I was incredulous at your 24 tube 1916 torpedo carrier.
Then I notices your 36tons per triple launcher. Please report back how effective those 12inch torpedoes are. And most importantly, does the small diameter affect range (as it should) compared to 18inchers? Because same range but smaller warhead would make them very valuable against enemy ships with bad damage control/torpedo protection.
They're murderously effective. I've had BBs die to a single torp, and most capital ships that have been lost on all sides have died in large part to torpedo hits. Generally, one torpedo hit will cut a capital ship's speed in half, or worse. Current range is 4500@36/10,000@27, and the tech isn't super-advanced (in the save file, I have Research9, which I think is torps, techs #0-10). In my current battle, a single hit from one torpedo against a modern 1916-built British BC cut its speed enough that I could overtake it and pound it into smithereens(currently it's been hit by like 7 torps and a couple dozen 12" shells, and while it's still alive, it's a total wreck). Pulling the ship's file out of the savegame, it had TDS level 1 as well.
Given the way you're talking about it, I think this might also be a variable tech effect.
Last Edit: Jun 12, 2019 18:16:38 GMT -5 by alsadius
1918 started off with a bang - a giant fleet battle on January 13th. And unlike the Austrian fleet battles, this one happened at dawn, not dusk, so all those big guns we've been carrying around for the last couple decades might finally get to do something. Still, it started off with destroyers even so - three Granatieres screening my BCs started very close to an enemy BC, and managed to get seven torps into it before passing by, leaving it a crippled wreck. It was the newest of their BCs too(8x14", 11.5" belt, 25 knots), so that was a good way to start things off.
As the battle heated up, though, it became clear what synergy torpedoes and guns have. On paper, the British fleet was well superior to mine - 13 capital ships to 10, 92 heavy guns(mostly 14") to 57(all 12"), and slightly thicker armour on average. My fleet was a bit faster, but that merely lets me choose the battles, it doesn't really help me win them once I've chosen to engage. And yet, I ripped him into shreds. Because the torpedo attackers dove into his formation and hit occasional ships, his fire faltered, but more importantly his fleet lost cohesion. At one point, most of his battle line was still afloat, and only about a third of it was crippled (and presumed sinking), but it was spread out so badly that nothing was mutually supporting. My light units were just as scattered, launching torpedo attacks as the opportunity arose, but my battle fleet was concentrated. And when they picked on a ship or two, those targets got blown into rubble. The torpedo attacks are flashy, and I talk about them a lot. And they're really good for slowing down enemy ships, or for eliminating cripples. But as TDS is starting to come into play, I notice ships getting more resilient to torpedo attacks. I can kill them, but it's no longer expected to be a one-shot wonder like it was in previous wars. Guns serve a real role, and I'm glad to see it - part of me was wondering if I should do something really dumb like an all-DD fleet. I'm glad to have a reason for the big guns.
Using these two in concert, I cut up his fleet like Christmas dinner. Every single British capital ship that engaged was dead within the first four hours. In exchange I lost...one battlecruiser. Damage here and there - a couple BBs lost turrets, another BC took a torpedo and limped home, etc. - but nothing permanent, or even very severe. I sent the heavy ships home just to be safe as I hunted down the escorts, and frankly after playing this battle for two IRL days (I haven't had a lot of free time), I got bored of hunting escorts. Paused to kill a few CLs, but it wasn't worth hunting DDs.
(The highlighted ship was a flash-fire casualty. There were a couple others, but both of them were already crippled when it happened.)
Frankly, this battle was frigging absurd. The Battle of Marsala was about as lopsided as Trafalgar, and likely to have as large an echo in history. On paper, his remaining fleet is the rough equal of mine(6 BB to my 7, 4 BC to my 3, 2 B to my 3), but if that didn't cause chaos and unrest back home, I'll eat my hat. And he has a global network of bases to protect, while I don't. Speaking of bases, with the Med clear I immediately set Egypt as my invasion target.
The next month's battle was much smaller. Killed 2 CL for a DD lost. At the moment, my goal is to grab Egypt by invasion(and whittle away at his fleet while I wait for that to fire), and then look at blockading him. I've sent my three BCs out as a hunter squadron, trying to snap up foreign service cruisers whenever practical.
However, before that happened, I got a really quick peace deal - only a three-month war. It was a 4-point deal, so I grabbed Cyprus, Zanzibar, and Yemen, to spread out into the Indian Ocean a bit. However, I realized after the war ended that I should have checked for oil a bit more carefully - I thought it was Malaya (6 points) that had oil, but it was actually Burma (4 points), which means I could have taken their oil in the peace deal. Argh. Ah well, just means I need to beat them again next time.
The end of the war also tanks my budget. I'm over 9000/month in the hole, with the two new Vettor Pisani CAs in construction. I'll free up about 6500/mo over the next 3 months as my construction finishes (12 DDs and 1 BB), but a few other things need to go. I'm scrapping six 1906-era SSCs, all of my coastal batteries, all of my air groups, all of my airship bases, the three Marco Polo CAs, three un-converted Rimini CLs, and five Amalfi CLs(though the Marsala is preserved as a museum ship). The 8x Espero, 3x Nembo, and 8x Lanciere DDs are mothballed, along with the 2x Rimini AVs, 1x San Giorgio CA, and 1x Liguria CA. The only pre-1912 ships left in active service are three Schiaffino DDs. That drops my deficit down to 4.2M/month, which should be cleaned up quickly by construction finishing.
