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Off-Topic Discussion => Gaming Discussion => Topic started by: NGTM-1R on May 26, 2016, 05:22:14 pm

Title: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on May 26, 2016, 05:22:14 pm
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.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on May 26, 2016, 07:16:42 pm
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.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on May 26, 2016, 10:19:07 pm
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!
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: Mammothtank on May 27, 2016, 07:28:15 am
You have my interest.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: StarSlayer on May 27, 2016, 09:14:12 am
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? 
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on May 27, 2016, 01:18:12 pm
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.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on May 27, 2016, 05:06:45 pm
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.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on May 27, 2016, 09:40:51 pm
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.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on May 29, 2016, 06:47:59 pm
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.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on May 29, 2016, 09:02:03 pm
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.
Title: Emulating HMS Hood
Post by: NGTM-1R on May 29, 2016, 10:05:38 pm
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.



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.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: StarSlayer on May 29, 2016, 10:16:48 pm
"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.
Title: The Second Ride of Gideon Wells
Post by: NGTM-1R on May 29, 2016, 11:54:57 pm
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.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on May 30, 2016, 06:07:22 pm
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.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: StarSlayer on May 30, 2016, 06:35:10 pm
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?
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on May 30, 2016, 07:15:05 pm
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.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: StarSlayer on May 30, 2016, 07:36:00 pm
Can you build Tillmans?   :drevil:
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on May 30, 2016, 07:47:15 pm
Can you build Tillmans?   :drevil:


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.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on June 03, 2016, 03:38:17 am
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.
Title: Naval Guns And Turrets
Post by: NGTM-1R on June 05, 2016, 01:40:47 am
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.)
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on June 05, 2016, 08:59:02 pm
So the AI's new build-to-match-player stuff?

It's actually interesting, in that they will put armor over their obvious weaknesses, but it also causes them to struggle in other ways. If you have a massive destroyer force, the AI will build up a large number of destroyers; if you build 10" CAs, the AI will build some that are supposed to fight yours; etc.

If you commit early to battlecruisers in a major way, the AI will build a lot of battlecruisers.

It may not have enough left to build battleships, though. That's happened to most of the AI nations in my current game, who outnumber me in battlecruisers but god ****ing help them if they ever have to fight a fleet action, because my battleship superiority will eat them alive.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: StarSlayer on June 05, 2016, 10:36:34 pm
Can you refit and modernize existing hulls to keep them competitive or do you need to retire and replace with new classes?

I imagine it would be fun to have some ships like the QEs or Kongōs that can stay in action for most of the game.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on June 05, 2016, 11:35:34 pm
Yes...with some caveats. It's actually an essential mechanic.

Ships get old and become "obsolete", marked with an "(O)" on your roster. If you leave them like that, they eventually get sold off as having become too decrepit.

The solution is to rebuild them. Now, you don't even have to change anything; you can just refit them as they already are, it takes a couple months. Think of it as a dockyard availability in USN terms.

You can also change things up. The biggie is that you can replace their machinery, bringing it up to modern spec in terms of weight usage and changing their speed if desired. You can change their secondary battery from casemates into turrets or the other way around and alter its size. You can rebuild their turrets for more armor, though not the ship itself. Triple turrets can be turned into doubles or doubles into singles of a larger gun size, to an arcanely defined point. (Or doubles into triples of a smaller gun size, though I'm not sure who'd ever use that.) Older, worse guns can be replaced with newer, superior-quality models. You can also upgrade the ship's main battery fire-control, which will be main reason you do refits anyways, or apply increased elevation to its main battery, or add directors to its secondary battery.

However this doesn't allow you to change the base tonnage or range of the ship, or alter its number of main battery turrets. Machinery replacement is extremely expensive, often half as much as the ship cost new, sometimes as much as two-thirds. These take from four to eleven months. As a general rule, you may not ever rebuild a ship's machinery in game, unless you're in the midst of a naval treaty building freeze and it happens to exceed treaty max, or you've got a really old class of light battlecruisers but scrapping is impractical for tonnage reasons.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on June 16, 2016, 08:26:23 am
So if somebody says they're playing RTW on hard mode, it's probably not a reference to the game's difficulty settings.

Each nation in Rule The Waves has advantages and disadvantages. The US, for example, gets bonuses to a couple techs early, a flat bonus to research, and has a superior chance of positive economic events from just budget windfalls to private shipbuilding expanding your max dock size without you having to spend a dime. They also have the second best starter budget in the game and decent starter dock sizes and guns.

Some nations aren't so lucky. Opinions on "most screwed" differ, but of the base nations there are three obvious losers: Austria-Hungary, Russia, and Italy. These are playing RTW on Hard Mode.

The easiest of them, in my opinion, is Austria-Hungary. This is because their negatives are balanced by a positive: having no overseas possessions their ships can sacrifice range and crew accommodation for combat performance, ensuring individual unit superiority. They also get a bonus to triple turrets and torpedo tech.

In return you're tied with Japan for smallest starter budget in the game, your max gun size at start is 11", your starter dock size is 2k tons smaller than either of your neighbors, and Italy already hates your guts. If anybody more serious than France looks at you funny, prepare to close your eyes, bend over, and think of Franz Ferdinand unless you're really good.

Middle of the road is Italy. Your budget is okay, so's your dock size and choice of guns, you actually get a bonus triple turrets and to ship design to reflect that Alberto Cuniberti was one of the smarter naval architects of his time and predicted HMS Dreadnought before 1900.

In return you take a penalty to crew training and research from Uneducated, reflecting the low literacy rate in Italy, you have some overseas possessions in West Africa to defend but at least they're nearby, and because OTO doesn't exist yet and your shipbuilding contracts are badly written until the Fifties you pay more money for your ships to the crooked bastards at Ansaldo. You are also going to spend most of the game hoping to God Germany, the Brits, and the US don't notice you.

Russia is the most difficult. You have France budget, Italy shipyards, Austrian guns. The Black Sea Fleet is not a thing, either, so you're lucky that way in not having to manage three separate fleets on your budget.

You have to defend Siberia and Manchuria, which are on the other side of the world from all your other crap, you have the same Uneducated penalty as Italy but no tech bonuses worth a damn, you have the Undeveloped Shipbuilding Industry penalty Japan does, meaning expanding it costs more and your ships have a high chance of delays effecting their construction and costing you money, and finally you get Inconsistent Naval Policy which means the government will demand you build things from submarines to battleships because they say so. A lot. And **** with your budget. A lot.

