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Big_Spud

B-65 "Azuma" Armor Errors

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WG has committed several errors when modeling the B-65 Type “Super A” class cruiser Azuma. These are not massive faults, yet are worthy of mention and correction ingame. As Azuma is specifically referenced to be of the B-65 type, I view these inaccuracies as fair game for correction, as they do not match the available material and final design for said ships.

For reference purposes, all values and images are scanned from my copy of Linton Wells II and Eric LaCroix’s excellent “Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War”. This is by far and away the premier English resource for all things regarding the design, production, and combat history of Japanese cruisers produced between the world wars. To my knowledge, there is no finer or comprehensive source available on the subject.

 All other values are pulled from the ingame armor model viewer, as well as several from GM3D, due to its ease in highlighting specific small sections of armor.

The Belt.

As it appears ingame.

Spoiler

261589990_Azumabelt178.PNG.324807a6047fd12f916ef4ad93e69cf0.PNG

The main armor belt, as it appears ingame, is modeled as 178-mm thick along the highlighted section.

144.thumb.PNG.406d2c7b9347d5fddb769b13e70a4e71.PNG

The tapered mid section, as it appears ingame, is modeled as 144-mm along the highlighted section.

96.thumb.PNG.9f9f65b1157b8a5194a74c95f99ae4e5.PNG

The tapered lower section, as it appears ingame, is modeled as 96-mm along the highlighted section.

 

The belt on the Super A class cruisers is specifically stated by Wells & LaCroix to have been designed to be 190-millimeters thick, sloped at 20 degrees from vertical, and made of VH steel. This plate tapers to 150-mm at its lower edge, where it then switches to a 150-mm thick MNC plate, which then proceeds to taper to 90-mm at its lower edge.

There are several problems here with WG’s armor model in relation to the belt. Rather than starting above the waterline at the designed 190-mm, instead we have again run into the issue which plagued earlier ships with tapering belts in the game, chief among them being the Iowa’s and Alabama. Rather than model smaller descending bands, WG has simply “averaged” out the thickness of the upper plated taper. This has resulted in the entirety of the top VH section becoming a flat 178-mm, which then transforms into 144-mm at the waterline, and then to 96-mm below that point.

There is a rather simple fix for this problem, and that is to utilize the more detailed “banding” which was used to simulate the taper on other ships with a similar armor scheme. Rather than having three sections of averaged thickness which result in a loss of armor protection, it would be better to include four to five of them in order to more accurately represent the taper, and retain the maximum belt thickness in the areas which had it (these being roughly where the current 178-mm section is located, the taper to 150-mm being much more gradual below the waterline).

The belt, actual thickness and design specification.

Spoiler

The armor scheme, as detailed in Wells & Lacroix.

bb.thumb.PNG.82d31f1d6a9e02a29345b301dd7de9ce.PNG

 

Capturebb2.thumb.PNG.63cb65fba9d90ba778134112b5636be7.PNG

And once more.

B-65-2.PNG.c731d16003eaf06673911e5ea92d8705.PNG

The upper section itself, the part extending above the waterline, should be an almost uniform 190-mm. This matches the desired immunity zone to the 31-cm shell, that being 20-30,000 meters.
Although one could argue the true utility of 12-mm of armor at a tier where some guns are breaking 750-mm of penetration, I counter with the same rhetoric: if the difference is so trivial, then why not do it right?

The Auxiliary Rudder Machinery Belt.

This is another section where it seems that a random number was chosen. The design itself calls for this to be the same 175-mm of MNC as is present on the primary rudder’s armor box. To the extent of the material available to me, there is no reason why this section of armor should be modeled as 148-mm instead of 175-mm.

The auxiliary rudder belt.

Spoiler

As it appears on GM3D, as this section of armor is un-viewable ingame due to the peculiarities of the viewer. The thickness as modeled is 144-mm

1576383597_Azumasteeringgear148.PNG.f193b636302aec4328d38a6daee4f39c.PNG

As it should appear.

