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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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