Author Topic: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.  (Read 7278 times)

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Offline NGTM-1R

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Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Nobody comes back from Saint Petersburg. Except Wainright.

I'm at war with Russia, and while I've successfully liberated the Baltic States from the oppressive and corrupt regime of the Czars (also East Prussia from Germany, because I thought it was funny at the time; now I'm actively trying to turn the Baltic into an American lake) operations into the Gulf of Finland have hit a rather important snag: Russia recalled their Far East Fleet and now outnumbers me in Northern Europe, so I can't push them too hard.

Destroyer operations in the Gulf of Finland are being carried by the Wainright-class, a 600-ton, 28-knot fleet escort destroyer, armed with a 4" gun fore and aft, another pair in wing mounts, and a single torpedo tube on the centerline. They've been ruinous. In four destroyer operations against Saint Petersburg, only Wainright has come back. Six other destroyers never made it. USS Allen ran headlong into a pair of Russian predreads in a night operation and died trying to get her sole torpedo off. USS Davis and USS Hopkins made it halfway home before progressive flooding after a gun duel with Russian destroyers sank them. USS Gwin and USS Decatur stumbled into a short-range gunfight with the armored cruiser Latnik during another night op, and neither of them survived the experience. Finally USS Worden was withdrawing from a successful raid that sank several minesweepers and a merchantman when she hit a mine, blowing her sky-high with no survivors.

I'm glad I have another destroyer class on-stream in the 900-ton Winslows, because I'm going to have to send reinforcements to Europe.

Okay so what the **** is Rule The Waves?

Well. It's 1899. Here's a navy. Go win the dreadnought race.

Rule The Waves is a combination of a management and a naval combat simulator focusing on the dreadnought and predreadnought eras. In some ways the game is very basic; the graphics are '90s-level and the diplomacy aspect is very simple. On the other hand, the game is pretty detailed when it comes to the combat and ship design aspects. It doesn't happen often, but if you've ever wanted to have 70-odd ships throwing down in the middle of a howling gale off Boston or dreamed of ordering the destroyers in on the American battle line in your very own Kantai Kessen, these are things that happen here. On the other hand, War Is Boring can apply here too as you slowly grind the enemy down through cruiser actions and sinking their raiders.

To keep players from being completely OP and designing dreadnoughts before dreadnoughts were a thing, or similar issues, it uses a tech tree system that includes both conceptual advances in ship design, such as 3 centerline turrets and All-or-Nothing armor layouts, and physical ones, such as Krupp-style armor or Steam Turbine engines. Tech is arranged into several branches depending on what it reflects; Ship Design and Machinery Development as examples. Some of them are just incremental increases that slowly stack up, making your ships better or less expensive or letting you fit slightly more stuff on them. Some of them (Director Firing, for example) make your ships vastly more capable. Some of them (3 Centerline Turrets or Triple Gun Turrets) are the gateway to ship layouts.

Once you've built ships, you keep doing it as new tech unlocks, a never-ending struggle to keep your head above water and ahead of your enemies. You make decisions that can raise or lower tensions, your personal prestige (which affects many things including your budget, unrest in your country, peace settlements, and more), budgets, and the state of your navy, decide about training and doctrine, and send ships to various parts of the world from North Asia to the South American coasts, while keeping in mind (and upgrading if necessary) your basing capacities.

When war breaks out, as it inevitably does, you take command of forces ranging in size from a single ship intercepting an enemy raider or being intercepted while it's raiding enemy merchant shipping, to literally everything that can shoot and move in the theater throwing down with everything the enemy has in-theater too. You maneuver your ships, depending on the level of difficulty you select with greater or lesser degrees of control (from being able to order individual torpedo launches at Captain's to having full command of only one squadron directly at Admiral's level), give them targets or let them choose their own, watch the shells fly while you maneuver for position and to avoid possible torpedo attack (or actual torpedo attack; just maneuver if there are destroyers around, it's safer)...or run for home when you're clearly outmatched. You'll see turrets go jammed or get blown up, guns run out of ammo, hits to the boiler uptakes cut speed, fire control shot away, shells bounce armor or penetrate, torpedoes blow ships out of the water or practically bounce off. Then once it's over the game calculates up who's done what to who, works out Victory Points, and updates your score for the war while you wait for either a peace offer you can consider, or the enemy's Unrest to hit 10 at which point their government collapses and they are forced to offer terms.

The tactical game is real-time-with-pause, or something like it; you set a time compression speed from 1min=1min at Realtime and up and go, and your ships move and fight at that speed. In heavy action, you'll probably run it a slow speed, or use the "play minute" and "play five minutes" options; while your ships patrol off a port to fend off an enemy bombardment or raiding, you'll probably just run it at Ultra Fast and straight through, relying on the automated pause for sightings and opening fire.

The Saint Petersburg Curse finally got Wainright. In mist 45 minutes before darkness, Wainright and USS Shaw attack a Russian convoy, and rain into buzzsaw of something like eight to twelve Russian destroyers. Wainright ate a torpedo and Shaw's beat up, limping at 6 knots for home after several hits to the machinery spaces. Hopefully the Russians stick with the convoy rather than come hunting. Sighting range is at 11k yards, more than I'd like considering the situation, and the weather is clearing up. On a clear day sighting ranges of 25k yards are not uncommon, and Shaw's still reasonably close to the convoy's position I think. But it'll be dark soon, and even on perfect clear night, sighting range is only about 5k yards.

Shaw escapes under cover of darkness, despite a moment of panic when the mist lifted and I saw a contact astern at 20k yards. I pulled the remaining Wainrights back to North America and replaced them with 18 brand-new Winslow-class destroyers.

On the positive side, though, the Saint Petersburg curse only applies to destroyers. USS Yorktown, a battlecruiser, pounced on a pair of Russian CAs and their destroyer screen and ran them down, her 5-knot speed advantage more than enough for it. Careful maneuvering kept Yorktown safe from torpedoes, and while one of the CAs got away with moderate damage because of darkness and running out of ammo for the A turret, she sank all four destroyers plus the other one.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
I'd never pull this off if I had to fight the British.

The Royal Navy in RTW is bull****, not so much because they get awesome bonuses (they don't, and have a hilarious tendancy to have turret flashfires blow up their ships) but because of their massive, raging budget. You can sink predreadnoughts until the cows come home and they'll have more where those came from. They're not unbeatable, you can wear them down in cruiser actions with individually superior ships, pick off the stragglers, deploy a massive submarine fleet like the Uboatwaffe is going out of style, and concentrate your predread fleet in their overseas possessions to force them to spread out the Predreads of Blockade And Murder. But the Brits would have already invaded my Baltic holdings and taken them away because I can't concentrate enough force in enough places.

But this is one of the first times I've gone into Europe, fighting the Europeans on their own turf, and I'm realizing I should have spent a lot more time building up my bases first so I could throw in more ships; more DDs especially, but I'm at least able to base the Florida-class BBs in Europe to keep parity with the Russian home BB fleet. The Floridas are 4k tons heavier than the best existing Russian BBs with a 9-gun 13" broadsides vs. their 8-gun 12" broadside. I need to bring my Saratoga-class battlecruiser home though, they're taking it on the chin and limping home against the Russian Izmails. Might just be bad luck, the Russians have worse armor, but a broadside 2 barrels heavier. The new 14" 9-gun broadside Constellation-class is just finishing working up, so two of them will be headed to Europe now.

