June 10, 2019

Rule the Waves 2 Game 1 - January 1900


The recent vindication of Captain Dreyfuss has comprehensively upset the political situation here in France. As a result, the government has been replaced, and you have been asked to serve as the primary advisors in the Ministère de la Marine. Our strategic situation is reasonably strong, but perils loom. It is up to you to guide us.

Edit: January 1901 update is here.

I'm going to share screenshots from the start condition of the game, and then give some indication of the direction I'm looking for. Anyone is free to chime in on this discussion.

The world map

Our financial situation

The current fleet. There are 11 Durandal class destroyers that are not shown on this screen, all in Northern Europe

Ships currently under construction

Our current coastal defenses

An overview of the world situation. I'd recommend moving the cruiser from the Indian Ocean to Southeast Asia and replacing it with a Coetlogon from Nothern Europe.

Our situation base-by-base

The current levels of international tension. If that black line is crossed, war will break out.

The current relative strength of the various navies.

Available areas of research.

Things I need guidance on:

1. Shipbuilding. We're running a substantial budget surplus, at least enough to lay down another battleship and some lighter ships. Do we wish to focus our fleet on battleships, cruisers, destroyers, or what? (Submarines aren't available yet, sadly.) Or do we build up our coastal defenses, and wait for technology to improve a bit? I can provide sketch designs to request, but any ships we build will have the same tech to work with as the ones currently in service and under construction.

2. Finances. We can also pour money into other areas. Do we want to train our crews hard, spend money on getting a technological edge, or try to find out what the other guy is up to?

3. Diplomatic posture. Who do we want to try to be friends with? Who, if anyone, do we want to antagonize? Decisions will come up during play, and I'm not going to stop each and every time to refer them back to you guys.

4. Research. Do we want to prioritize any specific areas? Better fire control? Better torpedoes? Submarines? All up to you.

On Friday, I'll start the first turn worth of moves, and have them written up on Monday.

1900 Summary:

The year went fairly smoothly. Some ships commissioned, and a bunch were laid down by various powers. Unfortunately, I wasn't really given any options for diplomatic maneuvering, so no progress happened there.

Status at the start of the new year:


Germany laid down a B, while Italy ordered one from Britain. The UK laid down a CL.


USA increasing naval budget, laying down CL. Japan orders CA from UK shipyard. Dock construction begun. Discovered fleet tactics.


US building a CL, 11" battery in Puerto Rico. Germany lays down CA, UK a B.


US laid down a CA.


Stole blueprints for German B Hessen.


US laid down a CA.


UK, US building coastal batteries. Germany and Japan commission CLs.


CL Chateaurenault commissioned, Hardened AP Penetrator research breakthrough, Germany commissions 1 CL, USA 2. USA building another coastal battery (different from previous two)


Coincidence Rangefinder breakthrough. UK lays down CA, commissions B and CL. Italy commissions CA, Japan CL.


CL Chasseloup Laubat commissioned. Improved Surface Condenser, Krupp Armor, Hydraulic Recoil breakthroughs. UK, US, Italy, Japan commission CAs. Germany and US have invented hydraulic recoil. UK lays down CA, Japan building coastal battery.


Stole CL Tuscon plans. B Courbet commissioned. UK and Austria commissioned Bs, Germany a CL, Italy another CA. UK building coastal defense battery. Someone has stolen industrial secrets from us.

The biggest challenge we face right now is that we haven't started laying down new fleet units yet. This will put us at a temporary disadvantage over the next year or so, but we gain the ability to start fresh and take advantage of the last year's research. The gains are minor but real. Compare CA-00-I with CA-01-I, which is the exact same design updated with the improvements in armor and machinery.



Particularly important is going to be getting new armored cruisers and battleships into production. The preliminary design staff has prepared a series of sketch designs, besides CA-01-I above. These are not definitive, and variants will be prepared upon request.

CA-01-II, a medium-range low-cost version of CA-01-I

CA-01-III, an update of the existing CA, with more tonnage and a lot more ammo

A design roughly based on the Richelieu with twin turrets and an extra inch of belt

A variant of B-01-I, but with a wider belt

A variant of B-01-II, but with the same belt as Richelieu

A low-change variant of the current Richelieu

A variant of the Trident, about to start commissioning, with a wider belt.

A couple of points to consider when making shipbuilding selections:

Follow-on Tridents are an option, as the design is actually big enough to carry all of the tonnage. It's worth pointing out that their 13" guns are only marginally more powerful than the 12", with .1" extra belt penetration at 5,000 yds, .3" at 9,000 yards, and about 2,000 yards less range. I'm also not sure how armor upgrades work, because we did get Krupp armor during the interval. It might apply automatically to all ships, because I get the same penetration figures for ships that were built before we had it as for new designs with the same armor thickness.


  1. June 10, 2019John Schilling said...

    Still getting up to speed on RTS2, but some general thoughts:

    Long-range guns with 1900 fire control are probably a poor investment. Since we're not facing an imminent war threat and we do have a global-ish empire to defend, I'd rather start with cruisers that will likely retain their utility longer. Probably including some armored cruisers with ~9" guns that can credibly fill out the battle line for a few more years and then be shifted to colonial roles when the dreadnoughts show up.

    Long-range guns with good fire control will be a game-changer, so getting a head start on the fire control seems like a good plan.

