Cruisers or Destroyers for Screening?

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el nora

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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!
it shows up in the tooltip for overcrowded carriers
 
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After reading the entire thread -- again -- I am left with some things I would like clarified. I'm not trying to challenge the results shown; I am trying to understand better so I can improve survivability of my fleets.

Capships aren't useless, since the +40% bonus to hit capital ships get with full screening efficiency is quite strong and you want to use that in some way. The best way to do this is to build the most cost efficient capital ships which are CAs filled with light gun (except for the one mandatory heavy gun), up to the limit that the number of screen allows. Roach DD + light attack CA > Pure Roach DD.

View attachment 741476
(note: irc, this test wasn't the real roach DD, but DDs with just the bottom modules (1 LA, 1 AA and 1 torp). I don't think using true roach DD would change the results, and I doubt fully decked out DDs would change things either)

Also, despite what some over-5000-hours posters would say, DD+CA dumpster pure CL fleets, like el nora points out

Plus, in terms of 1940 tech, you can make those CAs AA ships (you can get close to 15 AA with secondaries) and be able to operate in dangerous skies to some degree, which is beyond the discussion but is a nice bonus. Remember, in Hoi4 capital ship protects screens with their AA, not the other way around!

Carriers aren't bad, but you can't have more than 4 in a task force, so the UK, US and Jap start with enough IRC, no need to build more beyond what starts in the queue. Also, remove all carrier fighters if you're not fighting against other carriers.

In this post, the image shows the outcome of a battle between "Roach Destroyers and Light attack Heavy Cruisers vs a task force of just Roach Destroyers. From the reading I gather that a "Roach" DD is a minimally equipped ship -- bare bones as it were. Since the German DDs can't actually fire at the CAs they would never be at risk, would they? It would also be useful to know whether the CAs or Brit DDs did most of the kill shots. If your LACAs were unable to be hit due to the heavy screen, it would mean they got free shots with no risk. Would there be much difference in the outcome if instead of all Roach DDs, there were a CA (regular) or two in the German force (with an adequate reduction in Destroyers, of course.)

Second Question

Actually, it's pretty much the same question...

This time you have 10 CAs designed to fire against light ships, you have 3x the total number of ships and the LCs don't even have torpedoes. Once they reduce the DDs to less than the 3 to 1 ration for an efective screen the torps that could be effective against the CAs are not available. Isn't that stacking the deck a bit?

Equal IC values are deceiving when one side has no weapons effective against the biggest threat.

I'm not sure where you get that armored CLs are the "meta", but it for sure wasn't in any MP discord I used play, and I've never seen any test that corroborate to that. In this very page. El nora has already showed an example of CLs getting dumpstered by DD + CA. Here is something similar with 1940 tech:

Full light attack armored CL 20 x 6259 IC = 125180
vs
Full light attack CA (with AA secondaries!): 10 x 5755 = 57500
Base DD (1 AA, 1 light attack, 1 torp): 57 x 1178 = 67146

View attachment 741559
View attachment 741560

This outcome shows that the kills came from the CAs designed for the purpose of sinking light ships, but having nothing to actually attack them with sort of tilts the fight.

Am I missing something?

OK, maybe I am challenging the results.
 
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After reading the entire thread -- again -- I am left with some things I would like clarified. I'm not trying to challenge the results shown; I am trying to understand better so I can improve survivability of my fleets.



In this post, the image shows the outcome of a battle between "Roach Destroyers and Light attack Heavy Cruisers vs a task force of just Roach Destroyers. From the reading I gather that a "Roach" DD is a minimally equipped ship -- bare bones as it were. Since the German DDs can't actually fire at the CAs they would never be at risk, would they? It would also be useful to know whether the CAs or Brit DDs did most of the kill shots. If your LACAs were unable to be hit due to the heavy screen, it would mean they got free shots with no risk. Would there be much difference in the outcome if instead of all Roach DDs, there were a CA (regular) or two in the German force (with an adequate reduction in Destroyers, of course.)

Second Question

Actually, it's pretty much the same question...

This time you have 10 CAs designed to fire against light ships, you have 3x the total number of ships and the LCs don't even have torpedoes. Once they reduce the DDs to less than the 3 to 1 ration for an efective screen the torps that could be effective against the CAs are not available. Isn't that stacking the deck a bit?

Equal IC values are deceiving when one side has no weapons effective against the biggest threat.



This outcome shows that the kills came from the CAs designed for the purpose of sinking light ships, but having nothing to actually attack them with sort of tilts the fight.

Am I missing something?

