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Author Topic: Vive la France: Let's Play Rule the Waves 2  (Read 9829 times)

Jopax

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Re: Vive la France: Let's Play Rule the Waves 2
« Reply #75 on: March 20, 2020, 07:09:32 pm »

Considering our relatively localised wars and a large number of bases around the place is range really that important? I'd say having reliability and firepower first, atleast until the enemy starts fielding AA and fighters would be a decent strategy.

Also seeing how we lost some stuff (even if it ended up benefitting us in the long run) to subs, I'd say depth charges are a pretty good thing to have.

And how useful aircraft is early on anyways? If they don't have much of an impact yet, maybe get a token CV just to get rid of an older ship and keep the focus on regular surface vessels?
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EuchreJack

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Re: Vive la France: Let's Play Rule the Waves 2
« Reply #76 on: March 22, 2020, 01:39:30 pm »

Considering our relatively localised wars and a large number of bases around the place is range really that important? I'd say having reliability and firepower first, atleast until the enemy starts fielding AA and fighters would be a decent strategy.

Also seeing how we lost some stuff (even if it ended up benefitting us in the long run) to subs, I'd say depth charges are a pretty good thing to have.

And how useful aircraft is early on anyways? If they don't have much of an impact yet, maybe get a token CV just to get rid of an older ship and keep the focus on regular surface vessels?

Well, I agree that reliability is pretty useful early on, as broken bombers are useless bombers.

Firepower is relatively useless, as we're not yet facing enemy aircraft in any great numbers.  Now, if you meant Bomb Load, bigger bombs are always better.  In fact, it might be worth putting a priority on bomb load for our fighters, as maybe we'll get lucky and get a fighter that can do bombing runs as well.  For torpedo bombers, I don't think it affects their torpedo capacity currently.

I prioritize range early on, not because our battles are long distances, but because aircraft in 1917 really suck in range, and remain that way until about the 1930s.

As for airpower, I had forgotten that we were only in 1917, so its pretty early.  Still, an advantage is an advantage.  I suggest one CVL per fleet for recon and bombing purposes.  In this era, the recon is probably the most useful feature of aircraft, which again relies upon range more than anything.
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bloop_bleep

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Re: Vive la France: Let's Play Rule the Waves 2
« Reply #77 on: March 24, 2020, 01:55:11 am »

PTW
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Re: Vive la France: Let's Play Rule the Waves 2
« Reply #78 on: March 26, 2020, 12:32:13 pm »

For torpedo bombers, I don't think it affects their torpedo capacity currently.

Can prioritizing bomb load on torpedo bombers push them from 'torpedo at heavy load' to 'torpedo at medium load'? That's a big difference, potentially.

(For the non-RTW2 players in the thread, aircraft have three ranges—light load range, medium load range, and heavy load range. The manual says a torpedo counts as heavy load for some aircraft and medium load for others.)

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Jopax

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Re: Vive la France: Let's Play Rule the Waves 2
« Reply #79 on: March 26, 2020, 01:36:28 pm »

Yeah I was thinking about bomb/torpedo loads and getting those up. Also yeah, range in that case is kinda useful.

I wonder tho, since carriers are probably quite a bit of an investment, is it viable to go for a sort of seaplane tender cruiser? Make it speedy,have it carry a handful of spotters/torpedo planes and act as a more of a support role to the fleet at large, maybe sport a few guns so it can fend of destroyers or similar.

Also how is ASW done in this in terms of aircraft? Are they as useful in this as they were IRL? If so, considering our woes with subs in the last updates, would a convoy escort cruiser sporting a number of seaplanes help with that?
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EuchreJack

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Re: Vive la France: Let's Play Rule the Waves 2
« Reply #80 on: March 26, 2020, 05:53:25 pm »

Yeah I was thinking about bomb/torpedo loads and getting those up. Also yeah, range in that case is kinda useful.

I wonder tho, since carriers are probably quite a bit of an investment, is it viable to go for a sort of seaplane tender cruiser? Make it speedy,have it carry a handful of spotters/torpedo planes and act as a more of a support role to the fleet at large, maybe sport a few guns so it can fend of destroyers or similar.

Also how is ASW done in this in terms of aircraft? Are they as useful in this as they were IRL? If so, considering our woes with subs in the last updates, would a convoy escort cruiser sporting a number of seaplanes help with that?

