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Just Another Proposal: USS South Dakota 1920

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Just Another Proposal: USS South Dakota 1920

South Dakota-class battleship (1920) - Wikipedia

‘Murica, Baby!

What it is: A supersized Arizona, a cruiser’s nightmare, and a raving middle finger to everything Soviet in the game, all rolled into one singular package. The South Dakota 1920 is everything right about American Battleships, with almost none of the downsides. She’s armed with 12(!) 406mm/50 Mk.2 guns (!!!) and plenty of AA to back it up, with only her maneuverability and concealment to let her down in any significant way. This SoDak will be placed at Tier IX, with some significant modernizations to make her competitive.

What context it has: It’s the fraggin' South Dakota! This ship is perhaps the most famous of the interwar super-dreadnought designs, even if she was never actually completed or launched. Originally conceived in 1917, her construction was delayed by nearly 3 years, in order to incorporate lessons learned from the Battle of Jutland, and in order to place more emphasis on destroyer construction to combat U-Boats in the North Atlantic. Work finally started in 1920, and was progressing rather smoothly, when the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 forced the cancellation of the program entirely. The six ships laid down and under construction were scrapped on the slipways, and the guns were transferred to the Army, with the boilers being used to modernize the Wyoming and New York class battleships. The ship became immortalized in history, as Norman Friedman put it, “The ultimate development of the series of US Battleships that started with the Nevada class, despite the increase in size, speed, and intermediate armament from the standard type that characterized the Nevada through Colorado classes”. He was right. The South Dakota-class presented a 50 percent increase in firepower over the Colorado class, along with a substantial increase in weight and armor. Of course, we are receiving a South Dakota-class battleship at Tier VIII, in the form of the USS Kansas, but that isn’t a historically accurate version, as it uses the lower-velocity 16”/45 Mark 5 rifle that the Colorado uses, instead of the 16”/50 Mark 2 ( which, by the way, formed the basis of the 16”/50 Mark 7 that we see aboard the Iowa-class ). 

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Mark 2 is here, and everything that gets in it’s path is about to have one nasty day.

For the sake of game balance, we are going to depict the South Dakota as it would have appeared during World War 2, with increased displacement and AA firepower.


Armor

  • HP Pool: 75,800 
  • Plating: 32mm
  • Belt Armor Profile: 38mm-343mm
  • Turret Armor Profile: 127mm-457mm
  • Deck Armor Profile: 32mm-38mm
  • Internal Armor Profile: 38mm Citadel deck, 343mm Bulkheads
  • Superstructure Profile: 19mm, 406mm Tower
  • Torpedo Belt: 38mm, 51% reduction ( CHONK )
  • Access to a Repair Party: Yes ( DOY!)

Before you all get your knickers in a twist and say “Oh but Shrayes, this is not how the South Dakotas were designed and built, where's muh historical accuracy!?”, Keep in mind that I gave this ship a Tennessee-style refit, which means this ship is bigger, fatter, and even chunkier than it was before. However, there is also a bit of exaggeration with the numbers here. The tier IX South Dakota is basically the same as the Tier VIII Kansas, though with better guns, which is fine at Tier VIII, but a 67k HP pool at Tier IX ( without the HMS Lion’s portable dry dock) is basically suicide. So, I gave it an artificial tonnage increase ( which would have likely been around 4,000 to 5,000 tons IRL, I gave it 8,000 tons instead ), to give it an HP pool of 75,800 hitpoints, smack dab in the lower half of the spectrum of Tier IX hitpools. Only Alsace, Georgia, Lion, and Jean Bart have smaller hitpools, with everything else ( yes, even the Minnesota, by 500 points ), having more HP. That, however, does not mean it is squishy. Yes, it has 32mm armor, but that’s only on the extremities. It has 38mm plating all over the center area, as is standard with USN battleships. However, that 38mm plating is still extremely vulnerable to large caliber HE shells, as well as AP shells slung at the upper works. However, in exchange for that vulnerability to chip damage, the South Dakota is incredibly well protected against large-caliber AP shells, with a 38mm torpedo belt layered over a 343mm main belt, which covers up a partially underwater citadel. Also, the central citadel deck is 34mm, twice as thick as that of other USN battleships, so good luck trying to citadel this thing. Well, I’d say that, if it werent for the fact that the rest of the citadel roof is 19mm thick underneath the barbettes, and that there is no extended waterline armor belt that protects it against overmatch from Yamato, Musashi, and Shikishima, and behind the bow and stern, there is only a 343mm bulkhead, which sits adjacent to the 19mm citadel roof. The turrets are also well protected, with 457mm faces and 305mm sides, which makes them relatively difficult to disable as well. 

