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Author Topic: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]  (Read 76078 times)

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Offline Enioch

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Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]

Image by Nogami Takeshi

Table of Contents: (WORK IN PROGRESS - Might not include the most recent chapters)

Hello folks.

I'll be starting a slowly updating log of my RTW campaign as the Grand Admiral of Japan, partly for the fun of it and partly for raising awareness. For those of you who don't know what Rule The Waves is, it's, essentially, a naval armaments simulator, which plays through the Dreadnought Age, from 1899 to ca. 1925 (you can extend your playtime to 1950, but aircraft carriers and other innovations of WWII never make their appearance, with all that this implies for the fate of the battleship as an effective weapon).

Picking Japan because Japan is FUN. You are poor as s**t, with the smallest starting docks in the game and a bonus to light forces warfare (i.e. IJN DDs OP, pls nerf!) and no colonial holdings worth mentioning. However, you're dealing with colonial forces of the other Great Powers (i.e. if you play your cards right, you'll not be facing any massive enemy fleets early game).

See also  NGTM-1R's ramblings

Initial settings are rather minimal:

'Historical resources' nerfs your initial budget; I'm picking it for extra challenge. Manual legacy design allows you to decide what sort of ships your predecessor in the High Admiralty would have built. This is a must, I'm afraid.

So, first, we need to design our legacy fleet:

The Fuso-class battleships are pre-dreadnoughts, with two big double 12-inch turrets and a secondary broadside of 5 6-inchers. This is a rather small secondary battery (especially when compared with the RL Mikasas, for instance), but these ships are meant to operate with a cruiser or destroyer screen. If they're not, something BAD has happened and a lack of secondaries will not be the problem. Note that the ships are of 15.4 kiloton displacement. This is significant; the Japanese yards can only build up to 10k-ton ships at game start. Both Fusos were built in British yards. Also, note their magnificent 20 knot speed and her near-impenetrable 10'' armor in both belt and turrets.

The Asama is a 2-ship class of armoured cruisers, with a better secondary battery than her bigger sisters but a smaller, 4 9'' broadside. Note that I could equip them with 10'' guns instead, but these ships were homebuilt, to save on costs, and the IJN 9'' guns are of good quality, while their 10'' rifles are subpar. Essentially, I get slightly better performance out of my 9'' guns, and save on weight. The downside is that I will be unable to upgun these ships, if I ever research better 10'' tech.

Their speed, at 22 knots, is quite satisfactory for a 1899 heavy cruiser.

The Izumis are light screening cruisers. They strike a role between raiders and destroyer-killers, with a 5 6'' broadside. These are big ships for their type, at 6k tons, and slightly better armoured than their analogues, with a 2.5'' instead of the usual 2'' belt. They're also nippy, at 24 knots.

Finally, the Akikazes. Small, 500-ton DDs, with a two-torpedo broadside, a mediocre 27-knot top speed and two 3-inch popguns. They're nothing special, especially this early in the game, but they're built as torpedo delivery platforms, which is significant for Japan (IJN DDs OP, nerf pls!)

I also build a class of Minesweeper / coastal patrol gunboats, which are essentially nippy barges with popguns.

So, this is our existing fleet at game start:

I also assign most of my remaining starting funds to have some ships under construction (i.e. halfway finished) at game start. In the Pacific, cruisers and light forces are significant, so I lay down another Asama and another Isumi, followed by a few DDs and MineSweepers:

Now, let's review our battlefield.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 10:07:56 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)


Offline Enioch

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We hold an embarrasing three territories: Japan, South Korea and Formosa. Two of those are located in the map sector (i.e. big grey square) of 'North-East Asia' (where Japan is) and the other lies at the northernmost point of 'South-East Asia' (near Vietnam).

The good: we only need to defend these areas, and they lie far away from the 'main' conflict area of the Atlantic / Baltic. We're likely to see heavy and light cruisers and very few battleships.

Which is a good thing, because LOOK AT THAT BUDGET. Only the bloody Spaghettis spend less on their navy.

Now, research in this game is interesting. You don't specify specific advances that you want researched. You give your scientists a general idea of what fields you're interested in and they go for it as they see fit. So, being Japanese, I assign high priority to gun and fire-control; ship design; and, most significantly, torpedoes.

Yes, the future lies with metal fish.

I assign some of my ships to Formosa, so that we have some presence in South-East Asia; and finally I press the 'End Turn' button.

Very little happens, during the first few months. Then, the first ships start coming out of the yards:

They're MineSweepers. Who cares.

Then, the first colonial crisis hits:

Clearly, we need to send a battleship. The safety of His Imperial Majesty's subjects needs to be safeguarded at all costs!

