Super-Dreadnoughts are huge maritime surface warships, usually serving as fleet flagships or major surface combatants for Modern/Post Modern Tech navies. They should not be confused with RL super Dreadnoughts, which is the name given to advanced battleships of the Dreadnought mould.
- 1 Terminology
- 2 History
- 3 Design
- 4 Deployment
- 5 Real Life Comparison
- 6 Plausibility and Gameplay Issues
- 7 Defense
- 8 Other NationStates Super Dreadnoughts
Debate persists as to whether or not these vessels constitute a separate type of warship from more traditional battleships. The classification of the ships that fall into this general category varies from navy to navy. Perceiving a distinct difference in capabilities between these behemoths and their smaller counterparts, some navies list them as DN, SD, or SDN, indicating them as (nuclear-powered) super Dreadnoughts. Other navies prefer to acknowledge such ships simply as an evolution from smaller battleships, categorizing them as BBCN or nuclear-powered (heavy) command battleships. Sometimes the designations SDVN and BBCVN are used to indicate the embarkation of fixed-wing aircraft.
The first true super Dreadnought building craze is generally assumed to have been started by Doujin and because of this many times such vessels are referred to as Doujins, or Doujin-class (or type) vessels. It was after the Doujin-class that the "massive battleships often mistaken for islands" came into more common service in many national arsenals and truly proliferated. This is probably due to the publicity that was used by Doujin to promote the new warship class, which was intended to serve as a powerful example of Doujin's shipbuilding capability.
The basic design of most super Dreadnoughts is that of an enlarged battleship or battlecarrier, with a high number of large mono-calibre main guns, extremely heavy armour, powerful self-defence systems and (usually) a substantial aircraft complement. They have a large range in size from an upgraded Yamato-sized battleship up to 2 kilometre long floating fortresses and can displace anything from under a hundred thousand to several million tons or more. They almost exclusively feature nuclear propulsion as a means of power but employ a wide variety of propulsion systems. Weapon systems generally include not only large main turreted guns (ranging from 18" to 30" in bore), but generally also carry advanced heavy missile, CIWS and ASW systems. Later supercapitals, first designed by Questers and Praetonia, have even larger main guns ranging from 34" to 36" in bore.
To actually go out and construct a super Dreadnought, even for a large four billion+ plus nation, is a daunting undertaking. Many nations simply perceive it as building a sufficiently sized drydock and conducting some large scale dredging, though in actuality these tasks are simply one small part of a necessarily gargantuan industrial program.
Even before construction of the main dockyard itself or planning of the ship can take place, large amounts of work need to be done in ensuring that such a program can go ahead. This means securing raw material supplies (especially if titanium alloys form a significant part in the ship's construction), building up the related support infastructure (including transport links for the workers and material, power and fuel supply), increasing domestic industrial R&D capacity to the point at which it can design and produce systems such as the engine plants and main artillery pieces, and garnering sufficient funds not just to purchase the ships themselves but also to invest in the necessary facilities for construction. It should be noted that having a nation with a large maritime engineering tradition does alleviate to a degree some of these problems, but in turn this "headstart" depends a lot upon the sophistication and experience of the industry itself, nations with a long history of large warship construction will have a significant advantage over their rivals.
The actual construction facility itself requires a flat drydock, as a traditional slipway would either collapse under the weight of the ship or the sheer volume of displaced water when the super Dreadnought enters the water will cause significant damage to local waterside facilities. The actual placing of such facilities is also extremely difficult. There are extraordinarily few places where such a facility can be built on the coast of a nation.
Harbouring, Supply and Maintenance
Harbouring facilities and maintenance are another large, cash-intensive set of programs that many nations do not consider when initially embarking on the path of super dreadnought construction. Given the sheer investment required to build large scale construction facilities, it is unlikely that more than a couple of sufficiently sized drydocks would be able to be built given the minimum draft and width requirements for anchorage, limiting the amount of space avaliable not just for construction but for heavy maintenance as well. This will have a severe impact on the total number of such warships that can be realistically supported by any single nation.