Oh, and did I mention the 51% torpedo reduction?


Armaments

Primary Armament: 4x3 Mk2

  • Layout: Balanced ( AB-XY )
  • Caliber: 406mm
  • Barrel Length: 50 calibers
  • Range: 22.7km
  • Reload: 37.5 seconds
  • HE Shell: HE/HC Mark 13 ( 5,700 Alpha, 36.0% fire chance, 68mm pen, 803 m/s velocity )
  • AP Shell: AP Mark 3 ( 12,600 Alpha, 50.0-60.0* Autobounce, 853 m/s velocity, 737mm penetration @ 6,000 yds ( 5,490 meters ))
  • Horizontal Dispersion: USN Battleship ( 289m @ 22.5km )
  • Vertical Dispersion: USN Battleship ( ???m @ 22.5km )
  • Sigma: 2.0
  • Turret Traverse Speed: 3.0*/sec ( 60 seconds/180 )

Secondary Armament: 8x2 Mk21 Mod.0

  • Layout: Wing ( 4 mounts per side )
  • Caliber: 127mm
  • Barrel Length: 38 calibers
  • Range: 6.0km
  • Reload: 5.0 seconds
  • HE Shell: HE Mark 33 (1,800 Alpha, 792 m/s, 5.0% fire chance, 21mm pen)
  • Dispersion: Pensacola Secondary ( lul )
  • Sigma: 1.0

South Dakota’s gunnery is fairly unique among American Battleships, especially the high-tier ones. For starters, instead of the usual 406mm Mark 7 rifles that are found on the Iowa, the Missouri, and now, the Minnesota, the SoDak receives the vaunted Mark 3 variant. Historically, these guns had the highest shell velocity of all the 16 inch guns in the world, firing a 960 kilogram shell at 853 meters per second, out to a supposed range of 40,000 meters ( or roughly 40 kilometers ), with a rate of fire of 2 rounds per minute. In the game, those numbers are slightly changed. For starters, the range is now just 22.7 kilometers, and the reload is now 37.5 seconds, which seems a bit lackadaisical, especially compared to the likes of Alsace, Musashi, and yes, even the Friedrich der Grosse. However, keep in mind that you are slinging 12 406mm AP shells every 35 seconds, and that these shells also have slightly improved autobounce angles as well. It’s not enough to make much of a difference against angled targets, but it is what it is. Another key thing to note is the consistency. The guns have a sigma rating of 2.0, which, combined with USN Battleship Dispersion, makes it extremely consistent at landing shells on pretty much any target. The AP velocity is also historically unchanged, which means that intercepting targets at maximum range with the guns is also fairly easy. The HE shells are somewhat negligible, and should really only be used against DDs or angled battleships. The secondary armament isn’t special either, and is somewhat lackluster for self defense, though it does share a dispersion curve with the Pensacola, so it's good for some short-range shenanigans against DDs.

Then again, with these guns, who cares?

