August 14, 2020

Rule the Waves 2 Game 1 - January 1930


It has been a busy year for us. We've commissioned two battleships, a carrier and 10 destroyers, and, thanks to increased tensions with Germany, laid down a carrier, two light carriers and one heavy and three light cruisers. We also refitted four of our old BCs and started a major modernization for Saint Louis. And we have a significant budget surplus even after all of that.

The biggest concern is what to do about Germany. We defeated them a few years ago, but tensions are creeping up again. Fortunately, our alliance with the British is holding strong, and we should be able to face them if necessary. As for what to do with the surplus, the staff has worked out a design for a 70-plane 28,000-ton carrier, which should be able to help give us a serious striking force against their fleet. Another issue to address is the potential escort shortage. Our 600 and 700 ton destroyers are overage, and it might be a good idea to build new corvettes to replace them. On the good news front, we also recently developed the technology for dive bombers, and have a design in work.

Our current fleet

Ships under construction

January 1929

We begin design work on CL Mulhouse. We sell Large diesel engines to the Italians for 4,200. Germany lays down a CL, Japan 1 DD, the US 2 DD, Italy 1 CA, 1 CL. UK commissions 1 DD, US 1 BB.

February 1929

Our spies steal blueprints for German CL Arcona. Breakthrough: Shell dyes, Improved 17" gun (+1). UK lays down a BB, Italy a CL, US 2 DD.

March 1929

BB Suffren and 3 destroyers commission. Breakthrough: Improved electric engines. We begin procurement of a private fighter, the MS.112. Italy lays down a CA, the US a DD. AH commissions 3 DD, UK 1 DD. We begin reconstruction of BCs Rouen and Lyon.

April 1929

Design work begins on CVL Arromanches. 5 destroyers commission. We have a colonial crisis with Germany, and take a middle route, trying to avoid a war right now. Breakthroughs: Super heavy shells, Fixed zone AA barrage, Dive bombing. The Farman F.109 floatplane enters operational service. Germany lays down a CVL, AH commissions a DD, Japan 2 DD. CLs Mulhouse and Coetlogon laid down, BC Nancy begins reconstruction.

May 1929

BB Texel commissions, along with 2 destroyers. Breakthrough: Decapping belt. US lays down 1 CL, AH commissions 2 DD, Japan 1 DD. We delay production of Arromanches to take advantage of the new armor tech. Design work begins on CL Surcouf, a slight improvement over the Mulhouse.

June 1929

CV Bearn commissions. CL Surcouf laid down, along with CVLs Arromanches and Nice. Germany lays down a BC, UK a CV, US a DD. UK and Japan commission DDs, US a BB. We begin design work on CA Gloire and CV Painleve.

July 1929

BBs Lyon and Rouen finish reconstruction. CV Painleve laid down. AH lays down a CL, UK a CVL. UK commissions 1 CL, 3 DD, Japan 1 DD.

August 1929

BB Nancy finishes her reconstruction. We select the Loire 115 as our new flying boat. CA Gloire laid down. US lays down 1 BC, 1 CA. AH commissions 2 DD, Germany 1 DD, UK 2 DD, Japan 2 DD, US 3 DD. We begin refit of BB Nantes. We begin a competition for a new dive-bomber.

September 1929

Breakthrough: Deck park. Germany lays down a BC, US 1 BC, 1 CL, 2 DD. AH commissions 2 DD, as does Britain. Japan and US each commission 1 DD.

October 1929

We back one of our allies in the Balkans. Breakthroughs: Lightweight scantlings, Non-flammable materials. We buy the privately-developed LeO 118 Dive Bomber. The MS.112 enters operational service. US lays down 2 DD, UK 1 CVL. Germany commissions 2 DD, UK 1 DD, Japan 1 BB, 2 DD. US 1 BB, 1 DD. We begin refit of BB Saint Louis with improved engines and deck armor.

November 1929

Improved naval gun 5" (+1). A revolution in Africa boosts international tension and our budget. AH lays down a CL, commissions 2 DD. UK commissions 1 DD, Japan 2 DD, US 3 DD.

December 1929

Breakthrough: Improved oil burners. Germany lays down a BC, AH a CV, UK a CL, Italy a CA, Japan a CV and a CA, US a DD. AH commissions 2 DD, UK a CA, Italy a BC, Japan 3 DD, US 5 DD.

Our proposed new CV


  1. August 14, 2020Dakkon said...

    If it should come to that, how would we fare in a renewed conflict with Germany? Our advantage in battleship tonnage, including those under construction, is offset by their emphasis on battlecruisers. Assuming we were to attempt to enforce a blockade, would their battlecruisers operate as independent commerce raiders or alongside their battleship fleet? They also appear to have 333 naval aircraft to our 394, so absent a quality differential we are not assured of air superiority. An optimistic war plan within the next year would have our new dive-bombers wreaking havoc on their battlefleet, but their fighters may have something to say about that.