Japan, despite their disadvantages with budget, shipbuilding, and starter guns, isn't as difficult as any of these primarily because they're far away from everyone and the only people they're likely to offend early on who have the local bases to be dangerous are Russia; nobody else has big enough bases local to Northeast Asia to sustain a blockade. They also get torpedo tech bonuses and a special "Surprise Attack" scenario at war start where they get to attack people at anchor for an early advantage. (That's right, Japan gets to Pearl Harbor people without even using aircraft carriers.)
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: Mammothtank on June 16, 2016, 08:34:25 am
Can you gain and lose territory and if you can how does that work?
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: The E on June 16, 2016, 08:59:01 am
Is the russian AI ever tempted to reenact the Battle of Tsushima?
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on June 16, 2016, 06:51:43 pm
Can you gain and lose territory and if you can how does that work?

Yes. Locations in the game are divided into home and colonies. Home locations can't be lost by any means. Colonies can. (Some of the in-game possessions are surprising, too; Maine is considered one.) They can also be lost two ways. The first is in a peace deal, they can be given to the other side; however there's a cap on size and number (each possession is worth x points, you only get 4 to 10 points to take depending on how the enemy offered terms) inherent to this, so British India or Sicily aren't taken in peace deals, but various islands or African nations can be.

The second way is invasion. If you or your enemy establish local supremacy of naval power, then the game uses an arcane formula and decides based on the result and some random chance that the side with naval supremacy is launching an invasion, or several invasions. Land combat is abstracted and you can work to support it but have no real control. Over the course of several month-long strategic turns the invasion will succeed or fail, and the possession will flip to the invader if it does succeed.

Rapid territorial gain is usually by invasion rather than peace deals, due to the built-in caps on the latter.

Is the russian AI ever tempted to reenact the Battle of Tsushima?

The strategic forces that caused Tsushima are there. So in a real sense yes. If you play as Japan then you either have your Tsushima moment where you punch somebody in the nuts and climb over them to become a world power, or you probably lose the game. Russia is definitely the easiest to do this to.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: StarSlayer on June 16, 2016, 07:10:51 pm
The strategic forces that caused Tsushima are there. So in a real sense yes. If you play as Japan then you either have your Tsushima moment where you punch somebody in the nuts and climb over them to become a world power, or you probably lose the game. Russia is definitely the easiest to do this to.

Does the game model the wear and tear experienced by long unsupported deployments as experienced by the Second Pacific Squadron?
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on June 16, 2016, 07:40:53 pm
Does the game model the wear and tear experienced by long unsupported deployments as experienced by the Second Pacific Squadron?


Each region has a basing capacity. If you have no basing capacity in that region or you exceed it, your ships will develop an asterisk next to their status over time; for a medium-range normal-accommodations ship this usually takes a couple months.

Once it happens though the ship will perform at a worse level in combat representing crew fatigue, generally dropping a level in crew Quality (crew quality is either Poor, Fair, Good, or Elite). It is also at greatly increased risk of mechanical breakdown. At best, a mechanical breakdown will put it in the dockyard for a month if it's in an area with friendly bases. The other alternative is the ship is interned until the war is over as it was forced to seek repairs in a neutral port. (This can happen even in areas with friendly bases, though usually not in areas where you have a Home Region.) In combat, a mechanical breakdown usually means a bearings overheat but can sometimes be serious boiler troubles; both cause the ship to lose speed, but boiler issues mean repairs or internment.

If a ship sustains more than superficial combat damage in an area without friendly bases, it is also likely to end up getting interned as it seeks repairs in a neutral port.

Finally, there is the dreaded double asterisk. You won't see it much unless you build ships with Short Range and then send them on world cruises, like the Second Pacific Squadron was. This reduces the crew quality to Poor regardless of what it was and caps a ship to 2/3rds of its maximum speed. A severe mechanical breakdown is almost assured if you try to maintain that speed for any length of time.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on June 16, 2016, 09:53:54 pm
I'm playing a game as Austria-Hungary using the minimal fleet size.

This basically means you'll be surprised to see more than three capital ships in the same place and makes cheap ships much more viable.

The KuK Kriegsmarine has only ever had one armored cruiser. This was originally the 10k-ton SMS Kasierin und Koingin Maria Theresia, armed with a pair of 10" twins and 5" secondaries. During the first war with Italy, she was the navy's sword and shield, earning seven battle stars and sinking the CAs RM Vittor Pesanti and RM Carlo Alberto as well as several light cruisers before she was sunk in a duel with Italy's first battlecruiser, the RM Lepanto. Lepanto did not survive the battle either; badly damaged by the Austrian ship's 10" guns, the Leopard-class destroyers that were escorting Maria Theresia swarmed and sank her with torpedoes.

After the loss of Maria Theresia, the KuK Kriegsmarine built a replacement ship, the 13k-ton SMS Sankt Georg. Sankt Georg was in response to similar French ships and actually masses as much as the KuK Kriegsmarine's predreadnought class, the Kaisers. In the ongoing second war with Italy, Sankt Georg sunk the CA RM Marco Polo, did better than the battlecruiser SMS Kantern during their fight with Italian battlecruiser RM Giuseppe Garibaldi, and has terrorized the Adriatic coast with multiple shore bombardments and raids on Italian shipping. In multiple fleet actions Sankt Georg can be found playing the role of a linenschiff behind either battlecruiser SMS Lissa or predreadnought SMS Kaiser; she is in every sense she is one of the capital ships of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

At least until I get better battlecruisers.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on June 17, 2016, 04:02:37 am
I bring you the story of SMS Kärnten and SMS Tirol, the little battlecruisers that could.

I'm playing a game as Austria-Hungary, at the minimum fleet size, so pretty much nobody has more than a tiny number of capital ships at a time. My second class of battlecruisers are 22k ton, 12" twins, AXY, 28 knot top speed. Kärnten and Tirol are separated by four years despite their identical design, since I barely have the budget to build a single capital ship at any one time and the Navy minister kept demanding submarines or destroyers or something.

Honestly my initial impression of Kärnten was that I had a pretty derpy ship on my hands. She got chased off by Italian armored cruisers a couple times, and usually came off worse against the lone Italian BC. Meanwhile while my last armored cruiser, SMS Sankt Georg, was wrecking faces. Still, by the time of my third war with Italy (I had five of those) they were starting to get competent, splattering a few cruisers in raider interceptions, and they sank the two Italian Giuseppe Garibaldi-class BCs in separate actions, but they'd been able to gang up on them, so that wasn't too impressive. My next war was very short, because Italy was still at high unrest and collapsed early.

