September 16, 2019

Rule the Waves 2 Game 1 - April 1909


While Europe remains at peace, international tensions have begun to rise. We recently commissioned Devastation, and two of her sisters will join her in service before the end of the year. This gives us the single most powerful warship in the world, and the only fleet we need really fear is Britain's. Meanwhile, Italy grows suspicious of us, and our budget has begun to increase. We've also begun work on a successor class, with the first ship to be laid down in only a month.

The new Bouvet class battleship design

At least one more ship is planned to follow her. The decision for a third will need to be taken by this council. If we don't, it will free up budget for more construction of some sort. Options from the staff include new destroyers or light cruisers or a new battlecruiser to overmatch the ships inspired by the Duquesne.

Ships under construction

The current fleet

April 1908

Italy has laid down a CL, Japan a BB.

May 1908

Development of new DD Sabretache begins. BC Marseille commissions. Breakthrough: Oil firing, although we don't currently have oil available to fire with. US lays down 2 DD, 2 CL, Japan 1 BC.

June 1908:

2 new DD laid down. Dock expansion begins. Private shipbuilding expands dock size by 1000 tons. BB Devastation commissions. We rebuff an Austrian request to buy improved gun mountings. Italy has commissioned a B, Japan a BB. Work begins on a minor upgrade of our existing 600-ton minesweeper.

July 1908:

We turn down a Japanese request for 9' rangefinders. Breakthrough: Scouting force. US lays down a BC and a DD. We lay down 2 KE.

August 1908:

Industrial production soars. BC Marseille finishes working up. We buy Krupp Cementit armor from the British for 3,150. Breakthrough: Larger torpedo warheads. Japan and US lay down BBs, US lays down 2 DD. AH commissions a B, UK and USA 2 DD each.

September 1908:

1 DD laid down. BB Devastation finishes working up. A crisis blows up in the Balkans and we back our ally unconditionally. Breakthroughs: TNT bursting charges, 12" guns (Quality 0). Japan lays down 1 BB. AH commissions a B, UK a DD, US 4 DD.

October 1908:

New CL design, similar to Forbin but 1 kt faster, is started. AH lays down a CA.

November 1908:

We lay down CL Lavoisier. Breakthrough: 4 centerline turrets. Italy has laid down a CL, US commissions a DD.

December 1908:

Several ships from the reserve are reactivated in response to increasing tensions with Italy. We buy Mechanical fire control computers from the British for 3,800. Germany and US lay down BCs, Italy a CL. US commissions 2 DD.

January 1909:

Work begins on design of BB Bouvet. CL Forbin commissioned. Breakthroughs: Steroscopic rangefinder, anti-submarine nets. US commissions a BC.

February 1909:

A hawkish new government comes to power, and we welcome the chance to expand the fleet. Breakthrough: triple turrets. US and UK commission DDs.

March 1909:

Submarine construction resumed. 2 destroyers commission. Germany commissions a BB, the US a DD. All battleships and large CAs are brought to active status.

1909 Sketch Designs

Our current desteroyer

Our current CL

December 1909


We are at war again! Italy has perniciously wrested control of Mozambique from the Portuguese, and we have acted in their defense. With the completion of the Devastations, we will have a significant superiority over the Italian fleet when we concentrate in the Mediterranean next month. Despite our limited resources currently in that sea, we managed to secure a victory in our first encounter near Malta, and with the backing of our British allies, we expect to be able to bring this war to a satisfactory conclusion quite quickly. Our largest decision involves Sicily. We are currently positioned to invade that island, but must decide whether it is worth spending the money to do so.

An Editorial from Le Figaro:

France is one again faced with a challenge to her place among the great powers of the world. Italy, ignoring our ultimatum and forgetting the lessons we taught them seven years ago, has moved into Mozambique, and we have been forced to rally to the defense of Portugal's ancient rights. Even during the first clash, with much of our fleet on the Atlantic coast, we have emerged victorious. The unmatched power and speed of our fleet will no doubt allow us to crush Italy's ambitions, and reinforce our place on the world stage. We must stand with our English allies to maintain the stability of the world order against the upstarts of the east.

The current fleet

Ships under construction

The submarine fleet

April 1909

CL Forbin finishes working up. Spies steal plans for German BB Nassau. CL Descartes and BBs Bouvet and Caiman laid down. A-H said to have increased naval budget. US has commissioned a DD.

May 1909

New docks completed. 2 KE commissioned. Our spies acquire knowledge of longitudinal framing from Germany, who delivers a sharply-worded protest over our intelligence activities. Breakthrough: 14" gun Quality 1. The UK has stolen AP projectile technology from us, but we let it pass, not wanting to inflame tensions with them now. US commissions a DD. Italy has increased their naval budget.