    Our British allies proved somewhat unreliable in the last war, so we should treat any contribution they might make as a bonus rather than as part of our usual strength.

    I would be inclined to chance it once the dive bombers are operational and even more so once the Magentas complete, as I don’t think the Germans have anything close to matching them. Perhaps it is time to begin a program of enhanced gunnery training for our already well-trained crews?

  2. August 14, 2020DuskStar said...

    Weren't the German BBs and BCs mounting 16" guns already?

  3. August 15, 2020Alexander said...

    I'll have a more thorough look later, but right now I'd suggest that we drastically reduce our research into naval guns. My understanding is that the maximum possible quality is +1, and we have now reached that in all the calibres we are interested in. 4" (and soon 5") guns we want for DP secondaries, 6" for CL main armament (except for Atlanta type CLs), 10" for CAs (11" for the 'Deutschlands'), and anything heavier is just for capital ships. Since we now have 17" +1s, I imagine that they would be adequate for the rest of the battleship age. I expect we'll want to start our next (and final?) batch of BBs within a year of the Magentas fitting out, but while there is a certain attraction to massive Yamato style super BBs, 17" guns should be enough. Let's make guns low priority.

  4. August 16, 2020Alexander said...

    We could do with some new minesweepers (as well as refitting the Jeanne Maries), and ASW corvettes could come in handy too. I seem to remember that we briefly discussed destroyers during the Teams meetup, and some proposal (perhaps specialist AA or ASW DDs) was criticised as impractical as the destroyers would tend to attempt torpedo attacks rather than their main role. If you can remember what that task actually was (apologies), could corvettes be a solution? I'm pretty happy with our current destroyer fleet, as we've got around forty over 1,000 tons, though we'll need more around the middle of this decade.

    We've got various cruisers that need refitting - I'm not sure whether to leave it until next year when we'll have the new CLs to cover the gap. A CV (or CVL) to help replace Duquesne and the D-Ts, or at least permit their transfer to the Med is a good plan, and I like the TDS on your design. Upgrade Ocean once Saint Louis is ready?

  5. August 16, 2020bean said...


    Their battlecruisers are likely to form part of their fleet. They are building some smaller ones that might operate independently, but I'm not quite sure what the plan is there yet.


    Yes. We've stuck with 15" because our 16" are quality 0, and for heavy guns, +1 quality is approximately 1" of caliber.


    The gun suggestion makes a lot of sense. Will do.

    As for the corvettes, that was indeed for ASW, and we can easily build another batch of minesweepers/ASW KEs. I was planning to scrap the D-Ts when the new CVLs commission. Not so sure about Duquesne. Might target her for replacement with the third CV. Ocean will be refitted with Saint Louis is done. Not sure about the cruisers. We could use Descartes and the Du Chaylas to cover while we start the refits.

  6. August 17, 2020Alexander said...

    I know Italy and Austria-Hungary are probably not looking to renew hostilities, but when I remember our first couple of decades, and see that there are over 150 subs in the Med, it makes me keen to maintain our ASW capabilities. I tend to see aircraft as a key part of that, but escorts aren't to be neglected either, and they are both relatively easy to squeeze into a budget.

    What would a 17" version of Magenta look like? How about if you wanted to be able to catch the German BCs? Are there any technologies we really want for our next BBs that ought to be prioritised?

  7. August 17, 2020bean said...

    A 17" Magenta is pretty big. We could do two triples with our current tonnage limit (and actually gain a half-inch of belt). If we want 7 guns, we get to 46,000 tons, which is really all we can hope for by the time the Magentas commission. Two quads and 30 kts is something like 57,000 tons, and we can't get our docks to that size until the mid-30s.

  8. August 17, 2020Alexander said...

    We'll have to see what things look like in a year or two, but this implies that we should increase our dock capacity, and maybe prioritise research into machinery development/hull construction/ship design, and hope for some weight saving technology. We might stick with smaller BBs (15" +1 is very reasonable) but the option to go large would be nice. If we did stick with 15", would you consider going back to 10 or even 12 guns, or would fewer heavier guns be better? I imagine with our emphasis on accuracy (and the possibility of facing very large German BBs in future) we'd prefer the larger calibre.

  9. August 20, 2020ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Hmm, rereading the last war with Germany, a few takeaways:

    • Subs and raiders were a bit annoying at times but not much of an influence on the outcome of the war—we never had a single point of unrest.
    • Significant capital ship engagements were frequent enough to be the main deciding factor in the war. While we mostly won these, there is ample room to widen that margin of victory.
    • Enemy aircraft (mostly land-based?) caused us significant trouble at times, justifying focus on shipboard AA and/or CAP capabilities.
    • Our own bomber force achieved little, but as it consisted only of one carrier-based and one land-based squadron, and in light of the rapid progress of technology in that area, there is a limit to how much we can conclude from that performance.
    • Latouche-Treville twice found herself working exactly as planned, forcing and winning a lopsided 1:1 duel with an enemy CL. Quite a vindication of the 11" CA project.
  10. August 20, 2020bean said...

