In this rendition of the Best Battleship Page, I have tried to take a new direction in scoring. Assigning a simple "First, Second, Third" between three ships was relatively easy. Doing it for seven ships is quite another matter. As a result, I have switched to a point rating system ranging from 1 to 10, with 10 being best.
As much as possible, I have tried to latch onto some quantitative measure of a given combat system's performance (for instance, the idea of 'throw weight' as the basic index of the effectiveness of an antiaircraft battery). After determining that a given ship is the best in a the basic index, I assign it a 'Raw Rating' of '10', and then assign ratings relative to the best ship to the remaining vessels. In each case, I draw upon the most 'favorable' configuration of a given ship that I can find. For instance, for Bismarck's light anti-aircraft rating, I used Tirpitz's final configuration (which was much more powerful) instead. In general, this means that the ships will be rated on their final configurations during the war. From this 'Raw Rating' I will hold the '10' ship(s) constant, and adjust the others either up or down depending on other factors (in the case of the air-defense example cited above, these factors would include; quality of fire-control, the usage of proximity-fuzed shells, the usage of RPC for powered mounts, and so on) relative to the '10' ship. The result is a final 'Overall Rating', which is the one presented on the main page. Obviously, the 'Overall Rating' is imbued with a certain degree of subjectivity, as I try to compensate for factors which I feel are important, but which are also difficult to quantify.
When it comes time to hand out prizes for HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION, BEST ALL-AROUND SHIP, and BEST ALL-AROUND TREATY BATTLESHIP, I will sum up the 'Overall Ratings' for each category, and apply a weight to each of them. The weights are on a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being very important. Here are the weightings for Heavyweight and Middleweight categories:
In other words, Guns, Armor, and Fire-Control are all equally important, followed by Tactical Factors, and then Underwater Protection.
In the BEST ALL-AROUND SHIP categories, I will use the following weightings:
|Total Anti-Aircraft Suite:||2|
Again, guns, armor and fire-control are most important, followed by underwater protection, tactical factors, secondary armament, and anti-aircraft armament, and last by operational factors. Some discussion is in order here. Some might argue that my emphasis on anti-aircraft is too low, given its importance in WWII. I would say two things: 1) You're right, but the AA on Allied battleships is so vastly superior to the Axis BBs that I didn't want to skew the ratings unduly by weighting AA too heavily, and 2) a battleship is supposed to be a battleship, damnit! If I were interested in AA I would have included the Essex-class CVs in this comparison, too. The bottom line is that a World War II battleship was by necessity a hybrid: it had to be able to deal crushing blows to an enemy capital ship if called upon to do so, but it also had to possess the endurance, seaworthiness, and anti-aircraft firepower necessary to be a useful escort for a fast carrier task force. These weren't easy roles to fulfill, and it took a great ship to perform all of them even moderately well. I think my rating system does at least a decent job of attemping to capture some of those tradeoffs.