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LittleWhiteMouse

British Commonwealth Destroyer Tech Tree

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I've been working on this one for a while.  Recent matters have prompted me to consider this much more seriously and have predicated that I actually publish this sooner rather than later.  The following is my personal proposal for the destroyer tech tree for the British Commonwealth along with some premium-ship ideas.  This will be multi-part, because detailing each individual ship will take a post in of itself and I don't want all of you being crushed by an encyclopedia's worth of babble.  This first post looks at the design premise of the British Commonwealth destroyers -- their role, their unifying design philosophy for how they will be implemented in World of Warships and generally how they will play.

I must state firmly that this is just my take on what the line could be.  Wargaming isn't implementing this.  This isn't coming out.
Unless it does.  Then I take full credit and I told you so.

Why this?  Why now?

Submarines, that's why.

That's the simplistic answer.  The British Commonwealth (with Canada in particularly) heavily specialized their navies towards anti-submarine warfare, especially during WW2.  Submarines are just over the horizon and the Commonwealth destroyer line makes sense as a follow up release in the months (or the year) subsequent to their inclusion in World of Warships.  This is, of course, contingent upon not only the submarine testing positively but being included in Random Battles and other PVP game modes.  I cannot state this clearly enough:  As I envision them, the British Commonwealth tech tree destroyers have limited appeal without submarines being included in World of Warships.  If submarines are a thing, then a British Commonwealth tech tree makes a whole lot of sense.  If they're not, then British Commonwealth destroyers have less appeal.  As you can guess, their line will be focused around improved anti-submarine abilities.

But there are two other reasons for wanting to discuss and put forth ideas fora British Commonwealth destroyer tech tree now:

  1. Preventing premiums from poaching possible tech tree ships.
  2. Having a better idea of what the British Commonwealth's game-play will be like so that premium ships can be styled to complement the line.

There are some unfortunate examples of premiums co-opting vessels that would have made excellent additions to the tech tree.  HMS Nelson and Vanguard both come to mind.  Similarly there are frustrating premiums that, while they are all well and fine in of themselves, they are utterly incompatible with the accepted play-style of the tech tree ships, limiting their use as a trainer.  Finally, it's also possible for premiums released prior to a tech tree to crowd out the line from possible gimmicks and play styles.

The Design Premise

When it comes to designing the British Commonwealth destroyer line, I wanted to stick to the following game play themes:

  1. Don't clone British destroyer game play.
  2. Similar to Haida, specialize towards dealing with smaller vessels (submarines, destroyers) at the expense of dealing damage to larger ones.
  3. Lean on the ship's weaknesses as much as their strengths to find their character.

Haida really was the template for building this line.  From her, I took the following design cues.  Let's start with consumables:

  • Standard Damage Control Party.  Cuz.
  • Crawling Smoke consumable as standard.  This is probably the most obvious gimmick to give the line.
  • Long duration, short ranged Hydroacoustic Search available from tier 5+.  I debated this one for a long time.  I didn't want to give it to the Commonwealth destroyers because the British destroyers have something similar.  However, given their anti-submarine role, this consumable makes sense.  I could attack the samey-ness to British DDs in other areas.
  • No Engine Boost consumable and no British Destroyer engine power to compensate.  And this felt like the easiest way to make these destroyers immediately feel different to their British counterparts while stacking a very obvious flaw onto the line as a whole.  It has the bonus effect of making Haida stand out.  British Commonwealth destroyers will be notoriously slow, taking a page from Friesland.  This will increase their reliance upon their Crawling Smoke consumable and their concealment.
  • Option to swap Hydroacoustic Search for Defensive AA Fire from tier 8+:  This pays homage to their fleet and convoy-escort roles.
  • Option to swap Crawling Smoke for Surveillance Radar from tier 8+:  I'm not sure what form of Surveillance Radar this will take.  Short duration is a must.  I've flirted with the idea of it lasting as little as 10 to 15 seconds but with a slight range boost (no more than 9km to 10km).  Worse comes to worse, this would default to standard destroyer radar with a 7.5km range and 20 to 24 second duration depending on tier.
  • No Repair Party:   Very no.  This should be completely off the table, balance-wise. 

