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Thread: I'm spending too much time in naval battles

  1. #1

    Default I'm spending too much time in naval battles

    I'm just playing M/M. I'm outgunned fighting Spanish galleons with just my starting navy with some new brigs so I'm using hit and run tactics. They take forever, though. It's probably easier for me just to take the losses since I'm conquering New Spain's provinces one by one anyway and I can rebuild my fleets. I'm pretty stubborn, though, and just refuse to lose battles. Hopefully, I can fight them normally now that I learned my lesson and am building fluyts instead of brigs.

    My tactic is to sail away from them, run around in circles, until the sloops and brigs get separated from the galleons. I try to sink those before the galleons arrive. Once I'm engaged with the galleons, I try to be in front of them, barely out of range. I swing to shoot then immediately swing back to move out of range before they can swing and shoot me. I once fought 2 galleons with a sixth rate and I think 2 brigs or 1 brig and 1 sloop. There was less than 3 minutes on the 60 minute timer after I finished.

    The last battle was in the home theater. I had an admiral's 5th rate, a fluyt, a 6th rate and 2 brigs. The Spanish had 2 galleons, 2 6th rates and 2 sloops. I ran around in circles but the Spanish kept them grouped this time with the galleons in front, 6th rates in the middle and sloops at the back. I was running in circles and they weren't separating. I could only do the hit and run at the front with 1-2 ships at a time so I was barely denting the galleons in front.

    Eventually, I got separated with 1 brig doing hit and run with the Spanish fleet. The rest of my navy was quite a bit out of range to the left and back of the Spanish fleet. However, their sloops got separated behind and I managed to sink those easily with the rest of my ships. By this time, my brig managed to get one of the galleons to yellow strength on one of their hulls. The brig was taking a decent amount of damage, though, so I just had it run away while having the rest of my navy intercept.

    The Spanish now had their 6th rates in front, a healthy galleon a little behind and the damaged one a bit further back. I now engaged and tried to take out the 6th rates as fast as possible. I brought back the damaged brig to help and didn't notice it sinking sometime during the fight. I did some aggressive manuevers like using my 5th rate to go between the 6th rates to damage them both and just take the fire. Eventually, I managed to sink them with the healthy galleon only doing a little damage to me and the other only managing a few salvos from a distance.

    The fight with the 2 remaining galleons was tough, even though it was 4 to 2 at this point. They almost sank my 5th rate because I was using it to soak the damage. I was using it and the fluyt close up with the 6th and brig firing from a distance. The 5th was getting water just around the time both galleons routed. The fluyt had one side mostly healthy and the other side's hull almost yellow in health. The 6th rate had moderate damage and the brig was mostly healthy still. I didn't notice the timer at the end but it couldn't be more than 15 minutes left, probably a lot lower.

  2. #2
    Ashigaru Member Vlad Tzepes's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm spending too much time in naval battles

    I agree, naval battles can be pretty time consuming. I try to speed up the timer when maneuvering far from the enemy (turning, repositioning etc), this helps a lot.

    I read your tactics. Nice you found your way. I lost lots of naval encounters before setting up my own "10 steps to capture your enemies' fleet" memo :

    1. Always try to achieve superiority - in firepower and/or numbers.
    2. Go for line astern, in 2 groups, if possible.
    3. Always use fire-at-will, never order a direct attack.
    4. Always cross the T with one group, use the other to fall behind the enemy fleet.
    5. First objective - to immobilize the big ships and so to disorganize the enemy fleet. Dismast as many as possible from the very start.
    6. Re-arrange formations, turn to engage with round ammunition, try to destroy some of their guns.
    7. Rinse and repeat if any ship still moving.
    8. Attack at close range from bow and stern with grape shots.
    9. If not surrendering on spot, anchor your biggest ships at bow and stern and repeat until successful.
    10. Do the math, add whatever you like to your fleet, sell the rest, get back to port and use the ransom money to repair replenish your bigger fleet.

    Feel free to use for your own satisfaction.

