September 30, 2019

Rule the Waves 2 Game 1 - June 1910


So far, the war with Italy has gone reasonably well, with even the recent battle off Isle du Levant netting us three battleships and half a dozen destroyers for the price of a single battlecruiser, despite extensive damage to our fleet. Other battles have universally resulted in our ships emerging victorious, with the only black spot being the Army's refusal to authorize the invasion of Sicily.1 We see no end for this, and perhaps should consider spending the preparation money elsewhere.

With the loss of Marseille, it is perhaps time to reexamine battlecruiser construction. A number of sketch designs have been prepared for your consideration, all using the new 14" gun and improved torpedo protection.2

The current fleet

Ships under construction

Battlecruiser designs

December 1909

Enemy fleets dominate the seas around Corsica, -100 VP. Breakthrough: Light Cruiser armor configuration. Our submarines sink 2 enemy merchants, while a single one of our merchants is sunk by a raider. UK lays down a CL, Italy 6 KE and an AMC, US commissions 2 CL. 230 VP for blockade.

A cruiser battle looms near Crete, but the Italians decline it, giving us 3845 VP. We use the gap to launch a raid on enemy shipping in the Gulf of Taranto, with all three Devastations, 3 supporting battleships, 3 CAs, and various destroyers. They encounter the bulk of the Italian fleet, including Cristoforo Columbo, somehow out of the yard already. The admiral in command of our fleet describes the Italian yard workers as "magnifique". The final count for them is 1 BB, 5 B, and 3 CA. Unfortunately, they turn to run for home, and neither side's gunnery is good enough to make an action of it. Fortunately, one of the Italian B of the Caio Duilio class, is slowed by a few hits and soon begins to take a battering from our ships. Eventually, she is left dead in the water, and is sunk by torpedoes.

The fleet goes in search of more prey, the Italian main body have long ago scampered over the horizon for Taranto, and finds a corvette, which it manages to hit several times without sinking it. With dusk falling, the fleet withdraws, fearful of a night attack. Minor victory, +1 prestige, 1,888 VP for us, 368 VP for them at the Battle of the Gulf of Taranto.

January 1910

We commission 2 SSC. Breakthrough: Plotting table. Each side's submarines get 1 merchant, and a raider of theirs gets another of ours. However, we get one of their subs. British operations add 260 VP. Gain 240 VP for blockade. Germany lays down a BC, Italy an AMC and 3 KE. A-H has commissioned a CA, UK a BB.

Convoy defense off Western France. A CL and 2 DDs are defending a convoy. They encounter a pair of Italian CLs. Fortunately, our CL is a 6" gun Coetlogon, while their ships are both armed with 4", giving us a major advantage. Eventually, we batter one of their CLs to immobility, then finish it off with torpedoes. Major victory, +1 prestige, 1,414 VP for us, 90 VP for them in the Battle of the Bay of Biscay.

February 1910

Increased industrialization improves national resources. Breakthrough: Preheater. Our subs sink one enemy merchant ship and we lose no ships to their fleet. UK commissions a BB. US lays down a CL, Italy an AMC. 240 VP for blockade. Construction of CL Bugeaud suspended to reduce financial losses.

Cruiser action off Sicily. CL Forbin and four DDs encounter an equal Italian force. (Sidenote: I am annoyed that none of the BCs have gotten into action yet.) Unfortunately, Forbin's inexperienced crew don't shoot well enough to get the early firepower advantage, and suffer several topside hits that slow their ship. Eventually, they manage to sink one of the enemy's destroyers, while another patrolling cruiser squadron (AI managed) joins the chase. Another destroyer is lamed and left behind to eventually sink, but eventually the enemy pulls away, and we turn for Tunis. Minor victory, 350 VP for us, 203 VP for them.

March 1910

We commission 2 SSC, 2 KE. Parliament authorizes additional war loans and the naval budget increases. Breakthrough: Reliable delay fuzes. 2 friendly merchants lost to subs, 5 to raiders, 1 enemy sub sunk. UK lays down 4 DD, US 1 BB, Italy 1 AMC. Italy commissions 1 AMC, 3 KE. 230 VP for blockade of the enemy.

