September 02, 2019

Rule the Waves 2 Game 1 - April 1907


Europe has been at its most peaceful for at least a decade over the last year. This is probably good for us, but it's been bad for our budget. We have only been able to resume construction on the cruiser Forbin, and propose to resume work on Brennus and suspend Charles Martel to ensure that all three ships of the Devastation class finish while still reasonably modern. The upside is that other nations have also been forced to suspend ships, and we are a clear second in the race for the new vessels.

Beyond that, things have been quiet. We've refitted most of our battleships and armored cruisers with improved fire control, and research continues to go well, with the development of main battery wing turrets, cross-deck firing, and improved 14" guns.

Our current fleet. Note that a large portion is currently in reserve.

Ships under construction.

April 1906

Breakthrough: Small tube boilers I. Germany commissions a DD, Italy a CL.

May 1906:

BC Dunkerque finishes working up. We've gotten ahold of the blueprints for Austrian CA Leitha. Germany commissions 2 DD, UK a CA, Italy a CL, US a CA and a CL. A-H is building larger docks.

June 1906:

CA Gueydon enters refit. Improvements in productivity boost our industrial production, but not enough to let us restart any ships. We've stolen blueprints for US B Rhode Island. Germany commissions 5 DD, UK a B. US is building larger docks.

July 1906:

Bs Marengo and Richelieu and CA Admiral Charner finish reconstruction. We initiate a shooting competition to improve gunnery, won by CL Surcouf. Many nations halt construction of ships due to financial difficulties. Germany stops a BB, A-H a CA, the US a BC. Germany commissions a DD, Italy a CL.

August 1906:

Bs Courbet and Suffren and CA Montcalm enter refit. A new round of dock expansion is ordered. Breakthroughs: Torpedo protection I, Improved compressed air supply. A-H has laid down a BB, Japan a DD. Japan commissions CA. US has halted construction of a B.

September 1906:

We buy the technology for main battery wing turrets from Japan. We pass up the opportunity to create tension with Britain over the theft of ship design secrets. This is something we would only do to preserve our alliance with them.

October 1906:

CA Gueydon completes reconstruction. Japan commissions 2 DD. A-H has suspended a B, Italy a BB, US a B.

November 1906:

Bs Courbet and Suffren finish reconstruction. Britain commissions BB Irresistible. Japan commissions a CA.

December 1906:

The surge in tension finally gives us enough funds to resume work on CL Forbin. B Magenta enters reconstruction. Spies steal plans of Austrian BB Erzherzog Ferdinand Max. Germany commissions B.

January 1907:

CA Montcalm finishes her reconstruction. Breakthrough: Automatic range transmitter. Italy commissions B, CA, US commissions CA.

February 1907:

Breakthroughs: Improved annealing, Improved AP cap. A-H has halted construction of B, BB due to financial difficulties. A-H commissions 2 CA, UK a CL, Japan a DD.

March 1907:

B Magenta finishes reconstruction. We deny a Japanese request to buy improved turret mountings. Breakthrough: Better 14" guns (Quality 0). A-H and Italy commission CAs, Japan a DD, US a B.

April 1908


The last year has seen little change in the international situation. Tensions with Germany, Italy and Austria have slowly increased, but there has been no substantial changes. Britain has commissioned two more Irresistibles, and the US has barely beaten us as the second nation to build one. Devastation will commission in July if everything stays on schedule. However, we have two more that will follow the first by a year, while they have no other ships under construction.

We are about to have at least one slot for further construction, and do need to decide on a construction plan. We could lay down another capital ship, or work on our smaller units. In particular, we haven't laid down any destroyers in the past two years, and could probably do with a new design.

Our current fleet

Ships under construction


Ships of the world

April 1907

We insult Italian shipbuilding, leading to an increase in tension with Italy. Unfortunately, this doesn't really help our budget for some reason. Breakthrough: superimposed X turret. Japan commissions a CA, the UK a BB.

May 1907

We sell the US the rights to improved AP caps for enough for two months of construction on a Devastation. Germany and A-H each commission a B.

June 1907

We refuse to sell Italy small-tube boilers. The UK lays down another BB and commissions 2 CLs. Japan commissions a DD and lays down a BC.

July 1907

New docks are completed. B Colbert finishes her reconstruction. We turn down an Italian request for fire-control technology. UK lays down a BB. Germany, Japan and US all commission Bs, UK a CA.

