1921-01 Battle Report! Some retard ordered our cruisers (1BC, 1CA, 2CVL) to sortie in the Adriatic Sea, while we know that the enemy still has 3 battlecruisers operational. Overcast weather prevented launching aircraft to at least spot what was most likey waiting for our fleet. When the Admiral woke up and realized the situation he was in, he ordered an immediate turn around at flank speed. Luckily that retard also arranged for us to approach the coast at nightfall, so the fleet was able to slip away without making contact. When the fleet felt safe enough and reduced speed, they spotted 3 large silhouettes behind them! Panic gripped the crews of our CVLs, evasive maneuvers were conducted and flotilla attacks were ordered. Lights flashed up on the pursuing large vessels. For a brief moment everyone expected incoming heavy gunfire. Those were signaling lights! And the 3 large vessels were our own dreadnoughts! They were asking why we went the wrong way, away from the enemy coast. No one had told the admiral on board our BC that our BBs would join the operation! And were even in front of the cruisers! What a colossal mess!
Seriously, how am I expected to deal with that situation, especially on admirals mode? In the pre carrier RTW1 era that was ok-ish, but now? I get it, there are surprises and so on, but at least surprise me near my ports, instead of teleporting such a force close to their ports and then refuse to immediately give me control. There is no reason at all that this composition of ships should have been there, without me knowing that friendly BBs are in the vicinity, outside of my control. I could have lost every cruiser I have for reasons that do not make any sense at all. Not sure what is more devastating for the game experience, those battle compositions or the fantasy white peace deals Tortuga mentioned.
As Aeson said, you can always check OOB to know if friendlies are in the area. Also I think most occasional oddities like this can always be explained away with some creative imagination. In my Russian AAR I had a battle where a Japanese BC ran head into my 2 BBs in a storm(That I was not aware was out at sea since I didn't bother to check OOB), got pummeled and proceeded to turn 180 back into my pursuing BCs to my pleasant surprise. I just explained that as as heavy weather delaying the BBs that should've already returned to base based on the BC commander's knowledge.
When operating under radio silence in in poor weather, I can see mixs up like this happen, and imagine what must have happened is imo quiet interesting in of itself.
With very large fleet sizes, I m more inclined to roleplay a few such losses.
1921-02 4 new Javeline class DDs are delivered from the US.
1921-02 BB Louis Napoleon was torpedoed by an enemy submarine, she will be repaired for 4 months 1921-02 Battle Report! CA Amiral Charner avoids contact with unknown enemy forces near Syracuse. 1921-03 While 4 new 600ton minesweepers are ordered to the Med, 4 old 1000ton minesweepers are scrapped to reduce costs. 1921-03 Shipboard aircraft operation research breakthrough - Purpose built aircraft carrier Well, that was much faster than anticipated, time to set that area to low priority. 1921-03 Battle Report! Our two remaining 1100ton DDs encountered a lone DD near Albania and engaged in the overcast dusk. When 5 more unidentified silhouettes appeared near the enemy DD, our two DDs changed their mind and course. We slipped away during the night.
Intelligence reports an operational loss of an enemy fighter sent to find us.
1921-03 While the Austrian submarines hardly claim any of our merchants anymore, their 2 AMCs claimed 5 merchants last month. Perhaps a modern cruiser with float planes would be nice. 1921-04 Seven new minesweepers are operational and the remaining old 1000ton minesweepers are retired. 1921-04 A new torpedo bomber design was chosen, it is faster and has more range 1921-04 Battle Report! Austrian navy declines battle in the Strait of Otranto - 2420 VP for us 1921-05 Fire control research breakthrough - Secondary director 1921-05 Battle Report! Once more our two 1100ton Pertusiane class DDs escape into the night while fleeing from 7 enemy DDs 1921-06 Lighter than air research breakthrough - Improved airship engines 1921-06 Naval gun research - better 17inch guns (17/0) 1921-06 Battle Report! For the third time in 4 months, Austrian destroyers were sighted north of Corcyra. But this time the 1100ton DDs were ordered to South East Asia and 3 modern 1300ton DDs with 4x5'' guns each were responding. The enemy 4 DDs fled, but DD Javeline, lead ship of her class, had engine problems and slowed to 30 knots. A lucky hit slowed down the trailing enemy DD and our forces sunk her, while the other enemy DDs were observing from a safe distance.
