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Steeltrap

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  1. With the excellent addition of the ability to hit ships other than your target, it's produced an interesting and no doubt unintended side-effect. My understanding of how the rendering of gunnery works, what we see on screen is a consequence of calculations already completed. I'm certain that's the root cause of the following issue. If you have your ammo selection set to 'auto', your guns will fire whatever ammo best suits (according to the AI) the target. That means if you have a BB set as your target BUT the calculation has determined one of those shells will in fact hit a TR or DD, that SINGLE shell is fired as HE. Of course it also works in reverse, so shells meant for a TR that instead 'accidentally' hit a BB will come from the gun as AP, not HE. While it's nice our gunners have that level of prescience, it's probably not exactly fair. Cheers
  2. I remember we've all had quite a few discussions about all of this over several threads. Were I to guess, I'd say the thinking is that a flatter shell trajectory means a lower shell travel time, and thus something firing at 10km that can reach 30km is going to have a shorter flight time than something with a max range of 10km. Of course that is a pretty gross simplification. Sometimes the range is limited due to the gun mount. If we look at the very dependable, excellent Royal Navy 15" gun that replaced the 13.5" as the RN's main gun, appearing on no fewer than 11 BBs (5 x Queen Elizabeth class, 5 x Revenge class, and Vanguard) and 3 BCs (Hood and the 2 x Renown class) were on mounts restricted to 20 degrees of elevation with a range of 23.7kyd/21.7km. Modernisation before WW2 saw that increased to 30 degrees, and that increased the range to 29.0kyd/26.5km (Hood was built with her own, unique mount giving 30 degrees, based on lessons of Jutland, and of course Vanguard had the same elevation). Worth noting, however, from 1938 a further 3,000yd/2,743m range increase was achieved on that 30 degree elevation by an improved streamlined ballistic cap on the shell (it gets messy as changes had to be made to the shell handling equipment to use the newer shells, and so not all the ships had them despite their improved performance, including Hood in her final battle). What hadn't changed, however, was the muzzle velocity. The fact the gun could fire to a greater range through increased elevation didn't change the characteristics of the shell arc firing at the previous maximum range. In other words, firing at a target 15kyd away was no different whether the gun had the initial 20 degree elevation OR the increased 30 degree one. The improved shell of 1938 on would have changed the flight characteristics somewhat (mainly through lower drag, as I understand it), but I'm leaving that out as it would be making the same point, that firing at 20 degrees elevation was the same whether that was the maximum elevation or not. "Accuracy" is a HUGELY complicated subject, so much so I'm not going to pretend I know all the factors. Even that concept, "accuracy", is a little misleading when it comes to naval gunnery. What we're REALLY talking about are two things combined: 1. Ability to estimate where a target WILL be such that if we shoot NOW our shells will HIT it once travelling the relevant distance, and 2. Ability to place shells reliably AT the position calculated in point 1. The best Fire Control System is worthless if you've no means of landing the shells where the FCS says they'll need to be to hit the target. Meanwhile, the most stable ship and brilliantly reliable guns, able to land shells within a tight pattern around the intended aim point, will prove just as useless if the FCS providing that aim point is always in fact generating terribly poor 'solutions'. The game quite reasonably makes some compromises, while including quite a lot of "hidden" things such as ship stability (base value per hull type, affected by various design choices including those that alter the pitch, roll, and general lat/long balance). In fact I think it does a pretty good job of showing quite a number of relevant things. Indeed we could argue it probably doesn't matter HOW it does it IF it produces "acceptable" results, although I would always prefer something that is built on known factors. It's not as though this problem of accurate firing hasn't been studied, LOL. Nonetheless, the real question in some respects becomes "how reasonable/acceptable are these results?". Which is why this issue of tying accuracy to MAX range strikes me as being rather backwards. I think it's another case of "Alpha". The system is in place and works to produce results. There are plenty of kinks left in it. Look at my earlier one about the modifier able to be applied against my accuracy by a ship doing 0.4 knots, for example. Equally, consider the enemy DDs in the "Hurry Up" scenario that apply a MINIMUM penalty of -130% when sailing in a straight line simply through "target ship size" of -40% and "target high speed" of -90%. If they turn tightly and bleed off speed, it hardly matters as they can apply -75% through "target manoeuvre" modifier. At 1.5km