Fortunately I'm winning the war everywhere else. I've all but exterminated the Diana-class protected cruisers and the Gromoboi-class armored cruisers, and many of their other cruiserweight vessels have been interned as their fuel or mechanical problems left them stranded. I really just have to avoid giving the Russians a major victory at this point and wait for a peace offer, much as I'd like to push the war to the bitter end I think it would take a few more years while I built bases in Europe to deploy the core of my battlefleet to.

I also need to start thinking about replacing my CLs and CAs. I could just scrap the CAs, honestly; the truth is that once BCs become a thing they're not worth much, and slowly start to disappear. Whatever I build of them would of course greatly accelerate the extermination of everybody else's at this point, but I'm limited to 3 centerline turrets still; I haven't got the tech for 4 centerline. I normally build nine-gun heavy ships anyways but this is a little awkward when it comes to cruisers.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
So the Russians made peace. I didn't take anything from them (couldn't without expanding into Northern Asia), settling for the reperations to soften the budget blow, and started regenerating my CL and CA force.

Then a month later Japan makes a nuisance of themselves. Fools. I've spent the last fifteen years building up my bases in Southern Asia. The Philippines alone almost match the ability of the US West Coast to support my navy, and that's before we toss in the huge bases I've built up on Guam and the ones in the Bismarcks I took from Germany and built up. I deployed my entire battle line to Southern Asia with suitable escorts.

Also, conveniently, the wartime budget boosts make it a lot easier to replace my existing CA/CL force than peacetime. I also started spamming out submarines. Subs in RTW are mostly abstracted. You can give them general directives, like prize rules or unrestricted warfare, and then they go out and do their thing. They tend to attrit away if you don't constantly feed in new ones, and RTW's IJN isn't as dense as the real IJN on ASW. However, subs are far better than surface raiders at putting pressure on people; the best things at it short of placing a blockade off their coast. I started with 28 coastal subs and fed in a few medium-range models as the war went on. All I know for sure is I'm at S-34 right now as my lowest-numbered surviving sub after I retired the last few coastal subs when the war ended. (There were three left. Like I said, subs take it on the chin. You lose three or four a month. I ended up building like 70 more.)

The first battle of the war, perversely, took place in the Carribean, where a couple of my old battlecruisers hunt down one of theirs and beat it up. The IJN is surprisingly not completely terrible, many of their ships are of a decent tonnage, but their gun size is usually two or three inches behind mine in BBs and BCs. I killed a couple of BCs in Size 2 convoy or cruiser actions, then more or less sat back and waited for Japan to collapse. They obligingly did.

Battle size is one of the game mechanics. Battles are scaled in size from 0 to 4. Lower means more ships. Battle Size 0 is everything that can shoot and move in-theater. Battle Size 1 means watch the **** out, because the battleships are coming to play. Battle Size 2 could mean everything from four or five DesDivs tangling over a convoy to a couple of battlecruisers per side. Battle Size 3 is maybe a single light cruiser but probably just some destroyers. Battle Size 4 is basically a destroyer or two.

Then I got hit with a Naval Treaty. This is usually a bad thing. You've heard of the Washington Naval Treaty if you're enough a a navy nerd. It's like that, only so much worse. I'm building 50k-ton BB/BC classes, and I have to scrap them because SUDDENLY NO NEW CONSTRUCTION BIGGER THAN 18K TONS AND 12" GUNS.

Hah. **** you guys, I'm going to war with Germany next month just to abrogate this ****ing treaty. Fortunately I've had a few years to build up my European holdings. Also I'm allied with Great Britain now. The monstrous blockade force is MINE, *****es. Everyone to Northern Europe, we're gonna burn Helgoland to the ground!
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 
Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
You have my interest.

 

Offline StarSlayer

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Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
I noticed that the class names of the British BCs from the previous campaign aligned with the real ones, do NPC nations design ships based on their historical development or are they also organically developing ships? 
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
I noticed that the class names of the British BCs from the previous campaign aligned with the real ones, do NPC nations design ships based on their historical development or are they also organically developing ships?

Yes and no. National ship designs do contain some obvious influences. German battlecruisers that skimped on guns for better armor are more likely than that combination in any other nation; Japanese ships copying Settsu and Kawachi with an eight-gun broadside through a fore and aft centerline and four wing turrets are a stage ususally, French tumblehome-hulled predreads and armored cruisers. You can also spot historical resemblences in general. However the game generates a research tree and everyone proceeds along it at their own pace, designing their own ships from scratch. You'll also find hideously under-armored German BCs and Japanese ships with triple turrets before the '30s. It's just more likely that certain historical traits will appear, not certain.

At least with one exception. The UK has "hidden flaws" as an acknowledged ingame trait, making their turrets much more likely to flash-fire and blow up the ship when hit and penetrated.

Some wars are slow and grinding as submarines and cruiser actions wear down the enemy. Some wars are sharp as both sides trade battlecruiser or predread kills back and forth. Some wars are cluster****s where you lose a dozen small battles only to redeem them in a big one or you keep trading two of your ships for two slightly large ships of theirs. And some are over on the second action when two of your battlecruiser divisions go visit Wilhemshaven and sink everything.

USS Congress and USS Intrepid are 35k-ton triple turret 9-gun 28-knot battlecruisers, built in 1919/1918. For this trip I have them and three destroyers. Another three destroyers and the 30k-ton 27-knot 1913 little brothers (they have 14" guns and somewhat less armor) USS United States and USS Independence are to the north of Helgoland, but I can't control them playing on Rear Admiral's mode. They're there, they're semi-marked on the map (it's more of a suggestion of where they are), and I can link up with them by going over to them and do cooperative engagement by dragging targets that way, but I can't make them do anything on their own. They're close enough on their sweep they'll probably contribute, though.

I start to the south of Helgoland and immediately run into a couple of German BCs and their escorts. SMS Hansa and SMS Mackensen aren't as cool as their namesakes. Mackensen is a 29k-ton 10-gun ABQY 3223 14" ship from 1916. It has only 9" of belt armor and a top speed of 26 knots. Hansa is a 32k-ton 8-gun ABVY 14" ship with 13" belt armor and a 27-knot top speed; a classical heavily armored German battlecruiser trading gunpower for protection.

I should explain what those random letters I used to describe turret layouts mean.

A ship's primary weapons are laid out according to scheme devised by the Royal Navy but used by most people. Positions are lettered or numbered, usually lettered. There are quite a few of them describing pretty much every possible position, but the most commonly used ones are A, B, X, Y, V, and Q. Behold the magic of MSPaint!

Via total lack of skill I have illustrated these turret positions for you, with A being at the front. There are some nuances to all this. A proper B or X turret is able to fire over top of its associated A or Y turret. A V turret might be able to do that, assuming there's not an X turret or some deck structure in the way; this design can be seen on designs like HMS Tiger or the Japanese Kongo. Nobody ever designed a battleship (though there were some cruisers, see USS Atlanta or HMS Dido) with three turrets stacked front or back and each one able to fire over the one in front of it. It turns out putting a thousand tons of turret that high up on your ship is dumb. If I say "3223" it means that the turrets don't have all the same number of guns; "ABQY 3223" means A turret is a triple, B is a double, Q is a double, and Y is a triple.

There are other positions on the centerline and "wing" positions in pairs to either side of the ship together or staggered, but we'll demo that bridge when we come to it.

