November 08, 2019

Rule The Waves 2 Game 1 - April 1914

Gentlemen,

The year since the end of our latest war with Italy has been an exciting one. We have commissioned Lille, widely recognized as the most powerful warship afloat. We have laid down a trio of CLs and 10 DDs, giving us the largest and most modern force of that type afloat. Our researchers and agents have brought us a bounty of technology, ranging from engines to guns to armor. A recent clash with the US in the Caribbean has lead to an increase in our budget, and we have begun an aviation program, with an airship base in Norway and the fitting of a few ships to carry scouting planes.

But it has also brought challenges. The recent victories of the Liberals in Britain have resulted in the RN's budget being slashed to the point that the German fleet might overtake them soon, and our nation has been unable to keep up. Our diplomats assure us that the situation with the US can be managed, but that does pose another risk to our interests. The first of the new destroyers will commission in four months, opening the way for continued capital ship construction. A number of sketch designs have been prepared for your consideration.


Our current fleet

Ships under construction or conversion

We have a number of options for construction going forward. Most are close evolutions of existing designs, with the exception of the CA, which is intended as a cheaper BC alternative for hunting down raiders and the like.


A maximum-size 28 kt BC

A long-range BC that sacrifices firepower

An 8-gun BC with minimum size

A variant of BC-14-I with the secondary guns in individual turrets

A 12-gun BB

A 16-gun BB that sacrifices considerable armor

A long-range CL with aviation facilities

A medium-range CL

An anti-raider CA

April 1913

CL D'Assas and DD Gabion commission. BC Lille is to be fitted with directors, causing a 1-month delay. Breakthroughs: Superheater, improved weight control. US commissions BC, CA. Design work begins on CL Cassard (Pascal with better machinery).

May 1913

BB Caiman finishes her reconstruction. Breakthroughs: Improved AP penetrator alloys, Improved signalling. CL Cassard laid down. AH commissions BB, BC. US lays down BC. Design work begins on DD Spahi (Lansquenet with better machinery). Rebuild of BB Charles Martel begins.

June 1913

CA Bruix finishes reconstruction. Our spies steal the latest plans for improved German 8" guns (quality 0). Breakthrough: Wet heater engine. The Japanese have stolen Explosive Shell technology from us, and under pressure from the press we send them a nasty note about it. 4 DD of Spahi class laid down. AH lays down 6 DD, 1 BC. Germany commissions BB, UK a CL. CL Isly begins reconstruction.

July 1913

BC Lille commissions, BB Devastation and BC Tourville finish reconstruction. Some Austro-Hungarian dignitaries get into trouble on one of our ships, which we use to embarrass them. Japan continues to spy on us, and we send them another note. AH lays down 4 DD, US 1 BB. We lay down 6 more Spahis, and two more KE minesweepers. BC Dunkerque begins refit.

August 1913

We find ourselves in a colonial crisis with the Americans. We advise a middle ground, strengthening the Navy but not unduly inflaming tensions with the Yankees. Germany commissions BB, AH lays down DD. 2 Cassard class CLs laid down. BB Brennus begins refit.

September 1913

BB Charles Martel and CL Isly finish reconstruction. We buy Small tube boilers II from the US. Breakthrough: Improved armor bracing. Germany and AH lay down CLs. CL Alger begins reconstruction.

October 1913

Private shipbuilding expands, increasing our docks by 1000 tons. Breakthroughs: Target designator, High capacity pumps I. Germany lays down BB, AH lays down DD. BC Duquesne begins reconstruction.

November 1913

BC Dunkerque finishes reconstruction. We discover and denounce an Italian spy. UK commissions a BC.

December 1913

Private shipbuilding expands, increasing our docks by 500 tons. BB Brennus finishes reconstruction. AH lays down 2 DD, UK 1 BC. Italy commissions 1 BB, Japan a BC. We begin to see the first scrappings of game start ships. CA Sully begins reconstruction.

January 1914

Private shipbuilding expands, increasing our docks by 500 tons again. CL Alger finishes reconstruction. We are offered a floatplane scout by the Liore et Oliver company, and decide to buy a few for trials. AH lays down 2 DD. US and Japan each commission 1 CL. Widespread scrappings of obsolete ships. We begin building an airship base at Stavanger, Norway.