August 1907

B Friedland begins reconstruction. UK lays down another BB. US and Japan commission Bs.

September 1907

Improvements in productivity boost our industrial production. Our spy steals the plans for German BB Westfalen, currently under construction. Breakthrough: Explosive sweeps. UK commissions BB, CL.

October 1907

Construction of CL Forbin suspended to free funds for resumption of BC Marseille. Italy tries again to buy naval technology, and is again rebuffed. Breakthrough: Coastal submarine. UK lays down another BB, US commissions 2 B.

November 1907

B Friedland finishes reconstruction. Italy tries to buy explosive sweeps, and we agree, hoping to pour the cash into warship construction. US lays down 4 DD.

December 1907

B Ocean begins reconstruction. Breakthrough: 9' rangefinder. UK lays down 3 DD, 1 BB. US lays down 2 DD. Germany, US and A-H each commission 1 B, A-H also commissions 1 CA.

January 1908

Japan lays down 2 CL.

February 1908

An Austrian fishing boat blunders into a restricted area, and is sunk by one of our ships. We refuse to apologize, raising tension with Austria. Somehow, this has no effect on our budget. Breakthrough: Improved rolled shipbuilding steel. Germany is reported to have secretly increased naval expenditures, and commissions BC Von der Tann. Italy also increases their naval budget. US lays down 1 DD.

March 1908

B Ocean finishes her reconstruction, ensuring that all battleships, battlecruisers and large heavy cruisers have the latest fire control. Our spies steal plans for Italian BC Lepanto. An agent of ours is caught in Japan, and we make him a national hero. This raises tension, although our budget stays stable again for some reason. Germany lays down a BB. Italy commissions a B, US a BB.


  1. September 02, 2019Alexander said...

    This seems like a great position to be in. Obviously we peace is nice for its own sake, but also, if everyone it going to be stuck with their current fleets for some time then our navy is relatively strong. It'll be a good while before anyone else other than Great Britain has three BBs or BCs, and they are our allies Ü

    It looks like Germany has two BBs, one of which is still under construction, but what is the state of the other? Did we ever get a look at the design? The Erzherzog Ferdinand Max, despite having double the turrets of our Irresistibles, isn't that intimidating - future improvements to fire control should favour our 14/15" guns over their smaller ones.

    Maybe a global easing of the arms race would be to our advantage. What was the cause of the tension in December?

  2. September 02, 2019bean said...

    I think it was our dreadnoughts that caused the tension spike, actually. One German ship is still being worked, while the other is suspended for lack of funds. We don't have good details on the design, but AFAIK, the game just wants to make Dreadnought-style and hexagonal layouts. When I asked for automated designs, it was giving me 13" ships with the Dreadnought arrangement, which is wrong on so many levels. Which probably means 11" or maybe 12" guns, not 15".

  3. September 03, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Excerpts from Le Temps Book Review: The Psychopathology of Nations by Sigmund Freud

    Why do nations go to war? It is hardly a novel question, but it is one which emerged with renewed urgency in Vienna in recent years. So inescapable was the question, Professor Freud writes, that his thoughts inevitably drifted from the neurotics in his office to those in the government...

    Though it was the futility of Austria-Hungary's specific actions that inspired these theories, Professor Freud makes clear that the dynamics they describe are universal. Those nations which suffered less in the recent conflict were not wiser but only luckier. A growing global movement agrees. The Psychopathology of War has been translated into all major languages and become a bestseller throughout Europe, the Americas and even Japan. The effects have been dramatic: from scholars down to the working classes, a new pacifism is on the rise. It is beginning to appear that the Doctor has achieved the most impressive cure of his already-illustriois career.

    Excerpt from Le Figaro's review of same:

    ...We will not presume to correct the Professor's understanding of the mysteries of the mind; however, we suggest a more careful consideration of its consequences. However foolish the true causes of war may be, there is no reason to expect them to vanish merely because they have been identified; nor can such analysis change the fact that once war begins, an unprepared nation will suffer much more than a prepared one. Certainly the current period of low international tension should be celebrated, and we should enjoy the reduction in the level of military spending needed to maintain the ability to protect our nation--but we should not confuse this moment with the end of that need.

  4. September 03, 2019bean said...

    You're very good at these. I've been a bit too busy lately to have the time to write them, but it's a practice I hope to resume soon.