June 1909

Our spies steal plans for German CL Dresden. Breakthrough: Economizer. Germany has laid down a BC, A-H a CA, the US a BC. Germany and Italy commission BBs, the US a DD.

July 1909

Priority of gun research reduced. DD Fanion commissioned. Breakthrough: Torpedo aiming system (submarine). The American government has reportedly increased naval spending.

August 1909

BBs Brennus and Charles Martel commissioned. UK has commissioned a BB. Italy is said to have increased the naval budget. Design study for CL Du Chayla (close cousin of CL Descartes) begins.

September 1909

Italy occupies Mozambique despite an ultimatum from us, greatly increasing tensions, and a revolt breaks out. CLs Du Chayla and Bugeaud laid down. Germany increases the naval budget. UK lays down 2 CL, commissions 1 BB. US lays down a CL. Construction of 2 SS halted with 2 months left to run, two more laid down.

October 1909

An economic downturn occurs, but we argue against heavy cuts to the navy given the situation with Italy. New research area discover: Lighter than air. Germany lays down a BB, UK a CL, US a BB. UK commissions a BB, Italy a BC. Work begins on DD design Poingnard, a minor upgrade of the Sabretache.

November 1909

The PM expresses concern that our forces in the Med are not enough to deal with Italy. We begin shipping arms to the rebels in Mozambique. BBs Brennus and Martel finish working up. We buy Contra rotating propellers from the British. 2 DD Poignard laid down. Germany and UK lay down BCs, Japan and US commission CLs. Suspended submarine construction resumes. War breaks out with Italy!

Battleship engagement near Malta. We have BB Devastation and 5 Bs, supported by 3 CAs, CLs and destroyers. We initially encounter 3 Italian CAs, and bring them under fire before the main body of the Italian fleet appears, lead by their lone BB. We try to cross their T, but they chose a broadside engagement near the outer limits of our range. Neither side shoots brilliantly, but we manage to score several hits. Eventually, they break off. We're not too interested in closing the action, as this is considerably less than half our fleet, and we'd like more firepower before we try for a decisive battle. Eventually, dusk falls and we turn away in the face of torpedo attack. The fleet makes for Tunis, the nearest port. Ultimately, the casualties are 1 Italian destroyer sunk, and heavy damage to a few more of their ships. Minor victory, 1112 VP for us, 253 VP for them.


  1. September 16, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    We have the second-highest budget in the world right now! I like this government.

    I know the early triple turrets operate with penalties... I take it they aren't worth it?

    Also, probably no immediate actions available, but what are our best options for oil access? Are there any oil-bearing territories held by anyone other than UK or neutrals?

  2. September 16, 2019bean said...

    Triples weren't invented until after the design work had already begun, and I didn't think to do a comparison design. Work's kind of busy this week, so it might be a while before I can get one up.

    I can't recall any oil strikes offhand. I know the US has some, but those are territories we can't take from them. We may just have to wait a while.

  3. September 16, 2019Protagoras said...

    As usual, I would be in favor of another battlecruiser, to avoid the obsolescence slower ships quickly experience as the average speeds rise. Curious as to what we can do now with 27000 tons.

  4. September 17, 2019Alexander said...

    Five modern battleships doesn't sound like such a sure lead over, say, Germany, that we can feel safe not building a third, but if we expect the next war to be us beating up on Italy or Austria again then I'd prefer to modernize our destroyers and cruisers. I'm not sure how oil works, but given Japan's experience in WWII, securing a source is probably wise (assuming it doesn't come at the cost of war with vastly wealthier nations). Does Italy still have Libya? Does Libya have oil? Please could you post the current world map?

  5. September 17, 2019Tuna said...

    Libya doesn't have oil at the start of the game, and the game picks locations where oil is found randomly as the game progresses. The official line on that is that it's to prevent players from gaming the system by conquering where oil will be found in the future.

  6. September 17, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    I notice Italy is building a bunch of light cruisers. What do we expect them to do with these, and how do we counter it?

  7. September 17, 2019Alexander said...

    @ADifferentAnonymous Maybe escorting/raiding convoys? There were plenty of cruiser actions in the last war. I imagine we could probably maintain a blockade against Italy thanks to our superior battle fleet, but more modern escorts might be help protect our merchants.

  8. September 17, 2019Alexander said...

    Re the 12" guns - we already had quality 0 15". I'm not quite sure I recall what we have access to, but I thought that generally our larger guns are of lower quality than the smaller calibres. Are we anticipating any major developments here, or can we reduce our research budget for naval guns?

  9. September 17, 2019bean said...

    Generally, guns are either -1, 0 or +1. We have -2 13" guns, but they were there when the game started. Everything up through 6" is 0, except for 3", which is +1. Above 6", we have 0 at 12", 14" and 15". Cutting gun development isn't the worst idea, as those are really good guns for this time period.

