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DeliciousFart

A more balanced approach to Vanguard's citadel (and other British battleships)

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Currently, previews of the upcoming HMS Vanguard shows that the citadel encompasses the entire protected volume, with the height equal to the entire armor belt and the roof being the main armor deck. In other words, this is the same style of citadel that Yamato, Roma, and Nelson have, as well as the Iowa and Montana before their volume changes.

The reaction to Vanguard's citadel has been rather mixed. Lacking the Yamato's 32 mm overmatch, Roma's belt thickness, bow armor, and penetration, or Nelson's obscene firepower and forward turret arrangement, there doesn't seem to be a good balancing reason for Vanguard to have such a large citadel volume. On the other hand, many also hope to not have a repeat of the KGV, Monarch, Lion, and Alaska citadel, as those are widely considered unduly forgiving, and less charitably derided as "brain-dead" and "idiot-proof". Furthermore, the citadel volume of KGV to Lion also have their boiler rooms cut short, making the citadel height non-historical as well.

I think we can come to a middle ground here, given that there is an additional deck under the main armor deck that acts as the roof of the machinery and magazine spaces. This can be a compromise that would not make the Vanguard so unduly vulnerable as it currently is while avoiding the widely derided underwater citadels of the other British battleships. The proposal images are below.

saZvk82.jpg

StM9Hyw.jpg

Note that this is largely the same proposal that I've made for the British battleships from KGV onwards. There is some additional room to fudge with here, like raising the citadel over the magazines to the same height as the machinery if necessary for balancing purposes. Note that the magazine and machinery spaces don't have the same height, hence a stepped citadel shape similar to the Baltimore's. See my older proposal for KGV and Lion below.

King George V

FnwSPFs.jpg

Lion

EYGqtRx.jpg

Edited by DeliciousFart
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it would help if actual illustrations of Vanguard's armour/module layout (ST pts) were in your OP. Here are two from a third party website.

vang.PNGvangcit.PNG

nota bene : these are publically available views, screenshotted from 3dgamesmodels.

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I believe also generous gun angles like the Hood and improved turret traverse could also help reduce the broadside the ship will be giving. Let's not also forget that the ship will be a bit stealthier than the already very stealthy Roma.

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Being HE spammed to death in 5 minutes because you're 32mm all over is also an idiotic approach.

Given the low citadels of the Americans, turtlebacks of the French, Amagi and German I am incredibly against giving RN battleships any kind of raised citadel without compensation.

The system is idiotic, a Citadel after repair does 90% of a shell's damage, while a 50% repairable '33' does a paltry 16.5% - 5.5x as much effective damage post repair. Citadels therefore are disproportionately impactful, even a single one or a handful massively changing your effective health in a way that a dozen '33's would take.

Similarly the in-game system of Zaos and Hindenburgs HE spamming you to death from afar is well, pretty idiotic - which all-or-nothing BB was ever seriously damaged by ranged cruiser or destroyer fire?

 

Vanguard would be buffed by your solution but as it stands she's so terrible that I think even a citadel hiding out with the Titanic would still leave her a pretty awful ship. I'd almost rather WG simply can her at the moment. Vanguard will be the No. 1 HE spam target, and with 343mm of vertical plating, and no internal backup over that section of above water citadel (machinery)  at a tier where all the T10 BB's which you see have >450mm of pen at 20km?! 462 Montana, 520 Yamato, 508 Republique, 481 GK, 514 Conq. Om nom nom, delicious. 

When the citadel's still partial length and low it's then a lot of RNG as well as aim/punishment. Maybe better just to make it ultra-freak to land one. All the game mechanics which give vast advantages to the turtlebacked and distributed armor designs are major, giving those poor sops lumbered with citadels, 32mm weatherdecks and AON schemes a submarine citadel seems pretty reasonable.

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Good post. However, I think the bigger issue is Vanguard's inability to match other BBs of the same tier in firepower.

Obviously it's more complicated than this, but this chart should show how Vanguard stacks up with other BBs.

  # of shells per salvo Alpha DPM Other reliable sources of damage (minus ramming)
Vanguard 8 93600 187200  
Richelieu/Gascongne 8 95200 190400 Secondaries
Bismarck/Tirpitz

8

92800 214153 Secondaries/Torpedoes
Monarch 9 107100 257040
North Carolina 9 121500 243000  
Alabama 9 121500 243000  
Massachusetts 9 121500 243000 Secondaries
Amagi 10 126000 252000  
Kii 10 126000 252000 Torpedoes

 

 

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54 minutes ago, mofton said:

Being HE spammed to death in 5 minutes because you're 32mm all over is also an idiotic approach.

