During and after World War II, naval power underwent a great transformation: carriers, surface ships, submarines and naval air force, all transformed to a new world. Carriers suddenly provided new horizons of operations with jet air forces and the increasing air threat, in turn, lead to the development of more effective missile based air defense systems. With a world that was soon dominated by guided missiles, radar and fire control systems both for classic air defense missiles and for the offensive anti-ship weapons, things were rapidly changing. Traditional guns of surface ships became smaller but more precise. Ships also started carrying helicopters, originally developed as light reconnaissance and transport vessels on land. They quickly became familiar in navies as well, where their main role became the vital task of anti-submarine warfare. In addition to conventional warfare, ballistic missile submarines had a key role at the strategic level as nuclear launch platforms.
We just made the coolest naval system in any Cold war era grand strategy game. There comes a time when one has to aim big and so we would like to introduce something that we believe will blow you away.
All fleets matter
First off, we have designed fleet strategies around the historical doctrines of both Cold War superpowers: the doctrine of carrier battle groups used by NATO, and the emphasis on surface and submarine missile groups by the Warsaw Pact. While the navies of NATO relied on their large supercarrier groups and effective submarine/anti-submarine warfare platforms, the Soviet Navy developed very effective missiles and ship/submarine groups with the main task of attacking NATO carrier groups. We have therefore given both NATO and Warsaw Pact unique units as a reflection of their historical role. In addition to the superpowers, minor navies can have smaller but effective weapons like powerful missile boats or missile frigates. So expect even the smallest navies to act like scorpions, if given a chance they will not hesitate to effectively defend their national waters.
Design your own Ships yeah we really mean it
There is always a narrow limit between ship classes and it is especially true for the Cold War. In addition to aging WW2 ships, you can produce and customize ships, from the smaller missile boats through large cruisers and carriers.
The base of the new warship models in East vs West are the new weapon complexes, as in any modern ship these modules are components that can be installed to ship slots, limited by each ship’s hull. A weapon module is more than a technological component; it is practically a unit type with its own stats and models. You are free to modify a ship with new weapons or even use older ones to create a cheaper ship class. Weapons includes conventional guns, anti-ship missiles, air defense missiles, close-in weapons, anti-submarine missiles and tactical land attack missiles, airplanes and helicopters.
We have done extensive research combing through hundreds and hundreds of ship models and saw that the barrier between escort and capital ships was very fluid during the Cold War. A modern missile destroyer or cruiser can provide heavy defense for a carrier, but it can also act as a surface action group leader. So we added the historical templates and took this as an inspiration to let you decide the role of each ship with your design.
We expanded many different classes of ships. Carriers have more unit types including the WW2 escort carrier, the conventional carrier and the nuclear supercarrier. For anti-submarine warfare ships and amphibious attack ships, we have the helicopter carrier type which either can have a decent fleet of helicopters and/or vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft (like the famous Harrier) that can provide air support.
Players can also go below the water and use many types of submarines, including conventional and nuclear attack submarines, guided missile submarines and ballistic missile submarines popularly known as boomers. They are silent, mobile, and invisible to the enemy. Not to mention that they pack a mean nuclear punch if necessity requires. (A tip from our test games? Use them for a second strike if your “friends” decide to misbehave.)
So this epic naval design requires some epic vessels to demonstrate it so we have three vessels to show you.
The Kirov and friends
First, the deadly nuclear submarine. Submarines can have torpedoes, guided missiles and land attack missile weapon complex slots. They are also the only naval unit that can carry nuclear missiles.
This is a Nimitz-Class carrier with its numerous Carrier Air Groups. East vs West allows the use of air superiority fighters, multirole fighters, attack planes and vertical-takeoff–and-landing planes as well as airborne radar craft. All these planes operate with the aircraft carrier and enhance the ship’s abilities.
Last but not least is this fantastic piece of Cold War machinery: the Kirov class nuclear battle cruiser. It is a real multi-purpose ship but we emphasize her two main historical roles: long range anti-ship attack and long range fleet defense capability. This ship is a very good example of a high defense (high organization capability) and layered defense platform which gives defense bonuses. The ship has a Vertical Launch System and medium range anti-air defenses which makes her a veritable powerhouse and an awesome option to provide fleet defense for capital ships like a carrier.
The editor shows all weapon icons, tooltip information with photo, main weapon stats and maximal slots / maximal weapon total size. All components can be swapped by simply clicking on them. The edited ship can then immediately be mass-produced either in single or multiple production lines.
More realistic combat
We dreamt of a realistic naval combat system and decided to make it a reality. We wanted a system that focused on modern missiles combat and carrier warfare. For the naval design in East vs. West we’ve introduced ammunition storages for large missiles and torpedoes.
If we go into a little more in depth, weapon components with ammo are linked to the primary (P in the image) or secondary storages (S in the image). Each ship complex component can be linked to a storage. Primary components carry primary ammo and secondary carry secondary. Both have limited rounds, and are highly effective but also very expensive.
Short range weapons do not consume primary or secondary ammo, only the organization of the ship itself. Organization in naval terms for East vs. West is a measure of the defensive power of the ship. Without organization, a ship is defenseless and after a ship has run out of organization all further damage received will take a toll on the strength of the vessel itself. Some classes, like multipurpose capital ships, can use both primary and secondary storages. Smaller ships use only one or none at all. This system thus provides the player with a large variety of configurations, but without the huge micromanagement for handling ammunition of every weapon system. If vessels run out of ammo, the ships automatically goes to the nearest port to refit, costing supplies. Submarine launched nuclear missiles are integrated into your country’s pool of nuclear warheads. Though we represent different ammo types, we want you to focus on building fleets, giving them orders and deploying them to the right task at the right time.
So now you’ve got some awesome ships and you figure, what better then to set your foot down and finally bring the Communist ideals to the eagerly awaiting French nationals! Time to send a fleet!
Combats and Missions
Combat begins with detection, as radars, reconnaissance planes and helicopters help ships and subs with detection and targeting. Ships with extremely long range missiles can reach targets multiple provinces away and not get detected themselves (in conjunction with air surveillance units or costal radar.) Ships with missiles will try to fire from their furthest range, while the defenders will try to evade with anti-air missiles and point defenses aiming at shooting down enemy missiles. Ships with large and medium range air-defense capability are able to protect other valuable ships, as well, and having built a good combination of ships in a fleet will prove essential to that fleet’s survival. There is also always the choice between retreating or continuing the fight, perhaps even closing in with guns and torpedoes.
Against submarines, the surface combatants can use conventional depth charges, torpedo rockets, and, later in the timeline, more modern longer range anti-submarine missiles and/or deck helicopters where available.
As the combat window shows, a detailed naval combat log will be generated that you can view after the battle. This log contains all the combat events including missile launches, successful evasion attempts, missile impacts, damage and sunken vessels, so it can easily be used as part of an After Action Report or just to showcase your naval design ingenuity. With some spying you should be able to find your enemies’ naval design weaknesses.
In addition to common naval combat, ships can have other mission types, like initiating long-range attacks against sea and land targets, supporting amphibious invasions, patrolling to try to flush out enemy subs or just as a show of force in multiplayer. What better signal of your mastery of the game than to demonstrate your master of the seas?
Gábor Gombor - Biga (Design, naval techs, hardcoding)
Grega Trobec (Graphics design)
Zoltán Takács (slot scripting and content)
Davide Benedetti (naval OOB)
David Gomes (hull gfx)
Lionel Wood (hull gfx)
Russ Odoni (naval doctrines)