Roleplay Guide for the Navy

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Roleplay Guide for the Navy

Post by Apepistan on Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:12 am

This is my short guide for your national navy! We'll talk about units, ships, groups, and how to use them, including roleplay aspects! As the Global Federation Map doesn't include rivers or "brown water" areas, we'll only talk about the so called "blue water" navy, the one intended for use in seas and oceans. Without any further introduction, let's begin.


First things first, let's start with names. All ships have names, and nations usually have a habit on how to name them, some use state and town names, some use adjectives, some use historical persons to name their ships. It can be mixed, of course, it's up to you.
Another important thing when naming a ship is that the ships of the navy belong to the state or the monarch. This is why they get ship prefixes. For example the british use H.M.S. (His/Her Majesty's Ship), in the U.S. navy they use U.S.S. (United States' Ship), in the Austro-Hungarian Empire they used S.M.S. (Seiner Majestät Schiff (English: His Majesty's Ship)). Feel free to create your own! I use the prefix "U.K.S." which refers to "United Kingdoms' Ship".
Groupings and fleets can get nicknames aswell, either after a flagship of the unit, or a completely new name.

Now that we know how to name them, let's move on to what we're naming. The ships!

Naval combat ships

Modern navies group their unit types into the following big categories:

Aircraft carriers: The most important and most valuable units in your fleet since world war 2. They, as their name suggests, carry aircraft. They're big, slow, and need lots of protection, which is usally done by a number of other warships.
 Lately there's a trend of building supercarriers, which basically serve the same purpose as normal aircraft carriers, except they're bigger. The biggest ones, namely the U.S. built Nimitz class carriers are nuclear powered, meaning they basically have unlimited range - given that the food and fresh water supply for the crew is guaranteed.
 The aircraft carriers have their armaments on their own, but these are usually anti-torpedo, anti-missile and anti-aircraft guns. The biggest aircraft carriers can carry 90 fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. The range of the aerial assault a carrier is capable of depends on the range of the aircraft deployed.

Cruisers: They're small battleships - large frigates. World War 2 has proven that building very large battleships is basically wasting resources, so the cruisers took up their role. They're your jack-of-all, master-of-none type of battleships. They can be configured for anti-ship purposes, coastal bombardment, anti-aircraft, and defending carriers.
 Usually they carry guided missiles, anti-aircraft guns, anti-submarine armament, torpedoes, and some still have cannons aswell. They can pretty much strike anything with reasonable efficiency.
 Cruisers usually have conventional engines (with which their range is about 11000 km), and only the latest updated ones have nuclear engines, which gives them unlimited range. Some of them have both types of engines. Note that if your nation isn't highly advanced scientifically, or you don't have the navy as your priority, your navy probably woudn't have nuclear powered cruisers.

Destroyers: The largest and baggest of modern-era warships. They are meant to bombard the enemy into oblivion - usually enemy ships or coastal units. However, this makes them vulnerable against aerial and submarine attacks, as they're not designed to fight against these - mainly because of their huge size, and the type of their armament.
Speaking of armament, they carry lots, lots of missiles, up to more than 200. They, however, vary in use, as some of them are anti-air, anti-ship, and anti-ground unit aswell. However, if given the opportunity, they can obliterate just about anything.
They usually don't have nuclear engines either, and their average range is between 8000 and 11000 km. So if you deploy them for a longer route, you'll need to secure a steady supply of fuel.

Frigates: They're used to protect other warships and merchant-marine ships, especially as anti-submarine and anti-aircraft combatants. They aren't a fighting force of their own, as they're way to small to fight an enemy ship alone. The more aircraft carriers you have, the more frigates you'll need.
 They have a range of 16-18000 km, and carry mostly torpedoes and anti-aircraft missiles.

