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Thread: Ultimate Naval War - Worldwide Observational AAR

  1. #1

    Ultimate Naval War - Worldwide Observational AAR

    Prelude

    The Ultimate Naval War AAR will be a game intended to experiment with creating a truly colossal war at sea. The AAR will be a largely AI-run one. I will be regularly tagging between countries and I will remove the fog of war so as to observe all action. I will be changing construction and research plans of various countries to make them more naval-oriented and having several nations align to factions earlier than normal. In some nations, I will use noneutrality to allow for greater IC usage. I will also alter war goals as I see fit. Otherwise, the AI will run all combat and I will simply be observing to see how it turns out.

    Countries I plan on further navalizing than normal are as follows:

    Germany, UK, France, USA, Soviet Union, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Siam, Nationalist China, Cuba, and Poland.

    Some general ideas on various countries:

    Germany: Something along the lines of the Z Plan. Full blue water navy of carriers, capital ships, and submarines. One SHBB as Hitler's ego-boat. Nice big force of naval bombers.

    UK: Historical naval buildup plus cancelled designs like the Lion-class BBs and the Audacious and Malta-class CVs.

    France: The battleships and battlecruisers of real life, plus new carriers Joffre and Painleve.

    USA: Already builds a monstrously large carrier fleet as an AI; will ensure the addition of the full lineup of post-treaty battleships, the Alaska-class BCs, and the cancelled last two Iowas and the Montana-class SHBBs.

    Soviet Union: New CAs, BCs, and BBs. Some CVLs and perhaps one or two CV.

    Italy: Big lineup of BBs (beyond real life), a few BCs, a few carriers.

    Japan: Big lineup of CVs, three SHBBs (Shinano included), a few new BBs and BCs.

    Netherlands: An obsolete BB (for practical), a newer BC, and a CVL if I can squeeze it in.

    Sweden: A newer BC, some new German-licensed escorts. A CVL if I can manage it.

    Brazil: A new BC or two, plus escorts. Maybe a CVL.

    Argentina: Another BB, a few Italian/German CLs, maybe a CVL.

    Chile: A new CA, maybe a CVL (every minor deserves a CVL )

    Australia: A BC. That'll be fun. And a CVL.

    Canada: Cruisers and a CVL.

    Mexico: License some DDs and a couple CLs, maybe one or two CAs.

    Ireland: License some DDs and a CL or two. Hope they only run into U-boats.

    Portugal: A CA and a couple new escorts.

    Spain: Newer CA or two, a CVL

    Greece: A battleship. Why the hell not?

    Turkey: A second BC would be cool.

    Siam: Maybe a CA.

    Nationalist China: A few DDs and CLs, maybe a couple CAs (scrap iron all of it, but helps balance the IC hit Japan's taking on more ships)

    Cuba: A couple licensed DDs, maybe a CL

    Poland: A few licensed DDs, and a couple CAs (if they can be squeezed out in time)


    I expect a lot of these fleets will be little more than fodder for the top-tier navies. I also have more than a sneaking suspicion the Allies win this. Nonetheless, I expect this to be awesome, and for there to be a few surprises along the way. If you've noticed, the USA and the UK will not be getting as proportionately huge a boost in naval expansion as the Axis countries, but this is just because they already have such a huge lead and I'd like the war to be a bit closer than usual. I think this is a great setup because normally Germany, Italy, and the Soviets screw themselves on land when they try to really build up their navies, but since everyone will be taking the IC hit to their ground forces, I am hoping things will stay more or less as they should on land.

  2. #2
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    I think that I just orgasmed

    I once did something similar in a USA game where I save edited Argentina into the Axis and then gave them 2 BCs, some escorts and a CV. I was nice practice for my navy once Pearl rolled around.
    Last edited by H.Appleby; 22-04-2012 at 16:44.
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  3. #3
    Very excited to see where you take this.

  4. #4
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    FYI, removing the fog of war also removes the detection system. Subs will be instantly attacked, and all fleets will engage as soon as they enter the other's sea zone. Removing the FoW let's you see everything, but it also breaks the naval combat model, so what you'll be seeing isn't "real".
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBromgrev View Post
    FYI, removing the fog of war also removes the detection system. Subs will be instantly attacked, and all fleets will engage as soon as they enter the other's sea zone. Removing the FoW let's you see everything, but it also breaks the naval combat model, so what you'll be seeing isn't "real".
    I'm aware of this issue. From past experiences with it, submarines get slaughtered but the AI does not really exploit this as a player would. The surface warfare tends to remain interesting and is more fast-paced than usual.

  7. #7
    Part One - Prewar

    1936 is the year in which the worldwide naval arms race began, after Hitler tore up the Anglo-German Naval Arms Agreement, intending to build a fleet capable of taking on the Royal Navy in the Atlantic. Hitler's audacious plan began with the laying down of two new battleships, the Bismarck and the Tirpitz, three new battlecruisers, the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and the Von der Tann, and five new heavy cruisers, the Admiral Hipper, Blücher, Prinz Eugen, Roon, and Friedrich Carl. Germany also invested into a transport fleet that would allow it to carry out amphibous invasions, a large new program of convoy and escort vesels to sustain Germany's economy in wartime, and the beginnings of a carrier program. Hitler also told his designers to present him with a plan for the world's largest battleship.

