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Archive for September 7th, 2019

Rule The Waves playthrough: Byzantium 4

Posted by picard578 on September 7, 2019

This time, I noticed GGP-1 in US file, and added it to Byzantium. Turns out, this – not RGP-1 – is key to rapid economic growth; I enabled it while leaving GDP values as they were originally. Anyway, I started the game, and started building ships. However, treaty soon hits, forbidding ships larger than 13 200 tons and guns larger than 10 inches. Lucky break for me, seeing how shipbuilding capacities I have are limited anyway, so I focus on building destroyers and cruisers for now. For a time, I have 2 B, 1 CA, 1 CL and 1 DD building, and a dozen submarines. Austria-Hungary apparently takes ubrage at my building, and tensions increase. They reduce soon after, but I still refuse to sell A-H Main Battery Wing Turrets when they ask. After previous batch is finished, it is time for 2xCA, 2xCL and 2xDD.

It is 1906., and an assasination causes war with Austria-Hungary. First battle is two battleships vs two, and I sink an Arpad class battleship while losing two destroyers. Major victory, with 26 000 score differential. Next, I design a battleship – a proper BB – and I also make sure to include every possible weight saving option I have. Turret locations are forward, forward centerline and midships – total of 6 14-in guns, as I cannot have wing turrets of that calibre. Speed is 21 knot, same as original HMS Dreadnought, belt armour is 12 in, deck is 3 in, while turret face is 14 in and roof is 4 in. Total displacement 21 000 tons. 19 destroyers are set to ASW/Coastal patrol. Quick check reveals that the only other nation building a dreadnought is Great Britain, but theirs is 25 700 tons – rather more than historical Dreadnought’s 18 400 tons.

Battle off Crete, enemy force has 2 CA and 2 CL that I am aware of. I set my CA’s on enemy CL’s, and leave battleships to handle enemy CA’s. I sunk a CL, while the second one runs away, saved by the nightfall. End table reveals that I lost one AUX in exchange for two CL’s, with 17 463 VP’s vs Austria’s 3 363. This on strategic level translates to major victory, with me gaining 1 263 VP and Austria 318 VP. Austrian navy declines three battles in a row, but the one they do accept is a major fleet battle with my fleet deploying 5 battleships. I manage to cross their T briefly, but abandon the battle following nightfall. One of my destroyers sink, giving A-H minor victory.

Strategically, France and Russia are also building dreadnoughts by now – Russia is building two, and all four dreadnoughts are larger than my design. Austrian navy again declines three battles in row, giving me 220 (60, 60, 100) victory points for free. In next fought battle, I nearly loose two light cruisers to their own stupidity – how hard can it be to point ship’s prow away from the enemy and run? – but situation is turned around when I run across my own reinforcements, and now Austrians have to bravely run away. Admiral Orders Misunderstood sends two of my destroyers careening away to God-knows-where. Austrians eventually run away with no further damage.

Next battle is 2 CA vs 2 CA, 8 000 ton Macedonia and Dalmatia against Austrian 8 600 ton Leitha class and 7 000 ton Kaiserin und Konegin Maria Theresia class. As before, nightfall allows Austrians to run away. I gain awesome 615 VP to Austrian 226 VP (92 to 48 in strategic map). However, I also gain 230 VP for blockade of the enemy. Another fleet action, this time destroyers. Not very good, as I run afoul a bunch of A-H coastal batteries all sat in the same place and lose two destroyers. AH gains 213 VP, but I gain another 230 VP for blockade.

Next battle is cruiser action, and thanks to Admiral Orders Misunderstood, my fleet disintegrates. Austrians have no such issues, so I pull back and try to hunt down few isolated Austrian ships. Two light cruisers escape, but one is surrounded, immobilized and sunk. Later I corner against Italian shore and sink one of the two escaped cruisers, but second one escapes. I get 28 600 VP versus 1 700 Austrian, which on strategic map gives me 1 932 VP and two prestige versus Austrian 190 VP.

In September 1907, A-H offers me “disputed border areas and some of their colonies”. I accept, but peace negotiations “founder on mutually unacceptable demands”. Following is a cruiser action off Crete, which I mostly avoid – however, despite losing a destroyer to superior enemy force, I still apparently caused enough damage to a cruiser for a minor victory. Gained 442 VP on strategic map to A-H 238 VP, and another 210 for the blockade. I now have two dreadnoughts building to one Austrian, and 8 401 VP to Austrian 1 974. Budget is 255 million to Austrian 225 million.

Next fleet battle is November 1907. It is massive battle, but night falls almost immediately – rendering battleships next to useless, so I pull a withdrawal. Apparently, in a brief engagement my fleet managed to sink A-H destroyer and damage some ships, gaining me 3 490 VP against A-H 903 – 327 to 120 on strategic map, and another 220 VP for blockade. I also opt to put some smaller light cruiser at raider status.