    Since play resumed, I've largely been maxing out AA guns when refitting or designing ships, instead of fitting the small complements I was doing earlier. (At least so far as I can avoid going seriously overweight, that is.) Still, might not be a bad idea to increase the focus on AA research.

    As for raiders, I definitely agree that the 11" CAs seem to be a success. On a related note, I checked our intel, and a bunch of the German BCs are really small. They currently have 5 ships in service that are under 15,000 tons, and armed with 6 13" guns, and another 3 building that are 16,000 tons with unknown armament. I'm not quite sure why it's doing this or what template it's drawing from, but the CAs seem a pretty good counter. (Actually, I wonder if they're not supposed to be CAs and the designer glitched.) Of course, if we go to 10" guns, we can get more weapons onboard, and I have a pretty nice 12 10" design on 14,200 tons. Still classes as a CA, but should be a match for any of their small BCs, or any raider that it stumbles across.

  11. August 20, 2020bean said...


    First, sorry for the delay. Lost track of this one.

    Definitely in agreement that an expansion would be a good plan. It'll pay off down the line, if not right now. On the whole, I'm in favor of sticking with the 15", probably the 8x15" we have now. Trying to get more guns means a third turret, which is pretty expensive in terms of weight, particularly relative to the all-forward setup we have now. A 10-gun Magenta (KGV arrangement) would be 52,500 tons. Theoretically very slightly more tons/gun than Magenta, but that's a lot to pay for that upgrade.

    As for gunnery training, going that way now will cost us 3,700/month, which is more than our surplus. It's doable, but expensive.

  12. August 20, 2020Alexander said...

    15" was historically perfectly respectable armament for a battleship even in the '40s. Having said that, in this world battleships are considerably more fearsome, thanks to large budgets and no naval treaties. I tend to prefer fewer, more powerful vessels of any type (e.g. those heavy cruisers) which gets me interested in the 17" +1. Despite that, I wouldn't be averse to gradually transitioning towards carriers taking the lead in a fleet engagement. At one stage I think I even suggested making the Magentas our last battleships. In short, I'm conflicted. If I had to decide now, I'd probably go for a pair of 6x17" BBs, and a pair of 8x17" to follow, all 28kts. Still, we don't have to pick yet Ü.

    I'm surprised that the Germans are building new battle cruisers on just 16,000 tons. I'd have to guess that they are built to kill our 11" heavy cruisers (or replace those we sunk off Texel). While I would normally worry that the BCs would outmatch them, because of the way the game arranges battles I'm optimistic that their BCs will find themselves facing our BBs, leaving our CAs free to hunt their cruisers. As you say, it's also good to know they'd have a fighting chance if a German BC did catch them.

  13. August 20, 2020ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Glad to hear we've already gotten started on bolting AA guns everywhere they'll fit.

    One possible gap I see is that only our destroyers can keep up with our modern carriers. Should we build some 30 kt CLs to beef up their escort? (Assuming the game would be smart enough to assign them as such).

  14. August 20, 2020bean said...

    A 30-kt Bertin is going to take about 6300 tons, but I can do 29 kts on 5500 tons. Both have some improvements, most notably an extra pair of 4" DP guns and better AA.

  15. August 22, 2020Dakkon said...

    As I recall, the Germans lean towards an imbalanced design philosophy, heavy on big guns and light on armor. What is the best way to exploit such an imbalance?

    The gunnery training is expensive enough that we should probably hold off until tensions rise further, when it could help to smooth the pre-war/post-war cycle of budget boom and bust.

  16. August 22, 2020bean said...


    Heavier on armor, lighter on guns seems to beat that most of the time in my experience. That said, we talked this over during the virtual meetup, and came up with a plan for a 12,300 ton 8 10″ CA, which we thought would be the bulk of our buy, along with minesweepers.

    As for gunnery training, it takes a year to take effect, so we don’t want to wait too long.

  17. August 23, 2020Alexander said...

    I think that the German battlecruisers at Jutland in WWI emphasised armour, in comparison to the more heavily armed British BCs. This might not be a factor in the poor performance of the British, but it does put me off large surface combatants with low armour. The increasing power of aircraft also strongly suggests that your deck armour can't be neglected, even if you are confident in your ability to keep enemy ships out of gunnery range.

  18. August 23, 2020bean said...

    We are at war with Germany again! I tried to stretch it out into 1931, but Britain and Germany were going at it, and we decided to back the British. But our first battle was a victory, although not a huge one.

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