OK, maybe I am challenging the results.

What you're missing were the assertions that were being tested, the first being "capital ships are useless". By having a force with properly built capitals ships beat an equal IC force without capital ships, I hoped to show they weren't useless. Like I said, I didn't use proper "roach DDs", I used DDs with the bottom modules (1 LA, 1 AA and 1 torp), but this isn't a new result, so I didn't really want to go through the testing of the same fight except with true Roach DDs or fully decked out DDs. I don't believe, based on other tests done here, that results would change. If I added a CA to the german force, I would no longer be testing "capital ships are useless", would I?

The second assertion was "Light cruisers have been meta for a while". While he didn't precisely say "pure light cruisers", I took it to mean as such and showed how pure light cruisers failed against DD+CA on equal IC terms. Again, I didn't bother testing this with every variation of light cruisers, but this isn't a result I expect to change based on CL loadout. Plus light attack CLs are very effective against no armor CAs, even with no torps. And yes, the core idea of roach DD (even though I didn't use true roach DD) is to make a wall of protection for your IC-efficient capital ships.

Honestly, I wouldn't focus on the "roach DD" part of the equation, since I always put 1 light attack, 1 torp and 1 AA on the DDs, since it looks to be cost effective to me (1 AA is to lower naval bombing target priority), but I don't have strong opinions on it and I've seen people swear by it.
 
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Thank you for the clarification. I was confused since the thread was entitled "cruisers or destroyers for screening."

I don't think, however, due to the lack of effective weapons on the LCs that you adequately proved your point.
 

el nora

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In this post, the image shows the outcome of a battle between "Roach Destroyers and Light attack Heavy Cruisers vs a task force of just Roach Destroyers.
not actually roaches as they had aa and torps. but that just makes them worse than roaches. aa on dd is basically useless. and unless you have some means of killing the enemy screen, torps are the least reliable way of doing so. torps are very inaccurate so have a low hit rate, and they pack a very large punch so they will often overkill screens which dont have much hp.

but regardless, roach dd + light attack ca dumpster light attack dd.
From the reading I gather that a "Roach" DD is a minimally equipped ship -- bare bones as it were. Since the German DDs can't actually fire at the CAs they would never be at risk, would they?
these dd had torps. so they were in fact a threaten the ca. for a very loose definition of the word threaten.
It would also be useful to know whether the CAs or Brit DDs did most of the kill shots.
the ca do the killing. roaches are just there to absorb shots. either with their puny 50 hp in the worst case, or preferably with their gargantuan evasiveness.
If your LACAs were unable to be hit due to the heavy screen, it would mean they got free shots with no risk.
yes, that's explicitly the point.
Would there be much difference in the outcome if instead of all Roach DDs, there were a CA (regular) or two in the German force (with an adequate reduction in Destroyers, of course.)
you want to test heavy attack ca + roach dd vs light attack ca + roach dd? yes that's the counter. as i stated elsewhere in this thread, and showed elsewhere on this forum.

1626816581561.png

1626816604515.png

1626816615508.png

1626816622734.png

1626816633462.png

1626816643278.png

This time you have 10 CAs designed to fire against light ships, you have 3x the total number of ships and the LCs don't even have torpedoes. Once they reduce the DDs to less than the 3 to 1 ration for an efective screen the torps that could be effective against the CAs are not available. Isn't that stacking the deck a bit?
not relevant. we were told what would win. we were free to counter sid fleet with whatever we chose. it just so happens that la ca are the meta.
Equal IC values are deceiving when one side has no weapons effective against the biggest threat.
the claim being made was that pure light attack cl are all you need to win. and this is simply evidence that if you actually spent your ic wisely, you would come up with a fleet that dumpsters pure la cl. this is why la ca are meta, they win against the vast majority of equal ic fleets. sure, there is a specific counter to them, but that counter doesnt win in most other matchups.
 
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el nora

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Thank you for the clarification. I was confused since the thread was entitled "cruisers or destroyers for screening."
the answer to this question is simply and unequivocally dd. screening is a numbers game. you make way more dd than cl for the same ic. or you could make the same number of them, ie just enough to screen, and pass the savings into actual damage dealers.
I don't think, however, due to the lack of effective weapons on the LCs that you adequately proved your point.
how would you make the cl more effective? by adding heavy attack? that would make them ca. by adding torps? a weapon that is useless for the majority of the battle until the screen is pierced? even with full light attack, they didn't manage to destroy the dd screen. how would reducing their light attack make them any better?
 