After some more sinkings by raiders and submarines innext two or three turns, peace is concluded with our side gaining “large territories and considerable war reparations”. Of course, A-H has no territories to take.

In April 1909., I had researched triple turrets. Next battleship is a 24 500 ton design, despite my docks being capable of 25 000 tons. It is armed with 9 11 in guns, 18 5 in guns and 16 3 in guns. Speed is 23 knots – an increase over normal speed of 21 knots – belt and turret face armour is 11 in, turret top is 6 in, deck is 4 in and secondaries 5 in. Due to strategic and tactical environment of the Mediterranean, I opted for the turtleback armour scheme.

I decide to send a battleship on a cruise. I gain prestige, and also few nations jump into yellow. Situation soon calms down, but only temporarily. I also realize I have 14 in guns, and so design a 27 000 ton battleship, with 7 14-in guns, 23 knot speed, 13 in belt and turret armour, 6 in turret top and 3 in deck. It requires some innovative thinking to get all of that into 27 000 ton package – e.g. turrets are of 2-3-2 arrangement in L, Q and R positions – but I manage. I also let Italy take control of Mozambique, and place predreadnoughts into reserve to order a new light cruiser.

I am forced to build a battlecruiser, and achieve that by reducing guns to 11 in, belt armour to 11 in, and deck to 2 in. Turret protection stays the same, and I manage to get the speed of 29 knots at long range design – excellent for raiding. New design is Satala-class. Russia apparently assassinates my diplomates, and I have a choice – go to war against Russia, or go to war against Russia and Italy. Naturally, I choose the former.

Compared to Russia, both countries have similar budgets – 445M for Byzantium, 429M for Russia. But Byzantium has 4 dreadnoughts totaling 91 000 tons, and a 24 500 dreadnought two months from completion, compared to 2 dreads totalling 43 400 tons for Russia. Russia does have a battlecruiser of 20 600 tons. 11 Byzantine predreadnoughts displace 156 800 tons total, compared to 147 100 tons for 10 Russian ones. Russia has significant advantage in CA’s – 23 against 14 – and CL’s – 36 against 24. Destroyer numbers are similar, at 68 Byzantine and 57 Russian, but Byzantium has 30 submarines to 16 Russian. I put all CL’s to raid, except few 8 000 ton ones.

Russians sign the peace agreement with no border changes the next turn. I lose 1 prestige due to not having enough battlecruisers building, but on plus side shipyard capacity spontaneously increases by 1 000 tons – twice. Next project: 33 000 ton battlecruiser. Eight 11-in guns in three turrets, 30 knots speed, at displacement of 31 000 tons. Belt armour is 11 in, and deck armour is 2 in, but turret armour is 13 in front and 6 in roof. Another is 35 000 ton battlecruiser with 9 11-in guns and much better armour, but costing only 500 000 more per month.

Next design is 36 000 ton battleship. Nine 14-in guns, 12 5-in guns in double turrets, 16 3-in guns and 6 torpedo tubes. Belt armour 14 in, deck armour 6 in, 14 in turret face, 6 in turret top and 5 in secondaries turns out too much; instead, I reduce secondaries to 2 in and belt armour to 13 in. Total displacement in the end is 35 851 t – 35 582 t after I reduce base displacement gradually to 35 600 t.

Now I have 7 BB and 3 BC to A-H 5 and 3, and so I finally retire remaining predreadnoughts. I also redesign Gratianos class (previously described) as a battlecruiser, by reducing main guns to 11 in and deleting centerline turret, thus increasing speed to 30 knots (compared to Gratianos’ 23 knots). I also produce some minesweepers. Next month (it is 1917), I scrap some 20 obsolete destroyers – and even so I still have more than anyone else except UK.

Quadruple mounts are now available, and it is time for new battleship. I take Gratianos, equip it with 8 14 in guns in quadruple turrets, and increase belt armour to 14 in. Increase in displacement to 38 000 tons allows speed to increase to 27 knots. Armour scheme is 14 in belt, 6 in deck, 3 in conning tower, 14 in turret, 6 in turret roof and 2 in secondary turrets. Reduction in conning tower armour to 3 in allows for 12 5-in secondaries and 18 4-in tertiary guns.

Tension with A-H is almost to war, and so I take a look at the inventory. Battleships are 8 in service and 3 building vs 6 in service and no building. BC are 4/0 vs 4/3, CA are 8/0 and 1/0, CL are 28/0 and 16/2, DD are 48/2 and 27/3, MS are 3/3 and 15/6, and submarines are 49/0 and 26/3.

War breaks out, and it is battlecruiser action. At night. This repeats itself – apparently the game likes to cheat. The only good thing is that I have no more battlecruisers left. The war does not go well, and I decide to never build any battlecruisers again.

