Post by regalseagull on Aug 22, 2018 22:12:26 GMT -5
My legacy fleet for a attempted Greek game
The primary meat of the fleet given the low budget of Greece, all guns are in casemates. There are two ships of this class the Kypros and the Anatoliki To support the two Armored Cruisers there are two Spetsai class Protected Cruisers, the Spetsai and the Nisoi Further support is provided by 4 Destroyers; Argonaut, Traki, Kai and Kanaris.
My strategy is to try to have my BC fleet match Britain the tonnage and numbers of Britain's BB fleet, generally using no more than six barrels per ship at the highest caliber available to me. The smaller number of guns allows me to armor the ships up to BB standard while using guns heavy enough to penetrate enemy armor and making the ships fast enough to keep up with enemy BCs.
Given that Britain tends to use low-armor BC designs, as long as I have the BC fleet described above, I consider their BC fleet to be a non-entity, nothing more than impressive floating pyrotechnic charges. Against their BB fleet, I can use my speed to choose the range that maximizes my advantage.
I rather choose to build OP BC fleet with super heavy, super armed/armoured, super fast ships to totaly wreck enemy BCs. Eliminating their BB fleet is then just a matter of time.
Vittorio Cuniberti designed ship to work as raider in European waters outside the Mediterranean. Admiralty limit him with the maximum budget of 16M. So Vittorio came with unique view. He offers ship with only 18 knots of speed as argue that patrol force will mainly consist of protected cruisers. As he expects that the speed of ships will rise he think that there is needed another advantage for this raider. So he proposed used armor scheme from armored cruisers to protect ships mainly from 6" guns of foreign protected cruisers. On top of that she will carry 6x6" guns and 10x5" guns to have higher broadside that any protected cruiser.
Post by ninjapacman on Oct 1, 2018 19:39:06 GMT -5
I've gotten quite into this game, and I've got quite a few designs I liked. I rather enjoyed the performance of a lot of ships I thought were very undergunned or underarmored. Therefore I've chosen my favorite designs based on my ships which served the best and really made me feel they had character. I'll also throw in one or two of my silly design ideas that I made while experimenting with different Naval Doctrines.
When I started the game, I had no idea what I was getting into, with only an amateur Naval Historian's knowledge of design and Naval Warfare, so I just jumped right in as Japan and built my legacy fleet with no idea how the game worked. I figured I'd have to sink or swim. I have to say I did rather well. My very first light cruiser design, The Arakawas, though rather poorly armored and under-gunned for their weight class, managed to serve me excellently. In several wars with Russia, the light cruiser Yoshino fought in every single major battle, and won far more battle stars than it shows on her picture. She escorted my relatively weak battleship fleet through the toughest battles, and took her fair share of hard hits. Her sister Kushiro also served with distinction, and when Kushiro was hit by two torpedoes and was being rained upon by shots from the Russian battlefleet, she fired back and detonated the magazine of a Russian Diana-class heavy cruiser. So my first ship is Yoshino and her Sisters.
The second ship I'll showcase is my first legacy Heavy Cruiser. The only ship in her Class, Ikoma was built sort of as a joke, to see just what size guns it would let me put on a heavy cruiser without making it into a battleship. All she had was her main guns, but they performed admirably. She served alongside Yoshino in my toughest losses, and did her fair share of damage. She also took her fair share of damage, clocking out from almost every battle with major repairs required, and that was due to her abysmal armor. However, when it came her time to shine, she took on two Russian 20000t+ battleships and did enough damage to put one of them out of action for the rest of the war, and for the other one to be later sunk in the same battle by my own battleship. So for her heroism as a rather poor one-trick pony, Ikoma earns my respect and a spot here.
Finally from my first file as Japan, I'll present the first battleship I ever built, Shikishima. She disappointed me greatly at first, because during my first war with the Russians, she failed to take part in the surprise attack mission. Unfortunately, that battle went horribly wrong. I missed the Russians at anchor, and instead I got caught in the trap when their stronger battlefleet bottled me up in the Russian's own harbor on the Liaodong peninsula, blockading my fleet inside and preventing escape to home waters. Ikoma and Yoshino were the only ships to survive that horrible battle, and Shikishima's sister Futaba, though she put up a valiant fight, was lost. I always thought that battle would have gone better had Shikishima been there to fight alongside her sister, and that made me resent her. However, Shikishima proved herself in the coming months, with Yoshino as escort she sank every single Russian battleship over the course of several night engagements. Her night battle proficiency was so high that her relatively inferior (To the Russians' armaments) 11" guns were scoring upwards of 30% accuracy, allowing her vastly lower tonnage and weaker armament and armor to still win the day, and led to her dominating the seas for a time as the only battleship in east Asia. For her prowess in Avenging her sister, and making up for her initial failure, Shikishima deserves to be here.
