Author Topic: Rise or Fall of German Seapower: a Rule the Waves 2 AAR  (Read 2912 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Desdinova (OP)

  • Lt. Commander
  • ********
  • D
  • Posts: 237
  • Thanked: 229 times
Rise or Fall of German Seapower: a Rule the Waves 2 AAR
« on: February 14, 2020, 11:48:40 PM »
So, I really want to be playing C# Aurora right now, but it’s not out yet and there’s not a whole lot of other games that scratch the same itch. One that does, at least when it comes to designing ships and making them battle, is Rule the Waves 2. On the off-chance that you’ve never heard of this game before, it’s a strategy wargame where you play as a Jackie Fisher-type Grand Admiral in one of the world’s navies between 1900-1950. Like Aurora, it has a tremendously detailed shipbuilding system and the visual appeal of 1990’s tax software. The game has a turn-based strategy layer with real time tactical battles.

For this game, I’ll be playing as the German Empire. The options I chose are: 1900 start, super large fleet size, historical resources, harsher peace deals, 100% research, and manual build of legacy fleet. The "historical resources" option is basically hard mode, since it basically lowers income for everyone except Great Britain. I don't really know how this is gonna turn out. Hence the title.

So without further ado:

The Rise or Fall of German Seapower - Introduction



Balance of Power, January 1900

At the turn of the century, the Kaiserliche Marine occupies the middle ground among the seven premier naval powers, slightly less well-funded than regional rivals France and Russia, and with about a third of the budget of Great Britain. They have two fewer battleships in service than France, although that will soon change as three more are slated for commissioning by the end of the year. France and Russia do enjoy a considerable lead in armoured cruiser tonnage, however.

Order of Battle


Zähringen-class battleship
Ships in service: Zähringen, Weissenburg, Wörth, Schwaben
Commissioned in the early 1890s, these ships make up the bulk of the German battle line at the turn of the century. Limited by their low freeboard and lack of range, these are more suited to coastal defense than true oceangoing battleships. Complement: 792 officers and men.


Wettin-class battleship
Ships in service: Wettin
Ships under construction: Wittelsbach, Mecklenburg, Elsass
Recently-commissioned Wettin is the most modern ship in the Imperial German fleet. Compared to the preceding Zähringen-class, she enjoys better seakeeping, range, and substantially improved protection; in fact, with a 10” armour belt, Wettin is probably the best-protected battleship in the world, if not the best armed; at this time, the Germans lack the 12” gun models of other nations. Complement: 798.


Hertha-class armoured cruiser
Ships in service: Hertha, Freya, Vineta
Like the Zähringen-class, the Hertha-class cruisers were designed with low freeboard and short range in order to save weight. While admittedly also more suited to coastal defense, they at least pack a decent amount of firepower at their displacement. Complement: 686.


Victoria Louise-class armoured cruiser
Ships under construction: Victoria Louise, Fürst Bismarck
The two Victoria Louise-class cruisers were still under construction at the turn of the century, with Fürst Bismarck’s fate in jeopardy, as lack of funding had led to construction being halted. When complete, these cruisers were to provide the German Navy an answer to large foreign cruisers over 10,000 tons, such as the French Montcalm or Russian Pamyat Azova. While not substantially better-armed or protected, with a top speed of 22 knots, they were planned to be able to outrun anything they couldn’t outgun. Complement: 780.


Gefion-class protected cruiser
Ships in service: Gefion, Gazelle, Nymphe
At nearly 6,000 tons, the Gefion-class were very capable protected cruisers for their era, with a good mix of speed, armament, and protection. Complement: 485.


Hela-class protected cruiser
Ships in service: Hela, Ariadne, Niobe, Thetis, Amazone, Frauenlob
The Hela-class cruisers, on the other hand, were not particularly capable ships; the smallest protected cruisers in service in a major navy, these ships were already showing their age by 1900 and no longer considered suitable for front-line combat. They remained useful, however, for trade protection, commerce raiding, and showing the flag in Germany’s overseas colonies. They at least remained fast enough to run away if need be. Complement: 255.


V2-class torpedo boat
Ships in service: 12
A dozen of the V2 class were constructed shortly before 1900. The torpedo boat destroyer, and later, just destroyer, of other navies continued to be called ‘torpedo boats’ in German service despite being basically equivalent to foreign destroyer types. Complement: 78.


1900
The year begins with a rocky start as a trade dispute with Great Britain causes a sudden and dramatic spike in tensions in March. Luckily for Germany, this begins to ease by May. The German government, seeing the weakness of the navy's destroyer forces, demands more  destroyers in April; work is suspendend on Victoria Louise and Wittelsbach to free up funds for 15 more V2-type torpedo boats. Tensions spike with Italy in June after the Kaiser makes an ill-considered statement about that country, but nothing ultimately comes of it.

By December, Battleship Elsass is in active service, as are the last of the V2 class.

1901
Battleship Mecklenburg and armoured cruiser Victoria Louise commission in January. Victoria Louise easily surpasses her design speed on sea trials, reaching 23 knots; this makes her the fastest armoured cruiser of her size in the world. With the success of the design, a third ship, Prinz Heinrich, is laid down. Germany has matched France in active battleship tonnage, but is still behind in armoured cruisers.

In April, the Russian government agrees to sell the plans for their 12" guns to Germany. This is a technological coup for Germany, as they as of yet had lacked a workable design for a gun of that caliber.

Tensions with Great Britain and France spike after the German admiralty successfully derails an attempt by the reichstag to reign in arms expenditures, but tensions with France relax after a German company enters a mutual technology-sharing agreement with the French.


An improvement of the V2 class, three V28-class destroyers are ordered in November. These destroyers improve on their predecessors with better speed and armament. Complement: 93.

At the end of the year, another round of fighting in the Balkans breaks out, with Germany blaming Russia's influence and once again inflating tension between the two countries. At about the same time, Wittelsbach is commissioned.

1902
Fürst Bismarck is commissioned in January. Russia and France are quickly catching up to Germany in battleship tonnage and to make matters worse, Great Britain has a build program of four 15,600-ton Barfleur-class battleships well underway. In order to keep from falling behind, Germany begins drafting plans for a follow-on to the Wettin-class battleships.


