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  1. Battlecruisers already in the game A lot has already been said about battlecruisers and how to add more of them to the game, and since Seydlitz, Derfflinger, Indefatigable, Renown or any other british or german BCs still haven't been added to the game (except for Hood and Scharnhorst, depending who you ask), there's still a lot more to say about it. So here are some thoughts about it. As a disclaimer, I'm not capable of the thorough, encyclopedic analysis that LWM can pull off. These are just some general ideas I've had, not a meticulous study going into the specifics about each ship. Let's start with those that are already in the game to see what WG has done so far with these ships, and where we can go from there. Japan For those who complain about not enough BCs in the game and how we need BC line splits for every nation that even dreamed about having one (I'm among those people, and I want my dedicated austro-hungarian battlecruiser line), we have to admit that there's already one line that's 46.15% battlecruisers, and that's the japanese line, with 6 of the13 BBs being battlecruisers, premiums included (I'm counting the Kii, 'cause it's even less protected than the Amagi, and ignoring the ARP Kongo sisters, 'cause photocopying the same ship over and over isn't the same as adding a new one; at least Ashitaka, Mutsu and Musashi are different in some way from their tech tree counterparts). Most of these ships are OK, with the Kongo and Amagi being among the best battleships in the game and thoroughly liked by players. The only true downer is the Myogi, which could be fixed by at least reducing its awful accuracy issues. The japanese battlecruisers are also good for trying to see how a british line would look like, since the low tier ones (namely Ishizuchi and Kongo) were designed in the UK, and the Ishizuchi even uses british guns. Overall they can be divided into three groups: Kongo, Ashitaka, Amagi and Kii on one hand, Ishizuchi on the other, and Myogi in a garbage can. The first group would be the purely japanese battlecruisers (as in, starting with the massive refit they did for the Kongo, they follow the line of the japanese navy, not a foreign design), while the Ishizuchi plays like a british ship with a japanese crew (which is great because the japanese knew how to properly store explosive propellant). The purely japanese have the following main characteristics: 1) Heavy, long range, somewhat inaccurate guns with powerful AP shells. Here Ashitaka's the exception, with only 19.9km range to Nagato's 20.5 (plus spotter plane) 2) High speed, generally 30 knots (29.5 for the Kii). 3) Average rudder shift time, but a big turning circle due to their length. 4) Lower armor than the average battleship, making them easy to penetrate when shooting at their broadside. The Ishizuchi changes point 1 by having terrible AP but good HE, shorter range that its same-tier battleship counterparts and only a 25 seconds reload time for the main guns. It is also slower, at 27.5 knots top speed, but still considerably faster than any other battleship at its tier. It also has even worse armor protection, being slightly better protected than a can of Pepsi Cola. In terms of play style, the first group minus Ashitaka acts as long range artillery support, throwing several tons of steel at >20km early on, then using their speed to keep the distance at medium or close ranges while angling to improve their armor's effectiveness. The Ishizuchi, having terrible AP but good HE, short(er) range and no spotter plane, can't act as long range artillery support in any way, shape or form. What it excels at is acting like a deranged pyromaniac against battleships and carriers, and like the Hetzer from Girls und Panzer vs. That One Jagdpanther against anything else. It has a good fire chance at 32% (36% with signal flags and commander skills) and decent alpha damage (or at least not that bad when compared with its AP). Also, since these are 305mm guns, and 10 of them, it can wreck modules on lightly armored ships with truly infuriating ease. It can also wreck destroyers better than most other battleships, thanks to its quicker reload and high number of guns. Ashitaka, having average range, slow reload and very good AP, sits at the middle. It can wreck battleships at medium to long ranges, but not long enough to stay away of its enemy's firing range. It can citadel cruisers with AP, but its HE's less effective at disabling them than Ishizuchi's. Being long, hard to maneuver and having a long reload time, it's not very good against destroyers. Finally, since all of them are fast, they're good at changing flanks when it's needed (but not so much at flanking enemies, since their thin armor means that they can't survive for long under focused fire, or charge against destroyers without support, so they can't lead flanking