In reality, there was a strong trend towards ABXY and ultimately ABY configurations. There are good reasons for this. Wing turrets are heavy, and either you can't use both of them on the same target if they're paired, or if they're staggered you could if you left a clear space to fire cross-deck but at the cost of a tiny arc for a full broadside and probably screwing up your own ship from blast overpressure as you fire across it. Turrets in the Q and V positions tend to interfere with important stuff like the powerplant and engines, forcing design compromises, and also put big piles of explosive powder and shells very close to the location at the center of the ship that will generally be the enemy's aiming point (as the Royal Navy discovered from the numerous hits on Q turrets at Jutland). Further, turrets are just heavy. The primary weight isn't the guns either, but the armor and turret structure around them and supporting them. This means that a triple turret doesn't weigh one and a half times as much as a dual turret with the same armoring (or that a quad doesn't weigh twice a dual), nor does it take up one and a half times the space. A nine-gun three-triple-turret arrangement will be a bit lighter than an eight-gun four-dual-turret arrangement. (An eight-gun dual-quad arrangement will also be lighter than the eight-gun four-dual, but the real improvement is when you have twelve guns in quads vs. twelve in duals or triples.)

Me, I like ABY gun setups. It's the iconic modern American battleship, from North Carolina to Iowa. It's weight-cheap and lets you armor better compared to a 4-turret setup. It also gives you six guns to play with when you're chasing something down. And you will be chasing things a lot in RTW one way or another.

The AI does not care for these niceties, working to simulate historical development rather than what those of us born after the dreadnought ended know. It builds six-turret Settsu-style ships with A, Y, and two pair of wing mounts. It emulates HMS Dreadnought with AQY and a pair of wings, or HMS Neptune with AXY and staggered wings, or the Imperial Russian Gangut-class ships with four "axial" turrets in AQQY. It also emulates ships that never existed, such as ABXY 3223 design of the Mackensen-class battlecruisers that Germany never built, and even special madnesses all its own. The only thing it doesn't do, to my knowledge, is leap off the high board screaming "SPEED IS ARMOR" and try to emulate the real-life HMS Agincourt, which had seven centerline dual turrets for a 14-gun broadside. If that sounds terrifying, it only indicates you are still sane.

Anyways, back to the Germans.

I've already fought SMS Von Der Tann, when she tried to raid Colon, the Caribbean side of the Panama canal. I wasn't particularly impressed. Von Der Tann was 1911, AY with a pair of midships wing turrets, 8 12" guns. She faced off with a pair of my new Fredrick-class CAs, ABY, 9 10" guns. Von Der Tann ran like the hounds of hell were chasing her after ten minutes of exchanging salvos. But these ships are made of sterner stuff. They spend about thirty minutes exchanging salvos with Congress and Intrepid. Congress takes a hit that floods her bow peak, dropping her speed to 25 knots, and Intrepid has her B turret out of action briefly twice after shell hits; not knocked out, just jammed. Hansa and Mackensen take no obvious damage, but your ability to estimate the effects of shellfire on enemy ships is relatively limited. You can tell if their main battery turrets are jammed or destroyed, more on this later, and you can can estimate their speed to within five knots, give or take. The game will also tell you, if you mouse over them, a rough estimate of damage (light, medium, heavy) that's somewhat unreliable and tends to bounce around, and whether they're on fire or not.

What I do know is after 30 minutes, Hansa and Mackensen, known to me at the moment as "Graf Spee-class" and "Mackensen-class" turn and head straight for Helgoland Island, into the suspected minefield around it where I can't follow. This kind of breakaway maneuver usually indicates that an enemy ship is damaged and losing the fight. The usual answer is to pursue. However we've been having this whole fight in a relatively small area between Wilhemshaven and Helgoland, and they've been hugging the border of the minefield the whole time. I can't catch them, particularly if they decide to go to ground by hiding in port at Helgoland. In frustration I turn south and go bombard some coastal batteries on the islands near the Jade and the entrance to Wilhemshaven harbor.

Then another battlecruiser turns up. SMS Seydlitz, of the class of the same name. However, unlike her namesake she isn't fit to keep company with a ship called the Iron Dog. Compared to her namesake's 13" belt she has only 9". Five turrets, all centerline, 14" twins ABQVY. 26 knots. I turn Congress and Intrepid to engage, moving between the Kiel peninsula and Helgoland's minefield.

The first salvo thunders out and makes a right mess of things. Intrepid puts four hits on target, Congress one. Seydlitz's B turret just blows up, and her Q goes out of action, jammed. Her speed drops from "25 knots" to "20 knots". I swing Congress and Intrepid on a closing course that doesn't mask their after turrets. A few salvos later Congress takes a waterline hit against her belt extension that admits several hundred tons of seawater. She detaches and turns off, still under control, and I drop her speed to 10 knots for damage-control. But she's still in range and still shooting.

Seydlitz is down to 15 knots and limping into the minefield around Helgoland. She swings out to bring more guns to bear for a salvo at Congress, and Intrepid blows up Seydlitz's rear turret before she can fire. Seydlitz turns back, and directly into several shell from Congress that drop speed to ten knots. My escorting destroyers to close for a torpedo attack but are foiled by the minefield, and McCall takes a hit from Seydlitz's 6" secondaries that forces her to turn away. Seydlitz limps a little further under fire towards Helgoland before Intrepid lands six more hits; jammed the V turret, killed the A turret, and dropped Seydlitz's speed to five knots. Take a look.

You'll notice its maximum listed speed is still intact, though. The holy grail is when a ship's speed is listed as three knots. That means its powerplant is gone; flooded or destroyed. A ship in that condition will sink without further effort on your part. That took a few more salvos.

It's at this point I notice a bunch of notifications indicating the Constellation-class ships are engaged as well. Congress' damage-control has isolated the flooded compartments and she rejoins Intrepid, pushing up to 25 knots for a run north past some floating patches of debris that indicate where the Constellations and their escorts attacked some merchies and minesweepers.

I never did figure out what happened to SMS Mackensen, honestly. My best guess is she took serious damage dueling the Connies and limped into the minefield, then sank from progressive flooding or fire. The Graf Spee-class SMS Hansa is a few kilometers outside the north end of the minefield, bow pointed west-south-west, limping at 5 knots. USS United States, herself only capable of 19 knots and with her A turret knocked out, is limping in the direction of the entrance to the Baltic, her after turret still lofting shells at Hansa. USS Independence, still doing 24 knots, is circling the crippled German battlecruiser like a shark, but appears to have expended all her main battery ammunition. Also present is a German minesweeper, not moving but still floating. As Independence makes her loops around the Hansa, she periodically fights both broadsides of her secondaries, but mostly she just showers Hansa in 5" shells trying to make it stop.

I'm not entirely surprised. I'm down to only a few salvos myself after the first tangle with Hansa and Mackensen, screwing Seydlitz over, and bombarding shore batteries. I have Intrepid and Congress hold fire and approach, then slow to 10 knots and present broadsides at five thousand yards for the execution. The first salvo knocks Hansa cold, and then Sterett and Perkins deliver a half-dozen torpedoes as well. A few moments later I get the "Intrepid has expended all main battery ammo!" followed by the same message for Congress. Hansa's already dead though, it's just taking time to settle. Take a look.


I have to admit that's a first. It's also annoying, because poor McCall is trapped, limping along the coast towards home, and there's a 4" shore battery blocking her way. I finish the battle by steaming over and having Intrepid and Congress destroy the shore battery with their secondary guns.


