January 03, 2020

Rule the Waves 2 Game 1 - March 1918


The last 12 months have been an interesting time. We have largely recovered from the budget doldrums, and laid down two Ocean-class battleships, near-cousins to the Saint Louis, while commissioning Nancy and Nantes. Tensions with Austria-Hungary and Germany are high, while the situation with Japan has moderated somewhat. We have developed several new pieces of technology, including that necessary for CVL conversions.

We have a reasonable budget surplus at the moment, and need to decide what to do with it. Options include more destroyers, new CLs, and the CVL conversions of the DT class CAs. A sketch has been prepared which shows 12 aircraft.

Our current fleet

Ships under construction

March 1917

Private shipbuilding expands maximum dock size by 1000 tons. 6 destroyers finish reconstruction. Our spies steal plans for Italian CL La Spezia, currently under construction. UK lays down a BB.

April 1917

Design work begins on BB Ocean, a successor to the Saint Louis. The extra size is used for an extra .5" of belt and another pair of 6" secondaries. Base improvements begun in Indochina, including 2 port expansions in Tonkin and Amann and an airbase in Kwang-Chou-Wan. 2 destroyers finish their reconstruction. Breakthrough: Efficient hull form. UK lays down a BC, Japan commissions a CL.

May 1917

BC Nantes commissions. Breakthroughs: Increased elevation, improved guns (15" +1). Ocean design reworked to incorporate latest innovations. Italy lays down a BC.

June 1917

BC Nancy commissions. We unconditionally back an ally in the Balkans, leading to increased tensions. Breakthrough: Elpidifor boats. BBs Ocean and Redoutable laid down. UK lays down a CL, US commissions a BB, the UK a BC.

July 1917

Kwang-Chou-Wan airbase is completed. Our spies acquire Battle Turn Away from the Germans. Breakthroughs: Reduction gears, Improved shell wall castings, better 13" gun (-1). AH lays down 2 KE, UK 1 BB, Germany commissions 1 DD, Japan 1 BB, 1 BC, 1 CL, USA 1 AV.

August 1917

Breakthrough: 15' rangefinder. AH lays down 2 KE, US commissions 1 BB.

September 1917

Breakthrough: Superimposed X mount on CL. AH lays down 2 KE, UK 1 CL, Japan 1 AV, US 1 BB. Germany commissions 3 DD, Japan 2 CL, US 1 BB.

October 1917

Breakthrough: Early hydrophones. AH lays down 2 KE, US 1 BC. Germany commissions 1 DD.

November 1917

Breakthrough: Slender hull girders. AH lays down 2 KE, Italy 2 CL. Germany commissions 3 DD, AH 1 AV.

December 1917

Breakthrough: Improved 10" gun (+0), AH lays down 2 KE, Germany commissions 2 DD, UK 1 BB, Italy 1 BC, 1 AV, US 2 BB.

January 1918

AH lays down 2 KE, UK 1 BC, Italy 1 BC. Japan commissions 1 CL.

February 1918

An attempted intervention in Angola ends badly, damaging our prestige and increasing tension. Breakthroughs: Stable explosive filler, Flight deck. AH lays down 1 KE, UK 1 CL. Germany commission 1 BC, AH 1 BC, US 1 BB. Flying boat competition initiated.

Sketch designs

A CL design loosely based on D'Assas

August 1918


We are at war again. This time, the foe is Austria, although tensions with Germany are high, and the Diplomatic Corps is working overtime to keep them out of the conflict. Our forces were initially deployed mostly in Northern Europe, but the first encounter was a victory for us despite this. To make matters better, Saint Louis and Charlemagne have just commissioned, greatly strengthening our battle line when they work up in a few month's time. We laid down a third unit of the Ocean class, and have two CAs under conversion to CVLs.

Our current challenge lies primarily in the threat of German intervention. We have a significant advantage over Austria, an advantage that will only grow as the Saint Louises work up. We also must manage the threat of Austria's extensive submarine fleet, and our hope is that the recent escort conversions of the 600-ton DDs will have given us enough hulls to counter that.

Our current fleet

Ships under construction

March 1918

Airbase construction begun at Stavanger. Rhodes base cancelled as being too far from the likely areas of action against Austria. Design work begins on CL Guichen (CL-18-I). CAs Gueydon and Montcalm begin CVL conversion. BB Iena (Ocean class) laid down, as the budget can absorb the gap until the Saint Louis class commissions. Breakthrough: Improved firefighting equipment. New research area discovered: Anti aircraft artillery. AH lays down a KE, UK 2 CL. Germany commissions CL.

