Hoi4 Dev Diary - Naval Treaties and Ship Refits

Hoi4 Dev Diary - Naval Treaties and Ship Refits

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Archangel85

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Hello, and welcome back to another exciting dev diary about ship design!

As many of you noted last week, ship design in the interwar years was heavily restricted by the Washington Naval Treaty and the First London Naval Treaty. During and after the Great War, naval planners the world over were drawing up plans for new battleships that made use of new technologies, with ever bigger guns requiring ever stronger armor meaning increasingly large ships that were becoming even more expensive. At the same time, Britain and France were at the edge of bankruptcy from the debts they had accumulated during the Great War and could not afford another naval arms race with the fairly untouched nations of Japan and the US.

The result was the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, which forbade any new battleship construction for a period of 10 years and restricted the maximum size of ships as well as their gun armament. In 1930, the signatories of the Washington Naval Treaty came together and negotiated the London Naval Treaty, which limited the construction of cruisers and stipulated strict restrictions on their size. In early 1936, the London Naval Treaty was up for renegotiation and that, as they say, was when the trouble started.

These restrictions forced the designers of warships in the interwar period to come up with some interesting compromises, and although we can’t possibly model all the interconnected ways in which these restrictions impact design - the Nelson class baffled American designers who were trying to comprehend why the British would build a ship like that - we did want to model some of the impact and also represent the diplomatic effects of the naval treaties.

picture_naval_treaty.jpg


All the signatories of the 1930 London Naval Treaty will start with a national spirit that restricts the maximum cost of their capital ships. As I said last week, we originally played around a bit with tonnage as a restricting value for ship design, and obviously this would have tied in neatly with the Naval treaties, but the design was changed later to instead focus on slots and construction cost. We also thought about simulating the restrictions in gun caliber etc. through restricting modules, but in the end decided against it because it would disincentivize the player to engage with the ship designer - imagine researching a new heavy battery and then finding out that you can’t install it because it would violate the treaty! It still means that in ship design, you can’t just build the best possible ship on day one as the cost restrictions are quite harsh.

treaty_bs.jpg


When you start the game in 1936, you will notice a mission ticking down reminding you that the Second London Naval Conference is currently underway. If you don’t decide to bail, you will automatically sign the Second London Naval Treaty. Bailing from the treaty is at first only available during the London Conference, costs some political power, but less for fascist nations. However, fascist nations can stay in the treaty and later decide to cheat use creative accounting to measure the true displacement of their ships, which means they have reduced restrictions while, presumably, lying through their teeth when asked about the curiously large cruisers they are building (the Head of Ship Design for the Royal Navy during the 1930s once remarked that the other side was either building their ships from cardboard or lying when presented with the official numbers for a new cruiser!).

Screenshot_8.jpg


Once world tension hits a certain level, the decisions to leave the treaty are once again available for everyone. Should any country have left the treaty, either during the initial conference or afterwards, a timer starts ticking down for the remaining countries that activates the historical “escalator clause”, which will ease the restrictions slightly, allowing even the signatories of the treaty to build more powerful ships. As a fascist country you therefore have an incentive to stay in the treaty, as it will restrict your opponents more than it restricts you while denying them the escalator clause.
escalator_clause_2.jpg

If a country outside the treaty reaches a certain percentage of the British size in capital ships, they can be invited into the treaty. Should the nation decline and continue to expand their navy until near parity, the treaty nations can try to force them to disarm up to 80% of the number of capital ships. A refusal to disarm may lead to war. If a signatory nation exceeds the allocated amount of capital ships, they immediately get a mission to reduce the number of capital ships, at the threat of major stability loss.

