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Thread: ---Naval--- (and Supply) ... Will I Buy Semper Fi?

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    ---Naval--- (and Supply) ... Will I Buy Semper Fi?

    A while ago I said I was gonna get off my rear and post about my theories on Naval combat... and as I'm stuck at work for 2 more unsupervised hours, now seems like a good time. And I may as well make it a megathread... I don't think there are enough Semper Fi threads yet... .

    We'll see if my Grand Dissertation lasts more than 2 hours on the front page .

    The meat of this post is the Navy, but I'm going to save that for the bottom part. Just FYI... look for the "blue"




    FOREWORD:

    I have looked at the official press release, and a lot of the followup comments in the respective thread (and have taken into account the fact that my own question was read but unanswered).

    Most of the changes I think are great... a couple worry me (the new "historical" events make it sound like this game might be getting too forced-historical for my tastes; but as I have no details, I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt for now.)

    However, there are 2 aspects of the game that I found *decreased* in quality from 1.3 to 1.4, one of which is absolutely critical to me; and the lack of intended change documentation on these scares me to the point of questioning my desire to purchase.

    A number of these types of posts/threads pop up daily, but very few of them offer any real suggestions, just ultimatums like "make it better or I quit", which is about as useless as a screen door on a 1940-teched U-Boat. Not all posts/threads mind you, but... the noise/signal ratio is high.




    An absurd, but graphic, analogy if you will: HOI3 is a cup of coffee. The 1.3->1.4 patch made it such that I can only drink this coffee by pouring it on my head and catching it as it drips down.

    Putting it on my head is certainly easy; I have full arm control, can benchpress myself in weight, the cup is ergonomically conformed, and it has a convenient spout on one side of the cup. The new expansion makes it sound like this would be a vast improvement to the flavor of the coffee, customizing it's temperature to my exact preference, and maybe even giving me an Axe Hair Gel equivalent improvement with the Ladies.

    ...

    But I still have to dump it on my head.







    SUPPLY:

    The change to 1.4 edited supply in a way I don't fully understand, but that I can observe: for one, amphibious landings have odd in/out supply issues, and for another, the amount of forces I can actually supply over any given infrastructure has gone... weird. (a level 10 port having trouble supplying 8 3xINF 1xART divisions, each no more than 5 "squares" away, and all infra being level 6 or higher, is... iffy, to say the least).

    The Landing thing I assume is a bug. Units going "out of supply" the day after landing, IF IT WERE TO represent the logistical efforts of trying to supply tens of thousands of men from a beachhead, sounds reasonable; however, since this changed was not documented, AND the problem PERSISTS as you push inward (every single time you take a province). I assume the expansion will fix this, OR make it official, but... it's a mark no less.

    As for the supply, it seems that the "recalculation" of supply routes is as bad as it's always been, just the effect has been magnified in the 1.4 patch. Best as I can tell, the problem is this:

    If a division moves 1 space farther from a supply hub, then supplies take 1 more day to reach it, which is fine. Also, if a division is "freshly" attached to a supply hub, it takes a few (or many) days for it to receive supply. Which is fine.

    However, if a divisions has just started receiving supply the first 2 days worth of it's 30 day allotment has made it, and the rest is in the various provinces leading back to the hub, AND you move that division 1 province PERPENDICULAR to it's previous supply path, then all supplies that had "almost" made it get sent BACK to the hub, and a FRESH set are dispatched, leading to a massive delay for the unit, while it's supplies are often less than 10KM away from it.

    I would surmise that having the supply "route" twin-calculated for units; one as a direct-path to the hub, and one as a last-30-day-incremented path, would allow the division to get it's "already in transit" supplies, while establishing a new route for it's new location. But as I have no access to source code, I cannot, obviously, say this for certain.

    The new "draw from docks" in the announcement is good, mind you... it moves the coffee from my head to at least my eyebrows. If you are taking my advice and making a sea-route count as "1" supply-square to the hub (resulting in some units actually tracing their main supply through a port, even if land connected), is a DEFINITE plus.

    But when a unit in deep Siberia steps off the Trans-Siberian Railroad in a bad spot, and all the supplies that it ALMOST had are SENT BACK TO MOSCOW, that is a major loss of Acceptable-break-From-Physical-Reality for me.






    But enough about supplies... on to:




    NAVAL WARFARE

    (Those of you what are familiar with my Naval poll/post from February might recognize some of this )

    If I were to list my personal favorite Grand Strategy games, PTO1 and 2 are going to probably top the list. Don't get me wrong, Land-Theater game I enjoyed too, and in HOI3, the "decent" land and "ho-hum" naval (along with the "I haven't used air much before... nice!" Air combat) were certainly enough to make me NOT regret my vanilla purchase.

    I want to repeat this:

    I DO NOT REGRET BUYING HOI3.

    I am going to be restating this at the end of this post. This thread is not an "I hate Paradox they ruined the series they should do things my way or I will sue them" type of thread that chased me away from the WoW forums. This post is just in regards to my future purchase, and my feelings therein.