April 1918

Our spies steal plans for German BB Zahringen, currently under construction. CL Guichen laid down. Germany lays down KE, AH 2 KE, UK 1 CL, Italy 1 BC, US 1 BC, Japan 1 AV. Japan commissions 1 BC, US 1 BB.

May 1918

We sell the British Extended double bottom. Breakthroughs: Improved homogenous armor, secondary director. Germany lays down KE, UK BB, US BB.

June 1918

CL Pascal begins refit with director, above-water tubes. Construction of airbase in Stavanger finishes. We argue against military cuts proposed by the new liberal government, bringing us to the brink of war with Austria. AH lays down 2 KE, UK 1 BC, Japan 1 AV, US 1 BC. AH commissions 3 KE.

July 1918

BBs Charlemagne and Saint Louis commission. One of our agents is caught in Germany, but we deny involvement. Our spies steal the blueprints for Italian CL Terni. War breaks out with Austria-Hungary! AH lays down 1 KE, Japan 2 KE, US 1 CL. Germany commissions 1 CL, AH 1 KE, US 1 BC, Japan 1 BB. We lay down 4 ASW escort KEs, and begin design of the Espingole class DDs.

Cruiser action off Sicily. Dunkerque and Tourville, screened by 2 CLs, encounter an Austrian force of 2 BC and screen. They choose to run, as they are considerably outgunned, but are soon joined by Duquesne, and have a brief gunfight at long range. Eventually, the Austrians break off and head for home. One enemy destroyer is lamed, and the fleet pounces on it, eventually putting her on the bottom.


  1. January 03, 2020Alexander said...

    I'm impressed you managed to squeeze in both Oceans - I thought we'd only start a single BB. Once the Saint Louis class is complete we should scrap at least some of our remaining 'resistables'. I'd also like to see a 15" BB design, though that could possibly wait until the Dupetit-Thouars are converted.

    We do need some new cruisers - the non AV Sfaxes in particular should be replaced, and I'd like to see Friant, Lavoisier, Descartes and the Du Chaylas overseas making use of their colonial facilities. It might be a while before we can get to work on a significant number of new destroyers, but we might be able to squeeze in a couple with the new hydrophones to support the 600 ton ASW types.

  2. January 04, 2020bean said...

    We got more budget thanks to the rising tension, so I was able to lay down both. The new hydrophones aren't a refit thing. That tech just makes our ASW more effective.

    As for sketch designs, I left this week's game late, and didn't have time to get them up with the post. I've put up a cruiser sketch very loosely based on D'Assas, but capable of 28 kts.

  3. January 05, 2020Philistine said...

    Do AI-controlled nations in this game go to war with each other, independent of either party's relations with the human-controlled nation?

  4. January 05, 2020bean said...

    They do not, so far as I've seen. That would be difficult on several levels, and it's one of my bigger beefs with the diplomatic simulation.

  5. January 05, 2020Philistine said...

    That's a pity; I understand it would be a difficult and complicated addition to the code, but it seems like the potential benefits to gameplay (and simulation fidelity) would justify a considerable extra effort. Thanks!

  6. January 06, 2020Alexander said...

    Could we see the sketch of the D-T conversation? Would they be operating Breguet 54s? How would a Duquesne conversation compare?

  7. January 06, 2020bean said...

    I'll try to get sketches of those two up later today. When the current PB competition finishes (I forgot to run one during this year) I'm going to start a fighter competition. Not sure when it will enter squadron service, but the new CVLs won't operate the Breguet 54 for long, if at all.

  8. January 07, 2020bean said...

    Plan for play tomorrow:

    I will convert two DTs into CVLs and use the remaining money to lay down a CL-18-I. When the Saint Louises complete, I plan to lay down at least one more BB, possibly two. Any excess funds will be spent on further CL-18-I construction, or possibly on building up our minesweeper fleet.

  9. January 07, 2020ADifferentAnonymous said...

    CVLs will probably be the way to go--torpedo bombers could show up any day now, either ours or an enemy's, and either way we'll want some carriers.

    Also, what's our planned foreign policy going forward? I have to admit I'd like to test our fleet against Germany, but not sure war with Austria-Hungary could be averted at this point.

  10. January 07, 2020bean said...

    Definitely don't want a two-front war. Germany is definitely the bigger threat, and I'd rather we had it out with them sooner rather than later, but we might have to deal with Austria first. Not that this is likely to be hard. Also, this means we should probably add an airbase at Rhodes to the build plan.