I honestly don't know if Germany will recover from this one. It's not quite like they lost the war in a day, but they just gave away 21k VP to only 3k for them. That's a big deficit to try and catch up, and I'd need to have an outright disaster for Germany to recover the initiative. I'm already getting messages about them having food shortages and unrest tanks to my sixty-odd submarines raiding along their coasts too.

They didn't, either. It took me five months to drive the German government into collapse. I even got a nifty war prize out of it. Meet USS Oklahoma, formerly SMS Wurttemburg. She's a little slow and her turret layout isn't optimized, but she's got thick armor and I'm overall happy with her as a war prize; she's not as powerful and two knots slower than my Arizona-class with 12 16" guns, but the Arizonas are eight thousand tons heavier, and she has similar armor to them.


Now it's 1925, and war just broke out with France while I was trying to get new battleships and battlecruiser into service. I see how it is, game.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
After a raid on La Rochelle that turned into a night-time cluster**** where USS Arizona proceeded to emulate USS Washington mugging Kirishima out of the dark while twenty-odd torpedoes go flying by and the destroyers are helpless, sinking three Nantes-class battlecruisers, the war with France has mostly been boring.

They do have possessions in the Caribbean, though, so I have a strong force there to hopefully take them away. On the other hand, they can base ships there. One of them is FS Nantes, the last of her kind.

Which is why when the Caribbean Heavy Cruiser Squadron catches her alone, USS Charlotte and USS Northampton decide to go pick a fight with something decidedly out of their weight class. Nantes is a 36k-ton 27-knot battlecruiser, armed with four triple 14" turrets AQQY. The two Fredrick-class heavy cruiser are 16k-ton 28-knot, armed with 10" guns in triple turrets ABY. The good news is that Nantes has 8" of belt armor. That's nothing to the 10" +1 guns on the Fredricks at close range and with top-tier AP.

The confrontation takes place in heavy gale off the Florida Keys. The two Fredricks actually do quite well.

Aside from the AI cannot into drawing, note the state of the turrets. One's dead. The other three are jammed in train. That's right, your battlecruiser got mission-killed by ships that don't even weigh half of what it does. You go sit in a corner and think about that, France.

It would have all gone so well if Nantes hadn't gotten off a torpedo from one of its submerged launchers and hit Charlotte. The initial damage was contained, though Charlotte lost one of her engine rooms and the other was at reduced power so she could only make 9 knots. While she started limping towards Tampa, Northampton continued the engagement. Then I noticed the messages that Charlotte was shipping water due to the rough seas because of her damage.

Every time, the new flooding was contained almost instantly. But then more water would get in. I broke Northampton away from the battle (Nantes had at this point started actively trying to run away but Northampton was faster because her powerplant was still intact) and had Northampton close to see if there was anything to be done, but the gale and high waves made it impossible to take off Charlotte's crew. She could only hold her course, headed into the wind and waves, and hope it was enough.

It wasn't. The new course reduced the amount of water infiltration, but it didn't stop it. Charlotte's crew lost the battle against the leaks. Northampton and the escorting destroyers still couldn't get too close to rescue her crew due to the storm, and night was falling. Charlotte's crew had to go over the side at night in a hurricane, and despite the proximity of friendly ships barely twenty crew survived.

I have to admit this is the first time this game has almost brought me to tears. I've been on the edge of seat in anticipation.. I've been angry. I've been paranoid (night combat does that). But this one, watching Charlotte flood to death over the course of hours, seeing the messages pop up in sequence "Charlotte is shipping water due to the high seas" "Flooding contained" over and over, not able to do a thing about it, watching the flotation damage slowly accumulate minute by minute. It's a dry summary, but somehow I've never felt the plight of one of my crews quite so keenly.

Nantes managed to limp to safety with heavy damage. Must not have taken any waterline damage, the bastards.

As for Charlotte, well. This was technically be the second USS Charlotte. The first was a Rochester-class heavy cruiser. And the third...

I think it's time to accelerate the extermination of the world's remaining armored cruisers and badnoughts.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Okay, so. Let's talk about that picture up there of Charlotte The Third.

This is the ship design screen. It is in a sense the most dangerous enemy in the game. I mean, just look at all those values and buttons and things. It could swallow you whole. Unless you're a serious naval history nerd, you probably are completely lost. So let's try to break this down, starting from the top left.

Ship type up there? You don't get to say just anything. It affects how the game generates scenarios, and you can stretch things a bit (Charlotte Two and Charlotte Three are cases in point, being closer to small battlecruisers than heavy or armored cruisers) but if you cross certain lines the game will change the ship type.

Class name should be obvious. Enemy class name is what the game generates for the other side to see; Misidentified class name is what it generates when your lookouts blow it. (As an example, the Congress-class are misidentified as Constellation-class ships due to their similar designs.)

Built in lets you choose to build the ship in your own yards, or someone else's. Depending on the nation you chose you might get access to better guns or technical gear that isn't available to you, or be able to build to a size that's larger than your yards can handle.

Speaking of size, that's displacement. Range describes the ship's ability to remain at sea. It comes in "Short" (think Italian ships, not designed to leave the Mediterranean), "Medium" (capable of going trans-Atlantic without refueling), "Long" (ships designed for the vast, empty wastes of the Pacific), and "Extreme" (could complete a trans-Pacific voyage without refueling). This takes weight, obviously.

Freeboard is how far above the water the main deck is. Low freeboard saves weight, but means the ship will have trouble in heavy seas; casemates might be unable to function, main battery turrets will jam more frequently, and flooding is a real possibility. Normal puts it comfortably up out of the water.

Speed is how fast in knots the ship is, which incidentally determines how big an engine it needs.

Engine priority can be "Normal" (no weaknesses, no strengths), "Speed" (lighter per knot but tends to barf if run at high powers for long), and "Reliability" (heavier per knot but resists damage and less likely to barf if run at high speeds). Fuel type is obvious; Oil or Coal. If you have oil, use it. Coal-fired engines tend to shed knots at high power as the stokers tire out, the engine needs to clean grates, and other things happen. Oil provides effortless high-speed performance.

Let's take a quick break from the horror of the design screen.

We join Intrepid and United States with the action already in progress. This is what tactical combat looks like.

Now, I have several options turned on here, indicated by that top row of buttons. The depressed circle there shows main gun range. The red line indicates ships firing. From that, you can see that United States is engaging the Duquesne-class ship, while Intrepid is firing on the Nantes-class. (For the record, that's almost certainly FS Nantes, and that ****er is going down. Remember the Charlotte!)

My ships are marked with their little flags; the French are also showing flags. I have squadron names turned on, as well, but you can turn them off; that's the last button in the top row before "Ship Names". I also have all ship names listed, but you can filter it to show only names for ships beyond a certain size.

Intrepid and United States are attacking a convoy. The convoy would be that mess of "TR Small Merchant" and "TR Medium Merchant" things with their names overlapping. Their close escort is also visible, marked as "DD Fanion-class". However if you look back towards the two French BCs, you'll notice there's a CL and unidentified ship. Before you get a class identification, you get a general type. It can be wrong; so can class ID, but class ID is much less likely to be wrong than type. In this case, I'm pretty sure that's not a real CL. It and the "unidentified ship" are most like destroyer escorts for the French BCs.