By the time of the fifth war I was desperately trying to get more modern ships out but didn't have the budget to do so without delays. Italy had an axial-design 12x 15" gun ship at 35600 tons (the RM Vittor Pesanti), a 12x 13" gun ABXY ship at 27200 tons (the RM Guilio Cesare), and a 45k-ton 8x 15" gun ABXY ship (the RM Marco Polo). I still had only the Kärnten and the Tirol, because I'd had to build a battleship to ensure France wouldn't kill me in a fleet action during a war scare.

I shouldn't have bothered building anything else.

First, Vittor Pesanti. They engaged off Rhodes, and Tirol took a bad hit early in the engagement that damaged her machinery, so she fell behind. Kärnten hung on, having knocked out a couple of the poorly armored turrets on the Vittor Pesanti, causing it to try and turn away. But Kärnten was faster, and kept hanging off the Italian BC's stern where it couldn't return fire. Eventually the Vittor Pesanti turned around, though, and put some shells into Kärnten that disabled her turrets and damaged her engineering spaces. Welp, so much for this fight-then a surprise 12" salvo punches through Vittor Pesanti's deck and wrecks its machinery. Tirol has gotten its damaged machinery put back back together and rejoined the fight. Tirol charges in to point-blank range and absolutely wrecks Vittor Pesanti for having the temerity to touch her sistership.

Guilio Cesare attacks a convoy off Zara a few months later. Kärnten and Tirol charge to the rescue and pin Guilio Cesare against the shoreline, then take her apart. I realized afterwards that they hadn't even been scratched in the process.

Finally, all that's left (almost literally after my CL pair sank the entire Italian destroyer force in a single battle) is the Marco Polo. She outmasses the two scrappy KuK ships put together. She's vastly better armored and four knots faster. During a bombardment of Arcona, Marco Polo's attempt to interfere gets her slapped around pretty badly and forced to hide in port while Kärnten and Tirol rain shells on the city and its shore batteries. Three months later off Durazzo Kärnten takes on Marco Polo alone and, despite being badly damaged, forces the bigger ship to turn away. Tirol gets her turn in a convoy fight off Spalato, where she actually kills Marco Polo's electrical power and causes the bigger ship to go dead in the water with a hit at long range, but isn't able to seal the deal before the Italian battlecruiser gets steam back up and runs away. Off Albania a bloodbath of a fight sees everyone involved limping back to port with heavy damage.

Finally, during a coastal raid on Venice, I have the brand-new SMS Sankt Georg The Second, my 45k-ton battlecruiser with 9 15" guns, and she finds Marco Polo defending. Marco Polo turns and runs for it rather than fight something that's actually in her weight class. Though not before putting a shot through Sankt Georg's belt that limited her to 12 knots.

Oh hey there's a squadron marker for an Austro-Hungarian battlecruiser squadron and Marco Polo is headed right for it.

Most of the fight took place out of my view. By the time Sankt Georg limped up, Marco Polo was on fire and barely making 5 knots in the direction of Acona, Tirol was limping away towards Pola at 11 knots with only her A turret working and it didn't bear on the target, and Kärnten had all her main battery turrets blown off but was circling Marco Polo at 15 knots and showering the Italian battlecruiser with secondary battery fire. I can only assume that her captain was screaming something like "That mother****er is not getting away this time!" and exhorting his casemate gunners "I don't care what it takes, make the damn thing stop so we can ram!"

Sankt Georg obligingly finished Marco Polo off, completing the work of the Little Battlecruisers That Could. The next month the Italian government collapsed for the third time, and three months later it clicked over to 1926, ending the game.

Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: StarSlayer on June 17, 2016, 08:54:17 am
Considering their accomplishments those battlecruisers would be considered crack ships, is this reflected in game?  Do the crew and officers of successful ships get buffed based off that experience?
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: NGTM-1R on June 18, 2016, 05:36:37 am
Considering their accomplishments those battlecruisers would be considered crack ships, is this reflected in game?  Do the crew and officers of successful ships get buffed based off that experience?

Yes. Most crews are rated merely Fair or Good. It's genuinely hard to get a ship to Elite, and the game appears to internally track experience higher even if it doesn't say so. A ship like those two battlecruisers, or Sankt Georg The First, is capable of performing sometimes-freakish feats. Combined with the game's training system, if you're having the fleet do intensive training, it can get much worse.

In mechanical terms, the crew improves at doing things like limiting flooding, fighting fire, and hitting targets. They also get bonuses to critical hit chance and, though it's unconfirmed, most people think there's a small bonus to penetration. Tirol's dumping all over Marco Polo with a critical hit that left the Italian dead in the water is an example; it's possible to play a half-dozen games of RTW and not see that particular critical come up. (One of the best ways of telling if you're fighting an elite enemy crew in a raider battle is by the way your ship's combat ability starts to degrade quickly from the crits. It's not terribly useful, but the only other way, the enemy ship having a very high VP value when dead, is even less so.) At the end Kärnten was averaging 10-15% hit rate at 20000 yards, which is practically black magic considering she was using 1920s optical direction. Tirol was still managing 7% average hit rate at the same range, which would be a pretty good record for aimed salvos even in early 1943 with radar fire control.
Post by: NGTM-1R on June 30, 2016, 02:20:19 am
Ally battles are abstracted. You never do join ops, or the like. They fight their own little battles and you get some VP for their ops, and if they can blockade, you get credit. Sometimes it tells you about them.

Like this one.


This is particularly extreme considering it's a minesweeper that apparently sank a predread, but a fight like this where one side loses DD and the other a B are actually a running joke in the game's fandom.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: The E on June 30, 2016, 02:23:00 am
That's some civ-style "Tanks vs Spearmen" hilariousness.
Post by: StarSlayer on June 30, 2016, 07:42:58 am
This is particularly extreme considering it's a minesweeper that apparently sank a predread, but a fight like this where one side loses DD and the other a B are actually a running joke in the game's fandom.

I assume it took its inspiration from the romanticized version of the sinking of SMS Friedrich Carl from that Russian film about Kolchak.
Title: The Ship That Destroyed The Empire
Post by: NGTM-1R on July 20, 2016, 08:59:29 am
I present to you the ship that sank the British Empire, USS Constellation.