Sub hunting is carried out off-screen, so the cruiser with seaplanes won't help against subs directly in battle.  The planes should however increase the ASW value of the cruiser.  In the current era, planes are mostly limited to spotting subs and maybe attacking them on the surface.  We're many years away from air-dropped depth charges.  However, a cruiser with at least one seaplane could help on convoy missions, both as attacker and defender, to find the enemy fleet.

I've found seaplane carriers to be roughly the cost of a light cruiser, and light aircraft carriers to be roughly the cost of a heavy cruiser.
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Fishbreath

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Re: Vive la France: Let's Play Rule the Waves 2
« Reply #81 on: March 26, 2020, 09:39:04 pm »

Quarantine continues, as does the war.

February 1919

Our modern light cruiser Linois, patrolling the Mediterranean for Italian raiders, happens upon one of Italy's ancient (1900-era) Nino Bixio light cruisers, and quickly sends it to the bottom.

March 1919



Not only does this choice give us prestige, it might keep Italy in the war long enough for our current shipyard efforts to come to fruition.



Research has now advanced to give us the full benefit of something I've been doing all along (leaving off the belt end and deck end armor for weight reasons).

April 1919



Loire has a clear winner as far as torpedo bombers go: 90-knot speed, range of 77 nautical miles with a torpedo and 141 when serving as a scout. As soon as it enters service, I'll start setting up our airbases with slightly fewer flying boats and fighters, so we can start covering the Mediterranean better.

It's time for a new fighter prototype, too; speed and range seemed like the most broadly popular priorities.

Italian submarines sink a pair of French destroyers; we'll have to build a few more (now with depth charges and AA guns!) when our near-term projects (a light cruiser, the Amiral Charner CVL conversion) finish.

May 1919

In a strong gale in the central Red Sea, Tourville and a trio of old light cruisers, supporting the invasion of Eritrea, attack an Italian convoy with supplies for the defending troops. The only ships the Italians have here are armed merchant cruisers; though Tourville is no longer quite the ship she once was, she's still more than capable of sending 13 merchants to the bottom in the space of about 20 minutes.

Our torpedo bomber enters service. I start pushing it out to our various airbases. It appears that we've developed dive bombers as well; once the current fighter procurement process winds down, I'll start on one of those.

June 1919

Regrettably, the war ends before the shipyards can quite clear their backlogs.

To save a bit on new destroyers, I embark rebuilding my ancient ones. The Francisques and Fauconneaus were valuable parts of my trade protection strategy; if I'm going to keep them around, I might as well spruce them up a bit.

On the matter of new ship classes, I'm going to hold off until January 1920, when oil trade becomes widespread enough for me to build oil-fired ships despite not having any oil locally.

September 1919



Loire wins again on fighters. Time to get a dive bomber design under production.

Correction: nobody's actually figured out dive bombers yet—the aircraft types dialog lets you filter by types you can't build, presumably so you can see other countries' attempts at same—so that'll have to wait.

October 1919

The very brief period of French dreadnought superiority is quickly coming to an end, since the war ended the naval treaty and the British and Germans (and Americans, for that matter) are free to kick their battleship programs back into high gear.



For example, this German ship is tremendously scary.

Light on AA, though.

March 1920

Two major inventions this month: director-controlled firing for secondary batteries and light cruisers, and dual-purpose mounts for 3" and 4" guns. The next battleship is going to be brilliant.



Named after one of our predreadnoughts, the Ocean class has 8 14" guns in two quad turrets forward (a French specialty!), better armor than her German opponents, and 26-knot speed. Her secondary guns are director-fired, dual-purpose mounts, and she mounts a number of light AA guns around her superstructure as well.

Why eight guns instead of twelve? It saves about 500 funds per month, and given that we're very limited in our battleship construction for budgetary reasons, it makes sense to reserve a bit extra for light forces.

April 1920

The Flamberge-class, a new destroyer type, will be entering service soon, with three 4" guns, six torpedo tubes, 35-knot speed, and extra depth charge stowage.

I decide it's about time to scrap the old Trident-class predreadnoughts; now that there are new battleships in the offing, our next few targets for conversion will be Tourville and Dunkerque.

August 1920

The first Ocean enters production, and will arrive in 32 months. Given peacetime budget constraints, we're likely to be on a one-ship-per-class diet for some time to come.

December 1920

All quiet this year. We host an international regatta, reducing tensions, and join an international squadron sent to contain violence from a revolution in Africa, bumping our budget up somewhat.