    (This is how I got my first Heavy First Rate Ship, first Steamboat, first Carronade Frigate, first Rocket Ship from the poor Spanish Empire. Be advised though that I'm playing US on Normal/Normal, as this is my first campaign, so tactics might have to change on other levels).
    "Whose motorcycle is this?", "It's a chopper, baby.", "Whose chopper is this?", "Zed's.", "Who's Zed?", "Zed's dead baby. Zed's dead." - Butch and Fabienne ride off into the sunset in Pulp Fiction.

  3. #3

    Default Re: I'm spending too much time in naval battles

    A miscellaneous tip, be careful when taking on small ships with a first rate. Broadsided a sloop with my Admiral's first rate which caused an instant explosion which my admiral's ship was caught by, causing it to be engulfed in flame and surrender instantly. Then my other first rate in the line catches up just as the admiral's ship explodes, setting fire to the first rate which then explodes. Luckily I managed to divert the course of the rest of the line.
    My view is that it is deserable to be both loved and feared; but it is difficult to achieve both and, if one of them has to be lacking, it is much safer to be feared than loved. - Niccolo Machiavelli

  4. #4

    Default Re: I'm spending too much time in naval battles

    I realised early on that more than anything else in the game, the naval battles can boil down into a game of sheer numbers. The ships move fairly unrealistically, all of them can turn on a sixpence with ease if they want to, so you will never, ever, ever, ever, ever be able to truly stump them them tactically like you should because they can just....turn around. You can play silly wotsits with heavier enemy ships all you want, but you're going to catch a broadside in the face and that's just plain numbers, they're gonna paste you if theirs are bigger.

    I find it becomes pretty easy to start building up a shipyard and fleet, by concentrating your forces both strategically and tactically, and ensuring they're as modern as possible, you can make every battle a slugging match you pretty much just can't lose. Failing that, you're going to spend hours of your life desperately kiting tiny ships around behemoths and hoping nothing goes even slightly wrong because it's 45 minutes of your life down the pan if it does.
    Last edited by Khorak; 03-12-2009 at 19:12.
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  5. #5
    Ashigaru Member Vlad Tzepes's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm spending too much time in naval battles

    Quote Originally Posted by Khorak View Post
    ...you're going to spend hours of your life desperately kiting tiny ships around behemoths and hoping nothing goes even slightly wrong because it's 45 minutes of your life down the pan if it does.
    Just don't do that. Brigs, sloops, smaller ships - use them just for raiding, not for fighting. Smaller upkeep, greater benefits. Run when attacked, don't hope too much if caught.

    For battle, go with the big girls That's why they kept building bigger and bigger ships, after all, and they did so until the aircraft carrier. As far as I remember, WWI was the last dance for ships of the line.
    "Whose motorcycle is this?", "It's a chopper, baby.", "Whose chopper is this?", "Zed's.", "Who's Zed?", "Zed's dead baby. Zed's dead." - Butch and Fabienne ride off into the sunset in Pulp Fiction.

  6. #6

    Default Re: I'm spending too much time in naval battles

    As far as using a small fast ship to destroy a first rate goes, or other heavy top end warship... the AI tried using a sloop to more or less kite around and stay in the deadzone of my heavy first rate one time, it didn't work out so well though, as even though it got off 2 broadsides into me from the deadzone they barely tickled my first rate.

    Shortly after, the first rate got into broadside range, and that little sloop went into the soup.
    Give a man fire and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  7. #7
    Ricardus Insanusaum Member Bob the Insane's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm spending too much time in naval battles

    I believe the term is "your mileage may vary"...

    I imagine there are some for whom the OP is sheer perfection...

    For the rest, you can always run away...

  8. #8
    Member Member IRONxMortlock's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm spending too much time in naval battles

    Auto-resolve takes away all the frustration of naval battles and it only takes a second!
    and New Zealand.

  9. #9

    Default Re: I'm spending too much time in naval battles

    Yeah, it takes forever. I managed to build up a fleet of fluyts and am now going toe to toe with them. Those galleons still suck, though. The biggest non-fluyt I can build currently is a sixth rate.

    As for the pirates, I just conquered both of their territories to eliminate them.

  10. #10
    smell the glove Senior Member Major Robert Dump's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm spending too much time in naval battles

    galleons continue to be a problem until you can consistently field 4th rates.
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