Raid on enemy coastal shipping in the Ligurian Sea. We have 3 CAs, with CL scouting force. (Still no BCs!) They run into a similar-sized Italian force, and begin to exchange broadsides. A long running battle follows, with our ships generally hitting more than they are hit. One of their CLs blows up spectacularly after a turret hit. A CA is lamed and left behind, later to be blown up by one of our trailing cruisers, while another CA takes heavy damage and slows to a halt. Our main force turns to pound it to dust, in the process trapping a CL and pounding it to rubble. The last CA and the rest of the Italian force flee to safety at La Spezia. Eventually, the second CL blows up like the first, while the CA is torpedoed and sinks. Our fleet turns for Corsica, and on the way back, stumbles across an Italian merchantman, who is promptly sunk. As a result of the battle, our Naval Intelligence personnel suggest that the Italians are either introducing a new type of propellant and didn't do their safety homework, or really didn't do their safety homework. Ordnance suggest we conduct a comprehensive safety review of our own. The Battle of the Ligurian Sea is a major victory, +2 prestige, 4,048 VP for us, 462 VP for them.

April 1910

Construction resumes on CL Bugeaud. CL Troude sent for refit with better FC. 2 SS laid down. Breakthrough: Extended double bottom. 1 friendly merchant ship sunk by subs, 6 by raiders. UK laid down a DD, Italy scrapped 3 DD. Italy commissioned 1 AMC, 3 KE. 240 VP for blockade. No idea why the invasion of Sicily isn't firing.

Coastal raid on Sicily. 2 BCs (finally!) and 5 DDs run across a force of 2 Bs, a BB and the Italian BC. Their commander wisely decides to withdraw, and breaks loose from all but Lepanto, which the two ships then pound until she breaks off. The BCs then run for the open sea. After dusk falls, they head for Malta, the nearest friendly base. The result would have been pretty even, except that a CA was torpedoed by one of our submarines after dark, giving us a major victory in the Battle off Syracuse. +1 Prestige, 1,956 VP for us, 669 VP for them.

May 1910

Breakthroughs: Increased oblique penetration ability, Q-Ships. Their subs kill 2 merchants, ours get 1, while our patrols are very effective and stop all attempted raids. (Sorry about the short message here. There was an accident in the coding office and many dispatches were lost.)

The enemy attempts a raid on a land target near Toulon, which we meet with nearly our entire fleet. They're bombarding the target when we sight them, but they flee before it's destroyed. Unfortunately, the speed required has badly spread our fleet, so the Devastations and Dunquerques go into action without the support of the older Bs. During the exchange, an unlucky hit on Martel that slows her allows their fleet to pull ahead. Somehow, we blunder into a melee with their trailing division, and Martel and Marseilles are torpedoed. Marseilles eats a second fish while breaking away and goes down. However, two Bs are lamed and sunk, along with a brace of destroyers. A small force of cruisers and destroyers got bypassed during the battle, and the remaining battlecruisers end up in a melee with them just after dusk, sinking a CL. They get clear, and the situation falls completely to pieces, with most of the fleet milling around Nice. More training in night fighting might be needed. Somehow, the battlecruisers end up off the Italian port of Imperia, and sink another battleship in a close-range melee which miraculously doesn't see either of them torpedoed.

When the smoke clears, it looks like we've won, but only barely. We sunk three old battleships, a light cruiser and half a dozen destroyers, at the cost of a battlecruiser and two merchant vessels caught in the crossfire. But both fleets were badly battered, and it's going to be a few months before our entire fleet is ready for sea again. 7,559 VP for us, 6,980 VP for them at the Battle of Isle du Levant.

December 1910


The last six months have been quiet. We have yet to see another battle on the scale of Isle du Levant and the Army refuses to invade Sicily, but we continue to chip away at the Italian navy. The biggest event was the laying down of our new battlecruiser Lille. Even our researchers were fairly quiet, but we hope for more in the opening months of 1911.

Our current fleet

Ships under construction

June 1910

Design work begun on BC Lille. CL Lavoisier commissioned. Our spies steal the plans for Italian CL Cagliari. 1 merchant sunk by a raider. UK and Japan lay down 2 DD each, US lays down 1 BC, Italy 1 AMC. A-H commissions BB, Italy 1 AMC, 1 CL. 210 VP for blockade of the enemy.