There's a lot of potential utility buried in their consumables but also some obvious weaknesses.  These destroyers won't be fast and they'll really struggle to dig themselves out if they over-extend.  Let's move onto their weapon systems.

  • 1/5th HE Penetration on 102mm & 113mm guns.  HE stuff part one.
  • Reduced HE Fire Chance (up to 50% lower):  Part two of the HE boogaloo.
  • Increased HE Alpha Strike (10% to 20% higher):  Part three.  So in keeping with the theme of making British Commonwealth destroyers bad at hunting larger ships, I combined these three elements together.  Simply put, I wanted them to be some of (if not THE) worst fire starting destroyers in the game, instead reliant upon the direct damage of their HE shells which will tend to be their mainstay ammunition choice.  This makes them a very dangerous threat to destroyers but almost a laughable nuisance to heavy cruisers, battleships and some armoured carriers.  This will not give British Commonwealth destroyers Italian SAP levels of alpha strike.  The best example are Haida's own HE shells which, for British 120mm guns should deal 1,700 HE damage with an 8% fire chance.  Instead they deal 1,900 HE damage with a 5% fire chance.  I want this replicated throughout the line.  The 1/5th penetration is to smooth out the higher tiered, smaller caliber guns found in the tech tree, though this may be limited only to problematic ships.
  • Small Torpedo Armament:  As you'll see in the tech tree candidates, the British Commonwealth line have very small  torpedo armaments -- usually half of what you would normally expect, typically limiting them to a single torpedo launcher.
  • Individually launched  torpedoes:  This is the counter-balance their smaller torpedo armament.  I'm not really happy with mimicking this aspect of the British destroyer line and I'm open to suggestions on what to do here instead. 
  • Short Ranged, hard hitting torpedoes:  Maximum range for British Commonwealth torpedoes will be between 8km and 10km at tier 10, depending on balance needs with mid tier sitting closer to 6km to 8km at most.

The 1/5th HE penetration will give the 102mm/113mm  guns 19mm/22mm  worth of penetration (26mm/28mm with IFHE).  Guns are the mainstay weapons for the British Commonwealth destroyers with their fire chance being almost non-existent (especially with further deficits caused by IFHE).  These ships rely on dealing direct damage with their weapons, with HE shells being their primary ammunition choice.

Let's take a look at the final gimmicks rounding up the line:

  • Slightly improved surface-detection concealment.  British Commonwealth destroyers will have a slight advantage on their surface detection values, as per Haida.  They'll make decent scouts, but their lack of Engine Boost and modest top speeds will leave them vulnerable to Surveillance Radar or being pursued by faster ships.
  • Only modest hit point pools.  British Commonwealth destroyers pay a health-tax.  Even if displacement formulas state they should be chonk, reduce those numbers slightly.
  • Improved anti-submarine mechanics.  The elephant in the room.  See below.

Stealthy and slightly squishy, Commonwealth destroyers have the ability to lay down a lot of smack to other DDs and can farm up some pretty numbers in their smoke or through the use of terrain.  However, when they get hit back, it hurts and they can't recovery quickly.  Combined with their limited mobility, survival becomes a real challenge when these ships are caught out.  Trading blows shouldn't be something they're looking to do.  They can hold their own when dueling another DD for a cap circle but they're not going to fare well if the fight isn't fought on their very specific terms.

Anti Submarine Mechanics

I honestly don't know and can't say what shape or form these will take.  For example, if nothing changes from what we've seen on the test server (HA!) then British Commonwealth destroyers might have one (or many of) the following:

  • Improved submarine detection range.  Pick up submarines from further out.
  • Improved depth charge blast radius.  Increase the size of the Commonwealth destroyer's blast, making it easier to clip enemy submarines.  Note, the maximum damage wouldn't change.
  • Increase the damage done by depth charges.  Boring, but whatever, it works.
  • Reduce the reset timer of depth charges.  Make Commonwealth DDs reload their depth charges faster.
  • Provide an extra charge of depth charges.  Boring, but whatever, it works.
  • Larger blast-radius on their HE shells.  This would be hella broken.
  • Etc.  Use your imagination, from the zany (hedgehog and squid mortars!), to the weird (their hydro works against subs at long range provided the Commonwealth DD is only moving at 1/4 speed!), to the impractical (submarines torpedoes can't home in on Commonwealth DDs).

