Battleships in Carrier Fleets?

  • Crusader Kings II Expansion Subscription

    Subscribe to the CK II Expansion and enjoy unlimited access to 13 major expansions and more!


  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

SacremPyrobolum

Lt. General
78 Badges
Jul 31, 2012
1.438
467
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Prison Architect
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Darkest Hour
I know the meta says to separate battleships from carriers due to the former slowing down the latter, but historically battleships and carriers did operate in the same fleet. In fact, the US specifically developed fast battleships like the Iowa to keep up with the carriers to act as screens and provide bombardment support for landings.

I'm not sure if this was actually necessary IRL seeing as carriers on their own out-ranged, out-sped, and out-reconed battleships, making it very unlikely for BBs to get into range of a CV in the first place. But I suppose it was done out of an abundance of caution.

HoI4 tries to incentivize BB escorts by making CVs need capital screens, but it does so at the price of realism where surface ships are somehow able to always get close enough to CVs consistently to threaten them and make the battleship screen necessary. Not a good trade off, even if it does actually incentivize you to invest in batttleships or at least battlecruisers.

So is there any advantage to having battleships in DH carrier fleets other than roleplay? My planned composition was:

4 Carriers
2/4 Battleships
4/6 Light Cruisers
6 Destroyers
=
18 ships commanded by an admiral.

Which is in contrast to my usual Carrier Fleets of 4 CVs, 4 CLs, and 4 DDs and Battleship fleets of 6 BBs and 6 DDs commanded by a Vice Admiral. Its less economical to be sure, but America can swing it and frankly my battleships are probably better off rolling alongside carriers. Who is escorting who again?

Only setback is that its probably not a good tradeoff to have a CV fleet parked off of a beach for the BBs to provide gunfire support to landings when it could be hunting enemy fleets.

Hopefully my 'all round' small task forces comprised of 3 CAs and 3 DDs will be adequate enough to provide such support when massed together. Should probably replace a CA with a CVL honestly.
 
Last edited:

Altruist

Captain
9 Badges
Sep 13, 2011
338
270
  • Darkest Hour
  • Stellaris
Which is in contrast to my usual Carrier Fleets of 4 CVs, 4 CLs, and 4 DDs and Battleship fleets of 6 BBs and 6 DDs commanded by a Vice Admiral.
Curious question: What is your reason behind using a 1:1 ratio of capital:screens for BB : DD but a 1:2 ratio for CVL : CL/DD?

And are your fleets intended to fight the Japanese or the Germans? Would it make a difference for you in terms of fleet composition (what's your intel saying about their fleet composition)?
 
Last edited:

Eugenioso

General
6 Badges
Sep 15, 2008
1.883
225
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Darkest Hour
  • Cities: Skylines
Short answer, no, dont mix them in.

Longer answer: all fleets will always move to the minimum distance necessary for their longest firing ship to attack. In other words, mixing BB and CV means that while the CV can maintain a range advantage, using a BB in the same fleet they will try to get close to engage at gun range and risk sinking those all important CV's.
 

SacremPyrobolum

Lt. General
78 Badges
Jul 31, 2012
1.438
467
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Prison Architect
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Darkest Hour
Curious question: What is your reason behind using a 1:1 ratio of capital:screens for BB : DD but a 1:2 ratio for CVL : CL/DD?

And are your fleets intended to fight the Japanese or the Germans? Would it make a difference for you in terms of fleet composition (what's your intel saying about their fleet composition)?
Cuz I always assumed there was a penalty for having more than 4 carriers in a fleet. I'm not sure where I got this impression from; probably cuz an actual Admiral from the conflict said that using more than 4 carriers in a carrier task group was inefficient due to lack of airspace.

BBs on the other-hand suffer no such penalty and I'm really just trying to get as much firepower as possible out of them for bombardment purposes, hence the 1:1 ratio.

In general, I'm hesitant to go over 12 ships per fleets to keep me from over-promoting admirals. I was going to make an exception for the carrier fleet I proposed tho.

I've honestly never felt the need to tailor my fleet every playthrough. Carrier fleets crump all with little exception and those exceptions will result in negligible loses overall. I'm not playing multiplayer and see no need to play totally optimally.
 

Altruist

Captain
9 Badges
Sep 13, 2011
338
270
  • Darkest Hour
  • Stellaris
I've honestly never felt the need to tailor my fleet every playthrough. Carrier fleets crump all with little exception and those exceptions will result in negligible loses overall. I'm not playing multiplayer and see no need to play totally optimally.
Agreed. Carriers are best.
With the lone exception of maximizing shore bombardement (and while a shore bombardement bonus helps, so far I haven't had a situation where it was really crucial and the
only way possible).

