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S4pp3R

NA Forums - Commonwealth CV discussion...

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G'day Folks

So a nice fellow by the name of mcgibe on NA forums has done up a bit of a look at Commonwealth CVs and in general a discussion about Commonwealth.

It's an interesting post and somehow the floupies haven't got their hands on it yet (probably too much scrolling for them...) lol.

See what you think, @Earl_of_Arland I thought of you with this one.

Those with NA accounts, maybe we can get some noise happening in the thread?

https://forum.worldofwarships.com/topic/227271-commonwealth-lines-proposal/

TLDR;

OP was suggesting a boom-and-zoom style of play for Commonwealth CVs, with a modified transport ship at T4 and some adjustments to my proposed line...

I think it might actually work within the new Air Detection system but I'm still far more biased towards ASW/utility, particularly in view of WG hinting at 'support CVs'.

 

Key part of the post (please go and show mcgibe some love on NA forums, he's put a lot of work into it!):

Now I am well aware of how controversial carriers are, and like Sapper said in his video, it probably shouldn't be added anytime soon. However, contrary to popular belief, Commonwealth navies did operate aircraft carriers, though most were in operation mid-late war and during the cold war. To me, they represent the rapid development of Commonwealth navies during the second world war, and have quite a few unique aircraft that could be proposed for some of the carriers on this list. For a ship or an aircraft to have to make it onto my list, it had to be majority crewed by a Commonwealth nation, and/or the aircraft that were both in service with their respective nation and had to feasibly have been able to be carried by said ship (there may be an exception or two with the proposed tier 4). If there are better suggestions for either a ship or aircraft that I didn't include in this proposal, definitely let me know.

For the CV gameplay itself, I wanted to settle on a "Boom and zoom" playstyle where it was a high risk, but high reward style of gameplay. I really had fun playing the pre bait-and-switch Graf zeppelin, and I wanted to try and recreate the gameplay of that ship within this line. The main idea is to have the aircraft be some of the fastest at their tier, dropping a low number of high alpha munitions. The biggest downsides of the carriers would be their nonexistent healthpool, tiny squads, small carrier plane reserves, and the CV's complete lack of self defense armament. The rockets have unusually low damage and fire chance compared to the bombs and torpedoes, the torpedoes are quite slow, and the bombers have a wide drop circle and long attack prep times, but they drop like Kaga's bombers do, with a high pitch up, and then a long, flat dive towards the target. On top of that, starting from tier 8, they'll have access to the new Air Dropped Smoke consumable, which will help the ships greatly in assisting their team while adding a new element to CV gameplay. This makes the line overall very good at striking large and lonely capital ships, but heavily punishes the CV player for misplays such as flying into a large group of ships, or remaining in a shups continuous AA bubble.

 

Aircraft Carriers:

Tier IV: Proposed C2 Transport conversion (Halifax or Alice Springs good names?)

A proposed conversion of the type C2 class of United states cargo transports into escort carriers, these ships had the potential to serve in either the RCN or RAN. Like many of her contemporaries, she lacks speed, secondary armament, and hangar size.

Speed: 16 kts

Aircraft carried: 20, 4 reserve

Attack aircraft: 4 per squad, 2 per attack: Bristol Bulldog (RAN), Armstrong Witworth Siskin (RCN)

Torpedo aircraft: 6 per squad, 2 per attack: Westland Wapiti (RAN, RCN), Hawker Demon (RAN)

Dive bomber aircraft: 6 per squad, 2 per attack: Westland Wapiti (RAN, RCN), Hawker Demon (RAN)

Quick Summary:

Out of all the carriers proposed on this list, this ship is probably the biggest stretch in the entire proposed tech tree. For the ship itself, I based it off the proposed American conversion of the C2 cargo ships. Many of the older carrier conversions were based on tankers or cargo ships, and quite a few were sold over to the British under the lend lease program (later named the ruler class by the British). These lend lease ships were sometimes transferred to British commonwealth nations (as with the next t6 choice).

Aircraft Relevance:

For the aircraft, I decided to add inter-war aircraft that were as relevant as I could find. I split her aircraft into either RAAF or RCAF proposals, depending on which nation this ship would have been leased to from Britain (either Australia or Canada). For fighters, I chose the Bristol Bulldog for the RAAF, and the Armstrong Siskin for the RCAF. In terms of dive bombers and torpedo bombers, I chose the Westland Wapiti which was operated by both the RCAF and RAF, and the Hawker Demon which was a prominent Aussie light bomber in the interwar period. I felt like each was the best option to fit said interwar time period.