February 1914

Oil is discovered in Hati. BC Duquesne finishes reconstruction. 2 DDs commission. Breakthrough: Internal torpedo stowage. Germany lays down BC, UK and US commission CLs. We initiate a competition for a flying boat, even though we don't currently have any operational patrol units.

March 1914

New docks completed. CA Sully finishes reconstruction. We steal improved 6" guns (+1) from Austria. Breakthrough: Hydrostatic pistols. Better 11" guns (0) researched. US lays down CL, UK commissions CL. B Solferino and all three Jeanne d'Arc class CAs begin reconstruction. The CAs are each to be equipped with one of the new floatplanes.


November 1914

Gentlemen,

We face many perils. The recent assassination of our Minister of Finance by Italian anarchists has plunged us into war again. But tensions with Germany remain very high, and our diplomacy must steer a careful path to avoid a war with both nations at once. We can easily crush the Italian fleet, as our advantage over them has only grown, but Germany is a much more formidable threat.

There are some bright spots, however. Our alliance with Britain holds firm, while we have recently laid down two new battlecruisers that are a revolutionary step past even the Rouens. Our aviation program shows great promise, and we should reconsider our research priorities in light of new fields that have recently opened up.


Our current fleet

Ships under construction

The aircraft we have in inventory and under development

The design of BC Nancy as laid down

April 1914

1 KE commissions. We send a battleship to evacuate our nationals during an uprising in an African country. Breakthrough: All or Nothing armor. New research area discovered: Shipboard aircraft operations. UK lays down 2 CL. Japan commissions 2 CL.

May 1914

BC Nancy starts design. We complete our airship base in Norway. Our spies steal plans for Japanese BC Kongo. Breakthrough: Improved airship tail design. New research: Naval aviation, heavier than air. UK, Japan lay down BC.

June 1914

Private shipbuilding expands our docks by 1000 tons. CL Pascal commissions, but is found to have trouble making her design speed. 1 KE commissions. UK, US lay down BBs. AH commissions 4 DD. CL Friant begins rebuild, although due to a paperwork error, she ends up regunned instead of otherwise modernized.

July 1914

B Solferino and the Jeanne d'Arc class CAs finish their reconstruction. 2 DDs commission. The Panama Canal opens. We buy Fleet tactics - Destroyer screen from the British. Our new floatplane scout, the LeO.40, is ready for operational service. Italy lays down a CL, Japan and US BBs. AH commissions 5 DD.

August 1914

Improvements in productivity boost our industrial production. 4 DD commission. We join the steel industry in lobbying for a stronger navy. Breakthrough: 12 ft rangefinder. BCs Nancy and Nantes laid down. Italy lays down CL, US a BB. Germany commissions BC, AH a DD, Italy a CL.

September 1914

We still have budget after laying down the two Nancys, so 2 SSCs are started, and design work begins on DD Bouclier, a mild improvement to the Spahi, and CL Destrees, an improved Cassard. 4 DD commission. Breakthrough: Improved fuzes. Germany has apparently stolen technology from us in ship design, and we send a diplomatic note. We select the Dewoitine D.41 for our new flying boat. Germany and Italy lay down KEs, while Japan and the US lay down BBs. AH commissions DD.

October 1914

CL Destrees is laid down, along with 4 of the new Bouclier class DDs. We get offered a second Destrees at a 10% discount, and take the offer. Italian-backed anarchists assassinate an important official, and we issue an ultimatum. Breakthrough: Triple torpedo tube mount. Germany lays down 2 KE, Italy lays down 2 KE, 1 BC. Germany, AH, US and Japan commission CLs, UK a BC. War breaks out between France and Italy.

Convoy defense off Tunisia. A force of 2 BB, 3 B and 3 CA protects a convoy, although dusk conceals us from the eyes of the enemy. Marginal victory, 588 VP for us, 0 for them.

Comments

  1. November 08, 2019Gareth (OG) said...

    I love that first BC design. Slightly under-armored maybe for the long haul, but with 28 knots should be relevant for decades and can maybe escort carriers in the future?

    Also probably a good idea to start a few of the CAs to start modernizing that portion of our fleet.

  2. November 08, 2019bean said...

    Yeah, I was surprised how well that one turned out. It should still be a tough customer 20 years from now, which can't really be said of a lot of the ships I'm seeing when I peruse the almanac.

  3. November 08, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Agreed on liking BC-14-I. I'll admit to being tempted by BB-14-II, especially with all the 12"-armed Irresistibles out there, but I don't think it will age well.

