March 28, 2020

Rule the Waves 2 Game 1 - November 1925


The long-anticipated war with Germany has finally started. Thanks to some poor guidance from Winston Churchill, we sent a force into the Baltic and had a rough time of it, losing CL Coetlogon to a submarine torpedo and taking substantial damage. We stand allied with Britain, however, and have a chance to make up the deficit.

We now have to decide on our war strategy and build plan. We have no invasion options in the German colonies, leaving us with a substantial surplus for new construction, particularly once our CAs commission next month.

Our current fleet

Ships under construction

April 1925

Spahi and Lansquenet class DDs begin refits. CVL La Fayette and DD Epee begin design. CA Sully scrapped. CA Kleber dispatched to Southeast Asia. 5 KE commissioned. We choose the Bloch MB.91 as our new floatplane scout. DDs Epee and Escopette laid down.

May 1925

2 KE commission. CVL La Fayette laid down. Japan lays down a Ca, the US a CL.

June 1925

Our security arrangement with Great Britain expires. Breakthrough: Hydrodynamic hull form. We send a diplomatic note to Germany over their espionage. UK lays down a CL, Japan a CA and a CL, US a CVL and CL. Italy commissions a CA and a CL.

July 1925

Bloch provides an improved version of their MB.83 flying boat. Italy lays down a BC, Japan 3 DD, US a BB. Germany commissions 2 BC, 1 AV, AH 1 CA.

August 1925

Our spies steal plans for British BC Diadem. Morane Saulnier provides a new fighter, the MS.98, which is an improvement over the ND.70. Japan lays down a CVL, Germany commissions an AV, Japan a DD.

September 1925

There is a political murder in the Balkans, and we demand the perpetrators be brought to justice. Breakthrough: K-guns. Italy lays down a CL, as does the US. We renew our alliance with the British. Design work begins on DD Pique, an Epee with K-guns.

October 1925

Breakthrough: Improved counterflooding equipment. The MB.91 enters service. War breaks out with Germany!

A squadron of ours, lead by 3 BCs and 3 BBs and backed up by our CV, is in the Baltic at the start of the war, and raids East Prussia.

CL Coetlogon is hit by a torpedo from a German submarine and sinks. We spot a transport and sink it, before spotting a German battlecruiser force. It exchanges fire with our BCs, and our ships seem to come off the worse, being badly slowed. Our BBs intervene, and we seem to even the odds. We launch a torpedo strike from Duquesne. BB Massena has both turrets put out of action fairly early, and the battleships likewise turn for home. The Germans are in hot pursuit, but the weather closes in, giving us a much-needed respite. Unfortunately, the airstrike doesn't seem to do much. We choose to withdraw, not wishing to face the German fleet again.

Unfortunately, this was not a victory for us. We took 6 capital ships up against 11, and came off the worst for it. To make things worse, our gunnery was not particularly good. -2 prestige, 1,649 VP for us, 5,662 for them at the Battle of Brüsterort. Italy lays down 1 BC, 2 KE. Japan commissions 1 DD, the US 1 CA. We start expansions on Dunkerque and Stevengar, and begin the submarines we suspended at the end of the last war.

May 1926


We have won a great victory over the Germans. Our night encounter with their fleet off Texel saw four of their battlecruisers sunk with no losses to our capital ships. It is the most decisive naval victory since Trafalgar, won without the aid of the British, and their fleet has not sortied since then. After some initial trouble, we and the British have managed to blockade the Germans. We've also done well in smaller actions, destroying two German convoys and raiding their coast.

Now, we need to decide what we are to do with our construction program. We have a battleship design about to complete, and funds for it, as well as some extra cash for other projects. We've seen a great deal of R&D output in recent months, and we have options including a proper CV, a new CL of either 5,000 or 5,500 tons (the later recommended because of the losses of CLs to date) and more destroyers.

November 1925

CAs Pothuau and Latouche-Treville are commissioned. Breakthroughs: Interlocked armor plates, More efficient hull form. DD Tirailleur sunk by a submarine. We lose one merchant and sink 2 subs, while we get 5 of their merchies for a similar number of subs. Germany lays down 6 KE and 1 AMC, while Italy lays down 2 KE and the US 1 CL. UK commissions a CVL, Italy a CA. The Germans gain 260 VP from their blockade.

Night fleet encounter in the North Sea. 5 BBs encounter a German force at close range. They trade blows, with both our ships and theirs taking torpedo hits. Things quickly descend into chaos. BB Ocean is hit twice, but several of their BCs are torpedoed early on. Their force falls apart, while ours mostly stays together and manages to pound several ships into immobility with a combination of guns and torpedos. CL Pluton is lost to a magazine hit, while DD Fauconneau is sunk by battleship gunfire. We have a brief encounter with what we believe to be their battle line, but manage to turn away. The whole action lasts only an hour and a half. Most of our battleships are damaged but the fleet still intact, which is more than can be said for their BCs. Four of them now lie on the bottom of the North Sea, along with a pair of destroyers. We lost only a destroyer and a light cruiser. The Battle of Texel is a major victory, gaining us 2 prestige and 18,457 VP, while the Germans get only 5,953.

