WoWS: Kelorn’s Speculation on the Royal Navy BB Line

Source: Calistron (Reddit)

For a while I’ve been ruminating on the layout of the possible RN Battleship line. Several things have always struck me about it. First, while the RN had a very large number of Battleships, they don’t seem to fit neatly into the Tier System of World of Warships. That said, I think there are a number of interesting possibilities for the line.

Without further ado, here are my predictions for the line:

  • Tier 3: Dreadnaught – With all of the other Tier 3 BB’s in the game being that country’s version of the Dreadnaught, coupled with the iconic nature of this ship, there doesn’t seem to be any doubt of the fact that the Tier 3 will be Dreadnaught herself. With ten 12-inch guns, a top speed of 21 kts, and a displacement of 18,000 tons, the Dreadnaught will fit right in at Tier 3.
  • Tier 4: Colossus – Tier 4 is where things start to get problematic. The Japanese BB line has the Myogi, which upgrades to 14-inch guns, but has only six of them. The Americans have the Wyoming, which has twelve 12-inch guns. The Germans will have the Kaiser, which also mounts 12-inch guns. With all of that in mind, I don’t think that a “Super-Dreadnaught” would be appropriate for Tier 4. Instead, the Colossus, with its wing turrets, seems to fit the bill a bit better. It has heavier armor (280mm belt) than the Dreadnaught and should fit into the Tier 4 meta just fine.
  • Tier 5: Iron Duke – Tier 5 marks the first of the “Super-Dreadnaughts” from the Royal Navy. For reasons of naming conventions, I expect Wargaming to use the Iron Duke-class instead of the King George V (1920) class. The Iron Duke’s will be right at home with the New York/Texas, the Kongo (and her sisters), and the Konig. They sport ten 13.5-inch guns, have a displacement of 25,000 tons, and have 305mm of belt armor. With a 21-kt top speed, I expect it to play very similarly to the USN battleships of this tier. Maybe with slightly better accuracy. (crosses fingers)
  • Tier 6: Queen Elizabeth – This is pretty much a no-brainer. The Queen Elizabeth class super dreadnaughts are already represented in game by the HMS Warspite. I expect them to play very similarly to the Warspite with eight 15-inch guns and a 23.5kt top speed. I do NOT expect the base tier ships to have the Cruiser-style repair kit or the citadel-repairing hp repair. These should be significant enough changes to let Warspite retain her “specialness” as a Premium.
  • Tier 7: King George V (1936) – Yes, you’re all screaming that this is out of order in the Tech tree. From a purely historical order perspective, you’re all correct. From a power perspective… The KGV class belongs here. Its ten 14-inch main guns should make it reasonably effective at Tier 7, going up against the Nagato, Gneisenau, Colorado, and Scharnhorst. I expect its top hull AA to be as effective or better than the Colorado. With a top speed of 28.3 knots and a 35,000 ton displacement, the KGV is one of the better treaty battleships that was built.
  • Tier 8: Vanguard/Hood This is where things are going to get wonky in the RN Battleship line. From a perspective of combat power, both the Vanguard and the Hood would fit in at Tier 8. Both of these ships are iconicly British, though for different reasons. Both have eight 15-inch guns, high speed, and decent armor. They will probably play like a Tirpitz with better accuracy and no torpedoes. I expect whichever of these ISN’T in the line to be a premium ship.
  • Tier 9: Nelson: If there’s one ship I’m looking forward to more than any other in the RN line, this is it. While the Nelson class was slow at 23 kts, they have a unique feature that should make them absolutely devastating at Tier 9. All nine 16″ guns fire forward. Only six can shoot straight ahead, but imagine an Izumo that can swing its guns back and forth and engage targets with all it’s firepower while maintaining angled front armor. With 356mm of belt armor, it has more belt armor than an Iowa, and equal armor to the Izumo. Combined with a fairly decent AA suite and 6-inch Secondary battery, the Nelson should be a monster at Tier 9. It may be a little shorter on HP than it’s T9 counterparts, but I expect the accuracy to be on par or better than the Iowa.
  • Tier 10: Lion – This is the only real option for a Tier X Royal Navy ship is the Lion. With nine 16-inch guns, 29 kt speed, and 381mm of belt armor, the Lion class will be able to compete at Tier X. Against the Yamato, Montana, and Kurfurst, I expect it to come up a little short. Perhaps it will have high accuracy at long range, or some other factor that allows it to compete. That remains to be seen.

Feel free to discuss my Speculations, but please try and keep it civil. The main thing here is that the lower tiers (T3 to T6) are replete with alternatives and choices, most of which have very few differences. At the upper tiers, it becomes problematic due to the RN’s standardization on 15-inch guns, choice of 14-inch guns for the KGV, and aberration of 16-inch guns for Nelson. In any case, I expect the RN battleships to be an excellent and fun group of ships to play!


