Cruisers or Destroyers for Screening?

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Paul.Ketcham

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Is there every any point in building more than 4 carriers? As the US you start off with 5 CVs (once all starting production is completed) and my OCD didn't want to leave one extra CV hanging around, so I built it some friends with the idea of having two strike forces. But now I realise this is pretty dumb as why would you ever want to have your strike forces split? Should I have just made BBs and BCs from that point on?

With carrier doctrine, I think you can get about full efficiency with 6 (although I was playing with the naval rework mod when I last tried this, so I may be mistaken). Even 5 carriers at 80% efficiency have more aircraft for the same airwing size, and split up the number of ships eating air attack. Under heavy air attack, however, they tend to get splatted pretty fast, so in a multiplayer game it probably isn't worth it.

For the US, you're probably going to want more than one fleet though, and you really don't need to worry about a massive doomstack in the Atlantic in most cases (MP may be different, but typically the Allies will dominate naval warfare). So having more than 4 carriers is fine for them too since you probably have 4 in the Pacific and 2 somewhere else (or in reserve in case bombers kill your operational ones).
 
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Paul.Ketcham

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If the enemy is using armoured capital ships, torpedoes are often mixed into the destroyers. The HP pool and the armour of BC+ capitals can make light attack considerably less effective, your alternatives are heavy attack, or torpedoes. Torpedoes are going to be considerably cheaper to add into a fleet than heavy attack is. Roach DD with a sub component of torpedo DD, supporting heavy cruisers is the basic 1-2 combo of doomstack fleet engagements.

On the whole though I'm not sure what purpose your ranting is supposed to serve here. I'm willing to bet that everyone would like the naval game/designer to be at least a little bit different than what it is, but the purpose of the thread and a lot of the comments you're replying to, is working within the system as it stands. Yes, it isn't historical and yes it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, but it is what we have to work with.
For the first point, I probably should have elaborated that a bit: you don't need torpedoes on the majority of your destroyers. I don't have numbers, but using a BB/CL or BC/CL fleet versus a CA/DD fleet I found that even 1 torpedo/depth charge DD per CA was enough for its screen to be effective against both capital ships (varied from battlecruisers to super-heavy battleships) and against 1936-tech submarine attack (6 CAs and 30 DDs beat 8 submarines and 7 CLs with minimal losses). While torpedoes are useful, they're not useful enough to warrant their use on all DDs, despite the fact that historically even ASW frigates had at least one torpedo launcher to threaten bigger ships.

For the second point, the original post was a response to a response (where one person commented that roach destroyers were an exploit, and a back-and-forth started about whether that was true or not). While it might not seem entirely-relevant, it was in response to the feedback to the ideas of the post, and the idea that the current balance is fine. Although I apologize if its going a little bit left-field, conversations around this stuff often leak into what should or shouldn't work, not just what does or doesn't, and it wouldn't make sense to try and start a new post just to respond to one or two comments.
 
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RELee

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No name calling. Act like the gentlemen that I know you all can be.
 

pro.gamer.69

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For the first point, armor doesn't work as intended but isn't useless.
how does armor not work as intended? and i didn't mean "worthless" literally, rather just that it's (almost) never better than no armor
When you have fire superiority
what are you talking about
cruiser-2 armor can block that from most light guns (including all that the AI uses)
armor 1 is plenty
For the second point, there is a singular meta
wrong lol, a pure heavy-attack meta is also a thing
CAs beat BCs and BBs, despite being logically beaten by them
they don't. if you fight equal-cost fleets of bb (or heavy attack ca) vs light attack ca + torps the heavy attack ships will kill most or all of the enemy light ships. however they can't do it fast enough to avoid losing their screening line and then dying to torps
destroyers also don't benefit in any way from improved gun or torpedo tech or better armaments in general
they definitely benefit from better torps, but only to the point that one/2/3 volleys is enough to kill (true of ship guns too). better guns aren't worth it simply because of the value of screened guns over unscreened ones and the fact that you can't as easily stack enough light attack to 1/2/3-shot your enemies
Empty destroyers (or "roach" destroyers) as mentioned above exploit the game's lack of two key balance features: threat-based firing (aka shoot the dangerous ships first)
they exploit a feature that doesn't exist?