Relevance of the ship:

Now I understand that this ship is a big stretch to add in, but it's one of the only few paper ship proposals and the only paper ship in this proposed line. Honestly, if anyone else has a better idea for a tier 4 commonwealth carrier, I'll gladly take it. This is just theory crafting at the end of the day.

 

Tier VI: Nabob (RCN)

The first ever aircraft carrier to be majority crewed by the Royal Canadian Navy, Nabob was a modified Bogue-class escort carrier supplied to the Royal navy under the lend-lease program. Apart rom the aircrew, the ship was entirely operated by the Royal Canadian Navy for the specific purpose of Anti Submarine Warfare. During Operation Goodwind, Nabob was torpedoed by the submarine U-354, but remained afloat and was able to limp back to Scapa Flow. Damaged beyond repair, she was run aground in the River Clyde and later scrapped.

Speed: 18 kts

Aircraft carried: 28, 10 reserve

Attack aircraft: 6 per squad, 2 per attack: Vought F4-U Corsair, Curtiss Kittyhawk, Bristol Beaufighter

Torpedo aircraft: 6 per squad, 3 per attack: Avro Anson, Bristol Beaufighter

Dive Bomber aircraft: 6 per squad, 2 per attack: Avro Anson, Bristol Beaufighter

Quick summary:

This is where things get interesting for commonwealth carriers and their flavor starts to stand out. While Nabob is still slow with weak amour and secondaries, it's her aircraft that really make her shine. Unlike her predecessor's aircraft, the aircraft on Nabob are much faster than the rest at her tier, but lack health and effective munitions to deal with destroyers. While her rocket planes are fast, the weapons they carry are incredibly lackluster with bad alpha damage, penetration, and a larger ellipse than her competitors. This will start to become a common trend throughout the rest of the tree. Things shift for the better for her Bombers and Torpedo Bombers. While both have relatively low health when compared to their counterparts, the dive bombers have improved speed, alpha damage (though low fire chance), and accuracy. The torpedo bombers don't have the same speed yet, but the torpedoes they carry have relatively good punch and speed, compensating for the low number that they drop.

Aircraft Relevance:

Ok, so the selection of aircraft to choose at this tier was pretty broad, unlike tier 4. For attack aircraft, I chose both historically equipped ones such as the corsairs historically carried, and aircraft operated by the RCAF such as the Beaufighter and the Kittyhawk. Torpedo and dive bombers are where it gets interesting in terms of aircraft. The Avro Anson was technically not a carrier borne aircraft, but I feel that unless its a completely irrational aircraft, such as something like a B-17 or a Lancaster, it should be fine. The Anson was used in both maritime patrol and as a light bomber, so I feel it could work fine in game from a historical and functional point of view. The Bristol Beaufighter was also a good pick, since it was historically a generalist and could carry both bombs and torpedoes. The Beaufighter was also historically relevant, being used throughout the war and with many commonwealth nations, especially Canada and Australia.

Relevance of the ship:

Nabob, and her sister ship Puncher, were the first ever carriers to be operated by and commonwealth nation. They are a stark example of the rapid militarization of the commonwealth nations during world war 2. While it may be a stretch to place a modified Bogue class at tier 6, the historical significance of the ship and the aircraft proposed make up for it in my mind.

 

Tier VIII: Vengeance (RAN)

one of the 1942 light fleet carriers, later known as the Colossus-Class light fleet carriers, Vengeance was designed to be a fast escort carrier that didn't sacrifice it's aircraft complement in exchange. Vengeance was assigned to task force 111, but was too late to see service in world war 2. She was, however, used as the venue for the Japanese surrender at Hong Kong. The ship was transferred to the RAN in June of 1951 and was the first carrier to be commissioned into the RAN. In game, she reflects a shift in commonwealth carriers from slow converted tankers with a large detection radius, to faster, stealthy, and relatively smaller escort carriers. However, she lacks any secondary armament whatsoever, and her AA suite isn't that impressive when compared to other carriers at her tier.