Mikasa Fuso, deploy!

Hoooooooooly crap.

So, have you noted the 'tension' metres to the top right of the screen? That's a representation of how tense the international situation is and how nervous other nations are of our activities. Clearly deploying Fuso made most of the colonialist forces in the area piss their pants. Britain, France, Germany AND Russia are scrambling diplomats over to figure out what our intentions are. Tensions are good for the navy - in that the more tense the situation is, the more money the bureaucrat politicians deem fit to send our way. On the other hand, with war looming, we need to be ready.

For one thing, we start training our fleet. This training will increase our maintenance costs, as we are paying for traning ammunition, fuel, extra salaries, supplies etc. However, while we're paying NOW, the effects of the training will only kick in a year's time. That's why we're starting NOW, and not when war is declared. For now, we're focusing on gunnery training - we want to hit our targets!

For another, our spies report in. They've secured the plans for... an Italian cruiser?

Really? WTF Spaghettis?

Well, she's smaller than my Asamas, and has worse guns and is less armoured. Not a concern, right now.

Now we only have to wait for the Parliament to raise our budget

What. the. FUUUUUUUUUU--

« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 10:08:37 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)


Offline Enioch

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Oh, REALLY? When I was asking for money, you were saying that tensions were low. And now you're asking me to fix your diplomatic mess?

Lol, Nooooo. *Ahem* Is the world listening?


As expected, Tensions skyrocket; but we also gain Prestige, which represents how 'respected' our navy is internationally. It amounts to victory points and the more, the better.

Clearly, whatever stupidity the PM said, it had something to do with ze Germans. They seem angry. We deploy a few destroyers to Formosa, to strenghten our presence in the area.

The scientists deliver! Better shock absorbers in our turrets allow for higher rates of fire. Note that these improvements are implemented 'gradually' (it says so); the costs are covered by my 'Maintenance' costs and I don't have to drydock the ships to retrofit them. Excellent.

A closer look at the international scene is in order. Germany is clearly our future enemy; let's see what they have to offer.

Well, crap. They lead in everything. However, keep in mind that we're on the other side of the world and they can't reasonably relocate their entire battle-line over here. They would allow the British and French to dominate their home waters and politicians hate that.

Now, here's a bummer. If we issue an ultimatum, war will start without doubt - and our training isn't complete yet. Paaaatience. I'll risk bumping tensions a bit higher, if only to get a budget increase, and hope it's not enough to piss them off too much, too quickly.

WHAT. Germany, are you OK in the head? How is me leading an international force against you a cause for decrease in tensions? Maybe the fact that they went and took over North Korea ANYWAY has something to do with it?

Also, they ignored us. Duly noted, Germany.

Good. Perfect even. I've been pouring money into bigger shipyards for a while now. I get a decent increase of +2k tons capacity and private industries has added another +1k tons. I'm only 3k tons away from being able to locally build Fuso-sized ships.

Interesting. Sure. We can afford it. If he proves unworthy of our trust, we will expect him to do the honourable thing.

Training is still not ready but, Germany, you've been much too grabby, mate. Your imperialistic tendencies can no longer be tolerated.

You -what?

Ok. Ok, filthy Gaijin. I can see your house from here.

« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 10:09:24 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)


Offline Spoon

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Nippon Banzai

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them


Offline crizza

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Great, although being a german, that made me laugh, keep it up :D


Offline Enioch

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Yasen! Yasen! Yasenyasenyasen!
So, the Japanese have this national trait called 'surprise attack' #pearl

What it means, essentially is that, upon declaration of war, there's an 80% probability that, if you have fleets near an occupied enemy naval base, you can attack them. The battle will be a night battle...

...(go away Sendai), and the enemy ships will be stationary and will only begin building steam 15 minutes after the your first ship is detected. Your forces are usually arrayed in two waves, with destroyers leading the charge into the enemy base, followed by a capital ship group.

This is pretty much going as expected. Six destroyers, near the entrance to Tsingtau, followed by the Hatsuse and Fuso, back from her China deployment and eager for a scrap. No cruiser participation, which is a shame, but not a deal breaker.

Now, I'm running this on Captain's mode for surprise attacks, because otherwise the DD AI goes bananas, fails to utilise torpedoes (which are the entire point of such missions) and becomes a liability more than an asset. I get more direct control but suffer a 20% penalty on victory points (i.e. I dedicate obscene amounts of time in planning how this attack will be carried out and my micromanagement hurts my relationship with my subordinate captains), but for this mission that's more than worth it.

Note the blue area near the harbour. That's a suspected enemy minefield. My ships will flat-out refuse to enter it and that's fine by me.

