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A (serious) case for HNLMS De Zeven Provincien as T8 Dutch premium

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In which I discuss my proposal for a Dutch T8 light cruiser premium, namely de Zeven Provincien, commissioned in 1953:

JaZvHif.jpg

De Zeven Provincien was one of two ships in her class, the other being de Ruyter. Sort-of. You see, these ships changed names a few too many times during their service life.

The ship I'm going to discuss in this thread was ordered in 1938 as 'Kruiser 2' as part of the Eendracht class of cruisers, laid down in 1939 as Kijkduin and named Eendracht in 1940. When the Germans invaded they captured the 25% complete ship and planned to finish her as KH2. However, this project was never completed. In 1945 she was named Eendracht once again, though in 1950 she was renamed De Zeven Provincien to a very different design than the original Eendracht draft. She was commissioned in 1952 and sold to Peru in 1975, there renamed Aguirre. She was finally decomissioned and scrapped in 2000.

For the purposes of this thread I will refer to her as De Zeven Provincien, or D7P. De Zeven Provincien is actually a very weighty name in the Netherlands, as it refers to the original seven provinces that declared their independence in the Unie van Utrecht in 1579,  the first step in achieving independence of what eventually would become the Netherlands. It was also the name of admiral Michiel de Ruyter's flagship, a 1665 vintage, 80 gun ship of the line.

oRihF6h.jpg

Michiel de Ruyter is considered the greatest Dutch admiral ever and one of the greatest admirals in world history. His exploits is why there have been ships named de Ruyter in Dutch naval service almost interrupted for the past 200 years. So you can imagine what weight de Zeven Provincien name carries in Dutch naval history. It's a name reserved for only the best and greatest ships in our tiny country's navy, and the ship I'm talking about today truly counted.

She was modernized in the 1980s and given guided missiles, but for the purposes of this thread I'll be looking at D7P as she was commissioned.

auqeEsu.png

Commissioned in 1953 and sailing in Dutch service until 1975, she never fired her guns in anger. She did partake in many NATO exercises and served as flagship during some of them. As such her service life is not very interesting. Moving on.

So what would she look like in game?

For the purposes of this thread, I'm going to argue for D7P as a T8 CL, based on long range, rapid-fire gun power and a potent AA suite.

Tonnage:

11930 tons full load gives us 32100 hit points, rounded. This puts her a bit behind ships like Cleveland and Chapayev, both boasting about 37k HP, and Kutuzov with her 40k HP. Even the light weight Edinburgh has her beat with 36k HP. However, due to her play style, this low hit point total is less of a problem than one might think.

Armor:

9BtP0Ef.jpg

De Zeven Provincien would be a very soft and weakly armored ship, to say the least. A 76mm belt at best with 50mm upper belt, a slight 30mm turtleback, 10mm fore- and aft deck and a 20mm main deck. The conning tower and turrets both had up to 125mm armor.

The citadel would've been at the waterline, but any large caliber, high angle fire would easily smash through the 15mm side plating or 50mm upper belt and through the 30mm citadel roof. This ship was about as 'well protected' as Omaha, and we all know how squishy that ship is, even at tier 5.

For the purposes of this game the fore-end and aft plating and weather deck would likely be artificially increased to 25mm to bring it in line with the other T8 CL, but this wouldn't be enough to make the ship 'tough'. At best it'll help deflect cruiser caliber AP fire at sharp angles.

Main armament:

4x 2 152mm Bofors kanon M/42

wemTM6D.jpg

These are late 1930s vintage guns, originally ordered by the Dutch for the Eendracht class cruisers. Post-war these guns received new mounts and new loading systems, allowing them to be used as dual purpose artillery and giving them a higher rate of fire. These fired a 45kg projectile at 900 mps. The listed rate of fire is 10 rpm in the anti-surface role up to 15 rpm in the AA role.

These guns do not exist in the game yet and information on them is scarce. For example, I can't find the weight of bursting charge used in these shells. However, their mass is known, 45 kg, and as such I can compare them to other 152mm shells in the game and make an educated guess as to their performance compared to those of other ships in this game.

