August 05, 2019

Rule the Waves 2 Game 1 - April 1905


We are at a crucial juncture. Not in the war against Austria, which continues to go well with their recent defeats at Sirte and at the Second Battle of Sibenik. But in ship design. We have recently developed the technology to mount three turrets on the centerline of a ship, opening the way for us to reduce in importance the secondary batteries of our ships. Exactly what form these ships will take is still an open question, however.

An Editorial from Le Figaro:

Why do the Austrians continue their hopeless struggle? Repeatedly, we have smashed their fleet. At Second Sirte alone, we sank 10 ships. And yet, they have only offered peace deals that leave them in control of Norway. They cannot continue this forever. Our blockade will strangle them sooner, rather than later, and France will never be short of sailors to man our ships and send their fleet to the bottom. Soon, our current ships will be joined by new vessels that will be the envy of the world. Then Austria will have no choice but to capitulate, and we can face the real threat, that of Germany.

Ships currently under construction

Our current fleet

Our submarine force

An Editorial from Le Temps:

While no true Frenchman can fail to welcome the recent victories over the Austrians, the conduct of the war so far leaves many unanswered questions. Why is our fleet standing bravely between the Austro-Hungarian Navy and the Royal Navy? The English have the largest Navy in the world, and yet they have not seen fit to deploy it, even to guard Gibraltar. Our greatest losses in this war, two cruisers, were both lost off our Atlantic coast. We cannot accept this from our nominal allies. We will fight their war, and they will probably insist that Norway be made their protectorate at the end of it all. Will our government have the courage to resist?

Austrian ships sunk

Our current research allocations


Enemy dominates the seas around Senegal, Middle Congo, -80 VP. 15" gun (-1 quality) researched. 5 ships sunk by raiders. AH is building a coastal battery. UK laid down a BB, and apparently all-big-gun ships will be known as "irresistibles" in this universe. Italy lays down a CL. Japan increase naval budget, orders a CA from an Austrian yard. AH commissions AMC, 3 KE. UK commissions KE, US a DD. 210 VP for blockade of the enemy.

Convoy defense action off Corsica. 3 of our Bs and two from the UK are covering a convoy, along with three CA and various light units. Unfortunately, our initial course takes out of position, but we manage to get between them and the convoy before they can do any mischief. Their force has three B and 3 CA, so we attack. We close range, and manage to disable one of their CLs. Unfortunately, we don't have a speed advantage over them, and are unable to lame any of their bigger ships before darkness falls and we lose contact.

One of the ships in the convoy was heavily damaged, but they all survived, giving us a major victory. +1 Prestige, 1371 VP for us, 52 for them.


10 ships sunk by raiders. Research priorities are changed to emphasize shells, ship design. AH is building several coastal batteries. Italy now has 13" guns. The rest of the messages were lost when I had to reload the game to clear an error.

The Austrians find another one of our convoys, this one in the central Mediterranean, in the darkness. This promises to be a messy situation, as their destroyers are almost mixed in with the convoy. Our battleships manage to break free from their destroyers and find their two battleships, then set about trying to engage them. Rudder damage forces one to circle, and we pounce, pouring shellfire into it. It finally is brought to a halt, and torpedoed three times before it sinks. Dawn breaks, and we find the convoy stalked by destroyers, who quickly scatter.

The end is an overwhelming victory, known as the Battle of Sirte. +1 Prestige, 2607 VP for us, 301 for them.


B Trident finishes reconstruction. 3 DD commissioned. 14 merchant ships sunk by raiders. Italy and the US lay down CLs. Steel shortages delay one of our BCs. 2 KEs finish working up. AH commissions AMC, US commissions 2 KE. 250 VP for blockade.

Coastal raid on western France. Our CAs spend most of the time in the dark, groping for their ships, which we don't find. They sink a single merchantman. Overall, a minor victory for us, 198 VP to 94 VP.


4 submarines and DD Massue commission. The Army is asking for more resources, but we argue that we can win the war. (Practically speaking, our operations are doing a lot more good than theirs are likely to.) Breakthrough: Basic weight control. 9 merchant ships sunk by raiders. Germany, US and AH lay down Bs. Germany commissions a KE. 240 VP from blockade.