    And until everything goes to dreadnoughts and long-range gunnery, the difference between crappy compressed-air torpedoes and decent wet-heater designs seems like it could also be decisive and particularly suited to France's coastal defense requirements. If the game allows retrofitting new torpedoes to older ships like it should, that might argue for putting a fair chunk of our early tonnage into torpedo-boats and destroyers while we develop the torpedoes that will make them effective.

  2. June 10, 2019bean said...

    I can generate a set of cruiser sketches. Watch this space in a day or two. And the game automatically updates all torpedoes when new ones are researched. The biggest problem with an early torpedo force is that our destroyers are limited to 500 tons right now.

  3. June 10, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    (Bear in mind all my comments are without having played the game. I've perused some of the AARs I can find)

    Seems like a war with Austria or Italy, or maybe Russians, would be a good chance to pick up territory? Germany or the US would be a bit close for comfort, Japan awkward to engage, and Britain right out.

  4. June 10, 2019John Schilling said...

    500-ton destroyers should still be useful in the Mediterranean for quite some time, but we wouldn't want to overbuild that category. Torpedo armament on the cruisers would also be useful if they are being otherwise optimized for close to medium range gunnery.

  5. June 10, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Also, for any other participants like me who lack the game: there is still such a thing as a video game manual, however much the art may have declined since the glory days of Microprose; you can find RTW2's here.

  6. June 10, 2019David W said...

    A couple basic questions: What causes increase in budget? Is that something we can influence by victory or is it exogenous? Similarly, is there anything that can be done to improve efficiency, cut maintenance costs or building costs for the same quality ship? Basically, is this a game where we can invest, or is this a game with fixed resources?

    Further, what information do we have on foreign plans? Aside from the slight tension with Austria it appears no imminent wars with anyone whether we want it or not?

    How useful are allies? I note that Germany and our fleets combined would be able to handle the UK, if perfect cooperation is assumed.

    I would be tempted to invest in every thing that isn't a ship, spies and research and production, until we have some idea of a mission for the Navy.

  7. June 10, 2019David W said...

    Thanks, ADifferentAnonymous! After reading the first quarter of that I think I understand the rough constraints: all we need is an unbroken string of short victorious wars! Or possibly a long stretch of high tension with multiple opponents short of war! Neither of those can possibly go wrong, right?

    I'd be inclined to make a first priority getting one of those wars, preferably in a zone we already have a base against a weaker foe. Perhaps we can aim to push Italy out of the Indian Ocean? That seems like a good use of CA, which according to John Schilling's reasoning seem like a good future-proof type of ship to start building now. Meanwhile we would want to fortify the Med but play that more defensively, I think. It's not clear to me whether you seize your desired target through invasion, or simply aim to beat up the foe and win the target in the peace treaty.

  8. June 10, 2019bean said...

    @John I’ve done a series of four designs for a new armored cruiser, and included our current class for comparison. Sorry that the images are too wide. I’ll need to figure out how to do this properly.

    Our current armored cruiser class, which was the basis for the following design series. Unfortunately, it’s rather overweight, and the naval design staff insists that any future ship be brought up to a more reasonable displacement.

    CA-00-I is a straight upgrade to the Dupetit-Thouars, with 9″ guns and enough displacement to give us some growth potential.

    CA-00-II is a more minor upgrade, brought up to size but with the 8″ guns.

    CA-00-III is CA-00-I with an extra knot of speed.

    All of the previous ships were designed for long-range service, such as you might want in colonial service. This is a version of CA-00-I with medium range, size reduced to match.

  9. June 10, 2019bean said...


    Russia isn't a player in this game. They were removed to make way for Austria. Not sure the logic behind this, as Russia and France were important allies.


    We have 26 500-ton destroyers right now, and no ability to mount above-water torpedo tubes on our cruisers. That's a thing we have to research. We can also only mount single tubes on our destroyers, which has often lead to silly designs in my past games.


    Resources fluctuate based on tension, prestige, and player decisions. You'll often be given choices between, for instance, increasing tension and budget, and decreasing tension and budget. Increase tension too much, and war breaks out. You get prestige by winning battles and such. Unfortunately, not much we can do about maintenance.

    We have no info on foreign plans, and I'm not really sure on allies. I'm France in my current game, to get some practice with them, and the British weren't much help in a war with Italy. I'm about to fight Germany with them as allies, so I should get a better grasp. Occasionally, some of their ships would join mine in battle, but they didn't have enough in the Med to tell for sure.

    You can invade or take territory at the peace treaty. Personally, I've had bad luck with invasions. They either don't happen, or happen too late and cost a lot of money while you're waiting.

  10. June 10, 2019Alsadius said...

    In RTW, long range design is mostly useful for raiders, not for combat ships. I tend to go colonial with my long-range ships as well, so that they can cover my foreign service needs in peacetime, but that may be preference. (Game rule note - "colonial" on a ship means it counts extra towards foreign service requirements. Note also that you can assign a ship's role as foreign stations, where it'll move around on its own protecting your colonies, and counting its whole mass, including any colonial bonus, towards your FS need.)