    I notice we have technology for turreted secondaries. Is that worth doing yet? It might be worth some reduction in the number of secondary guns, especially if we end up fighting in rougher seas than the Mediterranean.

  4. November 08, 2019bean said...

    The problem is that we don't have the tech which lets us get full ROF out of our secondaries, although I forget how big the penalty is right now. I can do a version with twin turrets to see how big it is, though.

    And I'm definitely with you on BB-14-II not aging well. Mostly made that one because I wanted a design with more guns than Agincourt.

  5. November 08, 2019bean said...

    I tried it out, and discovered that the ROF penalty for secondary turrets is still -40%. Which is a lot. I vote we keep the casemates for now. We can refit secondaries later.

  6. November 09, 2019Alsadius said...

    Can't you use single secondary turrets to avoid the ROF penalty? They're heavier than doubles, but they're more versatile than casemates. (On top of the broader fire arcs, they can easily be upgraded to DP guns in future years to deal with planes, while casemates are hugely expensive to turn into DP mounts)

  7. November 09, 2019bean said...

    That costs 20% in ROF terms, which isn’t terrible. The problem is that we’ve got 6″ secondaries, which don’t get a DP mode for a long time. We’ll probably have to refit anyway, but it might be cheaper.

    But that design is up as BC-14-IV

  8. November 09, 2019Protagoras said...

    Would it be any easier to replace single turrets with multi-gun turrets that have smaller guns than to replace casemates with turrets? If so, that's still an argument for the single turrets from the point of view of adding AA capacity in the future when we need it. Anyway, I also like BC-14-I, or BC-14-IV, whichever, depending on where we ultimately come down on turrets vs. casemates.

  9. November 09, 2019Alexander said...

    I don't know enough to have a strong opinion on which of I and IV is best, but I'd lay down two as soon as we can, and save the CAs until the Rouens and Cassards are done. Even then I might prefer more capital ships that can face down German Irresistibles. If there was more info about the fleets of the other powers that'd be interesting, since I'm curious about the balance in the north sea. It doesn't look like the Italians and Austrians are tying up many of our capital ships in the Med. Are pretty much all the CAs currently in service around a decade or more old? Or do we want some of our own to prevent our CLs being chased down? Who controls Haiti?

  10. November 09, 2019bean said...

    I don't have a great grasp of the refit model. I've replaced casemated 6" guns with DP twins several times in other games, and it never struck me as hideously overpriced. All of our CAs are at least 10 years old, but nobody is building many these days. And Haiti is independent. Sadly, we don't have a good way of taking it over.

  11. November 09, 2019Alexander said...

    Ah, sorry, I ment the CAs in other fleets. I suppose it probably wouldn't play well with public opinion, particularly in the US, to conquer Haiti, after how we ran it when we last had it.

  12. November 10, 2019Evil4Zerggin said...

    A shame about Haiti, some oil-fired boilers would be real tasty about now.


    In the past I've had superimposed V turret become available for CAs before the proper superimposed CA turret tech, but I don't know if the rules have changed since then. Is this available here, and if so, what would a CA with a third quad turret look like?

  13. November 10, 2019bean said...

    The median year for the last CA seems to be 1907. And yeah, I'd like to start oil firing, too.

    V turret is always available, probably as a result of a glitch, which is why I haven't made much use of it. I fitted CA-14-I with it, and got 14,000 tons. Using a non-superfiring turret makes only about 30 tons difference.

  14. November 10, 2019Alexander said...

    If the last CAs were built around the same time as our Duquesnes I'm not too worried about them. We might still build some of our own as cruiser killers, but it definitely doesn't sound like an area where we're falling behind our enemies.

    Are our Devastations and Bouvets still superior to other BBs, or have Germany (or anyone else really) launched ships that match or exceed their strength?

  15. November 10, 2019bean said...

    Germany definitely hasn't. There are a few ships out there that I'd put on the same level, but nothing definitely superior.

  16. November 10, 2019bean said...

    Also, I came up with an interesting way to use the remaining Sfaxes. CLs can carry up to four floatplanes. Any more, and the ship becomes an AV, which we can build yet. But an Sfax stripped down to 1 6″ gun and torpedo tubes can carry 5 flotaplanes with a very reasonable overweight (well, more reasonable than they are now) so once we get AVs (hopefully soon) that might be a good way to use them.

