Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by konokono, Jan 6, 2020.
When I said "battleship era" I should have said "post-dreadnought era." Dreadnought battleships, as mighty as they are, really aren't ideal for levelling a steel and concrete city. Not that they cannot, but in terms of cost effectiveness, naval cannon shells are not optimized for area damage like land artillery. Even in the Shelling of copenhagen that you linked, the english brought quite a bit of land artillery with them. @Boris Gudenuf would have better knowledge on naval artillery in siege usage, though.
One suspects being surrounded does not help ones morale.
WW1 was a naval standoff and WW2+ had bombers, I imagine battleship shells were not cheap but once again @Boris Gudenuf would be the man to know.
The rule of thumb in the 18th Century (or "Frigate Era" in Game Terms) was "Only a Fool would fight a Fort." Forts on land had the option of having furnaces to heat the iron shot so that any hit set fire to the wooden warship - with catastrophic results. Against a well garrisoned fortress, naval attack was just too risky. On the other hand, the Fear of what a set of Ships-of-the-Line firing 42 pound shot into the city resulted in a lot of big expensive masonry fortresses being built to cover cities - like Morro Castle in the Caribbean, for an example still nicely visible.
By the time the Dreadnaughts and Battleships came around, bombarding a big, static but Obvious target like a city was perfectly possible, but even more dangerous: mines and torpedos had been invented, and either one could take out any size ship if conditions were right. So, the German navy lost a heavy cruiser to torpedos fired from a shore installation just trying to get close enough to Oslo in Norway in 1940 to bombard it. On 18 March 1915 in what might be called a 'worse case' scenario, the French and British fleets tried to force a passage through the Dardanelles strait to get at Istanbul past two forts with about 100 guns - all but 14 of them short range, semi-obsolete pieces The forts' guns didn't do diddley-squat, but the minefields in the strait sank three (pre-dreadnaught) battleships, damaged three more, and caused a modern Battlecruiser to have to be beached to avoid sinking.
The British study of the battle concluded also that it was almost impossible to knock out the heavy guns in the forts because it took a direct hit to knock out any one gun, so had the Turks had better-trained gunners and more modern guns, it would have been much worse!
In World War Two, the most effective targets for naval gunfire were not cities (bombers did that better), but troops anywhere near the coast. Two examples out of many will serve:
In Sicily during the initial US landings in 1943 a German panzer battalion made it right onto the beach in a counterattack, and thought they had a chance to "drive the enemy back into the sea". A US Light Cruiser opened fire and virtually blew the entire battalion to bits: the Germans lost 60 tanks.The cruiser was firing at a range of less than 4000 meters, which is Point Blank for 6" naval rifled guns, and the 6" (152mm) guns on the ship could fire 2 - 4 rounds per minute each. The panzers were practically smothered in shells, and a 40 kg shell at 800 meters per second will take out any WWII tank with a single hit.
In Normandy in 1944, there's been a lot written (and shown in movies) about the US troops fighting their ay up the 5 ravines that led off Omaha Beach. In fact, they were able to start off the beach because a couple of Destroyers made a run parallel to the shore along the length of the beach and practically emptied their magazines of 5" (127mm) shells into the fortifications along the bluffs, ripping apart everything that wasn't concrete. Since most of the fortifications were field works of earth and sandbags, they were shredded and US Army engineers and infantry took out the remnants. On Utah Beach, a 15" Battleship (or possibly a Monitor, they had the same guns) hit one of the massive German concrete bunkers covering the beach. The shell didn't destroy the bunker (it's still there) but the blast blew in through all the vision ports and pulverized everything inside the bunker - including the entire crew, which was basically reduced to a thin film of Human Soup on the inside walls of the bunker.
By the second day at Normandy, elements of the 21st Panzer Division reached the coast where they thought they could flank the beachheads. Instead, they took so much naval gunfire they had to retreat immediately: being within range of destroyer 128mm, cruiser 152mm and 203mm, or Battleship 356mm and 403mm guns was simply Suicidal.
In Game Terms: Frigates (should be Ships-of-the-Line, grumble, grumble) should be able to pound cities, but not do much damage to land units, because their range is too short: even the biggest naval guns were smooth bore pieces with an effective range of less than a mile: stand off shore more than a few hundred yards, and everything not standing on the beach is out of range.
Battleships should have very little effect against cities - 20th century cities are simply too big for anything less than 2000 tons or more of high explosive (i.e., a "1000 plane raid") to do much damage, and that's more ammunition than any 4 Battleships carry! On the other hand, battleship guns can pulverize any land unit near the coast: even fortifications only delay the inevitable slightly.
Modern "Missile Cruisers" (Soviet/Russian Uvarov Class or US Ticonderoga Class is what I presume they mean) an fire lots of cruise-type missiles at a city, but have warheads that, on average, are smaller than a Battleship's 15" or 16" shells, and the cruisers don't carry any more missiles (usually a lot less, in fact) than the Battleships carried shells. The results are pinpricks to a target the size of a modern city.
