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ww2 naval weapons? History buffs plz comment


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#1 suliman   Members   -  Reputation: 521

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:43 AM

Hi

Im doing a adventure/rpg/strategy game in ww2 setting similar to "Pirates!". Im looking for some feedback on my weapon selection for smaller weapons for the ships.

 

Its based around fitting the ships based on turret sizes for each mount, so you can trade and replace your guns in ports (not historically correct i know). My idea so far for the smaller mounts goes as follows (listed in order of increasing damage per second, "quality")

 

-----Tiny mounts---------------

Twin Lewis mg 12,7mm

Quad Vickers mg 12,7mm

Oerlikon autocaanon 20mm

Twin oerlikon 20mm

Single pompom 40mm

 

-----Small mounts---------------

1,1inch/75 (early US gun)

37mm Flak (german)

Twin Bofors 40mm

Quad Pompom 40mm

Quad Bofors 40mm

various 3inch deck guns (what to have here, quick-firing? Shielded or not?)

 

4inch and up will be a later question for bigger mounts. So any comments? I base a lot of my info on silent hunter series and wiki so feel free to add or criticize.

Erik



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#2 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3004

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:22 AM

I think you approached it too literaly, instead of functional.

 

Navy armanent in WWII:

- main artillery guns (high range, low speed)

- non main artillery guns (lower range, good speed)

- universal guns (both for anti air and artillery)

- fake universal guns (in theory universal but in practice able to shopt for a very short time to low altitute airplanes only, later replaced by real universal guns - like in the Tribal class UK destroyers)

- anti air (all bofors, pompon, oerlikon; generally all between 20-40mm)

- small stuff (12.7mm, in practice useless, in WWII there one one recorded succesful use of there IIRC)

- torpedoes

- anti submarine mines

- airplanes (figher/interceptor, bomber, recon) - don't forget about these! WWII obsoleted battleships in favour of carriers.

 

There are these questions when deciding on ship design:

- should we use torpedoes or go artillery (smaller ships - destroyers - could use torpedoes much better than big ships)

- artillery or anti air

- universal or specialized (in practice univeral means that the main guns had the option to shoot at airplanes)

- unified main guns size (British dreadnoughts from WWI) or variable size guns - this determines what percentage of guns can be used at optimal range, note that if all guns are the same you can use 100% of them all the time

 

And the most important variable, the weight of a salvo per minute (caliber of all guns * speed of guns). How much metal you can throw at the enemy in one minute. For this reason many ships with bigger guns had smaller salvo than ships with smaller guns (manual loading of big guns is much slower). In WWII US and UK destroyers were cleary superior than French and Japaneese ones (around 1700 vs 800 IIRC).


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#3 suliman   Members   -  Reputation: 521

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:50 AM

hi

Thanks but you talk mainly about bigger guns which is covered already (and torpedoes and aircrafts but i have those already as well). It was a good functional overview but i did that already i need details now:)

 

I asked about small guns, since its a rpg/adventure you start small, patrol crafts, gun boats etc and i need diversity in that department. I know machineguns are useless against armoured warships but to injure or harass deck crews or damage civilian shipping, patrol crafts or smaller merchants a want to have such weapons as an options early in the game (it seems most such weapons were upgraded to 20mm autocannons during the war but nevertheless!)

 

1. So any other iconical weapons that would suit? Even bad ones (need scalability of ingame items as you try to get hold of "better guns" in the game).

 

2. You (or someone else) seem suitable to comment on this also: I want upgrades but how to find a good balance between scenario setting and game mechanics? My idea is to have 3 levels of each upgrade (to work as 1.standard, 2.improved, 3.the best in each cathegory)

(upgrades may only be available from frigates and up, we'll see. Small ships like fishing boats and torpedo boats will not have all these of course)

 

UPGRADE               Effect                         Effect if damaged                  Names of upgraded levels (plz help here!)                    

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

crew quarters           incr. max crew          morale penalty over time       improved, Triple bunks

Plating (armour?)     take less damage     -                                              reinforced, thick, extra

Engine                      more speed               hard to move ship                 improved, double(?)

