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Naval Wars, Generic

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"O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'

He chortled in his joy."

-- Lewis Carroll, poem: "Jabberwocky"


It's the thought I woke up with this morning, since my fave college basket-ball-club won a huge victory over the rivals from up north in Rocky Mountains.

But, it's not the thought I have now, no, that's to do with the over-all PIC I get from the Naval Wars re-presented in SC2 going forward.

W/O further distractions, here is my analysis:

1) Naval Bombers

I believe there should be a separate category for these, and have so said for, oh, ~5 years now. Why?

Took a long time to train the pilots. Not the same navigating over open seas as it is over land where there are readily identifiable land-marks. This is especially true for CV's, since landing on a heaving deck is a little more challenging than doing so on a tarmac or a grassy field.

A Nation that loses too many of it's Ace naval pilots (... as Japan did) is not going to be so very formidable in later sorties, no matter how much better the planes become.

2) Submarines I

Vitally important to find a way to include "sub-pens." Have already had a long drawn out discussion with Ludi about the very small casualties taken by the GErman U-boots on the way to and from port, so no need to revive that herein.

No, I am speaking of the hardened concrete bunkers, or sub-pens that were built along France's westward shores.

I will state categorically... NO U-boots were destroyed while in a sub-pen. Even though Allied bombers tried their mightiest to do so. They DID manage to kill many civilians in nearby towns, for which they dutifully apologized.

Anyway, there surely needs to be a way for the U-boots to have "safe harbor" in the sub-pens. NO Strat, NO TAC, and most certainly, NO Carrier should be able to EVEN minimally damage a U-boot while in the sub-pen.

Well, certainly this presents a problem. Because all of the above, in varying degrees, should indeed be able to cripple/sink surface vessels.

What to do?

I would have a unique "resource tile" that is a sub-pen. To be built by the Engineer, or merely placed on board by whatever devise can be imagined.

3) Submarines II

There doesn't seem to be very much adventuring into the far reaches of the Atlantic. Nor, the VERY MANY convoy kills that stretched from the Carib all up along the Eastern seaboard of the USA.

Potential solutions:

a) As pzgndr and I have been experimenting, we have discovered that INCREASING the "raid multiplier" for the GErman U-boots seems to provide a more accurate destruction of the convoys.

B) Increased dive % is another good way to help the U-boots, or any sub for that matter.

c) I would REALLY like to see "Naval Op-moves." IOW, you could simply spend XX amount of MP's and a sub, or a surface vessel could be moved to a distant, controlled port, same as with the air/land units. Naturally, this should cost MORE than with the land/air units.

AND, it should be restricted. Perhaps? In the Editor there could be a nation-by-nation limitation allowed? So that there could ONLY be so-many of these. And, of course, the # and/or the distance could be improved by researching "infrastructure."

d) Unlike Bill101 -- RE: comment in another thread -- I would absolutely INCREASE the movement capabilities of ALL naval units. Oh, on the order of 1.5 or even 2 times what we have now.

Again, pzgndr and I have been playing around with this, and it works exceptionally well. You can, and maybe should, use more of the "way-point" movement feature, but in the main, you CAN get fleets and task-forces to better replicate their actual range, and especially given that you'll ordinarily have a 2 week -> 1 month or more time frame in which to do this.

Aside: [Game design is open-ended and WITHOUT constriction. By that I mean, why not? Find a BETTER way, and THEN -> rearrange a few things to FIT the new, and better schematic? As opposed to saying that the better scheme CAN'T WORK because of the extant cirumstances? I have been playing just about every sort of board/computer WW2 game for over 50 years, and I've seen all kinds of permutations. It's the Designer's choice, and that's as it should be. The Gestalt -- or, the picture you get when you visualize the field being viewed CAN be utterly and absolutely different -> then you merely "shift" the angle or "perspective" VERY SLIGHTLY. Thus, a new! Paradigm is born. Well, I am no designer, but I have experience in both gaming and psychology and I am by now full well satisfied that EVERYTHING is... as the kaleidoscope. A little twist, a bit more light, a changed personal view-point -- all contribute to "an epiphany." Of any kind, gaming or spiritual or just pragmatic -- with duly soon consequence.]

4) Mayhem

I am by now -- having played well over a hundred games in this most X-cellent SC series -- convinced that there is simply TOO MUCH damage done per naval encounter, whether that be surface or sub.

REDUCING the CTV's across the board would be more realistic, IMHO, and would allow FAR MORE of the desired effect known as "the cat & mouse" encounter. IF you have the skirmish, and IF there is lesser damage per, THEN you must decide whether to return to base and reinforce, or stick to yer guns, so to speak, and continue the good fight.

Now, you could also have it where these repairs would take a little longer, IE -> as some have suggested, over 2 or more turns, and/or you could increase the cost, so that you are ALSO re-presenting the very high cost of running ships all over the place. Reflecting the very crucial aspect of "fuel reserves." Navies of the WW2 era burned it profusely.

5) Shore Bombardments

I have long proposed that these be reduced. For the good and simple reason that all research I have read indicates that there is VERY MINISCULE damage done to any sort of unit being bombarded. Now, many games have it where you can ONLY do this during an amphib invasion. Obviously we don't have that here, and with some reason.

Up until now -- with this new Global Game -- we could not use the amphib to attack a one-tile isle. Now we can, and so, now is the time to revise and put shore bombardment into a proper role. No problem with raising the "demoralilzation," but the strength-point losses remain too high. IMO.

6) Carriers

I would most certainly recommend a separate research category for these. There is simply NO comparison between those CV's that started the wars in Atlantic and Pacific (... other than IJN, who did have more advance carriers, though, that was somewhat the function of having superbly trained pilots) and those that were built and launched later.

Therefore, "carrier tech" would allow -- not only improved movement -- but more importantly by far (again, IMHO) the TWO STRIKES that are now possible.

Also, the "air component" of a CV should certainly cost MORE than that for a land-based unit. Here we have that issue of "pilot training."

CV's should not be able to inflict any damage on shore based units. None. They had fighters for CAP and torpedo bombers for attacking surface vessels. I don't believe they had very much (... other than Fighters strafing or unloading small ordinance) attack-ability insofar as HE/AP shells.

Ipso, I would reduce ALL CV ratings to reflect the above. Perhaps then, the cost might come down a small amount.


The Naval Wars -- and especially in ANY WW2 ETO game -- too often, IMHO, leave out the very multiform and consequential battles fought in the Med.

I will give you one example:

In the Unternahmen Marita, AKA: The Naval Battle of Marita/Greece, there were the following casualties taken by the UK Royal Navy:


BB's damaged= 2 (Barham, Warspite)

CV's damaged= 1 (Formidable)

Cruisers damaged= 5... Cruisers SUNK= 3 (Gloucester, Fiji, Coventry)

DD's damaged= 5... DD's SUNK= 6


And, this was ONLY the one encounter, when it was that Wavell decided to reinforce the Greeks, and the following evacuations -- first to Crete, then back to Egypt. Some historians feel this "whimsical and political" excursion cost Britain the chance to take Libya before FM Rommel could even get underway.

Others say that this was a good Balkan riposte, since it caused some slight delay in the GErman invasion of Russia.

No matter.

In this battle it was Axis AIR POWER -> specifically Axis "naval bombers" who did very nearly ALL of the damage to the UK East Med Fleet.

I hope this will answer Hausser's recent comment that the naval bombers might be saved for another time.

I most respectfully disagree.

The time for those, indeed, the time for much of the above, if not all, is now.

Perhaps a patch or 2 or 3 might adjust this? Well, who knows?