There are seven of our new Flamberge-class destroyers in the shipyards now, along with Ocean, and we just worked out how to do purpose-built aircraft carriers. I'm going to see what I can do for a CVL design.

January 1921

Our CVLs can carry at most 34 planes, which we can do, plus anti-air guns but sans armor, for 1,800 funds a month over 20 months. That's more aircraft at a lower cost than our Gueydon conversion.

Status

All's well. Our budget, at 20,158 per month, is about a battleship per year below its wartime peak, and we're 218 funds per month in the black (with seven destroyers and one battleship under construction).

Our prestige is 48, a new peak for us. Tensions are low across the board.

The fleet is in good shape. We have eight ships classified as battleships and two as battlecruisers, although I would hedge that by saying that only five of those are first-line ships now (the two Redoubtables, Requin, and the two Rouen-class battlecruisers), and the Redoubtables will be obsolescent soon. Our dreadnought ships are, however, either new or recently rebuilt, so we should have them on hand for a good little while.

We have a pair of heavy cruisers of reasonable efficiency for the first time in a while, the 27-knot, 8"-armor, 9"-gun Montcalm class.

In light cruisers, we have nine obsolete ships, largely on foreign stations, but they're small and still relatively cheap to maintain. We have ten new-model light cruisers, with more centerline turrets and 27- or 28-knot speed. They do, however, predate anti-air armament, so we'll have to fix that eventually.

We have one aircraft carrier at present, the converted Amiral Charner, and two seaplane carriers, Seine-et-Marne and Savigny-et-Temple. In terms of air power generally, we're on top of the world leaderboard, with 272 fixed-wing aircaft and 24 zeppelins. We have a good network of air bases across the Mediterranean, including on Corsica and Sardinia to threaten Italy, and in Greece and Libya to contain Austria-Hungary.

Finally, we have 41 destroyers in service and 7 more coming soon. Somewhat more than half of them are modern, with speeds in excess of 33 knots, lots of torpedo tubes, and three or more guns. The remainder are recently-rebuilt old ships, which will play the corvette role in future wars.

Plans and Intentions

There are a few things we might want to consider doing as we roll into the 1920s.

  • Expand air bases in northern France, to support the fleet in the event of a war against Britain or Germany. This plan is not likely to pay off immediately.
  • Build a new class of gunboat-style light cruisers (or even large corvettes) to replace our obsolete foreign service cruisers. We can really pack the armament in on the centerline now, and give them dual-purpose guns so they aren't totally helpless. Our war strategy to date has involved decisive battles in home waters, so whatever we send overseas is largely for the purpose of keeping merchants happy that we have something overseas.
  • Rebuild our older battleships to use oil fuel, which will let us eke out a few more knots, throw in some anti-air firepower, and perhaps upgrade to better guns in some cases. Each rebuild will cost a little less than a new battleship month over month, and finish in about one-third the time. The downside is that we'll end up with a fleet with smaller guns. The upside is that it'll be more advanced in other ways.
  • Continue to build new battleships. At present, our budget allows us to build one at a time, alongside some other smaller ships. It would be surprising if we get to the point where we could build two at a time without getting very close to another war.
  • Build a CVL or two. They take about 20 months to build, cost about 1,800 funds per month (half of what a battleship does), and carry 34 planes, as mentioned above. On the downside, they're vulnerable to air attack themselves, and the Mediterranean is full of unsinkable aircraft carriers (i.e., islands).

So, what should we make our priority for the next few years? Something from the list above? Something else entirely?

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Re: Vive la France: Let's Play Rule the Waves 2
« Reply #82 on: March 27, 2020, 01:02:40 am »

All this research and new ships and stuff makes me excited for the moment someone rubs France the wrong way and tensions will skyrocket.

Possibly Germans, to sink all those fancy ships they're starting to make.

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King Zultan

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Re: Vive la France: Let's Play Rule the Waves 2
« Reply #83 on: March 29, 2020, 05:31:28 am »

I think another aircraft Carrier might be a good thing to have around.
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Fishbreath

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Re: Vive la France: Let's Play Rule the Waves 2
« Reply #84 on: April 03, 2020, 09:24:18 pm »

Sorry for the delay. Mount and Blade 2 is out.