One last purely visual detail to note: see those white circles near the French BCs and United States? Those are shell splashes.

Now over on the left side? That's the log. It tracks events. Right now I've got it set to show this and the last one-minute tick. You can see that United States is reporting sighting that "unidentified ship", and that I'm getting a report of the Duqesne-class firing on United States. Slightly faded is the last turn, where the Duquesne fired...and Intrepid fired a full broadside at the Nantes, landing one shell.

Let's check that out.

Holy ****, Intrepid! First-salvo hit with optical fire-control and you nuked one of its turrets with that hit? Somewhere a French admiral is mumbling "Intrepid OP plz nerf".

Then I notice some shaded dots creeping across the screen, so I click the clock to check the time.

Oh son of a *****! I have GOT to get in the habit of checking this at scenario start. It's already dusk. I have two options now: break off the engagement because night combat between capital ships usually results in everybody turning into destroyer fodder, or go all ahead flank and charge, maneuvering as much as I can to hopefully avoid destroyer torpedoes.

There is a saying among Rule The Waves players that only madmen and the IJN contemplate capital ship battles at night.

Just call me mad.

We have notifications for Intrepid putting more rounds into the Nantes, and it returning fire. The fore-aft hull hit will slow her down, but doesn't matter too much. Intrepid is an All-or-Nothing design in the USN tradition and you have to put shells through her armor box to sink her. (We'll talk about that more later.) "Engine Room B" means a hit to the engineering spaces, but the belt armor rejected it. "Turret TT" means a hit to the turret top, but the angle is so oblique at this range that it can't pen and just bounces off. You can also see the yellow lines; Intrepid's and United States' secondaries are engaging the convoy to one side, and one of the French destroyers forward and to the other.

You can also see that Whipple has put torpedoes in the water. She's unlikely to hit anything at the moment, range is long and the target is going to maneuver.

A few minutes later United States has taken it on the chin, multiple hits to the superstructure, and one that's jammed one of her turrets. She's returned several, and Intrepid has returned more hits, and San Diego is having it out with that DD (you can see that San Diego also put torpedoes in the water but missed), which is now identified as of the Carabine-class. So far nobody's been transported to torpedo hell, so my maneuvering is working. However, United States has detached from Intrepid, probably because of the nearby destroyer, possibly due to damage from the hits she's taken.

The French aren't doing so great either. They're down to 15 knots and the Nantes registers as at heavy damage. On the whole, I'm probably winning so far. Just have to avoid any torps. I'm going to have to take San Diego out of AI control or it'll probably get torped.

United States is not doing well. Her non-AoN design means she has weak sections of belt fore and aft that are protecting parts of the ship she still needs to float and other useful stuff. She just lost a turret and is at over 50% damage (turret losses or jams count as damage), so I'm having her break away. On the other hand, one of Whipple's torp shots connected despite my dismissing them.

Then Intrepid takes a torp, proving everything has gone to ****. This ****ing Duquesne must be the French Willis A. Lee; it just broke United States' rudder. I had dropped both Intrepid and United States to ten knots and have them start to turn away just before that, at least. All of United States' turrets are currently out of action as well; two jammed, one dead.

Intrepid has had just about enough your ****, Baguettes, and interposes herself between the French BCs and United States. She can only make twelve knots after the torpedo hit, but her gunnery systems are intact, and she slams three shells into the Nantes.

Who is doing possibly worse than United States, considering it's got two dead turrets and the game registers it as "Sinking!"

Intrepid stands up to the French fire like a champ, bouncing several more shells and returning some as well until darkness falls and contact is lost. United States brings her turrets back in action just after dark. I elect not to attempt to continue the engagement at this point.

Then USS Parker loses contact with the formation in the darkness and wanders off...finding the convoy. Against all expectations, Parker than proceeds to go on a one-ship rampage through the transports and the close-escort DD, torping the DD and blowing it out of the water, spraying torps and gunfire through the transports indiscriminately, and sinking the whole thing, thus accomplishing the original objective. Whoops!

We sunk one of the French BCs, or it flooded to death. Was it the Nantes? Survey says...

...yes. That was for Charlotte you son of a *****.

Next time, we go back to talking about armor and ship design.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
This is the design for Gideon Wells, which is not a name that Rule The Waves will ever use randomly generated. Gideon Wells is the name of the Secretary of the Navy for Abraham Lincoln, who brought us the era of the armored and turreted warship via his backing of USS Monitor. I reserve this name for experimental projects that the real USN never seriously considered building; normally that means all-forward armament. In this case, however, it's something slightly different.


Gideon Wells would be armed with only six main battery guns despite weighing in at over 45k tons. Six 18-inch guns. The real USN never seriously contemplated an 18"-armed battleship; some of the design studies for the Montana-class and a Montana follow-on suggested it, but they saw no practical advantage between a standard 18" AP and a 16" superheavy AP round, particularly since weight and handling issues more or less precluded the idea of creating an 18" superheavy round. Rule The Waves has a similar restriction; the thickest armor possible in the game (20" belt!; no real ship had anything like that, even Yamato's belt armor was only 16" thick) will not provide full protection from an endgame AP round in calibers ranging from 15" to 18". But it will protect you for a certain range bracket, and they have to get closer to pen your belt the smaller their guns are, down to about 5k yards for 15". That's nothing in a capital ship brawl and would be hard to arrange against an enemy that could still move.

Navy artist StarSlayer has provided us with this artist's conception of the ship. (Actually he sketched it and I decided to build a ship that matched it as closely as possible.)


Now, the armor. You'll note listings for "Belt", "Belt Extended", "Deck", "Deck Extended", "Conning Tower", "Turrets" "Turret Top", and "Secondaries". Let's break those down.

Belt is what most people think of when they think of armor: the side vertical armor that protects against shells on a roughly flat trajectory. A ship's belt protects its vitals; the machinery and magazines. It can also be Normal or Narrow, which reflects how far up and down it extends. Narrow is lighter, but some critical machinery bits may be above the protection of the belt; and some shells that strike "short" and hit the ship below the waterline may manage to sneak in underneath the belt armor.
Belt Extended is armor beyond the length of the normal belt, or taller than it, or both; in some ships the extended belt ran to the tip of the bow and the tip of the stern. It's also normally not as thick, only suitable to ward off light shells. Gideon Wells has no Extended Belt armor, because she's an AoN design.
Deck is an armored deck in the design, usually not the ship's visible deck but one or two decks down from it. If the Belt armor is a ship's walls, the Deck is its roof. It protects against plunging fire. As a rule a ship's deck armor doesn't have to be nearly as thick as its belt; it's usually hit at a much more oblique angle, often by shells near the end of their trajectory and moving fairly slowly. This is good, because deck armor is ****ing heavy. I mean, look at the weight figures. Giving Gideon Wells twelve inches of belt is 8k tons. Giving it a third of that in deck armor weighs 77% as much!
Deck Extended is like belt extensions for deck armor. It serves the same purpose, protecting parts of the ship not covered by the normal deck. It's just as heavy as regular deck armor, too. Again, as an AoN design, Gideon Wells has no extended deck.
Conning Tower refers to armor around the ship's brain, the bridge and usually also your primary fire-control position. Losing one of those things is bad. Losing both of those things basically turns your ship into a headless chicken that maneuvers badly and can't hit the broad side of a supercarrier.
Turrets refers to the thickness of the turret armor. Having a shell go off inside your turret will at the least break the turret and has a possibility to cause a flash-fire into the magazine and blow up the ship (almost a certainty, if you're the UK). This is A Bad Thing and you want to stop it by having enough turret armor.
Turret Top is like deck armor for the roof of your turret.
Secondaries refers to the armor protecting the casemates, or the turrets if you have your secondaries in turrets. Secondaries have a chance to flash-fire too, though it only starts to become very noticeable at about 7" secondaries. Otherwise, it just describes how hard they are to knock out. In general you put 5" or 6" of armor on there to prevent destroyers and light cruisers shooting back effectually. The only circumstance otherwise is if you're building a semi-dreadnaught with heavy secondary batteries, then you'd better armor those suckers up like they're primary turrets. A 10" magazine detonation will sink you just as well as one of your primary magazines.