December 1925

Design work begins on BB Suffren, with an all-forward main armament. 8 units of the Pique class DDs laid down, along with 12 Glorie a Jesus class KEs. CL Duguay-Trouin begins design. Breakthrough: Aircraft carrying airships. Italy lays down 2 KE, Germany commissions 2 DD, Japan 1 AV, US 1 BC and 1 CA.

A joint Anglo-French force of 3 CL and 2 DD attacks a German convoy off Tanzania. It's guarded by a CL and 4 DDs, who manage to make a complete hash of protecting it from us. We sink essentially the whole convoy and two of the DDs with minimal losses. It's a major victory, with us gaining 1,551 VP and one prestige at the Battle of Nyororo Island and the enemy only 172 VP.

January 1926

CL Duguay-Trouin laid down. Breakthroughs: DD of up to 2000t displacement, Enhanced warhead explosives, Daihatsu barges. The MS.98 is ready for operational service. One SSC commissioned, and one of our subs torpedoes and damages a German BB. Our sub force is equally effective against their merchant ships. Each side loses one sub, but we sink six ships and they get 1. Italy lays down 2 KE and Germany 3 KEs while the US lays down a CA and a CVL. Germany commissions 2 DDs, the US 1 CA.

Convoy attack off Jutland. 5 CLs, an AV and half a dozen DDs attack a German troop convoy bound for Belgium, thanks to excellent sabotage work by our special forces. The floatplanes soon spot the convoy, and the cruisers move in to attack. There's a brief engagement with the 3 CLs covering the convoy, but they do their usual poor job, and we soon end up at close range with the enemy transports. Guichen is torpedoed, but not badly, and our ships get inside the convoy, sinking the vast majority of the transports, as well as several of the enemy destroyers. Eventually, night falls, and we break for home. The Germans lost 3 destroyers and 13 of 15 transports, while we brought all of our ships home. The victory at Jutland gained us 2,547 VP and 1 prestige, while the Germans went home with only 215 VP.

February 1926

We commission 3 subs, along with CL Surcouf, which surpasses her design speed. The new CAs finish working up. Parliament authorizes an additional war loan. Breakthroughs: Large aircraft carrier, 10" guns (+1). This time, our subs sink only 1 merchie, while theirs get 5. Italy lays down 2 KE, the US 1 CL. Germany commissions 1 DD, 3 KE, 1 AMC. 210 VP for blockade.

Destroyer action off the Netherlands. We're somewhat outnumbered, but get the better of the initial gunnery engagement. Eventually, we get bored and turn for home. 66 VP for us, 0 for them.

March 1926

BC Lille begins refit. Tourville and Dunkerque are moved to the Med. We commission another SSC, along with CL Troude and 12 KEs. Breakthrough: Forced circulation. The submarine war continues to go poorly. The only one sunk is ours, while they sink six merchies, and us none. Germany lays down 2 DD, 1 AMC, Italy 2 KE, the US 1 CA. Germany commissions 3 DD. 210 VP for blockade. Laying-down of Suffren is delayed by machinery improvements.

The Germans slipped a few raiders into the Med and we have to defend a convoy against them near Sardinia. One of their CLs encounters a destroyer group, and they trade gunfire at long range. They arguably gett the better of us, but don't get anywhere near the convoy before it enters port, earning us 1,155 VP to 65.

April 1926

We lay down 6 SSC and 4 SS, while commissioning 1 SSC. Breakthroughs: Weight savings in turret fittings, Fleet cruising formation. 1 DD sunk by an enemy submarine. Their subs get 4 merchants, and their raiders 1, with no losses. Germany lays down an AMC, Italy 2 KE, Japan a CA, US a CL. US commissions a CVL. 230 VP for blockade. Suffren and an improved CL are pushed back to allow turret redesigns. BB Bouvet begins refit.

We launch a raid on German coastal shipping off Emden with a pair of CLs and screening DDs. They immediately encounter a pair of KEs and sink both, then withdraw as night falls. On the way out, they duel a 6" coastal battery, and do surprisingly well. It's a major victory, 1,215 VP for us and 309 for them.


  1. March 28, 2020Alexander said...

    Bad news about the Baltic expedition, but it sounds like you extracted our fleet from a bad situation rather well, probably assisted by having the faster fleet (at least pre battle damage). If we can calm relations with Italy and Austria-Hungary and keep the war two on one then coming back from this ought to be manageable.

