So as of 1/11, how do I think naval combat is looking? Melee vs Ranged: In general I think melee is doing its job in naval battles once you get them to a critical mass. They are very tanky, and can soak a lot of damage from ranged units. Ultimately a powerball of melee units will crush a ranged focus group. So the melee ships are quite important. But of course, when it comes to city sieges and coast control, the ranged units hold supreme. Promotions: Melee wise, while I still prefer Dreadnought promotions in general, I do think boarding party is a good line for the AI. The AI is still not as good as the human at killing ships...but with boarding party they can use their numerical advantage to finish weaken ships on the follow up round, which proves to be quite scary. I generally still have my favorites when it comes to promotions, but there is enough variety in play that I don't feel any niches are missing. I actually think there are too many promotions for naval, and some aren't that useful...but I have everything I need to make melee ships the way I want...so mission accomplished as far as I am concerned. Ranged wise, I think bombardment is a strong promotion that I never get to use....because ship killing is so very important for the human (see further notes below), and of course the move to logistics. If I actually get to use bombardment, the damage difference is noticeable against cities...but its more of the core function of naval more than the promotion itself. That says, logistics dominates the later promotion landscape...its hands down the best thing I can pick up. The Coast Only Ranged Model: So we have had the ranged naval update for a while that lets ranged naval ships fire 2 away, but still only hit 1 inward on coast. Overall, I am very happy with this change in general. Ranged ships feel strong and dominate coastlines, but can't pressure further in...so it ensures a proper niche divide between naval and land. Naval ships are good against cities, but no longer invincible. I think it was a great change overall. The Elephant in the Room: So in general I think the naval model is looking pretty good. So what's my issue? That honestly....I very rarely get to go naval anymore. As I have become accustomed to Immortal play I find I make naval fleets less and less. The AI builds MASSIVE fleets, and unlike land....to seriously deal with a naval fleet you either have to pull them into a great chokepoint and murder them with land...or you have to bring a similar navy yourself. Now while tactically the human is better at naval combat, the design of naval combat favors numbers heavily. As such you can't go halfway with a navy, you either make a big one....or none at all. And a big navy costs a tremendous amount of hammers....but more importantly supply. I find that unless I am playing very wide authority I do not have the supply to make both a real navy and a good land force. As such I generally only go naval play when I'm on an isolated area where I feel land attacks are not going to happen (which can start to bite you once paratroopers come online). Also, naval combats are very swingy. I don't mean the actual combat itself, I mean the result of failure. If you lose your navy as human....that's it. The AI is going to bring a massive fleet of ships to your door, and you will not be able to regenerate ships quickly enough to stop them. So you have to accept naval sieges on your doorstep, and try to soften/kill them with land forces. But with aggressive AIs you will not get time to regenerate that fleet...and until you do, that fleet just has a target on its back. It has no way to fight back, so it must run, run, run until your land forces can weaken the enemy. So in summary, I like how navies have shaped up...I just wished I got to enjoy them more.