clearly this is a semantics thing but i take "exploit" to mean using a system in a game outside of how it was designed. for example using planes to print manpower or using strat redeploy to move through enemy territory. however making the most effective fleet possible that the systems which were deliberately created allows isn't an exploit in my mind.
and combat width (cruisers cost a lot more than destroyers, but they aren't actually that much bigger)
again, i don't think you can exploit a "lack" of something, at least in regards to mechanics like damage and combat. that would be like saying it's an exploit to intentionally try to have more attack than your enemy defense, or to use one armored battalion to meme the AI. are they semi-ahistorical stats and memey? sure, but they're by no means going outside the intended system of combat to achieve their effect.
The other problem with light guns is obviously more than just CAs are broken, because if you don't fix anything else then CLs or BCs replace CAs as the new broken ship (but at least are more historically accurate, since they can use a historical armament to do this rather than an ahistorical one; they also offer better balance, since BCs are expensive and CLs can be killed by other screens). However, CAs as the cheapest capital ship really shouldn't be better than super-heavy battleships in a straight-up gun duel, as that implies that there is literally no purpose whatsoever in the production of battleships. If that isn't historically accurate, then having it in game serves neither balance purposes (battleships have a huge stack of weaknesses associated with their vulnerability to cheaper submarines, destroyers, or aircraft, as well as their reduced numbers and their extremely-long build times).
i dont totally get what you're saying here but agree navy is broken. if they made heavy attack more accurate then it would incentivize mixed fleets a little more
 

MR2

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Crap! These naval discussions are often worse than political discussions! Abet, a bit much more civil at least. :D
 
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el nora

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wrong lol, a pure heavy-attack meta is also a thing
heavy attack ca as a counter to light attack ca. it's not really like bc or bb are all that useful because heavy attack ca do their job better. though there is a special place for shbb as you get them in 1936 with almost all their necessary modules and can spam them right from the start of the game.
they don't. if you fight equal-cost fleets of bb (or heavy attack ca) vs light attack ca + torps the heavy attack ships will kill most or all of the enemy light ships. however they can't do it fast enough to avoid losing their screening line and then dying to torps
this is very heavily dependent on the parameters of the testing environment. i've seen these fleet battles go either way.
using strat redeploy to move through enemy territory.
i'd love for a real example of this. dustinl796's video showing it was lacking. the units were not actually strat redeploying. i've asked others for evidence of this and they also point to that video.
 
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LordWahu

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Is there every any point in building more than 4 carriers? As the US you start off with 5 CVs (once all starting production is completed) and my OCD didn't want to leave one extra CV hanging around, so I built it some friends with the idea of having two strike forces. But now I realise this is pretty dumb as why would you ever want to have your strike forces split? Should I have just made BBs and BCs from that point on?
I don't know about building a set number of carriers, but because air efficiency is limited to the number of carriers and not the number of planes, carrier hull upgrades are strictly better as they allow you to field more planes for the same amount of ships
 

pro.gamer.69

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i'd love for a real example of this. dustinl796's video showing it was lacking. the units were not actually strat redeploying. i've asked others for evidence of this and they also point to that video.
i just saw it in his video. ive never tried it myself, it was a random example lol
 

Pz. Los

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The game does provide space to mount smaller 5-6 inch light attack guns on cruisers and battleships which IRL would be death to smaller ships once in range. A lot of valid points. My biggest concern in sending mobs of DDs against armored, turret-gunned ships would be how much manpower am I going to bleed. Torpedoes are effective but I still haven’t figured out how I lose subs to convoys who don’t seem to have any escort. Also don’t know why killing convoys doesn’t seem to earn experience but that’s another conversation.

Don’t know the exact mechanics of the game and did watch the FB gaming video which was quite shocking. My opinion is I guess it depends on your gameplay style. I try to play historically and shy away from the more “gamey” aspects. I build SPAA and TDs. My fleets have BBs, BCs, and CAs. I build SHBBs although not many because yeah, they’re a resource suck, but it’s fun sending them out to blow cow sized holes in enemy ships. I put big fleets on patrol in open ocean (don’t really use strike force unless to guard places like Baltic or Adriatic Sea) and got a laugh when I realized that there are waters marked shark infested that kill more of your Sailors when your ships sink. Consequently, my opinion for screens is it depends. Historically DDs were escort ships and ASW. They carried torpedoes to provide some striking power against bigger opponents but that was primarily used to distract the big guy so they could use speed to run. PT boats used same concept but they were a cheap fast strike capability but ohhhh man, the pucker factor going against anything bigger than the S.S Minnow was HUGE. My advice, use both. DDs are fast and relatively cheap but not so cheap you can replace scores of them if sunk. DDs and CA/CLs are both versatile but the advantage of cruisers is armor. Armor = staying power even in HOI4. They may take a beating but they’re harder to sink, ALOT harder. That also means experienced crews. Your little digital troopers do get better with time and the veteran bonuses are really good. Just MHO
 

FLUX2226

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I'm okay with CA as capital ship + DD swarm as the meta, because that's kind of how every navy besides the United States ended up.
In a game you would still want everything to be somewhat viable tho'. It's why CVs have an arbitrary soft cap of 4 per battle and need to be screened by capitals, in reality you could easily use more than 4 CVs in a battle and sink the enemy BBs and stay far enough away to not get shot at yourself.
 