Two observations: 1) Speed focused oil firing engines are less reliable than we thought. BC Tourville will have speed focused oil firing engines. 2) Our 3 DDs sustained quite some damage as well. We need more of those modern DDs, capable of fighting enemy DDs in gun duels.
1921-07 BB Napoleon finally completed! 1921-07 Armour development research breakthrough - Inclined belt 1921-07 Ship design research breakthrough - AoN armour 1921-07 New fighter type selected 1921-07 New torpedo bomber ready for service 1921-07 DD Sabre, one of the newly commissioned 1300ton DDs, sunk by a mine 1921-07 Battle Report! Dalmatian coastal raid Our two battlecruisers Austerlitz and Eckmuhl, supported by CVL Dupetit-Thouars and 7 Javeline class DDs ventured to find the Austrian navy. Heading northwest along the Dalmatian coast, Austerlitz and Eckmuhl launched their 4 floatplanes in a narrow frontal search arc. While CVL Dupetit-Thouars readied her 12 operational torpedo bombers. The floatplanes reported two battlecruisers and a number of supporting destroyers ahead and our battlecruisers soon made contact. Our 12 torpedo bombers were given the strike order while the battlecruisers opened fire on each other. Unfortunately the enemy battlecruisers fled north even before the torpedo bombers took off. And even while our flagship has unbroken contact with the enemy, there seemed to be no way to communicate to our torpedo bombers, none of them had taken off yet, the new vector of the enemy fleet. So all of our torpedo bombers launched to the wrong coordinates and circled there forever, while their own CVL passed beneath them pursuing the enemy fleet...
Our two BCs made the very risky decision to pass an 11'' Austrian coastal battery at less than 3000 yards just to cut off the enemy BCs from reaching Spalato. And sustained several hits in the process. The Austrians attempted to reach their minefield and thus closed to a few thousand yards, sandwiching our forces between them and their coastal battery. A hastily recalled but insinuated flotilla attack turned them away to the northwest. They then returned the favor and conducted a flotilla attack as well, leading us to perform a lap of honor between them and the enemy minefield. Had they continued along the coast to their next port of Zara, we would have hardly catched them and the battle would have ended in a draw.
But then one of their DDs scored a torpedo hit on our BC Eckmuhl which lead to massive flooding. BC Eckmuhl fell out of formation and the two enemy BCs turned around and reengaged. Our own flotilla counterattack just resulted in one of our DDs being shot up before it had to be canceled. BC Eckmuhl tried to reattach to the turning BC Austerlitz before steering off to the southwest, with worse flooding than before.
BC Austerlitz now stood alone against the two damaged Austrian BCs and their still potent destroyer screen. At this point, the 3 destroyers screening our CVL were ordered to Austerlitz at flank speed. One damaged destroyer was each ordered to screen our CVL in the rear and BC Eckmuhl, while she retired from the fight, still fighting the heavy flooding.
1 vs 2, fight or flee, not an easy decision for the Austerlitz. But the Austrians were faster, and if Austerlitz would run, Eckmuhl would be doomed. Either increasing speed and flooding or being caught be the Austrians. The choice was clear, Austerlitz had to stay and fight until Eckmuhl was out of sight range.
Our CVL had just picked up our torpedo bombers after they finally decided to stop circling an area now very far away from the enemy. So far away, that our CVL had to catch up to be in striking range of the enemy again. No help there. Luckily the enemy helmsmen got stuck circling in a bay which reduced their accuracy. Seeing this and noticing the far reduced enemy accuracy due to their constant turns, the captain of Austerlitz shot them up at close range.
After some time the then pretty damaged Austrian BC Kärnten managed to confine her drunk helmsman to quarters and broke free from the bay.
But after receiving a hit to the engine room she came to a stop. Convenient for our torpedo bombers which arrived minutes later.
Instead of going after the still threatening BC Slavonien, the lazy torpedo bombers put a bunch of torps into the Kärnten.
The Kärnten sunk and the Slavonien followed her a bit later, after the 3 destroyers previously screening our CVL caught up and launched their torpedoes.
