[If you haven't already, check out this thread first: http://tinyurl.com/ycy2fe7]
This post, I guess, could be considered a follow-on for my previous suggestion ("The
Roaring 20s - More BB1-BB4 choices") and it will probably make more sense if you read that
one first. All the stuff I said in the introduction for that one about the benefits of
adding more ships to the game applies here too. If taken together, these two suggestions
would give all nations roughly the same number of battleships at each tier (except BB1). Yay!
The last post highlighted "nearly-were" early post-WWI dreadnoughts. This one will detail
a variety of "paper projects" - that is, ships that had official design plans drawn up,
but never were ordered into production, let alone actually being laid down. It's a bit
harder to find detailed information about these projects, especially online, and the
status of some of the designs is a bit sketchy. I've done the best I can to present them
I tried to provide diagrams whenever possible instead of photographs, as I think a
multi-view diagram gives the best sense of how a ship would actually work in game.
So anyway, let's see the (even more) expanded trees!
BB2 Hiraga Project
What was Hiraga Project in real life?
In response to a General Staff requirement for a Washington Treaty-compliant battleship
that could replace the aging pre-WWI Kongo class battlecruisers in 1931 (when the building
holiday set by the treaty expired), two design plans were drawn up. These are often
referred to as "Hiraga" and "Fujimoto" after their designers. I've selected the one
designed by Admiral Hiraga (who also was responsible for the 1920s "Eight-Eight" fleet
ships) as I think it's much more reasonable. Like all Washington Naval Treaty era ships,
Higara's design was limited to no more than 35,000t standard displacement and featured
some unusual compromises in order to meet requirements. Higara's design had a novel
arrangement with an extremely compact superstructre and main battery allowing the armor
length to be considerably reduced. Top speed was projected at 26 knots, with a main
battery consisting of ten 16.1"/45 guns in a very unusual arrangement with two triple
turrets superfiring over two twin turrets. Although both were somewhat unofficial design
studies, they took on a life of their own, sparking an extensive debate on their relative
merits within the navy. However, the signing of the London Naval Treaty in 1930 extended
the building holiday to 1936, which put the design work on hold, and Japan withdrew from
all treaty limitations in 1934 allowing for much larger ships to be designed.
How would Hiraga Project play in Navy Field?
Since it's a BB2, Hiraga Project would not be using the 41cm/45 3rd Year Type guns it was
slated to carry in the actual design. Instead it would likely use the same guns as Fuso
and Ise do in game (14" at level, 16.1" D if you have higher level gunners to use),
although the mixed doubles and triples used would mean that two new guns (3x 12.2"/50 Type
98, 3x 14"/45 Type 43A) would have to be added. The playstyle would be fairly similar,
although with less need to focus on keeping your broadside lined up. The T mounts have
enough gunspace for AA, but with only two mounts per side it's probably not worth bothering.
What makes Hiraga Project different from the existing ship(s) at that tier?
Hiraga Project has somewhat lower firepower than Fuso and Ise - it uses the same guns, but
has two less barrels. It is faster and has better gun placement and firing arcs, but far
lower turning force, as well as a much wider sprite. It would probably be less suited for
rushing, but overall a more balanced combatant. All three are also the first ships in
their line, so which one you select will determine what BB3 you get.
BB3 Fujimoto Project
What was Fujimoto Project in real life?
The other alternative in the Kongo replacement program was the design created by Captain
Fujimoto (who also was responsible for the Mogami and Fubuki designs). I'm going to say
this right now: Captain Fujimoto was not a very good ship designer. His ships that were
built tended to be top-heavy, unstable, overarmed and structurally unsound, and many had
to be completely rebuilt after launch. Fujimoto's design is most notable for the bizarre
secondary battery arrangement, with two of the turrets placed side-by-side ahead of the
main battery and outside the armored citadel. A deflector was placed between the front
secondaries and the foremost main battery turret to protect them from blast damage.
However, unlike Hiraga's design which had a mix of casemates and turrets, the entire
secondary battery was turreted on Fujimoto's design. Top speed was projected at 26 knots,
with a main battery consisting of nine 16.1"/45 guns in three triple turrets. As with
Hiraga's design, Fujimoto's design was shelved after the signing of the London Naval
Treaty and abandoned entirely after 1934.
How would Fujimoto Project play in Navy Field?
Fujimoto Project would be a very average BB3, with a reasonable combination of firepower,
speed, and durability. A new gun (3x 16.1"/45 Type 3) would need to be added for it
(Hiraga Project would use the D version of this gun on two of its four slots in its high
level configuration, as well). The T mounts would have enough gunspace for AA, but their
placement (one ahead of the front R slots, two between the front and rear R slots, two
behind the rear R slots) would make them difficult to use effectively.
What makes Fujimoto Project different from the existing ship(s) at that tier?
Fujimoto Project is a middle ground between Amagi and Nagato. It's slower and has fewer
guns than Amagi, but is more durable and has a smaller sprite. It's faster and more
heavily armed than Nagato, but is less durable and has a larger sprite. It would also be
the only IJN BB3 that has the ability to carry useful AA... sort of.