    Cruisers are a good place to invest, because they future-proof pretty well - they can convert to CVLs circa 1920, . That said, note that until the invention of turbines (circa 1905), high-speed ships are brutally cramped on tonnage. Those old triple-expansion engines don't like going fast, which is why those DDs only have popguns. For comparison, here's the 1900-era DDs from my current game, where I accepted slower speeds for loadout: https://imgur.com/ek8cqcF.png - the Nembo is short-range and cramped, but that torpedo loadout is still super-awesome for 1900. Those things have done for a lot of enemy capital ships(though they die like flies). I'll also throw in a shameless plug here - http://nws-online.proboards.com/thread/2771/mare-nostrum for anyone who wants to read my current AAR.

    As for specific CA designs, the -IV seems the obvious choice to me. It's 10% cheaper than the others (or 20% cheaper than -III), and has basically the same capabilities.

    Regarding strategic planning, I'd say go for a lot of tech, because that ages better than most other things, and then build a balanced fleet thereafter. Don't shy away from wars, though - take the +budget option on most events, and fight one when it happens.

  11. June 10, 2019bean said...

    I think that long-range ships do better when deployed away from bases, too. I've run ships that way, and had a lot less crew degradation than normal. And they do better at hunting raiders.

  12. June 11, 2019Gareth said...

    (Speaking with no real experience in this game)

    I am slightly concerned about throwing our potentially temporary budget surplus into ships that might be rendered obsolete by the time they are ready to see action, such is the pace of technological change. Agree with Alsadius that we'd be better served to focus on tech progress at this stage.

    As for diplomacy, friendship with Japan seems important to avoid facing a superior foe in the far east. In any likely conflict, they will find it easier to concentrate forces than we will given our other commitments.

    If Italy is to be the target, perhaps Austria would be a strong ally (based on Bean's disappointing experience with the British).

    Also lean towards design 4 for reasons of economy, but am willing to entertain arguments by proponents of the other designs as to what benefits the additional investment is getting us.

  13. June 11, 2019John Schilling said...

    I do think an immediate emphasis on research would be a good idea insofar as we are in a period of low international tension and rapid technological change; knowing how to build better ships in 1910 is preferable to building ships now that will be obsolete in 1910. Maybe crew training and intelligence also, but to a much lesser degree at first as those are wasting assets whereas the R&D will just keep building on itself.

    As far as research emphasis, I see high priorities as: 1. Fire control
    2. Subdivision and damage control 3. Torpedoes

    Low priorities: 1. Naval guns 2. Armor development 3. Hull construction

    Rationale: If we're already capable of building 13" guns, we're outranging our fire control, and the latter is crucial to the coming big-gun era. In almost all eras, poor damage control has been the ruin of more ships than too-easily penetrated armor. France is not in a position to win by having the biggest, baddest ships on the seas, so our existing hulls are probably fine. And decent torpedoes are a hedge against being dragged into an early war in the age of close-range combat.

    We don't need superlative torpedoes, so once they get moderately good we can shift to AP shells or maybe gun turrets & mountings; the long-term goal is moderately powerful guns firing rapidly and accurately with shells that work. On ships that don't blow up.

  14. June 11, 2019John Schilling said...

    Regarding the cruisers, Design IV is almost exactly what I had in mind, but if the long range is going to be a significant edge when we send these off to the colonies that might argue for Design I. Once we have enough of these under construction, I was thinking the next cruiser design would be an economical long-range raider, fast but only moderately armed. But a mix of Design I CAs and cheap CLs might do better on that front.

    OK, my tentative vote is for a laying down a Design I, a 25% increase in research funding, and the leftover into intelligence and upgrading some of our foreign bases. Then three more Design I's as the in-work battleships are completed, then reevaluate based on new technology and politics.

    Actually, does the technology allow tweaking Design I with fewer 6" guns (or 5" vs 6") but in turrets? Casemates should work OK in the Med but are iffy on the high seas, unless the game doesn't know that in which case never mind.

    Also, I object in principle to French ships having their gun sizes measured in inches :-)

    Grand strategy wise, if I recall my Diplomacy correctly there's no way France prevails if Germany and England both turn against us, so we just need enough force in the Atlantic to play balance-of-power games. We probably do need to be able to take on Italy or Austria solo in the Mediterranean, and we want to at least make the Royal Navy worry in any sort of extended colonial fighting. Anyone else's colonies should become our colonies if they pick a fight, but let's not pick a fight with anyone until we've got a decent alliance with either England or Germany.

  15. June 11, 2019Alexander said...

    Looking at the world situation, it appears we have no ships in the Mediterranean right now. Maybe we should move some of our fleet there, or make some sort of alliance with either Italy or Austria-Hungary. Presumably Italy, as they are both stronger and more positively disposed towards us. The USA also seems like a worthwhile partner due to our historic ties and good relations.

    On shipbuilding, we probably need to keep the yards busy, and our battlefleet looks sufficient for the moment (second only to GB if I'm reading the table correctly). More cruisers sounds about right, but I'm not sure why the need the bigger guns - If they're with the main fleet 6" and 8" should do enough damage to take the enemy cruisers out of action, and make it hard for their battleships to fight effectively. Our battleships can finish the weakened enemies off. Also, we aren't going to see much benefit from increased range until we get better fire control, by which time our ships are probably only good for colonial duties anyway. I vote design II, and might even ask if a version with the armament of a Coetlogon would be too weak, since they'll hopefully be off patrolling the South China sea in a few years.