    I will also say that the rest of this post may contain words like "shortcoming" and "fail". I use that term personally.. I realize my own opinions are just that. Please do not interpret this as a flame, or any of my post as anything besides an opinion I feel strongly about. (I.E. if anyone wants to have a discussion with me on this, have it on the physical, factual aspects of Naval Abstraction, not along the lines of "my opinion is bad and I should feel bad" that some seem to use as their primary posting methodology.)




    That out of the way, the Naval Combat model (NOT the AI's usage of such model; improving AI is nice, don't misunderstand, but what it is physically capable of representing of more importance) is the critical junction of me and my determination of all this.

    The primary shortcoming of the current model is how Carriers are represented in all aspects of the game. In 1.3 they dominated by winning ship to ship combat... and in 1.4, they dominate by... winning ship to ship combat, just in a different way. What they do outside of ship to ship combat is poor.

    Which is also not to say that what ANY ship does outside of ship to ship combat, save for Convoy Raiding, isn't equally poor. Once the seas are secure, ships... kind of stop doing anything.

    The Navy needs an overhaul. What I paid for in HOI3 vanilla is ok for Vanilla, but if I want to purchase an expansion, the Navy has to get major love, lets I don't find the money "worth it" personally.



    I will break down what I would like/need to see to have my "naval aspirations" placated; including importance thereof. Note that a lot of these might be mutually beneficial; the "split the CAG" suggestion would help in the "carriers are actually dangerous" area, for example.



    Absolutely Critical:

    1) Any carrier in a surface engagement, both in 1.3 and 1.4, causes all kinds of "abstracted weirdness" in the resulting fight. This needs to be addressed; either in the form of a total overhaul of SAG combat, or just in how Present Carriers work.

    Options include:

    --- Ability to assign a fleet as "SAG" or "CTF". SAG forces, REGARDLESS of if they have carriers in them, try to engage in surface action, CTFs ALWAYS retreat. In the case of a "SAG" that has attached carriers, the Carrier needs to always try and disengage "itself" (or even, if it's "positioning" roll is high enough for the Attacking fleet, not even be placed on the board at all), but the other ships DON'T (unless the other ships pass other criteria, like being so damaged as to run away, or you give a manual retreat order, or whatever). In the case of CTFs, escorts do NOT try and run until the carrier itself is "safe" (or the escorts get damaged-out-of-commission, or a manual retreat is ordered, or whatever)

    --- All fleets have their actions in surface engagements dictated by a new "option" that can be included above the "aggressive/defensive/passive" choice (or can be rolled into said choices somehow). An "always engage/Engage if stronger/Always Retreat" type of choice. Again, if carriers are present on either side, THEY try and run, but the other ships may or may not.



    2) Carriers need to be able to kill things WITHOUT doing it via a shoehorned Surface Engagement.

    Options include:

    --- a "roaming CAG" mission, where CAGs will patrol more than just the seazone the carrier is in, and engage enemy fleets. A mission to cover other "fleets" (instead of other "seazones") would also help, provided said other fleets stay in range.

    --- lowering of the Naval Strike stacking penalty to match the CAG penalty (which, considering the raw size of a seazone, isn't a large breach from reality, as the "so many planes in the sky they interfere with each other" aspect is somewhat lost when said planes can be vectoring themselves over hundreds, or even thousands, of square miles). --- It appears this is the case, colorizing it out of the list...

    --- Having Port Strikes actually hurt anything. I swear, Port Strikes seem to work off of Strategic Bombing value, rather than Sea Attack... not that both cannot apply somehow, but I'm trying to envision an TBF Avenger trying to torpedo-bomb a moored ship from 12,000 feet up, and it's kinda ludicrous.



    Strongly Desire:

    1) Ships in Surface engagements have Tunnelvision.

    In surface fights, each ship picks who to target, based on a variety of factors (tech, experience, etc). However, it seems that it will fire at *only* that target, which is about 2 steps shy of kicked-out-of-the-academy-incompetence. If you are trying to close with a juicy carrier, and a CL gets in your way as a screen, are you NOT going to fire at it until you're within effective range of the carrier? Or if a damaged BB is running, your 3 BCs can go ahead and chase it... but those swarms of destroyers parking next to you and potshotting would make good targets for your Backside Main Armament in the meantime.



    2) Ships are useless Outside of Surface Fights. Other than convoy raiding, ships are a sad sight to any nation that has already won the Naval war.

    Options include:

    --- a new "shore bombardment" mission, which has the same effect as Ground attack / Logistical Strike / Strategic bombing / Installation Strike attacks of aircraft. The details of said mission are up for debate (obviously, a mission where you can do all this at once with no other modifiers would be just a tad imbalancing), but having 20 SHBB doing nothing more than provide a -18% combat efficiency modifier is just plain nuts, even within abstracted concepts.




