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4plainsq

Shell and Ship Design

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Hello Devs

This is my 1st post. When designing my ships I noticed that some values just didn't make ANY sense. 

 

There is NO drawback to going with superheavy shells. NONE. That just doesn't compute. You get it all: More Penetration, better accuracy, bigger damage. And the weight penalty is very small

I get +5% gun range, and +10% penetration, -10% muzzle velocity and +65% shell weight. But the guns or turret mechanisms are not heavier because of the bigger shells they have to shoot.

Historically heavy shells posed a design challenge. Recoil needed to be absorbed, gun barrels and gun breaches needed to be much stronger to hold the enormous stress of shooting heavy shells. Right now in game there is NO penalty to the weight of "turret barrels" for going to heavier shells.
I'd like to have to actually choose whether I want to mount heavy shells or a bigger gun calliber, with drawbacks and advantages of both.
Therefore I'd suggest you change the stats on the shell type seletion to:

Lightweight shells:
Lighter weight shells allow for lighter weight constrution of turret mechanisms and gun barrels. They offer better penetration at short ranges due to the higher muzzle velocity. They suffer penetration capability at long range due to the lighter weight shell. They also suffer accuracy problems at longer range due to the high muzzle velocity and lightweight nature of the shell. Lighter shells are less prone to detonate when stored, making for a safer voyage across the high seas.
-10% Shell Weight
-10% Turret armor weight (smaller reload mechanisms, smaller shells...)
-20% Turret barrels weight (less stress == lighter construction)
-20% Long Range Accuracy
+12% Muzzle Velocity
+10% Penetration or belt armor at 1000m (higher muzzle velocity)
-10% Penetration of belt armor at maximum range
-20% Penetration of deck armor at maximum range
-10% Damage (All Types)
-25% Ammo detonation chance
no changes to range (range bonus/penalty == accuracy bonus/penalty in the game at the moment)

Standard Shells:
Standard Shells offer no particular benefit in any area. But they also do not suffer drawbacks in any area.

Heavy shells:
Heavy Shells require a heavier construction of the turret and turret mechanism, so that the heavier shell and additional propellant can be handeled. Heavy Shells offer improved penetration of belt armor and deck armor at range. However the penetration at short range suffers somewhat due to reduced muzzle velocity. The accuracy at long range is improved due to the heavierweight nature of the shell. Heavy shells are more prone to detonate when the ammunition storage is hit. To offset this, it is recommended to use an improved protection scheme of your citadel and barbettes.
+15% Shell Weight
+10% Turret Armor weight
+30% Turret Barrels Weight
+5% Time to reload the Gun
+20% Long Range Accuracy
-5% Muzzle Velocity
-5% penetration of belt armor at 1000m
+10% penetration of belt armor at maximum range (Heavier shells retain velocity better)
+20% penetration of deck armor at maximum range  (Heavier shells have higher terminal velocity)
+10% Damage (All Types)
+25% Ammo detonation chance
Again: No changes to range as range changes in game are effectively accuracy nerfs/buffs

Superheavy Shells:
Superheavy Shells take the concept of the heavy shell to the extreme. Much improved long range penetration due to the heavyweight nature of the shell. Reduced short range penetration due to the lowered muzzle velocity. Much heavier turret construction required to allow for handling of such heavy ammunition, gun barrels and recoil. It is highly recommended to invest into a proper protection scheme as the heavy shells and powerful propellant are quite prone to detonating when the ammunition storage is hit.
+30% Shell Weight
+15% Turret Armor Weight
+60% Turret Barrels Weight
+10% Time to reload the Gun
+40% Long Range Accuracy
-10% Muzzle Velocity
-10% Penetation or belt armor at 1000m
+20% to penetration of belt armor at maximum range(Retain velocity even better)
+40% to penetration of deck armor at maximum range (even higher terminal velocity)
+20% Damage (All Types)
+50% Ammo Detonation chance
Again: No changes to range as range changes in game are effectively accuracy nerfs/buffs

Best Regards: 
4plainsq

Edited by 4plainsq
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2 hours ago, 4plainsq said:

Historically heavy shells posed a design challenge. Recoil needed to be absorbed, gun barrels and gun breaches needed to be much stronger to hold the enormous stress of shooting heavy shells. Right now in game there is NO penalty to the weight of "turret barrels" for going to heavier shells.
I'd like to have to actually choose whether I want to mount heavy shells or a bigger gun calliber, with drawbacks and advantages of both.
Therefore I'd suggest you change the stats on the shell type seletion to:

I believe the way around this was to accept lower muzzle velocity, which was balanced out by better velocity retention at range.   Shell hoists and other aspects of the loading mechanisms would need to be designed for the shell length used.

 

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Remember that this game is in alpha stage right now.

Don't expect too much of the game itself and the small dev team.

But the idea is nice and i'm pretty sure the devs will consider what have you just said here ;)

Edited by HusariuS

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5 hours ago, 4plainsq said:

There is NO drawback to going with superheavy shells. NONE

There was little drawback historically too. Beyond the obvious adjustements needed for the shell handling machinery to deal with the heavier shells. And of course the more problematic doctrinal adjustements of convincing the high brass of a navy with a long history of loving high muzzle velocities and lighter shells to go to the polar opposite of the spectrum.