Given the low citadels of the Americans, turtlebacks of the French, Amagi and German I am incredibly against giving RN battleships any kind of raised citadel without compensation.

The system is idiotic, a Citadel after repair does 90% of a shell's damage, while a 50% repairable '33' does a paltry 16.5% - 5.5x as much effective damage post repair. Citadels therefore are disproportionately impactful, even a single one or a handful massively changing your effective health in a way that a dozen '33's would take.

Similarly the in-game system of Zaos and Hindenburgs HE spamming you to death from afar is well, pretty idiotic - which all-or-nothing BB was ever seriously damaged by ranged cruiser or destroyer fire?

The citadel height that I'm proposing is only marginally higher than American battleship citadel, and only over the machinery spaces, while the magazine spaces are still quite deep underwater. From my experience, I don't think it's fair to categorize American battleships with French and German battleships in terms of difficulty in hitting the citadel. I would like to see British battleship citadel be about as vulnerable as American battleships, and other areas can be buffed to compensate, such as accuracy or projectile Krupp.

Frankly, I really hope WG can avoid a repeat of the KGV/Lion/Conqueror citadel situation. Aspects of their offensive armament such as Krupp and sigma were reduced likely because of the citadel height. Much better, in my opinion, would be to raise the citadel of the British battleships while also improving their accuracy. For instance, I think giving Vanguard a 2.0 sigma to match the Warspite can be a good start.

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1 hour ago, BlailBlerg said:

Want the UK BBs citadels higher. 

What buff do you think they should get in compensation?  They aren't overperforming, so a nerf of this significance would need a compensating buff.

26 minutes ago, Fog_Heavy_Cruiser_Takao said:

I just hope it has accurate guns and good AP rounds. Basiclly a high tier Warspite.

Right now she has Hood's accuracy (1.8 sigma like Hood, not 2.0 like Warspite) and slightly more health, but Hood is faster, has distributed armor which makes her significantly resistant to HE, has faster turret rotation, her gimmick AA rockets and a waterline turtleback citadel.

As it stands, Hood is probably better than Vanguard.  A straight up copy/paste of Hood to Tier VIII only replacing her 25mm extremity platting with 32mm extremity plating would absolutely be superior to Vanguard as she is right now.

Edited by Helstrem

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55 minutes ago, DeliciousFart said:

The citadel height that I'm proposing is only marginally higher than American battleship citadel, and only over the machinery spaces, while the magazine spaces are still quite deep underwater. From my experience, I don't think it's fair to categorize American battleships with French and German battleships in terms of difficulty in hitting the citadel. I would like to see British battleship citadel be about as vulnerable as American battleships, and other areas can be buffed to compensate, such as accuracy or projectile Krupp.

Frankly, I really hope WG can avoid a repeat of the KGV/Lion/Conqueror citadel situation. Aspects of their offensive armament such as Krupp and sigma were reduced likely because of the citadel height. Much better, in my opinion, would be to raise the citadel of the British battleships while also improving their accuracy. For instance, I think giving Vanguard a 2.0 sigma to match the Warspite can be a good start.

It may not be entirely fair to lump in USN battleship citadels with KM/MN/IJN, but being higher than them even over a shorter length is problematic. I generally find that it's vertical dispersion which can rob you of heavy hits, aiming between the funnels is pretty easy, at range it's less so but at close range it's relatively easy. At that point height matters more. Increasing the height also increases the likelihood of a deck penetration, and if you're using an internal splinter deck layer as the roof on the raised sections it probably won't autobounce heavy AP.

Those disadvantages combine in particular with the awful turret angles of the KGV, Monarch, Lion and WIP-Vangarbage. Vanguard needing to show 45' to get all turrets on target now has a citadel out of autobounce and with only 343mm of plating? Exposing broadside to shoot with them is already problematic, now there's citadel in the mix? That's far less of a problem for USN battleships with their generally better firing angles. The citadel rise also further discourages any brawling, already something those ships are terribly suited to with their weak armor, lack of hydro, poor TDS, poor base HP and lack of secondaries.

