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Thread: Value of Light ships

  1. #1

    Value of Light ships

    I've been wondering for awhile if the light ships are completely useless except for patrolling sea-lanes by design. For example, the early frigate has less hull size then galleases, less cannons than galleases, and less maneuverability then any other ship I can currently make. Unless I want a cheaper/faster sea-lane protector, I'm better off making no light ships whatsoever. However, the AI doesn't think this, and tends to fill their fleets with mostly light ships, leading to my nation easily securing naval dominance over all others.

  2. #2
    Field Marshal DDRJake's Avatar
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    Don't forget that shock and fire modifiers also come into the equations. That said I only use light ships for tarrifs and Galleys for everything else. If you have the support limit, you can just swarm with galleys. If anything they are much too cheap.

  3. #3
    Seriously, I looked up the vanilla light ships, and normally they're much faster then all other ships including galleys at 10 speed. In MEIOU, they have 1 speed, vs the 5 speed that a transport or big ship has... Something has to be wrong there.

    For my actual game, I use a massive fleet of big ships.

  4. #4
    I believe they actually have 10 speed, at least that is what their unit file says. It says 1 speed in the game though.
    I did a quick test, a "race" between a galleas and a frigate; the frigate arrived slightliy earlier in the next seazone than the galleas. It looks like the very slow speed is just a display bug.
    That said, I think that lots and lots of galleys are better, since they are so cheap and not much worse than the light ships.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by galdor123 View Post
    I believe they actually have 10 speed, at least that is what their unit file says. It says 1 speed in the game though.
    I did a quick test, a "race" between a galleas and a frigate; the frigate arrived slightliy earlier in the next seazone than the galleas. It looks like the very slow speed is just a display bug.
    That said, I think that lots and lots of galleys are better, since they are so cheap and not much worse than the light ships.
    Indeed it is a display bug. What units does the bug effect? I just loaded up with the last bookmark as Great Britain and looked at the Heavy Frigates in their fleet. Their speed displays properly as 10, so this bug does not effect everything.

    I think that if we can solve the display issues we should consider making small ships faster.

    EDIT:
    I searched the files and the only light_ship units that have speed 10 are early_frigate, frigate, and heavy_frigate. heavy_frigate is the only one that displays 10 properly.
    Last edited by James_Manring; 16-05-2012 at 08:32.

  6. #6
    That's interesting. Faster speed for light ships sounds like a good idea, as I believe that galleys already have a speed of 8 or 9. Anything to make light ships more attractive (well if you are colonising you have to get some light/big ship for the tariffs, and while they're at it, they can serve as pirate deterrents. But that's it).

    Out of curiosity, what exactly is the penalty galleys get for not being in the Mediterranean? Oh, and does the baltic sea also count as an "inland" sea?

  7. #7
    F-CEO of EUIV:MEIOU and Taxes gigau's Avatar
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    - Speed : shouldn't galleys be slower than that ?

    - Galleys get their bonus on "inland sea"... open the terrain.bmp file of the map folder : all in blue is "inland sea".
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  8. #8
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    I think one of the reasons why real life fleets were not made of big ship is the cost (money and manpower) of :
    1 - upkeep
    2 - building new ones as the technology progresses
    That make me think that maybe a light ship should have the firepower of a big ship two generations older so that big ships become outdated even if you don't lose them in battle. This way the player has the choice to either spend many money to have an up-to-date heavy navy, or spend less money to have an up-to-date light navy that could win against an heavier but older one. Of find a way between.
    And a country who lost his navy in battle has no upkeep cost and can build a modern one, while the winner has to allow a big part of his income to the upkeep of an ageing fleet.

    You can add that lighter ships can use the narrower passes to their advantage in achipelagoes/coasts. If it is possible, it would be good to give to light ships an advantage in coastal provinces ("brown water"), similar to what galleys get in inland seas. And maybe the light ships should share the "inland sea" bonus with galleys.

    The combination of those two factors would allow historical outcomes like the Invincible Armada being beaten by lighter but more modern ships around the coasts of Great Britain.

    As time goes by, the light ships should get a big advantage against galleys regarding firepower. And galley should be very sensitive to the "time at sea" factor. AFAIK, the reason why they were still used in Mediterranea till the XVIIIth century was that they were quite cheap, and strong enough to fight the Berberian pirates.

  9. #9
    Galleys and Galleases Should be significantly slower than any of the other ship types. They were independent of wind direction and good for quick bursts of speed in combat, but rowers tire easily, and require a ton of supplies to keep them going, so they would have to keep near shore and stop regularly for provisioning. This would mean that any navy attempting to travel long distances would not have brought galleys along at all. Ideally, Galleys and their ilk would only be able to travel one or two sea-zones from their 'home waters,' and should never be allowed to enter 'blue water' due to their inability to operate in rough seas. Another part of the problem is that the AI doesn't suffer naval attrition at all, so it's not uncommon to see Japanese galleys in the North Sea when that would have been physically impossible.

    And galley should be very sensitive to the "time at sea" factor. AFAIK, the reason why they were still used in Mediterranea till the XVIIIth century was that they were quite cheap, and strong enough to fight the Berberian pirates.
    This is not quite accurate. Galleys were shallow draft, maneuverable, and reasonably easy to build, while slavery made them cheap to equip and operate. This makes them useful in rugged coastal warfare, where a bigger, less maneuverable vessel would have trouble operating. Since a lot of the Italian, Greek, and Barbary naval fighting took place in these conditions, galleys were able to remain useful for longer than in other regions where the better sea-keeping qualities, longer range and better firepower of the larger sailing vessels was more useful due to the majority of naval combat taking place in open waters.

    Quote Originally Posted by gigau View Post
    - Speed : shouldn't galleys be slower than that ?

    - Galleys get their bonus on "inland sea"... open the terrain.bmp file of the map folder : all in blue is "inland sea".

    Maybe rather than giving galleys a bonus, large ships could get a penalty in 'inland sea.'

    And I do believe that galleys should be slower than pretty much any other ship type. as I mentioned above, their advantage was in short bursts, but they were not fast over longer distances.

  10. #10
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