    Desire:

    1) torpedoes. Subs and little ships could pack a big wallop, which isn't well represented in-game

    Options include:

    --- Giving DD/CL (and maybe CA) a torpedo attack value. Within abstraction, a torpedo should bring about as much punch as a tech-equivalent CA or BC shell, but the accuracy of said weapons should only be reliable within very short distances... I.E. if a destroyer WANTS to hit like a battlecruiser, it's going to have to be able to survive to close the gap; and even then, faster ships should get good chances to avoid said shot (I.E. accuracy = f(target speed, target range, target experience)) (the abstraction would assume, via the Target experience variable, how "evasive" the maneuvers of the target are; for a 0% skill ship in a fleet with a level 0 admiral, this value wold be near 0 itself).

    Torpedo tech should apply to more than just subs, in this case.


    2) why do we have 2 different guns?

    Better ship models have better main armaments.. and yet, their Shore Attack never changes. Change the "Sea Attack" value to "Gun Attack" (goes well with the torpedo attack suggestion above), and have it be used for both anti-surface and anti-land calculations.



    3) Subs: Stealth killers.

    Subs didn't sink a whole lot of open-ocean capital tonnage (with the exception of USA subs in the pacific and a coupe other lucky strikes), but they were still lethal to the point where Admirals took great pains to defend from them. In HOI3, escorts are largely unnecessary due to subs being mostly harmless.

    subs should get a new mission "First Strike" (and/or replace "patrol" with this) where, as a calculation of Hull, experience, Target Choice, admiral level, target experience values, escort density, (etc.), they try and position themselves to take a "once and done" shot at a fleet using the "torpedo attack" value, and then run before the escorts can counter (and said escorts get their own counter based on many of the same variables).



    4) Upgrades.

    A decision was made to make SHBB a "dead end" tech... but the rationale I read was because making the main guns any larger simply could not be mounted on a seaworthy vessel. Yet, normal BB can surpass SHBB in sea attack value eventually, meaning they have better guns... that can't be put on a SH?

    And, of course, there is the matter of AA, which not only can be, but WAS, frequently updated on the 2 SHBB to actually serve during the war.

    And torpedoes... a new torpedo design can't be integrated onto existing ships? Exactly what Mensa Engineers came up with a military weapon that could not be adapted to existing war machines, subs OR anything else??

    What techs can, and should, be upgradeable on what ships warrants a review. I can understand not changing a sub's hull after it's built, but... when it returns to base out of torpedoes, it's inability to pick up the "new mark 2's" from the supply wagon is just... yeesh.

    Some of the techs also have effects that are just eyebrow-raising. A Carrier's hanger tech reduces visibility only? I can see where that "might" be true, but for the only effect better hangers has on a carrier is "reduce visibility"...



    Minor Points (for realism / flavor):

    1) Fleet Fighters.

    A CAG abstractly represents a mix of fighters and attack craft... but what if I don't want those craft on board? It would be a nice touch if there were 2 types of carrier craft, "Fighter" and "Attack". To accommodate this change, a CVL would need to be bumped to 2 slots, and a CV to 4


    2) Training

    For land and air units, the training generally takes longer to complete than the materials (GENERALLY, don't take an example like the German Maus and use it to make me look bad ), so having Training Laws reflect a difference in Build time makes sense, since even after the machines are ready, the crews aren't. For naval craft, however, a lot of the training can be completed prior to the ship completing it's seaworthiness tests (with the new crews "acclimation" being part of said tests). A ship should come off the docks in the same amount of time regardless of changes to training laws; EACH SHIP should be "trained" individually prior to completion. (I.E. I can build 4 CLs with specialist training, and 2 with minimal, at the same time; I choose which at the time of "ordering" it). The training difference should be reflected in the IC cost, but not the build time.



    3) Convoys

    Practical experience for convoys/escorts. Logically, physically, realistically... I see no reason this abstraction doesn't exist.



    4) Spiderweb Escorts

    One effective way of spotting a threat coming for your big ships is to see it long before it gets there... the way to do this within the game system as is, is to place small fleets (2DD each) in each seazone adjacent to your Main fleets. The current Patrol mission does NOT convey this abstraction; the patrolling fleets keep changing zones, often leaving obvious gaps in the network. However, doing this manually is one of the biggest micro-nightmares imaginable for a fleet in motion. If there was some way to assign part of a fleet's escort contingent to patrol adjacent seazones, and pull back to the main fleet if an engagement starts, that would make a lot of Tactical sense... I wonder why Yamamoto hasn't thought of this Naval Mission yet...


    5) Port bombardment

    few things are more frustrating than having 5 heavily damaged battleships sitting in a port, with 5INT's covering from Naval Strikes, and you having a 10BB+escort fleet sitting right outside of it. Ships should be able to attack ports, and the enemy ships therein; there is no magical forcefield extending 4 miles out from the docks that deflects enemy fire. If the opponent has planes, fine, he can attack you with the planes, but the port is still right there, ripe for the shelling. If the enemy has Shore Fortifications in the province in question, and maybe even artillery, then having those fire back at any ship that gets close enough to bombard the port would be fine; but I mean, just sitting there... bullseye on it and all...