That design, the Lothringen-class battleship, is ordered in March, with two ships, Lothringen and Hessen, laid down. The main innovation of the class is the addition of a heavy secondary battery of 6 9” guns, as well as an extremely heavy 20-gun 6” tertiary battery. With the increase in firepower, these battleships belong to a type that will eventually be called “semi-dreadnoughts”. Complement: 943.

Tensions with Great Britain and Russia remain elevated throughout the year following the grounding of a German cruiser while conducting an illicit intelligence operation. Rather than losing face by apologizing, or sending a squadron to demand the ship's release, the German leadership compromises and allows the local government to examine her.

International tensions have ebbed and flowed over the last two years, but remain elevated with Russia. Russian relations heat up again in June 1902, leading Admiral Tirpitz to denounce Russia in a speech before the Navy League. With tensions reaching a critical level, the German Navy mobilizes, and begins conducting a major training exercise in preparation for imminent conflict. Unfortunately, their mobilization further inflames the situation, and by August, war seems inevitable. There is domestic opposition to war with Russia, however, with popular anti-military protests later in the year, but the capture of a Russian agent, apparently on a mission of sabotage, forces Germany's hand. In November, Germany declares war on Russia.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 11:53:27 PM by Desdinova »
 
The following users thanked this post: BigBacon

Offline Garfunkel

  • Registered
  • Vice Admiral
  • **********
  • Posts: 1948
  • Thanked: 518 times
Re: Rise or Fall of German Seapower: a Rule the Waves 2 AAR
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2020, 12:05:27 PM »
Ohoho, war already! Great post, keep it up.
 

Offline Desdinova (OP)

  • Lt. Commander
  • ********
  • D
  • Posts: 237
  • Thanked: 229 times
Re: Rise or Fall of German Seapower: a Rule the Waves 2 AAR
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2020, 07:57:51 PM »
Action of 25 November 1902
With the outbreak of hostilities, the German Navy's strategy is to institute a blockade of Russian European ports. At this time of year the Russian arctic ports are mostly choked with ice, and so both sides' naval strategies hinge on control of the Baltic. The first direct combat of the war begins on 25 November. The battleships Wittelsbach, Wettin and [iMecklenburg[/i] are on patrol off Gotland, supported by the cruisers Furst Bismarck, Victoria Louise, Vineta, and a number of protected cruisers and destroyers. Unbeknownst to them, a squadron of three Russian battleships, Imperator Pavel I, Imperator Nikolai I, and Evstafi, with their own escort, is lurking nearby.

At 1650Z, the German commander orders a course change to the south east to remain within their patrol sector. At 1818, the scouting cruiser Gefion sights an unknown ship passing in front to the southwest, but before she can ascertain her identity she spots a line of ships she identifies as Russian destroyers. Gefion opens fire, scoring a single hit and suffering two in return, before turning back towards the German battle line, safely out of torpedo range. She signals the German fleet, and the battleships change course due south, being now approximately 10,000 yards north-by-northwest of her position. She briefly reestablishes contact with the enemy a few minutes later, but neither side scores any hits. At 1852, Gazelle, screening the head of the German battleline, spots an enemy destroyer. By 1900, the German fleet is sailing roughly south, with a parallel line of enemy destroyers about 3,000 yards to port. With the range of a destroyer's torpedo only about 2,000 yards, the Germans are able to shadow the enemy within visual range and keep firing effectively. The Russian destroyers are making about 20 knots, leading the German commander to believe that they must be screening a squadron of cruisers. Shells from the battleships' quick-firing guns inflict heavy damage on several Russian destroyers, but they begin to pull away. At about 1955Z, the Russian destroyer Veseli is hit by a salvo of 6" shells from Wettin and explodes with all hands.

The Germans continue the chase until finally losing contact with the enemy completely. They turn southeast, in the direction of Swinemunde, before turning back east at about 0045. At 0210, they are steaming northeast a few miles north of Kolberg when Gazelle again spots an enemy warship - this time, a cruiser. The Russians pass in front of the German line at close range, and despite immediate evasive action the battleship Wittelsbach is suddenly struck by a torpedo amidships that floods her engine room. Fortunately, damage control parties are able to control the flooding within just a few minutes, but she is now only able to make 10 knots and is sitting precariously low in the water, with water coming in faster than her pumps can handle. The German task force commander transfers his flag aboard Wettin and sends Wittelsbach back to Kolberg without incident. The Germans search through the night for the Russian force, but do not encounter them again.

Despite the damage to Wittelsbach, the Germans claim victory, having prevented the Russian force from any attack on German shipping and having sunk the destroyer Veseli and badly damaging five others. There is no damage to the Germans other than the torpedo hit to Wittelsbach and a single 3" shell hit on Gefion. Wittelsbach will require a month of repair, then resume blockade duties.

 
The following users thanked this post: joansam, BigBacon

Offline Desdinova (OP)

  • Lt. Commander
  • ********
  • D
  • Posts: 237
  • Thanked: 229 times
Re: Rise or Fall of German Seapower: a Rule the Waves 2 AAR
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2020, 09:23:26 PM »
12/23/1902 - Battle of Gotland
A German force is once again steaming at twilight off the coast of Gotland waiting for the Russians to challenge them. this time it is made up of six battleships: Worth, Zahringen, Weissenburg, Mecklenburg, Wettin, and Elsass. At 1448, just as the light fails, Furst Bismarck and Victoria Louise, scouting ahead of the German line, spot a pair of Russian warships on a head-on course. The Germans change course, headed due north, to intercept. At 1508, Worth, at the head of the line, spots the enemy formation and has to make an evasive turn, passing within perhaps a hundred yards of the 6,600-ton armoured cruiser Rossiya. The German line turns to starboard, with all the guns of the first battleship division trained on the enemy cruiser.