This is all conjecture and none of the abilities listed above makes sense to add until the baseline destroyer vs submarine game play is ironed out.  How good British Commonwealth DDs would be against submarines would be entirely dependent on how bad they are against cruisers and battleships without making them be the immediate "Graf Zeppelin 2.0 vs German battleships" level of disgusting.  Personally, I'd like to see a soft improvement vs submarines.  I like more range on depth charges based on the current mechanics -- it's nice but it's not overwhelming and you know submarines would want to give Commonwealth DDs a wider berth because of it.  But it's not an immediate "there's nothing I can do" difference where the DD can spot them from a miles away and lock down their game play.

The Ship List

And here we get to the meat of the matter.  This is the current list of ships I have for the British Commonwealth destroyer line, including some one-off premiums.  In separate posts, I will be giving the design details for these ships and linking them back here.  For now, I've included them for the sake of discussion, including what their armaments and approximate speeds will be.

  • Tier 1 - River-class Frigate (2x2 102mm guns, 20kts)
    moyla_and_runnymade.jpg
  • Tier 2 - Admiralty S-class destroyer, Stalwart (3x1 102mm Mk IV guns, 2x2 533mm torpedoes, 32.7kts)
    300px-HMAS_Stalwart_(H-14).jpg
  • Tier 3 - Parker-class destroyer, Anzac (4x1 102mm Mk IV guns, 2x2 533mm torpedoes, 32.9kts)
    ANZAC%201929_0.jpg
  • Tier 4 - Admiralty W-class destroyer, Waterhen (4x1 102mm Mk V guns, 2x4 533m torpedoes, 34kts)
    full?d=1534444242
  • Tier 5 - C-class destroyer, St.Laurent (3x1 120mm Mk IX guns, 1x4 533mm torpedoes, 36kts)
    HMCS-St--Laurent--H83---Penny-Duncan.jpg
  • Tier 6 - F-class destroyer, Qu'appelle (3x1 120mm Mk IX guns, 1x4 533mm torpedoes, 35.5kts)
    QUA0006.jpg
  • Tier 7 - N-class destroyer, Nizam (3x2 120mm Mk XII guns, 1x5 533mm torpedoes, 36kts)
    Photo10ddKingstonNP.jpg
  • Tier 8 - Tribal-class destroyer, Micmac (4x2 102mm MkXVI guns, 1x4 533m torpedoes, 36.5kts)
    image021.jpg
  • Tier 9 - Cr-class destroyer, Crusader (4x1 113mm MkIV guns, 1x4 533mm torpedoes, 36kts)
    HMCS_Crusader_(DD_228)_underway.jpg
  • Tier 10 - Daring-class, Vendetta (3x2 113mm MkV guns, 1x5 533mm torpedoes, 35kts)
    HMAS%20Vendetta1.jpg

The only area I'm unhappy with is from tiers 4 through 6.  My particular sticking point is Qu'appelle at tier 6 which is really going to be the lemon of the line (unless we make St.Laurent particularly sucky).  The difference between the C and F class isn't much with the F-class being slightly heavier.  Quality of torpedoes could make the difference but that feels a bit blech.  I looked at other destroyers, including the V-class and Q-class (I even looked for American designs but no dice).  The V-class was the most promising, having been heavily modernized post war and leaving her with a single torpedo launcher and two bow-mounted 120mm guns.  I rather liked this design, going from three guns to two would really hurt.  The N-class's six guns at tier 7 would feel especially jarring so I wanted a smoother transition.  Thoughts are welcome here.

Premiums:  This is just an assortment of candidates.  Sadly, WG is allergic to anything below tier 5 and I'm not touching premium CVs with a 10-foot pole so....