    6) DD Cost

    Destroyers are abstracted kinda weird in this game. One the one hand, their low sea attack values and "1 slot" occupation in a fleet hierarchy make it seem like they are single ships, but their build times, names, and icons make it seem like each one represents 5 or 6 of em. DD should either get a build time reduction (to make them really represent single ships), or an increase to some of their stats to represent that there are 5 or 6 of them at once doing the same thing).

    It's not so noticeable with Subs right now (what with them only bing convoy raiders and scouts in 1.4), but if some of the other changes in this post are made, then subs would need the same "abstraction review".






    Anyway, there ya have it; what this Naval Grognard thinks about his desire to purchase the upcoming expansion, as view by him, from the points critical TO him, all posted while being bored at work.

    As promised, here's a repeat of the phrase from above, just so that it is perfectly clear to all:





    "I DO NOT REGRET BUYING HOI3.

    This thread is not an "I hate Paradox they ruined the series they should do things my way or I will sue them" type of thread that chased me away from the WoW forums. This post is just in regards to my future purchase, and my feelings therein."
    Last edited by themousemaster; 20-04-2010 at 18:56. Reason: updated NS stack penalty

  2. #2
    Field Marshal No idea's Avatar
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    Well, these certainly are the two main problems of the game. I really hope they will be adressed in the expansion

  3. #3
    Corporal Spaceghostohio's Avatar
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    Well said sir ! The Naval aspect needs to be addressed.

  4. #4
    Captain jarmenia's Avatar
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    Imagine HOI3 with true naval warfare

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    excellent suggestions mousemaster.

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    Corporal wrath231's Avatar
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    I agree with the Port bombardment feature bigtime..

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    Second Lieutenant Nieldo's Avatar
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    Good suggestions, hopefully paradox will take them on board for the expansion.

  8. #8
    Field Marshal jju_57's Avatar
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    I do agree that the naval combat portion needs a complete overhaul. But I would like to add one more thing that PI needs to rethink. That is reserves and MP. Like CAG's it might have been a good idea but just doesn't work.

    The biggest example and most glaring issue is the Soviet Union. The forces are a complete joke and anyone can defeat the soviet forces within 2 to 4 weeks tops.

    Because the units are reserves they have almost zero organization at the start of the war with germany. This means a single German division can defeat 10 to 20 or more russian divisions. As the russians retreat they lose more organization and eventually get destroyed. The SU may have a reserve of 500 MP but these get sent to those retreating divisions and completely used up leaving the Russians with only a few divisions and zero MP after 3 or 4 weeks.

    To fix this I say scrap the reserve concept. Limit a country to a certain amount of land brigades based on their laws and neutrality levels. PI can even modify this and let people build more but any brigades over a certain number require more supplies and more cunsumer goods to support. This will mean that when war does break out a country may have a smaller number of brigades but at lest these can fight and survive.

    Then the war against the SU will be one of manevour as the Germans try to surrond pockets of these troops. Right now all you have to do is to just keep attacking the province in front of you. No strategy is necessary.

  9. #9
    Naval Combat needs a rework from ground up. It is an ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT World War 1 naval simulator.

    This is not World War 1.

    CAGs unable to sink ships without being on a CAG mission in the same hex as its own carrier, and the enemy target, is just a critical design failure.

  10. #10
    General Laffertytig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themousemaster View Post
    The primary shortcoming of the current model is how Carriers are represented in all aspects of the game. In 1.3 they dominated by winning ship to ship combat... and in 1.4, they dominate by... winning ship to ship combat, just in a different way. What they do outside of ship to ship combat is poor.

    "
    i stopped reading when you said this as its simply not true and makes you sound like you dont know what your talkin about

    my experience of carriers in 1.3 is thats they are next to useless. time and time again ive lost well balances carrier fleets to opposing fleets of BB's, cruisres and DD'S which is a nonsense and the exact opposite of what you said above.

    if ive misunderstood what you have said then i apologise but carriers do not 'dominate by winning ship to ship combat in 1.3'

    ive not experienced naval combat yet in 1.4 so i cant comment on that.

  11. #11
    Field Marshal No idea's Avatar
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    In 1.4 they seem more useful to me. They will try not to engage while using their planes, so, if you want to sink them, youŽll have first to catch them, and be ready for some casualties. If you donŽt have screens youŽll lose capital ships. However, they arenŽt the really capital ships they were in the pacific war, IMHO. Also, CAGs should be changed.

  12. #12
    Field Marshal Alex_brunius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themousemaster View Post
    The Navy needs an overhaul. What I paid for in HOI3 vanilla is ok for Vanilla, but if I want to purchase an expansion, the Navy has to get major love, lets I don't find the money "worth it" personally.
    I agree with this, And I think Paradox do aswell. Thats why their expansion focuses on the pacific after all ^^


    Quote Originally Posted by themousemaster View Post
    --- lowering of the Naval Strike stacking penalty to match the CAG penalty (which, considering the raw size of a seazone, isn't a large breach from reality, as the "so many planes in the sky they interfere with each other" aspect is somewhat lost when said planes can be vectoring themselves over hundreds, or even thousands, of square miles).
    Im not sure what game your playing, but In my HoI3 this was fixed in the 1.3 patch...

