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Well, for that matter, what is needed is an organization factor. The further the ships sail, the longer they stay at see, the lower their organization goes. That way, it's possible that they'll achieve circumnavigation, but odds are that they won't be combat-capable after a six-months travel. This would make "naval bases" important, without a too-constraining system of naval range.

With the improvement of techs, the decrease of organization would decrease.
And if techs are modified (to approach a HoI-type or Vicky-type of tech-trees), particular "secondary" techs and/or inventions could further enhance this aspect.
 

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Ships' ranges were effectively infinite, provided they had enough stores available. Using ranges is a very unhistorical option, & should be used only if nothing else is workable. Given the choice, I'd stick with what we have. But there are some things I think this would like to see:

1. For small groups (which are very common in EU2), I would allow units to replenish in any discovered coastal province by just sitting there for a given time. The time spent would reduce the time-at-sea attrition number. How quickly ships could do so, should be a function of commander's movement rating, & tech level. Thus Columbus's 3 ships, with a 6 commander, would have to stay still less time than the full 6 would.

2. I definitely endorse wind direction. This would mean assymetrical movement times from zone-to-zone. It would also mean storms would often make movement impossible in certain directions, & yes, would also make battles impossible in some cases, extremely unlikely in others (when losses should go up, to both victor & vanquished).

3. The normal effect on attrition should not be loss of ships, but loss of morale. This could lead to forced abandonment of the voyage. This, together with (1) above, would also handle the problem of large fleets needing more organized replenishment. Since large fleets would take forever to replenish, it wouldn't be done unless vitally necessary. And since large fleets are mostly combat fleets, loss of morale would be the worst possible price to pay. This gambit would be suicide for say, Villeneuve. But it would allow for Magellan.

4. Losses should occur, independent of time at sea, in storms, especially in coastal provinces. They should also occur when traveling into terra incognita, & adjacent to TI, (uncharted shoals, etc.)

5. I think voyages, in so far as they remain as currently, should be pre-set. You couldn't change the ships' movement plot at will, unless something happens to cause it (mutinous crews, as in #3, losses, proximity of enemies, death of an explorer.)
 

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Arilou said:
But Francis Drake could take a small fleet all around South America.

Likewise ships could go from Europe to Asia essentially without stopping in a friendly port (simply by making landings on desert islands or along the coasts)

EDIT: I maintain that attrition is more "realistic" than a hard-coded naval range: The problem wasn't (like with steamships) that they'd run out of fuel (or even provisions, as these could be plundered/bartered for as you went, pretty much, though at losses, hence attrition)

Ships ran out of spars, sails and men. Ships were damaged, there were storms. Fleets need a lot of food, and men get homesick and diseased. So in general, fleets operate within range of their supplies. In exceptional cases, individual ships will sail further; but the game should be about what fleets do, under normal conditions.

So I suggest having few, very large, seazones ("channel", "north atlantic", "carribean"). A fleet can only be stationed within a certain range of it's supply base; let it stay there as long as it wants. Maybe within 1 or 2 zones of its base (depending on tech) it operates at full strength; at the next zone out it is half strength. Possibly it can sail further if it needs to rebase, but it will retreat from any fight on the way (and try not to engage enemies). This captures the limited range of ships, without the micromanagement of having to sail them to and from port.
 

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Pishtaco said:
Ships ran out of spars, sails and men. Ships were damaged, there were storms. Fleets need a lot of food, and men get homesick and diseased. So in general, fleets operate within range of their supplies. In exceptional cases, individual ships will sail further; but the game should be about what fleets do, under normal conditions.

So I suggest having few, very large, seazones ("channel", "north atlantic", "carribean"). A fleet can only be stationed within a certain range of it's supply base; let it stay there as long as it wants. Maybe within 1 or 2 zones of its base (depending on tech) it operates at full strength; at the next zone out it is half strength. Possibly it can sail further if it needs to rebase, but it will retreat from any fight on the way (and try not to engage enemies). This captures the limited range of ships, without the micromanagement of having to sail them to and from port.
AGCEEP modded sea provinces speed times in conjunction with trade winds or something. It looked good. :D
 

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There was an interesting... 'exploit', although not a real one in HOI2. IE. the best was to manage your fleets to full effect was to grant the ai control of them as expeditionary corps. Since the regular player lacks the patience and time to manage fleets fullly, most use them solely for transportation and invasion. By allowing AI to manage fleets, naval warfare became much more efficient. IE. A German player who granted its fleets to Hungary(oh the irony!) ussually pwned the sea while rolling its tanks across Russia.

Basically, a naval assistant that would manage patrols and stuff would do wonders for the game. AI captains and admirals in the players service would be grand.
 

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Pishtaco said:
Ships ran out of spars, sails and men. Ships were damaged, there were storms. Fleets need a lot of food, and men get homesick and diseased. So in general, fleets operate within range of their supplies. In exceptional cases, individual ships will sail further; but the game should be about what fleets do, under normal conditions.

So I suggest having few, very large, seazones ("channel", "north atlantic", "carribean"). A fleet can only be stationed within a certain range of it's supply base; let it stay there as long as it wants. Maybe within 1 or 2 zones of its base (depending on tech) it operates at full strength; at the next zone out it is half strength. Possibly it can sail further if it needs to rebase, but it will retreat from any fight on the way (and try not to engage enemies). This captures the limited range of ships, without the micromanagement of having to sail them to and from port.

Ships do lose spars; they also carried spares. The do get damaged & they had carpenters aboard to repair or make what's needed. Sailing ships could make do & function surprizingly well in a patched up condition, hence the term "jury rigged". And the amount of food they could carry was considerable. (Not always very appetizing, but a lot of it.) The biggest concerns were water, & fresh food as antiscorbutics.

Granted, large fleets need a lot of support, but there was nothing exceptional at all about small forces staying out indefinitely. By 1700, it was routine. And even large fleets could, & did, operate pretty freely for several months.

The biggest single factor in tying a big fleet to its base was military. If you fight, you're going to have lots of damage, on many or most of your ships, which has too be repaired in a very short time, by staffs of carpenters & sailmakers, & their mates which have been likely depleted in action. Plus you need more ammo; lots of ships will have had their stores contaminated. Plus you've got to replace lost crew. Even if you don't fight, you're likely to be on blockade, in which you do need somewhere to rotate ships to to replenish (but the fleet, as a whole, will be constantly at sea.)

And the biggest factor preventing navies from operating large fleets far from home was strategic. The stakes were higher in Europe. But the W Indies, which were regarded as worth the cost, often saw very large fleets, even though they were extremely unhealthy. (Also, given the British policy of grabbing everything early, you didn't really have much to fight for in Africa or Asia -- they'd already got it.)

If you look at my suggestion, you will see that it is clearly designed to allow smaller squadrons much more leeway here, which is what we want.

Now, if your idea of a sea zone is something hugh, like "The Atlantic", or even just "N Atlantic", well, you've pretty much made range close to meaningless in the later stages. 2 zones from N Atlantic is going to reach at least Capetown. And this also unrealistically makes the "ranges" of early voyagers too long. Further, there are all sorts of problems with the interaction of the big oceanic zones, & coastal ones. E.g., assuming you slip past a blockading fleet, you're now in the N Atl. How likely is it you'll be found? Very unlikely, even Nelson couldn't intercept Villeneuve. (This is not 1941.) What your enemy is going to do is try to pursue you until you opt for an objective, getting info from any passing shipping, & (belatedly) from any scouts he's got out. But with huge zones, that could mean Halifax, Jamaica, & Sierra Leone are about equally likely. So what do you do, hang around until he commits, then pounce?

So naval strategy is even less of a factor than currently. Include me out. If EUIII goes with this, I may just stick with EUII.

Pishtaco said:
I disagree with this. Fleets had a lot of trouble operating away from their supplies for long periods of time. The British could do this by the end of the EU3 period; the French could not. I grant that maybe more was possible for individual ships, but that should be below the scale of the game.
The attrition from EU2 didn't work, and led to lots of micromanagement.

Except for the fact that French ships were designed to carry smaller loads of stores than the British, they were every bit as capable of sustained operations as the RN. What kept them from doing so during most of the period was the RN itself, not the sea.
 

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George LeS said:
Now, if your idea of a sea zone is something hugh, like "The Atlantic", or even just "N Atlantic", well, you've pretty much made range close to meaningless in the later stages. 2 zones from N Atlantic is going to reach at least Capetown. And this also unrealistically makes the "ranges" of early voyagers too long. Further, there are all sorts of problems with the interaction of the big oceanic zones, & coastal ones. E.g., assuming you slip past a blockading fleet, you're now in the N Atl. How likely is it you'll be found? Very unlikely, even Nelson couldn't intercept Villeneuve. (This is not 1941.) What your enemy is going to do is try to pursue you until you opt for an objective, getting info from any passing shipping, & (belatedly) from any scouts he's got out. But with huge zones, that could mean Halifax, Jamaica, & Sierra Leone are about equally likely. So what do you do, hang around until he commits, then pounce?

So naval strategy is even less of a factor than currently. Include me out. If EUIII goes with this, I may just stick with EUII.

I don't understand what point you're making here. To give an example of why large seazones are helpful: you can model naval intelligence as an increased probability that you locate another fleet cruising the same seazone.


Except for the fact that French ships were designed to carry smaller loads of stores than the British, they were every bit as capable of sustained operations as the RN. What kept them from doing so during most of the period was the RN itself, not the sea.

From what I have read, the British were able to do sustained naval operations because they had developed, over a hundred years, a professional and more or less honest victualling organization that could obtain high quality food (necessary for it to keep for a long time) in large amounts, and an efficient transport fleet for moving supplies around; and of course they had had a lot of practice.
 

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Pishtaco said:
I don't understand what point you're making here. To give an example of why large seazones are helpful: you can model naval intelligence as an increased probability that you locate another fleet cruising the same seazone.

I was trying to make several points about the problems with the model of naval range presented here, among them being the notion of hugh seazones. I admit I may have been less than clear.

1. Much of the justification of these big zones seems to be a belief that it was harder to keep the sea than it really was, which I believe is based on confusing naval and purely nautical factors. The main reasons big fleets didn't operate at sea for long periods (say, post 1650), were that:

(a) In peacetime, it would be pointless. Why refit, man, and victual a big fleet, unless you have something you need to use it for.

(b) In wartime, the other guy (usually the RN, but de Ruyter would've been just as big a problem), is trying to nail you. And you're only going operate where there is a stratigic goal. Granted, the other fleet was the primary goal for the RN, but again, this is a military consideration, & built into their policy, not their hardware. French policy, OTOH, saw the fleet as a tool for use against mainly land objectives, not sea control per se.

(c) When he does, the damage inflicted, on both sides, is of a different order than even storms, for the reasons I gave. Further, one form of replenishment WAS vital -- ammunition, but this is again, a military, not a seafaring issue. If you really want to model this, you'd have to distinguish real, fully developed bases, from mere supply/anchorage bases. You couldn't go to Bermuda to repair after a major action, there just weren't the facilities.

2. We are talking about a period when the abilities of navies to keep the sea changes radically; it's about 3 1/2 centuries, & exactly the ones in which this change starts to be marked, & important. Any size of sea zone has to be useful for both 16th and 18th C navies. The Armada had all sorts of trouble getting home; if the RN had not stood in the way, there is no reason the Spanish couldn't have made the same voyage, succussfully, at the time of Yorktown. (Note that it's the 1st & last stages of the Armada's voyage that are truely oceanic; the losses around Scotland & Ireland would be coastal, by any standard.) What was a big deal in 1588 just wasn't so in 1750.

If you take this into account, you must (a) make impossible the operations -- warlike operations, not just explorations -- of people like Drake & Da Gama, or (b) either allow the later periods such leeway that the constraints lose much of their meaning, or constrain them unreasonably. If the entire non-coastal Atlantic is, say, 3 or 4 seazones, you will either tie a fleet to a N Atlantic base, so it can't operate off, say Brazil, or you'll be allowing it to operate -- from that base -- off the Cape.

3. People seem to envisage battles in the mid-Atlantic. A fleet is stationed in the N Atl, & has x% chance of intercepting an enemy moving through. This bears no relation to the reality of sea war under sail, even as late as 1789 (or 1815, for that matter). Fleet actions were overwhelmingly fought near land. What happened in mid-ocean, was one fleet tried to follow the other closely enough to engage them near their objective. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not; then you had to just guess. But it was far more hit-&-miss than the Sink the Bismarck paradigm I believe is behind many of the suggestions here. If you're just in the N Atl, you'll be able to wait until he picks an objective, & just go there. There is no way, on this model, to opt for the W Indies, when he's going to Halifax. At least in the game as it is, you can end up misdirected, even if not enough.

I also don't see how the size of sea zones affects the issue of locating enemy fleets, at least positively. The general issue is the same no matter what size they are--the only real difference is the odds. But it would remove any possibility of building in the idea of guessing right or wrong (or at least make it much more difficult).

4. A point I realize I failed to make explicit is the trouble this raises with time-in-transit. To have a big seazone, removes even the limited degree to which the game now reflects the importance of where you are going. If the N Atl is one zone, how do you build in the differences between RN strikes at say, Jamaica, or the St Lawrence, or Cadiz, or Capetown?

5. It also makes problematic any attempt to build in prevailing winds, currents, & storms, & their effects on operations. You can't just say, "the whole Indian ocean is having a storm".

I suppose there are ways you could build in the last 2 factors, but at best they'd have to be very abstract, & very gamey -- subject to player exploitation.

6. Finally, the interaction with coastal zones, & bases, is problematic. What are the Azores, or Bermuda, or Reunion, or any of the many island stations available? Are they little coastal zones in the middle of the big sea zone? Are they bases in the middle of the big zone? If you take the former, you have a coastal area with the same sea zone in every direction, if the latter, you raise the problem of defending it -- how are the odds to be distinguished between intercepting them there from those of intercepting them in transit to somewhere else? And what is range from base supposed to be, x coastal zones + y seazones? Can this model even be made plausible?

Pishtaco said:
From what I have read, the British were able to do sustained naval operations because they had developed, over a hundred years, a professional and more or less honest victualling organization that could obtain high quality food (necessary for it to keep for a long time) in large amounts, and an efficient transport fleet for moving supplies around; and of course they had had a lot of practice.

The amount of food carried by any ships was vast, it was rare for ships to run low in any normal operations. Again, water & anit-scorbutics were the real issue. But there were many ways to replenish this without a base; since most of the world was not well-policed, you could do so at shorelines all over the place, by forage, purchase, barter, or extortion. Further, in peacetime, the ports of almost any nation who didn't really, really hate you, would give relief (& sometimes in war, too). The military side is where the Brits had the edge, in that they WERE able to support major bases (see above) all over the world. But others did too, or at least did until the RN allowed Britain to neutralize or take them.

I am not arguing against time-at-sea constraints, I just would prefer to build them in, as I proposed. Hell, I want it to be MORE likely to lose ships to storm or wrecks, where appropriate. And I want storms to either stop you in your progress, or even push you where you want to go. I'd even have them leave fleets much less effective. But (a) I strongly believe that many of these should be of a military nature (mostly affecting morale), & (b) I believe hugh seazones raise all sorts of problems, add nothing to the game, subtract a lot, make the game less realistic but no easier to play, & heavily constrain further improvements.

I'll tell you what I'd do, if I ever learn to make a map. I'd make sea zones as uniform as possible. I'd have rows of offset squares, running E-W, like a brick wall. As you'd get farther from the equator, some of the lines between horizontally (E-W) squares, would be erased, making them more & more rectagular, & building in an adjustment for the Mercator distortion. (So, if the map were to reach the poles, it'd be one big rectangle.) Then I'd tweak all the coastal zones, to accomodate problems there, sometimes combining, sometimes deleting, borders. If I could, I'd have assymetric movement depending on wind/current, so, e.g., you'd move more slowly, if at all, NW, while faster to the SE.
 

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George LeS, just to answer your third point:

I'm not suggesting the seazones behave like the ones in EU2. In general, you won't be aware of another fleet sharing the zone with yours. So if you follow the enemy into the Altantic, there is a good chance you will lose them. You can guess they are heading to the West Indies and move your fleet there, and if they join you there maybe your chance of spotting them will be higher than it was in the open ocean; because the zone is smaller, and maybe you can also get info from the locals (this would be abstracted somehow).
 