The heavily damaged BC Eckmuhl eventually got her flooding under control, she will spend a month in port. BC Austerlitz sustained only light damage but needs 2 months for repairs. One of our DDs sustained heavy damage, 3 more sustained light damage. Austria lost 2 battlecruisers and 2 DDs, 3 more limped home, only one was reportedly undamaged. 7186 vs 1242 VP, +2 prestige
1) BC Austerlitz fired 1004 shells from her 6 guns. Our BC Tourville under construction will only carry 105 shells per gun. 2) A single torpedo hit nearly ruined the day, since BC Eckmuhl only had torpedo protection 1. BC Tourville will also just have torpedo protection 1.
With the experience from our battles during this war, there are some considerations for the future:
1) The simple fact that Austerlitz and Eckmuhl were designated as battlecruisers made them show up in many decisive battles. The equal speed but much more capable Louis Napoleon had much fewer chances to show her value and influence this war. Simply because she is designated as a BB, not a BC.
=> BCs have absolute priority for winning battles. And the AI loves them too.
3) In two battlecruiser engagements, 150-170 shells were used per gun, with the aft turret having shells to spare and the front turret running dry. => Frontal turrets have a much greater impact on the battle and should be emphasized in the design, even at significant tonnage costs.
=> While 180 shells per gun are still considered to be excessive, Tourville's 105 shells seem to be too few (although she has 3 more frontal guns).
4) Turrets were out of action for quite some time.
=> Turret frontal armor needs to be considerably stronger than the belt armor of the capital ship using them.
5) A single torpedo hit (especially hard to avoid at night) poses a much higher risk than a number of hits to the belt armor. => Anything below torpedo protection 2 is unacceptable. Even if the belt armor is less advanced/weaker. 6) Torpedo bomber pilots seem to refuse to change their strike mission based on direct observations from the flagship. They only want coordinates or vectors relayed to them by scout planes. But scout planes do not report coordinates anymore, once our fleet has visual contact with that enemy. By the time the bombers are at the target coordinates, the enemy is nearly certainly somewhere else, except when the enemy helmsman is druck and circles in a bay. => Torpedo bombers are useless for anything but finishing off stuck or stopped enemies. => For a cost of more than 1000 per month (ships and airwings), they are pretty disappointing. Not because of their stats, but because they do not seem to have radios and refuse to just bomb the enemy, which is directly spotted by their own flagship!
Status Only BC Tourville is under construction (18 months left) after BB Napoleon started working up. The US shipyards can still build more tonnage efficient ships and now have torpedo protection 3 available. 15/0 guns and 43500ton displacement is still the best they can offer. We now have AoN armor scheme and 5/+1 guns as well, inclined belt, dual purpose 3/4 guns, secondary directors, and 15/0, 16/0 and 17/0 with improved quadruple turrets.
We could even build a fast new CVL to replace the two CA to CVL conversions.
Monthly balance of now +13000 and 80000 reserves. But with Austrias fleet in shambles (2 BCs still afloat, 1x30kt BB expected this year, a 36kt BC next year), a peace time budget could wreck those numbers in an instant. On the other hand, the money has to be spent now, or someone could get the idea that the navy gets too much.
Germany has 4 BBs / 1 building and 5 BCs / 1 building, two of the existing BCs go 29knots. In a war with them, we would instantly be blockaded. All but one of their 16DDs has 5'' guns. The US is the only nation still having a CA from 1903. Only the British have more than 6 CLs. Germany has 4 going 29 knots.
Two BCs built at home would be my first impulse. I would really like a fast CVL to accompany them, but with current mechanics it seems like a waste vs fast BC heavy enemy fleets. Not sure what to do about the blockade numbers/CLs/DDs to prepare for a potential German enemy in the future.
Be super careful! You don't need to be overly aggressive now, Austria has no chance to break the blockade. So all you *need* to do is not let them rack up month after month of unanswered posturing. Be ready to respond if they start building tons of subs. I'd build at least another 20 destroyers, and 25 more TP ships - about 1/3 minesweepers and the rest cheap smaller ASW destroyers with mines. You only have 10 modern destroyers now, and you're likely to lose a few more even only taking missions you like. You'll need some of them for foreign stations anyway.