BB4 A140 Project
What was A140 Project in real life?
Design series A140 was a group of studies on superbattleships started in 1934, undertaken
with the intent of creating a battleship type that would be superior to any the United
States could possibly build (because, it was assumed, all American warships would be
ultimately limited by the width of the Panama Canal). Specifically, I've chosen the first
and probably best known of the series, design A140 "A". It's worth noting that almost all
information pertaining to the Yamato class and their development was destroyed prior to
the Japanese surrender, so all figures and drawings of the A140 ships are postwar
reconstructions that necessarily have a large degree of conjecture in them - beware any
internet source that does not mention this when discussing them! The generally accepted
schematics of the A140 "A" design show an extremely heavy ship with mixed diesel/turbine
propulsion for range, a top speed of 27 knots, and a main battery of nine 18.1"/45 guns in
three triple turrets forward, with the turret in B position superfiring (as in the British
Nelson class). Design A140 "A" and (at least) twenty-one further iterations were rejected
before the Naval Construction Office approved the final configuration of what became the
Yamato class in 1936.
How would A140 Project play in Navy Field?
A140 Project would play more or less like a BB4 version of Nelson. Only, Japanese. It uses
the same guns as Yamato, which means fairly high maximum angle and considerable hang time,
and that would make the ship not terribly well suited to rushing in spite of its otherwise
optimal configuration. Navy Field being what it is, all three turrets would probably be
able to fire forward. As on Nelson, the front R gunner will control all the main guns,
while the rear R gunner has a cluster of four smaller mounts (in real life, these would
have held 3x 6.1" turrets). Both the rear R mounts and the T mounts would have enough
gunspace to carry AA.
What makes A140 Project different from the existing ship(s) at that tier?
Well, frankly, it's pretty close to Yamato. The only real differences are that A140
Project has better main gun placement. Theoretically both ships have the same AA
capability, but the fact that A140 Project has its AA battery split between rear R and T
slots would probably lead most players to only use one or the other. All the differences
between Yamato and Kii apply to a comparison between A140 Project and Kii as well.
BB4 KW45 Project
What was KW45 Project in real life?
Design plan KW45 was a private shipyard schematic independently produced by the
Kriegsmarinewerft Wilhelmshaven yard, hence the "KW" designation - official capital ship
blueprints were labeled "L" for linienschiffe (battleship) or "GK" for grossekampfschiffe
(battlecruiser). They were somewhat similar in concept to the officially accepted OPQ
battlecruiser designs, but considerably more ambitious in scope. The KW45 class would have
been very large, exceptionally fast at 37 knots (!) projected top speed, armed with a main
battery consisting of eight 15"/42 guns in four twin turrets and an unusually heavy mixed
secondary battery, and with only slightly more armor than the criminally thin protection
of the OPQ design. The KW45 design, as well as an enlarged design KW50 with improved armor
and torpedo protection, were presented to the Kreigsmarine shipbuilding committee in 1939,
but apparently did not meet with approval - although the blueprints were archived together
with the official "Z Project" ships that were planned for construction.
How would KW45 Project play in Navy Field?
KW45 Project is a super-duper-O Project II and would play as such. It would have
ridiculously high speed, but somewhat low free displacement would limit the amount of
armor and weapons that could be carried. The main guns were to be the same 38cm/52 SK
C/34s as Bismarck used historically and O Project and Gneisenau were slated to use
historically. In game though, those are two different guns, and KW45 Project would
probably need a third set with stats suitable for a BB4 (maybe call it the 14.96"/52 SK
C/34c? The KM gun tree is already pretty cluttered in that size, though).
What makes KW45 Project different from the existing ship(s) at that tier?
KW45 Project is faster than, well, most everything, including the H39 Class and L20
Project. The firepower would be a bit wimpy compared to other ships at BB4 level when
using the intended guns, though. KW45 Project has one fewer T mount per side than H39
Class, and their distribution is not great, although four of the mounts (the ones with 3x
5.9" anti-surface turrets in the actual design) would have a huge amount of gunspace to
BB4 Battleship 1917 Project
What was Battleship 1917 Project in real life?
Battleship 1917 was the development name for a project that detailed a number of possible
follow-ons to the preceding Tennessee class (Battleship 1916). The only requirement was
that the new ship needed to have the same speed and range as the other "standard type"
battleships that made up the fleet. There were four somewhat similar alternatives proposed
(labeled design 165-168); I've selected design 167 because I think it's the most
distinctive. All of the designs had a top speed of 21 knots and carried ten of the
powerful new 16"/45 guns in five twin turrets. Design 167 had the unusual feature of
mounting three turrets forward, with one turret superfiring over another turret which
superfired over a third in an ungainly-looking stack. While the Battleship 1917 designs
would have been powerful combatants, they were no match for Secretary of the Navy Daniels,
who axed the project, and ordered the General Board to develop a less expensive design
(which eventually resulted in the Colorado class).
How would Battleship 1917 Project play in Navy Field?