My DDs approach the entrance to the port at flank, their running lights off. They make out the superstructures of two enemy ships, at anchor. This is better than I'd hoped - I've got a clear run into the harbour between them and I could get both sides' launchers off.

Ok then. Close the range....

Fish in the water! Keep the searchlights OFF.

Holy crap.

That thing had been identified as a light cruiser, but, right now, it's a hulk. The torpedo broke her keel. There's screams and secondary explosions and the water churns and the DD line sails on, following Nokaze in a hard turn to starboard. The lookouts on Namikaze think that the ship to the right might be a bigger target - maybe an Armoured Cruiser. Minekaze (being the overpowered ninjaboat that she is) launches a torpedo toward the second light cruiser in her turn...

...and hits! The cruiser shudders but does not share the fate of her sister. There's lights coming on and pumps activating. She may still survive this.

The destroyer line turns and exits the harbour. Lookouts from Akikaze cry out that the big ship is a battleship, but the admiral from onboard the Hatsuse scoffs. Destroyermen are notably excitable, Germany has only three battleships and chances that one of them is present here, in a foreign station are minimal. It's probably a misidentified armoured cruiser, which is a beautiful target in itself.

Minekaze still empties her tubes. Her starboard launcher fires at the foundering Nymphe-class; her centerline launcher zeroes in on the capital ship, whatever it is. The second torpedo hits while the first is still on the way! A geyser of water rises as high as the enemy ships rangefinder.

Akikaze's searchlights snap on and illuminate the cruiser; her lookouts report their observations on its armaments and make an estimate of its characteristics.

Unfortunately, she gives her position away and gets punished for it, thankfully not too severely. Her coal bunkers absorb most of the shrapnel; she is, however, holed underwater and her speed drops to 25 knots. Her crew's efforts eliminates flooding, but she rides low in the water.

She still bites back like a cornered weasel. Her port launcher fires a high-speed torpedo, which nails the capital ship amidships; she makes best steam to follow the flotilla leader.

Meanwhile, Hatsuse and Fuso have encountered a patrol boat. It's not even funny. As the battlewagons lumber closer at flank speed, Captain Ahisa of the Hakaze swings his flotilla around for another torpedo run. There's more light now, from the burning oil that's slowly seeping from the cruiser hulk. He's risking a lot - the Germans have woken up by now and they're at full alert, not to mention the coastal batteries, but if he can get that capital ship, that'd be worth his entire squadron and he knows it. With silent determination, Hakazeand Hokaze close the range at 27 knots.

At a range of a few hundred yards, they open fire with their popguns, firing WP shells. They also drop fish. Hakaze fires first, a carefully aimed shot at the ship's bow. Hokaze fires from the hip, launching two torpedoes from each side, one at the capital ship and one at the still-afloat Nymphe.

No hits. The destroyers turn to escape to open water - and Hakaze gets savaged by a 5-inch shell from the coastal batteries, which blows her starboard coal bunkers open. Her machinery is, thankfully, unaffected, but she's listing heavily.

At this point, the battlewagons are in range, but the battlefield is sucha a mess that they can't safely identify targets. Admiral Mifune angrily asks for a meteo sitrep and is informed that dawn is more than an hour away. He decides to close the range further.

So does Hakaze. Ahisa makes a hard turn to port, swings his centreline launcher around and lets his fish go at near point-blank range.


Hatsuse and Fuso swing along his wake, crossing the enemy's T at what, for a battleship, is knife-fighting distance. A 5-inch shell from a coastal battery hits Fuso's belt armour; the ship resonates like a bell and the 10-inch steel slaps the round aside with contemptuous ease.

Hatsuse swings to complete her maneuver; Fuso, on the other hand, delays her turn. Captain Yama****a wants to know who his enemy is. He closes to spitting distance before his lookouts can finaly identify the enemy capital ship.

Holy crap.

She's a Brandenburg.

These things are the German equivalent of the Fusos - they have equivalent armour, a better secondary and tertiary broadside, but are two knots slower.

And for some reason, the Germans have deployed a third of their battleline in their furthest colony, anchored at the entrance of a second-rate harbour, to die, alone in the dark.

Holy crap dudes, this is how you get Abyssals.

No. Fuso is the Lady of China. She will not maul a dying opponent. This is already a stab in the dark - she will not dishonour herself by firing on a sinking ship and the sailors scrambling to abandon her. She fires star-shells, to illuminate the wreck and make the efforts of the rescue teams easier; then she turns and follows Hatsuse out of the harbour, where the destroyers are harrying a lone German merchantman. The fleet drops to a cruising speed of 14 knots and sets a course for South Korea.

Next time, when I tell you to keep your grubby paws off Mozambique, you ****ing listen, Gaijin pig.

« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 10:13:17 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)


Offline Spoon

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
What a victory


[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them


Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Yeah, I'm pretty happy about it.  :lol:

I still can't stomach the fact of the Brandenburg's presence. It was, literally, in the worst possible place in the worst possible time. I honestly thought it was a CA until the Fuso got close enough to get a positive ID...

'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)


Offline StarSlayer

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Are there ever third party ships in a combat zone?  It would be a bit of a roflwoops if you happened to accidentally sink a neutral liner during a night raid...  :P
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”


Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Not in my experience (which is, admittedly, short). However, you need to partly identify a ship to see its flag, so it is a possibility. Keep in mind that the rules of war of the period required neutral liners to follow specific routes, sail with full lighting and avoid blockaded ports and marine bases.

I admit that would help little in what is the equivalent of early-20th century Pearl Harbor, but that's why surprise raids always happen against military harbours / bases  :p

What CAN happen, later in the game, if you invest in submarine warfare, is that your subs might sink neutral liners. Which is something that increases international tension (encouraging other nations to join your enemy) and severely impacts your prestige.

'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)


Offline Enioch

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There's OIL in them thar fields!
So, a quick overview of the situation. We've dealt ze Germans a devastating blow. #Sadbisko #Sadpringles

Suddenly their battle-line is inferior to ours in tonnage and (I have to assume) in quality. Now, I can't see the stats of their battleships, unless my spies steal their designs. However, remember that the Brandenburg was only slightly smaller than the Fuso. Given that our Battleship tonnage is almost 3k tons bigger than theirs for the same number of ships, I can only assume that they're fielding one or two smaller battlewagons. This means they'll either be slower (and the Brandy was already 2 knots slower than my darlings), less armoured, or undergunned. Good news.

On the other hand, They enjoy a good advantage in heavy cruisers, with almost triple my active and under-construction tonnage. That's bad. Also, regarding their light cruisers....


Oh my Kami, I hadn't realized it. I have more tonnage in my two-and-a-half light cruisers than they have in their FIVE. Their ships must be tiny. Awwww, whosalittlecwoosathen?

Anyway, back to work.

First, we need to assign coastal patrol vessels - ships that will not be part of our active forces per se, but who will patrol our waters and warn the battle fleet if enemy forces should approach. Note the 'Patrol Fulfilment' quota, under the tension graph. This rises according to the enemy force composition, the presence of subs and the amount of territory you need to cover. If you don't fill the quota, the politicians complain, your prestige suffers and your budget gets axed.

Also note that some of my DDs are marked as 'AF' (Active Force) and some have numbers in the same columns (namely '1's). That means that they will be spending that amount of time in the drydocks. These are the ships that god damaged in Tsingtau. Ships that are marked with 'WU' are 'Working Up' (i.e. they're in their shakedown cruise and unavailable for battle). Their crew quality is also abysmal, as the sailors and officers are only now getting acquainted with their ship. Workup cruises can last several months and problems or good surprises with the ships may be discovered; for instance, a ship class may be found to be overweight, handle poorly, or easly surpass her design speed (always good, but particularly appreciated in destroyers).

Naniwa, for instance, performs exactly as expected. That's not a surprise, as she's a legacy design.

R & D has pored over flotsam the DDs picked up from Tsingtao. They have found confirmation of previously-discussed theories in German metalworking that we can adapt to our ships. Note that this is not a 'gradual' development. This will only apply to ships which have been laid down AFTER this discovery - or we can bring ships in for refits. This can take from 4 up to 12 months, depending on the complexity of the refit. It is certainly not worth it for our current fleet (not for 1% armour weight savings), but it will help in future construction. Good job, everyone!

Goddammit, somebody restrain Fubuki, she's gone senpai-ga-ga again. When I said everyone, I meant the scientists, FFS

There, you see? There's a very important mission, and we all have to do our best concentrate. The enemy might be trying to sneak a supply convoy to his bases in South-East Asia. That convoy must be stopped. So, let's see what forces we have available to....


They don't have enough ships for a convoy escort. Heh.

Aaaaaanyway, next turn and this happens.

Which means that our crews now enjoy a 10% accuracy bonus with main and secondary guns, until I choose to stop their training. Note that keeping their training up costs me 250k a month (in the budget column, under 'Enhanced Training'). Very nice.

I'm so happy about this, that I FORGET TO TAKE A VERY  IMPORTANT SCREENSHOT. No, I'm serious. This is an event that will affect the entirety of my lategame.

Do you see this?

So, it turns out that the local authorities in Sumatra were overthrown by a rebellion, or something along those lines. And I was invited to attempt to restore order. It so happened that I had a ship who had experience in these matters...