  10. September 19, 2019David W said...

    All these requests to purchase our technology...can we do that in reverse and buy technology with some of our budget?

  11. September 19, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    I'm curious about this both in real life and in the game: What's the strategy around force composition for trade warfare (ignoring submarines)?

    My guess in real life would be the defender wants ships about half a category larger than the attacker's, on the theory that priority one is that you win when your ships meet and priority two is that they meet as often as possible. (I think I read here that the Alaska-class was this against (nonexistent) raiding cruisers?)

    My guess in-game is that matchups aren't considered for the abstracted raiding and it relies on the possibility of making you actually fight sometimes to keep you honest.

  12. September 19, 2019bean said...


    We can't ask to do so, but we occasionally get offers from other powers. I've bought when it makes sense to do so.


    That's a complicated one. In the 1890-1910 timeframe, you needed a big ship for endurance for either role, which pushed up the price prohibitively. As engines got better, that stopped being a driver, and the Fisher's ideas reduced the number of units you needed for trade protection. The design history of the Alaskas is complicated, and I'm not going to fish it out right now.

    I've never raided heavily in-game. Just not my style, I guess.

  13. September 19, 2019bean said...

    Also, new sketch designs are up.

  14. September 20, 2019Alexander said...

    We can afford 4 Lavoisiers for the price of a 6th battleship, and since we don't need the extra range in the Med I'd probably keep building them rather than the other cruisers if we are focusing on Italy/Austria. If we build up the battle fleet instead I'd go with BB-09-I unless the triple turrets are inefficient enough that they don't have a significant edge over a third Bouvet. The fast battleships are awesome, but I don't think they're the priority.

  15. September 20, 2019bean said...

    Oh, oops. The fast BBs are actually BCs, but because I wasn't saving them (they're too big for the current docks, but will fit in the new expansion that opens in two months) the game didn't update them.

    If we're going for BB-09-I, I assume it would replace all the Bouvets we choose to order.

  16. September 20, 2019Protagoras said...

    I like the BC-09-I. Sure, the alternate BCs have more firepower in theory, but I'm not sure I trust the triple turrets. And it might be nice to have at least some long range ships, when we're not yet sure where our oil is going to come from; if it ends up coming from far away, it would be nice to be prepared to protect our shipping at that range. Some BCs, anyway; if we're worried about Italy building so many cruisers, of course BCs are among other things designed for cruiser hunting.

  17. September 20, 2019Alexander said...

    I think those designs are so superior to any current or future Italian cruiser (except perhaps in speed) that we'd be wasting them hunting raiders. Even the Duquesnes are over armed for killing light cruisers. The long range is worth thinking about, say if there was an oil strike somewhere like Cochinchine.

    How much would a version of BC-09-I with 12" guns and less armour cost? And would there be any point in a couple of early Dunkerques? I'd still prefer escorts for trade protection or an increase in the size of the battle fleet. Having said that, any of those battlecruisers would outgun all but a handful of ships currently afloat, so they would probably manage fine alongside our Devastations if we did build some.

  18. September 20, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    I like the idea of a long range battlecruiser, but when the foreseeable fights are in Europe it doesn't seem like the best investment.

    CL-09-I seems more suited to the likely coming conflict.

  19. September 21, 2019bean said...

    Something I would point out about building a cruiser-killer is that warships have long lives. We should expect anything we build today to be in service until around 1930. (Yes, it might get a carrier conversion, but in-character we don't really know that.) Something like a Duquesne isn't going to last that well, particularly if it won't enter service for another 3 years. The full BCs will.

    That said, play is about to commence, with the target being 2 Bouvets and a brace of Lavoisiers, maybe transitioning to CL-09-I.

  20. September 21, 2019bean said...

    I just finished play. We are now at war with Italy over their occupation of Mozambique.

  21. September 21, 2019Alexander said...

    If we are already at war then the Lavoisiers might not be out until it's pretty much over, but since there may well be light cruisers needing replacement I'm glad we're building some. Our margin of superiority over Italy in battleships is sufficient I'm not sure they'll come out to face us, but having the Bouvets in production should help keep Germany from interfering. I didn't realise that cruiser killers date more quickly than proper capital ships, but I had thought they'd cost enough they wouldn't be worth the money.

  22. September 22, 2019bean said...

    War didn't break out until December, so Lavoisier is 7 months from completion. We have three more CLs of 6,600 tons under construction (the main change being that they can make 26 kts). One is at 14 months out, the other 2 at 19 months. The war with Austria went on longer than that.

  23. September 22, 2019Alexander said...

    All the better! Our Devastations must be in service or nearly so too. I'm surprised the Italians didn't back down over Mozambique - it was only a few years ago that we showed up their navy quite badly. Did we get enough notice to retrain any of our reserve fleet, or are they mostly still fair quality?

