October 11, 2019

Rule the Waves 2 Game 1 - June 1911


We have emerged victorious from our war with the Italians! They have surrendered all of their African colonies to our control, forcing them entirely out of the Indian Ocean. Tensions worldwide are down, and with it, our budget. The situation is better than after the last war, but we will have to make cuts. We've already begun moving ships to the reserve fleet, but that won't be enough.

The new map of Africa

Our biggest concern is with light units. The four modern fleet CLs (two to commission shortly) go some way to closing that gap, but we face block obsolescence among our destroyers, and the new CL designs open up new options. Unfortunately, our recent focus on research into light units has not paid dividends yet, but we should probably at least lay down a few destroyers when the CLs leave the yard.

Our current fleet

Ships under construction

December 1910

The rebellion in Mozambique continues. We sink one enemy submarine, but somehow lose 15 merchants to raiders. UK lays down 1 DD, commissions 3 DD. Italy lays down 3 DD, 1 BB. Japan commissions 1 BB, 1 BC, lays down 1 DD. A-H lays down 1 BB. 260 VP for blockade.

Convoy attack off Libya. 2 CLs and 2 DDs run into a pair of enemy CLs, but manage to fight their way through them to close on the convoy. A number of transports are sunk, although their cruisers catch up and drive us off before we can make a clean sweep. CL Lavoiser is damaged, but survives, as do all of the escorts. Overall, the Battle of Sfax is a major victory, 1,764 VP for us, 673 VP for them, +1 prestige.

January 1911

CL Descartes commissions into the Navy and CL Lalande finishes her reconstruction. 2 of our subs are lost for no gain, and 5 ships are sunk by raiders despite transferring one of the big CAs to trade protection. Germany lays down a BC, Japan 2 DD. UK commissions 2 DD, US 1 BC. 260 VP for blockade of the enemy.

Coastal raid on Sicily. 2 CAs and a CL patrol the east coast of the island. They encounter a TR and a DD or CL. The warship escapes, but the transport doesn't. They then head north, running into another TR, which they sink. They then find a TR and a KE in the Straits of Messina, which join their brethren on the bottom. Major victory, +1 prestige, 1,381 VP for us, 90 VP for them.

February 1911

Breakthroughs: Quality control II, Quality steel for shells. DD Etendard torpedoed and sunk by a submarine. 2 ships sunk by raiders. Italy lays down 2 DD Japan 1 BC. Italy commissions 2 CL, UK 1 DD. 250 VP for blockade.

Battleship engagement in the Straits of Sicily. 3 BB, 3 B and 3 CA encounter an enemy force of 3 CAs and quickly set off in pursuit. They manage to pound one of them, which later sinks, and damage the other two before darkness conceals the ships and they break off back to Tunisia. As the enemy retires, one of our subs torpedoes and sinks a second CA. Major victory at the Battle of Sicily, 1,926 VP for us, 149 VP for them.

March 1911

2 SSC laid down. Italy crushes the rebels in Mozambique. Our blockade is causing food shortages in Italy. B Richelieu hits a mine in the Med and is in dock for the next 4 months. 3 merchants sunk by subs, 3 by raiders. UK lays down 1 CL, commissions 2 DD, 3 CL. Japan commissions BC, lays down 2 DD. 260 VP for blockade, rumors of war-weariness in Italy.

Cruiser action off Norway. A CL and 2 DD encounter 2 CAs and the captain decides not to get into a fight with them. He manages to avoid action, and the encounter ends in a draw.

April 1911

CL Coetlogon begins rebuild. 1 SSC commissioned. Our spies steal plans for the German BB Oldenburg. Italian raider CA Umbria forced to scuttle due to lack of fuel. Each side's subs sink one enemy merchant. We bag one of their subs, and their raiders get 7 ships. UK lays down CA, Japan 2 DD. Japan commissions 2 DD, US 1 CL. 220 VP for blockade of the enemy.

One of our CAs intercepts an Italian raider in the Med. It turns out to be an Italian CA in roughly the same mold, but we gain the upper hand thanks to better gunnery. Unfortunately, the Italians land a hit that disables our rudder, then changes course and begins to pull away. We chase them all the way back to Syracuse. The ultimate result is a slight victory for them, 166 VP to 123 VP.

May 1911

1 SSC commissioned. The war ends, with Italy surrendering Libya, Eritrea and Mozambique to us. UK lays down a BC, US commissions a BB and a BC.

June 1912


The past year has been a strange one. For some reason, the Italians have ignored their defeat in the last war and appear to be attempting to reclaim their lost territories. As a result, we are preparing for war yet again.

But some good news has come out of this. Four months from now, when Caiman and our current batch of refits have completed, we should have budget for three new capital ships, presumably laid down to a new design. Moreover, many of the refits will produce much more useful ships. Most notably, three Sfaxes are being converted to mine cruisers, which should allow them to contribute meaningfully to the war effort. We have also recently managed to design practical lighter-than-air craft, which we could use for naval reconnaissance if we so desire.