35 thoughts on “WoWS: Kelorn’s Speculation on the Royal Navy BB Line

  1. One thing to clarify: Warspite does NOT have a better citadel healing Repair Party. It just heals more HP than others (0.6% per sec). Citadel hits can only be healed for 10% like other BBs.


  2. It depends on how much paper you want in your line. This is my expectation, partly based on a rumor that may no longer be accurate. T3:12″-gunned ships. T4: 13.5″-gunned ships. T5: Revenge. T6: Queen Elizabeth. T7: KGV. T8: Nelson. T9: Lion. T10: N3. Vanguard is your T8 premium.


  3. I agree that the British BB line will be a hard one but i would change over the Nelson and Vanguard. The Vanguard was originally to be fitted with 16 inch guns but she got 15 inch guns because the royal navy had those lying around so to speak and it was near the end of the war. Since wargaming put in the Gneisenau with 15 inch guns instead of the 11 inch guns which the kriegsmarine had planned to do to her i think theyll do this with Vanguard.


  4. I agree with some of your choices however personally i would put HMS Bellerophon as the tier 3 with Dreadnought as a premium purely because of the secondary armament,
    Tier 4 HMS Orion, Tier 5 same or HMS Revenge Class (slighty smaller QE Class),
    Tier 6 QE,
    Tier 7 HMS Nelson (in keeping with the other 16″ gun BBs of the same time period)
    Tier 8 KGV since she has more armour than the Bismarck and Prince of Wales put a hole straight through Bismarck, Tier 8 Premium HMS Vanguard,
    Tier 9 Lion Class 1938-42 Design (basically a British Iowa equivalent guns slightly slow 29 knots)
    Tier 10 Lion Class 1944 Design WG can sort do what they like here as no design was seriously developed
    Alt Tier 10 N3 (with Modernisation WW1 vintage design mounting 9 18″ guns 457mm compared to Yamato 460mm but in a awkward placement with the number 3 Between the structure and the smoke stack)

    yes i know i have not included any BCs however Britain has enough ships and designs for a complete tree 3 – 10 so have left those out for there own tree

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lion would work with high maneuverability, ~26sec stock reload and good accuracy/sigma. But I highly doubt we’ll see the Lion at T10 just because of what WG did with the Kurfürst. It could have easily been balanced with the planned 4×2 420mm guns and a higher base RoF, just like Bismarck/Derpitz are balanced vs other T8. Instead, I think we’ll see the L3 or N3 class at T10.


  6. Nelson is absolutely not a fit for Tier 8, let alone Tier 9. She is too slow, too weakly armoured, and her 16 inch guns were somewhat worse than Colorado and Nagato’s. She should be at Tier 7. She is a contemporary to them, and that is where she best fits. Hood is also on the weak side for a Tier 8.

    KGV’s 14 inch guns are significantly stronger than the 14″ guns used on other ships, and combined with her fantastic armour and better speed, she should be fine as the Tier 8. Alternative configuration with 3 x 3 15″ guns can also be used if the 14″s are too weak.

    Lion is on the weak side for Tier X unless heavily buffed. The 1944 version is better, with the original Lion being at Tier 9.

    The progression should be Nelson – King George V – Lion – N3/G3/Lion (1944).


  7. HMS Nelson 7
    KGV 8
    Vanguard 9
    Lion 10

    They put the Prince of Wales as a premium. The Prince of Wales is the most recognizable KGV considering her fight with the Bismarck and her heroic last stand.
    The Vanguard can be buffed to have greatest accuracy and great penetration with a 25 second reload for T9.
    The Lion with the 16s is good for T10. If the reload is 28 seconds and has the greatest accuracy.


      1. Her total weight devoted to armor is typical like a battleship by percentage. In game her class “Admiral” will get refits(mondernized machinery, increased deck armor, improved secondary suite/aa emplacement) like Kongo turning Admiral into a proper fast battleship. When RN built the Hood, she was the closest thing to a true fast battleship they had for several decades.


  8. I like your choice and this could really be a way to implement them but I have to say I miss the “Revenge” class. She could be also a nice contender for tier 6 which would make the Warspite even more special. Either HMS Revenge or HMS Royal Oak. The Royal Oak became tragically famous after she was sunk in Scapa flow by the U-47 and his commander Günter Prien.

    They were often referred as second class battleships by the British admiralty but were still very capable. I like the 14x 6inch secondaries on her combined with 4x 21 inch torpedo launchers. They were pretty outdated and plans to upgrade them were scrapped.


    1. Looking at the estimated penetration curve for Scharnhorst in game and the empirical/official mixed 14″ pen stats online, they’ll may have a somewhat similar pen curve to the Scharnhorst guns but instead ranging from ~100mm more at 0m to ~30mm more at 20km. Should have good accuracy, better than the Nelson 16″ for example.


