and Bismarck's main guns felt more accurate to me than the FDG's mains.  And it's not much of a consolation to have great secondaries if you're constantly getting pummeled trying to close the range to use them.

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10 hours ago, Crucis said:

Ya know, part of me wonders if the tier 9 and perhaps tier 10 German BBs could use an accuracy buff.  I understand about balance, but hear me out.

I'd be down with that for FdG - she has only 8 guns, they're inaccurate, the firing angles are bad and she's on long range maps as you say. Her other issue is that her secondaries are effectively the same as Scharn/Bismarck, only with longer range - that no longer really cuts the mustard at T9 in my view, especially as the 105mm's see next to nothing they can pen, and the fire chance on them was cut in half.

GK I think is the leading T10 BB in WR, and is certainly very strong looking. Just going to 50% more firepower from the FdG with 12 guns to 8 is massive. In a cruiser I'm pretty afraid of GK, 12 shots covers a lot of bases. I wouldn't say she's in need.

So far FdG's my least enjoyable T9 grind, and I played a decent chunk of Baltimore pre-buff.

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