    Germany's massive new naval construction triggered alarm in its rivals. The United Kingdom focused all available resources into naval construction, immediately laying down the five new King George V-class battleships in January as well as a new carrier, HMS Ark Royal. These were followed by two additional carriers of a more advanced design, Illustrious and Formidable, that summer. The French laid down a second Dunkerque-class battlecruiser as well as the battleships Richelieu and Jean Bart and two new carriers, Joffre and Painleve. Naval expansion plans were frustrated in both countries by limited military budgets appropriated by politicians, who did not truly appreciate the magnitude of the threat of Germany's buildup.

    Mussolini, eager to keep up with the French and modernize the Regia Marina, ordered four Littorio-class battleships, with work beginning immediately on Littorio and Vittorio Veneto and with Roma and Impero to begin after their completion. Mussolini also ordered the beginnings of an Italian carrier program, and for the design of battlecruisers, as well as new and improved designs of heavy and light cruiser. The German and Italian carrier programs advanced enough for their first carriers to be laid down that summer, small, simple training carriers, the German Weser and Elbe and the Italian Falco.

    Japan also began a a major naval expansion, intending to produce an indomitable force that could wrest the Pacific away from the Western powers. Japan's resources were stretched to the limit with an order for three of the Yamato-class battleships, the largest the world had ever known, as well as an ambitious plan to deliver six new fleet carriers by the end of the decade.

    The Soviet Union too was alarmed by the German and Japanese plans, and Stalin demanded that the Soviet Union become a truly blue-water naval power. He rejected the initial blueprints his designers presented him with, lamenting the state of Soviet naval design. He demanded newer battleships, newer battlecruisers, newer heavier cruisers, carriers. Soviet research and development teams went to work, and in the meantime, the only new construction laid down was four lines of destroyers.

    Even the minor European powers were aghast, and began to take part in the arms race as well. The Netherlands, threatened by both Germany and Japan, began putting its economy into a war footing and immediately laid down the heavy cruiser De Zeven Provinciën, while beginning design work for capital ships and possibly a carrier program. Sweden, faced with the threat of both Germany and the Soviet Union, laid down two new groups of destroyers and began designing a newer, more modern battlecruiser, Gustaf II Adolf, to lead its fleet, which would be laid down by the end of the year. The Swedish government reluctantly chose to begin seeking out closer relations with Germany as a safeguard against expansionism. Poland followed in laying down two new groups of destroyers, and began planning for a coastal defense force that would be led by two modern heavy cruisers. Elements of the Reserve Army were disbanded in order to free up manpower for an expanded navy and air force.

    Portugal, concerned for its safety against Spain, began design work on domestically-produced heavy and light cruisers and sought out relations with Germany. Turkey in response to rumors of Soviet expansion began designing a newer battlecruiser to complement its aging World War I flagship, Yavuz. The Greeks, faced with the growing Italian navy to the west and rumors of the Turks wanting a second battlecruiser, began designing a battleship of their own to top the Turks' efforts.

    Across the ocean, the United States seemed a little out of touch with the frantic nature of events with Europe. Two new battleships of the North Carolina-class were laid down, and in response to the rumors of Japanese super-battleships, the Navy began looking into its own super-heavy battleships, a line of research that would later yield the Montana-class. The USA's neighbor, Mexico, was more shaken up. Mexican president Lazaro Cardenas had high ambitions for his nation, and launched an initiative intended to bring about a national revival. Mexico's industrial base was to be renewed by an armaments program, and a more international outlook was sought, with relationships pursued with Britain and France in an effort to move beyond US domination of the Mexican economy. A large new lineup of transports was ordered to give Mexico more capability to intervene in Latin America, the first step in a plan that Cardenas also hoped would include destroyers and cruisers.

    Cuba, alarmed by Mexico's new policies, began design work on destroyers of its own, and laid down two groups of transports to provide capability of striking offshore or evacuating the island. South America, too, was seeing the beginnings of its own arms race. Argentina, under a fiercely nationalistic government, was pursuing a more aggresssive foreign policy, alarming Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay, as well as Great Britain, which was concerned over the Falkland Islands. Argentina's economic needs and anti-British stance pushed it into the German sphere of influence. The Argentines ordered a line of transport vessels, with seemingly little other purpose than to retake Las Malvinas. Brazil and Chile responded by reopening the old South American arms race, with Brazil ordering four new groups of domestically-designed destroyers and with all three countries beginning work on new naval designs. Peru, eager to take a place as one of the leading nations of South America, also joined into the arms race, seeking relations with Argentina.

    In the Pacific, Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese Nationalist government ordered two groups of destroyers to provide more security for his fleet, and began opening a line of research into heavy cruisers. These were baby steps towards Chiang's eventual goal of eclipsing Japan as Asia's leading power. Australia also initiated design work for its own ambitious naval expansion program, to address its vulnerabilities to Japan. In Siam, design
    work commenced at the King's personal behest on a heavy cruiser, the Chon Buri.

    The world was becoming a powder keg, but the first explosion oddly enough took place in one of the countries that had not participated in the arms race: Spain. The Spanish Civil War commenced on August 13, 1936. The war began with the nation in chaos.



    Soon, however, the Republican and Nationalist factions managed to form a coherent front line and bases of power, with the Republicans based in the northeast, the Nationalists in the southwest, and Madrid on the front lines of battle between them.