If anyone wants more, I'll be glad to post more of my later designs from once I figured out the game and started experimenting with Doctrine. I also learned how to make superstructures, which I must admit, look revolting on my first attempts with this Japanese fleet.
I would like to see your other desings. Im also able to help you with designing some good ships if you want. By the way Shikishima is not a low tonnage battleship, it looks scary enough just by looking at those stats. 22kts is almost like a prototype to battlecruiser. 11" at the start of the campaign is maybe overkill, as the best guns present on the world can only penetrate like 8,5" of armor +-1", IMHO it would be better with 9,5" main belt, 10" turrets and the rest of free tonnage given to additional secondaries or extended belt...
Post by ninjapacman on Oct 2, 2018 22:12:11 GMT -5
Since you requested more, I'll give you some more. These will be from a game I played as France all the way to the 1950 hard cap. I had some major wars with Italy in that file, one of which lasted upwards of 20 years, and went up to over 100k VP. In this file, the designs got a little crazy, since I decided to test the viability of a doctrine I designed myself. I wanted to see how well a nation would perform if they ignored battleships, instead focusing on the much cheaper and faster built heavy cruisers as the backbone of the force, and furthermore, focused those cruisers on having speed and standoff range advantage. I also imposed some silly design rules to see how I could build using them. The major one was that all cruiser classes had to have a homeland variant (Powerful and generally the original design) and a Colonial variant (Generally with better engines, less armament and possible lower armor.) This concept is best exemplified by the Montcalm (Homeland) and Dupleix (Colonial).
Unfortunately, I learned very quickly that especially in the early game, your speed won't get high enough to protect you from surprise night encounters, especially against battleships. Naval warfare really does favor heavier armor and better guns in those early years. In this file, I really suffered for it. In my early war with Germany, I managed to win, but it cost dearly and we signed a white peace. The war really wasn't worth it. It also cost me two of my greatest legacy light cruisers, Harpon and Lance, who served with distinction in that war. At one point, my small, slow, and outnumbered force was set upon by 4 of the newest German fast battlecruisers and their escorts. There was no way I could win the fight, but luckily, my scouting force, consisting of merely the cruiser Lance (Harpon had been sunk in an earlier engagement) took action. She made herself known by firing at and assailing the massive enemy force alone, and when they attacked back, she ran, outpacing them by a mere 2 kts. She drew them away from the rest of my fleet, and when they realized they would never catch Lance, the rest of my force was much too far away for them to find again. In that maneuver, she saved my northern fleet. With that and her service in countless other battles, Lance deserves a place here.
My colonies throughout that file were massively under-manned, as I only ever sent the colonial cruisers there. The ships I sent however, performed admirably. None more so than the Harpon class's Colonial Variant cousins. The Tage class defended my colonies for damn near the whole game. Many of them were sunk in one war or another during the 1920s and 1930s, but one in particular I'd like to note is my lady defending the red sea and the coast off Eritrea. Amiral Cecille served with honors from 1899 to 1948, which she was finally sunk by a brand new Italian heavy cruiser that beat her speed and hunted her down. Her nearly 50 year service was invaluable to keeping France stable, and without her capability to hold the colony, I may have lost the greatest war I've ever fought.