I've also started a new KE design - not a class I've gone for thus far, but a cheap ship to cover minesweeping and colonial needs seems like it'll be handy. And I can buy three of these for the price of a DD, too.
16 of those get put into production, which if I understand properly should cover my foreign service needs (now 11,000 tons after taking those colonies)
As the year progresses, some important aviation milestones are reached. Offensively, my first torpedo bomber is now available. Defensively, I unlocked the AAA tech group, and got myself LAA, which will go onto ships in my next round of refits as they happen.
I feel like I'm due for another series of capital ships, but no capital gun size feels right - 12"/+1 is starting to feel limiting, 13"/0 isn't an upgrade, and 15"/-1 or 16"/-1 is a hell of a lot of weight invested for very little gain except future-proofing. I might pull the trigger if I get AoN, or even TDS 2, but without some big tech bump I'm just building bigger because I can - no thanks. I've set gun research to high, and I'll hold off for a year or two. Instead, I'll build a couple more Pisani CAs. I have, however, set my old Liguria to be a CVL conversion - 8 planes with a flight deck, and it doesn't need bulges, so it can keep its 23 knots. The offensive battery is totally stripped in the process, though.
To avoid piling up cash to a level where I'll get events, I throw a dozen DDs into construction at the end of the year. That will give me a total of three dozen Bertani DDs, which is almost enough torpedoes.
In May, I unlock AoN design. That's enough to pull the trigger on my next BB design, I think. Combine that with oil finally being unlocked, and a lot of expanded shipbuilding facilities, and you wind up with this monster:
33% more firepower than the Roma, 2 knots faster, +2" on the belt, +1" on the deck, generous ammo supplies, and a strong AA battery (plus gobs of 3" mounts that can later be used for DP guns). It's also got 2 seaplanes in a hangar (not shown). It'll be the largest ship in the world when it completes - only the HMS Repulse and USS Illinois (both BBs under construction) are over 37k tons anywhere in the world. Frankly, this is a mildly insane design, given the fact that it costs six months of my gross income, and part of me thinks I'd do better with a pair of old Duilios. But if I can't have gigantic, insane battleships, why am I even playing RTW?
Incidentally, I did get the designs for the Repulse. 41,300 tons, 8x16", 14x5" secondary(though with only 1" of armour!), 12.5" belt, 5.5" deck, 23 knots. Depending on gun quality, it's a reasonable match for my Italia, but I should be better in close, and I hold the speed advantage. However, in the same turn, I finally got 16"/0 quality guns. So naturally, that Italia that I designed isn't going to cut it. I'll swap out the triple 12" turrets for double 16", and cut the ammo per gun to 90. It's still a touch overweight, so 2 planes in a hangar is reduced to 1, and 3 fire control directors is reduced to 2. It means a 4-month delay, and another $9.2m spent on reworking the design, but I don't want my newest BB to be crippled from the jump. These gun stats just can't be argued with IMO:
Even losing a third of my guns, that's a good trade now that I have decent-quality 16" guns.
However, a couple events have led to a sharp rise in tensions, and France(tension 11) and Austria(tension 9) have even signed a treaty with each other. I'm thinking that lighter ships that can be finished a bit quicker might be in order here. I don't yet have even double turrets for CLs, so a gun CL isn't appealing right now, but I did get the tech for a torpedo CL.
It's got enough small guns and speed to also be a decent anti-DD escort, but this can deal with unsupported capital ships too. And my cruiser arm's speed hasn't been all it could be for a while now, especially with a 25 knot BB coming into the picture, so 27 knots is a bit of an improvement there. Four of those get laid down, which should leave me enough budget for two Italias once my 12x DD Agostino Bertani and 2x CA Vettor Pisani finish over the next 3-6 months. One of those Italias gets laid down in December.
That seems like a natural stopping point for this update. Let's see if a coalition war breaks out in 1921.
Last Edit: Jun 18, 2019 11:09:58 GMT -5 by alsadius: Added Catania pic
Mounting of tertiaries doesn't change the mass, so I assumed that it's simply not considered at all. I just leave it at the default. For secondaries, I think I started doing "secondary = BE" design as a rule of thumb in the pre-dread era, especially when my B/BB were using 8" secondaries (which can flash-fire), and I've kept doing it without thinking too much into the 20s. I find my secondaries get knocked out fairly often, but I suppose that's not a huge problem in the grand scheme of things. It does mean that I have a lot of weight stored in them for future improvements, so maybe I'll start pulling that weight back out when I do my 1920s refits.
1) Their amour also shields the superstructure, important in the early era.
2) They do not take up deck space for AA emplacements.
3) They do not work well in bad weather (when DDs are a big threat).
4) You can not make them dual purpose.
The problem with heavy armour for low caliber guns is, that you get a ROF malus if you do not have the tech for low caliber guns in turrets.
Thus if you do not want to shield your superstructure with casemates or clutter up the deck for medium AA, it is best to use single gun mounts with at most 2'' armour for secondaries of 6'' guns or less.