    The world also received its first taste of naval combat as the Republican-controlled battleship ARE España engaged a Nationalist flotilla, sinking the light cruiser ARE Libertad and several troop transports.

    Portugal, alarmed by the war's outbreak, laid down the hastily-designed heavy cruiser NRP Matosinhos. The Soviet Union also commenced work on the first of its major new naval vessels, laying down battleships Sovyetskiy Soyuz and Sovyetskaya Ukraina, two Kirov-class heavy cruisers, and four light cruisers. These vessels, the battleships in particular, were rushed, obsolescent designs; stopgaps for better vessels in the coming years.

    As the year went on into and through 1937, other navies' construction programs expanded and design work of 1936 began being put into practice. The Italian navy ordered two fleet carriers, Aquila and Sparviero and two of the Taranto-class battlecruisers, designed around speed and heavy firepower but lacking in armor. Germany's Z Plan began coming into play, as it ordered two improved Bismarcks, the Friedrich der Große and the Großdeutschland, two Moltke-class battlecruisers (Moltke and Goeben), the heavy cruisers Albatross and Nautilus, the improved light carriers Main and Jade, and four new light cruisers. Germany's massive new super-battleship, KMS Fuhrer, was also laid down late in the year.

    Sweden, Turkey, and Brazil all laid down their new battlecruisers. In South America, Peru and Argentina solidified and signed a tripartite pact with Germany in May; Peru ordered a light cruiser of German design as well as a domestically-built heavy cruiser, and Argentina ordered two German light cruisers. Brazil also ordered the battleship Esperito Santo, which featured a very modern and heavy main armament but was in other respects for the most part a World War I dreadnought. Chile ordered a new heavy cruiser.

    The United States laid down the four South Dakota-class battleships, as well as the first two of the Montanas, the namesake vessel and the USS Ohio. Australia's massive naval construction plan commenced with the laying down of the battlecruiser HMAS New South Wales, the heavy cruiser Perth, and three groups of destroyers. Greece laid down the battleship BEN Kilkis, and later on two squadrons of license-produced British destroyers. Poland laid down its two heavy cruisers, Conrad and Dragon. Portugal added a better-designed heavy cruiser and two destroyer flotillas. The Netherlands commenced construction on the battleship Reinier Claeszen and the more modern battlecruiser Van Speijk. And China began work on two additional destroyer groups, two new light cruisers, and its first two heavy cruisers.

    The Spanish Civil War progressed with the Republicans slowly pushing back the Nationalists from Madrid, although neither side appeared to have gained any decisive advantage yet.



    On July 3, 1937, a second war broke out, the Sino-Japanese War. The Japanese launched a surprise attack into Shanxi. Despite initial victories, the Japanese were soon confronted with a powerful united Chinese front, which ground their offensive to a halt, and by sheer weight of numbers, slowly began to drive it back into Manchuria.



    The Japanese, however, did find success at sea. The Chinese navy, badly outmatched, saw its destroyer fleets and light cruisers picked apart by Japan's better-armed and trained destroyers and cruisers. A portion of its fleet led by the heavy cruisers, Ping hai and Ning hai, also ran into the main Japanese battle line: including the battlecruiser Kirishima, the heavy cruisers Chokai and Takao, the battleship Mutsu, and the colossal new super-dreadnoughts, Yamato and Shinano. A squadron of three light cruisers survived only as a fleet-in-being, remaining in port to avoid Japanese guns.

    Late in the year, Japan attempted to reverse its flagging fortunes in the land campaign with an amphibious invasion targeting the lightly-defended Shanghai. Japanese forces succeeded in taking the city and gaining a beachhead on China's east coast.



    However, the Chinese responded with what came to be called the "Shanghai Miracle March," as tens of thousands of Chinese troops came down from Manchuria in a forced march to contain the beachhead. The Chinese managed to reinforce faster by land than the Japanese did by sea, and the Battle of Shanghai ended with a decisive Chinese victory.



    Meanwhile, in Spain, Republican forces finally achieved decisive breakthroughs, smashing through Nationalist lines to split them in two. The Nationalists regrouped most of their forces in a pocket around Seville, while another contingent remained active in the northwest, besieging the port of La Coruna.



    However, what seemed to be the end for the Nationalist cause proved not to be the case. The Nationalists would survive not only through 1937, but past Christmas in 1938. The Nationalists managed to regain ground in the south and maintain their presence in the northwest, besieging La Coruna for over a year. Both sides began experiencing shortages of manpower from the heavy wartime losses.



    With both wars settling into stalemates of attrition, the rest of the world continued to build up. 1938-39 saw Germany order its first two fleet carriers, Graf Zeppelin and Peter Strasser, as well as the new Hindenburg-class battleships, Hindenburg and Ludendorff. Italy began a newer generation fleet carrier, Europa, and a new light carrier, Sagittario. Turkey, having signed into the Axis Pact, ordered two runs of modern German-designed destroyers. Argentina began work on a new battleship, the Azopardo, to counter the two new Brazilian capital ships; both Argentina and Brazil also commenced work on a light aircraft carrier, the Brazilian Rio de Janeiro and the Argentine Republica.

