Atlantic Fleet battles

Discussions on naval-war movies, films and games.
paul.mercer
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Atlantic Fleet battles

Post by paul.mercer » Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:11 pm

Gentlemen,
A very wet day here in 'sunny' Devon so have been amusing myself with some U tube simulated ship battles under the Google title 'Atlantic fleet Battles', many of which follow the discussions we have had in the Hypothetical section of our Forum.
Some are great fun to watch although the shooting by both sides appears to be a bit inaccurate at times, others are somewhat far fetched, like AGS defeating HMS Renown in a straight fight or Bismarck taking on and sinking both KGV and PoW but only taking what seems to be one hit from the 20 guns firing at her, but a good way to fill in a rather miserable afternoon.
Anybody else watched these simulations?

gcogger
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Re: Atlantic Fleet battles

Post by gcogger » Thu Jun 24, 2021 4:53 pm

I guess those are from people playing the game 'Atlantic Fleet'?
I play that myself and, while fun, it's not terribly accurate. The devs seem to have bought into the idea that the German ships were almost unsinkable, whereas the British ones (except, to an extent, the KGV class) were made of balsa wood and cling film :D Bear in mind that the older British ships are supposed to be the modernised versions. For example, I had one of the Hippers completely destroy a turret on a KGV at over 22000yds, while the turret was facing towards the cruiser - that 8" gun was decent, but not that good. You can win the fights playing the Royal Navy by being more accurate and using better tactics, but the game would be rather one sided playing the German side.
On the AGS vs Renown fight, I ran that scenario a dozen times, playing both sides. I had both ships slowly close the range, and let the computer aim for me. The Admiral Graf Spee won 8 of the fights, and it generally needed more 15" hits to sink AGS than 11" hits to sink Renown.
The game is satisfying in a way, though

Byron Angel
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Re: Atlantic Fleet battles

Post by Byron Angel » Thu Jun 24, 2021 7:57 pm

One of the issues that really bothers me about PC "sims" is that the underlying mechanics which are supposed to govern ship behavior and gunnery are all hidden away in a typically inaccessible "black box" of s/ware code. It is therefore difficult to understand what degree of historical research/analysis has been undertaken by the game authors/coders. If I had to make a bet, I would say that most of these PC naval sims are fairly dodgy in that respect. It seems that most of the coding effort goes into "eye candy". At least that is what my short experience as a "consultant" for a PC WW1 naval sim suggested to me.

The only naval PC sim I ever had much faith in was "Action Stations" by Alan Zimm, who was an academic connected with the USNWC and had incorporated the mechanics of the old manual 1936 USNWC wargamng system into his code. But "Action Stations" is today a genuinely antique piece of software and no longer compatible with modern operating systems.

B

Bill Jurens
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Re: Atlantic Fleet battles

Post by Bill Jurens » Thu Jun 24, 2021 11:36 pm

I would concur. The most mechanically meticulous effort I've ever seen was embodied in the Maneuver and Fire Rules. But they are very difficult to work through by hand -- although it IS possible to do so -- and, although there have been attempts to computerize them, at the time this was done, contemporary software was really not really up to the task.

It's something we, i.e. somebody, should consider attempting again...

Bill Jurens

paul.mercer
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Re: Atlantic Fleet battles

Post by paul.mercer » Fri Jun 25, 2021 9:11 am

Thanks Bill and Byron, these simulations are quite fun to play, it seems that the shooting of poor old RN is always awful as in the Bismarck blowing up and sinking PoW and KGV and only hitting Bismark with one or two shells of their own
I have to say that in the AGS/Renown battle I would put my money on Renown every time, particularly as she was supposed to be a good gunnery ship and AGS was not particularly well armoured - she was hurt by Exeter's 8" shells, heaven knows what a 15" would do to her!
I suppose the winner is always the one the author of the simulation wants to win especially if they are Bismarck fans, no doubt they could defeat the entire RN with a rowing boat if they wanted!
Looking back at some of the old posts on the Forum particularly in the hypothetical battles, it occurred to me that even allowing for the enormous expertise and knowledge of many of the members, there is sometimes a tendency to overate the capability of the German ships and underrate the capability and firepower of the RN ships especially where armour and taking hits are concerned, I have never pretended to really understand the shell v armour controversy and have always believed that if any ship is hit with a large caliber shell its going to do damage somewhere even if it does not penetrate an armoured deck and enough hits would be quite capable of knocking it out of the fight even if it did not sink.
The Bismarck v KGV one to one discussions have usually led to a Bismarck win and this may well have been so, but I have always thought that a KGV with all guns working properly would knock Bismarck out of the fight by sheer volume of hits.
Anyway, back to the simulations, its still raining here the saying goes 'Devon glorious Devon rains six days out of seven' - not quite true but not far off!

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