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In Progress Let's Play: Rule The Waves

GarfunkeL

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A very interesting era for sure! As you said, the rapid technological development and change of naval doctrine combined to create a total mess in this period, with competing design and battle ideas flying left and right. It's still amazing how popular the Battle Cruiser idea was (and to an extent, still is!) when, logically thinking, it should have been an obvious dead-end from the start and Jutland did prove it - yet, despite of all that, countries kept building BCs to the end of WW2, with the American Alaska-class being the last one to come to service in 1944/1945: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska-class_cruiser

I have no idea how well this game simulates reality but if it does a good job, we need a balanced build of pre-DN battleships that evolve into dreadnoughts that evolve into battleships, a large fleet of destroyers to guard them and a commerce raiding group made up of protected/light cruisers, armed merchants and submarines. So you should keep building ships of each class or class-group under construction at all times, regardless of research - after all, more hulls is always better. Ignore armoured/heavy/battle cruisers completely. Unless there is some specific naval mission that only they can undertake?

Try to avoid tension building with the British or otherwise this will be a very short campaign. Picking a fight with any European power or the USA is probably a bad idea at this point, so send all ships to Pacific and get ready to overwhelm the Japanese. No point in dividing your fleet between the Baltic and the Pacific. Better to have all ships in one or the other place. And since any European navy (except maybe the Italians and k.U.K) will trounce as... You can see where I'm going with this.
 

Grimwulf

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If you know anything about the Jap side on the Russo-Japanese war or about Jap ships, pliz post.

What do you mean, post only Jap ships? Did they even have real man-made ships?

I can post glorious motherland material. Cruiser Aurora still stands in St.Petersburg and is kept in good condition.

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More photos.

Meanwhile in Japan.

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Dayyālu

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Welcome, fellows, to another update of Rule The Waves: Don't Piss Off the Anglos edition.

First of all, the design update.

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All ships are, first of all, divided by Class. This is to help the game to employ them properly in the mission generator and give them adequate AI.

Second, the Name, and then the Range and Speed. This is important, as speed will let us choose the tempo of our engagements and to retreat (or engage) the foes at our terms. The death knell if many older ships is often speed, as they get too slow to evade newer Battleships or to evade torpedoes. Range means how far and how well the ship can work outside of home waters.

The second important matter is the kind of Engine: in RTW, we have two options, to be Coal-powered or Oil-powered. For now, we need to limit ourselves to Coal ships, as we don't have the tech for oil ships. But we do have Oil in our lands, at least. Coal powered ships are slower, but sturdier, as the Coal Bunkers will often lessen the impact of enemy shells.

Below the engine, we have the tab focused on Defenses: Armour and Anti-Torpedo defenses, plus the options for different armour configurations (sloped deck, protected cruiser and the like. Once I'll understand what they mean, I swear! I swear!). This is also quite intuitive: bigger armour and more complete coverage is expensive and requires greater weight, but gives a solid amount of protection against small or medium guns. I've never found armour to be too effective against 12 inch and more guns, truth be told. Anti-Torpedo Defenses are unlocked by research, and do what the name says.

Colonial Service simply means that the ship is optimized for Foreign Service, and counts more to keep the uncivilized civilized.

The Guns tab is the center one, and it's divided in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary guns, plus torpedoes. It's simple as it goes: you select the location, the calibre, the kind of turret you want (casemate or double/triple/quadruple) and then the ammo allocation. Research will have a huge impact on the number, quality and efficiency of our turrets. Torpedoes work similarly, but I always found them difficult to use under the AI control.

The last thing is the ship image. We can even change the positon of the funnels or of the superstructure to suit our needs, it has no game impact.

That said, I'd like to have your imput even on ship design. I'll employ the "focus" system, but consider that I'll try to keep all the classes updated as the budget allows. I'll simply give a bit more .... focus on what you prefer.

Focus on Battleships&Dreadnaughts: The Big Guns never tire. They are the jewels of our crown and must be updated and kept with care. A single decisive battleship engagement can win or lose a war, crippling the enemy will to fight (and giving us even 2000 Victory points and Prestige). They are expensive, slow to build (minimum two years) and the Decisive Battle can never happen.

