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Detailed proposal for a T8 HMS Vanguard

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'lo all.

 

This is my first time on the forums, but as a regular WoWS player, I'm one of the many who would like to see HMS Vanguard introduced into the game.

 

I know this discussion has been recycled, a lot, but I haven't seen any really detailed threads. Maybe there are and I've just missed them!

 

People want Vanguard. The problem is balancing it.

 

She was the last and most modern battleship, ever built, so she has to be of a relatively high tier. The game already has four Tier 7 Royal Navy "battleships" (air quotes for Hood), so T7 is oversaturated. Her 8x 15" guns sound fine on T6, but there's no way Vanguard should be down in T6, she's way too modern and was the successor to the T7 KGV class! So... T8 is the best fit, but balancing an eight-gunned 15" battleship at Tier 8, save from turning her into a Bismarck clone, would be challenging. I've been thinking on this and have a few ideas. I would like to hear what other people have to say and give their input.

 

What is needed, I believe, is to make the under-gunned Vanguard feel modern. I'm not talking about skipping around at high speed, avoiding any kind of detection, twirling around her clunky opponents, all while laughing and flicking the two-fingered salute... no, I'm talking about a ship that feels unique and enjoyable to play, offers a little something different, is free from any game-breaking buffs and is strong and competitve, without ruining the enjoyment for the opposing team. I believe this ship can be made viable, while maintaining historical accuracy (which is something that matters to me), with every characteristic being based off of real world stats (as much as possible, at least!). I'll be quoting a lot from Wikipedia.

 

hms-vanguard-23.jpg

 

 

ARMAMENT

 

-Primary Battery

Eight (4x twin) BL 15" Mk1 guns. Same as Warspite & Hood. This is the first hurdle: Warspite is to be feared in T6 matches and respected when fighting T8's. However, as a T8, Vanguard will have to face T10's... with eight 15" guns (!!). Big problem. What usually happens, in this scenario, is the ship is given an artificially-increased reload speed, to compensate for smaller guns, or lack of, or both (25s for Monarch, 26s for Bismarck & Tirpitz, 28s for Gascogne). It would be easy to slap a 25s reload on Vanguard and hope... but, please, don't!! Stick with the historically accurate 30s! A rate of fire buff is not required, to make this ship competitive.

 

No, seriously, hear me out...

 

The guns are small, for a Tier 8, yes. They are few, for a Tier 8, yes. They don't have a special reload, yes.

So her shells don't do a lot of individual damage, she has a relatively small broadside and she doesn't fire that quickly. However...

 

The guns in Vanguard were modernised, to the Mk I(N) RP12 design (more range). She could also utilise supercharges, increasing muzzle velocity, penetration and range. My idea would be to implement Vanguard into the game, so that her main guns are always using supercharges. If implemented properly, this would make Vanguard's guns competitive, despite the reduced number, smaller size and standard reload. An added benefit, is the people at WG could make the firing animation and sound of Vanguard's guns SPECTACULAR, owing to the supercharges! Imagine... a huge, thundering crack, an enormous muzzle-flash and an almighty spit of flame! She would have a badass reputation, from that, alone!

 

Stats are as follows:

Firing range- 30.68km (34.63km with supercharges).

Now, obviously WoWs doesn't deal with actual ranges, more effective ranges (Warspite hit Giulio Cesare at 24.1km, but her in-game range is only 16.3km, for example), but it would be reasonable to give Vanguard an in-game range of around 20km, give-or-take.

 

Muzzle Velocity- 749m/s (nothing confirmed for supercharges).

This isn't enough. Luckily, if we follow the "Vanguard with supercharges" logic, we can boost that. I've seen quoted figues of over 850m/s, but let's say, for the sake of gameplay/balance, that Vanguard's guns have a velocity of around 920m/s. Let's also say, for the sake of balance, that her shells maintain good momentum, with low drag and good arcs (the shells fired are more modern than those of Warspite/Hood). This would give her 15" shells strong punching power. So another string to her bow would be increased penetration and normilisation angles. Krupp value would need to be increased, to make this work properly.

 

"Ahh, but Roma has 15" guns and very good penetration, but suffers from over-pens on cruisers and bounces on battleships"... yes, but carrying-on the WoWs tradition that most British ships have fast-arming fuses on their AP shells, we give Vanguard the same 0.01s fuse times as the rest of the Royal Navy fleet (or similar, anyway). The fast fuses will ensure consistant penetrations -with less over-penetrations-, on cruisers... whereas the fast shells, with good normalisation angles would allow the shells to penetrate Battleship armour, before exploding, ensuring consistant penetrations and less bounces. This would mean that Vanguard would not be a long-range HE spammer and could reliably fire AP at battleships, at medium and long ranges. Obviously, they are still only 15" shells, so proper battleship & heavy cruiser angling & bow-tanking would defeat them, requiring a switch to HE.