Our current fleet

Ships under construction or refit

Capital Ship designs

Our baseline battlecruiser design

A design with a thicker deck

A modified Lille

A design emphasizing firepower

A battleship design

A battleship with triple turrets

June 1911

CL Du Chayla commissions. 2 DD laid down. A-H commissions CA, UK a CL, Japan 2 BB.

July 1911

2 Durandals begin refit. Private shipbuilding increases max dock size by 1000 tons. CL Coetlogon finishes reconstruction. We buy Diesel engines for our subs from the British. Germany commissions 1 BC, Italy 5 DD, Japan 1 DD.

August 1911

Design work begins on a new trade-protection cruiser. CL Bugeaud commissions into the navy. 2 destroyers (Arquebuses) finish their reconstruction. Breakthrough: Improved diving gear. Japan lays down 2 DD. US commissions 1 CL, UK 1 DD, Italy 4 DD.

September 1911

1 DD finishes reconstruction. We buy double torpedo tubes from the British. Italy lays down BC, Japan 4 DD. UK commissions 2 DD, Japan 2 DD, Italy 1 DD.

October 1911

CL D'Assas laid down. Private shipbuilding increases max dock size by 500 tons. 2 DDs finish reconstruction. Italy commissions 4 DD, Japan 1 DD.

November 1911

2 more Durandals being refit. 16" gun (-1) researched. Italy and Japan each commissions 2 DD.

December 1911

BB Bouvet commissioned. Breakthrough: Early airships. Japan and Italy each commission 1 DD.

January 1912

Work resumes on BB Caiman. We send a cadet cruise aboard Bouvet as part of her fitting-out, raising tensions. Germany commissions a BC and a CL, UK a BC, Italy a DD, Japan 3 DD.

February 1912

2 DD finish their reconstruction. We convince Parliament to spend a very minor windfall in tax revenue strengthening the navy. Breakthrough: mine rails on CL and DD. Germany and the US each commission a BC, Italy and Japan a DD each.

March 1912

3 Durandals begin reconstruction. We extend our security arrangement with Britain for another 10 years. One of our agents is caught in Japan, and we make him a national hero. Breakthroughs: Better steel quality, Secondary turrets on BB. Italy lays down a BC, Japan a CL and a BB. Japan commissions 2 DD.

April 1912

Bs Friedland and Ocean are sent into reserve. Design work begins on DD Carabinier, which uses twin torpedo tubes and the new mine rails. Improvements in productivity boost industrial production. 2 DDs commission into the Navy. Due to the threat from Italy, the PM authorizes additional naval spending. We sell the US Better steel quality.

May 1912

4 DD laid down. US commissions 1 DD. Italy appears to be considering a naval rearmament program, which we condemn in the strongest possible terms. UK and Italy both lay down BCs. This spike in tension prompts immediate refits of several of our ships, including one of the Bruix class, Chateaurenault, and thee Sfaxes, which are being converted into mine cruisers and rearmed with 6" guns. Two more KE minesweepers are also laid down.


  1. October 11, 2019Alexander said...

    Nice work. Did we have the option to hold out for Sicily, or was it up to the civilian government? Good to see relations are fine all around. Hopefully our worries about Germany will come to nothing.

    It looks like our budget deficit is roughly the construction cost of one capital ship, so I'd probably not lay down another Lille until both the Bouvets are done. To save money until then, follow up the Du Chaylas with either the destroyers you suggested, or those cheaper trade protection cruisers you talked about earlier. Could we afford to put the Friedlands into reserve too?

  2. October 11, 2019bean said...

    Sicily would have cost way too much. Taking it would have meant prolonging the war, and that probably would have compromised us in the long run against Germany.

    We can suspend one Bouvet and have a positive cash flow next turn when Du Chayla commissions. I plan to lay down a couple destroyers to soak up some of it, with the rest of the money going into rebuilding our cash reserves. A trade-protection CL will probably follow when the second ship commissions. Putting the Friedlands into reserve definitely isn't a bad idea, and I'm transferring ships into Northern Europe next turn.

  3. October 12, 2019Alexander said...

    That sounds sensible. I was never very enthusiastic about Sicily anyway. Have you either played or read a report of a game where a sea denial strategy was adopted? We've been using blockades to get our enemies to come to terms, which is fine if you're in a position of strength, but it would be interesting to see how the game plays when you are the weaker power.

  4. October 14, 2019Protagoras said...

    The United States has a serious budget, which depending on how accurately the game models things it may be better than others at ramping up in the event of war. How does diplomacy work? If there's a way to reduce any risk of America siding with our enemies in any future wars, that seems like it deserves some attention. And on the subject of diplomacy, anything we can do to help ensure our UK alliance continues?