And when Fuso arrived, the rebellion was squashed in a week and after a referendum of sorts we established a protectorate, with a naval base.

So, it so happens, that Sumatra has this:

*Insert Maniacal Laughter Here*

No seriously. Oil is one of the most significant resources that you can secure. Oil-fired boilers give you considerably better performance, generate less smoke (which makes your ships stealthier and more accurate, as their smoke doesn't interfere with their rangefinders) and are lighter. Now, of course, I need to research them; and there's little to guarantee that my scientists will do so in any reasonable amount of time. I need to switch priority of 'Machinery' to 'High' ASAP.



You can safely assume there's raucus partying in the Navy High Command at this point.

Our scientists make progress, but have not yet achieved a breakthrough. Messages such as these are there to warn you that you're close to a discovery - if another nation comes along and tells you 'Do you want to buy Heavy Secondary Battery for X million credits?' and you've just received this message, then it might be a good idea to save your money.

Now, that's something that I was afraid of. The good thing about having lots of small cruisers, is that you can send them off to 'raid' enemy commerce and earn trickles of VP in this fashion. You're also causing 'deprivation' to the enemy, which might cause civil unrest, as freighters don't make it to the port. I can't afford to send my CLs off, because I've only got two and I need them on my battleline.

Of course, small cruisers have small fuel bunkers. They can't have that much range, and short-range raiders encounter all sorts of problems...

I'll be patient, for now. See what happens.

This happens. And this time, they accept the fight. They have no choice. This convoy is headed to the Marianas; they're trying to resupply their troops.

They cannot be allowed to pass.

Let's go.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 10:14:33 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)


Offline Enioch

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Our order of battle:

The Asama is a welcome sight. Her armour and 9'' guns will help a lot in any cruiser engagement. Izumi will be a good scout and harrier; the DDs can screen, or circumvent the convoy's defensess and strike quickly if an opening should be found. This is, in many respects, the perfect convoy attack force and Captain Yonehara of the Asama is very pleased with his flotilla.

Interestingly, the Marianas are so far away from our current bases that Izumi arrives with half of her coal bunkers empty. Of course, this is because she was pulled out of patrol without having the time to refuel; she has more than enough fuel to return to Formosa, but we'll need to be stingy with her fuel consumption.

We spot the enemy!

Captain Yamamoto of the Izumi provides us with a meteorological report. We have 10 hours of daylight ahead of us; the weather is clear and likely to remain so, with a stiff breeze blowing from the East. This is important; an Easterly wind blows the smoke of our funnels toward the west. If the enemy lies to the west of our ships, then the smoke of our funnels might blow in front of our rangefinders. If possible, we want to be to the west of our enemies.

We identify the lead enemy ship; it's a Gazelle-class Light Cruiser. It's truly small, two thirds of Izumi's size, two knots slower (so she can't escape), only slightly more armoured (she's got an extra half inch of belt armour), has two less torpedo mounts and considerably weaker armament (a five 5''-gun broadside). This is clearly a (poor) raider design: she's too slow to be a DD-killer, doesn't have enough armour to stand up to an Armoured Cruiser and deosn't have guns big enough to fight a bigger Light Cruiser at range. All she can do reliably is go hunt transports.

She's escorted by another (as of yet unidentified) cruiser and a couple of those:

These are gunships, in contrast to my torpedo boats. Note that they have secondary batteries. More importantly, they've got an extra knot on my DDs. Now this is a good design, Germany.  :yes:

The enemy line turns to the north in a sweeping arc and we get to identify the second cruiser as well.

The Hela-class. She's a smaller Izumi, worse in every respect. but I imagine she's also considerably cheaper to produce, which explains how the Germans have so many of them.

The enemy line sails northward, and we get to see their convoy. The cowards are allowing us free reign over the unarmed transports!

Except for those two brave DD captains, who charge into my cruisers in a desperate attempt to defend their charges. Captain Yonehara of the Asama asks his lookouts to note their hull numbers; if they should be sunk here today, he is determined to forward a report of their bravery to the enemy Command.

But, meanwhile, he will not be stopped. At flank speed, he brings his task force into the enemy convoy, keeping the Asama's port secondary battery on the frantically evading DDs. The IJN ships cut through the enemy transports like a divine wind.

These are unarmoured ships; it only takes a couple of 6'' HE shots to put one in the bottom.

The HQ had charged Yonehara to sink at least two enemy transports; he annihilates the convoy...

...and then turns his attention to the enemy cruisers, who are actually slower than him and trying to escape. Izumi is assigned screening duties off his port side; there's no reason to risk her poor armour against even the German 5'' popguns. Asama closes the range and scores first blood on the Gazelle.