my ludicrously bad CLs (top speed of 22 knots, min bulkheads, single underwater torpedo tube bow and stern) had a calculated hit rate of 0.1%. Really? WTF is that?? (As an aside, has anyone succeeded with that mission? I got sick of how stupidly outclassed my CLs were compared with DDs that could blanket my Transport Fleet with torpedoes while proving impossible to hit; meanwhile my BC starts >25km away and I've almost lost the mission requirements before it can get to a range where it matters as the weather seems fixed as "terrible" for accuracy, something that DOESN'T really affect torpedoes. Really would like to hear from people) My own view is basing accuracy on max range, if indeed that's what it's doing, is NOT the way to go. The counter argument is they've not especially done that, which is why the higher marks of lower calibre guns can be more accurate than lower marks of longer range, higher calibre guns. It's not helped by the fact the "theoretical" accuracy of the guns don't change in the shipyard as you alter the design, something I think would be REALLY helpful (especially based on the FCS choices, tower choices and then the pitch, roll and any built in fore/aft weight imbalances). Add it to the list of things to watch? I'm sitting here at home, following our specific Covid-19 health instructions, so thought I'd use some time writing something for fun. Cheers
  3. This is from firing on a CL that's doing 0.4 knots at the time: That's REALLY obnoxious. Not only has it erased the penalty for all but being stationary, it's STILL managed to apply a penalty beyond that. Plus it was a *^$%*%_^#** Zombie "MAX bulkhead" CL, the sort of thing you can't kill unless you train ALL your BC's guns on it and KEEP them on it until it sinks. Had one of them get down to 0.6% floatation, switched targets. Few minutes later, it's sailing along at something like 46% floatation.
  4. Certainly looks like it from memory. I liked the "track shell" option, so you could see where your hit went, if it exploded, and what mischief it caused. Having important components in specific locations was useful, too. Best of all for me was the damage control/damage interplay. Clear number of resources for firefighting, shoring up flooding, plus pumping capacity. Fires ultimately damaged compartments and anything in them, ultimately to the point of both counting as destroyed. They could spread, too, of course. With finite resources, you'd sometimes have to sacrifice fighting one fire if another were threatening to damage something more important; that was especially true if fires were nearing magazines as you could flood them but with obvious consequences.Stability model meant you would often need to counter-flood, which was available. It highlighted really effectively why, as I believe the USN concluded, the first 10 minutes after a torpedo hit were the most vital as loss of stability usually was by far the greater danger than the flooding itself on a capital ship. To sum it up, shells had to defeat armour (if AP) or explode largely on contact (HE). They could travel into the various decks of the ship, explode, and thus do damage and start fires. They could also cause flooding if below waterline of course. You can see where the ship's vital systems are. If you ship was the one hit, you then had finite means at your disposal with which to attempt to deal with the damage, fires and flooding. Flooding, counter-flooding, repairs and pumping all interacted, along with stability. Some systems were repairable, others would require returning to an appropriate base. In some peculiar ways it was like a game within a game. Trying to save a damaged ship could be challenging and fun. The most obvious problem was the AI's inability to use the system effectively. It would lose ships it ought not because its damage control logic seemed really poor. Then again, the AI was the point of abject failure across the game in general. It had NO concept of refusing battles if outclassed, and that had pretty dire consequences (just as did Atlantic Fleet). It was released in 1990, and CA went for decades with shite AI, so I suppose we ought not be surprised. Other problems? I'm not sure there was much scaling in terms of damage; you could KO any ship's important component IF you could get to it regardless of what you used. On the other hand, that didn't matter so much on the major warships because small calibre guns were like ping pong balls when it came to really hurting the important stuff (within citadel, or armoured such as turrets and conning tower) just as ought to be the case. "Damage sponging" might have been a problem, but I can't remember how it treated destroyed 'compartments' so it's possible it wasn't. Thinking about it, I suspect it wasn't and that it 'ignored' destroyed compartments when it came to more shell hits. Not exactly realistic, either, although if I had to choose I'd take that over destroyed compartments seemingly being endless in their capacity to absorb further damage. Bear in mind it's probably 25 years since I played it, LOL, so my details of memories of it are sketchy. I do remember the bits I mentioned, obviously, so they're probably the most significant plus and minus points. Have you played it? If so, what were your conclusions? Cheers
