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Ecclesiastes

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Hello all you grognards Razz

I've got a query for you guys that I cant crack myself because I have no idea how to handle it:

I've got 9 naval gun calibers for you, and I need a relative rating for all of them.

18"
16"
15"
14"
11"
8"
6"
5"
4"

For me, I would just list them with a power rating of 1-9 with 4" being the least powerful and 18" the most.

The thing I want to know is that I don't think the increases in power are linear... which mean that for instance, 16" and 18" might be much closer together in power than 6" and 8". I am not knowledgeable enough for this question, so I put it out there.

If you have a power rating of 1 - 5, where would you place the above calibers on the scale? I'm especially interested in the differences (or similarities) of the low and the high end calibers.
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PostThu Dec 25, 2014 1:30 pm
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Tough to do, also not all the large calibers were alike. There are differences between Brit 15", French 15" and Italian 15". The US 16" has 2 major varieties as well. Some of these differences are because of the shell weight, amount of charge used and the caliber (length) of the barrel.

Also, at what range (if that is part of the equation)?

It may help to know what you are trying to do with this.
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PostThu Dec 25, 2014 1:59 pm
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Ecclesiastes

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Well, long story, but I'll try to explain if it helps.

I'm working on my own naval game and currently my gunnery system is based on the Victory at Sea system, which is quite straightforward:

In victory at sea a gun has 2 modifiers: damage and armor modifier, so if a shell hits each shell does an amount of damage that then need to get past the armor rating of the enemy ship.

So a 16" gun does 3 damage upon a hit, with a -2 armor modifier. In VaS ships have an armor rating ranging from 6+ to 2+ on a D6, so a player hitting a battleship with a 6+ armor rating needs roll 3 damage dice on a 4+ because of the -2 modifier. Each roll of 4+ does one point of damage to the ship.


In my own game (Naval War) I like to have opposed dicerolls to keep both players involved in the shooting. So I changed the armor rating to an armor save. Now the opposing player takes the damage dice and tries to make his armor save (6+ for DD to 2+ for BB). Each unsaved damage die causes one damage.

But the thing is that I don't like the modifiers. A ship with a 2+ save gets hit with a weapon with a +2 modifier, so the save becomes 4+.

So I am working on a system like the armor system used in Flames of War. Each ship gets an armor rating, and each gun gets a Damage and Armor Penetration rating.

If a ship gets hit, check the amount of damage dice the gun causes and take that amount of dice, throw each die and add the score to your armor rating. If it is equal or higher than the AP rating of the gun the hit bounces of the armor. This way I can just label armor ratings from 1-5 and armor penetration values from 7-9 to get the same effect as the VaS system without using any modifiers.

But now comes the trick, I don't like the way VaS statted the guns, for instance, in VaS a 6" is equal to an 8" gun. So I'm trying to get a bearing on the power scale of guns...

Here's what I have now based on my new system:

Clbr Range Dpb* DMG AP
18"   100    1        3     9
16"   100    1        3     9
15"   80     1        3     8
14"   80     1        2     8
11"   80     1        1     8
8"     60     1       1     7
6"     50     0,5    1     7
5"     40     0,5    1     6
4"     30     0,5    1     6

*dice per barrel

But I have some leeway here, because of the new system I could stat some guns with AP 5 or 10 if I want. But I'm not sure if the ratio's are correct in the first place.....

I also don't like the way lighter calibre guns get to throw fewer dice to balance them out while they actually had a much higher rate of fire (which logically would increase their chance to hit, which would mean they would actually be getting more dice per barrel) This is also from VaS and I guess its a balance thing, otherwise enough low-calibre shots would even sink a Yamato, since a 6 in VaS is always a hit.

I hope this all makes the least bit of sense...
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PostThu Dec 25, 2014 2:28 pm
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It makes sense, and while I am not familiar with those other games, I can tell you that a 6" gun is about equal to an 8" gun in some games because of the rate of fire difference. If you made the 6" one die per barrel, it still suffers the range. You could also boost the 8" gun range to 65 to differentiate them some more. Up to you.

Also, the 4" and 5" guns can do some minor damage to big ships, but never penetrate enough to do much. However, they can eat destroyers if they hit the right places. I don't know your system well enough to comment on whether the 4" should be one less AP than the 5". However, they can be closer in range to each other.

Also, the range of 11" - 18" guns is about the same for all of them. The German 11" gun had a range only passed by the newer American 16" for example. Yes, the German 11" gun (as on the Scharnhorst, etc.) had the same effective range as the Japanese 18" gun!

I feel uncomfortable giving some of this advice, because I know that in a game, it's the balance that counts, not the details, especially when designing. It's the "effect" that you want, and sometimes that means compromises.