For escorts, though, I'd say there can't be a "meta" but it depends:
DDs are the best defense vs. subs, CL best defense vs air. And both (at least the newer models from on around 1935 and then even more so afterwards) excell in their role to an extent that simple brigades can't be a replacement.
Which means, if resources are no deciding factor, I''d prefer CLs as screens in the Mediterranean Sea (with all those close coasts and airports) and DDs in the Atlantic, Indian Ocean. and Pacific... and in the English Channel, German Bay and Baltic Sea, well, there is no real "best", you can get hit by everything there.
Cuz I always assumed there was a penalty for having more than 4 carriers in a fleet.
As far as I know: no.
But there is a general stacking malus dependent on the number of ships in the fleet, the more ships the higher the stacking malus. But that should be the same wether it be BB, carrier or whatever.

PS: Your inital question... I am not disregarding it but IMHO fully answered by Eugenioso.
 

SpaceViking

Lt. General
25 Badges
Apr 30, 2011
1.554
14
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • BATTLETECH: Season pass
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • BATTLETECH: Flashpoint
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • BATTLETECH
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
Short answer, no, dont mix them in.

Longer answer: all fleets will always move to the minimum distance necessary for their longest firing ship to attack. In other words, mixing BB and CV means that while the CV can maintain a range advantage, using a BB in the same fleet they will try to get close to engage at gun range and risk sinking those all important CV's.

Really? I see mixed fleets fight at carrier range even with BBs mixed in. The "range" on CVs is a lot longer than that on BBs.
 

SpaceViking

Lt. General
25 Badges
Apr 30, 2011
1.554
14
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • BATTLETECH: Season pass
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • BATTLETECH: Flashpoint
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • BATTLETECH
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
The one time when BBs will REALLY help is if the other guys BBs do manage to close on you. Once when playing the Italians my large BB fleet cause a multi-CV British fleet up close and personal. That long range on the CVs doesn't help when a bunch of BBs are shelling you and I think I could have taken them all out if not for a BB sailing with them. Of course a later battle went the other way and their carriers sank most of my ships with impunity.
 

Eugenioso

General
6 Badges
Sep 15, 2008
1.883
225
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Darkest Hour
  • Cities: Skylines
Really? I see mixed fleets fight at carrier range even with BBs mixed in. The "range" on CVs is a lot longer than that on BBs.
Of course the carrier's gonna fight because the CV's range is longer than the battleships'. If you put a BB with CV then the battleship will close the range to engage and drag the CV to gun range allowing it to be sunk. The only time you would want to engage a CV fleet with a BB fleet would be during a night battle or a storm to get close range shells.
 

VTs

First Lieutenant
3 Badges
Dec 13, 2002
211
102
Uh... following that logic, doesn't that mean that CVs and DDs mixed, DDs will attempt to close the distance too? Or does this only matter for capital ships?
 

Pasha

Field Marshal
2 Badges
May 26, 2005
2.515
255
  • Darkest Hour
  • 500k Club
Uh... following that logic, doesn't that mean that CVs and DDs mixed, DDs will attempt to close the distance too? Or does this only matter for capital ships?
Eugenioso is an expert on the game's mechanics but I disagree with him here. Or maybe something is getting lost in translation. Anyway, my understanding is that it's a waste to put BBs in a CV fleet because the CV fleet will always fight at CV's range, rendering the BBs superfluous. I guess the BBs could serve to soak up some of the damage if the CV fleet is engaging another CV fleet.
 

Eugenioso

General
6 Badges
Sep 15, 2008
1.883
225
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Darkest Hour
  • Cities: Skylines
Uh... following that logic, doesn't that mean that CVs and DDs mixed, DDs will attempt to close the distance too? Or does this only matter for capital ships?
Only capitals follow the engagement rules of max distance engaging. If your ship has no capitals, it will follow the path of your longest ranged unit, that means if you have a light cruiser and 30 dd's, the CL will engage and the DD's will fire at targets that get too close. Spamming DD's will get you nothing but a whole bunch of dead DD's, unless you have air supremacy (I invaded the UK with DD's since it took 2 years to get my CV's rolling, and having my aircraft flying cover constantly)
 

VTs

First Lieutenant
3 Badges
Dec 13, 2002
211
102
Eugenioso is an expert on the game's mechanics but I disagree with him here. Or maybe something is getting lost in translation. Anyway, my understanding is that it's a waste to put BBs in a CV fleet because the CV fleet will always fight at CV's range, rendering the BBs superfluous. I guess the BBs could serve to soak up some of the damage if the CV fleet is engaging another CV fleet.

