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Are big guns unproportionally better? An opinion and discussion starter.


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I spent some more time in the higher naval academy missions trying out different approaches. The more time I spent there and the more I try out, the more i get the Impression that in the current state and balance in the game - especially capital ships  BC/BBs - there is basically only one choice in main battery and that is “go big or go home”.

The only consistent way to be successful with those super dreadnoughts is to take the best penetrating gun available - which is usually either the 17” or 18” - cause else one will end up against forces that one cannot really damage.

From examining the gameplay itself it seems that the accuracy buffs those large calibers get give unproportional advantages compared to smaller guns in the 14-16” range.

i.e. if comparing one of my 17” builds against one of my 15” builds, I noticed that eh 17” with the guns being the only difference in design, easily demonstrated an accuracy at range that was double that of the 15” incher. I regularly see AI ships with 18” inchers who show 70-90% accuracy at around 10km and that is even without the most advanced towers, compared to AI with smaller caliber who at that comparable ranges only manage half or one third of that accuracy.

This effect makes large guns a must have at the moment, cause no matter what the advantages of smaller calibers might be (less weight, faster reload) they are totally outweighed by the accuracy alone. The difference in penetration of the big guns only add to that and make small calibers even less a choice.

Overall this results in my opinion in an unnecessary limitation of viable choices. And I’d rather prefer more playable options than a one way route.

Currently I am not sure if the big calibers really need that much of an accuracy advantage. The better penetration - especially for plunging fire - and the greater damage is already a good advantage over the smaller calibers. I understand that a slighty better accuracy might be desirable to compensate for the lesser barrels, but I think this should really be slight and not result in 17" or 18" having multiple times the accuracy of smaller main guns at range.

The effect i describe is also noticeable in earlier missions, but not the the extend it shows up in those missions where 17" or 18" are available.

Edited by Agathos
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I spent some more time in the higher naval academy missions trying out different approaches. The more time I spent there and the more I try out, the more i get the Impression that in the current state

Bigger guns seem to affect more compartments too, so while a 12 inch gun might affect (hypothetically speaking here) a single compartment and not reach ones below the water line to kill the BB, a 16 i

Big guns(and each caliber increase within this) are definitely way too effective relative to small guns. Basic accuracy off of maximum range all the way through is definitely a big part of it. In gene

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Bigger guns seem to affect more compartments too, so while a 12 inch gun might affect (hypothetically speaking here) a single compartment and not reach ones below the water line to kill the BB, a 16 inch gun could 'splash' entire areas of the ship with fires and damage.

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4 hours ago, ThatZenoGuy said:

Bigger guns seem to affect more compartments too, so while a 12 inch gun might affect (hypothetically speaking here) a single compartment and not reach ones below the water line to kill the BB, a 16 inch gun could 'splash' entire areas of the ship with fires and damage.

That seems accurate.

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Historically, bigger guns were better. 

On a documentary, I saw that HMS Nelson's 16 inch guns had pierced Bismarck's citadel. KG5's 14 inch guns had not. 

It was still the torpedo that allowed a small ship to engage a big ship with some hope of success.

I am eager to look at the fine details of ship construction with guns to see just how much difference there is between the different "marks" of guns of the same caliber.

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23 minutes ago, Hardlec said:

Historically, bigger guns were better. 

On a documentary, I saw that HMS Nelson's 16 inch guns had pierced Bismarck's citadel. KG5's 14 inch guns had not. 

On the flip-side, I am pretty sure that the autoloaded 8 inch batteries of a Des Moines would outperform the 11 inch guns of a Graf Spee, so gun size should not be everything. You should be able to compensate for smaller guns through other means (rate of fire, accuracy) to some degree, which sadly does not seem to be the case.

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Another example of smaller guns out preforming bigger ones is the Imperial Russian 12” 52 which actually out preforms the British 13.5” and it was made a decade earlier in 1906-7 and wasn’t matched as a 12” gun until Alaska’s 12” 50 which itself out preformed the best of the American 14” guns.

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My experience aligns with the OP. If guns currently have lower penetration than they should, then it makes sense that you need the absolute biggest guns to cross that penetration threshold. If penetration becomes easier across the board, the weight and ROF advantages of slightly smaller guns can make more of a difference.

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@Agathos main point is about accuracy and not pen. I agree with him on this. Damage and pen are already favoring the bigger caliber, they do not need to have higher accuracy at range to be more effective.

 

scharnhorst 11" are a pretty demonstrative exemple of smaller gun accuracy.

Edited by RedParadize
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9 hours ago, Hardlec said:

Historically, bigger guns were better. 

On a documentary, I saw that HMS Nelson's 16 inch guns had pierced Bismarck's citadel. KG5's 14 inch guns had not. 

It was still the torpedo that allowed a small ship to engage a big ship with some hope of success.

I am eager to look at the fine details of ship construction with guns to see just how much difference there is between the different "marks" of guns of the same caliber.

On the flipside, Bismark's 15 inch guns  were more powerful than Nelson's 16 inch guns at ranges past 12km.
 

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10 hours ago, ThatZenoGuy said:

On the flipside, Bismark's 15 inch guns  were more powerful than Nelson's 16 inch guns at ranges past 12km.
 

no

(reffered to as 15"/47 but thats an error on the writers part its 15"/51,66)

image.thumb.png.ad28798639c94e6ee3329eee5ed6cab3.png

image.thumb.png.4166175a18e558f3489fbaf147890aad.png

(notice deck pen difference at long range)

Edited by Christian
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I have no idea how much it currently affects the performance of larger calibre guns versus smaller ones, but I would say that one way to make the secondaries or smaller main guns more effective would be to increase the impact that muzzle velocity has on the accuracy or accuracy penalties suffered by enemy ship size and speed. This I would imagine would make it more prudent to consider lower calibre guns and not just opt for whatever you have that is the largest and the same tech level, and to consider which secondaries would be the most effective at stopping certain types of enemy vessel.