maneuvers). They're good support to other cruisers, providing hard-hitting guns and, in the case of Ishizuchi, keeping enemy cruisers immobilized and disabling their other modules (like torpedo launchers), blasting destroyers, or forcing battleships to spend their DCP after causing multiple fires. They have, however, that glaring weakness of battlecruisers: Their armor is weak. And in the case of Ishizuchi, borderline nominal (like just calling the hull itself "anti-water armor", and even then the lack of torpedo protection means that having an enemy DD aim its torpedoes at you long enough causes flooding). They're also long. Like, reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally long, so they're easy to hit when they expose their broadsides. Finally there's the Myogi, AKA that floating piece of garbage that WG forgot to pick up and throw away. This ship cannot be ignored when talking about battlecruisers for one very important reason: Many of the ships we'd like to see added to this game (and which I'll mention later on) have main armaments of four dual main turrets, one fore one aft, and two wing turrtes in echelon configuration. This means that for the most part you'll get an effective broadside of just six guns, and at low tiers battleship guns are horribly inaccurate, requiring at least eight shells per broadside to deal damage effectively. Myogi is fast, it has decent AA for its tier and its guns are the biggest tier for tier, being 16.7% bigger than most of its counterparts (356mm against 305), compared to Yamato's 9.5% (460mm against an average of 420mm) and Mutsu's 15.1% (410mm against 356mm). But they have an average rate of fire of 2rpm, and they're so inaccurate that it makes hitting targets (particularly during close range duels) more an act of luck than skill, also meaning that aiming for critical points is useless. With better dispersion and, more importantly, sigma (which, if I'm not mistaken, affects shell grouping), or at least better reload (which would pose a slight problem, since this ship has Kongo's guns, so it would be weird for it to shoot considerably faster than a ship one tier above), this ship would be a force to reckon with. But as it is a broadside of six shells with a reload of 30 seconds is not good and makes the ship a frustrating thing to play with, detrimental to the player and their team. France The reason why I go from Japan to this is because the Dunkerque, so far the only french battlecruiser (the only other actually-built candidate being its sister Strasbourg), is because offers a few good examples of a ship that's lacking in some qualities to be as good as it could be. The ship isn't bad, and those who played with it and learned how to use it will tell you that you can have lots of fun with it. But still, it has a few flaws that keep it from being considered a good ship by even more players. 1) Dunkerque's main guns have a caliber of 330mm at a tier where no other ship has less than 356mm. 2) They have a reload time of 28 seconds, only 2 less than the average for its tier. 3) It only has eight guns with bad dispersion. 4) All eight of them are mounted on two quadruple turrets that are extremely vulnerable to being disabled, or even destroyed (which doesn't propperly reflect the french design, which had an armored bulkhead in the middle, with two guns on each side, to prevent one single shot from disabling all of them at once). 5) Its secondary guns are terrible, mainly because most of them are aimed at the rear, and are short ranged. This leaves you with 3 main complaints against the ship: 1) If you want to keep the inaccuracy and low-damage shells, then its reload time, though lower than average, is not low enough to make this a fast-firing but inaccurate battleship like the germans. 2) If you want to keep the low-damage shells and the 28s reload speed, its accuracy is too low to make it a slow-reloading cruiser killer (though it can occasionally cause great damage to them). 3) If you want to keep the inaccuracy and the 28s reload speed, its shells lack striking power, being prone to bounces and shatters when they do hit, and only moderate damage when they do penetrate. Also, their high speed means that they often overpenetrate lightly armored targets. For clarification, these aren't big weaknesses. Dunkerque is overall a fun ship to use and it has a dedicated fan base. In decent hands it's a worthy oponent to most other ships, and rarely has a negative impact on its team (at least not more so than any other ship played by someone who's bad). What I mean to say is that it lacks something to make it stand out a bit more, and on its own the 2x4 forward-firing turrets are a weakness as much as an advantage. The lesson this ship leaves for any future battlecruiser is to make sure that its strengths and weaknesses are balanced correctly so they stand out and make the ship fun to play with for