Fleet Compositions? Trying to understand the meta

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pro.gamer.69

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Ratio screen vs capital- 6:1
3:1 is the bare minimum for 100% screening efficiency. 4:1 is the maximum of what I'd aim for. You'll take fewer losses by making good capital-line ships and sinking theirs faster at that point than you will by simply having more HP in your screen line.
Screen are: DD,CL’s.
Not really any good reason to use CLs for that purpose. Make them capitals and they'll die far slower, unless the enemy has only heavy attack.
Capital: CA/BB
Battlecruisers are better, and heavy cruisers are best. You need SHBB to start really getting benefits from the armor.
Should be: 1 cv, 4 cl, 4 aa cl, 20 dd any 4 bc or dd. This is mean task force.
It should be up to 4 CV, as many capitals as you have and as many destroyers as you have. There is no reason to divide up your battlefleet other than for roleplay purposes.

I have no idea why so many people have the notion that AA CL are a "thing..." were they popular historically? Regardless, in-game they do little and are never worth it. They won't be targeted by bombers until your whole capital and carrier lines are dead, meaning they only contribute to fleet AA, which only reduces bombing damage, and on a logarithmic scale. The AA your fleet starts with + AA in the AA slot of all your capitals and carriers is plenty.
 
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If i have a navy i organize it so in Sp.

Subs: I put them into groups of 4 or 5 and into an exta theatre i name subs. Dont build any subs 3 as ai will just ran to 0 convoys soon.
Destroyer 4,5 too and in an extra theatre named destroyer. Then spread over the routes convoys take.
Rest plus some destroyer is the main fleet and comes into one or two stacks i set somewhere on strike force .Depends on the country and enemies.
Cv i park in a harbour

General rule is to avoid any area where a enemy airplanes are , to mostly avoid battles and use the fleet as a way to generate supremacy to start invasions.

I dont get why so many think so much about it honestly .
 
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Sbrubbles

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Ok, thank you all but the whole discussion is still not helping me in a fleet composition. So maybe some of my ideas and hope anyone can help me out. Ratio screen vs capital- 6:1 (because of loses during fight. I believe it should be 4:1). Screen are: DD,CL’s. Capital: CA/BB. For subs: put 10 per group for convoy rading. CV are special to my believ. Should be: 1 cv, 4 cl, 4 aa cl, 20 dd any 4 bc or bb. This is main task force. Shouting: 10 dd only on “not engage” or 1 cl with 5 dd.

Hope someone can tell me if above would work in sp or maybe it doesn’t matter at all?
Your fleet composition for your main task force should be: absolutely everything you've got (that's not in a specialized task force) in a single big stack (4 CVs at most). Hope that helps.
 
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Thanks! As Germany it was easy(subs and more subs) But with the UK I got 250+ ships and wanted to learn something about the navy and setup. The last adds in this thread are really helpful and give me some ideas.
Many many thanks!
 

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Yeah, its mostly:

-Stack most of your ships in a Dommstack. 4-1 screen to capital ratio 4 Carriers
-Subs in groups of 10


And if you want:

-Spotter CLs(if you have tons of Dockyards to spare) or spotter DDs. As fast as they can be, as many planes as they can have, best engine, best radar and sonar, best hull.
-Convoy DDs. Cheapest everything. They are just meant to buy time for your convoys to escape.
-Minelayers

If you want you can split your Main fleet in 2 or more depending on the opposition but for the most part its safer to keep it together. Just be sure to have air cover where they will be operating.

As for ships, you will most likely only need CAs and destroyers, CAs with as much light attack as possible, DDs to defend them against torpedos and to torpedo the enemy capitals. Carriers are not needed for the most part, BBs and BCs are not that useful but build a few to soak up heavy attack if you want to. I like to mix in a few torpedo CLs but that is mostly for fun.

You can also dedicate some old BBs to shore bombardment duty and invasion support.

With how things are, your surface navy will fight 2-3 battles that will decide the naval war and then do nothing. So try to make those battles count. You can also do ASW DDs to respond to sub attacks but planes will be more help.
 
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Doom stacks are a good way of draining all of your fuel. Even a medium sized navy can guzzle POLs at an unsustainable rate when massed. The naval computer is actually pretty good at sending out additional fleets when it needs to. There is no use sending 15+ capital ships to fight the enemy patrol fleet.

If you break down your strike force fleet into smaller segments with 2-5 capital ships and the relevant screens (~1:3.5) you can overpower patrol fleets with a smaller task force. If the enemy commits to fight your smaller task force you either run away (secure in the knowledge that you forced the enemy to commit more fuel to fight you) or send out your other fleets to meet the enemy strength. Retreating is an essential part of a successful naval strategy.

Breaking your strike forces into smaller segments also allows your fleets to operate in a wider area. While this isn't as important in Europe, other naval theaters such as the Indian and Pacific Oceans are very large.
 