Coastal raid on western France. A CL and a couple DDs encounter an enemy CA, and decide they'd rather avoid action. They shadow the CA until dusk, with the end result being that the only loss is a TR with medium damage. Minor victory, 276 VP for them, 29 VP for us.

July 1910

4 KE laid down to bridge the gap before Lille starts construction. CL Troude finishes reconstruction. Breakthrough: Hydraulic rammers. One of our subs torpedoes and damages BB Columbo, while a DD is sunk by a mine in the Med. 1 friendly merchant sunk by raider. A-H lays down a BC, Italy an AMC, US a BB. Italy commissions a CL. 250 VP for blockade.

Coastal raid on Sicily. 2 CL and 3 DD raid south of Messina. They encounter 2 CLs and escorting destroyers, and at the start of the action, CL Forbin is quite roughly handled. Dusk falls, and we break off. Somehow, Forbin survives through the night, but sinks the next morning. Everyone is very confused. Enemy major victory, 292 VP for us, 995 VP for them.

August 1910

Enemy subs sink 1 ship, we sink 1 enemy sub. Raiders get 3 more. Italy declines to attack an important convoy, giving us 7755 VP. We then raid Mozambique, but find their fleet elsewhere, gaining another 545 VP. 250 VP for blockade.

September 1910

CL Lavoiser finishes working up. Breakthroughs: hydraulic riveting, superimposed B turret. 1 merchant sunk by subs, another by raiders. Germany lays down 1 BC, Italy 4 DD, Japan 2 DD. Italy commissions 1 CL, 3 KE, 1 AMC. 210 VP for blockade.

Convoy defense in the central Med. All 3 BCs, along with a group of CAs, are covering it, and they encounter a force of CAs and lighter units. They engage, and seem to overall get the best of the gunnery engagement, but soon see BC Lepanto on the horizon. She breaks off, and they have a long-running engagement with a trio of CAs, one of which is lamed, and a destroyer is sunk. Eventually, the lamed CA is run down and torpedoed, despite intensifying rain that sharply limits visibility. As the enemy force retires, a second CA is torpedoed and badly damaged. The Battle of Cape Sperone is a major victory, +1 prestige, 2,056 VP for us, 58 VP for them.

October 1910

CL Lalande enters refit. We commission 1 SSC, 3 KE, 1 DD. Spies steal plans for German BC Prinz Eitel Friedrich. One of our SSCs torpedoes and sinks an Italian DD. CA Bruix hits a mine and will be in dock for the next two months. 2 merchants sunk by enemy subs, 4 by raiders. UK lays down a BB, Italy 1 DD. AH commissions CA, Germany a BB. 250 VP for blockade.

Coastal raid on Italy. 2 CAs, a CL and destroyers raid in the Gulf of Taranto. They encounter a pair of CLs and some DDs. They see us and run. Eventually, they escape, and we spend the night cruising in the Gulf. There's a brief encounter with what we believe to be a destroyer, which escapes into the darkness. Later, it's discovered that we in fact sunk a submarine. Because of the survival of their transports, we lose the battle, 80 VP to 246 VP.

November 1910

BC Lille laid down, along with 2 SSC. We commission 1 SSC, 1 KE. An Italian AMC is sunk by one of our SSCs. Our subs also claim 1 merchant, while we lose 1 to a raider. Germany lays down 1 BB, AH 1 BC, UK 2 DD, Japan 2 DD, Italy 3 DD. Italy commissions 1 CL, 1 AMC. 210 VP for blockade.

Cruiser action in the Strait of Sicily. 1 CL and 3 DD encounter an enemy force at night. The resulting melee sees both sides take hits, and one of our destroyers even takes a dud torpedo. 121 VP for them, 40 VP for us.

As a special bonus, we have provided images of some of our more important ship classes:






1 Some checking of the boards shows that targets with values about 10 are very difficult to invade. Sicily is 12, so this may take a while.

2 No editorials today, sorry.


  1. September 30, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    I'd definitely prefer new BCs on the faster end. BC-10-IV probably gets my vote--I don't want to wholly rely on the unproven triple turrets.