Then there's the in-game 'knowledge' effect. Does Pensacola get dev-struck with disappointing regularity because it's got a big vulnerable target area, or because people know it's vulnerable and shoot it on purpose? Likely a mixture of the two. Once word gets out: 'lol, Vanguard's going to show broadside to get the turrets off and just shoot it between the funnels'. Well, at least that's better than the current lunacy for that particular WIP ship.

 

Corresponding buffs are attractive to me, I would like a more accurate line at the expense of some vulnerability. However WG seems absolutely hellbent on making battleships less accurate. The British had US dispersion, but generally lower sigma and no Artillery Plotting Module. The French were generally inaccurate being on the 'German' dispersion slope and with Sigma generally low aside from the 8-gun Republique. Premiums wise we've had 1.8/German Roma, then 1.8/German Gascogne, then 1.7/US Massachusetts, now there's a proposed 1.8/US Vanguard, Musashi -0.3 sigma from Yamato, Jean Bart starting at 2.0 and then nerfed to 1.9.

WG seem pretty opposed to accurate battleships at the moment. Increasing vulnerability to citadels would mostly weaken RN BB survivability vs. other battleships, cruisers (and DD) are still unlikely to citadel them. If you correspondingly improved the accuracy though then that really hurts cruisers, and maybe DD - there's a reason Montana's the choice over Conqueror in CB.

Improving Krupp might be nice, but it's generally fine - with a few exceptions - the T9-T10 don't really suffer a lack of hitting power Conq is ahead of all but Repub/Yama at 20km pen. Even if you did improve my Krupp then, yay? Doesn't matter if I'm shooting HE. 512mm pen at hitting range is fine vs. cruisers, Yama's only 30mm ahead. Not a great trade.

 

If we could re-hash the game, look at citadel damage, look at long-range plunging fire being a real thing by looking at autobounce and maneuverability, look at how HE works, look at damage saturation - look at lots of things - I think we could make some decent balance changes, but without that my general conclusion is 'if the devs want to make AoN suck then they can give them deep citadels and tough luck'.

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On 9/28/2018 at 8:10 PM, mofton said:

It may not be entirely fair to lump in USN battleship citadels with KM/MN/IJN, but being higher than them even over a shorter length is problematic. I generally find that it's vertical dispersion which can rob you of heavy hits, aiming between the funnels is pretty easy, at range it's less so but at close range it's relatively easy. At that point height matters more. Increasing the height also increases the likelihood of a deck penetration, and if you're using an internal splinter deck layer as the roof on the raised sections it probably won't autobounce heavy AP.

Those disadvantages combine in particular with the awful turret angles of the KGV, Monarch, Lion and WIP-Vangarbage. Vanguard needing to show 45' to get all turrets on target now has a citadel out of autobounce and with only 343mm of plating? Exposing broadside to shoot with them is already problematic, now there's citadel in the mix? That's far less of a problem for USN battleships with their generally better firing angles. The citadel rise also further discourages any brawling, already something those ships are terribly suited to with their weak armor, lack of hydro, poor TDS, poor base HP and lack of secondaries.

Again, if you look at my proposal for the Vanguard citadel (and other British battleships), you'll see that their height above the waterline not particularly significant. Remember that in this game, when locked on a lot of ships tend to have quite wide horizontal dispersion. I consider this kind of citadel height to have comparable vulnerability to American and Japanese battleships. Also, short citadel does matter, especially at longer ranges. In a WG Q&A a few months back, data shows that Montana and Yamato take about the same amount of citadels despite the Yamato's citadel being considerably higher. The reason is that the Montana's citadel is much longer despite being at the waterline.

In any case, the recent buffs to Vanguard increased the sigma to 2.0, so we'll see how it develops. I just really hate the current citadel on the KGV, Lion, and Conqueror.

EDIT: Also, whoever downvoted me, can you perhaps give an explanation?

Edited by DeliciousFart

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There’s nothing wrong with the existing tech tree citadels for UK battleships.

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1 minute ago, TheDreadnought said:

There’s nothing wrong with the existing tech tree citadels for UK battleships.

Besides being so low they are virtually impossible to hit?

I think I've scored citadel hits maybe three times on British BBs. Oddly enough on Conquerors.

Why not raise it slightly in exchange for not being devastated so easily by small caliber HE spam?

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Very large ship and easy to hit. Very susceptible to HE. Citadel should match the Lion's since she was based on that frame in real life anyway.

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My vote would be to not raise the citadel, but have hits to casemates with thin separation from the citadel deal some additional damage and be harder to repair. I'd be much more okay with having a hard time citadeling the ships if they weren't able to just heal away most of the damage from non-citadel hits.