I've mentioned several times that Gideon Wells is an "AoN" design, and other times mentioned something about "All or Nothing" as an armor layout, so let's deal with that. AoN armor is a conceptual rather than a technical advance; it's basically a philosophy about how you should use armor and what goes where in relation to it. A ship with All-or-Nothing armor brings all critical systems inside its primary armor box, and (at least as practiced by the USN, the so-called "flotation raft" version; some warships didn't do this but that's not reflected in the game because it is an incredibly stupid thing to do, as Bismarck discovered) the armor box is made large enough that even if the entire rest of the ship is flooded, as long as the armor citadel is dry inside, the ship will float. Everything outside that armor citadel is therefore expendable.

Thus, All-or-Nothing armor. You either pen and it matters or you fail to and it doesn't. In reality, of course, damage outside the citadel does matter to the ship's effectiveness as a combat unit if not its ability to float and move, but this doesn't change the fact that an AoN ship can absorb freakish amounts of damage and return to port. This is such an important change in how ships that the game doesn't even allow you to design ships that are not All-or-Nothing after discovering it; it's not an option you can toggle. That reflects the reality of most naval construction as well.

Now you'll notice you can choose armor schemes. "Flat deck on top of belt" is cheap in money and weight and easy, but arguably offers somewhat less protection. On the other hand it puts your armor deck up higher, so more stuff is under it. "Sloped deck" puts your belt down a deck and makes it more resistant to shell strikes at certain trajectories, with the trajectories it'd be weaker against also having to go through the main belt armor to get there in the first place...usually. But it takes more weight and is more expensive.

There's also the "protected cruiser" armor scheme, which is basically your deck armor is down at the waterline level and is only really intended to protect the machinery against splinters from shell hits in the rest of the ship, not actually provide any real protection to the combat systems or the rest of the ship. This is how CLs are designed before the Light Cruiser Armor Scheme advance, and there's a reason it goes away: it's not very useful.

Finally in the category of armor is Torpedo Protection. It comes in I to IV and offers increasing amounts of protection against torpedo hits, obviously. Broadly speaking raw displacement and turning into the strike are more valuable than Torpedo Protection I or II, but III and IV offer large ships a surprising amount of ability to shrug off torpedo hits save for a loss of speed. They're more abstracted than armor, and we can assume that they involve increasingly complex void-liquid layering, with III and IV probably representing either perfected Italian Pugilese systems or the USN's use of complex void-liquid-void-liquid layering.

Next time we'll have to do a battle, and probably some kind of discussion of how ships are armed.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 07:04:42 pm by NGTM-1R »
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Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
So the war with France is over. There were no more major actions and eventually they caved. The end of the war didn't really resolve anything, though, but while we almost went to war again by 1928, and again in 1933, it didn't happen. The USN has added to its roster several more heavy units from the end of the French war; two very similar classes of battlecruisers in the Essex and Lexington-class ships, with three quad 16" turrets. The difference is 5k tons of weight (45k for Lexington, 50k for Essex) and slightly less belt armor as well as one knot less speed on the Lexingtons. It has also added four ships of the 18"-armed Gideon Wells-class. On the battleship side, three ships of the 52k-ton (which is the maximum size you can build to in the game) New Jersey-class, armed with 12x 16" guns in three quad turrets, plus another four units under construction. Also under construction are two more battlecruisers of the Bon Homme Richard-class, armed with 14 16" guns in three quad and one twin turret. I'm considering a followon to the Gideon Wells class as well.

In terms of budget, the USN outspends every navy on the planet by about 300mil at least compared to the second rank in Germany and the UK. Third-rank powers like Japan and France are actually outspent by 500mil. Russia is so far down the toilet they can't see the paper roll anymore, budgeting only 447mil total vs. the USN's 1.16 billion naval budget.

In terms of ships and tonnage, the USN (21 plus 5) is behind Germany (27 plus 4) and the UK (35) in number of battleships, but in terms of tonnage the USN is closing in on both of them rapidly. The largest British battleships are the two ships of the 41k-ton 10x 16" gun HMS Thunderer and HMS Benbow, both one-ship classes. The followon classes are all a thousand tons lighter. Their armor is comparable to American ships five thousand tons lighter, and they would be no match for a ship of the Arizona, Delaware, or New Jersey classes. The Nevada and Arkansas classes could easily go blow for blow despite a slight weight disadvantage. The Germans are in similar straights.

In terms of battlecruisers both nations will offer more competition. Germany has a few 45k and 46k ton ships with good armor, but most of their modern ones are smallish, 37k tons. None of them will pose a real challenge to an Essex, or a Lexington, which outgun them massively, but they might be able to give a good fight to a Gideon Wells if they manage to catch it. The older ships of the Congress and Constellation classes would be wise to steer clear of the most modern German ships. Britain has a trio of 47k ton ships, Inconstant, Inflexible, and Princess Royal, which would probably give even a Lexington a good fight, but over half their force is smaller and less well-armed than the Constellations, the oldest US BCs in service.

With this in mind, the forthcoming war to take what the USN wasn't given by the Depression is perhaps winnable. I speak, of course, of the true test of all navies in Rule The Waves: Go to war with Great Britain and defeat the Royal Navy. Gideon Wells and Yorktown have already raided a convoy off Portsmouth in a heavy gale, sinking seven ships out from under the escorts who never managed to engage.
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The Brits are raiding Anchorage. Perhaps they expected an easy target. If so, they will be sorely disappointed. Anchorage is currently hosting the two ships of the Delaware-class, armed with ten 17" guns, and USS Illinois, the youngest of the Arizona-class ships with her twelve 16" guns. Providing a scouting force, two ships of the Constellation-class battlecruisers we saw in Europe.

Arrayed against them is a battlecruiser of the Incomparable class, armed with ten 14" guns but with terrible armor, and one of the Australia-class, armed with ten 16" guns but again with terrible armor. On their first salvo our old friends United States and Independence knocked the Incomparable down 10 knots, blew out two of its turrets, and generally made a giant mess of it.

Backing up the battlecruiser are two British battleships. One is of the Prince of Wales class, and can be safely dismissed; it's smaller and worse in every way than the Constellations. The other, though, is Conqueror-class and can probably put up a good fight.

I immediately think that the battle is going to go to **** on me, when United States takes a hit that knocks out all her electrical power and goes dead in the water right after the brutal asskicking she delivered to the Incomparable. The battleships to the north are engaging the Australia-class. And USS Independence, in a desperate attempt to defend her sister ship, engages the Conqueror-class at maximum range, lofting a 14" salvo.



