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!