Cruisers&Battlecruisers: Jackie Fisher was right, dammit. I don't care about Jutland or the Hood or whatever. We'll focus on Cruisers first, as they are cheap and flexible. Armoured Cruisers can even take Battleships, if in superior numbers! Plus, they are very flexible and they can cover a wide variety of roles. Our raiding will cripple the enemy.

Destroyer Focus: Just why.

Alternative Warfare Focus : Subs! Armed merchant Cruisers! Our surface navy will keep the enemy occupied, but out subs will sink their transports and our Armed Merchant cruisers will help. It's possible to cripple and starve a nation with enough damage, and they'll soon realize that they can't fight what they can't see. Disclaimer: in the Real World, no one was crippled or starved by submarine warfare.

I have no idea how well this game simulates reality but if it does a good job, we need a balanced build of pre-DN battleships that evolve into dreadnoughts that evolve into battleships, a large fleet of destroyers to guard them and a commerce raiding group made up of protected/light cruisers, armed merchants and submarines. So you should keep building ships of each class or class-group under construction at all times, regardless of research - after all, more hulls is always better. Ignore armoured/heavy/battle cruisers completely.

This is, for example, a good hint for me: focus on battleships and their Destroyer escorts, then Alternative Warfare, ignore the big cruisers line.

I guess RTW does a good job in simulating reality (its engine cames out from a in-depth tactical WW1 naval simulator, Steam and Iron) but it's far easier to find an use for the more borderline projects. Battlecruisers, in their role as raiding cruisers hunters, are fairly effective (and they die like nothing to Battleships, ofc). But yeh, if it worked well in Real Life, it works well even here.

No point in dividing your fleet between the Baltic and the Pacific. Better to have all ships in one or the other place.

This, for example, is not that wise, as if we leave unprotected our Home Waters and we suddenly go at war against an unexpected power, we can get blockaded and our shores bombed before the Fleet comes back. Blockades are harsh for some powers, but always bad news as they give chances for population unrest. Of course, the enemy can blockade only our home waters (in our case, the Baltic). If we get overwhelmed in the Pacific, they will simply gain a trickle of Victory Points for local superiority. I hope I explained it properly.

And let's roll with year 2.
 

Baardhaas

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Focus on building big pompous hulks that are a drain on your budget. Nothing is as prestigious as being able to spend money on frivolous things.

Second: maybe invest a little in light cruisers and anti-sub warfare.
 

Dayyālu

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1902!


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What I was saying about the Provate Industry being lazy? I'm sorry guys I did not meant it keep building

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The Tsar is wise and blessed by God. He wants to improve our relations with Britain. The choice is between more Prestige and less Tension with Britain. If I had to follow closely the Naval Policy, we should go full Prestige: but considering that we will not lose prestige and that a slim majority of my staff wants peace with the Brits, I guess we'll take the second option.

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More research, more options and more improvements. Poor literacy my ass, we'll show them. Defensive minefields are automatically placed near your land bases, and will help keeping those raiding ship out of our coasts. If we are lucky, even sink some, like in the real world Rus-Jap war.

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Underdeveloped Shipbuilding industry instead hits us, as the new Vladimir (what an auspicious name) is found to be overweight. Wonderful, a fattie light Cruiser. Vladimir, why you betray me such.

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I don't even... Lizzurd ! WHO THE HECK LET THE LIZARDMAN INSIDE THE CABINET? I CAN RECOGNIZE ONE OF YOUR PLANS FROM MILES AWAY!

Despite it being a fun option, we refuse. Another proof of how the RNG events give a bit of life to what looks like a spreadsheet sim.

And this was, in fact, one of the favourite options of the Italian Navy, both in WW1 and in WW2. I do think this event is inspired by the sinking of the Viribus Unitis/Jugoslavija, when a group of Italian frogmen blew up the battleship in november 1918 when she was in Pola. Sure, we could say that the ship had been already given to the new and neutral State of the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs and that WW1 would end four days later, so it was all useless, but it's the job of the Italian Navy to do useless things just because.