    The Soviet Union laid down its first fleet carrier as well as four escort carriers; later in 1939, it commenced construction on two fairly modern battlecruisers. Poland, having completed its first two heavy cruisers, began work on a third, the Baltyk. Mexico, completing its early domestically-designed destroyers, ordered two flotillas of more modern French destroyers as well as two French light cruisers. Canada began its destroyer-construction program and continued research into larger vessels of its own, also ordering two French light cruisers after negotiations for British cruisers fell through. Cuba began work on its own destroyer group.

    China began working on new light and heavy cruisers to replace wartime losses, in the hopes of being able to intercept Japanese transports. Sweden laid down two light cruisers ordered from an Italian shipyard as well as a light training carrier; New Zealand ordered two light cruisers of its own from the UK, while Australia went for the gold and began work on its own fleet carrier, HMAS Captain Cook. The United States ordered six Iowa-class battleships along with two more Montanas and a newer batch of carriers.

    World War II broke out in September of 1939 when, after annexing Austria and Czechoslovakia, Germany declared war on Poland.

    Naval status as of September, 1939:

    Allies


    Axis


    Comintern


    *Notes:
    Naval inventory status taken approximately two weeks into the war, and includes the loss of several minor vessels, as well as a British battlecruiser to be named in next installment

  8. #8
    What about the netrual naval numbers? And what is Poland doing in the Comintern?

    Anyways, I'll be following this.

    EDIT:Poland's also in the allies. The Hell?

  9. #9
    Ah, problems. Weird shit happened after the Polish surrender (I took that snapshot of the Com fleet a few weeks after the other one). Germany received a "Poland has been liberated" message after the Soviets took their half, then later on received a "Poland has been conquered" message.

    It had no impact on the game.

    You can shoot me for forgetting a snapshot of the US at the time.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flayer92 View Post
    Ah, problems. Weird shit happened after the Polish surrender (I took that snapshot of the Com fleet a few weeks after the other one). Germany received a "Poland has been liberated" message after the Soviets took their half, then later on received a "Poland has been conquered" message.

    It had no impact on the game.

    You can shoot me for forgetting a snapshot of the US at the time.
    This looks really interesting, always interesting to see a naval AAR...

    On a side note I would really love for Paradox to allow the user to create fleets in the same way we can create Armies & Army Groups & theaters... that would be very cool
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Flayer92 View Post
    You can shoot me for forgetting a snapshot of the US at the time.
    I won't shoot you...provided you update within the next 48 hours. But don't worry about it, they haven't lost any ships yet, so it won't be to different.

    Edit:This will be a very interesting war for the simple reason that there's a South American front. They'll most likely be crushed by the United States, but it will stall the United States for a bit.

  12. #12
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  13. #13

    Part Two - The Fucking Big Update

    Part Two - The Early War (1939-1940)

    The war began on two fronts with Germany facing Poland in the east and France in the west. The German ground forces, spread thin in the east, nonetheless pressed the offensive, with a sizable contingent coming down from East Prussia as a pincer along with the forces on the western border. The Poles fought back aggressively, making headway especially against undermanned Slovakia. In the west, the French adopted a defensive stance, making only limited attempts to advance beyond the Maginot Line.



    The Kriegsmarine and the Royal Navy went to sea, fighting an especially nasty series of engagements in the waters around the Danish coast. Both sides suffered several losses in destroyers and submarines, but the Kriegsmarine was the first to score a major triumph when the British battlecruiser, HMS Renown, was badly damaged in one of the engagements and finished off with torpedoes by the light cruiser Königsberg. The fledgeling Polish navy also skirmished with German fleet units, losing several destroyers.

    The Soviet Union launched the Winter War against Finland concurrently to the German invasion of Poland. Although initially pushed back, Finnish resistance proved far harder than expected, dragging the war on until April 1940. For a time, the Finns even succeeded in capturing the northern port of Murmansk.

    As the Polish campaign dragged on into October, Hitler became impatient with his army’s failure to bring the campaign to a rapid conclusion. Impatient to begin offensive operations in the west, he called on Hungary to invade Poland from the south, offering the Dolne region of the southeast as a prize. Poland soon fell, although its fleet, led by the cruisers Conrad and Dragon, managed to slip past the Germans and make it to safety in France. The Polish fleet would continue to serve throughout the war under Royal Navy command. The incomplete heavy cruiser Baltyk was scuttled as Danzig fell to keep it out of German hands.



    The eastern campaign concluded, Germany turned its attention west. Denmark was invaded to secure the Baltic as a German lake. Germany forced its ally Sweden into the war at this time; the Swedes took a minor role in the Denmark invasion, exchanging shots with the Danes across the straits.

    The surrender of Denmark not only locked the British out of the Baltic, but also provided them with the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland as long-range bases, which were soon garrisoned with German troops. Meanwhile, the Royal Navy, aching to avenge the loss of Renown, soon got its chance.

    German battleship Bismarck was lured out of Wilhelmshaven by a French fleet, which it successfully engaged, blasting apart a group of destroyers, but soon after fell to a trap.



    Swordfish pilots of HMS Courageous claimed the mighty battleship with their torpedoes. Hitler, furious at the loss of one of his three operational battleships, ordered vengeance. The Kriegsmarine, however, was battered in the next series of battles, losing numerous vessels including the new light carrier Main in a carrier battle with HMS Furious and brand new battlecruiser Moltke to Courageous’ airmen, who were quickly forging a reputation. Sweden’s navy, operating alongside the Germans, also took a beating, losing the heavy cruiser Manlighten and the light cruiser Gotland.