  5. October 14, 2019bean said...

    Basically, we can just keep tension with the UK low. If we do, we'll probably get the opportunity to renew when it expires in a couple of years.

    Diplomacy is basically popups during turns that offer options. These can range from "we have a dispute with X, how do we handle it?" with options that amount to back down/escalate to "you can give a major speech, do you attack a specific country (of your choice), emphasize preparedness, or talk about reducing tensions?" Those are the best, because they give you lots of options. Usually, I'll attack verbally whoever I want to attack with the fleet, which isn't the US. With the US, I'm trying to keep tension out of the yellow, which guides how I respond to those choices.

  6. October 14, 2019bean said...

    Oh, one other thing. I did some checking, and we can fit 3" guns to the Durandals at the cost of one torpedo tube. It's pretty cheap (I think 13/turn for 3 turns). Should I start these refits? The 3" gun is significantly more powerful, and if we get twin torpedo tubes soon, I could swap those out to solve the centerline crowding issues the class currently has.

    I've already pegged the Arquebuses for DMS conversion. Weirdly, that actually turned out pretty well although they're down to 1 torpedo tube and the 3" gun. They can help cover the Med, while the KE minesweepers do work elsewhere.

  7. October 14, 2019ADifferentAnonymius said...

    Breathing new life into the Durandals sounds pretty brilliant. And did I read that cost right? Thirteen per turn? Double digit overall cost per ship? Hard to turn that down.

    @Alexander: May not be exactly what you're looking for, but the Bumbling Idiot AAR shows some real potential of unrestricted submarine warfare: http://nws-online.proboards.com/thread/3383/bumbling-idiot-series-austria-hungary

  8. October 14, 2019bean said...

    Those kind of refits tend to be pretty cheap, although I'm not sure I got the cost right. I might have gotten it confused with the Arquebuse refit, which was so cheap I went ahead and authorized it on my own. (That, and we could use more minesweepers.)

  9. October 14, 2019bean said...

    Looks like I misremembered. It's 46/month for 4 months. So total cost of 182/ship.

  10. October 15, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Still a nice deal; my vote remains in favor.

  11. October 15, 2019bean said...

    I plan to start with 2 ships at a time. Yes, this is going to take a while, but to some extent it's a stopgap until other options become available. Things like double torpedo tubes and extra depth charges. (Probably not at the same time.)

    I will say that the "what do I refit them with?" issue is much less of a problem starting in the mid-1910s. After that, you're advancing fast enough that 10-year refits become an exercise in managing cost and figuring out what to do with the tonnage you have. If all else fails, fit more AA guns.

  12. October 16, 2019bean said...

    Right. A year has been played, and we somehow find ourselves on the brink of war with Italy. Again. On the plus side, our budget is way up, so we can look at new battleship designs.

  13. October 17, 2019Gareth (OG) said...

    I suppose I reluctantly support transforming the proud nation state of Italy into an unnecessarily convoluted stimulus package for French defense spending.

    Seems like after the last war we don't have much left we can realistically take from the Italians? Looking forward to the new battleship designs though.

  14. October 17, 2019bean said...

    The only territory Italy still has is Sicily, which we probably can't take except by invasion. We tried for all of the last war and failed. We're probably better off spending the money on ships rather than the invasion, although I might be able to trigger it manually if I can find the right variables in the save file. (I am frustrated by the holdup, and it's only been a year since the end of hostilities.)

  15. October 17, 2019David W said...

    It's only been forty years since we owned Rome...surely we can reoccupy the city? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/CaptureofRome

  16. October 18, 2019Chuck said...

    @David W

    Do we have a Pope ready to go, or will we need to build one?

  17. October 18, 2019bean said...

    Unfortunately, it's a hard no on taking Rome. The game just won't let you take someone else's home areas. Probably too much potential for geopolitical confusion.

  18. October 18, 2019bean said...

    Also, the next year is up, along with 4 BC and 2 BB sketches. As usual, they can be fine-tuned upon request.

  19. October 18, 2019BakerEasy said...

    Should we be concerned about obsolescence in our CA fleet? It looks like they might be getting a little long in the tooth.

    I forget how capable the Dupetit-Thouars and Jeanne d'Arcs are.

  20. October 18, 2019bean said...

    They're decent ships, if rather slow by modern standards. The problem with building new CAs is that there isn't a compelling case for doing so instead of building more BCs. Obviously, the CAs have a numerical advantage, but it's only recently that we've had enough space between the BC and CA categories for it to even be a question. (Note that our current BCs are essentially CAs with 14" guns.) And there's still the issue of us not having any good guns between 6" and 12". I'd guess in 5 years or so capital ships will be big enough for there to be a useful space for CAs again. (Also, we'll have superfiring turrets for them about then, which helps a lot.)

