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Archive for the ‘gaming’ Category

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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