a good number of people. Britain So far the british have the Hood, and the first lesson from that ship is "don't make dumb gimmicks". Having one very specific set of extremely short range guns get a massive DPM bonus with DFAA is so situational that actually investing in it is detrimental to a player's overall performance. Hood's DFAA only works against either really dumb CV players who not only torp you at such a short distance that you can actually see the pilots giving you the middle finger after they drop their load (keep in mind that Hood's the longest Tier VII battleship), but also will continue to do this no matter how many squadrons they see being obliterated, or CV players using a ship that only uses dive bombers (AKA Graf Zeppelin players, and they're quite rare). And even then you have to invest all of your captain skills and upgrade modules to bring them to a jaw-dropping firing range of 2.1km. Putting that issue aside the Hood offers a good balance of strengths and weaknesses that make the ship fun and special. It may be lacking in some aspects (the biggest complaint against it is its inaccuracy being a bit too high for a ship with 4x2 381mm guns with 30s reload), but overall a decent ship. 1) Hood's guns may be inaccurate and lacking in penetration against heavily armored targets, but they can cause massive damage to cruisers, and their high shell trajectory means they can shoot over most obstacles, which is good when you're facing cruisers taking cover behind islands, or trying to use islands for cover yourself. 2) Its armor is nominally thin compared to other battleships, but thick enough to make the ship quite durable when properly angled. 3) It is really fast, making it great for supporting cruisers or changing flanks, and also for kiting enemies. 4) It may have a massive turning circle, but its rudder turns quite rapidly, so it's great for shooting while angled. You can shoot a full broadside, then turn to offer the best angle against enemy shells, then turn again to expose your rear turrets and shoot again. 5) Its firing angles are quite good, so you don't need to expose too much side armor to bring your rear turrets to bear. Hood, along with Amagi and IMHO Ashitaka, is a good example of what a high tier battlecruiser should be, particularly when you consider that if we're talking about a separate battlecruiser tech tree line, Tier VII would be the end of it, both for Britain and Germany, and after that it would merge with the main battleship line into fast battleships. Conclusion There are already enough battlecruisers in the game to prove that there's nothing stopping WG from adding the rest. Also, we have a few cautionary tales of what not to do when designing the game versions of real-life ships (or real-life paper designs). Britain British battlecruisers (mainly from the late 1900s and early 1910s) have three main characteristics: 1) Thin armor. The invincible class for example only had 152mm of belt armor at its thickest, and starting with the Lion it would get to just 229mm. 2) Fewer turrets than contemporary battleships early on, then the same number onwards. The two first classes of battlecruisers, Invincible and Indefatigable, had four dual turrets, but two were wing turrets in echelon configuration for a total effective broadside of six guns, and requiring the ship to angle itself perpendicularly to the target to fire a full broadside of eight. The Renown class on the other hand only had three dual turrets, compared to the Revenge and Queen Elisabeth class battleships that had four. 3) Their guns were the same as those of contemporary battleships. Unlike the germans Britain used the same guns both for battleships and battlecruisers. 4) Early on they had a faster rate of fire than battleships, mainly at the expense of safety procedures, which made their turrets more vulnerable to being destroyed or suffering Critical Existence Failure magazine detonations. 5) Since they were designed to hunt down armored cruisers and destroy other lighter ships, they were considerably faster than contemporary battleships. In game they would have guns equal to same-tier battleships, but shoot faster at the expense of one turret. The only exception to this would be at Tier VII, with a battlecruiser with two fewer, bigger guns with slower reload speed than the battleship at the same tier. Their turrets would also be more vulnerable to incapacitation, but not too much (that would make them too frustrating to play). Proposed ships by tier Tier III Invincible class 4x2 305 mm guns, with 2 as wing turrets in echelon 25 seconds reload 152mm belt armor 45,100 hit points 25 knots top speed HMS New Zealand (premium) 4x2 305 mm guns, with 2 as wing turrets in echelon 25 seconds reload 152mm belt armor 44,200 hit points 25.9 knots top speed Tier IV Lion class 4x2 343mm guns, two front superfiring, one rear and one between the funnels 26 