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1 hour ago, Christian said:

no

(reffered to as 15"/47 but thats an error on the writers part its 15"/51,66)

image.thumb.png.ad28798639c94e6ee3329eee5ed6cab3.png

image.thumb.png.4166175a18e558f3489fbaf147890aad.png

(notice deck pen difference at long range)

Huh, I could have sworn the numbers were different.

Use the italian 15 incher then. ;V Maybe not at deck, but certainly at belt.
 

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On 10/24/2019 at 12:34 PM, Ignominius said:

I have no idea how much it currently affects the performance of larger calibre guns versus smaller ones, but I would say that one way to make the secondaries or smaller main guns more effective would be to increase the impact that muzzle velocity has on the accuracy or accuracy penalties suffered by enemy ship size and speed. This I would imagine would make it more prudent to consider lower calibre guns and not just opt for whatever you have that is the largest and the same tech level, and to consider which secondaries would be the most effective at stopping certain types of enemy vessel.

High velocity guns had issues with vertical dispersion (overshooting or shells falling short). This is especially bad if you are fighting broadside, since ships are way longer than wide. If your shell falls 50 yards to the left or right, you will most likely still hit the hull. If your shell goes 50 yards too far, you only hit the water.

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They may need to make it harder to operate large guns. Like make them heavier or require a wider ships. So on the same weight ship you can get a better broadside weight with smaller guns. This is already a issue as I have had issues placing big guns some places but maybe even more.

They should probably also get nerfed in terms of accuracy so all big guns are about the same in accuracy. Penetration is a very big advantage as is.

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Larger guns were generally better, both in terms of penetration and range. The fact that the larger guns in the game appear to be more accurate may be a product of the fact that accuracy appears to be a function of range to target versus maximum firing range, thus larger caliber guns that have very large maximum ranges are getting better accuracy at typical engagement ranges.

I also think the historical balancing factors for huge caliber guns - weight of the guns turrets and mounts and also production time and cost - aren't really relevant to the game as it is now. I imagine that cost in particular may well be a factor when we get the campaign because trying to have a fleet with 10 x Yamatos should be prohibitively expensive.

All that being said, it'd be nice if some of the guns are 'anomalously' accurate e.g. the British BL-15/42 and the US 16/50 caliber.

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40 minutes ago, Sir_Wulfrick said:

 The fact that the larger guns in the game appear to be more accurate may be a product of the fact that accuracy appears to be a function of range to target versus maximum firing range, thus larger caliber guns that have very large maximum ranges are getting better accuracy at typical engagement ranges.

Yep. Here's some stats from The Modern Battleship 

 range_and_accuracy.png.408d8b9f62346a84edc608b078a73c23.png

If it was primarily shell weight, Tube Powder would increase accuracy, but it rather decreases it pretty significantly. Compared to this, using Super-Heavy Shells + Ballistite leads to 127% the hits for the 18" even at a distance of just 5 km.

Meanwhile, the 18" has 531% of the accuracy of a 5" at the same range, despite being two Marks lower. It's not like even the 5" is struggling to reach that range either, it's under half of the maximum range.

Bigger guns do seem to have an accuracy advantage even beyond their range advantage, but it's a lot smaller.

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It's really difficult matter to be fair. Obviously guns should be divided not only by caliber but also by date of development. 

5" gun from 1914 should be less accurate than 1940 version of same caliber gun. Same should apply for larger calibers so different variants of same caliber gun should have different values and statistics, and sometimes newer model of lower caliber gun should have better stats than bigger caliber counterpart. And that's how it works right now, problem is that very often it's not worth taking smaller caliber gun because penetration difference is higher than other benefits we'll get.

Also Large caliber guns should shine at Mid to Hi ranges where low caliber can barely or can't reach, but on low ranges their accuracy should be more affected by targets size, speed and distance from our vessel (fast moving TB should be much more difficult for large guns to track than for our secondaries/ small caliber guns <8". 

Problem is that it would add another variables and potentially cause more crashes/slow down the game as mechanics would become much more complicated than it is now. 

Problem with smaller calibers also lays in their lower penetration values so often small guns are eventually hitting target but almost every shot shatters. 

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The thing is in the BB vs Torpedo boats I loaded that ship stem to stern in 6", 5" and 3" guns plus 3x2 9" and the 9" Did almost all the damage and killing even though all the other guns combined out numbered them like 6:1.

 

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5 minutes ago, RedParadize said:

@Evil4Zerggin I use white powder. It increase range and doing so increase accuracy. The Buff on penetration is nice too, specially when combined with heavy/super heavy shell.

Yeah White Powder is my go to. It’s cheeper and has better penetration and muzzle velocity. TNT I only use for HE spamming super BBs.

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11 hours ago, RedParadize said:

TNT is too expensive.

 

17 hours ago, Absolute0CA said:

Yeah White Powder is my go to. It’s cheeper and has better penetration and muzzle velocity. TNT I only use for HE spamming super BBs.

 

17 hours ago, RedParadize said:

@Evil4Zerggin I use white powder. It increase range and doing so increase accuracy. The Buff on penetration is nice too, specially when combined with heavy/super heavy shell.



Lyddite II master race.

I am become death, napalmer of ships.

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