A second cruiser appears; the Germans realize that the main enemy force has passed to the north and that they are now engaged with their scouting force. At 1547, Worth identifies the enemy as the 11,400-ton Pamyat Azova, and engages her, with the range falling to less than a thousand yards. The Russian manages to pull away, but ends up turning back towards the Rossiya, which puts her in range again of the German battleships. At 1636, the main Russian force, having circled back, passes northeast again, crossing the Germans' T, but a rain squall means they're in visual contact only for a minute or two and no hits are landed. At 1636, an 11" shell from Elsass, fired from only about 130 yards, strikes the Rossiya's forward turret and causes a flash fire that detonates the ship's magazine, momentarily illuminating the overcast night sky. With the range of visibilty only about the same as the range of Russian torpedos, the Germans refrain from engaging the main enemy force and continue chasing the now-helpless Pamyat Azova, which is now clearly silhouetted against the night sky as her superstructure is engulfed in flame. German destroyers finish off the smoking wreck and she sinks at around 1815. The Germans again search through the night but fail to reacquire the main enemy force; the Germans search towards the south, as the Russians had gone that way in the previous battle, but this time they had actually turned northwest, skirting the coast of Gotland. The final casualty of the night is the Russian destroyer Bedovi, which, having been hit by a 6" shell when the main force passed the Germans after Rossiya's destruction, founders at 0211.

The Germans have won a major victory, having sunk a pair of armoured cruisers and a destroyer with little damage in return; Worth having been struck only by a pair of 7" shells. The only other ship to be hit during the battle was the Russian protected cruiser Pamyat Merkuriya, which took a single 6" shell from Mecklenburg that destroyed her bridge, killing or wounding everyone inside. With no one at the helm, she fell out of line and away from the Germans, ironically perhaps sparing her from a worse fate. On the other hand, the Germans have missed a second opportunity for a decisive battleship action, but the blockade continues.



Action of 23 January 1903
A squadron of five German torpedo boats attack the Russian Baltic coast, sinking a pair of merchantmen, but are forced to withdraw when confronted by 9 Russian destroyers. Torpedo boat V29 is lightly damaged as the two sides pass each other.

Action of 22 February 1903
Gazelle and Gefion are confronted by a trio of 3,000-ton Russian protected cruisers. Each force leads a destroyer flotilla. Although outnumbered, the heavier, better-armed German cruisers are able to sink the Velikii Knyaz Konstantin and badly damage the Pamyat Merkuriya and Nadezhda and three destroyers before withdrawing, having expended almost all their ammunition. Both ships are only lightly damaged.

March 1903
Less than four months after the outbreak of hostilities, a peace deal is reached, with Germany gaining some minor concessions from Russia. The Kaiser overruled the navy's position to continue the war, perhaps due to the increasing risk of France intervening on the Russian side.

Nevertheless, the Kaiserliche Marine acquitted itself well in the brief conflict, having sunk two armoured cruisers, two destroyers, and successfully blockaded the largest country in Europe.
 
The following users thanked this post: BigBacon

Offline Desdinova (OP)

  • Lt. Commander
  • ********
  • D
  • Posts: 237
  • Thanked: 229 times
Re: Rise or Fall of German Seapower: a Rule the Waves 2 AAR
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2020, 11:48:38 PM »
1903
Prinz Heinrich is commissioned in early 1903. That year Germany also completed the design of the Carsten-class minesweeper and August Pieper-class colonial gunboats; the latter were intended to show the flag in Germany's overseas colonies, freeing up the Hela-class cruisers for raiding and trade protection in case of war. By 1906, six Carsten and 9 August Pieper-class ships would be in service.

Lothringen and Hessen commissioned by the end of 1904. Germany's next order was for a new class of armoured cruisers. Two Friedrich Carl-class armoured cruisers, Friedrich Carl and Yorck, were laid down in October 1904. Displacing a thousand tons more than the preceding Victoria Louise, these ships kept the 23-knot top speed but improved on armament, mounting 10 8" guns in two dual and six single turrets, giving a broadside of 7 guns. Experience was quickly showing that large batteries of a single caliber were more useful in practice than mixed batteries of large and small guns, and a seven-gun broadside was almost twice the firepower of a contemporary cruiser, with the 8" guns also being considerably faster-firing than the 9". The idea was that the class would be able to chase down and destroy any contemporary armoured cruiser with a hail of shells.

In early 1905, the German fleet began rebuilding with newly-developed central fire control systems. Advances in fire control were making long-range shooting possible; therefore, in May 1905, when the Kaiser personally demands three more battleships be built, German designers draw up plans for a ship with unprecedented firepower. The design, which will become the Brandenburg-class battleship, boasts 6 12" dual turrets in a hexagonal layout, giving her twice the broadside of a contemporary battleship. But the Brandenburg class stretches the limits of available technology, and German shipbuilding; she will be 6,000 tons heavier than the preceding Lothringen-class and no better-armoured, with the only secondary armament being 24 4" quick-firing guns in unarmoured deck mounts. Earlier in the year, German spies had captured the plans for the new Russian Imperator Aleksandr II-class battleship, which revealed she would be capable of 20 knots. As such, Brandenburg would have to be capable of 21 knots on triple-expansion engines, in itself a feat of engineering. The Brandenburg class would be the first 'dreadnought' battleships laid down, but not the first commissioned. The design had a troubled development; midway through the design period, an improved 12" gun was developed and the design had to be amended to make use of it. The delay in production infuriated the Kaiser and caused the Admiralty a considerable loss of face. Two ships would finally be ordered in October 1905, Brandenburg and Preussen, with a third, Hannover, ordered in January, funded by popular subscription.

But construction of the battleships was continually threatened by budget cuts and competing government interests. Even by mid-1906, Germany's navy budget had fallen to almost 80% of France's, and a mere quarter of Great Britain's budget. Desparate to secure more funding, the German Admiralty did its best to inflame and maintain international tensions, causing a minor crisis with Italy, but although at one point another war seemed imminent, relations eventually normalized on their own.