    And now both CAG duty and Naval strike have the same stacking for CAGs.

    I agree with you on Port strikes however since they don't and this is a problem since Historical attacks like Pearl Harbour will have -110% efficiency from stacking.



    Quote Originally Posted by themousemaster View Post
    2) Ships are useless Outside of Surface Fights. Other than convoy raiding, ships are a sad sight to any nation that has already won the Naval war.
    Uhm... this is perfectly historical, do you know why USNavy stopped building Carriers and Battleships in 1944? Because they realized the naval war was won and that further ships would be useless.

    Quote Originally Posted by themousemaster View Post
    --- a new "shore bombardment" mission, which has the same effect as Ground attack / Logistical Strike / Strategic bombing / Installation Strike attacks of aircraft. The details of said mission are up for debate (obviously, a mission where you can do all this at once with no other modifiers would be just a tad imbalancing), but having 20 SHBB doing nothing more than provide a -18% combat efficiency modifier is just plain nuts, even within abstracted concepts.
    Shore bombardment works perfectly fine, the only thing that might be missing is a bit damage to coastal forts.
    We can argue abit on the numbers also, I think a large force using shore bombardment should be able to give the enemy up too -60% combat efficiency (not -25% which is the current cap) when defending against amphibious assaults. This would also make sense since -60% happens to be the combat penalty for amphibious landings so troops would fight on equal ground with a huge fleet supporting the attacker.




    Quote Originally Posted by themousemaster View Post

    1) torpedoes. Subs and little ships could pack a big wallop, which isn't well represented in-game
    This I can agree with. A torpedo attack value would be great but I think it should be added a bit differently then you do.

    I think torpedoes should be a one shot per battle for all ships and planes carrying them, applied during the first or second hour of combat. Because Neither destroyers nor naval bombers were carrying reloads (a few exceptions exist). And the subs never could reload fast enough to use them in the same battle again.

    I think torpedo attacks should be more powerful at night (harder to avoid), against large capital ships and as said only fire once per battle.

    To balance it torpedoes should get their damage lowered by the screen to capital ratio. If a fleet have 2 screens per capital ships then torpedoes would only do half damage, due to it being hard to fire them from a good positions with so many screens in the way (regardless off if fired from SS, DD or CAG).

    Quote Originally Posted by themousemaster View Post
    And torpedoes... a new torpedo design can't be integrated onto existing ships? Exactly what Mensa Engineers came up with a military weapon that could not be adapted to existing war machines, subs OR anything else??
    I think this works fine. The way I look at it torpedo techs include everything that increase the subs damage. That means not only torpedoes but also firing systems, reloading systems, targeting systems, periscopes and such. Those systems can't be upgraded.

    Quote Originally Posted by themousemaster View Post
    A CAG abstractly represents a mix of fighters and attack craft... but what if I don't want those craft on board? It would be a nice touch if there were 2 types of carrier craft, "Fighter" and "Attack". To accommodate this change, a CVL would need to be bumped to 2 slots, and a CV to 4
    Why would you need to double the slots? :S
    CVL/CVEs didn't carry any attack crafts. They carried 20 fighters and 10 "adapted" bombers used in ASW or scout roles.

    I think its fine and historical that CVs are the only one that would get a large attack compliment and lighter carriers get to specialize in Air superiority and ASW.



    Quote Originally Posted by themousemaster View Post
    3) Convoys

    Practical experience for convoys/escorts. Logically, physically, realistically... I see no reason this abstraction doesn't exist.
    Amen, Ive been saying this is badly needed each patch since the Beta ^^


    Quote Originally Posted by themousemaster View Post
    5) Port bombardment

    few things are more frustrating than having 5 heavily damaged battleships sitting in a port, with 5INT's covering from Naval Strikes, and you having a 10BB+escort fleet sitting right outside of it. Ships should be able to attack ports, and the enemy ships therein; there is no magical forcefield extending 4 miles out from the docks that deflects enemy fire. If the opponent has planes, fine, he can attack you with the planes, but the port is still right there, ripe for the shelling. If the enemy has Shore Fortifications in the province in question, and maybe even artillery, then having those fire back at any ship that gets close enough to bombard the port would be fine; but I mean, just sitting there... bullseye on it and all...
    Port bombardment being disabled works fairly good Imho. All larger naval bases had several lines of defences making it extremely undesirable to attack them with surface ships, none of these are present in HoI3.

    These would be for example:
    - Extensive mines
    - Many shore batteries (not represented by coastal fortresses mind you, since these can't damage ships)
    - Bad manoeuvrability for both sides.
    - Dozens off small attack craft ready to spring into action, Torpedo boats mostly, but in confined waters these would be a lethal danger to even a SHBB.

    What I can agree with is to have two kind of Naval bases or some improvement which make attacks impossible to represent this. Because for example many north African and Pacific ports lacked this protection and was vulnerable to attack by surface ships.