    John's point about putting the 6" in turrets is a good one, and I seem to remember you saying that's what the French did in reality. If we can't do that yet, maybe throw some money into turrets and mountings. I would also say that machinery looks like a worthwhile field for investment. We might not believe that speed is armour, but a raider want's to be able to pick its fights, and other ships could be smaller and cheaper to run. Can we redirect funding away from shells (because they should be easy to refit later) to finance this, or would that risk leaving us like the British at Jutland?

  16. June 11, 2019bean said...


    While I like the emphasis on fire control, I do feel compelled to point out that you're focusing on things that can be retrofitted at the expense of things that can't. First, guns aren't just measured in inches (which is a game limitation, and one I can't change) they also have a quality number. This is usually either -1, 0 or 1, although our 13" guns are -2. Everything we have above 6 or 7" is -1. Usually, a 0 is equivalent to a -1 of 1" larger, and I think the same holds true for a 1 relative to 0. You can technically refit these, but it's usually too expensive to do anything beyond replacing 6" guns on your CLs. Second, armor and hull construction can't be refitted. (And it's worth pointing out that hull construction means lighter hull = more tonnage to spend on fun stuff.) FC is pretty cheap to refit when it doesn't upgrade automatically, while torpedoes and DC do upgrade automatically.

    Also, our scientists say that they can use up to 50% more funding than they're currently getting, but more will just be wasted.

    I can do a turret design, but turrets of guns under 9" will suffer in ROF relative to casemate mounts. I'm not sure if the guns suffer penalties in a seaway.


    Moving some units to the Med is definitely a good idea, but ships can swing back and forth pretty quickly. And we can take away funding for shells for now. Upgrades there are instant, but we'll need to remember to turn the money back on in time.

  17. June 11, 2019DampOctopus said...

    @John @bean

    From the manual: "Casemate guns are more sensitive to weather interference and will get higher ROF penalty in heavy seas." So the game does understand this.

  18. June 11, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    We should also think about docks and bases.

    Dock capacity, it seems, is abstracted as a maximum--so we can build as many 16000-ton ships simultaneously as we have budget for, but will need to expand our facilities to build 18000s. Investing in this now probably won't pay any dividends for a few years, but it won't depreciate either, so we could consider it if we don't feel great about the ships we're building.

    As for base capacity, looks like we have more than enough room for the fleet in both of our home regions, and can almost fit the whole fleet in SE Asia. West Africa, South Pacific, and Indian Ocean can all hold about 1/3 of our current fleet, and I don't see us needing to concentrate too many ships there. The region that concerns me is the Caribbean. Unless we plan to just write off Haiti in the event of war with the US, we should build up there.

  19. June 11, 2019David W said...

    A couple of Bean's original questions: I don't think we should spend on special training...it costs a considerable amount but the benefits don't appear to last. That said, I would be in favor of running a fleet exercise, the increase in tension may improve our budget enough to pay for the cost of the exercise, plus it would improve our crews. And it would be a chance for bean to demonstrate the tactical side of the game while we wait for tension to rise enough to narrow down on a real mission.

    Would there be some value in a Mediterranean dedicated design? Take off everything that gives range or weather performance and just focus on winning battles? On the one hand, we have lots of worldwide commitments and would like more. On the other hand we will probably always have a Mediterranean threat

    I agree with everyone else on increasing research spending. That may have to ramp down when war comes but we seem to be far from war.

  20. June 11, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    I think I have to vote for max research spending. That lets us either build a cruiser and not much else, or maybe get some bases and intel while delaying construction until our ships in progress complete. I lean towards the latter--we're likely going to lay down a whole wave of cruisers as things finish next year, and I don't see the sense in finalizing the design a year early just to get one extra ship.

    Reserve priorities are a tough question, but I think we should be okay de-emphasizing shells until our first round of dreads are ordered. In the short term we might prioritize things more useful for cruisers--machinery? I'd also consider permanent high priority on fire control and damage control, just because they're so important. Sure, fire control is retrofittable, but I say we aim to build our ships with advanced fire control and then retrofit then with even more advanced fire control.

  21. June 11, 2019John Schilling said...

    I didn't realize our heavy guns were bottom-tier material, and withdraw my suggestion that naval gun technology be de-emphasized. Bump that up to medium at least, and maybe to high in the short term while bringing fire control down to medium. I don't want that latter situation to endure, because I do want to take and keep the lead in fire control, but I appreciate the argument that we can refit fire control easier than we can crappy guns.

    Pushing R&D into the 10+% range seems wise; not sure whether we want to go all the way to 12% on account of diminishing returns but if we don't have anything else critical to spend the money on then maybe.

    If we want to trade something off so that we can work on guns and fire control both at medium-to-high level, would it work for us to de-emphasize submarine development in the short term on the grounds that we can probably buy good submarines from e.g. Germany when they come available and load them with our own good torpedoes? Doesn't work if we're enemies with Germany, but in that hypothetical submarines are probably not what we are looking for.

  22. June 11, 2019bean said...

    Submarines aren't part of your fleet on a tactical level. You might be able to buy tech from Germany, but not whole subs. There's no design, just picking from coastal, medium-range and minelaying, and we can't actually build any of them yet.

    As for the secondary battery on the cruisers, going to twin turrets actually saves a few dozen tons, but at the price of a 40% reduction in ROF.