  11. January 08, 2020Alexander said...

    Putting on my warmonger hat, if we are going to fight Germany, I'd like to do it while our five 'City' BCs are faster and more powerful than any of their capital ships. We can't afford to take action that would risk our alliance with Britain, or upset the US, but so long as we bear that in mind, I'd say let's get it done!

    The German Battleships started in late 1916 will be commissioning around mid '19 which doesn't leave much time to deal with Austria-Hungary first. If we do decide to start something soon, our construction program should reflect that, with priority given to vessels that will be ready pre/mid-war. We may want to delay laying down another BB, focusing instead on CLs, DDs and the D-T conversions (I'm inferring that their cost is closer to a DD than a CL), as well as airpower, perhaps including upgrading the airship base at Stavanger to support fixed wing aircraft. We should probably scrap the 'Resistables' AFTER the war.

  12. January 09, 2020bean said...

    Got busy last night, so I'll play tonight and still try to have the results up tomorrow. Also, for the new battleships, I was able to get 8 15" guns in 2 quads with some weight savings over a 10 14" design. Do we want to go with that instead of the 14"?

  13. January 09, 2020Alexander said...

    The 15" design sounds good, but lighter units would be my priority if war with Germany is coming soon.

  14. January 09, 2020ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Agreed with Alexander on both counts.

  15. January 09, 2020bean said...

    In August 1918, war broke out with Austria. Tension with Germany is dangerously high, and avoiding a 2-front war is at the top of our priority list. Other than that, things are going pretty well.

  16. January 10, 2020bean said...

    August 1918 is up.

  17. January 11, 2020DuskStar said...

    Does war not take into account relative naval strength? I just can't think of how else we end up in wars like this. (Though at least wars like this should be easy, unlike one with Germany)

  18. January 11, 2020bean said...

    Apparently not. Their diplomatic model is just not that good. Or the Austrians were hoping to draw the Germans in, and failed.

  19. January 11, 2020John Schilling said...

    Or Austria expects this to be a land war and doesn't care that the French navy can blockade Trieste. If the Habsburgs are making a play in the Balkans and Paris idealistically decides to defend the plucky Serbs, meh, Austria is a continental power and can put more troops into Serbia by land than France can ever hope to put ashore by sea.

    Which is no excuse not to annihilate their little navy, of course.

  20. January 12, 2020bean said...

    What if we land the troops through Dalmatia, owned by our allies the British since the last time we beat Austria in a war? Also, you might well have a point in a world where land war is a thing, but that isn't the universe they live in. Wars are decided at sea, just like in real life.

  21. January 12, 2020Alexander said...

    Congratulations to our intelligence services for getting the plans for the Wittelsbach class - that's a useful piece of information. If we don't have Germany on the ropes before they're in service (and I don't expect we will) we ought to have thought through our response. There is probably a case to be made for avoiding conflict until late 1920/early '21 so we'd have the Oceans available. I'd rather not send the 21kt BBs up against such ships, perhaps even to the point of leaving them to cover the Med. Seeing how our 27/28kt ships perform against the Germans might help us work out whether our future capital ships should be even faster, or more along the lines of a South Dakota.

    It's also interesting looking at the Italian cruisers. They are both significantly larger than Guichen but less heavily armed, so either they leave a lot of room for upgrades and colonial facilities, or the Italians are well behind us technically. What could we fit on a CL half the size of Guichen, a sort of Destroyer Leader?

    Seeing how cheap the D-T conversions are, let's get arrange something similar for the Duquesnes, which are otherwise a bit past it. If we want all five D-Ts with flight decks too then Pascal could be sent east to replace Dupetit-Thouars herself. The Corvettes are a good idea, both for ASW, but we might also want some more minesweepers as the Arquebuses near retirement.

  22. January 15, 2020bean said...

    Plan for play later today:

    We will focus all of our modern ships in the Med, and hopefully end the war with Austria quickly. We'll continue to rotate the modern CLs through the yards, giving them above-water tubes and directors. A pair of new destroyers are also in the plan. Beyond that, we'll focus on ASW escorts, as the Austrians have a huge submarine fleet.


    Any minesweepers we build to replace the Arquebuses are going to be 600-tonners, which we can keep after the war is over. The 400-ton ASW KEs are wartime-only, but I figured we needed them badly enough. The Italian CLs are paying very heavily for the last couple of knots, which is where the size comes from. I'd hold more CVL conversions until after the war, as they take 12 months and we have some use for the ships in action.

  23. January 15, 2020bean said...

    Play has concluded. So far, the war goes well. We managed to sink 2 Austrian BCs in separate actions, although their subs and mines have taken a considerable toll of our ships. Germany remains on the sidelines, and we have gone a long way to turn the odds in our favor.

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