    As the Kriegsmarine regrouped and repaired in port, Germany, looking to take pressure off its outnumbered navy and to open a second front against France, called Italy into the war. The Italians launched a rapid offensive to break through French lines in the southeast, while the Celere motorized cavalry units raced deep into Egypt and Tunisia.



    The Italians also scored some successes at sea, most notable being the sinking of the modern French battleship Richelieu in a duel with Littorio. The Italians also had their share of setbacks, especially to the Royal Navy’s carrier force; escort carrier Falco was lost to HMS Glorious and old battleship Conte di Cavour to HMS Hermes.

    Other fronts also opened up: Argentina entered the war, quickly invading and conquering its Allied neighbor, Paraguay, and clashing with RN ships stationed in the Falkland Islands. Turkey was put in a very compromising two front war situation, facing Greece and British forces in the Middle East.



    With most Turkish forces pinned down fighting the British in the east, the few troops left in the west were easily overwhelmed by the Greeks. With Istanbul fallen and an open road to Ankara, the Turks’ only hope was for intervention from their Italian ally. But with most of Italy’s army committed to fighting in France, there was only a limited force in Albania that could do little more than hold the territory. Turkish battlecruiser Yavuz’s group was trapped in the Bosporus by the Greek capture of Istanbul. The Greeks reached Ankara, managing to capture the entire Turkish government and forcing a total surrender. Turkey’s battlecruisers and other ships were scuttled to save them from capture. The anticipated showdown between them and Greek battleship Kilkis never occurred.



    In the west, the Italians continued their advance into southern France, while the Germans began forcing their way through the Maginot Line, bolstered by contingents of Hungarian troops in the north and Swedish troops in the south.



    The clashes at sea continued. The elderly British battleship Malaya managed to score a victory against another World War I veteran, the Italian battleship Caio Duilio. The Italians scored another victory against the French, with the battleship Andrea Doria sinking the much younger battlecruiser Strasbourg. The French struck back by sinking the weakly armored Regia Marina battlecruiser La Spezia with heavy cruiser Dusquesne.

    In the north, the war took an increasingly harsh toll on the Kriegsmarine, which lost many of its heavy cruisers as well as the battlecruiser Von der Tann and the pre-dreadnought Schlesien. However, the German fleet was bolstered by the arrival of new battleships Friedrich der Große, Großdeutschland, Hindenburg, and Ludendorff and the Graf Zeppelin-class fleet carriers. Work was begun on new vessels to replace losses, as well as two very modern carriers, Clausewitz and Barbarossa.

    The Royal Navy took further hits, including the loss of King George V-class battleship Anson to Gneisenau, battleship Royal Oak to the new German carrier Peter Strasser, and battlecruiser Repulse to Italian battleship Roma in the Mediterranean. The Polish fleet fought a number of number of engagements under RN command, with heavy cruiser ORP Dragon going down in a gun duel with the more heavily armed Admiral Hipper and the three Polish destroyer squadrons bravely but suicidally facing down the German battle line of Hindenburg, Großdeutschland, and Ludendorff in an effort to save a transport fleet.



    In France, the German and Italian forces began to loop around Switzerland and form a grand princer movement, trapping much of the French army between themselves. The Italians advanced far enough westward to capture the entire French Mediterranean coast. The pincers soon closed, with the French desperately trying to form a new line facing eastward.



    In South America, the clashes between the Argentine and British fleets left Argentine light cruisers Generale Belgrano and Generale Pueyrredon sunk by British heavy cruisers and British light cruisers Leander and Diomede sunk by Argentine battleship Moreno.

    In North Africa, an Italian Celere division reached the outskirts of Alexandria, but was unable to dislodge the British defenders, and the Italians were knocked back into Libya by a major counteroffensive, spearheaded largely by Britain’s Greek allies, fresh from their victory in Turkey.



    As the French line of defense began to collapse, Germany declared war on the Low Countries and invaded immediately. With no French or British troops to spare for their defense, all three quickly fell. However, the Dutch were not out of the war yet. The destroyers and light cruiser De Ruyter stationed at home managed to escape to South America, while a powerful task force consisting of the battleship Reinier Clauszen, battlecruiser Van Speijk, and heavy cruiser De Zeven Provinciën was recalled from the East Indies to the Mediterranean, where it clashed with an Italian cruiser force.



    The Dutch came out of it having lost De Zeven Provinciën to Zara but managed to take the old Italian heavy cruiser San Giorgio down with them.



    After the fall of Paris, France surrendered on March 20, 1940, scuttling the Jean Bart, Bretagne, Dunkerque, and incomplete carrier Painlevé to keep them out of Axis hands. However, the Free French did manage to save a substantial portion of their fleet, including France’s old battleships Provence, Lorraine, Courbet, and Paris and its two carriers, Béarn and Joffre, transferring it to new bases in the Caribbean.



    The British, determined to maintain a foothold on the continent, committed much of their army to a holdout in Brittany and Normandy, supported by French troops who refused to surrender. Outnumbered and outgunned, the British lost hundreds of thousands of men taken prisoner when this perimeter collapsed. With only a skeleton force plus several allied Irish divisions to protect the Home Isles, Britain’s survival would depend on victory at sea.