The next threat to the battleship program was the German Naval Secretary; infatuated with the French Jeune Ecole school of thought, and faced with the fact that Great Britain was now building 8 large battleships of a similar design, he demanded cancelling the battleship program in favor of more cruisers. Facing a demand for 9 additional cruisers, the navy had no choice but to temporarily suspend work on the Brandenburgs. The Arcona class cruiser was a compromise design; the lack of budget mandated a class of inexpensive protected cruisers. The Arconas were designed with decent speed and long range; they might not be able to stand up in a gunnery duel, but they would make decent raiders and be more capable than the existing Hela class. Nine ships were laid down in June 1907: Arcona, Medusa, Bremen, Undine, Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Danzig, and Lubeck. Although designed to be cheap, by September, further budget cuts had resulted in work halting on everything but the unwanted Arcona class. In turn, January 1908 saw work on these ships halted in order to continue production of the now considerably delayed Brandenburgs, once the Naval Secretary's attention had wandered elsewhere.

Ultimately this meant that HMS London beat the Brandenburgs to the water as the first dreadnought battleship. Although slightly better protected, London and the similar Venerable-class battleships would be, by German intelligence estimates, only capable of 17 knots, slower even than Germany's existing pre-dreadnought battle line - making them significantly less practical.

Preussen and Brandenburg would finally be commissioned in July 1908, as tensions across the continent began to surge once again. Tensions first arose after yet another round of fighting in the Balkans, eventually leading Germany to fully mobilize by the end of the year; tensions remained high in January 1909 when Germany attempted, unsuccessfully, to add Northern Korea to their colonial empire. This ill-considered move raised tensions considerably with France, Russia, and Japan, each of whom fancied themselves as rightful master of the Pacific. The crisis with France could not be averted, and in January 1909, France declared war on Germany.
 
The following users thanked this post: ExChairman, Garfunkel, joansam, BigBacon

Offline Desdinova (OP)

  • Lt. Commander
  • ********
  • D
  • Posts: 237
  • Thanked: 229 times
Re: Rise or Fall of German Seapower: a Rule the Waves 2 AAR
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2020, 05:25:47 PM »
1/29/1909 - The Battle of Jutland

Germany has established a naval blockade of France's Atlantic coast. On 29 January, the new dreadnoughts Preussen and Brandenburg, followed by battleships Lothringen, Hessen, and Schwaben, are patrolling between Denmark and the coast of northern England on convoy escort duty. Intelligence has indicated that the French may attempt a sortie.

At 1244 the German squadron is following a southerly course, when the scouting element, armoured cruisers Victoria Louise, Furst Bismarck, and Prinz Heinrich spot the vanguard of the enemy force. The weather is partly cloudy and somewhat windy with heavy seas. By 1300, the cruiser Nymphe reports a line of enemy armoured cruisers approaching from the south on a northwesterly course; 20 minutes later, four French battleships are spotted following behind them: Redoutable, Colbert, Solferino, and Magenta.

The sea state prohibits the Germans from using their 21-knot speed to decisive advantage. The dreadnoughts open up on the enemy's cruiser screen, but their battleships are still too far away and the range is closing slowly. At 1400, both sides are steaming roughly west, and the German dreadnoughts begin firing at the French battleships, although the pre-dreadnoughts following them are unable to close within range.


By 1424, the range has fallen to about 7,000 yards. The trailing predreadnoughts are in action with their forward turrets, but to little effect, while the pair of dreadnoughts and the French line are both scoring a few hits on each other, although the increasing wind is making gunnery more difficult. Night begins to fall at 1545, with neither side having suffered any major damage. The French have now turned south, and the German predreadnoughts have fallen behind to the point that the enemy is no longer in visual range.

Meanwhile, the German armoured cruisers, now tailing the main force, briefly trade fire with the French armoured cruisers, before nightfall puts an end to this engagement. At 1635, the Germans score a critical hit on Colbert that knocks out her machinery and forces her out of line. It is now fully dark and the sighting distance is only 3,600 yards, about the same as maximum torpedo range. The German dreadnoughts score a few close-range hits on the stricken French battleship. But the French have decided to reverse course, and minutes later, the predreadnought division, about 6,000 yards behind, runs head-on into the rest of the French force, passing close enough for Hessen to launch a torpedo at a French battleship, which misses.

The French turn away to port, away from the predreadnoughts, but this puts them in close contact with Preussen and Brandenburg, who have followed the French fleet's turn. The dreadnoughts begin pounding Colbert, scoring several devastating close-range hits with their 12" guns in rapid succession. The German destroyer division tasked with supporting the battle line makes a textbook torpedo attack as the dreadnoughts pass the stricken French battleship, scoring two hits. Meanwhile, screening protected cruisers Gefion, Gazelle and Nymphe have run into the remaining French battleships, with Gefion taking some damage from their quick-firing guns before launching her own torpedoes to cover her escape.

At 1711, the dreadnoughts catch the rest of the French force, scoring hits on the battleship Solferino. The French battleline has scattered; The Germans chase Magenta and Redoutable north, while Solferino runs away to the southeast. At 1736, battleship Lothringen is torpedoed by the destroyer Arc when she passes too close, although the flooding is quickly brought under control. Arc is blasted apart by at least one 12" shell hit and several near misses by Lothringen and Hessen and sinks.


By 1744, Preussen and Brandenburg are steaming roughly east, enveloped by Magenta and Redoutable to the north and Solferino to the south. The range is close enough for Preussen to launch her own torpedo, which misses. Under fire from both sides, the German dreadnoughts turn starboard, focusing fire on the now completely isolated Solferino. At 1811, Preussen and Brandenburg launch more torpedos at her, as the burning wreck of Colbert can be seen sinking about 3,000 yards west. The torpedos miss, but Solferino is set on fire and loses power, slowing to a stop just a few hundred meters from the site of Colbert's sinking, where she is finished off by a German destroyer's torpedo.



At 1836, the German predreadnoughts, now having lost contact with Preussen and Brandenburg, begin trading fire with more enemy ships about 15,000 yards to the south. The German dreadnoughts, moving southwest to assist, run into French ships at 1914, identifying them as destroyers and light cruisers, and turn away to avoid torpedos. At 1940, the German predreadnoughts and dreadnoughts are finally back in formation, and reducing speed to escort the stricken Lothringen, begin heading for home, but turn back at 2200 when a French armoured cruiser is spotted on a parallel course. Giving chase, the Germans sink the destroyers Dard and Carabine, but unable to match their speed, lose sight of the armoured cruiser.