Later, I manage to nab Tunisia, but doing so brings me to the brink of war with Italy and Russia both. Which is what happens. First engagement is with Italy – bombardment of land target. Along the way I nab an MS, and also manage to destroy the target, but I miss on sinking a CL that was in the area. I get 313 VP and Italy 100.

I design a new 46 000 ton battleship, and next task is sinking 2 TR’s with two antique 22-knot light cruisers. Enemy has 2 CA’s, 2 BC’s and half a dozen CL’s, so mission fails with loss of my geriartric cruisers. Next mission also confirms the Random Number God hates me, and I have to bravely run away. I decide to accept peace offer, losing two prestige, but less than if I had continued to fight. I get to keep Tunisia, giving me a foothold in Western Mediterranean, so there is that. Wartime building programme continues despite the deficit, so I soon receive a BB and a CL. In fact, my current budget is only 1,5 million less than that of Great Britain – 430 million vs 431 million.

A ship runs aground, and I make a demand for release, raising tensions again. This immediately gets me additional funding, which at 465 million is now the highest of all powers – British is only 433 million. Even so, my fleet is still among smaller in terms of capital ships – only 11 battleships, where even Russia has 6 battleships and 8 battlecruisers. My average battleship is on the larger side, with total tonnage of 442 000 tons, giving me good ahead in tonnage – Russia has 442 000 tons, Spain 284 600, while more powerful than me are Austria-Hungary with 494 600 tons, Italy with 460 700 tons, France with 577 400 tons and UK with 1 093 100 tons. New battleship arrives next turn, raising tonnage to 486 000 tons.

And the game hits me with a naval treaty. I really should get smart and avoid agreeing to any such treaties, no matter what – this is probably fifth time game had done that just as I started major rearmament. So I order a bunch of submarines and light cruisers. Each of these cruisers has 32 18-in torpedo tubes, and so can – in right conditions – murder a battleship. What I build next is an armoured cruiser with six 10-in guns, six torpedo tubes, 10 in turret and 9,5 in belt armour. Deck armour is 2 in. With additional funding given due to threat of Austria-Hungary, I immediately order two.

Soon I am at war with Austria-Hungary. First battle involves three of my battleships against six Austrian battleships and two battlecruisers. Arkadios is soon reduced to 20 knots, and Diokletianos A’ Prokahontas is immobilized. I manage to sink Radetzky class battleship, and soon receive three battleships of reinforcements under AI control, but Diokletianos A’ Prokahontas sinks. Turns out I managed to sink three A-H battleships for the loss of two of my own, so I get 316K VP’s to A-H 265K. On strategic map, it is 18K vs 15K. I order a battleship and two destroyers in addition to ships already building.

In next battle two of my light cruisers run into a battleship and a battlecruiser – at night, so no chance of evasion. Having no torpedoes, they are sunk without causing any damage. Next battle deploys three of my battleships. Two A-H light cruisers run away, but I soon run into five A-H battleships. I turn towards the enemy and manage to kinda-sorta cross their T from behind for a brief time. Austrian BB Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand class blows up due to Turret W flash fire, but Iulianos Apostatos is hit by a torpedo and loses steering. It recovers, and I send my fleet steaming south at 10 knots to limit flooding. At any rate it is a major victory – A-H had lost two battleships (second likely due to flooding) and a DD, while I had lost no ships sunk, although 1 BB was heavily damaged. I get 132k points vs Austrian 43,7k, which on strategic map translates to two prestige and 7 912 VP for me, and 2 832 VP for Austrians. I now lead 27 446 versus 19 480 VP, and also designate that battle as memorable – though I am not sure what that does. A-H is now blockaded, and I gain 240 VP for blockade of the enemy. I also set all my 13 non-torpedo-tube CL’s to raider status. A-H now has 3 BB and 8 BC to 10 my BB, but I have 398 000 tons of capital ships to A-H 355 500 tons.

Next battle sees only two light cruisers deployed. I run across a DD and three MS, but run across two A-H CL and three DD. CL Nasar manages to torpedo A-H CL, and Austrians decide to retreat. I opt for the same, as we are too close to Kotor (A-H naval base) for comfort (why the f**k game uses Italian names for Croatian cities, I do not know). I get 18 640 vs 7 767 VP. Now I have 28 968 VP to A-H 20 155. On Basileus’ inqury I reply with “Navy can fight on if needed”, and a compromise peace is concluded with no changes in borders. My budget is still ahead of Great Britain’s, though only by 10 million or so. I have to stop GB from gaining foothold in Albania, which raises tensions with them.

I design a 48 000 ton battleship Zenos A’. Speed is still 27 knots – standard I chose for my battleline – and armament is eight 16-in guns in two turrets. It also has secondary armament of 12 5-in guns, but tertiary armament is increased to 20 4-in guns. Ship also receives eight torpedo tubes in two swivel mounts. Belt armour is standard 16 in with 6 in deck, but turret armour is increased to 17 in face and 7,5 in top – which had lead to reduction of tertiary armament from 24 to 20 guns. Fire control is also improved over previous class, to Advanced Director. I cannot build it yet, but with increased budget due to threat from Great Britain, I accelerate construction of a previous class. After cruisers are finished, I place both battleships on accelerated construction. Emperor screws me over by taking 2 million per month for a new yacht, but I only have 22 prestige now, and with submarines commisioned the next month, my whole 2,5 million deficit is erased.