    The Axis followed up their victory over France with a joint Swedish-German conquest of Norway and with an invasion of Yugoslavia that dismembered it between Italian and Hungarian claims, a Croatian puppet state, and a German occupation zone in Serbia and Macedonia. The Norwegian navy was demolished in port by Luftwaffe naval bombers.



    The Italians went on to invade and conquer Greece and Turkey, reaching northern Iraq by the end of the year. The Greek battleship Kilkis attempted to break out before the fall of Athens but was driven back into port by Italian battleships and scuttled by the Greeks after their defeat. Romania and Bulgaria were welcomed to the Axis powers as new allies.

    The South American front exploded in 1940, with Chile, Peru, and Brazil entering the war one after another, pitting Argentina and Peru against Brazil and Chile. Neither fortune nor geography favored the Chileans; the Peruvians captured the rich mining territory of the north while the Argentines conquered the rest of their country. The Peruvians scored a success in sinking a Chilean submarine group, but the majority of the Chilean fleet, led by the battleship Almirante Latorre and heavy cruiser Almirante O’Higgins, managed to make it around the Strait of Magellan and join up with the Brazilian navy to fight on. Argentina launched an invasion of southern Brazil, back by Peruvian reinforcements, that managed to push the defenders halfway back to Sao Paulo by the end of the year.

    In Spain, the civil war continued on throughout 1939 and 1940, with both exhausted factions deadlocked in utter stalemate.





    With France out of the way and the side campaigns in Europe concluded, Hitler was determined to finish off Britain once and for all. He called on his ally, Japan, to open yet another front against the Allies in the Pacific. Eager for a new opportunity for victory after the failure of the China campaign, Japan complied and declared war on the Western Allies near the end of the year, bringing the war to an unprecedented global scale.

    The naval warfare of 1940 was vicious, with heavy losses on all sides. The Royal Navy lost its battleships Resolution, Ramillies, Revenge, and Warspite, the Germans lost battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Goeben, and the Italians the new battleship Impero, battlecruiser Taranto, and most of their heavy cruisers.

    December 19 - 1940

    Allied Navies


    Axis Navies


    Comintern Navies


    American Navy*


    *Note: The US Navy has a particularly large number of ships under construction at this time, including ten carriers, eight battleships, and six battlecruisers.

    Losses to Date - Allies

    United Kingdom
    BB: 6 (Anson, Royal Oak, Warspite, Resolution, Revenge, Ramillies)
    BC: 2 (Renown, Repulse)
    CA: 6 (Dorsetshire, York, Suffolk, Sussex, London, Devonshire)
    CL: 17
    DD: 21
    SS: 1
    TP: 7

    France*
    BB: 1 (Richelieu)
    BC: 1 (Strasbourg)
    CA: 1 (Foch)
    DD: 1
    SS: 2
    TP: 1
    
(*Some units were lost on surrender as well)

    Nationalist China
    CA: 2 (Ning hai, Ping hai)
    CL: 3
    DD: 6

    Netherlands
    CA: 1 (De Zeven Provinciën)

    Poland
    CA: 1 (Dragon)
    DD: 3
    SS: 1
    TP: 4

    Norway
    CA: 2 (Eidsvold, Norge)
    DD: 2
    SS: 2
    TP: 1

    Greece*
    CL: 1
    DD: 1
    TP: 1

    (*Remaining units were lost upon surrender)

    Chile
    SS: 1


    Losses to Date - Axis

    Germany
    CVL: 1 (Main)
    BB: 1 (Bismarck)
    BC: 5 (Moltke, Scharnhorst, Von der Tann, Goeben, Schlesien)
    CA: 7 (Deutschland, Friedrich Carl, Roon, Admiral Scheer, Prinz Eugen, Albatross, Nautilus)
    CL: 8
    DD: 7
    SS: 9
    TP: 4

    Italy
    CVL: 1 (Falco)
    BB: 3 (Conte di Cavour, Caio Duilio, Impero)
    BC: 2 (La Spezia, Taranto)
    CA: 7 (Zara, San Giorgio, Trento, Trieste, Gorizia, Bolzano, Fiume)
    CL: 8
    DD: 7
    SS: 12
    TP: 1

    Japan
    CA: 2 (Haguro, Kako)
    CL: 2
    DD: 3
    SS: 8
    TP: 2


    Sweden
    CA: 1 (Manlighten)
    CL: 1
    DD: 2
    SS: 2

    Siam
    CA: 1 (Chon Buri)
    CL: 2
    DD: 1
    TP: 1

    Turkey*

    (*Entire fleet lost upon surrender)

    Argentina
    CL: 2
    SS: 1


    General Observations So Far

    Wow, has this been a crazy game. I have never seen a Spanish Civil War anything like that. As far as I know, both sides are pretty much out of manpower and just seem too exhausted to really fight. Portugal could probably steamroll both of them.

    Finland also held out for a crazy long time; they outdid their real life stand and went until April 1940 - that’s a month after France surrendered in this game, for perspective. They usually get crushed in Hearts of Iron games.