Unknown to the Germans, the French battleship Redoutable, has taken a critical below-waterline hit, and, shipping water in the heavy seas, founders before reaching port. The final tally is three French battleships and three destroyers sunk, in exchange for one predreadnought and a destroyer moderately damaged. There is only light damage to Preussen and Brandenburg, despite having been hit by 7 and 5 12" shells respectively. Magenta is the only survivor of the French battleship squadron.
 
The following users thanked this post: Steve Walmsley, Garfunkel, obsidian_green, joansam, BigBacon

Offline Steve Walmsley

  • Aurora Designer
  • Star Marshal
  • S
  • Posts: 10179
  • Thanked: 11363 times
    • http://www.starfireassistant.com
Re: Rise or Fall of German Seapower: a Rule the Waves 2 AAR
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2020, 07:50:43 AM »
Really interesting AAR. I may have to get this game (in April :) )
 
The following users thanked this post: bro918

Offline Kristover

  • Lieutenant
  • *******
  • K
  • Posts: 165
  • Thanked: 72 times
Re: Rise or Fall of German Seapower: a Rule the Waves 2 AAR
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2020, 08:19:36 AM »
Like your project, RTW2 is kind of a passion project but by a small team of guys doing it on the fly.  The ship design portion of it is the very best part - at tech level 0 when you do the 1900 start, the options are kind of limited but the more you research the more this portion of the game takes the prize for being the most interesting.  The best part of it is you have imperfect intelligence on your adversaries and given the lead time it takes to make ships, you are essentially guessing that the fleet you are building at great expense will be suitable in the future - and it will be quickly made obsolete by the very next fleet your opponent is constructing.  The strategic game also has interesting choices with invasion ranges, political intrigue, and the necessity to have bases everywhere if you want power projection.

The downsides of the game though become evident the longer you play it.  The AI I felt was kind of rudimentary - I get it, any game AI is eventually rendered dumb and susceptible to player actions on a long enough curve but this AI appears to be on the very basic and dumb side and frankly after a game or two world conquest is I felt ridiculously easy - you have all these brilliant choices on the design side but than you get to the actual battles and there isn't a lot there.  Also, the developers didn't generate the ability for your opposing powers to go to war with each other.  Tensions will rise and fall but they won't actually fight each other and hence it really does feel like an empty sandbox when it comes to strategic play - frankly, I think the developers would have been better served dropping the battle engine and just focusing on design and fully featured strategic/operational combat and it would have made for a more compelling game.  Finally, it appears that the developers haven't been really active on their forums - the last update for the game was like in May last year I believe and there are still bugs and oddities and half features which were never iterated on.  Obviously I have a lot of regard for 'hobby projects' - this game really does feel like a labor of love much like Aurora - but given that they charged 39.95USD for it, I was expecting a bit more on the support and feature side.

I will this comment though - like Aurora, RTW2 is a GREAT story generator and you can look past some of the design choices, you can really have a lot of fun with it separate from the 'game' portion of it.  Use to play a game a long time ago called Space Empires 4.  The AI was a 'little' better than RTW but still easy to figure out and destroy it.  BUT if you were willing to discipline yourself with some rules - I generated countless hours of stories with that game and definitely got my monies worth.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 08:29:14 AM by Kristover »
 

Offline Desdinova (OP)

  • Lt. Commander
  • ********
  • D
  • Posts: 237
  • Thanked: 229 times
Re: Rise or Fall of German Seapower: a Rule the Waves 2 AAR
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2020, 08:58:36 PM »
Action of 03/20/1909
An indecisive battle takes place between a force of German and French destroyers. Due to stormy weather, very few hits are scored. The French destroyer Baliste is moderately damaged.

April 1909
The beginning of April sees Arcona commissioned, and the beginning of the construction of battleship Deutschland. Deutschland is the first second-generation dreadnought designed and ordered. So far nearly all dreadnought battleships have used a hexagonal configuration for their main armament. Taking full advantage of steam turbine propulsion, Deutschland will mount her armament in five turrets, with a superfiring pair forward, and two staggered wing turrets capable of firing across the deck to either side, giving her a full broadside of ten 12" guns. At 28,000 tons standard displacement, she will be almost 40% heavier than any previous battleship, with most of that displacement going towards protection - with a 12" main belt, she has an immunity zone against her own guns down to 5,000 yards. With Great Britain vastly outproducing Germany in total battleship tonnage, German naval designers require quality over quantity.

4/18/1909 - The Battle of Stavanger



1035 - German armoured cruisers Yorck, Freya and Hertha sight a French force of comparable size off the coast of Norway and turn to the southwest in order to pursue. The enemy ships are the 12,400-ton Dupleix-class Kleber, 12,000-ton Latouche-Treville-class Pothuau, and the 10,900-ton Gueydon, screened by a force of four protected cruisers. By 1103, they have closed to within firing range.



The German cruisers quickly close to about 5,000 yards. The Germans are quicker to find the range and begin scoring numerous accurate hits on the French, setting the Kleber on fire. The French turn south, hoping to break contact, but are too slow to escape. By 1250, the French cruiser Gueydon has pulled away from Kleber and Pothuau, which are now both on fire and still under heavy bombardment. The Germans let her go in order to focus on her sisters. By 1312, Kleber is crippled, and the Germans circle around and leave her to pursue Pothuau. At 1340, Kleber is finished off by a torpedo from protected cruiser Gefion, while the main force destroys Pothuau; the German cruisers then chase down and sink the 3,000-ton protected cruiser Sfax. Gueydon and the three remaining ships of their protected cruiser screen escape with moderate damage. The Germans pull just 40 survivors from the water, having suffered only minor damage themselves.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 10:29:54 PM by Desdinova »
 
The following users thanked this post: Garfunkel

Offline Desdinova (OP)

  • Lt. Commander
  • ********
  • D
  • Posts: 237
  • Thanked: 229 times
Re: Rise or Fall of German Seapower: a Rule the Waves 2 AAR
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2020, 09:41:35 PM »
5/4/1909 - Battle of the English Channel


Dreadnoughts Brandenburg and Preussen, followed by predreadnoughts Hessen, Lothringen, and Zahringen, are enforcing the blockade of France a few miles northwest of Calais, at the mouth of the English Channel. The weather this night is rainy with high wind, with visibility only about 2,000 yards.