Submarines: The unseen death of the seas, the submarines play a key role in naval warfare since WW1. However, in the two world wars their role was mostly attacking enemy convoys or ships. In modern times, nuclear powered submarines have basically unlimited range, if the crew is granted a steady supply of fresh water and food. The biggest IRL submarine ever built, the russian Typhoon-class, can remain submerged for about 6 months - this should be taken as the maximum in roleplay aswell.
 They carry torpedoes and missiles. Speaking of missiles, submarines have become a deadly force ever since they're able to carry and launch nuclear warheads. However, don't expect to be able to sneak up on your enemy and throw a nuke on his head because of this, as anti-submarine radars and measurements are well-advanced.

Amphibious assault ships: Do you want to launch an invasion? Well then you'll need several of these ships! These ships carry troops and amphibious boats, howercrafts and landing craft utilities that can serve for a landing attack from the sea.
 Combat-wise, they need protection. They have a minimal amount of anti-air and anti-missile armament, but that's it. You'll need heavy protection for these ships.
Their range is about 17000 km, as they usually do not have nuclear powered engines.
 They can carry about 15 landing units, each of which can carry about 100-150 soldiers, or 4 armored vehicles, and a main battle tank. You can vary these of course, for example one that would carry 50 soldiers, and 2 armored vehicles, etc.
An average landing operation needs at least a 3 to 1 attacker/defender ratio in order to succeed, so make sure you are able to carry lots of troops before deploying them.

The rest: There are also support and auxiliary ships, including the oiler, minesweeper, patrol boat, hydrographic and oceanographic survey ship and tender, which carry sailors from one ship to another.


 Now we'll talk about how to deploy these ships. A single ship is of course the smallest operational unit, but it's not wise to deploy a ship alone. Ships may be combined into squadrons or flotillas, which may be formed into fleets.
 A large fleet usually consists 150-200 ships. Latest tactics usually deploy ships in Carrier Strike Groups, or CSG-s. CSG-s, as their name suggests, consists an aircraft carrier and the ships meant to guard and escort it. A CSG is composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, an aircraft carrier, at least one cruiser, a destroyer squadron of at least two destroyers and/or frigates, and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft. A carrier strike group also, on occasion, includes submarines, attached logistics ships and a supply ship.
 These CSGs are able to operate on their own, and can be used for almost anything: coastal bombardment, naval patrol, naval engagement, etc. If you need more ships for something, simply use more CSG-s. They are a well-organised all-around group, able to take on whatever mission needed - while the ships suited for the mission do their job, the rest can actively defend them.

The budget

 It can be said that the navy is the most expensive branch of a nations armed forces. Any ship costs billions of IRL $-s, and losing a ship can be very, very painful for one's economy and navy, as they take a lot of time to rebuild. Use them carefully! If your navy gets utterly destroyed in a war, it can take several years to build it up again - and buying ships from other nations is also very expensive.


 Usually ships go with 40-60 km/h. Please note that the maximum speed and rnage of a unit group is the maximum speed and range of it's slowest unit, as they need to keep formation. This means that even if your aircraft carriers and cruisers have nuclear engines, your unit group will not, as the other ships, like destroyers, frigates, etc., will need supply. This also means that your fleet can travel 100-1400 km-s daily. Use the 5000 km unit measure on the map to determine how fast you can reach a certain destination. We in the Global Federation have no strict rule on how to determine IC time, but still, this should be taken into consideration.
 This is why it's wise to make deals with other nations who will supply your navy, or let them station in a naval port for a while.

Summa summarum

Navies are big, slow and expensive. If your nation has a low budget, don't even think about being a naval superpower. Plan your strategies ahead, because if you deploy most of your navy, you can't pull them back from the other side of the world if your enemy shows up at your doorstep.
The pro-side is that they're the only way to reach your faraway enemies, so they're very important aswell. Use them wisely, and with proper naval strategies, you can secure your nation and strike your enemies in the same time.  

I hope this guide helped you realize the potential strenght and the drawbacks of your navy, and how to shape it according to your nations roleplay! Any suggestions on what to add, and what guide to write next are welcome!

Thanks for reading!
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