    Italy and Germany also pulled a pretty much textbook perfect envelopment of France (considering Germany didn’t declare war on the Low Countries till afterward). Usually one or the other fucks it up. Also proud of Sweden for actually contributing to that in a meaningful way.

    There’s a reason Turkey ought to stay neutral...the Axis having direct access to the Middle East becomes a mess, and it only gets worse when the Soviets get involved. The Turkish AI is also incapable of running a two front war and pretty much let Greece walk right over them. It was too bad, I was looking forward to seeing those Turkish battlecruisers try to fight.

    That is pretty much the cleanest looking division of Yugoslavia I've ever achieved, thanks to setting the war goals for all nations involved.

    The South American front is going pretty nicely; I’ll be perfectly satisfied once Uruguay joins the Allies (it’s set to prepare for war/align to Allies), getting rid of that weird bulge in the Argentine/Brazilian front. Chile is geographically screwed, but the AI did manage to send its navy around to Brazil after it fell, and I then took the liberty of giving it to Brazil as an expeditionary force (same situation with the Polish navy going to the UK). I would have “saved” the Turkish and Greek fleets the same way if I’d had the opportunity. If the Free French fleet spends the whole war sitting in the Caribbean doing nothing (and if the Dutch start to do the same), I’ll expedite them to the UK or USA to see more action.

    So on to the bits this AAR was started for: the war at sea. The British surface fleet has been given a pretty hard beating by the Germans and Italians, but they haven’t lost any carriers yet. In fact, carriers all around seem to be doing pretty well, with the only two lost being low/no tech escort carriers. The Germans have done a sinfully bad job of keeping their BCs alive, but their new battleship fleet has actually proven very formidable. As usual, the Italian and German heavy cruisers haven't done much but get themselves massacred by the RN. The Italian and German CVs (except for Peter Strasser) also haven't done much as of yet in comparison with their RN counterparts, but that might change in the coming year.

    It's interesting to see which of the minors get stomped and which actually hold their own. Argentina has traded blows equally with the Brits, and the RN actually did have a battleship and a few CAs move down into the Falklands to fight them. Sweden's been a bit more disappointing and has mostly kept to port after being slapped around by the RN a bit at the beginning, but they still have four BCs that might see some action when the Soviets get in. The Dutch fought well in the few actions I've seen. The Siamese navy got totalled within days of their joining the war. Australia hasn't done much yet but I'm eager to see what they do with their BC and freshly built CV now that the Japanese are in. I've played one other game with a big Australian navy similar to this one (a BC plus a CVL) and watched it all get blown to scrap by the guns of the mighty Cristoforo Colombo (the greatest battleship Italy never had).

    Japan hasn’t had much chance for action yet, but they have a huge new fleet of CVs waiting for blood. I decided to have Germany bring them in early because the Axis seemed like it was getting beaten up too badly early on, and I wanted to still have big German and Italian fleets around by the time the Americans and Soviets enter. I predict 1941 is going to be a very, very difficult year for the RN, but the Germans and Italians will continue to take a bruising, and once the USA and the Soviet Union are in, things should start to turn around.

    Ships with Notable Careers So Far

    HMS Courageous [CV]
    Sinkings:
    1 x BB (Bismarck)
    1 x BC (Moltke)
    1 x CA (Albatross)
    1 x CL (Mikuma)
    4 x SS

    HMS Furious [CV]
    1 x CVL (Main)
    2 x CA (Manlighten, Chon Buri)
    1 x CL (Dhonburi)
    1 x DD
    1 x SS

    HMS Victorious [CV]
    1 x CA (Roon)
    5 x CL (Gotland, Königsberg, Leipzig, Bartolomeo Colleoni, Duca d’Aosta)
    1 x DD
    4 x SS

    HMS Malaya [BB]
    Sinkings:
    2 x BB (Impero, Caio Duilio)
    2 x CA (Admiral Scheer, Haguro)

    HMS Ajax [CL]
    Sinkings:
    2 x CA (Nautilus, Trieste)
    1 x TP

    KMS Peter Strasser [CV]
    Sinkings:
    2 x BB (Warspite, Royal Oak)
    2 x TP

    KMS Gneisenau [BC]
    Sinkings:
    2 x BB (Anson, Resolution)
    3 x DD

    RN Vittorio Veneto [BB]
    Sinkings:
    1 x BB (Revenge)
    3 x CL (Colombo, Caradoc, Helle)
    Last edited by Flayer92; 23-04-2012 at 10:01.

  14. #14
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  15. #15
    The Pacific will be Japans until the United States gets involved. Or alternately, we could see a succesful Operation Sealion if Japan brings her 13 aircraft carriers to the Atlantic.

    EDIT:Could you say off hand what other countries are building major warships?

  16. #16
    Ongoing Naval Construction as of December 19, 1940

    United States
    6 x BB (Iowa, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky)
    6 x BC (Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Samoa)
    10 x CV (Essex, Intrepid, Franklin, Ticonderoga, Randolph, Bunker Hill, Hancock, Bennington, Bon Homme Richard, Leyte)
    2 x SS (Blame the production AI for these, not me...)