  24. September 22, 2019bean said...

    Martel and Brennus finished working up days before war broke out. The big CAs and Bs are all Good. The other reserve ships are all still fair.

    The diplomatic AI is not very good.

  25. September 23, 2019bean said...

    December 1909 is now up.

  26. September 23, 2019Protagoras said...

    Regarding invading Sicily, what are the possible effects of that sort of thing in the game? Is it possible to acquire control of Sicily, and if so in this game is that sort of thing usually profitable, only profitable if it has resources you need, or not profitable at all?

    I guess if I'm not trying to exploit the rules, if we think we're likely to succeed in taking Sicily, it could be the sort of thing to force Italy to the negotiating table, and returning Sicily could then enable us to get concessions we want elsewhere. But only if we think the Sicily expedition is likely to go well; what are the prospects for it? And returning to game mechanics issues, what I recall of the last war also didn't make it seem like the peace treaties allowed for this kind of detailed negotiation. Hmmm.

  27. September 23, 2019bean said...

    To a first approximation, if we take Sicily and win the war, then it's ours to keep. The diplomatic AI/simulation is not very good, so things like revanchism don't really show up. It will give us more resources (cash), although I can't say how much ahead of time. It'll cost us about 1,900/turn until we actually do the invasion, but I think our fleet's margin of superiority is big enough that it won't take long for that to happen. After that, it's likely to fall in a few months, AIUI. The invasion mechanics are pretty crude, too. If the game won't let the invasion go because of insufficient margin of superiority, I'll cancel and restart after we've sunk some of their ships. If we want Sicily, we have to invade, but their other properties are likely to be on the bargaining table. I'd put getting them out of the Indian Ocean high on our priority list.

  28. September 23, 2019Protagoras said...

    All right, if the game rewards blobbing, I say let's go for world conquest and start with Sicily.

  29. September 23, 2019bean said...

    We can't actually do world conquest. There are several issues. First, the limits on invasion range mean that only the British could realistically invade anywhere. Second, we can't take core territories. Even if we get Sicily during the war and the African territories at the peace table, Italy itself can't be invaded. But limiting their reach, particularly in the Indian Ocean, will be quite useful.

  30. September 23, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Not sure how it works out as a gameplay calculation... The manual says that territory does realise income but not by all that much. Not sure if it affects war score, enemy unrest, our prestige.

    In-character... Trying not to overthink it too much, I'd say our goal is for France to rule the waves. I think it's fair to say that all else equal, possession of Sicily means more wave-ruling, so unless we feel the costs would amount to significantly compromises elsewhere we should go for it.

    That said, it probably makes sense on both scores to try to sink some of their ships first, if they'll face us.

  31. September 24, 2019Alexander said...

    Nice work pummeling Christoforo Colombo. The Italians really needed an impressive victory there to have any hope in this war, and instead one of their two modern capital ships needs time in the yard.

    We're getting the option to invest in aircraft, and I see the Germans are already fitting their ships with AA guns. Should we be concerned about air defence already, or are they only good for spotting at the moment? Nice work with the new 14" guns. Would it be worth refitting our battlecruisers?

    Re Sicily, in character I think it looks like a big sink to pour troops into, when we probably have need of them along the border, or securing Sardinia. It'd be very hard to stop the Italians moving forces across the straits, and I'd be concerned about the threat of submarines, torpedo boats and mines in a way I'm not about their warships. Out of character, probably none of that applies, so go for it, I guess?

  32. September 24, 2019bean said...

    We actually can't buy AA guns yet, and the Germans shouldn't be able to either. The AI shipbuilder has a bad tendency to pick options that aren't available, and it doesn't always sanity-check them. It's better than it used to be. When RTW2 first came out, it had a bad tendency to give ships DP guns starting way too early, and it was always frustrating to see the AI with weapons you couldn't buy.

    Re the refit, I'll have to check pricing, but the few times I've looked into it, it hasn't been cheap. I would recommend we use 14" for any new construction at this point. Every time I've checked, the IZ is the same width as a 15", just shifted out 1000 yards. And they're lighter/cheaper, so we can cram more in.

    Sicily is on a vital link between the eastern and western Med. Taking it would help that a lot in-character. OOC, not so much, but a lot of the other IC worries also go away. I'll order preparations made for the invasion.

  33. September 24, 2019Gareth said...

    In character, occupying Sicily and holding it against a restless local population sounds like a bottomless pit to throw money and soldiers into. Will also forever poison relations with one of our big neighbors, who we might really want to be on good terms with in the event of a future war with Germany.

    OOC, let's go for it. No point buying all these shiny guns if we can't shoot something with them.

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