  • Tier 6 Cruiser Leander-class, HMNZS Achilles / INS Dehli (3x2 152mm guns + 4x1 102mm secondaries + 2x4 533mm torpedoes)
    hmnzs_achilles_70_leander_class_light_cruiser_1945-91952.jpg
  • Tier 6 Cruiser Country (Devonshire)-class, HMAS Canberra (4x2 203mm guns + 4x1 102mm secondaries + 2x4 533mm torpedoes)
    Photo06caAusCanberra1NPBruceConstable.jpg
  • Tier 6 Battleship Modified Queen Elizabeth-class, HMCS Acadia (4x2 381mm guns + 16x1 152mm secondaries, 25kts)
    hBCzLd6.png
  • Tier 7 Cruiser  Swiftsure-class, HMCS Ontario (3x3 152mm guns + 5x2 102mm secondaries, 31.5kts)
    hqdefault.jpg
  • Tier 9 Destroyer  Battle (Jutland)-class, HMAS Tobruk (2x2 113mm guns + 1x5 533mm torpedoes, 35.8kts)
    1894388.jpg
  • Tier 10 Destroyer  Daring-class, HMAS Vampire d11, (3x2 113mm MkV guns, 1x5 533mm torpedoes, 35kts)
    latest?cb=20140915015303

I have fun ideas for Vampire, Tobruk and Acadia.  I really want to see Achilles in the game, but convincing WG to include yet another Leander will be a tough sell. Ontario is probably one of the easiest premiums here to make and one of the more boring, history wise.  Keep shovelling on gimmicks until she feels different from Perth but not like Belfast.

Thanks for reading!

Edited by LittleWhiteMouse
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14 minutes ago, Laoski_Penguin said:

very interesting thought. 

1/5 HE pen could be a bit much if the T10 had Daring level DPM.

IMO WG somewhat made RN DDs somewhat balanced by making IFHE mandatory for them. 

I'm aware.  Be advised that Vendetta would not have:

  • Daring's speed.
  • Daring's agility.
  • Daring's heal.
  • Daring's fire chance.
  • Daring's torpedoes.

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Nice to see a Commonwealth proposal, and a very well thought out one too, though the details of specific ships had to be glossed over a bit in favor of a line overview for expediency. I'm curious though, why not include as a premium or part of the line one of India's R-class destroyers? That would certainly be a good way to have them represented beyond INS Delhi, and though I've only given them a cursory look Rajput, Rana, or Ranjit look like they could make a pretty decent tier 6.

On the other hand there are two other ships from my own research that could be added to the list, though I can already hear boos coming from the peanut gallery. The Majestic-class sisters HMAS Sydney and/or HMCS Bonaventure. Sydney has the advantage of sharing a lot of her potential airgroup (Hawker Sea Furies in particular) with HNLMS Karel Doorman and thus giving Lert a new toy to play with. Bonaventure on the other hand lends herself to taking on the existing Supermarine Seafires of Implacable (questionable features notwithstanding) and an interesting bomber in the form of the Grumman S2F Tracker ASW plane, which could easily be used as both a level bomber (maybe with depth charges?) and a torpedo plane with two fish per plane. The Tracker's capabilities could also translate into a neat new consumable: A stationary sonobouy dropped similarly to the current fighter consumable, and dependent upon a spawned spotter aircraft which could be shot down if the enemy chooses to, say, express their displeasure at being spotter by using 40mm Bofors.

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My only question is why have a complete line if their utility is questionable and their primary purpose is to hunt submarines? If submarines don't start until Tier VI (which hopefully it'll be lower, tier IV or V), then wouldn't it make more sense that the Commonwealth line doesn't branch off until ~ Tier V?

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7 minutes ago, Landsraad said:

Nice to see a Commonwealth proposal, and a very well thought out one too, though the details of specific ships had to be glossed over a bit in favor of a line overview for expediency. I'm curious though, why not include as a premium or part of the line one of India's R-class destroyers? That would certainly be a good way to have them represented beyond INS Delhi, and though I've only given them a cursory look Rajput, Rana, or Ranjit look like they could make a pretty decent tier 6. 

