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Conceptual ship Thunderer: 18" guns at T8

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When I first got the news on Discord about the New Premium ship Thunderer, I was very, very displeased to hear of a new HE-spamming, possibly superheal-wielding Battleship, especially that of a name held by a sister ship of the Tier 4 Orion. (In short: I HATE the RN Battleships, if not because of the simple reason of "they are OP" but because they are terminally unhealthy of the game.)

The details of the ship came in from Mouse, Thunderer becoming "What Vanguard should have been", and having 18-inch guns. At this, some short further research found that Thunderer was to be a Lion-class Battleship, and rumours about it being a Conqueror I dismissed as detracking propoganda, Conqueror after all being another Lion-class ship as designed.

Either thankfully or unhappily the Thunderer was a faked ship that Mouse came up with to explain her thoughts on the RNBBs, ensuring both a sigh of relief and the fact that I will never trust a new-ship source from Mouse again. Damn you Mouse, you got me way too passionate about the ship over the past week.

However, this essay is about the ship I speculated would be Thunderer, and let's get into what I thought the said ship would be.

Guess it's time for a Mouse review. Don't expect much, I'm on a phone.



Yeah, that's right. I even took off the X turret on the picture. No, I haven't played the filthy things enough to make the AA and Secondaries accurate.


HMS Thunderer, concept:

Quick Summary:  A Lion-class battleship with six 457mm rifles in 3 turrets at tier VIII.

Cost:  Unknown at time of publishing.  Presumably whatever T8 Battleships cost. <Strikethrough> I'm too poor to afford a T8 premium, so I've never remembered how much they are </strikethrough>.

-A Healthy 58,600 hit point pool for a tier VIII battleship
-Her powerful AP and HE shells have the highest shell damage per hit in the game.
-Ridiculous HE shells with a 63% fire chance per hit and 114mm of penetration.Excellent forward firing arcs.
-Adequate anti-aircraft armament.
-Stealthy for a battleship with a surface detection range of 15.3km, which can be as low as 11.5km.
-Largest guns at T8 at 18 inches. By Far. This should be higher up.
-Stupidly Accurate guns with 2.0 sigma and 240m dispersion.
-Good speed at 28 knots.

-Pathetic number of guns at T8 with only 6 guns in 3 turrets.
-The first point, again. Seriously, that point's important.
-Slowish-reload at 32 seconds. (?)
-Slow Shell Velocity at 700m/s.
-Guns can be too accurate, and leave little room for error upon firing.
-Armor scheme is vulnerable to broadside hits from enemy battleships.
-Anti-aircraft firepower is concentrated in medium-caliber guns which are shorter ranged and easily knocked out.
-Superstructure armor is rather weak and leaves it suspectible to HE spam.
-Her size and length make dodging torpedoes difficult.
-Does not have the British Repair Party. Wait, this should be a Pro.

This ship is a theoretical, more-historically-accurate-than-Conqueror-as-a-Battleship-class ship derived from the Lion class. In theory, the British, wanting to stay competitive with the Larger Guns that were being introduced like every other major navy that was essentially a Monarchial one (CoughIJNCough) (/s for that last part). As the 18 inch rifles were indeed used by the RN, a Lion-class Battleship may have been used experimentally to test out the value of such rifles and their comparability to 16-inchers and other smaller calibers.

Sadly, seeing as how the British government doesn't seem to like the idea of new Ammunition exclusive to their guns, it seems I've spoken too soon.

Again: This is a Theoretical ship, which takes elements from many different ships to balance it as a conceptual one.


Skill floor: Casual.
Skill Ceiling: Challenging.

This ship is what the Colorado should be. Yeah, remember that Colorado that had stupidly low Hitpoints, but with the glorious 2.0 sigma in 16 inch guns at T8? Yeah, it wasn't the best ship, but to many (including me, thanks @KTCraft -senpai) it was stupidly fun if you knew how to position yourself to take the best advantage of the ship's accurate potential. Players can stay back, copulate with the 1 key and farm damage on poor, poor Battleships (though they would have to be camping), but they are missing the point of having 18-inch rifles at T8. (I mean, holy crap.)