Constellation is a Block Two Valley Forge class, armed with three quad turrets with 17" guns in main battery, four quad turrets of 5" guns for secondary, and several AA mounts. In comparison to the Block One ships her primary advantage is the superior performance of her main guns, but she also has improved torpedo protection and slightly better armor on her deck. Constellation is hardly unique, however; she was part of the largest class of USN battlecruisers, running to 36 ships counting the Block One Valley Forges. Compared to others of her type around the world she was significantly more heavily armed and slightly slower, as well as six to ten thousand tons heavier.

She also sank six battlecruisers and a pair of battleships in a single action.

It is 1942, and the United States and Germany have been at war with the British for twenty-six months. The might of the USN has swept the Eastern Seaboard clean and the British are struggling to hold their last possessions in the Caribbean. American and British destroyers and gunboats duel daily in the waters of San Juan De Funca Strait before returning to Seattle, Vancouver, and Esquimalt. American battlecruisers make night sweeps off the coast of New Zealand, where there is talk of an American invasion. British light cruisers raid in the Strait of Luzon. An American battlecruiser bombards Port Stanley in the Falklands, wrecking it. The First Division of the AIF is cut off at Weihaiwei in China by American blockade forces while two divisions of Marines are en route to take it from them.

The Kaiserliche Marine transferred before the war began to Africa to prevent it being trapped, similarly fights on both coasts against the British. Then, the unthinkable happens; worried by the sudden shift of power in the world, the French and Russians declare war to contain the Americans and hopefully push the Germans out of the war. Japan, feeling equally threatened, almost declares for the British as well before cooler heads point out that the Americans could easily crush them before any of their allies could help.

Germany is not entirely unprepared, but needs American war material and reinforcements. Massing at the new American posession of Saint John's, Newfoundland, a massive convoy under the escort of eight American battlecruisers, four battleships, a dozen light cruisers, and twenty-nine destroyers sets out for Europe. (There were thirty DDs originally, but USS Truxtun hit a mine.) The British naturally intercept.

Battlecruiser Division 7, Constellation, Constitution, Oriskany, and Guam, are in the lead scouting position when the two forces make contact. Turning to starboard they present broadsides at 22000 yards and engage the British force, consisting of 42000-ton Inflexible-class battlecruisers supported by a pair of 46000-ton Benbow-class battleships with destroyer support, buying time for the convoy to turn away and the other American heavies to come up in support. Constellation takes a bad hit almost immediately, a low-probability belt armor hit from a British 16" gun at that range which damages her boiler uptakes, slowing her to 18 knots. The other ships maintain formation and angle away from the British, and a moment later HMS Conqueror explodes, a 17" superheavy AP round from Constellation burrowing through her after turret roof and the flash detonating her magazines. Next to go is the poorly-named HMS Invincible, whose thin barbette armor and 2" deck are unable to protect her from another 17" round from Constellation, blowing her apart. Oriskany is hit by two 16" shells against her B turret's faceplate; the shells detonate without penetrating but her barrels are gouged by fragments, rendering the guns inoperable. HMS Tiger falls out of formation, hit by Constitution in the engine room. Then Constellation takes a hit that robs her of all electrical power and goes dead in the water at the same moment Guam is holed below the water line by three shells.

Battlecruiser Division 7 turns away, leaving crippled Constellation to her fate and hoping to link up with Battlecruiser Division 5 and Battleship Division 2. The British close in, firing at her fleeing sisters and leaving it to their destroyers to finish the crippled American.

Then Constellation comes to life again, her crew having not only repaired the electrical faults but her earlier engine damage. First to suffer is HMS Benbow, her 14" belt no protection at only fifteen thousand yards. An American shell penetrates her magazines and she explodes. Next is HMS Inflexible, whose after turrets are annihilated by American shells, starting fires that reach her magazines a minute later and destroy her. HMS Jed and HMS Wear, destroyers, are killed by Constellation's secondaries, but put a half-dozen torpedoes into the American battlecruiser.

Constellation has the finest torpedo protection system ever made, and the target angle is bad. The torpedoes hurt her, but fail to stop her. HMS Carysfort, a light cruiser, is blown apart by the after turret. Constellation turns to present her broadside, limping at 12 knots but with her combat systems intact, and HMS Queen Mary has her engineering spaces blown apart by 17" shells. Unfortunate DD HMS Wolverine is killed before she launches torpedoes, frightening off the other destroyers. The British turn and run as the other ships of Battlecruiser Division 7 come up. Limping HMS Tiger has her conning tower blown off by six 17" shells at 18000 yards, going dead in the water. HMS New Zealand loses power after a lucky hit at 20000 yards and is clobbered to death by the other ships of the division before she can fix the problem. Finally HMS Revenge, at 24000 yards, is hit in the roof on both after turrets and blows up.

The losses here force the British to recall forces from Southeast Asia to replace them, knocking the first domino down as the RN's global commitments become too much. Eight bloody years of war later, Russia has been knocked out of the war after America and Germany reduced Saint Petersburg to charred ashes with a bombardment, and America annexed Sahkalin and Kamchatka to the new state of Alaska. The British and French possessions in Southeast Asia have been invaded and taken, save for Australia and New Zealand, and New Zealand is the scene of fierce fighting as the Americans have invaded. American troops have landed on Ceylon. German and American soldiers are within twenty miles of Paris and knocking France out of the war as well.

Constellation made it possible. And in the new version of the song, America Rules The Waves.

Title: Banzai! Night plays Japan Part 1
Post by: NGTM-1R on July 22, 2016, 07:56:38 pm
So I've decided to play Japan. This is actually my first time, though I've paid close attention to several other people's playthroughs of Japan.

Let's meet the Imperial Japanese Navy.

The Iki-class predreadnoughts were built in United States yards, as Japan's starting yards are barely big enough to build a decent armored cruiser. This order, and that for the Asama-class armored cruisers, was a fortunate decision and ultimately paved the way for an alliance with the United States that has greatly benefited the fledgling IJN. There are six of them. In most ways the Ikis are compromises. They have decent but not great speed and armor, and are somewhat outgunned by most other predreads which use 6" secondaries and 3" tertiaries rather than a unified 5" secondary battery.  That said, they're a solid base to start with.

Sagami and her sistership Suwo are semidreadnaughts, and comparatively quite powerful for the type, though a little thinly armored for my taste (about even with most AI ships). They're also a couple knots faster than most of their peers. Also ordered from the United States.

The Asama-class were ordered from the US as well and are rent-a-cop versions of my usual early CAs. They're a little weak on armor but relatively powerful in guns and average in most other ways. Bethlehem Steel got rich off this class, considering I ordered eight of them before switching to the followon Azumas.

