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A (serious) case for HNLMS De Zeven Provincien as T8 Dutch premium by Lert on NA

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The third topic made by Lert on NA that I decided to copy to EU. Here's the link for the people that want to see the original topic on NA. So nót my idea, but an idea by Lert. He gave me permission to copy his proposals to the EU forum.

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In which I discuss my proposal for a Dutch T8 light cruiser premium, namely de Zeven Provincien, commissioned in 1953:

JaZvHif.jpg

De Zeven Provincien was one of two ships in her class, the other being de Ruyter. Sort-of. You see, these ships changed names a few too many times during their service life.

The ship I'm going to discuss in this thread was ordered in 1938 as 'Kruiser 2' as part of the Eendracht class of cruisers, laid down in 1939 as Kijkduin and named Eendracht in 1940. When the Germans invaded they captured the 25% complete ship and planned to finish her as KH2. However, this project was never completed. In 1945 she was named Eendracht once again, though in 1950 she was renamed De Zeven Provincien to a very different design than the original Eendracht draft. She was commissioned in 1952 and sold to Peru in 1975, there renamed Aguirre. She was finally decomissioned and scrapped in 2000.

For the purposes of this thread I will refer to her as De Zeven Provincien, or D7P. De Zeven Provincien is actually a very weighty name in the Netherlands, as it refers to the original seven provinces that declared their independence in the Unie van Utrecht in 1579,  the first step in achieving independence of what eventually would become the Netherlands. It was also the name of admiral Michiel de Ruyter's flagship, a 1665 vintage, 80 gun ship of the line.

oRihF6h.jpg

Michiel de Ruyter is considered the greatest Dutch admiral ever and one of the greatest admirals in world history. His exploits is why there have been ships named de Ruyter in Dutch naval service almost interrupted for the past 200 years. So you can imagine what weight de Zeven Provincien name carries in Dutch naval history. It's a name reserved for only the best and greatest ships in our tiny country's navy, and the ship I'm talking about today truly counted.

She was modernized in the 1980s and given guided missiles, but for the purposes of this thread I'll be looking at D7P as she was commissioned.

auqeEsu.png

Commissioned in 1953 and sailing in Dutch service until 1975, she never fired her guns in anger. She did partake in many NATO exercises and served as flagship during some of them. As such her service life is not very interesting. Moving on.

So what would she look like in game?

For the purposes of this thread, I'm going to argue for D7P as a T8 CL, based on long range, rapid-fire gun power and a potent AA suite.

Tonnage:

11930 tons full load gives us 32100 hit points, rounded. This puts her a bit behind ships like Cleveland and Chapayev, both boasting about 37k HP, and Kutuzov with her 40k HP. Even the light weight Edinburgh has her beat with 36k HP. However, due to her play style, this low hit point total is less of a problem than one might think.

Armor:

9BtP0Ef.jpg

De Zeven Provincien would be a very soft and weakly armored ship, to say the least. A 76mm belt at best with 50mm upper belt, a slight 30mm turtleback, 10mm fore- and aft deck and a 20mm main deck. The conning tower and turrets both had up to 125mm armor.

The citadel would've been at the waterline, but any large caliber, high angle fire would easily smash through the 15mm side plating or 50mm upper belt and through the 30mm citadel roof. This ship was about as 'well protected' as Omaha, and we all know how squishy that ship is, even at tier 5.

For the purposes of this game the fore-end and aft plating and weather deck would likely be artificially increased to 25mm to bring it in line with the other T8 CL, but this wouldn't be enough to make the ship 'tough'. At best it'll help deflect cruiser caliber AP fire at sharp angles.

Main armament:

4x 2 152mm Bofors kanon M/42

wemTM6D.jpg

These are late 1930s vintage guns, originally ordered by the Dutch for the Eendracht class cruisers. Post-war these guns received new mounts and new loading systems, allowing them to be used as dual purpose artillery and giving them a higher rate of fire. These fired a 45kg projectile at 900 mps. The listed rate of fire is 10 rpm in the anti-surface role up to 15 rpm in the AA role.