  23. June 11, 2019ec429 said...


    I say we aim to build our ships with advanced fire control and then retrofit then with even more advanced fire control. AIUI if you're 'ahead of the curve' in a tech area you get a slight malus to further advances. This might still be a good plan, though; I concur with this thread's affective death spiral around fire control.

    @bean Of those four cruisers, II has an advantage: it's a small enough change from the D-T to share 80% of the development costs. How about trying something medium-ranged (like IV) but with the displacement closer to D-T (so it shares dev) and put the extra space to good use? If we are paying full development costs, then I think ADA has a point about not designing a whole year early just for a single ship; in that case I'd be tempted to suggest looking at CL options instead (note that at the same time CAs are refitting into CVLs, the CLs can turn into dinky 5-fighter escort carriers), or just ploughing our surplus into research.

  24. June 11, 2019bean said...

    Unfortunately, changing range from Long to Normal is enough to drop it out of being a variant, so that's off the table.

  25. June 12, 2019Evil4Zerggin said...

    I advocate dock expansion.

    • The cost is not massive, especially amortized over time.
    • They take a long time to build, so better start early.
    • Ships become obsolete, but docks are forever. (Well, superbattleships eventually become obsolete, but we're a long way from that.)
  26. June 12, 2019beleester said...

    Our battle fleet looks pretty good (better than Germany's if you count the B's under construction) as long as we don't go to war with Britain. So I'm going to suggest we focus on long-term improvements. Max out our research spending, buy a dock upgrade, and then spend the surplus on CA's. We'll get a battleship in a year or two when we have better tech and more idea who we'll be fighting.

    I think I like the CA-I. CA-III is faster but we pay a lot for that extra knot of speed, and we don't know if that extra knot will help us reach any break points (able to outrun an enemy ship that we otherwise couldn't).

    Foreign policy: If we want to fight someone, I think we want to fight Germany. Italy, A-H and Japan are easier targets, but they also have barely any colonies, so we'd only be fighting them for prestige. So, raising tensions with them is okay, but I think we should avoid antagonizing the US and UK and push for alliances if possible.

    I'm also going to suggest Low intel spending across the board. We're pretty far from war right now, but we want a vague idea of what sort of ships the enemy will field.

  27. June 12, 2019ec429 said...

    In that case, I vote for II with as much extra displacement as keeps it a variant, to be used up with more ammo. 100 rpg seems a bit on the low side given the accuracy of 1900-vintage gunnery, and I'd rather have 8” guns firing than 9”ers that have run out of shells.

  28. June 12, 2019bean said...


    Current plans has research at 11%, emphasis on guns and machinery with submarines set to low (there's no need to balance these, but setting everything to high won't be any different from setting everything to medium). I'll start docks when we get enough money, along with an expanded base in the Carribbean. I don't see a consensus on shipbuilding right now, so I'm going to not lay anything down now. We'll have a bunch of docks opening up at the end of the year or early next year, and we might have some better idea where things are going.

    Play will begin at 1500 (ish) Friday.

    @ec429 I can easily get to 140 rounds with a ~20 ton margin on 13200 tons. Not going to post a screenshot, because that takes more work.

  29. June 12, 2019David W said...

    How complete is the war simulation? If we fight Germany do we have to worry about the Ardennes? You can't sail a battleship there...

  30. June 12, 2019bean said...

    The land war is very abstracted. Occasionally, the Army will launch an offensive and ask for some of your budget to support it. Weirdly, it seems to do this without any regard for the actual situation on the ground, such as when the US is fighting Germany. If it wins, then there's a moderate chunk of Victory Points in it for you, but no more than you get out of a medium-sized naval battle. You definitely don't get knocked out of the war based on what happens on land.

  31. June 13, 2019ec429 said...

    @David W: Typical French overconfidence; "the Maginot line can stop here, the Germans will never be able to attack with battleships through the Ardennes!"

  32. June 13, 2019Belushi TD said...


    We will certainly wish to increase the size of our battleships, and increasing the size of the docks now, while we have a surplus, and low tech, means that we can be ready to build the larger ships when the tech is more mature.

    Belushi TD

  33. June 13, 2019bean said...


    On diplomatic policy, I plan to attempt to remain generally friendly with Britain, the US and Japan, while antagonizing Germany, Italy and Austria. A war with either of the two later powers should be fairly straightforward, while Germany is best faced either very soon or in concert with Britain, because their budget will outpace ours. Overall, an alliance with Britain is our best bet, although allying with Germany against them would also work, and will be pursued if it works out and the British alliance doesn't.

  34. June 13, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    @bean Sounds good to me.

    One thing I'm having trouble figuring out is, how exactly things would shake out if despite our best efforts we end up at war with Japan. How much Navy do we have to leave in Europe? Could our SE Asia fleet be forced to engage, or can they sit tight in port until help arrives? Would an arriving fleet be at risk of getting Tsushima'd? If we do manage to establish superiority in SE Asia, would that leave us in a stalemate (as we have no bases in NE Asia)?

  35. June 13, 2019bean said...

    Our fleet could be forced to engage, and Japan might even be able to sneak-attack them in harbor. The arriving fleet would probably be OK, particularly as we have bases in the Indian Ocean. We can deploy into NE Asia, but the fleet starts losing crew quality if it stays there, unless the ships are long range. (I think.) Best option is to steal a base there, probably from Germany.