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@el nora

I'm not going to do the quote thing, but I wanted to answer your questions -- sort of.

One of the points of any test is to see if your hypothesis works under actual conditions. The idea of the LC being "meta" is relative to the question of being screens -- the original point of the thread. That sort of implies that both sides will have something to screen -- one side did, making it a more effective fighting force than the one that did not. As the entire combat force in the second test had no weapons capable of reducing the threat posed by heavy ships designed to eliminate light ships, all that proved is that CAs are capable of destroying smaller ships. It did not prove whether CLs made a better screen than destroyers.

Put similarly, armed CAs on both sides (one side armed against Light Ships, the other a "Normal" load), and the test would produce more accurate results. Also, arm the CLs adequately to threaten the CAs and results would be more accurate. All this proved was that a superior sized and armed force would take out a smaller, inadequately armed one -- something I don't think was ever in question.

Your post #65 pretty much reiterated what was said by @Sbrubbles, and that explanation gave me a better understanding of what he was trying to illustrate. I stand by my assessment that the test itself was flawed in the way I have expressed. I would like to see a more balanced test so that I can protect my capitol ships better in game.

If I know and practiced setting up test like this before, I would do it myself. I just don't have the experience with the game systems to do so.
 
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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.
I would agree to that in a game that tries to be realistic, but HoI4 is a sandbox game that sacrifices realism in all aspects in order to give the player many options on how to play. If monarchist fans can bring back the Kaiser or meme fans get an anarchist Spain that's meant and equipped to take on the entire world on its own, then battleship enthusiasts should get their money's worth as well.
 
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Here's a question that fits here
Are there any mods that any of you know of that rebalances things and/or adds new mechanics to make up the shortfalls?
 

el nora

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One of the points of any test is to see if your hypothesis works under actual conditions. The idea of the LC being "meta" is relative to the question of being screens -- the original point of the thread.
no the claim being made was that you need build *only* cl. not cl to screen and something else as well. it is not an uncommonly made claim. and it is wrong. that is what the test showed.
That sort of implies that both sides will have something to screen -- one side did, making it a more effective fighting force than the one that did not.
cl dont need screens. they are screens. cl dont need separate damage dealers. they are damage dealers.

pure cl can beat some other fleets that contain dd screens and larger ships. it is similar to the countercountermeta to the ha ca countermeta.

dd + la ca beats basically any fleet that contains cl screens and larger ships. in fact, dd are so unequivocally the better screen, that dd + larger ships also beats mostly anything that is cl + larger ships.

1626822333659.png

1626822409008.png


1626822455708.png

1626822462687.png
As the entire combat force in the second test had no weapons capable of reducing the threat posed by heavy ships designed to eliminate light ships, all that proved is that CAs are capable of destroying smaller ships. It did not prove whether CLs made a better screen than destroyers.
okay, set up a cl template that you would use as screens and the fleet you wish for them to screen. give a target ic to meet. then try to see if it beats dd + la ca.

i'll wait.
Put similarly, armed CAs on both sides (one side armed against Light Ships, the other a "Normal" load), and the test would produce more accurate results.
la cl + ha ca loses to the meta of roach dd + la ca. because screening is a numbers game. dd are better able to dodge shots and cost less giving more ic available for attack from ca. the la ca kill the enemy la cl too quickly without the enemy ha ca being able to stop them, not if you try making enough la cl to screen them properly. once the cl are gone, the la ca can roll the much fewer in numbers ha ca. light attack does target the battle line if the screen is gone, and they have the numbers and accuracy to matter.

the place where la cl shine is in countering roach dd + ha ca. they are not a good screen. they are good damage dealers.
Also, arm the CLs adequately to threaten the CAs and results would be more accurate.
i asked this before and will do so again. arm them with what? heavy attack makes them a ca. torps are so inefficient on cl it's pathetic. you get so much more torp attack per ic on dd.
All this proved was that a superior sized and armed force would take out a smaller, inadequately armed one -- something I don't think was ever in question.
it was in fact posited that cl were the be-all and end-all of the naval meta.
 
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This entire thread is about screens. This does not prove the point. This isn't a debate. It doesn't show that destroyers with the LACA are better at screening since there was nothing to screen.

I understand your point. And I disagree with your premise.
 
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This entire thread is about screens. This does not prove the point. This isn't a debate. It doesn't show that destroyers with the LACA are better at screening since there was nothing to screen.

I understand your point. And I disagree with your premise.