 

Proposed AP stats: Around 12k, extremely fast, enhanced normalisation, short fuse.

Proposed HE stats: The same as Monarch would be fine. Vanguard has 1 less gun (broadside) and 2 less guns (bow-on), with less DPM, so she wouldn't be the devil fire-starter that opponents hate!

 

Now, this is important: These guns have to be accurate. No, not accurate, but ACCURATE. I would propose WG make Vanguard the most accurate battleship in the game, with brilliant (for a battleship, we're not talking cruiser, here) horizontal & vertical dispersion and a sigma rating of 2.1. Yes, 2.1. Bearing in mind, this is not only an under-gunned battleship, but also THE MOST MODERN battleship, in the world, with extrordinarily advanced fire control systems:

 

"Vanguard was unique among British battleships in having remote power control (RPC) for her main, secondary and tertiary guns along with the Admiralty Fire Control Table Mk X for surface fire control of the main armament. There were two director control towers (DCT) for the 15-inch guns, each carrying a "double cheese" Type 274 fire-control radar for range finding and spotting the fall of shot."

 

" When the 15-inch gun turrets were modernised, their existing 15-foot (4.6 m) rangefinders were replaced by 30-foot (9.1 m) ones in all turrets except for 'A' and they were fitted for RPC in azimuth only. The turrets were also provided with de-humidifying equipment and insulation to improve their habitability."

 

There is arguement here, to make Vanguard so accurate. Both with historical facts and gameplay balance in-mind. She can't throw as many -nor the biggest- shells down-range, so she needs to make each attack count. She could also be blessed with comfortable gunnery; fast (ish) rotating turrets, which would lend themselves to the more modern feel. Wherever you aim, these shells go!

 

-In short, Vanguard's guns would provide less damage output per-shot, a weaker broadside, an ordinary reload and poor DPM... compared with those of almost all her rivals. But she would compensate, by having hard-hitting, deep-biting, reliable AP penetration and strong, dependable HE shells, both with high projectile speed, good arcs, shorter lead-times and monster accuracy.

 

hqdefault.jpg

 

-Secondary Battery

"The secondary armament consisted of sixteen 50-calibre QF 5.25-inch Mk I* dual-purpose guns in eight twin gun mounts. They had a maximum depression of −5° and a maximum elevation of 70°. They fired an 80-pound (36.3 kg) high-explosive shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,672 ft/s (814 m/s). The improved 5.25 turrets on Vanguard were claimed to be fully automatic, with a power-rammed breech and automatic tracking and elevation under radar control enabling a rate of fire of about 18 rounds per minute."

 

OK, so 16 (8x twin) 5.25" rapid-firing secondaries. Not particularly impressive. Good for lightning fires, maybe. Give it a range of around 5km, give-or-take? The automatic tracking and elevation under radar control is interesting, make these the most accurate (if, somewhat weak) secondaries in the game. Dual purpose, also good for AA. Nice and modern!

 

-AA

"Short-range air defence was provided by 73 Bofors 40 mm AA guns in a variety of mountings. Vanguard had ten sextuple-barrel power-operated mounts concentrated in the superstructure and stern, a twin-barrel mount on 'B' turret, and 11 power-operated single mounts on the upper deck and rear superstructure. All mounts could depress to −10° and elevate to a maximum of +90°. The 40-millimetre (1.6 in) gun fired a 1.97-pound (0.89 kg) shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,890 ft/s (880 m/s) to a distance of 10,750 yards (9,830 m). The gun's rate of fire was approximately 120 rounds per minute."

 

Pretty monstrous! In addition to the dual purpose secondaries, you have 10x sextuple (that's 60), 1x twin, 11x single 40mm Bofors AA guns! The AA rating on this thing should be pretty high and be very, very good for short-ranged defence. Not so much use for supporting teammates, however.

 

 

 

SPEED AND MANEUVERABILITY

She has the speed. She was designed to have 130,000shp and reach 30kn, but during trials, she achieved over 136,000shp and reached 31.57kn. In-game, I think the 136,000shp should be quoted, with a speed of 31.5kn. That's fair and would make her a very speedy (but not overly-so) battleship, able to respond to threats and push forward, into position... be the VANGUARD, so to speak!

 

As for maneuverability... well, she's a large vessel (248.2m, or 814ft 4 inch). Almost 50 feet longer than KGV! So this would translate to a large turning circle. KGV's turning circle is 790m, so Vanguard's would have to realistically be nearer 810m, or something. However, due to complaints of the KGV class having poor seaworthiness:

 

"The King George V-class ships had been built with almost no sheer to the main deck forwards to allow 'A' turret to fire straight forward at zero elevation, resulting in a poor sea boat that took a lot of water over the bow. Vanguard was redesigned as a result of this experience, significant sheer and flare being added to the bow. The ship was well regarded as seaworthy, able to keep an even keel in rough seas."