Hopefully, you can find some play-testers to help you out.
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PostThu Dec 25, 2014 4:55 pm
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Also, looking at why you want your own rule set, note that in W@S the community wants to ignore any weather other than day/night, with very few squalls at all.

There are no cloud layers, no fog banks, no rough seas, no high winds.

With those, much would change, but many people don't want to allow weather to give their opponent an advantage or make the game's tactics harder.
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PostThu Dec 25, 2014 4:58 pm
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I generally judge a gun on "weight of fire per minute". For example -

Japan
40 cm/45 (15.9") Type 94
Actual Size 46 cm (18.1")

Rate Of Fire - 1.5 - 2 rounds per minute
Projectile Type and Weight - APC Type 91 - 3,219 lbs. (1,460 kg)

1.5-2 x 3219 lbs. = 4828.5-6438 lbs. per minute

Compared to -

United States of America
16"/50 (40.6 cm) Mark 7

Rate Of Fire - 2 rounds per minute
Projectile Type and Weight - AP Mark 8 Mods 0 to 8 - 2,700 lbs. (1,225 kg)

2 x 2700 lbs. = 5400lbs. per minute

Compared to -

Germany
38 cm/52 (14.96") SK C/34

Rate Of Fire - 2.3 to 3 rounds per minute
Projectile Type and Weight - APC L/4,4 - 1,764 lbs. (800 kg)

2.3-3 x 1764 lbs. = 4057.2-5292 lbs. per minute

Then when you factor in the number of guns on the ship it gives you a pretty good idea of a broadside.
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PostThu Dec 25, 2014 6:55 pm
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Ecclesiastes

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Thanks for your suggestions, I'll make adjustments to the ranges of the 18"/16" guns.

As for the weather, I've got my own thoughts about that. Lets just say that I think there should be a lot more 'terrain' on tables Wink
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PostThu Dec 25, 2014 7:00 pm
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Ecclesiastes

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That's also a nice way of calculating broadsides Nightfall... Although I'm not really sure how to apply it to my problem Smile

Thanks for the response though
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PostThu Dec 25, 2014 7:28 pm
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Ecclesiastes

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Ok, so considering a destroyer had pretty much no armor whatsoever, would it have made any difference if shooting at a destroyer with a 4", 5" or 6" gun?
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PostThu Dec 25, 2014 8:27 pm
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RE: DDs being hit by 4", 5", or 6" guns.
Although DDs do not have significant armor, the larger the shell that hits, the more damage it will do.
The same would apply for hits that penetrate the armor of better protected ships.
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Personally I would give the lighter (and faster firing) weapons systems bonuses to hit, with gun sizes and velocities then being used for armour penetration, and the weight of a volley for damage consideration.

This gives a more accurate representation of the advantages of rate of fire, so that lighter weapons are better employed against Destroyers, where their bonus to hit matters more than being able to defeat armour (although of course the larger weapons would be more likely to have larger damage when they do hit).
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PostFri Dec 26, 2014 10:33 am
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There's probably two factors to consider:

Armor Penetration:  How much armor a projectile will penetrate.  You should be able to find armor penetration info for most guns.  It can get pretty complicated.  Armor thickness will vary on different parts of a ship.  The angle the projectile strikes the armor can change the results drastically.  The speed of the projectile will also will be an important factor and will change over the distance projectile travelled.

Energy:  The other important factor to consider is the amount of energy transferred to the target by the projectile.  This is easier to calculate than armor penetration.  Energy = mass * velocity^2.  Things can also get very complicated if you want to calculate speed lost over distance travelled (drag, etc.).

For "unarmored" ships, most ships were constructed of half inch steel, so you could use that for armor penetration calculations.  This can vary also.  For example the Fletcher class destroyers were constructed of half inch steel (deck, turrets, etc.) except for the armor belt which was 0.75" steel.

A great source of info is http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/index_weapons.htm
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SJG Gamer wrote:
RE: DDs being hit by 4", 5", or 6" guns.
Although DDs do not have significant armor, the larger the shell that hits, the more damage it will do.
The same would apply for hits that penetrate the armor of better protected ships.

It is important to keep in mind here, that the larger the shell, the more likely it is to go entirely through a destroyer without damaging it at all. It was quite common for AP rounds of cruiser size or larger to not damage destroyers at all. HE rounds on the other hand would be really dangerous. The distinction between the two, is pretty important.
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PostFri Dec 26, 2014 5:43 pm
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Ecclesiastes

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torpman wrote:
SJG Gamer wrote:
RE: DDs being hit by 4", 5", or 6" guns.
Although DDs do not have significant armor, the larger the shell that hits, the more damage it will do.
The same would apply for hits that penetrate the armor of better protected ships.

It is important to keep in mind here, that the larger the shell, the more likely it is to go entirely through a destroyer without damaging it at all. It was quite common for AP rounds of cruiser size or larger to not damage destroyers at all. HE rounds on the other hand would be really dangerous. The distinction between the two, is pretty important.