Damage Control Party
Repair Party
Spotter/Fighter Plane

Her consumables are standard as to all other RN Battleships at the tier.
-With the Ship's and the game's adequate AA and extremely accurate guns, Spotter Aircraft can actually and possibly be a very useful tool and a viable substitute to Fighter Aircraft.

(Mostly Courtesy of LittleWhiteMouse.)
In your first slot, take Main Armaments Modification 1 as the optimal choice.  Alternatively, if you have access to it, you can swap this out for Damage Control System Modification 1 to increase the active time of your Damage Control Party from 15 seconds to 21 seconds.
In your second slot, take Damage Control System Modification 1 to help mitigate fires and floods.
The best choice in your third slot is Aiming System Modification 1... Possibly. If you can afford having your guns now being a large combined laser with your excellent aim, you'll profit. A lot. Otherwise, should you prefer a more comfortable ship despite the slower reload (which this ship could theoretically do, with its emphasis on Alpha strikes), take Main Battery Modification 2, or if you really hate planes, AA Modification 2.
-Take Damage Control System Modification 2 in slot number 4.  If you prefer to wiggle, Steering Gears Modification 2 is a good choice.
-Concealment System Modification 1 plays up to Thunderer's strengths, so don't leave port without it.


Main Battery:
6x 457mm, 18-inch rifles in 3x2 turrets in a A-B-X superfiring configuration.
Secondary Battery: 

16 132mm rifles in a 8x2 configuration, 4 per side.

Actually, I don't know what to say about this. It really depends on a TON of factors, and this factor makes the ship.

-*Caption with a comment on appearance.txt*-

+Godlike accuracy.
+18 inch rifles.
+That crappy Velocity can actually help with Island-camping and punching through Deck Armor.
+Did I mention 18-inch rifles? Yeah. With the highest AP and HE damage. At T8.

-700m/s velocity.
-6 rifles total.
-Possibly, too accurate.
-American-meh Secondaries. (Like father, like son).
-Slightly-slow 32 second reload. (?)

In theory, the ship equipping 18-inch rifles may have forgone some gunpowder for the sake of maintaining the Barrel sustainability and to prevent the considerably larger recoil from damaging the shoehorned design, leadin to a decision akin to the US line and the North Carolina's low Shell Velocity.

This Thunderer is a Mixed bag of goodies, but unlike Conqueror's 18-inch rifles, these babies aren't port queens. At T8, these rifles impress, being the largest rifles in the tier by a large margin, and with the damage and performance to bear. These things will form a very lasting impression on all Cruisers (obligatory exploding Nurnberg) with the short-fused AP rounds or the stupidly-good HE ones, which have a near-guarantee of being very unhealthy for any ship unlucky enough to be hit by any of these shells, if not by the sheer alpha damage guaranteed to stick by the HESH-high penetration, then by the stupidly-good fire chance that seems like the Brits stuffed a Vietnam-era US bomber into their shells. They are the same guns, but highly accurate and with a much more comfortable Matchmaking.
This guarantees a healthy amount of useful damage at the tiers it faces, be it whacking Tier VIs or pestering TXs, the guns having the syndrome of just being excessively large against lower tiers to make full use of their penetrative capabilities (There's a joke to be made here) but good enough to make any ships above it give it a healthy amount of respect.
The problem: there are only six guns per salvo, and by the time these shells hit their targets, Thunderer would not be "Her" Majesty's Ship any more. The insane accuracy for a Battleship works against her, leaving little space for error in firing your rifles, making WASD hacks ever the more potent in dodging the Royal Smiting, even for the slowest of Battleships. In fact, for the often-more nimble Lower-tier ships, this can prove a life-saver, especially at the ranges one encounters a Thunderer at. The Shell Rate of this ship is the lowest bar none in perhaps the entire game, the Graf Spee with its six rifles still having a 20-second reload. Each salvo has to count, but the ship has the capability to make them count.
The guns mix the Worst and the Best of the guns from the American Battleships Colorado and North Carolina: they have the smallest number of guns in the tier (Colorado) and the Slowest shell velocity in the tier (North Carolina). However, these come with its own rewards: the Colorado gets exceptionally accurate rifles that reward good positioning and have some of the largest shells in the tier, while North Carolina's slow Shell Velocity is used to its advantage by firing over islands while remaining concealed and their exceptional ability to pen where it counts with plunging fire. These guns, used well, make this Thunderer an exceptional opponent: and with her abilities as a ship, they very well can.

