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Monitors are defined by their disproportionately high firepower compared to their average mobility and armor and their small size. These are excellent beginner ships, as the 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 (usually a single layer of 2 x 2 x 1 armored blocks), for gun-laying stability and to make them a smaller target (as only 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 Wars 1 and 2 for shore bombardment and the in-game Battleship Montana have higher free-board hulls for better (but still limited) sea-going capability.

Monitor 1

This view of the USS Monitor during its famous battle with the CSS Virginia clearly shows its low free-board and its advantages of providing gun stability and making her a smaller target.


Armament

These ships typically revolve around sheer firepower, with 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.

Montana pic

Some people consider the in-game Montana as a monitor due to her firepower and lower free-board compared to battleships

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.

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.

Marshal Ney pic

The HMS Marshal Ney used by the Royal Navy for shore bombardment in WW1. Note the massive guns and the small hull (which has a much higher free-board than the traditional monitor).

The Future

Overall, this ship is fated with that of battleships. Functionally a small battleship which 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.

Rândunica v1

Rândunica, inspired by the modern monitors of the Romanian Navy used to patrol the Danube River

Trivia

  • The name comes from the USS Monitor, a Civil War turret ship. Today, monitors are mainly used to patrol large rivers.
  • The U.S. Navy in the late 19th century 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).