These guns do not exist in the game yet and information on them is scarce. For example, I can't find the weight of bursting charge used in these shells. However, their mass is known, 45 kg, and as such I can compare them to other 152mm shells in the game and make an educated guess as to their performance compared to those of other ships in this game.

What I find when comparing these guns to other in-game 6" guns is that the D7P fired very light shells. For example, Cleveland fired a 59kg AP shell and even Duca D'aosta a 50kg one. D7P's shells being so light means that they likely carried a smaller bursting charge and thus would do less damage than even Duca D'aosta's guns. Since the Duca's AP shells are listed at 3200 dmg and Cleveland's at 3300, I would give D7P's AP shells 3100 dmg.

Fortunately the HE shells are easier to compare, since Cleveland's HE shells are of very similar weight. As such I would estimate D7P's HE shells to have a similar 2200 dmg and 12% fire chance.

With 8 barrels and 10 RPM this gives us 248k AP DPM and 176k HE DPM, but how does that compare that to the other light cruisers at tier 8?

  Quote

Tier 8 Light Cruiser AP/HE DPM:

Chapayev  297k/198k
Kutuzov  297k/198k
Mogami 155  297k/243k
Edinburgh 298k/ NA
Cleveland  354k/244k

(thanks @LittleWhiteMouse)

D7P falls hopelessly behind in the T8 CL DPM race. However, remember when I said that the guns had 10 RPM in the anti-surface role and 15 RPM in the AA role? This is likely to do with the loading system delivering shells in a position optimized for high angle loading, meaning that against surface targets the loading system needs time to rotate the shells to a more horizontal position, taking up valuable time.

However, this is true for all naval guns with an automated loading system, as shown in this famous animation:

SoVcSTs.gif

Wargaming has always ignored the need to elevate / depress barrels to the optimal loading position and always used the optimal rate of fire numbers for each gun, regardless of elevation levels or range to target. So it stands to reason that Wargaming would be more likely to use the 15 RPM number for D7P's guns than the 10 RPM number.

At 15 RPM we get 372k AP DPM 264k HE DPM.

These numbers would put D7P way ahead of any other CL at tier and make her more suitable for tier 9 or even tier 10 placing. However, the hull is simply not suited for that kind of tier. It's already pushing it a little bit to put her at tier 8.

So what I propose is that WG use a middling 12.5 RPM. This gives us 310k AP DPM and 220k HE DPM.

These numbers are competitive with the other T8 CL without going too much overboard, especially considering the hull having a low amount of hit points and very soft armor. The shel ballistics too make this high DPM less of an advantage than it seems on paper. Despite a high muzzle velocity of 900 mps these shells are the lightest 152mm at tier, and thus lose a lot of velocity over distance, making short range gunnery very comfortable but long range gunnery floaty and challenging to reliably put warheads on foreheads at range.

Her height of mast and the location of her main fire director likely means very good firing range, likely at least 18km.

Finally, she would likely have very competitive dispersion with high sigma owing to a very modern, 1950s era fire control system.

Auxilliary armament:

4x 2 Bofors 57mm /60

8x Bofors 40mm /60

The double 57mm /60 mounts are already in the game on Republique, where they're given 306 dpm at 4.5km for 12x 2 mounts. D7P carried a third of those, so would get 102 dpm at 4.5km from these.

The 40mm /60 are as far as I remember not yet in the game, but would, according to @Fr05ty have about the same effectiveness of the existing 40mm /56 mount, for approx. 95 dpm at 3.5km estimated.

That's already a respectable AA bubble, especially if you consider DFAA. But the 152mm guns were dual purpose, thus would count towards the AA bubble as well. It's difficult to estimate the dpm output and range they would have though, but if we compare the damage output in the anti-surface role with, say, Minotaur's main battery DPM in the anti-surface role and in the anti-air we can at least make a semi educated guess. Minotaur puts out almost double the anti-surface DPM as D7P at 12.5 RPM, so Minotaur's 152mm AA DPS of 118 would also be sliced almost in half for 65 DPS at 6km for D7P's main battery AA DPS. This is just an estimate, at best a ballpark number.