I tried a test a while ago like this that pitted pure CLs, CLs+BCs, and CLs+SHBBs against CAs and DDs, and every test the CA/DD mix won decisively. The firepower edge was typically in favor of the CL force, because the DD force never had any effective firepower, yet they weren't scoring hits fast enough to take advantage of it. I mixed in subs on the CL side to see what would happen with the crap ASW of the CA fleets and it wasn't effective, I mixed in aircraft due to the poorer AA of CAs and it didn't give the CLs or BC/BBs an edge. All of these tests were within 100 IC of each other for fleet costs, and all were replayed multiple times (with 1936 tech + DP secondaries). Even without torpedoes, an SHBB could be gunned down by DP secondaries from heavy cruisers (8 piercing versus 55 armor) by virtue of the vastly-higher accuracy of light guns versus heavy guns.

Arming CLs to threaten CAs doesn't really do anything; you can't actually hit CAs with torpedoes unless screening efficiency drops, and 5-1 in favor of CAs lasts longer than you'd expect by a long shot (I normally though 8-1 was a good idea due to attrition, though that's also over months rather than hours). Otherwise, only heavy guns and air attack can hit CAs past a screen, and as mentioned I already tried that with no real effect (heavy guns are terribly-ineffective).

And for perspective, I did this test with the intent of proving the opposite conclusion.
 
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This entire thread is about screens. This does not prove the point. This isn't a debate. It doesn't show that destroyers with the LACA are better at screening since there was nothing to screen.

I understand your point. And I disagree with your premise.
Given everything everyone else has written I think the conclusion is clear.

Roach destroyers (empty but for what it takes to sail) are the best screens. There isn't anything with enough light attack to effectively kill them fast enough unless you significantly out IC their fleet, and aircraft are too busy to target them. Torps and heavy guns don't touch them in any way that matters, especially when you have dozens to >100.

What you're going to do to the rest of your fleet isn't clear. Maybe you just ignore screen stuff and let capital ships slap each other, maybe you use anti screen CAs to try to kill their screen so subs can torp the big ships.
 
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pro.gamer.69

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This entire thread is about screens. This does not prove the point. This isn't a debate. It doesn't show that destroyers with the LACA are better at screening since there was nothing to screen.

I understand your point. And I disagree with your premise.
what, exactly, is preventing you from simply going into the game, entering"~" "ai off" "research_on_icon_click" and testing a cl-screened fleet against a dd-screened one. of course, you could simply read and try to understand the advice provided - the ideas that it's better to have more ships than lots of health in fewer and that it's better to have your damage dealers in the capital line have been repeated countless times - but you seem to be very averse to doing so.
 
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Given everything everyone else has written I think the conclusion is clear.

Roach destroyers (empty but for what it takes to sail) are the best screens. There isn't anything with enough light attack to effectively kill them fast enough unless you significantly out IC their fleet, and aircraft are too busy to target them. Torps and heavy guns don't touch them in any way that matters, especially when you have dozens to >100.

What you're going to do to the rest of your fleet isn't clear. Maybe you just ignore screen stuff and let capital ships slap each other, maybe you use anti screen CAs to try to kill their screen so subs can torp the big ships.
I think it's been pretty definitively demonstrated that LA CA is the most dominant generalist ship to go with a bunch of trash can destroyers(I prefer that to calling them roaches).

Every other build that can compete against LA CA + DD at an equal IC cost (mostly just HA CA + DD) is able to compete because it's specifically designed to counter LA CA + DD, but those builds aren't as good against other fleet compositions, such as LA CL + DD, or BC/SHBB + DD.

Most of the discussion on fleet comps is irrelevant though, because for the most part the nation with more IC worth of ships in their fleet will win, and none of the majors have relatively evenly matched NIC. The UK and French fleets and dockyards combined dwarf those of the Italians and Germans, and the USA fleet and industry both dwarf Japan's.
Axis naval victories against the Allies usually boil down to air superiority, land based naval bombers, Tora! Tora! Tora!, or kamikazes rather than whose fleet is built more efficiently.

There's also the issue of refitting existing ships to meta designs vs building new ones from scratch - a navy that refits all of its starting cruisers into LA CA can get massively higher amounts of light attack in a short period of time than a nation that just builds new ones and leaves its starting navy alone. But then you have fewer hulls than you would have if you built new ships instead, and fewer hit points on your side of the battle, so it's a trade-off you have to think about.

There are a lot more things that go into naval warfare than whose ship designs are better.
 
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It’s probably not the most IC efficient, but I’ve found that 1940 CLs with engine 3, armor 3, and 1 cl battery are remarkably survivable when paired with Raider patrols(only 2doctrine) and a bold admiral.