  5. Entirely agree, hence my final comments. Was about to post some more examples snipped from recent battle, but I've changed my mind. Not because they aren't valid, but because it just highlights what we all ought to know already. They would, however, show why I disagree with any sort of statement saying damage model etc is 'OK'. A 14,000t CA being sunk from flooding from 2 x 12" hits while a 8,800t CL has taken 14 x 12" hits (many of them penetrating HE, not to mention assorted 6" as well), been afire in some 60-70% of compartments and yet back to 24% structure and particularly 58% floatation (after being as low as 14%) strikes me as, well, you can decide LOL. Doubly 'frustrating' in light of the next comment. One thing that WOULD make a big difference would be greater effects from accumulated damage. As it is, you get a damage or flooding instability penalties, but they aren't very large compared with other factors and both reduce to 0 over time (assuming no additional damage). Trouble is that means that CL that has been pounded to scrap has NO real penalty applied to its ability to SHOOT, and that makes zombie ships particularly irritating, especially if they're packing guns that can cause some significant damage to you. Ironically, given the best permanent penalties come from tower destruction and lost performance from funnel damage/loss, those CL guns can be more annoying than 12" guns that don't hit anywhere near as often in earlier tech battles. I've not even mentioned the fact a ship can manoeuvre and apply a -23.0% penalty to hit when firing at it.......while it's doing 0.5kts. The 'to hit' penalty from manoeuvres apparently is NOT tied to the ship's speed. Instead, you get a penalty/bonus for that speed, then another for manoeuvres. The thing is it ought not matter what you do with your rudder at 0.5 knots. The degree to which a manoeuvre can throw off effective aim ought to be a function of the difference between the positions the target would be at given the flight time of shells fired at it. At 0.5 knots you move about 1m every 4 seconds, so a 20 second flight time is ~5m. While you get a bonus for "ship slow speed" of +28.5&, but then you can get rid of most of it even though it ought make no difference at all. Put your rudder hard over at a speed that makes no practical difference in the straight v manoeuvre positions when the shells land and you remove 81% of the bonus your enemy gets because of your low speed. Trouble is of course WE get to play as much as we like, which means more time to become aware of all sorts of peculiarities and irritants. Nick and co can only address so many things with each new version. I have to get better at practising what I preach, which is to say patience. 🙃
  6. The whole shell/explosive thing is propellant, bursting charge, fuse and shell construction merged in a way that's not entirely satisfactory IMO, although to be fair it's not the worst compromise between too simple and too complex. When it comes to defeating armour, however, by far the most important factors are shell design and construction (insert obligatory comment about early Royal Navy WWI AP rounds and Jutland vs subsequent study leading to the far more capable Green Boy shell design), probably followed by fuse design. RN had a problem with shells that bounced or shattered along with bursting charge problems in WWI. Interestingly, the Germans had some problems with duds in WW2 (Prince of Wales was found to have a 15" shell with its fuse in tact and nose cap removed rolling around in her hull from a below waterline penetration; they cut a hole in the hull UNDER it and lowered it out...nervous business I bet LOL). Not sure if it'd be better to split things along shell design, explosive/propellant and fuse design rather than a simple "propellant/explosive governs EVERYTHING", although it certainly would be more accurate to do so. Would give a little more flexibility in design for the player, as you might want to push one factor ahead of the others for experimentation reasons. An example of that might be the bursting charge the Japanese were using at Tsushima that proved to be more powerful than the Russian's more standard one and also particularly good at fire starting (which, interestingly, one might argue resulted in the Brits drawing incorrect conclusions about that battle and thus directly leads to their poor shells at Jutland, but that's a whole debate in itself). When it comes to shell type, I'd expect the ammo load out and thus use to alter significantly over the time period of the game. We know this happened within WW1, with a typical shell load out for heavy guns in the RN shifting from quite a lot of HE to barely any from 1914 to 1916 and then to 1918. In more 'modern' times, as shown in WW2, a ship with 8" or greater main guns ought not fire HE at enemy ships of similar class or heavier, at least not while we're limited to HE or AP. Adm Jellicoe was very clear in his instructions on gunnery pre-Jutland that he expected hits from ranges beyond 10,000yds/9.1km to be with HE that would cause potential havoc on unarmoured upper works, but the serious damage would be done with AP at 10kyd or closer. Prinze Eugen used 'AP' at both Hood and Prince of Wales, and managed to score some hits that caused damage; in Hood's case caused the secondary ready ammo locker explosion and fire, in PoW's a penetration through what the game would call 'stern belt extended' (although technically she had 'all or nothing') that caused flooding. Were the game to start to allow splitting of shell, fuse and explosives/propellants as mentioned in 1, above, then we could see things such as SAP equivalents, where shorter fused AP is sort of a compromise between 'standard' AP and 'high capacity/HE'; it wouldn't get the mass of through-and-through (over-pen) we see against lightly armoured targets, yet also won't be defeated/mitigated by light armour the way HE ought to be. Regardless, the problems we know about now include: - incomplete armour/compartment schemes. No effective citadel which is a real problem for bow/stern hits. In fact the citadel choices as they are act as an armour modifier plus other things such as reduced damage chances to engines and the like. Not a huge fan of that concept, but I suppose it's one way to do it. I'd prefer something like a more detailed, ACTUAL placement of all the vital bits as was evident in games like "Great Naval Battles of the North Atlantic: 1939-1943" (released in 1990, and I played it back then). Trouble with that is it requires a lot more compartments and different numbers of same across multiple decks. I still think it was the best of the damage models for ships I've ever seen, however. - grossly simplified damage control. Maximum bulkheads + various other damage mitigation choices (double/triple hull and so on) = zombie apocalypse ships. Don't even bother shooting them if there's anything else. There's no apparent difference in terms of damage control capacity between a BB and a TR, and in fact a TR with max bulkheads can in some ways be considerably harder to sink than a min bulkhead pre-dread BB (I use the Armed Convoy mission a lot for testing each new version). - excessive importance of 'angling' because, in part, the highly inflated hit rates make damage mitigation necessary if combat is to last longer than 10 minutes. I REALLY dislike this because it turns things 180 degrees from what we ought to see, namely the priority being presenting ALL your firepower to your enemy and being as steady a gun platform as possible assuming of course you're fighting a similar class ship or aren't trying to close range (as per opening of Battle of Denmark Strait, or the Surigao Strait massacre, both of which saw one side approaching bow-on for good reasons). - simplistic penetration model for HE in particular (supposedly a flat 33% of AP according to the previously data-mined damage model thread). It can lead to some silly things, like 6" HE rounds scoring over-pen against the mid-belt zone of a TR class whereas surely it would explode within it IF it didn't simply explode upon striking. - poor modelling of multiple decks, splinter/blast mitigation, etc. Probably why, when also added to the one above, we see MASSIVE plunging fire damage on seemingly properly armoured BBs when AP rounds that hit 30 seconds earlier simply bounced off/ricochet. - destroyed compartments become damage black holes. Hence the 'firing from astern' problem. I could go on, and it sounds like I've lots of complaints, but really that's not my point at all. As I've said, it's Alpha so there is plenty of time for these to be addressed. Just as we ought not be too critical or worried given it's still relatively early days in Alpha, however, I think we also ought bot be assessing the state of things too POSITIVELY according to what we see now. For all the reasons I put above, trying to form an opinion of any real value either way strikes me as impossible. Yes, we can say what we like or don't like, but really I sincerely hope Nick and others are not deviating from that plan (unless in minimal specifics that won't change the final versions) to make us happy. I expect them to be working along a very clearly articulated plan of building the necessary components that, once all put together, will provide a good approximation of 'reality'. Once they tell us they are getting close to THAT, including crew effects on damage control for example, then we will see how well their model choices have worked. Cheers
  7. She capsized due to massive loss of stability from those torpedo hits. The fact whomever wrote it said there was a magazine explosion that sank her tells me they're either ignorant about what sinks things or are terribly clumsy with language. She was "sunk" the moment she rolled due to the huge loss of stability; that she exploded simply made the end more rapid and far more violent. Didn't you read my reservations on the new ability of torpedoes to cause ammo detonation? One point I made was how UNCOMMON that was, especially on BBs. Torpedoes sink things either through initial stability loss that causes the ship to capsize, or through flooding that causes loss of excess buoyancy. The latter can also come about through consequences of the initial hit/s, such as loss of pumping capacity from engine failures in flooding or fires in vital internal spaces and the like.
  8. This has been an issue for as long as I've played. I've commented many times on how plunging HE is absurdly powerful, entirely at odds with what ought to be the case. BBs didn't fire HE at other BBs, hell they hardly carried any as part of their normal ammo load. I posted somewhere regarding this an example of how the typical ammo load for the RN's 13.5" gun, a very widely used heavy gun for the RN in WW1, changed from the start to the end of the war. If BBs carried very few HE shells, yet the game makes HE the better choice in many circumstances, that indicates the game clearly has more work to do. But that's what's expected in Alpha testing. There are a LOT of things about the armour/damage/repair systems in the game at the moment that are clearly not right, so we're just going to have to wait for them to be addressed.
  9. Excuse me? What, other than seemingly pretending you know more than most in this forum, does it matter what the usual purpose of seacocks and flood valves are? Do I need to list them? Are we discussing the usual uses of them? Can they be used to scuttle the ship? Were they used in that fashion? Is any OTHER use relevant to the discussion of scuttling a ship? You can be as "sorry to tell me" as you like, but the only thing to apologise over is mentioning their usual uses at all in a way that is both entirely irrelevant AND condescending.
  10. Don't get me wrong, I entirely understand and am only too happy for people to get these things. It's just been so much the focus, however, possibly in part because that's what people seem most interested in playing. Yet presumably the campaign will have tech advance somewhat constrained, so you don't have Bismarck v KG5 at Jutland, LOL. Regardless, it's the damage model I see as the absolute stand out problem. 3" hit at 5.3km (I only have 2 2x3" on this design, too, placed as a way of balancing weight )on a CL in smoke inside the first 2 minutes of battle. Oos, LOL Main magazines OUTSIDE effective armour zones is a bit of a problem, and has been since I started playing. I am not a fan of the excessive value of 'angling' as I have said earlier, in part because it encourages behaviour almost entirely at odds with real world experiences, that's also why the entire armour scheme and damage model/placement of internals etc needs attention. But if Nick's working on ballistics etc for now, that's fine. I just don't have a lot of interest until I see some movement on these core things. I also maintain they're even more crucial when the game provides significantly more hits per 10 minutes than more historically accurate (although I understand why). Coupled with this damage and armour model, however, it means there are that many opportunities for hits that devastate targets and the results are predictable. In fact it's often the case of extremes. Either you blow something up with one hit, or you watch a CL soak up levels of punishment NO cruiser ever built could have withstood, let alone something closer to WW1. Damage/armour models for me. They are by far the elements of the game as it is in need of significant attention as IMO they produce the most obviously unreasonable results with great regularity. Cheers
  11. I personally am not very interested with this seeming obsession of all the late tech (or beyond) that people seem to want. Rather see a focus on testing each decade of the period the game covers. But hey, that's just me.