(ROBIN, WAKE UP! TIME FOR ANOTHER DELETE MONTAGE)


AA Defense

Long Range AA Defense: 8 x 2 127mm/38 Mk.21

  • DPS: 147
  • Flak: 5+1 @ 1,600 Flak
  • Range: 3.5-5.8km
  • Accuracy: 75%

Mid Range AA Defense: 12 x 4 40mm/70 Bofors

  • DPS: 389
  • Flak: 0
  • Range: 2.0-3.5km
  • Accuracy 75%

Short Range AA Defense: 23 x 2 20mm/70 Oerlikion

  • DPS: 280
  • Flak: 0
  • Range: 0.1-2.0km
  • Accuracy: 70%

Access to DFAA: No

Access to Catapult Fighter: Yes

The AA defense is generously described as "meh". It lags behind other battleships at this tier, and is only really good for self defense. A catapult fighter can help, but only to a certain extent.


Maneuverability

  • Top Speed: 23 kts (!)
  • Turning circle: 700 meters
  • Rotation speed: 3.8*/sec at 17.3 knots over 700 meters
  • Rudder Shift: 15.6 seconds
  • Acceleration: Battleship Standard

No surprises here, fairly standard USN Standard maneuverability. One thing I should mention is that this ship will receive the same energy retention in a turn that the Colorado does, though what that will do to her rotation numbers, I have no idea. ( @LittleWhiteMouse?)

Do watch the top speed, though.


Concealment

  • Surface Detection Range: 16.4 kilometers
  • Aerial Detection Range: 13.3 kilometers
  • Smoke Firing Penalty: 16.0 kilometers
  • Assured detection range: 2.0km

Again, no surprises. You can expect a 12.9 kilometer surface detection radius when fully built, which allows you to sneak up on some ships with relative ease ( and pound them to a pulp with one massive salvo to the face)


Build, Consumables, and Commander Skills

Consumables

  • Damage Control Party: 20 second action time, 80 second cooldown, unlimited charges
  • Repair Party: 30 second action time, 0.66% HP/sec, 60 second cooldown, 4 charges
  • Fighter / Spotter: USN Standard, nothing fancy here

Nothing really special to note of here. However, the South Dakota does receive a fast-cooldown heal, though it has a longer reset timer than the Massachussets heal. 

Module Build

  • Slot 1: Main Armaments Modification 1
  • Slot 2: Damage Control System Modification 1
  • Slot 3: Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1
  • Slot 4: Damage Control System Modification 2
  • Slot 5: Concealment Systems Modification 1
  • Slot 6: Artillery Plotting Room Modification 2

Commander Skills

  • Expert Loader
  • Adrenaline Rush
  • Superintendent
  • Concealment Expert
  • Expert Marksman
  • Basics of Survivability
  • Fire Prevention

I highly recommend either Halsey or the USN Special commanders for the improved Expert Loader and Expert Marksman skills.

 

 


Marketing

California (BB 44)

This is the camouflage that the South Dakota will use, the same Measure 32, Design 16D camouflage that the California ( pictured above ) uses, and provides the same bonuses that the California does.

 

For sale, I’d have to say either for 1 Million FXP or around 225,000 coal. Boy, if it’s Research Points, the forum is going to produce so much salt that Jingles can shove a mineshaft down our throats and shut down the salt mines for a whole year.

 

So then, just to go over some of the pros and cons of the ship

Pros

  • South Dakota, [edited]!
  • Prints devstrike medals
  • History!
  • Comfy gunnery for a USN Battleship
  • Pensacola secondary memes.

Cons

  • wth-long reload
  • Slow for a Tier IX ship
  • Questionable AA (?)
  • Where's muh overmatch?

 

Welp, that’s all I got for you folks today. If you have any questions, comments, or salt, do leave it down below.

@red_crested_ibis ,this one's for you.

@skytank_invader, don't worry, I'll get to work on the Number 13 as soon as possible

@Lert, @Fr05ty, I'm curious to see what you think.

Peace!

