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Building Better Tech Trees Part 3b: Pre-Drednought Battleships

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Welcome back to the conclusion of part 3. To catch up on the action so far, check out: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3a

So, now that we've established how secondaries can change to allow more relevance to our Pre-Dreads, let's look at some of the ships that could fill out the bottom of our newly expanded techlines! First though, I need to lay out a couple of ground rules.

Similar to what I talked about in part 2, there are 2 criteria that I try and use to pick the most appropriate ships for the tier. First, is that I try to find ships that were built in the 20th century proper if I can help it. Rule #2 though, doesn't really apply anymore to the Pre-Dreads since at tier III they simply evolve into a completely new class of battleship, so similar, iterative designs really only make sense when talking about the differences between tiers I and II. Instead I have to look at other criteria to find appropriate ships and to do that, we need to define the difference between a Pre-Dreadnought and and Semi-Dreadnought.

By the time HMS Dreadnought was being launched, the worlds navies were already kind of inching closer to creating all big-gun ships, Britain simply beat them to the punch. As a half step, many navies were building all big-gun, mixed calibre battleships (i.e. Semi-Dreadnoughts). Examples of these ships included the British Lord Nelson-class, A-H Radetzky-class and Japanese Satsuma, seen below:

<i>Agamemnon</i> 1908 <i>Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand </i>1917 <i>Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.</i> <i>Satsuma</i> 1915  

All of these ships have secondary batteries consisting of guns greater than 8" and main battery guns of equivalent type to their contemporary Dreadnought classes. Now granted, IRL none of this mattered because Dreadnoughts were always superior but in game terms.... eeeeeehhh, that's a tough call to make. Especially when your consider again, that Mikasa, a ship that is very much not one of these Semi-Dreads is at tier II currently. Therefore, in choosing my representative ships I have erred on the side of conservatism and made it a house rule to cap the secondary gun size to ~8" or less. So with all that out of the way, let us, finally have a look at the ships I chose to represent our tier I and II Pre-Dreadnoughts!

Tier I - Duncan-Class

Duncan Class Duncan Class

The Duncan's were an evolution of the earlier Canopus-class ships. They were high speed ships, designed to counter new Russian and French designs of the time. Main armament consists of 2x2 12"/40cal guns (basically Mikasa's guns) and a secondary battery of 12x1 6" guns and 10x1 3" guns throughout. Top speed was a blistering 19kts! And if you're thinking "that kinda looks like a Mikasa) well, you're sort of right. About as orthodox a Pre-Dread as you can get with this ship. It serves as the perfect benchmark for our starting point. Moving on to tier II, we have:

Tier II - King Edward VII- class

KING EDWARD VII BATTLESHIP 1906-1916 - WRECK WRAK EPAVE WRACK PECIO Vault Boy Hold Up Meme Sticker - Sticker Mania

"Trophy! You just went through all that jazz about secondary size limits and here I see it reads "Four 9.2" guns!! The hell?!?!" Yes, yes I know what I said let me explain. Since the succeeding Lord Nelson- class has all 9.2" guns as it's secondary battery, this has a mixed battery as you can see above. The 9.2" guns are located at the corners of the superstructure in casemate mounts so only 2 can fire in any given direction at any time. It's a decent compromise IMO and a sensible, intermediate design between the Duncan and the Lord Nelson. Especially when you consider that the main battery guns are the same 40cal versions as on the tier I so having a bit more firepower to bear in any form when up tiered against proper Dreadnoughts would likely be welcome. 

Whew! That was a lot to get through. Next up, we'll be having a look at Armored Cruisers in part 4. Stay tuned! 


Edited by Trophy_Wench
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