Speed: 27 knots

Aircraft carried: 34, 13 reserve

Attack aircraft: 6 per squad, 2 per attack: Hawker tempest, Bristol Beaufighter, CAC Kangaroo (air dropped smoke, action time: 5 sec, duration: 40 sec, cannot conceal CV's)

Torpedo aircraft: 9 per squad, 3 per attack: Vultee A35 Vengance, De Hallivand Mosquito, Bristol Beaufighter, CAC Woomera

Dive Bomber aircraft: 6 per squad, 2 per attack: Vultee A35 Vengance, De Hallivand Mosquito, Bristol Beaufighter, CAC Woomera

Quick (not really) Summary:

Vengeance improves on where Nabob left off, both in terms of aircraft and the hull they launch from. Compared to many of her tier mates, she has improved speed, greatly improved detection (better than some battleships), and improved armor overall, though no armored flight deck like her British counterparts, so don't expect to survive constant shellfire like her contemporaries. She does have some big negatives however, as one large one is her complete lack of secondary armament. Historically, the Colossus-Class had no secondary armament whatsoever, and the ship should reflect that. And while the carrier will have access to the carrier borne fighter consumable, her AA suite is also unimpressive, with lackluster range (due to no large caliber AA such as DP guns) and lower DPS in the outer rings Finally, and one of the biggest drawbacks of the line, she has quite a low number of planes in reserve with a measly 13. This means that losing your already fragile planes can be much more punishing than losing planes in an American or Japanese carriers. This starts to give the high tier commonwealth carriers a unique playstyle of "playing with fire" where they can push closer to the front line to increase their aircraft turnaround time and attack efficiency when positioned right, but heavily punishes mispositioning and encounters with other enemies.

Moving over to her aircraft, the biggest change from previous ships is that Vengeance's aircraft have access to air dropped smoke, and this is quite a gamechanger for a carrier. instead of a selfish playstyle mostly relegated to hounding larger lonely targets, this smoke adds a huge new teamplay element. If your cruiser is caught out, if your destroyer is yolo'ing, if your battleship is being focus fired or is overextended, a well timed smoke drop could be a lifesaver. It adds a huge new element in teamplay that carriers are so lacking in right now. The only thing that separates these smoke screens from any other smoke in the game is that they cannot conceal an aircraft carrier. This is to prevent stupid situations of the aircraft carrier being able to constantly hide themselves from the enemy team and play selfishly.

With that out of the way and moving on to the planes themselves, the divide between speed and health becomes even more apparent than in the previous tier. Her torpedo bombers now sport the 3x3 squads common with tier 8 carriers but otherwise, her loadout is quite similar to Nabob. For the attack aircraft, the word "attack" really shouldn't apply, as their rockets are hands down the worst at their tier, with low penetration, bad alpha, and terrible fire chance. The only saving grace of her attack aircraft is their speed and air dropped smoke consumable. These should not be used to deal damage, but rather for dropping smoke screens for the team or scouting cruisers and battleships. Fortunately, her bombers and torpedo bombers manage to more than make up for her attack aircraft. Her torpedo bombers and dive bombers continue the trend of fast planes with high alpha damage, but weak health pools and small squadrons. Air dropped bombs deal high amounts of damage with a an ok chance of setting fires, but have a wide ellipse and low amount of bombs dropped to compensate. Her torpedoes are improved when compared to Nabob however, as while they are some of the slowest at their tier, their alpha damage is no joke.

Aircraft Relevance:

There were definitely a whole lot of options here. From aircraft that were homegrown ideas and those that were produced in Australia, to those that served in large numbers in the RAAF and those that were the most relevant to becoming carrier-borne aircraft. Since her historical aircraft were cold war jets and helicopters, most of the suggestions I put up were down to some theory crafting and Wargaming logic of changing history, but that's ok since this isn't a historically accurate game. Not being sarcastic at all.

For Attack aircraft, the Tempest and Beaufighter were both mid to late war aircraft that were in service with the RAAF. Both are relatively well known and feasible in regards to armament and max speed. The CAC Kangaroo is a little bit different from the other two, since it didn't actually see service with the RAAF, but was a wholly designed and built Australian aircraft intended to serve in the air force, but the project was cancelled due to the rise of jet fighters.

Torpedo Bombers and Bombers had a lot more options to choose from. Again the Beaufighter is always a good choice, but as another alternative option, the De Hallivand Mosquito was an incredibly effective carrier-borne fighter bomber and relatively famous as well. Two other options that were built and operated in Australia were the A35 Vengeance and the CAC Woomera. For the A35, the variant was a licensed built Australian version of the American Vultee A31 Vengeance and saw service in the RAN, though were reportedly ineffective in their roles. The CAC Woomera was developed in parallel to the CAC Kangaroo. Designed and prototyped in Australia, the fighter bomber was cancelled due to the rise of jet aircraft in the early 50s.