  36. June 13, 2019Alsadius said...

    Blockading without a base is possible, but your ships start taking progressive damage for being away from base too long. What "too long" means depends on the ship's range. In the demo, I tried having the RN blockade the US east coast for a few months (which has a base at Bermuda, but not one big enough for a full fleet). I found that I was usually down a few ships for repairs at any given time, sometimes fleet units, but they do repair within a couple months, and that was a fleet that was almost entirely medium-ranged. So it's not crippling, but it's a real cost.

  37. June 14, 2019Alexander said...

    A classic Entente v Central Powers line up! But without Russia, and Italy on the other side, we might be overwhelmed. Can we try to avoid facing all three simultaneously, and instead fight anyone we have to fight in sequence?

    If our 6"/7" guns are of superior quality to larger calibres I see that as another reason to give any cruisers we build a lighter armament, along with those in my earlier post. Obviously once our technology improves, this may change, especially if we plan on refiting our cruisers with new guns.

    Bases and docks are a good idea, though I might be prepared to gamble on good relations with the US rather than fortify the Carribbean, even if that means abandoning it in the event of war.

  38. June 14, 2019bean said...

    Usually, you only face one at a time. I think I've only ever seen one alliance between the other powers, and one other case where I ended up facing two powers at once. My basic plan is to generally try to reduce tensions with the 3 we want to ally with, and increase tensions with those we want war with. But not to the point of war at the same time.

    Obviously once our technology improves, this may change, especially if we plan on refiting our cruisers with new guns.

    Refits of anything mounted in a turret get very expensive, to the point that I wouldn't do them unless I was under a naval treaty of some sort and couldn't build new.

  39. June 14, 2019Alexander said...

    Well, if we won't be switching out -1 quality 8" or 9" guns for newer versions, let's stick with 6" or 7", whatever the largest quality 0 we can make. Glad to hear we're not planning on taking on the rest of Europe single handed Ü

  40. June 14, 2019bean said...

    The time has come for the game to begin. Expect the report soon. (It will take more time to write up than it will to play.)

  41. June 16, 2019bean said...

    The report on 1900 is now up in the bottom of the OP. Let me know what you think.

  42. June 17, 2019beleester said...

    Even after stepping up our research, we've got money to burn! Our monthly balance will pay for about 2.5 capital ships (CA's and B's have about the same monthly cost, B's just take longer) and our stockpiled funds will pay for about half a ship.

    The new German B is carrying 11-inch guns and a 9-inch belt, so our designs with 12-inch guns and a 10.5 or 11.5 inch belt look competitive. I think we can build one and not regret it later.

    I think the new Trident and low-change Richelieu are both poor choices - our 13-inch guns are a lot heavier for marginal gain, and I don't think there's any advantage in having 4 single turrets instead of 2 doubles. Aside from that, I don't have strong opinions on which variant is best.

    I suggest building: 1 B-01-II 1 CA-01-I and another CA sometime in the middle of the year when the budget allows it.

    Also, can we get future updates in a new thread? I think this page is going to get unwieldy in a few years.

  43. June 17, 2019bean said...

    First, note that we have three Bs about to complete over the next few months, so that's more like 5 or 6 ships we can build. It will take 3 months to get any new design ready, and I think the first one commissions in 2.

    Second, I was planning to alternate RTW game threads with OTs, although I might just put each year on its own going forward.

  44. June 17, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Weird about armor, seems like one of the things that definitely shouldn't auto-upgrade... I suppose the way to check that would be to look at the penetration numbers before and after an armor breakthrough?

    As for ship choices... I think I like a long-range cruiser. Not sure how much value going from 8 to 9 inches is worth, but my gut feeling looking at the numbers is to go for the 9s, so voting CA-01-I until someone makes a better argument.

    B's are frustrating, and I'm tempted to say we just build CAs until we have a better big gun. That's probably a bad idea though. I vote against the -2 13" guns, and the cost savings of B-01-IV just aren't worth losing 25% of broadside. B-01-II seems expensive, so it comes down to width vs depth of belt. Assuming narrow belt works better in calm waters where you roll less, since we're trying to pick a fight in the Med, maybe B-01-I?

  45. June 17, 2019bean said...

    The penetration numbers have definitely changed, but we had both armor and AP shell breakthroughs. I should just post on the forums about it, probably.

    I'm not sure exactly what normal vs narrow belt does in-game. The manual should have details, as that was an RTW1 feature.

  46. June 17, 2019David W said...

    It looks to me that we could use a boost to our CA numbers, especially since Japan seems to be looking for a fight. I vote for spending 1901 mostly focused on research and cruisers. If we have any extra, perhaps a boost to our dockyards or some coastal batteries in the far east?

  47. June 17, 2019bean said...

    If by dockyard you mean the biggest ship you can build, those cost 3200 each, and I have another one scheduled to start as soon as the existing one completes in March. Japan isn't looking for a fight yet. If it goes yellow, we might start to worry, but this kind of tension is pretty common.

    I'll try to remember and post some numbers on coastal battery costs later.

  48. June 17, 2019David W said...

    Yep, that's what I meant. Missed the note where you already started our shipyards upgrading. Is that 3200 per month for twelve months or 3200 once? If the latter we should probably build a new one every year but if it's every 12 months I guess it's in the same category as research and good now while things are peaceful.