HOLY **** WHAT

Independence just killed it with a single shell! I'm not even sure how! The Conqueror's turret faces definitely had enough thickness to stop a 14" shell at 15k yards! Was that a hit on one of the 6" secondary turrets? Did that just blow up the ship, setting off the secondaries? Jesus Christ! I knew guns larger than 5" had a chance but I thought it only got serious with 7"!

The Australia is eating 17" shells every and is down to 15 knots, trying to turn away from the battleship too late. The Incomparable is limping towards Vancouver at ten knots but is never going to make it. Independence and the Prince of Wales are slinging steel at each other but not achieving much besides pretty splashes, when it should probably be trying to run the **** away.

Then at ten thousand yards, a 17" shell from USS Delaware strikes the plate on the front of the crippled Australia's X turret. The poorly armored battlecruiser is immediately transported to the afterlife, where it joins the Conqueror in wondering what the **** just happened.

USS United States still has not managed to sort out her **** and start moving again, for the record.

Delaware draws the fire off United States and Independence from the Prince of Wales, which has apparently decided to scream "WITNESS ME" and attempt to die with its teeth in the enemy's throats, but even at 15k to 10k yards, Delaware's armor is immune to the 13" guns of the Prince of Wales. Turning to present their broadsides in passing, the battleships soon have the Prince of Wales out of action; Illinois in particular at one point lofts a full salvo of 12 guns and hits with every single round.

The only British ship still floating is the Incomparable, and the battleships move in at 22 knots while it tries to limp away at 15. United States is still completely out of action. The Incomparable's two destroyer escorts close the battleships in a last-ditch torpedo attack; USS Montana and USS Illinois are struck, but the torpedoes are duds. (Dear god, absolutely nothing is working right for the Brits!)

United States finally gets her engines working again and the two US battlecruisers turn and accelerate to flank speed to join the pursuit, right as the US DDs and the secondaries of the battleships bring the British destroyers to a halt in flames. The Incomparable is still alive, just barely, but the outcome is no longer in doubt. Game, set, match; United States Navy.

I think I could have won this battle as a slugfest; the numbers and the ship quality and position at battle start were against the British. However I suspect doing so would have cost me United States thanks to that critical hit and probably done some meaningful damage to the battlewagons. As it stands...this was an execution, not a battle. Only United States and Delaware took significant damage, and even then, nothing that couldn't be fixed in a couple of weeks. Montana took a dud torpedo but it apparently didn't even hurt her at all, just bounced off.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 10:27:09 pm by NGTM-1R »
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Offline StarSlayer

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Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today."



PS Tell United States that complete electrical outages in the middle of battle are the sole province of South Dakota.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 10:40:29 pm by StarSlayer »
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The Second Ride of Gideon Wells
So it's another convoy raid off Cork in Ireland, which in this universe is still British.

HMS Inflexible had her guns secured fore and aft when USS Gideon Wells and USS Ticonderoga turned up and blasted her X turret with an 18" shell through the turret roof. She managed to train the others outboard before they were destroyed. It took the two US battlecruisers barely twenty salvos to reduce the 47k-ton British ship, one of the most modern British ships, to a flaming wreck. They then proceeded to open the throttles and chased down the pair of Psyche-class CLs that were the next-largest escorts at 30 knots, faster than the the cruisers' 28-knot top speeds, and blast them apart with more 18" gunfire.

Late to the party, HMS New Zealand charges the two American battlecruisers. She actually puts the forward turret of Ticonderoga out of action before she too is subjected to the raw power of the Americans' guns and blown apart inside of four salvos.

I'd like to thank Starslayer for that sketch, because Jesus Christ the 18" battlecruisers are working out. I'm now working on a successor class, the Emancipators which have the same main armament, up the scale to 52k tons, add more deck armor, and mount their 5" secondaries (all 24 of them now) in quad turrets because why not.

And then, Great Britain has had enough of their ships blowing up and my subs wrecking everything, and the government is overthrown. I am the preeminent naval power in the world now, it seems.

Who can challenge me next? At the moment anyone would be a fool; I've reached battleship parity or better with everyone, my budget is at least a half-billion more than anyone else, my European bases are able to house most of my battle line at once.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
So the game finally gave up the ghost in May of 1949, my budget doing a wraparound error. I had only one war of consequence after this, with Germany. Despite outnumbering me in every major battle, well...



That didn't end so well for them; accepting battle outnumbered, but never outmassed or outgunned, the Germans broke themselves on the USN battle line repeatedly or suffered at the hands of the Gideon Wells and Emancipator classes before reaching safety. This provoked the European navies to dispose of their legacy 1912 to 1920 dreadnaughts; Germany had been losing their most modern ships because those generally lead the battle line, and if those were dying the old ships would never succeed.

There were also minor wars with France and Russia that did not last very long at all considering I could manage to blockade them in their home region. (This prevented me from taking Finland from Russia and thereby complete the process of turning the Baltic into an American lake; I invaded again but the war ended before I could capture it.) By the end of the war I have to assume that most of the Baltic States had themselves achieved statehood in the US, and all their industries were focused on maintaining and supporting the USN; they alone matched the ability to support ships of the entire Eastern Seaboard.

At the end, I was deploying...well, look at it.

Most of these ships were built after 1930. 20 (and the six under construction) of those battleships were build-max New Jersey-class, armed with 12 16" guns in three quads. Nothing was really less well-armed than that; the Arizonas had less armor but were just as well-armed, the Delawares had 10 17" guns (two quads and a double).

The battlecruisers are divided between USS Independence (that one shot at Anchorage apparently got the game to trigger the museum ship event when I went to scrap the Connies), the four ships of the Gideon Wells class, 8 ships (and two building) of the Bon Homme Richard class (14 16" guns, three quads and a double), and 14 ships plus 4 building of the Emancipator class, which was my max-build version of the Gideon Wells with improved secondary battery and heavier deck armor.

I ultimately built another five Charlotte-class heavy cruisers when for a moment it looked like other people were going to get in on the heavy cruiser thing, but they didn't; the new ones you see there are mostly 8" 8-gun ships, though the Brits built them with 9" guns and the German ship is actually 10x 10" but lacks the armor and speed of the Charlottes or Fredricks. I would have laid down another class of light cruisers to stay ahead of the Germans if the game hadn't barfed. I would have also probably taken the last of my 5" pedestal mount destroyers out of service if not for the unending series of wars in Europe, so the Barry-class stayed on to the end, though I eliminated the Allens and O'Briens and replaced them with newer Fubuki-clone Warringtons and 4x twin 5" plus two quad torpedo tube Ericcsons.

And I'd fought every nation at least once, save for Italy. Our interests never conflicted enough, I suppose.
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Offline StarSlayer

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Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
How well do quad batteries work? I seem to recall they were less than impressive on the KGVs?  Since the game seems to make it roughly to the late forties does it offer WW2 technology like radar guided fire control and naval aviation?
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
How well do quad batteries work? I seem to recall they were less than impressive on the KGVs?  Since the game seems to make it roughly to the late forties does it offer WW2 technology like radar guided fire control and naval aviation?

Depends. Both the initial triple and the initial quad tech are unreliable and will jam with little provocation. A followon tech for both will make them reliable. Not every country will necessarily pick up every tech (which can lead to great hilarity if somebody doesn't get an important one like 3 Centerline Turrets and is locked out of dreadnaughts for a few years until they pick up 4 Centerline Turrets or 5+ Centerline Turrets), and your research priorities effect your chance to get the techs as well. There are twenty in each field, but it's rare you'll get all 20 in a game, usually topping out at 18 or 19 on something you've had at High priority the whole time.