  9. Dreadnought as tier 2 premium! – yeah i know it would be OP as fuck, but if any ship was ever OP in real life – it was HMS Dreadnought in the time she was launched :D

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The Nelson’s 16: guns were crap for their size, at 15km the penned 366mm vs Colorado’s 488mm, and at 25km she penned 261mm vs 350mm. For comparison the 15″ of the Bismarck had 390mm at 25km, the Nelson was still superior than the KGV that had 250mm at 25km


  11. A little suggestion: If the Hood comes in, then any Bismarck player who engages her shouldn’t have a hard time detonating her.


      1. And Tirpitz shouldn’t be allowed to leave the port menu. Instead, every now and then you’ll log in and find she’s been damaged and you lose some credits, until one day you log in and she’s been sunk.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. Seriously there’s any number of well researched trees on the official forums, this is like asking random man on the street for a tree. Nelson at IX just lol it belongs at 7 with the rest of the the ‘big 7’ 16inch 1920s ships. Vanguard is a premium 8 no more, KGV goes at 8 with 3×3 15inch mk2 from its original spec, lion at 9, with L3/N3/16E lion at 10.


  13. Looks good though I personally hope to see British battlecruisers in WoWS first. I just have a soft spot for the Lion and Renown battlecruisers.


  14. The Hood was part of a class class called Admiral. The RN laid down 2-3 hulls of her sister ships but she was the only one ever completed. They can put in the Admiral Class with the modern refits as upgrades Hood was supposed to get and the Hood herself will be a premium.


    1. Hood as a premium makes sense. Especially being the only ship of her class to be made.
      This also explains why the Admiral Class will not be in the BB tech tree. The RN Tree has a plethora of potential non-Paper BB’s to use as from tier 2 through 9 . (Because at tier 10 aside from the IJN’s Yamato its Paper designs all around and at tier 1 balancing is kinda pointless)

      Such stretching of ‘historical accuracy’ with paper designs may be more prevalent when discussing Battle Cruisers and CA’s . Out of all the major powers, only the Royal Navy really made enough of them to justify a line from tier 4 through 10 The other powers had maybe enough designs (thanks to the Washington Treaty) for a 2-5 tier split somewhere around tier 7. But you would still need to fill in the low tiers with Jutland era “protected” cruisers and the higher tiers with “F**K the Washington Naval Treaty” vessel designs with cruiser speeds and firepower with almost battleship levels of protection.

      As opposed to vessels with Battleship guns on cruiser hulls (because of treaty or production limits) … Those “pocket battleships” would be better served filling gaps in other nations Battleship lines.


  15. You guys should keep in mind that current WG devs seriously hates idea of “Tier (x) ship having lower gun caliber size than Tier (x-1)”
    Remember what they say about Gneisenau (and Scharnhorst) and Mogami.
    If WG place Nelson on Tier 7, all ships after the tier most likely have 16inch gun, regardless of age it developed or designed.
    If WG don’t, they just lied to us on explanation about Gneisenau.

    Well, I just think they will ignore what they say about gun caliber size advancement as they have been using double-standard everywhere


  16. Main problem with NR battleships are they guns, they have lackluster performance.
    Lion 16″ at tier 10 will fail to penetrate belt armor of most battleships even broadside, similar with deck penetration, while he will get rekt in return.
    N3 18″ aren’t better, they are WW1 class weapon it don’t have any good performance when comparing to WW2 standard.
    KGV 14″ in again lose badly against modernized 14″ from other nation (like on New Mexico)…
    similar with other 15″ and 16″, they are better than WW1 class but worse than modernized variants of that guns

    side armor penetration
    Lion 16″/45: 13.7km – 447mm
    Nelson 16″/45: 13.7km – 366mm
    KGV 14″/45 13.7km – 335mm
    Hood 15″/42 13.7km – 353mm
    that don’t look to good…

    now competition (with 1930s modernization, B and C hull for WW1 ships):
    New Mexico (pre modernization) 13.0km – 302mm
    New Mexico 14″/50: 13.7km – 426mm
    Colorado 16″/45; 13.7km – 488mm
    North Carolina 16″/45 mark 6: 13.7km – 520mm
    Scharnhorst 28cm SK C/34 15.1km – 335mm
    Bismarck 38cm SK C/33 18.0km – 419mm

    British guns don’t look to good, and that don’t even tier 9 and 10 guns.


  17. Vanguard I would have as tier 9, it was the last bb ever built and put into service for the royal navy and iirc the last in the world. The lion could be implemented in various forms, i believe there were 3 or 4 different plans laid out for it. my favourite had the Lion built with a flight deck, it would sail alongside a second lion class of the same design and they would provide mutual support and a carriers air strike/defense capability. This would be a real novelty for the brits if not only as an awesome AA mechanic to buff its AAA defenses through the roof.

    I do recall reading once planes had been considered for the King GV to have 16inch guns installed but never happened so if this is right it could be a nice upgrade and balance for the ship.

    One ship that stands out for me as a must have for the brits in the tree or premium would be the agincourt Dreadnaught wit 7 twin turrets with twin 15 inch guns in each giving a broadside of 14 gun’s, more then any british BB.


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