  12. Style is style. I'll never complain about someone taking the time to include politeness as part of their message. Trouble with that is there were quite a few ships that were scuttled through the period the game covers (1890-1950?). Sure, not usually in a battle situation, but in the aftermath OR particularly in port: The German High Seas Fleet, scuttling en masse in Scapa Flow. Of the 74 German ships at Scapa Flow, 15 of the 16 capital ships, 5 of the 8 cruisers, and 32 of the 50 destroyers were sunk. (see wiki article, it's quite an involved story that culminates in their scuttling) Or the French fleet in Toulon that scuttled themselves when the Germans were clearly going to take control of them in 1942. Think about the significance of that date in the context of the Mediterranean theatre of war in particular had the Germans seized them. Remember, too, the campaign will continue beyond any one conflict, so losing a ship through any means matters far beyond the action that caused the loss. Others were sunk by 'friendly' torpedoes (there's no such thing, lol) after the crew was taken off. Getting rid of a historically accurate function that was inherently possible in any ship due to seacocks and flood valves, AND WAS USED, makes no sense to me. The issue is to make sure the AI doesn't use it in stupid ways, and that the player NEVER has a ship scuttle without their direct command to do so. Cheers
  13. So your complaint is the game is presenting combat as it was experienced as the Captain of a ship, Commander of a division or Admiral of a fleet? I'm NOT criticising, simply confirming if I'm correct in saying that. A senior officer, even a captain of a cruiser, didn't have that much to do in most cases. They reacted to available tactical information, gave appropriate orders, then sailed along while their crew acted on those orders. NOTHING was 'micromanaged' in the sense you seem to be expecting. Which is fine. I have no problem with you raising your issues with the game. I certainly am NOT looking to jump on you for having them. I suspect, however, that you have paid to get into an Alpha test, where of course large parts of the game aren't even in place yet, and are expecting more of a finished product. That's not what you get from an Alpha. Furthermore, even were the other systems in place, this game is NOT about 'micromanagement' in battle. As the saying goes, "amateurs study tactics, experts study logistics". The whole point of warfare is to make it as unfair (in your favour) as possible. When it comes to naval warfare that means having the most advanced technology built into the best designed vessels for their intended role and then encountering the enemy where you have superior numbers. Which means a LOT of this game is NOT about tactics, it's about all those things that lead to combat; research, design, building, economics, crew, logistics and politics. Combat is there because it's an obvious selling point in terms of 'action', but I suspect it's never going to be "point and click" action. Even if we imagine you get more of what you're after, I'm curious to know something. If the game DOES have micromanagement that is necessary to get the best performance from your ship, how would you expect to do that if you're commanding a fleet with a BB or two, some Cruisers, and a screen of DDs? How would you micromanage ALL of them, ALL at once? I don't for a second think you ought not raise your complaints. While the forum is a bit short tempered at the moment due to the newest version's release being delayed, don't take it badly if people are a bit critical of your views as we criticise each other regularly, which is a good thing. I can't help but feel, however, that if you're expecting fast paced active game play you've come to the wrong place, and that the devs are not going to change the pace of things even with a fully built game with all its component design pieces in place. "Fast paced" simply is NOT the experience of command at sea, be it a captain or especially an Admiral, and this game is intended to put you in those roles. Having said all that, I'm sorry if it's proving a disappointment. It appears you bought into the Alpha test without necessarily understanding what to expect of an Alpha generally, and this game in particular. That must be sad for you if you feel you've wasted your money. Cheers
  14. Thanks. I first read about this action in a book I own called "Famous Sea Battles" by David Howarth, published 1981. By pure chance it's next to me as I'm writing this. I chose it as the reward for my 'academic prize' in 2nd form/year 8 from memory, which was in 1981, so I got it the same year it was released. Hard to believe it's going to be 39 years old some time this year. Geez. 😶 As an aside, why is it remembered? I'd suggest it's entirely because it is so extraordinarily different from what would have been expected, which sort of makes my point. Sure, you could pull this off. Could. But this is the extreme outlier, NOT the norm. Plus it was done in extremis. Regardless, it was meant as a laugh about the damage model, not a serious discussion of the merits of charging vastly superior forces. Cheers
  15. I think that's a difference of emphasis. If I understand correctly, you're discussing one aspect of the many flaws in the existing damage model, an aspect that people find frustrating. I was trying to point out that if you hit a ship 5 times more often than you might reasonably have expected to in normal conditions based on historical records then the damage model has to do something else we end up doing damage as though running time compression even when we're at 1x speed. Cheers
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