seconds reload 229mm belt armor 51,600 hit points 27.5 knots HMS Queen Mary (premium) 4x2 343mm guns, two front superfiring, one rear and one between the funnels 28 seconds reload 229mm belt armor 53,000 hit points 28 knots Tier V HMS Tiger (tech tree) 4x2 343mm guns, two front & two aft superfiring 26 seconds reload 229mm belt armor 57,000 hit points 28 knots NOTES: It should mount a spotter plane Tier VI Renown class 3x2 381mm guns, two front superfiring, one aft 26 seconds reload 229mm belt armor 59,500 hit points 32.5 knots NOTES: Final hull should mount a strong AA armament HMS Repulse (premium) 3x2 381mm guns, two front superfiring, one aft 26 seconds reload 229mm belt armor 61,000 hit points 31 knots NOTES: It should have a fast rudder shift to compensate for lack of AA and reflect the number of torpedoes it dodged IRL. Tier VII Admiral class 4x2 381mm guns, two front & two aft superfiring 30 seconds reload 305mm belt armor 65,000 hit points 33 knots NOTES: A hull should mount several secondary guns; final hull should exchange that for strong AA armament and a spotter plane HMS Hood (premium) 4x2 381mm guns, two front & two aft superfiring 30 seconds reload 305mm belt armor 67,000 hit points 32 knots NOTES: Instead of the Defensive AA consumable it should have a better Repair Party consumable that's better than average, but still not as good as Nelson's After that the line merges with the main battleship line with the Monarch, continuing as it is. Germany What would any wargame be without the germans? Fiction, that's what. And even fictional games require a faction that looks like Germany. So there you go: You can't make a wargame, be it strategy or FPS, without the germans. For this particular game, and concerning battlecruisers, Germany's ships were faster than contemporary battleships (a must for battlecruisers in general, some of them even faster than their contemporary british counterparts), well armored (usually on par with battleships of the previous generation) and when it came to main guns they followed one of two principles: Either the same as battleships, but with fewer turrets (Von der Tann compared to Nassau), or the same number of turrets, but with lower caliber guns (Moltke compared to Kaiser). And so, here is my proposal Proposed ships by tier Tier III Von der Tann (tech tree) 4x2 281mm guns, with 2 as wing turrets in echelon 22.2 seconds reload 250mm belt armor 36,500 hit points 27.75 knots NOTES: Its rudder shift time should be slightly better than Nassau's, maybe 9 seconds Tier IV Moltke class 5x2 281mm guns, with 2 as wing turrets in echelon and 2 superfiring aft 22.2 seconds reload 280mm belt armor 40,500 hit points 28.4 knots NOTES: WG please don't do what you did with Kaiser and keep this ship's appearance close to its historical counterpart SMS Seydlitz (premium) 5x2 281mm guns, with 2 as wing turrets in echelon and 2 superfiring aft 22.2 seconds reload 300mm belt armor 42,500 hit points 28.1 knots Tier V Derfflinger class 4x2 305mm guns, two front & two aft superfiring 25 seconds reload 300mm belt armor 46,500 hit points 27 knots SMS Lutzow (premium) 4x2 305mm guns, two front & two aft superfiring 24 seconds reload 300mm belt armor 48,200 hit points 26,4 knots Tier VI Ersatz Yorck class 4x2 380mm guns, two front & two aft superfiring 30 seconds reload 300mm belt armor 50,000 28 knots SMS Mackensen (premium) 4x2 350mm guns, two front & two aft superfiring 24 seconds reload 300mm belt armor 50,500 hit points 28 knots NOTES: I propose giving it the Hydroacoustic Search consummable SMS Prinz Eitel Friedrich (premium) 4x2 350mm guns, two front & two aft superfiring 24 seconds reload 300mm belt armor 50,500 hit points 28 knots NOTES: I propose giving this ship 2x3 torpedo launchers The reason I put the Ersatz Yorck in the tech tree instead of the Mackensen is because of the following: 1) Putting the Ersatz Yorck at Tier VII means that the last battlecruiser in the line is slower than its same-tier german battleship counterpart, while at Tier VI it keeps having the speed advantage over the Bayern that BCs should keep. 2) As you'll see below, this opens up space for the L 20e α battleship, which allows for almost all german dreadnoughts to be added to the game (we can have the SMS Ostfriesland as a premium) and makes for a better progression from Bayern to Bismarck on the battleship side, while allowing for the battlecruiser line to finish in a ship that's equal parts battleship and battlecruiser, blurring the line between the two, which is exactly why the class came to an end when fast battleships became the norm. And the reason I add the SMS Prinz Eitel Friedrich, even though it is another Mackensen class battlecruiser is because that name's too good and classy to pass. It's like with the italian cruisers: The ship may be meh overall, but having the name "Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta" makes