Honestly, based on its historical stats, Battleship 1917 Project should be a BB3. But the
US already has three BB3s, and their ship tree is cluttered enough already, and they
needed a third BB4, so... it's a BB4. The 16"/45 Mk I guns they were slated to carry are
the same ones historically used by Colorado, so a new set of duals would almost certainly
need to be added for it. It might be possible to balance the ship by giving it low free
displacement, but giving each R mount enough gunspace for larger guns than the intended
set, so that it could also have the option of carrying 16" triples on the front three
mounts and the rear mounts empty. The T mounts would have only enough gunspace for light AA.
What makes Battleship 1917 Project different from the existing ship(s) at that tier?
Battleship 1917 Project is slow. Very slow. Even BB49 Class would be somewhat faster, and
Iowa would leave it in the dust. It would have a shorter and narrower sprite than the
other ships in its tier, though. Firepower-wise it has ten guns to Iowa's nine, which
could mean higher firepower or lower, depending on how powerful the new set of 2x 16" guns
are. The three turrets forward may enable it to play around with all-forward rushing
configurations, something that neither BB49 Class nor Iowa can do effectively.
BB1 Project 813
What was Project 813 in real life?
How would Project 813 play in Navy Field?
What makes Project 813 different from the existing ship(s) at that tier?
BB2 Project 811
What was Project 811 in real life?
How would Project 811 play in Navy Field?
What makes Project 811 different from the existing ship(s) at that tier?
BB2 Gille Project
What was Gille Project in real life?
A proposed battlecruiser contemporary of the planned Normandie and Lyon superdreadnoughts,
this 1913 design study was never assigned an official name and so is commonly referred to
as "M. P. Gille Project" or simply "Gille", after its designer. Gille's designs show a
fairly large ship armed with the same 13.4"/45 main guns that Normandie and Lyon would
have carried, twelve in three quadruple turrets somewhat unusually arranged with a single
turret forward of the tower and stacks, and a superfiring pair behind. A projected top
speed of 28 knots was average for a battlecruiser of the period, and armor protection was
unimpressive at best. Only general arrangement of armament and machinery had been
finalized when work on the design was first suspended and eventually cancelled following
the outbreak of World War I.
How would Gille Project play in Navy Field?
The 13.4"/45 Model 1912 quad turret is already in-game, and there is already a ship
(Normandie) that uses three of them, so we can get a pretty good idea of how Gille Project
would play just from looking at that. As a battlecruiser, Gille Project would be larger,
faster and more fragile than the battleships (Lyon and Normandie) at the same tier.
Because of its weapon arrangement, with the majority of firepower concetrated aft, Gille
Project would fight best as a runner, fleeing while shooting. Yes, yes, insert French joke
What makes Gille Project different from the existing ship(s) at that tier?
Gille Project is fairly close to Normandie, honestly. The major differences are that Gille
Project would have better speed than Normandie (21.5kt versus 28kt historical, who knows
how that translates into Navy Field though), and less durability. The unusual layout of
the main battery also makes Gille Project play a little different than Normandie -
Normandie has its weapons spread evenly across the ship and is biased towards broadside
fighting, while Gille Project is laid out with a preference for fighting angled away from
the enemy. In fact, Gille Project would be the only ship in the game that had the majority
of its firepower on the back half of the ship.
BB4 Project 5bis
What was Project 5bis in real life?
In the process of designing a successor to the Dunkerque class - what eventually became
the Richelieu class - the French navy produced a number of studies for possible
arrangements. The most unusual was a design inspired by the ideas of Admiral De Feo, an
Italian designer, who argued that a battleship with its armament concentrated in the very
center of the ship was the most efficient possible design, allowing for the greatest
armament and best protection on a given displacement. Combining this layout with the
design requirements resulted in a very heavily armored ship armed with eight 14.96"/45
guns in two quadruple turrets, arranged in a superfiring pair amidships between the tower
and funnel, a very heavy secondary battery, and a projected top speed of 31.5 knots. The
designs based on this idea, Project No. 5 and the improved Project No. 5bis, were
seriously considered but eventually rejected in favor of the (slightly) more conventional
enlarged Dunkerque arrangement of Project 1.
How would Project 5bis play in Navy Field?
Well, that weapon arrangement is seriously weird. Playing a ship that could not fire
directly ahead or behind would take some getting used to. Beyond that, it's small, fairly
fast, and it has its weapons grouped tightly together, and can fire all of its main guns
over a very wide arc. We can look to Richelieu to see how the armament would perform,
since they use the same main guns, and in fact are pretty similar in most other ways too.
What makes Project 5bis different from the existing ship(s) at that tier?
Well, the layout of the main guns is a lot more challenging to use than that of Richelieu.
The arrangement of the T slots is also kind of strange, with two placed ahead of the main
battery and three clustered at the very back of the ship. To compensate for the
inconvinience of weapon placement, Project 5bis has slightly better speed than Richelieu,
higher free displacement, a slightly smaller sprite, and more durability.
Sheesh, that was long. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading the whole thing! I
welcome all comments, feedback, suggested improvements, hate mail and death threats. Any
suggested changes I use will be credited at the top of this post.