And tertiaries in single gun mounts as well, so you can convert them to DP early.
Wait, the ROF penalty only applies with heavily armoured turrets? I thought it was just a turret thing. That's good to know. And does converting tertiary casemates into tertiary DP turrets in a refit cost more than converting tertiary turrets into tertiary DP turrets? Makes sense, I suppose, but I guess that's a cost I'll just have to pay.
Wait, the ROF penalty only applies with heavily armoured turrets? I thought it was just a turret thing. That's good to know. And does converting tertiary casemates into tertiary DP turrets in a refit cost more than converting tertiary turrets into tertiary DP turrets? Makes sense, I suppose, but I guess that's a cost I'll just have to pay.
Penalty does not apply if single mount AND 2'' armor or less, since 2'' are considered to be gun shields, not turrets.
If the guns are already in the right mounts, converting to DP is cheap (costs tonnage, but little money). Which is the reason I like to put 4'' guns in single mounts on stuff (though 3''/+1 single mounts are ok as well).
In addition to what yemo's saying, I would suggest that you should consider what it is that you're armoring your secondary gun against. 8" secondary armor is not going to protect against a direct hit from most of the heavy guns I expect to be in service by 1920 - even against a relatively light gun like your 12"/Q1 it's only adequate protection at a pretty significant range (~17kyd, according to the penetration charts you posted) - and there probably aren't many ships armed with medium-caliber guns around to worry about; meanwhile, against light guns and splinters it's way more armor than you should need.
Beyond that, you should also consider whether redundancy would be better protection against your secondary battery being knocked out than armor is - you spent more than 1100 tons to get just six 5" twin turrets onto Italia when you could probably have had a dozen 5" twin turrets adequately armored against 6" guns for about the same tonnage cost, or two dozen 5" singles or a dozen 5" twins with splinter protection at a much lower tonnage cost. As long as the guns are adequately protected against splinters, each gun will probably remain in action as long as it doesn't take a direct hit from something heavy enough to penetrate the armor you gave it, and a few heavily armored guns will only be more resilient against battle damage than many lightly-armored guns if the heavily-armored guns are protected adequately against the things that are likely to hit them than the lightly armored guns are. 2" safeguards you against splinter damage, 3" or 4" is probably adequate against 6" guns at reasonable engagement ranges, 8" is unlikely to be adequate against 12" or heavier guns at reasonable engagement ranges, and very few ships - especially modern ships - are likely to be using anything in between 6" and 12" guns. If you halve the armor protection but double the number of turrets, is your secondary battery more or less resilient against being knocked out by battle damage?
A note before starting: I missed the photo for my last CL design at the end of the previous post. It's been edited in.
So with tensions high, I've decided to partially re-activate some heavy ships. All mothballed ships (3x B, 1x CA, 2x AV, and 19x DD) are upgraded to reserve fleet status. I'm also dispersing my 3 of my 5 CL Messina raiders to colonial areas so that they can fan out faster if the Suez gets closed to me. However, I don't want this chaos to mess with my long-term construction plans, so I laid down a second Italia in April.
In June, war breaks out. The French decline to face me in battle, but the Austrians get into a fight against my force of 3x BC, 5x CL, 1x CVL(which I stupidly left empty of planes), and 21x DD. And, since this is a battle with Austria, it of course happens right at dusk. I send the CVL right back to base, and send the rest of my fleet to loiter near the bombardment target. The enemy shows up in force, and I spend a while torpedoing Austrian battlecruisers, and trying not to torpedo my American allies.
Unfortunaely, my American allies turn out to have actually been French enemies - I set them to similar colours, and thought the light blue was just the shade of blue I chose for the US. Derp. Fortunately, though...well, it's not actually much of a challenge. The eight enemy BCs get hit by a total of 67 torpedoes by the time the battle ends, and all of them are sunk - five Austrian(out of 6 in his fleet) and three French(out of 10). I also grab a CL, 5 DD, and 2 SS, in exchange for a CL, 5 DD, and 2 transports.
I went back to port early, but he didn't even manage to kill the bombardment target because he'd lost so many ships. Half their combined BC fleet is dead, and 8/27 capital ships. Heck of a way to start a war.
Anyway, once I'm back in the main screen, I re-activate my fleet, fill up my airbases (8 flying boats and 12 torpedo bombers each, seems like a good seek-and-destroy combination) and my CVL (8 torpedo bombers), and buy a couple airbases for the Adriatic. Now I'm left with 3.5 million a month unspent, which is an awkward sum. I have no invasion targets except Djibouti, and my Indian Ocean fleet is weak, so invasion seems like a poor deal. Instead, I think I'll lean into the new era, and design my first purpose-built carrier.
Another BC battle happened in July. My CVL also spawned, but due to a screwup somewhere along the line, it sent my torpedo bombers out as scouts. (I see why everyone says air units are so frustrating.) Still, traditional seapower did for three enemy BCs, at the cost of one of my own and four DDs. Sadly, I also lose an old pre-dread to enemy submarines - they'll almost certainly get scrapped after this war, but it's still a lot of men (and VP) lost. After that, Austria has no BCs and only three BBs, while France has 5 BCs and 8 BBs. I'm at 2 BC, 2 B and 8 BB. Might be time for a new BC program soon, if I can ever break free the budget - we'll see how this war goes.