  49. June 17, 2019beleester said...

    Manual on narrow belts: "This saves weight but means that shells that would have hit the belt instead might hit BE or no armour at all."

    Not very detailed, but there you go. Since a battleship is a big investment, I'd say it's worth spending a little extra to protect against lucky shots.

    I'm thinking 4 CA-01-Is and 1 B-01-II. Including design time, it takes 31 months to build a battleship, so we don't want to wait too long. Still, tensions are low - I'm open to other options.

  50. June 17, 2019bean said...


    It's once. It gives you 2-3k tons, so you don't need it every year during the whole game. But I'll keep it going for a while.

  51. June 17, 2019Alsadius said...

    IMO, the 13" gun is for suckers right now - it's a quality level lower than the 12", and in practice you need to add like 3" of caliber for each quality drop in order to make it worthwhile. The range/penetration stats are similar 1-2" higher, but the added mass and reduced rate of fire mean that you don't want to be bothered unless you're adding a lot of inches to the gun, IMO. (It's offset a bit by improved damage and better upgrade potential, but I don't think that's a very good trade).

    Regarding ships, I like CA-01-II and B-01-II. I don't like dropping the deck armour to 1.5" on B-01-III, and narrow belts just feel dangerous on a battleship. I'd be down with -V if we had better 13" guns, though.

    Also, a thought - overseas bases might be worth improving. Right now, basically the whole fleet can base out of Northern Europe, the Med, and Southeast Asia, but any other region will have limited ability to host major fleets. West Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the South Pacific can all be home to mid-sized squadrons, and the Caribbean can host a small-ish force, but I dislike relying on small forces to defend our colonial empire. I'd like to see some improvement to the fleet bases at Dakar, Djibouti, Noumea, and Fort de France over time, as ships and fleets expand. It's not urgent, but as funds allow, it would be a good investment for the future.

  52. June 18, 2019bean said...

    The variants offered here are not exhaustive. If you want a B-01-IIIA with a 2" deck, I'd be happy to prepare it for you. Same goes for anyone else.

  53. June 18, 2019Alsadius said...

    Nah, by the time you brought the armour back up, it'd lose the cost advantage that made it appealing in the first place.

  54. June 19, 2019David W said...

    Where do I look for ship performance evaluation numbers? I am trying to understand the upgrades between CA-01-I and CA-00-I and the only difference I see is that the newer ship is slightly cheaper for the same armament. Did we gain any speed or armor strength, where do I look to see that?

    It's hard to have an opinion on ship design when I can see the input choices but not their consequences.

  55. June 19, 2019bean said...

    CA-01-I was simply CA-00-I with the benefits of the improved tech we got during 1900 (which auto-upgrade when you open the design, so I couldn't build CA-00-I even if I wanted to now). No extra armor or anything. It's 62 tons lighter, and about 1.7% cheaper. I could cut 100 tons off displacement and make it even cheaper and lighter. The basic design is still good, and I wanted to show that we had made progress.

  56. June 19, 2019John Schilling said...

    My preference would be CA-01-I with the hundred tons knocked off its displacement. The ship we could build next year will always be better than the ship we can build this year, but that path leads to our finding ourselves at war with naught but worn-out obsolete ships and artist's conceptions. And, though the game probably doesn't model it, shipyard workers who have lost the knack. We need to manage a steady pace of construction.

    For best results, we will want to anticipate both fundamental technological breakthroughs and rapid-onset obsolescence. The ships which, at our current level, are most likely to become obsolete in the near future are pre-dreadnought battleships and undersized destroyers. Light cruisers are probably the most future-proof ships we could build right now, but armored cruisers are a close second and we have a bigger deficit w/re our likely opponents in that class.

    Next up would be a cheap light cruiser for colonial duties, trade protection, and commerce raiding.

  57. June 19, 2019David W said...

    I agree this is a good year to bulk up on our armored cruisers and that light cruisers will likely be a good goal once we get caught up on CA.

    I am assuming that at this level of tech, CA can stand in the main battle fleet and supplement it so we can put off BB a little longer. It helps that we started the game ahead of everyone but Britain in BB of course.

    I'm just having trouble understanding the pros and cons of the menu of designs bean has presented.

  58. June 19, 2019bean said...


    I will draw up CA-01-IA later today. I'll also provide some CL sketches based on our existing ships, with more range and colonial facilities. That would let us concentrate our CAs, either in European waters or SEA.


    Places to look are armor, guns, and speed. None of which changed from CA-00-I to CA-01-I. CAs are decent line-of-battle units at this point.

  59. June 19, 2019bean said...

    New design sketches are in:

    CA-01-IA. The cost savings are smaller than I expected. Hull steel is cheap.

    CL-01-I, a variant of the Coetlogon, with enough tonnage to bring it up to standard.

    CL-01-II, using the same hull as the Coetlogon. The weapons fit is the same, but it’s been reconfigured to put every gun in an individual hand-worked mount. There’s a slight cost in protection, though. Also, colonial facilities have been added. There’s some extra tonnage for future growth.

    CL-01-III, a long-range variant of CL-01-III.

    CL-01-IV is a variant of the new Chateaurenault. The 4″ power-operated guns have been switched for 5″ manual guns, with the tonnage cut as much as I can while still keeping it a variant for production cost reasons.