Guns themselves needed next to no modification to take superheavy shells. Chamber pressures weren't a problem because they didn't increase that much (if any) because the new heavier shells were fired at lower muzzle velocities - the natural result of firing something heavier while using the same energy: it'll be fired but at a slower speed. Barrels in fact had far longer barrel life because of the lower muzzle velocities too, so far from them needing to be heavier, they could be the same weight and have a much longer life, or be made lighter for no sacrifize.

Recoil wouldn't be any bigger either. Again, going for Superheavy shells meant going for lower muzzle velocity, meaning the total recoil would be approximately the same.


To prove to which point guns did NOT need any special modifications in a gun in order for it to take superheavy shells you only have to take a look at Iowas' Mk.7 guns. Initially the Iowas were going to take the Mk.2 version, which was quite a big larger. A pretty notorious SNAFU happened between the involved design teams and the hull ended up with barbettes too narrow to take a triple turret with Mk.2 guns. So the gun was redesigned and made smaller and lighter enough in order to fit in a turret small enough to use those barbettes. The Mk.2 guns were the same ones that were going to have been used in the mid-20s South Dakota class, and designed to fire 2250lb shells. Had they been mounted on USS Iowa, they'd received no special modification to fire the 2700lb shell.

The Mk.7 that got used instead, being just a both slightly smaller AND lighter version of Mk.2, could fire the 2700lb superheavy shell no problem without any need to reinforce the breech ,chamber. and it actually had lighter barrels (which had an excellent barrel life  thanks to how slow the 2700lb shell muzzle velocity was and how small the barrel wear per shot was as a result)

The story of the british WWI 13.5in gun also shows that going for heavier projectiles was barely a problem. Those guns were designed to fire a 1250lbs shell, and later cleared almost overnight to fire 1400lb shells (with bigger charges to achieve similar MVs), the modifications needed on the ships firing those projectiles were quite cheap and unintrusive. And the guns and turrets themselves were the same. So I don't know where you get the idea that to fire superheavy shells you need a turret 15% heavier or guns with 60% heavier barrels, because that's just completely untrue.


You can see that other than the heavier projectile weight meant that full load displacements were higher (same number of heavier shells, more weight), and the shell handling mechanisms needing to be strong enough to deal with the heavier projectile, using SH projectiles was not such a big deal.
 

Edited by RAMJB
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In fact, the 16”/45 Mark 5 which could not fire the Mk 8 superheavy shell was heavier than the Mark 6 gun that could.  The difference was the handling gear.

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19 minutes ago, akd said:

In fact, the 16”/45 Mark 5 which could not fire the Mk 8 superheavy shell was heavier than the Mark 6 gun that could.  The difference was the handling gear.

Yes ,that's also a very good instance that shows that going for heavy shells didn't imply needing neither heavier turrets or barrels. And IIRC both the Colorado's Mk5 guns and the NoCal's Mk6 guns developed almost exactly the same chamber pressures, while the former fired a 2150lb shell, and the latter a 2700lbs one. Muzzle energy was almost identical aswell (meaning recoil was virtually the same).

So yes, that probably is a better instance to show the OP how confused he is in his beliefs about superheavy shells and what firing them entailed :).
 

Edited by RAMJB

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Well, he’s not wrong if you were going to fire them at the same M/V, which is I think what the game does (can’t check right now).

Edited by akd

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37 minutes ago, akd said:

Well, he’s not wrong if you were going to fire them at the same M/V, which is I think what the game does (can’t check right now).

No, part of the modifiers of going for heavier shells is a lowering of the muzzle velocity. -10% mv for superheavy option.

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The actual advantages of superheavy shells are complicated.

Superheavy shells can have reduced range. The US 16in/45 gun lost 3300 yards of range (8%) with the superheavy shell, from 40200 yards to 36900 yards, with a minimal decrease in charge weight (545lb to 535lb, less than 2% decrease). The US 8in/55 also lost some range, although to some degree this was related to the proportional reduction in charge weight. Unlike the 16in shell, the 8in super-heavy had identical external dimensions to the normal shell, so ballistically it had few differences.

Shell travel time increases with lower muzzle velocity, but at longer range this is partially mitigated by greater retained velocity for a heavier shell. Still, the lighter US 16in shell had a shorter travel time at all ranges when fired from the 16in/45.

Heavier shells are harder to handle, especially in a seaway, and they require stronger hoists. The US stuck with parbuckling, interestingly enough, but this did not end up biting them. Superheavy shells are usually longer (the 8in superheavy was not), so that must be dealt with, too: this is partially why older US ships didn't get the superheavy shell. Of course the shells themselves add more weight, too.

Although it is often said that barrel life is improved, the increased shell weight basically nullifies the reduced muzzle velocity. Thus the 16in/45 Mk6 (with 2700lb shells) and Mk8 (with 2240lb shells) had the same 395 round life.

The actual penetration change is a subject unto itself. Although the US formulas generally predicted that the heavy shells would have increased deck penetration with no reduction in belt penetration (or even a modest increase in belt pen), Nathan Okun's work argues that this is wrong: Though deck pen really was improved, belt pen got worse. Thus the US Navy was partially mistaken.

I am not sure how gun precision was changed with heavier shells.

Edited by disc

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