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Pre-Dreadnoughts don't function


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Hey everyone,

I've done a couple of campaign starts in 1890, and it seems to me that building ships in anything like historical fashion seems to make no sense in the early periods.

Now this may simply be a result of the dreadnought design principle being superior, but especially if you start a campaign in 1890, secondary guns are completely useless. There seems to be  absolutely no reason whatsoever to add them to a ship except to balance weight. At any range beyond 1km, you want the biggest gun you can get to have even a remote chance of hitting. At any distance under 1km, it's all about the torpedoes anyways.

Secondary guns don't defend against torpedo boats because the chance to hit them beyond torpedo range is so atrocious that their fire is simply irrelevant. Yes you might occaisonally sink a single torpedo boat, but you're still generally better off using your big guns against those since they are a huge threat.

Perhaps it would be better if torpedoes weren't as OP, but currently it seems to be the best strategy to just slap as many torpedoes on everything as you can and otherwise just add the biggest guns you can.

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Huh. This doesn't really match my experience in-game at all.

I find secondaries on BBs quite useful, even in 1890. You might not score a high % of hits w/ secondaries, but you do get to fire a lot of shells, and even a few 4" HE hits will start fires and has a reasonable chance of causing enough damage to mission-kill a TB, even if you don't sink it right away

Edited by Dave P.
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4 hours ago, Dave P. said:

Huh. This doesn't really match my experience in-game at all.

I find secondaries on BBs quite useful, even in 1890. You might not score a high % of hits w/ secondaries, but you do get to fire a lot of shells, and even a few 4" HE hits will start fires and has a reasonable chance of causing enough damage to mission-kill a TB, even if you don't sink it right away

I agree more with Dave in principle. 1890s, a single 4in shell into a AI designed (aka horribly designed) CA and it sinks. You might miss with your 10-12" guns, but the volume of fire from all the 4"s basically guarantees at least one hit. Do you think that you secondaries never hit, or just that their hits are ineffective?

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4 hours ago, Dave P. said:

Huh. This doesn't really match my experience in-game at all.

I find secondaries on BBs quite useful, even in 1890. You might not score a high % of hits w/ secondaries, but you do get to fire a lot of shells, and even a few 4" HE hits will start fires and has a reasonable chance of causing enough damage to mission-kill a TB, even if you don't sink it right away

The problem is that by the time you hit and kill the TB, it has already closed the range and fired it's torpedoes, at which point killing it does you little good.

Sure very occasionally you might hit a TB 2 km out. But this happens so rarely that it's not a reliable defense. Which means I have to fire the big guns anyways. 

49 minutes ago, Littorio said:

I agree more with Dave in principle. 1890s, a single 4in shell into a AI designed (aka horribly designed) CA and it sinks. You might miss with your 10-12" guns, but the volume of fire from all the 4"s basically guarantees at least one hit. Do you think that you secondaries never hit, or just that their hits are ineffective?

That doesn't match up with my experiences at all. In fact I'm often amazed by how many 12'' shells you can pump into ships before they sink. Even CLs can usually take a couple of hits unless you're lucky. 

But mainly the issue is that secondaries simply don't hit anything beyond 1km, and below that you're in torpedo range and guns  become mostly irrelevant.

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18 hours ago, Cronos988 said:

The problem is that by the time you hit and kill the TB, it has already closed the range and fired it's torpedoes, at which point killing it does you little good.

Sure very occasionally you might hit a TB 2 km out. But this happens so rarely that it's not a reliable defense. Which means I have to fire the big guns anyways. 

That doesn't match up with my experiences at all. In fact I'm often amazed by how many 12'' shells you can pump into ships before they sink. Even CLs can usually take a couple of hits unless you're lucky. 

But mainly the issue is that secondaries simply don't hit anything beyond 1km, and below that you're in torpedo range and guns  become mostly irrelevant.

Well if that's how you feel then don't build secondaries :) . Given the current flooding mechanics, they are more effective then they ever have been in past updates. Before, there was no way a single secondary hit of small caliber would sink a ship. 1890s secondary weapons weren't going to hit much over 1km in reality anyway so take what you can get. People are applying gunnery standards of the 1910s and beyond and holding 1890 designs to them.

The other factor that isn't well shown is weather and time of day. If you scroll over that awkward button on the top left, you will see all kinds of maluses (and occasional bonuses) from things like wind, angle of the sun, wave state, etc. These often have a huge impact on gameplay but because the sky always looks *insert generic sunny* or *insert generic cloudy* no one pays attention.

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14 hours ago, Littorio said:

The other factor that isn't well shown is weather and time of day. If you scroll over that awkward button on the top left, you will see all kinds of maluses (and occasional bonuses) from things like wind, angle of the sun, wave state, etc. These often have a huge impact on gameplay but because the sky always looks *insert generic sunny* or *insert generic cloudy* no one pays attention.

This, I love playing in the 1890ties and did many many mathes there, best case you can get about 5 to 7.5% hitchance bonus by weather, worst case up to 60 or 68% malues however. The the later case TBs are suuuuuper annoying to kill (if able i try to lure their torpedoshots so i have a window to close in). another way might be ramming, especially AI build ships with few bulkheads tend to sink quickly :P

Also playing in current beta update i spent quite some time building ships with that 1890 tech to have enogh guns, but also keep the ships as balanced (pitch / roll) as possible. This also adds some basic hit-chance, or reduces the malus at least.

But yeah weather can make hitting a TB quite impossible, so i started to wonder, when you get a popup for a fight it shows the ships involved, but not the current weather conditions (i.e. 10 enemy TBs and super bad weather i'd rather skip since torpedos are not affected by weather at all).

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Seems realistic, thats why Battleships had 2-4 Big guns on them but a bunch of secondaries, matter of fact 2-4in secondaries where for torpedo boats and larger for capital ships, they didn't expect to hit the torpedo boat  accuratly they inteded to use quick firing guns to lay down a wall of metal and hope they hit it, also a Battleship never operated without a crusier escrot in the real world and the crusiers would screen the BB's

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Haven't played since before the campaign release, so might not be the most up to date. But are TBs just as suicidal as before? IIRC IRL the volume of fire from pre-dread secondary batteries was often enough to make all but the bravest TB captains turn away. Sure the hit probability is low, but that's probably not what's going through your head as you are charging a wall of explosions, each one of which could probably shear the superstructure from your TB clean off.

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On 3/25/2022 at 11:21 PM, HorizonFulcrum said:

Haven't played since before the campaign release, so might not be the most up to date. But are TBs just as suicidal as before? IIRC IRL the volume of fire from pre-dread secondary batteries was often enough to make all but the bravest TB captains turn away. Sure the hit probability is low, but that's probably not what's going through your head as you are charging a wall of explosions, each one of which could probably shear the superstructure from your TB clean off.

Yes they still are, but I'm not sure there is anyway to add a flee mechanic to the game unless they implement morale to the fights similar to Total War, now given that Nick worked on modifiying the AI for total war maybe its possible, but without something like that I don't see the captians being to scared to go in.  

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For the 1890 campaign, this is what I use for my battleships:

2x twin 12-inch guns

3-inch guns in the barbettes

One funnel

Take away ALL horizontal armor.

So long as your battleship has half-decent speed, a simple turn away should completely annul any torpedo boats. They have to get alongside you to launch their torpedos, and your secondary guns have plenty of time to hit them, or at least damage them enough to fall behind.

Edited by Jellicoe
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