January 1921

Last week's readership made three strong suggestions:

  • Stick with new battleships, rather than big refreshes of old ships. (I may still do one now and again, as budget allows, just to start bringing the fleet speed up to 24 or 25 knots.)
  • Build some airbases in northern France, given the proximity of that part of the country to two major potential foes.
  • Build another seaplane carrier or two. The most important thing aviation can do for us right now is to provide fleet scouting, and seaplane carriers are a way to do that without spending aircraft carrier money.

To those suggestions, I add my own item:

  • Start refreshing our old light cruisers with a new, cheap model for foreign service.

We'll see how much we get done. I'll start with two airbases, one at Cherbourg and one at Dunkerque.

February 1921

We have a shot at an alliance. I try Britain again, but they turn us down.

April 1921

A mild crisis (a cruiser of ours runs aground off of a neutral power's shore while conducting wireless intercept operations) sees tensions up to about the midpoint with Germany, Austria, Italy, and Britain, but buys us some extra budget in exchange.

July 1921

Nieuport gets the nod for our next-generation flying boat. It's quite a bit faster than our old one, and has a range in excess of 250 nautical miles—an excellent scout.

September 1921



The British aren't messing around with their new dreadnought.

October 1921

The money's on hand for a seaplane carrier now. This one is somewhat more capable than our previous two.



In particular, it has AA guns, and carries 10 seaplanes instead of 5. It should make a good fleet scout in the future.

February 1922

With the seaplane carrier well on its way, I can now turn my attention to a light cruiser.



I wanted to call the class Lavoisier, but forgot I still have some of those around. I settled for Condillac instead, and will call the first ship Lavoisier.

May 1922

The Germans are saber-rattling again; tensions continue to creep upwards with them.

June 1922

A peace conference in the midst of tensions with Germany produces no results, but does slightly lower tensions across the board.

July 1922

The Austrians catch a French spy. I elect to make him a national hero, but the Austrians barely respond to the provocation.

September 1922

The defense minister wants 15 new destroyers building. I don't intend to have that many going at once, but I am willing to take his money and try a new design.



The Glaive class has six torpedo tubes, four turrets in a superfiring-fore-and-aft arrangement, mines, and a moderately heavy anti-aircraft armament.

October 1922

We've secured a new colony in Albania! The only problem is that it bumped tensions with Germany considerably above the halfway mark.

January 1923

All in all, a quiet two years, although war with Germany is looking increasingly likely.

Interlude: Fleet Exercise

I wanted to show some of the ups and downs of early carrier combat, and the fleet exercise is a natural way to handle that. Pay a bit of cash, get some fleet experience in return.

Money is a bit too tight for that, though, so I'm going to savescum it as an exercise in battle-writing. In-universe, we'll say it's junior staff officers messing around with chits and a mapboard.



1:20 p.m.

Amiral Charner, our lone CVL, cruises in company with two light cruisers, three destroyers, and a seaplane carrier. Altogether, they are Team Red. The enemy fleet, Team Blue, is Redoubtable, a mid-tier battleship, and an exact mirror of Team Red's supporting force.

We've started at standard range, because this whole aircraft carrier thing is very new, and we're not sure how it's going to play out.

As a quick reminder, Amiral Charner's air group is eight fighters and fourteen torpedo bombers.

Given that Team Red knows Team Blue is in the area, Amiral Charner prepares a strike. She has room on deck to spot thirteen planes. I expect we'll have the enemy in sight before crowding out our CAP becomes a problem.



1:33 p.m.

Our light cruisers, ten miles in Amiral Charner's van, spot the enemy. The carrier and her supporting seaplane carrier turn away, while the light cruisers prepare to run interference—and hopefully spot the enemy battleship.

The red specks are aircraft formations.

The wind is out of the east-northeast, problematic given the range and location of the enemy forces.

1:55 p.m.

The light cruisers spot an enemy ship sailing a) toward the battle and b) solo, which is probably the battleship.

2:30 p.m.

The light cruisers and scouts confirm that it is indeed the battleship.

A strike takes a little while to ready and spot, and in the meantime, reconnaissance aircraft and CAP planes are returning, clogging the deck.

3:45 p.m.

By the time that the deck is clear, and that your intrepid correspondent remembers that he has to check the boxes next to the aircraft rows to actually give them orders, not just highlight the rows, the opportunity is lost. The January sunset fades into a wintery night, and the scenario ends without combat.



We'll try this again in the summer, provided we aren't at war with someone by then.

Plans and Intentions

Research

We uncovered two major technological items: improved directors on the fire control front, and torpedo protection 3, which adds (still more) weight but protects better against torpedoes.