    Quote Originally Posted by themousemaster View Post
    6) DD Cost

    Destroyers are abstracted kinda weird in this game. One the one hand, their low sea attack values and "1 slot" occupation in a fleet hierarchy make it seem like they are single ships, but their build times, names, and icons make it seem like each one represents 5 or 6 of em. DD should either get a build time reduction (to make them really represent single ships), or an increase to some of their stats to represent that there are 5 or 6 of them at once doing the same thing)
    I think the general consensus is that a flotilla represents about 2-3 ships.
    "A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week." - Patton

  13. #13
    I see several problems in the naval system.

    The first is that naval combat is all or nothing - or to put it another way if you have ships in an area involved in combat then all of your ships in that area will be involved in the combat even if they are in different task forces. A complication of this would then be that you could have two separate naval combats in the same area.

    The second is that naval combat is resolved on a ship basis - this means that each ship acts completely independently, which in turn means that two DD is a combat will behave the same. What should happen is that each ship acts as part of a task force and moves as part of that, which means that a DD that is part of a carrier task force would move with the carriers whereas a DD that is with a battleship would move with it and a DD in a destroyer raiding force would move with that.

    The third is that there is no maritime reconnaissance system - historically nations used very long ranged aircraft to search for enemy ships, this isn't represented in the game at all. This is not the naval bomber represented in the game but Sunderlands, Catalinas, and similar aircraft with very long range whose principal use was to search sea areas - and generally flew alone with each aircraft in the unit flying a different part of the search pattern. The net result is that the plane doesn't fly to one sea province as the naval strike mission does but instead searches in every sea area in the mission zone. It would need a new aircraft type (naval patrol) which would be based on 4 engined aircraft models and with 1944 fuel tanks units based in the UK and the US would be able to cover all the the N. Atlantic. The cost should be quite low as a single counter would need to represent a small number of aircraft say 25. The new mission would be available to the new aircraft and to the current naval bombers and CAGs, and CAGs on cag duty would perform it automatically - but not to TACs even though some did perform the mission (e.g. Avro Anson). This would significantly improve carriers as they would have the ability to spot fleets in adjacent sea areas - and thus make possible the long range attacks. Likewise the presence of land based recon would make the islands there were operated from much more important.

    Another is lack of naval command structure. At the moment a amphibious landing force is just a task force of 30 ships with a single admiral which is then attached to the land command structure. In practice the 30 ships would be organised into say 3 task groups (a battleship group, a carrier group and a transport group) each with their own admiral and combined into a task force with its admiral and part of a fleet again with its own admiral. The task force would also be attached to the land command structure.
    The task group is the level that would perform in combat - so the battleships would fight without exposing the transports. The task force is what is moved on the map - if you want to control individual groups then they are separate task forces that happen to be in the same sea area. At the moment when a fleet fights only one admiral gets experience because the higher and lower parts of the command structure aren't represented.

    Another is the lack of a blockade mission. At the moment if you want to put an island out of supply you need to perform a convoy raiding mission which moves round in a uncontrolled way. A blockade would not move but would raid (supply) convoys ending in ports connected to the sea area. It needs not to be useful for the Germans to place a force off Plymouth and blockade unless the system is changed to be able to reroute all convoys to Liverpool. It would also be similar to patrol in that it would intercept enemy moving through the area - ideally with a bonus for finding units leaving port in the area, or heading for those ports.

    Another is blockage - the way zones are blocked. At the moment the Germans can't invade Copenhagen - this is because control of Copenhagen prevents ships from entering the sea zone containing Copenhagen from the South. There is a similar problem with Gibraltar. Such land provinces should lie on all the sea areas they restrict movement between. There is also a problem with the Suez canal - at the moment there is a single land province that determines if the canal can be used. This should instead require that all the provinces that border it are controlled. It should also be possible to damage it. This can be done via events. If you control all provinces and you aren't the current controller you become the controller. If a province is controlled by a nation at war with the Suez controller the suez_is_contested flag is set (and no one can use the Suez) When you become the controller if the suez_is_contested flag is set the the suez_is_damaged flag is set (and no one can use the Suez.) If you control the Suez and all the provinces are friendly controlled and the suez_is_damaged flag is set then a decision is available "repair the Suez canal". Activating it will start the repair - which costs IC and takes some time.

    Another is port damage - currently a port strike will significantly damage the port itself which I don't think is correct. The sort of damage required to reduce the port level (the capacity to repair ships and move supplies) requires a different sort of attack - the torpedoes used at Pearl Harbour and Tarranto simply weren't suitable. This sort of damage required strategic bombers and wasn't very effective - needs to use the strategic factor instead of the naval factor and be significantly reduced in magnitude. The opposite problem also needs to be represented - the Allies had supply problems in France in '44 in part because the Germans damaged the ports before they lost them - whereas in game at the moment the Allies gain the ports intact. Additionally the repair rate for ports may be too high - IIRC Cherborg wasn't fully operational until '45 - so 4 or more months to repair.