What I find when comparing these guns to other in-game 6" guns is that the D7P fired very light shells. For example, Cleveland fired a 59kg AP shell and even Duca D'aosta a 50kg one. D7P's shells being so light means that they likely carried a smaller bursting charge and thus would do less damage than even Duca D'aosta's guns. Since the Duca's AP shells are listed at 3200 dmg and Cleveland's at 3300, I would give D7P's AP shells 3100 dmg.

Fortunately the HE shells are easier to compare, since Cleveland's HE shells are of very similar weight. As such I would estimate D7P's HE shells to have a similar 2200 dmg and 12% fire chance.

With 8 barrels and 10 RPM this gives us 248k AP DPM and 176k HE DPM, but how does that compare that to the other light cruisers at tier 8?

Quote

Tier 8 Light Cruiser AP/HE DPM:

Chapayev  297k/198k
Kutuzov  297k/198k
Mogami 155  297k/243k
Edinburgh 298k/ NA
Cleveland  354k/244k

(thanks @LittleWhiteMouse)

D7P falls hopelessly behind in the T8 CL DPM race. However, remember when I said that the guns had 10 RPM in the anti-surface role and 15 RPM in the AA role? This is likely to do with the loading system delivering shells in a position optimized for high angle loading, meaning that against surface targets the loading system needs time to rotate the shells to a more horizontal position, taking up valuable time.

However, this is true for all naval guns with an automated loading system, as shown in this famous animation:

SoVcSTs.gif

Wargaming has always ignored the need to elevate / depress barrels to the optimal loading position and always used the optimal rate of fire numbers for each gun, regardless of elevation levels or range to target. So it stands to reason that Wargaming would be more likely to use the 15 RPM number for D7P's guns than the 10 RPM number.

At 15 RPM we get 372k AP DPM 264k HE DPM.

These numbers would put D7P way ahead of any other CL at tier and make her more suitable for tier 9 or even tier 10 placing. However, the hull is simply not suited for that kind of tier. It's already pushing it a little bit to put her at tier 8.

So what I propose is that WG use a middling 12.5 RPM. This gives us 310k AP DPM and 220k HE DPM.

These numbers are competitive with the other T8 CL without going too much overboard, especially considering the hull having a low amount of hit points and very soft armor. The shell ballistics too make this high DPM less of an advantage than it seems on paper. Despite a high muzzle velocity of 900 mps these shells are the lightest 152mm at tier, and thus lose a lot of velocity over distance, making short range gunnery very comfortable but long range gunnery floaty and challenging to reliably put warheads on foreheads at range.

Her height of mast and the location of her main fire director likely means very good firing range, likely at least 18km.

Finally, she would likely have very competitive dispersion with high sigma owing to a very modern, 1950s era fire control system.

Auxilliary armament:

4x 2 Bofors 57mm /60

8x Bofors 40mm /60

The double 57mm /60 mounts are already in the game on Republique, where they're given 306 dpm at 4.5km for 12x 2 mounts. D7P carried a third of those, so would get 102 dpm at 4.5km from these.

The 40mm /60 are as far as I remember not yet in the game, but would, according to @Fr05ty have about the same effectiveness of the existing 40mm /56 mount, for approx. 95 dpm at 3.5km estimated.

That's already a respectable AA bubble, especially if you consider DFAA. But the 152mm guns were dual purpose, thus would count towards the AA bubble as well. It's difficult to estimate the dpm output and range they would have though, but if we compare the damage output in the anti-surface role with, say, Minotaur's main battery DPM in the anti-surface role and in the anti-air we can at least make a semi educated guess. Minotaur puts out almost double the anti-surface DPM as D7P at 12.5 RPM, so Minotaur's 152mm AA DPS of 118 would also be sliced almost in half for 65 DPS at 6km for D7P's main battery AA DPS. This is just an estimate, at best a ballpark number.

So 65 DPS at 6km, 160 total DPS at 4.5km and 262 total DPS at 3.5km. Those are pretty respectable numbers, but become very nasty if you take DFAA and Manual AA into account.

Speed:

32 knots. The base bottom for 'decent' cruiser speed at that tier.

In terms of agility I would give her a relatively quick rudder as well as a relatively small turning circle owing to being a modern and very light design. Let's say 6s base rudder shift and a 640m turning radius. This puts her in the upper end of maneuverability for T8 light cruisers without going overboard, or forgetting that this is a relatively big ship.