Even with additional funding however my budget seriously lags behind Great Britain – 441 vs 671 million. I place both battleships and a torpedo light cruiser I’m building on accelerated construction, and order four destroyers which places me into 1,8 million deficit. On inquiry, I point out that we are not ready for war with Great Britain – prestige loss, but budget goes up, which lets me order additional two submarines. Great Britain takes over Borneo (it is 1932 now). I have to sacrifice prestige to avoid war with Great Britain and strenghten the navy.

And in no time flat, and for no reason at all, tension with Britain goes through the roof and we are at war. First is a destroyer action, in which only British success is ramming one of my destroyers. Apparently, sinking 3 DD and 1 MS for 1 DD lost constitutes a major victory – although strategic screen recognizes it as minor. I am almost immediately blockaded, and what follows is another destroyer action, which I win.

In next battle, my fleet deploys full 13 battleships. Not long after the battle begins, Britain loses CA Empress of India to A Turret flash fire. Battlelines engage soon after, and British BB Formidable is hit by a torpedo launched by one of my battleships. British 37 000 ton Resolution-class and 31 000 ton Formidable-class are quickly immobilized, but my BB Iustinianos A’ blows up due to turret hit – despite having 6 in turret roof (which is standard on all my battleships). Battleships on both sides get quite a few torpedo hits, and battle disintegrates. In the end I lost 6 battleships for 3 British, out of 13 battleships on my side and 14 battleships plus 2 battlecruisers on British side. I have to figure out how to fix turret fire problem. I get 33 734 VP, and British get 39 876 VP. For whatever reason, however, I am no longer blockaded. I send my 13 old light cruisers raiding – new ones I need for their torpedo tubes. In March 1934., after a war loan by Parliament and some raiding, I have 35 294 VP and Britain has 42 313 VP.

I take peace terms, but my prestige is only 12 now, and I get sacked.

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Rule the Waves playthrough: Byzantium 3

Posted by picard578 on September 7, 2019

OK, I forgot to start writing this from the beginning, but first few decades I manage to avoid any major wars so nothing to write about. Also note, I believe that this playthrough is done in a mod where I modded Byzantium to have increased economic growth rate, but no other advantages.

At any rate, there is no war for a long time – I managet it to avoid through diplomacy while somehow keeping 20 prestige. At this point, I have 7 battleships and 4 battlecruisers, but one of battleships is a 28 000 ton piece o’ junk. I scrapped it just while writing this, so I have 2 x 41 000 ton battleships (1920 and 1922), 2 x 40 300 ton battleships (same as earlier, but with some weight saiving advantages; launched in 1923 and 1924), and 2 x 47 000 ton battleships (both in 1925). 41 000 tonners have speed of only 24 knots, while both later classes can push it up to 27 knots. I also have four ancient battlecruisers in 30 000 ton, 25 knot class. I have to replace them as soon as possible, likely with new battleships. Two 49 000 ton, 26 knot battleships are being built, and I have designed 27-knot version of the same which will be updated as technology advances. Other than that, I got rid of armoured cruisers which had been around since 1899, and have 14 light cruisers, 56 destroyers – most of them obsolete – and 100 submarines, four times as many as anyone else.

And it is 1925 and the “game is over”. I decide to play on. Parliament cuts the budget severely despite France being in orange and Austria and Italy in yellow, but I have enough funds saved up to finish the ships I am building despite being 3,4 million in red each month. Italy proposes budget cuts, just as Parliament authorizes additional funding, but with France in orange I dare not accept. Italians sulk, but are still yellow. A-H does something stupid and we go to orange with them as well, but Italy to brown, and France dances between yellow and orange for no discernible reason.

At any rate, I have 8 battleships with 3 building. Only Italy and France have fewer, but in terms of tonnage I lead Austria-Hungary as well – their 9 battleships mass 293 000 tons, while my 8 mass 354 000 tons. Battlecruisers however close the gap – I only have a few obsolete ones. Disarmament conference brings no results other than reducing my budget, and A-H gets mad for a US spy being in my territory. And now we are at war.

First battle puts my two battlecruisers against two Austrian ones. Almost immediately, Austrian Siebenburgen-class BC blows up due to turret penetration while my BC Dara II is hit by a torpedo, and Ad Decimum is also ambushed by destroyers while setting fire to Voralberg class battlecruiser. Soon my battleships arrive with escorts and Austrians retreat, but Ad Decimum still sinks. I have lost two BC’s, Austrians two BC’s as well, but I get 221k VP’s to A-H’s 134k (13k vs 8k post-battle). And Basileus is still upset.