  21. October 20, 2019Alexander said...

    Well, the political situation is a bit confused - I don't know why people object to us sending some sea cadets on a cruise, or what the Italians might be thinking, but at least we're getting along with the powers with the larger navies. Tension with Japan is a little concerning, as they are much closer to some of our overseas possessions than we are, so protecting them might be tricky, especially without uncovering ourselves against the Italians.

    As regards construction, I think we want to focus on modern battlecruisers. The Italians are building their own, and I'd like at least two more to follow Lille. I'm not set on any particular design, though I probably prefer the extra armour on II over an 8th gun or a marginal cost cutting.

    Would delaying ordering a third capital ship to let us work on our lighter units be reasonable? Between refits, new cruisers and destroyers, and perhaps even some airships (which would be handy in the Med) there is a lot of other stuff to work on. We might fall a bit behind Germany in battleships, but relations there are currently okay, and we'd have Britain behind us if it did come to war.

  22. October 20, 2019bean said...

    Building only two BCs instead of 3 would definitely let us focus on light units. We could fit, for instance, two fleet CLs and three destroyers into the same monthly cost. More accurately, doing that for 21 months would give us 6 destroyers and 2 CLs, while it would take about 30 months to get a BC.

  23. October 21, 2019Alexander said...

    That gets my vote then. It'll compensate for the Arquebuse conversions and our combat losses. How does our 3" gun compare to the 4" we have available? If the quality difference is significant we might be able to make do with 3" and save space or money. Speaking of guns, any chance of squeezing the good 14" onto the Tridents in a future refit? It'd be a big jump in firepower.

    Is it worth increasing our intelligence budget, or do we already have Italy pretty much figured out? Also, thanks to @ADifferentAnonymius for the AAR Ü

  24. October 21, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Exciting set of sketches, though I do also like the idea of two capital ships and the rest of the budget towards light forces. Agreed about BC-12-II's extra armor looking nice.

    Re: Sicily, my thought is not to try it unless we basically obliterate Italy's fleet, and at that point feel okay about save-hacking it to trigger?

  25. October 21, 2019bean said...


    The 3" gun is good, but the 4" is the smallest with any armor penetration capability, so I've been favoring that. (Also, there is definitely some importance to weight of shell on this scale. The British abandoned the 3" secondary IRL after Dreadnought because of ineffectiveness against destroyers.) Note that the current destroyers have 2x4" and 4x3" secondaries, which gives a good balance of the two.

    As for the 14" refit, it's possible, it's just going to cost an arm and a leg. I checked it out, and IIRC, it was somewhere over 1000/month for a year. For a medium-size increment in capability, that's a lot.

    We seem to be getting decent intel, but we can bump our operations against them.


    I'll see how the opening battles go before I commit to the invasion.

    A question on the cruiser composition. We basically have three options. First, the standard fleet cruiser (Du Chayla is the latest in this line). Second, the long-range colony cruiser (Isly/Friant). Lastly, the trade-protection cruiser (D'Assas). That one is significantly cheaper (an extra four destroyers over the 20-month period). Which do we want to build?

  26. October 21, 2019Alexander said...

    We could look at the new cruisers as replacements for the Sfaxes that are being converted into mine layers, meaning we buy more D'Assas. On the other hand, we only have three of the Isly/Friant type, and have picked up quite a few territories from Italy (admittedly most not that distant) since we built them. I'd appreciate having more ships we could send East to keep Japan from acting against us, particularly as I've been hoping for an oil strike ever since we got the technology to use it, and worry about someone else trying to take control of any resources we discover.

    The low power of the 3" shouldn't have come as a surprise to me, I guess I'll have to hope someone sells us a modern 4" or 5" design.

  27. October 22, 2019Gareth (OG) said...

    I also support the 2 BC plan, and am indifferent between designs 2 and 4. Suppose the armor is a bit more prudent. For cruisers, my vote would be for longer-range ones, given the new colonies we ought to protect and that our battlefleet seems capable enough of dealing with likely challengers closer to home.

  28. October 23, 2019bean said...

    We are now at war with Italy. We won the opening engagement, although the game started a pair of DDs at point-blank range from my battleships, and Devastation ate a torpedo. She survived, but in retaliation, I'm definitely save-hacking to invade Sicily.

  29. October 24, 2019ADifferentAnonymous said...

    I'm looking forward to writing an editorial on this saga, but I should wait until our chickens hatch...

  30. October 24, 2019bean said...

    I should probably add that it was broad daylight. As best I can tell, it just happened to drop a roving destroyer unit on top of my force. But it still gave me no chance to dodge their torps, and I'm kind of irritated. So I retaliate by taking Sicily.

  31. October 25, 2019bean said...

    The next batch of events isn't going to be up until this afternoon. Yesterday was kind of busy.

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