Fleet Compositions? Trying to understand the meta

Culann

Second Lieutenant
This is false.

Ok console it the same amount destroyers screening vs light cruisers screening with similar tech if you think so.

Nope, concealment affects hit chance.

You're right surface visibility affects hit chance. I'm pressed for time now, so I'd have to go through the math to determine how big of an advantage that actually is. Though really hard to take the loss on convoy escort efficiency as the UK.

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Sbrubbles

Captain
You're right surface visibility affects hit chance. I'm pressed for time now, so I'd have to go through the math to determine how big of an advantage that actually is. Though really hard to take the loss on convoy escort efficiency as the UK.

Irc, rule of thumb is 1% concealment is 1% less enemy hit chance

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Corpse Fool

Ok console it the same amount destroyers screening vs light cruisers screening with similar tech if you think so.
If you are fighting equal counts of DD versus CL, in like 100 v 100, of course the CL are going to win. Because you are ignoring one of the biggest factors in the game, cost. I would say that sort of testing is fundamentally flawed.

CL can cost upwards of 5k IC, while roach DD can be 790. The CL are more than 6 times the cost, so you could have more than 6 times as many DD.

Having 6x the ships (with better hit profiles) with DD is going to make the integrity of the screen line much, much better than if you used CL. The integrity of the screen line is vast majority of the point of using screens, to protect your battle line from light attack, torpedoes, and boost their hit rate.

If we had an IC-equivalent fleet, I'm sure DD could be designed such that they would defeat the CL. Propose your CL fleet for me to sink.

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Culann

Second Lieutenant
If you are fighting equal counts of DD versus CL, in like 100 v 100, of course the CL are going to win. Because you are ignoring one of the biggest factors in the game, cost. I would say that sort of testing is fundamentally flawed.

CL can cost upwards of 5k IC, while roach DD can be 790. The CL are more than 6 times the cost, so you could have more than 6 times as many DD.

Having 6x the ships (with better hit profiles) with DD is going to make the integrity of the screen line much, much better than if you used CL. The integrity of the screen line is vast majority of the point of using screens, to protect your battle line from light attack, torpedoes, and boost their hit rate.

If we had an IC-equivalent fleet, I'm sure DD could be designed such that they would defeat the CL. Propose your CL fleet for me to sink.

I did address the fact that CL take too long to build. You replied in context I didn’t imply.

Irc, rule of thumb is 1% concealment is 1% less enemy hit chance

View attachment 730528

I’m not disagreeing with the assessment yet. I’ll have to actually look at the hit formula to do the math.

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Culann

Second Lieutenant
Read my previous posts instead of quoting specific portions that ignore context?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Irc, rule of thumb is 1% concealment is 1% less enemy hit chance

In relative terms this is correct, I did the math on the Nelson class BB, Admiral class CB, York class CA and Town class CL. Destroyers don't get any benefits. Early battleships don't receive any drop off from heavy guns, the other capital ships do receive a relative drop off corresponding percentages vs heavy guns. Early light cruisers don't receive a drop off from light guns. The problem is that the base hit chance is 10% so in the end the relative drop off is 8% as in the case of CB. The hit chance vs torpedoes drop is more significant in relative terms but again hit chance is relatively low to begin with. This will increase with higher tech but in practice not sure how useful that actually is. If your someone who does refit often to higher tech than I'd wager it is more useful, if you're like me and only refit capital ships when able and builds relatively few capital ships, then it's less useful. Now if one wants to argue that those few percentage differences like 10% drop to 8% with the Admiral class vs heavy guns has significant value, that's a discussion I don't find any value in.

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pro.gamer.69

Major
@Culann why would you compare equal numbers of two units which have vastly different costs, see the more expensive one win, and declare it better? I assume Corpsefool was confused because that comparison simply doesn't make much sense to do. It would be like, in a post asking about which tank type to use, saying that heavies have better stats than lights and are better.

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Culann

Second Lieutenant
@Culann why would you compare equal numbers of two units which have vastly different costs, see the more expensive one win, and declare it better? I assume Corpsefool was confused because that comparison simply doesn't make much sense to do. It would be like, in a post asking about which tank type to use, saying that heavies have better stats than lights and are better.