*Performance picture.jpg*
*Actually-useful and overly long caption: Something that should be noted is her performance against charging Destroyers: this ship rewards the smart Destroyer and the smart Battleship. A smart Destroyer cannot travel in a straight line, as the shells are accurate and good enough to make the entire hull mincemeat even bow on, making every decision vital when charging it, while a smart Battleship player needs to know how to aim with the lower velocity and to use each turret to its maximum potential to put the hurt on the pesky boat.txt*

The Secondary guns are essentially moderately useless, and they will only pester whoever comes close to you. This ship is akin to the Colorado, and while it needs to fight close, it can only brawl if positioned well and with proper support. As for firing angles, the ship isn't the worst at all, and can angle well to leave it well protected while colonizing other inferior Nations.

It is possible that the reload of the guns, to balance them and make their alpha damage purpose more evident, should be slowed to 32 seconds.

In short? Huh. Well, these guns are wonderful, but their weaknesses and characteristics can only be judged to their best degree taking into consideration the other factors.

Hit Points: 58,600
Armor: 19-381mm.

-*Graph of T8 BB's health*-
-*Some comment on Thunderer's Health*-

TL:DR? It's a stock Lion at T8.
Lion at Tier 9, according to dear Dame Mouse, has the best Survivability at said tier with the upgraded hull, thanks mostly to its excessively-good Tea-Repair Party. With the Hitpoint pool of the Lion's stock hull just about close to Bismarck, it leaves the Lion still-competitive in terms of Healthpool, so I have the honour of dashing Tea-pair Party to the depths of Gimmick Hell. Or if confined to the physical realm, to the Tower of London and Her Majesty's teapots.
The Lion and thus Thunderer is rather weak in the broadside Armor area in relative terms, and with a citadel that isn't exactly completely underwater, makes her capable to be citadelled. Which was what Teapair Party was for, but either way, she shares this with poor Roma, so I guess it's fine.

*Random Picture of Thunderer's armor profile.jpg*
*Sidenote, I'm moderately sure Wargaming saw the Queen and used her to balance the Teapair Parties. After all, they are on the two Battleships that would have served under her Reign, and the three Cruisers too. But Khaen, the Belfast doesn't have that Repair Par- *clickclick, blam**

3.5km: 256DPS
4.5km: 128DPS

TL:DR? Lion's Secondary armament, but Monarch's Mid-range Anti-aircraft.

-*Aesthetic screenshot of Mouse/Lert shooting Aircraft in bote.jpg*-
-*Some comment on the Aesthetics of the flak.txt*-

Basically, Mouse's review, but make the Anti Aircraft not very impressive on paper. However, it does seem Adequate enough, because despite all the things about "Module survivability", even as a relative noob, I genuinely don't see the difference between the two under the sea of Bright Orange Shells and ×10 AAmoduleslost.jpg symbols under ANY BATTLESHIP I PLAY.

-*Screenshot of Mouse getting torpedoed/bombed.jpg*-

In short, courtesy of Mouse:
-Thunderer's AA firepower is concentrated in her 3.5km mounts. These do not upgrade nearly as well as large-caliber mounts which are more powerful on ships like Friedrich der Große, Alsace and the Iowa-class sisters. Their lack of range limits them to self-defense purposes only, and not being able to lend her AA firepower as a fleet support weapon.
-Thunderer's AA firepower, being so reliant on her 40mm mounts, is easily knocked out. Even taking just a few HE hits can absolutely neuter her AA defense, making her easy prey for aircraft carriers, quickly reducing her to less effective AA firepower than even Izumo.
Thunderer's AA firepower is thus only good so long as she hasn't been attacked yet. While most battleships also suffer a (severe) reduction in their AA defense after being attacked, on Thunderer it is much more exaggerated.
Thanks, Mouse.