So you will probably want to make sure you have the most capable ships you can as you are quite limited in numbers as well as size. One of the more annoying parts of the old variant system was that a capital ship might well be obsolete by the time it hit the waves, with no chance of ever being modernized. It made even less sense in the context of the ship designer, where the upgrades between the ship classes were supposed to be more gradual. Enter the refit feature, which will allow you to upgrade your ships and otherwise tailor them better to your needs as the situation changes - from upgrading the AA on your battleships to removing one of the torpedo sets on your destroyers to make room for more depth charges.
refit.jpg


All modules have a production cost, of course, but in addition they can (and usually do) have a conversion cost as well as a dismantling cost. The conversion cost determines how much it costs to, well, convert that module from another module. This means that it is usually cheaper to upgrade, say, Anti-Air from Level 1 to Level 2 than it is to rip out the rear turret and put some AA in there. There are some exceptions to this, mostly for historical immersion: upgrading the engines is a major effort that historically required very long yard times (you basically have to cut open the hull to get the old engines out and get the new engines in, then patch it up), so it is almost always not worth it (upgrading the engines on an old battleship gets you about 2 knots of speed at the cost of a modern light cruiser), but we wanted to give you the option. As a general rule, it is never cheaper to build a lower tier and then refit to something more modern.
picture_refit_aa.jpg

If there is no specific conversion cost scripted in, you have to pay the dismantling cost for the old module and the construction cost of the new module. Modders will be pleased to hear that you can script in dismantling resource costs so you can actually gain resources back from scrapping certain components.
C_class_refit.jpg

To refit a ship, you create a variant and then select the ship you want to refit, then order it to refit to that variant. The ship will detach to go to the nearest naval base and become an item in the production queue with a few special mechanics: because it is technically still on the map, it can be bombed and damaged, which reduces build progress. If the province it is in is overrun by the enemy, it will be captured and may end up serving your enemies.
c_class_carrier_refit.jpg

You usually can’t refit between ship hulls (so a 1936 destroyer can only be refit to other 1936 destroyer variants), but otherwise you have a lot of freedom on what you can refit into what and are only really restricted by cost (for historical examples, see the Japanese Mogami class becoming heavy cruisers after being built as light cruisers). A special case are carriers, where cruiser and battleship hulls can be converted into certain carrier hulls. These are generally not as capable as purpose-built carriers, but if you have some old ships lying around…
picture_carrier_conversion_finished.jpg

Lastly, some of you have noticed that one of the German ships we showed last week looked a little different. The Admiral Scheer is at game start the Pride of the Fleet for Germany, giving Germany a small (5%) war support bonus and the ship itself some bonuses to defense against critical hits (ahistoric in case of HMS Hood, certainly) and bonuses to experience gain. It also has some interesting synergy with admirals that have the Media Personality trait: they will gain bonuses when commanding a fleet with a Pride of the Fleet in it.
Germany_panzerschiff.jpg

Assigning a ship as Pride of the Fleet is free if you don’t have one already. Changing your Pride of the Fleet costs some political power (and presumably makes the crew of the old one very sad, you monster). You can only make a capital ship the Pride of the Fleet, and you should choose wisely - losing it gives a painful penalty to war support for a while.
potf.jpg

That’s all for today, remember to tune in at 1600 hours for our stream, when we will show off some gameplay for Mexico!

Rejected Titles:

With a large enough pocket, every battleship is a pocket battleship

The Italians actually were building their cruisers out of cardboard as it turned out

What really is a heavy cruiser, anyway?

Get your discount cruisers

You can now play with your LEGO-ships even after you have built them!

Personally I think armor is overrated anyway

The C-Class Carrier Conversion has nothing on the T-Type Torpedo Transformation or the M-Model Machinegun Makeover!
 
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Hrodbert

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@Archangel85 absolutely love the naval treaties and aspiring to get a minor to the point it's a signatory will be a great goal.
How will the non-aligned Japanese focus interact with it? Will the focus still limit production or just join the new mechanic?
 

Rafled

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Great Dev Diary! One question though, do ships converted to carriers lose their armor, or do they retain a portion, as the hull hasn't changed?
 

Liquid Ghost

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That looks really really great.

So let me get this straight, if someone leaves the treaty every one else gets into a one-year timer to leave the treaty as well?

Also, have you tinkered with Naval Experience generation? I'm wondering with all these new goodies we're getting if the costs of designing and upgrading under the new system will require more naval exp. to keep up.
 
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Rafled

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That looks really really great.

So let me get this straight, if someone leaves the treaty every one else gets into a one-year timer to leave the treaty as well?

Also, have you tinkered with Naval Experience generation? I'm wondering with all these new goodies we're getting if the costs of designing and upgrading under the new system more or less fit or not with the new system or whether more naval exp. will be needed to keep up.
I believe they previously stated that fleets can exercise, although at a cost of fuel usage.
 

kaguravitro

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woooowoowowow master piece? restrictions only works on desing cost (as tonnage) or there will be some kind of number limitation on number of unit depolyed? from start uk and usa could add more and more BB or CV free in 1936 only ruling cost limitation?
 

ThaHoward

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Nice addition with the Treaties. Will Germany also be limited on total number of capital-ships they can build as long as they abide the treaty? Afterall they signed a treaty that gave them a set number of capitals compared to UK. Ironically pushing the Italians into the German fold in the long run.
 

Galleblære

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I am limited to a cost of 10,000 for heavy ships. Why couldn't I then build several SBB ships lacking virtually anything but engines to come under this cost, and later quickly 'upgrade' them by adding components? Is cost of a ship related to build time to prevent such things?
 

Archangel85

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@Archangel85 absolutely love the naval treaties and aspiring to get a minor to the point it's a signatory will be a great goal.
How will the non-aligned Japanese focus interact with it? Will the focus still limit production or just join the new mechanic?
It will join the treaty if you have MTG, it will add the old effect if you do not. It'll bypass if you remain a signatory.

Great Dev Diary! One question though, do ships converted to carriers lose their armor, or do they retain a portion, as the hull hasn't changed?
Right now they lose the armor, but interesting thought! But I'd argue that most of the armor for the BB and CA hulls comes from the sidebelt, which is of limited use against bombs.

That looks really really great.

So let me get this straight, if someone leaves the treaty every one else gets into a one-year timer to leave the treaty as well?
No, they get a one-year timer until they get a version of the treaty with reduced penalties.
 

Kriegsspieler

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You can gain resources back from dismantling a component? Where do they go? There aren't any stockpiles! :D
 

Archangel85

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I am limited to a cost of 10,000 for heavy ships. Why couldn't I then build several SBB ships lacking virtually anything but engines to come under this cost, and later quickly 'upgrade' them by adding components? Is cost of a ship related to build time to prevent such things?
You can certainly do that, but you won't be that much quicker than building it in the first place. You are also heavily restricted in number of battleships, so you will have a long period of vulnerability while you upgrade your ships.
 

pvt.conners

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Everything here looks great, however how will the LNT interact with the war?

Afterall, the participants hardly cared about the limits and stipulations when there were enemy navies to be sunk.
 

ThaHoward

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Everything here looks great, however how will the LNT interact with the war?

Afterall, the participants hardly cared about the limits and stipulations when there were enemy navies to be sunk.
I assume the treaties are burned along with the rest of the world.
 

WeissRaben

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How well does this work for the largest (non-conversion) rebuilds in modern history - the Conte di Cavour and Caio Duilio-class battleships, which went from 13x305mm guns and 21.5 knots to 10x320mm guns and 27~28 knots? The cost was, of course, astronomical for a rebuild; but it worked within the limits of the treaties.

They went from this:

to this:
 

James Hale

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@Archangel85

Great diary, love it!

Historically of course the British upgraded several of their capital ships and planned to do other upgrades, but war being imminent meant that - for example - the Hood could not be withdrawn from active service. How long are we talking for a ship like the Hood or the Queen Elizabeths getting a full set of upgrades?

Also will you now represent the Italian battleship re-builds as such, rather than a new tech of ship? EDIT: The ones @WeissRaben mentioned above.

Looking forward to all of this stuff. Hopefully you give QA plenty of time with MtG and don't rush it.
 

ruzen

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Getting a bit concerned about the lack of submarine design customization compared to other ships.
 

James Hale

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BTW what's the justification for light cruisers being converted into carriers - is this to represent the small escort carriers that were spammed towards the end of the war? It seems a small hull for a carrier. Is there something to stop most/all of those old C-class cruisers being converted?