Relevance of the ship:

Vengeance was, to my knowledge, the Aussies first purpose built aircraft carrier. She had some history behind her during the end of ww2 and was the ship where Japan's surrender at Hong Kong was signed. Melbourne was supposed to be the first carrier in the Aussies service, but she was delayed and Vengeance was rushed in as a stopgap. I chose her over her replacement, HMAS Melbourne, because she belonged to the earlier colossus class which should be the natural progression of the line, and again, since it was the very first aircraft carrier in RAN service.

 

Tier X: Project Habbaku... er.. Bonaventure (RCN)

The last aircraft carrier in service with the Royal Canadian navy, Bonaventure belonged to the powerful Majestic-Class of escort carriers, which were themselves a modified Colossus-Class (modifications included a mirror landing aid, angled flight deck, and a steam catapult). Initially laid down as HMS Powerful, Bonaventure was purchased and renamed by the Royal Canadian Navy in 1952 as a replacement for the current HMCS Magnificent. Remaining in service for 18 years until 1970, she led her own ASW Hunter-Killer group in the North Atlantic off of Canada's coast and participated in numerous NATO exercises during the early and later years of the cold war. In game, Bonaventure represents the pinnacle of the commonwealth aircraft carrier line, and lives and dies by it's style of play. While she carries over Vengeance's lack of secondary armament and AA firepower, her concealment and speed are greatly improved so as to make her one of the stealthiest and fastest carriers at T10. In regards to aircraft, their stats are quite extreme as well, being some of the fastest aircraft in the game with some of the hardest hitting ammunition, but with the lowest hitpoints and largest turning circle in the game.

Speed: 30 knots

Aircraft carried: 40, 16 reserve

Attack aircraft: 6 per squad, 2 per attack: Hawker Sea Fury, De Hallivand Vampire (air dropped smoke, action time: 5 sec, duration: 60 sec, cannot conceal CV's)

Torpedo aircraft: 9 per squad, 3 per attack: Bristol Beaufort, Fairchild Bolingbroke, Hawker Sea Fury (air dropped smoke, action time: 5 sec, duration: 50 sec, cannot conceal CV's)

Dive Bomber aircraft: 9 per squad, 3 per attack: Bristol Beaufort, Fairchild Bolingbroke, Hawker Sea Fury (air dropped smoke, action time: 5 sec, duration: 50 sec, cannot conceal CV's)

Quick Summary:

Alright so we've finally got to the cream of the crop at tier 10 with Bonaventure. The aircraft she carries are extreme stats wise, with the fastest aircraft at tier 10 and some of the largest alpha damage on her bombs and torpedoes. The major downsides of these aircraft are their abysmal heathpools, small number of squadrons, lack of aircraft reserves and refresh times, and terrible turning radius. Because of these traits, her aircraft tactics are best described as "boom and zoom", blasting through AA in order to strike single ships efficiently. This doesn't mean that her aircraft can take on large groups of ships though, as their horrible hitpoints, tiny squads, and huge turning circles means that while attacking lone ships is quite effective, attacking overlapping AA bubbles is incredibly punishing as while you blast through one bubble, it's kind of "out of the frying pan and into the fire" when you drop one ship and slingshot into another's AA.

Moving on to the aircraft first, her attack aircraft refine the playstyle of their predecessors, while amplifying their weaknesses. Being the fastest attack aircraft in the game, these aircraft are great for early game spotting on large enemy ships, but that's unfortunately where the good news stops. Despite being two tiers higher than Vengeance, the rockets Bonnie's fighters carry are arguably worse tier for tier with that same horrid alpha, same garbage pen, and the same low fire chance. Each aircraft does carry a larger amount than found on Vengeance, but these planes should not be dealing damage. Instead, their best use is their formerly mentioned scouting, and their improved air dropped smoke consumable, making the aircraft the best support squads in the game.

Fortunately for her rocket planes, Bonnie's torpedo and dive bombers really come into their own here. Like the fighters, her bombers and torp bombers are the fastest at their. But while her the fighters weaponry is lackluster, the other two squads are far from that. Starting with the bombers, the munitions they drop are nothing to scoff at, with some of the best HE alpha at tier. The downsides of these weapons however, is their mediocre fire chance, low number of dropped bombs, and large drop ellipse so missed munitions are going to hurt more than on any other carrier. The torpedoes her TB's drop also have some of the best alpha at tier and you drop quite a few, but are much harder to aim properly due to their terrible speeds. Both squads do have access to the air dropped smoke however, which gives the ship even more teamplay potential than Vengeance.