  2. September 30, 2019Alexander said...

    Phew! That was a battle - I think seeing the damage wrought by torpedoes and the chaos of a night encounter helps you appreciate the caution of the British at Jutland. I'm glad our lesson about the hazards of turret explosions was less painful.

    The loss of Marseille (and around 200 of her crew) hurts, but I think we can say the designs met expectations, and that ships with the firepower to outmatch battleships and the speed to pick their battles were a good purchase. I'm a little more concerned about the damage to so much of the rest of our newest ships, but if our workers can match the Italians I believe Brennus and Duquesne should be able to keep the Italians from exploiting the situation until we've got our strength back. Probably best to put the invasion on hold though, at least until we've got a firmer control of the sea. If the army are using the funds productively I'm not desperate to abandon the preparations they've already made, but I was never that sold on the plan to start with. Beyond Italy, we need to keep an eye on Germany, who are currently outbuilding us, and holding Sicily is less help to us there than a new battleship. I'm uncomfortable with how dependent we are on Great Britain to balance them while we're focusing on the Med.

    Looking at the new battlecruisers I'm inclined to agree with ADifferentAnonymous. We want a margin of speed over our opponents ships, and given the age of the Lepanto, and Von der Tann 28kts is worth aiming for. I wouldn't necessarily be averse to design 10, though the point about the triple turrets is noted. The new designs have a similar armour scheme to a Bouvet, and aren't far off in terms of firepower either, so I'd say we're pretty much talking about fast battleships here. They should have the same sort of relation to the current generation of battleships and battlecruisers as the Duquesne's did to pre dreadnoughts and armoured cruisers.

  3. October 01, 2019Protagoras said...

    No changes in my feelings on ship speed, so BC-10-IV looks most attractive to me as well. I don't think we should give up on Sicily. A new battleship needs to be maintained, while a new conquest earns us revenue. And if it does come to war with Germany, having the Med more securely locked down so we can more safely shift resources away will be extremely valuable. And I assume that the value factor also works in reverse; a high value territory will be hard for anyone to take away from us as well?

  4. October 01, 2019bean said...

    Night didn't even fall until the end of the battle. I just got saturated and didn't realize how close their destroyers were, and as usual my destroyer screen was somewhere way behind my lead ships. That, and I'm pretty sure that when the ships are under manual control, they're more vulnerable to torpedoes than AI-controlled ships are. The manual battle system could use some work. But yes, this does make a lot more sense of Jutland.


    If we can take it, it will be pretty hard for anyone else to take from us, yes. But it could take a very long time.

  5. October 01, 2019Alexander said...

    On refits, I was impressed by the performance of Troude, and am glad to see her getting refitted. Hopefully we can cycle through the rest of the Coetlogons and the Bruixs soon. Would it be a good move to refit old destroyers rather than build new corvettes in future? They're getting pretty old but should be an improvement over a corvette, especially if they can take the new(ish) 3". I suppose if what we really need is cheap hulls (and why else would we build corvettes?) this isn't much help, since we end with no more than we started with, and have to do without them while they're in the yard.

  6. October 01, 2019bean said...

    Converting DDs isn’t the worst idea, and I often convert old DDs into escorts. There are a couple issues, though. First, 500 ton ships have base ASW 3, while 600 ton ships have base ASW 4. Second, it’s probably going to cost more to run, as evidenced by the Durandals vs the Diamants today. But I ran the numbers, and we can convert it to 2x3″, 2x2″, 1 TT for 46/month for 4 months. I tried a minesweeper conversion, but literally couldn’t get it to work without replacing the engine, which blows the economics out of the water. I can't really make a DMS until the Obusiers are ready to be downgraded and corvettes are generally very cheap. This reminds me that I’d like to move research emphasis to light forces in hopes of getting double torpedo tubes.

  7. October 02, 2019Gareth (OG) said...

    Happy with designs 3 or 4 (acknowledge the risk of triple turrets, but we're going to need to build ships with them at some point, no?).

    Lean towards continuing with the attempted invasion of Sicily. We can reevaluate if the diplomatic situation changes, but for now I'm confident in our fleet's ability to keep the pressure up while the army continues their preparations. The only thing that might change my mind is if there's another, easier invasion target that would make more sense.