Much as I was grumping about air power, though, the August battle is a funny example of its merits. I get a hugely lopsided battle - my BC, 4 CL, and 24 DD versus his one CL - and ships don't even land a single shot. My AV's scout planes find him, my ships chase uselessly, and a torpedo bomber force from a land base sinks him with two torpedoes. No naval gunfire hits, on either side. With that success story, it's pretty easy to justify naval airpower (even without being gamey), so I lay down a pair of CVLs.
Of course, it's not always about the planes. In September, Austria's battleships sail the Adriatic. With a strong escort of...one AV. Their guns manage to kill one of my DDs and badly wound a Vettor Pisani, but that's it for his entire capital fleet. Aside from 2 BB and 2 BC under construction, his heaviest ship is a 6200 ton light cruiser. Then two 2500 ton AMCs, and after that he's down to 900 ton DDs.
This being something of a ridiculous state of affairs, they finally sue for peace in October. A large settlement (8 points) is earned, and I use it to take Norway, so that I can have a strong base in Northern Europe to allow future blockades of the four major powers that have that as their home region. (In fact, with Austria in my home region and the US allied, literally *every* power I'll want to blockade is in Northern Europe). The US takes Djibouti and Madagascar. And now I'm at 64 prestige.
After the war, the usual cuts ensue. 22 old DDs are mothballed, along with both AVs. My last two pre-dreads (and in fact, the last two anywhere) are scrapped, along with my last San Giorgio CA, seven old SSCs, and my air wings. Four Caio Duilio BBs, ten Nino Bixio and Messina CLs, and 14 Granatiere DDs are put in reserve. My active fleet is down to 4 BB Roma, 2 BC Lepanto, 4 CA Vettor Pisani, 27 DD Agostino Bertiani, and 16 KE Adelina. And still my budget is $3.3M/month in the red (though it'll drop to $2.5M when my repairs finish). I have $40M on hand, so I'll ride it out for a while, but I may need to suspend construction on something if my budget doesn't change. Which makes sense, I suppose - construction is $18.9M of my $26.8M monthly budget(2 BB, 2 jumbo CVL, and 4 CL) - but still.
At the end of the year I get the tech for TDS level 2. Which will be nice once my construction budget is freed up a bit.
I start the year out with tech for CV conversions and 15"/0 guns. Neither is especially interesting, though it's good to know the Lepantos will have a home later on. I also start the Norwegian bases improving, since it's only capacity 40. But the budget is not giving me any happy surprises, so I suspend construction on one Italia in April to make ends meet. Fortunately, a few months later the budget has been improved enough by events to re-start it.
July gives me a couple better techs, though - 5"/+1 guns and quad torpedoes. This feels like a new DD class in the making.
Not as torpedo-happy as some others, but it still packs a punch, and it's got very good gun-power as an escort(which will also convert to DP very well). Once a few Catanias finish, I set a dozen of them to building. I also put in a dozen SSC at the end of the year, to replenish my depleted force(it's down to 14).
Here's how things look at the end of the year:
(43 DD and 16 KE are below the bottom of this image).
And with that, I've already stayed up too damned late finishing this post, so I'm off to sleep.
Last Edit: Jun 20, 2019 10:01:10 GMT -5 by alsadius
Being back in peacetime, I start working on refits for my older ships. To start with, the Caio Duilio BBs get an update to their secondary guns, going from 8x8" with 6" armour to 12x5" with 2" armour, and adding 32x LAA. It also upgrades to directors. This frees up a lot of mass, so I use that to add more deck armour.
Once my CVLs finish, I also rebuild the Granatiere to a more modern design - a quad torpedo launcher on the fore swivel, and three quad launchers on the centreline, to put the same 16 torps into fewer launchers. This doesn't quite fix the ship's overweight design, so the 2x 3" get dropped to 4x LAA to make up the weight.
A few interesting new techs come along while those are rebuilding - magazine boxes, catapults, improved directors, and Russia sells me 17"/0 guns.
Once the Granatieres get updated, the Lepantos get their update. Secondary gun armour is dropped from 5" to 2", and the mass is used to add four secondaries, 36 LAA, improved directors, and a floatplane with hangar.
By October, my budget is in an interesting place. A huge batch of construction is due to finish in 4-5 months - 12x DD Bersagliere, 2x BC Lepanto rebuild, 4x BB Caio Duilio rebuild, and 1x BB Italia. That'll free up enough cash for a new capital ship design, and I want to use all this fancy new tech. And who's better at fancy tech than Leonardo da Vinci?
This may be of type BB, but I think of it as a battlecruiser. The magazine box defences are thinned out to get extra speed, and the result is almost as fast as my DDs.
For comparison, designs for the new German BC landed on my desk that month:
Mine is the same speed, has 50% more main guns, substantially better armour over the magazines(though somewhat worse armour elsewhere), better fire control, and even 3x the AA and a scout plane. I'm happy with my design, especially given that Germany's tech is seemingly better than mine.
Russia apparently decided to go communist, even without a war. Those jerks.
In happier news, two Da Vincis get put into construction in January.
