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Comparing Armour in game between BB's and BC for balance


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I decided to do a test on how Armour weights effects ships by class. This is to test if say I could Armour up a BC more the same as a BB. 

(German 1930's tech)Hulls used Include:

  • Modern Battleship
  • Modern Battle Cruiser  

All ships towers are the most advanced available. But all these factors will remain the same Krupp 4, Barb 4, Anti Torp 3, Reinforced Bulkhead 2, Citadel 5, White Powder, Electro-hydro turrets with auto loading as well, and finally Stereoscopic 5 with Radar 2. The ships will all have a 30kt speed, medium range with standard bulkheads. Again the purpose of this test is to just show Armour disparities I'm just trying to limit as many factors as I can, but I decided to include these in the calculations because I might actually use a ship with these upgrades only as a minimum. Obliviously we could make slight changes but they are meant to serve as a baseline in say campaign or mission viability. 

All Values in Imperial Inches 

The BBs armaments included

4x2 14 inch guns

6x2 8 inch guns 

8x2 4 inch guns

The BB with a total of 52,493 out of 52,500 displacement 

  •  20 belt
  • 10 Belt Ex
  • 12 deck 
  • 5 Deck Ex
  • 19 conning tower
  • 20 turret
  • 9.5 turret top
  • 6 secondaries 

The BC with a total of 46,745 out of 49,000 Displacement could fit the same amour and armament as the BB. But I could add more. 

  •  20 belt
  • 10 Belt Ex
  • 12 deck 
  • 5 Deck Ex
  • 19 conning tower
  • 20 turret
  • 9.5 turret top
  • 6 secondaries 

This could be because the BB has more displacement (couldn't make the battleship any smaller than 52,500 displacement or the BC bigger than 49,000). But we also have more tonnage to play around with so I could actually add more amour to the BC if I wanted. But with a displacement difference of only 3,500 we have an pretty significant weight difference. I know the displacement difference still counts towards the weight because more is being armored but the weight difference doesn't seem right yet. 

Some problems that could arise with this include

  • BB hulls being less competitive in certain missions and eventually campaign if not addressed.
  • AI maybe abusing the BC hull in games say by squeezing things onto hulls they shouldn't be able too (Robots can be weird as we have all seen). 
  • Having BC's just be to much like BB's no difference in the actual ship classes and people treating them as essentially BB's were we would not see them used for there historical purpose.

 

 

2nd Test with America

Did this one in a hurry so I used all the same factors as above! Only thing different was armament.

(America 1930's tech)Hulls used

  • Modern BB 1
  • Modern Battle Cruiser 

Armament used was 

  • 3x3 16 inch guns 
  • 5x2 4 inch guns

All Armour values set to 8 inches for quickness and accuracy

The BB had a displacement of 47,814 out of 50,000 tons the total weight of the BB superstructure and funnels was 10,664 tons. The weight without the superstructure would be 37,150.

The BC had a displacement of 47,591 out of 50,000 tons the total weight of the BC superstructure and funnels was 7,524 tons. The weight without the superstructure would be 38,767.

In this test seems like the BB fared better. While the ship had more total weight less of that weight was allocated by the algorithm to Armour and more was due to the superstructure just weighing more. Also because you can increase the displacement of the BB we don't have to worry about this BC hull having ridiculous amounts of Armour because it couldn't support the weight like with the German hulls. 

 

 

Please comment your thoughts! If you have a question or comment I usually try to respond! I just wanna see what other people think about my little test.

Edited by TotalRampage
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Yeah i think BC's should always have less armour than BB's, not soo much that a bb soo much as sniffs at dem they blow up. But a decent amount regardless, also this means combined with a large amount of speed and big guns (since a BC had guns the size of a battleship, but less armour and was faster, although german ones tend to have smaller guns and more armoured). If peeps want them to be as armoured as BB's they will have to sacrifice gun size and maybe gun number to fulfill that wish and probs speed as well.

There needs to be some clear differences as well, so it makes more sense to send that ship on a certain mission than anyother. Also if the speed penalty stays BC's ironically enough will rule the waves because they can punch you several times while you flail your arms about aimlessly occasionally if ever landing hits on target.