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New one for the grinder. If anyone wants to claim it. abnaxus , up to give some poetic name to your foe's ships?

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It's just me or in Russia everyone tries to fuck with you? I swear that this did not happen in the US. I swear it. NO. We go for Prestige!

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Our DD are now bigger. It's incremental, in ten years we'll get 1500 tons Destroyers. Maybe a redesign should be in order, though.... after we finish building other ships.

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Thanks, Internet, I knew you would not fail me.

Good. All ships we build have a "Working Up" time, months employed to iron out the small problems, train the crew and the like. It's not the best chance to meet the enemy, but for now we are at peace.

Our shipyards are emptying, and this is not good. Time to design and build something, even if not that focused.

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Our first son is the Destroyer of the Gremyashhi Class, a nondescript 600 ton vessel that will work. Plus Destroyers are cheap, we can build them when we can and want.

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Our second daughter is a Battleship of the Eustafi Class. It's a typical Pre-Dreadnaught battleship, with only two 12-inch turrets but an array of 8 inch casemates, thanks to the research breakthroughs we had earlier in the year. I think it can fuck up most 1899 ships easily, if they don't get lucky shots. It's already quite faster, bigger and more armoured than any 1899 design. We build one.

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One of the Battleships that our predecessor ordered (your legacy fleet will always have some ships being built) is ready. It's not great, but it will do. Someone wants to name it?

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Sexy. Let's see what the yellow monkeys designed.

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Meh. Let's compare it with our magnificent Vladimir class. We are bigger, more armoured, with more firepower. They are a bit faster (curse you, underdeveloped shipbuilding industry!) but this is a ship already obsolete. If this is what they have, and IF we manage to fight the Nipponese, it will be easy. Sure. Certain.

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The last months of the year get on quietly, and we get a small Tension hit with Austria (lost the screenshot, dammit!). Our research keeps up!

Nothing relevant happened this year, and we managed to avoid the dreaded Briton smackdown. I guess I'll keep the same policy for year 3, and add your ship design preferences! But trust me, we can't avoid war. I hope we can jump on Austria instead, a small inconsequential war could calm the waters and Britain could leave us alone. Or the Tsar will again make some diplomatic appeals, and all will be good.

Because we need just four more Tension points and the Brits will rape us hard.
 
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GarfunkeL

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I was trying to point out that our fleet isn't big enough to be divided - and if we're divided we'll probably get defeated in detail just like what historically happened to the Russians. So instead we should follow the idea of Decisive Battle and concentrate all ships in either the Baltic - maybe we can smack Austria or Italy around? - or in the Pacific for smacking the hentai out of the Japanese. Sure, it's a big risk if we end up in a war and our fleet is on the other side of the planet but that's what the diplomats are for.

My vote is for B-DN-BB build of course!
 

Dayyālu

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BATTLEBROTHERS! I mean, BATTLECRUISERS!

I'm starting to think that the reason behind the survival of the Battlecruiser is the name. Even Starcraft got them.

On the video, I see that WoW is akin to WoT in .... peculiarities.

I was trying to point out that our fleet isn't big enough to be divided - and if we're divided we'll probably get defeated in detail just like what historically happened to the Russians. So instead we should follow the idea of Decisive Battle and concentrate all ships in either the Baltic - maybe we can smack Austria or Italy around? - or in the Pacific for smacking the hentai out of the Japanese. Sure, it's a big risk if we end up in a war and our fleet is on the other side of the planet but that's what the diplomats are for.

My vote is for B-DN-BB build of course!

Naaah, don't worry. I was simply pointing out game mechanics: being blockaded is a possibility and quite annoying. Concentration of forces is possible, yeh, and we could even blockade Japan if we win some direct confrontations.

But the game seems to be hot for Britain being our opponent: we'll need some luck to escape our fate. We are admirals and not diplomats, after all, so we don't have full control.