February is a busy month. My first Italia hits service, though unfortunately it doesn't reach its design speed. A shipbuilder offers me a sped-up Da Vinci, which seems like a good investment, so I grab that (even though it'll cause short-term cashflow issues), and I get a treaty with Germany. Unfortunately, the treaty event causes me more cashflow issues, but having allies is sometimes handy. Ironically, my solution to the cashflow crunch is to delay the sped-up Da Vinci, and wait a few months for them to all come off the slips at the same time. Two months later, a couple events and the completion of 10x submarines allows me to re-start it.
The new fast BBs are making me think that 30 knots for my DDs isn't enough, so I go back to the drawing board for a faster class.
I build it Mediterranean, to get the most speed out of it I can at my current tech without giving up too much weaponry. It's the lowest I've gone on torpedoes since the Lanciere in 1907, but I need the speed.
The Germans also go fascist at this time. Those jerks.
Annoyingly, I get a "build 10 cruisers" event while my budget is already dedicated to fast BBs. I actually want the cruisers, is the worst part. I decide to go for it, and use the increased budget to help make it happen. This means delaying the Lupara class, but such is life.
Needless to say, this is a dedicated raider. Nearly useless in fleet, but decent speed and very good range makes it fine for snapping up merchants. The group puts me $2.3M/month into the red, butI've got a bit of cash in reserve to wait for budget-boosting events. And sure enough, the next month I send a battleship to evacuate our nationals.
The downside of this is, I'm now on the brink of war with the UK, and almost as close with Austria. So as war prep, I re-fill my CVLs, activate my Messina cruisers and disperse them for raiding, and hope I can end this post without a new war.
Sure enough, I make it to December without the trigger getting pulled. So let's end this here, and leave you(and me) with a bit of a cliffhanger for 1925
It takes a couple months, but yeah, I get my war in February. His fleet is 15 BB (to my 10), 8 BC (to my 2), 2 CVL (to my 3), no CA (to my 4), 8 CL (to my 15), 21 DD (to my 75), 4 KE (to my 16), and 22 SS (to my 24), so he's super top-heavy.
The first battle is a BC duel, though I have a CVL in the battle. I tell it not to launch a search...so it promptly launches a max-effort search and throws away every TB in my force. Goddamn stupid planes. I send the waste of iron back to port, and it can't even do that right either.
Anyway. Back to the floating forces, since they do what I tell them to most of the time. Two BCs headline on each side, though one of his is very old(1904), and that one gets overtaken quickly. His guns dramatically out-class mine(4x 13" and 12x 14" to my 12x 12"), and they start landing serious hits - nothing that threatens my BCs, but they knock turrets out and slow one of them down. But as usual, when my destroyers catch up, six torpedoes land in as many minutes, and it sinks instantly to a magazine hit. The torpedo attack on his modern BC fares passably, though in a rather ironic twist one of my DDs manages to hit itself with a friendly torpedo and starts sinking instantly. Still, once a couple have landed (on the enemy, that is), it gets torn up badly. After that, it's all over but the crying. Severe damage to my BCs, but they lose two outright plus a CL and 3 DD, while I lose 2 DD.
My wartime budget bump is nice, but by the time I re-activate my reserves and stock up my air bases, I'm in the red even before I set an invasion target or build any extra ships. Well then. (Also, holy hell, my Italia BBs are 1150/month to maintain in wartime.)
In March, we each decline a battle - he passes up a battleship engagement in the Med, and I pass up a convoy defence in Northern Europe (where I have one CA to face his whole fleet). Still, his torpedoes manage to damage one of my Italia BBs(plus a CL) in between-turn events. April is a 1v1 engagement of our CLs in the Red Sea, that I win(though it was a bit lopsided, mine was a 1917 model vs his 1905). Interestingly, this one was guns slowing down the enemy so I could hit him with torps, instead of the other way around. Good to mix it up a little.
I decide to send out a hunting fleet to mess with his lighter forces away from Europe. My two BCs, my four Catania CLs, the old converted CVL, and eleven old Lanciere and Schiaffino DDs seem like a good force, which ought to be able to deal with whatever they're likely to find. They might be needed, though - the May battle is an invasion of Zanzibar. I kill the transports (the escorts did very badly at covering them), but only after they've unloaded, so it's a loss for me. If the invasion succeeds it's not a huge loss - it's only 1 colonial value - but it's bad on principle, and won't help me win the war either. This is also a bit of a dark time for the war, because I get asked if I want to accept a losing peace(!) shortly after the invasion lands, because of my VP deficit.
However, for some reason he pulls his forces out of the Indian Ocean - I got an "Enemy could not muster enough forces for battle" message, which I haven't seen before. Then the invasion was defeated. Guess it's time for my hunting fleet to go back to hunting. Bizarrely, the July battle gives me the same message...in Northern Europe. It was a cruiser action, and it looks like his fleet there is mostly BBs, but still.
Not much happens for a few months - some single-ship actions, including one where his solitary old BC went up against large numbers of my modern ships, but no real losses. However, it does let me get back to near-parity on VP. And while this isn't urgent, my light forces get a huge tech boost in November, with 2000 ton DDs and triple turrets on CLs. So that Lupara class definitely isn't getting built as-is - I'll expand it to 2000 tons and see if I can fit more in. November also features a battle with two un-escorted British battleships, and both of them modern ones at that - both are from 1922, and either one could fight an Italia with decent odds. A rather insane destroyer pass results in seven torpedoes hitting one of his ships in a single minute, along with one more hitting the other. A minute later, they're both sinking. I lost two DDs in exchange. Net gain of two prestige and 14400 VP, which puts me into a major lead for the war.