1xux.PNG.4ce876375f8dc614a178ddb5df63e899.PNG

 


The Conning Tower.

Another seemingly arbitrary change in thickness, this time an increase. The B-65 design called for 180-mm of VH armor on the front and sides of this area. Ingame, it has gained an extra 35-mm, now being 215-mm thick. This is in spite of the fact that the conning towers roof has remained the correct 125-mm.

The conning tower.

Spoiler

As it appears ingame.

1481740299_conngame.PNG.551a4b67c1868103bdb011d13989db9b.PNG

As it should appear.

conn.PNG.85ae65f18936703d7073a0401f880052.PNG


“B” Barbette and “X” Barbette.

Both of these sections of armor, the cylindrical barbettes for “B” and “X”, have been modelled too thickly. The armor layout calls that the raised section for “B” to be 210-mm of VH armor. Ingame, this has somehow become 260-mm. The lower section is correctly modeled as having thinned somewhat, however it is also too thick, being 210-mm instead of the designed 190-mm.

A similar story has occurred around “X” barbette. Although calling for 190-mm of VH armor, ingame this has been increased to 210-mm.

The barbettes.

Spoiler

As "B" barbette appears ingame.

barbette1.PNG.33120b6f2e1549a5410ab3fc0fce4fd9.PNG

barb2.PNG.0d0e85715291c55e0c5ebd60ac53c998.PNG

As it should appear.

barb2s.PNG.eceaed055622da7aca8a4459a9c6c624.PNG

 

As "X" barbette appears ingame.

barb3.PNG.d254331ca6b9cfd9cc15a0679c89ade5.PNG

As it should appear.

xber.PNG.ce5d2879d5dc15dd6ce9a69096e9f81a.PNG

 

 

 

That’s the extent of what I could find in terms of noteworthy errors in the armor model. There has been some question as the the legitimacy of the internal placement of the armor belt, where such a design had never before been used by the Japanese. However, the armor layout diagram available in LaCroix seems to indicate that this part is accurate.

Another question arises about the absence of torpedo tubes on Azuma. This does not seem to have been an error on WG’s behalf, as it indeed appears that B-65 lost it’s torpedo armament relatively early on, if they existed at all. The confusion over this fact seems to stem from the stigma that all Japanese cruisers were to be armed with the Type 93 in some form or the other, but this appears to have not been the case with B-65, or the unique command-cruiser Oyodo.

Anyways, thank you for reading. Hopefully this issues can be corrected at some point, as for the most part they are merely a question of accurately modeling the thicknesses, rather than having a large influence ingame. The addition or subtraction of 12-50-mm may not seem like much, but I do believe that it is worthwhile, for accuracy's sake.

This thread has been posted here in GD, as the rules for the Bug Reporting section explicitly forbid the posting of such topics. All values and charts have, again, been pulled from Linton Wells II and Eric LaCroix’s “Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War”, and are accurate to the extent of my knowledge. Discrepancies in Type 96 25-mm numbers from those listed are most likely entirely as a result of “logical wartime progression”, as viewed by WG.


Anyways, that's all. Special thanks to @Shikikaze for helping me find some of these to begin with, and inspiring me to shell out the $175 for LaCroix in the first place.

@iKami , @Femennenly If either of you could potentially weigh in on if these corrections could possibly be considered, or perhaps forward them to those who might be interested, I would be very appreciative.

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10 minutes ago, Pytheas said:

Thanks for your post!

Thanks. I wanted to do a section about the weirdness surrounding the main guns shell mass, but I honestly didn't have enough information to include that in the way I would want to. Armor is easier, as there are hard numerical values for it.

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What's that comrade? I couldn't hear what you were saying about belt armour, over the sound of my 25mm Azuma armour being blown to smithereens by an Akizuki. Speak louder! I'm getting old, plus the crew are screaming and scrambling to reach the lifeboats. :Smile_sad::Smile_sad::Smile_sad:

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1 minute ago, Super_Dreadnought said:

What's that comrade? I couldn't hear what you were saying about belt armour, over the sound of my 25mm Azuma armour being blown to smithereens by an Akizuki. Speak louder! I'm old, plus the crew are screaming and scrambling to reach the lifeboats. :Smile_sad::Smile_sad::Smile_sad:

Maybe if they go through with some of the armor corrections, they'll make the hull plating 27 mm!