Radar                       more range on map   no signals on map                ?

Cargo hold               more cargo                cannot add, may loose old cargo

Bridge                      overall efficiency?      hard to do anything?              ?

 

See what im aiming for? But i need some input as you can see


Edited by suliman, 19 July 2013 - 09:09 AM.


#4 LordVTP   Members   -  Reputation: 215

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:01 PM

Some small notes -  

 

Fusing -  Ranging skill would be major factor for manual timed flack rounds.  Parts and sensitivity for radio proximity type....

 

The Japanese navel AA gunners took to using color coded smoke in their rounds in order to tell which battery fired which round and thus improve their deflection...Not that this seemed to matter to much but would make for a great visual flair game wise! 


Edited by LordVTP, 19 July 2013 - 08:01 PM.


#5 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1845

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 01:10 AM


UPGRADE               Effect                         Effect if damaged                  Names of upgraded levels (plz help here!)                    
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
crew quarters           incr. max crew          morale penalty over time       improved, Triple bunks
Plating (armour?)     take less damage     -                                              reinforced, thick, extra
Engine                      more speed               hard to move ship                 improved, double(?)
Radar                       more range on map   no signals on map                ?
Cargo hold               more cargo                cannot add, may loose old cargo
Bridge                      overall efficiency?      hard to do anything?              ?
 
See what im aiming for? But i need some input as you can see

 

looks like you're aiming for a ww2 equivalent of the upgrades in Pirates! 

 

in reality they probably don't exist. OTOH, you've already decided to bend reality with main armament upgrades "while you wait"...

 

real upgrades in ww2 would be things like radar, sonar, deck weapons, etc. IE silent hunter type stuff.    Improved commo, nav, and cipher gear are other possibilities. as are deck mounted torpedo tubes, and depth charge racks.

 

plating (belt bands), engines, main guns, and structural changes (crew/cargo) would tend to be longer term refit dry dock operations. i think they may have done some plating  type refits to some ships in that era. you'd have to look up the types of refits done and times involved. then adjust to whatever level of realism you're shooting for.

 

 


There are these questions when deciding on ship design:

 

don't forget the classic trade off of speed vs armor vs guns.


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#6 Prinz Eugn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3517

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 01:27 PM

I think you should have a category for fire control, since that has a huge impact on operations. Having a fire control radar means you can fight at night without revealing your position with starshell or spotlights, for example. In general the classic Armor-Firepower-Mobility tripod always leaves out Situational Awareness (someday I'll write a book about it, actually).

 

But overall, I would think about functional categories then think about which weapons could be best shoehorned into each category (fast shooting, hard hitting, etc). Remember, your first priority should be making great gameplay. The story and thematic elements can then be worked around that core.


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#7 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1845

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 06:48 PM


I think you should have a category for fire control, since that has a huge impact on operations.

 

definitely.

 

and it might even qualify as a quick upgrade vs a longer refit. 

 

in the 1600's fire control was done largely by eye and voice command. there were no such "systems" on a ship.

 

by WW2, fire control was probably the most vital station on the ship. take out fire control and you disable all their guns at least temporarily until they can switch to local fire control which is less effective. and even then they cant fire a full salvo as one, its every gun for himself.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1988"

 

rocklandsoftware.net

 


#8 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1628

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 08:56 PM

Another aspect to think about is the ammunition, how it is stored, how it is moved to the gun, how it is fed, and how many crew members are needed to do all this.

 

Something like a M2 .50 cal in a quad mount will offer a large amount of short range light fire power, and be able to be fully operated by a single crewman for a short period of time while fully effective. (Because each gun has a fair amount of ammunition stored in cans mounted directly to the weapon that can be prepped before engagement) A very large amount of ammunition can be stored in a given space, but you can fire off a lot more of it in a single engagement.

 

Now compared that to many 30 and 40mm mounts, often which have no magazine (fed with a single round for each shot), or a very limited magazine that is then constantly topped off while firing with 3-5 rounds on a sort of stripper clip. This will provide a far greater punch, but depending on mount can require a minimum of 10 or more crewmen to have operating at reasonable efficiency for more than a few seconds.