 

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I think the reason why BCs easily accommodate more armour is due to the predefined "hull resistance" value. So the BC will need lesser HP and engine tonnage to reach 30 knots where as the BB will require alot more engine tonnage hence it will not fit in a 49,000t design. Off the top of my head there were some values of the different hulls that influenced machinery effectiveness and armour resistance values, a slender and more flared hull form seems to have better values than older less refined designs (eg. super bb hulls vs predreads). While its not immediately clear to players how some of these factors influence vessel tonnage, speed and effectiveness.

Right now it simply boils down to new hull = superior option. Even when using older hulls with the same tonnage limits to make a compact design (e.g. 25,000t design with dreadnought hull vs 1930s hull) you would find the newer hull would be more effective simply because of lower engine tonnage and better stability as a gunnery platform.

and for the limits on BC armour, perhaps a system similar to RTW where BCs could fit up to 16" belt (cant remember the exact number) where as BB hulls can theoretically go to 26" (or unlimited) depending on availability of tonnage.

Edited by coalminer
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Some of it could be explained by the BC hull being more efficient and therefore less weight needed for the engines to do the 30kt standard. Should it be that big a difference? Probably not. What was the hull form differences between the two hulls?

Also need to keep in mind that by the 1920s and 30s, the line between BB and BC was starting to blur (i.e. HMS Hood). So historically when the better hulls came around, BCs became obsolete as you can now build fast BBs combining the advantages of both. Then the idea makes a return of sorts as the Large Cruiser. 

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well the line was blur even in the 1916 where armour of the SMS BCs were identical to some HMS BBs and the other way around cause late HMS BBs had a speed 2 or 3 knots less than early HMS BCs.

Those Fisher babies where as intended compared with same build year BBs but as the fleet was not built at the same technological step, and things where coming up rapidly on those years any step further made things quite strange and unconsistent...and as said above.. by late 20s BC concept was obsolete and if some still where classified as BC was because "cheap BB" was not an agreed clasification

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2 hours ago, madham82 said:

Some of it could be explained by the BC hull being more efficient and therefore less weight needed for the engines to do the 30kt standard. Should it be that big a difference? Probably not. What was the hull form differences between the two hulls?

Also need to keep in mind that by the 1920s and 30s, the line between BB and BC was starting to blur (i.e. HMS Hood). So historically when the better hulls came around, BCs became obsolete as you can now build fast BBs combining the advantages of both. Then the idea makes a return of sorts as the Large Cruiser. 

True you see that especially with the Japanese and the retros they did to Amagi and the Kongo class. I am still alittle worried because during my test I could still add MORE Armour. 

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2 hours ago, coalminer said:

I think the reason why BCs easily accommodate more armour is due to the predefined "hull resistance" value. So the BC will need lesser HP and engine tonnage to reach 30 knots where as the BB will require alot more engine tonnage hence it will not fit in a 49,000t design. Off the top of my head there were some values of the different hulls that influenced machinery effectiveness and armour resistance values, a slender and more flared hull form seems to have better values than older less refined designs (eg. super bb hulls vs predreads). While its not immediately clear to players how some of these factors influence vessel tonnage, speed and effectiveness.

Right now it simply boils down to new hull = superior option. Even when using older hulls with the same tonnage limits to make a compact design (e.g. 25,000t design with dreadnought hull vs 1930s hull) you would find the newer hull would be more effective simply because of lower engine tonnage and better stability as a gunnery platform.

and for the limits on BC armour, perhaps a system similar to RTW where BCs could fit up to 16" belt (cant remember the exact number) where as BB hulls can theoretically go to 26" (or unlimited) depending on availability of tonnage.

Didn't think of the machinery weight! Good point! But your point about the hulls both hulls I used were the modern hulls of both lines. Speaking of RTW I did like how you could theoretically build anything then the class type was determined. Obviously you could use a historically BC hull but just use it as a basis for BB's if you like it. 

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9 hours ago, Cptbarney said:

Yeah i think BC's should always have less armour than BB's, not soo much that a bb soo much as sniffs at dem they blow up. But a decent amount regardless, also this means combined with a large amount of speed and big guns (since a BC had guns the size of a battleship, but less armour and was faster, although german ones tend to have smaller guns and more armoured). If peeps want them to be as armoured as BB's they will have to sacrifice gun size and maybe gun number to fulfill that wish and probs speed as well.