Concealment:

This is a large ship with tall masts. She'll likely have bad concealment. While lighter than Cleveland, she's taller and likely more visible. In fact, her height of mast is comparable to that of Mikhail Kutuzov, meaning that she likely has similar concealment.

Kutuzov boasts 14.1km by sea and 9.3 by air, with her premium camouflage but no other factors like upgrades or captain skills.

Why does mast height matter so much for concealment as well as firing range? Well, in real life the ocean is curved, because the earth is round. The taller your masts and the higher up the fire director, the further your horizon is and the further you can see, but also the sooner you're seen by others.

Consumables:

Let's get the elephant out of the room: this ship would not get radar. Regardless of my personal opinion about radar, adding more radar ships to the game would lead to an increase of complaints on the forum. So I've elected not to propose radar for this ship.

That leaves the following consumable suite. We'll start by your standard complement of Damage Control Party and Defensive AA. Because this is a very modern but very flimsy ship, I'd add a repair party. Standard like on Atago and Eugen if sufficient, RN Superheal if necessary for balance. Since this ship had no provisions for an airplane, I would give her smoke to round out her consumable suite.

Xke367b.jpg

Playstyle:

De Zeven Provincien would be a long range firebreather, if anything. With a soft hull and low health she's forced to stay back and try to make herself as unappetizing a target as possible. Fortunately her maneuverability, heal and smoke consumable help with this play style. Finally, her ballistics are sufficient to hit targets at medium to longer ranges with her initially very good muzzle velocity, but gunnery will become more difficult the further out a target is due to her light shells. And if a target presents itself at closer range, she has the AP DPM and short range muzzle velocity to rip them asunder with withering fire. With her DFAA on a potent AA suite she would make an excellent AA picket ship, and her speed - while unimpressive in its own right - is still sufficient to keep up with the battleships. She also has the agility to dodge long range incoming fire, especially from battleships, meaning that her low hit points pool is less of an issue than it first appears to be.

As such, this is truly the supportiest of support ships, with every aspect of her play style pushing her towards this role.

Elephant in the room:

There were two ships of this class, de Ruyter and de Zeven Provincien. This gives us one ship for the tech tree and one as premium. Problem solved, right? Well, no. A Dutch cruiser tree is likely going to have the 1930s de Ruyter at tier 4, meaning that we can't have de Zeven Provincien's sistership de Ruyter in the tech tree nor as premium, at least, not under that name. So how to solve this?

I would propose that Wargaming introduce de Zeven Provincien as T8 premium, and include her sister de Ruyter in the tech tree under the name Kijkduin.

"But wait, wasn't Kijkduin one of the names used for de Zeven Provincien, and not de Ruyter?"

Yes, but one of the names used for de Ruyter during its equally long construction process was de Zeven Provincien. There were two of these ships built, and it would be a shame to pass up the opportunity for a built-in-steel, has-served, T8 premium cruiser for the Dutch. Whichever way you spin it, Wargaming is going to have to apply some creativity in naming the tech tree ship vs the premium ship, but I would consider it a great shame if they elected not to introduce this premium only because it would create some confusion with the name. Plus, it's not like we don't have precedence for the exact same ship appearing in the game twice under a new name. Isn't that right Krasny Krym and Admiral Makarov? Finally, tech tree ships are often an amalgamation of various in-class sister ships anyways, rather than being a specific one out of the series.

So, in short:

Pros:

- Has served a long service life of almost 50 years (Her sister served almost 65 years)
- Dozens of pages of elaborate blueprints are readily available (Seriously, dozens. Check out the gahetna link in sources, linked at the bottom)
- ROF range allows for easy re-balancing and re-tiering if needed to fill a hole
- Every aspect of the ship points to a singulearplay style, no 'bote schizophrenia' here
- Is a majestic ship with great lines.