 

Just think of a dual mount 40mm manual drive. These can have two to three men operating the controls to aim the guns (often with additional men on range finders to aid with actual targeting) plus three men for each gun to move the shells from the ready lockers on deck to load the weapons. Once whatever has been stored in the ready locker is fired, then more rounds have to be fetched from the main ammo stores in some manner. So you're either going to need a few guys down below who can load an advanced elevator to directly resupply the ready lockers, or you're going to need a pile more guys to lug stuff up ladders. 

 

If any one of those minimum crew are taken out, then the firing efficiency of the 40mm turret is going to falter instantly. Compare that to a crew of 3 on the quad .50, where any one can be taken out and there will be minimal impact on firing till it comes time to swap ammo cans or barrels after a minute.


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#9 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1845

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 10:39 PM


Another aspect to think about is the ammunition, how it is stored, how it is moved to the gun, how it is fed, and how many crew members are needed to do all this.

 

yes, at the "Sid Meier's Prates! Gold" level of realism, you'd want to at least model the gun crews required and rate of fire, taking into account the ammo logistics mentioned in the previous post.  perhaps as going as far as having two rates of fire, one for ammo on hand, or when there are sufficient additional hands to keep the guns fed, and one for when they must wait for ammo to be brought up from the magazine. that WOULD give you a reason to have extra hands, other than as boarding party strength. you have to remember that Sid was a wargamer and did a number of award winning historically accurate wargame titles. As a result, research and historical accuracy were a big part of his design methodology. while "Pirates!" may look like a Disney game, and has many "casual gamer" / arcade features to it, its still based on historically accurate research. do a Google search and you'll find some write-ups on the making of Pirates! makes for interesting reading. as i recall, Sid went for game-play vs realism, when the two conflicted.

 

BTW, are you going to do a full tilt WW2 "clone" of "Pirates!" ?    complete with dancing ? <BG>   (cue up "in the groove" - a classic big band swing era hit!).

 

a lots of things like boarding, dancing, and letters of marque may or may not make sense in the game world you're creating. obviously you must be doing some sort of alternate history or parallel world type thing for the back story.

 

as a fan of "Pirates!", and a dev that's planning on doing a pirates game myself - 1600's - no conflict of interest (do a search on camera for naval combat games here on gamedev), here's what i don't like about pirates gold:

1. you can get a whole fleet but only use one ship in combat, vs at most 2 opponents.

2. 3rd person ship vs ship combat makes aiming guns difficult. this was what my post on the topic was about.

3. the dueling is too arcade-ish.

4. combining / cross influencing dueling and crew size to determine outcome of boarding attempts makes for good game play, but is unrealistic.

5. time limited

6. while its a great game, its not really an open world simulation, like an open world version of age of sail or the like. its more of a simplistic ship vs ship combat engine, combined with a basic trade/economy engine, vehicle design, and mini games (dancing and dueling).

7. cartoonish / disney-esque graphics. nice for gameplay, but tends to make the unrealistic and acradeish aspects of the game even more blatant. simply reinforces the feeling its a game, not  a sim. bad for immersion/suspension of disbelief - unless you want to be a Disney character <g>.

 

and here are some things that i do like about it:

1. the consistency of the graphics and story lines makes it feel like you're playing a Disney movie. while i'd personally rather be black beard than captain hook, the continuity is excellent.

2. the scope of the game. it covers all the major points a pirate simulation should, but as separate "games" instead of one continuous simulation. 

3. its a brilliant combination of multiple game engines (ship vs ship, landing party, dueling, dancing, etc) to "simulate" a pirate world. 

4. all in all a great game and the closest thing to a true pirate sim built yet. but still a far cry from a real pirate sim (seamless open world, rpg, fps combat, trade/economy engine, prisoners, ransom, NO DANCING! <g>  etc, etc.).

 

BTW its installed on the hard drive of this PC i'm on right now. <g>.


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1988"

 

rocklandsoftware.net

 


#10 suliman   Members   -  Reputation: 521

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 01:43 PM

Good points guys, thanks.

Much of it is too detailed for the game im working on but it gives inspiration nonetheless.

Erik






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