There needs to be some clear differences as well, so it makes more sense to send that ship on a certain mission than anyother. Also if the speed penalty stays BC's ironically enough will rule the waves because they can punch you several times while you flail your arms about aimlessly occasionally if ever landing hits on target.

 

I AGREE. It also scares me I could even add more armour to the BC hull essentially making it more amoured. I believe you played RTW I like the system that auto detects ship type so theoretically you could use a BB hull as a BC and vice versa it was just the stats the eventually determined its class. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dan Dare said:

well the line was blur even in the 1916 where armour of the SMS BCs were identical to some HMS BBs and the other way around cause late HMS BBs had a speed 2 or 3 knots less than early HMS BCs.

Those Fisher babies where as intended compared with same build year BBs but as the fleet was not built at the same technological step, and things where coming up rapidly on those years any step further made things quite strange and unconsistent...and as said above.. by late 20s BC concept was obsolete and if some still where classified as BC was because "cheap BB" was not an agreed clasification

To be fair the Germans did make the scharnhorst. While classified as a BB by the germans for all intesive purposes even in design function I think it was a BC. We also get the Alaska and while one was called a cruiser and the other a BB even tho the tonnage difference was only 4000 tons. In game we are going to see players make crazy things because Air power at least from CV's has been pretty cold on the reception from the devs so we very well may see a BC meta because of the speed the hulls can produce along with the armour we can add onto them. 

Edited by TotalRampage
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1 minute ago, TotalRampage said:

I AGREE. It also scares me I could even add more armour to the BC hull essentially making it more amoured. I believe you played RTW I like the system that auto detects ship type so theoretically you could use a BB hull as a BC and vice versa it was just the stats the eventually determined its class. 

Yeah, While i dont mind pudding being a bit chonk around the armour side and her wanting to get revenge against biscuits. Its a bit silly when she can slap on 406's over 20inches of armour go 36knots and fly around bismarck wondering what centuary she is in before getting clapped.

I think the game would need to have the following classes: (Super Battleship) SBB (140k-100k) (Heavy Battleship) HBB (99k-68k) BB (67k-36k) BC (46k-24k) (Supercruiser) SC (35k-16k) CA (20k-9k) CL (15k-4,5k) DD (4k-1k) KC (1k-toineh).

Obviously that can change based on treaties and also what gun caliber the ship has (so you might have a 14k cruiser hull but with 15 160mms for example with light cruiser liek armour so she would be designated a light cruiser).

As some cruisers like cleveland and graf spee would be pretty hard to put into such restrictive weight catergories. Its easier for the chonks because Heavy Battleships and Supers where never built so we can be more strict. Same goes for the ugly sisters as well, they were huge for supercruisers. Treaties, guns, armour and roles will have to decide what class they will be along with weight. (Think weight and gun caliber should be the more defining characteristics.)

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5 minutes ago, Cptbarney said:

Yeah, While i dont mind pudding being a bit chonk around the armour side and her wanting to get revenge against biscuits. Its a bit silly when she can slap on 406's over 20inches of armour go 36knots and fly around bismarck wondering what centuary she is in before getting clapped.

I think the game would need to have the following classes: (Super Battleship) SBB (140k-100k) (Heavy Battleship) HBB (99k-68k) BB (67k-36k) BC (46k-24k) (Supercruiser) SC (35k-16k) CA (20k-9k) CL (15k-4,5k) DD (4k-1k) KC (1k-toineh).

Obviously that can change based on treaties and also what gun caliber the ship has (so you might have a 14k cruiser hull but with 15 160mms for example with light cruiser liek armour so she would be designated a light cruiser).

As some cruisers like cleveland and graf spee would be pretty hard to put into such restrictive weight catergories. Its easier for the chonks because Heavy Battleships and Supers where never built so we can be more strict. Same goes for the ugly sisters as well, they were huge for supercruisers. Treaties, guns, armour and roles will have to decide what class they will be along with weight. (Think weight and gun caliber should be the more defining characteristics.)