On the other hand there are two other ships from my own research that could be added to the list, though I can already hear boos coming from the peanut gallery. The Majestic-class sisters HMAS Sydney and/or HMCS Bonaventure. Sydney has the advantage of sharing a lot of her potential airgroup (Hawker Sea Furies in particular) with HNLMS Karel Doorman and thus giving Lert a new toy to play with. Bonaventure on the other hand lends herself to taking on the existing Supermarine Seafires of Implacable (questionable features notwithstanding) and an interesting bomber in the form of the Grumman S2F Tracker ASW plane, which could easily be used as both a level bomber (maybe with depth charges?) and a torpedo plane with two fish per plane. The Tracker's capabilities could also translate into a neat new consumable: A stationary sonobouy dropped similarly to the current fighter consumable, and dependent upon a spawned spotter aircraft which could be shot down if the enemy chooses to, say, express their displeasure at being spotter by using 40mm Bofors.

There are enough carriers to do a full Commonwealth aircraft carrier line.  This is one of those reasons I'm not touching carriers with a ten foot pole for them.  There aren't a lot of aircraft carriers though, so including one or two as premiums could compromise the viability of the tech tree as a whole.  So it becomes a question of which is more important:  4 tech tree carriers or 1 to 2 premiums.

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1 hour ago, LittleWhiteMouse said:

There are enough carriers to do a full Commonwealth aircraft carrier line.  This is one of those reasons I'm not touching carriers with a ten foot pole for them.  There aren't a lot of aircraft carriers though, so including one or two as premiums could compromise the viability of the tech tree as a whole.  So it becomes a question of which is more important:  4 tech tree carriers or 1 to 2 premiums.

...

Okay, I have obviously failed in my mission. But now I'm wondering what that line would LOOK like because while tier 6 and 8 are easy to fill, I can't for the life of me find a good tier 4 candidate or a possibility for tier 10 that doesn't break the "no angled flight decks" or "no jets" rules. I need to dive back into this, my Google-fu has failed me!

What ideas do you have for that? I'll gladly take a PM if you're not comfortable sharing it openly.

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34 minutes ago, KingCakeBaby said:

My only question is why have a complete line if their utility is questionable and their primary purpose is to hunt submarines? If submarines don't start until Tier VI (which hopefully it'll be lower, tier IV or V), then wouldn't it make more sense that the Commonwealth line doesn't branch off until ~ Tier V?

Good point about them not needing to be before T5 if subs don't start until T6...but I don't think this is a "branch off" proposal...these wouldn't branch off on the RN DD line...the Commonwealth ships are their own "nation" & already have their own separate tree.

But if they started w/a Commonwealth cruiser line 1st they could branch off of it at T5...or maybe T3 & have the T3 & T4 be heavy AA platforms to justify their existence (seeing as the proposals were so well thought out already) & to balance out (well...not by much if it's only 1 DD line) the heavy low tier CV presence w/little to no AA in most ships.

Edited by IfYouSeeKhaos
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Interesting proposal Mouse, I would certainly like to see more Commonwealth Navy representation in the game. I do have two questions though. First, are the tier V and VI tech tree ships as painful as they look? Three guns seems kind of lightweight, even with a high RoF. Second, how much of a detriment to these ships’ performance would it be if they got dropped into a game without submarines? More or less severe than an Asashio in a match with no BBs?

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LWM, I really like your proposal, fleshing out the Commonwealth nation. 

However, whilst you are looking for weaknesses to make them different to the British line, isn’t this really just the few number of guns on the low-mid tier DDs that you’ve selected? Perhaps I’ll check when I’m home, but they seem to be under armed compared to other nations’ DDs. 

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3 minutes ago, UltimateNewbie said:

LWM, I really like your proposal, fleshing out the Commonwealth nation. 

However, whilst you are looking for weaknesses to make them different to the British line, isn’t this really just the few number of guns on the low-mid tier DDs that you’ve selected? Perhaps I’ll check when I’m home, but they seem to be under armed compared to other nations’ DDs. 

That definitely seems to be the case for tiers 5, 6, and 7, though 8, 9, and 10 are perfectly fine as remixes of existing ships. The premiums also seem a bit undergunned in the high tiers if you were to ask me, Tobruk in particular.

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This would be a good chance for a high tier cruiser with Perth-style crawling smoke! Or at the very least, an alternate Daring with it.