  60. June 19, 2019Alsadius said...

    The difference a year's tech makes isn't worth the costs of starting a new design, IMO - prototyping is more expensive than it's worth to save 50 tons. I'd be more inclined to only do new designs in a given class every few years, unless an emergency pops up, and rotate around which ones get updated.

  61. June 19, 2019bean said...


    I didn't confirm the CA-00-I design. It's still a sketch, so we'll have to pay for a new one.

  62. June 20, 2019beleester said...

    I'm confused - you said CL-01-II has the same weapon fit as the I variant, but it clearly has more guns from the picture. I has two double turrets and two wing turrets, for 6 guns and a 5-gun broadside. II has two singles fore and aft, and eight wing turrets, so 10 guns and a 6-gun broadside. And despite being less total displacement it still has room left over for colonial facilities. Is there any reason not to take that version, besides the reduced turret armor?

  63. June 20, 2019bean said...

    I has casemate guns, too. They're in the grey superstructures that run across the ship, but they're not easy to see. (They're the ones with 0 in the number in the weapons screen.) Strictly speaking, I has a 7-gun broadside, but you lose ROF from the turrets, and probably from the casemates, too, if you're in a seaway.

  64. June 20, 2019beleester said...

    Hold on, "0 guns per turret" means "1 gun, in a casemate"? Who's responsible for that inspired bit of UI design?

    Regardless, I think I still like the II design better since we avoid the ROF penalty for turrets and we could use a dedicated colonial ship.

  65. June 20, 2019bean said...

    No clue. It sort of makes sense in hindsight, in that it clearly designates casemate guns as distinct from single turrets, but I would have done it differently. The UI is not one of RTW2's strong points, but it's better than Aurora.

  66. June 20, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Re: CL-01-III, how much do we expect to miss that 23rd knot? That long range will serve us well if we think we ever might send them raiding.

  67. June 20, 2019bean said...

    Unfortunately, we're at a very bad spot on the speed-weight curve here. Note that CL-01-II has something like 20% more machinery despite being almost 10% lighter than -III. That 300 tons is going to need at least another 300 to support it in terms of hull and armor, so a design with both 23 kts and long range is going to be pushing 8,000 tons.

  68. June 20, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    I sort of meant it the other way--I saw that it's a hefty cost to get the extra knot, but I'm not sure how to think about the value. I'm currently leaning towards CL-01-III, especially since tonnage requirements would seem to make the extra weight a positive, but I want to understand better what I'm giving up.

  69. June 20, 2019John Schilling said...

    I also lean towards III rather than II on the grounds of long range for commerce raiding and commerce protection. The extra knot of speed is of little value when chasing down enemy merchants or tied to the defense of our own, and not much more than that in a fleet action. It could be decisive in cruiser duels if it means we can't chase down a weaker enemy cruiser or escape from a stronger one, but I don't think that will be a big enough factor to be worth the substantial cost.

  70. June 20, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Got it--so there is a dollar-auction dynamic that rewards being one knot faster than your rivals, but it's not everything.

    Plus the US is building 21 kt CLs, so..

  71. June 20, 2019bean said...

    The official build plan for FY01 has been prepared. We are going to immediately begin contract design on CA-01-I and CL-01-III, planning to lay down three of the former and two of the latter. We could lay down a third light cruiser when battleship Devastation commissions mid-year, but by leaving it open, we generate a slight positive cash flow and can lay down another big ship at the start of 1902.

  72. June 21, 2019bean said...

    In June 1901, a confrontation broke out between us and Italy. In view of their vigorous battleship construction program, as well as the imminent completion of our last remaining battleship, Devastation, it was decided to give the Ministre de la Marine the chance to start design immediately instead of waiting for the end of the year. An increased budget has also been voted, giving us approximately 700/month if we choose the new battleship. Recent research has allowed us to design improved destroyers, too, and preliminary design offers the following options:

    Designs I is a derivative of the current Durandals (which are way overweight, so the 100-ton tonnage increase was almost entirely soaked up by making it work right), while II trades a knot of speed for another torpedo and more ammo. III and IV are short-range designs (which means they can’t move between areas after war breaks out) focusing on torpedoes and guns respectively.

  73. June 21, 2019Alsadius said...

    I lean towards DD -I - France isn't Austria that can just leave its fleet at home in wartime, so -I and -II are the reasonable choices, and I think the extra knot is better than the fourth torpedo.

    Also, a UI bit you may not have noticed. If you click the red double arrow at the bottom towards the right, you can see torpedoes at the same time as guns. I find it handy, especially for ships like DDs that like their torpedoes. (Or, later on, for carriers)

  74. June 22, 2019Alexander said...

    Okay, if we're laying down a battleship, I vote for for B-01-II. DD-01-I looks good, and has the same torpedo broadside as II. Do we have any intel on Italian designs? Will anyone offer them support? If we lose ships, who might try to take advantage?

  75. June 22, 2019beleester said...

    Echoing everyone else on DD-01-I. Early game torpedoes are kinda crap, so I think an extra knot is more valuable.

  76. June 22, 2019bean said...

    Ah. I should have posted when play resumed this afternoon. DD-01-I is now known as Mousqueton, and four, along with two of an improved design (we got breakthroughs in both hull and engines in late 1901, so I just redid the design and increased the ammo) are currently in the yards. Full report as of January 1902 will be posted Monday.

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