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1 hour ago, Shrayes_Bhagavatula said:
  • No surprises here, fairly standard USN Standard maneuverability. One thing I should mention is that this ship will receive the same energy retention in a turn that the Colorado does, though what that will do to her rotation numbers, I have no idea. ( @LittleWhiteMouse?)

Manoeuvrability:

  • With standard battleship deceleration:  3.8º/s rotation at 17.3 knots over 700m radius.  (So Nagato-like handling)
  • With Colorado's energy retention:  4.7º/s rotation at 21.2 knots over 700m radius (Literally, one of, if not the best battleship twirling at high tiers in the game).

I don't think you need Colorado's energy retention.

Not to knock the wind out of your sails, but we're literally getting two 1920s SoDaks (based on them at least) with the American battleship extension (Minnesota at tier IX and Kansas at tier VIII).

 

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21 minutes ago, LittleWhiteMouse said:

Manoeuvrability:

  • With standard battleship deceleration:  3.8º/s rotation at 17.3 knots over 700m radius.  (So Nagato-like handling)
  • With Colorado's energy retention:  4.7º/s rotation at 21.2 knots over 700m radius (Literally, one of, if not the best battleship twirling at high tiers in the game).

I don't think you need Colorado's energy retention.

Not to knock the wind out of your sails, but we're literally getting two 1920s SoDaks (based on them at least) with the American battleship extension (Minnesota at tier IX and Kansas at tier VIII).

 

Thank you for the quotations, Miss Mouse

As for the two SoDaks, I feel that, since we are not getting a variant with the 16"/50 Mark 3 rifles, I feel that we ought to have one. I mean, we get the Mark 5 and the Mark 7, but not this?  I call Heresy!

-Shrayes

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5 hours ago, Shrayes_Bhagavatula said:

Thank you for the quotations, Miss Mouse

As for the two SoDaks, I feel that, since we are not getting a variant with the 16"/50 Mark 3 rifles, I feel that we ought to have one. I mean, we get the Mark 5 and the Mark 7, but not this?  I call Heresy!

-Shrayes

Lol.

This is a good exercise. WG team probably toyed with the idea of using the Mark 3, but probably considered it too powerful or disrupted the continuity of the line, so they defaulted to guns that were made 20 years later than the design, but allowed for a continued gunnery to tier 10. No other way to know than asking Sub_Obtavian or the Development team when the ships go live. They probably will not give any info about that now.

Anyways, great job. These proposals (both what WG do and what players offer in the forums) are the reason I'm still here after almost 5 years of continued play. I find them fascinating, as some of those, while not plausible to build, show that engineers tend to do incredible things, but not everything goes their way. I say that as an engineer in the making.

Edited by hanesco

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Interesting, but if you're going with a SoDak1920 with a proper refit, then I'd recommend going with a full on SoDak1920s rebuild like it happened with the Colorados. This means that you can do a much more interesting change to differentiate it from the tech-tree line. I'd done a quick proposal a long time ago on what a realistic refit could be if the SoDak1920 was built. (Sort of looks like this https://www.deviantart.com/tzoli/art/Modernised-South-Dakota-class-Battleship-652668977)

Key points were:

  • Increase beam to 108.2ft (maximum allowed by Panama Canal and allows for its use in both ocean theatres)
    • Use the extra beam to improve torpedo protection & get a bit more deck space for AA weapons
  • Cut away the superstructure to remove casemates
  • Use the newfound space for new DP battery
  • Refit the ship with new AA (your refit is pretty close to what I had contemplated)
  • Refit the 16"/50 guns with a similar treatment to the Colorado's (NOT THE 16"/50s OF THE IOWAS!)
    • Use the Mk5 projectile (2240lbs/1016kg) instead of the Mk3 (2110lbs/957.1kg) which has better armour-penetration characteristics
      • AP shells would be like 1016kg @~820m/s (12,700 damage), HE shell would be as you have but with around ~870m/s velocity
  • Refitting the powerplant from Turbo-electric propulsion to geared steam turbines
    • Increases power from 60,000hp to ~85,000hp on the same space
    • Increases speed from 23kts to ~25.5kts
  • Increases displacement by quite a margin, though not quite as much as you've done (from 47000t to some 52,500t)

Compared to the T9 Minnesota, you'd be giving up alpha strike, penetration, hitpoints & AA power for a bit more speed (2.5kts) & faster-firing guns (because there's no way this needs 40s reload, maybe 35s or even lower with a 1.5 sigma). Also, don't think if you go this way you need the improved bounce angles.