it all better. EDIT: Called it! Glad to see WeeGee adding this beauty to the game. And though I'd love to get a Mackensen that looked exactly like it was meant to look back in WWI, the fictional upgrade they did looks really good (unlike Kaiser's and König's), so I don't really have a complaint about that. So thanks to WeeGee Deevs for this, I hope we can play with it soon. At Tier VII I'd suggest making a change with the Gneisenau, putting it as the last of the battlecruisers, while placing the L22c configuration of the L 20e α class as the Tier VII battleship: Tier VII L 20e α class (battleship) 4x2 380mm guns, two front & two aft superfiring 30 seconds reload 350mm belt armor 63,500 hit points 26 knots Gneisenau class (battlecruiser) 3x2 380mm guns, two front superfiring & one aft 26 seconds reload 350mm belt armor 58,200 hit points 32 knots After that both merge with Bismarck and the line continues as it is. Pan-European (austro-hungarian and dutch designs) Austria-Hungary and the Netherlands have enough for low and medium tech tree battlecruisers for a Pan-european tree from Tier IV to Tier VII. The first three tiers could be covered with austro-hungarian designs. These may require a slight fictional upgrade to their AA armament at Tier V and VI. The final ship would be the dutch 1047 design, but with a fictional main armament of 3x2 380mm guns. The reason for this is to maintain the line's progression. The line would follow this principle: On even-numbered tiers it would have ships with an effective broadside of six heavy guns. The following ship would carry the same type of guns, but have greater firepower, first by improving the gun configuration to give an effective broadside of eight guns, then by increasing the rate of fire. They would be fast ships with unimpressive AA, no torpedo armament, and no spotter plane until Tier VII. Also, the 3x3 283mm configuration for the 1047 design could be used as a high-tier cruiser. Tier IV K.u.K. Project Ic design 4x2 356mm guns. One fore, one aft, two wing turrets in echelon 30 seconds reload 225mm belt armor 40,000 hit points 30 knots NOTES: This ship is basically the case I mentioned when discussing Myogi's problems. I think an effective broadside of six heavy shells deserves good dispersion, so this ship should have no more than 220m dispersion and no less than 1.9 sigma. Tier V K.u.K. Project If design 4x2 356mm guns. Two fore and two aft superfiring 30 seconds reload 225mm belt armor 45,000 hit points 30 knots NOTES: This ship would be like the Kongo, but lacking the spotter plane. The original design didn't account for aviation, so I see two options. Option 1 is to give the ship a fictional average AA and good maneuvrability. Option 2 is to give it good AA and average maneuvrability. Tier VI K.u.K. project IV design 3x2 380mm guns. One fore, one aft, one center line facing forward 28 seconds reload 225mm belt armor 50,000 30 knots NOTES: This ship would be somewhat similar to the Repulse, but with even less AA. With a 28 seconds reload, it should have slightly above average dispersion/sigma. Tier VII Dutch Design 1047 3x3 283mm guns (option 1) / 3x2 380mm guns (option 2). Two fore superfiring, one aft 20 seconds reload (option 1) / 25 seconds reload (option 2) 225mm belt armor 55,000 hit points (Tier VI) 34 knots NOTES: This ship would resemble the Scharnhorst or Gneisenau (depending on its main armament), but with thinner armor and greater speed. It would also lack torpedo armament. The real main armament would be the 3x3 283mm guns, but I recommend the fictional 2x3 380mm configuration to continue the progression from Austria-Hungary's project IV, with higher reload speed instead of a greater effective broadside as with the Project Ic to Project If progression. Japan Japan could have a brief line split at tiers VII and VIII by putting the B-65 design at Tier VII (as a japanese equivalent to Scharnhorst), then moving Amagi into this BC split at Tier VIII, replacing it for the Tosa class battleship. It would then merge back with the Izumo. Alternatively, the B-65 could be added as a premium, either at Tier VII as a battleship, or at Tier IX as a cruiser. Tier VII (battleship) or Tier XI (cruiser) Design B-65 3x3 310mm guns (option 1)/3x2 356mm guns (option 2) 20 seconds reload (option 1)/ 24 seconds reload (option 2) 210mm belt armor 58,000 to 60,000 hit points (Tier VII battleship) or 67,500 to 72,500 hit points (Tier IX cruiser) 33 knots NOTES: Since this ship also fits the pattern of high tier cruisers with close to 300mm guns, WG could add this as a japanese high tier freemium cruiser, but I'd rather have it as a Tier VII battleship, and for the sake of this line split, I'll place it there. Minor nations By "Minor nations" I don't mean small navies, but rather navies that only had a few designs. Of these there are several, and I'll be covering some. Russia There are two designs, one