-*Insert Mouse Thumbs up here*-

Maximum Speed: 28 knots.
Turning Circle Radius: 860m.
Rudder Shift: 20.5 seconds. (Buffed)

-*Picture of Thunderer turning.jpg*-
-*I just noticed, the Wiki pages are so much nicer and metaphorical to read, next I swear to god @SireneRacker's going to write something about the Japanese destroyers all being loliboa- sh*t this is supposed to be a caption.txt*-

Ah, now to the fun bits.
Thunderer handles... Fine. She is no slouch in any department as a stock ship, having a only a bad rudder shift, but an alright turning radius and Maximum speed.
Which makes it, finally, a Colorado that @#$¢ing moves like a normal Battleship.
It does not have Colorado's horrid turn speed or excellent turning handling, however, as a Colorado enjoyer will tell you, such speed is a luxury for the Colorado. This ship's speed allows it to be fast enough to position itself at vital areas and bring its guns to bear, while having the speed to turn and run like hell when outnumbered and outgunned. Sure, all Battleships of the tier can do that, some better, but no others have Thunderer's insane 18-inch statistics-pushing firepower. Thunderer's performance is decided by its positioning, and with such speed, merely adequate though it is, it provides a much-needed sense of relief for those wishing for the Colorado's poor Reciprocating engines to just go a little @#$¢ing faster.

In general? This ship, in all cases, is a mehbote in the tier, perhaps even a bad bote. But looking at the performance of the Guns and comparing it to the similar Colorado, the ship feels like a dream to play, balancing the positioning-dependent rifles with the comfort of not-the-Colorado's engines. 

-*huh, no caption.txt*-

Surface Concealment: 15.3km, brought down to a minimum of 11.5km.
Air Concealment: 13.1km
Firing from smoke: 16.2km
Main Battery Range: 19.65km

The Thunderer's concealment is insanely good. While as the Lion a tier lower it is rivalled by a greater number of ships at the tier and beaten by North Carolina and Monarch, it is still an exceptionally Stealthy Battleship at Tier VIII with the ability to be stealthier than many Cruisers. Yeah. This allows Thunderer to disengage and re-engage enemy Ships almost at will, On her Majesty's (essentially) Secret Service. Remember, the Low Velocity and High Accuracy of these shells makes it imperative for the ship to remain at at least medium range, and such concealment is absolutely invaluable for their optimum use at Medium Ranges, allowing it to sneak up on the enemy before unleashing her devastating broadside.
Without aircraft or smaller ships to keep her spotted, Thunderer can engage in a variety of Bond-ly vices, from setting up ambushes, ninja capping, depressed repairing... you get the idea.
Let's hope Bond doesn't crash this one.

-*Sunglasses on Thunderer.jpg*-
-*Thunderer. Her Majesty's Ship, Thunderer.*-


Now that the statistical review is done...
Why this ship? The ship was, as I said, a logical conclusion I came to if thinking of a serious Royal Navy Battleship premium. "What Vanguard should have been", and "having 18-inch guns" gave me the impression that it was to make a Vanguard-styled ship, the Vanguard long-debated for placement in the techtree in the forums due to its tiny number of guns for its caliber despite it being the most modern Battleship by design. (I'll be honest: I thought Vanguard had 3x2 turrets. Whoops.) This gave the impression that WG would finally be trying to get a ship with a small number of rifles right, and with it being a Lion-class, my conclusion went to it being a 18" 3x2 gunned Lion, the excuse being that "it's a possible ship". Some discussion of this idea with @Error_CRJ, a real-life friend who doesn't frequent the forums, rationalised this decision, and thus I went ahead even after being proved wrong to bring this idea to paper.

Final conclusion?
This Battleship, in my opinion, brings the two ideas of Royal Navy Battleships together: the Highly-accurate, heavy-hitting, Mid-ranger of the Warspite, and the HE-flinging, high concealment of every other RN Battleship with the Warspite and the Hood as exceptions, taking into account many different ships and their playstyles (Colorado and North Carolina) to make a ship that while not the best would be absolutely fun for the camper or the skilled, while still rewarding both accordingly, discouraging the campy playstyles of the Battleship through the ease of WASD countering, and letting Wargaming have a Lazy Premium ship. (Seriously. Copy+paste the 18-inchers.) It is rather possible that the shell velocity may be a factor in discouraging camping, with the excessive Accuracy repeatedly demonstrated leaving the blame of the aim more on one's own skill than on RNG. The ship with 18-inch rifles at Tier 8 makes it enticing for any buyer, and the concentration of the easiness/strengths of playing not on the gunnery or the survivability, but on the ease of positioning with gunnery that rewards someone for this. The ship serves many roles very, very well, from sniping, mid-range supporting, and even possibly tanking and brawling, and in theory will reward those who use it to all the roles at the right time.