Somehow, they find yet another convoy. This one is escorted only by a pair of CLs and some destroyers. We avoid contact, which ends up handing us a major victory thanks to the survival of all merchant ships. 826 VP for us, 0 for them.


4 submarines laid down. Breakthrough: Gyroscope. 13 merchant ships sunk by raiders, 1 by submarine. Germany is building a 9" battery, AH is building 10" and 11" batteries. US laid down CA. Germany commissions B, CA, KE. Italy commissions KE, Japan commissions 2 B, US 1 B 2 DD. 250 VP for blockade.

Attempted cruiser action in the Adriatic, but both forces miss each other, and nothing happens. 0 VP for either side.


DD Stylet commissions. Austria attempts to get a treaty and fails. 3 DD finished working up. 11 ships sunk by raiders. UK laid down 1 BB, Germany 2 DD, Japan 1 CA. 250 VP for blockade.

Major fleet battle in the Adriatic. Their CAs blundered into our fleet before they turned north to run to their base at Cattaro. We did some damage, but didn't manage to sink anything other than a destroyer before they entered port. On the way out, we run into three KEs, two of which we sunk.


The Army offensive is halted in a bloody stalemate, and the enemy gains 100 VP. (This is why I don't give resources to the Army. There isn't enough VP in the balance to make it worthwhile.) 2 destroyers commission. Breakthrough: Improved turret design. Austrian CA raider interned at neutral port for lack of fuel. 17 ships sunk by raiders. Germany and Austria-Hungary are investing in coastal batteries. Germany also lays down a DD. UK commissions a CL and a DD, US a CA. 230 VP for blockade. Delays effect two BCs, but one DD is going to be ready a month early.

Raid on enemy coastal shipping. Core force of 3 of our CAs and two from the UK are in the Adriatic. They encounter 3 enemy CAs. As usual, they turn to run for home, but in this case, they do a bad job of racing for Sibenik, and we end up driving them off. In the run north, four destroyers are sunk. The battle degenerates into a melee, with our superior firepower showing clearly. One of their CAs makes it into Sibenik, but the other two are pounded hard. One is lamed early on, then torpedoed and sunk. The other tries to make a break, but is blocked, even colliding with one of our CAs in the process. She too is eventually brought to heel. After taking several torpedoes, she goes down, and we withdraw. On the way out, we encounter two merchantmen, run them down and sink them.

The final toll? We suffered no more than medium damage to a couple ships, while they lost two CAs, six DDs and 2 merchant ships. The Second Battle of Sibenik was a major victory, +1 Prestige. 3190 VP for us, 425 for them.


Development begins on a new destroyer. It's a variant of the Obusier, with an extra pair of 2" guns. We buy quality 1 3" guns from the British, allowing us to improve the firepower of our destroyers. Breakthroughs: Quality control, 3 centerline turrets. 8 merchant ships sunk by raiders. Germany lays down a B and a DD, AH lays down a CA. US lays down a BC. AH commissions 2 CA, Germany 1 CA, Italy 1 CL and 1 KE. 210 VP for blockade.

Enemy coastal raid on western France. 2 CLs encounter a pair of enemy CAs, and decide that it's probably better not to try to fight them. However, they encounter a trio of AI-controlled CAs (of ours) and manage to rope them into the action. The CLs then flee, as they're both damaged and on the small side for our CLs. One of them sinks despite this, the only loss of the battle. But it's an Sfax, which are generally terrible, so I don't mind too much. Minor defeat, 730 VP for them, 301 VP for us.

The rapid pace of technological development has left us in need of new ship designs, too. We've prepared sketches of new Irresistible-type battleships, battlecruisers, and destroyers, as recent weight savings in that type have let us open up new frontiers in design.

A fairly straightforward new design with 14" guns

At a cost in secondary armament and secondary armor, BB-05-I has been redesigned with 15" guns

An attempt at a minimum 14" BB, sacrificing secondary armament and speed to reduce cost

A scaled-up version of the Solfierno with an extra turret

A development of the current BCs, with an extra turret and more belt armor

An alternative BC scaled from the battleship designs

A minimum BC, with 12" guns

A long-range version of the minimum BC

BC-05-V.png|A BC design focused on speed, with armor based on the current BC design. 26 kts is possible with the loss of a turret.