Interesting, so I could give DD's a sort of minimum armor save. Since if the calibre becomes to big for an armor save the chance of it passing right through the ship also increases...
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PostFri Dec 26, 2014 6:01 pm
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Well, if the Japanese had HE rounds loaded when coming up to the DE's, it would have been a different fight. However, as I understand it, they started with AP rounds and only switched to HE later.

Most navies carried both, because any shore bombardment missions would use HE.
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PostSat Dec 27, 2014 12:09 am
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IMO, not including exceptions, generally power is exponential every 2" increase.

8" is twice as powerful as 6"
10" is twice as powerful as 8"
etc...
however there are exceptions to the rule and as stated earlier RoF can close the difference, as can higher muzzle velocity and increased shell weights.
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drittal wrote:
IMO, not including exceptions, generally power is exponential every 2" increase.

8" is twice as powerful as 6"
10" is twice as powerful as 8"
etc...
however there are exceptions to the rule and as stated earlier RoF can close the difference, as can higher muzzle velocity and increased shell weights.


However, as mentioned above, not all guns of the same bore diameter are created equal. The principle cause in differences in ballistic performance have mainly to do with the weight of the shell fired by the gun, and by the length of the gun. I was reading an article by Norman Friedman in the latest issue of Naval History, and it lists an interesting example: The newer US 16" guns (those used on the North Carolinas, South Dakotas, and Iowas) were designed to be able to fire a longer, and therefore heavier, shell than the older guns on Maryland and Colorado.

This wound up giving the 16" guns on the new American ships significantly more wallop, and doubly so for the Iowas since they had another 5 calibers over the Sodaks and North Carolinas. It is for this reason that the Iowa's are regarded by some as having nearly equivalent firepower to the Yamatos (in certain aspects of performance), despite having a smaller gun.
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drittal wrote:
IMO, not including exceptions, generally power is exponential every 2" increase.

8" is twice as powerful as 6"
10" is twice as powerful as 8"
etc...
however there are exceptions to the rule and as stated earlier RoF can close the difference, as can higher muzzle velocity and increased shell weights.


However, as mentioned above, not all guns of the same bore diameter are created equal. The principle cause in differences in ballistic performance have mainly to do with the weight of the shell fired by the gun, and by the length of the gun. I was reading an article by Norman Friedman in the latest issue of Naval History, and it lists an interesting example: The newer US 16" guns (those used on the North Carolinas, South Dakotas, and Iowas) were designed to be able to fire a longer, and therefore heavier, shell than the older guns on Maryland and Colorado.

This wound up giving the 16" guns on the new American ships significantly more wallop, and doubly so for the Iowas since they had another 5 calibers over the Sodaks and North Carolinas. It is for this reason that the Iowa's are regarded by some as having nearly equivalent firepower to the Yamatos (in certain aspects of performance), despite having a smaller gun.
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Nightfall wrote:
I generally judge a gun on "weight of fire per minute". For example -


Then when you factor in the number of guns on the ship it gives you a pretty good idea of a broadside.



Most of my early rules used this system.

BUT… be well aware that rof (rate of fire) is a fraught number.

While some guns are capable of serious rof (the Japanese 3.95-inch at 18 r.p.m. springs to mind) they rarely had the ammunition to back it up. For example the German DD 5-inch had a claimed rof of 10 r.p.m. Unfortunately they only carried 100 r.p.g. which works out to 10 minutes' firing time. I think the Japanese 3.95 had seven minutes' firing time with ammunition on board.

The highest rates of fire were either used as bursts for AA (say 45 seconds of fire) or else were only used at very close range in 'rapid fire' drills.

Range is also an issue for long-range fire from heavy guns. A 14-inch or 15-inch will NOT fire 2 r.p.m. at long or extreme range as the gun has to fire, depress to loading angle, steam or hose out, load shell, load cartridge, elevate from loading angle to firing elevation and then fire again. At best you will get one shot per minute. Time quotes for rate of fire (also known as firing cycle) do not include elevation and depression to and from the loading angle.

Another thing to remember is that with hand-loaded guns at long range, you never fire salvo two until you see where salvo one has landed and you can correct for fall-of-shot. When HMS Ajax and HMS Achilles opened fire at the Battle of the River Plate the time of flight for their first round was 60.1 seconds. So that means that 6-inch long range fire will never be better than one round per minute.

Finally, remember crew fatigue. Maximum rates of fire may be possible with hand-loaded weapons but the crew will begin to tire rapidly. A Royal Navy 6-inch projectile was 112 pounds. Even with two crew moving it on a dolly between them it is still a lump. And I believe most were still loaded single-handed.
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Interesting post.
Also remember plunging fire, if a shell  hits and explodes on a deck it is more likely to do more damage then exploding against the hull etc.
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