 

This could realistically translate to a ship with a relatively quick rudder-shift time, that answers her rudder quickly (OK, the above has nothing to do with rudder, but we have little to play with, when talking about HANDLING in-game) and maintain good speed in a turn. Again, this will feel MODERN.

 

66cbda2d26652cecb6b13d64b4b71641.jpg

 

 

ARMOUR AND HEALTH

As you can see from the above photo, Vanguard is very similar to KGV. In-fact, the armour scheme was based on that of KGV. In-game, that could translate to having almost identical armour and health as Monarch, only slightly better. As wikipedia shall explain:

 

"The ship's armour scheme was based on that of the King George V class with a thinner waterline belt and additional splinter protection. Originally the belt armour was equal to that of the older ships, but it had to be reduced to offset weight increases when the design was modified to reflect wartime experience. The waterline 460-foot (140.2 m) main belt was composed of Krupp cemented armour (KCA) 13 inches (330 mm) thick, but increased to 14 inches (356 mm) abreast the magazines. It was 24 feet (7.3 m) high and tapered to a thickness of 4.5 inches (114 mm) at the bottom edge of the belt. Fore and aft of the 12-inch (305 mm) transverse bulkheads that closed off the central citadel, the belt continued almost to the ends of the ship. Forward it tapered to a thickness of 2 inches (51 mm) and a height of 8 feet (2.4 m) and aft to the same thickness, but a height of 11 feet (3.4 m). At the aft end of the steering gear compartment was a 4-inch (102 mm) transverse bulkhead. After the Battle of the Denmark Strait in 1941, 1.5-inch (38 mm) non-cemented armour bulkheads were added on the sides of the magazines, to protect them from splinters from any hits from plunging shells that might have penetrated the ship's side beneath her belt.

 

When the gun turrets from the First World War-era battlecruisers were modernised, their KCA faceplates were replaced by new ones 13 inches thick, and their roofs were replaced by 6-inch (152 mm) non-cemented armour plates. Their sides remained 7–9 inches (180–230 mm) in thickness. The barbettes for the 15-inch guns were 13 inches thick on the sides, but tapered to 11–12 inches (279–305 mm) closer to the centreline of the ship. The side and roof armour of the 5.25-inch turrets was 2.5 inches (64 mm) thick. Their ammunition hoists were protected by armour 2–6 inches (51–152 mm) thick.

 

Intended to resist the impact of a 1,000-pound (450 kg) armour-piercing bomb dropped from a height of 14,000 feet (4,300 m), Vanguard's deck protection was identical to that of the King George V class. It consisted of six-inch non-cemented armour over the magazines that reduced to 5 inches (127 mm) over the machinery spaces. The armour continued forward and aft of the citadel at the lower-deck level. Forward it tapered in steps from five inches down to 2.5 inches near the bow. Aft, it protected the steering gear and propeller shafts with 4.5 inches of armour before tapering to a thickness of 2.5 inches near the stern. Unlike the Germans, French and Americans, the British no longer believed that heavy armour for the conning tower served any real purpose given that the chance of hitting it was very small; Vanguard's conning tower was therefore protected with 3 inches (76 mm) of armour on the face and 2.5 inches on the sides and rear. The secondary conning tower aft had 2 inches (51 mm) of armour on its sides.

 

Vanguard's underwater protection was enhanced when she was redesigned in 1942 to reflect the lessons learned when Prince of Wales was sunk by Japanese torpedo bombers. It still consisted of a three-layer system of voids and liquid-filled compartments meant to absorb the energy of an underwater explosion. It was bounded on the inside by the 1.75–1.5-inch (44–38 mm) torpedo bulkhead. Her enlarged oil tanks reduced the empty spaces that could flood and cause the ship to list and greater provision was made to pump these spaces out. The longitudinal bulkheads of the side protection system were raised one deck higher to further subdivide the spaces behind the waterline armour belt. The side protection system had a maximum depth of 15 feet (4.6 m), but this decreased significantly as the ship narrowed at its ends. Over the length of the citadel, this system was found to be proof against 1,000 pounds (450 kg) of TNT during full-scale trials."

 

So, a slightly reduced armour belt is the only are that Vanguard would lack, compared to KGV & Monarch. Her increased splinter-protection could translate to extra protection against HE shells and she also has seriously good torpedo protection. More on that:

 

"Vanguard's design was revised again, while the ship was under construction in 1942, to reflect lessons learned from the loss of the King George V-class battleship Prince of Wales and operations with the other battleships. The space between the inboard and outboard propeller shafts was increased from 33.5 to 51.5 feet (10.2 to 15.7 m) to prevent a single torpedo from wrecking both shafts, and watertight access trunks were added to all spaces below the deep waterline to prevent progressive flooding through open watertight doors and hatches as happened to Prince of Wales."