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On 9/28/2018 at 4:01 PM, DeliciousFart said:

The citadel height that I'm proposing is only marginally higher than American battleship citadel, and only over the machinery spaces, while the magazine spaces are still quite deep underwater. From my experience, I don't think it's fair to categorize American battleships with French and German battleships in terms of difficulty in hitting the citadel. I would like to see British battleship citadel be about as vulnerable as American battleships, and other areas can be buffed to compensate, such as accuracy or projectile Krupp.

Frankly, I really hope WG can avoid a repeat of the KGV/Lion/Conqueror citadel situation. Aspects of their offensive armament such as Krupp and sigma were reduced likely because of the citadel height. Much better, in my opinion, would be to raise the citadel of the British battleships while also improving their accuracy. For instance, I think giving Vanguard a 2.0 sigma to match the Warspite can be a good start.

We could probably retain the ridiculous high citadel and all the other features of the ship if she were dropped to T7. Most of the 14-16" gunned ships at that tier will have no trouble ripping her up, and at T7 her DPM will be acceptable. But we have a pile of RN BBs at that tier... 

The problem is that WG has released a string of somewhat MEH premiums at T8 recently -- Cossack isn't that great, Gascan and Roma are not that good either. Massachusetts was an outstanding exception. Vanguard continues that string. I wont be buying this and many people will make similar decisions.

The deeper problem is that once again WG didn't survey the player population to see what premiums they might want. So we are going to get a T6 Colorado that won't sell well, followed by a T8 RN BB that won't sell well. And we need ships to sell well so WG can recoup its development costs. 

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On 9/28/2018 at 6:49 PM, Fog_Heavy_Cruiser_Takao said:

I just hope it has accurate guns and good AP rounds. Basiclly a high tier Warspite.

well its on the same dispersion curve as every other UK BB...

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4 minutes ago, KaptainKaybe said:

Very large ship and easy to hit. Very susceptible to HE. Citadel should match the Lion's since she was based on that frame in real life anyway.

Lion's citadel in-game is not accurate to its real-life specifications either. Sections of the boiler room should be slightly above the waterline whereas the entire citadel is submerged in-game.

EYGqtRx.jpg

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14 hours ago, Taichunger said:

The problem is that WG has released a string of somewhat MEH premiums at T8 recently

I can't even tell if it's the ships or the tier/matchmaking.

15 hours ago, DeliciousFart said:

Again, if you look at my proposal for the Vanguard citadel (and other British battleships), you'll see that their height above the waterline not particularly significant. Remember that in this game, when locked on a lot of ships tend to have quite wide horizontal dispersion. I consider this kind of citadel height to have comparable vulnerability to American and Japanese battleships. Also, short citadel does matter, especially at longer ranges. In a WG Q&A a few months back, data shows that Montana and Yamato take about the same amount of citadels despite the Yamato's citadel being considerably higher. The reason is that the Montana's citadel is much longer despite being at the waterline.

In any case, the recent buffs to Vanguard increased the sigma to 2.0, so we'll see how it develops. I just really hate the current citadel on the KGV, Lion, and Conqueror.

EDIT: Also, whoever downvoted me, can you perhaps give an explanation?

It's going to be difficult to say which factors influence Yamato and Montana getting citadels. The geometry will matter, you might well be right on height-length but the playstyle will too. I see more Montana's moving around and using the rear turrets than Yamato's, which I typically see 20km out, reversing away from the nearest target at zero risk of a citadel.

I don't understand why you're so heart-set on raising the citadels if you then think they won't be 'that' vulnerable. I'm also concerned that with the narrow aspect it will be more intense RNG rather than 'broadside and get punished' which isn't a great way to run a ship class. If you do weaken the RN BB's with higher vulnerability citadels then there's the problem of corresponding buffs not just buffing BB against them (and fringe cases like Henri/Moskva at close ranges). If you help the accuracy, then cruisers suffer, if you nerf the concealment that helps cruisers but requires more of a re-balancing.

 

Vanguard's 2.0 sigma change is workable, but with 45' angle needed to shoot the rear turrets forward and vice-versa, the sky-high citadel, soft 32mm armor scheme and nothing really going for her I'm still going to class Vanguard as dead on arrival in her current configuration.