Remember: this ship is only a Theoretical Battleship design, both historically and in game design. The effectiveness of the design is only theoretical, and I have attempted to take all the factors in to make it balanced for the tier and the unique gunnery. Any advice is appreciated and constructive feedback and comments will be treated well.

Credits must go to @LittleWhiteMouse, who basically wrote half of th- I mean, who I shamelessly copied some parts of the review from and parodied her format in the poor-man's style, along with @PauloBR's Bismarck Bot, those at ARP who provided technical Assistance on discord, my best friend @ErrorCRJ, and many others. 

Time for bed.

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21 minutes ago, tcbaker777 said:

Thunderer is fake, Mouse made it up dude


Edit: Sorry, spent the better part of 4-5 hours writing this for the first comment to be, well, that.

Edited by khaenn35

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Alpha Tester
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18" guns at tier 8 is not a selling point, it's a useless gimmick. 457mm guns don't overmatch any bows that 406mm guns don't already, and you're giving up a lot to have them.

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51 minutes ago, khaenn35 said:


Edit: Sorry, spent the better part of 4-5 hours writing this for the first comment to be, well, that.

The question is, why would you spend 4-5 hours  writing up a fake ship? :Smile_hiding:

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Beta Testers
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After all the whining you people did about Musashi at tier 9, this is what you come up with?

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How did you endure spending 4 hours to write that with a phone...

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Conqueror is just as fake as Thunderer. WG made one up and then Mouse made Thunderer up off the back. Fakeceptione. They steal the names intended for the 3rd and 4th Lions respectively. There is no need for any more fake Mega-Vanguards and Mega-Lions than those we already have.

As for the 457mm at tier 8 and 9, that niche can be filled by the RN Slow Battleship line. One ship is easy to place. The other is a bit of a stretch. 

The finalised N3 design as a tier 9 regular. With a  hypothetical modernisation based on that of those meant to be applied to Nelson & Rodney. This would likely give her a base speed of 25 to 26 knots, which sounds bad until you remember this ship has 9x 457mm and a 380mm heavily sloped belt, citadel above water slightly at the machinery spaces. I would prefer to see the A-hull keep the original 6" secondaries however, leaving just mid to short range AA until the B-hull where the 5.25" (Not much of an upgrade) or 4.5" (Definitely an upgrade) would be fitted. With the disadvantages of a low speed and being fairly inflexible, this balances out the very nice main battery. Personally, I'll give her the name Albion, as a play on the oft stated 4 planned per home country and patron saint etc. (Instead of St George, Andrew, David, Patrick, using Albion, Caledonia, Cambria, Erin).



And since this would be an entirely separate line of RN BBs from tier 3 to 10, a tier 8 is also in order, and another design can potentially fill this. It is an awkward fit, but about the only candidate that I think works well enough. This is M2, of slightly earlier lineage than N3. She is armed with 1 less barrel in a more inefficient layout, but is otherwise very similar. Which is the main cause of concern, the 457 are good rifles, but even with just 8, probably questionable accuracy and an arrangement that will cause more whinging than Izumo, plus a speed of about 24 - 25 knots the ship still shares the stronk armour of N3 and would be the fattest tier 8 BB to date. Stealing a name from a pre-dreadnought will do for this, and I think 'Ocean' will suffice, for what I think would be a rather polarising or unloved ship. 



Aside from the IJN Number 13 final design and preliminaries, I don't see the 457mm guns getting below tier 10 anytime soon though. RN Slow BBs as a line are almost definitely a distant prospect, being low priority behind RN BCs, and then the other nations with gaps.

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I see a lot of random seriousness in this topic I find doesn't quite need to be here. However, like Lert, I agree this ship probably wouldn't be that cool a selling point considering the power of the 16" rifles already.

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