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.


  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

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