If you were to spend most of the game with your Turrets and Mountings priority on Low, you probably won't pick up quads at all unless you're France or somebody sells the tech to you. Even with it on High, in this case I got quads, but didn't intend to use them because I hadn't gotten the tech for reliable quads (from experience, it's pretty much a complete crapshoot if you get that or not); then suddenly, Japan offers to sell me the tech for Reliable Quadruple Turrets. It's rare any AI nation besides France will use Quadruple Turrets regardless.

The technology and the game are both designed to stop just short of the point where carriers becoming a force they'd have to account for. In game terms this means it cuts off at 1925, with the ability to play on to 1950 only semi-supported (c.f. that budget wraparound error). In terms of technology, however, the game actually seem to run to about 1930 when people were just starting to design Washington Treaty battleships; most of the features you'd recognize from the early design stages of FS Richelieu or USS North Carolina are available.
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Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Can you build Tillmans?   :drevil:
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Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Can you build Tillmans?   :drevil:

Well...

The game has a hard cap at 52 thousand tons. This places Iowa within reach (or HMS Incomparable, but without 20" guns; Gideon Wells was basically a better-armored Incomparable), but disallows Yamato or the Tillmans. It used to be possible to glitch past the cap, but this sometimes causes strange things to happen, like your ships having negative HP or spontaneously generating reports of being hit by gunfire thought nobody's shooting at them. When they worked at all, it was possible to build the smaller Tillman I, Tillman II, and Tillman III designs or Yamato without the game completely losing its mind...but the 80k tons Tillman IV would pretty much cause the game to melt down if it ever ended up in a battle.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 07:56:22 pm by NGTM-1R »
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
There's a couple of updates out; 1.30 and 1.31.

Naturally, start a new game and your first war is with the UK, because of course it is. Battle VPs are significantly raised, making entering a fight even if it's to deny contact and do a nothing-VP draw more important. Various bugs were fixed. Coastal batteries were made marginally more attractive. (I still don't know what they do, but I do know if you build a 14" coastal battery at Colon it sits right on top of the bombardment objective and can really, really **** unsuspecting cruisers over when they try to do a night bombardment.) There are also quite a few quality of life improvements.

And the AI is smarter about designing ships, if not about employing them.
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Offline NGTM-1R

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So let's talk about arming your warships.

This is a predreadnaught. It's totally uninteresting as a specimen of the type, really.


You'll note, it lists main battery turrets. We talked about turret positions. Predreads and armored cruisers before 3 centerline turrets, only have A and Y main battery positions. Into a main battery position, you can stuff a turret (you select every main battery turret). Not all turrets are actually "turrets" in this game. You can have unarmored pedestal mounts; just don't armor the turret. You can have mounts with gun shields; don't give it more than a 2.5" face or 2" roof. You can have casemates too, we'll get to that.

Guns in Rule The Waves are sorted by their caliber, measured in inches, and their quality, measured in abstract units. There is a bit of interplay between them at the largest and smallest levels. You can guns ranging in size from 2" to 18" and in quality from -1 to +1. I've seen screenshots of quality +2 guns, but I doubt that feature still exists. However, you can't have 2" guns of -1, and as a practical matter I don't think any nation has -1 quality guns smaller than 7" anyways. You also can't have 18" guns of +1 quality.

Quality, in simplest terms, is a modifier that tells you how far the gun shoots and how hard it hits. You can basically subtract an inch from the size of a -1 quality gun to determine its actual range and hitting power, and add one inch to a +1 quality gun to determine its range and hitting power. It's not quite that simple, in practice, but it's a good quick reference. If you want gory details, a -1 quality gun is actually a tiny bit worse than a 0 quality gun an inch smaller, and +1 quality gun is actually a tiny bit better than 0 quality gun an inch larger, but the differences are so small that they'll rarely come into play.

A real-world parallel is actually pretty easy. Consider real-world 16" gun design. Quality 0 16" guns would be Nagato's 41cm/45 3rd Year Type or USS Colorado's 16"/45 Mark 5/Mark 8. Quality -1 16" guns would be the British 16"/45 Mark I used on Nelson and Rodney, which was designed based on flawed firing trials. Quality 1 16" guns would be the 1930s-era 16"/45 Mark 6 used on SoDak and NorCar, or the 16"/50 Mark 7 used on Iowa.

Guns are also separated into the categories of light, medium, and heavy, which has effects in how the game classes ships and the like and to some extent where you can put them, but is most important in how the game allocates guns to targets.

Anything smaller than 6" is considered a "light gun" and may fire at destroyers without penalty. The game will allocate them to destroyer targets unless another target offers a much higher hit chance, at least 3% better. Yes, 3% chance to hit is relatively a lot in this game. You will average something like a 5% hit chance in the early game a 5000 yards. That's actually quite realistic to the era. They may be used as main battery on cruisers or destroyers; yes, you'll actually see cruisers with 4" main battery. That's generally what the low-end (3000-4000 ton) light cruisers have.

6" is technically a "medium gun" but is only treated as one for purposes of taking an accuracy penalty shooting at DDs. (In practice this penalty is noticeable but by no means crippling.) 7" to 10" are considered "medium guns" and are assessed an accuracy penalty against destroyers, and cannot be used in secondary mounts on battleships or armored cruisers without the appropriate technology, plus cannot be turreted as secondaries until a second technology without significant penalty; this is also the largest size weapon that can be mounted on something classed a CA, though you can have 10" and even 9"-armed predreads. Medium guns will by preference be allocated to larger targets, but do not develop a "floor" on their willingness to target DDs. They are cruiser guns (up to 6" for lights, up to 10" for CAs) generally speaking. Inclusions of 8" guns to 10" guns automatically makes something a CA. 7" guns are still allowed on protected cruisers, but not light cruisers.

11" and greater are assessed as "heavy guns" and their inclusion automatically makes something a predread, battleship, or battlecruiser. They take a penalty against destroyers that's the same as medium guns, and a slightly lesser penalty against any ships smaller than 4000 tons. In 1915 or so they will also start to develop a "floor" where unless you manually command the squadron to target DDs, they will not engage a destroyer with main battery unless their chance to hit has exceeded 5-7% per round. (This reflects naval doctrine changes of the time.)

A ship's guns are separated into main, secondary, and tertiary batteries. The only hard and fast rules are that heavy guns have to be main battery if the ship has them, secondaries have to be smaller than main, and tertiary have to be smaller than secondary. You can turret any of these, though you have to develop special tech to get full performance out of turreted secondaries. Secondaries and tertiaries can also be casemated; they're added in pairs. If turreted, secondary and tertiary turrets are assigned to the ship automatically and show up in pairs; if there's a weird number of guns in the turrets, like enough for an odd turret out or a small turret, then that turret is assumed to be somewhere on the centerline.

Lastly, torps. You can have underwater tubes and overwater tubes. Underwater tubes can be one fore, one aft, and up to two per side. Overwater tubes can be centerline (on a destroyer) or along the sides in pairs (on everything else). Underwater tubes are singular; overwater tubes are able to be done in sizes from single to quad. Only destroyers can use overwater tubes at first; a tech becomes available to use them on CLs later, and even later, on other ships. (Want to build a battleship with ridiculously heavy torpedo armament in the lategame? You can.)
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story