Didn't I already address that in context? Read it again. I didn't claim one was better, I said that one had better stats, that implies something rather specific does it not? Now if you want to say I chose my words poorly, fine. I can accept that, but replying to a portion of what I said and ignoring the context as a whole is misrepresenting what I said.

Edit: I know it's the internet and I should expect it, but asking people to read entire posts shouldn't be a thing. Additionally if it's semantics someone wants to argue, fine English isn't my first language and I can accept that I don't always choose the right words, but at least address that than trying to score points on the internet.

pro.gamer.69

Major
I said that one had better stats
That you did. However you also said "A fleet screened only by light cruisers will dominate a fleet only screened by destroyer every time." That implies that you believe light cruisers are actually better, as does your claim that "Light cruisers are the best screens(particularly with some torpedoes)" - yes, you follow that up with "but take too long to build," but given that you still claim they're best and that they're worth using, doesn't change the implication that you would rather use light cruisers over destroyers. "Screens can be cheap light battery I and engine I destroyers" also contributes to this implication somewhat (without a designer, the best screen [considering all factors] is a battery 1, max engine destroyer).

If your claim is not that light cruisers are better than destroyers as screens, why use them as screens at all? I am sure you can understand the confusion.

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Culann

Second Lieutenant
That you did. However you also said "A fleet screened only by light cruisers will dominate a fleet only screened by destroyer every time." That implies that you believe light cruisers are actually better, as does your claim that "Light cruisers are the best screens(particularly with some torpedoes)" - yes, you follow that up with "but take too long to build," but given that you still claim they're best and that they're worth using, doesn't change the implication that you would rather use light cruisers over destroyers. "Screens can be cheap light battery I and engine I destroyers" also contributes to this implication somewhat (without a designer, the best screen [considering all factors] is a battery 1, max engine destroyer).

Only if you think that the two are mutually exclusive. There are other factors involved right? Do you really need 5 or 6 times more destroyers? If I don't need that many destroyers then why not? I assume the OP is playing SP. So I find that logic not particularly useful in this context. I do agree that best screen is battery I and max engine. I tend to play minor powers that don't have to research better hull types so usually my most used screen is engine I. I suppose I understand that confusion but that isn't what you seem to be arguing.

If your claim is not that light cruisers are better than destroyers as screens, why use them as screens at all? I am sure you can understand the confusion.

That's a strange way to frame an argument isn't it? If the only factors involved were IC and time the two being related, I'd argue one should only make destroyers. As I said previously do you need that many destroyers to fight the AI? Not really. It's not confusing at all, people play differently and different concerns matter. As someone said "battleships are cool", I agree with that statement. I'm a navy geek, I want to build other ships, do I have to? Not really, but what's stopping me? Some pedantic argument over efficiency and IC cost that when applied to a SP game, it doesn't really matter all. I'll leave those arguments to people who care about such things. Trying to reduce my post to simple claims that I didn't really make isn't very productive. You perceive the game in those terms, that's fine, but I wasn't really commenting on pure efficiency. The thread doesn't seem to take only that in to account.

pro.gamer.69

Major
Only if you think that the two are mutually exclusive. There are other factors involved right? Do you really need 5 or 6 times more destroyers? If I don't need that many destroyers then why not?
No. You take the ICs you would have wasted on light cruisers and put them into heavy cruisers instead. Or, even better, you take your light cruisers and turn them into heavy cruisers.

I understand what you're thinking and it isn't bad logic, necessarily - just building light cruisers isn't enough to get full screening efficiency so you need to sacrifice and make destroyers to fill it out. But the thing is, light cruisers aren't better value than destroyers and heavy cruisers, period. Screens are meant to be hit, put your weapons that do damage in the capital line where they do 40% more damage and stay safe.
I assume the OP is playing SP. So I find that logic not particularly useful in this context.
Why? Not to be snide, since you obviously are aware, but naval mechanics are no different in SP than MP.
I do agree that best screen is battery I and max engine.
Then why are you using any light cruisers at all? If it's for RP reasons that's perfectly valid but don't go around passing it off as factual advice.
That's a strange way to frame an argument isn't it? If the only factors involved were IC and time the two being related, I'd argue one should only make destroyers. As I said previously do you need that many destroyers to fight the AI? Not really. It's not confusing at all, people play differently and different concerns matter. As someone said "battleships are cool", I agree with that statement. I'm a navy geek, I want to build other ships, do I have to? Not really, but what's stopping me? Some pedantic argument over efficiency and IC cost that when applied to a SP game, it doesn't really matter all. I'll leave those arguments to people who care about such things. Trying to reduce my post to simple claims that I didn't really make isn't very productive. You perceive the game in those terms, that's fine, but I wasn't really commenting on pure efficiency. The thread doesn't seem to take only that in to account.
Again, if you use light cruisers because you want to, that's fine. Don't confuse a bunch of people looking for advice by saying "cruisers beat destroyers." That is extremely misleading.