So 65 DPS at 6km, 160 total DPS at 4.5km and 262 total DPS at 3.5km. Those are pretty respectable numbers, but become very nasty if you take DFAA and Manual AA into account.

Speed:

32 knots. The base bottom for 'decent' cruiser speed at that tier.

In terms of agility I would give her a relatively quick rudder as well as a relatively small turning circle owing to being a modern and very light design. Let's say 6s base rudder shift and a 640m turning radius. This puts her in the upper end of maneuverability for T8 light cruisers without going overboard, or forgetting that this is a relatively big ship.

Concealment:

This is a large ship with tall masts. She'll likely have bad concealment. While lighter than Cleveland, she's taller and likely more visible. In fact, her height of mast is comparable to that of Mikhail Kutuzov, meaning that she likely has similar concealment.

Kutuzov boasts 14.1km by sea and 9.3 by air, with her premium camouflage but no other factors like upgrades or captain skills.

Why does mast height matter so much for concealment as well as firing range? Well, in real life the ocean is curved, because the earth is round. The taller your masts and the higher up the fire director, the further your horizon is and the further you can see, but also the sooner you're seen by others.

Consumables:

Let's get the elephant out of the room: this ship would not get radar. Regardless of my personal opinion about radar, adding more radar ships to the game would lead to an increase of complaints on the forum. So I've elected not to propose radar for this ship.

That leaves the following consumable suite. We'll start by your standard complement of Damage Control Party and Defensive AA. Because this is a very modern but very flimsy ship, I'd add a repair party. Standard like on Atago and Eugen if sufficient, RN Superheal if necessary for balance. Since this ship had no provisions for an airplane, I would give her smoke to round out her consumable suite.

Xke367b.jpg

Playstyle:

De Zeven Provincien would be a long range firebreather, if anything. With a soft hull and low health she's forced to stay back and try to make herself as unappetizing a target as possible. Fortunately her maneuverability, heal and smoke consumable help with this play style. Finally, her ballistics are sufficient to hit targets at medium to longer ranges with her initially very good muzzle velocity, but gunnery will become more difficult the further out a target is due to her light shells. And if a target presents itself at closer range, she has the AP DPM and short range muzzle velocity to rip them asunder with withering fire. With her DFAA on a potent AA suite she would make an excellent AA picket ship, and her speed - while unimpressive in its own right - is still sufficient to keep up with the battleships. She also has the agility to dodge long range incoming fire, especially from battleships, meaning that her low hit points pool is less of an issue than it first appears to be.

As such, this is truly the supportiest of support ships, with every aspect of her play style pushing her towards this role.

Elephant in the room:

There were two ships of this class, de Ruyter and de Zeven Provincien. This gives us one ship for the tech tree and one as premium. Problem solved, right? Well, no. A Dutch cruiser tree is likely going to have the 1930s de Ruyter at tier 4, meaning that we can't have de Zeven Provincien's sistership de Ruyter in the tech tree nor as premium, at least, not under that name. So how to solve this?

I would propose that Wargaming introduce de Zeven Provincien as T8 premium, and include her sister de Ruyter in the tech tree under the name Kijkduin.

"But wait, wasn't Kijkduin one of the names used for de Zeven Provincien, and not de Ruyter?"

Yes, but one of the names used for de Ruyter during its equally long construction process was de Zeven Provincien. There were two of these ships built, and it would be a shame to pass up the opportunity for a built-in-steel, has-served, T8 premium cruiser for the Dutch. Whichever way you spin it, Wargaming is going to have to apply some creativity in naming the tech tree ship vs the premium ship, but I would consider it a great shame if they elected not to introduce this premium only because it would create some confusion with the name. Plus, it's not like we don't have precedence for the exact same ship appearing in the game twice under a new name. Isn't that right Krasny Krymand Admiral Makarov? Finally, tech tree ships are often an amalgamation of various in-class sister ships anyways, rather than being a specific one out of the series.

So, in short:

Pros:

- Has served a long service life of almost 50 years (Her sister served almost 65 years)
- Dozens of pages of elaborate blueprints are readily available (Seriously, dozens. Check out the gahetna link in sources, linked at the bottom)
- ROF range allows for easy re-balancing and re-tiering if needed to fill a hole
- Every aspect of the ship points to a singulearplay style, no 'bote schizophrenia' here
- Is a majestic ship with great lines.