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pro.gamer.69

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Doom stacks are a good way of draining all of your fuel.
If you don't know how to go into the trade screen and buy more, sure. But as Italy I've never had a problem with it. Buy from the middle east, kill them when they run out. As Japan you can buy from the USSR, or stockpile most of it before the war. You'll actually use fuel more effectively with a doomstack than with multiple smaller fleets.
 
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If you don't know how to go into the trade screen and buy more, sure. But as Italy I've never had a problem with it. Buy from the middle east, kill them when they run out. As Japan you can buy from the USSR, or stockpile most of it before the war. You'll actually use fuel more effectively with a doomstack than with multiple smaller fleets.
Plus, you're not supposed to be moving around with your doomstack willy nilly, you're supposed to use it to win a decisive victory, and that will almost always start with it waiting in port for a target (aka, not using fuel).

Obviously, if you're so much stronger than the your enemies that you can afford to split up your doomstack and still win large battles (this applies to the UK mostly) then by all means go ahead, but otherwise no, all you're doing is giving the opportunity for the opponent to fight you piecemeal.
 
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Obviously, if you're so much stronger than the your enemies that you can afford to split up your doomstack and still win large battles (this applies to the UK mostly) then by all means go ahead, but otherwise no, all you're doing is giving the opportunity for the opponent to fight you piecemeal.
Even if you can still win the battles, you'll take much higher losses due to lower damage output. I would really, really only do it for roleplaying purposes. For example, as the UK in SP I might make a main stack for the Med, and then have my extra carrier with a few reserve ships for when the Germans put out their fleet in the North Atlantic, so that way it's actually doing something. But even then that carrier would be better off doing pure convoy escort with destroyers.
 

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If you have enough fuel and your doomstack is pretty strong you can set your doomstack to convoy raiding. Watch the fireworks of allied ships suiciding and sinking till they have nothing left as they will keep sending ships in small groups one by one.
 
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Ok, thank you all but the whole discussion is still not helping me in a fleet composition. So maybe some of my ideas and hope anyone can help me out. Ratio screen vs capital- 6:1 (because of loses during fight. I believe it should be 4:1). Screen are: DD,CL’s. Capital: CA/BB. For subs: put 10 per group for convoy rading. CV are special to my believ. Should be: 1 cv, 4 cl, 4 aa cl, 20 dd any 4 bc or bb. This is main task force. Shouting: 10 dd only on “not engage” or 1 cl with 5 dd.

Hope someone can tell me if above would work in sp or maybe it doesn’t matter at all?
If your navy has Base Strike doctrine carrier Navs are very potent IF you research all the capital ship doctrines in the right. the screen doctrines on the left are quite helpful as well. Your ideal Strike Fleet would be 3-4 CV/5-6 BB or BC/36 screens. Ideally one third of your screens should be CL.

If your navy has Fleet in Being doctrine your carrier Navs will be nearly worthless, but carrier fighters will be essential if you're fighting the US or Japan. If you don't want to change doctrines (and I never do, I feel it's not worth the trouble) then research the capital ship doctrines on the right and the screen doctrines in the center. Your ideal Strike Fleet will be 1-2 CV/5-6 BB or BC and 24 screens. Ideally half your screens will be CL.

I have never played with Trade Interdiction but if I ever do I will probably have a Strike Fleet identical to Fleet in Being. Regardless of doctrine once the main enemy fleets are destroyed the AI can't really deploy balanced task forces so it is safe to split your Strike Fleets in half to cover more ocean or support Amphibious landings.

My scouting groups for any doctrine are 2 CA/8 DD. I will also use cruiser subs with seaplanes or 1936 or 1940 subs with radar IF I am sure there is no enemy air threat.

I will make a great effort to upgrade every starting ship in my fleet. The differences between AA or Torpedo I and II for instance are huge, as is the difference between a lot of poor early ship designs and a proper design such as heavy cruisers with 2 x floatplane for scouting, or light cruisers with all light batteries for destroyer killing.
 
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Most of it depends on specific theaters, industrial considerations, and fleet doctrine. since Man the Guns this of course assumes SP. I find trying to search for some arbitrary meta mostly useless. UK generally has two strategic goals, anti-submarine operations which could mostly done with cheap destroyers with light battery I and engine I. You can build some specialized destroyer groups with patrol groups to hunt subs. The thing you need to remember is the AI is set to medium engagement so if you have enough convoy escorts the subs will disengage against screens. For patrol groups you could get away with a single light cruiser equipped with aircraft facilities, radar, and sonar to find subs. Then you just set up a strike group of ASW destroyers. The other goal is securing the Mediterranean, there are numerous ways to accomplish this as to what is best, I'm not sure. Assuming you are using fleet in being, which I'd argue is better in this situation, you'll need a few battleships to counter their battleships, torpedo destroyers and gun heavy/light cruisers. I prefer heavy cruisers for more HP I just put a single medium battery and the rest light batteries. The general idea is to kill as many of their screens as possible till you can start targeting their capital ships. Personally, I find damaging them just as useful as sinking them, I'm assuming you just want naval superiority for amphibious invasions. Carriers are in general a mix bag for the UK, arguably more useful at the start for UK with full fighters when the Axis will usually have air superiority. As you get more air bases or bigger air bases depending on what you do, they become less useful in my opinion.