Meanwhile, our DDs are picking up survivors from the gutted convoy. A true samurai does not make war on merchants or civilians. These men will be treated with respect and repatriated, adding to the prestige and honour of our mighty fleet!

The Asami and Izumi keep closing the range. 6'' guns slam into one of the German DDs; her starboard side is riddled with shrapnel; she lists and capsizes.

(Note the noted top speed of 3 knots. This is the game's way of telling you that this ship is sinking and cannot be saved).

A dramatic chase ensues, with Asama inching closer, her 9'' guns on rapid-fire. Unfortunately, her gunnery against the frantically evading Germans scores no hits; her ammo stockpiles are dangerously low.

Yonehara, despairing, charges the enemy like Nelson, aiming to cut inside their line and rake their lightly armoured bows and sterns at close range. Izumi stays close to him and readies her own broadsides.

Disaster strikes. While Asama is smashing the Gazelle into a pulp, the Hela scores a close-range hit on Izumi's engine room. Unfortunately, her coal bunkers are empty and cannot mitigate the blow. The shells punch through and reach the vitals of the ship. Twenty men die instantly, scalded by the escaping steam. The feeding tanks are compromised. Salt water clogs the boilers; Izumi staggers and comes to a halt, dead in the water. Yamamoto directs damcon crews to their stations and orders rapid fire on the Hela, to keep her away, but Izumi is a sitting duck.

DDs to the rescue!

Flotilla leader Togo of the Numakaze brings his ships danger-close to the DD-killing 5'' guns of the Hela, at flank speed, and dumps two torps on her. One hits and the Hela slows to five knots and lists.

The DDs circle her like sharks, putting another torpedo into her. Tragically, it is in this moment of triumph that Shiokaze takes a massive hit from two of her 5'' guns, but stays in the fight. It would be much later, far too late that her crew would realise the extent of the damage.

The aftermath. Two enemy cruisers and an enemy DD sunk; four transports sunk and more are sinking. Both Japanese capital ships still afloat; as the threat from the Hela was dealt with, Yamamoto got his engines back on-line relatively quickly, managing a top speed of 16 knots.

Night has fallen and our flotilla sets a course for home.

Unfortunately, tragedy strikes in the journey back. Shiokaze signals the flagship; she is taking on water and cannot stop the flooding. Her officers are dead or wounded; her crew desperate. Yonehara does not want to accept it, initially, but the reports coming in soon make it clear that there is no saving her.

At 22:20, Shiokaze slips beneath the waves, all her surviving crew having abandoned her in good order. May the Kami of the sea ease her on her journey - she was a brave little ship.

Captain Sagara, her CO and most of her surviving crew would later be assigned to the Asanagi-Kai-class Kamikaze, but that's a story for another time.

The remaining ships were greeted as heroes upon their return. The Army in particular were very grateful of the Navy blockading the Marianas. Spirits were high; after these two victories, it was expected for the war to be over soon.

After all, Japan now had a reasonable tonnage advantage in light forces, which the Admiralty considered crucial for securing control of the Pacific (although, notably, the German heavy cruisers were still a formidable force).

However, lessons were learned as well. It became part of official doctrine that ANY ship taking on water uncontrollably would immediately report its condition to its division leader, so that appropriate action could be taken. Japan could ill afford to lose her ships like Shiokaze had been lost.

This brought August 1901 to a close.

In September, the predictions of the Admiralty were confirmed, when Germany made her first overtures for peace. Original suggestions were for a white peace, with no change in borders and only minimal concessions. The Navy was, obviously, incensed and found an ally in the hawkish nationalist party of the opposition. Withering criticisms directed toward the governenment and the express displeasure of the Emperor derailed any peace negotiations, until such a time as Germany would acknowledge that she was in no position to dictate terms.

Our scientists continud to focus their efforts on improving the secondary batteries of our ships, but achieved no practical results as of yet.

And those freaking Gainjin raiders continued sinking our merchantmen. Well, after our recent haul, we can't really complain, especially since we have very few ships to spare for raiding duties ourselves.


They're trying  AGAIN?

« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 10:18:52 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)


Offline crizza

  • 210
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Is it not possible to capture convoy ships?


Offline Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
No; nor, to my knowleddge, was it possible during the time. You'd need a prize crew. The raiders of WWI (see SMS Emden) would approach a ship, warn them against using their wireless, put the crew in their lifeboats and then blow the ship out of the water.

And that was when it was a 1v1 situation. In a convoy, with other ships shooting at you, stopping to transfer a prize crew would be suicide.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)


Offline Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer
OK, let's see what our battle lineup looks like.

Well, crap.