A straightforward development of the current DDs, with an extra pair of 2" guns

This design replaces the 2" guns with 3" wing guns. Unfortunately, this is going to crowd the ship, hindering ROF and accuracy even more than usual.

All of our DDs to date have had crowded centerlines, which has reduced ROF by 20% and hindered accuracy. DD-05-III fixes this problem, while not reducing the torpedo broadside. In theory, it has as much firepower as DD-05-II because of how much faster it fires.

This design has 4" guns that can fire at full rate, although it loses out in torpedo broadside.

I expect to be extremely busy over the next weekend, and on vacation the week after that, so there will almost certainly not be a game update next week, and we might miss two weeks. Sorry.


  1. August 05, 2019beleester said...

    I like BB-05-II. I want those big guns.

    I'm ambivalent on the BC's - they have the same main guns and the same speed, the main difference seems to be the layout of their armor. The II variant has a little more belt, a little less extended belt, a little less secondary/turret armor.

    I don't think there's a reason to pursue the minimum BB's and BC's - we can afford the big ones and we may as well make something future-proof.

    I'm really not sure on our DD's (they haven't been mentioned much in the battle reports), but I'm leaning towards the I or IV variant. I think our torpedoes aren't really a priority right now but I'm not sure which of the two would have more firepower in practice.

  2. August 05, 2019bean said...

    The secondary guns of our battle fleet have been working exceptionally well of late, while torpedoes haven't been a big deal in this war, except for finishing off crippled ships. "We don't need more destroyers right now" would be a very reasonable attitude to have based on experience to date. But I was fiddling with new designs, and came up with a bunch that all work reasonably well.

    Re BCs, I probably should have been a bit wilder with my choices. For instance, what would it cost to get 24 or 25 kts? I might do more sketches when I get home. That said, it would also be reasonable to say "we have four BCs under construction, let's focus on BBs for a while."

  3. August 05, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    “we have four BCs under construction, let’s focus on BBs for a while” was going to be my line. Maybe we'll take another look at BCs when steam turbines show up, which shouldn't be too long. For now, my vote is also for the big guns of BB-05-II.

    Also, I see there's still no unrest, but those "merchants sunk" numbers are starting to worry me a bit. I suggest we assign some or all of the remaining Sfaxen to trade protection duty, as they seem to be of questionable fitness for fleet duty.

  4. August 05, 2019bean said...

    Good idea for using the Sfaxes. Maybe we should look at our CL force again. I like the ones we're building, but they're kind of expensive. On the other hand, we should probably wait until we have steam turbines before we do too much there.

  5. August 05, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Conclusion of an editorial in socialist newspaper L'Humanité:

    The latest war lays bare once and for all the farce of international conflict. In the past, the schemes of international capital have generally taken care to maintain the fiction that it is the competing interests of nations, rather than of classes, that brings about war. But this time they have been careless, and finally none can deny the true causes of events.

    Consider what the capitalists would have us believe. We are supposed to accept that Austria-Hungary decided to annex a Scandinavian country--that France and England combined could not prevent them--that Austria-Hungary chose to face an alliance of those powers in war--that France continually wins battles at sea, (with England scarcely involved), yet the occupation of Norway cannot be dislodged--and that, despite these losses and the privations of an ongoing blockade, the government of Austria-Hungary considers in their nation's best interest to continue fighting rather than forfeit their doomed acquisition. Even those accustomed to seeing the world as the forces of capital world have them see it, will be forced to conclude this story is utter nonsense.

    When one instead interprets these events as coordinated manipulation by international capital to further its own interest at the expense if the working class, there is of course a perfectly logical explanation... (continued inside)

  6. August 05, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    (Beginning, not conclusion--I changed my mind about where to put the elided "logical explanation")

  7. August 05, 2019bean said...

    Brilliant. That makes a lot more sense than anything else which has happened so far.

    In character, I suspect that France more or less said "we can handle this in the Med", and the British went "OK, we'll stay here and make sure Germany doesn't get involved." And they've provided CAs on a couple of occasions which have helped a lot.

  8. August 05, 2019bean said...

    I've added BC-05-V, which is a 24-kt version of the Marseilles, with an extra turret. Speed is incredibly expensive right now. Turbines should help with this. Maybe we should focus on machinery more.

