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Avast ye! Welcome to the 11th developer diary for March of the Eagles!
So, are you a landlubber or do you have sea legs? It´s time to set sail out on the bounding main with the wind at your back. Time to teach you how you will dominate the waters - land is not the only thing you can conquer you know ;)

To properly relive the Napoleonic Wars, we need to give you a game that makes the control of the seas as important to you as it was to leaders at the time. You can’t have a Napoleonic War without the Battle of the Nile or the triumph at Trafalgar! Let alone controlling the sea lanes so you can strangle an opponent economically. These intensely fought years will offer large scale naval battles involving hundreds of ships and many thousands of seamen and officers. These battles could prove to be a turning point in your struggle to dominate Europe…

Naval Units
As always, the ships you choose to build are dependent on what you choose to do with those ships. Different types are good for different things, and building a navy is not a small investment of time or money. So, choose wisely which ships you wish to build so that you get more bang for your buck. All but galleys are built in squadrons of four ships. Each of the four naval units has specific characteristics that suit them for particular tasks:

Transport ships
Ahoy, me Hearties, help is on the way! Transport ships which will ferry your armies from point A to point B on the high sea. There are four transports per complete squadron and 1000 men can fit on each ship, for a total of up to 4000 men per complete squadron. Whether it’s for a light cruise on the Black Sea or a cross Channel Invasion, these vessels are important components for any quick movement of large numbers of men. Transports only see action in the Combat phase of battle, once the Bombard phase has concluded.

Galleys
Shiver me timbers! Galleys excels in enclosed waters, but they have a shallow draft which means it’s not well suited for the high seas. Galleys are a decent investment, however, since they come in squadrons of five, instead of the usual four. If you have a lot of seas and straits to protect, a host of galleys can help close the naval gap, but should avoid fights when facing a larger fleet of more advanced vessels. These darlings attack in both the Bombard and Combat phases of battle.

Light ships
Blow me down! When you want to surprise your enemies, or need to block enemy access to open waters in a hurry, the Light ships are an excellent and affordable choice. These are your frigates - small, fast, maneuverable and perfect for the role of commercial defense. They can sail the open seas, making them superior to galleys in that respect, though they are otherwise equivalent in power. They attack in the Bombard and Combat phases.

Ship of the Line
Time to scuttle some enemy ships. The Ship of the Line’s the prime combat vessel for action on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean, although its performance in enclosed waters, like the Mediterranean or Black Seas, cannot compare to the Galley. There are 1st and 2nd rank Ships of the Line, which differ in power and price. Though very expensive, these are the ships that will most likely decide the fate of Europe. Ships of the Line attack in the Bombard and Combat phases.

Your fleets will usually be a mix of vessels, and you might have one or two dedicated transport fleets with associated escorts. A mix of big and small ships will be more helpful in varied battle conditions than simply saving up for as many Ships of the Line as your War Minister can afford.

Building ships
You can only build ships in provinces with a dock or ports – not every coastal province can be a ship factory for your empire. Click Build Ship to see the build ship view, where you can choose which ship you wish to build. When building ships, you can sort their by Type, Size, Build Cost, Manpower Cost, Build Time, Speed, Attack, Defense, Initiative, Morale, Frontage, Evasion and Supply Cost.

Manpower and Ducats
Your navy or fleet construction is limited in two ways: the amount of manpower you have, and the amount of ducats. Each ship costs a certain sum of manpower and ducats, if you lack either you won't be able to recruit them.

Maintenance
Your ships need supplies, manpower and equipment. All maintenance cost ducats and the larger the navy you have, the more you have to pay to keep it battle ready. Ships that do not get enough maintenance will have more causalities in battle, take longer to repair and have low morale before the battle even starts. As they take more damage in battles, they will be more likely to try and escape instead of holding firm. If you find that your naval maintenance is too high and these expenses might bring you to the brink of bankruptcy or beyond, it would be wise to disband some ships if you can - if you are not waging war or plan building a large enough navy to defeat your enemy on the high seas. Ships are only repaired when in port or if you have chosen a specific naval idea, “Repair at Sea”.

Naval Combat
When you have a ship selected and it attacks or is attacked by an enemy ship, a battle window will open. During the battle you cannot do anything to help or interfere with the battle. You can merely observe it and hope that the outcome leads to learning new tactics for the next battle. You can read all the various tooltips that can be shown by hovering the mouse pointer on almost all icons, buttons and pictures. The flags shown in the battle window will show the attacker's and the defender's flag. Clicking your enemy's flag will bring you to the Diplomacy view, where you can try to Sue for peace if you like. You can pause at any time during a battle.

Intercept Enemy Units
Intercept Enemy Units can only be used by ships. The ship will move to adjacent sea provinces and battle the enemy automatically.