Start 1 BC fairly soon, the 2nd after most of the DD/KE are done. Don't hesitate to mothball Austerlitz/Eckmuhl after the war to get them finished - heck MB/RF almost everything except a token capital ship or 2 and escorts to show the flag. Those BC are fine against Mediterranean opponents but Germany's modern ships will be a different story. Don't skimp on AA if you are even remotely thinking of getting in range of German airbases. In fact plan on boosting AA for everybody the next time you do director refits. You'll have to cut some secondaries/tertiaries, which is another reason I say get more DD, torpedo range is getting crazy. Also DD may be the only affordable way to bulk up blockade points to counter Germany, even then I doubt it's possible even if you hope to sink a few capital ships.
PS you can send strikes to a map location. Click that button by Location and then click on the map. You still have to guess approximately where the enemy will be by the time the strike gets there, so put it fairly well past their location and use your ships to try to herd them. It seems to be OK to change it up until the strike actually launches.
I second the strike against location Works well for both Naval and Shore bombardment strikes I always have at least 2 squadrons of torpedo bombers on my ships every early on when numbers are low so I can bracket the expected Enemy locations for the strikes so hopefully one of the two, if not both, do enegage
I'd say go ahead and lay down another one or two battlecruisers, but also lay down a bunch more ships for ASW duties - Austria-Hungary's building 29 submarines and you really don't have that much in service to counter them.
Also maybe set Dalmatia as an invasion target and see if you can't seize it that way. You've got the money and the naval superiority, it's within your invasion range, and if you can take it you'll at least have gained a 4-point colony out of the war even if you get nothing at the peace table.
Tried the carrier mechanics in a game with japan before (but only in the 1930s), they did not feel so bad (because I got suprise attacks, spotting planes were much better and so on).
It just feels like the mechanics were made for independent carrier warfare 1940+ (as it happened irl), but no consideration was given to likely 1920+ operations (direct fleet support).
I consider it a design bug, together with the top heavy fleets, invasion mechanics and peace deals.
Anyhow, as I want to finish my part of this AAR, I ll have to adjust to the current mechanics, but it sort of feels like a varied tech/realism game now.
For this AAR, I ll try to somewhat roleplay it.
Thank you for the advice!
While winning the war against the Austrian surface fleet, the French admirality kinda forgot about the Austrian submarine building program.
Fortunately the recent great victory provided an opportunity to take stock and the oversight was pointed out. This led to a submarine scare and a rapid response was demanded.
On the other hand, with the Austrian battlecruiser scare overcome, the outlook shifted to the longer term prospects of building up the navy against equal opponents. Thus deliberations began on how to prepare for a conflict with a nation having a similar naval budget (Germany).
We had high hopes that the new aircraft/carrier force would even out the capital ship gap. Unfortunately the army won the battle for control of this new weapon system. To not lose this authority, they refuse any communication necessary to conduct effective operations at sea.
They will only accept target position coordinates (which is pretty useless outside of a port strike) from the navy. Information from other planes may include vectors in addition to target coordinates, but those planes refuse to submit information on anything already sighted by the navy! The torpedo bomber pilots adamantly refuse an order to simply fly over to the flagship, visible from their carrier during takeoff, and attack whatever this flagship is shooting at.
Any protests about this blatant obstruction of effective warfare with current technology were disregarded. => This might work better in 15 years with longer range and faster planes, but at the moment this is unfathomable. We thus scrapped the two 21 knots, converted light carriers (Gueydon class CA/CVLs) as this foolery is not worth 1000 per month and those ships are too slow in the current battlecruiser heavy environment. Amiral Cecille, our 5500 ton converted CVL having 7 battlestars, will stay as a beacon for the future. => A carrier is required to be able to set research in that area to high and I like keeping her as a "commissioned museum ship".
The last remaining airship base was scrapped as well, as most battles were in the narrow Adriatic anyway. => It would be great if airships in the area would decrease the chance of being surprised by superior forces or making force estimates more reliable. 4 inch coastal batteries were considered obsolete, the 6 inch batteries are considered more of a public reassurance measure. The Ocean class BCs Sunrise and Sunset were mothballed, since they rarely showed up against the extremely BC heavy Austrian navy. Perhaps they will be more useful if the enemy has some more battleships (as Germany has).