I put 45 obsolete underweight destroyers on ASW/CP. Next battle again involves two of my battlecruisers – at this point I can only conclude that the game is cheating. Luckily Battle Division 8 with three battleships is in support. We run into Austrian Kartnen-class BC and no-ID BB. Both my BC’s are torpedoed but luckily neither sink, and battleship division manages to damage an Austrian BC off-screen. I get 80 VP’s from my submarines.

Next battle I have 2 BB and 2 BC – game really likely placing my obsolete, dwarvish BC-s in harm’s way. To add insult to injury, my BB-s are actually faster than BC-s. Along the way to bombardment target, my fleet nabs quite a few TR-s and MS-s. But I cannot reach bombardment target since it is within exclusion zone of the base. Four MS and a TR sank give me enough points for a marginal victory. At this point, I set my BC-s and 4 700 ton CL-s to task of raiding.

Next fleet battle is massive, with eight battleships on my side. I immediately run into three Austrian BC-s. Austrian ships realize what they are up against and try to escape, but a Kartnen class is immobilized almost immediately. Not long after, Voralberg class is destroyed by turret flash fire, immediately followed by another Kartnen class; but torpedo hits from DD attacks reduce my battleline to 17 knots. Turns out entire enemy battlefleet is out in force, and BB Konstantinos Megas eats a few torpedoes from Austrian destroyers. Konstantinos B and Basiliskos both get hit by torpedoes as well – how the hell is AI sinking any of my submarines while apparently sparing none of destroyers for ASW duties? BB Leon B is hit by a torpedo – I guess torpedo tubes on battleships can be useful, so I add broadside swivel mounts to my next battleship class.

And then I’m sacked.

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Rule The Waves playthrough: Byzantium 2

Posted by picard578 on September 7, 2019

This time I opted for a manual build of a legacy fleet. 5 B, 5 CA, 5 CL and a bunch of destroyers. First order of business is to increase dockyard capacity. Austria-Hungary offers a treaty and I naturally accept. I also start spying on Great Britain – there is no tension between us, and hopefully they will have some useful tech. When it comes to research, I raise budget to 10%, and place Armour development, Subdivision and damage control, Ship design and Fleet tactics to High priority.

Tension with Italy is 5 and with France is 4, likely due to treaty with A-H. From A-H I order a battleship with two 10-in gun turrets, but 16 in belt armour, 6,5 in deck armour, 16 in turret face and 9 in turret top. Industrial production soars, but Emperor orders me to build a bunch of cruisers, so I am running a significant deficit. High command gets displeased when I put cruisers at hold, despite having not the money to build them.

I also design new battleship Bosphorus – 3×2 10 in centerline turrets, 24 5 in secondaries, 19 knot speed, 12 in belt armour, 7 in deck armour, 14 in turret face, 8 in turret roof, 2 in secondaries. In 1906., arrangement with Austria-Hungary gets an extension. Strategos is being an idiot as usual, and makes a statement about Great Britain – luckily my tension with them is 0, so I don’t care.

I get tech for three centerline turrets, and finally get a dreadnought battleship building. Nothing special – 22 000 tons, 19 knots, 3 x 2 13 in main battery, 14 in turret face, 8 in turret top, 12 in belt, 4 in deck. Soon Britain sells me tech for triple turrets, and I research tech for four centerline turrets, but for now I cannot utilize these advacements. In 1911., tension with Austria-Hungary goes to yellow and I get bigger budget. Same year I have to apologize to bloody Great Britain for one of my ships opening fire on a fishing boat.

New Exarch-class battleship is 31 000 tons and 3 x 3 13 in an all-forward main battery. Tension with A-H rises to 10 after a submarine torpedoes my ship. I immediately start construction seeing how everybody else has more battleships than me. British government however buys a bunch of tech, and hawk party raises my budget.

CA Boukellarion is 10 000 tons, 10 x 8 in guns, 23 knots, 6 in belt armour and 2 in deck armour.

By August 1915., A-H and Spain are both in yellow – tension of 9 and 7, respectively. I also acquire through sale above water tubes on CL, and immediately design a CL with 8 double torpedo mounts – Myrmidon class. My Exarch class battleship is finally finished, and new Basileus class is 31 000 tons, 3×3 13 in all-forward main battery, 10 x 5 in in single turrets, 13 in belt, 4 in deck, 14 in turret face, 8 in turret top, and 24 knot speed. To reduce deficit while building it, I scrap another Constantinople class predreadnought. I also did not mention that my dock size is now 41 000 tons, but such a monster would be too expensive. June 1916., and my fleet is still dominated by predreadnoughts. I also have to manage building 21 submarines alongside it, so I build coastals.