Naval Movement Ideas
Naval Movement Ideas deal with speed, blockade efficiency, repairing ships and naval morale. The faster the ship, the faster it will reach its destination and it might even be able to outrun a pursuing enemy ship. Blockade efficiency decides how well your ship can blockade the enemy's ports. Ports are blockaded by moving a ship to the sea province bordering the enemy port. If your ships are damaged, they will lose morale more easily and might even sink, so adopting the Repair at Sea idea will let you patch your ships in a coalition member’s ports or at sea - a major blessing. Morale is important for all units, both armies and navies. With a low morale they will not fight as well, will be more likely to sound the retreat and there is even a risk of desertion. The higher the morale, the better.

MotE_3.png

Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen, savvy?
 
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ashandresash

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Frontage in naval combat... it seems a good idea. I assume it'd be similar to land combat, right? It'd be really nice if naval commanders levels and traits could affect it, giving you more chances to face the enemy using the whole of your power, or evade him.

Two phases (bombard and combat) look like a good improvement also... allowing big ships (with big cannons) to keep their enemy far enough to avoid they attack them.

I love the idea of a revamped naval system in comparison with EUIII and Vicky2.
 

Meanmanturbo

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Frontage in naval combat... it seems a good idea. I assume it'd be similar to land combat, right? It'd be really nice if naval commanders levels and traits could affect it, giving you more chances to face the enemy using the whole of your power, or evade him.

Two phases (bombard and combat) look like a good improvement also... allowing big ships (with big cannons) to keep their enemy far enough to avoid they attack them.

I love the idea of a revamped naval system in comparison with EUIII and Vicky2.
I'd say...mega-stacking Dreadnoughts in Vicky 2, oh dear. Frontage in EU IV as well would be swell.
 

StephenT

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Ship of the Line
Time to scuttle some enemy ships. The Ship of the Line’s the prime combat vessel for action on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean, although its performance in enclosed waters, like the Mediterranean or Black Seas, cannot compare to the Galley.
Um, what? It might be true that a Barbary xebec with ten small cannons "cannot compare" to a French or British ship of the line with 74 or 100+ much heavier cannons, but I don't think the advantage lay in the direction you're suggesting. By 1800 the galley was obsolete: even Venice and the Ottomans were building ships of the line instead, and only the Barbary Corsairs still used them in any great quantity - the one benefit an oared ship had was being able to pounce on a becalmed sailing ship, which is great for a pirate.
 

Meanmanturbo

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Um, what? It might be true that a Barbary xebec with ten small cannons "cannot compare" to a French or British ship of the line with 74 or 100+ much heavier cannons, but I don't think the advantage lay in the direction you're suggesting. By 1800 the galley was obsolete: even Venice and the Ottomans were building ships of the line instead, and only the Barbary Corsairs still used them in any great quantity - the one benefit an oared ship had was being able to pounce on a becalmed sailing ship, which is great for a pirate.
Afaik Sweden and Russia used galleys and other small ships fighting in near coastal territories as well. The Baltic being all cramped and having nice archipelagos. But from memory they were more used to support land forces then anything else.

edit

well, wikipedia quote to the rescue!

While galleys were too vulnerable to be used in large numbers in the open waters of the Atlantic, they were well-suited for use in much of the Baltic Sea by Denmark, Sweden, Russia and some of the Central European powers with ports on the southern coast. There were two types of naval battlegrounds in the Baltic. One was the open sea, suitable for large sailing fleets; the other was the coastal areas and especially the chain of small islands and archipelagos that ran almost uninterrupted from Stockholm to the Gulf of Finland. In these areas, conditions were often too calm, cramped and shallow for sailing ships, but they were excellent for galleys and other oared vessels.[55] Galleys of the Mediterranean type were first introduced in the Baltic Sea around the mid-16th century as competition between the Scandinavian states of Denmark and Sweden intensified. The Swedish galley fleet was the largest outside of the Mediterranean, and served as an auxiliary branch of the army. Very little is known about the design of Baltic galleys, except that they were overall smaller than in the Mediterranean and they were rowed by army soldiers rather than convicts or slaves.[56]
Galleys were introduced to the Baltic Sea in the 16th century but the details of their designs are lacking due to the absence of records. They might have been built in a more regional style, but the only known depiction from the time shows a typical Mediterranean vessel. There is conclusive evidence that Denmark became the first Baltic power to build classic Mediterranean-style galleys in the 1660s, though they proved to be generally too large to be useful for use in the shallow waters of the Baltic archipelagos. Sweden and especially Russia began to launch galleys and various rowed vessels in great numbers during the Great Northern War in the first two decades of the 18th century.[67] Sweden was late in the game when it came to building an effective oared fighting fleet while the Russian galley forces under tsar Peter I developed into a supporting arm for the sailing navy, as well as a well-functioning auxiliary of the army which infiltrated and conducted numerous raids on the eastern Swedish coast in the 1710s.[68]
Sweden and Russia became the two main competitors for Baltic dominance in the 18th century, and built the largest galley fleets in the world at the time. They were used for amphibious operations in Russo-Swedish wars of 1741-43 and 1788-90. The last galleys ever constructed were built in 1796 by Russia, and remained in service well into the 19th century, but saw little action.[69] The last time galleys were deployed in action was when the Russian navy attacked Åbo (Turku) in 1854 as part of the Crimean War.[70]
source

I wasn't compleatly off atlest. There was large scale use of galleys at least in the Russo Swedish War of 1788-1790 which was just before the start of the game.
 
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StephenT

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Afaik Sweden and Russia used galleys and other small ships fighting in near coastal territories as well. The Baltic being all cramped and having nice archipelagos. But from memory they were more used to support land forces then anything else.
Yes, they still used galleys and oared gunboats for coastal operations. But ships of the line and frigates made up the main Swedish and Russian battlefleets, even in the Baltic. The Danish fleet also used SoLs until the British sank them, at which point they built a bunch of oared gunboats because it was cheap and fast.

It still doesn't mean that the galley should be greatly superior to the ship of the line, even in the Baltic or Mediterranean. Just compare the size of them, let alone the armament:



Battle of Vyborg, 1790, Swedes versus Russians. Note that the Russian ships on the right aren't even SoLs, they're frigates; but they still tower over the Swedish galleys on the left. The main Russian battlefleet is in the background.

Even if galleys are still useful in March of the Eagles in limited circumstances, I can't see it as realistic that they should be better than ships of the line.
 

Birken

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Even if galleys are still useful in March of the Eagles in limited circumstances, I can't see it as realistic that they should be better than ships of the line.

The quote should be read as "better in relation to their cost, maintenance and time taken to build". In favorable waters galleys have the advantage of being more reliable and more consistently doing damage.

Frontage in naval combat... it seems a good idea. I assume it'd be similar to land combat, right? It'd be really nice if naval commanders levels and traits could affect it, giving you more chances to face the enemy using the whole of your power, or evade him.

Two phases (bombard and combat) look like a good improvement also... allowing big ships (with big cannons) to keep their enemy far enough to avoid they attack them.

I love the idea of a revamped naval system in comparison with EUIII and Vicky2.
Frontage for ships is used when calculating the positioning value, which in turn is heavily dependent on the abilities of the admiral in command.
 

Thracian

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i read the whole article with the generic voice of dwarves of bg 2 inns in my mind
 

ctolm

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I don't know if this is something you've already considered but it would be good if as well as simply scuttling ships when they become to expensive you could mothball them so you'd get all the manpower back and pay only a very small maintenance fee as well as being able to rearm it for a fraction of the cost/build time.
Historically this is what Britain did both during the Peace of Amiens (1802-3) and during Napoleon's exile in Elba. It still took several months and quite a lot of money to bring a ship back into service since usually little more than the hull and mainsail would be left intact.
 

Ordo Impavidus

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I don't believe the gentlemen who sailed the great seas under Napoleon's orders spoke like pirates.
 

Dragassa

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Since Spain is playable(as a major power), will their shipbuilding capacity be a la par with that of the other main powers?
Can't expect English like since they were at their peak at this time, but Charles III had revamped the Spanish navy during his reign just before the "loser" that was in power at the time of the game.
 

Brugarolas

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Are you calling Napoleon a loser?
I think he is referring to the next Spanish king , however, I´m not sure if he is referring to Charles IV or Ferdinand VII
 

Dragassa

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Mainly Charles IV. Ferdinand was not exactly responsible for the decisions made before Napoleon
took over Spain. But he was unable to muster troops to recover the Latin American colonies after the Napoleonic era.
 

BBBD316

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Hehe seamen!

But seriously looks good, I assume that Britain won't be able to be the single Naval power and will have to rely on pacts with others? Or will it have to be destroyed by a coaltion of enemies?
 

King

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Since Spain is playable(as a major power), will their shipbuilding capacity be a la par with that of the other main powers?
Can't expect English like since they were at their peak at this time, but Charles III had revamped the Spanish navy during his reign just before the "loser" that was in power at the time of the game.
I think we should clarify something here. All countries are playable, Spain is a major and can win outright Protugal needs to aim to be on the winning side. To answer your main question fleets cost money so you need the resources to build fleets. So a lot will depend on the money, Britain starts off with a money advantage due to thier naval dominance.
 

DoomBunny

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But seriously looks good, I assume that Britain won't be able to be the single Naval power and will have to rely on pacts with others? Or will it have to be destroyed by a coaltion of enemies?
Why would you assume that?
 

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How will a location be defined either high seas or not and therefore suited more to galleys (better galley performance than if high seas) - will it be decided on a sea province by sea province basis or will all coastal areas be considered shallow draft areas or all adriatic sea/ mediterranean sea etc.

The reason I'm asking is that if Ships of the Line are only at peak performance in the Atlantic it will make them relatively less atttractive since the map is only Europe.

Also will there be some way (map mode) to identify each area if it's not area specific.

P.S. It's good to see that all types of ships appear to have a useful role:)
 

Daztek

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