from the imperial navy and another from the soviet navy. The first one, the Izmail/Borodino (I prefer the first name), is basically a more lightly armored, faster Imperator Nikolai I with 4x3 356mm guns (ideal for Tier V or VI). The second one, the Kronstadt, of which WG already took the name, looked in one version like the 3x2 380mm Gneisenau. Tier V or VI Izmail class 4x3 356mm guns 35 seconds reload (Tier V) / 28 seconds reload (Tier VI) 237.5mm belt armor 50,000 hit points (Tier V) / 55,000 hit points (Tier VI) 26.5 knots NOTES: I'd suggest using the ship's rudder shift to balance it at Tier VI, giving it a rudder shift time to compensate its lack of AA. For Tier V it could be balanced with slightly higher dispersion/slightly lower sigma if the extra 5 seconds reload is insufficient. Tier VII Sevastopol (Kronstadt class) 3x2 380mm guns 26 seconds reload 230mm belt armor 60,000 hit points 32 knots NOTES: The ship would be very similar to the Gneisenau, but with considerably thinner armor, requiring some other advantage to compensate, other than just a slightly greater hit point pool. United States The US has that giant behemoth with five to seven funnels called the Lexington, which would require a new name (we still need Saratoga for a premium CV), maybe Constellation or Constitution. Actually, lets have both, one at Tier VI and the other at Tier VII. Their main armament would be the same as Colorado's. Tier VI USS Constellation (Lexington class, early design) 4x2 406mm guns 32 seconds reload 237.5mm belt armor 60,000 hit points 27.5 knots NOTES: This would be the 5-funnels version. The original design they chose for construction had minimal AA, so that should be improved with all those short and medium range AA guns american battleships are famous for. It shouldn't be too good, though. Just enough to shoot down one plane during their approach, maybe an aditional one while they return. Tier VII USS Constitution (Lexington class, final design) 4x2 406mm guns 30 seconds reload 237.5mm belt armor 65,000 hit points 32 knots NOTES: This would be the version that was approved for construction. The original design they chose for construction had minimal AA, so that should be improved with all those short and medium range AA guns american battleships are famous for. Commonwealth Australia operated the only battlecruiser of all commonwealth nations, Her Majesty's Australian Ship Australia, of the Indefatigable class. Gimmicks aside, it would be just like the HMS New Zealand I proposed above (which was paid for, but not operated by, New Zealand). Wargaming must add this ship. The Queen of Australia demands it. Turkey No nation is more generous than the germans when it comes to gifting ships trapped by the Royal Navy to nations they want to join their fight (the german's fight, not the Royal Navy's), and so the SMS Goeben was gifted to the Otoman Empire (AKA Turkey plus all expansion packs, available only for PC). The ship was renamed Yavuz Sultan Selim and thankfully kept its german crew and commander, because if it hadn't its gimmicks would be having a thoroughly inexperienced crew and losing to Grece. Yavuz Sultan Selim is a Moltke-class battlecruiser, so it would be similar to that one in its WWI configuration. However, unlike the rest of the Imperial German Navy the ship survived the war and continued to serve Turkey well into the 1970s, so there are a lot of real modernizations that could make the ship unique, and maybe even suited for a higher tier. France France had a number of never-built designs, for which I'll leave the following link: http://www.naval-encyclopedia.com/ww1/France/french-ww1-battlecruisers The problem with french battlecruisers is that Wargaming alread took the french battleships of that era (namely Normandie and Lyon) and boosted their speed considerably, to the point where Normandie is even faster than Gille's and Durand-Viel's proposals. So, though they could be added (it would be nice to have them), they would be just like Tier VI and VII french battleships, maybe a little faster than Lyon, but also a little slower than Normandie. Here's one proposal for adding one of them into the game. This would be Durand-Viel's A type battlecruiser: http://shipcomrade.com/news/273/battlecruiser-wednesdays-bordeaux-fra.htm This ship would basically work like Gascogne, and Gascogne has proven to be a nice ship. This is all I could find for now. Many of these ships are quite similar to one another, or to already-incorporated ships, for the simple reason that Germany and Britain were the main sources of inspiration for battlecruiser design (in fact, "similar to Scharnhorst or Gneisenau" is a recurring topic for interwar battlecruisers). Some could also be used for high tier cruisers, following the principle of Kronstadt or Stalingrad. The main distinguishing feature in the end would be gimmicks, and I don't have many ideas for those.