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I have to wonder if WG would go for a second Vampire. Sure, we technically do have the future (hopefully T8) WV, and I guess you could technically count B ships, but even WV isn't just outright having two ships of the same name, as it's the same ship at two points.

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I want that modified QE with awkward turret angles and smokes.

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2 hours ago, Shoggoth_pinup said:

I have to wonder if WG would go for a second Vampire. Sure, we technically do have the future (hopefully T8) WV, and I guess you could technically count B ships, but even WV isn't just outright having two ships of the same name, as it's the same ship at two points.

The drawcard of the Daring-class Vampire is that she's an actual physical ship that still exists. 

I think she shoud be nerfed slightly (which is essentially what Mouse wants to do with this whole line) and put at Tier 9 so that (a) she can be a free XP ship and (b) WG can sell her. The Australian and possibly New Zealand market would jump on that.

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Im hooked,

HMAS Vendetta and HMAS Vampire Ive wanted in the game since I first played in closed beta.

Also HMAS Canberra has wonderful but sad history in the Pacific in WW2.

 

My only concern is that you called the line British Commonwealth, I know in early days the RAN had a number of british captains but it hurts, why  not just call the line commonwealth from an Australian perspective, too many painful sporting memories.

Also im hoping ( hence why i bought the ship) that the Freisland will have an active Anti Submarine role as that is what it was designed for.

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6 hours ago, LittleWhiteMouse said:

I must state firmly that this is just my take on what the line could be.  Wargaming isn't implementing this.  This isn't coming out.
 Unless it does.  Then I take full credit and I told you so.

Careful what you wish for mouse, remember Thunderer. 

Great proposal though. I would hope that the reload time on the guns is really good to make up for the small numbers on some of those DDs. Also on the T10 do you get better AA with the removal of the second torpedo rack or something?

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This is very detailed and well thought out, good job.

My only concerns would be the lack of firepower on the 5, 6, 8, and 9.

The 3x1 120mm ships are already at a disadvantage compared to Acasta, Icarus, and Gallant, all three of which aren't renowned as great gunboats. Unless you were to seriously increase their DPM somehow, they'd be relying a lot more on torpedoes. At least they should have the ability to stealth-torp, which would make them much better than Acasta.

The tier 8, while it would probably work fine, feels a bit weird, as you're going from 120mm guns, to 102mm for one tier, then up to 113mm. There's no real problem with this, but it just feels awkward to me.

I have my doubts about putting the Cr-class at tier 9. Sure, their guns are powerful, but they only have 4 of them on a fairly small hull. I'm sure it could be made to work, but I think a more natural place for them is probably tier 8.

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Looks interesting, but I think the proposed nerfs are a bit heavy handed. While ASW will certainly be important, I think the Commonwealth DD line needs to also be capable of standing on it's own in matches without subs. 

I do like the proposed premiums, particularly HMCS Ontario! 

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1 hour ago, digger52 said:

My only concern is that you called the line British Commonwealth, I know in early days the RAN had a number of british captains but it hurts, why  not just call the line commonwealth from an Australian perspective, too many painful sporting memories.

It may well be to avoid confusion with US commonwealths, 4 of the 50 States are commonwealths.

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6 hours ago, Landsraad said:

...

Okay, I have obviously failed in my mission. But now I'm wondering what that line would LOOK like because while tier 6 and 8 are easy to fill, I can't for the life of me find a good tier 4 candidate or a possibility for tier 10 that doesn't break the "no angled flight decks" or "no jets" rules. I need to dive back into this, my Google-fu has failed me!

What ideas do you have for that? I'll gladly take a PM if you're not comfortable sharing it openly.

What about using a Bogue class for T4?

T5 CV HMS Nabob (Bogue class crewed by RCN personnel, was in operations to sink the Tirpitz in Norway)

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35 minutes ago, Nine_Lives_ said:

What about HMAS Australia as a T5 fast battleship/battlecruiser, like Kongo, Guilio Cesare, or Dunkerque?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Australia_(1911)

HMAS Australia was a T3 at best, with a broadside of 6 12" guns or 8 with crossdeck firing. Also, I would rather include her sister ship HMNZS New Zealand, both to give the Kiwis something and to free up the name Australia for the more storied WW2 ship.

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