To meet the submarine threat and build up against a future opponent in these capital ship heavy days, we commissioned the following design studies: New minesweepers (very similar to Ondite class):
A new, cheap ASW destroyer class, dozens will be ordered (masses of those could even take over the foreign station requirements):
Cost efficient fleet destroyers to win gun duels with enemy 5'' armed DDs (torpedo heavy DDs could somewhat exploit the top heavy fleet bug):
And last but not least a new, homegrown battlecruiser design to defeat masses of 13'' armed german capital ships in detail:
I have just design Dunkerque yesterday in 6/1921. I can see you practically design something completely similar.
Even number of main guns and guns themselves are same.
If my game is large/very large fleet, they would be almost identical ships.
It is nice to see that just small envirionemt change of your large fleet vs. my small fleet has 2 main effects. This change means I expect my battecruiser will operate only as single unit without any support on opposite in your fleet when you expect that battlecruiser division would have more likely at least 2 battecruisers.
It has effect on gun layout that you can risk more some unlucky shot disabling both turrets or hitting conning tower as they are other ships that can cover such unlucky shot which is risk I cannot take operating just sole battlecruiser in fleet.
dorn Imho a major difference is the oil engine speed/normal priority. Thought hard about that (BC Tourville has speed engines), especially after a Javeline class destroyer had engine problems minutes into the first mission of this class, dropping speed by 3 knots.
I do not expect Dunkerque to go into battle alone, but I expect her to be outnumbered. So a conning tower hit would be bad, but engine problems with purely forward armament would be much worse, with all those 29knot BCs crawling around. She could not even shoot back when fleeing/limping away.
I did not advance to the next month yet, and now 1.04 is out, seriously decreasing heavy turret weights.
Thus I ll have to decide wether to just use up the additional 265tons in the current Dunkerque design, here with 5 more rounds per gun, 2 additional 5'' guns and half an inch more conning tower armor:
Alternatively it is really tempting to realize what I tried so hard to fit in with 1.03, and what would work now in 1.04. The fast battleship version Dunkerque B, 28knots, but 2x4x17''!! guns:
29knots seems to be the current battlecruiser standard, so it would really make sense to go with that.
To be able to disengage when faced with superior numbers.
But 17inch guns have so much more range and penetration. It could simply pop those foreign designed weak turret fronts below 20k yards. And she would be immune to the German 13inch shells at those ranges.
Though this one knot can be the deciding factor to keep her alive when pressed by superior numbers and out of ammo. And the current AI loves battlecruisers.
Going from 16" to 17" doesn't seem like it's worth the knot, so I'd go for the original design. That said, I'd be tempted to drop the main gun ammo a bit to add more AA stations - even 5 shells per gun will probably give you the mass to fill out your LAA.
Going from 16" to 17" doesn't seem like it's worth the knot, so I'd go for the original design. That said, I'd be tempted to drop the main gun ammo a bit to add more AA stations - even 5 shells per gun will probably give you the mass to fill out your LAA.
At shorter range it is nearly an inch against belt and turret fronts, at longer ranges it is nearly half an inch against deck and turret top. That could very well make the difference. But yeah, 28 vs 29 knots could be the difference in a pursuit, either fleeing or chasing. And if that goes wrong, the gun caliber does not matter much.
I m not a friend of the light AA. will probably just drop 2x5'' and 2-4x4'' when medium AA and AA directors are available.
1921-08 BB Sunrise and BB Sunset Ocean classes mothballed 1921-08 B Duquesne scrapped 1921-08 Both CVL Gueydon classes scrapped 1921-08 Both 4'' coastal batteries scrapped 1921-08 Airship base on Corsica scrapped 1921-08 Design studies for BC Dunkerque, DD Framee, DD Yatagan and KE Elorn commissioned 1921-08 Enemy submarine sinks one of our Ondite class KEs 1921-08 Hull construction - Improved design calculations 1921-08 DD Espingole intercepts enemy but has to flee from superior forces 1921-09 Anti aircraft artillery - 20mm automatic cannon 1921-09 Battle Report After Austria declines a fleet battle, a cruiser engagement follows near Corsica. BC Austerlitz and BC Eckmuhl intercept the Austrian BC Vorarlberg with escorts. But due to Vorarlbergs superior speed, she escapes into the night. Our BB Louis Napoleon, not under our command, then manages to get torpedoed twice. A heavily damaged BB Louis Napoleon is a bad trade for sinking an enemy DD. This results in the Austrians first victory of this war. 419 vs 1792 VP and -1 prestige for us.