New battleship Nikephoros is 37 800 tons with 9 15-in guns, but I cannot build it yet. Italy meanwhile takes Tunisia. Basileus is also being an idiot again, but I agree with him – having A-H in yellow helps the budget. Treaty with Russia pushes both A-H and Italy into yellow sphere. New destoyer is 1500 tons, 34 knots, 1 5-in guns and 4 triple torpedo mounts. At the same time, another gaffe puts me in yellow with Austria-Hungary, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom. Not that bad, but risky.

And game seems to be doing its best to increase tension. Strategos wants additional 3 battleships, despite neither money nor international situation being available for that. One piece of good news: report arrives that “our shipbuilding industry has developed considerably and is now on par with other nations”. Industry may have, but budget did not: I am now tied with Spain for the last place.

Austria-Hungary, Italy and Spain are in yellow. This helped budget a bit, which is 325 million compared to 301 million of Spain. I placed four old predreadnoughts into reserve after asking Spain to do the same. Soon dreadnought Nikephoros II is commisioned, and it turns out it can reach 25 knot speed despite being designed for 24 knots. Overall, I now have fewest dreadnoughts, but more cruisers, destroyers and submarines than anyone else – 61 000 tons of CA compared to 51 800 for GB, 192 000 tons of CL compared to 132 000 tons for GB, and 62 700 tons of DD compared to 52 000 tons for France. I am however thinking of retiring some obsolete ships. Italy goes into orange as soon as my new battleship is commissioned.

New CA Olympos is the first oil-firing ship I built – I forgot I have access to oil. At 14 000 tons, it has 12 x 8 in guns, 6 in turret face, 3 in turret top, 6 in belt, 2 in deck armour. Speed is 29 knots. Now that I do remember that, I decided to redesign Nikephoros with oil firing. New battleship Thalassion is 35 700 tons, 24 knot speed, 15 in belt armour, 4 in deck, 16 in turret face, 8 in turret top, and 2 in secondaries – same as Nikephoros, but with 1 inch more turret face armour. Even so, it is 2 100 tons lighter and 3 200 000 cheaper. At the same time I scrap 22 000 dreadnought Symbalises – thing would be fodder against any serious battleship out there, and with Praetor due in 3 months, I can afford to do that. It is March 1924 now.

What I cannot afford is idiot generals asking for more cruisers than budget can manage. I am not Great Britain, for Deus’ sake! Meanwhile, Spain and Austria-Hungary have apparently decided that minesweepers will win the war. And now in 1925., game pushes me to war with Spain, and immediately sets a battlecruiser against my armoured cruiser. Results are, should I say, predictable.

Spanish navy decides to come out in force, but then declines battle despite having 10 battleships to my 7. First battle is battleship action, and Spanish fleet manages to cross my T due to me being focused on battlecruisers. Battleship Valentinian is lost immediately to turret penetration, as is Paleologos – and I cannot remember what turret roof thickness I used on them, or even when I built them. For all I know, they could even have been designs ordered from Great Britain – which would explain whole “ship blowing up” part. Great. Nikephoros II, apparently a newer design, manages to meanwhile survive the attentions of the entire Spanish battle line for some minutes. Overall I lost 5 battleships, sinking only two Spanish battlecruisers. But statistics also reveal that Spanish had 10 BB and 7 BC against my own 7 BB – never good odds. So instead of risking another major battle, I set the entire fleet to raid. Between that and my submarine fleet, Spain immediately experiences shortages – but so does Byzantium.

Of course, then game chooses to force an “unexpected battle”. Glorious victory of sinking 1 MS and 4 DD somehow raises hopes of the nation. But with Spain having budget almost 100 million larger than my own, Cyprus gets invaded by Spain with no issue. I cannot avoid battle forever either, and computer immediately sets my armoured cruisers against Spanish battlecruisers.

I manage to secure peace at expense of two points, and focus on rebuilding battlefleet. New 52 000-ton Autokrator battleship – first of that displacement – has 12 15-in guns in all-forward quadruple turrets, 16 5-in guns, 6 3-in guns, speed of 23 knots, 16 in belt armour, 6 in deck armour, 4,5 in conning tower, 18 in turret face, 8 in turret top, 1,5 in secondary turrets. Battlecruiser Pyr Thalassion has 8 15-in guns in all-forward quadruple turrets, 16 5-in guns, 6 3-in guns, speed of 32 knots, 13 in belt armour, 5 in deck armour, 4,5 in conning tower, 15 in turret face, 6 in turret top, 1,5 in secondary turrets.