  17. November 10, 2019Alexander said...

    Good news about the BBs. Maybe once the Rouens are finished we can do some more refits. Even if we can't manage to fit five aircraft on board four isn't bad.

  18. November 10, 2019bean said...

    If we want to do light refits, now is the time. We've got 4 months (standard refit time) before we lay down the new BC. The reason I'm not pushing for the 4-plane conversion is that the game will have no idea how to use the resulting ships, and there's only so much that can be done to make it use them well.

  19. November 11, 2019Alexander said...

    How does the game classify ships? Is it just by hull symbol (e.g. BB, BC, CL etc), or does age/displacement factor into it? Because grouping the Duquesnes and Lille together, or the Sfaxes and DuChaylas, and treating them as substitutes is not the ideal way to operate. We can assign ships to different areas of operations, and I think also trade protection. What other options do we have to make sure that light cruisers focusing on aircraft or mines are used as intended?

  20. November 11, 2019bean said...

    It seems to just treat all ships of a given hull symbol the same. This became much more obvious during the last war, when the converted Sfaxes kept ending up in combat. I can't blame the game, although I wish it had better controls for that sort of thing. (There are lots of things I don't like about the AI, and this isn't at the top of the list.) I'm not sure we can do anything about the Sfax minelayers, beyond reassigning them to trade protection duty.

  21. November 11, 2019Alexander said...

    How does it treat BBs and BCs differently, and what is the dividing line between the two? Might our modern battlecruisers end up being kept out of a fleet battle because the game thinks they are the equivalent of the smaller vessels the Germans have built, rather than the predecessors to the mighty Hood?

  22. November 11, 2019bean said...

    The dividing line varies by year, but BCs are faster, and IIRC can't have belts over 12" thick. BCs often are in fleet battles as a fast wing, much as CAs have been in existing battles. And if that happens, I can usually command them to follow the lead battle division as part of the line. Or use them independently, like I did at Isle du Levant. Hopefully we get the Rouens before the next war, and I can exile the Duquesnes to trade protection or other theaters.

  23. November 11, 2019Alexander said...

    That's good to hear. How would we ideally use minelayers and floatplane tenders? I imagine you would prefer minelayers to avoid all battles, but a ligh cruiser that carries aircraft would actually be pretty handy in most situations, so long as it doesn't find itself in close contact with the enemy, and there are some better armed ships available to do the actual fighting.

  24. November 11, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    A few more questions about turreted secondaries: a) Do we know if the tech that removes their RoF penalty applies retroactively to old builds? b) How important is the disadvantage of casemates in rough seas? More important against Germany than against Italy, to be sure, but I have no feel for what proportion of engagements this applies to. Also, per secondaries Part I, bad weather is when you need the secondary battery most.

  25. November 11, 2019bean said...

    Ideally, minelayers wouldn't participate in fleet actions. The CL(AV)s would be in fleet actions, but they should be handled as AVs, not as CLs. My fear of doing the conversion now is that the BCs would end up with an absurdly lightly-armed, 21-kt "CL" as part of their screen, which just isn't helpful.

    @ADA

    I believe it does apply retroactively, and I'm not sure about casemates. As for rough seas, old-timey destroyers don't do well in them either, and our DDs are much larger and more seaworthy than their German opponents. I don't think they have any DDs over 600 tons.

  26. November 12, 2019Alexander said...

    Okay, so if we wait before converting the Sfaxes, are there any old destroyers worth rebuilding, possibly into minesweepers or subchasers? Maybe Friant or some of the Dupetit-Thouars should have aircraft? Or refit the Tridents with directors? We ought to be able to find a few good options for the 4 month window before the BCs are started. If we lay down two big BCs (my preference) we won't be able to afford much else until the first Cassard is done, so we'd better use that time well.

  27. November 12, 2019bean said...

    We can’t really do subchaser conversions, because we don’t have the tech yet. Should come in the next 3 years or so. Only the Obusier has enough weight to support the DMS conversion. Friant will get aircraft, and I just remembered that there’s a way to start her conversion now instead of waiting until Isly is out in SEA. The Dupetit-Thouars are 200 tons overweight, which is why I haven’t converted them. But they'll be perfect for getting a flat top in a few years. Trident is badly handicapped by terrible guns.