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Culann

Second Lieutenant
No. You take the ICs you would have wasted on light cruisers and put them into heavy cruisers instead. Or, even better, you take your light cruisers and turn them into heavy cruisers.

I understand what you're thinking and it isn't bad logic, necessarily - just building light cruisers isn't enough to get full screening efficiency so you need to sacrifice and make destroyers to fill it out. But the thing is, light cruisers aren't better value than destroyers and heavy cruisers, period. Screens are meant to be hit, put your weapons that do damage in the capital line where they do 40% more damage and stay safe.

Why? Not to be snide, since you obviously are aware, but naval mechanics are no different in SP than MP.

Then why are you using any light cruisers at all? If it's for RP reasons that's perfectly valid but don't go around passing it off as factual advice.

Again, if you use light cruisers because you want to, that's fine. Don't confuse a bunch of people looking for advice by saying "cruisers beat destroyers." That is extremely misleading.

Again I think that was addressed. Particularly the first part. Nothing was particularly confusing nor contradicted anything you said.

I’ll argue building heavy cruisers take even more IC due to the need of more screens.

Mechanics are the same but if you want to argue you need to be as efficient in SP as you need to be MP. That’s a claim I certainly don’t agree with.

Dismissing my point due to “RP” doesn’t change that this is all pedantic argument over efficiency. Clearly it isn’t needed to beat the AI, but meh.

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pro.gamer.69

Major
Again I think that was addressed. Particularly the first part. Nothing was particularly confusing nor contradicted anything you said.
I'm lost. You use light cruisers - so wouldn't me saying light cruisers are a waste contradict your usage of them?
I’ll argue building heavy cruisers take even more IC due to the need of more screens.
Ok, sure. Give me a fleet which uses light cruisers and I'll make one with heavy cruisers and more overall capitals/screens for the same cost that will beat yours. No carriers or planes, please, they make testing require more effort and would just result in me using the exact same number of each.

I've done countless similar tests and trust me, light cruisers lose. Yes, a heavy cruiser requires 3-4*700 ICs of screens, but in return will be doing 40% more damage due to having full screening efficiency and massively outshooting your light cruiser, which won't even be able to fire back. It's kind of a silly comparison since they're in different parts of the battle line anyway.
Mechanics are the same but if you want to argue you need to be as efficient in SP as you need to be MP. That’s a claim I certainly don’t agree with.
Dismissing my point due to “RP” doesn’t change that this is all pedantic argument over efficiency. Clearly it isn’t needed to beat the AI, but meh.

However, this sort of started with your comment where you compared an equal number of CL to DD, and that was in response to WSNova saying "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." Your comment was clearly disagreeing with them. So you disagreed with someone and offered an argument that CL were better (or at least for why you use them, but those arguments are effectively the same). If you aren't basing an argument on efficiency, then what is there to base it on? What do you believe you were basing yours on?

As for the "dismissing your point" part - what was your point? And how is an argument over efficiency pedantic?

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HugsAndSnuggles

Lt. General
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.
Don't carrier fighters basically ignore naval strikes, making any amount actually harmful to the fleet (since boosted HP results in more planes that can attack it)?

Corpse Fool

Now if you want to say I chose my words poorly, fine. I can accept that, but replying to a portion of what I said and ignoring the context as a whole is misrepresenting what I said.

Edit: I know it's the internet and I should expect it, but asking people to read entire posts shouldn't be a thing. Additionally if it's semantics someone wants to argue, fine English isn't my first language and I can accept that I don't always choose the right words, but at least address that than trying to score points on the internet.
If the hang up here is that you used the wrong words and didn't say exactly what you meant, why haven't you since provided a corrected or revised statement to clear the misunderstanding?