DDs are good at attacking slow merchantmen, but the problem is that these merchantmen are rarely alone. And while the Germans ran from my cruisers, they are less likely to do so against my piddly torpedoboats.

Oh well. The captains of the destroyers know their duty. The enemy supplies must not get through! Tennōheika Banzai!

Outnumbered by dedicated gunships. Crap. Well, at least there are no light cruisers around (That the destroyermen can see).

The trio blasts into the convoy at flank, and rapid-launches everything. The sailors pray for success!


A high-speed turn to port; turn around for a risky second pass. The German DDs pounce like guard dogs, but too late, too late.

Numakaze is hit and loses her aft turret, but the trio is through...

Leaving behind them a flaming oil-spill and the screams of their victims. No stopping to pick up survivors, this time around. Let their escorts handle that - the more the pursuit is delayed, the better.

Night falls, and the trio slips into the darkness like ghosts. Spirits are soaring. What a ride!

Mission accomplished - although armchair generals would often return to the question of whether they should have stayed to finish off their half-sunk victims.

A minor victory, in the grand scheme of things, but what a boost of morale for our destroyermen!

Now, time to re-inforce our fleet. The Admiralty orders the laying down of another Asama and another Izumi-class. The keels are laid down in Kure and Yokosuka, respectively. Also, funds are allocated for the enlargement of our drydocks. In a year, we should be able to build ships of at least 16k tons; for the first time, it will be possible to work on our Fusos locally, instead of depending on the British for repairs.

Then, the generals come up with a daring plan for a winter offensive. The Admiralty has the budget to spare and it is important to reinforce our troops fighting in the Marianas. A portion of the Navy budget is reserved for the use of the Army, despite some misgivings among the Rear Admirals and the fleet officers; interservice rivalry is rather strong.

And so November starts with another German convoy making a desperate attempt to reach the Marianas.

This is getting annoying.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 12:55:01 pm by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)


Offline Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer
The Third Battle of the Marianas
Ok, what's our battleline?


Well, apparently, we only have Izumi on station. It's a beautiful dawn, with an overcast sky (i.e. no glare to mess up our rangefinding) and a brisk WSW breeze. So, what do ze Germans have to offer us today?


Seriously, this is bad, BAD news. A light cruiser like Izumi can't reliably penetrate CA armour; meanwhile, CAs outrange her and any hit will mess her up, as her first encounter in the Marianas against that Hela demonstrated. Her only asset is her speed; she needs to open the distance. Unfortunately, the sun is about to rise and spotting distances will go up, for both the enemy and us.

Captain Yamamoto breaks radio silence and reports the position of the convoy; perhaps Asama is nearby and can help. He doesn't expect it but he needs to try. He also reports on his expected course, so that rescue ops might know where to pick up survivors, if the worse comes to pass. The crew wait at their posts, with bated breaths; the stokers throw coal on the fires with wild abandon.

Will we be able to get aw....



Well, that changes things, doesn't it?

The Izumi turns around, and closes the range. The Hela first seems stunned and then, panicking, turns and runs, crossing through the convoys path.

The result is a mess, into which Izumi steers, all guns blazing.

She punches out the other end, and bears down on the Hela like the wrath of God, her path marked by burning transport ships. She takes a single hit, which punches through her forward belt, but the damcon teams patch it up immediately.

Rated M for violence against teenage boats.

Izumi slots on the Hela's tail and serpentines, to repeatedly cross her T. Several raking shots punch through the Hela's aft.

Then, Izumi puts a long, hard, throbbing torpedo in her, and the Hela goes down.

On the way back, Izumi finds a few stragglers.

Things go about as one would expect.

Good girl.

On to November!

Did- did Izumi just win us the Marianas?

Izumi just won us the Marianas!

You magnificent little cruiser, you!

Also, this is of some significance.

The Germans continue to sink our transport ships in a haphazard fashion. Their cruisers remain a nuisance, but....

...Izumo is now on station, to defend the home waters!

Also, we can build bigger DDs now! (not that the budget can support it, but it's worth noting)

Nothing noteworthy happens until January (if you discount the sporadic reports of sunken merchant vessels), when we are called to defend an Army convoy to the Marianas. Army HQ want to establish a permanent base on the islands and are shipping the necessary building materials and personnel. If this convoy goes through, the Germans won't have a snowball's chance in Hell of pushing us out.

Unfortunately for them, they don't seem to have the ships to challenge our escort force.

To add insult to injury, our scientists deploy the new Type 3 hydraulic power rammers to all our active force ships, to be incorporated into our ammo loading systems.

And then, the coup de grace:

The one thing that worked in favour of the German Navy were their heavy cruisers. Unfortunately, when you send heavy cruisers to do raiders' work, you risk things like this happening. With the commisioning of Izumo, we have established near-parity with their active CA forces...