Belisarius is a 15-in battleship. It is 52 000 tons in displacement, with 8 15-in guns (2×4), 16 5-in guns (8×2), 8 3-in guns, speed of 27 knots, 17 in belt armour, 7 in deck armour, 5 in conning tower, 18 in turret face, 8 in turret top and 1,5 in secondary turrets. Increased speed and armour are both facilitated by reducing main armament to 8 15-in guns in two quadruple turrets. Originally guns were to be 16-in, but 15-in are of quality 1 while 16 are quality 0, and thus not worth increased weight. Heraclius is the slower and less armoured version of the same, with 12 15-in guns (3×4), 16 5-in guns, 21 knot speed, 16 in belt armour, 6 in deck armour, 2,5 in conning tower, 18 in turret face, 8 in turret top and 1,5 in secondary turrets. Nike has 8 16-in guns (2×4) of quality 1, 16 5-in guns, speed of 27 knots, 17 in belt armour, 6,5 in deck armour, 2 in conning tower, 18 in turret face, 8 in turret top, 1,5 in secondary battery. All have torpedo protection of 4.

Several random events later, I am at war against Russia and Spain both. I lose CA to turret flash fire. Next scenario is also the kind of bullshit scenarios I have come to hate: two CL against two enemy BC. Next thing I learn is that my CL apparently cannot shoot shit: eight torpedo launchers, three tubes per launcher, and they miss CA from point-blank range. That is what happens when you forget to invest in night fighting training, I guess. Next game, I swear you will see torpedo battleships. I’m not kidding. At any rate I plead peace. And the Emperor again requires four battleships to be built, as if we are bloody Great Britain or US, and is displeased because I do not shit battleships. Apparently in this game Byzantium has all the “intelligence” of 1941. Japan.

And now I have alliance with Russia and war with Spain. I sink two destroyers with no losses – it is a destroyer engagement – but afterwards I lose a destroyer to mine ex machina. In next battle however I at least have a battleship and so manage to destroy a bombardment target. On return, my battleship Heraclius runs into Spanish battlecruiser and battleship. Almost immediately Spanish Viczaya class battlecruiser blows up due to turret flash fire. And then Spanish teleport 4 battleships and 3 battlecruisers and catch Heraclius, which eventually sinks.

Next battle I have a total of 5 battleships. Should be enough, unless Spanish got battleship cloning facility in addition to teleportation device. And turns out, they may not have gotten that, but nightfall happens almost immediately. And since I didn’t have destroyers in my fleet, battleship gets torpedoed. Still, for whatever reason, I had caused enough damage to Spanish fleet – one BC sunk, two heavily damaged – that battle counts as victory. Stat screen shows that I had 7 battleships in the battle – but I never saw two of those – while Spanish had 3 battleships and 5 battlecruisers. And I am now left with 4 battleships in active service, while Spanish have 4 battleships and 3 battlecruisers (total force is 9 battleships for Byzantium, 4 battleships and 7 battlecruisers for Spain).

Next battle I have 3 battleships again, plus a DD and a CL. Turns out, I did not have enough destroyers because of idiot Emperor’s obsession with battleships and submarines – almost all destroyers are on ASW duty. Which is interesing, seeing how Spain does have destroyers, despite having less submarines and less destroyers than I do. Three battleships lost in exchange for 1 battleship and 1 battlecruiser. Not bad, seeing how Spain again had massive numerical superiority, but not good either. BTW, you know you’re f***ed when bloody Spain has 100 million larger budget than you do.

Somehow, Army manages to take Cyprus back from Spain (lost in the previous war). Then game glitches, with entire Spanish fleet parked there and not moving, and I decide to start a new game.

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Rule The Waves playthrough: Byzantium 1

Posted by picard578 on September 7, 2019

So I decided to play Byzantine Empire – the original mod this time, after playing around with my own up until now.

And I am almost immediately at war with Italy. I have no clue what happened – maybe just the God of War hit the God of Diplomacy over the head again. Anyway, there is a war, and the first battle. Overall the forces seem to be similar, maybe Italians have slight advantage, but that may or may not matter. The most influential commander on the field this early in the game is the dreaded Admiral Orders Misunderstood – ships of both sides run across the battlefield like headless chicken, and merely a minute into the combat all semblance of order is lost. Battleship Bosphorus decides it has had enough of a madness and prompty sinks, how and why I do not know.

Some semblance of order is recovered soon after in both fleets, only for Admiral Misunderstood to act again and send my destroyer division running full sprint towards Italian battle line. They soon recover, and in the meantime battleship Strategos at the head of my battle line is in close contact with an Italia-class battleship. Which somehow ends up south of my battle line, while rest of the Italian navy is to the north of it. My Battle Division 4 takes a brief trip south on the command of Admiral Misunderstood, and soon does Destroyer Division 5, while DD7 is busy getting itself smashed against Italian battle line.

Night falls, and that is it for the battle, except for Italia-class battleship which is still being chased by Strategos. Italia catches fire but it is soon extinguished, while rest of my battleships go off chasing after Misunderstood-knows-what. Soon the entire Italian fleet appears from the North from dark, while my battleships decide to head South. Strategos slugs it off against two Italian battleships before I call it back eastwards – better not to tango with destroyers in the night. And that is that for the battle, though Strategos has problems with flooding so I reduce its speed to 4 knots.