Pfffffffttt, no they won't.

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I mean I admire the effort and hope it gets implemented but honestly this is an arcade game and not really a realistic game.  I would love it if the changes are made to make it more realistic but frankly I suspect some of the armor thickness was chosen more for balance than due to historic accuracy.

 

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1 minute ago, captinjoehenry said:

I mean I admire the effort and hope it gets implemented but honestly this is an arcade game and not really a realistic game.  I would love it if the changes are made to make it more realistic but frankly I suspect some of the armor thickness was chosen more for balance than due to historic accuracy.

 

Generally speaking, things like belt armor are kept to as close to real as possible. What is changed for balance purposes is usually the external hull plating, which is where the 19-25-32-mm thresholds come from.

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1 minute ago, Big_Spud said:

Generally speaking, things like belt armor are kept to as close to real as possible. What is changed for balance purposes is usually the external hull plating, which is where the 19-25-32-mm thresholds come from.

Ah good to know!  Makes me much more hopeful that this will get implemented :D

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2 minutes ago, captinjoehenry said:

I would love it if the changes are made to make it more realistic but frankly I suspect some of the armor thickness was chosen more for balance than due to historic accuracy.

Honestly, what balance though? Being an HE spammer in a role that Ibuki (or even Zao for about the same FXP cost if FXP'ing up the line anyway) can do just as well, with better concealment, faster RoF, and at least doesn't have an above-water citadel? There is nothing redeeming or "balanced" about Azuma in her current state, compared to her 2 "super cruiser" rivals or even tree rivals at T9, much less at T10, for the amount of FXP she costs.

Buffing Azuma's armor (to 27mm bow/stern/deck plus the adjustments put forth by Spud) would just bring her to the bare minimum of balance vs Alaska and Kronshtadt; still worse than either in terms of flexibility/gimmicks, but also not as much of a punching bag in certain respects either. Adding to that a buff to her HP (to 61800) and maneuverability (to 720m) to adequately rival Alaska and Kron would make her a solid, if rather vanilla, "super cruiser" at T9.

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Just now, YamatoA150 said:

Honestly, what balance though? Being an HE spammer in a role that Ibuki (or even Zao for about the same FXP cost if FXP'ing up the line anyway) can do just as well, with better concealment, faster RoF, and at least doesn't have an above-water citadel? There is nothing redeeming or "balanced" about Azuma in her current state, compared to her 2 "super cruiser" rivals or even tree rivals at T9, much less at T10, for the amount of FXP she costs.

Buffing Azuma's armor (to 27mm bow/stern/deck plus the adjustments put forth by Spud) would just bring her to the bare minimum of balance vs Alaska and Kronshtadt; still worse than either in terms of flexibility/gimmicks, but also not as much of a punching bag in certain respects either. Adding to that a buff to her HP (to 61800) and maneuverability (to 720m) to adequately rival Alaska and Kron would make her a solid, if rather vanilla, "super cruiser" at T9.

Now now I didn't say the Azuma wasn't a steaming pile of garbage HE spammer at the back of the map.  I just said that wargaming in their own sense of 'balance' might have made the armor changes to make the ship even worse because some unknowable reason :P

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To be fair, outside of the belt and the tiny auxiliary steering gear belt, most of my corrections are actually nerfs.

I do think she needs the 27-mm hull plating though. 25-mm at tier IX on a hull of that size is just not okay.

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Considering all of the real ships and more well documented designs that still have wrong armor values (Iowa and Montana come to mind) I rather doubt this one will get fixed anytime soon.

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Just now, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

Considering all of the real ships and more well documented designs that still have wrong armor values (Iowa and Montana come to mind) I rather doubt this one will get fixed anytime soon.