1926 starts off pretty quiet for wartime. I try to arrange an invasion of Egypt, but it doesn't fire for a while. I do get 3" and 4" DP mounts, though, which will come in very handy.
The first meaningful battle is in June, where I sink an un-escorted BC. These battles are starting to feel ridiculous, tbh - the AI should never have these forces in the first place, for exactly this reason.
Battles continue to be lame for a while, though I'm racking up some small kills here and there. My Foggias starting to come online also helps with the raiding. But by October, my building programs are winding down, and it's time to create the next generation of escort. First up, a KE that's optimized for ASW work:
After that, there's an update to the fast DD that I was planning to build a couple years ago.
This keeps the same ideas as the never-built Lupara (34 knots, only 12x torpedo), but it's much better at it. It's medium/normal instead of short/cramped, it's got 6x 4" DP secondaries instead of 2x 3", and it gets a nice ASW boost from my new K-guns. Downside is the cost jumping by half, but I can still get a couple dozen of these for the cost of a battleship.
The new year starts off much like 1926 - surprisingly short on warfare for a war. My raiders are taking a real toll on him, though - I'm killing like twice as many merchants as him most turns now. He does get one through on me in February though, with another invasion of Zanzibar. My force of one CL and one old DD was wiped out, though a sub killed his CL, and I did get a total of three torpedoes into his BCs. Not enough to sink him, though - modern BCs can take 1-2 torpedo hits and survive, I see, so my plan of overkilling enemy ships in fleet battles looks like a good one. At the same time, I put a dozen of each of those escort designs into production.
Unfortunately, Zanzibar doesn't hold out like it did last time. While I send my hunter fleet to relieve the defenders, it falls before they arrive. The good news that month is that my raiders rack up an astonishing 22 killed merchants in March. I also get a type of battle I haven't seen before - a convoy defence in Northern Europe, but where the Germans provide most of my forces. I have two KE in the battle, but they give me a modern BB and three DDs. Thankfully, that was a no-contact battle, since the Brits had 11 capital ships hunting me.
Between seeing that juicy non-escorted fleet and realizing that he's pulled in all of his forces, though, I think it's time for the big guns. I'm pulling my hunter fleet back home, because his fleets are all in home waters as well. By the time they arrive, I should have 2-3 Da Vincis worked up, and then I'm going to head to his home area and court a fight.
Also, the completion of my Italias has left me with a lot of budget room. These won't be used in the current war, but I've decided to start on some purpose-built CVs.
(Yes, I have the AI design my superstructure). Not pictured is the 40 planes on an unarmoured deck. So it's not much of an improvement over my Falco CVLs(same speed, 30 planes), but it adds TDS and much better air defences, so it should be a bit more survivable.
As of June, my fleet is now blockading the UK, though my inadequate Norwegian bases mean that I may have difficulty keeping it up. But I'm at 4 unrest myself, so the war has probably dragged on too long - time to wrap it up, if I can.
The July battle starts to push things in a wrapping-up direction. A BC-heavy battle off the coast of Engand, with three of his newer ones against my two worked-up Da Vincis, both CVLs, and support. The battle is rather inconclusive at first. I manage to drop one of his Tiger-class BCs(41500 tons, 30 knots, 6x 16", 11" belt, 4" deck), but one of my brand new Da Vincis is taken down by friendly torpedo fire. Launched by the AI, for no obvious reason - there was no enemy ship within plausible torpedo range. For all that "Friendly ship in line of fire" stops me from firing my own torps, apparently the idiot running that destroyer thought he could shoot for a miracle and kill my newest battleship instead. The funny thing is, I'm not even especially angry. This is the sort of thing that happens in wartime, so it happening to me isn't so crazy.
The rest of the battle is pretty bizarre, though. Both my CVLs are in the battle, so I keep sending torpedo bomber attacks after his BBs, but they always get distracted by shiny objects instead. (Dangers of trying to do carrier work in the area near London - lots of other traffic.) Meanwhile, my surviving Da Vinci gets absolutely pummeled by his two remaining BCs. 43 heavy hits land, and at various points it was out of electrical, rudder jammed, out of main gun ammo, all secondary guns destroyed, down to 4 knots, and showing 99% damage. (Not all at once, thankfully). It did damage of its own - 40 main gun hits, combined with a few torpedoes before its escorts all died, managed to kill one of his BCs and wound the other. But my decision to detach my carrier escorts to bail it out is what saves the day - five undamaged DDs show up in the nick of time, and they kill the third BC with torpedoes. Freed of this danger, my ships limp home, and the Da Vinci survives to fight another day. But jesus, that was close - I almost lost 2/3 of my newest class of battleships because I got cocky. I couldn't even finish the bombardment mission.
On the up side, I now have enough forces to blockade him, which should help wrap this war up. On the down side, I've had dominance in the Med for ages, and my invasion of Egypt still hasn't fired. I hear the 1.04 patch fixed that, but I think I'll wait for 1.05 before patching since it's supposed to come out within the next day(I'm writing this on Monday).
