RTW2 is an excellent sequel. It keeps all the autistic beauty of its predecessor and adds to it with more fiddly bits.
I am currently bringing my second Japan game to its close. It's been a blast, mostly because of the massive bonuses Japan gets to early carrier tech. I caused the Russians to go full communist in 1916, when they declared war on me with 12 capital ships standing by in Vladivostok to steamroll me. I only had four capitals (Seydlitz
-like battlecruisers armed with 12" guns to their 13"-armed BBs and BCs) but I also had five light carriers, with a total of 60 planes standing by (all of them early cruiser conversions).
On the same turn as the war declaration, they push with their entire fleet and a massive transport convoy and try to invade Hokkaido. I send my DD flotillas and my 4 BCs to run interference, while my CVs launch, strike, recover and repeat again, and again, and again
. None of their capital ships had more than 4 machine guns for AA.
Eight hours later, the last surviving Russian BB limped into Vladivostok.
The profile generator is also very nice, especially since I downloaded the extra sprites pack.
early-20th-century pre-dreadnought. She and her two sisters served faithfully until 1915.
-class of armored cruisers. The two ships were converted to light experimental carriers in 1914 and were instrumental in crippling the Russian Far East squadrons.
This is them in their CVL configuration, after their 1919 refit, when they got their new AA suite. They served as training ships and colonial garrison HQs until the 1940s and were the first ships of the IJN to be fitted with flight deck catapults, proving the viability of those devices before their installation on fleet carriers.
These are the little Yaeyamas
. Built in the early 20th century as raiding cruisers, they got converted to CVLs alongside the Asamas
. Two thousand tons lighter, but without the superfluous heavy belt armor of their bigger brethren, they were speedy and excelled in their purpose, especially after they received oil-fired boilers and bulges for better seakeeping (the same bulges doubled up as avgas storage tanks).
Here they are after they got their new shiny AA installed in 1920.
Finally, little Naniwa
, built as a light scout cruiser and converted to a seaplane carrier in the 1910s. She was retired in 1925, and is now the pride and joy of the Yokosuka Maritime Aviation museum.
Time to look at some heavy-hitters:
Here are the Kuramas
, the class of four BCs that held the line in Hokkaido. Fans of the previous IJN capaign will be pleased to know that the Tsukuba
and the Ikoma
saw service over two decades together, and proved to be high-value workhorses against the Russians in Sakhalin, the French in Annam and the Germans in the South Pacific campaigns. A naval treaty that prohibited the construction of large ships in the late 1920s resulted in them getting a new lease of life, with extensive refitting, new engines, new guns and a modern AA suite. They were retired in the early 1940s, darlings each and every one of them.Kongo
was unique, and an experiment in large BC construction. A 40kton ship, with thicker armor than the Kuramas, she could do 28 knots in 1918 and carried twelve 14" rifles in four triple turrets. She served as the flagship of the IJN until 1941 and was instrumental in ousting the French from their bases in the South China Sea. Every single invasion conducted by the Japanese during the 1930s was planned and directed on the bridge of the Kongo, and the French and Russians learned to fear the old girl.
was completed four years after Kongo
and served as an alternative: fewer but heavier barrels, a better belt, deck and torpedo system and a high top speed of 30 knots, to keep up with the fleet carriers that the Japanese were launching at the time. She was built from the get-go as an AA barge, bristling with medium and light AA guns that would be replaced and improved over her long career. She was also the only IJN capital ship to ever be fitted with a catapult and scout floatplane, but those were removed after her RADAR suite was installed. She still serves in 1949, having undergone at least four major refits.
Also, the new Fuso
-class superbattleships. At 50ktons, they can do 30 knots (a necessary standard for any capital ship that needs to stay with the CVs), are defended by a 14" inclined belt and carry a 5.5" deck. This makes them immune to their own main guns from a distance of 19k to 24k yards. Said main armament, comprising eight 17" rifles firing superheavy diving shells, are all concentrated forward, resulting in a smaller, more easily defendable citadel. The Fusos
carry the best RADAR suites in the world and their guns are controlled by new electro-optical directors that can consistently hit targets over 41k yards away, even when blindfiring on RADAR signatures. And, of course, they bristle with AA mounts. Even so, they are due for a refit, to add more
heavy AA batteries.
Finally, the Fleet Carriers, Japan's pride and joy:
class. Two ships were built originally, but the Kaga
was lost to German sabotage in 1944; in response, the Japanese declared war, ousted the Germans from Kamtchatka and the South Pacific and brought the German government to its knees within the span of eighteen months. The Akagi
led the assault on the German forces in the North Pacific, solo-sank three German CVLs off the Aleutians after a 6-hour duel, and still serves today. She is charged with safekeeping the South China Sea and carries 72 planes.
The three Sohryu
class supercarriers (massive ships of over 34ktons) are the core of the Kido Butai. They comfortably make 31 knots despite their large size and are bristling
with dual-purpose and heavy AA batteries. They spearheaded the push south, in the treacherous waters of the South Pacific; there, they sank a German battlecruiser off Papua New Guinea and reduced the German fortifications in the Bismarck Archipelago to rubble. They carry 100 planes each, including the new, terrifying Kyushu Renzan
fighters and the tried-and-true Aichi Soren
torpedo / ASW bombers.
Finally, the three Hosho
-class carriers are the heirs to the CVLs of the early years. They displace less than half of the Sohryus
at 16ktons, but they can still carry 38 planes on a 30-knot chassis that costs less than half as much to operate and can handle smaller harbors. They were built from the keel up to operate with squadrons of new 2.5kton Hatakaze
-class DDs, but they have yet to see battle and the new doctrine has not been tested yet.
TL;DR: I do not regret my purchase, I foresee a lot of hours pleasantly wasted on this game.