Azuma and Kasuga are a different matter. 3000 more tons, a heavy 8" secondary battery, an extra knot of speed; these ships are to battlecruisers what semidreadnaughts are to battleships. They were the first heavy IJN ships built in Japan.

The Izumi-class protected cruisers are exceptionally heavy, fast, and powerful for protected cruisers, and I have high hopes for them. I have 8 of them.

Itsukushima and Suma are a slightly more modern Izumi, trading a pair of 5" guns for a knot of speed.

Finally, the 36 ships of the Hakaze-class are basic early-game DDs, slightly more optimized than the average AI design, but the difference isn't that much.

Despite some war scares with the UK among others (god please don't let me fight the Brits), my first war will be with...France, it seems, in Southeast Asia. Banzai!
Title: Banzai! Night plays Japan Part 2
Post by: NGTM-1R on July 22, 2016, 08:47:46 pm
War is boring.

Itsukushima and Suma scuffled with the French armored cruiser Jeanne D'Arc in Tsushima Straits, which was a moral victory for the protected cruisers in giving as good as they got, but it was a brief action at night when they passed each other, and then nobody could find the other side after that. The good news is France had no bases in Northeast Asia, so Jeanne D'Arc ended up interned from her damage.

Iwate and Furutaka, Asama-class ships, had a similar scuffle with the predreadnaught Colbert near the Gotō Islands. In this case though, nobody actually landed a hit.

Unebi, an Izumi-class raiding off what will one day be Vietnam, had a slapfight with the CA Kleber, which badly damaged Unebi. At one point she was reduced to only 1 knot of speed. But Kleber was unable to seal the deal, constantly missing the crippled Unebi, and eventually she got back up to 10 knots and was saved by nightfall.

The first serious action of the war takes place off Takao, Formosa (you know it as Kaoshiung, Taiwan), where super-CA Kasuga, Itsukushima and Suwa, and some DDs take on a group of French ships lead, once again, by the hapless Kleber. It takes place at dusk, which means the engagement has to be pressed closely early on, a dangerous thing to do because of torpedoes. Ironically it doesn't work out too badly. A French light cruiser limps gets shot up by Kasuga and manages to limp away when Itsukushima and Suwa switch to AI control and try to form on Kasuga again because they were out of signals range. Kleber gets into close combat with the ridiculously powerful Kasuga and is sunk. Then the torpedo menace happens to Kasuga from one of the French DDs, but she's not too badly damaged, and turns and leisurely sails back to Takao. A storm breaks out, and the French DDs, which tangled with my DDs, then my CLs, and finally Kasuga, all sink from storm-related flooding combined with their previous damage. The last French ship, a light cruiser, spends the rest of the scenario length shooting at and missing its bombardment target.

The Tage, a 7" gunned protected cruiser and France's most powerful ship of the type, spends 10 hours (602 minutes before nightfall broke contact) in a long-range running gun battle with my own Izumi-class Chiyoda, and fails to score a single hit. The Chiyoda got twelve, four 6" and eight 5".

The Marine Nationale desperately needs to do some gunnery training.
Title: Banzai! Night plays Japan Part 3
Post by: NGTM-1R on July 22, 2016, 11:02:30 pm
Latouche-Treville, having apparently listened, has a semi-respectable duel with Asuma-class Iwate off Sasebo. Both ships are fairly seriously damaged, Iwate mostly by a lucky underwater torpedo tube launch, but Iwate has a port to return to. Latouche-Treville does not, and founders before she can reach a neutral port and be interned. (I'm a bit surprised, she was still making 15 knots when I turned away and returning fire.)

Unebi, fresh from repairs, encounters the Tage. The two ships trade minor damage in a thirty-minute battle before nightfall. Still, it's off the Goto Islands, again, so there's no place for Tage to get repairs and she's interned. (Or not, judging from later actions. INTELLLLLIGENCEEEE!) I swear I'm going to win this war because the entire Marine Nationale is going to end up interned. DesDiv 2 then has a case of **** to the brain and loses contact with the formation, and Asakaze gets a bit shot up by the Tage while wandering around in the dark but successfully breaks contact and scampers back to port.

Furutaka hunts down and kills the CA Dupliex with a lucky rudder hit that leaves her spinning helplessly in place at 15 knots for most of the fight.

There's an inconclusive destroyer brawl off the northern tip of Formosa, which I win mainly because it was over one of my convoys and they failed to hurt it. The second part took place in a squall, which made it...chaotic, but no torpedoes found their mark, either way. I did finally learn that yes, convoys are actually headed to a port, and will enter it if they have a chance. I've never had one quite reach the port before to find out.

Unebi once again stern-chases a French CL, but this one is a 4"-gunned small cruiser, and makes the mistake of turning to fight when fire is opened. The much more heavily gunned Unebi sinks it easily in a duel.

Finally, the Amagiri-class destroyers, my next-gen ships, start to join the fleet. They're not hugely superior, with one more torpedo tube and slightly larger guns, and on trials they came in under design speed. (Yes, that is a thing that can happen to you.)

France is not having fun anymore. They've started refusing battles consistently, even small ones, and three turns running I've gotten reports of strikes and demonstrations in France, which means they're at high unrest. I'm actually winning, bit by tiny bit. Unebi, which is by now the fightingest ship in the IJN, fights off another raid on the Tsushima Straits area in company with class lead Izumi. The French turn and run the moment they spot her, which is weird considering the Bruix, leading them, was actually a CA.

The Americans are also contributing usefully, sinking a few French ships and raiding around Vietnam themselves. Itsukushima sinks the Sfax, which is a mini-Tage-class, armed with 7" guns. It's a tough fight, with the Sfax's gunners proving to be better than any others in the war so far. Kasuga and Yakumo beat up the Gueydon, which puts a torpedo into Kasuga, continuing the tradition. Yakamo sinks the French CA. Izumo fights the Dupetit-Thomars, takes some damage, then retreats to the American base at Manila for repairs, while the French ship does likewise retreating to Vietnam.

Then I suffer my first actual loss, as the Tage, having finally learned how to aim, sinks my CL Yaeyama with some lucky gunnery from her 7" guns. Another raider intercept in the Palawan Passage ends with a pair of my CLs running for their lives from a French CA. Well. That escalated quickly. Before it turns into a trend, Izumi sinks the light cruiser Linois, putting an end to the French experiment with putting on 7" guns at only 3500 tons. She finishes the French ship with a torpedo, thus beginning the long and glorious tradition of IJN torpedo warfare.