What the Missile Cruisers should be able to do is take out an individual structure in the city with their GPS/TV-guidance systems: target a Factory, Barracks or Airfield and, in Game terms, Pillage it so that it's unusable until repaired. Also, their missiles have a lot more range the the Battleship's guns: 30 - 50 km versus 100s of kms.
Fair enough. I just wanted to point out (if you were rutheless enough) it was very much possible to bombard a city enough to force it into surrendering. But you are of course right, that modern cities is a different ball game. One of the main reasons why Copenhagen was crippled so much under the bombardment was due to the large fires that spread out through most of the city.
Fun fact, the British navy were using the tower of "Church of Our Lady" as the target to aim for, when they were shooting into Copenhagen. A very central church with the university and civil establishments surrounding it.
On a different note, since you seem to have some knowledge about the coding of the AI in naval warfare. Was it not one of the main arguments, when they introduced unit embarkment, that the AI would be able to handle naval warfare much better, since it did not need to organize the logistics of filling up transport units and could treat water much more like normal warfare on land? I haven't really seen any improvement from Civ V to VI on the naval warfare, which was kinda dissapointing to me. It seems to me the main problem with the AI, when attacking is poor escorting. At least the AI should be able to land their land units, escorted by naval units. Perhaps the first wave of an AI naval attack is "decent" but after that, it's just the same dumb tactic that we saw back in Civ IV: Take out the first wave of an attack and the AI will afterwards just send insignificant clusters of random units to try to land on your shores, which can easily be picked out one by one.
On the aspect of naval AI defense I have seen some improvements since the AI started to use airplanes again, which I'm quite happy with. That being said there are room for much more improvement. I like the idea of anti ship-guns on the shore but as a very simple solution you could also add a wall defense that would allow the defender to shoot in a range of three tiles or/and make a defensive building allowing a city to ignore line of sight penalties.
Every now and then by pure luck the AI gets it right and surprises you but I am sure it is by luck.
When you have multiple ships on both sides with embarked units all being able to move to 100 tiles the move possibilities are astronomical.
Add to this the AI has no memory which typically allows you that crippling first strike and I am not surprised you feel disappointed, it is just not within the realms of what is possible if you have any clue about the number of possible moves
It happens from time to time but really, most of the time it's just because you are more or less used to not having to defend shore cities that much, and sometimes you just forget to have minimum ensurance around those cities and get surprised by an AI attack.
It would be nice if the AI exploited poor defended cities a bit more often but as far as I recall that part is also tricky to code without leaving a room for the player to exploit.
Really, one has to concede that Civ Vi is a game and not a simulation. OK, so a missile cruiser can't realistically flatten a modern city, but think of all the other mechanics in Civ VI that are nonsensical in real-life terms.
Starting with Immortal Leaders.
But, yes, it's alway good to step back once in a while and recognize that first and foremost, this is a game and the first criteria always has to be what works in Game Terms, not necessarily what Works in Reality.
I don't find battleships that effective against city defenses unless I'm an era ahead or they are in armadas so it seems realistic enough.
It's because of urban defenses (comes at the same time as battleships) essentially making city wall HP 2-4x more plus the ~10ish difference in garrison strength from being equal in era vs one behind. People don't realize that 400HP at equal strength will take a battleship about 400HP/30HP per hit avg *50% wall resistance to naval ranged = 26-27 hits to break through. Or about 13 for an armada. That's a lot of hits. Frigates have it best because even the AI won't build Ren walls so you're shooting a target with often just 100 or 200 wall hp.
I don't do much early naval combat so my naval combat almost always focuses on aircraft carriers and subs. I like to bomb the hell out of improvements with air strikes. Plus i dont have much luck doing significant damage to large ai city defenses with bombardment. At least on emperor I can't get city defenses down for the life of me. So in this case carrier air strikes do more for me as well. In fact I been using carriers since civ 3 My current game the ai has been building fleets of nuke subs and they wreak havoc on my coastal improvements.
I don't know if things have changed or if it's the AI mod I'm using, but in the current game the AI have renaissance walls in nearly every city and it's an absolute nightmare. Made worse by the splintered fractal map which slashes through the world with mountain chains and fjord-like bays that mean you can only approach a city from one or two hexes. Victor emplaced with the two-shot city attack promotion and an encampment 2 tiles away... sheesh...
... good, I suppose.
When Sweden is harassing you with caravels and quadriremes and out of some future timeline you bring the battleship+ into the game. Venetian Arsenal to make it even better and no AI usually grabs it. Brazil is very good for even science/culture output to reach coal at the same time with Minas Geraes.
Battleship has quite ok lifetime as it is but with Pedro I get even better ship about the same time I would normally get frigate. Make it armada easily if you have prepared with shipyards when others don't even have fleets. If you have built experience from early on, it can have coincidence rangefinding with just one admiral promotion. There is nothing that can stand a level 4 Minas Geraes armada in time of wooden ships. Usually no city is out of reach
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