1921-10 12 Framee class DDs ordered 1921-10 48 Yatagon class DDs ordered 1921-10 12 Elorn class KEs ordered 1921-10 Enemy submarine sinks our DD Espingole
1921-10 Battle Report - Our destroyers avert a convoy attack by two enemy DDs
1921-11 ASW Technology - Early hydrophones 1921-11 Battle Report Our two BCs conduct a coastal raid between Zara and Spalato. We again encountered the faster Austrian BC Vorarlberg and sank 3 merchants. BC Austerlitz struck a mine when our forces retired from the area, suffering light damage. At least we regained one prestige.
1921-12 Fleet tactics - Battle turn away
1921-12 Battle Report - Another averted attack on one of our convoys
1922-01 South Pacific now requires 8000 tons of foreign service tonnage 1922-01 BC Dunkerque and BC Duquesne laid down 1922-01 BB Napoleon ordered to the Med 1922-01 Turrets and gun mountings - Double gun mounts on CL 1922-01 Battle Report After Austria declines yet another fleet battle, CL Heatwaves sinks an enemy AMC in the Atlantic.
1922-02 Machinery development - Water wall furnace 1922-02 Subdivision and damage control - Diesel generators 1922-02 Light forces and torpedo warfare - Superimposed X mount on CL 1922-02 BB Napoleon strikes a mine
1922-02 Battle Report - Austria declines all battleship engagements
1922-03 AP Projectiles - Increased oblique penetration ability 1922-03 Battle Report - enemy DD sunk during enemy convoy attack => Our Javeline class DDs lack the forward armament for effective pursuits.
1922-04 Fire control - Gyro stabiliser 1922-04 Battle Report Two of our Javeline class DDs conducted a coastal raid. 3 merchants and one enemy DD were sunk. Near Spalato, our DDs came under an ineffective enemy air attack! While retiring from the action, one of our DDs suffered engine problems and slowed to 5 knots.
=> Speed trimmed oil engines should be avoided on larger ships.
1922-05 Battle Report - Austrian raider sunk by CL Heatwave in the Atlantic 1922-06 32 Yatagan class DDs commissioned 1922-06 Battle Report In a cruiser action, our two BCs forced the enemy two BCs to retreat to Spalato port. 1922-07 8 US built Elorn class KEs commissioned 1922-07 14 additional Yatagan class DDs commissioned 1922-07 Battle Report BB Napoleon and BB Louis Napolean with escorts defended a convoy from enemy BB Kaiser. A 12'' hit from BB Kaiser penetrated our Napoleon's BE armour, which led to flooding. Darkness, and the lowered speed of our BB Napoleon, allowed Austrian BB Kaiser to escape.
1922-08 The rest of the Yatagan class DDs and Elorn class KEs commissioned 1922-08 Battle Report - Austria unable to muster forces to prevent DD coastal raid 1922-09 Hull construction - Weight saving 1922-09 Ship design - Superimposed turrets on CA 1922-09 Battle Report Our BC Austerlitz and BC Eckmuhl interecepted the Austrian BC Vorarlberg and the Arpad class BC Tirol. After the rudder of BC Vorarlberg was damaged, we concentrated fire on BC Tirol.
Unfortunately the early twilight allowed her to escape heavily damaged.
1922-10 8 Framee 1100ton DDs commissioned 1922-10 Battle Report - Austrian navy hides in port 1922-11 Last 4 Framee 1100ton DDs commissioned 1922-11 Torpedo technology - TNT warhead 1922-11 Battle Report - Austrian destroyer blown up near Corcyra 1922-12 Battle Report - Austrian unable to must enought forces for cruiser battle 1923-01 Turrets and gun mountings - Improved power training and elevation 1923-01 Battle Report - Battle of Sirte With hunger and starvation at home, the only Austrian BB, Kaiser, commissioned in 1922, ventured out to attack our Med convoy. She stood no chance against two Napoleon class BBs, in broad daylight. Half a dozen torpedoes sunk her already completely destroyed and burning hulk. Later intelligence reports suggest, that the Austrian BC Vorarlberg was also in the area.
5061 vs 35 VP and +2 prestige for us.
The Austrian dreadnough Kaiser is no more, time for her namesake to follow suit?