I don't know if there is an ideal composition, I generally start my convoy escorts in groups of 5 as the UK and increase their size if I fall below escort efficiency. The only hard rules I have is I aim for 6 screens per capital ship to compensate for losses or bad positioning which can increase the screen to capital ship threshold but in practice it is usually 4-5 screens per capital ship. Screens can be cheap light battery I and engine I destroyers in a pinch for battle groups but obviously not ideal. Never have more than 4 carriers operating in the same sea zones at the same time. Designing fleet subs are useful once you break screening threshold though a bit gamey. Light cruisers alone set to never engage are the best scout ships, but if you want patrol groups I personally go with a scout CL and a few destroyers with high AA, as most fleets can't catch up with them. Land base plans will support naval combat either once per battle or once per day I can't remember which. I think it's once per day, while planes on carriers will support the battle three times a day. There is a limit on how many land based planes will enter the battle based on fleet size. I can't remember the exact ratio which is why I find carriers with fighters only, more useful as the UK at the start and less useful later. Also planes when they target ships will target carriers first, and other capital ships later, leaving screens for last. Light cruisers are the best screens(particularly with some torpedoes) but take too long to build I prefer a ratio of about 25% light cruiser screens but again other factors impact that. While I do prefer heavy cruisers with guns as my screen killers, note that heavy cruisers need screens too, so light gun cruisers may be more useful if there aren't enough screens available.

Finally, as for doctrine assuming fleet in being battleships, battle cruisers, and heavy cruisers get the most gain. If you go with base strike, I'd avoid building any new battleships or battle cruisers. Carriers are your main offensive punch you just want heavy cruisers screening for carriers at that point the ratio is 1:1 but I go slightly higher 1.5:1, preferably gun heavy cruisers. If going base strike use your existing capital ships as carrier screens. Though I'd argue that base strike isn't as good for the UK but point is you could do it if you wanted to. I have, but I will say fleet in being is superior for the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Additional note for a difference between the two, fleet in being is better for convoy escort efficiency.
 
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I don´t think Light Cruisers are very good as a screen. For the most part you want as much HP for the least IC and DDs do that job much better. I add 1 slot of Torpedos so that when the screens fall you drown the capitals in torpedos. Cruisers are too expensive to have them in the screen line and take more damage.

Of course, the fleet you need depends on what you want to do. As Germany if you don´t plan to do Sealion until the USSR falls you p. much need DDs to escort your convoys from/to Norway, maybe a smallish surface fleet to get naval superiority against Denmark and Norway and a lot of Subs if you want to put some pressure in the UK so that they need to spend their resources protecting their convoys. 1-2 Surface raiders are nice for RP and to switch it up.

As the UK yeah, you need to invest more because you have a lot of enemies and objectives.

But basically:

-Protecting Convoys: Cheap DDs
-Distrupting Convoys: Submarines
-Sinking screens: Light attack CAs
-Sinking Capitals: Torpedos and planes

Scouting CLs are not that necessary, since DDs can do a similar job and you will have more of them.
ASW DDs are Ok, but planes will do a better job if they have the range.

As for Doctrines in fleet vs fleet battles Trade interdiction makes your ships harder to detect and harder to get hit so you will take less damage overall.

BBs and BCs are poorly balanced and don´t do a whole much other than being meatshields for your 3rd line. Torpedos are too powerful atm, so thay are the fleet killers.

Also, if you want to save your fuel you p. much need to micro your doomstacks more. If you leave a doomstack on naval strike they will sortie to kill a single sub which they probably won´t be able to handle because they are not meant to do that. keeping your main Navy separated just opens yourself up to more damage, but of course you can split it if you are confident against what you are fighting for.

I think people tend to overthink the navy part of the game, for the most part you want to protect your shipping and prevent enemy shipping. Just build accordingly
 
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Sbrubbles

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I think people tend to overthink the navy part of the game, for the most part you want to protect your shipping and prevent enemy shipping. Just build accordingly
True, and this can't be understated. Preventing enemy shipping and protecting your own are THE reasons for engaging in naval gameplay in the first place, so everything you do should have that endgoal in mind.
 