When I started my first war with Italy, I had no idea that it would last over 20 years. My fleet in the med was rather small, and I only sent in reinforcements enough to replace my losses. Bad decisions and mistakes were made, and I sent my fleet in piecemeal to take on the Italian battleship fleet. It got so bad that I lost my entire fleet. I don't say that as hyperbole to make the story interesting. There was a point where my entire navy (Barring the ships in the colonies, some of which had come home and also been sunk) consisted of literally just the Espingole-class destroyer Mousqueton. This set of mistakes and the events which followed are the reason my results screen looked like this:
It was so bad, that at that point in the war, I was at around 35k VP, and they had upwards of 86k. The way I came back from such disaster was simple. I built torpedo boat destroyers, primarily of the Espingole and Arc classes, which served me well through the rest of the game. It was around 1929, and I had managed to rebuild my fleet to but 4 destroyers. I was assigned a coastal defense mission. I waited until nighttime, then predicting where the enemy would show, sent in my destroyers at top speed. They spotted the enemy force at a mere 1500 yds. My torpedo performance was easily good enough that such a daring night attack went off swimmingly. 3 Italian Battleships and Battlecruisers were sunk, but I lost all but one of the destroyers. Continuing to build the small ships, I repeated the same process when I got that mission again. Same place, same strategy, and once more it worked. With enough effort, I either sank or incapacitated every single Italian capital ship. I was finally able to fight on terms where I didn't have to engage Capital ships, and my designs had proven that they could best all but said Battlewagons. So I finally completed more cruisers and sent them into the Mediterranean, this time with excellent destroyer escort. The main force of these destroyer escorts was the Arc class, of which one in particular stands out.
The little ship Stylet willingly and repeatedly followed in the footsteps of Earnest E. Evans, and would constantly charge the Italian battle line, constantly alone. No other destroyer was willing to follow her in, but she would attack and damage even the most powerful Italian fleet on her own, often with multiple torpedo hits in each salvo. She really was a fighting ship, and to preserve her as the one who always stood above and beyond the Call of Duty, I never named another destroyer Stylet, despite how many DDs I ended up making.
This finally brings me to the ships she supported. These were the epitome of my doctrine, and they're when I finally got it right. I not only learned that standoff cruiser doctrine was ineffective without battleships in the early game, but I perfected the doctrine. I made some of the most powerful gunboats to ever sail the seas. They were defined by having complete focus on an overwhelmingly powerful main armament. They had no secondaries, and their guns outranged and outperformed any contemporaries. Their speed kept them ahead of most foes, save for destroyers, but none of those could get close to the overwhelming broadside. The name of the game was range. They had one major flaw though. To save weight, I only required them to have enough armor to stop their guns at maximum range. Later when even that became no longer viable, I settled for merely enough to stop 6" guns at medium range. Because of this lack of armor, If the enemy got a true battleship to medium range, between 15-20,000yds, the enemy's armor would defend against the most severe hits, but the Standoff cruiser's massive stores of ammunition went off like fireworks. The enemy had to be kept at range, and that's where the cruiser's speed, and the escorts like Stylet made their marks. Standoff cruisers had to be supported by effective light forces and destroyers who could deter the enemy from getting close enough to be effective, while the standoff cruiser's sky-darkening barrage tore them to shreds. At close range, 3 standoff cruisers scored 682 hits on a single battleship that they engaged in a surprise night battle. The standoff cruiser that served me the best was Lille, who served from the return of my fleet to the Med (After my destroyer rampage) to the end of the game. Unfortunately, in my haste to design her class, I forgot to make a superstructure.
So for aesthetic purposes, I'll also provide you the Jean D' Arc class, which was a much lower gunned version of the same, made for budget cuts and smaller targets.
There were plenty more interesting designs in that file, as it was pretty much all experimentation to figure out the game, but since this post is already far too long, I think I shall end it here. I'm considering making an AAR for my next RTW playthrough. Feel free to suggest a nation (It will have to be base game, CSA, or Spain, as that's what I have in my copy of the game. I'm not heavily modded.)
ninjapacman - that may be some kind of record for digging out of a VP hole - I am much impressed! Particularly so with the way that you analyzed the situation, settled on a doctrine and carried it through to victory. If you find yourself in a similar situation again, try training for night attacks and torpedo warfare (or perhaps you already did). I can't say if it actually increases the chances of getting an action at night/in fog/in weather, but it seems to favor some AI nations at some times. I remember one game where the Austrians were perpetually booming in out of the night/fog/murk - for almost every battle in two years or more. I've always suspoected it was because they trained for night attacks - I certainly hadn't. So if that's the kind of fight you want, that might help optimize for it.