  8. October 02, 2019bean said...

    Unfortunately, we can't reach any of their other colonies. Long-term, research into amphibious operations will increase our invasion range, but I don't think we've unlocked that yet.

  9. October 02, 2019Alexander said...

    Double torpedo tubes (and bigger destroyers) appeals. Would it be worth investing more in ASW too? I can see the Italians going for more of a denial strategy if we soundly defeat their battle fleet, especially after the last war. Would dirigibles be useful sub hunters?

  10. October 02, 2019Placid Platypus said...

    Is the thing about the Italian ship getting repaired really fast a game-is-unrealistic thing or an AI-cheats thing? Or just a they-rolled-well thing? If they have an unrealistic advantage in repair speed (or even a realistic one if it's large) a battle that mauls both sides could be bad for us even if we came out ahead in the long run.

  11. October 02, 2019bean said...

    Columbo took about as much damage at that battle as Dunkerque took at Isle du Levant. I believe that repair 1 means she'll be able to fight next time, if not to move. (This doesn't make a lot of sense, but such is this game.)


    Not sure about the dirigibles (which we still can't actually build, anyway). ASW will be important long-term, but I'm not sure that this war will last long enough.

  12. October 02, 2019Chris Bradshaw said...

    Ah, so like Jean Bart at Casablanca? Looking forwards to quad turrets so we can build Richelieus.

  13. October 02, 2019bean said...

    Not exactly. AIUI, the game resolves each turn strategic movement > repair > combat. So we couldn't move Dunkerque out of the Med, but we'll have her if there's a battle there.

    Also, play will resume tomorrow. Besides the new battlecruiser, the staff would like to propose a small CL for trade protection, to replace the Sfax. They can get one under 4,000 tons with 6 6" gun at 26 kts. All six guns can fire on the broadside, although two are firing cross-deck. We could cut size even more if we got rid of those.

  14. October 03, 2019Alexander said...

    I'd prefer larger cruisers that should take longer to become obsolete (closer to a modern Coetlogon than a Sfax) but the budget has to be considered, and it doesn't take too much to counter an armed merchantman. The armament probably isn't a substantial part of the cost at the moment, but if it were I'd compromise by keeping the 6 6" and leaving the extra space in reserve. If that doesn't do enough to keep the cost down though, the 4,000 ton design should be fine.

  15. October 04, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    I'm inclined to stay small on the CLs. By active fleet standards the Sfax class was obsolete when the game started, but at least in the last war they performed pretty well at trade protection. So the bar isn't that high for these.

  16. October 04, 2019bean said...

    Turn has been played, but the writeup will take a little while to get posted. Something weird is going on with our maintenance costs, so I wasn't able to do anything but lay down the new BC, Lille. I do have CL sketches that I might get up.

  17. October 05, 2019bean said...

    Got the latest six months up now. Sorry for the delay.

  18. October 05, 2019Alexander said...

    Shame about Forbin, especially hearing that we had so long to get some crew off. I'm not sure if we can draw any lessons from that - maybe night exercises after the war? Submarines seem to be having more of an impact. Would it be worth putting more into that area of research, or do they synergise poorly with the surface fleet and sea control?

    Glad to see the Lille is more than a match for the newer German BCs, though we'll probably never have five of them. Japan seem to have some corvettes of at least 900 tons. Is that because they have to handle the Pacific while ours operate in the Med?

    Nice pics - does the move towards single funnels signify anything, or is it just a quirk of the game?

  19. October 05, 2019bean said...

    Quirk of the game. From above, I haven't modified the plans (including funnel placement) between any of the three ships. Realistically, Lille should have more.

    Japan may be running 900-ton corvettes, but I'm not sure what the benefit of those is. I guess it does give slightly better ASW performance, but we're doing OK there for now.

  20. October 10, 2019bean said...

    We have achieved victory over Italy. Sadly, Sicily escaped our grasp, but we now have control over all of their African colonies. The postwar budget crunch isn't as bad as it could have been, either. I think our next target needs to be Germany, before our alliance with Britain expires.

  21. October 10, 2019Alexander said...

    Looking forward to hearing how we did it! Less enthusiastic about war with Germany, but if it has to happen sooner is probably better.

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