I'm actually re running my test right now because i realized america has a BC and a BB that can be the same displacement so this threads going to have another example soon!

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On 6/23/2020 at 12:11 AM, TotalRampage said:

Didn't think of the machinery weight! Good point! But your point about the hulls both hulls I used were the modern hulls of both lines. Speaking of RTW I did like how you could theoretically build anything then the class type was determined. Obviously you could use a historically BC hull but just use it as a basis for BB's if you like it. 

Well then again towards the end of the big guns era the lines did start to blur and converge a little. the Iowas were topping 33knots to keep up with carrier groups, other contemporary BBs like Vanguard, Bismarck, Vittorio Veneto and Richelieus were doing 30knots and even Yamato being almost 20-30% heavier than the other vessels could push 27 knots. Although these would seem slow compared to the "large/supercruisers" like Alaska, B65 which were in the ranges of 30-34 knots the true difference of 1 or 2 knots isnt all that much if the vessel doesnt survive the opening salvos and many of such top speeds were in design stages or seatrials where stores have not been fully loaded. And in heavy seas on a light hull trying to speed away with a 5 knot difference might be worst than staying out of range at the same speed due to hull damage from waves. And as a baseline, "true-er battlecruisers" like Hood, Renown did somewhere between 32-34 knots.

I guess inline with tank development, propellant/gun technology had gotten to the point where it wasnt realistically likely that you could armour a vessel to resist equivalent shells that was being slung out by equivalent main guns. During interwar/beginning of the war tanks were also split between light, cruisers and heavy tanks which ultimately blurred to give us medium tanks and true MBTs that had a good balance of speed, armour and firepower. This could be mirrored over to the line fighting battleships and (screening)battlecruisers blurring into fast battleships and ultimately rendering battlecruisers obsolete/indistinguishable unless its simply based on tonnage (e.g. smaller guns similar to light vs heavy cruisers, lesser armour and which would be subjective as to what counts as less, re:Scharnhorst/Gneisenau classifications).

Most would have argued that Iowas were probably not armoured enough to take on their own shells even at certain ranges which was sort of the whole "battleship" idea/doctrine where the armour must withstand guns that it mounts. As range finders and guns evolved, plunging fire from long range fire was impossible to armour against (and even then comes at the expense of belt armour which means everything else in range is a threat). Assuming carriers and submarines didnt come along to end the notion of all big gun large vessels, it wouldnt take too long for someone to try HEAT warheads or some sort of APDS shots which would make it reasonably hard to armour against.

TL,DR: technology advancement made balancing of speed, firepower and armour for its designed purpose possible.

*Footnote, all speed values from Wikipedia.

Edited by coalminer
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1 hour ago, coalminer said:

Most would have argued that Iowas were probably not armoured enough to take on their own shells even at certain ranges which was sort of the whole "battleship" idea/doctrine where the armour must withstand guns that it mounts. As range finders and guns evolved, plunging fire from long range fire was impossible to armour against (and even then comes at the expense of belt armour which means everything else in range is a threat). Assuming carriers and submarines didnt come along to end the notion of all big gun large vessels, it wouldnt take too long for someone to try HEAT warheads or some sort of APDS shots which would make it reasonably hard to armour against.

TL,DR: technology advancement made balancing of speed, firepower and armour for its designed purpose possible.

Iowa's had an immunity zone between 18,000 and 30,000 yards against 16"/45cal guns. It was reduced against it's own 50cal, but I've seen comments the 45cal actually had better performance against deck armor due to its ballistics.

Either way, they ships were designed to engage at specific ranges to maximize their armor. Gone were the days of closing to ranges were the belt was the primary protection thanks to improvements in Fire Control and Radar. When you look at most WW2 designed BBs, many had smaller belts because of this. That and armor effectiveness at a given thickness had improved considerably (especially Allied armor).  So the compromises made to armor to give greater speed weren't as significant as the say the British BCs at Jutland. That speed advantage would allow you to dictate the range of the engagement (i.e. stay within your immunity zone) vs a ship with slower speed but greater belt armor. 

So it definitely made the balance reasonable like you said. Ultimately it was a moot point because we never got a clash between the old philosophy and fast BB to prove if the balance would have worked.    

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