  14. #14
    Field Marshal Alex_brunius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagji View Post
    Another is port damage - currently a port strike will significantly damage the port itself which I don't think is correct. The sort of damage required to reduce the port level (the capacity to repair ships and move supplies) requires a different sort of attack - the torpedoes used at Pearl Harbour and Tarranto simply weren't suitable. This sort of damage required strategic bombers and wasn't very effective - needs to use the strategic factor instead of the naval factor and be significantly reduced in magnitude.
    I don't think that's entirely correct. The attack on Pearl Harbour for example consisted off the following Aircraft:

    90 Anti ship Bombers (B5N) Armed with torpedoes or AP bombs (only 40 of these were carrying torpedoes).
    189 Bombers (B5N & D3A) Armed with general purpose bombs.
    81 Fighters (A6M) Capable of Strafing (could also be armed with light bombs).

    Thus roughly 75% of the force were capable off and had orders to attack the airfields and port facilities. A dive bomber will also have 50 times as good accuracy as a strategic bomber and can target specifically cranes, individual houses or fuel storages. The level bombers can also get much closer due to bringing fighters to strafe and suppress AA.

    This capability is only going to rise as rockets are developed and fighters are armed with them (fighter-bombers).

    I also think the fact that most ships were evacuated to the mainland US for repairs is telling. Pearl harbour was in chaos and in no place to repair ships right after the attack.
    "A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week." - Patton

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Laffertytig View Post
    i stopped reading when you said this as its simply not true and makes you sound like you dont know what your talkin about

    my experience of carriers in 1.3 is thats they are next to useless. time and time again ive lost well balances carrier fleets to opposing fleets of BB's, cruisres and DD'S which is a nonsense and the exact opposite of what you said above.

    if ive misunderstood what you have said then i apologise but carriers do not 'dominate by winning ship to ship combat in 1.3'

    ive not experienced naval combat yet in 1.4 so i cant comment on that.

    In 1.3, carriers won surface engagements because they lived so long that their attached CAGs sunk the offending ships before they sank themselves, unless the attacking ships heavily outnumbered/outgunned the carrier and escort fleet, RATHER than the CAGs attacking the ships before the ships got within firing range.

    In 1.4, carriers win surface engagements due to some dance they perform 50KM out and killing opposing ships with, apparently, their AA guns.

    neither was good, but 1.3 was a LITTLE better.








    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_brunius View Post
    ^^
    ^^
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_brunius View Post
    Im not sure what game your playing, but In my HoI3 this was fixed in the 1.3 patch...
    It is? My 1.4 has been mostly spent analyzing surface engagements... I think I've launched 1 airstrike all game, and I didn't pay attention tot he modifiers. My bad.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_brunius View Post
    Uhm... this is perfectly historical, do you know why USNavy stopped building Carriers and Battleships in 1944? Because they realized the naval war was won and that further ships would be useless.
    Them not building any ore ships is fine; but when there are really big ships, with really big guns, sitting just off-coast of an area where an opponent has hundreds of thousands of troops defending a coastline, and all they can do with their big guns is "force the troops to keep their heads down only when friendly forces are attacking them"...

    Naval forces should not be able to wipe out whole divisions and reduce provinces to rubble in 48 hours... but their inability to even fire their guns is physically absurd.

    And yes, I am aware that the preliminary bombardment of Iwo Jima was largely ineffectual... if you want to modify the effect based on the terrain type you are bombarding, that makes sense. Mountainous island? Little effect. Flat Plains? ...


    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_brunius View Post
    The way I look at it torpedo techs include everything that increase the subs damage. That means not only torpedoes but also firing systems, reloading systems, targeting systems, periscopes and such. Those systems can't be upgraded.
    Some of those can be refitted... but even then, if you knew you had a torpedo design that was prone to failure (say, the Mark 14 torpedo), continuing to use it is, for lack of a better word, dumb. If you want to maintain the abstraction you are referring to, then some upgrades can be done, but only have 50% as much of an effect on the ship being upgraded as if the ship was built brand-new with said upgrades.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_brunius View Post
    Why would you need to double the slots? :S
    CVL/CVEs didn't carry any attack crafts. They carried 20 fighters and 10 "adapted" bombers used in ASW or scout roles.

    I think its fine and historical that CVs are the only one that would get a large attack compliment and lighter carriers get to specialize in Air superiority and ASW.
    CVE's generally didn't, CVL's sometimes did. That said, I "increased the hangar" for the carriers because, right now, a carrier can have 2 CAGs that handle both fighter and attack missions. To be "equal" to that given my suggestions, a CV would need 4 slots (2 for fighter and 2 for attack), but of which you could then make it 1FF 3FA, or 3FF 1FA, or have your CVL be 2FF if it's job is only as SAG escort, or whatever. Same number of "effective" planes, given the new metric I proposed for plane distinction.



    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_brunius View Post
    Various port bombardment stuff
    I just used Coastal forts and (if present) land artillery as examples of return fire for ships actually getting close enough for this operation. If you would like to add "level of the port" to that equation to represent the mines, batteries, et. al. that would be returning fire, that would make sense too. Heck, having the ships in port actually be firing back would also make sense (just cause they are easy to hit while not moving doesn't mean they can't still defend themselves).