Edited by Fr05ty
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Umm, y'all do realize the upcoming T8 ship of the new tech tree "USS Kansas" IS this 1920's South Dakota class right?
Heavily modernized of course, but the distinctive features, such as the composition of its main battery, and the hyper unusual trunked funnel system.
1354151830_usn2.thumb.jpg.283bcccb87d4555e978181a7a568f920.jpg
1.thumb.PNG.1b375ec4584656c22d2d0e49746096c3.PNG2.thumb.PNG.ed922100fe976a19e37b77f3a7269b39.PNG3.thumb.PNG.92bc527c7134966501b47724598c1025.PNG

 

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3 hours ago, Shipmaster_Crook said:

Umm, y'all do realize the upcoming T8 ship of the new tech tree "USS Kansas" IS this 1920's South Dakota class right?
Heavily modernized of course, but the distinctive features, such as the composition of its main battery, and the hyper unusual trunked funnel system.

Kansas isn't technically a (1920's) South Dakota since she uses the Colorado's 45caliber guns instead of the her historical 50caliber MK2 guns. The biggest difference between the two is that Colorado's "only" go at 768m/s, while the (1920's) South Dakota's go at 853m/s which would make it the fastest 406/410mm shell in the game. Also for me Kansas seems to be the only interesting one, Minnesota's stats don't look very impressive and Vermont is too slow for a Tillman. (If she's based off of 1 and 2 then she should go 26.5knots, and if she's based off of any of the 4's then she should go 25.2knots)

Edited by skytank_invader

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Despite the guns I think this ship is just too similar to Kansas (and absolutely superior stats wise) to be worth much consideration for adding. It's a nicely written proposal but very low on my list, even lower with Kansas nearly there.

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15 hours ago, Shipmaster_Crook said:

Umm, y'all do realize the upcoming T8 ship of the new tech tree "USS Kansas" IS this 1920's South Dakota class right?
Heavily modernized of course, but the distinctive features, such as the composition of its main battery, and the hyper unusual trunked funnel system.

Yes and not really. Yes, judging from the stack, Kansas is 1920 SoDak. However, she is using Colorado’s 16in guns, compared to 1920 Sodak’s planned 16in guns that fired a slightly heavier shell about 100m/s faster. I’m guessing WG did this for balancing reasons and/or because it’d be quite a learning curve going from an American ship firing shells with Soviet/French Qualities one tier and then back to orbital laser cannons the next

Also, Kansas is kind of weird looking for a modernized US Standard. No US BB ever really used that sort of hull cut outs (and they didn’t put a bunch of 20mms there making it wasted space) and the bridge looks like the bridge on Koenigsberg, Deutschland and WG’s Bayern refit. I mean, I do like that bridge, makes those ships kind of cute looking (Kansas included), but seems weird on a US ship. Would of expected a bridge sort of like one from Cali or West Virginia’s rebuild

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As far as I know all about of the designs for what became the BB-49 class used the 16"/50 Mark 2 and Mark 3 so I'm not certain what's with WG's T8 Kansas.

 

 

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On 7/10/2020 at 2:34 AM, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

As far as I know all about of the designs for what became the BB-49 class used the 16"/50 Mark 2 and Mark 3 so I'm not certain what's with WG's T8 Kansas.

 

 

Colorado guns

-Shrayes

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