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How to destroy a ship

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A naval vessel does not need to sink to be considered a total loss. There are other reasons a warship can be permanently disabled or destroyed. I have enumerated the biggest mechanisms here, which may aid us in figuring how to improve the game.

It is extremely important to note these methods are not mutually exclusive. It would be more common than not to suffer from more than one cause.

1. Flooding. This is the essential means by which a ship would be sunk. Air escapes, water rushes in, the vessel founders. Flooding may be accomplished through gun hits, torpedoes, mines, ammo detonation, grounding, instability, and any number of additional causes. Damage to or failure of pumps and generators may worsen flooding. On top of outright sinking the ship, flooding may kill crew, disable vital systems, cause extreme instability, and exacerbate structural damage. Example: HMS Audacious, a super-dreadnought sunk by a single mine.

2. Crew incapacitation. Killing crewmen or rendering spaces uninhabitable can lead to loss or abandonment of the ship. The crew can be killed, wounded, or forced to abandon through direct attack (eg exploding shells), rapid flooding, slow flooding, smoke, poisonous gas, heat, and morale effects. By incapacitating crew, non-automated systems will be crippled, damage control will fail, flooding and fire can progress, and the effectiveness of remaining crew can decrease. The remaining crew may scuttle or abandon ship to avoid further loss of life. Loss of leadership can have downstream effects. Example: SMS Emden, a light cruiser run aground after major topside damage.

3. Fire. A fire aboard a ship can be extremely dangerous. It may incapacitate crew, destroy vital equipment, cause ammunition and fuel explosions, and weaken the ship's structure. Explosions may cause further extensive damage and can disseminate fire. Heat and smoke may also render spaces uninhabitable and stop damage control efforts. Failure of fire mains may make fires uncontrollable without portable pumps. Example: Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, and Hiryu, aircraft carriers all burned out and scuttled at Midway.

4. Structural failure. The loss of girder strength in the hull, or a loss of too much hull plating or other structural effects, can cause a ship to break in half or otherwise be ruined. Major causes are massive torpedo damage and ammunition detonation. A small or lightly built ship may be particularly vulnerable to this. The ship need not immediately sink -- the bow or stern may still have some reserve buoyancy. However, loss of life is typically severe and may be total. Holing and local structural damage may increase flooding, cause equipment failure, and make spaces uninhabitable. Example: HMS Invincible, a battlecruiser split in half after magazine detonation.

5. Mobility failure and stranding. If a ship loses mobility, it may be scuttled, abandoned, or made prey to advancing enemy forces. The ship may actually be in no danger of sinking, but its position is untenable or its firepower neutralized. Failure may encompass boilers, engines, steering, generators, intra-ship communications, lighting, and sundry minor systems. Damage control may be knocked offline, allowing progression of fire and flooding and preventing repairs. Mobility failure may be a consequence of grounding, intentional or not. Example: USS Darter, a submarine scuttled after grounding on a reef.

6. Instability. A ship that pitches or rolls excessively may be lost from flooding or capsizing. Excessive tilt may also dislodge equipment, stop boilers, generators, and turrets, and cause ammunition detonations. Small ships and those with excessive topweight are particularly vulnerable. A ship that capsizes may not immediately flood or sink, either, though this is often the case. Flooding by itself can lead to instability and capsizing, especially if weather is rough, there is great free surface in the ship, or there is much off-center flooding. Example: USS Hull, Monaghan, and Spence, destroyers capsized in Typhoon Cobra.

Failure of weapons, inter-ship communications, and other equipment (unrelated to propulsion or damage control) are not usual causes of ship destruction, but they may heavily exacerbate coexisting damage.

Currently, flooding, fire, equipment failure, and "structure" damage are simulated in the game. "Structure" damage is apparently a combination of crew incapacitation, general equipment failures, and local frame, plating, deck, and armor damage. Crew has not yet been added, and damage control is not degraded by crew death or equipment failure. Capsizing from instability is not present either, except in the sense that emptying the flooding meter will sink a ship. I would like to see more along these lines.

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5. would be fitting for post battle result.
Your fleet lost and the ship was scuttled to avoid capture. Immobile ship can still be towed to port if there are any friendly ships around. Would hate to see my immobile fortress of doom to commit sudoku due to being immobile 

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For 5, I am pretty sure I've read something in the various tech descriptions that engine tech etc. will have an influence on the reliability of ships. If your ships have sustained heavy damage or are simply badly designed (we had that quite a few times in history) and their maintenance raiting is below a specific threshold, I am pretty sure you might lose your ships post-battle in campaign mode. It might even make sense to add this for a pure battle mode, like in Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 1/2, where your (space) ships can be so damaged they fall prey to various more or less natural causes and are lost. Of course there should be a probability that other ships might be able to tow your ship to safety, but as we see in the aftermath of Jutland, cables might snap or heavy seas cause the rescue attempts to be called off.

For the crew, that is a MUST. We need crew, and probably morale. You are an admiral commanding a fleet (or flottilla or task force, whatever), you have to rely on your captains to do what you order them to do. Would love to see ships being unable to follow orders due to crew losses, or their captains losing their nerve...or even, though this might be unpopular, not reacting to your orders due to failure of communications, which was a huge problem in the pre-wireless communication era. This way upgrading your communication equipment would make sense even in the NavAcademy mode.

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23 hours ago, Hjalfnar_Feuerwolf said:



For the crew, that is a MUST. We need crew, and probably morale.

I mean, it could be interesting to see ships begin to retreat on their own after critical losses or even a crew mutiny in severe circumstances, though if that would turn some people away I'm not sure.

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If you set ships to AI mode in naval accademy you somtimes see the ai will have the ship retreat after taking damage usually happens with destroyers.

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