    How about directing some of our increased budget towards improving our airbases around the North Sea?

  2. March 28, 2020bean said...

    We only have two airbases that bear on the North Sea very much, and I already have both of them upgrading.

  3. March 28, 2020DuskStar said...

    Wow, that Diadem looks scary - 9x16"@29kt is a pretty big step up over our BC's 10x14"@28kt.

    Not a particularly great showing against the Germans, either - do we know what sort of guns/armor their ships are carrying?

  4. March 29, 2020bean said...

    It obviously varies across time. All of the BBs seem to have belts in the 13" range, while the BCs are thinner. We have an advantage in armor. Guns also vary, it's usually 8 in twins, with guns going up to 16". One of the big problems is that we took a lot of turret hits, which tended to penetrate. That cut firepower a lot. I'm also not particularly happy with our gunnery, and it looks like a few ships didn't get improved directors during the last refit cycle. That was my mistake.

  5. March 29, 2020John Schilling said...

    A bit late now, but I've noticed in my solo games that enhanced gunnery training plus regular fleet exercises to bring most of my heavy ships up to "Elite" status before the war gives them a ~2:1 edge in hits scored over the computer's fleet. Does mean that you can't put them in reserve status or they'll degrade back to "Fair", but worth it for the active fleet at least.

  6. March 29, 2020bean said...

    I've experimented with that, but it's really expensive, and it usually seems to me to be a wash between number of ships and how effective they are.

  7. March 31, 2020Alexander said...

    How long would refitting improved directors take? We don't want to have ships in the yard for too long during the war, but our damaged ships won't be available for a couple of months anyway, so we could look at that as an opportunity.

    For new construction, our biggest weakness against Germany is a lack of capital ships. They take so long to build I don't know if ships we start now will be completed before the war is over, but a long conflict is quite possible. Perhaps lay down one Richelieu style BB now, and another when we finish Marengo. I like the 11" CAs, but the numerous German BCs, and their lack of heavy cruisers, means I don't really want them in the North Sea. Could we send them (and the unconverted Duquesnes?) to the Med and bring the Nancys to join the fleet?

    We could build some more destroyers, as though we have plenty, a lot of our existing ones are small and old, and they are a quick way to turn resources into ships.

  8. March 31, 2020bean said...

    The director refits should take 3 months each. I'll start them on the ships under repair. The CAs are built as raider-hunters, and I expect to use them as such. The older ships will go to the Med. As for building, a mix of BBs and destroyers makes sense to me.

  9. March 31, 2020Alexander said...

    That works. What sort of ships might the Germans use for raiding? If they send out CLs, our own CLs can help hunt them too. If they might send battlecruisers, what sort of speed/armour/armament would we be up against? Old, slow 12" gunned early dreadnought battlecruisers, or something nearer to the British Diadam?

  10. March 31, 2020bean said...

    I'd expect them to raid with CLs. I don't think I've ever seen anyone do commerce raiding with BCs. But the new 11" CAs will eat any CL or AMC for breakfast, which is extremely helpful.

  11. April 01, 2020bean said...

    Plan for play:

    Start design of a new BB, with all-forward armament and more armor on the turrets. One to be laid down soon, another when Marengo commissions. I'm also going to build destroyers. Strategically, we just have to keep the Germans bottled up.

  12. April 01, 2020ADifferentAnonymous said...

    Plan sounds good to me.

    I see we currently have no land-based torpedo bombers. I take it their range is still too short to be useful in that role?

  13. April 01, 2020Alexander said...

    NAS Dunkerque is close enough to the choke point of the channel that even Skuas based there would be a threat to ships making a dash for the Atlantic. The issue is that all of our bases seem only to support 20 aircraft, but once upgraded, there may be capacity for something besides flying boats.

  14. April 01, 2020bean said...

    All of France toasts the Marine Nationale, for our great victories at Texel and Jutland over the Germans. We have redeemed ourselves for our failure earlier, and with the aid of our British allies have begun to blockade Germany.

  15. April 03, 2020bean said...

    May 1926 is up. Let all celebrate our great victory!

  16. April 03, 2020Alexander said...

    Well done! Glad we're blockading them now - were they really blockading us during November? Shame the Plutons didn't last long, both going down the year after they were launched, within weeks of each other. If we have the money after ordering a pair of BBs, I suppose we'll want more cruisers. It'd be interesting to see designs for a 2,000 ton DD, or a proper CV, but they'd not be my priority. Perhaps when La Fayette and the Piques are ready?

    You've given the Germans 215 prestige for the battle off Jutland - this should be VPs?

  17. April 03, 2020bean said...

    The game didn't believe the British were on our side at first. I think it was because I was fiddling with the save file. And yes, the 215 prestige was a typo.

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