Only capitals follow the engagement rules of max distance engaging. If your ship has no capitals, it will follow the path of your longest ranged unit, that means if you have a light cruiser and 30 dd's, the CL will engage and the DD's will fire at targets that get too close. Spamming DD's will get you nothing but a whole bunch of dead DD's, unless you have air supremacy (I invaded the UK with DD's since it took 2 years to get my CV's rolling, and having my aircraft flying cover constantly)
Just to make it clear I believe we are in agreement that it works like this: CV/DD fleet closes to CV distance CVs attack, DDs look for subs, drink coffee or rum. CV/BB/DD - CVs attack at CV distance, BBs and DDs watch the show. ?
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:

Eugenioso

General
6 Badges
Sep 15, 2008
1.883
225
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Darkest Hour
  • Cities: Skylines
Wrong again. CV/BB/DD fleet would be this:

- Capital ships follow the rule of minimum distance engagement, this means the BB, being the capital ship with the lowest range of engagement would close the distance and literally DRAG the CV to battleship engagement range, leaving the poor CV to tank battleship shots, which is never a good idea.

- Knowing this, say a CV/BB/DD fleet engages a BB fleet, assuming similar command skill and no extra ships, so BB/CL or BB/DD. Assuming good weather, both fleets meet and close the range to both BB's shooting range. CV's have very low survivavility against shells (high vulnerability) and as such they will get made into mincemeat rather quickly by the enemy battleships. Assuming equal losses and no early retreat, the BB fleet will lose 4 or 5 ships of the line total, while the CV/BB fleet will lose at least 3 or 4 carriers due to their lower survivability and at least 2 BB's. This is a hypothetical perfect scenario for the CV/BB fleet however. A night engagement would be devastating for a CV fleet, and worse if its during a storm.
 
  • 1
Reactions:

Pasha

Field Marshal
2 Badges
May 26, 2005
2.515
255
  • Darkest Hour
  • 500k Club
Only capitals follow the engagement rules of max distance engaging. If your ship has no capitals, it will follow the path of your longest ranged unit, that means if you have a light cruiser and 30 dd's, the CL will engage and the DD's will fire at targets that get too close. Spamming DD's will get you nothing but a whole bunch of dead DD's, unless you have air supremacy (I invaded the UK with DD's since it took 2 years to get my CV's rolling, and having my aircraft flying cover constantly)
Thanks for clarifying. I'm still learning new things about DH after all these years. I love to role play and even build battlecruisers, but the CV/BB/BC fleet is one "rule" I never break, unfortunately.
 

VTs

First Lieutenant
3 Badges
Dec 13, 2002
211
102
Wrong again. CV/BB/DD fleet would be this:

- Capital ships follow the rule of minimum distance engagement, this means the BB, being the capital ship with the lowest range of engagement would close the distance and literally DRAG the CV to battleship engagement range, leaving the poor CV to tank battleship shots, which is never a good idea.

- Knowing this, say a CV/BB/DD fleet engages a BB fleet, assuming similar command skill and no extra ships, so BB/CL or BB/DD. Assuming good weather, both fleets meet and close the range to both BB's shooting range. CV's have very low survivavility against shells (high vulnerability) and as such they will get made into mincemeat rather quickly by the enemy battleships. Assuming equal losses and no early retreat, the BB fleet will lose 4 or 5 ships of the line total, while the CV/BB fleet will lose at least 3 or 4 carriers due to their lower survivability and at least 2 BB's. This is a hypothetical perfect scenario for the CV/BB fleet however. A night engagement would be devastating for a CV fleet, and worse if its during a storm.
So thanks for clearing that up. I thought the game would use "best range" meaning CV distance since the other BB fleet wouldn't be able to return fire. However the game is not that smart apparently. Would end up in a very interesting mess if 2 CV/BB/DD fleets met - each trying to close to BB range.....
 

SacremPyrobolum

Lt. General
78 Badges
Jul 31, 2012
1.438
467
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Prison Architect
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Darkest Hour
I went to the Battleship New Jersey this weekend and asked them about American doctrine including a battleship in an escort role despite it not making much sense. They said it was because commanders in pre-war wargames were a lot more aggressive than the Japanese were during the war and would rush their battleships to engage CVs resulting in them being 'sunk'. This happened so consistently that war planners were convinced of the need for carriers to be escorted by bum-rushing battleships and this led to the creation of the Iowa class 'fast battleships' meant to keep up with the carriers.

While the Iowas never defended carriers from other battleships, they were useful as anti-air platforms particularly late in the war where the navy was operating very close to Japan and kamikazes were becoming an issue.

Of course in DH, this role is much better served with CLs, so battleships really do not have a place in a carrier fleet after all.
 
Last edited:
  • 2
Reactions:

Eugenioso

General
6 Badges
Sep 15, 2008
1.883
225
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Darkest Hour
  • Cities: Skylines
DH's naval combat engine doesnt allow for ships to individually keep away while others close in, its either do-or-die.
 

Eugenioso

General
6 Badges
Sep 15, 2008
1.883
225
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Darkest Hour
  • Cities: Skylines
Nope. DD's will get butchered in open seas unsupported. Doomstacking stopped being a thing a long time ago.