2151: Lookouts on Brandenburg spot an unidentified ship dead ahead and she turns to starboard to avoid the possible enemy vessel.

2210: Torpedo boat S33, leading a destroyer flotilla in support of the German reconaissance cruiser force, signals that she's spotted an enemy squadron several miles southwest, but they also turn away into the darkness.

2216: An unidentified warship, possibly the same as spotted earlier by Brandenburg, is spotted by the German predreadnoughts. They open fire on the Germans, and are steaming roughly north on a course that will cause them to cut across the line of escorting German destroyers. The German destroyers identify them as three French armoured cruisers, and cut loose a salvo of torpedoes at close range, scoring a single hit on the armoured cruiser Dupleix and putting her out of the fight. She will survive and slink back to Calais under cover of darkness. German destroyer S13 is hit by a shell that causes her torpedoes to explode on deck and quickly founders. The German battle line turns south to chase, but retreat from a possible torpedo attack by French destroyers. With visibility still negligible, but only 4 hours from daybreak, they circle at the mouth of the channel waiting for the French to turn back towards Calais. At 0008, damaged destroyer S34 also founders due to the heavy seas.

0132: The scouting armoured cruisers Friedrich Carl, Prinz Heinrich, and Furst Bismarck, still several miles south of the main force, spot an unidentified vessel and trade fire to little effect.

0230: Protected cruiser Gazelle, scouting alone and even further south, engages and sinks what turns out to be an enemy merchantman.

0248: Brandenburg again sights a pair of enemy vessels dead-ahead, and turns to avoid them. The Germans identify these ships as destroyers - extremely dangerous at such close range.

0346: Dawn reveals the two enemy destroyers, as well as a French armoured cruiser, which is attempting to flee. Weather is still poor, but sunrise has increased the visibility range to about 12,000 yards, allowing Brandenburg and Preussen to engage the French destroyers from outside torpedo range. They soon find themselves also engaged with a French 6" shore battery to port.

0425: Prinz Heinrich, which has fallen out of formation and is about 24,000 yards southwest of the battleships, spots two large French warships, radioing in that she's spotted a French battleship. Meanwhile, Gazelle is now about 30,000 yards dead west of the main force, and has spotted a line of ships that she identifies as French cruisers, all the while the German battleline is engaged with a flotilla of French destroyers at uncomfortably close range.



0434: visibility has increased to 15,000 yards, allowing the German battleships to fire on a pair of French armoured cruisers, that are already engaged at close range with Prinz Heinrich and Furst Bismarck. A hapless French merchantman is set upon by German destroyers and destroyed, while destroyer S23 strikes a mine and sinks.

0507: Brandenburg and Preussen have increase speed to 21 knots in order to chase down armoured cruisers Desaix and Latouche-Treville, hammering them relentlessly with 12" shells at a range of 3,000 yards.

0556: Brandenburg and Preussen are engaged with Desaix, and steaming northeast through the channel while the German predreadnoughts are finishing off Latouche-Treville 15,000 yards to the south. Suddenly, Brandenburg spots a line of three French battleships dead ahead. Brandenburg reduces speed and turns towards the south to rejoin with the predreadnought force, while under fire from the French battleships Trident, Devastation, and Courbet. Their arrival allows Desaix to escape.

0640: Cruiser Prinz Heinrich strikes a mine, blasting open a huge hole in her hull and flooding rapidly. While her crew races to save the ship, The German dreadnoughts are chasing the French battleships. Although outnumbered, the Germans are able to bring three turrets to bear, while the fleeing French can only reply with their stern turrets, giving the Germans twice the weight of fire.



0730: Prinz Heinrich's crew finally brings the flooding under control, with minutes to spare. Perilously low in the water, there is still a risk that she could founder and sink due to the heavy seas, although the worst of the weather is over. Meanwhile, Brandenburg and Preussen are blasting away at the three French predreadnoughts, having set Trident ablaze and mortally wounding an enemy destroyer.

0842: Curious onlookers watch from Dover as the French battleships slowly succumb to German gun and torpedo attack. Trident and Devastation are left abandoned and burning only a few thousand yards from the English side of the channel; Courbet is chased down and sunk in deeper water. Meanwhile, the German cruiser force is several tens of thousands of yards to the east, engaging a French armoured cruiser.

1140: The German battleships reunite with the cruisers, assisting them in sinking the damaged armoured cruiser Desaix, in order to clear a path for the crippled Prinz Heinrich.

At the end of the day, the Germans have suffered one armoured cruiser nearly sunk by a mine, three destroyers lost and three more severely damaged, in exchange for sinking the battleships Trident, Devastation, and Courbet, armoured cruisers Desaix and Latouche-Treville, and destroyers Pertusiane and Escopette, with another armoured cruiser severely damaged by torpedo. Following the Battle of Jutland earlier in the year, the superiority of dreadnought battleships over previous types is now well-established - two dreadnoughts being able to chase down and destroy three enemy battleships with little damage. France has now lost six of their ten pre-war battleships, and their chances of breaking the German blockade are now extremely remote.
 
The following users thanked this post: ExChairman, DIT_grue, obsidian_green

Offline Desdinova (OP)

  • Lt. Commander
  • ********
  • D
  • Posts: 237
  • Thanked: 229 times
Re: Rise or Fall of German Seapower: a Rule the Waves 2 AAR
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2020, 12:08:45 PM »
7/14/1909 - Second Battle of Stavanger



1500: German cruisers Victoria Louise and Furst Bismarck, led by the recently-repaired Prinz Heinrich, are patrolling off the coast of Norway to interdict a possible French sortie. At this time, they are on a southwesterly course.