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But there were many ways to replenish this without a base; since most of the world was not well-policed, you could do so at shorelines all over the place, by forage, purchase, barter, or extortion.

I just wanted to reinforce this point (an excellent post btw) by saying that when the British Fleet was blockading Brest they would frequently barter with the local peasantry.
 

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Pishtaco said:
George LeS, just to answer your third point:

I'm not suggesting the seazones behave like the ones in EU2. In general, you won't be aware of another fleet sharing the zone with yours. So if you follow the enemy into the Altantic, there is a good chance you will lose them. You can guess they are heading to the West Indies and move your fleet there, and if they join you there maybe your chance of spotting them will be higher than it was in the open ocean; because the zone is smaller, and maybe you can also get info from the locals (this would be abstracted somehow).

So what do you do? The enemy fleet moved to the Atlantic, you follow. Then, logically, you should just wait until he shows his hand, & you've got him. Of course, you could load on a bunch of rules restricting reactions, but they'd inevitably be artificial, & very gamey, subject to exploit. They'd also have to so restrict players' options as to leave it devoid of strategy after a few playings.

If you really want to eliminate naval strategy from the game (which is what these suggestions really amount to), just give countries (the RN, POR, or the Dutch) "naval supremacy" in areas x, y, & z, & then have occasional events allowing a challenge. Then we wouldn't have to bother with maintaining anything beyond the size of the fleets.

stnylan said:
I just wanted to reinforce this point (an excellent post btw) by saying that when the British Fleet was blockading Brest they would frequently barter with the local peasantry.

Thanks, I was feeling very lonely.

True, even Boney couldn't stop French fishermen from selling to the RN. (Of course, the fact that they did so helped keep the gentlemen's agreement alive, that they weren't messed with.)
 
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]Ships ran out of spars, sails and men. Ships were damaged, there were storms. Fleets need a lot of food, and men get homesick and diseased

All modelled with an attrition model.

. So in general, fleets operate within range of their supplies. In exceptional cases, individual ships will sail further; but the game should be about what fleets do, under normal conditions.

But people routinely sent ships to the other part of the world without having bases there: At any rate the "rebase" command (or similar) should be unlimited in range....
 
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Arilou said:
But people routinely sent ships to the other part of the world without having bases there: At any rate the "rebase" command (or similar) should be unlimited in range....
Or, as I said earlier, an Organization value. The farther the fleet goes, the lower its Org is, without needing to "rebase" like in HoI2. That way, you could send a fleet from Brest to Pondichery without stops on the way, but they wouldn't be really fit to fight the RN India's squadron right upon arriving, tough they could try to do it even if they don't have bases nearby.
 

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Ambassador said:
Or, as I said earlier, an Organization value. The farther the fleet goes, the lower its Org is, without needing to "rebase" like in HoI2. That way, you could send a fleet from Brest to Pondichery without stops on the way, but they wouldn't be really fit to fight the RN India's squadron right upon arriving, tough they could try to do it even if they don't have bases nearby.

Precisely. IMO, this is what morale models, already. There is an existing parallel case in the game now. When peace is declared, any units in your former enemy's country can stay there indefinitely, & move around freely, so long as you don't leave. You can discover his & other countries' provinces this way. But if you do, or if they've got along overland route back home, their morale will steadily decrease.
 
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George LeS said:
Precisely. IMO, this is what morale models, already. There is an existing parallel case in the game now. When peace is declared, any units in your former enemy's country can stay there indefinitely, & move around freely, so long as you don't leave. You can discover his & other countries' provinces this way. But if you do, or if they've got along overland route back home, their morale will steadily decrease.
Yes, that's what morale depicts in EU2, but that was before the split between morale and Org began to widespread in P'dox's games. We "could" go on with morale, but a similar split in morale/organization would be a good and useful move IMO.
 

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Ambassador said:
Yes, that's what morale depicts in EU2, but that was before the split between morale and Org began to widespread in P'dox's games. We "could" go on with morale, but a similar split in morale/organization would be a good and useful move IMO.

Since the only one I play is EU2, I'm not up on the difference. So, when I say "morale", please understand this is meant in an EU2 sense, only.

(I have Vickie, but it doesn't really run on my Model-T, & the manual is less than clear about a lot.)