...by which I mean they still have double our tonnage. Crap.


Double crap.

These are very tense times among the High Commands. The hawkish Navy officers who had recommended the Navy not allocate its budget to the support of this land assault in Korea seem to have been vindicated. The Army counters with the success in the Marianas. The Navy responds that without the heroic actions of the convoy raiders, the Army may have been kicked out of there as well...

And then, one of our spies in Germany hits the motherlode and acquires a detailed copy of the blueprints of their new Hertha-class armoured cruiser.

Triple crap. That's three and a half thousand tons heavier than my Asamas, faster than them (almost as fast as my Izumis) and outguns every cruiser I have.

Well, at least it's still being built and halfway across the world. Until it gets here, the war might be over.

Galvanised, our scientists return to their drawing-boards. We need to find ways to keep up with our enemies!

And oooooh, boy, do the scientists deliver. I need to clarify that we can't build submarines yet: our R & D personnel is just experimenting with various technologies which will be applied once (if) we discover 'Coastal Submarines'

And then, Izumo and Naniwa report in that they've encountered a German raider in home waters and have set course to intercept. Perfect! It's high time we cleared out those bloody gnats and made the sea safe again!

Now, what sort of diminutive ship have the Germans sent our way?

Wait. Is that...?

...help me
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 12:58:51 pm by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)


Offline 0rph3u5

  • 211
  • Oceans rise. Empires fall.
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Wilhelm II. and the Flottenbau-Verein would be proud.

For those not in the know:

- Wilhelm II. was the German Kaiser from 1888 until 1918 and a dedicated Navy- and Sailing-entusiast, going so far as to upstage his British royal relatives with his bigger boat and driving the naval arms race between Britian and Germany in the early 1900s. (also as The Simpsons tell us, the most dangerous Germans ever  :D)

- The Flottenbau-Verein (= "Fleet Constructions Society") was a civic lobby groups for the german armament at sea in the late 19th/early 20th century, along with other groups which lobbied for an aggressive foreign policy and more colonial acquisitions.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 03:16:13 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker


"I am Curiosity, and I've always wondered what would become of you, here at the end of the world." - The Guide/The Curious Other, Othercide

"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"...because they are not Dragons."


Offline Spoon

  • 212
  • ヾ(´︶`♡)ノ
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Fraulein Hertha is here to show those upstart Japs what's up.

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them


Offline Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer
Fraulein Hertha's nighttime activities

Nice weather we're having, don't you think?

Too nice, to be honest. She can see me juuuust fine, I can't run (well, I can, with Naniwa, but I'd leave Izumo to die) and I can't hide.

Well, letting Naniwa take any hits is out of the question, so she can open the distance, while Izumo tanks for her.

Holy crap, they're good shots too! Thankfully, the shot ricochets off Izumo's deck.

And shortly after, we return the favour. Note that Naniwa is shooting against the wind (which is good, because her smoke doesn't get blown across her rangefinders), but Izumo is shooting into the wind, which is bad for exactly that reason.

However, for some reason, the Hertha allows Izumo to circle behind her and almost cross her T. And then she hammers a shot into Izumo's superstructure, which punches through the smokestacks and messes with the uptakes. Izumo's engine room fills with smoke and she loses two knots. Now the German has an advantage of three knots, not just one.

That said, she keeps showing her ass, while Izumo tries to unshadow her rear turret. At this close range, both ships score hits, but none can pen the other in their vitals. Izumo takes some superstructure damage, but nothing serious.

Time passes. Eventually, night falls; the Hertha doesn't push and the Izumo and Naniwa lose contact and make cruise speed for home. There's a distinct feeling of relief.

Suddenly, out of the dark.


Goddammit, Naniwa, identify her! You couldn't have asked for a better torpedo target.

Izumo scores a hit; both cruisers maneuver frantically to avoid potential fish.

Break of, break off, breakoffbreakofff....



Yeah, you can have the VP, Germany. And I'll keep my ships, thankyouverymuch.

I'll also commission a new class of DDs. They're bigger and a knot faster than their predecessors, but their armament remains the same.

Oh joy. A cruiser action. What do you think are the odds that....

« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 02:13:26 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)


Offline JSRNerdo

  • [`_`]/
  • 29
  • Gone!
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
I highly recommend a CL with 8 in guns and DDs with 6 in guns. Literally just stuffing the maximum gun size the game will allow on your boats makes for a lot of !!FUN!!
Former Inferno lead, BTA fredder-ish and DE fredder. Driven out by ordinary fascists the_e, aesaar and general battuta. Will return if they're ever removed.