  5. September 09, 2019bean said...

    April 1908 is up now. All continues to be quiet, and I can't get the budget to go up even when I'm trying to.

  6. September 09, 2019Gareth said...

    Shame our politicans seem unmoved by our diplomatic provocations and/or murder of foreign fishermen. I'm sure the socialist press will have a field day with that one.

    Any thoughts on the captured ship designs? The Lepanto class seems pretty cool, although is that armor very unbalanced for a gun that size? Less concerned about the Westfalen, being slower and with smaller guns.

  7. September 09, 2019bean said...

    Lepanto is in the same broad category as Von Der Tann and Duquesne. Less armor and smaller guns than our ships, but more speed. I wouldn't have gone with that little armor myself, and it might come back to bite them if they end up in battle with us.

    Westfallen is pretty clearly inferior to Devastation. Same speed, two-thirds of the broadside, thinner armor. Not too worried there.

  8. September 09, 2019Gareth said...

    Interesting. If I have time later, might write up an editorial by some journalist panicked at the Lepanto's reported speed and demanding we build a 28 knot battlecruiser.

  9. September 09, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Hmm... Thinking over the technology situation. It looks like the next destroyer tech is 900 ton, which is a pretty big step up and tempting to wait for.

    Capital ships also have a pretty good one coming up: four centerline turrets. Maybe a Devastation-variant battlecruiser is the answer? Spend the extra weight that we wish we could spend on a fourth turret on speed instead. La vitesse est la cuirasse, et la puissance aussi!

  10. September 10, 2019Alexander said...

    I'll share regret for the unfortunate events of early '08 that risk disrupting the peace our navy fought so well to secure. As for our shipbuilding, we might go for another Duquesne or Marseille (what's the difference again?) as they seem like a pretty effective weapon against the many pre-dreadnoughts still in service.

  11. September 10, 2019bean said...

    900-ton destroyers could happen next month, or they could take a while. As it is, a lot of our DD force will be 10 years old soon, and we really should start working on replacements. Even if we only build a few, they'll be available if/when war breaks out.

    I was able to produce a 25-kt Devastation with improved torpedo protection, although that took me pretty much all the way to 26,000 tons. I also got a BB with four twin 15" turrets (two centerline, two wing). Both designs were tight, and we might need to expand our docks again.


    The Marseille is a close cousin of the Duquesne, with an extra .5" of belt and the latest fire control built in from the start. It was a year or so after the first trio, and we'd gotten better tech in the meantime, so I upgraded some. Most naval reference books probably consider it to be Duquesne class, but the game doesn't work that way.

    The problem with building another one is that while they're good against pre-dreads, those are going to play a rapidly-diminishing part in any future war. The four we have are here at the right time, but the design is already 4 years old, and they'll take 2.5 years to build, and that might be too late. Particularly because the ships we build now will probably serve well into the 20s.

  12. September 10, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Hmm... I suppose that tension is probably high enough that we shouldn't ignore the short term. Maybe a few destroyers are in order.

    But given the divisible nature of a destroyer order, this might be a good time to consider other miscellaneous investments. As you say, another dock expansion seems wise. I'd also inquire about the state of our bases in Southeast Asia in light of the rising tension with Japan.

  13. September 10, 2019Gareth said...

    Definitely support dock expansion when we have the breathing space. Destroyers are a reasonable second priority.

  14. September 11, 2019Alexander said...

    Our Arquebuse and Durandal class destroyers probably do need replacement. I'll back ADifferentAnonymous's proposal to mix that with improved facilities. The super Devastation sounds nice, but holding off a while might mean our next battleship could be a QE equivalent if we get lucky with technology.

  15. September 13, 2019bean said...

    I've begun the 1908-1909 playthrough, and am facing a conundrum. Basically, we got 4 centerline turrets, but still don't have access to B turret. So the best I can do is 2 superfiring aft, one forward, and one amidships. I can do a Devastation with basic torpedo protection and 4 turrets, but it looks awkward. Do we want to go for it now? We should have the cash to lay down one or maybe two and float until Martel and Brennus commission.

  16. September 13, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    That sounds pretty good to me--the sense I've generally gotten from discussions here is that fore/aft firing capability is not that essential. And as for the awkward looks, isn't the occasional oddball ship part of naval development?

  17. September 14, 2019Alexander said...

    4 turrets is a significant improvement. What would we be giving up in destroyers/docks if we start now rather than waiting until the Devastations are fitting out?

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