Cons:

- Dutch nation not in game
- Likely limited appeal due to this
- Limited appeal as captain trainer
- No truly legendary historical feats, served only in peace time

Like with my Witte de With proposal the greatest hurdle to overcome is to convince the highly USN centric NA server of the necessity to include ships that would likely appeal to very few of the players here based purely on nationality, and with very limited captain training potential to boot. The ship has to appeal to people on its own merit, of a rapid-fire, reasonably maneuverable AA picket / fleet support ship. Unfortunately that is not a role that appeals to the average player, and the high skill floor and ceiling of this ship will likely mean that only the experienced and more skilled players would pick this ship up.

However, I do still firmly believe that this ship has a place in the game, and while I would jump for joy if this ship is included in a Dutch cruiser tree, I think the more realistic option is as a premium either stand-alone like ORP Błyskawica or as captain trainer for a Pan-Eropean tree.

Another option is to include D7P as Aguirre or D7P's sister de Ruyter as Almirante Grau as Peruvian ships in a pan-American tree. However, as Dutchman I would prefer to see her flying the Dutch flag, of course.

What would she cost, if implemented at tier 8?

Same as other T8 premium cruisers, around 10k ~ 11k doubloons, or $50 USD.

"But I don't like the ship at T8!"

I put her at T8 because of competitive DPM and a potent AA suite more than anything. I do admit the hull is more suited for T7 or even T6, being a late 1930s hull basically with 1950s powerplant and armament. I could see an argument for lowering her DPM and putting her in at T7. Likewise, the mounts were capable of 15 RPM, which would give a DPM more suitable to tier 9. However, personally, I wanted a T8 premium ship for the Dutch, and this was the most likely candidate.

"But didn't you originally put her at tier 6?"

Yes. I did. However, since then I learned a lot more about the ship itself, the weapons used, and about the game and game balance in general. T6 is simply too low a tier for a ship with this DPM, unless you pick the absolute lowest possible number, and gimp her in other ways. Even then you'd still have an AA suite that's way too potent for tier 6.

What camouflage would she wear?

Unfortunately I've not been able to find pictures of her wearing anything other than a standard, uniform, naval gray overcoat with black mast tops and a white C802 hull number on the bow.

kIYOkM3.png

Closing words:

Thank you all for reading another in-depth proposal for a Dutch ship. After Witte de With I just had to write up a proposal for this ship. I hope you find her as interesting as I do.

Thank you @LittleWhiteMouse, @Snowyskies and @Fr05ty for helping make this proposal possible.

Sources used:

@Pigeon_of_War

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It would be interesting, but not that profitable for WG. I don't have a secret channel to their boardroom meetings, but if sales of Nueve de Julio go well, I would expect more Pan-American premiums first.

It's certainly a way for the game to broaden its horizons, but I think there are other, more practical ways to do the same.

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As the last all gun cruiser to serve in the world (she was finally decommed in 2017), she does deserve some recognition in game I feel. I agree with the proposal and wish to see her in game.

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Just now, Doomlock said:

As the last all gun cruiser to serve in the world (she was finally decommed in 2017), she does deserve some recognition in game I feel.

That was her sister. De Zeven Provincien was scrapped in 2000.

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Nice article :Smile_great:. I wonder though, since we are getting the Panamerican nation, whether de Ryuter might be introduced parallel to Almirante Grau, basically doing a repeat of Boise and Nueve.

Edited by warheart1992
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1 minute ago, warheart1992 said:

Nice article :Smile_great:.

Thanks.

1 minute ago, warheart1992 said:

I wonder though, since we are getting the Panamerican tree, whether de Ryuter might be introduced parallel to Almirante Grau, basically doing a repeat of Boise and Nueve.

I'd take it. Though I'd rather have her under Dutch flag, it's still the same ship if introduced as Aguirre or her sister as Almirante Grau.

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Excellent proposal and well reasoned.  The only area of concern I have is your mention of giving her smoke.  We saw how well a Smoke Generator worked for Mikhail Kutuzov -- the ship she would most closely resemble.  It's possible that with a lack of torpedoes she might be a little more well rounded -- especially if her gun firing bloom in smoke was comparably large.  But that would be something that would have to be play tested.

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On 7/15/2018 at 7:16 PM, LittleWhiteMouse said:

Excellent proposal and well reasoned.  The only area of concern I have is your mention of giving her smoke.  We saw how well a Smoke Generator worked for Mikhail Kutuzov -- the ship she would most closely resemble.  It's possible that with a lack of torpedoes she might be a little more well rounded -- especially if her gun firing bloom in smoke was comparably large.