  9. August 05, 2019Alexander said...

    I quite like BC-05-II. I know we're already building battlecruisers, where as we are behind in battleships, but II seems pretty competitive with the battleships, especially if we're okay sticking with 14" guns. On those lines, maybe we should cut investment into larger guns, since 15" was a respectable armament until the end of the battleship era (though I suppose that might be partly due to arms control treaties that we can't count on). Would that risk leaving us behind in gun quality? I've not got much of a preference about the destroyers, but III sounds appealingly efficient. Should we be thinking about bigger docks again?

  10. August 05, 2019beleester said...

    According to my googling, -1 gun quality is more or less equal to -1 caliber, so the 15-inch BB is effectively armed with 14-inchers of quality 0. Which is still pretty big for this era, so I wouldn't oppose switching the priority to something else.

  11. August 05, 2019bean said...

    We should definitely be building bigger docks. That's almost a given at this point, because we're butting up against the tonnage limit. Gun research includes better-quality versions, and the fact that we've only unlocked the next two sizes up, instead of a +0 or +1 version of something is really weird.

  12. August 05, 2019David W said...

    An article from Le Vieux Cordelier, 1905:

    The gentlemen of Le Temps and Le Figaro both are sadly confused in their priorities. They look at battles and see only steel, gaze at war and see only francs. The true spirit of our times can be, indeed must be, seen through the words of Danton: "de l'audace, encore de l'audace, et toujours de l'audace." The fighting spirit of the Republic and of France is with our navy! When we advance, we are victorious! When we retreat, ignoble shame and defeat.

    Our new ships, the Duquesne class, exemplify that spirit. Firepower and speed will lead us to victory without fail!

  13. August 06, 2019Alexander said...

    If we invest in better machinery, and maybe more streamlined hull forms, we ought to be able to fit more armour and bigger guns on 21,000 ton hulls while maintaining speed. Quite a few battles seem to end with the enemy retreating into port, so making that harder for them (and easier for us) by maintaining an edge in speed would be nice. Irresistables are going to be fast, and while 23 knots will be costly for our Duquesnes (I shouldn't say that before they've had their speed trials, should I?) they'll be able to keep up with the fleet in future and hunt down the many outdated battleships that will be a significant part of our opponents fleets for years to come. Let's not focus on getting 15" just yet.

  14. August 06, 2019Evil4Zerggin said...

    Ugh, still no heavy guns of better than -1 quality. While a 15-inch gun of quality -1 may perform roughly as well as a 14-inch gun of quality 0, the trouble is that the 15-inch is considerably bulkier and more expensive. Especially given that we are lagging on dock size, I think we should continue to prioritize gun development, as this would allow us to put more firepower on the same displacement.

    I don't suppose our cruiser weapons are in any better shape?

  15. August 06, 2019bean said...

    Nope. We bought 3" +1 from the British, and developed -1 14" and 15". Nothing else. I'm as confused as you are.

  16. August 07, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Hmm... Thinking it over some more, I'm switching my vote to more BCs, probably BC-05-II.

    If I expected a Decisive Battle between the fleets, I'd say we need a firepower advantage. But we haven't really seen such a thing thus far--I don't think any side has lost more than one capital ship in any engagement. So picking our battles and whittling away cruisers seems like a fine way to win a war.

    Also the First Battle of Sibenik gives proof of concept for using speed to turn an unfavorable engagement into a favorable one.

  17. August 07, 2019Protagoras said...

    I don't like the minimum designs. I admit this is kind of an unusual time; we have the benefit of foresight, and any non-turbine ship is going to be almost unfixably obsolete when the switch to turbines comes, which is an argument for trying to conserve resources until then (more research, more building docks, less building expensive ships; probably build more destroyers since obsolete destroyers have other roles to play). But there is such a strong pattern of budget ships turning out to not only become obsolete much more quickly, but to be quite bad at their jobs from the beginning. So I say build the fast 21,000 ton ships, and if budget constrains us try our best to get by with fewer of them.

  18. August 07, 2019bean said...

    I wouldn't say a non-turbine ship is unfixably obsolete. Yes, we could probably get 24 or 25 kts out of one of the BC designs with turbines, but if we build a 21 kt BB, we'll still have it when turbines appear.

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