By October, he's pulled enough forces home that I've lost the blockade status, and my ships are starting to get a bit worn and torn, so I rotate the fleet home for a while. Out of game, I also update to version 1.05, so hopefully my Egypt invasion will happen. In the last two months of the year, I at least get notifications of why I'm not invading, so it looks promising, but it doesn't fire as of yet.
Last Edit: Jun 26, 2019 6:25:17 GMT -5 by alsadius
1928 starts off with a bang. On January 4th, two British battlecruisers supported by a single destroyer attempt to bombard a target on the coast of Italy at dusk. An Italian fleet of 2 BB, 2 BC, and (most importantly) 22 DDs is there to defend my coastline. Contact is made around midnight, and within minutes my destroyers are making aggressive torpedo attacks. His two BCs are hit with a total of 24 torpedoes, and two hit his destroyer. By 12:20 AM, all three are slipping beneath the waves - the whole combat was over so fast that my ships didn't even manage to guess the enemy ship classes. All for a loss of one merchantman. Post-battle reports show that they were both Tiger-class BCs, modern and powerful ships. He's now down to 4 BCs, after starting the war with 8. Even with BB construction underway(and this war has now gone on long enough to build one from scratch), he's dropped from 15 to 13 there, while I've gone from 10 to 12.
In February, he launches an invasion of Norway. Fortunately, my fleet is repaired up, so it's time to head back to Northern Europe. Unfortunately, my forces can't hold out for one stinking month, and it's lost before it can be defended. Fortunately, I get an honest-to-god fleet battle - all of my BBs, BCs, and large CAs are engaged, along with one CVL and one German BB, for a total of 20 capital ships. And it's even in the morning!
No contact at first (it doesn't help that I'm on 1.05 instead of 1.05b, so no airplane reports come in), but a couple hours in I find a three-BC division. My battleships land several hits at first, and he starts retreating towards his main body, so I set everything up for the main clash as I pound his ships. And sure enough, things go as they so often do. He's naked without escorts, my DDs race ahead, and he gets the snot torped out of him. I'll actually show an amusing moment from the battle, to give a sense of how my fights tend to look:
Yeah. It's nutty.
Not too long after I take that shot, though, my guns start to really make their presence known. That bad British powder-handling rears its ugly head, as five of their battleships go up to flash-fires. Within fifteen minutes of each other. Four were likely sinking already, and the last was lamed, but it's still a pretty astonishing fireworks display. One of them even went up to an 8" shell from one of my cruisers.
After all of that, he's left with two operational BBs, which flee towards Swansea. And then right past it, into the Severn estuary. (I wish the AI understood docking up their ships, because that was all that'd possibly save him here.) They get away from me for a while, but there's no exit there, so I just chase him in. And in the process, my CVL stumbles onto his CVL, which is quickly dispatched by my escorting DDs. Sure enough, his BBs try to turn away from the corner, and my whole battle fleet catches up. And again, sure enough, there's a sixth flash-fire casualty, just as it's starting to be seriously slowed down by damage. The battle ends a couple minutes later, in an absolutely crushing victory.
I get more VP from that one battle than he's gotten all war. Here's the situation after his fleet is basically destroyed:
His one BB, by the way? Built in 1907. Oh, and both his CLs are interned from previous raids.
My budget is super-flush right now, with $13.3M per turn of surplus. This feels like time for a new ship. I decide that I want to wait until post-war for more capital ships, but my escorts could use some work.
This is intended primarily as an escort, but it has some jack-of-all-trades value. Obviously, the AA on this ship far exceeds anything else I have in operation, and it's faster than anything except my new Corazziere DDs, so it'll be a good escort. It also has mines and an airplane (with hangar) to allow for raider work, if desired, and 18 torpedo tubes give it good utility in a fleet battle even if the AI can't manage to build any escorts for his capital ships. Colonial service is obviously nice in peacetime, as well. And while it's on the high end for a CL, it's not even much more expensive than the Marsala design I started with in 1900(which were $33M each). The downside is that the 4" guns are quite small for anti-cruiser work, but fortunately the AI seems allergic to building cruisers(6 CA and 42 CLs between 6 AI nations), and they'll do fine against smaller ships (149 DDs and 80 KEs between 6 AI nations).
In addition to the design work on that CL, I also start on 10 SSC, 10 SS, and a dozen more DDs, so that my funds don't pile up too aggressively. That brings my surplus down to $4.5M/month. It might be a bit tight if the war ends soon, but enough ships finish construction soon that I should be able to get by.
The good news continues into April, as I finally get my invasion battle against Egypt. I lose a CL to a torpedo while killing a DD and a KE, which is an unfortunate exchange, but the invasion more than makes up for it. By June, the conquest of Egypt is complete. Only Malta and Gibraltar prevent me from reaching the Mare Nostrum goal I outlined at the start of this campaign(excluding neutral Greece and Albania).