The war ends with France making no concessions, much to my annoyance, my despite having nearly twice their VPs.

But tensions with them remain high. I might get another shot at them soon enough.
Title: Banzai! Night plays Japan Part 4
Post by: NGTM-1R on July 23, 2016, 11:19:45 am
Some newcomers joined the fleet.

This is Tsukaba.
Tsukaba is the very definition of a badnought. Note her ridiculous armament layout, her turreted secondaries to save a tiny amount of weight, before I have the proper tech, and just the sheer stupid of it all. I built her because, lacking superfiring turrets, I wanted to have some early BCs  and I couldn't depend on getting superfiring tech anytime soon. Every time I look at this ship I want to set her on fire. Halfway through their construction run, last war, they ended up being superseded when the US sold me superfiring X, superfiring B, and triple turret tech too. Too late to make it worthwhile breaking them up on the stocks, but...

Then, a year later, war with France again. It starts with a convoy action, where a French Linois-class CL attacks my destroyer screen off Destroyer Oite replies with a single torpedo as the DDs turn to run, which happens to set off a magazine detonation on the French ship.
That's a good girl.

Furutaka intercepted a French raider but couldn't catch it. Twice. Reasonably sure it was the same ship too. The French refuse to fight around the Home Island (probably afraid of getting interned), and in a possible battlecruiser action of Haiphong they decided to hide in port. Y'know, I don't remember France having the "Cautious" trait. Germany and Italy and Austria-Hungary, yes.

Chiyoda gets the first non-golden-beebee kill, a Cosmao-class CL, though it damages her rudder causing her to sail away from it for 15 minutes. Izumi duels with my old nemesis Tage, getting pretty badly shot up, but also damaging Tage enough that it doesn't press the engagement. Furutaka tangles with a Brennus-class semi-dread and draws it off a convoy, getting damaged but surviving. Asama finally sinks that thing Furutaka chased around. Izumo gets another French raider, this one CA-weight.

And then the Tage has to scuttle, because it's out of fuel. TAKE THAT BAGUETTES.

More new stuff joining the fleet.
The Hizen-class BBs are slightly more powerful than most of their contemporaries worldwide, with smaller guns, but more of them. The followon Hiei class has 12 13" guns and is already in the pipe, so the Hizens may not have a long service career.

The Kongos are not nearly so formidable as their RL namesakes, but represent a significantly more powerful vessel than any currently active French ship. Even their similar-weight ones are hampered by fewer guns and less armor for similar speed due to an inefficient turret layout.

Furutaka chases a protected cruiser but can't gain. And then abruptly I invade Cochin China and conquer it for no adequately explained reason. The French respond with a coastal raid, which will be opposed by the Tsukaba-class ships. BADNOUGHTS, AWAY. Two of them versus a single French Lille-class, which is definitely a better ship, but hopefully numbers tell.

Or not, whatever. Ikoma barely even fires, and Tsukaba gets shot up pretty good. The Lille takes some hits, but is moving and shooting fine, where Tsukaba is down to 17 knots from engine room hits. I still maintain the action at long range for awhile, keeping them away from the port, then once dusk hits I put my ships into port. It's a technical win for the French, but they also decide to go hide in port at Cam Ranh Bay.

Asama and Tokiwa turn things around some by sinking another CA. Maybe if I kill enough of them, the French will have to spend all their money building new cruisers. Wait, ****, that just means battlecruisers. They don't even like to build CAs once they have BCs. I'm getting reports of strikes and unrest in France again, though, that's a good sign. BC Kirishima sinks a very unlucky raiding light cruiser. Then Kirishima and sistership Okinoshima team up to fend off a raid on Takao, sinking a French Duquesne-class BC and a destroyer, and sending that Lille-class that beat up the Tsukabas running home with a couple turrets blown off. DD Inazuma acts as angel of mercy, recovering the French survivors.

The French decide to peace out, and my politicians agree against my recommendations, once again letting them get away without losing much, to my annoyance considering I had more than than four times their VPs. As it's 1913 I decide to remove my older CAs and predreads from service, leaving only the semidreads and semibattlecruisers active.
Title: Banzai! Night plays Japan Part 5: WORST CASE SCENARIO
Post by: NGTM-1R on July 23, 2016, 12:25:22 pm
I am at war with Great Britain.

I am the weakest naval power on the planet.

This is going to go very badly.

But I know at least one thing: somebody is going to get Pearl Harbor'd here, and it's not going to be me.

Japan gets to play a special scenario, Surprise Attack, at the start of a war if they so choose. It's got more in common with Port Arthur than Pearl Harbor, as enemy ships start at anchor and have to get steam up while your destroyers charge in to launch torpedoes and your battleships push up to hopefully reach them soon.

The Brits at Weihaiwei are about to experience it.

Dozens of torpedoes later from several of my newest ships, inculding the Oite- and Umikaze-classes, they have hit...a couple of CLs and one of the BCs. Little less than I'd hoped for. Oite has probably also gotten her squadron killed by moving between the minefield and the BCs.

Oite's squadron confirmed for dead meat. Oh well, here are the ships it was composed of.

More torps put another into a BC and some into the CA and another CL. The DDs are finally starting to break off, from damage or empty tubes. This scenario would be child's play on Captain's mode where I could direct the torpedo launches...the battleships run in and get torpedoed, things going badly even more, but sink another CL and an Invincible-class BC, plus bombard land batteries. CL Yaeyama, built to replace the first Yaeyama, rams and has a mutual-kill fight with a British CL in the dark. On the withdrawal a couple of minesweepers and a merchie are also sunk. Wandering destroyer Sawakaze, lost in the dark, finds another cargo ship that must have been carrying ammunition, because it blew up when hit.

I believe we have achieved the perfect definition of cluster****. I lose 6 DDs and a CL, for three CLs, two MS, two merchies, and a BC, plus everybody getting torpedo damaged up in here.

The Hiei-class BBs. Pretty decent for the type considering my lack of 14" guns, but got their asses kicked by underwater tube launches at Weihaiwei.

Haruna-class BC. Like the Kongos, but ABY instead of AXY, with 13" guns.
Title: Banzai! Night plays Japan Part 6: WORST CASE SCENARIO: CONTAINED
Post by: NGTM-1R on July 23, 2016, 05:39:13 pm
So I took a Fleet Action, at very bad odds technically, in the Sea of Korea between Weihaiwei and Inchon, for one reason.