IC equivalent fleets have been tested many times, and whenever the comparison of DD v CL for screening comes up, the CL lose. If you think you've found the secret sauce to making a perfect CL screen I'd like to hear it and test it out. So we return to...
Propose your CL fleet for me to sink.
The worst that happens is we learn something.

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B24 Liberator

Private
1600 Naval Bombers, then 1600 Med Bombers. 3200 Scout Planes (to find the enemy)
Do you really use 3200 scout planes? I have been using 100 scout planes per region. Maybe I'm not using enough?

Sbrubbles

Captain
Do you really use 3200 scout planes? I have been using 100 scout planes per region. Maybe I'm not using enough?
If your objetive is to find enemy ships, you're using 100 scout planes too many.

While it is natural to assume scout planes, due to their name, would be extra helpful to find enemy ships, no such mechanic is actually present. Air superiority increases ship detection of ships patrolling in the region, and that's it.

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dratheos

Private
If the hang up here is that you used the wrong words and didn't say exactly what you meant, why haven't you since provided a corrected or revised statement to clear the misunderstanding?

IC equivalent fleets have been tested many times, and whenever the comparison of DD v CL for screening comes up, the CL lose. If you think you've found the secret sauce to making a perfect CL screen I'd like to hear it and test it out. So we return to...

The worst that happens is we learn something.
1940 cruiser hull, 4 1940 CL guns, 1 1940 torpedo launcher, 1 1940 ASW, 1940 AA, 1940 radar 3, 1940 fire control, 1940 engine, dual purpose secondaries and 1940 armor. AKA my favorite escort cruiser.

Should come to about 6000 IC. 4 of those for a total of 24000 ic. On the test I just ran, I also made an all light guns (plus included torpedoes) 1940 destroyer which came to about 1600 ic, so I put 15 of those against the 4 CLs:

1st result: CLs immediately ran away, but did successfully escape and even sunk a destroyer on the way out.

For the second test, I put both groups on "always engage",

2nd result: CL near perfect victory, no losses, 14 destroyers sunk, 1 escaped.

Corpse Fool

1940 cruiser hull, 4 1940 CL guns, 1 1940 torpedo launcher, 1 1940 ASW, 1940 AA, 1940 radar 3, 1940 fire control, 1940 engine, dual purpose secondaries and 1940 armor. AKA my favorite escort cruiser.

Should come to about 6000 IC. 4 of those for a total of 24000 ic. On the test I just ran, I also made an all light guns (plus included torpedoes) 1940 destroyer which came to about 1600 ic, so I put 15 of those against the 4 CLs:

1st result: CLs immediately ran away, but did successfully escape and even sunk a destroyer on the way out.

For the second test, I put both groups on "always engage",

2nd result: CL near perfect victory, no losses, 14 destroyers sunk, 1 escaped.
imgur album

The CL in this case had every doctrine and all ammunition upgrades, the DD/CA mix had only up until 1940 ammunition and no doctrines at all. The DD/CA mix is also 536 IC cheaper, which is only slight. Doctrines don't really help screens in fights though, they would really only offer org which doesn't really matter with such a low TTK. CL does get a small visibility reduction, but that is it.

I'm not sure if you're surprised by the CA being there, the intent was never to have the screens duke it out themselves. It was supposed to be fleets screened by DD against fleets screened by CL, but I suppose that wasn't specifically stated. If you wish to propose a different fleet, feel free.

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B24 Liberator

Private
So instead of posting a new thread I figured I would ask here. Playing as the USA, how many dockyards do you need?

I usually build dockyards until I have a total of 50 dockyards. 5 dockyards for aircraft carriers, 5 dockyards for battleships, 5 dockyards for heavy cruisers, 10 dockyards for light cruisers, 10 dockyards for destroyers, 10 dockyards for submarines, and finally 5 dockyards for convoys. Is this a good way to build up the navy or no?

I figure that as the USA it is important to have a powerful navy to have naval supremacy throughout the world. But maybe for example I would be better off allocating 10 dockyards to aircraft carriers, and 5 dockyards to submarines?