It seems Japan can best do this strategy because they can get 40s CL fast. I refit to LACA, the build coastal designed CLs as described. I can get like 35 by dec 40.

I’ve wiped much larger US fleets, purely because those screens just don’t die, they’re too hard to hit(I think they have better profile than 36 dds, definitely early dds), while being uncriticable by most of the fleets you see. Oh, and they have a decent amount of light attack that carries on the whole battleZ

I’d appreciate if someone would test the IC efficiency against typical Roach-dd LA-CA fleets.

@Corpse Fool or @el nora - care to test these IC for IC?
 

Voigt

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Here's a question that fits here
Are there any mods that any of you know of that rebalances things and/or adds new mechanics to make up the shortfalls?

The IHMP mod tries to tackle it, but is far from complete in that aspect.
Beside implementing the starting naval changes from another thread, it made positioning much harsher which really nudges you into smaller but more effective task forces (so less roach DDs, and rather CL Screens). It also limits Cruisers to 3 Light-Medium Cruiser Guns, rest needs to be filled with Secondaries or Destroyer Light Guns.
There is also some overall tweaks to weapon profiles and free shooting periods making capitals and carriers stronger.
There isn't a good solution for LA-CAs yet though.
 

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care to test these IC for IC?
No, but I will theory craft it.

These CL3, coastal designer, armour 3, engine 3, and a single lowest tier CL gun turret (for bonus HP, least impact on speed and lowest cost) 2636.25 IC. A DD2 with coastal, engine 2 and lowest tier DD gun is only going to cost 532.5 IC. So you could get nearly 5x as many DD for the same IC cost, while the CL also costs 1 extra steel and a chromium per yard.

The CL has 154 HP and 10 armour. Piercing will range from 7 up to 8.8, which means a damage multi of -27%, or -10.8%. This increases its EHP up to 211 at best, 173 at worst. The DD only has 40 HP. An attack that would perfectly 1-shot the DD would take 5 or 6 shots against the CL, but having slightly more damage than is enough to 1-shot DD shifts that down 1 to 4 or 5 shots. As damage continues to climb, the DD doesn't get sunk any faster, but the cruisers do.

The CL seems to have a visibility of 13.5 and a speed of 45.628, which results in a profile of ~29.5. DD has 10 visi, 43.23 speed, profile of 23.15~. This means that against light guns, there is about a 6% chance to hit the CL, (about 16.6 attacks to land a hit) while the DD is about 3.7% chance to get hit (nearly 27 attacks to get a hit).

532.5 IC divided by 27 attacks, is ~19.72 IC spent per enemy attack absorbed for the DD. The CL takes its 2636.25 IC cost and the 16.6 attacks per hit, x6 for the hits it can take (99.6) and we get ~26.5. The CL is almost 33% more expensive per attack absorbed, in what is essentially the best case scenario for the CL. If we went x5 or x4 due to increases in enemy damage/piercing, its 31 or 39 which is massively more expensive.

The fuel costs are basically the same, 40 for the CL, 40 for 5 of those destroyers. The 5 DD also technically have more light attack, but it has worse piercing and is distributed across a greater number of ships so it is less effective. More of the DD is also going to drag down more of your range.

Note that this does not account for the ways that admiral/other defense boosts will boost armour and reduce damage, because that gets more complicated and even as noted here, the CL is already losing by a pretty big lead. I'm also not accounting for the CLs ability to take multiple hits, and therefore potentially absorb more total damage before a ship is sunk and your screening efficiency is affected. 35 of these cruisers at x6 hits could take 175 hits before a cruiser is sunk and still have 35 ships screening, while for 175 of these DD that would be 175 sunk (actually only 108 with hit rate) which leaves 0 (67) ships screening.

If we want screen ships for the purpose of giving the capitals their screen bonuses for as long as possible, it is difficult to argue against the roach DD. Only when you want to start boosting range, or trying to skew the larger fleet penalty in your favour, do CLs start to enter consideration, and it is always at cost. Who would have thought that spending more on your navy would make it better. But navy is always the sort of thing you want to spend as little as possible on, so cost-effectiveness is practically king and is why the roach DD is so prevalent.
 
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Voigt

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yeah the thing is, if size of the fleet doesn't matter, more agile DD hulls are in most cases better for screening.

Only if you are limited by modding or rules or whatever to have only a size 30 task force, now something like 5-6 capitals, then maybe even expensive BBs or mix with CV and 24-25 CLs as screens come into play, compared to replacing part or all CLs in that case with DDs.