Weirdly enough, even if the engine can manage very big battles (Steam and Iron had big ones) I've never seen a Jutland-lite in my playthroughs. Must have been for the Fleet Size: the Devs suggest to take the "Very Large" size for a realistic take on the ship numbers and battle density.
 

Dayyālu

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If you attack someone who Brittan has high tension with.... does that lower our tension with them? Or do you need to use a specific alliance type system?

I'll be more specific, then. There is no direct control on diplomatic exchanges. The diplomats and our government are controlled mostly by RNG events influenced by geographical considerations (for example, in one of my games Italy went on a colonizing spread in Lat Am, and I got a chain of events to raise the tension with them and cut them down to size). We can only wait and pray that the RNG diplomats and the Tsar will make a move in the direction we like. The game is not completely lolrandom, though.

Sadly, there is the chance of stupid: a fire accident, a bunch of fishermen getting shot, more than enough for war in such a tense age. After all, we can be asked for opinions, but we are mere admirals, not the omniscent ruler of the Russian Empire.


Days after the end of the Russo-Japanese War, Mikasa's magazine accidentally exploded and sank the ship.

The mount of times this happened is insane. More I read, more I find juggernauts of the sea that simply exploded because a bunch of old ammo was unstable. More lethal than enemy gunfire, it seems....


At last, thread delivers :shredder:

We'll see how those skinny and lightly armed things fare against the newly christened Fattie Light Cruiser Baardhaas.




Since we are playing for russian navy can you design a round warship?

Here are some ships designed by Vice admiral Popov.

We can design such things, but sadly we can't choose such a peculiar form and the game will get insane in trying to categorize it for AI use (it believes it's a Pre-Dread Battleship). Furthermore, to get it "right" we need to add 2000 tons to the stock 2500 of the historical Novgorod.

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We can build this, of course, and it's an example of the flexibility of the engine. Give me the data on a ship, and you can copy it quite in detail, bar some peculiarities.

On another matter, the book where I first found about the Novgorod is a fun read:

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There is a pdf floating online, and it's a nice piece of pop history. Focusing for a good number of pages in our age of Dumb.
 
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Comte

Guest
I have a few questions is there a mod that can make a 1900 map of the world? Instead of the current map of the world the game uses.

Is there an option for PBEM?

Interesting stuff I want MOAR!!!!! :mrpresident:
 

Dayyālu

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Reporting for duty, Sir!

Too braindead to make update now, Sir!

I have a few questions is there a mod that can make a 1900 map of the world? Instead of the current map of the world the game uses.

I don't think so, Sir!

Is there an option for PBEM?

SP only, Sir! Maybe Steam And Iron: The Great War at Sea has it, I don't remember Sir!

Interesting stuff I want MOAR!!!!! :russia:

Tomorrow, Sir!
 

Dayyālu

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Man, aren't you supposed to be working?

But no one ever comes on Saturday morning! I'll write a single update. Can't be wrong, no? No?

No.

Design requests are equal for Cruisers and Dreadnaughts, so I guess I'll apply a balanced build policy.

1903

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Yeees! YEEEES! While our spy has been caught and without doubt will suffer outrageous tortures from the Japanese subhumans, she will be remembered as a National Heroine of the Russian Empire. Let the world know that no Asian state of uncertain stability can threaten Great Russia. Sometimes the few must suffer for the good of all.

This is great. A solid tension hit with Wapan and moar Prestige. That's we don't get because the () means it's a random roll, I guess.

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No, Tsar. No. We can't beat them. Even with additional funding. Do not ask. Ask me to fuck with Japan instead. Please.

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Better guns.

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As we have better guns and more budget, it's time to waste some money. A new Armoured Cruiser is what we (don't) need! The Azova is a nice ship, and it can catch most 1899-1901 Light Cruisers. And smash them with an array of 16 8-9 inch guns!

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At last, we unlock the first level of the Sub Tech tree, Coastal Submarines.

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Goodbye, Merchant ship.

It's time to explain what submarines are in RTW, as they are one of the most peculiar units. First of all, we DO NOT design submarines. They can be built on a set of given patterns, and their relialibity and efficiency grows with research.

