WW1 Naval – Dogger Bank

1st and 2nd Battle Cruiser Squadrons with the German line in the distance.

This scenario, based on the Battle of Dogger Bank (January 23, 1915), was an attempt to test the AI code against a human player. Information used by the human player was limited as much as possible to what would be available in an actual game.

The sea conditions and orders of battle are listed on Page 1 of the Narrative file:

Force reports:

Plot from 0710 to 1610 Hours

The single lines (red for British, blue for German) show the movement of the forces prior to contact. When contact was made, the individual ships were set out into their cruising formations. The British Battle Cruiser Force was in two squadrons in line ahead with a line abreast screen of one light cruiser squadron. The Harwich force was in three flotillas, each lead by a light cruiser. The German battle cruisers were in a single line ahead, with a circular cruiser screen ahead and two flotillas flanking the battle cruiser line.

Plot from 1616 to 1815 Hours

The Battle Cruiser Force was headed north-east at the time that the Harwich Force sighted smoke to the south-east. The BCF then reversed course to the south-east. The cruiser screen would take some time to regain station since the cruiser’s design speeds were only 25 knots.

Sighting of a German light cruiser heading west by the destroyers of the Harwich force occurred at 16:45. The human player assumed that heavier ships would be following this screening cruiser. He therefore continued to the south-east to get between the enemy and his base.

Sighting of British battle cruisers at 16:54 prompted the deployment at 16:55 of the Aufklarunggruppe (A.G.). The battle cruisers of I.A.G. maintained course to the west to engage to starboard and allow the wind to carry smoke away from the direction of the enemy. The light cruisers of II.A.G. formed up and took station 3 NM ahead. Once the battle cruisers opened fire, the German flotillas took station on the disengaged side.

Since the light forces took only a limited part in the later action, the simplified plot showing only the battle cruisers will be discussed. The Lion opened fire at 17:05, beyond the range of the German guns. I.A.G turned north to close the range, then back to north-east when in effective range. The two lines passed on opposite courses. Once the British had achieved a position between the Germans and their base (to the south-east), they reversed course to the north. Smoke interfered with the fire of the British line, so the formations were changed to line-of-bearing, 3 points to port, and the 2nd BCS was stationed on the port quarter of the 1st BCS. This took some time to achieve, during which the British received significant damage.

The game was ended when damage caused the German line to attempt to break off to the north-east. The time (18:15) was past nightfall for this date, and the code does not currently account for night conditions.

End of game status:

Capital ship gunnery logs organized by unit:

RJW Naval – Yellow Sea August 10 1904

This scenario is based on the Battle of the Yellow Sea during the Russo-Japanese War. The initial positions are based on the following references:
“The Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905 British Naval Attache Reports,” Plate 7.
H. W. Wilson, “Battleships in Action,” Chapter XII.
Julian S. Corbett, “Maritime Operations in the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905, Vol 1, Chapter XXII.
Bill M., “The Battle of the Yellow Sea,” The Naval Wargames Society, http://www.navalwargamessociety.org/scenarios.html

The battle might be called ‘Encounter at Encounter Rock’ since several references mention that location. None that I have seen state where the rock is (or was), but an approximate location can be inferred from the first reference above: 24 NM SE of Port Arthur.

Japanese 1st Division with two armoured cruisers attached, east of Encounter Rock.
Japanese 3rd Division, south of the Russian squadron.
Japanese 5th Division, north of the Russian squadron.
Japanese 6th Division and two destroyer divisions near Encounter Rock.
Russian 1st Pacific Squadron, about 10 NM SW of Encounter Rock.

Three additional Japanese destroyer divisions are strung out to the south and southeast of the Russians. Three Japanese torpedo boat divisions have been omitted from the scenario.

The sea conditions and orders of battle are listed on Page 1 of the Narrative file:

Player reports (not needed since there were no human players):

Plot from 1230 to 1440hrs
This plot shows the entire battle, with the Russian movements in red and the Japanese in blue.

Plot from 1230 to 1330hrs
Initial movements and deployments of the units during the first hour. The AI ordered the Japanese divisions to form up, but this required the 3rd Division to pass close to the Russian squadron. As a result, the division’s small protected cruisers took significant damage from the rear Russian ships before joining the rest of the Japanese fleet.
Both sides eventually formed battle lines heading east. Once on roughly parallel courses (with low range rates) and in effective range, the serious shooting began.

Plot from 1330 to 1417hrs
Unit movements continued. The Japanese destroyers took station on the disengaged side of the battle line until the Russian line was significantly weakened. At that point (1400hrs) a general torpedo attack was ordered and the destroyer divisions headed south.

Plot from 1330 to 1417hrs
The battle lines fight in detail. Torpedo salvos aimed to cross the paths of Russian battleships missed because the targets sank.