RtW provides many ways to win victories at sea. Your 'standoff' theory equates to the US Navy's gunpower doctrine of the dreadnought era, with its determination to achieve critical hits by engaging at long range. The IJN battle line in WW2 intended the same thing, I believe, but the USN had the equipment and training to do it better. 20x14" should provide a serious amount of firepower...
One of my favorite ways to 'mine' VPs is to build some truly large, fast, powerful light cruisers - say, 23 knots, 8x6" and 3" of armor in the legacy years and 28 knots, 12x6" and 3" of armor or so on an 8k-ton hull in the late game. The game tends to favor light-ship actions, especially in later years, and those more often than not hinge on CL performance. I have had good luck with CLs sporting massive 5" and even 4" armament - one CL with 15x4" just went through everything like a buzz-saw. But the AI would out-range it, so it either won or lost very quickly.
As I go along I've become more inclined toward a large number of moderate-caliber guns, with 12x16" being about my optimum for a capital ship. I do tend to 'armor up' more than you, and I rarely have capital ships running above 28 knots. I've found the AI can sometimes be sucked into a charge if I hang back, which allows me to pound them for a long time as they close, so I rarely need a large speed advantage. Again, there really does not seem to be a min/max formula for victory, which I appreciate.
Anyway, I'm just chiming in to thank you for sharing.
Post by ninjapacman on Oct 3, 2018 14:24:42 GMT -5
At the end of that war, I was sitting on 99k VP and they were at 104k, but because of internal problems, they capitulated, and I was able to take all of their holdings in the Mediterranean. But yes, that war was quite difficult for me until technology got a lot better, primarily my AP ammunition, near the end. That file helped me learn some valuable things about the game, too. One of the most important things I learned was that ships that can fire over the horizon will not do so. Ships are limited in range to their sight range, so since the game has no spotter planes, or any valuable scouting tech and such like that, I found that guns of 16 inches and higher which could fire beyond 39,000yds in the late game were actually effectively limited to only 25000yds or so by the sight range of the vessel carrying them. It's a tough limit for my Standoff range doctrine.
My designs generally depend on real requirements I have based on the doctrinal and necessary standards I have for my ships. Sometimes I go a little crazy, for example with the later Suffren-class in my France file which had 16x17" and was made for maximum stupid power, because I simply had the resources to do so. Another example would be my Jackson class battleships in my recent file as the confederacy, which sit on 6x14" main armament with 24x13" secondaries. They look incredibly silly. For the most part though, my designs make sense. In my previously mentioned first file as Japan, since I had to sail the pacific and southeast asia, instead of abusing game mechanics and making everything medium or short range since I'm only in one sea zone, I took real Japanese doctrines into account and required all ships to have Long or Very Long range so that they could properly traverse the pacific. I struggled a bit to work around the hard limit this put on my armor and armament, but I was able to manage. I forced me to get creative with some of my later designs.
As Austria-hungary, since I was limited to a very small area, and a very small budget, I focused on quality over quantity. I made several very strong battleships, and focused my doctrine around them. My battleships were to engage and destroy the main enemy forces, primarily capital ships. The doctrine most heavily affected my destroyers. Since I couldn't mass produce light and heavy cruisers, as those resources went to battleships, my destroyers became the workhorses of my escort fleet. I gave them minimal and mostly ineffective torpedo armament, as their job wasn't to engage larger targets, which was the duty of my Battleships. What I did give them was an unorthodox heavy gun armament, loading them out with a significantly larger number of guns than their contemporaries in opposing fleets. Combined with short range and high speed, this allowed them to perform well in keeping away enemy destroyers and torpedo boats, and sinking large parts of the enemy escort fleets, while my battleships were focused on the enemy main force and didn't have to worry about being torpedoed.
I'd love to write an AAR to be able to share my thoughts and design process with all of you. It's probably a while out as my life is rather busy at the moment, and I still haven't decided which nation to play, so if anyone has suggestions, feel free to post them in your replies to me here.
ninjapacman - this may come off as self-promotion, and you have said that you do not have any mods added... but my 'Byzantium' mod has a special place in my heart. It's basically a Mediterranean-based Japan, with plentiful enemies in Spain, Italy, Austria, France and Russia. You may prefer not to try something so ahistorical, but I always seem to have enjoyable games.
There are a lot of good mods available, mostly for smaller and weaker powers. You might enjoy the change and challenge.