1530: scouting protected cruiser Gefion spots a French Coetlogon-class protected cruiser.

1553: The Germans spot the main French force, identifying three armoured cruisers, three protected cruisers, and numerous supporting destroyers. The Germans turn south to pursue. The French ships are the 15,100-ton Conde-class cruiser Sully, an extremely powerful armoured cruiser with 4 9" dual turrets and 14 7" guns in single mounts, the 12,000-ton Latouche-Treville-class Jeanne d'Arc, and the 8100-ton Dupetit-Thouars-class Amiral Charner.



1619: The French have lined up to offer battle, with both forces now sailing due east. The French are initially more accurate, causing minor damage to Prinz Heinrich's superstructure.

1651: although the French scored several good, early hits, Amiral Charner has fallen out of line due to mechanical trouble, shifting the balance in favor of the Germans. The Germans have found the range with their 9" guns and are beginning to score accurate hits on the French cruisers, focusing their fire on the French flagship, Sully.

1754: A penetrating hit to Sully's machinery spaces forces her out of line. The Germans now have a 3-to-1 advantage against Jeanne d'Arc. The French turn away, back to the northwest, attempting to cover their retreat with a destroyer attack. The battle has become a rout.



1920: Jeanne d'Arc and Sully are disabled and burning, with the German formation continuing to hammer them at close range with 6" and 9" guns. Sully is overtaken by German destroyers and takes a crippling torpedo hit. The Germans have expended almost all of their ammunition, but continue to pursue Amiral Charner.

2052: With the approach of dusk, and with almost all ammunition expended, the Germans break off pursuit rather than risk taking a French destroyer's torpedo in the darkness.

2123: The German cruisers reencounter the crippled Sully and destroyer Fronde, sinking Fronde immediately before destroyer S31 puts two more torpedoes into Sully.

2150: The Germans shift their attention to the burning Jeanne d'Arc, as night falls and the Germans expend the last of their main battery ammunition.

2326: Lookouts on the German cruisers watch the burning wreck of Sully capsize and sink. The Germans will patrol the area until daybreak, then attempt to recover survivors. They save 74 from Fronde, but only 49 from Sully and a mere 25 members of Jeanne d'Arc's crew are pulled from the frigid water. The Germans have sunk 2 armoured cruisers and a destroyer; French armoured cruiser Amiral Charner and protected cruiser Coetlogon having escaped with severe damage.
 

Offline sloanjh

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral of the Fleet
  • *****
  • Posts: 2805
  • Thanked: 112 times
Re: Rise or Fall of German Seapower: a Rule the Waves 2 AAR
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2020, 01:04:51 PM »
Like your project, RTW2 is kind of a passion project but by a small team of guys doing it on the fly. 
I believe Fredrik is the only developer, and I suspect he does it in his spare time.

Quote
Finally, it appears that the developers haven't been really active on their forums - the last update for the game was like in May last year I believe and there are still bugs and oddities and half features which were never iterated on.  Obviously I have a lot of regard for 'hobby projects' - this game really does feel like a labor of love much like Aurora - but given that they charged 39.95USD for it, I was expecting a bit more on the support and feature side.
I'm confused by the statement that "the last update for the game was like in May last year" - are you talking about RtW1 or RtW2?  For RtW2, the current version is 1.18 which shows a date of March 3 2020 on the unzipped exe.  The version before that (1.17) shows a date of Feb 7 on the exe (the zip file date on my computer is Feb 24 2020, i.e. a few days before this post.  My 1.0 files are from May of 2019, so that means that in 10 months they've done 18 updates.  In addition, those 18 updates have made a world of difference in the quality of the game - I played non-stop through October (1.10), got tired and played Battletech through February, then picked it up again this month.  There are still a few annoying features, and there are some fundamental flaws in the underlying mechanics, but for me the latest version is like night and day.
Quote
I will this comment though - like Aurora, RTW2 is a GREAT story generator and you can look past some of the design choices, you can really have a lot of fun with it separate from the 'game' portion of it.  Use to play a game a long time ago called Space Empires 4.  The AI was a 'little' better than RTW but still easy to figure out and destroy it.  BUT if you were willing to discipline yourself with some rules - I generated countless hours of stories with that game and definitely got my monies worth.
Historical note:  I'm 99% certain that SE4 is a "sibling" of Aurora, in that both of them got their start with StarFire.  If you look at SE functionality, naming and timing (10 years after Starfire 2nd edition), it would be an amazing coincidence (hence only 99%) if SF wasn't a motivation for SE.  On the other side, I'm not sure if you're aware that the underlying engine for Aurora started off as "StarFire Assistant", until Steve decided to go write his own game (Aurora).

All that being said, I am disappointed that the intent behind the strategic engine is brilliant, but that it misses out in execution.  The brilliant part is that it abstracts away the micro-management of exactly what's happening in a zone in a particular month, and instead randomly generates encounters with OOB randomly selected from ships on both sides present in the zones.  The part that most frustrates me in execution is in this battle generator.  Rather than having different types of task groups and looking for random encounters where one might run into the other (e.g. a squadron of destroyers running into full-blown fleet maneuvers), it tends to balance the OOB between the two sides.  This puts a thumb onto design decisions and deployment strategies, because for example if don't put an BB into a zone but instead have a high-quality CA or CL, then you'll never generate a battle where the enemy BB/fleet/squadron crush your cruisers and your (potentially outnumbers) CA or CL can beat the enemy.  The reason for going high quality is that at the highest difficulty level you're limited to only controlling your lead division of 2-3 ships - the other divisions are controlled by the AI and you can only given them generic orders like "form line of battle after division X" or "scout for division X".  So the game mechanics pushes you in the direction of quality over quantity, since you can best use your human superiority over the AI by concentrating your power in a few powerful ships (that will end up in the lead division).  That being said, when fighting major powers like US or UK there's also strategic pressure to be strong in several zones, which leads to a lot of heroic battles against vastly superior forces.