Plot from 1330 to 1417hrs
Plot showing more clearly where the Russian ships sank (+).

End of game status:

Battleship primary battery gunnery logs
These are less useful than those of dreadnought battles since much of the damage was caused by secondary batteries.

1/6000 Naval – WW1 Turkish Navy

Figurehead 1/6000 scale ships from the WW1 Turkish navy pack.

Yavuz was the German grosse kreuzer Goeben.
Midilli was the German lichte kreuzer Breslau.
Barbarossa (Heireddin Barbarossa) was the German linienschiff Kurfurst Friedrich Wilhelm.
Torgud Reis was the German linienschiff Weissenburg.
Medjidieh was a US-built protected cruiser.
Hamidieh (originally Abdul Hamid) was a British-built protected cruiser.
Destroyer Squadron 1 consisted of German S165 class destoyers.
Destroyer Squadron 2 consisted of French Durandal class destoyers.
English spellings are from Conway’s All the Worlds Fighting Ships 1906-1921.

WW1 Naval – North Sea Operaton 1917

This non-historic encounter occurred in the open waters of the North Sea, and was run as a test of algorithms making decisions in place of human players. In order to not have an advantage, the code only gives orders at the end of each 5 minute turn, and only using information which would be available to a human player.

The sea conditions and orders of battle are listed on Page 1 of the Narrative file:

Player reports (not needed since there were no players):

Plot from 11:15 to 12:35

The single lines from the right (British) and left (German) sides show the movement of the two forces prior to enemy contact. To speed the code, only the force flagship is actually moved. Based on the force size, screening elements and visibility, at some point in this movement the individual ships of the two sides are set out into their cruising formations. In this case the British battleship divisions were in line ahead disposed abreast, with the battle cruiser squadrons ahead and a line abreast screen of one light cruiser squadron. The German battleship divisions were in a single line ahead, with the battle cruiser squadrons ahead and a circular cruiser screen for both the battle cruisers and the battleships.

Depending on the contact bearings, the formations may make course adjustments. In this case, both forces altered course, and the cruiser screens can be seen shifting positions to regain their stations.

Plot from 11:15 to 13:00

Sighting reports of British battle cruisers at 12:44 prompted the deployment at 12:45 of I Aufklarunggruppe (I.A.G.). I.A.G. turned to starboard in line ahead in order to bring after turrets to bear and to allow the wind to carry smoke away from the direction of the enemy.
Sighting reports of German battle cruisers at 12:52 prompted the deployment at 12:55 of 1st Battle Cruiser Squadron (BCS) and 2nd BCS. They turned to port for similar reasons. The sighting report was from Lion since the cruiser screen was not far enough ahead to give any earlier warning.

Plot from 13:00 to 14:00

(simplified plot)

Since the full plot may be difficult to read, the simplified plot showing only the lead ships of the battleship and battle cruiser units will be discussed. At 13:00 the I.A.G. reversed course to take station ahead of the German battleships due to being under fire of more than their number of capital ships. The leading battleships of each side were sighted by opposing light cruisers at 13:04 and 13:05. At 13:05 the 1st and 2nd BCS took station ahead of the British battleships due to being under fire of the leading German battleships. At 13:15 both side’s battleships deployed. The British formed a single line to port with the port wing (3rd Division) leading. The Germans, already in single line, turned to starboard. While moving to their stations ahead of the lead battleships, both side’s battle cruisers interfered with the fire of the battlelines.

Plot from 14:00 to 14:50

(simplified plot)

As the battlelines gradually closed the range, the destruction was heavy on the battle cruisers and leading battleship divisions. Torpedoes were launched from the underwater tubes from both sides, and several British ships were hit. When the game was (arbitrarily) ended, many of the surviving ships were low on ammunition.

Plot from 14:00 to 14:50 showing flotillas

Although many torpedoes were launched by cruisers and capital ships, none were launched by the destroyer or torpedo boat flotillas. This plot shows the tracks of the flotillas in relation to the lead ships of battleship divisions. The ordered torpedo attacks generally failed because the flotillas could not reach a launch position clear of friendly ships without being driven off by the fire or proximity of enemy ships. The current algorithm for stationing flotillas relative to the battlelines may need to be revised to address this problem.

End of game status:

Capital ship gunnery logs organized by unit:

1/6000 Naval – Austro-Hungarian Turmschiffe Kronprinz Erzherzog Rudolf

S.M.S. Kronprinz Erzherzog Rudolf was a ‘turreted ironclad’ (Turmschiffe) commissioned in 1889, and in Austro-Hungarian service on and off until around February 1918. The main armament was three 305 mm guns mounted individually in barbettes.

This drawing is from “Austro-Hungarian Battleships in World War One,” by Zvonimir Freivogel: