Heart of Darkness - DD 3 - The naval system.

Darkrenown

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Welcome back to another HoD DD, today I'm going to talk about the changes we have made to the Naval system. We've made some fairly major changes to this area of the game, hopefully you'll like the sound of them :)

The first is that you can no longer build Dreadnoughts in any little coastal town, you need to have a certain level of Naval Base to build any given ship, so building up your naval infrastructure is now vital to your ability to field a modern navy. Nor can you simply spam Naval Bases in every coastal province you have, they are limited to one per state (In the event of a split state being reunited, the highest level base will be kept), which serves to limit the number of advanced ships which can be built at one time. Finally, you can no longer build Big Ships in overseas areas, only in the area connected to your capital.
HoD DD 3 shipbuilding.png
You can see the Naval base mapmode here, green-striped provinces have Naval Bases, shaded by their level.

The next big change is the concept of Naval Supply. This is a value generated by Naval Bases which represents their capacity to supply your ships. Each ship has a Supply cost, and if you have more ships than you can supply they will receive less and less of their daily upkeep goods the further past your Supply Limit you go, reducing their efficiency in combat.

The third large change is that we have completely remade the naval battle system. Related to this are a few new mechanics I'll mention first:

Evasion – Small Ships may now have an evasion value set, making a percentage of shots fired at them miss.
Gun Range – Ships in a battle now have a firing range, meaning longer ranged ships may well be able to fire from outside their opponent’s range.
Torpedo Attacks – Once Torpedos are invented Cruisers gain the Torpedo Attack ability. Torpedos do a lot of damage against larger ships.
Coordination Penalty – Somewhat like a stacking penalty that HoI players may be familiar with, except that rather than being based solely on the number of ships in your fleet, it is based on the ratio of how much you outnumber the other side. Coordination Penalty affects your ship's chances of acquiring a target, and the chance of losing a target they already have, as not all ships will be able to fire past their fleet-mates.
Battleships – A new Ship type between Ironclads and Dreadnoughts.

Now for the battles themselves! Since one group of secessionist rebels is fighting another here, their ships make a fine target to serve as an example:

When two hostile fleets meet each other a battle starts. At this point the two fleets are aware of each other, but are out of range and do not yet know exactly which ships will target each other, ships will show the Seeking Target status. Ships tend to focus on fighting ships of their own size class first, so a screen of Small Ships can discourage enemy Small Ships from attacking your Big Ships, although it is not impossible they will bypass them and Torpedo your biggest unit:
HoD DD 3 battle1.png

If, or when, they find a target, they switch to Approach status, where they move into range:
HoD DD 3 battle2.png

You can also click on any ship on either side to see all ships targeting it at the moment (clicking it again returns you to the main battle view). Here we can see the USS Constitution, which is targeting HMS Sans Pereil, who is ignoring her. However, no less than 5 British ships are seeking to engage her, which bodes ill for the American vessel:
HoD DD 3 battle3.png

Once in range, combat proper begins. The actual firing on each other works much as before, with the additional mechanics I mentioned above. Combat continues until one of the following happens: either ship is destroyed, either ship starts to retreat, or one ship loses their target:
HoD DD 3 battle4.png

If a ship attempts to retreat, changes to Retreat status, but it may still be fired on until it has got far enough away from any enemy ships that it switches to Disengaged.
HoD DD 3 battle5.png

For a fleet to retreat from combat, all surviving ships just reach Disengaged status, at which point it will flee to the nearest friendly Naval Base. It should be noted that you cannot order a manual retreat until the majority of your fleet has approached to firing range of the enemy, the honour of the flag demands no less!

Come back next week to learn how warfare in general has been changed, although I'll warn you in advance that land battles have not changed to the same extent.
 

Caewil

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Awesome! This is basically everything I want, except for late-game subs and aircraft carriers. :)

Will ship speed have any effect in the approach and retreat phases?
 

Grubnessul

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Bravo!
 

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Sounds good!

Hopefully AI won't put ALL of its ships in 1 fleet.

and Hopefully AI will disband obsolete units. (Like you can build Battleships, so you disband the Man O War's)
 

Darkrenown

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That's the idea anyway.

As an aside to modders, we experimented with having Bases only supporting a certain number of ships, e.g. Each level 5 Naval Base only allows two Dreadnoughts to be built. Ultimately we didn't use the system, but support for it remains in the files should people want to try it out.
 

Frymonmon

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Hell, even minute changes to land warfare are welcome!

Love the new idea of the navies. It's going to really change the entire dynamic. Now my question is, will each naval battle be worth +0.1 war score still?
 

Spricar

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Very interesting. Actually, it is surprisingly complex for a Vicky game, in a good way :).

I agree with those who say that the way the AI handles its ships is crucial, though.

Agree!

Great changes!! Pitty there is no change to the graphics though...PON had a great system of ship models so you could really droll over your newly invented and built battleships... HOI3 models offer something like that too... This Vicky2 icons on the other hand are somehow...dissapointing.

Fielding a fleet was, as we all know, often a matter od prestige ;)
 

podcat

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Very interesting. Actually, it is surprisingly complex for a Vicky game, in a good way :).

I agree with those who say that the way the AI handles its ships is crucial, though.

We have put a lot of time into AI for this expansion. We'll share some of that in a later DD perhaps, but there are big improvements in a lot of areas from Capis to invasion and blockade Ai.
 

Avernite

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Looks promising, though number of coastal states might become critical to naval power now (unless ships actually are as expensive as in reality and only massive industry can support more than a couple of dreadnoughts). I guess most European GPs have similar numbers, but the USA has tons more if it takes over the Mexican regions and all.