 

This could be reflected in higher torpdedo-damage-reduction, than her contemporaries, which would help, given her large turning circle. It would also make sense if she suffered flooding for a shorter period of time. As the "crew" on your WoWS battleship sealed the various compartments, this shorter flooding time would reflect the thought and design that went into the ship. She also had a double-bottom arrangement (two "skins") and was "divided into 27 main compartments, with water-tight bulkheads".

 

Overall, her armour would be tougher than Monarch, with better torpedo defence and increased damage recovery. She would also have more health. However, she might be slightly more susceptible to citadel damage.

 

CONCEALMENT AND STEALTH

OK, she's a big, long, wide ship. However, she does have quite a sleek side-profile/silhouette and looks quite sleek, overall. See below:

 

hms-vanguard-1946-battleship-4.png

 

 

I would be tempted to reflect this with pretty good surface detectibility. Not Monarch, nor Roma stealth, but better than average. Overall, pretty sneaky, but won't surprise any cruisers.

 

I would also reflect the enormous length and width with pretty average-to-poor air detectibility. Planes will see this thing from above, it's not a Yamato or Grosser Kurfurst, but it's no light cruiser!

 

 

EXTRAS

Now, if... BIG IF... she still wasn't quite up to snuff, there is one other thing I thought of... I don't believe it is necessary, but I'd like to know what people think: Now, obviously, almost all WW2 battleships had radar... WAIT! WAIT! LET ME FINISH!... and Vanguard's would be the best of them... I SAID LET ME FINISH!!... The thing is, I am not a fan of radar in WoWS, certainly not on a battleship (or Belfast) and I know most people feel the same. However, this super modern battleship, last of its kind, does feel a bit blind, with no spotter plane and no hydro. Add hydro, if you want, standard hydro isn't that powerful on a battleship. What if they gave Vanguard a completely unique form of radar, where it is a pulse, or a PING... extremely long ranged, the entire map, even... but it only highlighted every enemy ship for 1 second?? Like the radar gadget thing on Aliens Vs Predator! Or like a real sonar pulse. PING!... every enemy ship is spotted for one second... and they're gone again.

 

This would not allow anyone to fire upon the enemy, there is just no time, but it would allow the fleet to know roughly where the enemies are (I say "roughly", as there's no way the enemy ships would maintain position). It would only have maybe 3 charges and would CERTAINLY not break the game! No-one would get shot, as a result... but it would give a brief glimpse into the enemy's plans. I can see this being quite uselful in clan battles, but not a deciding factor.

 

Basically, that's my idea on Vanguard, it's taken me a LOOOONG time to type this up, but I am keen to know what others think. Thanks for reading (those who have). I'll leave a brief summary:

 

VANGUARD Tier 8

Pros:

-Fast battleship

-Good armour scheme with additional torpedo & flooding protection

-Good AA protection

-Comfortable gun handling

-Maintains speed in a turn

-EXTREMELY accurate guns (for a battleship), with supercharges

-Very fast shells, with short lead-times and good arcs

-Very good AP penetration, with enhanced normalisation & krupp rating

-Good, dependable HE shells, with good damage and fire chance

-Pretty good concealment from sea

-(possible unique radar pulse)

 

Cons:

-Small guns for tier, no overmatch

-Normal reload and only 8 guns; gives poor DPM

-Lower damage per AP shell, than most rivals

-Smaller broadside than most rivals

-Pretty lacklustre secondary armament

-Large turning circle

-Pretty poor concealment from air

-No spotter plane

 

Overall, I think this would be a fine ship. Dependable, fun to play, does a good job at maintaining historical accuracy, but still allows for game balance. I think the modern "flavour" would shine through, giving an entirely unique -but still quintessentially Battleship- form of gameplay. It would also NOT ruin the fun for the enemy team, nor would it be any better than the non-premium tech tree ships, which I think is extremely important.

 

Thanks, everyone.

:Smile_honoring:

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There are some other posts on this, it is pretty interesting when it comes to the guns, Most of teh folks on those threads (me included) want to get rid of the gimmicky super-HE and give Vanguard solid AP performance. The guns may be WWI-vintage, but with Cardonald shells and supercharges she will have arguably better firepower than Bismarck, so more than enough for the T10 games it is likely to see.

Here is the thread, take a look:

 

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Yeah, the gun balance will make or break the ship. I agree, I think the guns could out-punch Bismarck, but I do believe an artificially boosted reload is not needed. Thanks for the link, Centurion, I'll give that a read.

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