  28. November 12, 2019bean said...

    Right. Formal plan for next play session, starting tomorrow:

    1. Begin Friant refit immediately. She'll get a plane, mines, and better fire control.

    2. Start research on BC-14-IV.

    3. Lay down two BCs when the design completes. Put ships into reserve if necessary to keep the budget in some semblance of balance.

    4. When the Spahis commission, scrap the unmodernized Durandals. There isn't enough excess weight to get any real use out of them. The 600-tonners will replace them in reserve, but they'll be held for modernization as escorts or maybe minesweepers.

    That's really it. If I have extra budget, I'll probably use it on destroyers or KEs.

  29. November 12, 2019Alexander said...

    All sounds good!

  30. November 13, 2019Gareth (OG) said...

    Looks good to me

  31. November 13, 2019bean said...

    Well that was weird. We were on the cusp of war with Germany when Italian-backed anarchists assassinated one of our officials. Guess who we're beating up on again?

  32. November 14, 2019Alexander said...

    Not even the Mafia can save Sicily this time! (let's hope)

  33. November 14, 2019bean said...

    I'm not sure we want Sicily. Between the Mafia and the fact that we're still on the cusp of war with Germany, we should probably wrap this up quickly, take our cash, and go.

  34. November 14, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Can't believe Italy is at it again. If we didn't have bigger fish to fry I'd say they need a regime change. As it stands, I agree with trying to wrap things up with a minimum of casualties (and hopefully some practice for our crews).

  35. November 15, 2019bean said...

    November 1914 is up.

  36. November 15, 2019Alexander said...

    Uh, 1914, important official assassinated, ultimatum issued, war declared - I'm sure this will work out fine...

  37. November 15, 2019DuskStar said...

    "Nancy" is really not a name I would have expected for a French BC...

  38. November 15, 2019Alexander said...

    @DuskStar it kind of fits with Lille and Rouen - I guess our BCs are named for cities now. Actually I think we had a Marseille that was torpedoed, so it was just the Duquesnes that were named for admirals.

    What I want to know, is how Germany and France have the world's largest naval budgets, above Britain and the USA?

  39. November 15, 2019bean said...

    Actually, the third Duquesne was Dunkerque, which is also a town.

  40. November 16, 2019Alexander said...

    So it is. Which is interesting, because there clearly is some sort of theme naming going on elsewhere. Why change the pattern, especially part way through a class? Also, what happened to Friant? That kind of mistake seems very avoidable.

  41. November 16, 2019bean said...

    Friant was my mistake. At some point, I did an FC/mine/aircraft refit design for Friant, and apparently later did a design to see how much it would cost to upgrade from 6"/0 guns to 6"/+1 guns. Guess which one got saved? A couple days later, when I was actually playing, I just ordered the saved refit without looking at the numbers (which were really different) and so we got this. And cancelling it would have scrapped Friant, which I obviously didn't want.

  42. November 16, 2019Alexander said...

    Okay, I was thinking it was something that the game had done, akin to a ship not reaching its design speed or similar. Not the worst thing that could have happened really.

    Looking at Kongo I might prefer not to invest in CAs. There are probably quite a few BCs about that would be well advised to avoid our capital ships, but would savage any cruiser. That being the case, 7-8,000 ton LCs would probably be more economical, at least until those early BCs are nearer retirement (or we sink a few).

    Research wise, I'm pretty happy with the current areas of focus, thought we might deprioritise airships if we expect heavier than air aviation to be able to handle all our scouting needs soon. I would also be open to spending less on light forces (since our new destroyers are fairly good) and look at investing in better shells.

  43. November 17, 2019bean said...

    Nope, just my mistake. When that sort of thing happens, I'll often invent some excuse for it.

    The one big early tech in light forces we don't have is above-water tubes for the CLs. I had that on high primarily to get something better than 700 ton destroyers with single tubes, which we now have. I could even do a design with one of the centerline twin tubes changed to a triple, at a cost in mines.

    In unrelated news, I just started a new RTW2 game as the US, and ended up in an early war with Russia. It was as low-key as you'd expect, but when it ended, I somehow had 10 points worth of territory to take. As a result, I'm now the proud owner of Finland.

  44. November 17, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    I don't suppose the game mentioned the name of our late finance minister? Between our budget increases under his tenure and his death at the hands of the enemy, he might deserve a namesake ship.

  45. November 17, 2019bean said...

    It did not. I arbitrarily decided it was the Finance Minister. Game just said "official".

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