Meh, we'll see. I've brought up plenty which have been ignored before, but that doesn't mean I'll stop. Some do eventually make it through.

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3 minutes ago, captinjoehenry said:

Now now I didn't say the Azuma wasn't a steaming pile of garbage HE spammer at the back of the map.  I just said that wargaming in their own sense of 'balance' might have made the armor changes to make the ship even worse because some unknowable reason :P

The reason is known; "WG is still salty about Tsushima." :Smile-_tongue:

I jest somewhat; because they also are big anime fans, so it's really queer how terrible most IJN Premiums are that aren't Collab ships. Also, if that post of mine came of as slightly confrontational, I didn't mean it that way.

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7 minutes ago, YamatoA150 said:

The reason is known; "WG is still salty about Tsushima." :Smile-_tongue:

belorussian schools must teach that "tsushima was a coward battle that unfortunately the brave and macho russians couldn't win"

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Nice post, it would be nice to see ships be made more in line with their historic designs, after all why complain that ships designs are hard to get and delay content only to throw out ships littered with inaccuracies? Given the inaccurate and hugely advantageous armor 'mistakes' on the T10 IJN/USN carriers in particular though, I'm pessimistic about changes.

These changes to be fair do seem to be fairly minor, though overall any hits to a ship as poor in game as Azuma would concern me.

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Just now, mofton said:

Nice post, it would be nice to see ships be made more in line with their historic designs, after all why complain that ships designs are hard to get and delay content only to throw out ships littered with inaccuracies? Given the inaccurate and hugely advantageous armor 'mistakes' on the T10 IJN/USN carriers in particular though, I'm pessimistic about changes.

These changes to be fair do seem to be fairly minor, though overall any hits to a ship as poor in game as Azuma would concern me.

 

I am in agreement, as many of these errors, although small, would effectively count as micro-nerfs if applied (excluding the belt being modeled with more detail). I am of the opinion that Azuma absolutely needs 27 mm hull plating, or more, with out without the corrections.

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I say that at minimum the bow and aft need 27mm armour, and the mid section and deck needs 32mm. That way Azuma isn't absolutely terrified of everything, rewards angling, and opens up some actual options with regards to tanking and getting in closer.

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1 hour ago, Super_Dreadnought said:

What's that comrade? I couldn't hear what you were saying about belt armour, over the sound of my 25mm Azuma armour being blown to smithereens by an Akizuki. Speak louder! I'm getting old, plus the crew are screaming and scrambling to reach the lifeboats. :Smile_sad::Smile_sad::Smile_sad:

HEY! They gave you one with armor, I got cheated!:fish_viking:

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1 hour ago, Super_Dreadnought said:

I say that at minimum the bow and aft need 27mm armour, and the mid section and deck needs 32mm. That way Azuma isn't absolutely terrified of everything, rewards angling, and opens up some actual options with regards to tanking and getting in closer.

I'm inclined to agree. I can completely get behind the idea of her raised citadel being a vulnerability when angling incorrectly, or being focused by a battleship, but it's always vulnerable as it stands. You can be angled as perfectly as possible, but no tier VIII BB+ is going to care for a single second and you will die very quickly with no real recourse, unlike Alaska and Kron.

Compared to her counterparts, she really is unreasonably vulnerable. Most regular tier IX CA's have better tanking ability than she does.

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I've been crying how potato the ship is. Nobody believes me lol. Ah yes, I just have to wait for the honeymoon phase to be up. It could use a buff to its fire chance and armor.

Edited by Pyun

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6 hours ago, Pyun said:

I've been crying how potato the ship is. Nobody believes me lol. Ah yes, I just have to wait for the honeymoon phase to be up. It could use a buff to its fire chance and armor.

From what I’ve seen so far, it basically is relegated entirely to kiting. It’s functional tanking capability is below that of even some tier VIII heavy cruisers, which receive 27-mm hull plating, and well below that of most of her tier IX peers. To me, it seems to be a combination of the worst parts of the supercruisers, but with none of the major advantages.

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