I am counting the modern (post Dreadnaught) battleships (BBs)and battlecruisers (BCs) as basically the same. Â Historically, the BCs were a bit faster that the BBs, but more lightly armored. Â Their firepower was about the same (typically 8-12 main guns of 11in-12in caliber, arranged mostly 2 guns per turret). Â Â They would also have secondary guns of 6in-8in, (which would be considered main guns on cruisers) and tertiary guns of 3in-5in. Â Pre-Dreadnaught BBs would typically be slower and have 2 turrets with 1-2 main guns each (still usually 11in-12in), and more reliance on secondary guns for throw weight. Â They also had lighter armor than the modern BBs. Â In theory, they should have been only slightly less effective than modern BBs. Â In practice, combining different calibers made gunnery a bit trickier, since you could not always tell whether a given hit (or splash) was a 12in round or an 8in round. Â So it was harder to adjust fire and get on target. Â All in all, it is probably best to count the pre-DN BBs as being closer to cruisers than battleships.
I’ve inserted a few comments below after each relevant sentence:
I am counting the modern (post Dreadnaught) battleships (BBs)and battlecruisers (BCs) as basically the same. <<
For gaming purposes at A&A’s level of abstraction, that’s probably all right – especially since A&A 1914 only comes with a single type of battleship sculpt. But there were important differences between dreadnought batteships and battlecruisers. Fundamentally, compared with dreadnought battleships, battlecruisers traded away significant armour protection and a certain amount of heavy-gun firepower for a significant increase in speed.
Historically, the BCs were a bit faster that the BBs, but more lightly armored. <<
More or less correct. The figures varied between classes and nations, but BCs were roughly 5 knots faster. Their armour, however, was inadequate by BB standards. A well-designed BB was supposed to have “proportional protection” – meaning armour capable of standing up to fire from an enemy ship with guns of equal caliber to the ones which the BB itself carried. BCs, by contrast, were in the “eggshells armed with hammers”, or boxers with glass jaws to use a sports analogy. Most could stand up to heavy cruisers, but not to battleships – as was spectacularly demonstrated at the Battle of Jutland, where (as I recall) three British BCs were blown sky-high. The most extreme BCs were so lightly armoured that the best they could stand up to was a light cruiser.
Their firepower was about the same (typically 8-12 main guns of 11in-12in caliber, arranged mostly 2 guns per turret). <<
BCs typically had fewer main gun turrets that BBs. Like their reduced armour, this was designed to save weight and thus yield higher speed.
They would also have secondary guns of 6in-8in, (which would be considered main guns on cruisers) and tertiary guns of 3in-5in. <<
The “dreadnought” concept (both of the BB andf BC type) refers to the design principle of an “all big gun” warship which carries no intermediate calibers. Its main offersive armament would consist of heavy guns (11-inch and upward, and more generally 12-inch and upward), carried in as large numbers as possible. It would also carry a defensive “anti-torpedo boat” armement of relatively light, rapid-fire guns, roughly in the 5-inch range. In principle, dreadnoughts carried nothing in between those two sets of guns. Perhaps there were exceptions in WWI, but in WWII there were no BBs as far as know which carried 6-inch or 8-inch guns, the calibers which were used to define ligh and heavy cruisers.
Pre-Dreadnaught BBs would typically be slower <<
Pre-dreadnoughts were a lot slower than dreadnought BBs because they still used triple-expansion steam engines. One of the crucial innovations of the original HMS Dreadnought was the application of steam turbine technology to major combat vessels.
and have 2 turrets with 1-2 main guns each (still usually 11in-12in), and more reliance on secondary guns for throw weight. <<
The standard configuration was 2 x 2 heavy guns plus some intermediate-caliber guns.
They also had lighter armor than the modern BBs. <<
In theory, they should have been only slightly less effective than modern BBs. <<
Hardly. Dreadnoughts were designed in recognition of the fact that the best way to sink an enemy battleship was to bring down upon it the maximum number of heavy shells in the shortest time possible, at long range, without wasting time on intermediate-sized shelling from intermediate range. That’s why they traded all of their intermediate guns for the ability to carry two or three times as many heavy guns as pre-dreadnoughts. Moreover, turbine-powered dreadnought BBs were faster than pre-dreadnought BBs, which allowed them to dictate the range at which a battle would be fought. A dreadnought could therefore stay completely out of range of a pre-dreadnought’s intermediate-caliber guns, and slug it out purely with its heavy guns – conditions under which a ship carrying 10 or 12 such guns would demolish a ship carrying only 4 of them.