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Battlecruiser Suggestion Thread #4637, Still Some Horse Left to Beat!

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Thanks in large part to @Shrayes_Bhagavatula and his recent (And frankly well done) German BB split proposal, I have been thinking about Battlecruisers once again and how such lines or line splits would shape up in the game. In particular, Sharayes' 'Raider Line' of German Battleships, at least IMO, would potentially pair well with earlier, true BC's to create not just a split but a true 2nd line of battleships to unlock for Germany. His top tier conclusions meant that one would only need to backfill down to tier III in order to complete a line, and since there are more than enough ship classes from the era to do so, a BC-->fast/ commerce raiding BB line suddenly becomes very attainable... at least in theory of course.

But today, I'd like to start my suggestion with a different nation to backfill BCs with; the US. As we know, there will be an imminent split at tier 8 for the USN Battleship tree, and like many of you I was shocked and a bit disappointed when the ships were announced and shown off a few months ago. "This isn't at all what I wanted!" I exclaimed! "Where's the Nevada, the Tennessee, the real SoDak? Where's our awesome secondary focused, brawling BBs!?!?" Instead what we got was the original South Dakota, a rebuilt, pretend-to-be-a-Montana South Dakota, and one of the freakin' Tillman proposals! Not to say that such ships didn't have their fans prior to the announcement, they most certainly did! Even I'll freely admit I was hoping to see the OG SoDak come into the game at some point as a premium or, something. 

However, as I calmed down and started to think about it more, it's actually kind of brilliant on WG's part. We have always had a very nice, well put together tech line for the US BBs from a chronological standpoint. Starting from the first Dreadnought, to the standards, to the post 1930 era Fast BBs all the way up to the aborted Montana, it's a very well defined line! And now, we're going to be given a choice: what was versus what might have been. The simple fact is that the 1920 South Dakota-class was the next in line to be built after the Colorado-class and very nearly were, if not for that contemptable piece of paper known as the Washington Naval Treaty. Now, say what you will about the new ships, and they very well could end up being crap as many of the doomsayers are proclaiming, but there's no denial that these new "Super Standards" as I call them, will not only create a more interesting chronological line but also a more significant gameplay choice: continue with the slow, methodical playstyle of the standards or go with fast, maneuverable BBs? And therein lies the brilliance...

Don't Put Them To Sleep! – Writing your first novel-Things you should know

 

So if you made it this far, congratulations! If you're looking for the TL:DR well here's your question: 'What the hell does all that have to do with American Battlecrusiers TW?' So glad you asked! Despite the fact that the USN fast BBs make chronological sense in the techline, it got me thinking; can it be extended and make sense gameplay wise? This is where the BC's come in. Since we already have existing tier VIII-X ships, we simply need to backfill the rest of the line as far as it can go. And how far does the BC line for the US go? Lets theorycraft! Starting off at tier VII, we have the most obvious ship to place in our hypothetical American BC line: The Lexington-class:

  <i>Lexington</i> (1920 design)

As we all know, the Lexington and Saratoga were rebuilt as CV's so I would go with the name Constellation for this class in the techline. The main feature of these ships are that they are basically the ultimate glass cannons. Roughly the same size and maneuverability as HMS Hood (though slightly faster), Connie would also feature similar armament to Colorado, with 8x2 16" guns though these are the 50cal versions that were also to be used on the original SoDaks (nee: Kansas) Her main drawback is that this thing, other than being huge has only 7"(!) of main belt armor. That's only slightly better than a Baltimore and compared to Hood is equivalent to only her upper belt, whereas her main belt is 12". So yeah, you want to talk about easy broadside citadels, Russian BBs eat your hearts out! And it's this frankly jarring achilles heel that have some saying is the reason the Connie will never show up in the game, she's simply to fragile to to balance properly. But I argue she could be balanced, especially given a hypothetical refit that WG would certainly give her anyway, could make her perfectly competitive at tier VII, playing more like... a long range heavy cruiser rather than a true BB. 

Now at this point, many people would say "yeah, that'll work. Branch her off from the New Mexico and call it a day!" But Wait! we can still go further down the line! Just like a archeological expedition, we just need to dig a little deeper and get to tier VI where we find:

 Lexington Class Battlecruiser (CC-1 through CC-6) | Secret Projects Forum USN Ship Types--Lexington class (CC-1 through CC-6)

Welcome to the original Lexington-class designs. The drawings you see above are the ships as they had been designed by 1916, only for the design parameters to change the following year into the ships that actually got laid down in 1920. Instead of 8x2 16" guns she was to be fitted with 10 14"/50 guns in a superfiring arrangement of 3 over 2, like the Pensacola-class CA. And just like her contemporary at tier VI, her armor is devastatingly thin at only 5" at the belt.  Let me repeat that: FIVE. INCHES. It's the same armor thickness as the New Orleans at tier VII, in a ship four times it's size. Now, this does mean that she has an insane top speed of 35(!) knots, but even so. This is a ship of yuuuuge extremes. And just like her big sister a tier higher would likely mean the ship wouldn't play like a BB at all, more like a giant CA with 20% less firepower than the New Mexico.