  I just finished a war (early 30s) with the US in my current game (playing France) where I lost a CV and a BC in the first month of the war from an ill-advised foray to the East Coase (the CV to land-based air and the BC to an unfortunate mine strategic event); the following month the US invaded Gitmo (which I took in an earlier war0 with their entire fleet (something like 12 BB and 8 BC against my 3 BB and 2 BC, the better of which was off screening my carriers).  I still managed to since 3-4 of their BB at the cost of one of my BB lost and the other 2 BB and 1 CV maimed, but then I lost my other high quality BC (which had been screening the CV) when I sent it on a night raid on the transports that were landing troops - it ran into the entire US fleet and was sunk within 5 minutes.  At that point (the sinking) I thought the entire war was lost - I didn't have enough high-quality ships left to be able to fight off the battles to support the enemy invasion.  The next day saved the battle, however - I sent my remaining CV around to the north side of the island and hammered their fleet which was still milling around the invasion area with a dawn strike and further strikes over the course of the 2nd day of the battle.  This also highlights the meta weaknesses in the AI and game generator, however - from playing the game a lot, I knew that the AI would keep its battle fleet near the transports rather than retiring, so I was able to hammer it.  Similarly, since I can often pick my aerial search directions for CV since I have a rough idea already where the enemy will or won't be (which saves on strike planes).

Ok - that just turned into a mini AAR, but it was one of the toughest situations I had to extract myself from.  I also had to fight several more such one-sided battles (with one-sided loss ratios) before I was able to whittle the US fleet down to not being a concern.  So I think my point above it is that even though I win almost all the time, most of those wins aren't easy and I still find the game challenging because of the imbalance of resources.  What I'd most want (which is never going to happen based on the response when I suggested it on the forums) is for the strategic battle generator to be more random, without the "1 battle per month" external effect - for small zones with lots of ships (e.g. northern Europe) the potential for lots of action at the same time that there are also actions going on if an invasion is happening in SE Asia.  The pushback btw was "1 battle a month is more frequent than happened historically", so the perception is that the current rate of battle generation is already higher than history in order to make the game more fun.

John
 
The following users thanked this post: papent

Offline JacenHan

  • Captain
  • **********
  • Posts: 411
  • Thanked: 84 times
  • Discord Username: Jacenhan
Re: Rise or Fall of German Seapower: a Rule the Waves 2 AAR
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2020, 01:17:09 PM »
Quote
Finally, it appears that the developers haven't been really active on their forums - the last update for the game was like in May last year I believe and there are still bugs and oddities and half features which were never iterated on.  Obviously I have a lot of regard for 'hobby projects' - this game really does feel like a labor of love much like Aurora - but given that they charged 39.95USD for it, I was expecting a bit more on the support and feature side.
I'm confused by the statement that "the last update for the game was like in May last year" - are you talking about RtW1 or RtW2?  For RtW2, the current version is 1.18 which shows a date of March 3 2020 on the unzipped exe.  The version before that (1.17) shows a date of Feb 7 on the exe (the zip file date on my computer is Feb 24 2020, i.e. a few days before this post.  My 1.0 files are from May of 2019, so that means that in 10 months they've done 18 updates.  In addition, those 18 updates have made a world of difference in the quality of the game - I played non-stop through October (1.10), got tired and played Battletech through February, then picked it up again this month.  There are still a few annoying features, and there are some fundamental flaws in the underlying mechanics, but for me the latest version is like night and day.
This may just be forum software misunderstanding. The updates on the NWS forums are in a thread labelled "[Latest Update] is now available", but because they just edit the post each time a new update is released, the forum says that the post is from May 2019, the date of the first update.
 

Offline Desdinova (OP)

  • Lt. Commander
  • ********
  • D
  • Posts: 237
  • Thanked: 229 times
Re: Rise or Fall of German Seapower: a Rule the Waves 2 AAR
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2020, 08:17:58 PM »
Action of 8/19/1909
An engagement takes place between a flotilla of German and French destroyers off the Dutch coast; the Germans are able to sink the French Hallebarde, Epee, and Rapiere; S24 and Flamberge are badly damaged.

9/24/1909 - Battle of North Sea
0623: Prinz Heinrich and Hertha, screened by Gefion and Gazelle and a number of destroyers, are conducting a patrol in the North Sea when Gefion spots a possible enemy light cruiser. The sighted ship turns away to the west.



0723: The Germans have identified the opposition as the 10,900-ton cruiser Gueydon, two 5,500-ton Coetlogon-class protected cruisers, a Gazelle-class protected cruiser, and several supporting destroyers. The Germans decide to press the attack, quickly overwhelming the French cruiser with a fusillade of 6" and 9" shells.

0807: Gueydon has already been reduced to a flaming wreck. A counterattack by a pair of French destroyers is quickly repulsed, and when both ships are blasted apart, the German cruiser shift their attention to the Coetlogon-class cruiser Lalande.

1014: The Germans leave Lalande, satisfied that she is sinking, and double back to recover survivors.

1422: The Germans head south towards port, and find Gueydon is not quite as dead they had believed. She is still under power, but making less than 10 knots. Unfortunately, the French ship is helpless to resist the Germans, and one of her escorting destroyers is sunk as the Germans finish her off.

In addition to two cruisers, they have sunk the destroyers Fauconneau, Francisque, and Flamberge. 72 survivors are rescued.

The battle is the last surface action of the war, as an exhausted France surrenders days later. France cedes no territory, but Germany extracts considerable war reparations. The naval campaign has been completely one-sided: In 8 months of war, Germany has lost only 3 destroyers, while France has lost the bulk of their fleet: 6 battleships, 7 armoured cruisers, 2 protected cruisers, and a dozen destroyers have all been lost. The sustained German blockade has caused considerable material shortages across France, and by the end of the war mutinies were taking place among the remaining French warships - while France accepted humiliating terms, the alternative was total collapse. French submarines and raiders made a minor impact on German shipping, sinking 34 merchants, while 10 French submarines have been sunk. Despite the budget cuts following the end of the war, the completion of the Arcona-class cruisers allows for the ordering of a second Deutschland-class battleship, Schlesien, in November 1909.
 
The following users thanked this post: DIT_grue

 

Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74