Second battle is cruiser action with two cruisers, and task to sink two ships. And AI being a cheating bastard it is, my two armoured cruisers run across two Italian counterparts which significantly outrange them. I decide to bravely run away, but my luck holds – soon I come across the second TR, which, having sunk one already, fulfills my battle requirement. Overall battle is my victory, though minor.

Third battle puts two of my light cruisers against two Italian armoured cruisers. In a convoy defense scenario. So I opt to run away North, and luckily cruisers chase. Until one of my destroyers decides to act stupid and runs South, past Italian armoured cruisers and straight back towards the convoy I am supposed to protect. Luckily Italian cruisers apparently have a dose of stupid as well, and cannot decide which part of fleet to chase – so they chase neither. Time runs out, and it is my (marginal) victory.

Army takes my resources to go on the offensive, and Italian Navy refuses three battles in a row, giving me 185 or so VP’s for free. In third battle, it is two of my armoured cruisers against two Italian ones. Two Italian cruisers run away – straight to Italian battle fleet of two armoured cruisers, two light cruisers, and a battleship. Time for me to bravely run away, but with cruisers only able to haul at 20 knots, that is a tall order. At any rate, Italian fleet can also sail at 20 knots tops, but soon my ships have to clean grates while Italian ships start getting engine breakdowns. I go for Corinth, allowing Italian fleet to catch up a bit as my ships change course from S to ENE, but not enough to get into firing range. Good decision too as stokers are getting exhausted, but soon night falls and I get away by fortune of Italian ships losing sight. Apparently I caused 199 damage to enemy ships, yet Italy gets marginal victory because I didn’t sink merchants.

Next battle is at night, and cheating AI places my entire battleline at night, smack against enemy fleet of destroyers. I somehow survive that, and at morning my CA locates enemy fleet. Which it is smack in the middle of. I turn battlefleet south, and B Constans rams Italian destroyer. Destroyer sinks, and Constans is down to 4 knots. Apparently ramming attacks are order of the day, and my DD rams enemy CL. Which sinks. Constans locates enemy fleet again – it got speed back up – and possibly the world’s slowest chase commences as two geriatric battlefleets pound each other into retirement home. Italian fleet slips away again, but I nab a couple of destroyers which apparently are damaged enough to not be able to get away from an antique battleship. And since it is night, I sink them by placing said battleship literally prow-to-stern to each of destroyers and then waiting half an hour for gunners of small-calibre guns to nail them. I think the battle is over, when two Italia-class battleship stumble across the rear of my fleet. These two get away, when a repeat performance is done by a group of three. Of those, I manage to herd one away. Constans gets hit into engine room, but manages to keep up with the battleship. Italia-class nearly runs away a few times, and eventually manages to do so – probably thanks to that engine room hit, which makes Constans wobble every now and then. On the way back north, I stumble across a few groups of Italian ships, and sink a destroyer. Overall, I lost a CL and a DD in exchange for a B, a CL and 9 DD. 51505 VP versus 13103 for Italy. Despite Italy having a battleship more. With 3 000 VP gained, now I am in lead against Italy.

Next battle consists entirely of my CA’s failling to catch and sink Italian CL before latter gets rescued by Italian CA’s. Then Italy gains 1000 Vps due to Army failure, and now I lead by only 800 VP.

Next battle, I have 5 battleships. Task: sink 2 TR’s. Nice to know we are being ambitious here. Of course, it is night again, and I stumble across half of the Italian battle fleet. Strategos gets hit by a torpedo almost immediately, of course. Battle degenerates into melee, Italia-class catches fire almost immediately, Admiral Orders Misunderstood intervenes on Italian behalf – again – although Constantinople manages to keep up with Italia-class battleship – which intermittently catches and puts out a fire – until dawn. Second Italia-class intervenes, and this time Constantinople catches fire. Italians retreat while Constantinople sinks. Italians come back as soon as they realize they are not being chased, but by that time Augustus, which had also gotten crippled, is repaired and limping away. And then sinks.

Italy is now in lead, and France is also pissed at me, I don’t know why. In the end, I capitulate to avoid going to war against Italy and France both. This calms things down a bit, but I do take a risk of occupying Albania. Naturally, France is again pissed, but luckily no war. Then I reject occupying Angola, to avoid pissing off France further, but also because I am genuinely not interested in anything outside Mediterranean basin at this point. I also help Russia root out some rebels. France takes over Sumatra, but I don’t care about that.

Italy sells me Main Battery Wing Turrets tech, and I can suddenly build dreadnoughts. France, bloody hypocrites, also take over Panama. I suck up to Strategos – who doesn’t like me because I do not follow his insane foreign policy recommendations (blowing up a French battleship? Really?) – by offering to man a yacht. I do develop a BB, finally, and immediately build two.

And I’m sacked. Apparently, not insane enough. Time for round two.

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