    None of that, however, should prevent ships with ranges upwards of 22 miles from being able to hit ships in port. The only thing that WOULD would be an intervening mountainside (which I believe is outside the abstraction level of this game, given how seazones are designed).

    One other thing: I realize my "22 mile" number above is for the top-end battleships of WW2; a DD would never be able to pull that off. So we'd need a metric by which only long-range ships could use this mission, and as well, the mission is up against stationary targets... so the Shore attack value may be a better value to use for calculation within the abstraction of this game's design than the Sea Attack.

  16. #16
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    2) Ships are useless Outside of Surface Fights. Other than convoy raiding, ships are a sad sight to any nation that has already won the Naval war.
    THIS! Today it's hard to imagine a superpower without a strong navy and there are reasons for that, international trade and power projection being the primary ones.

    Convoys should be used frequently in trading over large distances, because trading resources by land from China to Germany is simply ridiculous.

    Shore bombardment cap should be put at 50/60%, not the mere ~20%. Having those big guns supporting the amphibious assault should really make the difference and would make the BBs and BCs more important.

    CAGs are the things that need buffing. CV is not a ship suited for direct engagement, it's more of an aircraft platform. CTFs should be major fleets capable of controlling the seas even by the mere threat of aircraft attack on ships and ports. They should make the player trying hard to trick the enemy into fighting in unfavourable conditions for the CAGs or get some real aircraft support for the fleet. Aircraft-naval interaction is still rather strange, i.e. you don't feel its importance and always feel safe. Let's hope for major AI and balance changes in that aspect.

    All torpedo-bearing ships should be threating. Torpedo DDs shouldn't have the "combat endurance" (e.g. organisation and sea defence), but their sea attack should be high. Subs should have very high sea attack, but extremely low organisation. They were just not suited for prolonged direct sea combat. We also really need to feel the transition from standard guns to rockets, too.

    Capitals-to-screens ratio needs to be back. 15 BB-fleets should be next to useless.

    Oh, and we need resource-attrition effect. The whole concept of resources and international trade is pointless without it.

  17. #17
    Field Marshal Alex_brunius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themousemaster View Post
    CVE's generally didn't, CVL's sometimes did. That said, I "increased the hangar" for the carriers because, right now, a carrier can have 2 CAGs that handle both fighter and attack missions. To be "equal" to that given my suggestions, a CV would need 4 slots (2 for fighter and 2 for attack), but of which you could then make it 1FF 3FA, or 3FF 1FA, or have your CVL be 2FF if it's job is only as SAG escort, or whatever. Same number of "effective" planes, given the new metric I proposed for plane distinction.
    If you really want to have more detail and add attack/fighter CAGs id suggest 1-3 CAGs per Carrier Instead. This would give you a neat multiplyer:

    30 Airplanes (1CAG) for CVL/CVE
    60 Airplanes (2CAG) for Small CVs and Armoured Deck CVs.
    90 Airplanes (3CAG) for Large wooden deck CVs.

    Also fits with that most carriers had 30 fighters and 60 attack craft (30 torpedo & 30 divebombers). And has the merit off less Micro then your suggestion.
    (some were even more attack heavy with 70-80% Bombers).


    Quote Originally Posted by themousemaster View Post
    I just used Coastal forts and (if present) land artillery as examples of return fire for ships actually getting close enough for this operation. If you would like to add "level of the port" to that equation to represent the mines, batteries, et. al. that would be returning fire, that would make sense too. Heck, having the ships in port actually be firing back would also make sense (just cause they are easy to hit while not moving doesn't mean they can't still defend themselves).

    None of that, however, should prevent ships with ranges upwards of 22 miles from being able to hit ships in port. The only thing that WOULD would be an intervening mountainside (which I believe is outside the abstraction level of this game, given how seazones are designed).

    One other thing: I realize my "22 mile" number above is for the top-end battleships of WW2; a DD would never be able to pull that off. So we'd need a metric by which only long-range ships could use this mission, and as well, the mission is up against stationary targets... so the Shore attack value may be a better value to use for calculation within the abstraction of this game's design than the Sea Attack.
    I think we both agree here. By all means Paradox go ahead and add it, as long as all the port defences also are modelled in some way and can damage ships that close.

    Unless active defences are added, it wouldn't be a good Idea to let ships slug it out in ports.
    "A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week." - Patton

  18. #18
    Colonel cwg9's Avatar
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    Lots of good ideas in here for improving the naval combat game. It definitely needs a lot of love from the devs.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_brunius View Post
    30 Airplanes (1CAG) for CVL/CVE
    60 Airplanes (2CAG) for Small CVs and Armoured Deck CVs.
    90 Airplanes (3CAG) for Large wooden deck CVs.
    Perhaps. Not that I would have anything against the splitting of carriers into "CV, CVL, and CVE", but as far as my "list of what would convince me to buy", it's not under any of the sub-headings

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    Capitals-to-screens ratio needs to be back. 15 BB-fleets should be next to useless.
    Well, ya know, except during shore bombardments

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