That there's WAY above my pay-grade. Gentlemen and kind sirs. But, I'd like to see SOME of it sooner than later, and IF that were to come to fruition, well, I guess I'd have to borrow from L Carroll, and say,

O Calloo, Callay!

O Frabjous Day! :)

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Ah, I reply to my own thread.

Well, that way there'll be at least the one, eh?

Either that or I feel diminuendo and wish to boost my feeble post count? :)

To make perfectly clear... it was pzgndr's idea to increase naval MP's/range, and it was, I am pret' sure anyhow -- or was it? Collective Unconscious at it's strange and secretive work? Allowing a mutual appreciation?

Oh shoot the cowpoke, and anyway, primarily -> HIS epiphany to have that there "raid multiplier."

Now, I REALLY like to cite those authors who have summoned out of almost-nothing, IE -. created... the poem, the game, the feature IN a game, the song lyrics, and etc.

In this I absolutely disagree with those who say ANYTHING on the "net" is free and MINE! Because I CAN! Dude!


No. Actually, it ain't.

Proper citation, and proper credit given is the honorable way. The only way. You don't "borrow" somebody's writing without ASKING them AT FIRST.

Or, citing the work/author.

Like that.

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While I agree with a lot of what DD has said, at the risk of being redundant I'm going to withold further opinions and await the Global release. Its not that far off and I know that it will share many of the features from the other releases, but to comment without the context of play orientation is a bit presumptuous at this point.:cool:

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DD has produced a monstrously long post. Seamonkey posted a ‘no comment’ while I drafted the comments below, but I will go ahead as the manual makes it fairly clear that naval changes in Global are generally minor.

DD has made a number of good points, and perhaps set out some red herrings. I will try to organize my comments to correspond to his organization, in order that someone reading through either can make sense of it all.

Before starting, I should state that the naval war aspect of SC remains the weakest aspect of the game engine in my assessment. The detailed discussion of garrisons in another thread provides great insight into Hubert’s views on ground operations, but his views on naval operations are much harder to figure out.

However, on to the DD post:

1) Naval Bombers – I strongly agree. Well argued and I have nothing to add.

2) Sub Pens – I am not sure I entirely agree with DD here. There is some truth in the lack of direct damage to U-boats hidden by these pens, but that was partially a result of timing and technology. If the war had continued with the Germans in control of the French ports past the fall of 1944, DD’s claim would likely have been overtaken by Allied technological advances. Tallboy bombs were inflicting significant damage on pens from the summer of 1944 on, and their raids were halted more by the lack of useful targets after the Kriegsmarine abandoned the French coast than anything else.

At the scale of this game, having a unique structure for the defence of U-boats is awkward. It might be possible to insert an upgrade in a port for xx number of MPP that protects U-boats from air attack. On the other hand, providing improved AA defence and fighter cover to any port that you are trying to hide U-boats in seems to work reasonably well most of the time. In short, the current mechanisms for defending a port in the current SC seem to work reasonably well, and not sure the addition of a unique solution is warranted here – at least not until other (far more serious in my view) historical anomalies are addressed in the SC engine.

3) Submarines 2 - Some very interesting and potentially very worthwhile points here.

a. Raid multiplier increase. As a general approach this seems interesting. Another possibility might be to increase the damage inflicted by a raid depending on where the submarine is physically placed – that is, make convoy routes distant from the attacking player more vulnerable by increasing the multiple. For example, the convoy line passing close to West Africa might be worth 1.5 times normal damage. Details of this would need work, but it might get more variety into the raiding game.

b. Increased dive percentage – in general I dislike this abstraction, as it is one of the wonkier abstractions in SC. However, some mechanism to increase submarine survivability is necessary. I would suggest increasing the chance that a U-boat escapes damage when attacked is a better approach than more magic teleporting.

c. The naval operational movement option is something that has become increasingly necessary in SC. This is particularly important for US submarines moving to forward bases from mainland US. In reality this took time, but NOWHERE near the incredibly slow pace that SC inflicts on them. I would suggest that naval operational movement only be allowed between friendly controlled ports. If the operational path would take them through enemy controlled water, then the possibility of suffering damage during operational movement should be allowed for (an example of this would be the op move of U-boats from France to Singapore).

d. Wholeheartedly agree that naval unit movement should be dramatically increased. One of the weakest aspects of SC is the leisurely pace of naval operations.

4. Mayhem. I had a hard time understanding what was intended by this entire argument, so will not try and discuss.

5. Shore Bombardments – Generally agree and nothing to add.

I have no value added comments to make on the remainder of the post, so will stop here.

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While I agree with a lot of what DD has said, at the risk of being redundant I'm going to withold further opinions and await the Global release. Its not that far off and I know that it will share many of the features from the other releases, but to comment without the context of play orientation is a bit presumptuous at this point.:cool:

I was commenting on what has been made available up to and through "Pacific," and what has been released in the Manual.

Nothing more.

The rest is sheer speculation based on a long-time interest in the "WW2 naval wars" and having played very many different games over these 50 years.

Ipso... I don't "get" yer tossed-off comment about being "a bit presumptious?"

Ludi, the Magic Bead Game Player:

Lucid as per usual. Perhaps even pellucid. The degree of clearness only partially obscured by your very own and BC unique method of presentation.

VERY different from mine, but, that's no hindrance to literate commonality, I don't believe.

Sure, you like yours, and I like mine. How it works. Here, there or anywhere. About anything.

However, I didn't quite catch yer own seismic drift (... sub surface, natch) WRT to those "red herrings?"

Nonetheless, and whether intended on inserted by sheer accident -- conscious or pulled up out of the briny deep, the "fish allusion" was particularly apt. :)

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I've made many comments many times about the naval features of SC and I've got comments in the thread about the PT AI 1.03.

What my comments are in reference to is the scale of Global and perhaps the CTV changes which may provide a different perspective. If you want to discuss the already obsolete PT, I've written about my opinions fairly often in the time period after the release and I will reiterate those comments for Global when the time comes.

I believe, and this is only for me, that the improvements to Global are bettered served after I've had some time to sample the mechanics. Ludi and I have already conversed about the sub aspects and I do believe that all naval vessels in ports are to easily damaged by double strike CVs. I don't prefer double strike CVs as represented in PT because there are too many of them, but in Global their numbers may be certainly diminished so the impact of their feature is lessened.

The interaction between the SC pieces is very delicate IMO and many things that are perceived as impactual may not necessarily be so in Global, that's all I meant to imply.:rolleyes:

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DD and Ludi,

I like what both of you have proposed especially the increase in speed of naval units. The increase of damage on convoy routes is interesting - how many games have been played using the new settings? On naval bombardment I agree and have suggested this change for a long time.

On a different note if a ship can shore bombard why can't it fire in defense of a ground unit being attacked by other ground units? The caliber of the naval guns certainly out ranged that of land artillery units and yet they can fire in defense of a land unit. I always wondered about this but since I am now agreeing that this bombardment is already too powerful I'm not sure why I'm bringing it up now.............

I am looking forward to the game changes that are coming though!

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I'll chime in to say that what DD and I are experimenting with are changes to my upcoming Advanced Third Reich mod and not the official Global Conflict campaigns. We're seeing some nice results.

Expanded the Reports dialog to include several new subdialogs and graphs including a 'Detailed' unit losses report page as well as MPP, Convoy, Raider and Strategic Bombing graphs.

This is a new feature and is proving to be very helpful. Where before we could only guess at overall results, now we have nice multicolored graphs to show a LOT of useful information. This will be useful not only to modders but for all players to review their completed games and be able to provide specific suggestions for improvements to the official campaigns, and have some data to back it up.

To make perfectly clear... it was pzgndr's idea to increase naval MP's/range, and it was, I am pret' sure anyhow -- or was it? Collective Unconscious at it's strange and secretive work? Allowing a mutual appreciation?

I long ago decided to double the default SC2 naval movement ranges for A3R to better simulate naval action throughout the "front" as used in the original boardgame. One of the challenges in SC has been to better simulate the Battle of the Atlantic with more maneuver and less bloody engagements, allowing for some more action but not as many fleets being blown out of the water. Also the U-boat survivability and effectiveness against convoys never seemed quite right. By increasing movements, reducing naval CTVs and raising the U-boat raid multiplier, these issues seem to be less problematic. And with the convoy losses graphs showing increased total MPP losses and peaking of losses during 1942-43, the Battle of the Atlantic is looking a lot more interesting. Hubert is also interested in all this and may eventually reconsider some things for the official campaigns down the road.

Enough for now. I am hoping to wrap up some playtesting of A3R and make final adjustments over the next couple weeks. Then I'll open up a new discussion thread to discuss the changes made for this version, post some screenshots, etc. :cool:

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Just wondering where I might find the Advanced Third Reich mod when it is finished and if it will work playing against the AI?

I have never tried playing against other people because there are so many professional game players that have already developed standard openning moves that are probably unbeatable. I would just be thrashing around using what I think are conventional military tactical moves while my opponent would be following a script that never loses. A lot of this, I imagine, would be behind-the-scenes stuff like what technologies to pour MPP's into and tried-and-true lineup of units that can't be beat.

So I hope your mod will also have an AI feature.

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yolo911, it will be posted in the Battlefront Repository, and yes it has challenging AI for both sides. Actually, this will be x4, with campaigns for 39, 41, 42 and 44. The PDE version of my mod is in the repository, and even if you don't have PDE you could download the files and look over the pdf design notes.

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yolo911, it will be posted in the Battlefront Repository, and yes it has challenging AI for both sides. Actually, this will be x4, with campaigns for 39, 41, 42 and 44. The PDE version of my mod is in the repository, and even if you don't have PDE you could download the files and look over the pdf design notes.

pzgndr didnt you do a 3rd Reich mod for either sc1 or sc2? if you did where can I find it?


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The possible (note I did say “perhaps”) red herring that you failed to even note a whiff of is the sub pens. Your description of the sub pens is accurate, but I would argue that introducing a relatively minor improvement to assist U-boats without addressing some of the minor offensive options an Allied player should have for countering U-boats is not necessarily helpful. And if you do introduce two minor options for naval warfare, then you add perhaps too much detail for what is a reasonably elegant game, one that does not really get into the details too much.

Before going further I should discuss the strategic option the Allies used to counter U-boats with some direct and considerable indirect impact that is NOT found in SC. That option is mines. Mines are not present in the game anywhere, but arguably the strategic use of mines was relatively rare. Mines were deployed frequently against shipping, but just as frequently they were swept and the general result was that mines did not have much more than a minor influence on the naval war (the effort to mine was generally offset by minesweeping efforts). The one possible exception to this balanced situation was the aggressive Allied effort to use mines to hamstring the U-boat training effort in the Baltic in the last year of the war, and the deep mines laid in U-boat patrol areas around the UK about the same time. The deep mines were very much a strategic offensive decision by the Admiralty, introduced in the last year of the war when it became apparent that traditional ASW methods were having trouble countering new U-boat methods. While it was long thought that these deep fields were not too effective, recent undersea archaeology has convincingly demonstrated that a number of U-boats (that had been considered sunk by other units) had in fact fallen victim to them.

So if sub pens, why not ASW mines?

However, I would suggest that both sub pens and the mining effort are both comparatively minor aspects of the naval war, and it is much more important to focus on the bigger picture here. To me, naval movement rates and convoy raiding adjustments are much more important than sub pens or mines. That is why I am suggesting that perhaps, possibly, sub pens are a red herring.

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