Cons:

- Dutch nation not in game
- Likely limited appeal due to this
- Limited appeal as captain trainer
- No truly legendary historical feats, served only in peace time

Like with my Witte de With proposal the greatest hurdle to overcome is to convince the highly USN centric NA server of the necessity to include ships that would likely appeal to very few of the players here based purely on nationality, and with very limited captain training potential to boot. The ship has to appeal to people on its own merit, of a rapid-fire, reasonably maneuverable AA picket / fleet support ship. Unfortunately that is not a role that appeals to the average player, and the high skill floor and ceiling of this ship will likely mean that only the experienced and more skilled players would pick this ship up.

However, I do still firmly believe that this ship has a place in the game, and while I would jump for joy if this ship is included in a Dutch cruiser tree, I think the more realistic option is as a premium either stand-alone like ORP Błyskawica or as captain trainer for a Pan-Eropean tree.

Another option is to include D7P as Aguirre or D7P's sister de Ruyter as Almirante Grau as Peruvian ships in a pan-American tree. However, as Dutchman I would prefer to see her flying the Dutch flag, of course.

What would she cost, if implemented at tier 8?

Same as other T8 premium cruisers, around 10k ~ 11k doubloons, or $50 USD.

"But I don't like the ship at T8!"

I put her at T8 because of competitive DPM and a potent AA suite more than anything. I do admit the hull is more suited for T7 or even T6, being a late 1930s hull basically with 1950s powerplant and armament. I could see an argument for lowering her DPM and putting her in at T7. Likewise, the mounts were capable of 15 RPM, which would give a DPM more suitable to tier 9. However, personally, I wanted a T8 premium ship for the Dutch, and this was the most likely candidate.

"But didn't you originally put her at tier 6?"

Yes. I did. However, since then I learned a lot more about the ship itself, the weapons used, and about the game and game balance in general. T6 is simply too low a tier for a ship with this DPM, unless you pick the absolute lowest possible number, and gimp her in other ways. Even then you'd still have an AA suite that's way too potent for tier 6.

What camouflage would she wear?

Unfortunately I've not been able to find pictures of her wearing anything other than a standard, uniform, naval gray overcoat with black mast tops and a white C802 hull number on the bow.

kIYOkM3.png

Closing words:

Thank you all for reading another in-depth proposal for a Dutch ship. After Witte de With I just had to write up a proposal for this ship. I hope you find her as interesting as I do.

Thank you @LittleWhiteMouse, @Snowyskies and @Fr05ty for helping make this proposal possible.

Sources used:

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Another ship that I'd like to see in my port. I'm not a fan of camouflages never worn by the ship in question (or any of her sisterships), and wouldn't mind if WG either gave us the Hood/Tashkent option, or tweak the "credit camouflages" so that you could sail with a plain paint scheme.
What's more important though is the tier where to place this ship if she'll come to game. I've already heard some arguments why she should be placed at a lower tier.
 
On a sidenote: while De Zeven Provinciën was scrapped, her sistership De Ruyter still exists and was only decommissioned from the Peruvian Navy last year. While chances are very small, I still hope she'll return to the Netherlands one day as a museum ship.
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I would rather see the ones that fought in the action of the Java sea.

 

I dont mind post war desighns to flash out techtrees i just find it kind of strange that they compeate with actuall ships that were comisioned  10 to 20 years earlyer on the same tir.

If you go for a 1st prem go for things that actually fought.

 

Good presentation thogh.

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Fair enough. In fact I prefer WW2-era ships as well, that saw some combat. Although there are more Cold War-era designs in the game, or even ships of countries that didn't exist in WW2.

HNLMS Java might be next though. It seems everything I post get doubleposted, so I might edit one of those topics into something non-Dutch for a change. :Smile_Default:

 

As for the presentation: all credits go to NA-user Lert, I merely copied it to the EU forums with his permission. I edited my first post to make it a bit more clear.

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