 

The downvote - not me guv'nor. I disagree, but I have words, not smiley faces, honest :fish_cute_2:

14 hours ago, Aetreus said:

My vote would be to not raise the citadel, but have hits to casemates with thin separation from the citadel deal some additional damage and be harder to repair. I'd be much more okay with having a hard time citadeling the ships if they weren't able to just heal away most of the damage from non-citadel hits.

I'd definitely support such a system change.

At least Vanguard's going to get 33% instead of 10% citadel repair but they will still really chunk her. A citadel after repair on Vanguard will do 4x as much as a regular '33' rather than 5.5x as much on other BB, but it still hurts and still eats repair party.

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On ‎10‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 5:18 PM, mofton said:

Vanguard's 2.0 sigma change is workable, but with 45' angle needed to shoot the rear turrets forward and vice-versa, the sky-high citadel, soft 32mm armor scheme and nothing really going for her I'm still going to class Vanguard as dead on arrival in her current configuration.

 

I'd definitely support such a system change.

At least Vanguard's going to get 33% instead of 10% citadel repair but they will still really chunk her. A citadel after repair on Vanguard will do 4x as much as a regular '33' rather than 5.5x as much on other BB, but it still hurts and still eats repair party.

It's the 45 angles that kill it in my mind. If the 15" was better than Monarch 15"(which it could be, shell pen/drag on the 15" UK shells is kinda borked), it could work, but a ship that needs to expose that much side to bring its guns into play is in a bad situation at tier VIII. OTOH, angles might let it do some weird stuff with a spotter plane(deck pens).

 

Yeah, I've come to terms with so many ships being uncitable, or nearly so. But the huge capability to heal damage from normal pens, and the fact that you can saturate casemate zones fairly easily is pretty infuriating. Usually 3-4 big AP shells will saturate the zone(few have more than 10k HP), and you can't kill the ship by shooting it with AP into the belt unless you score a citadel at some point. Ships should have an upper hull zone with similar HP to the present casemate zone that covers the ship from the main deck to the armored deck, and a casemate with around 25-30% of the ship's total HP and citadel level repairs below that(everything inside the main belt and armored deck that isn't citadel).

 

That would mean that a casemate hit would deal full AP pen damage until the ship was heavily damaged(50-60%), and half AP pen damage until death. Hits to the zone would repair 0.5*0.1*0.5*0.5 = 0.3, 30% of damage on normal ships, 35% of damage on UK BB, and 46.5% of damage on Vanguard.

 

There are a few battleships that work like this- ships where the armor viewer has "auxiliary rooms armor" as an option(i.e. can be toggled) are set up like this, though not with the higher casemate HP and lower repair value. For whatever reason WG switched away from doing this though.

 

 

Linked my proposal on a change similar to this.

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2 hours ago, Aetreus said:

It's the 45 angles that kill it in my mind. If the 15" was better than Monarch 15"(which it could be, shell pen/drag on the 15" UK shells is kinda borked), it could work, but a ship that needs to expose that much side to bring its guns into play is in a bad situation at tier VIII. OTOH, angles might let it do some weird stuff with a spotter plane(deck pens).

Definitely, though I have to try and separate my preferences from what I think game mechanics will do. I detest ships with bad turret angles. Seattle is trash. KGV-Lion are pretty frustrating - Conqueror is almost 50% more firepower over Lion thanks to a turret and better angles. Le Terrible looks bad. Original Haida/Cossack was abysmal.

On the other hand I never liked Myoko, but she was generally regarded as very good, if a little power-crept now, so maybe it's not the end of the world. Myoko's not a t8 battleship with a high citadel and only 343mm between her and T10 battleship death though.

I think your casemate proposal is interesting and I'd say a good one. It would help partially disadvantage some of the distributed schemes as well, with the mid-thickness upper belts and greater susceptibility to 33's in partial trade for the citadel resistance. WG have lots and lots of balance levers they've not played with much. Until recently a repair party was largely a repair party, but since RN BB they've played more with different repair coefficients for different ships, different rates and different cool-downs, all good for changing ship resistance to damage. They also looked at limited damage control charges on Okto-Rev. They've looked at speed-loss in turns more with RN ships (though pioneered with USN Standard's IIRC). There's space for imagination in this game.

Your suggestion coming close to WG changing the HP per damage zone layout of Alaska is also very pertinent.

The only major downside would be complexity, but on the plus side in-game it's not that complex or hard to remember - just shoot them! - while stats like AP bounce angles aren't even listed in the UI, this wouldn't be too big a deal.

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