Finally for the ship itself, Bonnie can best be described as "don't be seen" where, while she has the best concealment out of all tier 10 carriers by a fair margin, when she does get spotted things don't go very well. Her complete lack of secondary armament and lackluster AA suite tied together with a mediocre HP pool means that she will die and she will die quickly. While you can definitely play closer to the action in Bonnie, always have an exit strategy, because if you're team falls apart on one flank, you only have a modest speed and good detect to fall back on.

Aircraft Relevance:

Disregarding any of the specialized aircraft and looking at the best aircraft to put in each squadron overall, I had to choose the hawker sea fury. This aircraft fits the role perfectly in regards to relevancy, historical significance, and playstyle wise. The sea fury was one of the last prop aircraft to serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, and was one of, if not the fastest single engine piston aircraft to ever be built. The RCN ordered a large batch of around 74 aircraft, which served on Bonnies historical predecessor Magnificent, and briefly on Bonnie herself if I'm correct. Personally, I had hoped to see the sea fury on Audacious at tier 10 instead of the wyverns we got, but even if this entire line is too outlandish, I still hope that either Magnificent or Bonnie could pop up as a premium some time purely because of the sea furies they operated.

Now onto the other picks I had on my list, first off, and this pick might be controversial, but I chose the early jet aircraft the De Hallivand Vampire. Aeronautical enthusiasts might know this aircraft, but it's not as well known as something like the Me 262. The Vampire was one of the first jet aircraft to serve in the Royal Navy and the first jet aircraft to serve in the RCAF. Now we don't have any jet aircraft currently in the game, but as long as its stats aren't completely ludicrous, it shouldn't really make a difference than the regular piston aircraft found at tier 10.

Onto torpedo and dive bombers. While I still believe the sea fury could work better in these roles, the two other aircraft I chose were the Bristol Beaufort and the Fairchild Bolingbroke. Both had relevant histories, with the Beaufort being a purpose built dive and torp bomber that served in limited numbers with the RCAF, but I feel like the better pick here would be the Fairchild Bolingbroke. The Bolingbroke's served as Canadian made maritime patrol and bombers, serving almost exclusively with the RCAF. Placing this plane on a carrier feels like a bit of a stretch since it was mainly a maritime patrol aircraft, but with a little bit of WG logic, it could probably work fine in game as a bomber. The main reason I chose this aircraft for its role was the history behind it, being a wholly made Canadian bomber that was crucial to maritime patrol of the Atlantic and pacific during ww2. Again though, I do feel like the sea fury would be a better pick overall.

Relevance of the ship:

For me, I decided the tier 10 had to be a majestic class and it was thus a choice between the Bonaventure and the Magnificent. I chose Bonnie over Maggie for a few reasons. The first and biggest reason, was that Bonaventure was a heavily modified Majestic class carrier, which themselves were a modified subclass of the Colossus class. I felt that it was important to make the tier 10 hull as different from the tier 8 as possible, while trying to stay with Sapper's vid which I based this line on. Another reason was that she was an obvious linear progression from the Vengeance, again being a modified Majestic class ship and thus having quite similar attributes to the tier 8. Finally, I picked her because of her historical relevance and service life. Being in service for 18 years and also the last aircraft carrier to be operated by Canada, she really represents the end of the explosive growth of the commonwealth navies during the second world war and later, the cold war. Going from small, scrappy handfuls of aging ships, to a large set of independent navies that are a force to be reckoned with, having a capital ship such as a carrier is more a testament to how large each countries respective navies got, and Bonnie really represents that the best.

 

Concluding this rambling:

And that pretty much concludes my ramblings on the forums. This took a long time to create and is probably the longest post I've ever made on the forums, so I hope I didn't make too many grammatical mistakes. Probably one of the biggest reason I wrote this entire essay, was because I hope that it'll bring interest to a Commonwealth tech tree. Again, I feel like they're long overdue, and now that we're getting Italian BB's, who knows. I really hope that WG might see some of the other proposals that have been posted throughout the years, and listen to the players ideas if and when they create a Commonwealth line.

If there is any critique or feedback for anything discussed in this post, please let me or Sapper know. The best way to make a proposed Commonwealth tech tree good is through player feedback, which I worry WG hasn't entirely listened to these past few years. Stay safe out there during this terrible pandemic. We'll get through it!

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