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GrandVezir

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In a game you would still want everything to be somewhat viable tho'. It's why CVs have an arbitrary soft cap of 4 per battle and need to be screened by capitals, in reality you could easily use more than 4 CVs in a battle and sink the enemy BBs and stay far enough away to not get shot at yourself.
Which, oddly enough, has resulted in carriers becoming unviable without making heavy ships noticeably more viable: now both take too long to build for the results you get.
 
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Shaka of Carthage

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It's why CVs have an arbitrary soft cap of 4 per battle and need to be screened by capitals, in reality you could easily use more than 4 CVs in a battle
It's not arbitrary. It is based on the concepts developed by a US Admiral, Marc Mitscher.

Said Mitscher: "The ideal composition of a fast-carrier task force is four carriers, six to eight support vessels and not less than 18 destroyers, preferably 24. More than four carriers in a task group cannot be advantageously used due to the amount of air room required. Less than four carriers requires an uneconomical use of support ships and screening vessels."

The problem in HoI4, is that carriers include light carriers (CVL), which carry a smaller number of aircraft than fleet carriers.
 
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GrandVezir

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It's not arbitrary. It is based on the concepts developed by a US Admiral, Marc Mitscher.

Said Mitscher: "The ideal composition of a fast-carrier task force is four carriers, six to eight support vessels and not less than 18 destroyers, preferably 24. More than four carriers in a task group cannot be advantageously used due to the amount of air room required. Less than four carriers requires an uneconomical use of support ships and screening vessels."

The problem in HoI4, is that carriers include light carriers (CVL), which carry a smaller number of aircraft than fleet carriers.
The other problem is, "fast-carrier task force" meant a specific thing in USN doctrine, and is being applied to something quite different in game. 3rd Fleet/5th Fleet operated task groups of 3-5 carriers (depending on capacity), and then assembled those groups into a huge fleet of up to 17 carriers.

The game treats the size Mitscher recommends for a sub-unit, as a cap for the entire fleet.
 
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Anaraxes

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It's not arbitrary. It is based on the concepts developed by a US Admiral, Marc Mitscher.
But note that "task group" is not the same thing as "one naval battle". To match Adm Mitscher's point, there would be a limit of 4 CVs in a single TF. But any number of TFs could without penalty attack the same enemy TF (one battle, in game terms).
 
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In a game you would still want everything to be somewhat viable tho'. It's why CVs have an arbitrary soft cap of 4 per battle and need to be screened by capitals, in reality you could easily use more than 4 CVs in a battle and sink the enemy BBs and stay far enough away to not get shot at yourself.
I have to disagree. While it is a game, every choice shouldn't be equally viable. For the navy specifically, it means carriers being far more dangerous than what they are right now. Whenever surface fleets went up against a carrier strike force or against land based aviation, they were massacred. This should be properly reflected in the game. It is a bit like expecting a 1936 fighter model to beat a 1944 model.
 
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So which would be better for interdicting convoys or screeners - Subs w torpedoes and snorkel or 46kn fast CA with 20+ light attack?

Edit: and which mission Convoy Raiding, Patrol, or Strike?
 
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So which would be better for interdicting convoys - Subs w torpedoes and snorkel or 46kn fast CA with 20+ light attack?
Each is better is different situations: in general, the subs will cover more area (because they're cheaper), but the cruiser can sink most potential escorts more easily.
 
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el nora

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So which would be better for interdicting convoys or screeners - Subs w torpedoes and snorkel or 46kn fast CA with 20+ light attack?
stack attacks. convoys have 60 hp. you want to have every hit deal 60+ damage to one-shot convoys every hour. since there's a ±15% random swing in damage, you want your damage output to be 60/0.85 = 70.6.
Edit: and which mission Convoy Raiding, Patrol, or Strike?
for raiding convoys, convoy raiding.
 
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Shaka of Carthage

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"fast-carrier task force" meant a specific thing in USN doctrine, and is being applied to something quite different in game.
note that "task group" is not the same thing as "one naval battle". To match Adm Mitscher's point, there would be a limit of 4 CVs in a single TF.
Understand. But don't know if the developers delved enough into the details to get that same understanding.
 
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Understand. But don't know if the developers delved enough into the details to get that same understanding.
One would hope that if they're basing the balance of CVs mostly off of this one quote (it appears in game as a tooltip when you hover over something in the naval battle screen, but I can't remember what) that they'd understand what the words in that quote means!
 
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