My reasoning was that she of all the T8 CLs needed smoke more than any other, because of her role as pure support ship, large profile, low hit points and weak armor. Edinburgh also gets smoke, but she's not a problem child. As for what type of smoke to give D7P~

On 7/15/2018 at 7:16 PM, LittleWhiteMouse said:

But that would be something that would have to be play tested.

Exactly.

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wouldn't mind that ship, it looks cool. loved the autoloading pic too!:fish_cute_2:

 

but if we're adding dutch ships i expect Dy-ruter  (hope I spelled that right?) to be added as well!:fish_aqua:

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14 minutes ago, BladedPheonix said:

but if we're adding dutch ships i expect Dy-ruter  (hope I spelled that right?) to be added as well!:fish_aqua:

De Ruyter?

I'm probably in the minority here, but I really wish they'd pick one of the other appropriate, more interesting designs. I know de Ruyter has its fans and has the history, I just don't like the design very much myself.

Of course that doesn't mean I wouldn't be happy if it did come ...

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1 hour ago, Lert said:

That was her sister. De Zeven Provincien was scrapped in 2000.

I should probably clarify I was meaning the class, but yes her sister. The class had a long career.

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I like her, I think she'd be a good addition to the game and given that WG are apparently imminently launching the lonely orphan Nueve de Julio for the Pan-Americans a less unlikely addition.

While a DZP wouldn't have a great career, at least she wasn't used as a prison ship. I don't think that matters too greatly, she's interesting from a design standpoint.

I'm not sure if different hoist systems might explain the 10/15 RPM. In anti-surface work there is a point of 'too much' while anti-aircraft that's much less the case. Either way selecting a reasonable number between them is sensible. The ship is a tremendous glass cannon like you say, 76mm at T5 at least sees only fairly low performance 8in/6in guns in low concentrations a lot of the time, at T7-T8 she's in a lot of trouble there. Even the 'soft' RN cruisers at that tier have 100-114mm of belt armor.

I wouldn't quibble too much on the tiering these days, smoke and repair are justifiable and make big differences. The ship is too well equipped with guns and AA to justify staying at that low a tier, the hull HP cover a pretty wide range of possibilities.

 

Ever since the RN CL's came into the game over-tiered but with smoke/repair, and in particular since Huanghe I've not worried so much about specific tiering, clearly the developers don't either. She'll work at 7 or 8 in some combination.

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The Bofors 40mm/56.3 and the Bofors 40mm/60 are the same gun, as far as I'm aware, its just nomenclature differences. Much like the Japanese calling 3" guns 8cm. 

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On 7/15/2018 at 11:57 AM, Lert said:

The 40mm /60 are as far as I remember not yet in the game, but would, according to @Fr05ty have about the same effectiveness of the existing 40mm /56 mount, for approx. 95 dpm at 3.5km estimated.

Weren't these 40mm/70 Bofors? The 40mm/70 had double the ROF of the 40mm/56, nearly double the bursting charge, higher muzzle velocity and higher effective range. My best guess would be a single 40mm/70 would get at least 4km range (if not 4.5km) and DPS comparable to a twin 40mm/56 (possibly even a radar-directed twin like the Mk V RP50 on Belfast or the STAAG on Neptune). This is one of the finest AA guns ever made, to the extent that variations of it are still used for CIWS in 2018. 

On 7/15/2018 at 12:41 PM, Lert said:

I'd take it. Though I'd rather have her under Dutch flag, it's still the same ship if introduced as Aguirre or her sister as Almirante Grau.

My thought is that Almirante Grau would be an excellent fit as a non-premium in a Pan-America CL line because the only plausible options the top tiers are Vickers-designed paper ships with DP 152mm guns. The base hull could be the same as a premium Dutch de Zeven Provincien with perhaps different consumable sets to fit whatever "national flavors" WG wants to give the Pan-Am and Dutch lines.

Edited by Lord_Magus

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3 hours ago, Lord_Magus said:

Weren't these 40mm/70 Bofors?