Most navies equipped with super Dreadnoughts tend to use such vessels as fleet flagships, at least superficially. The true purpose of the Super Dreadnought within such groups is, however, often varied. Some navies use them as true command ships, utilising them as floating bunkers for their flag staff. Others, noting the sheer survivability (and profile) of these ships, use them as "pin cushions", drawing fire away from more vulnerable warships in the battlegroup. Some nationstates even use them as strategic lures or conflict escalators if it is advanteguous for that nation to do so.
Logistics and Support at Sea
Beyond the difficulties of finding a deep enough harbour to berth such a behemoth for regular maintenance, refuelling, or large scale replenishment, there is the equally important question of how to support a super Dreadnought battlegroup once it has made it out to sea. At the very least, a single super Dreadnought battlegroup and its respective crews will require a large logistics train dwarfing that of many RL naval fleets. However, a properly designed super Dreadnought can carry sufficient supplies to operate for far longer periods than other surface vessels, granting it theoretical if not practical independence in naval manoeuvring.
Real Life Comparison
There is no real life (RL) parallel to these vessels as they require large amounts of manpower and monetary investment to build and operate far beyond the capacity of any RL nation. In turn, many of the factors which dictated battleship combat in RL has a reduced or negated effect in NS, with such considerations as the Golden Fish syndrome playing much less of a role in NationStates naval combat. This changing of emphasis has a number of causes, including new technologies that redress the balance of offensive and defensive capabilities against enemy combatants, the significant increase in the numbers and capability of escorts and the decisive requirement in NS for powerful surface combatants capable of carrying the war to a farflung opponent.
Because of the lack of real-life examples, there has created a backlash against Super Dreadnoughts from some members of the RPing community who do not recognise them as what MT/PMT nations would be capable of constructing and fielding. This is due to either realism wank on the part of the opposer, as a desire to fight in NS with technology that can only be manufactured in the Real World, or as a legitimate IGNORE of an overtly godmoded piece of military technology. It should be noted that super Dreadnoughts themselves are inherently wanky in NS terms due to the fact they are intended to be large, massively powerful, nationally symbollic battlewagons, though this in itself does not render such ships as godmods.
Interestingly enough, these vessels have created a surprisingly clear example of the Knootian wank-power theorem.
Plausibility and Gameplay Issues
Size and Construction Issues
There is a significant and well-established opposition to many super Dreadnought designs based on the lack of thought and understanding within a certain design. This is notably true with regard to the large numbers of Doujin-class "knock-offs", built by smaller nations which despite liking the concept have little idea of what it takes to build and maintain such monsters, much less a fleet of them.
These warships are not invincible, and never have been claimed seriously as such, although some players seem to equate their potent survivability with this idea.
Defending against super Dreadnoughts is a surprisingly controversial topic, made even more difficult by the frequently exaggerated claims on both sides as to the potency of their offensive and defensive capabilities. Given that niether super Dreadnoughts nor the weapons brought against them actually exist in RL aside from basic theory, this leads to awkward and confusing discussions with regard to how to most effectively bring one down.
- Large scale missile strike
- Large tactical conventional weapons
- Large scale torpedo strike
- Nuclear attack
- Sabotage/Spec Ops attack
- Sea mines
Other NationStates Super Dreadnoughts
As noted above, the Doujin-class by The Freethinkers and its predecessors, the Thunderchild and Leviathan classes, are three of the earliest classes of gigantic super Dreadnoughts. Other classes of super Dreadnoughts are:
- Chuck Norris-class super Dreadnought by Kahanistan
- Dominator-class super Dreadnought by Kaukolastan
- Europa-class BBCN by Isselmere-Nieland
- Freedom-class pocket super Dreadnought by Praetonia and Sarzonia
- Gestalt-class super Dreadnought by Zeppelin Manufacturers Industries
- Hood-class BBCN by Questers
- Vigilant-class super Dreadnought by Sarzonia
- Yamato II-class SD by Asgarnieu