No battle in July, and August involves me sinking 5 DD and one KE on a bombardment mission, for no losses. September has an auto-resolved raider battle where I lose a CL to his CA, while in October, he can't even muster enough forces for a battle in Northern Europe. I'm pretty much just waiting for a peace negotiation here, because this war is as over as it's going to get. October features strikes and protests in the UK, but he does manage to sink another of my CLs with his raider. Pretty decent CA design, too - 13200 tons, 6x10", 29 knots, and 4.5" belt. Good for snapping up the old CLs that I use for trade protection.
November features more strikes, and while there was a peace offer, I pushed for hard terms and the negotiations failed. Their subs managed to torpedo one of my AVs, as well.
Finally, peace is achieved in 1929. It's an 8-point deal, so while I'm a bit tempted to spread my influence around the world, or finish my Medeterranean conquest, I decide to take back Norway as a key base for operations in Northern Europe. This means that the war netted me Egypt at the cost of Zanzibar, which seems like a decent trade. Germany also snags the Falklands.
Of course, the usual post-war budget chaos ensues. I'm a rather stunning $20M/month in the hole at first. To start with, I disband all my air groups, mothball all my destroyers older than 1915, reduce intel-gathering, and scrap my old converted CVL. My four Caio Duilio BBs are next on the chopping block - 21 knots and 6x 12" just doesn't cut it. The four Roma BBs and two Lepanto BCs also get mothballed. Next up for mothballing are my CAs and CLs - the CAs are pricey and not very useful in peacetime, while the CLs are mostly raiders or just old. The CVLs also get reserved, because their planes are gone anyway. I also halt one of my CVs, to give me a bit of a break on construction costs, and temporarily drop research to 8%. That gets my deficit down below $10M, and it'll drop further when ships return home and can be mothballed. $2M of it will also go away when 5x DD finish next month. A month later, with some ships back home and those DDs done, my deficit is a much more survivable $5M/month. My active fleet is down to my corvettes, my four newest battleships, and 30 destroyers. However, the government rebels at me having more than half my fleet mothballed, so I re-activate the four Romas into the reserve fleet.
A few new techs come in while I'm making all this happen. Secondary directors, and DP guns as main armaments for DDs, are both going to help my fleet a fair bit when I do some rebuilds. But I still need to stop the bleeding, so all three CVs and all four CLs are halted in June. Within a couple months, the CVs are re-started, as my subs finish construction.
By October, everything is building again, as all the subs and most of the DDs are finished. I also get research back up to 10%.
At the beginning of 1930, I get to work on some long-delayed rebuilds. - The ancient Espero-class DDs are dropped to two torpedoes(since they were pretty overweight), but get their main battery upgraded to DP. - The equally old Nembo-class DDs are also overweight, and get dropped from ten to six torpedoes. They add 2 K-guns to help with ASW, since they're typically used for trade protection these days, as well as a DP upgrade and 3x LAA. - The Lanciere DDs lose their secondary 4x 3" (since they're prohibitive to convert from casemates to DP), and get a DP main gun, one LAA, and 2x K-guns. - The Simone Schiaffino DDs get their 10 torpedoes consolidated into 9 (three triples on the centreline), and get DP guns. - The Agostino Bertiani DDs don't need much work. After all, they already have 24 torps, what else do they need? I add DP to their gun and call it a day. - The Nino Bixio CLs get a heavier rebuild than the others. Fire control is upgraded to an improved director. The secondary battery of 16x 3" in casemates becomes 12x 3" DP in turrets. A heavy AA battery is added, with 8x LAA, 6x MAA, and 4x AA directors. To free up the mass for all this, it loses two torpedo tubes (keeping 4), and loses some turret armour. This costs over 4M per ship, which is expensive for a rebuild, but it'll keep them fairly useful as fleet units if I need them in that role, for a fraction of the 36M it costs for a new CL.
- The Messina CLs were a tougher challenge, since it lacked the free mass to be built into a fleet unit. Instead, I added a floatplane, improved the fire control, added 30 mines, and put in a basic AA battery(6x LAA and 4x MAA). I cut two torpedoes and all of the 3" secondaries to make it fit. This is a dedicated raider now, with minimal fleet use. But the rebuild costs $1.2M, instead of $20M. - The Roma BBs mostly get rebuilt for AA. 12x 5" in casemates becomes 24x 4" in double turrets, backed by 20x MAA and 25x LAA. The fire control also gets a huge boost, with improved directors on the main guns, secondary directors, and 4x AA directors. The secondaries get dropped to 2" of armour, but (per the discussion up-thread), that's probably what they should have been all along. - The Adelina KEs just get DP guns.
By April, all of that has been started, and much of it has been finished. Also, my first two true CVs are finished. That means it's time for another overly large capital ship!
It carries 64 planes, on a deck with 2" of armour. Two of them get started in August. I also start two more Ravenna-class CLs(bringing me to 6 total), to escort them properly.
I notice late in the year that many of my opponents have over 100 submarines - only Germany and the US don't have 80+. So a new ASW ship seems to be in order.
As usual for a KE, cheap and cheerful is the order of the day. A dozen of those get started in November. And at the end of the year, tension is starting to build with Austria-Hungary - up to 8 - but my fleet is handily stronger than theirs, so I'm not too worried. Formosa also breaks away from Japan in a rebellion event. And that seems like a good stopping point.
Last Edit: Jul 7, 2019 16:48:38 GMT -5 by alsadius