Not according to this page. However, the Wikipedia page on the class links to the L/70 variant. I tend to trust navweaps more than Wikipedia, but that doesn't mean they're never wrong. In any case, if it really was the L/70 that as fitted, you can roughly add ¬50% to the 40mm AA dps with additional range. It wouldn't really affect the ship much other than make its AA bubble even scarier.

3 hours ago, Lord_Magus said:

My thought is that Almirante Grau would be an excellent fit as a non-premium in a Pan-America CL line because the only plausible options the top tiers are Vickers-designed paper ships with DP 152mm guns. The base hull could be the same as a premium Dutch de Zeven Provincien with perhaps different consumable sets to fit whatever "national flavors" WG wants to give the Pan-Am and Dutch lines.

Maybe a case of clones-across-nationalities like Boise / Nueve de Julio? Or as per your suggestion with tweaked consumables or small tweaks to other stats to distinguish them.

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19 minutes ago, Lert said:

Maybe a case of clones-across-nationalities like Boise / Nueve de Julio? Or as per your suggestion with tweaked consumables or small tweaks to other stats to distinguish them.

Something like smoke on one and hydro on the other? Or maybe one having a 10/11 rpm main battery with a version of the new GRB consumable? I can dig that. You know me Lert, I'm always up for more CLs and more nations being represented in-game. Count me in!

I really need to get off my aft and start digging to see if my "Pan Nordic" tree idea would work.

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2 hours ago, Lert said:

Not according to this page. However, the Wikipedia page on the class links to the L/70 variant. I tend to trust navweaps more than Wikipedia, but that doesn't mean they're never wrong. In any case, if it really was the L/70 that as fitted, you can roughly add ¬50% to the 40mm AA dps with additional range. It wouldn't really affect the ship much other than make its AA bubble even scarier.

Navypedia's entry says "8 x 1 - 40/70 Bofors M58". That's what I was going by. Given that Bofors took the L/60 out of production in 1954 it would be odd if that's what the Royal Netherlands Navy chose for that 1960s refit.

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I think that T8 is a bit of a push, but it helps flesh out a Dutch tree with other ships.  I view her as more of a T7, with the original 10 X 150mm design as T6.

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20 minutes ago, Lord_Magus said:

Navypedia's entry says "8 x 1 - 40/70 Bofors M58". That's what I was going by. Given that Bofors took the L/60 out of production in 1954 it would be odd if that's what the Royal Netherlands Navy chose for that 1960s refit.

The ship was commissioned in 1953 and used a lot of old components the Dutch navy still had lying around. Either way works though. It just turns the AA from 'potent' to 'very'.

11 minutes ago, crzyhawk said:

I think that T8 is a bit of a push, but it helps flesh out a Dutch tree with other ships.  I view her as more of a T7, with the original 10 X 150mm design as T6.

That's fair enough. However, her DPM and AA potential are very strong for T7, and things like a modern fire control would give her very comfortable and accurate gunnery. T7 would be a good fit, but IMO so would T8. The T8 premiums do have that edge over T7 ones in appeal and earning, and this is the best candidate for a T8 premium the Dutch have.

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You had me up until "Smoke Consumable". That's a no from me. :fish_book:

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4 hours ago, TornadoADV said:

You had me up until "Smoke Consumable". That's a no from me. :fish_book:

Would you prefer radar?

At this tier, she needs something. I can see an argument for lowering her DPM and tier, but she'll still need an edge even at tier 7, where everything is still sturdier than she is, even notoriously 'soft' ships like Yorck and Shchors - at tier 7 I still would've given her smoke and let the DPM delta be the difference that decides the tier.

The problem is that you can't lower her too much to, like, tier 6, because of her DPM and AA potential. Besides, tier 8 has a certain appeal both for WG in income and for the player base as captain trainer (in a potential pan-euro / pan-american or even full Dutch tree) / credit earner and there aren't any better candidates for tier 8. Plus, at tier 8 she'd be in the company of contemporary ships like Chapayev and Kutuzov.

Like I explained in my proposal, I wanted to stay away from radar to avoid complaints, hydro won't do her any good from the second or third line acting as support ship / AA picket ship, so that leaves smoke.

I can understand why you don't like smoke on a cruiser, but it's still the best option. Unless you have a better idea?

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