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Preventing enemy shipping and protecting your own are THE reasons for engaging in naval gameplay in the first place, so everything you do should have that endgoal in mind.
Nope. Preventing enemy shipping and preserving your own are the reason to have a navy. Some people engage in naval gameplay to play with the battleships*, because battleships are cool.

Personally, once I finish whatever was useful in the pre-war queue, I run 10 dockyards on escort destroyers, 10 on fleet destroyers, 10-20 on submarines. Then I play with the battleships.

* Battleships, carriers, cruisers. Different people find different things fun to play with.
 
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Caeric

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Frankly the whole system is far from accurate and needs another damn rework that is actually properly researched this time. Cruisers in particular are a mess. Same with AA.
 
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I don´t think Light Cruisers are very good as a screen. For the most part you want as much HP for the least IC and DDs do that job much better. I add 1 slot of Torpedos so that when the screens fall you drown the capitals in torpedos. Cruisers are too expensive to have them in the screen line and take more damage.

In terms of pure stats light cruisers are superior to destroyers in every way. They have more HP and pretty decent evasion and can equip a lot more weapons. The only draw back is the length of time to build, hence their main issue. A fleet screened only by light cruisers will dominate a fleet only screened by destroyer every time. I've consoled this.

Scouting CLs are not that necessary, since DDs can do a similar job and you will have more of them.
ASW DDs are Ok, but planes will do a better job if they have the range.

Several areas in the mid Atlantic are out of reach from planes particularly in the early war before the US is involved. Ultimately a patrol group isn't necessary at all if you have 100% convoy escort efficiency. AI subs will always disengage from screens. However if you want to hunt subs patrol groups are necessary, since there seems to be a behavior changes on strike groups now in my current Portugal game, my ASW strike groups aren't leaving to kill subs attacking convoys. They seem to now only leave when allied fleets are engaged or when a patrol group spots enemy ships.

As for Doctrines in fleet vs fleet battles Trade interdiction makes your ships harder to detect and harder to get hit so you will take less damage overall.

Trade interdiction does nothing to make ships harder to hit, just harder to detect. I'd argue bad idea to use trade interdiction as the UK. UK is painfully dependent on shipping for resources and supplying their forces. Trade interdiction gives the least amount of convoy efficiency boosts, which requires you to build a lot more cheap destroyers to get 100% convoy efficiency, which ultimately the goal and arguably the only real reason a navy exists to begin with. Well that and securing amphibious invasions. In my opinion destroying fleets and keeping them in port accomplish the same goal due to repairs or unwillingness to engage.

BBs and BCs are poorly balanced and don´t do a whole much other than being meatshields for your 3rd line. Torpedos are too powerful atm, so thay are the fleet killers.

Heavy guns can target 2nd line bypassing screens altogether. Torpedoes are powerful but at 100% screening efficiency they won't be able to kill capitals yet. Granted as losses mount and or good positioning comes in to play the greater chance they'll dominate. I find the best reason for capital ships is that equipping heavy and secondary gun modules allow them to engage both lines simultaneously while giving some armor benefits. Problem with developing powerful screens including destroyers is the already mentioned length of time it takes to build ships. Screens in the end is a numbers game, most used screen I have is a destroyer with light battery I, torpedo I, and engine I. Greater numbers generally means my capital ships are fully screened and thus immune to torpedoes. Longer my capital ships fight the more damage they'll cause.

Also, if you want to save your fuel you p. much need to micro your doomstacks more. If you leave a doomstack on naval strike they will sortie to kill a single sub which they probably won´t be able to handle because they are not meant to do that. keeping your main Navy separated just opens yourself up to more damage, but of course you can split it if you are confident against what you are fighting for.

Don't really need to micro them too much. Just make sure you're tasking battle groups in areas that make sense, i.e. where there are enemy ships to destroy. Aside from that you generally only need convoy escorts or the occasional destroyer group to ensure naval superiority.

I think people tend to overthink the navy part of the game, for the most part you want to protect your shipping and prevent enemy shipping. Just build accordingly

I agree with this, hence my point there really isn't any need for an ideal composition. It is dependent on your strategic goals. The way one plays the UK will be different to how one plays Germany.
 
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Sbrubbles

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Nope. Preventing enemy shipping and preserving your own are the reason to have a navy. Some people engage in naval gameplay to play with the battleships*, because battleships are cool.

Personally, once I finish whatever was useful in the pre-war queue, I run 10 dockyards on escort destroyers, 10 on fleet destroyers, 10-20 on submarines. Then I play with the battleships.

* Battleships, carriers, cruisers. Different people find different things fun to play with.
Woa there, what's next, gonna make the claim that people play video games to have fun???
 
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A fleet screened only by light cruisers will dominate a fleet only screened by destroyer every time.
This is false.
I add 1 slot of Torpedos so that when the screens fall you drown the capitals in torpedos.
It is better to concentrate the torps onto fewer hulls than to spread them across more hulls.
 
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