I have battleships. The Brits do not. They have something like a dozen battlecruisers, but only a few Bs and no BBs.

Hiei leads the fleet, followed by Hatsuse, Aki, and Hizen. Battlecruisers Kongo, Tsubuka, Ikoma, and Kurama are there, but are not used as a scouting unit; the British battlecruisers could eat them alive. Instead they fall back on the main body and offer supporting fire. First the British battlecruisers fight them, but decide this is too heavy for their blood, so they break off. Then the single British BB that wasn't even supposed to be there tries to fight all four of mine, which doesn't go well, so the battlecruisers have to come save it. Then they start to pull ahead; cumulative minor damage has actually hurt Hiei quite badly and the other ships are also limping from minor aliments.

But one British ship, an Inflexible-class, falls behind. And enemy ships are exposed, their destroyers having cleared out of the way of the big shells. The battle line cuts west, angling to pass astern of the limping Inflexible, and the destroyers go in.

Ultimately there are relatively few torpedo launches at anything but the crippled Inflexible-class, but at least one connects with a Princess Royal-class ship as well and another with an enemy predreadnought, and the Inflexible takes something like a dozen hits. A DD are lost, but the British break contact, having had enough. The Japanese fleet turns for their base as well.

It is not a great victory. But it is a victory. Japan is still in the fight, standing off the might of the British Empire, cutting them down one capital ship at a time.

There is a certain irony to it. The Royal Navy's heavy ships were always known as Britain's walls, first of wood, then of steel, an insurmountable obstacle to her enemies. Now they've met their match in the form of Japan's walls of steel, and the gleaming blades of her swords, the humble destroyers of the battlefleet. The Battle of the Yellow Sea is where the idea of the invincible Royal Navy died.
And I could win this. It won't be easy. But I actually could. As long as I keep squeezing out victories to make up for the Brit blockade.

There's another fleet action coming up between the Goto Islands and Jeju.

Situation as follows.
Scouting units comprised of three Tsukaba-class BCs and the Kongo are forward, having detected enemy scouting forces (the blue dot) and are falling back on the main body, composed of two BBs, Hiei-class Hatsuse and Hizen-class Aki. So are the main body's screen of light cruisers. Intelligence suggests the British have 2 BBs and 4 to 6 BCs against my 2 BB and 4 BC. Superiority of Japanese light cruiser and destroyer forces in both number and equipment is considered assured.

My objective is to inflict severe damage on as many British ships as possible, forcing them to return home for repairs and lifting the blockade. Sinking enemy ships is desirable, but not essential.

The enemy scouts broke contact as well, and now...there's nobody to be found. Don't tell me the Royal Navy is going to try and avoid a fight?
IT BEGINS! Enemy ships in sight from Ikoma's masthead, range 23000 yards. Coming to port, course 090, to close the distance.

He's a CL, running south, then cutting north. There's another one out there too, might be the other CL of a scouting line. That new  unidentified contact just opened fire with heavy guns. That's an enemy battleship or battlecruiser. Closing the range.

There they are. Formidable-class BB, other ships in support. That B might be another BB, not sure. The glare warning means we're close to sunset, so this is going to have to be quick. Only madmen fight fleet battles at night.

The Brit sent in their DDs to keep from close pursuit of their battleships. I had to turn away, but no torpedo hits for the Brits and two of their DDs are dead in the water from trying, and...ooohhhh ****. There's their BC scouting force! This is no time for hesitation. They don't seem to have much of a destroyer escort and it's already past dusk. Darkness is only minutes away. DESTROYERS FORWARD! TENNO HAIKA! BANZAI!

Then darkness ****s everything up and I lose contact, so the destroyers abort their runs. I direct all ships to form on Hatsuse, and turn for the Goto Islands and from there Sasebo.

Or not. ****. This was exactly what I didn't want. Those destroyers better get in there quick now!

Suzukaze answers the call, at least. The rest of them are lagging behind a bit...

Well that amounted to a great heap of nothing. Suzukaze got her torpedo launchers blown up before she could launch. A British Wolverine-class DD took some 12" fire from Kongo and is about to sink.

Everyone sorts back into formation and heads home. Again.

End result? Disappointment. I sank three DDs and got some minor damage on a BC for some minor damage to Hatsuse and Suzukaze.

But it's enough. A peace treaty is offered, and signed, next month.

I did it.

I won. I didn't beat the stuffing out the British exactly, but I was holding them off effectively and actually doing better than they were. I won.
Title: Banzai! Night plays Japan Part 6: In Which The Long-Awaited Tsushima Misfires
Post by: NGTM-1R on August 05, 2016, 04:58:52 am
I retired the Hizen-class BBs and the Tsukaba-class BCs. They were old and bad. Ironically, Sagami and Suwo, my two semidreadnaughts, are still in service after them. They're going out as soon as I get in my latest battleship, though.

New arrivals to the fleet.

Hokaze-class DDs. I have a little over a dozen now with another dozen on order. They have one more gun but less firepower because their guns are smaller, compared to the Umikaze-class. On the other hand: three quad torpedo mounts. They're basically a Japanese optimized destroyer, meant to deploy the Oxygen Torpedo Madness that is the late-game IJN.

Mimasaka-class battlecruiser. I've got two of them. Armed with the largest guns currently available to the IJN, and weighing in at 41000 tons, these are my best ships currently. They'll stay my best battlecruiser to the end of the game, as even the next class currently building are actually intended to replace the Kongos, and weigh in at 30k tons. (Though they're surprisingly close, as they mount only one less gun, and have very similar armor schemes and identical speeds. The use of quad turrets to economize.)

In case she doesn't commission before the game ends, also, meet Hizen II.
Hizen II is the only ship of her class, though if I intended to play beyond 1925 she would likely have at least one sister. Her gun caliber is relatively small for an endgame battleship, as by now the Brits and US are rocking 16" guns and if I were playing them, maybe worse. This has saved weight for the heaviest armor scheme I have yet imagined. At 17" thick on the belt, her belt thickness exceeds that of Yamato by a whole inch. 5" of deck armor is comparable to American WW2 battleships pre-Iowa, as are her conning tower and turrets. Hizen II is a monster designed to close to 10000 yards against the worst the enemy can throw at her and beat them down with fire from her twelve guns vs. their eight or nine guns.

She would be even better IF I COULD USE ****ING OIL-FIRED ENGINES but since I have no source the game will not allow it even though by the 1920's everyone was making the switch anyways.