Oh gods I hear you say, make it stop! Surely there can't be more! Oh but there is... digging a little deeper still, we find:

Pic3

This ship was the culmination of a design study that had begun around 1911-12 in response to the IJN Kongo and in many ways was exactly that, an American rebuttal design meant to offer similar capabilities. And as you can see, this ship is rather... reasonable in design when compared to the insanity that becomes the Lexington-class project. Main armament was only 8x2 14" guns, these likely would have been the 45cal ones since they were just coming online at the time, so again about 20% less firepower than it's contemporary BB at tier V, the New York-class. They also feature... reasonable-ish armor protection as well, with a 10" armor belt as seen above. Overall, this ship is entirely sensible compared to what comes next. But is there anything that comes before? Can we go even deeper? Yes, yes we can. 

KÉP1

This drawing is based on a series of general requirements that had been drawn up by the Naval Design Bureau from about 1909 to design a battlecruiser, using the Wyoming-class as a base. 6 different design sketches were submitted and the end result was what you see above. Congress was never interested in authorizing any money to the Navy to build such ships, only changing their tune when the Kongo-class was revealed to the world. The main armament would be the same 12"/50 guns as on the Wyomings for those wondering.  

At this point we've pretty much hit rock bottom. I could continue this even further with Armored Cruisers, which were the true precursors to the battlecruiser but as there are no AC's in WoWs yet, that's a story that'll have to wait for another time. Hopefully soon... ;)

 

Congratulations! You made it through the entire rant! I hope you found this interesting and as always, I welcome your feedback and suggestions! :cap_like:

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19 minutes ago, michael_zahnle said:

I like.  Were there names assigned to these ship classes prior to CC-2 Constellation?

Not likely. Keep in mind the tier IV and V were just design studies and were never approved for construction. But based on their naming conventions, you could easily find other ship names for them.

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Okay. That might work. But like you said, thin armor would likely get the theoretical additional armor so they don't explode.

This is very promising and would not need even the slightest change save for the armor. As for So Dak, I think she will show up as a bundle premium because famous usually is a premium. Infamous usually is too. Obscure in my opinion gets in a tech tree so aficionados like myself can rather wickedly work the kinks out of the ship. 

Because that is my kink 😏.

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WHOMST HAS SUMMONED THE ALMIGHTY ONE?

image.jpeg.6bf6c4f093c55046146cf9b5a7d1939e.jpeg

( oops )

In any case, I give my upvote for USN Battlecruisers. Despite their obvious lack of armor, proper improvements should make them good additions to the game.

-Shrayes

 

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I rate this Line a 0/10 it does not have the 79,000 ton bc design at tier 6.

Spoiler

pic2.thumb.jpg.a05e5e3a5bcf28b44c1769321612a6ca.jpg

I really do like your line though. It does appear to haver a good sense of progression.

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1 hour ago, skytank_invader said:

I rate this Line a 0/10 it does not have the 79,000 ton bc design at tier 6.

  Hide contents

pic2.thumb.jpg.a05e5e3a5bcf28b44c1769321612a6ca.jpg

I really do like your line though. It does appear to haver a good sense of progression.

( 79,000 Tons )

Excuse me,  WHAT!?

-Shrayes

Edited by Shrayes_Bhagavatula

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On 9/22/2020 at 7:47 PM, Shrayes_Bhagavatula said:

In any case, I give my upvote for USN Battlecruisers. Despite their obvious lack of armor, proper improvements should make them good additions to the game.

-Shrayes

 

+1

 

Also maybe British and german Battlecruisers would be nice

 

and it's not just the usn battlecruisers with terrible armor. what about the Invincible class with 4" armor?

Edited by AdmiralFox08

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1 hour ago, Shrayes_Bhagavatula said:

( 79,000 Tons )

Excuse me,  WHAT!?

-Shrayes

It's part of the same design study as his tier 5. The design study in question only limits were the gun caliber and amount, the thickest the belt could be was at 356mms, the top speed could go up to 33 knots, and a maximum range of I think 18,000 meters (or what ever the distance used for how far a ship could travel before refueling. The 79,000 ton design was the best guess of how big the ship would have to be to have all of the desired traits. 

Fun fact the US seems to love 4x3 16inch designs since there was a fast bb design that I shall post here s584134.thumb.jpg.6081867e7fd29480775cd662b761cabd.jpg

that is basically a smaller Montana that was designed in 1918. I believe it was part of the final designs for the Lexington Class.

Edited by skytank_invader

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1 hour ago, AdmiralFox08 said:

+1

 

Also maybe British and german Battlecruisers would be nice

 

and it's not just the usn battlecruisers with terrible armor. what about the Invincible class with 4" armor?

Don't you worry... they're a'comin'. :cap_haloween:

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48 minutes ago, Trophy_Wench said:

Don't you worry... they're a'comin'. :cap_haloween:

 :Smile_facepalm:  remind me to fxp the whole line until hms tiger...

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