Monitors are defined by their disproportionately high firepower compared to
the average mobility and armor and its small size. These are excellent beginner ships, as it simple hull, basic configuration and heavy firepower are easy for new ensigns to modify and adapt. Also, the average armor and mobility is not much of an issue against lower-powered opponents.
A distinguishing feature about these warships is the relatively low free-board, leaving a small portion of its hull exposed. This is the classic monitor design, named after its progenitor, the USS Monitor. However, not all monitors will have such. Royal Navy monitors used in World War I for shore bombardment and the Battleship Capricornus in the BSC world have sea-going hulls.
As these ships typically revolve around sheer firepower, they have armament comparable to heavier battleships, mostly heavy guns. They also may have torpedoes and mines, but these complement the main guns. Antiaircraft and antisubmarine weapons may be found as well. Generally, they are defined by sheer firepower and not by any particular weapon.
Roles and Usage
These are one of the simplest warships available. Since firepower goes pretty far, they could be employed for a variety of work, and can often take the place of a more powerful battleship in a pinch, though not as well as a proper battleship. Their high firepower per ton ratio allows them to challenge small boats easily, and bring down a variety of other vessels.
See Battle Tactics
When fighting in a monitor, utilize the superior firepower to counteract the average mobility and armor. Don't be afraid to get close- you do have firepower after all. However, if the opponent has superior armor and weapons, keep your distance- your relatively small size is an asset. Be mobile- you have no chance of surviving as much damage as you can deliver. Do not engage in drawn-out duels- your average armor and mobility will let you down. Overall, either keep your distance or close the gap quickly.
Overall, this ship is fated with that of battleships. Functionally a small battleship who trades armor and mobility for firepower, they are perhaps useful as beginner ships. While incapable of dealing with a battleship directly even in skilled hands, their powerful guns forces even battleship skippers to take these vessels more seriously than their combat worth. Perhaps their greatest asset is the simple design. A monitor is very capable of being upgraded very easily with heavier weapons compared to battleships, and because of this, they can attain a firepower per ton ratio similar to fast boats. While such as ship may lose out in armor and mobility to more specialized warships, their firepower is hard to ignore.
- The name comes from the USS Monitor, a Civil War turret ship. Today, large river gunboats are known as monitors.
- The U.S. Navy initially specialized on monitors due to their lower cost, specially in armor as the area to be protected is quite small (as compared to the ironclads fielded by the European naval powers). The BSC-made Victorieuse (pictured above) is an outsized/up-gunned replica of the Arkansas-class monitors, the last of the classic monitors commissioned by the USN.