    United Kingdom
    2 x BB (Jellicoe, Beatty)
    2 x CL
    12 x DD

    Germany
    2 x CV (Germania, Lohengrin)
    2 x BB (Derfflinger, Schlieffen)
    4 x CA (Beowulf, Frithjof, Hildebrand, Heimdall)
    7 x DD
    3 x SS
    2 x SS

    Italy
    4 x BB (Cristoforo Colombo, Leonardo da Vinci, Dante Alighieri, Niccolo Machiavelli)
    2 x BC (Genova, Napoli)
    6 x CA (Marco Polo, Carlo Alberto, Vettor Pisani, Francesco Ferruccio, Varese, Pisa)
    5 x CL

    Sweden
    1 x CVL (Dristigheten, only 3 days from completion)
    2 x CL (Italian-licensed)

    Soviet Union
    2 x BC (Vladivostok, Stalingrad)
    2 x CL
    5 x TP

    Japan

    2 x BB (Tosa, Kii)
    1 x BC (Ibuki)
    4 x CVL (Chiyoda, Shoho, Ryuho, Taiyo)

    Argentina
    1 x BB (Azopardo)
    1 x CVL (Republica)

    Brazil
    2 x DD

    Mexico
    1 x CL (Pancho Villa, French-licensed)

    Canada
    1 x CVL (Warrior)
    2 x CA (Kingston, British Colombia)
    1 x CL (Quebec, French-licensed )

    New Zealand
    1 x CL (Achilles, British-licensed)

    Nationalist China
    2 x CA (Hai Shew, Hai Shen, due within days)

    Cuba
    1 x DD

    Ireland
    1 x CL (Deirdre, British-licensed)
    2 x DD (French-licensed)

    Republican Spain
    2 x DD

    Netherlands
    2 x DD

    UPDATES: On my brief world tour with the game paused, I noticed a substantial French fleet has been based in Zhanjiang, including battleships Courbet and Paris, heavy cruisers Dusquesne, Suffren, and Algerie, and carrier Bearn. We may have some Franco-Japanese battles to celebrate the new year!

    British naval forces currently operating in the Pacific/Indian ocean theater include carriers Glorious, Victorious, and Courageous, escort carrier Argus, battleships King George V, Nelson, Valiant, and appropriately, Malaya, and heavy cruisers Shropshire, Berwick, and Cumberland. Prince of Wales and Royal Sovereign are in the Red Sea, heading back to rejoin the home fleet. The Mediterranean fleet as of now includes battleships Howe and Barham and heavy cruisers Exeter, Frobisher, and Hawkins.

    The last survivor of the Polish navy, heavy cruiser Conrad, is sitting in Bournemouth, heavily damaged. The Italians seem to have the upper hand in the Mediterranean at the moment, with several fleets roaming freely on patrol, including de Zara's CTF with Aquila and Sagittario, Quillici's Sparviero CTF, and Campioni's task force with carrier Europa and battleships Vittorio Veneto and Andrea Doria.

    Germany's capital ships are all in good repair but sitting in port; their fleet has a major shortage of escorts at the moment. The Soviets have based their three old Gangut-class battleships in the Baltic while the bulk of thier newer ships are stationed in the Far East, including aircraft carrier Leningrad, escort carriers Moskva, Kiyev, Novorossiyek, and Minsk, battleships Sovyetskiy Soyuz and Sovyetskaya Ukraina, and battlecruiser Kronshtadt. Apparently, Stalin's hoping for a chance to get some vengeance for Tsushima.

    The main Dutch fleet is recuperating in Guiana after taking a battering in the Mediterranean. Australia's fleet is active and at sea near the Solomon Islands. The UK ships that were there earlier have departed from the Falklands, giving the Argies a bit of a break, but their battlefleet is staying in port to avoid the now quite powerful Brazilian navy, which includes the two starting BBs, a new BB with upgraded main guns, a BC with upgraded main guns, and the Chilean BB. They are, however, due to get their own new BB next month, and might get more aggressive after that.

    Will try getting on again and playing the next year out tonight or tomorrow, depending on how busy I am with with papers and stuff.

    The Map as of Current Date
    http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/7...nshotdec19.png
    (Note the newly puppeted India and Pakistan which will be addressed in next update)
    Last edited by Flayer92; 27-04-2012 at 13:39.

  17. #17
    This is fun! I've been playing the UK a lot lately and getting a handle on the naval game, which is a lot deeper than I realized initially. Following along with interest as you ride history far off the rails.

  18. #18

  19. #19
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  20. #20
    Have just finished playing through 1941, will turn this into a full update later as I am busy now. It's been an exciting year, which has seen the Axis declare war on the Soviet Union in June, the decisive conclusion of the Spanish Civil War, dynamic turns of events in South America, a daring gamble by the Portuguese, the British granting independence to India and Pakistan to raise larger armies for their defense, unexpected and multinational successes by the Peruvian Navy (which has sunk a Chilean submarine, Dutch transport, British light cruiser, Soviet transport, and Mexican light cruiser with no losses of its own), and a bad battering of the RN, although the Axis has also taken some punishment of its own (with the Tirpitz joining Impero, Caio Duilio, and Scheer as another victim of the mighty Malaya).



    There's also been some shoelace-chewing lunacy:



    I shit you not, the Romanians did not get any help from the Italians in that battle. Behold the new heroes of the Mediterranean:



    No Italian battleships or carriers snuck into the battle after it started; Regele Ferdinand Flotilla fought alone (although I am sure Duke of York had to have taken a very severe beating from the Italians beforehand).

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