I have just had a war with Russia kick off after they blew up one of my DDs at anchor, so now Mishima and Awaji are out to show the Russian Navy (still Imperial in this universe) that they can get stuffed, scrubs: I beat the British. What hope do you have?

Well, some. Their BC is a ship of the Fokshani-class, a classic Russian "axial" AQQY triples design with 14" guns, but her armor is ridiculously thin. Also the destroyers charged into the convoy it was guarding the moment I gave the order for "Flotilla attack" and the results have been...ugly. They're like little buzzsaws, spewing torps all over the place as they tear through defenseless merchant shipping.

Old Russian BB Petropavlosk turns up, takes one look at the destroyers, and decides it wants nothing to do with this mess. Awaji and Mishima have the Fokshani down to 10 knots, all turrets knocked out, though Awaji has lost her after turret and taken some fairly noticeable damage as well. Petropavlosk charges back in and sends in its DDs, which torpedo Awaji, forcing her to turn away...and then things really go to **** for the Russians.

Because arriving from out of the blue are Hatsuse and Hiei. And the ships that defeated the Royal Navy are hungry for blood. On one side, there's Mishima, low on ammunition but still with 35% in her magazines and undamaged. On the other side are two Japanese battleships, fresh and fully loaded. In the middle is a 24k ton Russian BB from 1912, who already has three of her five turrets out of action with jams and has less armor than the Fokshani did.

Pretopavlosk manages to extricate herself from this situation, barely, and limps north at ten knots, with Hatsuse and Mishima in pursuit. (Hiei is derping around for some reason.) A few more rounds stop the Russian BB too, though Mishima is now out of ammo for her forward turrets, and expends her last three main battery rounds fending of the last three Russian DDs. The battleships chase them off the map, while the DD escorts for the battlecrusiers commence the usual Death Pinwheel maneuver of circling the dead-in-the-water ship and spamming torpedoes at it. It absorbs about eight before they run out.

Awaji, having reverted to AI control down there, proceeds to sink herself by trying to run at high speed and stressing her watertight bulkheads. The AI cannot into damage control, and this happens sometimes unless you're on Captain's mode and take over control of damaged ships to prevent it.

Goddammit. It's still a victory, but by far less of a margin then it should have been.
Title: Banzai! Night plays Japan Part 7: How many Tsushimas are there, anyways?
Post by: NGTM-1R on August 08, 2016, 08:29:29 am
So it's a fleet action, in Tsushima Strait, against the Russians.

...in 1922, though.

Meet Shiribeshi. Along with her sisters Amagi and Teshio, these are the last battlecruisers I'll build before the end of the game. They're 30000 tons, and quite well-armored for their weight, with 8 14" guns. I built them to replace the 12"-gunned Kongo-class ships, but in terms of armor, speed, and firepower, they're actually quite capable; probably moreso than the Mishima or Haruna classes. Even compared to the Mimasakas they're surprisingly close.

Actually, there are a whole bunch of Tsushima fleet actions. They're all, relatively, inconclusive. Only one ship larger than a destroyer is sunk in three fleet actions, though numerous ships on both sides are damaged to varying degrees. The last battle is closest to "decisive" as the Japanese have a clear ascendancy at the end; both Russian battleships and most of their battlecruisers are suffering from heavy damage when the engagement breaks off. This is also where the lone ship sunk happens: Russian BC Tendra, which was trying to limp back to port after numerous 14" gun hits from the Mimasaka twins and Shiribeshi when it apparently sank out of my sight. Hiei and Hatsuse took a pair of torpedo hits apiece but handled it like champs and were still making 19 knots at the end of the battle. They only counted as at medium damage, despite significant gunfire hitting them as well.

The Russians are also getting blockaded by my German allies now, my submarines are screwing them over more locally. I got three "our submarine has torpedoed an enemy BB!" messages in a row. Apparently in this universe the IJN's focus on attacking capital units with submarines is actually working. Go figure.

The Russians offer peace terms in January 1923, and despite me pushing for their collapse, the government accepts. Welp. At least we got to keep Kamchatka.

Too late for the war, a new CL class joins the fleet.
If the Matsushimas look kind of derp...it's because they're kind of derp. They're an 8-gun broadside on 6" guns, and a six-gun broadside on 5" guns, but I don't have dual or triple turrets for primary battery on CLs yet. This doesn't stop me using turrets for secondaries! Which is asinine, but oh well. Check out all the single turrets I had to scatter everywhere now that other nations are starting to show off designs with dual turrets, just to match their broadsides. Also check out how their secondaries are on top of their torpedo launchers because derp.

I also lay down another battlecruiser of the Shiribeshi class, which won't complete before the end of the game, and design a new light cruiser with less derp when the French sell me the design for CL dual/triple turrets in 1924, and finally, after refitting most of my light cruisers with above-water torpedo triples or quads, design a final battlecruiser that I will bequeath to my successor after 1925. The 52k ton Tsukaba will be the first BC of the new era, just as its namesake was Japan's first dreadnought-style capital ship. It mounts 16 guns, 15", in four quad turrets, and has armor comparable to Mimasaka or Shiribeshi. I think it's a worthy gift for whoever comes next. I also leave them a design study for a 1500-ton Fubuki-clone destroyer with quad torpedo tubes.

So at the end of the game, I'm at 61 prestige, which is pretty good all told; enough that I'm told my successor will name an aircraft carrier after me. Personally I'm hoping for a Shokaku-class. Japan's naval budget is larger than anyone but Germany, the UK, and the US, but her fleet tonnage is comparatively quite small even to those groups; they're carrying large classes of battlecruisers at or under 30k tons, which are old and no real match for what I have, even my own 30k-ton ships (which are much newer than theirs). The four IJN battleships (Ironically, by rushing, I not only launched Hizen, but also a sistership to her), by contrast, outnumber and outmass the battleship fleet of any other nation besides the US (though weirdly, Italy comes close; not sure why they need them).

The IJN CL fleet by contrast is relatively dated, still carrying a large number (six) of 1899-vintage Izumi-class ships, but they're still quite deadly in comparison to most CLs of the world. It's about average in size, both ways. The IJN DD force, on the other hand, could beat up any two of the other nation's DDs with comparative ease, in terms of numbers and tonnage.
Title: Re: Dwarf Fortress With Warships: Night's Rule The Waves ramblings.
Post by: Phantom Hoover on August 08, 2016, 11:08:28 am
You might be the only person I've seen bother to retitle their posts.