Our current research priorities are naval aviation, anti-submarine technology, and turrets and gun mountings. Should we leave it that way, or focus on other items (light forces, guns, amphibious operations, machinery and hull design, other things)?

Shipbuilding

Ocean is nearly complete—she'll be ready in three months. Should we build a slightly improved version when she's done, improving her fire control and torpedo protection?

Should we perhaps build a battleship with an eye toward survivability in the coming age of aircraft? That is, heavy deck armor, lots of room for anti-aircraft firepower, and battlecruiser speed? Should we hold off on more battleships altogether?

Soon, we'll be able to convert ships to full-size carriers. The 24-knot Duquesnes seem like perfect candidates—their machinery is very old, so giving them reasonable speed should be easy, and they have the displacement to support an air wing of decent size.

Other ships on the ways include Commandant Teste, our large seaplane carrier, three light cruisers to take over some colonial duties, and three Glaive-class destroyers (with minelaying technology!). Should I build another seaplane carrier, or lean harder on the light forces?

In more general terms, at present, our destroyers are about 35 knots, our light cruisers and battlecruisers go 27 to 29 knots, and our battle line goes 22. Is it worth rebuilding the slower ships in the battle line (the Redoubtables, Requin) to get their speeds up to, say, 24 knots? Should I push for faster light forces?

Diplomacy

France is again a middle-tier naval power:



Germany has an edge on us if you count dreadnought ships in total. The US and the UK are both far ahead. Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Japan are clearly inferior.



Tensions are middling. Germany is rattling sabers again.

Haspen

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Re: Vive la France: Let's Play Rule the Waves 2
« Reply #85 on: April 04, 2020, 02:43:54 am »

I will say that seeing that British juggernaut was teh first time I was really concerned about enemy designs in this LP.

It looks hella scary.

Also another war with Germany, yissss. We shall sink ALL their ships!
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Re: Vive la France: Let's Play Rule the Waves 2
« Reply #86 on: April 04, 2020, 04:44:51 pm »

When do we get to the part where we blow up Austria? We have a certain famous painter we need to kill.

Austria is apparently full of far too friendly and nice people. I think they might have unloaded all their vileness into that one guy.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2020, 06:05:12 pm by bloop_bleep »
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Re: Vive la France: Let's Play Rule the Waves 2
« Reply #87 on: April 04, 2020, 07:09:36 pm »

I looked Mr. Lavoisier up, and he worked "with" Joseph Priestley to isolate and quality pure oxygen as an element, so we have them to thank for starting the path that would lead to the lifesaving ventilators that we have today, so thanks guys!

Perhaps now is the time to consider replacing our oldest dreadnoughts with newer models.  The cost of increasing their speed keeps going up, and aside from the counter-productive bulging, we can't increase their torpedo protection.  We have to achieve near parity with the Germans before we can consider scrapping however.  It should be possible to create a "budget" battleship that is better than our older dreadnoughts.  It would be hard to build cheaper than the Ocean series, as ideally the next ship will have heavier guns of the same number and greater torpedo protection and hence be heavier, the only place to potentially shave weight would be on belt and turret armor, which might not be a good idea.  Build an upgraded Ocean as your next battleship?

Once we have large dedicated aircraft carriers, we might be able to consider them dreadnought substitutes for calculations of optimal fleets.  But we are still early in aviation, so probably no more than 20% of that should be aircraft carriers for those calculations.
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Re: Vive la France: Let's Play Rule the Waves 2
« Reply #88 on: April 04, 2020, 09:29:04 pm »

The next Ocean is going to be even more similar to the existing Ocean than not—14" is still our largest caliber of quality-0 guns. I could go 16", but that would swell the class quite a bit in size, or require sacrificing armor (which I'd rather not do). It would be a derivative of the Ocean in the game's reckoning, in fact (developing a class of ship based on another class is cheaper than developing one whole-cloth), except that changing torpedo protection isn't on the list of approved derivative-class modifications.

I've had advice from several quarters to skip purpose-built aircraft carriers for now, but I'm of a mind to design one to about the same cost constraints as the Commandant Teste seaplane carrier, and build that as a scout-for-now-carrier-for-later.

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Re: Vive la France: Let's Play Rule the Waves 2
« Reply #89 on: April 05, 2020, 06:41:46 am »

Why is Germany so eager to get into another war with us, its like they want us to sink all their crappy boats again.
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