Second, we don't directly command in battle submarines. Subs in war are given an overall "policy", that can range from careful attacks against confirmed enemy units to unrestricted warfare. In war, subs will sink primarily civilian shipping, damaging the enemy economy and morale. It can happen more rarely than you sink a Destroyer or damage a cruiser and Battleship, but this is rare. Sub losses in warfare can be heavy, and if the war goes on for too long we will lose quite a few of 'em.

Furthermore, subs can be employed automatically as Coastal Defense. When and if we find in the situation to defend our coasts, we will see AI-controlled subs to support our forces. Never seen them do anything, though!

WW1-era subs were deathtraps. Even more if compared to WW2 designs. They were temperamental and very difficult to use properly: they could not stand rough seas but ironically, as their diving depth was limited, could not operate well even with good seas as they would have been easily spotted and sunk. However, their impact compared to battleships and cruisers was immense. RTW does not simulate exactly this, but a strong sub arm can cause quite a bit of damage, particularly when tech advances will improve their reliability. Don't worry, the Age of Dumb created even sub horrors, like the British K-class. Lemme copy Wikipedia for once:

The K-class submarines were a class of steam-propelled submarines of the Royal Navy designed in 1913. Intended as large, fast vessels with the endurance and speed to operate with the battle fleet, they gained notoriety and the nickname of "Kalamity class", for being involved in many accidents. Of the 18 built, none was lost through enemy action but six sank in accidents. Only one ever engaged an enemy vessel, hitting a U-boat amidships though the torpedo failed to explode.

The class found favour with Commodore Roger Keyes, then Inspector Captain of Submarines, and with Admirals Sir John Jellicoe and Sir David Beatty, respectively Commander-in-Chief British Grand Fleet and Commander-in-Chief Battlecruiser Squadrons. Despite this, an early opponent of the class was Admiral Jacky Fisher, later First Sea Lord, who on the class' suggestion in 1913 had responded 'The most fatal error imaginable would be to put steam engines in submarines.'

You tell 'em Fisher. It was a dumb idea.

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Let's start building some. Coastal subs are somewhat chieap and even if unreliable as hell, they can sink something and give us VP.

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Well well well. We can incovenience Germany and a war with the Krauts will be better to fight the Britons.

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Baardhaas , I know you like 'em with a bit of meat, but this is worrying. Underdeveloped Shipbuilding Industry strikes again.

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Dominican Republic? Don't know what it is. A kind of dish? We get a random Tension hit with Britain regardless. Dammit.

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:negative: the suffering. The weak suffer what they must, and the strong do what they can

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Interesting. We have money to spare, let's pay the crazy.


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Guess we'll soon have to design new stuff. Worldwide Tension lowers, maybe a RNG event for other nations. Good for me! We expand dock size, as we need bigger ships in the near future and we have money to spare.

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Russia, the land of the finest minds of this age. Even crazy farmers that have never seen a ship can design strategies superior to the finest Admirals of Britain.

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Someone should explain to me the dog, though. They keep saying he's developing radio systems, but I'm getting skeptical about that.

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Do we even care about the Med? We don't. Carry on, Britain.

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Oh God How I Hate This. We even get a random Prestige hit that the prompt failed to tell me.

Damn.

Mechanics-wise, this and fixed events are the only ways for the AI to gain territory. That and beating the player in a war, of course!

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Year has been good, however. We managed to lower the Tension with Britain and got some higher tension with Japan or Germany. Germany would be a difficult enemy to fight, but not an outright suicide. We could even gain some stuff in the Pacific if we do really well.

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Incredibly enough, we are not behind anyone bar Britain in Tech. Our spending and our building program (and random financing of crazies) has let us to keep our relative position despite the Poor Education malus. Britain has an absurd tech lead, though.

If we manage to keep on like this, in 1904 or 1905 we should at last get to fight our first war against an enemy we can beat, be it Japan or Germany.

Stay with me, the fun is just about to begin!
 
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